Report shows El Niño weather, and bushfire risk, on the way

AUSTRALIANS could be in the midst of the hottest two years in the country's recorded history, with a report from the Climate Council to be released this morning.

The council's Professor Will Steffen said the group's latest report - Abnormal Autumn - considers the higher temperatures in May as a "warm wave".

"We have just had an abnormally warm autumn, off the back of another very hot angry summer," Professor Steffen said.

"Climate change is here, it's happening and Australians are already feeling its impact.

"The report suggests Australia will face an El Niño weather pattern in the second half of the year, which unlike its rain-bearing cousin La Niña, often brings dry, hot weather."

El Niño events usually make life tougher in rural Australia, often triggering drought, water restrictions, extreme heat and increased bushfire risk.

When it comes on top of two years of climate change-related record warmth, you have to be concerned," says Steffen.

Professor Steffen is expected to release the report at 10am.



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