JoNova

A science presenter, writer, speaker & former TV host; author of The Skeptic's Handbook (over 200,000 copies distributed & available in 15 languages).


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A history of droughts and flooding rains from 1782 – 1865 in Australia

Here’s one for all the history-deniers from 1885

Mr N Bartley understood Australias climate 134 years ago better than some climate scientists appear to now.

After the fire came the floods, Feb 2020.

Even then Australia already had a century-long rolling cycle of floods, fires and droughts. One natural disaster after another back when CO2 levels were perfect.

These go back to the earliest dates of European settlement. Wherever Captain Flinders landed in 1782 — 1792 he found “found traces of drought and bush fires invariably”.  In 1839, the drought was so bad that fish “putrefied” in the big Murrumbidgee River even though there was not one coal fired power plant on Earth.

The author laments that the droughts “become forgotten in the flood intervals.”

In the modern Wifi era humans can forget even faster.

Below is my summary list of the events described in the story.

Below that, the full letter. From The Queenslander, Sept 19th, 1885.

*Since Captain Flinders was born in 1774 I assume those dates were wrong and he wasn’t commanding a ship when he was 8 years old. Any other suggestions welcome.(thanks Gee Aye, SteveD, James West and Peter Fitzroy)

(1795 onwards?)* [...]

ACORN adjustments robbed Marble Bar of its legendary world record. Death Valley now longest hottest place

UPDATE: The Hon. Craig Kelly MP was so appalled by this story he has taken this to the Australian Parliament already where The Labor Party was so afraid they interrupted his allocated 15 minute speech just to stop him finishing. They even called a formal Division which means the bell is rung and all the missing MPs have to return to the Chamber to vote. See that on Kelly’s Facebook page. Who cares about our climate and who covers up for incompetent bureaucrats?!

For generations it was a Guinness Book of Records type thing. Now it’s gone. In 1924 Marble Bar set a world record of the most consecutive days of 100 °F (37.8 °C) or above, during an incredible period of 160 days starting in 1923. It was legend — but thanks to the genius homogenized adjustments, we now find out all along it was wrong. It’s another ACORN triumph, rewriting history, extinguishing the hot days of days long gone.  The experts at the Australian Bureau of Meteorology (BoM) have reanalyzed the temperatures from 4000 km away and nine decades in the future and apparently it wasn’t that hot.

Chris Gillham wonders how the bureau figured out the Marble Bar max [...]

The cloudless NW Indian ocean may drive Australian storms and US cold weather in the next month

There is a strong phenomenon called the Madden-Julian Oscilation (MJO) happening over the Indian ocean North west of Australia.The MJO is a massive convective pattern that churns it’s way from west to east across the Indian and into the Pacific. For 30 – 60 days it’s a dynamo, changing global weather. It has a profound influence on both sides of the world — driving cold winter spells as far away as Canada and the US.

“It’s as extreme as I’ve ever seen it”  — Joe Bastardi, Weatherbell, Jan 6th

“I’m looking at one of the worst 30 days periods in central Canada and western United states.”

“I’m watching what I was taught happen in front of me.”

” Jan 20 – Feb 10th may be very cold in the US.

Joe Bastardi is a long range weather forecaster at Weatherbell and he does a weekly video each Saturday. Last weekend he discussed the MJO and the hot tropical convective pattern occurring in the NE Indian ocean off Australia where, unusually, there are no clouds.  The gap in the clouds allows sunlight in to heat the ocean in the tropics, but [...]

ABC, Climate experts do damage control on 1896 heatwave story, can’t say why, but they “know” it was cooler. Faith!

Winning! The 1896 heatwave story is going viral and the  ABC is reduced to weak, late excuses

Australians are realizing that our hot history has been hidden from us. We’ve set a new site traffic record with around 100,000 people checking in since Wednesday, plus thousands more reading the story elsewhere like Catallaxy and Facebook. Thank you for sharing! We first posted the 1896 heatwave here first in 2013, then again on Wednesday. The ABC has gone into damage control responding with a direct attempt to rebut the story, but they are too scared to name this site. What are they afraid of?

We, of course, have no such fear. Six years after skeptics let Australia know about the 1896 heatwave, the ABC and “experts” finally catch up but only under duress. So now they mention it, but use vague caveats, distractors, discuss different time spans, ignore 49 other hot sites, appeal to authority, and don’t mention their own recent artificial site changes that skeptics have documented in more detail than the BOM have. The “experts” allude to “thermometers on beer crates” but in Bourke the heat was recorded at the post office on Oxley st. Skeptics are well aware [...]

Hottest ever day in Australia — especially if you ignore history – Eg. 1896

Tuesday was Australia’s hottest day on record sayth the Bureau of Meteorology.

And perhaps it was. But look at the temperatures reported in newspapers across the country during the month of January in 1896 when people were going mad with axes, dropping dead in coaches and railway stations and birds were falling lifeless from the trees? Emergency trains were ferrying people from the country to the mountains. Panic stricken people fled the outback on special trains and the death toll was in the hundreds.

Fifty years later scientists would publish papers talking about how Australian summers had cooled since then.

How does the BOM know for sure that it was not hotter on any one of these days?  Perhaps they don’t. Wouldn’t it be more honest of the BOM to mention that? It’s not like billions of dollars depends upon it…

Seems the only time the ABC or BOM suddenly discover our historic weather records is when we get unseasonal snow or freezing cold.

See below for the links to the newspaper stories for all of these temperatures (Click to enlarge the map)

Photo: Jo Nova

The heatwave started in the West on Jan 1st and travelled [...]

Raw Data Bombshell: no change in Very Hot Days in Australia since World War I

What a bombshell. Despite the non-stop stories of unprecedented heat the original data at 60 of the oldest sites across Australia shows there are no more Very-Hot-Days now than there were early last century. That’s no trend in 40 degree days for 100 years. No change – that is, until the Bureau of Meteorology adjusts the data…

After we were shocked at the latest ACORN changes to our Very Hot Days data, I asked Chris Gillham if we could see the effect of Bureau of Meteorology changes to the original raw data – and he replied it would be too time-consuming writing the code to calculate 40C+ days among the millions of daily temperatures from 112 weather stations across Australia since 1910. Then he did it anyway.

Wow. In 2011, the BoM’s ACORN 1 adjustments wiped out some of the “very hot days” recorded at weather stations in the early 1900s. These were records that had stood for a whole century. Then, quietly six years later, the ACORN 2 readjustments turned the statistical air conditioner on again and cooled people from 100 years in the future.

It’s all especially miraculous given that even the old World War I  data was recorded in [...]

Whopper part II: Look what the BoM did to the last three Februarys in Australia?!

The Bureau of Meteorology did what to February?

Wow, just wow. Look what the Bureau of Meteorology has covertly done to February? Something like one third of a degree has been added to the average Australian summer maximum anomalies over the past few years according to the “expert” data from the worlds-best-practise equipment.

In the BOM Whopper Part 1 we revealed that in the BOM’s latest round of unannounced adjustments there were big increases in the rate of Australian summer warming. It turns out a lot of the summer rise comes from changes to February. Mysteriously, there were large changes to the national average of the last three years. Let that sink in.

These changes were incomprehensible because while the averaged “whole nation” got warmer, there were no changes to the data in any of the 104 individual stations.

It’s all rather spooky… but what it isn’t, is scientific.

The two main points in Bob Fernley Jones’ work:

There are big increases to measurements recorded in the last three years? Why? Yet again, the adjustments are down in the early years, up in the latter years, and overall, the rate of warming, surprise, increases thanks to man-made adjustments. He [...]

Giles weather station — sited next to almost the only bitumen for 500 km

I visited the famous Giles weather station a couple of weeks ago. It’s an ACORN top ranking site, it even has a Met office. Because it so central and so remote the measurements here are used to estimate temperatures across a vast area — indeed, arguably, it’s the most influential site in terms of Australia’s area-averaged temperature. It’s 1,700km drive from Perth (1,000 miles) and the last 800 km of that is dirt road with wild camels. It’s so remote the nearest post box is 340 km away across the state border at Uluru / Ayers Rock.

This could have been the best site in Australia, unaffected by UHI, open since 1956, staffed with professionals.

Despite the site being surrounded by three deserts and 500,000 square kilometers of wilderness somehow the only short stretch of bitumen for miles starts 600m from Giles and runs within 10m of the Stevenson screen.

Giles is arguably the most central and most remote station in Australia.

Never fear, civilization is here:

 

Giles, Bureau of Meteorology, ACORN, site, Stevenson screen, WA.

Stepping back — the site is surrounded by gravel:

There is even a kind of gravel car park beside the [...]

The Bureau of Met disappears “Very Hot Days” graph showing the most hot days in 1952

Here’s an inconvenient fact: Australia had the highest number of very hot days in 1952, back when CO2 levels were 311ppm and humans had not yet emitted 87% of our carbon dioxide emissions. Something else was causing that extreme heat. If only the modelers knew what it was?

For years the BOM site had this informative graph below, but yesterday Craig Kelly M.P. phoned me to prepare for his Bolt Report appearance and informed me the Bureau had dropped it down the memory hole. It used to be a tab available on their Track climate trends and extremes page. Apparently in this era of global warming, the BoM doesn’t think Australians care about the trends in days over 40C in Australia, or perhaps it didn’t fit the agenda? On the Bolt Report last night Kelly explained that according to the Wayback machine, it disappeared sometime during the election campaign this year. (It was there on March 26th and gone on March 28th.)

Thankfully Paul Homewood of Notalotofpeopleknowthat kept a copy:

There’s not much a of a trend in the average number of very hot days (greater than 40C) each year in Australia.  | Source: Australian Bureau of Meteorology 2016.

[...]

Port Hedland: one man with a keen interest knows more about this site than the Bureau of Met does

If the planet was at stake you’d think the BOM would be doing this research, not unpaid volunteers.

Bill Johnston has shown again, that the BOM is apparently unaware and, perhaps most damningly, not even interested in most of the things that happened to their official thermometer sites.

Port Hedland is supposedly “one of the best” researched sites in Australia — so it is a certified ACORN site (one of the 112). The trends matter, and being remote, it influences a large area. But one man with dedication and no funding at all can find key historical maps and photos that the BOM, with its million dollar-a-day budget, cannot.  Instead of doing this hard work the BOM uses the magical homogenization process “to fix” up all the anomalies by hunting for data in sites hundreds of kilometers away that can be used to adjust the records at Port Hedland. This is the secret process that even the BOM admits it cannot describe in full to anyone outside the BOM. As Johnston says, it’s a process so bad it “should be abandoned”. There is no saving the error correction that starts with bad data, missing documents, and barely any historical research [...]

Rare: Sudden Stratospheric Warming in the Southern Hemisphere — cold weather coming?

Right now a very rare southern SSW (Sudden Stratospheric Warming) is taking place, possibly peaking today or this weekend over Antarctica. In the Northern Hemisphere SSW’s happen more often and in the month afterwards, wild polar blasts like the “Beast from the East” can peel off. So somewhere way up at 10hPa or 30 – 50 km, there is an area that’s warmed from -60C  to close to zero. The warming up high throws a spanner in the normal jet streams and weeks later, down at the surface, blobs of  cold air from the poles may end up wandering far from “home”.

We (as in Africa, Australia, Argentina, or New Zealand) may get bumper snow and severe frosts, or we may not. Some researchers are getting excited and are using the word “historic”.

These are rare over the Southern Hemisphere — due to Antarctica being shaped like a circular cheesecake right over the pole and surrounded by water. The geography is cleaner and simpler than at the north pole, and that generates a strong circumpolar jetstream.  The strong pattern normally stops these sudden warmings up high which occur with wandering jetstreams.

In the Southern Hemisphere there have only [...]

History keeps getting colder — ACORN2 raises Australia’s warming rate by over 20%

More warming adjustments from ACORN2

Once again we find that the oldest thermometers were apparently reading artificially high even though many were newish in 1910 and placed in approved Stevenson screens.)  This is also despite the additional urban warming effect of a population that grew 400% since then. What are the odds?!

Fortunately, gifted craftsmen, sorry scientists have uncovered the true readings from the old biased thermometers which they explain carefully in a 67 page impenetrable document.

Chris Gillham has soldiered through the new “ACORN 2″ adjustments that the Australian Bureau of Meteorology has o-so-quietly released and Australians are just waking up to find that our coldest mornings back in 1910 were even colder than anyone realized at the time. Graham Lloyd is  reporting in The Australian how the second rewrite in six years increases the warming by 23% . (Where was the ABC announcement?)

The ACORN series of the Bureau of Meteorology includes 112 stations. Their report lists the warming trends per decade in Table 9. I converted that into the total warming since 1910 and graphed that below.

About one third of the warming of our mean temperature is due to man-made adjustments

Comparing AWAP (semi-raw) to the latest [...]

Townsville floods again: 1881, 1892, 1946 and 1953. It’d be climate change if it stopped flooding

After epic flooding in Townsville, witchdoctors are blaming climate change.

 Queensland’s recent extreme weather – bushfires, heatwaves, coral bleaching, drought, Cyclone Penny, Townsville’s floods – showed Queensland is clearly experiencing climate change, Professor Ian Lowe said.

 Thus spake the Druid of Runes waving a bunch of multifactor complex processes that have been happening forever, can’t be predicted and only have scary trends if you draw short graphs with no error bars. Verily we see doom, doth payth my grant, or whatever it is that keeps Prof Ian Lowe going. He is allegedly in the  Queensland Climate Advisory Council (QCAC) — an organization so successful its only existence on the internet appears to be a sidebar on page 15 of a government PDF. But whoever they are, they’re experts, trust us, that the media doesn’t need to ask for an alternate opinion.

Wouldn’t you know it though, floods seem to happen quite a lot in Townsville

This is not to say that the current floods are not serious but just that Townsville is a floody kind of place. It’d be climate change if things stopped flooding in Townsville.

In the last ten days Townsville has had 600mm of rain [...]

The biggest unnoticed storms in the world cause sudden Polar Vortex havoc

 Sudden Stratospheric Warmings

Who knew? The polar vortices are the two strongest and largest “storms” on the planet. These continent scale storms are 600 miles across with winds raging at 300km per hour. Simon Clark is doing (or has done) a PhD in polar vortexes. He describes how  each winter they form high over the poles. These are stratospheric, circling far above jet streams and planes. The tight circular pattern keeps the coldest air corralled. But every now again, the neat circle falls apart. In the polar stratosphere sometimes temperatures warm in days by stupid amounts, like 50 degrees C. It’s called a Sudden Stratospheric Warming (SSW) and one started around Christmas time.

As Clark describes it, these are easily the most violent weather events on the planet.  (They sound fascinating). As with unbalanced centrifuges, when things unravel,  as the high speed system unravels, the arctic cold could spin off anywhere — this week it’s the US, but Europe and Russia are often targets too. There is a lag involved — after an SSW it may take two weeks for things to hit the fan on the surface, so to speak. Generally, when an SSW hits it presages a brutal [...]

Forgotten history: 50 degrees everywhere, right across Australia in the 1800s

Don’t believe your lying eyes — Australian newspaper archives are full of temperatures recorded higher than 121 in the shade which is 50C.  All of these temperatures in the map below are found in historic newspaper archives. Measurements done after 1910 are even done with official Stevenson screens, yet the BOM “throws them away”. It’s true that ones done in the 1800s are often recorded on non-standard equipment, or are just literally “in the shade” under cover. So some of these, perhaps many, are one or two degrees too high. But even if we take two degrees off, how scary is global warming when Australia knew many days of 48C and 49C and some at 50C 120 years ago? The BOM — supposedly so concerned about the State of Our Climate — show little interest in talking about our history or in analyzing it, or even mentioning it.

And modern temperatures are recorded on electronic equipment, sometimes in areas affected by urban heat islands (concrete and cars).

(click to enlarge)

Photo: Jo Nova

50C temperatures have occurred all over Australia before

Australians have been recording temperatures of over 50C since 1828, right across the country. In [...]