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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 - Pak Rupee to US Dollar, Euro, Dirham, Riyal 24 May 2024

Pakistani currency rates against US Dollar and other currencies on May 24, 2024 (Friday) in open market.

USD to PKR rate today

US dollar was being quoted at 277.15 for buying and 280.15 for selling.

Euro moved down to 297 for buying and 300 for selling while British Pound rate is 349.5 for buying, and 353 for selling.

UAE Dirham AED was at 75.2 and Saudi Riyal came down to 73.4.

Today’s currency exchange rates in Pakistan - 24 May 2024

Source: Forex Association of Pakistan. (last update 08:00 AM)
Currency Symbol Buying Selling
US Dollar ‎USD 277.15 280.15
Euro EUR 297 300
UK Pound Sterling GBP 349.5 353
U.A.E Dirham AED 75.2 75.85
Saudi Riyal SAR 73.4 74.15
Australian Dollar AUD 183 184.8
Bahrain Dinar BHD 740.75 748.75
Canadian Dollar CAD 203 205
China Yuan CNY 38.47 38.87
Danish Krone DKK 40.52 40.92
Hong Kong Dollar HKD 35.68 36.03
Indian Rupee INR 3.35 3.46
Japanese Yen JPY 1.91 1.99
Kuwaiti Dinar KWD 907.57 916.57
Malaysian Ringgit MYR 59.39 59.99
New Zealand Dollar NZD 170.03 172.03
Norwegians Krone NOK 25.92 26.22
Omani Riyal OMR 723.64 731.64
Qatari Riyal ‎QAR 76.42 77.12
Singapore Dollar SGD 203 205
Swedish Korona SEK 26.02 26.32
Swiss Franc CHF 304.75 307.25
Thai Bhat THB 7.67 7.82

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