EGU: wednesday

A quiet day today (just as well after dinner and drinks last night with reprobate Jeff Ridley and somewhat more respectable John Turner). A bit of ice core stuff in the morning - using d-c-13 to understand glacial methane sources; trying to understand the 41kyr/100kyr switch in ice age cycles.

Pic shows view from the Reichsbrucke back to the conf center (just visible saying "austria" on the high-rez version) surrounded by expensive buildings. That was yesterday - today its raining :-(

Fortunately rain stops for lunch so I got out to the Wien museum, which turns out to be largely concerned with the history of Wien. How odd. Turkish sieges and the like.

Back in time for the Antarctic session. Fyfe thinks the southern ocean warming is a combination of GHG and increases in the westerlies, which seems quite reasonable. Gillett flogs the SAM to death a bit more (no I don't really mean it folks... :-) and Bertler produces some at-first-sight rather dodgy connections between various records which requires some arbitrary shifts to get a good correlation. van Ommen links Law Dome ppn to Australian ppn, which may work, and if it did would address the question of how unique the current "drought" there is. Though since its only a 15% reduction the answer (to gladden JF's heart) is IMHO thats it not really a drought, its just us sensitising ourselves too much to rainfall. And then Turner (inc Connolley) on ar4 projections for the 21s C: would you trust these models as far as you could throw them?

Now to attempt to defend my indefensible poster on trop warming and PSCs...

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You should see the drought in Australia close at hand before you decide it isn't really a drought! The total rainfall may have only gone down 15% but the problem is the distribution. Areas in the south & East and far SW where most of the people and crops are got between 40-80% of their mean rainfall last year (check 12 month % anomaly and the drought map at following link):
http://www.bom.gov.au/cgi-bin/silo/rain_maps.cgi

Areas with little population and farming (and a lot of desert) in the centre, NW and top end got 100-300% of their usual (small) rainfall. Some politicians here are calling for agriculture to be moved North!

As for uniqueness - this may not be as unique as all that. Early in the century rainfall patterns were not that different from what they are now ("the Federation Drought") but Australia has a lot more people, development and agriculture now, mostly developed during in the relatively wet last half of the 20th century. Whether the current level of development and water-wasteful lifestyle/agriculture is appropriate to Australia's long term 'typical' rainfall and variability (and what is coming with climate change) is a question that people are asking here.

Czech one or more of the following:

An Inchoate Truth
An Incoherent Truth
An Incontinent Truth
An Infundibular Truth (HT and so long KV)
Another in a Long Series of Ludicrous Denialist Fantasies

I go for the last one.

By Steve Bloom (not verified) on 18 Apr 2007 #permalink