BoM misleads Senate Estimates about rainfall

From Hansard 20268 26Feb18
On page 11 – Senator URQUHART: What are the most authoritative climate change impacts for Australia’s regions?
Dr Johnson: We know that probably the most well-established trend is the drying trend in south-western Australia. We know that since 1970 that there has been a very significant drying trend in south-western Australia.
We know, and we are observing, that there is a drying trend in the south-east of Australia as well. For other parts of Australia, the signal is not as strong.

IMHO the BoM is stunningly misleading to say “For other parts of Australia, the signal is not as strong.”
A truthful statement would be along lines – “..for about half of Australia the 1970-2017 rainfall trend is increasing – getting wetter..”. To leave no doubt whatsoever you could say that from 1900-2017 the vast majority of Australia is getting wetter.
In view that the BoM choose exactly to inform Estimates about SW WA it was also less than fully honest to fail to mention that region has just seen two cool summers in a row.
Here is a 3rd instance where BoM could have informed Estimates better.
On top page 15 BoM says “Yes, it’s amazing the way that rainfall works in Australia. We’ve seen on a number of occasions, and Canberra being yesterday, that we can quickly go from below average over time to above average in about three hours.”

Instead of using silly unscientific words such as “amazing” perhaps a more rational organization might have pointed out to Estimates that Canberra and region experienced widespread floods exactly 6 years ago at the start of March 2012 when 179.6mm rain fell over 5 days.

2 thoughts on “BoM misleads Senate Estimates about rainfall”

  1. Many Australian regions have high rain years in the 1970’s which affects trends after that. Not to mention the ubiquitous Millenial Drought also pulling down recent trends. Not to mention all trends would be more positive if the BoM extended the term of the data to include all of the Federation drought. Lots of devil in detail.

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