Canberra, March 2 (IANS) Global warming in Australia has led to summers becoming twice as long as its winters, a new study revealed on Monday.

The Australia Institute Climate and Energy Program used data from the Bureau of Meteorology to show that over the last 20 years, southern summers – with its solstice on December 21 – lasted a month longer than in the mid-20th century, while winters were experienced for much shorter duration, reports Efe news.

Between 1999 and 2018, summer was experienced for 31 days longer than the average, while winters lasted 23 days less than the benchmark, the study said.

Between 2014 and 2018, the trend continued, leading Australians to experience summers twice as long as winters.

“Temperatures which were considered a regular three month Summer in the 1950s, now span from early to mid-November all the way to mid-March,” the Program Director Richie Merzian said in a statement.

“Our findings are not a projection of what we may see in the future. It’s happening right now. Summers have grown longer even in recent years, with the last five years facing summers twice as long as their winters,” said Merzian, who urged the Australian government to implement policy to reduce emissions.

According to the study, global warming is the reason for the long summers, and extreme temperatures make it more dangerous, and vulnerable to natural disasters such as the bushfires that devastated much of the country since they erupted last September.

Extended summers, “will have significant impacts on Australia’s tourism construction and mining sectors… When it comes to agriculture, extended summers can damage crops and exhaust livestock”, Merzian said.

Australia is currently experiencing an average of 1 degree Celsius of global warming, he said.

In December 2019, the highest ever average maximum temperature was recorded a 41.9 degrees, while Eucla in western Australia recorded a temperature as high as 40.8 degrees.

–IANS

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