Australia's Now Hot Enough to Vaporise Petrol

By Andrew Tarantola on at

Forget frying eggs on the sidewalk, never mind the new heat index colors, Australia's record-setting heat wave is so insanely intense that in some areas drivers can no longer refuel their vehicles because the petrol evaporates as it's pumped.

According to reports, the tiny town of Oodnadatta, located 1000 kilometers north of Adelaide, has faced near continuous 113 degree F temperatures over the past week with a 47 C peak last Tuesday. ''It's like a wall of fire when you walk outside at the moment,'' Mrs Plate, an Oodnadatta resident told The Age. Coincidentally, 45 C is also the temperature at which petrol vaporises. As such, drivers looking to refuel have to do so in the early morning hours when temperatures are slightly less sweltering.

Over the last 30 years, Australia has gotten 1 degree C hotter on average. And in Oodnatta the mercury has jumped by 0.55 C during the day and remains 1.1 C degrees hotter at night than it did three decades ago. No wonder the town's 180 residents have to replace their refrigerators twice a year. [The Age via Inhabitat - fritz16 / Shutterstock]