The Area of Rhode Island.

Discussion in 'Current Events' started by Chundles, Dec 12, 2006.

  1. Chundles macrumors G4

    Chundles

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2005
    #1
    Not that big but that's how much land area has been burnt in the bushfires currently raging out of control in Victoria, Aus. That area has been burnt out in a matter of days.

    Fanned by hot, gale force winds and ripping through the very fragile and difficult to access alpine area the fires have threatened towns and destroyed many historic high country huts.

    18 homes were lost to fires in Tasmania last night and we've already had a few massive fires in NSW and SA.

    With this area (SE Australia) in the grips of a one-in-a-thousand year drought showing no sign of abating after 6 years this summer is going to be disgraceful. Dry electrical storms and d*ckhead arsonists are going to stretch our already stretched resources very thin on the ground.

    The Australian bush is basically explosive - eucalyptus oil explodes as the flames start to burn - combine this with hot summer winds and you get fire fronts many kilometres (or miles - the difference doesn't matter here) moving at speeds through the crown of the forest up to 100km/h (65mph). They are simply terrifying - a firestorm a few years ago burnt out ~80% of the Australian Capital Territory (our version of D.C.) in one night - that's how fast they move.

    I really don't know where I'm going here, just letting a few of you realise just how grave a situation we're in here at the bottom of the world. If this drought doesn't break soon (and it will take months probably years of constant, dare I say "English Rain" to break it) we are in no uncertain terms "Proper F*cked."

    So, just keep us in your thoughts (or prayers if you're that way inclined) because the economic and social consequences of this drought are just awful. Currently in the rural areas of NSW the federal Depression initiative (a mental health operation) has shown figures of one farmer committing suicide every 4 days from drought-related stress and depression as crops and livestock continue to whither and die.

    That's it folks, please send some kind thoughts to us down here watching our already brown land burn up or blow away.

    Cheers

    Chundles.
     
  2. skunk macrumors G4

    skunk

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2002
    Location:
    Republic of Ukistan
    #2
    Jesus, I didn't realise it was that bad. What happened to the artesian wells? Don't they work any more?
     
  3. Chundles thread starter macrumors G4

    Chundles

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2005
    #3
    Yeah, they're tapping them at the moment but they aren't going to help the guys out in the country - the artesian water out there is full of crap and it won't come back once we drain it.

    It is THAT bad, Sydney's dams are at ~30% and getting lower by the day. Brisbane's are worse - they only have about a year or so left there. Goulburn, just inland from me, has already dried up and they're shipping water in/draining wetlands etc. Can you imagine the UK if you didn't get significant rain for 6+ years?

    We've been averaging less than an inch a month for the last three or more years and that's on the coast.
     
  4. kretzy macrumors 604

    kretzy

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2004
    Location:
    Canberra, Australia
    #4
    Yep, it's a pretty dire situation.

    I woke up on Saturday to the smell of smoke even though the fires are over 100kms away. The sun was bright orange and I'd never seen the air so hazy in all my life.

    They're saying that the fires might not even be contained until the end of summer.

    This doesn't help the water situation either. My home town Geelong just went into Stage 4 water restrictions. This means no watering of gardens, no washing of cars, or anything that isn't really necessary. Melbourne are now in Stage 3, which means limited watering of gardens etc. And that by no means is the worst of it. Out in the country they're on Stage 5+, many towns having to cart water in.

    The fires are also decreasing water supply because water from water storages is being used on the fires. They can't use water from the ocean because it salinates the land, killing all the natural vegetation for a long period of time.

    We really just need a good few months of solid, non-stop rain. Unfortunately I don't think that's very likely.
     
  5. Queso macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2006
    #5
    Damn Chundles. Best you get your backside up here soon. I remember New South Wales being so green when I was there too :eek:

    EDIT: I was going to make a comment about "at least you're winning The Ashes", but considering events mentioning ashes is possibly too much even for an Aussie sense of humour.
     
  6. Chundles thread starter macrumors G4

    Chundles

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2005
    #6
    It only takes a light sprinkle of rain to green the place up - problem is it all just dries up a few weeks later - the ground is now so dry and so hard that any light rain just washes away.

    For those who can't do the area conversion.

    300,000 hectares.
    750,000 acres
    3000 square kilometres
    1200 square miles
    ~The Area of Rhode Island
    ~1/2 the area of Northern Ireland
    Greater than 10% of the land area of the UK.

    It's big. And that's just one fire. Back in 2003 we lost 1.7 million acres in a single fire across NSW/Vic.
     
  7. bartelby macrumors Core

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2004
    #7
    The UK hasn't had significant rain for quite a few years, believe it of not. But fortunately for us our weather doesn't get up to 500ºC!

    I don't think there has been any real coverage of Aussie bush fires on the UK media, which is a surprise really.
    But then some of the press have dragged Diana back into the news:rolleyes:
    Which is obviously way more important:rolleyes: :rolleyes: :rolleyes: :rolleyes: :rolleyes: :mad:
     
  8. Chundles thread starter macrumors G4

    Chundles

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2005
  9. bartelby macrumors Core

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2004
    #9

    :eek:


    F**K ME!!!!
     
  10. Chundles thread starter macrumors G4

    Chundles

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2005
    #10
    Yeah, the heat from the fire and the smoke create massive thunder clouds over the top of the fire - no rain, just lots of lightning = more fires = more storms = more fires.....
     
  11. Queso macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2006
    #11
    That's really bad. We had fires behind Barcelona a couple of summers back but nothing like that.
     
  12. Chundles thread starter macrumors G4

    Chundles

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2005
    #12
    Remember, that's just one fire. In 2003 I could drive to the top of the hill my family live on, look north and see at least ten just like that.

    Here's our friend Elvis the Sky Crane converted to a water dumper. Does a wonderful job, was even operating on the escarpment behind me back in 2002 when it was on fire during the Uni exams - nothing like doing your end of year exams breathing in smoke and being under evacuation threat.

    [​IMG]
     
  13. kretzy macrumors 604

    kretzy

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2004
    Location:
    Canberra, Australia
    #13
    An aerial perspective that I found amazing...
    [​IMG]

    That's Tasmania down the bottom.
     
  14. Chundles thread starter macrumors G4

    Chundles

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2005
    #14
    Same area in 2003. One of the worst years we had - these were taken in late January so we've got a long time till then, nowhere near the peak of the season yet.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    The land area shown in these sat photos (and the one above in Max's post) is probably the same area as Texas in the US.

    EDIT - actually in the top photo in this post it's more like 2 - 3 times the size of Texas, that's Melbourne at the top of the horse-head shaped bay and Adelaide on the upper right where the peninsula is.

    Once again that's our Alpine area burning - some of the most unique and fragile environments on the planet - most of it is National Park and heavily patrolled.
     
  15. devilot Moderator emeritus

    devilot

    Joined:
    May 1, 2005
    #15
    I got goosebumps seeing those photos. I dunno what else to say other than that I hope you all get that much needed rain, proto. :(
     
  16. Counterfit macrumors G3

    Counterfit

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2003
    Location:
    sitting on your shoulder
    #16
    You guys need to grab that iceberg that's the size of Ro' Dylin' down there.



    Or maybe some of the ice field in Alaska the size of Ro' Dylin'.




    Or hell, just take our state in its entirety, I'm sure we'll get a good amount of snow soon.
     

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