Massaging The Rainfall Data

21 12 2007

Cherry-picking data to suit the argument is one of the favourite tricks used by the global warming advocates. One of the classic examples of this shameful craft is the blatant manipulation of Australian rainfall statistics.

You often hear a global warming salesman of some desription saying that since the mid 70’s the Australian rainfall has decreased dramatically. The “Australian Of The Year” Dr. Tim Flannery even calls 1976, the “magic gate” year. He claims with much drama that “in 1975 high pressure systems began forming through the winter over the south-west of Western Australia and they persisted for enough time to decrease rainfall over the south-west by between 10 per cent and 20 per cent”.

10 to 20 percent! Sounds impressive, but is it true? Yes, technically Flannery is correct. But, there is something very important he doesn’t tell us. Flannery conveniently fails to mention that in Australia 1970’s were an unusually wet decade, with mid 70’s being especially wet. This is absolutely clear to anyone from looking at the publicly available rainfall data from the Australian Bureau of Meteorology. It took me only 5 minutes to find this data on their website. Have a look at the graph below, and you will see a massive spike in rainfall in the mid 70’s! What is even more curious is that the present rainfall levels are not at all different to the rainfall averages recorded between 1900 and 1970! Can you see the massive drought we hear so much about on the graph?

Flannery is essentially manipulating the statistics. He picks a very wet period as his point of reference which makes subsequent years of close to average rainfall appear dry by comparison. To illustrate, if we took a man with an unusually large penis and declared his shlong size to be “normal”, all the average proportioned blokes would suddenly become small!

What Flannery is doing is dishonest and manipulative but he has books to sell and his activist agenda to push, he only thrives on the ignorance of others. The silence of our “independent” media that gives Flannery a platform and a clear unquestioning run, while failing to do the simplest of fact checking, is much more shameful. The same goes for the Australian scientific establishment that should demonstrate integrity by putting truth and facts above advocacy instead of latching on to the latest grant-generating gravy train.

Rainfall graph is from Australian Bureau Of Meteorology:

BOM Rainfall

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