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Extreme weather – the imperative to prepare

Adaptation to the kind of extreme weather predicted by climate models is becoming increasingly urgent for industries around the world from tourism to coal mining, let alone agriculture!

In a cruel stroke of irony, Australia’s Queensland has ricocheted from the worst drought in living memory to fatal floods, including an “inland tsunami” that killed eight people overnight, bringing the total number of recorded deaths to 14, with 66 people missing. Damage caused by the floods could reach $6-billion after destroying homes, roads and rail lines, and severely cut the exports from the state’s key coal mining sector.

“The Queensland floods are caused by what is one of the strongest, if not the strongest, La Nina events since our records began in the late 19th century,” said Professor Neville Nicholls, an environmental science expert at Monash University, in the Globe & Mail’s January 11th article on the subject.

Scientists think that global warming is intensifying the La Nina and El Nino phenomena.

ACT discusses options for adapting to extreme weather events in our 2009 report, Climate Change Adaptation and Extreme Weather.

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