Reporter down under: "Don't blame climate change" for "hottest August on record"

Also let us not forget, Australia set a new continent-wide low temperature just a few short months ago


Australia records hottest winter on record, summer tipped to be hotter

Cathy Alexander The Herald Sun, Australia

September 01, 2009 12:53pm

UPDATE 5.11pm: BELIEVE it or not, the nation has just sweated through its hottest August on record … but don’t blame climate change.

The Bureau of Meteorology says August was almost 2.5 degrees Celsius warmer than normal across the country.

The bureau boffins described it as most extraordinary” as temperatures crept above 38 degrees in some areas.

And winter as a whole came within a whisker of being the warmest of record – it was just 0.01 of a degree cooler than the record-holder, 1996.

Blair Trewin, a climate scientist with the bureau, said the warm weather was caused by a lack of large frontal systems sweeping up from the southern oceans, which would have brought cool air.

Instead, persistent high pressure systems hung about the subtropics.

Dr Trewin said the heatwaves were caused more by natural variability than by climate change.

Climate change had pushed up temperatures by about 0.8 of a degree over the past century but August came in at more than two degrees above average.

“The set-up we had this month would have given us an extremely warm month whether it happened 100 years ago or it happened now,” Dr Trewin told AAP.

“There’s a lot of natural variability but you’ve got a climate change signal on top of that.”

And there’s no end in sight to the warm weather – the Bureau is forecasting a hot, dry spring because of warm conditions in the Pacific and Indian oceans.

Australia’s east coast suffered an unusual lack of frontal systems during August, which usually blow cooler air into the region.

Areas of south-east Queensland and northern NSW have been regularly breaking August records, with Evans Head on the far north NSW coast sweltering through a state record of 36.8 degrees last week.

“Hot air has just built up and built up … without any breaks,” Dr Trewin said, adding it could mean Australia is in for more above-average temperatures during spring and summer.

“It’s suggesting a fairly high chance of dry conditions in northern Queensland, Victoria and South Australia.”

“There’s a high risk of a hot spring and early summer over the east of Australia, that obviously has implications for fire weather.”

Read the article at the Herald Sun here
Here is the BoM Press release describing record breaking temps in the Northern Territory, seen on this BoM map:

Tuesday 01 September 2009


Record breaking hot August.

The Northern Territory last month recorded its hottest August on record, with several long-term climate records broken. “Every weather reporting station in the Alice Springs district exceeded its previous hottest August, many by several degrees”, said Sam Cleland, manager of the Bureau of Meteorology’s Northern Territory Climate Services Centre.

“Furthermore, the hot August followed from warmer than usual June and July, and many stations in southern parts of the Territory also reported their warmest winter on record.” Mr Cleland said.

Further details can be found on the Bureau’s Climate Summaries page, at:

A direct link to the NT Summary is at:

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September 1, 2009 4:51 pm

How was climate in Australia during the LIA?

Myron Mesecke
September 1, 2009 5:02 pm

Just like Texas was this summer. Persistent high pressure systems and nothing to push them away. Normal thing that happens time to time.

September 1, 2009 5:07 pm

In the Australian today we have two relevant stories, one saying snow has just fallen in Kalgoorlie (600k west Perth on the edge of the desert) , and the other saying the UN chief Moonbat is saying the planet will be ice free by 2030!

September 1, 2009 5:10 pm

Now THAT’s a weather report.

September 1, 2009 5:12 pm

Well here in VA we’ve had a surprisingly cold summer, so I guess its weird everywhere.

September 1, 2009 5:21 pm

Maybe Australia’s warmer weather is the result of North America’s 08 winter temp failing to go south.

Keith Minto
September 1, 2009 5:25 pm

Yes,this is a hot dry country as witnessed by its dry sclerophyll vegetation,formed long before Europeans appeared on the scene. This link shows a map of Australia ,with temperature anomalies mostly confined to the empty inland and patches on the west coast. No UHI here but the sensors thin out inland and extrapolation must have been used to fill in the data.
At least Blair Trewin talked about natural variability, because 200 years of European observation in Australia is not long enough to estimate heat and rainfall patterns but observing the flora and fauna will.

Michael Hauber
September 1, 2009 5:27 pm

Too hot to be caused by climate change….

Ron de Haan
September 1, 2009 5:38 pm

Weather still isn’t climate, no matter how many people would like to see it differently.
What’s interesting is the big contrast in weather patterns producing record cold periods followed by record warmth periods.
The big London Fire from 1666 for example took place during the LIA in the midst of an extremely hot and dry summer, followed by an harsh winter.
This is what the records state:
27th June(OS): heat wave began: mostly dry in London since the 12th(OS).
On 5th July, 1666(OS), Pepys writes: “extremely hot … oranges ripening in the open at Hackney”.
July 6th(OS): Beginning of period with occasional showers/heavy rains though often warm. July 26th(OS): Hail ‘ as big as walnuts ‘ in London and 27th(OS) on Suffolk coast.
The climatological summer (June, July & August) of 1666 was amongst the top 10 or so of warm summers in the CET series (began 1659).
The drought over these two months is noteworthy because it preceded the Great Fire of London; apparently the east wind, which prevailed during that period, had dried the wooden houses of London until they were like tinder. When the fire started early in September (12th/New Style), the east wind drove the flames before it and helped the fire to spread rapidly; smoke from this reached Oxford in the days thereafter. The prevailing weather was noted as ‘hot & dry’, and strong east Winds during the fire caused great problems with fire-fighting. On the 2nd/old-style (the first day of the fire), a ‘strong’ east wind is noted – Evelyn notes this as a “Fierce” eastern wind in a very dry season. It is not clear though whether the wind was caused by the fire, or was there anyway. However, Evelyn does note that there had been a….”long set of fair and warm weather”. On September 4th (14th new-style), Evelyn still notes: “The eastern wind still more impetuously driving the flames forward. “Later on the 5th(OS), the wind is noted as ‘abating’ — again not certain whether this was due to the fire burning itself out. In any case, this was effectively the end of the Great Fire.
15th September(OS): Foul weather in the southern North Sea began the breakdown of the long dry warm summer weather (see previous).
19th September(OS): The first considerable rainfall quenched London fire: rainy autumn followed.
(winter & early spring)
A cold winter over western Europe / implied parts of Britain; cold weather, hard frost in London on 31st December; Thames covered with ice on the 1st January. Using the CET series [ ‘central’ England ], the overall figure for the three ‘classical’ winter months of December, January & February showed an anomaly of -1.5degC on the all-series mean. December was around a degree (C) below average, but January was bitterly cold, with an approximate anomaly of at least -3degC; February was about average, but this was followed by a very cold March (q.v. below).
March of 1667 was very cold: nominal CET (to nearest 0.5degC and perhaps inaccurate?) was 2degC, representing an anomaly on the ‘all-series’ mean of at least -3degC. Perhaps in the ‘top-5’ coldest March’s of the series.
To get a real feel for weather and weather events during the LIA it’s interesting to read through the data collected at this web site:

September 1, 2009 5:42 pm

Im in new zealand here, and im rather happy to say that this August gone was extremely mild here also. I dont miss the normal antarctic blasts! but its been a strange winter, it started a month early, it was the coldest driest may i can recall, and june and july were far from tropical. Im a farmer, and im absolutely stoked with the growth thus far this spring (-:

September 1, 2009 6:11 pm

Winnipeg Canada recorded its ninth consecutive month of below normal temperatures. For whatever reason, normal is calculated based on the previous 30 years. There are records for this city dating back to the mid-1800s that indicate the longest cool trend was back in 1886 with 11 months below normal. So nine isn’t a record.
The situation here was like Australia in reverse. The jet stream dipped low and allowed more Arctic air into the region, just as it let warmer subtropical air into Australia. We’ll take the subtropical air anytime!!

September 1, 2009 6:16 pm

The monthly report for Tasmania says it was the warmest on record. You could have fooled me. This was brought about by constant cloud cover at night, making minima a little higher than usual, and the daily average thus rises. The days were cold wet and very windy. More snow than most recent winters. Not what the average punter perceives as warm, but there you are- the record says it was warm.

September 1, 2009 6:44 pm

See my post here:
Australian Climate Madness

Jack Hughes
September 1, 2009 6:45 pm

I’m in NZ too.
Greenpeace are running a campaign – fronted by minor celebrities – for a 40% reduction in GHG over 11 years.
I don’t know if they realise that when you are cutting something in size then compound interest works against you and you have to save 4.4% this year and 4.4% next year and the year after and so on. Yes you need 11 x 4.4% savings to achieve 40%.
I’ve tried looking at what the ‘national carbon footprint’ is and the best I can find is
New Zealand’s Emissions Profile 1990–2007
. There is a projection for 2008 and 2009 – no measurements. Even the 1990-2007 graph has the odd legend ‘actual estimate emissions…’. Actual or estimate ?
The overall trend is upwards between 1990 and 2007 – an increase of 22% over the period or an annual average of 1.2%.

Neil O'Rourke
September 1, 2009 7:00 pm

My Country
I love a sunburnt country,
A land of sweeping plains,
Of ragged mountain ranges,
Of droughts and flooding rains.
I love her far horizons,
I love her jewel-sea,
Her beauty and her terror –
The wide brown land for me!
The stark white ring-barked forests,
All tragic to the moon,
The sapphire-misted mountains,
The hot gold hush of noon,
Green tangle of the brushes
Where lithe lianas coil,
And orchids deck the tree-tops,
And ferns the warm dark soil.
Core of my heart, my country!
Her pitiless blue sky,
When, sick at heart, around us
We see the cattle die –
But then the grey clouds gather,
And we can bless again
The drumming of an army,
The steady soaking rain.
Core of my heart, my country!
Land of the rainbow gold,
For flood and fire and famine
She pays us back threefold.
Over the thirsty paddocks,
Watch, after many days,
The filmy veil of greenness
That thickens as we gaze.
An opal-hearted country,
A wilful, lavish land –
All you who have not loved her,
You will not understand –
Though earth holds many splendours,
Wherever I may die,
I know to what brown country
My homing thoughts will fly.
Dorothea McKellar

September 1, 2009 7:08 pm

Ron de Haan (17:38:15) : You answered my question. You said once: “Repeat after me…” about the fundamentals of water cycle.
Fact is, contrary what gwrs. say cold climate equals colder than normal sea waters which, again, do not evaporate as before and this equals drought.

Geoff C
September 1, 2009 7:13 pm

Here in Melbourne Australia we have had a generally colder winter than the last 2 or 3 and for a change we have had normal rainfall in August. The last couple of years the rainfall has been dismal in spring, maybe it will be better with a warmer Indian ocean, though the weather bureau seems to think warmer oceans means lower rain.

Patrick Davis
September 1, 2009 7:14 pm

Well, here in Western Sydney, it has been warm during the rather nice sunny, clear, days, and pretty cool at night. Sounds pretty normal to me.

September 1, 2009 7:25 pm

A strongly negative Antarctic Oscillation has dominated this austral winter.
Not sure if that had anything to do with the mild Australian winter, but interesting to note.
Meanwhile the late-winter current temp at Votsok is a balmy -93 degrees F with drifting snow.,%20antarctica&wuSelect=WEATHER
Natural variability. Subtropical highs can wreak hot dry havoc. Happened this summer in Texas. Happened the past few winters in the SE USA.
Norfolk, VA, USA

September 1, 2009 7:28 pm

we have to see the next year to conclude that it’s the result of climate change

Dr David Jones
September 1, 2009 7:29 pm

The official report from the Bureau of Meteorology is to be found at . August was by a large margin the hottest on record for Australia, and maximum temperatures for the month set the largest positive temperature anomaly for any month. It was also Australia’s second warmest winter on record for mean temperature and hottest on record for maximum temperatures.
Wheat crops in parts of Australia have suffered damage due to extreme temperatures which widely approach 100F in winter (something unheard of previously).
It was also the hottest August on record for New Zealand.

September 1, 2009 7:35 pm

Once again biased news reporting with an emphasis on global warming alarmism.
The media failed to acknowledge that these weather patterns are delineated into two distinct regions. Hot and dry central and northern Australia and a cold and wet southern region.
They fail to say that Tasmania has just come out of drought in August thanks to some very wet and cold weather, 6 inches of rain over the whole state and up to 20 inches of rain in parts of the west. Also widespread snow with closure of roads.
Victoria also has had average or above average rainfall and one of the best ski seasons is still powering on. Perisher and Thredbo both have 1.5 metres of snow, Falls Creak and Hotham have 1 metre.
In Australia you dont get this much snowpack in early September unless you have cold air and moisture coming from the south regularly. So the media reporting has been inaccurate, misleading and disengenious to the extreme.
All we are seeing is a movement of the southern weather patterns northwards. The high pressure systems are moving over central and northern Australia causing the interior to warm up. But the southerly lows and cold fronts are now moving north also to influence southern regions with wetter colder weather.
This is just a normal cycle of weather pattern coming out of winter into spring with similarities to the weather patterns of 1960’s and 70’s.

September 1, 2009 7:40 pm

AGW=.6 C global rise in annual mean surface temperatures in a century.
Natural Variability=2.5 C above normal August in Australia.
So everyone is clear.

September 1, 2009 7:48 pm

Interestingly, it looks as though the greatest maximum temperature anomalies were more widespread and of greater magnitude than those of minimum temps:
And MAN must be blazing hot down under. Ouch!

September 1, 2009 7:50 pm

Woolfe – the snow in Kalgoolie was a snow making machine operating at the local school as a prize for winning a competition. Todays temp range for Kalgoolie is 5-16c. I doubt any natural snow will be falling.

September 1, 2009 8:08 pm

Wheat crops in parts of Australia have suffered damage due to extreme temperatures which widely approach 100F in winter (something unheard of previously).
Uh huh….and last week it was -119 F in Vostok.
So not everywhere down under….

Les Francis
September 1, 2009 8:30 pm

If the jet streams are studied then it will be obvious that these are not in their normal positions over Australia for this part of the year.
Tasmania has just had it’s wettest month on record – don’t know where that warmest on record comes from.
I would still like to know if the wholesale destruction of the tropical rainforest in Indonesia has an effect on the weather patterns in Australia. Does the altered climate in Indonesia due to these land practices have an effect on the jet streams? The Indonesian Archipelago stretches right across just to the North of Australia.

September 1, 2009 8:38 pm

Woolfe (17:07:56) : “In the Australian today we have two relevant stories, one saying snow has just fallen in Kalgoorlie (600k west Perth on the edge of the desert) …”
Caution on this, Woolfe. It is very misleading. The full story is not as your note implies:

“…where first prize included a visit by a snow machine on Wednesday. …

Snow falls in the WA goldfields
Aleisha Preedy, September 2, 2009

September 1, 2009 8:39 pm

Les Francis (20:30:21) : “I would still like to know if the wholesale destruction of the tropical rainforest in Indonesia has an effect on the weather patterns in Australia. Does the altered climate in Indonesia due to these land practices have an effect on the jet streams? The Indonesian Archipelago stretches right across just to the North of Australia.”
Very cogent observation.
Western demand for bio-fuels clear jungles for palm farms. No doubt there is some measurable effect.
Especially since Indonesia is upstream.
Yeah….this is “anthropogenic” and it happens.
If only the REAL anthropogenic problems could be addressed….as opposed to the fantasy of the demonization of CO2 and cap and trade.
Norfolk, VA, USA

John F. Hultquist
September 1, 2009 8:55 pm

Woolfe (17:07:56) : 600k west Perth
Say what?

Patrick Davis
September 1, 2009 8:58 pm

“timetochooseagain (19:48:52) :
Interestingly, it looks as though the greatest maximum temperature anomalies were more widespread and of greater magnitude than those of minimum temps:
And MAN must be blazing hot down under. Ouch!”
Yeah, it’s SOOOOO hot here I am having to wear clothes and a fleece jacket rather than speeods and thongs.

Patrick Davis
September 1, 2009 9:55 pm

I think I’ve experinced AGW first-hand. I was out getting some therapy, of the retail kind, and while walking along sun exposed streets it was warm and breezy. While walking along shaded streets, it was cool and breezy. This must be evidence of AGW, I must pay more tax to stop it, I must save polar bears and I must learn to swim. Am I dreaming?
*bangs head hard on table*
No. I’m not!

September 1, 2009 10:17 pm

Patrick Davis (20:58:37), timetochooseagain (19:48:52):
Right Patrick. I have just closed the window and swapped from sitting at my desk to using the laptop in bed under a blanket – at 3 in the afternoon! Yes, I am in the ‘hot’ zone. But it was unseasonally hot just a few days ago. Now it isn’t. My understanding was that wild swings were characteristic of the LIA. Certainly there is no long-standing buildup of collected heat here such as would be needed for the AGW theory.

September 1, 2009 10:27 pm

Dr David Jones (19:29:40) :
Wheat crops in parts of Australia have suffered damage due to extreme temperatures which widely approach 100F in winter (something unheard of previously).
Frankly, I’m having a little trouble with this. You can’t really be talking about Victoria, NSW, South Australia or the lower half of Western Australia. The temperatures haven’t been that high and you don’t grow wheat in the tropics. Supply detailed references or crawl back to your troll cave and tell them its not working.

They do in fact grow wheat in Australia, a lot of it, but the alarmist Dr. Jones of BoM seems to miss the fact that wheat crop prospects in Oz are actually up. This from Bloomberg.
Australian Farmer Confidence Rises on Winter Rain, Bank Says
By Madelene Pearson
Aug. 31 (Bloomberg) — Confidence among farmers in Australia, the world’s fourth-largest wheat shipper and third- largest canola exporter, grew for a second quarter, driven by rainfall in early winter, Rabobank Groep NV said.
The number of farmers who expect conditions to improve in the coming year climbed to 28 percent, up from 20 percent in the previous quarter, the bank, the world’s largest agricultural lender, said today, citing its latest Rural Confidence Survey. The number of farmers expecting conditions to worsen decreased to 25 percent, from 37 percent, it said in an e-mailed statement.
Australian farmers are waiting on rain needed to finish winter crops including wheat, barley and canola before the harvest starts in about November. Rabobank has predicted Australia’s wheat crop at 22.8 million metric tons, up from last year’s 21.4 million tons.
Full article here:

September 1, 2009 10:30 pm

We can also explain the temperature anomalies by causal mechanisms.
If we in a simplistic way define climate as a set of quantities that remains after the heat transport from the equator to the poles ( positive or negative) in the case of temperature.
An if we by way of analogy consider it a set of trains running to a non-linear timetable then if the terminal or destination is malfunctioning one would expect the trains to start banking up,

Mike McMillan
September 1, 2009 10:34 pm

Neil O’Rourke (19:00:46) :
Thank you for the beautiful Dorothea McKellar poem, penned in an era when poetry had to have meter and rhyme.

September 1, 2009 10:52 pm

You are correct. Temperatures in lower WA (I’m in Perth) have been a little lower in August than usual but overall in WA a little higher. But as WA stretches from the tropics (just below Bali) to the Southern Ocean and is about 1 million square miles in area, regional differences are very high. One thing though, this august Perth has had the most wet days for about a decade which is extremely welcome.

September 1, 2009 11:06 pm

I’m on the mid-coast of NSW, currently waiting for rain on my bamboo.
This winter has been a warm one, but the previous two were cold, damp and dominated by southerlies: straight out of the nineteen fifties. We even had thunder last august, something I’d never experienced in my adult life, as far as I could remember. This really helps me to give some credence to the PDO thesis and makes me think that one warm winter proves little if anything.
Interestingly, I was in Tuscany this May-June. It was so hot in mid-May that I was ready to abandon my plans of hiking all through the Siena region. June, however, was quite cool enough for me to proceed with plans.
My last hike, to the town of Montalcino, was in late June. I abandoned it toward the end…it was just too bloody cold!
I’m starting to understand what our betters would have us believe: what warms is climate, what cools is weather.
Rob Townshend

September 1, 2009 11:17 pm

Dr David Jones
The mean temperature in August of the towns in the central wheatbelt of WA were all around 64F (18C) with anomalies of +1.8F (1C) a temperature of 100F (37,7C) wasn’t reached anywhere. But much more significantly July and June’s anomalies were all negative and even more importantly in most places in the wheatbelt the rainfall is well above average in August (and July) hence the expectation of an increased wheat crop this year. So stories of devastated crops sound more than a little far fetched. As Roy Spencer has recently remarked best check your facts first. By the way Western Australia produces about 45% of Austraslia’s wheat crop. Incidentally I am a Dr too.

Paul R
September 1, 2009 11:19 pm

It’s been hell here in Queensland, there’s no way we can eat all these strawberries.

September 1, 2009 11:37 pm

rephelan (22:27:11) :
REPLY: They do in fact grow wheat in Australia, a lot of it,
Thank you. I never meant to suggest that Australia doesn’t grow wheat or that I am unaware that it is one of the major wheat growing and exporting countries of the world. I am suggesting that the only place I would suspect might have 100degee f temperatures in winter is in the Northern Territories which is not wheat growing territory, while NSW, Victoria, Southern Australia and the lower half of Western Australia are wheat growing regions and are not seeing those temperatures. Southern Australia may have started winter with unusually cold temperatures, had a warm August and the wheat crop may be having some drought issues, but please spare me the dishonesty of suggesting that Victoria or New South Wales is suffering through a 100 degree winter and I should be petrified about global warming. “Dr. Jones” has now reached the same level on my troll meter as Flanagan.

September 2, 2009 12:21 am

New Zealand supposedly had it’s warmest August on record aswell. 1.7C above average.
We just had the last three months of record cold temperatures.
The warmer August was thought to be caused by warmer winds from Australia. At least they didn’t jump and down and blame it on the hoax of man made climate change this time. That seems to be the mantra these days for record breaking warmer weather and when it’s record breaking cold weather. It’s either completely ignored or the same bozos say it’s all just natural.
New Zealand

September 2, 2009 12:25 am

” Paul R (23:19:48) :
It’s been hell here in Queensland, there’s no way we can eat all these strawberries.”
The strawberries are fantastic, thanks! 🙂
RE, Dr Jones- from memory the last stuff I read from him he seemed to be quite the believer in Mann’s hockey stick. That’s people in charge for ya I guess.

Dave vs Hal
September 2, 2009 12:33 am

(REPLY: They do in fact grow wheat in Australia, a lot of it, but the alarmist Dr. Jones of BoM seems to miss the fact that wheat crop prospects in Oz are actually up.)
Yeah… in some places.
Australia is a big place, a quick look at the BoM site shows that anything below 30 deg Sth has had fair winter rain, but areas above this have had almost nothing after June. The Darling Downs in subtropical Queensland grows a lot of wheat, had 50-100mm in June, then hardly a drop and record August Temps. The Downs has cracking clays that can hold a fair bit of moisture, but conditions in late winter may have been excessive for winter crops. Some rain forecast on Friday for this area may provide some relief.
Anyway good to see southern Australia got some reasonable winter rain for a change, it’s supposed to have a mediterranean climate. If Australia gets a bumper wheat crop it will be from those southern regions coming good again.

Len van Burgel
September 2, 2009 12:41 am

The Australian monthly mean temperature anomalies have only been calculated by BoM since 1950. This record for August is a record since that time.
There was a higher monthly anomaly in April 2005.
Yearly anomalies have been calculated by BoM since 1910. The first 8 months of 2009 give an anomaly of 0.67C which if continued over the whole year would be the seventh highest.

September 2, 2009 12:50 am
This link gives a graphical representation of Central England temperatures since 1772, with percentile ranges. It shows that temperature is highly variable, over days, weeks, decades and centuries. Fossil records show that about 40 milliion years ago the Antarctic was so warm that it was covered in forests.
So we know that the atmospheric temperature naturally swings wildly on all time frames. In that context, anyone who thinks we should waste money and effort trying to control a possible increase of a degree or two over a hundred years, from CO2, is completely irresponsible. The money and effort should be spent on more serious issues, as Bjorn Lomborg has pointed out.

Stephen Wilde
September 2, 2009 1:31 am

The equatorward shift of the jet streams following the recent PDO phase change explains both the warm Central Australia and the cold North America.
In both cases (assuming Michael Bishop above is correct) the culprit seems to be equatorward movement of the high pressure cells on the poleward side of the mid latitude jets.
The large continental interior of Australia with it’s dryness, latitudinal position and sunshine allows it to warm up despite the air having been polar in origin. The northern section of North America does not have the same advantages and stays cool when the polar air masses are in control globally. The Texas and S.E. USA can, however, become warm and dry during a global cooling spell for much the same reason as does Australia being nearer the equator with stronger sunshine.
Furthermore when the equatorial air masses shrink during a negative PDO phase the jets are able to swing about more latitudinally thus giving both more warm and more cold spells around the globe simultaneously.
It is poleward and equatorward air circulation system shifts that explain all regional climate variability.
Unless human activity can cause a large scale and permanent shift in those systems comparable to what the oceans can achieve when they change phase then human activity is of no significance.
The recent movement back equatorward from the more poleward positions of the recent warming period shows that we have done nothing significant to affect natural climate changes.
The systems shift hundreds of miles poleward or equatorward in response to oceanic changes.
I suspect that any effect we have would be less than a mile and wholly insignificant in the scheme of things.

September 2, 2009 1:34 am

REPLY: They do in fact grow wheat in Australia, a lot of it, but the alarmist Dr. Jones of BoM

So Dr Jones is considered an alarmist because he states the factual situation. Ummm. I remember there were ‘debates’ on this site earlier this year where, I suppose they are called ‘alarmists’, individuals noted a pattern of climatic and temperature extremes throughout Australia over the last couple of years. These comments were of course shot down in flames at the time, and yet the Australian climate is continuing a particularly volatile phase (it wasn’t noted on this site but the southern hemisphere anomoly in July was the largest recorded ).
All these warm anomolies during an extended solar minimum, kind of makes even more of a mockery of low sunspots = low temperature pseudotheories doesn’t it?

September 2, 2009 2:34 am

From the part of Germany where I live I can report a slightly warmer than usual summer – and it was lovely!
And it’s good to see some good journalism from that paper.
My Australian relatives have a holiday home on Tasmania where it has been bloody cold last week…so there.

September 2, 2009 3:12 am

Here in the UK we’ve just had our 91st warmest summer since records began in 1660-beaten by many from the LIA.
Of course the UK summer was just weather whereas the Australian experience was climate.

September 2, 2009 3:34 am

“So Dr Jones is considered an alarmist because he states the factual situation.”
No , He was being alarmist.
That wheat crops will fail because of ~6 hours of 34-35C temperature on one day in August when they survive much more than that in September through to Nov/December when it it harvested.
They grow a lot of wheat at Mullewa as well.
Check it out.

Another Ian
September 2, 2009 3:43 am

A note from my patch –
High pressures might have had a hand in these August high temperatures but locally they were accompanied by pressures in the 100X mb region.
The previous August high was 1995 and I need to check the subsequent rainfall

September 2, 2009 3:57 am

The report fairly states the hot weather can not be attributed categorically to AGW.
It also needs to be pointed out that many Australian weather stations are of recent origin (20 years is the minimum whereby records can be accepted) many are at airports and historically some were given little credence for their accuracy. (See G S Callendar archives who studied Austraian records and was dismissive of many- He had some hair raising tales of where some were located in order to make it easier for the operator to read them easily.)
As an example NSW records go back to 1910.
So we do need to keep these ‘records’ in a historic perspective

September 2, 2009 5:54 am

Wheat crops? If it is too hot, why not grow soy beans? People ain’t dumb, you know.
TonyB-good point. And then there is the issue of the “stevenson screen” adjustments to the Australian data which cooling the early parts of all the records.
Patrick Davis-I have to take accounts of the weather down under on faith, because I don’t live there. But thanks for that. Either goes to show the under recognized importance of micro climates, or raises so serious eyebrows about this whole story.

Mr. Alex
September 2, 2009 6:49 am

Well in the southern hemisphere it looks like summer is making an early start. Today in my town in South Africa the mercury is also at 38 degrees. It’s like an oven here, I wish for the Gore effect!

Ron de Haan
September 2, 2009 9:58 am
Ron de Haan
September 2, 2009 11:12 am
P Walker
September 2, 2009 3:25 pm

Ron de Haan (09:58:56) : Has anyone actually observed increased snowfall in Antarctica ? The report didn’t say …

Patrick Davis
September 2, 2009 5:42 pm

From the BoM;
“The outlook for the coming spring suggests that above average temperatures are likely across the whole of Australia. This is a result of recent warm conditions in the Indian Ocean as well as warming in the Pacific.”

Ian Cooper
September 2, 2009 8:19 pm

Southern Hemisphere spring starts in 20 days (for other New Zealand readers just ignore the uninformed pronouncements of the overpaid TV meteorologists that spring started on Sep 1st. Astronomers tell us when the seasons start. Meteorologists tell us how the seasons go!), and just to remind us of that fact a nasty little polar blast is sweeping up the country from Antarctica right now. The temperature has dropped 6 degrees C in 90 minutes. This is the first such significant southerly blow to hit the North Island since mid July.
My own records show that it is not a totally unusual occurance to have a six week gap in mountain snowfall events in the middle of winter. Strangely enough, although the figures state that N.Z. has just experienced the warmest August on record, locally we still had our usual number of frosts. The six frosts brought the years total so far to a three decade record high of 27. With this current cold blast, and an expected stationary anti-cyclone to park itself over us for the coming week, the frost count could continue.
For me this year has proven once again that no two years are identical, or even close in all respects when it comes to the vagaries of the weather.
Ron De Haan:
Loved that stuff from the Great Fire of London. Speaking of fires, aren’t the current L.A. fires earlier than normal? I understood that the Santa Ana winds were usually in October.

September 3, 2009 12:34 pm

Seems as though NSW did get above 100F.
The abnormal warmth became particularly notable during the last ten days of the month, with many stations setting record high maximum or minimum temperatures (or both) for August, in some cases by large margins. This included new state records for both maximum and minimum temperature for NSW and Queensland. In NSW these were 37.8°C at Mungindi on the 24th and 23.3°C at Lismore on the 25th respectively, while the Queensland equivalents were 38.5°C at Bedourie on the 29th and 26.5°C at Urandangi on the 25th. The month’s highest temperature, 39.7°C at Wyndham Airport on the 31st, fell only 0.3°C short of the Australian record for August.

September 3, 2009 12:39 pm

Ron de Haan (09:58:56) – Could you you outline the problems with these for us?

September 3, 2009 1:04 pm

Jakers (12:34:16) :
Just goes to show one should check thoroughly before shooting one’s mouth off… Mungindi did in fact have a +100 degree day and the average max temperature there for August 2009 was nearly 5degrees C higher than the 1915-2008 average max. The average low was 45.5F, still above normal. There is a truly neat weather chart here:
I haven’t checked NSW as a whole, but September 2009 (all three days of it!) is currently in the normal range at Mungindi.
R.E. Phelan

September 4, 2009 9:38 am

Mystifying reports. Every time I spoke to our daughter, who lives in Victoria north of the Divide, she said how cold it was. She has seen a lot of frosts and there was a lot of snow nearby in the skiing areas. It has become mild recently, but hello?! …it is technically Spring there now. She was fed up with the cold but somewhat dreading the next fire season.

September 5, 2009 3:14 am

During the last century, Australia and New Zealand have had more urban growth than most of the developed world. Just a couple of centuries ago they had no cities at all. It doesn’t take a genius to see the growth of urban heat island effects there. So all talk of highest temps on record are a moot point when they are starting from almost no urban heat island at all.

September 5, 2009 10:21 am

OK, so I had a bit of leisure today to check Mungindi and other selected spots in Australia.
Aron (03:14:40) :
I am not sure UHI is really applicable to Mungindi since it seems to have a current population of only 800. It does represent a neat piece of cherry-picking, however. I spent almost 30 minutes starting from the home page trying to navigate to the Mungindi page and just couldn’t do it. It would have taken real diligence or a listing under “recent extremes” to find it. The town itself is located so far north that it is barely in NSW at all, right on the border with Queensland.
Picking a few other examples from NSW and Victoria, the CanberraAP station in NSW had an average high of 14.5 C with a range of 19.0 to 11.1 and an average low of 2.4 C with a range of 12.0 to -4.9.
In Victoria, the Frankston Station near Melbourne reported an average high of 14.5 and an average low of 11.5. Mildurra Station in Northern Victoria reported 19.6 and 6.4 as its high and low averages.
Annei (09:38:34) :
Some parts of NSW are still actually getting frost warnings, so yes, your daughter could very easily be reporting a chilly season. Dr. David Jones was not being entirely honest when he said:
Wheat crops in parts of Australia have suffered damage due to extreme temperatures which widely approach 100F in winter (something unheard of previously).
Southern Australia, Victoria and NSW did not suffer through a 100 degree winter. To find that anomally, he had to go practically to subtropical Queensland to find an alarming temperature he could ascribe to temperate NSW. One station does not make a trend. Neither do four stations. All that being said, it does appear that August in the southern portion of Australia was somewhat warmer than normal. Here in the US, New England has had a cooler August than normal. Go figger.

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