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Archive for August, 2006

Where has all the Marsh Water Gone?

It has been suggested that before irrigation runoff into the Macquarie Marshes was 460,000 megalitres and that this has been reduced to 395,000ml by irrigation. But Ian Mott has argued that pre-settlement runoff into the marshes would have been much less than 460,000ml and most likely less than 395,000ml because much of the upper catchment [...]


Farmed Fish are our Future: Conference in Adelaide

Aquaculture is the fastest growing food producing sector in the world according to those promoting a fish farmer’s conference in Adelaide this week. Farm Online have reported that there are 1,000 delegates at the conference and aquaculture is being talked-up with conference organising committee chair, Bruce Zippel, saying, “Many Australian primary producers are looking to [...]

Sea Levels Falling in the Arctic?

According to an article entitled ‘Arctic dips as global waters rise’ published at BBC News, sea levels in the Arctic have been falling by a little over 2mm a year. It goes on to explain that while it is well known that the world’s oceans do not share a uniform height, the scientists are nevertheless [...]

Shifting the Environmental Impact of Fishing Somewhere Else

“Australia has the third largest fishery zone of any nation. It also has the most over-managed, heavily restricted and least productive fishery sector in the world,” according to marine biologist Dr Walter Starck. “The total Australian wild caught fishery harvest is less than half that of New Zealand and less than a tenth that of [...]

Rats Destroyed the Forests on Easter Island: Terry Hunt

Easter Island has been described by Jared Diamond as the “clearest example of a society that destroyed itself by overexploiting its own resources”. Prof Diamond has told and retold the story and drawn a parallel between the ecological disaster he says befell Easter Island and our likely fate because we are cutting down too many [...]

Drought & Temperature: An Update for Australia from David

Jen, I’ve noticed your recent thread on the long-term hydrological drought affecting eastern Australia. I’ve whipped off a few charts for you which put this into an historical context based on rainfall data going back to 1900 (some limited earlier data is available). In terms of eastern Australia, the current meteorological drought started in early [...]

Something About Russell

I would like to think that debates at this weblog were won and lost on the quality of the information provided and the logic of the arguments presented, but so often information is judged on the perceived standing of the commentator based on the prejudices of the reader. Some months ago I started a ‘people [...]

What is Special About This Drought?

On Monday I posted a graph of rainfall history and suggested that it indicated south east Queensland was not experiencing the worst drought in 100 years – that the current dry spell is not unusual in the scheme of things. I was surprised how many comments in the thread following the post, and also in [...]

Remembering When The Murray Flooded

The most severe natural disaster in the history of South Australia will be commemorated this Sunday with the launch of the 1956 River Murray Flood 50th Anniversary Exhibition in Renmark. Read more here.

Peak Oil & Agriculture: Comments & Links

Jennifer, Following are two disturbing reports on “peak oil” you may not have seen. They could have a big impact on intensive agriculture regarding costs. May be some opportunities for communities to grow and supply a lot more of their own produce, using permaculture or more sustainable/regenerative farming practices. Certainly glad that I don’t rely [...]