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Greenhouse gases made hottest year on record '2,000 times more likely' - 1st October

A kangaroo escapes a bushfire in Victoria

Australia’s hottest year on record in 2013 would’ve been “virtually impossible” without human-driven climate change. Temperatures were at record levels making it 2,000 times more likely due to greenhouse gases, research has found. Last year’s record heat was identified by four separate research papers who highlighted a distinctive human “fingerprint” on the series of highs, including Australia’s hottest day, month, summer and spring since records began in 1910.

The additional greenhouse gases doubled the chance of the most intense heatwaves Australia has ever seen, making extreme summers five times more likely. Researchers from the University of NSW, University of Melbourne and the Australian National University (ANU) worked on the project for a special edition of the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society.

Natural factors regularly causes hot years however, researchers insist that the level of heat experienced in 2013 suggests that greenhouse gases were a critical influence. 2013’s average temperature was 1.2C above the long-term average (Bureau of Meteorology).

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