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Gone Fishing

I am going to take some time out from this blog to try and complete a couple of projects that I’ve started, but am having trouble finishing. So there may be no new posts here for a while.

In the meantime you can subscribe for my irregular email updates here:

And check the ‘Community Home’ page for updates from other readers with their nature photographs and more here:

And here’s a picture I took of a fisher, a darter cormorant, in Kakadu National Park a few years ago.

Interestingly according to one account of life in the Lower Murray in South Australia one hundred years ago there was a bounty on cormorants (that are closely related to darters), with 34,000 taken in one year ostensibly because they ate too many fish [1].

[1] Travels in Australasia, by Wandandian see page 301

26th July 1909 at Caurnamont, near Mannum

‘Birds were very scarce, though we saw one fine old spoonbill wading round the swamp and swinging his head from side to side in the peculiar fashion these birds have while feeding.

On the latter day, while out shooting, I picked up a freshly decapitated turtle of the kind called by the natives “emys,” and on meeting a fisherman enquired of him whether he had caught many, and why it was without a head.

He replied that the turtles were so destructive of fish spawn, that a scalp fee of one penny was paid on the head of each by the Government, and that he caught a good many from time to time.

On further enquiry, I found that in the past year the South Australian Government had paid over £600 in scalping fees to various people for 116,000 turtles and 34,000 cormorants, thus satisfactorily explaining why the cormorants are so shy, and look upon every man with suspicion; for when one contemplates what a hunting they must have in the course of the year to furnish such an enormous “bag,” it would be decidedly strange if they were at all otherwise. In spite of all this I saw hundreds of them on the Murray and lake waters, so that I am sure many must pour in from outside to take the place of those that are shot, and should this be the case it will be many years before their numbers are at all reduced, or the Government get anything like the full value for their money, or even justify its expenditure.’

[Back then Murray cod were plentiful despite the turtles and the cormorant though now there are no Murray cod in that stretch of river below Lock 1.]


3,962 Responses to “Gone Fishing”

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  1. Comment from: el gordo

    Lay off Graeme, this thread needs him.

  2. Comment from: gavin

    SD; since my last post, I’ve been back to the fringe for more photos. This time due to the particular low tide it was the end of the long reef between beaches at Browlee. This lot now exposed is the subject of my coastlines and steps survey as it seems all erosion is roughly in the tidal zone of a climate era.

    Btw; I met a couple of would be surfers briefly on my platform today. The lady is a lecturer in Oceanography at a Uni in NZ. I quickly explained my interest SL etc and sugested they go out to reef edge to view uncovered kelp etc in this marine interface below the tidal zone. I guess they went in and stayed down a while cause they dissappeared from sight. Safe enough too in a flat sea.

    My salt intrusion theme is too soon to be repeated yet, however another casual beach contact here says a new book on NSW coastline errosion is imminent. Spectacular rock falls over my percieved SL max indentations is another new photo subject. This requires better footwork than my abrupt slope change on sand work.

    did you know oysters are strictly tidal zone? Clusters on vertical objects in esturies such as piles and bridge piers define that zone somewhat more precicely than you would expect. I guess that is also being written up elsewhere too. It’s been quite worthwhile to see the underside of our normal tidal zone everywhere both in front and behind the shore line.

  3. Comment from: el gordo

    Judith Curry nobbled?

  4. Comment from: spangled drongo

    Gav, how you can point to piles with oysters attached which might be 50 years old marking the tide range and deny this 170 year old benchmark on solid rock which also shows the tide range, doesn’t make sense.

    If you want somewhat accurate 50 yo benchmarks you have to use highest astronomical tides of each year that are free from other influences such as big wind, floods, extreme barometric pressure etc. on a known mark and that will still only give you a rough idea of what’s happening.

    You can go around Sydney Harbour and many other places and see examples of these old piles indicating tide range but that on its own is too vague to tell you anything.

    Highest astronomical tides are always well over normal tide range and HATs are what really tell you about SLR. Those twice-a-year periods of high water. Not those 1 in 50 year storm surges.

    1 in 50 year storm surges are weather. King tides steadily increasing for 50 years is climate.

    The recent king tides at Fort Denison seem to me to be lower than they were a hundred years ago even if statistically they claim a 3 cm SLR in that time.

  5. Comment from: debbie

    Yes…fair comment Toby,
    Graeme has every right to express his opinion as do all of us….which of course includes KK.
    However….climate science still struggles to adequately predict seasonal variations at this point. Throwing in CO2 ‘forcings’ has not improved that ability.Pretending there are ‘trends’ associated with CO2 ‘forcings’ is also not playing out in reality…so KK has a fair point too.
    There is no question that climate changes….but that is not a ‘new’ phenomenon.
    BTW Gavin….coastlines have been eroding and estuaries have been moving since time immemorial….that is not a ‘new’ or alarming phenomenon either….and emerging evidence is not suggesting anything particularly alarming about ‘global’ SLR.
    It is the humans who have chosen these areas as their ‘habitat’ that want it to stay stable…they have always, always been inherently and ‘naturally’ unstable.
    That’s why there are cliffs, beaches, rocky outcrops etc….it all happened because the ocean erodes the coastline… and river mouths and estuaries move around…like DUH!
    Isn’t it amazing that oysters like using something as ‘unnatural’ as pylons? Wouldn’t perhaps have something to do with their greater ‘stability’ would it?

  6. Comment from: cohenite

    Which is Graeme: do you believe the consensus or not about AGW?

    The primary issue about AGW is not whether the GHE is valid for the Earth’s atmosphere, the ostensible heating properties of CO2 or feedbacks from water; the issue is whether human emissions of CO2 are the cause of the increase in atmospheric CO2; if they are not then the AGW edifice is dead to begin with.

  7. Comment from: cohenite

    I hope Curry gets an alternative server; she and Lucia are the most interesting luke-warmists.

  8. Comment from: Graeme M

    Do I believe the consensus? No I am sceptical. But I have read deeply enough to know that not being a scientist means I cannot make a fully informed decision. So I go with a largely emotional reaction – it doesn’t ‘feel’ right to me.

    I think I probably disagree with your statement about anthropogenic CO2 as I think on balance the case is proven, but would not be surprised if it turns out not to be so. I think I agree with the general view that the crux of the matter is the extent to which increasing CO2 increases the temperature. And secondarily, to what extent an increased average temperature will change climates for the worse.

    I said earlier that my own position, which I hold with maybe a 60% confidence, is that the GHE does not act in the way science currently holds. I am inclined to go with the argument that the atmospheric pressure profile controls the temperature profile with greenhouse gases managing the distribution of heat within the atmosphere. This seems a simpler explanation and more in keeping with observation. But again, that is largely an emotional or intuitive assessment.

    I would be very surprised if there is any regular commenter here who is well enough educated in the physics to be able to argue from a position of knowledge. We all have a reasonable idea at the macro level but I doubt anyone could hold a 5 minute conversation with a climate scientist at the micro level. They ARE the experts for a reason.

    That is not to argue that they should be believed, just that scientists are trained in the science, have done the research, analysis and evaluation, and are across the science better than we are. But of course, and here we all agree, they may be wrong.

    But the critical word there is *may*.

  9. Comment from: gavin

    SD; “how you can point to piles with oysters attached which might be 50 years old marking the tide range and deny this 170 year old benchmark on solid rock which also shows the tide range, doesn’t make sense”

    Simple, I ignore what others are doing or saying till I reckon my own handle on the issue is firm enough to be considered on it’s merrits. Old instrument tech habbit, get facts then work around them.

    Port Arther, Fort Dennison etc were out of reach when I started but the original John Daly theme got me interested. Any solid land form will do once we can see accumulated tidal evidence for what it’s worth.

    BTW, Catalyst last night reinforces my work but none of you will bother to see.

  10. Comment from: gavin

    GM; Simple?

    Black body Earth, diapole filters all round.

  11. Comment from: Neville

    New study shows no change in drought incidence around the world since 1950. I suppose if Flannery our chief climate commissioner lives long enough he’s bound to eventually get something right. But when?

  12. Comment from: Neville

    Jo Nova has a good coverage of the Nature 60 year global drought study.

  13. Comment from: spangled drongo

    Catalyst was its usual cherry-picking, non-scientific, short-term-overview self, quoting all the BoM adjustments.

    Nobody who has spent any time in the real world [particularly Australia] could stand listening to foolish people saying that because their house hadn’t had a flood for 30 years why should it flood now? etc. And using it to make the AGW case.

    It’s a hair-shirt penance to listen to that unscientific garbage in a so called science show.

    Gav, please don’t extend the agony by quoting them as proof of anything.

  14. Comment from: toby

    more environmental stupidity

    we already massively underutilise our great fish stocks and now they are locking up even more.

    if we arent careful we will get even closer to europe’s stupid socialist model where govt is responsible for over 50% of an economies GDP, and everything relies on govt debt. truly we are crazy to be doing so much to remove one of our huge comparative advantages.

  15. Comment from: Graeme M

    Hmmm… Catalyst is not meant to be more than an overview though. They made some solid claims of evidential data. Do you dispute the data SD? On what basis?

    I am just this moment arguing with a friend who did see Catalyst (sadly I was watching Beauty and the Geek). He has summarised the claims as a rise in average land temps (about 1.5C), average sea temps (around 2C), increases in rainfall, SLR rise of 17cm and a few other things like migration of fish species southwards.

    What do you think of those? And Gav’s suggestion that SLR is evident in tidal patterns and coastal effects?

  16. Comment from: spangled drongo

    Graeme, if you are happy to accept BoMs adjusted and truncated temperatures where they throw out all the 19th c records and embrace satellite SLR you are not the sceptic you claim to be.

    SLR is the one visible measure of AGW that we all can observe as long as we have good benchmarks going back half a century or more.

    We have those benchmarks yet Catalyst, BoM, CSIRO etc choose to ignore them.

    There is a big tide today [about 8 cm below HAT] at one of my old benchmarks which I am off to observe now so I’ll let you know if we are warming [and sinking] later.

  17. Comment from: cohenite

    The Catalyst program, aided and abetted by Braganza, the BOM spruiker, was a travesty; Braganza has form; he authored and promoted the BOM 2011 report with outrageous misrepresentations and lies as noted at the Climate Sceptics Blog [I'll put up the link seperately since the site is starting to reject links].

    If they can’t get these basic facts right then the only conclusion is that are either incompetent, indifferent or liars.

    When Sandy was the choice du jour of the alarmists associates of Braganza, England and the Climate Commission, came out and asserted Sandy was bad [it wasn't even a category 1 cyclone at landfall] because of rapidly increasing SSTs; Tisdale simply proved this was a lie by referring to official SSTs; these people are reckless and desperate and will say anything.

    So, to the Catalyst propoganda; Chris Gilham notes:

    “Having watched the broadcast, I’ll condemn it. Dr Jonica Newby seemed preoccupied with wine throughout the program, which might explain her poor research skills.

    It included all the bottles she’d drunk to illustrate a claim that the last 330 months in a row, since February 1985, have all had above average temperatures, with a one in 100,000 chance it would have happened in the absence of human influence?

    The most recent BoM official mean WA temp for the past 12 months based on observations from all available years of record at all stations with records beyond 30 years:

    Sep 2011 – 19.6C / -.1C above average
    Oct 2011 – 23.4C / 0.2C above average
    Nov 2011 – 25.3C / 0.6C below average
    Dec 2011 – 27.9C / 0.1C below average
    Jan 2012 – 27.8C / 0.9C below average
    Feb 2012 – 27.9C / 0.2C below average
    Mar 2012 – 25.4C – 1.2C below average
    Apr 2012 – 23.2C / long-term average
    May 2012 – 18.8C – 0.1C below average
    Jun 2012 – 15.8C / 0.1C below average
    Jul 2012 – 14.3C / 0.7C below average
    Aug 2012 – 17.7C – 1.1C above average

    Averaged in the western half of Australia, the year was .25C below the long term mean. Exactly what “average temperature” does this 330 months relate to?”

    In other words the program lied.

    I put it to Graeme that if AGW was real why is it that every aspect of it as described by all its so called experts involves lies, exaggerations, misrepresentations, failure to provide transparency, and complete hostility to any reasonable critique of AGW science; for Graeme’s information he should read this:

  18. Comment from: Graeme M

    Don’t know that I am ‘happy’ to accept BOM’s records. I’ve read a few of the complaints levelled at BOM and how the adjustments seem less than kosher, but at the end of the day I guess I haven’t delved deeply enough to be confident one way or the other. Same with SLR. I think the sceptical case for both temp and SLR records looks strong but I’ve also read very strong arguments against those.

    It just comes back to what I feel is likely to be right, not a definitive assessment.

    My question was really more about my response to my mate. He is a greenie and a real catastrophist and I get to spend a lot of email time with him deconstructing his arguments. In this case – Catalyst – he emailed me first to say “Aha! See! Gotcha!”.

    I emailed him back and suggested that temperature records appear to have been adjusted to show that result and it’s argued that those adjustments may not be appropriate. I noted that my own clumsy consideration of actual Max/Mins using Wolfram Alpha doesn’t reflect the degree of rise they are claiming. I also said that sea level rise is not the issue, rather it’s the rate of that rise and current data does not seem to support an acceleration of that rise. And as for changes in fish species ranges etc, I asked whether other factors had been considered such as pressures from fishing, local predators, introduced species, environmental matters like local turbidity or composition, and whether we had accurate records of prior species ranges across several major ocean/climate cycles like PDO etc.

    He spluttered a bit and we agreed to disagree. He signed off with “and as always, we can continue to wonder about the vagaries, and seek alternative explanations, or seek data over a longer timescale, and hope that, as time passes as we do so, the window to take actual action doesn’t or hasn’t dropped shut on our hands. sadly, we’ll only know if we should have done so if the impacts go big. i’d call that ‘wait and see’ a sub optimal risk management strategy, and i know that many corporations are factoring in climate change impacts into their future planning scenarios – because they don’t have to live by the three or four year focus that pollies do”

  19. Comment from: gavin

    While having brunch down by the River Cruise jetty on the Clyde I noticed a the deck on cat mored a few meters away is in line with the horizon. The sea is up to tide max and the other boat jetty is hardly clear of the water.

    Lady next door, just a fisherman’s wife in their fish and chip shop reluctantly admits those piers under jetty and shed are a hundred years old. New tops, yes and the tide is just average. I say full house and took photos table top to horizon to prove it

  20. Comment from: Neville

    Very interesting info on unions and Gillard from Grace Collier.

  21. Comment from: Graeme M

    Here’s an interesting addition to the climate blog list. Some heavyweight contributors too.

  22. Comment from: spangled drongo

    “a fisherman’s wife in their fish and chip shop reluctantly admits those piers under jetty and shed are a hundred years old.”

    Wow! gav, how scientific is that! And did she place a mid-tide mark on any of them 100 years ago? and is that mid-tide mark still in the middle of the tide range?

    BTW, there was a big tide in Moreton Bay just before lunch today so I visited the site of an old house at Cleveland Point that I used to live in in 1946 [66 years ago] where, as I have bored you with before, the king tides used to cover the grass and they had to put a levy bank around the well to prevent it from being flooded with seawater.

    Cleveland Point is a low lying, very flat finger that sticks out into the bay in a north-easterly direction and was seriously considered as the first port of Brisbane because of the shallowness of the river bar.

    The house is now gone but the vacant land still has all the old landscaping intact including the well. Would you believe that beside the well, hiding in the oleanders that were there when I was a kid were two Bush Stone Curlews, a rare sight these days but a sign of how undisturbed this old place is.

    Today’s tide was 2.60 metres, about 10 cm below the highest astronomical tide which will probably occur around January but it was a very good indicator of exactly what was happening regarding the current state of SLR. There was also a strong northerly blowing which was causing fair size seas to break across the carpark and helicopter pad on the tip of the point near the lighthouse as well as providing a certain amount of local sea surge. There is a big fetch of deep water north of the point possibly stretching 50 k to the shipping channel so this wind would have increased sea levels somewhat. Possibly up to HAT level.

    Anyway the upshot of it all was that this tide was around one foot below the lawn levels at the old homesite.

    I ran into the next door neighbour and asked him if he was part of the original family who lived there when I was a kid [I mentioned the girl who was my age and who I later had a couple of dates with as a teenager] but this guy had bought the house from that family’s estate 30 years ago and knew very little of them except their family name. I asked him about king tide flooding and he recalled that when he first came there the K/Ts used to cover the grass but they hadn’t done it for years.

    This all ties in very well with my 50 year old benchmarks on the Gold Coast and 70 year old marks on the Redcliffe peninsula which show a similar non-rise and an actual fall in levels over those periods.

  23. Comment from: cohenite

    Well said SD; a very nice story, and instructive too. Unlike gav’s anecdotes which are increasingly reading like a geriatic version of Hunter S. Thompson.

  24. Comment from: el gordo

    ‘I think I agree with the general view that the crux of the matter is the extent to which increasing CO2 increases the temperature.’

    Graeme there is a school of thought which suggests CO2 follows temperature.

  25. Comment from: el gordo

    Reading through the transcript of last night’s Catalyst I see it as blatant propaganda, or perhaps they are just careless with the troof. But we should be able to check and see if what they say has legs.

    This is the glorious old West Australian port town of Fremantle. And it’s home to one of Australia’s oldest continuous tide gauge records.

    Dr Jonica Newby
    So this is the original Fremantle port’s tidal gauge from 1897. Beautiful piece of machinery, isn’t it?

    And this is the latest tidal gauge. And, between them, what they chart is on average a 1.5mm rise per year since 1900.

  26. Comment from: Graeme M

    Indeed el gordo, there is. And it may be that is the case. I was observing that the central issue with AGW is the extent to which CO2 causes temps to increase. If it lags temps then that resolves the issue very nicely. But if in today’s context it does not, then the rate and extent of any temp increase and the relationship to increasing CO2 is the real concern.

    SD, yes good story. And it is that sort of thing I alluded to earlier. given that it is the practical consequences of SLR that really counts, not necessarily the theoretical analysis. Now it would be good to get that sort of observational evidence. And not just long sited tidal gauges, but actual long standing structures and their relationship to sea level at multiple locations worldwide. Now, I am sure I can’t judge a rise of a few mil, but if we are seeing 2-3 mm per year, then the sea level at my home town should have risen by 15-16cm since I was born.

    Of course that isn’t a lot either, but you’d imagine that if in times past king tides and very high tides would encroach onto the esplanade then you’d imagine with 16cm of extra height that would become more commonplace today and I believe that is not the case.

    So, what do we actually see at coastal locations? Gavin’s observations above do point to rise at Batemans Bay, but even so it doesn’t sound especially significant. Now, sceptics do not disagree that sea level has been rising generally in the past several hundred years, but at what rate? Has that noticeably increased? What is the trend? If all we observe is generally the same rise as for the past, then yes, it’s an issue that needs to be considered. But it isn’t a major disaster in the offing.

    My personal view is that we can observe only very little sea level rise on the east coast over the past 100 years.

  27. Comment from: cohenite

    Sea level from tidal gauges can be obtained form the global PSMSL sites:

    Fort Denison:

    Fort Cove down the road from Fort Denison:

  28. Comment from: gavin

    SD; glad to see you interested. Can’t see coh following this though.

    Yesterday I photographed many tidemarks in good circumstances

    Tidemark “a line (of seaweed or differently coloured sand etc) on the shore showing the level of high or low tide” wiki

    Batemans Bay today- Max 1.8m @ 10.35 am & Min .1m @ 5.15 pm

    yesterday – Max 1.8m @ 9.45 am & Min .1m @ 4.20 pm

    A repeat investigation of Browlee Isl (on foot) late yesterday proved our big dead seal had been moved off rocks and onto sand along with a large burnt butt of fire wood on the same max tideline of fresh seaweed. Immediately below another seaweed tideline was forming around tide min with gentle ripples pushing this finer debris up the beach. Tide min has revealed another abrupt slope change from the horizontal, in this case a similar rock shelf to another mentioned earlier.

    My wave cut platform shots are very similar to this.

    Sand dunes and pebble beaches are our only protection around these battle grounds. Tidal zone = active zone for all wave driven erosion and the under cutting line is as clear as crystal, no bench mark needed.

    Btw those wave glimpses on Catalyst must put the fear of God into ghosts lingering at the old Penitentiary and that old tide mark is quite obsolete today. Also, how many times have I mentioned a new hot spot and violent storm generator just west of Bass Strait?

  29. Comment from: Graeme M

    Cohenite, I’ve never seen that website before although I recall having seen the URL. Very interesting too. I checked the data for where I come from (Urangan Qld) and it only has coverage since about 1980. That generally suggests a drop in SLR until about 2005 when there has been a steep rise, but not to a point higher than the earliest point in the record. That accords with personal observation which tends to emphasise my point above about what anecdotal evidence might illustrate.

  30. Comment from: spangled drongo

    Gav, what on earth are you talking about?

    And what is your assesment on SLR and why?

  31. Comment from: Neville

    I’m sure dangerous SLR is a total nonsense and the IPCC seems to agree. When this BS started back in the 1980s SLR was estimated to be a metre or more by 2100.

    Ever since each IPCC report has reduced that number and it’s about 30cm in the 2007 report.
    Now Humlum is saying it will be about 17cm, so where will this stop? Of course all the models show there is zero chance of dangerous SLR for the next 300 years.

    Just watched this video of Lomborg dispeling a lot the myths about the problems of CAGW. He covers a lot of the practical info on why Kyoto or whatever just won’t work.

    In his book he states that Kyoto followed to the letter will only delay SLR by 5 years by 2100. The same with temp, but that 5 years delay will cost countless trillions $.
    We should put a much smaller pool of our now borrowed money into R&D because it is the only way we can make a real change.

    In the video he gives the example of saving one life from malarial infection through co2 reductions at enormous cost, but then states we could save 36,000 lives now just by using the info at hand at a much lower cost. Geeezzzz who woulda thought that was possible? Certainly not big HIPPO Al.

  32. Comment from: spangled drongo

    Cohers, thanks for that link on tide gauges. Lots of info there.

    Gav, that 170 year old tide mark will never be obsolete. It’s a very important piece of the jigsaw that you shouldn’t ignore.

    Inconvenient as it may be.

    Graeme, those warm climate fish that turn up around Tasmania are simply due to the East Aust Current which has been taking them down south on and off probably for ever. It runs at up to 4 knots, generally but not always consistent for most of the year. Before the days of GPS we could only locate it with a thermometer [it being warmer than the local seawater] but you couldn’t win a coastal race if you couldn’t find it, either to stay in it or dodge it depending which way you were heading.

  33. Comment from: Debbie

    Your friend’s comment:
    He signed off with “and as always, we can continue to wonder about the vagaries, and seek alternative explanations, or seek data over a longer timescale, and hope that, as time passes as we do so, the window to take actual action doesn’t or hasn’t dropped shut on our hands. sadly, we’ll only know if we should have done so if the impacts go big. i’d call that ‘wait and see’ a sub optimal risk management strategy, and i know that many corporations are factoring in climate change impacts into their future planning scenarios – because they don’t have to live by the three or four year focus that pollies do”

    Did you perhaps notice the contradiction in this statement?
    What is your friend’s definition of an ‘optimal’ risk management strategy?
    Just saying that we ‘SHOULD” do something about it and the only way to do so is to use $trillions of tax payer money to tax or cap and trade CO2 emissions is certainly not proving to be an ‘optimal’ solution.
    As Neville points out above….there are many very bright and passionate people like Lomborg who are looking for and offering ‘common sense’ or practical solutions to these issues. These are things that we CAN (bold) do and these are ways that we CAN(bold) measure desired outcomes. As your friend also points out, businesses and corporations are able to factor in this risk in their business models and many of them do so without trying to force an unworkable ‘socialised’ solution on to the rest of society….of course because there is that ‘public and/or political agenda’, with attached funding…the usual has also been happening.
    I’m still bemused by people claiming that erosion on coastlines is a product of human induced SLR…there is no evidence to support that damage to coastal infrastructure is a feature of AGW. It looks way more like an excuse to ‘socialise losses’ to coastal infrastructure.
    Human’s overwhelmingly like to choose urban coastal fringes as their ‘natural habitat’.
    No one who has done elementary geography and/or spent a few years living near the coast would try and claim that coastlines, estuaries and river mouths are inherently ‘stable’.
    I spent a few years of my childhood at Byron Bay (eastern most point on our coastline). The house we lived in was in a beautiful location, but it later fell into the ocean in the late 70′s because it that area was vulnerable to damage from king tides.
    It was (with hindsight) a very unwise decision to develop that particular part of the coastline…not because of anything other than the natural tendency of the ocean to erode the coastline.
    Some of the rhetoric emanating from SA is blatantly ignoring the ‘bleeding obvious’ about coastal behaviour and the inherent risks associated with building on coastlines and estuaries.
    Other communites like Noosa Heads willingly invest in works to keep their patch ‘stable’ in terms of the positioning of their infrastructure.They have identified the risks and work at managing them with practical/technical/measureable outcomes in place.

  34. Comment from: John Sayers

    SD _ It’s the current Nemo swims down in the movie. ;)

    did anyone catch Julia’s Tim present the cup to Jamie Whincup in the V8 supercars today :)

    they are letting him out.

  35. Comment from: el gordo

    Dr Rajendra K Pachauri talks to Bonnie James

    ‘The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) will not be attending the upcoming United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP18/CMP8) in Doha, chairman Dr Rajendra K Pachauri has said.

    “For the first time in the 18 years of COP, the IPCC will not be attending, because we have not been invited,” he told Gulf Times in Doha.’

    What does this mean for the IPCC?

  36. Comment from: Graeme M

    Debbie I largely agree with your thoughts in particular regarding SLR. Certainly for Australia I don’t think there is any evidence that SLR is occurring at an alarming rate, nor is there evidence for an acceleration in that rate. The predictions of Flannery et al I think are way off the scale in the wrong direction (in fact by and large most of what that guy comes out with is off the scale – he is a prime example of what I call the ‘catastrophist’ personality type, just like my mate. By contrast my rather greenie wife reckons I am ridiculously optimistic).

    In terms of policy response I am not so sure, but mostly because I don’t understand exactly how the carbon tax, or an ETS, works. Are these effective options? I don’t know, but I suspect they could be if we had unilateral agreement worldwide to pursue those policies. But I admit ignorance. My only comment is as I said earlier – I’d rather we went later rather than earlier for the simple facts that going early confers no economic advantage (most likely the opposite) and that Australia will have no effect of rising temps if it is indeed CO2 that is doing it.

    On a different tack, the first discussion on Climate Dialogue ( is excellent, especially the expert comments section. Have a good read and see what you think. I see it as quite an interesting thing that all three experts, whilst agreeing that AGW is a factor, also acknowledge the role of natural variability and the lack of certainty around much of the science. And that the melting summer ice isn’t leading to a tipping point.

    My own view is that ‘something’ is happening in the Arctic and it is rather coincidental that it reflects the predictions of AGW theory when it comes to the Arctic. The next few years will be telling on that point I guess.

  37. Comment from: spangled drongo

    “My own view is that ‘something’ is happening in the Arctic and it is rather coincidental that it reflects the predictions of AGW theory when it comes to the Arctic.”

    Graeme, I always thought that the AGW predictions for polar warming applied to both poles.

    Also, our sea ice data on the Arctic is of pretty short duration. I always think that if early Arctic explorers reached the latitudes they did, in old clunkers that could sail “nary an inch to windward” indicated that the area was fairly ice-free even then. It’s one thing to make a passage through the arctic in a nuclear powered icebreaker. It’s something else in a wooden sailing vessel where on average, half of the ocean is denied you because you can’t go to windward.

    With only 33 years of data there may not be anything happening in the Arctic that hasn’t happened regularly before.

    And particularly during the last warm period about 800-1,000 y ago.

  38. Comment from: Robert

    Which Arctic warming are we talking about? The early 1920s? The late 1950s?

  39. Comment from: spangled drongo

    And there was this warm arctic period:

  40. Comment from: cohenite

    “Graeme, I always thought that the AGW predictions for polar warming applied to both poles.”

    Indeed, remember the infamous Steig 2009 paper which purported to establish Antarctic warming:

    This paper, as well as any of the dreadful papers produced to support AGW, typifies the defects and outright chicanery of the AGW ‘science’.

    Of course Steig was one of the anonymous reviewers of the subsequent O’Donnell paper which rebutted his paper; see here:

  41. Comment from: Graeme M

    Not having read in detail the various IPCC reports I can only go off what’s been repoprted on various blogs etc. I think early findings suggested warming of both poles but this was later changed to suggest that warming would be noticeable first at the north pole. Now, those of us less kind than others might find that this change reflects the uncomfortable reality that observation did not match reality and I think it’s a major shortcoming of AGW that every major prediction later turns out to be wrong and has to be changed. The believers of course see nothing wrong in this, it’s just the ‘evolution’ of the science.

    Me, I reckon if you have to keep changing the goalposts to suit your theory, then maybe, just maybe, you’ve got it wrong.

    That said, my point wasn’t to argue one way or the other. Rather, I observe that something IS happening. Is it unusual? I do not know. I understand there have been earlier warm periods but as Walt Meier points out the best evidence to hand shows these were more regional and today’s warming is across the whole of the Arctic.

    Is he right? I suspect not as the records are very poor and he himself admits much of his claim rests on proxy data. Regardless we DO see wide-scale warming and thinning of the ice and the ice is NOT recovering on the whole. All three scientists who discussed this at Climate Dialogue do agree that natural variability is part of this, but they also believe AGW has SOME role. They just aren’t sure how much (Neven of course interpreted that as confirming his most dire hand wringing predictions).

    Nonetheless it is unfortunate as I noted earlier that the something happening in the Arctic coincides with the one major AGW prediction that has so far held up. And I for one, tho sceptical, do not discount that just maybe it does indicate something about AGW.

    Remember, my version of sceptical is not to reject AGW out of hand just because I don’t like it. I doubt it is happening, but I am not confident I am right. I just don’t know. So I give the experts in the field, the Drs Meier, Curry, Lindsay, Stroeve etc some credibility and read with interest their views.

    And so my main point was to note the fact that their agreed position is to scale back the role of AGW, note the role of natural variability, accept the uncertainty of the historical data, and deny any tipping point will be reached any time soon, if at all. Now THAT is an interesting development, is it not?

  42. Comment from: Neville

    Interesting to note that NZ’s top science museum is still displaying Mann’s fraudulent HS graph.

    Just rechecked my copy of Lomborg’s “Cool It” to look at Gore and Hansen’s estimate for SLR until 2100.
    The rise due to Greenland melt estimate from the IPCC until 2100 (using all the models I’ve linked to here) is just 3.5cm.
    But Gore and Hansen’s estimate is 609cm or 174 times more than the IPCC best estimate. Yet these two idiots are feted by govts around the world, nearly every scientific institution on the planet ( even our CSIRO) and can win academy awards and even win the Nobel prize.

    But Alan Jones after years of broadcasting makes a tiny mistake of the position of a decimal point and he is hung drawn and quartered.
    He corrected his mistake as soon as he could yet he was lampooned just because he made this one innocent, tiny error.
    For those interested see page 82 of “Cool It.”

  43. Comment from: Robert

    Anyone curious about the Arctic could check what happened to temps there after the melt scare of the late 1950s. Then they might contemplate the amount of ice through the 1970s after the plunging temps of the 1960s.

    But it’s a bit like SLR being a 19th century phenomenon, isn’t it? Kills the whole script.

  44. Comment from: Neville

    Perhaps I should give a link to Gillard’s Chief climate commisioner our own GAIA brain Timmy Flannery. Afterall he’s feted all over the globe as well and has received heaps of gongs from Universities around the world as well as endless promotion from THEIR ABC.

    He even has his own ABC show observing the Murray river etc.

    If I’m going to mention the two incredible yanks above I should at least include our brilliant Timmy. sarc, sarc

  45. Comment from: John Sayers

    AGW theory states that the Poles shouod be equally affected by rising CO2 yet the evidence does not support this and whilst the Arctic is melting the Antarctic is expanding.

    There must be another factor involved.

    The Gakkel Ridge, which is in the Arctic Ocean between Greenland and Siberia is 1800km long and in 1999 it was shown to have active volcanoes as well as hydrothermal vents spewing hot spring water that can reach 750 degrees Fahrenheit (400C).

    Whilst the Antarctic has volcanic activity in the peninsular the rest is unaffected by volcanoes or thermal vents such as found in the Gakkel Ridge.

    Perhaps this is the different factor.

  46. Comment from: spangled drongo

    I had previously thought that the Gillard/AWU slush fund story was a bit of a non-performer until I heard Julie Bishop’s claim that three files in three separate locations, capable of proving Gillard’s innocence or otherwise, have gone missing.

    Is that one hell of a coincidence or what?

    What’s going on here? That makes this story suddenly riveting stuff.

    But don’t bank on our ABC mentioning it.

    Instead they dish the dirt on Julie’s lawyer past.

  47. Comment from: spangled drongo

    Yes John, you would expect that a cyclone, oil surveys, icebreakers and volcanoes might be having some effect.

  48. Comment from: Debbie

    Thanks for the link Graeme,
    Interesting? Well yes.
    Is it a good platform to start insisting on social policy? IMHO? No!
    Did you notice because of slightly different focus points, the experts do not really agree?
    They’re all still arguing (and they love it BTW) over the strength and/or existence of a discernable and/or worrying ACO2 signal in the behaviour of the Arctic.
    Also Graeme….of course something is happening in the Arctic…something is also happening in the Antarctic and everywhere else on the planet….and it is different and highly variable.
    Climate Change in and of itself is not a new concept.
    I am personally over attempts to conflate that basic fact with a GOBAL ACO2 signal in the modelling.
    The theory is compelling for obvious reasons…not least that there is no question that humans do influence their environment on a LOCAL (bold) scale….largely (in the developed world) those influences have been positive in terms of human comfort and and enhanced environmental productivity…despite the fact that there have been a few whopper mistakes that need to be fixed.
    Climate scientists are simply NOT(bold) expert enough to predict and/or adequately explain seasonal and/or cycle variations.
    I hope they continue to improve….but the current argument is not doing anything to help that happen (IMHO).
    We need to get over the narrow obsession and learn more about the real drivers of climate change, seasonal variability and they way they relate to each other.
    As always…my objection is that climate science has been hijacked and used inappropriately by the politics and also by statiticians and computer number crunchers (who are not scientists).
    The good work of good people is being discredited and severely questioned because their work is being used inappropriately and for questionable reasons.
    If nothing else….my experience in the MDB debate has taught me this basic conundrum.
    There would be no one happier than communites who are highly vulnerable to climate/weather extremes like agricultural communities and coastal communities if climate science was allowed to focus on getting better and more reliable and more useful in predicting the relationships between the variables.
    Most of the current studies have been very severely limited by their ‘terms of reference’. It is all about ‘precautionary’ rather than ‘possibility’.The majority of these people are required to fill their ‘job descriptions’….which makes them no different to any other employee and/or paid consultant.They are therefore just as fallible and just as vulnerable to losing their job and/or funding sources as everyone else.
    They are not holders of crystal balls and harbingers of superior policy principles and their ‘science’ is far from ‘settled’ enough to inform wide reaching social policy on a global scale.
    But they are nonetheless largely good people who are doing their best to fulfil their job descriptions.

  49. Comment from: spangled drongo

    Debbie, interesting and concerning story on Landline today on the 100 year anniversary of the MIA, the MDB proposals and the costs to the irrigators.

  50. Comment from: Johnathan Wilkes

    “But they are nonetheless largely good people who are doing their best to fulfil their job descriptions.”

    Very charitable of you Debbie, I’m a tad more cynical, having experience of working with some, although I agree, overall they are just like anybody. That is why they can be selfish, self serving and territorial, protecting their turf.

    As far as I’m concerned the “science” is settled.
    No, not in the way most think.
    I noticed that there is only tinkering around the edges trying to prove the CO2 causing, leading or lagging behind temperature.
    Not a lot of new stuff and what’s new is mostly contrived crap.

    Frankly I’m more interested in how ordinary people like me react this all, what concerns us, how the government policy affects us etc….

    I would even put up with, not except it mind you, the “carbon tax” were it not for the fact that one can buy himself out of it by buying credits without doing any reductions. That is just so wrong on so many fronts that it defies logic how sane people can propose let alone except it.

    One would think we left behind the medieval customs, but no, it only proves we are as gullible as ever.
    We may advanced technologically but in spirit we are as superstitious and easily influenced as ever.

    Sad indictment.

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