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Images of the Day
Remarkable Photos Of The Ocean Whipped Up By A Cyclone Heading Toward Australia
January 10, 2013
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As if wildfires aren't enough, now a cyclone is headed for Australia. Cyclone Narelle is moving toward the Pilbara region on Australia's north west coast.

As dangerous as this kind of storm can be, it can also make for some stunning photos like the one at the top of the page. They were captured by photographer Brett Martin just before sunset yesterday and posted on perthweatherlive.com.

The cyclone is a category three, slow-moving and is still several hundred kilometres out to sea. But it's expected to gain strength by tonight and become a category four.

One official said people "need to be very aware that we've got some strong gusty winds coming. I certainly wouldn't be out in them because you certainly can't predict what's going to happen."

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Of course, the other story is the wildfires. More than 100 fires are still burning in New South Wales and in Victoria.

Firefighters caught a bit of a break with two days of cooler temperatures. But over the next few days, they're expected to hit 45 to 50C in parts of the country.

As the Guardian points out, eight of Australia's top 20 hottest days (by average high temperature) have been recorded this year.

And according to climate officials, the number of record hot days has more than doubled in the past 50 years.

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Australia's climate commission estimates that the number of 35C-plus days each year in Sydney alone will quadruple by the end of the century.

And in a recent report, it said heatwaves were likely to be hotter and longer lasting, creating more and more health risks.

Australia creates more carbon pollution per person than any other developed country, largely because it relies mainly on coal to produce electricity.

In spite of that, not everyone there buys that climate change is real - including Australia's main conservative opposition party.

Its leader, Tony Abbott, once described the science of climate change as "absolute crap". Last year, he opposed a government plan to bring in a carbon tax - saying it would devastate the economy.

One Australian who believes climate change is real is Tim Flannery - one of the world's leading biologists and global warming activists.

He's written a number of books including 'The Weather Makers'- which outlined the reality of climate change, and what we need to do to prevent disaster.

Released in 2005, David Suzuki called it "one of the most important books of the young century."

Flannery was in the red chair a few seasons ago. You can see that interview here, starting at around the 2:20 mark.

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