Runaway climate change

Acacia Pepler

Acacia Pepler is a PhD student at the University of New South Wales (UNSW) Climate Change Research Centre, where she studies extreme rainfall and East Coast Lows (ECLs), wild storms and their relation to climate change impacts.

Acacia Pepler initially began her career with an interest in Astronomy but her love of Science and Meteorology took over and after completing a Bachelor of Science BSc, she went on to become a PhD student, as she had always been interested also in the weather. So her current research work centres on the East Coast Lows perhaps as they are difficult to predict and can develop quickly.

As we all at times complain about weather forecast (but expect them to be accurate for a week ahead), our desire for an accurate prediction is of personal and probably superficial  nature or even can be a case of saving lives such as  with the Sydney to Hobart yacht race.  

Climate change can affect East Coast Lows in many ways, for example warmer days can make a cyclone more intense, more rising sea levels which are predicted to be about 1 - 1.5 metres (but NASA has predicted as high as 3 metres by 2050), influences by the Great Dividing Range which can intensify lows up and down the Eastern seaboard can also have an effect.  Answers to these questions are being modelled not only by the Bureau of Meteorology but the Universities of Macquarie and Newcastle, whose special study relates to history and dam levels in NSW the latter of which can be related to the important topic of water security.

Whatever the development of ocean warming intense rainfall is expected to  increase with each degree of global warming particularly when interacting with  cold air in the upper atmosphere. 

(Summary written by BZE volunteer Bev McIntyre 26/8/16)

Victorian Election

This show was broadcast on Mon 24 November 2014

Join Vivien from Beyond Zero radio for the Victorian election special. Victorians go to the polls this Saturday 29 November where the outcome is likely to be The Greens holding the balance of power. Public transport, stopping the proposed East-West Link, fair solar tariffs & electricity prices and the future of rural farming are some of the issues covered with the following guests:

Dr Nicholas Aberle, Safe Climate Campaign Manager, Environment Victoria

Peter Crisp, MLA Member for Mildura, The Nationals 

Dr Tim Read
- doctor and medical researcher - is Greens candidate for the seat of Brunswick and hoping to become the first Green MP into the lower house of Victoria’s Parliament

Lily D’Ambrosio is the Member for Mill Park and the Shadow Minister for Energy and resources, Cost of Living and the Suburbs.

Obama is Leading the World to Climate Hell

Dear President Obama, Encouraging Tar Sands Development is Not Acting on Climate
by HELEN GRANT. Counterpunch

Dr. James Hansen’s latest dire warning is that we are on the verge of crossing the point of no return, triggering runaway global warming that would last for centuries, making much of the planet uninhabitable by humans. He asks, “Humanity stands at a fork in the road. As conventional oil and gas are depleted, will we move to carbon-free energy and efficiency – or to unconventional fossil fuels and coal?”

Australia's Climate Action Summit & the media

Vivien presents a collection of interviews from Australia's Climate Action Summit 21- 23 June 2013, focusing on the role of the media. Guests include:

John Kaye, NSW Greens MLC,

Jane Rawson, Author and Energy and Environment Editor for the online journal, The Conversation. The difference with The Conversation is that it's written by academics, not journalists; it is not-for-profit and receives no advertising revenu. 

Larissa Waters, Qld Senator and environmental lawyer.

Community Responses to Climate Change - Occupy Sandy

OCCUPY SANDY from JFOX on Vimeo.

Beyond Zero's Nick Carson looks at Community Responses to Climate Change exacerbated natural disasters, particularly the Occupy Sandy relief effort.

Fire, heatwaves and the climate emergency


Associate Professor Peter Christoff at Melbourne University and Dr Elizabeth Hanna, National Convenor - Climate Change Adaptation Research Network for Human Health at  ANU and President -  Climate and Health Alliance, were among fourteen prominent Australians, scientists and academics who recently published a statement calling on Australia to cease the expansion of coal ports.

'Let's talk about coal' dares to name the greatest contribution Australia is making to climate change and the impacts we are suffering right now through the recent fires, heatwaves, floods and droughts.

Prof Ian Simmonds on melting permafrost and the latest climate science

Professor Ian Simmonds of the School of Earth Sciences at The University of Melbourne is an expert in climate science and  atmospheric carbon dioxide and methane budgets. His recent research has focused on the dramatic record melting permafrost in the Arctic and extreme weather events relating to climate change.   

Loss of sea ice contributes to ground level warming while global warming intensifies atmospheric circulation and contributes to increased temperatures higher in the Arctic atmosphere. 

In the past 30 years of satellite data, the amount of sea ice in the Arctic had dropped by 3 million km2. To put this in context, this is almost half the area of Australia which has an area of 7.5 million km2. The IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) predictions on the loss of sea ice extent have been accurate and even on the conservative side.  

Transition towns in a post carbon world

As the USA faces a “Frankenstorm” following a record breaking drought, we look at the ideas and people  preparing a transition from the age of Carbon to the age of Zero Emissions. BZE radio, unlike the mainstream media, not only connects the dots but offers climate solutions.

Richard Heinberg, author of "The End of Growth" and “Powerdown” speaks with Vivien Langford from Beyond Zero Radio at his hotel in Sydney. Richard was visiting Australia on a speaking tour and spoke at the Festival of Dangerous ideas. Thanks to Peter Dowson for filming this interview (click YouTube video above).

Transition Towns is a global movement building resilient, sustainable, vibrant and happy communities. It is a community based response to the future challenges of climate change and peak oil. For more information on Transition Towns, go to

Lancer Lieber and Peter Dowson of Transitions Bondi talk  to Vivien about getting our food from local sources including urban gardens. They are helping groups of Bondi people install solar panels at a manageable price. We talk about understanding how to get the most help from  local councillors who are committed to lowering our carbon footprint. They are inspired by the Transition Towns Movement which is preparing people to be resilient and live sustainably as climate change affects all our lives.

BZE interview Gerard Wedderburn-Bisshop on climate change, deforestation and land use

Beyond Zero's Scott Bilby and Andrew Longmire speak to Gerard Wedderburn-Bisshop, from Queensland's Department of the Environment, on the relationship between climate change, deforestation and land use. This interview was originally aired in November 2011.

For a recent update with Gerard on the ZCA Land Use Plan, listen to the podcast from 3CR program Freedom of Species. This interview originally aired on 7 October 2012. We would like to thank interviewer Kate Gracey from Freedom of Species and 3CR Community Radio for allowing us to reproduce their original content.

The Age Business Day: Coal, shale, sand? Your gas is as good as mine

The Age Business Day reports: WE ARE adults here. We know that there will be some very tough trade-offs that will be needed to tackle climate change. But the oil and gas industry is asking too much if it wants Australians to incur the costs of a coal seam gas (CSG) boom, without clearly pointing out the benefits.

Until lately it was widely assumed that gas is a cleaner-burning fuel than coal, with lower greenhouse gas emissions. The rise of unconventional gas extraction - whether from shale, coal seam or tight sand gas fields - has called that assumption into question, and guess what? The answer is frightfully unclear.

It would be fair to say most of the data is old or industry-funded or based on different practices used for extraction overseas. Or hidden.

The ''We Want CSG'' ads sponsored by the Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association say coal seam gas burned to produce baseload electricity produces ''up to'' 70 per cent fewer emissions than coal.

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