1953 Headline: Melbourne’s weather is changing! Summers getting colder and wetter « JoNova


1953 Headline: Melbourne’s weather is changing! Summers getting colder and wetter

The average maximum temperatures [of SE Australia] during the last 35 years were between two and four degrees (F) lower than the average for the previous 35 years. — CSIRO 1953

Once upon a time — before the Great Politicization of Climate Science — CSIRO was able to analyze trends from 1880 to 1910. In 1953 CSIRO scientists were making a case that large parts of Australia had been hotter in the 1880s and around the turn of last century. They are referring specifically to summer maximums, and presumably the increase in rainfall over the same period played a large role in preventing hot days from becoming hotter. Minimum and mean trends may have been quite different, but these older maximum records are surely relevant when news headlines are drafted today about hot summers and heatwaves.

So what happened to the widespread lost hot decades?

The Argus (Melbourne, Vic) Wednesday 18 March 1953


by Gordon Williams

The days are cooler than they used to be, and our summers ARE wetter – much wetter than they were when the older people of today were young.

And it’s not being caused by atom bomb explosions. The bomb school of conjecture can be disposed of swiftly, because the energy of a single average storm is equivalent to that of between 10,000 and 100,000 of our atom bombs.

“The change varied in different areas. Bendigo has cooled off 3.6 degrees (2C) over the period; Omeo, 3 degrees (1.7C); Echuca, only 1.6 (0.9C); and Albury 0.8 (0.45C). At Alice Springs the fall has been 2.3 (1.3C), and at Bourke 2.4 (1.3C) But Hay, in New South Wales, has cooled off 3.1 (1.9C) degrees, and Cooma 4.7 (2.6C).”

The change in the climate is sufficiently noticeable, and is considered important enough to have engaged leading weather scientists in extensive re- search.

Continues via 1953 Headline: Melbourne’s weather is changing! Summers getting colder and wetter « JoNova.

One thought on “1953 Headline: Melbourne’s weather is changing! Summers getting colder and wetter « JoNova

  1. Cobber, I notice JoNova she is concentrating on the 50s. I ran out a series of mashed up data for Adelaide in South Australia, combining maximum temp data from the West Terrace from 1888 to 1979 and from then to 2013 from Adelaide Airport a few km away. The Ad airport data is a few points of a degree cooler than the West Tce data, then I used a version of ET Quayle’s method in BoM Bulletin 22 1938, breaking it into 4 seasons, early summer (Nov and Dec from the year before and Jan), Late summer (Feb-Apr), Early winter (May-July), and late winter (Aug-Oct). ET Quayle used summer and winter but I was interested in seeing if there were any other things going on. Then took an anomaly (the recorded result minus the long term mean), did some Excel Loess according to Peltier. My data indeed show some cooling in the 40s to the 80s, but now it shows decided warming. But late winter, Aug to Oct, was cooler from 45-95, So Jo was right, but now she is wrong, very wrong. Bugger, I hate the heat, I am a child of the 40s and 50s from just down the road and over the sea from Adelaide. As for the items from the papers, that is where I discovered EA Cornish, Deacon, Fished, et al. A very detailed account in the South Australian country paper in 1954 The Chronicle where AE Cornish described his 1936 and 1954 papers On the Secular Variation of the Rainfall at Adelaide. I even went so far as to buy online a collection of Cornish’s papers, which had an accession mark from Aberystwyth Llyfrgell.

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