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Climate Adaptation Summit 2021

Filed under: — rasmus @ 31 January 2021

The first ever Climate Adaptation Summit (#adaptationsummit) that I have heard about took place last week, on January 25-26. I think such a summit was a step in the right direction. It was adapted to the Covid-19 situation and therefore an online virtual summit streamed on YouTube

I watched a few of the streamed sessions, and it struck me that climate change adaptation seems to be a fairly new concept to many leaders. It were sometimes mix-ups with mitigation during the high-level talks. Mitigation and adaptation are both important and sometimes they overlap, so mix-ups are understandable. 

One important point addressed during the summit was of course financing climate change adaptation, which is promising. Financing is clearly needed for climate change adaptation. To ensure progress and avoid lofty visions without results on the ground, there may also be a need for tangible results and to show examples and demonstrations. One specific type discussed at the summit was “Early warning systems” which play an important role.

But it was not crystal clear what was meant by the concept “early warning systems”. My interpretation is that it involves something on par with weather forecasts which would imply that they are more about weather than climate. This is of course important too. Probably the first priority in many places. 

But early warning systems, the way I understand them, don’t provide information about climate risks on longer timescales. Weather and climate – short and long timescales – are of course connected but nevertheless different (“climate” can be viewed as weather statistics). Other examples of climate adaptation can be found in a recent Eos article on food security in Africa. I think it is important to mention maladaptation and avoid long-term problems connected to short-term fixes. Resilience is a keyword. 

As with many other summits, I felt that the scientists’ voice was largely missing. There seems to be a gap between high-level politics and science. I think we need a better dialogue between the leaders and climate scientists partly to help distinguish between different and difficult concepts. But the main reason is that we need to know what we must adapt to. We need to know the situation: the state of the climate and how it is changing. This knowledge is not readily downloadable from the Internet.

There are key questions that should involve scientists: What is needed for proper climate change adaptation? And what are the challenges in terms of meeting our objectives? What do we know about future risks? In addition, biodiversity, nature conservation, cultural, social and economic aspects are important. 

Data is crucial, but is often unavailable because of lack of sharing and lack of openness. Often due to lacking finance. Information about the regional climate change must be distilled from large volumes of data, and we need to ask what information is useful and how it can be used in the best possible way.

The required analysis is often carried out in climate services and often includes downscaling. It involves tools, methods and understanding that are still evolving with regards to these topics. This fact wasn’t explained clearly during the summit in the sessions I watched. I think it would be useful with a presentation of the state of climate science relevant for climate change adaptation at a high level in the summit. Perhaps science should get an equal amount of attention as the NGOs and the businesses. 

Much of the latest research relevant to the climate adaptation summit is coordinated within the World Climate Research Programme (WRCP) which also is setting a new focus on regional information for society (“RifS”). Furthermore, there is considerable scientific experience on adaptation from the Arctic with the fastest climate change on Earth, such as the Adaptive Actions in a Changing Arctic (AACA) report for the Arctic Council. 

Climate adaptation involves many communities and disciplines (e.g. weather forecasting, climate services, regional climate modelling, “distillation“, disaster risk reduction) which I think aren’t well coordinated at the moment. One message from the summit was “Let’s work together” which I think implies a better coordination of the different disciplines and communities.

66 Responses to “Climate Adaptation Summit 2021”

  1. 1
    Thomas Fuller says:

    Adaptation is necessary, but specific measures are often hampered by the simple fact that even the best models do not resolve to regional scales. Hence we do not know how far back from the ocean we should move roads and homes, how high the sea walls should be built, what regulations should be regarding construction in flood plains, etc., etc.

    It is also inconvenient that adaptation is by definition a local response, which makes it less likely that a global, or even national plan will be most effective at the point of climate contact.

    It is an interesting set of problems to solve.

  2. 2
    Russell Seitz says:

    “Adaptation is necessary, but specific measures are often hampered by the simple fact that even the best models do not resolve to regional scales. Hence we do not know…”

    TF : who is “we” supposed to be?

    Regional inundation, erosion and flood risks are best assessed by regional authorities and stakeholders , including insurers, who are already coastwise, and know the lay of the land. Their concerns antedate the art of modeling, and have been informed by past mitigation praxis.

    Rasmus may wish to reflect that regional flood response statutes and riparian law issues antedate the industrial revolution. Many forms of anthropogenic forcing, from soil salinization to agricultural, pastoral and forest management driven albedo change have been in play for millennia rather than centuries, and that since the total area changed is the integral of hundreds of generations of human endeavour, undoing them may take longer than the time scale of AGW.

  3. 3
    Dale Park says:

    As a farmer in Western Australia I have been watching and experiencing climate change adaption for over 30 years. Some of us, as farmers, have been listening to the scientists but all farmers have been adjusting or adapting to these changes.

    As Dr Stephen Crimp of the Australian National University Climate Change Institute presented to the UWA Institute of Agriculture Industry Forum 2020 on 28 October 2020, reporting that potential wheat yields have declined by 27% since 1990, with rainfall declines accounting for 83% of the decline and temperature increases accounting for 17% of the decline.

    The actual yields have not dropped but have actually risen because of huge changes in farm practises. Normal Industry practice has gone from 3 and sometimes 4 cultivations to single pass or no till in an effort to conserve moisture. Unfortunately the rate of increase in technology is slowing but the negative effects of climate change are increasing which inevitably means we are going to lose this race.

  4. 4
    Killian says:

    Jesus Christ, Rasmus! How did you not announce this was coming? This is what I DO! There is no point in an adaptation summit without regenerative designers present. There is zero chance you’ll solve any problems sustainably.

    My god! The arrogance of scientists! When we step into your world, you get all uppity and upset. But you have an entire conference without me and my colleagues talking about a topic you have no expertise in?

    It’s maddening! And, frankly, not very smart. A wise person knows their limits and their strengths. Adaptation is not your strength, nor any scientists I know of yet. Only a few have significant things to say about it.

    [Response: If you follow the link and read the documentation, you will realize that this was not organized by Rasmus and featured a very broad range of experts, not just scientists. Whether this was the right mix for what the organizers wanted to achieve is a question probably best addressed to them, not us. Given it’s high profile I’m a little surprised you didn’t know about it ahead of time? – gavin]

  5. 5
    Killian says:

    The first ever Climate Adaptation Summit (#adaptationsummit) that I have heard about took place last week, on January 25-26. I think such a summit was a step in the right direction.

    A misstep, more like.

    It were sometimes mix-ups with mitigation during the high-level talks. Mitigation and adaptation are both important and sometimes they overlap, so mix-ups are understandable.

    This is a non-issue: You cannot separate adaptation and mitigation. They are not just overlapping, they are utterly entwined because… systems. There is nothing we do that doesn’t come back to physical resources and consumption.

    One important point addressed during the summit was of course financing climate change adaptation, which is promising. Financing is clearly needed for climate change adaptation.

    So long as that is true, we will fail. You cannot provide resources equitably around the planet under competitive systems. These summits are always focused on keeping things as they are with some #greenwashing thrown in.

    And who is going to pay for the 5 billion+ poor to become satisfied with their lifestyles at, say, a European level? No, these plans always maintain the strata that currently exist while claiming they will “finance” the “3rd World.” They will not because they will never get their money back.

    Weather and climate – short and long timescales – are of course connected but nevertheless different (“climate” can be viewed as weather statistics). Other examples of climate adaptation can be found in a recent Eos article on food security in Africa.

    Permaculturists and other related practitioners have long been DOING local food security. Smallholders, in fact, even now produce 70% of food globally. We don’t need you, et al., to tell us what to do, we need you to be quiet and listen.

    Eg.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tzBm-xisIts&t=1708s

    The second half of this video is a blueprint for resilience and regenerative systems and repeats much of what I have been telling you on this site since about 2008.

    I think it is important to mention maladaptation and avoid long-term problems connected to short-term fixes.

    Like EVs, over-built solar and wind…

    Resilience is a keyword.

    Yes, but I wonder what that means to you? Likely mere redundancy, but it goes far beyond that in regenerative systems – and is why your distinction between adaptation and mitigation is meaningless.

    As with many other summits, I felt that the scientists’ voice was largely missing.

    That is not a weakness in this instance unless and until you start listening to regenerative systems designers, or what I sometimes call ecological engineers.

    There seems to be a gap between high-level politics and science. I think we need a better dialogue between the leaders and climate scientists partly to help distinguish between different and difficult concepts.

    What in the world do you know about creating a regenerative community? Please, have some humility.

    But the main reason is that we need to know what we must adapt to.

    YES!!!!! This is what I have been saying for at least half a decade here! The climate conversation and information that climate scientists must focus on is the long-tail risks. The mid-range probabilities do not matter when dealing with a far beyond non-trivial probability of an existential threat.

    Besides, regenerative design is approached the same way no matter what the target and most of the solutions will be the same for the entire range of mitigation and adaptation choices. And, after all, it is stupid to design for excessively high tides when the long-tail risk is a 30-meter tsunami.

    We need to know the situation: the state of the climate and how it is changing. This knowledge is not readily downloadable from the Internet.

    Yes, as per the recent overview of the true risk that was published:
    https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2021/jan/13/top-scientists-warn-of-ghastly-future-of-mass-extinction-and-climate-disruption-aoe

    There are key questions that should involve scientists: What is needed for proper climate change adaptation?

    Huh? You have no idea! I have yet to find anything proposed by a scientist, in any field, that regenerative designers, et al., have not been saying for decades. We already know how to mitigate and adapt. We need you to listen and then reinforce our message so a wider range of people will listen.

    Watch that video above. Robyn Francis is a giant in the field of regenerative design.

    And what are the challenges in terms of meeting our objectives?

    You scientists cannot answer this. You still are fully embedded in the current paradigm’s socio-economic-political systems.

    What do we know about future risks?

    Back on task! Good!

    In addition, biodiversity, nature conservation

    We already know how to do regeneration. We need no help from you with this area of knowledge, just far more implementation. Ergo, we need you, as I said above, to learn what we have to teach you, then help convince others.

    cultural, social and economic aspects are important.

    All covered. Again, just get out of the way or listen and help us get the word out.

    Data is crucial, but is often unavailable because of lack of sharing and lack of openness. Often due to lacking finance. Information about the regional climate change must be distilled from large volumes of data, and we need to ask what information is useful and how it can be used in the best possible way.

    All this information must become open source.

    The required analysis is often carried out in climate services and often includes downscaling. It involves tools, methods and understanding that are still evolving with regards to these topics.

    Useful, yes, but not necessary: We know enough about the risk to understand what to do to reverse it. More information will be helpful, but will not change the strategies much at all. So, yes, improve this, but the greater amount of time and energy needs to go into doing regenerative mitigation and getting it spread globally.

    I think it would be useful with a presentation of the state of climate science relevant for climate change adaptation at a high level in the summit. Perhaps science should get an equal amount of attention as the NGOs and the businesses.

    The risks need to be stated unequivocally. I have said this for years. However, the most important people at such a summit would be the regenerative design professionals.

    Much of the latest research relevant to the climate adaptation summit is coordinated within the World Climate Research Programme (WRCP) which also is setting a new focus on regional information for society (“RifS”).

    Again, useful, not vital. We need billions invested in teaching regenerative systems globally and the creation of regenerative communities and the transition of existing communities to be regenerative.

    Furthermore, there is considerable scientific experience on adaptation from the Arctic with the fastest climate change on Earth, such as the Adaptive Actions in a Changing Arctic (AACA) report for the Arctic Council.

    Permaculture. Regenerative Governance. These are the keys to adaptation and mitigation, applicable everywhere. Note: These are heavily dependent on and aligned with Traditional Ecological Knowledge (TEK); we need to give First Nations all over the world, particularly intact indigenous communities, the lead in all this.

    Climate adaptation involves many communities and disciplines (e.g. weather forecasting, climate services, regional climate modelling, “distillation“, disaster risk reduction) which I think aren’t well coordinated at the moment.

    Regenerative systems design is exactly a fully systemic approach. Bringing these conversations under that umbrella is key.

    One message from the summit was “Let’s work together” which I think implies a better coordination of the different disciplines and communities.

    But it doesn’t matter if you work together only to hit the wall at 50mph rather than 80mph.

  6. 6
    Killian says:

    1 Thomas Fuller:
    31 Jan 2021 at 12:08 PM

    Adaptation is necessary, but specific measures are often hampered by the simple fact that even the best models do not resolve to regional scales. Hence we do not know how far back from the ocean we should move roads and homes, how high the sea walls should be built, what regulations should be regarding construction in flood plains, etc., etc.

    Worst case scenario. We don’t need regulations, we need to educate all communities about regenerative systems which will result in proper, natural principles-based solutions.

    It is also inconvenient that adaptation is by definition a local response, which makes it less likely that a global, or even national plan will be most effective at the point of climate contact.

    Absolutely correct. But the principles and process of regenerative design are universally applicable.

  7. 7
    Killian says:

    2 Russell Seitz:
    31 Jan 2021 at 6:49 PM

    Rasmus may wish to reflect that regional flood response statutes and riparian law issues antedate the industrial revolution. Many forms of anthropogenic forcing, from soil salinization to agricultural, pastoral and forest management driven albedo change have been in play for millennia rather than centuries, and that since the total area changed is the integral of hundreds of generations of human endeavour, undoing them may take longer than the time scale of AGW.

    Logical fallacy: It takes as long to change as it took to get here.

    No, we can regenerate any system on earth in well under ten years given the motivation and appropriate effort to do so.

  8. 8
  9. 9
    P S BAKER says:

    Good points made in this piece; I’ve worked on adaptation (coffee farming) for many years and it’s hard work with limited, project-style action.

    On the data – information – knowledge – implementation axis, there are major shortcomings, as this recent paper covers:
    https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2212096320300383?via%3Dihub

  10. 10
    Stefan says:

    CAS2021 was a high-level event, and less so a scientific hearing. Many governments have been involved, and its goal probably was to create momentum in a time without UNFCCC negotiations. As said, adaptation is a local issue, which needs at least national coordination. So, many countries have developed National Adapation Plans and Action Plans. In some countries very strict planning is on the way to mainstream adaptation into any development plan. This needs data (long-term observations, predictions and projections), but also communication between authoritative experts/ institutions and those at the implementation front. Not only one time, but more or less continuously/ repeatedly, always incorportating latest findings. WMO with its GFCS and the underlying national frameworks are facilitating the process. Science ensures that best available knowledge is incorporated.

  11. 11
    Killian says:

    [Response: If you follow the link and read the documentation, you will realize that this was not organized by Rasmus and featured a very broad range of experts, not just scientists. Whether this was the right mix for what the organizers wanted to achieve is a question probably best addressed to them, not us. Given it’s high profile I’m a little surprised you didn’t know about it ahead of time? – gavin]

    Well, I never said he organized it. I asked why he didn’t mention it earlier. I also realized it wasn’t headed by scientists after reading more thoroughly.

    My apologies for being a bit hard on you, Rasmus. That said, my points all stand, and doubly so for the non-scientist participants!

    All involved had better figure out what they *don’t* know, and soon.

  12. 12
    Killian says:

    9 P S BAKER says:
    1 Feb 2021 at 4:53 AM

    On the data – information – knowledge – implementation axis, there are major shortcomings, as this recent paper covers:

    Sustainability is ultimately local, and that’s where all efforts should be anchored and begin. Top-down is the problem, bottom-up is the solution.

  13. 13

    Dale @3
    I don’t envy you as a farmer being at the mercy of so many things completely out of your control.

    But if you look at the data it doesn’t take long to see that Dr Crimp is incorrect, and it doesn’t take many searches to find papers that completely disagree with his findings. I don’t know whereabouts in the wheatbelt you are, but Corrigin has 110 years of records and there is no clear trend:-
    http://www.bom.gov.au/jsp/ncc/cdio/weatherData/av?p_display_type=dataGraph&p_stn_num=010536&p_nccObsCode=139&p_month=13

    If Dr Crimp were correct and the technological improvements are masking the drying conditions, then the east coast yields should have improved by more than 27%, and that is simply not the case.

    Also be aware that if you were to plot annual rainfall Vs annual temperature anomaly you will find there is NO correlation. I haven’t done that for any wheatbelt towns,but I have for Perth, Sydney and other places where people claim that rainfall is changing because of changing temperatures

  14. 14
    Russell Seitz says:

    K:

    “We can regenerate any system on earth in well under ten years given the motivation and appropriate effort to do so.”

    Don’t be obtuse. We have altered over half the land surface area of the earth. It took several millennia for populations with gravity on their side to terrace hundreds of millions of hectares of steep terrane for paddy crops, and far longer to effect the denudation of even larger areas by fire-setting hunter-gatherer, slash, burn agriculturalists and an assortment of hydraulic civilizations with a weak grasp of the word ‘salinization.”

    I’ll give you a Mulligan on the deforestation if you reveal your cunning 10 year plan for making mud flow uphill and reversing osmosis.

  15. 15
    Richard Creager says:

    K:

    “We can regenerate any system on earth in well under ten years given the motivation and appropriate effort to do so.”

    And on a finer scale, once, say, an acre of white pine red maple swamp is filled, it’s gone. The biodiversity hit is taken and no one can regenerate it regardless of motivation, effort or hubris.

  16. 16
    nigelj says:

    “Sustainability is ultimately local, and that’s where all efforts should be anchored and begin. Top-down is the problem, bottom-up is the solution.”

    Ok, but the reality is our entire modern civilisation is built on top down principles, along with the huge infrastructure and dependence on industry this has created. It took at least a century to build these systems of organisation and infrastructure presumably because people thought it was superior to bottom up systems and simple rural living (for wont of a better description), so unwinding all this is going to involve a massive education campaign, and considerable reorganisation and rebuilding work that looks neither quick or easy or problem free. In the meantime we have an immediate climate crisis…..

  17. 17
    Killian says:

    14 Russell Seitz:
    1 Feb 2021 at 8:05 PM

    K:

    “We can regenerate any system on earth in well under ten years given the motivation and appropriate effort to do so.”

    Don’t be obtuse.

    Stupidity should be illegal. Get back to me when you have the slightest clue about regenerative design. E.g.: While it may take decades for trees to reach full height, the process of creating that forest can be done in five years. From that point, you just watch it grow.

    Next time, choose not to remove all doubt.

  18. 18

    KW 13: Also be aware that if you were to plot annual rainfall Vs annual temperature anomaly you will find there is NO correlation. I haven’t done that for any wheatbelt towns,but I have for Perth, Sydney and other places where people claim that rainfall is changing because of changing temperatures

    BPL: Reminds me of Victor’s “there is NO correlation” between CO2 and temperature.

    Let’s check the figures for the Australian droughts:

    1982 Australia Rainfall 22″, 0.12 K temp. anomaly
    1994 Australia* Rainfall 17″, 0.69 K temp. anomaly
    2002 Australia* Rainfall 14″, 1.65 K temp. anomaly

    By gosh, it almost looks like the rainfall has declined as the temperature rose! How about that.

  19. 19
    Piotr says:

    Rasmus: “ As with many other summits, I felt that the scientists’ voice was largely missing

    Killian: “My god! The arrogance of scientists! When we step into your world, you get all uppity and upset. But you have an entire conference without me and my colleagues

    Hmm, maybe …. _this_ is the reason?

  20. 20
    Piotr says:

    Keith Woollard (13) to Dale “I don’t envy you as a farmer being at the mercy of so many things completely out of your control.

    Sounds kind of hollow, when in the next paragraph you treat Australian farmers as if they were … morons who got themselves fooled by a climatic change alarmist, and couldn’t be bothered to put any effort (“”it doesn’t take many searches to find papers“) to check if wasn’t lying to them.

    Unfortunately for you, you got the causality wrong – the Australian farmers DID not change their practices “from 3 and sometimes 4 cultivations to single pass or no till in an effort to conserve moisture” BECAUSE IN THE FUTURE some Dr. Crimp IN RETROSPECT would tell them that since 1990 the amount of rain would have declined and amount of evaporative losses would have increased. More likely they changed their practices IN RESPONSE to what they have SEEN ON THEIR OWN land.

    But YOU obviously know BETTER than the farmers whether they have enough moisture on their own farms or not, and you lecture them that “it doesn’t take many searches to find papers” showing that in … some town in Australia there was no clear change in rainfall. As if it trumped what they have seen on their own land.

    That’s like a climate change denier lecturing people in France affected by the 2003 heat wave, that “it doesn’t take many searches to find papers” clearly showing that in some town in Sweden there is no clear indication of temperature change. All while proclaiming how his heart goes out to them.

  21. 21
    Karsten V. Johansen says:

    Seems to me that the main problem is gross underestimation of what changes we have to adapt to, especially how fast these changes are developing.

    Future climate averages do often hide what weather extremes are to be experienced, but it is those extremes we must adapt to. Rising average temperatures and precipitation will not result in more agricultural output i cool regions, as is often presumed, if you get two or three years of extreme heat and drought, followed by one year of extremr flooding, and then an extremely cold an dry winter and so on. Even renewable energy ressources like waterpowered electricity are not relieably renewable under such circumstances. With more and more of the capital owners becoming superrich, ridden by hubris, behaving like absentee landlords and even spreading crackpot illusions like “I’ll put one million men on Mars in a couple of decades” (Elon Musk), the politicians doing their usual stuff: empty proclamations like in the Paris “agreement”, the real possibilities for adaptation and mitigation under the accelerating chaos resulting from rapid development of more weather extremes, *combined with new pandemics, more violent conflicts around dwindling oil and gas reserves (almost all military conflicts in the past half century and more have been centered around fossil fuel reserves), more market turmoils of speculative nature etc.etc., developments like those we have seen especially in the past thirty years all over the globe, will soon narrow down.

    Local solutions sound good, but they will be hampered by the more and more unpredictable character of the ever faster expanding global production and trading systems, and of the responses this provokes from the natural systems, which the ruling economic dogmatism simplisticly reduces to “externalities”.

    What is needed is *not* ever more proclamations about “optimism” etc., but at least some degree at last of clearcut political realism, looking at the whole picture and not just some small details in one corner or another, not just some more sweeping most of the reality under the carpet on big conferences with oratory unending.

  22. 22

    Stick to religion BPL@18, obviously maths is not your strong suit.

    If you plot 124 years of annual precipitation Vs temperature for Perth (WA) the R squared value of a linear line of best fit is 0.07

    THERE IS NO CORRELATION

    You are, however, correct in suggesting a correlation between CO2 and temp. However if you use monthly Manua Loa and your choice of global datasets (I used HADCrut4) you find that correlation improves to a maximum if you bring the CO2 data forward by 5 months. i.e. CO2 lags temp in the current record by 5 months

  23. 23
    Russell Seitz says:

    KILLIAN :“Stupidity should be illegal. Get back to me when you have the slightest clue about regenerative design.”

    If you mean what you write , please have the grace to stop shouting , and signal your self-arrest by directing further comments to the receptacles provided ;

    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/category/the-bore-hole/

    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/category/the-crank-shaft/

  24. 24
    climatecal says:

    From the perspective of a company whose business is climate change adaptation, the less climate change (GHG) mitigation that happens, the better. And the more they can create the perception that what *they* do is the mitigation, the better their chances of getting a bigger hunk of the climate funding pie. To the global detriment.

    I think this is going to become a problem.

  25. 25
    Piotr says:

    Keith Woollard (22): “ Stick to religion BPL@18, obviously maths is not your strong suit. If you plot 124 years of annual precipitation Vs temperature for Perth (WA) the R squared value of a linear line of best fit is 0.07 THERE IS NO CORRELATION

    Brave words for somebody whose own “maths” apparently includes correlating of processes happening across very different scales.
    First, our Keith (13) disproved global, or at least continental, climate change, by pointing to the absence of a clear trend in rain in … the town of Corrigin. That’s the same type of an argument as saying that global warming is a fiction, because temperature in some local places on Earth do not show a clear warming trend.

    Keith did not stop there – next he disproves global climate change by lecturing BPL that: “ THERE IS NO CORRELATION ” between … local temperature in Perth (or Sydney) and local rain in the same place.

    The only way to even EXPECT such a correlation, or to disprove something with its absence, is to assume that all weather is LOCAL: all rain forms from LOCAL evaporation and LOCAL temp. follows ONLY the LOCAL balance between local energy in and local energy out.

    You know what it means: NO WINDS nor movement of air masses, since these transport moisture and temperature from one place to another. On Keith’s Earth: “What happens in Perth, stays in Perth” and more importantly – “What happens outside of Perth, stays outside of Perth”.

    All this FALLS APART on real Earth, where the air masses do move, hence most of the water vapour in Perth didn’t evaporate in Perth, but came with air masses from other places, such as, say, the ocean, and where the local temperature in Perth is a combination of the temp of the air mass that CAME to Perth and local heating or cooling, as it passes over Perth. So there is not reason to expect LOCAL correlation between temperature and rain in Perth, when what happens in Perth depends to a large extent on where the air masses are coming from, and when during a year (as the air masses will have different properties)

    To show it on a hypothetical examples, let’s assume that Perth gets it air masses for ocean and from land:
    – the oceanic air masses, come saturated (at the given air temp.)in water vapour, or even oversaturated (due to lack of CCNs over ocean). The temperature of these oceanic air masses depends on where the air came from – from NorthWest and it is warmer, from SouthWest and it is colder – so depending where the air came from you can record the Perth meteorologist would record: Warm + Rain, or Cold + Rain. Then we may have also land air-masses – typically with low humidity, and warmer in summer and colder in winter. So when they come to Perth you record: Warm+No rain, or Cold+No rain. Now throw ALL FOUR possibilities together into a single LOCAL data set and expect to see a correlation … between local temperature and local rain … ;-)

    And if this bizarre lack-of-correlation proof was not enough, in the same initial post Keith (13) “disproved”, I think, the changes in rain in Australia, by pointing that the change in agricultural practices implemented to preserve water in places facing drought … did not resulted in an increase in crops in places … where the lack of rain WAS NOT the problem … Whau, what a surprise.. ;-)

    And after all that, our Keith Woollard lectures others: “ Stick to religion BPL, obviously maths is not your strong suit.

    So while there may not be a correlation between local temperature and local rain, there seem to be a strong correlation between own ignorance and arrogance.

  26. 26
    nigelj says:

    Rainfall trends In Australia from Australian government website:

    https://www.climatechangeinaustralia.gov.au/en/climate-campus/australian-climate-change/australian-trends/#:~:text=Australian%20rainfall%20is%20highly%20variable,and%20the%20Southern%20Annular%20Mode.&text=Rainfall%20has%20increased%20across%20most%20of%20northern%20Australia%20since%20the%201970s.

    Australian rainfall is highly variable and is strongly influenced by drivers such as El Niño, La Niña, the Indian Ocean Dipole and the Southern Annular Mode. Despite this natural variability, long‑term trends are evident in Australia’s rainfall record. There has been a shift towards drier conditions across the southwest and southeast, with more frequent years of below average rainfall, especially for the cool season months of April to October. In 17 of the last 20 years, rainfall in southern Australia in these months has been below average. This is due to a combination of natural variability on decadal timescales and changes in large‑scale circulation caused by increased anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions.

    There has been a decline of around 16 per cent in April to October rainfall in the southwest of Australia since 1970. Across the same region May to July rainfall has seen the largest decrease, by around 20 per cent since 1970.

    In the southeast of Australia there has been a decline of around 12 per cent in April to October rainfall since the late 1990s.

    Rainfall has increased across most of northern Australia since the 1970s.

    Heavy rainfall events are becoming more intense.

    Observations show that there has been an increase in the intensity of heavy rainfall events in Australia. The intensity of short-duration (hourly) extreme rainfall events has increased by around 10 per cent or more in some regions and in recent decades, with larger increases typically observed in the north of the country. Short-duration extreme rainfall events are often associated with flash flooding, and so these changes in intensity bring increased risk to communities. This is particularly so in urban environments where the large amount of impervious ground cover (e.g. concrete) leads to increased flooding during heavy downpours.

  27. 27

    KW 22: Stick to religion BPL@18, obviously maths is not your strong suit.

    BPL: Gosh, I guess being a statistics minor at Pitt was useless, huh?

    KW: If you plot 124 years of annual precipitation Vs temperature for Perth (WA) the R squared value of a linear line of best fit is 0.07 . . . THERE IS NO CORRELATION

    BPL: What was the t value on the trend line, KW? If r^2 is 0.07, then r = 0.265, and for a sample size of N = 124, that’s p < 0.003, which is significant at better than the 99% level. Obviously math is not your strong suit.

    KW: You are, however, correct in suggesting a correlation between CO2 and temp. However if you use monthly Manua Loa and your choice of global datasets (I used HADCrut4) you find that correlation improves to a maximum if you bring the CO2 data forward by 5 months. i.e. CO2 lags temp in the current record by 5 months

    BPL: Given your inability to test for statistical significance, I wouldn't put too much reliance on that.

  28. 28
    zebra says:

    climatecal #24,

    Indeed; lots of money to be made, for example, in ‘flood-proofing’, as well as in rebuilding after the flood, given our absurd flood insurance policies.

    And even more significant is this:

    https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2020/12/16/magazine/russia-climate-migration-crisis.html?searchResultPosition=4

    Well worth a read. Fascinating questions about how the climate system and the human system interacting could create a chaotic meta-system. (Yes, that is a considered use of the magic word, folks.)

  29. 29
    William B Jackson says:

    Is there any real difference between the posting of KW and Mr. KIA? Other than tone?

  30. 30
    Dale Park says:

    KW (13) says “But if you look at the data it doesn’t take long to see that Dr Crimp is incorrect, and it doesn’t take many searches to find papers that completely disagree with his findings. If Dr Crimp were correct and the technological improvements are masking the drying conditions, then the east coast yields should have improved by more than 27%, and that is simply not the case.”

    I don’t know where to begin.

    If you had looked at Dr Crimps data you would have found his research work is looking at wheat growing area of Australia, East and West.

    I farm at Badgingarra 200km north of Perth. I have only been here for 32years. when we arrived we were expecting an annual average rainfall of 650mm our average for last 32 years has been 574 and 524 for the last 10 years.

    We still have a property very close to Perth where my father, who isn’t all that keen on horses, was forced to ride around the stock every winter 60 years ago because the country was so wet. We now have no trouble getting around in two wheel drive.

    I know my Grandfather would not recognise the way my cousins now farm their land in the eastern wheatbelt. In grain growing annual rainfall figures don’t tell the whole story. Distribution is important what we call growing season rainfall.

    I’m not sure which planet you are living on but it does not sound much like mine.

  31. 31

    Poitr summarises it best in #25. The issue here is that the regular crowd of zealots believe if anyone disagrees with anything to do with the cause they must be trying to disprove global warming. No, I am not. I am not suggesting that the rainfall trend at Corrigin (been there many times, lovely place) is in any way a proxy for the global temperature. And I am not saying that there are not variations in rainfall in the WA wheatbelt over time – there are.

    What I am saying, and let me be crystal clear, is that the data does not support Dr Crimp’s quoted claim “potential wheat yields have declined by 27% since 1990, with rainfall declines accounting for 83% of the decline”

    So Nigelj’s quotes from the BoM are correct, and that ties in with Dr Crimp’s views. The mistake is to assume the tie between global warming (which I believe in) and local rainfall trends. And further…. to extrapolate that into the future. Sure you can look at 20 or 30 years and see drying trends and the reverse. But look longer. Here is the complete record:-
    http://www.bom.gov.au/climate/change/#tabs=Tracker&tracker=trend-maps&tQ=map%3Drain%26area%3Daus%26season%3D0112%26period%3D1900
    For those who know where the WA wheatbelt is, a chunk of it has dried slightly, whilst the bigger chunk has seen a slight increas in rainfall. I don’t know the reason some areas have dried in the last 30’ish years, but that reduction in rainfall has just returned it to where it was 100 years ago.

    And BPL – p value? Really? An r-squared of 0.07 is not a good fit

  32. 32
    Piotr says:

    Keith Woollard (31): “I am not. I am not suggesting that the rainfall trend at Corrigin is in any way a proxy for the global temperature.

    Nobody said that. Instead you used the “lack of clear trends in rainfall in Corrigin“:

    a) to dismiss the changes in rainfall in … Australia.

    b) to imply that Australian farmers are morons, who made massive changes in their practices NOT because they saw the change in rainfall on THEIR LAND, but because they got themselves hoodwinked by a …FUTURE presentation of Dr. Crimp, who IN RETROSPECT will tell them that from 1990 on – the rainfall has declined.

    c) to suggest that the farmers are lazy morons – since “it doesn’t take many searches to find papers“ that … “ Corrigin has 110 years of records and there is no clear trend (KW 13)

    Keith Woolward (31): the data does not support Dr Crimp’s quoted claim “potential wheat yields have declined by 27% since 1990 [but the actual yields have not dropped because of huge changes in farm practises… to conserve moisture]“.

    which you disproved by pointing that in places with UNCHANGED rainfall, the moisture-preserving practices … DIDN’T improve crops by 27%?

    Since my amazement about your train of thought (“Whau, what a surprise.. ;-)) went unnoticed, let me simplify it to an analogy:

    I injured my leg. As a result, my walking speed dropped by 27%. My doctor gave me excellent braces, which stabilized my leg and return my walking speed to pre-injury level. Keith Woolward who wasn’t injuried, tries the braces on, walks in them with a stopwatch and …. disproves my injury by saying: “braces should have increased my walking speed by 27%. They didn’t

    Keith Woollard (31)” The mistake is to assume the tie between global warming and local rainfall trends

    so that’s why you proved the lack of tie between GLOBAL (sic!) warming and local rainfall, by showing the lack of tie between … LOCAL (sic!) warming and local rainfall”??? Or if you forgot, here are your words:
    KW(13): “ if you were to plot annual rainfall Vs annual temperature anomaly you will find there is NO correlation. I have done that for Perth, Sydney and other places“.

    But please, do continue to lecture others: “ Stick to religion, obviously maths is not your strong suit.

  33. 33

    KW 31: And BPL – p value? Really? An r-squared of 0.07 is not a good fit

    BPL: Yes, Keith, really. The p-value shows the relation is significant. No, it’s not a good fit, because the rainfall in Perth depends MAINLY on which fronts blow in from other locations. The fact that a global warming signal nonetheless stands out in the data blows away your amateurish assumption that the low r^2 value means nothing is happening.

  34. 34
    jgnfld says:

    @piotr “p value? Really? An r-squared of 0.07 is not a good fit”

    As I taught my classes for many decades, statistical significance does not imply effect size, it implies a real influence. That said, it appears to me you are a bit reversed here. No one (sensible) has ever said that climate changes arising from greenhouse gases, aerosols, and the like are the major drivers of all weather. Only that they are a true driver of a small portion of it. So that .07 is (likely) a real driver and not just something that looks like one.

  35. 35

    Piotr
    *) global – no, I didn’t say that
    *) continental (Australia) no, I didn’t say that either
    Didn’t even say state (WA)
    I said the WA wheatbelt, that’s 6% of one state of Australia, and a town with the longest rainfall record in the middle of that region is an appropriate dataset to use

  36. 36
    J Doug Swallow says:

    Do your loyal followers know just how in the dark about most things to do with the climate that you are, such as Barton Paul Levenson?
    Gavin Schmidt (NASA) explains the climate change problem and solution
    Q: What is the future for waterfront cities like Vancouver?
    A: You are going to have to put up with rising sea levels; they are not going to go down. But there’s a huge difference between a foot or two over 100 years and a metre or two metres. There’s a lot of waterfront development going on but is it sea-level-rise smart? I don’t know that it is. So don’t put stuff in the basement, have all your electrical equipment on the second floor or on the roof.
    http://climatestate.com/2015/04/24/gavin-schmidt-nasa-explains-the-climate-change-problem-and-solution/
    Meanwhile, back in the real world, sea levels at Vancouver have been rising at a rate of just 0.37mm/yr since 1910:

    Relative Sea Level Trend
    822-071 Vancouver, Canada

    • EXPORT TO TEXT   |   EXPORT TO CSV    |   SAVE IMAGE
    The relative sea level trend is 0.53 millimeters/year with a 95% confidence
    interval of +/- 0.21 mm/yr based on monthly mean sea level data from
    1909 to 2018 which is equivalent to a change of 0.17 feet in 100 years.
    https://tidesandcurrents.noaa.gov/sltrends/sltrends_station.shtml?id=822-071

  37. 37
    J Doug Swallow says:

    Do your loyal followers know just how in the dark about most things to do with the climate that you are, such as Barton Paul Levenson?
    Gavin Schmidt (NASA) explains the climate change problem and solution
    Q: So if we could make one smart decision what should it be?
    A: We have to have a price on carbon because right now it’s still free to put carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. So if you put a price on carbon that is commensurate with the damage that carbon-dioxide emissions cause, then people will be smarter. They will say: ‘Well, I can spend that money and damage the planet or I can spend less money and buy an electric car that’s fed by hydro. Vancouver is trying to be a real leader in switching to carbon-neutral energy sources and moving away from oil for transportation. All those things are very positive and the B.C. carbon tax is one of the most progressive and far-reaching ideas — even though in practice it hasn’t made a huge difference yet.
    http://climatestate.com/2015/04/24/gavin-schmidt-nasa-explains-the-climate-change-problem-and-solution/
    The carbon tax in Australia didn’t seem to go over all that well; but, would that matter to someone who is so far removed from reality to actually believe that carbon-dioxide is a pollutant? If that is the case, then by all means quit breathing.
    What removing the carbon tax will mean for Australians
    Repealing the carbon tax and the Clean Energy Package is designed to:
    • Reduce the cost of living – modelling by the Australian Treasury suggests that removing the carbon tax in 2014-15 will leave average costs of living across all households around $550 lower than they would otherwise be in 2014-15.
    • Lower retail electricity by around 9 per cent and retail gas prices by around 7 per cent than they would otherwise be in 2014-15 with a $25.40 carbon tax.
    • Boost Australia’s economic growth, increase jobs and enhance Australia’s international competitiveness by removing an unnecessary tax, which hurts businesses and families.
    • Reduce annual ongoing compliance costs for around 370 liable entities by almost $90 million per annum.
    • Remove over 1,000 pages of primary and subordinate legislation.
     http://www.environment.gov.au/climate-change/repealing-carbon-tax

    “To compel a man to furnish funds for the propagation of ideas he disbelieves and abhors is sinful and tyrannical”.
    Thomas Jefferson 

  38. 38
    Piotr says:

    Keith Woollard (35) *) global – no, I didn’t say that

    so it was a different Keith Woollard who in (31) wrote: ” The mistake is to assume the tie between global warming and local rainfall trends
    and then “proved” that “ mistake of assuming tie between global warming and local rainfall” by pointing to the lack of correlation between … local warming and local rainfall (in Perth and Sydney).

    Piotr: Keith (13) disproved continental climate change, by pointing to the absence of a clear trend in rain in … the town of Corrigin

    KW(35): continental (Australia) no, I didn’t say that either

    Crimp’s data were on AUSTRALIA’s wheat farming (i.e. both East and West). And when you claimed that the Crimps data on AUSTRALIA’s wheat farming – spanning both the East and West, are “incorrect” than you say that you said …nothing about AUSTRALIA and that you didn’t claim that the rainfall data … in one location (town of Corrigin) … falsify the work Crimp on rainfall both in East and West Australia?

    The same Keith Woollard (13) implied that Australia’s farmers are morons, because they changed their agriculture practices in response to what they saw on their land, INSTEAD doing nothing because in “Corrigin there is no clear trend [in rainfall] “.

    Then Keith Woollard, the Later, (31) offered this gem of logic: “ the data does not support Dr Crimp’s quoted claim “potential wheat yields have declined by 27% since 1990 [but the actual yields have not dropped because of huge changes in farm practises… to conserve moisture]“.
    And he PROVED this “lack of support” by pointing that in places with UNCHANGED rainfall, the moisture-preserving practices, surprise, surprsie … DIDN’T improve crops by 27%! ;-)

    I tried to explain to KW why this is a fallacy, but in vain, so I had to resort to an analogy:
    ” I injured my leg. As a result, my walking speed dropped by 27%. My doctor gave me excellent braces, which stabilized my leg and returned my walking speed to pre-injury level. Keith Woolward who wasn’t injuried, tries the braces on, and …. disproves my injury by saying: “braces should have increased my walking speed by 27%. They didn’t”.

  39. 39
    Killian says:

    37 J Doug Swallow says:
    8 Feb 2021 at 1:12 AM

    Ohhh, myyy.

    Gavin Schmidt (NASA) explains the climate change problem and solution
    Q: So if we could make one smart decision what should it be?
    A: We have to have a price on carbon because right now it’s still free to put carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. So if you put a price on carbon that is commensurate with the damage that carbon-dioxide emissions cause, then people will be smarter. They will say: ‘Well, I can spend that money and damage the planet or I can spend less money and buy an electric car that’s fed by hydro.

    1. Electric cars are still more expensive than ICE cars.

    2. EVs save a maximum of 25% in lifetime CO2 in the best of circumstances.

    3. Basically, 62% of U.S. electricity is FF-based, so on average EVs are 67% FF-powered.

    4. Replacing an ICE with an EV before the end of life of the ICE greatly reduces or eliminates the CO2 advantage even in the best-case scenario.

  40. 40
    Killian says:

    Left off #5: Hydropower is massively destructive for ecosystems, so all the more true. Hydropowered EVs are ecosystem destroyers.

  41. 41

    JDS 37: would that matter to someone who is so far removed from reality to actually believe that carbon-dioxide is a pollutant?

    BPL: Anything in excess or out of place can be a pollutant. Water is a pollutant if you’re trying to prepare anhydrous ammonia. Oxygen is a pollutant if you’re trying to put together a tube of pure nitrogen. And carbon dioxide is a pollutant when, like now, it’s 48% higher than the preindustrial level. As toxicologists say, “The dose makes the poison.”

  42. 42
    Ray Ladbury says:

    So, tell me. Why is any post from J. Doug Swallow not immediately directed to the borehole? The latest one is utterly bereft of information or value, and it took him two tries to even get it posted.

    At a certain point, a poster has demonstrated himself to be utterly worthless, both as a source of information and as a human being. Mr. Swallow has shown he’s well over that line.

  43. 43

    JDS, #36,37–

    Unsupported assertion and political propaganda–speaking of being “in the dark…”

    JDS’ theme song:

    https://open.spotify.com/track/0ursieqYOROXv7zMWReQVi

  44. 44
    CCHolley says:

    Re. J Doug Swallow

    La-di-dah. What a tiresome bore.

  45. 45

    Killian, #39–

    1. Electric cars are still more expensive than ICE cars.

    Half true. EVs have a higher purchase price, but lower lifetime ownership cost.

    2. EVs save a maximum of 25% in lifetime CO2 in the best of circumstances.

    It’s complicated, but clearly, not true “in the best of circumstances”:

    https://www.carbonbrief.org/factcheck-how-electric-vehicles-help-to-tackle-climate-change

    For example, in the 2019 UK case, the figure was ~67%.

    3. Basically, 62% of U.S. electricity is FF-based, so on average EVs are 67% FF-powered.

    Clearly, you mean 62% both times. The figure is accurate, per the EIA. But that figure is dropping.

    https://www.eia.gov/outlooks/steo/report/electricity.php

    4. Replacing an ICE with an EV before the end of life of the ICE greatly reduces or eliminates the CO2 advantage even in the best-case scenario.

    No, it doesn’t, at least not as a blanket statement. For one thing, “replacing” a vehicle normally doesn’t take the old car off the road, as most often it goes to the used vehicle market. In that case, the new EV isn’t so much “replacing” an old ICEV as it is *displacing* a new ICEV. For another, (though relatedly) the whole point of EVs is to *prevent* the building of ICEs in the first place through demand destruction, in which case the whole framing of ‘replacement’ is irrelevant.

    5: Hydropower is massively destructive for ecosystems, so all the more true. Hydropowered EVs are ecosystem destroyers.

    Mature hydropower reservoirs ARE ecosystems. I ought to know; I live on one. I can observe, on a daily basis, a large number of birds including, but not limited to, herons, egrets, ducks, geese, osprey, bald eagles, coots, grebes, cormorants, (migratory) loons, kingfishers, chimney swifts, and a bewildering variety of gulls and terns. And that’s not getting into the songbirds in the surrounding forest and meadowlands. Mammalian, piscine, reptilian and amphibian wildlife abounds as well.

    Point being, in most of the developed world, hydropower is mature, so whatever the ecological damage, it has already been done. Adding more EVs will not mean more hydropower, so no, EVs are emphatically not in this sense “ecosystem destroyers”.

  46. 46
    nigelj says:

    I just checked the bore hole. Its full of stuff by JDS. Its all eye wateringly stupid.

  47. 47

    K 39 spreads denialist propaganda: 1. Electric cars are still more expensive than ICE cars.

    BPL: But the price is dropping.

    2. EVs save a maximum of 25% in lifetime CO2 in the best of circumstances.

    BPL: Show your work.

    3. Basically, 62% of U.S. electricity is FF-based, so on average EVs are 67% FF-powered.

    BPL: How did 62% become 67%? And the fraction of fossil fuel generation can drop every year the more we replace it with wind and solar.

  48. 48
    nigelj says:

    “3. Basically, 62% of U.S. electricity is FF-based, so on average EVs are 67% FF-powered.”

    There is another problem with this argument. Although its less than an ideal situation, if we waited for electricity generation to be 100% renewables before deploying any electic cars, there would then be several years towards decades before electic cars could be fully scaled up meaning lost time. Instead you want to scale up electic cars in parallel with scaling up renewable energy generation so they make the most of the resource immediately. It makes sense also because electric cars have other advantages over ICE cars eg no nitrous oxide and other lung irritating emissions, lower maintenance, cheaper to run (in many countries) batteries can be recycled, unlike fossil fuels. This is all well known stuff but the critics dont look at the full picture.

  49. 49

    Piotr,
    You continue to complete misunderstand the issues and misquote me.

    Unfortunately I thought I should go and listen to what Dr Crimp said rather than rely on Dale’s recollection, which turns out was quite good. You can watch the whole 28 minutes here:-
    https://agzero2030.org.au/portfolio/farmers-owed-duty-of-care/
    but unless you really don’t have anything better to do with your time I wouldn’t recommend it.

    Dr Crimp’s mistake is to conflate global warming and climate change. He starts by showing a scary animation of 140 years of the global temperature record via BEST. He then moves onto Australia using the same BoM webpage I point at in my comment #31. The difference is now instead of showing the full dataset as I presented above, he clips the first 80 years of the record. Why? Because it doesn’t support his argument. This is fraud, anyone who clips data to hide inconvenient trends is an activist, not a scientist.

    Dale is near the west coast about 150km roughly north of me, I know the climate well and this western strip of the wheatbelt has indeed shown a reduction in rainfall, particularly winter rain. The summers here are very dry, but quite variable. If you plot the 7 dry months of the year, you get a very noisy plot with no trend at all. However the 5 months around winter show a clear pattern. The first 60 years from 1880 show a steady increase from 600mm to about 750. The 80 years following 1940 have shown a decline down to about 500. So yes, there has been a decrease in the last 80 years, or if you look at just the endpoints of the 140 year record. But you both of these ideas misrepresent the data

    I have the utmost respect for farmers and would never suggest they are lazy or morons. I can absolutely guarantee 99.9% of them work far harder than I do, and I have no reason to imagine they are less intelligent than me

  50. 50
    J Doug Swallow says:

    #48 11 Feb 2021 at 1:19 AM nigelj says many things that make basically no sense; such as “Although its less than an ideal situation, if we waited for electricity generation to be 100% renewables before deploying any electic cars, there would then be several years towards decades before electic cars could be fully scaled up meaning lost time. Instead you want to scale up electic cars in parallel with scaling up renewable energy generation so they make the most of the resource immediately.”
    “Solar and wind power generated a TENTH of the world’s electricity in the first half of 2020 as coal sees biggest fall since 1990”
    (Then the report throws in this bit of unsubstantiated garbage to make sure everyone knows that they have no idea what they are talking about.)
    “Report authors say coal generation dropped by 8.3 per cent but still accounted for 33 per cent of global production – too high to meet global climate change targets. In order to keep global temperatures from increasing by more than 2.7F authors say coal power generation needs to fall by 13 per cent every year of this decade.”
    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-8621577/Wind-solar-produced-10-global-electricity-H1-2020-report.html

    I, unlike nigelj, deal in facts and not, “what ifs”, know this about China and coal. I have been to China on four separate occasions and know that they are not going to cut back on their coal fired power plants. People like nigelj tend to live in a small world of their own making.

    “China has the highest installed capacity of coal power plants in the world. As of January 2021, it operated coal plants with a combined capacity of 1,042.9 gigawatts. This was more than four times the operational capacity of coal plants in the United States, which ranked second. China’s carbon dioxide emissions from coal combustion reached 7.2 billion metric tons in 2019 – roughly 70 percent of the country’s total emissions.”
    https://www.statista.com/statistics/530569/installed-capacity-of-coal-power-plants-in-selected-countries/

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