Current Event Cat of the Day: Heat Wave Threatens Australian Open (and more!)

Current Event Cat - Australian Open

It’s so hot in Australia right now that animals are falling from trees due to heat exhaustion, wildfires are popping up in Perth, and officials have suspended the Australian Open.

Melbourne, where the Australian Open tournament is held, is going through a heat wave with temperatures surpassing 45C. Australian Open organizers issued an extreme heat warning and suspended all matches scheduled to be played on outdoor courts.

Even tennis veteran Serena Williams could’t take the heat, saying it was “too hot to get into rallies”. Meanwhile two players and a ball-boy had to receive medical treatment after fainting from the heat.

But the Australian Open isn’t the only thing to be effected by Australia’s hottest year on record.  Extreme heat across the states of Victoria and South Australia are causing power blackouts as Australians crank up their A/C to extreme levels. Over 1000 people in the region of Victoria have been treated for heat stress so far and up to 500 flying foxes have died in the past two days. Awww. Oh wait, flying foxes are bats, not foxes. Ewww. There’s nothing worse than a sweaty bat falling out of the sky and hitting you in the face. Except maybe being burned in a wildfire…

While wildfires have always been a problem with Australia’s hot, dry climate, the extreme heat this season has left many residents on edge (and banned from starting any fires). On Sunday, wildfires on the eastern fringes of Perth in Western Australia burnt 52 homes to the ground.

And things aren’t going to get much better for Australia; the Climate Council said the number of heatwaves in Australia was “projected to increase significantly.”

“Both the duration and frequency of heatwaves” had increased between 1971 and 2008, the Climate Council report stated.

“As greenhouse gases continue to accumulate in the atmosphere from the burning of fossil fuels, more heat is trapped in the lower atmosphere,” the report added.

“This increases the likelihood that hot weather will occur and that heatwaves will become longer and more intense.”

Ok, I’ll stop complaining about the cold weather in North America now…

Via: BBC News

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