The ‘Green Scene’ Series on Newstalk is a weekly update on energy and environmental matters with Pat Kenny and MaREI Director Brian Ó Gallachóir.
On March 24, 2020, Prof Ó Gallachóir discussed what is behind Australia’s extreme weather and the mysterious travelling walrus.
Are the floods in Australia due to climate change?
- The Australian government has declared a natural disaster in large swaths of New South Wales (NSW) as heavy rains batter the state and force thousands to evacuate.
- Rains have been inundating communities since Thursday, but parts of the east coast tipped into crisis on Saturday as a major dam overflowed, adding to swollen rivers and causing flash flooding
- The floods come a little over a year after the same areas were ablaze from unprecedented bushfires
- While it is not unusual to have places with very high daily rainfall totals, it is unusual to see so many places with such extreme totals across such a wide area
- It is being characterised as a one-in-100-year event
- It’s not clear at this stage whether it’s directly attributable to climate change
- Attribution studies are especially challenging when it comes to rainfall because of all the different factors that can influence the systems that deliver rain
The mysterious travelling walrus
- An Arctic Walrus washed ashore on rocks in Co Kerry last week
- It’s thought the walrus came across the North Atlantic from Greenland and it was hoped, once recovered, it would return.
- The animal was badly in need of food and rest after such a long crossing and the two-metre arctic animal was foraging for food somewhere in the harbour on Valentia Island
- It reappeared in Wales some days later looking in good health, but undoubtedly tired after another long journey
The REthink Energy series featuring Green Scene is supported by ESB and The Institute of International and European Affairs.