GLOBAL temperatures could rise 4 degrees in the next 50 years – faster than previously predicted – if greenhouse gas emissions increase unchecked, according to a report for the British Government.

The climate science update, prepared by British Met Office scientists, found that the increase this century could top 15 degrees above pre-industrial levels in the Arctic and be up to 10 degrees for parts of Africa.

In Australia, rainfall is projected to decline by at least one-fifth along parts of the coastline, worsening drought.

The Met Office Hadley Centre’s head of climate impacts, Richard Betts, said the most severe scenarios outlined in the 2007 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report now looked conservative.

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