A new tool developed by ACF reveals the temperature increases in more than 15,000 locations all over Australia, if global warming continues unabated.

The mobile-friendly MyClimate 2050 tool shows almost all areas across Australia will experience longer and hotter summers, with temperatures increasing by an average of  2.32°C.

A staggering 99% of locations are projected to experience a warming increase of up to 4.8°, with almost all areas losing their winter season altogether.

NSW will be the state hardest hit by temperature increases; 8 of the top 10 most likely areas to increase in average temperature rise are in the state. In Sydney,  average temperatures would rise by 2.4°C in summer, going up from an average of 22.2° to 24.6°C. 

What do rising temperatures mean?

Increased year-round average temperatures means hotter days, more consecutive days of extreme heat (heatwaves) and longer periods of drought. This type of extreme heat has extreme consequences for all living things.

We humans have adapted to live within a climate niche of between 11-15°C, so increased heat makes us vulnerable to heat stress and heatstroke. This is especially dangerous for older people, children and pregnant or breastfeeding people, or anyone with a medical condition.

Heat stress is a primary cause of death in heatwaves; more people died in the heatwave preceding Victoria’s Black Saturday bushfires than in the bushfires that followed.

What do longer, hotter days mean for nature?

It’s not only humans that suffer when temperatures rise. The quality and quantity of food that can be grown in climate-stable areas decreases, leading to food insecurity. Over the last few years, we’ve seen drought hit hard across many parts of the world, leading to large-scale internal displacement and movements of climate refugees – people who can no longer survive in climate hotspots as water and food dry up.  

Domestic and native animals suffer in heat too. On hot days pets need greater care and attention to make sure they stay safe; dogs can’t sweat, they reduce heat stress through panting; but on days of high heat and high humidity, this becomes more difficult.

Native animals may have to roam further in search of water on hot days, leaving them exposed to unfamiliar environments and the risk of human-induced death. It all adds up to greater stress and greater threat of local extinction for certain species.

Even those of us who believe we’ll be able to avoid the heat through cooler homes and air-conditioning won’t be immune to the consequences of the heat. As electricity generation and infrastructure buckle under high demand on hot days, load shedding is likely to become more frequent, leaving people unable to use their appliances and putting fridges out of action.  

We don't have to wait until 2050

Although last year La Nina briefly tempered global warming records, the previous eight years were the eight hottest on record. In 2022, worldwide we saw simultaneous heatwaves and floods in Pakistan, heatwaves in the UK and flooding across the Eastern seaboard of Australia, not just once, but multiple times. These extreme weather events are projected to worsen as the atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases increase.

There’s still time to avert the worst case scenarios

We know what lies ahead if we fail to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. We are getting better at forecasting how climate conditions and seasons will change, by how much, and the areas that will be hit the hardest by extreme events.

But forecasting and improvements in modelling technology can also show us what could happen if we quickly slashed emissions. 

When we ramp up climate solutions like renewables and stop burning polluting fuels like coal and gas we can avert worst-case scenarios of ever-increasing rising temperatures. We can become competitive in global markets, protect the nature we love and start to create a safer climate future for all.



Hansika Bhagani

Marketing Communications Lead