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The changing climate of Central Australia

Mparntwe/Alice Springs is already a climate of extremes: hot days, heat waves and long periods of drought. Add in sporadic but intense flooding and bushfire seasons too, and it makes this town highly vulnerable to climate change impacts. 

Climate change is contributing to rising temperatures.

In 2019, the five-year average maximum temperature for our town is 2℃ warmer than in the mid 1940’s when temperatures at the airport first started being recorded. 2018 and 2019 were among the two hottest and driest years ever recorded in our region. January 2019 was the hottest month ever. The daily average temperature was 41.5℃. 

In addition to rising temperatures and changed rainfall patterns, climate change is going to increase the variability, intensity and frequency of climatic events such as droughts, floods and bushfires. 

The hot temperatures are not going to go away, so it is important to consider what can be done to alleviate the impacts of climate change. Efforts to cut greenhouse gas emissions are vital and will continue to be an integral part of ALEC's research and advocacy. Increasingly, we are also focusing on ways to help Central Australian communities and ecosystems cope with rising temperatures and changing climate conditions

We are looking at opportunities to work with other organisations and build the adaptive capacity of Central Australians to climate change impacts. Climate adaptation can include issues of housing, energy, water and food security, in addition to education. The climate is changing. It is essential that we support everyone in our community to adapt and respond to these climate impacts.