Silliggy (Lance Pidgeon) has been researching records from early explorers and from newspapers. What he's uncovered is fascinating! It's as if history is being erased! For all that we hear about recent record-breaking climate extremes, records that are equally extreme, and sometimes even more so, are ignored. In January 1896 a savage blast "like a furnace" stretched across Australia from east to west and lasted for weeks. The death toll reached 437 people in the eastern states. Newspaper reports showed that in Bourke the heat approached 120°F (48.9°C) on three days.
Links to documentary evidence...
The maximum at or above 102 degrees F (38.9°C) for 24 days straight! Use the several links below to read the news reports at the time for yourself ..
1. By Tuesday Jan 14, people were reported falling dead in the street.
2. Unable to sleep, people in Brewarrina walked the streets at night for hours, thermometers recorded 109F at midnight
3. Overnight, the temperature did not fall below 103°F.
4. On Jan 18 in Wilcannia, five deaths were recorded in one day, the hospitals were overcrowded
and reports said that "more deaths are hourly expected".
5. By January 24, in Bourke, many businesses had shut down (almost everything bar the hotel.)
6. Panic stricken, Australians were fleeing to the hills. In climate refugee trains.
As reported at the time, the government felt the situation was so serious that to save lives and ease the suffering of its
citizens they added cheaper train services. What I found most interesting about this was the skill,dedication and length of meteorological data taken in the 1800s. When our climate is "the most important moral challenge" why is it there is so little interest in our longest and oldest data?
Who knew that one of the most meticulous and detailed temperature records in the world from the 1800s comes from Adelaide, largely thanks to Sir Charles Todd.
The West Terrace site in Adelaide was one of the best in the world at the time, and provides accurate historic temperatures from "Australia's first permanent weather bureau at Adelaide in 1856"
Rainfall records even appear to go as far back as 1839. Lance Pidgeon went delving into the National Archives and was surprised at what he found.
The media are in overdrive, making out that "the extreme heat is the new normal" in Australia. You can't blame those high records on man-made global warming!