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Posts Tagged Queensland

The Climate Show #5: on a hot wet green roof Gareth Renowden Jan 21

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The Climate Show returns with the first show of the new year, and it’s a cracker. Our guest is Dr Brad Bass, an expert in “green” roofing who joined Glenn in the Auckland studio to discuss the many advantages of growing things (even trees!) on our buildings. John Cook from Skeptical Science gives us an eye-witness account of the Queensland flooding, and explains the climate and weather background to the event. We also discuss last year’s record setting temperatures, the fakery of Don Easterbrook, and an interesting breakthrough in solar power technology.

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Show notes below the fold.

Record temperatures in 2010:

Hot Topic post: Everyone agrees: 2010 ties for top temperature.

National Climatic Data Centre report: State of the Climate Global Analysis 2010.

Global temperature map:

Rainfall chart:

Jeff Masters on Hudson Bay ice.

Why Don Easterbrook is wrong about 2010.

NIWA research on climate and snow on NZ skifields.

Green roofs

Dr. Brad Bass — Adjunct professor in the Centre for Environment at the University of Toronto and the recent Chair of the North American Green Roof Research Committee
All the links mention by Brad:

Green Roofs for Healthy Cities – http://www.greenroofs.org

http://www.breathingwall.com/

http://www.livingroofs.org

http://www.cobweb.ca

http://www.greenroofs.com

http://www.livingroofs.org.nz

The Hundertwasser toilets and Vienna house.

John Cook from Skeptical Science on La Niña the flooding in Queensland:

SST chart from NOAA:

Australia’s Bureau of Meteorology on the current La Niña. SOI chart:

Increased SST leads to more water vapour in the atmosphere:
[image to follow]

Extreme rainfall events are increasing
[image to follow]

Solutions:

New solar fuel machine ‘mimics plant life’

[Glenn promises to take the Christmas cards down before the next show... ;-) ]

Thanks to our media partners: Celsias.co.nz, Scoop and KiwiFM.

Theme music: A Drop In The Ocean by The Bads.

Too many teardrops Gareth Renowden Jan 12

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This astonishing video was shot on Monday as flash flooding hit the Queensland town of Toowoomba after a reported 140mm of rain fell in only 30 minutes. 12 people are confirmed to have been killed in the region, and 90 more are missing according to state premier Anna Bligh. Floodwaters are rising in the state capital Brisbane, with the central business district closed down. Flood levels are expected to top out above the levels reached in 1974 — the previous record holder. I know that Hot Topic‘s readers will join me in wishing the people of Queensland well. This ABC page has a list of relief funds to which you can donate. I can confirm that Skeptical Science’s John Cook is OK, and not expecting any direct impacts. We’ll be talking to him about the floods in the next Climate Show, scheduled for recording next week.

Has global warming had an impact on this event? Watching the deniers quotes The Age saying that the floods are “consistent with (although not proof of) climate change predictions for northern Australia”, and that seems fair. The direct “cause” of the flooding is the current strong La Niña (possibly the strongest since records began, according to AMOS president Prof Neville Nicholls). This phase of ENSO causes warm water to pile up against NE Australia, helping to fuel large rainfall events. The record floods of 1974, for example, were associated with a La Niña event. To make matters worse, over the last year sea surface temperatures around Australia have been running at record levels, as this Bureau of Meteorology chart from their climate summary for 2010 shows:

The recipe seems clear enough: an intense La Niña and record sea surface temperatures combining to cause record floods. A more precise attribution of warming’s influence on the event will have to wait for the studies to be done, but for the time being it certainly looks likely that this is another extreme weather event which has been made worse by recent warming.

Update 13/1/11: Barry Brook at Brave New Climate considers the costs of the floods, and puts them in to the context of the last few years of Aussie weather extremes, and NASA’s Earth Observatory has an image showing rainfall in the Brisbane area, showing that over 200 mm fell in the flash flood regions.

[Nick Lowe]

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