Professor Robert M Carter: The Futile Quest for Climate Control

Online at Quadrant
Noteworthy that we have just heard climate change Minister Wong in Poland say that Australia will not act alone. Phew, some tiny quota of common sense at last, when she is safely out of the way of the extemist Australian media. Australia could reduce itself back to the stone age and global temperatures would not alter one iota.

New South Wales Premier Rees says Tamworth was in drought but BoM maps say no drought near Tamworth

This is another of these fascinating cases where top Australian politicians seem unable to get the simple facts of rainfall correct. Is this more evidence of a national delusion where rainfall is concerned ?
Premier Nathan Rees is quoted in the ABC Online news story copied below that Tamworth had “..been drought-stricken for some time..”.
I have just downloaded a series of 7 BoM (Australian Bureau of Meteorology) drought maps for all periods, 3, 6, 9, 12, 18, 24 and 36 months, see below and there is no sign of drought near Tamworth for those periods.
It is telling that the article refers says, “While the rain has broken the drought, valuable crops have been destroyed, including one of the best winter grain crops in the region for years.” Nobody has the common sense to ask, how could such a good crop be grown in a drought ?
It may well be that the NSW Govt is still paying out drought relief to the Tamworth region years after any drought (maybe pre 36 months ago) has ended. I have been aware for years that the Govt pays out drought relief to areas where actual rain bears no resemblance to that indicated on BoM drought maps, see my 2005 article, “Are Martians growing Australian wheat ?”.

Anyway read on to see the reality of the current BoM drought maps for NSW
Continue reading New South Wales Premier Rees says Tamworth was in drought but BoM maps say no drought near Tamworth

Weather experts should check rainfall figures before being quoted by the media

We have all seen articles such as this from The Australian, “Southeast Queensland storms in line with climate change: weather experts”. The article is referring to storms of 18-20 November and the journalist seems intent on getting his headline despite one of the experts cautioning against reading too much into the storms by saying, “..that a series of events by themselves did not “prove” climate change one way or the other.”

The real interest for me is not the ridiculous headline but the two experts quoted state that “..November in southeast Queensland had generally been a dry month over the past decade..”.
These experts are University of Southern Queensland professor of climate and water resources Roger Stone and Queensland weather bureau (BoM) spokesman Gavin Holcombe.
Now what are the facts about November rainfall in southeast Queensland over the past decade ? Lets look at November rainfall for central Brisbane and Gatton, home to the Professor’s University, taking November data for the 10 years 1998-2007 and comparing to long term averages for November.

We find that for Brisbane and Gatton, the November average 1998-2007 is either very close to or exceeds the long term BoM mean(average). So we see that experts much quoted by the media are not fully in touch with simple realities of rainfall statistics, facts they could check in minutes. Is this more evidence of a national delusion about rainfall in Australia ?

The long term rainfall record for Brisbane is “Brisbane Regional Office” which commenced in 1840 and closed in 1994, the November mean is 97mm.
Using this helpful BoM webpage to discover data near the centre of Brisbane I have made the following table from 7 Brisbane stations up to 6.2km from the centre of town, leaving out a few of the most gap ridden stations.
November Brisbane rainfall
BRISBANE REGIONAL OFFICE Site number: 40214 Commenced: 1840 Closed 01 Jul 1994
Mean for November = 97
7 stations up to 6.2 km from 27.47 degrees South – 153.03 degrees East

  • BRISBANE (BCC) ALERT Site number: 40839 Commenced: 1990
  • BRISBANE Site number: 40913 Commenced: 1999
  • HILLTOP GARDENS Site number: 40911 Commenced: 1999
  • BRISBANE SHOW GROUNDS Site number: 40216 Commenced: 1889
  • BRISBANE RPA HOSPITAL Site number: 40767 Commenced: 1988
  • LONG POCKET CSIRO LAB Site number: 40450 Commenced: 1968
  • ALDERLEY Site number: 40224 Commenced: 1899
  • UNIVERSITY OF QUEENSLAND GATTON Site number: 40082 Commenced: 1897

Mean for November = 77.7

My table above gives a Brisbane average of 99.9mm for November 1998-2007, just above the long term mean of 97, that is leaving in the 61mm for station 40839 for 2004 which might be incomplete.

Gatton has a long term record almost free of gaps and has a November mean of 77.7mm. I have not had to look for any other data there and as my table shows Gatton has an average of 90.09mm for November 1998-2007, well above the long term mean of 77.7mm.

With respect to Brisbane data it is interesting that although Brisbane Regional Office closed in 1994 no overlapping station appears on the above BoM webpage to replace it. You might expect the BoM would have started a replacement central Brisbane station before closing BRISBANE REGIONAL OFFICE Site number: 40214.
Maybe there is data somewhere but just not available on the above BoM webpage I have accessed.

Full text of article from The Australian, our national newspaper.

“Southeast Queensland storms in line with climate change: weather experts”
By Andrew Fraser
The Australian
November 21, 2008 12:01pm

ONE of Australia’s leading climatologists has warned the extreme weather that hit southeast Queensland this week is consistent with climate change modelling of weather patterns.

Southeast Queensland was hit with a heavy storm on Sunday night and again in the early hours of yesterday morning, with another predicted for last night and another tomorrow.

University of Southern Queensland professor of climate and water resources Roger Stone and Queensland weather bureau spokesman Gavin Holcombe said that while November in southeast Queensland had generally been a dry month over the past decade, big storms such as the last two were not unusual.

“They generally are a one-in-20-years event, but that doesn’t mean that you won’t get two or even more in the one week,” said Professor Stone.

“But this sort of violent weather activity is consistent with climate change predictions. We’re coming off a long drought in southeast Queensland, and that has been an extreme weather event. Now we’re getting these storms, and they’re also extreme weather events.”

He cautioned against reading too much into the storms, saying that a series of events by themselves did not “prove” climate change one way or the other.

Weather bureau records show that Brisbane generally has 11 rainy days during the month of November, but Mr Holcombe said that during the past decade rainfall in the month had been well under previous averages.

“But back in the 70s and 80s we did have plenty of Novembers which were very wet indeed. I just think people are now thinking of the sort of dry Novembers that we’ve had over the past decade as the norm, but if you look over the long term, there have been plenty of wet Novembers,” Mr Holcombe said.

He said there could be a bigger storm tomorrow. “The sort of warm winds over southeast Queensland combined with an upper trough moving over southeast Australia are the sort of conditions that allow a lot of storms,” he said.


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Time to review the Emissions Trading Scheme

From the Carbon Sense Coalition

A statement by Viv Forbes, Chairman of the Carbon Sense Coalition.
20 November 2008
For Immediate Release.

The Carbon Sense Coalition today called on the Queensland Government to follow the lead of New Zealand and initiate a complete review of the science and the cost-benefits of the proposals to levy a new tax on coal and petrol usage.

‘”All over the world, three factors are triggering a revolt against the lemming-like rush led by the Anglo-Saxons to commit carbon suicide via Emissions Trading Schemes.”

“Firstly, the science behind the scare forecasts from IPCC computer models has been shown to be deficient by a growing band of independent scientists.

“Secondly, the globe itself is sending a warning as daily reports of unseasonal frosts, snow and ice make a mockery of the global warming hysteria. We certainly have climate change, but it is natural global cooling, not man-made global warming.

“Thirdly, the world financial collapse has forced alert politicians to focus on the immediate concerns of voters – real jobs, and the security of supply for food and power.

“The revolt against new carbon rationing and taxes affecting New Zealand now encompasses much of the world including India, China, Indonesia, Brazil, Poland, Italy, Germany and the whole Ex-Soviet bloc. There is naturally no support for carbon rationing from the OPEC world, and falling support from Canada. There is also scant chance that the US Congress and Senate will embrace any expensive new Kyoto pact.

“Soon the only true believers will be the blinkered political and Green zealots in UK and Australia, with cynical support from nuclear-powered France.

“Queensland has more to lose from carbon taxes and rationing than any other place in the world. And there has been no unbiased assessment of the costs and benefits of such moves. Any government honestly representing the real long term interests of the carbon capital will lead the push to review where we are headed, why and at what cost?”

Owen McShane: Why emissions law should be scrapped
Tuesday Nov 25, 2008

“The incoming National government [in New Zealand] will completely review the emissions trading scheme (ETS) – possibly including the science that says humans are to blame for climate change – as part of its support deal with ACT. A draft terms of reference for the review attached to the agreement, includes hearing “competing views on the scientific aspects of climate change” and looking at the merits of a “mitigation or adaptation approach”. The deal requires the National government to pass immediate legislation delaying the implementation of the ETS until the review is complete.”
–Grant Fleming, The New Zealand Herald, 16 November 2008. Reported in CCNet 166/2008 – 17 November 2008.

Key reviews carbon tax as NZ gets ‘dirty’ rating
4:00AM Wednesday Nov 19, 2008
By Paula Oliver

Modified emissions trading scheme looking likely
4:00AM Tuesday Nov 18, 2008
By Brian Fallow

National agrees to explore Act’s carbon tax preference
4:00AM Monday Nov 17, 2008
By Audrey Young

Viv Forbes
The Carbon Sense Coalition
MS 23 Rosewood Qld 4340
0754 640 533

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Brisbane-Toowoomba floods 18-20 Nov 08 highlight failure of 28 Oct BoM rain Outlook

In three short weeks the BoM rain Outlook prediction gets shot to pieces by real world weather.
BoM predicted rain Nov08-Jan09

This inset map shows the BoM predicted on 28th October that the Brisbane region had only a 45% chance of average rain for the November to January period.

To see the original map select the 28th October 2008 rain prediction.

Sadly for the BoM prediction a series of high rainfall storms hit the region from the 18th-20th November
Real world rain 1-23 Nov08

see map inset of rain anomalies from 1st to 23rd November.

You can make various rain maps at this BoM site

See earlier articles re BoM rain Outlook failures:

David Archibald compares various sunspot metrics with the current Solar Cycle (SC) transition, SC23 – SC24

In the last week or so David has sent me the following graphics illustrating where we might be in the current SC23-SC24 transition period. These warrant an article on their own. I have changed the order from the original post. Comments mainly from David.
Spotless days per month graphic
This graph shows just how different the current solar minimum is compared to those of the second half of the 20th century and those of the second half of the 19th century. The data is smoothed and that is why there aren’t any months with 30 or 31 days.
A large number of spotless days means that the following cycle is going to be late, and the later a cycle is, the weaker it will be.
This graph points to Solar Cycle 24 being very weak.
Spotless days SC23/24 transition
Comparison of the progress of Solar Cycle 23 to the minima of the late 20th century and the late 19th and early 20th century.
Solar cycles
This graphic made by David is for anybody who doubts Svensmark theory that galactic cosmic rays control climate. All the major cold periods are associated with higher Be 10, including the cold period at the end of the 19th century. The 20th century warming is clearly associated with lower galactic cosmic rays, and thus a more active Sun.
Galactic influences on climate
David has a bit of fun with this graphic which is aligned on the previous solar minimum. Solar Cycles 3 and 4 prior to the Dalton Minimum had very similar shapes and amplitudes to Solar Cycles 22 and 23.
A fun comparison