How is Christmas Day in Canberra looking?

December 24, 2015 – 10:14AM

Katie Burgess

Canberra Times reporter

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Lawrence Kovacs, 5, and Amelie Smorhun, 5, cool off at Manuka pool.

Lawrence Kovacs, 5, and Amelie Smorhun, 5, cool off at Manuka pool. Photo: Jay Cronan

All water pistol warriors, backyard barbecuers and summer splashers take heed.

Christmas Day in Canberra is shaping up to be a glorious summer day with a top temperature of 27 degrees and morning cloud cover clearing to mostly sunny skies.

But Weatherzone meteorologist James Casey has warned you might want to stick the water pistol back in its holster and batten down the hatches for Boxing Day.

“Christmas Day is looking great [but] Boxing Day should be an interesting one. It should reach 29 degrees but there is a risk of some thunder in the afternoon as a change moves through, which is going to cause a bit of bother for the Sydney to Hobart as well,” Mr Casey said.

“There have been some comparisons to 1998 which was quite a stormy year but it shouldn’t be as bad as that but it’s definitely not going to be pleasant for them out there.”

Despite the cooler change which swept away last weekend’s scorching temperatures, Canberra is still on track for one of its hottest Decembers in memory.

“Canberra is above average at the moment, the average is 26.2 degrees as a maximum and  at the moment you’re tracking at around 29.8 degrees. If that continues it could be one of your hottest Decembers in a long time,” Mr Casey said.

The extreme heat across south-eastern Australia prompted the Bureau of Meteorology to issue a Special Climate Statement, confirming record temperatures across South Australia, NSW, Tasmania and Victoria,

An extended period of hot weather in South Australia concentrated on Adelaide, where temperatures reached 40 degrees on each of the four days from December 16 to 19.

Although Canberra has escaped the worst of it, warmer days are set to tide us into the new year following Saturday’s cool change.

“It’s looking like after that change on Boxing Day the temperature is going to stay around the mid-20s for a couple fo days. Leading into New Year’s  we’re going to see the return of the 30-degree heat, it’s going to peak around January 1 or 2,” Mr Casey said.

Weatherzone is owned by Fairfax Media, publisher of this website. 

Photographers are invited to share their best seasonal weather images and have the chance to see their photos published and share in $1000 of prizes.

To enter this season’s competition, send in a maximum of three photos with a summer theme to as attached JPEG files at least 150 kilobytes and not more than one megabyte in size. Include your name, address, phone number, photo title, a description of the  photo and the date it was taken.  Photos must be at least 150 kilobytes and should not carry a watermark.

Visit for full terms and conditions. The competition ends 12am February 29.

Source : Canberra Times

South Korea to probe fuel efficiency of emission-faked Volkswagen cars

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South Korea will launch a probe into the fuel efficiency of Volkswagen vehicles whose emissions have been manipulated to meet tightened environment regulations, a government official close to the matter said Thursday.

The investigation follows the transportation ministry’s internal conclusion that there is a “correlation” between the German carmaker’s manipulated emissions for some of its diesel vehicles and their fuel efficiency, the official told the English division of Yonhap News Agency.

“We have concluded that there is a correlation,” the official said on customary condition of anonymity. “We will launch an investigation into the fuel efficiency aspect of those cars in question.”

He declined to elaborate on other details such as when and how the investigation will be conducted.

The transportation ministry has carried out its own analysis of test data offered by the environment ministry, which conducted its own probe into Volkswagen’s suspected emissions cheating.

The transportation ministry’s analysis was to determine any impact that the emission manipulation could have on fuel efficiency. The ministry will likely measure fuel efficiency in real driving test.

Under the current regulations, the ministry can order a recall and impose a fine if the discrepancy in tests exceeds 5 percent of officially-approved efficiency.

On Nov. 26, the environment ministry ordered a recall of about 125,000 vehicles of Volkswagen after finding that their emission results were manipulated. It also fined about 14 billion won ($11.9 million) on the German auto giant.

Subject to the recall order are vehicles equipped with the “EA189” engine. Others include the Beetle of Volkswagen and the Q5, Q3 and A4 of its luxury brand Audi.

Volkswagen should submit detailed recall plans to the environment ministry by Jan. 6, including how to enhance emissions results and maintain fuel efficiency after removing software used to fake emission results. (Yonhap)

Source : The Korea Herald

Over Dh17billion allotted for Abu Dhabi government projects

Wam/Abu Dhabi
Filed on December 24, 2015

Shaikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan chairs the Executive Council meeting in Abu Dhabi on Wednesday. – Wam

CP chairs Abu Dhabi Executive Council meeting; reviews projects.

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His Highness Shaikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces and Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Executive Council, chaired the Executive Council meeting held at the Crown Prince’s Court on Wednesday.

During the meeting, the council reviewed the progress of the current and future governmental projects in Abu Dhabi, as well as the main achievements accomplished and the service projects provided to the citizens and residents of the emirate. The Council also looked into ways to promote current projects in line with the relevant governmental goals and plans.

The executive council has approved the allocation of Dh17.5 billion for governmental capital projects in different sectors in 2016. These allocations would help implement the vision of the President, His Highness Shaikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, aiming at investing all efforts to support the citizens’ stability and decent life requirements. The allocated capital will be divided as follows: Dh5.9 billion in housing, Dh4.3 billion in infrastructure, Dh1.8 billion in education, in addition to Dh614 million in governmental facilities, Dh644 million in social facilities and other allocations in several vital sectors.

This decision supports Abu Dhabi’s efforts to implement comprehensive plans aiming at promoting the work system in all governmental sectors in the Emirate and to perform a leading role in achieving excellence, supporting thus the fulfillment of the objectives and goals set in the Abu Dhabi Vision 2030.

The Executive Council has agreed to award the contracts pertaining to infrastructure works in the “Emirati Neighborhood” Project, located in Madinat Zayed, between Mohamed Bin Zayed City and Abu Dhabi International Airport.

The project is divided into three contracts including infrastructure work, roads and trails networks, in addition to 2755 of residential land plots, 37 mosques, 47 gardens and 13 schools for all education stages.

Also, in order to develop the infrastructure and roads and transport network in the Western Region of Abu Dhabi, the council has adopted a project aiming at building a 50 km long two-way road linking Madinat Zayed to Al Marfa’ City. The project’s total value reached around Dh664 million. – Wam


Névoa violeta cobre o céu de cidade chinesa

Coloração seria causada pela mistura da poluição local com o brilho do pôr do sol

23/12/2015 às 15:00 – Atualizado em 23/12/2015 às 15:00

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Céu na cidade de Nanjing, na China
Céu na cidade de Nanjing, na China(ção)

Fotografias que mostram a cidade de Nanquim, na China, envolta em uma névoa em tom violeta se tornaram virais na internet nessa quarta-feira, enquanto milhões de cidadãos sofrem com o mais recente surto de poluição tóxica do país. O céu púrpura florescente – aparentemente resultado da mistura da poluição local com as cores do pôr do sol – chegou a ser o segundo tópico mais comentado na rede social Weibo, a substituta do Twitter no país asiático.

Até mesmo a agência de notícias oficial da China, a Xinhua, se impressionou com o fato e postou fotografias em seu perfil no Twitter, com a frase: “Fumaça rosa?”. Alguns internautas reagiram irritados, afirmando que a imprensa local está cobrindo a crise de poluição nacional de forma inocente e falhando em cobrar o governo de Pequim por melhoras. “O governo não tomou medidas efetivas para controlar a poluição e nós temos que pagar por isso com nossa saúde”, postou um usuário do Weibo em sua página.

O jornal local Nanjing’s Modern Express tentou acalmar seus leitores, informando que a cor no céu era causada pela combinação do brilho do pôr do sol com um pico momentâneo de poluição, e não um poluente específico. Segundo Liu Hongnian, um cientista da Universidade de Nanquim ouvido pelo jornal, a fumaça da poluição só toma três cores: branca, cinza e marrom. Colorações rosa ou lilás no céu não representavam nenhum tipo de ameaça para a saúde da população.

A poluição em Nanquim atingiu níveis 10 vezes superiores aos considerados seguros pela Organização Mundial da Saúde (OMS) nessa terça e quarta feira. Muitas escolas tiveram de cancelar suas atividades ao ar livre. Mais ao norte do país, a qualidade do ar estava ainda pior.

Em Pequim, que declarou um alerta vermelho de poluição pela primeira vez na história no início do mês, estações de monitoramento ambinetal reportaram níveis “perigosos” de partículas como a PM2.5 ( as mais finas e suscetíveis a se infiltrarem no pulmão) no ar.