As a new climate report concluded this week, our planet is definitely getting warmer, which leads to more extreme temperatures around the world. Now Australia is seeing its coldest temperatures in decades, and last night, many Australians saw snow for the first time in their lives.
The local Bureau of Meteorology forecaster Gorrdon Banks told The Guardian that they actually didn’t know how much fell because they don’t have any equipment on hand to measure snow:
“We don’t actually measure the depth of snow fall, it’s so rare here in Queensland that really all we have to go on are rain gauges,” he said.
“We didn’t really have any official observations that snow was recorded, just reports from the public and just from the vision, I think we can say it was in the range of 2 to 5cm [one to two inches].”
The last time the region saw measurable snowfall was in 1984, so many people were seeing snow for the first time ever, including this reporter:
Australia has seen plenty of weather extremes recently, experiencing its own decade-long drought followed by years of flooding—all of which scientists have attributed to climate change due to rising carbon emissions. Yet still the country’s prime minister continues to block renewable energy programs.
A snowman in Katoomba, Australia, photo by Brett Hemmings / Getty Images