Tuesday, October 07, 2008

The Murray Darling Basin - the worst rainfall ever?

So much news has been about Australias crops and the lack of rainfall of the Murray Darling Basing. The worst drought in 1000 years, and most definetly the worst on record.

However the BOM website shows that there is no decreasing trend: http://www.bom.gov.au/cgi-bin/silo/reg/cli_chg/timeseries.cgi?variable=rain®ion=mdb&season=0112

Ok, so the past few years have had lower rainfall than the norm, but is it the worst on record?

The answer is no, the years leading up to 1946 had less rainfall than currently. In fact you can simply average the last 4 or 5 or 6 years up to 10 and in every case, the rainfall leading up to 1946 was less than current.

The results are below:

YearsAv 2007 1946 Diff
4 423.5 361.1 62.4
5 429.0 391.9 37.1
6 405.6 402.1 3.6
7 407.0 386.6 20.4
8 428.9 406.5 22.4
9 447.0 399.6 47.4
10 460.9 397.5 63.4

As shown below 60 years ago we had around 30-40mm less rainfall per year along the murray darling basin than we do now. Its not the worst drought on record, but that doesn't mean that we shouldn't be concerned about it. However quite clearly, the graph indicates no statistically signifcant decrease in rainfall over the region: http://www.bom.gov.au/cgi-bin/silo/reg/cli_chg/timeseries.cgi?variable=rain®ion=mdb&season=0112

And as for the worlds data, rainfall seems to have very little changes at all when compared to global temperature: http://www.bom.gov.au/cgi-bin/silo/reg/cli_chg/g_timeseries.cgi?variable=global_r®ion=global&season=0112

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

Jonathan,
You probably know already, but there was a very good post some months ago on Climate Audit by Demetris Koutsoyannis.
He is encouraging youg scientists to publish in Hydrological Journals.
Are you going to publish something soon?
Following is extracted from CA.
With the above observations, and given that we, the authors, are hydrologists, it was natural to us to publish this paper in a hydrological journal. And it is not true that Hydrological Sciences Journal (HSJ) has a low impact factor (IF). On the contrary, it is one of the top 10 journals, in terms of IF, in the category Water Resources (it is well known that the IF of a journal should be considered relatively to its peers, i.e. of the same category). It is true that I am the Deputy Editor of this journal but it happens also to belong to the editorial board of three other hydrological journals from the top ten (in terms of IF), which also happen to be the ones with scopes most closely related to the theme of the paper and those where I have published my previous research. So, this was not the criterion of the choice of journal to send our paper. Besides, in good journals being a member of the Editorial Board does not facilitate publication of your paper.

5. Among hydrological journals, HSJ was our first choice (and fortunately, it was not necessary to turn to the second, third, etc. choice; incidentally, we had an invitation from the Editor another top journal for this paper) for the following reasons.

5a. HSJ has already published numerous papers on climate and hydrology, not only “orthodox” ones but also with different views. For instance, my first paper on climate:

Koutsoyiannis, D., Climate change, the Hurst phenomenon, and hydrological statistics, Hydrological Sciences Journal, 48(1), 3-24, 2003
was published in HSJ journal, after it was rejected by another journal (I have narrated this story in another Climate Audit post,

Jonathan Lowe said...

at the moment, it doesn't look like I will be publishing in the near future. My business and work is going well and I have to concentrate on these.

Murray Darling said...

Interesting statistics, i believe there is more to the Murray Darling Basin "drought" than meets the eye, major corporations such as Macquarie Agri are buying large amounts of water rights, corporations such as Monsanto are pushing hard for global control of food, woolworths has a stranglehold on food sales in Oz. Major shareholders of woolworths include Barclays of London and JP Morgan Chase manhattan...Macquarie group has ties to the Bush family and texas, and the Rockefeller family, which inturn has ties to suprise suprise JP Morgan chase.

It would be quite convenient for certain people if independant food producers were pushed out. Here are a couple of links, i suspect the rabbit hole runs very deep my friend.

Federal takeover of the Murray Darling BasinMurray-Darling Water LegislationMurray Darling Basin

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