Bushfires burned a fifth of Australia’s forest: Study

first_imgTopics : Australia’s wildfires have destroyed more than a fifth of the country’s forests, making the blazes “globally unprecedented” following a years-long drought linked to climate change, researchers said Monday.Climate scientists are currently examining data from the disaster, which destroyed swathes of southeastern Australia, to determine to what extent they can be attributed to rising temperatures. In a special edition of the journal Nature Climate Change, Australian researchers examined several other aspects of the blazes, including investigations into their extent and possible causes.  Boer said his study almost certainly underestimates the extent of forest loss as the island state of Tasmania was not covered in the data.Australia’s annual average forest loss to wild fires is typically well below 2 percent.- Droughts linked to sea temperature -Another study published Monday looked at the conditions that made the fires so damaging — a years-long dry spell in Australia’s Murray-Darling Basin.Droughts create more fuel for wildfires and make it harder for forests to recover after each blaze. Andrew King, from the University of Melbourne, and colleagues looked at a phenomenon known as the Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD), which has a direct effect on rainfall levels in Australia and elsewhere. Since 2017 much of Australia has experienced widespread drought, something the study attributed to a relative lack of negative IOD events — when there are warmer than normal sea surface temperatures in the east Indian Ocean with cooler waters in the west.These events tend to shift weather patterns and typically bring greater rainfall to southeast Australia, and are made less frequent as global sea temperatures warm. King and the team examined rainfall statistics and found that the winter of 2016 saw extremely heavy precipitation and a corresponding negative IOD event.Since then, the Murray-Darling Basin has experienced 12 consecutive seasons with below-average rainfall, the longest period on record since 1900.”With climate change there have been projections that there will be more positive IOD events and fewer negative IOD events,” King told AFP. “This would mean that we’d expect more dry seasons in Australia and possibly worse droughts.”Boer said that climate change was all but certain to make Australia more prone to wildfires and urged the government to strengthen fire readiness measures and “take urgent and effective action on climate change.”center_img One study showed that between September 2019 and January 2020 around 5.8 million hectares of broadleaf forest were burned in New South Wales and Victoria. This accounts for roughly 21 percent of the nation’s forested area, making this fire season proportionately the most devastating on record. “Halfway through Spring 2019 we realised that a very large part of the eastern Australian forest could be burned in this single season,” Matthias Boer, from the Hawkesbury Institute for the Environment at Western Sydney University, Penrith, told AFP. “The shock came from realising that this season was off the charts globally in terms of the percentage of the continental section of a forest biome that burned.”last_img read more

Channel Seven weatherman Tony Auden sells low maintenance home

first_imgBrisbane weatherman Tony Auden has sold his home at Chermside West.Brisbane weatherman Tony Auden has sold his Chermside West home for $565,000.More from newsMould, age, not enough to stop 17 bidders fighting for this home3 hours agoBuyers ‘crazy’ not to take govt freebies, says 28-yr-old investor3 hours agoThe property, on a 465sq m block, was sold on June 19 by Place – Aspley selling agents Chris Winkler and Tristan Rowland. The lounge room at the Chermside West property.After five years, Mr Auden and his wife Alicia are making the move to Alderley.Mr Auden said they had been building their “realistic dream home” with a swimming pool, which was closer to the CBD.The three-bedroom, one-bathroom home was sold to a local family with two children, according to Mr Winkler.last_img read more

There is a home to suit every buyer at auctions across Brisbane’s outer suburbs this weekend

first_img132 Ernest Street, Manly“At this stage, I’ve got one registered bidder and two others that will possibly register on the day.”On the lower level, there is a cellar and workshop, two bedrooms as well as a theatre room and family area that opens onto a deck. 8 Ernest Street, Morningside“In the last two to three years… people have been responding to them well,” Mr Tolley said.“You can do a bit to them – everyone likes to add their own little personal touch.”More from newsParks and wildlife the new lust-haves post coronavirus21 hours agoNoosa’s best beachfront penthouse is about to hit the market21 hours ago 8 Ernest Street, MorningsidePlace Bulimba agent Dion Tolley said there were a few keen buyers interested in the three-bedroom home at 8 Ernest St, which was built in 1920.“(I’m) in the process now of getting a few registered (to bid) on the day,” Mr Tolley said.“It’s quite special given the character of the home.” 132 Ernest Street, Manly“There’s lots of interest because people are looking for a property with views and it’s also surrounded by multimillion-dollar properties,” Mr Sorrentino said.“In the last three weeks, we’ve had about 100 groups through. 132 Ernest Street, ManlyThe ground floor is dedicated to an open kitchen, dining and living area that flows onto a balcony and also has the master bedroom with ensuite.Two extra bedrooms are on the upper level with a deck. 8 Ernest Street, MorningsideIt sits on a 405sq m block and has an open kitchen and dining room that flows onto a covered outdoor deck as well as a separate lounge room.The feature front door, timber floors, VJ walls and ornate ceilings give it a classic charm.Mr Tolley said homes with character were becoming more attractive to buyers. 26 Whitehead Road, The GapIt has a combined family and meals area that flows through to the kitchen and into a combined dining and sitting room on the first floor.There is also a separate study and lounge room.All the bedrooms are upstairs. 26 Whitehead Road, The GapFROM older homes with classic charm to luxury, modern mansions – a property to suit every buyer will go under the hammer this weekend.A pre-war character home in Morningside will be one of the first to go to auction on Saturday, February 24, at 9am. 132 Ernest Street, ManlyIn Manly, a three-storey luxury home with views of the bay and marina will go to auction on Sunday, February 25, at 11am.Place Manly principal Marc Sorrentino said the property at 132 Ernest St had attracted a lot of interested buyers. 26 Whitehead Road, The GapAnother character home at The Gap will go to auction at 12 noon.Harcourts Solutions agent Stephen Dangerfield said the renovated and well maintained Tudor-style property at 26 Whitehead Rd was one in a handful in the area. 26 Whitehead Road, The Gap“It’s quite a unique style of home,” Mr Dangerfield said.The two-storey house sits on a 977sq m block and has four bedrooms.last_img read more

Clayton Kershaw will start NLCS Game 1 for Dodgers

first_imgATLANTA — Order has been restored.The Dodgers broke with expectations and started Hyun-Jin Ryu in Game 1 of their National League Division Series against the Atlanta Braves, not Clayton Kershaw.They won’t do that again.Sign up for our Inside the Dodgers newsletter. Be the best Dodger fan you can be by getting daily intel on your favorite team. Subscribe here.Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said before Monday’s victory over the Braves that Kershaw would start the team’s next playoff game whether it was Game 5 against the Braves or Game 1 of the NL Championship Series against the Milwaukee Brewers. Dodgers’ Max Muncy trying to work his way out of slow start “Looking forward to it,” he said.Asked if he took any special pride in once again being the team’s Game 1 starter, he wouldn’t admit to it.“No, I don’t know. I want to pitch,” he said. “I’m pitching Game 1. That’s great.”It’s likely Kershaw and Walker Buehler will start Games 1 and 2 (both on extra rest) at Miller Park with Ryu held back to Dodger Stadium, where he has been dominant this season (including seven scoreless innings in Game 1 against the Braves).VETERAN PICKUPSThe Dodgers are supposed to be run by statistically-focused decision-makers who make moves based on the numbers.“Yeah, that’s what I keep hearing,” Dodgers GM Farhan Zaidi.But they have also shown a fondness for adding veteran players late in the season whose skills have diminished, making them more valued for their character and experience – from Chase Utley to Curtis Granderson to David Freese and Ryan Madson this year.Freese and Madson proved critical in turning Monday’s Game 4 to the Dodgers.“We’re not trying to prove anything to anyone. We’re just trying to win a World Series,” Zaidi said. “We’ll continue to make unique moves and evaluate players in a way that gives us the best chance.”FREESE UPFreese laughed off the suggestion that his extensive postseason experience – and success in those situations – gives him some kind of advantage in October.“No, no,” he said. “Every year, guys do great things in the postseason. There’s tons of guys that do really cool things in the postseason.”Freese did some really cool things in 2011 for the St. Louis Cardinals, winning the MVP award in both the NLCS and World Series. He points to that as proof experience doesn’t necessarily mean a thing.“Two-thousand-eleven was the first year I was in the postseason,” said Freese whose two-out, two-run pinch-hit single in the sixth inning Monday gave the Dodgers a 3-2 lead. “Good things just happen. It’s all about the opportunity. If you get the opportunity good things can happen.”Related Articles Fire danger is on Dave Roberts’ mind as Dodgers head to San Francisco Cody Bellinger homer gives Dodgers their first walkoff win of season How Dodgers pitcher Ross Stripling topped the baseball podcast empire Dodgers hit seven home runs, sweep Colorado Rockies The Dodgers advanced to the NLCS for a third consecutive year and Kershaw will start Friday in Milwaukee, at a time to be announced.“It was pretty simple,” Roberts said. “I think that we had our reasons why we decided on Game 1 vs. Game 2. But if there’s a potential Game 5, we feel very confident that Clayton should be the guy taking the baseball.”Kershaw made the best postseason start of his career in Game 2, holding the Braves to two hits in eight scoreless innings. Afterward, he admitted that he took a little extra pleasure from the performance because of the Dodgers’ decision to start Ryu ahead of him.“Yeah, maybe,” he said with a smile after Game 2. “Maybe a tick, for sure.”In the celebratory locker room after the Dodgers’ win Monday, however, Kershaw kept any feelings of vindication to himself. Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorlast_img read more

Willians Astudillo, the Twins’ talented ‘turtle,’ is making contact look cool again

first_img“He competes very, very well once the game starts,” Baldelli said. “The thing I talk about the most is, he’s a good player. The focus is here. He’s a quality major league player that’s multi-skilled. He can do a lot of different things out there to help a team win, and he does it on a nightly basis. You can ask him to do a lot of things, and he can help you win a game in a lot of different ways.”In one important regard, Astudillo is more Ruth than Cobb: he’s making contact look cool. Rowson calls it a “good aura.” Astudillo is the Tasmanian Devil in a batter’s box, just athletic enough to play every position in the field, and looks like anything but a professional athlete in street clothes. His nickname, “La Tortuga,” is borrowed from his turtle-like physique. The Twins list Astudillo’s weight as a squat 225 pounds.Monday afternoon in the visitors’ clubhouse at Angel Stadium, some of Astudillo’s teammates wore pale green shirts emblazoned with “La Tortuga” in the style of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles’ wordmark. So did Rowson.“If the guys didn’t like him,” Rowson said, “they probably wouldn’t wear it.” How Dodgers pitcher Ross Stripling topped the baseball podcast empire ANAHEIM —One Willians Astudillo story goes like this: during batting practice one afternoon, Astudillo was hitting everything. Over his head, a foot outside, buried in the dirt – no matter how wild the pitch, Astudillo was determined to make contact. Rudy Hernandez, the Minnesota Twins’ batting practice pitcher, tried to throw a ball where no mortal could touch it: directly behind Astudillo’s back. The 5-foot-9 dynamo chopped down at the pitch like a tomahawk as his body spun away from home plate. He made contact.Most Astudillo stories end with him making contact. It’s his defining trait as a hitter. The 27-year-old rookie from Venezuela has struck out in less than 3 percent of his major league plate appearances through Tuesday. Consider that in the final 16 seasons of Ty Cobb’s career, the only years for which we know his strikeout totals, 4.1 percent of his plate appearances ended in a strikeout. He retired in 1928.That was an era when striking out constituted a cardinal sin, when a hitter’s raison d’être was to put the ball in play. That era ended when Babe Ruth’s prodigious power redefined hitting and gave baseball its cultural caché. Yet it wasn’t until this century that launch angles, livelier baseballs and defensive shifts began driving the game’s purest contact hitters into extinction. Watch baseball today, and sacrificing contact for power has never looked less optional.Enter Astudillo. The Twins’ catcher/third baseman/second baseman/left fielder/center fielder/pitcher (he mopped up in the ninth inning of a blowout loss last year) is more than a throwback. Astudillo is beating Hall of Famers from a century ago at their own game – against pitchers who throw harder and usually tower over him on a mound. Angels’ poor pitching spoils an Albert Pujols milestone Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error A decade ago, the Philadelphia Phillies reached back-to-back World Series on the strength of a pair of star hitters whose styles contrasted sharply. Ryan Howard was a feared slugger who averaged 50 home runs, 143 RBIs and 191 strikeouts from 2006-09. Chase Utley was a master at getting on base by whatever means necessary: singles, doubles, triples, homers, walks, errors, fastballs that grazed his arms as they dangled perilously above home plate. Their fates diverged in the 2010s.Howard, a left-handed hitter, couldn’t adapt to persistent defensive shifts once his power tool faded. At 36 years old, he collected 114 strikeouts and just 65 hits for the Phillies in 2016, his final major-league season. Utley also batted left-handed and saw his share of shifts. Yet unlike Howard, Utley’s knack for reaching base – to say nothing of his defense, baserunning and leadership – allowed him to remain a useful player past his 39th birthday. Utley had more hits (35) than strikeouts (34) in 2018, his final season playing for the Dodgers. If the plights of Utley and Howard offer a lasting omen, it’s a good one for Astudillo’s future.But even if the Twins (and the game writ large) encourage Astudillo to maintain his skill set, it’s unclear whether it can be emulated. He described his ability to make contact with a baseball as “a God-given talent, something I also have to work hard at.”“It’s a mix of talent and things I can do to get better,” Astudillo said. “Honestly it comes down to, I was born like that and I have that talent.”Astudillo’s father played baseball professionally in their native Venezuela. Astudillo’s brother, Wilfred, is just beginning to ascend the Mets’ system. At 19, Wilfred Astudillo nearly possesses the same physique (listed at 5-foot-11, 209 pounds) and plate discipline (33 strikeouts in 357 professional plate appearances) as his older brother, an odd combination for a major leaguer.Willians Astudillo spent parts of nine seasons toiling for four different organizations before the Twins finally called him up from Triple-A last summer. Astudillo has hit for average at every minor-league level. He’s always played a variety of defensive positions, primarily catcher, but patience and confidence might have been his most useful traits. The Twins only gave Astudillo a major-league look once a modest amount of power emerged – 12 homers in 78 games at Triple-A in 2018, then 10 home runs in 61 games in the Venezuelan League last winter.Baldelli practically needed a spreadsheet to check off Astudillo’s intangibles.Related Articlescenter_img “I don’t know if any of us can relate to what he does because I think it’s very unique,” said Rocco Baldelli, the Twins’ first-year manager. “Not just the physical aspect of it, but the way he approaches his at-bats. I’m not sure what exactly makes him tick.“I don’t think I’ve ever seen anybody like him and don’t know if we ever will again.”Here’s what makes Astudillo tick: he hates striking out. Like, he really hates it, more than you hate TSA checkpoints and superfluous surcharges on a utility bill. It’s why only two major league hitters have seen two-strike counts less often than Astudillo this year. It’s why he’ll swing at a pitch behind his back in batting practice. Allowing us to re-imagine the possibilities for what a human being can do with a bat and ball is not Astudillo’s purpose. This is a bug, not a feature, of his mission as a baseball player. If Astudillo strikes out, he said through an interpreter, “it’s like I lost a battle in that moment.”The Twins are content to let him believe that.“I probably wouldn’t be one of those guys who says a strikeout’s just an out,” said James Rowson, the team’s hitting coach. “There are a lot of benefits to being able to put the ball in play consistently. You put the ball in play, there’s a chance for something to happen. I think he proves that. Every at-bat he goes up there, he’s going to make the defense make a play. He’s not going to put himself out most of the time. Most of the time you’re going to have to catch it and throw it to get him out. Or he’s going to hit a ball in the gap or hit it on the other side of the wall. So he’s dangerous because you never know what he’s going to do when he comes to the plate.” Angels manager Joe Maddon questions defensive metrics that rate Mike Trout poorly Angels’ Mike Trout working on his defense, thanks to Twitter Angels fail to take series in Oakland, lose in 10 innings last_img read more

Best Cyclists in the World Will Make Spectacle in Sarajevo

first_imgThis August, Sarajevo will be the center of one more spectacular event-festival of urban extreme sports Valterise.The organizer of the festival is nonpfrofit organization Horizint,, which until now has organized five successful cycling races through Sarajevo called “Das ist Valter”.This year’s festival and Valter camp will be held from 23-25 August on Zmajevac.There will also be screenings of short movies, DJ’s and a photo exhibition by Zlatan Kurt.This is the first local festival of its kind that has as its goal to gather regional athletes of all disciplines in one place.This year’s Valter Downtown includes the biggest regional prize, which will be given out in the rest of the competition disciplines.(Source: klix.ba)last_img read more