As Australians, we are used to hot days and even hotter nights. We’re used to smothering our skin in sunscreen, running across hot roads in bare feet and camping next to the house fan.
We’ve adapted as a nation.
According to a new study, Melbourne and Sydney will face even hotter temperatures. Temperatures as high as 50 degrees will hit Sydney and Melbourne within the century. Even after if the world decreases global warming temperatures by two degrees above pre-industrial levels. Scientists have warned that with a global rise of just two degrees will result in Australian days getting 3.8 degrees hotter overall.
The study led by Dr. Sophie Lewis at the Australian National University, explains that if average temperatures rise, the distribution of temperatures will shift to extremes.
"What seems like a small increase in average temperatures, say 1 degree, can lead to a two- or three-fold acceleration in the severity of the extremes." She explained to Fairfax media
The heat spikes will leave hospitals, electrical systems, and infrastructure in the red.
This rise in temperature will have devastating effects on our already endangered reef. Even with less variability than land, the oceans can expect significant temperature rise, which will trigger another mass bleaching. The most current bleaching events were responsible for the death of almost half the Great Barrier Reef.
"If that's occurring now and we have additional warming on top of that - which will lead to an increase in seasonal temperatures - then that's a real worry for whether we'll have a reef at all,” she said.
Dr. Lewis believes that Australia will need to start prepping for these spikes in temperature now to ensure we are prepared.
“We’ll only be ready for those if we take that seriously and start planning for them now, just like we would for bushfires.”
This information comes in the wake of the hottest Australian September on record since 1911.
The study was published in the ‘Geophysical Research Letter’s’ by scientists from the Australian National University and the University of Melbourne.
Lead Image: BONDI BEACH, PHOTOGRAPH BY TOM KEATING/WILDLIGHT