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Aussie Data Centres Brace For Dust Storm Barrage

samzenpus posted more than 5 years ago | from the sand-gets-in-your-tubes dept.

Technology 148

An anonymous reader writes "Data centers and telcos in the Australian cities of Sydney and Brisbane have shut off external ventilation systems, restricted loading dock access and attended false alarms after a major dust storm choked the cities today. The storm is said to be the worst of its type ever recorded in Australia. Macquarie Telecom disengaged automatic deployment of fire-prevention gas from the fire alarm to prevent gas being released on a false alarm. Other major data center operators reported clogged air filters and heat exchangers and said they would be performing cleaning and maintenance operations this week."

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c-c-c-c (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29525491)

climate change :-P

Re:c-c-c-c (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29525507)

crikey?

Re:c-c-c-c (5, Interesting)

hydrolyzer (1637811) | more than 5 years ago | (#29525575)

Climate change is a farce. im a sydneysider, this is the worst duststorm we've had in 70 years, IE: 70 years ago, it was this bad. It's the first year of el nino, the ground is going to be dry, it happens. its also not the worst dustorm in the country, the 1984 one in melbourne was worse. the arctic icecap is melting too, curiously in line with the friggin range of underwater volcanoes spewing hot magma into the ocean.

Re:c-c-c-c (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29525599)

O boy-prepare to be modded to oblivion...

hehehehe (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29525645)

The funny thing is that people like you trot out all sorts of new things that you claim will disprove GW. And in every single case, it gets shot down. EVERY CASE. Easily disproved. When will you flat earther/creationist/teabaggers give it up?

Re:hehehehe (4, Insightful)

Kokuyo (549451) | more than 5 years ago | (#29526545)

How do you shoot down a simple argument of logic?

It's been this bad 70 years ago.
70 years ago we didn't pollute ANYWHERE as much as we do today.
If our polluting nature is supposed to be the cause for climate change, which would then lead to, say, DUSTSTORMS, how come the same thing happened when we had barely begun the polluting?

Climate change is real. It happened since the beginning of this dirtball. The question is, how much of what we see today is natural and how much is man-made. Considering that they also found that CO2 rises came after our atmosphere warming up and not before, I'd like for you to give me a few examples of shut down points in favour of us not having much to do with the situation.

It's easy to say "Everyone KNOWS that your arguments won't hold up". But have the common decency to prove it instead of making blanket statements about our intelligence.

I am fucking fed up with this behaviour. Time and again, people had to lower their eyes in shame after they had made fun of others for their outrageously unpopular statements and then being proven wrong after all. How can any sane and halfway intelligent being continue doing that when none of us have any kind of insight into the bigger picture? Have you ever checked which scientists have proclaimed human induced climate change? Have you checked their work? Have you checked their numbers? Their conclusions? Have you checked whether their institutes are low on cash and just freaking needed the publicity?

Same goes for any opponents of human induced climate change, by the way. Same rules for all of us. The difference between you and me is that I don't call you stupid just because you have a different opinion than I have. All I call you is frickin' rude.

Re:hehehehe (1)

somersault (912633) | more than 5 years ago | (#29526931)

70 years ago we didn't pollute ANYWHERE as much as we do today

(citation needed)

(I'm not saying it isn't true, but in the west at least it seems we have been trying to cut down on our emissions, and I don't have any data comparing emissions from power plants, factories, cars, shuttle launches etc etc over the last century).

In the 1940s, air pollution received greater attention in the United States when smog was noticed in Los Angeles. Visibility was only three blocks and people suffered from smarting eyes, respiratory discomfort, nausea, and vomiting. California passed the first state air pollution law in 1947, and the first National Air Pollution Symposium in the United States was held in 1949. Initially, municipal governments were responsible for the passage and enforcement of such legislation.

(from http://www.epa.gov/apti/course422/apc1.html [epa.gov] ).

Might also want to look into the Industrial Revolution of the 1800s (see here [google.co.uk] for pretty pictures).

Re:hehehehe (1)

cheekyboy (598084) | more than 5 years ago | (#29527083)

sydney is in australia mate.

look it up

Re:hehehehe (1)

master5o1 (1068594) | more than 5 years ago | (#29527225)

(people (who speak in brackets (must like that weird language (which i think is called))))

lisp.

Re:hehehehe (1)

master5o1 (1068594) | more than 5 years ago | (#29527209)

Dust storms caused by draught, draught caused by the overusing the rivers and lakes for crop irrigation and drinking water. The next (world?) war will be for water. Get your super-soakers ready.

Re:hehehehe (1)

hesaigo999ca (786966) | more than 5 years ago | (#29527501)

Being a devil's advocate to a devil's advocate is a nasty job, you have to contradict yourself all the time just to prove your point.

Seriously though, I do agree not everyone makes informed statements and just blast their opinions, however I have read scientific journals on both sides that do put up a great argument for both sides...hence why so many people are just on the fence about this one.

I hope that all this hoopla is propaganda, and that climate change is natural and nothing man made, however I would still like to know if it keeps getting worse, what sort of system do we have to alert us when ...the next storm hits, or the next volcano or the next....cause if it keeps getting bigger and bigger in damages or size of disaster, we need to prepare for certain level where the next earthquake might knock off California off the face of the map...! If that happens , pretty much 80% of Hollywood is gone, say good buy to Jack Bauer!

Re:hehehehe (1)

dangitman (862676) | more than 5 years ago | (#29527579)

If our polluting nature is supposed to be the cause for climate change, which would then lead to, say, DUSTSTORMS, how come the same thing happened when we had barely begun the polluting?

If our polluting nature is supposed to be the cause for climate change, which would then lead to, say, RAINSTORMS, how come the same thing happened when we had barely begun the polluting?

Because duststorms and rainstorms are a natural phenomenon. They've pretty much always happened. It's the pattern and causes of these phenomenon which are studied by climate science.

Re:c-c-c-c (2, Insightful)

MrNaz (730548) | more than 5 years ago | (#29525853)

Usually when I see someone spouting off, there's at least some argument that can be rebutted, some point that can be countered, some claim that can be disproved or, at least, some myth that can be dispelled. I read this post, over and over, trying to find some way to respond in an intelligent manner, to try to get across a point about this subject that I feel so strongly about. However, try as I might, the only response I could come up with was this:
OMGWTFLOLHAHA.

Re:c-c-c-c (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29526015)

You're just being lazy. You know that in order to stop climate change you will have to make sacrifices, and you feel it's beneath you to use finite resources responsibly. Maybe when waste is criminalized then you'll see reason. Climate change has been absolutely proven beyond a shadow of a doubt. Now is the time to open your eyes and take action willingly, for later your inaction will be severely punished - If not by man, then by MOTHER NATURE.

Re:c-c-c-c (3, Informative)

dakameleon (1126377) | more than 5 years ago | (#29526097)

So that would roughly line up with the 1937-1947 drought [bom.gov.au] , when the following happened:

As the drought extended into 1945, large rivers virtually dried up. By December 1944 the Hunter had ceased to flow along most of its course; by January the Hawkesbury was dry at North Richmond. By April 1945, most Victorian water storages were empty, the Murray had ceased to flow at Echuca, and Adelaide faced water shortages. As far north as Townsville here were water restrictions. Dust storms raged in South Australia, northern Victoria and southern NSW on many days in the summer of 1944-45

I don't know about you, but that's not something I'd like to experience with the current population of Australia. If there's some part of cutting CO2 output that would help avoid such a situation, I'll gladly sign up for it.

Overgrazing 70 years ago - Rabbit plague (3, Informative)

FriendlyLurker (50431) | more than 5 years ago | (#29526697)

70 years ago the Rabbit plague was in full swing [thinkquest.org] (until the Myxoma Virus was introduced in 1950's). Rabbits combined with overgrazing it amplified El Ninyos [wikipedia.org] drying effect on Australia (Learning from history: land and pasture degradation episodes in Australiaâ(TM)s rangelands [bom.gov.au] ).

Today due to climate changes effects on the ocean currents, El Ninyo could quite possibly become permanent [springerlink.com] rather than a periodic event - which if happens, will freeze eastern Australia in a permanent drought conditions (and South America in permanent flooding conditions). A bit of drought in half of Australia and a few major floods in South America would be the very least of the worlds worries though... climate change screwing up the ocean current system is implicated in the Anoxic event [wikipedia.org] which eventually led to the death of 90% of life on earth [wikipedia.org]

>Climate change is a farce. im a sydneysider, this is the worst duststorm we've had in 70 years
No worries mate, the planet will be just fine. Nothing we can do to the planet short of complete nuclear Armageddon that Mother earth can't recover from in a few million years. Its not the planet we have to worry about... its our survival on it as a destructive, greedy, self serving species - and that's just a random sampling of our "elected" leaders [wikipedia.org]

12 monkeys (0, Troll)

cheekyboy (598084) | more than 5 years ago | (#29527035)

Everyone knows it, reducing the population by 80% is the key.
But no one is going to say, "we must kill 4 billion people by 2020".
Germany learned the hardway in just trying less than 0.01% of that figure.

Dont worry , you're fellow Rothchilds and Bilderbergs and elite of the planet have a cure for the
scurge of the human plague. The h1n1 virus to eliminate the 80%

Re:12 monkeys (1)

master5o1 (1068594) | more than 5 years ago | (#29527267)

Test to see if one is worthy to survive the Human Culling:

Take a large quantity of the very dangerous liquid, DHMO [dhmo.org] . Have a Liquid DHMO - (80%) Nitrogen Gas boundary in a chamber. The person taking the test must pass through the DHMO-Nitrogen boundary and travel between the two safe zones. If any (non major) body part makes contact with, or passes through the boundary layor then it is likely to require amputation. Breathing near the boundary layor is likely to kill. Breathing in the DHMO liquid is likely to kill.

Shit. I posted to much crap to make this modded funny :(

Re:c-c-c-c (0, Flamebait)

cheekyboy (598084) | more than 5 years ago | (#29527013)

you make me laff seriously, reduce c02 will help?
Ok,

1. lets eat every single cow, and make them extinct
2. make cutting down lots of trees illegal, except for personal use, like a house.
3. increase petrol taxes to $50/litre and make bikes free.

Ok youve achieve youre goal and reducing c02 emissions.
Next week a giant volcano in suva erupts spewing out the equivalent of 50 years of USA c02 emissions in one day.

More realisticly, 6.3m cars a year are made in china, you think that will reduce c02?
http://www.chinaknowledge.com/Business/CBGdetails.aspx?subchap=3&content=9 [chinaknowledge.com]

Over 10 years how much c02 is that? All western efforts are pointless.

Darn, that was a waste. What now.

 

Re:c-c-c-c (2, Insightful)

dangitman (862676) | more than 5 years ago | (#29526319)

So, climate change is a farce, just because you say so, despite the overwhelming evidence that it's happening? Congratulations, you just destroyed any credibility you might otherwise have.

Re:c-c-c-c (2, Insightful)

SerpentMage (13390) | more than 5 years ago | (#29526375)

Climate change a farce?

Give me a break. Of course climate change is happening. Look at California, Spain, Greece, and other places. They are turning into deserts. Year after year more fires, and more arid. It is changing the land at a local level. Other places like Canada are get more tornado's and they are getting more tail ends of hurricanes.

The question of whether or not it is man made in my opinion is quite irrelevant since we don't even have plan regardless of the cause. The big issue right now is how to deal with climate change? What are we doing to secure our water supplies? Or our essential resources...

Re:c-c-c-c (1)

CCFreak2K (930973) | more than 5 years ago | (#29527015)

Living in California, I'd have to say that the "more fires" thing isn't JUST climate change; it's also a result of overgrowth. Fires burn out the vegetated areas, and they regrow. Every year it doesn't, the danger grows higher (I was temporarily displaced by this one [google.com] actually). The San Joaquin valley, though...that's probably turning into a desert, and probably for the same reason as the dust bowl.

Re:c-c-c-c (2, Insightful)

Mashiki (184564) | more than 5 years ago | (#29527117)

Well lets look at reality now shall we? See in the last 150 years we've had amazing improvements in the ability to see and record weather events. Now, where I'm from Ontario, even in the last 10 years if a tornado happened in the middle of nowhere Northern Ontario and no one was around to hear it, it didn't happen. These days it's hit or miss. In the southern half, meaning south of Ottawa, we get anywhere between 20-45 a year. Which is pretty average and has been average.

Nowe to continue on, if you don't let nature do it's thing out west. Like in California, BC and so forth and burn out the dead brush then you start getting these amazing wildfires which will do the job for you because there is so much dry tinder. See wild fires are a part of the ecosystem. Plants and animials there have developed around it. See how some of the pines even require fire to crack open their cones. Now, Spain and Greece. They've been pretty good at failing to maintain low-level growth, and killing off large trees. See where I'm going with this? And in places like the Sahara where they're now planting seed grasses and small trees. They're taking off. Desertfication is receeding.

Re:c-c-c-c (5, Informative)

TapeCutter (624760) | more than 5 years ago | (#29526391)

"Climate change is a farce."

No, farcical is believing an obvious lie such as the claim that an active super volcano is melting either or both poles.

Also you haven't defined "worst dustorm"? - I would assume TFA is measuring the duststorm by the area it covered. In which case this one would be the "worst" of the two since it streached from South Australia to Queensland where as the 1984 one (that I experienced as it rolled over Bairnsdale) only covered Victoria and parts of NSW / S.Australia, at a rough guess that's about 1/4 of the area.

"It's the first year of el nino, the ground is going to be dry"

El Nino has not kicked in yet and it is NOT forecast to do so this year [bom.gov.au] , this dust has accumulated [bom.gov.au] under El Nina conditions. When ENSO does in fact flip to El Nino conditions the ground is going to get even dryer than it already is.

Did you (while reading up on non-existant volcanos), fail to notice that the majority of Aussies are living with strict water rationing laws? Are you unaware that practically all the state capitals in the country are frantically pouring billion$ into building some of the largest desal plants on the planet? Have you not noticed that most aussie grain harvests over the last 10yrs have seen a 50-60% drop in size when compared to pre 1990 averages? Is there not a giant scar on the Victorian bush from what was an upnprecedented firestorm (I say this having wittnessed first hand all three major fires in living memeory, 2009, 1984 & 1968(?) ). Are the hydro plants in Tassie not silent due to lack of water in their recently completed dams? Is Melbourne currently not at it's lowest winter water reserves on record?

Please also explain to us (without invoking invisable volcanos) why an entire forrest of 600yo river red gums has not survived this particular drought, when according to you conditions have been much worse at various times in the last century or so.

Like some of the other replies, I really have no explaination for why people post bullshit like the steaming pile in your post, is it attempted gallows humor? Are you paid?

Re:c-c-c-c (1)

Merls the Sneaky (1031058) | more than 5 years ago | (#29526529)

Mod this man informative!

Re:c-c-c-c (0, Troll)

aussie_a (778472) | more than 5 years ago | (#29526949)

As a joke someone should mod him up funny.

Re:c-c-c-c (1)

cheekyboy (598084) | more than 5 years ago | (#29527065)

sh1t happens, get used to it.

Then again, rampant immigration that uses MORE WATER isnt helping too is it, right, is it !!!!

How much more toilet flushing, daily showering people DO WE NEED.

Re:c-c-c-c (1)

TapeCutter (624760) | more than 5 years ago | (#29527173)

As I said in another post land abuse is the root cause, AGW is the straw that broke the sheeps back. Massive cotton farms and over allocation of irrigation rights have absolutely nothing to do with immigration.

Re:c-c-c-c (0, Redundant)

smegged (1067080) | more than 5 years ago | (#29527097)

So Melbourne has been in drough for a good 8 years. QLD was in drought for a good decade before the rains came. The problem that Victorians have is that their quasi-religious problem with building dams has lead to their current dams to run dry while whole river systems that are not dammed are flooding. Did you know that if the Mitchell river was damed that Melbournites would be happily able to run with zero water restrictions? Did you know that the Mitchell has flooded three times in the last decade? Did you know that by damming the Mitchell less than a thousand individuals would be displaced - for the sake of nearly triple the Thompson catchment capacity?

But instead we have a government down there who wants to spend six times the amount to build a dirty and energy intensive water source that has a tiny fraction of the capacity of the Mitchell dam.

It is just another case of the blatant and utter disregard for logic which the green religion commonly displays, along with their condemnation of the only reliable baseload emissions free electricity source [theage.com.au] and their ridiculous condemnation of ecologically important acts like culling kangaroos [news.com.au] and camels [theage.com.au] (which are not a native species by the way).

Re:c-c-c-c (1)

TapeCutter (624760) | more than 5 years ago | (#29527307)

"Did you know that the Mitchell has flooded three times in the last decade?"

Yes, that's why the valley is chock full of highly productive market gardens not to mention the vast coastal lake system that would putrify without it's inflows as has already happened to the lakes in S Autralia. As for your other links please don't conflate ludites, animal rights actisits and environmentalists as one group marching in lockstep for obviously flawed crusades.

This particular "greenie" agrees with the grandfather of all greenies (James Lovelock) and thinks nukes are PART of the solution but I don't think we need to use it ourselves, I think we should be selling our yellowcake to nations that don't have such an embarrasing wealth of renewables as we do. I also support controlled culls and don't have a problem feeding roo, emu, camel, buffallo, etc, to my dog.

Old news... happened yesterday! (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29525493)

This happened yesterday in Australia... We are kind of over it now!

Re:Old news... happened yesterday! (2, Insightful)

urbanheretic (1138845) | more than 5 years ago | (#29525541)

The dust may have settled yesterday, but I think cleaning bits of uluru out of the filters etc. in the data centres may keep the IT monkeys busy for the next week or so.

Re:Old news... happened yesterday! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29525737)

The dust came from South Australia, not the Northern Territory. So nothing to do with Uluru (Ayers Rock), but nice reference to show that "you know about Australia".

On a further note, fuck them. They take our water, our land goes dry, they eat our dust. It's the circle of life.

Re:Old news... happened yesterday! (1)

AHuxley (892839) | more than 5 years ago | (#29525811)

Maralinga dust :)
The joy from the 1956-63 nuke tests. The major tests where few, its all the burn tests and neutron initiators work that got really really dirty.

Re:Old news... happened yesterday! (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 5 years ago | (#29525883)

Ha! I wonder if this pushed up radiation counts over NSW? Even normal dust storms should be slightly radioactive, because the normal radioactive material in the ground.

Re:Old news... happened yesterday! (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29525895)

Adelaide is semi arid. Always has, always will. Build desal and be done with it. (coming from someone who grew up in Adelaide for 26 years, then got the hell out before Adelaideism nearly robbed me of my ambition)

Re:Old news... happened yesterday! (2, Informative)

robbak (775424) | more than 5 years ago | (#29525553)

It's our turn with the dust up here in North Queensland. Mind you, it is not nearly as bad, merely masking out the mountains. Should get a spectacular sunset this afternoon.

Re:Old news... happened yesterday! (2, Funny)

shermo (1284310) | more than 5 years ago | (#29525827)

Yes but everyone knows Australia is in the future.

It's only just happening now for real.

Re:Old news... happened yesterday! (3, Funny)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 5 years ago | (#29525861)

Yes but everyone knows Australia is in the future.

It's only just happening now for real.

Send me cash and I will give you tomorrows lottery numbers.

Re:Old news... happened yesterday! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29526007)

Unfortunately that doesn't work. Information coming from Australia is 15 hours ahead, but information going to Australia is 15 hours behind.

Re:Old news... happened yesterday! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29527509)

If you die in Australia, you die in real life!

Might I recommend (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29525555)

Kudzu? Hey, it worked eighty years ago. You've got at least fifty years before you have to worry about it choking out your native wildlife!

In Brisbane (4, Interesting)

PigIronBob (885337) | more than 5 years ago | (#29525571)

You could taste it by about 11am (still can). Water restrictions will be lifted for a few days to allow people to hose things down. Latest reports suggest there is a lesser dust storm due here by Saturday. Damn Kiwis are stealing our country by stealth!

Re:In Brisbane (1)

thoughtfulbloke (1091595) | more than 5 years ago | (#29525945)

While New Zealand got the same storm system, it had sucked up the frigid waters of the Tasman Sea on its journey. So while it was a dust storm in Sydney, it was snow in NZ.

Nucleation (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 5 years ago | (#29525981)

So we should pump dust into the atmosphere over the west coast of .au and hope it nucleates precipitation before leaving the country?

Re:Nucleation (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29526057)

Don't wish too hard, lest your wish be granted.

I'm old enough to have clear memories of Melbourne's '83 dust storm, and the "rain" that came with it. It's one thing when the skies turn red, but when it rains as well, that's something else altogether. If you thought the images of Sydney yesterday were somewhat apocalyptic, imagine red mud falling from the sky. That's right folks - it was like it was raining blood! Seriously weird.

Re:Nucleation (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 5 years ago | (#29526111)

I was there too. I don't recall the rain that time but I know that rain is always dirty because of the dust it contains.

Re:Nucleation (1)

Merls the Sneaky (1031058) | more than 5 years ago | (#29526583)

Glad that didn't happen Conroy would have considered it a sign from god that he push on with the filter. :P

Kanye ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29525581)

Kanye West just called and said "Yo Sydney! I'm really happy for you and I'm gonna let you finish ... but in 1983 Melbourne had one of the best dust storms of all time!"

Re:Kanye ... (2, Interesting)

maglor_83 (856254) | more than 5 years ago | (#29525701)

You have to admit, the Melbourne one [iprimus.com.au] does look pretty cool!

Re:Kanye ... (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 5 years ago | (#29525805)

That might have been the 1982 or 83 storm. I could see it coming just like and tasted the dust on my tongue before the main part of the cloud got to us.

Re:Kanye ... (1)

TapeCutter (624760) | more than 5 years ago | (#29526441)

I've seen a few of them, that one look like the early 80's in Melbourne, this one covered a much wider area, and yes they do look awesome until they roll over your house but not as menacing as the 15km high smoke plume on black saturday.

Re:Kanye ... (0, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29525931)

Yes but nobody in Sydney cares what happens in Melbourne any way. In fact, nobody cares what happens in Melbourne, save for the odd union dispute.

Re:Kanye ... (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 5 years ago | (#29525939)

Just like, nobody cares about you, AC.

Went to bed on Earth, Woke up on Mars (4, Interesting)

syousef (465911) | more than 5 years ago | (#29525607)

That's certainly how it felt. I was up at the crack of dawn and what an eerie red dawn it was. Never seen anything like it. It was interesting that earlier in the morning near dawn it was easier to capture the dust as it was stronger where I was.

Mind you it's nice and Sunny in Sydney today, so as usual this story's a little late.

Re:Went to bed on Earth, Woke up on Mars (1)

MaizeMan (1076255) | more than 5 years ago | (#29525635)

Wow. I just can't imagine waking up to that. Now I'm off to try to track down pictures of it on flickr.

Re:Went to bed on Earth, Woke up on Mars (4, Informative)

Matt_R (23461) | more than 5 years ago | (#29525671)

Before and after [smh.com.au] . more [smh.com.au] . I was up before dawn.. I first thought it was just fog

Re:Went to bed on Earth, Woke up on Mars (1)

MaizeMan (1076255) | more than 5 years ago | (#29525691)

Thanks. Awesome photos. Though I can imagine it being a disturbing sight to walk up to, or in your case be to be revealed as the sun rose.

Re:Went to bed on Earth, Woke up on Mars (1)

MrKaos (858439) | more than 5 years ago | (#29526271)

Check this video of a 2007 Australian dust storm. [youtube.com] This one was smaller than the dust storm we had yesterday. Mostly made up from iron ore particles - apparently it's going to be really good for the ocean. I can still smell it, there is another dust storm due on Saturday.

Re:Went to bed on Earth, Woke up on Mars (1)

MadUndergrad (950779) | more than 5 years ago | (#29526511)

I can see why it's a bad idea to fly a 'thopter into that.

Re:Went to bed on Earth, Woke up on Mars (1)

linnaen (743985) | more than 5 years ago | (#29525777)

The story isn't that late. The dust has moved North, and while it isn't as bad as you guys had it yesterday, Cairns is covered in the stuff today. I'm amazed it has moved 2500km (over 1500 miles) in such a short time and is still so noticeable, although for some reason it is not the red colour that Sydney had yesterday.

Re:Went to bed on Earth, Woke up on Mars (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29526017)

No need to be suprised, it is not the same dust cloud, The one that went over sydney then continued on over the tasman towards NZ, brisbane is suffering from the same wind conditions but a different source for the dust and hence a different colour

Re:Went to bed on Earth, Woke up on Mars (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29527005)

And yet, Brisbane itself is still 1700km km from Cairns

Re:Went to bed on Earth, Woke up on Mars (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 5 years ago | (#29525837)

The submission form should have a field for "don't bother with this article after [date]"

Re:Went to bed on Earth, Woke up on Mars (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29525913)

I woke up around 10am, looked out the window and the world was orange. Went back to sleep. I decided if the apocalypse was going to happen, I might as well sleep through it.

Re:Went to bed on Earth, Woke up on Mars (1)

GumphMaster (772693) | more than 5 years ago | (#29526443)

For me it brought back memories of the sky during the Canberra bushfires [wikipedia.org] in 2003... Similar effect, but a shed load less worrisome.

Re:Went to bed on Earth, Woke up on Mars (2, Interesting)

TapeCutter (624760) | more than 5 years ago | (#29526485)

Lived here nearly 50yrs and the climate certainly has been fucked up for the last 10 of those. In particular I now consistently get a layer of dust on my car in Melbourne in winter time. That "Mars feeling" is a good description of what it was like in Melbourne a couple of summers ago, except it was smoke from bushfires that shrouded the city for almost a month, we've had smoke/dust in the past that lasted for a day or two but not every day for 4 weeks.

Why are australians so dusty anyhow? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29525617)

And why are they using potable water to hose things down and drinking seawater?

Oh, that's their beer?

Re:Why are australians so dusty anyhow? (1)

PigIronBob (885337) | more than 5 years ago | (#29525629)

Potable water?

You got ANY idea what fish do in it?

Re:Why are australians so dusty anyhow? (1)

PigIronBob (885337) | more than 5 years ago | (#29525665)

Could not help thinking of this Tom Waits song on the drive home yesterday...


Well it's hotter 'n blazes and all the long faces
there'll be no oasis for a dry local grazier
there'll be no refreshment for a thirsty jackaroo
from Melbourne to Adelaide on the overlander
with newfangled buffet cars and faster locomotives
the train stopped in Serviceton less and less often
There's nothing sadder than a town with no cheer
VicRail decided the canteen was no longer necessary
there's no spirits, no bilgewater and 80 dry locals
and the high noon sun beats a hundred and four
there's a hummingbird trapped in a closed down shoe store


This tiny Victorian rhubarb
kept the watering hole open for sixty five years
now it's boilin' in a miserable March 21 st
wrapped the hills in a blanket of Patterson's curse
the train smokes down the xylophone
there'll be no stopping here
all ya can be is thirsty in a town with no cheer
no Bourbon, no Branchwater
though the townspeople here
fought the Vic Rail decree tooth and nail
now it's boilin' in a miserable March 21 st
wrapped the hills in a blanket of Patterson's curse
the train smokes down the xylophone
there'll be no stopping here
all ya can be is thirsty in a town with no cheer

Re:Why are australians so dusty anyhow? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29525715)

Americans thinking they are in a position to laugh at another countries beer. Now I've seen everything!

Re:Why are australians so dusty anyhow? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29525749)

try Boulevard Brewing Co
www.blvdbeer.com

Sureal Images (5, Informative)

Techman83 (949264) | more than 5 years ago | (#29525651)

This [flickr.com] was posted on one of the Aussie mailing lists I'm a member of, absolutely sureal. Wish I could have seen it, bit of a drive from the West coast and I believe they were grounding planes at one point.

Re:Sureal Images (1)

ryszard99 (1193131) | more than 5 years ago | (#29525685)

Yup, those pix are exactly what it was like. I too was up at the crack and wondered what that weird orange light was outside. it was only when i when upstairs to look out the windows (the downstairs window faces our neighbours wall (about 3m away) that i was totally amazed.

i ride a motorbike into the city each day from the hills district (about 30kms) and it was horrible, there was red dust everywhere. still tho' at about 0645 the traffic wasnt so bad, but my bike looked like i took it to the outback when i got to work.

Re:Sureal Images (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 5 years ago | (#29525909)

Better clean your driveline. That stuff is abrasive.

Re:Sureal Images (1)

zippthorne (748122) | more than 5 years ago | (#29525759)

Wow. So, Sydney looks like Blade Runner!

The Energy of Global Warming (2, Interesting)

reporter (666905) | more than 5 years ago | (#29525653)

The reporter who wrote the news article [itnews.com.au] says, "But all reported they had come out largely unscathed from the storm, one of the worst on record."

These worst-on-record, high-energy climatic phenomena -- hurricanes, tornadoes, tsunamis, dust storms, etc. -- tell the real story of global warming. Burning fossil fuels emits energy into the atmosphere. Over a long period of time, that energy dissipates into the "cold" of outer space.

Over the past century, this injection of energy into the atmosphere was caused by the (very) roughly 1 billion Westerners. In the current century, there will be roughly 3 billion (including the Indians and the Chinese, who are buying cars left and right) apes who are injecting energy into the atmosphere.

Will the "cold" of outer space absorb enough surplus heat from the atmosphere at a sufficiently fast rate? Is anyone using a supercomputer to model this heat equation?

What sort of climatic catastrophy will occur when 3 billion apes -- with their automobiles, power plants, lawn mowers, etc. -- inject a daily, massive pulse of energy into the atmosphere?

Re:The Energy of Global Warming (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29525689)

A vacuum isn't "cold" per-se, it certainly has no capacity to absorb heat energy since there is no matter there to absorb it.

Re:The Energy of Global Warming (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29525717)

I guess we get to wait and see?

Re:The Energy of Global Warming (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29525731)

A) it is not the worst on record at all, it is the worst in 20 years. There have been significantly worse dust storms in Australia over the past 200 years. B) it is was NOT a high energy climatic phenomena, it is was the results of strong (but not excessive) winds over central Australia picking up the red dust, the prevailing winds happened to coincide nicely with this REGULAR outback phenomena to blow the cloud over major cities. This has about as much to do with global warming as a penguin farting in antarctica.

Re:The Energy of Global Warming (0, Flamebait)

yourassOA (1546173) | more than 5 years ago | (#29525747)

Yep never been any natural disasters before global warming? Fuck your stupid!

Re:The Energy of Global Warming (1)

khallow (566160) | more than 5 years ago | (#29525943)

These worst-on-record, high-energy climatic phenomena -- hurricanes, tornadoes, tsunamis, dust storms, etc. -- tell the real story of global warming. Burning fossil fuels emits energy into the atmosphere. Over a long period of time, that energy dissipates into the "cold" of outer space.

The energy of all human activity including burning fossil fuels is negligible. We can't measure its global effect on temperature. Carbon dioxide is a "greenhouse gas". That is, higher concentrations of CO2 in the atmosphere cause the atmosphere to be more reflective to some degree to infra-red radiation (more accurately, it plugs some of the "holes" leftover from water vapor) in the frequency range that is emitted by both the surface and the lower atmosphere. As I understand it, that reduces the heat radiated to space and raises the temperature at ground level by a small amount.

Higher near surface temperatures can cause more energetic weather, but it depends also on how much heat at the top of weather clouds can be radiated into space. My understanding here is that there is some reduction in heat radiation at the top of clouds (and hence storms and other weather phenomena), but not enough to reduce the temperature differential between ground and cloud top. That means somewhat more energetic weather in general though local weather conditions continue to be more important.

In any case, I haven't heard that the temperature increase over the past few centuries is sufficient enough to cause dramatically more energetic weather. Natural variation is instead probably responsible for these extremes. Well that and the media's sudden interest in extreme weather phenomena.

Re:The Energy of Global Warming (3, Insightful)

TapeCutter (624760) | more than 5 years ago | (#29526675)

"As I understand it, that reduces the heat radiated to space and raises the temperature at ground level by a small amount."

Roughly one in every four CO2 molecules in the atmosphere has been put there by humans since the start of the industrial revolution, most of it in the last 50yrs.

CO2 absorbs IR radiated from the Earth and converts it into kinetic energy, after a certain time it will remit the energy as a phioton and slow down again.

This means that in the stratosphere where molecules are widely spaced the CO2 has a high chance of either escaping to space or remmiting a photon that escapes to space. Models (Hansen late 80's) predicted this would cause a cooling stratosphere and indeed sattelite mesurements have confirmed the predictions.

However in the bottom 5Km of atmosphere, where our weather takes place, the molecules are packed tighter and the CO2 is more likely to lose the kinetic energy by transfering it in a random collision with another molecule.

It's common for psuedo-skeptics such as Bob Carter to conflate the startosphere measurements with ground measurements in order to dishonestly push their adgenda.

"I haven't heard that the temperature increase over the past few centuries is sufficient enough to cause dramatically more energetic weather. Natural variation is instead probably responsible for these extremes. Well that and the media's sudden interest in extreme weather phenomena."

The jury is still out on observations of more severe weather but fundementally more heat means more turbulence. I don't think anyone knows how significant that extra turbulence might turn out to be but natural variation on top of the AGW trend is almost certainly feeding the seemingly constant rewriting of record books.

Re:The Energy of Global Warming (2, Interesting)

rtb61 (674572) | more than 5 years ago | (#29526001)

The dust/topsoil has nothing to do with global warming, it is all about farmers ploughing up their fields without keeping a close eye on weather forecasts (can be tricky), or failing to shift to more modern farming techniques http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/No-till_farming [wikipedia.org] . Sticking them with a fine, especially the large globally owned corporate farms might put an end to these man made storms.

Oddly enough when it comes to green house impact these topsoil storms reduce global warming as they add necessary trace elements to the oceans which promote carbon consuming algae etc. but not really the best way to go about it.

Re:The Energy of Global Warming (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29526083)

farmers have nothing to do with this either, The area this came from is australia's red centre, Not farm land.

Re:The Energy of Global Warming (1)

cheekyboy (598084) | more than 5 years ago | (#29526963)

All you need is another 10-20 million car owners and oil will again spike to 150-300 and more.

Reserves of current fields are diving.

Brisbane pics (3, Informative)

PigIronBob (885337) | more than 5 years ago | (#29525729)

Link to Brisbane pics [brisbanetimes.com.au]

Driving into the storm (3, Informative)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 5 years ago | (#29525773)

There are some great pictures floating around, but this video [youtube.com] shows what it looks like to come on the wall of dust...

Re:Driving into the storm (1)

mrgiles (872216) | more than 5 years ago | (#29525867)

shows what it looks like to come on the wall of dust...

Good god. Is the video safe for work?

Re:Driving into the storm (1)

psiclops (1011105) | more than 5 years ago | (#29525959)

that video is from a dust storm in 2007

Re:Driving into the storm (1)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 5 years ago | (#29526021)

Ah, my bad - saw it linked related to the recent storm. Still, it shows something like what happened I imagine...

Extra filters and duct tape (3, Informative)

Animats (122034) | more than 5 years ago | (#29525775)

If you know this is coming, get extra air filters, use the absolute kind (like 3M Filtrete [3m.com] ), and be prepared to change them frequently. With absolute filters, the filters will gradually stop letting air through as they clog, so you must inspect them regularly or have clogged-filter sensors. The usual fibreglas filters don't even try to stop 100% of the particles above the filter's size limit, but they tend to still pass air even when clogged, so neglecting them doesn't stop airflow.

And use duct tape to fix any leaks around the filters.

Now that the US has been operating in the sandbox for years now, keeping gear going during sandstorms is well understood.

Re:Extra filters and duct tape (3, Informative)

Critical Facilities (850111) | more than 5 years ago | (#29527379)

If I may refine your point, rather than the "off the shelf" 3M filters, for a Data Center, you'll want to get something like this [nordicpure.com] , or a comparable filter with a MERV Rating [furnacefiltercare.com] of at least 13 in order to prevent and control contamination. It is generally a good idea to be using these types of filters as SOP in Data Center CRAC Units.

Oblig. (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29526013)

In Soviet Australia, outback visits you!

From country NSW (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29526047)

From someone that lived inland for a couple of decades I must say its amazing that this dust storm made such huge headlines. We used to get stuff like this all the time! Its amazing it makes such huge headlines because this one headed east alot more than most others.

Yet when these dust storms were happening a town north of Canberra experienced a twister (which is rare in Australia) nobody bothers mentioning it.

Got sandworm? (1)

tukia (1375091) | more than 5 years ago | (#29526059)

Where's the sandworms?

Is there anyone... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29526993)

...in this thread who understands that this is not a product of global warming but that global warming does exist?

Sheeesh.

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