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Sun, 17 Feb 2019
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Floods, fire and drought: Australia bearing the brunt of rise in extreme weather

australia flood
© Dan Peled/EPA
Residents wade through floodwaters in the suburb of Hermit Park in Townsville this week.
Amid record temperatures, severe flooding and devastation of wilderness, the political message from the government is business as usual

The people of Townsville know about heavy rain, but this was new. Over the past fortnight, the northern Queensland city's 180,000 residents have been hit by a monsoon strengthened by a low-pressure front that dragged moist air south from the equator to Australia's top end.

It dumped an unprecedented 1.4 metres of rain in less than two weeks - roughly double what falls on London in a year.

The ensuing chaos has wrecked homes and caused hundreds of millions of dollars of damage to property. Two men have drowned and videos posted to social media have shown crocodiles climbing trees and taking to elevated highways in search of shelter.

But amid the deluge, not everyone heeded the evacuation advice.

Comment: See also: And check out SOTT radio's: Behind the Headlines: Earth changes in an electric universe: Is climate change really man-made?

Bizarro Earth

'Hundreds of thousands' of fish dead in Australia

Darling River Mass Death
Just weeks after up to a million fish were killed, another mass death occurred in the Murray-Darling river system.
"Hundreds of thousands" of fish have died in drought-stricken Australia in the last few days and more mass deaths are likely to occur, the authorities warned Tuesday.

Locals around the Darling River were confronted with a sea of white, as dead fish carpeted the waters near the southeastern Outback town of Menindee.

Just weeks after up to a million were killed -- with scientists pointing to low water and oxygen levels as well as possibly toxic algae -- another mass death occurred in the key agricultural region.

Inspectors from the New South Wales Department of Primary Industries have visited the site and said they found that "hundreds of thousands of fish have died".

"Further fish deaths in the Darling River are anticipated as a significant number of fish have been observed under stress," the department said in a statement.

Some 700 kilos (1,543 pounds) of dead fish were removed from the river Monday, with similar amounts expected to be collected Tuesday, it added.

The Darling River is part of the Murray-Darling River system that stretches thousands of kilometres across several states.


Australian heatwave - Forgotten history

Don't believe your lying eyes - Australian newspaper archives are full of temperatures recorded higher than 121 in the shade which is 50C. All of these temperatures in the map below are found in historic newspaper archives. Measurements done after 1910 are even done with official Stevenson screens, yet the BOM "throws them away". It's true that ones done in the 1800s are often recorded on non-standard equipment, or are just literally "in the shade" under cover. So some of these, perhaps many, are one or two degrees too high. But even if we take two degrees off, how scary is global warming when Australia knew many days of 48C and 49C and some at 50C 120 years ago? The BOM - supposedly so concerned about the State of Our Climate - show little interest in talking about our history or in analyzing it, or even mentioning it.

And modern temperatures are recorded on electronic equipment, sometimes in areas affected by urban heat islands (concrete and cars).
Forgotten History
© JoNova
50C temperatures have occurred all over Australia before

Australians have been recording temperatures of over 50C since 1828, right across the country. In 1896 the heat was so bad for weeks that people fled on emergency trains to escape the inland heat. Millions of birds fell from the sky in 1932 due to the savage hot spell.

Australia heatwave: Dozens of wild horses found dead at dried-up waterhole


Australia heatwave: Dozens of wild horses found dead at dried-up waterhole

Dead horses
© Facebook/Alice Springs Community Forum
More than 20 decomposing horses were discovered at a dried-up pool in northern Australia.
Dozens of wild horses have been found dead in Australia amid an extreme heatwave in the region.

More than 20 decomposing horses were discovered at a dried-up pool, known as "Deep Hole", 56 miles east of Alice Springs, a remote town in Australia's Northern Territory.

Pictures published on Facebook showed the dead animals strewn on the scorched ground, covered in dust and branches.

In a Facebook post, Alice Springs residents said that the horses "are likely to have perished from dehydration accompanied by the overwhelming heat".


Adapt 2030 Ice Age Report: Akkadian Empire collapse, this may be happening again right now

Akkadian empire
© YouTube/Adapt 2030 (screen capture)
The Akkadian Empire suddenly collapsed after 400 years of rule in the area formerly known as Babylon. A massive drought with sudden onset set in motion a mega drought across the region, but other regions shifted as well to new moisture patterns. It was a sudden onset, as we are now seeing with hot and cold out of season jamming up in the jet streams. All expected as the Grand Solar Minimum intensifies.

Comment: A stalagmite may have solved the mystery of the Akkadian Empire's fall

For further information read:


Drought hurts South Africa corn, soy plantings, Grain SA says

Drought South Africa
The window for planting corn and soybeans in South Africa has passed, and with hardly anything planted in western growing ares because of drought, the likelihood of the need for imports increases, a grain farmers' lobby group said.

"The probability of a repeat of the 2016 drought is increasing daily" Jannie de Villiers, the chief executive officer of Grain SA, said in an emailed statement Thursday. "Some of the scenarios we are facing look even grimmer than the previous drought. The financial position of most farming units in the production area are far worse than it was in 2016. The current grain prices are not high enough and thus do not favor nor encourage farmers to take a similar risk by planting beyond the optimum window, as they did in 2016."


Ice Age Farmer Report: Grand Solar Minimum 2019: What to expect

winter storm diego
© Stephanie Klein-Davis /The Roanoke Times via AP
John Woodrum, shovels his car on Sunday, Dec. 9, 2018, in Roanoke, Va. A massive storm brought snow, sleet, and freezing rain across a wide swath of the South on Sunday — causing dangerously icy roads, immobilizing snowfalls and power losses to hundreds of thousands of people.
2018 has been a hell of a year, and 2019 promises to be even more "fun." What can we expect? Christian breaks it down, from the geophysical to the geopolitical, in this Ice Age Farmer special edition.



Report: Gujarat farmers in 401 drought-hit villages suffered over 33% crop loss - most over 50%

In a total of 269 villages, farmers have suffered crop loss of 50 per cent or more, states the SLBC report. (Representational )

In a total of 269 villages, farmers have suffered crop loss of 50 per cent or more, states the SLBC report. (Representational )
Though the total number of farmers suffering the crop loss has not been shared in the report, the maximum number of villages with 50 per cent or more crop loss are in the district of Kutch.

There are 401 villages in Gujarat where farmers have suffered crop loss of 33 per cent or more during this year's Kharif season.

The latest State Level Bankers' Committee (SLBC) report that was unveiled on Thursday show that the farmers incurred crop losses despite the state government's efforts to provide Narmada water to save the Kharif crops after a poor monsoon.


Earth's magnetic field may be headed for a cataclysm says latest French study

Earth's Magnetic Field
© NASA Goddard – CC BY 2.0
We've reported on Earth's magnetic field before, including studies claiming that the planet's poles may reverse at any time and studies saying that Earth is probably not headed for a polar reversal at all. At the heart of these studies is the undeniable, millennia-old weakening trend in the planet's magnetic field, which, depending on your point of view, is either a temporary phenomenon that will eventually reverse itself (as it has in the past), or the harbinger of a cataclysmic breakdown of the Earth's entire magnetic shield and a subsequent flip of the magnetic poles.

The most recent study from the EDIFICE project, a geophysical research initiative based in France, claims we're headed for a cataclysm. According to Dr. Nicolas Thouveny, one of the principal investigators for EDIFICE: "The geomagnetic field has been decaying for the last 3,000 years. If it continues to fall down at this rate, in less than one millennium we will be in a critical (period)."

Blue Planet

The great droughts of the 1870s that spanned three continents and killed millions

faminie 1870
© Illustrated London News Ltd/Mary Evans
The Great Famine of the 1870s had devastating effects in India
It's not easy to forget the deaths of 50 million people, but we have managed it. A global drought in the 1870s caused mass starvation in South America, Africa and Asia, but the event doesn't even have a Wikipedia page. Now it seems the drought was triggered by a never-before-seen combination of climate events. While rare, the drought was entirely natural so it could easily happen again.

Between 1875 and 1878, severe droughts ravaged India, China and parts of Africa and South America. The result was a famine that struck three continents and lasted three years.

"It is one of the worst humanitarian disasters in human history," says Deepti Singh at Washington State University.

In India the local manifestation of the event is known as the Great Famine. At the time India was controlled by the British Empire, and British policies exacerbated the drought's effects. The British continued exporting grain for profit, leaving little for the local people to eat.

Comment: Scientists generally agree that from about the 1300s to the 1890s our planet was still under the influence of a little ice age. On top of that there were a variety of factors, both cosmic and on earth, that would have contributed to drastic swings in the climate. It's notable that in our own time where serious cooling is occurring, once again we're seeing both extreme drought and epic flooding along with great upheavals in society:

For an idea of just how turbulent the century was, and some of the possible contributing factors, Laura Knight-Jadczyk writes in Comet Biela and Mrs. O'Leary's Cow:
The Industrial Revolution and the rise of capitalism began, more or less, toward the end of the eighteenth century. The nineteenth century was a turbulent epoch beginning with a stock market crash in 1825 then moving on to the Panic of 1847, a collapse of British financial markets associated with the end of the 1840s railroad boom. The crisis of 1847 could have been more disastrous except that it was cut short by economic revival following the California gold strike of 1849.

After a period of prosperity, there began a series of wars and revolutions. There was the first Italian War for Independence in 1857, and then the American Civil War of 1861, the Polish Insurrection of 1863, Napoleon the Second's Mexican adventure and the campaign against Denmark in 1864 which started the Prussian Wars led by Bismarck. Bismarck attacked Austria in 1866 and won a victory over France in 1871. The, there was the Republican uprising in Spain which toppled Queen Isabella from the throne. Finally, there was the last of Louis Napoleon's adventures which culminated in the crashing of the Empire in 1871.

There was Civil War in France following the downfall of the Second Napoleon, and the people (Paris Communards) seized power. They were soon crushed and order was restored in the Third Republic, and the revolutionary tide receded for the rest of the century.

It is interesting to consider the other events that were occurring at this time. Industrial capitalism was being spread with missionary zeal everywhere. Western investors roamed the globe looking for openings to establish trade and to invest in anything that could be bought or sold. In the process, millions of people were redistributed in the greatest mass migrations in history from the Old World to the New. Science became the handmaiden of industry and capitalism. The volume of world trade was 1.75 billion dollars in 1830 and it rose to 3.6 billion in 1850, skyrocketing to 9.4 billion in 1870.

So, Clube is right. For about twenty-five years, the entire Western world was bubbling cauldron of war and revolution and people taking advantage of wars and revolution to make money. When it was all over, the imperial powers of Europe that were to rule the world until 1914, were firmly ensconced. More than that, the United States as a federal, capitalist entity, had been forged at Appamattox.

There were obviously other things going on at that time. In the period from 1830 to 1860 there was apparently an enormous upsurge in religious fervor. The imminent return of Christ was being predicted everywhere! Manuel de Lacunza, a Catholic priest in South America wrote (under the pen name of Juan Josafa Ben-Ezra) a book entitled The Coming of Messiah in Glory and Majesty, which was published in Spain in 1812. He believed that Jesus was coming very, very soon. William Miller (Seventh-Day Adventists) declared that Christ was coming and predicted 1844 as the date. Edward Irving of England and Johann Bengel in Germany almost simultaneously came to the conclusion that the prophecies of Daniel pointed to the time of the end being right then; Mason in Scotland, Leonard H. Kelber in Germany and many, many others preached about the Second coming. Spiritualist Andrew Jackson Davis gave 157 lectures in 1845 about the new era, which Edgar Allen Poe attended regularly. The Spiritualism Craze began with the Fox sisters in 1848. Mourant Brock, of the Church of England, noted that the craze for eschatology had spread through all of Europe and extended to India. (See: The Story of Prophecy by Henry James Forman). As Clube notes, this religious fervor parallels cosmic events.

As Clube notes, this religious fervor parallels cosmic events.

In 1843, there appeared one of the greatest comets of history. The Great Comet of 1843 formally designated C/1843 D1 and 1843 I, was discovered on February 5, 1843 and rapidly brightened. It was a member of the Kreutz Sungrazers, a family of comets resulting from the breakup of a parent comet (X/1106 C1) into multiple fragments in about 1106. These comets pass extremely close to the Sun - within a few solar radii - and this is why they often become very bright.
See also: And check out SOTT radio's: Behind the Headlines: Earth changes in an electric universe: Is climate change really man-made?