Climate clippings 165

1. Cyclone Winston the second strongest to make landfall

Cyclone Winston, which hit Fiji with winds of almost 300 kph, was the second strongest to make landfall, the strongest being Taiphoon Haiyan, which hit the Philippines in 2013.

Jeff Masters lists the 13 strongest cyclones by windspeed to make landfall using 1-minute averaging:


Six of them were this century. Scientists have suggested that with global warming we will get more strong cyclones. You’d really need to include those that don’t make landfall to ascertain a trend.

2. Coral bleaching on Great Barrier Reef

Coral bleaching on Lizard Island off Cairns is the worst in more than 15 years, prompting fears about other northern parts of the Great Barrier Reef over the next few months.

Still the Minister for the Environment (my local member) has his fingers crossed, which seems the best he can do!

3. Back to the future with fossil fuel growth centre

Actually it is more than fossil fuels, it iuncudes uranium – anything but renewables. And it’s to be known as NERA, almost the reverse of ARENA. Here’s Christopher Pyne’s blurb:

    A new Growth Centre established by the Australian Government will drive innovation, competitiveness and productivity across the oil, gas, coal and uranium sectors.

    The Oil, Gas and Energy Resources Growth Centre, to be known as National Energy Resources Australia (NERA), will promote collaboration and innovation across the energy resources sector.

    Minister for Industry, Innovation and Science Christopher Pyne said the Australian Government was investing $15.4 million over four years in the growth centre.

    “This Growth Centre will focus on harnessing the sector’s existing competitive strengths, embracing innovation and putting research to work,” Mr Pyne said.

    “The Growth Centre will work closely with researchers from universities, CSIRO and Cooperative Research Centres to build links with business and industry organisations.”

    “Importantly it will also promote industry-led research in priority areas by facilitating deeper engagement between industry and researchers.”

They say it is going to position Australia for “the next wave of investment”. That’s when everyone who took the Paris climate talks seriously is making fossil fuels redundant!

Here are some of the reactions:

4. Heat, the silent killer

During the Black Saturday bushfires in Victoria in Melbourne 173 people died. Many may not realise that there were 347 additional deaths during the heatwave of people not associated with the bushfires.

The Climate Council has released a report The Silent Killer: Climate Change and the Health Impacts of Extreme Heat by Elizabeth Hanna and Lesley Hughes.

Those at greatest risk are tthe elderly, the very young, those with existing health problems, the marginalised and outdoor workers.

On days over 35°C, only about 40% of fully acclimatised workers can operate at or near full capacity. This is what the urban heat island looks like:

Urban heat island_cropped_600

In cities of more than a million the urban centre can be 1°C to 3°C hotter than surrounding areas.

6 thoughts on “Climate clippings 165”

  1. 3. That gives Labour something to shut down on their first day in office, NERO, returning the country to sound environmental management coupled with the reinstated Carbon Price. That could happen before Christmas depending on how desperate the LNP are.

  2. Yes, Bilb, mercifully it’s only $15.4 million over four years, but the signalling is dreadful when China, US etc are cutting back on coal and are serious about climate change (depending on the US election, of course).

  3. Many, perhaps most, of those non-bushfire deaths were likely to have been preventable. Not everyone can afford to retreat to a nice, well-designed, insulated, air-conditioned house during a heatwave.

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