If it's hot, it's climate change

Brass monkeys

Brass monkeys

UPDATE: Read Warwick Hughes’ analysis of Sydney’s “hottest day eva” here.

But if it’s cold, it’s “just weather”. Actually, no, that’s climate change too (it’s called having an each way bet).

The agenda-driven attitudes to the reporting of any kind of extreme weather are so predictable.

Whilst the Australian media is hyperventilating over a heatwave Down Under, already attributed by several news organisations and government bodies to “global warming”, the severe snowfalls in Europe, which, we were sternly advised in 2000, would be a thing of the past, are merely an intriguing curiosity of the weather:

Extreme winter weather swept across western Europe Saturday, leaving thousands of passengers stranded at London’s main international airport and claiming several lives in Spain, Portugal and France, including those of three Mali-bound soldiers.

The frigid temperatures also caused delays and cancellations on major railway lines including the Eurostar train service, and transport authorities warned of further traffic disruptions with more blizzards forecast for Sunday.

In London, thousands of passengers were forced to camp out on the floors of Heathrow Airport overnight as hundreds of flights to and from the British capital were cancelled.

“There are lots of bodies lying around in the airport. If feels like there’s been a natural disaster,” Jerry Meng from Los Angeles, whose flight to New York was cancelled, told British broadcaster BBC.

London’s other main airports, Gatwick and Stansted, managed to operate fairly normally Saturday.

For Sunday, the snow is expected to cause a 20-percent traffic reduction at Heathrow, and French air traffic authorities have ordered a 40 percent cut in take-offs and landings at Paris’ Charles De Gaulle and Orly airports. (source)

Yes, the heat in Australia was extreme, and records were broken, but is that not to be expected? The planet is warming slowly and has been for several hundred years, primarily due to natural recovery from the Little Ice Age. It is not surprising that records will continue to be exceeded.

What is surprising is that it has taken from 1939 until 2013 for the record to be broken in Sydney, despite nearly 80 years of gradually increasing global temperatures and massive increase in the urban heat island effect in the city. And the all time record from 1960 at Oodnadatta remains.


  1. The Australian Government classifies an employed person as:
    “… all those civilians aged 15 years and over who worked for one hour or more in the reference week …”

    Not surprising then that one warm year, month, week or day is classified as extreme weather and a direct result of global warming!

  2. Bill Robbins says:

    Still waiting for Flannery to explain Milankovich cycles theory.

  3. Kathleen O'Connor says:

    But I thought there’d been no warming for sixteen years! Some are also of the belief another ice age is imminent.

  4. Geoff Cass says:

    It is not necessary to have a deep and wide education to understand that our earth started hot, gradually cooled to cold, then heated slowly again. And that this change has been made many times over time.
    And that it probably will be again and again over more time.

  5. They are also being stupidly selective in picking out regions where it occasionaly gets hot and ignoring others in almost the same latitude where at the very same time the thermometer plunges. On January 3rd when Melbourne was sweltering it was snowing across the Tasman in New Zealand. – http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10857131

  6. Simon, I have doubts that records were really broken see discussion here http://www.warwickhughes.com/blog/?p=2019
    It appears the quoted records were instantaneous temperatures which were not measured in the past.

    • The Sydney Observatory AWS graph shows the following:

      2:49 – 44.9C
      2:59 – 44.7C
      The 45.8C was reached at 2:55pm. Therefore the temp rose 0.9C in 6 mins and dropped 1.0C in 4 mins.
      Would the thermometers have picked up such a sudden increase and decrease in temperature in 1939?

      [Assuming they used the traditional max/min thermometer, with a metal index over the mercury, then it would have recorded the peak temperature, whenever it occurred.]

  7. I wonder how many air conditioners were turned up to the max in Sydney the day of the ‘record’ high temperature blasting heat out into the environment. One Million? More?
    Is Sydney’s area under concrete and tarmac also at an all time high?
    Just wondering?

  8. Rathnakumar says:

    I came across the following news item some days back. They have started blaming cold weather also on global warming. 🙂


    I quote below from the link above. Enjoy!


    Coldest temperatures in 57 years in Bangladesh have also been blamed on more intense cold fronts resulting from global warming that has reportedly melted polar ice.

    “Extreme events are on the rise throughout the world and they will continue to increase further due to global warming,”said Aninun Nishat, an environment specialist.

    “We’re part of the world. So, we’re also feeling here the pinch of the global worming,” he said, adding many countries including India and China in this part of the world are also experiencing unusual chills this winter.

    He said extreme global warming impacts including water stress, shrinking glaciers, rising sea level, regional disturbances in rainfall patterns, and increased frequency and intensity of fires and heat waves, have also been underway in Australia, New Zealand and many other countries.

    “Extreme weather could get worse and more frequent as global warming amplifies the risk factors,” Nishat, vice chancellor of Bangladesh’s leading BRAC University, told Xinhua.

    He said Bangladesh needs more technical and financial support from the developed world to combat the global warming induced calamities.

  9. thingadonta says:

    Both the 1939 record and the 2013 record are at the end of the warm PDO cycles, so expect temperatures to drop over the next 20-30 years or so. The alarmists wont know, because they dont look at the PDO in the first place.

  10. I think it is very significant fact that the earths perihelion (point closest to sun in eccentric orbit) now occurs in mid January.
    So the southern hemisphere has hotter summers (perihelion) and colder winters (aphelion).
    While the northern hemispere will have milder summers and winters.
    So our summer should be expected to be hot at the moment.
    This is a long term cycle, so eventually the southern hemisphere will get the milder summers and winters.

  11. How are you all so blind? Yes, there is a constant cycle of the Earth warming and cooling over thousands of years, but the reason why this specific Global Warming is different, is because the process that should be taking centuries to occur, is happening in simply a matter of decades. The reason that life was able to continue through previous climate change, is because it happened slowly over an extended period of time, but with the Earth warming at the rate of which it currently is, life is unable to evolve and adapt. With our current predicament, we could possibly be facing the largest mass extinction since the dinosaurs.

    [REPLY: Take a look at the temperature record since 1900 and you will see that the magnitude AND rate of the recent warming is nothing unusual compared to recent short term periods of warming. As for your mass extinction comment, I suggest you take a lie down in a darkened room. Nature has an innate ability to adapt. Why else are we and millions of other species still here after four and a half billion years?]

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