2018 was the third-hottest year on record in Australia and the driest since 2005

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Dr Bettio said the only part of the country to buck the trend for above average temperatures was Western Australia’s Kimberley region, which had cooler than average nights for the year.

The Bureau of Meteorology also said rainfall totals in Australia in 2018 were the lowest since 2005.

The total was 11 per cent below the 1961-1990 average, but many areas experienced significantly lower average rainfalls, the bureau found.

Dr Bettio said large areas of south-east Australia had rainfall totals in the lowest 10 per cent on record.

NSW had its sixth-driest year on record while the Murray-Darling Basin had its seventh driest.

However, some parts of northern Australia and south-east Western Australia received above average rainfall totals.

The bureau’s statement follows a run of exceptionally high temperatures around the nation late last month, along with a prolonged heatwave in Queensland in late November and early December.

Globally, 2018 was the fourth-warmest year on record, according to the European Union’s Copernicus Climate Change Service assessment, released on Tuesday.

The last four years have seen the highest average temperatures globally since records began in the 19th century.

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