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A few facts on Flannery, Climate Council, and prophecies of bushfire: no long trends for Katoomba

Flannery and the Climate Council are at it again — trying to scare money out of people with their prophecies of bushfires. They are milking the fear factor from the October fires in the Blue Mountains, telling us disaster planning means we have to get “the facts straight”.

Let’s get the facts straight on exactly how human emissions of CO2 have affected the temperature and rainfall in the Blue Mountains of New South Wales. How much hotter and drier is the climate? Ninety percent of human emissions have been produced since WWII. Katoomba has the longest running temperature series I could find in the BOM records -see below. But where is that rising trend? The string of hot years in the late 1930s appears to be just as hot as the last decade.  The 1920s and 30s look a lot like the 1980 and 90s.

The facts about Katoomba annual temperatures

Source: Katoomba annual mean temperature

see also Katoomba October mean temperatures


But wait, the Climate Council tells us “Hot, dry conditions create conditions favourable for bushfires. Australia has just experienced its hottest 12 months ever recorded.” Any sane person would assume the Blue Mountains must be getting drier —  strange the Climate Council don’t provide a graph on that. Let’s look at the drying climate in Katoomba.


 Source: Katoomba annual rainfall

See also the same trends in  Blackheath annual rainfall and Lithgow annual rainfall.

In other words Katoomba has a noisy annual rainfall, there is no obvious trend, there have been dry years and wet years, and if heat and dryness make fires worse, then there is no sign that CO2 makes any difference.

In Katoomba at least, the late 30s and 40s appear to be a bit hotter, and also drier than the last few years. That was when CO2 levels were ideal.

Climate scientists used to tell us that only the long term trends mattered. What the Climate Council does is not science. They are simply stringing keywords together, confounding concepts, and cherry picking any disaster anywhere, to whip up a scare just like the local tribal witchdoctors used to. There is no chain-of-evidence to link CO2 to bushfires. Mere conjecture and broken models. But don’t wait for the Climate Council  to tell you the facts that matter.

Severe bushfires in October are not unusual. The ferocity of the fires was not unprecedented. The ignition points for some of the Blue Mountains fires were not due to CO2 but to arson and an accident in the Army. Fuel loads are the factor we most need to discuss.


Obviously Katoomba is only one record in the region. I wanted more. But long term temperature records in the Blue Mountains are hard to find. Other records are short (and flat): Mt Boyce   Penrith Lakes   Richmond RAAF (none of them are long enough). Going further, Mudgee is long and cooling, but ends in 1995 moved to the airport. Bathurst Airport shows the opposite trend.

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