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Beer coasters show outback town has the highest rising temperature in Australia

Aneeta Bhole and Russell Varley, Thursday May 31, 2018 - 08:28 EST
Audience submitted image
Dr Geoff Hinchcliffe says the idea originated from coasters laser cut into wood for a conference. - Audience submitted

A website which uses downloadable beer coasters to highlight the rising temperatures in Australia, shows towns in outback Queensland and the southern inland have taken the top spots.



The Australian National University data indicates Charleville and Miles were Australia's hottest locations last year compared to long-term averages generated between 1961 to 1991. The data is displayed in the form of beer coasters and you .

These were closely followed by Bathurst, Birdsville, Dubbo and Thargomindah.

Bulloo Shire Mayor John Ferguson said he has seen the devastating effect of rising temperatures in the south-west first hand.

"I know it was hotter last year and the last few years because of the evaporation we're seeing," he said.

Councillor Ferguson explained the he had noticed droughts were getting longer and rain was becoming less frequent.

"You can see the heat is here and it is sucking the water out of the water holes, the dams and the properties … it's dried up the country a lot quicker.

"I know it's getting hotter because those places that have never been dry in history are the lowest people have ever seen them," he said.



Dry cracked earth was a common sight on properties in the region, Councillor Ferguson said, adding the need for air conditioning had soared in recent years.

"It's having a massive effect on landholders because it's drying out their properties," he said.

"We haven't had decent rain since about 2010 before that we had not much rain at all, we've had bits and pieces, but you can't say it's been drought-breaking rain in this region.

"The power bills have also gone up 'cause everyone is using air conditioners a lot more."

Charleville and Miles recorded a 2.6 degree Celsius increase last year compared to the 30-year average.



Meanwhile Bathurst, Birdsville, Dubbo and Thargomindah showed a 2.4 degree Celsius increase.

These locations were at least a degree higher than their capital city counterparts.


2017 average temperature compared to 30-year long term averages
Capital Cities Top 10 Locations
Canberra +1.7 Charleville +2.6
Sydney +1.2 Miles +2.6
Adelaide +1.2 Bathurst +2.4
Brisbane +0.9 Birdsville +2.4
Hobart +0.9 Dubbo +2.4
Darwin +0.8 Thargomindah +2.4
Perth +0.7 Walgett +2.4
Melbourne N/A Barcaldine +2.2
Supplied: Australian National University Moree +2.2
Scone +2.2

Researcher Doctor Geoff Hinchcliffe from the Australian National University said the figures were significant and creating a website with figures on beer coasters made the data more visually accessible for visitors.

"If you visit the website and you play out like a 25-year period you can watch how the coaster changes," he said.

"The visualisation for one region is changing and responding to that change but on a map below that, it shows you the whole nation."

Dr Hinchcliffe said the idea originated at a conference where the 'climate coasters' were laser cut into wood, showing the climate shift for Australian cities.

The website presents data from 112 locations around Australia.

"You can see over that 25-year period how it is steadily heading towards the red and it's particularly happening in those interior regions," said Dr Hinchcliffe.



Dr Hinchcliffe said the temperature fluctuations showed the extreme conditions.

"You can see in the daily temperatures, the swings that are happening — it's really extreme temperatures so the average of say 2.6, that's the year," he said.

"But if you look at some of the months and some of the days, the temperature change above the average is way more extreme than that so in some regions it's really punishing."


- ABC

© ABC 2018

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