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Report confirms global warming, predicts harsher climate conditions in Australia

English.news.cn   2014-03-04 10:39:19

CANBERRA, March 4 (Xinhua) -- An annual report by two Australian agencies released Tuesday confirms that the climate in Australia has warmed since 1910 and predicted more extreme heat and fewer cool extremes.

The report, the third biennial State of the Climate report, by the Bureau of Meteorology (BoM) and the Commonwealth of Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO) said that Australia' s climate has warmed by 0.9 degree Celsius since 1910 and the frequency of extreme weather has changed, with more extreme heat and fewer cool extremes.

"Seven of the 10 warmest years on record in Australia have occurred since 1998. When we compare the past 15 years to the period 1951 to 1980, we find that the frequency of very warm months has increased five-fold and the frequency of very cool months has decreased by around a third," said BoM Chief Executive Dr Rob Vertessy.

The duration, frequency and intensity of heatwaves have increased across large parts of Australia since 1950.

Data and analysis from BoM and CSIRO show further warming of the atmosphere and oceans in the Australian region, as is happening globally.

"There has been an increase in extreme fire weather, and a longer fire season, across large parts of Australia," the report says.

The report concludes the concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere is rising, and left unchecked further emissions will cause more warming this century.CSIRO Chief Executive Dr Megan Clark said Australia has warmed in every state and territory and in every season. "Australia has one of the most variable climates in the world. Against this backdrop, across the decades, we're continuing to see increasing temperatures, warmer oceans, changes to when and where rain falls and higher sea levels," Dr Clark said.

Annual average global atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations reached 395 parts per million (ppm) in 2013 and concentrations of the other major greenhouse gases are at their highest levels for at least 800,000 years, the report says.

"Limiting the magnitude of future climate change requires large and sustained net global reductions in greenhouse gases," states the report.

Average rainfall in southern Australia is projected to decrease, and heavy rainfall is projected to increase over most parts of Australia. Sea-level rise and ocean acidification are projected to continue.

Farmers are expected to be affected by a likely increase in drought frequency and severity as average rainfall in southern Australia decreases.

Cyclones are expected to be fewer, but fiercer, while more extremely hot days and fewer cool days remain a reality on the horizon.

The report stresses the changes were occurring against the background of high climate variability but the overall signal was clear.

The BoM and CSIRO said the record-breaking heatwaves like the kind that swept Australia the past two summers were "very unlikely to have been caused by natural variability alone".

Cutting global emissions would be crucial to preventing the worst global warming in store, but that alone wouldn't be enough, the science agencies warn.

"Adaptation is required because some warming and associated changes are unavoidable," it recommended.

Climate change advocacy group, the Climate Institute, said the State of the Climate report "joins the dots between carbon pollution, climate change, fire and drought". "This report from the government's primary climate advisers should put an end to the reluctance of our political and business leaders to accept the risks and costs to Australia of inadequate climate action,"CEO John Connor said.

Editor: An
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