Each year we have been invited to present awards at the Proud and Deadly awards ceremony for Aboriginal Students from Young and Harden Schools.
This year it was held at the Young High School Auditorium to recognise the achievements of the students and to also socialise with other students family and friends, together with teachers from other participating schools.
To all students you are to be congratulated for the huge effort you have put in throughout the year.
To enter the Auditorium on this special day you were presented with a wonderful display of Aboriginal Art and Artifacts from the past and this in itself makes you proud to be part of this ceremony.
Congratulations to Cheryl Fensom and her team for a job well done.
Sandy Freudenstein & Helen Waugh
Each year in recent years the Bureau of Meteorology and the CSIRO have got together to publish a report on the state of our climate. In October the report for last year was issued. It makes sobering reading.
Following are the key points from the report. The full report can be seen by googling “State of the Climate 2016”.
· Australia’s climate has warmed in both mean surface air temperature and surrounding sea surface temperature by around 1 °C since 1910.
· The duration, frequency and intensity of extreme heat events have increased across large parts of Australia.
· There has been an increase in extreme fire weather, and a longer fire season, across large parts of Australia since the 1970s.
· May–July rainfall has reduced by around 19 per cent since 1970 in the southwest of Australia.
· There has been a decline of around 11 per cent since the mid-1990s in the April–October growing season rainfall in the continental southeast.
· Rainfall has increased across parts of northern Australia since the 1970s.
· Oceans around Australia have warmed and ocean acidity levels have increased.
· Sea levels have risen around Australia. The rise in mean sea level amplifies the effects of high tides and storm surges.
· Global average annual carbon dioxide (CO2) levels are steadily increasing; they reached 399 parts per million (ppm) in 2015, and the annual value for 2016 is almost certain to be higher than 400 ppm. Current levels are likely the highest in the past two million years. (Ancient climate information is gathered from such things as tree rings, ice cores and the like.)
· 2015 was the warmest year on record for the globe since reliable global surface air temperature records began in 1880. The last 15 years are among the 16 warmest years on record.
· Globally-averaged ocean temperatures and heat content are increasing. Observations reveal this warming extends to at least 2000 m below the surface.
· Globally-averaged sea level has risen over 20 cm since the late 19th century, with about one third of this rise due to ocean warming and the rest from melting land ice and changes in the amount of water stored on the land.
As for the future, these are the key predictions:
· Australian temperatures are projected to continue increasing with more extremely hot days and fewer extremely cool days.
· The number of days with weather conducive to fire in southern and eastern Australia is projected to increase.
· Winter and spring rainfall is projected to decrease across southern continental Australia, with more time spent in drought.
· Past and ongoing greenhouse gas emissions mean further warming of ocean temperatures.
· Sea-level rise and ocean acidification around Australia are projected to continue.
Hopefully Australian and world leaders will take note of all this and do whatever is necessary to lower our greenhouse gas emissions to leave our children and grandchildren a world as wonderful as it now is.
Jim Main, COOTAMUNDRA
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.