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Australia faces acute bushfire danger

Sept. 26, 2007 at 7:10 AM

MELBOURNE, Sept. 26 (UPI) -- A new report said the danger of wildfires throughout Australia will increase dramatically because of climate change.

The report, prepared by the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization and other meteorological and climatic groups, said that the number of days of extreme fire danger experiences each year in Australia could increase by 65 percent by the year 2020 and up to 300 percent by 2050.

Chief Executive of the Climate Institute John Connor said in the report that "unless green house pollution levels are reversed, Australian and world leaders build on the Kyoto framework and make a switch to clean energy, the fire weather in Australia is set to spiral dangerously upward."

Connor said that bushfires in the 2006-07 fire weather season "forced tens of thousands of firefighters into the field to protect homes and lives of Australians and caused more than $1 billion in damage. This is not a future legacy that we should be leaving our children by failing to get climate change under control."

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