Saturday, July 5, 2008

Rudd says report to show drought much worse due to warming

A new "very disturbing" report due today shows climate change in Australia is inflicting severe drought conditions much more often, Prime Minister Kevin Rudd says.

Mr Rudd said Agriculture Minister Tony Burke would release the CSIRO research report on the impact of climate change on drought later today.

"We asked some time ago for the CSIRO and the Bureau of Meteorology to advise us how do we deal with exceptional circumstances and drought arrangements into the future," Mr Rudd told ABC television.

"They've now presented us with a report and the findings are again very disturbing.

"What they say in two short points is this ... firstly that when it comes to exceptional or extreme drought, exceptionally high temperatures, the historical assumption that this occurred once every 20 years has now been revised down to between every one and two years.

"Secondly, with exceptional circumstances drought conditions, under scenarios within it, that they will occur twice as often and with twice the area of droughted parts of Australia included."

Mr Rudd said it was a serious revision of the impact of climate change on drought and Mr Burke would make that clear in the report.


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