2019 was Australia’s hottest year on record – 1.5C above average temperature

The year 2019 was the hottest on record for Australia with the temperature reaching 1.52C above the long-term average, data from the Bureau of Meteorology confirms.

The year that delivered crippling drought, heatwaves, temperature records and devastating bushfires was 0.19C hotter than 2013, the previous record holder.

The Bureau of Meteorology data shows the average temperature across the country was 1.52C above the long-term average taken between 1961 and 1990. The second hottest year was 2013, followed by 2005, 2018 and 2017.

The data, from the bureau’s long-term ACORN-SAT data, will be used as part of the bureau’s annual climate statement due for release on 9 January.

Prof Mark Howden, the director of the ANU Climate Change Institute, said the continued rising levels of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, caused mainly by burning fossil fuels, was the underlying driver of the heat.

He said: “It’s very clear that greenhouse gas emissions are changing the radiation balance of the Earth. Other contributors are minor in comparison.”