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Australia could be 3.4 deg hotter by 2070: study

By Murray Bourne, 04 Oct 2007

Australia's CSIRO (Commonwealth Scientific & Industrial Research Organisation) has released a study that shows Australia's mean temperature could rise by 5°C in the next 60 years.

Australia is already the driest inhabited continent on the Earth, and the effect of such temperature change, and the reduction in rainfall that results, could be devastating.

australian drought

[Image source: Flickr]

Australia is a major exporter of (clean and safe) food. But because of climate change, it may need to import basic foods - even within the next few years.

Everyone hoped that the current drought was broken when late winter rains fell in August. However, many of this year's wheat crops have already failed, since there has been hot and dry weather since.

From the report's summary findings:

If emissions are low, warming of between 1°C and 2.5°C is likely by around 2070 [...]. Under a high emission scenario, the best estimate warming is 3.4°C, with a range of 2.2°C to 5°C.

Other findings:

  • Droughts are likely to become more frequent, particularly in the south-west
  • Evaporation rates are likely to increase, particularly in the north and east.
  • High-fire-danger weather is likely to increase in the south-east
  • Tropical cyclones are likely to become more intense
  • Sea levels will continue to rise.

You can see the full report with detailed graphs and maps here: Full Report.

Things are looking serious...

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