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Australia warming ‘faster than world’

Australia is in for some hot weather.
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Australia’s average temperature is expected to increase by up to 5 degrees by the end of the century, a rate much higher than the rest of the world.

A new report released by the CSIRO and the Bureau of Meteorology (BoM) details projections for the Australian climate, and predicts the country will experience more extreme heat.

• Earth on track for its hottest year on record
• Australia records its warmest spring ever

According to the State of the Climate 2014 report, Australian sea levels have risen by 20cm since 1910, and air and ocean temperatures are almost one degree warmer.

CSIRO principal research assistant Kevin Hennessy said there was “very high confidence” warm days in Australia would become more frequent and intense.

By 2030, the CSIRO and BoM predicts temperatures will be up to 1.3 degrees warmer than they were in 1980 to 1999.

A climate change protest in Melbourne.

A “high emissions scenario”, which is based on the rate of emissions seen in the past decade, would see a temperature increase of between 2.8 and 5.1 degrees in Australia by 2090.

Under a high emissions scenario, sea temperatures are expected to rise between 0.52 and 0.98 metres.

Australia’s famous beaches are also predicted to become more acidic as oceans absorb greenhouse gas emissions from the atmosphere.

Mr Hennessy told The Guardian Australia was warming “faster than the rest of the world”.

“Warming of 4C to 5C would have a very significant effect: there would be increases in extremely high temperatures, much less snow, more intense rainfall, more fires and rapid sea level rises,” Mr Hennessy said.

“Coral reefs are sensitive to even small changes in ocean temperature and a 1C rise would have severe implications for the Great Barrier Reef and Ningaloo reef.”

Last year was the third warmest year on record in Australia, while 2013 was the hottest.

While a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions would constrain future global warming, the report warns that adaptation is needed since some warming and associated changes were now unavoidable.

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