The Paris Global warming agreement limit sits at two degrees Celsius above “pre-industrial” levels.
Seems reasonable enough, but guess what will happen to Sydney and Melbourne at that temperature? Researchers at The Australian National University reckon we’re looking at 50 degree days.
Dr Sophie Lewis from the Fenner School of Environment and Society and the Centre of Excellence for Climate System Science at ANU (the lead researcher on the study) says Sydney and Melbourne are looking at a future with “unprecedented temperatures”.
“The increase in Australian summer temperatures indicates that other major cities should also be prepared for unprecedented future extreme heat,” Dr Lewis warns.
“Our climate modelling has projected daily temperatures of up to 3.8 degrees Celsius above existing records in Victoria and New South Wales, despite the ambitious Paris efforts to curb warming.”
Dr Lewis says the record temperatures we’ve already seen across the country – particularly in the summers of 2012 and 2013 – are most likely caused by human activity. And it’s only getting worse.
“One of the hottest years on record globally in 2015 could be an average year by 2025,” she said.
This all kind of sounds like the kind of research we’ve been hearing about for years. What was different with this study, exactly?
Dr Andrew King from the School of Earth Sciences and the Centre of Excellence for Climate System Science at the University of Melbourne was a co-researcher on the study.
“Previous scientific studies have focused on how current temperature extremes have been impacted by climate change, or on how the frequency of these current extremes will change in the future,” said Dr King from the
“This study takes a different approach and examines how the severity of future temperature extremes might change in the future.”
Time to invest in sunscreen company shares, perhaps?