Tim Longhurst's Blog

Cyclone Yasi’s link to climate change

February 2nd, 2011 · 2 Comments

Recent disasters in Queensland – first floods and now Cyclone Yasi – have led me to ask, “Has this got anything to do with climate change?” Well… Network Ten’s Emily Rice provides a pretty good overview in this video:

It’s as good an explanation of the link between climate change and Queensland weather as I’ve seen so far… But perhaps you’ve seen better? Let me know in the comments…

I’ll leave you with a few quotes from the video that convey the story – in case the video doesn’t load:

Emily Rice: “This summer there has been one weather disaster after another… Scientists blame the rain on La Niña… While a natural weather event, this La Niña is being fueled by record ocean temperatures… To the east of [Australia], temperatures have risen well above the average, but it’s even hotter in the north, where the oceans are warming to levels never before recorded. And it’s these ‘super heated waters’ that are generating excessive rain right across Australia. Many scientists suspect climate change is already playing a part in the wild weather, exacerbating La Niña… Climate scientist Kevin Hennessy was not so shocked: he contributed to an Australian climate report that was released almost a decade ago [2002] that made some grim flooding forecasts: that extreme rainfall events would increase across Australia by 2020, pushing flooding deaths and injuries up 240%, with all areas of Queensland at risk…. One certainty is our rough summer weather has put climate change back on the agenda.”

EDIT: The Age has just published a story “Climate change adding to severity” on this very topic.

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Category: Communication and connection


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