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March-April 2016

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Weather Front

The Power of a Half Degree

In 2010 and 2011, sea surface temperatures around Australia were 0.5°C warmer than they were 60 years ago, and according to researchers, that was enough to spur on a devastating rainy season. So much rain fell on Australia during the 2010–2011 summer that it caused a drop in global sea level, led to a rare filling of Lake Eyre, a large inland lake system, and produced fatal floods resulting in $2.38 billion in damage.       

KIMBRA CUTLIP is a freelance writer and former assistant editor for Weatherwise.       

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