Surprise! Bureau warns of ‘scorching, dry summer’

A Bureau meteorologist prepares the seasonal outlook

A meteorologist at the BoM prepares the latest seasonal outlook

I’m surprised they didn’t warn of an ‘angry summer’ (© The Climate Council).

Actually it wasn’t angry at all. It wasn’t even slightly miffed. The crystal-ball-gazing of the Bureau has a pretty shocking track record, but that doesn’t stop the usual pre-summer catastrophism:

Most Australians are in for a substantially hotter and drier-than-normal summer, the Bureau of Meteorology’s latest seasonal outlook says.

The bureau’s December to February Climate and Water Outlook predicts warmer-than-normal summer days and nights are more likely for all regions except western WA, southwestern Victoria and Tasmania.

While that outlook is less severe for western Victoria than was forecast in November’s three-month outlook, BoM climate prediction service manager Dr Andrew Watkins says the odds still slightly favour warmer conditions.

“You’ve got to remember that we’re coming off a very dry period and a very warm period in western Victoria,” Dr Watkins said.

“Things have been dry. Things have been hot and the bushfire potential is still very high in those areas.” (source)

If it’s as accurate as previous BoM seasonal outlooks, we should be in for a few months of cold and rain.

Australia warming at just 0.1C per decade, despite 2013 being “hottest year”

Catastrophic warming?

Catastrophic warming? Click to enlarge

The ABC/Fairfax media axis has been hard at work plugging the “hottest year on record” meme, my response to which is, so what?

The planet has been warming slowly since the Little Ice Age, and so it is hardly surprising that this decade is warmer than the last, and that individual years in the recent past are likely to be warmer than earlier years as well.

But to read the breathless reporting of this fact on the ABC and the Bureau of Meteorology websites, you would think that this is something shocking. The ABC:

Australia has just sweltered through its hottest year on record, according to the Bureau of Meteorology. Average temperatures were 1.20 degrees Celsius above the long-term average of 21.8C, breaking the previous record set in 2005 by 0.17C, the bureau said in its Annual Climate Statement.

All states and territories recorded above average temperatures in 2013, with Western Australia, Northern Territory and South Australia all breaking annual average temperature records. And every month of 2013 had national average temperatures at least 0.5C above normal, according to the statement.

The country recorded its hottest day on January 7 – a month which also saw the hottest week and hottest month since records began in 1910. A new record was set for the number of consecutive days the national average temperature exceeded 39C – seven days between January 2 and 8, 2013, almost doubling the previous record of four consecutive days in 1973.

The highest temperature recorded during 2013 was 49.6C at Moomba in South Australia on January 12, which was the highest temperature in Australia since 1998. Further, with mean temperatures across Australia generally well above average since September 2012, long periods of warmer-than-average days have been common, with a distinct lack of cold weather, the statement says. (source)

The BoM’s Annual Climate Statement is a picture of alarmism, with scary graphics implicitly linking every weather event during the year to man-made climate change.

Yes, 2013 was warm in Australia, but 2010, 2011 and 2012 were cooler – it’s what the climate does.

Despite all the hyperventilating, the BoM’s own data show a temperature increase of only 0.1C per decade since 1979, equating to a 1C increase over a century. In the same period, atmospheric CO2 has increased by 18%, from 340ppm to 400ppm. UAH data for the same period actually shows slightly larger warming of 0.16C (data here in the AUST column).

With the Sherwood paper predicting increases of 4C by 2100, the rate of warming would have to more than quadruple (to 0.44C/decade) to reach that level. And how likely is that?

Bureau: warmer times for Australia… again

Click to enlarge

The Bureau of Meteorology has just released its latest seasonal outlooks, and it is projecting a very high chance of a warmer than normal late Winter and early Spring over much of Australia:

The national outlook averaged over August to October 2012 shows the following:

  • warmer days are more likely over most of Australia, except the northern tropics
  • warmer nights are more likely over most of Australia, except for the far tropical north

This outlook is predominantly a result of warmer than normal waters in the Indian Ocean; emerging warmer than normal Pacific waters have had a lesser impact. (source)

The BoM is predicting 75-80% chance of this over much of the continent.

If you search the Seasonal Outlook archive for “cool” or “cooler” you get 14 results. If you search for “warm” or “warmer” you get over 100. The Bureau is clearly doing its bit to prop up the Cause, but I wonder how many of those projections were actually anywhere near right? Someone with the time should go through them and compare with the actual records (also available on the BoM website).

For example, in September 2011, the Bureau claimed that the October to December months would be, you guessed it, predominantly warmer, with Brisbane and Sydney looking at a 50-55% chance of exceeding the median maximum temperature. What actually happened?

And the same for December to February, where Warwick Hughes noted:

This summer has been cooler than average across vast areas of Australia. Which has been a surprise to the BoM.

The BoM 3 month summer temperature outlooks were issued in November – actual daytime temperature anomalies were cooler over vastly more area of Australia than the BoM predicted. The actual warmth along the Perth to Pilbara coast and Sth Aust & Vic turned out to be miniscule compared to the BoM predictions. Ditto for the Far North which turned out near average. The BoM scores some marks for their Eastern and Central Australian cool predict but all of their hot predictions turned out cooler and smaller.

Let’s see how they fare with this one… check back in October.

Bureau's Annual Alarmism Summary

Bushfires = climate ©BoM

UPDATE: Graham Lloyd, The Australian’s environment editor displays a staggering gullibility in his accompanying opinion piece “Plenty of data to compel doubters” – at least he didn’t say “deniers”. Take the following:

“For anyone who doubts the role played by mankind in rising levels of atmospheric CO2, the graph that shows how it remained at a constant level for 2000 years before shooting up with the industrial revolution should be compelling.”

Er, really? Ignoring the fact that such a visual trick is achieved by choosing the y-axis scale appropriately, few people doubt the fact that mankind has raised CO2 levels. So your point is? That such a rise correlates with higher temperatures? Lloyd avoids all the issues with causation, the Roman and Medieval Warm Periods (which occurred when CO2 levels were “safe”) and the fudging of feedbacks, trusting completely the words of the BoM and CSIRO. The rest is just as bad here.

When you look at the cover image of the latest Bureau of Meteorology Climate Summary for 2011, it tells you all you need to know. Illustrated with a raging bush fire (didn’t know bush fires were “climate”) it gives the impression that such events are something we haven’t ever experienced until the last 50 years, when we started pumping out evil carbon dioxide.

Like the UK Met Office, the Bureau is now less a weather reporting organisation than a political activist group, plugging the consensus AGW line and abandoning any vestiges of scientific impartiality.

Therefore, as we would come to expect from the Bureau, the report is packed full of alarmism, and despite the fact that temperatures have been much lower in 2011, it blames that squarely on La Niña, and assures us that underneath, temperatures are still rising.

Throughout, it is painfully obvious that the Bureau is desperate to prop up “The Cause” at any cost, as The Australian reports:

COOLER weather in Australia in the past two years due to the rain-inducing La Nina weather pattern does not undermine the collective evidence of climate change, the nation’s peak scientific and weather organisations say.

In their second State of the Climate report released today, the CSIRO and Bureau of Meteorology say evidence shows global warming continued and human activities were mainly responsible.

The report says natural climate variability had affected the global mean temperature and sea levels during the past century but much less than greenhouse gases, which continued to rise.

“It is clear that increasing greenhouse gas concentrations will result in significant further global warming,” the report says.

Bureau of Meteorology climate monitoring manager Karl Braganza said the scientific community found it difficult to communicate the climate change message because of the long timeframes involved.

“People want to see the things projected for the next 20 to 30 years happening now and if they don’t see it, their acceptance of the science is ameliorated by that,” Dr Braganza said.

Maybe it’s because people have lost trust in climate scientists, because of evidence of data manipulation and other unscientific and disreputable activities. And any old excuse is suddenly wheeled out for the lack of warming, reduced solar activity and aerosols:

“We are probably at a period where solar forcing (the sun’s energy) has been lower than recent decades,” he said.

There was an influence from China’s rapid economic development, which was causing more particles to be put into the atmosphere that reflect sunlight. “I think all of those things are affecting the climate system but the dominant, real standout influence is the increase in greenhouse gases, mostly CO2,” Dr Braganza said.

And we all know why they reach this conclusion – because every climate model accentuates the effect of CO2 relative to natural drivers.

The report says the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere last year was 390 parts per million, higher than at any time for the past 800,000 years. (source)

And just to round off, a lovely piece of pointless alarmism, which just about sums up this report.

The only thing to be said is: “We will see.”

The full report is here.

Bureau of Meteorology's summer forecasts: 'hopeless again'

Max anomaly predictions

Anecdotally, from my weather station here on the Upper North Shore in Sydney, this has been the Year without a Summer. Mean temperatures for December, January and February were 18.6C, 21.5C and 21.6C, significantly lower than 2010/11 (21.7, 23.9, 24.1) and 2009/10 (22.9, 23.9, 23.4).

Overall summer means for the three months December, January and February were 20.5C for 2011/12, down 2.8C compared to 2010/11 and 2.9C compared to 2009/10. All totally meaningless in terms of climate, of course, but interesting none the less.

Warwick Hughes on the warmist BoM predictions for the Year:

This summer has been cooler than average across vast areas of Australia. Which has been a surprise to the BoM.

The BoM 3 month summer temperature outlooks were issued in November – actual daytime temperature anomalies were cooler over vastly more area of Australia than the BoM predicted. The actual warmth along the Perth to Pilbara coast and Sth Aust & Vic turned out to be miniscule compared to the BoM predictions. Ditto for the Far North which turned out near average. The BoM scores some marks for their Eastern and Central Australian cool predict but all of their hot predictions turned out cooler and smaller.


Cool 2010 and 2011, but planet "still warming" says BoM

Still warming, just you wait…

If there were no agenda of global warming, there would be no need for comments like those of David Jones, reported in The Australian today.

The fact that a senior Bureau meteorologist believes it necessary to defend model projections that the planet will continue to warm, despite two cooler years (and a relatively flat global temperature profile for the last decade), reveals the motivations at work behind the scenes.

Environment editor at The Australian, Graham Lloyd, doesn’t help to dispel this impression, and warns “those looking to disprove climate change” that the planet is still warming [er, who’s trying to “disprove climate change” again?].

“In 2011, the La Nina and heavy rainfall acted like an evaporative cooler for Australia,” said bureau climate change spokesman David Jones.

“The year 2010 was relatively cool in recent historical context and 2011 was cooler again.”

Mr Jones said there was no evidence to link the strong La Nina weather systems with changing global temperatures.

“We have had this regular cycle of La Nina and El Nino,” he said. “The strongest El Nino on record was in 1997 and we have seen one of the strongest La Ninas on record in 2010-11.”

Mr Jones said the climate science was not very clear on what would happen with El Nino and La Nina patterns, particularly at this early stage of global warming.

“We have only seen one degree of warming so far but we will see substantially more as we move through the century, but it is probably too early to draw any concrete relationship between hotter temperatures and La Nina,” he said.

“One simple thing we can say is we know La Nina are historically cooler for Australia but there is a big difference between variability and climate change.”

The BOM climate statement said Australia’s mean rainfall total for last year was 699mm, which was 234mm above the long-term average of 465mm, making it the third-wettest year since comparable records began in 1900.

Where’s Tim Flannery when you need him to explain all his failed predictions of a never-ending drought?

The Australian area averaged mean temperature was 0.14C below the 1961-1990 average of 21.81C. Last year, maximum temperatures averaged 0.25C below normal across the country, while minimum temperatures averaged 0.03C below normal.

And then Jones goes into full prickly defensive mode:

“Despite the slightly cooler conditions, the country’s 10-year average continues to demonstrate the rising trend in temperatures, with 2002-2011 likely to rank in the top two warmest 10-year periods on record for Australia, at 0.52C above the long-term average,” the bureau said.

“If you are interested in determining whether the planet is warming, you look at the global temperature,” Mr Jones said. (source)

And if you look at global temperatures for the last decade, there isn’t much warming to see there either.

If the BoM hadn’t sold out to climate alarmism, there wouldn’t be any need for such awkward justifications.

Faith-based scientist criticises religious leader for too much "scepticism"

Too sceptical

Oh, the delicious irony. You really couldn’t make this stuff up. Here we have the head of the Catholic church in Australia, Cardinal George Pell, whose entire purpose in life is to advance a belief system based entirely on faith, being criticised by a supposedly evidence-based scientist for not having enough “faith” in the global warming consensus, and displaying too much scepticism. Hilarious!

The head of the Bureau of Meteorology has rebuked Cardinal George Pell for his scepticism about climate change, insisting the man has been misled.

Sydney’s Catholic Archbishop is an outspoken disbeliever in man-made global warming, arguing that it was hotter during the Middle Ages and carbon dioxide levels are not historically high. [Both probably correct – Ed]

Bureau chief Greg Ayers used an appearance at a Senate estimates hearing yesterday to rip into the cardinal’s personal views.

He said the core of his arguments were based on a book by Australian scientist Ian Plimer called Heaven and Earth: Global Warming the Missing Science.

But Cardinal Pell’s convictions were misplaced, Dr Ayers said.

“The contents of the book are simply not scientific,” he told the committee.

“The cardinal has been misled.” (source)

Who cares what book he has read? At least he read it, and has an open mind to the possibility that there are other explanation for the current climate changes we are seeing – unlike most at the Bureau of Meteorology, who have their noses in the warmist funding trough.

That it has come to this: a religious leader teaching scientists how to be sceptical. Oh. My. G-d.

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