'No More Winter': How Hot Your Home Town Will Be In 30 Years
Do you hate winter? Well, you may soon not have one. And a new tool developed by the Australian National University shows exactly how warm things are going to get.
Your Climate 2050 -- developed by academics from ANU's SoA&D and the Climate Change Institute -- shows how many degrees the average temperature will rise in more than 4,000 locations by the year 2050.
It's a tool designed to communicate the impacts of climate change to the average Aussie.
“In 30 years’ time winter as we know it will be non-existent," Dr Geoff Hinchliffe, Senior Lecturer at the ANU School of Art & Design said.
"It ceases to be everywhere apart from a few places in Tasmania."
Using data from the Bureau of Meteorology and Scientific Information for Land Owners, the interactive platform compares the historical average temperatures of each season with the projected climate data to illustrate a whole year's worth of temperatures in a snapshot.
"Winter is really quick to respond to climate change," Hinchcliffe told 10 daily.
"What we understand as winter is set of temperatures during a set period of the year. That disappears. The data shows that you're understanding of what winter is will not be there in 2050 with current modeling.
"Reciprocally, what is happening in summer is unrecognisable."
Dubbed by designers as 'New Summer', Australians will also experience a period of the year where temperatures will consistently peak in many cases well above 40 degrees for a sustained period.
The analysis reveals inland areas, untouched by coastal breezes, will experience the most dramatic changes, some seeing rises of up to five degrees on average.
The tool, which was commissioned by the Australian Conservation Foundation, uses a circular diagram to represent the average temperature for each day of the year. Clicking on your electorate gives you an idea of how the seasons will shift, colour grading each day according to average temperature.
While the engaging visual elements are new, the data and what it's telling us is not, the team said.
Australia experienced its third-hottest year on record in 2018, with every state and territory recording above average temperatures as the nation enters what climate experts described as our "new normal".
The annual State of the Climate report released by BOM and the CSIRO in December repeated its message from two years prior -- the rising temperatures of the land and sea have resulted in more extreme and frequent heat events.
Communication Is Key
For the average Australian, climate change can be easy to dismiss -- there's no melting ice beneath our feet.
"It's no fault of the scientists," Hinchcliffe said.
"It is really difficult to communicate the information. We're bombarded with data of all types all the time and I think people do have a tendency to shut down or to distance themselves from it.
"The idea is to bring local, daily temperature data into the public realm."
Where we often only hear averages, Your Climate 2050 walks users through the entire year specific to where they're going to feel the effects.
"I was really kind of horrified," Associate Professor Mitchell Whitelaw told 10 daily.
"Particularly by some of those figures in northern NSW and inland southern Queensland where you're getting numbers above four degrees, and then you look at what a Summer actually looks like in those places and its really scary.
"I think about the impact on rural areas, of agriculture in Australia and the livelihoods of all those people in those towns. It's going to have a huge impact on our country."
With a federal election looming large, the instrument's release -- which captures the projected change for every federal electorate -- is extremely timely.
The NSW Wentworth by-election in October last year, in which the Coalition lost a historically Liberal seat, sent the message that more and more Australians are concerned about climate change.
Exit polling commissioned by the Australia Institute found that climate change and replacing coal with renewable energy was the single biggest issue motivating voters in Wentworth.
"And it's on the agenda in other electorates too," Hinchcliffe said.
"So we really hope the tool does bring the issue to the fore and has people taking it to their local members asking what they're doing about it."