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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Freak weather, heat domes, cold snaps, all grist for the Global Witchdoctors

The Heat Dome was a freak local event

Once upon a time, scientists would say only 30 year trends counted. Now, all weather is climate except when it isn’t. Climate modelers know the heat over North East America was caused by your beef steak, but the cold over New Mexico was not even worth mentioning. (Nor apparently was the minus 81 in Antarctica a couple of weeks ago).

As Ryan Maue says: Overall the contiguous US is 1.4F below average.

…h/t Clarence.t WUWT


The Sun is already saying the Heat Dome “killed at least 500 people”. Strangely the February Texas freeze and blackouts may have killed 700 people, but five months later the media is still carefully waiting for confirmation before it puts that in a headline.

Blame the Pacific Ocean

Even NOAA says a Heat Dome is caused by La Nina and a local weather phenomenon:

This [heat dome] happens when strong, high-pressure atmospheric conditions combine with influences from La Niña, creating vast areas of sweltering heat that gets trapped under the high-pressure “dome.”

A team of scientists funded by the NOAA MAPP Program investigated what triggers heat domes and found the […]

Summer deaths: How to ignore most variables and a great trend and still blame climate change

This might be one of the most incompetent studies of 2o21

Hanigan, Dear and Woodward have done a “unique”, first of, *groundbreaking study* that finally shows climate change is having a detrimental effect on our health (so they say). With great effort to ignore almost every variable that mattered, they found the seasonal ratio of deaths in Australia has changed:

”More people die in winter than summer, but climate change may see this reverse

In our study published today, we show some of the first evidence climate change has had observable impacts on Australians’ health between 1968 and 2018.

We found long-term heating is associated with changed seasonal balance of deaths in Australia, with relatively more deaths in summer months and relatively fewer deaths in winter months over recent decades.

Our findings can be explained by the gradual global warming associated with climate change. Over the 51 years of our study, annual average temperatures increased by more than 1°C in Australia. The last decade (2011 to 2020) was the hottest in the country’s recorded history.

The other interpretation is that it got warmer and deaths in winter declined more than deaths in […]

Climate change and bushfires — More rain, the same droughts, no trend, no science

Here’s the anti-witchdoctor kit for bushfires and “climate change”

Hi to all the new readers. Keep these graphs handy…

To Recap: In order to make really Bad Fires we need the big three: Fuel, oxygen, spark. Obviously getting rid of air and lightning is beyond the budget. The only one we can control is fuel. No fuel = no fire. Big fuel = Fireball apocalypse that we can;t stop even with help from Canada, California, and New Zealand.

The most important weather factor is rain, not an extra 1 degree of warmth. To turn the nation into a proper fireball, we “need” a good drought. A lack of rain is a triple whammy — it dries out the ground and the fuel — and it makes the weather hotter too. Dry years are hot years in Australia, wet years are cool years. It’s just evaporative cooling for the whole country. The sun has to dry out the soil before it can heat up the air above it. Simple yes? El Nino’s mean less rain (in Australia), that’s why they also mean “hot weather”.

So ask a climate scientist the right questions and you’ll find out what […]

ABC, Climate experts do damage control on 1896 heatwave story, can’t say why, but they “know” it was cooler. Faith!

Winning! The 1896 heatwave story is going viral and the ABC is reduced to weak, late excuses

Australians are realizing that our hot history has been hidden from us. We’ve set a new site traffic record with around 100,000 people checking in since Wednesday, plus thousands more reading the story elsewhere like Catallaxy and Facebook. Thank you for sharing! We first posted the 1896 heatwave here first in 2013, then again on Wednesday. The ABC has gone into damage control responding with a direct attempt to rebut the story, but they are too scared to name this site. What are they afraid of?

We, of course, have no such fear. Six years after skeptics let Australia know about the 1896 heatwave, the ABC and “experts” finally catch up but only under duress. So now they mention it, but use vague caveats, distractors, discuss different time spans, ignore 49 other hot sites, appeal to authority, and don’t mention their own recent artificial site changes that skeptics have documented in more detail than the BOM have. The “experts” allude to “thermometers on beer crates” but in Bourke the heat was recorded at the post office on Oxley st. Skeptics are well aware […]

Hottest ever day in Australia — especially if you ignore history – Eg. 1896

Tuesday was Australia’s hottest day on record sayth the Bureau of Meteorology.

And perhaps it was. But look at the temperatures reported in newspapers across the country during the month of January in 1896 when people were going mad with axes, dropping dead in coaches and railway stations and birds were falling lifeless from the trees? Emergency trains were ferrying people from the country to the mountains. Panic stricken people fled the outback on special trains and the death toll was in the hundreds.

Fifty years later scientists would publish papers talking about how Australian summers had cooled since then.

How does the BOM know for sure that it was not hotter on any one of these days? Perhaps they don’t. Wouldn’t it be more honest of the BOM to mention that? It’s not like billions of dollars depends upon it…

Seems the only time the ABC or BOM suddenly discover our historic weather records is when we get unseasonal snow or freezing cold.

See below for the links to the newspaper stories for all of these temperatures (Click to enlarge the map)

Photo: Jo Nova

The heatwave started in the West on Jan 1st and travelled […]

The Bureau of Met disappears “Very Hot Days” graph showing the most hot days in 1952

Here’s an inconvenient fact: Australia had the highest number of very hot days in 1952, back when CO2 levels were 311ppm and humans had not yet emitted 87% of our carbon dioxide emissions. Something else was causing that extreme heat. If only the modelers knew what it was?

For years the BOM site had this informative graph below, but yesterday Craig Kelly M.P. phoned me to prepare for his Bolt Report appearance and informed me the Bureau had dropped it down the memory hole. It used to be a tab available on their Track climate trends and extremes page. Apparently in this era of global warming, the BoM doesn’t think Australians care about the trends in days over 40C in Australia, or perhaps it didn’t fit the agenda? On the Bolt Report last night Kelly explained that according to the Wayback machine, it disappeared sometime during the election campaign this year. (It was there on March 26th and gone on March 28th.)

Thankfully Paul Homewood of Notalotofpeopleknowthat kept a copy:

There’s not much a of a trend in the average number of very hot days (greater than 40C) each year in Australia. | Source: Australian Bureau of […]

Forgotten history: 50 degrees everywhere, right across Australia in the 1800s

Don’t believe your lying eyes — Australian newspaper archives are full of temperatures recorded higher than 121 in the shade which is 50C. All of these temperatures in the map below are found in historic newspaper archives. Measurements done after 1910 are even done with official Stevenson screens, yet the BOM “throws them away”. It’s true that ones done in the 1800s are often recorded on non-standard equipment, or are just literally “in the shade” under cover. So some of these, perhaps many, are one or two degrees too high. But even if we take two degrees off, how scary is global warming when Australia knew many days of 48C and 49C and some at 50C 120 years ago? The BOM — supposedly so concerned about the State of Our Climate — show little interest in talking about our history or in analyzing it, or even mentioning it.

And modern temperatures are recorded on electronic equipment, sometimes in areas affected by urban heat islands (concrete and cars).

(click to enlarge)

Photo: Jo Nova

50C temperatures have occurred all over Australia before

Australians have been recording temperatures of over 50C since 1828, right across the country. In […]

As it got hotter in Spain, less people died. Thank air conditioning and electricity.

Cheap energy might save more lives than expensive “climate-changey” energy?

Researchers looked at 47 major cities in Spain, from 1980 to 2015 and checked 554,491 deaths. Even though temperatures have risen, less people are dying of heat in Spain. Apparently human ingenuity, energy and air conditioners were more than able to keep up with climate change. The population is older but less vulnerable to heat now than it was forty years ago.

Air conditioners rose from 5% of the population to 35% during the study period.

Oh the dilemma — to save lives, should we build more windmills to try to change the global climate or aim to get 100% of households access to an air conditioner?

Welcome to the dire threat of climate change:

The relative risk of death fell as temperatures rose (According to the model used). See the caption below.

From the Discussion in the paper:

The temporal evolution of heat-related mortality risks here found is, in general, consistent with those reported by previous studies in some other countries [12–15], which provide evidence for a decrease in vulnerability to climate warming despite the ageing of societies. For example, in Spain, the proportion of people […]

Eucalyptus trees cope fine with extreme heatwaves, defy climate models, survive 50C temps

What happens to a poor tree when you withhold rain for a whole month, then hit it with four days in a row of 43C temperatures? It was so hot, some of the leaves on these trees got close to 49-50 °C.

In at least one gum species in Australia, the answer is “not much”. They suck up lots of water from their deep roots and sweat it out til the heatwave passes. The trees become evaporative coolers “siphoning up” water. They cope so well, that not only did the trees not die, but their trunk and height growth were unaffected. Indeed, only about 1% of the leaf area even exhibited browning.

Whole tree chambers in Richmond, New South Wales, Australia. Twelve 9-m-tall chambers in a field setting (a) enclose the canopies of individual Eucalyptus parramattensis trees rooted in soil (b). Two heatwave chambers can be seen on the left of the infrared image, along with several control chambers (c; temperature in °C).

But with global warming running at a heady 0.13C per decade, you might wonder how many years will it take for the trees to adapt?

From the paper — “one day”:

The gums rapidly […]

This extreme cold is just weather but all heat waves are climate change

There is a deep asymmetry in science. Don’t take it from me, take it from the former President of American Meteorological Society (AMS) and a current Director of the University of Georgia’s (UGA) Atmospheric Sciences Program. Marshall Sheppard would know, he has written over “80 peer reviewed papers” which gives him secret weather knowledge. It’s a kind of smarts that people who analyze MRI scans, design aerofoils or find minerals 3,000m underground can only aspire to.

He’s worried that people are mocking climate change, just because snap-frozen sharks are washing up on the beach, and it’s hitting minus 50C in Canada. In the last twenty years mankind has put out more than a third of all the CO2 homo sapiens has ever made since Homo Erectus lit their last fire. Despite that whole extra blanket on the planet, the last time it was this cold was, like 1917.

So to help train believers Marshall Sheppard has written a handy retort to skeptical cynics:

Step One: It’s only cold where you are:

Girls and boys, global weather is hills and valleys. You are in a valley, but the crest of the wave is coming (or something like that).

Near surface […]