Australian summer breaks all the records

Last updated 14:18 01/03/2013

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Australia's just-finished sweltering summer has melted the record books.

The Bureau of Meteorology has confirmed it was the hottest season ever since records have been kept.

Records were broken for the average temperature and average daytime temperature between December and February.

A new record was also set for the number of consecutive days where the average maximum was more than 39 degrees Celsius - the seven days from January 2 to 8 almost doubling the previous record of four days.

Record maximum temperatures were set in Sydney and Hobart and 14 other locations.

The bureau said the summer followed a pattern of extremely hot summers around the world in recent years.

The Australian Conservation Foundation said records had tumbled all over the globe.

"If you're 27 years old, you've never experienced an 'average' month's temperature - it's all been above average," climate change program manager Tony Mohr said in a statement.

He hoped the hottest summer confirmation would prompt politicians to act to prevent acceleration in climate change.

The bureau on Thursday said that while 2012 was a year of significant weather contrasts with floods, bushfires, record-breaking heatwaves and cyclones, overall the figures weren't that out of the ordinary.

Australia recorded just near-average rainfall and only slightly above-average mean temperatures.

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- AP

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