Climate change

Author : J. V. Hodgkinson F. C. A. Chartered Accountant : Aug 2006 to November 2013    

The principal thrust of this website is
FLOOD PROOFING BRISBANE from damaging floods to the point of extinction. MITIGATING flooding in Ipswich and Gympie. Putting REAL MEANING into "Drought proofing SEQ" and ensuring our water supplies by natural means well into the future

This is my review based on official statistics and documents. It is done in conjunction with Ron McMah, grazier of Imbil and Trevor Herse, retired of the Gold Coast




April 2012

Interest in global warming is losing credibility with dire predictions such as Tim Flannery, the current head of the Canberra Climate Change department when in 2007 he predicted that cities such as Brisbane would never again experience dam filling rains. 

There are over 100,000 people damaged by the 2011 floods in South East Queensland.

A carbon tax has become law in Australia with its operation to begin on the 1st July 2012.

Another view of the tax and its proponents can be seen if you Click here


December 2011

World view

The December 2011 meting in Durban South Africa came to a consensus to consider a proposal by 2015 for limiting emissions. This will not be enforceable before 2020 even if it can be agreed.

Australia's forced view. 

The Gillard/Greens Government has foisted upon us a "carbon tax". This will force the cost of energy upwards placing Australia at a major economic disadvantage in relation to the the rest of the World until they decide to follows suit, if ever. 

It is agreed that, by itself, it will have no effect on the temperature of the Globe.

This decision will be hotly contested at the next election due around October 2013. It clearly breached an election commitment to the Australian people of now Prime Minister Gillard prior to the election 

"There will be no carbon tax under a Government I lead".


"Those playing with computer climate models need to get outside, collect new data and take into account far more factors than they feed into computer models".

This is an extract from Ian Plimer's book How to Get Expelled from School: A Guide to Climate Change for Pupils, Parents & Punters. (Published in the Australian newspaper 17th December 2011.)

ICE sheets grow and shrink. At times, they disappear. At other times, ice starts to cover polar areas and high mountains. That's what ice has done over the history of our planet. The Greenland and Antarctic basins are more than 1km deep, and deeper in the centres than around the edges, so that ice is squeezed uphill like toothpaste out of a tube by the weight of overlying ice. The alarmist media stresses that changing sea ice and continental glaciers indicate rapid global warming. Is this really so?

Since the last interglacial started some 10,500 years ago, summer sea ice in the Arctic has been far from constant. Sea ice comes and goes without leaving a clear record. For this reason, our knowledge about its variations and extent was limited before we had satellite surveillance or observations from aeroplanes and ships. A huge amount of the earth's surface water moves alternately between the ice sheets and the oceans.

Svend Funder, commenting on his recent Science paper, stated: "Our studies show that there have been large fluctuations in the amount of summer sea ice during the last 10,000 years. During the so-called Holocene Climate Optimum, from approximately 8000 to 5000 years ago, when the temperatures were somewhat warmer than today, there was significantly less sea ice in the Arctic Ocean, probably less than 50 per cent of the summer 2007 coverage, which is absolutely the lowest on record.

"Our studies also show that when the ice disappears in one area, it may accumulate in another. We have discovered this by comparing our results with observations from northern Canada. While the amount of sea ice decreased in northern Greenland, it increased in Canada. This is probably due to changes in the prevailing wind systems. This factor has not been sufficiently taken into account when forecasting the imminent disappearance of sea ice in the Arctic Ocean."

In order to reach their unsurprising conclusions, Funder and the rest of the team organised several expeditions to Peary Land in northern Greenland. Funder said: "Our key to the mystery of the extent of sea ice during earlier epochs lies in the driftwood we found along the coast. One might think that it had floated across (the) sea, but such a journey takes several years, and driftwood would not be able to stay afloat for that long. The driftwood is from the outset embedded in sea ice and reaches the north Greenland coast along with it. The amount of driftwood therefore indicates how much multi-year sea ice there was in the ocean back then. And this is precisely the type of ice that is in danger of disappearing today."

What is interesting about this study is that the new understanding came from getting away from computer modelling and doing fieldwork in pretty inhospitable areas. Back in the laboratory and again away from computer models, the wood type was determined and dated using carbon-14. This wood came from near the great rivers of present-day North America and Siberia. This shows that wind and current directions have changed. The field study of coastal beach ridges shows that at times there were waves breaking unhindered by ice over at least 500km of coastline. At other times, due to sea ice cover, there were no beaches. This is the present situation.

Even if there is a great reduction in sea ice, all is not lost. Funder stated: "Our studies show that there are great natural variations in the amount of Arctic sea ice. The bad news is that there is a clear connection between temperature and the amount of sea ice. And there is no doubt that continued global warming will lead to a reduction in the amount of summer sea ice in the Arctic Ocean. The good news is that even with a reduction to less than 50 per cent of the current amount of sea ice, the ice will not reach a point of no return: a level where the ice no longer can regenerate itself even if the climate was to return to cooler temperatures.

"Finally, our studies show that the changes to a large degree are caused by the effect that temperature has on the prevailing wind systems. This has not been sufficiently taken into account when forecasting the imminent disappearance of the ice, as often portrayed in the media."

Those playing with computer climate models need to get outside, collect new data and take into account far more factors than they feed into computer models.

Studies of the behaviour of tropical glaciers over the last 11,000 years show irregular shrinkage, with slower rates in the Little Ice Age and faster rates in the 20th century. Glaciers such as the Bolivian Telata glacier reflect long-term warming during the current 10,500-year-long interglacial and that glacial retreat was in progress thousands of years before industrialisation.

Scientists urged on by the media state that ice calving off glaciers indicates global warming. Ice always falls off the front of a glacier. If ice did not melt, then the planet would now be covered in ice. Ice drops off the toe of both advancing and retreating glaciers and the melting snout of a glacier is at a point determined by the balance between the forward movement of the ice by gravity and the rate at which it melts. Ice falling off the front of a glacier means absolutely nothing when the air temperature is less than zero. Ice sheets grow and contract. At times, ice sheets disappear. The story of glacial retreat is far more complex than a television image.

Many glaciers that are now in retreat did not exist until the Little Ice Age (which climaxed in the middle to late 17th century). During the medieval warming (which peaked around AD1000), alpine glaciers in the northern hemisphere were smaller or did not exist. Over much of the Canadian Cordillera, there may have been no glaciers at all during the Holocene Maximum (8000 to 6500 years ago), when temperatures were considerably higher than now.

Records from New Zealand and Norway show glacier retreat started in the 18th and 19th centuries. Most of the modern ice retreat is due to post-Little Ice Age warming, changes in humidity and a decrease in ice flow rates.

The idea that a glacier slides downhill on a base lubricated by melt water was a good idea when first presented by Horace-Benedict de Saussure in 1779. We now know a lot more, yet this treasured idea remains. Ice moves by creep, a process of constant recrystallisation of ice crystals. Ice at the snout of a glacier has crystals 1000 times larger than those in snow as a result of growth during recrystallisation.

Ice sheets in Antarctica and Greenland first flow uphill before flowing down glaciers. The upward flow of ice cannot be due to human-induced global warming producing melting. There are some places in the world today where glaciers are expanding.

Ice sheets and glaciers grow and retreat for a great diversity of reasons. For scientists to argue that ice retreat is due to human activity is simplifying a very complex process. Furthermore, it is too cold in Antarctica and Greenland for ice to melt.

Since the discovery of the Hubbard Glacier (in Alaska) in 1895, it has been advancing 25m a year during periods of cooling and warming. The ice front is 10km long and 27m high. What does the ice do at the snout of the glacier? It falls off, because it is getting pushed from behind. This has nothing to do with temperature; it shows ice behaves as a plastic and brittle material and that ice sheets are always changing.

As with all areas of science, there are regular surprises. It was always thought that ice formed from frozen snow. The science was settled and there was a consensus. Recent work in East Antarctica shows that the deepest part of the ice sheet contains ice that did not originate as snow. It was melt water that seeped to the base of the ice sheet and then froze. The amount of ice formed by this method is probably greater in volume than all the glaciers on earth outside Antarctica and Greenland. The computer models predicted this melt-water escaped to the oceans and contributed to sea level rise. Wrong. The volume of water in this ice is larger than Antarctica's sub-glacial lakes. The addition of hundreds of metres of ice at the base of an ice sheet bends the overlying ice and causes uplift of the surface of the glacier. This changes the slope and flow of the ice. The thickest sub-glacial ice was 1100m and this pushed the top of glaciers up 410m to reflect the shape of the added basal ice.

Antarctica has another little surprise. Underneath the ice sheets are volcanoes. The last big eruption was in Roman times and Mount Erebus is continually restless. Addition of heat from below could cause massive melting and detachment of a large block of ice.

As snow falls, it traps air. This air is preserved as the snow becomes an ice sheet. This air remains trapped and uncontaminated in ice, otherwise it cannot be used to measure past atmospheres. Antarctic ice core (Siple) shows that there were 330 parts per million of carbon dioxide in the air in 1900; Mauna Loa Hawaiian measurements in 1960 show that the air then had 260ppm carbon dioxide.

Either the ice core data is wrong, the Hawaiian carbon dioxide measurements are wrong, or the atmospheric carbon dioxide content was decreasing during a period of industrialisation.

As in all other areas of science, uncertainty rules.

This is an extract from Ian Plimer's book How to Get Expelled from School: A Guide to Climate Change for Pupils, Parents & Punters.

May 2009
: Addition to this section

This section is left as it was almost 2 years ago. It was inserted to detect any observable change in rainfall in our dam catchments to support claim that our depleted dams were the subject of climate change. There was only one minor change detected in over a century but no conclusive proof.

The events of January 2011 put an end to that. Floods equivalent to 300% of the Wivenhoe dam capacity flowed over the Dam wall with considerable destruction in Brisbane and Ipswich.

What has come under pressure in the intervening period is my statement that "the world exploding population was contributing to climate change".

No argument exists that disputes Climate change being global warming and cooling over the life of of our planet. The World's central body has presented as fact a consensus of Scientists and non scientists that carbon dioxide created by our population is an additional cause of climate change. 

Australia's own Professor Plimer, a noted geologist, disputes this as a consensus is not fact. He further points out that the carbon dioxide, an odorless and invisible gas, represented in our atmosphere is only .001% of the carbon dioxide contained in the planet. It is contained mainly in water of the oceans. The volume in the atmosphere is being constantly increased and decreased by natural process. Carbon dioxide is apparently essential to all plant life on this planet which also effects the volume.

The .001% by volume is the mathematical equivalent of less than 1/2 a day's water supply compared to the volume of all waters in all the dams in South East Queensland if they were full.

He has created considerable debate and insists that debate in Australia has never started. In that respect he is joined by the Australian newspaper and in Queensland some respected and  balanced radio commentators. My understanding of science and scientists is that they research and research always with an open mind. The fact that there is a debate at all indicates the lack of factual evidence.

So now I am not so sure. The straightforward equation of measurement that I put forward in the "conclusion" below is now obsolete. With many variables being added such as the constant natural absorption and replenishment of carbon dioxide and in particular the extremely small proportion of the Earth's carbon dioxide being held in our atmosphere, the necessary mathematical equations to prove the point have grown considerably.

For example: 
If we do something then the measurement is against the increase in the Earth warming: 
If we do something and the Earth cools:
If we do something and the Earth still warms uncontrollably.
If we do nothing and the Earth cools
If we do nothing and the Earth warms to a tolerable degree
If we do nothing, how do we measure it against the the result of doing something.

And so on it goes. The least we can do is ensure that the Scientists agree on the facts. This reduces the creation of so many equations in order to view and make clear decisions on the way forward and the eventual assessment of it.

One thing that visitors to this site may have observed is that Wolfdene_dam_drips.jpg (272794 bytes) three of the persons involved in the decision to cancel the Wolfdene Dam are the chief promoters of the current legislation to limit carbon dioxide production by humans. The Wolfdene dam cancellation decision in South East Queensland is an acknowledged error that eventually caused pain to the citizens of South East Queensland.

It took 15 years (1989 to 2005) to observe the effect of this acknowledged error. Observation of the Control and effect of carbon dioxide on our climate and living standards may take considerably longer. Most Australian and International players will be off the stage by then.

Additions December 2009/ January 2010

While South Australia and Victoria were receiving "catastrophic"

The severity of the Victorian and South Australian heat and bush fires since 1851 are recorded below in Nature's time table.

A few personal photographs serve as a reminder of the extreme conditions in the Northern Hemisphere.

London Thames and eye wheel.JPG (23592 bytes)London Suburb of Barnes public pond frozen.JPG (64621 bytes)



Photo 1 : London , Thames and the "eye wheel" with snow in the foreground.

Photo 2 : London, Barnes, a suburb of London, with the community pond frozen over.


Climate change in this website as of August 2007

Climate change has been introduced by the then new Chairman of SEQWater in her 2006 annual report. The Queensland Government has formed the "Queensland Climate Change Centre Of Excellence". Our Political Leaders of all persuasions have embraced Climate Change in varying degrees. It is therefore appropriate to examine the rainfall in the catchments in relation to this subject.


You are aware from other sections of this site that I have all the rainfall data in the catchments that has ever been produced. It predates 1893 in some cases. I am therefore in a strong position to examine the rainfall over any periods to detect Climate Change. 

Thirty year periods are selected as the Bureau of Meteorology compares all rainfall with the 30 year period 1961 to 1990. I agree that it is a sufficient period to detect trends.

Climate change 30 years blocks W.jpg (172019 bytes)These two graphs of the WivenhoeClimate change Somerset.jpg (162851 bytes) and Somerset Dams do not show any effects of Climate Change on Rainfall in the last 30 year period 1977 to 2006.

The Wivenhoe shows a variation in the 1947 to 1976 period which included the 1974 flood. It is a  period when it was reported by that respected United States Journal "Newsweek" that the Scientists of this world were predicting devastation of the Planet by Global Cooling in 50 years.

The Somerset Dam, our main provider of water, shows no variation in absolute terms in the last 60 years.

Summer versus non-summer

There is one aspect of this area for which I am unable to provide an explanation. 

While reviewing the percentage of rainfall received by the Summer V Non Sum Percent.jpg (197951 bytes) four months December to March, as compared to the eight months April to November, I noticed that there was a 4 per cent variation between the years prior to 1961 and the years 1961 to 2006. The chart used is reproduced for convenience. 

While this aberration is significant to warrant attention in this section, it has no effect on the conclusion that the Summer months receive 50 percent, or more, of the annual Rainfall. 

You will see that the individual Rainfall stations in both Dams record a similar result to the total for each Dam. Whatever happened, it is consistent. There is sufficient rainfall in each total to make the comparison with comfort.


Federation drought

This matter has been raised by the Qld Govt, Climate Change Centre of Excellence. Because it was raised, I have discussed it in full under the "Federation" button.

It is referred to in this section for the reason of its complete departure from normal rainfall patterns.

You will read in the "Summer V Non-Summer" above that the items of interest are the stable relationship of the Summer months 1893 to 1960. The Summer months were around 53% of the annual totals and this was consistent with all rainfall stations in both the Wivenhoe and Somerset Dams.

Federation drought.jpg (241659 bytes)The Federation years 1898 to 1903 show a complete reversal of this position. It was accompanied by low readings of high impact rainfall throughout the period. The Summer months in the dams were : 35 percent in the Wivenhoe and 34 percent in the Somerset. The balance, of course is in the non-summer months.

The Climate Change Centre of Excellence has compared the Federation drought with the last 6 years. One finds in this web-site that the Summer months have been perfectly normal and that the balance of rain not received was in the low rainfall non-summer months that do not normally create inflow. Reference " Rainfall deficiency" button.

Drought applicable to Australia

This map provided by our Leaders shows the sections of Brochure.jpg (257138 bytes)Australia that were in drought in February of 2007. They have been largely affected by recent rains. BearBrochure matched with Percentage.jpg (122322 bytes) in mind that while the catchments are shown as the lowest on record, the percentage map showed 80 percent

The position of our catchments has been generally overshadowed by this drought and the accurate position clouded.

This article "The big dry natural and not due to CSIRO.jpg (234911 bytes) Climate Change" was provided by the CSIRO and published in the Australian Newspaper on the 28th December 2006.  




Brisbane city flood heights 1840 to 2006

This graph of Brisbane City flood heights covers the span of seven generations. They do not fully represent the Flood BOM guage heights 1880 to 2006.jpg (164816 bytes)rainfall in the catchments and vice versa. However there is much similarity. Obviously the flood activity in the eighteen hundreds was much more intense than the twentieth century and beyond. To the casual observer this would indicate that climate change as we know it existed at the start of the twentieth century and continued for seventy years. It is more likely to be a natural occurrence of Climate change somewhat similar to the last ice age of less than 400 generations ago. It covered Alaska, Canada, the Great Lakes and half way down the United States. The evidence is presented in a museum in the Ohio Valley which I once visited.

Support of the Brisbane City Flood heights with the Computer Hydrology model supplied by the Qld Government.

This aspect is fully discussed in Qld Gov Reports and reads as follows:-

Natural climate change observed in the computer model

The HYNF graph is useful in observing the natural climate change over the period 1880 to 2006. When considered with the Bureau of Meteorology flood graph for the period 1840 to 1890, a clearer perspective of natural climate change emerges.

BOM support twentieth century chart.jpg (196054 bytes)HYNF No1.jpg (71083 bytes)





The period from 1840 to 1900 would have seen the dams full for almost, if not all, of the time. It was a "Wet" period. The period 1900 to 1950 showed major gaps and was a "Dry" period. 1950 to date shows a "medium" period.  


Climate change created by an exploding World population and its need for energy as its circumstances improve.

This aspect is emerging from theory into hard observable statistics. The near future will be the conclusive proof of the degree of recognition required.

Attached is a recent article (23/04/08) in the Australian Newspaper by Mr Phil Chapman, a Geophysicist and Astronautical Engineer. He is Australia's only astronaut.

Australian Page 1.jpg (121670 bytes)Australian Page 2.jpg (98893 bytes)





He points out that the World temperatures in the last decade have held or declined. This seems to be confirmed by the proponents of global warming.

Further, the four recognized global agencies in his attached article, including NASA, record an alarming drop of 0.7C in 2007. He proceeds to speculate on the consequences of a global cooling of that magnitude with no apparent intervention.  

We now have one firm part of the two part equation, a reliable fix on global temperatures. I am not aware of the carbon dioxide global measurement at this point.

Nature's time table

I have lived long enough to observe that we do not live long enough to match the moods of Nature. Below are three newspaper articles that bear out this statement.

They relate to the bushfires in Victoria which are know throughout the World by recent 2009 events. Approximately 1,900 homes were destroyed and approximately 185 people were killed.

1851  Black Thursday : bushfires rage across Victoria.
Mighty sheets of fire fanned by fierce northerly winds, have raced through much of the forests and pasture of Victoria today, leaving behind blackened ruins, death and devastation.

The fires, which had been burning on many fronts earlier, rose up on this day of 117 degree heat ( 47.2C) to devour everything in their path.

1939  Black Friday - bushfires raze Victoria.
The death toll is still rising as the worst fires in Victoria's history rage through the state.....

The confirmed death toll is 71 and scores of people are still missing.

1983  72 perish in Ash Wednesday fires (Victoria)
Seventy-two people died in the bushfires which swept through Victoria and South Australia today, fuelled by 40 degree heat and searing gale force winds....

.....with more than 2,000 homes destroyed and several townships wiped out.......

2009  With approximately 185 dead and around 1900 homes destroyed, we are all aware of this recent event. It was World news for some time.

It was the same situation with extreme heat and searing winds.

With only 27 lifetimes since the birth of Christ, most of us believe that it a very long time but in Nature's time scale it is just a few weeks. 

The "Pied Piper of Hamlin" appears to be well and truly alive in this day and age in the guise of Climate Change gurus.

Vic Bushfires 1851.jpg (82692 bytes)Vic Bushfires 1939.jpg (170390 bytes)Vic bushfires 1983.jpg (130357 bytes)





Photos : 1851, 1939 and 1983 articles on Victorian bushfires



We have seen from the above that the Rainfall itself has not altered. That the Summer months receive 50 per cent or more of the annual rainfall still holds. That the CSIRO states that there is no influence by Climate Change. There does appear to be a permanent shift in the pattern of Summer months versus non-summer months to the extent of 4 per cent of total rainfall over the last 46 years.

In the realms of conjecture, the people who insist that land clearing affects the rainfall may well be right with the high volume summer months being reduced marginally since 1960. This follows a documented theory of Mr. Tim  Smith of the Gold Coast and is the only suggestion on which I can draw at this stage.

The Federation drought, on closer examination by the Climate Change Centre of Excellence, may reveal more about changing weather patterns than will the last 6 years of rainfall.

From the foregoing, we see that there are two types of climate change. 

(1) Natural climate change and 

(2) Climate change created by an exploding World population and its need for energy as its circumstances improve.

Climate Change created by the latter is emerging from its ephemeral nature  and into the realm of hard statistics. The foregoing are hard statistics and provide little relief for those who may claim Climate change of this nature is the cause of our depleted dams.  

The fact remains that we must provide for both. You will see that that the creation of an expanded Borumba Dam to 2 million ML provides for both whereas the Traveston, with minimal storage capacity, provides for neither.

Note : Traveston dam project has been cancelled