The Big Dry

December 25, 2006

Phil Mercer, journalist for the BBC, has written an article about the drought in Australia. There’s no rain, it’s hot. Some think it’s part of the climate change. Australia hasn’t signed the Kyoto protocol. The rough weather conditions has sparked an intense debate about Kyoto, climate change and lack of rain. There’s some panic as well, because some experts think the dry climate is there to stay for a couple of years. Some say even fifty.

“I can imagine Australia being a desert in a few decades’ time in some of these agricultural areas. The soil is blowing away, the rivers are drying up”, says Cate Faehrmann from the Nature Conservation Council of New South Wales.

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Map with hotspots

December 13, 2006

Still about the bushfires in Australia: a great map with the hotspots.

Hotspot map

Smoke

December 12, 2006

Before and during the bushfire

The above picture was taken by SplaTT. Both photos are taken on the exact spot in the Upper Yarra Valley in Victoria. On the picture above you clearly can see what the impact of the smoke of the bushfires. According to SlaTT the fires are located 50-60 kilometers away.

Friday I saw some television footage of the smoke in the city center of Melbourne. That was scaring too.

On Tuesday morning (Australia), media reported that two fires in the north east of Victoria merged in one big blaze. Nearly three and a half thousand people are fighting the fires in Victoria. On Tasmania a firestorm damaged fourteen houses. Luckily, the fires haven’t killed anybody.

Fires in Victoria

December 7, 2006

Smoke above Victoria

This picture was taken by a Nasa Terra satellite on 5th December 2006. It shows the smoke of the bushfires in Victoria. The red spots are the actual fires. Today fifty fires are burning throughout the area and firemen don’t think they’ll be able to control the fires today because the weather is bad. Nasa stipulates that a strong El Nino-influence on the weather is not a good thing for the firefighters.

The fires are a result of the ongoing drought and high temperatures. These have created extremely risky conditions for fires in many parts of the country.

Snow

November 16, 2006

Snow hasn’t fallen yet where I live (far away from Australia), but the cold weather surprised Victoria. Arround Melbourne, snow fell. For instance, in Ballarat, where this picture was taken.

Snow in Ballarat

In two weeks times, it will be summer in Australia. But the snowstorms and the rain are welcome, writes the Herald Sun. Every two or three novembers, Victoria gets so bad weather. “The current rainfall is certainly very welcome in helping to reduce consumption and providing a good soaking for parks and gardens,” Melbourne Water spokesman Ben Pratt said. “However, spring rainfall totals to date are only about half of the 30-year average expected in the catchments.”