A Few Things Ill Considered

A layman's take on the science of Global Warming featuring a guide on How to Talk to a Climate Sceptic.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

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Severity of the Current Drought (Australia)

Over at Jennifer Marohasy's blog, a frequent commentor, "Luke", has an interesting guest post. Jennifer is one of those self proclaimed "climate agnostics" who nevertheless posts on how Al Gore is all wrong, polar bears are going to be fine, there's no consensus, warming stopped in 1998, the temperature rise is UHI effect etc, etc. A recent spate of posts about the drought in Australia have been about how it is in fact nothing exceptional. If that strikes you as contrary to every other indication, well, it is.

But to her credit she has been accepting guest posts from people in very strong disagreement with most of her positions - such as this post on rainfall anomaly patterns in Australia.

It is interesting because it shows how really wet + really dry = average may make for good talking points but does not tell the whole story. It is also interesting because it is a small scale parallel to the IPCC predictions of increased precipitation together with increased droughts in a warming world. Luke's nice work shows very clearly how this is not the contradiction it would seem to be. This scenario is a compelling example of the risks of climate changes for immobile urban centers.

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2 Comments:

  • At January 05, 2007 5:29 AM, Anonymous CraigM said…

    The CSIRO I think has said that the latest drought isnt caused by GW, though GW may be accentuating it. Also, apparently we have actually had average rainfall but its all falling in different places now (or maybe thats just Tas?).

    In Tasmania weather is weird. Its hot with bushfires and houses being burnt, next minute there is snow on mt wellington. Its currently pouring with rain after being 30 plus yesterday. I dunno, its weird, maybe??? The drought is serious. Its partly an el nino thing or something. If its a taste of what we can expect in the future then it aint looking good.

    Went Skiing up Ben Lomond (nth Tas) a few years ago. There is a little sign describing how big the dumps of snow use to be (huge). People talk about skiing right down the mountain 30 years ago too. I cant relate to these stories i hear. We aint had a ski season in 2 years really. We ski on rock now! For me this is one of the more tangible experiences Ive had that hammer home the idea that things appear to be changing climate wise. Sure, graphs are nice...but i cant ski now. Atleast we still have adequate water unlike nthn states.

     
  • At January 05, 2007 9:13 AM, Blogger coby said…

    Well, one can never really say any particular weather event is caused by GW. All one can say is that certain kinds of weather are going to be more common, such as droughts. AFAIUI, droughts are in the cards for Australia in a warming world.

    Yes, it is a question of distribution for both Tasmania and the mainland (check the maps in the links to Luke's post).

    Thanks for the comment!

     

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