Friday, January 14, 2011
Here is an open invitation for any Melbourne bloggers to come along to support the launch of Two Bays 2011
Hope to do some sea time blogging as we travel both Port Phillip and Western Port Bays over the last half of January.
Over the past weeks the Eastern Coast of Australia and especially Queensland has been on high flood alert. Brisbane has just experienced the worst flooding since 1974. Though the peak was a bit lower than the 1974 flood, the impact will be as high if not higher as the city has grown so much in the intervening years. Personally, all the people I know there and in environs are safe and mostly dry. But so many others are not as lucky.
The flood event is being linked to the fact that we are experiencing the La Nina weather pattern which is influenced by the Pacific Ocean. There has already been a lot of interesting science commentary linking the ferocity of the flood with climate change. It fits predicted patterns of weather behaviour even on top of the extremes predicted with a La Nina cycle.
Two years ago I was caught in a flash flood scenario in the Currumbin Creek Valley. I was staying with a friend in a cottage that had supposedly been built above the 100 year flood line. But the plans did not reckon with four lows sitting over the mountain looming behind and letting the heavens pour down on country already saturated by constant rain. This created an immediate torrent which transformed a peaceful babbling, platypus inhabited creek, into a raging river.
We survived due to a combination of luck and a bit of common sense. But luck was the more powerful factor of the two. That night a woman died just above us as she was swept off a culvert in her car. Along with some cows and horses.
Towoomba suffered the same type of event earlier this week, which was also not on the radar of the meteorologists because the cascading events occurred all too swiftly.
Time will tell to what extent these terrible floods are driven by local cycles and how much they have been exacerbated by climate change. All I know is that as I am not there on hand to help people mop up I can only feel slightly useful by working in the way we are with Pelican. I hope that by adding to the knowledge of the Marine environment and connecting people to the importance of this process with shared understanding and collaborative learning will aid in the task of getting to grips with the challenge of our rapidly changing world.