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Forgotten: Historic hot temperatures recorded with detail and care in Adelaide

What I found most interesting about this was the skill, dedication and length of meteorological data taken in the 1800′s. When our climate is “the most important moral challenge” why is it there is so little interest in our longest and oldest data?

Who knew that one of the most meticulous and detailed temperature records in the world from the 1800′s comes from Adelaide, largely thanks to Sir Charles Todd. The West Terrace site in Adelaide was one of the best in the world at the time, and provides accurate historic temperatures from  “Australia’s first permanent weather bureau at Adelaide in 1856″. (Rainfall records even appear to go as far back as 1839.)  Lance Pidgeon went delving into the National Archives and was surprised at what he found.

If we want to understand our climate the records from the 1800′s in Adelaide are surely worth attention?

The BOM usually shows graphs like this one below starting in 1911. You might think you are looking at the complete history of Adelaide temperatures and that smoothed temperature is rising inexorably, but the historic records remain unseen. While “hottest” ever records are proclaimed in the media, few go hunting for older hotter records. Yet, one of the hottest temperatures recorded in Australia were recorded in 1828, and raging heatwaves with temperatures over 50C occurred in the 1800s. In 1896 a monster heatwave across the nation killed hundreds, and people were even evacuated on emergency trains.

BOM temperature records for Adelaide ignore older warmer days: BOM

The old equipment was not identical to modern stations, but it was recorded diligently and with expert attention, and in the same location for over 120 years. When compared side by side, the older types of screens produced slightly more  extreme temperatures than the Stevenson screens but this does not mean that the old recordings should be forgotten. With careful adjustment the Adelaide record could be one of the longest in the world. Strangely, no one seems too interested. If these old records showed Adelaide was way cooler in the 1860′s, do we suppose an eager PhD student would not have jumped at the chance to splice historic old and new records into a long alarming graph and a popular thesis? The question begs…

I fear the cult of the young means the smarts of the oldest of old-timers is automatically discounted, yet those old codgers  from the 1800′s  weren’t necessarily old at the time, and were connected to the harsh realities of the natural world in way that soft cushy net-connected university grads could not imagine today.

Below, notice how commonly those red spikes go about 40C? Adelaide gets scorched nearly every year. It’s summer.

Thanks to Lance for his work and his patience.

– Jo

————————————————————————————————–

Guest Post by Lance Pidgeon

Amongst the best temperature recordings taken anywhere in the world were the recordings taken at the West Terrace Adelaide observatory by the scientist, astronomer, meteorologist and pioneer of Australian post and telegraph, Sir Charles Todd K.C.M.G.  M.A. F.R.S F.R.A.S. F.R.M.S F.S.T.E.

Here thanks to Chris Gillham is the chart you get from the BOM West Terrace data in Adelaide. It could be even longer! (What a shame the West Terrace data stops in 1979). As it is, we see how incredibly constant the average temperature was.

Summary of the old Adelaide data…Nothing to see here. Move along!

How good is this old data?

Temperatures were recorded concurrently at Adelaide via multiple different methods using many different types of stands and equipment. Even the temperature at various depths under the ground was recorded but the most basic of these fantastic old records does not show on the BOM raw temperature data record here before 1887.

“The temperature of the soil is also ascertained by mercurial thermometers, whose bulbs are respectively 8, 5, and 3 feet beneath the surface.”

Image: National Library of Australia

Could these old measurements be wrong?

The page below gives a clue to the detail and care these measurements were taken with. It is from the book “Meteorological observations made at the Adelaide observatory 1896″. Click on the page to read it.

A page from the book “Meteorological observations made at the Adelaide observatory 1896. Anyone who would like to see this series of books and others like them online should write to the National Library and ask. If enough requests come in they will scan them.

The old data the BOM does present could be reading too low

There is a possible problem. The Stevenson screen was “a few yards to the west of the thermometer house“. The problem is that the thermometer house was tall and in the morning would cast a cooling shadow near the Stevenson screen. This means that for the earlier stevenson screen, the rise from the overnight miniumum readings may have been delayed lowering the maximum reading. This due to the combined effect of the shadow and the thermal momentum of wood.

The problem solved! This picture from 1930 shows another Stevenson screen away from the shadow and to the east of the thermometer house.

 Source: National Library of Australia — article/29002009

The modern Adelaide screen at Kent Town may have the opposite problem. The sloped windows on the front of the BOM building may be warming the area via reflection from the sun.

While you ponder the effects of shadows and reflections near Stevenson screen boxes, notice that May 1910 is missing from both the minimum and maximum BOM West Terrace raw data.

May 1910 was a warm month. With so many different thermometers in that same place it is known. It is possible to see this because the BOM is not the only keeper of records.

“The month has been very mild, the mean temperature at the Observatory (59.8) showing an increase of 2.1. The nights were, comparatively speaking, warmer than the days, for the mean of the minima, or night temperatures, was 2.6 above, while the mean of the maxima, or day temperatures was only 1.6 above The minimum temperature only fell below 50 deg. on six nights, whereas the average number in May is 15.” …..”Average of previous 51 years”

The Fahrenheit temperatures above would have come from the Greenwich/Glaisher stand.
National Library of Australia

What else may be forgotten each time we hear “since records began”?

“Todd’s meteorological plan, which he had submitted in 1856, depended on a network of observation stations which were required to report daily to the observatory. The telegraph system was the answer; he trained his own observers, including interested private individuals. Growth was slow initially and it was not until 1860 that the observatory was ready with the necessary instruments and fourteen selected stations. As the telegraph system expanded so did the meteorological stations, with a greater impetus ten years later when post offices came under Todd’s control.”

http://adb.anu.edu.au/biography/todd-sir-charles-4727

“With the building of the Overland telegraph in 1855, Charles Todd, aged 30, as Superintendent of Telegraphs, established meteorological stations on every route where he constructed telegraph lines in New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia’s Northern Territory and Darwin. Todd organised the real time collection of the data by telegraph and began the preparation of synoptic maps. By the 1870s, and throughout the 1880s and 1890s, the meteorological data from the telegraph stations saw an increasing use of synoptic charts of pressure, wind, temperature and rainfall for daily weather forecasting.”

http://australia.gov.au/about-australia/australian-story/observing-australias-weather

“Todd soon became responsible for setting up and supervising a network of meteorological stations. According to his plan of 1856 his observation stations were connected by telegraph and were able to report their findings daily to the Adelaide Observatory.”…..”He was also the first to make the connection between droughts in Australia and India due to a phenomenon known today as El Nino. “

http://www.southaustralianhistory.com.au/todd.htm

Look there goes Elvis Presley!

 

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261 comments to Forgotten: Historic hot temperatures recorded with detail and care in Adelaide

  • #
    Carbon500

    A fascinating post, and a welcome extra breath of reality. Let no-one think that the scientists of yesteryear were of any lesser ability than those of today. And isn’t it interesting that Ian Plimer a few years ago pointed out that atmospheric CO2 was for many years measured by the ‘wet chemical’ methods prior to Mauna Laua, yet results from the two methods were never compared?
    The old records surely have much to tell us.


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    • #
      Lance Pidgeon

      Thanks Carbon500.

      results from the two methods were never compared

      You may enjoy what you find here.
      http://www.biomind.de/realCO2/
      Siliggy.


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      • #
        Carbon500

        Thanks Lance, it’s an interesting website laden with all sorts of interesting details and graphs.
        I read the Beck paper looking at the ‘wet method’ results some time ago, and was aware that CO2 varies spatially ( to about 900ppm over Phoenix, Arizona if I recall correctly). This website ties things together nicely, and I’ll certainly return to it.


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    • #
      LevelGaze

      Some might think that wet chemistry is old hat, prone to errors and random sloppiness. Nothing is further from the truth.

      The people who did this were fanatical about cleaning their glassware, double-checking water bath temperatures, demonstrating reproducibility, standardising reagents, and ensuring general quality control from beginning to end. Data was meticulously stored, never discarded, endlessly pored over to identify any systemic errors.

      I spent many years up to my armpits in wet chemistry (searching… searching…)


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      • #
        RoHa

        “I spent many years up to my armpits in wet chemistry”

        Eeeeewwwww!


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      • #
        Vic G Gallus

        I remember having to use a very tedious method to purify my starting materials that was used by a chemist in the 1950s called … wait for it…. Stickler.

        I found that it drastically changed the results of my experiments and that everybody should be checking if similar experiments would also be affected. I was threatened with being labelled a fraud if I tried to publish, called the AH’s bluff and then had my career ruined (which he would have done anyway for personal reasons). Why do people think that scientists are more trustworthy than a Catholic priest?


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    • #
      Philip Shehan

      This graph shows CO2 concentrations going back to 1850 combining ice core and Muana Loa data:

      http://tinyurl.com/aj2us99


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      • #
        ExWarmist

        Hi Philip,

        [1] You have a dip in the proxy record between 1900 and 1905 – What caused that – the advent of the motor car?

        [2] The rise in CO2 in the proxy record prior to 1900 – what proportion can be attributed to human actions – given that both human population and industry were a fraction of what they are today?

        [3] The rise in CO2 in the proxy record prior to 1900 – what proportion can be attributed to non-human sources, and what were those sources?

        [4] In the Muana Loa record, what proportion can be attributed to human actions, and what proportion to non-human sources, is this proportion changing with time?

        [5] Are you able to define, and quantify the specific sources and sinks for CO2 in the Carbon Life Cycle, and account for growth in the sinks (Phytoplankton, Amazon Rainforest, greening deserts, human agriculture) due to CO2 enrichment of the atmosphere? i.e. Living organisms respond to increased food supply by increasing their population.

        [6] What is the precise measurement of Climate (temperature) sensitivity to CO2, and what are the specific positive feedbacks that are expected to accelerate warming? Are there negative feedbacks that would mitigate the warming impact of CO2 increases in the atmosphere?

        Cheers ExWarmist


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        • #
          Philip Shehan

          Ex warmist, my comment was simply intednded as a contribution to the discussion of how Muana Loa data fitted in witth other measurements of CO2 concentration. The attribution of sources of rising CO2 is beyond that scope but excuse me if I answer off the top of my head so to speak without exhaustive research. If you have more definitive answers to these questions feel free to let us know.

          1) Don’t know.

          2) I am unaware of any significant attribution of the increase in CO2 concentration since the beginning the industrial revolution to a cause other than the burning of fossil fuels.

          3) As above.

          4) As above.

          5) No.

          6) As I have noted elsewhere the best estimate of climate sensitivity covers a wide range as the contribution of positive and negative effects of feedbacks have been thus far difficult to quantify. The principle positive feedback is the increase in the greenhouse gas H2O concentration as temperatures rise, which is offset by the shading effect of cloud formation. Other negative factors such as increase in airborne particulates associated with fossil fuels are not due to the temperature increase due to incresed CO2 concentration as such but are clearly related.


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          • #
            bullocky

            …’As I have noted elsewhere the best estimate of climate sensitivity covers a wide range..’

            Based on the most recent universally accepted real-world data, 17 years of statistically negligible warming, Professor Lindzen & Dr Choi (2011) seem to have the nearest C.S. estimate of 0.7 degrees K.
            Their paper was initiated in 2009 and appears prescient.


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            • #
              ExWarmist

              Well said Bullocky.


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            • #
              Philip Shehan

              bullocky, see my reply to your comment at 24.2.1 below regarding equilibrium climate sensitivity.

              Ragarding claims of 17 years of statistically negligable warming (or 16 or 15 years which people quote with regard to “pause” or “hiatus”).

              Statistically, the problem with such short term data sets is not that they show a low trend value (in fact depending on the data set many show warming continues) it is the fact that the low signal to noise ratio for short term data sets means that the error margins are very large giving possible true values that vary from a high rate of warming to a high rate of cooling, small variations in temperatures among different data bases gives a wide variation in the “headline” trend values, and inclusion or exclusion of a single year from the data set changes the result markedly.

              In short, short term data sets are not a reliable indicator of longer term trends.

              For example here is the data for Hadcrut 4.

              http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/hadcrut4gl/mean:12/offset/from:1930/plot/hadcrut4gl/from:1930/to/trend/offset/plot/hadcrut4gl/from:1941/to:1958/trend/plot/hadcrut4gl/from:1998/trend/plot/hadcrut4gl/from:1999/trend/plot/hadcrut4gl/from:1996/trend/plot/hadcrut4gl/from:1960/to:1977/trend

              Note:

              1. The trends from 1996 and 1999 show warming as usual compared with for the period from 1930.

              2. Beginning the data set with the extreme el nino summer of 1997-98 reduces the warming trend rate compared with the years 1996 and 1999. (The “pause” appears then disappears.)

              3. The trends from 1941-58 and 1960-77 show cooling trends but are not representative of the trend from 1930 nor the period from 1941-75

              The widening of the error margins with shorter periods is demonstrated by the following results:

              http://www.skepticalscience.com/trend.php

              From 1930: Trend: 0.073 ±0.015 °C/decade (2σ)
              From 1996: Trend: 0.089 ±0.111 °C/decade (2σ)
              From 1998: Trend: 0.042 ±0.125 °C/decade (2σ)
              From 1999: Trend: 0.074 ±0.131 °C/decade (2σ)

              Also note that even when data sets are restricted to satellite data The UAH and RSS data bases give widely different headline trends, although statistically they are in agreement due to the large error margins.

              http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/uah/plot/uah/trend/from/mean:12/plot/uah/from:1999/trend/plot/uah/to:1998/trend/plot/rss/from:1999/trend/plot/rss

              UAH: Trend: 0.146 ±0.212 °C/decade (2σ)
              RSS: Trend: 0.027 ±0.211 °C/decade (2σ)


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              • #
                AndyG55

                The trouble is that pre-1979 Hadcrud has been so mutilated that we really have no idea if it resembles reality in any way shape or form.

                This makes your calculations TRIVIAL and MEANINGLESS. But you go ahead and keep wasting your time.

                The first thing any decent mathematician, engineer or scientist is check that his data is viable.. pre-1979 Hadcrud is NOT !!

                And calculations to 3dp.. seriously.. You are fooling yourself. !!!

                Go and get yourself some decent mathematical education, PLEASE !!!

                The only reasonably viable sets are the post-1979 data sets, which all show basically just the one ElNino warming event.

                And since about 2000, all have pretty much zero trend.

                But off you go, keep using a monumentally butchered data set, and keep using the rising arm of what is obviously a partially cyclic system.

                You are NOT FOOLING anyone here except yourself.


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              • #
                AndyG55

                ps, perhaps you should go and air your inanities on this thread.. see how far you get..
                http://wattsupwiththat.com/2014/01/17/cause-of-the-pause-in-global-warming/


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              • #
                Philip Shehan

                Andy,

                In the analysis above all but one of the data sets presented is for post 1979 data.

                I know you don’t like Hadcrut data but the fact is that it is entirely in line with other data sets. See the 5th graph down here. (The 4th graph is also instructive in regard to my comments about the unrepresentative nature of short term data sets):

                http://www.woodfortrees.org/notes

                Of the land/ocean data sets for which the trend calculator has data going back to 1930, Hadcrut4 has in fact the lowest warming trend:

                http://www.skepticalscience.com/trend.php

                GISTEMP Trend: 0.088 ±0.014 °C/decade (2σ)
                NOAA Trend: 0.082 ±0.014 °C/decade (2σ)
                Hadcrut4 Trend: 0.073 ±0.015 °C/decade (2σ)

                Of data sets since 1979, Hadcrut 4 is in about the middle of the range.

                GISTEMP Trend: 0.157 ±0.044 °C/decade (2σ)
                NOAA Trend: 0.148 ±0.040 °C/decade (2σ)
                Hadcrut4 Trend: 0.155 ±0.042 °C/decade (2σ)
                Hadcrut4 hybrid Trend: 0.172 ±0.051 °C/decade (2σ)
                RSS Trend: 0.125 ±0.069 °C/decade (2σ)
                UAH Trend: 0.138 ±0.070 °C/decade (2σ)

                The average of the trend and error for these data sets is
                Trend: 0.149 ±0.064 °C/decade

                Note also that the much of the data I present is for data from “around 2000”.

                The results from 2000 do not “all have pretty much zero trend”

                http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/hadcrut4gl/mean:12/offset/from:1930/plot/hadcrut4gl/from:1930/to/trend/offset/plot/gistemp/from:2000/to:2014/trend/plot/hadcrut4gl/from:2000/trend/plot/hadcrut3vgl/from:2000/trend/plot/rss/from:2000/trend/plot/uah/from:2000/to:2014/trend/plot/wti/from:2000/trend

                They do however show considerable variability and all have very large error margins as expected for such short term data:

                The average of the 6 data sets above for the trend from 2000 is:
                Trend: 0.061 ±0.184 °C/decade (2σ)
                (Hadcrut4 0.042 ±0.142 °C/decade (2σ)

                In other words, the average of the data sets analysed indicates that the trend is somewhere between cooling of 0.123 and warming of 0.245 °C/decade.

                So you are correct that the calculations are TRIVIAL and MEANINGLESS as far as telling us what the real temperature trend is from about 2000, which is precisely what I have been trying to demonstrate to people such as youself who insist that such short term trends are meaningful.

                The three significant figure results are delivered by the trend calculator and are perfectly valid as the input temperature databases also are to three significant figures. You can round them down if you wish but it makes no difference to the point of the argument.

                My mathematics education was the 3rd year at university (an “A” grade), and working as a research scientist for over 3 decades routinely involved this type of statistical data analysis.


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            • #
              Philip Shehan

              bullocky, would be intersted in Lindzen’s paper if you have a link.


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          • #
            ExWarmist

            Hi Philip,

            Thanks for your honest reply.

            WRT

            The principle positive feedback is the increase in the greenhouse gas H2O concentration as temperatures rise,

            That is the key point – I would recommend rechecking for empirical evidence of H2O as a positive feedback.

            Cheers ExWarmist.


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      • #
        Winston

        Is it really correct to treat combinations of proxy data and direct measurements at one location as though it were actual calibrated measurements, rather than a schematic representation of an approximation? Is that scientific?

        While we’re at it, isn’t “global average temperature” merely a construct, and similarly a form of schematic representation also, rather than a measurement in any strict definition of the word? And if it is only a schematic representation of the situation, with inherent assumptions and inaccuracies involved, how much stock can one place in conclusions drawn from it?

        Aren’t record temperatures merely subjective anecdotes, since measurements have not been derived at different times using the same methodology?


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        • #

          I ask the same thing. How can you have a global average when average is the worst measure of widely varying data, like, say, the earth’s temperatures. It’s virtually meaninglesss. Proxies are also very questionable and instrumentation is a problem. So is location, time of day for readings–wait, virtually everything going on here is a virtual and/or real disaster. “Global Warming” or “Global Climate Change” is meaningless on a huge planet with temperature extremes from -130f to 135F, huge variations from location to location in rainfall, snowfall, etc. Huge differences year to year. Average is a completely erroroneous measurement. It means nothing.


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          • #
            edwina

            It puzzles me too by what meant by average. I hope I can make my point clear. On 2 days running the same minimum and maximum might be recorded. However, the rate at which the temperature rose may be completely different for each day. A continuous graph would have to be kept to find out which day really experienced more or less heat.

            All recording stations in the world would have to do as much but I doubt nothing like it exists. Just adding the bottom and top temperature and dividing by 2 for average has never seemed good enough in the science of climate change.


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        • #
          Bruce J

          How can we derive a “global average temperature” prior to satellite measurement when more than 70% of the area being considered is covered by water and temperatures are only measurable by a few mobile stations (ships)in limited locations (shipping routes) subject to extremely variable relative airflow over unprotected thermometers? And then at least half (being generous) of the remaining 30% of the surface is uninhabited with no measurements at all. It is all a bit like having one station in Sydney and using that data to determine an “Australian Average Temperature”.

          It does, however, provide a subject requiring immense research by a small number of “scientists” who can never be proven “right” or “wrong”, and saves those “scientists” from ever having to compete for a proper useful job.


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        • #
          JohnM

          Global average temperatures are usually expressed as global average temperature anomalies. They are calculated on a “grid cell” basis from the average anomalies calculated for each grid cell, which is 5 deg Latitude x 5 deg Longitude. When observation stations are used the cell anomalies are the average of the anomalies from however many stations in the grid cell are supplying data in that month. (This is why having up to 70 stations in one grid cell and just one in others is of little concern.) When the data is from sea surface it’s just a matter of calculating the average temperature from the recordings, then subtracting the long term average from it. Where a grid cell covers land and sea the anomalies from the two sources are merged according to a mathematical formula.

          All that said, the final data is nothing more than a ‘best estimate’ for a host of reasons
          - the accuracy of each observation station is unknown (but ‘too high’ is assumed to balance ‘too low’)
          - the data from the monitoring is processed (eg. for relocations),
          - the daily mean is effectively only the mean of the minimum and maximum, both of which are susceptible to other forces (eg. cloud cover),
          - there’s been at least 5 different methods of measuring sea temperature and all but one are adjusted to bring them into line with the remaining one,
          - the long term averages, against which the anomalies are calculated, are determined from data that has been adjusted as described above,
          - the number of observation stations that supply data for any grid cell is not constant,
          - the global average is the mean of the two hemispheric averages but the global coverage of the two hemispheres isn’t the same and to my mind data prior to 1950 is very dubious.
          - .. and these are just a start of a list of the problems.


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          • #

            You’re just touching the surface of fudge factors and assumptions wityhout a physicals basis.

            The one error that struck me most (and is in the climate models as well):

            They are calculated on a “grid cell” basis from the average anomalies calculated for each grid cell, which is 5 deg Latitude x 5 deg Longitude.

            i.e. flat-Earth.


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            • #
              Philip Shehan

              Well no actually Brend, when you refer to latitude and longitude, the grid is clearly mapped onto a sphere.


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              • #
                Vic G Gallus

                Philip, The distance between longitudinal lines decreases as you move away from the equator. Taking each grid cell to represent an equal area is thinking like a flat-Earther. (Hopefully, they did actually think to correct of that but I would not assume anything).


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              • #
                Philip Shehan

                You are correct Vic but there is no requirement for the grids to be of equal area as long as the adjustment is made when doing the calculations.

                The alternative of trying to map equal sided and area squares onto a sphere just won’t work. You could try a mercator type projection but that of course leads to gross distortions at higher latitudes, which is why it is much more sensible to use latitude and longitude grid


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            • #

              Phil said:

              as long as the adjustment is made when doing the calculations.

              Correct. But quite often, including in climate models, the trapezoidal shape/volume isn’t even correctly accounted for geometrically.

              And then, there’s the lack of not summing heat content, but temperatures to obtain averages. The wet bulb is ignored.

              All the “missing heat” either never got into the atmosphere in the first place due to albedo which is not modelled anywhere near realistically due to chaotic temporal variabilities, or it’s “hiding” in the water vapour.

              Anyway; averages are a nonsense because thermodynamics is non-linear for the required accuracy (except in lineal conduction, which is rare) and the induced, multi-phase fluid dynamics is highly non-linear.

              It’s almost like the actual thermodynamic state of the atmosphere isn’t interesting to (alarmist) climatologists.

              P.S. Tessellation of complex curved surfaces by equal-sized planes has been “perfected” (near enough) for many decades. I was doing it by hand for finite element analysis in 1980-1982; well before CAD/CAM software was affordably available to every Engineer. One uses triangles.

              Regardless, the standard spheroid representing the Earth’s “surface” is already available and used in other areas related to climatology; and others not (e.g. GPS). The dearth of surface weather data cannot be compensated for by extrapolating hundreds to thousands of km from stations to encompass regions that are more accurately regarded as “no data”.


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          • #
            Bruce J

            JohnM
            January 17, 2014 at 10:19 am

            You seem to have missed the point I was trying to make (maybe a little obscurely) – If you cannot measure the temperature accurately over around 85% of the earths surface, how can an average temperature be derived and, consequently, from your response, an anomaly. It just does not seem possible to extrapolate an accurate average over the entire earth when you do not have data for 85% of an area with huge expected fluctuations in temperature which have not actually been measured (and don’t get me started on the accuracy of the thermometers used up until the mid 20th century!)


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            • #
              JohnM

              Two points
              1 – I forgot to mention that the weighted average of the grid cells used used, that weighting being the cosine of the latitude of the middle of each grid cell.

              2 – On a grid-cell basis – i.e. we have data for this gridcell and it doesn’t matter exactly where the observation station is – global coverage is about 80% at the present time, the Southern Hemisphere coverage being slightly lower and the Northern Hemisphere coverage being slightly greater.


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    • #
      DT

      The Climate Office charity should be ignored, Tim Flannery and his fairy tale creators just go away.


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    • #
      RoHa

      “Let no-one think that the scientists of yesteryear were of any lesser ability than those of today.”

      I grew up in Adelaide in the 1950s and 60s.

      It was boring. Not even TV before 1959.

      So think what it would have been like in the 1880s. For those scientists, taking their measurements would have been the high point of the day, and being obsessively meticulous about it would have added to the thrill.

      So I’m prepared to think they got it right.

      (And I remember some stinking hot days from my childhood.)


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  • #
    Dave

    BOM got and needs another new super computer?

    Todd needed maths, instruments and the telegraph.

    Synoptic chart 1882

    Synoptic chart 1883

    These were done 130 years ago.

    David Jones will be livid.


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  • #
    Winston

    The old data the BOM does present could be reading too low

    No problem, well we can adjust them down then by, say 0.5 deg C. How’s that sound? There, fixed.

    Thanks,
    BOM


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  • #
    Peter Miller

    Historic raw data is relatively rare in today’s world, as so much of it has been ‘homogenised’/manipulated to provide the results required by today’s climate scientists. Then in more modern times, the effects of UHI are underestimated in ‘adjusted’ urban temperature data.

    I was always struck – I regret I do not have the link – by a WUWT post a couple of years ago, where a high school student produced a paper, comparing raw temperature data across the USA. The rural sites showed almost no warming, while the urban sites showed the obligatory 0.6-0.9 degrees increase. I have often wondered why it was impossible for any ‘climate scientist’ to come up with a similar result, I guess it all depends on your bias.

    Most sceptics accept the Earth has warmed over the last 150 years, the generally accepted figure is circa 0.75 degrees C. Sceptics believe this warming was mostly due to natural climate cycles, while alarmists believe it was all caused by rising CO2 levels. The question now is how much of this 0.75 degrees C is real and how much is data manipulation.

    The UK’s Hadley Centre’s Central England daily data set goes back to 1772, and embarrassingly for alarmists shows a sharp decline in temperature over the past decade. Unfortunately, “Since 1974 the data have been adjusted to allow for urban warming”. I could not find the amount of this adjustment, but assume it is safe to comment that it was probably understated.

    http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/hadobs/hadcet/


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    janama

    Here’s what David Jones had to say about our climate and global warming back in 2008.

    http://www.theage.com.au/federal-politics/our-hot-dry-future-20081005-4udg.html?page=-1

    “Should Victorians view this drought as climate change? This drought is now far beyond our historical experience. It is very difficult to make a case that this is just simply a run of bad luck driven by a natural cycle and that a return to more normal rainfall is inevitable, as some would hope.
    Climate change caused by humans is now acting to make droughts more severe and increasingly likely, while substantial warming of our climate is inevitable as a result of greenhouse gases already emitted and those that will be emitted in the decades to come.
    Regardless of the underlying cause, the drought provides Victorians with a snapshot of a hot and dry future that we all will collectively face.
    Dr David Jones is head of climate analysis at the Bureau of Meteorology.”


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    tonyb

    Peter Miller

    In my article here;

    http://judithcurry.com/2011/12/01/the-long-slow-thaw/

    I noted;

    The geographic triangular area (CET) described is a heavily populated area of the country. In a private email to the author the Met office described the amount of UHI as follows;

    “The urbanisation corrections to the CET series have been applied since 1974. Initially they were just 0.1 degree C, in certain months, then gradually for more months of the year; from about 1995 onwards some of the corrections increased to 0.2 deg C, and by about 2002 all the corrections were 0.2 deg C.

    The above applies to Mean CET. The urban heat island effect is much more noticeable for minimum temperatures than for maximum, so for the Minimum CET series the corrections are double those for Mean Temperature, whereas for Maximum Temperature it was deemed in fact that no correction was required.”

    You have an added complication in as much that changes are made to the stations comprising CET. In my recent meeting with David Parker -who compiled the Hadley 1772 figures- I learnt that some ‘warm’ station (UHI influenced?) had been replaced by more rural cooler ones.

    My guess is that the peak temperatures for CET in the 1990′s and early 2000′s were exaggerated by the stations used. According to Phil jones the decade of the 1730′s was only a few tenths of a degree below that of the 1990′s. Take away a bit of that ‘hump’ you can see in CET in recent times and I think the decades are indistinguishable.

    tonyb


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      Peter Miller

      Tonyb

      Many thanks for the link, you clearly know your subject matter very well and I would encourage everyone to read the article.

      If the recent UHI ‘corrections’ by the Met Office for the CET are only 0.2 degrees C and they are taken in a heavily populated part of the UK, then they clearly must be understated.

      Unfortunately, I do not know how to define the term ‘heavily populated’ for the CET, but over the past 30-40 years I would think this figure probably exceeds 1.0 degree C. I came across this article, which has neither an alarmist nor a sceptic bias, in which UHI has been measured for a number of UK urban areas.

      http://bse.sagepub.com/content/31/3/251.full.pdf+html

      If these UHI corrections were to be applied to the CET temperature chart, the surge in temperatures in the 1980s and 1990s would largely disappear, but the decline in temperatures over the past decade would still remain.

      All this brings us back to the question of: How much of the generally accepted global temperature rise of circa 0.75 degrees C over the past 150 years is real, and how much is caused by manipulated data, and/or how much is the result of understating the UHI effect?


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    Roger

    to Peter Miller
    Hadcrut makes an UHI adjustment of around 1 degree C from memory. UK weather forecasts now routinely predict during the winter that temperatures in the countryside (as opposed to urban) will be 3-4 degrees colder …….. That is based on what happens, whereas UEA and Hadcrut make adjustments based on how they want it to appear.


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    Leigh

    Excellant post Jo but do you really think the BOM is going to take any notice?
    These acomplises in the fraud that is global warming should hang their collective heads in shame .
    Their blatant manipulation of data to support the global warming fraud must be bordering on criminal.
    Speaking of fraud, can anybody tell me when they did this.
    I remember distinctly in the 60′s at high school. The science teacher telling us a heat wave was three or more consecutive days over a hundred.
    Then I’ll be buggered I read this.
    “The definition of a heatwave was three consecutive days with a maximum above 100 degrees F. 100 Degrees F = 37.8 degrees C. Some where this defination was quietly lowered/changed to three days above “35″. Conversely, 35 degrees C = only 95 degrees F. ”
    It explains the “the more frequent and longer heat waves” line that’s trotted out in relation to heat waves.
    Flannery used the exact line again on radio today.
    Seems to me that there would have been a lot of heat waves “created” in recent times.
    Heat waves that in times gone by would not have got a mention.


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      Leigh, it’s not so much about whether the BOM notices, it’s other readers of my site. I am fortunate that readers here include some parliamentarians and their advisors, a few national cartoonists, heads of committees, and a few well known journalists and commentators. (Not to mention some excellent commenters who make savage remarks on blogs all over the web). Sometimes I wonder if it worthwhile then I get a package from an award winning cartoonist (last week) and yesterday an email from a very influential commentator who has been in the press a lot lately. I am merely the messenger, filter and repackager of powerful ideas.

      That these ideas can spread from a house in Adelaide (Lance) to suburban Perth then to people of influence around the world is a testament to how important the Internet is. Long may it remain free…


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    Ken Stewart

    Well done Lance. Just saw the report on Adelaide on ABC TV, and Will Steffen saying it’ll get worse. Of course younger people can’t remember hot temperatures of the past, and people generally have short memories anyway. Luckily we have Trove and Lance to keep an eye on it. Old newspapers are our collective memory of the past. And it’s summer, it’s hot, get over it.


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      JohnM

      If you were Will Steffen and your reputation and perhaps income were at stake, when someone stuck a microphone in your face would you say “It will get worse” or “This is only weather and it will pass. We’ll always get hot weather in summer.”?


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      Ian George

      Ken
      As a retired Principal, I am appalled at the ‘facts’ on a new site called Scorcher.
      http://scorcher.org.au/

      Check the Adelaide site’s comments on the highest temp. A new ‘history’ is being written (I know you are aware of ACORN’s data adjustments). Someone in government has to call these people and their ‘facts’ into question.

      I also comment at #57.


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        Ian Hill

        Ian, I had a look at Mount Gambier. It said the longest “heatwave” was from 6th-17th of JUNE 1967. Temperatures ranged from 16.1-19.5C, a real “scorcher” indeed!


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          Ian George

          Ian
          Good call. I thought they had to be at least 5C above the mean.
          Apparently their definition of heatwave is explained thus:-
          ‘The maximum temeperature of each day of the year is compared to a threshold that is specific for that day of the year. This is the 90th percentile , calculated from all respective dates between 1961-1990.’
          Since I have no idea where to find that data, they can so what they like.

          Under the normal definition for a heatwave, there should be 3 or more days of 5C above the monthly mean. But they keep changing the definition – and above is another one.
          The mean temp for the month of June in Mt Gambier is 14.2C so normally only 19.3C and 19.5C would qualify – and there must be 3 days for a heatwave.
          I also note the 5th June is 16.9C and is not included the ‘heatwave’. Who makes up this stuff and calls it ‘educational’?

          Mt Gambier’s 44.1C just beats 1908′s 44.0C. So the area has warmed 0.1C in 100 years. Would this pass the ‘Scorcher’ test?


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            AndyG55

            And note the picked reference dates….1961-1990

            This spans the NATURAL slightly cooler in the temperature record, which is, of course, why the warmists like to use it as a reference period.


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            Ian Hill

            Apparently their definition of heatwave is explained thus:-
            ‘The maximum temeperature of each day of the year is compared to a threshold that is specific for that day of the year. This is the 90th percentile , calculated from all respective dates between 1961-1990.’

            I do have the raw data on hand, so I did a quick calculation to test their result. I get a different answer. For June 12th the 90th percentile for the 1961-90 period is 17.04, according to the excel function anyway. On June 12th 1967 the maximum was 16.8C, so it doesn’t count towards the “heatwave”. The previous six days in 1967 did count, as did the following eight days, but it wasn’t the 12-day record claimed.

            Andy, I agree although that is the current standard. A different reference period, say 1931-60, would change all the results anyway because the 90th percentile for every day would be different. There is a high degree of volatility and therefore it’s not a robust methodology. I wonder how they handle February 29th?


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    Ian Hill

    Great work Lance.

    Alas, Adelaide did not set a record today, reaching only 44.2C at 3pm, somewhat short of the much touted 46C “hottest city in the world today” in the media.

    However, my home town of Mount Gambier did set a record, with 44.1C recorded at the aerodrome 7km north of the city. The Mount Gambier PO, closed in 1952, had a high of 44.0C in January 1908, so it was probably hotter at the current airport site that day.


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    Radical Rodent

    It is good to see people making scientifically-acceptable observations without recourse to leaping to conclusions. What a pity that was over 150 years ago, and such rigour appears to have been abandoned by so many.

    You have hit the nail on the head with my initial reservations about “glow-ball warming”: “The old equipment was not identical to modern stations…” When I first became aware of the building hysteria, around 2001, of temperatures rising 0.8°C over the century, my first reaction was, “How accurate were the thermometers 100 years ago?”

    I have since learned that it is only in the last 50 years that thermometers have been acceptably accurate to within 0.5°C, and that old data has been “adjusted” (by whatever nefarious means), invariably downwards, to make present data even more scary, and could even be hiding a decline in temperatures. While I was suckered into the warmist side by Al Gore’s infamous film, I had the nous to wonder quite how the principal of CO2 warming worked; I have yet to find out, as no-one seems to know, but the bile that was poured onto me on the warmists’ sites convinced me that they were not nice people (the trolls you find on this site are as nothing compared with regulars on other sites), and so try to avoid them.


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    “There is a possible problem. … the rise from the overnight miniumum readings may have been delayed lowering the maximum reading.”

    At which point I try to recall any such candour in any climate paper.


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      JohnM

      So what? The daily mean temperature is the average of the daily minimum and maximum, so delaying them won’t make a big difference.

      In point of fact it’s the monthly mean that’s calculated from the monthly average minimum and monthly average maximum, not any kind of time-based average (e.g. average of 30-minute recordings). Further, on any day the data is recorded at 9am with the minimum in the last 24 hours being recorded for “today” and the maximum of the last 24 hours recorded for “yesterday”. This offset means that on the first day of the month the minimum might have occurred on the previous day after 9am and on the last day the maximum might have occurred the next day before 9am.


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        macha

        I agree. The photo looks to be more than a few yards. more like several. Also, a big difference in alignment exactly west ie in line with shadow or generally west. having the tapered roof would mean it only has influence well prior to usual maximums – unless rain clouds came over early-mid morning. And then these would be rare and have small influences on monthly averages.

        I still do not understand why max/mins are not better weighted over the full daylight or 24hrs hours when discussing global temps. Surely being 38-40C from 8am is more significant that a 1hr peak of 45C at 2pm? The same for minimums.


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        Lance Pidgeon

        JohnM

        so delaying them won’t make a big difference.

        The peak would not be delayed as there is no delay of the cooling.
        There being two Stevenson stands there side by side in 1930 it may be possible to use real data to see what happened.


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    PeterS

    It’s amazing that after all these years and so much fuss about various factors and influences including the urban heat island effects the temperatures haven’t changed much at all even according to the global warming alarmists. So what’s the problem? As far as I can tell the climate has actually been very stable and consistent over the past 200 or so years, apart from the typical weather extremes we experience sporadically. Any slight up trend in temperature over that period is to be expected since we have been coming out of a major ice age thousands of years ago. I bet if the temperatures were declining slightly over the same period we would have global cooling alarmists spewing out similar propaganda. If the alarmists really wanted to be treated seriously they have to use real science and the real scientific method to come up with real evidence that there is a real man-made cause of any change no matter how small. Given they haven’t and they clearly haven’t got the intelligence to do so then they are clearly just a bunch of con artists (and much worse in some cases).


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    blackadderthe4th

    As it is being reported reported the UK!

    ‘Australia heatwave prompts fire alerts’

    South-east Australia has been hit with extreme hot weather, with temperatures of over 40C (104F) in some areas, and several bushfire warnings in place. In Victoria, lightning strikes sparked more than 250 fires on Tuesday night, fire authorities said. A fire ban has been issued across the state. In Melbourne, a tennis player and a ball boy at the Australian Open collapsed in the heat. Temperatures in the city remained above 30C for much of Tuesday night. Last year
    was recently declared Australia’s hottest on record, further raising questions about the impact of climate change, our correspondent adds.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-257238

    And from a university in NSW!

    The IPCC climate change computers are doing a good job!

    ‘put them into a computer and you get something that comes out and looks really something that looks like the real atmosphere…how good is the physics in the models that you can actually tweak it, and get out something that is really realistic, so you can test that in various ways, you can do historical runs where you put in changes in GHG, changes in the Sun that you know have taken place over the past decades and compare the results…and we can do those pretty well too…if you look to very small scales…if you looking at large regions just north , mid latitudes , tropical sort of regions it does a pretty good job. You think there must be something right about the physics in that we are doing that and that gives us some faith in what we are predicting in the future…[…do you think the IPCC on the whole is doing a good job?]…I think it is doing a fantastic job…it is there to review work that has been published in peer reviewed scientific journals, so it is not doing any of its own work…collating all the information…producing this report and it is then reviewed more heavily than any scientific paper you can imagine…hundred and hundreds of referees, it is a huge amount of work…you know if you put a load of scientists in a group together they are not going to decide to agree with each other…they are all going to disagree with each other, so consensus is very, very hard to achieve…means you can be pretty sure that has been worked through…I object to the use of the term sceptic because there is absolutely nothing wrong with being sceptical, like all good scientists…[…are we doing enough to prevent the potential disaster in years to come].. No not at all, precious little…temperatures are going to carry on increasing…because the increasing trend has flattened off recently so that has given succour to the CC deniers…it’s all gone away, but I don’t think that’s the case at all!’ Joanne Haigh.

    Now watch for yourself!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2KHCX4NNa0Iis


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      Heywood

      Ahhh the good old BBC Climate Propaganda Unit, and BlackIdiotLevel4 falls for it.

      The BBC stooge falls for the same rhetoric. ” Last year was recently declared Australia’s hottest on record”. Only in three states actually, not the whole country, but we mustn’t let the truth get in the way of a good dose of scaremongering shall we. Luckily, the issue isn’t Western Australian warming, or even Australian warming. It is GLOBAL warming. One hot year in half a country isn’t ” further raising questions about the impact of climate change”.

      Another YouTube link? Not going to click on it (no extra views to titillate you, sorry) but I see you have carefully taken the time to transcribe it for us. This time it’s an interview with Joanna (not Joanne) Haigh, one of the British high priestesses of the CAGW cult. Intersting that she mentions that the models are only good “if you look to very small scales”.

      So small time scales on wild ar$e guess computer models by ecotard warmists – perfectly acceptable.
      But small to medium time scales of ACTUAL OBSERVATIONS by sceptics and the same ecotard warmists go apoplectic.

      ooops I used the term sceptic, which your dear friend Joanna doesn’t like. Why use such a polite word when you can compare those that doesn’t subscribe to your mantra to those who deny the holocaust. Typical of warmist ecotards really, to label your opponents in such a way.

      At least she is credible enough to acknowledge that there has been a ‘pause’, “because the increasing trend has flattened off recently…” Surprised you included that line. Nice own goal dip$hit.


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        Heywood

        We have a silent BlackDribbler groupie on the thread. Care to elaborate on the red thumb? Or is that you giving yourself a green one Dribbler???


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        blackadderthe4th

        ‘Ahhh the good old BBC’, but not only the BBC!

        Dr. Andrew Dessler testimony

        ‘I am Andrew Dessler, I am a professor of atmospheric science…first the climate is warming…overall increase…the most recent warming is most likely due to the emissions of co2 and other GHG by human activity, this is based on several lines of evidence including observation…how the greenhouse effect can explain the warming…made several predictions which is the gold standard of science, if you can predict, which are later observed…scientist predicted the 60s the stratosphere will cool while the troposphere will warm as a result of GHG and this was observed 20 years later, in the 70s climate model predicted the Arctic would warm than the Antarctic, this has been confirmed…this explains why the bulk of the scientific community are so confident in the standard model it explains just about everything…there are a small number of observations that aren’t explained by the model, just as there are some heavy smokers who don’t get lung cancer an excellent example is the so called hiatus…this is frequently presented as a threat to the standard model…sceptics have a track record of over stating the importance of these challenges to the standard model…in was argued that sitting issues…meant that the surface record was hopelessly biased…research has resolved the issue…it was never a threat to the standard model…a lack of decadal trend in surface temperatures does not mean the heating has stopped…observations show that heat continues to accumulate in the oceans…we know the planet is going to warm, extrem heat event, rainfall will change, the sea will rise and become more acidic’

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GwRZl0Gp_UY

        —-

        BA I always admire how Dessler can frame a line that makes it look like the models “worked” in two specific small instances, while ignoring the failure in global trends, upper troposphere, the Antarctic, rainfall patters, and cloud cover. – Jo


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          Heywood

          Your first BBC comment was about hottest year in Australia, then when I point out their misinformation, you tangent off on something completely unrelated.

          Just like a good little climate propagandist.


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      handjive

      BAthe4th.
      The BBC?
      The world’s Biggest April Fools!

      Jan 2006:
      The BBC is CONvinced by ‘settled science’ there is 100 months to save the planet, requiring all neutrality in journalism to be dropped.

      Quote: “Andrew Simms of the New Economics Foundation, who argued there were only 100 months left to save the planet through radical emissions cuts …”

      100 months from January 2006 = April 2014.

      Either the BBC & Blackadder4th have their ‘tipping point’ evidence clear & defined by April as advised, or that sound you hear will be the laughter of millions of people as you sink into the dark abyss of irrelevance, conned out of ‘money’ and credibility.

      April Fool!


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      crakar24

      Looks like someone forgot to lock the doors again.


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      Annie

      It’s nothing new BA4. Do look up a bit of history. It seems to me to be rather normal for the time of year…says she, sitting in central Victoria.


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    Geoff Sherrington

    This work by Lance can be supplemented by a graph like this:

    http://www.geoffstuff.com/Adelaide%20SA.jpg

    These temperatures as Tmax are taken from BoM compilations for West Terrace from 1887 to 1955, then from Adelaide Airport to 2006, then the BoM online web pages from 2007 to 2013 incl. Adelaide friends say I should have used Kent Town for the time after West Terrace, but I did not have that local knowledge. Besides, the story hardly changes with little adjustments.
    The story comes from proper heat waves, which I defined for my research as being 6 consecutive days, where the average of the 6 days was very warm compared to other dates. The graph shows about the 20 hottest 6-day heat waves in the credible, recorded history of Adelaide, aside from the Todd data that Lance shows.
    Readers might like to average 6-day spells for year 2014. It’s just made it on to the bottom of the graph as I write, 6 days ending 15th Jan 2014.
    Conclusions? Most older Adelaide heat waves were before 1945, before the experts say that greenhouse gases really hastened global warming.
    There is no sign of global warming in these figures, the way I have calculated them.
    I wonder if the BoM experimented with heat wave calculations of shorter days, choices of stations, then combined their statements with an adjustment that considers only later than 1910. They must have some reason to tell us that these heat waves are hotter and longer in recent years, but it does not show here.
    You might say that I’ve cherry picked 6-day sets and included data before 1910, and so I have. That has not invalidated my story.
    Sceptics of my method have a lot of explaining to do before my story can be dismissed.
    The summary? There’s no sign of global warming in my heat wave calculations for Adelaide. (Likewise, for Sydney & Melbourne 6-day data).


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      Lance Pidgeon

      Thanks Geoff.
      Yes some explaining is in order.
      1955 for the airport gives a better overlap than the Kent Town 1978 too. At least it would be possible to compare the two for a good long time.


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      • #
        Geoff Sherrington

        Lance,
        From ignorance of the custom, I chose Adelaide airport station over Kent Town.
        Adelaide airport could have been chosen as the “official” Adelaide site years ago. They chose Kent Town.
        Does it really matter?
        Is it merely saying that one cannot rely on official statements about heat waves because they are sensitive to the choice of station?
        (I have compared Kent Town to the Airport. Yes, there are small difference on the scale of the graph I showed, but overall it would look much the same.)


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    • #

      Thanks Geoff, that is a great graph.


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  • #

    The ABC Television News at 7.00pm tonight was absolutely predictable. Long descriptions of ‘the hottest city in the world’ – Adelaide. Professor Will Steffen telling us that we understand the physics of this. Implications that this is worse than ever, that these events are becoming more extreme and more common.

    This was in complete contrast to last week’s events with the stranding of the ship in the Antarctic ice. Why didn’t the ABC interview people who were of the opinion that the ship in the ice might be evidence – however cherry picked – that global warming is not taking place? If there is true balance in the ABC, then this surely should have been presented as an opinion or interpretation of the ice-bound fiasco. If the ABC wanted balance, they could have gone off and trotted out Professor Steffen to tell us why we were all wrong. But the point is there was no balance in the ABC reporting of the ship in the ice.

    Now there is a heat wave in Australia, the lack of balance in the ABC is again blindingly obvious. Why could not the ABC have given some balance to tonight’s News report by interviewing someone like Lance Pidgeon? This would have given some valid context and balance to the overall report.

    I have given up shouting at the Television – I have realised that Professor Steffen can’t hear me! And, even if he could, I’m sure he would not listen to the questions I ask. So, without shouting, what data sets is Steffen – or the other person who was interviewed as some sort of authority – what data sets are they relying upon to say that the heat is getting worse? What data sets?

    And what does Professor Steffen say about the data measured by Sir Charles Todd? Does he just discount the data out of hand for some reason? if so, what is his reason for discounting it? Please tell us Professor Steffen.

    The disparity between what was measured long in the past, and what BOM records say about the recent past, has to be reconciled. But there seems no willingness among the ‘climate science’ community of today to address this issue. Disgracefully for the ABC, there seems to be no willingness on their behalf for a bit of investigative journalism.

    Come on ABC! If any of you really believe that ‘climate change is the greatest moral issue of our time’, why not REALLY start investigating it. It might actually be the greatest moral challenge of our time – but not for the reasons that Kevin Rudd was thinking of when he made that famous pronouncement. Part of the moral challenge for journalists at the ABC – and journalists everywhere – is to start being true to their profession and really asking the hard questions. Tonight’s ABC News was not an example of asking the hard questions.


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    Bob Malloy

    Great article Lance, thanks.

    Came across a couple of kinks to Trove at real science.

    THE HEAT WAVE. 1906
    The heat continues, and today promises to be a record hot day. At 8 o’clock this morning’ the mercury had reached l00 degrees. Yesterday the highest shade temperature was l09 degrees, while during last night the temperature, as on the previous night, did not descend below 83 degrees. The sky is a glaring wisteria blue, with not a cloud to break it, and there is little sign of a change. The only consolation citizens have is the knowledge that in Adelaide the people are experiencing even a hotter stretch of real scorchers. Yesterday in Adelaide the shade temperature rose to 113 degrees.

    This one a general view on climate, Alarm-ism?

    THREE consecutive years of drought, while they have stimulated the inventive resources of practical agriculturists, have had the natural effect of calling forth a plentiful crop of speculation from weather prophets and projectors, and half-instructed meteorologists, and all the philosophic tribe of Laputa in general, to whom the periodical press now affords such fatal facilities. We have often noticed that in the tabular statements of those compilers of weather records who write to the Times, useful and welcome as their communications are, every season is sure to be “extraordinary,” almost every month one of the driest or wettest, or windiest, coldest or hottest, ever known. Much observation, which ought to correct a tendency to exaggerate, seems in some minds to have rather a tendency to increase it. And many seem now to regard three dry hot years in succession as betokening some general change of climate, as if it was not perfectly certain, in the wide range of the table of what we call chances, that with our existing conditions of climate such a combination must every now and then recur.

    The language hints to the time this was penned, Jan 1871

    And this from the BoM’s education pages.

    It is not unusual in summer for southeastern Australia to experience a run of temperatures above 100°F (37.8°C), especially inland. However, two heat-waves stand out.

    The period between 13 and 20 January 1908 remains the most sustained hot spell in Melbourne’s history. For five consecutive days (16th-20th) the temperature exceeded 40°C (with 39.9°C on the 15th), peaking at 44.2°C on the 17th. There was little wind until the approach of a cool change on the last day – just hot, still conditions, with no relief from sea breezes. In an era without refrigeration, air-conditioning or effective sanitation, and with polite dress being thick, three-piece suits and long skirts, the effects were traumatic. Ice-works worked flat out to try to keep up with demand. At the beaches the question of mixed bathing was settled as men and women mixed freely in the water. Each day brought deaths from the heat, among people of all ages. Bushfires were not a feature of this heat wave, because of the light winds, and preceding heavy rain in late December; however there were fires in the Otways and South Gippsland, with some people killed and many made homeless.


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    Peter C

    Can anyone help with a link to a long term temperature record for Melbourne?

    I was having an argument with a young friend tonight about whether the current heat wave is exceptional. We agreed that it would be instructive to look at the number of days with a maximum temperature greater than 40C over along period.


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    Steve B

    I have been curious about the record high temp for Adelaide set on 12th Jan 1939. It used to be 47.6 deg C, but has been ‘adjusted’ to 46.1 deg C in recent times. My question is how did they arrive at the new lower number (which is quite a substantial 1.5deg C lower)and why they thought it necessary to adjust it. I have had it suggested to me that there were 2 methods used for recording temps (I think that sounds very unlikely) and that they chose the one that was accepted globally (again unlikely). I also wonder if some low temp records have been adjusted as well, if up or down, or whether those temps have been left alone, and if so, why? Anyway I hope someone on this forum is able to help with some answers as the BoM don’t seem to be that helpful.


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      Winston

      A simple algorithm the BOM could use –

      Heads: reduce pre 1950′s temps by 1.0 C, Tails: reduce pre 1950′s temps by 1.5 C.


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      Ian Hill

      Steve, there were two sets of observations recorded at West Tce for many years, one from the Stevenson screen and the other from the Glaisher stand which can be seen in the first photo above with the gentleman at the stand. The Glaisher observations were usually higher and used by the newspapers as “Adelaide’s temperature”. However the Stevenson screen observations are the correct ones to use for climate analysis, which is why 46.1 is recognised by the BOM as Adelaide’s hottest temperature recorded.


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      Lance Pidgeon

      Steve B
      As Ian said both 47.6C(117.7F)and 46.1C are the record 47.6 if measured in the old box and 46.1 if measured in the new.
      Here it is in the newspaper http://trove.nla.gov.au/ndp/del/article/132166179?

      I have some of the data from measurments taken in the older large round house. The temperatures recorded in it are very very close to those from the Stevenson screen. Again I suggest this is partly due to the thermal (Mass, Inertia, Momentum), choose your own word of wood.


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      Steve B

      Thanks to everyone for the replies. I have now received an official answer from the BoM and it is quite correct about the 2 sets of observation side by side from the late 1880s to the late 1940s. It sounds like Adelaide was indeed unique in having both sets of instruments recording for so long, as they seem to think Adelaide was the only place which had such a long time of dueling instruments!


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        Lance Pidgeon

        Steve
        Out of curiosity did the BOM mention just two stands? As the photos above show for a very long time that round house in the middle makes at least three. As the words from 1896 and the photo from 1930 shows there were often at least four. The round house went in earlier than the first stevenson screen so the “dueling” goes on longer.


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          Steve B

          Lance, this is what the BoM kindly sent me:

          The Adelaide Observatory ran two different sets of instruments in parallel for about 60 years from the late 1880s to the late 1940s. One set of observations was made with the thermometers in a white louvred box (called a Stevenson screen), which has been the standard instrument shelter in Australia since the early 1900s. The second set of instruments was made with the thermometers in an open stand (a Glaisher stand), which was shaded from above but not protected from heat reflected from the ground.

          In the January 1939 event, 46.1 was recorded in the Stevenson screen and 47.6 in the Glaisher stand. The Stevenson screen observations are regarded as the official records as they are the ones which are measured in a way consistent with current practice. However, the Glaisher stand readings were widely reported at the time and have been quoted in many reference sources. (The 1.5 degree difference between the two sets of instruments is at a level which was typical of hot days in summer).

          As far as we are aware, Adelaide is the only site at which a long series of parallel measurements was carried out using the two instrument types. However, the Glaisher stand and other similar thermometer exposures were widely used in Australia prior to the formation of the Bureau in 1908. The difficulties in comparing such data with present-day data are one of the main reasons why the Bureau generally reports Australian temperatures starting in 1910, by which time the Stevenson screen was standard.


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            Thanks Steve.
            That seems like a good reply. Missing from it however (no doubt due to the nature of the question) is any clue that the old Glaisher stand read lower minimums than the Stevenson screen also. People often seem to think that the averages were consistantly shifted up on the old box but the opposite may be true on a cold day.
            Lance


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              Steve B

              Siliggy,
              Sorry for the delay, but I did ask about low temp readings as well in my original inquiry. I have asked again about the recording differences of both methods at low temps, and I will attempt to post a reply, if not on this thread, then maybe somewhere on this site(Jonova permitting) when or if I get a response from the BoM.


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      Ian George

      I noticed that Adelaide’s temp is shown as 46.1 recently. However, ACORN data shows that on 12th Jan, 1939 the temperature was 46.4C.
      I’m not sure where this figure comes from as West Terrace definitely shows 46.1C.
      Many temps on the ACORN site have been adjusted – usually downwards. Maybe someone stuffed up.
      Source
      http://www.bom.gov.au/climate/change/acorn/sat/data/acorn.sat.maxT.023090.daily.txt


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    crakar24

    Jo,

    They have been desperate to break a record here in Adelaide all week but alas none have been broken, the BOM initially predicted 48C today and the media jumped all over it by saying it was the highest prediction ever “a new record”, even the revised 46C was created more in hope than professional integrity.

    So it has come to this………..some rent seeking wannebe meteorologist claimed Adelaide broke the highest ever recorded temperature today, at the new weather station which was built in 1977. Yippee we finally got that AGW record we all wanted.

    How sad it is to watch once honourable men sink to such lows.

    Cheers


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    IIRC when I went to school here in W.A. between 1968 and 1976, the temperature had to remain above the old century (100⁰F; near enough 37.8⁰C) before the kids were allowed to try to seek refuge from the heat elsewhere. In those years, there was nowhere to go for most people, even in the Perth metro area’s suburbs.

    It seems to me that the BoM has now defined regular warm summer periods to meet the “heatwave” description. This means that during summer, there’ll be a “heatwave” every 7 to 14 days. Had they set out to deliberately do so by looking at the long-term weather patterns; they couldn’t have done a better job.

    Another chilly evening here, giving the house lots of opportunity to lose accummulated heat.


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      Bruce J

      I was a little earlier than you and we were not allowed into the playground if the temperature was over 100, but the school couldn’t send us home either so we were stuck in the class rooms, some of which were the old aluminium clad “pre-fabs”, aka ovens. They were always much hotter than under the trees outside. The only air conditioning was to open the windows for the “Fremantle doctor”.

      At the same time, heatwaves were only when the temperature was above 100 for 5 days. I believe a heatwave is now defined as 5 consecutive days above 35, which ensures we will have more in future than we did in the ’50′s and ’60′s.


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      Andrew McRae

      That envirorabble-rouser at the ABC, Sara Philips, recently sounded the class warfare dog whistle on the matter of grid demand for air-conditioning:
      How you pay for your neighbour’s air-con.
      (My comment could rapidly turn into an instance of ToFrOz-baiting.)

      She cites a productivity commission report to argue that we’re all paying energy companies to maintain capacity for “Peak demand” even though only a few rich folk fully benefit from it. The domestic air-con is her main hook and “human interest angle” for this. Then she argues that Demand Management and time-of-use pricing on Smart Meters are needed to reduce the height of the demand peak.

      In effect, your sweaty neighbours without air-con are helping to pay for your comfort. The solution, says the PC, is something called ‘demand management’.

      Count her howlers:

      1) No problem with the biggest peak-demand users paying a bigger slice of the capacity maintenance bill, but the maintenance is done to keep the generators running at all, so that electricity is available when anyone switches on their wall socket. The Commission might have gone too far in blaming peak demand. When one turbine has to go offline for maintenance they have to have a spare to take over. That spare has to be maintained for reasons other than peak summer demand.

      2) Domestic air-conditioning is not even the majority of the peak on hot summer days, it’s mostly commercial refrigeration and office air-conditioning, a fact which TonyFromOz has pointed out repeatedly and quite recently.

      3) She spins the rare need for domestic summer air-conditioning into an argument for reducing the height of peak demand! Yes, somehow the smart meter is going to shift the hottest part of a summer day back to 4am! She’s a genius! Why don’t we use that to fight global warming directly?! Just move the heat to earlier in the day!


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        Mark D.

        Obviously a continuation of the “humans bad” guilt trip. You mustn’t be comfortable, you must suffer. I also have it in my mind that warmists believe that people are skeptical of AGW because we don’t “feel it” on account of air conditioning. Therefore, it is a warmist duty to shut down our AC.


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          Good observation, Mark. Probably has a down side of people moving away from the coasts and further north, though, so then they won’t see that monstrous 6 or so cm of sea rise and the temperatures will be cool enough to go without A/C. Then the people in warm countries without A/C will be growing the food and the northerners will be manufacturing. Wait, that would be adapting…No, scratch that. Bad plan on their part.


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    Radical Rodent

    Rightly or wrongly, I do venture into scare-monger territory, perhaps in a desire to throw a cat in among the pigeons.

    I must get out more.


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      We’re all toast. So party and don’t worry about it!

      (“Cute” presentation though) Actually, I was chastized for giving just a scenario for the future with the demands for CO2 reduction. I will have to bookmark that presentation to show warmists DO think these things. It’s not just curly light bulbs and energy efficient appliances. It’s much much more.


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    NikFromNYC

    Australia is now the proud owner of one of the greatest musical instruments of all time, made about 300 years ago:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3FuEDSyOD4U


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    bobl

    Will Steffan at the Ipswich climate conversation thingy, said that warming would be 3 degrees for a doubling and also that there would be 5 degrees of warming by centuries end, since the doubling would be likely to occur after the centuries end. I could only take that as Will Steffan contradicting himself as the opportunity arose. I even have the video of it saved away!

    The economics guy couldn’t explain to me how a tax that on their own numbers would take twice world GDP per degree of mitigation was going to help – the ex climate commission is quite frankly incompetent.


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      The Maths is worse than first thought. Can you put the video on YouTube?


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      Philip Shehan

      Actually The IPCC range for climate sensitivity is 1.5 to 4.5 C. When I mentioned that range some days ago Memory Vault complalined that I had ignored his post in which he claimed:

      The AR5 Final Draft about to be released (and already leaked) drops it down to 1.3 °C max which is pretty much indistinguishable from noise, over a century.

      He provided no evidence of where this claim came from. In fact I had checked the the published final summary report published in November last year and a “leaked” version of the draft of the specialist report, both of which qu0ted the 1.5-4.5 C range. Since such numbers are not quoted “over a century”, I concluded that Memory Vault was mistaken and continued to use these numbers until the IPCC actually does say otherwise.

      I also pointed to empirical calculations of data going back to 1850 and temperature and CO2 data going back to when Muana Loa began operating in 1958, both of which showed the climate sensitivity to be 2 C.


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        bullocky

        “He provided no evidence of where this claim came from.”
        -
        Readers will note that your ‘evidence’ is similarly scanty.


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          Philip Shehan

          bullocky:

          Climate Change 2013
          The Physical Science Basis
          Working Group I Contribution to the
          Fifth Assessment Report of the
          Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change
          Summary for Policymakers

          Page 14

          Equilibrium climate sensitivity is likely in the range 1.5°C to 4.5°C (high confidence), extremely unlikely less than 1°C (high confidence), and very unlikely greater than 6°C (medium confidence)16.

          Working Group I contribution to the IPCC 5th Assessment
          Report “Climate Change 2013: The Physical Science Basis” was accepted but not approved in detail by the
          12th Session of Working Group I and the 36th Session of the IPCC on 26 September 2013 in Stockholm,
          Sweden.

          Page TS 46

          ECS is positive, likely in the range1.5°C to 4.5°C with high confidence, extremely unlikely less than 1°C (high confidence) and very unlikely greater than 6°C (medium confidence).

          See my comment at 31.4.1.1.1 below regarding empirical calculations of ECS.


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          Philip Shehan

          Bullocky. Fair enough for you to pick me up on not giving a guide to where people could check my claims after complaining about MV doing same.

          With regard to the figure of 1.3 C that MV gave and I could not find, I recall at the time of the release of the draft summmary report that claims were made in the press that the Equilibrium climate sensitivty value had been revised down to 1.3 C. It was pointed out that the figure was referring to another related parameter, the Transient climate sensitivity with is used for short term periods of decades or a century. MV’s reference to 1.3 °C max which is pretty much indistinguishable from noise, over a century made me suspect he has made the same error (although I do not think the figure was quoted as a maximum), but I could not find it in my admittedly skimming review of the sections I referenced. If anyone finds it let me know.


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            Philip Shehan

            Me again bullocky. I guess for completeness I should show how I worked out my figure of 2 C, not actually shown my working out of the ECS at 31.4.1.1.1 below. I have done so on previous threads and it attracted some hostility from certain quarters about my “peurile use of junior high maths” (you may note a subtle dig at 31.4.1.1.1)

            Before I give an example it occured to me that as I was working with a few decades of data what the transient CS might be or why the transient CS is used at all. I can’t see that the use of a few decades of data makes the calculation of the ECS I use invalid.

            The temperature trend for the hadcrut4 data is
            0.124 ± 0.023 °C/decade (2σ) giving a temperature increase for the entire 56 year period
            0.694 ± 0.124 °C (The error margin is 19%)
            The change in CO2 concentration for that period is from 315 to 400 ppm (We will neglect the small error in CO2 concentration as this data is much less noisy than the temperature data)
            The equation for temperature rise with increasing CO2 is therefore
            0.694 = k log(400/315) where k is the proportionality constant.
            0.694 = k x 0.239
            k = 0.694/239 = 2.91
            The temperature rise for a doubling of CO2 concentration is therefore
            2.91 x log2 =
            2.01 ± 0.38 °C


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    Miles

    That’s a fascinating piece of weather archeology; untouched by the smoothing hand of creative post-normal science for which we all pay in so many ways.
    Who knows how much?
    $200 billion? $300 billion? But we all know where that money eventually comes from.
    I say that the temperature recorded at Adelaide airport is more indicative of the ‘actual’ temperature achieved today, rather than the ‘official’ temperature which occurred at the BOM in Kent Town. If one needs to have a clearer indication of the ‘heat island effect’, Kent Town does it in spades.
    The maximum temperature at Adelaide airport was 41.7c recorded at 3.00pm
    The maximum temperature at Kent Town was 44.2 recorded at 5.00 pm
    Adelaide airport is approximately nine kilometers west of Kent Town.
    But, whatever the location, whether it’s accurate or not is one part of the story.
    The other part of this desperate extravaganza is that despite the millions of dollars worth of Cray computers, despite the army of highly paid BOM scientists, the best that was ‘forecast’ twelve hours out (as a spell is ‘cast’) was wrong by over nine percent. Yet the same crew are asking us to believe that the ‘models’ indicate with ‘certainty’ a rise of ‘x’ degrees by 2100.
    Really, what the xxxx are they thinking.
    The time has come. ABC, BOM, Will Steffen, Flannery and the gaggle of snout-troughers have to be called out.


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      Some years ago, I argued that the BoM method of “reading” the entrails of raw data and soothsaying the future had become heavily biased through being “trained” by successive, strong el Niño events.

      Their forecasts beyond 3 days are, as in other parts of the world, little more than decorative. Now that the synoptic charts with isobars no longer feature in the TV weather reports and forecasts, it’s difficult for the average viewer to spot the difference in circulations for the season and to make up their own mind. The vivid, animated images distract from the fact that they convey less information than the “boring” line drawings of the past.

      I think it was the early 1970′s when one of the weathermen on Perth TV went through different parts of the synoptic chart each night during his weather report, explaining what each bit meant. It was only a minute or so each evening but it made the weather reports more interesting thereafter.


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    Great post Jo and excellent work Lance.
    Living in Adelaide for 50 years it’s easy to dismiss fanciful statements re max temps in the Press. It’s hot in summer with a few days over 40 (usually but not always), it’s cool in winter and somewhere in between in spring and autumn. Pretty benign really.

    It has been my observation that the West tce site would read cooler predominantly due to being more open to the prevailing southerly and westerly winds (elevated from the nearby western “burbs”. ) Kent Town, however, is a built up area on the western side of the city well protected from cooler winds.

    What I did notice when comparing the BOM “HQ” data set with the West Tce and Kent Town sites was that the West Tce temps were cooled in “step” amounts before being integrated into the HQ data set. Both the Min’s and the Max temps. See https://eyesonbrowne.wordpress.com/2013/01/27/adelaides-hq-temperature-record/

    The HQ data shows a warming rate of 0.12°C per decade, while analysis of the West Tce and Kent Town data sets shows a mere 0.2°C per century.

    Hardly anything to get alarmed about. Reminds me of a quote from a young lad at the Australian Tennis Open.
    “Everyone should just focus on the tennis and not worry about the heat”

    Good advice by someone so young.

    JTF62


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      Lance Pidgeon

      Thanks for the link JTF62.
      I like the way you laid that out and I got 0.2 degrees C rise also by different method. I tried to compare the two sites during the overlap with tables also. It got ugly and confusing so Jo and I left it out. I would even get confused reading my own description of it a week later. It appears you had some of the same problems.
      Not sure what you did with January 1977 is the best way to go because January 1979 and Feb 1979 are lost(I think).

      From the BOM raw data.
      January 1978 mean max KT – WT = 0.3 Degrees C
      January 1979 mean max KT – WT = 0.5 Degrees C
      These two could hint at Adelaide needing to get above 46.5 to claim the record (unless some nonlinearity also exists). All that a record tie would show is that nothing has changed since 1939. Non linearity may show up if daily data is compared.
      Siliggy


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    Tim

    “As the telegraph system expanded so did the meteorological stations, with a greater impetus ten years later when post offices came under Todd’s control.”


    Local Post Offices were required to submit regular weather data and I believe these records were meticulously kept. Many would be still around today. Someone should follow these records before they are ‘disappeared’.


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    Philip Shehan

    Why does the Adelaide West Terrace data stop in 1979?

    If you compare it with the graph above, that is the point where the temperatures begin a rise to the present day.

    Also the point is not that there were very hot temperatures in the past. It is the frequency with which such extreme events occur that is indicative of climate change. In Melbourne we are having a series of days of above 40 C heat. This follows a record hot summer last year, and the heat wave is similar to that which preceeded Black Saturday in 2009.

    This is entirely consistent with the global temperatures for the last decade being the hottest on record.


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    OT, I know but I can’t help myself!

    Just saw this headline here:

    5:00am The fast-growing Southern Alps also appear to be fighting climate change.

    The final sentence:

    Sara Mikaloff-Fletcher, an atmosphere-ocean modeller at Niwa, said the results could be important in understanding the fate of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. “This type of result might be really important to understanding over the long term how long it’s going to take to get back to a pre-industrial level of atmospheric carbon dioxide,” she said.

    Well, I never.


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    Radical Rodent

    Please note: there may be subdued posting from the UK as we mourn the passing of Roger Lloyd Pack (“Trigger” in Only Fools and Horses, one of the nation’s favourite comedic characters), a true gem in the crown of British acting.


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    janama

    In today’s Australian – Professor Ian Chubb, Australia’s Chief Scientist.

    This is what our Chief Scientist has to say in reply to Maurice Newman

    Surely CO2 is a climate culprit:

    If the answer were simple, we would know it. So we have to use the evidence we have to assess the impact now; and we have to use the data to build models to estimate what the impact might be in the future.

    Right now we know that as CO2 levels in the atmosphere increase, so too does the amount of CO2 absorbed by the ocean, with the effect of making the water less alkaline (or more acid). Why would we presume that would have no effect on marine life? We also know that the heat content of the oceans has increased consistently although the rise in atmospheric temperature recently is flatter. Why would we presume no effect on the currents, winds and evaporation, and a subsequent impact on climate? We know the planet is warmer than pre-industrial times. While some might dismiss this as just a few tenths (0.9C) of a degree, I wonder if they’d be as sanguine if their core body temperature increased by the same few tenths of a degree.

    http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/opinion/surely-co2-is-a-climate-culprit/story-e6frgd0x-1226803580620


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      I asked MichaeltheRealist if he ran to the ER if his body temperature went up to 100 F, did he run to the ER. He never answered. However, reading your post, I am thinking that ERs are full of people who believe in AGW and who have body temperatures of 99.6 or above. Quite interesting……


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      llew Jones

      Interesting that Chubb is essentially influenced by deep ecology rather than science in comparing the sensitivity of the Earth (or is that Gaia?) to small changes.

      Roy Spencer nails the real driver for alarmism with many climate scientists by this comment:

      “In Earth science, I find most researchers believe nature is fragile. But that is not a scientific position, it is a religious one. No less religious than my view that nature is resilient.”

      One could add that the Chubb’s view of a fragile Earth is derived essentially from contemporary Paganism or Deep Ecology and as Spencer says is a religious not a scientific view.

      Hope Abbott has this fool pretending to be a scientist on his to be sacked list.


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      gbees

      “I wonder if they’d be as sanguine if their core body temperature increased by the same few tenths of a degree.”

      It’s amazing the chief scientist would make such a comparison. By the way Mr Chubb, the body’s in-built control system increases the temperature in response to a virus in order to kill it. I guess since you believe in the teachings of Gaia and so think that the Earth is increasing it’s temperature to kill off the human virus?

      Your other claims re: ocean acidity and hidden (sic) heat in the ocean have been suitably debunked in the scientific literature.

      Time Mr Abbot ended your tenure …


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        Philip Shehan

        There is nothing in Professor Chubb’s comments to justify the claim that “Chubb is essentially influenced by deep ecology rather than science in comparing the sensitivity of the Earth (or is that Gaia?) to small changes.”

        His comments on the effects of increase in carbonic acid concentration with incresed CO2 concentration are mainstream science and backed by empirical evidence:

        http://www.scor-int.org/OBO2009/A&O_Report.pdf


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      John F. Hultquist

      There are a couple of things wrong with the Chief’s comments but let me just suggest one. While there seems to be some question about exact numbers and so on, it appears that CO2 in the atmosphere was going up prior to about 1975 while the temperature was going down. Then CO2 and temperature when up together until about 1998. They haven’t been in tune since. The warmist position is that the heat is flowing into the ocean, and I agree solar energy does enter the ocean. Bob Tisdale has explained this – the Western Pacific Warm Pool, the Trade Winds, ENSO. No need for CO2. Your Chief, nor you, nor anyone else can explain why things happen in the herky-jerky fashion they do while CO2 continues its slow rise. When your theory does not agree with observations, the theory fails.

      And I did not miss the nonsense about the ocean becoming more acid. I have grass to watch grow so someone else can explain about the principles of buffering. There is much on the web as regards the pH of human blood. You might find it interesting.


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        AndyG55

        The real temps dropped from 1940 – mid 1970′s

        Phil Jones noted in the Climategate emails as saying something like.. “we must get rid of that 1940′s peak”

        Now look at HadCrud record.

        These guys are close to being criminals in the fraud they have carried out.


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          AndyG55

          Here is that pre-adjustment graph again..
          http://imagizer.imageshack.us/v2/800x600q90/35/haw6.jpg

          There are similar ones floating elsewhere, even an old Hansen one.
          And they all show that 1940 peak, then cooling.

          In the link above, RSS has been spliced on, showing the probable comparison between that 1940 peak and the 1998 ElNino peak.

          NOT MUCH WARMING AT ALL, IF ANY

          Notice how well the graph linked above coincides with this pre-adjustment graph of NOAA sea surface temps.
          http://imagizer.imageshack.us/v2/800x600q90/585/fvhx.jpg

          Notice the TOTAL LACK OF ANY CORRELATION between temperature and CO2 if an UN-MALADJUSTED temperature series are used.

          By squashing that 1940 peak, it allows useful warmist idiots to draw a stronger correlation,
          and even do moronic things like stating how much warming a doubling of CO2 would cause if it was the only forcing.


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            Philip Shehan

            A couple of points. Your first graph deals with Northern hemisphere data only.

            There is no indication of what the zero line is for each of the two slpiced graphs. Zero values vary from data set to data set, and are usually set as the average of some period, usually a 30 years, of the data in question. As time has gone on and temperatures increased, there has been a tendency to move the 30 year period forward. So simply lining up the zero lines for two different sets may give an invalid comparison.

            The second graph deals with sea, not land temperatures. And the setting of the CO2 scale with respect to the temperature is entirely arbitrary.

            Certainly all global land-sea data sets show a bump around the 1940’s. This is just part of the noise due to the fact that there are of course many forcing factors in addition to CO2 concentration, both anthropogenic and natural which contribute to temperature.

            Nevertheless a graph averaging 10 of the most commonly used global land sea data sets gives a curve which closely matches the rise in CO2 concentration.

            http://www.skepticalscience.com/pics/AMTI.png

            http://tinyurl.com/aj2us99

            The temperature dependence on CO2 concentration is logarithmic, not linear, and a graph of temp vs Log CO2 concentration gives a very good linear fit with a correlation coefficient of 0.91.

            http://oi46.tinypic.com/29faz45.jpg

            The figure for temperature rise with a doubling of CO2 concentration for this data is

            2.04 ± 0.07 °C

            Looking at data since Muana Loa began operating since 1958 also shows an extremely good correlation between CO2 concentration and temperature.

            http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/hadcrut4gl/from:1958/mean:12/plot/esrl-co2/from:1958/normalise/scale:0.75/offset:0.2

            The increase for doubling of CO2 concentration for this data can be calculated using very simple mathematics of junior high school level. The result is

            2.01 ± 0.38 °C

            Given the increase in error which is expected with a shorter term data set, the very close agreement with the data from 1850 must be regarded as fortuitous, but they clearly match within experimental error.

            For those who prefer Christy and Spencer’s UAH satellite data available since 1979 a similar calculation gives a value of

            1.80 ± 0.91 °C.

            Again the error increases with a shorter time period but this result is in very good agreement with the others.

            Thus the figure of 2 C can be regarded as an empirical approximation for the equilibrium climate sensitivity, but it is only a first order calculation, ignoring as it does other factors which contribute to temperature.

            However, forcings such as the 11 year solar cycle, volcanic eruptions, el nino/la nina fluctuations can be assumed to even out over multidecadal periods for the purposes of a first order calculation, so the 2 degree figure is expected to be a reasonable approximation of the true value.


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              bobl

              Sorry Phil but wrong

              Using very simple mathematics of junior high school level…

              Let’s attribute all warming to CO2 (Poor assumption but it gives us a boundary (maximum) sensitivity estimate)

              Warming so far 33 degrees
              Percent of available energy intercepted by CO2 85%

              Warming rate 0.38 degrees per Percent energy intercepted

              Percent Energy Remaining in CO2 stopband 15%
              IPCC forceast of warming 3 degrees x 13 doublings (to reach 1 atm CO2) (energy intercepted @ 99.9%) = 39 degrees

              Warming rate 2.6 degrees per percent energy intercepted

              These numbers are nearly a factor of 10 different!

              Taking this further, if we assume the warming so far (33 degrees) is all controlled by CO2 and this continues to 1 atm CO2 how much warming would this cause

              15 * 0.38 = 5.7 degrees, that’s for 13 doublings, so that represents a sensitivity of 0.43 degrees per doubling – if and only if ALL the 33 degree initial rise in atmospheric temperature above blackbody is CO2 driven (Which it’s not).

              Probable Sensitivity then strictly less than 0.43 per doubling and more likely less than half that, since most of the initial 33 degree rise is caused by gravity and some of it by non carbon GHGs like ozone, and not CO2.


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                Philip Shehan

                bobl: I am unsure of where your figures are coming from. I assume that 33 C is the calculated total effect of greenhouse gases in warming the earth compared to the absence of an atmosphere.

                I am unsure of how this statement “Warming rate 0.38 degrees per Percent energy intercepted”
                and subsequent are arrived at, but they are not relevant.

                The Equilibrium Climate Sensitivity is simply defined as the rise in temperature with a doubling of the CO2 concentration, excluding temperature changes from other forcings, whatever your calculations of percent energy intercepted (?), 15% stopbands (?), 13 doublings (?) blackbody radiation, contributions of other GHG and gravity are.

                These factors may or may not contribute to the observed temperature, but again that is irrelevant to the fact that ECS describes, or rather is defined as, what the temperature rise actually is (excluding that due to other forcings) with a doubling of CO2 according to this equation.

                T1 – T2 = k ln([CO2]1/[CO2]2)

                The observed data from 1850 is indeed fitted to a logarithmic function with a correlation coefficient of 0.91, giving a first order approximation value of the ECS. The approximation neglects contributions to the temperature rise as they average out over the period (solar cycles, volcanoes,el nino/la nina oscillations etc) or have only a small effect on temperature over the period (eg orbital changes which cause ice ages). These neglected contributions may positive or negative so the result does not represent an upper or lower bound. The result is
                2.04 ± 0.07 °C

                The fact that calculations of ECS for the last 56 and 35 years agree with this figure within experimental error and all are within the IPCC expeted range supports the validity of the calculation.


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                bobl

                It’s quite relevant in that it shows that using “all history” and taking into account all feedback, sensitivity beyond 0.43 degrees per doubling cannot be justified and that the IPCC estimates are an order of magnitude greater that the accepted physics would support, but hey let’s have it your way.

                Since LIA delta T = 0.7 (on latest figures)

                CO2 rise 400ppm/270ppm

                0.7=C x ln (400/270) C = about 1.78

                Demonstrated climate sensitivity
                T = 1.78 ln(2) = 1.233 degree per doubling

                IPCC suggest however that only 50% of warming can be justifiably attributed to CO2 so a more reliable evaluation is as follows

                0.35 = C ln(400/200) C = 0.89
                T = 0.89 ln(2) = 0.62 Degrees per doubling

                So over the period the absolute highest sensitivity that can be justified is an unalarming 1.23 degrees per doubling implying zero feedback, or if the IPCC are to be believed 0.62 degrees per doubling implying negative feedback.

                You also fail even in your own calculation to take into account that best estimates are that barely 50% of warming over this period can be justifiably attributed to CO2 – You have no basis for the assumption that all warming since the LIA is due to CO2. Adjusting for this on your own numbers that’s an unalarming 1 degree per doubling implying negative feedback – so thank you for proving my point.

                PS I note that my second calculation is approaching my estimate using (global temp – blackbody temp) making these two methods somewhat consistent, except that I would suggest the evidence is that the proportion of warming attributed to CO2 over this period is too high, and less than 35% of warming since the little ice age can justifiably be attributed to CO2.

                The math doesn’t lie – high sensitivity is NOT evident in the historical record, it is ONLY to be found in the models. There is no basis for expecting that the climate is going to warm faster (relative to CO2 rise) in the future than it has in the past.


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                Philip Shehan

                “IPCC suggest however that only 50% of warming can be justifiably attributed to CO2″

                Where does this reference come from? What is the context? Is it that CO2 makes a 50% contribution to temperature changes and other factors make up the other 50%? But if the other forcing factors (solar cycles, volcanoes,el nino/la nina oscillations etc) average out to zero over a given period, while CO2 has risen, all the observed temperature rise in that period can be attributed to CO2. (That is the only assumption I made.) What are the other warming factors? Covering what period?

                “Since LIA delta T = 0.7 (on latest figures”

                Whose figures? What is the evidence That the LIA was a global rather than North Atlantic phenomenon? The rise in temperature since 1900 is generally given as 0.9 C.

                “The math doesn’t lie”.

                No, but you maths contains more assumptions than mine.


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                bobl

                50% warming comes from AR5

                Phil, I’m not going to argue, it generally accepted that from 1850 to 1999 the warming was 0.8 degrees, given the anomaly in 2013 is around -0.1 relative to 1999 I have compensated. I have used a wider – not cherry picked period, from the point of minimum CO2 (Preindustrial) to the point of maximum CO2 (now) over which the CO2 rise from 270PPM to 400PPM arose, IE the longest period of CO2 rise. This should give the best estimate of the relationship between CO2 and Temperature based on the historic record. Picking 1900 (a solar minimum also) arbitrarily ignores the rise of CO2 between 1850 and 1900 and unjustifiably increases the average. CO2 can’t tell the time.

                Even so, when you take into account that AR5 says that best estimate is that 50% of warming is from CO2 and the other 50% is from other causes (EG perhaps Solar activity increased from the 1900 through now (1900 was a solar minimum and 1999 was a grand maximum), or maybe the fact that we’ve removed SOx from the atmosphere over the last 100 years) even on your own figures and using the IPCC assertion, it’s clear no more than 1 degree per doubling can be justified.

                You also ignore my other analysis using the all cause rise between no atmosphere and now, and the spectral dip of 85% in the CO2 absorption band without justification – by handwaving and uttering the magic word irrelevant. Unfortunately for you it is very relevant, since I establish the temperature rise relative to absorbed incident energy and show that the IPCC claims future CO2 energy absorption will cause almost 10 times the rate of temperature experienced so far. And this is assuming ALL the rise from blackbody is due to CO2 – we know for a fact that CO2 does not cause all 33 degrees of warming. You can’t just handwave it away – prove I’m wrong – I want to see YOUR math, and YOUR reasoning.


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      bullocky

      Professor Ian Chubb:
      - ‘I wonder if they’d be as sanguine if their core body temperature increased by the same few tenths of a degree.’
      -
      Not half as sanguine as they’d be if their body temp. fluctuated like the earth’s historical record.


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        Heywood

        ‘I wonder if they’d be as sanguine if their core body temperature increased by the same few tenths of a degree.’

        So a few tenths of a degree huh?

        “In healthy adults, body temperature fluctuates about 0.5 °C (0.9 °F) throughout the day”
        “Harvard study agrees with exactly as the true average human body temperature, is slightly cooler, at 36.8° ± 0.4°C (98.2° ± 0.7°F)”

        Something tells me that “if their core body temperature increased by the same few tenths of a degree” it would barely make any difference.

        From wiki, so take it as you will.


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          bullocky

          -
          Excellent point, Heywood.
          -
          Nevertheless, it’s nice to see a Gaia rep. installed as Australia’s Chief Scientist!
          -
          (sarc)


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          Philip Shehan

          Heywood, the temperatures Professor Chubb is talking about are in celsius and the few tenths are actually 0.9 C. People with a temperature of 37.9 C and rising would not be sanguine about their health.


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            A temperature of 37.9 is approximately 100F. Anything under 101 is considered mild. So until one reaches 38.9 (102) or thereabouts, physicians are rarely concerned, at least those I have seen in the USA. Showing up at an ER with a fever of less than 103 (39.4) is generally frowned upon unless you have had it for several days (or you’re sure you have the flu and want Tamiflu). Humans, especially children, can tolerate fevers up to 106 (41.1) or 107 (for short periods). A fever of 104 (40C) is often not considered cause for alarm in children. High fevers with flu are a normal part of the healing process. So .9 C and rising should not be cause for medical alarm. If the increase continues, then further investigation and possible treatment is warrented. Temperatures range from 97F to 100F in “normal” humans. Average really is just that, average.

            Also, bringing down a fever in a person is not really comparable to trying to manipulate the anomolies from average global temperature to a range we prescribed. Human temperatures are easy to measure, we have millions of measurements and millions of examples of when a fever is dangerous and when it is not. Not so with the global climate. In addition, there has been rethinking of the “normal” term to more accurately reflect reality (see Harvard Health Publications.)


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            bullocky

            ” People with a temperature of 37.9 C and rising would not be sanguine about their health.”
            -
            One would hope!. . . .But that’s not what Professor Chubb stated.


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      handjive

      This is like shooting stupid fish in a barrel.
      And what a big, slow, sloppy, slippery fish is Ian Chubb!

      A trophy worthy of any wall!

      ABC 30 JUNE 2011:
      Ian Chubb Quote: After the work of very many scientists over more than 50 years, the views on climate change have converged to the point where the evidence has moved from possible to beyond reasonable doubt.

      August 30, 2012:
      Professor Chubb said when scientists say ‘It’s highly likely that humans have intervened in the global warming patterns that we are now seeing’, it would be good if people accepted that ‘highly likely’ doesn’t mean ‘we don’t really know’.

      January 2014:
      Surely CO2 is a climate culprit: If the answer were simple, we would know it.”
      . . . .
      Chubb has gone from “Beyond Reasonable Doubt” to “Highly Likely” to “Surely”.

      Checking UN-IPCC context for uncertainty:
      “Confidence is expressed qualitatively, which is expressed as levels of agreement and evidence.”

      “Surely” is less scientific and qualified than quite so!

      “If the answer was simple, we would know it.” Did you mention “the science is settled?”
      . . .
      Confidence in Ian Chubb promoting real science: 0%.


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        Winston

        Ian Chubb,

        Two words- rank failure.


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        handjive

        In case anyone is not familiar with the importance of the ‘quite so‘ reference -
        Ian Chubb appeared at the The Australian Press Club on 24 May 2012.

        The video is no longer available at the NPC, but, maybe it’s out there somewhere.

        In the video, Professor Ian Chubb unequivocally led the National Press Club of Australia to believe that the “Death Threats” were real and he had acted properly by relocating the scientists concerned.

        - See video of Ian Chubb’s address and in particular question put to him by Christian Kerr of the Australian at 30mins 40seconds of the video. (if it is ever found)

        But, MAY 29, 2012, Appearing before a Senate estimates hearing, Professor Chubb said when he was vice-chancellor of the Australian National University in 2010:
        “Professor Chubb admitted he never saw the threatening emails.
        However, he denied any of them had included death threats as was widely reported.
        “They were at least abusive but let me be clear . . . I didn’t read the emails.”

        “For the record, there were no alleged death threats except when journalists picked up the story.”
        . . . .

        To summarise:
        A week before appearing at a Senate Estimates Hearing, Prof. Chubb appears in front of journalists at the National Press Club, tells a journalist a lie, then a week later says under oath that it was the journalist’s fault.


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    Uncle Gus

    Interesting quote from the BBC. I quote from memory so it may not be exact. “The current heatwave in Australia is in line with recent global temperature trends… ” Of course, it isn’t. It’s in line with climate predictions, but competely out of line with what has actually been happening recently in the rest of the world.


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    Gbees

    This is an interesting resource. South Australian State Library.
    http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/manning/sa/misc/weather.htm

    Note a few paragraphs down.

    “A Hot Spell in the Fifties” is in the Observer,
    15 January 1898, page 29b.


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    mpcraig

    Marble Bar in 1923-24. At or over 100F for 160 consecutive days: http://www.bom.gov.au/lam/climate/levelthree/c20thc/temp1.htm

    Now THAT’s a heat wave.


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    Scott

    Hi Guys,

    I read this at the Hockey Schtick about why the heatwave is as bad as it is. Turns out the Cyclone off WA was a key factor. worth a read.

    you need to get past the twitter crap from New Scientist. Sorry I cant seem to get links to work without a heap of manipulation.

    http://hockeyschtick.blogspot.com.au/2014/01/new-scientist-blames-natural-australian.html

    P.S. has a nice summary of Mann’s Hockystick rise and fall in the post below this one.


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    March

    Great post Jo.

    Of interest is BOM’s shabby treatment of ACT records. The current records are based on post March 1939 observations made at Canberra airport. It is odd that the record starts so late given the importance of the nations capital funded several decades earlier. But there was a BOM station in Acton that ran from 1912 to Dec. 1939. This includes records for the Jan 1939 heatwave apparently glossed over by BOM. The current posted temp record for Canberra on the BOM website is 42.2 recorded 1/2/1968 at the Canberra airport. However the Acton station on Wednesday 11/1/1939: recorded 108.4F (=42.4C). BOM does not currently post the daily observations for this site!

    CANBERRA TIMES through the NLA nicely documents the temp records from Acton. For the Jan 1939 heatwave the following temps were recorded in the newspaper.
    Saturday 7/1/1939: 101.7 (38.7)
    Sunday 8/1/1939: 102.8 (39.3)
    Monday 9/1/1939: 102.6 (39.2)
    Tuesday 10/1/2013: 106.4 (41.3)
    Wednesday 11/1/1939: 108.4 (42.4)* seems this should be the record beating GC’s mention by 0.2
    Thursday 12/1/1939: 103.6 (39.8)
    Friday 13/1/1939: 107.4 (41.9)
    Saturday 14/1/1939: 107.4 (41.9)
    Sunday 15/1/1939: 105.4 (40.8)

    FOR LINKS SEE:http://abcnewswatch.blogspot.com.au/2014/01/fact-checking-weather-man.html


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    Lennox

    The Cooling World
    Newsweek, April 28, 1975

    The Cooling World:

    http://denisdutton.com/cooling_world.htm

    Original Newsweek article with scary maps and graphs:
    http://denisdutton.com/newsweek_coolingworld.pdf

    http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/2235115/posts


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    Heywood

    All this talk of heatwaves had me wondering what the official definition of a heatwave was.

    The latest and greatest definition from the BOM.

    “What is a heatwave?

    Three days or more of high maximum and minimum temperatures that is unusual for that location.”

    A very vague definition.

    What do they consider ‘high’?? Above average for that time of year? Above a certain threshold? Above a defined temperature?
    How do they define ‘unusual temperatures’??

    Seems to me that we are going to get a lot more ‘heatwaves’ based on the new official definition. I wonder if it’s by design or by accident??


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      AndyG55

      Its all about raising the panic.

      But people are starting to realise what a joke it is becoming.

      The more they behave like this, the more people will become sceptical,

      especially now that people like Maurice Newman are getting words in the MSM !


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        Safetyguy66

        One of the oldest children s parables has been completely forgotten.

        You keep crying wolf, eventually your gonna get your ass bitten off while no one is watching. The MSM has a wolf the size of QLD sneaking up on it right now and they are so busy yelling about the bull ant in front of them they forgot to look behind.

        I agree Andy, the raise in the shrillness of the lies is just the last gasp death rattle for the whole debate. People are over it and they can only get so scared before they stop caring altogether.


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      Andrew McRae

      Heywood you are on the right track. We seem to have heated discussions about heatwaves every January. (See 2013 here and here.)

      It is somewhat problematic that there is no official definition of a heatwave. As recently as 2010 the WMO were holding meetings in which they highlighted the need “for developing common definition related to climate extreme events with particular focus on cold waves, heat waves and severe precipitation and storms events”. One wonders if there is already a de facto standard.

      In Frich 2002, which is cited by no lesser figure than Kevin Trenberth for its definition of a heat wave, which is also the definition of a heatwave used in Canada and Europe, we find the minimum duration is FIVE days.

      Heat wave duration index: maximum period > 5 consecutive days with Tmax >5°C above the 1961–1990 daily Tmax normal

      The boffins use the length as a way of judging the severity of a warm spell without arbitrarily deciding how many days counts as “a heatwave”, which is fair enough. Who’s to say it should 5 instead of 4 or 6? It’s arbitrary.

      That doesn’t seem to have stopped the BoM from REDEFINING a Heat wave as only 3 days or more of abnormal temperature. How to manufacture more heatwaves: lower the threshold of the definition!

      It’s interesting that in this Monash/CSIRO paper by Tryhorn and Risbey from 2006 the authors were aware of the “5 days + 5 degrees” rule and decided not to use it, opting instead for a 90th percentile threshold of maximum temperatures. That seems fair since areas with high variability may breach the 5 degree Tmax rule more often and if that’s not unusual then it shouldn’t be called a heat wave. A 90th percentile adapts to any region’s variability whereas a strict 5 degree threshold does not. On the other hand if a region has very low variability, would you call a 91st percentile warm week a “heatwave” if Tmax was only 3 degrees above normal? It’s not severe enough in absolute terms.
      The 5 degree rule seems more intuitive, but the WMO has not actually stamped any authority on it.

      For what it’s worth, the CSIRO found the durations of warm spells have been increasing since 1950. The average “heatwave” duration increased… wait for it… from 2.75 days to 3.5 days. But hey it could be those extra 18 hours that kills ya, y’know? Plus a warming from any cause would lead to such events, including natural cycles.

      Their figure 2a and 2c shows that their models of heatwaves had less variability than reality and in reality the overnight lows were cooler than the models. That’s something to keep in mind when we hear of an “accelerated greenhouse effect projected to make the impact of heatwaves worse”.


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    Dave N

    “Below, notice how commonly those red spikes go about 40C? Adelaide gets scorched nearly every year. It’s summer.”

    That pretty much sums it up. It’s a fear factor that makes people pay more attention and dulls their memory. Even if they experienced heatwaves in the past, that someone tells them they’re happening “because of humans”, all of a sudden they become fearful and agree that something has to be done about it.


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    Safetyguy66

    Meanwhile in the seemingly unending stream of contradictory information coming from the warmistas, we have;

    Time Magazine 1974 “Global Cooling causes polar vortex” and
    Time Magazine 2014 “Global warming causes polar vortex”

    http://pjmedia.com/eddriscoll/2014/01/07/time-magazine-swings-both-ways/

    The next story will be global global causes global global. But that would make too much sense.


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    Robert O

    The basic weather pattern for these Summer extremes is crystal clear; there is a “low” on the WA side, and a “high’ on the Eastern side which funnels hot air from the desert (heated by a near vertical sun) southwards, the stronger the pressure gradients the faster the northerly wind. This is the weather pattern that causes the extremes, the catastrophic fires in Victoria recently, Hobart in 1967. If there is a source of ignition you cannot stop them, apart from be prepared and reduce the fuel-loadings before Summer, if the Greens let you.
    Nothing much to do with Carbon Dioxide as the media etc. imply.


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      The typical latitudes of the high pressure systems determine the length and “depth” of the warming. Those latitudes appear to be biased by internal, oceanic oscillations.

      As to what drives the intensity of the oscillations; the source of energy is solar — as much as is incident on the surface of the oceans (insolation). Modulation of the insolation is determined largely by cloud cover; a parameter which is time and location dependent in its influence.

      Clouds are of course also important at modulating outbound radiation from the oceans’ surface. Cloud effects are around 100 times greater than the notional greenhouse effect of all CO2.

      It’s a travesty that “science” has pursued the insignificant CO2 instead of the significant. As “justification” for their waste, it is argued by the proponents that we can’t control water vapour. But they are wilfully blind to the fact that we cannot regulate the surface temperature of the planet and therefore cannot have any substantial effect on (natural) atmospheric CO2.


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    Scott Mc

    Tree rings must be more accurate


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    MikeB

    What disgust me more than anything else in the whole cAGW meme is these fwit armchair weather worriers disregarding/manipulating and ‘smoothing’ literally millions of man (and woman) hours of empirical data collected, meticulously recorded in all weather conditions all because it doesn’t fit their pet theory. Data is data. If you need to corrupt it to suit your own ends you are committing scientific fraud and as such need to be dragged before a jury of your peers and asked why you should keep your scientific credentials. If I was a trained BoM observer or Met and my lifetimes work was being abused in this fashion I would be bloody livid, no, I wouldn’t be livid I would be incandescent with rage.


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    AndyG55

    Well, I don’t mind a bit f warm weather, except there’s no surf at all..

    Done what I can in the shed…so the beach beckons anyway. :-)


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    JenJ

    With careful adjustment the Adelaide record could be one of the longest in the world.

    Hilarious. Jo Nova is advocating adjustments to the temperature record. She’s advocating we splice together two entirely different datasets of entirely different quality. Lollolol.

    As for Lance Pidgeon,

    the rise from the overnight miniumum readings may have been delayed lowering the maximum reading

    This is why blog-”science” is ignored by genuine science. Get your ideas peer-reviewed before publishing them and you will make more sense.


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      Dear Jen, I have nothing against sensible adjustments. It’s the biased hidden and unjustified ones I take issue with. When our BOM says the adjustments are neutral, yet those adjustments create a warming trend where there wasn’t one. It’s lying I have a problem with….

      And the “get it peer reviewed” is exactly what an unscientist wants. Peer review is a committee controlled process. Like any human organisation it can be corrupted. Science is about theories and observations, not about approval from committees.


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      gbees

      now where have I seen “spliced” data sets previously? oh, that’s right The Hockey Stick graph ….. splicing tree ring data for temperature proxy with thermometer measurements. with a bit of statistical trickery thrown in ..


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      Gossie

      Peer review = lies agreed upon!


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      bullocky

      JenJ :
      -
      ‘This is why blog-”science” is IGNORED by genuine science. Get your ideas peer-reviewed before publishing them and you will make more sense.’
      -
      You obviously don’t represent ‘genuine science’ then, Jen?


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      Vic G Gallus

      There is a lot of scientific work of varying quality out there. Peer review is about doing some of the leg work for the reader. It doesn’t make it right nor wrong if it does not pass the review, it just weeds out what the reader might find is wrong or not worth reading. Sheep like you Jen, make it tempting for others to corrupt the process.

      I had a problem with one editor of a major journal in chemistry. Another chemist pointed out that I was lucky and others had it worse. One had his work held up for half a year so that her friend could publish very similar work first in another journal.


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      Philip Shehan

      There are a number of incorrect statements about peer review here. I have been on both ends of the process.

      It is not a committee process, and it is not about doing legwork for the reader. It is a quality control measure.

      A manuscript is submitted to a journal. The editor searches a data base to find people who have published track record in the area that is the subject of the paper. And as science has become very specialised sub categories of disciplines, it won’t be a general subject area like “chemistry”. It will be “Multinuclear Magnetic Resonance relaxation times”

      Usually three people qualified to assess the manuscript will be sent a copy. They will not know who else is doing the assessment and the authors will not know who the referees are unless the referee gives permission, but the referees will know the authors whose names appear on the manuscript.

      Each referee independently assesses the manuscript for its quality in terms of the experimental method, the experimental data and whether the discussion of the results and conclusions are justified by the data. Also even if the paper holds water, it may not pass muster if it is not considered important enough for publication in that particular journal. The top journals like Science and Nature are inundated with manuscripts and can be very picky as far as the importance criteria go.

      The referees go through this process very diligently. I know I do and I know how tough it is to satisfy the detailed comments and suggestions of referees of my own manuscripts. It is most certainly not a rubber stamp process.

      It is rare for a paper to be accepted for publication without having to satisfy referees questions or demands for further experiments to be carried out. This can involve several cycles of back and forth between the author and the referees via the editor over many months before the referees are independently satisfied and recommend to the editor that the paper be published. Or they may be unconvinced and the paper does not appear in the journal. The authors usually then lower their sights and submit it to a paper which is lower on the “impact factor” scale (roughly a measure of the pecking order of journals standing in the prestige stakes.) A lower impact journal will be less fussy about importance but just as fussy when it comes to the quality of the Science. Sometimes the paper never finds a home and the manuscript languishes in a drawer.

      Sometimes the referees will remain split. It then becomes the editor’s call as to whether he publishes or not. Many require unanimity from the referees but in the case of a split decision, some will send the paper to another expert for assessment before making a final decision.

      In short the process is very rigorous and depends on the individual opinion of experts in the field who act entirely independently from each other and the Editor.

      To paraphrase Winston Churchill, peer review is the worst way to assess the quality of a scientific manuscript prior to publication, except for all the others.


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        Which is why fake studies and journals are never, ever going to happen, right?


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          Philip Shehan

          Sherri, cases of scientific fraud are occasionally uncovered even in the best journals, but such cases are rare.

          Editors and referees are very keen to get it right. They have their reputations at stake and credibility is a key factor in a journal’s business model.

          Which brings me to the recent developement of “open access” journals – often online and therefore cheap to run – where (usually naive and and inexperienced) authors despairing of the long rigorous refereeing process of reputable, established journals which may fail to see the merit in their work can have their paper published for a fee. The referee process of these papers is usually, to put it kindly, sub standard, if it exists at all. The scientific community treat articles in “open access” journals with more than the usual skepticism.

          But no process is foolproof and despite the best efforts of editors and referees of even the most reputable journals scientific fraud on the part of the authors of papers that have been published is subsequently exposed (sharp eyed readers people spot the fraud like a graph for supposedly different experiments used in many different papers by the same author – one famous case of a whizz kid high flyer’s catastrophic fall from grace – or people cannot replicate the results) the public embarassment means there are red faces and apologies all around.

          Like the man said, when given the choice between a stuff up and a conspiracy theory, go for the stuff up every time.


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            You might find this site interesting: http://retractionwatch.com

            I actually like the online open-access journals because they are more willing to address new ideas and more inclusive of material by “skeptics” and others. My observation is their work seems just as high quality as the journal articles, but does not agree with currently held beliefs in some cases. I find little or no difference in the research methods, statistical methods used, and so forth. Plus, of the thousands of studies done every year, the vast majority probably do not make it into journals simply due to space. Online open-access allows more research to be published and shared, in order to replicate the experiment/research. That would seem to be a good thing in science–more studies, more information, more people reading it and perhaps being inspired to do additional studies.

            I definately agree that no conspiracy theory is needed. This is just the way people work–they’re not open to new ideas much of the time and few people want to be thought of as the “odd man out” so agreement becomes the easiest way to deal with life, rather than critical thought that runs against the “consensus” beliefs. No matter how strong the evidence for the new theory. People just don’t like changing.


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              Philip Shehan

              Sheri (got your name right this time)

              Yes it is a often a difficult and time consuming process to get published and competition for space is high for prestigious publications but it becomes easier the further one goes down the citation index pecking order and if a paper cannot find a home somewhere it is likely that the science is of poor quality or the results are simply not important.

              I do see the point of offering an alternative pathway for publication, and worthwhile papers do appear in open access journals but given that there is a financial incentive to publish regardless of quality and evidence of poor or nonexistent referee processes it is not surprising that questions have been raised.

              Andrew Bolt ran a section rubbishing the peer review process, but I think failed to understand the significance of the fact that the article he was highlighting was about open access journals.

              http://blogs.news.com.au/heraldsun/andrewbolt/index.php/heraldsun/2013/10/P345/

              (By the way, for those who assume they know my political attitudes because of my support for AGW, note the Brian S Mr Bolt thanks for offering to testify at his trial the section “On choosing not to be aboriginal Aboriginal” above the section on peer review is me, Brian Philip Shehan)

              You should also read this article: Academic publishing slammed by scams

              http://www.theage.com.au/national/education/academic-publishing-slammed-by-scams-20131122-2xzxs.html?login_token=2VxRPm58oKq_vESaIIDXa5efJSgTXUmYgaeDJKx-MCPG0f5gG-AkUjjValihq561TUlJYVVUHrk0rmJ-mN0CXA1008055&member_token=l2icDZFoG7ayiMkxXh_dj3_2ZrfPUm2G0PmktE6t-xxrW7THa0obPMc15GiwavIaN1ngEZ3V0OV-Jk-BCiJzaw1008055&expiry=1397895933

              Regarding your comment that “I find little or no difference in the research methods, statistical methods used, and so forth.” The thing is that science has become so specialised that I could easily be fooled by a paper outside my area of expertise. That is why specialist referees are necessary as gatekeepers.


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                AndyG55

                “are necessary as gatekeepers”

                You unbelievable piece of ******** !!!

                Science does NOT need gatekeepers.. The fact that you even mention it shows your blatant TOTALITARIAN LEFTIST viewpoint.

                The very purpose of any scientific publication is for DISCUSSION., That is how science is meant to work.

                And this is really want YOU want to stifle, because you KNOW that the science behind AGW is manifestly a load of C***.

                ———-

                “Academic publishing slammed by scams”

                YES, we know that !!!!!

                Its called climate science, and YOU are part of it !!!


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                bobl

                Phil,

                Quite rationally then I would ask,

                Do you think that the turning of climate scientists into “Celebrities” by the notoriety and political interference particularly by Green Groups has been good or bad?

                and

                Do you think that scientists should leave it at justified conclusions and not speculate on whet this “Means” – ie harp on what (usually negative) consequences that conclusion may draw?

                and

                What do you think about self admitted activists like James Hansen being hailed as the “Father of Climate Change” where clearly confirmation bias is likely to be at work?


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                Philip Shehan

                I see Andy is back with his usual style of tantrums and abuse.
                You unbelievable piece of ******** !!! Science does NOT need gatekeepers.. The fact that you even mention it shows your blatant TOTALITARIAN LEFTIST viewpoint.

                As a totalitarian leftist who as I show in the link above volunteered to testify for Comrade Bolt in his free speech trial, I am gratified that you, Comrade Andy, also agree with Chairman Mao:

                “Letting a hundred flowers blossom and a hundred schools of thought contend is the policy for promoting progress in the arts and the sciences and a flourishing socialist culture in our land.”

                And indeed on blogs like this scientists and non scientists alike can put forth their opinions regardless of the quality or extent of their scientific knowledge or reasoning ability, and we can all discuss the living daylights out of them.

                The peer reviewed literature is something else. What would happen if people who rely what real science is telling us could not trust the literature any more than they could the internet? Non scientists like doctors for instance who are supposed to practice “evidence based medicine” – that is treatments based on the consensus, yes that’s CONSENSUS, of current scientific opinion in biomedicine. Do they consult a blog or the peer reviewed literature?

                What I actually wrote was:

                The thing is that science has become so specialised that I could easily be fooled by a paper outside my area of expertise. That is why specialist referees are necessary as gatekeepers.

                These expert referees overwhelmingly approach their unpaid task with care and diligence. Referees reports can run to pages going into minute detail, asking questions making suggestions and asking that further work be carried out before they will give the manuscript the OK. Or not. I speak from long experience.

                I also wrote

                To paraphrase Winston Churchill, peer review is the worst way to assess the quality of a scientific manuscript prior to publication, except for all the others.

                No assessment whatsoever would see us inundated in cr*p, unable to make sense of the claims.

                bobl, I dislike celebrity culture, period. We can only make sure that we evaluate the opinions of people regardless of their celebrity status, and that applies to skeptics like Lindzen, Spencer and non scientists like Monckton and Watts as much as to “warmists”.

                I think Hansen has given up his academic positions and become a full time activist. That is fine by me. It is as much his right as anybody else’s. and everyone knows where he stands.

                More generally, science, the search for knowledge cannot (and in my opinion should not) be entirely separated from its real world consequences, which can be positive or negative. (I think actually most are positive, contributing to the quality of life we know have as opposed to the middle ages.) Thus the crisis of conscience felt by many who worked on the A-bomb project. Scientists not only have the right but the duty as citizens who understand the issues better than most to participate in public discussion of important matters. But I am interested in the public discussion of science (including on forums such as this) because I believe that decisions emanating from science must include the input of an informed citizenry, not just the “experts.”

                As for the effect that their opinions may have upon their work, the fact is that the opinions usually arise from the work, not the other way around. Of course we and the scientists involved must be on guard to ensure that their opinions do not contaminate their work once their opinions have been formed. Human nature being what it is, that is difficult, but again it applies to “skeptics” and “warmists” alike.


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                bobl

                Phil,
                I have to say that since entering this debate I’ve been frankly appalled at the willingness of so called scientists to buy into speculation on outcomes. In my opinion they should let the results speak for themselves and not get involved in the policy outcomes, the problem being that once one commits to a policy action or become an activist then you are bound into a corner where you are under pressure to live up to that commitment. For example if you demand that 10 Biilion a year is spent on climate change – and you subsequently find out you are wrong, then it is difficult to retract from that position.

                Personally I think scientists should stay well away from even suggesting policy. For example given Hansen’s blatant activism, how can we trust that his science is impartial – I don’t, as you say – it’s clear where Hansen stands.


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                Actually, Philip, current polls (not research, true) show people do not trust science. So perhaps the peer-review process is not stoppng this. Also, since peer-reviewed journals are so expensive, most people learn from non-scientist media persons who don’t understand what they are talking about. Peer-review is only valuable for actual academics and to then be interpreted by others and disseminated to the masses. You clearly indicate science is so complex you might not catch an error. This leaves the argument from authority–a person has an advanced degree and pushed their way into enough publications so they must be right. Or, in your case, I am guessing you would say they are more probably right which is reasonable. However, since the rest of us cannot possibly understand anything so complex (I’m still waiting for someone to explain what is so complex in this–I just hear the phrase and no examples or arguments to back it up.) we are dependent on the news media to get the information out or blogs. I’m just not seeing that the peer-reviewed literature has value except to academics in the exact same field.

                Consider:
                Vice-rector for Research and Innovation Professor Eugene Cloete said research publications were exceptionally important: “They are a critical contribution to extending the university’s international reputation as an excellent research institution, and provide a significant contribution to Stellenbosch’s annual subsidy income,” he said.
                http://www.universityworldnews.com/article.php?story=20130712145949477
                So publication is also a money maker. Which increases the pressure to produce what one knows will get published, not something controversial.

                All of this leads to the reality that writing a paper that is not in synch with current “consensus” science probably means no way of being published. The University makes no tidy little subsidy and the researcher is off to find work elsewhere. You surely can see how “new” ideas are quelched in this process, right?

                I thought Watts was a scientist……

                You are quite fair in your analysis of the situation. Perhaps I would find the peer-review process more reasonable if:
                1. You could explain what happens to the thousands of papers submitted and rejected. They cannot all be bad, yet the lack of peer-review immediately removes them from use in much of the climate change believer’s world. Are you saying they end up in open-access journals and maybe on blogs?
                2. What is so terribly complex about science that only experts can identifiy errors? Please give me an example. Also, if the methodology and the practices are bad (like not sharing raw data so results can be tested or glaring errors in methods as was seen with Lewendosky), one doesn’t need to understand “the complex science”. The study is flawed, pure and simple.
                3. Since you do peer reivew, if a paper came through that was totally new and ran against the grain of current knowledge but was perfect science and method-wise, would you appreove it and would a journal publish it? (Think back to “the sun is the center of the universe”. Ignoring the religion caused the stifling of the knowledge objection, do you really believe it would have passed peer review? If a perfectly done, irrefutable study on climate showed all the models are flawed, would it be published? Would a peer reviewer even recognize the study was valid? Would they even read it?)

                I do appreciate your taking time to answer. You have a different viewpoint than many do.


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                Philip Shehan

                bobl,

                There is nothing new about the press and governments etc asking experts in any given field to comment about matters in their field that are of public importance and may require a plan of action, whether it’s the economy, banking, water management, nuclear energy, the future of the car industry in Australia, etc etc etc.

                This is not speculation on outcomes. These people are best qualified to advise on the current state of knowledge. This does not in itself constitute “activism”. (I am accused of “activism” when the most active thing I do as far as AGW is concerned is sit at this keyboard and comment on my understanding of the science. What are skeptics who do the same thing?).

                Just because a climate scientist gives his opinion on AGW does not mean he or she is recommending a given course of action whether, it’s spending 10 billion dollars or anything else. Some may push for a particular policy response with varying degrees of commitment others are as you desire prepared to simply state the facts as they see them and let other people decide what if anything to do about it. Frankly having no children I have no personal stake in the state of the economy or environment in a few decades time. (Apres moi le deluge.) As a scientist I do care that science and scientists a not attacked and misrepresented by those who want to grind the other side of the axe which you are concerned about.

                When free market think tanks push the skeptic line by arranging and financing and promoting speaking tours by people such as Lord Monckton (who is not admittedly not a scientist) are they not engaging in activism?


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                Philip Shehan

                Sheri,

                Yes journals are expensive which as the link I posted points out was a legitimate concern of the legitimate originators of open access journals before the scammers saw there was a buck in it and trashed the collective brand.

                You are correct that most people learn about science from science writers attached to media outlets (unfortunately as mainstream media cutbacks occur many of these are are being let go and less competent science reporting is the result. There are dedicated popular science magazines like New Scientist.

                Yes journals are specialist publications intended for other specialists. That is why I say, speaking from experience) that even for other scientists who are not in that special area, the nitty gritty of the paper particularly in terms of the theoretical background and the nature of the experimental techniques used may be hard to understand. I confess that I do not understand in detail the work of co—authors of mine on papers who are using other techniques to answer certain questions about a series of gastrointestinal peptides (multidisciplinary research is all the rage).

                Authors assume a certain degree of familiarity with the area when writing the paper. The text is usually littered with references to more detailed explanations if people want to look them up. So as readers we rely on experts in the area acting as referees to look at the paper and make sure the authors have got it right for parts where we are simply out of our depth.

                Fortunately though, having been assured that the nitty gritty is OK the non-specialist can skim over the results section (no one looks at the experimental details section unless they want to do a similar experiment) and proceed to the discussion section where the significance of the results are explained.

                As an example here is a publication I co authored. Click on the Free PMC article or Free text to get the entire paper.

                http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18636967

                Like I said, I find the nitty gritty of my co-authors work heavy going, and I am sure some had no idea of what a double quantum filtered correlated spectroscopy (DQF- COSY) or Nuclear Overhauser Effect Spectroscopy (NOESY) experiment was, at least (hopefully) until after I explained it in a departmental seminar.

                However, they, other scientists interested in the findings (and I hope you) can get final significance of my contribution by reading the discussion section subheaded Ferric ion ligands and looking at Figure 3.

                I show (after identifying which peaks belonged to which amino acid in the peptide chain) that I was able to demonstrate to which amino acids in the peptide chain the ferric ions were binding by the effects on the peaks. (This is of biological significance).

                You can have confidence that I and my coauthors are not simply pulling a fast one on non experts because expert referees have thoroughly gone through it. Repeatedly. I forget how many drafts we went through before it was approved for publication.

                Now here’s a funny but very significant point on this.

                Thanks for prompting me to do this literature search, otherwise I would not have found that I can add this one to my CV.

                http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24334106

                I wrote up my contribution to the work shortly before leaving the Austin in 2006. My Boss Graeme Baldwin had a rough time finding a home for it (Graeme likes to start very high on the impact factor list and work his way down but it eventually settled at Biochim Biophys ACTA (which is never the less a highly regarded journal. But I think after all the extra work it could have gone up the food chain a step or two).

                The referees were very rigorous and asked for additional experiments to be made to increase the importance. Presumably this work was done by my co-authors Lio, Ferrand, Catimel and Cheng who I never met.

                Graeme apologized that because of the extra work by these people, I was being kicked down the authorship line from second to (eventually 5).

                Some years ago I simply stopped hearing from Graeme and assumed the manuscript lay, as I said , languishing in a draw.

                I think the first draft was submitted in 2006 or 2007. Published December last year. I point to this six or seven year process (a record breaker in my personal experience) to those who think that peer review is rubber stamp.

                I will be emailing Graeme to tell him off for not letting me know.

                This is already very long but you have clearly put a lot of thought and effort into your questions. If you have read it and would like me to answer your other questions indicate in a reply and I will do so.


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                Philip: I will read through the papers. Fascinating work.

                You kind of answered my first question. It seems some papers lay aside and show up much later! Still, there’s a lot of good research out there that is never published, I would think.

                You have also demonstrated that some medical research is quite complex. In that case, I would expect to be able to find where the studies had been duplicated and be able to tell if the results were the same. Perhaps that naive of me, but the ability to reproduce results is fundamental to science, so the studies should be being done.

                So far, the papers I have read on climate science are not difficult to understand. I’m still left wondering why it takes an expert. (I would note that if I have questions in medicine, I have purchased the research papers that are related to the question to find answers to the question. Not all are extremely complex. But I did ask for an example of a tough one!)
                My last question–I still need answer. If a paper that had a clear, precise solution to say colon cancer, with a large study and impeccable research standards, would a journal publish such a study? What is a study showed cancer was caused by the same process aging is and was actually a part of aging? How far from “accepted” outcomes can a paper deviate?

                I, too, have found that looking up things people question or state can lead to quite interesting discoveries. Glad you found your paper! (Graeme may not be? :) )

                Your statement on Monckton: As long as the warmists allow Al Gore to run about unfettered, I have no problem with Monckton. When I mention this, warmists tell me Al is “just presenting the science” (except when he’s not). The same can be said of Monckton. I agree this in not science much of time–Monckton has the same flair as Gore, however, and is useful in the “selling” of skepticism. Like or not, when the science community adopts the practice of selling one particular theory as indicative of “correct” science, the only real option is to sell science from the other side. I don’t like it, but until Al Gore is shut down, I see generally no other options.

                As for science activists, I have the same thoughts on them as I do on TV doctors–take their degree and license away when they start being stars. If you watch what happens to the medical community when it ventures into television stardom, as with say Dr. Oz (pseudoscientist of the world–had a “medium” on his program) I think my idea might seem more reasonable. Yes, Hansen is very dedicated–but so are medical doctors and researchers turned activist who push Vitamin C as did Pauling or advocate fad nutritional products, as does Dr. Oz. They become Monckton and Gore, losing their objectivity.

                Scientists are not being “attacked” for climate change work. They are being attacked for behaving in a manner that is not befitting science. Science allows questioning and answers questions (as you have done here). It is not based on consensus. It does not insist there is certainty where none actually exists. And it certainly does not make a theory that is proven by everything and impossible to falsify. That is why the skeptics question. I will agree that there are those on both sides that attack, but the whole problem exists because of behaviour that did not belong in science entering the climate change field. I would like to see both sides drop the insults, though with the politically charges nature of climate change science, it seems unlikely.

                I am very interested in the science of all of climate change and other fields. I want to understand things and not just dismiss things I don’t like. I appreciate your taking time to answer.


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        Vic G Gallus

        I write “I had a problem with one editor of a major journal in chemistry.”

        Philip writes “And as science has become very specialised sub categories of disciplines, it won’t be a general subject area like “chemistry”. It will be “Multinuclear Magnetic Resonance relaxation times”

        What a t#d! It should have been obvious in my comments that I have published and reviewed papers. As I have a dig at an editor, it was best not to be specific, you idiot.

        For others reading this, I had a paper rejected by this (major American) journal for really stupid reasons (eg. for not considering something when there was a whole section with a title devoted to it). They then rejected because the poor grammar made it unreadable. I had used ‘has been’ instead of ‘had been’.


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          Vic G Gallus

          They then rejected it because the poor grammar made it unreadable. I had used ‘has been’ instead of ‘had been’.

          Best not to screw up when complaining about being harassed for poor grammar.


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          Philip Shehan

          Vic, my comments were directed not at your post specifically but at a number of comments on the peer review process from people who have no experience of it.


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    crakar24

    You out there Heywood?

    Things are getting interesting, i just hope i am using the correct bait to catch the legendary “Big Frank”……..oooow gotta go just had a nibble.


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    Rob R

    A similar observing network was set up in New Zealand commencing circa 1867. Temperature, pressure, wind, rainfall and cloudcover data were telegraphed to the Met Office in Wellington. Data were collated and forecasts were made for the following day. Forescasts and summarised data were then telegraphed back to Ports, Observing Stations and Newspapers (on the same day as the observations were made).

    By the year 1900 there were at least 42 contributing stations covering the length and breadth New Zealand. The data produced does not appear to be available in a collated digital form. Much of the data was published in newspapers on a daily basis (excluding Sundays). There are some gaps in the newspaper coverage prior to about 1887 but after that the record is not too bad. The data can be found via paperspast (NZ National Library). The best sources are the Marlborough Express (Blenheim)and the Evening Post (Wellington).


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    Dave

    .
    HEATWAVE… what is it NOW?

    This is the definition of a heatwave from S. E. Perkins and L. V. Alexander

    “The definitions include three or more consecutive days above one of the following: the 90th percentile for maximum temperature, the 90th percentile for minimum temperature, and positive extreme heat factor (EHF) conditions. Additionally, each index is studied using a multiaspect framework measuring heat wave number, duration, participating days, and the peak and mean magnitudes.”

    This is the definition from BOM released on the ABC 3 days ago?

    “A heatwave is now defined by three or more days of unusually high maximum and minimum temperatures in any area.” ABC weather guru Graham Creed says there are three grades of heatwave, with standard, severe and extreme.

    So the rules have changed, we’ll be having heatwaves all year round, does the BS never stop.


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      A 3-day “burst” of hot weather is absolutely normal around Perth, W.A.. What is unusual is persistance to 5 days or more.

      I understand that Adelaide usually sticks to the heat even longer, but then theirs is usually even drier.

      90th percentile? I’m not encouraging such twaddle by paying for the full paper. That automatically makes 10% of the days potential candidates for “heatwave”. Or if you look more closely, with warm weather biased to “summer”, i.e. about 40% of summer days.

      i.e. makes normal weather reportable as “anomalous” heatwaves.

      Even if the authors too “seasonally-adjusted” temperatures as baseline, their metric doesn’t allow for “early” and “late” summers.


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      Andrew McRae

      Good find there, Dave. I wish I had seen your comment sooner before I went off looking for definitions.
      See my comment for yet another popular definition of a heatwave.


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        Yonniestone

        This definition of a Heatwave is very interesting and could be directly related to the regional interpretation.

        Try to compare successive hot days from the North to the South of this country considering long term variations and temp data, I’m sure you’ll get a different view of what makes a heatwave in Fitzroy Crossing compared to Hobart.

        But I guess profiteering alarmists will always run hot and cold depending on the season.


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          Gossie

          I was born in the Riverina,summers day are hot hot hot and so are the nights,no cooling sea breezes there.
          What we have is a strange set of circumstances – the majority of the people live by the sea,this majority generally are employed in jobs that are not affected by the weather at all,but it seems that it is the urbanites who are driving the weather/climate debate,why?.
          Why are scientists and politicians driving this climate change debate(rhetorical question) by blaming CO2,when it is the sun and seas and the moon that is totally behind our weather and thus the climate?


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      Gossie

      Alarmism is the standard position now days.When people are confused frightened or unsure they are easily led.Once you have politicians and money involved then all manner of corruption comes forth.


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    Andrew McRae

    The CAGW logic for increased heatwave frequency seems logical on the surface: enhanced greenhouse effect ==> warming poles faster than equator ==> reduced temperature gradient between poles and equator ==> slower wind and ocean currents ==> heat accumulates in hot pockets for longer ==> heatwaves more likely.

    The problem with this chain is mainly in the last step because it neglects the real cause of high temperatures: drought. You will never get a heatwave when the wind is blowing in off the ocean. There must be either no wind, or wind blowing from an inland area which has had no rain for over a week.
    How many times have we surmised that a warmer world is a wetter world? Sunlight passes straight through air with very little absorption. It’s the hot ground in contact with the air that heats the air from below. There should be more ocean evaporation, hence more rainfall with global warming, so the soil should stay moist for longer, hence the natural evaporative air-conditioning effect should be operating more often. (Yet another negative feedback in climate warming.)


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    Gossie

    Looking at those pics – not a bit of concrete in sight.
    One thing that I would like to chide all those who consider themselves knowledgeable is this use of “averages”.
    Averages are I suppose for lack of a proper term are a con,this happens when people use statistics to qualify or quantify something.
    As a farmer(retired) I collected rainfall measurements for our property,there never was an average rainfall.
    Farmers need to know how much ,when and where rain fell.Averages tell you none of these things.
    Where the weather station is situated can have a large say in the readings,the difference in 1 km can see a large change in rainfall(what can be termed a rain shadow),the same can be for temps,the topography of the land can see more frost
    Temperature are the same,there are too many variables from surroundings,very few weather stations are in a clear area free from brick concrete traffic and external power sources(aircons etc).
    I can understand why there are weather stations at airports,the pilots need to know what is happening at the airport but who could possibly use those measurements for weather figures,because they are so distorted by the huge flat areas of concrete or macadam,but alas they do.
    So in the end who can we trust,well actually by the looks of it no-one except ourselves.
    There have been far too many shonky scientific manipulations of data to have any sense of confidence that they could ever be truthful.


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      Vic G Gallus

      My neighbour used to have three gauges around his small vineyard. I think that it was overkill but he does swear that he did get up to 5 mm difference in readings between them. The rain is very patchy in the inland regions.

      With regards to the temperatures. I see that the media is saying that a heat record has been smashed for Melbourne with three days in a row above 41 C. Nice way to ignore that 5 days in a row above 40 in 1908. One day in the middle was only 40.1 C. Interestingly, a Bourke Street station was recording a few degree F higher*, or 1-1.5 degree C. The original Melbourne Observatory station was in park land prior to the construction of the Shrine of remembrance in 1930. I don’t know how these compare with the current station or Olympic Park, but the UHI effect could be the only reason that this heat wave appears hotter than the one in 1908, when the CO2 concentration was 75% of what it is now.

      * I think it was in The Argus of Jan 18 in 1908.


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    Bulldust

    Here’s one for TonyfromOz:

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-01-16/phillips-the-great-australian-air-con/5203068

    Yes, the ever reliable Greens (from the perenially naive Sara Philips, ABC Environmental Editor) at the ABC are persisting with personal air conditioners are responsible for the peak power misery story… must demand manage electricity consumption. Then when people die from heat exhaustion because they have been “demand managed”, no doubt they will blame the death on climate change…

    Maybe we should petition Websters to include a picture of a Greens gathering to be included under the definition of “misanthropic.”


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    Vic G Gallus

    What struck me about the claim that global warming was causing this heat wave is what happenned in 1998 in Adelaide and Melbourne.

    November in 1997 was barely above the baseline of the UAH data, while early 1998 was 0.65 deg C above due to El Nino. It was back down to the baseline by December.

    From BOM, the Month – highest temp – highest temp recorded.

    Melbourne

    1997 Nov – 40.3 – 40.9
    1997 Dec – 33.7 – 43.7
    1998 Jan – 41.6 – 45.6
    1998 Feb – 42.3 – 46.4
    1998 Dec – 40.9 – 43.7

    Adelaide

    1997 Nov – 41.9 – 43.0
    1997 Dec – 34.1 – 42.5
    1998 Jan – 39.0 – 45.7
    1998 Feb – 39.4 – 44.3
    1998 Dec – 40.2 – 42.5

    How about number of days above 40 C? Month – number of days – long term average

    Melbourne

    1997 Nov – 1 – ~0
    1997 Dec – 0 – 0.2
    1998 Jan – 1 – 0.7
    1998 Feb – 1 – 0.3
    1998 Dec – 2 – 0.2

    Adelaide

    1997 Nov – 1 – 0.1
    1997 Dec – 0 – 0.5
    1998 Jan – 0 – 1.7
    1998 Feb – 0 – 0.8
    1998 Dec – 1 – 0.5

    The data is a bit more convincing for Adelaide than Melbourne, but the very high global temperature in 1998 due to El Nino did not cause more extreme weather but it is more likely that it reduced the extreme temperatures experienced.

    Maybe there is something to that cyclone hypothesis.


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      Long Distance Voyager

      Vic,

      The data is a bit more convincing for Adelaide than Melbourne, but the very high global temperature in 1998 due to El Nino did not cause more extreme weather but it is more likely that it reduced the extreme temperatures experienced.

      According to Elders weather, Adelaide (23090) averages 3.2 days per annum over 40c, and Melbourne (86071) averages 1.3 days per annum. So you would expect over a 10 year period to have 32 days over 40c in Adelaide and 13 days over 40c in Melbourne.

      Using BOM data for Station 23090, Adelaide has had 55 days over 40C from 1 Jan 2005 to 17 Jan 2014. That is 23 days more than you would normally expect: an increase of nearly 72%.

      Using BOM data for Station 86071, Melbourne has had 24 days over 40C from 1 Jan 2005 to 17 Jan 2014. That is 11 days more than you would normally expect: an increase of nearly 85%. And we still have 49 weeks of 2014 to go.

      Looks like it’s getting warmer.

      Ref : http://www.eldersweather.com.au/climate.jsp?lt=site&lc=23090

      http://www.bom.gov.au/jsp/ncc/cdio/weatherData/av?p_nccObsCode=122&p_display_type=dailyDataFile&p_startYear=2005&p_c=-106623538&p_stn_num=23090

      Cheers.


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        Vic G Gallus

        I’ll check on that. If you add up my numbers for the average days above 40 for the summer months you get just short of what you obtained from Elders. I hope you weren’t pretending to correct me.

        So far, I notice that you compare the last 10 years with the average over 25 years for Kent Town in Adelaide. (Strangely, BOM has the 30 year average for Feb of 0.8 for this 25 year old station with an average of 0.7. The other months are correct.) This means that there were 80 days of above 40 in Kent Town over a 25 year period, 55 being in the last 10 and 25 in the previous 15 years, or an average of 1.7 a year (I still need to check your adding up).

        Looking at the 30 year averages for West Terrace in Adelaide, for the first 30 years (1891-1920) it was 3.8 and for the last 29 years (1951-1979)it was 0.8. A drop of 80% despite and increase in CO2 in the atmosphere.

        The West Terrace site was in park lands while the Kent Town site is in a built up inner city area with glass windows reflecting light onto the station.

        There is a good reason mark Twain came up with ‘There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies and statistics.’


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        Vic G Gallus

        I forgot to add this from the 1906 Advertiser

        “On Saturday morning,” said the Assistant Government,Astronomer’ on Sunday evening, “the temperature in the ‘shade reached 110 deg. [b](43.3 C)[/b] at 11 O’clock, making three consecutive days with the heat at/or over that figure. This is the 50th summer, that temperature observations’ have been made in Adelaide, and during the whole period this is only the fourth occasion on which we have had three such extremely hot days consecutively.

        So, on average, one in every 12 summers in Adelaide used to have 3 consecutive days above 43 C. I’ll have to go through the data to see if Adelaide has kept this up for the 20th century.


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        Vic G Gallus

        A quick analysis of the data for Melbourne for the number of days above 40.

        1981 – 2010 it was 1.7 per year, 1891-1990 it was 1.7 and 1881-1910 it was 1.6. The years from 1890-1910 are the ones with the larger than average number of days above 40, possibly comparable to the last 10 years.

        The HadCRUT4 data for the southern hemisphere shows that it was the coldest ‘on record’ for the decades 1890-1910 with an anomaly of -0.5 and 0.3 for the last 10 years. This is comparable to the 0.6 difference that I referred to in the original post (El Nino year of 1998) which show that the claims that more extreme weather (rather than a half a degree average increase) is due to climate change is not backed up by the evidence.

        Sorry if you read the original comment as the conclusion was done and dusted on the merest of piece of evidence, but only alarmists do that.


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        bullocky

        “Looks like it’s getting warmer.”
        -
        To be credible, this should read – “Looks like it’s getting warmer in Australia”
        -
        Globally, temperatures remain flat, which means cooler temperatures elsewhere. This is borne out by encroaching annual Antarctic Ice Extent, improved Arctic ice and reportage of ‘brutal’ Northern Hemisphere winters in the last few years.
        -
        The salient question for Climate Science is this:..
        …How does the CO2-AGW Paradigm explain this ‘Australia-HotSpot’ phenomenon, and did the Climate Models project it?


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    AndyG55

    We may have had a slightly warmer than normal year this year in Australia, but in the US, the average temp has dropped sharply

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2014/01/16/ncdc-state-of-the-climate-report-contiguous-us-average-temperature-plummeted-2-9f-in-2013/


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    Pat

    Talking about a “national average” (Completely meaningless)the BoM uses ~112 ground based thermometers to calculate a national average, most are either in cities and/or airports. that’s 1 themometer for every ~68,500 square kilometers.


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    pat

    odds & sods:

    16 Jan: Fox News: UN experts warn that delaying action on global warming will reduce options for dealing with it
    The findings were in the final draft of a report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the U.N.-sponsored body that provides the scientific basis for climate negotiations.
    The report, obtained Thursday by The Associated Press, says that global warming will continue to increase unless countries shift quickly to clean energy and cut emissions…
    http://www.foxnews.com/world/2014/01/16/un-experts-warn-that-delaying-action-on-global-warming-will-reduce-options-for/

    16 Jan: Washington Times: David Deming: DEMING: Another year of global cooling
    Falling temperatures are giving climate alarmists chills
    (David Deming is a geophysicist, professor of arts and sciences at the University of Oklahoma, and the author of “Black & White: Politically Incorrect Essays on Politics, Culture, Science, Religion, Energy and Environment” (CreateSpace, 2011).)
    http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2014/jan/16/another-year-of-global-cooling/

    16 Jan: Inquisitr: Patrick Frye: Global Warming Losing Support In US, Climate Change Considered A Hoax
    Considering that less than half of all Americans believe in anthropogenic human warming specifically, it’s perhaps not surprising that Pew Research Center found only 28 percent believe “dealing with global warming” is a top priority, which has gone down from 38 percent in 2007. Interestingly enough, even among Democrats the political support for implementing policies based upon global warming has fallen down to 38 percent.
    Besides the recent cold weather snap, it’s possible Americans have been influenced by the Climategate scandal, which claimed to show the scientists are “concealing” data, focused on politics instead of science, and are readily admitting internally that climate change “science is weak and dependent on deliberate manipulation of facts and data.” Some of the other predictions made about the United States also did not come about, with the major one being an increase in hurricane activity…
    http://www.inquisitr.com/1097877/global-warming-facts-losing-support-in-us-considered-a-fake-climate-change-hoax/

    15 Jan: Time: Denver Nicks: How to Reduce Greenhouse Gases? Everyone Inhale at Once
    A new United Nations report says we may have to start sucking greenhouse gases out of the atmosphere to meet emissions targets
    To meet United Nations targets for limiting global warming by 2100, governments may have to extract large quantities of greenhouse gases from the air and invest trillions in clean energy, according to a U.N. draft report seen Wednesday by Reuters.
    Emissions will have to fall by as much as 70 percent between 2010 and 2050 to slow climate change, the 29-page report summary says. To meet the goal of keeping warming to under 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit, the world will have to not only start employing “carbon dioxide removal” technologies, but radically shift its energy investments, putting $147 billion toward low carbon energy sources, like wind, solar, and nuclear power, between 2010 and 2029, and reducing fossil fuel investment by $30 billion every year.
    The world can also help meet its energy needs while reducing greenhouse gas emissions by building more energy-efficient cities.
    “Most of the world’s urban areas have yet to be constructed,” the report says.
    http://science.time.com/2014/01/15/how-to-reduce-greenhouse-gases-everyone-inhale-at-once/


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    Ian George

    Jo
    Have you seen the new Scorcher website? It’s supposed to be an educational website run by Dr Sarah Perkins at the University of New South Wales. Support for this site is provided by the ARC Centre of Excellence for Climate System Science and the NeCTAR Research Cloud.
    This is what they say about Adelaide’s hottest temp.

    ‘Since 1910, the hottest temperature was 45.7°C, on 28-01-2009.’

    However, we know that on 12th Jan, 1939, the temp was 46.4C – even the ACORN temp data (much adjusted) says that. Major fail.

    All its records start from 1910 so the heatwave of 1908 would not show up.

    I’ve checked some of their facts and they don’t measure up. I’m afraid teachers will use this site, much to the detriment of education.
    Website at;
    http://scorcher.org.au/


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    Dr Burns

    Does anyone know what 023090 looks like ? Does it meet the requirements described in surfacestations.org or is it more like Sydney Observatory, labelled not suitable for climate observations (yet used for such by the media).


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      Ian Hill

      Dr Burns, you can see a photo of the Kent Town 23090 site here. You may need to scroll down to “Adelaide”.

      I have many photos of that station. I’m happy for Jo to give you my email address if you are interested.

      I did an assessment of Kent Town using Anthony Watts’ specifications some time ago and rated it a Class 3 site.

      Repeating my comments in the report:

      The station is “satisfactory” only. While the Stevenson screen siting meets the required specification, a number of factors can potentially affect the temperature:

      1. BOM offices 30 metres to the south
      2. Buildings 30 metres to the north
      3. Many trees and bushes within 30-50 metres
      4. College Road immediately to the east
      5. Car park immediately to the west.

      The enclosure is elevated with respect to the car park and fumes can be blown directly towards the screen by prevailing westerley winds.

      I did a tentative rating for the Sydney Observatory based on the photo in the same catalogue and gave it Class 5, ie worse. However a visit there may improve the rating, but I doubt it would reach a 3.


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        Ian Hill

        By the way, Lance referred me to your question Dr Burns and suggested you “stay tuned”. Must be some more info on the way.

        Bob Malloy, I used your suggestion for linking and it worked! What’s more amazing, the link went straight to the photo! :)


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    Alan Botting

    Hi
    With all of Adelaide’s extreme temperatures of late, much is being said about the 1908 heatwave yet I can find no information on it. Does anyone have the daily temperatures of this heat wave?


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    Vic G Gallus

    http://www.bom.gov.au/climate/data/ has historical data. Adelaide West terrace data goes back to 1908. Here is the data for that February. Code:Station number:year:month:day:maximum temp(°C):qualitycontrolled (y,n)
    IDCJAC0010,023000,1908,01,01,35.7,1,Y
    IDCJAC0010,023000,1908,01,02,39.8,1,Y
    IDCJAC0010,023000,1908,01,03,38.4,1,Y
    IDCJAC0010,023000,1908,01,04,40.8,1,Y
    IDCJAC0010,023000,1908,01,05,41.0,1,Y
    IDCJAC0010,023000,1908,01,06,41.6,1,Y
    IDCJAC0010,023000,1908,01,07,41.1,1,Y
    IDCJAC0010,023000,1908,01,08,32.1,1,Y
    IDCJAC0010,023000,1908,01,09,23.9,1,Y
    IDCJAC0010,023000,1908,01,10,24.5,1,Y
    IDCJAC0010,023000,1908,01,11,25.4,1,Y
    IDCJAC0010,023000,1908,01,12,34.2,1,Y
    IDCJAC0010,023000,1908,01,13,38.4,1,Y
    IDCJAC0010,023000,1908,01,14,40.7,1,Y
    IDCJAC0010,023000,1908,01,15,43.1,1,Y
    IDCJAC0010,023000,1908,01,16,41.8,1,Y
    IDCJAC0010,023000,1908,01,17,43.4,1,Y
    IDCJAC0010,023000,1908,01,18,42.8,1,Y
    IDCJAC0010,023000,1908,01,19,43.4,1,Y
    IDCJAC0010,023000,1908,01,20,31.8,1,Y
    IDCJAC0010,023000,1908,01,21,25.8,1,Y
    IDCJAC0010,023000,1908,01,22,24.7,1,Y
    IDCJAC0010,023000,1908,01,23,26.4,1,Y
    IDCJAC0010,023000,1908,01,24,29.9,1,Y
    IDCJAC0010,023000,1908,01,25,34.9,1,Y
    IDCJAC0010,023000,1908,01,26,39.4,1,Y
    IDCJAC0010,023000,1908,01,27,25.7,1,Y
    IDCJAC0010,023000,1908,01,28,26.1,1,Y
    IDCJAC0010,023000,1908,01,29,27.9,1,Y
    IDCJAC0010,023000,1908,01,30,30.2,1,Y
    IDCJAC0010,023000,1908,01,31,24.8,1,Y

    In comment number 9 I describe an analysis of the data for extreme temperatures to see if the recent summers were unusual. It is worse than the mid 20th century but not compared to 100 years ago.


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    John S.

    Sir Charles was the Aussie forerunner of Matthew Fobtaine Maury, who established a large network of small-town stations in the USA late in the 19th century.

    Where can the old Adelaide monthly average data series be downloded digitally?


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      Lance Pidgeon

      Hi John they only seem to be available back to 1887 ( that is the point of this whole thing).
      Click here.
      Then select temperature at the first drop down.
      Then Adelaide at the second.
      Choose Adelaide
      Then untick the open station box.


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    Christopher J

    It would appear from the Averages Graph, that the Temperatures are certainly a couple of Degrees hotter than in the past…………….as we have been told.


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    Ben

    I know one thing, it appears to be very windy this summer.


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    [...] data Jan 1910 to Feb 1979 The Adelaide temperature history was discussed at Jo Nova’s – Forgotten: Historic hot temperatures recorded with detail and care in Adelaide – First – Adelaide weather data was collected at West Terrace for around a century then in [...]


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