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Thursday, July 10, 2008

Planet in denial


Kevin Rudd's latest favourite catch-phrase is that Australia is the hottest and driest continent on the planet, but there is one small problem - it's not.

Of course, the driest continent on the planet is Antarctica. Technically speaking, Australia is the driest inhabited continent. Too pedantic for you?

What about the hottest continent in the world? There is no agreed way to measure what constitutes the hottest continent, but the simplest way is to look at a map.

Has anybody heard of Africa, a continent that encompasses the equator and all of the tropics? African countries that are furthest away from the tropics are Mediterranean in the north and comparable to mild areas of Australia in the south.

There is also an argument that likewise, South America is hotter than Australia because a greater percentage of the land is within the tropics. Australia is in fact, probably the third hottest continent - at best. Another method is to look at international extremes where Australia does not even make it into the top ten...

Of course it is winter in Australia, but bearing in mind that the tropics generally do not have anything resembling winter temperatures and it's also winter in South America and southern Africa, check out:

Australia
Africa
South America

UPDATE: Climate information for Kevin here.

2 comments:

RebeccaH said...

That's what happens when you try to fit a whole planet into your narrow little ideological narrative.

kae said...

But RebeccaH, MM, everyone, we must save the world.
Penny Wrong says that we must lead the world.

I think she's talking about Leading The World in Stupid.