Australia is on fire

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Squeak
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Re: Australia is on fire

Post by Squeak » Mon Dec 30, 2019 11:56 am

Eastern Victoria just looks foul today. And an unknown number of idiots decided that their holiday plans were more important than evacuation advice from the fire experts. So, resources will be tied up protecting idiots.

Bairnsdale is out of direct danger at the moment but anything is possible.

Here, after two spikes up to 40C this afternoon, either side of the thunderstorm, it's now deliciously cool outside and the rain is pelting down. There's a scary little fire north of the city but hopefully they're getting some rain too.

nefibach
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Re: Australia is on fire

Post by nefibach » Mon Dec 30, 2019 10:04 pm

And as just having bl..dy great fires isn't bad enough, some of those fires are creating their own thunderstorms, spitting embers and lightning tens of kilometres ahead of the fire front.

https://www.theguardian.com/environment ... nderstorms

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Re: Australia is on fire

Post by Squeak » Tue Dec 31, 2019 12:50 am

The skies over Mallacoota, in eastern Victoria, have gone a beautiful shade of red. Beautiful from this side of a computer screen, at least. (Picture pinched from the Guardian live blog.)

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Gfamily
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Re: Australia is on fire

Post by Gfamily » Tue Dec 31, 2019 1:06 am

nefibach wrote:
Mon Dec 30, 2019 10:04 pm
And as just having bl..dy great fires isn't bad enough, some of those fires are creating their own thunderstorms, spitting embers and lightning tens of kilometres ahead of the fire front.

https://www.theguardian.com/environment ... nderstorms
For reference - just one fire
the Guardian wrote:The 411,000 hectare Gospers Mountain fire in the Blue Mountains, still burning out of control on Thursday, is likely the latest bushfire to have generated a pyroCB storm on 22 November.
Also for reference, the enclosed area is a bit under 411,000 hectares
410 000 hectares.JPG
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My avatar was a scientific result that was later found to be 'mistaken' - I rarely claim to be 100% correct

Squeak
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Re: Australia is on fire

Post by Squeak » Tue Dec 31, 2019 3:14 am

There's been pyrocumulonimbus across south eastern Victoria too, so I think Nefi was right. Mind you, is hard to keep tabs on all of the fires, with so much going on at once.

I live in a country that is used to big fires and I'm struggling to get my brain around the sheer scale and horror of these ones.

I think gfamily showed an image from something similar to the Guardian's tool that that lets you plot various of the fires against capital cities for reference.

Here's what 4.6M ha (the total area burned across NSW, Vic, SA, and QLD) looks like compared to London. (For casual comparison with anywhere you're familiar with, that square has sides ~215km long.)

https://www.theguardian.com/australia-n ... p_Messages
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Chris Preston
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Re: Australia is on fire

Post by Chris Preston » Tue Dec 31, 2019 6:59 am

Dry lightening yesterday afternoon started 120 fires in the state. Fortunately, only 2 of those are still burning, but so are three fires from last week.

Heard today from friends holidaying on the south coast of NSW. They have been evacuated from the town they were staying in and moved to Moruya. They cannot get out of Moruya as every road in every direction is cut by fires. A nearby town, Cobargo, was destroyed by the fires with 2 people killed. The government are going to send the Defence Force in to help with evacuations.

After 42 C yesterday, it is cooler today, but forecast to reach 42 C again on Friday. We are likely to break the number of 40 C and over days in a summer.
Here grows much rhubarb.

greyspoke
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Re: Australia is on fire

Post by greyspoke » Tue Dec 31, 2019 7:28 am

Eeeek! My mum used to live in Moruya. I don't think any friends or relatives live there now, but I do hope it doesn't get worse for them.

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bjn
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Re: Australia is on fire

Post by bjn » Tue Dec 31, 2019 8:36 am

nefibach wrote:
Mon Dec 30, 2019 10:04 pm
And as just having bl..dy great fires isn't bad enough, some of those fires are creating their own thunderstorms, spitting embers and lightning tens of kilometres ahead of the fire front.

https://www.theguardian.com/environment ... nderstorms
My brother's view of a pyro cumulus yesterday. Their place is now covered in smoke and they are packed and ready to run. And it's his birthday tomorrow.

Fuckity f.ck.
brosPyroCum.jpg
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jimbob
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Re: Australia is on fire

Post by jimbob » Tue Dec 31, 2019 9:58 am

It's really not looking good - hope he's OK
Have you considered stupidity as an explanation

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bjn
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Re: Australia is on fire

Post by bjn » Tue Dec 31, 2019 11:20 am

jimbob wrote:
Tue Dec 31, 2019 9:58 am
It's really not looking good - hope he's OK
The wind has turned so his town won't be burnt down today. They're pretty upset.

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Re: Australia is on fire

Post by Squeak » Tue Dec 31, 2019 1:06 pm

Just awful. My fingers are firmly crossed for him and his family.

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bjn
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Re: Australia is on fire

Post by bjn » Tue Dec 31, 2019 1:26 pm

Squeak wrote:
Tue Dec 31, 2019 1:06 pm
Just awful. My fingers are firmly crossed for him and his family.
To quote his last email, "One begins to understand why people invented gods. It gives you something to yell at."

Some what terrifying video of what the RFS is going through.

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Bird on a Fire
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Re: Australia is on fire

Post by Bird on a Fire » Tue Dec 31, 2019 6:19 pm

bjn wrote:
Tue Dec 31, 2019 11:20 am
jimbob wrote:
Tue Dec 31, 2019 9:58 am
It's really not looking good - hope he's OK
The wind has turned so his town won't be burnt down today. They're pretty upset.
Surely his town can't be that bad?!
"Ecology without socialism is just gardening" - Chico Mendes

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bjn
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Re: Australia is on fire

Post by bjn » Tue Dec 31, 2019 8:43 pm

Bird on a Fire wrote:
Tue Dec 31, 2019 6:19 pm
bjn wrote:
Tue Dec 31, 2019 11:20 am
jimbob wrote:
Tue Dec 31, 2019 9:58 am
It's really not looking good - hope he's OK
The wind has turned so his town won't be burnt down today. They're pretty upset.
Surely his town can't be that bad?!
He hates his neighbours soooo much.

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Re: Australia is on fire

Post by Squeak » Thu Jan 02, 2020 6:11 am

And even the magpies have started mimicking fire engines.

Nee naw

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Re: Australia is on fire

Post by plodder » Thu Jan 02, 2020 10:29 am

Birds mimic all sorts. There's a blackbird in my garden that mimics the reversing sirens from the nearby industrial estate.

Here are a couple of links you guys might like (note the dates, it's evidence from 10 years ago).

The effect of land clearing on rainfall and fresh water resources in Western Australia:

https://www.researchgate.net/publicatio ... y_analysis
It is generally thought that this decline is due to natural periodic variations and changes induced by global warming, but recently evidence has emerged suggesting that a substantial part of the decline may be due to extensive logging close to the coast to make way for housing developments and the clearing of native vegetation for wheat planting on the higher ground. We compare coastal and inland rainfall to show empirically that 55% to 62% of the observed rainfall decline is the result of land clearing alone.
and a bit more here.

http://www.abc.net.au/science/articles/ ... 816526.htm

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Chris Preston
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Re: Australia is on fire

Post by Chris Preston » Fri Jan 03, 2020 5:28 am

Over 10,000 people have been ordered to evacuate today in preparation for severe weather forecast for tomorrow in NSW and Victoria.

8000 sq km of Victoria is on fire and more in NSW. Forecasts in the mid 40s tomorrow for a lot of the fire ground, with strong winds.
Here grows much rhubarb.

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Bird on a Fire
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Re: Australia is on fire

Post by Bird on a Fire » Fri Jan 03, 2020 10:56 am

What's the recovery from this going to look like? How long will the habitat take to recover?

Are there plans to try to limit the severity of future fires, or could this become a regular occurrence?
"Ecology without socialism is just gardening" - Chico Mendes

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bjn
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Re: Australia is on fire

Post by bjn » Fri Jan 03, 2020 1:54 pm

Bird on a Fire wrote:
Fri Jan 03, 2020 10:56 am
What's the recovery from this going to look like? How long will the habitat take to recover?

Are there plans to try to limit the severity of future fires, or could this become a regular occurrence?
From my understanding, given climate change, it's only going to get drier and hotter in Australia. So yes, until it's all burnt to desert, this is how it's going to look. The dry sclerophyll areas will probably recover a bit, as they are meant to burn, but how strongly they bounce back will depend on how dry the continent becomes. Some of it won't recover. There are areas being burnt that have never burnt as pre-climate change they were permanently damp areas. They are gone.

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Re: Australia is on fire

Post by plodder » Fri Jan 03, 2020 2:28 pm

Why were they damp? Low lying with a source of water? Unless the source has been removed they'll get boggy again pretty quickly. I think the recovery might actually be pretty rapid (10 years or so) - obviously factoring in the creeping influence of climate change.

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bjn
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Re: Australia is on fire

Post by bjn » Fri Jan 03, 2020 2:36 pm

plodder wrote:
Fri Jan 03, 2020 2:28 pm
Why were they damp? Low lying with a source of water? Unless the source has been removed they'll get boggy again pretty quickly. I think the recovery might actually be pretty rapid (10 years or so) - obviously factoring in the creeping influence of climate change.
Because it rained alot, being rainforests. Rainfall patterns have changed.

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Re: Australia is on fire

Post by plodder » Fri Jan 03, 2020 2:48 pm

Yeah I know, check the *actual science* I posted upthread. But if there are aquifers etc these will be impacted in more subtle ways.

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bjn
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Re: Australia is on fire

Post by bjn » Fri Jan 03, 2020 3:12 pm

plodder wrote:
Fri Jan 03, 2020 2:48 pm
Yeah I know, check the *actual science* I posted upthread. But if there are aquifers etc these will be impacted in more subtle ways.
Which reference Western Australia and logged forests. The Gondwana rainforests what were burnt/are currently burning are neither, they are on the East coast of Australia and are protected areas. For example the Lamington National Park in Queensland, which is in mountains behind the Gold Coast. Land usage definitely makes things more fire prone, and Gippsland (referenced in the second paper) is a f.cking hell on earth right now. But there is a damn sight more going on than simple changes in land user patterns.

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Re: Australia is on fire

Post by plodder » Fri Jan 03, 2020 3:28 pm

Do we have any data / estimates on the return period of both the drought and the current temperatures?

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Re: Australia is on fire

Post by purplehaze » Fri Jan 03, 2020 3:34 pm

My sister is in an evacuation centre in Narooma, the second one she's been too. Brother is staying put in Mollymook. They are all safe and well considering. Sis lost her house.

Obviously, I won't get much sleep tonight.

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