Australia recorded its hottest month ever in January, with average temperatures exceeding 30C or 86F for the first time.
According to the Bureau of Meteorology, the extreme heat was unprecedented, at least five January days were among the 10 warmest on record in Australia, with daily temperature highs of 40C.
The heat has caused hospitalizations, wildfire deaths, bushfires and several wildlife species have been heavily impacted, with reports of mass deaths of wild horses, bats and fish in areas hit by drought.
The new record surpasses 2013, the nation’s previous worst heatwave. Australian officials said 2018 and 2017 were Australia’s third and fourth-hottest years on record respectively.