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UN Climate Experts in Australia to Finalize Landmark Report

Local residents clear away the mud from their flooded home in Brisbane, Australia.  Parts of Brisbane reopened as deadly floodwaters that had swamped entire neighborhoods recede, revealing streets and thousands of homes covered in a thick layer of putrid
Local residents clear away the mud from their flooded home in Brisbane, Australia. Parts of Brisbane reopened as deadly floodwaters that had swamped entire neighborhoods recede, revealing streets and thousands of homes covered in a thick layer of putrid

More than 100 scientists from the United Nation's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change are meeting on Australia's Gold Coast to complete a special report on "extreme weather events."  The UN's main science body is warning that the planet is increasingly vulnerable to more wild weather, including tropical storms, floods and bushfires, unless climate change is addressed.  

The United Nation's panel believes that extreme weather events are likely to be made worse by climate change.  The IPCC says there is a strong chance that warming temperatures will lead to more intense heat waves, droughts, floods and storms.

The experts are to share updates on how climate change may have influenced recent severe weather events.

In Australia, it has been a year of disasters with massive floods swamping much of Queensland state and large areas of Victoria to the south. In February, tropical Cyclone Yasi, a category five system, battered communities on Australia’s northeastern coast.

Speaking from eastern Australia's Gold Coast, the chairman of the IPCC, Dr. Rajendra Pachauri, said much of the world is not prepared for the more unpredictable conditions that are likely to be triggered by climate change.

“We are sure that the kinds of events that we've seen recently are likely to become much more frequent and much more severe," said Pachauri. "Clearly the world has to be informed about what's going to happen so that we can adapt to these events, we can perhaps invest in infrastructure, in systems whereby societies and communities can adapt to higher frequencies and high intensities of these events.”

Delegates at the Gold Coast summit will help to finalize a landmark report called "Managing the Risks of Extreme Events and Disasters to Advance Climate Change Adaptation," which is scheduled for release later this year.

Its aim is to help governments, businesses and communities adapt and prepare for the increased risks that climate change may present in the future.

Scientists from more than 50 countries are attending the three-day conference.

The task of the IPCC is to review and assess the latest scientific data on climate change.  The panel was set up in 1988.  

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