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As rain patterns shift, climate change making droughts in Australia worse

07:50 PM | 8 Apr, 2015
As rain patterns shift, climate change making droughts in Australia worse
Climate change is making drought conditions in south-west and south-east Australia worse, with serious ramifications for people’s health and the agriculture industry, a new paper has warned.

The Climate Council report states that since the mid-1990s, south-east Australia has experienced a 15% drop in rainfall during late autumn and early winter, with a 25% slump in average rainfall in April and May.

A drought that has gripped western Queensland and northern New South Wales since 2012 has put pressure on farmers and forced wildlife into starvation.

Projected decreases in average rainfall in winter and spring mean it will “likely be increasingly difficult to erase such rainfall deficits in the future” according to the Climate Council report, which cites data from the CSIRO and Bureau of Meteorology.

Average annual stream flow into Perth’s dams has fallen by 80% since the 1970s, according to the paper, while Sydney dams such as Warragamba and Shoalhaven could experience a 25% drop in water inflows by 2070 if greenhouse gases are not curbed. Melbourne’s four main reservoirs could suffer an 18% decrease in annual stream flows by 2050.

The Climate Council said that increasingly severe droughts were linked to a drop in agricultural productivity and a 15% increase in suicide risk for rural males aged between 30 and 49.

The report’s author, Professor Will Steffen, said a much clearer picture of climate change’s influence on drought was emerging through recent research.

“There is stronger evidence that the front that brings rain in from the Southern Ocean has shifted south by about a degree in latitude, while the subtropical ridge, which is a belt of high pressure in central Australia, has intensified,” he said.

“We are seeing this kind of thing consistently around the planet. This is being driven very strongly by climate change, through the models and supported by observations.”

Steffen said future rainfall decreases of even 10% would have “pretty serious” implications for urban water supplies due to the reduced flow of water into catchments.

“Droughts have obviously been an important issue for Australia for a long time, but the question is ‘how far can we adapt?’ ” he said. “If you look at wheat yields, for example, yes, you can adapt, but there are limits to that. It’s a bit of false hope that you can adapt infinitely,” he said.

 

This article was originally published in The Guardian.


The author is working as Editor Digital Media for Daily Pakistan and can be reached @ItsSarfrazAli.

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Currency Rates in Pakistan Today - Pakistani rupee to US Dollar, Euro, Pound, Dirham, and Riyal - 17 April 2024

Pakistani currency saw minor adjustment against global currencies on April 17, 2024. US dollar was being quoted at 277.4 for buying and 280.4 for selling.

Euro comes down to 293.15 for buying and 296.1 for selling while British Pound stands at 344.25 for buying, and 347.6 for selling.

UAE Dirham AED was at 75.4 and Saudi Riyal's new rates was at 73.30. 

Today’s currency exchange rates in Pakistan - 17 April 2024

Currency Symbol Buying Selling
US Dollar USD 277.4 280.4
Euro EUR 293.15 296.1
UK Pound Sterling GBP 344.25 347.6
U.A.E Dirham AED 75.45 76.2
Saudi Riyal SAR 73.3 74.05
Australian Dollar AUD 181 182.5
Bahrain Dinar BHD 739.38 747.38
Canadian Dollar CAD 201 203
China Yuan CNY 38.45 38.85
Danish Krone DKK 40.45 40.85
Hong Kong Dollar HKD 35.57 35.92
Indian Rupee INR 3.33 3.44
Japanese Yen JPY 1.86 1.94
Kuwaiti Dinar KWD 902.26 911.26
Malaysian Ringgit MYR 58.24 58.84
New Zealand Dollar NZD 164.75 166.75
Norwegians Krone NOK 25.38 25.68
Omani Riyal OMR 722.1 730.1
Qatari Riyal QAR 76.37 77.07
Singapore Dollar SGD 204.5 206.5
Swedish Korona SEK 25.72 26.02
Swiss Franc CHF 307.11 309.61
Thai Bhat THB 7.61 7.76

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