Earth has now experienced 16 consecutive months of record-breaking heat, new figures from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) have revealed.
According to NOAA in a report today, the latest record heat was most widely felt in Africa and Asia where people sweltered through their warmest-ever August, and in South America, which experienced its second warmest August.
NOAA reports that August 2016 was the hottest August in the 137-year period of records, marking the 16th consecutive month of record warmth for the globe.
In Australia, most of Western Australia had near average temperatures for the month of August, while the southeastern coasts of Australia had much warmer than average temperatures.
The Bureau of Meteorology reported recently the national mean temperature during winter as being 0.91°C above the 1961–1990 average — tying as the sixth highest June to August period on record.
The region with the highest temperature departure in winter was the Northern Territory with a temperature departure for the three-month period of 1.34°C above average and the eighth highest since records began in 1910.
“Month after month, we are seeing temperature records broken. Normally when this happens they’re only broken by a very small amount, but what we’re seeing now is records broken by large amounts time and time again,” The Climate Council’s Professor Will Steffen said.
“Just look at Northern Territory where people experienced a mean temperature departure of more than a degree. This is an ominous sign of a climate that may be on the verge of crossing dangerous tipping points that will drive further warming.”
Professor Steffen said meanwhile in Australia emissions continue to rise and the renewable energy industry had stalled due to policy uncertainty.
“The federal government must immediately put in place a plan to rapidly transition our economy away from fossil fuels towards renewable energy to protect Australians from worsening heatwaves, bushfires and sea level rise.”
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