CSIRO warns of climate chaos

CSIRO warns of climate chaos

2 October 2007

published by www.news.com.au

AUSTRALIANS have been warned to brace for catastrophic heatwaves, bushfires, drought and severe water shortages as climate change causes widespread havoc.

Rising temperatures, lower rainfall and more searing hot days are predicted in a major report released by the CSIRO and Bureau of Meteorology today.

The grim global warming forecast for coming decades further highlights the water crisis gripping the nation and the need to curb greenhouse gas emissions.

It cautions treasures such as the Great Barrier Reef could be wiped out because of rising ocean temperatures and coral bleaching.

Coastal towns and areas such as East Gippsland in Victoria will be under siege from storm surges and more floods because of rising sea levels.

Ski fields and Kakadu’s wetlands will also be threatened under the environmental upheaval.

The extent of long-term damage will depend on efforts to curb greenhouse gas emissions in coming decades, scientists say.

The Climate Change in Australia report also warns of:

A SPIKE in temperatures nationwide of at least 1C by 2030,and up to 5C by 2070.

DROUGHTS dragging on for up to 80 per cent longer.

LESS spring and winter rainfall, with drops of up to 40 per cent in some southern parts of Australia by 2070.

FEWER frosts.

LESS snow.

Report author Dr Penny Whetton, of the CSIRO, said drastic action was needed to try to limit the impact of global warming on the environment.

“We expect significant decreases in water supplies in the areas where decreases in rainfall occur,” Dr Whetton said.

“If we want to stop some of these larger changes occurring we do need to stop emissions quickly.

“We will see decreases in rainfall in south and eastern Australia over winter and spring.

“These decreases are likely to amount to more drought… drought conditions will occur more frequently.

“We will see increases in high fire danger days and more coastal flooding by the sea associated with storms.”


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