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Region's weather changing

Tuesday March 5, 2013 - 19:02 EDT

A climate change expert says the New South Wales south east is becoming hotter and drier due to global warming.

Climate Change Commissioner, Professor Lesley Hughes, will be in Bega next week to conduct a question and answer session on the effects of changing weather patterns.

Prof. Hughes says the region is in the midst of a long-term dry period that saw a 13-year drought and bushfires.

She says there has been a one degree temperature increase in the last century with the alpine areas showing the greatest effect.

“In the terrestrial environment on land the alpine environment is probably is the most vulnerable eco-system to climate change,� Prof. Hughes said.

“Our mountains in Australia are fairly short by world standards. Plants and animals can move up hill to stay in cooler climates but because our mountains are very short they don't have very far to go.�

Prof. Hughes says the rise in temperature is being reflected among fauna and flora, and in ocean changes.

“Over the last century for example in Australia we have had just a little bit under a degree of mean annual temperature rise but we are seeing plants and animals all over the place both in Australia and the rest of the world actually responding to that.

"In our marine life we are seeing lots of species moving further to the south.�


- ABC

© ABC 2013

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