The secret Hennessy report update

The Australian Broadcasting Corporation’s Bush Telegraph radio program reported at length today on the future of Australian ski resorts. The story by reporter Greg Muller is built around a “secret” update to the 2003 Hennessy report I wrote about back in July.  The new report* was funded by the Victorian government and completed late last year, but apparently not released until Muller provoked them with a freedom of information request.  There’ll be more when I’ve had a chance to read the report, but for now I notice that they’ve added an extra scenario nearer to a “best estimate” future (joy), they’ve added more GCMs to the ensemble and published output for the individual GCMs, and they present some data and results for AGL Hydro’s Rocky Valley Dam snow depth record at Falls Creek (which I’ve still yet to obtain).


The Bush Telegraph report is a comprehensive and impressive effort; well worth a listen or read.  My only gripe is that the 2012 snow season is twice referred to as excellent (“lots of snow”; “one of the best in memory”).  That is, frankly, crap … or at best rampant spin.  At high altitudes (~1830 m) 2012 was about as near to average as it’s possible to get (click graphs for details):


Spencers Creek 2012


But at mid altitudes (~1620 m), 2012 was below average throughout:


Deep Creek 2012


“Memory” seems to be one of those flexible concepts.


* Ref:

Climate change impacts on snow in Victoria (2012), J Bhend, J Bathols and K Hennessy; Centre for Australian Weather and Climate Research (a CSIRO / Bureau of Meteorology partnership)


2 comments to The secret Hennessy report update

  • warrie

    Hi Gerg, 42 pages so I skipped a lot but get the drift in that it’s lower peak depths and shorter seasons which finish earlier. All those rainbow coloured lines mean black news for Vic resorts. The scary thing is that 2020 is only 7 seasons away. And as for resorts using hourly wet bulb readings for snowmaking purposes. Hurrumph!! They can’t even measure their own snowdepths and be honest about it. Spin with a capital S. Meanwhile Sydney had a huge bushfire plume and it’s only October yet PB is white again…. Cheers, W

  • Michael

    RE: 2012 being the best season. It is the classic scenrio of human beings masses only able to remember back 5 years at any point in time. I.e they are just not smart enough, which is why we are in the climate change constant argument cycle of no result.