ACT (Canberra) Government water report makes bizarre and misleading reference to Perth rainfall

I came across this July 2007 report by ACTEW the Canberra based Australian Capital Territory (ACT) Government electricity and water utility. The reports title is “Water Purification Scheme for the ACT”.

My attention was drawn by ridiculous statements on climate change in the first four paragraphs of the Executive Summary. The report holds out Perth as an example of a place with “..greatly reduced long term rainfall averages..”.

Read the Executive Summary for yourself, then check my graphic below for the facts. ACTEW report Executive Summary is in italics

Executive Summary

Context and Purpose

Climate change predictions indicate that the climate would become more variable; droughts are likely to be longer and more severe, storms and flood events are likely to increase and temperatures would continue to rise. These conditions indicate that further investment in new infrastructure is required to address these changes in climate.

Since 2005, ACTEW has implemented a range of actions to increase the reliability of supply for Canberra. However, these measures would not provide sufficient water to ensure a safe, secure and sustainable water supply into the future under this more variable climate.

A significant factor to be considered is that if the recent climate is typical of the future it may be necessary to allow for worse drought events than previously considered and at worst, the possibility that we may have entered into a completely new climate pattern with greatly reduced long term rainfall averages1; as has happened in Perth and is now a real possibility here. The level of uncertainty with any prediction has greatly increased, which means that if a dam or dams are built, it may take many more years for them to fill.

Whilst such a scenario seems unlikely, it is a possibility and must be considered for future water security. Therefore, previous recommendations must be revisited and further investigations must look into options that are less reliant on rainfall. One of these options is to purify our used water.

Reference 1 from the third paragraph.

1 Even worse than assumed in previous modelling which adopted CSIRO predictions for reduced rainfall in the Canberra catchments in future due to climate change.

The rainfall index I quote for the Perth hills is an average of Mundaring PO, Karnet and Dwellingup, places which cover the extent of Perths dams down the Darling scarp.
ACT rain compared Perth dams rain
Perth dam catchment rain for only the wet season May to October, has exceeded Queanbeyan annual rain by about 50% for the last 34 years, the Perth hills May-Oct index has averaged about 920 mm per year for the 34 years, rainfall I would have thought ACTEW would have been very glad to see fall on ACT catchments.

Let’s quickly mention Perth rain history, which is of course longer term than my Catchment Index, noting of course that Perth dam catchment rain in the Perth hills is significantly higher than Perth. Perth region rain did reduce by approximately 10% in the mid-1970’s – scroll down for my graphic and this is what the climate change proponents, such as CSIRO and ACTEW, are referring to when they say “..greatly reduced long term rainfall averages..”.

Update Thursday 30th – long term graphic comparing Perth and Queanbeyan rainfall 1871-2008
Perth rain vs ACT long term
But note by the same token that Perth rain INCREASED around WWI years from previous levels not unlike the lower rain regime post the mid 1970’s. So I would say if “climate change” caused the 10% REDUCTION circa mid 1970’s, then there seems no reason why “climate change” did not cause the INCREASE in Perth rain to over a metre annual average, that took place around WWI. So in reality our long term rain history reflects cycles varying for reasons unknown, there is no evidence of a statistically significant long term reduction.

There is a long term Queanbeyan rain history here, just cyclic variations all within a band for 138 years.

Canberra solar PV gross feed scheme is a foolish and expensive experiment with our electricity system

As reported here and there are many other reports online, The Australian Capital Territory (ACT) Labor Govt. with the applause of the ACT Greens, nows pays about 50c/kWh for electricity generated from solar photovoltaic (PV) panels or wind power. This is a GROSS feed in tariff, not NET and is the most generous in Australia. There is also a Federal Govt subsidy ~$8000 to install PV panels, if you qualify.
This compares to typical ACT power charges of say 15c/kWh, which is plenty high enough considering large industrial users can pay half that and coal fired generators can produce power at about 4c.
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Australian Govt carbon reduction scheme “dead in the water” – setback for IPCC

Garnaut at ANU - 3Image by davesag via Flickr

News reports are building that the Australian Government will never achieve meaningful reduction of carbon emissions.

Professor Ross Garnaut, author of the recent influential report pointing the way for the Australian Governments Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS), is now saying it is a “line ball call” whether to dump the Rudd Govt’s ETS or to try and fix it.

Some aspects of the scheme could be salvaged, but ”substantial changes” were needed to fix flaws that risked entrenching ”certain vested interests”, he told a Senate inquiry yesterday.

Professor Garnaut said stronger emissions reduction targets, a high carbon price and incentives to reduce greenhouse emissions were needed to make the scheme more effective.

In the same newspaper Prime Minister Kevin Rudd is quoted saying “..coal will be the major source of power generation for many years to come”. The PM seems to be grasping at the straw of carbon capture and storage to produce “clean coal”.

In my opinion the coal mining unions (plus a strengthening common sense view of shortcomings in IPCC science) have exerted influence on the PM and this is thankfully the end of any serious carbon reduction target. The green left media will bleat on, Kev747 will continue claiming he has this or that carbon reduction target, massive taxpayer monies will be wasted on sops to the greens, clean coal, wind and solar power – but the Nation will basically stay on its present carbon emissions path for decades. Only a switch to nuclear could seriously replace coal as a source of reliable grid electricity.

Not even two years from the election of the Rudd Govt and reality has set in.

Interesting too that the new National Govt in New Zealand is also less carbon obsessed than the previous left wing regime.

So the IPCC is being sent some rough lessons in RealPolitik from the Antipodes. As a former PM said, “..the dogs bark but the caravan moves on..”.

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Australian carbon emissions absorbed by our landmass ?

I remember in the early 1990’s reading in a paper by R M Gifford, that Australian carbon emissions were absorbed by our land area. Added 23 Apr, found my copy and this online reference.

I wonder why Australian Governments would not have taken the view that this natural advantage for Australia could have been a reason for us to ignore the entire IPCC process, leading to Kyoto and beyond, Garnautland – Ruddland wherever our odd leaders take us.

Australia has for centuries borne the extra freight costs due to our location in the Antipodes plus other disadvantages due to our isolation. Unless this early 1990’s data has been proven to be incorrect, I see nothing illogical if our Government was to say, “carbon is not our problem – we already have no net emissions”.

The road to Damascus

Fascinating review of Prof Ian Plimer’s new book, “Heaven and Earth” by Paul Sheehan of the Sydney Morning Herald.

The subject of this column is not small. It is a book entitled Heaven And Earth, which will be published tomorrow. It has been written by one of Australia’s foremost Earth scientists, Professor Ian Plimer. He is a confronting sort of individual, polite but gruff, courteous but combative. He can write extremely well, and Heaven And Earth is a brilliantly argued book by someone not intimidated by hostile majorities or intellectual fashions.

The book’s 500 pages and 230,000 words and 2311 footnotes are the product of 40 years’ research and a depth and breadth of scholarship. As Plimer writes: “An understanding of climate requires an amalgamation of astronomy, solar physics, geology, geochronology, geochemistry, sedimentology, tectonics, palaeontology, palaeoecology, glaciology, climatology, meteorology, oceanography, ecology, archaeology and history.”

The most important point to remember about Plimer is that he is Australia’s most eminent geologist. As such, he thinks about time very differently from most of us. He takes the long, long view. He looks at climate over geological, archaeological, historical and modern time. He writes: “Past climate changes, sea-level changes and catastrophes are written in stone.”

Much of what we have read about climate change, he argues, is rubbish, especially the computer modelling on which much current scientific opinion is based, which he describes as “primitive”. Errors and distortions in computer modelling will be exposed in time. (As if on cue, the United Nations’ peak scientific body on climate change was obliged to make an embarrassing admission last week that some of its computers models were wrong.)

I have often read Paul’s articles but have never thought of him as approaching being sceptical about the IPCC global warming litany.

Maybe Professor Plimer has succeeded in encouraging him to see merit in sceptics positions. As the headline linked above says, “Beware the climate of conformity

Why are BoM 3 month forecast models so pathetically WRONG

Just taking a quick look at the latest January to March rainfall and temperature three month Outlooks from the Australian Bureau of Meteorology (BoM). I have linked to the originals for rainfall and temperature. Note these forecast maps were issued on 17 Dec 08.

I have made the actual rain and temperature anomaly maps at this useful page. You can choose rain or temperature (max or min) for various periods or parameters. I am not saying medium term forecasting is easy but I am puzzled the BoM maps are often so EXACTLY wrong.

Rain forecast Actual rain deciles, blue wet, red dry
Max temperature forecast Maximum temperature anomalies
Min temperature forecast Minimum temperature anomalies

Australian Bureau of Meteorology (BoM) now run by non-meteorologist

w:en:Penny Wong accepts a Image via Wikipedia

I suppose it is what we could expect with the BoM coming under the wing of Minister Penny Wong, the Minister for Climate Change and Water.

It has been obvious for over a decade that CSIRO has been more gung-ho than the BoM about pushing an agenda underpinned by ridiculous “climate change” modeling.

Now a CSIRO staffer has taken over the BoM. Why not go the whole hog, make the BoM a Division of CSIRO? Tidier.

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