Parliament isn’t sitting right now. This month looks set to shatter records for Australia’s hottest month, but for most of the coastal cities the situation is less impressive. Hobart has had both its greatest maximum and its highest overnight minimum, as have a few smaller cities like Portland. It’s pretty unpleasant in Melbourne right now, where a 40º day still hasn’t got down below 26º at almost two in the morning, but this is hardly unprecedented.
Inland it is a different matter, with most of inland Australia experiencing temperatures those locations have never known before. By a fair way the largest inland city in Australia is Canberra, and it is no exception. True, the hottest day this year was 40.1º, a full 1.3º short of the record, and the highest overnight minimum is nowhere near the Canberra record.
However, for sustained heat this month has really been something. Canberra’s average January maximum is 28. Currently it stands at 32.9º and will go higher when yesterday’s gets included. The nation’s capital averages 5.4 days over 35º a year. So far it has had 8, and tomorrow* is predicted to be 39º. That’s in just over two weeks.
Unfortunately, with parliament not sitting, the only MPs who are actually experiencing this are the for members from the ACT, who generally are not the ones in need of convincing. Some other members for inland electorates may have their faith in the non-existence/benevolence of global warming shaken, but most are probably either at the beach or in their homes close to the coast, shaking their heads at the reports of bushfires, but not quite noticing, or largely ignoring, the cause.