Bushfires in Western Australia in December
Photo: Evan Collis / picture alliance/dpa/DEPARTMENT OF FIRE AND EMERGENCY SERVICES/AAP
The summer in Australia is particularly hot this year.
Large parts of the country are currently under a heat blanket.
In the west, temperatures rose to more than 50 degrees Celsius in several places.
The highest reading was 50.7 degrees in the remote coastal town of Onslow, north of Perth.
According to Australian authorities, a temperature of 50.7 degrees was last measured on January 2, 1960 at Oodnadatta Airport in South Australia.
The weather service announced that the temperature in Onslow was a new regional record and had equaled the previous national record.
Many people fled from the record temperatures indoors.
However, even air conditioning systems were sometimes no longer able to cope with the great heat.
Other electrical devices also felt the heat stress.
Meteorologist Luke Huntington told Australian broadcaster ABC that the lack of thunderstorms is responsible for the extreme heat - because without this discharge, which normally ensures cooler values, hot air continues to accumulate.
»Heat waves are the silent killer«
The record heat since "Part of a long-term warming trend driven by the burning of coal, oil and gas," said Research Director of the Climate Council of Australia Martin Rice.
The extreme temperatures would already have “deadly catastrophic consequences”.
"Heat waves are the silent killer in Australia, causing more deaths than any other extreme weather event," Rice continued.
Without a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, such record high temperatures could become commonplace in Australia.
New heat records in 2022 "99 percent" likely
Meanwhile, the US climate agency NOAA reported that the nine years between 2013 and 2021 were all among the ten warmest on record.
According to this, last year the average temperature on the entire surface of the earth was 0.84 degrees Celsius above the average of the 20th century, making it the sixth warmest year on the entire record, which goes back to 1880.
NOAA climatologist Russel Vose also attributed the heat trend to the increase in greenhouse gases.
According to him, it is "99 percent" likely that 2022 will also be one of the ten hottest years - unless there is an unforeseen event such as a large volcanic eruption or a large comet that hits the earth.