Australia will continue to see an increase in extreme rainfall and heat, as well as more dangerous fire events, its government agencies warned on Wednesday.
In a biennial climate report, Australia’s national science agency, the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO) and the Met Office said they had already found “an increase in events of extreme heat, heavy torrential rain, longer fire seasons and sea level rise. upload” recently.
The changes are happening faster and will put more pressure on Australia to transition its economy away from fossil fuels, the agencies warned.
“Threats caused by climate change, including extreme rainfall, drought, heatwaves and bushfires, are already having a widespread impact on Australia’s agricultural industry, disrupting food production and supply chains,” Michael said. Robertson, CSIRO’s director of agriculture and food, in a statement. statement.
Australia is one of the world’s leading exporters of agricultural products such as beef, wine, sugar, cotton and wool. It is also known for its wealth in natural resources, such as iron ore, coal, and gas.
“We face significant challenges in supporting and coordinating the changes in infrastructure, regulation, skills, technology, finance and investment that are needed to transition to a low emission economy,” Michael Battaglia, leader of the Towards Net Zero Mission, a division of CSIRO he said in the statement.
Australia has seen the devastating effects of the climate crisis up close recently, from marine heat waves that have caused massive coral bleaching on the Great Barrier Reef to extreme weather events, including floods.
This year, the country experienced a rare third consecutive La Niña weather pattern, which brought more intense and frequent downpours, causing rivers to burst their banks, inundating communities near the coast and inland.
After years of dealing with drought, farmers have lost crops to excess water, and forecasters warn more to come.
The climate was a key issue in the recent May elections, when the new Labor government came to power with a promise to boost renewable energy. Shortly after taking office, the government increased Australia’s plans to cut emissions by 43% by 2030 from 2005 levels, a more ambitious target than his predecessor but one that climate experts say is still it is not high enough.
The economic consequences have been well documented. Over the past 50 years, “climate-induced extreme weather events such as droughts, fires and floods have cost Australian communities an estimated $120 billion [Australian dollars] ($79.8 billion),” according to the Minderoo Foundation. The nonprofit organization shared the account in a January report.
— CNN’s Hilary Whiteman contributed to this report.