AUSTRALIA has sweltered through its second hottest summer on record* according to new data.
The Bureau of Meteorology’s ‘Australia in Summer 2017-18’ report released yesterday highlights that the national mean temperature was 1°C above the long-term (1961-1990) average for the season.
Climate Council Acting CEO and Head of Research Dr Martin Rice said the latest data wasn’t surprising, after the hottest five year period globally occurred between 2013 and 2017.
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The record is part of a sharp, long-term upswing in global temperatures, with 17 out of the 18 hottest years on record all occurring in this century.
“Another summer, another record topples as climate change intensifies,” Dr Rice he said.
“This data comes hot on the heels of Australia’s warmest winter on record, with more than 260 records smashed.
“This scorching summer has seen heatwaves across the nation, especially in the eastern states and South Australia.
“In January alone, we sweltered through our third hottest January since records began in 1910.
“While Penrith in Sydney was the hottest place on the planet at 47.3 degrees on January 7 this year.”
The 2017-18 summer was, for mean temperatures, the second hottest for Queensland, the third hottest for Victoria and the fourth hottest for South Australia and New South Wales.
It was the fifth hottest summer on record further south in Tasmania.
It comes as Australia’s latest greenhouse gas pollution levels jumped for the third consecutive year, increasing by 0.8% – without land use change and forestry – over the year to September 2017.
Climate Councillor and international climate scientist Professor Will Steffen said the window of opportunity to tackle climate change was “rapidly closing”.
“Year after year we continue to see more climate and weather records broken, all while our greenhouse gas pollution levels continue to climb,” Mr Steffen said.
“The Federal Government’s proposed National Energy Guarantee will do nothing but guarantee failure when it comes to tackling climate change.
“Australia urgently needs strong and credible energy policy that rapidly cuts carbon pollution through the transition to clean, affordable and reliable renewable energy and storage technology.”
*for mean temperature