Sunday, 16 February 2020

Losing Sight of the Forest for the Trees.

To follow the daily stream of news has a risk: by focusing on minutiae -- as I tend to do -- one loses perspective of the totality. A bit the cliché of losing sight of the forest for the trees.

These last few days, as the avalanche of terrible bushfire news reduces now to a trickle, I again felt that.

Take for instance the sports rorts scandal.

Sunday, 9 February 2020

Unprecedented Fires AND Unprecedented Idiocy.

Reality defies my imagination. Personally, I couldn’t make this up.

(Image credit: NASA/EOSDIS)

That is how the state of New South Wales looked like from space last December 9, 2019.

As I write this (February 9, 1039 AEDT), eight weeks later, there were still 38 bush/grass fires active all over NSW at “advice” level. That figure does not include 22 “not applicable” category fires.

Those fires are still active in spite of the best efforts of firefighters, who, in the last two weeks or so have been aided by nature. As it happens, we’ve had copious rain over southeast Queensland, extending now southwards along the NSW coast.

(The Bureau of Meteorology call that an “east coast low”.)

Sunday, 26 January 2020

Australia from Space: Before and After.

'This crisis has been unfolding for years': 4 photos of Australia from space, before and after the bushfires

Use the slider tool in the images below to see before and after NASA satellite images of Australia’s fire and drought effects. NASA
Molly Glassey, The Conversation; Sunanda Creagh, The Conversation, and Wes Mountain, The Conversation
Editor’s note: We pulled four before-and-after-images from NASA’s Worldview application, and asked bushfire researcher Grant Williamson to reflect on the story they tell. Here’s what he told us: