Sunday, June 19, 2016

Eastern Australian flood events: a 'significant' rise in frequency, says study

The BOM is getting cautious.  They must have learnt from their very cautious junior researcher, Acacia Pepler. 

Below they report an increase in floods but say only that it was "possibly" influenced by human-induced climate change.  Though Leftist readers will no doubt fail to to notice the "possibly".

But they are right to use "possibly".  They start their record from 1860 and a gentle sea-level rise has been going on since then, long before the alleged era of "human-induced climate change".  So more coastal flooding could be expected to show up over that long period.

Secondly, why don't we look at the period of alleged human influence, the post WWI era? Let's look from 1950 on.  Looking at their graph I can see NO trend in that period.  There is one anomalous spike around 1990 but the histogram overall looks pretty square starting in 1950. I haven't got the raw data to do a precise test but by eye there has been NO trend from 1950 on.  At most I see a downward trend.  How disappointing for them!

And finally, they got a lot of their data, not from official meteorology records but from "newspaper reports".  I hope I do not need to say why that is a very shaky data source.  Warmists can be amusing!

The academic journal article underlying the report below is "Major coastal flooding in southeastern Australia 1860–2012, associated deaths and weather systems". I note with amusement the second last sentence of the Abstract: "Some of the most extreme events identified occurred in the 19th century and early-to-mid 20th century". So their findings UNDERMINE global warming theory, if anything. Pesky of me to notice that, isn't it? You are not supposed to question the Gods

But this mob are not Gods. Racketeers and confidence men, more like it. And this article is a good example of their "modus operandi". They can't lie too much or they would risk getting caught with their pants down. So they just slant what they put out

The frequency of major flood events along Australia's eastern seaboard is increasing, with climate change one of the possible factors, senior Bureau of Meteorology researchers say.

The report, published in the bureau's inaugural edition of the Journal of Southern Hemisphere Earth Systems Science, comes as eastern Australia braces for the second east coast low in as many weeks, with the potential for localised flooding including in the Sydney region.

Researchers, such as Acacia Pepler from the University of NSW, predict east coast lows may become less common during the winter months as the planet warms. However, those that form near the coast, which bring the most damage from heavy rain and coastal erosion, may increase in frequency.

The new research from Scott Power and Jeff Callaghan indicates that major flood events are already on the increase.

Taking a 1500-kilometre stretch of eastern Australia from Brisbane down to Bega on the south coast of NSW, the two bureau researchers examined all the major floods since 1860.

Major floods were defined as those events which caused extensive flooding within 50 kilometres of the coast, or inundation that extended 20 kilometres along the coast, with at least two catchment areas involved.

As the chart below shows, the frequency of such events has roughly doubled to two a year over the past 150 years, with about half the increase since the end of the 19th century.

"There is a statistically significant increasing trend in major flood frequency over the full period," the authors wrote in their paper.

The range was also widespread, with "the overwhelming majority of sites in the study region [showing] increasing trends", including all but one of the sites closest to the coast.

The majority of the sites also revealed that the largest amount of daily rain received each year was increasing.

The researchers relied on rainfall and stream-flow data and also local newspaper reports to compile what they said was the most complete record of the region over time.

They attributed the trend to natural climate variability and "possibly" from human-induced climate change, adding that the anthropogenic influence was expected to be greater on the more extreme events.

Further research, though, would be needed to determine the extent of the human influence, the paper noted.


School bullying: Queensland schoolgirl’s mother to deliver petition to Education Minister

Where were the teachers when the bullying was going on?  Sucking tea in the staffroom, no doubt.  There is clearly a need for more teachers on playground duty

HER schoolbag slung over her arm, the central Queensland student at the centre of a bullying scandal says she had an “OK” day yesterday.

“Nobody bullied me or anything,” she added.

Just days ago, in a desperate bid for help, the art-loving brown-haired girl, who is soon to turn 13, drew up a petition with her mum, declaring her life had become a “living hell” at the hands of bullies.

The girl’s petition now has more than 60,000 signatures.

Her plight prompted a groundswell of support, attracting a flood of messages of encouragement and more than 60,000 signatures to the petition by 5pm yesterday.

“I just want bullying to stop,” she said.

The high school student’s mother warned the “environment” in schools needed to change, saying current anti-bullying messages were not getting through to students.

“Why is there this mass suffering?” she said. “Engage kids. Their approach, the ‘bullying no way’ (campaign), is not working.”

The mother plans to deliver the petition to Education Minister Kate Jones.

The girl had been home schooled, but was enrolled this year. Initially starting with “just a few kids picking on her,” the mother said her daughter’s bullying escalated to the point where some were throwing rubbish and rocks at the girl while videoing her.

“She ran away and rang me on the phone and said ‘Mum, they said they are going to put it up on Facebook’. She said ‘If the whole internet sees me crying, I don’t want to live’.”

The girl was taunted with names like “freak” and “weirdo”. Desperate for action, the pair launched an online petition on Monday, saying the actions were “killing” the girl and notified the school she wouldn’t attend on Wednesday as a “protest strike”.

On Thursday, the family met with school representatives who said the girl could spend breaks in an isolation room where she could draw and read.

Buoyed by the outpouring of support, the woman said a “huge weight” had been lifted from the shoulders of her daughter.

Another student came forward yesterday, detailing her bullying ordeal at the same high school.

The Year 12 student said she, too, was forced to sit in an “isolation” room due to concerns for her safety.

“I had girls threatening to punch me if they were going to see me at school,” she said.

“It got to the point where I got physically pushed during a heated argument. And when I read what was happening to (the girl in the petition), I felt so sick to my stomach.

“I was utterly disgusted in the school. I told a teacher ... but I’ve seen the way the school dealt with my issue and nothing was done.”

School bullying the main reason kids are calling for help

MORE than 700 distressed Queensland youngsters contacted Kids Helpline last year because they were struggling to cope with bullying.

The latest statistics show the overwhelming majority – 559 of these teens and pre-teens – experienced bullying at school, or at the hands of people linked to their school.

Kids Helpline manager Tony Fitzgerald said bullying remained a serious problem for teens and tweens, with the service receiving thousands of calls and emails from youngsters each year, specifically relating to bullying.

“It can be very distressing for them, the types of contacts we get. They don’t know what to do. They don’t know where to turn,” he said.

“At the serious end it can lead to serious mental health issues. Some of the people who are contacting us are self-harming.”

In Queensland, significantly more young people are turning to Kids Helpline for support dealing with bullies than for help with body image concerns, coming to terms with their sexual orientation or drug issues.

Mr Fitzgerald said part of the problem with bullying was that many victims were not often willing to seek help.

“A lot of young people think the bullying is their fault, and that stops them from speaking up about it,” he said.

He said schools and communities had to sustain the anti-bullying message.

As one of its election policies, federal Labor will today announce a new anti-bullying strategy, targeting the bullying of students with disabilities.

“No one deserves to be bullied and to miss out on educational opportunities because they are different,” Labor’s education spokeswoman Kate Ellis said. “Students with disability are up to three times more likely to be bullied than their peers.


"Green" energy hitting South Australians in the pocket

They joyously announced recently the closure of their last  coal-fired generator.  They are wind-powered instead. Now they have to rely on importing power from Victoria when the wind isn't blowing

A third electricity provider within a week has announced it is increasing its charges for South Australian customers.

Energy Australia has followed in the footsteps of AGL and Origin Energy, announcing a $22 increase on the average monthly bill, or about an extra $260 a year, for customers in South Australia.

The average AGL bill will go up by about $230 a year and Origin customers will pay an extra $117 a year.

The companies have cited issues around coal and gas supply in South Australia as reasons, including the closure of the Port Augusta power station.

Energy Australia communications manager Mark Todd said the increase would begin from July 1.

"The main rationale for that is the rising cost of purchasing electricity on behalf of customers," he said.

"That's obviously not what customers want to hear.

"As a retailer we can play the blame game and blame factors beyond our control or we can try and do something about it."

Mr Todd encouraged customers to contact the company to talk about ways to "that we can offset or negate that $22-a-month increase".

He also noted there had been increases in business costs that had been factored into the rise.

The rise in electricity bills comes as South Australia continues to have the worse unemployment rate in the nation with 6.9 per cent.

It also comes as welfare agencies warn low-income earners are struggling to make ends meet and pay for the basics like electricity.

Earlier this week, Treasurer Tom Koutsantonis told South Australians to shop around for an energy provider.

The Opposition blamed the State Government's renewable energy policies for the hikes.


Remote Indigenous Australia -- where time stands still
Sara Hudson

In a remote East Arnhem Land community time seems to stand still. The air is heavier and there is very little breeze. During the heat of the day, everyone stays in their houses or sits quietly in the shade of trees.

The children have gone home from school for lunch and there is no sound in the small community apart from the squawk of crows and the gentle lapping of waves on the beach.

It is very peaceful. A paradise of sorts. There is no cell-phone reception, and for the past two years no internet either.

Talking to other balanda (white people) we discuss what people do with their time. Seven years ago the community was a hive of activity. A community band practised every night, the grass was mowed, rangers had cars, and there was a playgroup where mothers sang English songs to their babies and toddlers -- "one, two, three, four, five, once I caught a fish alive..."

Now, the grass unmown and the rangers no longer have cars -- their vehicles going the way of all those subjected to relentless travel up and down the corrugated and pothole-ridden East Arnhem Land roads.

Without cars, there is nothing for the rangers to do. Their supervisor talks about the difficulty finding meaningful or even purposeful activities for them. There is a job going as a caretaker at the school but no one in the community wants to do it -- accustomed as they are to getting paid for doing very little.

Welfare money is keeping this community alive and it can't imagine another future.  One of my companions says the problem with the Yolgnu people is they are not time travellers -- they live in the here and now. Few can budget their welfare money to last the whole fortnight and 'book-up' is rife.

Most can't see how getting a job, even a low paying job, could lead to better things. Those who can, leave.

The one shining light of the community is the school. A husband and wife teaching team have managed to impart a love of reading to their students and for the first time ever children are reading novels. Perhaps these children will be able to imagine a different future for themselves.


Posted by John J. Ray (M.A.; Ph.D.).    For a daily critique of Leftist activities,  see DISSECTING LEFTISM.  To keep up with attacks on free speech see Tongue Tied. Also, don't forget your daily roundup  of pro-environment but anti-Greenie  news and commentary at GREENIE WATCH .  Email me  here

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