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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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

Cool rain Sth Oz 19002017

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

12m 5% Aust

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 we paid them $4 million a day would they stop parroting the CSIRO, BOM and renewables industry and start investigating? The evidence says “not”. Apparently, the better the funding, the better they spin. To get the ABC to serve the taxpayer instead of Big-Gov, we need to cut the funds to “zero”.

Fig. 5:  Periods of 36 months serious rain deficiency: Australia

36m 10% Aust

As Ken says — droughts were more common in all but a few areas:

In the past droughts of all lengths and severity were more widespread across Australia.

Australia wide, and in the regions of Northern and Southern Australia and the Murray Darling Basin, and South Australia as a whole, since 1900 droughts of all lengths have become less frequent, and because these are broad regions, less widespread.  There is no evidence that climate change is making droughts more likely to occur, except for smaller areas (Victoria, Tasmania, and SW Australia) which have an increasing frequency of droughts of all lengths.

Alarmists get worked up about,
Climate-change causing more drought,
When, ten decades gone by,
More droughts give the lie,
To fake claims, beyond any doubt.


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Rating: 9.3/10 (70 votes cast)
All that CO2 in the last 50 years and droughts are less common in Australia, 9.3 out of 10 based on 70 ratings

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

  • #

    Thanks for that Jo. Very interesting.

    BTW…their….I think you mean there (are no press releases).


  • #

    On a sunny cool breezy morning in England. Quite heavy rain periods here yesterday so looking fresh.
    I hope there is more rain coming up for NSW and Queensland.


  • #

    Warmists don’t want facts, it will spoil there faith based opinions.

    I recall; whilst on a driving holiday through Ireland 18 odd years ago, on talk back radio, a high court judge was alleged to have said “the truth is a rare and beautiful thing and should be used vary sparingly”
    The Warmist certainly believe in sparing the truth.

    Listening to Irish talkback was very educational.

    There was also a pub contest being held over Ireland to find the best Irish liar. One of the rules apparently was that politicians , lawyers (as well as real estate agents and car salesman ) were ineligible to enter. They were considered to have ab unfair advantage.
    Has anything changed


  • #
  • #
    Michael Reed

    Hi Jo Don’t know what the problem is but I can’t read
    the comments in your “old coal fired power stations”
    Obviously can get to comments on this “droughts
    “ post.Note the actual comments word has appeared
    in a light grey shade all day and is not at all responsive
    I’ve tried all day
    Cheers Mike Reed


  • #

    Alarmists get worked up about,
    Climate-change causing more drought,
    When, ten decades gone by,
    More droughts give the lie,
    To fake claims, beyond any doubt.


  • #

    This cannot be true – “everybody knows” that drought is worse now than it ever was – everybody says so, so it must be true.

    This is remarkable information, Jo. Thanks for passing it on. I despair that out politicians (or most of them) have no idea of the facts or where to find them.


  • #

    I still object to using prejudicial language.

    Climate Change. If 350 full time scientists at the CSIRO in years could not find any Climate Change in Australia, there is none.
    Emissions as in harmful emissions cannot include carbon dioxide. That’s absurd. It’s breathing. I refuse to call carbon dioxide ‘emissions’.
    More and more frequent droughts? You cannot have it both ways. We cannot have lots of droughts, interspersed presumably by lots of rain.

    As for the extrapolation of warming of 0.5C into dramatically more anything, that’s just a crazy idea. It is also absurd when diurnal variations of temperature are 20C in temperate climates. Annual variations in places are 40C.

    What is puzzling is that without any sign of Global Warming, we are still crippling this country.
    Without any proof that windmils make any difference at all, we are still building them.
    Without any justification at all, strangers are pillaging our electricity bills and the government pretends not to notice.

    After 30 years of this, when will it stop?

    Now our new Foreign Minister tells us that the biggest threat to security in the South Pacific is not China but Climate Change.

    It is all a bit much. Droughts and flooding rains is our climate. Even the CSIRO agrees.

    Can we have our country back? Kill the RET. Stop the rot.


    • #
      el gordo

      The Boe Declaration says climate change “remains the single greatest threat to the livelihood, security and wellbeing of the peoples of the Pacific”.

      Australia is doing a sleight of hand, plowing monies into the islands under the guise of climate change to compete with Beijing. The money was already earmarked and nothing much has changed over the years.


      • #

        I believe we should not play these transparent and absurd games as a country. Giving military and inducements aid under the name Climate Change is a sham which fools no one. However it perpetuates a myth for a lot of people and that has consequences. How can Climate Change be a security threat. No one even understands that.


        • #
          Graeme No.3

          Well, as the climate gets cooler for the next 30 years expect increased demand from China for food grown here. They may well pump money into northern development (with hydro) for agriculture. Those at the top there know damn well what happens when the Earth cools as they haven’t lost sight of their history before 1965 just because it doesn’t support a silly hypothesis.


    • #
      Peter C

      I agree about Climate Change, TdeF,

      The words come out and it seems natural that the The Climate must be changing and changing for the worse. Yet Ken Stuart’s work shows that, as far a rainfall in concerned, the record has been remarkably stable for 120 years. If there has been a change, it has been getting slightly better.

      I think it is better to always link Climate to the phrase , purported Antropogenic Global Warming.


  • #

    I wouldnt give the ABC money…it only encourages them…..tsk…


    • #

      The ABC is the state funded propaganda disseminator of the great lie. It is essential that current senior management are replaced by rational editors who seek to drive proper investigative reporting.

      So called threat of a royal commission by our new Prime Minister on power prices if followed through and the terms of reference were broad enough might expose the lies, half truths and the role the ABC and media played in creating and perpetrating this scam.


    • #

      “I wouldnt give the ABC money…it only encourages them…”

      That is how I’ve come to feel about NPR (National Public Radio) and PBS (Public Broadcasting System) in the US.


  • #

    “droughts” get a mention in the editorial policy section:

    7 Sept: CarbonBrief: Leo Hickman: Exclusive: BBC issues internal guidance on how to report climate change
    Carbon Brief has obtained the internal four-page “crib sheet” sent yesterday to BBC journalists via an email from Fran Unsworth, the BBC’s director of news and current affairs. The crib sheet includes the BBC’s “editorial policy” and “position” on climate change.

    All of the BBC’s editorial staff have also been invited to sign up for a one-hour “training course on reporting climate change”. Carbon Brief understands this is the first time that the BBC has issued formal reporting guidance to its staff on this topic.
    The move follows a ruling earlier this year by Ofcom, the UK’s broadcasting regulator, which found that BBC Radio 4’s flagship current-affairs programme Today had breached broadcasting rules by “not sufficiently challenging” Lord Lawson, the former Conservative chancellor.

    Lawson, who chairs a UK-based climate-sceptic lobby group, had made false claims about climate change in an interview on Today in August 2017. Before Ofcom published its ruling in April, the BBC had already apologised for breaching its general editorial guidelines during the Lawson interview.

    The broadcaster has faced repeated criticism over the past decade for enabling “false balance” on the topic of climate change, as well as for failing to fully implement the recommendations of the BBC Trust’s 2011 review into the “impartiality and accuracy of the BBC’s coverage of science”.
    This is the email sent by Fran Unsworth to BBC journalists yesterday…

    Dear all
    After a summer of heatwaves, floods and extreme weather, environment stories have become front of mind for our audiences. There are a number of important related news events in the coming months – including the latest report from the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and Green Great Britain Week in October – so there will be many more stories to cover. Younger audiences, in particular, have told us they’d like to see more journalism on the issue…READ ON

    1 comment is noted, but it is awaiting moderation. however, it is possible to click “show comment”, which is as follows:

    NickG • 30 minutes ago
    Given the political leanings that predominate in the BBC, it is unrealistic to expect balanced reporting and integrity on matters climate. Given the prevailing dogmas that predominate at the BBC the organisation is systemically incapable of it.

    Specifically, you won’t get any kind of balance between the IPCC and its projections against actuals since the first assessment report was issued 28 years ago, other knowledgeable specialists in the field against climate alarmists and climate luke-warmers.

    What you will see is unabashed advocacy of the alarmist position – to wit – David Attenborough’s recent shrilling alarmism, way beyond even the IPCC position in the recently broadcast Africa series.


  • #

    “Rainfall may have fallen over the last 30 years”. I certainly hope some
    rain has fallen in that time! :)


  • #

    the arrogance on show, as usual:

    7 Sept: Guardian: Australia’s authority in Pacific ‘being eroded by refusal to address climate change’
    Top climate scientist says leaders disenchanted with Australia’s promotion of coal and slowing down action on meeting Paris targets
    by Ben Doherty
    Australia’s regional authority and influence is being eroded by its refusal to address the threat climate change poses to many of its Pacific neighbours, according to a ***pre-eminent climate scientist…

    Dr Bill Hare, managing director of Climate Analytics and a lead author on the IPCC fourth assessment report, told Guardian Australia that Pacific leaders were growing increasingly disenchanted with Australia’s refusal to commit to cutting carbon emissions, even as their nations faced massive economic, physical and social disruption, even existential threat.

    “The leaders are not fools, and they are increasingly confronted by the problems of climate change, in all its different dimensions,” Hare said. “The problem for Australia is it doesn’t have credibility on climate. Australia is an important player for many of the Pacific Island countries, well-respected and well-liked by the populations and the political leaders, but on climate change there is a chasm opening up.
    “I hear it from Pacific leaders all the time: they are fighting to save their countries and their people and they cannot understand why the Australian government leadership can’t see the problems they’ve got.”…

    “The actions will not match the gravity of the declaration or the gravity of the need. There is a credibility gap: Australia is not acting on reducing its own emissions. All the leaders know that whenever the prime minister or energy minister says Australia will meet its Paris targets ‘in a canter’, that that it is wrong, it is factually incorrect – it is bullshit.

    “They know Australia is working to slow down action on meeting Paris targets, they know Australia is promoting coal, and they know it’s going to cause a climate catastrophe. Australia has dedicated and able diplomats across the region, but the political leadership of the government is so far removed from reality, it opens up major problems for the country.”

    Pacific leaders were confronting losing large proportions of their territory, and the forcible displacement of their populations, Hare said. He said leaders did not want their next generations to grow up dislocated, living in foreign cities like Sydney and Auckland, with the attendant loss of identity, culture and self-esteem.

    Support for Australia could ebb away, with Pacific Islands looking to other benefactors – in particular China – which has made massive in its aid spending and diplomatic engagement in the region.
    Ahead of the Pacific Islands Forum, Xavier Matsutaro, the national climate change coordinator for Palau, said Australia’s relationship with the Pacific was “dysfunctional” and akin to an abusive spouse, saying Australia was also responsible for diluting the strength of previous regional declarations on climate change.
    “Australia is a bit of an anomaly, because on the floor [of climate summits] they’re basically sometimes as far right as Trump in some of their views on climate change … but then on a regional basis they’ve actually given a lot of support to our region.”

    Hare said Matsutaro spoke the “real and growing truth” about Pacific sentiment towards Australia.
    “It reflects a major political and diplomatic crisis in the Pacific. If Pacific leaders lose faith in Australia, then they will turn to others, and this is already becoming a major source of discussion. Pacific leaders are not naive about the strings that will come with development from China, but they are beginning to feel abandoned.”

    The Conversation: Dr. Hare has served on scientific advisory groups of the CSIRO in Australia, Tyndall Research Centre in the UK and to the IMAGE modelling group in the Netherlands…
    He was on the board of Climate Network Europe for a period and more recently was on the Board of CAN International. From 1992 to 2002 Bill Hare was Climate Policy Director for Greenpeace International leading work on the negotiation and implementation of the Kyoto Protocol under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). He advised Greenpeace International on all aspects of climate change science and policy and on the development of the post 2012 climate regime until 2009. Until 1992 he held a number of senior positions at the Australian Conservation Foundation, where he directed a major Australian Federal Government policy project on Ecologically Sustainable Development. He was environmental adviser on the Australian Government delegation to the Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee that negotiated the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.

    ClimateAnalytics: Bill (Hare) has contributed actively to the development of the international climate regime since 1989, including the negotiation of the 1992 UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, the 1997 Kyoto Protocol, and the Paris Agreement in 2015. Throughout this time supported international and regional scientific assessment processes, including the IPCC, in different capacities to the present time.
    He was a Lead Author for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Fourth Assessment Report, for which the IPCC was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2007. He led the influential World Bank Turn Down the Heat reports series in 2013-2014, and has authored, or co-authored, many peer-reviewed articles in leading academic journals including Nature Climate Change, Nature, Climatic Change, Regional Environmental Change, and Climate Policy…
    Bill has been described as “the physicist who has become a go-to climate adviser for dozens of poor nations and supports and advises ministers from Small Island Developing States and Least Developed Countries in the context of the UNFCCC climate negotiations…
    Bill is a graduate of Murdoch University in Western Australia and a visiting scientist at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research.


  • #

    comment in moderation re: 7 Sept: Guardian: Australia’s authority in Pacific ‘being eroded by refusal to address climate change’ (says “climate scientist” Bill Hare)

    a timely reminder on Hare:

    24 Aug 2017: RenewEconomy: Giles Parkinson: Australia urged to aim for 100% renewables by 2030s
    One of the world’s leading climate experts says Australia needs to aim for 100 per cent renewables within two decades as part of its efforts to meet climate targets, and it stands to reap enormous economic – and environmental – benefits if it does.

    Bill Hare, a Perth-based climate scientist and director of research group Climate Analytics, says there is renewed pressure for the world to act to cap average global warming at 1.5°C given the increasing evidence of extreme weather events, heat-waves, coral bleaching and other impacts…
    “There is no fundamental technological limit to renewable energy integration to existing energy system,” says Hare, who delivered a major lecture, The Keith Roby Memorial Lecture at Murdoch University, in Perth last night. (His full presentation can be found here)(LINK).

    His comments come on the same day as a 27-strong team from Stanford University, led by Mark Jacobsen, released an updated plan on how 139 countries, including Australia (LINK), could reach 100 per cent renewables based around wind, solar, storage and hydro…
    The Australian network operator Transgrid says 100 per cent renewable energy is both feasible and affordable (LINK)…


    • #
      Graeme No.3


      As I mentioned Peter, the ultra supporter of renewables in The Australian comments, claims that Germany has reached 40% renewables and that the emissions from electricity generation had dropped 15%. For once I don’t think his statements are untrue, but extrapolation means that 100% renewables would result in only 37.5% reduction in emissions. Given the huge cost it doesn’t seem worth it, especially in the absence of proof for the Green scare stories.


  • #

    7 Sept: Guardian: Paris climate deal doesn’t stop us building new coal plants, Canavan says
    Minister says agreement Australia committed to ‘doesn’t actually bind us to anything in particular’
    by Katharine Murphy
    Australia does not need to quit the Paris climate agreement because our commitments are non-binding, and new coal plants can continue to be constructed, according to the resources minister, Matt Canavan.
    Canavan told Sydney broadcaster Alan Jones on Friday he had never been to Paris, and was “happy to leave the Champs-Élysées for others”, but people needed to be clear the treaty Tony Abbott committed Australia to in 2015 “doesn’t actually bind us to anything in particular”…

    The resources minister said rather than focusing on the situation in 2030, “what I want to focus on is solving the crisis we have in energy today”.
    “We have to build power stations. There’s nothing in the [Paris] agreement that would stop us building power stations, including coal-fired power stations,” Canavan said.
    “We need new ones”.
    Canavan said Queensland was “propping up” New South Wales with the newest coal fleet in the country…

    A recent forecast by the Australian Energy Market Operator predicted 30% of Australia’s coal generators will approach the end of their technical life over the next two decades, and it said it was important to avoid premature departures if the looming transition in the national energy market is to be orderly.
    But it was also clear that the most economical replacement for the ageing coal fleet was not new coal, but “a portfolio of utility-scale renewable generation, storage, distributed energy resources, flexible thermal capacity, and transmission”.
    Aemo concluded that mix of generation could produce 90 terawatt hours of energy per annum, “more than offsetting the energy lost from retiring coal-fired generation”.

    Reuters FakeNews – Australia (and New Zealand) did not call on US to return to Paris (plus there’s the fact the US, unfortunately, is still in Paris until Nov 2020)

    7 Sept: Reuters: Pacific leaders seek U.S. return to Paris climate pact
    Reporting by Tom Westbrook and Colin Packham; Editing by Clarence Fernandez
    SYDNEY – Pacific island nations declared climate change to be their “single greatest threat”, urging Washington to return to the Paris Agreement on climate, just as Western powers seek to check China’s rising influence in the region.
    Australia, which has backed away from its own commitment to Paris without exiting the pact, was among the 18 nations of the Pacific Islands Forum that made the call at a meeting of leaders on the tiny island state of Nauru.
    “Climate change presents the single greatest threat to the livelihood, security and well-being of Pacific people,” the leaders said in a communique, asking the United States to return to the climate pact…

    ???Against this backdrop, China’s vocal support for tackling global warming aids its drive to win allies and influence in the strategically significant and resource-rich area…

    Climate change is domestic political dynamite in Australia, one of the world’s largest coal exporters which has also sought to push back against China’s influence in the Pacific…


    • #

      Canavan clearly does not understand the AEMO ISP report. Its costs embody the States’ CO2 targets, which exceed the Paris targets, and offer their determination of the lowest cost path to reach those targets.

      Anyone with an ounce of analytical ability can easily and quickly determine the lowest cost form of power generation in Australia is from coal.


  • #

    ***nothing Christian about the following. illustrated by a must-see PIC:

    PIC: 6 Sept: Postlight Mercury: Is the world hiding behind Trump as progress lags in Bangkok?
    by Mohamed Adow
    (Mohamed Adow is International Climate Lead at ***Christian Aid)
    Any views expressed in this article are those of the author and not of Thomson Reuters Foundation.

    Wealthy countries must stop Trump in further weakening the Paris Agreement and instead honour their commitments…
    Despite negotiating this for three years, progress has been bogged down in Bangkok with the December deadline for the rulebook to be finalised looming large. Without some concrete options for ministers to hammer out at COP 24 in Poland the summit risks ending in failure.

    To explain the current impasse, we need to look at how we arrived here. The US, led by President Obama, helped create the conditions for a successful delivery of the Paris Agreement. Obama was a driving force behind a major diplomatic push to land the deal but to do so the US forced through a bottom up system based on voluntary nationally determined contributions and largely symmetrical legal commitments for all countries. This involved tearing up much of the previous top down international climate regime, resulting in the greatest rollback of international rules on tackling climate change, particularly applying to rich countries.

    Thanks to the political constraints in the US, the rest of the world bent backwards to accommodate each and every US demand. The result is a Paris Agreement that is weaker for the rich countries than the Kyoto Protocol they replaced. The cruel irony is that despite the rest of the world allowing the US to have its own way, President Trump announced he was going to withdraw from the Paris Agreement anyway, as part of his reactionary agenda and his obsessive undoing of everything Obama did.

    Just as they did under the Kyoto Protocol, the US dictated the rules of the game only to refuse to then play by them and march off in a huff. This would be bad enough, but Trump isn’t even letting everyone else get on with it and the US is trying to undermine the game even further from the side-lines…
    Rather than recusing themselves from the negotiations on a Paris rulebook they have no intention of being party to, they are actively undermining it.

    Part of the negotiations around the rulebook includes the provision of climate finance from rich countries. Trump’s first budget backtracked on US international commitment to climate finance to aid poor and vulnerable countries, money that would help them take concrete steps on clean energy, disaster risk reduction, climate resilience and forest protection. But Trump’s administration is now dismantling climate finance commitments of other wealthy nations, frustrating the legitimate claims of poor nations to set an international process for reporting on the predictability of funding.

    Disgracefully, other rich countries, especially Canada, Australia, Japan, France, Germany, Norway and the UK, rather than calling it out, have sheepishly hid behind Trump. They should have acted as a firewall to stop the virus of the US approach from infecting the climate negotiations, but instead they have allowed US interests to once again paralyse progress.
    This is simply wrong. We know the US is interfering in the climate talks in the interests of big polluters, and not its people. Their actions must be opposed, and at minimum demand that they stand down from the Paris rulebook negotiations.

    Specifically, countries need to agree the up-front information about how much finance richer countries will be providing, so that poor developing nations can plan their supported climate actions accordingly.
    A current proposal from the US, Australia and Japan would, for example, allow countries to count the face value of commercial loans as climate finance. Putting developing countries further in debt might be Donald Trump’s idea of what climate finance should look like, but it is not the real money for real action that’s needed to solve the climate crisis.
    Other wealthy countries must stop Trump in further weakening the Paris Agreement and instead honour their commitments by delivering a rulebook that is fit for protecting people and planet, not polluter’s profits.

    the use of the pic seemed toxic to me, but this might explain its use on a Postlight Mercury page:

    19 Apr 2017: Poynter: Bloomberg and Postlight team up to annotate the world’s news
    By Benjamin Mullin
    They settled on the idea of providing instant context and data in stories. Bloomberg, with its terminal business, has tons of data. Postlight has Mercury, a web parser that scans and reformats text. Together, they could create an application that scans news articles for newsmakers (people, companies, institutions) and serves up financial data around them…
    “While Postlight’s job is to make money and my job is to help Bloomberg make money, we really set out to make a product that, first and foremost, is going to make the internet a better, more edifying, more powerful place for people who are reading news on the internet,” (Michael Shane, the global head of digital innovation at Bloomberg) said.


    • #
      Dave in the States

      “Where’s my money?” That is what the cry is. I hope you all will defund them too.


      • #

        Dave there is more to the $1.5 billion grant, 35 per cent from Australia, than “climate change” although that is of course the Islander’s basis for demanding financial assistance.

        It is also a political manoeuvre to keep China out of the Pacific Region too, probably our government’s primary objective, New Zealand government too.


    • #
      Graeme No.3


      Re the picture…are they implying that Trump can singlehandedly beat 4 polar bears?


  • #

    7 Sept: BBC: Large-scale wind and solar power ‘could green the Sahara’
    By Matt McGrath
    Installing huge numbers of solar panels and wind turbines in the Sahara desert would have a major impact on rainfall, vegetation and temperatures, researchers say.
    They found that the actions of wind turbines would double the amount of rain that would fall in the region.
    Solar panels have a similar impact although they act in a different way.
    The authors say their work reinforces the view that large-scale renewables could transform the Sahara region.

    The scientists modelled what would happen if 9 million sq km of the Sahara desert was covered in renewable energy sources…
    According to authors’ calculations, a massive installation in the desert would generate more than four times the amount of energy that the world currently uses every year.

    Previous studies have shown that installing wind and solar can have an impact on temperatures – but the key difference with this research is the impact on vegetation…
    “Our model results show that large-scale solar and wind farms in the Sahara would more than double the precipitation, especially in the Sahel, where the magnitude of rainfall increase is between 20mm and 500mm per year,” said Dr Yan Li, the lead author of the paper from the University of Illinois, US.
    “As a result, vegetation cover fraction increases by about 20%.”…

    Should we now proceed with big installations in desert areas?
    “Yes, I think so,” said Dr Li.
    “The main message for people, policymakers, and investors is the enormous benefits to the people, society, and ecosystem as a result of these solar and wind farms.”
    “We hope that, in the light of our findings, and because of the primary climate effect of these farms is the reduction of anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions and the resulting mitigation of climate change, we could transform our energy sources. That can lead in turn to sustaining freshwater, food, and life on our planet.”
    The study has been published (LINK) in the journal, Science.
    by Retired Holy Man: I see the headline – Desert storm in Sahara causes black out across half the world!

    Carbon Brief re Amy MyersJaffe article in Financial Times (behind paywall):

    Protecting energy groups from climate lawsuits is a bad idea
    The US Congress should be wary of legislating to grant oil companies immunity from environmental lawsuits as part of a bill calling for carbon taxes, writes Amy Myers Jaffe for the Financial Times. “Although liability caps for climate change lawsuits sound superficially similar to the one that was eventually crafted for the tobacco industry over smoking, this plan is a raw deal for the public,” she writes. “Tobacco damage claims were limited to the healthcare sector: a fifth of the US population in 2005 smoked. But energy is a critical input to almost all economic activity, and fossil fuels have been relatively ubiquitous especially in transport. The potential liability claims against energy companies found negligent would far exceed the total faced by cigarette makers.”


    • #
      Phil R

      “The scientists modelled what would happen if 9 million sq km of the Sahara desert was covered in renewable energy sources…”

      Now, that’s funny right there. Does anyone ever even stop to think for a second what they’re saying? The total area of the Sahara desert is between 8,600,000 sq km ( and 9,200,000 sq km (Wikipedia). So they’re effectively considering blanketing the entire Sahara desert, and the 9 or 10 or so countries that largely comprise the desert. I wonder what they think about that?


      • #

        Much easier way to green the planet is to put more CO2 into the atmosphere. The 100 parts per million increase over the last 40years has increased plant biomass by approx 14 %
        As we appear to be entering a cooling period for next 30 – 50 years (low solar activity), we will need all the extra CO2 we can get if we don’t want to go through food shortages.


    • #
      Latus Dextro

      Installing huge numbers of solar panels and wind turbines in the Sahara desert would have a major impact on rainfall, vegetation and temperatures, researchers say.

      Post doc Yan Li at University of Illinoi, Dept of Natural Resources and Environmental Scientivism lead author working with Safa Motesharrei, mathematician and physicist known for the first mathematical model that showed not only ecological strain, but also economic stratification, can lead to a societal collapse, segue to another funded modelling absurdity, what would happen if 9 million sq km of the Sahara desert was covered in renewable expensive, intermittent energy sources requiring replacement within a decade and a half.
      BBC’s Environment correspondent Matt McGrath reliably peddling climatism, neatly avoids the obvious, how do we keep 9 million sq km clean free from the dust, where do we get the rare earth natural resources to recurrently manufacture 9 million sq km of magnets and panels, who will pay for it, how will the power be delivered to where it is required, how much power will be generated.

      The authors state in their paper published in ‘Science’ that: The wind and solar farms simulated in this study would generate approximately 3 and 79 TW of electrical power, respectively, averaged over a typical year :

      Efforts to build such large-scale wind and solar farms for electricity generation may still face many technological (e.g., transmission, efficiency), socioeconomic (e.g., cost, politics), and environmental challenges, but this goal has become increasingly achievable and cost-effective

      “In this study, we used a model running at a relatively coarse spatial resolution to simulate the impact of wind and solar farms.”

      “Therefore, to assess the impacts of smaller-scale wind and solar farms installed at specific locations, further studies are required, especially those using more advanced global and regional climate models with higher spatial resolutions”

      “Still, uncertainties remain in the magnitude of climate response and the strength of vegetation feedbacks. The complexity of a global model also limits its ability in capturing the impacts on synoptic and mesoscale weather processes. It is not clear if all of our findings are directly applicable to wind and solar farms with a size much smaller than the model grid.”

      Sustainable? Nope. Realistic? Nope. Practical? Nope? Valid? Nope.
      Further studies? Yep. Ideological? Yep. Scientivism? Yep.
      This is exactly the kind of nonsense Dr Peter Ridd alludes to, the kind that has infected science and Universities and continues to bring both into utter disrepute.


  • #
    Dave in the States

    I wonder what Moonbeam will think of this data?


  • #

    I note that the JMA monthly forecast (HERE) is for most of Australia turning cooler and wetter over the month.


  • #
    Another Ian

    Looks like something is also more common

    “Study – Global Tree cover on the rise – possibly due to CO2/global warming”


  • #

    Morrison dumping Paris agreement


    • #

      We can only hope. But I can find no news release to support that? Please add a link or details.


    • #
      • #

        Ooops that link didn’t work.

        In the Weekend Australian today: NEG “dead’ as new PM sets new course.

        “Scott Morrison has declared the NEG “dead” and will seek endorsement from cabinet to tear up the Paris emissions target legislation when it meets formally for the first time on Monday, as the new PM moves to stamp his authority over a new policy direction for the government.”

        “The NEG is dead, long live reliability guarantee, long live default prices, long live backing new power generation,” Mr Morrison said.


    • #

      This is the bell ringing for the start of the end for the failed renewables push in Australia. Morrison has now made it clear that energy policy will not be based on emissions linked to international agreements, but on reliability, affordability and competitiveness.

      There is enough talk now to indicate that as part of this redirection, the unholy mess of renewables subsidies is going to be unravelled and restructured to meet the new goals.

      Anybody with investments in any company that relies on renewable subsidies or even the current structure of the renewable energy sector should watch out. (That means industry super funds, who are generally overweight renewables to support their mates).


    • #

      Wishful thinking there Waltheof if the report below is true.

      The NEG is dead, but the Paris targets remain. Some excerpts:

      Prime Minister Scott Morrison will propose ditching the National Energy Guarantee in a party room meeting when parliament resumes next week, also ruling out enshrining Australia’s Paris Agreement commitments in law.

      “The government remains committed to meeting its Paris targets,” a spokesperson from the prime minister’s office told AAP on Saturday.
      “Our commitment stands, but we won’t be legislating it.”

      Speaking to the ABC, Liberal MP Trent Zimmerman: “The first thing to say is we’re not tearing up the Paris targets,” he said.

      There was internal division within the coalition over whether to legislate them or not.

      “But our commitment to fulfil them remains,” he said.


  • #
    el gordo

    Its true to say SWWA had been missing out on winter rains for a decade or more, because the subtropical ridge had intensified, but with the collapse of the STR in late July 2017 we can now expect normal winter rains in that small corner of the world.


    • #
      Ken Stewart

      The whole area affected by the STR weather systems (SW WA, coastal SE SA, southern Victoria, Tasmania) has enjoyed average to above average rain this winter. Droughted areas are well north of this so the climate change claimed by the Climate Council cannot be causing the current drought. Or else climate change has paused? I wonder what will happen over the next 10-15 years- hope I’m around to see it.


      • #
        el gordo

        The winter rains have returned to southern Australia, we are back to normality.

        You will note the blocking highs are all over the place, which is sort of weird, but finally the cold fronts and troughs are breaking through.

        What caused the collapse of the STR in July 2017?


  • #

    When my grandfather moved from Gippsland to Southern NSW in 1920 the Sydney-Melbourne railway line was considered the dividing line between the “reliable” country to the east, and the sheep-infested desert to the west.

    Cropping has spread westwards to a remarkable degree – no doubt some if due to better methods, varieties and technology – over the last 50 years, but this post goes a long way to explain the accepted wisdom of the early 20th Century .

    Stock water in much of that area is still a problem in drought years. Dams dry up and underground water is deep and difficult to access.

    I owe my grandfather a lot for his good judgement.


    • #

      Same story in SA PeterW, the Goyder line of 1865 was laughed at as farmers went further north to crop. But after various droughts and wet years its still seen as the best demarcation between long-term cropping success and failure.


  • #

    Fake facts, fake documentaries, fake news, fake policies,fake scientists, fake jobs.
    Millions of people’s job rely on the big faking lies.
    It going to take a Trump style leader in Australia to get commonsense policies happening.
    At the moment it’s not faking going to happen.


  • #

    much being made of this story which is behind paywall at The Australian:

    8 Sept: Guardian: Scott Morrison says national energy guarantee ‘is dead’
    Prime minister says Neg legislation will not be going any further and he will move to dump Paris emissions targets
    by Guardian Staff
    The prime minister told the Weekend Australian the Neg legislation would not be going any further and that he would move to dump the Paris emissions targets.
    “The Neg is dead, long live reliability guarantee, long live default prices, long live backing new power generation,” Morrison told the paper. “Next week we will be putting to rest the issue of the legislation … it won’t be proceeding.
    “Largely, we are in that position already anyway so it’s not a major shift. But we just need to put to rest any suggestion that this legislation is going ahead.”…

    News Corp reported Morrison would seek endorsement from cabinet to tear up the Paris emissions target legislation when it meets formally for the first time on Monday.
    Australian Associated Press contributed to this report

    compare with:

    8 Sept: SMH: Scott Morrison’s views on climate change, unions and Labor’s fairness test
    By David Crowe
    Australia would not revise its pledge to cut carbon emissions during the next term of parliament despite global calls for Prime Minister Scott Morrison to do more to tackle climate change.
    In a wide-ranging exclusive interview with Fairfax Media, the new Prime Minister outlined his plans on energy, climate change, industrial relations and economic fairness…

    Mr Morrison said his government would stand by its pledge to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 26 per cent by 2030 but had no intention of reviewing or adjusting the target in the next term.
    “I have no plans to do any of that,” he said, adding that Australia had delivered on previous United Nations commitments and would meet stand by the Paris climate change agreement as well.
    “The government’s policy has not changed. We smashed the Kyoto target and Kyoto 2 and I’m very confident that the current commitment will also be achieved.
    “That’s one of the reasons why I don’t see the emissions argument playing into the electricity price argument.”…

    Mr Morrison denied the emissions target would force up electricity prices.
    “We’ve separated the two things. There was an effort to work those two issues together. That hasn’t been successful,” he said, in a reference to the government’s internal row on climate policy and its decision to abandon cuts to emissions as part of the National Energy Guarantee.
    “And so I have a minister for the environment who will pursue climate policy and I have a minister for energy who gets electricity prices down. I think that simplifies the world a bit.”…


  • #

    All statistics are dodgy, but rainfall figures are pretty handy.

    Look at our old gauges:

    Sydney’s driest year was in 1888. The next driest was 1862. The next driest was 1968. Then 1941…

    Yamba Pilot was driest in 1915. Next driest was 1932. Next was 1880. Then 1885…

    There’s wonderful news for climate botherers, however. Bourke was driest in 2002 according to one gauge. Sadly, according to another gauge some distance away, it was driest in 1929. According to the gauge covering the longest period, 1871-1996, it was driest in 1929, followed by 1935, 1962…

    Where I live on the NSW midcoast the driest year was 1902, followed by 1915, 1994 (hooray!), 1910 (boo!)…

    Of course, if a gauge is a mile or so away from another it might set a “record” in one century while the other sets its “record” a century later. A climate botherer is one who sees the “record” he wants to see. If he’s really alert he can pick a recently established gauge with so that any “extremes” will, of necessity, be recent.

    Another exercise in futility is setting too much store in political boundaries. Queensland shares a lot of climate with eg New Guinea, not much at all with SW WA. But if you look at how “wet” Australia was in 1950 WA gets a share in all that rain which fell in the east of the continent…even though it was drought over there. When Australia was wet all over in the mid-1970s, a very rare occurrence, the situation looks comparable to 1950 when it was actually completely different. There’s what actually happens, and then there’s statistics. Two different things.

    I did start by saying that all statistics are dodgy, did I not?


    • #
      Another Ian

      “There’s what actually happens, and then there’s statistics. Two different things.”

      And what actually happened might not have made it to the statistics either.

      According to the official figures for this district May 1917 doesn’t stand out for rainfall.

      Though in that month there was an overnight storm on a tributary to the main creek that produced sufficient water to run the main creek uphill. The only approximate rainfall measurement was the kerosene tin bucket that was empty the night before and overflowed the next morning. I found one and measured it – that was about 14 inches


  • #

    Having recently taken a swing through SW WA, and been surprised about the beauty and extent of the forests around Walpole and Denmark, I think there’s another multi-decadal factor in ‘droughtiness’.

    Removing forest cover will affect weather…..

    So the forest clearance (which is fairly much solid from Perth down through to around Margaret River if my cursory summary is right) is bound to have affected long-term weather patterns for probably 100-150 years until a new equilibrium is attained.

    And, being a history buff, there’s interesting reading to be had about the ‘woodlines’ that sprang up around points inland – Kalgoorlie especially, to supply the mines with props. I seem to recall a figure of 2-2.5K tons of wood per day required to feed the mines, their boilers, and their workforce….

    None of this can have failed to have had some effect on weather.


    • #
      el gordo

      ‘None of this can have failed to have had some effect on weather.’

      None of this clearing has had any effect on weather or climate change over the past 150 years. Its much bigger than you might imagine.


  • #
    Mark M

    “So when the models start confirming what you’re observing on the ground, then there’s some fairly strong basis for believing that we’re understanding what’s causing these weather shifts and these rainfall declines, and they do seem to be of a permanent nature.”

    Jun 2005, Tim Flannery, ABC: Flannery issues global warming warning


  • #

    During the 1980s global warming was said to result in less rain for Australia. During the 1990s it was to result in more rain for Australia.
    Clearly we have global warming because we have more/less (delete applicable) rain in Australia.


  • #

    in comment #14 above, I corrected a Reuters report that made out Australia signed off on the US/Paris aspect of the PIF communique. however, I just tried to find where I posted the following on earlier jo thread, and can find it nowhere.
    for the record, here it is:

    7 Sept: ABC: Australia signs declaration on Pacific climate ‘threat’, islands call on US to return to Paris deal
    By Pacific affairs reporter Stephen Dziedzic, Michael Walsh and Jack Kilbride
    Australia would also not back a statement from small island states which calls for countries to “urgently accelerate” reductions in carbon emissions…

    ***In the final communique, Australia and New Zealand also did not join a call from other Pacific Island Forum members for the United States to re-join the Paris climate change agreement…


  • #


    7 Sept: Xinhua: Capital of Australia facing biggest bushfire threat in 15 years
    The Australian Capital Territory (ACT), home of the nation’s capital city Canberra, has been warned to brace for its worst bushfire season in 15 years.
    Dominic Lane, commissioner of the ACT Emergency Services Agency, warned that conditions in the lead-up to summer were comparable to those in 2003 when four people were killed and 500 homes lost in bushfires.
    “Make no mistake, in Canberra we face the same scenario going into this year,” he told a national bushfire outlook conference on Thursday night.

    According to the Bureau of Meteorology (BOM), two rainfall stations in the ACT recorded their lowest winter rainfall on record while a third recorded the lowest since 1982.
    Rainfall at Canberra Airport was only 19 percent of the average for July and 50 percent of the long-term winter average.

    Long-range BOM forecasts predicted that Canberra’s spring would be warmer than average and that the city was unlikely to have its median rainfall…

    “We’re going to see a warmer than average summer and drier than average summer in the ACT,” Lane said…

    Anthony Clark, New South Wales (NSW) Rural Fire Service communications director, said that the entirety of NSW and the ACT was at extreme risk as a result of the worst drought in 50 years.
    “Prepare yourself, prepare your home and prepare your family,” he said.


  • #

    8 Sept: ABC: Using folk music to fight off drought depression
    ABC Central West By Donal Sheil , Micaela Hambrett
    The sights of the big dry have become ubiquitous.
    Arid paddocks, gaunt livestock and dejected farmers are now visuals synonymous with the crisis gripping all of NSW and most of Queensland.
    The soundtrack of the drought, however, is seldom heard.

    Farmer and folk musician Allan Walsh has channelled his experiences battling drought into the strings of his violin with a new composition called Ain’t That a Shame.
    For the 71-year-old, music has been a source of solace during drought…
    As mental health becomes a growing concern for drought-stricken farmers, Mr Walsh said music has been invaluable for keeping a healthy mind…

    Mr Walsh’s 600-acre property near the country NSW town of Mudgee has been bone-dry for 18 months.
    “The state of our property is shocking,” he said.
    “It’s as bad as it could be because all we have is nut grass.”
    “Sheep and cattle can’t pull it up. They can’t eat it. It’s everywhere, it’s like a green drought.”…
    “We’re very lucky we’ve got water,” he said.
    “The name of the property is Spring Flat. They must’ve called it that for a special reason, because there’s dams on the property, and there’s still plenty of water.”…


  • #

    8 Sept: ChannelNewsAsia: Reuters: Australia’s drought could produce a corker vintage
    by Jonathan Barrett in the BAROSSA, Tom Westbrook in GRIFFITH and Stefica Nicol Bikes in the HUNTER VALLEY
    GRIFFITH/BAROSSA, Australia: If Australia’s big dry has a silver lining, it’ll be worth cellaring, according to vintners, who are scrambling to irrigate vines while preparing for a smaller but sweeter vintage.
    Spring, when vine buds burst into fruit and flower, has come with much of Australia’s east gripped by a drought that has turned usually fertile pastures barren.
    Winemakers say the next few weeks could make or break the AUS$6.2 billion (US$4.4 billion) industry’s season, with soils across three quarters of the continent’s east classified by the weather bureau as dry or very dry.
    If vines stay thirsty, yields will suffer. But the grapes that survive should hold a stronger flavour, more sugar, and might fetch a higher price for their superior quality, industry participants say…

    Australia’s largest wine exporter, Treasury Wine Estates Ltd told Reuters it was too early in the season to forecast the impact. No. 3 winemaker Pernod Ricard SA said it does not expect the drought to effect grape supply “at this stage”…

    Not all Australian vineyards are suffering the effects of the extended winter drought.
    Australia’s west coast wine country has been spared the dry weather, and irrigated vineyards in the east also have a cushion against the kind of steep production shortfalls seen last season in South Africa and Europe.
    Australian growers are also not subject to the strict controls on irrigation which apply to some of Europe’s oldest wine regions as a check on supply.
    But even irrigated vineyards can’t fully compensate for mother nature, especially in the drought-savaged Hunter region of New South Wales.

    Hunter Valley winemakers speak reverently of drought-year vintages in 1991, 2006 and 2007 but Col Peterson said he has never turned the taps on so early in 45 years growing grapes in the region.

    Peterson plans to use his entire water allocation on the land over the four months from August.
    “This time of year it is critical that we water the grapes,” he told Reuters, though adding he already expects yields will drop.
    “I expect significant price rises, especially for reds this year. In a good season you make a bit more; a bad season, yes it costs you a bit more but you’ve got to balance it out.”…

    Further inland at Griffith, where duststorms are raking over dry fields, growers and winemakers are hoping the worst drought in living memory produces a once-in-a-lifetime vintage.
    “In general, you would expect your yields to be lower,” said Lorraine Brewer, owner of vineyard and winery Yarran Wines.
    “In saying that, you often get fantastic quality wine in drought times … so if you’re starting a cellar and we have a dry (harvest) this would be a really good year to put some stuff aside.”…


  • #

    maybe someone can access this and excerpt. hope so:

    Power games
    The Australian-12 hours ago
    I’m Audrey,” smiles Australia’s energy czarina Audrey Zibelman, for the zillionth time. … Unseasonal bushfires in Victoria and NSW prick alarm while the drought …


  • #
    Carl Marshall

    During the millennium drought it was noted by the BOM that the frontal systems with associated rainfall were passing to the south of the continent. A similar situation seems to be apparent now at least in relation to the eastern half of Australia. As the amount of precipitation can only be measured on land no conclusions are possible as to the amount of rainfall which the blocking high pressure systems cause to fall in the wrong place. My point is that the movement of those systems may not have reduced total rainfall .


  • #
    Farmer Gez

    Sorry but rainfall data doesn’t give you a great idea of useful rainfall.
    The last twenty years in SE Australia have been a real struggle for farmers with back to back poor seasons or outright droughts far more common than in the past. My father in law who lived to ninety five felt he had never seen such a poor run.
    Locally in the Wimmera we have had bad seasons in 2002, 2006-7-8, 2014-15 and now 2018.
    We’ve had failed Springs and then some big rains during Summer which are out of sync with our natural pattern. This year continues the trend for much of Northern Victoria.
    I don’t blame CO2 but there has been a definite cyclical shift in the pattern that has dried out the SE of Aus. Check out BoM multi year accumulated rainfall deficiency maps, our area features in the worst zones and yet this part of Victoria was never considered marginal cropping land, it is now.


  • #
    Leo Morgan

    Australia doesn’t have to worry about drought.
    We built all those multi-billion dollar desalinisation plants to stop them.
    </ sarcasm.
    </ tears.

    Seriously, we have a drought, we have multi-billion dollar desalinisation plants, and we have no useful water coming from the two most expensive.
    What's the story?
    Can anyone tell me what happened to the restart ordered in the last drought, just before the rains returned?


  • #

    Jo, what would the temp be with 100% CO2 for atmosphere. think I read something about that here recently.


    • #
      Kinky Keith

      My guess is that it would be the same but with adjustments for atomic weight change.

      We currently have a mix of gases that gives a mass of 1.227 for a cubic metre at STP.

      It’s too late to work out and compare pure CO2 with current air mix. Just checked, think it’s 1.96 kg/cubic metre.

      So it would be hotter because of the extra pressure of the more dense CO2.

      Doesn’t have anything to do with the infamous “heat trapping” properties of CO2.



    • #
      el gordo

      Venus is our sister planet and from that simple example we would be crushed.

      Any ideas on how we could reduce CO2 on Venus?


  • #
    Cpt Seahawks

    I am looking for a post,
    About the cost of electric cars compared to fossil fuel variety.
    It compared the whole life cycles.
    Any help would be appreciated.


  • #
    Cpt Seahawks

    Just linking email.