Wednesday, January 04, 2006

How Sydney felt the heat

Letters to the Editor of the SMH give a good idea of the response of the people to last Sunday's ridiculously high temperatures:

Maureen King Lane Cove

The hottest decade, the second-hottest year, the hottest
December and the hottest New Year's Day on record. I don't suppose
anyone seriously doubts global warming anymore.

Graham Parton Junee

If the Prime Minister did not enjoy Sydney's heatwave, he might
get serious about tackling global warming. For starters, he could
support an increase in the mandatory renewable energy target and
increase funding for solar energy research. He could also live in
the Lodge and ride a bike to work.

Dan Buchler Waramanga (ACT)

With air-conditioning installed in Kirribilli House, the Lodge
and aboard the RAAF-VIP fleet and Commonwealth cars, why should
John Howard pay attention to the problems of global warming?

Michael Toohey Bronte

It was so hot I did the ironing to cool down.

Warwick Orme Annandale

Why aren't we harnessing solar power to fuel our
air-conditioners in a heatwave?

Catherine Walsh Ashfield

I am pleased to say that Catherine Walsh of Ashfield got her answer in today's Letters to the Editor:

Solar's feelgood factor

In response to Catherine Walsh's question (Letters, January 3), I
had solar panels installed at our house just before Christmas in
anticipation of a long, hot summer. These panels power the heavy
use of our air-conditioner (among other appliances) and I must say
how impressed I am by the way they harness the sun's energy. They
look cool, too.

Of course, this cost us $11,000 (minus rebate), the same price
as our kitchen and bathroom renovation, but for the long-term
feelgood factor, nothing beats solar power.

Marie dela Rama Lidcombe

In other local news - Sydney is measured as the sunniest city of the South Pacific with tomorrow expected to be even sunnier as the Earth reaches perihelion - the closest point to the sun - it is about 3% closer than winter and thus the Earth receives about 9 percent more sunshine currently:

Last month was not just very hot and dry. It was also Sydney's
sunniest on record. The city was bathed in a daily average of 10.4
hours of cloud-free sunshine during December, 2.5 hours a day more than
the historic average.

Figures released by the Bureau of Meteorology yesterday show December easily outshone September 1980, the previous sunniest month, when there were 10.1 hours of daily sunshine.

Last month was also Sydney's second hottest December, surpassed only by
December 1990. Afternoon humidity was the lowest on record for December.

Here are my reactions during and after the heatwave.

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