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Annual Climate Statement 2013

Yesterday the Bureau of Meteorology published its Annual Climate Statement 2013. Don’t be surprised to learn that it hasn’t been reported in the Murdoch media. And neither it should: it contains facts that counter the denialist claims often harped by its senior writers.

Australia boiled in 2013 yet the only references to the weather I can find on the front page of Murdoch’s news.com are that severe storms blanket the US in snow and that Canada is colder than Mars. Nice little stories, don’t you think, that shy away from what’s happening to the weather in Australia?

The Bureau’s Annual Climate Statement is too important to ignore. If the Murdoch media chose to conveniently ignore it then it is up to the independent media to disseminate it. I am producing it here in the hope that our readers do just that. The statement can be accessed through the above link. Below is a summary of the main findings:

Data collected and analysed by the Bureau of Meteorology show that 2013 was Australia’s warmest year on record while rainfall was slightly below average nationally.

  • Summer 2012–13 was the warmest on record nationally, spring was also the warmest on record and winter the third warmest
  • Overall, 2013 was Australia’s warmest year on record: annual national mean temperature was +1.20 °C above average
  • All States and the Northern Territory ranked in the four warmest years on record
  • Nationally-averaged rainfall was slightly below average for the year, with 428 mm (1961–1990 average 465 mm)
  • Rainfall was mostly below average for the inland east and centre, and above average for the east coast, northern Tasmania and parts of Western Australia


2013 was Australia’s warmest year since records began in 1910. Mean temperatures across Australia have generally been well above average since September 2012. Long periods of warmer-than-average days have been common, with a distinct lack of cold weather. Nights have also been warmer than average, but less so than days.

The Australian area-averaged mean temperature for 2013 was +1.20 °C above the 1961–1990 average. Maximum temperatures were +1.45 °C above average, and minimum temperatures +0.94 °C above average. Temperatures were above average across nearly all of Australia for maximum, mean and minimum temperatures, with large areas of inland and southern Australia experiencing the highest on record for each.

Australia has experienced just one cooler-than-average year (2011) in the last decade. The 10-year mean temperature for 2004–2013 was 0.50 °C above average, the equal-highest on record. Averages for each of the ten-year periods from 1995–2004 to 2004–2013 have been amongst the top ten records.

The Australian mean rainfall total for 2013 was 428 mm (37 mm below the long-term average of 465 mm). In comparison with rainfall in all years since 1900, 2013 sits close to the median or mid-point of historical observations.

Annual rainfall was below average across a large region of the inland east centred on western Queensland and extending into northern South Australia and the Northern Territory. Rainfall was above average over parts of the Pilbara and the south coast of Western Australia, as well as along the east coast and northern Tasmania.

This cannot be ignored.

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  1. M. R.

    I can’t possibly like this report. But I do value it, and will link to it on my own blog (for what that’s worth). At least Aunty did give it some coverage in the news last night …

  2. PeterF

    “This cannot be ignored.” Oh yes it can, where do you think the word ‘ignoramus’ come from?
    Ask Tony Abbott.

  3. rossleighbrisbane

    Michael, it’s very clear that if you ignore all the data which has hotter than average temperatures, then the climate is cooling. And if you take the temperature from the middle of the afternoon, most days usually get cooler too, so there’s more evidence for the deniers.

  4. Dan Rowden

    The Canada was colder than Mars story is so damnably idiotic. It’s just embarrassing.

  5. bliss

    i rcvd it on facebook from <> I kn ow what the deniers are going to say ‘i am too, too credulous because those at Bureau of Meteorology are scientists – and after all what would they know?
    I wake every day wondering if I still live in the same country where I was born or if I have slipped into a virtual Australia!

  6. Kaye Lee

    Newman’s qualifications for being Tony Abbott’s ”suppository of all wisdom” on climate change, and knowing better than the scientists who have devoted their careers to studying climate change, seems to be his career in stockbroking and investment banking and the many government appointments he has attained since he retired as chairman of Deutsche Bank.

    According to Guardian sources, Newman’s influence is substantial – ”he is meeting Abbott at least once a week” and a speech in which he attacked the idea of climate change and renewable energy ”was drafted in close consultation with the PM and his office”.

    The war is on in Australia – science versus business. It is a fight that science has to win in the long run – if only because the survival of civilisation relies more on true knowledge than surplus wealth.


  7. mikestasse

    Respected climatologist Tony Abbott has stated that climate change is not real because no evidence exists of it in the world’s most read science journal, the Holy Bible.

    “I’ve read the Bible three times, I know it like the back of my strong boned Australian hand, there is simply no evidence of climate change anywhere in the Bible. So with this information I have to once again dispel the claims of the Bureau of Meteorology that the world will warm 4 degrees by 2100“.

    Abbott later went on to say that if the world were to warm by 4 degrees by 2100, it would not be as catastrophic as the BoM has claimed. ”Everyday the temperature rises and falls. The bureau are trying to tell the Australian people that in 2100 the temperature will rise by 4 degrees? How can they make that out as drastic when the temperature rises and falls 10-15 degrees every day. It’s just scaremongering.”

    Tony Abbott also had some tips for people trying to get through the boat people induced heat, saying that if everyone opened all their doors and windows and turned all of their air conditioners on they would notice that their neighbourhoods would slowly cool.

  8. Michael Taylor

    Dan, most stories on news.com are idiotic and embarrassing. They could easily have said something more relevant, such as Australia is hotter than Mars.

  9. rossleighbrisbane

    mikestasse. You do realise that the site where you quote Abbott is satiric and not an actual quote?

  10. John Fraser


    In Queensland where heat records are currently being broken there is no room in the American Murdoch's Courier Mail for reports on GW.

    But plenty of room for …. "Man with 2 penises" …. and … "Woman's bum attracts 1.3 million followers".

    "Never give a sucker an even break" …. is the song that Abbott, Murdoch, Pell, Rinehart and that mob sing and Packer offers odds that it will be a hit.

    And when it comes to watching Queensland die on the vine …. Queenslanders do it best.

  11. Catherine Wallace

    Refer to today’s edition of Irish Central. Its an American “communist ” publication . it contained a piece on climate deniers in the Republican party.

  12. diannaart

    Curse you Rossleigh, you beat me to it:

    The Burdekinherald is a satirical blog.

    @Mikestasse – we don’t just fact check the AGW deniers. Anyone who makes a claim is open for scrutiny. Myself included.

  13. ananda1955

    Abbott and his followers, murdoch and the rich miners, only care about themselves , power and how much money they can aqquire, life is short and we will all soon be dead ! if a simple person like me can see it. why do they insist on killing as much of this planet , whey they to will be dead soon.

  14. Kerri

    Unfortunately our current crop of Government Ministers are incapable of comprehending a carefully measured set of long term statistics. Preferring instead, to refer to, how cold it was at Aunty Kath’s last weekend or how a friend of a friend had hailstorms in mid summer on their farm!! Can anyone out there please calculate how much damage in terms of increased temperature can be done before we can boot this crop of idiots back to where they belong.

  15. John Fraser



    When the media starts talking about it …. its already too late.


    Appears the Murdoch extreme right wing evangelists are well on their way to this proposition becoming a reality.

    Of course the above 2 items are in the same "denier" basket that the extreme right have put Climate Change and Global Warming.

  16. MargL

    Indeed we are living in worrying times, especially when you have idiots like Maurice Newman attacking the IPCC and the “myth” of ACC through the Liberal propaganda news the Australian.The views that Newman articulated are not in line with the government’s supposed policy of accepting the scientific validity of climate change, and the need for public policy action. He is also out of line with Mr Abbott himself, who said in a radio interview in 2011 that “climate change is real” and “humanity is making a contribution”..Mr Abbott needs to be honest with the Australian people by telling us whether he really does believe in ACC and if he does he needs to remove these deniers (such as Maurice Newman) from the positions of power that he has put them in, because they shouldn’t be talking for the government. If he doesn’t believe in ACC then he should stop all the ambiguous talk once and for all and make it clear what he stands for. He can’t have it both ways.

  17. johnlord2013

    You have to understand that its a socialist plot.

  18. cartoonmick

    There are plots, conspiracies, collusion, agendas, schemes, behind the door deals, and all sorts of stuff we mere electors will never know about.

    Even the honest journos will have difficulty in obtaining the entire truth.

    Maybe there is no truth. Maybe it’s all just a figment of our collective imagination.

    Is it all fiction and fantasy, just like this brief tale (link below), , , , or is this how it will actually end . . . . . . .



  19. Kaye Lee

    Eddy we are losing our industries because the resources boom made our dollar so high and we also have liveable wages. China has begun action on emissions control and rest assured, as they introduce it they will not allow us to export to there without some form of tariff if we refuse to take action while the rest of the world does.

  20. Keith

    Yesterday I had a chat with a fellow on Face Book.about ice in the Arctic Circle, he stated that the range of ice is far greater than last year. One of the references he gave me was the Daily Mail, which amused me as it had photos of storm surges which are seen to be a product of climate change.
    I have just discovered that there are plans to use the North West passage seemingly by a number of companies. While the sea ice may have extended further than last year, it does not have the thickness of days of yore.
    Here is a reference http://www.ctvnews.ca/business/danish-shipper-plans-more-commercial-travel-in-northwest-passage-1.1616200

    Where I live there have been days when the temperature was colder than usual ( deniers delight) and our rainfall level has been quite high over 4 months (also deniers delight); but subjective thoughts when talking with people is that the weather has been quite odd. The Department of Meteorology has suggested that there has not been impact from El Niño or La Niña, something I heard informally on the radio.

  21. Eddy

    Having worked and traveled in China, i can honestly say at this point of time that China is the major problem, we must turn our thoughts to this country and increase the pressure for these people to lift there act. The young folk that i talked to there see the pollution as progress and prosperity and are proud of it. As we passed a large factory putting out volumes smoke our guide refereed to it with pride as one of China’s cloud making factories. Shanghai does not see the sky till well into the afternoon, so i think that we should leave Australia alone at this point of time as we are losing all our industries.

  22. VoterBentleigh

    This was supposed to be a mature and responsible government. If other countries create war, rape and pillage the planet, that does not give us free rein to do likewise. It’s a puerile and immature argument.

    There is no evidence that industries have been affected badly by the carbon price and the claims by the Abbott Coalition were shown to be false. Electricity prices rose more due to the GST than they did due to the carbon price, but none of the conservatives complained. If major businesses cannot manage their businesses with a relatively small impost on carbon, then they need to improve their productivity and management practices.

    By putting a price on polluting carbon we send a message that we actually value the planet, just as looking after one’s residence is a sign that one values it. We help to encourage newer and more technologically advanced industries by pricing carbon. If we follow the dictates of the Abbott Coalition and the mining industry we will end up stuck in the twentieth century. The Abbott Coalition’s undetailed “plan” is a whitewash to pretend they even care about the world in which they live. They don’t give a brass razoo. Old thinkers can stay in the past if they wish – I’ve “moved on”.

    Meanwhile, Tony Abbott and his denier friends ask “What is truth?”, but do not stay for an answer.

  23. Kaye Lee

    Changing tides, changing winds, changing moisture in the atmosphere, changing ocean temperatures and acidity, continued high global average temps despite less natural forcing – it all adds up. That’s why they are calling the consequences of global warming climate CHANGE. Sure we have changed in the past…but this time we are changing SO quickly that the planet cannot adapt fast enough and we risk a spiral effect. I say risk. But the risk is enough to make precautionary action now worth it.

  24. VoterBentleigh

    If the BOM keeps providing statistical information which shows up the plethora of propaganda the Abbott Coalition have been injecting into the discourse on climate change, then expect one of the following:-
    a) Brandis will undertake legal proceedings to prevent statistical analysis
    b) Morrison will declare climate an “operational matter” and no further comment will be allowed
    c) Hockey will sack BOM staff and reduce funding
    d) Abbott will abolish the BOM

  25. Carol Taylor

    Climate change to the Abbott government is nothing more than an inconvenient truth which does not conform with Abbott’s decades old view of “the right order of things”. The right order of things does not include innovation, alternative fuel sources nor the almighty dollar for persons of calibre coming in 2nd to any other concerns. In other words Abbott is neither a believer nor a sceptic, the issue to him is simply irrelevant.

  26. Vabene

    Currently in Tirol, Austria. Mildest winter for a long long time. A lack of snowfall has all the tourist sector concerned. Whichever way we cut it, living sustainably and protecting natural resources is surely a good thing, even if predictions do climate change don’t materialize. Says me, who flew to Europe for my Xmas holidays. I get irony ( & hypocrisy) unless that nasty charlatan Abbott and his master who ditched australian citizenship to pursue his agenda of more money, more power and truly, extraordinary influence over the ‘mindless eaters’.

  27. mikestasse

    @rossleigh….. do you REALLY think I’m stupid and didn’t realise…??

  28. M. R.

    I’m beginning to wonder if the invisible ALP shouldn’t take every opportunity that presents itself to point out Turdoch’s abandonment of his Australian citizenship. Mightn’t it get through to those who ardently follow all things “The Australian” …?

  29. diannaart

    Have FB’d link, Anomander. Thanks.

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