Increasingly, we are hearing in the media that the January-February south east Australian heatwave and disastrous bushfires in Victoria that have killed over 200 people are the result of climate change or global warming.
This map shows the 10 degree grid cell that the temperature data graphs below is collected from.
Here is what the local region component of global temperature data speaks to us about January 2009 vs long term trends for South East Australia. These graphics of monthly temperature anomalies from land stations demonstrate that FROM 1880 THERE IS NO WARMING IN SOUTH EAST AUSTRALIA. February data is not yet in but can be added later.
The first graphic is from the UK Met Office – Hadley Centre, their latest CRUTEM3 global land data which has evolved from the datsets of P.D. Jones et al of the Climate Research Unit (CRU) at the University of Norwich. These data show a very slight and statistically insignificant warming of 0.03 degrees from 1880 to Jan 2009.
Note the pre 1880 data is riddled with gaps.
GISS monthly anomalies shows that SE Australia between 140-150E and 30-40S has a miniscule cooling trend over the 1549 months from Jan 1880 to Jan 2009 which would not be statistically significant from zero.
Both sets of data are made available through the The Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute who have a web site KNMI Climate Explorer, where it is possible to download a huge range of global climate data.
First let us be clear that “global warming” is measured by monthly mean temperature anomalies, so if a signature can not be seen in that context, then the case for a link between heatwaves – bushfires – global warming, is just arm-waving speculation.
Mean temperature = the average of night and day.
Blaming the 2009 Victorian bushfires on climate change or global warming is likely to become one of those “self evident truths” that our Governments and green media love so much.
It is interesting to remember what the “official” data show and that is that although there have been periods of both warming and cooling over south east Australia for 129 years, these cancel out and there is no overall trend.