Scientists find link between Southern Ocean winds and drying Australia

The ABC has reported on this new research – while reading the publicity about this paper I saw this millenial temperature anomaly trend for Antarctica – derived from ice cores. Has anybody seen such a 1000 yr cooling trend for Antarctica prior to this?

For full Figure at better resolution.

10 thoughts on “Scientists find link between Southern Ocean winds and drying Australia”

  1. ‘New research has explained why Antarctica is not warming as much as other continents, and why southern Australia is recording more droughts.’
    However, looking at the data, Southern Australia has actually increased its yearly rainfall since 1901.
    1901-1930 371ml/year
    1931-1960 378ml/year
    1961-1990 395ml/year
    1991-2013 397ml/year
    Checking the BoM’s time series for Southern Aust, we see one long drought from 2002-2009 but this is matched by the 1922-1929 drought. Just ‘eyeballing’ the series seems that there are more drought years before 1970 than after. The two worst drought years were in the 1940’s.
    Do these researches even check the data before publishing? Sigh.

  2. Hi Ian

    Did you even read the publicity material paper before commenting?

    “The strengthening of these winds has been particularly prominent over the past 70 years, and by combining our observations with climate models we can clearly link this to rising greenhouse gas levels.” Note the last 70 years.

    Did you think about meteorology before commenting?

    The SW of WA is the most impacted by a decrease in westerly winds in winter – less fronts – lets look at rainfall in SW WA in the southern wet season

    There is also a signal, though not as pronounced, for SE Australia (ie look at the last 15 years)

    Conflating annual rainfall with southern wet season rainfall sourced from prevailing westerly is disingenuous at best, and doesn’t present a balanced perspective. Double sigh!

    Back to enjoying the French Pastries!


  3. George,
    Yes and here are some of the quotes as reported in the media.
    “As we see those westerly winds pull in tighter towards Antarctica, it means that the farmers in [southern Australia] are actually getting less of those storms bringing them that vital rain,” the lead author said.
    “The model clearly tells us those westerly winds are going to continue contracting towards Antarctica and Australia will continue to miss out on rainfall,” Dr Abram said.

    They do mention diminished rainfall in SW Aust, which is true, but South Australia itself doesn’t seem affected. Why?

  4. ‘The SW of WA is the most impacted by a decrease in westerly winds in winter – less fronts – lets look at rainfall in SW WA in the southern wet season’

    If the rainfall decrease were caused by a decrease in westerlies, then we should see a similar rainfall decline for the Perth Hills.

    We don’t, as Warwick has documented.

    The rainfall decrease is restricted to the coastal plain and results from large scale urbanization, as has been documented in Israel (very similar climate and coastal urbanization) and several other places.

  5. Philip

    How can you be so consistently wrong? I corrected Warwick’s numbers here .. .. there is a 15% decrease from the 60’s to the 00’s.

    If your “theory” was correct then Cape Naturaliste and Cape Leeuwin would show no rainfall decrease .. but the decrease is found across all of the SW of WA.

    BTW how is your El Nino forecast going?


  6. George,

    You clearly don’t get the science thingy. Present some evidence to support your claims.

    You are also a rude bugger.

    Unfortunately, both seem necessary qualifications for a Warmist.

    I didn’t make an El Nino forecast. You did, which so far is a bust.


  7. Philip

    You did do a forecast: [i]”Tropical Pacific SSTs indicate no significant El Nino anytime soon.[/I] – and now you deny it?

    I did suggest a moderate to strong El Nino was likely – are you actually suggesting – a priori – that that forecast is bust?

    You did call me a troll in this blog – twice – and yet you expect to be treated with respect?

    I did point you to a link re: catchment rainfall – did you read it?

    If I point you to a link that shows the widespread non-urban rainfall decrease across SW WA – would you look at it?

    I’ve just spent an enjoyable 20 minutes going back and looking at our interactions – would you like to point out – just once – where you were right?

    Kind regards


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