Weather experts should check rainfall figures before being quoted by the media November 30, 2008Posted by honestclimate in storms.
Tags: BoM, Bureau of Meteorology, climate change, global warming, Warwick Hughes
Weather experts should check rainfall figures before being quoted by the media
By Warwick Hughes, November 29, 2008
We have all seen articles such as this from The Australian, “Southeast Queensland storms in line with climate change: weather experts”. The article is referring to storms of 18-20 November and the journalist seems intent on getting his headline despite one of the experts cautioning against reading too much into the storms by saying, “..that a series of events by themselves did not “prove” climate change one way or the other.” Full text copied below.
The real interest for me is not the ridiculous headline but the two experts quoted state that “..November in southeast Queensland had generally been a dry month over the past decade..”.
These experts are University of Southern Queensland professor of climate and water resources Roger Stone and Queensland weather bureau (BoM) spokesman Gavin Holcombe.
Now what are the facts about November rainfall in southeast Queensland over the past decade ? Lets look at November rainfall for central Brisbane and Gatton, home to the Professor’s University, taking November data for the 10 years 1998-2007 and comparing to long term averages for November. We find that for Brisbane and Gatton, the November average 1998-2007 is either very close to or exceeds the long term BoM mean(average). So we see that experts much quoted by the media are not fully in touch with simple realities of rainfall statistics, facts they could check in minutes. Is this more evidence of a national delusion about rainfall in Australia ?
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