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.

Bureau of Meteorology and CSIRO referred to National Audit Office

National Audit Office

I’m not sure how far this will get [probably not very far, given how every public body you care to mention seems to be infested with climate alarmists – Ed], but we can at least thank them for their efforts and wish them the best of luck – they’ll need it. From Jo Nova’s site:

A team of skeptical scientists, citizens, and an Australian Senator have lodged a formal request with the Australian National Audit Office (ANAO) to have the BOM and CSIRO audited.

The BOM claim their adjustments are “neutral” yet Ken Stewart showed that the trend in the raw figures for our whole continent has been adjusted up by 40%. The stakes are high. Australians could have to pay something in the order of $870 million dollars thanks to the Kyoto protocol, and the first four years of the Emissions Trading Scheme was expected to cost Australian industry (and hence Australian shareholders and consumers) nearly $50 billion dollars.

Given the stakes, the Australian people deserve to know they are getting transparent, high quality data from the Bureau of Meteorology (BOM). The small cost of the audit is nothing in comparison with the money at stake for all Australians. We need the full explanations of why individual stations have been adjusted repeatedly and non-randomly, and why adjustments were made decadesafter the measurements were taken. We need an audit of surface stations. (Are Australian stations as badly manipulated and poorly sited as the US stations? Who knows?)

The NZ equivalent to the Australian BOM is under an official review

The New Zealand Climate Science Coalition found adjustments that were even more inexplicable (0.006 degrees was adjusted up to 0.9 degrees). They decided to push legally and the response was a litany of excuses — until finally The National Institute for Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA) was forced to disavow it’s own National Temperature Records, and belatedly pretend that it had never been intended for public consumption. But here’s the thing that bites: NZ signed the Kyoto protocol, arguably based very much on the NZ temperature record, and their nation owes somewhere from half a billion to several billion dollars worth of carbon credits (depending on the price of carbon in 2012). Hence there is quite a direct link from the damage caused by using one unsubstantiated data set based on a single student’s report that no one can find or replicate that will cost the nation a stack of money. NIWA is now potentially open to class actions. (Ironically, the Australian BOM has the job of “ratifying” the reviewed NZ temperature record.)

Thanks to work by Ken Stewart, Chris Gillham, Andrew Barnham, Tony Cox, James Doogue, David Stockwell, as well as Cory Bernardi, Federal Senator for South Australia.

Queensland Floods: Bureau of Meteorology blames climate change

Bureau's David Jones

The floodgates are open. The unfalsifiable hypothesis of dangerous man-made global warming comes to the rescue and provides the answer to the terrible Queensland floods. We can all now self-flagellate, wailing that driving our SUVs is to blame. Over a quarter of a million Google hits for +queensland +flood +”climate change” in the last week alone. But hang on a minute, when there was a drought in Australia, climate change caused that too. Referring here to New South Wales and the Murray-Darling Basin, where there have also been recent flooding rains:

IT MAY be time to stop describing south-eastern Australia as gripped by drought and instead accept the extreme dry as permanent, one of the nation’s most senior weather experts warned yesterday.

“Perhaps we should call it our new climate,” said the Bureau of Meteorology’s head of climate analysis, David Jones.

It was the 11th year in a row NSW and the Murray-Darling Basin had experienced above normal temperatures. Sydney’s nights were its warmest since records were first kept 149 years ago.

“There is absolutely no debate that Australia is warming,” said Dr Jones. “It is very easy to see … it is happening before our eyes.” [There is debate about the cause, however – Ed]

The only uncertainty now was whether the changing pattern was “85 per cent, 95 per cent or 100 per cent the result of the enhanced greenhouse effect”. [Apparently not according to Jones – Ed]

“There is a debate in the climate community, after … close to 12 years of drought, whether this is something permanent. Certainly, in terms of temperature, that seems to be our reality, and that there is no turning back. (source)

But now that Queensland is under water, Jones has another story:

“We’ve always had El Ninos and we’ve had natural variability but the background which is now operating is different,” head of climate monitoring and prediction at the Australia Bureau of Meteorology in Melbourne David Jones said.

“The first thing we can say with La Nina and El Nino is it is now happening in a hotter world,” he told Reuters, adding that meant more evaporation from land and oceans, more moisture in the atmosphere and stronger weather patterns.

“So the El Nino droughts would be expected to be exacerbated and also La Nina floods because rainfall would be exacerbated,” he said, though adding it would be some years before any climate change impact on both phenomena might become clear.

Everyone’s a winner, ignoring the pointless weasel-word caveat at the end. Droughts: climate change. Floods: climate change. I’ve said it before, but will say it again: what evidence would show that climate change was not taking place? In other words, what conditions would falsify the hypothesis? I won’t wait for an answer, because there isn’t one. Everything strengthens the case for AGW, in the alarmists’ view.

And Keith “Travesty” Trenberth chimes in as well:

Prominent US climate scientist Kevin Trenberth said the floods and the intense La Nina were a combination of factors.

He pointed to high ocean temperatures in the Indian Ocean near Indonesia early last year as well as the rapid onset of La Nina after the last El Nino ended in May.

“The rapid onset of La Nina meant the Asian monsoon was enhanced and the over 1 degree Celsius anomalies in sea surface temperatures led to the flooding in India and China in July and Pakistan in August,” he told Reuters in an email.

He said a portion, about 0.5C, of the ocean temperatures around northern Australia, which are more than 1.5C above pre-1970 levels, could be attributed to global warming.

“The extra water vapor fuels the monsoon and thus alters the winds and the monsoon itself and so this likely increases the rainfall further,” Mr Trenberth, head of the Climate Analysis Section at the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colorado, said.

“So it is easy to argue that one degree Celsius sea surface temperature anomalies gives 10 to 15 per cent increase in rainfall,” he added.

Yep, dead easy if you can just pick and choose a model to fit whatever weather phenomenon is currently occurring. Even the token scientist drafted in to say that there’s no link to climate change manages to link it to climate change:

It’s a natural phenomena. We have no strong reason at the moment for saying this La Nina is any stronger than it would be even without humans,” said Neville Nicholls of Monash University in Melbourne and president of the Australian Meteorological and Oceanographic Society.

But he said global atmospheric warming of about 0.75C over the past half century had to be having some impact.

“It has to be affecting the climate, regionally and globally. It has to be affecting things like La Nina. But can you find a credible argument which says it’s made it worse? I can’t at the moment.” (source)

Well, it has to be one or the other. Either the warming is affecting La Niña or it isn’t. And of course, none of this says anything about the cause of the warming.

And we here in Australia are all deeply honoured that the Mighty Goracle has used “our” floods as “evidence of climate change.” If Big Al thinks so, it must be true. (source)

(H/t Bishop Hill)

UK/Australian seasonal forecasts: FAIL

Verdict on Met Office and BoM

Both the UK Met Office and the Australian Bureau of Meteorology are strapped in tight to the global warming rollercoaster. Their models staunchly ignore or play down any natural effects on the climate, and artificially enhance the effects of CO2 in order to prop up the pre-conceived alarmist agenda. As a result, their seasonal forecasts generally point towards warmer conditions [despite the fact that now there are freezing conditions in the UK, the alarmists are happy to bleat that such conditions are “consistent with global warming” – nobody in the MSM seems to bat an eyelid at the howling inconsistency there – why didn’t the models predict harsher winters? – Ed]. It really doesn’t matter how many teraflops your multi-million-pound supercomputer can crunch through – if the models suck, it’s still Garbage In, Garbage Out.

The result of all this is particularly obvious in the UK right now, where the government, relying on such skewed forecasts, failed to adequately prepare the country for the heavy snowfalls and freezing conditions it has endured over the past week or so. The Met Office is suffering from a case of sudden short-term amnesia, as it claims that it never forecast milder conditions. Unfortunately, highly recommended UK blog Autonomous Mind has a longer memory, and posts a chart showing precisely that:

click to enlarge

The post also links to an article from October in the UK Daily Express, in which an independent forecaster challenges the Met Office’s prediction:

Positive Weather Solutions senior forecaster Jonathan Powell said: “It baffles me how the Met Office can predict a milder-than-average winter when all the indicators show this winter will have parallels to the last one.

“They are standing alone here, as ourselves and other independent forecasters are all predicting a colder-than-average winter.

“It will be interesting to see how predictions by the government-funded Met Office compare with independent forecasters.” (source)

Interesting indeed. Epic FAIL for the Met Office.

Now onto the BoM, which, as Jo Nova points out, has hit the jackpot with a trifecta of duff predictions, which are no doubt a result of models which are skewed towards the global warming narrative:

For this spring the Australian BOM predicted it would be dry and warm, instead we got very wet and quite cold.  The models are so bad on a regional basis, it’s uncannily like they are almost useful… if they call things “dry”, expect “wet”.

On August 24 the Australian BoM had pretty much no idea that any unusual wetness was headed their way. Toss a coin, 50:50, yes or no. Spring 2010 was going to be “average”, except in SW Western Australia where they claimed “a wetter than normal spring is favoured.” What follows were 100 year floods, or at least above average rain to nearly every part of the nation bar the part that was supposed to be getting more rainfall. In the chart below, all shades of “blue” got above average rainfall. The dark blue? That’s the highest rainfall on record.

Spring rainfall - click to enlarge

On August 24 the BOM predicted that spring would be “hot across the north”. Instead it was cold everywhere except in the west of WA.

Max spring temperatures - click to enlarge

Epic FAIL for the Australian BoM.

It seems that we can now rely only on those forecasters who are independent of any government-linked body. The virus of AGW alarmism has spread so far in Western governments and their agencies that they can no longer be trusted to produce unbiased forecasts, and the results of blinkered reliance on such forecasts is plain to see in the UK and Europe.

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