Australia Sucks up so Much Water, It Halts Sea Level Rise

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Australia Sucks up so Much Water, It Halts Sea Level Rise

Record rainfalls in Australia during 2010-11 briefly halted the yearly sea level rise brought on by global warming.

Whether you believe in global warming or not, it is an indisputable fact that the sea level is rising by around 10 millimeters (0.4 inches) per year. Except for 2010, that is, when they dropped by 7 mm (0.3 inches) instead. So what force was mighty enough to halt the steady rise of our sea? The land down under: Australia.

Australia's vast, inland deserts are very flat and very dry, so when it rains there, rather than rolling down hills and mountains into the ocean like pretty much everywhere else in the world, the continent simply soaks up the water like a big Australia-shaped sponge.

Anyone who's been through High School science and learned about the water cycle should know that the amount of water in the world is a constant, so when an inordinate amount of rain fell on Australia during an 18 month period from early 2010, it ended up sucking up a lot of water that would have otherwise fell in places that would have funneled it out to sea.

The heavy rainfall and flooding in Australia resulted from the confluence of three climate patterns in three ocean basins. First, a La Niña in the eastern Pacific Ocean meant cooler surface waters, which shifted tropical rainfall over Southern Hemisphere continents. The La Niña combined with unusual atmospheric patterns over the Indian and Southern oceans to cause record rainfall in Australia, the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) researchers said in a statement.

So there you have it. Australia's deserts are so vast and menacing, that they even caused the sea to stop rising. Can you believe people actually live there?

Source: Atmos News via Live Science

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Is it odd that I find this to be kind of kick ass?

First of all, thank you Aussies, you guys are awesome.

Secondly, I'm sorry you've had shitty weather, Aussies, you guys are awesome.

Third, can this keep up? I mean, even Australia has its limits. Sooner or later it'll get... "soggy"...

Fourth, does this mean that there is potential for an ecological shift in Australia's inland? If this abundance of water keeps up, couldn't the deserts start to shift into more hospitable climates?

Jandau:

Third, can this keep up? I mean, even Australia has its limits. Sooner or later it'll get... "soggy"...

Fourth, does this mean that there is potential for an ecological shift in Australia's inland? If this abundance of water keeps up, couldn't the deserts start to shift into more hospitable climates?

3 and 4; valid questions but somewhat moot considering that this being an ongoing thing is dependent on non-ongoing weather patterns. Doesn't really matter unless Australia were continually getting far above average rain in its dry regions, or you know, start building giant pumps to pump water into deserts.

australians. now stealing our water supplies.

It is pretty kick ass indeed that this little slice of earth can have such a huge impact on the global sea levels.

cerebus23:
It is pretty kick ass indeed that this little slice of earth can have such a huge impact on the global sea levels.

I wouldn't call it little :p

Jandau:

Fourth, does this mean that there is potential for an ecological shift in Australia's inland? If this abundance of water keeps up, couldn't the deserts start to shift into more hospitable climates?

No. If water was all that was required for sand to become soil there wouldn't be a beach in the world. What makes it soil is an abundance of rotted organic material.

Yeah. We're pretty good.

Some of that water also flooded Brisbane and people died.

Australia. Where even the rain can kill you.

Kwil:

Jandau:

Fourth, does this mean that there is potential for an ecological shift in Australia's inland? If this abundance of water keeps up, couldn't the deserts start to shift into more hospitable climates?

No. If water was all that was required for sand to become soil there wouldn't be a beach in the world. What makes it soil is an abundance of rotted organic material.

Well there is a slight difference between the water which sand has contact with, and the rain water which has fallen on Australia, being that the water which meets sand is sea-water hence salty. And i think the limiting factor on growth in central australia is more water than the lack of nutrients/ rotting organic matter. Mostly because plants find it easier to grow without mentioned rotted organic matter, than if they were lacking water.

Although i still agree that it would take a little help to turn the dessert into anything resembling soil in any sensible time-period.

So while the Australian wildlife tries to kill us all, the actual land mass is trying save us. Australia you are a confusing and complex place.

Too bad that was the exception rather than the rule. A large portion of Australia is actually suffering from drought, our rainfall levels are decreasing on average.

I guess now we know why Australia has so many wet blanket politicians.

yeah, this wont last really. it will either use udnerwater currents and escape back to the oceans, or make undergroudn reserves like the african deserts which will be dug out and exploited by rising population not only returning water to ocenas but returning that water dirty. people in africa are now drinking water reserves formed underground over millions of years. and their are running out. this also helps sachara expansion. the australian desert may expand due to warmer climate too though and this may throw wood into the weels of this theory.

Kwil:

Jandau:

Fourth, does this mean that there is potential for an ecological shift in Australia's inland? If this abundance of water keeps up, couldn't the deserts start to shift into more hospitable climates?

No. If water was all that was required for sand to become soil there wouldn't be a beach in the world. What makes it soil is an abundance of rotted organic material.

but with enough water it would be logical that the soil areas that exist on coasts would start expanding towards inland sicne it is no longer stopped by dry sand. the minerals are there coming with rain so they could, over long time, "grow over".

capcha: cheese steak
im not sure how would that even work.... but im willngi to try.

And yet 48% of US Politicans refer to Global Warming as a myth created by liberal science agencies to attack oil companies.

OT: AUSSIE AUSSIE AUSSIE OY OY OY!

This article has it all wrong.

The water was actually used in wet t-shirt contests on the Gold Coast.

If only.

So in time Australia will go from giant desert with terrifyingly huge spiders to giant swamp with terrifyingly huge spiders?

Yay?

Monsterfurby:
So in time Australia will go from giant desert with terrifyingly huge spiders to giant swamp with terrifyingly huge spiders?

I will be suitably terressed* when they learn how to swim.

* Terressed; Adjective, Something that is both terrifying and impressive.

008Zulu:

Monsterfurby:
So in time Australia will go from giant desert with terrifyingly huge spiders to giant swamp with terrifyingly huge spiders?

I will be suitably terressed* when they learn how to swim.

* Terressed; Adjective, Something that is both terrifying and impressive.

Actually, they can swim. (Yes, really.) And they can survive underwater for a few days using the air trapped in their leg hairs. (That's true too.)

And the desert doesnt really have spiders. It's too hot for them. There are no funnel webs in Western Australia as they cant make it across the desert, which is the second largest in the world. Plus, that's where all the snakes live.

Where do funnel webs live, you ask in terror? All around my house. I live in the Blue Mountains just to the west of Sydney. They love rocky soil. The entire mountains are rocky soil. I was looking at a house, to buy, the other day and when walking in the back yard, I walked through and stood on a funnel web nest. I got off pretty quickly. But it was all good.

But at least the Blue Mountains funnel webs aren't as deadly as the Sydney funnel webs. Sydney being our largest city of about 4 million people.

You had me at Australia sucks. Oh wait...

Speaking of water... China has the largest water reservoir in the world. It's so big it affects the earth's centrifugal force, slowing[1] earth down and thus making each day last 0.1 second longer.

[1] I think it was slowing down, not speeding up

From what I understand, the crazy rainfall that Australia has experienced in the last several years is another symptom of global warming and therefore this isn't a good thing.

Darxide:
From what I understand, the crazy rainfall that Australia has experienced in the last several years is another symptom of global warming and therefore this isn't a good thing.

So ... global warming is halting global warming?

I'm picturing a tsunami hitting Australia and just disappearing upon touching the landmass.

It just falls into the ground and is soaked up completely. The Australians are all just sitting around in black singlets and gumboots, drinking Fosters like nothing just happened.

Abomination:
I'm picturing a tsunami hitting Australia and just disappearing upon touching the landmass.

It just falls into the ground and is soaked up completely. The Australians are all just sitting around in black singlets and gumboots, drinking Fosters like nothing just happened.

Except that Fosters is rarely consumed in Australia. It's mostly a drink for internationals.

Also: Yay! We exist in recognition in another country! Only when we actually affect something globally, but oh, well...

Boris Goodenough:

cerebus23:
It is pretty kick ass indeed that this little slice of earth can have such a huge impact on the global sea levels.

I wouldn't call it little :p

Compared to the size of all the oceans of the earth it is very tiny indeed. :)

Boris Goodenough:

cerebus23:
It is pretty kick ass indeed that this little slice of earth can have such a huge impact on the global sea levels.

I wouldn't call it little :p

Still smaller than Canada, so little enough :p

Steven Bogos:
<
Whether you believe in global warming or not, it is an indisputable fact that the sea level is rising by around 10 millimeters (0.4 inches) per year.

I'm curious as to why one is indisputable and the other is not. If you can deny global warming, you can totally deny rising waters. Just claim scientists are "teh bias" and liberals are "teh bias" and scare tactics and....Basically everything people claim about Global Warming, a round earth, and 9-11.

Darxide:
From what I understand, the crazy rainfall that Australia has experienced in the last several years is another symptom of global warming and therefore this isn't a good thing.

Well, yes. This is an instance of one symptom of global warming temporarily offsetting another.

Zachary Amaranth:

Steven Bogos:
<
Whether you believe in global warming or not, it is an indisputable fact that the sea level is rising by around 10 millimeters (0.4 inches) per year.

I'm curious as to why one is indisputable and the other is not. If you can deny global warming, you can totally deny rising waters. Just claim scientists are "teh bias" and liberals are "teh bias" and scare tactics and....Basically everything people claim about Global Warming, a round earth, and 9-11.

Global Warming is still just a theory. A theory accepted by the vast majority of scientists, but in the end, still a theory. Until we know exactly what is causing it, and how, it's not a fact.

Rising sea levels is a fact that supports the Global Warming theory

Jandau:
First of all, thank you Aussies, you guys are awesome.

Secondly, I'm sorry you've had shitty weather, Aussies, you guys are awesome.

Third, can this keep up? I mean, even Australia has its limits. Sooner or later it'll get... "soggy"...

Fourth, does this mean that there is potential for an ecological shift in Australia's inland? If this abundance of water keeps up, couldn't the deserts start to shift into more hospitable climates?

Yuck, soggy Australia.

Also, sorry about the whole "stealing all the water" thing. I honestly didn't know, must have been the rest of the Continent.

carpathic:

Boris Goodenough:

cerebus23:
It is pretty kick ass indeed that this little slice of earth can have such a huge impact on the global sea levels.

I wouldn't call it little :p

Still smaller than Canada, so little enough :p

True, but that's the second largest country on this planet Earth, so that makes the majority of countries smaller. Too bad Russia's no longer sinking, or you'd soon be first :(

Steven Bogos:

Global Warming is still just a theory. A theory accepted by the vast majority of scientists, but in the end, still a theory. Until we know exactly what is causing it, and how, it's not a fact.

Rising sea levels is a fact that supports the Global Warming theory

Global warming demonstrably exists because...The Earth has warmed. That's like saying rising sea levels is only a theory. We can demonstrate both have happened reliably. The only "theory" part is the projection that it will continue, and the same could be said for rising sea levels.

In fact, the usual arguments against global warming are to point to an anomaly and say "look, you were wrong!" so it would be pretty easy to do the exact same thing with the dropping of the sea level in 2010.

Global warming in itself does not dictate humans are behind climate change, only that things are getting warmer. If you can deny that, you can deny rising sea levels. However, I wouldn't be so quick to spout the "just a theory" line about human influence in climate change, either.

Gavmando:
Where do funnel webs live, you ask in terror? All around my house. I live in the Blue Mountains just to the west of Sydney. They love rocky soil. The entire mountains are rocky soil. I was looking at a house, to buy, the other day and when walking in the back yard, I walked through and stood on a funnel web nest. I got off pretty quickly. But it was all good.

But at least the Blue Mountains funnel webs aren't as deadly as the Sydney funnel webs. Sydney being our largest city of about 4 million people.

An equal terrassive factoid; The Sydney funnel web has been found as far south as Melbourne, and as far north as Lismore.

4RM3D:
You had me at Australia sucks. Oh wait...

Speaking of water... China has the largest water reservoir in the world. It's so big it affects the earth's centrifugal force, slowing[1] earth down and thus making each day last 0.1 second longer.

The three gorges dam?

http://theenergylibrary.com/node/11435

[1] I think it was slowing down, not speeding up

MorphingDragon:

4RM3D:
You had me at Australia sucks. Oh wait...

Speaking of water... China has the largest water reservoir in the world. It's so big it affects the earth's centrifugal force, slowing[1] earth down and thus making each day last 0.1 second longer.

The three gorges dam?

http://theenergylibrary.com/node/11435

Ah yes, that's the one. I couldn't remember what it was called. The details were a little bit foggy.

[1] I think it was slowing down, not speeding up

I bet the increase in water will lead to an increase in giant insects. Of course, this leads to more food for the spiders. Coastal disaster all over the planet or an influx of giant spiders? Let's just go with the rise of the sea level, yeah?

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