Monday, 11 March 2019 08:38

Australian winter will disappear by 2050, ANU team claims Featured

Dr Geoff Hinchliffe and Associate Professor Mitchell Whitelaw testing the climate tool. Dr Geoff Hinchliffe and Associate Professor Mitchell Whitelaw testing the climate tool. Jack Fox, ANU

A tool that analyses climate data, developed by a team from the Australian National University School of Art and Design along with their colleagues from the ANU Climate Change Institute has shown that by 2050 winter, as we now know it, will no longer exist.

Instead, the team claimed in a statement, people in Australia will experience a new season they have dubbed "New Summer", during which temperatures of 40 degrees Celsius would not be uncommon.

The tool, which was prepared for the Australian Conservation Foundation, is here and can be used to check on thousands of places to get an idea of how the weather there will be like in 2050.

It uses data from the Bureau of Meteorology and Scientific Information for Land Owners and shows by how many degrees the average temperature will rise in each location and how many more days over 30 or 40 degrees a place will experience in 2050 compared to the current period.

“We looked at the historical average temperatures of each season and compared them to the projected data and what we find everywhere is that there’s really no period of a sustained or lasting winter,” said Dr Geoff Hinchliffe, senior lecturer at the ANU SOA&D.

“In 30 years’ time winter as we know it will be non-existent. It ceases to be everywhere apart from a few places in Tasmania."

Associate Professor Mitchell Whitelaw said the focus was on visualisation and storytelling.

"We don’t want to misrepresent the data or suggest things that aren’t true so the visualisation was instrumental in conveying the data in a way that can be interrogated. It’s like a graph, but more poetic,” he said.

“The research and innovation here is in the visualisation and compilation of all this data. Our innovation is in the way this existing data is communicated and presented - hopefully in a memorable, engaging way."


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Sam Varghese

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Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the site came into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.



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