Australia's Inferno ...
A geography lesson to start the year.
Penrith a western Sydney suburb was the hottest place on Earth on Saturday with the temperature reaching a high of 48.9°Celcius which was also the highest-ever temperature for Sydney and smashed an eighty-year-old record. The mercury also climbed to 43.6° C in Canberra on Saturday afternoon, the hottest temperatures ever recorded in the city. . The Canberra mark later rose above 44°C. The ten hottest places in the world on Saturday afternoon were all in Australia.
In addition Canberra experienced its worst air quality on record, as bushfire smoke became trapped by atmospheric conditions and residents were told to stay indoors and brace for more smog in the coming days. Canberra's smoke was the worst since the 2003 bushfires and was the worst since air quality monitoring started in the city 15 years ago. Air quality index readings in Canberra city were at 3,463 on Wednesday last. Ratings of more than 200 are considered hazardous!
We write this as over the past three years Mullingar Shamrocks played host to touring Australian Rules football teams with many of the footballers and their families from Sydney, Canberra and the state of New South Wales. Our thoughts are with these families as Australia experiences the ravages of climate change.