Last year was the third hottest year on record for Australia, according to the latest Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) data released this morning.
The BOM ‘Annual Climate Statement’ confirms that mean temperature was the third highest on record (1.14°C above average) and mean maximum temperature was the second highest on record (1.55°C above average).
Climate Councillor and climate scientist, Professor Will Steffen said the latest data came as no surprise.
“Climate change is intensifying around the world and Australia is no exception, as our climate system continues to set new extreme heat records,” Dr Steffen said.
“Nine of Australia’s hottest 10 years have occurred since 2005, so the extremes in 2018 are part of a long-term trend, being driven by intensifying climate change.
“2018 was a year of extreme heat across Australia, with New South Wales experiencing its hottest year on record for mean temperature (2.13°C above average) and Victoria sweltering through its highest mean maximum temperature on record (1.44°C above average).
“December 2018 was Australia’s hottest on record, with record-breaking mean, minimum and maximum temperatures.”
Climate Council acting CEO Dr Martin Rice said the annual summary from BOM once again cemened the fact that Australia needed to take a good hard look at its greenhouse gas pollution levels, which have been consistently rising over the past four years.
“The Federal Government must adopt a credible policy, which deeply and rapidly reduces our greenhouse gas pollution if we are to effectively tackle climate change,” Dr Rice said.
“At this point, if all countries were to adopt Australia’s current policies we would be on track for a world that’s at least 3°C warmer than the era prior to mass industrialisation. This would have disastrous consequences for billions of people,” he said.
“Our window to act is closing and the Federal Government’s current efforts are an abject failure.”