Scientists predict… more of whatever we've just had

Climate astrology

The role of natural variability in climate must be squashed at all costs. Just think of the consequences if natural variability were allowed to persist: we wouldn’t be able to “control” the climate by tinkering with a harmless trace gas, and we wouldn’t be able to shame Western civilisation into abandoning centuries of progress in order to “save the planet”. We might have to just accept what nature throws at us – and adapt.

And, more worryingly for The Cause, we wouldn’t be able to fill government and research coffers with taxpayers money, extracted by means of “carbon pricing”. And that would be a disaster. So whatever weather phenomenon happens, we can be sure that we will get more of the same, and it will be blamed on “man made global warming” to keep the bandwagon rolling.

For the last decade, Australia has suffered a period of drought. Prior to its recent end, scientists were falling over themselves to say that this was the “new climate” that we must get used to. Paid government hacks like Tim Flannery wailed about dams never filling again, and billions were spent on desalination plants to cater for the future without water.

How things change. After some of the worst floods in recent history in New South Wales, the alarmist Sydney Morning Herald finds a scientist to say that in future we will have… more floods. In other words, more of whatever we’ve just had:


SPORTS fields, car parks and parklands will be important assets; houses will have walls that open, and some people might need to lose their water views to prepare for bigger, more frequent floods due to global warming, according to experts contacted by the Herald.

As global temperatures rise, short storm bursts will increase in frequency and severity, resulting in more flash flooding, especially in urban areas. But the outlook for longer periods of extreme rain, such as those that caused the flooding of the Darling, Lachlan and Murrumbidgee rivers, and which made the Warragamba Dam overflow this year, is less certain.

There is consensus in the scientific literature that ”the flooding that happens on small urban type of catchments, which is a result of short rainfall bursts, is going up, because convection is intensifying”, Professor Ashish Sharma, an Australian Research Council future fellow in the school of civil and environmental engineering at the University of NSW, said.

He said it was ”99 per cent sure” that the cause was global warming. A warmer atmosphere holds more water and releases it in shorter bursts, as seen in the tropics, Professor Sharma said. 

And notice that they have a bob each way – claiming that long term trends are less certain – so we can have more floods AND more drought and they’ll be right in both cases! There’s more:

What scientists agree on is that the assumption the future climate will mirror the past, known among scientists as ”stationarity”, no longer holds. This has implications for flood planning.

”This represents a major break with past practice”, Seth Westra, a senior lecturer in the school of civil, environmental and mining engineering at the University of Adelaide, said.

”The notion that the climatic drivers of flooding are changing through time not only poses profound challenges on how we estimate future floods, but also challenges the way we design [for] and manage future floods,” he said in a paper written for the federal government-funded National Climate Change Adaptation Research Facility. (source)

How anyone could possibly “assume” that future climate will mirror the past, when climate has been changing for 4.5 billion years, is almost incredible. Even without the AGW scare, climate has always changed, over every time period, and always will.

What’s so amazing about this kind of article is the almost unbelievable lack of any historical perspective. So desperate are the Herald to link any weather phenomenon to global warming (especially with the Herald-sponsored Earth Hour just around the corner), that they will purposefully find a scientist who will say the right thing.

The unfalsifiable hypothesis gets stronger, and ever closer to climate astrology.


  1. “The unfalsifiable hypothesis gets stronger, and ever closer to climate astrology.”

    Indeed.. what is really needed is a push for the “experts” to explain how to tell the difference between extreme weather events (or any, for that matter) that are natural, and those that supposedly have human influence, and provide empirical proof for it.

    Why should we waste billions of public money on something we supposed to be able to make a difference to, that has no proof?

  2. Bob in Castlemaine says:

    Was that Professor Sharma or Professor Shaman?
    I suppose it just further demonstrates “the cause” has a man for all seasons, no matter what the weather and climate nature bestows on us.

  3. ” … droughts and flooding rains …” (Dorothea Mackellar).
    Perhaps Prof Sharma should actually read the latest edition of “Australian Rainfall and Runoff” ( After all, he was one of the co-authors of Revision Project 5 for AR&R. Nothing in that supporting his “99%” certainty.
    What is noticeable in the recent video footage is the prevalence of natural watercourses (and absence of constructed enhancements) in so many areas. Time to rediscover the bleeding obvious – open stormwater drains and retention basins. They may not look pretty but they work.

  4. I got a novel idea … why spend billions of dollars trying to fix the climate? Why not use the simple and cheaper option of fixing urban infrastructure to accommodate for more rain.

  5. professor sharman uses a oujia board me thinks……..
    weather is about as predicatable as my finger nail growing trends…. you can be darn sure at any given moment one or more of my nicely manicured nails will break and therefor be ruined, can I balme that too on climate change? maybe I can get a government grant to figure this out.

  6. What is the expertise of Sydney Morning Herald’s climate change “experts” who now claim that future rainfall will be concentrated in “extreme” events and that the world’s climate will shift to a more tropical one, less influenced by seasonal and diurnal variations?
    One is a university engineering lecturer, one a university-based water catchment researcher and one an architect whose home was affected by last year’s Brisbane floods.
    All three appear to argue that a small increasing trend in global average temperature will coincide with very large changes- including temporal changes) in the rates of evaporation and condensation of water and the vertical transport of water vapour in the lower atmosphere.
    However, that would require variability of the physical properties of water (such as latent heat on evaporation) and of the atmospheric lapse rate.
    All three “experts” also should be asked to explain how AGW can influence the dynamics of the Earth’s motions relative to the Sun.

  7. Anything to get the attention off the sun. It only creates pretty light shows in there minds, nothing more!

  8. Toscamaster says:

    According to his UNSW credentials, Prof Sharma and his colleagues have received $2.136 Million in grants of which $1.78 Million is based on the presumption of climate change.
    He is correct to assume that the climate will change; it always has done and always will do.
    We ought not criticise Sharma for this presumption. He is an engineer, not a scientist and certainly not a climate scientist.
    Criticism of Sharma should be confined to his making of statements to a medium on a subject that is outside his area of specialisation.
    Perhaps the medium, in this case the SMH, verballed him. If so he should insist that the SMH publish a retraction.
    If the SMH did not verbal him then he runs the risk that his reputation and hence his livelihood will be tarnished when the truth, as recently presented by Richard Lindzen in the House of Commons, becomes more widely recognised.

  9. So.If things dont change they will stay as they are

  10. Having last week given a nod to Dorothea, (and by Martin, above) I think it only fair to give Monsignor John O’Brien a go

    “We’ll all be rooned said Flannery
    in accents most forlorn
    outside the church ere mass began
    One frosty Sunday morn…”

    “…In god’s good time down came the rain
    and all the afternoon,
    on iron roof and windowpane
    it played a merry tune…”

    “…we’ll all be rooned said Flannery
    if this rain doesn’t stop

    And on the ABC this morning- biggest drought in England in over 30 years. (It will never rain again…)

  11. Our understanding of the Australian climate is very much in its infancy.
    ARR and other properly researched documants are based on analysis of past climate data, but that data is at the very best only 150 or years long.
    Now ANYONE who thinks that a 150 year record is going to be able to be used to accurately predict anything that might occur is truly NOT THINKING AT ALL !!!

    99% certain a change is related to AGW………. BULLS**T !!!!!

  12. Looks like they are now retrofitting the science to the reality.

  13. Richard N says:

    I am 99% sure that Professor Sharmas opinion has about the value as a Flannery weather prediction.

  14. “And on the ABC this morning- biggest drought in England in over 30 years. (It will never rain again…)”

    Hey, isn’t a drought in England, like, 3 days without rain ? ;-))

    I reckon there is a natural “leveling out principle”, whereby the longer a severe drought, the more rain you get to end it .. seems to work for Australia, anyway.

    • It really p***es me off as a resident of one of these so-called drought areas of southeast England that the private water company is about to impose hosepipe bans when what they should really be doing is replacing the ancient supply pipework, so that billions of litres of water a year don’t get wasted. While they’re at it, why the hell in 2012 don’t we have a water grid to supply the drier south from rain-drenched Scotland, Lake District and Wales? Aargh!

      • We need to realise that large increases in population will almost always put a strain on century old infrastructure….

        The natural variation means that occasionally things will go beyond the bounds of what we already have records of…

        We need to PLAN accordingly, within economic restrictions, and NOT waste funds on inefficient systems. !!!

  15. The shoddy science is dispiriting, as is the spectacle of seeing proponents of it achieving great influence either because of their credulity – in which case they are dupes, or because of their cynical deployment of scare stories – in which case they are either malevolent or remarkably self-centred. In any case, a severe vulnerability in our political and in our scientific cultures is exposed.

  16. Mervyn Sullivan says:

    When are people going to stop this nonsense of predicting future climate?

    Supercomputers are used to predict weather a few days ahead, and they cannot even get that correct most of the time. Why would anyone then think predicting the climate 10, 20, 50 or 100 years ahead is easier?

    People must never believe politicians about future climate change. Politicians have absolutely no idea. They just won’t admit it.

    People also must never believe climatologists about future climate change. They too do not know. The honest ones will admit that.

    People should definitely never believe the IPCC about future climate change. The IPCC says it is 90% certain man is responsible and predicts climate catastrophes all due to human induced Co2 emissions… which is strange because in its 3rd Assessment report, the IPCC quite clearly states that because too little is known of the Earth’s complex and chaotic climate system, it will never be possible for computer models to predict future climate. Which begs the question, why does the IPCC think it knows about the future climate?

  17. Me book’s out on iPad, Nook, Kindle, and — oh, yeah — paper. It is for, among others: those who need to enjoy walking through the corruption of science in a more comfortable chair than the one at their computer station 🙂

    As I have said elsewhere, I wrote the book to: (a) feed my children and (b) save the world




  1. […] Australian Climate Madness via Climate Depot: The role of natural variability in climate must be squashed at all costs. Just think of the consequences if natural variability were allowed to persist: we wouldn’t be able to “control” the climate by tinkering with a harmless trace gas, and we wouldn’t be able to shame Western civilisation into abandoning centuries of progress in order to “save the planet”. We might have to just accept what nature throws at us – and adapt. […]

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