Moomba, a gas exploration town in South Australia, reached a record, 49.6 degrees Celsius in the noonday sun. Meanwhile the country is being swept with brush fires and grass fires that have already consumed 350,000 hectares of land.
The first nine days of 2013 have all exceeded average maximum temperatures in excess of 39 degrees C. And the savage heat is making a bit dent in climate change skepticism down under.
''There's a powerful climate change signal in extreme weather events
in Australia,'' said Joseph Reser, an adjunct professor at Griffith
University's school of applied psychology. ''The current heatwave is
outside people's experience.''
A study released by the university and co-written by
Professor Reser found Australians were more ready to accept climate
change was happening - and many believed they were experiencing it.