Time to Listen to Stewart Franks?

PROFESSOR Stewart Franks, a hydrologist at NSW’s University of Newcastle, warned in a peer-reviewed scientific article published in 2006 that the risk of serious flooding in southern Queensland and NSW increases significantly when a negative phase of the Interdecadal Pacific Oscillation corresponds with a La Nina event.  The Australian Bureau of Meteorology, given these same conditions, forecast average rainfall last spring!

Skip to the audio and listen to Stewart Franks by clicking here: 

Steve Austin interviews Stewart Franks

It was in the late 1800s, a time of significant flooding in Queensland, that meteorologists first noticed a relationship between the Southern Oscillation and rainfall.

But the relationship appeared to break down in the 1930s and was not revived until the late 1980s when the link with the El Nino phenomenon of the eastern equatorial Pacific Ocean was recognised.

Professor Franks has shown that the usefulness of the Southern Oscillation as a predictor of climate, in particular flooding, depends on whether or not the more complex phenomenon also measured by sea surface temperatures known as the Interdecadal Pacific Oscillation (IPO) is in a positive or negative phase.

In a series of scientific papers published since 2003, Professor Franks has shown that when the IPO is negative, as it was from 1946 to 1977, there was a much greater chance of flooding rains associated with a La Nina-Southern Oscillation pattern.

Furthermore, he outlined in the 2006 paper published in the international Journal of Hydrology that the IPO significantly modulated the flood risk in NSW and southern Queensland but not other regions.

In that study he concluded that it was dangerous to calculate flood risk independently of a consideration of whether the IPO was in a negative or positive phase.

This is consistent with the work of other climate scientists who have shown that coastal rivers of NSW, for example, exhibit alternating periods of high and low flood activity, with the flood regime being characterised by significantly more, and usually larger, floods than the intervening lower rainfall regime.

This is of course also consistent with Australian folklore – that we live on a continent of drought and flooding rains.

Yet over recent years in the midst of drought, and with doom and gloom stories associated with the theories of anthropogenic (human-induced) climate change so fashionable, our governments have seemed to willfully ignore the historical record and the work of hydrologists like Professor Franks.

Indeed, because of the prevailing fashion, advice from Professor Franks and others who are variously labelled as climate-change sceptics and denialists, has been ignored.

Professor Franks does not consider himself a climate change sceptic, but rather an objective scientist.

As we entered this spring, the advice from his 2006 paper was extremely relevant.

Given the IPO was negative and we had a strong La Nina, we could have expected impacts to be magnified and the risk of flooding very much increased in south Queensland and NSW.

In complete contrast, the Bureau of Meteorology advised that spring rainfall in 2010 was going to be “average” except in the south-west of Western Australia where they forecast it would be “wetter than normal”.

What followed were unusually dry conditions in south-west WA while everywhere else got above average rainfall with many parts of the Murray Darling Basin receiving the highest rainfall on record.

The east coast trough persisted through summer with the virtually stationary weather pattern reforming again and again, dumping more and more rain on already saturated catchments in southern Queensland and NSW resulting in catastrophic flooding and the loss of life.

Already at least one climate scientist – who has made his career from the anthropogenic global warming theory and generally predicting continuing drought in eastern Australia – is now claiming that the increased intensity of rain was caused by global warming.

But there is no evidence to suggest that even the rain that fell on Toowoomba was unusually intense, given the historical record.

There are a lot more people in Toowoomba now than there were during the 1950s, 60s and 70s – the last sustained negative IPO phase.

Over recent decades planning has been based on assumptions of continuing drought. A different mindset is likely to have seen the development of a different drainage plan for that city.

A different mindset, less focused on the fashionable and more focused on the practical, might have even recommended the installation of a flash flood warning systems with rainfall measurement stations, water level sensors and sirens.

I hope that now, in the wake of the devastation of the past month, that rather than blaming the severity of the flooding on human-induced global warming – as the severity of the recent drought was based on human-induced global warming – that planners and politicians start to cast their net a little wider when seeking to understand and come to terms with what has happened and begin to objectively listen to the advice of so-called climate change sceptics, including Professor Franks.

So far the Federal Government has been spending at least $800 million a year on climate research which has mostly been geared to providing ammunition for a carbon tax – rather than improved seasonal weather forecasts.

It is now time this policy and approach was radically overhauled. There is an urgent need for more objectivity in public policy and recognition that natural variability is trumping any impact from increases in levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide.

The best explanation for the recent devastating flooding is that it resulted from inadequate infrastructure and warning systems in the face of a combination of La Nina conditions during a negative IPO, a monsoon trough and already saturated catchments.

***************

Republished from the Queensland Country Life, The Stock and Land, and also Farm Online under the title “Time to listen to the so-called deniers”:

http://theland.farmonline.com.au/blogs/farmonline-opinion/is-it-time-to-listen-to-socalled-deniers/2053108.aspx 

And Steve Austin appeared to rely, at least in part, on this article for the clever quesions he puts to Stewart Franks in the interview on ABC radio available as a podcast if you can find it here: http://www.abc.net.au/brisbane/programs/612_evenings

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86 Responses to Time to Listen to Stewart Franks?

  1. MarcH January 26, 2011 at 2:30 pm #

    Thanks for the recording Jen. Background noises certainly added some atmosphere.

  2. Luke January 26, 2011 at 2:34 pm #

    Jen – incidentally what was the web link for Stewart Frank’s forecast that the government and industry should have used?

    ?

    It may be surprising to some that after 20 years of education in climate variability by many government departments and an insidious invention called “the internet” that many landholders now source information from a number of sources like

    NOAA, http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/precip/CWlink/MJO/enso.shtml

    the International Research Institute in Climate Prediction
    http://portal.iri.columbia.edu/portal/server.pt?open=512&objID=944&PageID=0&cached=true&mode=2

    And how did the perennial favourite Long Paddock fare?

    http://www.longpaddock.qld.gov.au/seasonalclimateoutlook/outlookmessage/2010/20100913.html

    http://www.longpaddock.qld.gov.au/seasonalclimateoutlook/outlookmessage/2010/20101006.html

    And strangely even the Lord Mayor of Brisbane had been banging on about flood for months and months.

    http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/national/low-lying-brisbane-suburbs-at-risk-of-flooding-as-mayor-warns-of-repeat-of-1974-disaster/story-e6freuzr-1225937986961

    Somehow the message may have got out !

    But BoM bashing is such fun.

    BTW have we got Stewart’s actual forecast page yet?

  3. Neville January 26, 2011 at 2:58 pm #

    A very good post Jennifer, but how do you get govts to listen to this man and others especially when they are using the actual drought and rainfall records to back up their argument?

    I’m only a layman but even I noticed the difference in rainfall in MDB in the weaker middle section of the negative IPO during the 1960’s.

    The 50’s and 70’s were stronger parts of that -IPO and the MDB possibly recieved more rainfall because of that. One of course would have to check on the IOD and enso conditions as well for those periods.

    Today I listened to a scientist from BOM explain to the Vic country hour that a 1974 3 day rainfall event was much higher then in se Q/land than a recent 3 day event in Jan 2011.
    The difference I think was about 500 mm more in 1974 over the 3 days.

    A friend told me that his Mother as a young child walked along the bottom of the Darling and Murray rivers at Wentworth NSW in 1914 but by 1917 everyone was out sandbagging the town to try and hold back an enormous flood, the third highest on record.

    Of course that 1917 la nina was the strongest for at least 100 years and the ipo had a small negative trend and the IOD was in a very strong negative phase like 1974.
    1974 of course was a very strong la nina as well.

  4. el gordo January 26, 2011 at 3:34 pm #

    I like the ‘longpaddock’, but it’s only weather. Franks was talking climate change five years in advance and he got it right, while at the same time most academics failed to grasp the big picture because of the gravy train.

    Luke, do you have a list of papers published in 2006 which support Franks view?

  5. debbie January 26, 2011 at 3:34 pm #

    Excellent post Jen,
    This is some of the very best advice I have seen!
    Just going to copy it back in.

    I hope that now, in the wake of the devastation of the past month, that rather than blaming the severity of the flooding on human-induced global warming – as the severity of the recent drought was based on human-induced global warming – that planners and politicians start to cast their net a little wider when seeking to understand and come to terms with what has happened and begin to objectively listen to the advice of so-called climate change sceptics, including Professor Franks.

    So far the Federal Government has been spending at least $800 million a year on climate research which has mostly been geared to providing ammunition for a carbon tax – rather than improved seasonal weather forecasts.

    It is now time this policy and approach was radically overhauled. There is an urgent need for more objectivity in public policy and recognition that natural variability is trumping any impact from increases in levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide. ”

    We would all do way better if we just noticed that our climate is highly variable and that we sorely need to come up with some much better plans to deal with the extremes. We have got some good plans but we need to do more.
    We also need some visionary thinking as our population grows and we start to put greater pressure on our resources.
    We have done this before too.
    We need to do it again.
    Our population has more than doubled since any real vision was applied to water storage and conservation.
    Cutting back and charging more taxes will not help anything much at all.
    Trying to tell us all it’s our fault and we can’t do anything about it other than use less, cut back pay more levies and shrink our rural communities does not solve anything at all.
    Letting millions of gigalitres run out to sea in the name of conservation is almost bordering on insane.
    We need some good plans.
    We need to learn to store and conserve far more excess water to use in times of shortage.
    We need to learn how to use our storage systems to help in times of flood and we need more of them.
    What a pity we don’t have more dams like Wivenhoe. If they’re placed strategically they would do much to help mitigate both drought and flooding rain.
    It would be so good if we actually learnt the lessons that our environment has been trying to teach us over the last decade.

  6. Louis Hissink January 26, 2011 at 3:40 pm #

    Looks like you have misunderstood Stweart Frank’s point Luke, that these floods are predictable on the basis he shows, and not from fanrastic human effects on the climate. Franks isn’t in the forecasting business, by the way, so don’t be a smarty pants.

    However, in one sense, the Brisbane tragedy could be blamed on the gullibility of some in the belief in CAGW.

    Incidentally predicting climate is a bit of furphy – climate isn’t a physical process but a human interpretation of which some think the long term physical behaviour of the earth’s fluid/gas coating. So predicting your opinion is much like trying to predict John Maynard Keynes’ opinions last century – utterly impossible.

  7. Luke January 26, 2011 at 4:38 pm #

    Sorry Louis – can you direct me to Stewart’s forecast page? I must have missed it?

    Perhaps El Gordo has it?

  8. val majkus January 26, 2011 at 4:44 pm #

    I’m sorry I can’t find Prof Franks report on line
    But I doubt it would matter to the ultimate result – Luke would disapprove
    AND my problem with BOM and CSIRO reports on State of the Climate Reports always was ‘how much are you looking at historical evidence’
    AND I think the answer is ‘not much’

    that being the reason for the CSIRO disclaimer

    AND my question is ‘how stupid are we to accept computer projections as opposed to historical results’

    Historical evidence and the reports based on them need no disclaimers

  9. Luke January 26, 2011 at 5:36 pm #

    Val – you’ve missed the point – this is really about seasonal climate forecasting here not climate change.

    http://www.lavoisier.com.au/articles/greenhouse-science/weather/Franks2007.pdf

    Anyway while you’re into history Val – you’ll notice the IPO IS NOT predictable with any accuracy. i.e. it changes “now and again”

  10. cohenite January 26, 2011 at 6:04 pm #

    Stewart Franks’ paper on IPO is here:

    http://www.ag.gov.au/www/emaweb/rwpattach.nsf/VAP/(99292794923AE8E7CBABC6FB71541EE1)~Climate+variability+in+the+land+of+fire+and+flooding+rain.pdf/$file/Climate+variability+in+the+land+of+fire+and+flooding+rain.pdf

    Franks does insurance work and one of his pet hates is the concept of the 100 year flood because given the PDO/IPO variability floods are much more likely during a +PDO/-veIPO regime thus rendering the 100 year flood concept meaningless.

    luke is being extremely disingenuous asking for Franks’ predictions, if for no other reason then the fact that Franks has not [mis]represented himself as being a weather forecaster as the various gov’t instrumentalities such as BoM and CSIRO have done.

  11. val majkus January 26, 2011 at 6:18 pm #

    thank you cohenite for that link
    and if Luke actually read the report at the link he would read
    These results support the notion that the IPO enhances ENSO impacts. Importantly for flood management, it has been shown that in addition to modulating the magnitude of ENSO impacts there also tends to be a higher frequency of La Niña events during the IPO negative phase (Kiem et al., 2003). Therefore, contrary to the traditional assumption that flood risk is the same from one year to the next the results summarised here indicate that La Niña years are associated with enhanced flood risk (Figure 1) and that this risk is further elevated when the IPO is negative (Figure 4). Compounding the impact of the enhanced IPO negative La Niña type floods is the fact that La Niña events are much more likely to occur during the decadal/multi-decadal periods when the IPO is negative. This is supported by historical observation data where multi-year periods are associated with clusters of high magnitude floods (e.g. 1950s) for many regions of eastern Australia. Such non-stationarity of flood risk is statistically anomalous under traditional assumptions and therefore is not adequately accounted for in current flood risk management strategies. Nor are the links between climate variability and flooding currently used to predict and prepare for periods when emergency flood events are likely to occur despite the fact that such concepts are now routinely used to manage climate risk in agriculture and other domains (see Meinke et al. (2005) for an overview).

    Luke don’t be too simplistic now

  12. val majkus January 26, 2011 at 6:32 pm #

    AND this is weird for those who have been following the NIWA proceedings
    http://www.climateconversation.wordshine.co.nz/2011/01/7ss-%e2%80%93-r-i-p/
    NIWA’s long-defended ‘Seven-station Series’ (7SS) is as dead as the parrot in Monty Python’s famous sketch… it rests in peace, bereft of life, demised; it has shuffled off its mortal coil, its metabolic processes now history.
    ….

    On the eve of Christmas, when nobody was looking, NIWA declared that New Zealand had a new official temperature record (the NZT7) and whipped the 7SS off its website.

    NIWA might fall back on the old story of the axe (seven new handles and three new heads, but it’s still my faithful old axe) to support their continuity claim. But to most interested observers, the NZT7 is not only a replacement for the 7SS, but a devastating critique of its many failures.

  13. Neville January 26, 2011 at 6:43 pm #

    If you look at the MDB mixed data set from BOM that gives the lowest rainfall to highest over 111 years you get some very understandable results.

    The lowest rainfall years are favoured by el ninos, positive IPOs and positive or neutral IODs.

    The highest rainfall years show the reverse la ninas, neg IPOs and negative IODs plus some neutral IODs as well.

    As good a forecast for rain or drought as you’ll get as far as I’m concerned.

    http://www.bom.gov.au/web01/ncc/www/cli_chg/timeseries/rain/0112/mdb/latestsort.txt

  14. Luke January 26, 2011 at 6:55 pm #

    Bung it on Cohenite – tell us something that we all haven’t know for a decade. As my previous post shows lots of scientists have known about this issue for yonks. In fact warmists developed the IPO index.

    Cohenite is being extremely disingenuous – its’ not weather forecasting is it? And without a forecast it’s merely “general knowledge” which we all know. yawn

  15. spangled drongo January 26, 2011 at 6:56 pm #

    Some results of those la nina/neg ipo years. Crohamhurst, Inigo Jones old place got 907mm [40 ins] on Feb 3, 1893.

    http://www.couriermail.com.au/news/rainfall-dwarfed-by-1974-figures/story-e6freon6-1225994511000

  16. cohenite January 26, 2011 at 7:36 pm #

    “As my previous post shows lots of scientists have known about this issue for yonks.” luke, your last post was to a Franks p/p.

  17. Llew Jones January 26, 2011 at 7:37 pm #

    “Anyway while you’re into history Val – you’ll notice the IPO IS NOT predictable with any accuracy. i.e. it changes “now and again””

    Apparently neither is increasing atmospheric CO2 a predictor, accurate or inaccurate, of weather or climate change or anything else much except perhaps a measure of the power of a few developing economies that are going gangbusters.

    On the other hand one would have to be rather stupid or perhaps your typical credulous Global Change public servant to not observe some sort of cyclical pattern in the floods that have been occurring, according to BOM, for almost the last 200 years. Here’s a little sample of those records which may indicate GCPSs are not only credulous but Brisbane weather and climate illiterate:

    1824: John Oxley, early explorer, mentioned evidence of an inundation which he discovered on 19 September 1824 in an area north of the junction of the Bremer with the Brisbane : “the starboard bank an elevated flat of rich land, declining to a point where had evidently by its sandy shore and pebbly surface, been at some time washed by an inundation; a flood would be too weak an expression to use for a collection of water rising to the full height (full fifty feet) which the appearance of the shore here renders possible.” (Ref 2)

    1825: Major Edmund Lockyer mentioned the evidence of a large flood while in the area of today’s Mount Crosby pumping station – “marks of drift grass and pieces of wood washed up on the sides of the banks and up into the branches of the trees, marked the flood to rise here of one hundred feet”. Lockyer’s descendant, Nicholas Lockyer, in 1919 made the following remarks: “the official record of the flood level of the river on the 4th February 1893 at the Pumping Station, the site of which is within a mile of Lockyer’s camp, was 94 feet 10.5 inches. His remarks would seem to suggest that between Oxley’s visit in September 1824 and his [Major Edmund Lockyer] own in September 1825, the river had experienced a flood as great as that subsequently experienced in February 1893.” (Ref 2)

    Mar 1836: Brisbane: Commandant of the Moreton Bay Settlement, Captain Foster Fyans, wrote that “we had constant rain from the 8th. To the 12th. March, and I am happy to say, notwithstanding the river rose about 12 feet we sustained no injury or consequence, and those many parts of the cornfields were flooded”. Murdoch Wales comments that this was in fact only three feet lower in the central city area than the 1974 flood. (Ref 2.)

    http://www.bom.gov.au/hydro/flood/qld/fld_history/brisbane_history.shtml

    For the curious minded; What was driving the massive floods interspersed with droughts when even by 1893 (296ppm) the CO2 concentration was still at about pre Industrial Revolution levels?

  18. el gordo January 26, 2011 at 7:40 pm #

    Luke, it’s not about seasonal weather forecasting. The heading for Franks’ paper says: ‘Multi-decadal climate variability flood and drought – New South Wales.’

    As any casual observer here knows, when we talk in decades, it is climate.

  19. Luke January 26, 2011 at 8:26 pm #

    Well it’s of no use then El Gordo – as I said – tell me something I don’t know.

    The IPO phases are of unpredictable lengths. The La Nina events themselves variable…

    You can also get droughts in these IPO phases – so ?

  20. el gordo January 26, 2011 at 9:20 pm #

    Plan B in action.

    ‘It is currently possible to use at least the ENSO related insights presented in this study to more accurately determine the chance of climate related emergencies occurring in the forthcoming season or year’, said Stewart Franks.

    The IPO length is unpredictable, but forecasting the duration of La Nina is not so hard.

  21. Luke January 26, 2011 at 9:56 pm #

    With what lead time?

  22. el gordo January 26, 2011 at 10:33 pm #

    Scroll down to the Nino 3.4 Ensemble Forecasts and we can see almost a year ahead.

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/reference-pages/ensosea-levelsea-surface-temperature-page/

    So this Nina should begin to decay around Easter 2012.

  23. hunter January 27, 2011 at 1:26 am #

    The Luke, even in retreat, still travels like royalty.
    Because the Luke is da king of de nile.

  24. John Sayers January 27, 2011 at 5:51 am #

    Here’s the original interview posted on the ABC site

    http://blogs.abc.net.au/files/professor-stewart-franks.mp3

    http://blogs.abc.net.au/queensland/612_evenings/?site=goldcoast&program=612_evenings

  25. gavin January 27, 2011 at 7:03 am #

    Been listening to Jones, Ash n Co on AM with their latest predictions –

    keep your wellies on!

  26. Luke January 27, 2011 at 7:49 am #

    The more one thinks about this post’s propositions the more fanciful it is.

    “But there is no evidence to suggest that even the rain that fell on Toowoomba was unusually intense, given the historical record.” – NO it was extraordinary – where’s the evidence of anything like such a storm happening before in Toowoomba, Murphy’s Creek with that loss of life.

    “Over recent decades planning has been based on assumptions of continuing drought. A different mindset is likely to have seen the development of a different drainage plan for that city.” – what tosh there’s a major set of drainage basins that have been engineered in that drainage line. Which were overwhelmed by extraordinary circumstances.

    “A different mindset, less focused on the fashionable and more focused on the practical, might have even recommended the installation of a flash flood warning systems with rainfall measurement stations, water level sensors and sirens.” How fanciful – so think about it – no historical precedent, 15 minute warning time, central business district – so hearing the sirens for the first time ever, for an event never seen before, all citizens within 15 minutes would have made for higher ground !

    Now given sceptics know everything – where else in Australia should this system of sirens be installed. Only a fluke that “that storm” hit where it did.

    Should we have sirens in regions below on Mt Tamborine, Sunshine Coast, Gold Coast hinterland too. Sydney? Melbourne?

    SO is the proposal that sceptics have “science and technology” to predict the exact geographic location of extreme record breaking events before they happen. If so where is the next one?

  27. John Sayers January 27, 2011 at 8:38 am #

    “where’s the evidence of anything like such a storm happening before in Toowoomba, Murphy’s Creek with that loss of life.”

    The evidence that the engineers had recommended larger drains in the remodelling of Murphy’s Creek area done recently. Surely the engineers based that on past flooding records of those creeks.

  28. Bruce of Newcastle January 27, 2011 at 9:15 am #

    “If so where is the next one?”

    Luke – excellent question, which I would suggest is best answered by BOM who has a large supercomputer for just such questions.

    I should mention that Melbourne Water seems to think la Nina will be more common in the bottom of the IPO cycle:

    Premier Ted Baillieu … said he had been told yesterday that Melbourne Water was now saying Victorians should expect 30 per cent more rainfall in the next 10 years.

    ”You’ve only got to go back 12 months ago and they were saying Victorians should expect 30 per cent less,” Mr Baillieu said.

  29. val majkus January 27, 2011 at 9:18 am #

    John thanks for the link to Prof Stewart’s ABC interview and in relation to your comment above:
    Warwick Hughes had a post about the Toowoomba floods recently
    http://www.warwickhughes.com/blog/?p=766#comments
    one comment by cementafriend refers to historical records for S E Qld
    However, there are records available for maximum hourly and daily rainfall for the South East corner of Queensland. For example Indigo Jones (of long term weather forcasting fame) measured 35.7 inches (907mm) of rain at his observatory near Maleny Qld on 2nd February 1893 (see espace.library.uq.edu.au/eserv/UQ:207605/s18378366_1935_2_6_288.pdf) and 77ins (1.956m) over four days. Engineers can and should be allowed to design storm water systems to cope with one in 100 yr hourly, daily and weekly rainfalls in populated areas where loss of life can occur (eg town centres) and one in 50 yrs in other areas of danger.

    and WSH in a comment has a link to ABC Newswatch with links to historical records about Toowoomba and floods

    Llew thanks for the historical references

  30. Luke January 27, 2011 at 9:30 am #

    Drains at Murphy’s Ck eh? got a reference? That’s on the other side of the hill.

    The engineer interviewed at Toowoomba himself said bigger drains could be made in the gully. I assume nobody will complain when the land is resumed and buildings removed in the CBD.

  31. Polyaulax January 27, 2011 at 9:47 am #

    Jen,please….. BOM forecast “Wet conditions favored for most of Australia” back in spring 2010.September 23rd in fact. Why claim otherwise? What Prof. Franks has to say needs not be contextualised in some contrived opposition to an invented BOM position,surely?

  32. John Sayers January 27, 2011 at 10:18 am #

    Not Murphy’s creek – my mistake – it’s the junction of east and west creeks.

    here’s the article in The Australian that I’d read.

    http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/opinion/beautiful-one-day-a-terrible-flood-plain-the-next/story-e6frg6zo-1225985855443

    When I went to buy my newspaper, the newsagent told me he was devastated, not because of what had happened but because the engineer who had worked on the beautification project told him he couldn’t make them listen when he pleaded for bigger pipes – “18-footers” he called them – to let the water through, because it simply didn’t suit the aesthetics of the architects and landscapers.

    So that’s what happened to my city, folks, the same as happened to so much of flooded Queensland. We did stupid and really, really dumb things because we thought we could get away with them. We built the wrong sort of houses and the wrong sort of bridges. We built towns and suburbs on flood plains. And we ignored at our peril the forces of nature and the history of the great floods that have shaped this continent for thousands of years.

    In our arrogance, we created towns and cities better suited to the whims of bean-counters and city-bound architects than the natural lie of the land. And for 20 years we cheerfully welcomed new settlers to Queensland with a “beautiful one day, perfect the next”.

    We didn’t tell them what this place was really like when it rained. And we were wrong.

    Heather Brown is a resident of Toowoomba and a former journalist with News Limited.

  33. val majkus January 27, 2011 at 10:20 am #

    here’s what the BOM said on 23 September 2010
    http://www.bom.gov.au/climate/ahead/archive/rainfall/20100923.shtml
    The chance of exceeding median rainfall for October to December are over 60% over most of Queensland, the Northern Territory, NSW and South Australia, as well as the Kimberley and western inland parts of WA (see map). Odds increase to over 70% for northern parts of both the NT and Queensland. Such odds suggest that for every ten years with similar ocean conditions to those currently observed, about seven years would be expected to be wetter than average over these parts of the NT and Queensland, while about three years would be expected to be drier during the December quarter.

    So you be the judge

    For the remainder of Australia, namely most of Victoria and Tasmania as well as the remainder of WA, the outlook is neutral with odds between 40 and 60%. This means that the chance of a wetter than average December quarter are about as likely as the chance of below average conditions in these areas.

    and here’s what it said on 24 August http://www.bom.gov.au/climate/ahead/archive/rainfall/20100824.shtml
    The national outlook for total rainfall over spring (September to November), is neutral for most of the country, with the odds favouring neither wetter nor drier conditions. The main exception to this is in southwest WA, where a wetter than normal spring is favoured. There is also a slight shift toward a wetter spring in northeastern NSW, along with a shift toward a drier spring in Tasmania and southern Victoria.

  34. Malcolm Hill January 27, 2011 at 10:29 am #

    http://blogs.news.com.au/heraldsun/andrewbolt/index.php/heraldsun/comments/column_the_alarmists_have_taxed_our_creduility_once_too_often/

    Franks would be far better value than the nongs responsible for this track record of b/s and incompetence.

  35. cohenite January 27, 2011 at 10:31 am #

    Wet conditions?! You got links Poly? After all BoM came a cropper with predicting the 2009 Black Saturday heatwave:

    http://www.bom.gov.au/climate/ahead/temp.seaus.shtml

    And this is what Jones of the BoM said about the future climate in 2008:

    http://www.smh.com.au/news/environment/this-drought-may-never-break/2008/01/03/1198949986473.html

  36. cohenite January 27, 2011 at 10:34 am #

    Sorry val, you posted before I could respond to Poly who, by his standards, has posted a very lazy comment.

  37. val majkus January 27, 2011 at 10:47 am #

    No probs cohenite

  38. Polyaulax January 27, 2011 at 11:09 am #

    Stick to the point. I’m not claiming that probabalistic forecasts in toto are always successful,why would I and how can they be? Luke and I’ve spent a bit of time trying to explain to you what they actually are,and how their success is judged,which still seems to elude you. One more time,long distance odds based indicator based on precedent matching. Not a full weather forecast or prediction.

    The SPRING forecast did say that large areas had better odds of being above mean rainfalls, and what did we get?. Last time I looked,Val,August was in winter.

    BTW,have you chaps put in your feedback in BOMs prob forecast survey? 😉

  39. val majkus January 27, 2011 at 11:29 am #

    Poly merely repeating BOM’s words (they’re not mine)
    and here’s what it said on 24 August http://www.bom.gov.au/climate/ahead/archive/rainfall/20100824.shtml
    The national outlook for total rainfall over spring (September to November), is neutral for most of the country, with the odds favouring neither wetter nor drier conditions. The main exception to this is in southwest WA, where a wetter than normal spring is favoured. There is also a slight shift toward a wetter spring in northeastern NSW, along with a shift toward a drier spring in Tasmania and southern Victoria.

    ‘spring’ is mentioned 4 times by my count

  40. el gordo January 27, 2011 at 11:55 am #

    By winter last year the alarm bells should have been ringing at BoM, with La Nina building fast, but they honestly believed the drought was almost permanent.

    http://ioc-goos-oopc.org/state_of_the_ocean/sur/images/nino34weekly_104_figure.png

    Which takes us back to the Queensland Drought Policy and the flooding of Brisbane.

  41. Polyaulax January 27, 2011 at 12:00 pm #

    . That August forecast,according to the clear,carefully explained limits of its parameters,found that the integration and analysis of the limited data set didn’t give firm odds for drier or wetter than the mean.It did not say that it would not be drier or wetter than the mean by any account. A successful prob forecast is still utterly useless for quantifying,or more than generally locating +/- mean rain/temperature. It’s a very simple product,and explicitly so. The September forecast for the next three months issued in SPRING..as Jen said ‘[BOM] forecast… last spring’ She should have made herself clearer perhaps? ‘In August ,the spring forecast was….’.There,how easy was that? Then of course we have to go through the ritual re-explanations of what odds -based forecasting means anyway,but at least one little ambiguity has been cleared up 😉

    They saw firmer odds,in August, for SW WA,but precedents are becoming useless indicators there,an indicator of a solid statistical climate shift. They now just have to take their chances on a decaying cyclone getting to them, and this summer maybe the best bet for a while.

    Seriously,do the survey and tell THEM why you think the process sucks. I already know.

    Hows old mate Piers Corbyn going? Predicted major floods for SW Qld,25-29th January. Hmmm…bit harder than guessing east coast lows in winter for the US I suppose.

  42. el gordo January 27, 2011 at 12:33 pm #

    Piers is in the weather forecasting business, I’ll wager the Queensland government didn’t ring to ask for a second opinion.

  43. el gordo January 27, 2011 at 12:38 pm #

    Good catch, Poly. I’ll put it up so we can all see his workings.

    http://www.weatheraction.com/displayarticle.asp?a=296&c=5

  44. Polyaulax January 27, 2011 at 2:48 pm #

    Piers is a scream.He gets stuff sort of right here and there,fesses up to the odd miss for ‘credibility’ when he has to,and carries on like a pork chop because he has discovered that haranguing AGW is good for his visibility. In fact he would be just another low profile weather business without the evil government/science/business conspiracy to denounce in his frenetic Chinese Ministry style.

    But even supposing his solar-lunar stuff is sound [!] for some weather prediction,he still hasn’t explained -as opposed to shouting yes it does- why the fact that increasing GHGs in the atmosphere leading to a warming climate trend should be incompatible with his weather theories.

  45. cohenite January 27, 2011 at 4:26 pm #

    See, there you go Poly: “why the fact that increasing GHGs in the atmosphere leading to a warming climate trend should be incompatible with his weather theories.”

    Let us consider the evidence for this ‘fact’:

    http://stevengoddard.files.wordpress.com/2011/01/animationimage4228.jpg

    The graph shows actual temperatures from all major indices compared with Hansen’s A,B and C scenarios; about scenario C Hansen said this:

    “scenario C assumes a rapid curtailment of trace gas emissions such that the net climate forcing ceases to increase after the year 2000.”

    As we know CO2 emissions have not ceased but continue apace; how can therefore anyone seriously talk about the ‘fact'”that increasing GHGs in the atmosphere lead to a warming climate trend ” when there is salient, cogent manifest evidence to the contrary.

    The abysmal failures of BoM, CSIRO, the MET and every weather institution alligned with AGW, to be unable to not only forecast short-term weather but long-term and every other interval is merely more evidence that your ‘fact’ does not exist.

  46. val majkus January 27, 2011 at 5:43 pm #

    one thing I would put in favour of the BOM is that it does not put disclaimers on its forecasts
    I’ve had a fair bit to say about disclaimers on previous posts (that’s the clause where you put if you rely on this report then we’re not liable) the CSIRO uses it quite a lot
    BUT the probability weather or seasonal forecast is a bit like a disclaimer
    Poly says A successful prob forecast is still utterly useless for quantifying,or more than generally locating +/- mean rain/temperature. It’s a very simple product,and explicitly so.
    Well my point is why have it?

    CHECK OUT http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/01/21/what-sort-of-forecast-does-the-met-office-supercomputer-make/

    Met Office Initial Assessment of Risk for Winter 2010/11

    This covers the months of November, December and January 2010/11, this will be updated monthly through the winter and so probabilities will change.

    Temperature

    3 in 10 chance of a mild start

    3 in 10 chance of an average start

    4 in 10 chance of a cold start

    Precipitation

    3 in 10 chance of a wet start

    3 in 10 chance of an average start

    4 in 10 chance of a dry start

    Summary: There is an increased risk for a cold and wintry start to the winter season.

    Looking further ahead beyond this assessment there are some indications of an increased risk of a mild end to the winter season.

    AND my question is don’t we expect our official weather forecaster to ACTUALLY FORECAST

  47. Polyaulax January 27, 2011 at 6:43 pm #

    Steve Goddard,cohey,the man who is to ‘real science’ what graffiti is to art? Hansen used a high sensitivity to doubled CO2 estimate,4.2C,but boy he got the direction of the trend right,didn’t he? Goddard’s posts are notable only for their brevity and facetiousness,nothing else.Short term weather forecasting has never been better,but it will never be perfect.

    Val,the prob forecasts are not really core business for BOM are they?.Or UKMET,for that matter. They are a by-product of exploring the possibilities inherent in a huge suite of archived and current observations.Probs are a curiosity on their own,just a hint of what you may get when the next season rolls around and major weather/climate indices are in certain ranges. Our official forecasters actually forecast as well as produce a monthly page on probabilities. No one uses them as a stand alone item.

    I’m sure they don’t offend Prof Franks.

  48. val majkus January 27, 2011 at 6:51 pm #

    SO Poly what is BOM’s core business; I realise it is a data storer or achiver but what do you say is its core business
    were you aware http://www.warwickhughes.com/blog/?cat=20
    In 2009 there was an “Inquiry into long-term meteorological forecasting in Australia” (long term = 1 to 3 months) – by the Australian Parliament House of Representatives Standing Committee on Industry, Science and Innovation. If you download the full pdf report – you will find on pdf page 35 of 120
    2.46

    BoM stated that existing seasonal forecasts for Australia appear to have reached their peak level of performance, and may even be declining in skill as the climate changes.

    I’ve just noticed that the BOM do have a disclaimer – sad http://www.bom.gov.au/other/disclaimer.shtml
    Disclaimer
    You accept all risks and responsibility for losses, damages, costs and other consequences resulting directly or indirectly from using this site and any information or material available from it.

    To the maximum permitted by law, the Bureau of Meteorology excludes all liability to any person arising directly or indirectly from using this site and any information or material available from it.

    Information at this site:
    is general information provided as part of the Bureau of Meteorology’s statutory role in the dissemination of information relating to meteorology, or in accordance with its role under the Water Act 2007.
    may be provided by third parties (through agreements with the Bureau or in fulfilling their obligations under the Water Act and/or its associated regulations)
    is subject to the uncertainties of scientific and technical research
    may not be accurate, current or complete
    is subject to change without notice
    is not a substitute for independent professional advice and users should obtain any appropriate professional advice relevant to their particular circumstances
    the material on this web site may include the views or recommendations of third parties, which do not necessarily reflect the views of the Bureau of Meteorology or indicate its commitment to a particular course of action.

    That says it all for me unfortunately

  49. Luke January 27, 2011 at 6:55 pm #

    Well El Gordo – I suspect the Qld govt didn’t need to ring Piers or Stewart – they had the Big Wet forecast from their own mob by April. http://www.longpaddock.qld.gov.au/spota1-getpassword.html

    Real Plan B !

    Jeez are you guys that unsophisticated that you just rely on BoM alone – there’s NOAA, IRI etc

    Here’s an appreciation test for Val – we’ll see how he goes with skill scores http://www.bom.gov.au/water/ssf/skill_score_summary.shtml

  50. John Sayers January 27, 2011 at 6:59 pm #

    For the life of me I cannot understand where Luke and Poly are coming from.

    They support the announcement that 2010, 2005 and 1998 were tied as the warmest years since records began.

    Surely that means they were roughly the same temperature which means that the temperature record is flat!! i.e there has been no warming in the past 12 years despite China and India increasing the CO2 output to record levels.

    Am I missing something??

  51. John Sayers January 27, 2011 at 7:01 pm #

    Luke – I gave you the evidence for the Toowoomba floods yet you are ignoring it as it doesn’t fit in with your group think.

  52. val majkus January 27, 2011 at 7:11 pm #

    AND Luke I’m not the BOM
    Why should I be subject to a skills test – IT’S THE BOM WHO BE SUBJECT TO THAT WHEN THAT WHAT WE PAY THEM FOR
    You don’t pay me to produce forecasts so I say in relation to your comment
    ‘typical apologia stuff’
    It’s the BOM who we should be able to rely upon AND THAT’S WHAT WE CAN’T DO WHEN IT CARRIES THAT DISCLAIMER ON ITS WEBSITE
    what do you have to say about that?

    In your comments today you have tried to put the onus on commentators to this blog
    but you’re playing a game of misdirection – look over there –

  53. Johnathan Wilkes January 27, 2011 at 7:12 pm #

    This is getting sillier by the day, if one can’t rely on the BoM for reasonably accurate forecast,
    then what can we rely on?

    Or, as Luke suggests we go shopping, and pick the one we like?
    Sorry, I’m not convinced, that this is the way to go.

    As a matter of fact, now that I think of it, if the BoM were up to scratch, there wouldn’t be any private forecasters, no need, see!
    Why pay for the same info if it comes free?

  54. Luke January 27, 2011 at 7:33 pm #

    John – well gee dat’s a hard one – but let’s see weak Sun, 1998 super El Nino , 2010 super La Nina

    Try reading this with an open mind

    http://tamino.wordpress.com/2011/01/20/how-fast-is-earth-warming/

    And sorry what was the evidence for the Toowoomba floods. if you’re saying it was substantially due to a La Nina in the right IPO phase – yea I agree.

  55. Luke January 27, 2011 at 7:43 pm #

    Johnathon – you’d have to be on the moon to not know it was La Nina year and the PDO had shifted.

    And this actually gets to the heart of it – ” if one can’t rely on the BoM for reasonably accurate forecast,” – well sometimes they can’t. The “skill” just isn’t there. Sorry.

    In fact if I had an 80% correct long lead forecast – I wouldn’t be here – I’d be in Bora Bora. And so would the private forecasters.

    Val – you obviously don’t have a clue what you’re looking at. So matey – don’t bother looking a seasonal forecasts any more. They’re not for gullible weenies. So simply give it away and go with climatology or persistence. BTW the disclaimer is there for people just like you.

    And yes – the onus is on the sceptics to show that Franks has got something that you can operationalise. Where’s the forecast URL mate? Where? Without it – you know little.

  56. John Sayers January 27, 2011 at 8:14 pm #

    Luke – I’ve been reading the world’s temperature record with an open mind, in fact I’ve actually got involved with it.

    I’ve gone out and photographed the measuring stations that make up this record plus I’ve downloaded BoM data pertaining to these stations.

    Here’s the stations that make up my particular piece of the world that everyone is telling me is warming.

    http://johnlsayers.com/Stuff/BoM_Stations_1.pdf

    It’s plainly clear from the stations at Tenterfield and Casino (long term non influenced stations) that the world temperature in my region is flat. Any warming in the records is from UHI which these stations don’t exhibit whereas Glen Innes does with the addition of the Telecom building in 1960s.

    Casino has 2 measuring stations within 380m of each other yet they vary 0.5C from each other. Yet you and the warmists are telling me that the world has warmed 0.7C over 100 years and that will lead to catastrophe. Can you see why I distrust you??

    The empirical evidence doesn’t meet the computer models just as in my game the live performance doesn’t meet the computer doctored models in the art of music.

  57. John Sayers January 27, 2011 at 8:16 pm #

    Have patience – its a 2.5meg file.

  58. el gordo January 27, 2011 at 8:23 pm #

    Where’s the forecast URL mate? What’s wrong with simple detection methodologies?

    ‘While individual flood and bushfire events are impossible to predict the good news is that simple detection methodologies based on indices of ENSO activity provide at least six months lead time…’ said Stuart Franks.

  59. val majkus January 27, 2011 at 8:25 pm #

    AND Luke I could tell from your last post that you have no idea upon whom the onus of proof lies
    in respect to AGW it lies upon the asserter
    now who are you?

  60. val majkus January 27, 2011 at 8:42 pm #

    I think Luke’s getting a bit defensive

  61. Luke January 27, 2011 at 8:47 pm #

    Well John use satellite or ocean temps – same answer.

    Val – What’s this discussion have to do with AGW?

    El Gordo – yea and we all know that ! so how does that fit with the post lead in

    “that planners and politicians start to cast their net a little wider when seeking to understand and come to terms with what has happened and begin to objectively listen to the advice of so-called climate change sceptics, including Professor Franks”

    They’ve already incorporated that knowledge. yawn. SPOTA had it pegged in April 2010.

  62. John Sayers January 27, 2011 at 9:10 pm #

    Luke the satellite data supports my conclusion.

    Southern Hemisphere temps haven’t changed beyond natural variability.

    http://www.climate4you.com/images/MSU%20UAH%20TropicsAndExtratropicsMonthlyTempSince1979%20With37monthRunningAverage.gif

  63. spangled drongo January 27, 2011 at 9:15 pm #

    John,

    Great johnsaystuff.

    I check out some of the SSs when I can out of curiosity and you can see UHI at a glance.

    Be interesting to do all the old lighthouses.

  64. spangled drongo January 27, 2011 at 9:25 pm #

    The ABC tonight were saying that Bedourie today had its equal hottest of 47c.

    I was on Planet Downs near there in 1957 and we had 122f [50c] but Lupid Stuke wouldn’t accept that cos we kept the thermometer in the bottom of the waterbag.

  65. val majkus January 27, 2011 at 9:27 pm #

    Hmmm… Luke doesn’t know what this article has to do with AGW
    Luke try reading the article and assimilating it

  66. Luke January 27, 2011 at 10:00 pm #

    Clueless Val – truly clueless

    Well John I guess that about wraps it up for AGW

  67. el gordo January 27, 2011 at 10:14 pm #

    John Davidson (Qld BoM) said in early October to prepare for floods and not necessarily cyclone flooding. So he was on the money at least.

    Nevertheless, a general knowledge of what is coming doesn’t prepare people very well for unusual weather events, which are apparently unpredictable.

    Franks and Davidson could see floods were on the cards, but had no way of knowing where or when.

  68. clarinase January 28, 2011 at 3:43 am #

    In fact if I had an 80% correct long lead forecast – I wouldn’t be here – I’d be in Bora Bora. And so would the private forecasters.

    Val – you obviously don’t have a clue what you’re looking at. So matey – don’t bother looking a seasonal forecasts any more. They’re not for gullible weenies. So simply give it away and go with climatology or persistence. BTW the disclaimer is there for people just like you.

  69. Malcolm Hill January 28, 2011 at 8:01 am #

    So I guess everyone else should just bow down to the idiot pronouncements of people like clarinase and luke, who of course know everything.

    John Sayers is just being an impertinent upstart presenting the graphs he has shown.

    BTW clarinase the disclaimers are there to protect the arses of the document producers… not the readers.

    If readers find great flaws in the document producers work then be it on their heads.

    Perhaps also its a case of the producers are not up to the job required and should quit.

  70. cohenite January 28, 2011 at 8:22 am #

    In Bora Bora eh clarinase; laying your eggs on a beach perhaps; or since your link is to an online drug supplier maybe you are a drug mule; maybe you’re luke’s supplier; his energy and crazed ferret enthusiasm can’t be natural.

    Actually your advice to the “gullible weenies” of the world to not try and understand their betters is remniscent of the advice given by those other stalwarts of the AGW pathology, Manne and Hamilton, for the Hoi polloi to go home and do what they’re told.

    Just imagine living your life doing what the likes of you and luke told us: it would be like being eternally stuck on a street corner surrounded by chanting Greenpeace Koala Bears.

  71. clarinase January 28, 2011 at 8:23 am #

    “Perhaps also its a case of the producers are not up to the job required and should quit.”

    Well perhaps they should give it away and leave the market to the tea leaf diviners.

    So faced with the reality of what the level of forecast skill actually is, Mr Hill seems to flourish an implicit threat to take action against forecasters who do not measure up to his satisfaction. Whatever that may be or his lawyers advice as to what it could be.

    The level of accuracy of the seasonal forecasts with lead time is modest.

    And that is the unfortunate but true level of the science.

  72. Neville January 28, 2011 at 8:44 am #

    Cohenite Luke and his fools long for a world where everyone thinks (?) like them, some leftwing idiots have been like this throughout history.

    In my Dad’s day they were called urgers and hated any scepticism of their particular point of view. Of course most of this authoritarian/ totalitarian groupthink nonsense has bit the dust, but CAGW has become the latest wagon to hitch onto.

    Like a mad religious cult they demand humans repent from their sinful past and follow their lead back to some sort of climate paradise that never ever existed in the first place.

    They are as mad as the leadership in Nth Korea or earlier in Mao’s China, Hitler’s Germany and Stalin’s Ussr and they definitely have the same state of mind.

  73. val majkus January 28, 2011 at 9:23 am #

    Warwick Hughes has a new post Australian Bureau of Meteorology report conceals details of high rainfall in February 1893
    January 28th, 2011 by Warwick Hughes
    On 25 January 2011 the BoM published an amended SPECIAL CLIMATE STATEMENT 24 (SCS24) originally published on 7 Jan on the subject “An extremely wet end to 2010 leads to widespread flooding across eastern Australia.”
    The revised SCS24 is nearly doubled in size and is titled, “Frequent heavy rain events in late 2010/early 2011 lead to widespread flooding across eastern Australia.”

    The revised SCS24 downplays the huge rain events in Feb 1893 – on page 7 of 28 the BoM says – “Insufficient rainfall data exist for a comprehensive assessment of the 1893 event. However, the available station data indicate that peak rainfalls in the region during the 1893 event were much heavier than those during either the 1974 or 2011 events.”
    First I would say – there is plenty of rainfall data from 1893 to allow the Feb 1893 floods event to be realistically compared in various ways with 1974 and 2010/11 – for example on maps – or as I show below with a few examples – by way of a table.
    Second I would say that referring to “peak rainfalls” could leave an impression that overall the rain in the 1893 event was not so notable but there were heavy periods. Which is an incorrect impression for the BoM to leave readers with in terms of much of SE Qld.

    http://www.warwickhughes.com/blog/
    I won’t have time to properly digest it until tonight but some of you will be interested and might have some time today

  74. Luke January 28, 2011 at 11:01 am #

    Exhibit A: Cohenite

  75. cohenite January 28, 2011 at 11:30 am #

    For you luke and your buddies; a bit of peer reviewed science which really cuts to the heart of AGW science:

    http://berkeley.intel-research.net/arahimi/helmet/

    Which style do you wear?

  76. Luke January 28, 2011 at 11:43 am #

    Global cooling as predicted by sceptics and in a low Sun La Nina too …

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2011/01/28/3123985.htm

    Aren’t we supposed to be in a “bone crushing” ice age by now?

  77. el gordo January 28, 2011 at 12:10 pm #

    The bone crushing mini-ice age will begin in the NH and I’m on a quest to find the cooling signal.

  78. el gordo January 28, 2011 at 12:20 pm #

    Could this be it?

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2011/01/26/AR2011012603960.html?hpid=topnews

    Nah, it’s only weather.

  79. el gordo January 28, 2011 at 1:56 pm #

    Britain’s GDP fell by 0.5 percent last month and they are blaming the cold weather, not economic austerity imposed by government.

    Blocks of cold winters in Europe, soon to be followed by a few years of milder winters, is an indication that CO2 is playing no part.

    http://www.accuweather.com/blogs/news/story/45025/europe-cold-to-stay-dry-north.asp

  80. Malcolm Hill January 28, 2011 at 2:56 pm #

    With all the dopey greenoid AGW programs now being curtailed (pending the even stupider carbon price being brought in by the Red Queen)… there is going to be a veritable army of beureaucrats in Canberra with even less to do.

    Isnt this the ideal time to put the lot through a retraining program as say, brick layers apprentices and road navvies… and chuff the lot off to Queensland.

  81. Neville January 28, 2011 at 3:11 pm #

    That idiot Negus and team try to prove that the Qld floods are proof of AGW.
    Right up there with the extremism of Brown or Karoly and these prats listen to these idiots.

    As Bolt says these are the same fools who hitched a ride on the permanent drought mantra and the empty dams and rivers idiocy and yet this dunce news team doesn’t even demand an explanation.

    http://blogs.news.com.au/heraldsun/andrewbolt/index.php/heraldsun/comments/goodbye_george/#commentsmore

  82. John Sayers January 28, 2011 at 3:17 pm #

    Malcolm – I fail to see why pointing Luke to a chart that shows there has been no warming in the SH for the past 30 years according to satellite measurement is impertinent.

  83. Malcolm Hill January 28, 2011 at 4:22 pm #

    Sorry John

    I was being sarcastic at those who tried to imply that your excellent references where not useful, along the lines how dare you embarrass us with facts.

  84. val majkus January 28, 2011 at 5:47 pm #

    Luke and clarinase I’m a bit disappointed at your respective inabilities to conduct a conversation
    ‘you’re clueless’ etc … well it displays an inability to argue your point of view
    I suggest you visit WUWT and you might learn a bit how to argue
    …. okay … I know you’ll say I’m clueless but that is more a reflection upon your argumentative capacities than mine
    sorry ….

  85. Ian George January 30, 2011 at 11:45 am #

    John Sayers

    Your comments re Casino are quite accurate. The two stations are both at the airport less than 400m from each other. The manual w/s is near a tarred road and surrounded on all sides by buildings. The AWS is in a dedicated grassed oval with no buildings within 50m. The max and min temps vary by at least 0.5C with the manual always higher.
    In 2010, for max temp mean, Casino had its 3rd coolest year on record (and its coolest spring on record). In fact, this decade has been Casino’s 2nd coolest on record for max temps since records began in 1908. However, there are junks of temp data missing from 1950 to 1990 making it hard to make too many comparisons. It appears that the1940s was the warmest decadal mean temp.
    There are many other examples of cooling especially if compared to late 1800s. No wonder they only like to compare the data from 1960 – when the cooling began.

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