Recent Article on Controversial Topic – Drought and AGW

Stewart Franks, a hydroclimatologist at the University of Newcastle School of Engineering has spoken out, that the Murray Darling Basin drought was caused by an entirely natural phenomenon, the 2002 El Nino event, and there is no evidence that CO2 has had any significant role. He goes on:

Numerous politicians, environmentalists and especially scientists have made spectacular leaps of faith in their adherence to the doctrine of climate change over recent years, too many to document here.

And in a clear reference to the recent Drought Exceptional Circumstances Report (DECR), the subject of two critical articles by Ian Castles, former Australian Statistician, and a report that I have reviewed, written letters about, and now possibly starting an FOI request he says:

However, the most literally fantastic claim on climate change must go to Kevin Rudd, who has guaranteed that rainfall will decline over coming decades; one can only assume he’s based his view on deficient climate models and bad advice.

The article is a huge slap in the face for those in BoM and CSIRO who have eagerly adopted the IPCC climate models as future climate truth machines, and created exaggerated apocalyptic AGW scenarios. The real problem he says is:

This is due to a failure of planning, management and leadership from the relevant authorities. Under these conditions, when a prolonged drought strikes, the system collapses. This is a man-made problem but not one that is attributable to CO2.

He concludes with advice directly for his colleagues:

Perhaps our leading climate authorities who have played such a prominent role in fomenting speculation about climate change, and who apparently adhere to the notion that climate is amenable to prediction, should also point out that these models cannot reproduce the observed multi-decadal variability of El Nino and La Nina in anything like a realistic manner.

Given the uncertainty of El Nino and La Nina behaviour, one clearly cannot predict the future.

And finally:

There is no direct evidence of CO2 impacts on the drought, nor is there any rational basis for predicting rainfall in 30 years time. One just hopes that sensible and sustainable management from our leaders will enable struggling rural communities to weather the vagaries of climatic and political extremes.

  • Luke

    You’re having your chain pulled by the organised Australian sceptic disinformation unit …

    The usual septic sceptic technique of leaving information out.

    While there is nothing wrong with some things that Franks has said – it’s more what he has not told the Australian public that’s less than full disclosure. As well as his conclusions.

    He has totally ignored much recent published work by many researchers on the southern annular mode (an Antarctic oscillation affected by both greenhouse and depletion of stratospheric ozone), movement in the sub-tropical ridge, warming in the Indian Ocean, decrease in the Walker circulation, changes in the super-gyre, and east Australian current. A warming Tasman Sea.

    Nor we do we see any discussion on snow depth and the effect of temperature and rainfall.

    No discussion that temperature has been analysed over the major droughts this century and found to be much higher in the recent drought years. No discussion of the effect of high temperatures on vapour transport within soils or the effect of greater evaporative demand on trees and hydrology. Has he consulted with any ecophysiologists?

    No discussion of any changes in the form of quasi-decadal oceanic variability.

    Readers would be well advised to realise the hand of the organised sceptic movement at work and read for themselves the latest science journal publications by CSIRO and the Bureau of Meteorology.

    Indeed if climate change is having some impact it will do it including aspects of existing variation like El Nino and La Nina and decadal influences. And it seems on balance that we may have a bit of both.

    It’s not a question of polarising the debate by stating that “CO2 did not not cause this drought” (which incidentally dates back to 1996) – it’ a question of whether there is a plausible argument for some anthropogenic influence (ozone and CO2!).

    The issue of drought is a serious risk management issue. Not to inform the Australian public of the fuller picture is reckless.

    If he disagrees with that research he should formally address it in his op-ed as much has been published in the last few years including 2008.

    Franks appears to be happy to be listed with many high profile skeptics here. http://www.nationalpost.com/news/story.html?id=164004 in an Open Letter to the Secretary-General of the United Nations decrying global warming research findings and happy to associate with the pretentiously named Lavoisier society of sceptics.

    I think we know a partisan play when we see it.

    Allan, R., deVoil, P., Folland, C., Hammer, G., Meinke, H., Potgieter, A., Power, S. and Stone, R., (2005) Rainfall Variability at Decadal and Longer Time Scales: Signal or Noise?, Journal of Climate; Jan2005, Vol. 18 Issue 1, p89-96, 8p
    Alory, G., S. Wijffels, and G. Meyers (2007), Observed temperature trends in the Indian Ocean over 1960–1999 and associated mechanisms, Geophys. Res. Lett., 34, L02606, doi:10.1029/2006GL028044.

    Arblaster, J. M., and G. A. Meehl, 2006: Contributions of external forcings to southern annular mode trends. J. Climate, 19, 2896–2905.

    Cai W., D. Bi, J. Church, T. Cowan, M. Dix, L. Rotstayn (2006), Pan-oceanic response to increasing anthropogenic aerosols: Impacts on the Southern Hemisphere oceanic circulation, Geophys. Res. Lett., 33, L21707, doi:10.1029/2006GL027513.

    Cai, G. Shi, T. Cowan, D. Bi, and J. Ribbe, 2005: The response of the southern annular mode, the East Australian Current, and the southern midlatitude ocean circulation to global warming. Geophys. Res. Lett., 32, L23706, doi:10.1029/ 2005GL024701.

    Cai, P. H. Whetton, and D. J. Karoly, 2003: The response of the Antarctic Oscillation to increasing and stabilized atmospheric CO2. J. Climate, 16, 1525–1538.

    Cai, W. (2006), Antarctic ozone depletion causes an intensification of the Southern Ocean super-gyre circulation, Geophys. Res. Lett., 33, L03712, doi:10.1029/2005GL024911.

    Cai, W., and T. Cowan (2006), SAM and regional rainfall in IPCC AR4 models: Can anthropogenic forcing account for southwest Western Australian winter rainfall reduction?, Geophys. Res. Lett., 33, L24708, doi:10.1029/2006GL028037.

    Cai, W., and T. Cowan (2008), Dynamics of late autumn rainfall reduction over southeastern Australia, Geophys. Res. Lett., 35, L09708, doi:10.1029/2008GL033727.

    Cai, W., and T. Cowan (2008), Evidence of impacts from rising temperature on inflows to the Murray-Darling Basin, Geophys. Res. Lett., 35, L07701, doi:10.1029/2008GL033390.

    Cai, W., and T. Cowan, 2007: Trends in Southern Hemisphere Circulation in IPCC AR4 Models over 1950–99: Ozone Depletion versus Greenhouse Forcing. J. Climate, 20, 681–693.

    Cai, W., T. Cowan, M. Dix, L. Rotstayn, J. Ribbe, G. Shi, and S. Wijffels (2007), Anthropogenic aerosol forcing and the structure of temperature trends in the southern Indian Ocean, Geophys. Res. Lett., 34, L14611, doi:10.1029/2007GL030380.

    Domingues C., Church, J., White, N., Gleckler, P., Wijffels, S., Barker, P. & Dunn, J. (2008) Improved estimates of upper-ocean warming and multi-decadal sea-level rise. Nature 453, 1090-1093 | doi:10.1038/nature07080

    Fyfe, J. C., and O. A. Saenko (2006), Simulated changes in the extratropical Southern Hemisphere winds and currents, Geophys. Res. Lett., 33, L06701, doi:10.1029/2005GL025332.

    Fyfe, J. C., and O. A. Saenko, 2005: Human-induced change in the Antarctic Circumpolar Current. J. Climate, 18, 3068–3073

    Gillett, N. P., and D. W. J. Thompson, 2003: Simulation of recent Southern Hemisphere climate change. Science, 302, 273–275.

    Hendon, H.H., Thompson, D.W.J. and Wheeler, M.C. 2007. Australian Rainfall and Surface Temperature Variations Associated with the Southern Hemisphere Annular Mode. Journal of Climate, 20(11): 2452-2467. DOI: 10.1175/JCLI4134.1

    Lough, J. M. (2007), Tropical river flow and rainfall reconstructions from coral luminescence: Great Barrier Reef, Australia, Paleoceanography, 22, PA2218, doi:10.1029/2006PA001377.

    Lough, J. M. (2008), Shifting climate zones for Australia’s tropical marine ecosystems, Geophys. Res. Lett., 35, L14708, doi:10.1029/2008GL034634.

    Murphy, B.F. and Timbal, B. 2008. A review of recent climate variability and climate change in southeastern Australia. International Journal of Climatology, 28(7): 859-879

    Pearce, A., and Feng, M. (2007). Observations of warming on the Western Australian continental shelf. Marine and Freshwater Research 58, 914–920.doi:10.1071/MF07082

    Power, S. B., and I. N. Smith (2007), Weakening of the Walker Circulation and apparent dominance of El Niño both reach record levels, but has ENSO really changed?, Geophys. Res. Lett., 34, L18702, doi:10.1029/2007GL030854.

    Rakich, C. S., N. J. Holbrook, and B. Timbal (2008), A pressure gradient metric capturing planetary-scale influences on eastern Australian rainfall, Geophys. Res. Lett., 35, L08713, doi:10.1029/2007GL032970.

    Rotstayn, L. D., et al. (2007), Have Australian rainfall and cloudiness increased due to the remote effects of Asian anthropogenic aerosols?, J. Geophys. Res., 112, D09202, doi:10.1029/2006JD007712.

    Russell, J. L., K. W. Dixon, A. Gnanadesikan, R. J. Stouffer, and J. R. Toggweiler, 2006a: The Southern Hemisphere westerlies in a warming world: Propping open the door to the deep ocean. J. Climate, 19, 6382–6390.

    Shindell, D. T., and G. A. Schmidt (2004), Southern Hemisphere climate response to ozone changes and greenhouse gas increases, Geophys. Res. Lett., 31, L18209, doi:10.1029/2004GL020724.

    Timbal, B., Wheeler, M. and Hope, P. (2008) On the relationship of the rainfall in the southwest and southeast of Australia. Part II: Possible causes of recent declines. Journal of Climate.

    Vecchi G., Soden, B., Wittenberg, A., Held, I., Leetmaa, A., and Harrison, M. (2006) Weakening of tropical Pacific atmospheric circulation due to anthropogenic forcing. Nature 441, 73-76 doi:10.1038/nature04744

    Vecchi, G.A., and B.J. Soden, 2007: Global Warming and the Weakening of the Tropical Circulation. J. Climate, 20, 4316–4340.

    Wainwright, L., G. Meyers, S. Wijffels, and L. Pigot (2008), Change in the Indonesian Throughflow with the climatic shift of 1976/77, Geophys. Res. Lett., 35, L03604, doi:10.1029/2007GL031911.

  • Luke

    You’re having your chain pulled by the organised Australian sceptic disinformation unit …

    The usual septic sceptic technique of leaving information out.

    While there is nothing wrong with some things that Franks has said – it’s more what he has not told the Australian public that’s less than full disclosure. As well as his conclusions.

    He has totally ignored much recent published work by many researchers on the southern annular mode (an Antarctic oscillation affected by both greenhouse and depletion of stratospheric ozone), movement in the sub-tropical ridge, warming in the Indian Ocean, decrease in the Walker circulation, changes in the super-gyre, and east Australian current. A warming Tasman Sea.

    Nor we do we see any discussion on snow depth and the effect of temperature and rainfall.

    No discussion that temperature has been analysed over the major droughts this century and found to be much higher in the recent drought years. No discussion of the effect of high temperatures on vapour transport within soils or the effect of greater evaporative demand on trees and hydrology. Has he consulted with any ecophysiologists?

    No discussion of any changes in the form of quasi-decadal oceanic variability.

    Readers would be well advised to realise the hand of the organised sceptic movement at work and read for themselves the latest science journal publications by CSIRO and the Bureau of Meteorology.

    Indeed if climate change is having some impact it will do it including aspects of existing variation like El Nino and La Nina and decadal influences. And it seems on balance that we may have a bit of both.

    It’s not a question of polarising the debate by stating that “CO2 did not not cause this drought” (which incidentally dates back to 1996) – it’ a question of whether there is a plausible argument for some anthropogenic influence (ozone and CO2!).

    The issue of drought is a serious risk management issue. Not to inform the Australian public of the fuller picture is reckless.

    If he disagrees with that research he should formally address it in his op-ed as much has been published in the last few years including 2008.

    Franks appears to be happy to be listed with many high profile skeptics here. http://www.nationalpost.com/news/story.html?id=164004 in an Open Letter to the Secretary-General of the United Nations decrying global warming research findings and happy to associate with the pretentiously named Lavoisier society of sceptics.

    I think we know a partisan play when we see it.

    Allan, R., deVoil, P., Folland, C., Hammer, G., Meinke, H., Potgieter, A., Power, S. and Stone, R., (2005) Rainfall Variability at Decadal and Longer Time Scales: Signal or Noise?, Journal of Climate; Jan2005, Vol. 18 Issue 1, p89-96, 8p
    Alory, G., S. Wijffels, and G. Meyers (2007), Observed temperature trends in the Indian Ocean over 1960–1999 and associated mechanisms, Geophys. Res. Lett., 34, L02606, doi:10.1029/2006GL028044.

    Arblaster, J. M., and G. A. Meehl, 2006: Contributions of external forcings to southern annular mode trends. J. Climate, 19, 2896–2905.

    Cai W., D. Bi, J. Church, T. Cowan, M. Dix, L. Rotstayn (2006), Pan-oceanic response to increasing anthropogenic aerosols: Impacts on the Southern Hemisphere oceanic circulation, Geophys. Res. Lett., 33, L21707, doi:10.1029/2006GL027513.

    Cai, G. Shi, T. Cowan, D. Bi, and J. Ribbe, 2005: The response of the southern annular mode, the East Australian Current, and the southern midlatitude ocean circulation to global warming. Geophys. Res. Lett., 32, L23706, doi:10.1029/ 2005GL024701.

    Cai, P. H. Whetton, and D. J. Karoly, 2003: The response of the Antarctic Oscillation to increasing and stabilized atmospheric CO2. J. Climate, 16, 1525–1538.

    Cai, W. (2006), Antarctic ozone depletion causes an intensification of the Southern Ocean super-gyre circulation, Geophys. Res. Lett., 33, L03712, doi:10.1029/2005GL024911.

    Cai, W., and T. Cowan (2006), SAM and regional rainfall in IPCC AR4 models: Can anthropogenic forcing account for southwest Western Australian winter rainfall reduction?, Geophys. Res. Lett., 33, L24708, doi:10.1029/2006GL028037.

    Cai, W., and T. Cowan (2008), Dynamics of late autumn rainfall reduction over southeastern Australia, Geophys. Res. Lett., 35, L09708, doi:10.1029/2008GL033727.

    Cai, W., and T. Cowan (2008), Evidence of impacts from rising temperature on inflows to the Murray-Darling Basin, Geophys. Res. Lett., 35, L07701, doi:10.1029/2008GL033390.

    Cai, W., and T. Cowan, 2007: Trends in Southern Hemisphere Circulation in IPCC AR4 Models over 1950–99: Ozone Depletion versus Greenhouse Forcing. J. Climate, 20, 681–693.

    Cai, W., T. Cowan, M. Dix, L. Rotstayn, J. Ribbe, G. Shi, and S. Wijffels (2007), Anthropogenic aerosol forcing and the structure of temperature trends in the southern Indian Ocean, Geophys. Res. Lett., 34, L14611, doi:10.1029/2007GL030380.

    Domingues C., Church, J., White, N., Gleckler, P., Wijffels, S., Barker, P. & Dunn, J. (2008) Improved estimates of upper-ocean warming and multi-decadal sea-level rise. Nature 453, 1090-1093 | doi:10.1038/nature07080

    Fyfe, J. C., and O. A. Saenko (2006), Simulated changes in the extratropical Southern Hemisphere winds and currents, Geophys. Res. Lett., 33, L06701, doi:10.1029/2005GL025332.

    Fyfe, J. C., and O. A. Saenko, 2005: Human-induced change in the Antarctic Circumpolar Current. J. Climate, 18, 3068–3073

    Gillett, N. P., and D. W. J. Thompson, 2003: Simulation of recent Southern Hemisphere climate change. Science, 302, 273–275.

    Hendon, H.H., Thompson, D.W.J. and Wheeler, M.C. 2007. Australian Rainfall and Surface Temperature Variations Associated with the Southern Hemisphere Annular Mode. Journal of Climate, 20(11): 2452-2467. DOI: 10.1175/JCLI4134.1

    Lough, J. M. (2007), Tropical river flow and rainfall reconstructions from coral luminescence: Great Barrier Reef, Australia, Paleoceanography, 22, PA2218, doi:10.1029/2006PA001377.

    Lough, J. M. (2008), Shifting climate zones for Australia’s tropical marine ecosystems, Geophys. Res. Lett., 35, L14708, doi:10.1029/2008GL034634.

    Murphy, B.F. and Timbal, B. 2008. A review of recent climate variability and climate change in southeastern Australia. International Journal of Climatology, 28(7): 859-879

    Pearce, A., and Feng, M. (2007). Observations of warming on the Western Australian continental shelf. Marine and Freshwater Research 58, 914–920.doi:10.1071/MF07082

    Power, S. B., and I. N. Smith (2007), Weakening of the Walker Circulation and apparent dominance of El Niño both reach record levels, but has ENSO really changed?, Geophys. Res. Lett., 34, L18702, doi:10.1029/2007GL030854.

    Rakich, C. S., N. J. Holbrook, and B. Timbal (2008), A pressure gradient metric capturing planetary-scale influences on eastern Australian rainfall, Geophys. Res. Lett., 35, L08713, doi:10.1029/2007GL032970.

    Rotstayn, L. D., et al. (2007), Have Australian rainfall and cloudiness increased due to the remote effects of Asian anthropogenic aerosols?, J. Geophys. Res., 112, D09202, doi:10.1029/2006JD007712.

    Russell, J. L., K. W. Dixon, A. Gnanadesikan, R. J. Stouffer, and J. R. Toggweiler, 2006a: The Southern Hemisphere westerlies in a warming world: Propping open the door to the deep ocean. J. Climate, 19, 6382–6390.

    Shindell, D. T., and G. A. Schmidt (2004), Southern Hemisphere climate response to ozone changes and greenhouse gas increases, Geophys. Res. Lett., 31, L18209, doi:10.1029/2004GL020724.

    Timbal, B., Wheeler, M. and Hope, P. (2008) On the relationship of the rainfall in the southwest and southeast of Australia. Part II: Possible causes of recent declines. Journal of Climate.

    Vecchi G., Soden, B., Wittenberg, A., Held, I., Leetmaa, A., and Harrison, M. (2006) Weakening of tropical Pacific atmospheric circulation due to anthropogenic forcing. Nature 441, 73-76 doi:10.1038/nature04744

    Vecchi, G.A., and B.J. Soden, 2007: Global Warming and the Weakening of the Tropical Circulation. J. Climate, 20, 4316–4340.

    Wainwright, L., G. Meyers, S. Wijffels, and L. Pigot (2008), Change in the Indonesian Throughflow with the climatic shift of 1976/77, Geophys. Res. Lett., 35, L03604, doi:10.1029/2007GL031911.

  • http://www.petergallagher.com.au Peter Gallagher

    @Luke,

    I agree that the title of Franks’ article — imposed by a sub-editor? — was badly chosen. Franks’ point, in fact, was not too far from your own, I think. He, too, argued that there is a host of potential influences at work that have been variables in our climate history (forever, as far as we know) and that none of them is a simple story.

    Some recent anthropogenic influence? A possibility, certainly. But that hypothesis does not seem to be a sufficient explanation (much less a strong one) considering the eon-scale of the variable influences you list.

    I read Franks’ article as arguing only that there’s no definitive clues to the AGW or even the ‘climate change’ hypothesis in the Murray-Darling Basin drought.

    Perhaps this is a ‘skeptical’ thing to to say, but you show why it’s unlikely we’ll find ‘definitive’ clues to climate in any of the headline-grabbing phenomena (the Arctic, for another example).

  • http://www.petergallagher.com.au Peter Gallagher

    @Luke,

    I agree that the title of Franks’ article — imposed by a sub-editor? — was badly chosen. Franks’ point, in fact, was not too far from your own, I think. He, too, argued that there is a host of potential influences at work that have been variables in our climate history (forever, as far as we know) and that none of them is a simple story.

    Some recent anthropogenic influence? A possibility, certainly. But that hypothesis does not seem to be a sufficient explanation (much less a strong one) considering the eon-scale of the variable influences you list.

    I read Franks’ article as arguing only that there’s no definitive clues to the AGW or even the ‘climate change’ hypothesis in the Murray-Darling Basin drought.

    Perhaps this is a ‘skeptical’ thing to to say, but you show why it’s unlikely we’ll find ‘definitive’ clues to climate in any of the headline-grabbing phenomena (the Arctic, for another example).

  • Luke

    Sorry I have to disagree somewhat – they are not eon changes – moreover the results can be understood as global thermodynamic arguments based on theory, developed into models which explain contemporary phenomena described by significant data sets of real world observations.

    If one did a thought experiment as to what the AGW signal might look like – I think you could easily imagine a blurry signal emerging from the fog of pre-existing climate variability – interannual and decadal.

    There would not be a cinching argument as to a 100% attribution to AGW forces but evidence would suggest anthropogenic factors starting to move phenomena around. An added factor.

    And these influences appear to affect more than the MDB – all of Australia and probably the southern hemisphere.

    But back to the MDB – the issue is one of risk management and contemplation of those risks formally and robustly as possible. As a taxpayer that’s all I want.

    The government may be overstating the evidence – the sceptics are recklessly downplaying the evidence. CSIRO and BoM are getting on with the research and buffeted by many counter-opposing forces. So they need to keep straight and true.

    Public need a fullsome explanation as plain and vanilla as possible. Policy needs to recommend to government whether to allocate some very large slugs of public money. Agribusiness needs advice. Individual farmers need advice.

    Real world decisions as to whether persist, desist, invest, retreat, adapt or relocate need to be made. Indeed we are starting to alarming headlines such as “The Victorian Government is being asked to radically rethink the state’s agricultural production and shift the bulk of it from the west to east.” http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2008/09/12/2362817.htm?site=local

    BTW – I don’t think any of this directly produces a case for an Australian carbon tax. Our local Australian reduction would make little difference without a concerted global effort.

    This is about making local decisions about the policy of drought management and rescue or otherwise of the Murray-Darling River systems.

    A changed PDO/IPO situation and a rapidly rising SOI might give some immediate hope to the coming season. Of course if it rains bucket loads everyone will have a good laugh and walk away. But the real question is how till the next drought sequence is back?

  • Luke

    Sorry I have to disagree somewhat – they are not eon changes – moreover the results can be understood as global thermodynamic arguments based on theory, developed into models which explain contemporary phenomena described by significant data sets of real world observations.

    If one did a thought experiment as to what the AGW signal might look like – I think you could easily imagine a blurry signal emerging from the fog of pre-existing climate variability – interannual and decadal.

    There would not be a cinching argument as to a 100% attribution to AGW forces but evidence would suggest anthropogenic factors starting to move phenomena around. An added factor.

    And these influences appear to affect more than the MDB – all of Australia and probably the southern hemisphere.

    But back to the MDB – the issue is one of risk management and contemplation of those risks formally and robustly as possible. As a taxpayer that’s all I want.

    The government may be overstating the evidence – the sceptics are recklessly downplaying the evidence. CSIRO and BoM are getting on with the research and buffeted by many counter-opposing forces. So they need to keep straight and true.

    Public need a fullsome explanation as plain and vanilla as possible. Policy needs to recommend to government whether to allocate some very large slugs of public money. Agribusiness needs advice. Individual farmers need advice.

    Real world decisions as to whether persist, desist, invest, retreat, adapt or relocate need to be made. Indeed we are starting to alarming headlines such as “The Victorian Government is being asked to radically rethink the state’s agricultural production and shift the bulk of it from the west to east.” http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2008/09/12/2362817.htm?site=local

    BTW – I don’t think any of this directly produces a case for an Australian carbon tax. Our local Australian reduction would make little difference without a concerted global effort.

    This is about making local decisions about the policy of drought management and rescue or otherwise of the Murray-Darling River systems.

    A changed PDO/IPO situation and a rapidly rising SOI might give some immediate hope to the coming season. Of course if it rains bucket loads everyone will have a good laugh and walk away. But the real question is how till the next drought sequence is back?

  • kuhnkat

    Luke,

    as mentioned in the quotes, when you can project El Nino’s, La Nina’s, and the rest of the oscillations, come back and tell us about your models and the physics behind them. Until then you and the rest of the AGW community are simply imposing your personal fears on the weather!!

  • kuhnkat

    Luke,

    as mentioned in the quotes, when you can project El Nino’s, La Nina’s, and the rest of the oscillations, come back and tell us about your models and the physics behind them. Until then you and the rest of the AGW community are simply imposing your personal fears on the weather!!

  • Jan Pompe

    Luke

    I’m very taken with

    “Cai, W., and T. Cowan (2008), Evidence of impacts from rising temperature on inflows to the Murray-Darling Basin, Geophys. Res. Lett., 35,”

    Strikes me there is an inversion of causation as described in Stewart Franks article

    When soil contains high moisture content, much of the sun’s energy is used in evaporation. Consequently, there is limited heating of the surface. When soil moisture content is low (as occurs during drought) nearly all of that energy is converted into heating the surface, and air temperatures rise significantly. Consequently, higher temperatures are due to the lack of evaporation, not a cause of significantly higher evaporation.

    this one at least he is not ignoring but telling us it is wrong.

  • Jan Pompe

    Luke

    I’m very taken with

    “Cai, W., and T. Cowan (2008), Evidence of impacts from rising temperature on inflows to the Murray-Darling Basin, Geophys. Res. Lett., 35,”

    Strikes me there is an inversion of causation as described in Stewart Franks article

    When soil contains high moisture content, much of the sun’s energy is used in evaporation. Consequently, there is limited heating of the surface. When soil moisture content is low (as occurs during drought) nearly all of that energy is converted into heating the surface, and air temperatures rise significantly. Consequently, higher temperatures are due to the lack of evaporation, not a cause of significantly higher evaporation.

    this one at least he is not ignoring but telling us it is wrong.

  • http://www.ecoengineers.com Steve Short

    Luke

    “The government may be overstating the evidence – the sceptics are recklessly downplaying the evidence. CSIRO and BoM are getting on with the research and buffeted by many counter-opposing forces. So they need to keep straight and true.”

    Actually, this is a youtfully naive view because it accords a level of unquestionable authority to the work of CSIRO and BOM which anyone who who has worked in, or with such bodies and/or carefully follows the international literature on high-resolution regional climate models shows is just not sustainable. This is why people like Franks who know this is the case are able to soundly critique their work.

    For example, a paper just out in Nature Geoscience by Gert Lenderink and Erik Van Meijgaard at the Royal Netherland Meteorological Institute (KNMI), is causing a stir in that it draws into question the model-predicted effects of regional warming on precipitation extreme rainfall rates. Lenderink and Erik Van Meijgaard have found that one hour extreme precipitation events are likely to increase at a rate close to 14% per degree of warming i.e. approximately twice the rate governed by the Clausius-Clapeyron (C-C) relation, over large parts of Europe. Given the way the CSIRO/BOM assumes scaling of upward tropospheric motions (which produce convective showers) in accord with C-C and the paucity of good widespread pluviometric data in SE Australia (as opposed to daily rainfall data) it would be reasonable to ask just how they validated their model as a predictor of (say) changes in extreme daily precipitation.

    As someone who spent 11 years as a senior research scientist in a Federal Govt. agency only to move on to Europe to further my researches and the younger brother of a formerly eminent CSIRO agricultural scientist (now deceased) who also ended up doing the same in the US, I know only too well how naive it would be assume the good old ‘Antipodes Effect’ is no longer still alive and well in organisations like CSIRO etc.

    While there are very good people in these organisations there are also a lot of pedestrian wallies who read the international literature only with reluctance, are often ‘gods in the own minds’ and (most of all) just love to create their cosy little down under cabals of ‘agreed truth’.

    These are very small ponds after all and they are replete with their own fat little froggies.

  • http://www.ecoengineers.com Steve Short

    Luke

    “The government may be overstating the evidence – the sceptics are recklessly downplaying the evidence. CSIRO and BoM are getting on with the research and buffeted by many counter-opposing forces. So they need to keep straight and true.”

    Actually, this is a youtfully naive view because it accords a level of unquestionable authority to the work of CSIRO and BOM which anyone who who has worked in, or with such bodies and/or carefully follows the international literature on high-resolution regional climate models shows is just not sustainable. This is why people like Franks who know this is the case are able to soundly critique their work.

    For example, a paper just out in Nature Geoscience by Gert Lenderink and Erik Van Meijgaard at the Royal Netherland Meteorological Institute (KNMI), is causing a stir in that it draws into question the model-predicted effects of regional warming on precipitation extreme rainfall rates. Lenderink and Erik Van Meijgaard have found that one hour extreme precipitation events are likely to increase at a rate close to 14% per degree of warming i.e. approximately twice the rate governed by the Clausius-Clapeyron (C-C) relation, over large parts of Europe. Given the way the CSIRO/BOM assumes scaling of upward tropospheric motions (which produce convective showers) in accord with C-C and the paucity of good widespread pluviometric data in SE Australia (as opposed to daily rainfall data) it would be reasonable to ask just how they validated their model as a predictor of (say) changes in extreme daily precipitation.

    As someone who spent 11 years as a senior research scientist in a Federal Govt. agency only to move on to Europe to further my researches and the younger brother of a formerly eminent CSIRO agricultural scientist (now deceased) who also ended up doing the same in the US, I know only too well how naive it would be assume the good old ‘Antipodes Effect’ is no longer still alive and well in organisations like CSIRO etc.

    While there are very good people in these organisations there are also a lot of pedestrian wallies who read the international literature only with reluctance, are often ‘gods in the own minds’ and (most of all) just love to create their cosy little down under cabals of ‘agreed truth’.

    These are very small ponds after all and they are replete with their own fat little froggies.

  • Luke

    With respect you guys are all over the shop here. This is not about solely about models – this is about observed meteorological phenomena, detailed observations and a modelling understanding of those mechanisms. Franks has not shown any duty of care by ignoring all the recent literature.

    It’s actually a remarkable effort to miss all of it !

    Franks hasn’t done a critique at all – it’s just a swifty op-ed from the Gantt chart of sceptic central. Was his turn this week.

    He has not considered the evaporative effect of temperature on canopy vegetation nor the issue of vapour flux movement in heated soils (Rose 1968).

    Indeed he misses the entire point – the of course in drought temperatures are higher – but in the recent drought much higher than other droughts. The point. He should take it up with one of Australia’s best known climatologists – Neville Nicholls if he wants to debate the point in detail.

    “when you can project El Nino’s, La Nina’s, and the rest of the oscillations” – incomprehensible KuknKat ?? Have you even attempted to read any of the literature – of course not.

  • Luke

    With respect you guys are all over the shop here. This is not about solely about models – this is about observed meteorological phenomena, detailed observations and a modelling understanding of those mechanisms. Franks has not shown any duty of care by ignoring all the recent literature.

    It’s actually a remarkable effort to miss all of it !

    Franks hasn’t done a critique at all – it’s just a swifty op-ed from the Gantt chart of sceptic central. Was his turn this week.

    He has not considered the evaporative effect of temperature on canopy vegetation nor the issue of vapour flux movement in heated soils (Rose 1968).

    Indeed he misses the entire point – the of course in drought temperatures are higher – but in the recent drought much higher than other droughts. The point. He should take it up with one of Australia’s best known climatologists – Neville Nicholls if he wants to debate the point in detail.

    “when you can project El Nino’s, La Nina’s, and the rest of the oscillations” – incomprehensible KuknKat ?? Have you even attempted to read any of the literature – of course not.

  • http://landshape.org/enm admin

    Hi Luke. You are a worthy adversary and contributor and I am not trying to blow smoke, though I think the organized skeptic movement comments are rhetorical.

    It seems the issue is about a nonlinearity in soil moisture and temperature. Can you provide a link to a good graphic of data illustrating the relationship?

  • http://landshape.org/enm admin

    Hi Luke. You are a worthy adversary and contributor and I am not trying to blow smoke, though I think the organized skeptic movement comments are rhetorical.

    It seems the issue is about a nonlinearity in soil moisture and temperature. Can you provide a link to a good graphic of data illustrating the relationship?

  • Demesure

    “This is not about solely about models – this is about observed meteorological phenomena, detailed observations and a modelling understanding of those mechanisms.”
    ——————————–

    Luke, climate models have so many tuning knobs that they can generate any result you want. They are unable to predict anything on local scales, see chap 8 and 11 of 4AR! So saying they can help understand climate mechanisms is like saying the tail wag the dog. It’s a leap of faith.

    As to the “detailed observations” (whatever that means), most of them only exist in the weather satellite era, that is about 30 years, less than half the periodicities of most oceanic oscillations like the PDO which have proven impact on regional climates.

    So your reasonning is similar to taking just a half cycle of sinus then claiming it’s a positive function. It’s sounds true but it’s false.

    Like it or not, climate models just generate virtual realities to order. They can’t even decently backcast observed data. If they could, you would have shown papers assessing their skill (or lack of) instead of a smoke screen made of a list of “papers”.
    But you know well you can’t.

  • Demesure

    “This is not about solely about models – this is about observed meteorological phenomena, detailed observations and a modelling understanding of those mechanisms.”
    ——————————–

    Luke, climate models have so many tuning knobs that they can generate any result you want. They are unable to predict anything on local scales, see chap 8 and 11 of 4AR! So saying they can help understand climate mechanisms is like saying the tail wag the dog. It’s a leap of faith.

    As to the “detailed observations” (whatever that means), most of them only exist in the weather satellite era, that is about 30 years, less than half the periodicities of most oceanic oscillations like the PDO which have proven impact on regional climates.

    So your reasonning is similar to taking just a half cycle of sinus then claiming it’s a positive function. It’s sounds true but it’s false.

    Like it or not, climate models just generate virtual realities to order. They can’t even decently backcast observed data. If they could, you would have shown papers assessing their skill (or lack of) instead of a smoke screen made of a list of “papers”.
    But you know well you can’t.

  • Geoff Sherrington

    This is sad. Luke, you are so closed mind.

    I had the honour of working for CSIRO in the 60′s, although playing a small part, in the introduction of Townsville stylo for the cattle industry. My boss, Les Edye, later gained a CSIRO Medal. We did a good job without frightening schoolchildren.

    In the 70s to 90s I was fairly heavily involved in the selection, design and funding of a number of CSIRO projects with considerable industry funds, thus allowing some divisions to avoid staff shedding. I was quite deeply involved with some of the senior management at the then Atomic Energy Commission. We did a world calss job despite efforts of politicians to have their way. Indeed, I was behind an action that took some to the Full Bench of the High Court, for trying to interfere with our legitimate expectations.

    These interactions with good CSIRO scientists and their cousins taught me a great deal more about logical thought, physics, chemistry, isotopes, nuclear power and other subjects like plant nutrition.

    My sadness is because the standard has fallen in places. The “green” influence on science has been devastating, because it subverts corrrect science in the quest to find an answer that will gain more funding. It has opened the gate to political interference when green politicians hold a power balance. Political interference was feared by Sir David Rivett, if you read his letters.

    Luke, it is YOU who stands out as the exception. The people you call skeptics in a derisory way are often most accomplished scientists and mathematicians but you want to treat them like inferiors. You are the one on the fringe.

    I would be delighted to see the former standards of CSIRO science (which I suspect still exist in many divisions that I have not interacted with for some time) will one day be learned by those doing climate research.

    There is no way that I for one, as a “hard” sciences graduate, will bow to the falsely-assumed authority of an “egophysiologist”, whatever that might be.

  • Geoff Sherrington

    This is sad. Luke, you are so closed mind.

    I had the honour of working for CSIRO in the 60′s, although playing a small part, in the introduction of Townsville stylo for the cattle industry. My boss, Les Edye, later gained a CSIRO Medal. We did a good job without frightening schoolchildren.

    In the 70s to 90s I was fairly heavily involved in the selection, design and funding of a number of CSIRO projects with considerable industry funds, thus allowing some divisions to avoid staff shedding. I was quite deeply involved with some of the senior management at the then Atomic Energy Commission. We did a world calss job despite efforts of politicians to have their way. Indeed, I was behind an action that took some to the Full Bench of the High Court, for trying to interfere with our legitimate expectations.

    These interactions with good CSIRO scientists and their cousins taught me a great deal more about logical thought, physics, chemistry, isotopes, nuclear power and other subjects like plant nutrition.

    My sadness is because the standard has fallen in places. The “green” influence on science has been devastating, because it subverts corrrect science in the quest to find an answer that will gain more funding. It has opened the gate to political interference when green politicians hold a power balance. Political interference was feared by Sir David Rivett, if you read his letters.

    Luke, it is YOU who stands out as the exception. The people you call skeptics in a derisory way are often most accomplished scientists and mathematicians but you want to treat them like inferiors. You are the one on the fringe.

    I would be delighted to see the former standards of CSIRO science (which I suspect still exist in many divisions that I have not interacted with for some time) will one day be learned by those doing climate research.

    There is no way that I for one, as a “hard” sciences graduate, will bow to the falsely-assumed authority of an “egophysiologist”, whatever that might be.

  • Geoff Sherrington

    Luke,

    Might you add this to your list of references?

    22-23 November 2004
    Pan evaporation: An example of the detection and attribution of trends in climate variables
    Edited by
    Roger M Gifford
    Supported by the Australian Greenhouse Office and the Australian Academy of Science
    April 2005

    Start of first statement:

    “There is no evidence anywhere in the world of large-scale, long-term increases in potential evaporation estimated as “Class A pan evaporation” over the past several decades, despite well-documented global warming.”

  • Geoff Sherrington

    Luke,

    Might you add this to your list of references?

    22-23 November 2004
    Pan evaporation: An example of the detection and attribution of trends in climate variables
    Edited by
    Roger M Gifford
    Supported by the Australian Greenhouse Office and the Australian Academy of Science
    April 2005

    Start of first statement:

    “There is no evidence anywhere in the world of large-scale, long-term increases in potential evaporation estimated as “Class A pan evaporation” over the past several decades, despite well-documented global warming.”

  • Louis Hissink

    Mechanisms?

    If the plasma universe theories are right, then the earth’s weather is dominated by electrical forces and therefore little wonder climate models can’t predict anything.

  • Louis Hissink

    Mechanisms?

    If the plasma universe theories are right, then the earth’s weather is dominated by electrical forces and therefore little wonder climate models can’t predict anything.

  • Luke

    Somewhat – it’s just that strange feeling of synchronicity in newspaper op-ed frequency and blog action – and how certain people keep turning up at the same place. Sort of like those clusters of Los Ninos? :-)

    You could probably do us a chi-square or something on that ! :-;

    And given societies like Lavoisier and the Australian Climate Coal-ition (or Cool-ition) seem to exist sharing web site IPs with their NZ and US counterparts – well they’d be failing in their mission statements, performance indicators and stakeholders if they weren’t having a go !

    BTW for the record I’m not too keen on a carbon tax myself either – so I’m just arguing the climate science.

    But that’s enough sledging … back to it.

    On evaporation – yes obviously wetter surfaces would be cooler. But things are much more complex that that.

    But there are a few issues here.

    (1) Temperature is a fundamental part of the Penman-Monteith evaporation equation – i..e evaporation is a function of wind run, solar radiation, vapor pressure (~humidity but different), and temperature. And we have to be careful – warmer doesn’t always mean more evaporation. Darwin has a higher annual temperature than Alice Springs but Alice Springs has greater evaporation – more sunshine, less clouds, drier air.

    So there’s your equation. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Penman-Monteith.

    But things aren’t as simple as that

    (2) Nicholls says temperature in these droughts are higher and have created higher evaporative demand than other droughts http://www.springerlink.com/content/r080521301858622/

    (3) But there’s more to life than soil surfaces – the native tree vegetation will also experience higher evaporative demand extracting water from well beneath the root zone of pasture and crop plants and thereby reducing stream inflows

    (4) Soil evaporation has various stages i.e. Stage I, II and III if one were using something like the Ritchie soil water balance model. http://soil.scijournals.org/cgi/content/full/67/2/377 So this makes things more complicated. Indeed a landscape requires a water balance involving soil types, soil depth, pasture, trees and crops.

    (5) Furthermore under high drought temperatures water vapour transport in soils may be affected. (Rose, 1968, Aust J Soil Research). And the horizontal transport (advection) of sensible heat through the vegetation cover can cause anomalous evaporation rates – the clothesline effect.

    (6) There’s evidence that high evaporation years are in the recent years but solutions to daily water balance really requires daily time steps so annual figures really aren’t that much use. http://www.bom.gov.au/web01/ncc/www/cli_chg/timeseries/evap/0112/vic/latest.txt and http://www.bom.gov.au/web01/ncc/www/cli_chg/timeseries/evap/0112/nsw/latest.txt

  • Luke

    Somewhat – it’s just that strange feeling of synchronicity in newspaper op-ed frequency and blog action – and how certain people keep turning up at the same place. Sort of like those clusters of Los Ninos? :-)

    You could probably do us a chi-square or something on that ! :-;

    And given societies like Lavoisier and the Australian Climate Coal-ition (or Cool-ition) seem to exist sharing web site IPs with their NZ and US counterparts – well they’d be failing in their mission statements, performance indicators and stakeholders if they weren’t having a go !

    BTW for the record I’m not too keen on a carbon tax myself either – so I’m just arguing the climate science.

    But that’s enough sledging … back to it.

    On evaporation – yes obviously wetter surfaces would be cooler. But things are much more complex that that.

    But there are a few issues here.

    (1) Temperature is a fundamental part of the Penman-Monteith evaporation equation – i..e evaporation is a function of wind run, solar radiation, vapor pressure (~humidity but different), and temperature. And we have to be careful – warmer doesn’t always mean more evaporation. Darwin has a higher annual temperature than Alice Springs but Alice Springs has greater evaporation – more sunshine, less clouds, drier air.

    So there’s your equation. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Penman-Monteith.

    But things aren’t as simple as that

    (2) Nicholls says temperature in these droughts are higher and have created higher evaporative demand than other droughts http://www.springerlink.com/content/r080521301858622/

    (3) But there’s more to life than soil surfaces – the native tree vegetation will also experience higher evaporative demand extracting water from well beneath the root zone of pasture and crop plants and thereby reducing stream inflows

    (4) Soil evaporation has various stages i.e. Stage I, II and III if one were using something like the Ritchie soil water balance model. http://soil.scijournals.org/cgi/content/full/67/2/377 So this makes things more complicated. Indeed a landscape requires a water balance involving soil types, soil depth, pasture, trees and crops.

    (5) Furthermore under high drought temperatures water vapour transport in soils may be affected. (Rose, 1968, Aust J Soil Research). And the horizontal transport (advection) of sensible heat through the vegetation cover can cause anomalous evaporation rates – the clothesline effect.

    (6) There’s evidence that high evaporation years are in the recent years but solutions to daily water balance really requires daily time steps so annual figures really aren’t that much use. http://www.bom.gov.au/web01/ncc/www/cli_chg/timeseries/evap/0112/vic/latest.txt and http://www.bom.gov.au/web01/ncc/www/cli_chg/timeseries/evap/0112/nsw/latest.txt

  • Luke

    Geoff – global long term trends are not issue here. It’s local MDB evaporative demand in drought years.

  • Luke

    Geoff – global long term trends are not issue here. It’s local MDB evaporative demand in drought years.

  • Geoff Sherrington

    Luke,

    Perhaps you could educate us all by writing a short essay here on the puzzle of pan evaporation versus temperature, in the local context and obviously in the instrumental era. IIRC, it has not been solved to the satisfaction of everyone. Buut matbe the problem is my recall, granted.

    If you quote Neville as “Nicholls says temperature in these droughts are higher and have created higher evaporative demand than other droughts ” then you should state how he arrives at what expected evaporative demand SHOULD have applied in these recent examples. Is it not a cat chasing its tail type of logic?

  • Geoff Sherrington

    Luke,

    Perhaps you could educate us all by writing a short essay here on the puzzle of pan evaporation versus temperature, in the local context and obviously in the instrumental era. IIRC, it has not been solved to the satisfaction of everyone. Buut matbe the problem is my recall, granted.

    If you quote Neville as “Nicholls says temperature in these droughts are higher and have created higher evaporative demand than other droughts ” then you should state how he arrives at what expected evaporative demand SHOULD have applied in these recent examples. Is it not a cat chasing its tail type of logic?

  • http://www.ecoengineers.com Steve Short

    Geoff

    You are not the only one who gets confused by Luke’s tendency to blow a ragtag bunch of buzz words, old references and largely undergraduate stuff in our direction. It’s reminds me of the old Peter Sellers joke: ‘I fart in your general direction!’.

    I am the principal of a long time environmental engineering which has as one of it many activities the management of water requirements for mine sites and for the rehabilitation of mining-affected lands, quite often in arid zones. We even consult widely in California and similar places in this regard.

    Our young engineers hardly ever have recourse to old relationships like Penman-Monteith etc simply because we are interested in evapotranspiration (ET) rather than evaporation. By the same token we are relatively uninterested in Class A pan evporation etc.

    These days we (and everyone else in this ‘game’) tend to use lysimeters, neutron probes, gypsum block sensors etc for soil water characteristics curves and for estimating ET. Our own activities in respect to soil moisture and ET are therefore hardly different to those consultants advising on and managing broad acre agricultural enterprises.

    The study and monitoring of soil moisture and ET over long periods is not a trivial exercise. This is a very big subject but in practical terms it has come a long way over the last two decades in terms of the instrumental methods and 3D modeling tools available.

    In this context I would be very interested if Luke would actually post up some state-of-the-art literature showing annualised trends observed in the long term monitoring of soil moisture in, and ET from, well-defined test areas on pastures, in woodlots etc in drought-affected areas

    By the same token I’d also be interested in published water balance stuff from small catchments with shallow semi-confined aquifers because in our experience, water balance modeling based on pluviographic and hydrographic monitoring of small catchments (i.e. where rainfall distribution heterogeneity is negligible) tend to give the most accurate long term measures of and trends for ET (the closure term in non-linear catchment modeling). This generally requires time steps smaller than daily.

  • http://www.ecoengineers.com Steve Short

    Geoff

    You are not the only one who gets confused by Luke’s tendency to blow a ragtag bunch of buzz words, old references and largely undergraduate stuff in our direction. It’s reminds me of the old Peter Sellers joke: ‘I fart in your general direction!’.

    I am the principal of a long time environmental engineering which has as one of it many activities the management of water requirements for mine sites and for the rehabilitation of mining-affected lands, quite often in arid zones. We even consult widely in California and similar places in this regard.

    Our young engineers hardly ever have recourse to old relationships like Penman-Monteith etc simply because we are interested in evapotranspiration (ET) rather than evaporation. By the same token we are relatively uninterested in Class A pan evporation etc.

    These days we (and everyone else in this ‘game’) tend to use lysimeters, neutron probes, gypsum block sensors etc for soil water characteristics curves and for estimating ET. Our own activities in respect to soil moisture and ET are therefore hardly different to those consultants advising on and managing broad acre agricultural enterprises.

    The study and monitoring of soil moisture and ET over long periods is not a trivial exercise. This is a very big subject but in practical terms it has come a long way over the last two decades in terms of the instrumental methods and 3D modeling tools available.

    In this context I would be very interested if Luke would actually post up some state-of-the-art literature showing annualised trends observed in the long term monitoring of soil moisture in, and ET from, well-defined test areas on pastures, in woodlots etc in drought-affected areas

    By the same token I’d also be interested in published water balance stuff from small catchments with shallow semi-confined aquifers because in our experience, water balance modeling based on pluviographic and hydrographic monitoring of small catchments (i.e. where rainfall distribution heterogeneity is negligible) tend to give the most accurate long term measures of and trends for ET (the closure term in non-linear catchment modeling). This generally requires time steps smaller than daily.

  • http://www.gravatar.com/avatar/88875c95e4718517203d3269c18423ef?s=48 Luke

    Gee Steve – you’re so knowledgeable- what’s a lysometer?

    And thanks for the tip on evapotranspiration – I might have to look that one up.

    State of the art literature – well I’d have to defer to you as I’m not in the ‘game’.

  • http://www.gravatar.com/avatar/88875c95e4718517203d3269c18423ef?s=48 Luke

    Gee Steve – you’re so knowledgeable- what’s a lysometer?

    And thanks for the tip on evapotranspiration – I might have to look that one up.

    State of the art literature – well I’d have to defer to you as I’m not in the ‘game’.

  • http://www.gravatar.com/avatar/88875c95e4718517203d3269c18423ef?s=64 Luke

    Steve – you can probably give us a dissertation on the relative merits of time domain reflectometry, C-probes and eddy correlation too. I mean why not go the whole hog? And I still haven’t worked out dudes do with Krypton hygrometers either? Man I need some pointers. It’s all just too hard.

  • http://www.gravatar.com/avatar/88875c95e4718517203d3269c18423ef?s=64 Luke

    Steve – you can probably give us a dissertation on the relative merits of time domain reflectometry, C-probes and eddy correlation too. I mean why not go the whole hog? And I still haven’t worked out dudes do with Krypton hygrometers either? Man I need some pointers. It’s all just too hard.

  • http://www.ecoengineers.com Steve Short

    OK. Let’s follow the KISS principle. You post the good, modern references as per my last 2 paras above. Everyone can then read them, comment and discuss. Voila!

  • http://www.ecoengineers.com Steve Short

    OK. Let’s follow the KISS principle. You post the good, modern references as per my last 2 paras above. Everyone can then read them, comment and discuss. Voila!

  • http://www.gravatar.com/avatar/88875c95e4718517203d3269c18423ef?s=64 Luke

    Well you could get all sophistamuckated and get into flux towers and stuff. But Steve you’d have to be really smart like you to understand it and gee you wouldn’t want to come up against the old P-M would you.

    Helen A. Cleugh, Ray Leuning, Qiaozhen Mu, Steven W. Running, Regional evaporation estimates from flux tower and MODIS satellite data, Remote Sensing of EnvironmentVolume 106, Issue 3, , 15 February 2007, Pages 285-304.

  • http://www.gravatar.com/avatar/88875c95e4718517203d3269c18423ef?s=64 Luke

    Well you could get all sophistamuckated and get into flux towers and stuff. But Steve you’d have to be really smart like you to understand it and gee you wouldn’t want to come up against the old P-M would you.

    Helen A. Cleugh, Ray Leuning, Qiaozhen Mu, Steven W. Running, Regional evaporation estimates from flux tower and MODIS satellite data, Remote Sensing of EnvironmentVolume 106, Issue 3, , 15 February 2007, Pages 285-304.

  • http://www.ecoengineers.com Steve Short

    A rather ironic reference coming from one who is always so quick to accuse the sceptics of dodgy references.

    This reference obviously doesn’t in any way address the two specific microclimatic contexts I clearly defined in the last 2 paras of my post above.

    Remember we are looking for trends in soil moisture and ET here.

    It is well known that there are lots more opportunities for confounding factors when trying to measure water balances on a regional scale. For example, how can you then factor in long term trends in broad scale groundwater storage? If the groundwater system is linked to a gaining or losing river you’d have no hope. How can you factor in the ET consequences of cropping/land use changes etc.

    It is a bit laughable when you are trying to make a point about actual long term trends in ET UNDER CONTROLLED CONDITIONS.

    Flux tower = lysimeter (NOT lysometer) by another name. It is also very well known that satellite sensing of water content (and we even have a literature file on satellite sensing of river flows) is relatively imprecise.

    Tell me Luke, did you actually ever do that oh so very necessary apprenticeship in the hard yards of years of careful and painstaking field measurement?

    I’ll give your Cleugh et al. reference a look see and tell you what I think.

    But I’d never buy a used car from you….

  • http://www.ecoengineers.com Steve Short

    A rather ironic reference coming from one who is always so quick to accuse the sceptics of dodgy references.

    This reference obviously doesn’t in any way address the two specific microclimatic contexts I clearly defined in the last 2 paras of my post above.

    Remember we are looking for trends in soil moisture and ET here.

    It is well known that there are lots more opportunities for confounding factors when trying to measure water balances on a regional scale. For example, how can you then factor in long term trends in broad scale groundwater storage? If the groundwater system is linked to a gaining or losing river you’d have no hope. How can you factor in the ET consequences of cropping/land use changes etc.

    It is a bit laughable when you are trying to make a point about actual long term trends in ET UNDER CONTROLLED CONDITIONS.

    Flux tower = lysimeter (NOT lysometer) by another name. It is also very well known that satellite sensing of water content (and we even have a literature file on satellite sensing of river flows) is relatively imprecise.

    Tell me Luke, did you actually ever do that oh so very necessary apprenticeship in the hard yards of years of careful and painstaking field measurement?

    I’ll give your Cleugh et al. reference a look see and tell you what I think.

    But I’d never buy a used car from you….

  • Luke

    Oh I didn’t realise it was a lysimetre – what’s it do?

  • Luke

    Oh I didn’t realise it was a lysimetre – what’s it do?

  • Luke

    I guess like you’ve done the hard yards in oceanography and climatology modelling? Stop being such a bugger. Steve you’re a big head know it all. All you’re doing is now following me around trying to prove who has the biggest dick. At this point I’m just talking crap to see how much you will bite. Licesometer LOL !

    If I’m a dweeb – why are you spending all your time reacting to me. Why don’t you initiate some discussion on evaporation or evapotranspiration yourself.

    So be nice !

    In any case the discussion was about basin wide issues. The catchment is somewhat vegetated so broad area evapotranspiration including trees is relevant is relevant. We don’t have any studies that I’m aware of with your flash instruments that go back over decades – that’s why impoverished grass mechanics might be back at simpler meteorological variables.

    If you read what I said initially in points 1-6 it’s much more complicated than soil or pan evaporation. Your issue anyway. And the Rose reference may be old but subtle.

    Anyway the real issue under contention is that evaporative demand driven by temperature was greater in the Millennium Drought than the Federation or 1940s drought. i.e. an AGW tweak.

    Not what some small study for a couple of years that some spoil heap jockey might do with a neutron probe measuring god knows what might produce to bluff the clients. OK delete that.

    So if you wanna discuss the issue on MDB drought evap – let’s roll. I’m sooo dumb I might learn something.

    Here’s some “smudged non-state of the art” real data. http://www.oznet.unimelb.edu.au/

    We can trudge through CRC Catchment Hydrology studies if you want.

    Perhaps for climate boffins they’d just roll their eyes anyway. As it’s all about land surface schema. e.g.

    Relationship between temporal surface temperature trends and soil moisture status: an exploratory study with a coupled land surface-atmosphere model
    McKee, S.R.; Kalma, J.D.; Franks, S.W.; Shao, Y.
    Geoscience and Remote Sensing Symposium, 2001. IGARSS apos;01. IEEE 2001 International
    Volume 3, Issue , 2001 Page(s):1312 – 1314 vol.3
    Digital Object Identifier 10.1109/IGARSS.2001.976829
    Summary:In this study, we will demonstrate the uncertainty in the atmosphere evolution of a numerical weather prediction (NWP) model due to uncertainty in land surface fluxes. The NWP Model used in this work is the Computational Environmental Modelling System (CEMSYS 3) developed at the University of New South Wales. Simulations have been carried out for the whole of the Australian continent using 50 km grid spacing, with atmospheric forcing data supplied by the US National Center for Environmental Processes (NCEP). The simulations have been carried out for February 1996 for a range of continent-wide initial surface wetness conditions. The results show strong associations between simulated time sequences of soil moisture availability and surface heating rates.

    But it won’t help the original question.

    So like all consultants – you wouldn’t be trying to sell me some flash kit that doesn’t answer the question would you?

    Had enough frill necked lizard stuff?

  • Luke

    I guess like you’ve done the hard yards in oceanography and climatology modelling? Stop being such a bugger. Steve you’re a big head know it all. All you’re doing is now following me around trying to prove who has the biggest dick. At this point I’m just talking crap to see how much you will bite. Licesometer LOL !

    If I’m a dweeb – why are you spending all your time reacting to me. Why don’t you initiate some discussion on evaporation or evapotranspiration yourself.

    So be nice !

    In any case the discussion was about basin wide issues. The catchment is somewhat vegetated so broad area evapotranspiration including trees is relevant is relevant. We don’t have any studies that I’m aware of with your flash instruments that go back over decades – that’s why impoverished grass mechanics might be back at simpler meteorological variables.

    If you read what I said initially in points 1-6 it’s much more complicated than soil or pan evaporation. Your issue anyway. And the Rose reference may be old but subtle.

    Anyway the real issue under contention is that evaporative demand driven by temperature was greater in the Millennium Drought than the Federation or 1940s drought. i.e. an AGW tweak.

    Not what some small study for a couple of years that some spoil heap jockey might do with a neutron probe measuring god knows what might produce to bluff the clients. OK delete that.

    So if you wanna discuss the issue on MDB drought evap – let’s roll. I’m sooo dumb I might learn something.

    Here’s some “smudged non-state of the art” real data. http://www.oznet.unimelb.edu.au/

    We can trudge through CRC Catchment Hydrology studies if you want.

    Perhaps for climate boffins they’d just roll their eyes anyway. As it’s all about land surface schema. e.g.

    Relationship between temporal surface temperature trends and soil moisture status: an exploratory study with a coupled land surface-atmosphere model
    McKee, S.R.; Kalma, J.D.; Franks, S.W.; Shao, Y.
    Geoscience and Remote Sensing Symposium, 2001. IGARSS apos;01. IEEE 2001 International
    Volume 3, Issue , 2001 Page(s):1312 – 1314 vol.3
    Digital Object Identifier 10.1109/IGARSS.2001.976829
    Summary:In this study, we will demonstrate the uncertainty in the atmosphere evolution of a numerical weather prediction (NWP) model due to uncertainty in land surface fluxes. The NWP Model used in this work is the Computational Environmental Modelling System (CEMSYS 3) developed at the University of New South Wales. Simulations have been carried out for the whole of the Australian continent using 50 km grid spacing, with atmospheric forcing data supplied by the US National Center for Environmental Processes (NCEP). The simulations have been carried out for February 1996 for a range of continent-wide initial surface wetness conditions. The results show strong associations between simulated time sequences of soil moisture availability and surface heating rates.

    But it won’t help the original question.

    So like all consultants – you wouldn’t be trying to sell me some flash kit that doesn’t answer the question would you?

    Had enough frill necked lizard stuff?

  • http://www.ecoengineers.com Steve Short

    What has the Oznet database got to do with the price of fish? We routinely source such data all over the place. Heaps of engineers do.

    I keep reading your stuff but it is invariably all over the place in terms of logically proving with any degree of precision the actual contentions you make.

    What does a reference which starts out saying: ‘In this study, we will demonstrate the uncertainty in the atmosphere evolution of a numerical weather prediction (NWP) model due to uncertainty in land surface fluxes’ and which concludes with: ‘The results show strong associations between simulated time sequences of soil moisture availability and surface heating rates.’ tell us about the so-called quantitative difference between the Millennium Drought and the Federation or 1940s drought?

    Whose leg do you think you are pulling here? Only your own (and its the middle one).

    Seems to me you are essentially a ‘science’ groupie’ who ‘ gets off on the stuff’ but doesn’t actually do any of it (and possibly never has) so is therefore stuck with this weird ‘critical faculty bypass’ inhibiting any sorting of the wheat from the chaff.

    Heaven help us if you’re an example of the type writing the position papers for the politicians .

    I don’t need to follow you around, mate. I’ve got young engineers and scientists in their 20s with more logical focus and plain nous working for me (and damned marketable they are too).

    That would be like Mick Jagger following one of his young roadies……

  • http://www.ecoengineers.com Steve Short

    What has the Oznet database got to do with the price of fish? We routinely source such data all over the place. Heaps of engineers do.

    I keep reading your stuff but it is invariably all over the place in terms of logically proving with any degree of precision the actual contentions you make.

    What does a reference which starts out saying: ‘In this study, we will demonstrate the uncertainty in the atmosphere evolution of a numerical weather prediction (NWP) model due to uncertainty in land surface fluxes’ and which concludes with: ‘The results show strong associations between simulated time sequences of soil moisture availability and surface heating rates.’ tell us about the so-called quantitative difference between the Millennium Drought and the Federation or 1940s drought?

    Whose leg do you think you are pulling here? Only your own (and its the middle one).

    Seems to me you are essentially a ‘science’ groupie’ who ‘ gets off on the stuff’ but doesn’t actually do any of it (and possibly never has) so is therefore stuck with this weird ‘critical faculty bypass’ inhibiting any sorting of the wheat from the chaff.

    Heaven help us if you’re an example of the type writing the position papers for the politicians .

    I don’t need to follow you around, mate. I’ve got young engineers and scientists in their 20s with more logical focus and plain nous working for me (and damned marketable they are too).

    That would be like Mick Jagger following one of his young roadies……

  • Luke

    So again you’re following me around again. Doody doo. Here’s Steve having a go again.

    I don’t think you actually know about about ET or you might have said something by now. Just a flogger of flash kit you’ve bought which you don’t know the limits of.

    You’re 3rd paragraph is nonsensical. Haven’t a clue what you’re on about. I was simple making (the obvious point) for some that climatologists model evaporative processes somewhat differently.

    If the Oznet database is not useful (containing the sort of data you asked for ) – well you guys just have well HEAPS of it – well shucks – let’s use yours mate. Why are you wasting our time.

    Actually the number of times you name drop your business indicates to me you’ve got a chip on the shoulder or doing an advert.

    If you were writing for pollies you would have picked a fight with the management team and have written nothing.

    So I look back over this thread and you have contributed what? Nothing except for chipping me?

    Now do you want to stop being horrid and talk about ET or not?

  • Luke

    So again you’re following me around again. Doody doo. Here’s Steve having a go again.

    I don’t think you actually know about about ET or you might have said something by now. Just a flogger of flash kit you’ve bought which you don’t know the limits of.

    You’re 3rd paragraph is nonsensical. Haven’t a clue what you’re on about. I was simple making (the obvious point) for some that climatologists model evaporative processes somewhat differently.

    If the Oznet database is not useful (containing the sort of data you asked for ) – well you guys just have well HEAPS of it – well shucks – let’s use yours mate. Why are you wasting our time.

    Actually the number of times you name drop your business indicates to me you’ve got a chip on the shoulder or doing an advert.

    If you were writing for pollies you would have picked a fight with the management team and have written nothing.

    So I look back over this thread and you have contributed what? Nothing except for chipping me?

    Now do you want to stop being horrid and talk about ET or not?

  • http://www.ecoengineers.com Steve Short

    Luke:

    “Anyway the real issue under contention is that evaporative demand driven by temperature was greater in the Millennium Drought than the Federation or 1940s drought. i.e. an AGW tweak.”

    (1) Define ‘evaporative demand’.

    (2) Gimme the evidence.

  • http://www.ecoengineers.com Steve Short

    Luke:

    “Anyway the real issue under contention is that evaporative demand driven by temperature was greater in the Millennium Drought than the Federation or 1940s drought. i.e. an AGW tweak.”

    (1) Define ‘evaporative demand’.

    (2) Gimme the evidence.

  • Ric Techow

    Steve,
    As someone who works in the field, what is your opinion on Franks assertion that increased air temperature is a result of increased soil moisture loss due to reduced rainfall? i.e warming is driven by reduced rain rather than perhaps reduced rainfall being driven by increased warmth?

    What would be your first order assessment? What limits?

  • Ric Techow

    Steve,
    As someone who works in the field, what is your opinion on Franks assertion that increased air temperature is a result of increased soil moisture loss due to reduced rainfall? i.e warming is driven by reduced rain rather than perhaps reduced rainfall being driven by increased warmth?

    What would be your first order assessment? What limits?

  • http://www.ecoengineers.com Steve Short

    Ric

    It is true that statistically significant relations between morning soil surface heating and soil moisture are observed, with higher heating rates occurring under dry conditions. Faster surface heating in turns leads to higher surface air temperatures.

    Average surface heating is lower on days with higher than average wind speeds and cloud cover. For clear sky conditions this is the basis for satellite measurements of surface soil moisture from surface heating rate. The interpretation (from satellite sensing) becomes more difficult with increasing wind speeds and cloud cover.

    Franks says:

    “When soil contains high moisture content, much of the sun’s energy is used in evaporation. Consequently, there is limited heating of the surface. When soil moisture content is low (as occurs during drought) nearly all of that energy is converted into heating the surface, and air temperatures rise significantly. Consequently, higher temperatures are due to the lack of evaporation, not a cause of significantly higher evaporation.

    Cloud cover also provides a major control on air temperatures. El Nino delivers less rainfall but also less cloud cover. This has a major impact on the amount of the sun’s energy reaching land; far greater than the trivial increase in radiant energy caused by increased CO2. Again, in the absence of soil moisture, air temperatures increase. ”

    This is all true IMHO.

    So I wouldn’t say (as you do) that Franks is actually saying that “increased air temperature is a result of increased soil moisture loss due to reduced rainfall?”

    Actually increased soil moisture loss RATE implies a priori a higher soil moisture content (near the surface) and hence a cooler soil surface (and cooler air temperature). It is simply a case of evaporative cooling.

    There are quite a number of good reasons other than low rainfall why pre-existing soil moisture levels could be low and hence the soil surface heating rate is higher, leading to higher air temperatures. These relate to soil type/colour, subsurface hydrogeological status, current vegetation type and landuse, cloudiness, barometric pressure and wind conditions, surface roughness etc.

  • http://www.ecoengineers.com Steve Short

    Ric

    It is true that statistically significant relations between morning soil surface heating and soil moisture are observed, with higher heating rates occurring under dry conditions. Faster surface heating in turns leads to higher surface air temperatures.

    Average surface heating is lower on days with higher than average wind speeds and cloud cover. For clear sky conditions this is the basis for satellite measurements of surface soil moisture from surface heating rate. The interpretation (from satellite sensing) becomes more difficult with increasing wind speeds and cloud cover.

    Franks says:

    “When soil contains high moisture content, much of the sun’s energy is used in evaporation. Consequently, there is limited heating of the surface. When soil moisture content is low (as occurs during drought) nearly all of that energy is converted into heating the surface, and air temperatures rise significantly. Consequently, higher temperatures are due to the lack of evaporation, not a cause of significantly higher evaporation.

    Cloud cover also provides a major control on air temperatures. El Nino delivers less rainfall but also less cloud cover. This has a major impact on the amount of the sun’s energy reaching land; far greater than the trivial increase in radiant energy caused by increased CO2. Again, in the absence of soil moisture, air temperatures increase. ”

    This is all true IMHO.

    So I wouldn’t say (as you do) that Franks is actually saying that “increased air temperature is a result of increased soil moisture loss due to reduced rainfall?”

    Actually increased soil moisture loss RATE implies a priori a higher soil moisture content (near the surface) and hence a cooler soil surface (and cooler air temperature). It is simply a case of evaporative cooling.

    There are quite a number of good reasons other than low rainfall why pre-existing soil moisture levels could be low and hence the soil surface heating rate is higher, leading to higher air temperatures. These relate to soil type/colour, subsurface hydrogeological status, current vegetation type and landuse, cloudiness, barometric pressure and wind conditions, surface roughness etc.

  • kuhnkat

    Luke,

    why do your referenced studies have the word “simulation” appear so often if they purport to be studies of reality??

  • kuhnkat

    Luke,

    why do your referenced studies have the word “simulation” appear so often if they purport to be studies of reality??

  • http://www.ecoengineers.com Steve Short

    Hey Ric

    I’m rather intrigued.

    Just out of passing interest could you please tell me why embedded in your post was the apparently innocent statement: ”As someone who works in the field, what is your opinion on Franks assertion that increased air temperature is a result of increased soil moisture loss due to reduced rainfall?”

    when of course (as noted in my clarification above) Franks definitely never said that….

    BUT Luke’s reference:
    Relationship between temporal surface temperature trends and soil moisture status: an exploratory study with a coupled land surface-atmosphere model
    McKee, S.R.; Kalma, J.D.; Franks, S.W.; Shao, Y.
    Geoscience and Remote Sensing Symposium, 2001. IGARSS apos;01. IEEE 2001 International
    Volume 3, Issue , 2001 Page(s):1312 – 1314 vol.3
    Digital Object Identifier 10.1109/IGARSS.2001.976829

    DOES say this: “….The simulations have been carried out for February 1996 for a range of continent-wide initial surface wetness conditions. The results show strong associations between simulated time sequences of soil moisture availability and surface heating rates.”

    Hmmm….the name ‘Ric Techow’ wouldn’t just be yet another avatar for Luke would it? Not trying to pull one your silly ‘I’m so tricky’ ploys again are you Luke?

  • http://www.ecoengineers.com Steve Short

    Hey Ric

    I’m rather intrigued.

    Just out of passing interest could you please tell me why embedded in your post was the apparently innocent statement: ”As someone who works in the field, what is your opinion on Franks assertion that increased air temperature is a result of increased soil moisture loss due to reduced rainfall?”

    when of course (as noted in my clarification above) Franks definitely never said that….

    BUT Luke’s reference:
    Relationship between temporal surface temperature trends and soil moisture status: an exploratory study with a coupled land surface-atmosphere model
    McKee, S.R.; Kalma, J.D.; Franks, S.W.; Shao, Y.
    Geoscience and Remote Sensing Symposium, 2001. IGARSS apos;01. IEEE 2001 International
    Volume 3, Issue , 2001 Page(s):1312 – 1314 vol.3
    Digital Object Identifier 10.1109/IGARSS.2001.976829

    DOES say this: “….The simulations have been carried out for February 1996 for a range of continent-wide initial surface wetness conditions. The results show strong associations between simulated time sequences of soil moisture availability and surface heating rates.”

    Hmmm….the name ‘Ric Techow’ wouldn’t just be yet another avatar for Luke would it? Not trying to pull one your silly ‘I’m so tricky’ ploys again are you Luke?

  • http://www.ecoengineers.com Steve Short

    I guess it must be really annoying to a certain clique that Franks and Kalma etc at Newcastle have pioneered, and published so much in the field of remote sensing of soil moisture, ET etc.
    Its good to see that Matthew McCabe is now doing so well in the US (and publishing stuff with Chylek as well)!

    Here’s a nice little paper that David might appreciate:

    Spatial and temporal patterns of land
    surface fluxes from remotely sensed
    surface temperatures within an
    uncertainty modelling framework
    M. F. McCabe1, J. D. Kalma2, and S. W. Franks2

    http://www.hydrol-earth-syst-sci-discuss.net/2/569/2005/hessd-2-569-2005-print.pdf

  • http://www.ecoengineers.com Steve Short

    I guess it must be really annoying to a certain clique that Franks and Kalma etc at Newcastle have pioneered, and published so much in the field of remote sensing of soil moisture, ET etc.
    Its good to see that Matthew McCabe is now doing so well in the US (and publishing stuff with Chylek as well)!

    Here’s a nice little paper that David might appreciate:

    Spatial and temporal patterns of land
    surface fluxes from remotely sensed
    surface temperatures within an
    uncertainty modelling framework
    M. F. McCabe1, J. D. Kalma2, and S. W. Franks2

    http://www.hydrol-earth-syst-sci-discuss.net/2/569/2005/hessd-2-569-2005-print.pdf

  • Luke

    The hypothesis is that higher temperatures during this drought have caused more evaporative demand than other severe droughts.

    It’s not a question if temperatures increase during drought – that’s a ruse argument in this context – it’s whether higher temperatures (AGW related?) would increase evaporative demand – the water vapour gradient between the soil surface or leaf and the atmosphere much more than in other droughts.

    Well instrumented studies with neutron probes back to 1902 won’t be forthcoming ! – so we’re left with some “old stuff”.

    So if you compared this Millennium Drought with the 1902 Federation Drought or the 1940s droughts – dry landscapes, clear sunny cloudless days etc would still be assumed.

    Land use and overall vegetation cover on a catchment scale would have been different. Rising CO2 levels would modify the water use by plants over a century – with C3 and C4 species reacting somewhat differently.

    You could also complicate the issue going into land surface feedbacks – differences in albedo, surface roughness and stomatal conductance but I think the real issue is back at the fundamentals of the evaporative process.

    So you’ve got solar radiation, wind run and VPD.

    Could argue aerosols and global dimming but given we’ve gone back to brightening let’s assume for the moment that’s not the issue.

    Wind run – or increasing stillness has been advanced for a general trend over decades to less pan evaporation. But Rayner has pointed out that the effects of wind are not spatial coherent. Maybe site effects? http://ams.allenpress.com/perlserv/?request=get-abstract&doi=10.1175%2FJCLI4181.1

    But interesting in: http://www.rsbs.anu.edu.au/profiles/graham_farquhar/documents/255RoderickRoFaHopanattribGRL2007.pdf

    “Previous research reported a trend in pan evaporation rate, averaged over 61 Australian sites for 1975–2002, of _3.3 mm a_2 [Roderick and Farquhar, 2004]. This was later updated (an addendum is available from the authors) to _3.2 mm a_2 to account for the installation of bird guards. The trend for 1975–2004 over the same 61 sites is lower at _2.4 mm a_2 (results not shown) because of the high pan evaporation rates during the drought conditions prevailing over much of southeast Australia since 2002. “

    What’s that ? Higher pan evaporation rates? And enough to change the trend that much?

    So again we’re back to the specific Millennium Drought conditions…. and temperatures have definitely risen over the century.

    But it’s not high temperatures per se that increases evaporation rates – it’s the lower VPD that goes with high temperature that increases evaporative demand. So all things being equal – hotter conditions increase evaporative demand via increased VPD.

    But the diurnal temperature range is also relevant to VPD – and that has been decreasing 1950 to 2000. However the 21st century values are trending up in the MDB if you look at BoM’s canned analyses and past 2000.

    So not a conclusive argument – would need more detailed data – and happy to be proved wrong – but enough to give Cai’s statistical association with temperature and inflow some chance? (IMO groupie little opinion)

    So leaving the last word to Hobbins et al (2008) – the challenge is “to develop reliable global datasets of radiation, wind and humidity as well as air temperature and precipitation to permit physically sound estimations of water balance trends.”

  • Luke

    The hypothesis is that higher temperatures during this drought have caused more evaporative demand than other severe droughts.

    It’s not a question if temperatures increase during drought – that’s a ruse argument in this context – it’s whether higher temperatures (AGW related?) would increase evaporative demand – the water vapour gradient between the soil surface or leaf and the atmosphere much more than in other droughts.

    Well instrumented studies with neutron probes back to 1902 won’t be forthcoming ! – so we’re left with some “old stuff”.

    So if you compared this Millennium Drought with the 1902 Federation Drought or the 1940s droughts – dry landscapes, clear sunny cloudless days etc would still be assumed.

    Land use and overall vegetation cover on a catchment scale would have been different. Rising CO2 levels would modify the water use by plants over a century – with C3 and C4 species reacting somewhat differently.

    You could also complicate the issue going into land surface feedbacks – differences in albedo, surface roughness and stomatal conductance but I think the real issue is back at the fundamentals of the evaporative process.

    So you’ve got solar radiation, wind run and VPD.

    Could argue aerosols and global dimming but given we’ve gone back to brightening let’s assume for the moment that’s not the issue.

    Wind run – or increasing stillness has been advanced for a general trend over decades to less pan evaporation. But Rayner has pointed out that the effects of wind are not spatial coherent. Maybe site effects? http://ams.allenpress.com/perlserv/?request=get-abstract&doi=10.1175%2FJCLI4181.1

    But interesting in: http://www.rsbs.anu.edu.au/profiles/graham_farquhar/documents/255RoderickRoFaHopanattribGRL2007.pdf

    “Previous research reported a trend in pan evaporation rate, averaged over 61 Australian sites for 1975–2002, of _3.3 mm a_2 [Roderick and Farquhar, 2004]. This was later updated (an addendum is available from the authors) to _3.2 mm a_2 to account for the installation of bird guards. The trend for 1975–2004 over the same 61 sites is lower at _2.4 mm a_2 (results not shown) because of the high pan evaporation rates during the drought conditions prevailing over much of southeast Australia since 2002. “

    What’s that ? Higher pan evaporation rates? And enough to change the trend that much?

    So again we’re back to the specific Millennium Drought conditions…. and temperatures have definitely risen over the century.

    But it’s not high temperatures per se that increases evaporation rates – it’s the lower VPD that goes with high temperature that increases evaporative demand. So all things being equal – hotter conditions increase evaporative demand via increased VPD.

    But the diurnal temperature range is also relevant to VPD – and that has been decreasing 1950 to 2000. However the 21st century values are trending up in the MDB if you look at BoM’s canned analyses and past 2000.

    So not a conclusive argument – would need more detailed data – and happy to be proved wrong – but enough to give Cai’s statistical association with temperature and inflow some chance? (IMO groupie little opinion)

    So leaving the last word to Hobbins et al (2008) – the challenge is “to develop reliable global datasets of radiation, wind and humidity as well as air temperature and precipitation to permit physically sound estimations of water balance trends.”

  • Luke

    And – I’m not Ric – I assumed it was your own sock puppet or an actual other person using the internet (try Google).

    KuhnKat – try reading the papers – I assume by your logic all the observations must have been fabricated then ? :-) – it’s also a tad difficult to hold the world in your hand.

  • Luke

    And – I’m not Ric – I assumed it was your own sock puppet or an actual other person using the internet (try Google).

    KuhnKat – try reading the papers – I assume by your logic all the observations must have been fabricated then ? :-) – it’s also a tad difficult to hold the world in your hand.

  • http://www.ecoengineers.com Steve Short

    Much, much, much better. Now you are talking calmly and coherently. Got to rush out to dinner right now but will digest your comments later tonight. Thank you.

    A very quick thought. Have you talked to Patrick DeDekker about geothermometry of living ostracods of shallow groundwaters?

  • http://www.ecoengineers.com Steve Short

    Much, much, much better. Now you are talking calmly and coherently. Got to rush out to dinner right now but will digest your comments later tonight. Thank you.

    A very quick thought. Have you talked to Patrick DeDekker about geothermometry of living ostracods of shallow groundwaters?

  • Geoff Sherrington

    For Luke who concludes_
    “So leaving the last word to Hobbins et al (2008) – the challenge is “to develop reliable global datasets of radiation, wind and humidity as well as air temperature and precipitation to permit physically sound estimations of water balance trends.”

    What, then, is the source of data used in hindcast modelling? What is its reliability? Are we sure there are no more confounding effects like bird splash on evaporation data? Are we sure we have even a reliable historical temperature data set, because many of us do not believe we do?

  • Geoff Sherrington

    For Luke who concludes_
    “So leaving the last word to Hobbins et al (2008) – the challenge is “to develop reliable global datasets of radiation, wind and humidity as well as air temperature and precipitation to permit physically sound estimations of water balance trends.”

    What, then, is the source of data used in hindcast modelling? What is its reliability? Are we sure there are no more confounding effects like bird splash on evaporation data? Are we sure we have even a reliable historical temperature data set, because many of us do not believe we do?

  • Luke

    Geoff – well Hobbins et al are reminding us of the relative scarcity of radiation, wind and humidity measurements.

    Hindcast modelling – well there will be all manner of observations logged by the Bureau and international monitoring systems.

    Ground observations, radiosondes, ships, probes, buoys, satellites etc

    What is the reliability – well many practitioners using Australian meteorological go to great lengths to “cleanse” data sets. Recording any climate data using an observer network will always have some problems.

    But yep agree – an ongoing issue.

    Satellite data also needs lots of work – get your BRDF wrong and you can be way out.

    But in terms of global temperature data sets I look at http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/hadcrut3vgl/from:1979/offset:-0.146/mean:12/plot/uah/from:1979/mean:12/plot/rss/from:1979/mean:12/plot/gistemp/from:1979/offset:-0.238/mean:12

    and I think they’re roughly telling me the same trend story.

  • Luke

    Geoff – well Hobbins et al are reminding us of the relative scarcity of radiation, wind and humidity measurements.

    Hindcast modelling – well there will be all manner of observations logged by the Bureau and international monitoring systems.

    Ground observations, radiosondes, ships, probes, buoys, satellites etc

    What is the reliability – well many practitioners using Australian meteorological go to great lengths to “cleanse” data sets. Recording any climate data using an observer network will always have some problems.

    But yep agree – an ongoing issue.

    Satellite data also needs lots of work – get your BRDF wrong and you can be way out.

    But in terms of global temperature data sets I look at http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/hadcrut3vgl/from:1979/offset:-0.146/mean:12/plot/uah/from:1979/mean:12/plot/rss/from:1979/mean:12/plot/gistemp/from:1979/offset:-0.238/mean:12

    and I think they’re roughly telling me the same trend story.

  • http://www.ecoengineers.com Steve Short

    Luke:

    “The hypothesis is that higher temperatures during this drought have caused more evaporative demand than other severe droughts.”

    Very hard to reconcile that hypothesis with this:

    “The annual rate of evaporation from open pans averaged over Australia between 1970 and 2004 shows variability around a long term downward trend. The variability around the downward trend involves a decrease in the early 1970s, followed by increase up to the early 1980s, then decrease over the next two decades before increasing from 2001. The overall downward trend averaged 2.8mm per year per year for the 30 years since 1975 when widespread reliable data came available to 2004. That is a 3% decrease of the annual pan evaporation rate over 30 years. Thus the trend in Australia has been of similar magnitude to the trend in the northern hemisphere.

    Year-to-year (and also decade-to-decade) variability in Australian pan evaporation around the long term trend-line correlates closely with variation in rainfall. When rainfall is high, pan evaporation is low, and vice versa. However, only about one third of the 30 year trend in Australian pan evaporation is correlated with the small increasing trend in rainfall over that period. Thus most of the downward long term trend in pan evaporation must be explained by factors that are not closely linked with change in local rainfall around pans. Previous investigators have found no evidence of a decline in solar radiation in Australia although the data are scarce and, because of changes in instrumentation, difficult to compare over decades. Nor could the time-courses necessarily be described as constant. The Bureau of Meteorology has almost completed a high-quality historical surface humidity data set, and is starting work on a wind speed data set. These data sets can form the basis of further work to document the seasonal and geographical variations in the trends of pan evaporation and the factors likely to be causing these trends, to understand why Australian pan evaporation has decreased despite the warming of the near surface temperature.”

    http://www.science.org.au/natcoms/pan-evap.pdf

    http://www.igbp.net/documents/NL_69-6.pdf

    Clearly, long terms trends over the 20th century (when presumably global warming was occurring) would tend to suggest that evaporative demand was actually less in the Millennium Drought than the Federation or 1940s drought.

    This strongly support Franks’ position that the Millenium Drought was NOT a product of AGW.

    In this context, claiming that:

    “But it’s not high temperatures per se that increases evaporation rates – it’s the lower VPD that goes with high temperature that increases evaporative demand. So all things being equal – hotter conditions increase evaporative demand via increased VPD.”

    is to enter the realm of gobbledegook is it not?

  • http://www.ecoengineers.com Steve Short

    Luke:

    “The hypothesis is that higher temperatures during this drought have caused more evaporative demand than other severe droughts.”

    Very hard to reconcile that hypothesis with this:

    “The annual rate of evaporation from open pans averaged over Australia between 1970 and 2004 shows variability around a long term downward trend. The variability around the downward trend involves a decrease in the early 1970s, followed by increase up to the early 1980s, then decrease over the next two decades before increasing from 2001. The overall downward trend averaged 2.8mm per year per year for the 30 years since 1975 when widespread reliable data came available to 2004. That is a 3% decrease of the annual pan evaporation rate over 30 years. Thus the trend in Australia has been of similar magnitude to the trend in the northern hemisphere.

    Year-to-year (and also decade-to-decade) variability in Australian pan evaporation around the long term trend-line correlates closely with variation in rainfall. When rainfall is high, pan evaporation is low, and vice versa. However, only about one third of the 30 year trend in Australian pan evaporation is correlated with the small increasing trend in rainfall over that period. Thus most of the downward long term trend in pan evaporation must be explained by factors that are not closely linked with change in local rainfall around pans. Previous investigators have found no evidence of a decline in solar radiation in Australia although the data are scarce and, because of changes in instrumentation, difficult to compare over decades. Nor could the time-courses necessarily be described as constant. The Bureau of Meteorology has almost completed a high-quality historical surface humidity data set, and is starting work on a wind speed data set. These data sets can form the basis of further work to document the seasonal and geographical variations in the trends of pan evaporation and the factors likely to be causing these trends, to understand why Australian pan evaporation has decreased despite the warming of the near surface temperature.”

    http://www.science.org.au/natcoms/pan-evap.pdf

    http://www.igbp.net/documents/NL_69-6.pdf

    Clearly, long terms trends over the 20th century (when presumably global warming was occurring) would tend to suggest that evaporative demand was actually less in the Millennium Drought than the Federation or 1940s drought.

    This strongly support Franks’ position that the Millenium Drought was NOT a product of AGW.

    In this context, claiming that:

    “But it’s not high temperatures per se that increases evaporation rates – it’s the lower VPD that goes with high temperature that increases evaporative demand. So all things being equal – hotter conditions increase evaporative demand via increased VPD.”

    is to enter the realm of gobbledegook is it not?

  • Ric Techow

    Thanks Steve. I should have read more carefully.

  • Ric Techow

    Thanks Steve. I should have read more carefully.

  • http://www.ecoengineers.com Steve Short

    The physics of evaporation from a free land-locked
    water, or fully hydrated vegetation, surface has been
    accurately expressed in the Penman Equation, which
    combines the net radiation-driven and aerodynamically-
    driven components of evaporation into a single
    relationship. In that highly successful formulation,
    evaporation from a free water surface, like an evaporation
    pan, mostly depends on three drivers: atmospheric
    vapour pressure deficit, wind speed, and net
    radiation load on the wet surface. The temperature
    of the evaporating surface is eliminated when the
    radiation and aerodynamic components are combined
    in the derivation of the Penman Equation. The
    workshop devoted much time to evaluating these
    three possibilities for the observed decline in pan
    evaporation. It was not resolved except that all three
    drivers have shown trends with different contributions
    in different places. Vapour pressure deficit
    sometimes shows a declining trend commensurate
    with the daily temperature range declining as night
    minimum temperatures have increased faster than
    daytime maxima.
    Widespread dimming of incident solar radiation was
    discussed and seemed to be at least partly responsible
    for the decline in pan evaporation at many sites.
    But solar dimming may have ceased in the 1990s
    and may have started to re-brighten over large areas
    of the Earth since then, though the evidence for that
    is mixed. Average wind speeds have varied over the
    last decades as global warming proceeded too. No
    consistent cause of the declining pan evaporation
    rates, applicable everywhere, was identified at the
    workshop but work has continued since then.

    We all clear now?

  • http://www.ecoengineers.com Steve Short

    The physics of evaporation from a free land-locked
    water, or fully hydrated vegetation, surface has been
    accurately expressed in the Penman Equation, which
    combines the net radiation-driven and aerodynamically-
    driven components of evaporation into a single
    relationship. In that highly successful formulation,
    evaporation from a free water surface, like an evaporation
    pan, mostly depends on three drivers: atmospheric
    vapour pressure deficit, wind speed, and net
    radiation load on the wet surface. The temperature
    of the evaporating surface is eliminated when the
    radiation and aerodynamic components are combined
    in the derivation of the Penman Equation. The
    workshop devoted much time to evaluating these
    three possibilities for the observed decline in pan
    evaporation. It was not resolved except that all three
    drivers have shown trends with different contributions
    in different places. Vapour pressure deficit
    sometimes shows a declining trend commensurate
    with the daily temperature range declining as night
    minimum temperatures have increased faster than
    daytime maxima.
    Widespread dimming of incident solar radiation was
    discussed and seemed to be at least partly responsible
    for the decline in pan evaporation at many sites.
    But solar dimming may have ceased in the 1990s
    and may have started to re-brighten over large areas
    of the Earth since then, though the evidence for that
    is mixed. Average wind speeds have varied over the
    last decades as global warming proceeded too. No
    consistent cause of the declining pan evaporation
    rates, applicable everywhere, was identified at the
    workshop but work has continued since then.

    We all clear now?

  • Luke

    Yes I knew you’d say all that.

    We’re talking about the 2002 drought onwards specifically.

    (1) temperatures were high
    (2) despite your goobleygook comment what does temperature do to VPD ?
    (3) what has the diurnal range done in the relevant area
    (3) skies have brightened
    (4) wind is a big issue but unclear
    (5) trend changes – in a major detailed analysis Roderick et al say “because of the high pan evaporation rates during the drought conditions prevailing over much of southeast Australia since 2002″ READ THAT AGAIN !
    (6) Cai has a significant correlation with runoff (yes in itself not conclusive but see above!).
    (7) a detailed answer would require crunching all the site data – but for 1902 we’d have to estimate radiation from cloud oktas so maybe impossible and then wind too?

    So yes I did look at all this in detail as I knew that’s just what’s you’d say.

    The issue is whether the of warming affecting the Millennium drought is “possible”.

    I think it is. Possible – but not proven on my discussion above.

  • Luke

    Yes I knew you’d say all that.

    We’re talking about the 2002 drought onwards specifically.

    (1) temperatures were high
    (2) despite your goobleygook comment what does temperature do to VPD ?
    (3) what has the diurnal range done in the relevant area
    (3) skies have brightened
    (4) wind is a big issue but unclear
    (5) trend changes – in a major detailed analysis Roderick et al say “because of the high pan evaporation rates during the drought conditions prevailing over much of southeast Australia since 2002″ READ THAT AGAIN !
    (6) Cai has a significant correlation with runoff (yes in itself not conclusive but see above!).
    (7) a detailed answer would require crunching all the site data – but for 1902 we’d have to estimate radiation from cloud oktas so maybe impossible and then wind too?

    So yes I did look at all this in detail as I knew that’s just what’s you’d say.

    The issue is whether the of warming affecting the Millennium drought is “possible”.

    I think it is. Possible – but not proven on my discussion above.

  • http://www.ecoengineers.com Steve Short

    (1) So if we are talking about a ’2002 – 2006′ (so-defined) drought, can you please substantiate your claim that (3) skies have brightened.

    (2) I’m not too fussed by the Roderick et al evaporation rate claims given that they are imposed on a much larger long term downward trend and essentially all of the MDB is covered by near-surface groundwater systems of several types. We wouldn’t want you to slip into a weird reverse analogue of the ‘global warming has not applied through the period 1998 – 2008′ ‘furphy would we? That would be just too (Socratically) ironic!

    (3) An alternate mechanism for increasing air temperatures but not ground surface temperatures might just be related to the presence of IR absorptive (and hence radiative) aerosols (viz: Ramanathan et al etc). This would be consistent with the fact that while VPD has (sometimes) shown a declining trend commensurate with the daily temperature range declining, night minimum temperatures have increased faster than daytime maxima.

    (4) Presumably you are aware of the fact that, strangely there was also drought over the same period over much of Borneo, Sumatra and (the Indonesian province of) West Papua. Presumably you are also aware of the studies which have been conducted correlating data collected by both the Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) satellite and The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) sensors flying on both the Terra and Aqua satellites which detect fires by the heat they produce? I take it you are also aware that the incidence of haze generated by fires arising from land clearing over West Papua has increased in step with the magnitude of the transmigrasi progam?

    (5) As you know SSTs to the north of Australia declined over the same period. Presumably you also know that the SeaWiFS and MODIS Aqua satellite data shows that there have be increases in Chlorophyll a (and blooning over a broader fraction of the year) and synchronous increases in Atmospheric Optical Attenuation (Extinction Coefficient) over the same period.

    Of course, you knew beforehand that I was going to write all the above. You certainly keep a lot of interesting stuff in your head Luke.

  • http://www.ecoengineers.com Steve Short

    (1) So if we are talking about a ’2002 – 2006′ (so-defined) drought, can you please substantiate your claim that (3) skies have brightened.

    (2) I’m not too fussed by the Roderick et al evaporation rate claims given that they are imposed on a much larger long term downward trend and essentially all of the MDB is covered by near-surface groundwater systems of several types. We wouldn’t want you to slip into a weird reverse analogue of the ‘global warming has not applied through the period 1998 – 2008′ ‘furphy would we? That would be just too (Socratically) ironic!

    (3) An alternate mechanism for increasing air temperatures but not ground surface temperatures might just be related to the presence of IR absorptive (and hence radiative) aerosols (viz: Ramanathan et al etc). This would be consistent with the fact that while VPD has (sometimes) shown a declining trend commensurate with the daily temperature range declining, night minimum temperatures have increased faster than daytime maxima.

    (4) Presumably you are aware of the fact that, strangely there was also drought over the same period over much of Borneo, Sumatra and (the Indonesian province of) West Papua. Presumably you are also aware of the studies which have been conducted correlating data collected by both the Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) satellite and The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) sensors flying on both the Terra and Aqua satellites which detect fires by the heat they produce? I take it you are also aware that the incidence of haze generated by fires arising from land clearing over West Papua has increased in step with the magnitude of the transmigrasi progam?

    (5) As you know SSTs to the north of Australia declined over the same period. Presumably you also know that the SeaWiFS and MODIS Aqua satellite data shows that there have be increases in Chlorophyll a (and blooning over a broader fraction of the year) and synchronous increases in Atmospheric Optical Attenuation (Extinction Coefficient) over the same period.

    Of course, you knew beforehand that I was going to write all the above. You certainly keep a lot of interesting stuff in your head Luke.

  • Geoff Sherrington

    For Steve and Luke,

    David’s thread on Modeling Global Warming (Miskolczi, several parts) several times instances a temperature discontinuity at the earth solid surface/atmosphere interface, where GCMs tend to have an appeciable T difference which Ferenc Miskolczi minimises with his approach.

    I find it hard to put surface evaporation into context with local temperature when there is this type of unsettled disagreement. Further, when correlating (say) pan evaporimeter data with T, does one use measured T in air, measured T in ground, adjusted measured T in air (like GISS), adjusted measured T in ground, modelled T in air or modelled T in ground? Is there a magical height above ground where the air temp should be taken, because T can vary quite a lot at a given time in the first 3 metres above ground, as BOM have shown themselves in experiments at Broadmeadows, Melbourne.

    Ditto below ground.

    And yes, Luke, I have done hands-on measurements.

    In any event, should one use integrated measurements of temperature rather than spot temps twice a day? Properties like irradiance?

    Without taking any position at all on the politics of AGW, you can see that there is room for audit and examination, whose objective (so often misread) is to lead to constructive suggestion.

    The DEC report does not appear to account for possible variances such as these in a clear manner. That is one reason why it is drawing attention. It makes it difficult to compare the federation Drought with the last 11 years.

  • Geoff Sherrington

    For Steve and Luke,

    David’s thread on Modeling Global Warming (Miskolczi, several parts) several times instances a temperature discontinuity at the earth solid surface/atmosphere interface, where GCMs tend to have an appeciable T difference which Ferenc Miskolczi minimises with his approach.

    I find it hard to put surface evaporation into context with local temperature when there is this type of unsettled disagreement. Further, when correlating (say) pan evaporimeter data with T, does one use measured T in air, measured T in ground, adjusted measured T in air (like GISS), adjusted measured T in ground, modelled T in air or modelled T in ground? Is there a magical height above ground where the air temp should be taken, because T can vary quite a lot at a given time in the first 3 metres above ground, as BOM have shown themselves in experiments at Broadmeadows, Melbourne.

    Ditto below ground.

    And yes, Luke, I have done hands-on measurements.

    In any event, should one use integrated measurements of temperature rather than spot temps twice a day? Properties like irradiance?

    Without taking any position at all on the politics of AGW, you can see that there is room for audit and examination, whose objective (so often misread) is to lead to constructive suggestion.

    The DEC report does not appear to account for possible variances such as these in a clear manner. That is one reason why it is drawing attention. It makes it difficult to compare the federation Drought with the last 11 years.

  • Luke

    (1) http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/abstract/308/5723/847

    (2) No wasn’t imposed – they were the obs.

    (3) In any case the diurnal range has been increasing.
    http://www.bom.gov.au/cgi-bin/silo/reg/cli_chg/trendmaps.cgi?variable=dtr&region=aus&season=0112&period=1970

    (4) Not strange – it’s an El Nino impact region too. Interestingly Rosenfeld observed smoke suppressing rainfall in other Indonesian El Nino fires. http://ag.arizona.edu/oals/ALN/aln49/rosenfeld.html but I digress (you how it is Steve when you’re a science slut)

    (5) More easily explained by ocean upwelling and SE wind anomalies. Also AOA probably affected by Asian haze. http://www.csiro.au/news/ps2l5.html
    http://www.rsbs.anu.edu.au/profiles/graham_farquhar/documents/239RotstaynaustaerosolsJGR.pdf All of which is why you should talk to Cai.

    Geoff – yes all interesting issues and well done for personal field work.

    However, Nicholls has done a pretty good forensic job on the 2002 drought comparing with the 1972, 1984 and 1994 droughts. Significantly greater temperature anomalies. Greater evaporation at Cobar and during May-Oct 2002 significantly greater evaporation at Wagg Wagga, Deniliquin and Renmark. Says the data makes a comparison with 1902 difficult. But 1940, 1914, and 1919 also looked at.

    In a regression analysis between maximum temperature and rainfall – 2002 has a much greater temperature than a simple empirical relationship between temperature and rainfall.

    The changing nature of Australian Droughts. (2004)
    Neville Nicholls. BMRC
    Climatic Change 63: 323-336

    I find the Nicholls’ paper compelling. Why did Franks not discuss it ! Or the rest of the recent literature for that matter?

    But hey I’m just an amateur science groupie? I don’t know Jack. I’m sure Short stuff’s bright upcoming engineers knew all this all along.

  • Luke

    (1) http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/abstract/308/5723/847

    (2) No wasn’t imposed – they were the obs.

    (3) In any case the diurnal range has been increasing.
    http://www.bom.gov.au/cgi-bin/silo/reg/cli_chg/trendmaps.cgi?variable=dtr&region=aus&season=0112&period=1970

    (4) Not strange – it’s an El Nino impact region too. Interestingly Rosenfeld observed smoke suppressing rainfall in other Indonesian El Nino fires. http://ag.arizona.edu/oals/ALN/aln49/rosenfeld.html but I digress (you how it is Steve when you’re a science slut)

    (5) More easily explained by ocean upwelling and SE wind anomalies. Also AOA probably affected by Asian haze. http://www.csiro.au/news/ps2l5.html
    http://www.rsbs.anu.edu.au/profiles/graham_farquhar/documents/239RotstaynaustaerosolsJGR.pdf All of which is why you should talk to Cai.

    Geoff – yes all interesting issues and well done for personal field work.

    However, Nicholls has done a pretty good forensic job on the 2002 drought comparing with the 1972, 1984 and 1994 droughts. Significantly greater temperature anomalies. Greater evaporation at Cobar and during May-Oct 2002 significantly greater evaporation at Wagg Wagga, Deniliquin and Renmark. Says the data makes a comparison with 1902 difficult. But 1940, 1914, and 1919 also looked at.

    In a regression analysis between maximum temperature and rainfall – 2002 has a much greater temperature than a simple empirical relationship between temperature and rainfall.

    The changing nature of Australian Droughts. (2004)
    Neville Nicholls. BMRC
    Climatic Change 63: 323-336

    I find the Nicholls’ paper compelling. Why did Franks not discuss it ! Or the rest of the recent literature for that matter?

    But hey I’m just an amateur science groupie? I don’t know Jack. I’m sure Short stuff’s bright upcoming engineers knew all this all along.

  • http://www.ecoengineers.com Steve Short

    Good Googling Luke, you’ve done well (over the last 14 hours).

    But:

    (1) Not relevant – refers mostly to the Northern Hemisphere. Wouldn’t expect much brightening with the Indonesian fires which got going big time around 1977 (magic year that), wouldn’t you say?

    (2) Its still a blip when with the other breath you are claiming you can make quantitative comparisons with the 1940s and Federation droughts.

    (3) And speaking of the 1940s drought what have we here:
    http://www.bom.gov.au/cgi-bin/silo/reg/cli_chg/trendmaps.cgi?variable=dtr&region=aus&season=0112&period=1930
    Include the 1940s and it all mostly ‘evaporates – although I note even this has some interesting features e.g. check out Western Victoria and South Australia.

    (4) No, its not really a significant El Nino region. Ever heard of the Asian monsoon old son? Mostly too far west of NINO4. But nice to know you picked up on Rosenfeld. Easily done in a day’s lazy Googling though.

    (4) Definitely wrong there mate. You are starting to sound like Bob Tisdale. No upwelling inside the Indonesian Archipelago or SE Asia coastal waters. Water’s just too damn shallow old son. Too many stupid big islands and odd currents getting in the way. But lots of lovely nutrients to feed the cyanobacteria from all the untreated sewage those teeming are pumping out though. Suggest you look a little more closely at the SeaWiFS and Aqua stuff. Check out the leading edges of the rise in AOA. They follow within a month of the rise in Chlorophyll BUT precede the rises in SST. Guess you are not interested though. Knew it all beforehand I suppose.

    You definitely reveal how peculiarly locked in you are with this last point. All hung up about the effects of one pollutant (CO2) but couldn’t give a stuff about the climatic effects of all that reactive nitrogen and phosphorus. Ever bothered to check the numbers?

    Still reading Nicholls. Interesting. I’ll take a rain check on my comments.

    “Why did Franks not discuss it ! Or the rest of the recent literature for that matter?”

    Could it be because he co-authored a fair bit of the recent literature? But he’s clearly not one of your in-crowd rock stars though. Yep, proves you’re a groupie all right. Notions all picked out of exactly the one single barrel. But that’s the problem with any group think arrangement. If you buy it lock, stock and (hey, there it is again) barrel then you have to go with it …..until the ‘consensus’ evaporates.

    Hope you are reading your daily papers.
    How long did the Great Depression last? Long enough to rewrite all the ball games….

  • http://www.ecoengineers.com Steve Short

    Good Googling Luke, you’ve done well (over the last 14 hours).

    But:

    (1) Not relevant – refers mostly to the Northern Hemisphere. Wouldn’t expect much brightening with the Indonesian fires which got going big time around 1977 (magic year that), wouldn’t you say?

    (2) Its still a blip when with the other breath you are claiming you can make quantitative comparisons with the 1940s and Federation droughts.

    (3) And speaking of the 1940s drought what have we here:
    http://www.bom.gov.au/cgi-bin/silo/reg/cli_chg/trendmaps.cgi?variable=dtr&region=aus&season=0112&period=1930
    Include the 1940s and it all mostly ‘evaporates – although I note even this has some interesting features e.g. check out Western Victoria and South Australia.

    (4) No, its not really a significant El Nino region. Ever heard of the Asian monsoon old son? Mostly too far west of NINO4. But nice to know you picked up on Rosenfeld. Easily done in a day’s lazy Googling though.

    (4) Definitely wrong there mate. You are starting to sound like Bob Tisdale. No upwelling inside the Indonesian Archipelago or SE Asia coastal waters. Water’s just too damn shallow old son. Too many stupid big islands and odd currents getting in the way. But lots of lovely nutrients to feed the cyanobacteria from all the untreated sewage those teeming are pumping out though. Suggest you look a little more closely at the SeaWiFS and Aqua stuff. Check out the leading edges of the rise in AOA. They follow within a month of the rise in Chlorophyll BUT precede the rises in SST. Guess you are not interested though. Knew it all beforehand I suppose.

    You definitely reveal how peculiarly locked in you are with this last point. All hung up about the effects of one pollutant (CO2) but couldn’t give a stuff about the climatic effects of all that reactive nitrogen and phosphorus. Ever bothered to check the numbers?

    Still reading Nicholls. Interesting. I’ll take a rain check on my comments.

    “Why did Franks not discuss it ! Or the rest of the recent literature for that matter?”

    Could it be because he co-authored a fair bit of the recent literature? But he’s clearly not one of your in-crowd rock stars though. Yep, proves you’re a groupie all right. Notions all picked out of exactly the one single barrel. But that’s the problem with any group think arrangement. If you buy it lock, stock and (hey, there it is again) barrel then you have to go with it …..until the ‘consensus’ evaporates.

    Hope you are reading your daily papers.
    How long did the Great Depression last? Long enough to rewrite all the ball games….

  • Luke

    (0) do wank on – I’ve known all this stuff for years – funny how whirl-wind blowing through a junk yard builds a 747 – and even funnier how a smart arse like you is being dragged around in the wake chipping away instead of leading the argument.
    (1) no it doesn’t – see map
    (2) just your opinion
    (3) Rosenfeld – nuh known for years – do wank on – cloud seeding related side story – golly it’s not all that hard – just basic stuff – it’s just that you don’t know about it. You might also enjoy – Mather, South Africa, rainfall and kraft paper mills. http://www.just-clouds.com/SOAR_pioneers_cloud_seeding_milled_salt.asp

    (4) uh -huh LOL
    (5) so you’ve moved eh? good call. Anyway I thought you were talking about something of influence.

    “Could it be because he co-authored a fair bit of the recent literature?” – LOL – he’s just another denialist. Would anyone with nous hang out with Lavoisier nongs.

    No I’m not hooked on CO2 – ozone and land clearing are also other major interesting issues.

  • Luke

    (0) do wank on – I’ve known all this stuff for years – funny how whirl-wind blowing through a junk yard builds a 747 – and even funnier how a smart arse like you is being dragged around in the wake chipping away instead of leading the argument.
    (1) no it doesn’t – see map
    (2) just your opinion
    (3) Rosenfeld – nuh known for years – do wank on – cloud seeding related side story – golly it’s not all that hard – just basic stuff – it’s just that you don’t know about it. You might also enjoy – Mather, South Africa, rainfall and kraft paper mills. http://www.just-clouds.com/SOAR_pioneers_cloud_seeding_milled_salt.asp

    (4) uh -huh LOL
    (5) so you’ve moved eh? good call. Anyway I thought you were talking about something of influence.

    “Could it be because he co-authored a fair bit of the recent literature?” – LOL – he’s just another denialist. Would anyone with nous hang out with Lavoisier nongs.

    No I’m not hooked on CO2 – ozone and land clearing are also other major interesting issues.

  • http://www.ecoengineers.com Steve Short

    Yawn

  • http://www.ecoengineers.com Steve Short

    Yawn

  • Luke

    Well at least you’ve had an education in the contemporary literature on the subject – marred of course by yourself demanding an excursion into “fully instrumented” modern studies to investigate a century long issue (giggle).

    And we never did get into effects on very warm soils…

    Probably all handy information for David in his ongoing campaign against bad Australian science and in particular CSIRO. The evil empire (LOL).

  • Luke

    Well at least you’ve had an education in the contemporary literature on the subject – marred of course by yourself demanding an excursion into “fully instrumented” modern studies to investigate a century long issue (giggle).

    And we never did get into effects on very warm soils…

    Probably all handy information for David in his ongoing campaign against bad Australian science and in particular CSIRO. The evil empire (LOL).

  • http://www.ecoengineers.com Steve Short

    “Well at least you’ve had an education in the contemporary literature on the subject – marred of course by yourself demanding an excursion into “fully instrumented” modern studies to investigate a century long issue (giggle).

    And we never did get into effects on very warm soils..”

    And that rash statement illustrates ever so nicely just what an ignorantly arrogant bower bird you really are, never having done any real hard yards of practical field experience i.e. actual real science.

    It is an established principle in empirical science i.e. the sort of science that precedes all the theory and modeling, that you get out into the field and use well-defined microcosms and scaled-down, better controlled studies etc to elucidate just what is going on at the local scale.

    That is precisely why I suggested that:

    “In this context I would be very interested if Luke would actually post up some state-of-the-art literature showing annualised trends observed in the long term monitoring of soil moisture in, and ET from, well-defined test areas on pastures, in woodlots etc in drought-affected areas.

    By the same token I’d also be interested in published water balance stuff from small catchments with shallow semi-confined aquifers because in our experience, water balance modeling based on pluviographic and hydrographic monitoring of small catchments (i.e. where rainfall distribution heterogeneity is negligible) tend to give the most accurate long term measures of and trends for ET (the closure term in non-linear catchment modeling). This generally requires time steps smaller than daily.”

    Ironic, isn’t it when you yourself are (only just) cluey enough to acknowledge that there are substantial areas of at the macro, regional and supra-regional scale due to a current inability (as clearly evidenced by last years’ workshop) to tease out a complex (spatial, temporal and physical) matrix of causes and effects applying at the micro scale.

    Well, surprise, surprise, real scientists have a well established history of, and methodology for how to tease those matrices apart. They’ve only been doing this stuff for 200 years plus.

    Really don’t get it do you.

  • http://www.ecoengineers.com Steve Short

    “Well at least you’ve had an education in the contemporary literature on the subject – marred of course by yourself demanding an excursion into “fully instrumented” modern studies to investigate a century long issue (giggle).

    And we never did get into effects on very warm soils..”

    And that rash statement illustrates ever so nicely just what an ignorantly arrogant bower bird you really are, never having done any real hard yards of practical field experience i.e. actual real science.

    It is an established principle in empirical science i.e. the sort of science that precedes all the theory and modeling, that you get out into the field and use well-defined microcosms and scaled-down, better controlled studies etc to elucidate just what is going on at the local scale.

    That is precisely why I suggested that:

    “In this context I would be very interested if Luke would actually post up some state-of-the-art literature showing annualised trends observed in the long term monitoring of soil moisture in, and ET from, well-defined test areas on pastures, in woodlots etc in drought-affected areas.

    By the same token I’d also be interested in published water balance stuff from small catchments with shallow semi-confined aquifers because in our experience, water balance modeling based on pluviographic and hydrographic monitoring of small catchments (i.e. where rainfall distribution heterogeneity is negligible) tend to give the most accurate long term measures of and trends for ET (the closure term in non-linear catchment modeling). This generally requires time steps smaller than daily.”

    Ironic, isn’t it when you yourself are (only just) cluey enough to acknowledge that there are substantial areas of at the macro, regional and supra-regional scale due to a current inability (as clearly evidenced by last years’ workshop) to tease out a complex (spatial, temporal and physical) matrix of causes and effects applying at the micro scale.

    Well, surprise, surprise, real scientists have a well established history of, and methodology for how to tease those matrices apart. They’ve only been doing this stuff for 200 years plus.

    Really don’t get it do you.

  • http://www.gravatar.com/avatar/88875c95e4718517203d3269c18423ef?s=64 Luke

    zzzzzzzz

  • http://www.gravatar.com/avatar/88875c95e4718517203d3269c18423ef?s=64 Luke

    zzzzzzzz

  • Anonymous

    C’mon guys. I appreciate your discussion to date, but I like to keep the signal to noise ratio up. Cheers

  • http://landshape.org/enm David Stockwell

    C’mon guys. I appreciate your discussion to date, but I like to keep the signal to noise ratio up. Cheers

  • http://www.ecoengineers.com Steve Short

    To correct a typo above:

    …there are substantial areas of uncertainty at the macro, regional and supra-regional scale due to a current inability (as clearly evidenced by last years’ workshop) to tease out a complex (spatial, temporal and physical) matrix of causes and effects applying at the micro scale.

    And from our library:

    CHAPTER 2. A DESCRIPTION AND EVALUATION OF HYDROLOGIC
    AND CLIMATE FORECAST AND DATA PRODUCTS THAT SUPPORT
    DECISION-MAKING FOR WATER RESOURCE MANAGERS………………59
    KEY FINDINGS…………………………………………………………….60
    2.1 INTRODUCTION……………………………………………………….62
    CCSP 5.3 March 7 2008
    CCSP 5.3 Page 3 of 426 Public Review Draft
    2.2 HYDROLOGIC AND WATER RESOURCES: MONITORING
    AND PREDICTION………………………………………………………..66
    2.2.1 Prediction Approaches……………………………………………..67
    2.2.2 Forecast Producers and Products…………………………… ….70
    2.2.3 Skill in SI Hydrologic and Water Resource Forecasts… ….85
    2.3 CLIMATE DATA AND FORECAST PRODUCTS…………… …100
    2.3.1 A Sampling of SI Climate Forecast Products of Interest to
    Water Resource Managers……………………………………… …….100
    2.3.2 Sources of Climate-Forecast Skill……………………… ……108
    2.4 IMPROVING WATER RESOURCES FORECAST SKILL AND
    PRODUCTS…………………………………………………………… …111
    2.4.1 Improving SI Climate Forecast Use for Hydrologic
    Prediction………………………………………………………… ……112
    2.4.2 Improving Initial Hydrologic Conditions for Hydrologic and
    Water Resource Forecasts………………………………………….….117
    2.4.3 Calibration of Hydrologic Model Forecasts……………… …123
    2.5 THE EVOLUTION OF PROTOTYPES TO PRODUCTS AND
    THE ROLE OF EVALUATION IN PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT….126
    2.5.1 Transitioning Prototypes to Products………………………….127
    2.5.2 Evaluation of Forecast Utility……………………………… …135
    CHAPTER 2 REFERENCES…………………………………… ……140

    U.S. Climate Change Science Program
    Synthesis and Assessment Product 5.3
    Decision-Support Experiments and Evaluations using Seasonal to Interannual Forecasts and Observational Data:
    A Focus on Water Resources
    Lead Agency:
    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
    Contributing Agencies:
    Environmental Protection Agency
    National Aeronautics and Space Administration
    National Science Foundation
    U.S. Geological Survey

  • http://www.ecoengineers.com Steve Short

    To correct a typo above:

    …there are substantial areas of uncertainty at the macro, regional and supra-regional scale due to a current inability (as clearly evidenced by last years’ workshop) to tease out a complex (spatial, temporal and physical) matrix of causes and effects applying at the micro scale.

    And from our library:

    CHAPTER 2. A DESCRIPTION AND EVALUATION OF HYDROLOGIC
    AND CLIMATE FORECAST AND DATA PRODUCTS THAT SUPPORT
    DECISION-MAKING FOR WATER RESOURCE MANAGERS………………59
    KEY FINDINGS…………………………………………………………….60
    2.1 INTRODUCTION……………………………………………………….62
    CCSP 5.3 March 7 2008
    CCSP 5.3 Page 3 of 426 Public Review Draft
    2.2 HYDROLOGIC AND WATER RESOURCES: MONITORING
    AND PREDICTION………………………………………………………..66
    2.2.1 Prediction Approaches……………………………………………..67
    2.2.2 Forecast Producers and Products…………………………… ….70
    2.2.3 Skill in SI Hydrologic and Water Resource Forecasts… ….85
    2.3 CLIMATE DATA AND FORECAST PRODUCTS…………… …100
    2.3.1 A Sampling of SI Climate Forecast Products of Interest to
    Water Resource Managers……………………………………… …….100
    2.3.2 Sources of Climate-Forecast Skill……………………… ……108
    2.4 IMPROVING WATER RESOURCES FORECAST SKILL AND
    PRODUCTS…………………………………………………………… …111
    2.4.1 Improving SI Climate Forecast Use for Hydrologic
    Prediction………………………………………………………… ……112
    2.4.2 Improving Initial Hydrologic Conditions for Hydrologic and
    Water Resource Forecasts………………………………………….….117
    2.4.3 Calibration of Hydrologic Model Forecasts……………… …123
    2.5 THE EVOLUTION OF PROTOTYPES TO PRODUCTS AND
    THE ROLE OF EVALUATION IN PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT….126
    2.5.1 Transitioning Prototypes to Products………………………….127
    2.5.2 Evaluation of Forecast Utility……………………………… …135
    CHAPTER 2 REFERENCES…………………………………… ……140

    U.S. Climate Change Science Program
    Synthesis and Assessment Product 5.3
    Decision-Support Experiments and Evaluations using Seasonal to Interannual Forecasts and Observational Data:
    A Focus on Water Resources
    Lead Agency:
    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
    Contributing Agencies:
    Environmental Protection Agency
    National Aeronautics and Space Administration
    National Science Foundation
    U.S. Geological Survey

  • http://www.ecoengineers.com Steve Short

    More signal to noise

    Aerosols Impact On Australia’s Climate

    by Staff Writers
    Canberra, Australia (SPX) Aug 20, 2008
    CSIRO Marine and Atmospheric Research scientist, Dr Leon Rotstayn, says the influence aerosols have on climate is still one of the ‘great unknowns’ in climate science.

    Dr Rotstayn says recent research suggests that the influence of aerosols on recent climate trends in the Southern Hemisphere has been comparable to greenhouse gases.

    “We recently identified that the extensive pollution haze emanating from Asia may be re-shaping rainfall patterns and monsoonal winds in northern Australia. Establishing the impacts of aerosols across the rest of the country presents a new research challenge,” Dr Rotstayn says.

  • http://www.ecoengineers.com Steve Short

    More signal to noise

    Aerosols Impact On Australia’s Climate

    by Staff Writers
    Canberra, Australia (SPX) Aug 20, 2008
    CSIRO Marine and Atmospheric Research scientist, Dr Leon Rotstayn, says the influence aerosols have on climate is still one of the ‘great unknowns’ in climate science.

    Dr Rotstayn says recent research suggests that the influence of aerosols on recent climate trends in the Southern Hemisphere has been comparable to greenhouse gases.

    “We recently identified that the extensive pollution haze emanating from Asia may be re-shaping rainfall patterns and monsoonal winds in northern Australia. Establishing the impacts of aerosols across the rest of the country presents a new research challenge,” Dr Rotstayn says.

  • http://www.ecoengineers.com Steve Short

    More signal to noise

    Coupling between cycles of phytoplankton biomass and aerosol optical depth as derived from SeaWiFS time series in the Subantarctic Southern Ocean

    Albert J. Gabric

    Faculty of Environmental Sciences, Griffith University, Nathan, Queensland, Australia

    Roger Cropp

    Faculty of Environmental Sciences, Griffith University, Nathan, Queensland, Australia

    Gregory P. Ayers

    CSIRO Atmospheric Research, Aspendale, Victoria, Australia

    Grant McTainsh

    Faculty of Environmental Sciences, Griffith University, Nathan, Queensland, Australia

    Roger Braddock

    Faculty of Environmental Sciences, Griffith University, Nathan, Queensland, Australia

    Abstract

    The Subantarctic Southern Ocean is a high-nutrient low-chlorophyll region, and it has been suggested that primary production is limited by deep mixing and the availability of iron. Australian dust is high in iron content and can be transported over the Subantarctic Southern Ocean, particularly during the austral spring and summer when dust storm frequency in southern Australia is maximal. We present evidence for a coupling between satellite-derived (SeaWiFS) aerosol optical thickness and chlorophyll concentration in the upper ocean. The coupling is evident at monthly, weekly and daily timescales. Although the monthly coherence is likely to be due to other covarying factors, the coupling at weekly and daily timescales supports the hypothesis that the episodic atmospheric delivery of iron is stimulating phytoplankton growth. We also discuss the impact of oceanic dimethylsulfide production on aerosol concentration in the study region.

    Published 10 April 2002.

  • http://www.ecoengineers.com Steve Short

    More signal to noise

    Coupling between cycles of phytoplankton biomass and aerosol optical depth as derived from SeaWiFS time series in the Subantarctic Southern Ocean

    Albert J. Gabric

    Faculty of Environmental Sciences, Griffith University, Nathan, Queensland, Australia

    Roger Cropp

    Faculty of Environmental Sciences, Griffith University, Nathan, Queensland, Australia

    Gregory P. Ayers

    CSIRO Atmospheric Research, Aspendale, Victoria, Australia

    Grant McTainsh

    Faculty of Environmental Sciences, Griffith University, Nathan, Queensland, Australia

    Roger Braddock

    Faculty of Environmental Sciences, Griffith University, Nathan, Queensland, Australia

    Abstract

    The Subantarctic Southern Ocean is a high-nutrient low-chlorophyll region, and it has been suggested that primary production is limited by deep mixing and the availability of iron. Australian dust is high in iron content and can be transported over the Subantarctic Southern Ocean, particularly during the austral spring and summer when dust storm frequency in southern Australia is maximal. We present evidence for a coupling between satellite-derived (SeaWiFS) aerosol optical thickness and chlorophyll concentration in the upper ocean. The coupling is evident at monthly, weekly and daily timescales. Although the monthly coherence is likely to be due to other covarying factors, the coupling at weekly and daily timescales supports the hypothesis that the episodic atmospheric delivery of iron is stimulating phytoplankton growth. We also discuss the impact of oceanic dimethylsulfide production on aerosol concentration in the study region.

    Published 10 April 2002.

  • http://www.ecoengineers.com Steve Short

    More signal to noise.

    Possible impacts of anthropogenic and natural aerosols on Australian climate: a review
    Leon D. Rotstayn 1 5 *, Melita D. Keywood 1 5, Bruce W. Forgan 2, Albert J. Gabric 3, Ian E. Galbally 1 5, John L. Gras 1 5, Ashok K. Luhar 1 5, Grant H. McTainsh 3, Ross M. Mitchell 4 5, Stuart A. Young 1 5
    1CSIRO Marine and Atmospheric Research, Aspendale, Vic 3195, Australia
    2Bureau of Meterology, Melbourne, Vic 3001, Australia
    3Griffith School of Environment, Griffith University, Brisbane, Qld 4111, Australia
    4CSIRO Marine and Atmospheric Research, Black Mountain, ACT 2601, Australia
    5The Centre for Australian Weather and Climate Research, a partnership between CSIRO and the Bureau of Meteorology, Australia
    email: Leon D. Rotstayn (Leon.Rotstayn@csiro.au)

    *Correspondence to Leon D. Rotstayn, CSIRO Marine and Atmospheric Research, Private Bag 1, Aspendale, Vic 3195, Australia.

    Keywords
    aerosols • climate change • climate modelling • Australia • Southern Hemisphere

    Abstract
    A review is presented of the aerosol-climate interaction with specific focus on the Australian region. The uncertainties associated with this interaction are much larger than those associated with greenhouse gases or other forcing agents, and are currently a major obstacle in climate-change research. However, new research suggests that aerosol effects are of comparable importance to greenhouse gases as a driver of recent climate trends in the Southern Hemisphere, including Australia. A significant new result from climate modelling is that anthropogenic aerosol over Asia affects meridional temperature gradients and atmospheric circulation, and may have caused an increase in rainfall over north-western Australia. Global ocean circulation provides another mechanism whereby aerosol changes in the Northern Hemisphere can affect climate in the Southern Hemisphere, suggesting an urgent need for further targeted studies using coupled ocean-atmosphere global climate models. To better model climate variability and climate change in the Australian region, more research is needed into the sources of aerosol and their precursors, their atmospheric distributions and transformations, and how to incorporate these processes robustly in global climate models (GCMs). The following priorities are suggested for further research in Australia linking aerosol observations and modelling: natural aerosol over the Southern Ocean, tropical biomass-burning aerosol in Indonesia and Australia, secondary organic aerosol (SOA) from volatile organic compounds (VOCs), wind-blown dust and modulation of rainfall by anthropogenic aerosol. Copyright © 2008 Royal Meteorological Society
    Received: 21 December 2007; Revised: 10 April 2008; Accepted: 7 May 2008

  • http://www.ecoengineers.com Steve Short

    More signal to noise.

    Possible impacts of anthropogenic and natural aerosols on Australian climate: a review
    Leon D. Rotstayn 1 5 *, Melita D. Keywood 1 5, Bruce W. Forgan 2, Albert J. Gabric 3, Ian E. Galbally 1 5, John L. Gras 1 5, Ashok K. Luhar 1 5, Grant H. McTainsh 3, Ross M. Mitchell 4 5, Stuart A. Young 1 5
    1CSIRO Marine and Atmospheric Research, Aspendale, Vic 3195, Australia
    2Bureau of Meterology, Melbourne, Vic 3001, Australia
    3Griffith School of Environment, Griffith University, Brisbane, Qld 4111, Australia
    4CSIRO Marine and Atmospheric Research, Black Mountain, ACT 2601, Australia
    5The Centre for Australian Weather and Climate Research, a partnership between CSIRO and the Bureau of Meteorology, Australia
    email: Leon D. Rotstayn (Leon.Rotstayn@csiro.au)

    *Correspondence to Leon D. Rotstayn, CSIRO Marine and Atmospheric Research, Private Bag 1, Aspendale, Vic 3195, Australia.

    Keywords
    aerosols • climate change • climate modelling • Australia • Southern Hemisphere

    Abstract
    A review is presented of the aerosol-climate interaction with specific focus on the Australian region. The uncertainties associated with this interaction are much larger than those associated with greenhouse gases or other forcing agents, and are currently a major obstacle in climate-change research. However, new research suggests that aerosol effects are of comparable importance to greenhouse gases as a driver of recent climate trends in the Southern Hemisphere, including Australia. A significant new result from climate modelling is that anthropogenic aerosol over Asia affects meridional temperature gradients and atmospheric circulation, and may have caused an increase in rainfall over north-western Australia. Global ocean circulation provides another mechanism whereby aerosol changes in the Northern Hemisphere can affect climate in the Southern Hemisphere, suggesting an urgent need for further targeted studies using coupled ocean-atmosphere global climate models. To better model climate variability and climate change in the Australian region, more research is needed into the sources of aerosol and their precursors, their atmospheric distributions and transformations, and how to incorporate these processes robustly in global climate models (GCMs). The following priorities are suggested for further research in Australia linking aerosol observations and modelling: natural aerosol over the Southern Ocean, tropical biomass-burning aerosol in Indonesia and Australia, secondary organic aerosol (SOA) from volatile organic compounds (VOCs), wind-blown dust and modulation of rainfall by anthropogenic aerosol. Copyright © 2008 Royal Meteorological Society
    Received: 21 December 2007; Revised: 10 April 2008; Accepted: 7 May 2008

  • Anonymous

    Bueno. That is really interesting, particularly the idea that transport of dust, fertilizing oceans seasonally, inducing changes in temperatures.

  • http://landshape.org/enm admin

    Bueno. That is really interesting, particularly the idea that transport of dust, fertilizing oceans seasonally, inducing changes in temperatures.

  • Luke

    Who’s been having a bit of a researchy Google then eh eh ?

    That’s the spirit. Into the VOCs too – good call.

    However some things are not straight forward – I though Rotstayn was saying that Asian aerosols were changing circulation around in NW WA – not a direct effect from the aerosols instead.

    But just don’t forget to make that call to the oceanographers. (just in case – cover defense and all that)

  • Luke

    Who’s been having a bit of a researchy Google then eh eh ?

    That’s the spirit. Into the VOCs too – good call.

    However some things are not straight forward – I though Rotstayn was saying that Asian aerosols were changing circulation around in NW WA – not a direct effect from the aerosols instead.

    But just don’t forget to make that call to the oceanographers. (just in case – cover defense and all that)

  • Luke

    On VOCs

    http://pubs.acs.org/journals/
    esthag/covers/41/cover_pop_030107.html

    http://pubs.acs.org/subscribe/journals/
    esthag/41/i05/html/030107feature_goldstein.html#

  • Luke

    On VOCs

    http://pubs.acs.org/journals/
    esthag/covers/41/cover_pop_030107.html

    http://pubs.acs.org/subscribe/journals/
    esthag/41/i05/html/030107feature_goldstein.html#

  • http://www.ecoengineers.com Steve Short

    Hi David

    Phew – it’s running hot over at the Greenhouse Heat Engine thread! Here is something a little more laid back but perhaps as interesting nonetheless.

    Following on from your elarlier expressed interest, FYI I have uploaded 4 graphs to the following location:

    https://www.yousendit.com/download/bVlEeEVXcWZUWUFLSkE9PQ

    Yourself or anyone reading this post may download these 4 graphs for personal examination. Please note they are all virus checked (NOD32).

    These graphs were constructed using NASA’s Giovanni Ocean Color Time-series Multi-parameter Intercomparison System (what a mouthful ;-) and remote sensing data from the MODIS Aqua satellite for:

    (1) an arbitrary zone of ocean around Australia i.e. Lat. 55S – 0.0; Long. 95E – 175E; and

    (2) the period of measurement by Aqua being July 2002 to the present day i.e. almost completely encompassing the so-called 2002 – 2006 Millenium Drought period.

    The graphs compare, in pairs, key satellite sensor parameters for the above-defined area of ocean around Australia, measured daily and averaged to monthly at a spatial resolutions of 1.0 degree, averaged over the above-defined area.

    The parameters are:

    (1) Chlorophyll a – a measure of cyanobacterial concentration at the sea surface

    (2) Daytime sea surface temperature (SST) as measured at 11 micron

    (3) Atmospheric Aerosol Optical Thickness (AOT) as measured at 869 nm. This is equivalent to an atmospheric Extinction Coefficient and is a measure of cloud density though the entire atmospheric column.

    (4) Diffuse Attenuation Coefficient (DAC) at 490 nm. This is a measure of the opacity of the ocean water column to about 50 m depth and is a measure of biomass in the upper water column.

    (5) Normalized water-leaving radiance (NWLR) at 551 nm. This is a measure of the albedo of the sea surface.

    Please note that the colors of the scales on the left hand side strictly relates to the colors of the plot lines. Ignore the references in the top labeling to the color and nature of the symbols (only) as NASA can’t seem to get this quite right yet.

    Careful examination of the (only) 4 graphs I have uploaded to the above location will reveal the following facts:

    (1) There are strong monthly peaks in AOT which obviously correlate to seasonally elevated SST as expected i.e. cloud cover partly correlates to SST.

    (2) However, there are also very strong aseasonal peaks in AOT which do not correlate to seasonally elevated SST i.e. there is clearly a type of cloud which anti-correlates to SST.

    (3) These latter class of peaks in AOT all strongly correlate to closely PRECEDING peaks in Chlor0phyll a and DAC and closely FOLLOWING peaks in NWLR.

    For example, there is a strongly SST anti-correlated event for AOT in the 2nd half of 2006 in particular which is a clear-cut example of these latter form of major cloud-creating events.

    I interpret these later type of AOT events to be the consequence of major blooming episodes of oceanic cyanobacteria.

    It is noted that the 1st significant rainfalls in SE Australia effectively terminating the Millenium drought occurred in September 2006. This episode did NOT correlate with elevated SSTs around Australia.

    It is also noted that global measures of oceanic cyanobacterial primary productivity (e.g. areas under the Chlorophyll a curves) as measured by both the SeaWIFS and Aqua satellites have increased over the period 2002 – 2008, particularly over continental shelf areas (areas not associated with upwelling) and the graphs which I have uploaded show the same can also be said of the ocean around Australia over the same period.

  • http://www.ecoengineers.com Steve Short

    Hi David

    Phew – it’s running hot over at the Greenhouse Heat Engine thread! Here is something a little more laid back but perhaps as interesting nonetheless.

    Following on from your elarlier expressed interest, FYI I have uploaded 4 graphs to the following location:

    https://www.yousendit.com/download/bVlEeEVXcWZUWUFLSkE9PQ

    Yourself or anyone reading this post may download these 4 graphs for personal examination. Please note they are all virus checked (NOD32).

    These graphs were constructed using NASA’s Giovanni Ocean Color Time-series Multi-parameter Intercomparison System (what a mouthful ;-) and remote sensing data from the MODIS Aqua satellite for:

    (1) an arbitrary zone of ocean around Australia i.e. Lat. 55S – 0.0; Long. 95E – 175E; and

    (2) the period of measurement by Aqua being July 2002 to the present day i.e. almost completely encompassing the so-called 2002 – 2006 Millenium Drought period.

    The graphs compare, in pairs, key satellite sensor parameters for the above-defined area of ocean around Australia, measured daily and averaged to monthly at a spatial resolutions of 1.0 degree, averaged over the above-defined area.

    The parameters are:

    (1) Chlorophyll a – a measure of cyanobacterial concentration at the sea surface

    (2) Daytime sea surface temperature (SST) as measured at 11 micron

    (3) Atmospheric Aerosol Optical Thickness (AOT) as measured at 869 nm. This is equivalent to an atmospheric Extinction Coefficient and is a measure of cloud density though the entire atmospheric column.

    (4) Diffuse Attenuation Coefficient (DAC) at 490 nm. This is a measure of the opacity of the ocean water column to about 50 m depth and is a measure of biomass in the upper water column.

    (5) Normalized water-leaving radiance (NWLR) at 551 nm. This is a measure of the albedo of the sea surface.

    Please note that the colors of the scales on the left hand side strictly relates to the colors of the plot lines. Ignore the references in the top labeling to the color and nature of the symbols (only) as NASA can’t seem to get this quite right yet.

    Careful examination of the (only) 4 graphs I have uploaded to the above location will reveal the following facts:

    (1) There are strong monthly peaks in AOT which obviously correlate to seasonally elevated SST as expected i.e. cloud cover partly correlates to SST.

    (2) However, there are also very strong aseasonal peaks in AOT which do not correlate to seasonally elevated SST i.e. there is clearly a type of cloud which anti-correlates to SST.

    (3) These latter class of peaks in AOT all strongly correlate to closely PRECEDING peaks in Chlor0phyll a and DAC and closely FOLLOWING peaks in NWLR.

    For example, there is a strongly SST anti-correlated event for AOT in the 2nd half of 2006 in particular which is a clear-cut example of these latter form of major cloud-creating events.

    I interpret these later type of AOT events to be the consequence of major blooming episodes of oceanic cyanobacteria.

    It is noted that the 1st significant rainfalls in SE Australia effectively terminating the Millenium drought occurred in September 2006. This episode did NOT correlate with elevated SSTs around Australia.

    It is also noted that global measures of oceanic cyanobacterial primary productivity (e.g. areas under the Chlorophyll a curves) as measured by both the SeaWIFS and Aqua satellites have increased over the period 2002 – 2008, particularly over continental shelf areas (areas not associated with upwelling) and the graphs which I have uploaded show the same can also be said of the ocean around Australia over the same period.

  • Anonymous

    Steve, Thanks. That is a very clear description you gave above. I am having troube viewing the graphs, but might try again at home. cheers

  • http://landshape.org/enm admin

    Steve, Thanks. That is a very clear description you gave above. I am having troube viewing the graphs, but might try again at home. cheers

  • http://www.ecoengineers.com Steve Short

    They are simple .gif graphics files around only 80 KB each.

    Let me know the nature of your problem.

    I can email them directly to you if you wish.

    We generally don’t have any trouble with the YouSendIt upload/download system – we use it almost daily to swap large Autocad, Word and Adobe Photoshop files between our Oz offices and with our Santa Barbara CA office.

  • http://www.ecoengineers.com Steve Short

    They are simple .gif graphics files around only 80 KB each.

    Let me know the nature of your problem.

    I can email them directly to you if you wish.

    We generally don’t have any trouble with the YouSendIt upload/download system – we use it almost daily to swap large Autocad, Word and Adobe Photoshop files between our Oz offices and with our Santa Barbara CA office.

  • Anonymous

    I just had a look at this recent paper by Kirono and Jones on pan evaporation where the construct an Australian time series. Seems like they arge for no significant trend in evaporation after adjustments for bird guards in the early part of the series.
    http://www.bom.gov.au/amm/200702/kirono_hres.pdf

  • http://landshape.org/enm admin

    I just had a look at this recent paper by Kirono and Jones on pan evaporation where the construct an Australian time series. Seems like they arge for no significant trend in evaporation after adjustments for bird guards in the early part of the series.
    http://www.bom.gov.au/amm/200702/kirono_hres.pdf

  • Anonymous

    I just had another look (to get the links off the sidebar)

  • http://landshape.org/enm admin

    I just had another look (to get the links off the sidebar)

  • http://www.ecoengineers.com Steve Short

    Yes, David I agree that the Kirono and Jones paper shows that there were no overall trends in pan evaporation in Australia over the period 1970 – 2004.

    I particularly draw everyone’s attention to the paragraph:

    The results show that the trend
    (1970-2004) in the all-stations average was -2.8±1.7 for the original data but only -0.7±1.6 mm year-2 for the adjusted data. This demonstrates the importance of carefully scrutinising the data because of the risk in making far-reaching conclusions based on data that contains significant biases.

    This paper comprehensively puts the lie to previous blatantly AGW partisan and outdated statements on this thread such:

    “The trend for 1975–2004 over the same 61 sites is lower at _2.4 mm a_2 (results not shown) because of the high pan evaporation rates during the drought conditions prevailing over much of southeast Australia since 2002. “

    What’s that ? Higher pan evaporation rates? And enough to change the trend that much?”

    and

    “Greater evaporation at Cobar and during May-Oct 2002 significantly greater evaporation at Wagg Wagga, Deniliquin and Renmark. Says the data makes a comparison with 1902 difficult. But 1940, 1914, and 1919 also looked at.”

  • http://www.ecoengineers.com Steve Short

    Yes, David I agree that the Kirono and Jones paper shows that there were no overall trends in pan evaporation in Australia over the period 1970 – 2004.

    I particularly draw everyone’s attention to the paragraph:

    The results show that the trend
    (1970-2004) in the all-stations average was -2.8±1.7 for the original data but only -0.7±1.6 mm year-2 for the adjusted data. This demonstrates the importance of carefully scrutinising the data because of the risk in making far-reaching conclusions based on data that contains significant biases.

    This paper comprehensively puts the lie to previous blatantly AGW partisan and outdated statements on this thread such:

    “The trend for 1975–2004 over the same 61 sites is lower at _2.4 mm a_2 (results not shown) because of the high pan evaporation rates during the drought conditions prevailing over much of southeast Australia since 2002. “

    What’s that ? Higher pan evaporation rates? And enough to change the trend that much?”

    and

    “Greater evaporation at Cobar and during May-Oct 2002 significantly greater evaporation at Wagg Wagga, Deniliquin and Renmark. Says the data makes a comparison with 1902 difficult. But 1940, 1914, and 1919 also looked at.”

  • Anonymous

    Steve, Also the correlation with rainfall and temperature are really low actually. If a point or two was removed there would be virtually what I would regard as an amazingly invariant relationship over time and weather.

  • http://landshape.org/enm admin

    Steve, Also the correlation with rainfall and temperature are really low actually. If a point or two was removed there would be virtually what I would regard as an amazingly invariant relationship over time and weather.

  • Luke

    Come on David Stockwell – you’re the statistician and no comments here – WOW ! If it were NASA GISS doing an “adjustment” you’d have your hands up in horror. Hilarious – so now Stockwell is quoting CSIRO as source yet attacking them on the main thread.

    Holy reality inversion Batman !

    Who says we’re talking trends – we’re talking about a couple of periods in the Millennium drought years??

    And when was the discontinuity ?

    Look I’m happy to be proved wrong/overwritten/updated with better data but fair dink mate – Steve’s comment is a pretty partisan slip shod backhander for a bloke big on science detail – so you’re quoting from a different network (and the WHOLE network) (with INFILLED data for Canberra was it).

    Comments like “blatantly AGW partisan” and “lie” are simply provocative. If anything Roderick et al have been saying that our understanding of evaporation is not correct – so AGW partisan?? LOL And I think many people might have thought the issue of scrutinising data somehow !

    Steve you’re not getting any kinder are you? And so now you’re quoting “old stuff” back as evidence. LOL What happened to your “state of the art” studies?

    Nevertheless will read the said paper in detail and thanks for tabling.

  • Luke

    Come on David Stockwell – you’re the statistician and no comments here – WOW ! If it were NASA GISS doing an “adjustment” you’d have your hands up in horror. Hilarious – so now Stockwell is quoting CSIRO as source yet attacking them on the main thread.

    Holy reality inversion Batman !

    Who says we’re talking trends – we’re talking about a couple of periods in the Millennium drought years??

    And when was the discontinuity ?

    Look I’m happy to be proved wrong/overwritten/updated with better data but fair dink mate – Steve’s comment is a pretty partisan slip shod backhander for a bloke big on science detail – so you’re quoting from a different network (and the WHOLE network) (with INFILLED data for Canberra was it).

    Comments like “blatantly AGW partisan” and “lie” are simply provocative. If anything Roderick et al have been saying that our understanding of evaporation is not correct – so AGW partisan?? LOL And I think many people might have thought the issue of scrutinising data somehow !

    Steve you’re not getting any kinder are you? And so now you’re quoting “old stuff” back as evidence. LOL What happened to your “state of the art” studies?

    Nevertheless will read the said paper in detail and thanks for tabling.

  • Anonymous

    Luke: “If it were NASA GISS doing an “adjustment” you’d have your hands up in horror.”
    I think you are confusing me with the CA blog. The adjustment for bird feeders in the paper seemed reasonable to me, and results in a revision of the trend to almost flat, resolving a somewhat anomolous downtrend.

    Since this thread seems like the repository of snide comments, I might add that it was noticeable that Kirono and Jones on pan evaporation was one of the few papers in the last couple of issues of AMM that contained anything like a statistical technique.

  • http://landshape.org/enm admin

    Luke: “If it were NASA GISS doing an “adjustment” you’d have your hands up in horror.”
    I think you are confusing me with the CA blog. The adjustment for bird feeders in the paper seemed reasonable to me, and results in a revision of the trend to almost flat, resolving a somewhat anomolous downtrend.

    Since this thread seems like the repository of snide comments, I might add that it was noticeable that Kirono and Jones on pan evaporation was one of the few papers in the last couple of issues of AMM that contained anything like a statistical technique.

  • http://www.ecoengineers.com Steve Short

    Hang on a minute.

    I do not resile at all from my suggestion that, in the context of a lack of a good statistical assessment of the apparent downward trend in evaporation rates all over Australia (pre- the Kirono and Jones paper), as David notes, his statements were simply untenable.

    “What’s that ? Higher pan evaporation rates? And enough to change the trend that much?”

    and

    “….during May-Oct 2002 significantly greater evaporation at Wagg Wagga, Deniliquin and Renmark. Says the data makes a comparison with 1902 difficult. But 1940, 1914, and 1919 also looked at.”

    Yeah, right….Luke.

    Fact is, in the absence of good quality statistical assessments of the pre-2004 data (and Kiron and Jones is a 1st in that area), the above claims by Luke are plainly unsound.

    Actually, what Luke conveniently ignores (as usual) is that we should (as I have pointed out) be discussing regional evapotranspiration (ET), and trends in that etc anyway rather than pan evaporation i.e. in the context of drought and AGW.

    What Luke doesn’t know is that I have done a lot of consulting work to mining companies and even to State government instrumentalities on key evaluations of ET-related issues. This means I am intimately familiar with the key empirical issues around ET estimation which pertain closely to the drought and AGW question.

    For example:

    There is a large body of excellent Australian science by the CSIRO Land and Water people, principally in Camberra (Zhang, Walker, Dawes etc etc) which has well established that in systems with no rapid loss to groundwater below about 2.0 m depth annual ET is closely related to annual rainfall and AND the relative distribution of vegetation types within the area under consideration. The following paper is seminal in this regard and one of the highest citation index papers in the world:

    Zhang, L. Dawes, W.R. and Walker, G.R. (2001) Response of mean annual evapotranspiration to vegetation changes at catchment scale. Water Resour. Res. 37, 701-708

    see also the earlier equivalent CSIRO report:

    Zhang, L. Dawes, W.R. and Walker, G.R. (1999) Predicting the effect of Vegetation Changes on Catchment Average Water Balance. Technical Report No. 99/12, Cooperative Research Centre for Catchment Hydrology.

    Several years ago I critically evaluated for a client the review by Prof George Kuczera and Dr. Mark Thyer of Uni. Newcastle (associates of Franks) on the ET implications of the 30 year plus gauging records of Sydney’s water catchment dams) – Cataract, Cordeaux, Avon, Nepean, Warragamba etc.

    What my review showed clearly is that even on weathered Triassic Sandstone terrain(!), in wetter years or under conditions of heavy rainfall, some significant fraction of the precipitation can penetrate to below approx 2.0 m below ground just too quickly to participate at all in ET processes. Recent literature shows this is a phenomenon which can occur over a wide range of soils types at outcrop lithologies and is an added complication to e.g. the excellent Zhang and Walker Equation (and the evaluation of daily, monthly and annual ET).

    It is for this reason that to evaluate ET accurately over any areas from individual catchments up to regions like the MDB, we do actually have to consider how to evaluate ET accurately. That is why I described earlier in this thread the sorts of catchemnt- and land use- specific controlled studies that should be conducted to properly evaluate the effect of AGW on drought induction and prolongation etc. Luke of course just sneered at those comments in his usual rash way.

    As my American buddies say – to talk the talk, ya gotta walk the walk. It is always going to be hard going covering technically ‘nitty gritty’ science issues with someone who seems to follow the conduct of the science like flicking through pages in a comic book, excitably logging each dramatic scene but missing all the mundane key detail.

  • http://www.ecoengineers.com Steve Short

    Hang on a minute.

    I do not resile at all from my suggestion that, in the context of a lack of a good statistical assessment of the apparent downward trend in evaporation rates all over Australia (pre- the Kirono and Jones paper), as David notes, his statements were simply untenable.

    “What’s that ? Higher pan evaporation rates? And enough to change the trend that much?”

    and

    “….during May-Oct 2002 significantly greater evaporation at Wagg Wagga, Deniliquin and Renmark. Says the data makes a comparison with 1902 difficult. But 1940, 1914, and 1919 also looked at.”

    Yeah, right….Luke.

    Fact is, in the absence of good quality statistical assessments of the pre-2004 data (and Kiron and Jones is a 1st in that area), the above claims by Luke are plainly unsound.

    Actually, what Luke conveniently ignores (as usual) is that we should (as I have pointed out) be discussing regional evapotranspiration (ET), and trends in that etc anyway rather than pan evaporation i.e. in the context of drought and AGW.

    What Luke doesn’t know is that I have done a lot of consulting work to mining companies and even to State government instrumentalities on key evaluations of ET-related issues. This means I am intimately familiar with the key empirical issues around ET estimation which pertain closely to the drought and AGW question.

    For example:

    There is a large body of excellent Australian science by the CSIRO Land and Water people, principally in Camberra (Zhang, Walker, Dawes etc etc) which has well established that in systems with no rapid loss to groundwater below about 2.0 m depth annual ET is closely related to annual rainfall and AND the relative distribution of vegetation types within the area under consideration. The following paper is seminal in this regard and one of the highest citation index papers in the world:

    Zhang, L. Dawes, W.R. and Walker, G.R. (2001) Response of mean annual evapotranspiration to vegetation changes at catchment scale. Water Resour. Res. 37, 701-708

    see also the earlier equivalent CSIRO report:

    Zhang, L. Dawes, W.R. and Walker, G.R. (1999) Predicting the effect of Vegetation Changes on Catchment Average Water Balance. Technical Report No. 99/12, Cooperative Research Centre for Catchment Hydrology.

    Several years ago I critically evaluated for a client the review by Prof George Kuczera and Dr. Mark Thyer of Uni. Newcastle (associates of Franks) on the ET implications of the 30 year plus gauging records of Sydney’s water catchment dams) – Cataract, Cordeaux, Avon, Nepean, Warragamba etc.

    What my review showed clearly is that even on weathered Triassic Sandstone terrain(!), in wetter years or under conditions of heavy rainfall, some significant fraction of the precipitation can penetrate to below approx 2.0 m below ground just too quickly to participate at all in ET processes. Recent literature shows this is a phenomenon which can occur over a wide range of soils types at outcrop lithologies and is an added complication to e.g. the excellent Zhang and Walker Equation (and the evaluation of daily, monthly and annual ET).

    It is for this reason that to evaluate ET accurately over any areas from individual catchments up to regions like the MDB, we do actually have to consider how to evaluate ET accurately. That is why I described earlier in this thread the sorts of catchemnt- and land use- specific controlled studies that should be conducted to properly evaluate the effect of AGW on drought induction and prolongation etc. Luke of course just sneered at those comments in his usual rash way.

    As my American buddies say – to talk the talk, ya gotta walk the walk. It is always going to be hard going covering technically ‘nitty gritty’ science issues with someone who seems to follow the conduct of the science like flicking through pages in a comic book, excitably logging each dramatic scene but missing all the mundane key detail.

  • Ian Castles

    Steve,

    Thanks for that interesting information. As part of MY trek into the desert of drought predictions in Australia, I came across a segment on ABC TV’s 7.30 report on 25 November 2002 (‘Scientists predict more frequent droughts’, http://www.abc.net.au/7.30/content/2002/s734518.htm ).

    Viewers of that program were informed that ‘CSIRO scientists now say that dry spells could become more frequent as the new century unfolds, with rainfall levels falling in southern Australia as temperatures continue to rise.’ The then-Chief of CSIRO Atmospheric Research, Dr Graeme Pearman, told interviewer Paul Lockyer that ‘There is the prognosis, of course, that, because of global warming, drought conditions will be more common in the future than they are now.’ Dr Pearman also said that ‘Most of the global models that try to predict the impact of greenhouse gases on the world climate suggest that the Australian continent is in for lower rainfall, particularly across the southern part, and that, coupled with warmer temperatures – which means higher evaporation – means less water available for most of the country.’

    Dr Pearman’s assertion that ‘warmer temperatures … means higher evaporation’ was not borne out at the Australian Academy of Science workshop on pan evaporation in November 2005: according to the summary that was subsequently published in the Proceedings (authored by Roger Gifford, Graeme Farquhar, Mike Roderick and Neville Nicholls):

    ‘The observations strengthen the need for more careful theoretical assessments of (i) whether or not Australia (and other places) will get drier as temperature increases, and (ii) whether cloud feedback will strengthen or diminish global warming. It is affirmed that global atmospheric warming does not necessarily mean a more drying atmosphere or a drier land surface.’

    And the IPCC’s 2007 scientific report doesn’t give much support to Dr Pearman’s confidence in the climate models’ predictions that Australian rainfall will decline. The authors of the ‘Regional Climate Projections’ chapter (Chapter 11), including CSIRO’s Dr Penny Whetton, noted that ‘across the continent summer rainfall projections vary substantially from model to model, reducing confidence in their reliability’; and, more significantly, that ‘no detailed assessment of MMD model performance over Australia or New Zealand is available, which hinders efforts to establish the reliability of projections from these models’ (p. 898). In any case, the average of the simulations for nearly half of the 21 models in the IPCC exercise showed INCREASES in rainfall in both Northern and Southern Australia between 1980-99 and 2080-99 (Table 11.1, p. 856).

    Dr Pearman also said on the program that ‘The rainfall in the south-west, the extreme south-west, has been reduced by 30 per cent to 40 per cent, on average, for the last 25 years.’ According to the data for ‘south western Australia’ on the BoM website the reduction in rainfall in the 25 years to 2002 was 2% (using the 11-year moving averages centred on the end-points of the comparison). There is a very large difference between 30 to 40% and 2%, and I’m wondering whether Graeme Pearman may have been referring to a smaller area than ‘south-western Australia’ as defined by the BoM for its high-quality series. Luke, can you point me towards any published data that gives support to Graeme Pearman’s statement?

  • Ian Castles

    Steve,

    Thanks for that interesting information. As part of MY trek into the desert of drought predictions in Australia, I came across a segment on ABC TV’s 7.30 report on 25 November 2002 (‘Scientists predict more frequent droughts’, http://www.abc.net.au/7.30/content/2002/s734518.htm ).

    Viewers of that program were informed that ‘CSIRO scientists now say that dry spells could become more frequent as the new century unfolds, with rainfall levels falling in southern Australia as temperatures continue to rise.’ The then-Chief of CSIRO Atmospheric Research, Dr Graeme Pearman, told interviewer Paul Lockyer that ‘There is the prognosis, of course, that, because of global warming, drought conditions will be more common in the future than they are now.’ Dr Pearman also said that ‘Most of the global models that try to predict the impact of greenhouse gases on the world climate suggest that the Australian continent is in for lower rainfall, particularly across the southern part, and that, coupled with warmer temperatures – which means higher evaporation – means less water available for most of the country.’

    Dr Pearman’s assertion that ‘warmer temperatures … means higher evaporation’ was not borne out at the Australian Academy of Science workshop on pan evaporation in November 2005: according to the summary that was subsequently published in the Proceedings (authored by Roger Gifford, Graeme Farquhar, Mike Roderick and Neville Nicholls):

    ‘The observations strengthen the need for more careful theoretical assessments of (i) whether or not Australia (and other places) will get drier as temperature increases, and (ii) whether cloud feedback will strengthen or diminish global warming. It is affirmed that global atmospheric warming does not necessarily mean a more drying atmosphere or a drier land surface.’

    And the IPCC’s 2007 scientific report doesn’t give much support to Dr Pearman’s confidence in the climate models’ predictions that Australian rainfall will decline. The authors of the ‘Regional Climate Projections’ chapter (Chapter 11), including CSIRO’s Dr Penny Whetton, noted that ‘across the continent summer rainfall projections vary substantially from model to model, reducing confidence in their reliability’; and, more significantly, that ‘no detailed assessment of MMD model performance over Australia or New Zealand is available, which hinders efforts to establish the reliability of projections from these models’ (p. 898). In any case, the average of the simulations for nearly half of the 21 models in the IPCC exercise showed INCREASES in rainfall in both Northern and Southern Australia between 1980-99 and 2080-99 (Table 11.1, p. 856).

    Dr Pearman also said on the program that ‘The rainfall in the south-west, the extreme south-west, has been reduced by 30 per cent to 40 per cent, on average, for the last 25 years.’ According to the data for ‘south western Australia’ on the BoM website the reduction in rainfall in the 25 years to 2002 was 2% (using the 11-year moving averages centred on the end-points of the comparison). There is a very large difference between 30 to 40% and 2%, and I’m wondering whether Graeme Pearman may have been referring to a smaller area than ‘south-western Australia’ as defined by the BoM for its high-quality series. Luke, can you point me towards any published data that gives support to Graeme Pearman’s statement?

  • Anonymous

    Given Dr Wetton’s reservations about regional climate model predictions its surprising to see she is a coauthor on the DECR.

  • http://landshape.org/enm admin

    Given Dr Wetton’s reservations about regional climate model predictions its surprising to see she is a coauthor on the DECR.

  • Ian Castles

    David,

    She is Penny ‘Whetton’, not ‘Wetton’. I’ve no reason to believe that she has any reservations about the CSIRO line on regional climate predictions, but she would have had no choice but to ‘go along’ with the majority view of the lead authors of Chapter 11 of WGI: minority reports are unheard of in the IPCC set-up.

    Sir John Houghton unwittingly gave a revealing illustration of the damage done to scholarship by the IPCC’s suppression of minority views when he said in evidence to the House of Lords Committee inquiry into The Economics of Climate Change that:

    [T]he authors of the relevant chapter in the IPCC Report argued loudly and for very long and in the end they summarised in the chapter that the balance of evidence shows that the water vapour feedback is positive, they put that unequivocally in their summary despite having Lindzen as the chapter author, and he had to go along with it (Evidence of Sir John Houghton, Reply to Q47, 18 January 2005.

    Dr Whetton would have been in the same position as Sir John Houghton: she had to ‘go along with it’. This says nothing, one way or the other, about the validity of such minority views.
    It’s just an example of the fundamental weakness of the IPCC process.

  • Ian Castles

    David,

    She is Penny ‘Whetton’, not ‘Wetton’. I’ve no reason to believe that she has any reservations about the CSIRO line on regional climate predictions, but she would have had no choice but to ‘go along’ with the majority view of the lead authors of Chapter 11 of WGI: minority reports are unheard of in the IPCC set-up.

    Sir John Houghton unwittingly gave a revealing illustration of the damage done to scholarship by the IPCC’s suppression of minority views when he said in evidence to the House of Lords Committee inquiry into The Economics of Climate Change that:

    [T]he authors of the relevant chapter in the IPCC Report argued loudly and for very long and in the end they summarised in the chapter that the balance of evidence shows that the water vapour feedback is positive, they put that unequivocally in their summary despite having Lindzen as the chapter author, and he had to go along with it (Evidence of Sir John Houghton, Reply to Q47, 18 January 2005.

    Dr Whetton would have been in the same position as Sir John Houghton: she had to ‘go along with it’. This says nothing, one way or the other, about the validity of such minority views.
    It’s just an example of the fundamental weakness of the IPCC process.

  • Anonymous

    “It’s just an example of the fundamental weakness of the IPCC process.”
    Ian, But if you argue that way, then who is accountable for it?

  • http://landshape.org/enm admin

    “It’s just an example of the fundamental weakness of the IPCC process.”
    Ian, But if you argue that way, then who is accountable for it?

  • Ian Castles

    David, Good question.

    Formally the IPCC is responsible to the member governments of its parent bodies – the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), but in practice, as I’ve learned to my cost, the Panel is accountable to no one.

    At the UNFCCC conference in Milan in December 2003 its Chair, Dr Pachauri, issued a media release that was specifically and exclusively devoted to brushing aside the critique of the IPCC’s emissions scenarios that I’d developed in co-authorship with Professor David Henderson, former Head of Economics and Statistics at the OECD. This remarkable document stated that ‘In recent months some disinformation has been spread questioning the scenarios used by the IPCC’, and that ‘Criticism of IPCC’s work has been mounted by so-called “two independent commentators”. The media release is still available online on the Academy’s website: the link is at http://www.ipcc.ch/press/press-releases.htm .

    The version of the media release that was issued at Dr Pachauri’s press conference in Milan was even more outrageous. It stated that ‘Mr Castles is a member of the Lavoisier Group, a group founded in Australia whose sole mission is to oppose anything that aims to protect the environment.’ The claim that I was associated with this Group has been repeatedly made and denied. In April 2003, following a statement in the newspaper USA Today that David Henderson and I were both members of the Group, Henderson wrote a letter to the editor stating that “Neither Castles nor I are members of the [Lavoisier] Group, no member of it is or has been involved on our work, and what we have written does not purport to be on the Group’s behalf or to represent its views. We are independent persons, holding no official position. And we speak and write for ourselves alone.” The statement that I was a member of the Lavoisier Group was again made by 15 lead authors of the IPCC Special Report on Emissions Scenarios in a paper published in May 2003, and again denied by David Henderson and me in a paper published in the same journal in July 2003. Yet, as noted above, the claim was repeated by the IPCC in a press statement issued some months later.

    My own experience is but one example of the IPCC’s apparent lack of accountability. Steve McIntyre recently pointed out that Sir John Houghton and Dr Robert Watson, who had earlier been important figures in the IPCC but who no longer appeared to be officers of the Panel, were listed as co-authorising the IPCC complaint to Ofcom, the British regulatory authority, about the TV program The Great Global Warming Swindle. In relation to Watson’s role, McIntyre noted that he is currently the Chief Scientific Adviser to the UK Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, and commented:

    ‘That a DEFRA employee should perceive himself as having the authority to authorize the commencement of an action in the UK on behalf of IPCC which, under other circumstances asserts its immunity rights as an international organization, is intriguing to say the least.’

  • Ian Castles

    David, Good question.

    Formally the IPCC is responsible to the member governments of its parent bodies – the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), but in practice, as I’ve learned to my cost, the Panel is accountable to no one.

    At the UNFCCC conference in Milan in December 2003 its Chair, Dr Pachauri, issued a media release that was specifically and exclusively devoted to brushing aside the critique of the IPCC’s emissions scenarios that I’d developed in co-authorship with Professor David Henderson, former Head of Economics and Statistics at the OECD. This remarkable document stated that ‘In recent months some disinformation has been spread questioning the scenarios used by the IPCC’, and that ‘Criticism of IPCC’s work has been mounted by so-called “two independent commentators”. The media release is still available online on the Academy’s website: the link is at http://www.ipcc.ch/press/press-releases.htm .

    The version of the media release that was issued at Dr Pachauri’s press conference in Milan was even more outrageous. It stated that ‘Mr Castles is a member of the Lavoisier Group, a group founded in Australia whose sole mission is to oppose anything that aims to protect the environment.’ The claim that I was associated with this Group has been repeatedly made and denied. In April 2003, following a statement in the newspaper USA Today that David Henderson and I were both members of the Group, Henderson wrote a letter to the editor stating that “Neither Castles nor I are members of the [Lavoisier] Group, no member of it is or has been involved on our work, and what we have written does not purport to be on the Group’s behalf or to represent its views. We are independent persons, holding no official position. And we speak and write for ourselves alone.” The statement that I was a member of the Lavoisier Group was again made by 15 lead authors of the IPCC Special Report on Emissions Scenarios in a paper published in May 2003, and again denied by David Henderson and me in a paper published in the same journal in July 2003. Yet, as noted above, the claim was repeated by the IPCC in a press statement issued some months later.

    My own experience is but one example of the IPCC’s apparent lack of accountability. Steve McIntyre recently pointed out that Sir John Houghton and Dr Robert Watson, who had earlier been important figures in the IPCC but who no longer appeared to be officers of the Panel, were listed as co-authorising the IPCC complaint to Ofcom, the British regulatory authority, about the TV program The Great Global Warming Swindle. In relation to Watson’s role, McIntyre noted that he is currently the Chief Scientific Adviser to the UK Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, and commented:

    ‘That a DEFRA employee should perceive himself as having the authority to authorize the commencement of an action in the UK on behalf of IPCC which, under other circumstances asserts its immunity rights as an international organization, is intriguing to say the least.’

  • Anonymous

    Ian, that Watson felt he had authority to initiate proceedings when no longer an official is also amazingly “clubby”. As others have said, this is a real threat to freedom.

  • http://landshape.org/enm admin

    Ian, that Watson felt he had authority to initiate proceedings when no longer an official is also amazingly “clubby”. As others have said, this is a real threat to freedom.

  • Luke

    Hang on a minute:

    The issue is not about trends – moreover as to whether the high temperatures experienced in some years of the Millennium drought affected evaporation. Episodic events. The discussion has taken on a broader focus and that’s fine – but I’m still on the original question.

    We’re not talking all of Australia – but SE Australia – MDB. The Kiron and Jones has very few data points in the area with Canberra “adjusted”.

    None of this takes away from the broad findings of Kiron and Jones – simply the applicability for the issue in question here.

    And yes regional studies would be great if we had them back during previous droughts. I’m not sneering at Catchment CRC Hydrology work – but you are demonstrating form by verballing and bullying. Indeed it was you who sneered at my previous mention of regional work.

    Ian Castles on SW WA rainfall – all I can point to is that it may be a reference to May-Oct rainfall?

    Slide 10 here

    http://www.bom.gov.au/bmrc/clfor/cfstaff/pandora/PHope_Greenhouse2005.ppt

    http://www.ioci.org.au/publications/pdf/IOCI_PaperJan6.pdf

  • Luke

    Hang on a minute:

    The issue is not about trends – moreover as to whether the high temperatures experienced in some years of the Millennium drought affected evaporation. Episodic events. The discussion has taken on a broader focus and that’s fine – but I’m still on the original question.

    We’re not talking all of Australia – but SE Australia – MDB. The Kiron and Jones has very few data points in the area with Canberra “adjusted”.

    None of this takes away from the broad findings of Kiron and Jones – simply the applicability for the issue in question here.

    And yes regional studies would be great if we had them back during previous droughts. I’m not sneering at Catchment CRC Hydrology work – but you are demonstrating form by verballing and bullying. Indeed it was you who sneered at my previous mention of regional work.

    Ian Castles on SW WA rainfall – all I can point to is that it may be a reference to May-Oct rainfall?

    Slide 10 here

    http://www.bom.gov.au/bmrc/clfor/cfstaff/pandora/PHope_Greenhouse2005.ppt

    http://www.ioci.org.au/publications/pdf/IOCI_PaperJan6.pdf

  • http://www.ecoengineers.com Steve Short

    My point is simple, does not, and never did need to be drowned in a shower of fluff and bumpf.

    Prior to, and during the so-called Millenium drought years (2002 – 2006 or however one wants to define it’s duration), if catchment (large or small) or defined areas (‘microcosms’ if you will) were the subject of water balance studies in the MDB then there would be more certainty, retrospectively as to causation, AGW-related or otherwise.

    By definition it becomes easier to establish narrower water-related parameter ranges with more precision and clear boundary conditions (in the finite element model sense), for performing water balance studies when the study concentrates on e.g. restricted areas of well defined monoculture of vegetation type (say woodlots, orchards or consistent cropping, minimal spatial heterogeneity of wind speed, direction, air and surface temperatures etc, an area with either no underlying shallow aquifer or a single shallow semi-confined aquifer with good piezometry, a defined sub-catchment with well-defined hydrologic and hydrogeologic boundaries etc., etc., etc.

    These types of sub-regional (not regional) studies are well known worldwide, often form the basis of e.g. PhD studies and have often formed the basis in Australia of numerous CSIRO Land and Water land use and landscape water balance study reports etc.

    There are a significant number of such ‘microcosmic’ study areas set up preceding the period 2002 – 2006 to study dryland salinisation for example. I spent a large part of the 1980s providing isotope science support services for such sub-regional studies.

    By definition, it is easier to identify (far less equivocally) AGW-driven effects on overall water balance within such well-defined sub-areas located in (say) the MDB.

    It will come as no surprise to those familiar with the long and noble history of landscape hydrology for me to note that I am simply re-stating something which has been known about, and engaged in, for a long time, the world over.

    I am far more interested in discussing the specific (water gain/loss/balance, groundwater recharge, temperature, ET, etc.) findings of such well-defined studies than getting lost in a welter of to-ing and fro-ing, especially with non-practioners of science, about the methodological or statistical reliability or ‘global meaning’ of datasets of macroscopic, and marginally pertinent parameters such as Class A pan evaporation over suites of widely separated monitoring stations.

  • http://www.ecoengineers.com Steve Short

    My point is simple, does not, and never did need to be drowned in a shower of fluff and bumpf.

    Prior to, and during the so-called Millenium drought years (2002 – 2006 or however one wants to define it’s duration), if catchment (large or small) or defined areas (‘microcosms’ if you will) were the subject of water balance studies in the MDB then there would be more certainty, retrospectively as to causation, AGW-related or otherwise.

    By definition it becomes easier to establish narrower water-related parameter ranges with more precision and clear boundary conditions (in the finite element model sense), for performing water balance studies when the study concentrates on e.g. restricted areas of well defined monoculture of vegetation type (say woodlots, orchards or consistent cropping, minimal spatial heterogeneity of wind speed, direction, air and surface temperatures etc, an area with either no underlying shallow aquifer or a single shallow semi-confined aquifer with good piezometry, a defined sub-catchment with well-defined hydrologic and hydrogeologic boundaries etc., etc., etc.

    These types of sub-regional (not regional) studies are well known worldwide, often form the basis of e.g. PhD studies and have often formed the basis in Australia of numerous CSIRO Land and Water land use and landscape water balance study reports etc.

    There are a significant number of such ‘microcosmic’ study areas set up preceding the period 2002 – 2006 to study dryland salinisation for example. I spent a large part of the 1980s providing isotope science support services for such sub-regional studies.

    By definition, it is easier to identify (far less equivocally) AGW-driven effects on overall water balance within such well-defined sub-areas located in (say) the MDB.

    It will come as no surprise to those familiar with the long and noble history of landscape hydrology for me to note that I am simply re-stating something which has been known about, and engaged in, for a long time, the world over.

    I am far more interested in discussing the specific (water gain/loss/balance, groundwater recharge, temperature, ET, etc.) findings of such well-defined studies than getting lost in a welter of to-ing and fro-ing, especially with non-practioners of science, about the methodological or statistical reliability or ‘global meaning’ of datasets of macroscopic, and marginally pertinent parameters such as Class A pan evaporation over suites of widely separated monitoring stations.

  • Ian Castles

    Luke, Thanks for your suggested explanation for Graeme Pearman’s claim that average rainfall had been reduced by 30-40% in SWWA in the 25 years to 2002.

    Dr Pearman’s statement was as quoted above referred to total annual rainfall and he didn’t say anything about May-October. And there can’t have been this scale of reduction even in those months anyway, because according to the BoM data, reproduced in Hope et al, Slide 8, 77% of SWWA’s annual rainfall in the 1961-90 reference period fell in those months.

    According to the Hope et al slide 10, the reduction in rainfall even in the May-July period, while substantial, is nothing like 30-40%. So it seems that Pearman hugely overstated the decline in SWWA rainfall.

    The more important question, of course, relates to his claim (now repeated in the DECR) that drought conditions will become more frequent in Australia. Let’s hope that Kevin Hennessy’s promised response to David S’s paper sheds light on this issue.

  • Ian Castles

    Luke, Thanks for your suggested explanation for Graeme Pearman’s claim that average rainfall had been reduced by 30-40% in SWWA in the 25 years to 2002.

    Dr Pearman’s statement was as quoted above referred to total annual rainfall and he didn’t say anything about May-October. And there can’t have been this scale of reduction even in those months anyway, because according to the BoM data, reproduced in Hope et al, Slide 8, 77% of SWWA’s annual rainfall in the 1961-90 reference period fell in those months.

    According to the Hope et al slide 10, the reduction in rainfall even in the May-July period, while substantial, is nothing like 30-40%. So it seems that Pearman hugely overstated the decline in SWWA rainfall.

    The more important question, of course, relates to his claim (now repeated in the DECR) that drought conditions will become more frequent in Australia. Let’s hope that Kevin Hennessy’s promised response to David S’s paper sheds light on this issue.

  • http://www.gravatar.com/avatar/88875c95e4718517203d3269c18423ef?s=64 Luke

    Steve – all most fascinating – I’m in awe of your prowess – but do inform us what so these studies actually contribute to the point of the debate. Today. Specifically.

  • http://www.gravatar.com/avatar/88875c95e4718517203d3269c18423ef?s=64 Luke

    Steve – all most fascinating – I’m in awe of your prowess – but do inform us what so these studies actually contribute to the point of the debate. Today. Specifically.

  • http://www.ecoengineers.com Steve Short

    Whether there are any which prove your contention that AGW was a causative agent of the Millenium drought.

  • http://www.ecoengineers.com Steve Short

    Whether there are any which prove your contention that AGW was a causative agent of the Millenium drought.

  • Ian Castles

    Professor Graham Farquhar, Vice President of the Australian Academy of Science, has provided a comment to the Australian Science Media Centre on the just-released Global Carbon Project results. The following extract seems relevant to the ‘controversial topic’ that is the subject of this thread:

    ‘We are reasonably confident about associated increases in temperature and hence in sea level, but the effects on rainfall are much less clear. While it should increase globally there will presumably be areas where rainfall decreases. We have very limited ability at present to make regional forecasts, but there is concern that storm tracks could move further south and reduce rainfall in southern Australia. However, different models give different results, some showing Australia wetting up and some showing drying, and the same models with slightly different starting conditions, often give different results.

    We do not know the limits placed on regional forecasts by the “butterfly effect”. We also have only a limited, and in many cases declining, ability to monitor the changes in key drivers, like the energy balance of the earth’s surface, like the functioning of ecosystems, like the amount of water stored at large scale in soil and in aquifers. Our ability to predict is hamstrung by our ability to observe. We need to make an effort to better understand our climate system.”

  • Ian Castles

    Professor Graham Farquhar, Vice President of the Australian Academy of Science, has provided a comment to the Australian Science Media Centre on the just-released Global Carbon Project results. The following extract seems relevant to the ‘controversial topic’ that is the subject of this thread:

    ‘We are reasonably confident about associated increases in temperature and hence in sea level, but the effects on rainfall are much less clear. While it should increase globally there will presumably be areas where rainfall decreases. We have very limited ability at present to make regional forecasts, but there is concern that storm tracks could move further south and reduce rainfall in southern Australia. However, different models give different results, some showing Australia wetting up and some showing drying, and the same models with slightly different starting conditions, often give different results.

    We do not know the limits placed on regional forecasts by the “butterfly effect”. We also have only a limited, and in many cases declining, ability to monitor the changes in key drivers, like the energy balance of the earth’s surface, like the functioning of ecosystems, like the amount of water stored at large scale in soil and in aquifers. Our ability to predict is hamstrung by our ability to observe. We need to make an effort to better understand our climate system.”

  • Anonymous

    Another member of the organized skeptic disinformation network ;-)

  • http://landshape.org/enm David Stockwell

    Another member of the organized skeptic disinformation network ;-)

  • Luke

    No – Graham is a serious person.

  • Luke

    No – Graham is a serious person.

  • http://www.ecoengineers.com Steve Short

    Inter caesa et porrecta!

  • http://www.ecoengineers.com Steve Short

    Inter caesa et porrecta!

  • http://www.ecoengineers.com Steve Short

    While returning from a job in the Murrumbidgee Irrigation Area (MIA) where he was setting up ET and soil moisture monitoring gear over a broad acre cropping operation, one of my employees took a set of photographs, a few of which can be downloaded from:

    https://www.yousendit.com/download/bVlDQk05RkU3N0JMWEE9PQ

    These photos graphically show a big dust storm sweeping through the town of Narrandera and give some idea of the ability of the MIA to generate substantial loads of airborne dust under high winds.

  • http://www.ecoengineers.com Steve Short

    While returning from a job in the Murrumbidgee Irrigation Area (MIA) where he was setting up ET and soil moisture monitoring gear over a broad acre cropping operation, one of my employees took a set of photographs, a few of which can be downloaded from:

    https://www.yousendit.com/download/bVlDQk05RkU3N0JMWEE9PQ

    These photos graphically show a big dust storm sweeping through the town of Narrandera and give some idea of the ability of the MIA to generate substantial loads of airborne dust under high winds.

  • http://www.ecoengineers.com Steve Short

    Over the last several weeks I have had occasion to review a very large number of technical papers produced mostly in the last 5 years on the assessment of rainfall, ET, infiltration, irrigation practices and hydrogeology of the Ord River Irrigation Area (ORIA) in nothwestern Australia.

    It is interesting to note that groundwater recharge in the ORIA is in excess of groundwater discharge predominantly during wet seasons and particularly during above average rainfall wets seasons.

    This echoes my earlier comments about a significant fraction of precipitation in some regions sometimes infiltrating below ~2 m too rapidly to be subject to ET processes. In the case of the ORIA this is due to the formation of ‘slickensides’ in the (cracking clay) soil profile which provide rapid infiltration paths to the water table in heavy rainfall conditions.

    Of significant interest is that water table in the ORIA last reached a maximum historical elevation around 2001 – 2002, following the wettest four year period (1998 – 2001) since 1960. Rainfall over that 4 year period was 145% of the long term average.

    It is interesting to note that situation in the ORIA was markedly contrasted by the onset of the so-called Millenium Drought drought in SE Australia.

    In this connection, may I also note that there has be a conspicuous silence from Luke on my invitation to him to provide examples of good sub-regional small catchment water balance or calibrated field ‘microcosmic’ studies e.g. from the MDB, which go to prove his contention that AGW was a causative agent of the Millenium drought.

  • http://www.ecoengineers.com Steve Short

    Over the last several weeks I have had occasion to review a very large number of technical papers produced mostly in the last 5 years on the assessment of rainfall, ET, infiltration, irrigation practices and hydrogeology of the Ord River Irrigation Area (ORIA) in nothwestern Australia.

    It is interesting to note that groundwater recharge in the ORIA is in excess of groundwater discharge predominantly during wet seasons and particularly during above average rainfall wets seasons.

    This echoes my earlier comments about a significant fraction of precipitation in some regions sometimes infiltrating below ~2 m too rapidly to be subject to ET processes. In the case of the ORIA this is due to the formation of ‘slickensides’ in the (cracking clay) soil profile which provide rapid infiltration paths to the water table in heavy rainfall conditions.

    Of significant interest is that water table in the ORIA last reached a maximum historical elevation around 2001 – 2002, following the wettest four year period (1998 – 2001) since 1960. Rainfall over that 4 year period was 145% of the long term average.

    It is interesting to note that situation in the ORIA was markedly contrasted by the onset of the so-called Millenium Drought drought in SE Australia.

    In this connection, may I also note that there has be a conspicuous silence from Luke on my invitation to him to provide examples of good sub-regional small catchment water balance or calibrated field ‘microcosmic’ studies e.g. from the MDB, which go to prove his contention that AGW was a causative agent of the Millenium drought.

  • Jan Pompe

    Steve #84

    “It is interesting to note that situation in the ORIA was markedly contrasted by the onset of the so-called Millenium Drought drought in SE Australia.”

    Something I like to call a see saw effect. The thermodynamic resources are limited to solar input so a gain in one region must necessarily lead to a loss in another region. Problems arise when you look at what is happening in one region and claiming that as representative of global conditions.

  • Jan Pompe

    Steve #84

    “It is interesting to note that situation in the ORIA was markedly contrasted by the onset of the so-called Millenium Drought drought in SE Australia.”

    Something I like to call a see saw effect. The thermodynamic resources are limited to solar input so a gain in one region must necessarily lead to a loss in another region. Problems arise when you look at what is happening in one region and claiming that as representative of global conditions.

  • Franko

    Human Aggrevated Global Wrongings. Original sins, CO2 exhaling beings, guilty you are, stop now, or Pizza Pie Earth Topping is Humanity.

    Knowing, modeling the Ghost, with certainty, gives clues, how to do the opposite, to improve. Other parts of the world demonstrate positive outlook, Good examp0le is Dubai Palm City

  • Franko

    Human Aggrevated Global Wrongings. Original sins, CO2 exhaling beings, guilty you are, stop now, or Pizza Pie Earth Topping is Humanity.

    Knowing, modeling the Ghost, with certainty, gives clues, how to do the opposite, to improve. Other parts of the world demonstrate positive outlook, Good examp0le is Dubai Palm City

  • http://www.ecoengineers.com Steve Short

    Even for this career, here is an essay which would have to be a milestone:

    climatesci.org/2008/10/02/an-essay-the-ipcc-report-what-the-lead-authors-really-think/

    “The rush to emphasize regional climate does not have a scientifically sound basis.

    Until and unless major oscillations in the Earth System (El Nino-Southern Oscillation (ENSO), Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO), North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) and Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation (AMO) etc.) can be predicted to the extent that they are predictable, regional climate is not a well defined problem. It may never be. If that is the case then we should say so. It is not just the forecast but the confidence and uncertainty that are just as much a key.

    Climate models need to be exercised for weather prediction; there are necessary but not sufficient things that can best be tested in this framework, which is just beginning to be exploited.

    Energy budget is really worrisome; we should have had 20 years of ERBE [Earth Radiation Budget Experiment] type data by now- this would have told us about cloud feedback and climate sensitivity. I’m worried that we’ll never have a reliable long-term measurement. This combined with accurate ocean heat uptake data would really help constrain the big-picture climate change outcome, and then we can work on the details.”

  • http://www.ecoengineers.com Steve Short

    Even for this career, here is an essay which would have to be a milestone:

    climatesci.org/2008/10/02/an-essay-the-ipcc-report-what-the-lead-authors-really-think/

    “The rush to emphasize regional climate does not have a scientifically sound basis.

    Until and unless major oscillations in the Earth System (El Nino-Southern Oscillation (ENSO), Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO), North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) and Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation (AMO) etc.) can be predicted to the extent that they are predictable, regional climate is not a well defined problem. It may never be. If that is the case then we should say so. It is not just the forecast but the confidence and uncertainty that are just as much a key.

    Climate models need to be exercised for weather prediction; there are necessary but not sufficient things that can best be tested in this framework, which is just beginning to be exploited.

    Energy budget is really worrisome; we should have had 20 years of ERBE [Earth Radiation Budget Experiment] type data by now- this would have told us about cloud feedback and climate sensitivity. I’m worried that we’ll never have a reliable long-term measurement. This combined with accurate ocean heat uptake data would really help constrain the big-picture climate change outcome, and then we can work on the details.”

  • http://www.ecoengineers.com Steve Short
  • http://www.ecoengineers.com Steve Short
  • http://www.ecoengineers.com Steve Short

    One would have to ask oneself why a lead author of IPCC 2007 would have chosen to publish an essay with this level of ‘dumping on one’s peers’ right at this particular point in time – a full 12 months after the October 2007 Sydney meeting of IPCC lead authors.

    Especially an Australian academic dependent on ARC grant funds in a relatively new Federal political power environment which has endorsed and is attempting to make an AGW shibboleth out of CSIRO/BOM prophecies of regional climatic effects i.e. drought frequency and spread based on regional climate modeling.

    What is this? Simply yet another convulsion in a relatively turbulent career, hints of an emerging scramble of ‘rodents from ships’, or a true and noble instance of hand-on-heart whistle blowing?

  • http://www.ecoengineers.com Steve Short

    One would have to ask oneself why a lead author of IPCC 2007 would have chosen to publish an essay with this level of ‘dumping on one’s peers’ right at this particular point in time – a full 12 months after the October 2007 Sydney meeting of IPCC lead authors.

    Especially an Australian academic dependent on ARC grant funds in a relatively new Federal political power environment which has endorsed and is attempting to make an AGW shibboleth out of CSIRO/BOM prophecies of regional climatic effects i.e. drought frequency and spread based on regional climate modeling.

    What is this? Simply yet another convulsion in a relatively turbulent career, hints of an emerging scramble of ‘rodents from ships’, or a true and noble instance of hand-on-heart whistle blowing?

  • Anonymous

    Very interesting article Steve, confirming what so many of us have been saying for years, that the IPCC is a cowboy outfit.

    Contrast with this approach to systematic review:

    http://ebm.bmj.com/cgi/content/full/13/5/129?rss=1

    The purpose of Evidence-Based Medicine is to alert clinicians to important advances in internal medicine, general and family practice, surgery, psychiatry, paediatrics, and obstetrics and gynaecology by selecting from the biomedical literature those original and review articles whose results are most likely to be both true and useful. These articles are summarised in value-added abstracts and commented on by clinical experts. The author of the original article is given an opportunity to review the abstract and commentary before publication.

    The procedures we follow to achieve this purpose are

    * Detecting, using prestated criteria, the best original and review articles on the cause, course, diagnosis, prevention, treatment, quality of care, or economics of disorders in the foregoing fields
    * Introducing these articles with declarative titles and summarising them accurately in structured abstracts that describe their objectives, methods, results, and conclusions
    * Adding brief, highly expert commentaries to place each of these summaries in its proper clinical and healthcare context
    * Disseminating these summaries in a timely fashion.

    “yet another convulsion in a relatively turbulent career”

    You seem to have some more interesting information. Care to share?

  • http://landshape.org/enm admin

    Very interesting article Steve, confirming what so many of us have been saying for years, that the IPCC is a cowboy outfit.

    Contrast with this approach to systematic review:

    http://ebm.bmj.com/cgi/content/full/13/5/129?rss=1

    The purpose of Evidence-Based Medicine is to alert clinicians to important advances in internal medicine, general and family practice, surgery, psychiatry, paediatrics, and obstetrics and gynaecology by selecting from the biomedical literature those original and review articles whose results are most likely to be both true and useful. These articles are summarised in value-added abstracts and commented on by clinical experts. The author of the original article is given an opportunity to review the abstract and commentary before publication.

    The procedures we follow to achieve this purpose are

    * Detecting, using prestated criteria, the best original and review articles on the cause, course, diagnosis, prevention, treatment, quality of care, or economics of disorders in the foregoing fields
    * Introducing these articles with declarative titles and summarising them accurately in structured abstracts that describe their objectives, methods, results, and conclusions
    * Adding brief, highly expert commentaries to place each of these summaries in its proper clinical and healthcare context
    * Disseminating these summaries in a timely fashion.

    “yet another convulsion in a relatively turbulent career”

    You seem to have some more interesting information. Care to share?

  • http://www.ecoengineers.com Steve Short

    I agree this whole affair tends to support the notion that IPCC is a cowboy outfit as you say.

    Henderson-Sellers claims she is simply reproducing documented statements by others at the September 2007 meeting. It is hard to verify this given she is a co-author of the major reference (Doherty et al. 2000) which it is still in press and the other references are brief or much more opaque.

    This is a curious essay with even more curious timing. It’s recent appearance raises the question of whether there has been perhaps a major falling out amongst the IPCC leading authors ‘club’ prior to, at and since the September 2007 meeting, or is there a more prosaic explanation?

    The description of Henderson-Sellers on Climate Science as ” …the internationally well respected climate scientist…” and “Until 2007 she was the Director of the World Climate Research Programme based in Geneva at the headquarters of the World Meteorological Organisation” as odd given that for quite a number of years just prior to 2007 H-S was actually continuously employed right here in Sydney as director of the Institute for Environmental Research at Ansto – an appointment of ‘connection’ to an administrative post which quickly became characterized by high levels of stress, dissatisfaction and unhappiness amongst the more talented senior staff with consequently many departures.

  • http://www.ecoengineers.com Steve Short

    I agree this whole affair tends to support the notion that IPCC is a cowboy outfit as you say.

    Henderson-Sellers claims she is simply reproducing documented statements by others at the September 2007 meeting. It is hard to verify this given she is a co-author of the major reference (Doherty et al. 2000) which it is still in press and the other references are brief or much more opaque.

    This is a curious essay with even more curious timing. It’s recent appearance raises the question of whether there has been perhaps a major falling out amongst the IPCC leading authors ‘club’ prior to, at and since the September 2007 meeting, or is there a more prosaic explanation?

    The description of Henderson-Sellers on Climate Science as ” …the internationally well respected climate scientist…” and “Until 2007 she was the Director of the World Climate Research Programme based in Geneva at the headquarters of the World Meteorological Organisation” as odd given that for quite a number of years just prior to 2007 H-S was actually continuously employed right here in Sydney as director of the Institute for Environmental Research at Ansto – an appointment of ‘connection’ to an administrative post which quickly became characterized by high levels of stress, dissatisfaction and unhappiness amongst the more talented senior staff with consequently many departures.

  • http://www.ecoengineers.com Steve Short

    Sorry (typo), I meant Doherty et al., 2008 not 2000, as being in press. If anyone has a copy of this paper could they please post it.

  • http://www.ecoengineers.com Steve Short

    Sorry (typo), I meant Doherty et al., 2008 not 2000, as being in press. If anyone has a copy of this paper could they please post it.

  • http://ger.com scatituisreli

    hello it is test. WinRAR provides the full RAR and ZIP file support, can decompress CAB, GZIP, ACE and other archive formats.
    oqkcfrvkixzhvsxcagyozagxtptaoukbpuuhello

  • http://ger.com scatituisreli

    hello it is test. WinRAR provides the full RAR and ZIP file support, can decompress CAB, GZIP, ACE and other archive formats.
    oqkcfrvkixzhvsxcagyozagxtptaoukbpuuhello

  • Pingback: Niche Modeling » Fishery Predictions of Global Warming

  • Pingback: Niche Modeling » Submission 1: Australian Meteorological Magazine (AMM)

  • Pingback: http://test.com

  • http://kredytstudenckipraca.wordpress.com/ SmotoLoryCork

    Witam chcialbym przedstawic najlepsza strone o kredytach studenckich [url=http://kredytstudenckipraca.wordpress.com/]kredyt studencki[/url] [url=http://kredytstudenckicoijak.wordpress.com/]kredyt studencki pko[/url] [url=http://kredytstudenckiinformacje.wordpress.com/]kredyt dla studenta[/url]