Queensland Drought Comparisons

In 2009, the Queensland Climate Change Centre of Excellence prepared a series of reports detailing projected climate changes for 13 regions throughout Queensland. The reports provide a high-level summary of projected changes and an accessible overview of the potential impacts to a wide audience, including:

# a tendency for less rainfall, particularly in central and southern regions throughout winter and spring;
# more severe droughts, occurring with increasing frequency;

CO2 Science reviews a study of the United States’ Northern Great Plains which like Queensland, is a significant source of grain both locally and internationally, and like Queensland because of its location, it is also susceptible to extreme droughts. Because of this fact, it is probably as good a place as any to look for a manifestation of the climate-alarmist claim (Gore, 2006; Mann and Kump, 2008) that global warming will usher in a period of more frequent and intense drought.

The conclusions:

In light of climate-alarmist predictions of intensified drought conditions in a warming world, many people would assuredly claim that any new period of intensified drought on America’s Northern Great Plains would be a vindication of those prognostications … and probably of other climate-alarmist contentions as well. It is clear from the work of Fritz et al., however, that such need not be the case; for everything bad that happens need not be the result of rising atmospheric CO2 concentrations, as the study here described clearly demonstrates.

Here is the rainfall anomaly for the last 3 years (weather is not climate, yadda yadda). Almost no area has had below average rainfall.


0 thoughts on “Queensland Drought Comparisons

    • Tony, I started looking at differential temperatures between ocean and
      land temperatures in the indian ocean and it seemed there was
      a relationship — but who knows. I think that if temperatures increase
      we should get more rain not less, according to basic physical relationships.

      • David, re comparison of ocean and land temps, I posted this on WUWT a few weeks ago.

        By private email of March 28, 2006, Phil Jones of CRU emailed to me about discrepancies in historic Australian land temperatures – Jones emailed

        “I would suggest you look at NZ temperatures. … What is clear over this region is that the SSTs around islands (be they NZ or more of the atoll type) is that the air temps over decadal timescales should agree with SSTs. This agreement between SSTs and air temperatures also works for Britain and Ireland. Australia is larger, but most of the longer records are around the coasts.
        So, NZ or Australian air temperatures before about 1910 can’t both be right. As the two (countries – GHS) are quite close, one must be wrong. As NZ used the Stevenson screens from their development about 1870, I would believe NZ. NZ temps agree well with the SSTs and circulation influences.”

        If any avid reader has a later statement explaining how these differences were reconciled, I’d be delighted to hear it. Settled science and all that was being written into AR4 about this time.

        BTW, intuition would suggest that air blowing from a snowy, mountainous island to the sea (like NZ) would be cooler than air blowing from a flat, hot desert to the sea (like off West Australia, for example. Intuition also suggests that the sea temperature fundamentally controls the air temperature, not vice versa, in the longer term and away from land.

      • If you are talking about the higher trend in land temps, couldn’t it be due to the increasing IR from GHGs? It less effective over ocean due to lack of penetration.

      • No, I was really making the point that data in 2007 suggested irreconcilable differences between Aust and NZ that, by dint of adjustment, now reconcile. It’s not a novel theme. I mean, it could be the theme for a novel, but it’s not new to adjust as the Kiwis are finding out finally.

        Extra comment, the Royal Society statement a month or more ago cautioned against projections on a scale more detailed than continental.

  1. A TOTAL misrepresentation of the report – about what we’d expect from Cohenite and yourself.

    Regardless of the rights or wrongs of the “projections” (I myself have issues with the ability to say much useful on rainfall given inter-annual and decadal variability) – you have not mentioned the range of outcomes found and the time scale of the projections.

    Instead of sniping you could use your talents to perhaps make some useful calculations for landholders. But of course sceptics never make a positive contribution do they?

    • Hi Luke, good to hear from you again. I think we know where we stand, and I can see you are passionate about the science, not just the ‘feel good’ answer. I don’t think you can make progress in science without rigorous validation.

      One of the reasons I have been quiet is I am working on something and would value your opinion.

      I don’t know if this would work, but are you interested in an off-line discussion/evaluation of it? It could be garbage and picked off instantly, so I would like to know.

      • Thanks.

        I was just getting started on what’s wrong with these reports, and Rojer Pielke posted this.


        Kevin Trenberth says clearly why using the IPCC model for regional precipitation projections is wrong.

        “It works for global forced variations, but it can not work for many aspects of climate, especially those related to the water cycle.”

        Moreover, Pielke thinks such efforts are a waste of taxpayers money:

        “The funding of model predictions decades into the future using these tools is not money well spent.”

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