Australian climate tool identifies end of winter by 2050

ANU climate tool identifies end of winter by 2050
Dr Geoff Hinchliffe and Assoc. Prof. Mitchell Whitelaw designed the tool. Credit: Jack Fox

Academics from the School of Art & Design have teamed up with colleagues from the ANU Climate Change Institute on a design project, which takes existing data and communicates the impacts of climate change in a way that people can engage with and better understand.

The resulting new tool visualises data which shows by 2050, Australians will no longer enjoy winter as they know it today and will experience a new season the designers are calling "New Summer".

New Summer represents a period of the year where temperatures will consistently peak in many cases well above 40ºC for a sustained period.

Using the tool, people can click on thousands of locations across Australia to see how the local weather in their home town will change by 2050.

"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," said Dr Geoff Hinchliffe, Senior Lecturer (SOA&D).

"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 - which uses data from the Bureau of Meteorology (BoM) and Scientific Information for Land Owners (SILO) - shows how many degrees the average temperature will rise by in each location and how many more days over 30 or 40 degrees a place will have in 2050 compared with today.

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

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

"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," he said.

"We concentrate on visualisation and storytelling. We don't want to misrepresent the data or suggest things that aren't true so the visualisation was instrumental in conveying the data in a way that can be interrogated. It's like a graph, but more poetic," said Associate Professor Mitchell Whitelaw.

"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," he said.

The visual climate tool was prepared for the Australian Conservation Foundation and can be viewed here: https://myclimate.acf.org.a

About the data:

Data extracted from Queensland Government LongPaddock project, which uses the SILO database (www.longpaddock.qld.gov.au/silo)  and is operated by the Science Division of the Queensland Department of Environment and Science (DES) with support from the Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries (DAF). 

The climate 'change factors' used to calculate consistent climate scenarios data have been estimated using: Coupled Model Intercomparison Research Program 3 (CMIP3) patterns of change data (projected changes per degree of 21st Century global warming) supplied by the CSIRO and the UK Met Office/Hadley Centre; and data from AR4 SRES scenario temperature response curves (projected amounts of ) supplied by the CSIRO. 

These sources are available in the following locations:

Data modelling

  • Perturbation method: Linear Mixed Effect State Space (LMESS) - Q5
  • Global warming sensitivity: High
  • IPCC assessment report: AR5
  • Emission scenario: RCP8.5

Climate model: ACCESS 1.3


Explore further

New online tool shows climate change in your backyard

Citation: Australian climate tool identifies end of winter by 2050 (2019, March 11) retrieved 26 May 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2019-03-australian-climate-tool-winter.html
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User comments

Mar 11, 2019
By 2050? Really? There have been several articles on this site where scientist are working on controlling CO2 and even the climate using AI, machine learning and quantum computers. All of these 'the sky is falling' scenarios will likely be mute in another 15 - 20 years.

Mar 11, 2019
To control populations with fear, the projections of disaster must be continual and must become worse with repetition. Otherwise people adjust to the message and become complacent.

Climate change terrorism is continual and gets worse with repetition.

Mar 11, 2019
It is irresponsible to give any attention to studies using RCP 8.5. RCP 8.5 is not a realistic scenario. It assumes more coal use than is actually happening. Because of fracking, a lot of energy has shifted to natural gas, which is half the CO2 of coal. Also, renewables have had an impact.

Mar 11, 2019
What an awful simulation, these guys really suck.

Mar 11, 2019
wow perfect headline , ' climate tool'' hawhaw or is it climate tools ? And the 'end of winter ' , ,again , how'd that work last time ?

Mar 11, 2019
What an unfortunate headline, Science writers, the click bait title is not worth the misunderstandings it will spawn.

Mar 11, 2019
What year would you like winter to end? Let me know and I'll write a computer program to spit out that year for you.

Mar 11, 2019
When pathological LIES, cooking the data, pure bullshit and threats fail. What is a "poor" AGW Cult, to do?
Ah yes, try comedy.

Mar 11, 2019
It is irresponsible to give any attention to studies using RCP 8.5. RCP 8.5 is not a realistic scenario. It assumes more coal use than is actually happening.

The RCPs are not emission pathways, they are concentration pathways. While 8.5 remains unlikely, there are still a number of ways to achieve it that don't require massive amounts of coal. Feedbacks and land use change will also contribute to the concentration and can help get us to 8.5. Indeed, if we don't get CO2 emissions to ~0, we will hit RCP 8.5 at some point in the future.

Remember, the world doesn't end in 2100. It will continue to warm after 2100 if we don't get our emissions under control.

Mar 11, 2019
What year would you like winter to end? Let me know and I'll write a computer program to spit out that year for you.

I think this is a real problem for you in the anti-science contingent. There are constant claims that climate models are crap, despite their obvious success. Claims are made that the models can be "tuned" to give whatever results are desired. Yet none in the anti-science movement are able to "tune" these models to give the results they crave. That suggest one of two things: either the models are as good as they appear to be, or the scientists in the anti-science movement are really incompetent (or both).

Mar 12, 2019
By 2050? Really? There have been several articles on this site where scientist are working on controlling CO2 and even the climate using AI, machine learning and quantum computers. All of these 'the sky is falling' scenarios will likely be mute in another 15 - 20 years.


Ya, just about the time you will be flying to work in your own personal jet pack.

Mar 12, 2019
Liar.. Liar.. Pants on fire...

wow perfect headline , ' climate tool'' hawhaw or is it climate tools ? And the 'end of winter ' , ,again , how'd that work last time ?


There has never been a last time.

How long have you been out of the mental institution?

Mar 12, 2019
Poor mentally ill boy. Are you still seeing sand dunes on mars having sex?

When pathological LIES, cooking the data, pure bullshit and threats fail. What is a "poor" AGW Cult, to do?
Ah yes, try comedy.


Pathetic.


Mar 12, 2019
Old C Code is very unreliable.

What an awful simulation, these guys really suck.
- Old C Code.

And can not be trusted.

Mar 12, 2019
To control populations with fear, the projections of disaster must be continual and must become worse with repetition


Illegal aliens. They are everywhere. It's an invasion. Build that wall.



Mar 12, 2019
now who is the ,,,''Liar.. Liar.. Pants on fire..

There has never been a last time. '''

'''10. "Winters with strong frost and lots of snow like we had 20 years ago will cease to exist at our latitudes."

Mojib Latif, Max Planck Institute for Meteorology, Hamburg, 1 April 2000

one of many examples .

Mar 12, 2019
'''10. "Winters with strong frost and lots of snow like we had 20 years ago will cease to exist at our latitudes."

Mojib Latif, Max Planck Institute for Meteorology, Hamburg, 1 April 2000

Yes, that is very true.

snoosebaum = moron.



Mar 12, 2019
''Yes, that is very true.''

it is neither true nor false as there is no context . What is true is that in the past many such assertions about the present have been made , then hidden. Many have just experienced a long hard winter

Mar 13, 2019
"it is neither true nor false as there is no context " - snoosebaum

If it is without context, then why did you post it?

Snoosebaum = Moron.

Mar 13, 2019
V4V = very trusting = sucker

Mar 13, 2019
in the past many such assertions about the present have been made , then hidden


Since you can't hide science papers and their assertions, I think "Liar.. Liar.. Pants on fire" is an adequate reaction from science interested that read the antics of the anti-science brigade with amazement.

Besides being easy to understand and observed facts and science (time series out), there are the moral and risk dimensions. People are already dying and mammal species going extinct because we are changing the world irrevocably - if we don't do anything. And such globally acknowledged facts are labeled "fear" and "cult" by the vocal (really small) minority of unafraid and sociopath ignorati.

Mar 13, 2019
''Since you can't hide science papers and their assertions ''

but Google does hide statements made in the past re GW on various media , by scientists , IPCC officials etc,

Mar 20, 2019
''Since you can't hide science papers and their assertions ''

but Google does hide statements made in the past re GW on various media , by scientists , IPCC officials etc,

But you are hiding up in a tree where you are specializing in chest thumping and tree swinging.

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