Climate scientists warn global heating means Australia facing more catastrophic storms and floods

(The Guardian, 28 Feb 2022) Climate scientists warn global heating means Australia facing more catastrophic storms and floods.

Catastrophic flooding on the scale of the disaster hitting Queensland and New South Wales is becoming more likely as the planet heats due to greenhouse gas emissions, climate scientists have warned.

The latest major assessment by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) found global warming caused by humans was causing dangerous and widespread disruption, with many effects expected to be more severe than predicted.

In Australia, it said extreme events exacerbated by emissions – heatwaves, droughts, floods, storms and fires – were causing death, injury and financial and emotional stress. Their impacts were “cascading and compounding” across nature, society and the economy.

There was “very high confidence” that some natural systems had already experienced irreversible change. Examples included extensive coral bleaching on the Great Barrier Reef, the loss of giant kelp forests in the country’s south-east and the extinction of the Bramble Cay melomys, a mammal that lost its habitat to sea level rise and storm surges.

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The Guardian, 28 Feb 2022: Climate scientists warn global heating means Australia facing more catastrophic storms and floods