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Heat and fires from when CO2 was “ideal”: Black Thursday, 1851

The year 1851 and CO2 is 287ppm in Law Dome Antarctica. The climate is perfect, but Australians are dealing with the worst fires in recorded history, scorching heat, drought, searing wind and by the sounds of it, an arabian dust storm. There are no skycranes, no mobile phones, and no helitankers. Temperatures in the shade hit 117F in Melbourne (that’s 47C), 115 in Warnambool, 114 in Geelong. But those are not BOM official records  (the BOM didn’t exist until some 50 years later). The conditions were unprecedented in living memory even though, at the time, many people said fires and droughts were commonplace. Businesses stopped, and it was described as “wanton martyrdom” to go out in the streets. People fighting the fires realized they had to flee instead and took en masse onto galloping horses to head for bare hilltops or watercourses. One writer two weeks later suggests the fire consumed 150,000 pounds of life and property, “to the utter ruin of many families.” The population was around 80,000. Despite the devastation, no one suggests a carbon tax.

‘When the smoke turned day into night’  Painted by William Strutt | Library Of Victoria

Apparently the pall of smoke was so bad, the sun was completely blocked in some places. Australians of European origin found baffling and unnatural, but it appears Aboriginal people had seen this effect before. It says something about the attitude of the settlers that calls immediately went out to raise funds to help the afflicted. Notably in Kilmore, 7 out of 15 declined the aid, “having friends from whom they could derive assistance”. Others canceled outstanding debts they were owed.

Romsey Australia has a helpful collection of quotes. Thanks to Chris Gillham for finding the first two quotes here, and Tom Quirk for his Great-grandfather’s quotes.

It was searingly hot with blasting sand:

 Geelong Advertiser 7 Feb 1851
“BLACK THURSDAY.” In its most literal sense, meaning and acceptation, the “oldest inhabitant” of Geelong does not recollect such a day as yesterday, Thursday. It surpassed all previous experience of hot winds and sandy whirlwinds. The morning was bright and balmy, and the breeze from the bay was grateful to those who sought its restorative induence. But about half-past seven o’clock in the morning a sudden change occurred. The north-west horizon was seen to be suddenly obscured, and presently a dense and lofty cloud of dust was observed to move bodily downwards towards Geelong, borne on the wings of the hot blast, which struck on the sense with a feeling of sudden and overpowering suffocation. The appearance of the moving mass of sand, or rather fine dust, which filled apparently the whole space between earth and sky, was very similar to the descriptions given by travellers of the sandy and hot whirlwinds which sweep across the deserts of Arabia, or rather those which occur on the great Desert of Sahara, in the north of Africa, and which are stated occasionally to bury whole caravans of men, camels and baggage. To quote, though with a very different application, the words of Macbeth, we can truly say, that so “fair and foul a day” we have never seen. A hot sun, piercing even the dense stand-fog; a hot blast which howled all day, bringing with it clouds of penetrating dust; a dry atmosphere, exhausting the animal grame, prostrating bodily and encrasing mental vigour – these were only some of the characteristics of our “Black Thursday.” As a natural consequence, nearly all buisness was suspended in Geelong, for all who could escape from the necessity of going abroad felt that it would be indeed a work of supererogation, if not of wanton martyrdom, to brave so “pelting and pitiless” a blast, which yesterday brought literally hot and heavy on all exposed to it. The thermometer before nine o’clock rose to 102 in the shade, unattached; at two o’clock it stood at 114 in the shade, attached. But the most lamentable feature of this “Black Thursday” has been the great destruction of property by extensive bush fires.
Empire Sydney 5 March 1851
WARNAMBOOL AS IT WAS ON THURSDAY, The 6th ULTIMO.-Thursday, in the morning, from the north-westward came sweeping along over and among the lofty gum and wattle trees, a heavy cloud, accompanied by towering columns of dust and smoke driven with a tempestuous hot blast; so sudden was the change that the fiery blast might be felt on one cheek, whilst the south-easterly wind played on the other. This was about ten minutes past seven o’clock. The wind grew in fury and in heat. The air was full not only of sand and dust but small stones, which drove with incredible force. The heat increased every hour, and the wind blew with resistless fury, it swept the roads and streets, it hovered, round the angles of the buildings, and fell with a deadening heat on all that it came in contact with – man was prostrate and helpless, business stopped, the streets deserted, the houses closed, and for many weary hours the blast and the sand storm ruled supreme. The sun, where it struck, seemed to leave a burning spot; but O! worse than all, came the suffocating dry air that filled the lungs with a parching heat, and choking thirst, and an insatiable desire to drink. The thermometer ranged 115 in the shade, sometimes rising, sometimes sinking, as the hot wind swept by or partly lulled. All were stricken and cowered before it.

People fled on horses at the maddest gallop

Source:  Argus Newspaper ( Melbourne, Vic.) Saturday 20 February 1926

When men saw the flames threatening to consume the produce of their long toil many gallant efforts were made to beat them back, but it was soon apparent that before the roaring blasts such attempts only tended to reduce the prospect of individual escape.

Flight was the only chance, and even that, on foot was a doubtful resource, for, where the fuel was abundant the flames travelled at a rate that overtook and consumed the flying stock at their maddest gallop.

Every horse that could be obtained and mounted under such conditions of panic carried some distracted settler or his family at topmost speed towards some bald hill or other fancied point of refuge. Those who could not command such aid fled to the nearest creek or water hole, and, plunging in, passed long hours of agonised suspense while the fiery tide rolled over them.

When at length it was safe to crawl forth from their sanctuary it was to find homes, furniture, farm equipment, crops, barns, and fences all disappeared, their live stock roasted or dispersed, and the hard battle of life to begin all over again.

If fire had broken out in Melbourne the city would have “been lost”:

  Source:  Argus Newspaper ( Melbourne, Vic.) Saturday 20 February 1926

MELBOURNE’S ORDEAL
In Melbourne the day opened with a scorching north wind and an unclouded sky. Under the influence of the fierce sirocco the city was soon enveloped in blinding dust, and by 11 o’clock the thermometer marked 117 degrees( 47.2 Celsius ) in the shade.

By midday, rolling volumes of smoke began to converge on the city, and outdoor life became intolerable. The streets were almost deserted, a dull sense of suffocation oppressed even those who cowered in the coolest recesses of their homes, and anxiously asked what it meant. Fortunately no fires broke out near the city, for had it once done so, in all probability the whole place would have fallen.

With sunset came a change of wind to the south, and anxious crowds gathered towards nightfall on the summits of Batman’s Hill and the Flagstaff Reserve to note with awe and wonder the red glare that marked the Dandenong Ranges and illuminated the whole of the northern horizon.

It was hot in South Australia and NSW too

Tom Quirks Great-grandfather was William Westgarth  who wrote several books on the era.  (Tom Quirk has articles on this site, another coming very soon.)  Here is Westgarth’s account of the Victorian 1851 bushfire:

These (hot) winds, with the violent changes by which they are terminated, are of less frequent occurrence in the adjacent colonies, but occasionally in these warmer latitudes they are exceedingly severe. At Sydney, and in the interior of New South Wales, the thermometer in the shade has been as high as 120°, and even 129° is recorded by Sturt, on the occasion of his exploring the river Macquarrie in 1827. The severest of these visitations on record, in Victoria, occurred on Thursday, the 6th February 1851, — a day ever since remembered under the designation of Black Thursday. The thermometer ranged between 100° and 110° in the verandas and other shaded parts of the dwelling-houses throughout the colony. The country, exceedingly dry from a long cessation of rain, took fire in many directions, —the flames overrunning the grass, spreading among the trees with frightful avidity, and occasioning the loss of much property. Similar weather was experienced at the same time in the colonies of South Australia and New South Wales.

William Westgarth, Victoria; late Australia Felix. 1853

A different book of William Westgarth tells us that as news filtered through of raging fires, at least one trader (with advance warning) increased flour prices by 30% immediately. Westgarth also recalls that fires and drought were common.

In town we did not hear of much that day, although reports came from time to time of sinister-looking signs from the surrounding interior, whence an unusual haze or thick mist seemed to rise towards the cloudless sky.

Some few, however, who were more active than others in their trading or gossiping movements, became aware in the afternoon, or perhaps were favoured with the news as a secret, that Dr. Thomson had ridden posthaste from Geelong to Alison and Knight, our early and leading millers and flour factors, to warn them that the whole country was in flames, with incalculable destruction of cereals and other products; whereupon the said firm at once raised the price of flour thirty per cent.

The Doctor had certainly earned a good fee on that occasion, and we must hope that he got it.
There has never been, throughout Australia, either before or since, such a day as Victoria’s Black Thursday, and most likely, or rather most certainly, it will never, to its frightful extent, occur again; for every year, with the spread of occupation, brings its step in the accumulation of protectives.

Still these fires are a terrible and frequent evil, and even if the towns and settlements are safe, the destruction of the grand old forests is deplorable, and ere very many years will be, indeed, most sadly deplored.

He describes also, with equal life, those dangerous forest fires, which are so especially frequent during the ever-recurring ordeals of drought, of which he had a fair sample at the time of his visit. Only think of eight miles of forest burnt in one fire which he witnessed, and such fires frequent occurrences! ”

Source and reference:     Historical data exrtacted from:  Personal Recollections of Early Melbourne and Victoria
Author: William Westgarth 1815 - 1889

 There are hints that Aboriginal people did not consider the thick smoke unusual:

Source:   From the “Melbourne Herald” Newspaper February 1883, The Black Thursday of Port Phillip by Garryowen, An Eye – Witness

One gentleman told us that in unsaddling his horse he actually could not see the animal while he was standing close beside it. …… For the smoke – which, carried by the north winds from the burning forests on the ranges over the plains below, totally intercepted the sun’s light- was so high as scarcely to be perceived by the smell, and to produce none of that suffocating sensation which might have been expected ; and hence few conjectured the real cause of the sudden darkness in which they were enveloped.”

” Some of the Gippsland aborigines, who had acquired a small smattering of the English vocabulary from their intercourse with white men, accounted for the physical phenomenon in a very matter of fact way, by sagely wagging their curly heads and declaring that ” bright fellow ( pointing to the sun ) had got the blight in his eye, ” It appears that the obfuscation of the sun by smoke from distant bushfires was regarded as a natural phenomenon by the Australian aborigines, but some of the early European settlers of Gippsland at first believed that this darkness was caused by an unearthly aberration.


 Argus Feb 8 1851

EDWARD RIVER.

[FROM A CORRESPONDENT]

The weather for some days past, has been op- pressively hot. Crab-holes, water-holes, and even creeks, (with slight exceptions), are dried up. One of these exceptions is the Barratta, which has many deep places, not likely to fail during the present calamitous drought. The extensive runs on the Billibong mid Yaucoo have been entirely abandoned, after great numbers of sheep had perished. The flocks have been driven away, in some instances, to great distances. ‘to obtain the necessary supplies of water and even where this is found, feed is frequently scarce, and not really more than will sustain the flock in mere existence. The prospect in many districts, for the long drought before the Settlers is most dreary. [I've edited this garbled OCR text - Jo]

The details of some stories did not come out until the Monday after Black Thursday and make for gripping, if melancholy reading. I find myself wondering what became of poor Richard McLelland who lost his wife, all five children and his house. I hope there was some joy…

Half of the sufferers in Kilmore declined organized aid:

Could we imagine people turning away a donation today?

Thursday Feb 20, 1851 Argus, Melbourne

“On Saturday evening, at the same place a committee meeting was held, when it was announced that seven out of fifteen sufferers declined the aid proffered, having friends from whom they could derive assistance. It was then decided that the committee should commence their labours on Monday the 17th instant. I should have remarked that at the preliminary meeting, it was resolved that “parties having claims against the sufferers should be requested either to cancel them or that they should stand over to an indefinite period.” The chairman stated that all current accounts in his book against these parties would be canceled, and upon that statement I know that he has acted to the extent of 50 pounds.”

After the fires the heat continued:

 ”the heat continued until June, and no rain fell until July and August. Food and water became scarce in every district, and great number of stock perished. For two months preceding Black Thursday, the country had been under the influence of hot winds. Everything was in a manner baked.

“…the north wind was so fierce that the thick smoke reached northern Tasmania…”

Craigieburn Historical Interest Group

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Heat and fires from when CO2 was "ideal": Black Thursday, 1851, 8.9 out of 10 based on 61 ratings

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110 comments to Heat and fires from when CO2 was “ideal”: Black Thursday, 1851

  • #
    philjourdan

    The most interesting aspect of that summer (at least in my mind) is that is generally acknowledged to be the end of the LIA. So at least in some parts of the world, it was not cold.

    Imagine that. Global conditions are variable, and apparently that Yamal tree was not affected by the heatwave in Oz.

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    • #

      that is generally acknowledged to be the end of the LIA

      So if it ever gets that bad again it could mean we are headed back into another little ice age.

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  • #
    Bulldust

    O/T but johnathon Green is fanning the flames at (someone else’s) ABC:

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-10-31/green-does-climate-politics-need-people-power/5059296

    The earth’s climate is galloping towards irreversible tipping points that will change, well, everything: all our possibilities, all our realities.

    If we don’t arrest that change we will need to embrace a fundamentally altered, potentially far less habitable, far less stable, far less productive version of our world. Quite soon.

    At what point does this man just get laughed out of the conversation in general? He’s lost the plot (that’s assuming he ever had it…)

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    • #
      Bulldust

      Let’s see if this post makes it:

      So we are to believe the “”Climate Authority”" (deserves double scary quotes), because it is largely made up of individuals whose livelihoods depend on the flow of climate science government funding to further their careers.

      Look at he scary models!!1!one Don’t worry that the global average temperature (even assuming that is a meaningful or even representative statistic) hasn’t changed significantly in over a decade despite all the CO2 emissions. The models! They be scary! Woe betide anyone who ignores them…

      Really makes me wish I had more influence over how my tax dollars are spent. The waste is quite alarming … the climate science not so much.

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    • #
      Brian G Valentine

      And ere I thought that “tipping point” nonsense went out with such clichés as “paradigm” and “value-added.”

      Jonathan isn’t overly worried about credibility this week, is he.

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    • #
      Bulldust

      If I ever meet Johnathon Green I think I will channel Captain Mal Reynolds:

      “Well my days of not taking you seriously are certainly coming to a middle.”

      Dang I miss that show.

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      • #
        Brian G Valentine

        Small wonder why a “visit” by the likes of Bill McKibben is given any “public broadcasting” publicity at all.

        The stupid and useless seem to find value only in the stupid and useless, unsurprisingly.

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      • #
        Davet Trimble

        Just sic Zoe on him. She is such a joy to watch while she works.

        d

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    • #
      Bulldust

      Seems the ABC is suckling hard at the Climate Authority test today:

      http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-10-31/steketee-australia-to-fall-further-behind-on-climate-action/5060418

      My response:

      Well shutting down our unprofitable car industry will force us to buy those wonderfully fuel-efficient foreign cars. By your reckoning that’ll be a win-win.

      Got to love how the impression is given that other countries are racing ahead of Australia in legislation to abate CO2 emissions. Funny, I seem to remember a conservative government getting in a few years back in Canada and canning their version og the ETS. I am sure there are other examples.

      China is opening a coal-firfed power plant every week, or thereabouts… strangely that doesn’t get a mention either. This article paints a world far removed from reality.

      So I assume the ABC will diligently provide balance to the two Climate Authority articles pushed down our throats today with commentary from a climate realist? Maybe a dose of Bob Carter, or at least Bjorn Lomborg?

      Haha, who am I kidding. Copied elsewhere, because the ABC has already “moderated” several posts today…

      What about you Jo? Think they’ll give you virtual column inched to talk about reality rather than the CAGW dreaming? Yeah, I am not holding my breath either.

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    • #
      Macha

      I could not believe my eyes when I saw this online.
      http://www.news.com.au/technology/environment/simple-points-about-climate-change/story-fnjwvztl-1226750488131

      A so Callie’s ten point lesson in reality of CAGW.

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      • #
        Heywood

        Did you see the source they used for the ‘information’??

        Straight from the cartoonist’s opinion blog. Where is Michael the Activist to whinge about the source of this data? Oh, it supports his argument so fair play then.

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    • #
      cohenite

      I used to think Green was in touch with reality about this but that quote [I will no longer go or participate at the ABC and particularly the Conversation [the oxymoron of the year]] from Green shows he is in some bad mental place.

      I believe he genuinely believes; at this level AGW is some sort of collective middle class psychological crisis; its like a personal existential awareness of their own fragility has morphed into a solution which depends on their vicarious alignment with this false threat to the world and if they can ‘solve’ it then their own personal fears will be allayed.

      The psychology of the alarmists has always been the issue here despite the attempts by the alarmists through such people as Lewandowsky to attribute scepticism with a particular political stance.

      Wouldn’t it be funny if the likes of Green and other alarmists are sustained by an emotional pathology which is nothing more than a fear of death or non-existence? Are you laughing?

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  • #

    20 years later it was Peshtigo’s turn. It happened in mid-autumn (an October fire!) in 1871, at the very same time as the Great Chicago Fire and Great Michigan Fire. Regional conditions on October 8, even into Canada, were about as dire as they could be, yet…Look, ma, no co2!

    I don’t expect the likes of Adam Bandt to grasp the implications of the 1851 and 1871 fires. Many Greens work at a disadvantage in calculating heat and humidity and this should make us more understanding and accommodating toward them. Many are observed wearing scarves in midsummer, especially the males.

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    • #
      Kevin Lohse

      “Many are observed wearing scarves in midsummer, especially the males.”

      Is that a signal to female Greens that they’re in breeding condition?

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  • #
    Oliver K. Manuel

    Thank you, Joanne Nova, for pointing out the absurdity of government propaganda.

    The lingering question: Where are the politicians who previously represented the public while in office?

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  • #
    pat

    so glad u posted this, jo, cos it reminded me to post the following:

    heard this on BBC Radio – a nice, little feel-good story:

    24 Oct: BBC: Giant mirrors used to light Norwegian town in shadow
    Giant mirrors have been set up on a mountainside in Norway, reflecting sunlight into the valley below, to light the town square.
    The sides of the valley are so steep and the mountain so high that the town was in shadow for almost half the year until the new invention was added…
    In the past they got some sunshine by taking a cable car to the top of the mountain but now the reflected light has brightened up the town centre.
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/newsround/24655612

    Guardian manages to turn this cute story into a gothic horror, of sorts:

    25 Oct: Guardian: Jonathan Jones: Is stealing sun in the Norwegian town of Rjuken playing with fire?
    Artist Martin Andersen’s giant mirrors have brought light to a dark town in Norway, but our exact need for the sun is enigmatic
    This town buried in a deep valley never gets any direct natural light in winter, when the northern sun is too low in the sky to get past its walls of rock. Until now. The mirrors are the brainchild of Martin Andersen, an artist who moved to Rjukan 10 years ago. His “heliostats” reflect this pool of sunlight on to the town square 365 days a year, keeping the sun in town even in the darkest winter…
    Our exact need for the sun is enigmatic and complex. Dark and light are both part of our lives and our minds. Perhaps, in meddling with these ancient forces, the little town of Rjukan is after all following in the dangerous footsteps of Archimedes and his burning mirrors. We don’t know how the sun shapes us and we cannot control our strange relationship with it, the greatest love affair in any of our lives.
    http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2013/oct/25/norwegian-town-rjuken-stealing-sun

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    • #
      Graeme No.3

      The town of Viganella in Italy did this in 2006. Due to the mountains the town did not get direct sunlight for 83 days a year in Winter. To remedy this, in November 2006 the town set up a giant mirror with adjustable, computer-controlled orientation on the mountainside, consisting of 14 sheets of steel which together are 8 m wide and 5 m high.

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    • #
      mc

      25 Oct: Guardian: Jonathan Jones: Is stealing sun in the Norwegian town of Rjuken playing with fire?

      and here i was, thinking that having a skylight in my kitchen ceiling was all innocent and honky dory! 100 lashes with the cat-o-nine tails for me for stealing sunlight.

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    • #
      PhilJourdan

      Rjuken…This town buried in a deep valley never gets any direct natural light in winter

      One wonders why the settled the town in the first place.

      20

  • #
    Tim

    In 1939, the heatwave across south eastern Australia killed more than 400 people, and set bushfires raging across millions of hectares. The fires reached their peak on Friday 13 January 1939 – ‘Black Friday’, with temperatures reaching up to 107.4ºF (41.889ºC)

    Most human-caused carbon dioxide emissions have occurred since 1950.

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  • #
    mmxx

    Great site, Jo!

    The global saturation coverage by the media hordes of the 21st century can help explain the ease with which climate alarmism has become prevalent.

    Together with access to the internet, we all have much more awareness of weather related events anywhere on earth now than at any time in the history of dispersed humankind.

    This makes it so easy for true believers to attempt to link a CAGW claim with any extreme weather events (singly or aggregated) anywhere on earth.

    It is likely that those devastating fires in the 19th and early 20th centuries in Australia did not get much, if any, media coverage internationally.

    Contrast that to the recent Blue Mountains’ fires.

    Gullible minds are more easy to persuade that weather-related events are “unprecedented” when deluged by sensational coverage by a ravenous and competitive media.

    It is the extent of media global coverage that is unprecedented.

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  • #
    crakar24

    Well i dont know Jo, according to this data the co2 levels in 1851 where upwards of 350ppm. Can anyone here state for the record what exactly is the ideal level of co2?

    http://www.tech-know-group.com/papers/180_years_of_chemical_CO2_measurements.pdf

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    • #
      Olaf Koenders

      Crakar, I’d say that depends on where it’s measured. I’ve read that modern decades of an ice core sample are difficult to obtain data from. Besides, CO2 isn’t globally uniform so splicing data from Antarctica onto data from Mauna Loa is quite useless in determining a trend.

      I’m trying to use the “image” button here but in case it don’t work, here’s the link:

      http://www.cnes.fr/automne_modules_files/standard/public/p8325_13a25e3093a7945cede7f77140407ed6403382main_portalBigPollution.png

      40

    • #
      Olaf Koenders

      Jo – What’s wrong with the “image” button?



      Sorry, sometimes it’s works, and sometimes its is delayed until the commenter speaks up and then I or the mods fix it. I wish I knew. _ Jo

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    • #
      WhaleHunt Fun

      Many plants will be suited by over a thousand ppm. Are you thinking of what is best as a compromise for all life or are you thinking only of what’s best for animals. The answer will depend on what you wish to thrive, and what you don’t.
      There is a strong argument that whichever is the level most injurious to Greens will be the level that is best for intelligent life.

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  • #
    pat

    crakar24 -

    ask the “experts”:

    30 Oct: BusinessSpectator: Higher emissions target in line with science: council
    By a staff reporter
    The Australian Climate Council has backed the Climate Change Authority’s report calling for higher emissions reductions targets.*…
    “If we fail to reduce our emissions adequately the economic impacts will be profound. We have to recognise this is an issue that will affect long term planning decisions for our economy and environment,” Gerry Hueston, a councillor who was formerly chief executive of BP Australasia, said…
    “International action, particularly from the US and China is moving faster than was expected just a few years ago.
    “Without stepping up to do our bit Australia could lag behind the world.
    http://www.businessspectator.com.au/news/2013/10/30/policy-politics/higher-emissions-target-line-science-council

    30 Oct: BusinessSpectator: Tristan Edis: 5% not good enough – Climate Authority
    http://www.businessspectator.com.au/article/2013/10/30/renewable-energy/5-not-good-enough-climate-authority

    10

    • #
      WhaleHunt Fun

      BP is a laughingstock. It’s loopy Euro shareholders want an oil company to be green -ROFL – and they became one of the biggest players in the solar cell industry, and exited with losses everyone could see coming. China mopped the toilet with them. Now we get greenie admonishments from a bunch of incompetents that could not run a pipe in Alaska without dumping crude all over, and could not hire a contractor to drill a hole, admittedly deep off-shore, without dumping large amounts into the Gulf – this lot are lecturing us on how to be sustainable and responsible.
      All the credibility of a peer-reviewed paper from East Anglia.

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  • #
    pat

    response to the “experts”:

    Japan considers weakening 2020 emissions target: media
    BEIJING, Oct 30 (Reuters Point Carbon) – Japan is considering a new climate target that would allow its greenhouse gas emissions to remain near current levels to 2020, weakening its international commitment to tackling climate change, according to media reports…
    http://www.pointcarbon.com/news/1.2706342?&ref=searchlist

    25 Oct: InternationalBusinessTimes: Canada’s 2020 Carbon Emissions Target: Epic Fail
    Environment Canada said on its Web site the country will emit an additional 734 megatonnes carbon output 2020 versus the 701 megatonnes in 2011 when in fact it committed to reduce by 17 per cent by 2020 its carbon emissions from 2005 levels, as part of the 2009 Copenhagen Accord…
    Overall, between 2005 and 2020, Canada’s carbon emissions will rise by 38 per cent, courtesy of its oil and gas industry…
    (FUNDING FROM SHELL, TIDES FOUNDATION ETC) Pembina Institute analyst P.J. Partington believed matters can still be saved if Canada will commit to a strong political will…
    http://au.ibtimes.com/articles/516739/20131025/canada-carbon-emissions.htm

    28 Oct: BusinessSpectator: NZ on track to miss (emissions) targets by huge margin
    New Zealand’s greenhouse gas emissions are set to rise nearly 50 per cent by 2040, according to new government modelling, taking the country well off course to meet its commitment to cut emissions in half by mid-century.*…
    http://www.businessspectator.com.au/news/2013/10/28/policy-politics/nz-track-miss-targets-huge-margin

    China’s anti-pollution drive risks running out of gas
    BEIJING, Oct 30 (Reuters) – A chronic shortage of natural gas is hurting China’s plan to move away from burning coal to heat homes and offices, raising the prospect of more choking air pollution this winter and beyond…
    http://www.pointcarbon.com/news/reutersnews/1.2706234?&ref=searchlist

    shame on the media who constantly provide our “experts” space to wrongly claim australia will be left behind if we don’t cut even more of our carbon dioxide emissions

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    • #
      crakar24

      Thanks for the links Pat and as usual (expected) they dont state what the level actually is and this is the corner stone of the scam.

      Bear with me here, if co2 is now 400ppm and is considered a pollution but we know at some level it cannot be pollution otherwise all the plants wil die (gas of life) then there must be a threshold level where co2 goes from being the gas of life to pollution. What i want to know is what is that threshold?

      For the sake of argument lets say it is 300ppm (bum pluck number) at 301ppm co2 morphs into pollution so we need to reduce co2 by 100ppm. If we have a number like this then we can actually calculate how much co2 emissions we need to reduce.

      Because we dont have a threshold number this allows the green bots like the morons here (Gee i wonder who i am referring to) to spruik all sorts of claims like

      We need a 25% target reduction…..why? If we reduce our emissions by 25% what will the global co2 levels be in 5, 10, 20 years from now????????? Is this the threshold or just some arbitary bum pluck by some socialist banker?

      I suspect the target % has been calculated not on how many degrees of warming we will forestall but purely on the required profit margin of the money junkies, thats why they always use smoke and mirrors to come up with imaginary targets.

      What a joke

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      • #
        Olaf Koenders

        Considering CO2 was some 8000ppm in the past without adverse effects (the Carboniferous, where much of our coal came from massive forests fuelled by that CO2) and, that animals start to get headaches at 50,000ppm (5% atmosphere), I think we’re pretty safe for some time.

        O.T. but reminds me of the movie Prometheus, where it was stated that the 3% atmospheric CO2 on the alien planet would kill you in 2 minutes without a suit! Hmm.. Easy to see that James Cameron had some input there.

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        • #
          Graeme No.3

          Sorry Olaf: the Carboniferous was similar to our time with CO2 around 350-400 ppm. Warmer at times but also a number of cold times.

          You may be thinking of the Cambrian (4500-7000ppm) when there was an explosion of life or the following Ordivician (4000ppm) with an Ice Age, or the Silurian or Devonian (2200ppm) when life colonised the land. All lasting tens of million years.

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      • #
        Speedy

        Crakar

        As you know, CO2 used to be a tad higher than it is today – let’s say about 7000 ppm during the Carbonaceous Era. And you know what happened? The trees grew. And the world didn’t end.

        Anybody know why these clowns reckon it’s going to fall over at 400?

        Cheers,

        Speedy

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        • #
          Olaf Koenders

          Just wait until it gets higher Speedy, then there will be a 450.org. These slippery frauds keep moving the goalposts and grabbermint is in full support for the cash it generates.

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          • #
            AndyG55

            If they start a 450.org..

            I might start a “Towards 900ppm” site :-)

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            • #
              Rereke Whakaaro

              Having a part interest in a farm that produces grass-fed Angus beef, I would be very keen to see 900ppm. It would save us a fortune in fertiliser, and probably make the meat taste better, as well.

              We are already doing our bit towards 900ppm by air-freighting our produce to Hong Kong. ;-)

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              • #
                Geoff Sherrington

                Hmmmm CO2 fertiliser only works if all other growth nutrients are not limiting. e.g. if you do not have enough P or K or Mo or whatever available for growth, then in theory CO2 will not help.
                People use the bucket with holes analogy. The water will only fill to the level of the lowest hole. Plug that and you can add more water, etc etc.

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    • #
      DavidH

      Just noticed this on the BBC website: Report suggests ‘permanent slowdown’ in CO2 emissions.

      Global emissions of carbon dioxide may be showing the first signs of a “permanent slowdown” in the rate of increase.

      Kinda the opposite of Pat’s links. Well, never mind, the Climate Change argument usually involves black being equated to white.

      Still it “reminds” me (not being quite old enough to remember it first-hand) of Richard Nixon saying that the rate of increase of inflation was decreasing, noted at the time that it was “the first time a sitting president used the third derivative to advance his case for reelection.” Obama take note!

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  • #
    John F. Hultquist

    History is a source of inconvenient facts for the CAGW crowd. North America has had many fires, so just one example, namely the “Big Blowup” being the major event of the 1910 fires:
    http://www.foresthistory.org/ASPNET/Publications/region/1/1910_fires/sec1.htm

    The first newspaper clipping is for a Thursday!

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  • #
    llew Jones

    The true believing alarmist cheer leaders regularly claim that the science is far too complex and difficult for non specialists to understand so we must accept that the “scientists” know what they are talking about.

    However one needs no specialist knowledge to understand the vital significant of weather event history that shows severe weather events such as the 1851 bushfires occurred when the atmospheric CO2 concentration was at about the same level as it was prior to the Industrial Revolution. For anyone with half a brain that should destroy the whole alarmist anthropogenic global warming scientific edifice as history negates the “science”.

    The climate scientists are either fools or lying bastards and their cheer leaders are monumental pisswits.

    (For those who have taken the time to look at the science it clearly postulates that CO2, no matter how great the mass of the human emissions, without a positive feedback from water vapour, cannot, repeat cannot significantly warm the planet. At this stage the science does not know whether that feedback is net negative or neutral. It is unlikely to be positive given the very small increase in global temperature since the IR and the last 15 or so years when there has been no significant increase in global temperature.)

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  • #

    While it’s extraordinary how the recent fires were portrayed as “early” (think October 1951, just for starters), I checked out conditions for the 1895 fires which ravaged northern NSW – on late August!

    Late winter/ spring is the classic fire season for much of our state, and nothing about climate extremes and climate change in the 1890s should surprise. It was a ride, that decade! However the rainfall for my part of the world, which lies south of the scene of the 1895 fires, reveals something which would send the klimatariat ballistic if it occurred now. In 1895 we had our wettest month on the record by far, with well over half a metre in January. (This is all still official, by the way.) Then, for the 4 months between May and August, we had our driest winter by far, with less then 3mm falling for those 4 months!

    Massive fuel, parching drought…Just add one of those 3 day August westerlies, eh?

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  • #
    Brian G Valentine

    This does make me wonder about peculiarly hot weather.

    Evidently a cold air mass above the hot surface air prevents the hot air from rising, but what are the conditions that cause this inversion in the first place?

    10

    • #
      Olaf Koenders

      Brian, this is probably due to winds at differing altitudes. It can be a nice calm day on the ground, but the clouds are whizzing past overhead. At altitude the air’s colder so a bubble of warm air can be trapped on the surface.

      I’ve often seen 2 layers of cloud above go in different directions.

      10

    • #
      Geoffrey Cousens

      It’s called a temperature inversion.

      10

  • #
    Sunray

    Thank you Jo, the Free To Air TV Weather Presenters seemed to be bursting at the seams declaring almost daily “records” and “unprecedented” combinations of days and dates. I got to the point where I expected to hear a scolding like, “This is the hottest and driest and windiest day on this date on record, except for the day before yesterday!”. Dont ya just luv computer games.

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    • #
      Lawrie

      I wrote to our local station, NBN, in Newcastle when Gavin, the weather guy showed the photo of water around the North Pole remote camera. I pointed him to the article in WUWT the following day which ridiculed the photo as a beat up. The NP was not ice free as Gavin claimed but there was surface water on the ice. I also asked why he didn’t refer to the fact that on that day a new record for Antarctic ice extent had been recorded. The letter was sent on 13 August and so far no answer or acknowledgement. NBN make sure you have to send a proper letter as there is no email contact and they even avoid a complaint section on their web site. Yep. They are all of the faith and are very reticent to let their listeners know the good news. Must have shares in solar or wind.

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    Olaf Koenders

    The conditions were unprecedented in living memory..

    These days, “living memory” seems to be only about 20 years, if not less. Half the population can’t remember the basics of photosynthesis and want to suffocate the vegetation that keeps everything alive by impossibly expensive CO2 sequestration.

    Thems sure are sum smart peeps!

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  • #
    Yonniestone

    The Warnambool conditions are astounding, we lived there for a year and even on the hot summer days you could always rely on the afternoon cool SW breeze for some relief, I suppose the CAGW there could have been from cattle and rotting potato’s. ;)

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    • #
      crakar24

      Ah the “Lady Bay” now that brings back memories,

      Thanks Yonnie

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      • #
        Yonniestone

        Wow it does!, people don’t realize the Lady Bay Hotel had some of the biggest names play there, after a wild night out you could walk (stagger) back to Surfside 1 or 2 caravan park, great times. :)

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  • #
    Dave

    Flannery & Steffen start to do what they do best.

    Spending money and the million will be gone soon.

    1. Chief Operating Officer COO. (Maybe Peter Garett)
    2. Head of Communications HOC. (Maybe Greg Combet)
    3. Research Manager RM. (Maybe Tristan Edis)

    The new appointments will be interesting, can’t see the Greedy Green Parasites wanting a small salary to save the world from CAGW.

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    • #
      Olaf Koenders

      I can’t wait for this scam to be fully revealed and Flim Flam’s private backers want a refund.

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  • #
    Fox from Melbourne

    “The year 1851 and CO2 is 287ppm in Law Dome Antarctica. The climate is perfect”

    287ppm Carbon dioxide isn’t the perfect level of Co2 is actually around the lowest know levels of it in the last 4 Billion Years and the productivity of the globe Eco system is greatly handicapped by it been so low. Forget the Climate and think about the living systems that support life on this planet. The Scientific theory of the Grandfather paradox provide proof that the Globe warming theory is wrong. How well in the last thirty five years since the theory was proposed we have done a lot of research into the past. Finding out that the past atmospheric Co2 level were much higher than today. If the Globe Warming theory is right then how come were here. Think about it. If a few extra hundred parts per million is going to end the world as we know and were all going to die because of it. Then why are we still here because in the past the Earth atmosphere had levels in the tens of thousands of parts per million and in the distant past Co2 made up more than 2/3′s of our planes atmosphere. The Earth did develop a run away Greenhouse effect and end up like Venus back then. If it did we wouldn’t be here debating it now would we. The scientific discovery’s of the last 3 and half decades provide the very proof that this theory is wrong. It also provides evidence that the earths past Eco systems were much more productive and was able to support much higher level of density of plant and animal life. The very proof of this is literally written in stone. Think about were all those Fossil Fuels come from the distance past when the Biosphere was so productive with atmospheric levels of Co2 in the thousand and tens of thousands parts per million. Productive enough that so much life could exist and so much of it could end up forming the very fossil fuels that the environmentalist won’t us to stop using. With shrinking habitats the creatures that live in them need them to be as productive as possible to produce as much food as possible to support their population as possible. For this to happen you need all 4 ingredient of the food diamond in ample quantity’s. Sun light, water, Co2 and Nitrogen. Just like the fire triangle take one ingredient away and you can’t have fire, with the food diamond without one ingredient missing there is no food. With a shortage of one of these four ingredients there is less food produce as possible. Think of a drought. Less water less food for the animals live in drought effected areas. We are in a Carbon drought, and there is less food of everything to eat. So less food, less population, less habitat, less life. Just have a look at Jo’s story about how the extra Co2 in the atmosphere made the desserts green, blooming into a life and food for the creatures that live there in the middle of a drought to may I say.
    http://joannenova.com.au/2013/06/arid-regions-of-the-world-are-11-greener-thanks-to-co2/
    More Co2 equals more habitat more food and more life. Not the end of the world but a better living world with more life just as it has already done so in the past. As is written in stone beneath your very feet. Isn’t that more important than worrying about a few hundredth of a degree. The weather is the weather life is much more important isn’t it? Life thrived in the past with hundreds to thousands of times more Co2 in the atmosphere and if it was so dangerous and destructive then it would of died out and we wouldn’t be here now just as the Grandfather paradox theory predicts. Now wouldn’t we ?

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  • #
    Michael the Realist

    Such a pathetic and desperate attempt to minimise what we are doing to the global climate. We have had our hottest 12 months (twice), warmest month, warmest september, hottest summer, hottest day etc… http://www.bom.gov.au/climate/change/ Coincidentally we have also had a remarkably early and vicious start to our bushfire season. Our Prime Minister doesn’t see a link, lol, making us the laughing stock around the world.

    While there has been some really good attribution studies that have determined that certain events (Europe heat wave 2003, Russian heat wave 2010) were so outside natural variability that they could not have happened without climate change, I think they miss the main point. The climate reacts to forcings upon it. These are many, sun, volcanos, ocean cycles, planetary orbit etc and now also increasing greenhouse gases due to mans emissions. Every weather event is influenced by all forcings on the general climate. We are living in a warming world due to man, this means more energy available, more water vapor and changing dynamics as the ocean, atmosphere and land all heat at different rates and weather is dependent on these different gradients. So weather will change as climate changes. If the climate in a particular region like Eastern Australia gets warmer and is prone to drought and heat waves then it will get more drought and heat waves. More drought and heatwaves increase the conditions that bushfires love to occur within, regardless of how they get started. Listening to the debate and our politicians on television just makes me wonder whatever happened to common sense.

    Some other significant changes to ponder would also be the changing gradients of the Arctic jetstream as the Arctic is warming faster than the climate on the other side of the jetstream. This makes it more unpredictable and variable. Studies have found this has mucked up Europe and northern hemisphere weather in general, which those that deny the science point to as proof of lack of warming. It is all very sad really.

    Some attribution links

    American Meteoroligical Society
    Explaining Extreme Events of 2011 from a Climate Perspective
    http://journals.ametsoc.org/doi/full/10.1175/BAMS-D-12-00021.1

    The New Climate Dice: Public Perception of Climate Change
    http://www.giss.nasa.gov/research/briefs/hansen_17/

    On the warming Arctic and NH climate
    http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2012/02/17/1114910109.abstract

    Climate report on the 2001 – 2010 decade from the WMO
    “The world experienced unprecedented high-impact climate extremes during the 2001-2010 decade, which was the warmest since the start of modern measurements in 1850 and continued an extended period of pronounced global warming.
    http://www.wmo.int/pages/mediacentre/press_releases/pr_976_en.html

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      Olaf Koenders

      Coincidentally we have also had a remarkably early and vicious start to our bushfire season.

      Micheal The Unreal, you great magician, you’re pulling rabbits out your hat (a$$) again. We’ve had fires as early as August.

      We are living in a warming world due to man

      Can you prove that? Doubt it. Just saying it doesn’t make it true and no scientist has any actual evidence that Man’s CO2 causes anything about “weather” or even regional climate.

      the Arctic is warming faster than the climate on the other side of the jetstream. This makes it more unpredictable and variable. Studies have found this has mucked up Europe and northern hemisphere weather in general, which those that deny the science point to as proof of lack of warming. It is all very sad really.

      The Arctic has some 60% more ice than last year, so that’s bunk. There’s always a difference on sides of a jetstream and most countries living under this turbulent area such as England, suffer high winds and unpredictable weather.

      Yes, your lack of basic knowledge is very sad really. You just bomb in some idiotic verbiage and think you’ve made the case for something you have no solid evidence for from the start? Amazing. Go back to Goddard’s site again, see if he’s banned you yet.

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      Olaf Koenders

      I’ll add that you should practice what you preach. Turn off your lights and computer, sell your car (bicycles also cost CO2 to manufacture), clothes, Tasmanian Oak dresser and go crawl into a cave. If you’re THAT afraid of CO2 – Stop inhaling, you hypocrite.

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    • #

      Salvador the surrealist says here:

      It is all very sad really.

      Hey, you’re the only one here who is sad. Go somewhere and be sad on your own will you.

      Tony.

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      Rereke Whakaaro

      The vaporous twit prattles on about hottest temperature since the Ark grounded, and then references a BOM article that is talking about deviation from a ten year mean. I guess he doesn’t do numbers.

      But he does do logical fallacies very well. He has a knack for packing them in, that is quite impressive.

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      AndyG55

      “a pathetic and desperate attempt’

      That is YOU to a tee !!

      A pathetic and ignorant piece of non-entity.

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      MemoryVault

      .
      Once again the Master Baiter is feeling lonely and unloved.
      Once again he shows up here looking for attention, spouting his nonsensical, quasi-religious, many-times discredited gobbedly-gook.
      Once again half our regulars fall over themselves to ensure the Master Baiter gets all the attention he needs and craves.

      .
      Pathetic really.

      How many times are you guys gonna retell this moron that:

      * – It’s not getting warmer,
      * – Even if it was, there’s no established connection to human activities,
      * – The ice is not melting any quicker,
      * – There has been no increase in “extreme” weather events (in fact, there has been a decrease),

      Before you realise he’s simply not listening.
      He’s a fanatical religious fruitcake who only comes here to proselytize his version of the Gospel, not to actually debate anything, or to respond to anything as mundane as mere observable facts.

      .
      Just ignore the cretin and eventually he will go away.

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      Heywood

      Same repetitive links. Same bull$hit argument. Still too stupid to realise WE DON’T CARE WHAT HE THINKS. *Yawn*

      ——————————————————————————————————————————————————

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      Danielle

      Loved the interview on ABC classic FM with Phil Cheney who has been studying bushfires for nearly 50 years. Margaret Throsby asks,’are we experiencing worse bushfires in Australia than we did 50 or 60 years ago?”. To which Phil replies, “No, quite categorically no.” Further on Margaret asks, “alot of people think this is first and foremost due to climate change, do you agree?” to which Phil replies, “No, no I don’t”. I’m with Phil, ’cause I’m thinking he knows a bit more about these things than say Adam Bandt or Al Gore.

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      Olaf Koenders

      Here’s something a bit more realistic Michael:

      http://taylorempireairways.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/12/noaa_gisp2_icecore_anim_hi-def3.gif

      ..and Hansen’s lies:

      http://stevengoddard.wordpress.com/2010/09/24/correlating-temperature-with-co2

      ..and:

      http://sppiblog.org/news/bp-greenpeace-the-big-oil-jackpot

      Now Michael, if you took all your “catastrophic” temp rise and plot it in whole degrees (something we might actually feel), it’s a straight line (probably using Hansen’s upjusted (tampered) data:

      http://suyts.files.wordpress.com/2013/02/image266.png

      You’re pushing an ideology that people have murder-suicided their families over.

      http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/southamerica/argentina/7344329/Baby-survives-parents-global-warming-suicide-pact.html

      Stop it! You’re no better than these guys:

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cult_suicide

      You try to pass off fraudulent documents from the worst scum, such as NOAA, GISS and PNAS and expect the planet to be doing what they say. You’ve had fingers in your ears the entire time. Bet you failed history, because if you dare to look you’ll find paintings of fairs on the frozen Thames during the Little Ice Age and Viking graves now in permafrost.

      Of course, fact isn’t attractive to you, just your religion. As usual, you’ll claim that all was ok until the 70′s when we changed things. Prove it.

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      handjive

      It is all very sad really.
      NOAA finds”climate change” blameless in 2010 Russian heat wave: Officially peer-reviewed & accepted.
      Another paper shows that the Russian heatwave of 2010 was due to natural variability

      FEBRUARY 26, 2013: “Global warming, despite its name, is not uniform across the planet,” lead author Vladimir Petoukhov said in a statement.

      “For instance, during Russia’s 2010 heat wave – the worst in its recorded history – wildfires spread out of control, killing dozens of people, burning down thousands of houses and threatening military and nuclear installations.

      Fellow author and PIK director Hans Joachim Schellnhuber cautioned that the 32-year period used in the study was too short for definitive conclusions.

      “The suggested physical process increases the probability of weather extremes, but additional factors certainly play a role as well, including natural variability,” he added.

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      Oh, and Salvador the Surrealist.

      You need to lift your game now.

      As you went to great pains to tell us, you’ve recently completed your 4 day correspondence course at the University of Upper Bottom, and now you have that PHD in Climate Something or other, you need to watch your Posts, as more is expected of you now that you’re a Doctor.

      In your original Comment 19, there are 4 spelling errors, two parsing errors, one context error and some other errors in English expression, so now you’re a Doctor, you’ll be needing to watch that.

      Also, just a side light. I have this arthritic condition in my knee, a front foot injury after 25 years as a fast bowler. Now you’re a Climate Doctor, could you tell me if that will get any worse as your Climate Change proceeds. I hope this question is not too difficult because there are some earlier questions (that’s plural) I asked you to address about electrical power and you just looked the other way. Well, I can understand that, because, after all, you don’t know the first thing about electrical power, so I suppose I was really hoping for too much there, but this question should be within your purview, I mean, now that you’re a Doctor and all.

      Tony.

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        Heywood

        “because, after all, you don’t know the first thing about electrical power,”

        Not true Tony! He knows exactly how to obtain the subsidy for his solar panels.

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        AndyG55

        Sounds like one of those courses where he came out knowing EVEN LESS than he knew before he attended.
        Washed his brain clean of all rational thought.

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    • #
      Geoffrey Cousens

      Micheal the t—–ist;your first paragraph is simply regurgitated , bullshit, propaganda and the international embarrassment was the Labor party.
      Your second paragraph is shrill,desperate and barely makes sense.CO2 is not a climate “forcing”agent,the activity on the surface of the sun is.The seasons are.As for any “greenhouse effect”only H2O vapor has a significant effect.Remember,”your argument” is meant to say CO2 “amplifies”[?]the H2O vapor effect[clouds].It is not so.
      The bushfires are thanks to Greenies not allowing proper maintenance of vulnerable areas,or anywhere.Agenda21!
      A storm in the arctic,last year,broke up the[abundant] sea ice into chunks so satellites couldn’t “see”it.
      The jetstream is twisting and stalling,all over the world;read Pro.Piers Corbin for real news and splendidly accurate weather forecasts.
      Go back under your rock,you should be ashamed of yourself!

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      Brian G Valentine

      It is disturbing that the drivel he writes makes sense in his own mind.

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      PhilJourdan

      Sorry about your heat, Michael. We just had our earliest hard freeze in the last 30 years. Guess some places are warm and some are cold, and on average, the globe is average.

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      Backslider

      Such a pathetic and desperate attempt to minimise what we are doing to the global climate. We have had our hottest 12 months (twice), warmest month, warmest september, hottest summer, hottest day ….. blah blah blah

      They are only the hottest because they are based on ACORN data which outrivals Hansen’s fiddled data.

      Get real.

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    Frankly Skeptical

    I’m sure Anthony Watts wouldn’t mind repeating a post made by BruceC on the 29th October for those who may not have seen it on WUWT. It goes like this – a gem:

    “Some of the country townships are not yet out of danger from destruction by flames, as this afternoon a fire broke out in the shrubbery of a house at Glebe Point, within a few minutes walk of the city. With the aid of the fire brigade it was subdued before it had a chance of spreading to any of the villas in that suburb.
    Coming down the coast from Brisbane H.M.S. Orlando, which arrived here on Saturday, was very much troubled by the dense smoke from the bushfires. “It was as bad,” said one of the officers, “as a fog in the English Channel at night ; it was impossible to see the lighthouse, and in the daytime it was equally out of the question to distinguish the coastline.”

    In Sydney the atmosphere was so obscured by smoke from countless bush fires that only a dull reddish light came from the sun. The atmosphere was most oppressive. Incoming ships report having the greatest difficulty in sighting either by day or night the entrance to Port Jackson. A steamer which had broken down and required assistance could not be discerned, although only a couple of miles off, owing to the smoky state of the air. The Government Astronomer states that there is not as yet the slightest sign of rain anywhere. On the Blue Mountains bush fires are raging in every direction, destroying fencing, burning sleepers on the railway line, and threatening homesteads. Dante’s Glen, one of the sights of tho mountain health resorts, has been completely ruined by fires.
    At Mount Victoria a boarding-house was burnt to ashes in a few minutes. Strenuous efforts are being made to save this and many other towns from total destruction. At Springwood a cottage has been destroyed. In the Hunter River district the fires are terrible. An incident here was the firing of the mailcoach, which attempted to run the gauntlet of a fire. At Stroud all the stock are being removed to spots where food is still obtainable. The whole south coast district seems aflame.
    The ocean is enveloped in smoke, and it is not visible from any great distance in shore. Bombala, Berry, Kiama, Pambula, and Wynham all complain of the devastation done by high winds and devouring bush fires.
    From the Hawkesbury district it is reported that the whole of the Kurrajong heights are ablaze. At least six houses there have been burnt to the ground, and it is feared that one lady has lost her life. From many other towns reports arrive of severe losses, and of desperate efforts being required to avoid the annihilation of townships.
    The Hawkesbury district has suffered very severely. The Kurrajong Heights have been practically devastated. One farmer, Mr. Robert Pitt, had a terrible experience, as fires encroached to within 50 yards of his homestead. His outhouses, containing his implements and stores, were destroyed; bits of fused metal or glass alone showing their old sites. Even the ashes have been blown away by the high gales.
    On the Blue Mountains the ravages of the bush fires have been very severe. Nearly all the show places have been ruined. Several homesteads have been destroyed, and the Faulcon-bridge Cemetery has been burnt out. It is reported that an unworked coal pit has caught near Hartley Vale, and altogether the condition of affairs is most serious in this district.
    The New England, Central, Northern, Rivers, and Western districts have similar tales of destruction to tell.
    Reports from country districts today give the same monotonous details of devastation by bush fires, though in some parte the flames seem to be abating. In the vicinity of Wallsend [near Newcastle] the outbreak yesterday was very serious and the upper timbers of the Wallsend colliery caught fire. With difficulty the flames were extinguished before they had time to spread to the mine.”

    BruceC comments:
    No, this not a report on the recent fires in NSW by the ABC or Sydney Morning Herald. It is a report from September 14th, 1895′

    Good post BruceC !! Someone should send this to dear old Aunty.

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    Considerate Thinker

    I wonder if Michael “who seems to have some difficulty” could follow this link.http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/10/30/how-long-before-we-reach-the-catastrophic-2c-warming/#more-96543 and have a look at the only unmolested long term temperature record – Central England Temperature, look at the warming trend line, this simple post puts the lie to any rapid or catastrophic warming over the length of that carefully monitored historical record. As the author says at that rate (if it continues)and I hope it does, it would take 800 years to reach a two celcius warming perhaps again allowing grapes tobe grown in the UK. It does send the lie home about C02, however the warmers try to twist it. Also, look at the highs and lows in that carefully maintained temperature record, a Good Doctor of anything scientific, might deduce good vibes, but then if it is doctorate of belief, I guess it will fall on deaf ears and eyes clenched shut.

    Thank goodness the molesters of science data didn’t muck around with CET but sadly they got to our Australian and New Zealand records. Fortunately the Satellite data that they could not molest/adjust, as it was out of their clutches, is not co-operating either. Yes there is sadness when a shill tries to sell a pig in a poke!!

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      Frankly Skeptical

      Indeed and that overall trend is 0.25 deg C per 100 years. It also assumes that it will get to 2 degrees warmer but that probably would not happen because it is based on model predictions that have shown to be fatally flawed. In in case hardly catastrophic. During that historical period of CET temperature record there have been irregular cyclic fluctuations due to natural variations. There is actually no unequivocal evidence of CO2 influence.

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    John F. Hultquist

    @14 Brian, Olaf, & Geoffrey

    The term ‘troposphere’ was coined to indicate that part of Earth’s atmosphere near the surface that has a natural tendency to ‘turn over.’ Warm air is more buoyant than cooler air and because the surface warms and then warms the air in contact with it, the physics of the situation will have the surface air rising. Cooler air, being less buoyant (or denser), tends to flow toward the surface. In turn it is warmed and then rises. This is the natural situation.

    Sometimes cold air gets trapped near the ground with warm air above. This is a temperature inversion and stops the turn over. This can last for days and permits very calm conditions (very little or no wind) and increasing concentration of any gases being produced (natural or human caused) within this air. This can be dangerous. For a really serious example see:
    http://www.actionpa.org/fluoride/donora-fog.html

    A related issue, and the cause of persistent rainless and hot days, is atmospheric blocking. Read about it here:
    http://www.theweatherprediction.com/blocking/

    Using a broader brush one can consider the “Hadley cell” with warm moist air rising in the intertropical convergence zone (ITCZ), dumping the moisture as air, and its heat to space as it flows pole-ward at high altitude. Then having become dry and cold it descends toward the surface. That brings on compression and increasing temperature. The return occurs in latitudes about the 30th parallels both N & S of the Equator (sometimes referred to as the Horse Latitudes – usually the wrong explanation is give for the name, but that is another story)) and produces subtropical high pressure. The air temperature at the surface can remain above that of the descending air. The resulting condition is a large area of calm surface air. This is not a continuous belt. The individual parts are sufficiently persistent that they have been given names such as “The Azores High.”

    Perhaps, Jo can get an OZ meteorologist to do a post on these topics with local examples.

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    hunter

    The AGW movement depends on historical illiteracy to keep the stories from actual events influencing how people think. The AGW promoters want the public to either not be aware of historical precedents that show modern weather is nothing exceptional, or they want the public well trained enough to ignore the history in favor of their stories.

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    Bob in Castlemaine

    Great article Jo, with the most comprehensive collection of Black Thursday 1851 reports I’ve seen. Here’s another account, it comes from a boy who lived in Melbourne in 1851, it is transcribed from “Forty Years in the Wilderness” the autobiography of John Chandler, edited by historian Michael Cannon:

    “I afterwards went to live at a lawyer’s in Little Collins Street. I had to look after his horse, and clean the office and mind it while he was away. Mr. Burnley* used to stable his horse with us. He had property there and at Richmond. Burnley is named after him.

    It was while I was here that the fearful day called Black Thursday took place. It could not be forgotten by those who were in it. All business was suspended; shops could not be opened; and everything seemed one mass of glaring fire and smoke. Ashes were falling everywhere, the wind was like the blast from a furnace; and candles had to be burned in the houses to see. Some people thought the Judgement Day had come. I felt very solemn, for I knew I was not fit to stand before His awful presence.

    I started to take my horses to water at the river. I could not see one yard before me, but had to guess my way. Directly I reached the river, the horse that I was on laid down and rolled with me on his back and half drowned me, but I managed to disengage myself. The dust, smoke and ashes were going across the water in one thick cloud, so I could see nothing. I jumped on his back and shut my eyes (for I could not keep them opened) and galloped home. Such was the intense heat that I was dry in ten minutes. I lay down in the stable for some hours, quite exhausted. If I put my head outside I could not bear the heat, I felt that I should be smothered; so I had to stop inside and let things take care of themselves.

    The desolation and distress that was all over the colony is a matter of history. All the bush between Melbourne and St. Kilda was burned, and all the ti-tree scrub along the banks of the Yarra, and all the farms around Melbourne for miles were burned. Many people were coming into town for days after, who had lost everything, cattle, horses and all, and who felt thankful that they had escaped with their lives. Men and women with families, with nothing but what they had on them, and some of that was singed with the fire. There was some lost their lives, and some had to stand in water up to their necks. O the distress was pitiful – none can know it but those who witnessed it.

    *W.B. Burnley, an early purchaser of land in Richmond.”

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    Owen Morgan

    In a blog for the UK Telegraph, Geoffrey Lean is currently crowing that Australian bushfires have already torpedoed Tony Abbott’s policies on “climate change”. I can’t say I read the piece in question, though. I did endure another of Lean’s essays in tortured logic, about three weeks ago, and I haven’t fully recovered yet. For anyone who is prepared to risk the whole bucket of bilge, it’s here:

    http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/geoffreylean/100243891/have-australias-wildfires-sent-tony-abbotts-climate-policies-up-in-smoke/

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    RoHa

    1851 was bad. So think how much worse things will be when all that extra CO2 causes even bigger fires!

    We’re doomed.

    (*It is CO2 that causes fires, isn’t it? Not excessive undergrowth plus the Army?)

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      Oliver K. Manuel

      CO2 causes fires to burn the same way H causes stars to burn.

      George Orwell had it figured out with the term, “double speak”.

      Waste products become fuel, and the people become confused.

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        Joe V.

        “Waste products become fuel”

        That’s quite possible Ollie, in the same way that some commentators don’t half talk a lot of waste products.

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      Eddie Sharpe

      As the CO2 is caused by fires , then I suppose it must be the fires that cause the fires.
      OMG another positive feedback heading for the tipping point. We’re all gonna fry.

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    mgm

    Can you post a link to your Argus quote below. I can’t find it on Trove and it does seem strange that the Argus was reporting a maximum temperature of 117 degrees when the BOM only reported a max of 99.

    “If fire had broken out in Melbourne the city would have “been lost”: Source: Argus Newspaper ( Melbourne, Vic.) Saturday 20 February 1926″

    Thanks

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      The link to the 117F temperature is in the first paragraph of the post.

      The second was copied from the Romsey site which tells us it comes from: Argus Newspaper ( Melbourne, Vic.) Saturday 20 February 1926

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    Brian Hatch

    Official temperature records in Melbourne began in 1855.A number of official stations began at that time, including Cooma although it only recorded rainfall. Melbourne’s station is still in the CBD at the corner of Latrobe and Victoria Sts. Vic St is a 6 lane highway, so what is now recorded is heat from cars, concrete and buildings.

    Also, many weather stations have been moved, notably as airports were opened in the 1930s and 40s. The BOM mantra that this is the greatest record ever usually means only the current station, with perhaps 100 years of records ignored. And airports have changed. Canberra airport was grass with a tin shed when records began there in 1939. It is now surrounded by major roads and office blocks, and a 737 puts out a lot more heat than WW2 aircraft.

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