Climate Change heat arrives in Australia

The weather may be turning colder in the UK, but my wonderful Callistemon is still flowering . Having weathered the torrential rain and strong winds, it is now radiating a Xmas feel over the garden with its evergreen leaves and splashes of bright red http://www.athelasplants.co.uk/bottlebrushes.html

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The Bottle Brush plant originates from Australia where spring is just turning to summer and there is the threat of more record breaking temperatures and drought, particularly as this is is expected to be an El Nino year.http://reg.bom.gov.au/climate/enso/

For the past 12 years parts of the country has been devastated by severe drought . In February 2009, temperatures in Melbourne broke all records at 46.6c .The city also had a record dry start to 2009 with just 126 millimetres of rain falling from January to June – half the long term normal level. http://www.bom.gov.au/climate/drought/drought.shtml

The issue of water supply is serious for Australia with water storages at the record low level of 26% and predicted to possibly dip below 20% during the summer of 2009/10 if El Nino continues to impacthttp://www.bom.gov.au/climate/ahead/rain_ahead.shtml

Lack of water and higher average temperatures have serious implications for Australia’s agricultural economy and its passion for gardening. Over 70 percent of available water is used for agricultural irrigation as compared to less than 40 percent in other high-income countries.

Nurseries and garden centres have to adapt by selecting drought resistant stock , using less water and modelling their business plans on changing climatic conditions. If you own a garden centre or nursery, you might find this page interesting.http://www.ngia.com.au/Category?Action=View&Category_id=466

Australian gardening web-sites are also full of interesting articles that could become useful for drier UK summers.http://www.abc.net.au/gardening/factsheets/waterwise.htm

Maybe we need to transport some of the rain-water that seems to have been falling forever in the UK to help keep Australia from turning into a dust bowl – using carbon-neutral transport of course!

Hope to hear from Australian visitors to this site about how you are coping with this summer’s heat – particularly the political fire currently raging?

How is the the hot weather affecting your garden ? Which plants do well in drought?

How do you feel about the controversy surounding the carbon emmssions bill. I read that a leading opinion poll   showed 66 percent of Australians back the introduction of an emissions trading scheme and other surveys have shown support as high as 80 percent. Did you know that Australia has the higheset per capita carbon emissions ?

This post was written by:

- who has written 866 posts on My Climate Change Garden.

I am not an experienced gardener - more of an enthusiastic amateur who learns by trial and error and is keen to "manage" the effects of the weather on my garden. Writing this blog is my passion and I hope that it will continue to grow, allowing global gardeners to communicate about the effects of climate change on our plants and the future of our gardens.

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