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Still Fishing

Best wishes for the New Year.   Jen


277 Responses to “Still Fishing”

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  1. Comment from: Robert

    We’re in drought here on the midcoast. It’s worse than somebody-or-other thought! It’s unprecedented in the entire record after 2007. It’s the worst dry spell of any year ending in a 1 and a 3 since 1913. Jan 1 was the driest day of 2013, just nudging out Jan 2. The heat is without precedent in 2013, yet, apart from joining and participating in his local fire brigade, Tony Abbott has done nothing about it today. What a misogynist. I hope John McTernan alerts the ABC about this latest Abbott scandal.

    By the way, for those interested in climate extremes, and drought in particular, our region’s driest recorded January was in 1900…but wait! There’s more!

    Our driest Feb was in 1939. Our driest March was in 1922. Our driest April was in 1896. Our driest May was in 1957. Our driest June was in 1883. Our driest July was in 1951. Our driest August was in 1919. Our driest September was in 1907. Our driest October was in 1908. Our driest November was in 1926. Our driest December was in 1938.

    Our driest year? 1902.

    Oh, and every single monthly record for heat was set between 1910 and 1919, except that of August, which was hottest in in 1946.

    This was not a local freak which somehow extended over many decades. All of this reflects the half century of rain deficit in much of Australia following the Fed drought. For fire, of course, it’s possible that nothing in world history matches Black Thursday, Victoria, 1851, but the period after the Fed drought, while not free of flood and the usual Australian reverses, was problematic climate change in reality.

    For real world climate change, you need real world solutions. Instead, we have extensive plans to waste water, energy, food, infrastructure and money…and we fund this nonsense by gouging more and more of the very coal we are not supposed to use.

    Are there any adults left out there? Hello? Adults?

  2. Comment from: Tony Price

    Just spotted this post so a belated NYG’s to Jen and all here regardless of colour, creed, or religion.

  3. Comment from: gavin

    Good one Rob, cynical as ever, better than most. I enjoyed it.

  4. Comment from: Neville

    I think you people should all take a bex and a lie down. SLs and SLR are bloody complicated no doubt about it, but you’re not going to unlock some new info by quickie observations or dreaming up what could be causing what level or all sorts of anomolies.

    I suggest everyone read all the info available from the Q&A from Uni of Colorado or other good sites.

    Most of the info you want will be there somewhere, some is due to the change in ocean basin size where the ocean becomes deeper /larger over time and seems to show a lack or sometimes a drop in Sls.
    But these are then adjusted for to compensate for this larger area or depth or both. Like I said it’s bloody complicated.

    Gav we’ve just had very good seasons for a few years so of course everything is primed for a bad fire season.
    Let’s hope we get through the next couple of months without loss of life and not too much property damage. But we’ll need some luck for sure.

  5. Comment from: spangled drongo

    Yes cohers, but I hadn’t considered reduced tide range for more water. Interesting. Maybe that’s what’s going on. I am not really into the incrementally small stuff, only the observable, and that has it’s own problems in that MSL can rise [which I wouldn't notice] thus you get SLR while at the same time the highly observable highest tides can fall.

    This could be a reason, that Graeme rightly mentions, for the varying results from tide gauges.

    It is interesting that Neil White [Church and White?] from the CSIRO is probably the only Deltoid to even partly agree with me on anything.

  6. Comment from: Neville

    BTW good post Robert. But where did you get that info, BOM or other sites as well?

  7. Comment from: Ian Thomson

    Politicians and shonky businesses jack up the deals . Green nuts are appeased.
    The taxpayer pays.

  8. Comment from: cohenite

    “coh; your reading too much. Go do measurements for a change.”

    gav, the Geoid is precisely measured.

  9. Comment from: Debbie

    Not just Luck Neville,
    let’s hope people in Canberra actually learnt from last time.
    Let’s hope they have done some sensible fire risk management.

  10. Comment from: Jonathan Wilkes


    While the moon’s gravitational force is recognised as the primary influence on tides, there are more than 100 scientifically recognised constituents (called harmonic constants) that affect the timing and height of tides.

    You are slitting hairs gav.
    Without the gravitational pull of the Moon and to a lesser effect the Sun there would be nothing for those hundreds of
    “scientifically recognised constituents” to affect.

  11. Comment from: Johnathan Wilkes

    I meant splitting but slitting is good enough

  12. Comment from: Robert

    Nev, the Elders site still has all our BOM rain info under local climatology, which is a link in fine print. They recently pulled all our temp records prior to 1965, so I don’t know where to go for those now.

    Gav, my monthly records are very cynical, aren’t they? By the way, our worst flood cluster was in the 1890s, our worst flood pairing was 1949-1950, and our worst flood was 1949. Cynical, no?

    But back to a serious discussion of what caused SLR. Was it Napoleon, Jane Austen, or all the noise made by that Beethoven fellow? Okay, so Stockholm SL went down while Brest and others went up. What with Post Glacial Rebound we may never know enough about NH sea levels. Won’t stop our Green Betters from dogmatising, of course. (Nice job by the IPCC “detrending” the Stockholm record!)

    I have an idea. Let’s get scientists to study the science of sea levels…rather than the art of linking sea levels to CAGW.

  13. Comment from: gavin

    I could say I told you so but in the demolition of SD at Deltiod there was a ref to an interesting paper on Gold Coast inlets by “MIRFENDERESK, H. and TOMLINSON, R., 2008″ that I found suitable for a discussion about non linear tides in shallow inlets.

    This is a study that goes well beyond my own recent observations of higher tides impacting on the margins. I still say tide marks here are a valid ref for SLR

  14. Comment from: Debbie

    I absolutely dare you to go and post that comment at deltoid.
    I double dare and triple dare you!
    Especially the tide marks bit.
    If you do….I am going back to watch (sorry cohenite).

  15. Comment from: gavin

    Deb; tried a softly intro just for you

  16. Comment from: spangled drongo

    “I could say I told you so but in the demolition of SD at Deltiod there was a ref to an interesting paper on Gold Coast inlets by “MIRFENDERESK, H. and TOMLINSON, R., 2008″ that I found suitable for a discussion about non linear tides in shallow inlets.”

    Gavin, there is absolutely nothing in any of Hamid Mirfenderesk’s papers that do anything but support my observations.

    Are you also of the school that thinks the SLR problem can be reduced by lowering the river [IOW dredging] rather than raising the bridge?

    Or that excessive coastal development reduces SLs?

    Hamid has done a lot of work in trying to come to grips with future SLR as predicted by the prophets of doom and as you would expect from a scientist working for a city which has an enormous stake in the outcome, he has to pay strict attention to what is really happening.

    I talk to him a fair bit and I can tell he is under considerable pressure and he is naturally very cautious in making any statements.

    He cannot say there is nothing happening when the so-called state-of-the-art-scientists all say the opposite.

    I get the feeling that by not being able to confirm any sort of SLR anywhere in the enormous ocean, broadwater, estuarine, tidal river, tidal canal, sea frontage of that city, he is more uncomfortable than if he could say for example, “well, it appears to be happening a bit here”.

    He is obviously embarrassed at being excluded from the consensus.

    There is nothing happening.

  17. Comment from: Graeme M

    SD I hope I’m not misunderstanding your claims. Simply put, you argue that your local benchmarks shows no high water marks higher than the past. Thus, there is no notable SLR where you are. And as sea level is aggressively level, it follows that there is no SLR elsewhere. is that it in a nutshell?

  18. Comment from: Debbie

    That’s funny SD,
    Privately he admits that nothing significant is happening yet in the interest of keeping his job he needs to say that something could be happening.
    How about you invite the deltoids here to discuss this issue?
    That way you stop giving them that financial leg up that cohenite pointed out earlier?
    I still think from your last question that you have fallen into a bit of a trap.
    SD’s main point is that water will always follow the laws of gravity. That’s why it aggressively seeks equilibrium.
    So if there is no significant rise in average SL’s, especially in low lying areas, that have minimal obstruction to water, what does that indicate?

  19. Comment from: Graeme M

    Heh, no chance the Deltoids would rock on over here!

    Debbie, again I am not sure what you mean. SD argues that his local benchmarks indicate no SLR. However, many tide gauges worldwide clearly DO show SLR. SD is therefore suggesting that while tide gauges indicate SLR, real world obs would seem to indicate otherwise.

    There IS significant rise in average sea levels worldwide over the past 150 years, according to the data. I thought SD was questioning that?

    Or have I misunderstood?

  20. Comment from: debbie

    I’m not sure what you mean either Graeme.
    SD… as far as I can tell…was simply pointing out how bodies of water behave and also offered data from his area… which is coastal, estuarine, substantially urbanised, has developed agricultural areas, is vulnerable to surges from storms and king tides and so on.
    It is actually a rather good place to study any alarming effects from SLR as it does have low lying areas there …as well as human infrastructure…and low lying areas would indeed be the first places to see any alarming’ effects from SLR.
    It’s not complicated or particularly confusing.
    Water most definitely follows the laws of gravity.
    That is a CERTAINTY (bold) despite the deltoids trying to ignore it.
    SD is correct that it will aggressively seek equilibrium.
    That’s before we even get anywher near a discussion about what large bodies of water will or won’t do when the air is hotter.

  21. Comment from: Debbie

    Just went back to deltoid to see if Gavin really did put up that comment….not there Gavin.
    Good grief!!!!!
    No wonder you’re getting confused Graeme.
    That Bill dude is almost as funny as Wow.
    It is about tides, it isn’t about tides, it is rate not rise then it’s rise not rate……. and anyway:
    “we’ll all be roooned said hanrahan!”
    If nothing else…. it is at least amusing to read.

  22. Comment from: el gordo

    On Deltoid’s Open Thread a fella named Duff is putting the rabble to the sword.

  23. Comment from: Graeme M

    Must have a look at that one. As for SD, he does seem to be making headway :)

  24. Comment from: Tony Price

    Gavin quoted:
    ” While the moon’s gravitational force is recognised as the primary influence on tides, there are more than 100 scientifically recognised constituents (called harmonic constants) that affect the timing and height of tides. NTC balances the impact of these specific constituents with analysis of regional factors, such as coastally-trapped waves, to prepare tide predictions for port and harbour authorities, the Royal Australian Navy, and persons and authorities engaged in recreation, tourism, marine resource related industries, coastal development, trade and commerce.”

    Yes, but I’ve seen the Sun’s effect quoted as 46% of the Moon’s. Also, almost all of the “harmonic constants” are those which affect the strength of the Moon’s pull on the oceans; by variations in distance from Earth and in the angle the pull is applied at (relative to the plane of Earth’s orbit).

  25. Comment from: Tony Price

    Debbie said “SD’s main point is that water will always follow the laws of gravity. That’s why it aggressively seeks equilibrium.”

    Nils-Axel Mörner doesn’t think it “aggressively seeks equilibrium”. He says in “Setting the Frames of Expected Future Sea Level Changes by Exploring Past Geological Sea Level Records”

    “Another factor of fundamental importance is the available water depth. In the littoral zone, the water depth is so small that any heating expansion will be more or less negligible (Fig. 2). At the shore (the land/sea interface), the effect will always remain zero. Therefore, thermal expansion in coast areas will not affect coastal sea level. A misunderstanding seems to exist that water expansion at sea will flood landwards. What is deformed is the dynamic sea level, which is a highly irregular surface due to all interacting dynamic variables.”

    Do you agree with him that water of the same temperature and therefore density can maintain a higher level away from the shoreline and somehow ignore gravity?

  26. Comment from: Debbie

    was that a question for me?
    My answer is that all things being equal, gravity will win.
    Of course there are other forces that can interfere, but gravity, whether it is earth’s, the moon’s or the sun’s holds the trump card every time. :-)
    And as I said to Graeme, that’s before we discuss what bodies of water will and won’t do when the air heats up.

  27. Comment from: Debbie

    was that a question for me?
    My answer is that all things being equal, gravity will win.
    Of course there are other forces that can interfere, but gravity, whether it is earth’s, the moon’s or the sun’s holds the trump card every time. :-)
    And as I said to Graeme, that’s before we discuss what bodies of water will and won’t do when the air heats up.

  28. Comment from: spangled drongo

    Sorry Graeme for not getting back to you earlier. Had a job to do. Yes, that is right. SLs have not increased at my benchmarks. The hige tides of 60+ years ago reappeared again almost as high around 40 years ago at Cleveland Point but only on one occasion and I can’t recall if there were other outside influences such as a cyclone etc. at that time. The other BMs around Runaway Bay are where we have had a seafrontage for the last 35 years but where I was involved in sales and construction for several years before that. Also I have old sailing mates who have been living in seafronts at Biggera Waters and Runaway bay for up to 48 years who have been home and jetty builders and who really pay attention to tide levels. All this infrastructure is required by council to be built at levels relative to MSL so it is something that you are constantly aware of if you are in that business. The oldest BM at Biggera Waters goes back to 1957, 56 years where a retired boatbuilder mate has had a slipway and those blokes HAVE to be very aware of SLs to run that sort of business. He claims that SLs only get to their old levels if there is a big sea surge coinciding with king tides. IOW, nothing happening.

    Biggera Waters and Runaway Bay are about a kilometer from the Seaway entrance so the sea hydraulics are constant and not complicated.

    Anytime we discuss this so-called SLR they, like me, are always puzzled as to how tide gauges can be showing SLR when they are not observing it.

  29. Comment from: Debbie

    I swear I hit submit comment only once!
    What’s going on?

  30. Comment from: Johnathan Wilkes


    I had an of argument about this with Luke. We had to have a survey done on my parent’s property at Chelsea
    We found that there was not a discernible change in the sea level or the closeness of the shoreline to the property in
    over seven decades. The last survey was done only 30 years ago.

    Given a difference in accuracy of instruments past and present there was still no significant difference.

    Luke grudgingly put forward a notion that closed in bays like Port Phillip can be immune to SLR.

    I can agree to a few decades but seven?
    Give us a break.

  31. Comment from: gavin

    Tony; those quotes contain bad physics and should not be used in these discussions

    Deb; the key word was isotropic

    SD; you do need to show your evidence because that Gold Coast esturine study avoided SL monitoring with ref to SLR

  32. Comment from: hunter

    What a hoot: AGW extremists are now hanging their hopes on subtle and negligible harmonic and derivative tidal influences. “How many angels can dance on the head of a pin” comes to mind.

  33. Comment from: gavin

    jw; despite your private survey there is official concern about SLR in Port Phillip Bay

    Given my time in Melbourne on various MMBW water treatment projectsI went rooting around for current SL issues. No1 a mere handful of cm rise would hamper all drainage by 30% or a tad slimy behind Chelsea

  34. Comment from: spangled drongo

    “Luke grudgingly put forward a notion that closed in bays like Port Phillip can be immune to SLR.”

    Yes JW, they will say anything. How long does it take for the tide to come in through the rip?

    How long is the lag in the tides? If the southerlies blow a slight mound of water up on the GBR, the southerly set takes off at ~4 knots to convey it all back to Tasmania.

  35. Comment from: spangled drongo

    “jw; despite your private survey there is official concern about SLR in Port Phillip Bay”

    Say it is not so.

    Gav, you don’t really mean to tell us that our worried CSIRO have actually done a survey on what boogeyman stories they can invent for PPB.

    I only read the abstract and there is nothing happening there.

    Tell me, can they feel it in their water?

  36. Comment from: Johnathan Wilkes


    I may not be full bottle on the sewage treatment system of Melbourne but I was not aware of any outlet near Chelsea or thereabouts.
    As I recollect the eastern treatment plant discharges treated water into Bass Strait over a long pipeline.
    Correct me if I’m wrong.

    As to surveyors and levels, I trust the professionals, not the casual drive by observer with a Baby Box.

  37. Comment from: Debbie

    Well Gavin,
    Water would be isotropic if it travels on perfectly flat surfaces with no geographical obstructions.
    That’s why people like us who manage water invest heavily in landforming and why urban water managers use piping and pumping etc.
    That’s why we build dams.
    However, it doesn’t change the issue under discussion.
    If no alarming SLR is noticeable around LOW LYING (bold) costal areas. . . what does that indicate to you?
    Or do you believe there is a stronger natural force than gravity that prevents the alarming inundation of low lying coastal areas from alarming SLR?

  38. Comment from: gavin

    JW;” the eastern treatment plant discharges treated water into Bass Strait” – Absolutly!

    Historicaly though, most of Melbourn’s sewage was treated on the western side of Port Phillip Bay via the wetlands treatment farm at Werribee. There has been no change in the bay side outfall other than some commercial recycling.

    On the eastern side too I had in mind the huge problem of urban run off during periods of heavy rain. In fact a large part of the newer metro area is dead flat and not much above SL. I wonder what price is their flood insurence these days.

    I call your tune again. Who is the casual drive by observer you refer too?

    Btw I used to calibrate level transmitters in the trunk sewer about the same time that eastern plant was built due to a severe shortage of technical staff. For your info there were several dangers apart from accidents on the long slippery walkways, gas and local cloud bursts. Both officers sent underground have a keen interest in weather forecasts

  39. Comment from: Debbie

    I dunno Gav?
    I’m sure JW will let you know if he feels the need, but this is my thought on the matter :-)
    Maybe JW means the person who claimed some personal photos from Tas (I think?) were absolute proof that SLR is alarming and highly observable?
    Maybe JW means it’s the person who went on holidays and claimed he could see absolute proof of SLR from tide marks?

  40. Comment from: Johnathan Wilkes

    All right gav I give up, again!

    You are a stubborn and opinionated man and naught we can do about it.

    But when a licensed and qualified surveyor tells me there is no change I bloody well believe him instead of listening
    to the opinions of a beachcomber.

  41. Comment from: el gordo

    Jan. 2, 2013 — ‘By comparing reconstructions of atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) concentrations and sea level over the past 40 million years, researchers based at the National Oceanography Centre, Southampton have found that greenhouse gas concentrations similar to the present (almost 400 parts per million) were systematically associated with sea levels at least nine metres above current levels.’

    Science Daily

    So human induced CO2 don’t make the seas rise?

  42. Comment from: el gordo

    And this gem from the same article…

    ‘According to the study, sea level stays more or less constant for CO2 changes between 400 and 650 parts per million and it is only for CO2 levels above 650 parts per million that the researchers again saw a strong sea level response for a given CO2 change.’

    At the moment its 391 ppm and rising, but can’t imagine it reaching 650 ppm anytime soon.

    Let’s abandon the ‘precautionary principle’ and get on with life.

  43. Comment from: Graeme M

    Those Deltoid characters simply will not address the question of real world obs, preferring instead to look at MSL trends drawn from tide gauge data. On the face of it, tide gauge data should be giving us the actual trends and should reflect real world outcomes.

    But there is the matter of SD’s physical obs. It may be he is quite wrong. But what if there were some property of tide gauges and their obs that skews the actual trend? Because really, if sea levels are rising, we MUST see it happening before our eyes at some point. Perhaps because it is relatively slow we don’t?

    But here’s a thought. Tide gauges are read every 6 minutes in the data for The Battery at New York according to NOAA. However, the definition for MSL according to the same NOAA site is the “arithmetic mean of hourly heights observed over the National Tidal Datum Epoch. ” So, we either create an average from 6 minute slices, or from 60 minute slices. It’s not really clear.

    Now, if tide cycles were perfectly regular and equal in length, that regime would indeed give us accurate numbers. But tide cycles are not. For example, here’s a representative list of times between peaks/troughs for The Battery over a few days:


    Now, it could be possible with these sorts of cycle irregularities that drawing an average from regular time slices might be skewed toward more higher numbers or more lower numbers. For example, imagine a regular cycle of 6 hours to come in, 5 to go out, using hourly slices. We could end up with one or more extra obs of higher values over a 24 hour cycle. Our average would therefore be artificially skewed to a higher value.

    If that did happen, could it also happen that this error is a compounding error over time? Equally, depending on the time of the local cycles, we might find significant differences in computed averages for disparate locations if a standard timing regime were followed (eg based on GMT).

    Has anyone ever read or heard of any sort of screening/filtering process to avoid that skew? Or do you think it wouldn’t make any difference at all?

  44. Comment from: gavin

    No difference at all over a large number of readings, and I’m sure the the oceanographers have long since gotten over the wonder of it all.

    Our CSIRO team have a good outlook though when it comes to public info. Neil White at Deltoid has been patient imo

  45. Comment from: gavin

    Deb; when our Nev persists with mitigation questions I normally respond with personal obs Tides and recent higher coastline as evidence of likely senarios given SLR however minute for the usual denialist gang hanging round this blog.

    However there is an official view re the general public studying high water marks year by year. Simple observations is where all science starts so I can say you lot are too conservative to bother with on a busy day

  46. Comment from: Johnathan Wilkes

    “Simple observations is where all science starts”
    Very true

    “public studying high water marks year”

    Unless you out in permanent and unmoveable markers at your observation points your observation is worth nothing!

    Do you do that gav?
    Or do you rely on your photographic memory?

    As to who is a “conservative” and hidebound, hahaha as someone here used to say.
    You are a good one to talk!

  47. Comment from: Johnathan Wilkes

    put for God’s sake PUT not out!

  48. Comment from: spangled drongo

    Gav’s having a lovely time serving up tripe. This is coastal erosion, not SLR and it has always come and gone. Even your hero Neil White isn’t game to make the claim that the Gold Coast is suffering SLR and he hates it when his alarmist statements and predictions aren’t reflected in the real world.

    It places the whole credibility of CSIRO in question and rightfully so.

  49. Comment from: debbie

    That just means that you’re arguing something is happening.
    Neville’s question most definitely asks for what you propose to do about it.
    If you are going to use the word DENIALIST…. I suggest you might like to explain what it is that you think people at this blog are denying.
    Otherwise Gavin… you are just calling people names and ‘grouping’ people under political banners.
    You usually show a little more class than that.

  50. Comment from: spangled drongo

    Very true, JW. gav’s obs, as I have tried to impress on him many times, without a specific place, a specific date and a specific comparison in heights over a specific period are just hand waving.

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