- Visual design and climate change academics have teamed up to help Australians see how winter will disappear and a “new summer” will emerge by 2050.
- The visualization shows that winter as we know it will disappear, while a “new summer” with sustained temperature peaks sometimes well above 40ºC (104ºF) will become normal.
Visual design and climate change academics have teamed up to help Australians see how winter will disappear and a “new summer” will emerge by 2050.
Academics from the School of Art & Design (SOA&D) and the Australian National University Climate Change Institute have created a tool that allows users to see how climate change will impact temperatures for thousands of towns across Australia.
The visualisation shows that winter as we know it will disappear, while a “new summer” with sustained temperature peaks sometimes well above 40ºC (104ºF) will become normal.
“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,” SOA&D Senior Lecturer Dr Geoff Hinchliffe said in the release.
“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,” he said.
The tool uses data from the Bureau of Meteorology (BoM) and Scientific Information for Land Owners (SILO). It shows how many degrees average temperatures will rise by in each location and how many more days over 30 or 40 degrees there will be in 2050 compared to now.
“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 said. “That meant using colour, shape and size around a dial composition showing a whole year’s worth of temperature values in a single snapshot.”
Associate Professor Mitchell Whitelaw said the team didn’t want to misrepresent the data, which meant the visualisation was crucial to conveying the information meaningfully and accurately.
“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,” Associate Prof Whitelaw said.
The tool was prepared for the Australian Conservation Foundation and can be viewed here.