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TALENT AVAILABLE: 2023 confirmed as Earth’s Hottest Year but 2024 likely to be hotter

Climate Media Centre 4 mins read
January 10 2023

The European Union’s Copernicus Climate Change Service has overnight confirmed that 2023 was the earth’s warmest year on record by a large margin, at 1.48°C warmer than the pre-industrial period, 0.16°C warmer than the previous record year (2016), and 0.6°C warmer than the 1991-2020 average.

 

2023 saw extreme heat waves in southern Europe, North America and China, as well as devastating wildfires in Canada and Hawaii. Scientists also noted record-breaking sea surface temperatures and record low sea ice extent around Antarctica in 2023.

 

Australia was the only continent that did not see large areas register record temperatures, but there were still deadly floods, storms and bushfires across the country. 

 

Farmers, doctors, lawyers and climate experts have provided quotes below and are available for interview.

 

To arrange interviews, please contact:

Jacqui Street, Climate Media Centre, 0498 188 528  jacqui.street@climatemediacentre.org.au

 

To interview Dr Simon Bradshaw please contact:

Lydia Hollister-Jones 0448 043 015  

lydia.hollister-jones@climatecouncil.org.au

 

Agriculture

Peter Lake, NSW farmer and member of Farmers for Climate Action

Location: UImarra, Northern NSW

Peter Lake said: “We are still in drought on our property. We’re having what is colloquially termed a green drought. You look at the place, it's green, the grass has turned green but we’ve had no follow up rain. There is no subsoil moisture . Our ground is hard and it is dry. My concern is that if we don’t get some significant rain we’ll be going into winter without any body of feed.

"This is just showing how climate change is continuing to make farming unpredictable. The sooner we get serious about reducing our burning of fossil fuels and start to reduce the amount of carbon dioxide going into our atmosphere the better. “

Climate Science

Dr Simon Bradshaw, Climate Council Research Director

Location – Sydney Dr Simon Bradshaw is a researcher on climate science and the impacts of a warming climate; his research covers extreme weather, bushfires, heat, floods, health, security and many other areas of climate science and impacts. He can talk about the current storms within the context of an increasingly volatile and dangerous climate, their potential further impacts, and their consistency with the weather events we've been warned to expect on a fast warming planet.

 

Dr Bradshaw said:”It's most concerning that 2023 broke the record by such a very large margin, with 2024 expected to be warmer still.”

 

“Overall, the summary reveals just how much hotter and more dangerous today's climate is than the relatively cooler and more stable climate in which human societies developed. We're seeing how much more extreme our climate becomes as we approach 1.5°C of warming, and why we must work to limit future warming as much as possible through getting our emissions down fast by rapidly phasing out fossil fuels.”

 

Ian Lowe, AO Environmental Scientist, Emeritus Professor, Griffith University

Location: Adelaide SA (travelling - available after 1:30 pm AEDT)

Ian Lowe is a world-recognised scientist. Professor Lowe has been a referee for the Inter-Governmental Panel on Climate Change, the International Geosphere-Biosphere Program and the Millennium Assessment. He can talk about the risk of extreme weather events to communities, and what the overall warming trend means for climate impacts in Australia.

 

Professor Lowe said: “We’re already seeing in Australia the extreme weather events that the climate science was warning about 35 years ago. If we don’t dramatically reduce greenhouse gas emissions things are going to get worse and worse.  A fire expert I spoke to said that by 2040 the fire weather from 2019 will be an average year not an extreme year “

 

 

Human health

Kimberley Humphrey, Doctors for the Environment Australia board member

Location: Adelaide

Kimberley is an Emergency Medicine Physician and public health professional from Adelaide with expertise focused on climate change and health. She is a current Fellow in Climate Change and Human Health at Harvard University and has a strong background in research, policy and advocacy at the intersection of climate change and health.

 

Dr Humphrey said:  "In 2023 when hundreds of millions of people across Southern Europe, North America, and China suffered through blistering heat waves it became obvious that our climate is changing. 

“As an emergency medicine specialist, my firsthand experiences have made me acutely aware of the profound toll extreme weather can take on our health. In emergency departments here in Australia, I have seen patients with asthma struggling to breathe due to the effects of bushfire smoke, elderly patients with worsening heart failure during heatwaves, the extreme anxiety and distress of those who have lost their houses and livelihoods from fire and flood.

"As the 14th highest carbon emitter and 3rd highest carbon exporter in the world, Australia must do its share to limit global warming to under 1.5 degrees. It's critical that we phase out all existing fossil fuel projects, as well as any proposed ones, including the gas project in the Beetaloo Basin."

 

Climate justice lawyer

Dr Bronwyn Lay, climate justice and disaster lead at the Federation of Community Legal Centres Victoria

Location: Melbourne

Bronwyn works with Community Legal Centres and the wider legal sector helping them to prepare, adapt, respond and recover from disasters and the impacts of climate change. Her vast experience includes consulting with international NGOs on law reform strategies, a PhD on environmental crime and climate litigation, and firefighting in France. Bronwyn can speak to how marginalised communities are often the most affected by climate change, and how community and government responses to climate change must be equitable, fair and inclusive.

 

ENDS

 

Contact details:

To arrange interviews, please contact:

Jacqui Street, Climate Media Centre, 0498 188 528  jacqui.street@climatemediacentre.org.au

 

To interview Dr Simon Bradshaw please contact:

Lydia Hollister-Jones 0448 043 015  

lydia.hollister-jones@climatecouncil.org.au

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