No warming trend in Victoria (AU)

The avowed deter­mi­na­tion of the Biden Admin­is­tra­tion to make its con­cerns about glob­al warm­ing a pri­or­i­ty for gov­ern­ment reg­u­la­tion and spend­ing will, no doubt influ­ence one way or anoth­er — by exam­ple or coer­cion — the agen­das of many gov­ern­ments around the world.

It may encour­age the anti-coal and anti-gas ener­gy resources pol­i­cy of the fixed­ly social­ist gov­ern­ment that rules the coal-and-gas-rich State of Vic­to­ria where I live. It may boost the huge neg­a­tive-val­ue ‘renew­able ener­gy’ sub­si­dies (among the high­est or per­haps the high­est per-capi­ta in the world) doled out to wind-farms and solar instal­la­tions by our ‘con­ser­v­a­tive’ nation­al government.

But for what good? For none, as far as I can see.

Here is a pic­ture (source) of the tem­per­a­ture record in Vic­to­ria over the last cen­tu­ry and a half. This is the raw, un-touched data from hun­dreds of mea­sur­ing sta­tions, not the ‘adjust­ed’ data from the 11 sta­tions that the Aus­tralian Bureau of Meterol­o­gy now insists con­firm its con­vic­tion that aver­age tem­per­a­tures are ris­ing (by about 1 deg. cel­cius since the start of the record).

It shows the annu­al mov­ing aver­age of the max­i­mum tem­per­a­tures mea­sured since 1860 (a cou­ple of decades after Vic­to­ria was set­tled), up to 2017. As you see: to a close approx­i­ma­tion, there is no trend at all. Vic­to­ria has not warmed in 160 years! 2017 seems to be no hot­ter than it was in the 19-teens, the 1920s, 1930s or ear­ly 1970s.

There seems to be a recent warm­ing ten­den­cy since a cool­er peri­od in the mid-1990s. But so what? There are sev­er­al of those tiny excur­sions vis­i­ble in the full record.

If you fol­low the sci­en­tif­ic debate on cli­mate change, as I do (although less close­ly than in the past) you will be well aware that there are hun­dreds of reviewed, pub­lished, rep­utable reports from well-qual­i­fied inves­ti­ga­tors who show that in wide-spread regions of the world and using many dif­fer­ent, unre­lat­ed, tem­per­a­ture-prox­ies there is no evi­dence of a warm­ing trend in region­al tem­per­a­tures even over cen­turies in some cas­es. In some regions where mul­ti-mil­len­ni­al records are avail­able, there is a pro­nounced cool­ing trend.

What might this mean? Com­mon-sense sug­gests that where, in the short-term, you see a trend over a few years — even a decade or so — it is like­ly to be tem­po­rary: with­in the range of nat­ur­al vari­a­tions as seen in the Vic­to­ri­an chart.

Unfor­tu­nate­ly, (too) many peo­ple seem to believe that their par­tic­u­lar slice of his­to­ry is excep­tion­al and that every move­ment is a trend that some­how bucks the rest of the record.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *