Not The Australian Droughts That The IPCC Predicted

Posted on Tue 02/26/2013 by


Bolt New 01By Andrew Bolt ~

I’ve asked why Tim Flannery is still our Chief Climate Commissioner after predicting the rains would never again fill our dams and river systems.

But he was not alone in being utterly wrong. The United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change in 2001 also predicted more droughts in eastern Australia, not these annual floods:

12.5.6. Drought

… Using a transient simulation with the NCAR CCMO GCM at coarse resolution (R15) (Meehl and Washington, 1996), Kothavala (1999) found for northeastern and southeastern Australia that the Palmer Drought Severity Index indicated longer and more severe droughts in the transient simulation at about 2xCO2 conditions than in the control simulation…

A global study by Arnell (1999), using results from an ensemble of four enhanced greenhouse simulations with the HadCM2 GCM and one with HadCM3, show marked decreases in runoff over most of mainland Australia, including a range of decreases in runoff in the Murray-Darling basin in the southeast by the 2050s of about 12-35%. HadCM3 results show large decreases in maximum and minimum monthly runoff. This implies large increases in drought frequency

With a change in climate toward drier conditions, drought policy probably would follow a similar path.

The IPCC predicted floods only in northern Victoria, and warned of smaller streamflows and water shortages:

Application of the CSIRO (1996a) scenarios, with their wide range of rainfall changes as a result of inclusion of both the older slab-ocean GCM and the more recent coupled AOGCM simulations, suggests a possible combination of small or larger decreases in mean annual rainfall, higher temperatures and evaporation, and a higher frequency of floods and droughts in northern Victorian rivers (Schreider et al., 1996). A study of the Macquarie River basin in NSW indicates inflow reductions on the order of 10-30% for doubled CO2 and reduced streamflows if irrigation demand remains constant or increases…

Studies by Kothavala (1999) and Arnell (1999)—using results from the U.S. National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) Community Climate Model (CCMO) GCM and the HadCM2 and HadCM3 AOGCMs, respectively—show increases in drought across eastern and southern Australia. Kothavala found that the Palmer Drought Index showed longer and more severe drought in northeastern and southeastern Australia. Arnell (1999) found marked decreases in runoff over most of mainland Australia but some increases over Tasmania. For the Murray-Darling basin, he found decreases in mean flow by the 2050s ranging from about 12 to 35%, with decreases in the magnitude of 10-year maximum and minimum monthly runoff.

Now compare that 2001 prediction with what has since happened.

Here is the rainfall in eastern Australia


Here is the rainfall in southern Australia:


Here is the rainfall in the Murray-Darling basin:


Here is the latest flood news from NSW:

Farmers in northern NSW are switching to recovery mode after the weekend’s flooding. But there are flood warnings still current for the majority of coastal rivers and further destructive wind and rain is expected this week in some areas.

The state of our catchments:


Andrew Bolt is a journalist and columnist writing for The Herald Sun in Melbourne Victoria Australia.

Andrew Bolt’s columns appear in Melbourne’s Herald Sun, Sydney’s Daily Telegraph and Adelaide’s Advertiser. He runs the most-read political blog in Australia and hosts Channel 10’s The Bolt Report each Sunday at 10am. He is also heard from Monday to Friday at 8am on the breakfast show of radio station MTR 1377, and his book  Still Not Sorry remains very widely read.

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