Climate change has led to Australia registering its warmest winter on record, according to a recent Climate Council report.
Data the independent body released this month showed average maximum temperatures in the winter months were nearly 2°C above average.
Climate change made the ‘‘exceptionally warm and dry’’ winter 60 times more likely, the Climate Council said in a report.
The report found more than 260 heat and low rainfall records were broken during the winter months and said winter warm spells were starting to last longer, happen more often and become more intense.
Climate councillor and ecologist Lesley Hughes said Australia’s hottest winter in history was related to worsening climate change.
‘‘Without any meaningful action to tackle climate change, we will continue to see many more hot winters, just like this, as global temperatures rise,’’ she said.
‘‘The current situation in which the government continues to not only delay real action to reduce emissions, but is actively supporting further development of coal-fired power is simply nonsensical.’’
The report also highlights the hot and dry winter had led to an even earlier start to the bushfire season.
‘‘A hot and dry winter, such as the one we have just experienced has set the scene for dangerous bushfire conditions for many parts of Australia, especially in the southern states,’’ Prof Hughes said.
‘‘The Federal Government must end the climate and energy policy deadlock and continue the transition away from polluting and expensive fossil fuels.’’