This year is ‘virtually certain’ to be the hottest in 125,000 years as the true toll of extreme heat in Australia is revealed.
The Copernicus Climate Change Service found the previous October world heat record, set in 2019, was beaten by 0.4 degrees, with the last five months being the hottest-ever consecutive months globally.
‘We can say with near certainty that 2023 will be the warmest year on record,’ Samantha Burgess, deputy director of the service, said.
The Bureau of Meteorology warned ‘almost all of Australia’ will suffer through ‘above median maximum temperatures’ this summer.
‘Most of Australia is at least two-and-a-half times more likely than normal to experience unusually high maximum and minimum temperatures,’ it said.
‘Unusually high temperatures equate to the warmest 20 per cent of November to January periods from 1981 to 2018.’
The Bureau of Meteorology warned ‘almost all of Australia’ will swelter through massive heat this summer
Bushfires, which are forecast to be worsened by extreme heat, caused 299 Australian deaths over 10 years
The extreme temperatures, coupled with a large amount of greenery from last year’s record-breaking rains, have already triggered increased bushfire warnings across Australia.
‘It’s very warm and hot throughout much of Queensland this week … if conditions continue a severe heatwave may be potentially announced tomorrow for (inland) areas,’ explained BoM Bureau senior meteorologist Harry Clark.
This week alone, large parts of Australia are forecast to swelter through a heatwave.
Southwest Queensland, northeast South Australia and northwest NSW are expected to see low-intensity to severe heatwave conditions from Monday.
Isolated western parts of Cape York , inland parts of Queensland, northern WA and eastern Top End in NT will be affected from Tuesday and Wednesday.
By Thursday, the heatwave is forecast to be widespread over large parts of the country’s north.
Nine bushfire warnings are in place across Queensland, with residents told to ‘prepare to leave’ at Mount Garner near Cairns, as conditions escalate along Wyndham Creek Rd, according to the Queensland Fire and Emergency Services.
The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare found extreme heat was one of the biggest cause of hospitalisations in the last 10 years.
It accounted for 7,104 injury hospitalisations, most of which were in Queensland and Victoria, and 293 deaths.
New South Wales recorded the highest number of bushfire deaths at 91, followed by Queensland with 60 and WA at 42. The national total was 299.
‘Evidence has shown that over the past three decades, there has been an increase in the frequency and severity of extreme weather events, such as extreme heat, bushfires, extreme cold, rain and storm-related events, including high rainfall, floods and cyclones,’ Australian Institute of Health and Welfare spokesperson Dr Heather Swanston said.
‘We are seeing this reflected in hospitalisations and deaths.’
A heatwave low-intensity to severe heatwave will hit northern Australia on Thursday (forecast above)
Emma Bacon, the founder of Sweltering Cities – an organisation which helps hot communities campaign for cooler infrastructure, said the continued hot weather start to affect Australians’ wellbeing.
‘The issue is the way we build our cities and homes. They are not appropriate for the current climate, let alone the increasingly hot climate,’ she told Nine Newspapers.
‘The coming summers will be the hottest of our lives, and it will get worse and worse. It’s something hard to wrap our heads around: that the unprecedented heat we will feel isn’t something we’ve ever experienced before.
‘Hotter summers have ongoing effects on people. You’ve got different people impacted, you’ve got those who are older, have disabilities or chronic conditions, and are pregnant.
‘Millions of people will be impacted at once.’
The findings comes just weeks before Cop28, the annual United Nations climate change conference, where governments will discuss how to limit rising temperatures.
The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare found extreme heat was one of the biggest cause of hospitalisations in the last 10 years
FOUR-DAY FORECAST FOR CAPITAL CITIES
Monday Showers easing. Max 29
Tuesday Sunny morning. Possible storm. Min 17 Max 29
Wednesday Partly cloudy. Min 17 Max 29
Thursday Partly cloudy. Min 17 Max 30
Monday Mostly sunny. Max 25
Tuesday Partly cloudy. Min 12 Max 23
Wednesday Partly cloudy. Min 11 Max 23
Thursday Partly cloudy. Min 11 Max 22
Monday Becoming sunny. Max 19
Tuesday Cloudy. Min 11 Max 18
Wednesday Cloudy. Min 12 Max 19
ThursdayShower or two clearing. Min 12 Max 18
Monday Partly cloudy. Max 20
Tuesday Cloudy. Min 11 Max 17
Wednesday Partly cloudy. Min 7 Max 18
Thursday Shower or two. Min 9 Max 16
Monday Partly cloudy. Max 27
Tuesday Partly cloudy. Min 7 Max 27
Wednesday Partly cloudy. Min 11 Max 25
Thursday Partly cloudy. Min 10 Max 25
Monday Morning shower or two. Max 23
Tuesday Mostly sunny. Min 15 Max 26
Wednesday Shower or two. Min 19 Max 26
Thursday Shower or two. Min 17 Max 23
Monday Sunny. Max 31
Tuesday Partly cloudy. Min 19 Max 30
Wednesday Partly cloudy. Min 20 Max 31
Thursday Shower or two. Possible storm. Min 21 Max 32
Monday Shower or two. Possible storm. Max 33
Tuesday Shower or two. Possible storm. Min 25 Max 33
Wednesday Shower or two. Possible storm. Min2 5 Max 33
Thursday Possible morning storm. Showers. Min 26 Max 34
Source: Bureau of Meteorology