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Greg Hunt MP
Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for the Environment and Heritage
Federal Member for Flinders
4 January 2006
It's official - the 2005 Australian mean temperature of 22.89°C makes 2005 Australia's warmest year on record, announced the Hon Greg Hunt MP, Parliamentary Secretary with ministerial responsibility for Bureau of Meteorology.
"The annual Australian Climate Statement released today by the Bureau of Meteorology shows that 2005 has been 1.09°C warmer than the standard mean period of 1961-90, making it the warmest year since at least 1910, when high quality Australia-wide temperature measurements first became possible" said Mr Hunt.
The 2005 Australian temperature record eclipses the old record, set in 1998, by a considerable margin. Data held by the Bureau of Meteorology shows that the previous record was +0.84°C.
Data also show that more than 95% of the continent experienced a warmer than average year, with the most anomalous month being April, when temperatures averaged nearly 2.6°C above normal.
"The year had a remarkably warm and dry start, which led to many concerns for those linked to the land" Mr Hunt said. "But the June rains and a beneficial growing season have brought home a good crop in many areas."
Rainfall for the full year was below normal, with an average of 399mm falling nationwide. This is 73mm less than the Australian mean rainfall of 472mm.
"While the recovery in the second half of the year is welcomed" Mr Hunt noted "the good rains in many areas are not enough to erase the long term dry."
Australian annual mean temperature anomalies since 1910 (based on 1961-90 normal)
The annual Australian Climate Statement will be available from 9am 4th January at: http://www.bom.gov.au/announcements/media_releases/climate/change/
Kristy McSweeney (Mr Hunt's office) 0415 740 722