Australia had its warmest Autumn on record as climate change supercharged El Nino to create unprecedented temperatures.
A new report by the Climate Council has revealed that a slew of records were broken during autumn, with Australia experiencing its warmest March, second-warmest April and second-warmest May on record.
The Abnormal Autumn report found the abnormally high ocean temperatures wreaked havoc on marine life, causing catastrophic bleaching on the Great Barrier Reef and a crisis for the Tasmanian aquaculture industry.
The report also found:
- Autumn 2016 was Australia’s warmest on record: the mean temperature was 1.86 °C above average.
- Average maximum temperature in Sydney was nearly 5°C above the monthly average in the first half of May.
- Mean temperatures in May were highest on record for the Top End, through northern and western Queensland, and on parts of the Queensland and New South Wales coasts.
- On the 17th of May, only two weeks from the start of winter, inner- Sydney temperatures reached 28.2°C, warmer than the average maximum temperature for January.
- Nearly every day in April was above average in Sydney, Darwin, Canberra and Brisbane.
- Queenslanders sweltered through their warmest ever April.
“Many Australians have forgotten what a normal autumn feels like. And while balmy nights and beach days during May might seem nice, they’re actually a symptom of a climate that is spiralling out of control,” Climate Council CEO Amanda McKenzie said.
“Normally when records are broken, they’re only broken by a very small amount. But what we’re seeing now is records being set by enormous amounts, month after month.”
Climate Council CEO Amanda McKenzie said Australia’s abnormal autumn temperatures were mirrored by record-breaking global temperatures.
“Earth has experienced an unprecedented twelve straight months in a row of record-breaking temperatures,” she said.
“Overall, thirteen of the fifteen highest departures from average monthly temperature have occurred since the beginning of 2015.
“Climate change is driving these abnormal autumn temperatures and the window of time in which we have to avoid the most dangerous impacts of climate change is closing quickly.
“This kind of unprecedented heat has serious implications for the way we grow our food, for our health and for the environment that supports us.
“We must rapidly transition away from fossil fuels towards renewable energy if we are to avoid worsening heat.”
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