Wednesday, 28 July 2010

perception isn't reality

I've been back in Australia for a little while now and it seems its been just the rainiest winter ever. Just like in 1988 (when I bought a particular bike) it seems the dry winter days are replaced by drizzle and rain.

Last night it started raining before we went to bed, and then around midnight it seemed to bucket down. So I thought I'd check out the weather data this morning and found this:

so we had 27mm last night which looking at the month so far:

makes up most of the months rain in one night.

Being a kind of part time climate researcher, I thought I'd pull the data on the entire historical records for this town and have a look:

well, at a median of 56mm for this month (since records were started in 1881) this hardly makes this July a wetter than anything July. We have only received half of the median and less than half the mean.

Somehow seeing the facts and thinking about them (not just the perceptions of reality) I come up with many memories of my childhood of waiting around schools in the wet and rain, wet winter coastal camping trips and nights under the (tiny) caravan annex with the wind blowing and water running across from under the van and past my (raised) bunkbed.

It struck me that if I wasn't a thinker that I could easily go along with the office 'natter' about how much rain we're having this year and how climate change just isn't real.

food for thought?

Well I'm gonna have brekky that's for sure

post scriptum

after getting out onto the highway on my way north (to where I work) it became apparent that the rain was strictly coastal and cleared up. Looking at the weather radar shows how isolated this shower is.

My experience of this region (and looking at regional rainfall data) suggests that this sort of isolated shower is quite common here due to the geography with some areas being dry while others are getting soaked on many occasions.

All too often policy governing stuff is formed by people sitting in offices who don't get out and about enough and view the world only through their window. My water tanks are filled (in the dry times), yet just up the road a little people would have nearly no rainwater.

Which is why policy on managing water resources really needs to be region specific, not just one policy size fits noone.

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