What caused Australia’s red dust storm?

In September 2009, a cloud of red dust enveloped Sydney in Australia. Amongst other things, this link includes a clip explaining how the cloud was caused.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/8270104.stm

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Australian wildfires 2009 – how can natural and human factors be managed to help prevent future tragedy?

The wildfires in Australia have touched the emotions of the world, but it is important to try to understand what led them to occur, from both a physical perspective and in terms of human behaviour; to help avoid such hazards becoming a disaster again in the future:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/in_depth/asia_pacific/2009/australia_fires/default.stm

The fires flared up again a few weeks after the original outbreaks:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/asia-pacific/7905193.stm

Here are some NASA images of the wildfires:

http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/NaturalHazards/view.php?id=36979

In May 2009, an inquiry into the causes and handling of the fires was opened. Many people felt that the government had been slow to react:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/asia-pacific/8007480.stm

What effect is the ongoing drought having on the lives of Australians who live in the Murray-Darling Basin?

Australia has been experiencing it’s worst drought in decades. What effect has it had on the people who live in the affected areas?

Some background to the probem can be found here:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/theobserver/2007/aug/05/features.magazine67

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Murray-Darling_Basin

Some of the effects can be found here:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/asia-pacific/7584592.stm

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/asia-pacific/7556075.stm

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/asia-pacific/7379185.stm

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/asia-pacific/7672105.stm

In Spring 2009, there were even fears that if the drought continued, Adelaide, home to 1.1 million people, could suffer serious water shortages:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2009/apr/17/australia-murray-river-water-shortage

The Murray-Darling Basin Authority has been created to help manage the river and to try and balance the various challenges that it faces:

http://www.mdba.gov.au/

Women in the Outback – how is Australia’s farming industry changing?

Australia’s huge ranches have traditionally been male dominated, but with low unemployment, more and more women are joining the ranches. What changes will this bring:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/asia-pacific/7443625.stm

Thinking of emigrating to Australia?

Many British people are being lured to Australia in what is becoming known as the “Pom Invasion”:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/6972076.stm

Climate chaos? Flooding and drought in Australia

These weblinks shows how Australia is experienceing extremes of drought and flooding.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/asia-pacific/7174377.stm

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/asia-pacific/6749073.stm

Ongoing droughts in Australia are the worst for a century. Whilst arguments sway to and fro about whether they are the product of climate change, one fact in undisputed; Australia’s capacity to produce and export crops has been significantly reduced and may start having impacts further afield:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/asia-pacific/7289194.stm

Children in schools across Australia are at the front line as they learn how to cope with shortages and encourage more careful use:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/asia-pacific/7361210.stm

Big landslide halts energy production at Australian power station. How can we manage slopes better?

Here are some stunning images of the effect of human interference on slopes.

http://www.news.com.au/gallery/0,23607,5027431-5007150,00.html