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Because of the imminent arrival of Yasi in Queensland – particularly between Port Douglas and Townsville – I have been digging around to find some information on cyclones.   If the forecasts are right this Category 5 cyclone will be a catastrophic natural event with the expectation of widespread destruction perhaps of people and certainly of property.  This is a good assessment of likely impacts.  Brian at Larvatus Prodeo has some good links with amazing NOAA images.

On connections between increased frequency and intensity of cyclones as a consequence of climate change, the best evidence I can quickly dig up is mixed – it does not suggest anything definite. It is a La Nina-related event and that is linked to climate change.

Certainly I am not disagreeing with the proposition that global heating will lead to increased incidence of extreme weather events.

I am a fan of that part of Queensland where this cyclone is expected to cause most damage.  The people and their environment are wonderful. Those living in this part of the world have cyclones on the brain – they are mentally and physically prepared for them.  Wind speeds that might hit 320 km per hour in gusts will place this preparedness to a severe test.

I’d like to see footage of the cyclone’s effects – others too have this ghoulish passion. I recall the British comedian Anthony Hancock (“H….H….Hancock’s Half Hour”) explaining to Sid James  that everyone liked to see a good punch-up provided they were not the one copping it.  So I apologise Queenslanders – because for you this is terribly serious and my voyeurism is definitely inappropriate.

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