Last Year, 2013: A Hot Year for Australia

ANOTHER year, and another announcement from the Australian Bureau of Meteorology that it is getting hotter. Indeed on January 3, 2014, David Jones, Manager of Climate Monitoring and Predictions at the Bureau, explained in a radio interview that: “We know every place across Australia is getting hotter, and very similarly almost every place on this planet. So, you know, we know it is getting hotter and we know it will continue to get hotter. It’s a reality, and something we will be living with for the rest of this century.”

I’m not sure that its going to continue to get hotter, but last year was hot.

According to Dr Jones, the hottest place in 2013 was Moomba in South Australia where a temperature of 49.6°C was recorded in January. What Dr Jones didn’t explain, however, is that temperatures have only been recorded at Moomba since 1995. So we don’t actually know how hot it was at Moomba during the federation drought or in 1939.

I’ve been following trends at Bathurst where temperatures have been recorded at the jail since 1858 and at the agricultural college since 1908. In October, after plotting days when maximum temperatures exceeded 35 degree Celsius, I indicated that there has been no increase in hot days at Bathurst, .

But after plotting the really hot days through until the end of 2013, I’m happy to concede that it’s virtually as hot now as it was back in 1939, Chart 1. On 11th January 1939 temperatures climbed to 40.7 degrees at the Bathurst agricultural station. In January last year it reached 40.2 degrees. Furthermore, when averages maximum temperatures are combined for each year, there appears to be a slight warming trend, Chart 2.

Charts 1 n 2

Unfortunately, the average for the year 1939 is not shown in Chart 2 as maximum daily temperatures are not available in the digitized record for May through to September of that year for this site. The hottest year at the Bathurst agricultural college according to this statistic (whereby maximum daily temperatures are averaged for the year) was 2006 with an annual average maximum daily temperature of 22.2 degrees compared to an average maximum for 2013 of 21.8 degrees.

If we go further north to western Queensland and consider the long temperature trend for Charleville, then last year appears to be a record hot year, Chart 3. All years are shown from 1910 based on my averaging of the available daily maximum values from the Bureau’s homogenized ACORN* data set to the end of 2012. I’ve relied on the raw daily values for 2013. I’ve made no adjustments for missing values in this record and have not compared the raw data to the end of 2012 with the ACORN-SAT adjusted data.*

When individual hot days are plotted for Charleville, the hottest day at 46.3 degree Celsius shows as 4th January 1973, Chart 4. This is closely followed by 46.0 degrees recorded just last year on 29th December 2013. And just a few days ago, on 3rd January 2014, it was 46.1 degrees at Charleville.

Charts 3 and 4 revised

The hotter than average conditions in Australia for 2013 show up in the satellite record as published by the University of Alabama in Huntsville, Chart 5. According to this record, globally 2013 was the fourth warmest year since measurements began in 1978, .

Satellite Temps 2013


ACORN-SAT is the Australian Climate Observations Reference Network – Surface Air Temperature. Data can be downloaded here .

Ken Stewart, John Sayers, Jo Nova and others have shown up many issues with this database, for example, . It nevertheless remains a useful source of information. For the Bathurst agricultural station the long unadjusted data set (recently purchased by me from the Bureau) accords well with the publically available ACORN dataset. I have no particular opinion on the reliability of the Charleville ACORN data as I do not have access to the unadjusted Charleville data before 1948.


165 Responses to Last Year, 2013: A Hot Year for Australia

  1. Minister for Common Sense January 7, 2014 at 3:28 pm #

    “What Dr Jones didn’t explain, however, is that temperatures have only been recorded at Moomba since 1995. So we don’t actually know how hot it was at Moomba during the federation drought or in 1939.”

    Isn’t that just tad dishonest to cite Moomba as the hottest place but not add that btw, we only have records there since 1995,when everyone in Australia would be automatically assuming that the records included going back to circa 1900. ..I know I did.

  2. Luke January 7, 2014 at 4:12 pm #

    Cohenite reported on the last thread that in recent days that the illustrious Ken Stewart has calculated that the satellite data also puts 2013 as the highest in that record.

    Cohers pers. comm “Incidentally Ken Stewart has graphed UAH’s lower troposphere temps for Australia for 2013, and while less than BOM’s, still gives 2013 the title as AUSTRALIA’s hottest year in the satellite era.”

    Hey aren’t we supposed to be in a bone crushing ice age by now?

    Sceptics need to stop cherry picking and do the national surface station analysis – we know why they won’t – doesn’t suit – pot shots at random are an easier form of guerrilla warfare. Don’t spend your hard earned importing anti-AGW celebs for theatrical performances – spend it on an informative second analysis. Come on Aussie come on !

    Sceptics are now in trouble – records smashed by a mile in Jan 2014.

    But more importantly the trend ain’t your friend.

    And this is a neutral year – wait till the IPO changes and we have some Los Ninos….

  3. cohenite January 7, 2014 at 4:18 pm #

    A couple of things; firstly the UAH satellite data confirms it was the hottest year in AUSTRALIA since 1979.

    Secondly the Australian land data has many quirks; one of which is the disproportionate influence Alice Springs has on the national temperature. As Geoff Sherrington notes:

    “Alice Springs accounts more than 10% of Acorn national trend area. It is simply poor, poor science to extrapolate from a single station at Alice for 100 km or more to other regions, just to make a pretty map in purple.”

    Alice Springs has been adjusted to death by BOM:

    Thirdly it is not temperature generally which is a product of AGW but an increase in minimum temperature and a decrease in Diurnal Temperature Range, DTR, or the difference between the minimum temperature, usually at night, and the maximum temperature.

    The reason DTR is supposed to be decreasing due to AGW is that backradiation continues at night and therefore the minimum temperatures should be increasing and the DTR decreasing; both aren’t:

    Whatever warming is occurring therefore is NOT due to AGW.

  4. cohenite January 7, 2014 at 4:20 pm #

    Fancy that luke; you taking the bait at exactly the same time as I am reeling you in! Do you prefer to be battered and fried or baked?

  5. jennifer January 7, 2014 at 4:28 pm #


    Still no catastrophic global warming. Averaged temperatures for Australia may be back up about where they were in 1939.

    Many sceptics, e.g. Bob Carter, have been accepting of the adjusted data which would mostly puts us well beyond that warming blip in terms of average annual temperatures.

    As regards some national surface station analysis. There has been lots of fuss made about how badly some data sets have been “homogenised” and how poorly positioned some weather stations are, but the worst of the science mangers seem to just get promoted.

    I am forever surprised to see the ‘Melbourne Regional Office’ included in the set of most reliable sites from which the national average temperature is calculated.

    There it is in the heart of Melbourne, atop a building located at the corner of Victoria Parade and Latrobe Street, not only subject to the heat island affect, but also, since recordings were first made in 1910, it has become sheltered from the cooling southerly winds by skyscrapers. Not surprisingly, the temperature trend for this locality indicates that Australia is getting hotter.

    National disgrace and someone like you should have done something about it long before now. Stop passing the buck to the unemployed like me, and clean-up the system you are such a part of.

  6. Debbie January 7, 2014 at 4:45 pm #

    🙂 🙂 🙂

    I have noticed that Luke is rather good at ‘passing the buck’.

  7. Luke January 7, 2014 at 4:49 pm #

    What a joke – now back radiation only occurs at night does it – hahahahahahaha

    Cohenite you’re getting worse – is the sceptics party running multiple shifts. Put the morning bloke back on.

    Pity Ken Stewart is wrong …. and fancy putting 2nd order polynomials the way you’d like it. so crap and so pathetic – what a hoot.

    Anyway the data are much more complex than that

    Take the bones out before you woof your dinner.

  8. Johnathan Wilkes January 7, 2014 at 4:49 pm #

    re. weather station Victoria St and Latrobe St corner
    Unless I’m mistaken and you mean an other one, it’s on the ground and in a worse position you could not find. I drive past it every day.

    It may have been an ideal position a 100 years ago but certainly not now.

  9. Luke January 7, 2014 at 5:02 pm #

    Gee Jen – are we supposed to catastrophic by now? Come on! Cherry picking a few stations or a year is not informing anything.

    Jen instead of sceptic organisations raising $100,000s importing charismatic anti-AGW celebs get the BoM raw data and Aussie sceptics can do their own comprehensive national analysis and publish all the methods on-line.

    You have a large amount of people resources available to you. It’s not all up to you as an individual. Nor is it up to me.

    But sceptics are editorialising the issue not me and you are dissatisfied with the “establishment” analysis. So it behoves you guys to do an alternative analysis. Why is that such a bad idea? There’s no tricks – however the numbers fall out is how they do ….

    Surely you’re curious?

    Why would you pick Melbourne? I’d exclude all capitals in such an analysis.

  10. Johnathan Wilkes January 7, 2014 at 5:11 pm #

    Luke give me an assess address to unadulterated raw data transcribed from original journals and I will check it.

    Adjusted data?
    Forget it, I can’t waste my time on crap.

  11. cohenite January 7, 2014 at 5:17 pm #

    “Jen instead of sceptic organisations raising $100,000s importing charismatic anti-AGW celebs get the BoM raw data and Aussie sceptics can do their own comprehensive national analysis and publish all the methods on-line.”

    It’s been done, twice:

    Another analysis is being done.

  12. Robert January 7, 2014 at 5:29 pm #

    The thing about 1939 was the duration of the heatwave, and its wider spread across eastern NSW. Sydney’s record last summer was very brief and limited in area. Mind you, there is not a reason in hell why you can’t get that temp again with 1939 conditions. As to how 1939’s killer heat could come in a La Nina year…the most notorious heatwave of my youth was the long 1960 event, while 1960 was also the year Australia recorded its highest single temp, in SA. Guess what. Neutral year. BoM identifies no El Nino years between ’58 and ’63. Oh, and the fabled Marble Bar Heatwave of 1923-4? The 160 day record which really is a world record? Neutral year. So much for literal minded preachers thumping their Book of ENSO.

    By the way, the heat waves of 1895-6 and 1939 (repeat: La Nina!) killed more people than any other climate events in our history, which does not say much about our climate, but does say a bit. Of course, there are also years like 1902 and 1915. But those 1915 satellites are like the guy who thinks we should be in a bone crushing ice age by now. You never see one.

    Anyway, some nice impartial observing there, Jen. Pity about 1939 missing from chart 2.

  13. Luke January 7, 2014 at 6:07 pm #

    JW -make your request to BoM –

    Cohers – your link didn’t work – this did –

    So after all that you found it’s still warming but 31% less than BoM’s. I can see what you don’t publicise this.

    It’s like pulling teeth to get it out of you.

    BTW a whinge to ANAO isn’t an alternative analysis. And if you want to survive a McIntyre I expect all your data, scripts and methods online.

  14. Luke January 7, 2014 at 6:08 pm #

    Sorry this link did work

  15. Debbie January 7, 2014 at 6:13 pm #

    errrrr Luke?
    If it’s not catastrophic or. . . if you like. . .if it’s not proving to be worrying or harmful . . .then why all the fuss and hand waving and hyped up media?
    Also. . .the Moncktons, Watts and indeed the Flannerys and Gores of this world are likely a symptom of an underlying political/social/funding/management problem. . . .not the cause.
    Jen has a valid point here.
    The people who are part of the Public Service and the academic community who are working in these climate/weather/environment areas are EMPLOYED to provide a public service and we have all been raised to respect them and to expect them to do a good job.
    As I explained at the other thread, Federal investment in science, innovation and research has basically doubled in the last 10 years (and it’s not just a few measly millions), yet services have markedly decreased and many great programs and many great research teams have been axed. . .in favour of what and for what public benefit??????

  16. Johnathan Wilkes January 7, 2014 at 6:23 pm #

    Ta Luke, I will
    Will post the reply.

  17. cohenite January 7, 2014 at 6:36 pm #

    Right, the boys found a 30% exaggeration in the BOM temp; well, excuse us.

  18. Larry Fields January 7, 2014 at 6:45 pm #

    Last summer was fairly typical for this part of the Sacramento River Valley, which has an inland Mediterranean climate. The summer was dry, and the temperature reached highs of 108°F (>42°C) for a day or two.

    So far, this rainy season, there hasn’t been much rain. Some of the locals are already beginning to scream, “Drought!” If we are entering into another LIA, that’ll be bad news for California agriculture.

    High in the Nth Sierras just East of the valley, one can hike into Aloha L, and see dead trees poking up through the surface at the West end. That’s pretty convincing evidence that the current mountain climate is appreciably WETTER than it was 200 years ago.

    If irrigation water becomes scarcer, the valley rice farmers can always switch over to millet. Then the problem will be trying to convince people to eat it. 🙂

  19. handjive of January 7, 2014 at 7:13 pm #

    Quote Comment from: Luke January 7th, 2014 at 5:02 pm
    “Gee Jen – are we supposed to catastrophic by now?”
    Why, yes Luke, it is supposed to be catastrophic by now:
    World must shift to low-carbon economy by 2014 or face dangerous climate change, says WWF
    Hope you have been practising yoga, Luke, so you can kiss your ass goodbye.
    Must suck being you, what with the end of the world and all.

  20. Luke January 7, 2014 at 7:15 pm #

    I am amazed at you Debs – so you need to see a trend continue to severe disruption before you’d act or be at least concerned? At which point it’s too late by decades.

    Do you have serious information that BoM are not doing a good job under D Jones – seems like you know the answer before you even formulated the question – and you’ve never had so much data – compare with Kininmonth era.

    Cohers – be precise – you didn’t find any errors in BoM’s analysis – you found a difference. Why assume you know best?

    Anyway all this extremeness is very interesting –

    And is AGW the cause of the polar vortex breakout –

  21. Luke January 7, 2014 at 7:18 pm #

    Thanks – HJ see my post above. QED.

    And just add a bit of worst on record local drought after sceptics promised it was all over and would rain for a decade.

  22. handjive of January 7, 2014 at 7:24 pm #

    Quote Comment from: Luke January 7th, 2014 at 4:12 pm
    “And this is a neutral year – wait till the IPO changes and we have some Los Ninos….”
    Uh-oh, Lukey’s gone all UN-IPCC settled 95% science on us, “you just wait, you, you DENIER!”
    Most of us are still waiting to win the lottery too, Luke. does that count?

    Anyways, cowboy, as you can tell the future with your ‘science’, show us how this ‘Los Ninos’ is NOT global warming missing heat that went into the oceans centuries ago!

  23. handjive of January 7, 2014 at 7:29 pm #

    Quote Comment from: Luke January 7th, 2014 at 7:18 pm
    “And just add a bit of worst on record local drought after sceptics promised it was all over and would rain for a decade.” And then a link to the BoM? Since when have they been ‘skeptical?
    Not in this universe, cowboy. Maybe in yours.

    In 1974, Time Magazine blamed the cold polar vortex on global cooling.
    Forty years later, Luke blames the cold polar vortex on global warming

    A liar must have a long memory.

  24. Dwight E. Howell January 7, 2014 at 7:31 pm #

    You guys may be feeling toasted but in the good old US of A. we are currently breaking records for cold. It hasn’t been this cold at this location for at least 10 yrs. -3 F on my front porch. The high yesterday was 15 F and today they hope we get to 20 F. Tomorrow we hope to return to more normal temps. Whatever is going on in Oz doesn’t seem to be impacting Antarctic ice either. Oh well this weather isn’t going to last and predicting climate is still largely a fools game. How can you predict correctly when you don’t even know what all the major variables are?

  25. Luke January 7, 2014 at 7:33 pm #

    “show us how this ‘Los Ninos’ is NOT global warming missing heat that went into the oceans centuries ago” big hard when it’s down around 700m or more…… HUH ? try again in English.

  26. Luke January 7, 2014 at 7:35 pm #

    Steve who? and irrelevant – a cold air outbreak isn’t an ice age. Rewrite in English and try again.

  27. Robert January 7, 2014 at 7:38 pm #

    If anyone can locate and detail a single year in all world history without climate extremes – and I’m talking serious extremes – could they let me know? Just one year in the last few thousand will do. One single year.

    I suppose I could now make a long list of “polar vortex breakouts” (hey, do they come with supercells?) which have preceded the present one. But who knew we’d have to tell ’em it’s been this cold before, as well as this warm before? It’s like talking to the old bloke with the shop at Carss Park fifty years ago. The Maitland Flood and the 1960 Big Heat…since they’ve been sendin’ them things up…them V rocket things…then the A bomb…and now Sputnik…Just sayin’…

  28. handjive of January 7, 2014 at 7:46 pm #

    Quote Comment from: Luke January 7th, 2014 at 7:18 pm
    “And just add a bit of worst on record local drought after sceptics promised it was all over and would rain for a decade.”
    Got a link for that promise?
    In statistical inference of observed data of a scientific experiment, the null hypothesis refers to a general or default position: that there is no relationship between two measured phenomena,[1] or that a potential medical treatment has no effect.”

    Man Made Global Warming? QED.

  29. Glen Michel January 7, 2014 at 7:52 pm #

    Not much data under Kininmonth and much more under Jones…….at least the former had no agenda during his tenure!

  30. handjive of January 7, 2014 at 7:55 pm #

    Quote Comment from: Luke January 7th, 2014 at 7:33 pm
    “HUH ? try again in English.”
    The Trenberth link is in english, you goose.
    But, seeing as you are challenged, here is Trenberths words;
    “The oceans can at times soak up a lot of heat.
    Some goes into the deep oceans where it can stay for centuries.

    This ‘Los Niños” you ‘see’ from the future, how do you know it is not previous heat hiding in the oceans. You need to prove that or your new ‘settled science’ is junk.
    How convenient the missing heat hides where it can’t be measured.

    And howsabout that polar vortex being blamed on global cooling in ’74? How inconvenient.

  31. Robert January 7, 2014 at 8:06 pm #

    The climate isn’t going crazy. It was born crazy.

  32. Neville January 7, 2014 at 8:50 pm #

    Here’s what Luke just said to Debbie at 7.15pm.

    I am amazed at you Debs – so you need to see a trend continue to severe disruption before you’d act or be at least concerned? At which point it’s too late by decades

    So tell us Luke how should Debbie ACT or be CONCERNED? The implication in your nonsensical rant is that we should all do SOMETHING. So what is it we should do and why?

    Don’t you understand how stupid you appear to be to the rest of us here reading your delusional garbage?

  33. Debbie January 7, 2014 at 8:55 pm #

    So in what way is ‘severe disruption’ particularly different to ‘catastrophic’?

  34. Neville January 7, 2014 at 9:21 pm #

    The UK is like the USA, not so warm anymore. Cool Britannia indeed.

  35. sp January 7, 2014 at 9:33 pm #

    A good summary:

    “We are being duped by our political class. It wants us to accept the fiction that it can modify the nation’s climate, but not in a measurable way. Yet it wants us to believe that reducing carbon dioxide emissions alone will deliver Goldilocks meteorological outcomes – “just right” for everyone.

    Whatever one’s view on the causal conundrums of climate change – and there are many – how can a country with a mere 1.5 per cent of global emissions aspire to engineer a benign and “stable” climate? It can’t. To claim otherwise is to attempt a magician’s trick.

    The government must investigate what is really going on in this space. It is time — as Michael Asten, professor of geophysics at Monash University, urges – for a genuine review of current climate policy. Otherwise, more billions will be wasted pursuing a chimera.

  36. Neville January 7, 2014 at 9:35 pm #

    It seems like energy use in Europe is just going around in circles. After wasting over 100 billions $ on solar and wind energy they now have to open new brown coal power stns because the S&Wind energy is too expensive to use.

    It’s about twice the price of USA energy and so to become more competitive they must return to brown coal stations once again. Will these idiots ever wake up? A five year old child could have forecast this result 20 years ago. Geeezzzzzzz.

  37. Luke January 7, 2014 at 10:11 pm #

    Neville – yes you should something- grow up and stop spreading disinformation like the reckless fraud that you are. And try actually reading the papers that the op-eds that you cite actually quote.

    “at least the former had no agenda during his tenure!” until he got out and gave full flight to his denialist opinions with some “amazing” ideas …. hmmmmm

    “So in what way is ‘severe disruption’ particularly different to ‘catastrophic’” – oh that would be losing an arm compared to your life Debs.

    “This ‘Los Niños” you ‘see’ from the future, how do you know it is not previous heat hiding in the oceans.” well gee – I guess the answer would be “no” it’s way down there. NEXT ! Anyway HJ – are you suggesting there will be some change in Los Niños frequency? I was just thinking natural variability myself. You know that El Niño events occur …. IPO changes – all that jazz

  38. Neville January 7, 2014 at 10:16 pm #

    Here’s a link to the Stockwell and Stewart study of OZ temps. As noted by Cohers above they found that the BOM HQN was 30% too high.

    HQN has OZ temps trend at 0.9C/century, HAD cru has OZ temp trend at 0.75C/century and Stockwell and Stewart MAN has OZ temp trend at 0.6C/century.

  39. Neville January 7, 2014 at 10:25 pm #

    Luke I see you’ve not been able to tell us anything AGAIN. There’s only one fraudster here and it’s you.
    You make babyish accusations but when challenged you can’t deliver. You’re not just tediously stupid, you haven’t even got the guts to give us an answer to your charge that we are criminals and we should do SOMETHING. WHAT IS IT WE SHOULD DO?

  40. Neville January 7, 2014 at 10:44 pm #

    The Wilson, Reynolds, Hendy NZ study found a MWP that was 0.75C warmer than mid 20th century and a LIA that was 0.75C cooler than mid 20th century.
    Like the study Luke didn’t bother to read we can also find a much warmer Antarctica for over 1100 years that ended in 1250 AD or at the end of the MWP as well. From there the temp was cooler during the LIA.

    So Luke tell us what caused the warmer and cooler periods at these two SH sites during the MWP and LIA? We know it wasn’t increased co2, so what was it?

  41. Luke January 7, 2014 at 11:38 pm #

    Pity you haven’t actually read the paper though.

  42. hunter January 8, 2014 at 12:02 am #

    Pity the climate kooks stuck chasing weather to sustain their obsession over a CO2 apocalypse.

  43. Glen Michel January 8, 2014 at 7:56 am #

    Yep,for the life of me I just cannot believe all this AGW – especially as they go about it in their proselytising fashion with Jones taking every opportunity to carry-on in the MSM like he does! There is nothing convincing about CO2 at these levels fashioning extreme weather events. By the way;I asked a group of people at a large function what was the largest greenhouse gas ppmv in the atmosphere and not one got it right;most said methane then CO2. All Green ideologues.

  44. Neville January 8, 2014 at 8:26 am #

    Glen I’ve asked the same questions many times and nobody has a clue. Very depressing because some still want to argue the case for CAGW. Unbelievale.

    Luke can’t answer my question so I’ll throw another study at him from the Oroko swamp in NZ 2002. This is the Cook, Palmer, Hogg etc study and it shows variability in the 1200 to 1900 period but the 20th century has more stable and lower temps than some of the earlier record.

    The graphs show it all on page 9 (my counter) and just proves their is nothing extreme about the climate during the 20th century in that area at all.

  45. Neville January 8, 2014 at 8:31 am #

    Sorry that’s the wrong link, here’s the study.

  46. Ross Handsaker January 8, 2014 at 8:40 am #

    When comparing maximum/minimum temperatures today with those of say the 1930’s we may not be comparing like with like. Today, temperatures are ascertained down to the last minute of the day/night but this would not have been done prior to computerisation. For example, the maximum temperature graph at Weatherzone for Adelaide, which is noted on a half-hourly basis, is often half a degree C cooler than the BOM peak temperature for the day.

  47. richardcfromnz January 8, 2014 at 8:56 am #

    >”I’m happy to concede that it’s virtually as hot now as it was back in 1939 [at Bathurst]”

    Magnanimous Jennifer.

    Meanwhile, in the USA:

    WaPo: ‘For now, the consensus view still holds that global warming will bring fewer cold snaps to places like the U.S., not more. The IPCC in 2007 predicted that there was ‘likely to be a decline in the frequency of cold air outbreaks… in [northern hemisphere] winter in most areas.’

    So how’s that 2007 IPCC ‘likely to be a decline’ prediction going then?

    ‘Rare November cold snap hits southern U.S’

    Nov 2011

    ‘Recent cold spell is a record breaker’

    Oct 2012…/recent-cold-spell-is-a-record-breaker

    ‘U.S. Winter Weather 2013: Evolution Of The Arctic Outbreak’

    Jan 2013…/us-winter-weather-2013-arctic-winds_n_2543439.html

    ‘Arctic air brings record cold to huge swath of US’

    Jan 2014

    ‘likely to be a decline’ prediction not going to well apparently.

  48. Luke January 8, 2014 at 8:57 am #

    That’s OK Glen – dismissing all the world’s science academies with your mates and taking a rank idiot like Neville’s opinion is cool. Nah maaatte it’s crap. You know it is, coz you’ve thought about it (for about a minute).

    BTW as we all know by now Neville (a) doesn’t read his links and (b) doesn’t understand them.

    “This result has implications in detection and attribution studies of greenhouse gas forcing because it
    suggests that Austral summer temperatures in this sector of New Zealand have been anomalous during the 20th Century relative to earlier times”

    Thanks for playing Neville you gimp. You just shot yourself in the face.

  49. richardcfromnz January 8, 2014 at 9:06 am #

    Looking at UAH Chart 5, AGW appears to be punishing Australia hard for exporting all that coal to China.

    China gets a slap on the wrist for burning it.

    USA, not guilty obviously, receives a get out of jail free card.

  50. Neville January 8, 2014 at 9:14 am #

    Luke you donkey have a look at the graphs The 20th century I suppose could be seen as unusual because there wasn’t as much variation as the earlier centuries. So much for your CAGW.

    If you can’t understand simple graphs that’s your problem not mine.

  51. Luke January 8, 2014 at 9:15 am #

    Richard blows his credibility resorting to classic sceptic misdirection – the IPCC reduction in cold air outbreaks comments were for 2055 and 2090. As one says to the kids in the car “Are we there yet” … “errr NO !”

  52. Neville January 8, 2014 at 9:19 am #

    Richard c NZ be very careful poking fun, because Luke may think you’re serious. I mean he’ll believe just about anything.
    And he doesn’t understand simple graphs either. Incredible.

  53. richardcfromnz January 8, 2014 at 9:25 am #

    >”AGW [is] the cause of the polar vortex breakout”

    Or not,

    Princeton Physicist Dr. Will Happer refutes claims that global warming is causing record cold: ‘Polar vortices have been around forever. They have almost nothing to do with more CO2 in the atmosphere’

    Meteorologist Dr. Ryan Maue rejects claim that global warming is causing record cold: ‘This polar vortex episode is the global warming media’s most recent ‘Snapchat’ message: after a few seconds, explanation just dissolves’

    Climatologist Dr. Roy Spencer: ‘Does Global Warming Theory Predict Record Cold?’ Answer: ‘NO.’

    Prof. Jennifer Francis, Rutgers University’s Institute ‘said that such extreme weather events can be caused by global warming. Despite the fact that the extreme weather is bitter cold in this case, warming of the arctic can have such an effect because it changes the flow of the jet stream. Sea ice melts, leaving more water surface area exposed to absorb sunlight, leading to further warming. ‘Extra heat entering the vast expanses of open water that were once covered in ice is released back to the atmosphere in the fall,” Francis said

    Yet a study by Colorado State Professor Elizabeth A. Barnes suggests that this explanation [by Francis] oversimplifies the impacts of Arctic warming, as well as the subsequent impacts on severe weather: ‘We conclude that the mechanism put forth by previous studies … that amplified polar warming has led to the increased occurrence of slow-moving weather patterns and blocking episodes, appears unsupported by the observations.’

  54. richardcfromnz January 8, 2014 at 9:28 am #

    >“Are we there yet” … “errr NO !”

    Have we even left the garage? ……..errr NO !

  55. Luke January 8, 2014 at 9:35 am #

    Neville – Yes I know. So an NZ swamp now equals the world does it? More sceptic dross.

    It says “This result
    might seem contrary to the expectation of a warming
    signal consistent with the hemispheric trend. However,
    it probably reflects both the more local nature of
    climate in the Tasman Sea area and the Austral
    summer season being reconstructed. This interpretation
    is supported by the rotated principal components
    (RPC) analysis of New Zealand instrumental temperature
    data published by Salinger and Mullan (1999).”

    What’s your opinion on the correlations of the overlap period Neville (this will be fun).

    There is another interpretation – the whole 20th century part of the data set is compromised by human activities. It’s simply an instant discontinuity.

  56. Luke January 8, 2014 at 9:39 am #

    Or YES

    Francis says Barnes work actually supports her position.

  57. Luke January 8, 2014 at 9:40 am #

    Nice attempt at a try-on Richard.

  58. Luke January 8, 2014 at 9:57 am #

    From the work of Vavrus et al. Int. J. Climatol. 26: 1133–1147 (2006)

    “In addition, the inherent tendency for blocking events to develop
    over the North Pacific–Alaska region not only accounts for the abundance of CAOs over northwestern
    North America in the present climate, but their increased prevalence in the future also appears to mitigate the reduction of CAOs as the climate warms (Figures 2, 4).”

    “Our most important finding is that although CAOs (with respect to late-twentieth century standards) should become less common during this century, these extreme cold events will not disappear, despite pronounced increases in mean wintertime temperature. The models even project increased CAO frequency in certain regions through the 2090s.”

    “Our study of several GCM runs underscores the potential
    for atmospheric dynamics to mitigate the thermodynamic tendencies from greenhouse warming”

    Yes well !!

  59. richardcfromnz January 8, 2014 at 9:58 am #

    >”…the IPCC reduction in cold air outbreaks comments were for 2055 and 2090″

    They don’t say so in FAQs. All they say is “a warmer future climate”

    “There is likely to be a decline in the frequency of cold air outbreaks (i.e., periods of extreme cold lasting from several days to over a week) in NH winter in most areas. Exceptions could occur in areas with the smallest reductions of extreme cold in western North America, the North Atlantic and southern Europe and Asia due to atmospheric circulation changes.”

    According to the IPCC’s model simulations, “a warmer future climate” has already begun:

    It hasn’t, hence:

    ‘IPCC silently slashes its global warming predictions in the AR5 final draft’

    There’s no escaping that ONE BIG PROBLEM Luke:

  60. richardcfromnz January 8, 2014 at 10:13 am #

    >”Francis says Barnes work actually supports her position.”

    Of course she does, but in comments (Barnes is not the only contrary paper):

    8/22/2013 10:18 AM GMT+1200
    While I find Francis’ ideas provoking and worth further study, I must confess I’m mystified why Francis has chosen Capital Weather Gang’s blog to air her discontent with the Barnes study. If Francis finds issues with Barnes’ study she should respond in the peer review literature and this should be hashed out there. The science is NEVER settled on the basis of a single person’s research, but rather it is worked on over time, as many different scientists look at the idea from different angles and perspectives (different datasets, models, statistical techniques, etc). Francis is *correct* that other scientists are going to try to disprove or confirm her ideas… there is nothing nefarious or unusual about it… this is how the scientific process is supposed to work. That Francis takes such strong umbrage to this normal to-and-fro in the literature is what appears unusual here.

    I should also mention that there is other published research out there that casts some doubt on Francis’ general ideas. Here is one such paper, which is available for free here:

    Again, these ideas are far from settled and there are papers that exist on both sides… it’s an area that needs more targeted study (note: this is also Barnes’ concluding sentence in her paper).

    8/22/2013 10:35 AM GMT+1200
    In fairness, I asked Dr. Francis for her thoughts on the paper, and she sent them to me. Of course, she can also submit a more formal comment to the journal so this debate gets aired through academic channels.

    # # #

    In short, Francis is not the last word, it’s all still a work in progress.

  61. Neville January 8, 2014 at 10:14 am #

    Luke this is from page 8 of the study.

    Fig. 6 shows that 20th Century January–March
    temperatures on the West Coast of the South Island
    have not been very unusual relative to the past 700
    years. There is little trend in the instrumental data up
    to 1999 and little in the way of long-term, low
    frequency behavior in the tree-ring estimates either
    in the overlap period with the instrumental data (Fig.
    6B) or further back in time (Fig. 6A). This result
    might seem contrary to the expectation of a warming
    signal consistent with the hemispheric trend. However,
    it probably reflects both the more local nature of
    climate in the Tasman Sea area and the Austral
    summer season being reconstructed.

    So what are you yapping about?

  62. richardcfromnz January 8, 2014 at 10:20 am #

    >”Our study of several GCM runs…..”

    GCM runs that are wildly at odds with reality – why study them?

  63. Luke January 8, 2014 at 10:35 am #

    “GCM runs that are wildly at odds with reality – why study them?”

    Sceptic shamanism and disinformation think tanks are much easier aren’t they. Why formalise anything?

    Yes Neville – I thought you wouldn’t be up to it. (a) I think the proxies are flawed anyway – the 20th century just looks like an instantaneous discontinuity (b) it’s a local result and NZ does not equal the world “probably reflects both the more local nature of climate in the Tasman Sea area”

    Meaningless drivel Neville.

  64. Neville January 8, 2014 at 10:58 am #

    Geeezzzz Luke every study is always local to begin with. Anyhow here’s a study showing the MWP in the SH AGAIN. This time linked to the Inca in Machu- Picchu.

  65. richardcfromnz January 8, 2014 at 11:19 am #

    >”Why formalise anything?”

    Well, the GCM modelers formalised CO2 forcing without the oscillations of natural variability but that didn’t work. Worth a try to find out if belief in the idea is strong but that paradigm failed (trial and error).

    So now they need to formalise by introducing natural variability in a way that does work. That was probably what should have been tried first up but there just wasn’t the belief. Kosalka and Xie made start last year with the PDO and that worked but that’s just a 60 – 70 yr oscillation. The real changes of any import are millenial scale.

    In other words, still a lot more formalising to do, and realistically, so that what’s formalised matches what’s real – that’s why.

  66. handjive of January 8, 2014 at 11:23 am #

    Ms Jen.
    FYI, Some links you might be interested in re: hottest year 2013-

    This one from Michael Smith News; Our reader Samuel Gordon Stewart has run the temperature data and produced a result that confirms something quite different.

    The Hottest Year, but NOT due to Greenhouse Warming

    Quote Comment from: Luke January 7th, 2014 at 7:18 pm
    “And just add a bit of worst on record local drought after sceptics promised it was all over and would rain for a decade.”

    Still haven’t produced a link showing that “promise” Luke?
    Rain for a decade?

  67. Ken Stewart January 8, 2014 at 11:31 am #

    I’ve just looked at this thread, and Luke @ January 7 at 4.49pm caught my eye.
    I normally wouldn’t bother with such pathetic nonsense but I can’t let this go by.

    “What a joke – now back radiation only occurs at night does it – hahahahahahaha”

    Sorry Luke, what Cohenite actually said was “backradiation CONTINUES at night”. You’re the joke.

    “Pity Ken Stewart is wrong”

    Well if you say so I must be wrong. I get the data straight from BOM- are you saying BOM’s Acorn data are wrong? And the data from 1979-2013 clearly show maxima increasing faster than minima, when that should not be happening.

    “fancy putting 2nd order polynomials the way you’d like it. so crap and so pathetic – what a hoot.”

    The 2nd order polynomials are there only to show the divergence is increasing. Yes, strictly I should stick to linear trends for a 35 year timescale. However 2nd order polynomials fitted to the 104 year record also show that since the mid-1980s the trends have been diverging. For 70 or so years minima indeed were warming faster than maxima, but that has now reversed.
    Now Luke, until you can show why and where I am wrong, you’re the one who is crap and pathetic.

  68. Neville January 8, 2014 at 11:33 am #

    Ezra Levant expands on Germany’s bizarre rushed return to building more brown coal fired power stns. And there is a direct link to the barking mad Green philosphy in their new coal FRENZY.

    Just think they’ve just wasted 100 billion $ on the looney solar and wind disaster but now they have to return to brown coal power or go broke.
    You see the Greens forced them into the S&Wind disaster and now refuse to let them use gas and Nuclear power.
    I’m sure Luke will find solace in this new green forced frenzy for brown coal but sane people can only shake their heads.

  69. toby January 8, 2014 at 11:34 am #

    The climate brigade must seriously think humanity is stupid.
    No warming for 10-17 years from any of the major data sets, despite co2 emissions climbing and yet it is all worse than we thought. How ironic those scientists on “stukalot” got trapped by ice where it didn’t occur for the first scientific adventure. the northern hemisphere is shivering in some record cold whilst australia on average has been warm. Conventiently CAGW zealots believe the ice is there because of climate change and the polar vortex has moved due to co2! as usual how convenient! apparently extreme cold and extra ice don’t disprove CAGW but a warm Australia does?! get real

    there is always an excuse for these shrills.

    how desperate they must be to think statements like the heat is in the oceans below 700m!!….maybe , but probably not, the thermal expansion should see sea level rise accelerating, only it hasn’t been happening at an unusual rate

    remind me how much has the world warmed in 100 years or so? how much does it change intraday?

    we mostly believe in AGW ( a mild warming associated with rising co2) but without the C the doomsayers have nothing except some extreme weather to hang their begging trays to. or for some a cause to help them feel superior and worthwhile.

    And meanwhile all the policy fixes bring lower living standards for no material change to climate.

    Seriously the rich western world has gone mad.

  70. Jennifer Marohasy January 8, 2014 at 11:53 am #


    Much thanks for providing the link to the Michael Smith blog and in particular the spreadsheet developed by Samuel.

    More information at his blog…

    Interestingly he has gone to great effort to add up the values via the Weatherzone website rather than downloading from the BOM. I’m not criticising his approach, its novel and should give a valid average. Its interesting that he comes up with a value so much lower than the BOM’s average… a whole 4 degrees.

    He’s made a few assumptions about the weather stations that the BOM used to calculate their average value which are not necessarily valid… “Given the Bureau are basing their 1.2 degrees above average figure on 100-or-so of the oldest weather stations in Australia” … not exactly. The BOM are basing their average on some specially chosen and appropriately adjusted weather stations would be closer to the mark.

  71. hunter January 8, 2014 at 11:55 am #

    The shameless AGW hypesters are literally trying to get away with renaming the mechanics of why cold air moves out from the poles as a justification for AGW policies. The AGW con-artists are a cynical slimey lot, and rely on stupidity and gullibility to sell their bulldust.
    Polar vortices have been around as long as there have been poles and rotation and air.
    During the great ice age, the hypesters were blaming polar vortices caused by the great ice age of the 1970’s for CAO’s. Now it is the evils of CO2 causing it.
    The simple fact that the vortices wobble and allow cold air to move south is another inconvenient truth the climate kooks have to explain away.
    All the attempts to pretend that these CAO’s are different from the ice age CAO’s and are different from the CAO’s that have existed as long as there has been cold air over the poles, is just post hoc bullshit for gullible loons like our trolls here to lap up and regurgitate on demand.

  72. richardcfromnz January 8, 2014 at 12:11 pm #

    >”Why formalise anything?”

    Formalization is fine if the amount of natural climate fluctuation is correctly assessed – it wasn’t.

    ‘Climate Expert von Storch: Why Is Global Warming Stagnating?’

    SPIEGEL: How long will it still be possible to reconcile such a pause in global warming with established climate forecasts?

    Storch: If things continue as they have been, in five years, at the latest, we will need to acknowledge that something is fundamentally wrong with our climate models. A 20-year pause in global warming does not occur in a single modeled scenario. But even today, we are finding it very difficult to reconcile actual temperature trends with our expectations.

    SPIEGEL: What could be wrong with the models?

    Storch: There are two conceivable explanations — and neither is very pleasant for us. The first possibility is that less global warming is occurring than expected because greenhouse gases, especially CO2, have less of an effect than we have assumed. This wouldn’t mean that there is no man-made greenhouse effect, but simply that our effect on climate events is not as great as we have believed. The other possibility is that, in our simulations, we have underestimated how much the climate fluctuates owing to natural causes.

    SPIEGEL: That sounds quite embarrassing for your profession, if you have to go back and adjust your models to fit with reality…

    Storch: Why? That’s how the process of scientific discovery works. There is no last word in research, and that includes climate research. It’s never the truth that we offer, but only our best possible approximation of reality. But that often gets forgotten in the way the public perceives and describes our work.

    SPIEGEL: But it has been climate researchers themselves who have feigned a degree of certainty even though it doesn’t actually exist. For example, the IPCC announced with 95 percent certainty that humans contribute to climate change.

    Storch: And there are good reasons for that statement. We could no longer explain the considerable rise in global temperatures observed between the early 1970s and the late 1990s with natural causes. My team at the Max Planck Institute for Meteorology, in Hamburg, was able to provide evidence in 1995 of humans’ influence on climate events. Of course, that evidence presupposed that we had correctly assessed the amount of natural climate fluctuation. Now that we have a new development, we may need to make adjustments.

    SPIEGEL: In which areas do you need to improve the models?

    Storch: Among other things, there is evidence that the oceans have absorbed more heat than we initially calculated. Temperatures at depths greater than 700 meters (2,300 feet) appear to have increased more than ever before. The only unfortunate thing is that our simulations failed to predict this effect.

    SPIEGEL: That doesn’t exactly inspire confidence.

    Storch: Certainly the greatest mistake of climate researchers has been giving the impression that they are declaring the definitive truth. The end result is foolishness along the lines of the climate protection brochures recently published by Germany’s Federal Environmental Agency under the title “Sie erwärmt sich doch” (“The Earth is getting warmer”). Pamphlets like that aren’t going to convince any skeptics. It’s not a bad thing to make mistakes and have to correct them. The only thing that was bad was acting beforehand as if we were infallible. By doing so, we have gambled away the most important asset we have as scientists: the public’s trust. We went through something similar with deforestation, too — and then we didn’t hear much about the topic for a long time.

    SPIEGEL: Does this throw the entire theory of global warming into doubt?

    Storch: I don’t believe so. We still have compelling evidence of a man-made greenhouse effect. There is very little doubt about it. But if global warming continues to stagnate, doubts will obviously grow stronger.

  73. handjive of January 8, 2014 at 12:45 pm #

    Thanks Ms J, but all the thanks goes to folk like you, Ken, young Sam, John Sayer, Warwick Hughes, Jonova et al, all the brave volunteers providing the blogs & holding the front line!

  74. bazza January 8, 2014 at 1:17 pm #

    Jen, your Neural Net forecasting paper uses Queensland temperature data without being explicit about what adjustments have been made or which series it is. Given your claim that the books have been cooked, you have therefore used suspect data in your analysis and it would not be possible to verify your analysis. What are your honourable options?

  75. Johnathan Wilkes January 8, 2014 at 1:17 pm #

    “Sie erwärmt sich doch” (“The Earth is getting warmer”).

    sorry to be a pedant but the word “doch” indicates that “The Earth is getting warmer despite the apparent pause in warming”

    They go on saying that it was a lack of surface data from the Arctics that done it!

    But now they have developed a new formula that can interpolate/translate the high altitude temperature increase observed by satellites over the arctics to ground level temperatures, and this changes everything.
    Now we have continuous warming not a hiatus.

    Boy, I wish I could explain my mistakes as easily to my clients?

  76. Graeme M January 8, 2014 at 1:48 pm #

    Re Samuel’s calculations, what is the view of Michael’s criticisms of his method? (See comments by Michael (Tango Delta Alpha) at Michael Smith’s blog:

    I haven’t read Samuel’s blog yet, but Michael (TDA) has suggested his method is flawed.

  77. sp January 8, 2014 at 2:01 pm #

    “Pedersen said climate scientists know the Earth stopped warming 15 years ago. But the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, of which Pedersen is an expert reviewer, suppressed a recent report from its own scientists that the U.N.’s climate model has been proven wrong.

    “In particular one of the issues has been why global warming has stopped during the last 15 years, and climate scientists were very frank that the climate models do not match the climate we observe,” Pedersen said.

    But politicians removed that embarrassing finding from the final draft. It’s as if the alleged danger from climate change can’t be wrong because it is now too important.

    It has become a political movement, a cash cow for climate scientists and environmental groups, and a way for world leaders to control economies and people.”

  78. jennifer January 8, 2014 at 2:06 pm #


    Thanks for your query about our use of Bureau temperature data to run our neural network models.

    The short answer is that we could probably produce even better monthly rainfall forecasts if the “high quality” data from the Bureau that we inputted into our neural network models was reliable.

    As you know, I think the future is in pattern analysis, which is dependent on good historical data. But the Bureau seems to think that the old data is of limited value (perhaps why they are sometimes so ‘rough’ with their adjustments) because the climate is on a new trajectory.

    Indeed history may remember the current data managers as negligent.

    If John Abbot and I had excess time and some employees we might produce our own temperature series. Ken Stewart kindly provided some data earlier this year which I still haven’t run through the models to compare outputs. Everything, as you might imagine, takes time.

    Happy New Year,

  79. jennifer January 8, 2014 at 2:13 pm #

    PS. We detail the particular data sets used in the ‘Material and Methods’ or equivalent sections of our papers. And we also detail how we generated values where there are values missing.

  80. BethCooper January 8, 2014 at 2:21 pm #

    richardcfrom nz @8.56am quotes the IPCC in 2007 …
    there is ‘likely to be a decline in the frequency of cold air outbreaks …
    [in the Northern Hemishere.’]

    Nov 2011 – US recent cold spell, ‘record breaker.’
    2012 ‘another record breaker’.
    2013 more ‘record cold.’
    2014 … ahemm …

    Climate change bringing more and more of those rare cold events mebbe?

  81. Luke January 8, 2014 at 2:29 pm #

    Ken Stewart – your use of 2nd order polys is stats bollocks IMO. Why not try a 4th order ! You’ll get a better fit again.

    As for the back radiation comment – KS – yes back radiation occurs both day and night. Cohenite appeared to be making some irrational logic jumps (BTW he’s not that dense just footloose). The issue is more to do with cloud and radiation during the day and at night.

    As for DTR – don’t be so norty as not to not tell dear reader that it depends where you are

    As for ACORN – well who knows – BoM annoy me too but I’m not into conspiracies – but anyway instead of pot shotting why not get all of ADAM and do an independent analysis. And why not assist with more data punching of the daily archive data. Something useful. I find your ongoing crusade nit picking BoM simply tedious. Tell us something useful for a change. And that comment is well meant. You guys have enough talent and combined resources to show some leadership and not be waging guerrilla warfare.

    Richard – yes we’ve discussed Von Storch – don’t think you can turn up here from out of blue and that much has not already been discussed.

    SPIEGEL: Does this throw the entire theory of global warming into doubt?

    Storch: I don’t believe so.

    And Richard you would know we have clouds, aerosols, decadal oscillations, lower solar output, low sensitivity, lack of Arctic warming measurement, deep ocean heat, and individual GCM instantiations showing this behaviour all as hypotheses/issues – plenty of room for discussion.

    Richard – you might note that I have also put up as to whether scientists should advocate at all in this area – by none other than G Schmidt –

    But more interesting a Hangout with Schmidt, Curry and Betts.

  82. jennifer January 8, 2014 at 2:41 pm #

    Graeme M

    Samuel does what the BOM does, he calculates a single value to represent the difference between temperatures last year (2013) and previous years by averaging maximum and minimum values.

    I’ve only worked with maximum values in the above analysis. Ken Stewart has focused on minimum values.

    I’ve attempted to post comment at Michael Smith’s blog but my comment seemed to get eaten.

  83. toby January 8, 2014 at 2:44 pm #

    I just went looking for the Maurice newman article “crowds go cold on climate cost” ( so that I could send a copy to a friend. The first page of searches does not even bring you to the article…instead I am led to numerous pages slamming the article by the likes of the ABC and the Guardian. Big brother is alive and well

  84. Neville January 8, 2014 at 2:52 pm #

    Another study showing a colder period in NZ during the LIA.

  85. Luke January 8, 2014 at 3:12 pm #

    Well Maurice has just been told by the Libs to get out neutralise the very inconvenient Aussie warmest year. And why not use the well know “War on Science” paper of choice to spruik his selective dross.

    And about to bite big time on the coffers and all so inconvenient also is the surging drought and the assistance needed (back again !)

  86. Johnathan Wilkes January 8, 2014 at 3:19 pm #

    “I am led to numerous pages slamming the article by the likes of the ABC and the Guardian. Big brother is alive and well”

    I wouldn’t read too much into that Toby, once the ABC picked it up for comments, not many, if any ppl would go back to the original article.
    They simply rely on the excerpts provided by the ABC .

    It’s all down to hits, more hits the higher you are in the search order, unless of course you pay Google to keep you on top in your category.

    I doubt the ABC is doing that.

  87. Luke January 8, 2014 at 3:23 pm #

    And of course the record heat will make the drought worse. Totally inconvenient. Incidentally some harsh commentary here from Crikey. Be interested to here what our laissez faire economic types here think.

    Sort of a bit like the car industry isn’t it.

    And if it is Dalrymple shire (Charters Towers) as the video says – if the drought breaks in a deluge all that topsoil ends up in the Great Barrier Reef Lagoon.

    But it’s all good isn’t it? You tell me it is….

  88. Luke January 8, 2014 at 3:27 pm #

    Sorry wasn’t video said it was Charters Towers – was here with more story

  89. Robert January 8, 2014 at 3:57 pm #

    Drought and flood in Australia! ABC and Crikey fretting or wagging the finger! Welcome to the Old Normal.

  90. Ken Stewart January 8, 2014 at 4:02 pm #

    Your love for pretty maps is exceeded only by your love of shooting yourself in the foot. The link shows DTR 1970-2013, whereas I have been looking at what has been happening since the mid-1980s.
    As well, the pretty map shows a couple of other things- northern Australia’s DTR has been decreasing since 1970 by up to 0.4C per decade in a couple of places, while the bulk of southern Australia DTR has been increasing by up to 0.6C per decade over some larger areas; also you’ll note the ‘bullseyes’ which demonstrate the limited data in large areas, and showing individual sites warming/cooling faster/slower than surrounding ones hundreds of km away.
    Seeing as you’re interested, I’ve had a look at the 1970-2013 data and again, Tmax trend is steeper than Tmin. DTR linear trend is +0.2C in 44 years.
    Re 2nd order polynomials- you express an opinion-‘bollocks’- but nothing to back it up. So just your opinion. (Have you read the Acorn technical papers- oddly enough they use polynomials too.)

  91. DaveMyFace January 8, 2014 at 4:40 pm #


    Another great source and you added also:
    “And if it is Dalrymple shire (Charters Towers) as the video says – if the drought breaks in a deluge all that topsoil ends up in the Great Barrier Reef Lagoon. But it’s all good isn’t it? You tell me it is…”

    So Luke, expert on North Queensland, where does the water flow from the majority of Dalrymple?

    Please check, there is an obvious answer, and it’s not the Great Barrier Reef Lagoon.

  92. cohenite January 8, 2014 at 5:46 pm #

    “Cohenite appeared to be making some irrational logic jumps (BTW he’s not that dense just footloose).”

    Maybe you just misread what I said. The IPP AR4, Figure 3.2 predicts a decrease in DTR and at the link provides some reasons for that, although they escaped me; perhaps you could clarify:

    Do you really object to Ken using a 2nd Poly to deal with DTR? What about over-fitting? Ken has looked at jumps in the data so the smoothing of the 2nd does not preclude that analysis; are you saying that DTR is decreasing?

  93. DaveMyFace January 8, 2014 at 6:35 pm #


    Where did you get this quote:

    “And if it is Dalrymple shire (Charters Towers) as the video says – if the drought breaks in a deluge all that topsoil ends up in the Great Barrier Reef Lagoon.”

    Not in any article, video or the ABC one. ?????

    Did you just make this up?

  94. Luke January 8, 2014 at 7:01 pm #

    Into the Burdekin catchment, but if you’re implying Lake Dalrymple – no the fines go straight over the wall ! Compelling geochemistry.

    Ken Stewart – use of polynomials needs some statistical a priori justification not just that you’d like to use them. As I said why not go to a higher order? Curve fitting can be simply stats wishing. However if you can a priori justify a reason (not that it gives you the answer I want at the end point ) fair enuff. I don’t see why you should. Put a few more years on your graph and the trend may reverse. Extrapolating out of the data bounds is problematic.

    I’m saying that from 1970s it’s a mixed picture with DTR in Australia – well from BoM’s map. So doing whole of Australian averages may be quite misleading even from 1985 – you need a spatial map as well as some cloud interpretation. What’s the average of boiling water and freezing – just nice but not representative of either.

    Same sort of games can be played with MDB rainfall stats. A spatial map gives a different interpretation to a whole of basin time series. Also Australia for that matter.

  95. cohenite January 8, 2014 at 7:09 pm #

    Luke, I know you’re playing a lone hand here but that last post was very amusing.; tragically so.

  96. Luke January 8, 2014 at 7:12 pm #

    Cohenite – only if you’re a stats ninny and we know by now you are.

  97. DaveMyFace January 8, 2014 at 8:26 pm #


    1st go: “all that topsoil ends up in the Great Barrier Reef Lagoon”
    2nd go: “no the fines go straight over the wall”

    Get your facts straight. Which one is it?

    1st paper: 6.4 & 6.5 are mainly regarding Lower Burdekin catchment areas. Plus it also states that: “The Burdekin Falls Dam now traps more than 50% of the mean-annual fine sediment between 0.5 and 30 μm, all course trapped ”

    Seems your first comment was just alarmism (maybe inferring CAGW again) or lies and your 2nd one out by 50%. James Cook Uni has some good courses on soil movement in North Queensland.

    2nd paper: Luke – section 3.8 talks nothing about sediment was over the Burdekin Dam, but it does say the cattle numbers were approaching record numbers as of 2008. What are you doing?

    Why don’t you just come out and say that you made up the 1st comment, that topsoil washes straight into the Great Barrier Reef. Research 1st Luke, don’t play catch up.

  98. Luke January 8, 2014 at 8:58 pm #

    Don’t play games Dave – check out the ground cover – a duh – zilch ! Apply universal soil loss equation and drought breaking rain with no cover or simply watch ! Have you seen Burdekin soil wash away in low cover – it’s vivid.

    Of course not all is above the dam. Some below too.

    And don’t verbal me – I keep telling you not to. CAGW? Los Ninos events x domestic stock in the Burdekin have contributed 5x-10x pre-European loads to the reef already. CAGW ? Wait for it “we’re not there yet or just arriving” – I hadn’t even speculated about a change in frequency. But hey let’s do that while we’re here.

    Cai, W., S. Borlace, M. Lengaigne, P. van Rensch, M. Collins, G. Vecchi, A. Timmermann, A. Santoso, M. McPhaden, L. Wu, M. H. England, G. Wang, E. Guilyardi, and F.-F. Jin, 2013: Increasing frequency of extreme El Nino events due to greenhouse warming. Nature Climate Change, in press.

    Late-twentieth-century emergence of the El Niño propagation asymmetry and future projections
    Agus Santoso, Shayne McGregor, Fei-Fei Jin, Wenju Cai, Matthew H. England, Soon-Il An, Michael J. McPhaden & Eric Guilyardi
    Nature 504, 126–130 (05 December 2013)

    But back to it

    “The Burdekin Falls Dam now traps more than
    50% of the mean-annual fine sediment between 0.5 and 30 μm; however,
    the silt and clay sized fractions of suspended sediment, which cause high
    sedimentation stress in corals (Weber et al., 2006), can move through
    reservoirs (Lewis et al., 2013) and be transported to coastal coral reefs
    during flood events (Bainbridge et al., 2012). Whilst it is estimated that
    the Burdekin Dam has reduced the total sediment load from the Burdekin
    River by ~35% (Lewis et al., 2009), modelling suggests that it is still
    several times higher than the pre-European load (Kroon et al., 2012).”

    If you think you know better than the authors of the paper including JCU experts I’m rolling round the floor laughing. Really matey get minimally updated. They’d be doing the course. HAHAHAHAHAHAHA

    Dave put you Mum on – you’re not very good.

  99. DaveMyFace January 8, 2014 at 9:06 pm #


    Waffle, waffle waffle……..No reference to your fib Luke, so you did make it up:

    “if the drought breaks in a deluge all that topsoil ends up in the Great Barrier Reef Lagoon”

    Best laugh for a long time Luke. Catastrophic alarmism again.

    Where did you get that statement from? Your imagination.

  100. Luke January 8, 2014 at 9:13 pm #

    Is that Mum or Dave – sorry Mum he was pooned like a newb !

  101. sp January 8, 2014 at 9:24 pm #

    How Luke operates:

    “38 Ways to Win an Argument from Arthur Schopenhauer’s The Art of Controversy”

    Some samples:

    14. Try to bluff your opponent. If he or she has answered several of your questions without the answers turning out in favor of your conclusion, advance your conclusion triumphantly, even if it does not follow. If your opponent is shy or stupid, and you yourself possess a great deal of impudence and a good voice, the technique may succeed.

    36. You may also puzzle and bewilder your opponent by mere bombast. If your opponent is weak or does not wish to appear as if he has no idea what you are talking about, you can easily impose upon him some argument that sounds very deep or learned, or that sounds indisputable.

    38. Become personal, insulting and rude as soon as you perceive that your opponent has the upper hand. In becoming personal you leave the subject altogether, and turn your attack on the person by remarks of an offensive and spiteful character. This is a very popular technique, because it takes so little skill to put it into effect.

    Says a lot about Luke’s skill level.

  102. Neville January 8, 2014 at 10:27 pm #

    Here is an historic interview by Michael Smith of Bob Kernohan, former president of the AWU in Vic.
    All the scum in this union particularly Bruce Wilson and his then girlfriend Julia Gillard feature as well as Bill Shorten. Everyone tried to cover up all the fraud and corruption and nearly got away with it.
    Shortly afterwards Kernohan was bashed by union thugs because he was trying to expose all the fraud,blackmail and corruption within the union. What gutsy people Kernohan, Smith and Blewitt are and we all owe them a lot. They remind me of Kathy Jackson of the Health Services Union who had to suffer Shorten’s abuse as well.

  103. Neville January 9, 2014 at 7:19 am #

    Judith Curry on the Polar Vortex. Is it caused by AGW or does it disprove AGW. NO and NO.

  104. davefromweewaa January 9, 2014 at 7:20 am #

    While I wouldn’t suggest that there is no problem or that improvements couldn’t be made in the Burdekin Luke, how do they know it’s 5 to 10 times worse than pre European times? Isn’t it a fact that Australian dust has been landing on New Zealand’s glaciers since the dreamtime? If that’s the case, if it was dry enough to blow dust one week and flooding rains the next you would get dirty floodwater, Europeans or not.
    What would you do about it if you owned a cattle station up there Luke ?

  105. Luke January 9, 2014 at 7:55 am #

    DaveFromWeeWaa – see section 4 here for the answer to your question. I think the evidence is more than considerable.

    But not saying these systems don’t have a background erosion rate either, in case you thought I was suggesting pre-European was crystal clear water.

    What to do about it is both simple and difficult. Comes down to matching the available or future grass resource with animal numbers (cattle in the current context) and maintaining ground cover. So stocking rate and destocking in drought. Additionally riparian areas can be fenced off to reduce stream bank erosion, however that’s also expensive and some of the best country.

    If it’s that simple why don’t people do it – well drought creeps up and people, expectation after good seasons, and quite often the amount of money needed to repay loans and service debt. Then if drought looks to be widespread there are enough people wanting to sell animals and the saturated market won’t give good returns. So reduced desire to sell. Do increased drought subsidies assist graziers or make the problem worse is a thorny question. So it would be good to have a seasonal rainfall forecast that warns of such events ahead of time. But that would require science, technology and some encouragement of climate researchers (which you wouldn’t get reading comments on here would you).

    So succinctly – maintaining ground cover, managing animal numbers, managing grazing pressure (fencing on land types, off stream watering), destocking strategy for droughts.

    But the above may only prevent the problem becoming worse. There’s a growing concern that there’s enough land in D condition to keep the current sediment issue going for many decades, which simple grazing management won’t change.

    I’m not being alarmist – the drought/grazingland degradation issue has been going for 100 years or more. But Bos indicus yaks are now very resilient and don’t die quickly in drought. They’re designed tough. Tougher than the landscape it seems. The Burdekin is now a well research problem with existing climate variability. Contemplation of an increased El Nino event frequency (current debate) is a serious concern. Happened 1991-1995.

    Anyway all off topic from a quip that DaveMyFace took exception to.

  106. Luke January 9, 2014 at 8:02 am #

    Oh and DaveFromWeeWaa – obviously the current Qld drought is not an El Nino driven drought – so forecasting of these type of occurrences is probably not a strong suite of the current technologies which are very ENSO indicator focussed. Which of course BoM may assert that a GCM like POAMA as having a more comprehensive capability (well so they say). Ask Jen how her neural nets work on non-ENSO droughts.

  107. cohenite January 9, 2014 at 8:17 am #

    Oh no! Luke has linked to his good mate Cai and his buddies, who are still bundling and tossing out paper after paper about how ENSO has been possessed by AGW and is now turning into an asymmetrical monster. It’s going to be a warmer world folks because there are going to be more and bigger El Ninos and poor little cousin, La Nina, is going to disappear.

    And it’s all due to AGW! Holy Polar vortex! Can you guys make up your minds? Are we going to experience super El Ninos or super Polar Vortexes?

    Now unlike luke who just drops these papers here without a word except for some snark, once again I have to show how problematic his little friend Cai and his buddies are.

    ENSO asymmetry has been around for a long time:

    All this before AGW!.

    On the one hand the Khider et al paper concludes “the strength/frequency of ENSO, as inferred from the spread of the δ18O distributions, during the MCA and during the LIA was not statistically distinguishable and was comparable to that of the 20th century,” but they write that their results suggest that “ENSO during the MCA was skewed toward stronger/more frequent La Niña than El Niño,” an observation that they note is “consistent with the medieval megadroughts documented from sites in western North America.”

    But the LIA, a cooler period, they conclude was characterized by an increase in the strength/frequency of ENSO events compared to the MCA and the 20th century. And they acknowledge that whereas the MCA was skewed toward “stronger/more frequent La Niña than El Niño” in their reconstruction, they indicate that the studies of Moy et al. (2002) and Conroy et al. (2008) “show an increase in the frequency of El Niño events during this time period.”

    So, their modelling cannot distinguish real-world reconstructions of the effects of mean global temperature on the ratio of El Ninos to La Ninas!

    At least they are honest enough to admit it.

    Okumura’s 2011 paper reaches a similar conclusion to Cai but offers a reason, unlike Cai, for the increase in El Ninos which is an increase in SSTs:

    Have SSTs been increasing? No; so Cai’s asymmetry thesis is a dud.

  108. Luke January 9, 2014 at 8:38 am #

    Just love it when Cohenite critiques papers he hasn’t read. And doing quite his sharing of verballing. That’s why they just laugh at you mate.

  109. cohenite January 9, 2014 at 8:48 am #

    Well, since I didn’t read the thing, it should be easy to explain where I went wrong.

  110. Minister for Common Sense January 9, 2014 at 9:15 am #

    That intellectual knucklehead Big L, criticising anyone for not reading a paper before citing it, is the best piece of pot calling….. ever.

    Must be the standard in the Qld PS…pity on the poor tax payers up there if true.

    Too much sun mate…. far too much.

    Put Joe on, he was smarter, even smarter than your mum.

  111. Luke January 9, 2014 at 9:27 am #

    errrr “in press” hahahahahahaha

  112. Luke January 9, 2014 at 9:28 am #

    and it was Joh doofus

  113. cohenite January 9, 2014 at 10:05 am #

    You knucklehead luke, only ONE of the papers you linked to is in press; the other isn’t:

    That’s the one I critiqued. So go ahead, it’s all there. Do that and we’ll get back to the Mills analysis:

    Mills concludes:

    “Which of the alternatives should be chosen? Do you adopt a carefully
    specified univariate or transfer function model that, because of its
    property of adapting quickly to current movements in the series,
    essentially is unable to deliver much of an increase in forecasted
    temperatures; do you choose a simpler trend break model in which, the
    breaks are a consequence of presumably rare and large changes in key
    external forcing factors; or do you explicitly model the long-run,
    cointegrating relationship between temperatures and emissions or, more
    generally, radiative forcing, that is based on the hypothesis that changes
    in such variables, influenced in part by human activity, generate changes
    in temperatures. Statistical arguments alone are unlikely to settle issues
    such as these, but neither are appeals to only physical models or the
    output of computer simulations of coupled general circulation models.”

    Stockwell and many others have used a “break model” simple or otherwise. Your buddy Cai uses allegedly coupled GCMs; which do you prefer?

  114. Luke January 9, 2014 at 10:10 am #

    Break models – no insight stats hooey.

  115. cohenite January 9, 2014 at 10:35 am #

    Oh oh, luke’s in Turing machine mode.

  116. Neville January 9, 2014 at 1:51 pm #

    More evidence from another study in Argentina showing a MWP and LIA. Once again not just NH but SH as well.

  117. Neville January 9, 2014 at 2:22 pm #

    Another study from Antarctica shows a warmer MWP and a LIA that occur about the same time as the NH.,000_years_at_the_Poles

    Dated remains of Elephant seals show they lived much further south than they could today during the warmer MWP.

  118. Ken Stewart January 9, 2014 at 3:15 pm #

    Luke, attempting to reason with you is becoming tedious. Re polynomials: did you read what I said? And NO trend line, polynomial or linear, can be extrapolated into the future.
    You are still fixated on the 1970-2013 pretty map (probably because you don’t know how to download and analyse the raw data.) I’ve gone even further back in the past looking for minima increasing faster than maxima i.e. decreasing DTR. Guess what- pre-1946. Any linear trend from 1947 on shows DTR increasing. Perhaps the pretty maps give a misleading impression?
    Of course climate is not the same across Australia, it behaves differently in different regions. But this post was about 2013 being a hot year for Australia as a whole. You didn’t see me arguing that 2013 was not as hot in XYZ therefore Australia couldn’t have been so hot. I agree, going by Acorn (and UAH) 2013 was hot. So stick with the big picture Luke- the DTR trend suggests this is not due to greenhouse warming. DTR is not decreasing in the Australian region because DTR in southern Australia is increasing much faster than it is decreasing in northern Australia, since 1947.
    By the way, according to BOM time series data, Australian winters are NOT warming faster than summers, not since 1910.
    And according to UAH, the south polar region, and in particular Australia’s bases, are NOT warming faster than the tropics.
    There go three indicators of greenhouse warming- minima increasing faster than maxima, winters warming faster than summers, and polar regions warming faster than the tropics.
    In a large part of the Southern Hemisphere, the evidence suggests that warming is not due to increases in greenhouse gas emissions.

  119. Luke January 9, 2014 at 4:22 pm #

    It’s not “pretty maps” – it’s a spatial analysis.

    For example – what would the Australian average of this map be …

    Would it inform you about the big differences in current ground conditions across the nation. I think not.

    Does this time series inform you about SW WA

    or does this map

    As for DTR – so must have been major changes since 1990’s then ! So have you critiqued previous published literature. Or at least put in context?

    And if there are major DTR trend differences across Australia you owe it to your readers to inform them.

    And how have you analysed the raw data – area weighted or ??

    Why would the Antarctic be warming faster than the tropics. There are very good circulation patterns that prevent it. Silly statement and a whole literature ignored by you.

    It’s incredibly amateurish that sceptics either focus on thermodynamics and ignore atmospheric dynamics. Ignore previous literature and make simplistic pronouncements.

    As for polynomials – what was your a priori reason for your using polynomials in Figure 2 except that you dredged around till you found a better story? What’s your a priori reason for thinking that those curves are appropriate. One up one down?

    Your words “And the divergence is increasing:” is a future oriented comment despite you caveat about extrapolation.

    Ask any serious statistician about choice of curve type ….

  120. Luke January 9, 2014 at 4:39 pm #

    Again publication that 20th century Australian DTR trend is decreasing.

  121. sp January 9, 2014 at 4:57 pm #

    Reasoning with Luke is tedious:

    7. State your proposition and show the truth of it by asking the opponent many questions. By asking many wide-reaching questions at once, you may hide what you want to get admitted. Then you quickly propound the argument resulting from the opponent’s admissions.

    Luke – always asking questions, never giving answers!!!

  122. Robert January 9, 2014 at 4:59 pm #

    If you really want to scare people, show ’em a flaming red map of Qld indicating how much rain they did NOT get in the Fed drought, especially 1901-3. If there’s enough red left, show ’em 1918-20. Just don’t tell ’em when it all happened and say it’s a TREND.

    A good millennarian is only limited by his imagination and his coloured pencils.

  123. Johnathan Wilkes January 9, 2014 at 5:07 pm #


    Karoly, Luke?

    can we play ad hom too or is it your exclusive domain?

    Yes, I’ve read it regardless just in case and I find that they’ve taken too many liberties with data estimation.

    Read it yourself too Luke and tell us what you really think of it

  124. Luke January 9, 2014 at 5:42 pm #

    Well they’ve taken too many liberties – wow – so usually that is following with a sentence that starts ” because ….” If it was an ad hom I would have called you a dickhead. e.g. sp
    Actually it was sceptics that taught me to ad hom (seriously!).

    Robert – didn’t say it’s a trend. All droughts are unique and clearly the Federation drought is the granddaddy for severity and coverage. Lotsa red. But worst on record patches are still worst on record. Interesting for an anecdote aficionado. And for an anecdote addict surely a sneaky little local regional feller drought with no ENSO driver should be fascinating to you? And BoM care about your education

    sp – I’m sorry it’s a bit hard for your 2 neurons. Upgrade the 8088 to a Pentium perhaps?

  125. Robert January 9, 2014 at 6:09 pm #

    Supe, I hope I don’t have to go through once again just how juvenile it is to treat ENSO, a rough observation set, as a mechanism or driver. Do I really have to list all the droughts and drought years that lacked an “ENSO driver”? You and I and Davy Jones have something in common: none of us has the faintest idea what rain will or won’t fall in the coming years. But we can at least be aware of what rain did or did not fall in the past. I could raise the 1939 La Nina drought and scorcher, but you’ll just say “it’s complex”. Actually, it is complex…but you’ll be saying it as a a debating ploy.

    Sometimes severe El Nino and severe effects come together as a simple equation for Oz, as in the early 1790s and 1983. More often, the equation is far from simple. Drop your kiddie console of forcings and drivers…and use your loaf.

  126. Luke January 9, 2014 at 6:40 pm #

    What use your loaf and kayak through the forest. This is Robby when he’s a bit sick of science talk and wants to have a folksy yarn and a bit of a whinge. On the gate post – yea maaaattteee !

    So Robby would like to say after 100 years we know nothing about ENSO and anti-ENSO. Warm pools, cold pools, sub-surface, Walker circulation, SOI – nah all bullshit. We don’t know nuttin about nuttin. Nothing is known. High pressure, low pressure, troughs, fronts – all bullshit. Just use your loaf. What dreadful nihilism.

    The Las Ninas that don’t fire are quite interesting if you look at the drivers in place. But you’d rather not know. 1964-65 fizzer – absence of the easterly dip over Queensland?

    So Robby – if ya had a big La Nina out there or a big El Nino would you lower that dam level for extra flood buffer or not? Robby would go “nah let’s just have a bit of a yarn, spin a few stories”

    I can now appreciate how being an anti-science type comes so easy.

  127. Johnathan Wilkes January 9, 2014 at 6:44 pm #

    You beat me to it Robert, I was going to comment on Luke’s latest fascination with ENSO as well.

    Luke, it’s a phenomena that happens and we only recognised it as such a relatively short time ago, and is still not quite well understood how it comes into being. We have some very good educated guesses but that’s all.

    Don’t base every weather event on it please!

  128. Johnathan Wilkes January 9, 2014 at 6:49 pm #

    “after 100 years “ Luke?

    We attribute some events to it that happened that long ago!
    There could have been a 100 other causes, you are going overboard again.

  129. Luke January 9, 2014 at 6:57 pm #

    Now wer’re in full anti science swing. Yes let’s ignore a massive paleo literature on ENSO? We don’t know nuttin about nuttin. BTW the Earth is 6000 years old.

  130. DaveMyFace January 9, 2014 at 7:05 pm #


    “if ya had a big La Nina out there or a big El Nino would you lower that dam level for extra flood buffer or not? ”

    What would you do? The same as in 2011? Did BOM have any input into the release times for Wivenhoe Dam? Aren’t you now talking weather, not climate?

  131. Luke January 9, 2014 at 7:20 pm #

    Jeez here we go for 100 comments. As I understand it the new rules allow a preemptive reduction in the full supply level (100% out of 225% odd totally full down to 75% full. As an extra flood buffer. What would I do. If catchment was wet and control panel knobs that Robert hates said La Niña was very strong I would lower it. Get it wrong of course and go into a drought and you’ve just flushed millions away. But yea I answered your question.

  132. Luke January 9, 2014 at 7:22 pm #

    And sorry that was in the context of not being in an operational flood event i.e a preemptive decision ahead of a potential flood occurring

  133. Robert January 9, 2014 at 7:23 pm #

    Supercell, you think I’d rather not know? I’d love to know…but I won’t pretend to know. Sorry. I’ll have to talk here about stuff which actually happened, which is apparently alien to what our Green Betters call “science”.

    Walker and the fisheries people who worked on PDO did not labour in vain. When you have a rough but handy set of indicators you make use of it (as Deb and I would likely do.) You do not put it into the hands of potty and politicised climate evangelists and let them make decisions in the absence of prudence, experience and commonsense.

    There have been maybe half a dozen years since the late 1880s when most of the continent was free of drought. In some La Nina years there have been major droughts (NT 1892-3, south and west of continent 1950-1, very widespread drought after rain 1964-5 etc etc). Remember, the biggest wet we know of, that of 1950, occurred all in the wrong months, blocked off rain for the centre and west of the continent…and then ended with a drought in the very months which are supposed to be the wet ones. Thanks, La Nina! Curiously, my patch was not affected much by the two biggest El Ninos, while those “weaks” of the Fed Drought and 2003 were crippling. Climate change!

    You have a set of indicators. You use it and improve it. But you have to be able to watch and use your loaf.

  134. Luke January 9, 2014 at 7:37 pm #

    “But you have to be able to watch and use your loaf.”

    Yup all those people in BoM with maths and physics degrees can’t do that? It would be a control knob or something.

    I don’t know what you saying Robert. Maybe you want to make decisions on exceptionalism. I really am mystified. So why do you think the Queensland drought is where it is – besides the lack of rain as an obvious smart answer.

  135. Luke January 9, 2014 at 7:38 pm #

    And why is it important – well producers seem to be “surprised” ! People are hurting.

  136. Johnathan Wilkes January 9, 2014 at 7:45 pm #

    I would be the last one to denigrate any scientist because I disagree with them.

    But I tell you this Luke, sometimes you can stand too close to the problem to see the bigger picture.
    Degrees and PHDs notwithstanding, specially if you are surrounded by like minded colleagues.

  137. Robert January 9, 2014 at 7:50 pm #

    “So why do you think the Queensland drought is where it is – besides the lack of rain as an obvious smart answer.”

    Do you really want a list of Qld droughts in neutral years? Starting in 1899-90? Or are you just making noise to save face?

    Use loaf. Which does not exclude maths, physics or any other discipline. Just use you loaf, supe.

  138. Luke January 9, 2014 at 8:20 pm #

    Yes a good answer to the question would be to give a list of previous droughts. Why don’t you just do that.

  139. Ken Stewart January 9, 2014 at 8:24 pm #

    Luke, you seem to have a death wish- you just can’t wait for another chance to make a fool of yourself.
    If I sound like I’m losing patience it’s because I am. See posts from sp, robert, johnathon after yours above.
    “spatial analysis”: you don’t say!
    Yes, there have been MAJOR changes since the 1990s, not just in Australia but across the world. Notice the big fluctuations in DTR at the right hand end? That’s what has changed the DTR trend such that for 67 years there is now no trend. Back in the 1990s there was a big decreasing trend- extrapolating from that or any end point would cause problems.
    No, identifying trend differences across Australia adds nothing to discussion of the national trend. Analysing different regions separately (as I have indicated I will do) will add further detail later. We are talking about Australian average temperatures here, not how Bullamakanka is different from Woop-Woop.
    And, my goodness, what a probing question- have I area weighted the data in my analysis. Well Luke old chap, if you care to follow the links to the raw data that BOM provides, you will see for example that annual DTR is calculated from annual max less annual min, and those figures are the annual mean temperatures for Australia calculated by BOM. So are BOM’s figures area weighted or not?
    The polar regions should be warming faster than the tropics because climate scientists say they should e.g. Karl Braganza for one says that’s a unique indicator of greenhouse warming. Perhaps you should read a bit more.
    Still on about polynomials I see; divergence increasing is not a future comment but a description of what has been happening up to now.
    As you seem to be the resident expert on every topic perhaps you should start your own blog. Whatever you do never doubt what Steffen, Karoly, Jones, Flannery et al tell you.
    Now this thread has moved on to bigger and better things so I will leave you to your single handed demolition of logic and reason. Over and out.

  140. Robert January 9, 2014 at 9:07 pm #

    I’ll take ’em one by one, Supe, as long as you need examples. 1901-2 was a neutral year. How bad was the drought and heat then? How low was Qld rainfall in that year, regardless of how low it was in the succeeding (weak) El NIno year? Stock perishing and people suffering? (Yes, we know about suffering due to drought, and we know producers hurt when drought occurs. Can’t be any other way, can it? No need to remind us of that. We just don’t want to help by crippling industry and sending off billions to the EU shonks.)

    “Maybe you want to make decisions on exceptionalism.” Can’t comment definitely because I’m not sure what you mean. (Sometimes you seem to garble your meaning deliberately.) Do I think warmies are trying constantly to set up a case for modern climate exceptionalism? Is that the question? If so, the answer, sadly, is yes.

    Give me your thoughts on the neutral year 1901-2 in Qld and then we’ll pick another one. Or what about a neutral year with high rainfall over most of the country? 1983-4? Or the El Nino that parched Qld but soaked the whole south of the continent in an arc. Or…but you get my meaning.

    By the way, if there was a wet catchment and strong La Nina indicated I would not ignore the wet catchment or the strong indicators. Strong indicators are worth considering. Because they’re strong indicators. Just so you know.

  141. jennifer January 9, 2014 at 9:52 pm #

    Just deleted the last two comments. Can we try and keep the discussions civil. I’m not even asking for on-topic. Cheers,

  142. sp January 9, 2014 at 10:03 pm #

    Global warming will cause increased cold weather:

  143. cohenite January 9, 2014 at 10:17 pm #

    Ken is published luke.

    Your Karoly and Braganza paper is simply an example of end point fallacy. It was written in 2004 dealing with early data which showed a marginal decrease in DTR. Since then there has been a marked increase in DTR right at the time of an exponential increase in CO2 and supposedly increasing AGW.

    Ken’s analysis is correct and that increase in DTR is a major rebuttal of AGW.

  144. Ian George January 10, 2014 at 7:16 am #

    ‘I have no particular opinion on the reliability of the Charleville ACORN data as I do not have access to the unadjusted Charleville data before 1948.’

    Not sure if this helps (have I misunderstood what you want?).

  145. Debbie January 10, 2014 at 11:16 am #

    Luke !!!!!!

    “And why is it important – well producers seem to be “surprised” ! People are hurting.”

    I don’t think you understand at all.

    Producers were not “surprised”. They are ANNOYED and FRUSTRATED that BoM is pretending there was nothing wrong with their 80% probability of ‘wetter than average’ forecast for Winter/Spring 2013 in Eastern Australia. . .and that even though it turned out to be a seasonal DROUGHT for much of Eastern Australia (which does NOT mean ‘drier than average’) . . . that they’re claiming their forecast was still RIGHT(!) (or maybe NOT WRONG!). . .and that we should all be REALLY IMPRESSED WITH AND GRATEFUL FOR their improved seasonal forecasting abilities.

    I think the ONLY people who were SURPRISED that the forecasts were off. . .was BoM.

    People are indeed hurting. . .but NOT because they had a great deal of confidence in BoM’s seasonal forecasting ability.
    They’re hurting because they had a seasonal DROUGHT . . .which ALWAYS hurts!

  146. Luke January 10, 2014 at 2:54 pm #

    Debbie don’t talk rot – unless you’re from Winton or Hughenden you wouldn’t know. Graziers are surprised or they wouldn’t be in trouble. The intensity is unexpected for whatever reason – lulled in higher expectations from previous record seasons? Worst on record at some locations. Much in decile one or worse over 18 months. And emergency drilling for water supply in northern Queensland.

    80% is not 100%. It means 20% of years do not go that way. We know by now that you are clueless on probabilities and take these % numbers as confidence. There is no right or wrong on a single throw of the dice (one season). But I imagine BoM are unhappy for that result on a first outing. But means nothing – you need about 10 years worth to claim it’s crap. And if numbers are 80% – it means 80 years in a 100 will go that way but 20 won’t? Capeesh?

  147. Debbie January 10, 2014 at 4:42 pm #

    Rubbish Luke,
    You are merely playing semanics and pretending you’re not talking rubbish.

  148. Luke January 10, 2014 at 6:04 pm #

    Debbie as I said you are clueless about these forecast systems and won’t be told. So please please stop using them. You’re not up to it. No semantics. Precise comment.

  149. Debbie January 10, 2014 at 8:25 pm #

    BS Luke,
    you are pretending that BoM seasonal forecasts are robust and useful. . . and that producers should be using them as a high priority management tool.
    News flash for you. . . they’re not. . . and they don’t!
    However. . . as I have commented SOOOooooooo many times. . . There will be no one happier than producers when BoM really do get better at this paricular skill. . .they will be worth it then.
    BTW. . .You are clueless re how widespread that seasonal drought was . . . . and clueless about how those 80% probability projections impacted Water Resource Management decisions in the southern MBD.
    80% probability of wetter than average does NOT mean a 20% probability of a seasonal DROUGHT!
    Producers can still function when it is just drier than average. . .a DROUGHT is a completely different animal.

  150. Luke January 10, 2014 at 11:06 pm #

    So wacked I am stunned. Are you really a serious person? You have a new forecast system for one season. One throw of the dice.

    20% not wetter than average is just what it means – right down to zero ! 80 years in 100 one way 20 years the other. It doesn’t say “ooooo it won’t be that bad” if it’s the 20%.

    As I’ve said you don’t have the intellectual skills to understand this material so do yourself a big favour and don’t use it.

    Please please don’t use the forecasts – I beg you. Flip a coin. Watch the ants building nests. Divine tea leaves.

    Additionally – sometimes the forecasts are skillful, sometimes not. You always check the skill map too don’t you Debs. “errrr what’s dat …..”. I reckon BoM should pull out of seasonal forecasting – not worth the aggro with mug punters.

  151. Debbie January 11, 2014 at 9:23 am #

    As I have often said. . .I am more than willing for BoM to be supported in improving their skill in regional forecasting.
    Our point of disagreement is that they are NOT particularly good at this yet but STILL want all the accolades, all the attention, all the available funding and PRETEND that they are good/better at it.

    BTW. . .as often asked of you. . .if the BoM seasonal forecasts are just too difficult and too clever for people to grasp and/or use. . .then who in particular are they designed for and for what purpose?

    And what’s this about?

    “Please please don’t use the forecasts – I beg you. Flip a coin. Watch the ants building nests. Divine tea leaves.”

    How are you expecting producers to use BoM SEASONAL forecasts Luke?

    And this is STILL RUBBISH in terms of producers using BoM seasonal forecasting or viewing it as a useful SEASONAL decision making tool!!!!

    “20% not wetter than average is just what it means – right down to zero ! 80 years in 100 one way 20 years the other”
    Changing the time scale DOES NOT make it better or explain away the poor seasonal forecasting skill Luke!

    As I said at the start of this little patch. . .you don’t actually understand at all. . .and calling producers ‘aggro mug punters’ is a perfect example of that fact.
    So is your lecture about probability and risk profile.
    What you seem to have totally misunderstood is that producers UNDERSTAND risk but bureaucracies who work in NRM (in this instance it’s BoM) are 100% risk averse.
    If you want to work in the REAL environment/weather/climate. . .it’s important to learn some respect and humility. . .because the REAL environment/weather/climate is NOT INTERESTED in being either your friend or your enemy. . .neither is it particularly interested in co operating with human invented, calendar based, long term statistical trends. . .especially on a regional/seasonal scale.

    BTW. . .NOWHERE AT ALL in those Winter/Spring predictions for Eastern Australia was the word DROUGHT mentioned. . .so pretending that BoM had that one covered. . .AFTER THE EVENT. . .is just PRETENDING!
    And I still say your original comment that PRODUCERS were ‘SURPRISED’ is also nonsense.
    The only ones who were ‘SURPRISED’ was BoM and some of the other NRM Bureaucracies who relied on BoM’s seasonal Winter/Spring 2013 forecasts (eg State Water Commission).
    The rest of us. . .who actually live and work in the REAL weather/climate/environment were simply disappointed that it wasn’t as good a season as we would have liked. . .but nothing new.
    The frustration and anger at BoM is because of their ‘holier than thou’ attitude which sees them claiming that they’re ‘right’ (or maybe not wrong?) and their seasonal forecasting is a useful tool that producers should be taking up. . .and if they’re not taking it up the way BoM has decided it should be taken up. . . then that’s because producers are stupid and just don’t have the ability to understand.

  152. Luke January 11, 2014 at 9:55 am #

    Debs don’t get it. Wouldn’t bother with the science Debs. Stick to the broad social policy handwave sort of thing. It’s a lot easier doing the soft mushy stuff.

    Before using any technology product – do read the manual and product disclosure statement. 80:20 chance of receiving rainfall above the median means this – over a long number of applications – many seasons – 80% of cases should be above the median and 20% below. BELOW means BELOW. Below means from median to ZERO !

    The maths is VERY simple unless you’re only interested in the broad social policy thingy. So if you are basing decisions on that information and put the 80% category as “right” well 20% of the time your decision will be wrong.

    Now if you were not in the broad social policy handwave thingy and did a decision analytic as a sensible and not a stupid person you’d want to know the downside risk. If you have agencies that totally 100% “rely” on BoM’s probabilistic forecast sack them all (I doubt they do and should be using an adaptive approach).

    Now as a producer representative yourself – I think we have concluded you don’t understand at all. Please please don’t use the product. You could of course ask Jen to direct you to her forecast web site or subscription service and use that.

    Graziers are surprised. They’re not using forecasts in the main at all. Feedback is that skill is not high enough. So they are acting on their own. If they are not surprised they wouldn’t be caught out with too many stock and no feed. There’s about 150 years of pastoral history as case studies of such gotchas. So as masters of the climate (as you would have them) surely they’d be on top of things, self sufficient and resilient? And don’t mistake my words – I feel at lot of sympathy for those affected.

  153. Debbie January 11, 2014 at 11:14 am #

    As I said. . .you just don’t seem to understand. . .NO ONE(!). . .including BoM(!). . . are ‘masters of the climate’. . ,that is actually the POINT!
    Your defensive little ‘risk management’ lecture is on the one hand just stating the bleeding obvious about taking risks with the weather/climate. . . and on the other hand displaying alarming ignorance about the demographic you presume to lecture. . . and then even resorts to playing semantics over the way you originally used the word ‘surprised’.
    Because of what they do, where they live and the type of businesses they run. . .they are NOT EVER SURPRISED when the weather does behave according to their needs and wants. . .but of course are often disappointed when their work/investments get flooded, droughted, hailed, frosted, stormed, blown or burnt away.
    These people are not looking for your ‘sympathy’ Luke. . .neither do the ones who have managed to survive the millennium drought (of course with SOME assistance from Govt via EC) need a lecture about the vagaries of Australia’s highly variable weather.. .especially regional weather.
    They do NOT expect ‘certainty’ either.
    If they wanted and expected sympathy, security and certainty. . .they would have pursued a career in something like the Public Service and NOT in agriculture! like DUH!!!!!!
    HOWEVER. . .for the zillionth time. . .there will be NO ONE HAPPIER OR MORE APPRECIATIVE than people who work in Agriculture. . .when BoM (or whoever manages to solve the puzzle). . .can deliver improved regional seasonal forecasting.

  154. Luke January 11, 2014 at 1:36 pm #

    Debs – I reckon 70-75% is as good as you’re every going to get seasonally. Chaos is a limit !

    There will be always downside risk. So for any forecast you should think – OK if it turns up minority odds (or even worse if the met bureau are incompetent have nothing and they’re nuts) – what’s the impact.

    And if something is 80:20 – 20% of the time will turn up if you throw the dice enough. On any throw including the first and second. You need a run of years to really decide if its crap.

    You need to be as adaptive as you can, have a rolling horizon that gets reviewed and some hedging.

    I wouldn’t put it all on Black ! (if I could)

    However some things do come down to a binary decision – plant/don’t plant … sell/don’t sell

    Why are you so reluctant to receive this information? You could of course decide, as many have, that although there is something there, the skills levels are not high enough and so not use the systems.

    However you still need to make decisions about farm operations.

  155. Debbie January 11, 2014 at 3:06 pm #

    It is not reluctance to receive information.
    Your information is mostly just a case of stating the bleeding obvious!
    Farming /agriculture is indeed a gamble with the weather and NO ONE (especially if they are in the more marginal areas) expects to get 10 good years out of 10. . .if they do. . .they are in the wrong game. . .and they won’t last very long.
    Even 2 good years in a row that correspond with good commodity prices is an absolute bonus!
    What makes you presume that people who run their own businesses don’t already know and don’t already do most of what you are lecturing about? Quite clearly you are ‘lecturing’ about something which you only have an ‘academic’ or ‘theoretical’ interest in. . .and little to zero practical experience.
    When the weather goes extreme or exceptional (as in a severe, multi year drought or a massive flood event). . .that is a different matter.
    The last drought was a particularly long and difficult one and it started to take even good operators down as they were forced to mine their equity and also sell off their assets. That was followed by massive flooding. . .not particularly unheard of. . .It wasn’t something totally out of the ordinary or attributable to anything other than the chaos that is our Australian climate. . .but nonetheless a very cruel blow to people who were already struggling.
    Many are still dragging through the losses that they incurred during that time and they are particularly vulnerable to further poor seasonal weather (although they’re not SURPRISED by it) a fall in commodity prices, a high Australian dollar, an upward movement in interest rates & etc. . . but what is really ticking them off is that ‘superior lecturing’, monopolistic and almost larcenous attitude from bureaucrats/academics, discussing risk profile when they’re clearly 100% risk averse themselves (eg they expect to be paid even when they don’t deliver anything at all) and a lack of long term vision/planning on the part of many ‘authorities’ amongst our NRM bureaucracies & academic/political institutions
    There’s lots and lots of talk. . .usually in the form of ‘fait accompli’ presentations (which they argue is consulting). . .but no walk.
    People out here in the REAL environment/climate/weather. . .need to get off it and get on with it . . .and be encouraged to do so.

  156. Luke January 11, 2014 at 3:16 pm #

    So then – why are you so utterly dense on basic forecast probability stuff?

    Never a serious question? No serious requests for any specific application?

    And no grasp of even fundamental trivial concepts. But PLENTY of slags.

    “cruel blow” – “struggling” – maybe like the small business guy down the street then – time to sell up.
    Am I telling you or anyone what to do in your business?

    I think Debs you’re just another whinger. And it comes down to chewing arms off. Pity your local staff.

  157. Luke January 11, 2014 at 3:19 pm #

    “People out here in the REAL environment/climate/weather. . .need to get off it and get on with it . . .and be encouraged to do so.”

    For some of course that’s perhaps the exact opposite of what they should do.

  158. Debbie January 12, 2014 at 9:58 am #

    The serious questions and specific requests have been asked and ignored in favour of what those in authority have decided we SHOULD have asked and SHOULD have specifically requested.
    I note you invoke the same mindset when you say SOME SHOULD DO the exact opposite.
    Which SOME Luke and what exact opposite SHOULD they do?
    You are also ignoring the fact that BoM are PRETENDING their skill re regional seasonal forecasting is efficacious. . .it isn’t.
    They are however AMAZING at constructing national averages/means/medians in pretty colorful graphs.
    You also conveniently ignore that 20% probability of ‘drier than average’ does NOT mean 20% probability of seasonal DROUGHT!
    If you think that’s the same thing. . . then you speak in a different language. . .which the paying customers do not understand. . . who would be the patently dense party in that case?. . . IMHO. . .that is a clear example of very poor communication and an almost total disregard of the people you are claiming you have ‘sympathy’ for and who are the ‘public’ that is in the job title ‘PUBLIC SERVICE’.
    The particular demographic we are discussing have well tuned BS meters. . .and are rather intolerant of continual, counter-productive BS.
    They are neither dense about environmental/climate/weather matters nor unappreciative of genuine good service.
    And BTW. . Your OPINION of me (personally) means absolutely NOTHING in terms of the discussion because:
    a) You don’t know me
    b) I don’t know you. . . not even your real name or occupation and
    c) It is irrelevant to the issues we are discussing.

    If you base your conclusions on OPINIONS formed by encounters at blogs. . . that reveals more about YOU than anything else.
    Jen says you have a good heart. . .but if I based my conclusions about you on the personal insults you direct at me. . . I could easily disagree with Jen.
    However. . . she does know you. . .and I don’t.

  159. Luke January 12, 2014 at 10:44 am #

    Debbie – I don’t think we really have anything more that we can productively discuss. So the very best for your ongoing farming experience and prosperity, and good luck with your battles against an increasingly hardening and depressed bureaucracy.


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