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Murray Bridge won’t have many more mild summers, climate change projections suggest
Unless more is done to prevent climate change, summer in the Murraylands will get consistently hotter by 2050, according to CSIRO projections.
Aside from the odd spell here and there, Murray Bridge has so far enjoyed a relatively mild summer.
But unless more is done to prevent climate change, we won’t be so lucky by 2050, according to CSIRO projections.
Nine days below 30 degrees – that’s how many we can expect to experience each summer by the time today’s preschoolers grow up, at the current rate of change.
Compare that with this summer.
We’ve had 37 days cooler than that so far, and we still have a month of summer left.
The comparison was recently brought to light by Australian National University Associate Professor Geoff Hinchcliffe.
He created a mobile-friendly tool which allows users to see what effects climate change might have on their communities.
“The tool aims to give people a personal and localised appreciation of climate ideas that are typically considered at global scales (and) can be difficult to comprehend,” Associate Professor Hinchcliffe said.
“It’s a form of storytelling, a way to bring climate data into an everyday context and remind people of the urgent need to act.”
Try the interactive tool: myclimate.acf.org.au.
Reduced rainfall risk is highest in the Murraylands
The CSIRO projections are not the only ones to paint a discouraging picture of the future.
A guide to climate projections by the state Department for Environment and Water, released late last year, suggested that the Murraylands would experience:
6.8 per cent less rainfall by 2030 – a greater decline than anywhere else in South Australia
15.7% less rain by 2050
drought up to 60% of the time by 2030
higher drought stress in crops and backyard plants
daily maximum temperatures 1.2C higher by 2030, and 2.2-4.1C higher by 2090
All figures were based on a baseline of 1986-2005 – a time by which temperatures across Australia had already started to rise.
“South Australia can’t afford to wait any longer on real climate change action,” acting Climate, Environment and Water Minister Joe Szakacs said at the guide’s release.
“The time for climate change action is now and it is incumbent upon us all to support businesses and the community to adapt and reduce emissions.”
Previous studies have suggested Murray Bridge will experience twice as many days over 25 degrees by 2050, and 22 per cent less rainfall by 2100, unless governments, industries and communities do more to prevent climate change.
To reduce greenhouse gas emissions and lessen the risk of climate-related disruption – including droughts, floods and bushfires – the Australian Conservation Foundation called on all Australians to use more renewable energy, and less coal and gas; and to demand that governments and industries do the same.
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