Australia experienced its fifth-warmest year on record in 2015, with the national mean temperature 0.83°C above average, according to the Bureau of Metereology (BOM) Annual Climate Statement released today.
The influence of climate change and El Niño sealed an extra-warm end to the year that also brought unseasonably early extreme weather – with farmers struggling through drought and losing crops due to early warm spells, people losing their homes to bushfires and the elderly and the vulnerable suffering through more frequent, severe and intense heatwaves.
The BOM Annual Climate Statement also confirmed:
- Australia’s record-hot October was off-the-charts with the largest mean temperature anomaly on record for any month
- National rainfall for 2015 was 5% below the 1961–1990 average, with rainfall very below average for parts of the Top End, most of Queensland, Victoria, Tasmania, southeast and western South Australia, and southwest Western Australia
- October–December was also the warmest on record for both maximum and minimum temperatures.
- Significant agricultural losses resulted from the dry and warm conditions during September and October as large areas of crops across southern Australia failed and were cut for hay. Estimated losses were expected to be on the order of at least $1 to $2 billion in Victoria alone.
Statistics released later this month are expected to confirm that 2015 was the hottest year on record globally.
You can read the full climate statement here or check out this video explanation from BOM:
Preview image credit: ‘White Hot’ by Flickr user Rich Herrmann licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0