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Australia has had megadroughts for the last thousand years says ice core study

A new study of Law Dome Ice cores tells us that droughts are common in Australia, and that there appears to be eight mega-droughts over the last thousand years, including one that lasted a whopping 39 years from 1174- 1212AD. By their reckoning the 12th Century in Australia was a shocker with 80% of it spent in drought conditions. Things weren’t so bad from 1260 – 1860, at least, as far as they can tell. The researchers are convinced theirs is the first millennial-length Australian drought record. It does seem significant.

The researchers, sensibly, think we might want to pay attention to the Pacific cycles and store a bit more water. Without fanfare the paper also suggests that droughts were worse in medieval times.

“this work suggests Australia may also have experienced mega-droughts during the Medieval period that have no modern analog. Therefore, management of water infrastructure in eastern Australia needs to account for decadal-scale droughts being a normal feature of the hydrological cycle.”

h/t to Paul Homewood at Notalotofpeopleknowthat

The ABC reported this largely as a water management story, without asking whether their past stories that blamed CO2 for droughts were less likely to be true. They also didn’t talk about how natural climate change could be worse than the current “man-made” variety.  Nor did they discuss the uncomfortable idea that if there were naturally more droughts when CO2 was ideal, perhaps the droughts now might be natural ones too? At least The Australian and Graham Lloyd put the emphasis on the idea that current droughts are par for the course.

Figure 4 (see Caption in footnote to blog).

So how does a study find droughts in Australia with a hole drilled in Antarctic ice?

A very good question — and though the study is corroborated with historic studies, and instruments in Australia as much as it can be, the bottom line is that we really need millenial proxies from Australia, but at the moment, this is the best we have. Law Dome is a spot in East Antarctica that is almost due south of Perth, Western Australia. Researchers looked at sea salt in the ice to estimate wind speed, and in this case, it means specifically winds from the Indian Ocean sector of the Southern Ocean. Those winds correlate with the strength and position of the Antarctic High and circumpolar trough (among other things). Law Dome has such good resolution they can even identify summer patterns from winter ones. The age uncertainty is ±1 y at 1000AD. It’s just flat out remarkable. Other researchers have used these sea salts as a proxy for Eastern Australia rain.

The paper also  reconstructs the IPO — the Interdecadal Pacific Oscillation (the big cousin of the PDO*) and also talks about the effect of Antarctic Rossby waves on rainfall in Australia. They used a combination of annual snowfall and sea salt to reconstruct the IPO. They combine the sea-salt rainfall proxy with the reconstructed IPO cycles to estimate when the droughts hit, and confirmed as many of these as they could with other studies.Things were dry during the medieval warm period, then wetter during the little ice age:

When the previously published LD summer sea salt rainfall proxy and the new IPO reconstructions are combined, the three major epochs (two dry – AD 1000–1260, AD  1920-2009 and one wet – AD 1260–1860) previously identified in Vance et al. [2013] are confirmed. Eight IPO positive phase mega-droughts are observed, five during the first dry epoch (Fig. 4e), and six prior to AD 1320. The longest mega-drought, of 39 y duration (AD 1174–1212), occurred at the end of a century of pronounced IPO positive drought conditions, with 80 of the 111 y period AD 1102–1212 in drought.

ABSTRACT

The Interdecadal Pacific Oscillation (IPO) influences multidecadal drought risk across the Pacific, but there are no millennial-length, high resolution IPO reconstructions for quantifying long-term drought risk. In Australia, drought risk increases in positive phases of the IPO, yet few suitable rainfall proxies and short (∼100 y) instrumental records mean large uncertainties remain around drought frequency and duration. Likewise, it is unknown whether megadroughts have occurred in Australia’s past. In this study, an atmospheric teleconnection in the Indian Ocean mid-latitudes linking East Antarctica and Australia is exploited to produce the first accurate, annually dated millenniallength IPO reconstruction from the Law Dome (East Antarctica) ice core. Combined with an eastern Australian rainfall proxy from Law Dome, the first millennial-length Australian mega-drought (>5 y duration) reconstruction is presented. Eight mega-droughts are identified including one 39 y drought (AD 1174–1212), which occurred during an unprecedented century of aridity (AD 1102–1212).

This part seems important. They appear to be quietly suggesting that Australia was “warm” in the medieval warm period, then using this to say  that droughts might get worse under future warming. They don’t entertain the thought that past warm periods and droughts have nothing to do with CO2.

Nonetheless, it is clear that this study identifies far fewer mega-droughts during the long, wetter middle epoch of AD 1260–1860. It is possible that the link between IPO positive phases and increased drought risk for eastern Australia is temperature dependent. If the medieval and recent dry epochs were warmer than the wet epoch of AD 1260–1860 (as suggested by a recent continental-scale temperature reconstruction [2k Consortium, 2013]) the IPO positive drought relationship may intensify under future warming.

This study won’t pick up droughts that happen in IPO negative times (La Nina eras)

We note that we present an IPO positive subset of the drought history of eastern Australia. However, droughts can occur at any time, a prime example being the ‘Big Dry’ or ’Millennium’ drought (1997-2009). This drought is thought to be of exceptional length and severity [Gergis et al., 2012],

 I think they are ever so quietly telling Gergis off.

CAPTION

Figure 4. (a) LD summer sea salt record-Australian Water Availability Project (AWAP)
annual (Jan-Dec) rainfall correlation for IPO positive phases (1924–41, 1979–97) (significance at
contour r=0.325, p < 0:05, unreliable data masked [Gallant et al., 2013]). M, S, T,Wdenote long
record rainfall stations [Vance et al., 2013]. (b) 13 y window sliding correlations for LD summer
sea salt-rainfall station data (p <0.0001–0.01) with blue banding showing the IPO positive phases
used to calculate AWAP and station data correlations. The instrumental IPO series is shown
(red) with 0.5 threshold (blue). (c) Timeseries of rainfall stations (black) and LD summer sea
salts (pink). (d) Independent reconstructions of the IPO (blue – Decision Tree, red – Piece-wise
linear) with IPO positive phases (>0.5 for both reconstructions) highlighted (blue banding). (e)
Annual LD summer sea salt timeseries [Vance et al., 2013] (grey) with 13 y Guassian smooth
(thick black) and drought periods (> 5 y duration, >0.5 for both IPO reconstructions) identified
(pink banding).

REFERENCE

Vance et al, Interdecadal Pacifi c variability and eastern Australian mega-droughts over the last millennium (2014) American Geophysical Union, doi: 10.1002/2014GL062447

* The IPO v the PDO: From Vance et al ” The Interdecadal Pacific Oscillation (IPO) and the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO)
are somewhat interchangeably used to describe low frequency Pacific Ocean sea surface temperature anomalies (SSTA). However the IPO differs from the PDO in that it describes the Pacific basin-wide bi-hemispheric expression of the North Pacific derived PDO [Power et al., 1999; Parker et al., 2007] Negative phases of both modes reflect La Ni˜na-like
SSTA, while positive phases appear El Ni˜no-like, and phase changes occur every 20-30 y [Mantua et al., 1997; Power et al., 1999].

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102 comments to Australia has had megadroughts for the last thousand years says ice core study

  • #
    Roy Hogue

    Just you watch. CO2 will be blamed anyway, regardless of other evidence. Of course they have no evidence that CO2 is causing any harm in the first place. But never let the truth get in the way of your cause.

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    • #
      nfw

      And don’t forget Tony Abbott!

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    • #
      Dennis

      I am reminded again about the Chinese delegation to the Copenhagen UN IPCC gathering, the delegates referred to 3,600 years of civilisation and records in China and to three warmer periods than the last (stalled 1998) during which crops flourished and people prospered.

      210

  • #
    Yonniestone

    If a 39 year drought is par for the course with ‘ideal CO2′ conditions then I’ll take our current ‘catastrophic’ levels and raise them a bit more thanks. :)

    It’s painfully obvious people selectively remember and forget information to suit their ideals, even ‘experts’ in the bush ignore long known bushfire fuel reduction practices, and people get offended when you say never trust anyone.

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    • #
      Rereke Whakaaro

      … even ‘experts’ in the bush ignore long known bushfire fuel reduction practices …

      Have you ever wondered, why a hermit traditionally lives in a cave, subsisting on nothing but water and a few berries?

      It is because they are shunned by the population, for having a better grasp on reality than most other folks.

      Few people like being hearing the truth. It disrupts their phobias and interferes with their psychoses.

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      • #
        sophocles

        Have you ever wondered, why a hermit traditionally lives in a cave, subsisting on nothing but water and a few berries?

        It is because they are shunned by the population,for having a better grasp on reality than most other folks.

        You’re sure it’s not because they have a phobia about bathing and can be smelt from 50M upwind?

        62

    • #
      Safetyguy66

      You would like to think that people in the UK right now are realising (through exposure to the very weather I remember as a child in the UK) that +2c is a picnic compared to -2c.

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      • #
        Robert

        Indeed. History has shown that all species do better and more easily adapt to warmer climates than colder climates. Here in the northern hemisphere birds do not fly north in the winter, they migrate south towards warmer areas.

        It seems apparent that this is why so many of the younger crowd are so easily swayed by this nonsense. Their only experience of this planet has been during this warm phase and they have apparently been well trained not to question authority. Perhaps that should read not to question liberal authorities since they do seem to have some pathological hatred of anything Christian or conservative.

        I find it very ironic that the authority the younger generations aren’t willing to question are people whose philosophies, when they were younger, centered around questioning and bucking authority. Apparently now that they are the authorities we can’t have any of that…

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        • #
          Safetyguy66

          Robert there seems to be somewhat of an epidemic among the younger generation of “appealing to authority”. If you look at left/green protest positions they are almost never about the group acting to do something positive, they are simply petitioning the Government of the day to do it for them. Or worse they are demanding that the Govt. compel others to act in the way they find acceptable.

          Im not sure how or why this happened, but we live in a world where a large segment of our population is demanding to be micro managed by bureaucrats. While I wouldn’t normally care how people choose to flagellate themselves, the downside is, it drags the rest of us into their delusion.

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          • #
            Dariusz

            The age of entitlement reaps its 1st generational harvest. For people that never had to fight for anything and were and are provided for, there is never enough. No economic tough times, no recession, no unemployment, just go to uni and I’ll be fine mentality, get rich quick through drugs or if I can,t cope buy some drugs to forget. The Scarlet O’Hara syndrome. Only a true disaster can put them in place.
            And that dister ain’t glob. warming that,s for sure.

            00

  • #
    Bruce of Newcastle

    Related, and very interesting news this morning: Matthew England acknowledges that the IPO/PDO caused much of the temperature rise in 1978-1998:

    The last positive phase of the PDO, also known as the Interdecadal Pacific Oscillation, ran from about 1978 to 1998, a period of a rapid increase of surface temperatures. Since then, temperature increases have flattened out, despite an increase in greenhouse gases, as oceans have taken up more of the excess heat.

    If you look at the magnitude of the PDO related temperature rise it is about 0.28 C out of 0.4 C rise during that period. Seventy percent! And its not related to CO2.

    Because it is a ~60 year cycle the same 0.28 C is included in the temperature rise over the last century, since the ~60 year cycle was at bottom in 1906 and top in 2005. So as soon as you acknowledge its impact on the temperature record you are reducing derived climate sensitivity by about 40%.

    It will be interesting to see if Dr England will ever say this, though it is perfectly clear from the SMH article that he knows it. I doubt he will – but since that it half of the climate sceptics’ case it means the climateers will be finding it very hard to maintain the lie for long.

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    • #
      Richard C (NZ)

      These guys, Hannam and England, are tying themselves in knots.

      Hannam:

      Known as the Pacific Decadal Oscillation, the El Nino-like pattern typically lasts 15-30 years and is understood to operate as an accelerator on global surface temperatures during its positive phase – and a brake during its negative phase emissions.

      So Hannam concedes the 2 decades of warming, 1978-1998 (the only warming in the IPCC’s 1951-2010 anthro attribution period), coincide with the IPO/PDO “accelerator” phase.

      Matthew England concurs implicitly in respect to 1978-1998 by describing the next positive PDO phase as “another”:

      “This could be the start of another ramping up of warming”

      Okay, so the ocean oscillation is a natural cycle accounting for the only warming occurring within the IPCC’s 6 decade anthro attribution period. But what about the secular trend in temperature over a millennial timescale that the ocean-forced temperature oscillates around? That is, for the last 2000 years say: MWP => LIA => CWP?

      Then it gets even more problematic. Hannam again:

      ”[the PDO is]….a brake during its negative phase – as the ocean takes up fluctuating amounts of the extra heat being trapped by rising greenhouse gas emissions

      Really? That’s not what the IPCC was able to find in their AR5 report. In Chapter 8 Radiative Forcing, they speculate about their expectation of “air-sea fluxes” being the mechanism to achieve Hannam’s anthropogenically-forced ocean heat uptake.

      Except in Chapter 3 Observations: Ocean, the IPCC was unable to identify such a flux:

      Page 274 pdf:

      Observations: Ocean

      3.4.6 Conclusions
      Uncertainties in air–sea heat flux data sets are too large to allow detection of the change in global mean net air–sea heat flux, on the order of 0.5 W m–2 since 1971, required for consistency with the observed ocean heat content increase. The accuracy of reanalysis and satellite observation based freshwater flux products is limited by changing data sources.

      http://www.ipcc.ch/pdf/assessment-report/ar5/wg1/WG1AR5_Chapter03_FINAL.pdf

      In other words, the IPCC, after 25 years, is still unable to separate an anthropogenic ocean heat signal from natural variation including solar radiation received at the surface (SSR), which as it turns out, was a forcing in the order of +2 W.m-2 globally 1980s – 2000s:

      WHAT OBSERVATIONS TELL.

      Fig. 2. [page 29] Changes in surface solar radiation [SSR] observed in regions with good station coverage during three periods. (left column) The 1950s– 1980s show predominant declines (“dimming”), (middle column) the 1980s–2000 indicate partial recoveries (“brightening”) at many locations, except India, and (right column) recent developments after 2000 show mixed tendencies. Numbers denote typical literature estimates for the specified region and period in W m–2 per decade. Based on various sources as referenced in Wild (2009).

      Average [SSR change] USA/Europe/China-Mongolia/Japan/India:

      1950s-1980s: -4.8 W.m-2
      1980s-2000: +2.0 W.m-2
      After 2000: -0.6 W.m-2

      Martin Wild, 2012: Enlightening Global Dimming and Brightening. Bull. Amer. Meteor. Soc., 93, 27–37.
      doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1175/BAMS-D-11-00074.1

      If the SSR forcing 1950s-1980s was -4.8 W.m-2 and that period corresponds with the “brake” phase of the IPO/PDO, it follows that a +0.3 W-m-2/decade CO2 forcing will be undetectable if a similar SSR forcing ensues in the 2000s to the 2020s.

      This is irrespective of the already -0.38 W.m-2 TSI forcing at TOA since 1986.

      Peter Hannam, being a newspaper reporter, can at least blame Matthew England in part for his delusion.

      But Matthew England has no excuse for his delusion, him being a professor at the University of NSW’s Climate Change Research Centre.

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    • #
      janama

      “Since then, temperature increases have flattened out, despite an increase in greenhouse gases, as oceans have taken up more of the excess heat.”

      Why didn’t the oceans take up the excess heat before temperatures flattened out? Surely if they can take up the heat from 1998 – 2014 they should have done it from 1978 – 1998.

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      • #
        The Backslider

        I’m still waiting for them to explain the mechanism by which this supposedly happens…..

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      • #
        The Backslider

        That’s considering that sunlight penetrates the ocean to considerable depth and warms it, however CO2 “back radiation” can only penetrate the skin by a few microns, which is no comparison and would probably just cause evaporation. The skin is cooler than the water below, so we know which way the heat would flow – to the cooler atmosphere.

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    • #
      The Backslider

      Hannam is too scared to let anybody comment on his articles, but you can comment on the same garbage here.

      61

    • #
      Richard111

      I recently read that CO2 amounts to some 1.65 grams per litre of sea water and just 0.7 grams per cubic metre in the atmosphere by molar mass.
      Us humans are supposedly responsible for some 3% of the CO2 in the atmosphere. Why is it that only uneducated people end up in the government? (Yeah, I know. Because nobody else will employ them.)

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      • #
        Richard111

        I did not make my point too well above. That 0.7 grams of CO2 in the atmosphere becomes 6 kilograms in a 1 square metre column of air and the 1.65 grams of CO2 in 1 litre of seawater becomes 6,600 kilograms in a 1 square metre column of seawater assuming an average depth of four kilometres.
        Us humans are responsible for 3% of that 6 kilograms of CO2 in the air. Just what effect will that have on 6,600 kilograms of CO2 in the sea?

        20

        • #
          The Backslider

          Just what effect will that have on 6,600 kilograms of CO2 in the sea?

          This is a really interesting question.

          Most alarmists these days claim that all of the 40% increase in atmospheric CO2 levels are anthropogenic. They take zero account at all of the fact that the oceans have warmed since The Little Ice Age and Henry’s Law.

          I have several times now posed to them the question: How much extra CO2 would it take to raise the partial pressure of CO2 enough to create that 40% increase? They think that adding CO2 to the atmosphere upsets a mythical “balance” and it just stays there.

          Does anybody have numbers on this?

          10

      • #
        Robert

        Why is it that only uneducated people end up in the government?

        It is not only uneducated people that end up there, it is the lazy that end up there. In the real world in the private sector they would actually be expected to do some work on something that works and which generates a profit for someone other than themselves. Much easier to leach off the tax payers.

        30

  • #

    “Things were dry during the medieval warm period, then wetter during the little ice age:”

    A reflection of the changing meridionality/zonality of jet stream tracks and latitudinmal climate zone shifting in response to solar variations.

    In the MWP the subtropical high pressure cell was situated for longer periods above Australia than it was during the LIA when rainbearing jetstream tracks were more often able to make progress into the Australian continent.

    Fully consistent with my New Climate Model.

    http://www.newclimatemodel.com/new-climate-model/

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    • #
      Graeme No.3

      Yes, warming causes the Hadley cells to expand, driving the rain bearing stream further south, missing most of Australia. Cooling will bring said stream north and there will be more rain for Perth, Adelaide etc. filling reservoirs and letting our complacent state premiers do nothing about water supplies. They are at their best when doing nothing; look at the mess they all made when Flannery scared them into building desalination plants.

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    • #
      john karajas

      Indeedy! The major story for me, as a resident of Perth (Western Australia that is) is that, as sunspot activity is predicting lower global temperatures, winters in this part of the world will return to those of the wetter variety that I remember from the ’50′s and the ’60′s.

      I think I’ll keep driving my car and use the aircon with a clear conscience then although I agree with the Greenies’ latest gripe: Christmas lights decorations on suburban houses are going over the top. They are pretty, though.

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  • #
    Leonard Lane

    Nice study. I hope it results in follow-on studies of drought causes and occurrences.
    Actually, if we could get beyond the “Global Warming Lysenkoism” we could learn much from drought studies.
    For instance the, locusts plagues associated with the 1930s “Dust Bowl” drought in the US were traced back to streams forming wet meadows along the Front Range of the Rocky Mountains, particularly Colorado. Grasshopper population explosions/overcrowding occurred in these extensive wet areas causing the grasshoppers to change to locusts and added to the grief of the Midwest farmers. But, as farming and ranching used these wet meadows as a resource and utilized the forage and water (essentially drying many and reducing the duration of the spring wet periods in others), the locusts problem essentially disappeared.

    I wonder how many spin-off studies from the Australian droughts could be accomplished with just some of the money wasted on global warming studies of little or no merit.

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  • #
    Peter C

    So how does a study find droughts in Australia with a hole drilled in Antarctic ice?

    Law Dome ice core samples may well show variations in saltiness with high resolution. However it is still a proxy ( for what exactly). I suggest the study be taken with a grain of sea salt.

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    • #
      Peter C

      If Climate Reaserchers want to study the paleo climate of Australia from somewhere far away, they could consider drilling ice cores from the Tasman and Franz Joseph glaciers in New Zealand. I am told that soil from SE Australia blows across the Tasman Sea and is deposited on the glaciers. The heavier deposits likely correspond with drought years.

      Maybe this has been done.

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  • #
    spangled drongo

    We are currently “suffering” a 39 year cyclone drought. South of the tropic of Capricorn on the east coast, up to 1976 we got regular cyclones crossing the coast up to half a dozen a year affecting areas from Newcastle to Rockhampton but they have been MIA since then.

    That extra CO2 must’ve just switched ‘em off. ☺

    But when they return guess what they’ll blame?

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  • #
    bemused

    Whenever there’s a study that indicates that factors other than MM CO2 are at play, the studies are ostensibly played down. But when the studies indicate the opposite, they are played up. It’s this ‘balanced’ science that’s so interesting, but it’s becoming difficult to fight the motion of the pendulum. People are wising up and I’ve noticed this even with friends, who have been believers, now becoming sceptical about the whole issue.

    192

  • #

    I have a vague recollection that not too long ago an [alarmist|carpetbagger|grant shopper|leftist nut job|person of low intellect who has a closed mind due to a religious like obsessive belief that there MUST be global warming] – choose your favourite term – claimed that a recent shift in high pressure systems to the south of their ‘usual’ track had resulted in lower rainfall in eastern Australia, and, of course, it was ‘yet further proof’ of CAGW. I wonder if the person who claimed this had access to the historical data but did not consider it, or chose to ignore it.

    I noted yesterday the SMH was tickled pink that we might be entering an El Nino cycle. Time to start penning the scare stories.

    But keep this article from Jo’s blog bookmarked. It suggests that ‘Atmospheric tides might be seeding the El Niños / La Nina pattern’, and 2018 is the likely date for the next El Nino event.

    62

  • #
    el gordo

    Fairfax’s Hannam should take a Bex and have a good lie down, but at least he is talking about the oscillations.

    http://www.smh.com.au/environment/climate-change/climate-shift-in-the-pacific-may-accelerate-global-warming-20141229-12f6dp.html

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  • #
    stephen

    As a non scientific person I do not believe any scientists that study Antarctica after that Turnkey fellow, in fact I take all scientific studies with a grain of salt and I am not alone .

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    • #
      el gordo

      No point in throwing out the baby with the bathwater, its important that we refute their arguments so that we are better prepared to explain to the masses where the Klimatariat went wrong.

      Take a serious interest and argue your case, otherwise your friends and associates might think your belief is politically motivated and that you are ignorant of climate change.

      Think of yourself as a kitchen table scientist, I certainly do.

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      • #
        stephen

        El gordo I understand what you are saying but I say until we shock non climate scientist into fighting for there credibility then no pressure comes and the climate voodoo just goes on and on so what I am trying to say is we need more non climate scientist to get angry at the individuals who are dragging all science down .

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        • #
          el gordo

          Fair enough, the Klimatariat is a faith based monolith and won’t be easy to dismantle. Non climate scientists do occasionally speak up, but if its outside their area of expertise they would probably be ridiculed, like the rest of us who believe CO2 is harmless.

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    • #
      Bobl

      Not really correct to do it that way, some science is NOT broken, but you should treat science that is behind do-good “causes” with great suspicion. Examples are AGW, cholesterol, diet, sunscreen, and to a lesser extent medicine. The more bitter the fight, that is, the more you hear about it in the media, the more likley the scientists are activists as well, Science performed by activists is rarely balanced…

      In these cases you should weigh the evidence yourself, for example the free electrons ( free radicals ) released from benzene compounds in sunscreen just can’t be a good thing despite a government funded NGO pushing them, nor is the correlation between cancer and sunscreen use.

      There are very simple math arguments as to why cAGW must be false, you should know them and be able to do them.

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  • #
    JohnM

    It is possible that the link between IPO positive phases and increased drought risk for eastern Australia is temperature dependent. If the medieval and recent dry epochs were warmer than the wet epoch of AD 1260–1860 (as suggested by a recent continental-scale temperature reconstruction [2k Consortium, 2013]) the IPO positive drought relationship may intensify under future warming.

    Curious! We seem to be back to Karoly’s fallacious comments about warm weather causing droughts, which is in contrast to basic hydrology which says that less moisture near the ground will cause higher temperatures because very little solar radiation will be used in the process of evaporation.

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    • #

      In 2009 Lockhart et al published a paper titled “On the recent warming in the Murray-Darling Basin: Land surface interactions misunderstood.
      ”(GEOPHYSICAL RESEARCH LETTERS, VOL. 36, L24405, doi:10.1029/2009GL040598, 2009)
      “This paper explores an alternative explanation of recent inter-annual variability and temporal trends in seasonal maximum air temperatures. First we present observations of sunshine hours (SSH) duration as an alternative explanatory variable for average maximum daily air temperature in direct comparison to average monthly rainfall. We then explore the role of elevated temperature in influencing land surface evapotranspiration.”“On average, an extra 1.5 hours of bright sunshine, instead of the alternative cloudy conditions, provides approximately 0.32mm of additional evapotranspiration. In contrast, an increase in air temperature of 2°C causes only an additional 0.076 mm of evapotranspiration over the entire day”.

      Karolys ass was well and truly kicked by this paper. The bloke is a carpetbegger

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  • #
    TdeF

    This is why the Federation drought 1895-1902, omitted from BOM records, is essential to get a picture of long climate cycles in Australia. We had screens, thermometers and dedicated hand recording. As Lord Monckton explained, you can create a growth in temperature by just starting at the right point in a cycle. Starting records immediately after the longest and most widespread drought in Australian recorded history is absurd and distorting and looks deliberate. The BOM must include this data. The Federation drought failure of the monsoons is recurring in Queensland, although there has been sporadic heavy rain in the last week.

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    • #
      TdeF

      So the BOM was only formed around 1907, after federation.

      Warwick Hughes battles the BOM

      It is understandable that they were forward looking, not backward looking and sought to bring standards and uniformity and accuracy to the future National keeping of weather and therefore climate records. So the Federal records would understandably start then.

      However in the modern era, where we have the ability and the need to understand our climate and long cycles and history, it is absolutely necessary that the earliest records pre 1909 made with Stevenson screens and other older style screens are incorporated in the National picture. Every tiny bit of evidence which shows that our climate of droughts and flooding rains is highly variable over long periods, rather than this edict from the IPCC that the world, including our Southern Hemisphere, is controlled by CO2 and CO2 alone.

      Our BOM like our ABC should be at the forefront of debunking this IPCC self justifying myth with real and long term records from the 19th century, not joining in the conga line for fame and fortune pushing doomsday scenarios and being rewarded with international junkets like Paris. There are no such tangible additional rewards for just doing the job. It is down to ethics and professionalism.

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  • #
    Neville

    Interesting that the PAGES 2K study also found that Antarctica was warmer ( than today) from 141ad to 1250ad ( 1109 years) and also a 30 year warmer spike between 1671 to 1700. See page 4 of study.

    http://web.science.unsw.edu.au/~sjphipps/publications/pages_2k_consortium2013.pdf

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    • #
      el gordo

      That is fascinating, Neville.

      Its also worth noting that the worst drought in the US was 60 years long and occurred during the mid-12th century and covered most of the western U.S. and northern Mexico.

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  • #
    Ken Stewart

    Thanks Jo, very interesting.

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  • #
    Safetyguy66

    I never seem to be able to find a link to it but an SA University did a study of stalactites and stalagmites in some caves near Moonta SA. Similar to this study. http://www.ansto.gov.au/AboutANSTO/MediaCentre/News/ACS049385

    The interview I heard with one of the researchers threw up numbers like droughts of between 100 and 300 years being recorded in the last 10,000 and he was saying that when we start getting excited over droughts of 5 and 10 years we need to realise that’s basically situation normal in Australia and it has been and could be much worse.

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    Neville

    BTW here is Prof Patrick De Deckker’s 20 year study of rainfall over southern OZ.
    This shows that southern OZ has been drying out over the last 5,000 years and you can pause the video at about 8 mins 50 secs to see the full graph.
    There was a number of dry periods similar to today like the low rainfall period just over 4,000 years ago.
    This is southern OZ not the east coast, but could possibly cover SE OZ.
    Transcript is available as well.

    http://www.abc.net.au/catalyst/stories/s1848641.htm

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    Debbie

    I’m just wanting to say…ah DUH!!!!!
    Of course.
    This is after all “a land of drought and flooding rains”!
    There is indeed a ‘man made drought’ operating in Australia atm…but it has nothing whatsoever to do with CO2…it’s called ‘water management’…or perhaps more correctly…trying to force a system that was designed to store water in times of excess to distribute wisely in the inevitable dry sequences into a system that puts ‘environmental water’ onto the back of floods!!!!

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    el gordo

    There have been suggestions ‘that the subtropical ridge was about 3 degrees of latitude further
    north in the 1880 to 1910 period compared with 1910–40.’

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      el gordo

      Taking this a little further….

      ‘There is an abrupt shift of latitude of the subtropical ridge over Australia at the onset of winter.

      ‘In winter the intensity of the STR appears to be the dominant factor causing southern Australian rainfall variations (and relationships between rainfall and STR latitude variations are a by-product of the relationship between latitude and intensity of the STR), whereas in summer the latitude of the STR seems to be more important in determining rainfall variations.

      ‘Of course, the STR intensity and latitude variations are driven by some other factor and it will be this (at present unknown) factor that should be considered the underlying “cause” of the rainfall variations, rather than the variations in the STR. Nicholls [2009] discussed possible, more fundamental causes of southern Australian rainfall variations.

      ‘The decline in southern Australian rainfall in recent decades (which occurs principally in autumn) appears to be related to a trend towards a more intense STR, rather than a trend in the latitude of the STR.

      Larsen & Nicholls / Southern Australian Rainfall and the Sub Tropical Ridge ….

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    Yesterday I was reflecting on the rainfall figures for my region. Oz rainfall records tend to be longer, less disputed and less fudged than temps, so they’re always worth referring back to.

    Not surprisingly, our driest year was 1902. All of our driest months lie way back in the past, except for those zero winter-and-september readings, which have had multiple occurences (but all occurring first before the 1960s).

    This reflects the huge and often ignored fact that most of Australia was in rainfall deficit for a half century or more after 1895, and has been a somewhat wetter place overall since around 1947, especially the east. When you think how bad our recent droughts have been, that’s a sobering thought. It can be worse, it has been worse. Those learned types who predict drought disasters for Australia are about as learned as a punter who thinks the next Melbourne Cup will be won by an animal with between three and five legs.

    But let’s not pick on the first half of the 20th century. This recollection from the Brisbane Courier of 1889:

    “Ordinary weather followed till 1837, but 1838 and 1839 saw the champion drought of the century. Stock were all but exterminated. The Murrumbidgee is a great river, 150ft. wide, 60ft. deep, and overflows its banks, like the Nile, when the head snows melt, for five miles on each side to a depth of 3ft. This gives a volume of water equal to a river of 1450 ft. wide and 120 ft. deep, and besides this it fills a group of lakes each from seven to eighteen miles in diameter. Yet this great river dried up so thoroughly in 1839 that the fish died and putrefied at the bottom of it.”

    The desiccation of the ‘bidgee is not a climate alarmist’s wet dream. It actually happened.

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    John F. Hultquist

    There are a number of comments here about the PDO –
    not all of them are correct.
    It would be good to ask Bob Tisdale to provide his thoughts and perhaps a summary of what the PDO is and what it is not.
    Insofar as this is a post about Australia, drought, and ice cores I will not go further with this.
    Here in central Washington State the temp by morning is expected to be -15 C° .
    I’ve a few things to do in preparation.
    HAPPY NEW YEAR

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  • #
    ROM

    About 30 kms west of Horsham in western Victoria there are a string of shallow and often dry for long periods, salt lakes.
    Easily seen on Google Earth mostly to the north of Mt Arapiles the very widely known rock “monkeys” climbing paradise and to the south of western Victoria’s sandy soiled scrub covered Little Desert.
    [ There is also a Big Desert further north ]

    On the west, downwind of the prevailing westerly winds on the edge of some of these salt lakes are huge, I would guess around close to 80 to 100 metre high, sand blown “Moon Dunes”
    “Moon Dunes” are called such as they are crescent shaped dunes similar in shape to a New Moon crescent.
    They are the consequences of very long dry, very windy periods and the consequent erosion of the dry salt lake bottoms with the wind eroded soil being blown into these huge loess dunes
    It probably has taken many, many periods of decadal or century long droughts to create those dunes as they are also eroded by wind as well as built up by the prevailing stronger in drought periods, westerly winds.

    Conversely a good friend of mine who still owns the family’s original settled farm located north of Warracknabeal also in Victorias Wimmera region, has the original surveyors map of the area where his farm is located, hanging on the wall in his house.
    The area is flat with very little change in elevation over long distances.

    But on that original old surveyor’s map there are numerous small numerous creeks mapped out by those early surveyors.
    Today there is very little evidence of those small rivulets and small creeks and streams which only ran after heavy sustained rains [ 30mms is a heavy rain in this area of around 360 mms winter mostly rainfall per year.]
    When we use to travel together down to our Vic Farmers Grain council meetings, my friend would point out the road culverts where those small very irregular tiny streams and creeks had run and very ocassionaly after a particularly long period of heavy rainfall still ran.. And he would point out the occasional barely recogniseable lines of gum and box trees across the paddocks, that used to be growing along some of the larger occasional running streams and creeks before the country was settled about a bit over a century ago.

    For those tiny streams and creeks to even form in this flat landscape implies that not only major droughts are a part of Australia’s natural climate environment but that there are also corresponding periods of exceptional [ to us ] rainfall.
    The evidence is all there in front of one’s eyes if one only looks for it and tries to understand what one is looking at.

    To further back up the extreme variations in the Australian climate and rainfall, an article from Adelaide University which I have posted here on Jo’s blog previously. And it shows that what we think of as a truly collossal flooding of the Murray River in 1956 was only about half of what the Murray saw around the middle of the 1700′s or about 40 years or so before Capt Arthur Phillips landed at Sydney Cove on the 26th january 1788.

    ————–

    The greatest River Murray flood eclipses 1956 levels

    To establish the reliability and timing of pre-historic floods, known as palaeofloods, the researchers looked at the distribution of the Black Box Gum in the River Murray valley..

    “Black Box is considered to be a reliable biological indicator of past flood levels because it grows in distinct horizontal lines on the River Murray floodplain. Its seeds germinate in the debris deposited on the floodwater fringes of the riverbank,” Professor Bourman said.

    “Radiocarbon dating of samples collected from existing gums revealed that the trees were of a modern age, with establishment in the last 250 years. This gives us an indication of the possible timing of the pre-historic flood of around the year 1750.

    “The researchers also undertook a survey to obtain the heights of individual trees at their bases. This showed that the palaeoflood reached a maximum height on the River Murray at Overland Corner of 18.01 metres, making it greater than the largest flood on record, rising 2.11 metres above the 1956 flood height.

    “Having measured the cross-section of the river, they applied the Manning Equation to determine the discharge of the prehistoric flood. This was estimated to be 7,686 cubic metres per second, almost double the discharge of the 1956 flood, which measured 3,950 cubic metres per second,” Professor Bourman said.

    “Given the calculated discharge and proposed age of the flood, the students were able to calculate when on average a palaeoflood might return. This was measured at 1000 years. This means that every year there is a 1000 to one chance of a flood of that magnitude occurring, as it certainly will, at some time in the future.

    [ more ]

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      ROM

      I’ll get this correction in the right spot sometime!

      OOPS ! Correction to first line, second para;

      On the —west—, east side, downwind of the prevailing westerly winds on the edge of some of these salt lakes are huge,

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    • #
      Safetyguy66

      Lived in Mildura for a few years ROM, I know exactly what your saying. Driving between Adelaide and Mildura and Melbourne-Mildura you certainly see a massive variety of landscapes and features, some of which have not changed in science knows how long and some which seem to be changing constantly.

      Also while living in Mildura I was treated to Flannery and Co. telling us the river would be dry in 12 months (circa 2004), I lost count of how many people I tried to get to take a bet on it with no success. But perhaps that proved Aussies arnt as dumb as Tim thinks they are.

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        Debbie

        Unlike previous droughts (before we built the storage & regulatory systems & the Snowy Hydro Scheme) the Murray was kept flowing, even during the depth of the drought in 2006/07.
        Tim Flannery hates dams.
        He is a serial pest for all of us who live & work in the MDB.
        His predilections have been correct if we didn’t have dams.
        The Murray would have dried up just as it did in earlier severe droughts pre dams.

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    ROM

    OOPS ! Correction to first line , second para;

    On the —west—, east side, downwind of the prevailing westerly winds on the edge of some of these salt lakes are huge,

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    handjive

    Heads Up!

    2015 and the name:

    Global Warming Climate Change Climate Disruption Climate Safety

    How to pay for climate safety
    by Jeffrey Sachs
    http://www.smh.com.au/business/how-to-pay-for-climate-safety-20141230-12fcrs.html

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    • #
      Safetyguy66

      Wow what a complete fruitcake. What a waste of a life.

      “Jeffrey D. Sachs, Professor of Sustainable Development, Professor of Health Policy and Management, and Director of the Earth Institute at Columbia University, is also Special Adviser to the United Nations Secretary-General on the Millennium Development Goals.”

      They left out 4 time national champion of w4nk word bingo.

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    • #
      John F. Hultquist

      Jeffrey Sachs: Until a few years ago he had a regular “scary” column in the magazine Scientific American. I did not renew and he quit. I’d like to think there was a connection but sure there is not.

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    • #
      TdeF

      Wow. What amazing nonsense. The maths is so simple. Get everyone on the planet to give you a dollar for nothing and you will have $7billion. You can then use your immense wealth to make everyone else rich, by giving them a dollar. The word professor means teacher. It is misused.

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      • #
        Safetyguy66

        I bet no 10 year old has ever thought of that scheme…..

        Or maybe they have but common sense and self respect stopped them from pursuing it. Seems the good professor is not burdened by either of those traits.

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    • #

      There’s something in all this that makes me wonder just how clueless these people are who write articles like this, and this isn’t just some journalist, but a supposed Professor of something or other.

      They are so diligent and thorough in their investigation into every aspect of their Global Warming, Climate Change, Climate Safety meme that they look into. The most minute thing even gets concentration as they pursue every aspect that confirms their belief. They leave no stone unturned whatsoever, as they latch onto everything they can and dissect it to within a millimetre of its being, in their quest to prove their point.

      And then he goes on to say this: (my bolding)

      The basics are clear. Climate safety requires that all countries shift their energy systems away from coal, oil, and gas, toward wind, solar, geothermal, and other low-carbon sources. We should also test the feasibility of large-scale carbon capture and sequestration (CCS), which might enable the safe, long-term use of at least some fossil fuels. Instead, the global financial system has continued to pump hundreds of billions of dollars per year into exploring and developing new fossil-fuel reserves, while directing very little toward CCS.

      You would think that at least someone, (in fact ALL of them) who sinks so much time into investigating every minute aspect of their CAGW belief system might spend the tiniest fraction of time actually investigating to even the most cursory of glances at the claim that these forms of renewable power might be able to replace what they DEMAND we do away with.

      Instead, they take ….. THAT ….. for granted, that it can do what is claimed, without even the slightest blink of an eye of investigation.

      These people have been conned, and in not offering it the same due diligence, they are perpetuating the con to an even wider audience.

      And the people in that renewable industry, well trust me, they KNOW, and the only thing they do is rake in the money, laughing at these people behind their backs.

      They don’t work, none of what was bolded above, and in fact, can NEVER be made to work to REPLACE what we already have.

      Tony.

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      • #

        As long as electricity comes out of the hole in the wall like it does, everyone will BELIEVE, hand on heart that renewable power can in fact replace what we have now.

        The only reason renewable power is there in the first place is BECAUSE of large scale existing power plants, in the main, coal fired.

        Take that away, and full stop, no correspondence entered into, then the power stops flowing out of the wall.

        Scratch head, flick switch a couple of times, try another hole in the wall, and NOTHING. The end!

        Tony.

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        • #
          GregS

          While that may inconvenience the average non-thinking consumer when they were about to use a device that is non-critical, we need to remind them that if this is their refrigerator or freezer that is suddenly off at irregular intervals then they are possibly about to spoil their food supply costing them far more than just a “dollar a day” like someone who thought he was famous used to say.

          This is why I believe the advertising industry and renewable powers producers are dishonest. Every time I see one of their adverts it is usually a happy smiling model with a non-essential item. Never a fridge/freezer or dialysis unit.

          I used to work in a number of Hospitals early in my IT career. Despite their being usually given priority in the electricity grid when load shedding occurs we always made sure that the emergency generators were maintained, fuelled and tested.

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    sophocles

    Sachs is like the UK Met Office: wrong 80-85% of the time.

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    Hasbeen

    It appears the southern Great Barrier Reef coral cores drilled about 50+ years ago have been forgotten.

    A mate researching at Sydney museum, showed me some information extracted from some of them in the late 60.

    Apparently they showed a 26 year period, in the mid 1700s when virtually no silt came out of the Fitzroy. They reckoned a similar drought would close Queensland down, almost completely.

    I wonder what happened to all this information?

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    • #
      el gordo

      Here is the Burdekin and it appears that there was a long dry spell from the Dalton to 1870.

      http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v421/n6924/fig_tab/nature01361_F2.html

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      • #
        el gordo

        Hendy, Gagan and Lough (2003) looked further back and found there was very little runoff from the Burdekin from the mid 1760s to the mid 1780s, so we can assume it was the same with the Fitzroy.

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    • #
      TdeF

      Years ago there was an archeological documentary on a large mesa in Ecuador. At least people thought it was a mesa until they discovered it was an entire brick city and the centre of a great civilization and now deserted and desert. The drought had lasted 60 years and they found the pits with all the young people sacrificed to bring the rains back. The climate had changed. They confirmed this with ice core samples in the high Andes, counting the dirt layers like tree rings. Australia seems to have the inverse weather, on the other side of the Pacific, so 60 year droughts are possible.

      The most dangerous climate apparently, as it was long ago in North Africa and now Northern Australia and India, was the dependence on massive Monsoon rains caused by great heat sucking very humid air over oceans into desert areas. Such a failure destroyed lush northern Africa and the systems never returns. The problem in North Africa was apparently that the area cooled, so the monsoons did not happen. Maybe a tax would have saved them?

      Economists and social engineers and sociologists believe random taxes can save everyone from everything. It does make the same group rich and powerful, but that is not the intent, apparently.

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    The Backslider

    So, yet further proof that The Medieval Warm Period was global!

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    • #
      Safetyguy66

      No global climate and temperature was only invented in 1901. Before that all climate effects were local, except those that support AGW doctrine. /sarc off

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  • #
    Dennis

    In the book The Biggest Estate On Earth, how Aborigines made Australia, by Bill Gammage, covering the Australia white settlers discovered that looked like a British country estate with trees well spaced and here native grasses in between (some wilderness areas too) and shrubs well spaced so that Horse drawn carriages could pass without the need to fell trees, there is mention of at least one 1,000 year drought during which the relatively small population was reduced to a few survivors.

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  • #
    Dennis

    I was in Gippsland, Victoria, over the Christmas holidays and was informed that grazing cattle on the Snowy Mountains high country has again been banned, the recently elected Labor Government with their Green extremist comrades made the decision to overturn a 4-year trial return to grazing introduced by the previous Coalition, Liberal-National, Government.

    My informants are regular visitors to the high country, locally born cattle people, who ride Horses and camp in the Snowy Mountains. They are also country bushfire brigade members. They told me that rubbish undergrowth such as Blackberry bushes are taking over, the Blackberries grow tall and then fall over and take root to cover ground every year. The grasses grow tall along with shrubs and tree suckers resulting in a mass of combustible fuel on the ground that will supply massive very hot wild fires with fuel to quickly burn out thousands of acres of national park and private lands.

    When the Australian Aborigines managed the land with regular fires as controlled burns based on thousands of years experience, and used other methods to ensure that natural fires (lightning strikes etc) were not hot and out of control, the Australian bush was in good hands. The green tape based “natural bushland” of today is more like a tenant’s garden that has been left to grow wild and the Green tenants refer to it as “natural garden”.

    The Snowy Mountains situation is typical of Green madness in many parts of our country today.

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    • #
      KinkyKeith

      Here in Newcastle we have had far too many fire incidents for comfort in recent decades; all due to failure of policy ie. no control – back burns.

      KK

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    • #

      When the Australian Aborigines managed the land with regular fires as controlled burns based on thousands of years experience, and used other methods to ensure that natural fires (lightning strikes etc) were not hot and out of control, the Australian bush was in good hands.

      Don’t kid yourself Dennis. Aboriginals didn’t have the luxury of “managing” the environment, they were too busy trying to stay alive in a harsh environment which they partly caused themselves.

      Aboriginals didn’t rub sticks together every morning before breakfast, that’s just too hard and time consuming.
      What they did was burn the bush, ensuring weeks of hot logs from which to get their fire quickly and easily.
      The burnt bush also provided quick easy ready cooked meals.

      This regular burning also had the effect of natural fires being less intense, but at the cost of drying out the land, which in turn dried out the atmosphere due to reduced evaporation and evapotranspiration.

      So, from the time they arrived on this continent some 40, 000 years ago, the land has dried out, and many species went extinct.
      Rather than the romantic notion that they were good managers of the land, they dramatically changed the land forever and not for the good.

      We can restore most of it back to the way it was. For that we’d need to store water in any and every means possible at every location possible. Dams, billabongs artificial lakes etc and plant many many trees of various species.

      This will never happen while the greens stick their ugly heads in everything and our schools promote the romantic bullshit that indigenous people were good managers of their environment. IMHO

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      • #
        Hasbeen

        People also seem to miss the fact that putting a fire through cleans out the low story, making it easier to walk through, & to see the game at a moderate distance.

        While it is doing so it drives the game in front of it, to waiting hunters. These are the reasons the aboriginals used fire, not to produce nice coach driving areas for the British gentry.

        It also promotes a quick growth of new green lush grass shoots, very attractive to grazing animals, so attracts game to the newly cleared area.

        You don’t have to spend much time around aboriginal settlements to realise aesthetics are quite low on their interest list.

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        Dennis

        Baa, your comment is typical of the Human Sheep who faithfully and with considerable lack of knowledge repeat the white man myth that the black man was a hunter gatherer who relied upon good luck far more than good management to obtain food.

        You need to read what research has revealed, management of their environment was a high priority, the Dreamtime was about ancestors and country, once explained to me as Australia being a massive graveyard that the living were charged with maintaining (not a precise description) and in return country looked after them. Depending on the area tribes looked after the people lived in dwellings as simple as bark covering a stick frame to caves to stone wall houses or huts. They cultivated native plants and trees for food and the native grasses that grew beneath the well spaced trees attracted animals so that hunting could be carried out without great effort, in fact Australian Aborigines made ropes and nets that Europeans were amazed to see, quality at least equal to their own. Fish traps and fish farming was carried out, small dams were built, wells were dug, native grass seeds were stored away or ground to a flour consistency to bake a damper type of bread.

        Hasbeen is correct, putting fire through to clean out below the trees makes it easier to walk (and to hunt animals) and promotes native grasses.

        As for Blackberries, the point is not that the cattle eat those nasty fire fuel bushes, the bushes were not there before white man introduced them and the grasses cattle graze on were maintained at a low level when grazing was permitted. And, the tracks cattle create act as fire breaks for smaller fires. Indeed, fire fighters today are flown in by helicopter to rake clear areas or pathways as fire breaks where appropriate.

        There is no doubt that Green extremism, a form of madness, the cult that wants as much land as possible locked away from human activities, is creating bushland out of control that provides fuel for extreme wild fires that destroy bushland and then the weeds and vines take over, and a haven for feral animals is created including wild dogs that attack and kill domestic animals and people if the opportunity presents.

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      MacSual

      As an ex-farm manager and forests worker both sides of that debate are pretty loose with the truth.
      Cattle will not control blackberry in any way.
      Catttle will only eat the grasses that they like and will leave the longer bitter grasses.
      Cattle will flatten the bush and ringbark trees and trample and dig up wet/marshy areas.
      Fire in the high country is normal because of lightning strikes from summer storms.
      The cattle either remaining or going will make very little difference to the overall health of the high country,though too many cattle will have an affect on water quality with an increase in E-coli and silting.
      In this day and age it is much better to kick the cattle out and look at eco-tourism fishing etc.
      With more people entering the high country maybe it will force the State govts to increase the number of forest workers to get rid of the noxious weeds and wild dogs.

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    Amber

    When a carbon tax is introduced into a volatile energy cost environment it is basically noise
    unless it is so high to kill off local business which is of course the point .
    When British Columbia(BC) introduced the sole carbon tax in 2008 natural gas prices were around $10.00 per GJ .The market price of natural gas is now less than half. If the “price signal “of the carbon tax was to drive down energy use then a similar argument could be made when the price of natural gas fell in half .In fact demand is essentially flat with some modest energy use reductions as newer furnaces/boilers are replaced .
    Despite efforts to promote the carbon tax as effective by its cheer leaders all it has done as introduced a competitive disadvantage to BC businesses and tourism .

    The feel green wash tax has not been adopted by others who watched BC introduce it .What seems to be forgotten is the government pledge from the outset to get rid of it if trading partners didn’t follow suit.

    It is nice to see Australia is not prepared to sell out its economy for a scam .

    The only thing the BC carbon tax has done is to buy a few votes while coal exports increase and LNG is pursued because it will bring in even more CA-Ching .

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    • #
      Safetyguy66

      You only have to look at the graphs from a few threads ago to see that 30%ish of the fall in CO2 emissions happened before the delusionists even came to power. Then while they were in power, they basically presided over a rise in emissions back to pre carbon tax levels. So your point is 100% correct. Carbon pricing is about as effective as Tim Flannery’s crystal balls.

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    sillyfilly

    Australia may have had megadroughts in the past, and the IPO/PDO as indicated in the abstract :

    “influences multidecadal drought risk across the Pacific, but there are no millennial-length, high resolution IPO reconstructions for quantifying long-term drought risk. In Australia, drought risk increases in positive phases of the IPO

    But what is the correlation with temperature over the last ~100 years, lacking!

    08

    • #
      The Backslider

      Oh dear. You missed the latest article by one of your heroes, Peter Hannam.

      To quote:

      The last positive phase of the PDO, also known as the Interdecadal Pacific Oscillation, ran from about 1978 to 1998, a period of a rapid increase of surface temperatures. Since then, temperature increases have flattened out, despite an increase in greenhouse gases

      Well how about that? Considering that there is no “signature” for CO2 “forcing” in the temperature record, it is pretty clear that this short period of warming was caused by ocean cycles, not CO2.

      As for the “increase in greenhouse gases”: 1/4 of the total of anthropogenic CO2 emissions since The Industrial Revolution have occurred since 1998, yet the temperature trend has remained flat. This empirical evidence clearly falsifies AGW/CO2 theory.

      The increase in temperature was not “rapid” however, with no statistically significant difference between the warming rates of the late 1800′s, early 1900′s and between 1978 and 1998 (Professor Phil Jones, CRU East Anglia).

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    • #
      James Bradley

      SF,

      “But what is the correlation with temperature over the last ~100 years, lacking!”

      The correlation is exactly what you’ve been banging on about – climate change!!!!!!

      And now your acknowledgement that climate change and megadroughts occurred in the past… with not a petrol pump or power plant in sight, which must mean natural climate patterns.

      BTW, SF, did you get your letter off to the DoE to sort out that discrepancy you brought to the attention of all and sundry at Jonova, you know… the ommission by the DoE of error bars, figure 4, Australia’s carbon emmission figures?

      “sillyfilly

      December 29, 2014 at 12:46 am · Reply

      From the DOE:

      “Summary of annual emissions
      Annual emissions for 2013-14 are estimated to be 542.6 Mt CO2-e3. This represents a 1.4% decline in emissions when compared with the previous year. Annual emissions for 2003-04 to 2011-12, and preliminary estimates for 2012-13 and 2013-14, are presented in Figure 4. Over 2013-14, there was a decline in emissions from electricity (section 2.1), reflecting lower electricity demand
      and changes in the generation mix”

      Figure 4 is missing from Jo’s analysis, but then of course, I wouldn’t insinuate any deliberate errors of omission. Maybe it was accidental?”

      I’m sure we’d all like to see your request for an explanation posted here as soon as possible and then the DoE reply of course.

      It’s only a matter that goes directly to your credibility, to support the allegations you made publicly and in writing.

      Yours, etc, etc,

      James Bradley

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      The Backslider

      *crickets*

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    Anthony

    Great article.
    Good to see a posting about good science instead of bad science.

    10

  • #
    DoubtingDave

    So is this paper yet another clue that the medieval warm period was global not just in northern hemisphere and therefore another nail in the coffin of micheal Manns hockeystick. I’m also curious as to why the Gergis et al paper is refered to ,if i remember right didnt that paper fail to get puplished due to wonky maths? did you tax payers down under ever get your money back for that expensive waste of toilet paper .

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    • #
      BruceC

      DoubtingDave. Before Mickey Mann rewrote history that every man, woman and child born before 1998 was taught at school, even the IPCC said there was a global MWP. Below is an abstract from the IPCC’s FAR (AR1) WG1 chapter 7 (my bolding);

      There is growing evidence that worldwide temperatures were higher than at present during the mid-Holocene (especially 5,000-6,000 BP), at least in summer, though carbon dioxide levels appear to have been quite similar to those of the pre-industrial era at this time (Section 1). Thus parts of western Europe, China, Japan, the eastern USA were a few degrees warmer in July during the mid-Holocene than in recent decades (Yoshmo & Urushibara 1978, Webb et al 1987, Huntley & Prentice 1988, Zhang & Wang 1990). Parts of Australasia and Chile were also warmer. The late tenth to early thirteenth centuries (about AD 950-1250) appear to have been exceptionally warm in western Europe, Iceland and Greenland (Alexandre 1987, Lamb 1988). This period is known as the Medieval Climatic Optimum [aka, MWP]. China was, however, cold at this time (mainly in winter) but South Japan was warm (Yoshino 1978). This period of widespread warmth is notable in that there is no evidence that it was accompanied by an increase of greenhouse gases.

      This was accompanied by three pre-hockey stick graphs covering one million years, ten thousand years and one thousand years. The 10,000 year graph bares no resemblance to Mickey Mann’s hockey stick.

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      Graeme No.3

      There were a number of schemes floated around that time. Bradfield (the engineer) and Idress (the author) wrote a book suggesting that damming some tropical rivers in Qld. and directing the flow via Cooper’s Creek to Lake Eyre would have positive effects, but nowhere near those claimed by Mr. Lee of Quakers Hill.
      Hartnett (who later headed GMH for a while) wanted to use surplus explosives to cut a channel from Spenser’s Gulf to Lake Frome. Instead the Army set them off (7000 tonnes) in the Qld. jungle to simulate an atom bomb.

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      Peter C

      Brilliant idea!

      I don’t know why it was not done. I think that it would be unlikely to increase rainfall in Eastern Australia. But think how people would flock to holiday sites around the shores of the inland sea.

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    Dennis

    Not widely reported by the mostly left leaning media, the Liberal-National Coalition has plans for up to 100 new dams around Australia;

    http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/tony-abbotts-bold-water-plan-leaked/story-e6freuy9-1226577466336

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    el gordo

    Doing a bit of reading, I think the Bradfield scheme is a no brainer, but filling Lake Eyre with sea water might be useful. No preliminary work necessary, sea level is expected to rise 70 metres under the AGW scenario and flood the lake.

    On the other hand, if global cooling sets in then a trench will need to be built to the lake, a salt water fishery, with satellite city and desalination plant. Not sure if it would reduce drought in south east Australia though.

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      el gordo

      Then there is the theory that rainwater from the new catchment would freshen the water.

      ‘The Eyre basin is already very salty. The more rain generated in the catchment area, which is one-sixth of the land area of Australia, the less the inflow from the ocean there would be, so the salinity would stabilise at a figure well below the salinity of the ocean. Over decades, the salinity would continually be reduced from the new rainwater as well as from outside monsoons.’

      Larry Hannigan

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        el gordo

        One final point….

        During the Alesund Interstadial, between 38,000 and 35,000 BP, ‘Lake Dieri (or the ancestral Lake Eyre) was 3 times the size of the present Lake Eyre and had a depth of at least 17 m. At that time, lush vegetation surrounded the lake.

        ‘From 20,000 years on the climate changed so much that the rivers that fed the lakes diminished and then stopped flowing, apart from the occasional flood, and the area became as arid as it is today, the lakes shrinking until only salt lakes remained.’

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    Don Gaddes

    The current hierarchy of Solar induced ‘Dry Cycles’ (last appeared in 1997) has now reached Australia’s East Coast. Its progress may be noted by the precipitation events occurring ahead of the vanguard.(and the lack of precipitation in its wake.) This series of ‘Dry Cycles’ started circa 110 degrees longitude (Beijing) in mid February 2014, and has been moving Westward with the Earth’s solar orbit,(via the Magnetic Field.) It will mean a prolonged Five year Dry Period, exacerbated by the Lunar Metonic Cycle of 2016.
    Nothing to do with ENSO,IPO, PDO etc. These Cycles are Orbital, and Longitudinal in scope – affecting the entire planet in turn, (including both Poles.)
    Alex S. Gaddes identified these cycles (and an accurate method for predicting them,) in his work ‘Tomorrow’s Weather’(1990.) An updated version of this work (including ‘Dry Cycle’ forecasts to 2055) is available as a free pdf from dongaddes93@gmail.com

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