Global Warming At The Australian Open

Switzerland's Roger Federer serves to James Blake of the United States during their Men's singles quarter final match at the Australian Open tennis tournament in Melbourne, Australia, Wednesday, Jan. 23, 2008. (AP Photo/Shuji Kajiyama) AP Photo/Shuji Kajiyama

This column was written by CBS News Early Show Co-Anchor Harry Smith.
Have you heard about what's happened at the Australian Open? Several players have had to quit because of the heat. In fact, outdoor matches have been banned for two days because it's just too hot to play.

It's summer, of course, down there now and as we trudge through the snow and ice left from the most recent winter storm in our hemisphere, the land down under is burning up.

Australia has been keeping weather records for about 100 years and the eleven hottest years in their history have occurred in the last twelve.

Rail lines have buckled this week and about 150,000 people are without power; the grids simply won't hold up.

All of which serves as a not too subtle reminder that the planet is warming. I've been to Australia in the summer and the sun feels so close on some days it's truly unpleasant. Your only thought is to get to some shade as quickly as possible.

The oil price collapse may have taken the urgency out of the alternative fuel push, but dare I say the planet is still warming.
By Harry Smith
  • CBSNews

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