This is faster rate of warming than has occurred this century.
The Mail (Adelaide, SA : 1912 – 1954) Page 8
Sat 12 May 1923
CONCERNING weather, it may be accepted as an axiom that there are conservatives and ultra-conservaitives, and meteorologists, too. During an acquaintance extending over many years with the last named gentry the writer has never yet met one who was an optimist. Enthuse as you will over popular literature dealing with the various cycles and
other schemes under which it can be shown conclusively that there is no such thing as a problem where weather is concerned, the meteorologist will turn you down cold.
Even Mr. Bromley, amiable prophet though he be, is no exception to the rule. Go to him filled with hope after it has been raining hard for endless days and ask for sympathy and the verification of a new record established. You will not get it. He will refer to some
bygone day when it rained .000934 points of an inch or more, or when the mercury was all out over the last fractional point of the scale.
A distinct change, however, in the Australian climate which even Mr. Bromley cannot refute has been discovered. There are figures to prove it, and those figures are supplied by Mr. Bromley’s department.
Interviewed this week one prominent Adeiaide man said the public did not understand what rain meant to the State. It was not only a case of providing water — it was a case of millions in hard solid cash. If that be so, then one of the problems of the Federal Government has gone, and reduced taxation will follow as a natural course. Two things have happened to the Australian climate — it is getting warmer and the average rainfall is increasing.
Influences at Work.
Just what has brought the change about it is hard to say, but no doubt there is a reason. Knibbs, in one of his early yearbooks, places it on record that settlement and the treatment of land have a distinct effect on local conditions. Sydney, for example, showed a rise of two-tenths of a degree during the past twenty years, a change which he attributed to
the great growth of residential and manufacturing buildings within the city and in the surrounding suburbs during that period. Again, the low-lying lands of the north coast of New South Wales, formerly free from frost, now have annual visitations. The theory is that with the cutting away of the trees the cold air
has an unimpeded flow to the low lands.
Irrigation also has its influence on climate. In ‘Seas and Skies’ the Hon. Ralph Abercromby says, ”Before the Suez Canal was made the desert through which
it was cut was said to be rainless. Now, since the Bitter Lakes have been filled with water, rain falls on an average eight days in the year at Ismailia.”
Again, in ”American Weather,” Gen. A. W. Grerly remarks on the subject of heat waves, ”It seems possible that the frequency and intensity of such visitations have diminished on the Pacific Coast, since
Tennant’s record of hot days (classing as such those on which the temperature rose to 80 degrees, or above, at San Francisco) indicates that their actual number has very materially diminished since 1859.
For seven years prior to 1859 such days averaged thirteen yearly, and since that time up to 1871 the average number is but four. The immense quantity of land placed under irrigation and the vast increase in vegetation are obvious reasons why there should be some diminution in this respect.”
Capital Cities Compared.
Whatever may have brought the change, the fact remains that the figures show it. A comparison of the mean summer temperatures of the capital cities reveals that it is now higher in each of them, the
statistics being: —
. . . ……… Perth. Adel. Bris. Syd. Melb. Hob.
1906 .. .. 71.0 – 71.3 – 75.5 – 69.7 – 64.9 – 60.1
1922 .. .. 73.1 73.1 76.6 71.0 66.6 61.7
Increase 2.1 . 1.8 . 1.1 . 1.3 . 1.7 . 1.6
Not only is it getting warmer during the summer months, but with the exception of Hobart, where it is a shade cooler, our winters are gradually being robbed of their terrors. Here are the figures showing the mean winter temperatures of the capital cities: —
. . . . . . Perth. Adel. Bris. Syd. Melb. Hob
1908 .. .. 56.0 52.9 50.5 53.8 50.0 47.0
1922 .. — 56.0 53.1 59.7 54.0 50.0 46.0
Increase .. — . .2 . .2 . .2 . .— . . —
Decrease — . — . . — . . — . . — . . 1.0
An Increasing Rainfall.
The man on the street will, after reading this, jump to the conclusion that more heat means less rain. But once again they show that this is not so. As a matter of fact, we are now getting more rain than we were previously. Again taking the capital cities, this is seen to be a fact in the case of all except Sydney, which shows a slight falling off. The figures are: —
. . . . . . Perth. Adel. Bris. Syd. Melb. Hob
1908 .. .. 33.16 20.33 43.44 48.54 75.57 23.53
1922 .. .. 33.91 21.05 45.65 48.04 75.66 23.59
Increases .73 .72 2.21 — . .09 . .06
Decrease . — . . — . . — . . . . .5 . . — . . —
In this connection it is interesting to note how we compare with other cities of the world. Selecting a few we have:—
. . . . . . . . Average . . . . . . . . Average
. . . . . . . . Rainfall . . . . . . . . Temperature
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Mean Sum . . Mean Wint’
Auckland 43.31 . . . . . . 66.1 . . . . . . 52.5
Bombay 71.15 . . ….. . 83.5 …………75.1
Buenos Ayres 38.78 …..72.7 …………50.9
Capetown 2o.5………….. 68.l…………. 54.7
New York .44.63………… 71.4
Ottawa 33.40 ……………..67.2………… 14.1
San Prancisco 22.27 ….58.8 …………50.5
Perth ……..33.91 ……..73.1 ……..54.O
Adelaide ..21.05 ……..73.1 ……..53.1
Brisbane ..45.65 ……..76.6 …….59.7
Sydney ……48.01 …….71.0 …….54.0
Melbourne 25.60 ……06.6 …….50.0
Hobart ……23.53 ……..61.7 …….46.8
Canberra ..22.43 …….68.4 …….44.2
Incidentally it is interesting to note that Adelaide holds the record of having experienced the hottest day of any recorded in any capital city in the world. The temperature reached 116.3 degrees. Next to that comes Pekin with 114, and Madras with 113.
Heavy as the rain of the past week has been at times, South Australia as a State cannot boast of any remarkable figures covering a 24-hour period. The record figures for each State make interesting
reading, however, and are given below.
NEW SOUTH WALES.
Cordeaux River, 22.58 in. on February 1898.
Morpeth, 21.52 in. on March 9, 1893.
South Head (Sydney), 20.12 in. on April 29, 1841, and 20.41 On October 16, 1844.
Crohamhurst (Blackall Range), 35.71 in on February 2. 1893.
Buderin Mountain, 26.20 in. on January 11, 1898.
Harvey Creek, 27.75 in. on January 3, 1911.
Cairns, 28.80 in. on April 2, 1911.
From February 11 to April 2 1911,
Cairns had 103.10 in.r or 9 ft. 7 in.
Mackay. 41.95 in. in 22½ hours on January 21 and 22, 1918.
Fortescue, 23.30 in. on May 3, 1890.
Derby, 16.47 in. on January 7, 1917.
Roebuck Plains, 22.36 in. on January 6, 1917.
Whim Creek, 29.41 in. on April 3, 1896.
Balook, 7.23 in. on September 26, 1917.
Mount Buffalo. 8.53 in. on June 6, 1917, and 6.56 in. on June 7, 1917.
Wilmington, 3.97 in. on February 28,
1921, and 7.12 in. on March 1, 1921, or 11.09 in. in two days.