The estimated death toll for all animals in the Australian bushfires has doubled in just a few days to over a billion. I was a sucker for the story of wombats encouraging other species of critter into their safe, deep burrows. Proof, if any was needed, that dumb animals are superior to wise apes (aka clever morons). Learning just now that the yarn is not true doesn’t change my opinion one whit.
The argument over how much human activity has contributed to global warming may never end. There seems little doubt that human agency is responsible for much of the destruction caused by bushfires in Australia. Arson and inadequate clearance of combustible materials in vulnerable areas of a drought-stricken country come readily to mind. The rapidity of the burning, the apocalyptic fierceness of the flames (with random explosions), and the melting of vehicles while tree branches above remain unburned – all open up the possibility that psychopaths are involved, with their direct energy weapons, and accelerants dropped by planes engaged in weather modification. A tin foil hat is not required to at least look into such possibilities yourself.
Sydney Airport is one of my monitored weather stations. For my sins, I listen to BBC News and have been brainwashed into thinking that the bushfires are worse in Australia this year because it is hotter. Well, it isn’t hotter in Sydney. It is true that there has been a drop in temperature in the last week, and if this is a nationwide thing it may give the firefighters some respite.
Summer in Sydney, so far, looks a bit like this.
The week to week rise and fall this year is crazily like that of 2018/19 (2019 for simplicity). It is, however, half a degree centigrade cooler at the end of Week 6 this year. It isn’t just heatwaves fueling the fires then.
Here is another perspective.
2012 was the coolest summer of the Ten Years from 2009 to 2018, and 2017 the warmest. At Week 6, Sydney is 0.31°C above the 10 Year Average. It follows that it was 0.81 degrees warmer than average last year.
So, Sydney is currently 1.31°C above Pre-Industrial whilst Durham Tees in Northern England is 2.56 degrees above P-I and 0.91°C warmer than at the same time last year.
The final week of Meteorological Year 2018/19 had eight days in it. This year “Met Weeks” run from Sunday to Saturday – and Sunday is Temperature taking day. There is clearly an opportunity now to compare 2019/20 with last year, but I hope to present findings in a simpler, clearer fashion. I created some tables and graphs today that even I can’t understand.
Given that “climate emergency” is now mainstream, I’d like to keep a finger on the pulse, using data that are (I hope) trustworthy. (New Meteorological Year resolution – I’m going to try not to make any more silly calculation mistakes. I’ve found a few after posting, though they rarely exceed tenths of a degree and so have possibly gone unnoticed.)
One tidbit from today’s labours. Durham Tees, the “coldest” of the eleven stations last year, was the “warmest” in the first week of the new year. It returned a Mean temperature of 3.14°C above (my) Pre-Industrial baseline. Last year it averaged just 0.55 degrees above P-I, so in one week my “home patch” warmed at a rate 119 times higher than projected by the IPCC. Mumbai was second at 100 times warmer.
There is no need to panic. Six of the 10 Stations were cooler and cool enough to bring the IPCC “multiplier” down to x2 for “the Globe”. Phew!
Much of the United States experienced a rapid change in October, from “unprecedented heat” to being “seriously cold”. What appeared to be the early onset of winter stirred some preachers of the nth coming of the Grand Solar Minimum.
But the cold didn’t reach Washington DC until the end of Met Week 48, the daily mean dropping over ten degrees centigrade, from 19.9 on Thursday to 9.2°C on Friday. Until then, it had been much warmer than the 10-Year average (2008/9 to 2017/18). DC topped the Ten Station chart for the week, at 3.95°C above my Pre-Industrial baseline. Two other northern hemisphere stations were above the dreaded two degrees, and so were three southern hemisphere stations.
A couple of chilly links, to End of the American Dream and Weather Underground, should be read in the context of a generally toasty North last week, and a South that just crept over the “Paris Accord” target, (as represented by my 5 chosen stations and comparing the running 7-day average with my Pre-industrial baseline).
Durham Tees last week was much colder than Pre-Industrial – and all the Ten Stations.
Wellington is this week’s featured station. Promised a cold Spring a while back, it was 7th in the Week 48 Table, at 0.43°C above P-I (0.42 below the Ten-Year Average). This amount of coolness has been enough to drop the running average for the year to 1.49°C. Only three of the Ten are now “above Paris” – Rio de Janeiro (1.8), Koltsovo (1.63) and Washington DC (1.61°C).
Wellington is following the trendline more closely than any of the other nine stations.
Except in Buenos Aires. Cape Town propped up the Table in Week 47 with its seven-day Mean of 1.25°C below my Pre-Industrial baseline. The Argentine capital was the fourth “warmest” of my ten stations. It was comfortably in the Goldilocks Zone at 1.19°C above P-I.
Mumbai is under the spotlight this week, and it remains the coolest of the stations for the Year to Date. Another way of saying “0.59°C above P-I” is “it is currently running 0.26°C cooler than the 10 Year Baseline (Met Year 2008/9 to 2017/18)”.
Rome is the other station cooler than the 10 Year base (0.66°C above P-I), but it was the “warmest” station in Week 47 at 3.52°C above P-I. (Rome’s Weekly Mean was 19.08°C, compared to Mumbai’s 27.08 degrees.)
Another chilly week in North-East England probably ensures that Durham Tees will join Rome and Mumbai as the only stations below the 10-Year base five weeks from now.
Although Mumbai will almost certainly end this meteorological year as the station that warmed the least, the trendline from the end of August indicated its temperature would rise by 0.25°C in the last 13 weeks. From a negative figure in the second of these weeks, Mumbai did begin a warming trend – until Week 47 chill knocked it back By contrast the Northern Hemisphere, expected to get cooler in Autumn relative to the Pre-Industrial baseline, has been above the end of August’s running average for the last three weeks.
The changing climate is a factor in the California “wildfires” that have caused so much concern this past week. A short video by Verge Science explains the human dimension to what has been “natural” for millennia.
Rio de Janeiro has been the warmest of my Ten Stations for all but two of the last 22 weeks. Its mean daily temperature above Pre-Industrial (my version) has dipped below the dreaded 2 degrees C and seems unlikely to rise again this meteorological year. Rio and the southern hemisphere are running cooler than the trendlines indicated at the end of August.
Below are a couple of graphs that present the Week 46 Mean Temperature in a different way. I have ranked the table from highest to the lowest temperature and added Durham Tees to the Ten Stations to put north-east England into what passes for a global context. I’ve given the ten stations “hemisphere colours” and Durham Tees the indicator colour for the goldilocks zone – not too hot and not too cold (between zero and 1.49°C above Pre-Industrial). You can clearly see the four stations “over the limit” in Week 46. (Mumbai is the week’s elephant in the room.)
Don’t be too complacent that the running average is below two degrees for all my stations as we near the end of the year. Robin at Seemorerocks offers an article by Anton Troianovski from The Independent about the melting permafrost in Siberia. Koltsovo is a long way from Siberia but is catching some of the heat. Climate Reanalyzer shows much of the Arctic Ocean to be over 4°C above average for much of the coming week, though mainland Siberia appears to be cooler.
Should one of my ten stations rise above two degrees next week, I think it will be Sydney. If I had a house, I’d put it on Buenos Aires being coolest. Again.
The southern hemisphere was warmer than I expected last week with Buenos Aires and Rio taking two of the top three places in the Table. This took the gloss off correctly nominating Koltsovo for Week 45 top spot.
Roughly in the centre of the Russian Federation, Koltsovo might be expected to descend rapidly into sub-zero winter. Last week seemed to be the beginning – after the last burst (perhaps) of heat.
The first-day figure of almost ten degrees centigrade above P-I is the highest I can recall being recorded in my ten stations this year. A fall from a daily mean of 13.4°C on Saturday to 1.8 the following Friday is not something I’d care to experience. Having said that, Durham Tees was colder every day of Week 45 than Koltsovo’s warmest day. (Range 10.7°C on Wednesday to 12.2 on Friday.)
A warm Koltsovo has been the main reason for the northern hemisphere reversing the trendline forecast of cooling to the end of the meteorological year.
A quick look at the GFS model for this week points to Koltsovo turning warm again for several days. Three southern hemisphere stations might make it into the top four (Cape Town, Rio and Wellington. I’m putting pretend money on Washington and Buenos Aires propping up the Table at the end of Week 46.
Typhoon Hagibis was the week’s most obvious villain but the Arctic is a continuing cause for concern. For the next ten days, GFS indicates it will run between two and three degrees centigrade above what used to be considered “normal”. For weird weather-with-consequences, keep your eye on California. Let Jane Tande be your guide.
I lost my wager on the Hot Three weather Stations in Week 44. Sydney trailed in sixth and an outsider came up fast on the rails to pip Koltsovo for third place. The favourite, Washington DC, romped home but one out of three is poor. I blame my analysis of the GFS Model forecasts on Climate Reanalyzer rather than the model itself. I’ll try to do better this week.
The aforementioned outsider was Cape Town, which is under the spotlight this week. For the first 36 weeks of the meteorological year, it has been colder than the station’s Ten-Year running average. It is, however, one of three southern hemisphere stations with a warming trendline to the end of November.
If Cape Town reaches the forecast 1.2°C that will be 0.35°C warmer than the Ten-Year average. After five weeks of the southern spring, it is 0.25°C warmer.
Cape Town is ahead of schedule and the rise seems steady, but the southern hemisphere continues to run cold. (An earlier error in the South’s figures has been corrected.)
I don’t think the northern hemisphere will be as warm this week as last and the south will continue to be relatively cool. Australians have been warned of an imminent “scorcher” lasting several months but South America, South Africa and New Zealand may not be similarly cursed.
Week 45 warmest of the Ten – all northern hemisphere: Koltsovo, Shanghai, Washington DC.