CANBERRA, Jan. 4 (Xinhua) -- The year 2013 has been confirmed as Australia's hottest calendar year on record, the Bureau of Meteorology (BoM) said on its Annual Climate Statement 2013 released on Friday.
The statement said Australia's average temperatures in 2013 were 1.20 degree Celsius above the long-term average of 21.8 degree Celsius, breaking the previous record set in 2005 by 0.17 degree Celsius.
All states and territories recorded above average temperatures in 2013, with Western Australia, Northern Territory and South Australia breaking their previous annual average temperature records.
The year started with a persistent heatwave in January, with Australia recording its hottest day on January 7, hottest week, and hottest month on record.
A new record was set for the number of consecutive days the national average temperature exceeded 39 degree Celsius -- seven days between Jan. 2 and 8, 2013, almost doubling the previous record of four consecutive days in 1973.
Other significant climate events of 2013 include ex-tropical cyclone Oswald caused heavy rain and flooding along the east coast in late January, with many coastal areas from Sydney to Cape York receiving more than 200mm of rainfall in 24 hours, and Upper Springbrook in the Gold Coast hinterland receiving 1,496mm in eight days.
The highest temperature recorded during 2013 was 49.6 degree Celsius at Moomba in South Australia on January 12, the highest temperature in Australia since 1998.
The January heatwave saw a number of severe bushfires in south eastern Tasmania and in Victoria, where bushfires were particularly widespread.
Tropical cyclone Rusty was the most intense tropical cyclone to make landfall in 2013, causing flooding in the Pilbara and Western Kimberley in late February.
An early start to the fire season saw major bushfires in the Blue Mountains during October, the most destructive in the region since 1968.
Tropical cyclone Alessia crossed the coast near Darwin in late November, the earliest tropical cyclone to make landfall in the Northern Territory in 40 years.
Nationally, Australian temperatures have warmed approximately one degree Celsius since 1950, consistent with global climate trends. Globally, each of the past 13 years from 2001 to 2013 have ranked among the 14th warmest on record.
The opposition Labor Party called on the ruling Liberal- National Coalition to take more action to tackle the climate change challenges.
"Prime Minister Tony Abbott and Environment Minister Greg Hunt can no longer pretend climate change is not real and is not affecting Australia's environment and economy," said Acting Opposition Leader Penny Wong.