“so even the rain that falls isn’t actually going to fill our dams and river systems…”

When Australian Climate Change Commissioner Tim Flannery tells you your city is about to run out of water, move to higher ground and invest in an umbrella company!

So Tim, you’d admit those models were wrong?

February 10, 2012

Climate Commissioner Tim Flannery in 2005:

But since 1998 particularly, we’ve seen just drought, drought, drought, and particularly regions like Sydney and the Warragamba catchment – if you look at the Warragamba catchment figures, since ‘98, the water has been in virtual freefall, and they’ve got about two years of supply left, but something will need to change in order to see the catchment start accumulating water again…. So when the models start confirming what you’re observing on the ground, then there’s some fairly strong basis for believing that we’re understanding what’s causing these weather shifts and these rainfall declines, and they do seem to be of a permanent nature

Well, the worst-case scenario for Sydney is that the climate that’s existed for the last seven years continues for another two years. In that case, Sydney will be facing extreme difficulties with water.

The Sydney Morning Herald in 2008:

This drought may never break

IT MAY be time to stop describing south-eastern Australia as gripped by drought and instead accept the extreme dry as permanent, one of the nation’s most senior weather experts warned yesterday.

“Perhaps we should call it our new climate,” said the Bureau of Meteorology’s head of climate analysis, David Jones….

“There is a debate in the climate community, after … close to 12 years of drought, whether this is something permanent. Certainly, in terms of temperature, that seems to be our reality, and that there is no turning back….”

Jones to the University of East Anglia in 2007:

Truth be know, climate change here is now running so rampant that we don’t need meteorological data to see it. Almost everyone of our cities is on the verge of running out of water and our largest irrigation system (the Murray Darling Basin is on the verge of collapse…

The Age in 2009:

A three-year collaboration between the Bureau of Meteorology and CSIRO has confirmed what many scientists long suspected: that the 13-year drought is not just a natural dry stretch but a shift related to climate change…

‘’It’s reasonable to say that a lot of the current drought of the last 12 to 13 years is due to ongoing global warming,’’ said the bureau’s Bertrand Timbal.

‘’In the minds of a lot of people, the rainfall we had in the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s was a benchmark. A lot of our [water and agriculture] planning was done during that time. But we are just not going to have that sort of good rain again as long as the system is warming up.’’…

Climate Commissioner Tim Flannery in 2007:

Flannery predicted cities such as Brisbane would never again have dam-filling rains, as global warming had caused “a 20 per cent decrease in rainfall in some areas” and made the soil too hot, “so even the rain that falls isn’t actually going to fill our dams and river systems … “.

Last night:

THE NSW State Emergency Service (SES) has had a busy night after huge rainfalls had parts of western Sydney and the Illawarra flooding.  SES spokesman Dave Owens said the suburb of Londonderry, near Penrith, received about 104mm of rain in a short few hours overnight.

Sydney dam storages this week:


Source 1

Source 2

3 Responses to ““so even the rain that falls isn’t actually going to fill our dams and river systems…””

  1. Chris F/ Canada

    It’s too bad your media doesn’t actually do reporting anymore because this would be great flashed on the screen as is with a voice-over at the end saying…And these are the same people we’re listening to for energy policies?

  2. The Science is Rattled « An Honest Climate Debate

    […] The Reality: Severe flooding in Australia […]

  3. sydneystudent

    Let’s put the tiny quote into a bigger context. Tim Flannery was talking in 2007. A bigger quote explains what he means a bit better:

    So even the rain that falls isn’t actually going to fill our dams and our river systems, and that’s a real worry for the people in the bush. If that trend continues then I think we’re going to have serious problems, particularly for irrigation.


    this was during drought times which will be more intense with climate change. alternate this with the flood times at the moment, which will also become more intense means that we will have drought and bushfires at the same time as floods – just not in the same region, and this has already happened.

    we have to listen to the warnings and act. now.

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