Australia’s winter was the warmest on record, the country’s Bureau of Meteorology said on Friday, reporting the latest in a series of records being broken around the world as climate change worsens.
Simon Grainger, chief climatologist at the Bureau of Meteorology, told AFP that the average winter temperature in Australia from June to August was 16.75 degrees Celsius, a hair’s breadth above the previous record set in 1996.
The first Australian weather records date back to 1910.
La Niña conditions have resulted in warm winters and cooler, wetter summers across much of Australia in recent years.
The winter, which ended Thursday, saw the second-highest high temperatures on record, as well as some of the highest low temperatures, according to the Bureau of Meteorology.
Australian researchers have repeatedly warned that climate change is increasing the risk of natural disasters such as bushfires, floods and hurricanes.
After several years of wet summers, experts expect next summer to be the most intense of bushfires since 2019-2020.
During this “black summer,” fires raged across the east coast of Australia, destroying forests and millions of animals. The cities were enveloped in toxic fumes.
Earlier in the year, Australia also experienced its strongest winds on record, as a severe tropical cyclone swept across the territory’s northwest.
Wind gusts of 289 km/h were recorded.
In July 2023, heat waves and fires occurred worldwide. According to the European Union’s Copernicus climate observatory, it was the hottest month ever recorded on Earth.
Greenhouse gas emissions lead to increasingly intense and long-lasting heat waves.