Journal article

Dramatically increased rate of observed hot record breaking in recent Australian temperatures

Sophie C Lewis, Andrew D King



Persistent extreme temperatures were observed in Australia during 2012-2014. We examine changes in the rate of hot and cold record breaking over the observational record for Australia- and State-wide temperatures. The number of new hot (high-maximum and high-minimum temperatures) temperature records increases dramatically in recent decades, while the number of cold records decreases. In a stationary climate, cold and hot records are expected to occur in equal frequency on longer than interannual time scales; however, during 2000-2014, new hot records outnumber new cold records by 12 to one on average. Coupled Model Intercomparison Project phase 5 experiments reveal increased hot temperature ..

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University of Melbourne Researchers


Awarded by ARC Centre of Excellence for Climate System Science

Funding Acknowledgements

This research was supported by the ARC Centre of Excellence for Climate System Science (grant CE 110001028) and the NCI National Facility. We thank the Bureau of Meteorology, the Bureau of Rural Sciences, and CSIRO for providing AWAP data. We acknowledge the WCRP's Working Group on Coupled Modelling, which is responsible for CMIP. The U.S. Department of Energy's PCMDI provides CMIP5 coordinating support. CMIP5 model data can be found at; sea surface temperature data were downloaded from hadobs/hadsst3/; and the Australian temperature data were obtained from