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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

Six weeks ago Australian Met Bureau predicted a dry month for Townsville

Warwick Hughes (h/t Dave Brewer) points out that on Dec 20th the Australian Bureau of Meteorology predicted that the Townsville region had only a 1 in 3 chance of exceeding the average rainfall in January.

Australian Bureau of Meteorology, prediction, Jan 2019 rainfall.

How that turned out one month later:

Australian Bureau of Meteorology, January rainfall, 2019.

Or graphed as the rainfall anomaly rather than as the percentage of the mean:

….

Predicting rainfall in Australia is very difficult. The issue is not that the BoM gets it wrong — it’s that they pretend they can do it that matters. Why bother issuing one month forecasts?

Ten days out they were still hopelessly wrong

As Warwick Hughes notes they also predicted on Jan 17th that February in Townsville would only have a 45% chance of exceeding the average rainfall. The downpour started on Jan 27th.

Today, after one whole week in February, the area has already had over four times the normal rainfall for the whole month, but the BoM didn’t see that rain coming ten days in advance.

The fancy-pants detailed graphics are entirely misleading — like advertising that sells an ability the experts simply […]

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 […]

Perth plan to become ghost town delayed, with average rain and dams highest in 8 years

South West WA and Perth have been the Australian posterchild for Water-Panic for years.

We were destined to be an abandoned ghost town with worthless property:

Perth is set to become the world’s first ‘Ghost City’ according to a long-term weather forecaster and a news anchor. “I’m reading here that unless drastic action is taken, Perth could become the world’s first ghost city – a modern metropolis abandoned by the 1.7 million people there for lack of water,” she said.

Tim Flannery started the Ghost Town scare in 2004. He felt the best way to fill WA dams was to vote for emissions reductions.

As I write, the remnants of a small cyclone are raining down on us in midsummer, which the ABC earlier warned was a “deluge” dropping “three months of rain”. What they don’t mention is that, even before this “downpour” (of 90 mm or 4 inches so far), Perth Dams already have 35% more water than at the same time last year, and an extra 69 gigalitres of the precious wet stuff. We have more water than we’ve had since 2009, and more is on the way.

WA Water corporation data shows Perth Dams have […]

500% more rain over a million square kilometers – Wettest September across Eastern Australia in 116 years

It is not surprising there are floods all over the East coast at the moment

September brought 500% of normal rain to 2 million square kilometers of Eastern and Northern Australia. There are floods across the South East. There are flood alerts in South Australia, floods have been washing through NSW (and some of those floods were caused by a dam release). There are floods in Tasmania. Flood watches are active in Victoria. Spare a thought for farmers who are taking big losses from both frost and flood in Australia. (So much for endless droughts, and early springs. Hello, Tim Flannery.) Heavy snow has also fallen — 25cm in Threadbo (it so late in the season, some ski lifts have stopped operating). Right now, thousands of people still don’t have power in South Australia, while others are being rescued from floods across SA and NSW. Floods have stranded 181 families for month on islands in the middle of NSW.

h/t to Warwick Hughes, and Lance Pidgeon

Source: Australian Bureau of Meteorology

A large part of the scary purple area got only 100-200mm of rain in a month (4-8 inches). It’s just very unusual in these dry areas.

To give […]

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 […]