Amazing botchup with future Canberra “water security” by utility ACTEW

The Canberra Times reports today that “Thieves threaten our water supplies” – referring to doubts that water purchased by the ACT from Tantangara Dam could reach ACTEW’s pipeline to Googong Dam at Angle Crossing on the Murrumbidgee River without being “stolen” by NSW landholders along the way – note the pipeline is currently under construction. A year ago Prof Ian White of ANU warned ACTEW of this exact issue. Note that he also warned that ACTEW had paid too much.
I still have to pinch myself to think that any prudent water authority would buy water from Tantangara unless it was on the basis of a price per unit – ex the river metered in the ACTEW pipeline. Then it is up to the seller, NSW State Water Authorities – to let the water run the 150km from Tantangara Dam to Angle Crossing. In my opinion the ACT Govt should retrench many high level ACTEW people incl most of the huge board. Water supply for a medium city of 300K people does not need the bloated ACTEW to work well. The ACTEW boss has a salary package $637K – cop that for a small utility. While on that subject ACTEW should cease sponsoring sporting teams and should drastically cut back much wasteful ACTEW TV advertising.
I notice at the end of todays article National Irrigators Council chief executive Tom Chesson complains that, “Everyone up and down the river is taking a haircut to provide environmental flows, except Canberra.”

Canberra people have been “taking a haircut” by reducing their per capita water consumption for years – and at the same time paying more for less water. Unlike NSW water users down the river who pay much less for their town supplies.

Melbourne urban heat island could be attracting some rain

On the evening of Christmas Day a band of what the BoM called “super cell storms” swept through the Melbourne region from west to east. ABC Online story Wild storms lash Melbourne

I thought the neatly contoured pattern of rain that emerged after the event points to the possibility that in this event – the Melbourne urban heat island (UHI) might have attracted rain.
Rain over Melbourne UHI
Certainly the ranges to the east and north-east of Melbourne did not attract rain from these storm cells like the centre of the urban area did.

This radar image from 6pm is typical, showing the storms erupting in a band – constantly forming and dying.
There is nothing new about the idea of UHI affecting rain – just search – uhi attracts rain – and there is much to read. I remember seeing case histories from Texas over the years. But on a longer term the signals from events a few hours in duration get obscured by other rain patterns.

Warmists spat over CSIRO sacking noted Oceanographer

I see this reported in the Canberra Times – “Scientist’s services no longer required”. Of course the article gives little idea as to what the good Dr. Trevor McDougall has done to fall out with top CSIRO pooh-bahs.
Does any reader have a clue ? Google has a lot of refs but just now my internet is only half of dialup so it is too slow to search myself.
Added 25th: The print copy of the CT quotes un-named people at the Max Planck Institute and NOAA / Princeton U – as writing to the CSIRO and Fed politicians in support of Dr. McDougall.
But I note “A PhD project to improve the accuracy of climate models”
and also “Redefinition of “seawater” to aid climate research” – both of these areas could be minefields if you were in any slight way lacking in appropriate pro-IPCC sensitivities.

Could the Australian Government’s Nauru decision be the greatest backflip in history ?

After months, years of mentioning Nauru as if it were on a par with a WWII death camp or the Soviet gulag.

Bowen puts Nauru on table to break asylum deadlock

Julia Gillard bends on offshore processing of asylum seekers at Nauru

As if Kim Jong Un announced he wanted to have joint elections with South Korea.
Oh to be a fly on the wall in the Nauru Presidents office when the call comes in.
Graphic sourced from Dept of Immigration

Info on boat arrivals at this APH site

Perth has a hot year – BoM totally lacking in perspective

The Murdoch press website PerthNow reports the Perth BoM pointing out that Perth has had another hot year. I also note how the BoM beats this up, “It’s an indication that Perth is warming and that is consistent with the whole of the South-West of WA and consistent with global temperatures as well,”.
Australia cool 12 months
Is the BoM so lacking in perspective that they can not bring themselves to mention the fact that ~70% of Australia looks to be having a cooler than average year using the BoM map data from 1 Dec 2010 to 30 Nov 2011. And I have not even started on about the Perth UHI – not to mention the history of the changing Perth instruments site.
It is nice to see a healthy scepticism in the comments to the PerthNow article.

US Dept of Energy – should come under more scrutiny

I see that Fox News has latched on to the Climategate2 email(s) revealing Phil Jones saying the DoE were happy with him not releasing station data. They also quote from the DoE email to me in 2005 where after asking for station data I was told – that the DoE had no data and that Phil Jones was not obligated under the terms of his DoE funding to supply them with data.

This follows on from the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI) late November FOI action in the US to get the DoE to reveal their correspondence with Phil Jones from 2007. We await with interest the result of the CEI efforts. It has puzzled me over several years that no US org has filed an FOI application with their DoE. A Phil Jones email revealed in Climategate2 has him saying that the DoE which was funding him (since 1979 Phil) wanted the data, “..to be well hidden.” Phil goes on to say – “I’ve discussed this with the main funder (US Dept of Energy) in the past and they are happy about not releasing the original station data.”

It is important to know that this was not always the case. Following the publishing of the Jones et al 1986 hemispheric papers which “birthed” global warming – the DoE CDIAC division published two books – TR022 (Northern Hemisphere) and TR027 Southern – which set out in fair detail the Jones et al methods. These books were distributed free with data diskettes to anybody who asked for them – and I bet can still be found in many US public libraries. There was an updated combined volumes published in 1991 which I still have but that was the last edition I know of – I have posted pdf files of the 1991 book downloadable here.
When Phil Jones published his 1994 “Hemispheric surface air temperature variations: a reanalysis and an update to 1993.” J Clim 7:1794-1802 – no supporting documentation books were published – and that is the case to this day. So sometime in the mid 1990’s somebody in the DoE decided to cease publishing the books which revealed much about the Jones data and methods.

Have parts of Victoria cooled since the 19C ?

Ian Bryce an Industrial Chemist with long experience in the tomato industry has sent me in this 5 page pdf paper commenting on raw temperature data from the Echuca – Benalla region in Victoria.
131 year temperature record Echuca Victoria Australia
I note that Ken Stewart has many graphic comparisons of station data from 1910 at his website. This photo from State Library online photo search shows the stevenson screen in the Echuca Post Office yard in 1944. No ideal exposure there.

Durban COP17 realities revealed in collapsing Euro carbon price

The one year chart of ICE ECX EUA Futures just says it all about what was achieved at the Durban climate talkfest.
Carbon price
Our GreenLeft Canberra Govt recently set a carbon price @ AU$23 = currently EU17.5. – which is about 2.7 times the current European carbon price. So I hope anybody thinking of buying Australian Carbon Credit Units or spending money setting up a Carbon Farming scheme – thinks very carefully about the value of the product.