Melbourne News and events

112 warm days in a row

The other week it was noted that we’d gone 100 days of Melbourne’s maximum temperature being over 20 degrees. That was the first time in 150 years of recorded weather observations that it had happened.

By my count, we’re now at day 112. The last day of less than 20 degrees was 17.8 on the 8th of December.

Max temperatures since 1st December

[Source: Bureau of Meteorology]

And it shows no sign of ending yet; the forecast predicts tops mostly in the mid-20s for the next week.

Update 12/4/2010: The warm spell finished on the 10th of April, with the temperature only getting to 17.7 on the 11th, a final record of 123 consecutive days above 20 degrees.

By Daniel Bowen

Transport blogger / campaigner and spokesperson for the Public Transport Users Association / professional geek.
Bunurong land, Melbourne, Australia.
Opinions on this blog are all mine.

23 replies on “112 warm days in a row”

It has been summer!!!!…..We would be whinging if it was cold. At least we have not had the constant heat of last year.

I think the point here steve is that the previous record of 78 days has not only been beaten, it’s been completely smashed by nearly 50% (exactly 50% if the next 7 days are over 20)…

That’s some record.

Climate change deniers still argue while we continually smash weather records. Remarkably, we have not had a killer hot summer either with few serious bush fires. The climate is a’changing.

That’s right Andrew, it is a’changing- NATURALLY!!!! Our planet’s climate has been changing since the dawn of time! This was evident during the last millenium, which has been categorised by two main climatological periods, the Medieval Warm Period, and the Little Ice Age:

In the early part of the last millenium, temperatures were on average higher than than even today. This can be found historically in the colonisation of Greenland by the Vikings:

The Vikings found a land mainly free of ice- it was indeed replete with lush green farmland, thus “Greenland”! Much of this land is covered over by ice today. Other historical evidence is in the fortunes of vineyards in England. Vineyards had existed during the MWP, but died off during the LIA:

You need a warm climate to grow grapes, and during the MWP, England had many vineyards, which today are commemorated in in street or town names in much of the country. It has only been in the past 20 or so years that vineyards have once again sprung up in England! So what caused the warming 1000 years ago? Was it the Crusaders travelling to the Holy Land in their SUVs? Nope, it was a number of factors, but primarily solar activity. Think about it- how were average temperatures able to get so high 1000 years ago, then drop so dramatically to the point that fairs were being hosted ON THE THAMES:
and then rise again? Remember, it is generally accepted that industrial CO2 emissions dramatically increased in 1940, as World War II escalated. What caused this climate change pre-Industrial Revolution then? Only common factor is change in solar activity, which ebbs and wanes cyclically, at times more intense, at others less intense. Is it such a crazy notion that the big yellow hydrogen-burning orb in the sky could be mainly responsible for the climate?

Another thing, why is it that in recent months, such respected climate change authorities such as the University of East Anglia’s Climate Research Unit, and the IPCC, have been discredited to the point that is is farcical? If they were indeed certain of their findings, they wouldn’t have any need to hide and distort scientific data. Indeed, some of these guys destroyed raw data. As a physics major, I was taught that you’d never do such a thing, because if you ever need to apply different analysis, you do it with the raw data, not any other.

Steve is correct in his assertion- it has been summer! What did you expect it to be- freezing? Think about it- last year we had a brief but really hot summer, this year we’ve had a longer, moderately warm summer. Andrew, you point out that records have been smashed, indeed they have! But why has it taken 150 years to break these records? Shouldn’t we be breaking these records EVERY SINGLE YEAR, as the climate supposedly increases? And what about the record COLD temperatures and snowfall North America and Europe experienced a few months ago that have been largely ignored by the mainstream media- does that count in your record breaking too? It goes both ways! And if you start on me that that was the “weather” that was cold, but the “climate” is increasing, find another argument, as that one has been used more times than Brendan Fevola’s stubbie holder!!

Another thing, can ANYONE define what is “normal” climate? Do we have a baseline or gold standard from which to go by? Do we go by the climate of 1000AD? 1900? 1940? See the difficulty there? And assume we mere mortals can play God and control the climate, who decides what the climate will be? Fijians? Eskimos?

In summary, it is easy to select data points at random and use it to prove a point, but indeed I can highlight my point with the same set of data you use to highlight yours! You have to understand the context, and look at it over the long term!

I love hot days. I am always sick on cold days and I dont get to wear my hot fashions. I dont get to stay up until 1am or chuck big parties and have a cold bath. The only things I hate about summer is bushfires creepy crawlies and public transport woes.

You can recite wikipedia until your tongue falls out, but the climate change denial squad can really make themselves useful and drop by my place to help exterminate all the cockroaches that weren’t there, let alone anywhere south of the 37th latitude, three decades ago.
I wouldn’t trust human beings to dictate what is normal climate Andrew V. We obtain a much more reliable picture from observing the behaviour of the rest of the animal kingdom, since they have no choice other than to instinctively adapt to changes to their environment.

Daniel, this is an entirely bogus statistic. It depends on an entirely arbitrary 20 C cutoff point. What is so special about 20 degrees ?
Imagine we were still using Fahrenheit thermometers, which would not affect the climate. Now calculate your run of consecutive days with a maximum temperature over 80 F. You will find nothing like 100 consecutive days.

Who says it’s bogus? And why 80 F? 70 F is far closer to 20 C.

Actually I consider 20 C about the point where I consider not wearing a jumper.

(Andrew V has been attempting to post a followup comment, but is having technical difficulties, possibly due to a WordPress bug similar to this one.)

Andrew V it baffles me where people get off claiming that pumping toxic crap into our atmosphere has no consequence what-so-ever.

Set yourself up a tropical fish tank and see just how dangerous the slightest change to their conditions is – at such a small scale it takes very little to kill their living conditions. Just because we’re on a planet of IMMENSE size that can soak up a PHENOMENAL amount of this crap doesn’t mean it’s okay to do so.

There is a tolerance limit on EVERYTHING – absolutely EVERYTHING. It is IMPOSSIBLE to NOT do harm to ANYTHING. At what point does it take for sceptics to concede that perhaps we should finally cut back on the toxic crap we pump out – what if every single one of the billions of people on this planet right at this moment set fire to everything within reach, would you concede that to finally be dangerous?

I don’t doubt for one second most of what is going on at present are natural changes in the Earth, but I also fail to see how pissing in our own pool is smart… how about we stop polluting the absolute crap out of this planet because every man, woman, child, and of course other species that don’t think they’re God have to live and breathe on it…

Enno, how is that arbitrariness a problem? The important thing is that the same arbitrary criterion is applied across the whole data set. And it was. And it reveals that this summer (like 2000-01 before it) was distinctive on that one limited measure. I don’t see anyone making grandiose claims based on that one stat alone.

Science is all about arbitrary categories after all. Because they allow comparisons. Consider toxicologists’ LD50 measure (50% dead, 50% alive) to define and compare the lethal dosages of drugs, or oncologists noting which of their cancer therapies improved the number of patients surviving to 24 months, etc, etc.

Chris, when was the last time you breathed in a chunk of bad air here in Victoria? If you wanna talk about clean air, that’s fine, as that is important, but it has nothing to do with CO2 emissions. CO2 is a natural element, of which only about 3-4% is actually man made. It is not CO2 that is a pollutant- it is the carbon soot! Once again, when was the last time here in Australia that you breathed in polluted air? It is rather uncommon, largely due to refinements in the filters power plants use to clean up such air. Now, is there room for improvement, sure! But let us focus our money on these refinements, not on boondoggles such as wind and solar power, which will NEVER provide all our power needs.

Chris, I just hope that if we ever go down this misguided road, you’ll willingly accept the blackouts that are inevitable! And don’t start whingeing about it either!

This is the post Daniel mentioned that I have had trouble with- I have removed the http links, will probably post them later.

Part 1
Daniel, then why have so many of them been tarnished by the Climategate and Glaciergate scandals of recent? In the case of Climategate, these were e-mails sent amongst the pre-eminent scientists in the field, informing one another not to notify anybody about the UK Freedom of Information Act, and the deliberate erasure of raw dataso as to prevent it falling into the “wrong” hands. I’m a physicist by training, and you would never destroy raw data, ever! That is totally unscientific, as raw data is needed as proof, and if you ever want to apply a different analysis to your research, you do it to the raw data. Besides, it is supposed to be accessible to all scientists “for the common good”.

When you refer to a majority of scientists, many of these guys have been corrupted by their own Green faith. Trust me, scientists are every bit as political as anyone else! Ironically enough, scientists can be the most stubborn to change their minds.As an example, Einstein, when working on cosmic theory, through his own equations discovered that the universe was expanding, something that is proven today. Einstein himself couldn’t accept this, so fudged his equations by adding a “Cosmological Constant”. This is at least one example of the world’s most famous scientist distorting the research to suit his own beliefs. Ultimately, he came around to accepting an expanding universe, and his equations are still used today.

Part 2
Then you have Glaciergate. This scandal emerged from an IPCC report that the Himalayan glaciers were all supposed to have melted by the year 2035. The problem- this statistic was taken from an article published by the World Wildlife Fund (whom I’ll never respect after taking the former World Wrestling Federation to court over something as petty as the use of the ‘WWF’ initials) in 2005. They in turn got their information from an Indian researcher whose results were published in a 1999 New Scientist article. The only problem was that the researcher never actually gave a specific date of 2035, but had merely given an opinion that the glaciers could disappear, and never gave an actual date. This is akin to sentencing someone to death with second-hand testimony from someone who heard from someone else that the person may have committed the crime!

The point is those sanctified scientists you hold up on high are just as fallible as anyone else. Hell, you guys won’t believe what I say, and I have a Bachelor of Science from Monash University. Does that mean you should blindly believe me? No, indeed, do your own research if you can. Defenders will say that it was only a few bad apples involved- my contention is that the entire scientific process has been corrupted. And consider that billions, if not trillions of dollars are at stake, we are owed the truth. Especially when we have a government trying to foist a disastrous emissions trading scheme on us, as Europe has discovered.

Part 3
Relevant links:

PS: I know , as everyone does, that Wikipedia ain’t the most ‘reliable source of information’ ( my nickname for it!), but it is a reasonable point to start from, and easier to refer to than scouring the web! Once again, do your own research, if you wish.

You seem to have boundless energy for debating climate science Andrew. I haven’t. Let me know when actual climate scientists change their majority view.

But on your point about air quality, last week I noticed this report quoting the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare regarding hospitalisation of children due to particulates, specifically in Melbourne.

Just because the air looks clear, doesn’t mean it’s clean. (And on some days in Melbourne, eg during burning off nearby, it doesn’t look clear either.)

My energy comes from having devoted much time to this topic- indeed, last year I wrote two 12-page letters to all 12 Victorian senators opposing ETS and the reasons why. Indeed, this argument keeps getting changed to suit others needs! If indeed you are serious about cutting CO2 emissions, it is really easy- go nuclear! The truth is, wind and solar energy are unreliable, produce little, and for excessive cost. On the other hand, nuclear energy provides CO2 emission-free energy, abundant energy, enough to power this country many times over, and at an affordable price over time! But it is constantly blocked by Labor governments when in power! And why? Because we don’t want to dump the radioactive waste here? Well, indeed Labor is quite happy to store waste here, and have considered in recent months a storage facility near Tennant Creek in NT! So what’s the other complaint- that it could be used to proliferate nuclear weapons? OK, then why has this government recently concluded a deal to sell uranium to Russia? Do you trust Vladimir Putin not to build weapons with it?

So Labor governments will mine it, sell it to dubious countries, and take it back to store it, and yet we don’t want to use our own abundant natural resource? Does that make sense? And you’ll probably be aware of constant electricity price increases. What causes them? Well, because we’ve demonised our affordable, main source of energy, coal, to the point that state governments are afraid to build any more, and indeed maintain the ones we already have! Well, that might sound fine, but what do we have to replace them? As I said, wind and solar will never completely replace coal, and are much more expensive to do so. So costs go up because of it.

Do you know why Melbourne is the great city that it is? Have you ever wondered how our wonderful city was able to grow at such a rapid rate post-WWI? It was because we have a huge abundance of brown coal, which is cheap to mine and process. Prior to WWI, we used to have power plants within the CBD that provided power to Melbourne. But it was costly, as the coal had to be transported by train, which Andrew S can tell you about in detail, now that he’s back from Sri Lanka. So, our greatest general of WWI, John Monash, established the State Electricity Commission in the 1920s, and set about building power plants in the LaTrobe Valley. With improvements in the transmission of power, he was able to build the power plants right near the mines, and as a result was able to reduce the cost of supplying power to Victoria. Because it cost less for power, we were able to divert funds to expand our city to unprecedented levels, and untold prosperity. Indeed, we are able to prosper today because of the relative affordability of coal-based power! Europe has no where near the prosperity of countries such as Australia, the US, and Canada, because they pay nearly twice the amount for energy.

As cities and countries reach such levels of prosperity, they are able to invest resources into improving such technologies, to either improve efficiencies, or refine them to pollute less. To your point that our air may not necessarily be clean- fine! That’s likely to be true, so why don’t we allow our energy suppliers to invest even more into eliminating those pollutants, instead of forcing them to pay taxes which won’t achieve anything?

It really annoys me that people like myself are constantly demonised because of our politically incorrect, traditional view of society. I have a fair background knowledge on these technologies, and yet my opinion seems to carry less weight than someone like Bob Brown, who is no scientist or engineer! You yourself Daniel are a computer programmer by trade, and a public transport lobbyist, and are such because of both your education and your passion and experience in using PT. In other words, you are a voice of authority in those fields, and as such your position holds weight. I don’t hold such authority on a public scale, so I use the opportunity to voice my opinion, in a hopefully logical and reasonable manner, on blogs such as yours, where my style of thinking may not be the norm! My hope is that people may see another side of it, one that the politically correct media does not like to be known by the general public.

I’ve crapped on WAY too much on this topic, so this will me my last post on this (collective cheers are heard)! Thank Daniel for providing me an opportunity to vent, and for helping me sort out some technical problems! Indeed, I realise I rant incessantly on this topic, but I feel this is critical to our country’s future.

How about posting more Star Trek posts- would love to have a real deep discussion on it! Or a post reminiscing on your favourite C64 games! As different as we are politically, we do share similar interests- Trek, C64, Melbourne history! Love to discuss some of those!

I get a bit of a laugh when I hear climate change deniers stating that there has been changes in temperatures in the past. I f your job was a climate scientist, dont you think this may be one of the very first things you would learn! the climate scientists are aware of this periods and have taken them into account BEFORE

Oops. I had not finished….

BEFORE making their claims. The medieval warm period was not GLOBALLY warmer than today and has been taken into account

To Andrew
I see you mention “voice of authority on such matters”
Surely the vast majority of climate scientists would constitute a strong “voice of authority” on climate science.
Whilst I can play guitar, does not mean I can play the trumpet. Climate scientists, not people in other fields of study or science are obviously the experts on Climate Change

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