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Keeping our eye on the ball

Written By: - Date published: 6:18 am, June 22nd, 2017 - 22 comments
Categories: climate change, disaster, Environment - Tags: ,

Meanwhile, back in the real world,

Extreme heat affects a plane’s ability to take off. Hot air is less dense than cold air, and the hotter the temperature, the more speed a plane needs to lift off. A runway might not be long enough to allow a plane to achieve the necessary extra speed.

120F is 49C. About time we learned to live within our limits. It’s not rocket science, but I suspect there will be more and more areas of life affected by climate change that we haven’t anticipated.

Moderator note – Zero tolerance for climate change denial in the comments. Bans will be issued now without warning. 

22 comments on “Keeping our eye on the ball ”

  1. Ed 1

    Meanwhile in the real world ………

    ‘Natural-disaster declared in parts of South Dakota as severe drought and late frost destroy nearly $ 20 million in crops and counting’

    ‘Record temps could damage tons of CA crops | Heat trips SF power grid – 43000 in dark’

    ‘Extremely high temperatures of around 40°C contributed to the severity of the disastrous wildfire in Portugal which has claimed dozens of lives.

    ‘A number of places in Spain broke temperature records for June for both maximum daytime temperatures and minimum overnight ones. These include Granada airport, 41.5°C, Madrid Retiro 40.3°C and Madrid airport 40.1°C on 17 June. The peak if the minimum temperatures was on the 19th June, when Salamanca and Zamora had record overnight temperatures of 22.1°C and 23.7°C.’

    ‘Fifty one departments in France have an amber alert for high temperatures on 20 June, according to Meteo France. Temperatures for Monday included 38°C for Bordeaux, 36°C forLimoges, 34°C for Mulhouse and 33°C for Paris, Toulouse, Brest and Lille, according to Meteo France.’

    ‘The temperature in United Arab Emirates topped 50°C on 17 May, with 50.5°C in Mezaira.

    In the center of Iran’s Kuzestan province in the south-east of the country, neighboring Iraq, temperatures reached 50°C on 15 June.

    The heatwave in Morocco peaked on 17 May, when there was a new reported record of 42.9°C Larach Station in northern Morocco.’

    ‘Kuwait swelters in 54C heat – what could be the highest temperature ever recorded on earth’

    Think global warming is bad now? It is going to get much worse, even if governments act quickly, researchers predicted Monday.


    • RedLogix 1.1

      ‘Extremely high temperatures of around 40°C contributed to the severity of the disastrous wildfire in Portugal which has claimed dozens of lives.

      My partner dug up some interesting background to those fires. Essentially in the 70’s Portugal was still involved in some rear-guard colonial wars and desperately needed some overseas funds to pay for it. Planting Australian eucalyptus for pulp and paper was the answer they came up with.

      Now the industry has moved on, but the neglected plantations have run wild and now cover 7% of Portugal. And of course burn like mad … killing people just as effectively as flammable cladding.

      • greywarshark 1.1.1

        They used to have a good cork industry in Portugal. Then for wine, screwtops came in also synthetic. Too many changes can muck up industries, people’s livelihoods. Who knows the downside cost of colonies that have to be borne by the people that come after. No wonder Portugal left East Timor so quickly, and left it to go downhill also.

      • weka 1.1.2

        We’re still doing this shit in NZ too, building houses and planting flammable trees side by side (when we’re not just chopping all the trees down). You’d think that the Banks Peninsula fire would have woken NZers up, but apparently not. Alongside councils requiring low level housing to be removable, they should be passing by laws that prohibit the building of houses amongst highly flammable trees, and that prohibit the planting of flammable trees around housing and industry.

  2. Ad 2

    Look, I know it’s weather no climate, but check this from the 10 day forecast: we are still getting our systems off Cape York and New Caledonia, and we are nearly in July:


    Back in my day I could read the Herald weather map and see great spidery southerly fronts regularly coming up in hard, cold fronts. Not these wussy occluded mucky things. WHICH DON”T BRING ENOUGH SNOW!

    • dukeofurl 2.1

      There was a good weather map shown through Australia last week which showed all these strong high pressure zones completely surrounding Antarctica- in June !


      I have heard that the deep low pressure zone around both north and south poles can both expand out and contract in closer

    • greywarshark 2.2

      And the fog we are getting. People have to fly here mainly, cruise ships are their own destination. If we don’t get a main fog proof systems in the north AKL and south CH we will lose our customers faster and sooner than otherwise.

      • weka 2.2.1

        we have to stop flying so much now, so better to invest that money in something else.

        • greywarshark

          Yes, trouble is that it is important for the tourism industry and we need to keep that going while we look for another way to get business that is better and has jobs attached to it. If only the government would put it collective mind to it, in the fairly short time we have left. Which the present lot show no signs of doing nor the importance of thinking and planning for the people’s future, and neither thinking is arising from the woman or man in the street.

          • Draco T Bastard

            Yes, trouble is that it is important for the tourism industry and we need to keep that going while we look for another way to get business that is better and has jobs attached to it.

            This may come as a surprise but we don’t actually need business outside of NZ.

          • weka

            it’s true we do need to transition off industrial tourism as well but we don’t need to keep propping up flying on the off chance that someone gets around to that. Start making the changes around climate change that are needed and businesses will follow pretty quick. We are clever and adaptable people.

      • dukeofurl 2.2.2

        There are systems for airliners that enable them to land with only seeing the runway at last minute or even completely automatically – the Brits perfected it in late 60s.
        because of cost likely only suitable for long range jets

  3. Bill 3

    Was just quietly thinking the other day that climatic changes are being kind of air-brushed over. Yes, the reports are there, but they’re largely couched in unhelpful terms such as “record x, y z broken” as though something worthy has been achieved. Or they are commenting on what a fantastic day it is for the beach, or how it’s all bad for business (eg -ski fields closed) or good for business (eg – north west passage through the Arctic).

    They’re not all bad mind. Sometimes an informative nugget can be found in the stream of crap. Such as…


    Now, why wasn’t that a major headline everywhere spinning off opinion pieces and secondary articles, just like what happens when a daft politician says or does something stupid?

  4. Ive been thinking about ancillary effects of cc.

    Things like the increase in insects mossies as it warms and their ability to vector tropic diseases. I wonder about the effect on land resources and infrastructure as storms batter away on a regular basis – thinking, as bits chew out they become likely to chew out even more in the next storm. What planning and thinking needs to be around to work through these side, but real effects.

  5. Rae 5

    I wonder what became of the icy puddles we used to delight in stomping in as kids, in South Auckland!
    Sadly, I am beginning to think the human race simply cannot help itself, though some decades down the track, what is left of us, will certainly wish we had.

  6. Carolyn_nth 6

    The NZ government is being sued by a Hamilton student (Sarah Thomson), for failing to take action on climate. Court hearings will begin next Monday.

    A three day hearing is set to begin in the Wellington High Court on Monday with the court to consider wither emissions targets, set by Ms Bennett, are lawful and reasonable.

    “On the issue of climate change, the New Zealand government has been persistently evasive,” Ms Thomson said.

    “In court it will have to justify its inaction on climate change before a judge and before the New Zealand public.”

    Ms Bennett’s statement of defence reportedly denies the government needs to set stronger targets.

    Her office confirmed to NZ Newswire on Tuesday that Ms Bennett would not be attending the hearing.

  7. Jeremy 7

    I’ve seen many people who are very worried about climate change repeatedly state, “climate is not weather” whenever a record low occurs somewhere and someone points to that as evidence climate change doesn’t exist.

    I hate to say it, but this post is similar and probably deserves the same treatment. I mean: record highs, in the desert, in summer, during a heat wave… Hardly earth shattering.

    In my humble opinion, a post like this is grist for the mill for people not worried about the issue.

    • RedLogix 7.1

      You are almost right. One heatwave does not climate change make. But a increasingly frequent pattern of them does.

      Keep in mind the problem here is not the science. On a daily basis you have no quibble with a vast range of scientific ideas, methods and the technologies your life relies upon.

      The problem is that you don’t like the idea that tackling climate change might involve changing some aspects of your life in a way you suspect, or have been led to suspect, you might not like. And I get that. I think we all share the same reticence, the same sense of ‘stuck’ on what to do about it.

      Maybe that is the common ground we need to be talking about.

    • weka 7.2

      I think you missed the point. It’s not this weather event on its own, it’s that our airplanes are designed for a certain range of temperatures and climate change promises more frequent extreme weather events that our infrastructure can’t cope with. Not that I care about flying per se because we’re going to have to stop that in the quantity we do it now, but we do need to raise awareness of the issues that are coming up so that we can both mitigate and adapt.

      And what RL said. More frequent, and cumulative when looked at from the perspective of the lived human experience.

      • Alwyn 7.2.1

        This report seemed a bit odd to me.
        I happened to be in Phoenix on June 26 1990. At the time it was reported as being the hottest day ever recorded in the city. According to Google it stil is.
        The planes were, thankfully, flying on that day and I left on a late afternoon flight.
        122 degrees is absolutely awful.
        I think the commenter quoted is stretching things a bit though. Other reports say that it was small planes that were affected and in particular the Bombardier planes that fly regional services. The larger Boeing and Airbus aircraft that do the main flights were, as they were in 1990, not affected. They can operate at up to about 128 degrees. That is a lot hotter than I can keep going.

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