The Arctic is on fire. Now, Antarctica is suddenly experiencing a heatwave. And that means a looming rainfall apocalypse for Australia.
According to a recent report by senior researchers from the Australian Bureau of Meteorology, we’re in for higher than normal spring temperatures. And less rain.
It’s all because of record warm temperatures in the air swirling above Antarctica.
It’s producing a domino effect.
The stratospheric “polar vortex” has been disrupted. It could even reverse direction.
It’s pushing stormy Southern Ocean wind streams over Tasmania, New Zealand’s South Island and South America’s Patagonia. This is away from its regular route over the Australian mainland.
And that means NSW and southern Queensland — already in parts devastated by bushfires so early in the season — are set to face worsening conditions and an even more catastrophic bushfire season.
“The warming began in the last week of August when temperatures in the stratosphere high above the South Pole began rapidly heating,” the article published in The Conversation reads. Four senior Bureau of Meteorology forecasters compiled it.
“Thanks to improvements in modelling and the Bureau’s new supercomputer, these types of events can be forecast better than ever before.”
It foresees a looming stronger-than-usual melt of sea ice.
It foresees a shift in the typical wind temperatures and patterns coming off the Antarctic continent.
“In the coming weeks the warming is forecast to intensify, and its effects will extend downward to earth’s surface, affecting much of eastern Australia over the coming months,” the forecasters warn.
It is likely to be the most severe Antarctic warming event on record.
The previous highest Antarctic air temperatures were in September 2002. These resulted in Australia’s fourth driest winter on record, with spring-autumn mean-maximum temperatures the highest “by considerable margins”.