The worst heat wave to strike Australia in a century is due to climate change. That was the blunt message from their government this week as the country struggled to cope with the heat-related chaos, including buckling rail lines, numerous heat related deaths and sweeping power blackouts.
“Eleven of the hottest years in history have been in the last twelve, and we also note, particularly in the southern part of Australia, we’re seeing less rainfall,” said Climate Change Minister Penny Wong. “All of this is consistent with climate change, and all of this is consistent with what scientists told us would happen.”
The searing heat has topped 43 degrees Celsius (110 Fahrenheit) in Melbourne for the third straight day – and the first time in recorded history.