Posts filed under ‘heatwave’

Feeling the heat of climatechange? Extreme temperatures are raising our ire

Last night the temperature in Melbourne (Olympic Park) didn’t go below 27.8 degrees Celsius with the humidity hovering between 40-50 percent. It came after a maximum temperature of 37.7C. Of course temperatures in the northern and western suburbs were up to 1-2 degrees higher.

Sunday also saw a record power usage, as people used their air conditioners to cool down. Although grid demand was at a record high for a Sunday of about 9,440MW, rooftop solar was contributing about 330MW.
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January 29, 2018 at 3:02 pm Leave a comment

Study: 50 degree extreme heat days possible in Melbourne

Climate Emergency

Yes, heatwaves and extreme heat events are going to get worse for many years, even if we do everything possible to reduce emissions. Week long heatwaves, and extreme heat events with temperatures over 50 degrees Celsius may be seen in a decade or so in Sydney and Melbourne.

That is the inertia in the climate system. In the meantime we need to rapidly increase renewables while making energy savings through energy efficiency, and cutting emissions particularly from the electricity generation sector.
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January 20, 2018 at 2:17 pm 3 comments

A peek at Moreland’s draft Urban Forests strategy

Moderating the urban heat island effect with summer temperatures and extreme heat effects increasing has become a priority. One of the best ways to moderate urban heat is through increasing the urban forest canopy. Unfortunately while public tree planting has increased, urban consolidation and development has resulted in a decline on private property.

Last Council meeting considered a draft Urban Forest Policy. The community consultation for Moreland’s Draft Urban Forest Strategy will run from May 1 to May 29. See Moreland Council Meetings page for Agenda for 8 March 2017 (from pg 98) for version presented to council or download it here (PDF 48MB) (This may not be final version)

We will put more details on our website and FB page when available. See a recent report on combatting the urban heat island effect here.

One of the issues that needs to be tackled is public education on trees on private property. A register of important trees is also needed. How the policy integrates with draft Urban Food policy regarding orchard trees is also an issue.

Summary (provided by MCC):
The draft Urban Forest Strategy 2017-2027, will guide the future management of Moreland’s urban forest, aiming to create a municipality where healthy trees and vegetation are a core part of the urban environment. The Strategy aims to deliver practical measures that guide the planning and protection of vegetation across Moreland. The term “urban forest” includes vegetation in both public and private spaces, such as home gardens, nature strips, street trees, balcony plants, rooftop gardens and green walls. It also includes public parks with trees, shrubs, grasslands and wetlands. In summary, the City of Moreland’s:

* Overall vegetation canopy from the urban forest is 14%;
* Public land contributes 5% of total municipal urban forest cover; and
* Private tree canopy has declined by 24% since 2005.

The Strategy aims for a 50% increase of canopy coverage within the public realm by 2030, through the strategic planting of larger canopy trees within streetscapes, parks and natural resource management areas.

April 24, 2017 at 1:14 am Leave a comment

Mandatory garden space for urban housing developments and combatting the urban heat island effect

Saving the trees in backyard gardens in our cities is critically important to slow the increasing rise of temperatures in the urban environment. Under the refreshed Plan for Melbourne, the State government is bringing in new minimum mandatory garden rules for housing development. The real issue that no-one is discussing, is how to encourage the increase in the private forest canopy in our cities.

Rising temperatures due to climate change are making our cities hotter. Climate change is amplifying the urban heat island effect. All the built surfaces in the city are absorbing heat during the day and creating a substantial increase in urban temperatures as compared to similar rural areas. This is particularly exacerbated during extreme heat events and heatwaves and poses a major heat health threat to the population.

Increasing tree canopy cover and increasing soil moisture in the urban environment are major methods for reducing the urban heat island effect.
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March 15, 2017 at 11:50 pm 1 comment

Moreland Council opposes Adani coal mine

coal-is-cooking-the-planet

The City of Moreland Council showed political will and voted tonight to oppose the Adani coal mine development and write to all Federal MPs urging their opposition to the development of the Carmichael coal mine.

It may sound strange an inner city Melbourne municipal council campaigning against a proposed coal mine development thousands of kilometres away in the Galilee Basin of Queensland. But Moreland has never been afraid to take a public leadership stance in protection of their citizens. And climate change is the big one that affects us all.
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February 9, 2017 at 12:38 am 2 comments

Summer time and heatwave management shows some cracks

SE Australian Heatwave

SE Australian Heatwave

Melbourne sweltered through another heatwave, the first of 2017. Hope everyone survived the heat.

Temperature at Melbourne (Olympic Park) hit 36.1C at 3.30pm on Saturday. Of far greater concern, the overnight minimum temperature hovered at around 30C dipping down to 28.4C at 1.30am as the low point before rising to 30C at 9am Sunday. By early afternoon a cool change had moved through dropping temperatures to the mid 20s.

High night time temperatures disturb sleep and reduce physiological recovery for the next day. Night time is also when the Urban Heat Island effect is most pronounced as there is less atmospheric mixing, and zero vegetation transpiration to cool things down, unless there are stronger winds. The Bureau of Meteorology labelled the night as ‘oppressive’ citing both the higher than normal minimum temperature and higher humidity.
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January 8, 2017 at 9:05 pm 2 comments

Hot Christmas expected for Melbourne during SE Australia heatwave

Christmas heatwave

Christmas heatwave

The Bureau of Meteorology are predicting a heatwave across south east Australia towards the end of this week. (See BOM heatwave Service) Maximum Temperature for Christmas day in Melbourne is predicted to be 35C. From Christmas Eve to Wednesday 28 December maximum temperatures are forecast to be above 30C with some warm nights with the temperature going down to 20-25C minimum.

Melbourne Forecast:
Friday 23 December: Min 13 Max 29 Sunny
Saturday 24 December: Min 18 Max 31 Sunny
Sunday 25 December: Min 19 Max 35 Sunny
Monday 26 December: Min 24 Max 31 Becoming cloudy
Tuesday 27 December: Min 19 Max 35 Cloudy
Wednesday 28 December Min 25 Max 35 Cloudy
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December 20, 2016 at 7:42 pm Leave a comment

Moreland Council receives grant for mitigating the Urban Heat Island effect

Moreland's social heat vulnerability

Moreland’s social heat vulnerability

Moreland Council has received $80,000 grant funding from the Victorian Government on a project to minimise the impact of the Urban Heat Island Effect on vulnerable social housing residents.

The urban heat island effect results when urban surfaces heat up much faster than rural land. With temperatures climbing due to climate change and more extreme heat events predicted, the urban heat island effect will magnify the heat health impacts on the population, especially more vulnerable people like the young, the old, outside workers and those with medical conditions.

The grant funding was part of $1.15 million to support Council driven projects across Victoria in mitigation and adaptation to climate change.

The funding will assist the Council’s Urban Heat Island Strategy that is presently in draft mode about to go to Council for consideration for formal adoption at Council’s June 2016 meeting.
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May 19, 2016 at 2:34 pm Leave a comment

Consultation on Urban Heat Island effect Action Plan in Moreland

Moreland UHI Thermal imaging 14 January 2014 10am

Moreland UHI Thermal imaging 14 January 2014 10am


Moreland Council have been working on developing a policy on mitigating the urban heat island effect. This is when temperatures warm up much more in urban areas due to all the buildings and roads, than rural areas. Climate change is causing temperatures to rise, and also causing earlier and more intense heat waves to occurr. Climate change also amplifies the urban heat island effect.

Moderation of urban heat island effect temperatures by even a few degrees can reduce substantial health impacts and improve comfort for residents in extreme heat conditions. Every year hundreds of ambulance callouts are made for people suffering heat related medical conditions. More people die during extreme heat events than for any other disaster, including bushfires. A 2014 report found that Melbourne, of all Australia’s cities, had the highest annual average number of heat-related deaths, with about 200 a year, according to the Age.

Research has shown that Moreland has a high social vulnerability index to extreme heat already, based upon demographic and social factors.

Moreland Council is conducting a community consultation in regard to the draft Urban Heat Island effect action plan on Tuesday 22 March 2016, 6 pm – 8 pm at Coburg Town Hall foyer, 90 Bell Street, Coburg. You can Register your attendance and download and read the draft plan. The draft action plan was approved for community consultation at Council’s February 2016 meeting with the intention of formal presentation of the final draft in April 2016 followed by formal endorsement in June 2016.
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March 20, 2016 at 9:56 pm 2 comments

Expert statement on extreme heat and health

20160306-heathealth-expert-statementLast week I attended the release and launch of the Climate Council’s latest report of health impacts of extreme heatwaves. Climate change and the urban heat island effect result in increased frequency and intensity of extreme heat events. They are silent killers especially affecting those most vulnerable. Our political leaders need to heed the advice of the experts involved in this Climate Council report on heat health (PDF 4.2MB). They issued a concise statement calling for action (reproduced in full below).
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March 6, 2016 at 2:12 pm 2 comments

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