State of the Climate 2016: Behind the science—climate data collection and analysis

State of the Climate 2016: Behind the science—climate data collection and analysis

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I’m Blair Trewin. I’m a climate scientist with the Bureau of
Meteorology in Melbourne, and I work with long-term observed historic datasets. The Bureau has been a world leader in the
development of long-term climate datasets. There are many areas where we’ve been a pioneer, especially daily datasets which are suitable for analysing extremes. The Bureau has about 700 sites around Australia that record temperatures every day, and about 6000 sites that report rainfall. The monitoring of weather is very important in helping us understand the long-term climate. We can see how what’s happening now fits into
the context of what’s happened historically. Well, we’ve seen some things happen in recent years which are outside the range of historical experience, and especially with temperature. We’ve seen that 2013 was Australia’s hottest year on record. We’ve seen heatwaves where records have been set in many parts of the country. There’s a clear warming trend for temperature over the last 50 to 100 years, particularly the last 50, over virtually all of Australia. And what we’ve seen in the last few years
is well outside the range of the variability we saw before that.

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