Climate change is also slowly melting the fragile alpine regions of the huge island continent while at the same time contributing to ocean acidification and sea level rise, according to the state report. of the climate.

Climatologist Ian Lowe called the report a chilling "wake-up call" for Australia, whose economic growth depends largely on gas and coal exports.

“The magnitude of the changes demonstrates that cleaning up our energy consumption is an urgent priority,” the researcher stressed.

"We also need to reduce our coal and gas exports."

A coal train in Singleton, Australia, November 4, 2021 Saeed KHAN AFP/Archives

The report, which is the result of cooperation between the government's meteorological services and the national science agency, estimates that Australia's climate has warmed by an average of 1.47 degrees Celsius since records began in 1910.

Environment Minister Tanya Plibersek said the whole thing is sobering.

“For our environment, for our communities, this report reinforces the need for urgent climate action,” she said.

In recent years, Australia has experienced a series of extreme weather events linked to rising global temperatures.

"Increased Pace"

In early November, parts of New South Wales experienced flash flooding that washed away entire buildings in rural towns.

Tens of thousands of Sydney residents were ordered to evacuate in July following flooding on the outskirts.

Flooding around Sydney, Australia, July 6, 2022 Muhammad FAROOQ AFP/Archives

In March, the coastline of the eastern coast was hit by violent storms accompanied by torrential rains which claimed more than 20 lives.

In 2019 and 2020, devastating forest fires ravaged the southeastern coast of the country for several months.

For its part, the Great Barrier Reef has undergone since 2016 a "bleaching" due to the warming of the temperature of the sea.

“These changes are occurring at an increased rate,” the report finds.

"The past decade has been marked by record extremes that have led to natural disasters that are exacerbated by anthropogenic (human-caused) climate change," he said.

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese announced last week that his country was a candidate to host the COP summit in 2026, thus seeking to restore the image of his country which appears to be lagging behind in terms of climate change.

The Labor leader's centre-left government is aiming for net zero emissions by 2050 but many have called for it to do more.

A coal train passes the Singleton power station in Australia on November 4, 2021 Saeed KHAN AFP/Archives

Andrew King, a climatologist at the University of Melbourne, called on Australia to rapidly reduce its carbon emissions.

“The consequences of our continued use of fossil fuels are clear in Australia as elsewhere,” he said.

“We need to act quickly to decarbonize our economy to limit further damage from worsening extreme events.”

Ailie Gallant, from the Australian Center of Excellence for Extreme Climate Change, said the deterioration of the country's climate "would continue without a deep and aggressive reduction in carbon emissions".

© 2022 AFP