a hotter past … fleeing to the hills

The hottest day on record?
Not 2010, BUT 1828 at a blistering 53.9 °C
Back before man-made climate change was frying Australia, when CO2 was around 300ppm, the continent savoured an ideal pre-industrial climate…….. RIGHT?
This is the kind of climate we are spending $10bn per annum to get back to….. Right again?
We are told today’s climate has more records and more extremes than times gone by, but the few records we have from the early 1800’s are eye-popping.
Things were not just hotter, but so wildly hot it burst thermometers.
The earliest temperature records we have show that Australia was a land of shocking heatwaves and droughts, except for when it was bitterly cold or raging in flood.

In other words, nothing has changed, except possibly things might not be quite so hot now!
Silliggy (Lance Pidgeon) has been researching records from early explorers and from newspapers.
What he’s uncovered is fascinating! It’s as if history is being erased!

For all that we hear about recent record-breaking climate extremes, records that are equally extreme, and sometimes even more so, are ignored.

In January 1896 a savage blast “like a furnace” stretched across Australia from east to west and lasted for weeks.
The death toll reached 437 people in the eastern states.
Newspaper reports showed that in Bourke the heat approached 120°F (48.9°C) on three days.
Links to documentary evidence (1)(2)(3)
The maximum at or above 102 degrees F (38.9°C) for 24 days straight!
Use the several links below to read the news reports at the time for yourself ……
1. By Tuesday Jan 14, people were reported falling deadin the streets.
2. Unable to sleep, people in Brewarrina walked the streets at night for hours, thermometers recorded109F at midnight.
3. Overnight, the temperature did not fall below 103°F.
4. On Jan 18 in Wilcannia, five deaths were recorded in one day, the hospitals were overcrowdedand reports said that “more deaths are hourly expected”.
5. By January 24, in Bourke, many businesses had shut down (almost everything bar the hotels).
6. Panic stricken Australians were fleeing to the hills in climate refugee trains.

As reported at the time, the government felt the situation was so serious that to save lives and ease the suffering of its citizens they added cheaper train services:
What I found most interesting about this was the skill, dedication and length of meteorological data taken in the 1800′s. When our climate is “the most important moral challenge” why is it there is so little interest in our longest and oldest data?
Who knew that one of the most meticulous and detailed temperature records in the world from the 1800′s comes from Adelaide, largely thanks to Sir Charles Todd.

The West Terrace site in Adelaide was one of the best in the world at the time, and provides accurate historic temperatures from “Australia’s first permanent weather bureau at Adelaide in 1856″.
Rainfall records even appear to go as far back as 1839. Lance Pidgeon went delving into the National Archives and was surprised at what he found.
The media are in overdrive, making out that “the extreme heat is the new normal” in Australia.
The Great Australian Heatwave of January 2013 didn’t push the mercury above 50C at any weather station in Australia, yet it’s been 50C (122F) and hotter in many inland towns across Australia over the past century.
See how many are in the late 1800′s and early to mid 1900′s.
You can’t blame those high records on man-made global warming!

Non-government scientists continually find fault from BoM data, exposed by aged newspaper records of events. Compliments to Lance Pidgeon and other dedicated unpaid researchers.

Today, there is air conditioning, and the main scaremongering comes from Canberra, keeping cool with their lakes.canberra-036

About Tom Harley

Amateur ecologist and horticulturalist and CEO of Kimberley Environmental Horticulture Inc. (Tom Harley) Kimberley Environmental Horticulture Incorporated Kimberley Environmental Horticulture (KEH) is a small group of committed individuals who promote the use of indigenous plants for the landscaping of parks and gardens. Rehabilitation of Kimberley coast, bushland and pastoral regions are also high on our agenda. This includes planting seedlings, weed control, damage from erosion or any other environmental matter that comes to our attention. We come from all walks of life, from Professionals and Trades oriented occupations, Pensioners and Students, Public Servants and the Unemployed. We have a community plant nursery where we trial many old and new species, with a view to incorporating these into our landscaping trials. Our labour force are mainly volunteers, but with considerable help from the 'work for the dole' program, Indigenous Community Development Employment Program (CDEP) groups and the Ministry of Justice, with their community work orders; in this way we manage to train many people in the horticultural skills needed for indigenous plant growing. We constantly undertake field trips that cover seed and plant collection in the Kimberley. Networking around the Kimberley region and the east Pilbara is a necessary part of promoting our activities. We consult on a range of Environmental and Landscaping matters that deal with our region. Our activities involve improving Broome's residential streetscapes by including 'waterwise' priciples in planting out nature strips. Sustainable environmental horticulture is practised by members of our group. We use existing vegetation as the backbone of any plantings, using these species to advantage when planning to develop tree forms or orchards. The Broome region is sensitive to development. Subsequently many weed species have become dominant in and around developed areas. The use and movement of heavy machinery is the biggest single cause of environmental degradation. We dont live in a 'Tropical Paradise' but on the edge of the Great Sandy Desert. The plants that survive best here, grow in well-drained pindan sand, and are found from the Dampier Peninsular southward to where average rainfall is below 600mm. When we use rainforest species, detail is important when planting, water catchment, sunlight and understorey species are all considered. The use of recycled 'grey' water is an advantage here as well as treated waste-water, although many local species do not fare well with nutrients from this source. We use waterwise planting methods which include harvesting asmuch rainwater as possible, with swales designed to hold up to 200 litres, to help recharge the local groundwater aquifer. There has been a serious decline in this aquifer over the last few years. With the fast expansion of the Broome peninsular, more and more land is being covered by concrete, iron and bitumen so that much less water is available to replenish the aquifer, allowing the salt content to become significantly higher. The small Broome Peninsular is on the south-western corner of the Dampier Peninsular (bound by Broome, Derby and Cape Leveque at the northern tip). Compaction by vehicles also inhibits water retention due to the content of our local pindan sand, hard as concrete in the dry, going to soft and sloppy mud after rain. None of us are botanists, inevitably we have got some names wrong, names changed, or have not gone to sub-species level. If you note a photo or description may be wrong, please e-mail to kimenvhort@yahoo.com.au
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2 Responses to a hotter past … fleeing to the hills

  1. Hein van Helsdingen says:

    Dear Pindan poster.

    First, I am a Dutchman I do try to write proper australian-english.
    Are you Tom Harley the writer of this article because I can not see that you are the writer?
    There is a fat black line and I can’t see on top of the article who is the writer.
    The black line is not telling me that under the line there is the writer.

    Main case:
    You say that in 1828 there was a bloody heat wave and there were many others. See how many are in the late 1800′s and early to mid 1900′s. You are telling others “You can’t blame those high records on man-made global warming!”
    Why are you not able to blame people?
    Why can you not blame the heat waves to humans who were making the climate worse on earth. Why not blaming them in that time already for climate worsening? Why not?

    I will try to explain why you can blame the aborigines and colonialists-settlers of that times already for climate change.
    In case you don’t understand how nature is working just ask my help.

    Do you understand that when you cut down the forests in Australia and burn them away that :
    1A. You have less shadow and so making more absorbed heat in Australia? (Plant leaves are reflecting sun rays. Plant leaves keep the sun rays away from the soil, away from buildings.)
    You can cheque that out by sensing your body in the sun and under a tree with dense canopy.
    So the forests were mitigating temperatures in Australia already. So destroying them was making higher temperatures.
    1B. The water that the forest were holding were mitigating temperatures differences.
    2. Can you understand that the differences between high and low temperatures in Australia get bigger without forests?
    3. Can you understand that when you have more extremes in temperatures that the differences in pressures of the air get bigger? (Hot air is making more intense molecule movements than cooler air. Hot air has in that way a higher pressure than cooler air.)
    4. Do you understand that with bigger differences in pressure in a day, a week, a month, a year that you get bigger extremes in rain, temperature. (The wind is moving faster and with bigger extremes .) Forests were making wind flows less extreme. Forests were making the hot wind streams on the Australian continent less. (Less heat waves)
    5. Do you know that plants, trees and shrubs are absorbing carbon dioxide (CO2) and that carbon dioxide is absorbing sun rays and warm up? And that the warmth in the carbon dioxide is passed/given to water molecules in the air? And that that warmth is kept till the moment that it can be released by a cooler environment, all that time making a hotter climate in Australia.

    Can you see now that destroying the forests was making a worse climate in Australia?
    Can you see now that the people in that time already were making climate worsening?
    Hopefully you can see now that both people in that time and nowadays too the people were making the climate worse.

    Do you understand that it is not a good reasoning (not a good way of thinking) to think that ” because there were horrible heat waves in the past that you do not have to make Australia better. ” ?
    Why is it wrong to make Australia better, with more buffers against heat waves, with more absorbed carbon dioxides.
    Do you now agree with me? Otherwise just ask me for some more explanation.

    Hein van Helsdingen.

    • Tom Harley says:

      Most land clearing in Australia was not undertaken until after the first world war, and most since WW2, so anthropogenic climate change caused by land clearing has only become a possibility since then. Australia’s higher temperatures today are mainly due to a rapid expansion of cities and urban heat island. Fewer stations in rural areas have also contributed to higher records. There is no AGW in Australia.

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