Australia's major cities should prepare for 50-degree Celsius days: research

Source: Xinhua| 2017-10-04 14:38:21|Editor: Liangyu
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CANBERRA, Oct. 4 (Xinhua) -- Australia's major cities Melbourne and Sydney should be bracing for days where the mercury soars above 50 degrees Celsius, even if the world adheres to allowing no more than a 2- degree Celsius rise in global temperatures set out in the Paris climate agreement, Australian researchers said on Wednesday.

Researchers from the Australian National University (ANU) studied potential future temperatures in Australia's major cities, using conservative estimates of global warming, and found that Sydney and Melbourne could be experiencing 50 degrees days by the end of the century.

Up till now, the hottest temperature ever recorded in Melbourne is 46.4 degrees Celsius, while Sydney once experienced temperatures of 45.8 degrees Celsius.

According to lead researcher from the ANU, Dr. Sophie Lewis, parts of Australia would experience far higher rises in temperature even if the average rise across the world was just 1.5 to 2 degrees Celsius.

"Major Australian cities, such as Sydney and Melbourne, may experience unprecedented temperatures of 50 degrees Celsius under 2 degrees of global warming," Lewis said in a statement released on Wednesday.

"The increase in Australian summer temperatures indicates that other major cities should also be prepared for unprecedented future extreme heat.

"Our climate modelling has projected daily temperatures of up to 3.8 degrees Celsius above existing records in (the states of) Victoria and New South Wales, despite the ambitious Paris efforts to curb warming."

Lewis said warnings from mother nature were already occurring, saying heatwaves in 2012 and 2013 were the consequences of man-made climate change, while she has also called for "urgent" climate change action to prevent catastrophic heatwaves from happening in the future.

"Urgent action on climate change is critical - the severity of possible future temperature extremes simulated by climate models in this study poses serious challenges for our preparedness for future climate change in Australia," she said.

"One of the hottest years on record globally in 2015 could be an average year by 2025."