Bad weather or bad science?

Ordinarily, when someone reads an article in a major daily warning of more extreme weather in the future, one would just say yeah, weather’s changing – global warming is bad. An article like this certainly can create that sentiment.

If you see the source of this story however, you’d think maybe things arent so bad after all. The Australian Climate Commission sounds very official and therefore, believeable, right? If like me you read stuff other than major dailies however, things aren’t so straight forward.

I wonder what happens when an official government organisation loses credibility – or at least be challeneged for having been inconsistent, and therefore inviting to be discredited.

Both articles can be accessed here and here, with extracts reproduced below.

Victoria to suffer extreme weather, warn climate scientists

  • by: Mark Dunn
  • From: Herald Sun
  • April 03, 2013 12:00AM

VICTORIA will be hard hit by extreme weather events in coming decades, says an Australian Climate Commission report.

It says temperatures are already hitting record levels originally not thought likely until 2030.

“The southeast of Australia, including many of our largest centres, stands out as being at increased risk from many extreme weather events – heatwaves, bushfires, heavy rainfall and sea-level rise,” states the report, titled The Critical Decade, Extreme Weather.

Key food-growing regions in southeast and southwest Australia would also face more drought, says the federal government report, written by professors Will Steffen, Lesley Hughes and David Karoly.

Their review found that sea levels had risen 20cm since the 1800s and were rising at 3mm a year, creating higher storm surges; record surface water temperatures had occurred off Australia’s east coast for the past three years; the annual number of record hot days had doubled since the 1960s, and ecosystems were under threat.

“The Australian heatwave of the summer of 2012-2013 was exceptional for its extent and for its intensity (and) affected 70 per cent of Australia,” it states.

“Temperature records were set in every state and territory and the national average daily temperature reached levels never previously observed.”

And the countervailing piece:

More spin from the Climate Commission

Andrew Bolt

–, Wednesday, April, 03, 2013, (7:21am)


2011: the Climate Commission says global warming can’t be blamed for the drought:

Andrew Bolt: “We have also been told by this Government that the recent drought in the Murray-Darling Basin was caused by global warming, again your own report says there is nothing unusual about that drought either is that true?”

Professor Will Steffen: “We’ve had very severe droughts before so again we cannot attribute this drought statistically to climate change….”

2013: the Climate Commission blames global warming for the drought:

Australia has long had a highly variable climate of droughts and heavy rains, and this pattern is likely to continue into the future. However, climate change is likely to increase the severity of these extreme weather events…

The millennium drought of 1997-2009 was one of Australia’s most severe droughts, with far-reaching impacts on agricultural production, urban water supplies and natural ecosystems.

This outfit is a scandal.