Viridian Note 00387: Australian Super-Drought
- Key concepts
- global warming, Antarctic vortex, permanent
drought in Australia, water crisis, eventual collapse of
- Attention Conservation Notice:
- Who cares about
the miserable fate of doomed Australia? I'm going to
Norway and Holland, starting tomorrow!
"WiFi Speed Spray." Okay, I'm believing that hook line
and sinker, but what about the ozone layer?
Buying and skinning Tickle Me Elmo. And making jackets
from him. Okay, I laughed.
Tree falls in storm. Italy ceases to have power.
That sure must have been fun news to hear on Australian
"Scientists See Antarctic Vortex as Drought Maker
Tue September 23, 2003 05:04 AM ET
By Michael Byrnes
- "SYDNEY (Reuters)
- = Australia may be facing a permanent
drought because of an accelerating vortex of winds
whipping around the Antarctic that threatens to disrupt
rainfall, scientists said on Tuesday.
"Spinning faster and tighter, the 100 mile an hour
jetstream is pulling climate bands south and dragging rain
from Australia into the Southern Ocean, they say.
"They attribute the phenomenon to global warming and
loss of the ozone layer over Antarctica.
"'This is a very serious situation that we're probably
not confronting as full-on as we should,' Dr James Risbey
of the Center for Dynamical Meteorology and Oceanography
at Melbourne's Monash University told Reuters on Tuesday.
(((James Risbey, actual scientist, not a weird crank.)))
"'There has been real added impetus here in Australia
to try to study (the wind vortex) because we've been faced
with an almost precipitous rainfall decline, particularly
in the southwest of Western Australia,' Risbey said.
(((One should think that a permanent lack of water on
one's continent would provoke some scholarly interest,
"Australia, one of the world's top agricultural supply
nations, has just been through its worst drought in 100
years. (((Australia, formerly one of the world's top
agricultural supply nations"....)))
"Risbey and other Australians are part of an
international band of scientists and meteorologists
focusing on the vortex as an explanation for declining
"Rainfall has declined by nearly 20 percent in the
past seven years over parts of southwestern Western
Australia, through to Victoria and into southern New South
Wales state, Risbey said. (((Interesting trend there...
how about those next 7 years? Will Murdoch's FOX NEWS
offer bold coverage of a depopulated nation?)))
"At the same time, temperatures have been rising in
Australia by about one degree Celsius over the past 50
years, requiring more rain to fall just to keep the status
"Australian scientists from the Bureau of
Meteorology, the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial
Research Organization (CSIRO) and Monash University are
working with the U.S. Office of Oceanic and Atmospheric
Research and the British Antarctic Division on the
Antarctic vortex. (((The "coalition of the willing."
"Wow, we've finally discovered the mass destruction, and
it's right here in Melbourne!")))
"Focusing on the vortex for only the past few years,
they have quantified increased velocity of the wind spin
by measuring pressure differences between high latitudes
over the Antarctic continent and mid latitudes in the
Southern Ocean near Australia.
"A cooling polar area and warming elsewhere is
spinning the vortex faster, which in turn pulls winds and
pressure belts that deliver Australia's winter and spring
"Australia's 2002/03 drought, the worst in 100 years
and the cause of shortages of a wide variety of some of
the world's largest supplies of bulk farm foods, was too
extensive to blame on the Antarctic vortex. (((Oh. "Too
extensive to blame." Hmmm.)))
"But a long-standing drought in the southwest corner
of Western Australia state could be a foretaste of more
extensive drought yet to come in Australia, Risbey said.
"Most worrying is that this could be more or less
permanent, scientists say.
(((Climate change is death knell for 160,000 Third
Worlders a year, and, oops, the rather rich and advanced
continent of Australia.)))
"Water resource managers were already treating the
rainfall decline in southwest Western Australia as
permanent. Melbourne was now in a seven-year drought,
while New South Wales has had declining rainfall for the
past 50 years or so, Risbey said.
"'It is consistent with...the polar vortex,' he said.
(((Say, didn't they film "Mad Max" in Australia, with that
mangled feuding over the last of the fossil fuels and all
that? "I remember lingerie.")))
"Scientists say Australian agriculture would be able
to cope with a 15 percent to 20 percent drop in rainfall,
although farmers may not agree. But changed management and
consumption will be necessary, possibly not only in
southern Australia but also in parts of South America,
South Africa and New Zealand."
((("'It is not in Australia's interests to ratify the
Kyoto protocol,' Howard told parliament." Lotta coal
exports... think that'll buy some rain?)))
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