Representational Image
Representational Image

Australian summers have grown 31 days longer compared to the mid-twentieth century benchmark, a new analysis has found.

Research published by the Australia Institute on Monday revealed that summers are on average 31 days longer and winters 21 days shorter than in the 1950s and 60s.

The team studied Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) data from 70 stations around Australia from between 1999 and 2018 and compared it to records from 1950 to 1969, concluding that global warming has significantly changed Australia's seasons.

"If summer feels like it's getting longer and longer, it's because it actually is, especially if you're an older Australian," Richie Merzian, the director of the Climate and Energy Program at the institute, told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC).

"Those average summer temperatures are starting a lot earlier and they're finishing a lot later, so summers have become twice as long as winters in the last five years."Melbourne was experiencing an additional 38 days of summer, the biggest growth of any capital city, and 19 fewer days of winter compared to the 1950s and 1960s.

Canberra, the national capital, had 35 fewer days of winter and 31 more summer days.

The trend of longer summers was even more pronounced in regional areas and could have significant effects including longer bushfire seasons.

"Extended summers will have significant impacts on Australia's tourism, construction and mining sectors, as well as impacting the everyday lives of Australians. When it comes to agriculture, extended summers can damage crops and exhaust livestock," said Merzian.

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