Five ways the severe heat is affecting Bundaberg

AS THE region prepares for a sizzling weekend where temperatures are set to get as high as 34 in Bundaberg and 42 in Gayndah, our environment and industry is suffering. 

The Bureau of Meteorology has explained that a ridge of high pressure has been hanging around and refusing to budge.

"We've been dominated by a ridge of high pressure that's been almost stationary over the last few weeks, since the start of the year actually," a spokesman said.

"Mid-next week could be a game changer, but it's too early to say."

Here are five ways the region has been impacted by this year's above average temperatures so far. 

Sugar Cane sent in by Eva Parry.
Sugar Cane sent in by Eva Parry.

1. Crops are suffering from a lack of rain 

Cane growers say the dry run has been tough and has led to moisture stress in plants.

"Continuing hot dry conditions are now starting to cause severe moisture stress in many areas," Bundaberg District Canegrowers chairman Allan Dingle said in a newsletter earlier this year. 

BLEACHED CORAL: This soft coral photo taken at Barolin Rocks at the end of January 2017 shows some sign of stress in the underwater environment.
BLEACHED CORAL: This soft coral photo taken at Barolin Rocks at the end of January 2017 shows some sign of stress in the underwater environment. Emma Reid

2. The region's coral is becoming bleached 

A warmer than average summer means there is a chance the corals may start to feel the effects of coral bleaching.

A Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority spokesperson confirmed a photo of soft coral taken at Barolin Rocks at the end of January had succumbed to the heat.

The spokesperson said as other species of soft coral in the photo were not bleached it would be hard to pinpoint why it happened.

Irukandji
Photo Contributed
Irukandji Photo Contributed Contributed

3. It's helped lure dangerous jellyfish 

James Cook University Associate Professor and irukandji expert Jamie Seymour said warmer waters encouraged the jellies further south than normal.

"We've got good data now that shows quite nicely that irukandji has been spreading down the east coast of Australia, moving slowly but surely southwards," he told ABC radio.

Baby loggerhead turtles.
Baby loggerhead turtles.

4. Baby turtles are being killed

Shelters have had to be erected at Mon Repos to keep baby turtles safe from the severe, intense heat.

Turtle hatchlings are emerging and dying as the scorching midday sun heats the sand at Mon Repos to record temperatures.

"When scientists observed that the surface sand temperature was rising to levels they had not seen before at Mon Repos they knew they had to act quickly before the heat of summer started to affect the incubation success of eggs at the rookery," Environment and National Parks Minister Steven Miles said.

HIGHER TEMPS: The Bundaberg region experienced above average temperatures over the weekend.
HIGHER TEMPS: The Bundaberg region experienced above average temperatures over the weekend. Paul Donaldson

5. Our health can be put at risk

Queensland Ambulance Service director of patient safety Tony Hucker said if not taken seriously, heat stress can be fatal.

"Heat stroke can actually kill you," he said.

"Once your brain gets to the temperature of about 40 degrees, it's dangerous."



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