UPDATE 1-Australia raises cyclone risk for sugar, coal areas

Fri Oct 1, 2010 3:13am GMT
 

* La Nina increases cyclone risk in north-east Australia

* Increasing dry periods seen in key WA grain region

* Greenhouse gases linked to increasing dryness

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By Bruce Hextall

SYDNEY, Oct 1 (Reuters) - Australia's north-eastern sugar growing regions and coal ports face a higher risk of cyclone activity during the coming summer months, the country's weather bureau said on Friday.

The bureau also warned of increasing dry periods in south-western Australia, a key wheat producing region.

It said greenhouse gases were linked to less rain in the region where crops are currently under stress following the driest year to date since rainfall records have been kept 110 years ago.

"We would expect to see with increases in levels of greenhouse gases a decline in long-term rainfall in south-west Western Australia and, with that, an increased frequency of extreme dry years.. there is a relationship with climate change," said Blair Trewin, climatologist at the Bureau of Meteorology at a briefing. For a statement/graphics from bureau (here .pdf)   Continued...

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