JoNova

A science presenter, writer, speaker & former TV host; author of The Skeptic's Handbook (over 200,000 copies distributed & available in 15 languages).


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Australian Temperatures in cities adjusted up by 70%!?

Ken Stewart has been hard at work again, this time analyzing the Australian urban records. While he expected that the cities and towns would show a larger rise than records in the country due to the Urban Heat Island Effect, what he found was that the raw records showed only a 0.4 degree rise, less than the rural records which went from a raw 0.6 to an adjusted 0.85 (a rise of 40%). What shocked him about the urban records were the adjustments… making the trend a full 70% warmer.

The largest adjustments to the raw records are cooling ones in the middle of last century. So 50 years after the measurements were recorded, officials realized they were artificially too high? Hopefully someone who knows can explain why so many thermometers were overestimating temperatures in the first half of the 1900′s.

50 years later?

The raw Australian urban temperature records are in blue. The adjusted records in red. Note that temperatures in the middle of last century appear to be adjusted downwards. These are the annual average recordings for all 34 sites.

Remember Dr David Jones, Head of Climate Monitoring and Prediction, National Climate Centre, Bureau of Meteorology said:

“On the issue of adjustments you find that these have a near zero impact on the all Australian temperature because these tend to be equally positive and negative across the network (as would be expected given they are adjustments for random station changes).”

Yet it’s obvious that there are far more warming adjustments than cooling ones, and remember, many (almost all?) of these urban sites will be markedly different places than what they were in say 1920. The encroachment of concrete, cars and exhaust vents can surely only go in one direction, though I guess, it’s possible all these sites have new sources of shade (why aren’t the themometers moved, if that’s the case?) Like the rural records, the temperatures overall are roughly a quarter of a degree higher after the “corrections”.

Ken explains:

The raw trend is about 0.4C (actually slightly less than 0.4C)- that’s a full 0.2C less than the non-urban raw trend using the same comparison; the adjusted trend is about 0.78C: and that’s a warming bias of 95%. (The 70% figure is based on averaging all the changes in trends- from the table of 34 towns. 95% is from plotting the average temperature for all sites each year, then calculating the trend from this average.  It’s artificial as BOM say they don’t do it but it’s a way of comparing at the large scale.  It removes much of the error.)

So much for  “these tend to be equally positive and negative across the network”.

Of course, BOM says that this data is not used in their climate analyses, so my trend lines shown above are for illustration and comparison purposes only.  However, they illustrate the problem quite well:  there is a warming bias apparent in the High Quality data.

As well, the  “quality” of the High Quality stations leaves much to be desired. Many of the sites have large slabs of data missing, with the HQ record showing “estimates” to fill in the missing years.  Some sites should not be used at all:  Moree, Grafton, Warnambool, Orange, Bowral, and Bairnsdale.

8 of the 34 are Reference Climate Stations (RCS) and were used by BOM and CSIRO in their State of the Climate Report released in March 2010.

What does it mean for our weather records?

These sites and trends are not used for analyzing Australia’s climate, but none the less, in some cities new records will be set that don’t really reflect what the raw data says, and while plenty of scientists don’t want to be seen talking about a single hot season (it’s weather, remember, not climate), there are plenty of other groups who issue press releases conflating a single season “heat wave” with carbon dioxide.

Ken sums up the problems

  • The raw data and the adjusted data both show much less warming than the non-urban sites.
  • Many of the sites show distinct cooling, especially in south east Australia.
  • The data has been subjectively and manually adjusted.
  • The methodology used is not uniformly followed, or else is not as described.
  • Sites with poor comparative data have been included.
  • Large quantities of data are not available, and have been filled in with estimates.
  • The adjustments are not equally positive and negative, and have produced a major impact on the temperature record of many of the sites.
  • The adjustments produce a trend in mean temperatures that is between roughly 0.3 degree Celsius and 0.38 degree Celsius per 100 years greater than the raw data does.
  • The warming bias in the temperature trend is from 60% to 95% depending on the comparison method.

Some of the sites:

Kent Town (Adelaide): Note Adelaide West Terrace s long record:

Splice made from Adelaide West -0.28, Kent Town, and Northfield

Maryborough (Queensland), and nearby long record stations, Sandy Cape and Gympie, correspond well:

So much data is telling us the trend is minor.

So why the adjustment?

Brisbane Aero- a major city showing cooling!

Splice made from regional office + 0.07 to 1949, then the Old Aerodrome and New Aerodrome data:

Newcastle- also cooled:

Adjusted:

Echuca has a long record with no gaps:

But this becomes

..

Worst of all is Wangaratta:

Adjusted:

Sydney and Melbourne with their massive urban growth have both been adjusted downwards as we would expect (but are the adjustments enough?)
Geelong-a patchy record

Norlane and Queenscliff are used to fill gaps.  Ken made 2 splices and went with the more conservative second one:

Still warmed!

Darwin still remains one of the most remarkable transformations after adjustment:

Adjusted:  This has been discussed several times before on Kens site e.g. Part 2: Northern Territory.

The full record and graphs of all the sites are at KensKingdom, so you can check your town or city there. (Why not drop in on him and say thanks to Ken and Lance for their work…)

Last December I looked at towns across Northern Australia but searching across thousands of kilometers, I couldn’t find any warming trend to match Darwins adjustmented up trend or the IPCC record.

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Australian Temperatures in cities adjusted up by 70%!?, 5.6 out of 10 based on 8 ratings

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132 comments to Australian Temperatures in cities adjusted up by 70%!?

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    Andrew Barnham

    I am confused by one thing in Ken’s analysis. He says that he looks at stations that are Urban, and not necessarily part of HQ series.

    My understanding though is that BOM only provide adjusted data sets on stations in the HQ series. There are 134 such stations: of those 34 are designated Urban and 100 designated Rural. All are adjusted and all form part of the HQ series.

    The entire data set includes 1977 stations in total. But this is just raw data. No adjustments, except for above mentioned 134.

    I counted by hand number of stations Ken analyzed, and they total to 34. Eyeballing them by name they look correct too. So on that basis I believe that the stations Ken analyzed actually form part of data set BOM use in advocacy of their climate change position and that the anomaly graphs plotted by the BOM include these stations I believe.

    Am I missing something here?


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    Andrew Barnham

    I just tweaked my own tooling to look at Urban stations only.

    I get Urban adjusted anomaly : 0.84 C per 100 years. And Raw anomaly of 0.51 C per 100 years. Or 60% increase

    Note that my anomaly numbers are based on gridding/weighting the results using lat/long grids of 5×5 and looking at HQ station codes only : not geographically nearby stations to try and reconstruct a decent and long enough temp record. So using slightly different methodology to Ken. Still interesting result. Also would not entirely trust my numbers. With the raw data my tools threw away most of the stations and only gridded 15 of them due to insufficient data in 1960->1990 calibration period. Such minimal data creates risks of false signals being teased out. I should probably switch tooling to use first differences method, but since BOM are probably using CAM so will I.

    All in all a strong critique of BOM’s data.


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  • #

    Great to see these subjects discussed and exposed Jo.
    Re your question about big adjustments in middle last century.
    It is a fact that many Australian stations are missing temperature data from mid 1950′s to mid 1960′s. No idea why but it must have been some BoM decision affecting a lot of the network – for example see YENDA (HENRY STREET) Site number: 75079 near Griffith NSW. Get data at;
    http://www.bom.gov.au/climate/data/weather-data.shtml
    There are many stations with a similar complete gap of a ~decade.
    This must make it easier for non-climatic fiddling to be done.


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    Baa Humbug

    Wouldn’t it be an informative eye opener if just one BoM official explained clearly what/why these adjustments are made.
    Sure there is many stations, but I’d be happy if, say, Wangaratta data was explained.

    But I won’t hold my breath.


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    Warwick Hughes: #3
    September 14th, 2010 at 7:40 pm

    This must make it easier for non-climatic fiddling to be done.

    I liken it to doing a “connect the dots” with lots of dots missing.
    You can change an elephant to a greyhound.

    Great to have Warwick post here. More please WH


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  • #

    this is just great journalism. thank you. another great thing about your posts is the quality of the comments (other than mine of course).


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    cha-am jamal: #6
    September 14th, 2010 at 8:19 pm

    Hey Jamal, hop over to Kens blog and tell him. (If you haven’t already) :)


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    Joe Lalonde

    And this is surprising?
    A political agenda needs proof to go forward.
    Who pays this bill?


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    Rereke Whaakaro

    I see a consistency in methodology here, which I find very disturbing.

    I am prepared to accept that there will be errors in the raw data, due to external factors, there always is, even in lab experiments. But the standard modelling technique is to construct a parallel data-set for adjustment factors, where you can add or subtract constant values to adjust for known errors. If you want to get sophisticated, you can even construct another parallel data-set that specifies an adjustment algorithm that is applied to adjust for errors that might show non-constant or non-linear variations.

    The point being, that you still have the raw data, and you have a number of separate adjustment data-sets. It gives you an audit trail, so you can always verify each step in the process.

    I thought it was bad enough that the CRU were changing their raw data without any means to audit the changes, but now we find the BOM doing exactly the same thing.

    As somebody who does not believe in conspiracy theories, I am finding this very hard to rationalise.

    Can somebody who knows more about climate science than I do, please explain why the raw data is even taken out of the vault, let alone fiddled with?


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    janama

    Australia today – tomorrow The World!! – not kidding :)


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    Andrew Barnham

    Correction to my first post. The urban stations indeed do not feature in BOM climate change message.

    Here is something interesting although : if you add or remove urban stations from the HQ series, the resultant trend anomaly after gridding is almost the same. HQ is the same. Raw differs by 0.01 per century only. The rural station signal completely overpowers the HQ station signal, even though taking out the urban sites removes entire grid cells (I’m sure that doesn’t stop the BOM from making up data to fill in those cells although. Non existant data – such a trifle – easily remedied with all those handy ‘statistics’ functions in Microsoft Excel).

    So the BOM are being scrutinized for their adjustment processes, and with their Urban HQ series they seriously cook the numbers, risk being sprung, even though the overcooked data set a) isn’t included in their climate change narrative and b) doesn’t even impact the anomaly figure for the continent anyway. What exactly are they doing?

    Seriously, BOM have a case to answer here: at risk is their credibility.


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    Barry Brill

    Ken’s graph bears a remarkable similarity to the “raw” versus “adjusted” data put forward by NIWA in New Zealand. The downward adjustments to pre-1950 data, which were made in-house in 1999, show a warming bias of over 80%.

    The unadjusted readings showed an insignificant warming of 0.3°C per century while the adjusted readings show a warming of 1°C per century. The chart comparing the two temperature records is on the NZ Climate Science Coalition’s website http://climatescience.org.nz/images/PDFs/app3.graph.pdf.

    In response to an Official Information Act request, NIWA said it had retained no documentation of its adjustments.


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  • #

    Whaakaro: You’ve obviously been a participant here (and probably elsewhere on similar sites) for some time, but still “don’t believe in conspiracy theories” !!!

    Has anyone figured out the probability of all these “temperature data-gatherers” across the planet doing the same unexplainable and biased diddling on the data?


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  • #

    Denis, if many different groups do similar things it still isn’t necessarily a conspiracy. It could just be a systematic influence on all the groups. There could even be real reasons that thermometers around the world were recording “too high” back in 1900-1940, and no one figured it out until decades later…

    We should would like to hear those reasons.

    Barry: No record of those adjustments? None? Ouch.


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      joegeshel

      While I do not have any expertise to make cogent comments about climate change, I enjoy and am impressed at how readily this site overpowers the warmists not only in Australia but throughout the world. Please stay the course.


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    J.Hansford

    Denis… I think what Whaakaro was doing, is know in theatrical circles as, a Stage Whisper… It was a pretty bold one too… :-)

    I really would like BoM to explain themselves in this little melodrama though…;-)


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    Barry Brill

    Nowadays, Government services are voted science resources to maintain suitable climate stations and collect a host of statistics for research purposes.

    But in the first half of the twentieth century, weather stations opened and closed as demand for weather forecasts fluctuated, and as Government spending underwent periodic squeezes. For example, it was not a high priority to read daily max/min temperatures during the Great Depression or World War 2. So there were large gaps, station relocations, equipment failures, sheltering, urban heating, etc and, overall, the data was just not up to snuff for an archive as important as an official temperature record. CSIRO could have stated that its HQ record commences in 1960, with only “indicative” data before that. Instead, it set out to make estimates of all the flawed and missing data.

    Occasionally, such estimates are easy and have a high level of confidence. An example is when two successive weather stations were run in paralell for several years, prior to the closure of one. But, alas, the easy situations are rare. More usually, comparisons need to be made with a number of “near neighbours” which themselves have full and unadjusted records. But the further back in time one goes, the less likely such obliging neighbours will be found. Methods become subjective, and confirmation bias creeps in. A cooling result would run counter to the prevailing wisdom, and would merely engender contention and conflict. A warming outcome fits with global figures and suggests the methodology must have been sound and the work well executed.

    It would take a strong-minded scientist to buchk the system!


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    Paul Kenyon

    I’d like to ask a question about the presentation of data in percentage terms (often followed with an eye-catching exclamation point…!) You, Jo, wrote:
    “…rural records which went from a raw 0.6 to an adjusted 0.85 (a rise of 40%).”
    This is a change in absolute temperature (the only kind that counts)from about 288.15 degrees kelvin to 288.40 degrees kelvin (in 100 years) which I make out to be a change upward of 0.087%, about nine one-hundredths of a percent, notably different from 40%. In such instances are we mis-presenting data in our reporting of the findings? If I am not mistaken, we criticize others for false or biased presentation of data for the purposes of misleading those following the arguments. Famously, atmospheric CO2 concentration data are often shown graphed with no reference to zero concentration (the graph begins at 280 ppm or so) exaggerating the steepness of the upward trend and this is flagged as a mis-representation of the data. How is the way you have been writing about temperature change adding the (apparent) percentage changes–which appear huge in these contexts– different from the data presentation abuse exemplified by Al Gore’s “An Inconvenient Truth” atmospheric CO2 concentration graph? What is the correct way to present these data?
    Paul

    [ Andrew Barnham beat me to answer this: See #28. We're talking anomalies from an average... but thanks for looking out for me. I like to know people are checking :-) JN]


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    Baa Humbug #7: thank you for the link to ken’s blog


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    Jo:

    I admit to the possibility you suggest, and in any event doubt that this situation is the typical form of conspiracy, where a bunch of culprits get together on a devious approach, but the outcome has clearly been the same. Until a better term comes along “conspiracy” still appears to be the most accurate description, keeping in mind that NONE of these perpetrators have presented anything even close to a rational basis for what they believe and/or have done to “raw” data. The scientists among this group have no excuse; they cannot possibly be completely ignorant of both logic and scientific method.

    Incidently in a recent email exchange with an Arizona emeritus professor, supposedly 15 years in climatology (who had recently been quoted in the press – and then by Climate Depot) , when asked for evidence of anthropogenic influence on warming presented as “evidence” the exact same claim as was presented to you by a “warmist” professor who “debated” on your site – that the recent years were the warmist ! They seem to have not only the same rigid belief system, but even the same flawed arguments. The more I look into this stuff, the amazed (and sadder) I become about the human condition. I went so far as to crank up a “google doc” as a “Climate Tutorial”, hoping it would make it easier for friends who show any interest. (Unfortunately one of the more important “friends” – my oldest grand-daughter, a smart girl at Virginia Tech, a junior in their engineering program, finds it “repugnant”, refusing to even consider that it might be true because it is inconsistent with the beliefs of her friends.)

    Thanks again for all the work you must be putting into your high quality site.


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    [...] Australian Temperatures in cities adjusted up by 70%!? [...]


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    PhilJourdan

    JoNova #15: You are correct it does not prove it is a conspiracy. However, it begins to stretch the rules of credulity when no explanation is given. Honesty loves openness, while dishonest loves the shadows.

    Given the lack of openness, one cannot be faulted for assuming the worst.


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    Paul Kenyon

    Denis,
    I attend environmental sciences lectures at Middlebury College. There’s a lot of close focused information presented there but the department seems to be conflating env. sci with religion so strong is the belief factor you mention; if the IPCC says it, it is correct. Sounds like something from George Orwell’s book, Animal Farm, something the horse, Boxer, would say.
    It’s essential to separate belief and science.
    Paul


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    John Blake

    Subjecting raw data to subjective manipulation consistent with corrupt self-interest is the very definition of conscious, knowing fraud. Retain what pathetic remnants of valid base-data may remain, toss all the rest, and re-analyze from scratch without any input from malfeasant public sources whatsoever.

    Not “science” but the nature and purpose of publicly funded bureaucratic entities is at issue here. Is it really so difficult to operate in good faith under valid vs. false pretenses? If you’re a mindless, ossified Department of ABC replete with ridiculously over-compensated jerks, the answer will be manifestly, Yes.


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    pat

    jo says -

    “…and remember, many (almost all?) of these urban sites will be markedly different places than what they were in say 1920.”

    indeed.

    meanwhile, altho it’s behind a paywall, this available bit is cute:

    13 Sept: WSJ: Climate Futures Exchange Members Mull Legal Challenge To ICE
    IntercontinentalExchange Inc. (ICE) could face legal action from disgruntled members of the Chicago Climate Futures Exchange, or CCFE, who want the new owner to honor an agreement on trading privileges.
    Atlanta-based ICE paid $603 million in April for the parent of the largest U.S. emissions-trading platform, but traders who had previously brought privileges from the founding owners said they have been left in limbo, unable to buy and sell the rights which give discounts on exchange dealings.
    “People just want to make them transferrable and maybe get a little of their money …
    http://online.wsj.com/article/BT-CO-20100913-706362.html

    poor babies.


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    Dr.TG Watkins

    No doubt Ken’s investigation will be front page in the Sydney M.H., Melbourne Age and The Australian. Some hope. Andy Montford’s efforts will receive similar coverage in the UK press.
    It is very depressing that our MSM is so silent on the continuing revelations concerning AGW.There is probably not a conspiracy in the accepted sense,at least among the small players, but it sure takes some explaining. Only a full blown lawsuit is likely to produce any results, maybe in the USA.


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    Ian Hill

    Regarding the Adelaide data, something to consider. The BOM State “Head Office” moved from West Tce to Kent Town in 1977. That’s from the immediate west of the CBD to the east of the CBD, but about two kilometres further away. There would have to be an impact from the prevailing westerly winds. The other locations provide convenient overlaps. I had to check where Kalyra is – that’s better known as Belair, in the hills.

    Another thing of concern is the tendency in the past ten years for road works and major building projects to be done during the night to minimise traffic disruption. It would be interesting to look at the minimum temperature compared to mean temperature.

    Jo mentioned the accuracy of thermometers in the early days. Even if they were a bit “out” they were still good for measuring the day to day, month to month and year to year changes. I think the best “thermometers” were the people who lived in that era. I knew two of my grandparents and recall them saying it was a lot hotter when they were young (in their 20-30s) than now (circa 1970).


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    Andrew Barnham

    Paul Kenyon: #18.

    What Ken, (and myself independently) measured is variation in anomaly trend. What scale you use, Celsius, Kelvin or Fahrenheit makes no difference when computing a final anomaly variation between raw and adjusted. Even absolute anomaly, for Celsius and Kelvin you get exactly the same result (Fahrenheit scale will give you a bigger anomaly reading).

    If you rerun the math, you would get exactly the same result. Your objection is false.

    Finally you need to measure the numbers against consensus thinking on policy formation around the big issue. We are told that 2 to 4 degree warming is bad. So difference between 0.8 degree so far and 0.5 degree so far is a significant error bar. (Assuming that the warming is indeed even man made). Again your objection is false.


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    John Coochey

    There is a major site for debunking false statistics of all kinds it is a limited company based in the UK and the contact email is nigel.hawkes1@btinternet.com. It is headed up by a British MP


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    Ken Stewart

    Morning all, nice day coming up, 28 degrees forecast for Mackay so warming nicely.

    Paul Kenyon- I agree re absolute temperature, but I’ll use Kelvin when BOM and rest of the met community does.

    The main problems I have with the data (raw and adjusted) are why are the urban trends less than rural trends? How much really is the UHI effect? Why are so many sites in Victoria and NSW apparently cooling? Why is this cooling adjusted away so emphatically?

    I have yet to receive a written response from Dr Jones- got one from “Webclim” saying

    you may wish to prepare and submit your work to a scientific journal. This will then mean that your work will be given serious scientific consideration…. It is difficult for the Bureau of Meteorology to assess work that has not been published

    I will post this exchange as well shortly.

    Ken


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    Paul Kenyon

    Andrew Barhnam #28.


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    Tel

    Those graphs make me think of the word “dog”, and also the word “breakfast”.


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    Andrew Barnham

    A few people here speak of conspiracy. I believe what is likely happening is something that I regularly experience myself in my professional life. For several years now I have been involved in timeseries data analysis, nothing to do with climate science but similar enough that the skills transport easily.

    For years I have beating my head against insufferable laziness and indifference. People look at data and see what they want to see, in my professional context they see what allows them to knock off work at 5:00 and allows them to tell the boss they are good at their job. Worse, the boss hears what he wants to hear. Precious few people treat data with respect and care and few people seem to understand that throwing data through an array of functions plus a bit of slicing and dicing here and there is meaningless magician hand waving.

    When I first started out doing this type of work, I would not only prove the error, but I would painstaking quantify the scope and implications of the error. But it is more work then I can possibly handle in my lifetime, so nowdays I just move on the moment I discover the error: life is too short.

    In climate science the situation must be a million times worse. Because who cares how a high performance database write latency trends over time? It is not a politically charged issue: it is a simple and well defined engineering problem. But with climate science, to be seen to be working against the consensus brings your intelligence and sanity into question in the eyes of the broader community.

    A heartening trend in all this is recent flurry of interest from professional statisticians. Finally feels like some adults have entered the room. If someone like Mckitrick came forward and said it is all real and we need to act, I’d probably switch sides. Personally I resent the whole climate change issue, and I resent all the time I have sunk into it: time that would be better productively spent in my precise field of expertise. But it has been necessary in order to develop an informed opinion on the issue: because I lost trust in the experts.


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    Rereke Whaakaro

    Denis: #14 and #20

    Sorry no reply earlier – time zones and the need to get some sleep occasionally :-)

    I don’t believe in conspiracy theories, because they don’t work.

    A conspiracy theory requires a bunch of like-minded people sitting around and planning something dastardly.

    They have to keep perfect security, otherwise whatever they are doing gets blown. But for action, they have to communicate instructions, and the reasons for those instructions, to people outside of the inner circle. Chances are somebody, somewhere, will think, “don’t like that!”, and a whistle gets blown. Or they might think, “that’s a cool idea!”, and they can’t wait to tell their friends, and it gets blown.

    Those in the tech world knew about the iPad, long before Apple would even admit it was working on the concept of a “web appliance”. Nobody knew any details, but that didn’t stop the chatter and didn’t stop people making things up!

    No, the climate change scare is really a social phenomena that has grown out of a grass-roots concern about pollution (especially in western Europe). The only conspiracy is that one or two people saw the opportunity to make a buck or two out of it, and so “directed” it slightly, in order to make a case to get research funding.

    Because funding is so competitive, others quickly realised what was happening and jumped on the band wagon.

    Then the young politically naive radical students (mostly Marxist) got a hold of it (because they listen to the academics), and saw it as a revolutionary cause – something they could pervert and use to their own advantage. They, in turn have been captured by some of the more rabid NGO’s who saw them as “useful idiots”, who could serve a purpose as foot soldiers and “cannon fodder” in creating a mob, waiving placards and making random noise.

    Eventually, the whole thing takes on a life of its own, which nobody can control. But those who are on the band-wagon have to stay on, because it is now moving too fast to get off. It will eventually die away when people figure ways of pulling out without loosing credibility (and with alternative sources of funding).

    The scary thing is that the bureaucrats at all levels of government have got ahold of it, and can see it as a means to achieve a whole lot of political ends, so they don’t particularly want it to go away, so they encourage it.

    But eventually, they will have to answer to the scientific facts. You can only be “badly advised” for so long. So that is why Jo, and others, invest their time and/or money in constantly pointing out the errors and inconsistencies. The truth will out sooner or later – we would prefer it to be sooner, thank you very much.

    But there is no conspiracy, because there is no central planning, it is all opportunism.


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    Llew Jones

    18
    Paul Kenyon:
    September 15th, 2010 at 1:33 am

    “I’d like to ask a question about the presentation of data in percentage terms (often followed with an eye-catching exclamation point…!) You, Jo, wrote:
    “…rural records which went from a raw 0.6 to an adjusted 0.85 (a rise of 40%).”
    This is a change in absolute temperature (the only kind that counts)from about 288.15 degrees kelvin to 288.40 degrees kelvin (in 100 years) which I make out to be a change upward of 0.087%, about nine one-hundredths of a percent, notably different from 40%.”

    Nice try Paul but the temperature manipulators certainly wouldn’t be using Kelvin either simply because an 0.087% upward temperature change is pretty useless as a fear generator.

    Also Kelvin temperatures are not really relevant in that this scale is to my knowledge never quoted on the weather reports on the radio or telly. It really is a centigrade scale that has theoretical dimensions that have little relevance to the sort of temperatures we earthlings mostly experience.

    “Kelvin is a temperature scale designed so that zero degrees K is defined as absolute zero (at absolute zero, a hypothetical temperature, all molecular movement stops – all actual temperatures are above absolute zero) and the size of one unit is the same as the size of one degree Celsius.

    This temperature scale was designed by Lord Kelvin (William Thompson, 1824-1907).”

    http://www.enchantedlearning.com/chemistry/glossary/Kelvin.shtml


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    Ken Stewart

    Andrew @ 33:

    Totally agree! It’s not a conspiracy but a “meme” gone feral….. how to stop it? Pin pricks like mine showing the data not matching the disaster have little effect really.
    AGW is a waste of the world’s time and a waste of my time- I’ve got lots more important things I’d rather be doing in retirement, but I don’t suffer fools (and foolish statements) gladly.

    Ken


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    Great work by Ken and comments by all.This adjustment of older historical temperature measurements seems to be a worldwide phenomenon, and does play an important part in the oft referenced “highest temperature in “XX” years”quoted in the MSM.
    Does anyone qualified know the status of FOI in this context in Australia?
    Could the adjustment of measurements be queried as per the New Zealand action? Even if the same reply was given it shows totally unscientific activity! Imagine if medical records were “adjusted” and the New Zealand reply was given?


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    Rereke Whaakaro

    John Coochey: #29

    … the contact email is …

    It would be more useful if you gave the web site address.

    Or did you intend for the good folks who come to this site to blitz Nigel Hawkes mail box?

    Inquiring minds would like to know.


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    Rereke Whaakaro

    Donald from Paradise: #37

    … the New Zealand reply was given …

    Donald, I understand what you are saying, but “the New Zealand reply” was the result of one man, who is no longer in the employ of the NIWA.

    I would not like to see his words become a stereotype for the rest of us. We already have to put up with enough sheep jokes from Australians as it is. :-)

    (For the benefit of our northern hemisphere friends: Aussies seem to have this thing about sheep – don’t ask me why)


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    Rereke Whaakaro

    Andrew Barnham: #39

    Thank you, Andrew – much obliged.


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    wes george

    “Confirmation bias is a phenomenon wherein decision makers have been shown to actively seek out and assign more weight to evidence that confirms their hypothesis, and ignore or underweigh evidence that could disconfirm their hypothesis. As such, it can be thought of as a form of selection bias in collecting evidence…”

    The human understanding when it has once adopted an
    opinion (either as being the received opinion or as
    being agreeable to itself) draws all things else to
    support and agree with it. And though there be a greater
    number and weight of instances to be found on the
    other side, yet these it either neglects and despises, or
    else by some distinction sets aside and rejects; in order
    that by this great and pernicious predetermination the
    authority of its former conclusions may remain
    inviolate.. . . And such is the way of all superstitions,
    whether in astrology, dreams, omens, divine judgments,
    or the like; wherein men, having a delight in
    such vanities, mark the events where they are fulfilled,
    but where they fail, although this happened much
    oftener, neglect and pass them by.

    -Francis Bacon, 17 century philosopher dude

    “…even when you’re careful, it’s distressingly easy to find what you expect. The result is a history of science developing models that used “scientific evidence” to bolster the social hierarchy of the day. We think that phrenology and 19th century racialism are obviously preposterous–but they clearly weren’t, because some very smart people believed them, and were not conscious that they were simply confirming their own prejudices. We’re still doing this kind of science today…”

    http://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2010/09/finding-what-youre-looking-for/62531/

    …recent empirical work (Wason and Johnson-Laird, 1972) suggests the existence of a confirmation bias, at least on abstract problems. Using a more realistic, computer controlled environment modeled after a real research setting, subjects in this study first formulated hypotheses about the laws governing events occurring in the environment. They then chose between pairs of environments in which they could: (I) make observations which would probably confirm these hypotheses, or (2) test alternative hypotheses. Strong evidence for a confirmation bias involving failure to choose environments allowing tests of alternative hypotheses was found….

    http://www.informaworld.com/smpp/content~db=all~content=a779098975

    The Ptolemaic cosmology that prevailed in ancient
    times and during the Middle Ages had been compromised
    by countless contradictory observations over
    many generations. Still, it was an internally coherent,
    intellectually pleasing idea; therefore, keen minds
    stood by the familiar old system. Where there seemed
    to be any conflict, they simply adjusted and elaborated
    the idea, or restructured the observations in order to
    make them fit. If observations could not be made to fit,
    they might be allowed to stand along the cultural
    sidelines as curiosities, exceptions, freaks of nature. It
    was not until a highly imaginative constellation of ideas
    about celestial and terrestrial dynamics, replete with
    new concepts of gravitation, inertia, momentum, and
    matter, was created that the old system was retired…

    Rozak (1986)

    “Eddington could only claim to have confirmed Einstein
    because he used Einstein’s derivations in deciding what
    his observations really were, while Einstein’s derivations
    only became accepted because Eddington’s
    observation seemed to confirm them. Observation and
    prediction were linked in a circle of mutual confirmation
    rather than being independent of each other as we
    would expect according to the conventional idea of an
    experimental test.”

    Confirmation Bias: A Ubiquitous Phenomenon in Many Guises
    Raymond S. Nickerson
    Tufts University

    http://www.google.com.au/search?client=safari&rls=en&q=mass+confirmation+bias&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8&redir_esc=&ei=tv-PTL7sD9ivcNyNhL0M


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    janama

    here’s what I posted on WUWT

    All these adjustments follow a world wide method – the method came from the CRU at East Anglia. Simon Torok in 1996 followed that method and adjusted the Australian temperature record. He previously worked for CRU. The recent adjustments Ken has found for the HQ set all follow the CRU method and no doubt the New Zealand adjustments all follow the CRU method. I’m sure the UK adjustments would follow CRU but they’ve lost the raw data.

    If you add a Stevenson screen – that’s a .5C drop in temperature adjustment – if a station is moved – that’s a .7C adjustment etc etc.

    Here’s how it was applied to Sydney’s Observatory Hill and it’s pretty clear that UHI was involved when you look at it’s surroundings.

    http://users.tpg.com.au/johnsay1/Stuff/Observatory_Hill_Full_Adjustments.png

    The interesting aspect is that according to the satellite data the southern hemisphere has remained stable for the past 30 years. All the Global Warming has occurred in the Northern Hemisphere

    http://www.climate4you.com/images/MSU%20UAH%20TropicsAndExtratropicsMonthlyTempSince1979%20With37monthRunningAverage.gif

    and most of that warming has occurred in the Arctic region whereas the Antarctic has cooled slightly.

    http://www.climate4you.com/images/MSU%20UAH%20ArcticAndAntarctic%20MonthlyTempSince1979%20With37monthRunningAverage.gif

    Now surely some one has a theory as to why the Arctic is warming – is it volcanic activity as seen recently in Iceland, or undersea volcanoes etc.? IMO that is the question of the day.


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    Derek

    any adjusted downwards jo or do you just like to chery pick ones that fit your agenda.


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    pat

    sceptics are “zombies” now at the Guardian.

    14 Sept: Guardian: Leo Hickman: Republican ‘climate zombies’ could claim the US Senate
    A survey of comments made by Republican candidates for the US Senate show vast majority are climate sceptics
    You might want to find yourself an indelible marker pen and draw a large black circle around 3 November – it could be the morning the world wakes up to discover that the US Senate is now controlled by climate sceptics…
    It’s a little beyond my own web know-how, but one thing I’d like to see done when all these candidate comments are finally collated is a Google Map of the results…
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/blog/2010/sep/14/republicans-senate-election-climate-sceptics

    and google would no doubt oblige!

    this obsession with casting sceptics as rightwingers is getting more ridiculous by the day.


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    Andrew Barnham

    Derek #44

    any adjusted downwards jo or do you just like to chery pick ones that fit your agenda.

    Suggest you study the blog entry carefully before casting aspersions. Image 2 which is visible from the home page. Shows all stations, some warm and some cool. More are warming than are cooling. The overall trend is warming: in the 60% – 70% ballpark. Ken’s work is thorough and comprehensive: no inconvenient facts hidden or in error as far as I can tell.

    But if you have any specific critiques to share, by all means.


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    Barry Brill

    It is perhaps relevant that the author of the New Zealand adjustments, Jim Salinger, worked for CRU at East Anglia during the early 1980s and has co-authored 10 papers with Phil Jones et al.

    Torok & Nicholls (1996) published a paper [A Historical Annual Temperature Dataset for Australia], supported by BOM, in which they described as too subjective a paper by Rhoades & Salinger (1993) [Adjustment of Temperature and Rainfall Records For Site Changes].


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    Rereke Whaakaro:

    Certainly no offence here. Spent many a great time in NZ as part of our pulp and paper technical association.

    My meaning is much broader. Governments and their (our)servants have a moral duty in my view to show the basis for all of their conclusions and decisions. This is Democracy! We pay the money – we own the output. And this means understanding the quality of the output. The above association (for instance) places a great deal of emphasis on the quality of collection of data and the accuracy and openness of its dissemination.

    It is the responsibility of all democratic governments, and by delegation their departments and employees to have clearly stated methods of measurement, adjustment”, analysis, and dissemination”of all data.
    It is not acceptable for an individual or a department to state that “the method of temperature adjustment is not known”.

    Quite frankly, the laxity in this whole area of “Climate Science” would not be tolerated in the real world of commercial Research & Development.
    I think it quite reasonable to ask for assurance of the quality of data production, and my prior query becomes “can this be done per the FOI laws in the countries involved”.
    Anyone know the legal process?


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    Rereke Whaakaro

    Donald from Paradise: #48

    Agreed, no offence.

    As I said, the NIWA Director was responsible for that little fiasco, and he has now gone as a result.

    And I agree that the data belongs in the public domain, unless it has security or privacy connotations that we are unaware of – and I can’t even start to imagine what they might be.

    No, the problem here is that the scientists themselves believe that they, and only they, have the knowledge and wisdom to “correctly” interpret the data. It is like looking at chicken entrails. I see bloody and smelly chicken bits, but the shaman, in his trance, sees the future – not.

    It is elitism, pure and simple, but as I have said before, the politicians and the bureaucrats gain advantage by hiding behind the science that only the scientists can see and understand, so they will do what they can to covertly protect the scientists – as happened in the UK.

    So I guess there is a conspiracy of sorts, but it is a conspiracy to extend the convenience of the current status quo for as long as is practically possible.


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    crakar24

    Rereke @ 34

    Conspiracies do indeed work, the key to a good conspiracy is that they are simple and very few people are involved.

    For example the British during WW1 wanted to build an armoured vehicle that could cross the German trenches, it was important to keep this secret so when they started to build this vehicle they told the workers they were building water tanks. This name has stuck through time and now all modern day armoured vehicles are called “tanks”.

    In regards to AGW lets look at the movers and shakers:

    Al Gore, this man for want of a better word sets up a business to profit handsomely from AGW and then travels the world promoting the very problem he will profit from. He is given an academy award and a peace prize to give him legitimacy the only thing he is missing is cold hard facts.

    Panchuri, a rail road engineer in charge of the IPCC and drives policy for action on AGW by governments. We have already seen that if the COP15 treaty had been ratified his company (TATA) would have been well positioned to profit handsomely.

    So already we have a crook manipulating the scientific knowledge available via peer review and ignorance of opposing views in order to manipulate world governments into passing draconian laws. We also have another crook acting in concert travelling the world in order to dupe the gullible.

    Most governments would shy away from such draconian thoughts but if the will of the people is to “save the planet” then governments will have no choice but to act.

    Now obviously there are a couple of other people lurking in the shadows, Soros springs to mind as one of them but there will be others.

    If you look at the major players in the science community, Hansen, Jones, Mann, Trenberth etc it is hard to see them being part of any conspiracy i suspect these guys and a few more like them suffer from a God complex. These guys love to stand up and tell us that we are all doomed. It is not hard to get them to do this all you have to do is blow wind up their arse and shower them in money and they will do the rest. Their ego stops them from being unbiased when reporting “facts”.


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    Ordinary Fool

    These climate skeptic complaints seem as weird as all those marsupials you have down there.

    Someone fiddling to support the AGW scenario would introduce early temperatures that were COOLING (downward slope)..in order to boost the relative temperature rate (upward slope) after ~1978.

    But these adjustments are in the OPPOSITE direction.


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    Ken Stewart

    Ordinary Fool @51- refer to Jo’s observation about the downwards adjustment mid century. Does that answer you?

    Ken


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    Andrew Barnham

    Ordinary Fool @51- look closely at image #1 again. I suspect you are misinterpreting it. It is quite evident visually that the adjustments are introducing a warming bias and that the adjustments are in the direction and position you say they should be. Maybe you are confusing the red and blue lines? Pay close attention to the legend in the graph. Or maybe you simply cannot see the bias because it happens to coincide with your own bias :-) .


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    Mark D.

    Well I finally have found some denial here……the trouble it is about conspiracies……I think…..


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    Whaakaro: A conspiracy doesn’t have to succeed to qualify for that label. We’ve all heard about “failed conspiracys”; there may well have been others that (quietly) succeeded.

    Some plausible definitions for the word follow:

    “any concurrence in action; combination in bringing about a given result”, or

    “a combination of persons for a secret, unlawful, or evil purpose”, or

    Law: “an agreement by two or more persons to commit a crime, fraud, or other wrongful act.”

    (No central planning needed).

    In the CAGW scenario numerous different groups, each with their own agenda, but seeing some advantage for themselves by participating, joined an existing conspiracy. Does a conspiracy cease to be one when uninvited members later join? Does it cease to be one when one or more members do not see (or understand) that their participation as an evil, wrongful, or criminal act?


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    It is worthwhile noting that Australian temperatures in the late 19th Century were often comparable in warmth with those of recent decades – yet the BoM often does not quote T data prior to 1910 because the claim it was collected in non-standard thermometer enclosures.
    The BoM position has been expressed as – “From 1910, the Stevenson screen became the national standard for instrument screens in the Bureau of Meteorology s drive towards standardisation and consistent weather data.”
    IMHO the BoM is guilty of promulgating a myth when it adopts the above view across the board. Intercolonial Conference Proceedings clearly refer to the use of the Stevenson screen in the late 19C – I refer to these in my 1995 paper;
    See scanned pages.
    However one trumpet is not going to worry the walls of Jerico.
    In recent years however there has been a huge increase in historic photographs, press articles and other archival material becoming available online. For links to various examples see this blog article.
    Unfortunately for the BoM position the evidence is piling up that the Stevenson screen was used in many places across Australia in the late 19C. Much of what the BoM asserts needs examining with a “fine tooth comb”. But that does not worry them.


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    Derek at post #44,

    any adjusted downwards jo or do you just like to chery pick ones that fit your agenda.

    Thank you for your intriguing counterpoint.

    -1


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    crakar24

    Denis,

    It does not need to be all that complicated, we have an existing theory (a bit rough around the edges yes but still a theory) taken to its extremes in modern times by Hansen. Hansens words effectively gave birth to the IPCC which controls the evidence presented to governments.

    “Does a conspiracy cease to be one when uninvited members later join?”

    No one actually joins later Denis, as with all conspiracies a bunch of cottage industries spring up to take advantage of a situation, some examples are the much maligned nuclear industry for years they have been the outcasts of the energy sector but now they are the “clean, green energy machine”.

    Solar, wind and geo thermal industries have been thrown a life line even though everyone is aware they will never replace current base load power but still they bask in the glory of ridiculously high gov. subsidies.

    Look at Oz and the insulation debacle, the gov. declares they are handing out free cash and the scammers are in there with both hands held out. This of course pales to insignificance of the waste in other countries.

    “Does it cease to be one when one or more members do not see (or understand) that their participation as an evil, wrongful, or criminal act?

    The members of the conspiracy or the leeches that feed off it do not have the ethical ability to care.

    A conspiracy ceases to be when the conspirators are exposed for what they are.


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    crakar24

    This statement is interesting

    “It is worthwhile noting that Australian temperatures in the late 19th Century were often comparable in warmth with those of recent decades – yet the BoM often does not quote T data prior to 1910 because the claim it was collected in non-standard thermometer enclosures.”

    So if they can go back 50 years and adjust the temps for undisclosed reasons why cannot they go back prior to 1910 and adjust those temps measured without an stevenson screen?


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    Ross

    For the benefit of those outside NZ Barry Brill @ 13 & 47 is the guy leading the court case (or should I say the charge) in NZ against NIWA


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    Ordinary Fool

    Ken and Andrew:

    My comments are at the overall level. I see that adjustments in the early years are downward. And understand that this would increase a long term warming spell.

    My point is that these adjustments are in opposition to the advancement of the post-1978 AGW scenario.

    The rate of AGW is today’s rate of increase less the pre-1978 rate of increase. Increasing the latter, decreases the rate of AGW.


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    pat

    not going to post malcolm turnbull – who has been named the opposition’s “COMMUNICATIONS SPOKESMAN” – and who is already in the MSM on ‘climate change’. every time he COMMUNICATES to the media, they’ll be ready with a CAGW question, so why have him in that position.
    meanwhile, even tho Labor said no ETS for years, the MSM is busy:

    15 Sept: SMH: Piecemeal Parliament offers gains: Garnaut
    The agreement with independents provided an opportunity to get a carbon price after all, and would allow those decisions to be made in the context of the Henry tax review.
    ”An efficient carbon tax or a carbon price is going to raise big revenue,” he said. ”A lot of that should go back to the household sector. It can help finance personal income tax cuts.”..
    http://www.smh.com.au/national/piecemeal-parliament-offers-gains-garnaut-20100914-15azy.html

    15 Sept: Reuters: BHP urges Australia to set clear carbon price signal
    BHP Chief Executive Marius Kloppers said the company wants a predictable and gradual transition to a carbon price, and favours a combination of a carbon tax, land use actions and limited carbon trading.
    “The need for a simple and effective system, a combination of a carbon tax, land use actions and limited trading system, for example for stationary electricity production only, is both easy to implement and effective,” Kloppers told the Australian British Chamber of Commerce. (Reporting by Mark Bendeich; editing by Balazs Koranyi)
    http://af.reuters.com/article/metalsNews/idAFBHP20100915

    15 Sept: Bloomberg: James Paton: AGL CEO Fraser Supports Emissions Trading Plan Only for Power Generation
    Australian lawmakers should consider an emissions-trading system that applies only to electricity generation and excludes transport and agriculture, AGL Energy Ltd. Chief Executive Officer Michael Fraser said.
    Australia eventually will have a carbon-pollution reduction plan after the nation’s previous initiative was shelved, Fraser said, adding he supports introducing such measures..
    Australian companies will hold off on investment in gas- fired power plants without certainty about a carbon price, he said. “It’s simply not going to happen,” Fraser said.
    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2010-09-15/agl-ceo-fraser-supports-emissions-trading-plan-only-for-power-generation.html


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    Lawrie

    One more question withut a satisfactory answer. Greg Combet is the new minister for Climate Change, responsible for BoM and Senator Carr is the Minister for Science which has jurisdiction over CSIRO. Rather than question the organisations which will give you absolutely no satisfaction it might be better to question the responsible ministers. A direct approach will get you a form response from a lackey so you need to submit the enquiry via your local member who has an obligation to pass it to the minister. The minister has an obligation to answer the member.

    May I suggest a concerted effort to ask our reps for the answers we all seek. If nothing else it raises awareness. Who knows a good question may be asked in Question Time particularly now that embarrassing the government is the main game. My local rep is none other than Rob Oneshott.


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    Andrew Barnham

    Hi Ordinary Fool #61

    I just did a couple of quick fits for post 1978 period.

    Rural only: HQ and Raw are the same. 1.6 C per century. No adjustments evident
    Urban Only: HQ 1.84 and Raw is 1.39. 30% adjustment
    Combined: HQ 1.65 and Raw 1.56. 5% adjustment.

    Still plenty of upward manipulation going on. But not as much as

    Also keep in mind, that myself and Ken are simply replicating and analyzing BOMs own processes. BOM themselves calculate anomaly as a fit from 1910 and 2010. If you have a problem with this endpoint selection I suggest take it up with the BOM.

    As for the number itself : 1.6c-1.8c. Seems quite big. How this number breaks down into various categories: global man-made doomsday catastrophe or natural variability or man made local effects (UHI) or statistical/measurement artifacts is an open question.

    One thing interesting in the data : raw rural fit is a bigger trend than raw urban fit. Unusual and unexpected signal. What does it mean?


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    Re crakar24 #59 – I have always assumed that somebody in the BoM must have tried that – but did not take it public because the result was not acceptable to them. Bearing in mind that the network gets rather thin in those days – not many near neighbours to compare with.


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    crakar24

    OF in 61′

    Not sure i understand?

    Essentially the main thrust of complaint here is that if you reduce the temps from say 1930 to 1970, 30 to 70 years into the future and then fail to account for UHI effect from the 70′s onward then you will create an artificial rise in temps over the last 80 years.

    In most cases the raw data shows anything from very little warming to some cooling over this period, all the relevent agencies need do is produce justification as to why these adjustments have been made. Unfortunately this justification has not been produced, in some cases it cannot be because the raw data has been lost and the adjustments cannot be verified.

    I will not assist you in understanding why this is, you need to draw your own conclusions.


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    GBees

    How about we get a list of the stations throughout Australia and people can volunteer to visit the sites (where possible) and document the location (gps), take photographs, and provide commentary of surroundings. i.e. a full audit of so-called ‘high quality’ stations. Just need someone to manage the project.


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    crakar24

    Andrew,

    You may be able to answer a question that has often puzzled me.

    Post 64 you say the rural stations have had no adjustments, i assume then that nothing has changed at these sites over the years? The sites have not been relocated, no encroachment on the site and no physical change to equipment which warrants an adjustment.

    In regards to the urban sites you say there has been an upward adjustment of 30% to the raw data. Now what would constitute an upward adjustment?

    UHI would require a downward adjustment…yes?
    Encroachment via concrete/tarmac/buildings/traffic/aircon would require a downward adjustment…yes?

    So let us assume these adjustments require a (to be lenient) 10% downward adjustment that would require *something else* to be excerting a 40% drop in temp that needs to be factored in so overall we get a 30% upward adjustment. Can you tell me what *something else* could be to drop the temp reading by so much (40%)?


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    pete ridley

    Hi, I’m new here so go gentle on my first post ok.

    I’m interested in this subject due to being married to someone that works in the BoM.

    I also get to meet people from the BoM through my wife and I can assure you all that these are just ordinary folk doing fairly mundane work.

    Reading thru the posts here I get the impression that there is a conspiracy of sorts to doctor the temps to show a warming bias. I need to ask what would be the motivation for that? It makes no sense to me. I can see no benefit for my wife or her colleagues to doctor anything. They get paid regardless of whether the climate is warmer or colder.

    I’ve lived in Australia all my life and I can say from first hand experience that the climate has warmed over recent times, it certainly hasn’t cooled that’s for sure.

    I’ve experienced the sweltering summer temperatures that we’ve had here over the last several years. I don’t need the BoM to tell me if it’s hotter – I’ve lived through it as I’m sure a few folks in this forum have too.

    Ken’s work sure looks impressive but has it been properly verified?


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    crakar24

    Hi Pete and welcome to Jo’s world.

    Have you read my post (68) do you think it is a fair question? Do you think it deserves an answer?

    I am sure a majority of BoM workers are fine people doing the job asked of them, but the final results from the likes of the BoM and subsequent reports are produced by a mere few and i doubt anyone here would lump all BoM workers into the same category.

    Its strange how you think the temps have changed how old are you and where have you lived over these years?

    Over a 30 year period i have lived in Geelong Vic and now Adelaide and as far as i can tell the weather has not changed much over this time. I would say the weather has shifted as in it tends to get hotter in Jan now rather than Dec but overall not much change. I suppose it depends on individual POV’s.

    cheers

    crakar


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    Andrew Barnham

    cracker24

    There are always adjustments :-) .

    The net effect of adjustments on rural data post 1978 is 0 by my reckoning. But across entire time period, net effect of adjustments is warming bias. Ken posted on this weeks ago : he reckons bias is 40%. I reckon it is slightly less than this (25% : We use different methodologies).
    http://joannenova.com.au/2010/07/australian-warming-trend-adjusted-up-by-40

    Yep according to my rapid calculation, post 1978 Urban adjusts upwards by 30%. From 1910 to now, Urban adjusts up 60%-70%. Ken calculates 70%, I calculate 60% (again different methodologies ).

    Yes UHI would require downward adjustment: at least that is what my intuition tells me. Yet we see exactly the opposite. This is what sucked me in and got me interested actually. Months ago, I saw lots of talk on WUWT dismissing GISS adjustments and pro-consensus posts pointing out that the adjustments had no effect on final trend anomaly : although the UHI question remains unanswered : fair enough I’ll accept that, (still demands an explanation as to why do it in the first place?). But Ken’s analysis a few weeks ago was a game changer. Ken demonstrates via Australian record that homogenization is a pretty crude and subjective analysis tool, and depending on who wields it, it can generate some pretty wild results that deviate substantially from the untouched dataset. Those who advocate this analytical tool now have a case to answer for: they have to prove that their manipulation of empirical measurements is justified and do so with the upmost rigour.

    What could reasonably justify this signal I don’t know: I am no weather station monitoring expert. Yet it seems implausible in my mind that the discrepancy corresponds to a valid empirical effect. If such a effect existed surely it would be well known and we’d all be talking about it already.


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    pooter

    I don’t understand what Ordinary Fool is on about, but according to the IPCC, it is from the “mid-20th century” (i.e. c. 1950) that human CO2 emissions are “very likely” to have been the major temperature forcing factor.


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    jinn

    There is a conspiracy here. Is new very careful because you are probably being watched and adjusted by microwaves right now!


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    Andrew Barnham

    Hi Pete. I know a couple of people who work at BOM too. What I find interesting is that my reading of culture at BOM is that CAGW is uncritically accepted, as though it counts amongst the most successful theories western science as produced to date. To question, is not even a question. Yet the state-of-the-art in terms of the science is far from state-of-the art.

    This is what irks me the most. In my own professional discipline, I always keep an open mind to the possibility that I am operating sub-optimally and that my assumptions are wrong, no matter how well heeled and proven and how successful my approaches are. Always test and verify and challenge your preconceptions. But in climate science, dissent is socially unacceptable and skeptic is a dirty word. Alarm bells. I am a skeptic in all things, and proud of it, even in the occasional circumstances where I am wrong and recanted a prior position, a position of healthy skepticism is necessary.

    I am not intimately familiar with culture there though but here is a question for your wife: how would a skeptic fare, socially, in that work culture?: poorly I suspect. I don’t believe in conspiracy, just slavish and uncritical adherence to “accepted processes”. I see same thing in my own professional environment from time to time. Ever heard the expression: “Science progresses one funeral at a time.”

    I also accept that the nation was warmed: the data suggests around 0.7C in last 100 years on average. Is this CAGW though? The quality of evidence is far from certain. I alternatively have lived and moved between major cities, regional centres and rural townships. I also spent 2 years in Asia living in one of the most population dense cities on the planet. There is definitely a big difference that has occurred that correlates with urban growth in my experience. Is this a global CAGW signal? Probably not.


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    wes george

    Pete,

    There is no need for a conspiracy at all. None whatsoever. Zip. Nada. Just normal hard working people trying to do the best job possible in a tough climate, mate. Happens to the best.

    Google: “Confirmation Bias”

    You say:

    “I’ve lived in Australia all my life and I can say from first hand experience that the climate has warmed over recent times, it certainly hasn’t cooled that’s for sure.”

    See? You think your personal anecdotal experience – which btw is probably perfectly rational – is evidence that “the climate has warmed over recent times.” The climate is a pretty big place, my friend. Anyway, place your anecdotal experience in the emotional climate created by every second ABC news report and I’m surprised you don’t think we are all gonna fry like eggs on bitumen this summer.

    That’s called Mass Confirmation Bias.

    (BTW, you’re right mate, the Earth’s climate has warmed 0.70c over the last century according the IPCC. Can you feel it?)

    I live in New England, the coldest winter of my life was 2006, -21c was the low. Hey, maybe the climate is cooling? I might well believe so if every second news report the ABC offered confirmation of global cooling. It’s a sociological positive feedback loop.

    “Confirmation bias is a phenomenon wherein decision makers have been shown to actively seek out and assign more weight to evidence that confirms their hypothesis, and ignore or underweigh evidence that could disconfirm their hypothesis. As such, it can be thought of as a form of selection bias in collecting evidence…”

    My favorite music video:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GMJsuFo38Ok&feature=fvw


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    Baa Humbug

    pete ridley: #60
    September 15th, 2010 at 3:55 pm

    Hi, I’m new here so go gentle on my first post ok.

    I’m interested in this subject due to being married to someone that works in the BoM.

    Hi Pete and welcome, may you post happily for a long time.

    Seen as you have a “leg-in the door” at the BoM, would you kindly ask your wife if she would contact the relevant person(s) and alert them to this post and ask if they could answer some of the questions being asked by commenters here.

    My dad used to work for the BoM as an electronics engineer, repairing various meteorological equipment. I got to know many BoM employees so have no doubt you are correct that they are all good honest people doing a job.

    However, this post by Ken does raise some eyebrows and it would do no end of good, both for the BoM and our understanding of how they operate, if someone from BoM would engage with us regards this matter of data adjustments.
    Who knows, there’s probably a very good and reasonable explanation that we are not aware of, so it’s a win win situation.

    How about it Pete?

    p.s. When you say “married to someone from BoM” I assume you mean “a lovely lady from BoM”. No dinner for you tonight :)


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    cohenite

    Ken’s analysis is amazing; it must mean that UHI does not exist. This needs to be collated with Anthony Watt’s Subsurface Station survey.


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    Peter UK

    I may well simply be naive, but I have not seen a question raised in parliament in Oz or the UK directly on these matters. Surely the BOM and the Met Office are government institutions and therefore a minister is somewhere ultimately responsible? If such is the case is it not possible to find a single MP prepared to ask a specific question like, “what was the methodology used to adjust the temperature record for station xyz for the year whatever and why?”

    I realise that politicians and ministers can avoid answering even the most direct and simple question if they decide to, but even a non answer or evasion would show there was rightful suspicion. It may even get the MSM interested as the question then falls into the political journalist remit of dishonest government rather than the environmental correspondent.


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    greg connolly

    I have been a long time admirer of Jo, Hughes, Brill and Janama. And now of Ken. I think the “conspiracy” comes originally from Phil Jones himself when doing his work on “the Southern hemisphere… blah blah” with Salinger and Torok in the vicinity (ask Warwick). None of these guys is a crook but they share a bias to “save the world”. I have long been horrified by the adjustments that Torok inflicted on my home city of Sydney … freely available to all on the Internet (ask Janama)… but I suppose that workers at the BoM would not be ruffled. Our collective response to this, to reach for more analysis, is wrong in my opinion … endless back and forthing. I think that instead we should mount a blitz email campaign on the pollies to have the BoM show only raw data on its website – temporal gaps and all. The “considered adjustments” (for each and every station) and the “synthesis” to show the “climate trend” should be explained in such detail that they could, for the first time, be subject to scrutiny.


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    Rereke Whaakaro

    crakar24: #50
    Mark D.: #54
    denis: #55
    crakar24: #58

    Well, it seems I struck a few nerves here, and then had to go and attend to business …

    When I talk of conspiracy, or lack thereof, I am referring to one of the definitions that Denis mentions:

    Law: “an agreement by two or more persons to commit a crime, fraud, or other wrongful act.”

    I do not deny that these occur, because they do. Two guys robbing a corner store must have conspired to do so, before the act.

    But in my comments at #10 and #28, I say that I do not believe in the “Conspiracy Theory”, and I stand by that.

    The Conspiracy Theory, as it is commonly presented, would have a central group of people who meet regularly, to plot the demise of the world as we know it. The Club of Rome is often mentioned in this context, as is the Club of Madrid, and various other “Clubs” of eminent politicians and successful business people. The name Maurice Strong often comes up, presumably as the evil mastermind behind it all.

    But do they conspire? Do they reach an agreement to commit a crime, fraud, or other wrongful act? Or do they discuss how world trade could be improved, or how food aid would be better distributed? I certainly don’t know, but would be interested if somebody could show me evidence regarding what is discussed.

    As I understand it (not being a lawyer), the concept of “a conspiracy” comes from English common law, where it was “a conspiracy to commit treason” – having a discussion about rebellion against the monarch. And although the concept of conspiracy as an illegal act, has been carried forward into modern law, it is essentially a non-crime until it is put into effect, or until people attempt to put it into effect.

    Now, according to the Conspiracy Theory, the central group will have planned the whole climate change fiasco in order to frighten the masses into accepting a new world order. And they would have established all of the mechanisms to do that – all the chains of command – all the distribution of instructions – without any information leaking at all. Sorry, it is too much like herding cats to be credible to me.

    People taking opportunities to make money, when those opportunities present themselves, I do understand. But since you have no control over how they engage with those opportunities, you cannot control the outcome, and you cannot achieve the planned result of a conspiracy without control.

    Jo was right in her comment at #15, when she said:

    … if many different groups do similar things it still isn’t necessarily a conspiracy. It could just be a systematic influence on all the groups.

    For me to accept the Conspiracy Theory, it would need to be shown that the current situation could not have occurred purely by chance, or by opportunism as word got around, but rather needed to have some intelligent purpose and direction.

    Is this not the scientific method?


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    Ken Stewart

    Peter:

    As a public servant myself, I understand you and your wife’s position. I do NOT criticise ordinary BOM officers. They do a marvellous job. I do criticise one Dr David Jones however. I do criticise the politicisation of the public service through the system of contract employment for senior and middle rank positions.
    I will write a post about this in the next few days/ week as it is an important point. I would be interested in your further comments.
    Ken


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    Ken Stewart

    GBees (and anyone else):

    There is a group beginning such a survey. Contact Jo or me and we’ll put you in touch so you can help.

    Ken


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    Pete Hayes

    Jo, re the “Conspiracy”. Is it not fair to say this was brought to light by the UEA/USA emails rather than an Antipodean thing?

    I will have to go back to the emails again but there seemed no correlation to my recolection between the southern hemisphere data gatherers/adjusters being in colusion.

    Stay on the numbers, it’s always works.


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    cohenite

    Ken: I asked the question about UHI @ 77 and at your site; you replied that UHI is real but not accounted for properly; given that the raw data shows the non-urban sites have had an increase GREATER than the urban sites have you got any insight as to how the raw data can show that if UHI is real?


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    crakar24

    Rereke in 80,

    Here are some quotes

    “The common enemy of humanity is man.
    In searching for a new enemy to unite us, we came up
    with the idea that pollution, the threat of global warming,
    water shortages, famine and the like would fit the bill. All these
    dangers are caused by human intervention, and it is only through
    changed attitudes and behavior that they can be overcome.
    The real enemy then, is humanity itself.”
    - Club of Rome,
    premier environmental think-tank,
    consultants to the United Nations

    “We need to get some broad based support,
    to capture the public’s imagination…
    So we have to offer up scary scenarios,
    make simplified, dramatic statements
    and make little mention of any doubts…
    Each of us has to decide what the right balance
    is between being effective and being honest.”
    - Prof. Stephen Schneider,
    Stanford Professor of Climatology,
    lead author of many IPCC reports

    “We’ve got to ride this global warming issue.
    Even if the theory of global warming is wrong,
    we will be doing the right thing in terms of
    economic and environmental policy.”
    - Timothy Wirth,
    President of the UN Foundation

    “I believe it is appropriate to have an ‘over-representation’ of the facts
    on how dangerous it is, as a predicate for opening up the audience.”
    - Al Gore,
    Climate Change activist

    “We are on the verge of a global transformation.
    All we need is the right major crisis…”
    - David Rockefeller,
    Club of Rome executive member

    “Isn’t the only hope for the planet that the
    industrialized civilizations collapse?
    Isn’t it our responsiblity to bring that about?”
    - Maurice Strong,
    founder of the UN Environment Programme

    read the many more quotes here

    http://www.green-agenda.com/

    Granted these quotes and the many more on the site do not prove a conspiracy but they do show the facts behind AGW are not important and AGW is simply a vehicle for these people to garnish more power and control.

    I thought i would add this quote just for laughs it speaks volumes

    “We are getting close to catastrophic tipping points,
    despite the fact that most people barely notice the warming yet.”
    - Dr James Hansen,
    NASA researcher


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    Wayne, s. Job

    If our major cities do not show a warming in the raw data, with the huge development that has occurred
    we are cooling big time. This would concur with the long term rural sites raw data in America, that shows no warming and some sites positive cooling over the last 100 years. They also have been removed from the global calculations, in multiple scores. One can only ponder on the significance of these omissions and the ad hoc adjustments that seem to trend in the direction required for additional funding. I can not imagine real ethical scientists doing such a thing. Scientists seek facts and proofs, politicians hide facts and truths.
    These people seem to be in a new catagory of inventing new facts and proofs without truth. Then hiding behind protection of their benefactors, utilising a Maxwelling Smart cone of silence. Such a shame the world, our Gaia refuses to get hot, the missing heat is not missing, for it was never there, like the Unicorn. Such belief and passion, fame and glory undone by old Sol, who refuses to awaken from his periodic slumber. The increased airborne plant food pumping up the biomass and increasing crop yields, not exactly a real positive for the cause, the South ward march of the desert in sub saharan Africa halted and now the greening marching north into the sahara, a real bummer. Our problem now, world wide in a century of cooling weather is not these foolish pretend scientists, but politicians stupid enough to thwart the developments necessary to keep us warm, fed and developing. Political believers in fairy tales need to be as a matter of urgency, the next target, for infrastructure is not built in a day. Tilting at windmills may make these fools feel good, but reliance on them is a recipe for going backwards. The fight we face is best described by a wit from Cambridge Uni “Political correctness is a doctrine fostered by a delusional,illogical minority,and rapidly promoted by an unscrupulous mainstream media,which holds forth the proposition that it is entirely possible to pick up a turd by the clean end” Thus is the problem.


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    Ken Stewart

    Cohenite- I think we’re not warming very much across Oz but it is local/ regional- some warming, some cooling. Account for UHI correctly and we might see trends differently.

    Or else maybe UHI acts differently under different conditions. Who knows?

    There’s enough evidence of UHI being real.

    Ken


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    Ken Stewart

    Given the problems here in Australia and in NZ (and Antarctic ice), what is the situation in South America and Southern Africa? Does anyone know how to find out?

    Is the world bi-polar?

    Ken


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    Mark D.

    Rereke @ 80

    First let me say that I have little doubt that you have a finer sense and ability to assess the existence of a “true”conspiracy” and perhaps it is me that has paranoid tendencies.

    That said, I think of conspiracies as a spectrum starting at Vast and down to Observational (my invented word that is to say I can “conspire” simply by observing events and doing what I am able to leverage those events to my advantage). This wouldn’t require a vast number of actively communicating conspirators. As a matter of fact I could say that bloggers here at JoNova fit my definition of conspirators.

    Don’t you wonder though, if Maurice Strong has ever called Al Gore just to “talk”?

    It would be denial to not recognize that certain “successful” businessmen and politicians DO gather together and “talk”. I don’t think they limit their conversations to the weather or sports teams.


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    handjive

    Mark D wonders “if Maurice Strong has ever called Al Gore just to “talk”?

    From WSJ:
    Maurice Strong, known as godfather of the U.N.’s 1997 Kyoto treaty.
    By some accounts, including his own, he has been a benevolent toiler in the multilateral trenches, a friend of Mikhail Gorbachev and Al Gore, networking to save the planet.
    By other accounts, he’s a self-dealing and self-declared socialist who has parlayed his talents into a push for collectivist global government.
    The U.N.’s Man of Mystery


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    wes george

    Rereke #80

    For me to accept the Conspiracy Theory, it would need to be shown that the current situation could not have occurred purely by chance, or by opportunism as word got around, but rather needed to have some intelligent purpose and direction.

    Exactly. That’s the whole point of a conspiracy. It’s been demonstrated that intelligent purpose and direction are not characteristics of the CAGW faithful. ;-)

    Mark @89

    As a matter of fact I could say that bloggers here at JoNova fit my definition of conspirators.

    If you stretch the definition of conspiracy to include any group of like-mind people engaged in a dialectic then the term loses meaning.

    * * *

    Phil Jones, et al, at CRU definitely conspired to avoid FOI laws. The facts show they were merely unprofessional hacks scrambling to cover their arses…which suggests that no conspiracy theory is necessary to explain the corruption of science at CRU. They simply aren’t that clever. It’s a humdrum case of confirmation bias reinforced by shonky methodology, animated by a rather morbid socio-economic gestalt, which emphasizes guilt and shame rather than human achievement and progress.

    * * *

    “Zeitgeist”, is German for the “spirit of an age.” The CAGW myth has so permeated all levels of our society and culture with its reflexive answer to who, where, why, what and how we are that it is an animating zeitgeist.

    Who are we? We are the children of Gaia. Where are we? At the end of history. Why are we here? Because we have sinned against nature. What should we do? We must save the planet. How? Collectivize.

    Because the CAGW mythology offers answers to all the basic questions humans are hardwired to ask, it functions as a secular spirituality providing both a moral and metaphysical map to guide our perception of reality, even objective data-sets, animating the kind of consciousness in which the global t-record adjustments are made.

    Philosophers have thought a lot about the evolution of ideologies and history. In short, just as biological evolution needs no intelligent intervention from another dimension to help push it along. The evolution of human consciousness is proceeding quite beyond the control of any conspiracy. This extends right down to mundane t-record adjustments.


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    Grant

    I often see or hear the comment that everyone agrees that the globe is warming – even the skeptics agree with that.

    Well, I would have to say it would be a brave or stupid person who could say for certain what is happening. Just looking at the number of adjustments that have been made without any explanation it seems that no one know what the global temperature is doing. The keepers of the data seem to have license to do with it what ever suits them.

    This does not augur well for the future. Because these data manipulators could one day decide that there has been a sufficient reduction in the use of fossil fuels and then produce a data set with a declining trend and say “Ha! That ETS you were so cynical of – it worked and here’s the proof.”


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    Mark D.

    Wes from 91:

    If you stretch the definition of conspiracy to include any group of like-mind people engaged in a dialectic then the term loses meaning.

    From Dennis @ 55 (and on-line dictionary);

    “any concurrence in action; combination in bringing about a given result”,

    I wouldn’t call my observation a stretch.

    Regardless, conspiracy is a human trait/flaw. I think it is silly to look at all the interconnection between the players in AGW, academia, politics/politicos, the UN, and Etc. without any thought that they are conspiring. But just in case you are worried about me, I usually sleep pretty well.

    By the way “like minded”? revisit the last posts here: http://joannenova.com.au/2010/09/election-news-katter-backs-the-coalition/


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    Mark D.

    Sorry that should read: [the tendency towards] conspiracy is a human trait/flaw.


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    Re cohenite #77
    There are hundreds of papers establishing the UHI from interrogating weather data in various ways. However you might not get results that are meteorologically logical if you interrogate BoM fiddled and tweaked data.

    I hope readers at JoNova are aware of the delicious irony in happenings around the Canberra Airport temperature data – part of the BoM Reference Climate Station Network. A few years ago the ACT Commissioner for the Environment had to go public with her claim that the Airport data was being influenced by construction nearby – anyway – the story is here.


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    wes george

    Mark D, I think your definition is too broad to be meaningful. It’s also not the common usage of the term, therefore is confusing the issue. Citing conspiracy as a just-so story discourages deeper investigation into the root causes of mass confirmation bias.

    * * *

    conspiracy (kənˈspirəsē)
    noun ( pl. -cies)
    a secret plan by a group to do something unlawful or harmful : a conspiracy to destroy the government See note at plot
    • the action of plotting or conspiring : they were cleared of conspiracy to pervert the course of justice.

    ORIGIN late Middle English : from Anglo-Norman French conspiracie, alteration of Old French conspiration, based on Latin conspirare ‘agree, plot’ (see conspire ).

    Thesaurus

    conspiracy
    noun
    1 a conspiracy to manipulate the results plot, scheme, plan, machination, ploy, trick, ruse, subterfuge; informal racket. See note at plot .
    2 conspiracy to commit murder plotting, collusion, intrigue, connivance, machination, collaboration; treason.. See note at plot .
    • the action of plotting or conspiring : they were cleared of conspiracy to pervert the course of justice.


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    Rereke Whaakaro

    wes george: #91 and 96

    Once again, you have expressed it better that I did. Thanks.

    Regardless of definitions (and there are various), a conspiracy has to have a purpose, a direction, and a desired end-state. That implies planning, and as you rightly point out, we don’t see much of that from the CAGW folks, except in little pockets, and by chance.

    If anything CAGW is to science, what a meme is to youtube. It is a fashionable thing to do, if you are the sort of person who would do what is fashionable.


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    Rereke Whaakaro

    crakar24: #85

    Yes, I have seen these quotes, but thanks for mentioning them.

    In most of the cases (I can’t say all, because I haven’t checked them all) they tend to be quoted out of context. If you read them carefully, you can usually find at least one other interpretation of the words, and in some cases several.

    I suggest that, if you are already predisposed to thinking that there is a Grand Conspiracy, then you will see evidence of one when you read. But it could equally be another example of confirmation bias.

    If anybody is interested in a real conspiracy, and all of the work and planning that went into it, I suggest reading, “The Man Who Never Was” (I don’t remember the author). It is the story about how Hitler was duped into believing that the Normandy landings were just a feint, and that the real invasion would strike at Calais.


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    janama

    cohenite – if you could spend the time looking at all the town’s and cities of Australia’s data records for max and min it’s clear that the max are either static or falling and it’s the mins increasing that creates the supposed warming trend. Just as the Arctic warming creates an increasing global warming mean trend. The mins increasing is due to UHI.


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    janama

    Here’s my region in a nutshell.

    http://users.tpg.com.au/johnsay1//Casino.png

    I accept it doesn’t represent the globe but it does represent a relatively untouched parcel of the world’s surface as it’s a small, isolated country town in NSW in Australia. Now if the world was warming at a disastrous rate surely this little airport would show it.

    The Bureau of Meteorology don’t use it in their HQ data yet there is a station that has been taking readings since 1908 and there’s another Stevenson screen measuring station only a few hundred yards(meters) away that is read daily by hand – yup – some one reads it twice a day since 1992.


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    Mark D.

    WES and Rereke, well I think your interpretation is too specific i.e. all conspiracies must be tied to “capital letter” Conspiracy Theories.

    Conspire:
    1.
    to agree together, esp. secretly, to do something wrong, evil, or illegal.
    2.
    to act or work together toward the same result or goal.
    –verb (used with object)
    3.
    to plot (something wrong, evil, or illegal).

    Further; Synonyms: 1. complot, intrigue. See plot. 2. combine, concur, cooperate.

    http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/conspire

    We’ll have to agree to disagree. Perhaps our differences have to do with AU and NZ use of the word, verses US.

    By the way the etymology of conspire is literally “to breath together” or essentially whisper so closely as to “share ones breath”. This does not automatically imply vast or sinister in every case. (to me)

    Perhaps you’d prefer collude? a vast collusion? :)


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    wes george

    Mark D

    I’ve presented evidence @42, @75 and @91 for possible explanations for BOM bias other than a conspiracy.

    It’s only fair dinkum for you to present evidence that there is a conspiracy at the BOM to falsely and willfully adjust of the t-record higher. So far all you have done is confidently assert a conspiracy.

    Please present your evidence supporting your assertion.

    Note that the BOM adjustments in and of themselves are merely circumstantial, just as the fact it has warmed over the last century isn’t evidence for anthropogenic nature of the warming.

    It is especially incumbent upon you to present evidence of a conspiracy because by your own definition of conspiracy you are accusing (possibly slandering) the BOM with an accusation of immoral or illegal activities, if I understand your position correctly.

    Thanks in advance.


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    Mark D.

    NO! Wes I make no such specific assertion about BOM!

    In fact I have never typed BOM anywhere. I have been discussing the word conspiracy and how it can/might be understood incorrectly. That the meaning (with linked entries) is broader and much less sinister than some people (you and Rereke) understand. I confidently assert nothing more than my understanding of the meaning of conspiracy doesn’t preclude a loose unorganized “act(s) or work together toward the same result or goal” (among other possibilities).

    Suddenly the friendly discussion of semantics has turned sour. I think I’ll go away for a while. Sheesh…….


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    elsie

    Perusing 2010 Sep-Oct “Australasian Science” again. an article “Double Edged Sword of Technology” by Graham Turner a senior analyst with the National Futures Group at the CSIRO Sustainability Ecosystems. (They go for big titles don’t they?) You cannot access it online. But part of what he says intrigued me.

    Further climate change from previous greenhouse emissions virtually certain due to time delays involved in atmospheric dynamics…And there are scientific concerns that the climate system could flip into a completely different state, including the possibility of a new ice age.”

    The emphasis is mine. But the saying of having a two way bet surely applies here. He goes on to blast the idea technology can help and that we may all have to put up with a lesser lifestyle, whatever.


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    elsie

    Another point I may have mentioned on here is this. Data recording sites can be moved yet not necessarily accounted for as far as I know. One example is Brisbane itself. For years since about the 1840s readings were taken a hill top. The breezes blew here from the bay. Nearby was a windmill meant to grind corn. The idea failed due to lack of wind. That building is still there and is the oldest building in Brisbane. About 1980 the BOM had to move because the site was bought and a large IBM skyscraper built in its place. So the BOM took readings from the new airport right beside Moreton Bay. The maximum temperature readings took a nose dive. Sydney was beating us. Mackay, further north than Rockhampton also gets lower readings than Rockhampton because of similar reasons. About 1990 the Brisbane BOM shifted its recording site to a spot more appropriate. It is in a park near the CBD. However, it is in a heat island surrounded by major traffic roads. I know because I lived 100m from the spot for years. Suddenly the maximum temperature readings began to soar. The lovely, cute weather ladies almost at once started saying, “Today was the hottest day recorded…bla bla.” Well, of course, because if you start recording at a place EVERY recording will be a ‘record’ for quite some time. I’m still waiting for more such scoops because even on the windmill site the temps would sometimes be very very hot.


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    wes george

    No need to get upset, Mark D….

    Although, it does seem obvious our discussion about conspiracy occurred in the context of Jo’s post…

    Rereke early on @10 and @34 sought to defuse any talk of conspiracy. Denis @14 says it’s hard to imagine any other explanation but a conspiracy. JoNova chimed in @15 to opine that there could be many other reasons for the positive trend in adjustments other than conspiracy theories. Barry Brill @17 does a good job of explaining how confirmation bias works. John Blacke @24 casts his lot with the conspiracy theory. Andrew Barnham @33 offers a brilliant professional insight into mass confirmation bias. The most knowledgeable commenter here, Warwick Hughes, notably doesn’t grace the discussion of motive with an opinion.

    Pete Ridley @69—in his first ever post on Jo’s blog—politely expressed his concern that commenters here are raising conspiracy allegations unjustly, because his wife works at the BOM and he knows that we are ultimately talking about real people that work hard, and if I may add, probably not always under the most ideal conditions.

    And so the debate went…the whole thread dominated by the question: Why is the BOM making t-adjustments that seem irrationally bias towards warming??? Yet only Crakar24 @50 & @85 made the effort to offer any evidence in support of a conspiracy theory.

    It’s ironic that while discussing the BOM adjustments to raw t-data—possibly adding a bias towards their unsubstantiated personal beliefs—that we should accuse them of a conspiracy based on our unsubstantiated personal beliefs.

    Perhaps we would do well as Pete Hayes advises @83 and “stay on the numbers, it always works.”


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    wes george

    Elsie,

    “Mackay, further north than Rockhampton also gets lower readings than Rockhampton because of similar reasons.”

    Actually, Rockhampton is inland behind a big mountain and so its temperatures are very rarely cooled by sea breezes like Mackay and it also has far lower humidity and rainfall than Mackay, simply because Rockhampton isn’t a coastal town. Mackay really is cooler than Rockhampton in the summertime and would be warmer in the winter too for the same reason. Latitude being the weakest influence on the climate variation between the two towns.


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    Andrew Barnham

    Hi janama #100

    Interesting line of inquiry.

    I wrote some quick computer scripts. Some interesting data:

    Of 1977 stations, 86 have 80 years of more of data between 1910 and 2010
    Of those 86, 48 are included in HQ series. 38 are removed – including CASINO (full list below)

    If I grid all stations no matter what (inc Urban), all those with sufficient data in 1960-1990 period the resulting anomaly line fit is the same (0.73 c per century). So non overly concerned about absence of such stations. Still seems a shame to throw away perfectly good data.

    38 stations as follows:

    005016,-21.6364,115.1117,4.0,ONSLOW,0
    009034,-31.9556,115.8697,19.0,PERTH REGIONAL OFFICE,0
    010111,-31.6508,116.6586,170.0,NORTHAM,0
    010144,-31.8836,116.7581,174.0,YORK POST OFFICE,0
    013012,-26.5914,120.2250,521.0,WILUNA,0
    018070,-34.7225,135.8558,4.0,PORT LINCOLN,0
    018079,-32.7963,134.2116,13.0,STREAKY BAY,0
    021043,-33.1708,138.0104,4.0,PORT PIRIE NYRSTAR COMPARISON,0
    021046,-33.7844,138.2133,103.0,SNOWTOWN,0
    029004,-17.7425,139.5475,5.5,BURKETOWN POST OFFICE,0
    033047,-21.1642,149.1192,13.0,TE KOWAI EXP STN,0
    034002,-20.0781,146.2614,309.8,CHARTERS TOWERS POST OFFICE,0
    035019,-22.8239,147.6425,260.0,CLERMONT SIRIUS ST,0
    040093,-26.1831,152.6414,64.5,GYMPIE,0
    042023,-26.6581,150.1844,302.0,MILES POST OFFICE,0
    043020,-26.4888,147.9777,336.5,MITCHELL POST OFFICE,0
    046042,-30.8506,143.0893,151.0,WHITE CLIFFS POST OFFICE,0
    047019,-32.3937,142.4173,61.0,MENINDEE POST OFFICE,0
    048013,-30.0917,145.9358,106.0,BOURKE POST OFFICE,0
    048031,-29.5407,148.5818,145.0,COLLARENEBRI (ALBERT ST),0
    049002,-34.6398,143.5610,61.0,BALRANALD (RSL),0
    051010,-30.9753,148.3806,180.0,COONAMBLE COMPARISON,0
    051039,-31.5495,147.1961,173.0,NYNGAN AIRPORT,0
    052026,-30.0236,148.1218,133.0,WALGETT COUNCIL DEPOT,0
    055049,-31.5086,150.6792,390.0,QUIRINDI POST OFFICE,0
    056011,-29.7368,151.7366,1062.0,GLEN INNES POST OFFICE,0
    056017,-29.7783,151.1114,000,INVERELL COMPARISON,0
    058063,-28.8755,153.0493,26.0,CASINO AIRPORT,0
    064008,-31.2712,149.2714,505.0,COONABARABRAN (NAMOI STREET),0
    065012,-32.2385,148.6089,260.0,DUBBO (DARLING STREET),0
    065026,-33.1419,148.1639,324.0,PARKES (MACARTHUR STREET),0
    065034,-32.5635,148.9503,305.0,WELLINGTON (AGROWPLOW),0
    073009,-34.6411,148.0236,318.0,COOTAMUNDRA POST OFFICE,0
    073014,-33.9029,148.1718,410.0,GRENFELL (QUONDONG RD),0
    077042,-35.3406,143.5533,70.0,SWAN HILL POST OFFICE,0
    079023,-36.6613,142.0687,128.0,HORSHAM POLKEMMET RD,0
    091057,-41.0567,146.7883,28.0,LOW HEAD (COMPARISON),0
    094010,-43.4892,147.1453,55.0,CAPE BRUNY LIGHTHOUSE,0


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    Mark D.

    Wes @ 106

    No need to get upset, Mark D….

    I beg to differ. Others here would have taken great and loud offense at an unfounded accusation of slander. Since it is unfounded, it would seem a potentially libelous statement.

    Prior to this, I would have placed your name with several others as among those I deeply respected and looked forward to reading here.

    Good day sir.


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    Ken Stewart

    Elsie:

    Those stations have quite separate records- you can see them in my post for Brisbane. The record is a combination of the stations, and still produces a cooling trend. It’s the adjustments that I’m concerned about.

    Ken


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    wes george

    Look, Mark D, all I really sought was for you to present evidence supporting your conspiracy theory, rather than just make unsubstantiated claims, especially after you defined a conspiracy as “something wrong, evil or illegal.” @101

    Pete Ridley at @69 saw the conspiracy chatter here as being directed toward the BoM and, in his opinion, unfair. “I also get to meet people from the BoM through my wife and I can assure you all that these are just ordinary folk doing fairly mundane work.” He says in their defense.

    I agree with Pete, it’s unfair to accuse some group of a conspiracy without submitting any evidence.

    @89 You said, “It would be denial to not recognize that certain “successful” businessmen and politicians DO gather together and “talk”. I don’t think they limit their conversations to the weather or sports tea.”

    @93 You said “I think it is silly to look at all the interconnection between the players in AGW, academia, politics/politicos, the UN, and Etc. without any thought that they are conspiring.”

    Excuse me if I took your comments to be related to the topic of the thread—the unaccounted for bias of BoM adjustments in favour of global warming.

    I did not accuse you of slander but suggested that: By your own definition of conspiracy you are accusing the BoM of illegal activities and that is “possibly slandering.” I also qualified this with “if I understand your position correctly.” @102

    You clarified your position @103 “NO! Wes I make no such specific assertion about BOM! In fact, I have never typed BOM anywhere.”

    O K Fine. My mistake for thinking we were talking about the BoM on a thread about the BoM. Glad that’s all cleared up.

    whew! ;-)


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    Barry Brill

    In a 1980 published paper “Apparent Trends of Mean Temperature in New Zealand Since 1930″, senior meteorologist JWD Hessell concluded that “most NZ climate stations had been affected by changes in shelter, screenage and/or urbanisation, all of which tend to increase the observed mean temperature”. No important change since 1930 has been found in stations which don’t have these defects.

    Hessel’s final para reads: “It is concluded that the warming trends in New Zealand previously claimed are in doubt, and that as has been found in Australia (Tucker 1975), no clear evidence for secular warming or cooling in Australasia over the past 50 years exists as yet”.

    My question is: can anybody offer a full citation (or web reference) to the 1975 Tucker paper?


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    elsie

    Ken Stewart: #110
    Yes, I know the records of the 3 Brisbane sites are separate. My angle was simply that the latest site is the warmest site of the 3 ‘official’ sites used for Brisbane over the years. So, after 1990 the young fresh looking weather girls (where do they get them from?) on TV or the reports in Newspapers would say things like such and such a day was the warmest on record. It was a true statement, of course, for the site they were speaking about. No complex computer assisted alterations allowing for previous records at the previous 2 sites were spoken about and nor would anyone expect that. But for the general public just hearing the words, “Highest on record,” fairly often has been enough to give the impression of rising climate temperatures. I recall even higher temperatures being recorded on the cool site so if we soon get some like that the media will have a heyday using superlatives.


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    Neil Fisher

    So much for “these tend to be equally positive and negative across the network”.

    Like much in climate science, you need to parse this wording very carefully in order to notice that, while true, it’s highly misleading.
    Yes, it likely IS true – although I haven’t done the math to check, I’m quite sure that the adjustments are equally positive and negative across the network, it’s just that all the negative adjustments are in the early part of the 20th C, while all the positive adjustments are in the latter part of the 20th C. In order to “catch” this, you must ask instead: “What difference to the trends of individual stations do these adjustments make and are these differences to the trends equally positive and negative across the network?”.

    Jo and others – you must remember to watch the pea under the thimble with these people or you will be misled. You must ask very specific questions and not allow them to “re-frame” the question or evade it.


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    Andrew Barnham

    Neil Fisher: #114

    Actually the adjustments are unbalanced so the statement is probably false

    Average adjustment is -0.21c per adjusted entry (see histogram plot below)

    Like you point out, the number is meaningless with respect to understanding its trend influence without consideration for at least where, temporally, the adjustments occurred.

    I am of the view that the statement made by David Jones was probably made in complete ignorance. It seems implausible in my mind that the statement was preceded with some rudimentary fact checking (or session of creative statistical gymnastics)


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    joltinjoe

    This is a shining example that the use of statistics is tantamount to lying. They can easily fool most of the people most of the time. It is gratifying that the skeptics can demonstrate the inaccuracy and the deception at work here. The warmists want all the research to show that they are right. When it doesn’t they manipulate or “adjust” the results. The more they do this the more doubt of their crdeibility will follow. The walrus story is the latest example of deception showing that “warming” caused the walrus’s gathering in Alaska. It is not unusual but an annual event. Then they play on the sympathy of the uninitiated by claiming that 4 walrus pups may have drowned because of this. Pups die every year in all species and it is a natural event. It has nothing to do with the climate at all. Skeptics, keep up the good work. Truth is better than fiction. Now you know!


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    Paul Kenyon

    I’ve got a question about heat islands. Are they a problem? Do they “heat up the Earth?” How does the physics of this work?
    My question is not about the effect of heat islands on thermometers but about the effect of heat islands on the atmosphere and how it does or does not work.

    Since a heat island is of materials different that grass, forests and oceans, or deserts, for that matter, and that they are often much hotter than grass, forests and oceans—I’m thinking of asphalt pavement of which we’ve covered the Earth to the size of Texas thus far with no end of our paving in sight—they ought to broadcast differently than the Earth did in general before man-made heat islands appeared. Would this effect the atmosphere’s response to the outgoing radiation? Might heat islands cause/be causing a warming?
    If not, why not?
    Thanks,
    Paul


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    Since nobody has yet responded to this, I’ll take a first cut (and that’ll bring out lots of feedback).

    The heat islands related to man (unlike, say, a volcano) are generally referred to as “urban heat islands”. These areas are typically several degrees warmer than the surrounding countryside, with the temp difference increasing as the urban areas grow. Since the impact of these urban areas on surrounding countryside seems to quickly dissipate, and UHIs represent a minute fraction of the earth’s surface, there is not much, if any, impact on the overall planet temperature, so far.


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    elsie

    119denis:
    Nevertheless, most conservationists claim Mankind is already occupying far too much land area as living space. Our cities are tiny c.f. the ones found overseas. I used to live close to the CBD in Brisbane. There were no frosts. It is where the present site for Brisbane readings are taken. Later I moved a few miles out. There were frosts during some winter mornings. But as more houses were built the frosts disappeared. Then I moved even further out. Yep, frosts were there. Now I have, after a long time, moved a little further out into an established built up area. No frosts. But go a bit further out and you do come to frosts in the early morning. In a very large city or urban area with many stations this would be shown in the data as rising temperatures.


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    It may be interesting to provide dates on your moves. Your observations may have been, at least in part, a reflection of our general warming until 1995. While there is no denying UHIs, there just isn’t much urban property when compared to the fact that 75% of the surface is water, and then there is the Arctic, the Antarctic, plus a lot of basically uninhabitable mountain ranges, jungles, swamps, farmland, large expanses in Russia, etc. Another 1 degree increase overall in UHI might contribute perhaps 1/20 of a degree to the global temperature, other things remaining the same.

    I’m convinced that the “recent” longer-term history, (the past 1.3 million years) is the way to bet. Namely 13 ice ages (avg. 90,000 years) each followed by an intergalactic period (avg. 10,000 years). If that trend continues (? the null hypothesis) we’re “nearing” the end of our current intergalactic. That happens to also be consistent with the big-picture hypothesis put forth by Svensmark and his multi-discipline team. Also, there are well-known shorter term oscillations which seem to indicate some cooling just ahead. (And, finally, the fact that there has been no statistically significant warming for the past 15 years also appears to be sending the same message.)

    Hopefully man’s warming influence will at least postpone the arrival of our next ice age.


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    elsie

    121denis:
    I arrived at the 2nd site 1958. 3rd in 1970. 4th in 1974, last just this year. Each time that there were frosts there were very few houses being new estates. Then the houses filled all the vacant blocks and the roads which were gravel were paved with of course increasing traffic. But if I go just a short distance to new greenfield estates I find the early morning frosts again.

    Early this year I read a newspaper article about a farmer in the Lockyer Valley west of Brisbane. He was complaining that crops that needed frosts were not experiencing frosts as they used to. Now that area is much colder than Brisbane in the mornings. I looked up the BOM records for the nearest station, Gatton, which had been recording for about 90 years. I went through the morning minimums with a fine tooth comb. After doing some maths I arrived at a startling discovery. Over all the decades the minimum temperature had increased by a whopping 0.1′C. A tenth of 1 degree. Even if the warming had all happened in the last decade it wouldn’t amount to a hill of beans…excuse the pun. The farmer was either new or was a product of all the hype. Incidentally, such places as the Lockyer Valley are food bowls of Australia and not just the Murray as southern people like to imagine.


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    Ian Hill

    I thought I read a comment that Melbourne had recorded unusually cool weather, even for winter, but I can’t find it.

    Today Adelaide had its 124th consecutive day with a maximum below 21.1C, which is 70F. That is the longest sequence since the Kent Town Station opened in 1977. Previous record was 123 days in 2000. The average before this year is 76 days. The sequence could end on Sunday – forecast high is 21. Usually by AFL grand final time we have had several days in the mid 20s and often they start as early as mid August. Something’s up with the climate systems this year!


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    [...] blogosphere) for applying the same biases and questionable adjustment methods. See, for example, Australian Temperatures in cities adjusted up by 70%!? at Jo Nova’s [...]


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    [...] NIWA NZT7 was ‘reviewed’ by the Australian Bureau of Meteorology (BoM). On an earlier occasion Dr David Jones, Head of Climate Monitoring and Prediction at the BoM, said: “On the issue of [...]


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    AntN

    Does Jo know what a logical fallacy is?


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    joltinjoe

    I think it was a British Police high official who said, “governments make much of statistics, but the constable on the street puts down anything he pleases”. An Austrailian version of this seems to be in place. The government did not like what the thermometer said so the number was changed. It can only be for deceptive purposes. Truth needs no adjustment, ever.


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    James

    Ken’s not adjusting for change of site – of course he’ll find a different value to the homogenised data.


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    James Sefton

    “The Australian Climate Observations Reference Network – Surface Air Temperature (ACORN-SAT) dataset has been developed for monitoring climate variability and change in Australia. The dataset employs the latest analysis techniques and takes advantage of newly digitised observational data to provide a daily temperature record over the last 100 years. This data will enable climate researchers to better understand long-term changes in monthly and seasonal climate, as well as changes in day-to-day weather.”

    The Australian Acorn-Sat system is used to monitor climate change as per their statement above…

    Even my own ‘doodling’ with some of the raw, and Acorn-Sat data show adjustments I feel are slanted in favour of showing a warming trend by cooling the early data.

    Richmond NSW: Minimum daytime temperatures for the years 1958 – 2012 show an aggregate change of -45.7C between Acorn-Sat data and the Raw data of which -26.2C occurs in the first 11 years.

    The Maximum daytime temperature difference over the same years total -2.3C of which +0.3C are in the first 11 years. There was a changeover from one station (67033) to another (67105) in 1994, so this can’t possibly explain the adjustments.

    The resultant average daytime temperature difference is -19.22C in the Acorn-Sat data with -7.9C being in the first 11 years.


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    JTF

    The difference between the HQ Kent town record and the original West tce/Kent Town record appears to be crude and systematic with step changes per year in past years starting at 1977. The HQ record appears to have been based on the (now defunct) West Tce record with systematic changes per year. Both the minimum and the maximum records have been cooled prior to 1978. There may be a valid reason for cooling the Minima record due to location change, but certainly not the Maxima, and certainly not by the extent that they have been changed. It looks totally dodgy or terribly sloppy. Not what we should expect from a “professional” government scientific organisation.
    See http://eyesonbrowne.wordpress.com/2013/01/27/adelaides-hq-temperature-record/


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