Australia endured one of its hottest years on record in 2017, the nation's chief weather service said on Wednesday, while it was the hottest in more than a century for the country's most populous state, New South Wales.
It was the third hottest year on record with the national mean temperature of 22.75 degrees Celsius being almost a degree higher than the average from 1961 to 1990, the Bureau of Meteorology said in its annual report.
The bureau, which has kept records on weather patterns for more than a century, said only 2005 and 2013 were warmer.
Most of Australia experienced above-average heat including maximum temperatures registering as the second-warmest on record.
The north-eastern state of Queensland joined New South Wales in recording its warmest year on record, while the summer of 2016-2017 also broke more than 200 temperature records.
The bureau said that the record temperatures came despite the lack of El Nino, a temperature rise in the Pacific Ocean which leads to large-scale changes in weather patterns.
"Australia has been looking at an increased frequency of heatwaves and other extremes that have been positively associated with climate change," bureau spokesman Karl Braganza said.
The report said climate change caused by human activity contributed to the annual mean temperature going up by about 1.1 degrees Celsius since 1910. Braganza said seven of Australia's 10 warmest years had occurred since 2005, with only 2011 being cooler than average temperatures.
The nation's largest city, Sydney, earlier this week experienced its hottest day in 79 years when temperatures hit 47.3 degrees Celsius.
The bureau also restated that the Great Barrier Reef had suffered a coral mass bleaching in early 2017 due to rising ocean temperatures.
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