The Climate Council report finds the last 24 months are shaping up to be the hottest in Australia’s recorded history, further evidence that climate change is already influencing our weather.
“We have just had an abnormally warm autumn, off the back of another very hot ‘angry summer’,” says Climate Councillor Professor Will Steffen.
“The past two-year period has delivered the hottest average temperature we have ever recorded in Australia.”
“Climate change is here, it’s happening, and Australians are already feeling its impact,” says Steffen.
The findings are contained in the Climate Council’s latest seasonal analysis report, Abnormal Autumn, released by Professor Steffen on Monday 2nd June.
The report outlines weather records, including the recent “warm wave” in May, and says it is likely the country will experience an El Niño event in the second half of the year, with the potential to exacerbate the climate-change driven warming trend.
“El Niño events usually make life tougher in rural Australia, often triggering drought, water restrictions, extreme heat and increased bushfire risk. When it comes on top of two years of climate change-related record warmth, you have to be concerned,” says Steffen.
The Climate Council’s report highlights the records that were broken in May 2014.
Sydney had 19 consecutive days of 22 °C or above from 10 to 28 May. That is 10 days longer than the previous record.
Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide also broke records for number of consecutive days of 20 °C or above. Sydney had 28 days, Melbourne 13 days and Adelaide 16 days.