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Veritas

Veritas

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PostSubject: oh dear the Alarmists lies are winning again...   oh dear the Alarmists lies are winning again... EmptySat 09 Feb 2019, 9:46 am

Latest forecast: climate of fear

Weather and climate used to be different things, but the capture of weather by climate change advocates is now all but complete.

By Graham Lloyd
From Inquirer
February 8, 2019

Weather and climate used to be different things, but the capture of weather by climate change advocates is now all but complete. Wild weather is a political statement worldwide. A fear-inducing drumbeat of broken temperature records is constant, and nightly ­reports of extreme weather somewhere in the world are the new normal.

Coal ruling risks up to $100bn in projects

Wildfires, an unstable polar vortex, freezing temperatures, boiling hot days, too much rain, not enough. All routinely are cited as evidence of a changing climate. Fine print be damned.

The catastrophisation of weather is clickbait: an easy sell that plays heavily into primal fears and seamlessly into domestic and international politics.

It is a cornerstone of UN climate talks, at which everyone “knows” the “weather has changed”.

The emphasis has been premeditated, as was the shift from global warming to climate change.

It is being legitimised by a new branch of “attribution science” that links climate change influence to what were otherwise weather events.

Scientists use computer models to build virtual worlds, one with and another without carbon dioxide emissions from human ­activity. Thousands of model simulations are run and the outputs from the “pure” world are compared with those of the virtual world as it is today.

Over several years the public has been softened up to accept that weather is climate, but the key message has been that no single event can be attributed to climate change with any certainty. Things are about to shift gear.

The next step globally is to ­include references to the climate signal in daily weather bulletins.

Once normalised through public agencies, attribution study results will be used in court cases seeking compensation payments from big oil, bad government and wealthy nations for the damages caused by climate change.

Throughout the week, as floods swamped Townsville in north Queensland and fires ravaged swaths of Tasmania, there was a chorus of claims that ­extreme weather events, including these, were evidence of climate change.


Scott Morrison was denounced for not making the link publicly when he visited Townsville flood victims. The Climate Council issued a special report on extreme weather; the Australian National University released its climate update for 2019; and a new GetUp front group was launched, Bushfire Survivors for Climate Action.

Extreme weather events now are confidently projected by lobby groups and vested interests as evidence of a changing climate. The punchline is always the same: government is not doing enough on climate. To fix the weather, more must be done to stop burning coal, build renewable energy plants and suck carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.

The Climate Council says all extreme weather events are being influenced by climate change, as they are occurring in an atmosphere that contains more energy than 50 years ago. The extreme weather events of last year, it says, are the latest in a long-term trend of worsening extreme weather, both in Australia and globally, as a result of climate change.

“The frequency and intensity of many extreme weather events — heatwaves, bushfires, floods, and storms — have increased over the past several decades, mirroring many of the trends that have been observed globally,” the Climate Council says. “The evidence is clear that climate change is influencing the global trend of worsening extreme weather.”

The latest report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change on 1.5C warming is slightly more measured. It says there is “medium confidence” that trends in intensity and frequency of some climate and weather extremes have been ­detected over time spans during which about 0.5C of global warming occurred.

But in testimony to the US house natural resources committee hearing on climate change this week, retired climate scientist Judith Curry said: “Based on current assessments of the science, man-made climate change is not an existential threat on the timescale of the 21st century, even in its most alarming incarnation. If we believe the climate models, any changes in extreme weather events would not be evident until late in the 21st century. The greatest impacts will be felt in the 22nd century and beyond.”

Curry says extreme damage from recent hurricanes plus billion-dollar losses from floods, droughts and wildfires emphasise the vulnerability of the US to extreme events.

“It’s easy to forget that US extreme weather events were actually worse in the 1930s and 1950s.’’

But ANU Climate Change Institute director Mark Howden says recent extreme heatwaves, rainfall and bushfires emphasise how important it is to maintain a safe and stable climate.

“Climate and atmospheric changes are accelerating, leading to more and more unprecedented climate-related events, whether these are land or ocean-based heatwaves, fires, floods or bio­diversity losses such as fish kills,” Howden says.

The new GetUp group says “the government can no longer ­ignore the way their climate change denial is hurting our communities and putting lives at risk”.

“They must take Australia beyond coal projects like Adani and move to 100 per cent renewable energy for all,” it adds.


Award-winning Tasmanian author Richard Flanagan made an eloquent contribution to the debate, penning an essay decrying the Tasmanian fires and saying they signal a “terrifying new reality, as disturbing and ultimately almost certainly as tragic as the coral reef bleaching of the Great Barrier Reef”.

“Another global treasure in the form of Tasmania’s ancient Gondwanaland remnant forest and its woodland alpine heathlands are at profound and immediate risk because of climate change,” Flanagan wrote.

He is no stranger to the history of fire in Tasmania. In the climax to his novel Gould’s Book of Fish, set in a Tasmanian island prison, he writes: “Watch the whole island transforming into a single furnace, one flame as infinite as Hell, an eternity of suffering in which nothing existed except to fuel the fire further, and then the fire finding its way into the heart of the settlement.’’

Fire records for Tasmania are clear. The state has faced a series of devastating fires from early settlement in 1803. The worst were in 1854, 1897-98, 1913-15, 1926-27, 1933-34, 1940-42, 1960- 61, 1967, 2013 and 2016.

The current concern is whether a new threat is posed by dry lightning strikes to areas and species that are not likely to recover. A 2015 review by the Tasmania Parks and Wildlife Service found that data from the past 20 years suggests the fire regimes in the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area are changing. Fires lit by arson had decreased but “fires started by dry lightning now appear to be the main threat to the TWWHA”, it says. “However, it is too early to know whether a shift in climate may be contributing to a long-term increasing trend in dry lightning activity in summers.”

Aynsley Kellow, professor emeritus of government at the University of Tasmania, tells ­Inquirer politicians have quickly laid the blame for the latest fires on climate change because of dry lightning strikes. “I always find it a bit distasteful to try to make political capital out of misfortune,” he says. “Here people say areas of forest that haven’t been burnt in millennia are now under a new threat, but that is clearly nonsense.

“The wet sclerophyll forest, for instance, is largely the result of substantial wildfire 200 years ago. It is the case that most sclerophyll forests, wet or dry, are fire adapted.

“Where it is an issue is with some of the rainforest species such as King Billy pine and so on — you could say it is the eucalypts versus the rainforest species, and the eucalypts tend to win.

“I have got no problems trying to preserve some rainforest but when fire comes from a natural source like a lightning strike, if you have a naturalistic view of the environment, who is it of us to intervene in that process?

“I don’t mind intervening because I think humans should be managing the landscape. But I think it is a fairly long bow to say this is unprecedented. It suggests there hasn’t been dry lightning strikes in the past.

“Part of the problem is that with the technology that is available these days you can count lightning strikes. That facility just wasn’t there in the past and it’s partly a reflection of the improvement of monitoring technology of climate science.

“There is this tendency to bring evidence to the theory.”

In Townsville, work is still under way to understand the magnitude of this week’s flood event.

The cause of the heavy rains is easily explained in meteorological terms. A large monsoonal trough stretching into the Coral Sea dragged in moisture and dumped it on its southern front. The front stayed almost stationary for six days, producing rainfalls of more than 2m in some areas.

Andrew Gissing, from risk management and catastrophe modelling group Risk Frontiers, says it is not uncommon to see severe rain causing flooding in Queensland alongside simultaneous fire weather in the south.

“I don’t necessarily think that is unique,” he says. “We are doing some work on how extreme the Townsville floods have been. A colleague is saying it is a one-in-200-year event. You do have uncertainty associated with the length of the record you can look at to work out how extreme some of this stuff is.’’

Newspaper accounts testify to the flooding that is the old normal in Townsville. A report from January 30, 1892 speaks of what “seemed one prolonged thunderstorm, thunder and lightning prevailing the whole time”.

“Half the population cannot reach the city and business is at a standstill,” it says.

In 1953, The Queensland Times reported that year’s Townsville flood was the worst since 1881.


“The stench of dead animals along the river bank is almost unbearable,” it says.

Research by Griffith University using sediment records says floods in southeast Queensland during the past 1500 years rival the size of floods in recorded history (1893, 1974 and 2011).

The Climate Council says extreme weather is costly. Insurance companies in Australia paid out more than $1.2 billion in claims last year. But research by Risk Frontiers has so far not picked up a climate signature in insurance losses. Losses at the moment are being driven primarily by development in at-risk areas.

“Having said that, insurance losses may not necessarily be the best place to pick up that (climate change signal) because they are not capturing the full extent of the loss,” Gissing says.

“Certainly, with the various climate projections we have got no reason to believe we won’t see one in the future.’’

Scientist Jennifer Marohasy says Australia is still a country of drought and flooding rains. “We still see in the record for rainfall and temperature that you have these dry periods and wet periods,” says Marohasy. “Often the more significant and longer the drought, the bigger the flood that follows.”

The contest lies in the accuracy of a new branch of climate science that attempts to attribute the contribution of climate change to extreme weather events.

A landmark report in 2016 by the US National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine says attribution can answer questions about how much climate change influences the probability or intensity of a specific type of weather event.

On July 30 last year, Nature journal declared that “extreme-event attribution — the science of calculating how global warming has changed the likelihood and magnitude of extreme heat, cold, drought, rain or flooding — is ready to leave the lab”. The journal says research has advanced to the point where public agencies can take over the task.

This year, Germany’s national weather agency will start posting instant findings on social media to “quantify the influence of climate change on any atmospheric conditions that might bring extreme weather to Germany or central Europe”.

The US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration says attribution research can be used by courts “to settle questions of liability for the costs or harm caused by an extreme event that may have been influenced by global warming and climate change”.

Marohasy’s view is that rather than existing climate models, which are unable to predict events such as the Townsville flood even weeks beforehand, climate science should pay more attention to artificial intelligence systems that can include cycles.

AI research is being taken up by the weather authorities of China and other Asian nations.


“We have now got AI to allow us to understand relationships in historic data,” Marohasy says. “AI is central to the fourth industrial revolution in things such as dri­verless cars and medicine, but climate science refuses to move away from general circulation models. We are aware there have always been extreme rainfall events but no one wants to look at the raw historic data. They want to remodel data and strip cycles from data because the concept of cycles is alien to the theory of anthropogenic climate change.

“It wants to take everything back to CO2 so that it has policy relevance,” Marohasy adds.

Indeed, a common feature of reports on extreme weather is a demand that government do more to stop burning fossil fuels and move to renewables. But Curry told the US house committee it was misguided to assume current wind and solar technologies could power an advanced economy.

She says there are two options on the table. One is to do nothing and the other is to rapidly deploy wind and solar plants with the goal of eliminating fossil fuels in one to two decades.

“Apart from the gridlock engendered by considering only these two options, in my opinion neither option gets us to where we want to go,” Curry says.

“A third option is to re-imagine the 21st-century electric power systems, with new technologies that improve energy security, reliability and cost while minimising environmental impacts.

“Acting urgently on emissions reduction by deploying 20th-century technologies could turn out to be the enemy of a better long-term solution.’’

It’s an idea that finds it difficult to compete in the atmosphere of fear generated by the urgency now being injected into a narrative as old as time: there’s something strange about the weather.
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Neferti
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Neferti

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PostSubject: Re: oh dear the Alarmists lies are winning again...   oh dear the Alarmists lies are winning again... EmptyMon 04 Mar 2019, 6:55 pm

Do you have a PERSONAL comment?
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Veritas

Veritas

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PostSubject: Re: oh dear the Alarmists lies are winning again...   oh dear the Alarmists lies are winning again... EmptyTue 05 Mar 2019, 4:51 pm

Cant you guess?
I always have a personal opinion...
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Neferti
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Neferti

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oh dear the Alarmists lies are winning again... Empty
PostSubject: Re: oh dear the Alarmists lies are winning again...   oh dear the Alarmists lies are winning again... EmptyTue 05 Mar 2019, 5:15 pm

Veritas wrote:
Cant you guess?
I always have a personal opinion...

In 10 words or less? Very Happy
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Veritas

Veritas

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Join date : 2018-07-17

oh dear the Alarmists lies are winning again... Empty
PostSubject: Re: oh dear the Alarmists lies are winning again...   oh dear the Alarmists lies are winning again... EmptyMon 01 Apr 2019, 8:48 am

Nope....
Just read the highlighted stuff...

Or join twitter
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