Tasmania hotter and still rising

LAST year was Australia's hottest ever - and the fourth warmest on record for Tasmania.

But it is the 100 years that preceded 2013 that give us a clearer insight into the issue of climate change.

Bureau of Meteorology data provided to The Sunday Examiner last week showed a clear warming trend in Tasmania during the 100 years to 2013, with average temperatures creeping up and heat spikes becoming more frequent.

The data shows Tasmania's area- averaged mean temperature has risen 14 per cent since 1913, from 9.7 to 11.03 degrees, while three of the state's top five average hottest days have come in the past 10 years.

Bureau of Meteorology climatologist Lorien Martin said examining an extended history of average temperatures was the most accurate method to gauge climate changes.

"Every year is going to be a bit different, some will be warmer, some will be cooler," Ms Martin said.

"If you view data as a single year, or even a decade, it can be hard to draw solid conclusions or find a pattern.

"But by looking at data over an extended period of time, say, 100 years, you can see that there is a definite warming trend."

Ms Martin said long- term Tasmanian data indicated temperatures would continue to trend upwards, with a greater frequency of high-heat days, and less cold weather records.

Statistics from 1913 onwards showed the most consistent warming trend was in Hobart, with the city's average seasonal temperatures generally increasing with each decade.

The frequency of days warmer than 30 degrees in Hobart also increased markedly towards the back end of the century, while a record heatwave in March last year gave Launceston a significant spike in that category - 12 days in total reaching 30 and above.

Launceston's general warming, however, did not appear as consistent as Hobart or Devonport, but signs of a long-term upward trend were clear.

Email: adruce@examiner.com.au

Twitter: @AlexDruce1987

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