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?)* [...]

Royal Commission on Fires based on Myth of Hotter-Drier Summer

More lies by omission from the Bureau of Misinformation

When a PM gets it totally wrong, where is the BOM…

“What this royal commission is looking at are the practical things that must be done to keep Australians safer and safe in longer, hotter, drier summers.” — Scott Morrison. – ABC

The BoM, like Prof Andy Pitman of UNSW, and all other climate scientists know that “climate change” will make the world a hotter wetter place. Who are the evaporation deniers among us? Yet, apart from one momentary candid admission from Professor Andy Pitman, which of our paid public servants will correct the PM when he says things that are flagrantly, 100% wrong? Will a Royal Commission really be forced to accept a complete myth?

Looks like extra CO2 “causes” Summer rainfall in Australia to increase

Apparently, we should burn fossil fuels to stop fires. You know it makes sense…

Australian rainfall trends, Bureau of Meteorology,

But wait,  what about Southern Australia?

To cover every last caveat, it’s possible that “climate change” could change where rain falls, or when rain falls — so lets look at the BoM’s own rainfall records.

CO2 apparently makes summers wetter across [...]

The Hotter-Drier “Climate change” myth — the rain in Australia has always been erratic, no CO2 trend

When will our BoM and Climate Experts correct the Fake Science and misinformation?

Climate change leads to a hotter-wetter world. This is a central canon of the theory of man-made global warming. Despite that, none of our paid experts are correcting the myths and misinformation of our public debate. Every man and his monkey (including M.P’s) are saying that Climate Change causes a hotter drier world which leads to fires, and the BOM, CSIRO and millions of scientists apparently agree. So if Australians are misinformed, who’s fault is it? — Not looking at you Andy Pitman, David Karoly, Tim Flannery, ABC Science Unit, Gergis, Sherwood, Trewin, Steffan and all the rest.

Blame the ocean currents for our bush fires

The biggest cause of bush-fires in Australia is the drought. A lack of rain allows the nation to get scorching hot days and dries out the fuel. Yet our long term records show that obscene megatons of CO2 from China has no detectable effect on our long term rainfall. Not in the fire zones, and not across the whole country either.  The main driver of droughts and fires therefore is the El Nino oscillation, the IOD, and the SOI. Tax [...]

Climate change and bushfires — More rain, the same droughts, no trend, no science

Here’s the anti-witchdoctor kit for bushfires and “climate change”

Hi to all the new readers. Keep these graphs handy…

To Recap: In order to make really Bad Fires we need the big three: Fuel, oxygen, spark. Obviously getting rid of air and lightning is beyond the budget. The only one we can control is fuel. No fuel = no fire.   Big fuel = Fireball apocalypse that we can;t stop even with help from Canada, California, and New Zealand.

The most important weather factor is rain, not an extra 1 degree of warmth. To turn the nation into a proper fireball, we “need” a good drought.  A lack of rain is a triple whammy — it dries out the ground and the fuel — and it makes the weather hotter too. Dry years are hot years in Australia, wet years are cool years. It’s just evaporative cooling for the whole country. The sun has to dry out the soil before it can heat up the air above it.  Simple yes?  El Nino’s mean less rain (in Australia), that’s why they also mean “hot weather”.

So ask a climate scientist the right questions and you’ll find out what [...]

Figure this: Andy Pitman says “we don’t understand what causes droughts” but “the indirect link is clear”!

Back in August I posted the extraordinary first quotes from Prof Andy Pitman that there was no link between climate change and drought.

Prof Andy Pitman, Climate Modeler, UNSW

The news about droughts was banal and obvious, because more water evaporates in a warmer world, and therefore, more rain falls — how could it be any other way? What goes up, must come down. But that quote was very important because it had never been stated so unequivocally by a high ranking believer and modeler. (Thanks to Jim Sternhill for spotting this incendiary and unwittingly honest quote.) Since being posted here, those quotes have been picked up by Maurice Newman, Alan Jones, then Chris Kenny (The Australian editor) and Andrew Bolt — which means the Pitman-drought-admission has become a major headache for the climate machine. Hence, they had to come up with some fogging excuse to muddy up the clarity, and here it is. Pitman forgot one word.

Prof Andy Pitman now says that he meant to say there was no direct link:

Barry said this “clarification” said Pitman had “left out a crucial word”: that “there is no direct link between climate change and drought”.

Prof Andy Pitman admits droughts are not worse and not linked to climate change

Drought Panic Over

h/t to Jim Sternhill, Frank Brus, via Jim Simpson.

Professor Andy Pitman, UNSW

In June Professor Andy Pitman quietly dropped a bomb:

“…as far as the climate scientists know there is no link between climate change and drought.”

“…there is no reason a priori why climate change should made the landscape more arid.“

He’s admitting there’s never been a scientific basis for the endless climate drought scares? He went on to say that in Australia, droughts are not increasing, and there’s no drying trend in one hundred years of data. He’s also admitting the models can’t predict extremes in rain either. Where are the press releases?

It’s great to hear him speaking like a skeptical scientist, with candor and care, but 52% of Australians (including many of our politicians) think “climate change” is already causing more frequent droughts. So half the country is not only convinced droughts are increasing, but they think climate change is causing an effect that isn’t happening. And the world is spending $330b a year on windmills and solar panels [...]

The worst drought in history viewed through carbo-phobic glasses: ABC misses the obvious

The obvious headline:

“Worst drought in history was 100 years ago, nothing to do with CO2″

The Carbophobic headline:

Drought of 1891 to 1903 reconstructed shows today’s conditions likely to have more devastating effects

Indoctrinated ABC copy-writers can’t see anything other than future doom and a chance to advertise the government religion.  Figure that the Australian GDP per capita is 13 times larger now than in 1900. We have phones, planes, antibiotics, air-conditioning, satellites, and super computers, yet somehow we wouldn’t cope as well if the drought hit now?

It’s great, for a change, to see the ABC reporting on historic Australian extremes, and the BOM researching our amazing documentary history, shame they miss the bleeding obvious.

By Nikolai Beilharz, ABC Enviro-propaganda Unit.

A reconstruction of the Federation drought has found that if it were to occur again today, its effects would likely be even more devastating in some areas of the country.

The ‘once in a century drought’, which went from 1891 to 1903, caused an ecosystem collapse affecting more than a third of the country. The drought was one of the world’s worst recorded ‘megadroughts’, which at [...]

Blockbuster: 178 years of Australian rain has nothing to do with CO2, worst extremes 1849, 1925, 1950

Remarkable! A new study by Ashcroft, Karoly and Dowdy pieces together an extraordinary 178 years of rainfall data from Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide. This is a rare study that brings in much older data, looking at trends and extremes. This is pretty much the ultimate long term rainfall paper for South East Australia. Henceforth, there shalt be no more headlines about “unprecedented” rainfall or area’s drying out “due to climate change” unless an event rates against this data…

Australia – a land of floods and droughts: Rainfall goes up and down in long ongoing cycles or change, but no obvious trend that matches the sharp rise of CO2 in the last 30 years. It’s almost like CO2 has no detectable effect… The worst extremes were for the most part — long ago — particularly in the 1840s (assuming those records are reliable). Almost nothing in the last 30 years is unusual or unprecedented despite humans putting out 50% of all our CO2 since 1989. These charts show how misleading it is to use graphs that start in 1970 (or even in 1910) and declare that the recent changes are meaningful, or caused by CO2.

The researchers also use newspaper archives [...]

Deadliest droughts in India were before 1924

Next time someone tells you how extreme the climate is today remind them that five million people died in a drought in 1896 in India. That was the same year a brutally hot summer in Australia caused 400 deaths and people fled the inland heat on emergency trains. Somewhere between 1 and 5 million people died a few years later in the next drought — the same time as Australia’s “Federation drought”.

Spot the effect of CO2 in 150 years of rainfall of India:

Average rainfall anomalies in India from 1850 – 2016 from IMD (black) and GISS (red).  | Click to read the official caption.

Famine deaths have largely been eliminated in India, mostly thanks to better transport and organisation, higher yields (thanks to fertilizer and CO2) and irrigation. Droughts still happen but in a population that has grown from 250 million in 1880 to a billion in 2000 the extraordinary thing is that more people starved of famine when the population was only a quarter of the size and CO2 levels were “perfecto”.

Weakened people died of cholera and malaria, and bubonic plague too.  Death rates to these diseases often doubled or tripled.

Famine, India, 1896.

Thanks to [...]

Blame Climate Change for stupid British Voters choosing Brexit says ABC

If only we had built more windmills, and changed more light-globes we could have prevented the British voting to control their own nation. It all makes sense — if you are insane, or a broadcaster paid one billion a year to promote Big Government.

What a disaster — the fifth largest economy choose to trade more with the rest of the world and be less under the thumb of Germany and Brussels. Such madness needs an explanification. So here it is: Our coal plants caused a terrible drought in Syria which made lots of nice people seek refuge in rich countries, I mean “globally”, and that made people talk about a refugee problem in the UK (which wasn’t really a problem, see) and that made scared, selfish and small minded populist voters choose fear and Brexit over the glorious wonder of the EU.

 This is the genius analysis we pay Sabra Lane and the ABC for:

SABRA LANE: Could it be that Brexit, the UK voting to leave the EU, is the result of a cascading series of events due in part to climate change?

ROBERT GLASSER: Yeah, so there was a persistent [...]

All that CO2 in the last 50 years and droughts are less common in Australia

No link between droughts and climate change in Australia

Ken Stewart finds that rainfall may have fallen in the last 30 years over Southern Australia but it has stayed remarkably constant in the long run.

Fig. 2: Cool season rainfall, Southern Australia, 1900-2017

Oops! Rainfall has in fact increased over southern Australia.

Stewart has also looked at the number of consecutive dry months across Australia. Looking at both 12 month periods and at 36 month periods it’s clear that we had more severe droughts more often from 1900-1970. The only exceptions are in SW WA (which is having a good year for rain this year) and small parts of Victoria and Tasmania.

Fig. 4:  Number of consecutive months per calendar year of 12 months severe rain deficiency: Australia

Don’t forget to pop in at Kens Kingdom and say thanks for all the work he does.

Ken Stewart is not paid but can create these graphs. The Australian BoM gets a million dollars a day, and Ken used their definition of a drought, but there are no press releases about this from the BoM.

The ABC gets $3 million dollars a day. If [...]

The rise of Climate superstition: Droughts, heatwaves, random noise is “proof” of anything you like

All around the world the climate druids are at work.

Show me the error bars

Once upon a time a scientist talked about thirty year trends and anachronistic things like “confidence intervals”. Now, thanks to the discovery of Unscience, any noisy, random short data is fair game to be declared undeniable climate change. Periods of flooding also qualify, as do periods of nice weather, though strangely no one mentions those. Where are the headlines? If climate change caused drought on the East Coast of Australia, it’s also causing average rain and good crops in Western Australia.

In terms of scientific data analysis we don’t get that many droughts or six-day-August-heatwaves to analyze. They’re complex phenomena caused by multiple factors and we only have short records. This makes them ideal to be oversold to hapless folk as a “sign” of climate change.

When we have data, we find global droughts haven’t changed much in the last 60 years. When we can scratch together longer proxies, we find that 1000 year rainfall studies show droughts and floods used to be longer and worse.  In Europe and the US megadroughts happened in the last 2,000 years. The droughts of 1315, or 1540, etc, [...]

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 [...]

Megadroughts in past 2000 years worse, longer, than current droughts

What hockeystick eh?

A new atlas shows droughts of the past were worse than those today — and they cannot have been caused by man-made CO2. Despite the claims of “unprecedented” droughts, the worst droughts in Europe and the US were a thousand years ago. Cook et al 2015[1] put together an old world drought atlas from tree rings data as a proxy for summer wetness and dryness across Europe. They compare the severity and timing of European droughts with the North American Drought Atlas (NADA) released in 2004. Yes, it’s a tree ring study with all the caveats about how trees are responding to several factors at once etc etc. But at least the modern era is measured with the same proxy as used in the old eras.

Something else is causing droughts, something modern models don’t include:

“megadroughts reconstructed over north-central Europe in the 11th and mid-15th centuries reinforce other evidence from North America and Asia that droughts were more severe, extensive, and prolonged over Northern Hemisphere land areas before the 20th century, with an inadequate understanding of their causes.”

The worst megadrought in the California and Nevada regions was from 832 to 1074 CE (golly, [...]

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

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

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

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

h/t to Paul Homewood at Notalotofpeopleknowthat

The ABC reported this largely as a water management story, without asking whether their past stories that blamed CO2 for droughts were less likely to be true. [...]