Archive for December, 2014

2014 in review

December 30, 2014

The stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 19,000 times in 2014. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 7 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.


How Much Warming Have School Leavers Seen?

December 7, 2014

Reports of the recent heatwave and record high temperatures in November (which coincided with the end of schooling for our Year 12 students), have been exciting the media here in Australia, and last week Professor Lesley Hughes of the Climate Council got herself overheated and joined in.

Professor Hughes, an ecologist, this year was awarded the Australian Government Eureka Prize for Promoting Understanding of Australian Science Research.

prof hughes


Last week, she claimed that “climate change was having a significant impact on Australia’s temperatures, with record-breaking weather becoming more frequent and more severe.”

“Nine of the 10 warmest springs have occurred in just the last 13 years,’’ Prof Hughes said. “Heatwaves are becoming hotter, lasting longer and occurring more often.

“This is resulting in year after year of recordbreaking temperatures, which increases the risk of bushfires, droughts and heatwave-related health issues.”

How much of this frightening climate change have the current school leavers experienced?

Here are some graphs of Australian monthly temperature anomalies, straight from the Bureau’s Climate Change website, for the entire period of their schooling- from January 2002 to November 2014 (Preschool to Year 12 in Queensland).


aust min 2002-14

Yes, over the past 13 years minimum temperatures have increased at a rate of about +0.08 degrees C per decade, or +0.8 C per 100 years- but less than the post 1910 trend of +0.1 C per decade.


aust max 2002-14

Oops! Over the whole period of the school leavers’ education, maxima have decreased at -0.06 degrees per decade.


aust mean 2002-14

Throughout their school years our school leavers have experienced a warming trend of…. +0.01 C per decade.  Or about 15 thousandths of a degree over 13 years.  Even with the hottest November on record, that’s somewhat less than the trend of +0.9 C per decade since 1910.  I’d call that a slowdown.

Welcome to the real world, school leavers.  It’s not as frightening as Professor Hughes (or Barack Obama) would have you believe.