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Olives, the universe and everything

as seen from from the Hunter Valley

Is Global Warming real?

Yes, of course it is. Unless there is somebody paying you a lot of money to say otherwise, any sane person would accept the fact that the climate is changing and overall getting warmer. In the next 100 years there will be some day-to-day differences in the weather to what we have today, so who will benefit and who will suffer?

What will it mean, and what should we do about it?

This is my main area of interest for my course in Environmental Science & Management at the University of Newcastle.

Cyclones, Hurricanes and Typhoons

These are all the same thing, given different names in different parts of the world. They are measured in Categories, with Category 1 being a bit bigger than a regular Tropical Storm, and running up to Category 5, which is massively destructive. There are slightly different criteria used in different parts of the world, but the gist is the higher the number, the more damage will be inflicted.

Northern Australia has two major Cyclone-affected areas: the Coral Sea off Northern Queensland, and the Indian Ocean off the coast of Western Australia. In order to form, a cyclone needs warm ocean water. Warm water will then in turn warm the air above the ocean. Warmer air can hold more moisture than colder air, so the amount of moisture in the air above the ocean increases. Pretty simple physics so far.

As the sun streams down onto warm water, the ocean surface warms - naturally - so the air warms and starts to rise. As the warmed air rises, cooler air will be drawn in to fill the gap left by the rising warm air. This air in turn warms and also starts to rise, but the upward movement of air causes the air pressure at the surface and above to fall. More heat, more rising of air, lower pressure and you are on your way to a tropical storm.

The bad news

It will get worse. Huge storms like this occur several time a year in various places.

When it comes to food: here is an interesting look at things from The Guardian

Destruction caused by Hurricane Michael at Mexico Beach, Florida in October 2018. Below the size of the Hurricane and associated rainfall.