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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Albany robbed of its coldest ever April day, BOM adjusts temp up 15 degrees C?!

Friday April 19th set more records than anyone realized. Not only was it the earliest recorded snowfall at Bluff Knoll and WA, but it was also the coldest ever April day in Albany and many other towns in south-west Western Australia. It may also be the largest single day temperature mystery I’ve ever seen in the official “raw” data.

Days like the 19th are extremely unusual in Western Australia — it’s a state that often doesn’t get any snow all year and when it does, the length of the entire snow season is measured in hours. So you might think the million-dollar-a-day Bureau of Meteorology would be paying extra attention. Instead it appears they have lost that day’s data in Albany, despite having two thermometers there to record it. One station is in the city itself and there’s an official “expert” ACORN station at the airport about 10km away.

Luckily Chris Gillham, unpaid volunteer, was watching the live half hour observations roll in at and saw that thermometers at the airport recorded a maximum of only 10.4°C at 11am that day, which he remarks is the lowest April maximum the BOM has ever recorded there. Strangely, the 10.4°C seems to have disappeared. Somehow, the BOM has [...]

Earliest recorded snow event in Western Australian history

Remember when climate modelers told us fossil fuels cause longer snow seasons?

No neither do I.

Albany, snowboarding, earliest snow, WA, 2019. | ABC Facebook

It is the earliest recorded snow event in a calendar year in the state’s history. Statistically, we can tell how anomalous this is by the behaviour of the local wildlife – seen snowboarding in shorts on the driveway in Albany. (Even going across the road). It’s possible this is the longest snowboard ride in the state’s history too. Though technically it is hail-boarding.

See snowboarding in Albany Western Australia

For foreign readers, WA (Western Aust) doesn’t have a snow season. Last regular snow was probably circa 20,000BC.

The ABC reports:

BOM forecaster Matt Boterhoven said snow was an extremely rare occurrence in April.

“It’s exceptional. We’ve only recorded once, in the last 100 years, snow as early as this on top of the Stirling Ranges,” he said.

“It’s related to a very strong cold air mass moving over the south-west of the state, so when conditions get below freezing and there’s precipitation, snow can form on top of Stirling Ranges.”

Mr Boterhoven predicted further [...]

First they came for the coal industry, now for oil and gas: West Australian EPA decides state must meet “Paris” alone

Who’d want to invest here?  Image Catmoz

Suddenly, with five minutes warning, Western Australia may be going it alone to meet Paris on behalf of Australia. Not because an elected government decided that, but because of five people chosen by a state Minister. Who is in charge here? The West Australian EPA is a QUAGO (quasi-autonomous-and-governmental organisation) –  paid by the government, but magically “independent” of it. They are annointed saints charged with protecting “the environment” but as far as I can tell, that does not include the dominant fauna nor the entire plant kingdom.

Billion-dollar WA projects at risk from new EPA emission rules

Paul Garvey, The Australian

 Tens of billions of dollars in new resource projects will be at risk after Western Australia’s Environmental Protection Authority announced tough new measures around carbon dioxide emissions.

WA has only 10% of Australia’s population but generates more than a third of the national exports. Or it did. Watch this space…

The new regulations will affect planned projects such as Woodside Petroleum’s $US11 billion ($15.6bn) Scarborough gas project and its $US20.5bn Browse development, as well as existing projects such as the $US34bn Wheatstone LNG plant [...]

Too much fuel causes extreme bush fires, not climate change

What was Australia’s Environment Minister thinking?

Melissa Price succumbs to pagan witchcraft:

“There’s no doubt that there’s many people who have suffered over this summer. We talk about the Victorian bushfires; (in) my home state of Western Australia we’ve also got fires there,” [Melissa Price] told Sky News this morning. “There’s no doubt that climate change is having an impact on us. There’s no denying that.”

L

WA

Let’s look at her home state. After 67 years of fire management in the giant, hot, dry state of WA, the trend is clear — the more prescribed area we burn, the less wildfire does.  In the graph below the prescribed burns declined for forty years and wildfires increased for thirty. After the Dwellingup Fire in 1961 the state ramped up the preventative burns, and reduced wildfires.

As the BushFireFront team say:

“We can’t control the weather but we can control the fuel loads“

Tough call — what do we do, redesign our energy system, pay billions, change our cars, our houses and our light globes in the hope that bush fires will be nicer, or do we just go back to doing what [...]

Extraordinary powers triggered: Blackout threat from rooftop solar panels in Western Australia

Panels are going in everywhere in Perth.

In Western Australia the uptake of solar panels has rocketed as electricity prices leaped — there’s a slow motion solar train-wreck underway. Solar PV panels are now on more than one in four houses and growing at a phenomenal rate.

The South West Grid is small, with around one million customers and a daily peak of around 2 – 3,000 MW. But the solar generation now totals as much as 1,000MW, and is growing at blistering 180MW a year. Already, there are times solar can be the largest “single” source on this grid, and the AEMO has no control over it, which is why emergency notices are being issued more and more. The AEMO suggests the answer is more batteries, but we are still subsiding the installation of these unnecessary panels making the problem worse, and electricity prices are forecast to rise another 7% this year. As readers TomOMason and TonyfromOz say, so much for cheap solar — watch out: “Batteries Not Included”. The hidden costs get you every time, and the cost of the impact on the rest of the grid is only becoming known as we do this live experiment.

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West Australia – Unskeptical conservatives wiped out in election – No Trump, No Brexit vote

Don’t mention the climate — unskeptical conservatives give away some of their best weapons

The local Liberals (conservatives) got smashed on the weekend in the Western Australian election. Polls predicted it, but instead of a Trump-surprise, Colin Barnett’s team got a nasty shock instead — wiped out. There was no “hidden vote” waiting there because the local Liberals are just another brand of The Establishment. There is nothing politically brave about them.

In WA climate was a non-issue, yet pandering to the religion still cost conservatives. One of the main election messages was about the privatisation of “Western Power” (Electricity supplier). This strange spectacle unfolded where McGowan, the leader who’d suggested the ridiculous 50% renewables target was thumping Barnett’s campaign with messages of fear about rising electricity prices after the privatization. Barnett didn’t hit back — No one seemed to notice the incongruity of Mr Renewables accusing someone else of making electricity expensive.

There are many reasons the WA Libs crashed (read some here). But the “climate” policy hole gets forgotten. Colin Barnett was unarmed, unskeptically accepting the unaudited foreign committee reports. In 2014, when semi-skeptical-Abbott was PM, the premier of a state that lives off mining and energy wasn’t [...]

Climate Change means Perth smashes the coldest ever record for February

Plan for Ghost Town has been delayed

Yesterday Perth had it’s coldest ever February day (since 1910) with temperatures only making it up to 17.4C. This is not just 0.1 or 0.2C below the previous coldest record in February, but a whole 1.7C colder. Perth also got its second wettest February Day (of any season) with a 106mm of rain.

This is peak summer. So much for Tim Flannery’s Ghost Town prophesy.

(To put a fine point on just how far from normal this is, the actual coldest observation in February before this was in 1991 at 19.8C, but that was adjusted down by 0.7C  in the All-Wondrous-ACORN data set. So yesterday was a “sigma-lot” below normal). I’ll post soon on how this is not just a one-day thing, but part of a longer curious record for the region.

Another bazillion gigatons of coal emissions since 1991…

POST NOTE: It’s sweltering on the east coast, and still cold and now flooding on the west. The tables below were updated — today was yet another “top ten” coldest ever day in Perth.

How long before the “hot-n- cold” floods-in-summer thing is blamed on air conditioners? -  Jo

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