Not a Natural Disaster, Just another Rainfall Deficit

In announcing yesterday’s $320 million drought assistance package for farmers there was some mention of the situation out west being akin to a natural disaster. A more accurate description would be that its part of a natural cycle – not a natural disaster.

There are many reasons why landholders may be particularly vulnerable to this drought, but they mostly relate to government initiatives that have over the last couple of decades significantly eroded the resilience of farming communities, rather than exceptional climate.

We live in a land of highly variable rainfall that has historically experienced regular drought often broken with big floods.

The Bureau of Meteorology has been defining the drought as a rainfall deficient for a 16-month period (October 2012-January 2014) relative to a long-term average defined as the years 1961-1990. So according to the Bureau there has been a severe rainfall deficiencies (lowest 10% to 5% of records) in place across much of inland Queensland, central northern New South Wales and in a small area on the coast of Western Australia near Shark Bay. Also, most of Queensland west of the ranges, northern New South Wales, northeastern South Australia and the southeastern Northern Territory has received less than 65% of the long-term (1961–1990) average rainfall for the 16-month period.

While I am sympathetic to farmers struggling to make ends meet, and I don’t begrudge anyone some government support when the chips are really down, to suggest there is a natural disaster because rainfall is less than 65% of what it was during the period 1961-1990 for a period of a bit over a year is absurd. Australian rainfall

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Links/References/Notes

Chart shows annual average rainfall for Australia since 1900.

http://www.bom.gov.au/cgi-bin/climate/change/timeseries.cgi?graph=rain&area=aus&season=0112&ave_yr=0

Information from BOM on drought definitions… http://www.bom.gov.au/climate/drought/

Media clippings…

More than 70 per cent of Queensland and half of NSW is in drought, with the weather bureau forecasting a dry autumn.
Farming families without an income, but holding farm assets of up to $2.5 million, will be able to access support payments from March 3 under the new plan. http://news.ninemsn.com.au/national/2014/02/26/02/33/drought-package-to-be-announced

TONY Abbott will unveil a relief package today for drought-hit farmers aimed at increasing access to government-backed concessional loans to allow them time to ride out a “natural disaster”, and a suite of health initiatives focusing on battling depression. Cabinet was meeting last night to finalise the package, which crystallised after the Prime Minister toured drought-affected areas in Queensland and NSW earlier this month with Agriculture Minister Barnaby Joyce. More than 70 per cent of Queensland and 62 per cent of NSW have had no significant rain for two years, with most rural regions officially drought-declared. http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/tony-abbott-to-unveil-drought-relief-package/story-fn59niix-1226837708814#

@senatormilne Akin to a natural disaster Abbott re drought. When is he going to admit climate change is intensifying drought, heat waves and fires? #auspol

Fiona Simson: Unfortunately rain doesn’t – one rainfall doesn’t break a drought and some of the areas we’re seeing across NSW – I actually missed the rainfall this morning so I’m thinking it didn’t potentially break the drought – I think some of the areas across NSW have received widespread rains over the last week, but what is important is continuation of that rain. Clearly we now have a soil that is absolutely depleted of moisture. There is no sub-soil moisture, there is no moisture there to grow the crops. There is no moisture there to grow the pasture and we need continued rainfall for many weeks to actually fulfll those soil reserves again and to create groundwater. And, travelling around this region, I have been down here over the past couple of weeks at the Henty Field Days and again this week. There is a shortage of groundwater and it is very dry so I think clearly the people down here will need continued rain, they will need their seasonal break, which is when it normally occurs – in about April I think it is down here – to make sure they actually get their crops in the ground. http://www.theherald.com.au/story/2114542/video-nsw-farmers-responds-to-drought-assistance-package/?cs=310

Queensland and NSW and has now extended its grip into the Upper Hunter, one of the state’s prime food-producing areas. Parts of the region have not had decent rain for more than a year and ground water reserves are getting dangerously low. It follows a year of record hot weather throughout Australia. Several record temperatures were also set in the Hunter, including one for the hottest September day. Until recently the Upper Hunter could have been drought-declared and its farmers eligible for assistance. Because of national reforms, areas are no longer considered “in drought” but are assessed using regional “seasonal conditions reports”, which rely heavily on computer modelling and do not have the same input from farmers. Farmers fear the new system may leave some communities dangerously exposed without drought aid as conditions deteriorate. “People are getting really frustrated because there’s no policy to supply support to communities that are suffering drought,” NSW Farmers Association president Fiona Simpson said. “When is a drought a natural disaster? Obviously there are dry periods and we are used to that in Australia. But if the government supports communities through natural disasters, there has to be some recognition at some point that drought is also a natural disaster.” As large areas of the Upper Hunter are reduced to dust bowls, many farmers are left with no option but to sell stock to reduce costs. http://www.theherald.com.au/story/2018590/farmers-fear-high-and-dry-temperatures/

264 Responses to Not a Natural Disaster, Just another Rainfall Deficit

  1. Neville February 27, 2014 at 8:18 am #

    I agree that OZ is always coming out of too much rain back into too little rain at regular intervals. It’s has always been the case and will always be the case.

    But the last thing one should ever consider is a fraudulent co2 tax and trying to mitigate AGW or whatever. As the EU has shown it just doesn’t work at all. And simple maths proves it can never work period.
    But fraudsters like Flannery keep telling the same old lies and dud predictions and the stupid warmists and yappers are fooled AGAIN and again, year after year. His idiot ideas are so easily shown to be false and yet people still listen to the fool.

    http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/opinion/tim-flannery-is-the-guru-who-gets-it-wrong/story-fni0ffxg-1226838538089
    Our only choice is adaptation and more R&D and hence new technology to help protect us from the future variables of the weather and climate.

  2. Ian George February 27, 2014 at 9:14 am #

    If we isolate the two main drought areas, Qld and NSW, we can see that this is not unprecedented.
    Check the following rainfall anomaly graphs for Qld, NSW and Eastern Australia.
    Qld
    http://www.bom.gov.au/cgi-bin/climate/change/timeseries.cgi?graph=rranom&area=qld&season=0112&ave_yr=T
    NSW
    http://www.bom.gov.au/cgi-bin/climate/change/timeseries.cgi?graph=rranom&area=nsw&season=0112&ave_yr=T
    Eastern Aus
    http://www.bom.gov.au/cgi-bin/climate/change/timeseries.cgi?graph=rranom&area=eaus&season=0112&ave_yr=T

    Increasing rainfall with most of the driest years prior to 1950. 1902 wins all 3 categories.

  3. bazza February 27, 2014 at 10:24 am #

    The intro has it back to front. “The Bureau of Meteorology has been defining the drought as a rainfall deficient for a 16-month period (October 2012-January 2014) relative to a long-term average defined as the years 1961-1990. So according to the Bureau there has been a severe rainfall deficiencies (lowest 10% to 5% of records) …”. True, drought used to be defined by absolute rainfall deficiencies but as relative variability is higher the lower the rainfall, it was realised that this resulted in more frequent droughts at Bourke than Ballarat for example. So frequencies were used, ( saying BOM used absurd definition is of deficiencies is contrived cheap shot!).
    It would offend our sense of fair if pastoralists had more worthy droughts than croppers. Thus for a while droughts of that severity, 1 on 10 or 20 or so, became exceptional circumstances. But that does not distinguish a drought from the fate of Ford, GMH, SPC, Cadburys etc. The rest is hysteria. Actually it gets worse now the back of Bourke has moved to the front on account of climate change!

  4. Johnathan Wilkes February 27, 2014 at 11:44 am #

    incoherent babbling, bazzer
    you want more drought?
    redefine it!

  5. Bob Campbell February 27, 2014 at 11:53 am #

    “There are many reasons why landholders may be particularly vulnerable to this drought, but they mostly relate to government initiatives that have over the last couple of decades significantly eroded the resilience of farming communities, rather than exceptional climate. ”
    What initiatives are you referring to here?

  6. cohenite February 27, 2014 at 11:58 am #

    bazza, I’ve read your post several times; it makes less sense after each successive reading. For instance I do not know what this means:

    “True, drought used to be defined by absolute rainfall deficiencies but as relative variability is higher the lower the rainfall, it was realised that this resulted in more frequent droughts at Bourke than Ballarat for example. So frequencies were used, ( saying BOM used absurd definition is of deficiencies is contrived cheap shot!).”

  7. Luke February 27, 2014 at 12:07 pm #

    For Robby http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-02-26/100-years-of-drought/5282030 and the guys and gals. Slide-it baby.

  8. Luke February 27, 2014 at 12:09 pm #

    Jen would rather read Al Gore than ever do a spatial map. I guess worst on record bits aren’t enough.

  9. Ian George February 27, 2014 at 12:12 pm #

    Having a look at the sorted data from the time series, only 2002 makes the 20 driest years since 1900. Half of the top 20 driest years are before 1940 and only two (1994 and 2002) have been in the 20 driest in the last 33 years.
    2013 doesn’t even make the top 50.
    The only area in Australia that does seem to be experiencing diminishing rainfall is SW of Aust.

  10. Neville February 27, 2014 at 12:32 pm #

    Ian I’ve covered this years ago and SWWA and Tassie are the areas that have experienced less rainfall in the last 50 years.
    But there is zip evidence that this has anything to do with more co2 emissions. BTW just heard the idiots at the Climate Authority insist we must reduce emissions by 15% to tackle CAGW. It seems these dummies just become more barking mad every year and less able to understand simple sums.

    http://www.bom.gov.au/cgi-bin/climate/change/timeseries.cgi?graph=rranom&area=tas&season=0112&ave_yr=T

  11. cohenite February 27, 2014 at 12:33 pm #

    Nice link luke.

    Speaking of Gore Ronald Kessler’s book about U.S. presidents, “the impressions & observations” of Secret Service personnel assigned to guard U.S. presidents/first ladies, and vice presidents gives some not so surprising observations of these people.

    JOHN & JACQUELINE KENNEDY
    *A philanderer of the highest order. *
    *She ordered the kitchen help to save all the left-over wine during a State dinner, mixed it with fresh wine and served again during the next White House occasion.*

    *LYNDON & LADYBIRD JOHNSON
    *Another philanderer of the highest order. In addition, LBJ was as crude as the day is long. Both JFK and LBJ kept a lot of women in the White House for extramarital affairs, and both had set up “early warning systems” to alert them if/when their wives were nearby. Both Kennedy & Johnson were promiscuous and oversexed men.*
    *She was either naive or just pretended to “not know” about her husband’s many liaisons.*

    *RICHARD & PAT NIXON
    *A “moral” man but very odd, weird, paranoid, etc. He had horrible relationship with his family, and in a way, was almost a recluse.*
    *She was quiet most of the time.*

    *SPIRO AGNEW
    * Nice, decent man, everyone in the Secret Service was surprised by his downfall. *

    *GERALD & BETTY FORD
    *A true gentlemen who treated the Secret Service with respect and dignity. He had a great sense of humor. *
    *She drank a lot!*

    *JIMMY & ROSALYN CARTER
    *A complete phony who would portray one picture of himself to public and very different in private, e..g., would be shown carrying his own luggage, but the suitcases were always empty; he kept the empty ones just for photo ops. Wanted the people to see him as pious and a non-drinker, but he and his family drank alcohol a lot! He had disdain for the Secret Service, and was very irresponsible with the “football” with nuclear codes. He didn’t think it was a big deal and would keep military aides at a great distance. Often did not acknowledge the presence of Secret Service personnel assigned to serve him.*
    *She mostly did her own thing.*

    *RONALD & NANCY REAGAN
    *The real deal — moral, honest, respectful, and dignified. They treated Secret Service and everyone else with respect and honor. Thanked everyone all the time. He took the time to know everyone on a personal level. * One “favorite” story that has circulated among the Secret Service personnel was an incident early in his Presidency, when he came out of his room with a pistol tucked on his hip. The agent in charge asked: “Why the pistol, Mr. President” He replied, “In case you boys can’t get the job done, I can help..” It was common for him to carry a pistol. When he met with Gorbachev, he had a pistol in his briefcase. Upon learning that Gary Hart was caught with Donna Rice, Reagan said, “Boys will be boys, but boys will not be Presidents.” [He obviously either did not know or forgot JFK’s and LBJ’s sexcapades!]*
    *She was very nice but very protective of the President; and the Secret Service was often caught in the middle. She tried hard to control what the President ate, and he would say to the agent, “Come on, you gotta help me out.” The Reagans drank wine during State dinners and special occasions only; otherwise, they shunned alcohol; the Secret Service could count on one hand the times they were served wine during their “family dinner”. For all the fake bluster of the Carters, the Reagans were the ones who lived life as genuinely moral people.*

    *GEORGE H. & BARBARA BUSH
    *Extremely kind and considerate Always respectful. Took great care in making sure the agents’ comforts were taken care of. They even brought them meals, etc. One time Barbara Bush brought warm clothes to agents standing outside at Kennebunkport; one agent was given a warm hat, and when he tried to nicely say “no thanks” even though he was obviously freezing, President Bush said “Son, don’t argue with the First Lady, put the hat on.” He was the most prompt of the Presidents. He ran the White House like a well-oiled machine.*
    *She ruled the house and spoke her mind.*

    *BILL & HILLARY CLINTON
    *Presidency was one giant party. Not trustworthy — he was nice mainly because he wanted everyone to like him, but to him life is just one big game and party. Everyone knows of his sexuality.*
    *She is another phony. Her personality would change the instant cameras were near. She hated with open disdain the military and Secret Service. She was another one who felt people were there to serve her. She was always trying to keep tabs on Bill Clinton.*

    *GEORGE W. & LAURA BUSH
    *The Secret Service loved him and Laura Bush. He was also the most physically “in shape” who had a very strict workout regimen. The Bushes made sure their entire administrative and household staff understood they were to respect and be considerate of the Secret Service.
    *She was one of the nicest First Ladies, if not the nicest; she never had any harsh word to say about anyone.*

    *BARACK & MICHELLE OBAMA
    * Clinton all over again” – hates the military and looks down on the Secret Service. He is egotistical and cunning; looks you in the eye and appears to agree with you, but turns around and does the opposite — untrustworthy. He has temper tantrums.*
    *She is a complete bitch, who basically hates anybody who is not black; hates the military; and looks at the Secret Service as servants.*
    A taxpayer voting for Obama is like a chicken voting for Col. Sanders.

    And Big Al:

    *ALBERT GORE
    *An egotistical ass, who was once overheard by his Secret Service detail lecturing his only son that he needed to do better in school or he “would end up like these guys” — pointing to the agents.*

  12. Robert February 27, 2014 at 12:44 pm #

    It’s about spinning the present drought as “new climate” at all costs. Remember when we had supercells rising from the Brissie floods? There is a rigid dogmatism underlying all this, and it wouldn’t be out of place in 1970s Cambodia. The New Man at Year zero and all that. If necessary, climate preachers who have spewed hatred at farmers in the past will even be willing to bung on some compassion in the service of their dogma, while accusing skeptics of being hard-hearted toward the bush. Go figure.

    Evidence and detail on past flood and drought in Oz, right back to 1792, is so compelling that maybe bazza is on the right track: bury your meaning so nobody can find it while vaguely flashing the message of climate exceptionalism. Subliminal advertising. If polar bears and calving glaciers aren’t working (and in the Northern Hemisphere right now they are definitely not working) you have to try something, I suppose.

  13. Debbie February 27, 2014 at 12:47 pm #

    I agree with Cohenite,
    Those two particular sentences make absolutely no sense Bazza.
    What point were you trying to make?
    It’s not some type of amazing epiphany for BoM that Ballarat and Bourke experience different climates.

  14. handjive of climatefraud.inc February 27, 2014 at 1:45 pm #

    Here is another good ABC graphic.

    Interactive: 100 years of drought in Australia

    Use our interactive map to see 100 years of rainfall patterns across Australia, famously a land “of droughts and flooding rains”.

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-02-26/100-years-of-drought/5282030

  15. Neville February 27, 2014 at 1:54 pm #

    But when did bazza ever make much sense? Sure we know he makes up phoney numbers to try and prove some silly load of BS, but that’s about it.

  16. bazza February 27, 2014 at 2:02 pm #

    The statement that “The Bureau of Meteorology has been defining the drought as a rainfall deficient for a 16-month period (October 2012-January 2014) relative to a long-term average defined as the years 1961-1990.” is incorrect. It is wrong. It is a misrepresentation.

    A relative measure based on deciles or frequencies (that even Nev with kindy stats would understand) has been in use for some time so that drought frequency in terms of government assistance happens in the long term at about the same frequency everywhere regardless of rainfall variability ( unless you game the system of course and if you ignore climate change)

  17. Neville February 27, 2014 at 2:10 pm #

    Seems like the CC Authority wants even larger cuts in co2 emissions than first reported. The Bolter says they should be sacked and provides a list of these fools.
    But tell us bazza how this will help solve any of your delusions about CAGW and what change would anybody notice by 2100?

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

  18. cohenite February 27, 2014 at 3:51 pm #

    Well bazza is not getting any clearer; The BOM and CSIRO put out the Drought Exceptional Circumstances Report in 2010. The methodology of this report which is still being used was irredeemably flawed in respect of rainfall:

    http://landshape.org/enm/files/2010/10/Critique-of-DECR-EE.pdf

  19. bazza February 27, 2014 at 4:32 pm #

    Cohenite, way off topic. That report is about the future. Do you agree with my very clear statement or not! The statement by Jen that “The Bureau of Meteorology has been defining the drought as a rainfall deficient for a 16-month period (October 2012-January 2014) relative to a long-term average defined as the years 1961-1990.” is incorrect.

  20. Ian George February 27, 2014 at 5:05 pm #

    I leave it to others to interpret the BoM’s definition of drought/s.

    http://www.bom.gov.au/climate/drought/

    http://www.bom.gov.au/climate/glossary/drought.shtml

  21. bazza February 27, 2014 at 5:28 pm #

    Ian, thanks. as the BOM glossary states:

    Serious rainfall deficiency: rainfall lies above the lowest five per cent of recorded rainfall but below the lowest ten per cent (decile range 1) for the period in question,
    Severe rainfall deficiency: rainfall is among the lowest five per cent for the period in question.

    tell us Ian, how you interpret that or didn’t you want to offend. ??

  22. Luke February 27, 2014 at 6:58 pm #

    Obviously the nongas don’t comprehend worst on record bits

    http://www.bom.gov.au/climate/drought/archive/20140204.2.col.gif

    http://www.bom.gov.au/climate/drought/archive/20140204.3.col.gif

    Handjive of self-admitted climate fraud inc – already posted that link – do try to keep up.

  23. Luke February 27, 2014 at 7:02 pm #

    Anyway it’s abundantly clear that we’re in new climate change territory as my post on Qld rainfall stations clearly shows. Rainfall intensity is up. ENSO patterns changing. STRi on the move. SSTs warming around the continent. Indian Ocean warming.

    Dizzy stuff. Deniers heads spinning. And so our only hope is to keep BoM going on the GCMs. Invest invest invest ! Licence sceptics not guns.

  24. cohenite February 27, 2014 at 7:21 pm #

    Well bazza the BOM link has 2 definitions of drought:

    Rainfall deficits for the 16-month (October 2012 to January 2014) period

    Rainfall deficiencies for the longer-term 22-month (April 2012 to January 2014) period

    I’m not sure why you’re getting in a lather.

  25. Robert February 27, 2014 at 7:41 pm #

    I wonder how 1902 managed that drought without oceanic and other climatic influences. And that “rain intensity” in 1950! I guess it’s like all those years in the NH when they were buried in snow like now…but did it without polar vortices. Quite a trick.

    Just imagine if there’d been climate change back then!

    If all this doesn’t convince you of the need to funnel billions into the EU Death Star nothing will.

  26. spangled drongo February 27, 2014 at 8:06 pm #

    Love those links Luke. Especially that 16 months lowest evah in the Diamantina catchment where I recall in the ’50s seeing my jeep tracks three years earlier where I pulled a mill and there hadn’t been a drop of rain over them in that time.

    The nature of the soil there is such that tracks only look a week old when they might be three years old.

    And some of that mulga country doesn’t need rain as long as the wind blows the leaves off the whip-stick mulga. There is no grass but the stock are still fat and roos in plague proportions.

    Amazing how models can work out those records.

  27. Debbie February 27, 2014 at 8:24 pm #

    I’m unsure too.
    What’s the problem Bazza?

  28. John Sayers February 27, 2014 at 9:22 pm #

    O/T –
    Tim Flannery’s online Q&A for the Australian Climate Council.

    Apparently Perth will experience 5C temperature rise by end of the century.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VaDwUwEaPB0#t=80

  29. hunter February 27, 2014 at 9:45 pm #

    It takes a truly CO2 obsessed mind to look at the graph Jennifer has provided and determine that droughts are getting worse and that CO2 is to blame. As for Perth experiencing 5oC increase in less than 100 years: that is pure low quality bs. AGW is a social madness.

  30. Luke February 27, 2014 at 9:55 pm #

    Nongas

    “The Bureau of Meteorology has been defining the drought as a rainfall deficient for a 16-month period (October 2012-January 2014) relative to a long-term average defined as the years 1961-1990″

    is utter rubbish.

    I’ll leave it as an exercise to work out why. Intelligence threshold test for kindy stats class. It’s funny how in stats class they always skip over the first chapter on percentiles and deciles yet it’s just so basic.

    BTW Cohers – they were rainfall analyses not necessarily a “definition” of drought.

    hunter opines from a mindless feeling that that would be a cool thing to say, and Robby’s science method “sumpin’ happened somewhere sumtimes – so nuttin’ happens anywhere anytimes”. Cool.

  31. bazza February 27, 2014 at 10:31 pm #

    Luke, tis a safe bet that deb will still be unsure. She does not even risk averages.

  32. Robert February 27, 2014 at 10:32 pm #

    Start with your dogma and work back to the facts which fit (there’s always sumpin’ right?). Supercell science!

    Now tip those billions down that big black Euro-hole like good kiddies. If nuttin’ happens, well…at least we did sumpin’.

  33. Luke February 27, 2014 at 10:37 pm #

    Well there will always be sumpin unless the Sun goes red dwarf. Meanwhile we’ll ignore all science findings as nuttin always beats sumpin.

  34. Luke February 27, 2014 at 10:42 pm #

    errr giant

  35. peewhit February 27, 2014 at 11:05 pm #

    The only reason to support the farmers this time is the fact that they went into the drought overstocked because of the export ban applied by the previous government

  36. sp February 27, 2014 at 11:29 pm #

    A Rimmer moment from Luke

  37. Robert February 27, 2014 at 11:58 pm #

    Supe, it’s like walking and chewing gum at the same time. You do both. In fact, you can do several things at once, even if you are a redneck of pension age.

    There was ruinous drought in 1902 (starting in 1895, but a shocker by then) AND there is bad drought in 2014. There was the Long Drought from 1958 to 1968, but ALSO a Millennium drought in the MDB which lasted from 2001 to 2009 – pretty long! Like those long droughts from 1911-1916 and 1939-1945. There was drought in the 1880s, but ALSO in the the early 1980s, short but very, very sharp.

    The Fed drought is likely the worst, but what do we know of those horror conditions observed by Sturt? There were crippling droughts in the early colony even before Sturt got west to confront the big stuff. None of this has ever been in dispute.

    Hard (impossible?) to find a decade from the 1790s onward without reports of severe drought. Anybody know of such decade? So lots and lots of really bad droughts, INCLUDING 2014.

    You see how I do it? I take ‘em all in, not just the last one or two. And the good thing is you don’t have to reject any science. It’s just stuff that actually happened. And stuff that’s happening right now. Happened before PLUS happening now. Walk, chew gum.

    Capish?

  38. Ian George February 28, 2014 at 5:42 am #

    Totally agree, Robert. As I posted above with references to BoM’s time series graphs, rainfall has increased over Qld and NSW since the 1950s. So, although we can still have severe droughts during this higher rainfall period, previous droughts should have been worse because there would have been less rainfall before the drought period, especially between 1900 and 1950.
    bazza
    What I meant is that I don’t know if the BoM keep changing the definition of drought to make it more relevant – or to suit some specific agenda. If it does, does it use the same criteria when comparing this drought to past drought periods. That’s what I leave to others to comment on.

  39. Another Ian February 28, 2014 at 6:41 am #

    Jen,

    I was at a drought meeting recently where we were told that, according to Rainman, this is the worst drought on our records. I haven’t downloaded it as yet, so am not sure of the length of those records being used.

    This fits with local experience and the surface water situation – we’ve been on this property for 60+ years and have NEVER had to cart stock water before. And currently have 18 of 19 dams dry. But a neighbour has heard a recollection of a previous period without running water for 18 months (?1915?).

    A side comment for the preservers of native species – this land parish is about 25,000ha. Without man-made stock waters there would have been 2 springs in the creek by now in that area – and both of those have had help from man with removal of timber as per a recent article in Qld Country life.

  40. Debbie February 28, 2014 at 7:07 am #

    “They were rainfall analyses. . .not necessarily a definition of drought”
    ROFL!
    Would you like fries with those semantics?

  41. Neville February 28, 2014 at 7:13 am #

    Just about everything Luke and bazza are yapping about would have happened before and we know that drought around the world is not worse now than in the recent past. Even the IPCC agrees.

    Drought studies from the USA prove that long ago mega- droughts prevailed there over very long periods of time and they haven’t been close to those levels of drought for many centuries. You only have to look at reconstructions of the PDO to understand that droughts and floods would have been much worse during those earlier periods. And all with co2 levels of about 270 ppmv.

    I repeat anyone who thinks we can return the climate to some wonderful fairyland is a delusional fool. They can’t even nominate this previous fairyland climate period because it’s all BS. And anyone who believes we can use some climate change fix by reducing co2 emissions by 5% or 20% or whatever need their head read.
    Germany and the clueless EU have run that experiment for years and wasted 100s of billions for a zero change to climate and temp. Of course they are now changing to lignite powered stns AGAIN and yet our resident donkeys want us to repeat their idiotic experiment all over again. That’s about as good a definition of madness as you could find.

  42. Ian George February 28, 2014 at 7:38 am #

    Another Ian
    The 1914-15 drought was particularly severe with parts of the Darling and Murray drying up.
    The drought extended to 1918 in some parts with Qld being particularly bad around 1915 (second driest after 1902).
    http://www.bom.gov.au/cgi-bin/climate/change/timeseries.cgi?graph=rranom&area=qld&season=0112&ave_yr=0

    Here’s the Murray.
    http://jennifermarohasy.com//wp-content/uploads/2011/03/Dry_Murray_1915.jpg

  43. hunter February 28, 2014 at 7:51 am #

    Neville,
    More importantly, the idea that regulation of CO2 will somehow mitigate any weather system to any significant way is delusional.
    Even today there is some insane paper cliaing that if we only build an array of *only* 78,000 large wind turbines in the hurricane zones of the Gulf of Mexico hurricane basin, we could mitigate hurricanes. The cost of building, placing and maintaining 78,000 wind mills is more than a llarge hurricane. Then think of how to get the hurricane to come to the array. then think of how much energy a hurricane is releasing and how little even a ridiculous number of windmills will capture/disrupt from a system that is miles high. And windmills are a few tens of meters high.
    AGW fanatics are increasingly alien to rational thought. As we see more and more frequently and starkly.

  44. Another Ian February 28, 2014 at 7:51 am #

    Ian George

    Thanks.

    So if Rainman (whose weather data comes from BOM) includes 1902 and 1915 and has this as the worst drought – -

  45. Neville February 28, 2014 at 8:00 am #

    Hunter I read that delusional nonsense as well and you just have to pinch yourself to make sure you’re not dreaming.
    Fair dinkum these idiots have painted themselves into so many corners after decades of BSing the people that they are becoming increasingly desperate by word and deed.
    But bazza has an answer, he just changes the numbers to suit himself to try and cover his delusions and Luke thinks it’s a wonderful idea.

  46. Robert February 28, 2014 at 8:13 am #

    The present drought is already a whopper. No EL Nino since 2009, yet the effects are shocking in many parts. The “neutral” years leading up to the weak El Nino of 1902-3 were shockers in eastern Oz. The BoM presently identifies no El Nino between 1926 and 1940, but that was a long era of mostly dry conditions, the worst heat occurring in a La Nina.

    While the decades with most El Ninos (1910s and 1990s, with four each according to BoM) brought plenty of drought the persistent low rainfall isn’t to be explained by a few handy observation sets.

    I know around here that when mangoes have good fruit setting my bamboo has poor shooting. What’s bad for California is likely good for me. Spring and winter drought are really a bit of a norm in my region and I tended to forget that between 2007-2011 (inclusive).

    When I want to know what to do for the future I look for the guy who predicted, from long out, all those good mid-year wet conditions after 2006 and the bad spring droughts of 2012 and 2013. Trouble is, I can never find that guy.

  47. Luke February 28, 2014 at 8:18 am #

    So the blog returns to it’s usual bullshit of averaging areas in drought and not in drought. Why deniers needs to licenced not guns.

    And a total fail on percentiles 101.

    And all the usual utter nutter wack job denier meming and verballing. Neville adjusts his tin foil hat.

    Let’s simply ignore a vast range of trends an really good science with some folksy yarns and settle happily and something has happened somewhere sometime before so that’s all we ever need to know. That’s it – close our little steel trap minds and rest in that simple thought bubble. So much for any possible science discussion.

    Incredible Bazza that these nongas can’t even do percentiles 101 – what hope !

    meanwhile back the the bench – http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/joc.3492/abstract Robby’s answer will be (a) build more kayaks and (b) but something happened somewhere before.

    http://www.greenhouse2011.com/UserFiles/Presentation/presentationUrl_132.pdf

  48. Neville February 28, 2014 at 8:27 am #

    Here’s NOAA’s recons of the PDO from 993 to 1996 or the last 1000+ years.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:PDO1000yr.svg There’s plenty of evidence for very long periods of mega droughts and mega floods to be found in the first 500 years.
    We’re just lucky we live in our time and place and not those earlier centuries.

  49. Robert February 28, 2014 at 8:41 am #

    Luke thinks that specific past events and records which closely relate to current ones are “folksy yarns”. It’s an aspiration to science, free of actual science, which would only spoil the aspiration, isn’t it? Back in the day stuff kind of happened but now there is “a vast range of trends”. Is it possible that all our past climate was without “a vast range of trends”? No satellite or Argo so it never happened? The measuring devices created the climate?

    Does anybody know what he actually means when he says we are “averaging areas in drought and not in drought”? Sounds very convincing – if you are bazza. But what is he talking about? We don’t know that there is severe drought in Qld and NSW?

    Then he lobs the usual patronising urban hipster grenades about tin foil hats etc, the stuff of smug but hopelessly lame ABC comedy.

    But really, what’s he on about? Is anything at all being said?

  50. Neville February 28, 2014 at 9:48 am #

    Steve McIntyre keeps the pressure building nicely on the Mann donkey.

    http://climateaudit.org/2014/02/27/mann-misrepresents-noaa-oig/ Even Briffa was concerned about Mann and Solomon’s extreme BS on the 1300 year paleo record.
    Steyn’s lawyers should have a field day with all this evidence that’s already available to them. Lawyer Chris Horner just laughed at Mann when he threatened to sue him, so the fool sued Ball instead. Ball was essentially just poking fun at the stupid nong.
    At least we know now that Wahl was asked by Mann to delete emails and he carried out Mann and Jone’s request.

  51. Another Ian February 28, 2014 at 9:57 am #

    So Luke is telling us that Rainman doesn’t know about percentiles? WoW!

  52. sp February 28, 2014 at 10:00 am #

    Robert, I apologise for contradicting you, but Luke does not think, he merely repeats memes. But I agree he does “smug but hopelessly lame ABC comedy” (but not very well).

  53. Debbie February 28, 2014 at 10:10 am #

    Bazza @ 10:31,

    “Luke, tis a safe bet that deb will still be unsure. She does not even risk averages.”

    I am highly amused and also very sure (with a very high% certainty) that you are continually and deliberately sidestepping the point that is being made here.
    For someone who claims understanding of and sympathy for Australian Agriculture, I am disappointed and quite stunned that you have made a comment such as this.
    For such a knowledgeable person, you must SUUURREEEELLLYY be aware that Australian farmers use statistics, time series graphs, spread sheets, new technology, R & D, economic modelling, market research, GPS modelling, machinery calibration etc. . . AND of course. . . BoM’s short term regional forecasts (as in 1 or 2 days up to about a week), radar, satellite maps, weather charts etc etc etc as management tools all the time ????????
    So Bazza. . . as opposed to your game of semantics. . . the point is that farmers who use this sort of stuff all the time. . . have found that BoM’s regional seasonal forecasting is NOT PARTICULARLY USEFUL as a risk management tool . . .BUT!. . .UNFORTUNATELY!. . .there are entities which can and do impact Agriculture in Australia who ARE claiming that they are good risk management tools and ARE using them.
    As evidenced by Jen and many other commenters here. . .it is NOT living up to anyone’s expectations.

  54. bazza February 28, 2014 at 10:15 am #

    “Not a Natural Disaster – Just another rainfall deficit” – that is the question.
    We can now agree BOM was verballed on how they define droughts. The trumped-up definition was then used to fabricate that BOM used an absurd definition, and the drought was not very severe. When the drought was defined conventionally “Serious to severe deficiencies (lowest 10% to 5% of records)”, the drought was seen to obviously qualify in terms of what used to be termed Exceptional Circumstances. Now as I pointed out, the current politics of entitlement and unenlightenment decreed that the drought be called a Natural Disaster.
    It took years for all the players to agree over a decade ago on a convention that drought was not to be classified as a Natural Disaster. The main argument being it was foreseeable and compared to some events like meteorites, the risk was therefore calculable. The definition was of course driven by relief and mitigation issues.
    In summary, half right. This is not a Natural Disaster as the term was understood ( given it can be defined any way you like). But half wrong – it was extreme by the accepted conventions relating to Exceptional Circumstances.
    But wait. Should the argument be that it was an unnatural disaster? – why wasn’t that the question? A denialist would obviously seek refuge in calling a drought as just part of a natural cycle and try to denigrate the science. However, 2013 as has been well established, was the hottest year on record. Rainfall alone is a proxy. If you ran a pasture growth model for the last century (as presumably has been done), the 13-14 drought would begin to look a lot like an unnatural disaster. And in some parts of Australia at least they will likely continue to make a bigger impact in terms of either or both severity and frequency.

  55. Johnathan Wilkes February 28, 2014 at 10:21 am #

    sounds familiar?
    “technocrats and academics whose definition of “evidence” is to cite each other ad nauseum,”

  56. Robert February 28, 2014 at 10:46 am #

    No matter what the historical fact and record, any new flood, drought or storm is to be cast as unnatural and related to human activity. Worse floods, droughts and storms from the past are just the stuff of “anecdotes” and “yarns”.

    Can’t win. May as well argue with a village prefect during the Cultural Revolution. The dogma comes first. The political purpose is sovereign. Let the thousand unnatural disasters blossom!

  57. cohenite February 28, 2014 at 10:49 am #

    bazza says:

    “However, 2013 as has been well established, was the hottest year on record. ”

    That’s not right:

    http://www.warwickhughes.com/blog/?p=2613

    “Percentiles and deciles”; for luke: The score of 80% has four scores below it. What is the percentile and decile of the score? Do you need extra information to work it out? If so what?

    For extra brownie points what are the strengths and weaknesses of BOM using this technique to rate droughts, sorry rainfall?

    PS I liked your red dwarf comment.

  58. Glen Michel February 28, 2014 at 10:50 am #

    So Bazza ,all this drought is due to increasing CO2? Prove it.

  59. Debbie February 28, 2014 at 10:55 am #

    The 13 – 14 drought in Eastern Australia, is as Jen says. . .a drought. . .which is in fact a historical NATURAL occurrence in our country and which on this occasion. . . the BoM DID NOT adequately forecast in its Winter/Spring 2013 seasonal regional forecasting.
    Despite your Shakespearian style rhetoric Bazza. . .that’s not verballing BoM. . .it’s just stating the facts of the matter.
    The political argy bargy. . .and the semantics over EC is another issue entirely. . .but I’m willing to bet that because the entities which manage rural assistance in Exceptional Circumstances did in fact believe that BoM’s Winter/Spring 2013 regional seasonal forecasting was useful and reliable. . . they got caught with their proverbial pants down. . . .along with other entities such as our water management authorities.

  60. Ian Thomson February 28, 2014 at 10:57 am #

    Hi bazza,
    So I take that to mean that someone who considers Australian droughts part of a natural cycle, is one of those ‘denialistic pigs’, who need spearing with New York icicles. Poor Dorothea she always seemed such an endearing intelligent chick too. Guess she did spend a lot of time in a nice temperate place.
    No computers either , I suppose.

  61. Luke February 28, 2014 at 11:11 am #

    ““Percentiles and deciles”; for luke: The score of 80% has four scores below it. What is the percentile and decile of the score? Do you need extra information to work it out? If so what?'”

    man oh man oh man …. scores?? What is the percentile and decile of the score?

    As Wolfgang Pauli would have said “”What you said was so confused that one could not tell whether it was nonsense or not.” or perhaps “”It is not only not right, it is not even wrong,”

    Cohers – let’s just say so arguments sake that we had 100 years of rainfall records. And you lined them up highest to lowest in value. The bottom 5% would be in 5th percentile range. But doesn’t have to be years – could be any period or multiple years. Really really basic. Not even up to probabilities yet. The middle is the median and in Australia the average is usually higher than the median.

    It’s a big worry that the blog doesn’t understand the 1st 20 minutes of the 1st lecture in 1st stats course.

  62. bazza February 28, 2014 at 11:25 am #

    luke, you could at least show empathy for victims of Geog Stats 100.5

  63. bazza February 28, 2014 at 11:26 am #

    Glen Michel. “So Bazza ,all this drought is due to increasing CO2? Prove it.” Glen, you can pretend the climate has not changed or it has always changed or whatever. There are others who more or less accept that “Yes, there is a temperature trend – but there are other measures of climate that have not changed. This requires a fair bit of mental dexterity conceding some bits of climate have changed and some have not.
    What it boils down to is that for some measures like average temperatures, variability is low and trends are indisputable. For others like droughts, it is difficult statistically to show trends except as related to temperature. So all we are often left with is uncertainty. The only way to manage uncertainty is to actively monitor with an open mind. Sceptics love uncertainty because it gives them unlimited cheap shots.
    My guess is the majority of people cant tolerate ambiguity and they ask silly questions like -“ Prove it”. If it is certainty you want, you are on the wrong planet.

  64. Neville February 28, 2014 at 11:32 am #

    The bottom line is that Luke and bazza are left stranded by even the IPCC and all of the observations around the planet. There is zip evidence to show that increased co2 is causing any extreme weather events at all.
    Even the rate of global warming from 1910 to 1945 shows zip difference from 1976 to 1998. Just check out the trends using Had 4 at WFTs.
    But OZ has covered our tiny increase in co2 emissions by our NATURAL Co2 sink via our EEZ. I think they should protest in China, India and yap to the Labor party about our FFuel exports if they are so concerned about our co2 emissions. But what a pair of jokers they are and can’t even understand SKSums.

  65. cohenite February 28, 2014 at 11:39 am #

    “Cohers – let’s just say so arguments sake that we had 100 years of rainfall records. And you lined them up highest to lowest in value. The bottom 5% would be in 5th percentile range. But doesn’t have to be years – could be any period or multiple years. Really really basic. Not even up to probabilities yet. The middle is the median and in Australia the average is usually higher than the median.”

    No luke.

    With my example the extra information you need is the number of years. So if you have 20 years then if the score of 80% has four scores below it is in the 20th percentile [4/20 = 20%]. Your statement shows you don’t know the difference between percentage and percentile!

    To the dunce corner for you and bazza.

  66. Luke February 28, 2014 at 12:24 pm #

    Score of what? what are you on about

  67. cohenite February 28, 2014 at 12:31 pm #

    “Score”

    You know luke, temperature, where if it is high the BOM scores an extra grant of money to tell us why.

  68. Glen Michel February 28, 2014 at 12:32 pm #

    Faith indeed Bazza but for many of us this has the brand of brain-washing stamped on it;the repetition,the alarmism.We’ve been there before and no distinction can be made between a drought in 1940 or in 2014.

  69. Glen Michel February 28, 2014 at 12:41 pm #

    More money for BoM for telling us that 2013 was the hottest year on record!! Cut my legs off and call me shorty! Agendas by the bucket. Must check UAH latest .

  70. bazza February 28, 2014 at 12:52 pm #

    Debbie back at 10:55am.
    “The 13 – 14 drought in Eastern Australia, is as Jen says. . .a drought. . .which is in fact a historical NATURAL occurrence in our country and which on this occasion. . . the BoM DID NOT adequately forecast in its Winter/Spring 2013 seasonal regional forecasting.
    Despite your Shakespearian style rhetoric Bazza. . .that’s not verballing BoM. . .it’s just stating the facts of the matter.”
    I have not mentioned seasonal forecasting in this context…. there is no connection between how rain is forecast and how droughts are defined except both are about rainfall.
    I don’t know whether to vote for you or Cohenite for conflator extraordinaire.

  71. cohenite February 28, 2014 at 12:53 pm #

    “I don’t know whether to vote for you or Cohenite for conflator extraordinaire.”

    Why not a joint award and then you can tell us what percentile we are in.

  72. bazza February 28, 2014 at 1:01 pm #

    Debbie, in addition to your segue abuse, I must point out repeat offences on use of the 3 dot ellipsis. There is a dash to the Right of the zero.

  73. Debbie February 28, 2014 at 1:08 pm #

    Bazza,
    For fox Ache!

    These are your comments that were the basis of mine:

    “We can now agree BOM was verballed on how they define droughts.”

    And…..

    “If you ran a pasture growth model for the last century (as presumably has been done), the 13-14 drought would begin to look a lot like an unnatural disaster. ”

    You are still playing semantics and doing a champion job of missing the point.

    BTW. . .in 2014 Australian farmers know a lot more about preserving ground cover and managing their land in times of drought (or if you like in times of rainfall deficit) than they did last century.
    BoM’s ability (or lack thereof) to forecast drought (seasonal or otherwise) has had precious little to do with that.

  74. bazza February 28, 2014 at 2:17 pm #

    Deb, so we agree you verballed me – I repeat, I did not mention seasonal forecasting!

  75. cohenite February 28, 2014 at 2:27 pm #

    Bazza, with all this talk of percentiles, scores and red dwarfs none of us know what you and luke are saying sufficiently well to verbal you.

  76. Luke February 28, 2014 at 3:01 pm #

    So Cohenite – can’t explain yourself so we’ll assume you’re just waffling and bluffing.

    Debs keeping asking more questions in her usual style.

    Percentiles and deciles are kiddy concepts.

    Bazza perhaps Cohers might be a “decile adder”? Quel horror !

    (yes Cohers we are ROFLing at your amazing inability here (good grief) – and we haven’t even got onto climate change – locked in the starting gates at Flemington)

  77. Luke February 28, 2014 at 3:05 pm #

    And yea – if you can’t do percentiles and deciles – best not to go on to probabilities – certainly not seasonal forecasting – and definitely not climate change a bridge far too far.

  78. cohenite February 28, 2014 at 3:15 pm #

    So speaks a true verballer.

    Why luke I gave you a perfectly good example of a percentile. Didn’t you follow? I don’t know if I can make it any simpler but let me try.

    Luke gets 10 and bazza gets 11%; both luke and bazza have twins who sat for the same test and did much better. What percentile is luke in the class?

  79. Debbie February 28, 2014 at 4:57 pm #

    Bazza,
    I am not interested in ‘verballing’ people. Neither am I interested in playing semantics.
    Please do try not be so precious.
    Whether you understand it or not. . .the current discussions about drought (or if you like ‘rainfall deficiencies). . . are connected to seasons and also seasonal forecasting.

  80. Another Ian February 28, 2014 at 5:53 pm #

    And going back to seasonal forecasts.

    On the last thread Luke referred to a spike in cattle prices from this widespread rain as predicted.

    From this week’s QCL in “Stan’s Say” the second last sentence:-

    “The slight jump in store cattle prices at the end of 2013 has completely vanished and most categories of store cattle have returned to the low price averages seen during 2013″

    Now Luke might show us the evidence of the spike of which he was talking or we will have to believe it was got at by the “Get rid of the medieval warm” team before it got to Stan.

    (Stan is a career livestock agent by the way).

  81. Peewhit February 28, 2014 at 8:28 pm #

    Jennifer
    This is not yet a serious drought. Most of the stockmen would ride it out quite easily if the disaster was not preloaded by the government banning the shedding of stock by an export ban to Indonesia. Any reasonable manager in that country must keep their stock numbers to where they can go for some time without rain. The unsold stock during the ban would have created a compounding problem for them. They have gone from where the stock had less value than the freight costs, to a position where the stock are worth less than the freight to remove them.

  82. Ian Thomson February 28, 2014 at 9:38 pm #

    Hi Peewhit, Yup
    Hottest year on record apparently, Luke and Baz . Get out of the office guys . Read history and walk around in the fresh air. If it is January , it will be very warm though.
    As we know you guys will get next year even warmer, even though we will still think it is normal out here.
    Come out near Bourke, some January and pretend you are pioneers.
    Experiencing a record breaking ( for you ) heat.
    I guess you have no idea how pathetic the revision of past temperatures appears to old timers out West . You poor deluded anti- deniers.

  83. hunter February 28, 2014 at 10:06 pm #

    So *if* parts of Australia really are warmer, that is regional, isn’t it? Skeptics are typically beaten up if they dare point out someplace is not warming/flooding/freezing/drying/calming/storming as predicted (or not) by the AGW prophets and believers.
    But claiming ‘the climate has changed, and it is changing because of CO2 is not what the IPCC is now saying. (recall it was the ‘gold standard’) This is looking purely subjective on the part of the ones making the claim. Climate always changes.
    And even Santer is relying on non-existent volcano activity to explain the global pause…..which seems to be actually in the 20 year range.
    http://bishophill.squarespace.com/blog/2014/2/28/santer-pause-now-20-years-long.html

  84. Debbie March 1, 2014 at 6:52 am #

    Yes Peewhit,
    That is certainly one of the government iniatives that Jen alludes to.

  85. Neville March 1, 2014 at 7:26 am #

    More on the hiatus and the blatant stupidity displayed by England trying to deny thev obvious. Fair dinkum you wouldn’t dream of making this stuff up, but there it is for all to see. Amazing how the sceptics always win in the end, even though the facts have to be dragged out of them over an extended period of time.

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

  86. Another Ian March 1, 2014 at 7:29 am #

    Jen and Peewhit

    Yes, the live export ban definitely impacted.

    And another “government initiative” in Qld was one of the effects of the vegetation management act, and particularly in 2004 when clearing of “not of concern” leasehold land was banned.

    In our area cleared freehold was around $100/acre. A nearby leasehold block fought and got a buyout at north of $60/acre for lost commercial value. That block brought $17.50/acre when put back on the market – illustrating the value of trees!

    Based on nearby land sales we lost around a million dollars in commercial value, with ongoing effects on potential sale price and reserves for managing the effects of drought..

    Try telling that news to your bank manager.

  87. Neville March 1, 2014 at 7:56 am #

    Bob Tisdale keeps working on his criticism of the England et al study. Good read and interesting graphs as always. Go Bob.

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2014/02/28/an-odd-mix-of-reality-and-misinformation-from-the-climate-science-community-on-england-et-al-2014/

  88. Debbie March 1, 2014 at 8:47 am #

    Yes Another Ian,
    Native Veg legislation is yet another government initiative that has impacted rural resilience.
    A similar problem exists in NSW.

  89. Neville March 1, 2014 at 9:14 am #

    Latest studies show reduced sensitivity to a doubling of co2. Interesting that a number of the latest SL studies show deceleration as well.
    These REAL world observations and studies are a real pain in the backside for the extremists and religious fanatics.

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2014/02/28/more-evidence-for-a-low-climate-sensitivity/#more-104002

  90. Luke March 1, 2014 at 9:45 am #

    Unable to do deciles 101 Neville brings us our daily helping of disinformation from denier centrals. Wonder if Tisdale could help out with stats 101.

  91. Debbie March 1, 2014 at 9:56 am #

    Unable to deal with REALITY Luke brings us our daily helping of ‘old hat’ irrelevancies.

  92. Neville March 1, 2014 at 10:18 am #

    A very good interview with Patrick Moore after his presentation to Congress. It’s preceeded by three donkeys hee hawwing their fanaticism for their barking mad religious cult.

    http://www.foxnews.com/on-air/hannity/2014/02/28/exclusive-former-greenpeace-founders-reality-check-liberals

  93. cohenite March 1, 2014 at 11:35 am #

    Luke, you can’t proceed to deciles until we wrap up percentiles. Which percentile are you in your class with bazza and your twins?

    I hope we can resolve this soon so we can get onto why the BOM is wrong to use percentiles for its rainfall groupings.

  94. bazza March 1, 2014 at 12:00 pm #

    Thanks Ian Thompson for your mindful invitation to sample the January heat at Bourke ( 28Feb 9:38pm). As you say “As we know you guys will get next year even warmer, even though we will still think it is normal out here.” True, the climate has changed, we have the new normal. But I will keep away from the airport, only 4 of the last 15 years since the site shifted have had below the old average temperatures in January. We could seek refuge at the Post Office where the old average was a bit cooler. Or better still, the PO Hotel, an urban cool island – ICI.
    Maybe it just felt cooler in the old days – 45C seems mild compared with about 115F.
    Anyway, I will show you hot. I used to do a bit back of Winton which is a few degrees up on Bourke. You could make a brew out of the water bag. I reckon the graziers probably went to Bourke for the summer to cool off. Thanks again but I have no plans to go to Bourke. I spent some time in western NSW when it was a bit cooler.

  95. Luke March 1, 2014 at 12:56 pm #

    Why “BoM is wrong to use percentiles for its rainfall grouping” Cohenite are you that much of a doofus and on drugs. Now a trivial expression of data distribution is some evil concept. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAA

    What a tosser. Give it away mate. I though you’d be into quintiles myself. More edge but less confidence.

    Bazza – the evaporative cooling caused by all that cotton growing at the back o Bourke has probably cooled the place down. Which is nice unless you’re crop checking in 100% humidity crop canopy on those balmy Bourke afternoons. Very relaxing. Mud packs also nice for leg hair removal if you’re into transvestism or swimming.

  96. Debbie March 1, 2014 at 2:21 pm #

    :-) :-)
    ROFL!

    Cohenite!
    Didn’t you know that BoM is always ‘not wrong’ ?

  97. Robert March 1, 2014 at 5:12 pm #

    Been checking the ground after the new rain and wondering how we’ve fared around here for those rainfall “extremes” at this time of year in the past. Our driest Feb was in 1939 (no surprise!) and our wettest was in 1929. Wettest March was in 1894 and driest was in 1922.

    Apparently it was wetter and drier and worse than they thought.

    Oh, just while I’m there, I notice that our driest Jan was in 1900 and wettest was in 1895. But the 1890s specialised in climate change, didn’t they? You wouldn’t believe what happened in 1895 after that “record” Jan rain. Driest “ever” late autumn and winter turned the whole north of the state to a giant firetrap, a greenie’s wet dream. That was the real swinging decade, the rest are just a bunch of catch-ups.

  98. cohenite March 1, 2014 at 7:32 pm #

    “quintiles”.

    Heavens, luke is quintuplets.

  99. Another Ian March 2, 2014 at 6:58 am #


    “In our time, climate activism has devolved into self-medication for the moderately mentally ill (and who’s to say this is not a useful service).”

    Tee hee.

    Mar 1, 2014 at 9:47 AM | James Evan”

    From http://bishophill.squarespace.com/blog/2014/3/1/the-global-warmist-plan.html#comments

  100. Neville March 2, 2014 at 7:02 am #

    Pielke jnr easily takes the Holdren dumb bum to the cleaners.

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2014/03/01/white-house-science-adviser-attacks-roger-pieke-jr-for-his-senate-testimony-pielke-responds-with-a-skillfull-counterstrike/#more-104053

    Here we find out that Holdren can’t even read and comprehend simple english. How can such a fool and fantasist be Obama’s chief science advisor?
    What an embarrassment to USA scientific understanding this donkey has become. But don’t worry he’s only the chief science advisor to the most powerful leader on the planet. Geeeezzzz give me strength.

  101. Another Ian March 2, 2014 at 7:44 am #

    And a read for emphasisers of “peer review”, particularly in “climate science”

    http://thepointman.wordpress.com/2014/02/28/a-climate-of-deception-deceit-lies-and-outright-dishonesty/

    Plus don’t miss the comments in the Bishop Hill item linked above

  102. Luke March 2, 2014 at 9:55 am #

    Neville you shonk.

    http://climatecrocks.com/2014/03/01/head-meet-platter-holdren-does-not-hold-back-on-anti-science-poser-pielke/#more-18179

    More disinformation from paid for disinformation units and fifth columnists.
    Neville the Walter Mitty fantasist who reads nothing but blog slops.

  103. Luke March 2, 2014 at 9:58 am #

    Wow it’s turning viral and into a denier object lesson.
    http://www.skepticalscience.com/drought-and-climate-change-holdren-pielke-jr.html

  104. sp March 2, 2014 at 11:45 am #

    Watts presented Holdrens comments and Pielke jnr response.

    SKS (the sciencey site) presents Holdren only.

    Balance versus BS.

    SKS – bald faced liars, supported by bald face liars.

    You are a shonk Luke.

  105. Luke March 2, 2014 at 12:17 pm #

    sp – you don’t even don’t know a double ENSO forecast from your shoe lace and like Nifty you enjoy being led around the ring by the nose ring. Put your Mum on – she might do better.

  106. bazza March 2, 2014 at 1:03 pm #

    hey Luke, Uni Qld is offering a free online course Think101x “We will explore everyday thinking: why people believe weird things, how we form and change our opinions, why our expectations skew our judgments, and how we can make better decisions.”
    And it is free.
    Who would be your priority nomination? Tough decision!
    At the other extreme Chief Scientist Chubb has been finishing with a flourish – his term is up in May.
    who would you nominate – there is a bit of sovereign risk if you wanted to bet because option 1 is to abolish the position. With Cardinal Pell gone to air his accounting skills in the land that invented double entry bookkeeping, maybe Plimer. I think most of the other denialist who sometimes get called Prof are actually only Aprof. But who said you have to be a Prof to be Chief Scientist – lack of scientific knowledge is no barrier to having strong but weird beliefs.

  107. Glen Michel March 2, 2014 at 1:13 pm #

    Luke you can’t put up a decent rebuttal on any issue – looking through the wrong end of a telescope it seems;and you would support this neo-McCarthyism you blithering dolt.

  108. Luke March 2, 2014 at 1:53 pm #

    Glen baby – can I help if it if we’re pretty good – even if confronted with a gish gallop of rat dirt. Now hush your Tea Party mouth. Hey and I thought you guys were the neo-McCarthyists – you need to refine your roles a bit.

    Perhaps you of all the players here can give us a percentiles 101. Sound of crickets….

    (Bazza I think I’m gonna go nontiles or duodeciles – Cohers has convinced me.)

  109. Neville March 2, 2014 at 1:56 pm #

    Whoopppeee it looks like Lukey is about as silly as Holdren and his desperation is clear when he quotes dipsticks like SKS.
    So tell us what caused those mega droughts in the US and S.America wiping out entire Indian tribes in the process?
    There is nothing to compare to those droughts in the last 150 years, so stop trying to support that Holdren dingbat you fool.

  110. Debbie March 2, 2014 at 1:58 pm #

    Luke,
    All that SkS article by Holdren is doing is defensively arguing over semantics, the definitions of drought and regions and the specific timing of the releases of contradictory reports and comments and statements and tweets etc.
    It looks like another classic case of an increasingly familiar line of argument which basically goes:

    “Even though it has been pointed out that I wasn’t right. . .if you choose to look at it this way. . .I can still argue that I’m not wrong.”
    BTW . . . it’s a bit of a stretch to call it viral considering the number of comments there don’t you think?

  111. Neville March 2, 2014 at 2:08 pm #

    The Aurora Australis has been stopped by thick ice once AGAIN at the Mawson base.

    http://notalotofpeopleknowthat.wordpress.com/2014/03/01/thick-ice-prevents-resupply-at-mawson-station/

  112. Luke March 2, 2014 at 2:09 pm #

    Neville There’s actually plenty to support if you’re not a pig ignorant shonk like yourself. Your little try-on from this morning has been shredded. A veritable Exocet up the jacksie. And I’m glad you now see what happens when the Earth warms and that the MWP has more relevance than grape growing.

    Debs if you can’t do deciles you don’t get a say.

  113. Debbie March 2, 2014 at 2:31 pm #

    Don’t get a say about what Luke?
    As pointed out above, Holdren’s article is not specifically about deciles etc.

  114. Neville March 2, 2014 at 2:32 pm #

    I think we should leave Luke to his silly fantasies, it’s like trying to argue with a strainer post.

    But it’s great to see that more of the MSM are covering the reality of the blatant absurdity of the alarmists claims.

    http://www.thegwpf.org/jenkins-climate-agenda-save-lost/

  115. Luke March 2, 2014 at 3:14 pm #

    Fraud Neville tries to pass off the WSJ quoted by the GWPF as MSM when it’s a denier comic. Debs get back on thread topic.

  116. Debbie March 2, 2014 at 4:08 pm #

    errrr Luke?

    You. . .as in YOU Luke. . . posted the SkS link at 9:55 and claimed:
    ” Wow it’s turning viral and into a denier object lesson.”

    But I am more than happy to get back on thread topic and discuss the current drought, definitions of the current drought and also the pros and cons of the $320 million drought package.

  117. Luke March 2, 2014 at 4:52 pm #

    Well lead off then Debs ….

  118. BethCooper March 2, 2014 at 5:46 pm #

    Is bazza a doppelganger?

  119. Another Ian March 2, 2014 at 6:22 pm #

    Beth

    Do you mean Luke’s trilby?

  120. cohenite March 2, 2014 at 6:28 pm #

    Luke you wouldn’t know a decile from a percentile if you were twins.

  121. cohenite March 2, 2014 at 6:49 pm #

    Wow, doesn’t Pielke Jr do a number on Holdren!

  122. Luke March 2, 2014 at 6:52 pm #

    To even say that Cohers means you’re a nonga. Cohers not even the 2nd quantile has twins. But I think Beth is into permilles. Good grief – Beth wrote a normal English sentence.

  123. Robert March 2, 2014 at 7:35 pm #

    Just getting back on topic, my area has drifted out of drought in the last week, but there’s not nearly enough joy for others – yet.

    How you perceive and define a drought I suppose is a matter of opinion. What is not a matter of opinion is that serious rain deficit has affected large regions of Australia in almost all years. The present terrible drought in Qld and western NSW is one of maybe one of a dozen such extended events in the record for that part of Oz. To indirectly imply that previous events were not associated with oceanic and climatic conditions such as now is an impossible stretch.

    The conditions which produced the Fed drought in Oz also produced famine in India (which stimulated Walker’s research). The scorching conditions in Sydney in the early 1790s coincided with the monsoon failures of the Skull Famine. The idea (implied if not stated) that anomalous ocean temps etc were not similarly involved in such past climatic events is verging on the insane – or insanely political.

    It is incredible that the great dominating factor of Australian climate – drought! – is being re-packed and framed as something new. It’s got to be the stunt of all stunts, requiring the spinning of semi-professional con artists. (I say semi-professional because a real pro wouldn’t touch this kind of ridiculous imposture.)

  124. BethCooper March 2, 2014 at 7:41 pm #

    Another Ian, a trilby is so old hat, whereas Luke …

  125. Luke March 2, 2014 at 8:00 pm #

    So don’t leave us hanging Robert – prosecute your argument further.

  126. hunter March 3, 2014 at 1:46 am #

    Luke only links to a site caught lying and fabricating evidence for a malicious lawsuit and declines to hear the rebuttal.
    Not surprising, actually.

  127. Neville March 3, 2014 at 6:54 am #

    Just like the EU the UK will have to move quickly to save its energy grid. But they won’t do it by importing wood chips from the USA, geeezzzz.

    http://www.thegwpf.org/deepening-energy-crisis-britain-uninvestable-energy-analyst-warns/

    Luke and bazza want OZ to copy this barking mad lunacy and repeat the EU’s clueless experiment. Their stupidity is the best definition of madness one could find, or hope to find. And the result is zero change to temp and climate by 2100.

  128. Glen Michel March 3, 2014 at 7:13 am #

    Just a quick comment on the impact of droughts in western NSW past when stock, particularly sheep, far exceeded today’s numbers and people were more common as well.When I worked in sheds in the early 70s comments were made about temperatures and lack of water and the impact this had on folk. Looking at the desolate landscape- no different from now; temperatures no different from now.One good year in 5 perhaps.People endure and I whinged about the tank water full of dead frogs!

  129. Luke March 3, 2014 at 7:16 am #

    More verballing from fraud boy.

  130. Another Ian March 3, 2014 at 7:48 am #

    To help Luke’s dependence on SKS

    http://stevengoddard.wordpress.com/2014/03/02/five-years-since-john-holdren-predicted-ice-free-winters/

  131. Neville March 3, 2014 at 7:49 am #

    No you fool I’m providing the facts, but you just skirt the issues and hide behind fundamentalist religious drivel to try and further your stupid agenda.

    I’ve clearly provided my agenda, first adaptation, then more R&D and drop all clueless S&W subsidies. But quickly build more coal and gas stns immediately, just like Germany and the EU are doing.
    And if new nukes are one answer then by all means start to plan to build our first stn today. This will take at least 20 years. BUT it won’t make a scrap of difference to temp and climate by 2100 or 2200 or 2500.

  132. Johnathan Wilkes March 3, 2014 at 9:06 am #

    @Neville
    “I think we should leave Luke to his silly fantasies, it’s like trying to argue with a strainer post.”

    Don’t malign strainer posts Nev!
    They are most useful.

  133. bazza March 3, 2014 at 9:45 am #

    I am interested in a bit more detail Nev on your agenda (… I’ve clearly provided my agenda, first adaptation, then more R&D and drop all clueless S&W subsidies. But quickly build more coal and gas stns immediately, just like Germany and the EU are doing.)
    In particular it is not clear to me on why the need to adapt if the climate isn’t changing.
    And what would be the main thrusts of your R&D agenda.

  134. Neville March 3, 2014 at 9:59 am #

    Firstly bazza here’s a random list of wild weather from 1935, just to try and further your education. A hopeless case I know.

    http://notrickszone.com/2014/03/01/wild-and-lethal-weather-extremes-gripped-the-planet-80-years-ago-when-atmospheric-co2-was-well-under-350-ppm/#comments

    As every true sceptic understands the weather/ climate is always NATURALLY changing. That’s why we must ALWAYS use adaptation as our most useful resource.
    If we want RELIABLE energy we must build more gas and coal stns, if we want more water we must build more dams, if we want fewer bushfires we must do more controlled burning etc. This isn’t rocket science just common sense.

  135. Neville March 3, 2014 at 10:12 am #

    Bazza here’s my understanding of historical NATURAL CC in a reply about Luke’s study on Dec 2013.

    Comment from: Neville December 24th, 2013 at 3:34 pm

    I’m sorry Luke but this is a real mish mash, I’ve copied some of page 342 so others can check it out as well.
    Antarctica wasn’t the warmest during the 20th century at all and the Arctic was warmer between 1941 to 1970 than 1971 to 2000. So little co2 increase and there is more warming in the earlier 20th century? So why isn’t ’71 to 2000 warmer? Rather stuffs up your argument.
    The average of the temp increase for 20th century was 0.4c increase above the preceding 500 years ( during the LIA geeeeezzzzz) or about the year 1500. Geeezzz that’s massive NOT. But NH was 0.5c warmer and SH was about 0.2c warmer. South America temps just as high in Med WP period as today.
    I’ve gotta go but please read on, I just don’t see your point.
    P.S —Antarctica was warmer for 1109 years than 1971- 2000, from the year 141 to year 1250.

    Twentieth-century reconstructed temperature
    The twentieth century ranked as the warmest or nearly the warmest century in all regions except Antarctica, where the large thermal inertia of the surrounding ocean may dampen warming28. Excluding Antarctica, the twentieth-century average temperature among the six regions was about 0.4 °C higher than the averaged temperatures of the preceding five centuries (Supplementary Table S3 lists centennial temperature differences based on the PAGES 2k and alternative reconstructions). Compared with the preceding five centuries, twentieth-century warming in the four Northern Hemisphere regions was, on average, about twice that of the more strongly ocean-dominated regions of Australasia and South America (about 0.5 °C compared with 0.2 °C), with the greatest differences at northern high latitudes. Twentieth-century warming in the Arctic (0.9 °C) was about three times that of the average of the other five non-polar regions.
    Our best estimate of reconstructed temperature for ad 1971–2000 can be compared with all other consecutive 30-year periods within each regional reconstruction. In Asia and Australasia, reconstructed temperature was higher during 1971–2000 than any other 30-year period. The Arctic was also warmest during the twentieth century, although warmer during 1941–1970 than 1971–2000 according to our reconstruction. In South America, the ad 1971–2000 reconstructed temperature was similar to the record maximum in ad 1251–1280. In North America, the reconstructed temperature for the 1971–2000 interval does not include the warm decades since 1980, and therefore underestimates the actual temperature for that interval. In Europe, slightly higher reconstructed temperatures were registered in ad 741–770, and the interval from ad 21–80 was substantially warmer than 1971–2000. Antarctica was probably warmer than 1971–2000 for a time period as recent as ad 1671–1700, and the entire period from 141–1250 was warmer than 1971–2000. These interpretations are generally supported by the relative magnitude of recent warming in the alternative reconstructions (Supplementary Fig. S4 and Database S2).
    Each individual proxy record contributing to the regional reconstructions was analysed to evaluate whether the values during 1971–2000 indicate higher temperatures than for any other 30-year period (Fig. 4d,e), independent of the procedures used for calibrating the temperature reconstructions. According to this analysis, of the 323 individual proxy records that extend to ad 1500, more sites seem warmest during 1971–2000 than during any other 30-year period, both in terms of the total number of sites and their proportion in each region. Similarly, of the 52 individual records that extend to ad 500, more sites (and a higher proportion) seem warmest during the twentieth century than during any other century. The fraction of individual records that indicates the highest temperatures during 1971–2000 decreases with increasing record length, consistent with an overall cooling trend over the past two millennia (Figs 2 and 3).
    Significant cooling tr
    endNon-significant cooling trendNon-significant warming trendSignificant warming trend1.00.80.60.40.20.0140080012001600Fraction of recordsStart of interval (year , all ending at  1900)5000Number of records
    Figure 3 | Summary of long-term trends in individual site-level proxy records. Sign (positive or negative) and statistical significance of the slope of least-squares linear regression through each site-level proxy record within the PAGES 2k data set. The fraction of records that exhibit significant (P < 0.05) or non-significant cooling trends was evaluated for records extending back different lengths in 30-year steps. The longer the record, the more likely it is to exhibit a significant long-term cooling trend. For illustration purposes, the fraction of positive trends with magnitude smaller (light red) and larger (red) than the one-sided P = 0.05 level is also included.
    PROGRESS ARTICLE NATURE GEOSCIENCE DOI: 10.1038/NGEO1797
    © 2013 Macmillan Publishers Limited. All rights reserved
    NATURE GEOSCIENCE | VOL 6 | MAY 2013 | http://www.nature.com/naturegeoscience 343
    –8
    –4 0 Standardized (SD) –5 0 5 10 0 200 400 600 800 1000 1200 1400 1600 1800 2000 –1.5 –0.5 0.5 1.5 0 4 8 Count 0 200 400 600 800 1000 12001400 1600 1800 2000 Temp. anomaly (°C) ha c e d n = 32300.10.20.3Regional proportion of recordsn = 52Climate forcingsg f–0.6 –0.2 0.2 b 00.10.20.3–0.4 –0.2 0.2 –2 0 2 4 Temperature (°C) 0.0 Forcing (W m–2) Forcing (W m–2)  Insolation (W m–2) Year Mann EIV Ljungqvist Moberg Hegerl ArcticEuropeAsiaN. AmericaS. AmericaAustralasiaAntarcticSolar-strong (Shapiro) Solar-weak (Vieira) Volcanic (Gao) Volcanic (Crowley) Greenhouse gases65° S Jan 15° S Jul 65° N Jul 15° N Jul
    Figure 4 | Composite temperature reconstructions with climate forcings and previous hemisphere-scale reconstructions. a, Previously published Northern Hemisphere 30-year-mean temperature reconstructions relative to the 1961–1990 reference period5,43–54. b, Standardized 30-year-mean temperatures averaged across all seven continental-scale regions. Blue symbols are area-weighted averages using domain areas listed in Table 1, and bars show twenty-fifth and seventy-fifth unweighted percentiles to illustrate the variability among regions; open black boxes are unweighted medians. The red line is the 30-year-average annual global temperature from the HadCRUT4 (ref. 29) instrumental time series relative to 1961–1990, and scaled visually to match the standardized values over the instrumental period. c, Running count of the number of regional reconstructions. d, For each 30-year period since ad 1500, the proportion of individual proxy records within each region that indicate the highest temperature during that 30-year period. e, For each century since ad 500, the proportion of individual proxy records within each region that indicate the highest temperature during that century. f, Long-term volcanic forcing from ref. 16 (black curve; spikes beyond –8 Wm–2 are truncated), and solar forcing from ref. 17 (red curve). g, Radiative forcings relative to ad 2000 smoothed using 30-year averages from ref. 31, including: two estimates of volcanic forcing46,47; two estimates of solar forcing that span the range from strong48 to weak49; and well-mixed greenhouse gases relative to ad 850. h, Change in summer (July and January) insolation at 65° N/S and 15°N/S latitudes relative to ad 2000 from ref. 50. Vertical red bands indicate volcanic-solar downturns as defined in Methods.
    NATURE GEOSCIENCE

  136. Robert March 3, 2014 at 10:34 am #

    Yes, Nev, in 1935 the USA had one of its worst cold waves, and a cat 5 hurricane at landfall. What had come before was Dustbowl. What came after was the Big Heat of 1936. Many places had “coldest ever” and “hottest ever” within three seasons.

    And yet Australia’s BoM only identifies one ENSO event in the 1930’s: the La Nina of 1938-9, which brought our biggest killer heat.

    So let’s just get us some power and burn more of that luscious Aussie coal. Everybody else does.

  137. Neville March 3, 2014 at 10:41 am #

    Mind boggling garbage from APPLE CEO. These donkeys use cheap Chinese labor to make their products but don’t acknowledge that the energy involved mostly comes from fossil fuels.

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2014/03/02/mind-blowing-apple-ceo-tells-deniers-to-get-out-of-apple-stock/#more-104165

    But he does tell sceptics they can POQ if they don’t support APPLE’s efforts to tackle CAGW. What a mob of clueless, hypocritcal whackos and just another reason why I wouldn’t ever buy their products.

  138. bazza March 3, 2014 at 10:53 am #

    Nev, when it comes to cut and pastiche, you win. I will simply paste your claim “As every true sceptic understands the weather/ climate is always NATURALLY changing.” But you believe climate sensitivity to increased CO2 is about one. That would be you accepting unnatural change as well in your vocabulary. And so by your logic you are not a true sceptic. What are you?
    That article you linked to had a good summary that I prefer to your analysis….
    “There were no globally synchronous multi-decadal warm or cold intervals that define a worldwide Medieval Warm Period or Little Ice Age, but all reconstructions show generally cold conditions between AD 1580 and 1880, punctuated in some regions by warm decades during the eighteenth century. The transition to these colder conditions occurred earlier in the Arctic, Europe and Asia than in North America or the Southern Hemisphere regions. Recent warming reversed the long-term cooling; during the period AD 1971–2000, the area-weighted average reconstructed temperature was higher than any other time in nearly 1,400 years.”

  139. Neville March 3, 2014 at 11:28 am #

    Bazza I’m a sceptic like Lindzen, Carter, Spencer, Christy, Choi etc. IOW I don’t believe in Cagw but accept some AGW in the system.

    I’ll get back to you later about the problems with Luke’s study because ir doesn’t always agree with other recent NH paleo studies.
    But 1941 to ’70 was still warmer in the Arctic than ’71 to 2000. So why was that? See we can all cherry pick what we want, but I’ll link to other studies when I have the time. And then you have the problems of Antarctica and sth America as well.

  140. bazza March 3, 2014 at 11:32 am #

    don’t bother Nev.

  141. Glen Michel March 3, 2014 at 12:54 pm #

    So in Luke and Bazza’s insular milieu the “new normal”is caused by a little bit more CO2 ….hakkk.. Sky is falling in.You blokes should get out and observe the real world ;take a long walk,or drive;take a cruise- slow boat to China and get the pace of the planet.Just get away from your models and take in the fresh air boys.

  142. Neville March 3, 2014 at 1:16 pm #

    Well here is the scientific verification that sceptics have wanted for their rational, logical and reasoned approach to any AGW.

    http://dailycaller.com/2014/02/27/us-uk-scientists-cutting-all-co2-emissions-would-not-stop-global-warming/

    Just backs up everything I’ve been saying here for years and refutes Luke and bazza’s silly BS nonsense.
    Fact is all countries could stop emitting co2 today and it wouldn’t make a scrap of difference to climate or temp for thousands of years.
    But even silly Flannery was pressured by the Bolter into admitting the same thing about 3 years ago.

  143. hunter March 3, 2014 at 1:21 pm #

    The true believers are true to form. Notice how there is no questions accepted regarding the presence of the divine climate apocalypse. It is here with us now, where ever two or more believers are gathered.
    That weather patterns are plainly not changing is just a figment of the evidence. The believers see all.
    Climate change is man made, in the sense that the believers are making it up.

  144. Glen Michel March 3, 2014 at 1:22 pm #

    ..erstwhile believers in man made climate change(new normal”) now sift through mass releases of so-called climate science from snout troughing academics.One lives and one learns so the saying goes but not for ideologues out for a free ride.We geologists hold our heads high full well knowing that tax payer funded largesse never passes our way.Question being:why did we believe this guff all those years ago? Answer is that time showed us the wiser.

  145. Luke March 3, 2014 at 1:30 pm #

    Well you’d better hand your geology degree back in Glen as palaeo is the most important evidence. Tax payer funded largesse – well trust geologists paid by mining conglomerates to not pay their way. Cuddle your share price.

    Hunter more content free waffle.

    Neville – of course – but as usual you’re a stupid prat – it’s a question of how high you want it to go. And for you the sky is the limit. Typical denialist stooge tactics.

  146. cohenite March 3, 2014 at 2:11 pm #

    luke and bazza I’m still waiting for some indication that either of you 2 clowns knows the difference between a percentile and a percentage.

  147. Neville March 3, 2014 at 2:19 pm #

    Geeeezzzz you’re a bloodhound Cohers, Luke and bazza will have to google your question before they could even begin to answer it.

  148. bazza March 3, 2014 at 2:53 pm #

    Luke, you should go easy on Nev – he has form on not getting the counterfactual when it comes to mitigation and temperature trends. It is very difficult to do a hypothetical when you cant even do reality!

  149. Luke March 3, 2014 at 3:45 pm #

    Well Cohers – we’re still waiting on your answer from a score of posts back where you were making acid trip like comments about percentiles. Now why you go back on redeem yourself here now with a more serious attempt at an intelligent comment about a trivial component. Typical arts graduate.

  150. cohenite March 3, 2014 at 4:46 pm #

    Oh forgive me luke, I’ve just been arguing with Orwellian adjusted Marxists over at OLO; here’s me thinking I could get some respite from the existential sophistry of those DHs; and what do I find here: the old “I didn’t say that, you did” routine from you.

    Amateurville!

    Previously on amateur hour bazza said this:

    “A relative measure based on deciles or frequencies (that even Nev with kindy stats would understand) has been in use for some time so that drought frequency in terms of government assistance happens in the long term at about the same frequency everywhere regardless of rainfall variability ( unless you game the system of course and if you ignore climate change)”

    Then mystery man bazza said this:

    “Serious rainfall deficiency: rainfall lies above the lowest five per cent of recorded rainfall but below the lowest ten per cent (decile range 1) for the period in question,
    Severe rainfall deficiency: rainfall is among the lowest five per cent for the period in question.”

    The contestant luke then opined:

    “Nongas

    “The Bureau of Meteorology has been defining the drought as a rainfall deficient for a 16-month period (October 2012-January 2014) relative to a long-term average defined as the years 1961-1990″

    is utter rubbish.

    I’ll leave it as an exercise to work out why. Intelligence threshold test for kindy stats class. It’s funny how in stats class they always skip over the first chapter on percentiles and deciles yet it’s just so basic.”

    What does all this mean; nothing from luke and bazza, yet the alleged difference between percentiles, with a few deciles thrown in and percentages supposedly rebuts Jennifer’s post.

    Some clarification please guys especially since bazza’s opening gambit that a decile is a frequency is wrong.

  151. bazza March 3, 2014 at 5:20 pm #

    Jen claimed ““The Bureau of Meteorology has been defining the drought as a rainfall deficient for a 16-month period (October 2012-January 2014) relative to a long-term average defined as the years 1961-1990″. I said they don’t – the statement is rubbish.

  152. sp March 3, 2014 at 5:22 pm #

    “Paleo” is the most important. You shonk Luke, go post on SKS

  153. cohenite March 3, 2014 at 5:31 pm #

    “I said they don’t – the statement is rubbish.” Well, that’s that then; the deity has spoken.

  154. sp March 3, 2014 at 7:57 pm #

    “Rainfall deficits for the 16-month (October 2012 to January 2014) period remain similar to the previous 15-month period, but have increased in severity across Queensland, northeastern South Australia and the Upper Western District of New South Wales. Serious to severe deficiencies (lowest 10% to 5% of records) are in place across much of inland Queensland, central northern New South Wales and in a small area on the coast of Western Australia near Shark Bay. Most of Queensland west of the ranges, northern New South Wales, northeastern South Australia and the southeastern Northern Territory has received less than 65% of the long-term (1961–1990) average rainfall for the 16-month period.”

    http://www.bom.gov.au/climate/drought/#tabs=Drought-Statement

  155. Another Ian March 3, 2014 at 8:17 pm #

    http://bishophill.squarespace.com/blog/2014/3/3/behold-a-gordian-josh-261.html

    Careful Luke or Josh might find some spare time for you!

  156. Debbie March 3, 2014 at 8:19 pm #

    Bazza,
    Oooops!
    Might have been a good idea to check first?

  157. bazza March 3, 2014 at 8:55 pm #

    sp, don’t stop at the Drought Statement! click on “about drought” on the same page and there you will find the definitions.
    Look as hard as you might and find one that matches Jens claim which I correctly said was rubbish in relation to how BOM defines drought . Jen claimed “The Bureau of Meteorology has been defining the drought as a rainfall deficient for a 16-month period (October 2012-January 2014) relative to a long-term average defined as the years 1961-1990″. And then report back pls. Like deb and cohors you might have checked first.
    If Jen had checked she would have had no story – this was an exceptional drought by any defensible definition of the word exceptional.

  158. Neville March 3, 2014 at 8:56 pm #

    Here is the link to the RS and NAS report on AGW. The usual suspects are there so you should know what to expect.

    http://dels.nas.edu/resources/static-assets/exec-office-other/climate-change-full.pdf

    They verify on page 22 that we wouldn’t be able to change the climate for thousands of years, even if we totally ceased Aco2 emissions today.

    But don’t expect bazza or Luke to suddenly become rational and use logic and reason anytime soon.
    But at least we sceptics have proved our case and I suppose we should just leave these loonies to play with the pixies and fairies.

  159. sp March 3, 2014 at 9:23 pm #

    Bazza,

    On the tab marked “Drought Statement” and followed by the heading “Rainfall deficiencies increase in Queensland and adjacent New South Wales and South Australia”, BOM stated:

    “Rainfall deficits for the 16-month (October 2012 to January 2014) period remain similar to the previous 15-month period, but have increased in severity across Queensland, northeastern South Australia and the Upper Western District of New South Wales. Serious to severe deficiencies (lowest 10% to 5% of records) are in place across much of inland Queensland, central northern New South Wales and in a small area on the coast of Western Australia near Shark Bay. Most of Queensland west of the ranges, northern New South Wales, northeastern South Australia and the southeastern Northern Territory has received less than 65% of the long-term (1961–1990) average rainfall for the 16-month period.”

    These are BOM’s words. The statement is clear and un-equivical, only a total moron would argue otherwise:

    “Most of Queensland west of the ranges, northern New South Wales, northeastern South Australia and the southeastern Northern Territory has received less than 65% of the long-term (1961–1990) average rainfall for the 16-month period.”

    The statement relates to DROUGHT.

    “about drought” provides no additional useful information and does not support your idiotic position.

    Pull your head out of your bum, have a look around and report back when you have seen the light. You will need to pull your head out of Lukes bum as well.

    You are a moron arguing about nothing.

  160. Luke March 3, 2014 at 10:03 pm #

    sp you are a stupid nonga of the worst order. Mr Double ENSO in person. Don’t pretend you have any grip on the even the basics.

    ““The Bureau of Meteorology has been defining the drought as a rainfall deficient for a 16-month period (October 2012-January 2014) relative to a long-term average defined as the years 1961-1990″.”

    is utter crap ! rubbish – bollocks.

    But let’s have a little competition. What’s wrong with the sentence above “The Bureau of Met……”

    It’s not about semantics or a trick. It’s simply WRONG ! and indicates a total lack of understanding.

    Come on guys step right up – it’s kindy math. Trivial even.

  161. Luke March 3, 2014 at 10:05 pm #

    I’ll even give you a tip – imagine you had one rainfall station – how would you do the analysis yourself?

  162. sp March 3, 2014 at 10:22 pm #

    Paleoboy – you are a moron.

    From the Bureau of Meteorology under the tab Drought, a DROUGHT statement:

    “Most of Queensland west of the ranges, northern New South Wales, northeastern South Australia and the southeastern Northern Territory has received less than 65% of the long-term (1961–1990) average rainfall for the 16-month period.”

    Check out the link Paleoboy:

    http://www.bom.gov.au/climate/drought/#tabs=Drought-Statement

    The BOM wrote that.

    Jeez, I hope you dont work for BOM – not only are you be a waste of space and an oxygen bandit, you would be a waste of money also

  163. bazza March 3, 2014 at 10:48 pm #

    The BOM definitions attached to the Drought Statement are :
    Definitions

    Lowest on record – lowest since at least 1900 when the data analysed begin.
    Severe deficiency – rainfalls in the lowest 5% of historical totals.
    Serious deficiency – rainfalls in the lowest 10% of historical totals, but not in the lowest 5%.

    Very much below average – rainfalls in the lowest 10% of historical totals.
    Below average – rainfalls in the lowest 30% of historical totals, but not in the lowest 10%.
    Average – rainfalls in the middle 40% of historical totals.
    Above average – rainfalls in the highest 30% of historical totals, but not in the highest 10%.
    Very much above average – rainfalls in the highest 10% of historical totals.

    Definitions matter. Defining drought so that accountable assistance can be provided to farmers has taken a few decades to get about right. Climate change may unsettle that. Verballing by Jen will not!
    I will sit back and wait for apologies from the none so blind as those who will not see.

  164. sp March 3, 2014 at 11:01 pm #

    Definitions matter, so do words, especially when they are presented by The Bureau of Meteorology as a DROUGHT STATEMENT:

    “Most of Queensland west of the ranges, northern New South Wales, northeastern South Australia and the southeastern Northern Territory has received less than 65% of the long-term (1961–1990) average rainfall for the 16-month period.”

    If the statement:

    “The Bureau of Meteorology has been defining the drought as a rainfall deficient for a 16-month period (October 2012-January 2014) relative to a long-term average defined as the years 1961-1990″

    is utter crap ! rubbish – bollocks.

    Then the BOM statements are utter crap ! rubbish – bollocks.

    Paleoboy – are you saying that BOM publish utter crap ! rubbish and bollocks?

    I dont know if Paleoboy is Moron CIC and Bazza Moron 2IC, but either way it is a case of two morons arguing about nothing and spouting rubbish.

    I have heard clearer logical statements from Bill and Ben the Flowerpot Men.

  165. sp March 3, 2014 at 11:02 pm #

    And Jaycee would be Weed in the middle.

  166. Luke March 4, 2014 at 12:06 am #

    sp – the even sillier nonga to keep going

    “Most of Queensland west of the ranges, northern New South Wales, northeastern South Australia and the southeastern Northern Territory has received less than 65% of the long-term (1961–1990) average rainfall for the 16-month period.”

    yep fine what’s wrong with that?

    BUT

    ““The Bureau of Meteorology has been defining the drought as a rainfall deficient for a 16-month period (October 2012-January 2014) relative to a long-term average defined as the years 1961-1990″.”

    is utter rot

    now sp – if you’re a bloke who estimates for a living you’d be a bit of a ding a ling wouldn’t you?

    So sp – the statement above is rubbish – as I said pick a single station – let’s call it “x” – how would you calculate a rainfall deficiency. It’s not a trick question.

  167. Luke March 4, 2014 at 12:08 am #

    Bazza – do you find it amazing that these people are all so stupid? Even when handed it on a platter. Amazing.

  168. sp March 4, 2014 at 12:20 am #

    Paleoboy – you are going around in ever diminishing circles – keep going and enjoy the eventual conversation with your fundamental, or would that be with Bazza?

    You have proved beyond doubt you are Moron CIC.

    You can be Bill and Bazza can be Ben.

  169. Luke March 4, 2014 at 12:25 am #

    OK sp – let’s try again – If you had to pick say Jan 2013 for “sp’s landing” WA – what would you do to find it’s percentile rank for a press release. What data do you get out of the database and what do you do with it.

    Hint – it’s not a fourier transform nor principal components analysis. ROFL !

    This is about the most trivial question you could ask. Day #1 at the Bureau. Hour # 1. Induction and denier skewering are after lunch (if you last that long).

    Giggle …. (anyone can play here – Beth, Robby, Debs? )

  170. Luke March 4, 2014 at 12:27 am #

    Assuming we’re still discussing rainfall of course.

  171. sp March 4, 2014 at 12:49 am #

    Paleoboy – I think you really do work for BOM. The horror. The horror.

    BOM wrote what BOM wrote.

    Are are we going to descend into Alice in Wonderland logic where words means whatever you want them to mean?

    “If you had to pick say Jan 2013 for “sp’s landing” WA – what would you do to find it’s percentile rank for a press release.” What does that mean you imbecile? and no, thats not like a percentile or decile. Hint – its a bit like a moron.

    I take it back – your neither Bill nor Ben – you would not make the grade – failed as a Flowerpot Man candidate.

    And there is nothing wrong with the statement:

    “Most of Queensland west of the ranges, northern New South Wales, northeastern South Australia and the southeastern Northern Territory has received less than 65% of the long-term (1961–1990) average rainfall for the 16-month period.”

    other than BOM is using it as a definition for drought.

    Time to tell me how important paleo is ….. you have nothing else left.

  172. Debbie March 4, 2014 at 6:48 am #

    Luke (and Bazza),
    That’s what BoM says . . .it’s on the website.
    If you’re certain it’s utter crap then perhaps you need to let BoM know?

  173. Luke March 4, 2014 at 7:15 am #

    So this is telling isn’t it. sp is TOTAL flake. He can’t do a 2+2 sum. This is the brains of Australian skepticism at full revs “Yuh mate I run a successful business – climate scientists are idiots blah blah blah”

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAA ……….

    oh just classic.

    Now Debs of course it’s on BoM’s web site and is correct.

    But what Jen wrote is not. Now Debs as also in the class of 2014 perhaps you can help your class mate out. How would you determine the percentile rank for Jan 2014 rainfall for downtown Deniliquin or perhaps Jan 2013 to Dec 2013. Just 2-3 sentences will do….. LMAO !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  174. Luke March 4, 2014 at 7:17 am #

    Dum te dum te dum ….

    Perhaps Nifty can throw in some filler to attempt a diversion.

  175. cohenite March 4, 2014 at 7:44 am #

    Percentiles, like the other “iles’, are rankings; but they are counterintuitive when compared to percentages. Now since you have brought up Deniliquin as an example, present the rainfall data and we’ll look at the percentile rankings.

  176. Glen Michel March 4, 2014 at 7:55 am #

    Paleo had me stumped, unless Luke was referring to himself as Paleo and we of course are Neo;that’s it I reckon sp.Luke and Bazza are a couple of dudes who BoM and climate council would like working for them- nitpicking and obscurantist toadies.Jaycee probably working for ABC rural report. Ex breed eewees.

  177. Debbie March 4, 2014 at 8:07 am #

    Luke,

    This is Bazza’s earlier clarification:

    “The Bureau of Meteorology has been defining the drought as a rainfall deficient for a 16-month period (October 2012-January 2014) relative to a long-term average defined as the years 1961-1990.” is incorrect. It is wrong. It is a misrepresentation.”

    And then above at 5:20 March 3rd:

    “Jen claimed ““The Bureau of Meteorology has been defining the drought as a rainfall deficient for a 16-month period (October 2012-January 2014) relative to a long-term average defined as the years 1961-1990″. I said they don’t – the statement is rubbish. ”

    You are now lecturing me that :

    “Now Debs of course it’s on BoM’s web site and is correct. But what Jen wrote is not.”

    Considering Jen does not mention Deniliquin but actually quotes from BoM’s website I think you may need to clarify what it is specifically that you are objecting to?

  178. Debbie March 4, 2014 at 8:33 am #

    And BTW Bazza at 10:48 pm

    Muddying up definitions does not provide ‘accountable assistance’ to farmers.

    “Definitions matter. Defining drought so that accountable assistance can be provided to farmers has taken a few decades to get about right. ”

    Considering your assertion that ‘definitions matter’ . . .what is your definition of this phrase:
    ‘accountable assistance to farmers’ “?

  179. bazza March 4, 2014 at 9:12 am #

    Luke, pennys don’t drop here. Deb resorts to usual to avoid responding to the bleeding obvious. As Debbie makes clear, if Jen claims BOM defines something in a particular way regardless of the truth, then truth loses. It is a bit like the Nuremberg defense. When was the last time one of the acolytes actually disagreed with a Jen pronouncement? Examples welcome.

    The pattern here is well established. Raise a technical point and you get some half-baked response by someone too arrogant or ignorant or both to actually do a bit of research before they launch into some pathetic response. They then have nowhere else to go than desperate diversions or ad homs – what a disgrace – what a sad and sorry bunch of losers.

  180. Robert March 4, 2014 at 9:26 am #

    Keep in mind that behind all the distractions there is a rigid political agenda. Current and recent major climate events have to be shown as unique/exceptional/extreme/unprecedented to fit that agenda. Major past events they have to be seen as mere subjects of “anecdote”. Modern events are to involve effects with dramatic names: polar vortices, supercells (imaginary or otherwise) etc. While past events, even the great monsoon failures of bygone centuries which killed millions at a time, just sorta happened, new events are portrayed as the products of freaky ocean temps etc as if these effects were new. If there is a “trend” which suits the agenda, needless to say it won’t end. Other trends are temporary and are best blamed on volcanoes (the study of which can be kept safely underfunded.)

    Trying to make a case for “new” drought in Australia – of all places! – is the try-on of all try-ons. It’s a bit like trying to portray heavy rain in Ireland or Galicia as “new” rain. We recently saw a very large non-hurricane described as “Superstorm” because it came in on the wrong tide to the wrong town with the wrong mayor. The fact that high-cat hurricanes have hit the place multiple times in the past, is just not to be mentioned.

    Nope. They’ll keep coming from different directions, even devoting yards of blog space to “percentile” when diversion is the best tack to take. But there’s a rigid agenda here and it’s purely political.

  181. sp March 4, 2014 at 9:28 am #

    Luke and Bazza – failed Flowerpot Men – by any definition. And while on definitions, define the meaning of this statement:

    “Most of Queensland west of the ranges, northern New South Wales, northeastern South Australia and the southeastern Northern Territory has received less than 65% of the long-term (1961–1990) average rainfall for the 16-month period.”

    What message do you think BOM intended to convey with those words?

    And BTW Paleoboy, the above is from a BOM DROUGHT STATEMENT, not a press release, there is a difference numbskull.

  182. Luke March 4, 2014 at 9:35 am #

    Look at them scatter. You pathetic lot have the temerity to opine about anything on climate.

    What a bunch of doobies.

    sp – it’s an interesting observation is what BoM are conveying. But that’s not Jen’s statement is it? BoM have made a standalone quite reasonable comment of interest (perhaps). But that’s just a diversionary rabbit for you well illustrating your total cluelessness.

    So do we have anyone here that could 2-3 sentences say how they rank a month, period, year whatever in percentile terms? Anyone? Gee you could even Google it? Or are you really that crap that you think you’re about to step on a land mine.

  183. Debbie March 4, 2014 at 9:39 am #

    Bazza,

    ” As Debbie makes clear, if Jen claims BOM defines something in a particular way regardless of the truth, then truth loses.”
    Seriously?
    What truth would that be in particular?
    Please be specific about your objection to what Jen has said in her post above.
    You were quite specific about WHICH (!) sentence you thought was a misrepresentation.

    I am still also very interested in your definition of ” accountable assistance to farmers “

  184. Graeme m March 4, 2014 at 9:46 am #

    I am not sure I follow the semantics of this argument. And given I have no stats capability I have no idea what all the percentiles stuff means. But Jen made the statement that BoM is defining drought as “as a rainfall deficient for a 16-month period (October 2012-January 2014) relative to a long-term average defined as the years 1961-1990”

    Now, on the BoM site they clearly state that “Meteorologists monitor the extent and severity of drought in terms of rainfall deficiencies”

    They then state that deficiencies are defined in terms of serious to severe to lowest on record, and that those definitions are based upon rainfall totals that fall within certain percentages of historical totals.

    They then go on to state that the totals in the most recent 16 month period have been assessed as being serious to severe. They also note that average rainfalls have been less than 65% of the long term average over the period 1961 to 1990.

    As far as I can tell, the critical point is the extent to which the definitions of serious and severe are established when comparing rainfall totals to a particular average. In other words, over what period are the averages established? While the statement does make reference to a 30 year period it does not specifically identify which period applies to the definitions.

    But assuming that period is correct, then they are clearly saying that drought severity is associated with a rainfall deficit defined as serious or severe when totals are compared to a 30 year average between 1961 and 1990. That would seem to my uneducated eye to be the same as saying that that BoM is defining drought as “a rainfall (deficit) for a 16-month period (October 2012-January 2014) relative to a long-term average defined as the years 1961-1990”.

    Do you disagree with that Luke and Bazza? And if so why? can you explain so i can follow what on earth this argument is about?

  185. Luke March 4, 2014 at 10:12 am #

    Graeme M – to summarise -drought has a BoM definition here – http://www.bom.gov.au/climate/drought/#tabs=About-drought

    It is all about percentiles …. this is the WHOLE basis for exceptionality

    This utterly fundamental core values true grit stuff. (Robby should even have a warm inner glow about all that history being taken into account).

    The 1961-1990 is merely an aside and BoM assess drought on percentiles not what Jen said – so do the Feds that bail out Debs mates. The fact that the great unwashed here are arguing shows that they have missed the first class on day #1 of climate and stats 101 and so makes you doubt if they have a scintilla of understanding about anything. Although oh so willing to talk drivel underwater. Climatology often takes an arbitrary period as a baseline – WMO standard.

    “The Bureau of Meteorology has been defining the drought as a rainfall deficient for a 16-month period (October 2012-January 2014) relative to a long-term average defined as the years 1961-1990.”

    What’s wrong with the above sentence – 16 month is just “an analysis” of interest. There could be others. And BoM DO NOT define drought as is said – they define as per the definition in line 1.

    This whole debate shows how clueless the blog is on REALLY BASIC stuff. Graeme – the level of science or maths here is piddly !

  186. Luke March 4, 2014 at 10:13 am #

    Still waiting for anyone write 3 lines show to do a percentile rank for any station for any period. Come on you pussies.

  187. bazza March 4, 2014 at 10:22 am #

    Perhaps Graeme and even sp deserve an answer – he is seeking knowledge maybe and he is only rude because he was wrong. He asks “What message do you think BOM intended to convey with those words?”
    “Most of Queensland west of the ranges, northern New South Wales, northeastern South Australia and the southeastern Northern Territory has received less than 65% of the long-term (1961–1990) average rainfall for the 16-month period.”
    The answer is clear – there is only one message – it has been dry to a varying extent in those regions.
    But some people want more – to what extent at their place.
    How often does this 65% happen? Give it a bit of context pls. It is what the military intelligence community call Words of Estimative Probability. Poets are interested in words on what actually happened, others want concrete information ( numbers!) on how likely it was so they know whether it matters much in the overall scheme of things. That raises two problems.

    Questions on how likely an event is or was involve probabilities and humans generally are a bit ordinary in handling that stuff. For example surveys of what probability people attribute to something being “ possible” show estimates ranging from a 1% chance to 99%.

    The second problem is chance of getting less than 65% of the mean depends where you live. You might hear at the local that rain for the year was only half the average. Out west that is not unusual. In better endowed areas it is much more rare.
    So that is why BOM carefully defines drought at a location in terms of rainfall history at that location, for example in terms of “Severe deficiency – rainfalls in the lowest 5% of historical totals.”
    And that is why BOM has a soft preamble in the Drought Statement before unleashing rankings of an event in relation to the historic totals. And that is why Jen was wrong to say that BOM defined drought some other way.
    Of course drought used to be defined as a departure from average until Canberra wised up that those canny Queenslanders were knocking off all the drought assistance. ( Qld rainfall is more variable than most places on earth so they were getting most of the drought assistance). And I spent some time in Botswana once where the drought definition resulted in drought 10 years in a row and drought assistance became institutionalised as it can become here.
    Definitions do matter.

  188. sp March 4, 2014 at 10:28 am #

    According to Paleoboy the BOM drought statement

    “Most of Queensland west of the ranges, northern New South Wales, northeastern South Australia and the southeastern Northern Territory has received less than 65% of the long-term (1961–1990) average rainfall for the 16-month period.”

    is merely an aside.

    What message do you think BOM intended to convey with that “asside”?

    Come on Paleboy – drop the “iles” diversion and tell everybody what value that “aside” brought to the BOM DROUGHT STATEMENT.

    2 or 3 lines will do.

    Repeat – what value did the “aside” bring to the BOM DROUGHT STATEMENT.

    Or do you believe BOM publishes nothing more than asides and rubbish statements, including bollocks?

  189. Luke March 4, 2014 at 10:37 am #

    So I take it that sp as a rootin’ tootin’ business leader into estimating is UNABLE to do a basic percentile. Heaven help your customers. You’re an utter twit ! You have all been handed the answer on a platter and you’re still bleating. Stop squirming and show me you are not a total idiot.

  190. cohenite March 4, 2014 at 10:57 am #

    “Still waiting for anyone write 3 lines show to do a percentile rank for any station for any period. Come on you pussies.”

    Says luke the troll; you don’t know what percentile is, that’s the problem, isn’t it? So every time I put an explanation or example in front of you, you ignore it and continue insulting the good folk on this blog; way to go troll.

    Link to Deniliquin’s data and we’ll play percentiles; otherwise, put up or shut up percentileless one.

  191. Luke March 4, 2014 at 10:59 am #

    Nah Cohers – you show me. Or be pooned for being a clueless decile denier.

  192. Luke March 4, 2014 at 11:02 am #

    Look Cohers – it’s this easy – ordinate your data, take the first derivative and display the value a modal adjusted univariate – how had is that?

  193. cohenite March 4, 2014 at 11:12 am #

    “ordinate your data, take the first derivative and display the value a modal adjusted univariate – how had is that?”

    “how had is that?”

    Pretty hard actually and definitely superflous if all you want is a percentile ranking. But keep talking to your mates and post what they say.

  194. Graeme M March 4, 2014 at 12:10 pm #

    Hmmm… This is pretty strange stuff. To me, at least, clearly not to you Luke. Help me out here. In that Line 1 you refer to, we see that drought can be defined as pretty much anything we like given the lack of certainty around what ‘normal’ use might be – after all, normal at a time of water plenty might be different to that at a time of rainfall deficit.

    So, we don’t actually have as far as I can see a workable definition. However, it is clear that BoM must assess drought severity according to rainfall totals compared to an historic norm. You argue that is based on percentiles.

    I’ll assume at this point that ‘percentile’ is what is meant by taking a value for rainfall over a period, then seeing how that compares to an historic dataset. In this case, if the rainfall over the 16 month period is in the lower 5% of historic totals, then the deficiency is severe.

    So. Is the ‘historic totals’ an average of the rainfall for that region for the period 1961-1990 or is it not? If it isn’t, what exactly ARE the historic totals?

    While the analysis of the 16 month period is “an analysis”, surely it is only a remarkable analysis (given it appears to be the only anlysis on that page) for the fact that the comparitive values fall into the 5% and 10% definitions (are these the percentiles of which you speak?).

    So, IF the rainfall total for the area in question falls into the 5% of historic totals and is hence severe, and the historic totals used to make that judgement are based on the 1961-1990 period of historic totals, why is jen’s statement incorrect?

  195. Graeme M March 4, 2014 at 12:17 pm #

    Actually, it looks to me like all you’d need to say would be that “BoM describes the severity of a drought by the extent to which rainfall is deficient for a particular period relative to a long-term average calculated over the years 1961-1990″ to have a more accurate rendition of what Jen said.

  196. Debbie March 4, 2014 at 12:37 pm #

    Bazza and Luke:
    Both of you have repeatedly claimed that this PARTICULAR (!) sentence is wrong or bollocks or a misrepresentation or rubbish etc:

    ” The Bureau of Meteorology has been defining the drought as a rainfall deficient for a 16-month period (October 2012-January 2014) relative to a long-term average defined as the years 1961-1990.”

    Your comments at 10:12 and 10:22 respectively are very interesting and ask some interesting questions (apart from your tendency to be sarcastic) but they do not explain what was wrong with. . . or a misinterpretation of. . . that particular sentence.
    Bazza’s conclusion here:
    “And that is why BOM has a soft preamble in the Drought Statement before unleashing rankings of an event in relation to the historic totals. And that is why Jen was wrong to say that BOM defined drought some other way.”
    But BoM does define drought in this “some other way”
    From BoM at the link Luke provides above which is actually even titled “rainfall deficiencies Bureau of Meteorology” :
    An area experiences a rainfall deficit when the total rain received is less than the average rainfall for that period.

  197. Luke March 4, 2014 at 12:57 pm #

    Let’s see how Feds hand out drought dollars:

    “For a drought event to be considered a rare and severe, one in 20 to 25 year event, the rainfall deficiency must be within the historical 0–5th percentile range, across the majority of the area, during the application period. Rainfall deficiency maps displaying areas which have recorded 0–5th percentile rainfall deficiencies can be accessed through the Bureau of Meteorology website.

    Applications must also clearly define the event period and provide evidence that the event is discrete. The event period for a drought should be at least 12 months in duration and be provided in whole months or more. ”

    http://www.daff.gov.au/agriculture-food/drought/ec/ec_handbook

  198. Luke March 4, 2014 at 1:15 pm #

    For the 10,000 time this is BoM’s drought page http://www.bom.gov.au/climate/drought/#tabs=About-drought

    Do you see assessment against 1961-1990 as a criterion – fascinating though that may be as an aside or auxiliary bit of information – NO YOU DO NOT ! That’s nyet, nope, nada, not so.

    Do see all the historical record mentioned – YES YOU DO – which would now be 124 years or more.

    So this is as hard as it is – one gets the period one may be interested in – let’s say rainfall for Jan to Dec for 2013 (or if you’re in the north perhaps – April 2012 to Mar 2013, then you get all the years/periods back to 1890 whatever. You line them up highest to lowest. ISN’T THIS HARD BOYS AND GIRLS ! BE CAREFUL NOW.

    The lowest 5% of them are said to be in percentile 5. A duh ! Maybe your year or period of interest was Jan to Dec 2013. that’s it.

    In the above case BoM because they are clever and have compuutoors they would have got all 16 or 22 month periods from the record and analysed where this period ranks in all the previous 16 or 22 month like periods. It’s a widdle bit more sophistmuckated but the same thing.

    So here’s the 3 lines:

    (1) get all the like periods from the great big database
    (2) line them up highest to lowest
    (3) see what rank you period of interest is

    Now this kindy maths – day #1 in any stats class

    and 1961 to 1990 – not be seen ! (although fascinating as an aside)

    No wonder Bazza and I regard you lot as utter fools.

  199. Luke March 4, 2014 at 1:20 pm #

    Supplementary question – if you had to work out where last autumn was in percentile rank, and you had the rank for each month – March, April and May 2013 what would you do. See if you can redeem yourselves.

  200. Luke March 4, 2014 at 1:22 pm #

    Debs – “An area experiences a rainfall deficit when the total rain received is less than the average rainfall for that period.” and for Debs – NO NO NO ! – as the average is often higher than the median ! You’d have a deficit more than 50% of the time – more fails in rainfall 101.

  201. Debbie March 4, 2014 at 1:58 pm #

    Eerrrrr Luke?

    While I don’t disagree with your personal assessment of that sentence. . .I actually copy/pasted that sentence that you NO NO NO ! at. . . from this link here:

    http://www.bom.gov.au/climate/drought/#tabs=About-drought

    So perhaps, once again, you need to take it up with BoM?

    The major title is for that page is ‘rainfall deficiencies’

    It also says this :
    ” Use our Drought Statement, rainfall maps and reports to watch for areas with significant long and short-term rainfall deficiencies.”

  202. Luke March 4, 2014 at 2:08 pm #

    They have avoided using median for average but it’s what they clearly mean “Average – rainfalls in the middle 40% of historical totals.” Norty BoM trying to avoid big words to help nongas.

    Anyway Debs I would have thought you of all people would know your EC Criteria.

  203. Graeme M March 4, 2014 at 2:12 pm #

    Thanks Luke, I think I get it. I’ll assume that you DO actually know how the BoM methodology goes.

    So, in the case of the 16 months in question, we’d simply pull all other such 16 month periods from the record for that location and see how our sample is ranked. And the record data is what it is – 50 years or 100 years or whatever we have? And if our sample is ranked in the lower 5% of set, it’s considered a “severe” deficit.

    So I was on the right track earlier in querying whether the 61-90 average represents what BoM calls the ‘historical totals’.

    And that’s why Jen’s statement is erroneous – because assessing the severity of a drought is not based on an average one specific sub-set of the dataset. Yes? No?

    And if no, then I will just go back to quietly watching from the sidelines! :)

  204. Johnathan Wilkes March 4, 2014 at 2:19 pm #

    Debbie

    You can throw anything at Teflon Luke and he can weasel himself out it.
    Like a latter day Houdini.
    Now he translates the hidden thoughts and meanings behind the BOM papers.

    Still he has one advantage over a strainer post, he can communicate in a way, he is not as useful but!

  205. Debbie March 4, 2014 at 2:23 pm #

    But Luke?
    Definitions matter!!!!!!!. . . according to Bazza.
    That seems to be what he has been on and on and on about.
    And you have been backing him up.
    Are you now EXCUSING BoM for being lax with their definitions?:
    Isn’t that what Jen pointed out?. . .ie. . . those lax BoM definitions?

  206. cohenite March 4, 2014 at 2:57 pm #

    “No wonder Bazza and I regard you lot as utter fools.”

    Before:

    “The lowest 5% of them are said to be in percentile 5″

    No. You are confusing percentile with percentage. For instance; assume a class of 20 students had the following scores on their most recent test: 75, 77, 78, 78, 80, 81, 81, 82, 83, 84, 84, 84, 85, 87, 87, 88, 88, 88, 89, 90. The score of 80% has four scores below it. Since 4/20 = 20%, 80 is the 20th percentile of the class. The score of 90 has 19 scores below it. Since 19/20 = 95%, 90 corresponds to the 95 percentile. Likewise the score of 75 would be in the 1st percentile.

    A percentage score indicates the proportion of a test that someone has completed correctly. A percentile score tells us what percent of other scores are less than the data point we are looking at. As seen in the above example these numbers are rarely the same.

    The first issue is whether you use the mean or maximum of the data to convert the rest of the data points to percentages and thereafter convert to correct percentiles.

    So, which is it luke?

  207. Luke March 4, 2014 at 3:15 pm #

    Spot on Graeme M – I knew you would get it. Probably 120 years of rainfall record (or more). And why is this important and not semantics. Because the whole notion of Exceptional Circumstances funding is based on an exceptional – i.e. fairly rare event that landholders cannot manage for. Well that’s the idea anyway. And it is not based as you have worked out on 1961-1990 average at all – BoM simply provided that for information.

    The fact that nobody could understand the absolutely trivial nature of percentiles has been a cause for some amusement. But clearly these analyses are worth big bucks by Treasury.

    While you’re here – the other three gotchas are:

    (1) a one in 20 or 25 event doesn’t mean it will be 25 years between events
    (2) you can add the percentile for three months e.g. March, April, May together and work out a rank – you have to add the whole period for each March to May total. Or you’ll be laughed at for getting it wrong. Common error.
    (3) Treasury get nervous if EC hangs around – as the payouts don’t seen to stop – so you can imagine why they’d be interested in climate change – eh ! the original problem. Imagine if the future isn’t a representative sample of the past and the lottery of numbers change to drier? !!

    That’s not “it will never rain again” but drier. Or maybe that 120 years is not enough record and you need 500 to 1000 years. Or both not enough years and AGW ! Head spin.

    And it takes probably above median rainfall to revoke a drought declaration – it’s hard to get out of a drought if you don’t get a big deluge. Just the way the numbers fall. So you can end declared much more than 5% of the time – and if that was in the 25% range – Treasury may again wonder what’s cookin’

    Now Graeme we could have had a nice chat about all this but the inmates here aren’t up to it nor disposed to listen.

    So you can see Graeme you’d think all the rootin’ tootin’ LNP and Tea Party business managers here would be into percentiles 101 – but apparently not. Nongas.

    Hopefully Cohenite has made some notes.

  208. Luke March 4, 2014 at 3:21 pm #

    It’s percentiles Cohenite ! You just line them up highest to lowest and bin them.

    Goes back to 1967 http://trove.nla.gov.au/work/21297477?q&versionId=25447946

  209. bazza March 4, 2014 at 3:24 pm #

    Sorry Graeme M – your suggestion for change does not fix it. The definitions of drought are not about extent of departures from average – they are about how the event ranks historically.
    Luke – a deficiency can be defined in relation to anything – maybe the height of your rain gauge.
    Jen apparently concocted her self-serving view of how BOM define drought from para 2. Why not define drought by the opening sentence of para 1 the Drought Statement “ January rainfall was below to very much below average across much of northern and western Queensland as well as along the east coast and adjacent inland from Rockhampton to southern Victoria.” why not define it anyway you want but don’t mislead the ignoratti or use a definition to suit your argument.
    You can now all go and get sorted.

  210. Luke March 4, 2014 at 3:25 pm #

    “The first issue is whether you use the mean or maximum of the data to convert the rest of the data points to percentages and thereafter convert to correct percentiles.”

    Rubbish – you don’t adjust or convert anything. You just line ‘em up. Don’t overthink it. It’s trivial. Except maybe bin dividing lines but let’s not get all sophistamuckated.

  211. Luke March 4, 2014 at 3:27 pm #

    If Robby knew that events were ranked historically maybe he’d like to our friend. All that history.

  212. Luke March 4, 2014 at 3:47 pm #

    As the BoM/CSIRO report for the drought reform process identified with regards to the
    EC declaration process:

    “the one-in-20-to-25-year EC event trigger definition is not appropriate under a
    changing climate, and that future drought policy may be better served by
    avoiding the need for a trigger at all.”

  213. Robert March 4, 2014 at 4:57 pm #

    The reason the klimatariat is such a danger: they blur and obscure the past, or simply shout over the top of it. We’ve seen it right here with the blatantly political manipulation of the present drought into a manifestation of “new climate”. But one of the worst examples is the presentation of the recent North American drought as “new climate”. This has been a lie of staggering proportions, and it’s unlikely to have been propagated to direct compassion to farmers.

    The mega-drought – you don’t want one of those! – of the 16th century is scarcely in doubt, but subsequent events have been terrible if shorter. The Pueblo drought of the 16thC, the Hambre of 17thC Tex-Mex, the “sanding” of Saskatchewan, the Great Desert period of the early 19thC US which was dramatically reversed by the 16 year Pluvial…before 25 years of severe rain deficit in most of the US and southern Canada.

    Then the Dustbowl! Then more droughts! Then this drought!

    Got a bad drought? Welcome to the old climate.

    Start with the truth and work forward to your dogma. By the time you arrive you won’t be interested in your dogma, but at least you’ll know a tiny bit.

  214. Luke March 4, 2014 at 5:09 pm #

    You don’t know it’s a lie Robert. Your intellectually bankrupt evaluation is that something has happened before somehow. What an impoverished scientific view. A trivial examination of the science. And the past gives very good reasons to have concerns for the future.

    The reason that you’re such a danger is that your vice like grip that all you know is that all you’ll ever need.

  215. Debbie March 4, 2014 at 5:14 pm #

    So Bazza at 3:24 pm ?
    Are you now saying it was the word ‘deficiency’ that you didn’t like and that you thought was a misrepresentation etc?
    That word is all over the BoM website in relation to defining drought & not. . . as you imply . . . just one paragraph.
    How is that a now case of ‘self serving’ or misleading the ignoratti on Jen’s part? ( whatever you think ignoratti means or whoever you think ignoratti might be?)

  216. cohenite March 4, 2014 at 5:20 pm #

    Sorry, Jennifer is correct:

    “The Bureau of Meteorology has been defining the drought as a rainfall deficient for a 16-month period (October 2012-January 2014) relative to a long-term average defined as the years 1961-1990.”

    The base period is 1961-1990; the current period is from Oct 2012-Jan 2014, 16 months. The BOM says this period is in the “(lowest 10% to 5% of records)”. That’s PERCENTAGE not PERCENTILE!!

    What I want to see is the anomalies for this period and the anomalies for the other comparison 16 month periods; anyone would think we were asking for the bloody Holy Grail.

  217. sp March 4, 2014 at 5:27 pm #

    Luke @ 10:12 – “The 1961-1990 is merely an aside and BoM assess drought on percentiles not what Jen said”

    Definition of aside:

    – In conversation or drama, a short passage spoken in an undertone or addressed to an audience.
    – In writing, an aside may be set off by parentheses.

    From BOM:

    “Rainfall deficits for the 16-month (October 2012 to January 2014) period remain similar to the previous 15-month period, but have increased in severity across Queensland, northeastern South Australia and the Upper Western District of New South Wales. Serious to severe deficiencies (lowest 10% to 5% of records) are in place across much of inland Queensland, central northern New South Wales and in a small area on the coast of Western Australia near Shark Bay. Most of Queensland west of the ranges, northern New South Wales, northeastern South Australia and the southeastern Northern Territory has received less than 65% of the long-term (1961–1990) average rainfall for the 16-month period.”

    Wheres the aside Paleoboy?

  218. Robert March 4, 2014 at 5:34 pm #

    I typo’d. The Pueblo was, of course, 17th century and the Hambre (Hunger) was 18th century. We only know the outlines for these events but there were enough Pueblo Indians fighting over boiled leather with Spaniards to give us an idea to match the paleo. The problem of wishing for good rain in eastern Oz is knowing what that might mean for elsewhere. Our post-WW2 pick-up and 1950-7 period of big rains coincided with the worst drought in recorded history for southern United States – though this latest one is a real shocker.

    Some say that the 16thC was no mega-drought at all compared to what came before. Hey, it’s only some paleo evidence from one area, but…
    http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/paleo/drought/images/laird.gif
    Don’t like to think about it.

  219. Luke March 4, 2014 at 5:46 pm #

    sp and Cohers – know when you’re talking rot and sulk off. I have never seen such dribble. Stop your rabbiting. You’ve been told – clean out the sensory organs and try understanding instead of twittering. Be really ashamed of your appalling performance here. Australia’s sceptic glitterati washed up on rainfall 101. Who’d have thought. What a disgraceful display.

    You don’t need to see anomalies for worst on record bits or lowest years. Try basic experience. The lowest bunch of 16 month periods in 120 years is the … errr…. lowest. Period. That’s it. All over red rover. Why or why are you rabbitting on about baselines when the map analysis is a percentile analysis. That’s the BIG point and over your head. Obviously you’re missed all such points I’ve made over the years.

  220. Glen Michel March 4, 2014 at 5:50 pm #

    So Luke who has the hide to say another has an impoverished view:what is the difference between a historical drought and one that is contemporaneous …… Worse now because it suits the meme.Come on and be honest with yourself and declare that you have been mistaken in your views and repent. Even Paleo rocks don’t lie or ice core proxies Lukey babe.

  221. Graeme M March 4, 2014 at 6:16 pm #

    Will have a good read through the latest comments in a moment, but just heard the latest climate report being spruiked on ABC – Australia is getting warmer and wetter. But the wetter part is the northern part… Guess the trend for Qld then might not be for drought?

  222. cohenite March 4, 2014 at 6:30 pm #

    Thanks luke, I’ll quietly sneak off and stare at this:

    http://www.bom.gov.au/cgi-bin/climate/change/timeseries.cgi?graph=rranom&area=aus&season=0112&ave_yr=T

  223. Graeme M March 4, 2014 at 6:39 pm #

    I can’t say whether Luke is right in how BoM does its definitions etc, but I understand what he’s driving at. Simply put, the period 1961-1990 is not relevant to the characterisation of the rainfall deficit for that area as severe or serious. That bit about 65% simply adds another dimension to considering the rainfall pattern over time.

    All Luke is saying is that if you take a 16 month period, and then compare it to all similar 16 month periods in the record, then you can see where it falls in terms of its rank. You could use any arbitrary period of 12 months or greater and then compute the totals for all such periods across your dataset.

    In this case, for the location, the rainfall for that 16 month period ranks right at the bottom – in the lowest 5 to 10%. (which is getting wetter as CSIRO notes) but it tells us nothing about specific locations.

    The rainfall anomaly for all of Australia gives us a sense of Australia’s overall ‘wetness’

  224. Graeme M March 4, 2014 at 6:41 pm #

    Stupid computer! Last para should read

    In this case, for the location, the rainfall for that 16 month period ranks right at the bottom – in the lowest 5 to 10%. The rainfall anomaly for all of Australia gives us a sense of Australia’s overall ‘wetness’ (which is getting wetter as CSIRO notes) but it tells us nothing about specific locations.

  225. Luke March 4, 2014 at 7:15 pm #

    Well Graeme M great if you’re in the Gibson Desert but not so good SW WA, Tas, Vic,. SE QLD, Burdekin. Cohenite tries the old thimble trick.

  226. Robert March 4, 2014 at 7:28 pm #

    Everyone seems to be missing the point, if a drought isnt a natural disaster just a natural course of events then earthquakes, cyclones and all natural events are also just natural events.

    The disaster part is when my business is interrupted, one year would be ok because my hay will last that long but over 2 years is a natural disaster, just like a cyclone

  227. Glen Michel March 4, 2014 at 8:15 pm #

    Yeah yeah und so weiter Bureau of truth..sorry Meteorology spokesman Karl Braganza says “event attribution is still in its early days” FFS the dickheads still can’t discern between natural and contrived forcings. I mean can anyone with an enquiring mind put up with this groupthink science- well it speaks for itself and y’know its right.Geeez Luke give us a bone fer f—cks sake!

  228. Glen Michel March 4, 2014 at 8:29 pm #

    Lake Disappointment must look a sight at the moment as it’s been a fair while since such rainfall has been seen thereabouts. Yep , it’s been wet in from the Pilbara and it’s been dry and hot down SE due to the influence of an accented high pressure system, which according to climate freak-out merchants has never ever happened before in the history of the planet…..Quelled Horreur!!

  229. Neville March 4, 2014 at 9:26 pm #

    Cohers says he’s looking at the OZ rainfall anom graph and trend, but years ago I mentioned how the stand out feature from 1900 to 2000+ was the dry period from about 1920 to 1940.

    Cohers total OZ graph is like that as well. But so are all the states except SWWA, Tas and perhaps Vic. WA as a state is fairly dry during that period, but south OZ is terrible extreme drought. Qld is fairly dry as well.
    North OZ is very dry from about 1922 to 1939 and southern OZ is dryer from 1922 to 1939. SE OZ was bit dryer from 1920 to 1940 as was the MDB.
    NSW was dryer from about 1921 to 1947 and NT was very dry from 1922 to 1940. The IPCC tells us they accept that co2 effect was felt after 1950 so we know that 1900 to 1950 is considered to be a natural period and not under AGW influence. So why was that Natural period such a stand out from about 1920 to 1940?

  230. Luke March 4, 2014 at 9:33 pm #

    Glen Michel – if you knew anything at all you’d know that investigations into sub-tropical ridge, southern annular mode, Indian Ocean and ENSO, widening Hadley cell all paint a picture of AGW changes. Of course you’d have read all that research wouldn’t you. Of course you haven’t – it’s easier just to go NAH – NAH !

    But of course the blog doesn’t understand percentiles 101 let alone a whole paper on science. HAHAHAHAHA

    I hope you don’t live off press clippings alone. And if there is an AGW influence it won’t be uniform – will be winners and losers. And over a backdrop of ongoing variation. I think you’d be unthinking not to conclude something is going on across the bottom of the continent.

  231. Neville March 4, 2014 at 9:50 pm #

    RSS shows zip global warming for 17 years and 6 months. And thanks to RS and NAS we now know there is bugger all we can do about it for thousands of years anyway.

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2014/03/04/no-global-warming-for-17-years-6-months/#comments

  232. Neville March 4, 2014 at 10:04 pm #

    What a voice and wonderful song and melody. Another great entertainer lost to chain smoking and throat cancer in 1965. Song written by Hoagy Carmichael in the 1920s.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kzPLQpLAxc4 Sorry Jen but Luke is guilty of the same offense sometimes.

  233. Robert March 4, 2014 at 10:35 pm #

    Note the return to that rigid agenda of climate exceptionalism?

    During all the great droughts of the past the atmosphere and oceans were presumably just filing their nails, humming a tune, watching Home and Away…But for THIS drought there’s all this stuff going on with ocean temps, subtropical ridges etc. THIS drought is AGW flavoured, now with extra SAM and an ENSO that’s new and improved.

    Cheap sell for cheap mugs.

  234. Graeme M March 5, 2014 at 5:56 am #

    Regardless of AGW influence, this post noted that the drought situation had attracted government assistance and that the drought was some kind of natural disaster. Jen opined that this was a bit of a stretch and that it was better characterised as ‘part of a natural cycle’.

    To support that view, Jen noted BoM’s definition of drought as a “rainfall deficient for a 16-month period (October 2012-January 2014) relative to a long-term average defined as the years 1961-1990″. She observed too that rainfall for the region in question was “less than 65% of the long-term (1961–1990) average rainfall for the 16-month period.”

    Her conclusion was that the idea of there being a “natural disaster because rainfall is less than 65% of what it was during the period 1961-1990 for a period of a bit over a year is absurd”.

    Luke seems to me to have shown that the definition of a serious to severe drought depends on a quite different definition. I think his explanation of how the rainfall for the 16 month period from October 2012 to January 2014 falls into the lower 5-10% of such periods matches what BoM has said on their website and therefore confirms the drought as being serious to severe.

    However, does that constitute an exceptional drought deserving of the tag ‘natural disaster’? Luke also offered us this text:

    “For a drought event to be considered rare and severe, one in 20 to 25 year event, the rainfall deficiency must be within the historical 0–5th percentile range, across the majority of the area, during the application period. Rainfall deficiency maps displaying areas which have recorded 0–5th percentile rainfall deficiencies can be accessed through the Bureau of Meteorology website.

    Applications must also clearly define the event period and provide evidence that the event is discrete. The event period for a drought should be at least 12 months in duration and be provided in whole months or more. ”

    I think it is demonstrated that for at least some of the region, the drought is, by BoM’s definition, a serious to severe drought.

    There is still some question for me over whether those regions rainfall deficiency falls into the 0-5th percentile – I’d need to read up on what percentiles are given Luke and Cohenite’s disagreement on what such a thing is. But I think on balance Luke is right.

    The last aspect of Jen’s post to consider is whether or not the drought can be considered a natural disaster. I think the question of whether it is part of a natural cycle is somewhat irrelevant – a drought, a flood, a cyclone, can be all considered a natural event. It is the severity and impact that makes that event a natural disaster. My view is that if the drought has been unusually severe and its impact considerable, it might indeed be classed as a natural disaster.

    So, I’m with Luke on this one – Jen’s post is, quite simply, wrong.

  235. Luke March 5, 2014 at 8:32 am #

    Graeme M – this is important stuff. One can argue about the natural disaster business. Even the extreme droughts are rare but not unheard of as Robert reminds us so well.

    So do EC events fall outside a range that can reasonably be expected? Should landholders get any help. Well see car industry historically – but also now.

    Is 120 years of record enough for a view. Is the the future not a random sample of the last 120 years.

    However USA and Europe protect their agriculture so does EC assistance even things up as our climate variability higher. Or does it reward bad managers? And prolong the inevitable. Issue is that EC can compound – how about a little drought, bad frosts and harvest rains combination. Combos can an do get asked for? But as Robert keeps telling us – there’s always something going on in the bush.

    And despite Robert’s non-science view – Treasury has asked the question – how would you detect an AGW game changer trend emerging from the sea of variation. Hard stuff and you only have science and cliamte details. Why? Coz IMO since the 1990s the rural sector has had 100 years of EC in 20 years? So what gives? Something with the climate, politics or farmers/graziers – or all three??

    Pity the thread has been about nonsense as these are the real pressing policy issues. I’m gone !! Toodle pip.

  236. cohenite March 5, 2014 at 8:47 am #

    Graeme; you’re talking about a couple of different things.

    Firstly, as is his want, luke has been running around trying to score points based on his huge statistical knowledge, in this case about the straightforward nature of percentiles, deciles and the like; such things are merely a method of ranking data and are quite distinct from percentages which is commonly how the data is presented.

    As for the drought situation, the BOM has used a base period from 1961-90. A base period establishes a ‘norm’ for comparisons of other periods; how the other periods differ from the base period allows anomalies to be generated; anomalies are typically used to show how temp, rainfall etc are changing.

    Luke is saying the BOM doesn’t use its base period but instead does a direct comparison between the 2 periods described as 16 months and 22 months from this page with other identical periods in the past:

    http://www.bom.gov.au/climate/drought/

    There is nothing wrong with that method, as opposed to using anomalies based on the period 1961-90 as long as you make it clear.

    Neither luke or the BOM are clear. I won’t try to duplicate what luke has said but at the link it is also a jumble:

    “Rainfall deficits for the 16-month (October 2012 to January 2014) period remain similar to the previous 15-month period, but have increased in severity across Queensland, northeastern South Australia and the Upper Western District of New South Wales. Serious to severe deficiencies (lowest 10% to 5% of records) are in place across much of inland Queensland, central northern New South Wales and in a small area on the coast of Western Australia near Shark Bay. Most of Queensland west of the ranges, northern New South Wales, northeastern South Australia and the southeastern Northern Territory has received less than 65% of the long-term (1961–1990) average rainfall for the 16-month period. ”

    As soon as you mention percentages [10% to 5%] you are referencing to a scale which requires a base to represent 100%; the only base/scale is the period 1961-90 which is specifically mentioned in regard to the 65% figure.

    In addition the 10% to 5% also requires a ranking referable, presumably to the base period which, also presumably is where the 100% is to be found.

    I have no idea; it is a mish-mash. Jennifer has presented the graph showing rainfall increasing which is referable to the base period and is therefore an anomaly graph. This graph shows no national drought. There are obviously regional droughts but we only have the BOM’s mish-mash to assist us in that respect.

    Jennifer isn’t wrong.

  237. Robert March 5, 2014 at 8:50 am #

    There appear – again! – to be two Roberts here. There is the Robert Luke argues against. This Robert has a “non-science view” based on the notion “there’s always something going on in the bush”.

    Then there’s the other Robert who points constantly and in detail to specific events closely comparable with recent or current climatic events. This is the non-manufactured Robert who keeps pointing to stuff that actually happened. Luke seldom if ever offers a rebuttal to this Robert, preferring to debate the manufactured “Robby”.

  238. Luke March 5, 2014 at 8:52 am #

    Yes well. Whatever. Unhappy endings.

  239. bazza March 5, 2014 at 8:55 am #

    Game over!.
    BOM does not define droughts so Jen is wrong.
    BOM provides information so others can define drought for their situation, for example the Drought Statement has some 8 measures – take your pick! So Jen is entitled to define drought anyway she likes but she cant claim BOM defines drought.

  240. cohenite March 5, 2014 at 9:06 am #

    Sorry, correction, Jennifer’s graph is NOT an anomaly graph, it is based on actual measurements.

  241. Graeme m March 5, 2014 at 9:24 am #

    Cohenite, I don’t think it’s a mish mash really, it’s just not as readable as it might be. The problem lies in conflating the 65% figure with the percentile stuff.

    Now, again remember I have absolutely no stats knowledge so happy to be shown why I am wrong.

    The first thing to note is that BoM is assessing the severity of drought based on the period in question when compared to other periods of same extent in the record. There is no ‘base’. It is simply an arrangement of periods – let’s call each period a unit. So if we have 50 units, then we can assess where an individual unit sits in rank. Presumably, the lowest 10% of those units will be the 5 units with lowest values.

    The 65% over the period of 1961-1990 is a different matter entirely. I am not sure quite what it tells us. Clearly, the current period has rainfall that totals around 65% of the average calculated over the base period, if it were 50% or 20% they’d have said so. Unless 65% is some kind of ‘magic’ number used elsewhere. But if that region usually receives marginal rainfall for the purposes of human activity, then 65% of the average could be a significat issue. If we are farming in an area where we already are just on the edge of viability due to limited rainfall, a decrease of some 30-40% over a sustained period might be a major impact, especially if our usual rainfall pattern is relatively constant over the course of a year.

    The point is, there is no specific relationship between the 65% and the 5% ways of looking at it.

    The pages at BoM we are talking about are NOT defining drought. They are defining the severity of drought based on the extent to which rainfall over a period is deficient when compared to historical values.

    So Jen’s post is wrong factually. Her underlying point regarding the possibility that the rainfall in the period is within natural variability and hence predictable, or at least likely, is a different kettle of fish. Then you have to come up with your own measures for how to evaluate any period of dryer than usual weather. BoM has its measures. Is it wrong?

  242. bazza March 5, 2014 at 9:33 am #

    Graeme m, the connection between the 5% and 65% is that 65% line happens to roughly line up with the area defined by ranking. For a more severe drought it could be say 75%.

  243. Debbie March 5, 2014 at 10:34 am #

    Bazza,
    ” Game over!.
    BOM does not define droughts so Jen is wrong.”

    So what would you call this from the BoM webpage re rainfall deficiencies?
    http://www.bom.gov.au/climate/drought/#tabs=About-drought

    “What is drought?

    Drought is a prolonged, abnormally dry period when the amount of available water is insufficient to meet our normal use. Drought is not simply low rainfall; if it was, much of inland Australia would be in almost perpetual drought. Because people use water in so many different ways, there is no universal definition of drought. Meteorologists monitor the extent and severity of drought in terms of rainfall deficiencies. Agriculturalists rate the impact on primary industries, hydrologists compare ground water levels, and sociologists define it by social expectations and perceptions. ”

    While I don’t disagree that “BOM provides information so others can define drought for their situation”. . .and neither do I disagree that would largely be assessable on a regional basis . . .your assertion that BoM does not define drought is incorrect.

    Maybe the discussion should really be about defining the ‘severity’ of a drought and perhaps how BoM could assist in this space when we are looking at measures like EC and Drought Assistance?

    And BTW, your original objection was that Jen somehow misrepresented what BoM had published about the current situation in inland QLD, northern and inland NSW and other smaller regions.
    As mentioned before, perhaps you could have checked BoM’s website first?

  244. cohenite March 5, 2014 at 11:18 am #

    Graeme, it was not me who raised the issue of percentiles, it was luke who has 10 fingers and 10 toes and a marshmallow between his ears.

    If BOM used the 16 month period, as I say, as a stand alone period to compare with other 16 month periods in the past for the various regions then that is fine. But how do you express that as a % as they have done?

    Say this 16 month period had 50 points. The regions in question are described as being in the lowest 5 or 10% of records. This is ambiguous: does it mean it is 5 or 10% of the highest or does it mean the lowest 5-10% in a percentile sense which may mean that it is more than 5 to 10% of the highest reading. I have already given an example of this but let me do it again.

    In my example our region has 50 points in the current period; say previous period totals were 55, 60, 65, 70, 75 and 80. Our current total is clearly in the bottom 5% but it is not 5% of the highest total; nor is it in the 5th percentile it is in the first.

    However if our current total was actually 5% of the highest period total it would be 5% of 80 points or 4. That would indeed be a drought!

    Can you not see this?

  245. bazza March 5, 2014 at 11:38 am #

    Deb, I would be more polite if I thought you came here to learn like Graeme does. But you could at least give me the courtesy of reading what I have already made clear. The definition you quote is what military intellegence call poetry. It is a useless definition in risk management terms.

    I wrote” It is what the military intelligence community call Words of Estimative Probability. Poets are interested in words on what actually happened, others want concrete information ( numbers!) on how likely it was so they know whether it matters much in the overall scheme of things.”
    So Jen was wrong twice. BOM don’t define drought in numeric terms and if they did they certainly would not use the one she said they use. Do you know why?. I will tell you again. It would be useless in assessing drought risk either spatially or historically. You will then ask another of your interminable questions about why do BOM use it. And you can guess the answer by checking out the extraordinary misunderstandings displayed above over the last few days. Only Graeme has learnt something because he tried and had an open mind and did not have blind slavish loyalty to everything Jen writes. So BOM provides several descriptive measures of the current situation but to ease the pain for the less numerate ( or less afflicted with the maths gene eg cohers) , but uses ranking ones to show the current event in historic context. After all how else could astute risk managers and drought assistance administrators operate.

  246. Graeme M March 5, 2014 at 11:43 am #

    Cohenite, I don’t have the time right now to consider that further, unfortunately. I understood Luke’s explanation to simply mean that if your period had 50 points, then where it was ranked would establish the severity of the reainfall deficiency. Thus if it ranked at the lowest end of your set, it is severe. In your example, 50 is indeed the lowest. If you had 100 such periods, then the lowest 5% of those periods might be say 5 such periods with values of say 48, 49, 50, 50, 51. Your 50 falls right into this group.

    But that’s clearly a very simplistic idea – I don’t have a clue what percentiles really means as I said. It’s just that the IDEA of ranking periods makes good sense and I can see how it works.

    For more detail that may make sense to you, read these. Scroll down to the bit about “What do the maps show”.

    Average Rainfall:
    http://www.bom.gov.au/jsp/ncc/climate_averages/rainfall/index.jsp

    Percentage of annual rainfall:
    http://www.bom.gov.au/jsp/ncc/climate_averages/rainfall-percentages/index.jsp

    Rainfall percentiles:
    http://www.bom.gov.au/jsp/ncc/climate_averages/rainfall-percentiles/index.jsp

  247. Luke March 5, 2014 at 1:09 pm #

    Yes congrats to Graeme M for getting it. Simple powerful concept.

    So the now classic Gibbs and Maher 1967 method of deciles and percentiles has served Australia quite well due to our long rainfall records.

    As Bazza alluded there are other methods:

    http://drought.unl.edu/Planning/Monitoring/ComparisonofIndicesIntro.aspx

    The Palmer Drought Index being one and the SPI index another.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Palmer_Drought_Index

    http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/oa/climate/research/prelim/drought/spi.html

    But they all have issues

    and controversy too http://www.earthmagazine.org/article/widely-used-index-may-have-overestimated-drought

    Which of course we could have had some interesting discussions about and/or drought policy.

    But the blog doesn’t want that – just an ongoing mindless shelling of BoM and AGW related science. And for sceptics here, an embarrassing discussion about trivial things like percentiles. Good grief ! It really is lowest common denominator stuff and Jen wants her blog back to spread erroneous messages like this thread.

    It’s interesting fro Robert to ponder as a hypothetical as to how one might detect an AGW signal emerging from the fog of variability. But he’ll say who cares and list a long series of historical factoids. Which are interesting to a point but not illustrative not illuminating. It’s obviously impossible here or anywhere in sceptic land to have a meaningful discussion about the interesting local work on southern Australian rainfall decline and perhaps related drivers Indian Ocean, SAM, STRi, ENSO, widening Hadley’s etc However, Robert and Cohenite will only scoff. Fascinating that young researchers would be politically motivated to spend years constructing these elaborate hoaxes creating their kiddy consoles with mind numbing levels of maths and physics.

    But at least Graeme M is a window of hope into what some mutual indulgence in discussion can deliver.

    Anyway off you all go to Jen’s new threads to let her regain her blog where gleefully you won’t find myself, and Neville can cut and paste and slander with impunity.

    And perhaps without Bazza too who had supported my previous attempts at blog dieting only to have be drawn back himself to the debate. So as we know, most most diets fail but there are other restaurants.

  248. cohenite March 5, 2014 at 2:26 pm #

    There you go Graeme, you’ve graduated from the luke academy of fluff and nonsense where the active motto is divert, distract and divide.

    God knows I’ll never be granted entry let alone matriculate from this esteemed asylum.

    From Hogwarts, I mean BOM, in respect of percentiles and percentages:

    “Percentiles are used as an indicator of the likelihood of a particular event. Percentiles are related to deciles and are expressed as a number out of 100 (similar to a percentage). The percentile refers to the ranking of a particular value relative to all of the values for that site. For example, if there were 100 rainfall values recorded for a site, we could place them in order from the least to the most rainfall. Of these values, the 10th lowest value would be called the 10th percentile and the 20th lowest value the 20th percentile. This is applied right up until the 100th percentile, which includes all of the values that have been measured for that site, and is equal to the maximum rainfall value.”

    If they can’t get that right what can they get right. A percentile is NOT a percentage. A percentage score indicates a proportion relative to the maximum expressed as 100. A percentile score tells us what percent of other values are less than the data point we are investigating. These numbers are rarely the same. I have given 2 examples showing this, buggered if I’m giving a 3rd.

    BOM further confuses this simple distinction by imposing a value judgement as Graeme says:

    “Thus if it ranked at the lowest end of your set, it is severe.”

    So, if in respect of rainfall the total is last because it is the least on a data set it is severe. So 50, 51, 52, 53, 54, 55, 56, 57, 58, 59, 60, means 50 is severe.

    It is just junk.

  249. Robert March 5, 2014 at 3:22 pm #

    And again, in an even more indirect and patronising way, the notion of modern climate exceptionalism is pushed at us. The New Man at Year Zero knows his task and sticks to it religiously. Our Green Betters understand we may have difficulties with reality and so on, but we must soldier on to find that AGW signal in the fog of variability.

    Note the sly implication that skeptics are against discussion of interesting local work, discussion of related drivers and so on? As for the idea that such drivers were likely involved in the great droughts, floods and extremes of the past: that can only be supported by “a long series of historical factoids”, so a pivotal subject called Actual Climate is just dropped. Catch the stunt?

    And while the likes of Luke have an almost infantile attitude to such valuable things as ENSO (of which they appear to be stupendously ignorant at times) it is not Luke who is picked on for using observation sets as kiddy consoles. No, it is an imaginary persecuted group called “young researchers”. Basically, us mean skeptics are shooting at Bambi, not at some aging activist called Luke. Catch the stunt?

    Nope. Not falling for any of it. Nobody around here is denying the importance of climatic influences except Luke. He understands they operate now, but pretends they were whistling Dixie during the truly extreme events of, say, 1902 and 1950. If you are into “extremes”, it is unbelievable in the extreme that someone who constantly flaunts his “maths” can count to 2014 but not to 1902.

    It’s a rigid political agenda pushed by activists. If it can’t be be brought through the front door they’ll try the back door or side window. If necessary they’ll package it as something else. But modern climate exceptionalism is a cornerstone of their agenda and they are determined to deliver it.

  250. Graeme M March 5, 2014 at 6:17 pm #

    Cohenite, this is probably gnawing at a bone for no other reason than trying to learn something new. A quick read of Wikipedia explains how percentiles work. I think it is different to what you describe.

    The concept as I now understand it is that a percentile is a simple method for determining the value in a set of values beneath which a given percentage of those values fall.

    So, the 20th percentile is the value below which 20% of the values lie. Using Wiki’s formula for your case of 50, 55, 60, 65, 70, 75 and 80, if we seek the 30th percentile we will take .3 of 7 and add .5 then round to a whole number, ie 2.6 rounds to 3, so the 30th percentile is the 3rd value or 60.

    As we have 7 values, 30% of the total number of values is 2.1. So only 2 values can represent 30% of the total values.

    As we have ordered from least to most, the percentile method yields the number below which our two values fall. So the two values representing the 30th percentile (or 30% of the number of values in our set) are those below 60, ie 50 and 55.

    Using your example of the 5th percentile, and using the Wiki formula to establish that, we get .05 x 7 +.5 = 0.85. Round that to 1, and the 5th percentile is 1. So only those values below 50 fall into the 5th percentile, and as we can see, there is no such.

    The percentile constrains the percentage of the set of values, not the percentage of the sum of the values themselves.

    Thus, BoM’s methodology appears consistent with Wiki’s definition and Luke’s explanation.

    I do agree though that it looks like if we had a set of values all of which were within a narrow range, the lower percentile values are not necessarily a significant departure from the average. I assume this is able to be weighted for, but I’ve not delved more deeply. As Bazza notes, in this case the 5th and 10th percentile ranges appear to coincide with the 65% of average over a base period, so I guess that’s an additional factor to illustrate the severity of the drought.

  251. Graeme M March 5, 2014 at 6:30 pm #

    On reflection, I guess the percentile method works for rainfall records because a long enough record should exhibit a broad range of variability given the dynamic and chaotic nature of weather. The lowest values should represent a significant departure from the norm.

  252. cohenite March 5, 2014 at 6:45 pm #

    Graeme, my understanding of a percentile ranking is that you select a data point, take the number of data points less than it and divide the total of all the data points by that number; so with:

    50, 55, 60, 65, 70, 75, 80

    75 has 5 below: 4/6 = 67percentile

    50 has none below so it is therefore the lowest percentile rounded to 1.

    Going back to 75 to illustrate the point that a percentile is ≠ percentage. 75 is the 67percentile but is 94% of 80.

    Likewise 50 is the 1st percentile but is 63% of 80.

    Apart from the BOM saying a percentile is similar to a percentage can we honestly say that their definition of a drought based on this criteria is accurate?

  253. cohenite March 5, 2014 at 6:48 pm #

    Did I write this:

    “75 has 5 below: 4/6 = 67percentile”

    75 has 5 below: 5/6 = 84%!!!

    Cack.

  254. Graeme M March 5, 2014 at 7:38 pm #

    Cohenite, it would be 5/7, as there are 7 values wouldn’t it? You said the total of ALL data points, ie 7.

    OK… using your formula then, we have 7 values. 70 is the 5th value. 5/7 = .71428, so the 71st percentile.

    By Wiki’s formula to derive the 71st percentile:
    .71 x 7 + .5 = 5.47, rounds to 5. Thus, the 71st percentile is the 5th value, or the number 70.

    So those formulas match. Where I think you go off track is then applying percentages to the highest value data point.

    Again, using Wiki:

    The 71st percentile represents the value that is higher than 71% of other scores. 71% of 7, we get 4.97. So, the 71st percentile represents the value that is higher than 71% of the number of other values. And in that set, the data point above 4.97 is the 5th value, or 70. Or put another way, the value 70 is higher than 71% of the total number of values.

  255. Luke March 5, 2014 at 7:57 pm #

    It’s telling Robert that you reject what you haven’t read. Who says things even need to be exceptional. There are things called trends measured in the real world over a long time. Not everything is on your farmers’ Almanac. Your whole attitude is rejectionist and without the slightest consideration. It’s a big problem when you get old and your mind closes off. And fancy all those nerdy climate scientists having “an agenda” “oooooo do they really”. Stunts? You really are a conspiratorial old codger aren’t you? Jeez mate – we’re (have been) just talking. I’m not playing with your mind.

    So do you learn anything from being here? I learn (learnt) that sceptics tell lots of fibs and will swing at anything establishment but also mainstream science isn’t perfect. Actually Robby I don’t really know for sure if AGW is having an influence on Australian rainfall. I suspect it may be in parts from an analysis of all available evidence. Where it may be having a negative influence is some pretty important country. So it’s a reasonable science and policy question to probe deeper, if nothing more than to ponder adaptation as that’s all we’ll have. But if you’re happier with your farmer’s Almanac why bother.

  256. Luke March 5, 2014 at 8:00 pm #

    Good luck Robby. Last post.

  257. Robert March 5, 2014 at 8:06 pm #

    Supe, don’t feel bad about not knowing. It’s actually a move away from the sect, a good thing.

    Anyway, if you are going then go. This long fade-out with the dying swan routine is getting a bit much. If you give us any more farewell performances we’ll be calling you Sherbet instead of Supercell.

  258. cohenite March 5, 2014 at 8:12 pm #

    Yes, I’m having a bad night: 5/7; correct.

    In respect of the 2nd part I see where we are off-track. I have been considering examples which are ranked as percentages whereas you are converting the percentile already calculated to a percentage. For example if we have a stream of data ranked as percentages:

    75, 77, 78, 78, 80, 81, 81, 82, 83, 84, 84, 84, 85, 87, 87, 88, 88, 88, 89, 90.

    20 items.

    The score of 80% has four scores below it. Since 4/20 = 20%, 80 is the 20th percentile of the class. The score of 90 has 19 scores below it. Since 19/20 = 95%, 90 corresponds to the 95 percentile of the class.

    In my earlier example:

    50, 55, 60, 65, 70, 75, 80

    Converted to % with 80 = 100%

    62.5%, 68.75%, 75%, 81.25%, 87.5%, 93.75%, 100%

    87.5% as a percentile = 5/7 = 71 percentile.

    Now, what remains is what approach BOM has taken to calculate its severity index?

  259. Graeme M March 5, 2014 at 8:38 pm #

    Gawd, now you have my head spinning!!! I was lucky to pass grade 8 general maths…

    Ummm… no? You seem to be conflating percentages. It doesn’t matter what units your data set is, you’re simply doing an operation on the set, not the value of the set.

    So yes, in this example, the value 70 is 87.5% of 80. But that’s quite a different thing to establishing that scoring 87.5% is in the 71st percentile of the set of scores. All you are doing is establishing where scoring 87.5% ranks you in that class’s set of scores.

    Which is what BOM is doing. Establishing where a value is ranked in a set of values. What that value actually represents is another thing.

    Or so it seems to me.

    And Luke, I think you should hang around. It is really useful to have your counterview on matters. I don’t agree with you a lot of the time in generalities but I think you introduce some excellent detail that makes me give my own opinions a sound examination.

  260. Graeme m March 5, 2014 at 8:44 pm #

    Let me illustrate a different way. Taking your class score set, but adding in a few more:

    50, 55, 60, 65, 70, 71, 72, 73, 75, 80

    70 is still 87.5% of 80, but now it is the 40th percentile.

  261. cohenite March 5, 2014 at 9:59 pm #

    “70 is still 87.5% of 80, but now it is the 40th percentile.”

    Correct. And my point is the percentile is DIFFERENT from the percentage. BOM says otherwise.

  262. Graeme M March 6, 2014 at 6:05 am #

    Hmmm… I am not sure that is what BOM has said at all, but I’d need to reread this thread, the BOM stuff and do some study on what percentiles means etc. I have very little spare time to do that but I might have a shot just out of dogged curiosity.

    I do note that BOM claims that record #100 in a 100 record set is the 100th percentile, while record 20 is the 20th percentile, yet my admittedly brief research suggests that record 21 is the 20th percentile and there is no 100th percentile as both 0 and 100 are mathematically infinite. So that’s a curiosity.

    http://www.bom.gov.au/jsp/ncc/climate_averages/rainfall-percentiles/index.jsp

    How are the values calculated?
    Percentiles are used as an indicator of the likelihood of a particular event. Percentiles are related to deciles and are expressed as a number out of 100 (similar to a percentage). The percentile refers to the ranking of a particular value relative to all of the values for that site. For example, if there were 100 rainfall values recorded for a site, we could place them in order from the least to the most rainfall. Of these values, the 10th lowest value would be called the 10th percentile and the 20th lowest value the 20th percentile. This is applied right up until the 100th percentile, which includes all of the values that have been measured for that site, and is equal to the maximum rainfall value.

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