The photo below was taken yesterday on our back veranda.
Nice veranda, but nothing particularly remarkable there, you might say. The round object on the wall is a thermometer.
Take a close up view.
Yes that does read 50 degrees Celsius!
It might not have been quite as hot as that. A Bureau of Meteorology weather station, a few kilometers away from us recorded a daily maximum of 47.5 degrees Celsius. In Fahrenheit that is 117.5 degrees.
The official Melbourne maximum temperature was 46.4 degrees, which is 115.5 degrees Fahrenheit.
This was the highest maximum temperature in Melbourne ever recorded.
Before yesterday the highest temperature was 45.6, set on January 13, 1939. It came to be called Black Friday . That was before I was born, but I remember my parents often mentioning it when I was young.
Black Friday had the worst bush fires in Australian history, when 71 people were killed.
After the 1939 fires, many changes were implemented to stop a repeat of the devastation.
the devastation caused by the bushfires yesterday is far worse that that of Black Friday.
Currently the death toll from yesterday's fires is over 100 people and rising with many houses destroyed and in a few cases whole towns.
It is horrific.
Tamino at one of my favourite blogs, Open Mind, has a post that includes information on warming in Melbourne over the last century and some comments on its relationship to Global Warming and Climate Change.
Barry Brook of Brave New Climate blog quotes an Australian Meteorologist in this post:
Given that this was the hottest day on record on top of the driest start to a year on record on top of the longest driest drought on record on top of the hottest drought on record the implications are clear...
It is clear to me that climate change is now becoming such a strong contributor to these hitherto unimaginable events that the language starts to change from one of “climate change increased the chances of an event” to “without climate change this event could not have occured