Friday, March 16, 2012
Australia's Climate Is Warming At An Alarming Rate
Australia’s climate is warming at an alarming rate and is set to become drier despite recent record floods, scientists said Wednesday in a report that warns of increased drought and fiercer storms. The country has seen annual average daily temperatures rise by 0.9 degrees Celsius since 1911, with each decade since the 1950s warmer than the last, the report by government science body CSIRO and the Bureau of Meteorology said. The national climate snapshot found that temperatures will jump again by between 1.0 and 5.0 degrees Celsius by 2070 if global greenhouse emissions remain within the range of expectations. “Global changes of this magnitude happen very rarely. They happen when asteroids strike, they happen when there’s planetary volcanic activity,” said Karl Braganza, the head of climate monitoring at the Bureau of Meteorology.
“They’re happening now because we’re digging up fossil fuels and basically burning them all. And we’re doing that very, very rapidly,” he told ABC Radio.
Australia is known for its droughts, cyclones, bushfires and floods and the State of the Climate 2012 found that while a spike in the frequency of droughts was expected in the south, there was also likely to be an increase in the intensity of rainfall events such as the Queensland floods.
Eastern Australia faced huge floods in late 2010 and early 2011, which swamped an area as large as France and Germany combined, destroying farms and coal mines and claiming more than 30 lives.