Nowhere To Go: Australia Bears Major Brunt Of Climate Change

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By Esther Tanquintic-Misa | December 4, 2013 4:32 PM EST

Even as the world's major economies rush to enact laws and implement methods to reduce carbon emissions to minimize overall lashes of global warming to below 2 degrees Celsius.

The world will still experience a whopping warming of 4 degrees Celsius by 2100. With basically nowhere to go, Australia will bear the major brunt of this climate change.

"Australia is exceptionally vulnerable ecologically to climate change," Peter Christoff, author of the book 'Four Degrees of Global Warming: Australia in a Hot World,' told The Guardian.

An environmental activist places his hand on a giant globe in a rally demanding more action to battle climate change during the 19th conference of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP19) in Warsaw November 16, 2013. REUTERS/Kacper Pempel

Having four degrees of warming meant already "a comprehensive transformation for life in Australia, from its wealth to its access to water to how people spend their time in summer."

Annual rainfall in the southern part of Australia by 2100 will drop by 50 percent. Moreover, level of sea waters will rise by over 3.5 feet. There will be zero snow covering most of the country's alpine regions.

Even the Great Barrier Reef, one of Australia's tourism landmarks, will "decline precipitously" with the 4 degrees Celsius warming. Production in the key Murray-Darling food bowl will also drop 90 percent, leading to potential food shortage problems.

"We'll see critical parts of the economy, such as the mining sector and tourism, falter, which is likely to lead to a society which is poorer and with a greater differential of wealth," Mr Christoff, who is also an associate professor of environmental policy at the University of Melbourne, said.

Although only contributing 1.5 percent of total global carbon dioxide emissions, Australia leads the developed countries in a per-capita basis. The country is heavily dependent on coal to produce its electricity requirements.

Australia's government has earlier pledged to slash its emissions by 2020 between 5 percent and 25 percent of the 2000 levels. Christoff however thought the reduction must be increased to 40 percent.

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