Aussies everywhere, including any company that handles events and marquee hire in Brisbane and across Australia, look forward to the summer sports that dot the summer months. However, there might be some changes coming, as the Australia Climate Council warns that extreme weather events linked to climate change would alter these events at the elite and grassroots level.
The Council released a report; Weather Gone Wild, early in February, saying that climate change is increasing the frequency and severity of weather events like extreme heat, intense rain, droughts, bushfires, and the like. The report was published following the heels of unprecedented flooding in North Queensland and bush fires in Tasmania.
2018 was Australia’s third warmest year on record, with the report noting that the country’s mean temperature went up by 1.14C. Additionally, the report noted that parts of Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria and eastern South Australia were suffering from drought, with annual rainfall being 11% below national average.
The council’s Lesley Hughes stated that the AU’s much beloved summer sports calendar, which includes the AFLW games, the Australian Open, and the Tour Down Under cycling race, among others, could face potential disruptions in the future, to the detriment of Aussies, the sports, and event companies that handle marquee hire in Brisbane and across Australia.
Hughes says that she believes that sporting bodies will have to look at altering their schedule of events, particularly those held in summer, as climate change continues to bite over the next couple of decades in the AU. They add that it’s not just the big, international events that’ll have to adjust, but smaller events, like those for kids.
Temperature records were shattered across the world in 2018. New Zealand saw its hottest month on record during January of that year, 3.1C above the national average from 1981-2010. Europe saw its hottest April since 1910, while the US saw its hottest May since 1895, which was then soon followed by a polar vortex.
The Australian Open implemented new extreme heat policy changes in 2019 following concerns about player welfare in the preceding years. Matches have been called off, and arena roofs were closed due to extreme temperatures.
Hughes added that normal Aussies would also have to adjust, saying that people can’t really work safely outdoors if the temperature’s 47C. She also says that politicians need to acknowledge the issue; stating that it’s a question of facing facts, scientific data, and then using those to form a climate policy.