Summer so hot 'fruit cooked on trees'

Australia's record-breaking summer was so hot that fruit cooked on trees, the Climate Council says.

The council on Thursday released a report showing temperature extremes over the past three months, which was the hottest summer on record.

Port Augusta in South Australia reached a record breaking 49.5 degrees Celsius in January, while every state experienced serious bushfires, and Townsville broke its 10-day accumulated rainfall total.

More than 200 extreme weather records were broken in 90 days across the nation, the Climate Council says.

"This summer was so hot we witnessed fruit cooking on trees," Climate Council chief executive Amanda McKenzie said.

"In Melbourne, the Australian Tennis Open had to implement its new extreme-heat policy, postponing matches, as temperatures soared.

"What we're living with is part of a long-term warming trend driven by the burning of fossil fuels and land clearing."

The Climate Council says a national policy is needed to drive down greenhouse gas pollution across all sectors.

"Now, hot on the heels of Australia's 'angriest summer', we have autumn fires burning across parts of Victoria," former NSW Fire and Rescue Commissioner Greg Mullins said.

"Climate change has lengthened bushfire seasons.

"In Victoria, the fire season started early. This has put a great deal of pressure on firefighters; we simply don't have the resources for this new reality."

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