Clouds provide scientists with information about climate change.
Clouds provide scientists with information about climate change. Terry West

Written in the clouds: The planet is warming faster

A BETTER understanding of cloud formations has scientists warning that the world is warming faster than earlier thought, and it could be our farmers who cop the consequences.  

The latest findings from the national Centre of Excellence for Climate System Science suggest the average temperature worldwide will rise by at least 4 degrees by 2100 and 8 degrees by 2200 if carbon emissions are not reduced.  

The centre's Professor Steve Sherwood said earlier research suggested the world would heat up by between 1.5 degrees and 5 degrees, but said "these models have been estimating a lower temperature increase that we believe is incorrect".  

Prof Sherwood said increases of this size would create "oppressive heat stress" in summers and make for difficult agricultural conditions in warmer parts of the country.  

Earlier this week, Prime Minister Tony Abbott's business adviser Maurice Newman penned a piece for The Australian referring to climate change as a "delusion".  

Prof Sherwood said while some modelling of climate change may be incorrect, often it was because the predictions were underestimating the risks.  


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