* Australia to see more extreme weather events in coming
decades -Climate Commission
* Australian agricultural production likely to suffer
* Dry weather seen across southwestern and southeastern
By Colin Packham
SYDNEY, April 3 Australia's most productive
agricultural areas face a greater risk of extreme weather from
climate change in coming decades, including a higher number of
droughts, a report from the country's Climate Commission said on
Extreme weather events such as heat waves, floods, bush
fires and cyclones are already becoming more intense,
highlighting the need to take rapid action on climate change and
to mitigate the impact, the report said.
"There is little doubt that over the next few decades
changes in these extreme events will increase the risks of
adverse consequences to human health, agriculture,
infrastructure and the environment," said the report by the
Climate Commission, which is mainly made up of scientists and
economists and was formed by the Australian government.
All the climate models used in the report projected "a
significant increase" in the number of droughts across
southwestern and southeastern Australia, important agricultural
areas and with coastal strips that are home to most people in
the country of nearly 23 million people.
The Climate Commission projected a fall in rainfall across
the two regions of up to 10 percent by 2030.
Australia is a major supplier of food to Asian markets and
is the world's second-largest exporter of wheat and
third-largest shipper of raw sugar and beef.
Australia produced about 22 million tonnes of wheat in the
latest season, down more than a quarter from the previous year's
record harvest as yields suffered from unseasonably dry weather
in Western Australia, the country's largest grain producing
The occurrence of floods in Australia is also forecast to
increase due to warmer temperatures, the report said, while
heavy rainfall associated with cyclones was also expected to be
(Editing by Ed Davies)