No Rain then Drought & Heatwaves
- Drought – “the worst in living memory” – In Australia’s winter, August 2018, one of my brothers spent a week in Broken Hill, New South Wales, and saw first hand the devastation. Both domestic animals and wildlife died in the thousands struggling to survive without food and water. My brother has been a farmer in Australia all his life and to quote him he has “never seen anything like it in his life – shocking“
- Another mass wildlife “dying event” during the drought early in February 2018 was in Western Australia. “Millions” of kangaroos and other species died from lack of water and food. The event repeated itself in coming months in various other areas of Australia.
- The ongoing drought and lack of rain and low river water levels were also part of the reason for the massive fish kill in the Darling River at Menindee. in December 2018 and January 2019. Another cause of this “national natural disaster” was stated as “water management issues”. This was an overwhelming event with an estimated one million or more fish, some 100 years old, killed in the river. The fish died from lack of oxygen: see full explanation in the previous link above (4 minute video).
- Here is the complete report on this catastrophic incident by the Australian Academy of Science – “Fish Kills” in Menindee, NSW in February, 2019.
- The majestic Flying Fox bats were decimated, due to Heat Waves in several areas in Australia. Other events occurred in : Adelaide, South Australia (Jan, 2019) , Queensland (Nov 2018) and New South Wales, and in Victoria.
“45,500 flying foxes dead on just one extremely hot day
in southeast Queensland, according to our new research”
~ Dr Justin Welbergen, Western Sydney University
After the Drought – Fires
“For the first time ever we’ll introduce restrictions in Gippsland as early as September,” he said. “That will take us right through to potentially April next year, so start early, finish late.” Fire Authorities, ABC News
After the Wildfires – Floods
- State of Disaster in Townsville Floods (Summer January / February 2019)
- Video: State of Emergency in North Queensland due to torrential rain
- November, 2018, More “Flash Floods in Sydney, NSW Sadly three people lost their lives during this “epic” storm
As species are exterminated by shifting climate zones,
ecosystems can collapse,
destroying more species.
~ James Hansen
Other Climate Related News
- Polluted Flood waters flow into the Great Barrier Reef “Australia’s Great Barrier Reef Inundated by Queensland Flood Plumes“. The Weather Channel, February, 2019
- Government approves dumping of industrial sludge “One million tons of sludge to be dumped into the Great Barrier Reef“. BBC News, February, 2019
- Air quality a concern after dust storm “Australia dust storm: “Health warning as skies change colour” – BBC News, November, 2018
- Species changing habitats for various reasons including survival – “Climate Change and Distribution Shifts in Marine Fishes“. Report by Allison L. Perry, Paula J. Low, Jim R. Ellis, John D. Reynolds
- Bogong Moth decline: Droughts & hot weather are thought to be the reason for the decline of billions of moths. This also effects the endangered mountain pygmy possum “The Collapse of Australia’s migratory Moth could take Beloved Tiny Marsupials with it“.
- Jellyfish infestation possibly connected to heatwaves & warming waters “13,000 Jellyfish Stings Prompt Australian Officials to Declare ‘Epidemic‘”. January 2019
- Koalas are endangered as their habitat disappears due to droughts, fires, floods, logging and urbanization. Detailed information on the “Save the Koala” website below.
~ Save the Koala
In closing …
- Globally, there are also skyrocketing costs to rebuild, such as from Hurricane Katrina (2005) at an estimated cost of $125 billion.
- Puerto Rico is struggling to recover from Hurricane Maria in 2018. In 2018 the Top 10 disaster costs worldwide are estimated at $110 billion.
- The “costs” to the environment are impossible to calculate and will last many decades.
There is no way these destructive occurrences can be ignored. This, sadly is only the tip of the proverbial “iceberg”. I hope this article has made you aware of the climate disasters elsewhere in the world, not only in Australia.
Australia is a very large country, similar in size to Canada, with a great diversity of climate and geography. This article only includes some events and mostly focuses on the effects to the environment and species. In Climate 2015 I wrote the following :
~ I believe we can make a difference
by tweeting, writing, talking and doing!
… and tell a friend!
Links & References:
- “Droughts, Fires & Flooding Rains – the Human Cost“, David Johnston, Monash University, 2018
- Possums dying from extreme heat, Victoria, Australia, March 2019
- “Bats die in “biblical” proportions due to Record breaking Heat Wave” – January 2019
- 23,000 “Spectacled Fruit Bats killed by Heat Wave” in Queensland, Australia during heat waves November 2018
- “‘Canaries in the Coalmine’: Bairnsdale’s bat deaths” by Peter Gardner, February 3, 2019
- “More on Bairnsdale’s Bat Die off” – Peter Gardner, February 19, 2019
- “‘A Harbinger of Things to Come’: Farmers in Australia Struggle with Its Hottest Drought Ever” by Casey Quackenbush, Time Magazine February 2019
- A visit to the Great Barrier Reef – a World Heritage Site, tropical rain forests in Queensland and Bats … & changes in the environment
- Half of the Great Barrier Reef is Dead since 2016 – National Geographic (August 2018)
- Australia, New Zealand & Oceania Floodlist
- 2016 Eight people die from Thunderstorm Asthma
- Climate 2016 to Continue on Twitter
- Climate Change & Environment for 2017
- The new “deep purple” temperature map for Australia – Bureau of Meterology, 2013
- Want to know more about Climate and changes in our world from NASA
- “Plan B 3 Mobilizing to Save Civilization” by Lester R. Brown, W.W. Norton, 2008
- “Biodiversity” by John Spicer, Oneworld, 2006
- Note: Due to dramatic photographic content some links not provided. Other information obtained from The UK Daily Mail news article entitled “Harrowing pictures worst drought in 116 years”
“25 years ago people could be excused for not knowing much,
or doing much, about climate change,
today we have no excuse”
~ Desmond Tutu