1896 – Killed By Bad Thermometers

Afternoon temperatures at Bourke, NSW averaged 110F during January 1896, but were thirteen degrees cooler this year.


23 Jan 1896 – THE HEAT WAVE. – Trove

The New York Times described the 1896 heatwave as the “hottest of hot waves on record

TimesMachine: August 18, 1896

ABC News and the Bureau of Meteorology say 435 people died in the 1896 heatwave, but this was caused by bad thermometers.

“The temperature recording methods used in 1896 were flawed”

435 people died in an 1896 heatwave — but scientists say the extreme heat events of today are still hotter – ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

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5 Responses to 1896 – Killed By Bad Thermometers

  1. Jeff Ford says:

    Hoping you have a lot of readers in Oz Tony.

    • Richard says:

      well Jeffery maybe the IPCC is in land of Oz as well – not that they have FINALLY come out to say NO Proof GW is caused by man

  2. Brad Row says:

    I’m one of them, Jeff. And I am personally acquainted with a number of others as well. We all hold Tony in very high regard. Right now, here in Sydney, we are undergoing a prolonged deluge which has lasted two days and shows no sign of letting up soon. The street gutters have been turned into flowing torrents. Numerous low lying areas in the metropolitan area have been flooded and over the weekend people were warned to avoid all unnecessary travel. But, of course, none of this can really be happening because some years ago a renowned climate “expert” in this country told us with the greatest of authority that rainfall of this sort was a thing of the past and would never be seen again. Future rainfall would not be enough and the dams would never fill up, he said. It must be a complete fantasy, therefore, that yesterday Sydney’s main water supply, Warragamba Dam, overflowed contributing to flooding along the Hawkesbury-Nepean River. And what I am seeing outside my apartment window must definitely be some kind of illusion. This expert couldn’t possibly be wrong, now could he? It must be me. I shouldn’t have had that glass of Scotch last night. I’m hearing and seeing things.

  3. Michael Moore says:

    And I’m another.

  4. Scott K Jonas says:

    They didn’t mention that the population of Australia in 2009 was around six or seven times larger than 1896, so the 2009 deaths were proportionately much less. That was most likley due to the benefits of air conditioning technology, which was likely fed from fossil-fuel generated electricity. And things were probably worse in winters too back then, although maybe not in Bourke but in other cities near there and around the globe.

    They also say the readings back then “could be” inflated. That doesn’t sound very certain, and I’ve noticed it is quite common for news media to report things that aren’t certain as if they are.

    The supposed difference of just two degrees C also doesn’t seem like a very big deal and not much to get so worked up over.

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