Australia faces extreme weather rise, says leaked UN report
Fri Mar 30, 2:33 AM ET
SYDNEY (AFP) - Australia will suffer more droughts, fires, floods and
storms due to global warming and its famous Great Barrier Reef will be
devastated by 2030, according to leaked extracts Friday of a UN report.
The draft UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report warns
that temperatures in Australia would rise by 6.7 degrees Celsius
before the end of the century, the ABC and Sydney Morning Herald reported.
The report, due to be released on April 6, said rising temperatures
would cause more intense bushfires and lead to deaths from heatwaves.
It also predicted rising sea levels would push the coast back 110
metres (yards) in some Sydney beachside suburbs, swamping some of the
city's most exclusive real estate.
It said tropical cyclones would become more common on Australia's east
coast, where most of the population lives, while 80 percent of the
Great Barrier Reef would be bleached by 2030.
Australia's conservative government played down the report, saying it
was based on previously published scientific research and represented
"Everything in there is well known to us, we know that there is the
possibility or the probability of a hotter and drier future in
southern Australia," Environment Minister Malcolm Turnbull told ABC radio.
"We have a whole climate change adaptation framework under way, we are
very focused on adapting to climate change."
The UN report is the second in a series of three addressing climate
change that has been prepared by a panel of more than 2,000 scientists.
The first, released in February, linked the rise in global
temperatures to human activities, the second examines inpacts in
individual countries and the third looks at how the problem can be