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Australia

Australia Is On So Much Fire, You Can See It From Orbit 289

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the only-you-can-prevent-burning-australia-to-cinders dept.
Jeremy Lee writes "Temperatures in Australia this week hit the point where the Bureau of Meteorology had to invent a new color. And with heat and winds come Bushfires. So it's probably good that I made a real-time bushfire map with every known source of public data directly relating to fires in Australia, mostly because fire doesn't respect state borders." From space.
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Australia Is On So Much Fire, You Can See It From Orbit

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  • by crazyjj (2598719) * on Wednesday January 09, 2013 @10:19AM (#42532197)

    Once you've smelled burning kangaroo mixed with the acrid stench of melted dune-buggy and dead mutant, you're never the same again. I can still hear the koalas screaming in my nightmares.

  • by 0racle (667029) on Wednesday January 09, 2013 @10:21AM (#42532219)
    they've gone to plaid.
  • Invent a new colour?

    Is this some new mix of visible wavelengths that had never been encountered before?

    Seems to me they just used an existing colour that had not previously been used on the temperature gradient maps.

  • Good News! (Score:5, Funny)

    by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) on Wednesday January 09, 2013 @10:28AM (#42532325) Journal

    Australia is pleased and proud to announce that the number of horrid and lethally venomous creatures per hectare has reached historic lows!

  • This is BAD (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Gablar (971731) on Wednesday January 09, 2013 @10:29AM (#42532337) Journal

    Of course this has nothing to do with the fact that the north pole melted to record small levels this years. This is an isolated incident of freak weather, as was Sandy.

  • headline (Score:5, Insightful)

    by DarkOx (621550) on Wednesday January 09, 2013 @10:30AM (#42532355) Journal

    You know must of us English speakers, both in the USA and else were would have written "So Much of Australia is on Fire" for a headline. "Australia Is On So Much Fire" Sounds like George Lucas is posting now.

    • Re:headline (Score:4, Funny)

      by seyyah (986027) on Wednesday January 09, 2013 @11:04AM (#42532845)

      You know must of us English speakers, both in the USA and else were would have written "So Much of Australia is on Fire" for a headline. "Australia Is On So Much Fire" Sounds like George Lucas is posting now.

      Most of us English speakers would have written:
      "You know most of us English speakers, both in the USA and elsewhere, would have written "So Much of Australia is on Fire" for a headline.

    • by Baloroth (2370816)

      You know must of us English speakers, both in the USA and else were would have written "So Much of Australia is on Fire" for a headline. "Australia Is On So Much Fire" Sounds like George Lucas is posting now.

      That's the joke. It's a joke. the awkward structure makes the headline more humorous by highlighting the absurdity of the situation involved.

  • Plus 50? (Score:5, Funny)

    by dugjohnson (920519) on Wednesday January 09, 2013 @10:32AM (#42532375) Homepage
    What's the big deal? It's 54 degrees here in Texas right now...what? metric? we don't do metric here in Texas. How much is that in 'merican? Wow, that IS hot. Never mind.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      What's the big deal? It's 54 degrees here in Texas right now...what? metric? we don't do metric here in Texas. How much is that in 'merican? Wow, that IS hot. Never mind.

      That's "hotter'n hell" in Texican.

  • To be fair, one of the "new colours" should be used to indicate Smoke on the Water.

  • Self-Solving Problem (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Greyfox (87712) on Wednesday January 09, 2013 @10:41AM (#42532509) Homepage Journal
    Eventually all the vegetation will burn off and then there won't be any fuel for fires anymore! Problem solved!

    I suspect next summer is going to be another bad year for fires in the USA. Seems like the entire goddamn west burned down last year. The sky was brown all summer. We cleared the layer of smoke in a plane, and the blue of the sky came as quite a shock. I'd actually forgotten the sky was supposed to look like that. I didn't want to descend back into the sludge, either. It was the first time in a couple of months that I'd had a breath of fresh air.

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by ssam (2723487)

      i look forward to this vegetation free world were i can be safe from forest fires.

  • by sl4shd0rk (755837) on Wednesday January 09, 2013 @10:45AM (#42532569)

    I wonder if this will create enough particulate in the atmosphere to reduce global temperatures.

    • by jandrese (485)
      Yes. Now if you were to ask if it measurably reduced global temperatures that is probably a different answer.
    • by ssam (2723487)

      depends on the balance with soot settling on icecaps and making them absorb more light.

    • by Jason Levine (196982) on Wednesday January 09, 2013 @11:44AM (#42533421)

      It is possible, but if it did it would be a temporary effect that would only mask the problem. Eventually, the particles would settle out of the atmosphere and the climate would heat up extremely fast. Maintaining particulates in the air wouldn't be a viable option either as this would just be creating pollution on a massive scale to fight global warming. This would be the "releasing thousands of snakes to fight a lizard problem and then releasing thousands of gorillas to take care of the snakes" plan. Except there wouldn't be a winter to kill off the gorillas.

  • View from Space (Score:5, Informative)

    by Tofof (199751) on Wednesday January 09, 2013 @11:00AM (#42532789)
    The summary somehow leaves out anything related to the headline - the view of the fires from space. Didn't even bother linking to the relevant NY Times article [nytimes.com]. Okay then.

    For the real good stuff, though, check out the high res images in the Universe Today coverage [universetoday.com], which showcases several of the images directly from Cmdr Hadfield's twitter feed [twitter.com].
  • everything is BIG... and its started with BEER...

  • I can't believe I'm reading comments complaining about the grammar of the post title. It's a perfectly hilarious bit of hyperbole, and I enjoyed it. "Man, Australia is on so freakin' much fire right now!"

    These people must have already run out of stupid IRC arguments and stuff to downvote on Reddit and imgur for today...

    • I'm just annoyed that there's no link to actual images of the fires from orbit, like these ones [universetoday.com].

      Besides which...

      Australia Is On So Much Fire, You Can See It From Orbit

      Can't you usually see it from orbit when it's not in fire, too?

  • FROM SPAAAACE! Is the sort of thing which is apparently supposed to sound impressive, but rarely is. The ability to 'see' something from orbit is about as precise and interesting as saying that you can 'see' a shrub from a couple miles away while standing on the hill in Kansas, which is not much at all.

    While I'm at it when something 'makes its own weather' it is about equally as impressive.

  • Fire Storms!
    No train in New South Wales may move.
    No train may enter New South Wales.
    No rail building in the area.

  • by qzjul (944600) on Wednesday January 09, 2013 @12:48PM (#42534161) Homepage
    It's not 50. You see, most charts, you know, will be capped at 50. You're at 50 here, all the way up, all the way up, all the way up, you're on 50 on your chart. Where can you go from there? Where?

    I don't know.

    Nowhere. Exactly. What we do is, if we need that extra push over the cliff, you know what we do?

    Put it up to 54.

    54. Exactly. 4 Hotter.
  • by kNIGits (65006) on Wednesday January 09, 2013 @05:46PM (#42539165) Homepage

    Quote from the linked Mashable article:

    with temperatures hitting 107 degrees Fahrenheit in some areas

    That's 41C, and not entirely accurate. The island-state of Tasmania, the coldest (on average) place in Australia, reached 41C. Some areas on the mainland have reached 49C, which is 120F. My home in central NSW (six hours west of Sydney) was 40-42C for 4-5 days, with high winds for the last couple. Bushfires were burning several kilometers from my home, with over a hundred firefighters fighting to contain them. Emergency vehicle sirens have been common, and I've received SMS messages from the Rural Fire Service warning about how close the fires are.

    Thankfully a cool change appeared yesterday, but there are still many fires burning around the country and temperatures are expected to increase again tomorrow.

    As an aside, why won't Slashdot let me post the degree symbol (alt-248)?

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