More than 200 weather records were broken during Australia's most recent summer, a climate group has warned. The Climate Council report, titled Angry Summer, said the season was defined by intense heat-waves and bushfires in eastern Australia but heavy rain and flooding in the west.
It showed climate change was being felt across Australia, the researchers said. The report also warned that electricity networks were likely to be strained by increased demand in the future.
Australia's summer - key records: Hottest summer on record for Sydney, Brisbane and Canberra; Moree, a town in New South Wales, experienced 54 consecutive days above 35°C; Adelaide endured its hottest Christmas Day in 70 years (41.3°C); Perth had its highest summer rainfall on record (192.8mm; 7.6in); News South Wales temperatures were 2.57C above average, a summer record.
At least 205 records were broken over the three-month period, the independent body said.
Lead author Will Steffen, a climate scientist, said the extreme weather was driven by climate change. We're experiencing unprecedented extreme heat and setting new records at an alarming rate, with every part of Australia feeling the impact, he said.
Extreme weather will continue to intensify through this century if we continue to sit on our hands and fail to move rapidly to get fossil fuels out of our economy.
The authors said Australia's ageing, inefficient and polluting energy system would come under more pressure from extreme weather.
The Climate Council was formed after Australia abolished the Climate Commission, a government advisory body, in 2013.