Our wild weather: Is climate change to blame?

WILD  weather in recent days is a reminder that much more needs to be done to combat human-induced climate change, according to north coast climate action group Climate Change Australia (CCA).

CCA spokesman Harry Creamer said the repeat experience of high rainfall and strong winds, resulting from a tropical low moving south from Queensland, was what climate scientists predicted would happen more often when the impacts of a warming atmosphere were fed into the models.

“There is a clear picture emerging of weather events becoming more extreme, with wilder storms and higher rainfall leading to worse flooding, and we are foolish to ignore the lesson it is telling us,” Mr Creamer said.

“If we do nothing to combat climate change, the earth will continue to heat and things will get worse.

“The wild weather we are seeing these days is from about 1°C of human-induced global warming since 1900.

“However, we are heading for 4°C of warming by the end of the century, based on current pledges of greenhouse gas reductions from leading emitters around the world,” he said.

“Global warming acts on top of natural forces, to super-charge weather events, bringing more intense, more frequent, more extensive, and longer lasting extremes.

“Natural forces make the weather, but human-induced global warming makes the weather more extreme.

"To explain all the rain we need to understand that a warmer atmosphere holds more water, and the atmosphere is indeed warming as the world burns more fossil fuels,” Mr Creamer said.

"The 2011 Queensland floods cost $2.4 billion. This year’s costs have yet to be assessed but the disruption to business and travel, the destruction of property and loss of lives, is there for all to see,” he said.

Mr Creamer said the big mistake for Australia is in making climate change a political issue.

“This had forced the Labor government to scale down its target to a five per cent emissions reduction, based on a levy on polluters, while the Coalition’s plan, using taxpayer’s money, cannot even reach a five per cent target, according to scientific and industry analysis.

He said that along with pricing carbon, the most effective way is for the world to stop burning coal and oil, and support clean renewable energy to generate electricity and for transport fuels.

Click the photo to see more images from the weekend

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