Something Strange Explained

By AR - Sydney Morning Herald environment reporter, Ben Cubby ominously writes, "Something strange is happening to our weather." Cubby recently came to our attention when he published statistics purporting to show that Australians each used one tonne of plastic bags per year, or that they were using bags weighing 5.5kg each. The article was belatedly corrected with national plastic bag usage reduced by a factor of 1000, but not before the hyped-up message got through.

Now under the hyped-up headline, "Extreme weather is here to stay," Cubby tells us that, "Sydney has endured the most sodden school holidays in living memory," and, "the longest unbroken spell of April drizzle for 77 years," and, "unseasonably early snow fell in the mountains at the weekend." That's what passes for "extreme" these days. It reminds me of then-ALP leader Kim Beazley telling us how Howard planned to replace his "extreme IR laws" with something, well, "even more extreme".

Experts from the BoM are quoted, "The weather's been anything but normal over the last six months... I can't recall a longer period of sustained weather patterns, of various kinds."

Various kinds of weather! Sodden school hols; extreme April drizzle; hopeful skiers. Cubby sounds like he's channeling Eric Oldthwaite from the Ripping Yarns series: When it weren't drizzlin', it were extreme drizzlin'. What could be causing these remarkable weather patterns?
"A zone of high pressure in the Tasman Sea is the main cause of the record-breaking weather because it has a "blocking" effect, meaning that once a weather pattern arrives, it sticks around for a long while."
Oh well, there you go. Seems that "something strange" can be explained quite easily. Let's hear from another expert:
"This has less to do with global warming and more to do with the natural kinks and dips you see in weather patterns each year."
This was from the co-director of the Climate Change Research Centre at the University of NSW. It's pretty tough when even the climate change guy won't get excited about your various kinds of weather patterns.

If one of the outcomes from our extreme weather patterns is more snow, maybe the SMH can continue hammering away at what truly is an enviro-economic scandal:
... the Australian Alpine Club has announced that Australian resorts have the most expensive single-day lift passes in the world. This season a single-day lift pass will set you back $98 at Perisher Blue, $97 at Thredbo and $94 at both Falls Creek and Mount Hotham.
Day passes at Whistler in Canada are $10 cheaper than here in Australia, but you also get a lot more vertical lift for your dollar at Whistler.

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