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Foreign News: Queensland 2013 bigwet floods, tornados and climate change

Ex-tropical cyclone Oswald has left a trail of damage and destruction from it's origins in the Gulf of Carpentaria to crossing Cape York and working it's way down the Queensland Coast. The storms brought destructive winds, tornados, rough seas, storm surge and torrential rain, followed by flooding. Quite a few rain records were broken for 24 and 48 hour periods in Rockhampton, Gladstone and Bundaberg with some rain gauges recording well over one metre of rain in 48 hours. Now flood level records are being broken for many river basins and towns like Bunderberg and Gympie.

Although the flood levels in Brisbane city may be lower than the devastating floods in 2011, largely due to better management of water storage in the Wivenhoe Dam, in many regional towns and areas these floods are much much worse and are at record levels.

While the Brisbane CBD may be spared flooding damage, many low lying suburbs around Brisbane will feel the force of the muddy dirty water swirling through their yards and houses. And regional towns are faring much worse in these floods than in 2011.

Thousands of people are being displaced, and hundreds are requiring rooftop emergency rescues from rapidly rising floodwaters. Thousands will utilise emergency disaster assistance provided by State and Federal governments.

Asking whether climate change 'caused' these storms and floods is the wrong question. As climatologist Kevin Trenbeth outlines below, all weather events now have a component of climate change in them. It is now a part of our weather system contributing to all extreme weather events.


Source: http://indymedia.org.au/2013/01/28/queensland-2013-bigwet-floods-tornados-and-climate-change
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