BoM: 2009 "second hottest year on record"

Good news for doom mongers

The warmenistas will love this – oh, well, can’t begrudge them a bit of fun – it’s been a shocking year for the poor blighters. The Bureau has come out and labelled 2009 the second hottest year on record:

“2009 ends Australia’s warmest decade on record, with a decadal mean temperature anomaly of +0.48C (above the 1961-90 average),” the Bureau of Meterology said.

“In Australia, each decade since the 1940s has been warmer than the preceding decade. In contrast, decadal temperature variations during the first few decades of Australia’s climate record do not display any specific trend. This suggests an apparent shift in Australia’s climate from one characterised by natural variability to one increasingly characterised also by a trend to warmer temperatures.”

In a statement, the bureau also noted that the World Meteorological Organisation stated that 2009 is expected to be the globe’s fifth warmest year on record (about 0.44C above the 1961-90 average).

And the moronic Peter “Where’s Penny” Garrett leaps on it as evidence of “global warming”:

Environment Minister Peter Garrett said today the finding that Australia’s annual mean temperature for 2009 was 0.9C above the 1961-90 average exposed Tony Abbott’s false climate change claim that global warming has stopped.

“This false and misleading claim is today shown to be completely at odds with the rigorous scientific findings of the independent experts at the Bureau of Meteorology,” Mr Garrett said.

“This is the latest Abbott climate-change clanger to be exposed by the independent experts and once again shows why Mr Abbott cannot be trusted when it comes to climate change.”

Mr Garrett said the weather records underlined the need for a carbon pollution reduction scheme to reduce global warming. (source)

Where’s Penny again? Where’s Kevin? When those two aren’t around, it’s left to the pea-brained rock-star to deal with climate matters. So what does this actually say? It actually says that the surface temperature in Australia is the second highest since 1850 [Update: actually, since 1910, which makes it even less relevant]. Big freaking deal. The planet was at the end of the Little Ice Age in 1850, so guess what, it’s getting warmer.

What doesn’t it say?

  • It doesn’t prove any link with CO2 emissions, so Garrett’s link to the CPRS is total nonsense
  • It doesn’t say that the satellite record shows far less warming (almost none) since 2001 (see below)
  • It doesn’t say the planet has been warmer previously – it has, many times – nor that the rate of warming is anything unusual.

In fact, Dr Roy Spencer has just posted the December anomaly from UAH:

Dr Spencer comments thus:

While the large amount of year-to-year variability in global temperatures seen in the above plot makes it difficult to provide meaningful statements about long-term temperature trends in the context of global warming, the running 25-month average suggests there has been no net warming in the last 11 years or so. (source)

Which would you trust? Satellite data, or thermometer records that are fudged and “adjusted” and “homogenized” by the likes of CRU?

UPDATE at 3 pm: And of course, every two-bit rag, newsletter and gossip sheet in Australia is now running the story. Stuffed full of alarmists, the editorial offices have had a pretty tough time, what with the climate not co-operating, and Climategate. But now they can breathe a collective sigh of relief as a big, copper-bottomed scare story finally breaks (except it isn’t if you actually stopped for five seconds to think about it).


  1. Black Duck says:

    The Jones are everywhere. The “climatologist” responsible for this is David Jones. He may have learnt his trade from the great Phil Jones if some of the “adjustments” and homogenisation of the Darwin records are anything to go by!

  2. astonerii says:

    It is going to be very hard to hold any credibility for the media in promoting these things. People have woken up and seen the truth, lies will no longer rile them into a frenzy looking for father government to save them from a phantom menace.

  3. If our hapless minister for the environment had a brain, he’d check the facts first.
    For the benefit of the numerically challenged minister – 2008 was colder than 2007, which was equal to 2006 which was colder than 2005. I think in most people’s mind, this would be called a “decline”. So much for “rigorous scientific findings”.
    The worrying thing is that morons like this make ‘decisions’ that affect the lives of the rest of us …

  4. Salivator says:

    There is a possibility that data managers at BOM were under at least moral pressure to come up with a conclusion to their data that emphasises the doom scenario. This does not require actual distortion or misrepresentation of the data. It just requires scrutinising facts until a suitable fact arises. My analysis of the BOM website data suggests that even the BOM data confirms that Australia’s temperature (mean) had two peaks, in 1998 and 2005. Measured against the 2005 peak, we’ve had cooler weather each year since. Although the BOM data appears to show that our current continental temperature is higher than the 56 year average, the temperature has been fairly steady since about 2001. It appears likely that the sharper rise in Victoria/Tasmania band of the country would have affected the national average recently. Other parts of the continent appear to have had slight declines in temperature. Particularly the far north of the continent has very steady temperature. And finally, the rate of increase in the continental temperature is also slowing. The biggest surge of temperature increase occurred from the 1970s to the 1980s. The Noughties temperature increase has been the second lowest. Ahhh those numbers. (I am happy to supply these numbers in chart form.)

  5. Rationality says:

    Have a good look at the BoM site (

    It seems that the Annual Australian Climate Statement 2009 involves an alarmist and populist use of data at the expense of scientific objectivity. In particular either decadel means or annual data are seemingly used to give the most alarmist outcome. For example take the heading “Another drier than average year in the southeast mainland” which is followed by a chart showing that the decadel mean for 2000-2009 was the second wettest on record.

    Someone who has the skills and time could surely have a lot of fun with the “Climate Statement”.

  6. You need to look at their underlying station data sources as well. I’ve just done a quick run through of the BoM weather stations for regional Queensland, and the results are as follows (based on names):
    – Total weather stations: 112 (Regional Queensland, excl. Brisbane / SEQ)
    – Weather stations at airports: 46 (41%)
    – Weather stations at post offices: 12 (11%)
    This doesn’t include sundry locations such as water treatment plants, mines, gas fields, etc.
    You have to wonder just how valid this “second hottest year on record” figure is when over 50% of the data is taken from airports + post office buildings.


  1. […] nature of the political press, Who would you trust?, Hot weather headlines, cold weather obituaries, Arctic blast to deepen, Garret trapped in a paper […]

%d bloggers like this: