DECR: The message starts to slide

In a recent interview, Kevin Hennessy backpedals on a key claim in the Drought Exceptional Circumstances report (DECR) explaining:

(1:20m) … there has not been a clear indication of changes in exceptional low rainfall years.
(1:40m) … but in terms of a long term trend its not very clear in terms of exceptional low rainfall years.

This totally contradicts the the confident expectations of more years of exceptionally low rainfall as stated clearly in the summary (emphasis added):

If rainfall were the sole trigger for EC declarations, then the mean projections for 2010-2040 indicate that more declarations would be likely, and over larger areas, in the SW, SWWA and Vic&Tas regions, with little detectable change in the other regions. Under the high scenario, EC declarations would likely be triggered about twice as often and over twice the area in all regions. In SWWA the frequency and areas covered would likely be even greater.

The summary at the CSIRO podcast site “Drought Report pushes alarm bells” only refers to projections of increasing temperatures and does not mention rainfall, e.g.

The analysis shows that the real extent and frequency of exceptionally hot years have been increasing rapidly over recent decades, and that trend is expected to continue.

Well duh… The global models predict hotter temperatures so exceptionally hot years increase. The site has no information about when it was recorded. The file was created 1 Sept 2008, but Ian Castles drew my attention to a reference to it on 16 Jul 2008 by Jim Edwards:

Hennessy admits that rainfall is naturally variable and that the last decade’s severe drought can’t be demonstrated to be caused by man but then details that 13 computer models were backcasted and then forecasted 30 years to predict all of this gloom and doom.

The Drought Exceptional Circumstances report is the latest climate code red offering from the Australian scientific body CSIRO and the Bureau of Meteorology (BoM). Those who have been following this blog know that I have been analysing their data (after it was reluctently relased under blog pressure), alerting them to the fact that the global climate models have no skill at modeling past exceptionally low rainfall events (droughts), and consequently there can be no confidence in projections of future droughts from these ‘unskilful’ models.

To date, the authors have offered no response to my analysis, and refused to withdraw the report, despite considerable criticism.

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