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#1199841 - 19/06/2013 19:23 Anecdotal climate change evidence
Brett Guy Offline
Meteorological Motor Mouth

Registered: 05/10/2010
Posts: 5159
Loc: Bently Park, Cairns
I am curious to find out what climatic changes(or events associated with climatic change) people of this forum have PERSONALLY experienced. Things like extreme hot or cold, severe weather events etc etc. Short term and long term changes are welcome but the longer term would obviously be more useful given the concept behind the thread. It is all good and well to argue numbers from across the world that none of us in reality have any idea about but personal experience IMHO counts foor jjust as much.


Edited by Brett Guy (19/06/2013 19:25)

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#1199888 - 20/06/2013 00:16 Re: Anecdotal climate change evidence [Re: Brett Guy]
Surly Bond Offline
Weatherzone Addict

Registered: 23/08/2003
Posts: 2189
Loc: Manilla, near Tamworth NSW
Hi Brett

This graph is from my morning observations of cloud amount in octas. I have personally experienced an amazing increase in the percentage of cloudy days per month over a period of 13 years. A cloudy day for me is one with more than 4 octas of morning cloud.

The trend line slope is expressed in units per month. According to the linear trend line, percent cloudy days increased at 0.13 units per month, giving a total rise of 20 percentage units, as you can read off the axis on the left.
In the first ten years, the average percentage of cloudy days each month was 29. In rough terms, the percentage of cloudy days began at about 25% and ended at about 45% thirteen years later. I call that amazing! At that rate, every day will be cloudy by 2050!
That is not likely to happen. I have also fitted a cubic trend line, which makes the changes seem like a cycle about fifteen years long, with perhaps no long-term trend at all. The cubic trend line has an even steeper slope from 2005 through 2009, rising by 15 percentage points in 5 years: a rate of 3 points per year.

As for extreme weather events, I think they are weak and unreliable evidence of a trend in global climate.
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#1199892 - 20/06/2013 06:30 Re: Anecdotal climate change evidence [Re: Brett Guy]
Brett Guy Offline
Meteorological Motor Mouth

Registered: 05/10/2010
Posts: 5159
Loc: Bently Park, Cairns
Thanks mate. I would say that is a prime example of the transition from the end of the nino dominated period to a nina dominated period or do you think it may have to do with something else?

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#1199922 - 20/06/2013 09:20 Re: Anecdotal climate change evidence [Re: Brett Guy]
Surly Bond Offline
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Registered: 23/08/2003
Posts: 2189
Loc: Manilla, near Tamworth NSW
I don't know, Brett. Whenever I put up something like this, it seems that no-one else does either. Or they are not saying.
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#1199956 - 20/06/2013 13:03 Re: Anecdotal climate change evidence [Re: Brett Guy]
retired weather man Offline
Meteorological Motor Mouth

Registered: 01/07/2007
Posts: 5161
Loc: Wynnum
I am glad this thread has been started as over my 65 years I feel well placed to respond. A number of my experiences have already been documented in the early stages of the " Extreme Weather etc " thread, so at risk of playing the same record again, I will repeat some of these things here, not as lengthy as before, plus a few extras.

Firstly I have not looked up member profiles and don't intend to, but I suspect a number of contributors here are way younger than myself and have not had the first hand experiences of the 50's to 70's period, and many, aided by the sensationalizing media, get loads of publicity when current weather events occur as if they " have never happened before ".

Secondly, a brief outline of my life. I lived in Manly ( Qld ) from 1948 till early 1971, then in more recent years in Townsville from 1986 to 2011, before moving back near Manly. I visited Brisbane annually during the intervening years so kept up with things, so my anecdotal comments are based on the Manly and Townsville periods. Also I would like to separate the various weather events and their effects ( changes ) but that is not always possible.

RAINFALL PATTERNS IN TOWNSVILLE

I noticed a shift in rainfall averages there between 1986 and 2011 - March ( in particular ), April, May and also October, November have seen the averages fall. March was the big one with the 1986 average being 212mm, falling to 179mm by 2011. Conversely December, January ( in particular ), February averages have risen. The overall annual averages have also risen over that period. Townsville recorded 7 straight above average wets starting with the 05/06 season which had not been seen before with records dating back to about 1880.


I feel the big drop in March-April totals are tied in with lessening TC activity, whereas the Dec-Feb increases are tied in with an earlier arrival of the Monsoon than in the earlier years, and with few exceptions the Monsoon was all but over mostly by late February. This of course is in the Townsville region, which is only representative of a small area. TS activity in Townsville was always patchy in spring, but the onset of storms in Spring seem to have been occurring later and their totals in general less than the earlier years.

Temperatures in Townsville seem to have increased during the dry but decreased during the wet, this latter effect most noticeable from 1999 ( a couple of exceptions in the early 2000's ). The very high temperatures recorded in Townsville ( 37C plus ) and the duration of each event have lessened since 1999.

SEA LEVEL RISES

I have noticed zero to minimal sea level rise over my lifetime in both locations. In Manly almost every year in the 50's and 60's the sea would invade the local Esplanade in the Wynnum/Manly/Lota area into the yards of houses during Spring tide events. I know this, as I used to ride my bike through it. On Bribie Island in 1958 I watched fish swimming through the back yard in similar events. In Manly in 1956, we had to evacuate the Saturday Matinee of the then Strand theatre and wade home as the sea was starting to enter the front door. In January 1974 similar heights were reached. The occurrence of such events seems to have lessened over the years. In fact this year of 2013, with ex Oswald bearing down in conjunction with a King Tide, all manner of gloom and doom were forecast in relation to tidal flooding. Here In Victoria Point, the sea stayed within the walls, but of course lapped over a couple of metres with the large swells, and in Manly, not even that much.

MANLY ( AND MAYBE SE QLD IN GENERAL ) RAINFALL

There has been a lessening of rain in the January to April period and an increase in the August to December period. In other words less rain from ex tropical influences, which of course agree with overall less TC activity, but more rain from TS activity. And the storm season ( except 2012 ) seems to start earlier each year in August, whereas it used to not get under way till September ( few exceptions ) and it appears to end later than the earlier years. The annual average has increased slightly.

WEATHER EVENTS IN SE QLD

The 50's to 70's saw lots of TC activity, with many of these systems influencing well into NSW ( Maitland 1955, Murray Basin flooding 1956 and 1973/4, plus numerous other events ). The peak period for me in Manly was 1963-1967 starting with a New Years day small TC crossing the coast north of Brisbane and a second small TC following a similar path in May ( of all months ) the same year. July 1965 saw an intense ECL off Brisbane which caused the highest July 24 hour rain of 190mm and the lowest ever max temp of 11 deg. This same ECL caused snow to be recorded as far north as Richmond, and a 0 deg min, I think at Coen, on the Cape.

A 1954 TC caused Narrow Neck on the Gold Coast to collapse and the Nerang River flow out to sea there, creating a new mouth. That of course has since been filled in and high rise built on top. ( Look out next time ). Nature still wants this new mouth as one only has to look even to this day in the Narrow Neck area as there is virtually no natural beach and deep water right to the rocks.

1967 was a peak for TC activity. I was working in the Brisbane office of the BoM at the time and March saw 3 TC's operating at the same time in the Qld region - one in the Gulf and 2 off the Coast. Luckily the 2 off the coast did not cross but set the scene for massive breach erosion and a bigger repeat performance in Jun/Jul the same year with 3 ECL's in 4 weeks. Currently the beach erosion is a hot topic since ex Oswald, but it is nothing like 1967, after which most of the current sea walls were constructed and buried by annually topped up sand. The ECL of early June saw Cavill Av in Surfers Paradise almost become another Nerang River mouth. I know this, as I was there to see it personally. Yet to be exceeded June 24 hour and some monthly June totals occurred. The Nerang River flooded almost up to the then Pacific Highway at Cavill Avenue and only 200 metres away the beachfront road went into the sea to right past Narrow Neck. The then Surfers Paradise Surf Lifesaving Clubhouse at the southern end of Cavill Avenue was sitting on a sand island with the sea BEHIND it. Of course the whole area has since been rebuilt and is now covered with high rise. Wait till next time.

There used to be a caravan park at Kirra, but successive years of erosion caused its closure in the 70's. I remember photographing the sea breaking through this area in 1972 and some swells crossing the then Pacific Highway into the then Gilltraps Auto museum. The same event caused the creek mouths of Tallebudgera and Hastings Point ( northern NSW ) to have these mouths totally cut off by sand, which had to be removed by heavy machinery to stop upstream flooding.

Yes there is still erosion today but nowhere near that period..


But since the mid 70's weather events have been more benign in general in the SE Qld ( some exceptions of course ).

I have always been one who looks at the past and has seen/studied or read about it all happening before in a cooler environment than now and each event nowadays seems to be treated as it has not happened before.

In 2 other threads I recently posted a Nino comparison graph which is showing similar patterns currently to that of the 1887 - 1893 period and if this is repeated the stage might be set for an 1893 style wet this coming season in SE Qld ( ducks for cover )...

And then the 1902 drought...


Edited by retired weather man (20/06/2013 13:08)
Edit Reason: spelling

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#1199963 - 20/06/2013 13:37 Re: Anecdotal climate change evidence [Re: Brett Guy]
retired weather man Offline
Meteorological Motor Mouth

Registered: 01/07/2007
Posts: 5161
Loc: Wynnum
Addition to the above..

Another noted change from the 50/60's to now in SE Qld is the seemingly fewer number of winter ECL's these days. Lengthy periods of cold dry westerly winds were frequent back then and generally drier winters ( exceptions of course as described in the main article. But there were also some ECL's in late spring as well. Today's winters tend to be warmer and a touch wetter with a greater emphasis on more onshore flows..

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#1199965 - 20/06/2013 13:49 Re: Anecdotal climate change evidence [Re: Brett Guy]
Arnost Offline
Weatherzone Addict

Registered: 10/02/2007
Posts: 3909
Quote:
There used to be a caravan park at Kirra, but successive years of erosion caused its closure in the 70's. I remember photographing the sea breaking through this area in 1972 and some swells crossing the then Pacific Highway into the then Gilltraps Auto museum. The same event caused the creek mouths of Tallebudgera and Hastings Point ( northern NSW ) to have these mouths totally cut off by sand, which had to be removed by heavy machinery to stop upstream flooding.


I surfed the groyne in the late 70's. Something that today is near to impossible!

This is a lovely album of the changes there from 2000 to now...
http://www.tweedsandbypass.nsw.gov.au/recent_conditions_of_beaches/miles_street_beach_photo_album


And then there is this one - photos of the beach going back to the begginging of the last century!
http://www.tweedsandbypass.nsw.gov.au/historic_photographs/kirra_beach_from_kirra_hill

From these - Kirra 1910:


and Kirra 2013
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And this of course applies to scientific principles. Never compromise these. Never! [Follow the science and you will be shown correct in the end...]

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#1199967 - 20/06/2013 13:52 Re: Anecdotal climate change evidence [Re: Brett Guy]
NotsohopefulPete Offline
Weatherzone Addict

Registered: 24/12/2008
Posts: 1405
Loc: Toowoomba
Really enjoyed your post RWM
I remember many of those later events(from about 1965).I am wondering though do you remember cyclone Dinah at the end of Jan 1967 I think.

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#1199971 - 20/06/2013 14:03 Re: Anecdotal climate change evidence [Re: Brett Guy]
Arnost Offline
Weatherzone Addict

Registered: 10/02/2007
Posts: 3909
Or Snapper Rocks in 1934


And more recently
_________________________
“No. Not even in the face of Armageddon. Never compromise” ...

And this of course applies to scientific principles. Never compromise these. Never! [Follow the science and you will be shown correct in the end...]

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#1199978 - 20/06/2013 14:49 Re: Anecdotal climate change evidence [Re: Brett Guy]
CeeBee Offline
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Registered: 25/02/2012
Posts: 2654
Looks like a good fishing spot when the tides out...
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#1199979 - 20/06/2013 14:52 Re: Anecdotal climate change evidence [Re: retired weather man]
Surly Bond Offline
Weatherzone Addict

Registered: 23/08/2003
Posts: 2189
Loc: Manilla, near Tamworth NSW
Originally Posted By: retired weather man


RAINFALL PATTERNS IN TOWNSVILLE

I noticed a shift in rainfall averages there between 1986 and 2011 - March ( in particular ), April, May and also October, November have seen the averages fall. March was the big one with the 1986 average being 212mm, falling to 179mm by 2011. Conversely December, January ( in particular ), February averages have risen. The overall annual averages have also risen over that period.

MANLY ( AND MAYBE SE QLD IN GENERAL ) RAINFALL

There has been a lessening of rain in the January to April period and an increase in the August to December period.


I began taking an interest in the monthly rainfall here (Manilla, NSW) from March 1999. As a result, I have averages tabulated not only for the 125-year period beginning in 1883, but also for the period beginning March 1999. We can call the later period "21st century".
Most months of the year have much the same average rainfalls in the two periods, but in four calendar months average rainfall is quite different in the 21st century:

January has fallen from 87 mm to 67 mm: down by 20 mm.
May has fallen from 40 mm to 20 mm: also down by 20 mm.

February has risen from 67 mm to 84 mm: up by 17 mm.
November has risen from 67 mm to 96 mm: up by 29 mm.

Both February and November had phenomenal deluges very recently, February 2012 having a fifth-wettest 193.6 mm, and November 2011 having a record 242.9 mm.
Neither of these deluges accounts for the high 21st century averages in these months, however. They had already changed in the same sense in the decade from March 1999 to February 2009.

While the increased November and February rainfall might be taken to show an increase in "rainy season" rainfall, that is contradicted by the reduced rainfall in January.
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#1199996 - 20/06/2013 16:41 Re: Anecdotal climate change evidence [Re: NotsohopefulPete]
retired weather man Offline
Meteorological Motor Mouth

Registered: 01/07/2007
Posts: 5161
Loc: Wynnum
Originally Posted By: Hopefull
Really enjoyed your post RWM
I remember many of those later events(from about 1965).I am wondering though do you remember cyclone Dinah at the end of Jan 1967 I think.


I well remember Dinah. It was a cat 5 that weakened a bit before crossing at Double Island Point but luckily recurved and then paralleled the coast I rode to Hastings Point on my 150cc bike for surfing. On the old, old ( has been shifted a couple of times ) Pacific Highway after Yatala, I was riding into the teeth of the gale up the slight hill to the Zoo area and my speed got down to 25 m.p.h. flat out. At Hastings Point I witnessed huge swells that went up the creek and into the caravan park, and the same swells breaking 2/3 of the way up the Cabarita Headland.


Edited by retired weather man (20/06/2013 16:43)

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#1199999 - 20/06/2013 16:54 Re: Anecdotal climate change evidence [Re: Brett Guy]
retired weather man Offline
Meteorological Motor Mouth

Registered: 01/07/2007
Posts: 5161
Loc: Wynnum
Without wanting to add fuel to the climate change debate, it has always intrigued me why the really wet recorded periods in SE Qld caused by TC's heading south - 1887-1896, 1950's to mid 1970's all occurred in a cooler climate than now. From the inception of the public GW warnings in the late 80's we were constantly warned of more and more TC's and many of these crossing further south due to increasing SST's, which of course has not eventuated in these warmer times.

The development and movement of TC's is largely determined by the winds above about 25,000 feet, suggesting that since the official beginning of warming in 1977, the STJ has, in the main, has continued to remain northwards well into most wet seasons.

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#1200001 - 20/06/2013 16:58 Re: Anecdotal climate change evidence [Re: Brett Guy]
Brett Guy Offline
Meteorological Motor Mouth

Registered: 05/10/2010
Posts: 5159
Loc: Bently Park, Cairns
Unfortunately I have not been around long enough to have really seen the big changes and climate shifts but what I have done is pay attention to other observations and noted a few things myself in my time as a rec angler.When I first moved to north QLD(Innisfail to be precise), one thing I was told by those that had lived there their entire lives is that storms regularly start rolling through in late september/october. In seven years I have seen VERY few in september and not all that many in October. The tablelands scores far better but according to all the reports I hear, storms are far less common lately than they used to be.

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#1200009 - 20/06/2013 17:49 Re: Anecdotal climate change evidence [Re: Brett Guy]
NotsohopefulPete Offline
Weatherzone Addict

Registered: 24/12/2008
Posts: 1405
Loc: Toowoomba
Thanks RWM and I have wondered the same thing for years.Watching news and current affair reports predicting more cyclones greater intensity etc ect accompanied by video of cyclones lashing some part of the world and noticing the exact opposite.The droughts of the late 1970's much of the 80's mid 90's and on and on were so obviously intensified by the often total lack of cyclones.

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#1200017 - 20/06/2013 18:45 Re: Anecdotal climate change evidence [Re: Brett Guy]
Petros Offline
Meteorological Motor Mouth

Registered: 30/12/2002
Posts: 8058
Loc: Maffra, Central Gippsland, Vi...
Great reading RWM.

At 54yo, I've far less experience, but in my area, we had annual/semi-annual floods through the 60'2 to early 80's by my recollection (kids/bikes/floods/snake finding ect).

The frequency of flooding here has fallen since, but all us oldies are seeing signs that the weather is returning to resemble that era.

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#1200600 - 23/06/2013 18:12 Re: Anecdotal climate change evidence [Re: Brett Guy]
Brett Guy Offline
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Registered: 05/10/2010
Posts: 5159
Loc: Bently Park, Cairns
I am surprised so far at just how few people have noticed anything resembling dangerous warming during their lives.

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#1200609 - 23/06/2013 18:36 Re: Anecdotal climate change evidence [Re: Brett Guy]
Anthony Violi Offline
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Registered: 06/11/2001
Posts: 2336
Loc: Mt Barker - SA
Don't worry Petros, the frequency of floods is about to increase in the coming decades.
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#1200722 - 23/06/2013 22:08 Re: Anecdotal climate change evidence [Re: Brett Guy]
Surly Bond Offline
Weatherzone Addict

Registered: 23/08/2003
Posts: 2189
Loc: Manilla, near Tamworth NSW
Originally Posted By: Brett Guy
I am surprised so far at just how few people have noticed anything resembling dangerous warming during their lives.

Brett, I don't think many people would detect even 5 degrees of warming. No-one can feel 0.5 degrees.
It is quite impossible for people to notice the changes in the amount of rainfall, except perhaps in south-west Australia.
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#1201297 - 25/06/2013 23:47 Re: Anecdotal climate change evidence [Re: Brett Guy]
Werner K Offline
Weather Freak

Registered: 28/11/2011
Posts: 597
Loc: Flinders Park, SA
Not sure whether this is directly linked to climate change, but I do remember a lot more thunderstorms in Adelaide during the 70's & early 80's than there are now, because I used to be scared of them until after the mid 70's when I found a way to overcome my fear and that was to tape record the thunder.
I also remember in the winter time in the late 60's/early 70's being stuck inside sometimes for a few days on end because it was raining all day long. We don't seem to get that very often these days.


Edited by Werner K (25/06/2013 23:49)
Edit Reason: extra info

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