Published: Wed, January 10, 2018
Sci-tech | By Carrie Guzman

Last year was Australia's third hottest year on record

Last year was Australia's third hottest year on record

But despite there being no El Nino, usually associated with warm temperatures, 2017 was still the third-warmest year on record, at 0.

"Clearly, 2017 underscores what we've seen in the past with regard to better mitigating our risk and enhanced frequency of weather and climate extremes", Adam Smith, an applied climatologist at NOAA, said at a briefing Monday.

Despite the record-breaking temperatures, the NOAA fell short of linking climate change to the major disasters. Climate scientists have long suggested that climate change may lead to a higher risk of certain extreme weather and climate events.

The state's average temperature previous year was 49.6 degrees Fahrenheit.

"Seven of Australia's ten warmest years have occurred since 2005 and Australia has experienced just one cooler than average year-2011-in the past decade". In fact, every state in the lower 48 plus Alaska had above-average annual temperatures for the third year in a row.

"The cumulative damage of these 16 USA events during 2017 is US$306.2 billion, which shatters the previous USA annual record cost of US$214.8 billion established in 2005", NOAA noted.

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The great majority of scientists attribute the rise in global temperatures to an increase in greenhouse gas emissions. He recognised that mass bleaching events were not recorded prior to the 1980s.

Sydney on Sunday (Jan 7) sweltered through its hottest day in 80 years, while highway asphalt melted in Victoria state and bushfires burned out of control. Hurricanes Maria and Irma had total damages of $90 billion and $50 billion, respectively.

Past year was also the most expensive wildfire season, with a price tag of $18 billion, Smith said, tripling the cost of the previous wildfire record from 1991. These disasters also killed 362 people directly.

Only 2012 and 2016 were warmer than 2017, according a new report from NOAA. But the rain wasn't evenly distributed. In fact, 2017 was a record year for hurricane costs alone - some $265 billion in losses out of the total $306 billion. These range from random chance to more proximal causes, like specific weather patterns that promote drought or floods.

"But hot, warmer-than-average conditions are likely from the southern coastal regions, [such as] around Perth, Adelaide, Melbourne and Tasmania", he said. Thus, it's possible that an "average" looking year in the U.S. can feature heavy rains ending a drought in one region even as others slip into drought. Daytime temperatures were specifically warm, coming in as the second-warmest at 1.27 degrees above average.

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