An extreme Summer and an interesting start to 2013:
- Australia suffers an abnormal heat wave causing the Australian Bureau of Meteorology to add two new colours (dark purple and magenta) to its temperature map to represent 51 to 54 degrees celcius. Petrol stations are forced to stop selling petrol because it is vaporizing. Hundreds of wildfires have started up, stretching the capacity of firefighters.
- A heavy rain warning has been issued in the South Island with 350 millimeters predicted around Arthurs Pass. Gale force winds are expected to lash Marlborough, Canterbury and Otago.
- Hydro Lakes are holding 25% above the seasonal average and the necessary spilling may cause flooding.
- December tornado kills three in Auckland and damages 150 homes.
- China is hit by an extreme cold snap and is experiencing the coldest temperatures in almost three decades, around 1,000 ships are frozen in ice.
- The NewScientist reports that the rapid thinning of the Arctic could see the Summer ice disappear completely by 2016. The warming of the Arctic will slow the jet stream and cause even more wild weather for Europe this year.
The world has been heading into a new climate over the last decade and now even the World Bank is focussing its attention on the future needs of developing countries based on the probable effects of climate change.
It is interesting that when international institutions and most countries are attempting to address the causes of climate change, the New Zealand Government is doing the opposite. By stopping the important five yearly environmental report when it was due last year, withdrawing from the Kyoto Agreement and allowing cheap carbon credits to kill our forest industry this Government is making it very clear they don't give a damn about the future of our planet. Their claim that our country is too small to make a difference ignores the fact that our greenhouse gas emissions per capita are amongst the highest in OECD and that we should be doing our share.
Rather than a clean green paradise, perhaps National actually wants to create a haven for wealthy climate deniers, they do seem to have an intense (and rather unhealthy) interest in the fossil fuel industry.