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Could Dust Storms Bury Sydney, Australia?

Posted by feww on October 15, 2009

Yet Another Dust Storm Shrouds Australia’s New South Wales

Less than a month ago, on September 22 – 24, 2009, Canberra, Sydney, Brisbane and much of New South Wales, Australia experienced 100 kph winds whipping up heavy dust storms followed by severe  thunderstorms.

Road traffic slowed down to a crawl, ferries canceled, flights diverted or canceled as dust storm shrouded Sydney, and suffocating haze forced the residents to stay indoors.

“This is unprecedented. We are seeing earth, wind and fire together,” said Australia’s Weather Channel presenter.

The storm was one of the worst dust storms in Australia.

There were more dust storms on the following days. Four days later, on September 26, another intense storm swept eastern Australia, covering much of Queensland and New South Wales across to the Pacific Ocean in a thick blanket of dust.

The dust storms are certain to continue. As temperatures rise, more droughts set in and the winds intensify, all of which trends have long been repeated, the question becomes one of not if, but when the dust storms would bury Sydney.

Australia_AMO_2009287
The dust storm that started the previous day had intensified by the time the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Aqua satellite flew over on October 14, 2009. The large image, which encompasses a wider area, shows that the dust plume stretches tens of kilometers south of the area shown here. NASA Earth Observatory images courtesy Jeff Schmaltz, MODIS Rapid Response Team at NASA GSFC. Caption by Holli Riebeek. [Edited by FEWW]

How Much Dust Would  it Take?

Just how much dust would it take, and under what circumstances could it make Sydney uninhabitable?

FEWW Moderators have asked their friends at EDRO to provide a realistic estimate, the details of which would be posted here.

UPDATE

Here’s a link to a reply prepared by  EDRO TEAM:

How Large Is Your Dust Storm?

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Posted in ashes to ashes, australia, australian dust storms, bushfires, clean energy ruse, drought and deluge, Images of 'Doomsday', life for lifestyle, man-made disasters, Queensland, sand storm, sydney dust storm, Uranium Dust | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Australia: What can burn, will!

Posted by feww on September 29, 2009

ashes to ashes …

Australia fires and dust_AMO_2009270
The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Aqua satellite captured this image on the afternoon of September 27, 2009. Red dots and plumes of smoke mark the locations of dozens of fires burning throughout Queensland. The large image provided above has a resolution of 250 meters per pixel, MODIS’ maximum resolution. The image is available in additional resolutions from the MODIS Rapid Response System.

The thick wall of dust that blew across Australia on September 26, 2009, hung in a slightly thinner veil over the Coral Sea on September 27. Ripples and waves shape the dust in reflection of turbulence in the air. The dust will gradually settle over the ocean, where it will provide a source of iron to phytoplankton, microscopic plant-like organisms that grow in sunlit surface water. The iron acts as fertilizer, making it possible for large phytoplankton blooms to develop. While phytoplankton are an important source of food for marine life, too much phytoplankton can rob the ocean of oxygen, creating dead zones. It is certain that ocean biologists will watch closely to see if and how the immense dust storms of September 2009 will affect Australia’s Great Barrier Reef, visible as blue-green dots in the top center of the image. NASA image courtesy Jeff Schmaltz, MODIS Rapid Response Team at NASA GSFC. Caption by Holli Riebeek. [Edited by FEWW.]

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Posted in Australian Coal, australian dust storms, clean energy ruse, Climate Change, Coral Sea, desertification, Drought, drought and deluge, dust to dust, First Wave of World’s Collapsing Cities, FWWCC, Images of 'Doomsday', man-made disasters, phytoplankton blooms, sand storm | Tagged: , , , , | 1 Comment »

Australia: Uranium Dust Threat Real?

Posted by feww on September 28, 2009

Future storms may contain radioactive dust, if mine proposal goes ahead—Environmentalist

An Australian documentary maker says that  future dust storms in the country may contain radioactive materials, if the mining company BHP Billiton’s proposal to turn a uranium mine into an open-cut mine goes ahead.

David Bradbury, a renowned filmmaker and environmental activist, who has made four documentaries on nuclear issues, says an  environmental impact study suggest that about 70 million tons of radioactive tailing would be deposited at South Australia’s Olympic Dam uranium mine grounds each year.

The tailings are contaminated with alpha radiation, he says, which is proven to be carcinogenic to all animals, including humans.

“My grave concern is that with the open-cut mine expansion that BHP Billiton wants permission from state and federal governments to go ahead with, that the radioactive tailings left behind will blow over the eastern coast centres of the most populated cities of Australia,” he said.

Bradbury concerns came amid last Wednesday  worst ever dust storm in the Sydney and Brisbane areas as  red dust blown in from the outback shrouded the region, causing problems for people, especially those with asthma, and others with heart and lung conditions.

“[Since] the dust storms…  originated from Woomera, and which is right next door to the Olympic Dam mine at Roxby Downs, these [storms] could blow those tailings across the face of Australia,” said Bradbury.

However, Australian scientists are playing down fears, assuring the public that there is nothing to worry about [sic.]

Barry Noller an Associate Professor from the University of Queensland, whose research projects include Risk Assessment of Mined Land,  was quoted as saying that most of the particles from the uranium mines in the outback are simply too heavy to be carried by the wind over long distances.

“In a big dust storm, the dust is not going to come from one isolated site, it is going to be mixed in with dust from a [wide] area and diluted considerably,” said Noller.

FEWW Comments:

Come again? What if the storms were stronger and blew more sand more frequently, say, twice more, perhaps five times, or ten time as much every year? The recent atmospheric trends and new patterns set by climate change certainly suggest such extreme scenarios as highly probable!

That’s the most ridiculous comment an Associate Professor could possibly make, even one from the University of Queensland, without quantifying the extent of the problem. The stronger the storms the more dust they carry over populated areas, and with it goes more of the heavier particles.

Here’s what the Aussies, even their corporate media, should demand to know:

How much stronger must the storms be, and how frequently must they below before they pose,  (i) some risk, (ii) significant risk to the public health, threatening human and animal well being?

Should this professor make similarly stupid, biased and unqualified remarks again, the Moderators will have to investigate his role and function as a government scientist with regulatory bias.

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Posted in Australian Coal, australian dust storms, australian uranium, clean energy ruse, Climate Change, desertification, Drought, drought and deluge, dust to dust, First Wave of World’s Collapsing Cities, FWWCC, Images of 'Doomsday', man-made disaster, sand storm, sydney dust storm | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

And dust to dust …

Posted by feww on September 23, 2009

Images of ‘Doomsday?’

Another man-made disaster strikes Australia

Sydney, New South Wales, Australia: 100 kph winds whipped up heavy dust storms followed by severe  thunderstorms in Sydney and much of New South Wales last night, media reported.

Road traffic slowed down to a crawl, ferries canceled, flights diverted or canceled as dust storm shrouded Sydney, and suffocating haze forced the residents to stay indoors.

Reuters: “This is unprecedented. We are seeing earth, wind and fire together,” said Dick Whitaker from The Weather Channel.

Australia is the driest inhabited continent on earth, and the NSW state government recently cut the state’s 2009/10 wheat crop estimate by 20 percent because of hot, dry weather across the grain belt.

The country is one of the most vulnerable nations to climate change, but also the world’s biggest greenhouse gas emitter per capita as it relies on coal-fired power stations for the bulk of its electricity.

sydney DS
Red dust and gale force winds have severely disrupted flights into and out of Sydney (ABC online User submitted: Amber Hooper). Image may be subject to copyright.

Karen from Sydney’s inner western suburb of Dulwich Hill said she woke up to find the red dust had covered her floors and birds had been blown out of their nests.

“It did feel like Armageddon because when I was in the kitchen looking out the skylight, there was this red, red glow coming through,” Karen told Australian Broadcasting Corp. radio.

“In the south, where there are showers, people will find it is falling as mud this morning, but that will help clear the dust from the air,” said the BOM spokeswoman.

neutral-bay-before-after
(Top) A shot of Neutral Bay on a normal day, and (bottom) this morning. Photo: Lauren Jarrott, smh.com.au reader photo. Image may be subject to copyright.

Associated Press: Sydney’s fiery dawn was caused by the sun hitting a blanket of dust that was whipped up by wild weather in parched areas of the New South Wales outback.

dust storm
People exercising at Coogee Beach. The Age.com.au reader Photo: Peter Rae. Image may be subject to copyright.

dust on car
A person takes pictures of the dust on his car during a dust storm in Sydney. Photo: AP Photo/Rob Griffith.
Image may be subject to copyright.

dust storm sat img
An enhanced colour satellite image shows the dust storm covering over eastern Australia in this handout picture dated September 23, 2009. REUTERS/Australia’s Bureau of Meteorology/Handout

Photo Gallery: The Age – Australia

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Posted in Australian Coal, clean energy ruse, desertification, Drought, drought and deluge, sand storm | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments »