Baked Australia Begins to Burn

By Tom Yulsman | October 17, 2013 10:45 am
Smoke plumes from raging wildfires in New South Wales, Australia, as captured by NASA's Aqua satellite. Each red dot represents a location where a fire was detected by Aqua. (Image: NASA)

Smoke plumes from raging wildfires in New South Wales, Australia, as captured by NASA’s Aqua satellite on Thursday, Oct. 17, 2013. Each red dot represents a location where a fire was detected by Aqua. Sydney is located on the coast under the thickest plume. (Image: NASA)

As of the end of September, Australia had experienced its hottest 12-month period on record. And last month itself “was easily Australia’s warmest September on record,” according to the Australian Bureau of Meteorology.

Given that, the wildfires now raging across New South Wales should probably come as no surprise. There are more than a hundred of them, according to the Sydney Morning Herald. And they have likely destroyed hundreds of homes.

The image above, from NASA’s Aqua satellite and centered over the Australia’s Blue Mountains, shows smoke plumes streaming to the east. Each red dot is an area where a sensor on the satellite detected a fire; each one represents an area about a quarter of an acre in size. Sydney is on the coast and is obscured under the thickest plume.

Here’s a photo by Davina Andersson of what the smoke looked like over the city on Thursday:

A thick shroud of smoke from wildfires to the west envelopes Sydney on Thursday. (Photo: Courtesy Davina Andersson)

A thick shroud of smoke from wildfires to the west envelopes Sydney on Thursday. (Photo: Courtesy Davina Andersson)

I’ll have more to say about the climatic context of these fires in a subsequent post. So please look for that.  

  • Elderlybloke

    I think that Austalians refer to these fires as Bushfires or in scrub lands as Scrubfires just as we do in New Zealand.
    NB . In NZ we have more Scrubfires as our Bush isn’t so flammable.

  • DR. EDWARD SIEGEL

    Decades ago I published [online google: "Edward Siegel Flying Water"; find: 3rd World Conference on Alternative Energy, Bal Harbor, Florida(1980); published by Hemisphere/World(1980)-volume 5/page 495!!!] a method I developed in Brazil circa 1980 to make new water in new places via my “diffusive-magnetoresistance” and Archimedes’ buoyancy. In summary: hydrogen up; water down, aka the “Hindenberg effect”. This could also be used to quench wildfires. Later I tried to market it to the Australians, then prime minister Rudd and his water minister Albanese who not only spurned outside ideas, but had my paper spiked and excised from an Australian conference on water then. So I have absolutely no sympathy for Australia’s current plight exacerbated by global warming!!! Siegel “Flying Water” was then and is still now the Australian’s only solution to these global warming exacerbated wildfires but first Australia and the Australian’s must abandon their nationalistic chauvinism to new outsider ideas and technologies!!!

  • DR. EDWARD SIEGEL

    1 Comment for this entry

    DR. EDWARD SIEGEL

    November 6th, 2006 on 10:54 am

    AS THE ORIGINAL FATHER OF THE (SO MIS-CALLED)”JEREMY
    RIFKIN/WHARTON SCHOOL/UNIV. OF PENN./OVER-HYPED BOOK(A.K.A. MEDIA-HYPE
    P.R. SPIN-DOCTORED, A.K.A. “SHTIK!!!) “HYDROGEN-ECONOMY”, WHICH SHOULD
    BE/IS/ALWAYS WAS(1960-1965; -…-; 1979 – 1980) “FLYING-WATER”
    [="LUFT-AGUA"]:

    SOLAR/RENEWABLES-HYDROGEN- W A T E R

    SCALEABLE RETROFITABLE INTEGRATED OPERATING-SYSTEM “ECONOMY”,

    A.K.A. “SOLAR/RENEWABLES-RAIN-IN-A-TUBE”, A.K.A. “THE
    HINDENBERG-EFFECT”, A.K.A. “THE”(=INPUT “ENERY”/POWER(!!!); THERE’S NO
    FREE LUNCH!!!)-HINDENBERG(=HYDROGEN-BURNING/FUEL-CELLS)-EFFECT(=HOT
    DISTILLED

    W A T E R/DEPLETED AQUIFER-[RE]FILLING/ HYDROELECTRIC-”ENERGY”/POWER(!!!))

    A.K.A. “HYDROGEN-UP = WATER-DOWN”,

    {M. WALD, “Will Hydrogen Clear the Air? ‘Maybe’ NOT(!!!), Say Some”, NEW YORK TIMES, 11/11/03;

    TROMP ET.A. (CALTECH-; GOOD ATMOSPHERIC-CHEMISTS): Science 2003 300: 1740-1742;

    [FLYING-WATER (=LUFT-AGUA"] : $last publication in “Third
    International. Conf. on Alternative Energy Sources”, vol. 5, page
    459, T.Veziroglu editor, Hemisphere/Springer (1980);
    “Bull..” American Physical Society March Mtgs.: …
    (1960’s); (1970’s); Los Angeles(1986?); New York (1987);
    Anaheim(1990); Indianapolis(1992);…]}

    THE (SO MIS-CALLED) “HYDROGEN-(FOR AUTOMOTION VERSUS
    SURVIVAL!!!)-ECONOMY” IS NOT JUST SHEER UYTTER NONSENSE ABOUT MAN’S (SO
    MIS-CALLED) “SUSTAINABILITY”, BUT ABOUT MAN’S/THE SORLD’S VERY
    SURVIVABILITY!!!.

    TROMP ET.AL.[Science 2003 300: 1740-1742] FINDINGS OF TOTAL
    SLIGHT/LOW-%-LEAKAGE HYDROGEN-CAUSED RAPID OZONE-LAYER COMPLETE
    IR-REVERSIBLE DESTRUCTION RAISES SPECTRE OF THE (SO MIS-CALLED)
    “HYDROGEN-AUTOMOTION-ECONOMY”: A “DAY OF THE TRIFFIDS” (SCI-FI BOOK
    & MOVIE-SEVERAL DECADES AGO!!!)”SCENARIO: “HELL-ON-EARTH”(BECOMING
    VENUS/MARS-LIKE = BARREN OF ANY/ALL LIFE: GLOBASL-UNSTOPPABLE PANDEMICS:
    CROP-FAILURES/MASSIVE-FAMINE, SKIN-CANCERS, BLINDNESS:
    “HELL-ON-(FORMER!!!)-EARTH(NOW/THEN: VENUS/MARS-LIKE!!!

    BUT COMING FROM GROUPTHINK “BUZZWORDISM, BANDWAGONISM, AND SLOGANEERING
    FOR: FUN, PROFIT, SURVIVAL, EGO” “BUSH-LEAGUERS” [EX.: IRAQ;
    "STAY-THE-COURSE" (OR IS IT "CORSET-STAYS"???; WHAT DOES
    "ALWAYS-ROVEING" ROVE'S-SCRIPT SAY TODAY???)] EXHIBITING (CLASSIC [THE
    HONEYMOONERS] JACKIE GLEASON/THE GREAT ONE’S BROOKLYN VERNACULAR:
    “BUSH-WAAA-…-AAAH!!!” (MEANING: DECIDEDLY NOT MIDDLE-CLASS
    “BOURGEOIS”; HINT: RHYMES WITH RASPBERRY!!! ; HINT#2: WHAT ONE CLEARS
    NOT FROM A TEXAS FIELD, BUT FROM A HISPANIC BULLFIGHT ARENA PEN/ON FLOOR
    ; HINT#3: )

    LASTLY, IT’S NOT “ENERGY”, BUT POWER(!!!)

    [REF: MARK ZEMANSKY, "THERMODYNAMICS", ADDISON-WESLEY (~1960s)].

    “ENERGY” (“E) DOES NO WORK!! ; POWER (“P”) DOES AB INITIO BY DEFINITION!!!:

    P = dE/dt ; E = INTEGRAL {[P] d(TIME)}.

    “HYDROGEN-AUTOMOTION-ECONOMIERS-MAVENS/PROMOTERS”, LISTEN UP (BEFORE
    IT IS TOO LATE!!!) AND “FOR GOD’S/MAN’S(!!!)-SAKE, LEARN SOME TRIVIAL
    ELEMENTARY-PHYSICS AND CHEMISTRY ALREADY!!!

    DR. EDWARD SIEGEL

    FLYING-WATER

    LA JOLLA, CA.

    FLYING-WATER@IXPRES.COM

    MESSAGES c/o: USA + (858) 490-1340 – See more at: http://www.shopfloor.org/2006/11/the-truth-about-hydrogenand-nuclear/3168#sthash.ONtReidL.dpuf

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ImaGeo

ImaGeo is a visual blog focusing on the intersection of imagery, imagination and Earth. It focuses on spectacular visuals related to the science of our planet, with an emphasis (although not an exclusive one) on the unfolding Anthropocene Epoch.

About Tom Yulsman

Tom Yulsman is Director of the Center for Environmental Journalism and a Professor of Journalism at the University of Colorado, Boulder. He also continues to work as a science and environmental journalist with more than 30 years of experience producing content for major publications. His work has appeared in the New York Times, Washington Post, Audubon, Climate Central, Columbia Journalism Review, Discover, Nieman Reports, and many other publications. He has held a variety of editorial positions over the years, including a stint as editor-in-chief of Earth magazine. Yulsman has written one book: Origins: the Quest for Our Cosmic Roots, published by the Institute of Physics in 2003.

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