Monday, June 18, 2007

Flip Flop Flannery

As Tim Blair notes,

As predicted by sciencemagologist Tim Flannery, this month was supposed to see Sydney's dams run dry. Instead:

At last the rains have fallen in the right places and Sydney's dam catchment area has had its best drenching in years ...

Dam levels are predicted to rise by up to 5 per cent, pushing drinking water storage levels to 45 per cent, the highest in three years.

In fact, we're looking at the wettest June since 1964; excellent news following Australia's prolonged drought. It could be that, similar to the Goracle himself, the Flannacle possesses magical weather-altering powers. Speaking of the drought, Flannery had this to say a month or so back:

"Even a year ago this would have been unthinkable," Flannery told AFP. I think it&'s the most extreme and the most dangerous situation arising from climate change facing any country in the world right now."

And another May comment:
In a keynote address, Flannery provided an update on the acceleration of global warming, from the rapidly melting Greenland ice sheet to the unprecedented drought that has gripped Australia.

But following recent rain, Flannery has lately changed his tune:
"I believe the first thing Australians need to do is stop worrying about the drought - which is transient - and start talking about the new climate."

In May, the drought was the most extreme and the most dangerous situation arising from climate change facing any country in the world right now& a few weeks later, and we should stop worrying about a transient weather phenomenon. Flannery is in flat-out flip mode. Not that he's given up making ridiculous predictions:
Environmental researcher Tim Flannery has warned that Brisbane and Adelaide - home to a combined total of three million people - could run out of water by year’s end.

I'll take that bet. According to these figures, Adelaide has enough water to last until late January, 2008, even if not a further drop arrives before then. Brisbane has sufficient supplies to last until October next year. Flannery, however, will certainly run out of Australian of the Year glory points by 2007's end. Then he can commence building Geothermia


John Nicklin said...

Don't people like Flannery ever notice that they are wrong more often than not? The AGW crowd are fond of making goofy predictions that just don't make sense in light of the data. Someone should keep a record of all the predictions and what actually happens.

John Nicklin said...

And that rapidly melting Greenland Ice Sheet. How rapid is rapid? The IPCC says that it would take 1,000 to 3,000 years at temperatures 5 degrees warmer than LIA to melt Greenland. Does Flannery not think we could move out of the way in that time, IF it does happen.

Flannery, and all the other Greenland Melting enthusiasts aren't taking into account that the present rapid warming hasn't even brought Greenland back to the temperatures that it experienced in the 1940s.

Read World Climate Report or have a look at this paper: Greenland Temperature Analysis the latter paper provides lots of different ways of looking at the data. The chart of coldest and warmest years is very interesting.

Chemikazi said...

Just to add to the current state of awareness of the Greenland warming, I decided to track down the reference used in one New Scientist beat up and found something of interest to the "Drying Glacier" blog

This was my comment on the dying glacier blog and it may be of interest, John.

Dying Glacier? Hmmmm, very interesting.

Curiously, New Scientist inadvertantly shed some light (heat) on Arctic ice melting by directing me to a prestigious journal. "Global warming is speeding up ocean waves" barked news service on 12 June 2007 and in support quoted Fyfe, John C.; Saenko, Oleg A. "Anthropogenic speed-up of oceanic planetary waves" Geophys. Res. Lett., Vol. 34, No. 10, L10706 24 May 2007.

Imagine my disappointment to find out that no one had actually measured any speed up, it was just what their model predicted is happen. Lt's rephrase that, "Global warming is predicted to speed up ocean waves", perhaps. Ho-hum. Another beat-up. But there is a silver lining to the NS fog. In the very same issue of Geophys. Res. Lett. was an interesting piece just a few pages earlier:

Walczowski, Waldemar; Piechura, Jan "Pathways of the Greenland Sea warming". Geophys. Res. Lett., Vol. 34, No. 10, L10608 30 May 2007

"Progressive warming of the West Spitsbergen Current (WSC) has been observed since 2004. ..............the structure of the WSC and its heat content were modified by the northward advection of large mesoscale eddies observed within the western branch of the WSC in summer 2005. These changes may have large impacts on the Arctic Ocean (AO) climate and ecosystem."

So, they seem to be saying that a warm tongue of water from a naturally warm oceanic current has capriciously swirled off into the Greenland Sea and is causing localised warming and melting. So probably this glacier is not dying, just going through a natural cycle of waxing and waning. Kinda takes the shine off for some money spinner no doubt.

As a boy from oz I am only too well aware of these capricious currents with our own El Nino and La Nina cycles.

Thanks, NS - informative as ever.
By Chemikazi on June 15, 2007 10:27 PM

Jonathan Lowe said...

warming since 2004 hey? that a great long term average....