Evidently, Roy Spencer was so mightily annoyed at Australians and their Bureau of Meteorology (BoM) that he has made his dissatisfaction clear.
He objects to their using the word “record” so often, when talking about the hot temperatures this January. He definitely objects to talk about how heat waves are related to man-made climate change, with distaste for the phrase “Australia’s Extreme Heat is a Sign of Things to Come” when used as part of the title of an article in the Guardian. And, he complains about “alarmists” not knowing the difference between climate and weather.
In my opinion, the most revealing part of Roy’s post is this sentence about records:
But how is one to know what records are due to the human-component of global warming versus Mother Nature?
Roy, I think the one confusing “climate” and “weather” is you. Let me paraphrase your sentence:
But how is one to know what home runs are due to the steroids versus Mother Nature?
What’s that, Roy? Were you about to say that steroids don’t cause baseball players to hit home runs? That the very question “What home runs are due to the steroids versus Mother Nature?” is really kinda stupid?
Don’t be so hard on yourself.
Just how extreme was Australia’s January, anyway? And … did it have anything to do with man-made climate change? Let’s see what the data from BoM (the Bureau of Meteorology) has to say. Here’s the yearly average high temperature anomaly in Australia, from 1910 through 2018, averaged over the entire continent:
It certainly fluctuates from year to year. After all, as Roy Spencer would remind us, there’s still weather happening.
But Roy doesn’t mention the other part of the data: the trend. It’s not fluctuation, instead it’s an actual change, not just in what happens, but in what things are and are not likely to happen. As this trend continues, extreme heat is literally “a Sign of Things to Come.”
That trend is definitely upward, not downward. It definitely shows acceleration, it’s not linear. Since 1910, high temperatures in Australia have risen an average of 1.6°C.
But wait, weren’t we just talking about January? That’s the peak of summer for those southern-hemisphere folk. Problem is, that that level of fluctuation in a single-month average is bigger than the fluctuation level in a whole-year average, and the high noise level makes it harder to see whatever signal is there. Let’s look anyway — here are monthly averages for Januarys only, from 1910 through 2018:
Even with the higher noise level, we can still confirm that the trend is definitely upward. That’s climate change. As this trend continues, extreme heat is literally “a Sign of Things to Come.”
But wait, I only showed the data through 2018. Weren’t we talking about this year? I should add that value to the graph; here you go:
Was the extremity of that final value “due to the human-component of global warming versus Mother Nature?” That’s a stupid question.
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