Summer not so angry after all

Who can spot the angry summer?

Who can spot the angry summer?

The emotive language and graphics of the Climate Commission are there to scare the population into thinking the worst. It’s pure alarmism.

As mentioned in the last post, the Climate Commission, Flannery, Steffen and the rest will all be gone by the end of the year – good riddance.

Murry Salby, professor of climate at Macquarie University, dismantles their latest explosion of hysteria:

CLAIMS from the latest report by the Climate Commission, titled The Angry Summer, have been widely circulated through international media. On the basis of a few sporadic episodes, which in any other era would have been regarded as marginal weather (infrequent but perennial), the Climate Commission has proclaimed that such events are now the norm – the signature of climate change come home to roost.

This report is but the latest in a series of dire proclamations from this panel. It just happens to buttress the government’s controversial carbon tax, a maladroit policy that will be pivotal in the forthcoming federal election.

The commission’s position, as proclaimed by its chief commissioner, is that “the baseline has shifted” like “an athlete (who) takes steroids”. “The same thing is happening to our climate system . . . We’re getting fewer cold days and cold events and many more record hot events” (The New York Times, March 4).

The evocative nature of these claims is matched only by the imagination behind them. On a continental scale (the scale relevant to climate), Australian temperature this summer was unremarkable – it was within the range of previous variability.

The Climate Commission was enshrined as an “independent panel of experts”. It was installed and paid for by the government. The panel is comprised of biologists and ecologists, a materials engineer and members of the business community. It has no demonstrated expertise in the physics or chemistry of climate, or even in meteorology, the scientific underpinnings of its conclusions.

Figure 1 displays the record of Australia mean temperature during January (blue) in its anomalous value (the departure from the long-term average January temperature). Last January was warmer than recent Januaries, but hardly unprecedented. It lies about a standard deviation above the average January temperature. And even during the relatively short satellite era, two Januaries were warmer. Superimposed is anomalous summertime temperature (red). It is even less remarkable. Near the three-decade average, it is no more significant than in preceding years. Neither record evidences a sustained shift in the continental baseline.

Figure 2 displays the record of anomalous temperature for all months. It places the summer of 2012-13 into perspective. Anomalous temperature (red solid circles) lies well within the envelope of other warm anomalies during the preceding three decades. Cold anomalies are just as numerous. If anything, they are even stronger.

For many on Australia’s eastern seaboard, this summer was not anomalously hot but, rather, anomalously cool and wet. This is confirmed by the temperature record at Sydney. The central station reported only two marginal days. And during the entire summer maximum temperature reached 32C on only three days.

In the light of the satellite record, as well as the absence of any systematic change in global temperature for almost two decades, the proclaimed interpretation of this summer should be recognised for what it is: a simplistic explanation of a complex physical system. (source)

No-one’s listening any more chaps.

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