World

More heatwaves expected in Australia

SYDNEY: Australia endured a summer of record-breaking extremes, scientists said yesterday, with climate change tipped to increase the frequency and severity of such phenomena.

Intense heatwaves, bushfires and flooding plagued the December-February summer with more than 200 records broken over 90 days, the independent Climate Council said in a report.

"Climate change - driven largely by the burning of coal, oil and gas - is cranking up the intensity of extreme weather events," the report said.

"Days of extreme heat and heatwaves will become even more frequent and severe in Australia, and will increase the risks to critical infrastructure (for example, electricity), the economy, health and ecosystems."

Australia has warmed by about 1 deg C since 1910, said the State of the Climate report from the Bureau of Meteorology and national science body CSIRO released in October.

"For Australia, it's harder to see the impact of climate change because we have a variable climate," said Mr Will Steffen, a scientist at the Climate Council.

"But our extremes are becoming so extreme that we can actually see the influence of climate change quite clearly." - AFP

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