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Sombre Aussie site tops global list of most unusual abandoned places

<p>Each year, thousands of people travel to famous abandoned buildings and hotspots to explore what were once important landmarks. </p> <p>Some deserted sites are more popular than others, as these ten sites received tens of thousands of visitors each year. </p> <p><strong>Buzludzha, Bulgaria</strong></p> <p>The Buzludzha Monument in central Bulgaria has been dubbed the tenth most famous abandoned place in the world, each year welcoming over 18,000 people. </p> <p>The site was constructed in 1981 and used by the Bulgarian communist government, and was in use until the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1989.</p> <p><strong>Ohio State Reformatory, USA</strong></p> <p>After first opening in 1898, the goal of the Ohio State Reformatory was to truly "reform" and rehabilitate its inmates.</p> <p>The facility was closed in 1990, and each year attracts more than 21,000 visitors.</p> <p><strong>Gereja Ayam, Indonesia</strong></p> <p>The uniquely shaped house of prayer in Central Java continues to be a popular tourist attraction in Indonesia, welcoming more than 50,000 travellers each year. </p> <p>Construction on the church was never completed after work was halted in 2000.</p> <p><strong>Lago di Resia Bell Tower, Italy</strong></p> <p>The 14-century sunken bell tower can be found near the border of Switzerland, emerging from the water from a sunken village where travellers claim they can hear bells tolling, even though there are no bells in the tower. </p> <p>The lonely (and probably haunted) tower receives more than 54,000 tourists each year. </p> <p><strong>Canfranc, Spain</strong></p> <p>The abandoned railway station is located in the Spanish municipality of Canfranc, close to the French border and once was a major hub for cross-border railway traffic.</p> <p>It first opened in 1928, but closed its doors by 1970 before it was reimagined as a hotel.  </p> <p><strong>Beelitz Military Hospital, Germany</strong></p> <p>The large hospital complex was first built in 1898 as a sanatorium, but was transformed into a hospital at the beginning of WWI and has been abandoned since 1990. </p> <p>It's understood Hitler was treated here after being wounded in the Battle of Somme, which could be the reason more than 64,000 travellers flock there each year. </p> <p><strong>Eastern State Penitentiary, USA</strong></p> <p>The prison in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania is described as one of the country's most historic prisons and has housed some famous prisoners such as Al Capone.</p> <p>The prison was closed in 1971 and is tagged on social media by more than 79,000 every year. </p> <p><strong>Croix-Rouge, Paris</strong></p> <p>Also known as the Red Cross, this Paris train station has been abandoned since 1939 after France entered WWII.</p> <p>The station was only functional for 16 years, and welcomes more than 95,000 curious travellers each year. </p> <p><strong>Teufelsberg, Germany</strong></p> <p>Teufelsberg was one of the largest listening towers in the world during the Cold war.</p> <p>The site was closed in 1972, but still receives around 128,000 every year. </p> <p><strong>Port Arthur, Australia</strong></p> <p>More than a quarter of a million visitors travel to Port Arthur in Tasmania each year.</p> <p>The site itself was first opened as a timber station in 1830 and is known as a symbol of the country's convict past.</p> <p><em>Image credits: Shutterstock </em></p>

International Travel

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Lion King at 30: the global hit that Disney didn’t believe in

<div class="theconversation-article-body"><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/joel-gray-1539770">Joel Gray</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/sheffield-hallam-university-846">Sheffield Hallam University</a></em></p> <p>Thirty years ago audiences were introduced to the epic story of one little lion’s journey to find himself and his family. Little did Disney know what a roaring success the Lion King would be when it was released in 1994. In fact, they fully expected it wouldn’t be.</p> <p>In the 80s and 90s, the movie studio experienced huge hits with the animated films The Little Mermaid (1989) and Beauty and the Beast (1991). This left many of the creatives at the Disney studio keen to <a href="https://www.theringer.com/movies/2019/7/19/20699678/the-lion-king-original-animation-1994">continue making princess stories</a>. Disney executive and Hollywood stalwart Jeffrey Katzenberg was banking on Pocahontas (1995) to be their next hit.</p> <p>Therefore, the Lion King’s development was undertaken by artists and storytellers who were expected to produce something that would only ever be second best. It’s this underdog feeling that resulted in a hungry and competitive creative team producing this original hit story (it’s <a href="https://www.oprahdaily.com/entertainment/tv-movies/a28376309/the-lion-king-hamlet-comparison/">not a direct retelling of Hamlet</a>, as some might think).</p> <p>Taking heed of its immediate film predecessors, Disney ensured the movie put music at the forefront of its storytelling, teaming up film scorist Hans Zimmer (Rain Man, Gladiator) with lyricist Tim Rice (Aladdin, Jesus Christ Superstar) and acclaimed international pop star Elton John. This combination of talent resulted in a soundtrack that won the film two Oscars in 1995 (<a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uB5k_flnqf0">best score</a> and <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KjgWWjkNbhU">best original song for Can You Feel The Love Tonight?</a>). The songs and music have played a critical role in the cultural and commercial impact of The Lion King. While some elements might change, in nearly every adaptation the songs have remained.</p> <p>The measure of success often used for movies is box office revenue, and the film’s 1994 total was <a href="https://www.boxofficemojo.com/title/tt0110357/">US$763 million</a> (£603 million) worldwide. Compare that with Disney’s previous great successes, The Little Mermaid <a href="https://www.boxofficemojo.com/title/tt0097757/">US$84 million</a> worldwide and Beauty and the Beast <a href="https://www.boxofficemojo.com/title/tt0101414/?ref_=bo_se_r_2">US$249 million</a>. Pocahontas, the great hope, also failed to outperform The Lion King bringing in <a href="https://www.boxofficemojo.com/title/tt0114148/?ref_=bo_se_r_1">US$142 million</a>.</p> <p>Its success spawned direct-to-video sequels, including The Lion King 2: Simba’s Pride. In 1997, the film was adapted into a <a href="https://www.thelionking.co.uk/about-the-show">musical theatre production</a>, which, as well as touring globally, is a permanent fixture in the West End of London and on Broadway in New York. Then in 2019, Disney released <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7TavVZMewpY">a live-action remake</a>. And now, as the original celebrates its 30th anniversary, the prequel, <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MjQG-a7d41Q">Mufasa: The Lion King</a>, will hit cinemas.</p> <figure><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/lFzVJEksoDY?wmode=transparent&amp;start=0" width="440" height="260" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe></figure> <p>Disney has cleverly followed the fans with these iterations. The 1997 stage adaptation tapped into the late <a href="https://www.onstageblog.com/columns/2017/4/13/the-50-best-musicals-of-the-1990s">90s resurgence in live musical theatre</a>. Since its debut the musical has received 70 major arts awards, including the 1999 Grammy for best musical show album and the 1999 Laurence Olivier awards for best choreography and best costume design.</p> <p>Then 25 years after the original’s release, Disney decided to remake The Lion King (following other hits such as Beauty and the Beast remake in 2017) – but the social environment had changed. In 2019, the “live action” remake of the movie ensured that this story set in Africa was rightly <a href="https://toofab.com/2019/07/04/original-lion-king-had-35-percent-black-main-cast/">cast with majority Black performers</a>. The cast introduced new names, but also attracted huge stars, including Beyoncé Knowles-Carter who voiced the character Nala.</p> <figure><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/MjQG-a7d41Q?wmode=transparent&amp;start=0" width="440" height="260" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe></figure> <p>After The Lion King’s early success, Disney’s subsequent movies (including Pocahontas) did not live up to commercial expectations. From the mid-90s, Disney’s dominance at the animated movie box office was overtaken by Pixar and their hits, including Toy Story.</p> <p>Disney experienced inconsistent success until 2010 when they embraced CGI 3D animation as the primary production technique for their movies. This new style was applied to their tried-and-tested format of retelling classic fairytales and placing music at the heart of the storytelling, leading to hits such as Tangled (2010) and Frozen (2013).</p> <p>The Lion King’s enduring success should be a stand-out moment of clarity for Disney: with a focus on good quality animation and solid music storytelling, even the unexpected can become a roaring success.<!-- Below is The Conversation's page counter tag. Please DO NOT REMOVE. --><img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/233024/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /><!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: https://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/joel-gray-1539770">Joel Gray</a>, Associate Dean for Teaching and Learning, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/sheffield-hallam-university-846">Sheffield Hallam University</a></em></p> <p><em>Image credits: Walt Disney Pictures </em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="https://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/lion-king-at-30-the-global-hit-that-disney-didnt-believe-in-233024">original article</a>.</em></p> </div>

Movies

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Cafe targeted online for charging customer a "heating fee"

<p>A cafe in Melbourne has copped a wave of backlash online after allegedly charging a customer to heat up his muffin for breakfast. </p> <p>The disgruntled diner took to Facebook to complain about the extra fee on his $7 muffin at the cafe and claimed the first he knew of it was when he saw it on his receipt.</p> <p>His post went viral with hundreds of people slamming café etiquette and urging him to go to the ACCC.</p> <p>"A f***ing dollar to heat my muffin? It's cr*p like this that just makes you shake your head and question where it is all going," the customer wrote in his original post.</p> <p>The cafe has since hit back at the post, and the angry customer who wrote it, saying the extra charge had been an error despite Heat Standard $1.00 being written on the receipt.</p> <p>They also said the customer could have simply solved the issue in person rather than blasting them online.</p> <p>"We do not nor have we ever charged for any heating of our wonderful baked treats," the café spokesperson told <a href="https://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/real-life/article-13465591/Melbourne-cafe-targeted-angry-mob-charging-1-heating-fee-muffin-Aussies-reveal-hidden-charges-theyve-hit-amid-cost-living-crisis.html" target="_blank" rel="noopener"><em>Daily Mail Australia</em></a>.</p> <p>"Unfortunately this has become a mountain of an issue that could have easily been resolved without a lynch mob caused by negligence at the hands of an influential keyboard warrior who ironically sells the idea of spiritual life practices and being grounded yet flipped out over a muffin."</p> <p>The original post racked up more than 870 comments before it was deleted, and more than 1,000 reactions.</p> <p>Some of those who saw it went on to slam the cafe by sending them threatening messages, commenting on posts on Instagram and calling their business phone to hurl abuse. </p> <p>"It's a sad world when a local cafe that aims for nothing more then customer satisfaction and community values to be upheld gets threatening messages from rogue vigilantes about wanting to see us go out of business over a muffin being prepared and served to quality standards," the cafe owners said.</p> <p>The cafe responded to the growing backlash online by announcing their muffins would be free on Tuesday.</p> <p class="mol-para-with-font" style="margin: 0px 0px 16px; padding: 0px; min-height: 0px;"><em>Image credits: Facebook / Shutterstock </em></p>

Travel Trouble

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New global appeal launched for one of Australia's most wanted men

<p>Police have ramped up their efforts to locate one of Australia's most wanted men, who they believe fled the country over two decades ago. </p> <p>In 1999, James Dalamangas allegedly fled to Greece after his believed involvement in the death of a Sydney father. </p> <p>George Giannopoulos attended a Belmore nightclub in Sydney’s south west on April 25th 1999 when he was stabbed twice and died while trying to intervene in a fight between two patrons.</p> <p>A warrant was issued for Mr Dalamangas' arrest the next day over his alleged involvement in the brutal murder, although he was never found.</p> <p>Dalamangas, who worked as a bouncer, is also wanted for questioning over the 1997 shooting murder of another Kings Cross bouncer Tim Voukelates.</p> <p>He was also involved in a brawl at Star City Casino where his brother Peter was killed in 1998.</p> <p>Police believe he fled the country after Mr Giannopoulos' death, with authorities believing he is still living in Greece. </p> <p>After attempts to extradite Mr Dalamangas from Greece were not successful in 2003, Greek authorities agreed to commence the prosecution of Mr Dalamangas over his alleged role in the murder, but the process was suspended in 2007 when he couldn't be found. </p> <p>As the 25-year-long Greek statute of limitations nears, police are re-appealing for anyone with information to come forward, particularly if they can assist in locating Mr Dalamangas in Greece.</p> <p>“A warrant was issued for Mr Dalamangas’ arrest; however, despite extensive inquiries, he has never been located,” police said in a statement.</p> <p>Detectives have released an age progression photo of Dalamangas, who would now be aged 53.</p> <p>Dalamangas is Mediterranean in appearance, between 180 and 185cm tall with a medium build, dark hair and brown eyes.</p> <p><em>Image credits: AFP</em></p>

Legal

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"Do you hear it?": Worldwide hum global mystery baffles scientists

<p>A perplexing phenomenon known as "The Worldwide Hum" has been capturing the attention of scientists and citizens alike, as an unusual low-frequency noise continues to puzzle experts.</p> <p>This mysterious hum, first recorded in 2012, has been reported by thousands of people worldwide, sparking investigations, online discussions and even <a href="https://www.thehum.info/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">the creation of an interactive map</a> documenting instances of the enigmatic sound. As researchers strive to unravel the mystery, individuals share their experiences, raising questions about its origin and effects.</p> <p>Described as a low rumbling or droning sound, "the hum" is often likened to the idling of a car or truck engine. What makes this phenomenon particularly intriguing is that it is not universally heard, with reports of the hum being exclusive to certain individuals.</p> <p>Some claim it is more pronounced at night than during the day, and louder indoors than outdoors. One Reddit user even compared it to the low-frequency vibrations felt when a passenger jet flies overhead.</p> <p>Since its first documentation, more than 6,500 instances of the hum have been reported globally, with new cases continually emerging. The interactive user-generated World Hum Map and Database Project <span style="font-family: -apple-system, BlinkMacSystemFont, 'Segoe UI', Roboto, Oxygen, Ubuntu, Cantarell, 'Open Sans', 'Helvetica Neue', sans-serif;">captures the experiences of those who have encountered the sound, providing a comprehensive overview of its widespread occurrence. In some regions, authorities such as the Environment Protection Authority (EPA) have conducted investigations, as was the case in the NSW Waverley Council ten years ago. Despite these efforts, the source of the hum remains elusive.</span></p> <p>Individuals affected by the mysterious noise often find solace in online communities, where they share their experiences and discuss possible explanations. Some describe feeling as though they are "going insane", and say that the psychological impact of the persistent hum is actually very severe.</p> <p>Facebook support groups have become a platform for individuals to connect, share anecdotes and speculate about the origin of the sound. Theories range from the mundane – such as the use of headphones causing collective tinnitus – to more complex environmental factors.</p> <p>While tinnitus, a symptom of auditory system issues, has been proposed as a potential explanation, it does not account for the collective experience of the hum. Various theories, including industrial plants, ocean waves, lightning strikes and the proliferation of mobile phone towers, have been suggested over the years. However, none of these explanations have gained widespread acceptance or provided a conclusive answer.</p> <p>Dr Glen MacPherson, who initiated the World Hum Map and Database Project, experienced the hum firsthand on Canada's Sunshine Coast. Having debunked the idea of "hum hotspots", Dr MacPherson theorises that the hum may be a subjective phenomenon, akin to tinnitus, originating from within the individual rather than an external source. His 11 years of research highlight the complexity of the mystery, challenging initial assumptions and pointing towards the need for further investigation.</p> <p>As "The Worldwide Hum" continues to captivate the curiosity of scientists and citizens worldwide, the quest for understanding remains elusive. While theories abound, the true origin of the hum remains unknown, leaving both experts and individuals alike intrigued by a phenomenon that transcends geographic boundaries and defies conventional explanations.</p> <p><em>Image: Getty</em></p>

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5 ultimate tips before you schedule heating and cooling maintenance in Adelaide

<p><span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">In Adelaide's climate, a reliable heating and cooling system isn't just a luxury – it's a must-have! Beyond comfort, maintaining these lifesavers at peak efficiency helps you tackle the temperature swings. But how do you ensure they're up to snuff year-round?</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">Walk about our </span><a style="text-decoration: none;" href="https://www.metropolitanheatingandcooling.com.au/blog/how-often-should-i-schedule-heating-and-cooling-maintenance/"><span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; color: #1155cc; background-color: transparent; font-weight: bold; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: underline; -webkit-text-decoration-skip: none; text-decoration-skip-ink: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">Maintenance and Routine Services Guide</span></a><span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">. They'll arm you with everything from understanding your unique system, spotting trouble early on, the cleaning nitty-gritty, right to zeroing in on the best time for that crucial maintenance in Adelaide.</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">Now, let’s dive into these handy pointers and get you sorted, shall we?</span></p> <h2 dir="ltr" style="line-height: 1.38; margin-top: 18pt; margin-bottom: 4pt;"><span style="font-size: 17pt; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: bold; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">What You Need to Remember</span></h2> <p><img src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/2023/12/HeatingCooling02.jpg" alt="" width="1280" height="720" /></p> <p><span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">Aside from air conditioner repairs and ducted gas heating repairs, diligently scheduling heating and cooling maintenance in Adelaide is just as important. Whether it's your first time scheduling one or you've done this before, these five tips can surely help you.</span></p> <h3 dir="ltr" style="line-height: 1.38; margin-top: 14pt; margin-bottom: 4pt;"><span style="font-size: 13pt; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: bold; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">Tip #1: Understand Your Air Conditioning System</span></h3> <p><span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">The kind of air conditioning unit you have can make a big difference to your maintenance schedule. Could be split systems, ducted gas heating systems, or the lot. Most Adelaide homes use evaporative coolers, and servicing these units is quite a different ball game compared to reverse-cycle systems.</span></p> <h3 dir="ltr" style="line-height: 1.38; margin-top: 14pt; margin-bottom: 4pt;"><span style="font-size: 13pt; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: bold; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">Tip #2: Recognise Signs of Trouble</span></h3> <p><span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">Today's air conditioning units are excellent at giving you a heads-up about an upcoming hassle. If it's not putting out enough cool air, or it's not running as it should, it might be time to call someone for those heating and cooling repairs. Nipping these problems in the bud is what you should be aiming for.</span></p> <h3 dir="ltr" style="line-height: 1.38; margin-top: 14pt; margin-bottom: 4pt;"><span style="font-size: 13pt; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: bold; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">Tip #3: Regular Cleaning and Air Filter Changes</span></h3> <p><span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">Keeping your air conditioners' filters clean and changing them regularly is a clever way to keep your air conditioning service in tip-top shape. The air filters, in particular, play a big role in this. Blocked air filters can lead to poor airflow and overworking of the system, which bumps your running costs up the wall.</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">However, don't stop at just swapping out the generic filters. Give the other components like the coils and fins in your air conditioner system a good clean as well.</span></p> <h3 dir="ltr" style="line-height: 1.38; margin-top: 14pt; margin-bottom: 4pt;"><span style="font-size: 13pt; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: bold; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">Tip #4: Regular Cooling and Heating System Checks</span></h3> <p><span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">Keeping up with regular air conditioning repair services makes sure your system is always raring to go. Your system needs to be a ripper, ready to go the minute you need it. Maintenance involves cleaning and checking big brands like Mitsubishi Electric, making sure any faults are out of the picture.</span></p> <h3 dir="ltr" style="line-height: 1.38; margin-top: 14pt; margin-bottom: 4pt;"><span style="font-size: 13pt; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: bold; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">Tip #5: Knuckling Down the Right Time for Check-up</span></h3> <p><span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">The best time to schedule air conditioning services or ducted gas, heating, and cooling systems repairs is before peak use - early autumn for heating systems and early spring for your cooling systems. This way, you're sorted with a climate-controlled environment just when you need it.</span></p> <h2 dir="ltr" style="line-height: 1.38; margin-top: 18pt; margin-bottom: 4pt;"><span style="font-size: 17pt; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: bold; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">The Importance of Scheduling Heating and Cooling Maintenance</span></h2> <p><img src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/2023/12/HeatingCooling03.jpg" alt="" width="1280" height="720" /></p> <p><span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">We have our busy days, and there are times when scheduling maintenance for our heating and cooling unit is the last thing on our list. However, there are plenty of reasons why sticking to heating and cooling maintenance like glue is so important:</span></p> <h3 dir="ltr" style="line-height: 1.38; margin-top: 14pt; margin-bottom: 4pt;"><span style="font-size: 13pt; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: bold; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">It Keeps Your Systems Efficient</span></h3> <p><span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">Routine maintenance keeps your system running efficiently. A well-maintained unit uses less energy to run and is therefore less likely to punch a hole in your wallet when the energy bill shows up.</span></p> <h3 dir="ltr" style="line-height: 1.38; margin-top: 14pt; margin-bottom: 4pt;"><span style="font-size: 13pt; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: bold; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">It Helps Prevent Breakdowns</span></h3> <p><span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">Regular maintenance can spot potential problems and get them sorted before you're left stuck without climate control on a stinking hot day or a freezing cold night. It's a lot cheaper and less hassle to prevent problems than to fix them once they've happened.</span></p> <h3 dir="ltr" style="line-height: 1.38; margin-top: 14pt; margin-bottom: 4pt;"><span style="font-size: 13pt; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: bold; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">It Prolongs the Life of Your Unit</span></h3> <p><span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">Frequent maintenance can extend the lifespan of your heating and cooling system. Like a meticulously serviced engine, it promises to function efficiently for a long haul.</span></p> <h3 dir="ltr" style="line-height: 1.38; margin-top: 14pt; margin-bottom: 4pt;"><span style="font-size: 13pt; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: bold; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">It Keeps You in Warranty</span></h3> <p><span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">A lot of manufacturers require regular maintenance to keep the warranty valid. You'd want to avoid voiding your warranty for lack of looking after your investment well.</span></p> <h2 dir="ltr" style="line-height: 1.38; margin-top: 18pt; margin-bottom: 4pt;"><span style="font-size: 17pt; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: bold; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">Choosing the Right Professionals</span></h2> <p><img src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/2023/12/HeatingCooling04.jpg" alt="" width="1280" height="720" /></p> <p><span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">When it comes to air conditioning installation, repairs, and maintenance, make sure you're seeking out the right professionals. Some folks might be game for a bash at DIY, but trust us, most air conditioning repairs need the know-how of a trained pro.</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">Whether it's regular </span><a style="text-decoration: none;" href="https://www.metropolitanheatingandcooling.com.au/locations/sa/heating-cooling-adelaide/"><span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; color: #1155cc; background-color: transparent; font-weight: bold; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: underline; -webkit-text-decoration-skip: none; text-decoration-skip-ink: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">heating and cooling installation in Adelaide</span></a><span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">, system updates, or tweaks for maximum efficiency, the role of the professionals is crucial. They ensure vital parts, such as your air conditioning unit, are installed well, functioning properly, and maintained to provide <a href="https://www.oversixty.com.au/lifestyle/retirement-life/5-reasons-to-check-on-your-elderly-neighbour-during-a-heatwave" target="_blank" rel="noopener">cool air in summers</a> and warm air in winters. That's precisely why heating and cooling installations in Adelaide should only be carried out by seasoned pros.</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">In Adelaide, you're in luck with professional, reliable air conditioning services. Keep an eye out for fully trained and licensed heating and cooling technicians who are accredited to work on big brands.</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">Look after your system well, and you'll be cool in the summer and cosy in the winter. Keep cool, Adelaide!</span></p> <p><em><span id="docs-internal-guid-f55474ea-7fff-8d26-6743-0e1ae38713e8">Images: Supplied.</span></em></p> <p><em><span id="docs-internal-guid-f55474ea-7fff-8d26-6743-0e1ae38713e8">This is a sponsored article produced in partnership with Metropolitan Heating and Cooling.</span></em></p>

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Hydronic heating maintenance: Tips for a cosy winter

<p><span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">Hydronic heating systems, often called radiant heating, utilise a closed-loop system to circulate hot water through pipes, providing efficient warmth to spaces. This blog post will delve into the </span><a style="text-decoration: none;" href="https://airconrepairnearme.com.au/blog/is-hydronic-heating-sustainable/#:~:text=Advantages%20of%20Hydronic%20Heating"><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; color: #1155cc; background-color: transparent; font-weight: bold; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: underline; -webkit-text-decoration-skip: none; text-decoration-skip-ink: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">advantages of hydronic heating</span></a><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;"> and the </span><span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">significance of regular maintenance for these systems, ensuring optimal performance during the chilly winter months. Let's explore critical aspects that contribute to a cosy and well-maintained hydronic heating system.</span><strong id="docs-internal-guid-43a50dd5-7fff-83c3-b866-681029940351" style="font-weight: normal;"></strong></p> <p><span style="font-size: 17pt; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: bold; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">Why Hydronic Heating Maintenance Matters</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 13pt; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: bold; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">Energy Efficiency and Cost Savings</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">Maintaining your hydronic heating system is not just about comfort; it's a practical step towards energy efficiency and cost savings. A well-maintained winter heating system operates more efficiently, requiring less energy to achieve the desired temperature. It reduces utility bills, <a href="https://www.oversixty.com.au/property/home-hints-tips/9-cost-effective-ways-to-warm-your-home-this-winter" target="_blank" rel="noopener">giving you a cosy home</a> without breaking the bank.</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 13pt; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: bold; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">Extended Lifespan of the System</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">Regular maintenance is like an investment in the longevity of your hydronic heating system. Simple tasks, such as cleaning and inspecting, can prevent wear and tear, ensuring your system lasts for years without significant issues. This foresight can save you from the inconvenience and expense of premature system replacement.</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 13pt; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: bold; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">Improved Heating Performance</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">A well-maintained system translates to consistent and energy-efficient heating. By addressing potential issues early on, you ensure each room receives the warmth it needs, avoiding cold spots and discomfort. It enhances your overall living experience and contributes to a healthier and more enjoyable home environment.</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 13pt; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: bold; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">Enhanced Safety Features</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">Safety should always be a top priority for home heating systems. Regular maintenance checks help identify and address potential safety hazards. From leaks to faulty components, addressing these issues promptly ensures your family's and property's safety, providing peace of mind throughout winter.</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 17pt; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: bold; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">Seasonal Maintenance Checklist</span></p> <p><img src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/2023/12/HydronicHeating02.jpg" alt="" width="1280" height="720" /></p> <p><span style="font-size: 13pt; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: bold; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">Fall Preparation</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">As the temperatures drop and the leaves begin to fall, it's time to prepare your hydronic heating system for the colder months ahead.</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: bold; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">Checking and Cleaning Radiators or Baseboards:</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">Start by inspecting each radiator or baseboard for dust or debris. Clean them thoroughly to ensure unobstructed heat distribution. This simple task can significantly enhance the efficiency of your system.</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: bold; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">Inspecting the Boiler for Any Issues:</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">Give your boiler a once-over, checking for any signs of wear, corrosion, or leaks. Addressing minor issues now can prevent major breakdowns later.</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: bold; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">Testing Thermostat Functionality:</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">Test your thermostat by adjusting the temperature settings. Ensure that it responds promptly and accurately. It may be time for a thermostat replacement or recalibration if you notice any discrepancies.</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: bold; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">Bleeding Air from the System:</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">Bleeding air from the system is crucial to maintaining optimal water flow. Follow these steps:</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: bold; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">Turn off the heating system.</span></p> <ul style="margin-top: 0; margin-bottom: 0; padding-inline-start: 48px;"> <li dir="ltr" style="list-style-type: disc; font-size: 11pt; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre;" aria-level="1"><span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">Use a radiator key to open the bleed valve.</span></li> <li dir="ltr" style="list-style-type: disc; font-size: 11pt; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre;" aria-level="1"><span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">Allow warm air to escape until the water starts dripping.</span></li> <li dir="ltr" style="list-style-type: disc; font-size: 11pt; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre;" aria-level="1"><span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">Close the valve tightly.</span></li> </ul> <p><span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">This process prevents hot air from pockets that can impede water circulation, ensuring efficient heating throughout your home.</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 13pt; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: bold; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">Winter Best Practices</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: bold; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">Monitoring Water Levels:</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">Check the water level in your hydronic heating system regularly, especially during winter. Low water levels can cause the system to overheat or shut down. Consult your hydronic system's manual for specific instructions on maintaining water levels.</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: bold; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">Adjusting Thermostat Settings for Efficiency:</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">Optimise your thermostat settings based on your daily routine. Lowering the temperature when you're away or sleeping can yield substantial energy savings without sacrificing comfort.</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: bold; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">Regularly Checking for Leaks:</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">Inspect your system for leaks, paying attention to connections, valves, and the boiler. Addressing leaks promptly prevents water damage and ensures the continued efficiency of your system.</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: bold; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">Troubleshooting Common Heating Issues:</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">Proactively troubleshoot common heating issues, such as uneven heating or unusual noises. Understanding your system's behaviour helps you address problems early, preventing extensive damage and costly repairs.</span></p> <p><strong style="font-weight: normal;"> </strong><span style="font-size: 17pt; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: bold; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">Tips for Hydronic Heating Maintenance by Professionals</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">Maintaining a hydronic heating system is crucial for optimal performance and longevity. Here are some tips for hydronic heating maintenance by professionals:</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 13.999999999999998pt; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; color: #434343; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">Regular Inspections:</span></p> <ul style="margin-top: 0; margin-bottom: 0; padding-inline-start: 48px;"> <li dir="ltr" style="list-style-type: disc; font-size: 11pt; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre;" aria-level="1"><span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">Schedule regular inspections by qualified technicians to assess the system's overall condition.</span></li> <li dir="ltr" style="list-style-type: disc; font-size: 11pt; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre;" aria-level="1"><span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">Check for leaks, corrosion, or damage to pipes, valves, and components.</span></li> </ul> <p><span style="font-size: 13.999999999999998pt; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; color: #434343; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">Pressure Check:</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">Monitor and adjust system pressure as needed. Low or high pressure can affect the heat pump's efficiency in the hydronic heating system.</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 13.999999999999998pt; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; color: #434343; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">Flush the System:</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">Periodically flush the system to remove any accumulated sediment or debris hindering the system's efficiency.</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 13.999999999999998pt; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; color: #434343; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">Bleed Radiators:</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">I bled the air filters from the radiators to ensure they heated evenly. Trapped air can cause cold spots and reduce the system's effectiveness.</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 13.999999999999998pt; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; color: #434343; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">Inspect Pumps and Motors:</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">Check pumps and motors for proper operation. Lubricate components as necessary and replace any worn-out parts.</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 13.999999999999998pt; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; color: #434343; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">Boiler Maintenance:</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">Service the boiler regularly to ensure it operates efficiently. Clean the burners, heat exchanger, and flue to prevent efficiency loss.</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 13.999999999999998pt; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; color: #434343; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">Thermostat Calibration:</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">Calibrate and test thermostats to ensure accurate and consistent temperature control. Replace batteries if applicable.</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 13.999999999999998pt; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; color: #434343; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">Check Expansion Tank:</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">Inspect and maintain the expansion tank to accommodate water volume changes and prevent damage to the piping system.</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 13.999999999999998pt; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; color: #434343; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">Test Safety Controls:</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">Test safety controls, such as pressure relief valves and high-limit switches, to ensure they function correctly in emergencies.</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 13.999999999999998pt; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; color: #434343; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">Water Quality Maintenance:</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">Monitor water and air quality in the system and treat it with inhibitors to prevent corrosion and scale buildup.</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 13.999999999999998pt; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; color: #434343; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">Evaluate Insulation:</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">Check the insulation on pipes and components to minimise heat loss and improve heating performance and the system's overall efficiency.</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 13.999999999999998pt; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; color: #434343; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">Update Controls and Sensors:</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">Consider upgrading control systems and sensors to the latest technology for better energy efficiency and system management.</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 13.999999999999998pt; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; color: #434343; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">Documentation:</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">Keep comprehensive records of maintenance activities, inspections, and any repairs performed on the hydronic heating system.</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 13.999999999999998pt; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; color: #434343; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">Training for Staff:</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">Provide training for facility staff on basic maintenance tasks and early detection of potential issues.</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">Regular professional maintenance ensures the hydronic heating system operates efficiently, reduces energy consumption, and extends lifespan. Always consult with qualified HVAC (Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning) system professionals for specific maintenance requirements based on the type and complexity of the hydronic heating system.</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 17pt; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: bold; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">Professional Maintenance Services</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 13pt; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: bold; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;"><img src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/2023/12/HydronicHeating03.jpg" alt="" width="1280" height="720" /></span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 13pt; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: bold; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">When to Call a Professional for Maintenance</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">While homeowners can perform some maintenance tasks, there are instances when professional assistance is necessary.</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 13pt; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: bold; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">Benefits of Professional Inspections:</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">Professional technicians have the expertise to identify and address issues that may go unnoticed. Regular professional inspections can extend the life of your system and ensure its continued reliability.</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 13pt; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: bold; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">Finding a Qualified Hydronic Heating Technician:</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">When seeking professional services, look for technicians with experience in hydronic heating systems. Check reviews, ask for recommendations, and verify their certifications to ensure that you entrust your design to capable hands.</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 13pt; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: bold; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">When to Seek Professional Help:</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">If your energy bills remain high despite your efforts, involving a professional is essential. They can conduct a thorough assessment to identify and address underlying issues affecting your system's efficiency.</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 17pt; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: bold; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">Winter Energy Saving Tips</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 13pt; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: bold; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">Setting Optimal Thermostat Temperatures</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: bold; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">Guidelines:</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">Set the thermostat to a comfortable temperature when at home.</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">Lower the temperature when sleeping or away, aiming for energy savings reduced efficiency.</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">Consider investing in a programmable thermostat for automated temperature adjustments.</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: bold; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">Benefits:</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">Optimising thermostat settings ensures comfort and contributes to significant energy savings over the winter months.</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 13pt; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: bold; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">Proper Insulation for Energy Efficiency</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: bold; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">Areas to Insulate:</span></p> <ul style="margin-top: 0; margin-bottom: 0; padding-inline-start: 48px;"> <li dir="ltr" style="list-style-type: disc; font-size: 11pt; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre;" aria-level="1"><span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">Walls and ceilings.</span></li> <li dir="ltr" style="list-style-type: disc; font-size: 11pt; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre;" aria-level="1"><span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">Attic and basement spaces.</span></li> <li dir="ltr" style="list-style-type: disc; font-size: 11pt; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre;" aria-level="1"><span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">Doors and windows.</span></li> </ul> <p><span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: bold; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">Benefits:</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">Proper insulation prevents heat loss and leaking of warm air, reducing the workload on your hydronic heating system. It translates to lower energy consumption and improved efficiency.</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 13pt; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: bold; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">Utilising Programmable Thermostats</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: bold; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">Advantages:</span></p> <ul style="margin-top: 0; margin-bottom: 0; padding-inline-start: 48px;"> <li dir="ltr" style="list-style-type: disc; font-size: 11pt; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre;" aria-level="1"><span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">Automated temperature adjustments based on your schedule.</span></li> <li dir="ltr" style="list-style-type: disc; font-size: 11pt; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre;" aria-level="1"><span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">Energy savings by reducing the heating costs when not needed.</span></li> <li dir="ltr" style="list-style-type: disc; font-size: 11pt; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre;" aria-level="1"><span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">Remote access for constant temperature control, even when away from home.</span></li> </ul> <p><span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: bold; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">Installation Tips:</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">Follow the manufacturer's instructions for installation, or consult a professional if needed. Programmable thermostats offer a convenient way to optimise heating and energy usage.</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 17pt; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: bold; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">Keep Your Place Cosy</span></p> <p><img src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/2023/12/HydronicHeating04.jpg" alt="" width="1280" height="720" /></p> <p><span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">In conclusion, maintaining your hydronic heating system is essential for a cosy and worry-free winter. By following the seasonal maintenance checklist and knowing when to seek professional help like</span><a style="text-decoration: none;" href="https://airconrepairnearme.com.au/"><span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; color: #1155cc; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: underline; -webkit-text-decoration-skip: none; text-decoration-skip-ink: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;"> </span><span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; color: #1155cc; background-color: transparent; font-weight: bold; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: underline; -webkit-text-decoration-skip: none; text-decoration-skip-ink: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">airconrepairnearme.com.au</span></a><span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">, you can ensure the efficient operation of your system. Troubleshooting common issues and adopting winter energy-saving tips further contribute to a warm and inviting home. Embrace these practices, and may your winter be filled with comfort, warmth, and the joy of a well-maintained hydronic heating system. Stay cosy!</span></p> <p><em>Images: Supplied.</em></p> <p><em>This is a sponsored article produced in partnership with Air Con Repair Near Me.</em></p>

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It’s extremely hot and I’m feeling weak and dizzy. Could I have heat stroke?

<p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/lily-hospers-1060107">Lily Hospers</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-sydney-841">University of Sydney</a>; <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/james-smallcombe-1412548">James Smallcombe</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-sydney-841">University of Sydney</a>, and <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/ollie-jay-114164">Ollie Jay</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-sydney-841">University of Sydney</a></em></p> <p>Australia is braced for a hot, dry summer. El Nino is back, and this year it will occur alongside an <a href="https://www.abc.net.au/news/2023-08-22/positive-indian-ocean-dipole-to-coincide-with-el-nino/102756378">Indian Ocean dipole</a>, a climate pattern which will further amplify this hot and dry effect.</p> <p>Hot weather can place great stress on our bodies. When the environmental conditions exceed the limit at which we can adequately cope, we can suffer from heat-related illnesses.</p> <p>Heat illnesses can vary, from relatively mild heat exhaustion to the potentially life-threatening condition of heat stroke.</p> <h2>What are the signs and symptoms?</h2> <p>If you’re suffering from heat exhaustion, you may feel weakness, nausea, headaches or dizziness.</p> <p>Mild <a href="https://www.health.nsw.gov.au/environment/beattheheat/Pages/heat-related-illness.aspx">symptoms of heat exhaustion</a> can often be treated at home by reducing your levels of physical activity, finding shade, removing excess clothing, hydrating with water and perhaps even taking a cool shower.</p> <p>If left unchecked, heat exhaustion can progress to the far more serious condition of heat stroke, where your core temperature climbs upwards of 40°C. <a href="https://www.health.nsw.gov.au/environment/beattheheat/Pages/heat-related-illness.aspx">Symptoms</a> can develop rapidly and may include confusion, disorientation, agitation, convulsions, or it could even result in a coma.</p> <p>Heat stroke is a medical emergency and requires urgent treatment. Call an ambulance and start rapid, aggressive cooling by immersing the person in cold water (such as a cold bath). If this isn’t possible, apply ice packs to their neck, armpits and groin and cover the skin with lots of cool water.</p> <p>When it comes to cooling someone with suspected heat stroke, the quicker the better: cool first, transport second.</p> <h2>Why do we overheat?</h2> <p>Environmental conditions play an important role in determining our heat stress risk. If the air temperature, humidity and levels of sun exposure are high, we are much more likely to dangerously overheat.</p> <p>When the body gets hot, the heart pumps more warm blood to our skin to help lose heat. As air temperature rises, this way of shedding heat becomes ineffective. When air temperature is higher than the temperature of the skin (normally around 35°C), we start gaining heat from our surroundings.</p> <p>Sweating is by far our most effective physiological means of keeping cool. However, it is the <em>evaporation</em> of sweat from our skin that provides cooling relief.</p> <p>When the air is humid, it already contains a lot of moisture, and this reduces how efficiently sweat evaporates.</p> <p>Our physical activity levels and clothing also impact heat stress risk. When we move, our bodies generate metabolic heat as a by-product. The more intense physical activity is, the more heat we must lose to avoid dangerous rises in core temperature.</p> <p>Finally, clothing can act as an insulator and barrier for the evaporation of sweat, making it even more difficult for us to keep cool.</p> <h2>Who is most vulnerable in the heat?</h2> <p>Some people <a href="https://www.health.nsw.gov.au/environment/beattheheat/Pages/people-most-at-risk.aspx">are at greater risk</a> of developing heat illness than others. This can result from physiological limitations, such as a decreased capacity to sweat, or a reduced capacity to adapt our behaviour. When these two risk factors coincide, it’s a perfect storm of vulnerability.</p> <p>Take, for example, an elderly outdoor agricultural worker. Being aged over 60, their physiological capacity to sweat is reduced. The worker may also be wearing heavy safety clothing, which may further limit heat loss from the body. If they don’t slow down, seek shelter and adequately hydrate, they become even more vulnerable.</p> <p>When a person dies of heat stroke – which is relatively easy to diagnose – heat will be listed as a cause of death on a death certificate. Between 2001 and 2018 in Australia, 473 heat-related deaths were <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2212420921006324">officially reported</a>.</p> <p>However, the true association between heat and death is thought to be far greater, with an <a href="https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lanplh/article/PIIS2542-5196(20)30100-5/fulltext">estimated 36,000 deaths</a> in Australia between 2006 and 2017.</p> <p>This is because most people who die during extreme heat events do not die from heat stroke. Instead, they they die of <a href="https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/nejm199607113350203">other medical complications</a> such as cardiovascular or renal collapse, as additional strain is placed on essential organs such as the heart and kidneys.</p> <p>People with underlying health conditions are more likely to succumb to heat-associated complications before they develop critical core temperature (over 40°C) and heat stroke.</p> <p>In such cases, while the additional physiological strain imposed by the heat probably “caused” the death, the official “cause of death” is often listed as something else, such as a heart attack. This can make understanding the true health burden of extreme heat more difficult.</p> <h2>How to stay safe in the heat</h2> <p>Thankfully, there are effective, low-cost <a href="https://twitter.com/TheLancet/status/1677702906789740545">ways</a> of staying safe in the heat. These include: <!-- Below is The Conversation's page counter tag. Please DO NOT REMOVE. --><img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/215084/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /><!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: https://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <ul> <li>staying adequately hydrated</li> <li>getting out of the heat to a cooler area indoors or shaded area outdoors</li> <li>loosening or removing clothing</li> <li>cooling down any way you can: <ul> <li>using an electric fan (which can be used at 37°C and below, irrespective of age and humidity)</li> <li>using a cold-water spray</li> <li>applying a cool, damp sponge or cloth</li> <li>wetting clothes and skin</li> <li>having a cool shower or bath</li> <li>applying ice packs or crushed ice in a damp towel on the neck, groin and armpits.</li> </ul> </li> </ul> <p><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/lily-hospers-1060107"><em>Lily Hospers</em></a><em>, PhD Candidate, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-sydney-841">University of Sydney</a>; <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/james-smallcombe-1412548">James Smallcombe</a>, Post-doctoral Research Associate, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-sydney-841">University of Sydney</a>, and <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/ollie-jay-114164">Ollie Jay</a>, Professor of Heat &amp; Health; Director of Heat &amp; Health Research Incubator; Director of Thermal Ergonomics Laboratory, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-sydney-841">University of Sydney</a></em></p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images</em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="https://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/its-extremely-hot-and-im-feeling-weak-and-dizzy-could-i-have-heat-stroke-215084">original ar</a><a href="https://theconversation.com/its-extremely-hot-and-im-feeling-weak-and-dizzy-could-i-have-heat-stroke-215084">ticle</a>.</em></p>

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Heated argument between economy passengers reignites plane etiquette debate

<p>A 12-second clip of two passengers arguing on a plane has reignited the age-old debate of whether it is acceptable to recline your seat on a plane. </p> <p>The viral video which was originally posted on TikTok and then re-shared on X, has racked up over 8 million views since Thursday. </p> <p>In the video, a frustrated woman was calling out another female passenger for pushing her seat the entire flight, right after they landed. </p> <p>“The whole trip she pushed my seat,” the woman said to a male passenger seated next to the female passenger accused of kicking her seat. </p> <p>“You seen it. You know she did.”</p> <p>“I’m allowed to put my seat back," she yelled repeatedly. </p> <p>Ian Miles Cheong, the user who posted the video on X, defended the woman saying: “She’s allowed to put her seat back. You don’t get to kick it repeatedly just because you want more space.”</p> <p>A few were on the woman's side and praised her for standing up for herself. </p> <p>“You are allowed! Period! You want space in front of you instead of pushing the seat, buy a seat with extra space or get your a** to business class. Reclining was put there for a reason,” one person wrote. </p> <p>“She was patient enough to wait till flight landed," they added. </p> <p>“If the seat is reclinable, recline it,” another commented. </p> <p>"What she’s saying is right. The woman has a right to put her seat back without someone kicking it," a third agreed.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p dir="ltr" lang="en">She’s allowed to put her seat back. You don’t get to kick it repeatedly just because you want more space. <a href="https://t.co/WELD7Qh4Re">pic.twitter.com/WELD7Qh4Re</a></p> <p>— Ian Miles Cheong (@stillgray) <a href="https://twitter.com/stillgray/status/1719881310351863952?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">November 2, 2023</a></p></blockquote> <p>However, others claimed that there was an unwritten rule that you shouldn't recline your seat, especially on a short-haul flight, adding that the recline feature should be scrapped from airplanes. </p> <p>“Putting your seat back in coach is an unspoken thing most people don’t do. It’s really the airline’s fault because they’ve made coach so cramped and tight that putting the seat back shouldn’t even be an option,” one commented. </p> <p>“Airline seats simply shouldn’t be able to recline. It intrudes on the already very little space a person has on the plane for the person behind them,” another added. </p> <p>“Really it’s the airline’s fault for cramming so many people in such a small space. They don’t call it cattle class for nothing,” a third wrote. </p> <p>One user understood both sides of the argument, and blamed the airlines for making the seats so cramped. </p> <p>"It can be annoying sometimes to be behind someone with their seat all the way, but if the airlines didn't want to allow that, it wouldn't happen," they wrote.</p> <p>"You don't kick the seat like a baby. Blame the airline, not the person doing what the airline says is fine." </p> <p><em>Images: Twitter</em></p>

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Extreme weather is landing more Australians in hospital – and heat is the biggest culprit

<p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/amy-peden-1136424">Amy Peden</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/unsw-sydney-1414">UNSW Sydney</a></em></p> <p>Hospital admissions for injuries directly attributable to extreme weather events – such as heatwaves, bushfires and storms – have increased in Australia over the past decade.</p> <p>A new <a href="https://www.aihw.gov.au/reports/injury/extreme-weather-injuries/contents/about">report</a> from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) shows 9,119 Australians were hospitalised for injuries from extreme weather from 2012-22 and 677 people died from these injuries in the decade up to 2021.</p> <p>In 2021-22, there were 754 injury hospitalisations directly related to extreme weather, compared to 576 in 2011-12.</p> <p>Extreme heat is responsible for most weather-related injuries. Exposure to prolonged natural heat can result in physical conditions ranging from mild heat stroke, to organ damage and <a href="https://www.dea.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2021/01/DEA-Fact-Sheet_HeatwavesWEB.pdf">death</a>.</p> <p>As Australia heads into summer with an El Niño, it’s important understand and prepare for the health risks associated with extreme weather.</p> <h2>A spike every three years</h2> <p>Extreme weather-related hospitalisations have spiked at more than 1,000 cases every three years, with the spikes becoming progressively higher. There were:</p> <ul> <li>1,027 injury hospitalisations in 2013–14</li> <li>1,033 in 2016–17</li> <li>1,108 in 2019–20.</li> </ul> <p><iframe id="vLaas" class="tc-infographic-datawrapper" style="border: none;" src="https://datawrapper.dwcdn.net/vLaas/1/" width="100%" height="400px" frameborder="0"></iframe></p> <p>In each of these three years, extreme heat had the biggest impact on hospital admissions and deaths.</p> <p><iframe id="P03sm" class="tc-infographic-datawrapper" style="border: none;" src="https://datawrapper.dwcdn.net/P03sm/1/" width="100%" height="400px" frameborder="0"></iframe></p> <p>Extreme heat accounted for 7,104 injury hospitalisations (78% of all injury hospitalisations) and 293 deaths (43% of all injury deaths) in the ten year period analysed.</p> <p>In 2011-12, there were 354 injury hospitalisations directly related to extreme heat. This rose to 579 by 2021-22.</p> <h2>El Niño and La Niña</h2> <p>Over the past three decades, extreme weather events have increased in <a href="https://www.ipcc.ch/report/ar5/syr/">frequency</a> and <a href="http://www.bom.gov.au/state-of-the-climate/">severity</a>.</p> <p>In Australia, El Niño drives a period of reduced rainfall, warmer temperatures and increased bushfire danger.</p> <p>La Niña, on the other hand, is associated with above average rainfall, cooler daytime temperatures and increased chance of tropical cyclones and flood events.</p> <p>Although similar numbers of heatwave-related hospitalisations occurred in El Niño and La Niña years studied, the number of injuries related to bushfires was higher in El Niño years.</p> <p>During the 2019–20 bushfires, in the week beginning January 5 2020, there were 1,100 more hospitalisations than the previous five-year average, an 11% increase.</p> <p>Although El Niño hasn’t directly been proved as the cause for these three spikes, according to the Bureau of Meteorology, two of the three years (2016-17 and 2019-20) were El Niño summers. And the other year (2013-14) was the warmest neutral year on record at that time.</p> <h2>Regional differences</h2> <p>Exposure to excessive natural heat was the most common cause leading to injury hospitalisation for all the mainland states and territories. From 2019 to 2022, there were 2,143 hospital admissions related to extreme heat, including:</p> <ul> <li>717 patients from Queensland</li> <li>410 from Victoria</li> <li>348 from NSW</li> <li>267 from South Australia</li> <li>266 from Western Australia</li> <li>73 from the Northern Territory</li> <li>23 from the ACT</li> <li>19 from Tasmania.</li> </ul> <figure class="align-center "><img src="https://images.theconversation.com/files/556987/original/file-20231101-27-3c98xm.png?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;fit=clip" sizes="(min-width: 1466px) 754px, (max-width: 599px) 100vw, (min-width: 600px) 600px, 237px" srcset="https://images.theconversation.com/files/556987/original/file-20231101-27-3c98xm.png?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=600&amp;h=632&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=1 600w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/556987/original/file-20231101-27-3c98xm.png?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=30&amp;auto=format&amp;w=600&amp;h=632&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=2 1200w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/556987/original/file-20231101-27-3c98xm.png?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=15&amp;auto=format&amp;w=600&amp;h=632&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=3 1800w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/556987/original/file-20231101-27-3c98xm.png?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;h=794&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=1 754w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/556987/original/file-20231101-27-3c98xm.png?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=30&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;h=794&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=2 1508w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/556987/original/file-20231101-27-3c98xm.png?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=15&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;h=794&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=3 2262w" alt="" /><figcaption><span class="attribution"><a class="source" href="https://www.aihw.gov.au/reports-data/latest-reports">AIHW National Hospital Morbidity Database</a>, <a class="license" href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/">CC BY</a></span></figcaption></figure> <p>The report also includes state and territory data on hospitalisations related to extreme cold and storms.</p> <p>During the ten-year period analysed, there were 773 injury hospitalisations and 242 deaths related to extreme cold. Extreme rain or storms accounted for 348 injury hospitalisations and 77 deaths.</p> <p>From 2019 to 2022, there were 191 hospitalisations related to extreme cold, with Victoria recording the highest number (51, compared to 40 in next-placed NSW). During the same period there were 111 hospitalisations related to rain and storms, with 52 occurring in NSW and 28 in Queensland.</p> <h2>What about for bushfires?</h2> <p>Over the ten-year period studied, there were 894 hospitalisations and 65 deaths related to bushfires.</p> <p>Bushfire-related injury hospitalisations and deaths peaked in 2019–20, an El Niño year with 174 hospitalisations and 35 deaths. The two most common injuries that result from bushfires are smoke inhalation and burns.</p> <p>During the 2019–20 bushfires, in the week beginning 5 January 2020 there were 1,100 more respiratory hospitalisations than the previous five-year average, an 11% increase.</p> <p>The greatest increase in the hospitalisation rate for burns was 30% in the week beginning December 15 2019 — 0.8 per 100,000 persons (about 210 hospitalisations), compared with the previous 5-year average of 0.6 per 100,000 (an average of 155 hospitalisations).</p> <h2>Some people are particularly vulnerable</h2> <p>Anyone can be affected by extreme weather-related injuries but some population groups are more at risk than others. This includes older people, children, people with disabilities, those with pre-existing or chronic health conditions, outdoor workers, and those with greater <a href="https://www.mdpi.com/2071-1050/15/1/813">socioeconomic disadvantage</a>.</p> <p>People in these groups may have reduced capacity to avoid or reduce the health impacts of extreme weather conditions, for example older people taking medication may be less able to regulate their body temperature. “Thermal inequity” includes people living in poor quality housing who have difficulty accessing adequate heating and cooling.</p> <p>For heat-related injuries between 2019–20 and 2021–22, people aged 65 and over were the most commonly admitted to hospital, followed by people aged 25–44.</p> <p>Across age groups, men had higher numbers of heat related injury hospitalisations than women. This difference was most notable among those aged 25-44 and 45-64 years, where over twice as many men were hospitalised due to extreme heat as women.</p> <h2>We still don’t have a full picture</h2> <p>The AIHW data only includes injuries which were serious enough for patients to be admitted to hospital; it doesn’t include cases where patients treated in an emergency department and sent home without being admitted.</p> <p>It includes injuries that were directly attributable to weather-related events but does not include injuries that were indirectly related. For example, it doesn’t include injuries from road traffic accidents that occur due to wet weather, since the primary cause of injury would be recorded as “transport”.</p> <p>Improved surveillance of weather-related injuries could help the health system and the community better prepare for responding to extreme weather conditions. For example, better data aids communities in predicting what resources will be needed during periods of extreme weather.</p> <p>A more complete picture of injuries during weather events could also be used to inform people of actions they can take to protect their own health. Given a predicted hot summer, this could be a matter of life or death.</p> <p><em>This article was co-authored by Sarah Ahmed and Heather Swanston from the Injuries and System Surveillance Unit at the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare.</em><!-- Below is The Conversation's page counter tag. Please DO NOT REMOVE. --><img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/216440/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /><!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: https://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/amy-peden-1136424">Amy Peden</a>, NHMRC Research Fellow, School of Population Health &amp; co-founder UNSW Beach Safety Research Group, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/unsw-sydney-1414">UNSW Sydney</a></em></p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images</em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="https://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/extreme-weather-is-landing-more-australians-in-hospital-and-heat-is-the-biggest-culprit-216440">original article</a>.</em></p>

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Will we still have antibiotics in 50 years? We asked 7 global experts

<p>Almost since antibiotics were <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2937522/#:%7E:text=Since%20the%20introduction%20in%201937,operate%20some%2070%20years%20later.">first discovered</a>, we’ve been aware bacteria can learn how to overcome these medicines, a phenomenon known as antimicrobial resistance.</p> <p>The World Health Organization says we’re currently <a href="https://www.who.int/news/item/20-09-2017-the-world-is-running-out-of-antibiotics-who-report-confirms">losing to the bugs</a>, with resistance increasing and too few new antibiotics in the pipeline. </p> <p>We wanted to know whether experts around the world think we will still have effective antibiotics in 50 years. Seven out of seven experts said yes.</p> <p><strong>Lori Burrows - Biochemist, Canada</strong></p> <p>Yes! Antibiotics are a crucial component of modern medicine, and we can't afford to lose them. Despite the rise of resistance in important pathogens (bugs), and the substantial decrease in new drugs in development, we have multiple tools at our disposal to protect antibiotics. Stewardship - the principle of using antibiotics only when absolutely necessary - is key to maintaining the usefulness of current antibiotics and preventing resistance to new drugs from arising. New diagnostics, such as the rapid tests that became widely available during the pandemic, can inform stewardship efforts, reducing inappropriate antibiotic use for viral diseases.</p> <p>Finally, researchers continue to find creative ways, including the use of powerful artificial intelligence approaches, to identify antimicrobial compounds with new targets or new modes of action. Other promising tactics include using viruses that naturally kill bacteria, stimulating the host's immune system to fight the bacteria, or combining existing antibiotics with molecules that can enhance antibiotic activity by, for example, increasing uptake or blocking resistance.</p> <p><strong>André Hudson - Biochemist, United States</strong></p> <p>Yes. The real question is not whether we will have antibiotics 50 years from now, but what form of antibiotics will be used. Most antibiotics we use today are modelled after natural products isolated from organisms such as fungi and plants. The use of <a href="https://news.mit.edu/2020/artificial-intelligence-identifies-new-antibiotic-0220">AI</a>, machine learning, and other <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2023/may/25/artificial-intelligence-antibiotic-deadly-superbug-hospital">computational tools</a> to help design novel, unnatural compounds that can circumvent the evolution of antibiotic resistance are only in the very early stages of development.</p> <p>Many of the traditional medicines such as penicillins and other common antibiotics of today which are already waning in efficacy, will probably be of very little use in 50 years. Over time, with the aid of new technology, I predict we will have new medicines to fight bacterial infections.</p> <p><strong>Ray Robins-Browne - Microbiologist, Australia</strong></p> <p>Yes, we will have antibiotics (by which I mean antimicrobial drugs), because people will still get infections despite advances in immunisation and other forms of prevention. Having said this, drugs of the future will be quite different from those we use today, which will have become obsolete well within the next 50 years. The new drugs will have a narrow spectrum, meaning they will be targeted directly at the specific cause of the infection, which we will determine by using rapid, point-of-care diagnostic tests, similar to the RATS we currently use to diagnose COVID.</p> <p>Antimicrobials of the future won’t kill bacteria or limit their growth, because this encourages the development of resistance. Instead, they will limit the ability of the bacteria to cause disease or evade our immune systems.</p> <p><strong>Raúl Rivas González - Microbiologist, Spain</strong></p> <p>Yes, but not without effort. Currently, antimicrobial resistance is a leading cause of death globally, and will continue to rise. But in my opinion, there will still be useful antibiotics to combat bacterial infections within 50 years. To achieve this, innovation and investment is required. Artificial intelligence may even be able to help. An example is the compound "RS102895", which eliminates the multi-resistant superbug Acinetobacter baumannii. This was identified through a machine learning algorithm.</p> <p>The future of antibiotics requires substantial changes in the search for new active molecules and in the design of therapies that can eliminate bacteria without developing resistance. We are on the right path. An example is the discovery of clovibactin, recently isolated from uncultured soil bacteria. Clovibactin effectively kills antibiotic-resistant gram-positive bacteria without generating detectable resistance. Future antimicrobial therapy may consist of new antibiotics, viruses that kill bacteria, specific antibodies, drugs that counter antibiotic resistance, and other new technology.</p> <p><strong>Fidelma Fitzpatrick - Microbiologist, United Kingdom</strong></p> <p>Yes, but not many. Without rapid scale-up of measures to curtail the "<a href="https://www.oecd.org/health/embracing-a-one-health-framework-to-fight-antimicrobial-resistance-ce44c755-en.htm">alarming global health threat</a>" of antimicrobial resistance by 2073, there will be few effective antibiotics left to treat sepsis. The <a href="https://www.cdc.gov/drugresistance/covid19.html">Centre for Disease Control</a> has indicated a reversal of progress following the pandemic, when all focus in healthcare, government and society was on COVID. Without an approach targeting people, animals, agri-food systems and the environment, antimicrobial resistance will continue its upward trajectory. <a href="https://www.worldbank.org/en/topic/health/publication/drug-resistant-infections-a-threat-to-our-economic-future">Doing nothing</a> is unacceptable – lives will be lost, healthcare expenditure will increase and workforce productivity will suffer.</p> <p>The highest burden of antimicrobial resistance is in <a href="https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(21)02724-0/fulltext">low-income countries</a>. <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK543407/">Action plans</a> exist in most OECD, European and G20 countries. In all countries plans need to be funded and implemented across all relevant sectors as above. Better integrated data to track antibiotic use and resistance across human and animal health and the environment, in addition to research and development for new antibiotics, vaccines and diagnostics, will be necessary.</p> <p><strong>Juliana Côrrea - Public health expert, Brazil </strong></p> <p>Yes. However, <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0188440905002730?via%3Dihub">available data</a> suggest that without a shift in the political agenda towards the control and prevention of antimicrobial resistance, several antibiotics will have lost their utility. The problem of bacterial resistance is not new and the risk of antibiotics becoming ineffective in the face of the evolutionary capacity of bacteria is one of the main problems facing global health. The creation of policies to promote the appropriate use of this resource has not progressed at the same speed as inappropriate use in human and animal health and in agricultural production.</p> <p>The factors that impact antibiotic use are complex and vary according to local contexts. The response to the problem goes far beyond controlling use at the individual level. We must recognise the social, political, and economic dimensions in proposing more effective governance.</p> <p><strong>Yori Yuliandra -  Pharmacist, Indonesia</strong></p> <p>Yes. Despite their <a href="https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/antimicrobial-resistance">reduced efficacy over time</a>, antibiotics continue to be produced every year. Researchers are tirelessly working to develop new and more effective antibiotics. And researchers are actively exploring combinations of antibiotics to enhance their efficacy. While antimicrobial resistance is rising, researchers have been making remarkable progress in addressing this issue. They have developed innovative antibiotic classes such as <a href="https://doi.org/10.4155/fmc-2016-0041">FtsZ inhibitors</a> which can inhibit cell division, a process necessary for bacteria to multiply. <a href="https://www.who.int/publications/i/item/9789240021303">Clinical trials</a> are currently taking place.</p> <p>A deeper understanding of the molecular aspects of bacterial resistance has led to the discovery of new treatment strategies, such as the <a href="https://doi.org/10.1039/D2MD00263A">inhibition of key enzymes</a> that play a pivotal role in bugs becoming resistant. And <a href="https://doi.org/10.1038/s42003-021-02586-0">advances in computer technology</a> have greatly accelerated drug discovery and development efforts, offering hope for the rapid discovery of new antibiotics and treatment strategies.</p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images</em></p> <p><em>This article originally appeared on <a href="https://theconversation.com/will-we-still-have-antibiotics-in-50-years-we-asked-7-global-experts-214950" target="_blank" rel="noopener">The Conversation</a>. </em></p>

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6 reasons why global temperatures are spiking right now

<p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/andrew-king-103126">Andrew King</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/the-university-of-melbourne-722">The University of Melbourne</a></em></p> <p>The world is very warm right now. We’re not only seeing record temperatures, but the records are being broken by record-wide margins.</p> <p>Take the preliminary September global-average temperature anomaly of 1.7°C above pre-industrial levels, for example. It’s an incredible 0.5°C above the previous record.</p> <p>So why is the world so incredibly hot right now? And what does it mean for keeping our Paris Agreement targets?</p> <p>Here are six contributing factors – with climate change the main reason temperatures are so high.</p> <h2>1. El Niño</h2> <p>One reason for the exceptional heat is we are in a <a href="http://www.bom.gov.au/climate/enso/#tabs=Pacific-Ocean">significant El Niño</a> that is still strengthening. During El Niño we see warming of the surface ocean over much of the tropical Pacific. This warming, and the effects of El Niño in other parts of the world, raises global average temperatures by <a href="https://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2023/01/2022-updates-to-the-temperature-records/">about 0.1 to 0.2°C</a>.</p> <p>Taking into account the fact we’ve just come out of a triple La Niña, which cools global average temperatures slightly, and the fact this is the first major El Niño in eight years, it’s not too surprising we’re seeing unusually high temperatures at the moment.</p> <p>Still, El Niño alone isn’t enough to explain the crazily high temperatures the world is experiencing.</p> <h2>2. Falling pollution</h2> <p>Air pollution from human activities cools the planet and has offset some of the warming caused by humanity’s greenhouse gas emissions. There have been efforts to reduce this pollution – since 2020 there has been an <a href="https://sdg.iisd.org/news/imo-advances-measures-to-reduce-emissions-from-international-shipping/">international agreement</a> to reduce sulphur dioxide emissions from the global shipping industry.</p> <p>It has been speculated this cleaner air has contributed to the recent heat, particularly over the record-warm <a href="https://climate.copernicus.eu/record-breaking-north-atlantic-ocean-temperatures-contribute-extreme-marine-heatwaves">north Atlantic</a> and Pacific regions with high shipping traffic.</p> <p>It’s likely this is contributing to the extreme high global temperatures – but only on the order of hundredths of a degree. <a href="https://www.carbonbrief.org/analysis-how-low-sulphur-shipping-rules-are-affecting-global-warming/">Recent analysis</a> suggests the effect of the 2020 shipping agreement is about an extra 0.05°C warming by 2050.</p> <h2>3. Increasing solar activity</h2> <p>While falling pollution levels mean more of the Sun’s energy reaches Earth’s surface, the amount of the energy the Sun emits is itself variable. There are different solar cycles, but an 11-year cycle is the most relevant one to today’s climate.</p> <p>The Sun is becoming <a href="https://edition.cnn.com/2023/07/14/world/solar-maximum-activity-2024-scn/index.html">more active</a> from a minimum in late 2019. This is also contributing a small amount to the spike in global temperatures. Overall, increasing solar activity is contributing only hundredths of a degree at most to the recent global heat.</p> <h2>4. Water vapour from Hunga Tonga eruption</h2> <p>On January 15 2022 the underwater <a href="https://www.jpl.nasa.gov/images/pia26006-hunga-tonga-hunga-haapai-eruption">Hunga Tonga–Hunga Haʻapai volcano erupted</a> in the South Pacific Ocean, sending large amounts of water vapour high up into the upper atmosphere. Water vapour is a greenhouse gas, so increasing its concentration in the atmosphere in this way does intensify the greenhouse effect.</p> <p>Even though the eruption happened almost two years ago, it’s still having a small warming effect on the planet. However, as with the reduced pollution and increasing solar activity, we’re talking about hundredths of a degree.</p> <figure><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/6oANPi-SWN0?wmode=transparent&amp;start=0" width="440" height="260" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe></figure> <h2>5. Bad luck</h2> <p>We see variability in global temperatures from one year to the next even without factors like El Niño or major changes in pollution. Part of the reason this September was so extreme was likely due to weather systems being in the right place to heat the land surface.</p> <p>When we have persistent high-pressure systems over land regions, as seen recently over places like <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2023/oct/01/autumn-heat-continues-in-europe-after-record-breaking-september">western Europe</a> and <a href="https://www.abc.net.au/news/2023-09-19/australia-weather-september-heat-records-tumble/102870294">Australia</a>, we see local temperatures rise and the conditions for unseasonable heat.</p> <p>As water requires more energy to warm and the ocean moves around, we don’t see the same quick response in temperatures over the seas when we have high-pressure systems.</p> <p>The positioning of weather systems warming up many land areas coupled with persistent ocean heat is likely a contributor to the global-average heat too.</p> <h2>6. Climate change</h2> <p>By far the biggest contributor to the overall +1.7°C global temperature anomaly is human-caused climate change. Overall, humanity’s effect on the climate has been a global warming of <a href="https://www.globalwarmingindex.org/">about 1.2°C</a>.</p> <p>The record-high rate of greenhouse gas emissions means we should expect global warming to accelerate too.</p> <p>While humanity’s greenhouse gas emissions explain the trend seen in September temperatures over many decades, they don’t really explain the big difference from last September (when the greenhouse effect was almost as strong as it is today) and September 2023.</p> <p>Much of the difference between this year and last comes back to the switch from La Niña to El Niño, and the right weather systems in the right place at the right time.</p> <h2>The upshot: we need to accelerate climate action</h2> <p>September 2023 shows that with a combination of climate change and other factors aligning we can see alarmingly high temperatures.</p> <p>These anomalies may appear to be above the 1.5°C global warming level referred to in the Paris Agreement, but that’s about keeping <a href="https://climateanalytics.org/briefings/understanding-the-paris-agreements-long-term-temperature-goal/">long-term global warming</a> to low levels and not individual months of heat.</p> <p>But we are seeing the effects of climate change unfolding more and more clearly.</p> <p>The most vulnerable are suffering the biggest impacts as wealthier nations continue to emit the largest proportion of greenhouse gases. Humanity must accelerate the path to net zero to prevent more record-shattering global temperatures and damaging extreme events.<!-- Below is The Conversation's page counter tag. Please DO NOT REMOVE. --><img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/215140/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /><!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: https://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/andrew-king-103126">Andrew King</a>, Senior Lecturer in Climate Science, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/the-university-of-melbourne-722">The University of Melbourne</a></em></p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images</em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="https://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/6-reasons-why-global-temperatures-are-spiking-right-now-215140">original article</a>.</em></p>

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4 ways to support someone with dementia during extreme heat

<p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/nikki-anne-wilson-342631">Nikki-Anne Wilson</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/unsw-sydney-1414">UNSW Sydney</a></em></p> <p>Our ability to adapt our behaviour to changes in temperature takes a significant amount of thought and decision making. For example, we need to identify suitable clothing, increase our fluid intake, and understand how to best keep the house cool.</p> <p>A person with dementia may find some or all these things challenging. These and other factors mean, for someone with dementia, extreme heat <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/31520832/#:%7E:text=Conclusion%3A%20Heatwaves%20increased%20the%20risk,heat%2Drelated%20Alzheimer's%20disease%20burden.">can be deadly</a>.</p> <p>But as the temperature rises, friends, relatives and carers can help.</p> <h2>El Niño means there are challenges ahead</h2> <p>The recent declaration of <a href="https://www.abc.net.au/news/2023-09-19/bureau-of-meteorology-el-nino-blog/102875154">another El Niño</a> means we need to think about how we can best support those more vulnerable to be safe during the warmer months.</p> <p>Extreme heat and bushfires bring unique challenges for someone with dementia.</p> <p>Bushfires have a significant impact on older people’s mental health. But they generally <a href="https://www.health.act.gov.au/sites/default/files/2023-03/PATH_Impact%20of%202019-20%20Bushfires%20on%20a%20Cohort%20of%20Older%20Adults_REPORT_V3_0.pdf">bounce back</a> quickly.</p> <p>However, for someone with dementia, extreme heat can lead to a <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0013935119305110">significant deterioration</a> in their overall health and they may not recover.</p> <p>Emergency evacuations can also be confusing and distressing for a person with dementia, so it is important to think ahead.</p> <h2>Why are people with dementia more at risk?</h2> <p>Dementia can affect the parts of the brain that help <a href="https://academic.oup.com/brain/article/138/11/3360/332653?login=true">regulate</a> our body temperature. Some <a href="https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0243665">medications</a> can also increase someone’s sensitivity to heat.</p> <p>Problems with memory and thinking associated with dementia <a href="https://www.alzheimers.org.uk/get-support/daily-living/drinking-hydration">means</a> remembering to drink or communicating you are thirsty can be challenging.</p> <p>Heat can affect everyone’s mood. But if someone with dementia becomes dehydrated this can <a href="https://www.alzdiscovery.org/cognitive-vitality/blog/can-dehydration-impair-cognitive-function">increase</a> confusion and agitation, making it harder for them to know how to cool down.</p> <p>A person with dementia can also wander and become lost, which can be dangerous in extreme heat.</p> <h2>4 ways to support someone with dementia</h2> <p><strong>1. Avoid dehydration and heatstroke</strong></p> <p>Try to avoid dehydration by encouraging someone to drink throughout the day. It’s better to have <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/31769256/">small amounts</a> of liquid regularly instead of a large amount all at once. Little and often will help maximise hydration while avoiding sudden trips to <a href="https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/conditionsandtreatments/dementia-continence-issues#causes-of-incontinence-in-people-with-dementia">the bathroom</a>.</p> <p>Try to offer different types of drinks, or ice blocks. Placing drinks in sight can help as a reminder to drink. Choose foods with a high liquid content, such as fruit, salads, cool broths and yoghurt.</p> <p>Look out for <a href="https://www.nia.nih.gov/health/hot-weather-safety-older-adults#:%7E:text=Signs%20of%20heat%20stroke%20are,as%20under%20shade%20or%20indoors.">signs of heatstroke</a>, such as increased confusion beyond what the person would usually experience. Heatstroke may be more difficult to spot in someone living with dementia so it is important to check in when possible and to help them cool down if needed.</p> <p><strong>2. Cool the home</strong></p> <p>Try to modify their home to make it easier to stay cool. Some air-conditioners have complex settings so make sure the temperature is set appropriately and the person with dementia knows how to use the controls.</p> <p>It is important to keep blinds and curtains shut where possible to reduce heat. However, ensure the <a href="https://www.scie.org.uk/dementia/supporting-people-with-dementia/dementia-friendly-environments/lighting.asp">lighting is adequate</a> to avoid falls.</p> <p>Try to support the person to make suitable clothing choices for the season by having cool, lightweight options easily available.</p> <p><strong>3. Think about communications early</strong></p> <p>If someone with dementia lives alone, consider how you will maintain contact in an emergency.</p> <p>Some people may not realise many landlines don’t work in a power outage, and of course, mobile phones can’t be recharged. Ensure the person with dementia has access to an <a href="https://www.telstra.com.au/support/category/home-phone/uninterruptible-power-supply">uninterruptable power supply</a>. This can help maintain communication for a few hours in a blackout.</p> <p><strong>4. Have an evacuation plan</strong></p> <p>In case of fire, flash flooding or severe storm, <a href="https://dementiaresearch.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/2447_DCRC_Prep_natural_disaster_EBook_5.pdf">have an evacuation plan</a>. If the person with dementia attends a day or respite centre, know their plan too.</p> <p>The situation can change quickly in an emergency, and this can be particularly overwhelming for people with cognitive issues.</p> <p>Understand that someone with dementia may become distressed when their routine is disrupted. So be prepared with some simple activities or comfort items, current medications, and any specific medical information.</p> <p>Stay up-to-date with <a href="http://www.bom.gov.au/">current warnings</a> and act early whenever possible.</p> <h2>We can all help</h2> <p>It’s not just carers of people with dementia who can help. We can all ensure people with dementia stay safe and cool this spring and summer.</p> <p>So remember to check in on your relatives, friends and neighbours or arrange for someone to do so on your behalf.<!-- Below is The Conversation's page counter tag. Please DO NOT REMOVE. --><img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/213987/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /><!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: https://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/nikki-anne-wilson-342631"><em>Nikki-Anne Wilson</em></a><em>, Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Neuroscience Research Australia (NeuRA), <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/unsw-sydney-1414">UNSW Sydney</a></em></p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images</em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="https://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/4-ways-to-support-someone-with-dementia-during-extreme-heat-213987">original article</a>.</em></p>

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Research reveals who’s been hit hardest by global warming in their lifetime - and the answer may surprise you

<p><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/andrew-king-103126">Andrew King</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/the-university-of-melbourne-722">The University of Melbourne</a>; <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/ed-hawkins-104793">Ed Hawkins</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-reading-902">University of Reading</a>; <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/hunter-douglas-1460792">Hunter Douglas</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/te-herenga-waka-victoria-university-of-wellington-1200">Te Herenga Waka — Victoria University of Wellington</a>, and <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/luke-harrington-489028">Luke Harrington</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-waikato-781">University of Waikato</a></p> <p>Earth is warming and the signs of climate change are everywhere. We’ve seen it in the past few weeks as temperatures hit record highs around the world – both in the Northern Hemisphere and the <a href="https://theconversation.com/why-is-australia-having-such-a-warm-winter-a-climate-expert-explains-210693">warm Australian winter</a>.</p> <p>Global warming is caused by humanity’s greenhouse gas emissions, which continue at <a href="https://theconversation.com/global-carbon-emissions-at-record-levels-with-no-signs-of-shrinking-new-data-shows-humanity-has-a-monumental-task-ahead-193108">near-record pace</a>. These emissions are predominantly generated by people in the world’s wealthiest regions.</p> <p>Our world-first analysis, <a href="https://iopscience.iop.org/article/10.1088/2752-5295/aceff2">published today</a>, examines the experience of global warming over the lifetimes of people around the world: young and old, rich and poor. We sought to identify who has perceived warmer temperatures most keenly.</p> <p>We found middle-aged people in equatorial regions have lived through the most perceptible warming in their lifetimes. But many young people in lower-income countries could experience unrecognisable changes in their local climate later in life, unless the world rapidly tackles climate change.</p> <h2>Measuring the climate change experience</h2> <p>We examined temperature data and population demographics information from around the world.</p> <p>Key to our analysis was the fact that not all warming is due to human activity. Some of it is caused by natural, year-to-year variations in Earth’s climate.</p> <p>These natural ups and downs are due to a number of factors. They include variations in the energy Earth receives from the sun, the effects of volcanic eruptions, and transfers of heat between the atmosphere and the ocean.</p> <p>This variability is stronger in mid-to-high-latitude parts of the world (those further from the equator) than in low-latitude areas (in equatorial regions). That’s because the weather systems further away from the equator draw in hot or cold air from neighbouring areas, but equatorial areas don’t receive cold air at all.</p> <p>That’s why, for example, the annual average temperature in New York is naturally more variable than in the city of Kinshasa (in the Democratic Republic of Congo).</p> <p>To account for this, we applied what’s known as the “<a href="https://archive.ipcc.ch/ipccreports/tar/wg1/346.htm#:%7E:text=The%20%EF%BF%BDsignal%20to%20noise,to%20this%20natural%20variability%20noise.">signal-to-noise ratio</a>” at each location we studied. That allowed us to separate the strength of the climate change “signal” from the “noise” of natural variability.</p> <p>Making this distinction is important. The less naturally variable the temperature, the clearer the effects of warming. So warming in Kinshasa over the past 50 years has been much more perceptible than in New York.</p> <p>Our study examined two central questions. First, we wanted to know, for every location in the world, how clearly global warming could be perceived, relative to natural temperature variability.</p> <p>Second, we wanted to know where this perceived change was most clear over human lifetimes.</p> <figure class="align-center zoomable"><a href="https://images.theconversation.com/files/541474/original/file-20230807-17-ogjdti.png?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=1000&amp;fit=clip"><img src="https://images.theconversation.com/files/541474/original/file-20230807-17-ogjdti.png?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;fit=clip" sizes="(min-width: 1466px) 754px, (max-width: 599px) 100vw, (min-width: 600px) 600px, 237px" srcset="https://images.theconversation.com/files/541474/original/file-20230807-17-ogjdti.png?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=600&amp;h=394&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=1 600w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/541474/original/file-20230807-17-ogjdti.png?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=30&amp;auto=format&amp;w=600&amp;h=394&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=2 1200w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/541474/original/file-20230807-17-ogjdti.png?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=15&amp;auto=format&amp;w=600&amp;h=394&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=3 1800w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/541474/original/file-20230807-17-ogjdti.png?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;h=495&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=1 754w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/541474/original/file-20230807-17-ogjdti.png?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=30&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;h=495&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=2 1508w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/541474/original/file-20230807-17-ogjdti.png?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=15&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;h=495&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=3 2262w" alt="Annual-average temperatures at four major cities with signal-to-noise ratios shown for 20, 50 and 80 years up to 2021." /></a><figcaption><span class="caption">Annual-average temperatures at four major cities with signal-to-noise ratios shown for 20, 50 and 80 years up to 2021.</span> <span class="attribution"><span class="source">Author provided</span></span></figcaption></figure> <h2>Our results</h2> <p>So what did we find? As expected, the most perceptible warming is found in tropical regions – those near the equator. This includes developing parts of the world that constitute the Global South – such as Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean, and Asia.</p> <p>Household incomes in the Global South are typically lower than in industrialised nations (known as the Global North). We might, then, conclude people in the poorest parts of the world have experienced the most perceptible global warming over their lifetimes. But that’s not always the case.</p> <p>Why? Because most parts of the Global South have younger populations than wealthier regions. And some people under the age of 20, including in northern India and parts of Sub-Saharan Africa, haven’t experienced warming over their lifetimes.</p> <p>In these places, the lack of recent warming is likely down to a few factors: natural climate variability, and the local cooling effect of particles released into the atmosphere from <a href="https://iopscience.iop.org/article/10.1088/1748-9326/ac3b7a">pollution</a> and changes in land use.</p> <p>There’s another complication. Some populated regions of the world also experienced slight cooling in the mid-20th century, primarily driven by human-caused <a href="https://www.nature.com/articles/nature10946">aerosol emissions</a>.</p> <p>So, many people born earlier than the 1950s have experienced less perceptible warming in their local area than those born in the 1960s and 1970s. This may seem counter-intuitive. But a cooling trend in the first few decades of one’s life means the warming experienced over an entire lifespan (from birth until today) is smaller and less detectable.</p> <p>So what does all this mean? People in equatorial areas born in the 1960s and 1970s – now aged between about 45 and 65 – have experienced more perceptible warming than anyone else on Earth.</p> <h2>Rich countries must act</h2> <p>Our findings are important, for several reasons.</p> <p>Identifying who has experienced significant global warming in their lives may help explain <a href="https://www.nature.com/articles/nclimate2660">attitudes to tackling climate change</a>.</p> <p>Our findings also raise significant issues of fairness and equity.</p> <p>Humanity will continue to warm the planet until we reach global net-zero emissions. This means many young people in lower-income countries may, later in life, experience a local climate that is unrecognisable to that of their youth.</p> <p>Of course, warming temperatures are not the only way people experience climate change. Others include sea-level rise, more intense drought and rainfall extremes. We know many of these impacts are felt most acutely by <a href="https://www.aljazeera.com/opinions/2022/5/11/climate-change-is-devastating-the-global-south">the most vulnerable populations</a>.</p> <p>Cumulative greenhouse gas emissions are much higher in the Global North, due to economic development. To address this inequality, rich industrialised nations must take a leading role in reducing emissions to net-zero, and helping vulnerable countries adapt to climate change.<!-- Below is The Conversation's page counter tag. Please DO NOT REMOVE. --><img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/211108/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /><!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: https://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/andrew-king-103126">Andrew King</a>, Senior Lecturer in Climate Science, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/the-university-of-melbourne-722">The University of Melbourne</a>; <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/ed-hawkins-104793">Ed Hawkins</a>, Professor of Climate Science, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-reading-902">University of Reading</a>; <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/hunter-douglas-1460792">Hunter Douglas</a>, PhD Candidate, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/te-herenga-waka-victoria-university-of-wellington-1200">Te Herenga Waka — Victoria University of Wellington</a>, and <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/luke-harrington-489028">Luke Harrington</a>, Senior Lecturer in Climate Change, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-waikato-781">University of Waikato</a></em></p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images</em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="https://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/research-reveals-whos-been-hit-hardest-by-global-warming-in-their-lifetime-and-the-answer-may-surprise-you-211108">original article</a>.</em></p>

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Cooking (and heating) without gas: what are the impacts of shifting to all-electric homes?

<p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/trivess-moore-12580">Trivess Moore</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/rmit-university-1063">RMIT University</a>; <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/alan-pears-52">Alan Pears</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/rmit-university-1063">RMIT University</a>, and <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/joe-hurley-157161">Joe Hurley</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/rmit-university-1063">RMIT University</a></em></p> <p>Gas connections for all new housing and sub-divisions will be <a href="https://www.premier.vic.gov.au/new-victorian-homes-go-all-electric-2024">banned in Victoria</a> from January 1 next year. The long-term result of the state government’s significant change to planning approvals will be all-electric housing. The ACT made <a href="https://www.climatechoices.act.gov.au/policy-programs/preventing-new-gas-network-connections">similar changes</a> early this year, in line with a shift away from gas across <a href="https://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-47559920">Europe</a> and <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2023/jan/19/gas-stove-culture-war-united-states">other locations</a>, although the NSW Premier Chris Minns has <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2023/jul/31/nsw-wont-ban-gas-in-new-homes-as-premier-declares-i-dont-need-another-complication">baulked</a> at doing the same.</p> <p>Around <a href="https://www.energy.vic.gov.au/renewable-energy/victorias-gas-substitution-roadmap">80% of homes</a> in Victoria are connected to gas. This high uptake was driven by gas being seen as more affordable and sustainable than electricity over past decades. The situation has <a href="https://www.iea.org/events/net-zero-by-2050-a-roadmap-for-the-global-energy-system">changed dramatically</a> as renewable electricity generation increases and <a href="https://www.abc.net.au/news/2023-07-27/aemo-wholesale-electricity-prices-fall-impact-power-bills/102654498">costs fall</a>.</p> <p><a href="https://theconversation.com/all-electric-homes-are-better-for-your-hip-pocket-and-the-planet-heres-how-governments-can-help-us-get-off-gas-207409">Research</a> has suggested for more than a decade that the benefits of all-electric homes <a href="https://bze.org.au/research_release/energy-efficient-buildings-plan/">stack up in many locations</a>. New homes built under mandatory building energy performance standards (increasing from <a href="https://thefifthestate.com.au/innovation/building-construction/victoria-kicks-the-can-down-the-road-again-on-the-national-construction-code/">6 to 7 stars</a> in Victoria in May 2024) need smaller, cheaper heating and cooling systems. Installing reverse-cycle air conditioning for cooling provides a cost-effective heater as a bonus.</p> <p>Savings from not requiring gas pipes, appliances and gas supply infrastructure help to offset the costs of highly efficient electric appliances. Mandating fully electric homes means economies of scale will further reduce costs.</p> <h2>How does this ban help?</h2> <p>To achieve environmentally sustainable development, reforms of planning policy and regulation <a href="https://theconversation.com/sustainable-cities-australias-building-and-planning-rules-stand-in-the-way-of-getting-there-84263">are essential</a> to convert innovation and best practice to mainstream practice. Planning policy is particularly important for apartment buildings and other housing that may be rented or have an owners’ corporation. Retrofits to improve energy efficiency can be difficult in these situations.</p> <p>Banning gas in new and renovated housing will <a href="https://grattan.edu.au/report/getting-off-gas/">cut greenhouse gas emissions</a>. It’s also <a href="https://theconversation.com/gas-cooking-is-associated-with-worsening-asthma-in-kids-but-proper-ventilation-helps-151591">healthier for households</a> and <a href="https://www.sustainability.vic.gov.au/research-data-and-insights/research/research-reports/the-victorian-healthy-homes-program-research-findings">reduces healthcare costs</a> as well as <a href="https://grattan.edu.au/report/getting-off-gas/">energy bills and infrastructure costs</a>. The Victorian government suggests the change will save all-electric households <a href="https://www.premier.vic.gov.au/new-victorian-homes-go-all-electric-2024">about $1,000 a year</a>. Houses with solar will be even better off.</p> <p>The government appears to be offering wide support to ensure these changes happen, but this will need to be monitored closely.</p> <p>Some households will face extra costs for electric appliances and solar panels. The government’s announcement of <a href="https://www.premier.vic.gov.au/new-victorian-homes-go-all-electric-2024">$10 million</a> for Residential Electrification Grants should help with some of these costs while the industry adjusts.</p> <p>There will be impacts and benefits for the local economy. Some jobs may be lost, particularly in the gas appliance and plumbing industry. The government has announced financial support to retrain people and they will still have essential roles in the existing housing sector.</p> <p>Many gas appliances are imported, including ovens, cooktops and instantaneous gas water heaters. Some components of efficient electric products, such as hot water storage tanks, are made locally. Local activities, including distribution, sales, design, installation and maintenance, comprise much of the overall cost.</p> <h2>Challenges of change must be managed</h2> <p>Sustainability benefits will depend on what <a href="https://grattan.edu.au/report/getting-off-gas/">happens with the energy network</a>. We need more renewable energy, energy storage and smarter management of electricity demand.</p> <p>The shift to all-electric homes may mean winter peak demand for heating increases. Energy market operators and governments will have to monitor demand changes carefully to avoid the reliability issues we already see in summer. However, improving energy efficiency, energy storage and demand management will help reduce this load (and household costs).</p> <p>While the benefits are clear for new homes, the changes may <a href="https://www.bsl.org.au/research/publications/enabling-electrification/">increase gas costs and energy poverty</a> for residents of existing housing who don’t shift to efficient electric solutions. The government has reconfirmed financial rebates to help households switch from gas.</p> <p>In addition, existing housing may face building quality and performance issues. Some may require electrical wiring upgrades as part of the transition.</p> <p>Social acceptance of some electric appliances may also be an issue. For example, <a href="https://www.rmit.edu.au/about/schools-colleges/property-construction-and-project-management/research/research-centres-and-groups/sustainable-building-innovation-laboratory/projects/heet-housing-energy-efficiency-transitions">our research</a> has found some households dislike the way heating from reverse cycle air conditioners feels. Others do not like cooking on induction cooktops.</p> <p>Consumer education and modifications to appliances and buildings may be needed to increase acceptance and avoid backlash.</p> <p>Some electric appliances are available overseas but not in Australia. Higher demand may increase the range of imports. For example, floor-mounted heat pumps can make heating feel similar to gas heating while still providing effective cooling.</p> <p>We should not assume electric appliances are all equal. To improve consumer protection, action is needed on weak standards and limited and inconsistent public information. For example, information on noise levels and efficiency under a range of weather conditions must be standardised.</p> <p>Moving housing away from gas is an <a href="https://link.springer.com/book/10.1007/978-981-99-2760-9">important step</a> in the transition to a zero-carbon economy and energy system. Careful management is needed to ensure this transition is effective, accepted and fair.</p> <p>Continued planning reforms are also essential to ensure environmentally sustainable development of housing and communities. Other urgent priorities include urban cooling and greening, and <a href="https://theconversation.com/turning-the-housing-crisis-around-how-a-circular-economy-can-give-us-affordable-sustainable-homes-208745">circular economy approaches</a> to reduce the material and waste impacts of housing and thus the carbon that goes into building and running homes.<!-- Below is The Conversation's page counter tag. Please DO NOT REMOVE. --><img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/210649/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /><!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: https://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/trivess-moore-12580">Trivess Moore</a>, Senior Lecturer, School of Property, Construction and Project Management, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/rmit-university-1063">RMIT University</a>; <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/alan-pears-52">Alan Pears</a>, Senior Industry Fellow, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/rmit-university-1063">RMIT University</a>, and <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/joe-hurley-157161">Joe Hurley</a>, Associate Professor, Sustainability and Urban Planning, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/rmit-university-1063">RMIT University</a></em></p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images</em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="https://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/cooking-and-heating-without-gas-what-are-the-impacts-of-shifting-to-all-electric-homes-210649">original article</a>.</em></p>

Home & Garden

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Tourists flock to the Mediterranean as if the climate crisis isn’t happening. This year’s heat and fire will force change

<p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/susanne-becken-90437">Susanne Becken</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/griffith-university-828">Griffith University</a> and <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/johanna-loehr-1457342">Johanna Loehr</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/griffith-university-828">Griffith University</a></em></p> <p>Thousands of people on the beach. Children reportedly falling off evacuation boats. Panic. People fleeing with the clothes on their backs. It felt like “the end of the world”, according to <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/world/2023/jul/23/british-tourists-tell-of-nightmare-in-rhodes-fires-greece">one tourist</a>.</p> <p>The fires sweeping through the Greek islands of Rhodes and Corfu are showing us favourite holiday destinations are no longer safe as climate change intensifies.</p> <p>For decades, tourists have flocked to the Mediterranean for the northern summer. Australians, Scandinavians, Brits, Russians all arrive seeking warmer weather. After COVID, many of us have been keen to travel once again.</p> <p>But this year, the intense heatwaves have claimed <a href="https://inews.co.uk/news/world/heatwave-pictures-wildfires-worsen-greece-italy-spain-europe-us-2488556">hundreds of lives</a> in Spain alone. Major tourist drawcards such as the Acropolis in Athens have been closed. Climate scientists are “stunned by the ferocity” of the <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2023/jul/25/northern-hemisphere-heatwaves-europe-greece-italy-wildfires-extreme-weather-climate-experts">heat</a>.</p> <p>This year is likely to force a rethink for tourists and for tourism operators. Expect to see more trips taken during shoulder seasons, avoiding the increasingly intense July to August summer. And expect temperate countries to become more popular tourist destinations. Warm-weather tourist destinations will have to radically change.</p> <h2>What will climate change do to mass tourism?</h2> <p>Weather is a major factor in tourism. In Europe and North America, people tend to go from northern countries to southern regions. Chinese tourists, like Australians, often head to Southeast Asian beaches.</p> <p>In Europe, the north-south flow is almost hardwired. When Australians go overseas, they often choose Mediterranean summers. Over the last decade, hotter summers haven’t been a dealbreaker.</p> <p>But this year is likely to drive change. You can already see that in the growing popularity of shoulder seasons (June or September) in the traditional Northern Hemisphere summer destinations.</p> <p>Many of us are shifting how we think about hot weather holidays from something we seek to something we fear. This comes on top of consumer shifts such as those related to sustainability and <a href="https://theconversation.com/flight-shaming-how-to-spread-the-campaign-that-made-swedes-give-up-flying-for-good-133842">flight shame</a>.</p> <p>What about disaster tourism? While thrillseekers <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2023/jul/22/death-valley-tourism-extreme-weather-california">may be flocking</a> to Death Valley to experience temperatures over 50℃, it’s hard to imagine this type of tourism going mainstream.</p> <p>What we’re more likely to see is more people seeking “<a href="https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/09669582.2016.1213849?journalCode=rsus20">last-chance</a>” experiences, with tourists flocking to highly vulnerable sites such as the Great Barrier Reef. Of course, this type of tourism isn’t sustainable long-term.</p> <h2>What does this mean for countries reliant on tourism?</h2> <p>The crisis in Rhodes shows us the perils of the just-in-time model of tourism, where you bring in tourists and everything they need –food, water, wine – as they need it.</p> <p>The system is geared to efficiency. But that means there’s little space for contingencies. Rhodes wasn’t able to easily evacuate 19,000 tourists. This approach will have to change to a just-in-case approach, as in other <a href="https://www.forbes.com/sites/willyshih/2022/01/30/from-just-in-time-to-just-in-case-is-excess-and-obsolete-next/?sh=195cd054daf7">supply chains</a>.</p> <p>For <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0261517712002063">emergency services</a>, tourists pose a particular challenge. Locals have a better understanding than tourists of risks and escape routes. Plus tourists don’t speak the language. That makes them much harder to help compared to locals.</p> <p>Climate change poses immense challenges in other ways, too. Pacific atoll nations like Kiribati or Tuvalu <a href="https://www.pacificpsdi.org/assets/Uploads/PSDI-TourismSnapshot-TUV3.pdf">would love</a> more tourists to visit. The problem there is water. Sourcing enough water for locals is getting harder. And tourists use a lot of water – drinking it, showering in it, swimming in it. Careful planning will be required to ensure local carrying capacities are not exceeded by tourism.</p> <p>So does this spell the end of mass tourism? Not entirely. But it will certainly accelerate the trend in countries like Spain away from mass tourism, or “overtourism”. In super-popular tourist destinations like Spain’s Balearic Islands, there’s been an increasing pushback from locals against <a href="https://theconversation.com/were-in-the-era-of-overtourism-but-there-is-a-more-sustainable-way-forward-108906">overtourism</a> in favour of specialised tourism with smaller numbers spread out over the year.</p> <p>Is this year a wake-up call? Yes. The intensifying climate crisis means many of us are now more focused on what we can do to stave off the worst of it by, say, avoiding flights. The pressure for change is growing too. Delta Airlines is being sued over its announcement to go carbon neutral by <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2023/may/30/delta-air-lines-lawsuit-carbon-neutrality-aoe">using offsets</a>, for instance.</p> <h2>Mountains not beaches: future tourism may look a lot different</h2> <p>You can already see efforts to adapt to the changes in many countries. In Italy, for instance, domestic mountain tourism is <a href="https://www.euromontana.org/en/neve-diversa-how-mountain-tourism-can-adapt-to-climate-change/">growing</a>, enticing people from hot and humid Milan and Rome up where the air is cooler – even if the snow is disappearing.</p> <p>China, which doesn’t do things by halves, is investing in mountain resorts. The goal here is to offer cooler alternatives like northern China’s <a href="https://english.news.cn/20230714/9ae6f89a6b7b433ebde3ec689b87f6db/c.html">Jilin province</a> to beach holidays for sweltering residents of megacities such as Beijing and Shanghai.</p> <p>Some mountainous countries are unlikely to seize the opportunity because they don’t want to draw more tourists. Norway is considering a <a href="https://www.forbes.com/sites/davidnikel/2022/12/03/norway-to-consider-introducing-tourist-tax-from-2024/?sh=710871eb1b27">tourist tax</a>.</p> <p>Forward-thinking countries will be better prepared. But there are limits to preparation and adaptation. Mediterranean summer holidays will be less and less appealing, as the region is a <a href="https://www.unep.org/unepmap/resources/factsheets/climate-change">heating hotspot</a>, warming 20% faster than the world average. Italy and Spain are still <a href="https://joint-research-centre.ec.europa.eu/jrc-news-and-updates/severe-drought-western-mediterranean-faces-low-river-flows-and-crop-yields-earlier-ever-2023-06-13_en">in the grip</a> of a record-breaking drought, threatening food and water supplies. The future of tourism is going to be very different. <!-- Below is The Conversation's page counter tag. Please DO NOT REMOVE. --><img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/210282/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /><!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: https://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/susanne-becken-90437">Susanne Becken</a>, Professor of Sustainable Tourism, Griffith Institute for Tourism, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/griffith-university-828">Griffith University</a> and <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/johanna-loehr-1457342">Johanna Loehr</a>, , <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/griffith-university-828">Griffith University</a></em></p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images</em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="https://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/tourists-flock-to-the-mediterranean-as-if-the-climate-crisis-isnt-happening-this-years-heat-and-fire-will-force-change-210282">original article</a>.</em></p>

International Travel

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Arctic Ocean could be ice-free in summer by 2030s, say scientists – this would have global, damaging and dangerous consequences

<p><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/jonathan-bamber-102567">Jonathan Bamber</a>, <em><a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-bristol-1211">University of Bristol</a></em></p> <p>The Arctic Ocean could be ice-free in summer by the 2030s, even if we do a good job of reducing emissions between now and then. That’s the worrying conclusion of a new study in <a href="https://www.nature.com/articles/s41467-023-38511-8">Nature Communications</a>.</p> <p>Predictions of an ice-free Arctic Ocean have a long and complicated history, and the 2030s is sooner than most scientists had thought possible (though it is later than some had wrongly forecast). What we know for sure is the disappearance of sea ice at the top of the world would not only be an emblematic sign of climate breakdown, but it would have global, damaging and dangerous consequences.</p> <p>The Arctic has been experiencing climate heating <a href="https://theconversation.com/arctic-is-warming-nearly-four-times-faster-than-the-rest-of-the-world-new-research-188474">faster than any other part of the planet</a>. As it is at the frontline of climate change, the eyes of many scientists and local indigenous people have been on the sea ice that covers much of the Arctic Ocean in winter. This thin film of frozen seawater expands and contracts with the seasons, reaching a minimum area in September each year.</p> <figure class="align-center zoomable"><a href="https://images.theconversation.com/files/530136/original/file-20230605-19-mdh85y.gif?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=1000&amp;fit=clip"><img src="https://images.theconversation.com/files/530136/original/file-20230605-19-mdh85y.gif?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;fit=clip" sizes="(min-width: 1466px) 754px, (max-width: 599px) 100vw, (min-width: 600px) 600px, 237px" srcset="https://images.theconversation.com/files/530136/original/file-20230605-19-mdh85y.gif?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=600&amp;h=184&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=1 600w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/530136/original/file-20230605-19-mdh85y.gif?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=30&amp;auto=format&amp;w=600&amp;h=184&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=2 1200w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/530136/original/file-20230605-19-mdh85y.gif?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=15&amp;auto=format&amp;w=600&amp;h=184&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=3 1800w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/530136/original/file-20230605-19-mdh85y.gif?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;h=232&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=1 754w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/530136/original/file-20230605-19-mdh85y.gif?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=30&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;h=232&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=2 1508w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/530136/original/file-20230605-19-mdh85y.gif?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=15&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;h=232&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=3 2262w" alt="Animation of Arctic sea ice from space" /></a><figcaption><span class="caption">Arctic sea ice grows until March and then shrinks until September.</span> <span class="attribution"><a class="source" href="https://www.nasa.gov/feature/esnt/2022/nasa-finds-2022-arctic-winter-sea-ice-10th-lowest-on-record">NASA</a></span></figcaption></figure> <p>The ice which remains at the end of summer is called multiyear sea ice and is considerably thicker than its seasonal counterpart. It acts as barrier to the transfer of both moisture and heat between the ocean and atmosphere. Over the past 40 years this multiyear sea ice has shrunk from around <a href="http://polarportal.dk/en/sea-ice-and-icebergs/sea-ice-extent0/">7 million sq km to 4 million</a>. That is a loss equivalent to roughly the size of India or 12 UKs. In other words, it’s a big signal, one of the most stark and dramatic signs of fundamental change to the climate system anywhere in the world.</p> <p>As a consequence, there has been considerable effort invested in determining when the Arctic Ocean might first become ice-free in summer, sometimes called a “blue ocean event” and defined as when the sea ice area drops below 1 million sq kms. This threshold is used mainly because older, thicker ice along parts of Canada and northern Greenland is expected to remain long after the rest of the Arctic Ocean is ice-free. We can’t put an exact date on the last blue ocean event, but one in the near future would likely mean open water at the North Pole for the first time in <a href="https://www.nature.com/articles/nature10581">thousands of years</a>.</p> <figure class="align-center zoomable"><a href="https://images.theconversation.com/files/530138/original/file-20230605-29-9uuhxu.png?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=1000&amp;fit=clip"><img src="https://images.theconversation.com/files/530138/original/file-20230605-29-9uuhxu.png?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;fit=clip" sizes="(min-width: 1466px) 754px, (max-width: 599px) 100vw, (min-width: 600px) 600px, 237px" srcset="https://images.theconversation.com/files/530138/original/file-20230605-29-9uuhxu.png?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=600&amp;h=712&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=1 600w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/530138/original/file-20230605-29-9uuhxu.png?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=30&amp;auto=format&amp;w=600&amp;h=712&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=2 1200w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/530138/original/file-20230605-29-9uuhxu.png?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=15&amp;auto=format&amp;w=600&amp;h=712&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=3 1800w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/530138/original/file-20230605-29-9uuhxu.png?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;h=895&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=1 754w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/530138/original/file-20230605-29-9uuhxu.png?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=30&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;h=895&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=2 1508w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/530138/original/file-20230605-29-9uuhxu.png?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=15&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;h=895&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=3 2262w" alt="Annotated map of Arctic" /></a><figcaption><span class="caption">The thickest ice (highlighted in pink) is likely to remain even if the North Pole is ice-free.</span> <span class="attribution"><a class="source" href="https://nsidc.org/arcticseaicenews/2015/05/new-tools-for-sea-ice-thickness/">NERC Center for Polar Observation and Modelling</a>, <a class="license" href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/">CC BY-SA</a></span></figcaption></figure> <p>One problem with predicting when this might occur is that sea ice is notoriously difficult to model because it is influenced by both atmospheric and oceanic circulation as well as the flow of heat between these two parts of the climate system. That means that the climate models – powerful computer programs used to simulate the environment – need to get all of these components right to be able to accurately predict changes in sea ice extent.</p> <h2>Melting faster than models predicted</h2> <p>Back in the 2000s, an assessment of early generations of climate models found they generally <a href="https://agupubs.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1029/2007GL029703">underpredicted the loss of sea ice</a> when compared to satellite data showing what actually happened. The models predicted a loss of about 2.5% per decade, while the observations were closer to 8%.</p> <p>The next generation of models did better but were <a href="https://agupubs.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1029/2012GL052676">still not matching observations</a> which, at that time were suggesting a blue ocean event would happen by mid-century. Indeed, the latest <a href="https://www.ipcc.ch/report/sixth-assessment-report-working-group-i/">IPCC climate science report</a>, published in 2021, reaches a similar conclusion about the timing of an ice-free Arctic Ocean.</p> <p>As a consequence of the problems with the climate models, some scientists have attempted to extrapolate the observational record resulting in the controversial and, ultimately, incorrect assertion that this would happen <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2016/aug/21/arctic-will-be-ice-free-in-summer-next-year">during the mid 2010s</a>. This did not help the credibility of the scientific community and its ability to make reliable projections.</p> <h2>Ice-free by 2030?</h2> <p>The scientists behind the latest study have taken a different approach by, in effect, calibrating the models with the observations and then using this calibrated solution to project sea ice decline. This makes a lot of sense, because it reduces the effect of small biases in the climate models that can in turn bias the sea ice projections. They call these “observationally constrained” projections and find that the Arctic could become ice-free in summer as early as 2030, even if we do a good job of reducing emissions between now and then.</p> <figure class="align-center zoomable"><a href="https://images.theconversation.com/files/530365/original/file-20230606-21-usmovg.jpg?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=1000&amp;fit=clip"><img src="https://images.theconversation.com/files/530365/original/file-20230606-21-usmovg.jpg?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;fit=clip" sizes="(min-width: 1466px) 754px, (max-width: 599px) 100vw, (min-width: 600px) 600px, 237px" srcset="https://images.theconversation.com/files/530365/original/file-20230606-21-usmovg.jpg?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=600&amp;h=394&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=1 600w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/530365/original/file-20230606-21-usmovg.jpg?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=30&amp;auto=format&amp;w=600&amp;h=394&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=2 1200w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/530365/original/file-20230606-21-usmovg.jpg?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=15&amp;auto=format&amp;w=600&amp;h=394&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=3 1800w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/530365/original/file-20230606-21-usmovg.jpg?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;h=495&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=1 754w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/530365/original/file-20230606-21-usmovg.jpg?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=30&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;h=495&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=2 1508w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/530365/original/file-20230606-21-usmovg.jpg?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=15&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;h=495&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=3 2262w" alt="Walruses on ice floe" /></a><figcaption><span class="caption">Walruses depend on sea ice. As it melts, they’re being forced onto land.</span> <span class="attribution"><span class="source">outdoorsman / shutterstock</span></span></figcaption></figure> <p>There is still plenty of uncertainty around the exact date – about <a href="https://agupubs.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1002/2016GL070067">20 years or so</a> – because of natural chaotic fluctuations in the climate system. But compared to previous research, the new study still brings forward the most likely timing of a blue ocean event by about a decade.</p> <h2>Why this matters</h2> <p>You might be asking the question: so what? Other than some polar bears not being able to hunt in the same way, why does it matter? Perhaps there are even benefits as the previous US secretary of state, Mike Pompeo, <a href="https://edition.cnn.com/2019/05/06/politics/pompeo-sea-ice-arctic-council/index.html">once declared</a> – it means ships from Asia can potentially save around 3,000 miles of journey to European ports in summer at least.</p> <p>But Arctic sea ice is an important component of the climate system. As it dramatically reduces the amount of sunlight absorbed by the ocean, removing this ice is predicted to further accelerate warming, through a process known as a positive feedback. This, in turn, will make the Greenland ice sheet <a href="https://agupubs.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1002/2014GL059770">melt faster</a>, which is already a major contributor to <a href="https://agupubs.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1029/2021RG000757">sea level rise</a>.</p> <p>The loss of sea ice in summer would also mean changes in <a href="https://www.ipcc.ch/report/ar6/wg2/chapter/ccp6/">atmospheric circulation and storm tracks</a>, and fundamental shifts in ocean biological activity. These are just some of the <a href="https://agupubs.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1029/2021RG000757">highly undesirable consequences</a> and it is fair to say that the disadvantages will far outweigh the slender benefits.</p> <p><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/jonathan-bamber-102567">Jonathan Bamber</a>, Professor of Physical Geography, <em><a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-bristol-1211">University of Bristol</a></em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="https://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/arctic-ocean-could-be-ice-free-in-summer-by-2030s-say-scientists-this-would-have-global-damaging-and-dangerous-consequences-206974">original article</a>.</em></p> <p><em>Images: Getty</em></p>

Travel Trouble

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How to keep your pets cool in the heat

<p>Now that the weather is warm, extra precautions in the sun are necessary not just for yourself, but for your furry companion. Try these useful tips to help keep Fido and Fluffy safe and cool in the heat all summer long.</p> <p><strong>Give them a trim –</strong> If your pet has long hair, consider grooming them seasonally, as shorter hair makes a big difference in their overall temperature.</p> <p><strong>Keep water handy –</strong> If you leave the house with your pet, always be sure to have water on you as well as a receptacle from which they can drink to keep your pet cool and hydrated. You can even set up a kiddy pool in your backyard for your dog to play in.</p> <p><strong>Look for shade –</strong> If you’re out with your dog midday, try to avoid direct sunlight by locating a shady area for a rest.</p> <p><strong>Follow their lead –</strong> If you dog or cat seems most content to stay indoors and enjoy the air conditioning, let them. They can tell if it’s too hot outside for them.</p> <p><strong>Time it right –</strong> Avoid going out midday when possible, and take your dog for walks during the mornings and evenings instead.</p> <p><strong>Never leave them in the car –</strong> Many animals die every year because irresponsible owners leave them in a car, leading to over-heating. Even if the day seems moderate in temperature, a car can still heat up drastically due to solar heat beaming in through the windows. If you’ll be leaving your car alone, leave your pet at home.</p> <p><strong>Act according to breed –</strong> If your pet has a flat-shaped face, such as a pug or Persian cat, they are especially susceptible to the heat as they are unable to cool down through panting as effectively as other breeds can. If in doubt, bring them inside where it is cooler.</p> <p><em>Image credit: Shutterstock</em></p>

Family & Pets

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Three Aussie regions set to be unliveable

<p dir="ltr">Three major economic centres are set to become uninhabitable by the end of the century as global temperatures are on track to warm by 2.7C. </p> <p dir="ltr">It is predicted that Broome, Darwin and Port Hedland in WA are to be pushed outside the “human climate niche”, referring to the temperature and humidity conditions in which humans can survive.</p> <p dir="ltr">The destinations are just three of the many northwestern sections of Australia facing “niche displacement” in the next 70 years.</p> <p dir="ltr">New research by The University of Exeter, published in the science journal Nature Sustainability in May 2023, calculates the human cost of climate inaction based on current insufficient policies and government inaction.</p> <p dir="ltr">According to the report, two million people will be living with unprecedented mean average temperatures (MAT) above 29C. </p> <p dir="ltr">MAT &gt;29C is the point at which wellbeing scientifically declines, labour productivity and cognitive ability shrinks, negative pregnancy outcomes are emancipated and mortality rates soar.</p> <p dir="ltr">The report calculates that twenty per cent of Australia, around 374,977 Aussies, will be negatively impacted by the 2.7C temperature increase. </p> <p dir="ltr">Those Australians would join a third of the world’s population, including Africa, South America, and South-East Asia. </p> <p dir="ltr">A 3C warmer temperature in Darwin would mean that for 265 days of the year, temperatures would reach above 35C.</p> <p dir="ltr">At 40C, humidity soars and temperatures become lethal, the Australian Academy of Science reports.</p> <p dir="ltr">The University of Exeter report also explained the effects of a “wet-bulb temperature” where temperature and humidity are combined. In temperatures above 28C (WBT) body struggles to cool itself by sweating, and fails to do so in temperatures above 35C (WBT), which can be fatal.</p> <p dir="ltr">By limiting global warming to 1.5C, which is the goal of the Paris Agreement, 80 per cent of those at risk of rising temperatures would remain in their climate niche.</p> <p dir="ltr">However, scientists warn that a 1.5C will still cause severe and irreversible effects on people, wildlife and ecosystems.</p> <p dir="ltr">Global warming currently sits at 1.2C, but new research from The World Meteorological Organisation suggests there is a 66 per cent chance at least one year in the next five will breach the 1.5C threshold. </p> <p dir="ltr">“Despite increased pledges and targets to tackle climate change, current policies still leave the world on course for about 2.7C end-of-century global warming,” The University of Exeter report said.</p> <p dir="ltr">“These results highlight the need for more decisive policy action to limit the human costs and inequities of climate change.”</p> <p dir="ltr">The report also found the impacts of rising temperatures will not be felt equally, as estimates of the human cost of climate change “tend to be expressed in monetary terms”.</p> <p dir="ltr">“(Estimates) tends to recognise impacts on the rich more than those on the poor (because the rich have more money to lose) and tend to value those living now over those living in the future (because future damages are subject to economic discounting),” the report said.</p> <p dir="ltr">“From an equity standpoint, this is unethical — when life or health are at stake, all people should be considered equal, whether rich or poor, alive or yet to be born.”</p> <p> </p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Image credit: Shutterstock</em></p>

Domestic Travel

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The best electric heated blanket in Australia for unparalleled warmth and comfort

<p>Electric heated blankets have become the hot topic in town, offering the perfect balance of warmth and comfort. Say goodbye to traditional throws that no longer cut it.</p> <p>These versatile blankets have multiple uses, whether you want to snuggle up on the couch with a book or your favourite movie or keep your bed toasty by placing them under your sheets. Some electric blankets even let you <a href="https://go.skimresources.com/?id=204849X1683982&xs=13&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.adairs.com.au%2Fbedroom%2Felectric-blankets%2Fgainsborough%2Fgainsborough-electric-blanket2%2F&xcust=sen_electric_heated_blankets" target="_blank" rel="noopener">preheat before slipping into bed</a>!</p> <p>With a plethora of <a href="https://go.skimresources.com/?id=204849X1683982&xs=13&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.myer.com.au%2Fc%2Fhome%2Fbedding%2Fcoverlets-throws%2Felectric-blankets&xcust=sen_electric_heated_blankets" target="_blank" rel="noopener">heated electric blankets available to buy online</a>, each offering a unique experience, finding the perfect one for your needs can be time-consuming. That's where we step in. We've invested the time and effort to curate a meticulously crafted list of the best electric heated blankets available in Australia.</p> <p>We understand that everyone has different requirements, which is why we've categorised our top choices based on your specific needs. Whether you're seeking an underlay blanket for your bed, a <a href="https://go.skimresources.com/?id=204849X1683982&xs=13&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.bigw.com.au%2Fproduct%2Fjason-reversible-heated-throw-iron%2Fp%2F253200&xcust=sen_electric_heated_blankets" target="_blank" rel="noopener">reversible throw</a>, or an <a href="https://go.skimresources.com/?id=204849X1683982&xs=13&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.myer.com.au%2Fp%2Fbreville-bodyzone-plus-electric-blanket-breville-home-wifi-connect-white&xcust=sen_electric_heated_blankets" target="_blank" rel="noopener">electric blanket with smartphone control</a>, we've got you covered.</p> <h4>1. The best fitted electric blanket </h4> <h4><a href="https://go.skimresources.com/?id=204849X1683982&xs=13&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.adairs.com.au%2Fbedroom%2Felectric-blankets%2Fgainsborough%2Fgainsborough-electric-blanket2%2F&xcust=sen_electric_heated_blankets" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Gainsborough Electric Blanket</a>, from $149.99, Adairs</h4> <p><a href="https://go.skimresources.com/?id=204849X1683982&xs=13&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.adairs.com.au%2Fbedroom%2Felectric-blankets%2Fgainsborough%2Fgainsborough-electric-blanket2%2F&xcust=sen_electric_heated_blankets" target="_blank" rel="noopener"><img src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/2023/05/1blanket.jpg" alt="" width="1280" height="1280" /></a></p> <p>If you're looking for an electric blanket that's like a fitted sheet, the Gainsborough Electric Blanket takes the top spot. It has this impressive pre-heating function that's perfect for when you're getting ready for bed, so you can ensure your bed is warm and cosy when you finally climb in. Who wants to hop into a bed with cold sheets? Not me.</p> <p>It comes with two detachable controllers and three heat settings, so you'll always have a controller within arm's reach. And for safety precautions, it has a handy LED power indicator that lets you know if it's on or off before you dash out of the door.</p> <p>Speaking of safety features, it's got this automatic overheat safeguard system, so there is no need to stress about any accidents or injuries, to put your mind at ease.</p> <p><strong><span style="font-family: -apple-system, BlinkMacSystemFont, 'Segoe UI', Roboto, Oxygen, Ubuntu, Cantarell, 'Open Sans', 'Helvetica Neue', sans-serif;">Sizing:</span></strong></p> <ul> <li>Single Fitted Electric Blanket: 91cm x 190cm x 50cm</li> <li>King Single Fitted Electric Blanket: 105cm x 203cm x 50cm</li> <li>Double Fitted Electric Blanket: 139cm x 190cm x 50cm</li> <li>Queen Fitted Electric Blanket: 150cm x 203cm x 50cm</li> <li>King Fitted Electric Blanket: 180cm x 203cm x 50cm</li> <li>Super King Fitted Electric Blanket: 204cm x 204cm x 50cm</li> </ul> <h3><a href="https://go.skimresources.com/?id=204849X1683982&xs=13&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.adairs.com.au%2Fbedroom%2Felectric-blankets%2Fgainsborough%2Fgainsborough-electric-blanket2%2F&xcust=sen_electric_heated_blankets" target="_blank" rel="noopener"><strong><span style="text-decoration: underline;">Buy it here</span></strong></a></h3> <h4> </h4> <h4>2. High-tech heated blanket</h4> <h4><a href="https://go.skimresources.com/?id=204849X1683982&xs=13&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.myer.com.au%2Fp%2Fbreville-bodyzone-plus-electric-blanket-breville-home-wifi-connect-white&xcust=sen_electric_heated_blankets" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Breville Bodyzone Plus Electric Blanket Breville Home with Wifi Connect</a>, $319.20 - $343.20, was $399.00 - $429.00, Myer</h4> <p><a href="https://go.skimresources.com/?id=204849X1683982&xs=13&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.myer.com.au%2Fp%2Fbreville-bodyzone-plus-electric-blanket-breville-home-wifi-connect-white&xcust=sen_electric_heated_blankets" target="_blank" rel="noopener"><img src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/2023/05/6blanket.jpg" alt="" width="1280" height="751" /></a></p> <p>Who would've thought technology would come so far? Now you can even connect your smartphone to electric heated blankets. It's like having a remote control for the heat, letting you fine-tune the warmth for your upper and lower body. With the multi-zone heating tech and six heat settings, you're in complete control of your cosy experience.</p> <p>To get started, simply download the Breville Home Connect app from either the Apple or Android store. But don't worry if you prefer a more traditional approach – the set also includes two remote controllers.</p> <p>This electric blanket serves as the perfect topper for your King size mattress, measuring 200cm x 178cm. Additionally, it features a fully fitted skirt with a generous depth of 45cm. </p> <h3><a href="https://go.skimresources.com/?id=204849X1683982&xs=13&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.myer.com.au%2Fp%2Fbreville-bodyzone-plus-electric-blanket-breville-home-wifi-connect-white&xcust=sen_electric_heated_blankets" target="_blank" rel="noopener"><strong><span style="text-decoration: underline;">Buy it here</span></strong></a></h3> <p> </p> <h4>3. Heated blanket for road trips and camping</h4> <h4><a href="https://go.skimresources.com/?id=204849X1683982&xs=13&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.kogan.com%2Fau%2Fbuy%2Fovela-12v-car-electric-blanket-charcoal%2F&xcust=sen_electric_heated_blankets" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Ovela 12V Car Electric Blanket</a>, $39.99 reduced from $64.99, Kogan</h4> <p><a href="https://go.skimresources.com/?id=204849X1683982&xs=13&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.kogan.com%2Fau%2Fbuy%2Fovela-12v-car-electric-blanket-charcoal%2F&xcust=sen_electric_heated_blankets" target="_blank" rel="noopener"><img src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/2023/05/2blanket.jpg" alt="" width="1280" height="706" /></a></p> <p>Your winter car journeys will never be the same again. This mobile electric blanket is a total game-changer for those long road trips and chilly camping adventures, especially during colder months.</p> <p>Power it up by simply plugging it into any 12V DC car, truck, boat, or RV socket. Its dimensions are 150 cm x 110 cm, so it's just the right size for one adult or even two kids. It even comes with a nifty zipper-carrying bag, keeping it shielded from moisture when it’s stored. And let's not forget about the ultra-soft polyester fleece material that's like a dream against your skin.</p> <h3><a href="https://go.skimresources.com/?id=204849X1683982&xs=13&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.kogan.com%2Fau%2Fbuy%2Fovela-12v-car-electric-blanket-charcoal%2F&xcust=sen_electric_heated_blankets" target="_blank" rel="noopener"><strong><span style="text-decoration: underline;">Buy it here</span></strong></a></h3> <h4> </h4> <h4>4. Best affordable heated blanket</h4> <h4><a href="https://go.skimresources.com/?id=204849X1683982&xs=13&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.thegoodguys.com.au%2Fdimplex-micro-fleece-heated-throw-dhdeht&xcust=sen_electric_heated_blankets" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Dimplex Micro Fleece Heated Throw</a>, $99, The Good Guys</h4> <p><a href="https://go.skimresources.com/?id=204849X1683982&xs=13&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.thegoodguys.com.au%2Fdimplex-micro-fleece-heated-throw-dhdeht&xcust=sen_electric_heated_blankets" target="_blank" rel="noopener"><img src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/2023/05/3blanket.jpg" alt="" width="1280" height="725" /></a></p> <p>For a more budget-friendly option, consider the Dimplex Micro Fleece Heated Throw. It’s a great option that doesn’t skimp on impressive features, including a 3-hour auto-off. It’s a breeze to keep clean thanks to the detachable controls, so it can be put on a cycle in the machine-washable.</p> <p>The size specifications of this throw work out at 180cm x 130cm. And better than most, it has six heat settings so you can find the perfect level of toastiness.</p> <h3><strong><a href="https://go.skimresources.com/?id=204849X1683982&xs=13&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.thegoodguys.com.au%2Fdimplex-micro-fleece-heated-throw-dhdeht&xcust=sen_electric_heated_blankets" target="_blank" rel="noopener"><span style="text-decoration: underline;">Buy it here</span></a></strong></h3> <p> </p> <h4>5. Best all-round heated blanket</h4> <h4><a href="https://go.skimresources.com/?id=204849X1683982&xs=13&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.thegoodguys.com.au%2Fsunbeam-sleep-perfect-antibacterial-electric-bla-bla5351&xcust=sen_electric_heated_blankets" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Sunbeam Sleep Perfect Antibacterial Electric Blanket</a>, $159, The Good Guys</h4> <p><a href="https://go.skimresources.com/?id=204849X1683982&xs=13&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.thegoodguys.com.au%2Fsunbeam-sleep-perfect-antibacterial-electric-bla-bla5351&xcust=sen_electric_heated_blankets" target="_blank" rel="noopener"><img src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/2023/05/4blanket.jpg" alt="" width="1280" height="704" /></a></p> <p>This queen-sized electric blanket from Sunbeam is 200 cm x 153 cm, making it the ideal size for most people, whether it’s all for themselves or to snuggle up with their other half. Cleaning is a breeze since it's machine washable. However, the real showstopper is the impressive selection of 9 heat settings, giving you plenty of options to indulge in.</p> <h3><a href="https://go.skimresources.com/?id=204849X1683982&xs=13&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.thegoodguys.com.au%2Fsunbeam-sleep-perfect-antibacterial-electric-bla-bla5351&xcust=sen_electric_heated_blankets" target="_blank" rel="noopener"><strong><span style="text-decoration: underline;">Buy it here</span></strong></a></h3> <p> </p> <h4>6. Best reversible heated throw </h4> <h4><a href="https://go.skimresources.com/?id=204849X1683982&xs=13&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.bigw.com.au%2Fproduct%2Fjason-reversible-heated-throw-iron%2Fp%2F253200&xcust=sen_electric_heated_blankets" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Jason Reversible Heated Throw</a>, $99, Big W</h4> <p><a href="https://go.skimresources.com/?id=204849X1683982&xs=13&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.bigw.com.au%2Fproduct%2Fjason-reversible-heated-throw-iron%2Fp%2F253200&xcust=sen_electric_heated_blankets" target="_blank" rel="noopener"><img src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/2023/05/5blanket.jpg" alt="" width="1280" height="747" /></a></p> <p>With a reversible heated blanket like this one, you can effortlessly toss it onto your sofa without any concerns about which side is the "good side" - because both sides are equally fantastic.</p> <p>This incredibly cosy throw features Sherpa on one side and Coral Fleece on the other, ensuring ultimate comfort. It also comes with built-in protection against overheating.</p> <p>It’s on the slightly smaller side compared to some of the other blankets we’ve shared, as it’s 130 x 160cm. When it's time to wash, simply detach the remote controller and follow the straightforward instructions provided. </p> <h3><a href="https://go.skimresources.com/?id=204849X1683982&xs=13&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.bigw.com.au%2Fproduct%2Fjason-reversible-heated-throw-iron%2Fp%2F253200&xcust=sen_electric_heated_blankets" target="_blank" rel="noopener"><strong><span style="text-decoration: underline;">Buy it here</span></strong></a></h3> <p> </p> <h4>7. Most luxurious heat blanket</h4> <h4><a href="https://go.skimresources.com/?id=204849X1683982&xs=13&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.myer.com.au%2Fp%2Froyal-comfort-royal-comfort-flece-top-electric-blanket-fitted-heated-winter-underlay-washable-quen-in-white&xcust=sen_electric_heated_blankets" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Royal Comfort Fleece Top Electric Blanket Fitted Heated Winter Underlay Washable Queen</a>, $359, Myer</h4> <p> </p> <p><a href="https://go.skimresources.com/?id=204849X1683982&xs=13&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.myer.com.au%2Fp%2Froyal-comfort-royal-comfort-flece-top-electric-blanket-fitted-heated-winter-underlay-washable-quen-in-white&xcust=sen_electric_heated_blankets" target="_blank" rel="noopener"><img src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/2023/05/7blanket.jpg" alt="" width="1280" height="687" /></a></p> <p>This heated blanket is packed with fantastic features that will transform your bed into a cosy haven on those chilly nights. With ten different heat settings to choose from, you can easily find the perfect level of warmth. Plus, it comes with two detachable controllers, allowing you and your partner to customise your comfort independently.</p> <p>For peace of mind, it also includes an automatic shut-off function. It’s made from a luxurious 320GSM Fleece and 400GSM Polyester, which means this blanket offers both comfort and quality.</p> <h3><a href="https://go.skimresources.com/?id=204849X1683982&xs=13&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.myer.com.au%2Fp%2Froyal-comfort-royal-comfort-flece-top-electric-blanket-fitted-heated-winter-underlay-washable-quen-in-white&xcust=sen_electric_heated_blankets" target="_blank" rel="noopener"><strong><span style="text-decoration: underline;">Buy it here</span></strong></a></h3> <p> </p> <h4>8. Best looking blanket!</h4> <h4><a href="https://go.skimresources.com/?id=204849X1683982&xs=13&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.myer.com.au%2Fp%2Fheritage-check-heated-throw&xcust=sen_electric_heated_blankets" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Heritage Check Heated Throw</a>, $49.85, was $99.95, Myers</h4> <p><a href="https://go.skimresources.com/?id=204849X1683982&xs=13&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.myer.com.au%2Fp%2Fheritage-check-heated-throw&xcust=sen_electric_heated_blankets" target="_blank" rel="noopener"><img src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/2023/05/8blanket.jpg" alt="" width="1280" height="561" /></a></p> <p>This Myer-exclusive electric blanket has a comforting checkered design that’s timeless in style, and it offers nine heat settings. Made from a luxurious 220 gsm fleece material, this electric blanket ensures a comfortable and snug sensation. Its plush fabric adds an extra layer of cosiness. The checkered pattern is featured solely on the front side, while the reverse side is a solid colour.</p> <h3><a href="https://go.skimresources.com/?id=204849X1683982&xs=13&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.myer.com.au%2Fp%2Fheritage-check-heated-throw&xcust=sen_electric_heated_blankets" target="_blank" rel="noopener"><strong><span style="text-decoration: underline;">Buy it here</span></strong></a></h3> <p> </p> <p><strong>Are electric blankets safe?</strong></p> <p>Electric blankets are considered safe to use, but you should still be regularly carrying out maintenance checks for any signs of wear and tear. And if you do notice any damage along the lines of frayed wires, holes, or exposed wires, discard immediately without use. </p> <p><strong>Are electric blankets energy efficient?</strong></p> <p>Electric blankets can be a convenient alternative to switching on your heating system. They typically consume between 100 to 150 watts, which makes them an  energy-efficient solution for most people who want to stay warm during the colder months. </p> <p><strong>Are electric blankets waterproof?</strong></p> <p>Most electric blankets are machine washable when you disconnect the controllers. However, it's crucial that you keep the power switched off and the remote disconnected until the blanket is bone dry. And for precautionary reasons, avoid using the heat setting to quicken the drying process. </p> <p><em>Editor's note: When you buy something using the retail links in our stories, Over60 may earn a small commission. We do not accept money for editorial reviews, and we only write about products we feel comfortable recommending to our readers. Thank you.</em> </p> <p><em>Images, Top: Amin Hasani on Unsplash. All others: Supplied</em></p>

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