Natural disasters costing Australia 50% more than estimated

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The cost of natural disasters in Australia is 50% more than previously estimated– $9bn in 2015 – and is set to increase to $33bn by 2050 even ignoring the effect of climate change, according to two reports commissioned by the Australian Business Roundtable for Disaster Resilience and Safer Communities.

The reports included the first analysis of the economic costs of social impacts of natural disasters, and concluded they cost the economy more than tangible impacts like damage to property.

Evidence of coral bleaching on Barrier Reef as sea warms

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Sydney: Scientists on Tuesday warned coral bleaching was occurring on the Great Barrier Reef as sea temperatures warm, and it could rapidly accelerate unless cooler conditions blow in over the next few weeks.

Authorities cautioned last year that the world faced a mass global coral bleaching event driven by the warming effects of the El Nino weather phenomenon, and the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies said it was a growing concern.

Another reason to worry about Antarctica’s ice

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In the past two years, major scientific developments have suggested that all of our eyes should be on a place that only a tiny fraction of us will ever visit — Antarctica, the frozen South Pole continent that’s larger than the continental United States and contains the majority of the planet’s land-based ice.

In 2014, scientists revealed that key parts of remote West Antarctica may have been destabilised by warm ocean waters reaching the bases of vast submarine glaciers and melting them from below. West Antarctica, as a whole, contains nearly 3.3 metres of potential sea level rise. And last year, research hinted that a similar vulnerability may exist for the truly gigantic Totten Glacier of East Antarctica.

Find solutions to climate change, energy crisis

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Citing global problems of climate change, energy crisis and deadly diseases, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday asked Indian students to take up the challenge of finding solutions to these through innovation and research instead of merely doing “cut-paste” work.

Addressing the convocation ceremony of the Benares Hindu University (BHU) here, he asked students to “keep the mind receptive and eager to fresh knowledge” even after their formal education was complete.