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Disasters & Extreme WeatherScience

Strongest La Nina in 50 Years Wreaks Havoc in Australia

My home is Australia, and I woke up this morning to hear that 8 people were dead and another 72 currently missing, with the death toll expected to rise, as floodwaters sweep through the north of our country.

“There’s no doubt that we are now in a very different sort of disaster,” said Australian prime minister, Julia Gillard, at a press conference Tuesday.

We are currently awaiting floodwaters to peak at 19 metres. Already 9,000 homes have been inundated; many ripped off their bearings and carried down the raging river of water. Cars have been tossed around like toys, and people have been caught unawares, forced to seek refuge on the roofs of houses, businesses; anything that was above the rising waterline.

And all of this can be laid at the feet of one of the strongest La Niña events in the Pacific Ocean in the past 50 years. (It is important to note that one key result of global warming and of global dimming is more moisture in the air — these could very well be contributing to these strong floods.)

North Australia, the state of Queensland, has been suffering increased rainfall which has not only wiped out peoples livelihood – farms that for the first time in a decade and more were going to produce a bumper crop, now gone – but people’s lives as well.

The rain has been falling in increasingly large amounts since late December, and Anna Bligh, Queensland’s premiere, has said that “This is our darkest hour of the past fortnight.”

NASA images show that the flooding has inundated an area the size of Germany and France combined. The image above shows flooding ripping through the city of Rockhampton in Queensland, which has a population of 75,000 people.

Image Source: NASA/GSFC/METI/ERSDAC/JAROS, and U.S./Japan ASTER Science Team




10 comments
  1. Ben

    I think weather modification operations such as HAARP have more influence on weather than CO2 levels.

    Just recently Abu Dubai admitted to weather modification and the forcing of rain in the desert.

    These actions and others like it have affects elsewhere.

    Search “Abu Dhabi weather project ‘creates man-made rainstorms'”

    Climate change is happening by nature and by man.

    I have doubts it is caused by CO2 levels and your average citizen though.

    1. Zachary Shahan

      the fact that CO2 is contributing significantly has been proven, but your other ideas definitely seem like something worth consideration as well. geoengineering like this is likely to get more prevalent, and.. me thinks.. that could cause problems

      1. Ben

        CO2 is contributing is significantly is well beyond “proven”.

        Don’t even try to start quoting the peer review process as I am sure you also know that it is a seriously corrupted and objectively focused process. In saying that C02 also lags behing termperature increases not preceeding them.

        We need to fix the environmental problems we face but having big business and governments try to blame us and then just tax us to give the impression they are doing something is not the answer.

        Big business needs to me more severely punished for environmental issues they create and geoengineering should be banned.

        We have the governments clamping down on us enough before trying to enfore more restrictive limits on human creativity.

        Your average human is not at fault here.

        1. Zachary Shahan

          Ben, you have some good points in here and some clear misunderstandings. CO2 is known to be a contributor to climate change (known to not only be correlated with warming but contribute to it) — but since you don’t want me to cite numerous scientists, and this is such a basic point that is well-known and confirmed, it is not even worth going into with you.

          no one is trying to tax you (as far as i have seen). the fossil fuel industry gets a ton more subsidies than the clean energy industry — the goal would be to make that even or even reverse it, so that, as you say, big business will pay for the damage it is doing and move towards cleaner processes.

          of course, some of the costs could be passed down to consumers, but are consumers not responsible at all. furthermore, numerous studies have shown the **public and **economic benefits outweigh the costs in such a situation.

          yes, geonengineering is extremely concerning, but it is going to be more and more likely govt will take this route the longer we wait to switch to a clean energy economy

          ironically, those afraid of big govt are feeding it by delaying easy, simple action to counter accelerated, human-induced climate change

  2. Dragontide

    I think it’s obvious that AGW creates more pronounced weather events. If it were just one or two things, then maybe not, but extreme weather events are becoming much more common. Australia has been also dealing with more severe droughts and that horrible “Black Saturday”.

    Here in the U.S. people actually used to drive towards where a hurricane was going to hit. (hurricane parties) Because on most occasions they would hit as a small, Cat-1. (no big deal and actually good for business) Now a Cat-1 strike is very rare and no more hurricane parties either.

    Arctic sea has has dropped to the point where it is changing the lifestyle of the Inuit and other polar dwellers. (after 30,000 years of normal climate)

    More deadly heatwaves, droughts and floods in Europe, Asia, Africa and South America.

    Maybe “climate change” is not an accurate title anymore. “THE climate shift” might be more appropriate because it has long since been underway.

    1. Zachary Shahan

      Dragontide, excellent points. all critical issues very succinctly summarized and coordinated here. “climate disruption” is another term that has been thrown around recently. though, it doesn’t stick with me. i’m personally a fan of the “global weirding” term — think it’s a good fit. thank you for your support.

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