The combination of climate change and urban growth could make Brisbane unbearably hot within 30 years.
Research conducted by Dr Sarah Chapman from the University of Queensland, indicates that outdoor activities in summer could be impossible and more people could die as a result of heat stress.
Long-term climate modelling conducted for the research found that by 2050 there will be double the number of hot days and nights.
The study, published in the International Journal of Climatology, investigated the impact of climate change and urban growth on heat stress in summer in Brisbane to 2050.
The report claims that at-risk groups, such as the elderly and the very young, will likely be negatively affected as temperatures become hotter in summer.
Dangerous heat stress, which is defined as apparent temperature above 40°C was estimated to occur on average 1–2 days every summer during 2041–2050, even in shaded conditions.
While the modelling finds that climate change will impact temperatures in Brisbane over coming decades, another cause of heating will be urban growth.
The report argues there is likely to be increasing temperatures as a result of increased development in the city.
Protecting green spaces will be vital.
Green spaces play an important role in helping cool local environments. They include parks and sports fields, woods, wetlands and natural meadows.