Having my two cents worth

Giving an opinion on world events and news…

Category Archives: La Nina

Germaine Greer adds her two cents worth–Pt. 5 of a series

This is the second time that I have agreed with the gist of comments from Germaine Greer. This woman gets it!!  The first time that I agreed with Greer was about the causes of the devastating bush fires in Australia two years ago. In that instance Greer took the Greenies and the Globull warmists to task over their attempts to claim that the most devastating fire in Marysville and other areas in Victoria was due to Globull warming. On that occasion Greer made observations that I had also learned in the classroom.

This time Greer is refuting the attempts by Globull warmists to claim that the floods in Queensland have something to do with climate change (it does not).

Here is a part of what Greer had to say in her column:

 

What’s going on in Australia is rain… The ground is swollen with months of it. The new downpours have nowhere to go but sideways, across the vast floodplains of this ancient continent. We all learned the poem at school, about how ours is “a sunburnt country . . . of droughts and flooding rains"… And yet we still don’t get it. After 10 years of drought, we are having the inevitable flooding rains. The pattern is repeated regularly and yet Australians are still taken by surprise.

The meteorologists will tell you that the current deluge is a product of La Niña. At fairly regular intervals, atmospheric pressure on the western side of the Pacific falls; the trade winds blow from the cooler east side towards the trough, pushing warm surface water westwards towards the bordering land masses. As the water-laden air is driven over the land it cools and drops its load. In June last year the bureau of meteorology issued a warning that La Niña was about “to dump buckets” on Australia. In 1989-90 La Niña brought flooding to New South Wales and Victoria, in 1998 to New South Wales and Queensland… In Brisbane the benchmark was the flood of 1974; most Queenslanders are unaware that the worst flood in Brisbane’s history happened in 1893. Six months ago the meteorologists thought it was worthwhile to warn people to “get ready for a wet, late winter and a soaked spring and summer”. So what did the people do? Nothing. They said, “She’ll be right, mate”. She wasn’t.

It takes La Niña to bring rain to the inland, in such quantities that it can hardly be managed. Manage it Australians must. The Wivenhoe Dam on the Brisbane river was built to protect the city of Brisbane from another flood like the one of 1974. For years it has been at 10% of capacity [er, that’s a gross exaggeration, actually, but, yet, it was alarmingly low for a while], so when it filled this year nobody wanted to let any of the precious water out. It eventually became clear that the dam had filled to 190% of its capacity, and the authorities realised with sinking hearts not only that the floodgates would have to be opened [even wider, actually], but that the opening would coincide with a king tide in Moreton Bay. The question nobody [pardon?] has been heard to ask is whether or not the level of water in the dam should have been reduced gradually, beginning weeks ago…

 

Hat tip: Andrew Bolt

 

The poem that Greer mentions is “My Country” by Dorothea Mackellar. We all had to learn that poem by rote. We had to recite it perfectly when we were in school. Here is the full poem:

The love of field and coppice,
Of green and shaded lanes.
Of ordered woods and gardens
Is running in your veins,
Strong love of grey-blue distance
Brown streams and soft dim skies
I know but cannot share it,
My love is otherwise.

I love a sunburnt country,
A land of sweeping plains,
Of ragged mountain ranges,
Of droughts and flooding rains.
I love her far horizons,
I love her jewel-sea,
Her beauty and her terror –
The wide brown land for me!

A stark white ring-barked forest
All tragic to the moon,
The sapphire-misted mountains,
The hot gold hush of noon.
Green tangle of the brushes,
Where lithe lianas coil,
And orchids deck the tree-tops
And ferns the warm dark soil.

Core of my heart, my country!
Her pitiless blue sky,
When sick at heart, around us,
We see the cattle die –
But then the grey clouds gather,
And we can bless again
The drumming of an army,
The steady, soaking rain.

Core of my heart, my country!
Land of the Rainbow Gold,
For flood and fire and famine,
She pays us back threefold –
Over the thirsty paddocks,
Watch, after many days,
The filmy veil of greenness
That thickens as we gaze.

An opal-hearted country,
A wilful, lavish land –
All you who have not loved her,
You will not understand –
Though earth holds many splendours,
Wherever I may die,
I know to what brown country
My homing thoughts will fly.

I have changed the colour of the relevant stanzas of the poem because Dorothea Mackellar in her poem has encapsulated the truth about the Australian landscape. The droughts and the floods are a normal part of this country. This is why Governor Lachlan Macquarie designated the five Macquarie towns for settlements. He picked areas on high ground so that people would not be impacted by those floods.

Yet Australians today seem to not understand the very nature of the Australian weather patterns. This is yet another reason why these rains seem to have caught many people unawares. They should have been prepared, but they believed the big lie about Globull warming, and they believed the lie that the days of soaking rain were finished. They failed to understand the nature of La Nina.

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The coming of La Nina–pt4. of a series

La Nina is a periodic interaction between the Pacific Ocean and the Earth’s atmosphere, and the annual monsoonal low pressure trough which brings wet weather to the region. La Nina has not only affected Queensland and New South Wales, but it has left a trail of destruction elsewhere: Brazil (more than 270 have died in floods and mudslides) Sri Lanka (32 dead and 900,000 homeless), the Philippines (40 dead and 1.3 million displaced in flooding) Southern Thailand (2 dead and 3000 displaced in flooding), Europe (severe flooding in Koblenz, Cologne and Condron) Northeast  USA where blizzards have shutdown airports and Europe mid-December where there was also airport chaos due to heavy snowfalls. In Queensland, the death toll from the December and January floods stands at more than 40, with several people still missing.

The Meteorologists knew that La Nina was on the way as early as April 2010 when she showed off her trademark heavy rains and strong southeast trade winds from April through to the end of 2010. When El Nina arrives the Australian drought is broken.

One of the reasons for the devastating floods this year has been the arrival of La Nina, bringing with her an unusually high amount of rainfall. The higher levels of rainfall from September onwards has meant that the dams in Queensland had reached full capacity, and that the rivers had begun to swell with the flow of water. In the long term this is good for the Murray-Darling basin which had been suffering through the drought caused by El Nino.

The last time that there was a devastating flood was in 1974 when massive flooding in Brisbane killed 14 and 6,000 homes were destroyed or damaged, which was also due to La Nina. Prior to that, in the 1950s the Hunter Valley (Maitland) floods created an inland sea with 25 people being killed. That flood was the subject of a movie called Newsfront.

As a result of the arrival of La Nina there has been an increase in wet and humid conditions. This has led to increased rains in Victoria, as well as other parts of NSW that are not normally affected by La Nina. In late November, early December the rains in NSW and Victoria caused massive flooding. The towns affected included Mudgee, Wagga and Queanbeyan, as well as parts of Victoria. At the present time there are floods in Echuca and Horsham. If we get further heavy rainfalls here in the ACT I would expect that Queanbeyan could face flooding for a second time. The Molonglo river is still very high, and on top of that the lakes around Canberra are at full capacity. The Cotter dam is also at full capacity.

Even though the coming of La Nina explains to some extent the reason why the floods have been so devastating it is not the full story. There are other reasons for the devastating consequences around Ipswich, Toowoomba and Brisbane. It has to be remembered that in a tropical region such as Queensland, that there is only two seasons – wet and dry. The dry normally begins around May-June and lasts until about September when the humidity begins to ramp up again. It is quite normal for flooding in some areas of Queensland during the wet season. It is usually when El Nino is in effect that there is a drop in the normal rains during the wet season, which in turn affects the river systems.

I think that a part of the reason that people were caught off guard and were not ready for the effects of La Nina is that they had believed the big lie of Globull warming. In other words they believed that there would be less, not more, rain and as a result they had begun to do things that had consequences when the big rains came.  Yes, La Nina has her influence, but the mistakes that were made by those in authority have also played a big part in why Brisbane was devastatingly flooded and so many people have lost their lives.