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Seasons changing: end of the world?

ARE THE SEASONS CHANGING? The El Nino weather pattern in Queensland means summer will be around for another month or so but it hasn’t stopped the rain coming down.
ARE THE SEASONS CHANGING? The El Nino weather pattern in Queensland means summer will be around for another month or so but it hasn’t stopped the rain coming down. Paul Braven Mike Richards

WHEN someone proclaims the world is uncomfortably close to its end, the person making that call usually has a bottle in their hand or the crazy look of a member in a strange alien cult.

But with the latest information from The Bureau of Meteorology the world may indeed be spinning out of control.

Like a fist to the face the season of summer has decided to stick around for another month which means the season of autumn has been pushed back to April, according to The Bureau.

This is where the end of the world business comes in.

Leaving science, reason and historical precedence aside for one moment, we now turn to the ancient Indian text, the Bhagavad-Gita, which predicted the world would end when the seasons start to change.

Dr Adam Bowles, who is an expert in Hindu texts at the University of Queensland, said the main imagery of the end of the world or the "end of times" is a great fire that burns everything up.

"The period preceding the end of the world everything is usually described as being turned on its head," Dr Bowles said.

"A period of prosperity overseen by a competent king is compared to a golden age in which the seasons are regular. The inference being that the seasons would not be so if the times weren't so good," he said.

You can make of that what you will, but outside the seasons are indeed changing.

A spokesman for The Bureau said that while the seasons haven't officially changed, going into the future definitions of when the seasons start and end may need to be rethought.

"It's inevitable that the definition of the seasons will change," he said.

"It will depend on a lot of things like the impact on agriculture but it has been given thought and it is what will happen in the future."

In a seasonal report The Bureau recorded an average increase in temperature of 1.08 degrees Celsius for the whole of Queensland, as well as a 13% decrease in the average rainfall.

The direct cause of these findings has been attributed to the lingering El Nino weather pattern which is expected to end sometime in the second quarter of 2016, according to The Bureau.

"El Nino is still with us and declining very slowly," the spokesman said.

"The effects from the strong El Nino will dissipate but the background global warming will still be there.

"This means that when we come out of the El Nino we will still have that background warming which will make temperatures higher," he said.

The Bureau spokesman said there was an 80% chance of higher temperatures for the month of March which will make for similar daily and nightly conditions as summer.

Once the El Nino weather pattern moves on, there will be a "50%" chance weather conditions will go back to normal, according to The Bureau.

So, is the world going to end?

Yes, but it won't be any time soon and with all this rain it's hard to see the world ending in a great fire.

The Bureau predicts there will be a medium chance of showers everyday until next week.

Summer Stats

*December: Highest daily 32.2

*January: Highest daily: 35.1

*February: Highest daily: 36.5

Topics:  environment, gladstone, seasons, world




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