Thursday, January 14, 2016
Record hot end to 2015 for Australia as giant El Nino dominates
I have left the heading above as it appeared in the Sydney Morning Herald, a major Left-leaning newspaper in Australia. The story was written by a shifty-looking guy named Peter Hannam, their Environment Editor.
And is Peter shifty! From the headline the casual reader would assume that Australia had had an exceptionally hot year overall. It's not until you get way down into a very long article that we find that the year as a whole was only the 6th hottest accordinmg to the BoM. And that's with El Nino helping to warm things up! Subtracting the El Nino effect would probably have shown cooling. But is that discussed? Not on your Nelly! Warmists are just shifty, period!
Australia has posted its hottest end to any year as the impact of one of the biggest El Ninos on record began to be felt across the continent.
Mean temperatures were 0.36 degrees above the previous record for the October to December period, capping what was Australia's fifth-hottest year since the Bureau of Meteorology began keeping national figures in 1910.
"For temperatures, it was a year of two halves - a relatively cool part of the year and then an extremely warm second half," Blair Trewin, senior climatologist at the bureau, said.
Spring was the standout season, with the past three September-November periods comprising the hottest trio on record. Such conditions have led to a busy fire season across southern Australia with a couple of months of summer still to run.
Among the major capitals, Sydney had its third-warmest year on record, just behind the record heat in 2013 and 2014. Statewide, temperatures were 1 degree above average, making it the seventh-hottest year since records began.
Melbourne was also on the warm side, with maximum temperatures ranging between 0.5 and 1 degree above average across the city. Victoria, too, was 1 degree warmer than average for maximums, making it the seventh-hottest year.
Perth was the standout state capital for warmth, recording its equal hottest year on record for maximums, matching 2011 and 2012. Statewide temperatures lagged only 2013 for record heat.
Brisbane had near-average temperatures for the year, while statewide temperatures were the third-warmest on record.
Three big exceptional heatwaves stood out - in March across northern Australia, and in October and December across the south. Tasmania was one place to have a cool winter and late-season snow across northern NSW and into Queensland was another cold weather extreme.
For the final three months of 2015, average mean temperatures were 1.93 degrees above the 1961-90 average, easily eclipsing the previous record of anomaly 1.57 degrees set just a year earlier. October itself was 2.89 degrees above the norm - the most for any month in the 106 years of records.
Warming to come
The monster El Nino in the Pacific, which rivals the 1997-98 and 1982-83 events, appears to have peaked in recent weeks, the bureau said on Tuesday.
The event, which may not break up until the autumn, will most likely give Australian temperatures a relatively warm start to 2016 - notwithstanding the unusually cool and wet week now under way across the eastern seaboard.
In the trailing year of El Ninos, "the first half of the year is often significantly warmer than average", Dr Trewin said.
For 2015 as a whole, area-averaged mean temperatures were 0.83 degrees above the 1961-90 average. Maximum temperatures were 0.96 degrees above average, the sixth hottest on record, the bureau said.
Australia's largest uni goes smoke free
Smokers will no doubt call this tyrannical but a ban would not be needed if they had the decency to stop imposing their foul habit on others
Smoking has been banned on all campuses of a major Victorian university. Monash University announced that smoking, including the use of e-cigarettes, would be banned from every campus, including grounds and vehicles from January 2016.
The university said it was part of a broader commitment by all Victorian universities to provide healthier smoke-free environments.
"There is clear evidence to show that smoke-free environments increase the rate of quitting and reduce the amount of people taking up smoking," the university said in a statement.
Students, staff and visitors will need to leave the campus to light up and those caught smoking on university grounds may face "disciplinary action".
Australia Day lamb ad dubbed violent towards vegans, racist
THE latest Australia Day lamb ad has come under fire for racial insensitivity and promoting violence towards vegans.
This year’s campaign, which brings together Lambassador Sam Kekovich and legendary SBS newsreader Lee Lin Chin, is based around a mission to save Aussies abroad from having to go without a lamb barbecue on Australia Day.
Chin leads an army, including Fitzy & Wippa, across the likes of Tokyo, London and Bali, on a journey to bring home a number of prominent Aussies.
One of the people Chin’s army brings home includes a vegan whose apartment is set on fire.
It is this scene that has sparked complaints, including on the Facebook page of Meat and Livestock Australia, which created the ad.
Others have complained about the use of the term “boomerang” arguing it is insensitive to indigenous Australians, especially leading into Australia Day.
A spokeswoman for the Advertising Standards Bureau said it had received close to 300 complaints since the ad was launched — the majority about discrimination against vegans.
The spokeswoman told News Corp Australia a meeting of the ASB board will be convened to review the ad — possibly prior to Australia Day.
“It will go to our next board meeting. The board will decide on whether to dismiss or uphold the ad. If it is dismissed it has to then be removed,” she said.
The ad is clearly a lark, not to be taken literally. So what's wrong with disrespecting Vegans? They're deluded. Human beings, like many higher mammals, are omnivores. Being Vegan is unnatural and risky to your health
Security guards at last force squatters off stranded Alcoa ship MV Portland
Security guards have mounted a secret midnight raid to forcibly remove the crew of the long-stranded Alcoa ship MV Portland.
The guards then escorted aboard a replacement crew who immediately began sailing the carrier towards Singapore.
The ship had been docked in the far south-west Victorian port of Portland for two months, with its sacked Australian crew refusing to sail it to Singapore where is to be scrapped.
At 1am Wednesday, a contingent of security guards — estimated by the Maritime Union of Australia to number more than 30 — boarded the ship, woke the five crew members on board, handed them their passports and escorted them down the gangplank.
Shortly after a replacement crew, believed to be foreign seafarers, was escorted on board.
By dawn, Portland residents awoke to discover the ship that has hauled alumina from Western Australia to Portland's Alcoa aluminium smelter for the past 27 years was nowhere to be seen.
"This is the worst example of guerrilla tactics to get rid of Australian workers since Patricks," said the MUA national secretary, Paddy Crumlin.
In 1998, the Patrick Corporation locked workers out of their port operations, and dogs and balaclava-wearing security guards were used.
The 40 Australian crew members of the MV Portland have lost legal actions in the Fair Work Commission and the Federal Court, where they argued the Federal Government's "temporary coastal licence", which allows Alcoa to replace the MV Portland with a foreign-flagged vessel and foreign crew, was invalid.
The MUA claimed the ship could not be sailed to Singapore because of a shortage of seafarers available to operate it.
Opposition Leader Bill Shorten labelled the midnight raid "disturbing" and "Work Choices on water".
"I'm deeply disturbed that we're seeing Australian seafarers being marched off ships, replaced by foreign seafarers. "If nothing else, a government in Australia should stand up for Australian jobs," Mr Shorten said.
"What we see here is Work Choices on water being introduced by the back door with a nod and a wink by Malcolm Turnbull and his Liberals," he said.
Mr Shorten said in addition to concerns about Australian jobs, he was also worried about national security and protection of the local environment.
"There's an industrial dispute but that's the tip of the iceberg. What we see is Australian seafarers, Australian jobs being replaced by foreign seafarers, foreign jobs on our coastline," he said.
ACTU assistant secretary Scott Connolly described the early morning raid as "an attack on Australian workers and their families that has no place in a modern Australian workplace".
"An acceptance that people can be forcibly removed from their place of work in an orchestrated midnight action should send shivers down the spine of all Australian workers," he said.
Employment Minister Michaelia Cash said: "it is not for industrial parties to pick and choose which orders of the Commission they will comply with. "If the obligation to follow orders of the independent umpire is only seen as optional, then the integrity of the entire Fair Work system is put at risk".
Alcoa has stated the replacement of the MV Portland and its Australian crew will save the company $6 million a year.
Alcoa said it took "decisive action today to end protracted illegal industrial action".
"Alcoa has been extremely tolerant and given the MUA and its members every opportunity to stop their illegal industrial action," the managing director of Alcoa Australia, Michael Parker, said in a statement issued on Wednesday morning.
"Instead, the MUA has held our ship hostage for two months; disrupting the lives of other crew members, disrupting operations at the Port of Portland, and threatening the Portland community with the loss of cruise ship visits."
Australian Research Links Nutritional Supplement To Cancer
Chromium is most frequently used in supplement form for weight management, body building and type 2 diabetes. Now UNSW and University of Sydney research has revealed that chromium is partially converted into a carcinogenic form when it enters cells, prompting concerns about commonly taken dosages.
The Australian National Health and Medical Research Council recommend 25-35 micrograms of chromium daily as an adequate adult intake. The US National Academy of Sciences advises that a maximum of 200 micrograms of chromium a day is considered safe.
Some commercially available tablets have been found to contain up to 500 micrograms of chromium each.
The research, published in the chemistry journal Angewandte Chemie, was conducted on animal fat cells, which were x-rayed to allow scientists to observe the behaviour of chromium within the cell. "We were able to show that oxidation of chromium inside the cell does occur, as it loses electrons and transforms into a carcinogenic form," said UNSW’s Dr Lindsay Wu.
"This is the first time oxidation was observed in a biological sample with the same results expected in human cells."
The researchers say more study is needed to conclusively say whether the supplements significantly alter cancer risk.