Down the Mall | Catching the global waves of weather

FOOD FADS: There appears to be a growing trend for truth in advertising, but at this stage it only applies to crushed tomatoes.

FOOD FADS: There appears to be a growing trend for truth in advertising, but at this stage it only applies to crushed tomatoes.

It’s been a huge week in the wild world of weather news, and the wonders of the intramanet thingummy mean we can watch more of it than ever before and in much more technical detail.

We can discuss the Southern Oscillation Index and raise a glass to isobars, dip into high level troughs all day and, thanks to the ABC TV’s affable, excitable weather chap, Nate Byrne, we can now add “Rossby waves” to the atmospheric menu.

He pointed out that similar-looking intense weather areas had developed off the north west of Australia and in south east Asia. It was, he said, an example of rotating Rossby waves.

We looked it up, and it’s a real thing. Whopping great waves of weather that slowly move around the planet causing eddies and swirls the size of entire countries.

Gasp. There’s a theory that events such as heat waves in Russia, floods in Pakistan and droughts in Australia could be impacted by quasiresonant amplification of Rossby waves.

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Elsewhere the US National Academy of Science used NASA satellite images to show the world’s sea levels were rising faster than anyone thought and that sea levels are not, well, level.

In some parts of the planet the levels are higher, but in some others, such as off the WA coast and in the south Atlantic, they’re lower. Guess why? Rossby waves.

The Academy’s report said that if they were evened out, the world’s sea levels over the past two decades had risen three millimetres a year and were accelerating by an extra 0.08 mm a year.

At this rate, it will be 73,052 years before Crusoe Beach becomes ocean frontage.

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Retail humour has us rolling in the supermarket aisles.

First there’s the price tag: “ARD TOMATOES CRUSHED” for just $1.30 a can. Wonder how much they’d been if the cans weren’t crushed? Or if they weren’t so ‘ard? (There’s another thing. Can anyone explain why cans of tomatoes are so frequently crushed?)

Meanwhile Cape Grim steaks might need a bit of a scrub after a stray E collided with Grim turning it to Grime.