In an email yesterday, my sister Anne informed me with joy that the drought had broken in NSW [New South Wales]. Today, I learn that a gigantic tempest has been blowing in on the NSW coast, accompanied by torrential rain on the vineyards of the Hunter Valley, and that five thousand people have been evacuated from their homes around Maitland because of imminent flooding. Eight individuals have already drowned in this sudden bad weather: the worst for thirty years.
A question springs to mind immediately:
— Could this exceptional weather be associated with El Nino?
Two complementary questions:
— Are Australians, in general, conscious of the El Nino phenomenon?
— Have Australian scientists envisaged the possibility of correlations between global warming and El Nino? More precisely: Could the former phenomenon have any effect upon the latter?
Big questions. Big risks.