Dr Geoff Hinchliffe and Assoc. Prof. Mitchell Whitelaw designed the tool. Picture: ANU/Jack Fox
Dr Geoff Hinchliffe and Assoc. Prof. Mitchell Whitelaw designed the tool. Picture: ANU/Jack Fox

Australia’s winter is dying

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

Short. Sharp. Abrupt.

But that's the prediction of the ANU's Dr Geoff Hinchliffe.

The Canberra-based university has put together a tool which pulls together broad sources of data about the impact of climate change on Australia, run it through climate simulators - and boiled it all down into simplified consequences.

It reveals what ANU researchers describe as the death of winter.

It will be choked out by what they call 'New Summer'.

The MyClimate2050 projection for Darwin
The MyClimate2050 projection for Darwin

 

The MyClimate2050 projection for Brisbane
The MyClimate2050 projection for Brisbane

"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," Dr Hinchliffe says.

Instead, we're in for a new season - "New Summer" - where temperatures will constantly settle above 40C for extended periods.

Exactly what remains of winter in 2050 has been projected on a map of Australia. You can discover how much hotter your address will be - day by day - here, at MyClimate2050.

It is the product of a joint effort between the ANU's School of Art & Design with its Climate Change Institute.

The visualisation takes into account the individual weather characteristics of each location.

The MyClimate2050 projection for Sydney
The MyClimate2050 projection for Sydney

 

The MyClimate2050 projection for Melbourne
The MyClimate2050 projection for Melbourne

Data from the Bureau of Meteorology (BoM) and Scientific Information for Land Owners (SILO) has been collated to plot how much temperatures will change across the country. It translates this to how many extra days above 30C or 40C these locations will experience by 2050.

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"As well as the data, we also focused on developing the most effective visual forms for conveying how climate change is going to affect specific locations," Dr Hinchliffe says.

"That meant using colour, shape and size around a dial composition showing a whole year's worth of temperature values in a single snapshot."

The MyClimate2050 projection for Hobart
The MyClimate2050 projection for Hobart

 

The MyClimate2050 projection for Adelaide
The MyClimate2050 projection for Adelaide

The tool was produced for the Australian Conservation Foundation as a way to communicate the impact of climate change in a way people can easily comprehend.

"That meant using colour, shape, and size around a dial composition showing a whole year's worth of temperature values in a single snapshot," Dr Hinchliffe says. "It makes it visually rich and interesting and gives a lot of detail in a way that connects emotionally with people by locating it in their own town."

The MyClimate2050 projection for Perth
The MyClimate2050 projection for Perth

 

The MyClimate2050 projection for Canberra
The MyClimate2050 projection for Canberra

It's an approach being adopted around the world.

A US web visualisation compares US cities, now, with what they will be like in 2080. It predicts the capital, Washington DC, will have weather similar to what Mississippi has today