Climate Council warns of wet future for Oz

Climate change, driven by burning fossil fuels, contributing to the Great Deluge, is consigning Australia to escalating climate disasters

Most of Australia’s East Coast from Cape York south to the Victorian border has had over a meter of rain by the end of October — with the rains still continuing. Some of these areas have had more than 2 meters, and a few more than 3 meters! Many rainfall records have been smashed in all of the eastern states: Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria, Tasmania; leading to almost constant flooding through the whole area that is continuing today. The latest reports from the BOM tell us the rains will continue into summer.

This is clearly a function of global warming. Physical laws dictate that as air temperatures rise, the air can carry more water vapor before it begins to condense as rain. Higher temperatures increase the rate of evaporation of water from soils and standing water – encouraging drought. Seemingly contradictory warmer air can precipitate more water in areas where it is raining. As the water condenses out as rain it also releases its ‘heat of fusion’ — and more heat is available to drive more extreme winds able to carry rain to high elevations before the rain freezes to fall back to Earth in devastating hail storms. Over larger areas there is also more energy available to fuel increasingly powerful cyclones.

Increased water means increased plant growth, increased temperature increases the rate at which soils and vegetation dry out — ensuring ever more catastrophic wildfires.

Ever more floods, fires and tempests cause increasing damage to infrastructure and people’s livelihoods and property until the catastrophes follow one another so closely that there are simply not physical or human resources left to repair the damage from one catastrophe before the next catastrophe causes even more damage. If the warming is not stopped this progression leads inevitably leads to social collapse (as we are already seeing in parts of the world), agricultural collapse (and famines as we are already beginning to see in Africa and the Middle East), ecological collapse (as we are already seeing in marine habitats with coral reef communities, kelp beds, sea grass meadows), and finally, population collapses when the land has literally been swept bare (areas in Africa are already on the edge of the cliff).

With the collapse of society, humans will quickly lose the scientific and engineering capabilities to fight further climate change already dialed into the system, such that there will be little hope of avoiding near-term global mass extinction. Continuing ‘business as usual’ support of the fossil fuel industry more-or-less ensures this grim outcome.

The Climate Council’s report, presented below, presents the facts and explains what they mean here in Australia, and some of the things we can to moderate and mitigate the expected damages. This is a good start, but I would be a silly liar if I said this was all we need to do in order to keep from utterly destroying our future.

Vote Climate One will continue to do whatever we can do to encourage serious government leadership and action to fight climate change. Please do what you can to pressure your representatives to counteract the self-serving special interests who consume our resources and return little or nothing from the super-profits they take overseas.

If we can help get climate savvy governments on the problems that really matter, they may be able to mobilize enough action so we can survive our accidental disruption of Earth’s Climate System so our kids and grandkids inherit a world they can live in….

Let’s hope that we can stop global warming soon enough to leave them with a future where they can survive and flourish

Featured Image: Rainfall and Flooding 2022 – Queensland to Tasmania. Current year data from 1 January to 2 November, sourced from Bureau of Meteorology, 2022. Graphic from Chapter 2, The Great Deluge: Climate Extremes in Action, in the featured article.

Views expressed in this post are those of its author(s), not necessarily all Vote Climate One members.

Global warming acceleration makes El Niño more lethal

Studies show that global warming ramps up El Niño to intensify dangerous weather extremes to create more extensive human suffering

Crew members land a boat in front of residential homes after surveying floodwaters in Windsor on March 9, 2022 during flooding in Sydney, Australia. Credit: Lisa Maree Williams/Getty Images (via Article)

Shifts in El Niño May Be Driving Climates Extremes in Both Hemispheres: Global warming is shifting cyclical temperature swings in the Pacific Ocean, and that affects floods in Australia, fires in South America and even temperature in the polar regions.

Editors note: A source article, Increased ENSO sea surface temperature variability under four IPCC emission scenarios, by Cai et al., 31/01/2022 in Nature Climate Change may be downloaded by clicking the link.

Featured Image: Stronger ENSO, stronger impacts / Source: NOAA and Paul Horn / from the Article

Views expressed in this post are those of its author(s), not necessarily all Vote Climate One members.

Arizona’s water crisis may warn Australia’s drylands

Australia lacks huge reservoirs to support cities and towns in dry areas. A Phoenix neighborhood is doing it tough without a reliable supply.

Carolyn Cole / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

by Jake Bittle, 10/03/2022 in Grist

How the West’s megadrought is leaving one Arizona neighborhood with no water at all: Thanks to Colorado River cuts, hundreds of residents on the outskirts of Phoenix are “the canary in the coal mine.”

Featured Image: Like Arizona, Brisbane is suffering conditions of prolonged drought. Unlike, Arizona, they actually promote conservation. (1757417609).jpg / Source: / Author: cogdogblog / License: Creative Commons CC0 1.0 Universal Public Domain Dedication / Via Wikimedia Commons

Views expressed in this post are those of its author(s), not necessarily all Vote Climate One members.

Vexed issue of harvesting flood-plane water not solved

NSW Senate blocks plan to allow agribusiness to harvest more than 5x flood plane water even than allowed for in Murray-Darling basin plan

by Anne Davies, 24/02/2022 in The Guardian
NSW parliament rejects flood plain harvesting laws for third time over sustainability concerns: Labor, the Greens and crossbenchers unite to disallow water capturing licences despite minister already moving to issue them

Views expressed in this post are those of its author(s), not necessarily all Vote Climate One members.

Great idea! photovoltaic covers for irrigation canals

Good for agriculture: Save scarce water from evaporation to pay for installing solar panel covers, supply energy, and generate profits

by Dan Gearino, 24/02/2022 in Inside Clean Energy
In Parched California, a Project Aims to Save Water and Produce Renewable Energy: Plan calls for building solar canopies over canals, and may be the first project of its kind in the United States [but not elsewhere]

Featured image: A conceptual rendering of solar canopies covering part of Turlock Irrigation District’s 110-foot-wide main canal, near Turlock, California. Credit: Turlock Irrigation District. From the article

Views expressed in this post are those of its author(s), not necessarily all Vote Climate One members.

Global warming intensifies droughts and floods

Global warming is shifting ocean evaporation towards poles, robbing rain from already drought stricken areas to dump it on already wet areas

by Taimoor Sohail & Jan Zika, 24/02/2022 in The Conversation
Climate change is warping our fresh water cycle – and much faster than we thought: Fresh water cycles from ocean to air to clouds to rivers and back to the oceans. This constant shuttling can give us the illusion of certainty. Fresh water will always come from the tap. Won’t it? — Unfortunately, that’s not guaranteed. Climate change is shifting where the water cycle deposits water on land, with drier areas becoming drier still, and wet areas becoming even wetter.

Views expressed in this post are those of its author(s), not necessarily all Vote Climate One members.

Southern California’s NB4 record high winter temps

Record high mid-winter temps from 28 to 31 °C and wildfires hit Southern California suggesting drought may continue for another year

By Jan Wesner Childs 11/02/2020 in The Weather Channel:
Homes Burned, Evacuations Ordered Amid Southern California Wildfires: Southern California is experiencing unusually hot weather, combined with Santa Ana winds and an ongoing drought. Temperatures soared into the mid- to upper 80s in some areas Thursday with daily record highs noted by the National Weather Service in Ventura, Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo and Los Angeles counties.

See also:
By Madeline Scheinost 09/02/2022 in The Weather Channel
Does California’s Dry Start to 2022 Mean the Drought Is Locked in Until Next Winter?: California started the year with a dent in a multi-year drought thanks to a wet December, but a dry spell to start the year threatens to counteract the progress that was made and prolong the drought well into 2022.

Views expressed in this post are those of its author(s), not necessarily all Vote Climate One members.