And you knew it would be said…Oz floods due to global warming

It was only a matter of time. NCAR’s Kevin Trenberth plays the never ending blame game.

Scientists see climate change link to Australian floods

By David Fogarty, Climate Change Correspondent, Asia David Fogarty, Climate Change Correspondent, Asia Wed Jan 12, 3:01 am ET

SINGAPORE (Reuters) – Climate change has likely intensified the monsoon rains that have triggered record floods in Australia’s Queensland state, scientists said on Wednesday, with several months of heavy rain and storms still to come.

But while scientists say a warmer world is predicted to lead to more intense droughts and floods, it wasn’t yet possible to say if climate change would trigger stronger La Nina and El Nino weather patterns that can cause weather chaos across the globe.

“I think people will end up concluding that at least some of the intensity of the monsoon in Queensland can be attributed to climate change,” said Matthew England of the Climate Change Research Center at the University of New South Wales in Sydney.

“The waters off Australia are the warmest ever measured and those waters provide moisture to the atmosphere for the Queensland and northern Australia monsoon,” he told Reuters.

The rains have been blamed on one of the strongest La Nina patterns ever recorded. La Nina is a cooling of ocean temperatures in the east and central Pacific, which usually leads to more rain over much of Australia, Indonesia and other parts of Southeast Asia.

This is because the phenomena leads to stronger easterly winds in the tropics that pile up warm water in the western Pacific and around Australia. Indonesia said on Wednesday it expected prolonged rains until June.

Prominent U.S. 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.

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Read the entire news article here

Below is the Nino3.4 index from the WUWT Enso/Sea level page here

Note that in late 2007 and early 2008, a La Niña even deeper than the one we are in now occurred. Now we are quickly coming off a strong El Niño, so no doubt there would be some heat left in SST’s and some additional water vapor in the region. The current SST image shows it rather warm around Australia. Of course, it is summer there. You can also see the current strong La Niña in blue

clickable global map of SST anomalies
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161 thoughts on “And you knew it would be said…Oz floods due to global warming

  1. The last few weeks have been a constant refrain of “We’ve always been at war with Eastasia”, haven’t they.

  2. It’s like watching dogs pissing against a lamp post. They just can’t go by without stopping to mark it!

  3. For three years, the warmists blamed the drought in Australia on Global warming, and warned that the dams would never be re-filled. Now it is the flood? I would mock Trenberth and his ilk, but I could never do as good a job as they do to themselves.

  4. They actually have reporters assigned as full-time Climate Change Correspondents now?

    Get yer degree today from the Internat’l Climate Change Correspondence School!

    Western culture is doomed.

  5. Has it ever flooded in the Brisbane area before? How long ago? Before Hansen and Mann and Gore started their campaign?

    A quick Google and surprise surprise!
    1841
    17th January: Highest flood on record, occurred at Brisbane and Ipswich.
    1844
    10th January: Heavy floods at Ipswich.
    1845
    17th December: Flood at Ipswich.
    1852
    11th April: Heavy floods at Brisbane and Ipswich.
    1857
    19th and 20th May: Great floods at Ipswich and Brisbane; river at Ipswich rose 45 feet, and at Brisbane 12 feet.

    1857 seems particularly bad. Must have been all those hay eating SUV’s?

    Or could it just be part of another climate cycle of almost infinite variation?

  6. So trenberth finally found his missing heat then? It`s a travesty that he can get away with such crap.

  7. “…strongest La Nina patterns ever recorded.”

    They partly blame global warming.

    “Global Tropical Cyclone Accumulated Cyclone Energy [ACE] remains lowest in at least three decades, and expected to decrease even further…”

    They partly blame it on………………………….. chirp, chirp.

    This flood thing in Australia is just the weather and not the climate. George Monbiot has told us this time and again. It is important to note that the Warmists had told Australia’s state governments to prepare for droughts as the norm which led states to begin investing billions in desalination plants. Now some are being mothballed as many dams and rivers are full to overflowing.

    References
    http://www.coaps.fsu.edu/~maue/tropical/
    http://eureferendum.blogspot.com/2011/01/another-green-catastrophe.html
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/blog/2010/jan/06/cold-snap-climate-sceptics

    [RyanMaue: A reasonable hypothesis would be the “lack of TCs” around Oz this season may be responsible for the flooding. Tropical Cyclones organize convection and then efficiently move it along with the moisture to another location. Since the monsoon trough so far has been unable to produce a TC, it should be looked into as a contributing mechanism. Indeed, the flood is “not inconsistent” with my hypothesis, so QED.]

  8. ‘Goodness Gracious Me’ as the late Premier of Queensland used to say.
    From Matthew England of the Climate Change Research Center at the University of New South Wales.
    “I think people will end up concluding that at least some of the intensity of the monsoon in Queensland can be attributed to climate change,” (He’s not too sure about it is he !)
    “The waters off Australia are the warmest ever measured and those waters provide moisture to the atmosphere for the Queensland and northern Australia monsoon,”

    What about the times when the “waters off Australia” were not measured Matthew ?– like during the 1890’s ??

    No human induced global warming during this time yet it produced a rainfall and massive flood (Brisbane River at 8.35m) in 1893 far greater than the recent flood levels during the 20th Century including 2011, even allowing for dam mitigation.

    I don’t think people will end up concluding that’s its due to “climate change” at all if you were to disclose the full facts about the historical water level record.

  9. Heck, I live here in Brisbane, Australia and lived through the 1974 floods as well while the peak here was only 4.2 metres, not the 4.6 metres on 1974. However this is not the only instance of earlier floods being worse. The floods in the 1840s and 1890s peaked at over 8 metres how does Trenberth explain this, especially since the levels of CO2 were much lower then. Fools like this burn me up especially when I don’t see people like this here rescuing people or helping to clean up the flood mess.

  10. So AGW is warming the oceans now? What utter BS. The contortions the alarmist warmists go through is unbelievable.

  11. I find it amusing to replace “Climate Change” with “God’s anger” as you read articles such as this. It makes as much sense.

  12. If global warming causes more rain, why did the Australian/state governments ignore this advice and build $13b in desalination plants and NOT flood mitigating dams, & pipeline infrastructure to move it around during the ‘global warming/CO2’ events?
    What was Brisbane’s Wyvenhoe dam doing at full capacity with an annual wet season approaching & full knowledge that the global warming causes increases in precipitation? When did local weather become an example of a warming global climate?

  13. Within the same month, a single event like flooding is labeled “Scientists see climate change link to Australian floods” but massive snow throughout the northern hemisphere is only weather. Wow, these guys really are something else, aren’t they?

    And it’s as if there’s never been a flood. Has he heard of Noah and his ark?

  14. The real reason global warming is behind the floods is that global warming and enviro extremists prevented adequate dams and levees to be built to protect the area from these events which happen every so often in Australia.
    The dead are on the hands of AGW believers, activists and promoters.

  15. A small point of order is required here. The flood peak in Brisbane today (Queensland, Australia for the geographically challenged) did not exceed the 1974 flood peak. It is generally accepted that carbon dioxode (the elixir of life) was lower back in 1974.
    In fairness we now have the Wivenhoe Dam which has the second half of its capacity devoted to flood mitigation.
    Also where did the monsoon come from? We have never had them here before in Southern Queensland. Perhaps Anthony can explain.
    The University of New South Wales used to be a reputable unversity.

    Bhopal

  16. As Brian Johnson showed above, we are now, in a sense, moving backwards in time to cooler match cooler periods and climate is reverting to prior states. History of the far past will show us better what is coming down the pike. The glorious modern warm period seems to be ending, and it should, all cycles have a top.

  17. Antony,

    “The current SST image shows it rather warm around Australia. Of course, it is summer there.”

    It’s an anomoly that means the seasonal signal has been removed, I suspect you know that though.

  18. Here’s a link to the ‘Queensland Flood History’:

    http://www.bom.gov.au/hydro/flood/qld/fld_history/index.shtml

    Here’s an example out of a very large number:

    1857
    19th and 20th May: Great floods at Ipswich and Brisbane; river at Ipswich rose 45 feet, and at Brisbane 12 feet.

    May: A correspondent of the Brisbane Courier furnished the following information on 29th June, 1907, regarding the flood in the Brisbane River during May, 1857:-

    The flood of 1857 was the result of eight weeks’ continuous but not heavy, rain. There had been a strong fresh in the river for several weeks, and during a portion of this time time all vehicular traffic between North and South Brisbane was suspended, as the horse-punt at Russell-street was unable to cross on account of the strong current. At Ipswich the river rose 45 feet, and waterside stores were submerged to the roof; in the Brisbane reaches, however, the flood waters did not rise more than 7 feet above ordinary springs. Rowing boats were plying in Margaret, Mary, and Charlotte streets, but except near Edward and George streets there were few houses in the streets named. There were only a couple of houses in Albert-street between Charlotte and Alice streets, and the whole of the low-lying ground from Elizabeth Street to the river was a muddy lake. At South Brisbane one could stand on a hill at Cordelia-street near Boundary-street and see an unbroken sheet of water stretching from Melbourne-street to Tribune-street. Stanley-street was submerged from Walmsley-street to within 100 yards of the present dry dock. A good deal of the land at Hill-end was submerged, as was also the land on the opposite side of the river, now known as St. Lucia, and which was then a dense vine scrub. Most of the scrub lands at Oxley were also under water, as was Montague-road from Stanley-street to the present West-end Reserve.”

    Extract from Brisbane Courier, 13th June, 1857:

    “We have been informed that the head station of Mr. F. North and the public house belonging to Mr. J. Smith at Wivenhoe, on the Upper Brisbane, were completely inundated during the recent flood, and people were compelled to take refuge in tents. The people at Balfour station were also washed out.”

  19. Trenberth didn’t say the OZ floods were due to global warming. He said that about 1/3 of the ocean temp rise (0.5C) in the northern waters could be attributed to global warming. Which is hardly controversial – warming yields warming.

    It’s also hardly controversial that the warm tropical waters waters are a factor in the increased rainfall in Northern Australia.

  20. For the Trendberth’s & the Matthew England’s of this world, join the dots – [1974] river height 4.6 metres…………………………………………………………………………………………………………….[2011] river height 4.2 metres and inclusive of 37 (extra) years of river flat development by the authorities. What part of this don’t they understand ??

    Is it now not time that these commonsense lacking so-called experts in the field of weather/climate start postulating themselves out of navel gazing junkets and into other more productive lives ??

  21. AndiC says:
    January 13, 2011 at 12:30 am someone had to be first !!!!
    How unusual for Trenberth

    Maybe that honour should go to Australia’s very own IPCC endorsed scientist/AGW advocate and ABC spokesman of choice on all matters global warming, Professor David Karoly. Whether its butterflys incubated by global warming on the basalt plains of Laverton Victoria (in Melbourne’s UHI shadow) or floods in Queensland, he’s the man.

  22. They are having their cake and eating it.
    Even their own reports, aka the IPCC’s predictions for northeastern and southeastern Australia say that the Palmer Drought Severity Index indicates longer and more severe droughts with not one word about the possibility of flooding and increased rainfall (as pointed out here http://hauntingthelibrary.wordpress.com/2011/01/06/ipcc-prediction-for-queensland-less-rainfall-longer-droughts-drier-climate/)

    This needs to be nipped in the bud, to stop this nonsense of blaming every possible planetary weather event on CAGW.

  23. Something has gone wrong with the BBC!

    Yesterday evening they had a piece on the Australian floods. A presenter was speaking, and someone advertised as a ‘BBC Metrological Reporter’ – named something like ‘Jan Webster’ (I didn’t watch closely).

    Cue scenes of flooding and devastation. Presenter turns to met reporter and asks “Is this all due to Climate Change?”

    Met Reporter: “No. It’s La Nina – a regular natural phenomenon..”

    I didn’t hear any more, because I fell off the sofa in astonishment and spilled my drink. I presume there will shortly be a vacancy in the BBCs Met staff..

  24. Houses built on flood plains and other human factors:

    Australian Government –
    “…..these events are also considered both part of the natural cycle of weather patterns in Australia as well as being affected by human factors such as overstocking, vegetation loss, dams, groundwater and irrigation schemes.

    Floods occur when water covers land which is normally dry. Floods in Australia range from localised flash flooding as a result of thunderstorms, to more widespread flooding following heavy rain over the catchment areas of river systems. Flooding is also a regular seasonal phenomenon in Northern Australia. Australian towns were built on floodplains despite warnings from local Aborigines. Nyngan (meaning flood in its local Aboriginal language) was severely flooded on 23 April 1990. ”
    http://www.cultureandrecreation.gov.au/articles/naturaldisasters/

  25. Presumably the the La Niña and El Niño which Trenberth (I’ve stopped using “Mr” or “Kevin” – their use would seem to infer some degree of respect) mentions are those cyclical phenomena which drive weather and climate worldwide, and which the climate models cannot reproduce?

    The BOM is a member of the same “model club” as the UK Met Office, which of course explains their signal failure in predicting precipitation more than a couple of days ahead. Most commercial organisations with a similar dismal record of prediction would have been driven out of business long ago. I await with bated breath the announcement that the BOM warned the Queensland government back in October.

  26. They have achieved the perfect “State of Fear” where every item is now “proof” that global warming exists. Normal weather is “proof” of warming. Uncommon is further “proof,” and rare is OMG “proof” that CO2 emissions are wrecking the world.

    Most people have to believe something. I guess some people must believe that mankind is the worst thing to ever happen to the Earth.

    John Kehr
    The Inconvenient Skeptic

  27. An actual travesty. From the man himself. Bravo. Anyone remember the airline TWA? They used to serve great coffee, but Trenberth would have only ever been offered a T.

    Oh, yeah, by-the-way, the entirely, utterly, completely settled science purveyors would like to ask governments around the world for more research money to investigate the climatological influences of SSTs and the Ninos and Ninas …..

    Pssst. It’s not only warm oceans that produce massive rainfall, it’s also rapidly dropping temperatures.

  28. Climate Change Research Centre at the University of New South Wales, professors paid to pervert science. Where is the indignant Australian taxpayer?

  29. Take you pick ladies and gentlemen.

    Gore blamed drought on global warming

    AL GORE: “Australia, they have what some of them are calling a 1,000 year drought now. ”
    http://www.abc.net.au/am/content/2007/s1878517.htm

    Gore blames flood on global warming

    “…the Nobel laureate cited devastating floods in Australia and Pakistan and last year’s drought in Russia as evidence that unchecked global warming threatened famine, poverty and wide-scale destruction. ”
    http://www.thejakartaglobe.com/home/al-gore-chaos-awaits-if-nothing-happens/416000

    Apparently so did the climate scientists.

    Independent – 20 April 2007
    Australia’s epic drought: The situation is grim
    The causes of the current drought, which began in 2002 but has been felt most acutely over the past six months, are complex. But few scientists dispute the part played by climate change, which is making Australia hotter and drier.

    Snowfalls are now just a thing of the past I tells ya.

  30. “Greg says:
    January 13, 2011 at 12:48 am
    Heck, I live here in Brisbane, Australia and lived through the 1974 floods as well while the peak here was only 4.2 metres, not the 4.6 metres on 1974. However this is not the only instance of earlier floods being worse. The floods in the 1840s and 1890s peaked at over 8 metres how does Trenberth explain this, especially since the levels of CO2 were much lower then. Fools like this burn me up especially when I don’t see people like this here rescuing people or helping to clean up the flood mess.”

    Well said Greg. Good luck mate.
    cheers David

  31. My only surprise is the time it took for the claim to be made. I guess Trenberth needed a few days to garner a little bottle courage. Then again, perhaps all the overheated kooks now get together in secret and draw straws to see who gets to stick their head above the iceberg.

  32. With all due respect to those writing here, practically the totality of those expressing their opinions are not really qualified to comment on energy and mass transport phenomena any more than they are qualified to opine on polymer engineering or molecular biology. How about getting a PhD in climatology or other relevant field first and only then writing on this complex subject (in a peer-reviewed journal, please) with some level of authority?

  33. From the Australian Bureau of Meteorology website:
    “Flooding, unlike drought, is often quite localized, and therefore not as closely tied [as droughts] to broad-scale controls like the El Niño-Southern Oscillation phenomenon. However the La Niña years of 1916, 1917, 1950, 1954 through 1956, and 1973 through 1975, were accompanied by some of the worst and most widespread flooding this century. It can safely be said that, over much of Australia, flooding is more likely than usual during La Niña years, and less likely in El Niño years. ”
    http://www.bom.gov.au/lam/climate/levelthree/c20thc/flood.htm

    I live near the Murray river in southern NSW. The biggest flood ever recorded along the mid-section of the river occurred in 1870. The Darling also flooded that year and most of inland NSW from QLD to the Murray was awash for many weeks.
    1956 was also a big flood year. ’74 and ’75 were also large as was 1993. We had another big one this year.
    Big floods seem to happen on the Murray about every 17-20 years.
    Makes me wonder if global warming is also cyclical.

  34. “Climate change” what a totally meaningless concept, what would be the alternative, climate inalterability? Some people are likely to attribute it to satanic powers, some to the maja calendar, others to aboriginal spirits, none of them less valid claims than attributing attributing above average rainfall to “climate change”. A logically valid claim might be that intensified monsoon rains in Queensland indicate that climate in that area is changing, and provided such a trend could be identified this would be reasonable argument. Arguing the other way around is against all logic.

  35. Other comment have already covered the aspect of this flood being less severe than others in Bribane’s history, even though the claimed Global Warming is worse now than previously. But there’s another factor involved which the alarmists are ignoring: urbanisation.

    As we all know, urbanisation – with it’s property development on low-lying land, covering soil with concrete, asphalt, block-paving, and buildings – increases the likelihood of flooding in urban areas because the rain can’t drain into the ground where it’s supposed to go. And it tends to channel the river waters in such a way as to increase the speed of the flow, increasing erosion, and increasing the likelihood of catastrophic failures of levees, etc., when there’s too much water.

    And yet, given all this urbanisation and all these inconvenient facts, the flood level is lower than before. But it’s all irrelevant, isn’t it. It was all caused by AGW. Stands to reason, doesn’t it. Yeah, right.

  36. An opinion piece from one of the two mainstream newspapers in Perth on the other side of Australia from Queensland …

    http://www.perthnow.com.au/news/special-features/extreme-weather-the-worst-is-still-to-come/story-e6frg19l-1225985838522

    Extreme weather: get used to it
    MAJOR weather events in the past 12 months have one thing in common. Be it flood, fire or drought, they’re record breakers.

    As fires continue to rage in WA following the driest year on record, floods have turned the eastern states into a giant swamp. The worst Queensland floods in history.

    So are we experiencing the effects of anthropogenic, or human-induced, climate change? Yes.

    As fires to continue to rage in WA … referring to ONE bushfire in the middle of summer burning 2000ha (WA approx 250 million hectares) that destroyed eight houses, a granny flat and 10 sheds, thus getting national media attention, with police searching for an arsonist who sparked seven ignition points.

    …. following the driest year on record …. the driest in the South West Land Division, with the overall WA 2010 rainfall average being 334mm vs the long term average of 341mm. http://www.bom.gov.au/climate/current/annual/wa/summary.shtml

    floods have turned the eastern states into a giant swamp … floods have swamped a good number of river systems that drain the other 95% of eastern states landmass, which has received much-needed rain to promise bumper crops and plentiful water supply for the next few years.

    The worst floods in Queensland history … only in terms of infrastructure and building damage but dubious in terms of rainfall quantity or flood depth based on records back to 1841 and ignoring all prior history.

    Every point in the first two sentences is either demonstrably wrong or a gross exaggeration, yet combined are the basis of the third sentence that barely warrants comment.

    The other WA newspaper informed readers at the beginning of summer that “… the State sweltered its way through the hottest spring on record.”

    BoM seasonal statement for WA: http://www.bom.gov.au/climate/current/season/wa/summary.shtml

    “When averaged over the whole state, spring 2010 was near average.”

    The problem with Australia’s mainstream media is that most of its research is Australia’s mainstream media.

    At least there’s hope to be found among reader messages to the above newspaper blog which suggest a growing number of Australians are figuring out that the mainstream media is great for entertainment but about as reliable as a long-term weather forecast when it comes to researched information.

  37. An ode to the marvels of CO2

    There once was a molecule of gas
    whose actions simply bordered on crass:
    Causing heat, rain amd snow,
    drought and floods (don’t you know?)
    And the wastage of oodles of cash

  38. The cyclic nature of our weather patterns in an historic context will be somewhat against the future projections and prognostications of this Trenberth fellow.

    My best guess would be a maximum of two years before he is proclaiming the evil CO2 is causing a mini age, I fear for this mans sanity as a cooling earth makes a mockery of his diatribe.

  39. These losers can try, but the world is catching on. The AGW crowd are on their last legs, scrambling for any information that might bolster their religion.

    The Qld floods are a monument to nature, that we have to learn with, just as we see in Brazil today with many more dead. The next 20 years will see more of this unrest. These events are not unprecedented and have occurred many times in our history before CO2 was a man made problem (in his mind). The Qld floods were bigger in 1974 and bigger again in 1890. Perhaps some of these idiots will get on board and recognize that global weather patterns change when the Sun is quiet.

  40. Matthew England (Climate Change Research Center at the University of New South Wales in Sydney):
    “I think people will end up concluding that at least some of the intensity of the monsoon in Queensland can be attributed to climate change.”

    Please note the double twist in this statement. It is not he, a proper scientist who would end up with such a crackpot conclusion, no way, but “people”. It’s the general populace who would attribute “at leas some of the intensity” to climate change.

    He himself says nothing about the connection between flood & cAGW, just expresses his opinion about people (they’re dumb, or at least some 50% of them are dumber than average – BTW this happens to be the basic theorem of marketing).

    It’s also worth mentioning that this statement falls entirely outside of his field of expertise. After all he is supposed to be an expert in climate science, not in PR or political marketing.

  41. It’s my opinion that the term “climate change” is liberally thrown around if the speaker/writer thinks there is any chance of monetary gain.

  42. With such a long history of Flooding it seems very strange not to have spent a lot of money on mitigation because the cost of letting it flood even once is enormous.
    Could it be that the authorities completely swallowed the AGW drought story, either way it smacks of total incompetence. Perhaps they are all ex UK politicians and local authorities.

  43. “Mark Twang says:
    January 13, 2011 at 12:29 am
    They actually have reporters assigned as full-time Climate Change Correspondents now?
    Get yer degree today from the Internat’l Climate Change Correspondence School!
    Western culture is doomed.”

    Yes, the leading Norwegian newspaper has had a number of dedicated “Climate Change Journalists employed for several years already. It is a truly mindless warmist paper unfortunately. The journalists/activists in question are simply the mouth piece of the prominent climategate warmists, MetOffice, national Climatic Research Units (all warmists) and the IPCC. Never a critical question asked. Their articles are usually no more than a one sided propagandized reiteration of warmist spin of the day.

    They will go out of their way to find something or someone they can quote in order to pin anything to “Climate Change”, while they make sure not to report the other side of the story or anything uttered from a sceptic. Likewise, these journalists will bend backwards to hide or explain away inconvenient facts or incidents. The very opposite of objective and investigating journalism. I think the term “propaganda” very accurately describes what they are doing.

    Of course, what can you expect when their position is “Climate Change Journalist”? When accepting that title, they have already sided with the warmists. Their jobs depend on continuous public interest and support of the theory of AGW? They and the other warmists have a common interest in not reporting anything inconvenient. Thus, their interest is to keep the gravy train going and justify their own posistion and salary.

    No newspaper should ever employ a “Climate Change Journalist”. The very concept is against the virtues of good journalism.

  44. The first catastrophist scientist to blame the floods on AGW was a local, David Karoly:

    ”Australia has been known for more than a hundred years as a land of droughts and flooding rains, but what climate change means is Australia becomes a land of more droughts and worse flooding rains,” said David Karoly from Melbourne University’s school of earth sciences.

    Professor Karoly stressed individual events could not be attributed to climate change. However, he said the wild extremes being experienced on the continent were in keeping with scientists’ forecasts of more flooding associated with increased heavy rain events and more droughts as a result of high temperatures and more evaporation.

    ”On some measures, it’s the strongest La Nina in recorded history … [but] we also have record-high ocean temperatures in northern Australia, which means more moisture evaporating into the air,” he said. ”And that means lots of heavy rain.”
    http://www.smh.com.au/environment/fates-conspire-to-concoct-a-recipe-for-disaster-20110111-19mp7.html

    The strongest La Nina in recorded history? Well, we won’t know that until after the La Nina phase is over, but according to “some measures” (in this instance, the Southern Oscillation Index), this La Nina is “super strong”. Here is how one goes about explaining it (I am quoting a mouthful just to illustrate the amount of waffling):

    Climate scientists usually examine sea surface temperatures in the central and eastern equatorial Pacific (the so-called NINO indices) to determine when we are in an El Niño or La Niña episode.

    Temperatures in this region are usually lower than normal during a La Niña episode. But these temperatures have several failings, if we want to use them to rank La Niña episodes. Firstly, they are not readily available back more than about 60 years, so it is difficult to use them, for instance, to compare 2010 with events early in the 20th century.

    Secondly, the general ocean warming we have seen over the past 50 or so years, due to anthropogenic enhancement of atmospheric greenhouse gases, confounds the use of these temperatures to compare a recent episode of cool temperatures with cool temperatures earlier in the record – the global warming may have offset some cooling associated with the strong, recent La Niña. This would bias any comparison between the 2010 event and earlier events, prior to the strong global warming of the second half of the 20th century.

    But we can use the Southern Oscillation Index, or SOI to compare the strength of La Niña episodes across time. The SOI is the standardised difference in surface atmospheric pressure between Tahiti and Darwin. Monthly SOI values are available at http://www.bom.gov.au/climate/current/soihtm1.shtml. Positive values of the SOI (low pressures at Darwin and high pressures at Tahiti) indicate a La Niña event.

    There is no a priori reason to expect that global warming has necessarily led to long-term SOI changes that would confound our results if we use the SOI to compare historical and recent La Niña events. And values of the SOI are available from the end of the 19th century.

    The SOI values confirm that we are in the middle of either the strongest La Niña event on record, or the second strongest. The SOI values for October 2010 and December 2010 were each the largest positive values on record for those months, as was the three-month average October-December 2010. If we take a longer perspective (July-December) then 1917 was stronger than 2010, but 2010 was still the second strongest in the historical record. Using either the October-December or the longer July-December periods, the strong La Niña events on 1973 and 1975 were both ranked as weaker than the 2010 event.
    http://www.abc.net.au/unleashed/42858.html

    I can buy a marginally less credible but equally unsatisfying explanation from my local Astrologer for 50 bucks.

    And in Case Anthony Watts has missed it, two mails by another academic appended to an update to an Andrew Bolt blog post are worth its own separate post on WUWT:
    http://blogs.news.com.au/heraldsun/andrewbolt/index.php/heraldsun/comments/karolys_global_warming_wetter_drier_worse_better_whatever/

  45. If you live in Australia and listen to radio and TV, you could have heard two quite different statements.

    Neville Nicholls, who is a senior BOM professional (and often mentioned in Climategate, tending to the AGW view) noted that the Jan 2011 Queensland floods could not be attributed to man-made climate change because there was inadequate prior data on which to work.

    David Karoly ( a lead author in both IPCC 2007 and 2002) explicitly stated that carbon dioxide had caused climate change showing as high sea surface temperatures (holding up a BOM graph which I cannot find on the Net), which combined with a strong La Nina to bring south-easterly winds over the ocean where evaporation was heightened by the temperature, which he said was 0.2 degrees C above earlier levels.

    Take your pick. Or, if you are wise, don’t try to explain occasional extreme weather events unless you are an expert. And even then, desist.

  46. Anyone with knowledge of the the El Niño/La Niña Southern Oscillation effect would have easily predicted the floods in Qld. Yet it caught most by surprise. Why? Simply because the AGW propaganda fooled almost everyone. Seriously, it’s time to put the AGW alarmists behind bars for fraud and deceit.

  47. Some commentators say the flood is no stronger than it was in 1974, and that is quite believable. The difference between then and now is that now we have instant pictures and live interviews coming from the disaster area and receiving prime time T.V. on every TV channel around the world, the story being told instantly as it unfolds through many professional and non-professional on-the-spot news gatherers and beamed to the world via satelites. Everyone is now able to record the story on personal cam corders, moving pictures on private phones, and digital pictures on private cameras all complementing the work of the professional journalists on the spot, so much so that we all now share in the tragedy as if it was unfolding on our doorsteps. On the other hand, in 1974, Australia was another world thousands of miles away and difficult to communicate with, so we were not too interested in the terrible flooding problems that they were encountering at that time..

  48. All the serious floods in the 19th, 20th and 21st centuries in Queensland happened after witches were no longer executed. This will lead the people to the clear conclusion that the cause of the floods be witches. Beware ye witches.

  49. John Oxley was commissioned by the Governor of New South Wales to survey the Brisbane River with the view of establishing a settlement on Morton Bay.

    Here is an extract from his diary, also posted on the BOM web site ( http://www.bom.gov.au/hydro/flood/qld/fld_history/brisbane_history.shtml ), which shows that there were much greater floods prior to white settlement and probably before Captain Cook sailed along the east coat in 1770.

    John Oxley, early explorer, mentioned evidence of an inundation which he discovered on 19 September 1824 in an area north of the junction of the Bremer with the Brisbane : “the starboard bank an elevated flat of rich land, declining to a point where had evidently by its sandy shore and pebbly surface, been at some time washed by an inundation; a flood would be too weak an expression to use for a collection of water rising to the full height (full fifty feet) which the appearance of the shore here renders possible.”

    I guess it was Cook’s twin 16 cylinder Detroit diesels in the Endeavour that kicked off AGW in Australia.

  50. Once again I am annoyed by that NOAA “SST anomaly” graphic which is incapable of showing em>no anomaly. It simply cannot show it.

    Another thing it can’t show is the situation back in the 19th century when these deviations of the monsoon were apparently quite frequent. If there is a climate change story to be spun out of the dreadful situation in Queensland, it is that climate change has made catastrophic flooding less frequent and this event is an increasingly rare anomaly. Why are they attempting to insinuate that the climate has changed for the worse? It’s not science.

  51. Once again I am annoyed by that NOAA “SST anomaly” graphic which is incapable of showing no anomaly. It simply cannot show it.

    Another thing it can’t show is the situation back in the 19th century when these deviations of the monsoon were apparently quite frequent. If there is a climate change story to be spun out of the dreadful situation in Queensland, it is that climate change has made catastrophic flooding less frequent and this event is an increasingly rare anomaly. Why are they attempting to insinuate that the climate has changed for the worse? It’s not science.

  52. Domingo Tavella says:
    January 13, 2011 at 2:17 am

    With all due respect to those writing here, practically the totality of those expressing their opinions are not really qualified to comment on energy and mass transport phenomena any more than they are qualified to opine on polymer engineering or molecular biology. How about getting a PhD in climatology or other relevant field first and only then writing on this complex subject (in a peer-reviewed journal, please) with some level of authority?

    That was your quote, Domingo, now, a couple of quotes from those you hold in such high regard….

    “I think the skeptics will use this paper to their own ends and it will set paleo back a number of years if it goes unchallenged. I will be emailing the journal to tell them I’m having nothing more to do with it until they rid themselves of this troublesome editor, a well-known skeptic in NZ. A CRU person is on the board but papers get dealt with by the editor assigned by Hans von Storch.”

    And….

    “This was the danger of always criticising the skeptics for not publishing in the “peer-reviewed literature”. Obviously, they found a solution to that — take over a journal! So what do we do about this? I think we have to stop considering “Climate Research” as a legitimate peer-reviewed journal. Perhaps we should encourage our colleagues in the climate research community to no longer submit to, or cite papers in, this journal. We would also need to consider what we tell or request of our more reasonable colleagues who currently sit on the editorial board.”

    Yes, that’s the thing about having a PhD, it makes you so honest and trustworthy.

  53. May I suggest that Mr Trenberth is put on ” [/snip] watch” with immediate effect!

    […bl57~mod]

  54. The Australians, and the BBC, think it is due to La Nina which always drenches Queensland with water.

  55. Trenberth is one of the world leading experts on the ENSO.

    He should know that this is a completely typical climate response in this scenario.

    The pattern is even produced in maps about the climate impacts of a La Nina (which are accentuated a little when a strong La Nina follows a strong El Nino).

    And what has happened over the last 3 months. Almost exactly what the climate impact maps say normally happens. It is scary accurate even. [The bottom panel here is the relevant one].

    http://cawcr.gov.au/staff/mwheeler/maproom/OLR/m.l3m.html

  56. On Andrew Bolt’s blog of January 13—-

    http://blogs.news.com.au/heraldsun/andrewbolt/index.php/heraldsun/comments/karolys_global_warming_wetter_drier_worse_better_whatever

    —– Associate Professor Stuart Franks giving some long overdue feedback to one of our most breathless alarmists and darling of the Australian media, David Karoly.

    [ Associate Professor Stewart Franks of Newcastle University writes to the ABC to protest its repeated use of an alarmist who may say what it wants to hear, but is not actually an expert:
    Dear Mr Uhlmann
    I would like to protest the repeated interviews with Prof David Karoly with regard to the Queensland floods.
    Since 2003, I have published a number of papers in the top-ranked international peer-reviewed literature regarding the role of La Nina in dictating Eastern Australian floods.

    There has been no evidence of CO2 in affecting these entirely natural processes, irrespective of their devastating nature.
    Why is it then, that someone without any publication nor insight in this key area of concern for Australia is repeatedly called upon to offer his personal speculation on this topic?
    This is not a new problem with Prof. Karoly.
    In 2003, he published, under the auspices of the WWF, a report that claimed that elevated air tempertatures, due to CO2, exacerbated the MDB drought. To quote…
    ‘…the higher temperatures caused a marked increase in evaporation rates, which sped up the loss of soil moisture and the drying of vegetation and watercourses. This is the first drought in Australia where the impact of human-induced global warming can be clearly observed…’
    The problem with this is that Prof Karoly had confused cause and effect.
    During a drought, moisture is limited. The sun shines on the land surface, and as moisture is limited, evaporation is constrained, and consequently the bulk of the sun’s energy goes into surface heating which itself leads to higher air temperatures. This effect can be as much as 8-10 degrees celsius.
    This is a common confusion made by those who have not studied the interaction of the land surface hydrology and atmosphere, as Prof. Karoly has not.
    Undoubtably Prof Karoly has expertise but not in the area of hydrology or indeed in many other areas on which the ABC repeatedly calls on him for ‘expert’ comment.
    Could I please ask that you cast your net a little wider in seeking expertise? These issues are too important for the media commont to be the sole domain of commited environmental advocates. Surely objective journalism also requires objective science?
    Sincere best wishes,
    A/Prof Stewart W. Franks
    Dean of Students
    And to Karoly himself, this email:
    David
    Your comments on the role of CO2 in the Qld floods are speculative at best, immensely damaging at worst.
    When will you accept that CO2 is not the answer to everything? When will you decline an interview for the lack of your insight?
    Have you not learnt from your physically incorrect speculation about temperature and evaporation during the MDB drought? Do you have no shame to have confused cause and effect in such a brazen and public manner?
    Is it enough for you that your pronouncements sound correct, irrespective of science? Have you learnt nothing?
    You are arguably the best example of the corruption of the IPCC process, and the [/snip] that academia has sunk to.
    Shame on you
    Stewart
    Franks was interviewed by the ABC’s PM program, as was Karoly, on the alleged affect of man-made warming on the floods. The alarmist’s opinion was broadcast, and the expert’s was not. ]

    [Let’s leave the vulgarity out…K? … bl57~mod]

  57. I’ve suddenly switched allegiance. Global Warming has to be true – I mean how could so many people utter so much [/snip] for so long without effecting the atmosphere. ;)

    [Vulgarity is unnecessary… bl57~mod]

  58. Re:
    Domingo Tavella
    January 13, 2011 at 2:17 am

    You don’t have to be a meteorologist to talk about the weather. And you don’t have to be lawyer to be a member of jury.

    Lack of expertise hasn’t stopped Al Gore from becoming a prophet of the allegedly upcoming climate catastrophe. And the ‘Climate Justice’ movement doesn’t consist of only the alarmist scientists with peer-reviewed papers in the literature.

    Much unlike polymer science and molecular biology, Climate Science is an extremely politicised field. Everyone has a stake in climate science’s policy recommendations, and thus everyone has the right to consider whether Climatology is reliable science or something more like Horoscope Science. You don’t have to be an expert astrologer to figure out astrology is bogus science, do you?

  59. Hwew’s the problem – all these ‘its all down to climate change’ loonies seem to think the planet is only thirty years old. ‘The wettest/driest/hottest/coldest/whatever – on record…’
    Well – as has been thoughoughly documented above, the ‘records’ for Queensland go back to the early 1800s – which is STILL only a heartbeat in the climate history of the planet.
    They really should shut up – but they won’t as long as the politicians listen, nod sagely, and think: ‘Hmmm – another opportunity to whack some more green taxes on fuel…’

  60. Why don’t the Aussies build some nice hydro plants to harness the force of all that water..?
    Well – the floods seem equally reliable as the wind in the UK to power all our wind turbines…

  61. …and here is some more absolute garbage from the dangerous groupthink hysterics. But then again, nothing like The Age to push more of its blatantly inaccurate climate trash on us….

    Ian Lowe, once a respected environmental scientist, now a bit of a laughing stock in the field, especially since joining the ACF – I mean what else can you say – I’m sure deep down he is torn between what is in HIS and his foundations best interests and what is correct. He’s penned this tripe…
    http://www.theage.com.au/opinion/society-and-culture/drowning-in-a-hothouse-20110113-19pr1.html

    And then of course, the obligatory article from a former student union activist, now head of Australia’s youth climate group, who has penned this bizzare “its hot, its cold, wet, dry, normal, extreme, everything” piece.
    http://www.theage.com.au/opinion/society-and-culture/its-time-to-talk-of-climate-change-20110113-19pr3.html

    Nothing like using a natural disaster to push your own deluded pseudo-science and political campaigns.

    I especially love this comment from Sandell “The La Nina phenomenon, the major cause of the increased rain in south-east Queensland, gets stronger as sea surface temperatures increase.” If ever there is a quote that shows she has about as much climate knowledge as a ninth grader – this is it. I think she should go back to university!!

    I’m sick and tired of the sensationalist garbage and shocking unprofessionalism and blatant bias of the mainstream media. The ABC are an utter disgrace and have been for many a year – Robyn Williams being a primary culprit. Time and time again (and I have written evidence of this in emails) of interviews being cut, edited and even not broadcast because the interviewee said things that was detrimental to the AGW Crusade.

    Enough is enough.

  62. I’ve noticed some comments on the fact that in recent decades Brisbane has not been affected by floods as before.

    Seems to me that they are not accounting for the dams contribution, since in many years with high rainfall, they managed the excess inflow, without any outflow. That’s one of the reasons they were built for!

    Ecotretas

  63. AGW cannot get either the theory or predictions straight.
    All that is accomplished is to reinforce the perception of cashing in on disaster.
    Right here in Northern Calif., the officials still fret and trouble the communities over drought (which, by the way, was a defecit created mostly by overprescription).
    If the Agenda appears to be shaky and highly confused, it’s because that is it’s current state.

  64. Don’t these people realise that as soon as they say it is the nth worse occurrence of any weather event, that it has occurred n times before and by definition cannot be getting worse now.

    Nothing to do with climate science, doesn’t need a higher degree to understand, is unequivocally based on fact and requires only simple logic to get to grips with.

  65. On a positive note, the BBC is explaining the Australian floods in terms of La Nina, not a mention of CO2 or man as the cause.

  66. http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/01/110110055748.htm

    Earth Is Twice as Dusty as in 19th Century, Research Shows

    ScienceDaily (Jan. 12, 2011) — If the house seems dustier than it used to be, it may not be a reflection on your housekeeping skills. The amount of dust in the Earth’s atmosphere has doubled over the last century, according to a new study; and the dramatic increase is influencing climate and ecology around the world.

    … read more

  67. It is clear that for the Trenberths of the world, nothing can falsify the theory of AGW. We must wait for their ultimate demise from this world before the theory, literally, dies out.

    In the meantime, there’s no reason to let them get our blood pressure, or taxes, to go up.

  68. We have witnessed floods worldwide.

    From Nashville to Pakistan and now Austrailia to Brazil.

    All of these “weather” events during low solar activity and high cosmic radiation seem to butress Svensmark’s theory.

    We have the world centric view that forgets that our own atmospere is a paper thin gas barrier in the Sun’s all encompassing atmosphere.

  69. “scientists say…it wasn’t yet possible to say if climate change would trigger stronger La Nina and El Nino weather patterns that can cause weather chaos across the globe.”

    … so they say it anyway

  70. Domingo Tavella says:
    January 13, 2011 at 2:17 am

    With all due respect to those writing here, practically the totality of those expressing their opinions are not really qualified to comment on energy and mass transport phenomena any more than they are qualified to opine on polymer engineering or molecular biology. How about getting a PhD in climatology or other relevant field first and only then writing on this complex subject (in a peer-reviewed journal, please) with some level of authority?
    ————————————

    Trenberth has a Sc D that he receive back in 1972. He is a ‘self-taught’ climatologist, the field of study did not exist for many years after his formal education.

    Climatology encompasses a great many fields – I can’t think of many that could not make a contribution to our understanding of climate and its impact on the world.

    You are very short-sighted not to understand that many of us have advanced degrees in various sciences, and can contribute our own expertise to the analysis of climate when and where appropriate. Even those with no science background, such as historians, can help us understand whether climate/weather events are indeed “unprecendented” or not.

    Read the posts and make a decision as to whether the poster has a valid point. If you think he may, or are not sure, it is not difficult to research the issue on your own for more information.

    As a final recommendation, you might gain some perspective researching a disgraced historian, Michale Bellesiles, who wrote the book, “The Arming of America.” He was a prize-winning hisorian who was shown to be a fraud by a ……..software engineer.

  71. Once again, these idiots don’t know/don’t care what they say one month compared to another. And now the oxymorons are coming every day! Look. The missing heat is either at the surface, or its deep in the bottom layer. There isn’t enough to rise the temperature of both. So which is it? It appears to me that “Trendy Guy” is saying that it is the sea surface that warms from AGW, not the deep ocean. Did he just flip flop?

    My new term for this craziness: Climate Flavor of the Month

  72. As I have said in other blogs and comments, we can’t reliably predict the temperature 5 days out, but we are to believe that climate models can tell us what the temperature will be 100 years from now? I know, I know, weather and climate are two different things, but they are inextricably connected, therefore if we can’t do the easy one, how are we to believe the other?

    The alarmists, in my opinion are egotistically over the top if they think we can alter climate. If that were possible, then we should be able to stop small local events like tornadoes and hurricanes, right? We can’t even predict tornadoes, but for when one is about to develope. Why don’t these “experts” put their “expertise” to something more useful? Why, it doesn’t pay as well…….. enough said.

  73. Very sad, but does this really surprise anyone?

    Kind of off topic, but why is everything caused by global warming? Are people that stupid?

  74. The floodwater peaked at almost a meter below the level of
    deadly 1974 floods in Brisbane, saving thousands of homes.

    1974! Gee I think that’s when the new Ice Age was suppose to start!

  75. Ascribing floods or other weather events, is not about “blaming”. It is simply an uncontroversial fact that as climate changes, there will be more severe weather events, such as the extreme rain being experienced in Austrailia. These events are occurring all over the world, and it would be wise for all of us to be prepared for dramatically changing circumstances in the coming years.

    In my part of the world, the mid-west region of North America, we can expect drought and our farmers are adjusting accordingly. (Drought resistant seeds are being developed. and no- till plowing practices, are just two examples,of this adjustment).

    Changing climate results in increased evaporation and this affects the availability of water, meaning that we have less water for irrigation, and the rainfall patterns are changing all over the world. The rain still falls, but not necessarily where it is needed, and it often falls in deluges, saturating shallow aquifers and surfaces, resulting in massive flooding, as we now see in Australia. As a consequence, most of this water will flow back to the sea, rather than adequately recharging the aquifers thereby enabling an orderly ecological function which underpins community and economic stability.

    Hugh Pepper

  76. “With all due respect to those writing here, practically the totality of those expressing their opinions are not really qualified to comment on energy and mass transport phenomena any more than they are qualified to opine on polymer engineering or molecular biology. How about getting a PhD in climatology or other relevant field first and only then writing on this complex subject (in a peer-reviewed journal, please) with some level of authority?”

    Ah yes, the old “peer review” schtick. It sounds oh so 2007. What you are saying is, Dr Trenbeth can say the moon is made out of green cheese, and we must accept his analysis because of his credentials and his “expertise” (which is questionable).

  77. Domingo Tavella says:
    January 13, 2011 at 2:17 am

    With all due respect to those writing here, practically the totality of those expressing their opinions are not really qualified to comment on energy and mass transport phenomena any more than they are qualified to opine on polymer engineering or molecular biology. How about getting a PhD in climatology or other relevant field first and only then writing on this complex subject (in a peer-reviewed journal, please) with some level of authority?

    Domingo let me ask you….
    Do you have the equivalent of a PhD in Economics? What about National Health Care?
    Defence? Schools and Education? Foreign Affairs?

    You probably vote, (the most profound way to express an opinion) even though you are not an expert in all of the above fields.
    By voting, you are exressing an opinion of the ‘experts’ you’re voting for.

    K Trenberth is the ‘expert’, WUWT readers are expressing their opinion of this expert. And judging by the comments, we all think Trenberth is a Richard Cranium.
    (With all due respect of course)

  78. Domingo Tavella says:
    January 13, 2011 at 2:17 am

    practically the totality of those expressing their opinions are not really qualified to comment on energy and mass transport phenomena any more than they are qualified to opine on polymer engineering or molecular biology

    Perhaps you’re not qualified to opine on this blog?

  79. I love Queenslanders. Literally, every single Queenslander the BBC interviewed concerning their thoughts on the flood it was just about the same: “this is what it’s like in Queensland,” “unfortunately I live in Queensland, might as well have a beer,” “serves us right for living in a floodplain,” etc…Pretty much taking it in stride, not one “boo, hoo” self-entitlement mentality among them unlike some other places I can think of.

  80. Too hot? Global warming! Too cold? Global warming! Too dry? Global warming! Too wet? Global warming? Dog got run over? Global warming? Daughter got pregnant? Global warming! Wife cheating on you? Global warming!

  81. Hugh Pepper said:

    Changing climate results in increased evaporation and this affects the availability of water, meaning that we have less water for irrigation, and the rainfall patterns are changing all over the world. The rain still falls, but not necessarily where it is needed, and it often falls in deluges, saturating shallow aquifers and surfaces, resulting in massive flooding, as we now see in Australia. As a consequence, most of this water will flow back to the sea, rather than adequately recharging the aquifers thereby enabling an orderly ecological function which underpins community and economic stability.
    ——————————————————————–
    Hugh, I cannot comment on conditions in the US, but in Australia floods are precisely what recharges the aquifers. It takes weeks, sometimes months, for floodwaters to make their way out to sea. Quite a lot of that water either recharges aquifers, or simply is absorbed deep into the soil for future use of plants.

    I have no idea what ‘rain falls, but not necessarily where it is needed’ means. Is rain supposed to somehow zero in at times and places where it suits a particular human activity?

    Also, if ‘climate change results in increased evaporation’, where does the water go? Are you saying that there is a cunning plan whereby it only precipitates at sea?

  82. It’s cold, It’s Global warming
    It’s warm, it’s Global warming…

    Lyrics By Schneider and Trenberth
    Music by Karoly
    Marketing, every MSM worldwide

  83. “With all due respect to those writing here, practically the totality of those expressing their opinions are not really qualified to comment on energy and mass transport phenomena any more than they are qualified to opine on polymer engineering or molecular biology.”

    On the contrary, taxpayers and citizens all have a right to comment in a free country. They are the ones that pay the price for the mistakes make by politicians and scientists.

  84. a warmer world is predicted to lead to more intense droughts and floods

    Gotta love it when your pet theory predicts everything – that way, you always get to claim you were right.

    The problem I have with all this is that neither prediction appears to be supported by the historical record. I may be wrong, but wasn’t the MWP generally BETTER? – I probably need to read more on it, but that’s certainly my take on what little I have studied…

  85. The recently released “State of the Climate Report” from the NIWA (New Zealand) states that the IPO (Interdecadal Pacific Oscillation) has entered a negative phase (2000- present) similar to 1947 to 1977 where La Nina’s dominate and El Nino’s weaken. They expect it to last 20 to 30 years.
    http://www.niwa.co.nz/our-science/climate/publications
    They point out that this is opposite from what was predicted to result from the build up of green house gases.

  86. Peter Plail says:
    January 13, 2011 at 5:43 am
    On a positive note, the BBC is explaining the Australian floods in terms of La Nina, not a mention of CO2 or man as the cause.

    Nevertheless, prior to midnight last evening on the preview of Thursday’s nascent papers, the reviewer immediately invoked AGW as the cause and excoriated “THE DENIERS” (yes, he shouted) for being responsible, not just for Queensland, but also for Sri Lanka and Brazil.
    Inwardly groaning I switched to Sky News where a similar evaluation of the Dailies was taking place under the chair of Anna Botting, who, I was pleased to see, gave short shrift to a noble Baroness and incumbent of our House of Lords, who expounded the same illiterate claptrap, by explaining to her that La Nina was to blame.
    It was quite apparent from the noble B’s reply that she had absolutely no idea what she was talking about and had never read anything about the subject, yet she and her similarly ill informed colleagues in both Houses get to make decisions from their positions of willful ignorance on matters which may subsequently turn out to be of life or death .
    On a positive note Anna Bligh, the State Premier of Queensland must be applauded for her TV appearances during the disaster. Her grasp of a fast moving and diverse situation, and steely determination tempered with a palpable compassion for her people, contrasted sharply with the uninspiringly sepulchral, robotic and monotonic performance of the Prime Minister.
    I have no idea of her politics, but Anna is certainly the girl to have on your side when disasters of magnitude occur!

  87. To be fair to true believers, increased heat might produce more rain and more drought. The temperature trend might be upward, and the precipitation extremes might be more pronounced.

    The problem is that the climate models did not predict this (see the IPCC report), and they cannot account for the history of floods and droughts (when human produced CO2 cannot have been the cause).

    But – true believers – how about making a prediction or two that can be compared with future events? What will the rainfall be next year in Australia? What will the snow fall in Europe or the US be next winter? Establishing a track record of accurate climate predictions would do much to restore confidence in climatology.

    Currently climatology seems to be an endeavor which cannot explain past behavior (without attempting to ‘correct’ the records of the past), cannot make testable predictions of the future, and simply and endlessly repeats the mantra that CO2 is bad in the present.

  88. @richcar 1225:
    Rich, you should probably delve a little deeper into that publication from NZ, which clearly states that:
    Beyond the large year-to-year variations in our climate, there has been a strong warming trend over the country. The best fit linear trend….is a change of 1.1 degrees C from 1900 – 2009.

  89. “Domingo Tavella says:
    January 13, 2011 at 2:17 am

    With all due respect to those writing here, practically the totality of those expressing their opinions are not really qualified to comment on energy and mass transport phenomena”.

    With all due respect I have two degrees on physics and a lifetime working in energy and mass transport. May I comment, please?

    As I said above, Trenberth spouts garbage.

  90. Mac says:
    “Beyond the large year-to-year variations in our climate, there has been a strong warming trend over the country. The best fit linear trend….is a change of 1.1 degrees C from 1900 – 2009.”
    Actually the latest calculation from NIWA now shows .91 degrees per century. Unfortunately for AGW most of the increase was before 1980. In fact since GHG really took off the temperature increase has slowed significantly. Since the switch to negative IPO in 2000 temperatures have been dropping
    http://www.niwa.co.nz/our-science/climate/news/all/nz-temp-record

  91. Our memories are short lived, and it is worse in case of journalists, in them it only lasts, at the most, only 12 hours: If we could remember as human beings and not like TV screens we could realize that this is the way nature currently works: Now, she is currently engaged in a Solar Minimum, which only WUWT regulars have managed to remember, so pass the word that there are two choices: One is crying, complaining and blaming, the other to buy more popcorn! :-)

  92. I will post this once more, notice dates 1918, 1954 and 1991 and today,




    [video src="http://s446.photobucket.com/albums/qq187/bobclive/?action=view&current=AustrailianfloodsBris.mp4" /]

  93. Murray Grainger says:
    January 13, 2011 at 2:33 am

    Wonderful. Duly nicked for my facebook status. I did credit you though. :-)

    DaveE.

  94. It would seem that big smoker next door – Marapi – has more to do with it than a bunch of chinese 1500 miles away.

    I guess they are trying to say that volcanos are now carbon neutral?

  95. The Sky News report in the UK tonight linked the Australian floods with the recent heavy rain induced landslides in Brazil, saying they were“…part of a wave of severe weather events sweeping the world..”

    As for the Brazil mudslides, January is a heavy time of rain for that region between Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo. The mountainous coastal area betwen the two is classed as rain forest and in recent decades has seen a large increase in population, leading to deforestation in many areas.

    I recall driving that route in the 1980’s in the month of January and even then being diverted several times due to mudslides washing away roads and bridges. Nothing new in those mudslides, but no doubt other media will spin this, as Sky News have done, into something sinister.

  96. Joey says:
    January 13, 2011 at 7:00 am
    Very sad, but does this really surprise anyone?
    Kind of off topic, but why is everything caused by global warming? Are people that stupid?
    ======================================================
    “Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I’m not sure about the former.” –Albert Einstein

  97. Strange isn’t it that every extreme weather event under the sun can be attributed to global warming – in hindsight – yet, with all our billions of dollars of technology, NONE can be accurately predicted – even hours ahead in some cases, like the devastating flash flooding in Queensland.

  98. @ Ecotretas
    January 13, 2011 at 5:28 am
    Dams have no effect when they are full.
    These extreme weather events are cyclical and when they occur the water just runs over the top of man-made structures.
    The first big dam built in Australia for drought and flood mitigation was Burrinjuck on the Murrumbidgee in southern NSW.
    In the 1974 flood (much later in the year than the one which affected Brisbane) there was enough water coming over the spillway to refill the dam from empty in two days.

  99. Phillip Bratby says:
    January 13, 2011 at 9:43 am
    “Domingo Tavella says:
    January 13, 2011 at 2:17 am

    With all due respect to those writing here, practically the totality of those expressing their opinions are not really qualified to comment on energy and mass transport phenomena”.

    With all due respect I have two degrees on physics and a lifetime working in energy and mass transport. May I comment, please?

    As I said above, Trenberth spouts garbage.”

    I have a PhD in Physical Chemistry (I even studied with Mike Mann but don’t tell anyone) and studied thermodynamics specifically: looking at the transport of energy in both ionic clusters (Quantum level) and solid state rearrangement of molecules on surfaces (Quantum and bulk). Does that qualify me to have an opinion?

    If so…Trenberth spouts garbage. So does Mike.

  100. Climate change must have been a bit stronger in 1974 then… as those floods which hit brisbane were spread over a much larger area – correspondingly, at that time the river was much higher and they had more rain. Although, i think that part of QLD has had more rain in the last month than they did during the month of the 1974 floods but that flood was primarily concerned with one downpour whilst QLD has been dealing with several of them for a few months.

  101. pecqror says:
    January 13, 2011 at 8:35 am
    Brisbane en 1841

    =======================================================
    Yes (9m plus)and further research suggests that the 1893 flood had a peak of 9.51m and that geological evidence http://www.bom.gov.au/hydro/flood/qld/fld_reports/brisbane_jan1974.pdf
    indicates a flood some 5.5m above the 1974 flood level (see below). So we have (not listing many of the other floods particularly during 19 Century):

    Pre or early 1800’s = 11m + ? (based on geological evidence)
    1841 = 9 m + (see above reference)
    1893 = 9.51 m (the first peak –see above reference and not 8.53m reported)
    1974 = 6.60 m (not 5.5m reported in the media- see below)
    2011 = 4.46m (mitigated by between 1 and 2m by the Wivenhoe Dam) therefore probably 5.46m to 6.46m actual.

    Note the following from the above BOM reference:

    “Prior to 1900 flooding occurred quite frequently at 1 to 8 year intervals
    and in one year (1893) four separate floods were recorded. Since 1900 flood
    rainfall has been much less frequent and the interval between floods has become much longer.”

    And

    “according to the Professor of Economic Geology at the University of
    Queensland (Professor Sergent), there is geological evidence of water levels 5.5m higher than the 1974 flood in the Indooroopilly area of Brisbane.
    Meteorological studies suggest that rainfalls well in excess of those recorded in the floods of 1893 and 1974 are possible. Therefore it seems certain that unless major flood mitigation schemes, such as the proposed Wivenhoe Dam, areimplemented, floods even greater than those of 1974 will again be experienced inBrisbane.”

    And regarding the 1974 flood:

    “The river rose steadily during Sunday 27 January and attained a peak height of 6.60 m on the high tide at 2.15 am on Tuesday 29 January”

  102. Robuk says:
    January 13, 2011 at 10:23 am
    I will post this once more, notice dates 1918, 1954 and 1991 and today,

    http://i446.photobucket.com/albums/qq187/bobclive/Australianfloods3.jpg

    Come on now, you’re smarter than that. Those dates are 1918, 1954, and 1991. We are talking about the WORST FLOOD IN THE 21ST CENTURY!!!! Not the 20th century. To prove my globull warming thesis, we’re only considering data back to Jan 1, 2000.

    So go bury your 20th century data! It has no place in this discussion…./big sarc off

  103. I wonder if he would suggest, as indirectly, it was global warming back in the early 90′ too, and global cooling in the 70′.

    It seems a somewhat 20 years natural cycles in flooding is at an end, ’cause this cycle was mann made?

    It is ironic that where my folks live their dammed up river system has never flooded to disaster in the last 70 years because they didn’t go cheap on the design and infrastructure. Other places in my country, with dammed up river systems from the same era, hasn’t been as “fortunate” and the only difference, they went cheap to save money, but, however, obviously not for a rainy day.

  104. Peter Plail –
    BBC World Service Have Your Say changes the BBC stance. btw this program was painful to listen to, with the BBC presenter desperately looking for CAGW confirmation and mostly being rebuuffed by the people interviewed (not the public calling in) in the various countries. the presenter would say to the Sao Paulo individual, this must be a surprise at this time of year, “no surprise” the Sao Paulo man says, we get these rains at this time of year blah blah. BBC managed to throw in 3 alleged emails from listeners in African countries just after the half-hour mark, all linking these natural disasters to “CC”.

    in the runup, the presenter says the disasters are caused by La Nina, but the extreme nature of the disasters caused many people to ask (really, which people?) if they were due to “CC”, as if El Nino/La Nina were not “CC”:

    13 Jan: Ben Allen: BBC World Have Your Say: The power of La Nina
    There’s massive flooding in Australia, Sri Lanka, the Philippines and now Brazil with many hundreds dead and millions affected. Meanwhile, drought is leading to a spike in food prices in Argentina, Brazil and Uruguay..
    Many of you will probably want to know if this is linked to climate change, well according to Reuters’ Climate Change Correspondent David Fogarty the jury is still out:
    “Some computer climate models tend to show a future trend toward more El Nino episodes as the world warms.
    Climate scientists say it will be some years before a clearer pattern is likely to emerge. By then computers will be much more powerful to run detailed, high-resolution simulations to test the impacts of warmer oceans and atmosphere over time-scales of several decades to a century.
    Scientists say a warmer world will mean more extreme droughts and floods and possible sudden shifts in ocean or atmospheric patterns, with devastating impacts.”
    Have you been affected by La Nina? Should we be more prepared for such weather patterns? ..
    comment: Donnamarie in Switzerland wrote:
    I’ve never been affected by a La Nina, but as a native Californian I like to have drowned in any number of El Nino events. No one outside the meterological and climatology fields ever heard of El Nino until the early 1980’s, with La Nina not far behind.
    These events have been growing stronger as time goes by. All anyone who is skeptical about climate change has to do is to look back at how these events have grown stonger and stronger over the past 30 years–and beware of what these events will bring in the future!!…
    comment: Mers in Oregon wrote:
    I beseech the commentators – please please please don’t confuse “weather” with “climate.” The words are not interchangable…
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/worldhaveyoursay/

  105. I am forecasting a drop in the solar signal from around mid Feb through March, this should increase precipitation again for Australia.

  106. Fair play to the BBC so far they have attrbuted blame to la nina….. but now with Brazil and sri lanka floodsit is only a matter of time before CC is introduced to the reports!

  107. [video src="http://s446.photobucket.com/albums/qq187/bobclive/?action=view&current=AustralianFloodsshort.mp4" /]

    A whole series of things are all coming together for the first time in 30 years.
    What are all?, he mentions only La nina and El nino.

  108. The SOI over recent months just prior these floods has been at it’s highest levels since……(wait for it)……..late 1973/early 1974 when the last similar, but worse flooding event occurred. Although recent high levels have last 2 more months longer already then back in 1974. The longer these levels stay high it was only a matter of time.

    http://www.bom.gov.au/climate/current/soihtm1.shtml

  109. Michael
    In regard to the smh article you refer to.
    When one looks at the long-term temp records in Australia, the 1860-1880s period seems to be much warmer than today. The early 1890s were some of the wettest years on record (Brisbane’s biggest flood was 1893) and then this was followed by the Federation drought from 1895 – 1902. In fact, the 2 driest years in the last 110 years appear to be 1902 and 1905.
    I don’t know how these people can make those claims without reference to the historical records which are there for all to see. It’s just fraud.

  110. I was just watching ABC News (American). It was pronounced that we have proof of global warming because of the floods in the SH and snow in the NH. I have to wash out my mouth now and flush the vomit.

  111. I would like to put forward an alternative view which I believe deserves serious consideration.

    I recomment that we encourage the AGW Team of Climate Experts (AWGTCE) to start a daily “weather is not climate” service.
    Their forecast for Sydney today for example could read “fine with 0.00002739% risk of a scattered, late, light, evening shower (clearly caused by disasterous dangerous climate disruption).

    The more they are encouraged to prattle on about things they clearly do not understand, the quicker the entire voting public will come to realise that the gods of climate science have feet of clay and that the clay is quickly being washed down the river of time and out to vast sea of midnight nightmares and delusions.

  112. The damage from the floods may be much greater than the earlier ones. The land is obviously flood plain, yet it is more densely developed now than it was then.

    How was that allowed?

  113. A C Osborn says:
    January 13, 2011 at 3:22 am
    With such a long history of Flooding it seems very strange not to have spent a lot of money on mitigation because the cost of letting it flood even once is enormous.
    ————–
    Why make this up? They have spent a lot if money on flood prevention.
    ————–
    Could it be that the authorities completely swallowed the AGW drought story, either way it smacks of total incompetence. Perhaps they are all ex UK politicians and local authorities.
    ————–
    Why assert thus fantasy?
    The CSIRO climate modelling says, if memory serves, that weather patterns will move south, so that northern australia will get more rain and southern Australia will get less rain.

    Queensland is in northern Australia. So the AGW prediction is, allowing for models not being great at the regional level, more rain for Queensland.

    For those who have trouble with nuances drier conditions does not mean no floods. It means a greater frequency of droughts and more intense droughts. It also means more rapid evaporation of water after floods.

    I can tell that this argument is compelling around here because the scoffing index has reached new highs in this blog.

    The whole connection between temperature and rain fall is not a simple one.

  114. The Australian floods caused by unprecedented global warming?

    KNOWN FLOODS IN THE BRISBANE & BREMER RIVER BASIN
    INCLUDING THE CITIES OF BRISBANE AND IPSWICH

    1825…….marked the flood to rise here of one hundred feet….. 94 feet 10.5 inches

    1839…….height of between 35 and 40 feet above the level……overflowed its banks to the extent of 54 feet

    The water rose 70 feet at Ipswich and no such flood again seen until the 1893 trouble. In the floods of 1857, 1863, 1864, 1870 the water rose 45 feet to 50 feet in Ipswich. The 1887 flood is said to have risen 50 feet in Ipswich….

    The river rose 50 feet in 12 hours at Ipswich…..

    the Bremer roses 24 or 25 foot…..

    etc., etc., etc.,…………

    http://www.bom.gov.au/hydro/flood/qld/fld_history/brisbane_history.shtml

    ………

    h/t Piers Corbyn tweet

    http://twitter.com/Piers_Corbyn

  115. Nick Stokes says “It’s also hardly controversial that the warm tropical waters waters are a factor in the increased rainfall in Northern Australia.”

    Well, Nick, that’s arm waving. It has to be shown that warmed waters were traversed by the winds that brought the rain; it has to be shown that the heat transfer rates and quantities in the cycle of water to air to rain are of the right order. It has to be explained quantitatively how the heavy rains were spread overland from Darwin to Tasmania because of a warming of some ocean locations. It has to be shown that rain-generating mechanisms other than warm water can be dissected out and accounted for.

    (Oh – I notice from your quote that you are using the square of waters. Why?)

  116. “HR says:
    January 13, 2011 at 1:02 am”

    Yes, David Karoly, thats the guy I was thinking of who, basically, said that the warm waters around Australia were a direct result of climate change. He, conveniently, forgot to mention other, much older, flood events in the region.

    Although he didn’t say it, he meant AGW. He’s been very quiet for sometime now and I guess this flood event in Queensland has given him the amunition to launch an attack on the minds of Australians to try to convince them our emissions of CO2 is causing AGW.

    He is a very nasty arrogant man who will not allow anyone a word in edgeways in discussions. He’s a bit like Trenbreth, only his opinion matters.

  117. “It rained all night the day I left, the weather it was dry;
    The sun so hot, I froze to death, Susanna don’t you cry…”

  118. Domingo Tavella says:
    January 13, 2011 at 2:17 am

    With all due respect to those writing here, practically the totality of those expressing their opinions are not really qualified to comment on energy and mass transport phenomena any more than they are qualified to opine on polymer engineering or molecular biology. How about getting a PhD in climatology or other relevant field first and only then writing on this complex subject (in a peer-reviewed journal, please) with some level of authority?

    How about you? Do you have some level of authority?

    Mark

    [RyanMaue: this is a blog, and you’d be surprised who has a PhD ’round these parts. Peer-reviewed literature is constantly evolving and will likely resemble this format more so in the future, rather than reams of paper.]

  119. I think it’s about time to try to develop a short select list: Bad Things Not Caused Or Worsened By Global Warming.
    I’m drawing a blank, here …

    ;)

  120. Yup, the Australian MSM are milking this for all it’s worth…

    http://www.theage.com.au/opinion/society-and-culture/drowning-in-a-hothouse-20110113-19pr1.html

    From the article “The Queensland floods are another reminder of what climate science has been telling us for 25 years, like the recent long-running drought, the 2009 heatwaves and the dreadful Victorian bushfires.”

    Of course anyone with a memory knows most of the 2009 Victorian bushfires were started by people, the worst fire which killed most people was started by a faulty power cable. But by far the biggest contributor to the fires was local authorities, with their green leaning policies, which prevented property owners from clearing fuel away from property.

    I am not convinced Queenslanders believe that this flood is anything different to the 1974 flood. And in 1954, 1910, 1890 and 1840.

  121. Have just read some of the comments posted and I am amazed the way some of you are completely devoid of the facts.
    If it wasn’t for the Wivenhoe dam that was built just after the large floods of 74 there would now be very little left of Brisbane. Consequently it would be very easy to suggest that this flood is far worse than anything that has been experienced before and that is without considering all the other flood dramas that have been going on since before christmas.

  122. sophocles says:

    Much of it might be flood plain, it’s true. But most of the time it’s fine and people want to live somewhere. By your standards, la, San Fran and Tokyo shouldn’t exist either. And Kansas definitely should be abandoned along with new Orleans . Floods, bushfires, storms, cyclones – in Australia it’s a case of choosing your risk category!

  123. Mike Hulme from University of East Anglia was on BBC Radio 5 Live this morning talking about Australian and Bangladeshi floods and Brazilian mudslides.

    When asked whether it was due to climate change he said that he assumed he was being asked about the manmade component and that no, you couldn’t make a connection, it was down to a strong La Nina and that these cycles were well understood.

    What a nice surprise!

  124. I find it odd that while the media and the climatology establishment have largely acknowledged the pivotal role of the La Nina cycle in the current round of Australian flooding episodes, there has been almost no mention of another, equally important factor – the Indian Ocean Dipole.

    http://www.science.unsw.edu.au/news/indian-ocean-drought/

    After many years in positive territory – which led to extended drought conditions down here – the IOD switched last year to its negative phase, which brought drought-breaking rain across much of the country. This widespread, plentiful and regular rain over a 6 month period has led to soil profiles being replenished with moisture down to a considerable depth, so much so that the major river catchments are effectively saturated, and any rain now becomes instant runoff rather than being soaked up by what would normally be grateful parched earth.

    While the relatively recent discovery of the significance of the IOD to Australian rainfall patterns should have been a cause for celebrations, I find it is rarely mentioned. Perhaps I’m a bit paranoid, but it seems to me that the warmists (amongst whom Prof Matthew England is a leading Usual Suspect) are a bit embarrassed about finding yet another natural cycle that actually determines our weather but has bugger-all to do with every plant’s favourite food.

  125. “The waters off Australia are the warmest ever measured and those waters provide moisture to the atmosphere for the Queensland and northern Australia monsoon,” he told Reuters.

    The rains have been blamed on one of the strongest La Nina patterns ever recorded.

    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.

    Which of these concepts are people specifically objecting too?
    * Are the waters not 1.5 C warmer than pre-1970 averages?
    * Do warm waters not contribute to stronger monsoons in Australia?
    * Is most of the warming of the water not due to La Nina?
    * Is the globe not warmer than it was 40 years ago?

    I’m not a meteorologist, but it all seems reasonable to me. The record temperatures would reasonably be attributed to a combination of a strong La Nina and generally warm temperatures around the globe. Record rainfalls would reasonable be associated with increased evaporation from the ocean.

    NOTE: “anthropogenic” is never mentioned (by me or the article). Whether you consider the current global warmth due to GHGs or natural cycles or changes in the sun or any other favorite hypothesis, that doesn’t change the conclusion that temperatures are different than they were 40 years ago.

  126. @Greg says:
    January 13, 2011 at 12:48 am
    “Heck, I live here in Brisbane, Australia and lived through the 1974 floods as well while the peak here was only 4.2 metres, not the 4.6 metres on 1974. However this is not the only instance of earlier floods being worse. The floods in the 1840s and 1890s peaked at over 8 metres how does Trenberth explain this, especially since the levels of CO2 were much lower then. Fools like this burn me up especially when I don’t see people like this here rescuing people or helping to clean up the flood mess.”

    I can’t imagine how insulting these people must be to you. Using a genuine tragedy like this to further their bogus cause. It’s apthetic and shameless.

    I hope you and your friends/loved ones are safe.

  127. Report from. Recife:

    Hey,cold and wet here (comparatively). Hey, someone’s got to do the dirty work. Off to Rio and Sao Paulo next week. coming in, we could see the floods. you should find more info on Ecotretas. Boy,what bad timing for a vacation!

  128. It appears more likely that a belief in AGW, not AGW itself caused the flooding.

    If you believe the future holds only drought, why would you build flood control systems? Only if you believed the climate worked in cycles, that the previous floods would return, only then would you prepare.

  129. “NOTE: “anthropogenic” is never mentioned (by me or the article).”

    Most people assume GW = AGW. Otherwise, instead of saying “disaster caused by GW”, the headlines would read “disaster caused by natural cycle”.

  130. Dr Trenberth:
    Today the AMSU-A satellite reports a drop of .82 degrees F from last year in lower tropospheric temps.
    http://discover.itsc.uah.edu/amsutemps/execute.csh?amsutemps
    This appears to be unprecedented. Should we be worried about this? I understand that president Obama’s science advisor, John Holdren is familiar with global cooling that occurred during the 1970’s. I assume this is a good thing for agriculture and lowering our air conditioning bills. Please advise.

  131. rich;
    Like I said elsewhere: warmth draws more moisture into the air, and cooling makes it fall out as rain, causing floods.
    :)

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