Sunday, February 27, 2011

Perth setting new summer temperature records

It is a long hot summer in Perth with new temperature records being set. Perth has just broken its record for the greatest number of consecutive warm nights. The last 14 consecutive nights the temperatures has remained above 20 degrees. The previous record was 13 days in February-March 1985 and February-March 1990.

For day time temperatures Perth has endured 21 consecutive days of temperatures over 30 degrees. Perth is predicted to swelter for at least another week in over 30 degree heat. It is very likely this will be Perth's hottest summer on record with the previous record being 25 consecutive days of temperatures above 30 degrees.

A small nuclear war would cause global cooling



NASA research physical scientist Luke Oman gave a presentation of research into the impact of a regional nuclear war on global temperatures and precipitation at the American Association for the Advancement of Science on February 18, 2011. Such a nuclear conflict, while less severe than a major nuclear conflict resulting in nuclear winter, would cause unprecedented climate change cooling the planet for up to ten years, and cause major famines and starvation from agricultural disruption.

Research from Japan has found that Atmospheric nuclear testing stagnated mid 20th century global warming.

Arctic Permafrost thawing raising CO2 levels



Global warming is not going away, and over coming decades will worsen through the earth passing tipping points for carbon feedback mechanisms. One such tipping point is the thawing of arctic permafrost which will release huge amounts of carbon dioxide and further accelerate climate change. A new study has found that up to two thirds of permafrost is likely to disappear by 2200, much of it in the next 100 years, as a result of warming arctic temperatures resulting in the release of an estimated 190 gigatonnes of carbon into the atmosphere.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Gillard announces interim carbon tax to tackle carbon pollution and climate change



Australia is to get a carbon tax from 1 July 2012 as one cornerstone policy for tackling the challenges of climate change, announced Prime Minister Julia Gillard, Greens leader Senator Bob Brown, and Independents Rob Oakeshott and Tony Windsor in Canberra yesterday. The interim carbon tax is proposed to run for 3-5 years, rising by a set amount each year, to be followed by a full cap and trade emissions trading scheme linked to international markets. There would be no international offsets allowed for the interim mechanism and agricultural emissions would initially be excluded from the tax.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Record summer melting in Greenland 2010



I reported in January that Greenland sets a new melt record in 2010 - sea levels to rise. This image from the NASA Earth Observatory Image of the day site shows clearly the level of melting. During 2010 there was little summer snow to replenish the losses, with melting starting early and finishing much later resulting in a melting period 50 days longer than average.

The image shows 2010 compared to the average number of melt days per year between 1979 and 2009. It was assembled from microwave data from the Special Sensor Microwave/Imager (SSM/I) of the Defense Meteorological Satellites Program.

Read more at Earth Observatory: Record Melting in Greenland during 2010

Monday, February 21, 2011

Solar Flagship funding reinstated by Gillard Government



Last week saw a minor victory for climate and renewable energy campaigners with the Gillard Government re-instating funding for the solar flagship program which had originally been slashed as part of it's budget re-balancing to take account for the flood reconstruction package for rebuilding after the devastating floods in Queensland, Victoria and Western Australia and the damage caused by Category 5 Tropical cyclone Yasi.

Green groups had criticized the Federal Government for slashing climate programs, and Australian online activist group Getup! organised an online petition collecting 39,000 signatures in two weeks and raising $165,000 for newspaper advertisements.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Garnaut warns costs of inaction on climate change will escalate



Thursday evening Professor Ross Garnaut launched his latest climate update report - Weighing the costs and benefits of climate change action - for the Federal parliament Multi-Party Climate Change Committee, warning we are already seeing the results of global warming in the intensification of extreme weather events in Australia.

Severe Torrential rain in Melbourne, Heatwave in Sydney



Over Friday night and Saturday morning Melbourne and Victoria suffered severe torrential rain and flash flooding setting some new rainfall records. The rain was generated from ex-cyclone Anthony and ex-cyclone Yasi. 200 millimetres in of rain was dumped in some Melbourne suburbs in just two hours. Some of the roads in the Melbourne CBD were rivers of water when the deluge began just after 7pm on Friday.

The rain was a result of extreme storm activity generated by and drawing down moisture from Tropical Cyclone Yasi now in Central Australia after devestating the coastal towns of Tully and Innisfails leaving 180,000 houses without power and a trail of destruction across Queensland. Melbourne and many Victorian towns suffered flash flooding and were also put on flood alert.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Cyclone Yasi spells disaster for flood ravaged Queensland



Tropical Cyclone Yasi may become Queensland's second extreme weather disaster within a month, with the potential to rival the destructive power of Hurricane Katrina that destroyed New Orleans in 2005. Cyclone Yasi is likely to hit the Queensland coast near the regional city of Cairns as a Category 4 storm with winds of 250-260 km per hour and a 4 metre storm surge on late Wednesday or early Thursday.