Australia may face more fire risk next summer: Scientist

February 16th, 2009 - 12:30 pm ICT by IANS  

Canberra, Feb 16 (Xinhua) Australia may face even higher risk of fire next summer due to extreme temperatures, a professor told ABC Radio’s A.M. programme Monday.

Roger Stone, an expert in climate modelling from the University of Southern Queensland, said it is predicted that an El Nino climate event could hit Australia in 2009, causing higher than usual temperatures across the country.

Though he put the probability of an El Nino developing by mid-winter at about 60 percent at the present stage, “a risk management approach has to be developed for such an event”.

He warned that if an El Nino event develops, it will exacerbate the drought.

Australia experienced a record heat wave this summer. High temperatures and strong wind are thought to have precipitated the Feb 7 bushfires, which have killed 181 people in southeastern Australia.

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