Preparing for a hotter Australia

Researchers in Adelaide, Brisbane and southwest Australia have embarked on a project that aims to predict how Australia will manage under much hotter climate conditions in 50 years time.

By examining how existing infrastructure such as rail lines, houses and electricity grids manage under freak heatwave conditions, researchers from the University of South Australia aim to predict how cities and towns might cope in future, when heatwave conditions become more common.

Land planning, health facilities and use of public space will also go under the microscope.

The strains that hotter conditions place on existing infrastructure – such as rail lines that buckle under hot sun or electricity grids that short out when too many air conditioners are used – have the researchers predicting that a more sustainable approach to urban and regional development will be needed.

“On average, Adelaide has 20 days per year over 35 degrees. But in 2070, this is predicted to increase to 46 days per year,” said Associate Professor Jon Kellett from the University of South Australia’s School of Natural and Built Environments.

“This project is important in planning for our cities to be capable of handling these extreme temperatures in the future.”

Read more at University of South Australia