8th January - Today's News: Highest National Temps on Record in Australia

In Australia, weather bureau upgrades temperature scale with new colours - they've had to introduce a new colour due to expected temps in excess of 50c in the interior as 'exceptional' heatwave topples records and searing temperatures fan Australia wildfires.  And although cool change a respite from scorcher across Australia more records look likely to be broken in the coming days. 

NZ has also briefly seen temperatures near record high in South before summer's extreme weather to continue with more rain and gales

In South America, hot dry weather leaves Brazil at risk of energy rationing

And there have been high temperatures in France and Switzerland too.

Here in Britain, warm start to year rings snowdrops out weeks early - but whilst we may not see -15c next, it does look like turning a bit more 'seasonal' over the coming days.  The (model) jury is still out on how severe or prolonged any cold spell might be.  Don't count your snowmen just yet, but don't discard the snow shovels either!

So is climate change causing the rise in freakish weather conditions?   Well it is predicted to make extreme weather events more extreme.  So maybe.  A little.  Although it should be noted that the internet - and news blogs like this - have changed our perception of weather around the world.  30 years ago we'd have been largely unaware of what was happening in the Lebannon, Turkey or Brazil etc

And it's estimated that Earth-sized planets number 17 billion - and we know at least one has life on it!


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