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1000 year rainfall study suggests droughts and floods used to be longer, worse

A study done on… golly, Antarctic Ice, allegedly shows that in the catchment area for Newcastle in NSW, Australia, the last 100 years have been pretty darn nice, compared to the past when droughts and big-wet periods used to last a lot longer.

Set aside, for a moment, that the ice cores are thousands of kilometers away and in a totally different climate, if they are right, if, then natural climate change is much worse than our short climate records are telling us. And if our current records are so inadequate and don’t represent the “old-Normal”, then we have a flying pigs of predicting the “New Normal”. Has the climate changed at all, or is the new one just like the old old one?

Hydroclimatologist and lead author, Dr Carly Tozer from the ACE CRC said the research showed exposure to drought and flood risk was higher than previously estimated.

“The study showed that modern climate records, which are available for the past one hundred years at best, do not capture the full range of rainfall variability that has occurred,” Dr Tozer said.

“The wet and dry periods experienced since 1900 have been relatively mild when we look at the climate extremes of the past millennium.”
“Looking back over the past thousand years, we see that prolonged wet periods and droughts of five years or longer are a regular feature of the climate.”

The press release and interview can tell us that we are “underestimating” the risk of drought and flood, which sounds like the usual “worse than expected” scare story beat up in the media — but it is different. This time we are underestimating the risk of natural causes of floods and droughts:

“Water resources infrastructure in Australia is still mostly designed based on statistics calculated from about the last 100 years of instrumental rainfall and streamflow observations,” Dr Kiem said.

“What this study shows is that existing water management plans likely underestimate the true risk of drought and flood due to the reliance on data and statistics obtained from only the relatively short instrumental period.”

The ABC and The Conversation don’t draw the bleeding obvious next step: If follows — as day after night, that if we’ve underestimated natural climate change — then the models have been overestimating the influence of CO2.

There is no mention of climate change in the ABC interview. None on The Conversation either. You might feel relieved that these stories didn’t beat us over the head with the usual doctrine: “climate change will be worse than we thought, spend more money, buy a windmill”. But they should have mentioned climate change.  They should have connected the dots for what this means — the climate is likely to get more extreme in future, but it’s less likely that “carbon dioxide” is the cause.  They certainly wouldn’t have hesitated if the study suggested that 20th century was “unprecedented”, or “hotter”, “wetter” or “drier” than the last thousand years.

As for the Antarctic rainfall indicator of Newcastle…

Carly Tozer, The Conversation

There is no direct indicator of rainfall patterns for Australia before weather observations began. But, strange as it may sound, there is a link between eastern Australian rainfall and the summer deposition of sea salt in Antarctic ice. This allowed us to deduce rainfall levels by studying ice cores drilled from Law Dome, a small coastal ice cap in East Antarctica.

How can sea salt deposits in an Antarctic ice core possibly be related to rainfall thousands of kilometres away in Australia? It is because the processes associated with rainfall variability in eastern Australia – such as the El Niño/Southern Oscillation (ENSO), as well as other ocean cycles like the Interdecadal Pacific Oscillation (IPO) and the Southern Annular Mode (SAM) – are also responsible for variations in the wind and circulation patterns that cause sea salt to be deposited in East Antarctica (as outlined in our previous research).

Color me not-yet-convinced about the accuracy of the rain-gauge in Antarctica. But the central message is that we ought prepare ourselves for worse weather, and it’s hard to argue with that. Fortunately, we can download the actual paper (link below) and look, say, at Figure 4 ourselves.

UPDATE: Reader Neville reminds me of an earlier study Australia has had megadroughts for the last thousand years says ice core study. Strikingly the correlations between Antarctica and NSW catchments were better than most of the rest of Australia (map at the link).

REFERENCE

C. R. Tozer et al.: An ice core derived 1013-year catchment-scale annual rainfall reconstruction, The paper will be available for download from Hydrology and Earth System Sciences from 0900 AEST, 11 May 2016.

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108 comments to 1000 year rainfall study suggests droughts and floods used to be longer, worse

  • #
    Rereke Whakaaro

    I have no problem in using proxies in one time and place, to draw inferences in another. That, after all, is the basis for most hypotheses.

    80

    • #
      Roy Hogue

      But then the hypothesis must be tested. And it’s hard to see how this one can be tested. But I think it’s an interesting and not in the last bit surprising finding since it flies right in the face of the global warming camp.

      90

      • #
        Roy Hogue

        Should add that the global warming people would deny that this is true. The present is always assumed to be worse than the past because of human activity.

        110

        • #
          Manfred

          The present is always assumed to be worse than the past because of human activity.

          Maybe Roy, though I do think they’re more likely to betray the future in the name of the present. The future will, they screech interminably, be worse than the present. The past thankfully remains a glaringly obvious monument to inconvenience. Their obsession with ‘evah’ betrays their political MO.

          101

      • #
        Roy Hogue

        Maybe when time travel is finally perfected we can test it. ;-)

        60

        • #
          James Bradley

          I pretty much have time travel nutted out, Roy, but only small steps at the moment and only in one direction.

          I have now managed to project myself nearly 28 seconds into the future starting with post #1 by Rereke and ending with yours at #1.1.2.

          60

          • #
            James Bradley

            Roy,

            I just realised that I can actually travel forward in time a lot quicker, but then I lose data in the process – now the loss of data does allow me to go back to start again, but it sort of seems to take longer to get back here on the second trip.

            Time travel is more complicated than it looks on TV…

            50

            • #
              Rereke Whakaaro

              You have to be careful which way you face. Oh, and never try it whilst bending over.

              60

            • #
              Roy Hogue

              James,

              Best be sure you can go both ways before you start “projecting” yourself into the future. You could end up days, weeks, even years projected into the future before you actually get there yourself and it would be awfully lonely without yourself there for company. Or something like that. ;-)

              This is the only actual case of time travel I know of and it appears to be completely accidental. But it was at least in the right direction for testing the 1,000 year hypothesis — backward, not forward.

              There once was a man of great might;
              Who could travel much faster than light;
              He departed one day;
              In a hurry, they say;
              And returned the previous night.

              00

              • #
                Roy Hogue

                PS:

                A whole lot of things are harder than they appear on TV. On TV there’s nothing, no problem at all that can’t be fixed up in an hour, 30 minutes for sitcoms.

                Script writers are the Super Men of our times.

                00

        • #
          Dennis

          Now you mention it, I did see an old telephone booth in a junk yard recently ….

          31

  • #
    sophocles

    How can sea salt deposits in an Antarctic ice core possibly be related to rainfall thousands of kilometres away in Australia?

    It’s not hard to see why. Antarctica is the Southern Hemisphere’s weather factory. The frigid air from the top of the ice cap (eastern) falls down the slopes (average height is about 1500m +/-) to sea level at the coasts and out to sea. The cold air meets warmer air and cold fronts form. The blue lines represent cold fronts and these are the rain “delivery vehicles supplying the Australian southern “rain belt” and most of New Zealand.

    I keep a close eye on the daily weather maps (pressure charts). This one from the BOM shows it well. The Southern Ocean is pretty calm at present, but it will become significantly rougher as winter settles in. The centres of the storms illustrated are mostly in the “ Furious Fifties” or further south. I’ve seen lower pressures than those shown and much steeper pressure gradients. At the temperate latitudes, (north of the Roaring Forties, or Tasmania and Southern NZ) those are still strong, furious storms. The closeness of the pressure gradient lines (isobars) shows that wind velocities in them will be moderate. The tighter they roll themselves up, the lower the pressures and the steeper the pressure gradients, or vice versa, the stronger the winds and the rougher the storm. :-) .

    We’ve been having a good rainfall up the country over the last couple of days (and at present—it was a wet ride home from work yesterday) delivered by one of those storms (central barometric pressure of 951 hPa). The lowest I’ve seen is 934 hectoPascals and that was in 2013, I think.

    161

    • #
      sophocles

      The more and rougher (the more intense the winds) the Southern ocean storms, the more spume there is in the air (sea spray) which contains dissolved salt. This can be blown well inland.

      130

      • #
        Ian Cooper

        The province of Taranaki on the west coast of the North Island of New Zealand is renowned, amongst other things, for it’s boxthorn hedges. After a period of prolonged westerly storms rolling in off the Tasman Sea in the form of those long blue fronts on your BoM chart the western sides of the hedges can be burnt brown due to the ‘spume’ that you mention. During the Great El Nino of 82/83 salt built up enough on high tension power lines well inland from the coast to the point where some snapped under the weight. At the time the ‘Boy Child’ took the blame for the prolonged period of gales, but looking at our available wind data (only back to 1945) the ‘boy’s’ uncle SAM may have played a more significant part?

        100

        • #
          el gordo

          Not enough credit is given to SAM as one of the prime movers.

          Drought conditions in north Queensland continued for 70 years on the tail of the Dalton Minimum.

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

          It seems to indicate monsoon failure.

          40

          • #
            Hasbeen

            There is evidence from much closer, which I can only assume has been swept under the museums carpet, as it tells the wrong story.

            In the late 60s or early 70s a marine biology researcher with the museum in Sydney showed me some stuff from the cores drilled in the southern Great Barrier reef. These told the story of the contents of the runoff from the Fitzroy river.

            The stuff he had been working on was from around the time Captain Cook, & the Endeavour were on their cruise up the reef.

            They had just found a period of 28 years in the mid 1700, where virtually no silt had issued from the Fitzroy. Compared to this the drought that near ruined the Kidman empire was just a minor dry spell.

            When not if, we get another such drought, can you imagine the greenies screaming we did it.

            60

            • #
              el gordo

              Captain Cook remarked that it was very droughty in Queensland, but looking further south it was wet around 1750.

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

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

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

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

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

              Amanda Sulley and Derek Snowball

              50

    • #
      GoFigure

      You Aussies are lucky. Here in the USA capitol region it appears that our weather is affected mostly by immense outpouring of heat from our continuous political campaigns. Okay, I’ll admit that the sun may still have some impact.

      00

  • #
    Manfred

    we’ve underestimated natural climate change — and the models have been overestimating the influence of CO2

    It would appear both politically easy and desirable to do both in an era when storminess is declining (1) and centennial temperature variation is <1C (2). In the face of a more aggressive meteorological context, the mambi-pambi Progressives wouldn't stand a 'bleeding' chance.

    (1) Significant decline in storminess over southeast Australia since the late 19th century. Alexander et al. (2011) Australian Meteorological and Oceanographic Journal 61:23-30.

    (2) An estimate of the centennial variability of global temperatures. Lloyd PJ. (2015) Energy & Environment 26:417-424

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  • #
    Roy Hogue

    1000 year rainfall study suggests droughts and floods used to be longer, worse

    Jo,

    Forgive me for jumping to a place the study doesn’t address but just try to tell that to California. To hear the story here, the present drought is unprecedented throughout all the time Earth has had any water on it to cause rain or snow. As bad as it is, I’m not in doubt that the rain and snow will return.

    We’re a desert climate in southern and central valley California and all of it, even the Sierra Nevada mountains, is subject rather directly to the whims of Pacific Ocean currents. It’s no stretch at all to believe the past may have been much worse, not better as the warmist camp wants us to believe.

    I’m not surprised by the study findings.

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    • #
    • #
      M Conroy

      California keeps forgetting it’s history – can a state get Alzheimer’s??

      Even back in the late 1800s California had a drought history – http://www.jstor.org/stable/41167825?seq=1#page_scan_tab_contents

      A more recent study – http://origins.osu.edu/article/west-without-water-what-can-past-droughts-tell-us-about-tomorrow shows that the more realistic view is that California has been experiencing a period of unusual wet.

      10

      • #
        Roy Hogue

        Our real water problem in California is not drought but increasing demand. Even in the best of times there is only so much water available and we have had population growth surpassing much of the rest of the country — chalk that up to having the most desirable climate to live in anywhere in the lower 48.

        While all this was happening the state has not made a good plan for providing the available water to the people who need it. The result is that water supplies will soon be as taxed as our electricity supply. Much of the water is in the northern half of the state and most of the demand is in the southern half. So needless to say, the north doesn’t want to send its water south. It has gone so far that there have been proposals to split California into two independent states.

        The drought will pass at some point. The population problem will remain even if people leave when water becomes even more limited if the drought continues.

        Of course if the drought lingers long enough there’ll be a mass exodus because the water won’t run when you turn on the tap. That day will be a disaster, even though it’s likely to be spread out over time — not only up the creek without a paddle but no creek even if you had the paddle.

        10

  • #
    Yonniestone

    So this ice core study focussed on rainfall where say the Vostok study was about CO2/temp, questions are what processes are taken to determine this data?, how long does each process take?, how accurate are they as the chemical contamination of samples could corrupt the information?

    The ice core study’s are a fascinating area of science.

    60

  • #
    Another Ian

    Jo

    An observation from the flood in our creek in 2012. This might well have been the highest seen by Europeans.

    The house is built on a cypress pine sandhill beside the creek, which is the most likely source of the sand. Yet the water needed to rise about another metre to get under the house.

    Which would put flood waters well east of the creek where Europeans haven’t seen them.

    Other sand deposits also suggest there has been a lot more flood water in the past.

    Geoff Pickup (CSIRO Rangelands Alice Springs) used to talk about the evidence of paleo-floods.

    e.g.

    http://www.psi.edu/sites/default/files/imported/about/staff/mbourke/bourkepubs/pub/Pickup.et.al.pdf

    80

    • #
      cohenite

      When I studied geomorphology we inspected sites in the Hunter Valley; just outside of Lochinvar heading up the Valley there is a vista looking down at the width of the valley which is due to flood runoff. The amount of water moving down the valley must have been many times the current level of rainfall to have created the prominent valley features.

      This is the problem with alarmism; it is egocentric and despite lip-service to the geologic past it regards everything which is happening today to be worse and more extreme than anything which has occurred previously.

      30

  • #
    KinkyKeith

    That’s interesting Ian.

    The two systems, flooding deposits and ice core salt deposits, may eventually give enough data to allow comparison and corroboration.

    May even end up being better than tree rings.

    KK

    60

  • #
    Neville

    Jo, the Calvo et al study found that there was a decline in rainfall over southern oz for the last 6,500 years. This ties in with many other studies linked here and of course NZ and Antarctica. Calvo also found a drop in temp in their Murray canyons alkenone study over that long period as well.
    You’ve already linked to the Vance study showing a similar result.
    Of course as the temp today is lower than the past we should expect rainfall to decrease. Here is the Calvo study with many other links.

    http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1029/2007GL029937/full

    40

  • #
    AndyG55

    ““The study showed that modern climate records, which are available for the past one hundred years at best, do not capture the full range of rainfall variability that has occurred,”

    ““What this study shows is that existing water management plans likely underestimate the true risk of drought and flood due to the reliance on data and statistics obtained from only the relatively short instrumental period.”

    All this is basic common sense. Of course a short period is not going to give us the full natural variability of our climate.

    100 years may be well less than some natural cycles, as yet to be properly identified.

    I suspect that as studies progress, we will find that the current period of warming out of the Little Ice Age has actually been one of the more stable periods of climate/weather.

    What I find gratifying here, is that Carly and Anthony have not cow-towed to the “alarmist” AGW meme, but seem to have just stated their findings as their studies dictate.

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    • #

      What I don’t understand is that, although we have records for temperature and rainfall going back to the mid 1800′s, why have they not been used within their limitations giving us a longer record of our climate, rather than concentrate on the past two decades?

      70

      • #
        AndyG55

        “rather than concentrate on the past two decades?”

        That’s only in the “climate science™” area.

        BOM refuses to use any data before 1910 because the number are too hard to adjust to give a warming trend.

        Using that data would probably show that current Australian temps are still somewhat LESS than the late 1800′s. There “may” have been a slight dip in between with the low point around the 1950′s, but the BOM data is now to “adjusted” to show this.

        As far as rainfall goes, they may be some places with reliable data back into the mid 1850′s, but as far I as can find, Nobby’s Head only has rainfall data going back some 110 years, so estimating a 1 in a 100 year rainfall event is purely statistical fitting with quite wide error bars.

        pause in typing…….

        Oh, lookie what I found… Newcastle rainfall data 1900 – 2007 (file is daily)

        I have extracted the yearly values and the maximum daily values for each year.

        http://s19.postimg.org/tsj91xuwj/Newcastle_yearly_rainfall.png

        http://s19.postimg.org/i4p77e5rn/Newcastle_maximum_daily_rainfall.png

        As you can see, not much sign of any trends of any sort happening.

        20

    • #
      M Conroy

      I suspect the aborigines have records going back much further – and some may well know how to interpret them. It’s folly to assume that natives – N & S American, Australian, Islander, etc., have little to no clue about weather, climate, patterns. I shall leave out some of my more snarky comments about how (some? all? most?? of) us white folks just don’t get it.

      00

  • #
    Dean

    I remember watching an ABC science show (might have been 20 to 25 years ago) focusing on resoctructing past climate from a very deep lake in the New England area of NSW. From the sediments they reached the same conclusion, that Europeans had arrived at the start of an abnormally wet period.

    60

  • #
    Neville

    Jo here is your link to the 2014 Vance et al study. The 12th century was a real bummer for eastern OZ according to Tessa Vance.

    http://joannenova.com.au/2014/12/australia-has-had-megadroughts-for-the-last-thousand-years-says-ice-core-study/

    70

  • #
    TedM

    Please let me know if you see or hear this reported on the ABC.

    50

  • #
    OriginalSteve

    In the smh today :

    http://www.smh.com.au/national/what-is-the-problem-with-australian-schools-20160511-gosmbw.html

    All I could think of was “well yes, standards have been *deliberately* run down to dumb the country down ( similar to USA & UK ) and of course the answer is always more govt to “fix” it…..”

    70

  • #
    RB.

    The Guardian also has written about the disappearance of five islands. There is a good rebuttal at WUWT.
    They are islands that are made of coral sands so always susceptible to being changed or destroyed by wave action. They do include

    Twelve islands we studied in a low wave energy area of Solomon Islands experienced little noticeable change in shorelines despite being exposed to similar sea-level rise. However, of the 21 islands exposed to higher wave energy, five completely disappeared and a further six islands eroded substantially

    This would have happened even, as 2007 IPCC report shows, if the area had a very large sea-level drop.

    There is also a story on mangrove dieback where at least the scientists are reluctant to confirm it is the result of AGW or unprecedented although they strongly suggest it. A previous “unprecedented” dieback of mangroves in the Mackay region was blamed on a herbicide used by cane growers. While we need to be careful with herbicides, we can’t trust activist scientists. Natural catastrophes occur often and I’m sick of everything that happens being blamed on man, especially AGW. Its as bad as sacrificing virgins to a volcano because a catastrophe must have been the Gods being upset.

    40

    • #
      Another Ian

      RB

      IIRC Jennifer Marohasy had a bit part there when she was with Cane Growers and there are naturally occurring forms of that chemical.

      She might happen to see this and chime in.

      20

  • #
    ghl

    I find it plausible that some vast oceanic mechanism affects both Law Dome and Newcastle, But I wonder why Newcastle, and not Nelson Bay or The Entrance? Cherries anyone?

    32

    • #
      Dennis

      Maybe the answer relates to the coal loading terminal in Newcastle Harbour?

      42

    • #
      AndyG55

      NO, its just that Newcastle is where they both studied.

      They haven’t said anything about Nelson Bay and the Entrance, because they are not studying that area.

      61

      • #
        AndyG55

        The fact that only really one river catchment is being studied gives you some idea just how little is really known or understood about any of this.

        We really need a lot more money spent on research in this area of climatology. ;-)

        40

    • #

      Hello ghl
      Williams River catchment (near Newcastle) was chosen because it is a major source of water for the Newcastle/Hunter region, somewhere we know a lot about (since it is close to home), and most importantly it is a place where rainfall variability is strongly associated with the same processes that cause variability in sea salt deposition in Antarctica (a necessary link to make the rainfall reconstruction possible).

      Now we have developed and tested the methodology we are looking to apply it elsewhere…but we had to pick somewhere to start with.

      Thanks, Anthony

      20

  • #
    TdeF

    I think this misses the point there 20 years ago there was perhaps a +0.5C increase in temperature and we need to be taxed to make sure this does not happen again.

    All this talk about what the weather was like 1,000 years ago is irrelevant. The problem is urgent and today. We are the first homo sapiens in 100,000 years of existence to be able to identify, detect, measure and tax both tiny temperature changes and carbon dioxide. It is a golden opportunity we must no miss.

    Worse, the UN is in really big trouble if Donald Trump stops paying all the massive costs and wages and that could happen soon, so money from Australia is urgently needed. Please give generously and make sure there is a place in New York for the world’s retired politicians.

    100

  • #
    TdeF

    Typos fixed..

    I think this misses the point that 20 years ago there was (perhaps) a +0.5C increase in temperature and we need to be taxed to make sure this does not happen again.

    All this talk about what the weather was like 1,000 years ago is irrelevant. The problem is urgent. We are the first homo sapiens in 100,000 years of existence to be able to identify, detect, measure and tax both tiny temperature changes and carbon dioxide. It is a golden opportunity politicians must not miss.

    Worse, the UN is in really big trouble if Donald Trump stops paying all the massive costs and wages and that could happen soon, so money from Australia is urgently needed. Please give generously and make sure there is a place in New York for the world’s retired politicians.

    20

    • #
      TdeF

      Including our own Kevin Rudd who saw his greatest challenge in a generation to beat Helen Clarke to the position as head of the UN. Julia tried but Helen renewed her four year term as third in charge of the UN. Still there is hope that our own Malcolm Turnbull can make a late play for the next position as head of the planet.

      40

    • #
      el gordo

      ‘All this talk about what the weather was like 1,000 years ago is irrelevant.’

      As a cyclist I object, the aim of the game is to predict climate change 100 years from now and I’ve almost cracked the code.

      20

  • #
    peter

    Jo,
    star comment

    Dr Kiem was interviewed yesterday on ABC Newcastle’s morning radio about this research. He was directly asked about its significance to climate change. His answer was that even though this increased the baseline variation of extreme events (droughts and wet/flood periods), climate change would add 5% extreme variation to weather in the Williams River valley. What the f..? My scientific training was that when signal to noise ratio gets to a point where the noise is greater than the signal then you can’t measure any damn thing. Has science changed? The interviewer also asked “wouldn’t this research make skeptics even more doubtful of climate change?”. Dr Kiem just laughed at this.

    p.s. to Dennis and AndyG55: The Williams river valley has had continuous settlement, farms, hamlets and small towns for over 100 years and is also prone to recurrent floods and droughts. So recording rainfall and temperature was important to locals. Other coastal areas around Newcastle were less farming oriented, not settled much before 1950 and were less concerned about floods and drought.

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    • #
      Geoffrey Williams

      Good report Peter. These bar stewards at the ABC just don’t like it when they are presented with an inconvenient truth!
      Can we ever trust them?!
      Geoff W

      50

    • #
      AndyG55

      “His answer was that even though this increased the baseline variation of extreme events (droughts and wet/flood periods), climate change would add 5% extreme variation to weather in the Williams River valley”

      I would love to see his scientific proof for that conjecture, I’ll ask him next time I see him. Having looked a bit at some similar stuff, there really is way too much noise and way too little data to make any statement of that sort.

      But he could be right.

      As the temperatures cool over the next couple of decades, climate may become more extreme.

      ——————-

      “also prone to recurrent floods “

      Flood plains tend to do that ;-)

      10

    • #
      TdeF

      “would add 5% extreme variation to weather in the Williams River valley”

      What absolute nonsense. No idea what this is even trying to say? Meaningless. An exact variation in an extreme or an extreme variation in something exact which is itself hard to define? This must have come from a waffle generator. An expert in stochastic processes apparently with a degree in mathematics, this is itself just random noise with a 5% chance of having any meaning.

      20

    • #
      Gee Aye

      My scientific training was that when signal to noise ratio gets to a point where the noise is greater than the signal then you can’t measure any damn thing. Has science changed?

      No it hasn’t

      Two questions.

      1. Did you understand what was actually being said.

      2. Did you pass your training?

      15

      • #
        peter

        Gee Aye, if science hasn’t changed, then some scientists working in the climate field have a lot to answer for, haven’t they?

        Two answers,

        1. Yes I understood what was actually said.
        2. Science is an education more than a training and yes I did pass, why do you question that of me when I was simply quoting what was said on ABC radio? Perhaps I should look at some of the quotes from “1984″ or “Animal Farm” to get your point there?

        10

    • #
      AndyG55

      btw Peter.. I live in Newcastle ;-)

      00

    • #

      Hello Peter
      star comment
      Not sure i actually said what you think i said but maybe i did?

      Either way sorry for confusion. What i was trying to say was that the worst case (RCP8.5) projections from climate models for the broader east coast Aust region suggest ~5% decrease to annual rainfall (median value for 20yr period centred on 2090) compared to 1986-2005 baseline. I was not talking about projected changes to variation since we didn’t look at that in this study (we didn’t look at climate modelling or climate projections in this study either which is why we didn’t mention it in the paper–this paper is a study about historical variability and implications of that for drought/flood risk estimation–the paper formally comparing these results to projected impacts of climate change and discussing implications of that is coming soon).

      So even though we didn’t actually look at it in the paper, I was just trying to answer the question by commenting that the significance of these results to climate change is that my understanding is that climate models suggest ~5% change in annual rain by 2090 but our results show changes that are much larger than that have occurred in the past. Therefore, significance to climate change is that quantifying and dealing with climate change impacts needs to also include understanding, quantifying and dealing with natural variability (both instrumental and pre-instrumental variability). In most cases we don’t really do a proper job of this at the moment.

      Regarding this “The interviewer also asked “wouldn’t this research make skeptics even more doubtful of climate change?”. Dr Kiem just laughed at this.”.
      Yes, i laughed because what else can i say? I have no control over what people make of our research. We just present what we find and hope these results lead to improvements in understanding and can be used to better characterise and manage existing and future flood and drought risk.

      Happy to discuss/clarify further if you give me a ring or send me an email.

      Thanks, Anthony

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        peter

        Thanks Anthony, I accept your explanation. You talk like a real scientist unlike the spin doctors I often see quoted in the media. Many media interviewers search for climate-change spin on any weather or climate-research story. Makes life hard I guess. Good to see you look at the JoNova blog.

        cheers

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    Dave in the States

    Drought cycles of decades and centuries is Geology 101. Using proxies to reconstruct past drought cycles is Geology 405.

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    pat

    meanwhile,

    ***video is actually audio & ends with nonsense about even conservatives who are “PREDISPOSED” to be sceptical about climate change blah blah…

    11 May: SMH: Jorge Branco: Queensland academic wins climate award: Four climate myths busted
    ***VIDEO: How to debunk myths
    Debunking the myths and misinformation surrounding climate change is an important field for scientists, who must be careful not to reinforce the myths
    The man behind an award-winning science website had been debunking myths about climate change for years when he discovered he was doing it all wrong.
    The realisation changed University of Queensland academic John Cook’s whole career path, leading to his recognition this week as a top science communicator.
    Last time he checked, SkepticalScience.com was getting about 300,000-400,000 visitors a month, about half from the US, as the author and educator sought to bust mountains of climate change misinformation.
    “I was just debunking myths myself and then I got emailed by a psychology professor who said ‘hey, you really should have a look at some psychological research on how best to debunk myths’,” he said…
    This week, the American National Center for Science Education gave Mr Cook its annual Friend of the Planet award, for outstanding work to advance the centre’s goals.
    UQ’s Climate Communication Fellow for the Global Change Institute shared the simplest way to combat four common climate change myths with Fairfax Media…ETC
    http://www.smh.com.au/environment/climate-change/queensland-academic-wins-climate-award-four-climate-myths-busted-20160511-gospas.html

    9 May: National Center for Science Education (NCSE): Friend of Darwin and Friend of the Planet awards for 2016
    NCSE is also pleased to announce the winners of the Friend of the Planet award for 2016: Katharine Hayhoe of Texas Tech University; Dana Nuccitelli and John P. Abraham, who contribute the Climate Consensus – the 97% column to the Guardian; and Skeptical Science, a website devoted to explaining climate change science and rebutting global warming misinformation created and maintained by John Cook of the University of Queensland.
    “All of the Friends of the Planet for 2016 shine as climate communicators, in different but complementary ways,” Reid explained. “Katharine Hayhoe excels at building connections between science and society and Dana Nuccitelli and John Abraham have consistently provided timely commentary on the latest developments. And Skeptical Science is simply unrivaled as a vast, up-to-date, and in-depth source of accurate and accessible information on climate change science.”…
    Previous recipients of the Friend of the Planet Award include Michael Mann, Naomi Oreskes, and the Alliance for Climate Education.
    http://ncse.com/news/2016/05/friend-darwin-friend-planet-awards-2016-0017058

    Wikipedia: National Center for Science Education
    The National Center for Science Education (NCSE) is a non-profit organization based in Oakland, California affiliated with the American Association for the Advancement of Science. The National Center for Science Education (NCSE) is a not-for-profit, membership organization whose stated mission is to educate the press and the public on the scientific and educational aspects of controversies surrounding the teaching of evolution and climate change, and to provide information and resources to schools, parents, and other citizens working to keep those topics in public school science education…
    Staff and supporters
    Directors includes: Benjamin D. Santer — Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory
    Supporters includes: James Hansen, Bill McKibben, Bill Nye, James Randi, Neil deGrasse Tyson, etc…

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    Bulldust

    I wonder if climate science is contagious … Geoscience Australia is revising historic data which is re-ordering the largest earthquakes in the record:

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-05-12/northern-territory-1988-quake-now-rated-australias-biggest/7406988

    One wonders how new technology can re-measure what is in the past, often by decades.

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    Geoffrey Williams

    Well done Jo,so now we have at least two studies done here in Australia that confirm/indicate that Australia has for thousands of years had a difficult climate prone to extreme weather conditions. These two studies can be kept handy on the book shelf and used in future debate to disprove the claims of CAGW.
    Geoff W

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    pat

    11 May: Chicago Tribune: Andrew Nikiforuk: Analysis: Can Justin Trudeau see the forest fire for the trees?
    (Nikiforuk is a contributing editor to the Tyee, a Canadian online newspaper, and author of “Tar Sands: Dirty Oil and the Future of a Continent.”)
    The horrific wildfire that is consuming large swaths of Fort McMurray, Alberta, has already broken Canadian records for calamities fueled by climate change. The fire surpassed the economic damage wrought by Quebec’s multibillion-dollar ice storm in 1998 and even southern Alberta’s biblical $2 billion deluge in 2013…
    It is no accident that the fire sprang up amid Canada’s climate change debate in one of the nation’s most disturbed northern landscapes. All around Fort McMurray, pipelines, roads, seismic lines, and mining pits occupy huge chunks of the forest like an industrial octopus. Humans most likely started the blaze, but climate change helped propel the flames into a storm that made its own lightning and has left behind an estimated $10 billion in damage…
    Unlike his predecessor, Stephen Harper – an ideologue who championed pipelines, muzzled climate change scientists, and attacked environmentalists with malice – Trudeau has changed the tone…But he has not yet departed from Harper’s “drill, baby, drill” national narrative. He now promotes oil-export pipelines and wind farms in the same sentence – a sort of political schizophrenia…
    On May 4, he abruptly criticized Green Party leader Elizabeth May for spelling out the obvious: that the fiery consumption of Fort McMurray and the global climate crisis are linked. “Any time we try to make a political argument on one particular disaster, I think it’s a bit of shortcut that can sometimes not have the desired outcome,” Trudeau countered. “There have always been fires.”
    But that’s not true in a world destabilized by an increasingly human-engineered atmosphere…PLUS MUCH MORE
    http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/sns-wp-canada-comment-ad86e73e-17ab-11e6-924d-838753295f9a-20160511-story.html

    11 May: Voice of America: Kevin Enochs: Climate Change Means More Alaska Fires
    New research from University of Montana scientists suggest climate change will make the northern boreal forests the U.S. state of Alaska and other high latitudes particularly vulnerable to fires and so-called “super fires” like the one in Canada…
    Warmer, Drier Equals More Fire
    Climate scientists have long predicted that as the planet gets warmer the northern latitudes will get warmer faster than other regions.
    University of Montana affiliate scientist Adam Young and Fire Ecology Associate Professor Philip Higuera ran some numbers on what that means for the boreal forest and tundra regions. They focused on Alaska, but their research has implications for regions all of the high latitude regions of the earth.
    They found the risk of fire up north will like increase up to 4 times compared to recent decades…
    Their research has been accepted for publication in the journal Ecography: Pattern And Diversity in Ecology.
    http://www.voanews.com/content/climate-alaska-fires/3326067.html

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    • #
      yippiy

      The Fort McMurray fire has not broken all records. As Paul Homewood states:

      “The Alberta fire that has just ravaged the city of Fort McMurray is a monster by all accounts, Latest estimates suggest that an area of some 600 square miles has burnt, leading to claims that the fire that is the size of Hong Kong and almost 25% bigger than New York City.

      However, the current wildfire pales into insignificance at the side of the Chinchiga Firestorm of 1950, which was estimated to have destroyed between 5400 and 6500 square miles in northern Alberta and British Columbia. Of course, there is a major difference between now and then – there were no cities built in the region in those days. Fort McMurray, for instance, which has been at the centre of the current fire, now has a population of around 80000, built up in the middle of the Athabasca oil sands.

      Back in 1966, however, its population was just 2000.”

      The Chinchaga firestorm of 1950 burnt an order of magnitude greater area than the recent fire.

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    pat

    12 May: 9News: Brandon Livesay: Climate change ‘tipping point’ could be reached in four weeks
    6.6.16 is almost the devil’s number, but it might be much more than that if a leading scientist’s prediction on climate change is correct.
    CSIRO fellow Dr Paul Fraser has earmarked June 6 (“plus or minus a week”) as the day when carbon dioxide concentration in the atmosphere will hit the point of no return, 400 parts per million (ppm)…
    Dr Fraser said the difference between 399 and 400ppm was trivial, but when it does hit 400ppm mark it would be a “psychological tipping point”…
    While the news from the Cape is as grim as its name, Dr Fraser said mitigation programs could possibly reduce carbon dioxide.
    “But that could take decades, I would estimate it would take more than 100 years to get below 400ppm again and that is with ongoing action, slowing down the growth rate and slowly decarbonising the economy,” he said…
    When 400ppm becomes the norm in country air, the cities will feel the pain a whole lot more.
    http://www.9news.com.au/national/2016/05/12/17/05/carbon-and-climite-change-levels-to-hit-critical-point-at-tasmanian-research-station

    11 May: ClimateChangeNews: Megan Darby: Pension holders petition funds on Exxon, Chevron climate resolutions
    Members have urged more than a thousand pension funds to back climate resolutions at oil company AGMs this month
    Pension holders have lobbied 1,010 funds in 46 countries to back climate action at ExxonMobil and Chevron.
    That is according to Vote Your Pension, which aims to sway institutional investors into engaging with oil majors on the climate agenda.
    An estimated 15-20,000 people – the campaign is still sifting the data – have urged their pension funds to vote for shareholder resolutions on climate change at the US companies’ AGMs on 25 May.
    “We have had a fantastic response,” said Julian Poulter, chief executive of the Asset Owners Disclosure Project, one of the organisations behind the initiative…
    Funds are listening, according to Catherine Howarth of Share Action, which jointly runs Vote Your Pension.
    For example, the Universities Superannuation Scheme, one of the UK’s largest pension providers, met a group of members on Monday to hear their climate concerns.
    “If you care about climate, probably the single most effective thing you can do is influence the billions of pounds invested through your pension fund,” she said…
    Edward Mason, head of responsible investment for the Church Commissioners, said in a statement: “We hope that this vote will be the moment when shareholders give an unequivocal signal that, following the Paris Agreement, the time for climate risk reporting has arrived.”
    http://www.climatechangenews.com/2016/05/11/pension-holders-petition-funds-on-exxon-chevron-climate-resolutions/

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  • #
    el gordo

    Dry season running late and with La Nina predicted later this year there is a distinct possibility of flooding.

    http://www.warwickhughes.com/blog/?p=4468

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      Another Ian

      el gordo

      Around here we would put up with a bit of a flood.

      Otherwise our tunes are back to Dire Straits

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  • #

    I heard on the radio a summary of a study of stalagmites and stalactites in caves near Moonta South Australia a few years ago. One of the things they were apparently able to determine from the cross sections was the rate of growth of the formations, which is closely linked to rainfall. They claimed there was evidence of periods we would define as “drought” ranging from 300 to 1000 years in duration at various times. They described the most recent times represented by the record as “remarkably stable” in climate terms. Sadly I have not been able to find a link to the study.

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    • #
      Mike

      So we need to seek what is destroying the earth in other places. Clearly in the land of drought and flooding rain, some other kind of mechanism or vector for the current destruction of the once great biologically diverse continent needs to be found to prevent further loss.

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      • #
        Mike

        The reality is that preventing deforestation and extinction has not worked.

        It is pathological to portray that preventing CO2 will stop the environmental carnage, or that suddenly, if the climate is perfect we can have our biological diversity back.

        The destruction of the earth has presently very little to do with the weather or the climate, or if CO2 is evil or not..

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        • #
          Mike

          Not saying that it is not a good thing to address the science behind the CO2 belief system. Just saying that the environmental platform upon which global warming is on is the most amazingly bogus environmental platform i have ever witnessed in my life.

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    Don B

    “California’s current drought is being billed as the driest period in the state’s recorded rainfall history. But scientists who study the West’s long-term climate patterns say the state has been parched for much longer stretches before that 163-year historical period began.

    “And they worry that the “megadroughts” typical of California’s earlier history could come again.

    “Through studies of tree rings, sediment and other natural evidence, researchers have documented multiple droughts in California that lasted 10 or 20 years in a row during the past 1,000 years — compared to the mere three-year duration of the current dry spell. The two most severe megadroughts make the Dust Bowl of the 1930s look tame: a 240-year-long drought that started in 850 and, 50 years after the conclusion of that one, another that stretched at least 180 years.”

    http://www.mercurynews.com/science/ci_24993601/california-drought-past-dry-periods-have-lasted-more

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  • #
    Andrew McRae

    Newcastle proxies in Antarctica?
    That makes this other ABC news article seem tame by comparison.
    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-05-12/leaked-email-cast-further-doubt-future-csiro-antarctic-research/7409432

    Today I learned that Melbourne appears to be in Antarctica, at least according to Dr Abram.

    CSIRO funding cuts threaten the future of the Melbourne-based ICELAB, which provides important national research infrastructure to measure gases trapped inside ice cores.

    Australian National University climate researcher Dr Nerilie Abram said any cuts to ICELAB would be a loss to Australia’s scientific capabilities. Dr Abram, who used to work with the British Antarctic Survey, said the cuts appeared to fly in the face of the Federal Government’s recent 10-year, $200-million commitment to support Australia’s presence in the Antarctic.

    So you can say you have a presence in X as long as you use something that came from X ?
    Hmmm.
    You could hand the good doctor a coconut then ask them how they enjoyed their Fijian holiday.

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  • #
    Gee Aye

    Jo, The link to Tozer’s article didn’t work for me.

    It must be a good link since there are so many comments and I know that the readers of this blog are diligent about understanding the science before commenting, so they must have read it.

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    • #
      Andrew McRae

      You’re just unlucky, Geepers. Both of the links to the hydrology site worked for me.
      The paper can be downloaded for free.

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      • #
        AndyG55

        Same here. No problem at all.

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        • #
          Gee Aye

          Andy and Adrew Mc

          Have reads through every single comment to date including yours. Not one comment in relation to the actual article… Indeed no indication from Jo C. that gives any reason to think that she read the original. All comment is derived from post publication articles, some which quote comments by the authors and some that don’t.

          Is this Thursday unthreaded?

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          • #
            Andrew McRae

            >> Is this Thursday unthreaded?

            No, I posted completely shamelessly offtopic because I am absolutely uninterested in the OP’s topic and felt no desire whatsoever to comment on it nor read the paper. But I did have something potentially mirthful to say with a contrived segue from the post and that was enough for me.

            How’s your day been?

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          • #
            ghl

            I skimmed the original.It is not worth a lot of time.

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      • #
        Gee Aye

        Maybe it is a pad thing. Anyway it inspired me to provide some info that might be useful. Or maybe everyone knows about this?

        02

      • #
        Gee Aye

        It is puzzling though that no t one word of the article is quoted.

        This is interesting

        This suggests that existing drought and flood risk assessments underestimate the true risks due to the reliance on data and statistics obtained from only the instrumental record. This raises questions about the robustness of existing water security and flood protection measures and has serious implications for water resources management, infrastructure design and catchment planning.

        This was the point and who cares about agw? The discussion point is have we assessed the risks and are we prepared?

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        • #
          AndyG55

          The guys involved in ARR (Australian Rainfall and Runoff) have know that there are issues with the older methods from the previous versions of ARR.

          For instance, on a statistical quantity basis, Brisbane floods are around the 1 in 100 year event…. problem is that they occur about once every 30-40 years.

          The new version apparently tries to takes some of this into account.

          Its difficult enough working with the rather limited data they have, without throwing in unproven fairy-tales.

          It is absolutely CERTAIN that extremes will happen that are drier or wetter than what the actual data over this limited period indicates.

          Can we estimate them? not with any degree of certainty, that is for sure.

          Can you assess the risk… maybe to some degree, but building for greater risk nearly always involves greater amounts of money.

          I can barely imagine the cost of upgrading, say, Newcastle’s ancient flood non-control system to cope with a statistical 1 in 200 year flood.

          And I can only imagine trying to get the Greenies to accept the absolute necessity of building more dams.
          As you can see from the graphs in #9.1.1, there is little indication in actual rainfall data of any real trends in either rainfall amount (maybe an insignificant +ve trend)…
          or in extreme events (maybe an insignificant -ve trend).

          I may have a disc somewhere with data from further up the valley (iirc the disc contains all NSW rainfall data to 2007). I’ll post more if I can find the disc and figure out which stations are where.

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        • #
          AndyG55

          Lets look at Fig 2, Gee

          http://s19.postimg.org/kaji1w983/Tozar_Fig_2.png

          The grey are is the 1 sd region.

          What they are saying is that this might be a little bit wider.

          Now think about that a bit.

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    • #
      Gee Aye

      So you don’t have access to a higher education or intelligence journal subscription?

      Do you know about this? New new papers are not in this and there are not 100% of old papers but it is well worth trying, especially if google scholar fails

      https://sci-hub.bz

      The best thing would be if blog owners issued the doi of a journal article because this is the best way to find papers by means other than subscription just because the “other means” are more reliable and faster at accurately retrieving the original using the doi.

      This is a hint

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    • #
      Gee Aye

      So I used doi:10.5194/hess-20-1703-2016 on sci-hub.biz.

      When the sci hub is working well it sends the pdf. In this case it redirects to the paper’s page on the journal site (which the links above did not) and the full PDFs is free to download. Since I achieved this on a mobile device I assume it is free to all and nothing to do with institutional subscriptions

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    pat

    more money needed:

    12 May: Guardian: Lenore Taylor: Coalition climate plan ‘assumes emissions trading’, says government modeller
    The government is campaigning against Labor’s emissions trading scheme but its own Direct Action will only work with large funding increases or as an ETS
    Modelling hailed by the Liberal party as proof its Direct Action plan could meet Australia’s long-term climate promises in fact assumes the Coalition would turn its policy into a type of emissions trading scheme, according to the authors.
    The environment minister, Greg Hunt, released the modelling, by the Energetics consulting firm, just days before the election was called and told the Australian newspaper it was proof that critics of the government’s policy – who say it has no hope of reaching Australia’s target without changes – were totally wrong…
    But Peter Holt, associate at Energetics, told Guardian Australia that the policies would only achieve those reductions with changes – either large funding top-ups to the ERF (estimated by others at at least $6bn) or a strengthening of the safeguards mechanism so it turned into a baseline and credit emissions trading scheme…
    The economist Danny Price – who has advised the government on Direct Action – agrees with Holt’s assessment that despite the government’s scare campaign against Labor’s ETS, it is going to have to introduce a similar version of emissions trading itself to meet its international pledges…
    The Climate Institute thinktank also said the “turbo-charging” assumed in the Energetics modelling would require “at least another $6bn” tipped into the emissions reduction fund, through which the government buys emissions reductions, or stronger safeguards to introduce a form of emissions trading for industry and electricity generators by tightening emissions “baselines” and forcing companies who exceeded them to buy permits…
    http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2016/may/12/coalition-climate-plan-assumes-emissions-trading-says-government-modeller

    3 May: Guardian: Lenore Taylor: Labor policy could increase power prices by 8% to 25%, economist says
    Danny Price, who helped devise the Coalition’s climate policy, says Labor scheme to shut brown-coal generators would lead to higher prices
    Price, who helped devise the Coalition’s climate policy, told Guardian Australia last week the main plank of Labor’s policy – a new style electricity emissions trading scheme – was exactly what he designed for Malcolm Turnbull in 2009 and mirrored what the Coalition’s Direct Action plan would almost certainly have to become to meet Australia’s greenhouse targets…
    Price said the new Labor policy was “a bit light on detail but it looks pretty much the same [as the Turnbull 2009 plan]. Malcolm Turnbull thought it was a good idea then. I’m delighted the Labor party is proposing it now.”
    Price – who the government recently appointed to the Climate Change Authority and who acted as an adviser on Direct Action – said the Coalition would probably have to move to a similar scheme itself in order to meet its own emissions reduction targets…
    “I’ve always thought that was the most likely way for them to go after the review they have scheduled for 2017, because they are obviously going to have to make changes to meet even their existing targets and this is a low-cost way to do it.
    “It is actually emerging as an idea with the potential to be adopted by both major parties.”..
    http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2016/may/02/labor-policy-could-increase-power-prices-by-8-to-25-says-coalition-linked-economist

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    • #
      Mike

      Why not just cut pensions and destroy the economy. Proven to work in Greece. ??

      Greeks emit less soapy water, fly spray, expensive cologne, bleach, and other environmentally harmful chemicals than any of the countries that have not undergone severe economic restructuring generally.

      Instead of increasing the cost of energy, just make it so that nobody can afford it.

      Don’t know what kind of economists they are using, but even an amateur economic climate scientist hobbyist like myself amongst very few of my kind could fix the problem without the need to introduce a tax or trading scheme. Greece is a fine blueprint.

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      • #
        Mike

        “more money needed:”

        The reverse is true Pat.

        To lower emissions, Greece proves that less money is needed.

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        • #
          Mike

          ……..what “less money can do”. The emissions reduction fund sponsored by chapter 11 and co :)

          From: http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-05-12/two-more-energy-companies-go-bankrupt-linn-energy-penn-virgina-file-chapter-11

          “Two More Energy Companies Go Bankrupt: Linn Energy, Penn Virgina File Chapter 11″
          In the first case, oil and gas producer Linn Energy LLC filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy after reaching a deal with lenders to restructure its $8.3 billion debt load and obtain $2.2 billion in fresh financing. In its bankruptcy filing press release, Linn announced that the holders of more than 66% of its credit facility have agreed to the “broad terms” of a debt restructuring but didn’t provide further details. The lenders also agreed to let Linn Energy spend the cash securing their debt, known as cash collateral, and to help fund a new $2.2 billion term loan.”

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    Don B

    One hundred years ago, young poet Dorothea Mackellar knew Australia was a land

    Of droughts and flooding rains.

    http://www.dorotheamackellar.com.au/archive/mycountry.htm

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    • #
      David-of-Cooyal-in-Oz

      Thanks Don,
      You beat me to making a similar comment. I still think she’s been the most reliable long range forecaster, and I use her description to try and work my place.
      A few years back I got a brochure from our Department of Agriculture on how to manage drought, and did get some good advice from it. But… Nearly every article started with a definition of drought, and no two were the same. So I invented my own. It’s a bit negative, but you’ll get the drift: for me the drought will end, (and yes, note the tense) when all my dams refill.
      I’ve had good rain over the last couple of weeks, about 60mms, but the only runoff has been down the inside walls of the dams. My dry dams have increased to puddles. (I’m lucky that I have a couple of good ones.)
      I think I have to assume I’m in drought about 80% of the time. May be higher.
      Cheers
      Dave B

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    Richard Ilfeld

    We are quite certain, through a wide variety of sources, that conditions in the past have been more severe than we have experienced in our brief lifetimes or instrumented records. A very wide number of studies in diverse fields show this, but sufficient evidence is probably available to any on a brief drive from home.

    I do not know of any reasonable authority that suggests that we have experienced the worst nature has to offer or prepared for it. what part of the earth hasn’t experienced catastrophic flooding in the geological record? What culture, examined archeologically, hasn’t suffered catastrophic drought?

    For that matter,why are we concerned about warming when the record is pretty clear that ice ages have been harder on vulnerable mammals?

    This study would be nothing but another brick in the wall of knowledge we are building about our past, if it weren’t for fears that it discredits in part the imaginary edifice some are building about our future.

    I’ll bet the folks in Venezuala wish they had prepared better for drought?
    May be a lesson for all of us there.

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    • #
      Roy Hogue

      I’ll bet the folks in Venezuala wish they had prepared better for drought?

      I’ll bet that in Venezuela these days they wish they had prepared better for several things — like maybe the recent collapse of the price of oil?

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    ren

    Sea Surface Temperature Anomalies, Ice and Snow Cover
    The monthly temperature forecast is updated each Thursday and covers the 28 days starting on the following Monday. The forecasted anomaly is produced from the average conditions forecasted over that period by the Global Ensemble Prediction System. A 20 year climatology (1995-2014) of this prediction system obtained from a reforecast is also used in the computation of the forecast anomaly.
    https://weather.gc.ca/data/saisons/images/2016051200_054_G6_global_I_SEASON_tm@lg@sd_000.png

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