Australia records hottest year without an El Nino - Taipei Times
Thu, Jan 11, 2018 - Page 6 News List

Australia records hottest year without an El Nino

AFP, SYDNEY

Australia sweltered through its third-hottest year on record last year, despite the lack of a warming El Nino weather phenomenon, official figures showed yesterday.

Seven of the vast continent’s 10 warmest years have occurred since 2005, with only 2011 cooler than average, the Australian Bureau of Meteorology said in its annual climate statement.

“Despite the lack of an El Nino — which is normally associated with our hottest years — 2017 was still characterised by very warm temperatures,” bureau climate monitoring head Karl Braganza said. “Both day and nighttime temperatures were warmer than average, particularly maximum temperatures, which were the second-warmest on record.”

The data came ahead of the release of global mean temperatures by the World Meteorological Organisation, with the Australian bureau projecting that last year was one of the world’s three warmest years on record — and the hottest without an El Nino.

El Nino occurs when trade winds that circulate over waters in the tropical Pacific start to weaken and sea surface temperatures rise.

Australia’s annual mean temperature has increased by approximately 1.1?C since 1910, with most of the warming occurring since 1950, the bureau added in its report.

Experts have also warned that climate change has pushed up land and sea temperatures, leading to more extremely hot days and severe fire seasons.

Last year, the national mean temperature was 0.95?C hotter than the 1961 to 1990 average.

In 108 years of recorded temperatures, only 2013 and 2005 were warmer.

The eastern states of New South Wales and Queensland were the hardest hit, recording their hottest year ever last year.

Australia is one of the world’s worst per capita greenhouse gas polluters, due to its heavy use of coal-fired power.

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