How Climate Change Will Affect Your City


climate change

Have you wondered what Australia’s climate will feel like in 2070? Now you can find out with National Geographic’s newest tool, Your Climate, Changed, which launched as a part of their Earth Day Celebrations. Your Climate, Changed is an interactive tool that lets you see data collected by international researchers about how 2500 cities will feel in the next 50 years. The data is based around the RCP 8.5 scenario. The RCP 8.5 or Representative Concentration Pathway 8.5 assumes that there is minimal effort to change greenhouse gas emissions, it represents the 90th percentile of no-policy baseline scenarios that were available at the time.

Some Interesting Examples

For example, in 2070 Melbourne is projected to feel similar to northern parts of Adelaide and will start to experience much hotter summers. Both Townsville and the Gold Coast are forecasted to shift from their temperate climates into tropical savannahs. By 2080, Alice Springs is predicted to get 203 days with temperatures over 35°C. Perth will experience more extreme heat events with the number of days with temperatures over 35°C increasing to 42 by 2080. Moving onto the rest of the world, by the end of the century climate conditions will have changed so much that London and Paris will be in a new climate zone, one that is temperate with no dry season and with hot summers. Their future climate is similar to the current climate of some cities in Italy. New York is predicted to shift from a continental climate zone to a temperate one, meaning its winter’s will be milder and its rain will be spread all year round. The tool shows that there are 90 cities with no current climate analogue, meaning their climates will feel like no place on Earth right now. Hanoi, Vietnam is one of those cities. Its future climate will be like nothing currently experienced on Earth, which feels a little terrifying, but the tool does have some estimations.

What Can You Do?

Have a play with the Your Climate, Changed tool and learn more about how your city, country and the world will be affected. Actions speak louder then words, becoming a conscious consumer and making sure your money goes to the companies doing the right thing is powerful. There are things you can do at home to positively effect climate change. You can reduce the amount of single use plastic you purchase, ride or take public transport to work, recycle as much as possible and purchase some of your clothes from op-shops. You can also invest in larger scale initiatives, like being able to recycle your grey water, using a composting toilet or installing solar panels to reduce your reliance on the energy grid (which uses energy from non-renewable resources).

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Understanding Batteries

Off-Grid Systems

For some households a battery system can be of great benefit and minimise a home’s reliance on the grid. However, it’s important to understand for a battery to be useful your solar system needs to be generating excess energy for the battery to store, which you can then use at night or when the sun is not out.

When selecting a battery, you’ll want to invest in a system that is most suited to your home and can drive the best return on investment (ROI). Despite a larger upfront cost, a higher quality battery may significantly increase your ROI.

    Battery systems start from $6,000 and costs can vary greatly based on the following factors:

  1. Cycle Life-Time

    The number of times a battery can fully charge and discharge.

  2. Battery Power (kW)

    How fast it can be charged or discharged.

  3. Storage Capacity (kWh)

    The maximum amount of energy a battery system can store.

  4. Battery Management System (BMS)

    An electronic ‘smart’ system that gathers data and manages the battery ensuring it does not overload or operate outside of its safe functioning zone..

  5. Inverter

    Battery systems require their own inverter if your solar system does not have a hybrid inverter.

  6. 'All-In-One Unit’

    A system which includes the battery, BMS and an inverter all in one unit.

  7. Warranty

    Length of time or cycles the battery system is under guarantee.

  8. Blackout Protection/Backup

    It’s important to note this is not a common feature of a battery system and could cost thousands of dollars to include. Blackout protection not only requires additional components but also a specialised installation and rewiring. For grid-connected homes, the cost for blackout protection can outweigh the benefit.

Additionally, if your purpose for adding battery is to go Off-Grid and become completely independent from the grid you will need to ensure your solar system can generate enough energy to power your home and your battery system is large enough to store this energy. For homes in metro areas going Off-grid is not cost effective and is only recommended for those in remote areas with limited access to the grid. Off-grid solar systems with battery start at approximately $30,000.

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