JoNova

A science presenter, writer, speaker & former TV host; author of The Skeptic's Handbook (over 200,000 copies distributed & available in 15 languages).


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Australians wiped out the flu and avoided 50,000 other cases of sickness and disease

Lessons from Coronavirus

Lockdowns and border closures mean many diseases have been prevented

It’s peak season for flu here in Australia and there’s almost no sign of it. As Chris Gillham wrote here back in May, we know lockdowns stop viruses, because flu cases are 85% down. Now he shows that this extends to other diseases too, and Chris has used data from the National Notifiable Diseases Surveillance System to calculate that just shy of 200,000 fewer Australians contracted any of the notifiable diseases in the first seven months of 2020 compared to the first seven months of 2019.

Is some of that disease burden just the price of holiday-makers bringing back diseases from overseas each year?

No one wants to stop the planes returning to the skies, but it begs the question — do we have to accept the onslaught of winter germs every year?

The answer may lie with other things we’ve discovered in the Covid pandemic too — that sick people should stay home from work and school, and that we have a lot of anti-viral tools we can use. Perhaps it’s time that travellers considered taking preemptive anti-virals, which might improve their holidays and also reduce […]

Lockdowns work: Influenza cases are 85% down across 17 countries

Lockdowns appear to be reducing all flu-like diseases

This years flu season is smaller than the last five years

Good news: due to the pandemic it’s likely many people are not catching Influenza and other respiratory diseases.This shows a rather predictable result that quarantine reduces the spread of respiratory diseases. It’s a banal and uncontroversial finding.

Chris Gillham is a part of the unofficial BOM audit team here, and below he looks at WHO data across 17 countries for Influenza. (The WHO Chief of course is a belt-n-debt-trap apologist for China, but this is not their modeled interpretation, just the data). Laboratory indicated influenza cases are down an astonishing 87% in 17 nations compared to the five year period.

Quarantine is textbook microbiology, and for most of history, the best way to reduce the spread of disease. In many countries 12 days after major isolation measures started, viral growth flattened off the dreaded exponential curve. Despite that, some commentators still wonder if the lockdowns achieve anything for Coronavirus. And so it is, that we reach this strange point in the debate, where it is worth stating the blandly obvious: that lockdowns slow the spread of respiratory viruses. This is […]

ACORN adjustments robbed Marble Bar of its legendary world record. Death Valley now longest hottest place

UPDATE: The Hon. Craig Kelly MP was so appalled by this story he has taken this to the Australian Parliament already where The Labor Party was so afraid they interrupted his allocated 15 minute speech just to stop him finishing. They even called a formal Division which means the bell is rung and all the missing MPs have to return to the Chamber to vote. See that on Kelly’s Facebook page. Who cares about our climate and who covers up for incompetent bureaucrats?!

For generations it was a Guinness Book of Records type thing. Now it’s gone. In 1924 Marble Bar set a world record of the most consecutive days of 100 °F (37.8 °C) or above, during an incredible period of 160 days starting in 1923. It was legend — but thanks to the genius homogenized adjustments, we now find out all along it was wrong. It’s another ACORN triumph, rewriting history, extinguishing the hot days of days long gone. The experts at the Australian Bureau of Meteorology (BoM) have reanalyzed the temperatures from 4000 km away and nine decades in the future and apparently it wasn’t that hot.

Chris Gillham wonders how the bureau figured out the Marble […]

Cricketers to freeze: Boxing Day Tests in Melbourne cooling since WWII

Peacetime maximums on Boxing Day are just not what they used to be

The ABC is afraid that Boxing day cricket may “go extinct” due to the heat. Chris Gillham at WAClimate.net graphed the December 26 test temperatures in Melbourne all the way back to 1855. Obviously, using ABC-ScienceTM (absurdio-extrapolatory et al) what we are really looking at is ominous cooling. To help the ABC, let’s adjust headlines accordingly.

“Injuries are forecast to rise as maximum temperatures fall in Melbourne on Boxing Day.”

The trend is clear in a supercomputer somewhere. If this decline continues the second polynomial will hit zero in 440 years. Cricketers won’t know what heat is.

The graphs here confirm the newspaper stories of a history of phenomenal Boxing day heat — especially in the late 1800s and circa World War II. Ergo, wars cause global warming (in Melbourne, on Dec 26).

…This is bound to change…

Two things to keep in mind, apart from designing a team beanie, is that many of the temperatures in the 1800s weren’t from Stevenson screens and so are debatable. On the other hand, the urban heat island effect is strong and site maintenance is weak, so […]

Raw Data Bombshell: no change in Very Hot Days in Australia since World War I

What a bombshell. Despite the non-stop stories of unprecedented heat the original data at 60 of the oldest sites across Australia shows there are no more Very-Hot-Days now than there were early last century. That’s no trend in 40 degree days for 100 years. No change — that is, until the Bureau of Meteorology adjusts the data…

After we were shocked at the latest ACORN changes to our Very Hot Days data, I asked Chris Gillham if we could see the effect of Bureau of Meteorology changes to the original raw data – and he replied it would be too time-consuming writing the code to calculate 40C+ days among the millions of daily temperatures from 112 weather stations across Australia since 1910. Then he did it anyway.

Wow. In 2011, the BoM’s ACORN 1 adjustments wiped out some of the “very hot days” recorded at weather stations in the early 1900s. These were records that had stood for a whole century. Then, quietly six years later, the ACORN 2 readjustments turned the statistical air conditioner on again and cooled people from 100 years in the future.

It’s all especially miraculous given that even the old World War I data […]

Who knew? The Australian Bureau of Met just made last summer hotter, and history colder (again)

The cheapest way to prevent man-made global warming is stop the BOM altering the data

First the BoM had “high quality” data. Then, with fanfare, after we asked for an audit they had the miracle of ACORN circa 2011. Then early this year ACORN 2.0 was quietly birthed with major adjustments as expert data became “more expert” but the BOM strangely didn’t want to mention that what was so good is now even better (apparently). The unofficial BOM audit team — especially Bob Fernley-Jones and Chris Gillham — have unearthed just how large the latest rewrite of history is. These men are truly independent, they have no funding, and nothing to gain either way. Please thank them for their unpaid dedication.

In this brazen latest round, even the summer of 2018 just got warmer. After all the headlines, after it was measured on supposedly modern first class equipment, even data just 18 months old is being re-fiddled. The temperatures read out on the news in January 2018? Nevermind what they said then. Those hottest ever records then were even hotter than the BoM thought, thanks to amazing new discoveries that the BOM doesn’t think are important enough to issue as […]

Albany robbed of its coldest ever April day, BOM adjusts temp up 15 degrees C?!

Friday April 19th set more records than anyone realized. Not only was it the earliest recorded snowfall at Bluff Knoll and WA, but it was also the coldest ever April day in Albany and many other towns in south-west Western Australia. It may also be the largest single day temperature mystery I’ve ever seen in the official “raw” data.

Days like the 19th are extremely unusual in Western Australia — it’s a state that often doesn’t get any snow all year and when it does, the length of the entire snow season is measured in hours. So you might think the million-dollar-a-day Bureau of Meteorology would be paying extra attention. Instead it appears they have lost that day’s data in Albany, despite having two thermometers there to record it. One station is in the city itself and there’s an official “expert” ACORN station at the airport about 10km away.

Luckily Chris Gillham, unpaid volunteer, was watching the live half hour observations roll in at and saw that thermometers at the airport recorded a maximum of only 10.4°C at 11am that day, which he remarks is the lowest April maximum the BOM has ever recorded there. Strangely, the 10.4°C seems to […]

Coldest Perth September recorded in 120 years of records (must be climate change)

In the last 120 years in Perth there has never been a September as cold as this one. We know that thanks to Chris Gillham, who has been tracking Western Australian weather in detail for years at WAClimate.net.

The headline in The West Australian today was Perth shivers through it’s coldest ever September. For some reason (I can’t think why) the extreme weather journalists did not mention climate change (has that ever happened on a hottest ever record story?). It’s so unusually cold here that wheat farmers, only weeks away from harvest*, are struggling with frost damage on crops. They are making snowmen from the frosts. It is supposed to be rapidly heating up but it is three degrees below normal.

Given the freak weather, Will Steffen immediately announced that “This is a prelude to a disturbing future. And it’s only going to get worse if we don’t address climate change.” No. Wait. Scratch that. That was South Australia, where one bad storm was caused by coal fired electrons. A record cold month is just weather.

Curiously, The Bureau of Meteorology(BOM) announced it was the coldest ever September for Perth since 1994 when records started at Mt Lawley, and […]

Let’s play BOM Bingo, and turn every heatwave into a media scare-fest

Despite the headlines, there was no paranormal extreme in Perth last week — just a game called heatwave bingo

Perth set a sort of record last week for four days in February above 40C. The BOM and media paraparazzi glorified the latest heatwave, chasing it like it was a celebrity Kendall-Jenner-type-event when it was not that different to the heatwaves we’ve had before. Before it came, there were headlines about how it was coming, there were minute-by-minute graphs of degrees C, stories of people cooking cupcakes in hot cars, and there were projections about hypothetical bigger, longer heatwaves that might come, maybe one day, someday: look out for “Temperatures into the fifties”!

Chris Gillham points out that this record was made at the Perth Metro station. Few seemed to mention that 9km away, at Perth Airport similar kinds of heatwaves were pretty common and things had been hotter and lasted longer in years gone by. This year the four day average at the airport was 42C but in 1956 there were 5 days at an average scorching 43.7. In 1933 there was a six day heatwave of 42C average in Perth city. And there were other heatwaves a lot like […]

Two-thirds of Australias warming due to “adjustments” — according to 84 historic stations

1954 Yearbook Brisbane

Here’s an update to the digging through our historic records we discussed a month ago, we can now include nearly twice the stations and the difference between temperatures originally recorded 100 years ago and temperatures today are even smaller.

Chris Gillham has been working with CSIR documents and official Commonwealth Year Books. Last month he used the 1953 Year Book which contained 44 weather station averages for 1911-40 to compare with 2000-14 temperatures, but has since discovered that the 1954 Year Book provides an additional 40 stations with 1911-40 data. The average rise in mean temperatures across all 84 weather stations around Australia over the last 70 years of global warming is about 0.3C. This larger dataset suggests as much as two thirds of the current official trend in Australian warming was due to post hoc adjustments, not heat recorded by thermometers.

These historic temperatures were calculated by the best scientists of the day, using the best equipment of the era (the same Stevenson Screen we use now). Yet again, global warming appears to have a “man-made” contribution. Far more important than CO2 is man-made “pollution” called homogenisation.

When doubling the recorded trend makes “No difference”

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