How Long Will Australia Be Livable?

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Anonymous 1
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How Long Will Australia Be Livable?

Post by Anonymous 1 »

Facing a future of fire, drought, and rising oceans, Australians will have to weigh the choice between getting out early or staying to fight.

By Bianca Nogrady

When tiny flakes of white ash started falling like warm snow from a sky sullen with smoke, we left. We had lived for weeks with the threat of two huge bushfires hanging over our small Australian town, advancing inexorably toward us from the north and the south. My hometown of Blackheath, perched at the top of the Blue Mountains, surrounded by stunning but drought-parched Australian wilderness, was in the center of this flaming pincer.

The kids had just come home from their final day of school in December when our neighbor messaged to say there were concerns that the northern fire, which had already burned through nearly 2,000 square miles of national park, would hit Blackheath that night. Fire authorities had warned of dire conditions in the following few days: high temperatures, low humidity, and wind.

So we fled east down the mountains, heading for the coast and the relative safety of Sydney, nearly 60 miles away. We returned five days later to our scorched land, the house untouched thanks to the courageous actions of neighbors and firefighters.

Australians pride themselves on being battlers, on facing down terrible odds and triumphing against whatever this land of droughts and flooding rains—and bushfires—can throw at us. Even relentless Irish predictions of house price crashes. Yet one of the most defining moments in modern Australian nationhood was actually a retreat. In one of the greatest military-campaign failures of World War I, the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps—the ANZACs—staged an ingenious escape from the shores of Gallipoli in 1915 after a bitter, futile eight-month battle with Ottoman forces.

“This is our Gallipoli; this is our bushfire Gallipoli,” says David Bowman, a professor of environmental-change biology at the University of Tasmania. He’s talking about the bushfires that began in the spring of September 2019, that have burned in every state and territory, that have claimed at least 24 lives, that have destroyed nearly 1,800 homes, and that have turned more than 8.4 million hectares of land into lifeless charcoal. They have led to one of the largest peacetime evacuations in Australia’s history, as fire authorities in two states instructed tens of thousands of holidaymakers and residents to remove themselves from the path of several flaming juggernauts. In an echo of the Gallipoli retreat, thousands had to be rescued from beaches by the Australian navy and air force. In the face of these unprecedented fires, Australians appear to be listening less to the inner voice of the Aussie battler, and instead heeding the pleas and warnings of fire authorities.

Eleven years ago, the mind-set of bushfire response was different. Before the devastating Black Saturday bushfires in the southeastern state of Victoria, which killed 173 people over two cataclysmic days in 2009, the accepted wisdom on bushfires was “stay and defend, or leave early.” After Black Saturday, a new category of bushfire warning was introduced, labeled “Code Red” in Victoria, and “Catastrophic” in New South Wales. The unambiguous message of the new warning was “for your survival, leaving early is the only option.”

It appears the message is cutting through, says Richard Thornton, CEO of the Bushfire and Natural Hazards Cooperative Research Centre. “With the magnitude of these fires, and particularly with the fires that occurred in the Blue Mountains and Mallacoota—in heavily populated areas—that we didn’t end up with a Black Saturday–type fatality list is a sign that something is different in these fires.”

But what happens after the fires have passed through, and Australians return to either their intact homes or smoking ruins, dead cattle, a blackened moonscape where crops once grew? The lucky ones give thanks and get on with their life. The unlucky ones grieve, rage, shake their fist at Fate—and defiantly rebuild on the same ground. The battler spirit triumphs again, but for how long?

As the country suffers through one of its worst droughts on record, and heat waves shatter temperature records not once but twice within the same summer week, some are asking whether Australians can afford to keep returning to the same parched, scorched landscapes that they have occupied not just since the European invasion two and a half centuries ago, but for tens of thousands of years before that. Even before climate change, survival—particularly of agriculture—in some parts of Australia was precarious. Farmers were so often rescued from the very edge of disaster by long-overdue rains that arrived just in time. Now the effects of climate change are making that scenario even less likely, and this bushfire season and drought are but a herald of things to come.

If people are to continue living in these places, “they’ve got to drastically change their relationship with the surrounding environment; they’ve got to drastically change the surrounding environment in order to be able to survive and reduce their vulnerability,” says Ross Bradstock, the director of the Centre for Environmental Risk Management of Bushfires at the University of Wollongong. “Another option is the retreat from flammable places.”

After the Black Saturday bushfires, the state government attempted to buy back land from people in the most high-risk areas who had lost their homes in the fires. Very few took up the offer. Now there’s a record-breaking drought on top of the fire threat. Dubbo—a regional New South Wales town with a population of more than 38,000 people—has all but run out of water, with its dam at just 3.7 percent of capacity and the river supplying it forecast to dry up by May of this year. Towns in Queensland are relying on charity handouts of water, even as a planned coal mine in the region is set to access billions of gallons of groundwater. The largest remote Aboriginal community in Central Australia—along with many others that have long thrived on their traditional lands—is also running out of drinking water.

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Jeff the Bear
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Re: How Long Will Australia Be Livable?

Post by Jeff the Bear »

Tbf, given all the terrible beasties that live there, was it ever livable?
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Enzedder
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Re: How Long Will Australia Be Livable?

Post by Enzedder »

Jeff the Bear wrote: Wed Oct 20, 2021 6:08 pm Tbf, given all the terrible beasties that live there, was it ever livable?
Don't talk about our Aussie friends like that.
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kiwigreg369
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Re: How Long Will Australia Be Livable?

Post by kiwigreg369 »

Topical posting an article from 22 months ago - such a lot has happened.

Good news is that dam at Dubbo is currently 100.9%

Also good to see is that reference to Irish predicted house price crashes - assuming you slipped that one in, nice.
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Re: How Long Will Australia Be Livable?

Post by iarmhiman »

Sounds like circa 2008
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Thomas
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Re: How Long Will Australia Be Livable?

Post by Thomas »

Bushfires? That's so 2019-2020.

We're in La Nina now. It's flood time.
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Re: How Long Will Australia Be Livable?

Post by guy smiley »

Posting from the UK and trying to troll on climate change risks while the Greenland ice sheet melts at record pace might be just a bit silly.
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Re: How Long Will Australia Be Livable?

Post by grievous »

Nonny is warming up for the Ashes
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Farva
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Re: How Long Will Australia Be Livable?

Post by Farva »

Australia is big. Parts of it are unlivable already.
Consider that the bulk of the country is largely empty of human habitation, and then there is the Gold Coast which is unlivable for entirely different reasons.

Places like Tasmania, SW WA, and the east coast are very different.

I always like this map

Image
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Fat Old Git
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Re: How Long Will Australia Be Livable?

Post by Fat Old Git »

First time I've seen that map. Pretty cool. :thumbup:
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Re: How Long Will Australia Be Livable?

Post by Bindi »

Nice day, so for at least the next 24 hours.
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guy smiley
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Re: How Long Will Australia Be Livable?

Post by guy smiley »

Farva wrote: Wed Oct 20, 2021 10:27 pm Australia is big. Parts of it are unlivable already.
Consider that the bulk of the country is largely empty of human habitation
Not disagreeing with you at all but I've always liked the story of the Pintubi Nine...

https://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-30500591
In 1984 a group of Australian Aboriginal people living a traditional nomadic life were encountered in the heart of the Gibson desert in Western Australia. They had been unaware of the arrival of Europeans on the continent, let alone cars - or even clothes.

If you want to know how Australian Aboriginal peoples lived for 40,000 years, just ask Yukultji. She stepped into the 20th Century just 30 years ago. She is the youngest member of the Pintupi Nine, the last family of nomads to roam the territory around Lake Mackay, a vast glistening salt lake spanning 3,500 sq km (1,350 sq miles) between the Gibson and Great Sandy deserts of Western Australia.
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Pat the Ex Mat
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Re: How Long Will Australia Be Livable?

Post by Pat the Ex Mat »

Farva wrote: Wed Oct 20, 2021 10:27 pm Australia is big. Parts of it are unlivable already.
Consider that the bulk of the country is largely empty of human habitation, and then there is the Gold Coast which is unlivable for entirely different reasons.

Places like Tasmania, SW WA, and the east coast are very different.

I always like this map

Image
Missing Tasmania of course!

Invercargill?

My plan has always been to move there once Sydney becomes too hot
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CrazyIslander
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Re: How Long Will Australia Be Livable?

Post by CrazyIslander »

I wouldn't live in Queensland. It's not the snakes, crocs, spiders, cyclones, heat or the desert. Its the cvnts that live there.
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Re: How Long Will Australia Be Livable?

Post by MungoMan »

Bindi wrote: Wed Oct 20, 2021 10:57 pm Nice day, so for at least the next 24 hours.
:lol:

This arvo I started to doubt whether our house was liveable when hail was bouncing off the car and the overworked roof guttering was pouring water thru' the back door and the bathroom window.

Mind you, it did give us a nice waterfall in the back yard that persisted a while after the rain had stopped. So not all bad.
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Re: How Long Will Australia Be Livable?

Post by Auckman »

One of the coldest places I’ve ever been was Canberra in winter. Melbourne wasn’t much better in winter. f**king cold. The cold air literally attacks any exposed skin.
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Re: How Long Will Australia Be Livable?

Post by Olo »

Sydney and southern NSW is the same. Cold, wet and miserable in the winter. Not quite as bad as Melbourne, but there you go. ACT is at the base of the mountains and does get very f**king cold. Ditto the Southern Highlands.
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Re: How Long Will Australia Be Livable?

Post by bimboman »

guy smiley wrote: Wed Oct 20, 2021 9:33 pm Posting from the UK and trying to troll on climate change risks while the Greenland ice sheet melts at record pace might be just a bit silly.

Why? If the Greenland sheet melts do you think the raised sea levels go to the nearest spots and not across the whole bodies of water hey leak into?
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Harveys
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Re: How Long Will Australia Be Livable?

Post by Harveys »

Pat the Ex Mat wrote: Wed Oct 20, 2021 11:57 pm
Farva wrote: Wed Oct 20, 2021 10:27 pm Australia is big. Parts of it are unlivable already.
Consider that the bulk of the country is largely empty of human habitation, and then there is the Gold Coast which is unlivable for entirely different reasons.

Places like Tasmania, SW WA, and the east coast are very different.

I always like this map

Image
Missing Tasmania of course!

Invercargill?

My plan has always been to move there once Sydney becomes too hot
Back in 1965, either Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards or singer Mick Jagger famously described Invercargill as "the arsehole of the world"
Having visited both I have to say I agree with Mick, or Keith. Tasmania is splendid and spits in your general direction at the sully.
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Pat the Ex Mat
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Re: How Long Will Australia Be Livable?

Post by Pat the Ex Mat »

Harsh but fair :lol:
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Re: How Long Will Australia Be Livable?

Post by WoodlandsRFC »

bimboman wrote: Thu Oct 21, 2021 3:29 pm
guy smiley wrote: Wed Oct 20, 2021 9:33 pm Posting from the UK and trying to troll on climate change risks while the Greenland ice sheet melts at record pace might be just a bit silly.

Why? If the Greenland sheet melts do you think the raised sea levels go to the nearest spots and not across the whole bodies of water hey leak into?
I'd be interested to know exactly what is meant here?
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Re: How Long Will Australia Be Livable?

Post by WoodlandsRFC »

Pat the Ex Mat wrote: Fri Oct 22, 2021 12:47 am Harsh but fair :lol:
Ah come now, Invercargill is lovely these days, and is the gateway to Fiordland :lol:

In the 60s, comparable to Chernobyl. My understanding of Micks (or Kieths) opinion was following a bit of a plum of a local publican, who decided the Rolling Stones needed to harden the fudge up, and refused to turn up the heating in their hotel room, "you've got jumpers don't you?", this at a time when Invercargill was at its bloody coldest.
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Re: How Long Will Australia Be Livable?

Post by guy smiley »

WoodlandsRFC wrote: Fri Oct 22, 2021 2:43 am
bimboman wrote: Thu Oct 21, 2021 3:29 pm
guy smiley wrote: Wed Oct 20, 2021 9:33 pm Posting from the UK and trying to troll on climate change risks while the Greenland ice sheet melts at record pace might be just a bit silly.

Why? If the Greenland sheet melts do you think the raised sea levels go to the nearest spots and not across the whole bodies of water hey leak into?
I'd be interested to know exactly what is meant here?
Firstly, Bimbo is a goose.

Second… if the Greenland ice sheet loses enough mass that amount of cold fresh water pretty much stops the Gulf Stream and plunges the UK into a never ending winter with weather dominated by the Arctic Ocean.
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Pat the Ex Mat
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Re: How Long Will Australia Be Livable?

Post by Pat the Ex Mat »

WoodlandsRFC wrote: Fri Oct 22, 2021 2:46 am
Pat the Ex Mat wrote: Fri Oct 22, 2021 12:47 am Harsh but fair :lol:
Ah come now, Invercargill is lovely these days, and is the gateway to Fiordland :lol:

In the 60s, comparable to Chernobyl. My understanding of Micks (or Kieths) opinion was following a bit of a plum of a local publican, who decided the Rolling Stones needed to harden the fudge up, and refused to turn up the heating in their hotel room, "you've got jumpers don't you?", this at a time when Invercargill was at its bloody coldest.
To be fair they were soft Southerners!
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Re: How Long Will Australia Be Livable?

Post by booji boy »

guy smiley wrote: Fri Oct 22, 2021 2:48 am
WoodlandsRFC wrote: Fri Oct 22, 2021 2:43 am
bimboman wrote: Thu Oct 21, 2021 3:29 pm
guy smiley wrote: Wed Oct 20, 2021 9:33 pm Posting from the UK and trying to troll on climate change risks while the Greenland ice sheet melts at record pace might be just a bit silly.

Why? If the Greenland sheet melts do you think the raised sea levels go to the nearest spots and not across the whole bodies of water hey leak into?
I'd be interested to know exactly what is meant here?
Firstly, Bimbo is a goose.

Second… if the Greenland ice sheet loses enough mass that amount of cold fresh water pretty much stops the Gulf Stream and plunges the UK into a never ending winter with weather dominated by the Arctic Ocean.
Pretty sure I saw that in a movie. Was it 2012 or The Day After Tomorrow?
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booji boy
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Re: How Long Will Australia Be Livable?

Post by booji boy »

Farva wrote: Wed Oct 20, 2021 10:27 pm Australia is big. Parts of it are unlivable already.
Consider that the bulk of the country is largely empty of human habitation, and then there is the Gold Coast which is unlivable for entirely different reasons.

Places like Tasmania, SW WA, and the east coast are very different.

I always like this map

Image
That is a cool map. 8) :thumbup:
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guy smiley
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Re: How Long Will Australia Be Livable?

Post by guy smiley »

booji boy wrote: Fri Oct 22, 2021 2:59 am
guy smiley wrote: Fri Oct 22, 2021 2:48 am
WoodlandsRFC wrote: Fri Oct 22, 2021 2:43 am
bimboman wrote: Thu Oct 21, 2021 3:29 pm
guy smiley wrote: Wed Oct 20, 2021 9:33 pm Posting from the UK and trying to troll on climate change risks while the Greenland ice sheet melts at record pace might be just a bit silly.

Why? If the Greenland sheet melts do you think the raised sea levels go to the nearest spots and not across the whole bodies of water hey leak into?
I'd be interested to know exactly what is meant here?
Firstly, Bimbo is a goose.

Second… if the Greenland ice sheet loses enough mass that amount of cold fresh water pretty much stops the Gulf Stream and plunges the UK into a never ending winter with weather dominated by the Arctic Ocean.
Pretty sure I saw that in a movie. Was it 2012 or The Day After Tomorrow?
Yeah… nah.

Read up on projections regarding the Greenland ice sheet and how the interaction between fresh and salt water boosts convection and assists the flow in the oceanic system.
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Re: How Long Will Australia Be Livable?

Post by WoodlandsRFC »

guy smiley wrote: Fri Oct 22, 2021 2:48 am
WoodlandsRFC wrote: Fri Oct 22, 2021 2:43 am
bimboman wrote: Thu Oct 21, 2021 3:29 pm
guy smiley wrote: Wed Oct 20, 2021 9:33 pm Posting from the UK and trying to troll on climate change risks while the Greenland ice sheet melts at record pace might be just a bit silly.

Why? If the Greenland sheet melts do you think the raised sea levels go to the nearest spots and not across the whole bodies of water hey leak into?
I'd be interested to know exactly what is meant here?
Firstly, Bimbo is a goose.

Second… if the Greenland ice sheet loses enough mass that amount of cold fresh water pretty much stops the Gulf Stream and plunges the UK into a never ending winter with weather dominated by the Arctic Ocean.
For sure, hard to overlook the fact that there are in fact differences in regional sea level change - where increases in the North Atlantic are directly attributed to the melting of the GrIS.

thermal expansion due to a rapid increase in ocean temperatures, this from a lack of albedo (a primary function of Greenland) which means an increase in dark spaces - essentially the ocean acts as a sink for energy.

An increase in fresh water flowing into the North Atlantic - which means (along with increasing thermal expansion and warming oceans) a lack of water density, which is crucial in global-scale circulation of ocean currents - the effects of which - extreme and unpredictable weather patterns. Dense water must sink in the North Atlantic, otherwise the global-scale circulation is thrown completely off balance. This would lead to change in surface temperatures - atmospheric pressures - winds etc.

The Ocean is an important regulator of global temperatures, however it relies on water density and high levels of salinity - the process known as - "thermohaline circulation". Essentially, this water needs to be dense enough to sink - otherwise there's a massive imbalance in circulations of water.

Keep in mind the UKs proximity to the North Pole (denser, more saline waters) would likely mean higher sea level rise at a regional level, (incremental differences) were you you to compare it to other parts of the globally connected oceans.
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Re: How Long Will Australia Be Livable?

Post by merlin the happy pig »

Harveys wrote: Thu Oct 21, 2021 3:43 pm
Pat the Ex Mat wrote: Wed Oct 20, 2021 11:57 pm
Farva wrote: Wed Oct 20, 2021 10:27 pm Australia is big. Parts of it are unlivable already.
Consider that the bulk of the country is largely empty of human habitation, and then there is the Gold Coast which is unlivable for entirely different reasons.

Places like Tasmania, SW WA, and the east coast are very different.

I always like this map

Image
Missing Tasmania of course!

Invercargill?

My plan has always been to move there once Sydney becomes too hot
Back in 1965, either Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards or singer Mick Jagger famously described Invercargill as "the arsehole of the world"
Having visited both I have to say I agree with Mick, or Keith. Tasmania is splendid and spits in your general direction at the sully.
Luckily for Invercargill they were just passing through :P

(Not that I would defend Invercargill as a place to live over a fetid swamp)
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Re: How Long Will Australia Be Livable?

Post by koroke hangareka »

Olo wrote: Thu Oct 21, 2021 3:25 pm Sydney and southern NSW is the same. Cold, wet and miserable in the winter. Not quite as bad as Melbourne, but there you go. ACT is at the base of the mountains and does get very f**king cold. Ditto the Southern Highlands.
Come off it. Sydney is wonderful in winter. Mild frosts in the west, weeks on end of clear days and moderate temperatures.
It's uninhabitable in summer, 43 degrees and smoke to breathe.
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Re: How Long Will Australia Be Livable?

Post by grievous »

koroke hangareka wrote: Fri Oct 22, 2021 12:27 pm
Olo wrote: Thu Oct 21, 2021 3:25 pm Sydney and southern NSW is the same. Cold, wet and miserable in the winter. Not quite as bad as Melbourne, but there you go. ACT is at the base of the mountains and does get very f**king cold. Ditto the Southern Highlands.
Come off it. Sydney is wonderful in winter. Mild frosts in the west, weeks on end of clear days and moderate temperatures.
It's uninhabitable in summer, 43 degrees and smoke to breathe.
Wrong again
Mildest summer of all capitals, 43C? hardly if ever.
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Re: How Long Will Australia Be Livable?

Post by koroke hangareka »

grievous wrote: Fri Oct 22, 2021 12:56 pm
koroke hangareka wrote: Fri Oct 22, 2021 12:27 pm
Olo wrote: Thu Oct 21, 2021 3:25 pm Sydney and southern NSW is the same. Cold, wet and miserable in the winter. Not quite as bad as Melbourne, but there you go. ACT is at the base of the mountains and does get very f**king cold. Ditto the Southern Highlands.
Come off it. Sydney is wonderful in winter. Mild frosts in the west, weeks on end of clear days and moderate temperatures.
It's uninhabitable in summer, 43 degrees and smoke to breathe.
Wrong again
Mildest summer of all capitals, 43C? hardly if ever.
What do you mean, "again"? I'm never wrong.
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Re: How Long Will Australia Be Livable?

Post by grievous »

I keep forgetting 500,000 Kiwis here know Oz better than us Cuzes bro
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Re: How Long Will Australia Be Livable?

Post by koroke hangareka »

I kind of know Sydney a bit after living there for 30 years, and the temperature got to over 40 on my patio often enough in the summer.
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Re: How Long Will Australia Be Livable?

Post by Olo »

koroke hangareka wrote: Fri Oct 22, 2021 2:37 pm I kind of know Sydney a bit after living there for 30 years, and the temperature got to over 40 on my patio often enough in the summer.
Summers are nice with a few days that hit 40. As Grievous states, this happen very rarely. Winters are bit too cold for my liking with temps and conditions on the north coast and in southern Queensland much more civilised. Sea also gets very cold in the winter. Not as cold as across the ditch but once again too cold for my liking.
Those days with heat and smoke are horrific. I imagine that we can look forward to more of those unfortunately.
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koroke hangareka
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Re: How Long Will Australia Be Livable?

Post by koroke hangareka »

Olo wrote: Fri Oct 22, 2021 3:53 pm
koroke hangareka wrote: Fri Oct 22, 2021 2:37 pm I kind of know Sydney a bit after living there for 30 years, and the temperature got to over 40 on my patio often enough in the summer.
Summers are nice with a few days that hit 40. As Grievous states, this happen very rarely. Winters are bit too cold for my liking with temps and conditions on the north coast and in southern Queensland much more civilised. Sea also gets very cold in the winter. Not as cold as across the ditch but once again too cold for my liking.
Those days with heat and smoke are horrific. I imagine that we can look forward to more of those unfortunately.
Depends how far from the sea you are. I enjoyed the winters, though.
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Re: How Long Will Australia Be Livable?

Post by Rowdy »

WoodlandsRFC wrote: Fri Oct 22, 2021 2:46 am
Pat the Ex Mat wrote: Fri Oct 22, 2021 12:47 am Harsh but fair :lol:
Ah come now, Invercargill is lovely these days, and is the gateway to Fiordland :lol:

In the 60s, comparable to Chernobyl. My understanding of Micks (or Kieths) opinion was following a bit of a plum of a local publican, who decided the Rolling Stones needed to harden the fudge up, and refused to turn up the heating in their hotel room, "you've got jumpers don't you?", this at a time when Invercargill was at its bloody coldest.
The Stones played Invercargill?
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Harveys
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Re: How Long Will Australia Be Livable?

Post by Harveys »

koroke hangareka wrote: Fri Oct 22, 2021 2:37 pm I kind of know Sydney a bit after living there for 30 years, and the temperature got to over 40 on my patio often enough in the summer.
How I read Grievous posts. :lol:

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Re: How Long Will Australia Be Livable?

Post by Olo »

koroke hangareka wrote: Fri Oct 22, 2021 4:44 pm
Olo wrote: Fri Oct 22, 2021 3:53 pm
koroke hangareka wrote: Fri Oct 22, 2021 2:37 pm I kind of know Sydney a bit after living there for 30 years, and the temperature got to over 40 on my patio often enough in the summer.
Summers are nice with a few days that hit 40. As Grievous states, this happen very rarely. Winters are bit too cold for my liking with temps and conditions on the north coast and in southern Queensland much more civilised. Sea also gets very cold in the winter. Not as cold as across the ditch but once again too cold for my liking.
Those days with heat and smoke are horrific. I imagine that we can look forward to more of those unfortunately.
Depends how far from the sea you are. I enjoyed the winters, though.
Thats true. I am right on the coast and get sea breezes most of the time when there. Inland is hotter/cooler depending on the season.
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Re: How Long Will Australia Be Livable?

Post by Bindi »

I'm quite partial to Brisban's weather. Warm in summer, but perfectly fine if you're used to it. Perfect in winter.

I used to hate Adelaide's weather when I lived there. 45C in summer and wet and miserable in winter.
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