Heat on for Australia’s Great Barrier Reef when global temperatures hit 1.5C

Heat on for Australia’s Great Barrier Reef when global temperatures hit 1.5C.
These findings from University of Melbourne Scientists at the ARC Centre of Excellence for Climate System Science, reported in Nature Climate Change, are the result of research looking at how Australian extremes in heat, drought, precipitation and ocean warming will change in a world 1.5°C and 2°C warmer than pre-industrial conditions.
There was no event where the Coral Sea was as warm as we saw in 2016 but as the globe warms these events will grow in number."
The researchers also looked at other extreme events, like the southeast Australian drought of 2006 and the rain events that led to widespread flooding in Queensland in 2010, to see whether they would occur more often as global temperatures increased.
The results came after modelling thousands of years under four different scenarios — pre-industrial conditions, current conditions, the world at 1.5°C and at 2°C — on supercomputers at National Computational Infrastructure.
The researchers then looked at four key extreme Australian events — the Angry Summer 2012/13; the Coral Sea marine heatwave of 2016; the severe rain event in Queensland in 2010; and the 2006 drought in southeast Australia — to model how often similar events could occur under each scenario.
"It quickly became clear that keeping global temperatures under 1.5°C had a clear benefit for Australia in terms of reducing extreme events and the costs that come with them," Dr King said.
Sea temperatures of the scale and frequency we have seen do not bode well for the future of one of our greatest natural wonders."
Story Source: Materials provided by University of New South Wales.
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