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News & Perspective from the Center for Environmental Journalism
This item was posted on January 12, 2011, and it was categorized as Climate Change, Temperature anomalies, extreme weather.
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With the recent images of parts of Queensland, Australia underwater (like the one above), the news today that 2010 was the wettest year globally on record, and by NOAA’s accounting tied for the warmest year on record, it was perhaps inevitable that Bob Dylan’s lyrics would start rattling around in my head:

And what did you hear, my blue-eyed son ?
And what did you hear, my darling young one ?
I heard the sound of a thunder, it roared out a warnin’
I heard the roar of a wave that could drown the whole world
I heard one hundred drummers whose hands were a-blazin’
I heard ten thousand whisperin’ and nobody listenin’

Is anyone listening today? To this?:

Or maybe this?

Or what about the news of unprecedented heat in the seas around Australia that scientists believe has combined with La Niña to help produce the flooding in Queensland?:

I forgot. We’re preoccupied. (Myself included.)

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This thing has 5 Comments

  1. spyder
    Posted January 12, 2011 at 2:54 pm | Permalink

    Tied for warmest, leads in wettest, all i can say is
    “And it’s a hard, it’s a hard, it’s a hard, it’s a hard / It’s a hard rain’s a-gonna fall”

  2. Steve Bloom
    Posted January 13, 2011 at 5:12 pm | Permalink

    The Oz flooding has at least gotten close to the top of the U.S. news, but record flooding with similar or worse consequences in several other locations seems to have gotten short shrift, including in Brazil where the death count has topped 400 At a quick glance a disproportionate amount of the international coverage seems to be from the Oz press. Indonesia, Sri Lanka and South Africa have also been badly hit.

  3. Steve Bloom
    Posted January 13, 2011 at 9:38 pm | Permalink

    ABC ran a pretty good piece today, but its brevity seems to convey a contrary message.

  4. Susan Anderson
    Posted January 14, 2011 at 2:02 pm | Permalink

    ABC also did a Nightline piece last night:

    ABC also did a longer Nightline piece, but there is no direct link, have to go to Thursday and click on the link (and wait through the ad):
    “2010: The Wettest Year”

    And this is visually obvious:
    Different Records, Same Warming Trend

    I don’t agree that the brevity is a contrary message. TV items are carefully edited to fit. One could wish for longer, but content is the key here. Let’s not create new enemies.

  5. spyder
    Posted January 14, 2011 at 4:59 pm | Permalink

    Warming, flooding, raining–check. It is hovering around 50ºF here in the Inland NW, with more rain and warm temperatures expected until the middle of next week at the earliest. And this is at the 48ºN Latitude. Now, who could have predicted more extreme weather in the global climate change models?

    The tragedy in Brazil is getting worse by the hours, with more torrential rains predicted for tonight. The death toll is rising steadily, and Rio is cut off for the time being. Sri Lanka also has worsened.

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