JoNova

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


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Get Headlines! How to find a heatwave in five easy steps

Heatwaves have become a publicity tool. Far from there being a clear trend in Australian heatwaves, Geoff Sherrington shows that it’s also legitimate to claim heatwaves were worse 80 – 100 years ago in Adelaide and Melbourne and things are getting better. Those officials who cherrypick their claims might be technically correct, but it’s outrageously deceitful and unscientific at the same time.

Just how hard is it to get a record heatwave? It’s so easy that if it’s summer in Australia, it’s hard not to set a record. That’s because heatwaves come in so many flavors  –  there are seven capital cities which can all have 3 day, 4 day, 5 day or 6 day heatwaves. Then there are the heatwaves over 40C, or over 38 C, or over 35C… already that makes 84 flavours of wave. If a hot spell doesn’t break one type of wave, it could easily break another. Then there is the pre-heatwave, and there would be another 84 types of heatwaves that we haven’t had, but might get, you never know. You might think I’m kidding, but pre-heatwaves get headlines already:

“More Canberra heatwaves forecast”

“A heatwave could return to Canberra next month, according to the Bureau of Meteorology.”

Canberratimes.com.au January 20, 2014

Did we need to ask the Bureau of Meteorology if there might be a heatwave in February in Australia?

 

Guest Post by Geoff Sherrington

Preparing for heat waves is important, for fire, health, and electricity supply. There is a message being spread that recent heat waves are getting worse, that global warming will make them more common.  A BoM paper (N&F 2013, see below) tells us that

“The number of heat-related deaths in temperate Australian cities is expected to rise considerably by 2050 as the frequency and intensity of heatwaves is projected to increase under climate change from global warming.”

N&F 2013 also assert that –

“While heatwaves are not unusual for Australians, the trend towards more frequent and intense heatwaves (Alexander et al. 2007) is of significant concern.”

Some regular temperature records start as long ago as 1850, yet this Alexander et. al. prediction concentrates on the years 1951-2003. I wondered what happened to the early years of data? So I looked at heatwave temperatures in Melbourne and Adelaide.  These graphs  summarize the hottest maximum temperature heat waves in each city.

 

Heatwaves in Adelaide

Adelaide has a population about 1.3 million today. The main weather station (23090) is now at Kent Town, 34.9211S, 138.6216E, records from there or nearby West Terrace (23000) start from 1887.

 Melbourne has a population about 4.3 million. The main weather station (86071) is at 37.8075S, 144.9700E, with records from there or nearby from 1856 onwards.

This graphic evidence suggests that if anything, we are having fewer heatwaves than we had before (say) 1975. And some less hot. I qualify this: “Australia’s past climate records are not good enough to support sophisticated analysis and accurate forecasting.” There is only so much that one can do with one Tmax temperature and one Tmin each day.

Conclusions about heat waves depend on many factors:

  1. How you select places as examples. (E.g. Hobart is not so interesting lately).
  2. Definition of ‘heat wave’. (E.g. 3, 4, 5 or 6 day, even longer, or more complex?)
  3. Choice of weather station. (E.g. Kent Town versus Adelaide Airport 2009 heat wave).
  4. Choice of weather record. (Do we use Acorn or “raw” data?)
  5. Quality of data keeping. (In some datasets the max temperature is sometimes lower than the minimum on the same day.)

The official approach appears clumsy and error-prone:

  • Short past data series are used when long ones are available.
  • There is subjective estimation of missing values, instead of deletion.
  • Adjusted data  is used when raw data is available.
  • Complicated indices are invented when simple ones tell an adequate story.
  • There is an uncritical reliance on the manipulated records of others.

Let us step through these five points.

Point 1. How you select places as examples.

Selection of publicized locations is a process of cherry picking. In order to generate headlines about global warming, cities with large populations and a history of fires or energy shortages are the best candidates, particularly if emergencies are recent, overhyped and in the minds of many people. By these criteria, Adelaide and Melbourne emerge as prime targets.  Darwin has an insignificant bush fire history, so apparently doesn’t get a mention, and Hobart has not seen much recent  heat wave activity as shown here.

Concentrated publicity of problems or theoretical trends in places like Adelaide and Melbourne can cause people to think that problems exist for people living in other places where there might be far less of a problem. Heatwave awareness should be encouraged, but not inapplicable awareness.

Point 2. Definition of ‘heat wave’.

The definition of a heat wave is surprisingly vague. An internal report of 84 pages dated  March 2013 by Nairn & Fawcett of Australia’s Bureau of Meteorology (BoM) is a state of the art example of heat wave wisdom (hereafter N&F 2013). It uses a concept of EHF (Excess Heat Factor) which I cannot find defined in a way that allows replication. There is an extended definition in a report by Price Waterhouse  2011 that has in its Appendix B -

The Excess Heat Factor (EHF) value is constructed by multiplying a factor that represents a short-term temperature anomaly factor (heat stress) by a long-term temperature anomaly (excess heat).

These factors are defined as follows:

Excess heat: Unusually high heat that is not sufficiently discharged overnight due to unusually high overnight temperature. Maximum and subsequent minimum temperatures averaged over a three day period are compared against a climate reference value. This is expressed as a long term (climate scale) temperature anomaly.” Etc  etc.

The number of hot days in a heat wave is obviously an important parameter in a definition. N&F 2013 is based around 3 days. Periods of 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6 days are mentioned in the literature. Because drying of vegetation and other materials is important for fire propagation and because duration is important for sustained electrical consumption, I favour the longer, 6-day term, but that is merely a personal preference. The matter does not lend itself to sophistication. A period of 3 days at 45 deg, then one day at 30, then 3 more at 45, is not a defined 6 day heatwave (but it could be the “hottest week on Earth” instead thinks Jo).

Here is a table that shows how different numbers of days influence the historical ranking. As N&F 2013 note,

“At this level of interplay between multiple variables, units and outcomes, it is difficult to visualise or compare heatwaves across time or compare the severity of local, national or international events.”

Do you see how easy it is to create or rank records by choice of definition?

Point 3. Choice of weather station.

Some cities have several weather stations. The choice of one over another can include or exclude a heat wave according to its definition, as some run hotter than others. Here is an extract from the 2009 Adelaide heat wave, showing a Tmax difference of up to 6.5 degrees on a given day between Adelaide’s main station at Kent Town and Adelaide airport which is 11 km to its NNW. The frequency and warmth of Adelaide’s heat waves form a different pattern depending on the choice of Kent Town or Airport station 23034 as shown here. Of course, this type of observation applies anywhere and places limits on the sophistication of data manipulation.

I’m uneasy using the official temperature record from Melbourne Regional station. Here is a set of daily Tmax graphs from the start of 2013 comparing that station to 3 suburban ones nearby. There are systematic differences of at least half a degree up and down that might be caused by Urban Heat Island, UHI, effects. Until the problem is sorted, I’d be wary – and this has been the poster child of how good stations should operate.

UHI would be expected to artificially raise the intensity of heat waves, but by how much exactly? This comment is from Wales at. al., 2012

Morris has been conducting an ongoing study on UHI effects in the wider urban area of Melbourne. The study uncovered that UHI is present in the central business district (CBD) and industrial suburbs of the city. The average temperature from 1985 to 1994 in these areas was 4°C higher than the average temperature in rural suburbs during summer and 3.2°C higher during winter. The temperature of the City of Melbourne’s CBD can be up to 7°C higher than other suburbs in hot weather.

Point 4. Choice of weather record.

One could write a book about the ups and downs of Australia’s weather record. It is shameful that none has been written by an expert. I have never been privileged to see any original raw data recorded by pen and paper or automatically or whatever. I do not know if the BoM release it to the public. The Climate Data Online at the BOM web site could be raw data – I cannot confirm if it is free of all past adjustment. A form of this was sold by the BoM as late as 2007 on compact disc. Here, I term this ‘CD2007’ for shorthand.

The next closest approach to ‘raw’ is the homogenised data set treated by Simon Torok in his doctoral dissertation and related work by Torok & Nicholls of the BoM.

There was a later set designated High Quality or HQ, in the 2000s. In 2012 the BoM replaced the HQ set with ACORN-SAT, here Acorn, a more homogenized set. There is another data set, Australian Water Availability Project (AWAP). The N&F 2013 paper references diverse international sources of Australian time series temperature records, but there comes a point where one needs to be a connoisseur of temperature, adjustments and detective work to understand the shambles.

Research and derivatives such as constants in calibration equations can be rendered useless if one data set version is replaced by another. Versions are not numbered and their variations are poorly described. Acorn, for example, starts in year 1910, long after many valuable longer records started. It is not simply that Stevenson screens mostly replaced other screens after 1910, because we are seeing temperature differences rather greater than that effect.

Here is a graph of the annual Tmax from 86071, Melbourne Regional, Tmax, where annual temperatures from Acorn have been subtracted from the ‘raw’ CD2007. I do not think that Nature acts like this, in hindsight.

Point 5. Quality of data keeping.

There has been commendable record keeping at times, though long periods when advanced uses of data were probably not contemplated. Unfortunately, we seem to be getting worse.

For example, Melbourne regional has these temperatures at the given dates. You have to spot the Acorn problem to see if you are paying attention. There are many more examples that question quality control. The Acorn adjustments inexplicably result in some days when the maximums have been adjusted to be below the minima, or vice versa. Did nobody even did a basic check to notice?

It is time for the BoM to publish the practical magnitude of errors of individual temperature readings. Can it be less than the magnitude of these adjustments?

I’ve tried various ways to present heat wave data, all simple. The following way minimises past step adjustment effects and introduces another complication, long term cycles. There is no space to develop this, but cycles are another factor hampering too sophisticated an analysis. In the end result, the value of the study of extremes is useful into the future only so far as a regular weather forecast. The date that they will happen cannot be predicted in the longer term.

 

A final thought on raw ingredients

During several trips to remote parts of China decades ago, I found the custom to include a convivial trip to the kitchen before dining, to meet the chef and to view the raw ingredients for quality. Later, one would eat the raw ingredients that could be cooked in a variety of ways, by various secret recipes, some to taste, some not.

So it could be with climate data, but for now, few ‘outsiders’ get to view the raw ingredients. We have to rely upon the cooked product, recipe often unknown.

I’m saying it is time to return the meal to the kitchen and to have a refund of the credit card charge. It tastes like the raw ingredients have been overcooked.

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253 comments to Get Headlines! How to find a heatwave in five easy steps

  • #
    Roy Hogue

    Forecasts are easy. Making them come true is a little harder.


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    • #
      Kevin Lohse

      Oh, I don’t know Roy. Close down rural stations, use airport data, allow sites to become urbanised, stir well and homogenise, “Hansenise” the past record and Bingo! your worse-than-we-thought heatwave forecast is manifest. Truly it is said that numbers can be tortured until they tell you anything you want to know.


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      • #
        AndyG55

        “Truly it is said that numbers can be tortured until they tell you anything you want to know.”

        Sorry Kevin, they can be tortured until they tell you anything you want them to say

        but afterwards, you don’t actually KNOW anything.


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    • #
      Geoff Sherrington

      Like with forecasts,

      There is always doubt.
      There’s no doubt about that.

      (Anon. AFL coach, 2013).


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    • #
      mc

      So many different types of heatwave, and OMG pre-heatwaves too, I’m getting pre-traumatic stress syndrome just thinking about it!


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    • #
      Roy Hogue

      Yes, there are many ways to get numbers to say whatever you want them to say. No doubt about it. But there’s no way to get the world to agree with you. And publishing the old records sorta takes all the wind out of the warmist’s sails.

      Way back in the late ’60s my boss told me, “Figures lie and liars figure,” when I told him the numbers that supported what I was proposing to do. But when I delivered what I told him I would, he was impressed nonetheless. It’s the accomplishment that counts and there ain’t no heatwave accomplished by anyone, is there? So I think Jo has it right — point out their error and watch the myth keep on crumbling.


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      • #
        Roy Hogue

        Excuse me, Geoff has it right. Thinking before morning coffee again. ;-)


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      • #

        Roy,

        I am an extremely simple fellow but I know when I am being cheated. The BoM is a supposedly scientific organisation that supposedly deals in facts. I know I am being cheated when facts are altered to meet a political agenda. I know I am being cheated when data is shown to be fudged yet the BoM refuses to alter its approach, indeed redoubles its scurrilous efforts to deceive. I would think that something illegal is happening and I am rather surprised that the legal aspects have not been pursued. I am aware that Jo and Co successfully requested the Auditor General to check the figures and the BoM reacted by “cheating” yet again. I do note that the Abbott government has reduced university funding which may impact on some of the less than important research they fund; maybe they will reduce funding to the BoM as well. After all the BoM have a very poor record when it comes to prediction. Of the twelve to fourteen cyclones they have forecast for this season two have materialised. Apparently there is not enough hot water around the country to form serious storms. Pity, we could do with the rain.


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        • #
          Roy Hogue

          I am an extremely simple fellow…

          It looks like you’re a more sophisticated fellow than your opening statement admits. So don’t sell yourself short. Many people have been sucked in by the deception but you recognized it. You look pretty sharp to me.


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  • #
    The Griss

    OO.. look at Adelaide..

    There’s that big peak at 1906 or 7, then another at 1939.. then a big hole of the cooler period that all the alarmist like to start the linear trend in….. through until, well a couple of minor ones in 1982 and 2014 (hard to read exact years).

    Melbourne copped the early 1900′s peak, seemed to miss the 1939, but you can again see the cooler period from 1970 onwards.

    Just like the un-adjusted temperature records show.


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    • #
      Geoff Sherrington

      The Griss,
      That’s 2009, not 2014, which was after I started writing.


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      • #
        The Griss

        Whoops, should have zoomed the screen !


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      • #
        Philip Shehan

        Geoff, I take your point that this graph was done before 2014, but the Melbourne temperature records for January 2014

        http://www.bom.gov.au/climate/dwo/201401/html/IDCJDW3050.201401.shtml

        show that the 6 day period from 13-18/1 the average maximum was 37.9 C. This period contained the record breaking 4 day run of temperatures over 41 C (42.8,41.7 43.9, 43.9).

        Globally, each decade since the 70′s has been hotter than the last. I would not like to hang an argument on a couple of recent data points , but on the other hand, it is a bit early to rule out there being an increase in frequency and severity of heat waves in the future.


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        • #
          The Griss

          Here you go Philip, I’ve added that 37.9C onto the chart for you ..
          http://imageshack.com/a/img713/9828/vgt.gif… gees, that stands out, doesn’t it.!

          You typed “Globally, each decade since the 70′s has been hotter than the last”

          I made a comment that the alarmists always like to start in the slightly cooler 1960, 70 time…. and you immediately prove me correct.. Thanks :-)

          Well yes, its warmed since it was cooler.. now its stopped warming, and at a temperature which is probably less than the early 1900′s, in Australia at least….

          so just get over it.. and enjoy the warmth while it lasts :-)


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          • #
            Greebo

            Bolta had this up. Glenn Beck tears apart the White House GW chart. If you haven’t seen it, take a look. Priceless.


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            • #
              Philip Shehan

              Greebo, you are absolutely correct. The video is priceless.

              The data shown is apparently “mid tropospheric” UAH satellite data for the period 1978 to 2009, but it appears to be virtually identical to the UAH lower tropical global mean:

              http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/uah/to:2009/plot/uah/from:1978/to:2009/trend

              The temperature trend line is 0.135 ±0.089 °C/decade (2σ)
              Stu complains that Dr Holdren has cherry picked a 1978 start date to deceive people as to the extent of warming because if he had started further back the rise would be smaller. (Stu acknowledges briefly that the satellite record only goes back to 1978, and at the end of the video states further that satellite data is the most accurate. But let’s attack Dr Holden for using it anyway.)

              Well if cherry picking to get the biggest warming trend was Dr Holdren’s intention, why didn’t he use the Hadcrut 4 data for which the trend from 1978 to 2009 is 0.176 ±0.050 °C/decade, or better still, start at 1976 (0.183 ±0.046 °C/decade). True, going back to 1960 gives a value of 0.134 ±0.028 °C/decade but that is the same as the UAH dfta from 1978. As a cherry picker Dr Holdren is hopeless.

              http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/hadcrut4gl/to:2009/from:1960/plot/hadcrut4gl/from:1960/to:2009/trend/plot/hadcrut4gl/from:1976/to:2009/trend

              Stu then complains “Why is the first temperature well below zero?” (Because Stu, all the major temperature data sets set the baseline for the temperature anomaly relative to the average for a 20 or 30 year period. In the case of UAH data that period is Jan 1981 – Dec 2010.)

              But Stu goes on: “they want this line to look more dramatic…the end of the line is not much above zero.” Listening to Stu at this point, his voice drops a bit as it appears to dawn on him that placing the zero way above where to plot starts (his initial complaint) actually decreases the impact of the rise. If the zero point had been at the first data point, the end of the line would be well above zero. So this piece of alleged manipulation decreases, not increases the visual impact of the temperature rise.

              Then to the accompanying ignorant chuckles of the other person on set, (Beck I assume)Stu demonstrates that he does not understand that the trend line is a linear regression fit of the whole data set, not a line drawn connecting arbitrary data points on the plot.

              Bolt’s link was actually to Watts.

              http://wattsupwiththat.com/2014/02/07/friday-funny-two-guys-with-a-ruler-blow-up-the-white-house-global-warming-video-claims/

              Here Watts and his acolytes use this ignorant piece of nonsense to make the predictable personal attacks on Holdren and complain how those decietful alarmists manipulate the data.


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              • #
                Vic G Gallus

                The rate of warming has dropped significantly. Here is every linear regression over 10/15 years as plot where the x coordinate corresponds to the final year and month. No cherry picking out a few examples and putting them in a table. Every single result is there. The data is HADCRUT4 from woodfortress.

                Two times the standard deviation for the final 10 years is 0.06 K/decade. It is ranges up to 0.09 K/decade but I have not done a calculation for each liner regression. I’ll take your value of about 0.05 K/decade for the 15 year liner regressions.

                Assuming an error of 0.05 K/decade, the the rate between 1910 and 1925 was 0.2+/-0.05 K/per decade while it has dropped to 0.03+/-0.05 K/decade using the last 15 years or -0.05 +/- 0.06 K/decade for the last 10 years.

                The rate is definitely less than in 1925. Do you not understand the implications for the the-science-is-settled mantra?


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              • #
                Philip Shehan

                Vic.

                Here are the trends and 2 sigma values for UAH data for 10 and 15 years.

                Trend: 0.068 ±0.410 °C/decade (2σ)

                Trend: 0.146 ±0.212 °C/decade (2σ)

                As I have stted many times before, short term data sets are so noisy and the error margins consequently so very large that the data cannot tell within statistical significance whether the trend is warming or cooling lwt alone whether there has been a “pause”. And note this is the case for the 15 year trend for which the headline trend shows significant warming as for the 10 year case which has less than half the headline value and twice the error.

                The results come from here.

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

                And before SkS haters complain, results are arrived at using standard mean and sigma algorithms which give the same results for a test data set as given by my HP calculator.


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              • #
                William

                “As I have stated many times before, short term data sets are so noisy and the error margins consequently so very large that the data cannot tell within statistical significance whether the trend is warming or cooling lwt alone whether there has been a “pause””

                Philip, the entire premise of AGW is built on the shaky foundations of short term data sets, yet you can only see these sets as a problem when they are used to discredit your beliefs.

                That said, it is amusing watching the short term data set showing no statistical warming getting longer and longer, and your definition of short term getting equally more elastic. Soon, the short term data sets showing a cessation in warming, will be longer than the long term data sets warmists rely on to show warming.


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              • #
                Philip Shehan

                William, It was in fact skeptics who leapt on statistical significance when Phil Jones agreed that a warming period of 17 years was not statistically significant because the error margins included negative values. They then abandoned the concept in order to claim a “pause” in warming.

                I have no “definition” of too short other than a data set which fails to give a definitive answer to a given question. Eg. Has it warmed or cooled for x years?

                The warming trend for UAH data since satellites began collecting data shows statistically significant warming:

                Trend: 0.138 ±0.070 °C/decade (2σ)

                The data since 1998 gives a smaller warming trend (not a “pause”) but it is not statistically significant. The error margins include warming and cooling trends.

                Trend: 0.060 ±0.223 °C/decade (2σ)

                Since 1999 trend jumps to give a larger “warming” trend that the data since 1978 (a sudden large change with the exclusion of a single year is a sure sign of a short data set):

                Trend: 0.146 ±0.212 °C/decade (2σ)

                But this warming trend also contains a possible cooling trend when the error margins are considered. The warming is not statistically significant.

                For the last 10 years the margins become so large that they include extremely large warming and cooling trends:

                Trend: 0.068 ±0.410 °C/decade (2σ) In other words the range is somewhere between warming of 0.478 and cooling of 0.342 °C/decade.

                This data is next to useless in explaining what is actually happening with temperature.

                PS. I just heard the news report saying that Melbourne has just had the highest 30 day temperature period on record.


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              • #
                William

                Philip,

                I am interested in the language of the AGW debate. I am not interested in delving into the maths and statistics posted here (due to a lack of time and rusty maths/stats as much as anything) However, when I last studied statistics, I was introduced to a “Business as Usual” approach which was to work out what was the normal and accepted range and to only worry when, for example, three or more data points were outside the BaU range.

                I suspect that much, if not most of the temperature variation we have seen over the last 10-20-200-2000- etc years is within a reasonable BaU range, with perhaps, a few peaks and troughs falling outside that range.

                I am yet to hear a cogent argument, or see results from a model that clearly demonstrates mankind is having a significant or measurable impact on climate, thus forcing global temperatures to fall outside the BaU range.

                Consequently, I am interested in the language used to further the debate, the definitions employed, the excuses and resultant shifting of both figurative and literal goal posts.

                And today was another cool and grey day in Sydney. Weather, who would figure!


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            • #
              AndyG55

              I agree.. pretty silly video.! Nonsense.

              Philip, you do seem to have more maths ability than your posts give you credit for.

              I saw someone stating 3 dp linear trend accuracy in a chaotic non-linear partially cyclic system.. and well, nope…. and I assumed mathematical semi-literacy.. ! You might want to take a more commonsense approach to that.

              FYI, a chaotic cyclic system is actually best looked at as a series of short term trends, They tell you where you ‘might’ be up to in the cycle, even if the cycle is semi regular.

              The trends were definitely positive from the 1960′s as you would expect when warming from a cooler trough in the cycle, but this century it has now all but leveled off and the trend may be showing signs of becoming negative.

              The interesting point I note is that the 1998 ElNino caused a jump up of about 0.3C, this seems to have been followed since 2001 by a gentle down ward trend.
              The 2010 ElNino did not, however cause any step up in the global temperature once things settled back down. I find that rather odd.

              I guess we will see where things go from here.

              The Sun says continuing downwards for quite a while.


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              • #
                Philip Shehan

                Thank you Andy. I mentioned on another occasion that linear trends are a blunt instrument applied when examining noisy data which does not preclude there being a more complicated underlying function which will often be visible over the longer term.

                I am a bit lazy when quoting regression results which I just cut and paste from the trend calculator which gives 3 decimal place results (if you click the C per decade rather than the C per year or C per century option).

                People are welcome to round that down but the real point is that the 2σ 95% confidence margins are large enough to render the third decimal point irrelevant anyway as far as accuracy of the trend line goes. For example:

                0.135 ±0.089 °C/decade or 0.14 ±0.09 °C/decade

                – either way the problem is that the 2σ margins put the error question in the second decimal place, with the 95 % confidence limit between 0.05 and 0.23 °C/decade. For shorter, noisier data the error margins can be in the first decimal place.


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        • #
          Rereke Whakaaro

          OK, going back to my Propaganda 101 class notes …

          1. Cherry Pick one dramatic event – check.

          2. Ignore the short term duration of the temperature spike, since it could, arguably, be seen as an anomaly. – check. [Just two days at 43.9, with a day each side]

          3. Choose a longer period that optimises between duration and the magnitude of something called an “average maximum” – check. [No idea what an average maximum is, but it sounds good]

          4. Forget to mention that the additional days were, on average, ten full degrees below the headline figure of “over 41 C” – check.

          5. Draw a conclusion that is totally disconnected with the previous argument. – check.

          5a. Include the “take-away sound-bite”, such as “each decade has been hotter than the last”, that people are expected to remember, and repeat. – check.
          [Are we talking averages, maximums, minimums? Are we comparing on a day by day basis between the three decades? We will never know, because it is a mystery.]

          5b. Include a disclaimer of any responsibility for any conclusions that people might draw from the above, – check.
          [This is the "get-out-of-jail-free" card]

          5c. Finish with an “uncertainty statement” that leaves the reader worrying, about the possibility of an increase in frequency and severity of heat waves – check.
          [Notice how two independent possibilities are presented in the worse case scenario, where both eventuate.]

          Philip is actually very good at this stuff — so good in fact, that I would venture to suggest that he might be a professional. Care to comment, Philip?


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            AndyG55

            I think I recall reading somewhere that he is a retired nuclear resonance technician or something ike that.

            Could be he’s in humanities or something though.. some subject that uses base level maths.


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            • #

              He’s listed in Biomed Experts. His papers are on various biomedical studies (Tyrosine Modification Enhances Metal Ion Binding is one he listed before). He’s not into humanities. How much math his research takes I don’t know, but it looks like a bit more than basic arithmetic.


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              Philip Shehan

              PS just noticed Andy and Sheri’s comments on my background.

              Although a research scientist I no longer work in the university sector (I blew the whistle on The department of Magnetic Resonance in Medicine at Sydney University, which is not a good career move, even though my warnings were vindicated by the collapse and dissapearence of the department a few years later. Thus my early retirement although I do undertake occasional consultancy work.

              Andy is correct that I am also rather good in humanities having achieved straight A grades while undertaking a part time graduate diploma in the History and Philosphy of Science and have also completed a project on the history of the 2/14 battalion AIF (the first AIF battalion to go to the assistance of the miltia units on the Kokoda track) for the 2/14 Battalion Association and La Trobe university.

              I have used base level maths in comments on this blog because that is all that is required for the points I was making. extra fancy maths for the sake of it wou;ld be a violation of Occcam’s razor and Einstein got along quite well with a simple mathematical expression E = MC^2.

              I studied mathematics up to 3rd year at university before going on to a research career in Nuclear Magnetic Resonance spectroscopy which indeed requires a certain amount of mathematical knowledge. My understanding of statistics comes from 25 years of applying NMR to biomedical research.


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                Thanks for the clarification. I remember the paper you referred me to and then I found several more, so I was sure you had a strong science background. You have a very interesting and varied background.


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                Philip Shehan

                Thanks Sheri,

                Still have not heard from Graeme, but have emailed Lorie about how I finished our discussion of peer review to find an email from her telling me she had been invited to an interview for an editor in chiefs position. I jokingly asked her if she had any plans for changing the peer review system there and she replied:

                The journal is the American Journal of Occupational Therapy – our profession’s flagship journal. It is peer reviewed in the typical way so I don’t plan to change that and has come up in impact scores under the last editor. I will look at our reviewers to see if the reviewers are interdisciplinary so that we get the best reviewers. I’ll certainly try to keep the impact score trend going! I haven’t published in it much because of its low impact and the interdisciplinariness of the type of research I do, but I guess I’ll have to pay more attention to it if I get to be the editor!


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            Philip Shehan

            Rereke, I was merely updating Geoff’s data to include the current year thus far. I pointed out that not only did the recent 6 day period qualify for inclusion, but that it contained a record breaking 4 day period because as Geoff himself says:

            “The number of hot days in a heat wave is obviously an important parameter in a definition. N&F 2013 is based around 3 days. Periods of 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6 days are mentioned in the literature. Because drying of vegetation and other materials is important for fire propagation and because duration is important for sustained electrical consumption, I favour the longer, 6-day term, but that is merely a personal preference. The matter does not lend itself to sophistication. A period of 3 days at 45 deg, then one day at 30, then 3 more at 45, is not a defined 6 day heatwave (but it could be the “hottest week on Earth” instead thinks Jo).”

            As the whole idea of the length of heat waves is rather arbitrary perhaps it would be more useful to consider the average Januuary temperatures for the last 10 years beginning 2014 with Melbourne regional office temperatures and difference from the average (25.9):

            28.6 +2.7
            27.3 +1.4
            27.4 +1.5
            26.5 +0.6
            27.5 +1.6
            28.6 + 2.7
            27.9 +2.0
            27.9 + 2.0
            27.7 + 1.8
            26.5 +0.6

            This data suggests that as January maximums are consistently above average my earlier comment stands: It is a bit early to rule out there being an increase in frequency and severity of heat waves in the future.

            Yes I am very good at this and yes I am a professional scientist. We are trained to be cautious in making stements about limited data.


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          Geoff Sherrington

          Philip Sheehan,
          Please note that I have not stated nor inferred anything about frequency or severity of heat waves in the future.
          Other people get into adequate trouble by trying to do that.
          As for 2014, well, let the chips fall where they may. I’m not proposing geoengineering to reduce future heat wave events.
          Why not look again at the end of my essay at the graph linked “The following way” under point 5. I’ve attempted to put events into more local context and raised the point of cycles (without discussion – space too short).
          There do seem to be cycles. If we are at a peak of one now, it might give rise to comments like “the hottest decade in recorded history” and other such talk.
          So what? I’m trying to show that the data are not good enough to be adequately certain about such calls. Take away UHI, take away adjustments, maybe the 1890s had a hotter decade.
          Records are being claimed on the basis of parts of a degree C. The overall error, bias plus precision, of a reading might well exceed +/- 1 degree.
          How many angels dance on the head of a pin?
          Is there positive social value in creating a populace that is alarmed?
          Maybe there are other social hazards to advertise with alarm, ones that are being elbowed out by mindless repetition of hottest this or record that…

          Where does a social good end, where does propaganda start?


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            Philip Shehan

            Geoff, my comment was in no way a criticism of your work which I find impressive.

            There is positive social value in a populace being made aware of a serious problem if in doing so they are in a position to do something to avert it. There is negative social value in trying to tell a populace there is nothing to worry about and we can operate on a business as usual basis when the preponderance of scientific evidence says otherwise.


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              Have you got a meter to measure Social Value. Do share.

              My Social-Value-meter tells me there is negative social value in whipping up baseless scares while we ignore real threats.

              There is no preponderance of evidence (not even a solid single paper) that assumptions of climate models on water vapor are correct, nor that models have any “skill”.


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                The Griss

                My social value tells me we should have spent all that wasted “alternative” non-energy money on something real, worthwhile and tangible… maybe like medical research, upgraded hospitals, actually helping third world countries try to develop.

                What those uncounted wasted trillions could have accomplished !

                Hopefully people will wake up to reality soon.


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                Philip Shehan

                Ms Nova, I was answering a question posed by Geoff:

                “Is there positive social value in creating a populace that is alarmed?”

                I agree that “social value” is a difficult concept to quantify, but I decided not to duck the question on this quibble.

                We will just have to agree to disagree on the scientific evidence regarding whether AGW is a baseless scare.

                As far as models go, they seem to do a reasonable job in accounting for the historical record:

                http://www.sciencemag.org/content/326/5960/1646/F8.expansion.html

                PS While looking for that figure here:

                http://www.sciencemag.org/content/326/5960/1646

                I found this one which I present in support of my earlier comment on decade by decade temperature increases:

                http://www.sciencemag.org/content/326/5960/1646/F7.expansion.html


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                cohenite

                The McCarthy paper Phil links to shows a good correlation between model predictions and the actual temperature data [from CRU].

                I don’t know which models were referred to in the paper and what they were measuring but it wasn’t temperature:

                http://www.drroyspencer.com/wp-content/uploads/CMIP5-73-models-vs-obs-20N-20S-MT.png

                http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/11/05/climate-models-worse-than-we-thought/

                Seriously, models can’t predict or measure much at all, hurricanes, cyclones, clouds rainfall, the sun. Have you read Koutsoyiannis? Scafetta?


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                Philip Shehan

                Cohenite:

                Modelling climate is indeed extremely difficult as so many variables are involved. Those dealing with one aspect of climate, global temperature do a pretty good job but work continues to include the effects of more variables to improve the fit. In 1980 Hansen’s first attmpt did a pretty good job with just three parameters, CO2 volcanoes and the sun.

                The first link you provide is for models of the tropical regions 20 N – 20 S, not the entire globe and there are clearly problems with those.

                The second link shows problems in recent years but then other comparisons of models with data show better fits, so who knows?

                http://www.ipcc.ch/publications_and_data/ar4/wg1/en/figure-9-5.html

                http://web.archive.org/web/20100322194954/http://tamino.wordpress.com/2010/01/13/models-2/

                I am personally of the opinion that the sensitivity factor, the amount of warming with doubling of CO2 concentration will be at the lower end of the 1.5-4.5 C band so models using the previously considered most likely value of 3 C will be too high.

                Attempting to model hurricanes etc will be even more complicated than global temperature change as so many more factors other than global temperature must be added in. Not surprised if those attempting to do this are finding it tough.


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                Philip Shehan

                Sheri. With regard to error margins most of my discussion on this has been specifically related to the problem of examination of existing records of temperature data where I point out that short term data sets have high error margins so that projecting from there into the future is a risky oproposition.

                Longer term data sets have lower error margins which may show “statistically significant” trends of warming, or cooling, but again this is a statement about past temperatures which may or may not be a reliable guide to the future.

                Quantifying overall risks for the future is always difficult and I’m not sure how one puts numbers on probabilities of certain future climate outcomes, although the IPCC assigns outcomes considered “likely” “extremely likely”, or “not likely” etc. certain percentage values which seems to me to be a bit dodgy but they are trying to get across some idea of relative risk.

                The decision of whether any particular action should be taken for any particular risk is part of what is known as risk assessment, or if you actually act on the assessment, risk management. Risk assessment is not strictly a scientific matter, as science simply tries to establish what is actually happening in the physical world. What notice people take of scientific findings and what if anything they choose to do about it, either as individuals or collectivelly under the heading of “politics” is another matter.

                As an example of risk management, there is a very small probability, probably in the order of 1%, that my house will burn down in the next year, but the cost to me would be catastrophic so I am prepared to fork out money to the insurance company to cover the risk. (We are currently having bushfires here in Victoria. I resent the fact that about 30% of people burnt out in fire prone areas here have no insurance and then expect the rest of us to pay for their rebuild etc through the government. The government does not bail out individual city dwellers like myself, only sturdy, self-reliant rural folk when their properties go all at once in a disaster.)

                With global warming scientists work out what the probability is of warming to particular temperatures and leave it to economists to work out what potential costs are. (Purely humanitarian costs seem to be difficult to put a price on so although very real to those involved tend to get left out.) These costs include damage to food production areas, increases in costs due to tropical diseases, damage to infrastructure due to rising sea levels etc. There may be some benefits which offset costs. Eg,sunny Siberia may open up for agriculture and settlement. But speaking for myself, I do not wish to move to Siberia should south eastern Australia become semi arid.

                If the costs if mitigating the effects of warming outweigh the damage bill even with a high probability that warming occurs, then the sensible thing is not to take action until warming if any occurs and then incur whatever costs are required.

                If there is only a moderate chance of damaging warming occuring but the potential costs of doing nothing are much higher than doing something, it may well be rational to take out the insurance. If the costs of precautionary mitigation outwiegh the likely damage bill, then it is rational to keep your fingers crossed and wait.

                If the chances of damaging warming are high and the damage bill in the event of it occurring is also very high compared with the costs of taking action (such as substantially reducing the use of fossil fuels) then in terms of risk assessment, taking action is a no brainer.

                I am of the opinion that this is the current situation, though clearly others differ.


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                Philip–I agree with most of what you said. Your last statement, however, could use some expanding. Short of war and physical removal of fossil fuel plants all over the whorl or a sudden acceptance of nuclear power (small probability, but possible), I cannot see any way to reduce fossil fuel usage. We simply have only one viable alternative–nuclear–and people fear it. What would you use instead of fossil fuels that actually works, does not cost a fortune, and is widely available? Or how does one sufficiently reduce usage without an alternative? And, as noted, Hansen and Gore have seriously damaged credibility, as the news media continues to do. The scientists often seem their own worst enemies. How does on repair that problem?

                Your example of insurance on a home was interesting. You buy insurance–many people choose to do nothing and if the house is destroyed, either gather money from a social media plea or have the news media show up and get people to send money. I am constantly amazed at the number of people who just assume others will cover the cost of replacing their home. This plays into the risk/reward aspect of humans–can we try to get someone else to pay? When it comes to global warming, there’s a whole lot of this. Poor countries seem to feel that taking the rich countries’ money is the answer. Again, a very strong human characteristic.

                While I can understand that to you, the risk of global warming is greater than the risk of adapting, as you noted, others differ. I cannot see the cost of adaptation, in both physical and psychological terms, being any greater than trying to stop changes in climate, especially when we really have little evidence how long that would take and how much difference it would make in reality. The only way global warming may be worse than doing nothing is if the fear tactics used to try and motivate people actually backfire and when the CO2 is reduced, no major change occurs right away. That would very, very ugly.

                If you have time to answer, I am curious what you think we should do. I have had answers ranging from swapping out lightbulbs, etc (clearly not enough) to a complete return to prehistoric, hunter/gatherer societies. Returning to “pre-industrial” would mean millions die and I’m not sure air quality won’t severely suffer for many decades until we are back at the level of the 1800′s. So if you have an idea, I’m willing to listen.


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              Philip: Since you are obviously aware of error margins and the error margins for the future predicitions for which the need to act on AGW are alarmingly high, it is unclear why you feel the need to make people “aware” of this. While 2 standard deviations are standard, there still exists a large posibility of error. Some statisticians would argue for at least 3 SD. Also, the accuracy and completeness of the model counts. The IPCC fully admits it cannot feed in accurate estimates of land usage, CO2 increase, etc, etc. Which makes the models even more problematic.

              However, even if we could say with complete confidence that CO2 from fossil fuels can do what is claimed, I cannot see how this is much different than telling people a small asteroid will hit the earth in 70 years and cause extensive damage to one area and alter the climate everywhere. We have no means to stop the asteroid. I suppose one can say we could work on developing something, but if it required the entire planet work together and give up much of their lifestyles and governments, it’s unlikely anything could be worked out. I would suppose that even if the asteroid missed, the damage done would be intensive due to the infighting and terror of people waiting for a horrible outcome.

              We have no substitute for fossil fuels except nuclear, which scares the daylights out of 99% of the planet. Educating people concerning nuclear is going backward, not forward. One earthquake and Germany shuts down all nuclear and burns lignite–an earthquake that was no where near Germany. So right now, stopping the burning of fossil fuels seems highly, highly unlikely. To achieve any significant reduction, there would have to a be a reduction in the population of the planet because we cannot sustain billions with a pre-industrial life style. It would take a war to get China and India to cut back. In other words, this might as well be an asteroid heading for earth.

              IF the goal was to educate people on the dangers of fossil fuel usage, Mr. Gore destroyed that years ago by terrifying children. He continues by burning Barbies and Hansen threatens boiling oceans. Once climate science crossed into terrifying science fiction as a motivator, any rational discourse died. At which point, the battle was lost as for claiming this was for “social benefit”.

              I am curious what “social benefit” you believe can come from the knowledge that the world might be warming due to an activity that basically sustains life on this planet.


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    Good afternoon Jo,
    Germany is the WORLD HQ. for this “lemming/King Canute/Alice in Wonderland/snake-oil salesman-like” man-made climate-catastrophe global come-in-spinner greatest con the world has ever seen!! (God this is even so big it makes Bernard Madoff’s $50 billion Ponzie look like a Sunday School picnic!!)
    Anyway, late in January, a previous German Chancellor, Gerhard Schroder, released a book calling on the German government to rapidly change course re this renewables obsession. On the same day current Chancellor, Angela Merkel, for the first time EVER publicly said all future renewable goals would have to be subject to not adversely affecting industry or consumers!! (Or words to that effect.)
    This effectively puts them on a de-facto unity ticket against the German Greens!!
    In addition to this, also last month, the largest solar company in China filed for bankruptcy!! (Many others are struggling also.)
    Given all of this, surely its now only a matter of weeks now before the hither-to Cyclops-like Western main/lame stream media start to ditch this load of bollocks called climate change catastrophism!!
    I am still standing by my prediction that the Aust. Greens will go the way of the Dem’s., and win no more seats in any of the next two federal elections!! (Regardless of whetrher or not a DD. is called in the next one to three months.)
    Keep up the good work…
    Maintain the rage…
    Reformed Warmist of Logan


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    The Griss

    I get the impression that living in Adelaide around 1900-1940 would have been quite toasty.

    No air-con either.., but it would probably have been a dry heat, so maybe a rudimentary fan blowing over a bowl of water might have helped.


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      Andrew Griffiths

      What about a bottle of Coopers Sparkling Ale to go with the fan and the bowl of water


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        Another Ian

        Andrew,

        Likely Southwark – the punch line to one of my experiences around Birdsville 1965 is “Cold Southwark was the worst beer in Australia – hot it was the best”


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      Manfred

      Actually, it sounds like a perfect employment opportunity for a Punkawallah.

      Seriously though, this would in fact we the ideal contemporaneous occupation for the Green wankerati (Delingpole 2014). They could put their flapping arms where there mouths are, so to speak. Paid less than the minimum wage and encouraged to live in generally impoverished circumstances, they would be thrilled to have the opportunity not be be able to afford electricity.


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    The Griss

    Does anyone know when max/min thermometers came into use ?


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    Ken Stewart

    Excellent post Geoff. And we will never have a chance to see the raw ingredients.


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    crakar24

    I am here reporting from ground zero, the Moron Ville messenger AKA Adelaide Advertiser is in full swing. Today we have a story stating that the heat waves have caused 350 million dollars in lost productivity this year already!!!!! of course this is just a prediction its not a fact based assessment and obviously as AGW takes hold this financial burden will increase or so says Dr Elizabeth Hanna, convener of the climate change adaptation research network at the Australian national university.

    Today it reached about 42C which i infer from the headline that this will equal the record of above 40C days set way back in 1897/98, Wednesday is predicted to be above 40C thereby breaking a 117 odd year record. Unfortunately a majority of people that live in SA are stupid (i say this not to be mean but facts are facts they really are stupid), most will not have the capacity to understand this means it was just as hot now as it was 117 years ago they will simply think the planet is getting warmer.

    Its sad just how stupid we have become.


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      The Griss

      Yet after alllllllll this warming, we finally reach maxtemps that were set in late 1800′s and in 1939..

      Amazing really.!

      Maybe there was a cool patch between or something, and we have warmed back up from there… naturally……

      Because you can’t keep on warming and yet still be at the same temperature.. Even basic warmist troll maths should tell you that.


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      Rereke Whakaaro

      Its sad just how stupid we have become.

      Yeah, I reckon it is all ‘caus of that climate stuff that those boat people are bringing down from Asia, ‘an that.


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      john robertson

      Crakar24,
      Imagine the headline they would produce if they got a dose of the cold air hanging over the USA East coast and most of Canada..
      What imaginary costs could they assign to a tongue of Antarctic air cutting a swath across Australia?

      Is it just me? Or has even the media lost interest in the quality of those lies they are pedalling?


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        crakar24

        Well John the costs would be much the same because much of the lost productivity was based on it being too hot to work it would simply be too cold to work, either way the omni potent force of a trace gas is awe inspiring.


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    Ian George

    So true, cracker,
    In jan, 1908 there were 2 heat waves – a 4-day +40C followed by a 6-day +40C. 10 days in the one month giving a Jan max mean of 34.2C. Still a record.
    As Jo says, you can make records about anything by picking different criteria.

    If you take days over 35C for this year only (up to and including 8th Feb), 1908 wins – by one day.
    This month will need 7 more to equal, 8 to win.
    Hopefully, as you say, people will see that despite all that extra CO2 (and some adjustments to temps), it takes more than 100 years to break a record (and still can’t beat that 46.1C, Adelaide’s top temp in 1939 – 75 years ago).


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      Geoff Sherrington

      Ian,
      That date of 1908 would be before the Acorn figures are started, would it not?

      The 1890-1910 period had a number of unusual features that deserve greater study – not just being wiped off the record.

      In some scientific sectors, the anomalous result is cherished, not homogenised, because it can be rich in information.


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    If all else fails, you can always “adjust” the data.

    When your adjustment is similar in magnitude to the warming you claim is happening, you’ve long since crossed the line between fact and fantasy.

    From the NOAA website – the hockey stick shaped adjustment to flat temperature data, which produce a hockey stick graph.
    http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/img/climate/research/ushcn/ts.ushcn_anom25_diffs_urb-raw_pg.gif


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    One of the steps has been missed:

    Ignore the fact that modern instruments responds far more quickly to air temperatures than older instruments, so the merest whips of hotter air going through the small MMTS enclosure is recorded as a maximum; even if it only persisted for 3 seconds; whereas the older thermometers, with substantial thermal mass in larger enclosures, took minutes to respond.

    UN-WMO is silent on how instrument records from different technologies can ever be comparable. There is no accepted, uniform technique that is robust (taking into account the physical thermodynamics) for “homogenizing” data series for direct comparison. The uncertainties of “accepted” homogenization are disregarded. The results are so bad that they’re not even wrong.


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      Should be easy enough to do the experiment. Set up one of the new sensors and one of the old and see what happens.
      Could use a webcam to view the old style thermometer in the screen(or through a small hole in one side so the heat from the webcam doesn’t cause problems).
      Now there’s a nice little high school science project! Then figure out how to low pass filter the signal from the MMTS to emulate the old style.


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        Unfortunately, most of the relevant necessary information to do a proper physical homogenization has long been discarded and in some cases never known; at least for historical data.

        Consider for one factor the effect of moisture content. Which is even disregarded by the “climate analsys” but greatly influences the rate of heat transfer between air and objects in that air. A post hoc analysis is frustrated by not knowing the thermal capacity of the air at the time of measurement.

        So while, as you suggest, the response of various instrumentation can be experimentally determined, it is quite likely not to be very useful given the uncertainty of the operating conditions.

        It would have been useful in the past, with much of the old instrumentation in situ in the past, to adapt the output of modern sensors so that they “respond” in the same way as instruments of the past, but that hasn’t been the objective of new instrumentation.


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          Geoff Sherrington

          Bernd,
          We see in the literature that it is desirable to have an overlap period of some years when there are site moves or new instrumentation.
          Many of the problems do in theory have clarification lurking if there was an overlap period – and if the results of that are known.
          I would have expected by now that we would have been made normally aware of the study of overlap changes when there was a change from earlier screens to Stevenson screens (1890-1910 or so); for metrication (1966-1975 or so); when the AWS replaced the thermometer (mainly 1985-2000 or so) and when any change was made to the method to get daily average (replacement of Tmax+Tmin/2).
          Some of the key stations representing large geographical areas, like Darwin, have some overlap data available after site changes.
          Is anyone aware of more sources of overlap data? There should be a lot of it if the recommended procedures were followed.


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            Best to control the experiment than to produce a set of fudge factors gleaned from observations over a couple of years which may well not span the gamut of variable factors.

            Mechanistically, the thermodynamics of systems are sufficiently well defined to determine gross adjustment factors. e.g. thermal mass and thermal resistance.

            It would still be necessary to do tests of old systems and new in a controlled situation (e.g. wind tunnel) where the plausible, signifciant factors of “insolation”, wind speed, air temperature and moisture content could be controlled; repeatably. For asymetric equipment such as Stevenson screens, the orientation to the wind may well be significant in determining the degree of infiltration.

            Age-related factors such as paint deterioration, etc of Stevenson screens requires substantial research.

            It should then be possible to have calibrated response curves which take those factors into account, to back-adjust the behaviour of the more “sensitive”, modern equipment, so that the readings are plausibly comparable to those of the old.

            I suspect that it would only be possible to back-adjust as the conditions at the time of e.g. old min/max temperatures will be unknown. They could be “guessed” but the enthalphy of air can vary substantially with moisture content; altering its ability to transfer heat; resulting in large error bands.

            As to site factors such as ground cover differences and how they influence e.g. radiation absorbtion by the enclosure can also be determined under controlled conditions, and included in the back-adjustment.

            UN-WMO has been negligent in failing to insist on the need for being able have “continuous” records through generations of sensing technologies, especially as Engineering techniques for the retrofitting of new instrumentation to old processes have long been established. It’s not even rocket surgery.

            If BoM had any technical competence; they should worked it out for themselves, without needing “guidance” from the UN.


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    scaper...

    Can we have real heat waves in Brisbane. Been a piss weak summer thus far.

    Reminds me of the summer of ’97. Getting twisted by the pool…opposed to actually getting in!


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    The Griss

    “Getting twisted by the pool”

    Wasn’t that a Dire Straits song ?


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    Ian George

    Bernd,
    This is what I’ve noticed quite often when looking at the BoM AWS daily recordings.
    When Sydney reached its 45.8C in 2013 (@ 2:53), the temp 4 mins before was 44.9C and 6 mins later was 44.7C – a rise of 0.9C and then a drop 1.1C all in 10 minutes. The actual graph shows the line reaching just over 45.0C, then dropping.
    The temp was 45.1C at 2:29/2:30 but dropped to 44.3C 10 mins later.

    The old record of 45.3C, recorded on the older thermometers, would not have picked up any quick rise because there was no electronic recording. Are there any studies regarding the platinum-tipped thermometers and the difference between electronic recording and standard?


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      AndyG55

      I looked at the AWS (automatic weather station) for Observatory Hill the next day, and it registered a maximum of 45.3, say as in 1939 (74 years ago)

      I so wish I had taken a screen cap of it :-(

      I even email BOM to ask where the extra 0.5C came from… no reply.


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    Richard

    A new Melbourne weather station at Olympic Park appeared on the “Latest Weather Observations for the Melbourne Area” page of the BoM a few weeks ago. I didn’t make a note of the exact date it appeared. Here’s a description and picture of the new weather station . I wonder how much thought they gave to the siting – next to a car park in a very busy sports precinct? Surely we can do better these days. When it first came on-line, it was reading a round 2C lower than the old Melbourne weather station, as far as I can remember, but it now seems to be reading very close to the old one. I wonder if any adjustments are being made already.

    I’ve been in IT since 1970 and did a lot of assembler and machine code programming in the old days. I worked with someone in the mid to late 1970s who had previously worked in IT with the BoM and who had similar coding experience. We naturally had a lot of geeky chats. I was very interested to learn how the weather forecasts were done and whether or not we could get more accurate forecasts about the weekend weather so I could plan my weekend sailing. One impression I gained from him was how passionate and dedicated the weather guys were about accuracy and integrity. I’m not confident that the current mob have the same values.


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    Neville

    Bill Glasson has reversed the normal by election result and has received a swing to him of about 0.5%. Quite incredible.
    That’s after about 63% of vote counted.

    http://vtr.aec.gov.au/HouseDivisionFirstPrefs-17552-163.htm


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    Peter Miller

    So it could be with climate data, but for now, few ‘outsiders’ get to view the raw ingredients. We have to rely upon the cooked product, recipe often unknown.

    Which is a nice way of saying the raw data has been homogenised/manipulated/tortured, or the classic “the dog ate it”. The situation is so bad – especially with GISS – that almost no land based temperature data set can be trusted before the satellite era.

    For those who believe the official temperature statistics before the satellite era. First get hold of some of the temperature statistics which were published 20-30 years ago before global warming became fashionable and compare them to today’s figures for the same period. GISS is especially bad. Then spend a little time reading 1984 and about Winston Smith’s job at the Ministry of Truth.

    The only thing we can be sure about in today’s world of climate science is that the future is certain, only the past ever changes.


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      Even if we read “1984″, the book merely describes the mess: The altering of history, the blind allegiance. (As far as I know, we have no adopted the torture, except in actual dictatorship countries)). There is no solution ever presented. In the end, Big Brother continues as always. If you can currently can recognize double-think, double-speak, and rewriting of history, “1984″ is already here and reading the book gives you no guidance whatsoever as how to get out of the mess.


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        Joe V.

        “1984″ is already here and reading the book gives you no guidance whatsoever as how to get out of the mess.

        Would you like that with jam on it Sheri ;-?
        Highlighting and popularising the problem is half the battle.
        Being able to look back on Orwell’s 1984 as a problem of the future is in some ways more helpful than other lessons of the past.

        The subtle and insidious machinations behind Agenda21 for instance are easier to recognise and to call out as a result.

        Perhaps if Orwell hadn’t died in 1950 at only 46 he’d have given us more.


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          Actually, yes, Joe, I would like that with jam on it.

          While optimistic people seem to feel if you point out what could happen in society, that will somehow affect the outcome, I generally find that historical information and “prophetic” fiction is most useful should we actually want to get out of the mess we made. People don’t seem to believe that whatever bad thing portrayed in a novel is actually going to happen. They don’t even think that history can repeat itself. For 40 years, minimum, it’s been extremely obvious which direction the US was headed. People just laughed at the outrageous ideas and believed they were immune, all the while their kids are fully indoctrinated with the “big brother is good” mentality. Then the parents decided that Big Brother was a lot easier than going to work and signed up. They stood by and let hate speech be defined to be anything “Big Brother” disagrees with. They virtually gave up all religious freedoms and let those who want rules removed remove them. “Calling out” generally occurs after the point where “Big Brother” is highly entrenched.

          If Orwell had a solution, one would have thought the book would have contained it. Or he naively believed warnings without solutions were beneficial. (Just to be clear: A warning without a solution is pretty much like telling your three-year-old what NOT to do in restaurant and not telling him what to do. If no alternative is presented, there’s little chance to change the behaviour to the desired one. The person just keeps trying out behaviours, hoping to hit one that gets a response they can deal with, or simply gives up and just figures going to a restaurant means being punished no matter what.)


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            Joe V.

            “People don’t seem to believe that whatever bad thing portrayed in a novel is actually going to happen. They don’t even think that history can repeat itself.”

            People do seem to keep making the mistake of thinking they are smarter history, while history keeps outsmarting them.

            Should Orwell have kept his mouth shut until he had a solution ?


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              Yes. I suppose since he seemed a bit overly optimistic about humans (he was described as a democratic socialist who believed people could gravitate toward equality voluntarily) he may have thought warning people was enough. Unfortunately, it usually is not. If I remember correctly, the book starts and ends with “Big Brother” in place. It’s kind of like writing about a town wiped out repeatedly by floods, never saying where the floods came from nor how to deal with them. What he wrote is useful as a description of what is going on, but other than that, it does nothing. I’m sure we would have come up with other terms if we did not have “double-think” available.


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                Joe V.

                ” I’m sure we would have come up with other terms if we did not have “double-think” available. “

                I’m not so sure we would. Sure, exSoviets, East Europeans and other subjects of real tyranny would recognise it but it wouldn’t have become popularised in the common psyche.
                Thanks to Orwell at least people know what your talking about when you try to point it out in modern affairs.


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            john robertson

            Sheri, we have always known the solution, but we hate to ruin our wealth, comfort and peace of mind, to do anything about it.
            The Greeks gave us Democracy.
            They also knew Kleptocracy.
            Most elected and appointed thieves fade away with minimal damage to society overall.
            When the infestation becomes intolerable, civl society breaks.
            I like civilization, we have never had it so good.
            But these parasites, bureaucrats, regulators and bandits all seem insatiable.
            Seems mass hysteria, destruction of public wealth and the creation of an impoverished bitter people are the goal of those who are so desperate to lead us.
            Ironic as such a people will have zero empathy with freeloaders such as them.
            But I never found any wisdom in the ranks of the evil and stupid who seek to control everything.
            Mostly just frightened children.
            I recommend a tax on all do-gooders.


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        Vic G Gallus

        Perhaps going back a few thousand years from 1984. I’m not preaching but I like the story of Job and Satan. Satan is evil merely for hissing (the correct term) in God’s ear for him to test Job, because Satan argued that Job would curse God if he were unlucky. Apart from a lot of other bad luck, all Job’s children were killed when a roof collapsed.

        The problem for many with the story is coming to terms with the ability of Satan to con an omnipotent being. Its a simple interpretation for me; You will be conned many times if God was conned once.

        This is more than being about Agenda 21, making nuclear look good, reducing the demand for oil or creating a market where something intangible is being traded. It is about controlling the population through propaganda.

        Wikipedia changes a lot but please read about Job and Satan to get an idea of what the mentality of all this is.


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          Wow–I had never heard the interpretation of Job presented as you did here. It took me a couple of tries before finding the right wiki and reading what it said. There were some questionable claims, but I think I get what you are saying Wiki says. However, in all the denominations of Christianity that I have studied, none said God was tricked. One line on Wiki seems to imply that, but the actual passage in the Bible reads differently. God allowed Satan to test Job to demonstrate to Satan that Job was not righteous just because Job “had everything”. There was no con involved. In fact, most would say God was 100% certain of what the outcome would be.

          Propaganda has existed for a very long time. It’s not new. Yes, much of what goes on today is about controlling the population, even in countries that are claimed to be democratic. You can’t stop propaganda from being created. It’s how leaders hold power (check out North Korea). You can try to motivate people to want to control their own lives, but in all honesty, people don’t seem to be inclined to control their own lives until that control is taken and they realize they had something valuable. Historically, it happens over and over. As I stated before, Orwell may have hoped the simple description of a totalitarian state such as was in 1984 might motivate people to avoid getting there. Without any information of how the people arrived there, there’s no clue as how to prevent it. I wondered how “Big Brother” took power. Now, I can easily see it was a slow process and people just handed over the reigns. But without seeing this happen in the real world, one is left to ask “how did this start?”


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            Vic G Gallus

            My reasoning for the original story referring to God being conned is that Satan is evil. It was Alexandrian Jews who translated it into Greek, Diablos, the one who slanders. So if Job was slandered, God was conned. It was obvious thousands of years ago that larger evils started with someone hissing in someone else’s ear. A bad Karma sort of moral; it might look clever and harmless now but it will lead to grief.


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              God didn’t know Satan was evil? I think that was covered in Genesis. I really don’t understand any of the theology you are reporting, but yes, sometimes things that look clever and cute are not. Rush Limbaugh (boo hiss, I know…..) mentioned that he used to laugh at the silly courses and ideas coming up in universities. He fully believed no one would take them seriously. Wrong–not only did they take them seriously, they expanded on them geometrically. Now we have universities teaching people to hate America and that gender is a choice and humans are scum. It really wasn’t funny at all.


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                Vic G Gallus

                I read the stories as parables rather than a history book. God seems to have a lot of traits that a real omnipotent being wouldn’t have.


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                Vic–I understand. Let’s not get into a religios discussion here. Suffice it to say, I agree that subtle things people laugh at now or ignore as too far afield to ever matter often are not. Whether or not we can get people to understand before the ideas get out of hand, I am not sure. Let’s just say I’m not optimistic. I have no objection to your trying to alert people, if you feel it will help.


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      Eddie

      The only thing we can be sure about in today’s world of climate science is that the future is certain, only the past ever changes.

      Good point Peter. Does it really change though, or is it just the ever distancing view through the distorting lense of climate funding that changes it.


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    llew Jones

    Not sure if the below is listed but this is the sort of Aussie heat wave 21C pansies/alarmists could not even imagine:

    HOTTEST DAY ON RECORD

    IN THREE CAPITALS

    Seven Deaths: Many People

    Collapse

    READINGS OF UP TO 121 (49.4C) IN MALLEE

    HEAT WAVE again blistered south-eastern Australia yester- day, and the day was the hottest on record in Melbourne, Ade laide and Canberra, while in parts of the Mallee (Vic.) recordings exceeded 120.

    Adelaide thermometers soared to 116.9 (47.2C), while in Melbourne the temperature reached 113 (45C) degrees.

    At Ivanhoe (N.S.W.) the temperature has exceeded 100
    (37.8C) degrees for the past 27 days. (Note 27 days. Now that’s the sort of heat wave we non pansy oldies were more familiar with).

    http://trove.nla.gov.au/ndp/del/article/68533670?searchTerm=melbourne%20113%20degrees&searchLimits=


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    Neville

    Glasson vote now up a bit more. BTW two thirds of the USA is now covered in that white stuff we were not going to see much of any more. How can that be?

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2014/02/07/over-two-thirds-of-the-continental-usa-covered-with-snow/#more-102819


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    stewgreen

    Offtopic : Jo I just listened to the 3rd part of Saving The Oceans on ABC Offtrack to be broadcast next week (all episodes are already available online)
    - Now episode 1 is a bit of a travesty as it concerns the coral island Kiribati “certain to be destroyed by rising oceans” (but everyone has moved to the big island and don’t care too much about the environment as they leave the beach full of garbage, and anti-flod measures have also screwed things up). However that is a different matte. In the rest of the 4 episodes although the general tone is “oh my god the ocean is dying, global warming, global warming”, there aren’t too many similar specifics to pick up on. However the last 5 minutes of episode 3 concerns itself with cean acidification.
    1. This is being a bit unscientific and playing loose with the language as they actually mean ocean water with more CO2 gas in it.
    2. The matter is a bit complex, so it is easy to be mislead. Would you study the effect of increased H2O in the air by seeing how humans can live underwater ? She does quickly make that point talking about when they find a natural undersea CO2 event they can study the effect of increased CO2 by moving some distance away where the CO2 is lower (like in the same way you could study humidy by standing 20-30m away from a big waterfall)

    She made the observation about “high CO2 environments”
    1. Most corals suffer
    2. However coral doesn’t diminish that much as other coral species thrive
    3. There is a stronger effect on Crustations and fish etc. and that’s what concerns her
    4. That results from not having their normal coral ecosystem
    5. These results that they get are quite different from the laboratory ..OK that is understandable, but shows that lab forecasts aren’t necessarily very accurate
    6. What concerns me is the phrase “high CO2 environments” it’s not very precise.
    Is it the ocean we’d get if CO2 goes up 500%, 200% or a more realistic 100% ?
    - If it is 500% then it almost has NO relevance to the real world


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    pat

    ***u want headlines? note how it’s necessary now to try to impress the public that the new “extreme”/”catastrophe” is really real:

    8 Feb: ABC: Firefighters tackle blazes in South Australia and Victoria as extreme weather conditions take hold
    Fire crews have been battling blazes in South Australia and Victoria as the southern states endure a weekend of extreme weather conditions…
    There is a catastrophic fire danger warning for the Mount Lofty Ranges, Yorke Peninsula and Lower Eyre Peninsula with extreme and severe warnings for all other districts…
    Mark Thomason from the CFS says there is the potential for fires to have devastating consequences.
    “Over the past fortnight, we’ve seen the loss of a number of houses and on the conditions it’s been hot and it hasn’t been catastrophic,” Mr Thomason said.
    ***”What we’re trying to say to the community when it’s catastrophic is, even a house with good protection, there’s likelihood that it’ll either be damaged or lost…
    And the Weather Bureau says Melbourne could set a new record for its hottest overnight temperature.
    The record stands at 30.6C which was set on two occassions – in January 2010 and February 1902.
    “The overnight low is forecast to be 30C so we’ll be pretty close to that record. It’ll just depend on how early that northerly wind starts to freshen,” Richard Carlyon from the bureau says…
    Authorities are urging Victorians to enact their bushfire plans as extreme weather conditions take hold.
    There is a total fire ban across the entire state and a heat health warning.
    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-02-08/extreme-fire-conditions-return-to-victoria-and-sa/5247196

    this one reminds me of an obscene interview on Sky News, with the Sky guy begging a spokesman from the Fire Service to give death numbers for the hot days during the Australian Open tennis, when the few days of heat hadn’t even ended:

    8 Feb: Newcastle Herald: Alana Mitchelson: Summer heatwave record looms
    BALLARAT is expected to record its hottest summer in 30 years this week, with a forecast top of 38 degrees today and 36 degrees next Wednesday.
    If both days reach their forecast maximum temperature, it will be the first time in three decades that a Ballarat summer has seen more than 10 days over 35 degrees.
    The last time this happened was in the summer of 1981 and 1982, when the Bureau of Meteorology recorded 11 days over 35 degrees…
    While metropolitan emergency services have responded to hundreds of call-outs for heat-related illness this summer, Ballarat health authorities have been unable to reveal the number of patients treated for heat exhaustion…
    Ballarat Base Hospital head of medicine doctor James Hurley said it was difficult to distinguish heat-related admissions and presentations.
    “It is pretty uncommon that we can identify heat-related injuries,” Dr Hurley said.
    “There are so many aspects of that data that will not include specific cases of heat stroke.” …
    Medicare Local Grampians GP advisor Dr Colin Crook said he very rarely saw patients present to his practice with heat exhaustion.
    “I don’t think they come to their GP if they are affected by the heat,” Dr Crook said. “They will go to the emergency department.”
    Ambulance Victoria responded to 19 calls to heat exhaustion cases in the Grampians region during January’s week-long heat wave, which began on January 13.
    Ambulance Victoria said it could not provide updated figures or a suburb breakdown for the number of heat-related illnesses in Ballarat across the summer before The Courier went to print last night…
    http://www.theherald.com.au/story/2075213/summer-heatwave-record-looms/?cs=2452


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      James Bradley

      The problem with catastrophe/thermageddon reporting is that the conditions need to continually increase in order for it to have a psychological impact – in the specific cases most of the fuel load (generated by unrealistic sustainability ideals and set off by arsonists) is consumed, now then regardless of the reported heat waves next year and for the years after, unless these are progressively hotter, longer and more devastating, there will be no continuing psychological impact because in all likelihood regardless of the fiddling – average temps will plateau or fall. Global warming sensation will cool due to the snowball effect of increasing numbers of people who will begin to question the propaganda – increasing financial burden with no result helps to liberate independent thought.


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      Ian George

      Pat
      Just a few musings re Ballarat.
      In 1980/1, both Dec and Jan were hotter than this summer. Feb 2014 will need to average a Feb record of around 30.5C to be its hottest summer (currently 32.8C so on track).

      The first two months of summer in 1950/1 seemed to have been Ballarat’s hottest start but Feb 51 was cool.
      However this Feb will need to be in the top 5% for that month to beat 50/51.


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        Yonniestone

        Ok as a Ballarat local I’ll chime in and add the 1982 drought that was short but savage and caught many by surprise, I lived a bit out of town and vividly remember helping the old farmer next door cull his poor dying sheep.
        This district has always had a reputation for cold temperatures but many are ignorant to the 40+ temps it can reach in summer or spring, sitting about 400m+ above sea level is often overlooked as a factor in predicting the weather as many have found out the hard way.
        An interesting bit of history I discovered was many local churches kept temperature records from the mid 1800′s, I think this was more of a hobby but I’m trying to find out more, if I can enter a church without it falling down I’ll let you know. ;)


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      AndyG55

      I understand why the Newastle Herald would have to use Ballarat…

      … the average temp this month in Newcastle is sitting 1.1C BELOW the long term average,

      so no chance of doing an EXTREME HEAT message about this area.


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    llew Jones

    “And the Weather Bureau says Melbourne could set a new record for its hottest overnight temperature.
    The record stands at 30.6C which was set on two occassions – in January 2010 and February 1902.

    “The overnight low is forecast to be 30C so we’ll be pretty close to that record. It’ll just depend on how early that northerly wind starts to freshen,” Richard Carlyon from the bureau says…”

    Looks like the WB just missed by a whisker….. well granted a fairly big… no lets just say……

    Here in Niddrie not too far from Melbourne a refreshing cool wind sprang up at about 11.30 pm on Feb 8 and poof there went the record.

    https://www.google.com.au/#q=melbourne+temperature


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    Gamecock

    “The number of heat-related deaths in temperate Australian cities is expected to rise considerably by 2050 as the frequency and intensity of heatwaves is projected to increase under climate change from global warming.”

    “Climate change from global warming” sounds like a double negative. Scary!


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      Greebo

      Given that “computer modelling” predicts that the population as a whole is going to double by then, it’s hardly surprising. The number of deaths from heart disease will no doubt increase considerably as well. In fact, the number of deaths will rise considerably. You’re right, Gamecock. I’m terrified!


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    Frankly Skeptical

    What I find amusing is the idea that Melbourne and Adelaide are representative of global warming conditions. You would have to be a cretin to believe such nonsense.
    At present two thirds of the USA are under snow with many record low temperatures. Have you seen a report about that on the ABC or SBS in particular ? Thought not.

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2014/02/07/over-two-thirds-of-the-continental-usa-covered-with-snow/#more-102819


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      AndyG55

      Particularly as it appears to be just Melborne and Adelaide.. a sort of band of hot air being pushed down across the continent.. so of course its hot..its Australia.

      But Sydney, Brisbane, east coast have had pretty ordinary summers. Couple of warmish days in January, but generally pretty much average, and as I mention above, this month is averaging 1.1C below the long term average, with no major hot days forecast at all, just a steady 25+/-a couple.


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        BilB

        Have you been out of the country all summer AndyG55?

        Here in Sydney’s west we have had a very depressing cycle of hot weeks with the outside temperature rarely leaving the thirties and my factory floor temperature hitting 35 and above nearly every day, and I have been here every day to swelter in it. The last time we had a cycle of heat like this was in the middle of the drought quite some years ago in during an intense El Nino. The difference this summer is that we are in a neutral El Nino/La Nina period (trending more La Nina). Not that this is proof of Climate Change, what it is though is a warning that as Climate Change progresses this area will be very unpleasant in the “new” summer which could well be more than 6 months long.


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          Your last sentence contradicts itself. This is a warning of nothing.
          The warming trend started in the 1700s. Models still don’t know what caused it and it is not warming any faster now that all the CO2 has reached “record” levels.


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            BilB

            One dimensional thinking, Jo.

            Global Warming does not present itself in ever higher peak temperatures, it appears as ever rising average temperature. As I said else where a heat wave isn’t just a high daytime temperature it is the average temperature throughout the 24 hour period. If you have a series of hot days but get some relief in the night period that is a less severe heat wave than one with a lower peak temperature but constant throughout the 24hour period and running into days. The worst case can have a lower peak temperature again but continuous heat 24 hours….and….high humidity.

            It is not as straight forward as this thread suggests. My last sentence was about persistent heat extending well beyond the historic seasonal divisions. That is the likely outcome of Global Warming for Australia as the cooling influence of the polar regions diminishes.


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              Your comment is a complete non-sequitur. Read mine again.

              But thanks for reminding me of another way to “calculate” heatwaves using hourly temperatures and area under the curve. Has anyone done that yet? You could get a job at the BOM. I’m sure they’d welcome another potential metric they can use or ignore depending on whether the answer makes for good media.

              Area-under-the-curve heatwaves could also be 3 4 5 or 6 days. So 84 types of capital heatwaves becomes 168. Plus there is average month, single day, weekend, year or season. So add an other 35 types = 203. Double for all the “pre heatwaves” and there is 406 types of heatwave “records”. Common as dirt, but not as useful.


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          The Griss

          Wow, it never got hot inside factories in Penrith in the past !

          Never, ever. !


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          The Griss

          ps. I’m in Cronulla area, been a pretty average summer here.

          Some warmish days, but, well, that’s never happened before, has it!


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      Geoff Sherrington

      Hi Frankly,
      I tried to make this point but chose to use them mainly because they had long weather records and they were already in the news.
      Fully agree that they are not representative.
      However, that is not the same as saying that a matter that arises there can be ignored because they are not representative.


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    Eddy Aruda

    Meanwhile, in the states we are experiencing an extremely brutal winter. The great lakes are freezing and could set a record, two thirds of the continental US is covered in snow and we may have a record cold winter before all is said and done.

    In the 70s John Holdren associated cold winters with an impending ice age. Now, he uses statistical fraud and propaganda in an attempt to convince his fellow citizens that cold winters are associated with global warming.

    in politics, when the pendulum swings far in one direction, it is usually followed by a strong swing in the opposite direction. Right now, we have the most liberal president in the history of the country. If he is succeeded by a staunch conservative then there is a strong likelihood that global warming will finally be exposed as the tax payer milking scam that it is.

    One can only hope!


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      Manfred

      …and there is very very little mentioned about the ‘brutal winter’ downunder in the daily news diet. As we know, empirical truth in these matters is a persistent inconvenience.

      95% of Climate Models Agree: The Observations Must be Wrong

      Whether humans are the cause of 100% of the observed warming or not, the conclusion is that global warming isn’t as bad as was predicted. That should have major policy implications…assuming policy is still informed by facts more than emotions and political aspirations.

      And if humans are the cause of only, say, 50% of the warming (e.g. our published paper), then there is even less reason to force expensive and prosperity-destroying energy policies down our throats.

      I am growing weary of the variety of emotional, misleading, and policy-useless statements like “most warming since the 1950s is human caused” or “97% of climate scientists agree humans are contributing to warming”, neither of which leads to the conclusion we need to substantially increase energy prices and freeze and starve more poor people to death for the greater good.


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    BilB

    There is a distinct tone of desperation coming through in your arguments, Jo Nova. Clearly you know that the anti Climate Change scam is going nowhere and you will eventually have to deploy your exit strategy, not that I am suggesting that you have already keyed your last post, but as CC impinges on everyone’s lives this line of denying the inevitable becomes evermore foolhardy.

    Heat waves are a product of where the pressure systems sit and how they track across our continent. That is weather. How the pressure systems perform, where they sit, and how they track, that is climate.

    A lot of people are noticing that our hot summer, which began well back in September, and California’s dryest period since records began are occurring in a neutral El Nino/La Nina period. I have no doubt though that the Monkton pseudo science press can whip out some new graph to make this all seem perfectly normal (even more than normal).

    Where do you go from here, Jo? Staring down the sun, shouting at the storms? Intense weather is a very real consequences of our Warming Atmosphere. Denying that change is occurring and that human activity is the primary cause of it is a fool’s errand.


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      PeterK

      BilB – Everything is weather. Climate changes over time and humans have always adapted. What is going on today has occurred in the past and will once again occur in the future. If you can’t get your head around something as simple as this, what can I say…common sense does seem to be missing in your genetic make-up…I pity you for your ignorance!


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      Geoff Sherrington

      BilB,
      I’m sorry that you missed several points from my essay.
      You write “A lot of people are noticing that our hot summer, which began well back in September”. I’m making the point that this might not be abnormally hot; and that our weather records are not too good for making comparisons with earlier times. I’m noting that you and others might feel that your summer is hot, partly because you have been bombarded with suggestions that it has been.
      I’m trying to replace suggestion with data, Can you not see in these data that your claims might not be supported when you go into the detail of wherever you are?
      …………………
      Please do not speak poorly of Jo – I wrote the essay, not Jo.
      …………………
      You also write “Denying that change is occurring and that human activity is the primary cause of it is a fool’s errand”. Where have I denied that change is occurring? Of course there is change. Do I see evidence of the hand of Man in causing change? No, I do not see much. Nor does the leading scientific publication pool present much.
      There’s no joy in adopting a belief when the science is not behind it. Indeed, your type of belief has no place in good science. If you have evidence for the hand of Man, feel free to present it. Work of your own, that is, not just slogans created by others.


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        PeterK

        Geoff: You’re too kind in your comments to BilB and you are right one!


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        BilB

        My comment to Jo is as the publisher of the content which I scanned for its flow.

        My thoughts and comments are mostly derived from my own observations, calculations, theories and projections. I am not a scientist, I am a product designer and I take an interest in this subject from a self preservation point of view and as a method to determine how and what to design for the future.

        As to this article I say that you are just messing around with numbers, methods and arbitrary facts in order to diminish the view that climate change is a severe risk that requires concerted action to avoid. That is your denialism. I don’t recall a single climate scientist who has not stressed that individual weather events, or even sequences of them are not proof of climate change. They can, however, be symptoms.

        Heat waves are a symptom of the relative movements of high pressure systems. The principle driver of how these affect our area is the mass atmospheric air circulation, and this is a product of the energy supply and its interaction with our atmosphere, seas/oceans and biosphere. I contend (and this is only my theory) that atmospheric CO2 levels have increased the air circulation within the entire atmosphere. It is a simple piece of logic, more energy gives rise to more circulation. The scientific proof is not there yet to prove that this is in fact happening, but there are studies under way that will clarify what is happening in the upper atmosphere.

        Back to heat waves. You don’t mention from what I see there the effects of combined humidity and heat. A heat wave is more about relative heat “effect”, affected population, duration (full 24 hour impact as well as number of days), and frequency over time. Your thrust is mostly to look at how temperatures are collected. I don’t think that you have added anything to the understanding of weather and climate.


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          Graeme No.3

          CO2 itself can’t supply heat.
          The obvious source is the sun, and that is cooling slightly. We may be entering a Dalton or Maunder like minimum as predicted although I am sceptical (dare I use the word?) of either; the Maunder came after a series of cooling events and the Dalton was associated with considerable volcanic action.

          I may be wrong, and we will find out in about 10 years. In the meantime I suggest keeping an open mind; there are poor prospects for products designed for another climate.


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          Geoff Sherrington

          BilB,
          You are still not getting it, I’m afraid. You write “As to this article I say that you are just messing around with numbers, methods and arbitrary facts in order to diminish the view that climate change is a severe risk that requires concerted action to avoid. That is your denialism”.

          No, BilB, that is a normal way for Science to progress. People take numbers, study them, present them in various ways. You’ve read some ‘official’ versions of outcomes from doing just that and you chose to believe some of them.
          All that I am doing is presenting the numbers in a different way – possibly a more simple way – and asking what deductions arise.
          Sadly, you cannot point to anywhere where I have used denialism as you seem to understand it, because I have not.
          My presentation of old data, as summarised in the last graph (link in Point 5) suggests that we are getting fewer annual examples of extreme hot weather than before at Melbourne Regional site. This might not agree with your preconceptions – but that does not mean that it is wrong.
          Now say that you are sorry to an old guy who purchased his first private NMR in 1970. In those days we called it by the named coined for it, Nuclear Magnetic Resonance. I still do, because I cannot stand revisionists who accept the politically correct term of “Magnetic Resonance” leading to MRI.
          Weak people, not leaders of men, allow such bastardisation of terms through meek acquiescence.

          We have to try to put evidence ahead of belief, yes?


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            BilB

            There is nothing for to be sorry for there Geoff. Whereas i am always impressed with people who apply energy, imagination and initiative in their lives, that does not mean that they will always be right about everything.

            What i see in your assessment is a very one dimensional evaluation performed with the intention to support a position of conviction. I think that this should be out of character for a person who (presumably) spent a life in analysis. What is missing from your feature, as I pointed out, is the effect of our changing atmospheric moisture content, something an NMR guy should have been onto straight away.

            I was taken to task by a friend who calimed to have all of the temperature figures for our area and could demonstrate no change. This should be inconsistent with the science. It took some time before I realised where the fallacy was. I tis in the moisture/humidity. If the global temperature has risen .6 of a degree in the last 60 years then there is an additional 4% moisture in the atmosphere. Humidity has the effect of suppressing temperature variation and increasing heat effect. Both of these assertions are very easily proven and are non controversial. Where your assessment is incomplete is in your failure to incorporate humidity into the conclusion. When comparing peak temperatures over time increasing humidity will have the effect of suppressing successive peaks giving the impression of a leveling out of peak temperature events. The other very important aspect not covered is the average night time temperature.

            What I see throughout this blog is not “if something is changing what are the possibilities”, the approach is “I don’t like it how can I convince people that they are wrong” where it would more usefully be “all right if that is what they are claiming what have they missed”, which is a perfectly valid scientific approach if and only if it is every bit as thorough as the original research.


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              Geoff Sherrington

              BilB,
              Not surprisingly I designed this essay to be ‘one dimensional’ to cater for a diverse audience in a short space.
              There are many factors missing from my short analysis, not just moisture. Moisture in the air is quite complicated, its pattern over recent decades being different at different layers as you go higher.
              The analysis was meant to show what a lousy job the BOM has done in housekeeping of data, and then how lousy their interpretation of heat waves is because of the misuse of this poorly kept data. Like inferring in public that new records have been set since records began – while failing to note that they redefined when their records started, as in 1910 for Acorn.
              (Absent a caveat on changed rules of engagement, this is no more than a blatant fiddle. It is anti-science).
              ……………
              While you continue to assert “I don’t like it, how can I convince people that they are wrong”, I can’t see anywhere I’ve taken that line.
              As I’ve already said twice, I merely took available data, assembled it according to a set of rules (noting that some rules were no more than a personal choice)and showed an interpretation that differs from the official. There is a looseness in the data, as the essay notes, “you can do only so much with a Tmax and a Tmin taken daily”.
              I simply cannot see how you derive your belief that I am following some type of agenda.
              No, I’m just letting public data speak for themselves.
              ……………
              Can I suggest that you should be more concerned with authorities who use data to create public messages, including alerts to alarms and fears, when there is such looseness in the data that an amateur like me can come along and arrive, validly, at quite a different outcome?

              It’s not just a problem here. There is current global debate about Trenberth’s missing heat hiding in the deep oceans, when some who value accuracy in science note that there are inadequate measurements to support or demonstrate this?

              Or that there is inadequate data to apportion global warming to natural or anthropogenic causes? Do you not see that a neutral scientist with tight standards of proof would not be impressed by the looseness?

              And that such people cannot attract the ‘denier’ label because they simply insist on high standards?


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      Eddy Aruda

      Your comment at 28.2 begins with a personal attack on Jo for an article she did not write. You then proceed to reasone fallaciously by begging the question.

      Next, you reveal the depth of your ignorance by demonstrating to all that you do not even know the difference between weather and climate.

      Just when I thought you could not embarrass yourself further you state an absolute falsehood, California’s dryest period since records began are occurring in a neutral El Nino/La Nina period.

      http://news.msn.com/in-depth/scientists-past-california-droughts-have-lasted-200-years

      “Through studies of tree rings, sediment and other natural evidence, researchers have documented multiple droughts in California that lasted 10 or 20 years in a row during the past 1,000 years — compared to the mere three-year duration of the current dry spell. The two most severe megadroughts make the Dust Bowl of the 1930s look tame: a 240-year-long drought that started in 850 and, 50 years after the conclusion of that one, another that stretched at least 180 years.”

      You then mention that this is occurring in a “neutral El Nino/La Nina period.”

      According to NASA, the neutral El Nino/La Nina period or phase is irrelevant and climate change is not the culprit.

      http://science.nasa.gov/science-news/science-at-nasa/2014/07feb_drought/

      Bill Patzert blames the drought, in part, on the Pacific Decadal Oscillation, or “PDO,” a slowly oscillating pattern of sea surface temperatures in the Pacific Ocean. At the moment, the PDO is in its negative phase—a condition historically linked to extreme high-pressure ridges that block West Coast storms and give the Midwest and East Coast punishing winters.
      “I’m often asked if this is part of global warming,” says Patzert. “My answer is ‘not yet.’ What we’re experiencing now is a natural variability that we’ve seen many times in the past. Ultimately, though, climate change could make western droughts much worse.”

      Where do you go from here Bildo?


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        BilB

        It is a case of time will tell, Eddie Aruda. If the science is correct and the globe is heating at the rate calculated then all previous cycles and oscillations may very well be irrelevant to our weather future.

        The real issue is, are you prepared to take the risk that global warming is not happening, and take no action to minimise the effects of climate change (obviously you are), but of interest to me is what ever do you hope to gain in maintaining that position?


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          Geoff Sherrington

          BilB,
          It is not a matter of what one hopes to gain.
          It is more a matter of what losses one hopes to avoid.
          Do read Richard Lindzen’s evidence to the UK House of Commons Climate Change Committee, London, Jan 28th 2014.
          http://data.parliament.uk/writtenevidence/WrittenEvidence.svc/EvidencePdf/5743

          Professor Lindzen: An economist at Yale, Bill Nordhaus, has a book on climate policy
          and, if you look carefully at that book, he estimates the cost benefit and so on of various
          policies. It is clear that there is virtually no policy that beats doing nothing for 50 years.
          Albert Owen: But in 50 years’ time if you and I are still around, and we got it wrong, would
          there not be a little bit of guilt?
          Professor Lindzen: No, because the other policies would not have done much to avoid it.
          Albert Owen: We are not going to agree on that, but I wanted to be clear of your view.
          Professor Lindzen: That is easy to show. That is the point. That is what is disturbing.
          Albert Owen: I know, but policymakers would be criticised for following that logic.
          Professor Lindzen: They may be criticised but, as you say, we will all be dead by then.
          Albert Owen: Not all of us.
          Professor Lindzen: But the point is—
          Albert Owen: It is a serious—
          Professor Lindzen: —the issue of doing something—
          Albert Owen: This is about future generations as well.
          Professor Lindzen: If it is purely symbolic to show you did something, maybe it is
          something that you should be more responsible than doing.


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            BilB

            Hi Geoff,

            I’ve looked at Lindzen’s presentation session to the IPCC find him unconvincing with his straight off dismissal of climate scientists as money grabbing leaches an his declaration that there is “nothing to see here folks climate change is a no show” attitude.

            The basis for his cockieness is his Iris theory which he claims demonstrates a negative “auto balance” feedback mechanism which he claims eliminates the risk of climate change. Looking at the area his team used to draw their conclusions I am quite unconvinced that his research could come close to finding a mechanism that hold true for the entire tropical belt. I’m not alone in this thinking.

            http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2012/05/09/480733/a-cloudy-day-for-climate-skeptics-mainstream-research-discredits-lindzen-theory/


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      The Griss

      I notice you still have to use the words “climate change” rather than “global warming” :-)

      Be honest, the only reason for changing the terminology to “climate change” was because CO2 based “global warming” really hasn’t got a peg to hang its hat on, even though the whole farce is based on CO2 warming the atmosphere.

      Have you got the guts to use the original word’s, “global warming”, and stop using the cover-all phrase “climate change”. Climate always changes over time.


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        BilB

        They are two different things, Griss. Climate change is just one of the many consequences of Global Warming, and this is regardless of whether the Global Warming is exacerbated by human activity or not. The real issue is in the rate of change. if CO2 levels rose over a 20,000 year period then one generation to the next would not feel any difference and people and all other life could adapt easily. The current problem is that we are changing the atmospheric makeup by a large amount in an incredibly short period.

        Life on earth has not had an easy go of it. It is so easy for us to imagine that nothing bad can happen because the last several thousand years, even tens of thousands of years, have been very stable. But that is because the atmosphere has been fairly stable. What we have done is change the atmosphere a lot in just 100 years.

        The Cosmos does not care whether we live or die, only we do. it was not just the dinosaurs that were wiped out with that meteor collision, it was all life above ground. And everything died because the atmosphere rose in temperature to 300 deg C (according to recent research) for some hours and every animal cooked to death. We have to attempt to not cook the planet in another way through our own activity.

        The human population has grown from about 1 billion in 1900 to 7 billion now in just 114 years. Mass access to automobiles has been for just 60 of those years. The rate of change in all metrics involving human beings is staggering. Keep that in mind as you tell your self that nothing has changed.


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    Robert O

    I just remember as a schoolboy, a long time ago, of cars having to stop frequently because of boiling radiators over the Summer months. Doesn’t happen these days due to pressurised radiators, and yes not that much hot weather either.


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      Joe V.

      Wasn’t that usually due to the fan belt breaking ? Hence the added utility of having tights or an old school tie, to get you home.


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        Not necessarily a fan belt failure as such. But more often one of the cooling fan being unable to supply enough airflow to move air through the “radiator” under low speed driving conditions. (It’s not much of a “radiator”; it’s a liquid-air heat exchanger, using mostly forced convection for heat transfer.)

        A rigidly connected fan sucks way too much air at speed under light loads (not towing uphill, etc) and/or too little in start-stop traffic. Electrically driven fans in part account for the greater reliability of cooling systems; as well as reductions in fuel consumption and tighter emissions control.


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  • #

    There is not one piece of empirical evidence linking human activities to the climate – NOT ONE. The only arguments for climate change are based on anecdotes, computer projections, Hockey Sticks, and consensus.
    * Anecdotes are short, obscure historical or biographical accounts. Anecdotes cannot be traced to one another. Anecdotes are not proof.
    * Computer projections are mental gymnastics based on dubious initial conditions. The computer projections have failed, because their only input is greenhouse gases. Computer projections are not proof.
    * Hockey Sticks are the cobbling together of two unrelated proxy data sets. These FrankenGraphs, which would have received an “F” in Junior High School science class 50 years ago, are incredibly embraced by many scientists today. Hockey Sticks are human fabrications, not proof.
    * Consensus is an opinion or position reached by a group as a whole. Millenia and centuries ago the consensus believed the Earth was the center of the Universe and Solar System. Consensus is not proof.

    Climate Change is Big Business. The myth of global warming, climate change – or whatever they are calling it today – continues, because of the trillions of dollars that would be lost and millions of leaf-raking jobs eliminated, if this charade were to be exposed.
    * Banks and brokerage houses reap huge commissions from it.
    * Scam artists like Maurice Strong thrive on it, creating schemes like carbon trading which suck billions of dollars from consumer‘s wallets.
    * Politicians need it to save us from imaginary hobgoblins and to justify tax increases to fund largesse programs that garner votes.
    * Many scientists keep busy by grazing at the trough of free grant money made available, only if it can be shown that man causes climate change.
    * Corporations need it to sell cures for which there is no disease, and fatten up their bottom lines.
    * The alternative energy, Green Building and sustainability industries came into existence and thrive off of it.
    * The news media needs it to keep the frenzy going, the ratings up, and ad revenue coming in.
    * The United Nations needs it to forge its role as the leader in One World Governance.
    * Environmentalists, anti-industrialists, and other Communists need it in order to cut the legs out from underneath the evil, Capitalist United States and level the playing field for the world‘s less fortunate nations.

    This is the hideous symbiosis of individuals, groups, businesses and governments that need the myth of climate change kept alive for their very financial survival. Millions of jobs and trillions of dollars are at stake. They are not going to go away without a fight.


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    Oliver K. Manuel

    Cherry-picking data has been used since the end of the Second World War to hide neutron repulsion, the source of energy in cores of heavy atoms like Uranium, some planets like Jupiter, ordinary stars like the Sun, and galaxies like the Milky Way:

    http://stevengoddard.wordpress.com/2014/02/08/cheating-just-as-they-planned-to-do/#comment-316857

    With deep regrets,
    - Oliver K. Manuel
    Former NASA Principal
    Investigator for Apollo


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    pat

    correction re overnight low comes waaaay down in the article. most people wouldn’t even read that far. the headline is off-putting enough:

    9 Feb: Age: Caroline Zielinski: Cool change makes bushfire threat worst since Black Saturday
    A sharp, sudden cool change that will see most of Victoria drop 10 degrees in half an hour around midday will create the worst bushfire threat since Black Saturday.
    Prolonged heatwaves and near-record temperatures have created dangerous conditions in Victoria, and an extreme fire danger warning has been declared for six districts, including central Victoria, north-eastern Victoria and Gippsland…
    ***Although Victorians experienced very warm temperatures overnight, the Bureau of Meteorology senior forecaster Richard Carlyon said it did not break any records, especially in Melbourne.
    ‘‘We had an overnight low of 24.9 just after midnight, and after that, the temperature was back to 32 at 3am, and it’s been in the the low 30s ever since,’’ he said.
    After midday, Melburnians can look forward to a comfortable 25 degrees for the rest of Sunday, he said…
    Mr Carlyon said despite cooler conditions hitting Gippsland overnight, the region warmed up significantly by 9am on Sunday, with the mercury rising to the mid-30s by in Sale and Bairnsdale.
    Strong northerly winds will sweep though the area until the midday cool change, where gusty south-easterly winds will create extremely dangerous conditions for firefighters…
    http://www.theage.com.au/environment/weather/cool-change-makes-bushfire-threat-worst-since-black-saturday-20140209-329dq.html

    the writer has CAGW form:

    Caroline Zielinski
    http://www.theage.com.au/environment/by/Caroline-Zielinski


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    BilB

    That is an impressively large compilation of nonsense there, Charles S O,PE.

    Going back through the Nova archives I think you would see that the general theme has been that scientists have colluded to construct a fiction in order to protect cushey science research positions.

    You are now saying the governments have colluded to promote a fiction in order to create “millions of jobs and trillions of dollars” of GDP, and scientists are just one part of that.

    Most politicians would be pleased with that outcome if that is what they had in fact done. Politicians are generally unrepentant about job creation and they have a vast array of experience supporting the arts, regulation authorities, export trade bodies, pork barrel infrastructure projects, home buying grants, baby bonuses, fossil fuel subsidies, easy mining licenses, etc, etc.

    As to your main point, there is a massive body of empirical evidence linking human activity to Climate (Change). This is not from computer models, this is from direct observation, measurement, and calculation. The modelling is about predicting how badly we are going to be affected,…..without waiting until Catastrophic Climate Change is fully upon us and too late to do anything to avoid it.


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      You CANNOT predict without a model. It’s impossible. If you have no model, are you reading tea leaves or what? All raw data shows is the temperature as it is. Unless you start applying statistics and modeling where it’s going, you have a bunch of temperatures on record. Nothing more. (Again, a trend line IS a model.)


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      Vic G Gallus

      Bil B. A simple collating of anomalies from the averages for each station and plotting the average of these anomalies does not give evidence of warming overall from 1940. Steve Goddard has such plots on his websites. The ones you refer to have adjustments that are not adequately explained and deviate a large amount from even Hansen’s early plots.

      Who do I trust? When I was investigating this a few years ago, BOM had an interactive plot on its website. It had the global average temperature as anomalies from the average over two decades. You could change those two decades down to a minimum of 1950-1970, but not set it over the whole range of data. What happened when you set it to the minimum was that it produced a double hockey stick. It was removed after a very short time. Would you trust people who would put it up in the first place?


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      Mike Smith

      Yes, the headline grabbing prediction of climate catastrophe are ALL based on models.

      Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on your point of view) all those same models have proven to be moderately hopeless at forecasting future climate. This is a fact that even the IPCC has been forced to admit.

      See for example:

      http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/10/14/90-climate-model-projectons-versus-reality/

      We’ve had no warming for about 17.5 years and that’s something that all of the models to which you refer failed to predict. Not one of them came even close.

      I don’t know about you, but those results give me ZERO confidence in the predictive accuracy of those models.


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      Eddy Aruda

      You are consistent.

      Again, you start with a personal attack. This time it was on Mr. Opalek. Well, at least you attacked the person who made the comment this time!

      You then attack Jo with another unsubstantiated claim, “Going back through the Nova archives I think you would see that the general theme has been that scientists have colluded to construct a fiction in order to protect cushey science research positions.”

      Are you really that gullible and naive?

      http://www.plosmedicine.org/article/info:doi/10.1371/journal.pmed.0020124

      Simulations show that for most study designs and settings, it is more likely for a research claim to be false than true. Moreover, for many current scientific fields, claimed research findings may often be simply accurate measures of the prevailing bias.

      You then resurrect red herrings rather than rebut any of Mr. Opalek’s arguments. Next, you make a sweeping generalization and fail to provide any evidence to support your claim. And, true to form, you reveal your ignorance by stating, “The modelling is about predicting how badly we are going to be affected.” The predictive value of modeled scenarios is worthless. They all disagree with each other and 98% of them have failed!

      You end with an extrapolation that is non sequitur. If modeling had any predictive value the warming would already be upon us.

      Put the climate pipe down!


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    pat

    so many CAGW articles & Caroline’s only been with Fairfax for a year!

    LinkedIn: Caroline Zielinski
    I cover police and general news at The Age, and occasionally dabble in the life and style section.
    I also tutor casually (on and off) at a tertiary level, in subjects related to media, gender, politics and communications
    Reporter – The Age:
    March 2013 – Present (1 year)
    http://au.linkedin.com/pub/caroline-zielinski/36/234/905


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    pat

    9 Feb: PerthNow: Goods train likely cause of bushfire at Belair National Park
    Steve Rice and Ben Hyde From: The (Adelaide) Advertiser
    A PASSING goods train – rather than a firebug – is now considered the likely cause of a fire at Belair National Park, which threatening lives and homes, on Saturday.
    Authorities had previously believed the fire was suspicious.
    Less than 48 hours earlier, a man had been charged with lighting seven fires in the southern suburbs…
    The CFS is now reporting reduced threat from the fire…
    FROM THE COMMENTS: Can we please STOP calling them “firebugs” – it implies some cutesy, nickname for a mischievous person. Call them what they are – ARSONISTS…
    http://www.perthnow.com.au/news/national/goods-train-likely-cause-of-bushfire-at-belair-national-park/story-fnii5yv8-1226820896883


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    pat

    ABC mis-informing the world! aren’t we now told officials were suspicious about the Belair fires from the start? piece is updated today, but no mention the overnight record didn’t happen, or other news suggesting “extreme weather conditions” were not to blame for the Belair fires:

    Updated 9 Feb: ABC Radio Australia: Firefighters tackle blazes in South Australia and Victoria as extreme weather conditions take hold
    Fire crews spend the day battling fires in South Australia and Victoria as the southern states endure a weekend of extreme weather conditions…
    Firefighters in SA spent Saturday tackling fires in Belair National Park in the Adelaide Hills and at Bangor in the Southern Flinders Ranges…
    The weather bureau says Melbourne could set a new record for its hottest overnight temperature…
    http://www.radioaustralia.net.au/international/2014-02-08/firefighters-tackle-blazes-in-south-australia-and-victoria-as-extreme-weather-conditions-take-hold/1261570


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    pat

    bureaucrats to the rescue:

    7 Feb: New Scientist: Aviva Hope Rutkin: US ‘climate hubs’ to save farms from extreme weather
    The hubs will “prepare folks for what we know will happen, so they’ll have a better ability to cope”, says Steve McNulty of the USDA Forest Service Southern Research Station in Raleigh, who will direct the Raleigh hub.
    McNulty says climate change is ravaging the US…
    The hubs are spread around the country because each region experiences climate change differently. While the south-east deals with winter storms, the south-west is in the midst of a drought, and other areas are seeing more frequent severe floods.
    “USDA’s climate hubs are part of our broad commitment to developing the next generation of climate solutions,” said agriculture secretary Tom Vilsack in a statement on Wednesday.
    “The nation is recognising that climate change is real,” says Lindsay Rustad, co-leader of the north-eastern hub. “This isn’t just this week or this month. This is redirecting a significant portion of USDA resources to address the problem.”…
    http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn25023-us-climate-hubs-to-save-farms-from-extreme-weather.html


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    pat

    note the extreme interpretation in the headline:

    8 Feb: UK Telegraph: Tim Ross: Climate change is to blame, says Met Office scientist
    Flooding like that in Somerset may become more frequent
    Dame Julia Slingo, the Met Office’s chief scientist, said while there was not yet “definitive” proof, “all the evidence” supported the theory that climate change had played a role.
    She warned that the country should prepare for similar events in future.
    Her comments represented the strongest link so far made by the Met Office between the intense weather and climate change. David Cameron said last month that he “very much suspect[ed]” a connection…
    “In a nutshell, while there is no definitive answer for the current weather patterns that we have seen, all the evidence suggests that climate change has a role to play in it,” Dame Julia said.
    The “clustering and persistence” of storms that have hit the UK was extremely unusual, she added. “We have seen exceptional weather. It is consistent with what we might expect from climate change.”
    Ed Davey, the Liberal Democrat Climate Change Secretary, warned that extreme weather events would become more frequent. He said he was working to reach a deal in Europe which would set long term targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
    “There is clear scientific evidence that climate change has led to sea levels rising and that extreme weather events will become more frequent and more intense,” Mr Davey said. “The Government is taking out an ‘insurance policy’ against these events by continuing to set ambitious greenhouse gas reduction targets.
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/topics/weather/10626736/Climate-change-is-to-blame-says-Met-Office-scientist.html


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    pat

    ***”the pause”? pollies/bureaucrats rescuing farmers!

    7 Feb: BBC: Anger at environment chief in flood-hit Somerset
    Mr Cameron, who met farmers and walked through flood water in Wellington boots, said: “One of the big ones is that ***the pause in dredging that took place from the late 1990s, that was wrong, and we need to get dredging again.”…
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-26078592

    Tele version:

    7 Feb: UK Telegraph: Neil Tweedie: Somerset flooding: Lord Smith fights to turn back a rising tide of blame
    Environment Agency chief Lord Smith insists he has no reason to apologise as he finally pays a visit to the Levels
    “Poor Chris Smith” were not words in common use in Somerset yesterday. But one would have had a heart of stone not to feel a certain sympathy for the chairman of the Environment Agency as he found himself inundated by criticism over his handling of the flooding crisis that has paralysed much of the county.
    There were just so many disparaging nautical metaphors readily to hand as the Labour peer finally put in an appearance in the flood zone, two months after the heavens first opened.
    “Smith all at sea” and “Smith out of his depth” were the obvious candidates as the bespectacled quangocrat peered out over the vast expanse of chilly, grey H₂O that was once the green and pleasant Somerset Levels…
    His career as steward of the nation’s environment may be effectively dead and buried, but Lord Smith of Finsbury — a rather tougher figure than his outwardly mild manner suggests — is not going without a fight.
    Was he going to resign, bayed the increasingly ravenous press pack?
    No, he wasn’t.
    Well, wasn’t he going to say sorry, then? Nope.
    “I have no intention of resigning because I am very proud of the work done by the Environment Agency,” he said. “I am very proud of the work that Environment Agency staff have been doing over the last two months.”
    Yes, but what about the little matter of his agency’s failure over many years to dredge the rivers Parrett and Tone which has reduced their capacity to carry away excess water from the vulnerable area? In response to this inconvenient inquiry, Lord Smith deployed two arguments: “Act of God” and “Act of Cameron”.
    “We have been faced with the most extreme weather that we have seen for years,” he pleaded…
    As for David Cameron, wasn’t it his government, asked Lord Smith, who had left the Environment Agency with just £400,000 to dredge the relevant waterways? This, said the EA chairman, represented a totally inadequate sum for the task, a deficiency that was only now being remedied by an emergency injection of £130 million from Whitehall.
    He neglected to mention, however, that he had promised dredging work on the rivers after the 2012 floods — a so-called “once in a century” event…
    ***The people who inhabit the low-lying villages and hamlets of mid-Somerset have been warning for years about the authorities’ failure to dredge rivers and maintain drainage ditches.
    They also blame English Nature for encouraging farmers to maintain their land in a permanently waterlogged state so as to encourage lapwings and other wetland birds. A disaster waiting to happen that has now, well, happened…
    Faced with a lot of angry Tory voters in central Somerset, Mr Cameron addressed the dredging issue head-on, admitting that it had been a mistake to stop work on the Parrett and Tone and promising to reinstate it in future. The Prime Minister was joined on his tour by the local Tory MP, Ian Liddell-Grainger, who had laid into Lord Smith earlier in the day, accusing him of being a “coward” and a “git” for trying to avoid the people of the area.
    But the EA chairman could not avoid everyone. Jim Winkworth, the landlord of the King Alfred pub in the affected village of Burrowbridge, said Lord Smith had failed to provide him with satisfactory answers. Asked how he felt, he replied: “Bloody mad. We thought that’s the least he could do today and he’s not apologising or admitting any liability. If you apologise it means you’re admitting you got it wrong – ‘I made a mistake, I’m sorry, I messed up’. But he’s not fit to do that.”
    Julian Green, whose house at Burrowbridge was facing inundation during more heavy rain last night, said: “Without a shadow of a doubt he [Lord Smith] should resign. It’s the only honourable thing to do.” …
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/topics/weather/10625673/Somerset-flooding-Lord-Smith-fights-to-turn-back-a-rising-tide-of-blame.html


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      PeterK

      “One of the big ones is that ***the pause in dredging that took place from the late 1990s, that was wrong, and we need to get dredging again.”…

      Therefore, once we unplug the pipes (dredging the waterways), we probably won’t have much flooding in the future and as a result won’t be able to blame flooding as proof of global warming (sarc). I think I’m starting to understand GLOBAL WARMING (sarc)!!!


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    pat

    love the Tom Steyer/NextGen Climate Action spokesperson’s quotes. ***US interests are all about decreasing “carbon pollution” – LOL:

    8 Feb: Bloomberg: Jeremy van Loon/Andrew Mayeda : Redford: Alberta Won’t Play Emissions Chicken on Keystone
    Alberta Premier Alison Redford, who has lobbied the U.S. to approve the Keystone XL pipeline, says her oil-rich Canadian province won’t toughen rules to cut carbon emissions from crude producers until the U.S. takes similar steps.
    Redford’s government has considered different scenarios, including one that would raise its carbon tax for large emitters to C$40 ($36) a metric ton from C$15 now, she said in an interview yesterday in her office in Calgary. Those changes won’t happen until the U.S. regulates its own industry.
    “This isn’t a game of chicken,” Redford, 48, said. “We’re not going to start introducing anything that puts us at a competitive disadvantage when other jurisdictions aren’t prepared to take any steps.” …
    Opponents like billionaire Tom Steyer say the line would encourage companies to exploit the world’s third-largest crude reserves, unlocking vast amounts of carbon and accelerating climate change…
    Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s government is refraining from implementing drafted rules designed to cut greenhouse-gas emissions until the U.S. makes a similar move, according to a person familiar with the rules who asked not to be identified because the process is confidential…
    New Canadian emissions targets may help Obama address environmentalists’ objections to the pipeline. Obama said in June that he wouldn’t approve Keystone if it significantly worsened carbon pollution…
    ***The U.S. hasn’t imposed specific carbon emissions regulations on its oil and gas sector…
    The strategy followed by Harper and Redford may not meet the climate-change test set by Obama, because Canada is on track to fall short of its promise to reduce emissions 17 percent below 2005 levels by 2020, said Andrew Leach, associate professor in the business school at the University of Alberta in Edmonton…
    Redford should be “put in the diplomacy penalty box” for her comments, said Chris Lehane, senior adviser for NextGen Climate Action, the group founded by Steyer.
    “The president made clear that he would put America’s interests first — and not the interests of a foreign oil company — when deciding whether to approve the Keystone XL pipeline if it would worsen carbon pollution,” Lehane said in an e-mailed statement.
    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-02-07/redford-alberta-won-t-play-emissions-chicken-on-keystone.html


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    pat

    love the Tom Steyer/NextGen Climate Action spokesperson’s quotes. ***US interests are all about decreasing “carbon pollution” – LOL:

    8 Feb: Bloomberg: Jeremy van Loon/Andrew Mayeda : Redford: Alberta Won’t Play Emissions Chicken on Keystone
    Alberta Premier Alison Redford, who has lobbied the U.S. to approve the Keystone XL pipeline, says her oil-rich Canadian province won’t toughen rules to cut carbon emissions from crude producers until the U.S. takes similar steps.
    Redford’s government has considered different scenarios, including one that would raise its carbon tax for large emitters to C$40 ($36) a metric ton from C$15 now, she said in an interview yesterday in her office in Calgary. Those changes won’t happen until the U.S. regulates its own industry.
    “This isn’t a game of chicken,” Redford, 48, said. “We’re not going to start introducing anything that puts us at a competitive disadvantage when other jurisdictions aren’t prepared to take any steps.” …
    Opponents like billionaire Tom Steyer say the line would encourage companies to exploit the world’s third-largest crude reserves, unlocking vast amounts of carbon and accelerating climate change…
    Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s government is refraining from implementing drafted rules designed to cut greenhouse-gas emissions until the U.S. makes a similar move, according to a person familiar with the rules who asked not to be identified because the process is confidential…
    New Canadian emissions targets may help Obama address environmentalists’ objections to the pipeline. Obama said in June that he wouldn’t approve Keystone if it significantly worsened carbon pollution…
    ***The U.S. hasn’t imposed specific carbon emissions regulations on its oil and gas sector…
    The strategy followed by Harper and Redford may not meet the climate-change test set by Obama, because Canada is on track to fall short of its promise to reduce emissions 17 percent below 2005 levels by 2020, said Andrew Leach, associate professor in the business school at the University of Alberta in Edmonton…
    Redford should be “put in the diplomacy penalty box” for her comments, said Chris Lehane, senior adviser for NextGen Climate Action, the group founded by Steyer.
    “The president made clear that he would put America’s interests first — and not the interests of a foreign oil company — when deciding whether to approve the Keystone XL pipeline if it would worsen carbon pollution,” Lehane said in an e-mailed statement.
    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-02-07/redford-alberta-won-t-play-emissions-chicken-on-keystone.html


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    pat

    u’ll be heartened to know HP, Walmart & GE are busy finding work for “WELL-TRAINED environmentalists”. much, much more at the link:

    8 Feb: Bloomberg: Andrea Vittorio: Big Companies Step Up Efforts to Trim Environmental Risks in Supply Chains
    China accounted for about 40 percent of GE’s supplier assessments in 2012 and 56 percent of “findings,” which occur when auditors note issues at a facility, such as a missing permit.
    But the auditing program wasn’t generating long-term improvement in most suppliers, Condon said. So in 2011, GE added a requirement for suppliers to move from a “find-it-and-fix-it mode to more of a management-system mode,” she said.
    Using a new key performance indicators (KPI) tool introduced in 2012, GE now compiles a scorecard for suppliers on how well they’re managing issues related to the environment, health, safety, labor rights, security and human rights.
    ***For example, Condon said one of the key indicators is whether a facility has a well-trained environmental specialist. The supplier could receive a score from zero to five, depending on the environmental expert’s level of training…
    GE doesn’t have enough data yet to show how well the KPI tool is working, but it has seen that suppliers who score better on their management systems tend to have fewer audit findings and less severe findings, which means GE can audit them less often, Condon said.
    To help suppliers build these EHS management systems, GE has partnered with local and international nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) on training and education programs…
    GE was one of several founding partners of the Environment, Health and Safety Academy launched in 2009 in China’s Guangdong Province, which is known as the “factory to the world.” …
    The academy works with local universities and other organizations to provide training in essential skills for EHS management, including labor practices, and in sustainability leadership, through courses on greenhouse gas emissions, energy efficiency, water resources and related topics.
    GE, Pfizer, Honeywell, Wal-Mart and other multinational companies have provided training materials for the academy, which teaches a combination of local regulatory requirements and international best practices…
    Hundreds of global companies have sent their EHS managers and suppliers to be trained in ISC’s program in China…
    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-02-07/big-companies-step-up-efforts-to-trim-environmental-risks-in-supply-chains.html


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    Richard C (NZ)

    >Point 4. Choice of weather record.

    There was a later set designated High Quality or HQ, in the 2000s. In 2012 the BoM replaced the HQ set with ACORN-SAT”

    CRUTEM4 is topical lately with it’s release of GE interface. Discussion leads to CRU versus BEST, GISS and national records e.g. in this WUWT comment thread discovering the provenance of CRU’s and BEST’s “raw” data:

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2014/02/06/cru-produces-something-useful-for-a-change/#comment-1562327

    Turns out CRU uses HQ for Australia:

    “Homogenized series, Bureau of Meteorology, Australia”

    ftp://ftp.bom.gov.au/anon/home/ncc/www/change/HQdailyT/HQdailyT_info.pdf

    From CRU:

    ‘Station data used for generating CRUTEM4′ – ‘CRUTEM4 Temperature station data’

    http://www.cru.uea.ac.uk/cru/data/temperature/crutem4/station-data.htm

    Also from that data page, CRU uses NIWA’s NZ 7SS and 11SS, neither of which are “station” data, they’re “Location” composites. The Australian equivalent from the post would be a composite for the Adelaide location e.g. a series starting with Adelaide’s main station at Kent Town and then moving out 11 km to Adelaide airport assuming there’s sufficient data at each site (there isn’t I don’t think – see next comment following).

    By NIWA method Kent Town (UHI influenced) would be adjusted for temperature difference with the airport giving a contiguous series for Adelaide in terms of “reference” station Adelaide airport. NIWA did this for Auckland by starting with UHI influenced Albert Park then moving to Mangere airport once that became established. Except NIWA neglected to correct Albert park for UHI/sheltering so their Auckland trend is way too high.

    BEST uses the entire Albert Park series for Auckland but curiously their Albert Park trend corroborates the NZCSET audit of NIWA’s 7SS Auckland composite but eliminates NIWA’s even though BEST didn’t correct Albert Park for UHI either.

    Next comment following on from this (but back on-topic) to >A final thought on raw ingredients


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      Richard C (NZ)

      >A final thought on raw ingredients

      I’ve looked up BEST Adelaide to see what raw data they use for that location here:

      http://berkeleyearth.lbl.gov/locations/34.56S-138.16E

      BEST Adelaide List of Stations Near 34.56 S, 138.16 E

      http://berkeleyearth.lbl.gov/station-list/location/34.56S-138.16E

      I can’t see Kent Town but it might go by a different name. I do see:

      Station Name, Months, Distance (km), Earliest, Most Recent

      PARAFIELD AIRPORT, 681, 49.75, Apr 1939, Oct 2013
      ADELAIDE INTL ARPT, 7, 53.31, Dec 1993, Jul 1994

      This is how BEST adjusts PARAFIELD AIRPORT:

      http://berkeleyearth.lbl.gov/stations/151937

      1940s raw perhaps 0.3 below 0, 2000s perhaps 0.6 above. Adjusted is about the same, giving an approximate PARAFIELD AIRPORT 60 year trend of 0.15 °C/Decade for the last 60 years.

      HOWEVER, BEST’s kriged composite 60 year trend for central Adelaide (see top link) is 0.277 °C/Decade.

      Summary 1960-2010:

      0.15 °C/Decade PARAFIELD AIRPORT (appr)
      0.277 °C/Decade BEST Adelaide

      BEST (top link) say the 2000s Adelaide average is around 16.8 °C. I don’t know what it was at PARAFIELD AIRPORT but I suspect it is less than central Adelaide. I also suspect that BEST has got central Adelaide wrong anyway because they’ve got most of New Zealand wrong in absolute terms.

      Obviously though, going by the trend summary above, finding an increase in Adelaide heat waves has double the chance by using BEST Adelaide than it has using PARAFIELD AIRPORT – raw or adjusted.

      This all leads to the question: how does ACORN-SAT central Adelaide and PARAFIELD AIRPORT compare to the above in terms of raw and adjusted?

      Especially given CRUTEM4 Australia IS just ACORN-SAT (see previous comment).


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        Richard C (NZ)

        Here’s the NASA GISS raw data interface:

        http://data.giss.nasa.gov/gistemp/station_data/

        Clicking on Adelaide (roughly) returns this list:

        http://data.giss.nasa.gov/cgi-bin/gistemp/find_station.cgi?dt=1&ds=14&name=&world_map.x=651&world_map.y=316

        4th down is:

        63 km, Adelaide, 34.9 S, 138.6 E, 501946750000, 883,000, 1962 – 1992

        http://data.giss.nasa.gov/cgi-bin/gistemp/show_station.cgi?id=501946750000&dt=1&ds=14

        1980s/90s average around 17.1 °C (BEST 2000s 16.8 °C)

        2nd down is:

        54 km, Adelaide Airp, 34.9 S, 138.5 E, 501946720000, 883,000, 1880 – 2013

        http://data.giss.nasa.gov/cgi-bin/gistemp/show_station.cgi?id=501946720000&dt=1&ds=14

        1980s/90s 16.5 °C, 2000s 17.2ish.

        So Adelaide 1980 – 2000 was 17.1 – 16.5 = 0.6 °C warmer approx than Adelaide Airport according to GISS raw data. This confirms my suspicion previous comment “I don’t know what it was at PARAFIELD AIRPORT but I suspect it is less than central Adelaide”.

        GISS Adelaide Airport raw data 1880 – 2013 looks to be a very good long running dataset not influenced by UHI – why didn’t BEST use it? The only real jump occurs 2007, what happened then?

        The point remains for GISS raw data, look for heat waves in central Adelaide – not out at the airport because the airport is 0.6 °C cooler, except for 2007 – 2013 when observed temperatures are likely to be similar for some unexplained reason.


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          Richard C (NZ)

          >”So Adelaide 1980 – 2000 was 17.1 – 16.5 = 0.6 °C warmer approx than Adelaide Airport according to GISS raw data.”

          I suspect that if central Adelaide was corrected for UHI using neighbouring non-UHI influenced sites as comparison (Adelaide Airport might be one of those) much, or all, of the central Adelaide-Adelaide Airport 1980 – 2000 0.6 °C absolute differential would be removed if the comparisons identified obvious UHI contamination in central Adelaide.

          Thing is, as i understand from Auckland UHI, UHI is progressive from 0 at a reasonably identifiable date to some stable figure (y) at a later date and thereafter. A UHI raw data adjustment therefore, is not simply a reduction of the trend in the contaminated station data, the data is corrected by deduction of a progressively increasing amount from each datapoint until just a stable figure deduction (y) for the rest of the dataset, THEN the new trend is ascertained.


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            Ian George

            Richard
            Do I read the Berkeley data correctly. The raw data for the different sites for Adelaide shows cooling or very little change, the adjusted data shows warming in all cases – except Parafield.
            Here’s Parafield on GISS.
            http://data.giss.nasa.gov/cgi-bin/gistemp/show_station.cgi?id=501956770000&dt=1&ds=14

            Now check Adelaide AP and check the subtle adjustments between v3 and v4 (v1 can’t be accessed anymore).
            http://data.giss.nasa.gov/cgi-bin/gistemp/show_station.cgi?id=501946720000&dt=1&ds=13
            with Adelaide AP
            http://data.giss.nasa.gov/cgi-bin/gistemp/show_station.cgi?id=501946720000&dt=1&ds=14

            Great work, Richard


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              Richard C (NZ)

              Ian

              >”Do I read the Berkeley data correctly. The raw data for the different sites for Adelaide shows cooling or very little change”

              No I don’t think you are, PRICE (raw) at the top of the list shows warming:

              http://berkeleyearth.lbl.gov/stations/151966

              PENFIELD WEAPONS RESEARCH raw (8 down) shows warming:

              http://berkeleyearth.lbl.gov/stations/3971

              >”Now check Adelaide AP and check the subtle adjustments between v3 and v4″

              Wow! You’re certainly right with this, I’d not noticed the “subtle” difference. It is most pronounced when you right click “View Image” and compare gifs in 2 tabs next to each other (pseudo animation):

              v3
              http://data.giss.nasa.gov/tmp/gistemp/STATIONS/tmp_501946720000_13_0/station.gif

              v4
              http://data.giss.nasa.gov/tmp/gistemp/STATIONS/tmp_501946720000_14_0/station.gif

              That is an eyeopener Ian.

              Although if you’ve seen Steve Goddard’s animations of GISS revision it’s not that surprising.


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              Richard C (NZ)

              >”Do I read the Berkeley data correctly”

              WEST TERRACE raw does show substantial cooling:

              http://berkeleyearth.lbl.gov/stations/3952

              No site moves in the series but BEST’s “empirical break” adjustments take care of that of course – turn it into substantial warming.

              Cynicism aside, the break adjustments do appear to have some merit (but why not just leave as-is unless there’s a site move?), and BEST’s “empirical break” adjustments don’t always act in the manner of West Terrace.

              It’s BEST’s composite kriging that relly churns out the rubbish, not the individual site adjustments


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                Richard C (NZ)

                >”BEST’s “empirical break” adjustments take care of that of course – turn it into substantial warming.”

                ADELAIDE (WEST TERRACE)

                -3.41 °C / Century Raw monthly anomalies

                -2.93 °C / Century After quality control

                2.27 °C / Century After breakpoint alignment

                http://berkeleyearth.lbl.gov/stations/3952


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                Ian George

                Richard
                Thanks for that. However, both Price and Penfield seem to have slightly more warming in the adjusted v raw data warming.
                But here’s another example of adjustment – for Renmark, SA.
                Raw data (v1):
                http://data.giss.nasa.gov/cgi-bin/gistemp/show_station.cgi?id=501946870000&dt=1&ds=1
                Adjusted data (v4):
                http://data.giss.nasa.gov/cgi-bin/gistemp/show_station.cgi?id=501946870000&dt=1&ds=14

                Look at the change around the late 70s.


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                Geoff Sherrington

                Richard,
                The concept of the ‘empirical break” is sort of OK when it has statistical support from one of many algorithms.
                There is a leap between detecting a break and treating it by adjustment.
                I’m uncomfortable with any adjustment unless there is an overlap period to provide a measure of the jump to be corrected and indeed its direction.


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                Richard C (NZ)

                Ian,

                >”However, both Price and Penfield seem to have slightly more warming in the adjusted v raw data warming.”

                Yes, that is why I was careful to state “BEST’s “empirical break” adjustments don’t always act in the manner of West Terrace”.

                >”Look at the change [at Renmark] around the late 70s.”

                That is inexplicable because 1975 remains unadjusted – fine. 1958 – 1973 is adjusted down 0.2 – again, fine, if there was a valid reason (site move/change etc). But is there a valid reason in the site record?

                HOWEVER, on the other side of 1975, 1976 – 1978 is adjusted UP 0.25.

                I would be very interested to read the rationale (and basis in literature) behind these two adjustments either side of 1975 because it defies reason.

                Using statistical overlap methodology (say 2 years either side of 1975 of monthly data) for break analysis looks impossible to me.

                This does follow GISS MO on the other hand.


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                Richard C (NZ)

                Geoff,

                >”The concept of the ‘empirical break” is sort of OK when it has statistical support from one of many algorithms.”

                Yes, agree. BOM do a lot of it in ACORN-SAT but I’m inclined to think the concept has got out of hand – overzealous perhaps. At least BOM discards adjustments of less than 0.3 but they’re adjusting for weather now (Trewin, CAWCR TR; 049) – that’s daft.

                >”There is a leap between detecting a break and treating it by adjustment.”

                Yes exactly. BEST have been making empirical break adjustments willy nilly without recourse to station records as far as I know. They MUST be able to justify EVERY adjustment resulting from empirical break analysis from station records because they’re attributing them to NON-climatic influence. If that non-climatic influence cannot be identified then the adjustment shouldn’t be made I don’t think.

                There was a time up to 1986 at least when CRU checked station records but now they rely on BOM doing that for HQ and NIWA doing it for 7SS and 11SS because they just adopt those on face value. Unfortunately NIWA have been somewhat remiss in their task in regard to NZ.

                >”I’m uncomfortable with any adjustment unless there is an overlap period to provide a measure of the jump to be corrected and indeed its direction.”

                So am I. And as above, I’m more than uncomfortable with an adjustment if a non-climatic influence has not been identified – I reject it.


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                Richard C (NZ)

                >”..an overlap period to provide a measure of the jump…”

                BEST boast (Ha!) in their Method paper that they only require a very short overlap period, hence their term for it – “scalpel” method.

                Given the number of adjustments their scalpel method produces in some site datasets, the scalpel analogy is immediately replaced in my mind by a meat slicer.


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                Richard C (NZ)

                Ian, I looked up BEST Renmark to see how they adjust it compared to how GISS adjust it. BEST Renmark here:

                http://berkeleyearth.lbl.gov/stations/4059

                OK they have a break at 1975 same as GISS that takes all the data prior to 1975 down substantially.

                BUT, they DON’T have breaks at 1976 and 1978 so that 76 – 78 goes up.

                The GISS adjustment to 1976 – 1978 appears bogus to me (as does much of Adelaide Airport).


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        Graeme No.3

        Parafield airport was the original airport North of the City/suburbs. Surrounded by farms except northern end was the abattoirs and the east edge was the main highway north. Since submerged in development.

        Adelaide airport is west of the city and not far from the Gulf of St. Vincent. Originally had golf courses on north and south sides, main road on western side with open marshy land between that and sea about 1 km away. Very open to prevailing SW winds. Development restricted by sewerage works on coast, which allowed lavish use of recycled water on the golf courses. Has been filled in somewhat and development has accelerated in last few years, mainly on that land between airport and the sea, which is being changed from open sporting field etc. to housing and business.

        The original Adelaide Weather Bureau was on West Terrace in the parklands. 192 feet (58.7 m) above sea level. Adelaide plains slope toward sea so Adelaide airport is at a lower altitude. It is also more affected by sea breezes. My father remarked around 40 years ago that there was a “bubble of hot air” over parts of Adelaide that could be felt as one drove around, and could almost be drawn on a map. Adelaide airport would have been in the cool zone, as I can confirm that one of the transition places (where there was a definite change in temperature) was SE of the airport (i.e. slightly higher and slightly further inland).

        The newer Weather Bureau is in Kent Town in a built up area close to the centre of the city.
        I don’t know if this helps.


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          Richard C (NZ)

          Graeme No.3

          >”I don’t know if this helps.”

          Yes it does. There’s nothing beats local knowledge in these situations.

          Is it really that the “bubble[s] of hot air” occurring at parts of urban Adelaide are more due to geography than UHI?

          Correction is needed for UHI because it increases over time but not needed for heat that is always there whether the city was built there or not.

          That’s why comparisons to isolated neighbouring non-climatically (non-UHI/sheltering) influenced sites is required to determine if urban Adelaide has a UHI component in its long-term trend. Note that contamination doesn’t necessarily occur over the entire series. Once trees have grown and buildings and pavements have been established the effect diminishes.


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            Richard C (NZ)

            Should read:

            “Once trees have grown and buildings and pavements have been established the [increasing] effect diminishes.”


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            Graeme No.3

            Sorry, missed your request.

            The bubble extended from about 2 km. inland from the Gulf towards the north, included Parafield airport, and back along the base of the Adelaide Hills* until about 4-5 km south** of the city, when the southern boundary turned back to the sea.

            *varied slightly depending on the amount of development.
            ** i.e. about the edge of continuous development.

            Since then Adelaide has expanded North and South for a very long distance. At the same time the number and size of urban greenery has increased enormously. The influence of the sea was the biggest factor as the prevailing cool breezes from the SW, S and SE could cool anywhere they could reach. Thus in the latest burst of hot weather Glenelg (by the sea) has been reported as 4-6 degrees cooler than the city.


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          Richard C (NZ)

          >”The newer Weather Bureau is in Kent Town”

          Does it go by any different names?

          It’s odd that GISS doesn’t use it, although I have noticed that GISS and BEST don’t always pick up stations I would expect them too.

          I’ll check the GISS list again when I get a moment to see if I’ve missed it or it’s there under a different name. It wouldn’t surprise me that it actually hasn’t been picked up though.


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            Richard C (NZ)

            >”The newer Weather Bureau is in Kent Town”

            Neither BEST nor GISS list a “Kent Town” for Adelaide.

            BEST list
            http://berkeleyearth.lbl.gov/station-list/location/34.56S-138.16E

            GISS list
            http://data.giss.nasa.gov/cgi-bin/gistemp/find_station.cgi?dt=1&ds=14&name=&world_map.x=651&world_map.y=316

            If Kent Town is in the HQ series then CRU has picked it up because they pick up the entire HQ series for CRUTEM4.

            BEST picks up WEST TERRACE (at 55.80km in list above) but GISS doesn’t.


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              Ian George

              Another example of adjusting raw temp for no rhyme nor reason.
              This is Bourke Jan 1939, raw temp v ACORN (straight from the BoM data sites).
              Anything from an 0.2C to 0.9C downward adjustment when temp is over 30C – then an increase of 0.1C for temps under 30C.

              Jan39 raw ACORN
              1st 38.9 38.4
              2nd 40.0 39.1
              3rd 42.2 41.9
              4th 38.1 37.9
              5th 38.9 38.4
              6th 41.7 41.5
              7th 41.7 41.5
              8th 43.4 43.0
              9th 46.1 45.7
              10th 48.3 47.9
              11th 47.2 46.8
              12th 46.2 45.8
              13th 45.7 45.3
              14th 46.1 45.7
              15th 47.2 46.8
              16th 46.7 46.3
              17th 40.0 39.1
              18th 40.1 39.1
              19th 40.0 39.1
              20th 41.9 41.7
              21st 42.5 42.1
              22nd 44.2 43.8
              23rd 36.7 36.5
              24th 40.3 39.2
              25th 36.6 36.5
              26th 29.4 29.5
              27th 29.3 29.4
              28th 28.8 28.9
              29th 30.6 30.5
              30th 35.6 35.4
              31st 38.6 38.3

              Mean 40.4 40.0

              As they say, ‘You can’t make this stuff up’.


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                Richard C (NZ)

                Ian re Bourke Jan 1939.

                I have no idea how they’ve done that either except that the adjustments must be other than for what the site information tells us i.e. must be for “empirical breaks”.

                I looked up the ACORN-SAT Station catalogue here:

                http://www.bom.gov.au/climate/change/acorn-sat/documents/ACORN-SAT-Station-Catalogue-2012-WEB.pdf

                Bourke is on page 9:

                History
                “Observations were originally made within the Bourke township (048013).”

                “This site had trees and buildings nearby and the lawn around the screen was regularly watered. There was a small site move within the Post Office yard in
                May 1937, and the screen was replaced in November 1964″

                Nothing about Jan 1939, perhaps someone forgot to water the lawn (I’m serious – just cutting long grass under a screen can trigger an empirical break).

                Also tells us BOM makes adjustments of less than 0.3 C for empirical breaks when they say in their ACORN Technical Report that they don’t make adjustments of less than 0.3 C for site moves.


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                Ian George

                Richard
                Thanks for the Station Catalogue site. I don’t know why ‘somebody with authority’ doesn’t check all these data sites. Surely there is enough evidence that they are highly suspect.


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              Richard C (NZ)

              >”If Kent Town is in the HQ series then CRU has picked it up because they pick up the entire HQ series for CRUTEM4.”

              It is from 1977 onwards and the AWS is the current reference site for Adelaide. West Terrace (023000) is Adelaide data prior to 1977. HQ Adelaide (Kent Town 023090, West Terrace 023000) composite here:

              http://www.bom.gov.au/cgi-bin/climate/hqsites/site_data.cgi?variable=meanT&area=sa&station=023090&period=annual

              Strange that neither BEST or GISS picks up Kent Town

              Also in ACORN-SAT as for HQ. ACORN Station catalogue:

              http://www.bom.gov.au/climate/change/acorn-sat/documents/ACORN-SAT-Station-Catalogue-2012-WEB.pdf

              Adelaide (023090/023000)

              The current site (023090) is located over grass in the grounds of the Bureau’s
              South Australian Regional Office, which is in the inner eastern suburb of
              Kent Town. There are no buildings or roads in the immediate vicinity (within
              10 m) of the site, which is near a back street and away from heavy traffic, but
              it is still a built-up area.
              History
              Prior to 1977, the Regional Office (023000) was located at West Terrace, on the western
              edge of the central city and 3.2 km west of the current site, and observations were
              made there, continuing until early 1979. The site was on the edge of the main Adelaide
              parklands and appears to have been near the top of a small slope. There were site
              moves in 1944, November 1951 and a small move (15 m west) in 1962.
              Until 1948 there were two sets of observations made at Adelaide, one
              using a Glaisher stand and one using a Stevenson screen. The Glaisher
              stand observations, which generally had higher maximum temperatures
              (especially in summer), were the ones publicly reported at the time but the
              Stevenson screen observations are the ones used in the ACORN-SAT data
              (and in the Bureau’s database more generally). The widely-quoted record
              high temperature for Adelaide of 47.6 °C, set in January 1939, was measured
              in a Glaisher stand; the Stevenson screen value on this day was 46.1 °C.
              The current site was established in 1977. An automatic weather station was installed
              on 26 October 1992 and became the primary instrument on 1 November 1996.


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            Graeme No.3

            The Adelaide Weather Bureau is definitely in Kent Town and has been for about 40 years. There was an overlap of a few years when both temperatures were reported.


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    pat

    have no idea why the Steyer/Bloomberg comment went through twice! apologies.


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    Vic G Gallus

    Wish I’d thought of that.


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    Brian Hatch

    Melbourne regional weather station is at the intersection of Latrobe st and Victoria Parade. Vic Pde is a 6 lane arterial road. It is in the CBD. It is recording cars and concrete.


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      And bursts of warm air from trams.

      IIRC, that location is no longer “official” for temperatures. It has so many siting problems that it’s obviously no longer comparable to Melbourne as it was 50 years ago.

      “Perth” has moved a number of times in the past 3 decades. I understand that it’s now situated on a gravel patch, shielded from the sea breeze by an “academic” institution.


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      Geoff Sherrington

      Brian,
      That is partly correct. It also recorded some interesting historical data.
      It was with knowledge of possible UHI that I conceived the last graph in this essay, the one linked in point 5. This shows the number of days each year that were more than 20 deg C above the average for that year (all in Tmax).
      If the ‘baseline’ has been shifting from adjustments or UHI, then by averaging to each year you can drop out a lot of this effect.
      So Melbourne Regional might now be recording (natural climate + concrete), but on a levellised basis, the number of super hot days seems to have fallen over the past century and it is showing no recent hockey stick shape (as the media would have us believe should be the case).


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    Geoff Sherrington

    One of the deductions from the last graph in this essay relates to extreme weather. The one in Point 5, linked by ‘The following way’.
    You can consider the number of very hot days each year as a measure of how extreme the events of that year were.
    If you have 5 days that are more than 20 degrees above the annual average, you could say you had 5 extreme days.
    If, as in more recent years, you have 0,1,or 2 days more than 20 deg hotter than average, you have fewer extremes.

    That graph is strongly suggesting that extreme high temperature days are on the decrease.
    This is directly the opposite of what the Establishment is trying to have us believe.

    My analysis is simple, it is open to criticism. At any time from now, we could have a string of very hot days that turn this graph into a hockey stick.
    The point is that we have the inverse of a hockey stick in these historical measurements. But we are asked to accept a hockey stick level of alarmism.

    You cannot accept claims of more extreme hot days in recent times, for this Melbourne Regional site, without providing an explanation for my simple graph of observations.


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    It is very interesting that we do not have cold waves, only heat waves.

    Any really cold weather is now just ignored, whether it is the Ship of Fools stuck in record sea ice, the Polar Vortex or just people freezing to death in the Ukraine. What they do say is the exceptionally cold weather does not disprove Global Warming, but any run of a few hot days in mid summer is absolute proof.

    As 66% of the world is covered in water and if you add Antarctica, more like 70%, do we get heat waves over the ocean? Are there fish just waiting for a cooling sea breeze? The very restricted view of “Global” temperature being just where people live and a few uncomfortable days in summer is going to be a poor measure of the temperature of the planet.

    For example, it was 37C in Melbourne today, but just South in Anglesea on the ocean, it was more like 27. So Global Temperature according to the Profits of Doom is just what affects people and nothing to do with any concept of Global. The sensationalization of the weather is becoming annoying, almost like the cricket. The longest period of days with a high minimum in February in a leap year in Melbourne. I suppose it sells advertising and carbon taxes.


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    Graham

    “Quality of data keeping. (In some datasets the max temperature is sometimes lower than the minimum on the same day.)”

    This does happen though not often. I recall driving to work in Melbourne one morning after a hot night when the cold change arrived. The overnight minimum was hotter than the days maximum. It depends on the timing and strength of the cold change.

    No empirical data to back this up, just memories of days past. Graham


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    Richard C (NZ)

    Timely article in the SMH about an urban heat island effect study focused on Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide:

    ‘Treeless suburbs, concrete canyons increase city heat’

    http://www.smh.com.au/environment/climate-change/treeless-suburbs-concrete-canyons-increase-city-heat-20140208-328lq.html

    “When Sydney swelters, not all suburbs suffer evenly. An environment dominated by built canyons of concrete and vast tracts of asphalt, devoid of trees and cooling winds, could be heating up its own micro-climate – costing businesses and taking a toll on health.

    These man-made factors have kept Haymarket the largest comparative national study into the causes of the ”urban heat island effect”.

    This is where an area’s surfaces absorb and then radiate heat, affecting temperature – a phenomenon experts say is expected to become more prevalent with increasing urbanisation and the effects of climate change.”

    The study has only been going for 3 years!

    Forget the future and 3 year studies, look at the entire 20th Century. Those “man-made factors” were a goodly part of 20th Century climate change; that exhibited in national climate records containing a proliferation of UHI contaminated stations that is.

    Would someone in Oz please have a chat to these people.


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      Richard C (NZ)

      Oops, managed to miss out a few words. Should read:

      These man-made factors have kept Haymarket [the hottest part of Sydney's central business district, according to researchers conducting] the largest comparative national study into the causes of the ”urban heat island effect”.


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      Richard C (NZ)

      Well duh!

      The effect [UHI] has been credited with causing temperatures to vary between a city centre and its suburbs by as much as 4 degrees.

      By “vary” they really mean CBDs are hotter than suburbs which in turn are hotter than non-UHI contaminated isolated rural sites. This has developed over decades i.e. man-made CBD/urban climate change sans fossil fuel emissions.


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      The Griss

      but Richard.. According to Giss, and HadCrut, UHI doesn’t affect thermometers,

      and when it does, they have to adjust the past downwards to counteract the UHI effect.


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