Australia an island of cold weather amid Earth’s record hot streak

Australia an island of cold weather amid Earth’s record hot streak

Australia was an island of cold weather last month as a streak of global record-breaking heat continued.

Data released this week by the non-profit environment group Berkeley Earth shows that the Earth’s global average air temperature last month was 0.11 degrees above the 1850 to 1900 average. This was the highest April average temperature on record, beating the previous record from 2020 by 0.14 degrees.

Last month continued a lengthy run of record-breaking global heat that has been uninterrupted since June 2023, with April becoming the 11th consecutive month to set a new monthly global average temperature record.

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But amid this unrivalled global warmth, Australia registered its first cooler-than-average April in nine years.

The mean air temperature over Australia in April was lower than the 1951 to 1980 average.

It was one of only a few places on Earth’s surface that were cooler than average last month.

The reason behind Australia’s cool spell during an otherwise record-breaking warm month for Earth’s atmosphere was high pressure centred to the south of Western Australia.

This condition causes southerly winds to carry cool air across Australia. When these high-pressure systems are strong and large, the southerly winds can be persistent and shift cool air across the entire continent.

So, while many areas of Earth were experiencing record-breaking warmth last month, Australa was one of the only places being kept cooler than normal, thanks to a stagnant weather pattern.

Meteorologists say this is a good example of how periods of cold weather can mask the longer-term warming trend of climate change.

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