extreme weather

Climate & Fukushima: Where Are We Really?

Welcome back to the Fall 2013 season of Radio Ecoshock, broadcast on more than 70 college and community stations around the world.

This is Alex Smith. Big news continues to pour in from around the world. We've got a lineup of guests, experts and activists, waiting to make sense of it all.

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As I left for a break in July, I issued a special podcast on the global heat wave. If you missed that, join the thousands who download it from our web site at ecoshock.org or download it here:

Tasmania feels the autumn heat breaking March temperature records

Tasmania, that small island state of Australia that protrudes into the Southern Ocean, has recorded it's hottest March on record in over 100 years of temperature record keeping.

The mean March temperature across the state was 15.7C, breaking the 1974 record by 0.3 degrees and 2.2 °C above normal. The Bureau of Meteorology said in a statement "The state average maximum temperature was a March record of 21.0 (2.9 °C above normal and 0.9 °C above the previous record from 1974), and minimum temperatures were the 3rd-warmest for March at 10.3 °C (1.6 °C above normal)."

Queensland 2013 bigwet floods, tornados and climate change

Ex-tropical cyclone Oswald has left a trail of damage and destruction from it's origins in the Gulf of Carpentaria to crossing Cape York and working it's way down the Queensland Coast. The storms brought destructive winds, tornados, rough seas, storm surge and torrential rain, followed by flooding. Quite a few rain records were broken for 24 and 48 hour periods in Rockhampton, Gladstone and Bundaberg with some rain gauges recording well over one metre of rain in 48 hours. Now flood level records are being broken for many river basins and towns like Bunderberg and Gympie.


Climate Change: Records tumble in extreme heatwave as temperature scale adjusted upwards

On Tuesday January 8 the Bureau of Meteorology released an interim special climate statement on the Extreme January heat Australia is currently experiencing (Updated on January 14). Record temperatures both day-time maximum and night-time minimums continue to be broken as of 13 January. The extraordinary heatwave has also been the scene for catastrophic fires, especially in Tasmania.

Video report: Superstorm Sandy a wakeup call on climate change for the USA?

In the three presidential debates between Mitt Romney and Barak Obama climate change was never mentioned, despite it being raised in all previous campaigns going back to 1988. And then came Hurricane Sandy from the Caribbean. A late season category 1 tropical cyclone that combined with a north-easter from the Arctic to pummel the northern eastern coast of the United States, one of the most populous and industrialised areas on earth.

The Hurricane crossed the coast in New Jersey on Monday night, 29 October, at about 8pm not far from Atlantic City. The storm surge caused widespread flooding leaving coastal towns decimated. The winds of the hurricane caused trees to fall and whipped up a massive 3 to 4 metre storm surge. A full moon and a spring tide also exacerbated the storm surge. 10 metre waves were measured just outside New York Harbour entrance. (See Accuweather Superstorm Sandy Stats)

Related: Skeptical Science - Hurricane Sandy and the Climate Connection | Crops devastated, food crisis looms in Haiti from Hurricane Sandy | Inside Climate News: 3-D Maps Pictured Sandy's Devastation–Five Years Ago | Climate Change, Sea Level Rise and Australia

Global warming intensifying global water cycle by double current climate model projections

New research into ocean salinity levels has revealed a strong global water cycle intensification during the period of 1950 to 2000. The researchers report the rate of change in the global water cycle is double the rate projected by current-generation climate models. The study found "robust evidence of an intensified global water cycle at a rate of about eight per cent per degree of surface warming," said study co-author Dr Durack, a post-doctoral fellow at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in the US.

Extreme weather: Cyclone Thane hits India killing 46

One of the last tragic extreme weather events of 2011 was Cyclone Thane hitting the Tamil Nadu coast of India. It caused 46 deaths and damaged buildings, roads and crops. It was the strongest tropical cyclone of 2011 within the North Indian Ocean.

Stronger but fewer cyclones for Australia says CSIRO scientist

New research by CSIRO scientists is showing a trend for fewer tropical cyclones forming off the Western Australian coast, but those that do form may become more intense and potentially destructive. The results apply across the Australian region according to CSIRO in an interview with Dr Debbie Abbs from CSIRO Marine and Atmospheric Research.


Extreme weather: Flash flooding kills 500, displaces 100,000 in the Philippines

Heavy rain and flash flooding on Friday night and Saturday in the Philippines associated with tropical cyclone Washi, known locally as Sendong, has killed 521 people, with many still missing and unaccounted for, and displaced over 100,000 people. The cities of Cagayan de Oro and Iligan were particularly hard hit.

Tropical Storm Washi dumped on the island of Mindanao more than a month of average rains in just 12 hours. According to weather forecaster Leny Ruiz the records show that storms that follow Washi's track come only once in about 12 years. Officials claim it was one of the most destructive calamities in southern Philippines in recent years and struck areas not used to severe flooding. River flooding was worsened by the high tide.

Philippines calls for progress in climate talks in typhoon devastation aftermath

Filipinos are fighting for survival amid worsening climate change according to the Philippine delegation to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) round of talks in Panama. The main island of Luzon and the national capital Manila have been blasted and battered in late September and into early October by two consecutive typhoons which have killed at least 76 people and caused at least US$200 million in damage to infrastructure and agriculture.