Three cyclones, actually. Cyclone Bianca is threatening to hit Perth, Bunbury and Busselton, possibly weakening to a category one.
Bianca is not expected to be as bad as Cyclone Alby which hit Perth in 1978. Alby claimed five lives and caused widespread damage in the Perth metropolitan area.
Before the rain comes the wind, and ironically the first danger could be fire from the high winds.
Does anyone know how often Perth experiences cyclones? I recall one a few years ago that started in the Coral Sea, I think, possibly the Gulf of Carpentaria, which headed west and ended up giving Perth a dousing, probably as a rain depression.
Meanwhile Cyclone Anthony re-formed into a category one storm and is currently about 950 kilometres north-north-east of Townsville. Continue reading Cyclone watch→
Perhaps the most striking characteristic of Pliocene climate reconstructions is that low latitude ocean temperatures were very similar to temperatures today. High latitudes were much warmer than today, the ice sheets smaller, and sea level about 25 m higher (Dowsett et al., 2009 and references therein). Atmospheric CO2 amount in the Pliocene is poorly known, but a typical assumption, based on a variety of imprecise proxies, is 380 ppm (Raymo et al., 1996).
We conclude that Pliocene temperatures probably were no more than 1-2°C warmer on global average than peak Holocene temperature.
But it was considerably warmer at the poles, with consequent loss of ice sheets bulk. The effect is sometimes known as polar amplification. This involves a strong albedo feedback which could produce a doubling of ice loss every 10 years. The cumulative effect is shown in this graph: Continue reading Climate clippings 13→
We now have a number of specific threads running on aspects of the Queensland floods. This thread is for comments that don’t fit the specific threads or if you want to comment on other current floods lacking a thread, such as those in Victoria, Brazil or Sri Lanka .
Reefs are the ocean’s canaries and we must hear their call. This call is not just for themselves, for the other great ecosystems of the ocean stand behind reefs like a row of dominoes. If coral reefs fail, the rest will follow in rapid succession, and the Sixth Mass Extinction will be upon us — and will be of our making.
Now at Climate Progresswe are told that the current season looks like the second worst on record. This is how the Australian sea surface temperature has been going;
If ocean temperatures and ocean acidity continue to rise in Australian waters at the same pace as has occurred over the past 100 years, the Great Barrier Reef will be in significant danger by 2050.
Just to give people some idea of what seems to have happened in Toowoomba, the city of Toowoomba is located just on the west side of the Great Dividing Range. As you travel from Brisbane to Toowoomba, the road begins climbing slowly after about Grantham and Helidon, then climbs steeply west of Withcott before cresting the range at a bit under 700 metres. The eastern suburbs on Toowoomba are built on the western slope of the range, whilst the CBD is located in something of a hollow at the bottom of this slope, with gentler slopes to north and south. The “cloudburst” (to used Brian’s word on the older thread) on the range looks to have basically been funnelled into the CBD by the topography.
Further to my previous comment, the range forms a neat half-circle around Toowoomba on the east side, centered on the CBD.
These posts include a brief mention of a number of news items relating to climate change. They don’t preclude treating any of these topics at more length in a separate post.
They can also serve as an open thread so that we can keep each other informed on important climate news.
The Bolivians were the only ones in step at Cancún
The Bolivians at Cancún were possibly the only ones who followed the science faithfully and took full account of the implications.
Analysts at Climate Action Tracker have revealed that these paltry offers [at Cancun] are nowhere near enough to keep temperature increases even within the contested goal of 2 degrees. Instead they would lead to increases in temperature of between 3 and 4 degrees, a level considered by scientists as highly dangerous for the vast majority of the planet. [Bolivian negotiator] Solon said, “I can not in all in consciousness sign such as a document as millions of people will die as a result.”
“Proposals by powerful countries like the US were sacrosanct, while ours were disposable. Compromise was always at the expense of the victims, rather than the culprits of climate change.”
In November 2009, in the run up to the Copenhagen conference I published a post Climate crunch and Copenhagen: the fierce urgency of now. (Link no longer available.) For my first climate change post in 2011 I’ve reposted most of that post, with slight variations, and leaving out the direct commentary on Copenhagen.
My intention is to remind people that action on climate change is urgent, and that there is a severe penalty in leaving action to a later date.
Substantively the post outlines the carbon budget approach to climate stabilisation which gives prime place to carbon equity. If Australia wants to show leadership in climate change internationally we should seek zero net emissions by 2030. We would still blow our equitable carbon budget which requires zero emissions by 2019, but with that kind of leadership we should get away with it. Also we should use our land and our forests to create carbon sinks in order to then go negative in net emissions.