As the remote West Australian town of Onslow registers 50.7C (123.3F) – the hottest temperature recorded in Australia this century – Greenpeace Australia Pacific has warned against ignoring the significance of these concerning figures.
“These record-breaking temperatures are sounding the alarm and should be taken very seriously,” said Kate Smolski, Program Director for Greenpeace Australia Pacific.
“It’s not just the significance of the record-breaking figures but the frequency and intensity of these extreme conditions across Western Australia exacerbated by rising temperatures and increasing emissions indicates the climate crisis is happening right now.
“Immediate and effective action on emissions reduction must be addressed now but instead, we’re faced with Woodside’s continuing expansion of the Scarborough gas project off the Pilbara coast, one of the most climate polluting fossil fuel developments this country has ever known.
“Ignoring these extreme temperatures and chalking them up to natural causes while our Federal Government and Opposition produce timid emissions reduction policies will see the country sleepwalk into climate catastrophe.”
Prior to Thursday, the 50C-mark had only been crossed three times at a standardised monitoring site including consecutive days in early 1960. 
Over the next few days, the Bureau of Meteorology has predicted similar record-breaking temperatures across the Pilbara and WA’s north west with a high chance of multiple towns hitting 50 degrees in the worst-affected areas.
Extreme conditions coincide with Woodside’s continuing development of the Scarborough gas project, off the Pilbara coast, set to be Australia’s most polluting fossil fuel project in over a decade, generating 1.6 billion tonnes of CO2.
“The science is clear – growing emissions lead to increased temperatures and mere months after Woodside approved one of the most climate polluting developments in Australia’s history, the region is now facing relentless record-breaking extreme conditions,” Ms Smolski added.
“What more will it take for Woodside, and government on all levels, to finally accept the science and leave fossil fuels in the ground for good.”