Lake Eyre – To Fill, or Not To Fill

Lake Eyre in synthetic IR and blue wavelengths

Lake Eyre in synthetic IR and blue wavelengths

Original Image

There is a fascinating lake in southern Australia. It is a salt pan much of the time. About twice per century it fills up. When it does, a riot of life breaks out. It has partial fillings on a more frequent basis, but still, the rate of evaporation is such that it usually rapidly dries out.

Gives these dates for when it has been filled:

Lake Eyre is normally dry; it fills completely only an average of twice in a century, but partial, minor fillings happen much more often. When completely filled (as in 1950, 1974, and 1984), the lake takes about two years to dry up again.

Those dates are reputed to be connected to the phase of the Indian Ocean Dipole. The last decade there had been a horrible drought in the region. Predictions were that the drought would be permanent as part of “Global Warming”.

Well, a strange thing happened on the way to perpetual disaster. It started to rain. First in 2011. Continuing in 2012.

Now Lake Eyre is even starting to fill. No, not “full” yet. But certainly adding water, and for two years in a row. 1950+25=1975 1950+35=1985. Take 1985+25= 2010 just as 1975+35=2010. Sure looking like about a 25 to 35 year cycle…

So now we have the lakes filling. It’s raining like crazy in a lot of places (from the Philippines to Taiwan and the UK to Queensland). Instead of simply saying “we have a 30 year rain / drought cycle”, the Warmistas are asserting this is some kind of “Climate Chaos” and “Extreme Weather”. Perhaps it is just a normal cycle that exceeds their attention span…

At any rate, some interesting stories about it:

Lake Eyre to Boost Tourism

Thursday, 3 February 2011

A flourishing Lake Eyre will provide a small mercy in the Queensland flood aftermath, with the lake expected to fill for the first time since 1974.
Lake at Dead Heart of the Nation Comes Alive

Sunday, 13 February 2011

FOR every summer in living memory, Lake Eyre’s water level has been extremely low, if not empty. But now the giant lake in South Australia’s usually dry outback is slowly filling to capacity…
Lake Eyre Set To Flood In 2012
Wednesday, 28 March 2012

FOR those that read the last update in our eNews you will probably recall we said that yes, Lake Eyre will see water in 2012 but not the volumes seen in 2011 – unless there is significant localised rainfall

Latest Status with nice map from the Lake Eyre Yacht Club (yes, they actually have one… I presume they spend a few decades practicing in the sand for their once every few years water…

2011 vs 2012 overhead view

All in all, an interesting place to watch as an “indicator”. My take on it is the Lake is saying “it’s getting cold again”. I note that the last we times were generally cold times too (though 1984 was more neutral).

If Lake Eyre continues to fill, and perhaps even reaches full flood, IMHO that says we’ve taken the turn to the cold side and are seeing physical results.

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About E.M.Smith

A technical managerial sort interested in things from Stonehenge to computer science. My present "hot buttons' are the mythology of Climate Change and ancient metrology; but things change...
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7 Responses to Lake Eyre – To Fill, or Not To Fill

  1. hillrj says:

    Maybe OT. There has been a strand of private weather forecasters in Australia
    who link events like lake Eyre floods to sunspots. Locally famous was Inigo Jones.
    Are you aware of Leif Svalgaards sun observations graph?

    At the moment it looks tlike a “head and shoulders” is that right?
    If so, it might mean that cycle 24 may have peaked already.
    Which makes it even more strange than expected.
    Wouldlike to get your opinion of the graph….
    Richard Hill

  2. Jason Calley says:

    Don Gaddes often posts on various climate blogs about work done by his deceased father, Alex Gaddes. Don’s father believed global climate to be a result of various interacting cycles. Somewhere today I saw a post by Don where he was reporting that the current state of the globe was what he referred to as “wet / normal”, i.e. more rain but fairly average temperatures. I wish I could find the post I read by him today, but it is lost in the welter of my memory. If Don Gaddes reads this, perhaps he could explain the method of prediction his father developed.

  3. E.M.Smith says:


    Since we’ve had reliable connections between weather, grain production, and a dozen other things, and sun spots since at least the early 1800s by a half dozen Names (starting with Hershel and Jevons in modern history). I think the connection is pretty solid. (Jevon’s work with grain data from around The Empire including India was rather good… and thorough. It’s hard to fake how much grain was grown and sold.)

    Looking at the chart, yes, it looks like a ‘head and shoulders’. BUT, all “steps up” look like head and shoulders about 1/2 way through the next “up”… So we need just a couple of more “lower” data points to the right of that second peak. If we get higher data points instead, then that right “shoulder” is busy turning into a ‘higher high’ in a trend rising in steps…

    That’s the problem with the “head and shoulders” graph interpretation. It is only clear in retrospect and is not very useful in prediction…

    F10.7 has a rather high recent datum. Makes me reluctant to say “top is in”.

    At most I’d say “could be a top, so watch for a bit to confirm”.

    IMHO we’re in a chaotic phase of solar motion. For the period from now to about 2030 I think we’re going to see low wobbles. The 11 year cycle ( or 1/2 cycle) is IMHO an artifact of a more regular motion and during the non-trefoil pattern we get less regular sunspot cycles. We’ll see. This pattern only comes along every 179 years or so, so not a lot of good data. It’s all speculative until it’s over…

    @Jason Calley:

    My thesis is that at the onset of a cooling phase we get a boat load of water dumped on us as the heat gets transported off planet. This takes a while, so starts off “wet and normal”… as the heat leaves, we get colder. Eventually we get a “cold and wet” then turn to “cold and dry” as the heat is gone and the cooling stops. Then when the sun goes warm, we go from “cold and dry” to “warm and dry” (what we were just in…) and at the very top, start having a touch of “hot and wet” but that rapidly becomes “Wet normal” on the way to “Cold and wet” again…

    Haven’t done the work with the precipitation data to show if the thesis has anything to it or not.

    Just based on my observation that after the snows of the ’60s / early ’70s in the Central Valley of California, we had a cold drought in the late ’70s / early 80s as we entered the warming phase. Just about the time everyone was saying “OH GOD! Hot Droughts!”, we’ve gone back to wet… on the way to cooling. Don’t know if it holds up in other geographies or if it’s just a California pattern. I think I’ve seen the same pattern in Australia, but an opposite pattern in other parts of the world. (China right now has had onset of droughts…) IMHO there are dipoles of opposite drought / rain and simply using broad averages will hide the pattern. So one needs to look at historical patterns of drought to figure out who gets the rain when. (China / Australia look to be opposites. Don’t know where India falls out, but IIRC it was prone to failure fo the monsoon in the ’60s – ’70s when Australia was getting rain?)

    At any rate, I think it’s a potentially fruitful thing to pursue… just need a second lifetime and funding to get it all done ;-)

    So watch the 60 year pattern and think of water as the working fluid transporting heat; then it looks to me like it fits. When the heat is accumulating (starting form a cold end hot phase) low rain, when heat is leaving (starting hot ending cold phase) lots of rain. Watch Queensland for inflections. IMHO their floods of the last couple of years were the turn from warming to cooling heat flow. Similarly the torrential rain in places like the Philippines and Taiwan. (Texas drought seems to come at / just after the heating top…)

  4. handjive says:

    Photo Gallery of Lake Eyre, from March 2009 to March 2012 Plus Bonus Photos from September 2000

    4 years of flooding.

  5. Pascvaks says:

    You know, if you tilt your head a certain way it looks like a Climateometer. Not global, but definitely local;-)

  6. gold price says:

    The main attractions of this track are the desolate saltlakes, the Ghan railway relics and the amazing artesian bores. This is it, unless you get really exited on gibber plains. But a railway enthusiast or keen scrap metal connoisseur like me will certainly love the Track. Mind you, there is an endless supply of wire and other bits and pieces lying around, so this is just the place to fix your exhaust fastenings for free!

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