New research shows that the Kimberley region is set to experience a dramatic increase in extreme heat including up to a tenfold increase in days over 40 degrees in Broome if greenhouse gas emissions are not reduced in line with the Paris Agreement.
The Australia Institute’s HeatWatch initiative puts current Australian research about temperature increases due to global warming into context, using data from the Bureau of Meteorology and the CSIRO.
Global temperature increases of 1.5 or 2 degrees above pre-industrial levels will have dramatic impacts on human health, the ecosystem and the economy. The IPCC has found that human-induced warming reached 1 degree above pre-industrial levels in 2017.
Current policy settings would see more extreme warming than 2 degrees above pre-industrial levels. However, temperatures fluctuate by much more than a few degrees every day, meaning that the compounding and extreme effects of temperature increases can be difficult to imagine.
HeatWatch uses extreme heat days (days over 35 degrees) along with other thresholds like 37 degrees and 40 degrees to highlight that the effects of global warming will include a dramatic increase in days where it is uncomfortable or dangerous to operate outside – affecting industries like construction, sport and other outdoor activities.
Increases in extreme heat events in the Kimberley region will have severe impacts on the wellbeing of people in the region, particularly indigenous communities. It will also impact key industries, including tourism and agriculture, and damage natural ecosystems.
The projected rise in extremely hot days as a result of global warming presents a serious risk to the health and wellbeing of the Queensland community.
There has already been a clear increase in numbers of these extreme heat days over recent decades, as demonstrated in our profiles on:
- The Gold Coast;
- The Sunshine Coast;
- The Whitsundays; and
New research shows that Queensland is set to experience more climate chaos, including more summers with a dramatic increase in extreme heat days – like in Brisbane, where days over 35C would go from a historical average of two per year, to up to 45 days per year by 2090.
The report, written by The Australia Institute using CRSIO and BoM data, shows that such increases in extreme heat days will severely affect many key metropolitan and regional centres throughout Queensland such as Brisbane, Townsville, Rockhampton, the Sunshine Coast and the Whitsundays.
The electorate of Dawson could suffer devastating climate impacts unless emissions are cut, and climate change is brought under control.
The Australia Institute Climate Assessment for Dawson released today has found that, if emissions continue to rise, by 2070 the electorate of Dawson is projected to experience:
The electorate of Herbert stands to be heavily impacted by climate change. Increasing floods, drought and heatwaves will impact the community’s health, environment, infrastructure and vital industries, particularly agriculture and mining unless decisive action is taken to tackle climate change
The Australia Institute’s new Climate Assessment for Herbert has found the electorate could suffer devastating climate impacts unless emissions are cut and climate change is brought under control.
If emissions continue to rise, by 2070 the electorate of Herbert is projected to experience:
The Australia Institute’s new Climate Assessment for the electorate of Capricornia has found the electorate could suffer devastating climate impacts unless emissions are cut and climate change is brought under control.
If emissions continue to rise, by 2070 the electorate of Capricornia is projected to experience:
Increasing extreme heat will have profound impacts on people, industries and ecosystems in Mackay. CSIRO and Bureau of Meteorology projections estimate that the average number of days over 35 degrees could increase from around one day presently to over seventy by 2090 without strong climate policies. Virtually all summer nights by 2090 are projected to remain above 25 degrees, a level considered dangerous to human health.
Dramatic increases in extreme heat days, combined with high humidity present an increasing threat to the health and wellbeing of Mackay residents.
The Australia Institute’s HeatWatch initiative, which uses CSIRO–BoM modelling, shows that the number of extreme heat days (over 35C) experienced in Mackay could increase up to seventy times current levels and that virtually all summer nights could remain above 25 degrees by 2090.
“Increasing temperatures combined with high humidity are likely to push many days each year to dangerous levels of heat stress,” says Mark Ogge, Principal Adviser at The Australia Institute.