The Climate Council released this statement on May 2.
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Climate records have tumbled during autumn with records shattered all over Australia. New records for the highest average monthly maximum temperature were set in April in Brisbane, Darwin and Hobart.
Almost all of Australia's capital cities recorded at least 20 days with above-average maximum temperatures.
The warm temperatures follow a record-breaking March in which Australia's average temperature was the warmest on record at 1.70°C above average.
Research has found that climate change increased the odds of March breaking the temperature record in Australia by at least seven times. The warm temperatures are set to continue with a very high chance that May temperatures across most of Australia will be warmer than average.
On May 1, 20 Queensland cities and towns experienced the hottest May night since records began.
Climate Council CEO Amanda McKenzie said records were also being shattered globally. “March was the hottest on record globally, the eleventh consecutive month to break its annual temperature record,” she said.
“This streak, the longest in 137 years of record keeping, has led to record-breaking ocean temperatures which has caused the worst coral bleaching event in the Great Barrier Reef's history.
“We've had a devastating and long bushfire season exacerbated by these hot, dry temperatures. There is no doubt that these extreme temperatures are happening, they're driven by climate change and they are hurting Australians.
“We know what we need to protect Australians from worsening extreme temperatures and that's policies which will create an orderly closure of Australia's polluting, inefficient coal-fired power stations to make way for modern, clean renewables.
“Now all that we need is the political will.”