Sunday, July 25, 2004


"A former head of the National Climate Centre has challenged forecasts of dramatically higher temperatures in the Murray Darling basin which underpin Victoria's radical water-reform policies. Victoria was using "unrealistic" CSIRO projections based on flawed international forecasts, according to consultant climatologist William Kininmonth. The scepticism comes as fractures emerge within the Bracks Government between those pushing for immediate action on greenhouse issues and those seeking to defend the state's manufacturing base.

Mr Kininmonth, who headed the Bureau of Meteorology's National Climate Centre between 1986 and 1998, said predictions of warming of two degrees in the Murray Darling basin within 25 years were unrealistic. The forecasts are the key scientific basis for Victoria's white paper on water reforms, released earlier this month, which are also likely to influence other Labor states.

Based on CSIRO models, the white paper says water supplies will decline in the Murray Darling basin because temperatures will rise by up to two degrees centigrade by 2030 and six degrees by 2070. Any such increase would be a dramatic shift in the pattern of temperatures rising in Australia.

The mean temperature has risen by 0.9 degrees in the past 100 years, according to work by the Bureau of Meteorology, and there was no agreement on whether that change was from natural or man-made influences. The CSIRO forecasts are based on those given by the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which simulate a range of future scenarios.

Mr Kininmonth said the IPCC forecasts were flawed because the different models did not properly represent the radiation exchange between the atmosphere and the earth's surface. "(The IPCC and CSIRO forecasts) do not adequately reflect the dynamics of the atmosphere and the oceans. This leads to errors in the radiation physics," he said. "They are forecasting conditions which I don't believe are really achievable under these conditions."

More here

One of the journalists who wrote the article excerpted above also wrote another much longer article for a magazine section in the same issue of the same newspaper -- in which she interviewed not one but SIX of Australia's leading climate scientists about possible warming of the Australian climate. That article is also excerpted below. Note that NOT ONE of the six was prepared to assert that there was anything but natural temperature variation going on.

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