Algal blooms hotting up down south

18 December 2012

And you thought that Spielberg character made up aliens that look like me? (Empusa guttula, female. Photo: Bill Harding)

Things are hotting up down here in the Southern Hemisphere and through the heat haze from my veranda I am kept awake by the regular fall of over-ripe plums from a tree that has become a veritable wildlife sanctuary for all sorts of birds, bees, beetles and the handsome guy in the picture above, well he was just passing through!

The increasing seasonal heat is closely associated with the increased number of algal bloom reports.

Australia has all these interesting names, Wagga Wagga, Maroochydore and etc.  In Wagga (singular, not sure if its the same place), the Council has closed Lake Albert where the numbers of cyanobacteria have exceeded the guideline limit.  In Adelaide, the authorities are again going to try and flush out algae threatening Lake Torrens – something they (unsuccessfully as I recall) tried earlier this year – at a cost of A$1.2 million.  I have a suspicion they are going to be disappointed again – unless you have a LOT of water to throw away, algal growth rates are generally going to win!

Here’s a warning from a location that has a whole string of magical names:  Warnings have been posted for Torgannah Lagoon, near Koonoomoo in the the Torrumbarry Irrigation Area, after monitoring detected high levels of blue-green algae.  This is one of seven warnings current in this area.

Across the Tasman in New Zealand, Canterbury authorities have issued warnings for the Ashley River – again due to the formation of algal “mats“.

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