Enjoy your last few moments of wintery weather Australia, because record temperatures over Antarctica are about to heat our nation the fuck up.
According to the ABC, the atmosphere above the South Pole increased in temperature by a whopping 40 degrees in a matter of a few days last week, and Australia is about to feel the effects of it real soon.
The above-average warm temperatures currently hovering over Antarctica look like they’re going to head north and bring with it high temperatures and low rainfall across most of the east coast of Australia.
The “sudden stratospheric warming” started at the end of August, with the South Pole warming at an alarming rate. But as the cold winter weather fades away it looks like it’s only going downhill from here, with the warming set to increase over the next few weeks.
Basically, we’re in for an even hotter summer than we predicted a few weeks ago. Huge yikes.
“We will typically see conditions across most of Australia, but primarily concentrated in the eastern part of Australia, become warmer and drier through spring and into early summer,” Bureau of Meterology’s Dr Harry Hendon warned.
According to the Bureau of Meteorology, this month is predicted to break the previous record from September 2002 and become the largest Antarctic warming in a singular month on record, The Conversation reports.
It looks like we’ll be feeling the increase in temperature as early as next month, and won’t see much relief until the end of January when it’s expected to cool down a little.
“These sudden stratospheric warming events and the patterns that we see from them can go from September [to] October, sometimes persisting through to January,” Dr Hendon said.
On top of warmer temperatures, The Conversation also reports that we’ll experience stronger westerly winds coming from the Southern Ocean. Put simply, this means storms, cold temperatures and high rainfall for Tasmania, New Zealand’s South Island and South America, while the majority of Australia will experience warm weather, less rainfall and clear skies.
Warm weather and clear skies sounds like ideal summer conditions, but it’s not all sunshine and beers by the beach because stratospheric warming has previously been associated with extreme heatwaves and fire danger. These hot temperatures and lack of rainfall also looks like its going to exacerbate the already catastrophic drought we’re facing.
But if you’re sitting at home preparing for the end of the world, don’t stress too hard because it’s not all bad news.
First of all, experts believe this is a “natural phenomenon”, so it doesn’t look like this is a big ol’ global warming fuck up.
But it get’s better because this might actually be a good thing for the ozone layer. You know, that gaping hole we’ve been hearing about for the last two decades but really haven’t done much about? Yeah, that thing.
The stratospheric warming means that polar stratospheric ice clouds might not be able to form in the warmer climate. This is a good thing because those ice clouds are a key part of the chemical compound that damages the ozone layer.
Additionally, those strong winds in the Southern Ocean also help carry ozone-rich air to the polar region from warmer, more tropical areas, which repairs that big gaping hole in the ozone layer.
So, it’ll suck if you’re a farmer or you hate hot weather, but if you’re an ozone layer, this crazy weather might actually do you a solid.