Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Climate change fuelling Australian extreme weather

Financial Review (Australia): This sunburnt country will become a land of worse droughts and more frequent flooding rains as climate change continues. A report from the Climate Commission says climate change is already increasing the intensity and frequency of extreme weather.

And there's a high risk that heatwaves, fires, cyclones, heavy rainfall and drought will become even more intense and frequent in the coming decades. The Critical Decade: Extreme Weather, released on Wednesday, says the global climate system is warmer and moister than 50 years ago, with the extra heat making extreme weather events more frequent and severe.

This has resulted in the extreme bushfires and floods that have engulfed Australian communities in recent years. The past summer was Australia's hottest, capped by the longest and most extreme heatwave on record.

The southern part of the country – including key food-growing regions – is becoming more drought-prone while the northwest is getting wetter. "Records are broken from time to time, but record-breaking weather is becoming more common as the climate shifts," chief climate commissioner Tim Flannery said....

The Pinnacles, shot by Ruth Ellison, Wikimedia Commons via Flickr, under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license

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