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Heatwaves in Australia: in many ways they are not hotter, longer or more common. Why won’t BOM and ABC say that too?

Heatwaves are a wonderful headline generator. That’s because the term sounds scary, yet the “wave” itself is undefined. A hundred different types of heatwave are theoretically possible, but they all sound the same in a headline. It means an activist team could pick and choose the particular one that scores a “record”. Heatwaves can be 3, 4, 5, 7 or 10 days. They can be measured by town, city, state or national data and they are can be above 35, 37, 40 degrees or… pick a number. A heatwave can be measured as days above some percentile of average. That means a few warm days in a cold town can be defined as a heatwave.

Geoff Sherrington, drawing no dollars from the taxpayer, takes a simple and obvious approach, and looks at 5 capital cities with the BOM raw and adjusted ACORN data. He considered 4, 5, and 6 day heatwaves to see if there was a trend. With 5 cites, 2 data types, 3 lengths of heatwave, Sherrington created 30 graphs. After testing all those different combinations of heatwaves, there were only three graphs out of 30 that showed an increasing trend. Over half of the heatwave graphs showed no trend, and a third showed a cooling trend. This is not what the press headlines are telling Australia.

But are heatwaves becoming more frequent? Of the five capitals, only Perth shows a higher number of heatwaves in the last 60 years than in the first half of the last century. Adelaide had fewer heatwaves in recent times, and things stayed about the same in the other three capitals.

The hottest heatwaves in Perth were in 1933,  1956 and 1961. The hottest in Adelaide was 2009, then 1939. In Sydney, 1960 was a standout.  In Melbourne, 2009, 1959, and 1912. The hottest heatwave years in Hobart were 1994,  and 1955. The old raw records give the record to 1897.

If the BOM were scientists would they issue press releases saying that one particular definition of heatwave showed a warming trend without also mentioning that there were 20 other definitions of heatwave that didn’t show it?

If the ABC were journalists they would not parrot the unscientific BOM press releases without asking about the other forms of “heatwave” and the effect of adjustments.

  1. “Does this increase in heatwaves hold for other lengths and cutoffs of the definition of heatwave?
  2. Why don’t the BOM mention those types of heatwave? Don’t people in Adelaide, for example, have a right to know that they had more 4, 5, and 6 day heatwaves early last century?
  3. Why does it take an unpaid volunteer to tell the complete story on heatwaves when the Australian people pay the Bureau $300 million to do that?

Here’s the questions this blogger wants the ABC to answer:

  1. The ABC budget is $1.1b. Why does it take an unpaid volunteer to ask the questions the Australian public want to know?
  2. What is the ABC doing to make sure corruption, falling standards and confirmation bias are not destroying our most valued public institutions, for example, the BOM?

The Bureau of Meteorology was given $344m in the 2014-15 budget (Australian Dept of Environment, budget statement 2014). It suffered cuts of $10 million over 4 years. That’s a cut of less than 1%.

– Jo

——————————————————————————————————-

Are heatwaves in Australia becoming more frequent, hotter or lasting longer?

By: Geoffrey H Sherrington

Scientist

The hypothesis tested.

We test this hypothesis:

Heatwaves in Australia are becoming more frequent, hotter and are lasting longer because of climate change.

(The claim was made in a Climate Council report of Jan 2014. From other publications, it seems to be perceived wisdom among authorities from the Australian Bureau of Meteorology and CSIRO, who help to guide national policy.)

Here, we examine the daily maximum temperatures of 5 State capitals, Perth, Adelaide, Melbourne, Sydney and Hobart. These were chosen because many people live close to these weather stations and because their observations cover many decades. Brisbane has too much missing temperature data and Darwin is already hot.

We use simple algebra and 5 sites only because of limited resources. However, more complicated analysis must still explain the findings of simple tests.

There is no settled definition of ‘heatwave’ yet. Australia’s Bureau of Meteorology, BOM, is currently creating more complex definitions, commonly in terms of 3 day heatwaves.

Here, for ease of calculation, a heatwave is simply defined as a string of consecutive days whose average of the maximum temperatures is anomalously high. We look at past heatwaves of 4, 5, 6 and 10 consecutive days. We select the Top 20 hottest heatwave years and then rank them in various ways.

There are two relevant data sets, both from the Australian Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) whose compilation of the historical record is acknowledged. The first set is the longer one, called CDO for Climate Data Online. This is essentially raw data as recorded. The second set is the BOM ACORN-SAT, or Acorn for short, which is an adjusted, homogenised set that usually commences in 1910. As time goes by, more announcements are made in Acorn terms, when sometimes it is more appropriate to use raw data, so we test both.

Thus, we present a bundle of graphs, being 5 cities x 2 data sets X 3 heatwave day lengths for a total of 30 graphs. Averaged maximum daily temperatures in degrees C always form the Y axis, years always form the X axis.

The primary finding:

The hypothesis is falsified for the cities tested.

That is, it is wrong to claim that in these important cities at least, there has been such a change of the characteristics of heatwaves as defined.

Findings in more detail

Here is one example of the 30 graphs used in the first stage of the analysis. The temperature data are from the BOM CDO for the Sydney Observatory station 66062.

Heatwaves, Sydney, Australia

To create this graph, the daily maximum temperature, after some minor infilling of missing data, was searched for every value of the hottest 4 consecutive days. Each 4 day average was ranked from hottest to coldest, then a Top 20 hottest selection was made, with any year appearing only once. (Rarely, some years have 2 Top 20 events, but we used only the hotter).

For most of the graphs, the years are shown in chronologic order of oldest to most recent. The linear regression line has no great mathematical meaning; it is inserted to help the eye to see if there is a discernible trend over the years. The line is coloured blue for a cooling trend, yellow for essentially zero trend and red for a warming trend.

To avoid having to count from the 30 graphs, here is a summary table of trends:

 Trend
4 day 5 day 6 day
Perth CDO COOL COOL COOL
ACORN cool cool cool
Adelaide CDO ZERO ZERO WARM 3 cases out of 30 show warm
ACORN zero cool cool 10 cases out of 30 show zero
Melbourne CDO COOL COOL ZERO 17 cases out of 30 show cool
ACORN zero zero zero
Sydney CDO COOL WARM ZERO
ACORN zero warm warm
Hobart CDO COOL COOL COOL
ACORN cool zero cool

Test One: Are heatwaves becoming more frequent?

We answer this by counting the number of heatwaves in the first half and second half of the years of each chronological Top 20 data set. The longer, CDO data set is used. Here is a table to summarise the findings.

NUMBER OF HEATWAVES, CDO DATA SET
4 day 5 day 6 day
Perth 1897-1955 EARLY

4

1

1

1956-2013 LATER

16

19

19

Adelaide 1887-1950 EARLY

13

14

15

1951-2013 LATER

7

6

5

Melbourne 1856-1935 EARLY

8

10

10

1936-2013 LATER

12

10

10

Sydney 1859-1936 EARLY

6

8

8

1937-2013 LATER

14

12

12

Hobart 1882-1956 EARLY

11

10

10

1957-2013 LATER

9

10

10

Findings: There is a mixture of results depending on site location. Perth has more heatwaves since 1956, than before then. Adelaide has the opposite, with many more heatwaves before 1950, than after 1950.

There is not a strong pattern for Melbourne, Sydney, or Hobart.

The hypothesis that heatwaves are becoming more frequent is then supported by one city only of the 5 tested, Perth. Note that the results for Perth and indeed all stations, can vary if a different selection of local weather stations is chosen.

Test Two: Are heatwaves becoming hotter?

This is answered by trends of the heat wave Top 20 in chronological order.

Each chronological list was divided into the earliest 10 of the Top 20 years and the later 10 years. The average temperature of each early set of 10 was compared with the average of each later set of 10. This later number, for each of the 5 sites, was subtracted from the earlier number to show a temperature rise or fall over the history. A positive number is taken to mean that there is cooling over the years.

The outcome is shown in this table. In all but one case out of 15, (Sydney, Acorn, 5 day) these data show heatwaves are getting cooler with the passing of time.

Heating of Top 20
from early to late
SITE

4 DAY

5 DAY

6 DAY

PERTH Acor

0.27

0.60

0.87

ADELAIDE Acorn

0.12

0.34

0.53

MELBOURNE Acorn

0.34

0.02

0.46

SYDNEY Acorn

0.66

-0.46

0.01

HOBART Acorn

0.40

0.25

0.47

Test Three: Are heatwaves becoming longer?

We introduce 10 day heatwave calculations through graphs such as this one for Adelaide.

Adelaide, heatwaves, australia

In this example, it can be seen that the long, 10 day heatwaves are no more prevalent in the second half of the history than the first half, 1887 to 1950. It is concluded for this case that heat waves are not becoming longer. The following table summarises all 15 CDO cases calculated.

NUMBER OF
TOP 20 CASES
SITE EARLY HALF LATER HALF
Perth

1

19

Adelaide

12

8

Melbourne

6

14

Sydney

7

13

Hobart

20

0

The result is a mixed bag. This method of analysis suggests that later heatwaves have been dominantly longer in Perth, because only 1 case appears before the half-way point. Conversely, early heatwaves are dominant in Hobart, with not a strong signal in Adelaide, Melbourne or Sydney.

The hypothesis that heatwaves are becoming longer is not supported by this analysis of these 5 important cities.

CONCLUSIONS

It is easy to raise objections to the methodology of this analysis.

It is not easy to explain why perceived wisdom supports the opening hypothesis of longer, hotter and more frequent heatwaves, when this simple exercise falsifies it in the first instance.

SUPPLEMENTARY DATA

Excel spread sheets are available on request.

 Headline edited for clarity a few hours after posting.

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145 comments to Heatwaves in Australia: in many ways they are not hotter, longer or more common. Why won’t BOM and ABC say that too?

  • #
    Ron Cook

    Tonight’s weather forecaster on Channel 7, Melbourne. Quote “Melbourne reached a WHOPPING 32 degrees”.

    Bloody Hell, whats WHOPPING about 32 deg. I ask you? Very, very emotive language.

    R-COO- K+

    380

    • #
      Ron Cook

      I experienced so called heat waves in the late 50,s and early 1960′s. The last 3 decades have been nothing like those. I vividly remember trying to tackle chemistry, physics and phys chem exams in the old Exhibition buildings, Melbourne in 1961, 1962 when it was 35 plus outside, heaven knows what the temp was inside.

      R-COO- K+

      261

      • #
        Robert O

        In the 1960′s it was common to see cars stopping for a while on hot Summer days due to boiling radiators. This translates to days of 90 F or more. Nowadays it’s a thing of the past due to pressurised systems. I would agree that it was hotter then as I remember literally weeks of 90 + on the East coast of Tas.

        100

      • #
        albert

        I also experienced warmer heat waves in the past decades when a heat wave was 4 days and longer. Today a heat wave is a warm afternoon and counting warm afternoons as heatwaves will shatter all records

        60

        • #
          Kenneth Richard

          According to scientists, heat waves are naturally forced.

          http://journals.ametsoc.org/doi/abs/10.1175/BAMS-D-12-00069.1?af=R
          We examine how physical factors spanning climate and weather contributed to record warmth [heat waves] over the central and eastern United States in March 2012, when daily temperature anomalies at many locations exceeded 20°C. Several lines of evidence strongly implicate natural variations as the primary cause for the extreme event. The 2012 temperature anomalies had a close analog in an exceptionally warm U.S. March occurring over 100 years earlier, providing observational evidence that an extreme event similar to March 2012 could be produced through natural variability alone. In addition, forcing associated with a strong Madden–Julian oscillation further increased the probability for extreme U.S. warmth and provided important additional predictive information on the timing and spatial pattern of temperature anomalies. The results indicate that the superposition of a strong natural variation similar to March 1910 on longterm warming of the magnitude observed would be sufficient to account for the record warm March 2012 U.S. temperatures. We conclude that the extreme warmth over the central and eastern United States in March 2012 resulted primarily from natural climate and weather variability— a substantial fraction of which was predictable.

          30

          • #
            sillyfilly

            You should read more carefully:
            “The results indicate that the superposition of a strong natural variation similar to March 1910 on longterm warming of the magnitude observed would be sufficient to account for the record warm March 2012 U.S. temperatures”

            02

            • #
              Kenneth Richard

              So did you get tripped up on the “longterm” part? Here, let me help you.
              —-
              http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs00254-006-0261-x
              The current global warming is most likely a combined effect of increased solar and tectonic activities and cannot be attributed to the increased anthropogenic impact on the atmosphere. Humans may be responsible for less than 0.01 C (of approximately 0.56C (1F) total average atmospheric heating during the last century) (Khilyuk and Chilingar 2003, 2004). The global natural processes drive the Earth’s climate …. Any attempts to mitigate undesirable climatic changes using restrictive regulations are condemned to failure, because the global natural forces are at least 4–5 orders of magnitude greater than available human controls.
              —-
              http://www.elic.ucl.ac.be/users/thierry/articles/2009_Renssen_et_al_NatureGeo.pdf
              Considering the temperature response at the scale of the Arctic, orbital [solar] forcing is the dominant long-term forcing over the whole Holocene, whereas the effect of variations in atmospheric greenhouse gases is minor (Fig. 1a). In experiment ORB, summer temperatures north of 60 N were 2 C warmer at 9,000 years before present than [currently]. The effect of greenhouse gas forcing alone is a slight warming (0.3C) over the past 9,000 years.
              —-
              http://link.springer.com/article/10.1134%2FS1019331613030015
              The author associates the recently observed climate warming and carbon dioxide concentration growth in the lower atmospheric layers with variations of solar-geomagnetic activity in global cloud formation and the significant decrease in the role of forests in carbon dioxide accumulation in the process of photosynthesis. The contribution of the greenhouse effect of carbon-containing gases to global warming turns out to be insignificant.
              —-
              http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/2013JD021343/abstract
              Using 13 solar cycles (1869-2009) we study winter surface temperatures and North Atlantic oscillation (NAO) during four different phases of the sunspot cycle: minimum, ascending, maximum and declining phase. We find significant differences in the temperature patterns between the four cycle phases, which indicates a solar cycle modulation of winter surface temperatures.
              —-
              http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0273117714005286
              We demonstrate that the detrended annual means of global surface air temperature in 1965–2012 show the maxima during CRs [Cosmic Rays] and Dst index [of the solar wind] minima. It proves that CRs [Cosmic Rays] play essential role in climate change and main part of climate variations can be explained by Pudovkin and Raspopov’s (1992) mechanism of action CRs [Cosmic Rays] modulated by the solar activity on the state of lower atmosphere and meteorological parameters.
              —-
              http://link.springer.com/article/10.1186%2Fs40645-014-0024-3#page-1
              Solar influence on climate is now accepted as an important contribution to climate variability, particularly on regional scales. Reflecting this, the main focus has moved from TSI [total solar irradiance] towards understanding SSI [solar spectral irradiance] variations and their impact as well as shifting from the global responses to more regional responses. With better understanding of SSI [solar spectral irradiance], the importance of the top-down stratospheric UV mechanism has been widely accepted. Improved measurements of both TSI and SSI became available leading to more reliable solar cycle variation estimates, and a new value for the solar constant (TSI) was recommended for the IPCC AR5 climate simulations.

              10

              • #
                sillyfilly

                Khilyuk and Chilingar have been debunked numerous times.
                Anybody serious about GCR has to establish some form of evidence for nucleation which CERN could not find.
                Solar theory perfectly described by Raymond T. Pierrehumbert, The University of Chicago,Department of the Geophysical Sciences:
                “That’s a coffin with so many nails in it already that the hard part is finding a place to hammer in a new one.”

                00

              • #
                Kenneth Richard

                I have collected 112 papers published just in the year 2014 alone linking natural forcings (solar/ocean cycles) to climate change, including 18 documenting the SSR (solar brightening) trends from the 1980s onward, coinciding with the warming. If “solar theory” is so dead, is it possible that so many scientists (100s) publishing in science journals weren’t notified? I’ll list just a tiny fraction of them here so that you can dismiss them without the slightest consideration (since they will violate your beliefs) and so you can compose another witty nail-in-coffin ditty.
                —–
                http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1364682614001357
                Increased Earth surface heating during solar maxima regulates integrated water vapor, cloud liquid water content, and rainfall.
                Highlights
                •Solar control on [Indian Summer Monsoon] ISM rainfall, [cloud liquid water content] LWC and [integrated water vapor] IWV is observed over India during 1977–2012.
                Sun influences the formation clouds and rainfall activity through GCR [Galactic Cosmic Ray] mediation.
                •Increased Earth surface heating during solar maxima regulates IWV, LWC and rainfall.
                •SSN [Sunspot Number] shows both positive and negative correlation with LWC and ISM rainfall.
                •Wavelet analyses also indicate a solar control on ISM rainfall, LWC & IWV over India.
                ——
                http://www.atmos-chem-phys.net/14/12251/2014/acp-14-12251-2014.html
                Concerning the global solar radiation, many publications agree on the existence of a solar dimming period between 1970 and 1985 and a subsequent solar brightening period (Norris and Wild, 2007; Solomon et al., 2007; Makowski et al., 2009; Stjern et al., 2009; Wild et al., 2009; Sanchez-Lorenzo and Wild, 2012). Different studies have calculated the trend in Sg after 1985. The trend in Sg [global solar radiation] from GEBA (Global Energy Balance Archive; between 1987 and 2002 is equal to +1.4 ( 3.4)Wm-2 per decade according to Norris and Wild (2007). Stjern et al. (2009) found a total change in the mean surface solar radiation trend over 11 stations in northern Europe of +4.4% between 1983 and 2003. In the Fourth Assessment Report of the IPCC (Solomon et al., 2007), 421 sites were analyzed; between 1992 and 2002, the change of all-sky surface solar radiation was equal to 0.66 Wm-2 per year. Wild et al. (2009) investigated the global solar radiation from 133 stations from GEBA/World Radiation Data Centre belonging to different regions in Europe. All series showed an increase over the entire period, with a pronounced upward tendency since 2000. For the Benelux region, the linear change between 1985 and 2005 is equal to +0.42 Wm-2 per year, compared to the pan-European average trend of +0.33Wm-2 per year (or +0.24Wm-2 if the anomaly of the 2003 heat wave is excluded) (Wild et al. 2009). Our trend at Uccle of +0.5 ( 0.2)Wm-2 per year [5 W/m-2 per decade] (or +4% per decade) agrees within the error bars with the results from Wild et al. (2009).
                —–
                http://link.springer.com/article/10.1134/S1024856014060104#page-1
                Changes of the world climate during the past 1000 years rather exactly corresponded to variations in solar activity: in the 12th—13th centuries, when the solar activity was high, a warm period was noted (medieval climatic optimum), and two distinct drops of temperature in the Little Ice Age (15th—16th centuries) correspond to the Maunder and Sporer minima. … At the same time, in the framework of empiric [observable] models, the estimate of the solar activity contribution in the variation in the air global temperature in the 20th century is about 70%.
                —–
                http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2212095514000728
                This study analyses the interannual variability of sunshine duration (SDU) at the urban area of Athens from 1897 to 2011. Observations of total cloud cover (TCC) are also used for a better interpretation of SDU variations. The annual SDU in Athens has increased by +8% (+19 h/decade) over the past century, mainly due to increase in the summer and spring SDU, however, distinct sub periods with decreasing and increasing trends are also discerned. SDU in Athens has undergone an abrupt increase during 1940s with early 1950s being the brightest period of the record. For long periods the course of SDU mirrors TCC, indicating a strong negative correlation between the two variables, nevertheless during the last three decades, both variables reveal trends of the same sign (more evident in spring). Under all-sky conditions, annual SDU decreased by approximately 7% from 1950s to 1980s and increased by 3% thereafter. Under clear sky conditions, the increase of SDU after 1980s is larger, amounting to 9%. Singular spectrum analysis and Continuous Wavelet Transform indicated significant non-linear trends of SDU and an intermittent oscillation, centered at 2.9–3.0 yrs.
                —-
                http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/2014JD022076/abstract
                The contribution of clouds and aerosols to the decadal variations of downward surface shortwave radiation (SSR) is a current controversial topic. This study proposes a method, which is based on surface-based SSR measurements, aerosol observations, and radiative transfer simulations (in cloud-free and cloud- and aerosol-free scenarios), to evaluate cloud-aerosol (CARE), cloud (CRE), and aerosol (ARE) radiative effects. This method is applied to quantify the role played by, separately, clouds and aerosols on the intense brightening of the SSR observed in the Iberian Peninsula. Clouds and Earth’s Radiation Energy Budget System (CERES) and surface-based data exhibit an increase in SSR between 2003 and 2012, exceeding +10 W m−2 over this period for some areas of the peninsula. The calculations are performed for three surface-based sites: Barcelona and Valladolid (Spain), and Évora (Portugal). Ranges in monthly values of CARE, CRE, and ARE are (−80, −20), (−60, −20), and (−30, 0), respectively (in W m−2). The average trends for the analyzed period of CARE, CRE, and ARE are +7, +5, and +2 W m−2 per decade, respectively. Overall, three fourths of the SSR trend is explained by clouds, while the other one fourth is related to aerosol changes. The SSR trends explained by the clouds and aerosol radiative effects are in line with the observed reductions in total cloud cover and aerosol load (both at the surface and in the whole atmospheric column). Furthermore, the CRE values are compared against CERES data showing good agreement between both data series, although some discrepancies are observed in their trends.
                —–
                http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0273117714003810
                We use Indian temperature data of more than 100 years [1901--2007] to study the influence of solar activity on climate. We study the Sun–climate relationship by averaging solar and climate data at various time scales; decadal, solar activity and solar magnetic cycles. We also consider the minimum and maximum values of sunspot number (SSN) during each solar cycle. This parameter SSN is correlated better with Indian temperature when these data are averaged over solar magnetic polarity epochs (SSN maximum to maximum). Our results indicate that the solar variability may still be contributing to ongoing climate change and suggest for more investigations.
                —–
                http://www.aanda.org/articles/aa/pdf/2014/02/aa23391-14.pdf
                [T]he modern Grand maximum (which occurred during solar cycles 19–23, i.e., 1950–2009) was a rare or even unique event, in both magnitude and duration, in the past three millennia. Except for these extreme cases, our reconstruction otherwise reveals that solar activity is well confined within a relatively narrow range.
                —–
                http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/2013JD020062/abstract
                The surface response to 11 year solar cycle variations is investigated by analyzing the long-term mean sea level pressure and sea surface temperature observations for the period 1870–2010. The analysis reveals a statistically significant 11 year solar signal over Europe, and the North Atlantic provided that the data are lagged by a few years. The delayed signal resembles the positive phase of the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) following a solar maximum. The corresponding sea surface temperature response is consistent with this. A similar analysis is performed on long-term climate simulations from a coupled ocean-atmosphere version of the Hadley Centre model that has an extended upper lid so that influences of solar variability via the stratosphere are well resolved.
                —–
                http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0378437114005226
                Appropriate solar proxy models demonstrate the existence of a significant sun-climate relation.
                [T]he solar signature in the surface temperature record can be recognized only using specific techniques of analysis that take into account non-linearity and filtering of the multiple climate change contributions; the post 1880-year temperature warming trend cannot be compared or studied against the sunspot record and its 11-year cycle, but requires solar proxy models showing short and long scale oscillations plus the contribution of anthropogenic forcings, as done in the literature. Multiple evidences suggest that global temperatures and sunspot numbers are quite related to each other at multiple time scales. Thus, they are characterized by cyclical fractional models. However, solar and climatic indexes are related to each other through complex and non-linear processes.
                —–
                http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs10509-013-1775-9
                Our analysis provides a first order validation of the ACRIM TSI composite approach and its 0.037 %/decade upward trend during solar cycles 21–22. The implications of increasing TSI during the global warming of the last two decades of the 20th century are that solar forcing of climate change may be a significantly larger factor than represented in the CMIP5 general circulation climate models.
                —–
                http://www.clim-past.net/10/1803/2014/cp-10-1803-2014.html
                Eastern China temperatures varied with the solar activity, showing higher temperatures under stronger solar irradiation, which produced stronger summer monsoons. During Maunder, Dalton and 1900 sunspot minima, more severe drought events occurred, indicating a weakening of the summer monsoon when solar activity decreased on decadal timescales. On an interannual timescale, dry conditions in the study area prevailed under El Niño conditions, which is also supported by the spectrum analysis. Hence, our record illustrates the linkage of Asian summer monsoon precipitation to solar irradiation and ENSO: wetter conditions in the study area under stronger summer monsoon during warm periods, and vice versa. During cold periods, the Walker Circulation will shift toward the central Pacific under El Niño conditions, resulting in a further weakening of Asian summer monsoons.
                —–
                http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/joc.4059/abstract
                The Carpathians are the longest mountain range in Europe and a geographic barrier between Central Europe, Eastern Europe, and the Balkans. To investigate the climate of the area, the CARPATCLIM project members collected, quality-checked, homogenized, harmonized, and interpolated daily data for 16 meteorological variables and many derived indicators related to the period 1961–2010….Temperature was found to increase in every season, in particular in the last three decades, confirming the trends occurring in Europe; wind speed decreased in every season; cloud cover and relative humidity decreased in spring, summer, and winter, and increased in autumn, while relative sunshine duration behaved in the opposite way [increased]; precipitation and surface air pressure showed no significant trend, though they increased slightly on an annual basis. We also discuss the correlation between the variables and we highlight that in the Carpathian Region positive and negative sunshine duration anomalies are highly correlated to the corresponding temperature anomalies during the global dimming (1960s and 1970s) and brightening (1990s and 2000s) periods.
                —–
                http://file.scirp.org/Html/22-4700327_50837.htm
                Variations in total solar irradiance are often discussed but not variations in cloud cover, but cloud cover impedes the flow of radiation, which in general means that it controls the amount of radiation reaching the Earth’s surface during the day, and how much heat is lost during overnight cooling. The reduction in total cloud cover of 6.8% [between 1984 – 2009] means that 5.4 Wm−2 (6.8% of 79) is no longer being reflected but acts instead as an extra forcing into the atmosphere. To put this [5.4 Wm-2 of solar radiative forcing via cloud cover reduction between 1984-2009] into context, the IPCC Fifth Assessment Report…states that the total anthropogenic radiative forcing for 2011 relative to 1750 is 2.29 Wm−2 for all greenhouse gases and for carbon dioxide alone is 1.68 Wm−2. The increase in radiative forcing caused by the reduction in total cloud cover over 10 years is therefore more than double the IPCC’s estimated radiative forcing for all greenhouse gases and more than three times greater than the forcing by carbon dioxide alone [from 1750 to present].
                —–
                http://www.nature.com/ncomms/2014/140225/ncomms4323/full/ncomms4323.html
                Our analyses show that the combined solar and volcanic forcing is highly correlated to both existing AMO reconstructions over the past two centuries. The correlation between the AMO reconstructions and the combined external forcing record is highly significant for both the tree-ring and multiproxy records after AD 1775 when compared with 10,000 randomly generated red-noise AR1 data. Comparison with red-noise AR1 time series suggests that the abrupt change in correlation around AD 1775 observed for the tree-ring AMO is highly unlikely to occur by chance (P~0.005). Cross-correlation analyses furthermore show that both AMO reconstructions temporally lag the combined solar and volcanic forcing by ~5 years in the interval following the transition around AD 1775.
                —–
                http://www.nature.com/ngeo/journal/v7/n9/full/ngeo2225.html
                Changes in solar activity have previously been proposed to cause decadal- to millennial-scale fluctuations in both the modern and Holocene climates. Direct observational records of solar activity, such as sunspot numbers, exist for only the past few hundred years, so solar variability for earlier periods is typically reconstructed from measurements of cosmogenic radionuclides such as10Be and 14C from ice cores and tree rings. We conclude that the mechanism behind solar forcing of regional climate change may have been similar under both modern and Last Glacial Maximum climate conditions.

                —–
                http://iopscience.iop.org/1748-9326/9/2/024004/
                We investigate the role of the 11-year solar cycle in modulating the Pacific-North American (PNA) influence on North American winter climate. The PNA appears to play an important conduit between solar forcing and surface climate. The low solar (LS) activity may induce an atmospheric circulation pattern that resembles the positive phase of the PNA, resulting in a significant warming over northwestern North America and significant dry conditions in the Pacific Northwest, Canadian Prairies and the Ohio-Tennessee-lower Mississippi River Valley. The solar-induced changes in surface climate share more than 67% and 14% of spatial variances in the PNA-induced temperature and precipitation changes for 1950-2010 and 1901-2010 periods, respectively. These distinct solar signatures in North American climate may contribute to deconvolving modern and past continental-scale climate changes and improve our ability to interpret paleoclimate records in the region.
                —–
                http://www.clim-past-discuss.net/11/279/2015/cpd-11-279-2015.pdf
                The global picture emerges of a ∼ 200 year period climate oscillation which correlates highly with the De Vries/Suess oscillation of solar activity. This would indicate that the dominant forcing of the paleoclimate is the solar activity. For different records and different times, however, we find frequencies differing slightly from the main ∼ 200 year periodicity. The solar influence is modified by the 25 response of the Earth system and its inherent forcings such as volcanic activity.

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      By coincidence, it was 32°C and +/- 50 RH up here at 19°S that had an acquaintance swooning and declaring how hot it was back last year when the whole angry summer caper was on. So maybe the answer to “Why won’t BOM and ABC say that?” is that they have discovered it is possible to trigger psychosomatic heat-stress in some people?

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      turnedoutnice

      We’re having a heat wave
      A BOM heat wave
      The temperature’s rising, it isn’t surprising
      The thermometer’s fixed; can-can

      They started the heat wave
      By letting the data wave
      And in such a way the Government says
      They certainly can can-can

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      The Backslider

      I’ve worked all day in a cotton field in Collarenebri when it was over 50C.

      Now that is “whopping” heat :-P

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      Skeptik

      You think that’s good, a few years ago one report described Sydney’s 28c as hot and Melbourne’s 32c as warm.

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      James Bradley

      Australia began importing camels from the canary Islands in 1940.

      Camels were extensively used in Australia from the 1840′s by engineers building railroads and telegraphs and pioneers and explorers because of the hot, dry conditions.

      Although North America in the 1840′s was about the same area and Americans also pioneered extensively, built railroads, telegraphs and explored they did not use camels because they don’t have the same hot dry conditions as Australia.

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      Peter OBrien

      Yes, one day back in October 2014, the channel 7 news report told us that Sydney ‘suffered’ under conditions of 32C heat. The backdrop was a scene at Bondi beach showing the ‘suffering’ of thousands of Sydney-siders.

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    bemused

    I wish the above could be converted to something simple and easily digested and understood by other than a bunch of number crunchers.

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      Geoff Sherrington

      Bemused,
      Go for it. Do your own. Find similar outcomes.
      Here was me, thinking my little essay was oversimplified.
      Geoff

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        bemused

        I’m an absolute simpleton when it comes to all this number crunching; actually, I have no patience or fortitude for it. But why attack someone who is looking for clarity and simplicity from complexity? My entire point is that regardless of the facts, if they can’t be explained in layman’s terms, then they are completely irrelevant in the larger scheme of things.

        If that’s the best that I can expect from knowledgeable members, be prepared to be offended.

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          Geoff Sherrington

          Bemused,
          I was not attacking you.
          The essay had simple statements of outcome, stated succinctly in the headline and elsewhere.
          If you wanted evidence of the broad outcome, it was in the bodyy of an essay that I tried to write in very simple terms, while still addressing a wide range of interested people.
          Please tell me what more I could have done to help you.
          Geoff

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        Ted O'Brien.

        Geoff, a bit more info on the legend might make it easier.

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          Geoff Sherrington

          Ted, agreed, more data on axes needed.
          I had hoped that a statement in the essay had covered this with brevity.
          There were many, many graphs on top of the ones you can see, it was simply a matter of tedium to label them all when the legends were constant.
          Besides, I was concentrating on the outcome more than the method.
          Geoff

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      Ron Cook

      Bemused,

      Ditto on your question. I’m a chemist not a statistician so this sort of treatise goes right over my head.

      R-COO- K+

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        Geoff Sherrington

        Ron,

        Chemistry was my major also.
        We might have learned that those simple introductory test tube reactions proceeded as Nature dictated and that we could not chage the colours by wishing they were different.
        Keep well
        Geoff.

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        Geoff Sherrington

        Ron,

        Chemistry was my major also.
        We might have learned that those simple introductory test tube reactions proceeded as Nature dictated and that we could not chage the colours by wishing they were different.
        Keep well
        Geoff.

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      I’m trying to help. I can see your point. I’ve rewritten the second paragraph and added a couple of paragraphs below that. I hope that helps. There really are a lot of permutations and combinations here because he also looked at “hottest” as well as longest, and the frequency of heatwaves as well. It is hard to get a simple meaningful line, except that if I wanted to cherry pick one graph I could write headlines declaring a lot of contradictory things.

      The biggest problem with the raw data is that it does need some kind of adjustment because of station changes in the earliest years. But Sherrington draws his conclusions from ACORN too.

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        Rereke Whakaaro

        I think that Geoff has done a simple, but elegant, bit of analysis. If I was wearing a hat, I would tip it.

        But the problem that we readers face, is that we are comparing a three dimensional concept: temperature; duration; and frequency, across time and multiple locations.

        Being able to get your head around that, and appreciate the nuances, when you are using a two-dimensional presentation surface is not easy; even for people who are well practiced in the art.

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          Geoff Sherrington

          Rereke,
          Thank you for the comment.
          I try to keep these things fairly neutral of opinion, so they end up reading somewhat boring.
          But Jo usually adds a little spice at the top.
          Yes, it is not so easy to isolate variables to a useful extent and then concentrate on the main variable without delving into multivariate work.
          This one is no more complex than additions and averages, even more boring to many readers.

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        tom0mason

        Basically as, higher civil servants know, all that has to be said is -

        So you see BOM that although your methods could be construed as clear, simple, and straightforward, there is some difficulty in justifiably assigning to it the epithets you have applied to the many statement from the government Bureau of Meteorology, inasmuch as the precise correlation between said information communicated and the actuality of the facts as recorded, insofar as they can be determined, displayed, and demonstrated, is such as to cause epistemological problems, of sufficient magnitude as to lay upon the logical and semantic resources of the English language a heavier burden than they can reasonably be expected to bear.

        (With thanks to to writers of TV series ‘Yes Minister’ [Antony Jay and Jonathan Lynn] for the concise definition of ‘to lie’.)

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        Geoff Sherrington

        Thanks, Jo.

        People who have not yet gone throught the processes of putting up an essay for Jo to publish on her excellent, world class blog, should try it to uncover the time consuming bits and pieces that are involved.
        As Jo noted, we are unpaid volunteers. We have tiny resources compared with unis, BOM, CSIRO etc., yet from time to time we make accepted, valid points.
        Geoff

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      Yonniestone

      Bemused I agree in simplifying data for the average person however I think it’s essential to present the professional complex information as to counter any CAGW proponents claims of “where’s the science?” or “peer review” even if the opponents are scientifically challenged it’s still a good idea to cover ones backside.

      As Geoff pointed out he considered this an “oversimplified essay” so it’s good to know there’s a mind bending, hoity toity, high falutin paper out there in the magical world of real science. :)

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        bemused

        I think that it has to be done both ways. I’m not an expert in these matters in any shape or form, but I read this blog because it gives me understanding and ammunition with which to debate things with others, who equally don’t understand the technicalities but rely entirely on what they see and hear in the MSM.

        If I can’t understand something myself, then there’s no way that I can explain it to others. And therein lies the rub, climate scientists argue that these things are too complex so just trust them. My view is that if something can’t be explained in layman’s terms then there’s something wrong and/or being deliberately hidden.

        This blog needs to be more than just a discussion forum for experts or very knowledgeable people.

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          FarmerDoug2

          What we simpletons need is someone who does know who we can trust.
          Doug

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            bemused

            From the responses and the thumbs down I’ve received for raising a simply issue, I’m beginning to feel like a sceptic at a warming worriers convention. Some appear to be taking a leaf out of the warming worriers guide book; flame and disparage those who dare question. :)

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              Bemused, I found your comment useful and improved my intro. Thanks. I’ll organize captions too. Bobl at #2.4.2.1 has pretty much got the takehome message. It’s why I put the ABC and BOM in the headline. This is about the way the media and the bureau filter out the other combinations that give a null result.

              I want everyone to know that there are a hundred combinations and permutations of heatwave headlines. It is easy to cherry pick the various definitions and find any trend headline you want.

              It’s not quite that I want the BOM to define only one method (though that would be an improvement, and limit the headlines) — I want them to publish the full set of “trends” so the public gets a better idea of how important or valid one trend in one particular set of criterion are.

              I want the ABC to start asking about the vast array of unannounced negatives and omitted trends.

              If 4 day heatwaves are increasing in average max temperature in a city, shouldn’t the public also know that, say, that the frequency is decreasing, or that 6 day heatwaves are fewer, or that in other cities the results of the same test are the opposite.?

              We never hear about all the results where there is no trend. Where are those headlines?

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                bemused

                Thanks Jo. I think people have misconstrued what I meant and I guess such is often the problem with the internet. I was in no way disparaging the article or the writer, but I often find great difficulty in dissecting the salient points from many of these very technical and data laden posts.

                It may appear simple stuff for some, but my mind starts to drift very quickly when I try to make heads or tails of some of these articles; statistics, accounting and the like disciplines have always been my bête noire. That’s why I seek simplicity when it comes to complex articles, as it makes it much easier to convey same (and accurately) to other, equally, challenged people whom I try to coax out of their warming worrier angst.

                If we start knocking someone who pleads ignorance, then we’re just supporting the warming worriers, as well as making others think it’s not worth asking for clarity or help.

                P.S. I don’t know why there was this virtual double post, as I thought this first one went astray with an incorrect address.

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              David-of-Cooyal in Oz

              G’day. First, many thanks to Jo for this site, which I’ve been following for some time. Then also many thanks to Geoff for his work and contribution.
              I have been trying to get some skeptical ideas into the MSM for some time, with little success, except for some letters to The Land ( a weekly here in NSW ) over the last month or so. My latest attempt, which I’d hoped would be published last Thursday, wasn’t, but included this idea, which might be useful:
              I suggested the name “Post-Little-Ice-Age-Warmish Plateau”, (PLIAWP pronounced Ply-orp) for the current climate period, in an attempt to extend the period under discussion back beyond 1910, and to include the warming “pause” which even the IPCC seems to acknowledge, but not advertise.
              Hope this helps.
              David Beach,
              Cooyal

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                Good on you for writing to local papers. Never doubt the effect, it gets to the editors, even if they don’t publish. And even small publications can still reach thousands of people. Skeptics everywhere should be making the most of alternate community papers.

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                The Backslider

                Google news is good for this. It regularly shows alarmist articles and many of the regional online rags allow comments, many with Facebook or Google+ logins so it’s quick and easy.

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                davefromweewaa

                I’ve read your letters in The Land newspaper David and written a few myself. The Land have always published my letters.They sometimes edit them however, changing it from my turn of phrase to theirs. I try and send text messages to the ABC country hour program whenever something dodgy about climate change comes up. It is always interesting which ones are broadcast, which ones get edited and which ones are censored completely. The main presenter has given my stuff a pretty good run over the years, the other presenters are very inclined to edit and censor. As Jo said it does have some effect. I get quite a lot of feed back from both letters and texts and it certainly lets the ABC know that not everyone believes their nonsense.
                Dave Shorter

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            bemused

            From the replies and thumbs down I’ve received so far, I’m beginning to feel like a sceptic at a warming worrier’s convention. Some appear to be taking a leaf out of the warming worrier’s handbook, belittle and disparage any who dare question. :)

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              bemused

              I think I must now hold the record for the most number of thumbs down collected by anyone on this blog, in just one post number. Even the warming worriers don’t appear to be that virulent. :)

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                bemused,

                sorry, but there’s no way known are you even close to the highest number of red thumbs.

                I remember our friend Brooksie getting 100 plus plus plus for just one comment barely a few years back now.

                He would regularly get heaps of them, as would some of the others who shall remain nameless. At least Brooksie took it with a grain of salt, and sometimes I think he said what he did just to bait us into giving him those red thumbs.

                Your 14 red thumbs would barely rate a mention, and hey, sometimes they make you think about what it was you said in the first place.

                Don’t sweat it.

                Tony.

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                bemused

                I haven’t been here that long, so I only based it on my short stay. But I’m hardly sweating it, though I am surprised at the response to what was a genuine concern about making things easier to understand and convey to others. I’ve often said that the most stupid question is the one not asked.

                However, I think the saddest thing about all of this is that it gives ammunition to the warming worriers and allows them to point out how intolerant sceptics can be, to their own, if one seemingly upsets the apple cart. That too is something to think about.

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                Mark D.

                Bemused, I think a few people mis-read your meaning including Geoff then a few more hit the red thumbs just following the herd.

                Not to worry at all.

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            stan stendera

            Jo Nova, Anthony Watts, and others.

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        Ross

        I agree with you Yonniestone.

        I think Geoff has done a great job and his first “audience” has to be the BOM people who work in this area. To them it should be simple and Geoff’s message is that their attempts to over complicate things to baffle everyone is not going to win the battle.

        Then the next step is to do what they do and put out a professional PR to the MSM saying how easy it is to “drive a truck” through the BOM analysis. But that PR should contain one example site explained in very simple, clear language to show how Geoff has done it. In effect play the at their own game but do it much better.

        I applaud Geoff on his effort.

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          Bobl

          Folks, the word here is takeaway, what can you take away from this post. Let me clarify.

          1. The BOM is befuddling the public with multiple definitions of Heatwave, they should, neigh MUST. Define a clear set of metrics and stick with them, instead of picking and choosing whatever definition gives them a headline.

          2. The MSM needs to stop parroting press releases and do just a modicrum of research and checking. They could even call Jo or Geoff! The press need to check that the metric they are being fed is the same from report to report.

          3. The press also need to stop trumpeting a temperature of 32 as abnormally hot, since in any Australian city I’m familiar with 32 is a pretty common occurence. Traditionally 100F (about 38) has been accepted as hot, a hangover from our imperial past!

          Let me make another point, Geoff fails to take into account that on hot days cities are dumping literally gigawatts of heat into the environment, at a COP of 3, 3 to 4 times the electricity consumption of all the airconditioners in use are being dumped into the air, the exacerbates the urban heat islands on hot days perhaps by up to 3 degrees. He really should get a handle on hot day heat islands (by comparing with nearby rural stations) and adjust the modern data down for that effect. Particularly since about 1990 when domestic aircon started to become practical. I think this is having a major impact on heatwave statistics. If you have a base day of a windless 35 being pushed to 38 by waste heat loads then sure as eggs you are going to count more heatwaves in cities.

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            Geoff Sherrington

            Thank you for the thoughtful comments, Bobl
            Years ago I set off with the aim to shed more light on UHI. My approach was to identify and characterise as many “untouched by man” or pristine sites as I could. I ended up with 44 for the period from the change from F to C degrees to about the end of the data I had, so 1972 to 2006 for 35 years.
            The results are here
            http://www.geoffstuff.com/new_2015_pristine_1974_to_2006.xls

            If you have time to study this, you will see that there is so much noise that a baseline, pristine trend could not be extracted without huge error terms.
            There I met the conundrum that isolated sites can have poorer quality then the man-intensive ones in the hearts of cities.

            There is some reasonably enlightening info in that incomplete essay, so do look at the tabs at bottom left of Excel and see the graphs that display warming and cooling trends against a bundle of possible influences. There is even a nice pattern when you regress the slopes against WMO station numbers, illustrating noise that one does not want. Do help me to circulate it and get comments back, if that is possible.
            Geoff.

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              Peter Carabot

              Sorry Geoff, I cannot get the link to work, I get back a 404.

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              Bobl

              I will see if I can set aside some time to look at this Geoff. I had an interesting interchange with Will Kinimonth once where he told me that the average temp of stations at the same latitude are very similar regardless of environment. It may not be necessary to select stations nearby, just stations near the same latitude?

              The point remains though, major cities chew through gigawat hours of energy every day, and a good proportion of that is heat pumps – especially since 1990. That is going to impact heatwave counts – you simply can’t compare heatwaves pre and post domestic aircon. Heat pumps mess up the thermal equilibrium in cities.

              I might add that heatpumps mess up other things. Unlike resistance heating or wood/gas fires, heat pumps have the opposite effect on the external environment to the internal. The old tech in winter heats both inside and outside, while heat pumps freeze the outside to warm the inside, heavy use of aircon for heating is also likely to make winter minimums colder in cities that they would otherwise be, though other heat sources, say automobiles probably more than compensate. In winter heat pumps subtract from UHI while in summer heatwaves they ADD to it. They’re machines for creating extremes…. should be banned (not)

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      Peter Carabot

      I am no “number cruncher, as statistic go, this is the easiest one to follow and understand EVER ( had to do that). If you need a simple Explanation, Jo did a wonderful job at summarizing the essay, charts and numbers help, if you are that way inclined, to follow the reasoning of the author.

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      sillyfilly

      It’s easy to clarify some things.
      For one Mr Sherrington only selects the ten hottest four day periods in each of two durations for selected capital cities (obviously for longevity of record).
      Brisbane data is available from 1887 and the latest studies by Sarah Perkins UNSW ARC for the Climate Council indicate Brisbane has suffered more three day heatwaves from 1950 than any other capital city. Additionally, to infer Australian data from such a simple sample is statistically dodgy, heatwaves occur away from the coast and in other than capital cities. The survey is biased towards the absolute extreme of heatwave events by selection of those cities with no reference to all heatwave events, so frequency cannot be inferred.
      Sydney has increased it number of 4 day events by 50%, Melbourne by 130%, hardly justifying this comment “There is not a strong pattern for Melbourne, Sydney,…”

      The number of cases in the TOP 20 in LATER HALF for Sydney rose by 85% and Melbourne by 133%. Again this statement is not supported: “not a strong signal in …, Melbourne or Sydney”

      Simply put, although having a strong analytical content, the evidence provided does not support a conclusion of: “It is not easy to explain why perceived wisdom supports the opening hypothesis of longer, hotter and more frequent heatwaves, when this simple exercise falsifies it in the first instance.”

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        Geoff Sherrington

        sillyfilly,
        First, please note that I have never responded to any of your past posts here.
        Here, you raise esome relevant issues that many of us have been accross for years. But, as I wrote, the outcome of a first run, simple approach can be criticised, but it still needs explanation.
        When the Climate Commision airs its scare words, they fail to note that there are exceptions to their statements, ones that are not shades of meaning, but quite obviously the opposite of what they contend.
        That is the main readon why their statement is falsified.
        I chose to avoid topics like UHI and the need to homogenise, because some of the effects I demonstrate are nearly an order of magnitude different in temperatures usually guessed at for UHI and homogenisation. That is, including these effects makes not much difference. Also, I used Acorn for some examples.
        I have done a similar exercise for Bourke NSW, famed for its heatwaves. If I included it, again it eould not change the main outcomes much. Then again, there might be occasional sites that could change the story, but then you sre getting into cherry picking country.
        Does that answer some of your points?
        Happy to address more.
        Geoff

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    Manfred

    When the recent warm summer temperatures in NZ were supplanted by a southerly blast bringing mid-summer snow to Queenstown, the MSM weather reported that the hot weather had become more ‘settled‘.

    They betray themselves with every turn of the worm.

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    Ron Cook

    “Why won’t the ABC and the BoM say that?”

    They want to use emotions and emotive language to the greatest effect. Bugger reality, brainwash the populace into thinking that we are in dire straits. Act now or we are all doomed to fry.

    An ex-friend posted this on my Facebook a year or 2 ago, “Eat, drink and be merry for tomorrow we FRY”. Such is the mentality of the “believers”.

    R-COO- K+

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    ROM

    Heatwaves in Australia, not longer, not more common.

    Why won’t BOM and ABC say that?

    This below is a very long post quoted from Andrew Montford’s Bishop Hill blog post of Nov 15. 2014 and it fits right in with Jo’s question above.

    We seem to keep asking the question that Jo asks as the headline for this but we never seem to come up with a satisfactory explanation .

    We do know that academically and bureaucratically orientated, high social strata dilettante’s plus a high disposable income allied with the hard fixated leftist political beliefs is almost a name plate description of the more rabid alarmists.

    We also know from a recent survey that about 41% of the ABC staff vote green and that certainly fits the above profile of the particular type of ABC alarmist who has little commitment to reporting the truth if it conflicts with their own personal hard leftist ideologies.

    The BOM probably has in it’s senior ranks a more than fair share of personnel who also fit the above definition and standard characterization of climate alarmists hence the reluctance of the BOM to come scientifically clean if they can possibly avoid it.
    Plus of course the embarrassment that such admissions, made after all their past quite spurious alarmist claims and pronouncements, would bring to such high status individuals who consider themselves socially and morally well above the levels of the hoi-polloi, the common herd.

    The post below also backs up Dr Patrick Moore’ s claim, he was one of Greenpeace’s founders but is now a full on outspoken critic of Greenpeace, that the marxists moved into the environmental movement including Greenpeace, when the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991.

    The realisation is also just beginning that the Climate alarmists both the rabid amateur who doesn’t know sweet FA about climate but is very vocal plus the so called climate scientists of the alarmist faith are becoming inextricably and increasingly linked with and becoming part of the hard left environmental movement.

    As the Greens world wide only get around an average 12% of the vote in a democracy, guess where climate alarmism is heading
    _________________________

    From The Bishop Hill post by the UK’s Lord Donoughue;

    Climate change and the left

    Nov 15, 2014
    This comment on why the left has fallen head over heels in love with global warming ideology was left on the discussion board by Lord Donoughue. I thought it worth of promotion to a full post.

    The issue of why the political left is overwhelmingly supportive of the climate change alarmist ideology/faith, and hence there are relatively few left wing sceptics, is quite complex and would take more space and time than I intend to impose on you here. But may I, as a lifelong Labour supporter, offer a couple of broad observations. They are by no means comprehensive and omit many nuances. But they are major general factors which I have observed in the party for 61 years, and in Parliament for almost 30 years.

    First is that most leftish British people get politically involved because they genuinely believe they wish to contribute to the common good in our society. (They tend to believe , rightly or wrongly, that the right wing wishes to contribute to their own individual or class good). At first this drew many to sympathise with Marxist ideology, until the Soviets discredited that. More sympathised and many still do with the social democratic ideals of equality and civil liberty, though that position lacks the ideological certainties and claimed scientific basis of old Marxism. With the collapse of Marxism, there was created a vacuum on the left. Those seeking an ideological faith to cling on to for moral certainty, felt bereft. They also wanted a faith which again gave them a feeling of still pursuing the common good of society, especially the new global society, and even more a feeling of moral superiority, which is a characteristic of many middle and professional types on the left. Climate change and the moral common good of saving the planet , with its claimed scientific certainties, offered to fill the vacuum. It may or may not be a coincidence that the climate change faith gained momentum in the 1990s immediately after Marxism collapsed with the Berlin Wall.

    I notice that my Labour colleagues who are troubled by the cost of the war on climate change, and especially when I point out that its costs fall heavily on the poorer classes, while its financial benefits go to rich landowners and individuals on the Climate Change Committee, still won’t face those facts because they want to cling on to the new climate faith because they want to believe it is in the common good. They are not bad or stupid people. Many are better and cleverer than me. But they have a need for a faith which they believe is for the global good. They don’t want a moral vacuum. And the current leaders of the social democratic parties in Britain and Europe are not offering them much else. For Ed Miliband, who is not a bad or stupid man, but coming from a Marxist heritage, when asked for more vision, he grasps climate change like a drowning man clasping a lifebelt.

    While this need persists and there persists the misconception that the Green faith is somehow leftish and in pursuit of the common good, then most on the political left will stay with it. To shake them it will be necessary to show them that the costs of implementing climate alarmism will actually destroy the economic hopes of the poor and is often a cynical device to enrich the wealthy. That it enables self righteous middle class posturers to parade their assumed moral superiority at the expense of the poor. And that it’s so-called scientific certainties are very uncertain indeed. It is also necessary for the sceptical and realistic side to show more publicly that they accept the proven aspects of climate change (which every sceptic I know does) and care about the genuine concerns of the environment (which the Greens ignore by littering our landscapes with inefficient and costly windmills.)

    My second point concerns the Stalinist tactics of the Green activists in trying to suppress any questioning of their dogmatic faith and to damage the lives and careers of any professional person who attempts to examine this subject in an honest way which might undermine their dogmatic claims. Their use of Holocaust language such as ‘Denier’, implying their target is akin to a neo Nazi, is but one example of the Stalinist mentality. In that political context, where any questioner is so derided, it is no surprise that most Labour supporters choose not to take the risk – especially when it immediately throws them into confrontation with their embattled leader.

    Sorry to go on so long. But they are my observational conclusions on why it is not easy for the sceptical side to make progress on the political left. Interestingly, polls suggest it is among Labour working classes, always more practical than our Hampstead/Guardian types, that there is the biggest dissent from the Green religion – and some of them are already slipping off to UKIP, which shows more concern for their suffering under the Green taxes.

    This battle to bring understanding to Labour that its climate policies punish its core supporters, will take a while to win, partly for the two reasons I offer above.

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      manalive

      There are of course a number of Tories who are blatant and unscrupulous CAGW opportunists.
      Lord Donoughue makes the alarmists on the Left sound like misguided humanitarians but many of the loudest here and in Britain are just as unprincipled and venal, if not more so, and there are far more of them.

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        manalive

        I forgot the Left’s most egregious trait, their utter hypocrisy.

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          ROM

          Think of a few high profile names that are associated with and part of the eco-fascist/ green environmental / climate alarmism scientific hard left and I think you will find that they regard themselves and act as if they are both morally and ethically far above the common herd.
          Their ideology, pronouncements and actions must not be questioned by the masses below because of their by far superior moral and ethical stance re the future of the planet.
          Any who dare to question the superior morality and ethics of the high status marxist/ ecofascists/ climate alarmists must be destroyed career wise and personally at the first sign of such doubting and questioning.

          Such selfie believed moral and ethically superior attitudes almost invariable give the leftist holder of those beliefs the arrogant belief that he / she can and should use lies, dis-information and hypocrisy on a grand scale to enshrine their beliefs and ideology because their beliefs are the only correct and unchallengeable beliefs compared to the claims and gross ignorance of the ignorant herd below along with any beliefs that herd may have of it’s own volition.

          Now start trying to identify just what those high status enviromentalists / climate alarmists./ hard leftists have actually contributed to the betterment of society in a readily identifiable way.

          There are almost none!

          The true forte of the high status eco-fascists/ climate alarmist leftist or Stalinists as Lord Donoughue calls them, is in the influencing of the political apparatus to cater for their own group and personal ideological stance, the manipulation of facts and information to fit their ideology, the attempted brainwashing of the masses towards their ideology, the control of the political and bureaucratic processes all with the ultimate aim of a total personal and group controlling of the whole of society ; ie Stalinism based on Marxism.

          All preferably done by proxies such as the useful idiots they have acquired from the herd below plus the running dogs of the MSM.
          By using proxies wherever they can to destroy the doubters and any opposition allows the hard left marxists of the eco-fascists and climate alarmists brigade to claim they have clean hands and are not responsible for the targeted individuals destruction of their careers and personal lives.

          If one takes a long hard look at the achievements of the eco-faszcists / climate alarmism science, it is almost impossible to identify anything that actually benefits the whole of society or even individuals within society.

          In terms of both political stability and advancement of a democratic society and quality of life for the individuals and the masses generally, the impact of the hard left environmental eco-fascists / climate alarmists is completely negative and almost invariably highly destructive in just about every single aspect of society one may wish to examine.

          Hypocrisy, lies, deceit, misinformation, thuggery, plus plus in the Marxist/ eco-fascist/ climate alarmism are all completely acceptable and completely justified by the marxist / Stalinist climate / eco-fascist / greens brigade under that old Jesuit saying of a few centuries ago;

          The End justifies the Means

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            James Brown

            The Jesuits said that!? I am very surprised, Christian doctrine has always been the opposite. Marx would agree. I broadly agree with the rest of your post.

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          sillyfilly

          Whereas the coldaholics most egregious trait is the flagrant disregard of basic science! Claims of “utter hypocrisy” founded in blatant ignorance.

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    Gary in Erko

    A question or idea for Geoff Sherrington or others. Rather than attempting a single definition for a heatwave, wouldn’t it be more appropriate to establish something like a Beaufort Scale for heatwaves (maybe The Sherrington Scale). A scaling that indicates the degree of heat stress. The Beaufort Scale describes ranges of effect on land and on sea, and also uses English descriptors such as “light winds”, “strong gale”.

    eg – Scale 6 is when ten consecutive days have at least 4 consecutive days and 2 other days where maximum temperature is at least 10 degrees greater than the preceeding 30 year average of maximums – roughly speaking.

    I dunno – just trying an idea out in case it’s of any use.

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    handjive

    SMH 13 Feb 2015: Summer of discontent at BOM

    “The Bureau of Meteorology is battling to do its job after years of government-imposed funding cuts according to insiders who warn that lives are at risk as Australia faces this year’s “extreme weather season.”

    So, all the BoM need is more money, and the forecasts get better?

    They couldn’t get any worse:
    Rob Webb, BoM (video, 1.20), “There’s nothing to suggest we won’t see extreme weather this summer …”

    SMH, 11 Oct 2014: Cyclones, high fire danger in Queensland summer of extreme weather

    ABC, 27 nov 2014: BOM predicts long, hot Summer for NSW north east

    Lives at risk?
    Before the cuts?

    The Age, 2008: David Jones, the head of the bureau’s National Climate Centre, said there was some risk of a worsening El Nino event this year, but it was more likely to arrive in 2010 or 2011.

    April, 2011, Thechronicle:
    ON January 10, amateur weather buff Neil Pennell did what trained meteorologists did not — predict the devastating and tragic flood event which tore though Toowoomba and the Lockyer Valley claiming 23 lives.

    SMH, April 19, 2011:
    Bureau predicted flash flood but failed to add it to public warnings

    The Bureau of Meteorology said it was not its practice to make a specific warning.

    SMH, April 19, 2011
    Bureau predicted freak flood hour earlier
    . . .
    So many bookmarked BoM failures in my computer, I just don’t have time now to put them all here, and it would be lost in moderation, if this isn’t already!

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      handjive

      “Hello” from moderation.

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      Robert

      So, all the BoM need is more money, and the forecasts get better?

      My experience of government organizations would translate that into:

      We need more money so we have more resources with which to find bigger problems for which we will need more money so we have more resources with which to find bigger problems for…

      Their financial model is very similar to a mobius strip. You always find yourself back at your starting point of “We need more money.”

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    el gordo

    BoM have invented a pilot heatwave service just for fun.

    http://www.bom.gov.au/australia/heatwave/

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    Mikky

    Probably the main thing happening in cities is just a gradual warming due to more tarmac, concrete, air-con, vehicle exhaust heat and that darned cleaner greener air (less reflection of sunlight).

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    Gee Aye

    Geoff. Do you want this published?

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      Mark D.

      Great idea Gee, before that, have you reviewed it? How about editorial comments?

      Thanks

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      Geoff Sherrington

      Gee Aye,
      No, not in its present form which has a couple of minor calc errors and not much explanation. For example, year 2014 is not included because BOM data are still listed as provisional. Also, the 10 day calculations were a late addition and should appear in more places. Also, there would need to be more comparison with BOM/CSIRO portrayals of heatwaves.

      This effort was an attempt to portray very simple, relevant, official data that on first pass at least, falsifies the longer, hotter and more often meme. It was not prepared in a form suitable for publication and indeed is not important as a contribution to science.

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      Mark D.

      …..indeed is not important as a contribution to science.

      W T F?

      (I mean the F in the kindest way possible)

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      • #
        Geoff Sherrington

        MarkD,
        Maybe I should have said it does not progress understanding of hard science, but might cause arguments among social scientists. I am one of the former, really hard as it goes.
        I have written papers and reports, mostly peer reviewed to an extent, because I had found new information or developed a new technique that others might find useful. I’ve reviewed scientific reports by the hundreds, most of which were routine summaries of annual progress for the archives, but devoid of significant scientific advancement, just like this little essay above.
        Horses for courses.
        Geoff

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    1960. I remember we really did fry an egg on the footpath. But parents made us put a pan on the path, no direct contact allowed. Thank God for the Carss Park swimming enclosure.

    It’s odd that the various heat extremes of 1960 are seldom discussed. Maybe the climate botherers like the extremity but not the date.

    I get the impression 1896 was the toughest year, though 1939 was no slouch. 2009 couldn’t be far behind.

    The main stunt is to exploit the freshness and vivid reportage of recent events and treat old ones as sepia photos at the bottom of a drawer. You’d think people would be too smart for that…but you’d think they’d be too smart for Timmy’s Geothermia and the Sydney desal. Oh, and too smart for that wave generator stuck in the surf down Kembla way.

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      handjive

      Carrs Park Pool, know it well.

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      Gary in Erko

      The Carrs Park shark net swimming enclosure. And the paper mache landscape & train set in the shop window right near by.

      40

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        JoKaH

        Carrs Park shark net swimming enclosure gone now, replaced by oversize tiled bathtub in the park! Sail RC model yachts in Kogarah Bay now where the enclosure once was.

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      Rereke Whakaaro

      Here we go … tripping down memory motorway … ;-)

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      • #
        scaper...

        Yep, my stomping ground was Oatley Park in the sixties/seventies. Further up the river from Carss Park.

        My mate and I used to paddle a surfboard from our jetty. Plenty of sharks in the river, used to spot them from our patio.

        This is the house where I grew up. The river was my playground.

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          scaper...

          I’ll add, I remember some heat waves in my childhood. In Brisbane, haven’t seen a decent heatwave since the 2001/2 summer. I recall five days in a row of 40C+. Now, that’s a heatwave!

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    toorightmate

    We have recently had the hottest year EVER.
    We have had the worst drought in Queensland EVER.

    My hypothesis is that tomorrow will be the newest day EVER. This will follow today, which was the newest day EVER.
    I have not had to homogenise any data to arrive at this conclusion.

    I’ll be there are a few people in Boston who wish Al Gore had been correct. They have been shovelling snow for the past 10 years. Al said there would be no snow for that period = the children would not know what snow looked like.

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    Ted O'Brien.

    Just discovered on The Drum, updated about 8 hours ago, in a story by Samantha Walker under the headline “Was 2014 the hottest after all?”, this:

    “Director of GISS, Gavin Schmidt, and his colleagues published a paper moderately asserting that 2014 was hotter than the second hottest year – 2010 – by just 0.02°C. That number is five times less than the 0.1°C of uncertainty in their measurements.”

    “Moderately asserting?”. “Five times less than?”

    Heavy going. But maybe The Drum is waking up to the fact that you can only abuse a promise so far and then it may be withdrawn. Hope so!

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      TedM

      Yes and 2010 was only the hottest on record after retrospectively cooling 1998, the previously hottest on record. !998 was the hottest on record during the period of AMSU and RSS Lower troposphere temperature recording. The satellite data begins in 1979.

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    pat

    misery.

    13 Feb: Swissinfo: John Heilprin: Geneva negotiators prepare road to climate pact in Paris
    For the Swiss, who have hosted the week-long Geneva negotiations, the 86-page draft text posted Friday could be seen as a hopeful though somewhat muted sign of a breakthrough – or at least a thaw – in the glacially-paced UN climate talks…
    “My assessment of the Geneva outcome is mixed. First, we are glad that the meeting in Geneva succeeded to achieve the minimum that was necessary: to agree on a common negotiation text, the so-called Geneva text,” Perrez told swissinfo.ch on Friday…
    “However, on the other hand, we would have liked to advance the work here in Geneva more, to have a text that is not only reflecting all the different views, but a text that is also reflecting the emergence of a consensus. This is not yet achieved, there is therefore still a lot of work to be done up to Paris.”…
    Another key issue is how to pay for cutbacks, preparations and adaptations for climate change. Many of the developing nations, which argue their inhabitants are the least responsible for creating the problem of an overheating planet, want rich countries to help them grow using cleaner industries. Rich countries have previously pledged to give poorer nations $100 billion (CHF93 billion) in annual climate aid by 2020…
    http://www.swissinfo.ch/eng/geneva-negotiators-prepare-road-to-climate-pact-in-paris/41272114

    PDF: 86 pages: Negotiating text
    Advance unedited version
    12 February 2015
    http://unfccc.int/files/bodies/awg/application/pdf/negotiating_text_12022015@2200.pdf

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    pat

    13 Feb: BBC: UN agrees negotiating text for Paris climate summit
    “I am extremely encouraged by the constructive spirit and the speed at which negotiators have worked during the past week,” said Christiana Figueres…
    “We now have a formal negotiating text, which contains the views and concerns of all countries. The Lima Draft has now been transformed into the negotiating text and enjoys the full ownership of all countries,” she added…
    ***Three special sessions have been added to this year’s schedule of climate meetings. They include talks about “intended nationally determined contributions”, the commitments to reduce emissions that are meant to pave the way towards a low-carbon future…
    The World Meteorological Organization confirmed this month that 2014 had been the hottest year on record, part of a continuing trend. Fourteen out of the 15 hottest years have been this century…
    The next meeting will be held in Bonn in June.
    http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-31456369

    Reuters has less spin than BBC, apart from Figueres’ contribution:

    13 Feb: Reuters: Alister Doyle: Governments face test of green promises amid low oil prices
    “The very safe assumption that every country can make about oil prices is that they will continue to be volatile,” Christiana Figueres, the U.N.’s climate chief, told Reuters.
    By contrast, solar or wind farms, once built, “have a clear and predictable price of zero dollars”, she said.
    “Slowly but surely that is being understood.”…
    A test will come when governments outline national plans for combating climate change beyond 2020 as part of the Paris deal. ***They have set an informal deadline of March 31 to submit plans, but many are likely to be late…
    Low oil prices make renewables seem relatively more costly “but it’s not only about that. We need to reinvent what are stagnant economies,” said Elina Bardram, head of the European Commission delegation…
    http://uk.reuters.com/article/2015/02/13/us-climatechange-energy-idUKKBN0LH19U20150213

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      Graeme No.3

      pat:

      “solar or wind farms, once built, “have a clear and predictable price of zero dollars”

      Great idea, can we pay them zero then?

      What about the cost of “rent” payments to landowners? Or the cost of maintenance? The latter estimated to take 13-20% of the inflated income the wind farms get.

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        Peter Carabot

        …and so does everything else. If you exclude: Maintenance and Rent!. I suppose that is typical UN speech, put together a lot of words that mean nothing but give the impression that they do. With that “cost nothing” statement, she gives the impression that the energy produced is FREE! The great unwashed will buy it.

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    pat

    finally, ABC & SBS’s most loathed member of the Howard Govt loses his position as Chief Government Whip, and our taxpayer-funded broadcasters are OUTRAGED (along with Fairfax & News Ltd) and moving in for the kill…yet again:

    13 Feb: ABC 7.30 Report: Philip Ruddock standing down as Government’s Chief Whip
    CHRIS UHLMANN: This shock has rippled around the Liberal Party.
    I have been contacted by quite a number of them who say this is just completely nuts and they do believe, as one of them said, it is the night of the long knives, there is retribution that the Prime Minister promised there wouldn’t be and that it could cause more problems within the party…
    CHRIS UHLMANN: Well, that is exactly the question that those Liberals who are critical of the Prime Minister are putting to me at the moment, they are saying that the people who are responsible for this, is certainly not Phillip Ruddock, it is the Prime Minister, his Chief of Staff and his Treasurer. They’re the ones they want to see change from them.
    Now they want to see change from the Prime Minister, but a number of them do want a changing the Prime Minister’s office, to his Chief of Staff to be replaced with someone else and some have even called this week for the Treasurer to be replaced…
    STEVE CANNANE: And Chris, a man who was seen by many as a hero of the Howard years, I remember him getting that standing ovation at one of the election rallies?
    CHRIS UHLMANN: Certainly a hero of the Howard years, did all the hard yards on immigration and you will remember was very much loved by the Liberal Party and loathed by great many people outside it, because he was seen as such a hard man on immigration, has been Attorney-General as well…
    STEVE CANNANE: Chris, just briefly, will Phillip Ruddock be the last casualty of this week’s events?
    CHRIS UHLMANN: I don’t think so. I think that these events are now on a path that will end with the departure of the Prime Minister sometime later this year.
    http://www.abc.net.au/7.30/content/2015/s4179889.htm

    13 Feb: SBS: Comment: Sacking of Chief Government Whip spells more trouble for Abbott
    In politics, nothing shocks voters more than the unexpected
    By Chief Political Correspondent Catherine McGrath
    The party fallout from the spill is unfolding now at such a pace that at some point the question of the leadership of Tony Abbott is most likely to be put to the party room again. If a new vote is held, I can’t imagine how Tony Abbott could survive…
    The late Friday afternoon sacking of the highly respected “Father of the House” Philip Ruddock for perceived disloyalty to the Prime Minister is too much for many. He is a proud figure of the former Howard Government and a leader in his party. He is the longest serving Liberal MP and many younger members looked up to him and valued his judgement. Many are shocked at the way he was dismissed…
    These are dark days for the Liberal Party of Australia.
    Reports of the sacking hit social media on Friday afternoon…
    http://www.sbs.com.au/news/article/2015/02/13/comment-sacking-chief-government-whip-spells-more-trouble-abbott

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      Graeme No.3

      Comments to the ABC should be sent to Hypocrisy.NotYourABCsport.au

      Considering the venom shown him over boat people by these same organisations, you would wonder what they believe. That people can’t remember 10 years ago? Or is it any thing that gets rid of Abbott?

      I back up our host’s comments some days ago, Split the ABC into 2. Put children’s shows, country stuff, emergency information and watchable programs (if any are available) into one part, and the news and comments (with all their greenies) into the other. Give the sane part the choice of where their news comes from, and all funds for program development. Split the TV channels between them (and other outlets) and see what happens.

      After 2 years start splitting the budget based on audience share.

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        Graeme No.3′s suggests a strategy that might work because the current one, is there one? definately isn’t.
        Julia gave the ABC $100 million extra and tax breaks to 7,9 and 10. She constantly bullied the media and got anti Labor news repressed. She also spent a mere $60 million a year on her very own PR mob.
        While Abbott seems unwilling to spend on PR, something has to be done to limit the ABC, and the biased Lame Stream Media’s influence on Australia’s future.
        This, or some similar strategy is required now or BS and his Union bosses will probably win 2016 election.

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    Unmentionable

    Thanks for that, it adds another valuable post to this enervating topic.

    It’s been clear for a long time now that exaggeration and underplaying are formal tools of *ahem*, ‘science’, at BOM. The ABC however are just simple folk who merely faithfully transmit the precise detail provided by the BOM without embellishment. They are thus obviously blameless and their extensive repertoire of climate catastrophe hype and extravagant political spin is above reproach and represents the tip of the spear of world’s best practice in braying donkey journalism.

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      Graeme No.3

      Drop the dead donkey?

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        Unmentionable

        The RSPCA would be on to that for cruelty to a digital piñata. Good thing about piñata’s is you can at least wholesomely beat the bejebus out of it with a stick and get some lollies plop out of its butt to recompense the $1.22 billion ‘worth’ of snippy effervescent we-know-better-than-you dirge while everyone falls about kacking their pants laughing at the silly thing spinning about.

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    handjive

    Great piece in Quadrant:

    The Little Paper That Shames the Dailies

    “Write a letter to The Age or SMH expressing doubt about global-warming theories and your missive will very soon meet the sharp end of an editor’s spike as a matter of editorial policy.

    In Geelong, by contrast, a free suburban weekly actually believes in free speech and open debate.”
    ~ ~ ~
    For those wondering where in the world is Geelong, it is down the road from Port Fairy, Officially the world’s most liveable town.

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    Ian Hill

    I agree that 2009 in Adelaide was the “hottest” but was it the worst? It’s a matter of personal opinion, and the one in 1939 must have been harder to endure because people wouldn’t have had the facilities to cope with the heat that we have now.

    These days we have air conditioning, improved refrigeration, cars and the ability to quickly go to the nearest shopping centre to escape from it.

    I personally think the worst heatwave in Adelaide was that of 3-17 March 2008 when there were 15 consecutive days above 35C, the last 13 being above the old “century” at 37.8C. In March mind you. It only reached 40C on three days but it just dragged on and on with no respite. Of course Marble Bar residents would just say “so what”!

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      RB

      The Airport is a better comparison with the old West Terrace site than Kent Town (from 1978). In Jan and Feb of 2009, it had only 7 days above 40 while Kent Town had 9. The latter was usually 1-1.5°C hotter.

      Only 13 days above 35°C in March 2008, the highest being 40.0°C. and only 7 above the old 100.

      There was 3 days of 41.2,41.8 and 40.5°C in March of 1942 so heat waves in March are far from unprecedented.

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      • #
        Geoff Sherrington

        RB,
        Thanks for the comment on site selection, which I mentioned but briefly. I have looked at the data long ago.
        There are limits to the degree of finesse allowed in articles like this, but your point is valid.

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        Ian Hill

        I remember another March heatwave when I was in Grade 7 in 1966 and there were six consecutive days above 90F including a couple of “tons”. That wasn’t in Adelaide though, but 450km south at Mt Gambier. Adelaide wasn’t as hot for that one.

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    Peter Carabot

    The Far North of Queensland , according to their ABC, should be, by now, drowning. Again last night on the 7pm weather report, 300 to 500mm. of rain were supposed to fall overnight. The best fall was 135mm at Cairns racecourse. Historically aint much at all. Mareeba achieved 15.8mm. considering that in Mareeba the road in the main drag is 300mm below the footpath, 16mm is nothing, just enough to wash down the asphalt.
    Constant exaggeration is starting to wear me down, like others I stopped listening to all this Catastrophic predictions, It’s just annoying! Is this a case of BOM and their ABC being overcautious? Just in case it does happen? Me think not, keep the populace scared and feed them cake!

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    Lank is drowning not waving

    Why is a run of warm days called a wave? It has nothing to do with water, a farewell or greeting.
    I’m waiting for some alarmist to label the next run of warm days a ‘heat tsunami’.

    And of course, a period of lower than normal temperatures is often called a cold snap. What’s with the ‘snap’? Nothing to do with snapping fingers or brandy snaps.

    Seems to me that there is real need for standardised terminology so everybody reads from the same book.

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    RB

    Choosing an arbitrary cut off for max temperatures is not good enough. The world probably has warmed in the past 100 years, naturally. Sites of stations have warmed due to UHI and shifts. Readings have been corrected and there is a consistent half a degree higher trend since 2000 in many stations as the official maximum is a little more(once 1.5°C at Melbourne!) than the highest half hour reading.

    How much worse is a 35 degree day than a 34.9?

    I noticed the BOM predicted about 4-5 days above 40 for the past week for my town. Only one day has reached 39.9°C and the highest recorded was 39.2°C on that day so it never actually got to 40.

    Finally, global warming doesn’t mean more heatwaves. Four days of 41 instead of 40°C could be attributed to a degree of warming since the 19th century but 4 days well above 40 instead of the average 1 is just weather.

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    • #
      redress

      The Deniliquin Wilkinson St recorded temperature up until 2003. It is still open but records rainfall only.

      The Deniliquin Airport site opened in 1997, and ran in tandem with the Wilkinson St site until Wilkinson St ceased temperature recording in 2003.

      Yes Wilkinson St was closed [for temperature recording] because of the encroachment of housing…….
      someone with a better head for maths than me might like to crunch the numbers for the years 1997 – 2003 [7 years] and work out just how much difference the urbanisation had on the temperature record.

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        redress

        For got the link…http://www.bom.gov.au/climate/data/index.shtml

        When you type in Deniliquin and untick..show only open stations…. you will also see another site at the airport…Deniliquin Aero……this was operated by the Air Force during WW2….Deniliquin was a major WW2 training base.

        The Falkiner Memorial Field Station site was operated by the C.S.I.R.O.

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        RB

        The maximum temperatures between 1997 and 2000 averaged 0.12°C higher at Wilkinson and 0.17°C after that. This suggests that the UHI was increasing more at the airport than at the city site but the SD is 0.44-0.5 for the two so 95% of the differences lie between -1 and +1.2°C. Removing differences greater than 1°C only reduces the SD to 0.4.

        You can’t correct the maximum temps when the difference is essentially 0 because of the large spread (which doesn’t stop homogenisation based on supposed 0.1°C difference with local averages).

        I’ll get around to checking the min soon.

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        RB

        The average min is higher at Wilkinson St by 0.49 before 2003 and slightly less at 0.43 after.

        Correction to the above, Wilkinson St was showing an bigger increasing UHI with the maximum temps, and less in the minimum temps but the SD is around 1°C.

        The SD is too large and the time period too short to be able to calculate the effects of UHI.

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    redress

    typical debate going on here…..

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-02-13/walker-was-2014-the-hottest-year-after-all/6091110

    a couple of skeptics valiantly holding the fort..

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    handjive

    NYT, 12 Feb 2015:

    What to Call a Doubter of Climate Change?
    . . .
    When you resort to calling names, you’ve lost the debate.

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    pat

    Carbon Brief leaves Geneva until the end of this piece, but this will help people understand the Negotiating Text linked above:

    13 Feb: CarbonBrief: Simon Evans: Briefing: The 15 options for net-zero emissions in the Paris climate text
    The current text is 84 pages long and has multiple options for each element of the final text, ranging from ambitious and specific through to modest and vague.
    ***Options are presented in square brackets, meaning the text has yet to be agreed by all 194 UNFCCC parties.
    The text mentions net-zero, near zero, climate neutrality or full decarbonisation 15 times. Each is slightly different. Some include deadlines for reaching net zero, others do not. The most substantive proposals are presented in two sets of options, reproduced below.
    The first set appears in a section on the overall objective of the draft agreement. It contains two options that aim for near-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2100, but with different levels of emissions reductions by 2050. A weaker formulation talks of “substantially reducing” emissions by 2050 while the stronger Option (d) talks of negative emissions by 2080.
    The second set of options is more varied and appears in a different part of the draft text, covering efforts to cut emissions. It includes a target of net zero emissions by 2050 that might apply only to developed countries. Other options target near- or net-zero emissions in 2100, or during the period 2060-2080.
    The way any targets would be divided up between countries features heavily in the text. This is likely to be a key sticking point for negotiators…
    Nearly 120 countries, including the EU, are supportive of a net-zero goal according to NGO Track Zero…
    ***The world’s top three emitters – China, the US and India – are notably absent from this list. Together, these countries account for around two-fifths of global emissions…
    The next step will be for negotiators to attempt to “streamline” the current 84-page text, including its 15 net-zero options, when they meet again in June.
    ***The 194 parties to the UNFCCC could amend, add to or completely discard the concept of net zero at this stage…
    http://www.carbonbrief.org/blog/2015/02/briefing-the-15-options-for-net-zero-emissions-in-the-paris-climate-text/

    what the Bankers want is of great concern to Fairfax:

    13 Feb: SMH: Clancy Yeates: Australia’s approach to carbon emissions causes concern among foreign investors
    Australia’s approach to carbon emissions is making some international investors increasingly “reserved” towards the country, says the local head of French banking giant BNP Paribas.
    With European banks increasingly focused on the carbon exposure of their loan books, BNP chief executive Australia and New Zealand Didier Mahout also said there was room for improvement in how seriously corporate social responsibility issues were taken in Australia…
    “It makes some international investors more reserved about coming to Australia under those circumstances,” he told journalists in Sydney.
    “There is no crisis, no urgency, just the need to become aware of that,” he said…
    For instance, Deutsche Bank last year said it would not consider funding the expansion of the Abbott Point coal terminal on the Great Barrier Reef.
    “You know where I hear most of the Great Barrier Reef, and the projects in Queensland? Not in Australia, in Europe,” Mr Mahout said.
    “Every responsible leading organisation worldwide wants to be seen as an organisation that is totally aligned with CSR principles at the way they are doing business.”…
    Australian banks are facing increasing shareholder concern over their potential carbon exposure, with ANZ and CBA shareholders last year voting on resolutions from the Australasian Centre for Corporate Responsibility that would have required banks to disclose their “financed emissions”….
    http://www.smh.com.au/business/banking-and-finance/australias-approach-to-carbon-emissions-causes-concern-among-foreign-investors-20150213-13e68b.html

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    albert

    This is a real heat wave, Marble Bar from 31 October 1923 to 7 April 1924, a total of 160 days, the world record ! Why is it that with all the ‘runaway, end of the world, make your children cry with fear global warming’ (LOL) Marble Bar’s record has never been in danger of being exceeded ?

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    Considerate Thinker

    I caught one of Jane Bunn’s Channel seven weather presenter and a qualified meteorologist, weather reports and during her presentation she spoke about how many days it had been since the last time that Melbourne/Victoria had reached 41 degree temperatures mentioning that it had now been 100 days? (maybe more, but certainly covering what is loosely called the Summer Period)without the temperature reaching that figure. I must admit I was a bit shocked by this candid piece of non alarmist information, as it was announced about the same time as the Climate Council issued their warmist ever propaganda piece apparently to coincide with the then three days of mild summer weather after a particularly cold spell.

    I wondered if this would be a regular segment of her report as that sort of information is easily understood by lay people and well and truly undercuts the rubbish generated by the Climate Councils Will Steffen and Flannery. Unfortunately since that date I haven’t heard her repeat that statement or expand on the actual number of days, did she get a rap over the knuckles from the BOM for spoiling their propaganda?

    That leads me to think that we need and I would urge both Joanne and Jennifer Mahorasy to perhaps providing quick grabs of similar metrics and notable weather events that run counter to the warmist memes as by not doing so we allowed the BOM to get away with their angry summer propaganda for what was clearly a quite mild summer in the places where Australians actually live and work.

    This would also assist those of us that engage with others on Facebook as it is quite clear now that pressure groups have been very effective in getting a message across so it appears that everyone who posts hates Abbott, believes explicitly in scary memes and Global warming and the well orchestrated messages of the Greens and Getup who work these social pages. Any attempt to balance the now screaming for blood hordes is met with derision, putdowns and an unwillingness to respond and lose their status with the rest of their new FB or twitter “friends”

    While I do not try and expand my friends past a personal group including relatives, and long term friends, they do include all strata levels in age, university and state school education, hands on tradesmen, tertiary students, all eager to show oneness with care for animals, the environment, social equality and some are completely swept up by the echo chamber these mediums generate as anyone with a slightly different perception or opinion especially a conservative, is jumped on by their facebook friends.

    Just like in the science community where good scientists were slow to speak out, even though appalled by the revelations of Climate Gate and the abandonment of the scientific method, perversion of peer review and almost complete capture of the scientific publication and societies while scientists kept silent, many conservatives are now speaking out among their friends to counter the one sided social media assault, and countering the rubbish put up by the Guardian and other left wing media that is working the social media pages and so sad to see the ABC flouting it’s charter in this regard.

    Would be nice to tap into Joanne’s network and be able to “friend” some like minded people who would occasionally like my posts (my very good friends do of course)without compromising their ability to have independent thoughts on the many and varied topics covered, and no trouble with others who might disagree on different political options to solve problems, for in a free society we should be able to think and make up our own minds or change our minds without shame of censure, or worse still suffer sniping for our opinions.

    If we don’t get with the social media and engage with it, the only hope we have is that we at least allowed our children to think for themselves and respect the opinions of others, but it is very hard for them when no one is presenting any alternatives to the flood of hating and shallow misrepresentation that is the new normal in Australian politics.

    Any suggestions ideas, easily quoted one liners.

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      Yonniestone

      CT, Jane Bunn was our local weather presenter on Win Television Ballarat, Vic for 5 years until 2014, we were lucky to have such a well qualified presenter giving many farmers important forecasts also, she earned a lot of respect from the rural sector in this time.

      After a quick search last year I couldn’t find much about her being a raving warmist so I’d dare to say she just goes about doing a professional job while trying to avoid being roped into CAGW hype, I could be wrong but who knows?

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    pat

    Bloomberg has a piece: FROM GENEVA: TIMING IS EVERYTHING IN UN CLIMATE NEGOTIATING PROCESS
    During United Nations climate talks taking place in Geneva, I asked Christiana Figueres, the UN’s top climate change official, whether there was a chance that some parts of the oversized and cumbersome draft text produced might see some brackets removed or consolidated in negotiations before the talks end Feb. 13.
    “Remove brackets?” Figueres asked with a smile, tapping her watch. “You should know better. It’s only February!”…

    ah yes, timing is everything:

    13 Feb: Bloomberg: Brian K. Sullivan: It’s About to Get So Cold That You Could Get Frostbite in 30 Minutes
    “By Sunday morning, wind-chill values are really low from North Dakota to the Northeast,” said Bob Oravec, a meteorologist with the U.S. Weather Prediction Center in College Park, Maryland. “Almost across the entire area, the wind chills are below zero.”
    In some cases, they will be well below zero. Cleveland may have a wind chill of minus 27 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 33 Celsius), while Buffalo will feel like minus 28, Oravec said…
    The frigid weather will also follow the Interstate 95 corridor, which serves every major city from Boston to Richmond, Virginia, well into the Deep South…
    The forecast calls for Washington to have a high of 18 on Sunday and a low of 5, according to the National Weather Service. With the wind, temperatures will feel like minus 10.
    The same holds for Philadelphia, where the wind chill may reach about minus 14 on an actual low of 2. In New York City, the low will be 3 degrees and the wind chill may reach minus 15 to minus 20…
    Even with this sort of cold, the chance of sparking a rally in natural gas markets is low, said Stephen Schork, president of the Schork Group Inc., a consulting group in Villanova, Pennsylvania.
    The cold is coming on a weekend and a holiday, which means demand is low to start with, he said…
    ***Frost on oranges, frozen oil and gas wells and real cold in the southern half of the country is what the market needs to spur a rally, he said…
    Average temperatures as much as 8 degrees below normal may reach as far as Florida through Feb. 16…
    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-02-13/frostbite-in-30-minutes-is-latest-threat-for-u-s-east

    ***Bloomberg, in their Geneva wrap-up, tries to suggest US backing, “President Barack Obama’s top climate envoy Todd Stern last year acknowledged any solution to climate change would mean leaving a lot of fossil fuels in the ground”. however, the diametrically-opposed facts are included, via Bledsoe:

    14 Feb: Bloomberg: Stefan Nicola: Fossil-Fuel Limits Emerge as Target for Deal on Warming
    No nation publicly endorsed the text though almost all contributed to it…
    With heat-trapping greenhouse gases from burning oil, coal and natural gas at record levels, global temperatures are on track to warm by 3.6 degrees Celsius by the end of the century, according to the International Energy Agency. That’s the quickest shift in the climate in 10,000 years, which scientists say raises risks of more violent storms and rising seas…
    China and India didn’t comment publicly in Geneva and Saudi Arabia’s envoy couldn’t be reached…
    ***The U.S. will probably be leery of a long-term emissions goal, Paul Bledsoe, a former climate adviser to President Bill Clinton, said by phone from Washington.
    “The U.S. is a fossil-fuel superpower,” said Bledsoe, a senior energy fellow at the German Marshall Fund of the United States, which studies international policy. “The notion that we’re not going to use fossil fuels in 2050 is going to be a political nightmare.” …
    The European Union’s delegate said she wants to see a trajectory toward cutting emissions in the Paris deal. She was non-committal about a specific goal…
    Celebrities including Leonardo DiCaprio have backed eliminating fossil-fuel pollution. Last week, Virgin America Inc. founder Richard Branson and Paul Polman, the head of Unilever NV, were among executives urging world leaders to phase out emissions…
    “The text has options from A to Z,” said Alix Mazouni of the Climate Action Network. “We have to make it more manageable before Paris.”
    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-02-13/fossil-fuel-limits-emerge-as-target-for-deal-on-warming

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      handjive

      Ahh. Wind Chills below Zero. Brrrrr!

      A sure sign of imminent Global Warming.

      Like a heat wave is a sign of a climactic doomsday.

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    Robdel

    These days the press offices expect to be handfed press releases by various bodies and CSIRO and BOM are happy to oblige. Reporters no longer do any really investigative research on their own. So the whole process is open to corruption and who has the biggest voice. That plus censorship means that contrary views never see the light of day except in blogs such as these.

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    el gordo

    I’m reliably informed that last year’s Qld superstorm had nothing to do with global warming, others may disagree.

    http://www.weatherzone.com.au/news/brisbane-super-storm-damage-bill-tops-1-billion/241599

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    Alexander K

    Geoff and Jo:
    Nice one, an attempt to cast a rational eye at the alarmest media. I know some readers found the whole thing a bit daunting, but self-education was never easy.

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      Geoff Sherrington

      Alexander K,
      Thank you for the comment.
      There is not much more than adding up and taking averages, but with resources limited by age and a PC with Excel, it took quite a few hours of boring repetitive work.
      Who knows, I could be dangerous again with resources like BOM and CSIRO have. I used to work for CSIRO in my young years.
      Geoff.

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    Streetcred

    More spectacular deceit by the BoM:

    Spectacular Data Tampering At Deniliquin, NSW
    https://stevengoddard.wordpress.com/2015/02/13/spectacular-data-tampering-at-deniliquin-nsw/

    Deniliquin is a small town located 270 km north of Melbourne and 370 km west of Canberra. It is one of the oldest stations in Australia and operated through 2003. The station showed a general cooling trend since the 1890s

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      Geoff Sherrington

      Streetcred,
      Some of us have looked at Deniliquin over the last couple of years, but thank you for the heads up.
      Geoff.

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    John F. Hultquist

    Joanne,
    Off topic but can you get to and read this?
    Green Love Is Blind
    Liberal influence-peddling topples Oregon’s Governor

    http://www.wsj.com/articles/green-love-is-blind-1423871624

    Here’s how it opens:
    The fall of long-time Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber will go down in some quarters as a case of blind love. But it’s better understood as modern green influence-peddling.

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    tom0mason

    This image from Josh says it all

    http://www.bishop-hill.net/display/ShowImage?imageUrl=/storage/SixImpossibleThings_scr.jpg?__SQUARESPACE_CACHEVERSION=1423829142566

    It’s a large picture – you’ll probably have to zoom out to see it all.

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    The BoM will keep reporting increasing heat waves until their MMTS are covered over by glaciers.

    Such is their fervour to prove warming.

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    Thanks, Jo!

    We posted this on the Australian Climate Sceptics blog a week or so ago, but Geoff’s paper will get much more exposure on your blog. Well done!

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    Andrew McRae

    In summary, on JoNova’s blog every January we always end up talking about heatwaves.

    We talked about them in 2012, 2013, and in 2014, and again this year.

    It’s mildly interesting to see the same points and arguments being raised repeatedly because we all forget that it’s all been said and done before. It’s more interesting to go mining the old threads for links to relevant data and examples that are only ever posted once by some random person in some buried thread.

    Even aside from the articles, the comments on JoNova’s site are an under-appreciated curated collection of climate clues, screened for novelty and relevance.

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