Cyclone Debbie

At time of writing, cyclone Debbie is looming to make landfall at Bowen, south of Townsville on the Queensland coast:

Some 25,000 people around Mackay have been told to leave. The Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) has been emphasising the danger from storm surge, although winds near the centre are expected to be up to 275 km/h, which is destructive. My understanding is that the surge could be 2.5 metres.

On the BOM satellite Debbie does not look as big and as ugly as Yasi.

I’ve copied below a sequence from my post Remembering the Brisbane floods.

………………

The Brisbane floods were not the end of the matter as far as nature was concerned. At the end of the month Cyclone Yasi came steaming in:

Cyclone Yasi course

Yasi brought broken houses:

Yasi_broken house

smashed crops:

Smashed banana plantation

piled up boats:

Yasi_boats

and utter devastation in Cardwell:

Devastation in Cardwell

The experience of the summer is written on Premier Bligh’s face:

Bligh and Swan in Cardwell

I must admit to shedding a tear or two when finding that one amongst the other images in the Brisbane Times photo gallery.

……………….

Ootz has posted a link to an article out from Nature, The projected timing of climate departure from recent variability, which indicates that the tropics may very soon be in the climatic firing line.

The latest I hear about cyclones is that there may be fewer of them as temperatures rise, but they are more likely to be more powerful and carry more water.

Ultimately, however, sea level rise will be devastating. My post on long-term sea level rise suggests that current CO2 levels may produce sea level rise of 25 metres. This is what the Mackay area looks with 20m SLR, from the Firetree flood maps:

Meanwhile the cyclone should cool the water to end the bleaching episode on the central part of the GBR. It’s just that reefs can get smashed up a bit with cyclones, but that is the lesser of the two evils.

Update: Here’s the BOM satellite image taken at 10am:

I heard on the radio last night that high tide was 9am, that the cyclone had slowed and was expected to make landfall about midday. The storm surge had been downgraded to a maximum of 1.7m. Rainfall is a factor sometimes stretching the perceptions of those in southern climes. BOM were expecting 150 to 250mm as a common first 24 hr total with individual falls up the 400mm. That’s nearly half a metre.

The subsequent rain depression should bring rain to much-needed places. A few weeks ago Queensland was 87% drought-declared. We could get rain in SEQ from about Wednesday pm.

108 thoughts on “Cyclone Debbie”

  1. I’ve done an update to the post showing the BOM satellite image taken at 10am:

    I heard on the radio last night that high tide was 9am, that the cyclone had slowed and was expected to make landfall about midday. The storm surge had been downgraded to a maximum of 1.7m. Rainfall is a factor sometimes stretching the perceptions of those in southern climes. BOM were expecting 150 to 250mm as a common first 24 hr total with individual falls up the 400mm. That’s nearly half a metre.

    The subsequent rain depression should bring rain to much-needed places. A few weeks ago Queensland was 87% drought-declared. We could get rain in SEQ from about Wednesday pm.

  2. I’ve just heard a report from BOM with sustained winds of 170 km/h, and gusts up to 250, pretty much as predicted.

    BOM said last night that the strong wind zone was about 100km across.

    Last night the ABC had continuous coverage out of the for north studio, Cairns I presume. It included callers ringing in. I recall one from Hayman Island, I think, where you could hear the wind squealing in the background.

    Generally winds are worse to the south of the eye. Bowen to Mackay is 192 km.

    Gusts of 263 km/h have now been recorded at Hamilton Island. It looks set to cross between Bowen and Airlie Beach, about 90 km south.

    This is from ABC reporter Josh Bavas in Bowen 20 minutes ago:

    Some of the trees are starting to break and there is vegetation and debris flying through the streets. A street sign has come away from the concrete out the front of this motel. The decision has been made that we will stay inside from now on.

    We were just looking out the door there, trying to get some vision, but the decision now is to remain inside. Now, you might be able to hear the noise this motel, it is a besser block motel, a single storey and it is shuddering with the wind gusts.

    The roof, in parts, is making a clanging noise. The door is rattling. It is like someone is at the door trying to get in. There are four-wheel drives parked behind me here. I have been watching them wobbling with those wind gusts. So it is starting to impact, those destructive winds are starting to hit to been region as we speak about now. There is a whistling sound coming through the air.

  3. Something is outa whack, measurements say Hamilton Is is getting 100 knt Westerlies, it would have to be below them for that.
    Instrument might be damaged.

  4. Don’t know why the tracks stop at 09/10.
    It wasn’t a funding cut given Gillard/greens, maybe redirection of resources.

  5. Don’t know why the tracks stop at 09/10.

    The range can be set to start as far back as 1969/70.
    (Probably a plot by the Whitlam govt to stop there.)

  6. Jumpy: From your link I got:

    20 February 1954 This tropical cyclone crossed the coast at Coolangatta with a recorded pressure reading of 973 hPa. Some reports from the Coolangatta/Tweed Heads area had pressure readings to 962 hPa. The worst damage in that area occurred around Cudgen in New South Wales where some houses were blown apart and trees more than 1 m in diameter were twisted out of the ground. A record pressure reading of 982.7 hPa was recorded at Brisbane. Widespread structural damage occurred along the Gold and Sunshine Coasts and around Brisbane. A 0.64 m storm surge was recorded on the Moreton Bay tide gauge, however conditions were much worse on the foreshore with boats in the tree tops at Beachmere. Waves at Kirra brought 2 m of water onto the highway, picking up cars. 900 mm of rain was recorded at Springbrook in the 24 hour period up to landfall. Floods, combined with storm surge on the Nerang River caused the evacuation of several families and a dramatic rescue of people from Macintosh Island. The floods and cyclone then hit the Lismore district, with gales whipping up large waves on the then 11.3 km wide Richmond River. 26 people tragically died from these unprecedented effects.

    There was also one mentioned crossing near Frazer Is.
    Most of those listed for Qld east coast were further up the coast. Cyclones need warm water to grow on so global warming might be expected to bring them further south.

  7. JD
    Yeah, that makes sense on the surface of it but their are other factors at play too.
    I remember reading somewhere that Cyclones won’t form within 1000 kms of the equator for some reason.

  8. If it were true, it would be to do with spin. The cyclone gets its spin from the earth’s rotation due to the difference in rotational speed which increases from nothing at the pole to the maximum at the equator, very much like a ball in a ball bearing. At the equator the spin force is balanced equally north and south.

  9. Coriolis force is too weak at the Equator to impart spin. To my way of thinking this implies cyclones will move increasingly southward as the oceans get warmer.

  10. I don’t see any spinning storms at Jumpy’s link, just circulating high and low pressure systems. Maybe your mileage will vary.

  11. Same forces, Jumpy, except they are over open water and have no obstacles to break them up. So it is the combination of heat from the water with CO2 capturing any reflected back scatter radiation, moisture also from the water, both rising through colder denser air. There is a perpetual high pressure system (falling air) sitting right over the pole.

  12. Cyclones can happen anywhere, but tropical cyclones are a specific type with characteristics not held by other cyclones.

    The formation of tropical cyclones requires a number of concurrent conditions and a specific sequence. See also Tropical cyclogenesis.

    It seems sensible to think that as the world warms tropical cyclones may be generated further south. However, I don’t think it can be taken for granted. Further south seems to increase the likelihood of wind shear in the upper atmosphere.

    Also each basin has its own characteristics.

    I actually remember the cyclone mentioned by John D which hit the Gold Coast and often wonder what a mess it would make of the place now. I understand that a lot of those tall buildings don’t have a proper lip between the balcony and the interior. Much of the cheating on building standards would be exposed.

  13. Interesting too

    Tropical cyclones have affected New South Wales in various ways over the last century with five making direct landfall on its coast. Five others have made landfall in Queensland, usually in the Gulf of Carpen- taria, before moving southwards over land into New South Wales as severe low-pres- sure systems and then crossing back out to sea across the coast. Several others have moved close to the New South Wales coast without making landfall and
    many more have remained well offshore but caused significant waves on its beaches. Tropical cyclones are charac- terised by their peak wind gusts (see table below). During the Bureau’s first century, two Category 3 cyclones hit New South Wales.

    PDF

    Watch out Victoria ?

  14. By reports emerging the damage is immense. The ABC reports two major mango growers, each approx 12’000 trees, severely devastated, some trees snapped at the roots. I live in a major mango grower community to the north. I can say with all the people I spoke to we are massively relieved not to have coped that and feel immensely compassionate for our north queensland neighbours.

    I had my initiation on my arrival in Cairns when TC Winifred tore through Innisfail. The winds were so strong in Cairns, it would literally rock our newly acquired Queenslander. On the night of what we though was going to be our house warming party we slept in the smallest room of the house while with the eski full of mixed up party punch :). We were well looked after by the locals with advise and help of how we should prepare. The day after everybody got going first and then checked on the neighbours, friends in badly affected areas. In my many cyclones since, I have learned that during cyclones you’ll see the best of FNQ and I suspect all the way down the coast. I remember the kind acts in Brisbane floods. I think our National day should be

    What else can you throw at us? – Day

    This particular quote comes from Proserpine resident Sue Buckley, who had to evacuate to the neighbours because a sliding door came off and water. In the tail of the core, they must have coped with some lightning and thunder and extreme bucketing. Well, according to Roger Jones, who use to frequent in LP in the good old days, we here in the tropics are in one of those major step events. Periods of major climatic changes. He has done serious number crunching and just recently published a major article on effects of Climate Change as occurring in spurts of several years rather than gradually change. He recons we could have been already in one of those rapid shifts (I’ll see if he can do us a post on it). This is quite significant, a cluster of massive damaging events, could activate us into building more resilience in the community and finally drag the fossils, troglodytes and free market/no responsibility wonks online re serious CO2 abatement. While I am at it, this sort of talk should stop too

    BoMs exaggerating for safety reasons, the media for clicks.

    The state and state media are doing a tremendously professional job.

  15. Apart from the two dodgy navy ships and Adani still talked about, never mind “clean coal”.
    I thought the ‘grown ups’ moved into federal government since 2013?

  16. The ABC reports two major mango growers, each approx 12’000 trees, severely devastated, some trees snapped at the roots.

    Ootz, unless the ABC is ‘exaggerating for clicks’ (fake news!!) that’s very severe damage for “Barely A Cat 1 from where I sit”.
    Imagine how much worse it would have been if it had been a Cat 4 from where Jumpy sits.

  17. Zoot, we all get it wrong some times. But I am sick and tired of the constant knocker types, whose sole basis of reference is their own pocket or that of a ‘freedom’ with ‘no responsibilities’. When they continue in this manner with the mountains of evidence against them and no attempt to frame their argument in a risk management context, I have no qualms of calling it out as immature or sick and twisted behaviour.

    As I said we all can get it wrong , science is built on ‘getting it wrong’ only to learn from it and establish empirical knowledge and understanding. But yeah, that kind of bone headed ignorance or devious cynicism is something else, but it is not up to me to prove me wrong on this.

    BTW I have asked Roger if he could explain here in the climate clippings about why he thinks we in the tropics are already in a rapid CC change period and what it could mean for us.

  18. I’ve never been shown any evidence, let alone a mountain of it , that Cyclones are becoming more frequent nor stronger as Bandt shouts.
    Are we sick of that ? I am.
    Evidence of Rogers ” Periods of major climatic changes.” in regard to cyclones has never been shown to me either.

    Am I to just follow Roger and Bandt blindly ?

    ( As for the media exaggeration, we were fortunate to have an electricity supply undamaged by trees.
    About 51000 were not so we’ve been a motel for 2 days.
    Many tummy rumbling larfs had watching their explaining to the World what is just massive hyperbowl. )

  19. How much evidence does it need for these bone heads or sick cynics to start taking climate change as a serious risk. Never mind official weather warnings.

    Some people are really sick or extremely immature pto laugh in the presence of so much destruction and loss.

  20. About 60,000 lost power, I believe. I was impressed with the 80 Energex trucks lined up on TV (Rockhampton, I think) waiting to go. But they have to wait for the wind and the rain to pass, and the roads to be cleared.

    I’ve listened to a few hours of eye-witness reports from people in various areas. It’s clear that Mackay was off the edge of the severely affected areas as far as wind is concerned.

    Many will be without power for three days, not the three hours that was mostly the case in SA last September.

    I was impressed with the place that got 814mm of rain in 24 hours.

    Ootz, sugar cane would have been a major casualty. Yasi flattened all vegetation pretty much. Debbie was selective, but a lot more people were in its path.

    Multiple weather records were broken in 2016 and there is little doubt that the climate is in uncharted territory.

    I’m with James Hansen, who says we don’t have to wait for 2C to get dangerous climate change, we’ve got it now.

  21. Jumpy,
    I have never implied that cyclones have become more frequent in the Australian region and wouldn’t because they haven’t over the period of record. However, their intensity and the sheer amount of rainfall with TC Debbie is completely consistent with a warmer climate.

    TCs with lower central pressures in warmer climates has been a robust feature of nested modelling for a good fifteen years or longer. Observations worldwide are consistent with this, with Cat 4 and 5 TCs on the increase. Getting historical stats out of one basin is difficult because of different extreme-event statistical models being plausible. The take home message from the tropical met community is that it isn’t worth waiting around another however many decades for a statically robust signal when the physics of these things are well enough understood to assess likely changes in risk.

    With respect to our work – it doesn’t tackle TCs explicitly. What it does, is suggest global warming doesn’t take place in the atmosphere. All the heat trapped in the atmosphere by increasing greenhouse gases is absorbed by the ocean (this is counter to the accepted wisdom, which regards warming as an atmospheric process enhanced by ocean dynamics – we think the atmosphere is a giant heat engine controlled by shallow ocean-atmosphere dynamics – if the system isn’t warm enough to efficiently move the added heat from the tropics to the poles and the top of the atmosphere, it will shift abruptly and emplace warmer regimes that are capable of moving that amount of heat). The atmosphere has no heat capacity in its own right and is controlled by surface temperatures. The ocean absorbs this heat, much of which ends up in the western Pacific warm pool, directly to our north. This sits on a thermocline and builds up until it become unstable and collapses, releasing heat into the atmosphere during an El Nino event. In a normal El Nino event, most of this heat would be reabsorbed by the ocean, but if it is accompanied by a large scale regime shift that emplaces warmer water over large areas of ocean, there will be a step change in both sea surface and atmospheric temperature. These changes are amplified over land.

    We know that TCs are influenced by decadal weather regimes and we know they are enhanced in warmer conditions. We don’t have long enough records to know what decadal variability does in Australia over the long term, but it isn’t too much of a stretch to say that if we get a shift to warmer conditions within a specific region as part of a warming enhanced regime change, it will affect phenomena within that region, including TCs.

    The last global step change in climate was in 1997-98 follow by a fairly stable regime until 2014-16 (the so-called hiatus). The western Pacific warm pool collapsed in 2014-15, and we are now seeing record SSTs around Australia and two subsequent years of coral bleaching. Where is this current shift manifesting as the added heat gets distributed throughout the climate system? Looks like the Australian tropics and the poles at least are involved, South America and who knows where else?

    The scientific norm is now focused on a changing climate, not on a stationary historical baseline. If we see phenomena consistent with those changes, calling out the underlying drivers is not an unreasonable thing to do when there are millions of tonnes of the problem sitting inland, waiting to be dug up, transported and burnt. It may be a symbolic gesture but is based on sound scientific evidence.

  22. Roger

    However, their intensity and the sheer amount of rainfall with TC Debbie is completely consistent with a warmer climate.

    Compared to when ?
    I would appreciate a graph showing this, is there is one.
    I can’t see it

  23. How much evidence does it need……

    To prove Cyclone intensity is increasing due to warming ?
    Just 1 piece of evidence that proves it.

    I’m not denighing global warming sick bonehead Ootz

  24. Roger
    I really did try, but I’m a simple chap.

    You have said frequency hasn’t increased and I appreciate that. Lots of people are under the impression it has.

    Are you saying the is evidence that intensity is increasing ?
    Because lots of people are under the impression ( Bandt being one ) that it is.

    I’m not asking you to waste your time, I’m asking a scientist to set the record straight.

  25. Observations worldwide are consistent with this, with Cat 4 and 5 TCs on the increase.

    Please show me, I beg you, anybody….

  26. JumpY, prove to me that you are not a waste of time, for I and others have tried too many times. I can change my mind when reasonable evidence is provided. Can you?

  27. Roger, thankyou for taking the time.

    Jumpy, last thing I remember was that Cat 4 and 5 TCs were on the increase, but that was a few years ago and was focussed on the North Atlantic basin.

    I’ll keep an eye out, but I don’t think that issue is central to the global warming issue, so I’m not going to spend time on it right now.

    I’ll just post two images which I think we need for context. The first is where the heat ends up in the global energy system:

    Predominantly it is the ocean. It should be obvious that changes in surface temperature can easily result from flexing in the earth energy system.

    The second shows the changes in the ocean heat content over time:

    That’s at least in the top 2000 metres. The ocean is on average 3600 metres deep.

    Related to this is how energy is transported around the system and under what conditions it is released from ocean to atmosphere. It seems to me that Roger and associates are working at where the real action is.

    If I posted another graph, it would be of atmospheric CO2, which continues to rise unabated. I’ve just seen a note in the New Scientist which says it is expected to hit 410 ppm this May.

    I wouldn’t necessarily endorse Adam Bandt’s language, but the Turnbull government bears a heavy responsibility for it’s delinquent approach to climate change policy.

  28. Jumpy, thankyou for your link, which is interesting, but it doesn’t tell us how big any of the cyclones were. Severe can be quite small. I’m staggered the Debbie can carry enough water to cover such a wide area with a up to a metre of more of water. It’s beyond imagining.

  29. A recent review article (Walsh et al in WIRES Climate Change (copy on Researchgate)

    Abstract
    Recent research has strengthened the understanding of the links between climate and tropical cyclones (TCs) on various timescales. Geological records of past climates have shown century-long variations in TC numbers. While no significant trends have been identified in the Atlantic since the late 19th century, significant observed trends in TC numbers and intensities have occurred in this basin over the past few decades, and trends in other basins are increasingly being identified. However, understanding of the causes of these trends is incomplete, and confidence in these trends continues to be hampered by a lack of consistent observations in some basins. A theoretical basis for maximum TC intensity appears now to be well established, but a climate theory of TC formation remains elusive. Climate models mostly continue to predict future decreases in global TC numbers, projected increases in the intensities of the strongest storms and increased rainfall rates. Sea level rise will likely contribute toward increased storm surge risk. Against the background of global climate change and sea level rise, it is important to carry out quantitative assessments on the potential risk of TC-induced storm surge and flooding to densely populated cities and river deltas. Several climate models are now able to generate a good distribution of both TC numbers and intensities in the current climate. Inconsistent TC projection results emerge from modeling studies due to different downscaling methodologies and warming scenarios, inconsistencies in projected changes of large-scale conditions, and differences in model physics and tracking algorithms.

    The link between near time sea surface temperatures and cyclone intensity is really well established.

    From the paper:
    For example, a summary of trends in the lifetime maximum intensity of TCTCs in various ocean basins is shown in Figure 1, for the AQ5 period 1989–2009. Globally, there are modest significant trends in this quantity (at the 90% level), but individual basins have greater significance. In the North Atlantic and Western North Pacific, trends are highly significant at the 95% level, with increases in the North Atlantic and decreases in the Western North Pacific. More modest trends significant at the 90% level are seen in the South Pacific and the South Indian basins (both upwards). Trends have not been significant in the Eastern North Pacific and the North Indian basin has insufficient data. More recently, Kossin et al. find significant poleward movement in the latitude of the maximum intensity of TCs over the period 1982–2012. This result is potentially important as an indicator of the poleward expansion of the tropics, an outcome of anthropogenic climate change that is predicted by both theory and model projections.

  30. Cant seem to put Figure 1 graphs up.
    But I can’t see that backing up

    Observations worldwide are consistent with this, with Cat 4 and 5 TCs on the increase.

    at all.

    Little help Brian to show it to the group please.

  31. Hi Brian,
    your posting of the energy budgets is interesting. These budgets are only constructed in hindsight and estimate change from 1955 (the start of serious ocean heat budget estimates) to recent data.

    So these budgets measure where the heat has ended up at a given time but not where it goes after it has been trapped by GHGs. We concluded there is a gap in understanding between the time it is trapped and measured as warming in the atmosphere. This gap is filled by statistical inference from warming data, by heat budgets like the one you show, and through models of radiative-convective forcing where the heat is entrained into convection within the air column as soon as it is trapped. This is the “97%” consensus amongst climate scientists (never been measured – is probably higher).

    We show in the paper (tldr) that a step model interprets warming better than a trend model – a lot better. The evidence against the radiative-convective model is that the amount of additional heat trapped in the atmosphere in any year is tiny (0.07 W/m2 compared to about 155 W/m2 trapped by naturally occurring greenhouse gases – the 0.07 doesn’t include feedbacks). Given that huge variations in atmospheric heat due to ENSO have no trouble being reabsorbed, there is no compelling reason that the anthropogenic heat should behave any differently and stay up there – all radiation looks the same to a molecule looking for excitement.

    A further line of evidence is that most of this heat is trapped near the surface – the land surface can only absorb the added amount from a warmer atmosphere because otherwise it re-radiates everything back at night (so is largely driven by increasing min temps). Melting ice will capture some of it (as in the heat budget you show). So when these air masses carrying the tiny extra amount of heat are transported over the ocean it is readily absorbed – most of this heat is absorbed in the tropics or low latitudes because that is where it is trapped. Absorption is complete in only 300 m (this also happens over lakes). Also, if the air column was warming in place, satellite temps measured at around 5 km altitude should show trend-like warming behaviour. They don’t. At All. They are driven by step changes at the surface.

    That added heat in the ocean needs to be transported to the top of the atmosphere and the poles to balance up the planetary heat budget. How else could that occur but through normal climate processes, potentially altering them on the way?

    Our conclusion is that all the added heat not taken up by land and ice (and minute amounts elsewhere, e.g., absorbed by black carbon which is quickly rained out) ends up in the ocean and becomes part of a souped-up climate variability. The step change mechanism is part of decadal regime change where a storage and release mechanism releases large amounts of heat into the atmosphere once the build up of heat in the ocean makes it unstable.

    This completely rewrites one aspect of climate change science, while keeping the rest (core greenhouse theory) intact. It also shows that Lorenz’ ideas about butterflies and hurricanes also applies to climate change, not just climate variability (He thought that, but didn’t have proof). It also opens the door to a unified climate change theory that blends externally-forced climate with internally-generated variability. The complex system theoreticians have been after this for a while – what we have done is to identify a practical way to get into it.

  32. Jumpy,
    increasing intensity results in more Cat 4 and 5 TCs.

    Your opinions seem to be much more strongly expressed than would be justified by your ability to interpret the information that informs them.

  33. Roger
    You are talking to a common man, a tradie, a voter, a member of society that in a Democratic Society gets to decide the direction of policy on this very topic ( and probably pays your salary ).
    Fancy insults aren’t going to get this sorted.
    If “Observations worldwide are consistent with this, with Cat 4 and 5 TCs on the increase.” then I need to be shown in the way a man like me can see.
    Be sure that if you do, I will tell others like me.
    If you don’t, men like me will call you full of shit.

  34. Put simply, given the thousands of scientists looking at this, has a graph emerged of cat 4 and 5 numbers trends?

    There must be as you’ve stated” .Observations worldwide are consistent with this, with Cat 4 and 5 TCs on the increase.”

    I just want to see it and share it.

  35. I just want to see it and share it.

    Here’s one study. As the abstract points out:

    In particular, the lifetime maximum intensity (LMI) achieved by each reported storm is calculated and the frequency distribution of LMI is tested for changes over this period.

    To address the unique issues in regions around the Indian Ocean, which result from a discontinuity introduced into the satellite data in 1998, a direct homogenization procedure is applied in which post-1998 data are degraded to pre-1998 standards. This additional homogenization step is found to measurably reduce LMI trends, but the global trends in the LMI of the strongest storms remain positive…

  36. Based on long term evidence, we are wasting our time with the “tummy rumbling larfing”, ” hyperbowl” watching and “barely A Cat 1 from where I sit” predicting agnotologicaly trapped character.

    It is so much easier to believe Barnaby Joyce when he says “It’s crazy” to rubbish ACT’s renewable energy target, or Matt Canavan with “We are lucky that God has given us high quality coal”. So much easier, no need for graphs nor explanations. What would accomplished scientists know (who are wasting his hard earned money), when you have highly skilled retail politicians who speak the language of a “common man, a tradie”. No, you will find the task is too hard for such a man to jump over his own agnotological shadow.

    But thanks for your explanations and food for thought Roger.

  37. Roger Jones, Always good to hear your sharing your knowledge.

    To my thinking there is one piece of physics that is never reported in the GW/CH discussion and the omission give scope for the miss-informers.

    The is a two stage process consecutively underway. The primary process is the heat trapping which is steadily warming the biosphere and the primary mechanism for that is effect of Carbon dioxide capturing backscatter IR radiation. The secondary mechanism is the heat trapping effect of subsequent moisture in the atmosphere.

    It is however the following process of climate change the impacts us all most profoundly and the primary mechanism driving this is the under reported fact that moist air is lighter than dry air. And is seams to be just a little bit lighter but as with all things climate little influences have a huge impact when the mass of air affected is taken into account. From my observations the public perception is that it is warmer air that drives the climate, and this is largely true, but it is in reality the compound effect of warm air and the difference in density due to the impact of moisture that turns rainfall into a super storm.

    It takes a huge variation in temperature to exceed the air overturning force of moisture. Global warming delivers warmer oceans, warmer oceans deliver predominately atmospheric moisture, atmospheric moisture delivers climate change. It is the link between moisture and air movement intensity due to density difference that is left out of the public conversation and therefore the full understanding of climate change. IMHO

  38. Go Ootz, nicely worded, that gave me a chuckle.

    Jumpy,…a member of society now. By that I presume you mean you are a regular pub patron.

  39. Jumpy, Roger’s comment here was not an insult, it was true, which you’ve further demonstrated in your reponse, which crossed a line.

    We won’t get serious scientists coming to the blog if they are going to be subject to that kind of treatment. Roger’s original comment was:

    TCs with lower central pressures in warmer climates has been a robust feature of nested modelling for a good fifteen years or longer. Observations worldwide are consistent with this, with Cat 4 and 5 TCs on the increase. Getting historical stats out of one basin is difficult because of different extreme-event statistical models being plausible. The take home message from the tropical met community is that it isn’t worth waiting around another however many decades for a statically robust signal when the physics of these things are well enough understood to assess likely changes in risk.

    The text around the graph actually supports what Roger said. It’s on page 7 of the article. Thankyou zoot for finding it. I know it’s technical, but Roger has already communicated the essential sense of what it’s saying in plain language.

    Here’s the conclusion. I’ll leave off the blockquote thing for ease of reading:

    …………………………………………………………

    4. Concluding remarks

    Our analyses using a new homogenized record of
    tropical cyclone intensity suggest that the stronger trop-
    ical cyclones, globally, have become more intense at a
    rate of about + 1ms -1 decade -1 during the 28-yr period
    1982–2009, but the statistical significance of this trend is
    marginal. Dramatic changes in the frequency distribu-
    tion of lifetime maximum intensity (LMI) have occurred
    in the North Atlantic, while smaller changes are evident
    in the South Pacific and South Indian Oceans, and the
    stronger hurricanes in all of these regions have become
    more intense. There are no significant changes noted in
    the eastern North Pacific, and negative changes are found in the western North Pacific, that is, the strongest hurri-
    canes have become weaker. There are insufficient data
    to determine trends in the distribution of LMI in north
    Indian Ocean hurricanes.

    The 28-yr length of the new homogenized record
    places strong constraints on the interpretation of the
    observed trends, and a heuristic exercise suggests that
    trends in the LMI of the strongest storms caused by
    observed trends in tropical cyclone potential intensity
    could easily be obscured by random variability within this time period. Interpretation is further challenged
    by the fact that observed regional climate variability
    comprises a number of factors, both natural and an-
    thropogenic, and the response of tropical cyclones to
    each factor is not yet well understood. Long-term trends
    in tropical climate due to increasing greenhouse gas can
    be regionally dominated by shorter-term decadal vari-
    ability forced by both internal and external factors
    such as changes in natural and anthropogenic aerosol
    concentrations. For example, pollution aerosols can
    affect regional sea surface temperature and SST gradi-
    ents (Chung and Ramanathan 2006; Mann and Emanuel
    2006; Baines and Folland 2007; Evan et al. 2009; Ting
    et al. 2009; Zhang and Delworth 2009; Chang et al. 2011;
    Solomon et al. 2011; Booth et al. 2012; Villarini and
    Vecchi 2013; Zhang et al. 2013) and can affect regional
    circulation patterns (e.g., Meehl et al. 2008; Evan et al.
    2011b). Similarly, mineral aerosols (dust) and volcanic
    aerosols can affect regional SST in the tropics, as well as
    upper-level conditions, on interannual to decadal time
    scales (Thompson and Solomon 2009; Evan et al. 2011a;
    Evan 2012; Evan et al. 2012; Emanuel et al. 2013). In
    concert with these natural and anthropogenic external
    forcings, internal variability can play a substantial, and
    possibly dominant, role in regional decadal variability
    (e.g., Ting et al. 2009; Zhang et al. 2013). Thus, when
    interpreting the global and regional changes in tropical
    cyclone intensity shown in the present work, it is clear
    that framing the changes only in terms of linear trends
    forced by increasing well-mixed greenhouse gasses is
    most likely not adequate to provide a complete picture
    of the potential anthropogenic contributions to the ob-
    served changes.

    At present, detection and attribution of changes and
    trends in tropical cyclone activity remains a significant
    challenge, but increases in our physical understanding
    of the causes of regional climate variability and its effect
    on tropical cyclones, particularly on decadal time scales,
    together with attempts to homogenize the historical
    tropical cyclone records provide a way forward.

  40. The last time I looked at this in depth was around 10 years ago, on the basis of the North Atlantic basin, which was the only one that had significant records going back to the first half of the 20th century to the pre-satellite era. The records then were only based on shipping records.

    In the end one of the more significant studies looked at unnamed storms as well as named hurricanes. There appeared to be an emerging trend showing that there was more energy in the system, which resulted in more storm activity

  41. We’ve had 207mm in the last 20 hours to 11am this morning. Rain but no wind. They are saying that this afternoon the wind could come up and get a bit wild. Gusts of 95-100 kph.

    There is flash flooding in creeks around the place, plus they say the Toowong roundabout is under water.

    My wife has just taken off for a medical appointment at the Wesley in Toowong. She’s smart, knows all the backroads, and won’t do anything stupid. It’s a long story. She’s basically OK in terms of ostensible wellness, but there are some issues, and this is the one where she gets all the results of multiple tests, scans and something called a bronchoscopy.

    Three drips have emerged from ceiling in my den, about a metre from this computer. What it means is that the amateur plumbing I did over 20 years ago has finally come unstuck.

    More broadly, I just heard that there have been 45 swift-water rescues, some 3000 SES assists, already 450 in Brisbane.

    The roads around the BCC Newmarket sandbag factory have turned into a carpark, as people can’t get enough.

  42. ” There appeared to be an emerging trend showing that there was more energy in the system, which resulted in more storm activity”

    That is the essential understanding, Brian. And that is Australia’s reality. The energy in the currents flowing down both east and west coasts is fuelling changes to climate, and changes below Australia as well. We will be seeing more southerly cyclones and more tornadoes as a result of this energy.

  43. As to RJ’s response to J, I did not see any insult in it at all, simply a scientific observation that others, too, have offered previously.

    Roger Jones’ particular interest is the “stepped” cyclic nature of climate change progression. This is akin to two people carrying a tub of water where a cyclic surge begins to form as water sloshes from one end to the other with a progressive increase until one drops the tub due to the weight increase that comes as the volume of the surge exceeds one end’s ability to hold on. In the Pacific this is expressed in the El Nino and La Nina cycles. Even though in my area I believe we have a steady increase in the build up of humidity from one year to the next, the observed climatic impact of that is influenced by the semi global influence of the multi year Ninxs, which seem to becoming shorter, or so it seems to me.

  44. “Go Ootz, nicely worded, that gave me a chuckle.”

    BilB I am beyond chuckling with that sort of immature or sick behaviour on display. Here we are in the middle of a major disaster and this character has nothing else to do, than amusing himself. He treats us with his trademark cynicism and contempt and when we call him out for his behaviour he gets all indignant.

    These are the sort of people who are a danger to our society, holding back realistic risk management measures with their single track mind and contempt for anything outside their narrow blinkers. When Yasi was on, we had a similar character on Larvatus Prodeo, who was making light of the developing situation, mocking my heads up with a comment like me worrying about the pup in Forsayth losing it’s roof. Well I have news for that idiot, I found out that even after 5 years some graziers were not able to repaire are all the fencing in that area that they lost, 100 of kms of it. Yeah and the Collinsville pup has just lost it’s roof. Making a joke of a serious situation is one thing, but the intent to bully and intimidate people with sound judgement and good understanding of risk management is anti social or worse.

    To bully and intimidate for political purpose, to actively and willingly stop a nation to legislate serious abatement and resilience adaption action is worse. I would argue such action is akin to terrorism. By definition, terrorism is the use of violence and intimidation, especially against civilians, in the pursuit of political aims. These characters are equally ill equipped like your brainwashed extremist to deal with realities and I would argue with their action they’ll cause more damage and harm around the world than your average terrorist. I come to the conclusion the time for chuckles and respect is over. We don’t have to resort to the same intimidating tactics and nihilistic strategies, but like stopping bullying behaviour, we have to be consistent and firm in calling their behaviour out for what it is.

  45. No lines crossed by anyone but me Brian ?
    No infringements of comment policy ?
    Impunity for non-jumpys ?

  46. Jumpy, strictly speaking there were multiple breaches of the comments policy. However, you crossed a line I couldn’t ignore.

    As I was preparing for bed I thought I should have expunged the offensive phrase.

    The comments policy says “the purpose of moderation is to create and maintain a congenial and inclusive space.” I don’t know how to include you and keep things congenial, Jumpy.

  47. With your attitude re
    “”Barely A Cat 1 from where I sit”
    you are a security risk to yourself and others. With your irrational or immature way of dealing with issues re climate change you are literally a security risk to humanity.

    I go back to my statement above indicating when I start to engage with jumpy again in an inclusive way.

    JumpY, prove to me that you are not a waste of time, for I and others have tried too many times. I can change my mind when reasonable evidence is provided. Can you?

    Think about that one jumpy,
    1. If you provide reliable and valid evidence towards an issue I will change and have changed my mind before.
    2. If I provide reliable nd valid evidence towards an issue can you change your mind?

    Prove that to us and we can start talking again. Because from where I stand it is clear you are constantly shitting on us and in return you are so up yourself you should be able to see your epiglottis.

    But yeah, I’d be very happy for you to prove me wrong, it’s the way of science, knowledge and understanding works.

  48. It’s interesting to read the comments and informative to read many of them. It was very good of Roger to provide all that info and even engage with Climate Plus’s resident sceptic (though it could be a waste of time)?

    We have similar things down here when talking about bushfires and climate change and some (expletive deleteds) have to jump in and say ‘there’s always been bushfires’ and even get indignant that climate change is mentioned.

    I hope everyone in Qld and NSW is keeping safe with the storms and flooding.

  49. Jumpy:

    You are talking to a common man, a tradie

    I have been around long enough in the Mining and construction industries to understand that there are areas where tradies understand more than I do. For example, maintenance tradies are more likely than me to look at a design drawing and pick up faults that will make something hard to maintain. However, while I secretly believe that process engineers are God, my public stance is that neither tradies or process engineers are god and that every decision doesn’t have to be approved by tradies or process engineers., particularly when it is outside their area of expertize.
    When it comes to climate change we have to evaluate the risks. If Roger and most climate scientists are right the world is heading for a major major disaster. On the other hand, if we block Adani on the grounds of what the Rogers of the world are saying and Roger is wrong the consequences are relatively inconsequential.
    Back up what Roger has said with the rising temperatures and other data that suggests that global warming really is happening sensible people will act until something very convincing comes up. Suggesting that climate action be held up until you and I understand it all seems a bit risky to me.
    What do you do when you believe something is very risky to leave unfixed in your business? Wait until someone is killed just to be sure there is a problem?

  50. Wait until someone is killed?
    The Nanny State will not allow that.

    The Sissy State is constantly worrying about risks to human health and well-being. The Girly State always wants to meddle in what Real Men should be getting on with: building, bulldozing, making a dollar or two, growing, just getting on with it.

    Jeepers Creepers do I have to spell it out?
    This is the Nation of the Stump Jump plough. And proud of it.

  51. Brian

    I don’t know how to include you and keep things congenial, Jumpy.

    You can’t, Ootz, zoot and Bilb won’t let that happen.

    The biggest insult I can give is ” May everything you say be agreed to by everyone you keep company. ”

    Be comfortable,
    Jumpy.

  52. Stop playing the victim when thousands of people are affected by a natural disaster which you underestimated and made silly comments about the relevant authorities making us aware of the risk.

    What is wrong with you, what are you here for? Your comments earlier on in the Salon thread, belittling the risk Debbie is posing and the over the top cynical snipping at BOM and news particularly the public broadcaster without any evidence, never mind the cheap shot at Roger clearly demonstrate again your attitude, When it comes to national disasters or profound global risks your behaviour is demonstrably creating a risk to your self and to others. And as I said before, if you continue to conduct yourself in such manner here I will call you out. Just as I will stand up to any bully who is intent to risk my and others safety.
    That is not to get you out of here, but for you to start acting maturely and reasonably in order to have a constructive discussion or debate.
    Stop playing the all knowing infallible Pope here or alternatively the victim of being ganged up on. When you can’t even hold a decent debate without resorting to belittling us, hold us in contempt or offer us half cooked unsubstantiated brain farts, of course you’ll get a strong reaction from us.

    It is really simple, if you don’t agree with us, PUT UP OR SHUT UP. The onus is on you to prove with reliable and valid evidence that we are wrong in our risk assessment re climate change or cyclone warnings and risks thereof!

    Is that clear enough this time or do I have to repeat myself again?

  53. NSW floods: Evacuation orders, warnings for Lismore, Tweed Heads for ‘unprecedented event’

    “At the moment there are about 40,000 people subject to an evacuation order across about 18,000 properties, mainly on the Tweed River but also on the Wilsons River at Lismore,” Acting Deputy Commissioner Mark Morrow told the ABC.

    Flooding from Bowen down to Northern NSW as far as Coffs coast, that is phenomenal rain. And it is not over yet, a severe weather warning is current for the Northern Rivers and parts of the Mid North Coast, Hunter, Metropolitan, North West Slopes and Plains and Northern Tablelands Forecast Districts.

  54. Brian,

    My daughter read RJ’s retort to Jumpy and just about leapt off the couch with delight at the completeness of the put down.

    Its art, leave it all in place.

    You do a great job of keeping the peace and the lid on.

    I think Ootz has finally come to realise that there is no way of rationalising with low empathy people. As the advice on divorcing a sociopath says, “get out as quickly as you can, there is nothing to rescue”.

    I was just doing some reading on the empathy difference between ASD’s (autism spectrum disorder) and sociopaths and it was very neatly sumarised by one Amanda Glover as:

    “or in a nutshell, to care but not know, vs. to know and not care”

    Most people don’t want to know about any of this believing everyone to be the same only their more normal than the rest, but now that half the world has been siezed by the lunatic fringe people are having to come to terms with the consequences of low empathy in government.

  55. BilB, I believe that libertarianism is a socially toxic ideology. Take this quote:

    Though our wellbeing is inextricably linked to the lives of others, everywhere we are told that we will prosper through competitive self-interest and extreme individualism.

    It’s from George Monbiot’s article Neoliberalism is creating loneliness. That’s what’s wrenching society apart.

    Jumpy would no doubt deny this, citing his relationship to family and friends.

    However, it’s how the philosophy is applied more generally in the political economy that’s creating the problem. Monbiot cites mental health problems as kids growing up struggle to find a stable, prosocial identity. It also relates to how we act collectively through government.

  56. Well I don’t know that Libertarians have killed anywhere near as many as Socialists.

    But this being a Cyclone thread if we want to have a pissing contest regarding help given to Women, Children and the Elderly before, during and after Cyclones, I’m confident of more than holding my own.

    I can start with the 2 skips we filled at a Mates Mums place this morning and work back from there.
    Or start with the 2 Kids a Mate and I saved from drowning in 86 and go forward.

    ( and Oozt, typing lies about people and insult don’t count as actions )

  57. I shall once again contribute my favourite quote:
    There are two novels that can change a bookish fourteen-year-old’s life: The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged. One is a childish fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with its unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world. The other, of course, involves orcs.” – John Rodgers

  58. I agree with all of that, Brian, particularly the observation that neoliberalism, an automatic outcome of Libertarianism which is in itself an automatic outcome of low empathy personalities, has been moved to be a philosophy deployed by the right and which, let me add this thought, then determines the nature of internally elected leaders ie the Abbotts. Abbott, I believe, cannot help himself, he is a full on low empathy personality whereas Turnbull is an average empathy person who has intellectually adopted the Neoliberal mantra by choice. In the paraphrased words of Amanda Glover, Abbott “knows but does not care” whereas Turnbull “knows but chooses not to care”, Abbott feels no guilt (IMHO) but Turnbull does feel guilt but has found it within himself to suppress that guilt.

    Our problem is very largely that we are electing the most extreme personalities, not the most rational ones. Who pre-selected Cory Bernardi, for instance.

  59. Good on you Jumpy, on the cyclone cleanup assistance.

    On the Socialism kill rate you have a great argument. but I suspect when fully analysed would reveal how socialism in the hands of psychopaths becomes a perfect field of defenceless victims ie same principle under relative and different circumstances.

  60. Well zoots come up empty, again, not surprising.
    And I’ve read LotR twice, AS never.

    Hint for Jumpy: it’s not all about you.
    My comment was a response to Brian’s contribution at 9:51 am.

  61. BilB
    Do you think Socialist psychopaths have been more or less destructive than Libertarian psychopaths ?

  62. Hint for Jumpy: it’s not all about you.

    Never said it was, just adding a little anecdotal.

    So, regale us with some anecdotes of your actions regarding Cyclones zoot.
    I’m sure they are many and major.

  63. You miss the point, Jumpy. Aspects of Libertarian philosophy can operate within any economic system, it is all relative. It would be entirely presumptive to proportion deaths to specific economic philosophies.

  64. Never said it was, just adding a little anecdotal.

    Thank you for sharing.
    It would make things more congenial if you lost the snark:

    Well zoots come up empty, again, not surprising.

  65. It would be entirely presumptive to proportion deaths to specific economic philosophies.

    Ahh, well no, we have plenty of examples. They may differ at the fringes and geographically through history but the core economic philosophies are almost identical.
    Central control of money enforced by guns.

  66. Back at ya.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Socialism

    We’re not all extreme Libertarians any more than Muslims are all extreme or all Socialists are extreme
    I ask only for tolerance of my moderate ideological stance without persecution or abuse.
    You Bilb have shown that, and I thank you for it.

  67. For the moment I want to return to Cyclone Debbie.

    My Rockhampton rellies say there was a metre of rain along the ranges from Prosperpine to Marlborough, and they heard of one place that had 1500mm.

    We ended up with 286mm in about 30 hours, that’s 11 and a half inches on the old scale.

    There are 60,000 customers still without power. Some have lost phone contact also, and can’t get fresh water. The Tullebudgera desalination plant was turned on because of pumping problems (no power) at the Hinze dam.

    Suburbs to the north of the Gold Coast like Ormeau and Jacobs Well were told to evacuate, as they would be cut off by flood waters for three days.

    Now there is at least one death, a woman at Murwillumbah.

  68. So, regale us with some anecdotes of your actions regarding Cyclones zoot.

    Jumpy’s congenial attitude is to be applauded, but since the only named tropical cyclones to come within a bull’s roar of Perth during my lifetime were Alby in 1978 and Ned in 1989, he has clearly won his self described “pissing contest” with me.
    Congratulations Jumpy! A well deserved win.

  69. Thank you zoot, well conceded.

    On a different topic, seeing as we’re flitting all over the place, wouldn’t everyone wish that once Crabbe and Goyle show decency that Malfoy would ? Or is that beyond him ?

  70. For the record, from the WMO’s State of the Global Climate 2016:

    Global tropical cyclone activity was close to normal, with a total of 82 cyclones, slightly below the long-term average of 85. Activity was above average in the North Atlantic (15 cyclones, average 12) and East Pacific (21 cyclones, average 16) regions, but below average in the southern hemisphere, particularly the Australian region, which had its least active season since satellite records began with only three cyclones
    (average 10). After the second latest start on record, with the first named storm (Nepartak) not forming until 3 July, the North-West Pacific season was close to average with 26 cyclones, although their geographic distribution had some
    unusual features, such as three landfalls on the Japanese island of Hokkaido: the first time this has occurred since records began in 1951.

    There were some extremely destructive cyclones, for example Matthew, Lionrock and Winston.

    Weird stuff included Fantala, which smashed the Seychelles with gusts up to 330 kph, and 10-minute sustained winds of 250 kph.

    Amongst the rest, Pali and Otto broke records for the most north and south in their regions.

  71. Brian, With the current cyclone in mind wind intensity is just one parameter of a cyclone. Cyclones are a process, energy in the form of heat and moisture (latent heat of evaporation) sets up a condition to transfer that energy away from the surface. Once the process begins moisture is converted to rain and the latent heat in that moisture is transferred to the air which continues to rise powering the ongoing cyclonic engine which in the case of Debbie once it moved inland away from the moisture energy source, rather than immediately snuff out was sustained as it ran down the coast drawing moisture in from offshore which it converted into flooding rain.

    So the other parameter to gauge cyclones by is their delivery of rain volume. We are seeing a trend of low pressure systems that run down the Australian East Coast feeding of moisture from the warmer east coast current. The increase in temperature of the current has already been linked to Global Warming, so all activity driven by it is automatically linked in part at least to Global Warming, and the impact this has on our climate is therefore Climate Change driven by Global Warming, without any doubt.

    The Elephant in the Room.

    http://arctic-news.blogspot.com.au/2017/03/methane-erupting-from-arctic-ocean-seafloor.html

    This is the much speculated clathrate breakdown actually underway. The other speculation is that the Atlantic conveyor current might shut down. That does not seem to be what is happening. As Brian observed in earlier posts there appears to be a mid Atlantic cold spot. My guess is that this is freshwater release from the Arctic ice and Greenland which is pooled mid Atlantic forcing the heavier warmer current to move to a lower depth but continue its movement into the Arctic Ocean with much of its heat intact. This heat is able to be released by melting clathrates. The current is powered largely by evaporation which increases the salt density of the current causing it to sink and recycle to the Indian Ocean eventually so by releasing heat but not increasing salinity the turnover will not be as energetic. Only time will tell how this all plays out, but my guess is that a combination of all of the mechanisms is underway, it is never just one force at work at anyone time.

  72. When I think about what might be happening in the Atlantic and the Arctic, the seasonal Arctic (and also the Tundra) ice melt must be setting up surges of impact on what is happening with climate change. There will almost certainly also be surges and cyclic variation in the energy of the Atlantic conveyor particularly as this current picks up energy from the Gulf of Mexico, which is itself affected by the El Nino influenced variable Pacific Jet. Do surges on mass make steps in climate impact.

    Climate Scientists are ever closer to pulling all of these influences together into one more homogeneous model. Trump couldn’t have come at a worse time for Science and the people of the world.

  73. So the other parameter to gauge cyclones by is their delivery of rain volume. We are seeing a trend of low pressure systems that run down the Australian East Coast feeding of moisture from the warmer east coast current.

    I thought they all had a potential to do that, they certainly have in the past, it this trend increasing ?
    Or the rain volumes increasing from these tropical systems ?

  74. Rain delivery is automatic with a cyclone, Jumpy. Cyclone Yasi spent 32 hours impacting with rainfall, Debbie spent 96 hours delivering rain sufficient to make parts of Queensland and NSW look more like Pakistan after its massive flooding some years ago. Not as powerfull but far more damaging with much of that damage being delivered as a downgraded storm. My argument is that there are several parameters by which to look at cyclones, not just the one of intensity.

    https://www.google.com.au/url?sa=i&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=images&cd=&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0ahUKEwikka6J5YTTAhVIqJQKHYFWCRgQjRwIBw&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.themorningbulletin.com.au%2Fnews%2Fexplained-what-cyclone-debbie-means-for-cq%2F3158687%2F&bvm=bv.151325232,d.dGc&psig=AFQjCNGMrAeRqydkvJ9uCpoj9Fof_l-o-g&ust=1491188723826143

  75. From the abstract of the paper Roger Jones linked to:

    Geological records of past climates have shown century-long variations in TC numbers. While no significant trends have been identified in the Atlantic since the late 19th century, significant observed trends in TC numbers and intensities have occurred in this basin over the past few decades, and trends in other basins are increasingly being identified. However, understanding of the causes of these trends is incomplete, and confidence in these trends continues to be hampered by a lack of consistent observations in some basins. A theoretical basis for maximum TC intensity appears now to be well established, but a climate theory of TC formation remains elusive. Climate models mostly continue to predict future decreases in global TC numbers, projected increases in the intensities of the strongest storms and increased rainfall rates.

    (Emphasis added)

    That’s from the models. Tropical cyclones are a devilishly difficult area of research, and with century-long variations in the past, who can tell for sure? Models are likely to change, especially as the research that Roger is involved in is taken on board.

  76. Brian I am speculating that as the AEC becomes more energetic it increasingly gives rise to low pressure weather systems that arise and feed off its energy. The climate change impact of this is where these systems deliver elevated levels of damaging rainfall to the coast. Most cyclonic impacts occur far out to sea. It is only when they approach land that they affect real estate. Debbie was not the first weather system to run down the coast delivering flooding rains in the process.

    http://theconversation.com/things-warm-up-as-the-east-australian-current-heads-south-31889
    https://www.nap.edu/read/21741/chapter/4

    One thing that intrigues me is when you look at a many of the geological formations caused by weathering there does not seem to be sufficient erosion rate from the present climate to have caused the features as they are with the forces applied by our current climate reality. That leads me to think that there must be quite massive variations in weather over time (which we know to be true, ice ages for instance) and therefore is the climate we are creating for ourselves going to be a much more destructive one in the form of heat and rainfall? What is in store for humanity?

  77. Thanks, BilB, you’ve provided some really interesting links.

    Subjectively when I lived in Adelaide for four years it marked my initial interest in the weather, because coming from here I couldn’t believe how ridiculous it was.

    The main difference from what I remember then is that the highs and lows now seem much larger than they were then, and are centred further south of the continent.

    On a different tack, I’ve been trying for at least three months to get time to finish a post based on a paper by James Hansen from about a year ago.

    If he’s right the cool blob is as you say from freshwater melt, but he reckons the main action will come from Antarctica. He also says that the weather was quite wild in the Eemian, about 120K years ago, when the temperature was similar to ours. If it goes the way he thinks it might, things could get very interesting in the space of the next 50 years.

  78. Too funny when “Watts up with that” is posting on Roger’s research alarmingly positively.

    This is the first paper I’ve ever read that ties together models, observations, and chaos theory of the atmosphere from Lorenz. It makes many excellent points, and it will be interesting to see if those at the top of the climate science food chain like Mann, Trenberth, and Schmidt accept these new ideas, or dismiss them and call anyone who believes them “linear trend deniers“.

    My head spins when I read this. Is that a Saul to Paul conversion of our times? Is it a sign that the tide of blind denial has changed?

  79. It is more likely, Ootz, that Watts has found a way to adjust his image, with an “Ahh so that is why it looked like that, I see it now!” opportunity in RJ’s work.

  80. Ootz, I don’t know what to make of that.

    BilB, Lisa-Ann Gershwin is the expert on jellyfish. I did a post on the Irukandji way back when, but thaks for the links.

    BilB the other thing I’ve noticed is that here in Brisbane fronts that come through from the west now miss us. We used to get regular rain out of them even in winter during the 1990s, usually followed by a westerly. In the last few years we just get the westerly if anything.

    Rain is near average over a year, but in big dumps and longish dry periods. Awful for dry land farming.

  81. Jumpy, in this comment you said:

    Well I don’t know that Libertarians have killed anywhere near as many as Socialists.

    And then started to talk about pissing contests.

    Part of the problem Jumpy, is that you are pissing all over my threads with libertarianism, and in this case it is implied that anyone who doesn’t agree with you must be bedfellows with Stalin, Mao and that idiot who runs North Korea, who were/are primarily dictators .

    I’ve explained before that according to Immanuel Wallerstein no political system has successfully incorporated and fully expressed the three tenets of the French Revolution – liberty, equality and fraternity (considered in modern times in a gender-inclusive manner, of course.) Until they have, socialism has never been achieved.

    It’s true that the term socialism has come to centrally embody public ownership of the means of production. Again as you know, practically no-one holds that as an aim any more. Capitalism, in some form, is safe, and this side of complete social breakdown, you can assume it will be there, along with your precious property rights.

    I accept that capitalism embodies a dynamism and creativity that we need. We just need to civilise it, and counter the propensity to express greed, manipulation and indeed coercion, exploitation etc.

    Any way in the spirit of a pissing contest, consider this.

    Johan Galtung, an emeritus professor and acknowledged father of peace studies, said in commenting on the September 11, 2001 events, that it was no fluke that the symbols of Western capitalist power had been chosen as targets. He went on to talk about “structural violence”, the violence wrought by the Western capitalist system over the centuries and continuing. He gave much detail in outlining the reasons for what is sometimes called “blowback”. In a footnote he said that at the time such structural violence was causing 100,000 deaths per day in the ‘developing’ world. That is 36.5 million per annum.

    If I’d had the chance I would have asked him to explain, but I would not have said “show me the graphs or you’re full of shit”.

    I carried the number around in my head and later heard numbers from other sources on various aspects which if added up made his summary figure seem plausible.

    That’s it. I know nothing with certainty. But it is consistent with all the other evidence I’ve had about the rise of capitalism, the plundering of the new world and in modern times the story of ‘free’ trade lifting millions out of poverty. It all has a nether side we don’t like to think about.

    Something for you to think about for a nanosecond or two, Jumpy.

  82. Brian, my comment that you highlighted was in direct response to your;

    BilB, I believe that libertarianism is a socially toxic ideology.

    The ” pissing contest ” part was in response to the moral posturing by others above yours that were trying to elevate their own moral superiority by attacking the morality of others.

    Let’s face it, empathy on it’s own is useless, actions born from empathy are what counts.
    That’s what that part was about.

    I think if you read it again you clearly see it’s a 2 part comment in response to 2 different issue.

    On the Graph thang, we are certain that cyclones are not becoming more prevalent, there we agree.
    But the science is not settled on increase in Cat 4 or 5s, only the theory is settled. Have I got that right ?

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