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More to come

March 21st, 2006

It appears the Cyclone Wati, which had followed the path of Larry won’t hit Australia after all (at least, that’s the best guess at present). But with the shift in the Southern Oscillation from El Nino to La Nina and the long-term effects of global warming starting to become apparent, we can expect more severe cyclones for at least the next few years, and a general increase in the severity of storms and similar events. It’s too late to prevent this happening (though we can mitigate the process over the long term) so we’ll have to adapt.

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  1. March 21st, 2006 at 20:07 | #1

    Should that be “adapt” at the end?

  2. John Armour
    March 21st, 2006 at 20:12 | #2

    Just saw Howard announcing “the President” had phoned to offer his assistance.

    Haven’t Innisfail and Babinda suffered enough ?

    With Bush helping the met bureau would have to retrospectively upgrade Larry to a “6”

  3. jquiggin
    March 21st, 2006 at 20:12 | #3

    Thanks. Fixed now, I hope.

  4. Razor
    March 21st, 2006 at 20:41 | #4

    Obviously there was global warming in 1918 too, when a storm of similar strength hit.

  5. jquiggin
    March 21st, 2006 at 20:59 | #5

    Sadly predictable, Razor. Do you form all your opinions on the basis of wishful thinking?

  6. avaroo
    March 21st, 2006 at 21:11 | #6

    What is the explanation for a similar storm in 1918?

  7. Simonjm
    March 21st, 2006 at 21:24 | #7

    After a few more storms like this hit how long before we have our first Dome Homes springing up?

    Hey Razor keeping up to date with the latest GW news?

    Atmospheric CO2 accumulating faster than ever

    New analysis says global warming boosts hurricanes

    & they even had a statistician go over the work. What would Willis say to that?!

  8. Simonjm
    March 21st, 2006 at 22:11 | #8

    Oh and while I’m at it to update our Malaria discussion.

    Small heat rise may offer big boost for malaria

  9. Harry Clarke
    March 21st, 2006 at 23:30 | #9

    In fact, Razor, Global Warming is being linked to current extreme weather and climatic events as Simonjm points out. It does not seem to be fantasy or loose reasoning but an association that seems more than coincidental. The NewScientist piece is worthy of consideration but there is also a ton of stuff on this across the Web. From a Gaia viewpoint, nature’s retaliation?

  10. Chris O’Neill
    March 21st, 2006 at 23:35 | #10

    “What is the explanation for a similar storm in 1918?”

    Well, strange as it may seem to some people, global warming doesn’t mean that every cyclone we get from now on will be stronger than every cyclone we’ve ever had in the past. It just means the statistics change consistent with more energy being available from a warmer ocean. So called “super-cyclones” have occurred in the past before records were kept and their effects on the landscape are being studied, Super-cyclone threat to Great Barrier Reef raised.

    John also mentioned “a general increase in the severity of storms and similar events. It’s too late to prevent this happening..” As it is also too late to prevent the atmosphere (and oceans) from getting hotter still because even if the carbon burning was switched off today, the earth’s radiation imbalance would continue until the surface was about 0.6 degrees C warmer. The imbalance can occur because the oceans soak up heat while it’s warming.

  11. still working it out
    March 22nd, 2006 at 08:13 | #11

    Time to buy shares in companies that build cyclone proof buildings and infrastructure.

  12. Simonjm
    March 22nd, 2006 at 08:44 | #12

    SWIOS Yes this will really give a kick along to renewable off grid power sources and decentralized water and sewage.

    This would be handy now up North

    Air-water technology goes mobile

  13. March 22nd, 2006 at 15:55 | #13

    Breathe easy, John. It sounds like Howard – politely, but firmly – declined any help from Bush. I’m relieved, too.

  14. Aunty Ism
    March 22nd, 2006 at 19:49 | #14


    Just to get you started….is the whole solar system heating up?
    Any astrophysicists out there?

    In any case, Homo sapiens will adapt. That is our claim to fame on this little bubble of gas and rock.

  15. wilful
    March 23rd, 2006 at 21:23 | #15

    In any case, Homo sapiens will adapt. That is our claim to fame on this little bubble of gas and rock.

    Shame about the rest of the species on this little bubble of gas and rock. Or don’t they count?

  16. April 25th, 2006 at 10:31 | #16

    Because catagory storms form over warm ocean water, it is easy to assume that the recent rise in their number and ferocity is because of global warming. But that is not the case. Instead, the severity of catagory storm seasons changes with cycles of temperatures of several decade. According to Dr. W. M. Gray, professor of atmospheric science at Colorado State University who issues forecasts for the hurricane season, the recent onslaught is very much natural. Dr. Gray stated last year that while some groups and individuals say that catagory storm activity lately “may be in some way related to the effects of increased man-made greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide,…there is no reasonable scientific way that such an interpretation…can be made.” According to the record giant catagory storms are rare, but they are not new. And they are not increasing.

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