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Media Release
The Hon Dr Sharman Stone
Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for the Environment and Heritage
Federal Member for Murray

12 November 2002

Launch of 2003 Australian Weather Calendar


Weather Calendar Focus on Future Climate

Forecasting of future climate is one of the great scientific challenges for the Bureau of Meteorology, according to Dr Sharman Stone, Parliamentary Secretary responsible for the Bureau.

"We need to know when droughts will occur and how long they will last" said Dr Stone. "We also need to know how the build-up of greenhouses gases is changing our climate in the long term".

Dr Stone's challenge to the climate science community came as she launched the Australian Weather Calendar for 2003.

Dr Stone said the Bureau produced the calendar each year in collaboration with the Australian Meteorological and Oceanographic Society, and the theme for 2003 was 'Our Future Climate'. "The calendar contributes to a better understanding of weather and climate-related issues, but also features 12 stunning weather photographs from around Australia," she said.

The climate theme was adopted for 2003 to tie in with that chosen by the World Meteorological Organization for World Meteorological Day, 23 March, next year.

The calendar also looks specifically at Australia's climate over the past century, and concludes:

The photographs in the 2003 calendar cover a diverse range of locations in Australia, from the far-north tropics to Macquarie Island in the sub-Antarctic. The pictures range from the awesome force of summer thunderstorms to the subtle beauty of rainbows and dew.

Of special relevance to the drought now being experienced across large tracts of Australia is the photograph taken by Queensland farmer, Sash Whitehead, in October last year. Sash was out on her tinder-dry cattle property "Mentone", near Winton, when a thunderstorm approached at about -sunset. While the lightning cracked, threatening to spark a fire, and the farm dogs barked, not a drop of rain hit the ground.

The 2003 Australian Weather Calendar will go on sale at select Bureau offices from next week. The price of the calendar is $12 over the counter and $16 posted within Australia or New Zealand.

Further information:
Andrew Cox, Office of Dr Stone, 0408 057 226
Web Site: http://www.bom.gov.au

Commonwealth of Australia