Map: BUREAU OF METEOROLOGY (BOM)
If the first 22 days of 2019 are anything to go by this year will be an alarming jump-forward into the deep unknown with the weather being the leading conductor.
according to BoM, Australia was home to all 15 of the world's hottest temperatures on Tuesday, a feat it may well repeat this week as a huge swath of the nation bakes in 45-degree-plus heat.
These ranged from Tarcoola in inland South Australia, which reached 49.1 degrees, to Yulara in the Northern Territory at 46.1 degrees in the 15th slot.
Jacob Cronje, a senior meteorologist with Weatherzone, said he "wouldn't be shocked" by a 50-degree C, 122 deg F reading during the current spell, given the scale and intensity of the heat.
But the heat wave has started a horrific domino effect in Australia in just the first two weeks of 2019.
Thousands of birds have been found dead at one of Western Australia's most important inland wetlands, home of 650,000 birds from 80 species.
The heatwave and algae bloom is thought to be the culprit for the tragic deaths Full story
Last week, in Australia record temperatures of almost 50 deg C (122 deg F) was responsible for roads and car-parts melting, millions of dead fish, wildfires, massive crop failures with thousands of bats dying and falling out of trees along with many thousands of bird deaths, the heat is also adding to drought conditions to parts of central and eastern New South Wales which have had well below average rainfall, since April 2017. Full Story
The only autumn on record drier than this one in southern Australia was in 1902 when the Darling River virtually ran dry at Bourke in NSW, and the Australian wheat crop was all but lost.
On top of this, jellyfish have stung more nearly 50,000 beachgoers on Australia's Gold and Sunshine coasts, prompting officials to issue warnings and close beaches. Safety authority Surf Life Saving Queensland said the bluebottle jellyfish -- also known as Pacific man-of-war -- have been blown in by recent winds. The surge in jellyfish numbers coincided with a busy period on Queensland beaches, with Christmas, the New Year and the school holidays bringing people to the coast.
However, it's not all heatwaves, monster snowstorms in Europe, Canada, US and Russia already this year is following a trend which happened in the Northern Hemisphere last summer when the whole top half of the Earth was embroiled in an unprecedented heatwave, is now followed by January's Northern Hemisphere coldwave effecting most of the same countries.
If Australia's dangerous hot temperatures are a danger to life, the cold temperatures in the Northern Hemisphere are even riskier.
Earlier this month devastating record snowfall hit Austria, Switzerland and Germany and Greece with temperatures dropping from unusually warm Mediteranian land, too -23 deg C -9 deg F.
Parts of Russia plunged towards -60 °C on Saturday, -76 deg F, Snow-covered highways, near-zero visibility and a bone-chilling cold wave hits part of Canada Temperatures to plummet to - 40 degrees Fahrenheit (-40 deg C) in the U.S.
Many experts are expecting 2019 to be the beginning of a mini-ice-age, so far a total 14 days (64%) have been sunspot-free, with NASA claiming the Solar Minimum has begun which could plunge the planet into a record cold spell, however, the last Solar Minimum peaked in 2009 with a total of 260 days (71%) without sunspots on our sun and 2008 with a total of 268 days (73%) without sunspots on our sun and 2007 with a total of 152 days (42%) without sunspots on our sun.
2009 was declared as the 8th warmest year on record with 2007 being the 10th warmest on record.
Last year, 2018 had a total of 221 days (61%) without sunspots on our sun and 2018 will be declared the 4th warmest year on record.
U.S. government sites, NASA and NOAA are shut down at the moment due to the lapse of Congressional appropriations but when they do reopen, 2018 will be declared the 4th warmest year on record.
So, three of the four most recent sunspotless years have been in the top ten warmest years ever recorded.
Whether you are a global warmist, a climate changer, a mini-ice-ager, geoengineering advocate or an end of days pragmatist, I think it is fair to say none of us knows what is causing these catastrophic weather events.