Essay by Eric Worrall
“… It is difficult to predict whether changes in cyclone formation and behaviour will pose a risk to Australia …”
Tropical cyclones in Australia: How severe are they, and what impact will climate change have on them?
By Emily Bennett 7:09am Dec 11, 2022
With another cyclone season upon us, what lies ahead for our region in the coming months?
Is the number of cyclones predicted to increase due to climate change?
The total number of cyclones in Australia is predicted to decrease – but that’s not the full story.
Climate models project an increase in the proportion of high-intensity storms, with stronger winds and higher rainfall, according to the Earth Systems and Climate Change Hub.
University of Melbourne expert Professor Kevin Walsh agrees with the modelling.
“The most likely outcome for the future frequency of tropical cyclones in the Australian region is a slight decrease,” Walsh said.
It is difficult to predict whether changes in cyclone formation and behaviour will pose a risk to Australia, according to Walsh.
“The possibility exists that tropical cyclones might strike slightly further south than they do at present, but the most vulnerable regions will still remain the more populated regions of the tropical coasts,” he said.
Read more: https://www.9news.com.au/national/tropical-cyclones-australia-natural-disaster-frequency-severity-death-toll-damage-bill-climate-change-impact-explained/3895a34b-8ca1-4b02-afb5-e831ebc04e96
This isn’t the only note of caution we’ve seen lately. Who can forget Professor Pitman’s disclosure that climate science cannot us whether droughts will become more or less likely? Though Pitman later qualified his statement “there is no link between climate change and drought”, claiming what he meant to say was “there is no direct link between climate change and drought”.
We still get a few entertaining academics from time to time, who throw caution to the winds – like UNSW academic Dr. Clara Stephens, who in 2020 predicted “… even if we get heavier downpours in the future, they won’t necessarily produce the floods we rely on to fill dams …”.
Bad timing Clara – 2022 has been a year of extreme rainfall and floods, thanks to a rare triple La Nina. Probably Clara meant starting from 2023, right?
Of course, climate scientists have been quick to blame the 2022 rainfall on climate change.
Don’t be distracted by all this apparent inconsistency. Climate change is such settled science, in 2021 Naomi Oreskes called for WG1 to be defunded, so more resources could be directed to mitigation efforts. If climate science wasn’t so settled, climate scientists would be making all sorts of incorrect and outright wrong predictions.