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Right now, it is summer in Australia and things are hot. How hot are they? They are so scorching that the Australian Bureau of Meteorology had to add new colors to its maps to indicate the soaring temperatures. They are so hot that catastrophic brush fires have raged over five of the country’s six states. Now, the heat is so intense that gasoline sales have halted in some parts of the outback. Yes, in a somewhat ironic twist, Mother Nature seems to be showing her displeasure for the use of fossil fuels by making it so hot that the liquid evaporates before it even hits the tank.
In the tiny outback town of Oodnadatta last week, it was so hot that drivers were unable to pump gas. The thermometer reached an incredible 118.76 degrees Fahrenheit, breaking the already stunning record of number of consecutive days above 113 degrees Fahrenheit with seven blazing days. Some of the tar roads in the area have even melted. The average maximum temperature for January in Central Australia has risen about 1 degree over the past three decades.
“It’s a land of no second chances,” Douglas Lillecrapp, a local cattle farmer, told The Age. ”But at other times of year it’s beautiful. You’ve just got to keep your spirits up and wait for the cool change.”
Now, the town’s famous roadhouse is up for sale, and residents are beginning to leave the 180-person community. Any work is done in the early morning and the late afternoon when things are coolest, and many the hearty souls that do remain are doing their best to cope with an unstable environment.