Australian news, and some related international items

Will the peace bell sound in the Koreas? — Beyond Nuclear International

Worrying nuclear flashpoints in Asia

via Will the peace bell sound in the Koreas? — Beyond Nuclear International

March 4, 2019 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

How bushfires generate their own weather

Why Victoria’s bushfires generated their own lightning, The Age , By Liam Mannix, March 4, 2019 — There are few sights more terrifying for a firefighter: a vast, dark storm cloud brewing above a bushfire, shooting out lightning.

On Sunday, the Licola bushfire east of Melbourne burned with such intensity it generated a huge thundercloud that fired hundreds of lightning strikes at nearby forests.

The Bunyip fire, which is believed to have wiped at least one town off the map, also generated its own weather system which fed the fire with extreme winds.

“It’s absolutely terrifying. And it’s dangerous as well, because that lightning can start new fires before the main fire,” says Dean Narramore, a meteorologist at the Bureau of Meteorology’s extreme weather desk.

How bushfires generate their own weather

As a bushfire burns, it generates hot, smoke-filled air.

This air is hotter than surrounding air and rapidly rises, forming a smoke plume.

As the plume rises, atmospheric pressure falls. This causes the plume to spread out, generating a “mushroom” on top of the plume.

The smoke plume is filled with moisture which is released by burning trees. The higher you go in the atmosphere, the cooler it gets, so the top parts of the plume get chilled.

This causes the moisture in the plume to condense (turn from water vapour into tiny water droplets) and form a cloud.

As the plume rises rapidly into the sky, cool air is sucked in to replace it. This causes extreme winds near the firefront. To fight a fire, you need to know which way it is burning. But when a fire-cloud forms and starts generating strong and unpredictable winds, the fire can become chaotic.

“All this air rushes into the fire. You can imagine air coming from all different angles, feeding in – and oxygen is a very important part of fire. It causes fires to race up and down hills,” Mr Narramore says……..

March 4, 2019 Posted by | climate change - global warming, Victoria | Leave a comment

Fifth Graders Launch Their Own Kindness Club at School


Do you ever get tired of all the bad news?      Here’s a good one.

Good News Network, By mgreenhoe -Mar 2, 2019  Kindness is seeping into the classrooms and corridors of an elementary school in Minnesota thanks to a group of fifth-graders.

The kids at Parker Elementary School started a Kindness Club last year, and observers say it’s having a positive impact on classroom culture.

“There had been some issues in fifth grade of kids not being very kind to each other,” said Ashley Justen, a social worker at the school in Elk River. Teachers had talked to some of the students and told them things had to change because ‘that’s not how you treat people,’ Justen said.

Fifth-grade teacher Matt Greenhoe said he had been talking with his students one day about improving the situation when one of the kids, Ady Bolling  suggested starting the Kindness Club.“I said, ‘That’s a great idea,’ and I just kind of let them go,” Greenhoe said.

Since then the Kindness Club has blossomed, sprinkling kindness throughout the school.

Ady said they started the club because they want kids at Parker to feel safe in school. They also want to stop bullying and improve self-esteem, she said……..

March 4, 2019 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

Climate crisis – heating oceans affecting Tasman Sea marine life, and seafood industries

‘Not very happy’: Tasman Sea warmth puts the heat on key fisheries, Brisbane Times, By Peter Hannam, March 2, 2019 Back-to-back summer heatwaves in the Tasman Sea that have affected marine life and seafood industries in Australia and New Zealand could be another sign of the warming climate, scientists say.

Australia has just had its warmest summer by far, with the role of so-called blocking highs in the Tasman seen by meteorologists as key to the build-up of record-breaking heat over the country’s south-east.

The still conditions brought by those highs have the effect of limiting ocean mixing, while the relatively cloudless skies allowed solar radiation to warm the waters of the Tasman to a greater-than-usual depth.

By the Bureau of Meteorology’s definition, a marine heatwave occurs when temperatures in the top 10 per cent of readings for that time of year exist for at least five days. The Tasman Sea has met the definition for months on end, two years in a row………

The effect on marine ecosystems, fishing and aquaculture industries “can be devastating, including killing off kelp forests and corals”………

March 4, 2019 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, business, climate change - global warming | Leave a comment

New South Wales election – 3 Independent MP’s gather strength for climate action

NSW election roundup: independents join forces on climate changeThree possible kingmakers write to premier and opposition leader. Plus: the key promises made this week , Guardian, Josephine Tovey
 Three independent MPs who could become kingmakers in the event of a hung parliament have put climate change, and “future-proofing” the environment and economy, at the forefront of their agenda. Sydney’s Alex Greenwich, Lake Macquarie’s Greg Piper and Wagga Wagga’s Joe McGirr joined forces on Friday to call on the two major parties to commit to a 10-year adjustment strategy for coalmining communities, “backed by substantial financial resources to affected regions”.“A transition away from coal is what the planet urgently needs but it requires planning to avoid social and economic impacts in mining regions,” they wrote in a letter to the New South Wales premier and opposition leader.

Polls have consistently suggested the main parties are locked in a dead heat, and a Coalition minority government is widely regarded as a likely outcome of the 23 March election.

Greenwich said that whatever the outcome, he would work with either of the major parties to deliver his priorities, with a strong focus on climate change and homelessness…….

March 4, 2019 Posted by | climate change - global warming, New South Wales, politics | Leave a comment

YouTube is, unfortunately, a leader in climate denial

March 4, 2019 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

South Australia’s second biggest solar farm begins production — RenewEconomy

South Australia’s 108MW Tailem Bend solar farm has started sending electricity to the grid, kicking off operations for the state’s second big solar project. The post South Australia’s second biggest solar farm begins production appeared first on RenewEconomy.

via South Australia’s second biggest solar farm begins production — RenewEconomy

March 4, 2019 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

March 3 Energy News — geoharvey

Opinion: ¶ “Freak Weather ‘Will Make Life Harder For Business’” • First we had the Beast from the East, then the joint hottest summer on record, and now February winter temperatures have soared to all-time highs. The UK’s weather is getting more difficult to predict, and for UK businesses that is creating both opportunities and […]

via March 3 Energy News — geoharvey

March 4, 2019 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment