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Australia Warned Of 'Frightening' Climate Change

Sydney (AFP) Nov 6, 2006

Global warming could force temperatures in parts of Australia up by more than six degrees Celsius by 2070, the government's top science body warned in a new report Monday. Annual rainfall in vital farming regions in this driest of all inhabited continents could drop by 40 percent over the same period, the Commonwealth Scientific and Research Organisation (CSIRO) said.
Bushfires and intense storms will increase and pastures will become dustbowls if climate change follows its current trends, the report warned.
"The CSIRO research paints a frightening picture," said New South Wales Premier Morris Iemma, whose government commissioned the report. "That's why we need a national approach to climate change."
Australia is already in the grip of the worst drought in living memory, and Iemma and the premiers of two other south-eastern states will attend an emergency drought summit with Prime Minister John Howard on Tuesday.
The country's most significant river system, in the south-eastern Murray-Darling Basin, could run out of water in six months after six years of drought, the government has warned.

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