Wed Jan 9, 2013, 07:52 PM
marmar (64,063 posts)
Australia on Fire: Record-Shattering Heat, Wildfires Engulf World’s Largest Exporter of Coal
from Democracy Now!:
AMY GOODMAN: While Australia is suffering from record-shattering heat, here in the United States the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration announced 2012 was by far the hottest year on record for the continental 48 states, the average temperature 55.3 degrees, one degree above the previous record and 3.2 degrees more than the 20th-century average.
Well, for more, right now we’re going to Sydney, Australia, where we’re joined via Democracy Now! videostream by Anna Rose. She is the co-founder and chair of Australian Youth Climate Coalition, as well as the author of Madlands: A Journey to Change the Mind of a Climate Sceptic.
Anna Rose, welcome to Democracy Now! What’s happening in your country, this record-shattering heat, it’s being described as a dome of heat, your country literally on fire. For people around the world who are not following this, just describe what’s happening in Australia.
ANNA ROSE: Well, right now in Australia, we’re having record-breaking heat waves. There are fires burning in almost every single Australian state and territory. People have been evacuated. Some people have lost their homes; they’ve lost everything. Our Bureau of Meteorology has come out and said that these are the kind of heat wave conditions that are absolutely unprecedented in our history in terms of the duration, the ferocity. And it’s expected to continue into the weekend and to get worse.
NERMEEN SHAIKH: Anna Rose, can you say something about how these fires follow on all that happened, in climate terms, in 2012 in Australia? There were extreme floods; much of Queensland was submerged. Can you talk a little about that?
ANNA ROSE: The last two years have been really rough in terms of extreme weather events in Australia. In Queensland, we had big floods that covered an area bigger than the size of France and Germany combined. We had entire towns that were really destroyed by this flooding. But we also—I come from a farming background, and we’re starting to see the impacts in agriculture all over the country. And when you talk to farmers, they’ll tell you that it rains less often, but when it does rain, it all comes down at once, because, essentially, what we’re doing to our climate system is we’re messing with the water cycle. And so, when we know that warmer air holds more water vapor, which means there’s less vapor in the soil, when it does come down, it all comes down at once. .................(more)
The complete piece is at: http://www.democracynow.org/2013/1/9/australia_on_fire_record_shattering_heat
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