CANBERRA, March 31 (Xinhua) -- The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)'s latest report released on Monday highlights the risks of climate change to Australia, especially rural areas in the country.
The IPCC reports conclude that climate change is occurring as a result of human activities. This latest report from Working Group II confirms and reinforces the findings of the previous assessment report (AR4) published in 2004.
The Climate Council of Australian, an independent community- funded non-profit organization, welcomed the release of the report, which finds Australia is at increasing risk of heat extremes, bushfire weather and extreme rainfall. The report singles out the Great Barrier Reef as being at serious risk from rising ocean temperatures and acidity.
Climate Council's Professor Lesley Hughes, one of the lead authors of the IPCC report, said it highlighted the vulnerability of key Australian sectors like agriculture and coastal infrastructure to climate change.
"Many farmers are doing it tough and it may get tougher. The report warns of potential decreases in the productivity of the Murray Darling Basin due to a drying trend in the southeast," Hughes said.
"Bushfire weather is increasing. Just this summer we have seen an early and intense start to the fire season in New South Wales, as well as loss of life, and damage to property in Victoria, South Australia and Western Australia."
"The Great Barrier Reef, the diamond in Australia's tourism crown, is at risk. At the current rates of ocean warming and acidification, coral reef systems will likely be irreversibly damaged, and possibly eliminated altogether, by mid to late century. If average global temperatures rise above 2 degree Celsius it is expected that few coral-dominated systems will survive," he said.
He said that reducing the risks of water shortages, bushfire weather, extreme heatwaves, loss of biodiversity and decreased agricultural production will depend on how rapidly the Australians are able to respond to the challenge of climate change.
"This is the critical decade to tackle the cause of climate change and stabilize the climate to avert the most serious risks," Hughes said.
Photo>>>Australia vows to press ahead with MH370 search
Video>>>Australian ship with black box locator joins search
Australia vows to press ahead with MH370 search
PERTH, Australia, March 31 (Xinhua) -- Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott said Monday that there is no time limit yet to stop searching for missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370.
Speaking at a press conference here in the Pearce air force base, he pledged to get to the bottom of the MH370 mystery, saying that if it is solvable "we will solve it." Full story
Australian vessel reaches target area for MH370 search
PERTH, Australia, March 31 (Xinhua) -- Australian vessel Toowoomba has entered the target area for search of missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370, maritime authorities said Monday.
The ship is one of the 10 vessels tasked with hunting for the ill-fated Boeing 777 jetliner on Monday in a patch of the southern Indian Ocean about 2,060 kilometers west of Perth, according to the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA). Full story
Monday's search for MH 370 resumes: AMSA
CANBERRA, March 31 (Xinhua) -- Monday's search and recovery operation in the Australian Search and Rescue Region for Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 is scheduled to commence about 9am AEDT this morning, the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) said in its latest update. Full story
Searchers discount objects retrieved from ocean as Malaysian airliner search steps up
CANBERRA, March 30 (Xinhua) -- Vessels scouring the southern Indian Ocean for Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 have managed to retrieve objects from the water for the first time, but they could not be confirmed as aircraft debris, said Australian rescue authorities Sunday as the search was stepped up. Full story