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Sydney Observatory where warming is created by site moves, buildings, freeways

The iconic Sydney Observatory is Australia’s longest running weather station. But everything around the site has changed. Bill Johnston has spent months researching, photographing, and hunting through historic files to document those changes. He wasn’t paid for this work, but what he found was that the BOM has missed that the area around the thermometers has changed dramatically over the last century, so much so, that he claims it’s scientifically meaningless to try to construct climate trends from this data. Aerial photographs show exposure of the instruments changed in 1950, when Stevenson screens were moved, and after a brick wall was built metres from the screen in about 1972. It is suspicious that the changes are undocumented in Bureau reports, especially given they are responsible for much of the “unprecedented warming” in Sydney’s temperature data.  The BOM may counter that this site is not used to calculate warming trends across Australia, but as Bill points out, Sydney Observatory is used to homogenize other sites that are. So site changes and the urban heat island effect infects many country sites, and the traffic in Sydney “warms the nation”.  — Jo

_________________________________

Its fake news week!

Guest post by Dr. Bill Johnston[1].

While reporters are at the beach watching sea levels rise; Prime Ministers are having drinkies with mates in their harbourside mansions, while organizing group-hugs over the NBN for those at Hazelwood and Portland destined to loose their jobs in the new-year; and professors are off on jaunts and junkets; hardly any one is left looking-out for fake climate-news.

Sydneysiders are told incessantly they are experiencing a scorcher: “sizzling end to city’s hottest year on record” says Fairfax’s Peter Hannam; backed-up by Fairfax’s own Weatherzone meteorologist Joel Pippard who pipped-up that “without a doubt” the late December heat means Sydney would notch the city’s hottest year in records going back to 1858 … and already on the ABC, the Bureau reported it will be Australia’s fifth warmest year since 1910 ….

The trouble is, its bunkum – the climate-club is making it up as they go along!

Sydney Observatory data are affected by four influential site changes:

  • Before they were moved to a large Stevenson screen in 1908, thermometers were housed in a large louvered shed from 1876, which is re-built in its former position in front of the Observatory. (Before 1876 they were held on an open Glaisher stand). Except in Hannam’s and Pippard’s imagination, there is no comparison between temperature measured in 2016 and conditions under which they were measured in 1858.
  • Thermometers moved to a large Stevenson screen at the present site in 1917, which was located in the northeast corner of the cottage yard. Many changes happened between 1938 and 1948 and photographs show the screens were moved to the opposite (south-eastern) side of the yard between 1947 and December 1949. The change in exposure caused Tmin to increase abruptly.
  • Tmax is consistent from 1908 until the Cahill Expressway (which encircles the site) opened in 1958. A trend from 1958 to 1999 is due to traffic increases. Tidal traffic-flow (4 lanes southbound in the morning and reversal of that in the evening) was implemented from the early 1950s; one-way (southbound) tolling is introduced in 1970; and the Western Distributor (first stage) opened in 1974. The screen is less than a footy-punt from the middle of one of Australia’s busiest roads and around the time Tmax occurs (between 2 and 4pm), heat from traffic washes over the site adding to the climate signal.
  • A 2.4m brick wall constructed south of the cottage yard probably in 1972 didn’t affect Tmax, but due to heat entrapment at night, Tmin stepped-up in 1973. Both Tmin and Tmax stepped-up when the large 0.23 m3 Stevenson screen is replaced by a 0.06 m3 small one on 20th January 2000.

It is astonishing that the Bureau and all the professors, failed to correct for the move in 1949; and construction of the wall, probably in 1972. Together with opening of the Cahill Expressway, and replacing the large screen with a small one, changes modified the environment and created trends that have nothing to do with the climate.

Although Observatory data are used to create fake-news about Sydney’s climate, they are not used to calculate Australia’s warming. Nevertheless, despite that data are faulty, they homogenise ACORN sites at Cobar, Walgett, Gunnedah, Williamtown RAAF, Bathurst, Richmond RAAF, Nowra RAN and Moruya Heads Pilot Station. Those sites homogenise others: Moruya Heads Pilot Station is used for Sydney Observatory, Bathurst, Canberra and Dubbo; Williamtown RAAF for Coffs Harbour, Port Macquarie, Scone, Bathurst, Sydney Observatory and Moruya Heads Pilot Station; Canberra for Dubbo, Nowra, Moruya Heads Pilot Station and Bathurst; Gunnedah, for Moree, Inverell, Dubbo and Bourke; Dubbo is used for Tibooburra and so-on. Few ACORN datasets are independent and it’s easy to see how faults in Sydney data get propagated across the network by the homogenisation process. Homogenised ACORN data with their embedded faults are used to calculate Australia’s warming.

The details are below.

____________________________

Fake temperature records at Sydney Observatory

For the last two decades Australia’s Bureau of Meteorology has engaged in a fake-news campaign to convince Australians that average temperatures are rising; extreme temperatures are more frequent, and that trends in extremes are increasing. Tracking back through standalone reports, low and mid -level scientific papers, published for example in the Australian Meteorological Magazine and the various publications of the Australian Meteorological and Oceanographic Society (AMOS) (the AMOS Bulletin and the Australian Meteorological and Oceanographic Journal (now the Journal of Southern Hemisphere Earth Systems Science)); as well as top-shelf journals; a handful of people, some at the University of NSW, Melbourne University, ANU and Monash, are stand out weather-fakers. The campaign is championed by the Bureau; whose many reports and opportunistic press releases are designed to stir alarm.

Much of what is claimed about the weather is based on inadequate analysis, data-picking and purposeful data manipulation in the name of homogenisation. Sydney Observatory is used here as an example.

Since Melbourne’s La Trobe Street site closed in January 2015, Sydney Observatory (66062) is Australia’s longest same-site weather station. Its temperature series is one of the longest in the southern hemisphere and data have been analysed, used or reported-on in publications by Australian and overseas authors; commentators; bloggists; climate-alarmist professors; The Conversation; Weatherzone and the press generally. According to the ACORN catalogue (Australian Climate Observations Reference Network – Surface Air Temperature (ACORN-SAT)):

Sydney (066062)

The current site is located on Observatory Hill, in a small, grassed enclosure (about 10 by 10 m) about 100 m south of the main Sydney Observatory complex. There is a freeway immediately east of the site but it is in a deep cutting at this point.

History

Originally the site was in the main Observatory grounds. It moved about 100 m south to its current location in 1917. The earlier site was a more exposed location on a hilltop and had lower maximum and higher minimum temperatures than the current location. An automatic weather station was installed at the current site on 8 August 1990. The area is heavily built-up and has been since at least the late 19th century. An analysis of minimum temperature trends in the ACORNSAT data showed no evidence of an abnormal warming trend relative to non-urban sites in the region, indicating that any urban influence on the data was already fully developed by the time ACORN-SAT begins in 1910.

Little of the ACORN narrative is true.

At the previous observatory site, thermometers moved from a Glaisher stand to an airy thermometer house beside a rose garden in front of the west-wing of the Observatory in 1865 (Figure 1). Nighttime exposure changed and minimum temperature (Tmin) stepped-up. The garden is gone; however, the structure, which fell into decay is re-built in the same place. Although the thermometer house may have been used until 1916, a large standard Stevenson screen was operating before 1911 (Figure 1). An up-step in maximum temperature (Tmax) in 1908 is consistent with Tmax being measured in the screen from 1907.

That move from the thermometer house to the enclosed screen resulted in a Tmax up-step of 0.64oC, which was not due to “urban influence” or the climate. In contrast to Tmax, average Tmin remained the same after instruments were rehoused (i.e. nighttime exposure was not significantly affected). The move to another standard screen 100 m south at the cottage in 1917 had no impact on temperature. However, data are transiently disturbed from 1921 to about 1930 during construction of the Sydney Harbour Bridge, which opened in 1932; and possibly building of the Weather Bureau office, which opened in 1922 (Figure 2).

The Cahill Expressway ‘circular road’ was laid out in 1938 and by 1940 construction is well advanced (Figure 2).  As part of that work, most of the Fort Street School, then south of the cottage was demolished and replaced by a new school built north of the cottage, which opened in 1942. (Photographs in the City of Sydney Archives show the laneway being sealed in about 1940 and the Cahill Expressway under construction.)

Sydney Observatory, Historical photo. Thermometer, Urban Heath Island Effec t

Figure 1. The meteorological lawn said to be in 1864 but possibly later (a); and (b) with a Stevenson screen in 1911. Transpiration by vegetation in (a) is absent in (b), which may affect measurements. (Photos courtesy NSW State Library.)

Sydney Observatory, Historical photo. Thermometer, Urban Heath Island Effect, Bureau of Meteorology.

Figure 2. The building 100 m south of the Observatory occupied by the Weather Bureau in 1922 viewed from the north on 25th June 1932 (a). The upper level appears lived-in. The historic messenger’s cottage is on the left; another house is east of the cottage and behind (south) is the Fort Street School. The open foreground is grassy parkland and the path still leads to Kent Street via the Agar Steps.  (http://nla.gov.au/nla.obj-157852963 (accessed 24th April 2016; from a damaged glass-plate negative.) The building is surrounded by hoarding during construction of the Cahill Expressway (b). The photo is taken across where the new school opened in 1942 (City of Sydney Archives).

Sydney 1943 imaginary accessed on 15th December 2012 (http://maps.six.nsw.gov.au) shows two Stevenson screens at the end of a short concrete path adjacent to the lane in the northeast corner of the cottage yard (Figure 3). The area bounded by the open-cut (about 1.5 ha in total) is isolated from its surroundings. Stevenson screens would be shaded in the afternoon by the fig tree 15 m away across the laneway (which survived from before 1935), the new school building and from the west by the imposing Weather Bureau building, making it not an ideal site for weather observations.

Sydney Observatory, Historical photo. Thermometer, Urban Heath Island Effect

Figure 3. The open-cut up-ramp for the Cahill Expressway laid out in 1938 (a) is well advanced by 1940 (b).

 

An aerial photograph in December 1949 (Figure 4) shows work associated with the Cahill Expressway is progressing and the Bradfield Highway being widened to accommodate an additional six tollgates (http://www.photosau.com.au/cosmaps/scripts/display Index.asp?Index=AO1). By then, hoarding is gone and the school building south of the cottage is demolished. Serviced by a concrete path, which was not there in 1943, Stevenson screens are relocated to the opposite (southeast) corner of the cottage yard. (An earlier 1947 photo (not shown here) shows the Stevenson screen with the school and laneway close in the background. Thus screens were moved after 1947 and before December 1949.

Sydney Observatory, Historical photo. Thermometer, Urban Heath Island Effect

Figure 4. An aerial-mosaic (http://maps.six.nsw.gov.au) of the Observatory weather station in 1943 shows the new school (A), the Weather Bureau building (B), the historic messengers cottage (C), two Stevenson screens in the northeast corner of the cottage yard at the end of a concrete path (D); hoarding isolates the work site (E) (note the access gate in Upper Fort Street); an old school building remains to be demolished (F).

 

The number of traffic lanes on the Harbour Bridge increased from four to six in 1950 and south of the cottage, a new school gymnasium opened in 1952. An oblique view in 1966 (Figure 5) shows the site is open to the south and that traffic passes about 35 m east of the relocated Stevenson screens.

Sydney Observatory, Historic Aerial Photo. Cahill Expressway constuction. Aerial photo. Thermometer, Climate Change, Station siting.

Figure 5. In 1949, A, is the former site at the Observatory; B, the new Fort Street Public School; C, the Weather Bureau building; D, is two Stevenson screens in the southeast corner of the cottage yard; E, the tunnel under the Bradfield Highway linking to the Cahill Expressway, and F, road widening for new tollgates commissioned in 1950. No brick wall or hoarding is evident along the southern boundary of the meteorological enclosure.

 

The laneway between the school and the cottage is an east-west breezeway. In the afternoon, westerly wind picks-up heat from often stalled traffic emerging from the tunnel under the Bradfield Highway and on the up-ramp; easterly sea breeze, picks-up heat from traffic on the approach to the Harbour Bridge tollgates. Tmin, which occurs under still-air conditions around dawn, is influenced mainly by nighttime emitted radiation and cool-air descending from up-slope. The screen was moved away from that influence in 1949, consequently there is an up-step in Tmin in 1950. Heat stored by buildings, concrete and bitumen; and traffic cause temperatures during the day to increase immediately the Cahill Expressway opens in 1957.

In 1970, there are still two Stevenson screens in the southeast corner of the cottage yard serviced by a concrete path, which originates from the end of the original path (Figure 6). Shadows are cast southwards; however, there is no indication of a wall between the screens and the school gymnasium. A traffic lane joining with Kent Street is cropped-off the photograph and no works associated with development of the first stage of the Western Distributor, which opened in 1972 are visible. In 1975, there is a brick wall between the meteorological enclosure and the school gymnasium (Figure 7). Later, a single large screen replaced the two that are there in 1975.

Cahill expressway tolls. Sydney.

Figure 6. Two Stevenson screens are visible in the southeast corner of the cottage yard in 1966 (A); no brick wall separates the enclosure from the school gymnasium (B), which opened in 1952. The Weather Bureau building (C) casts shadow over the meteorological enclosure; (D) is the Fort Street Public School. (Portion of “View from IBM; Max Dupain and Associates 1966”. State Library of NSW, Mitchell Library, courtesy of Hely, Bell & Horne.) The Observatory is in the background (E). Traffic is bank-up to pay tolls.

 

Sydney Observatory, Historical photo. Thermometer, Urban Heath Island Effect

Figure 7. A grainy 1970 aerial photograph (NSW Spatial Services) shows the concrete path and two Stevenson screens in the south-east corner of the cottage yard (A); lack of shadow confirms there is no brick wall enclosing the southern boundary of the site (B). The full image shows no connection with the Western Distributor, which opened to Day Street (west of Sydney Town Hall) in 1972. However, there is direct access to the Harbour Bridge from Kent Street (C), which is below the ridge on the left. (Whilst they are still there, northbound tollgates may not be operating – one-way tolling (north to south) is introduced in 1970.)

 

The next major change is installation of an automatic weather station (AWS) in situ on 8th August 1990 and replacement of the large screen with a small one on 20th January 2000. Manual observations apparently ceased when the AWS is installed. By  2016 the site appears settled (Figure 8), which belies its history. Close-up inspection of the wall shows some segments are re-pointed, probably because, due to lack of dampcourse, mortar has deteriorated. Stevenson screens open to the south and the “T” at the end of the concrete path is the location of the two previous screens with the path in between, whose northern louvers would have faced the camera.

Photo Sydney Observatory, Bureau of Meteorology, Climate Change. Thermometer siting.

Figure 8. A brick wall separates the meteorological enclosure from the school gymnasium in 1975 (A). The Kent Street connection with the Bridge is cut-off; new lanes connect with the first (Day Street) stage of the Western Distributor (B); further work is progressing, which eventually links to Kent and Clarence Streets (C). Close examination shows the two Stevenson screens are possibly moved (relative to the footpath), probably during construction of the wall. Shade cast south by the Weather Bureau building, indicates the photo is taken in winter. It is also not a busy-traffic day. (Note that the roadway is further widened to accommodate breakdown recovery vehicles (D).)

Bureau of Meteorology, Sydney, Observatory Hill, thermometer siting.

Figure 9. By 2016 in (a) the brick wall is weathered; the “T” at the end of the path is the former location of two large Stevenson screens; their single large replacement is superceeded in 2000 by the small one housing AWS sensors. In (b), the screen is confined by the cottage, the now derelict Weather Bureau building, school and Environmental Education Centre. A bitumen car park is beyond the wall and to the south is the city. (The historic messenger’s cottage is now refurbished as the school office.)

 

Effect of site/instrument changes on temperature

Step-changes in average Tmax and Tmin are aligned with known site changes in Figure 9. The sequential t-test used to detect step-changes is a whole-of-dataset procedure (i.e. it is not done piecewise) that detects (rejects) shifts in the mean with the same target probability level. It is applied iteratively to isolate permanent step-changes from those due to weather-changes caused by ElNiño cycling. The test is parametric, objective and P-levels are adjusted for autocorrelation. Importantly, changepoints can’t be specified in advance; so detected shifts are interpreted after analysis is complete.

Each step-change defines a data-segment whose regime-mean is different to adjacent segments (Figure 9). If an abrupt change in ambience occurs (for example, exposure of the screen changes), the effect is additive to day-to-day temperature variation. T shifts up (down) depending on if the effect is to increase (reduce) heat-load on the instruments; or something else happens such as if a screen is replaced or thermometer develops a constant off-set (a bubble in its mercury/alcohol column, for instance). (A range of statistical tests can be used to detect time-wise step-changes (and changes in the variability of data). Different methods applied to the same data mostly identify the same step-changes.)

To recap: Temperature time-series consist of two signals. Day-to-day temperature is measured relative to background ambience, which is the dataset average. Disturbances that permanently alter that baseline: for Tmax, moving instruments to the Stevenson screen in 1908; opening of the Cahill Expressway in 1958 and moving instruments to a small Stevenson screen in 2000 caused permanent up-steps in the data that had nothing to do with the climate. The minimum temperature baseline changed when the instruments moved from a Glaisher stand to the thermometer house in 1876; screens were moved away from the breeze-way in the north-eastern corner of the cottage yard to the south-eastern corner, probably in 1949; the wall is built nearby around 1972; and the screen size changed in 2000.

 

Graph, temperature changes Sydney, Urban Heat Island Effect, station siting.

Figure 9. Changes in the vicinity of the Sydney Observatory weather station and step-changes in Tmax and Tmin. Since records commenced in 1859, step-changes caused by site changes have caused 2.09oC of warming in Tmax data, which has nothing to do with the climate. Step-changes in Tmin have added 2.05oC of warming to the data.

 


[1] Former NSW natural resources research scientist. Bill is currently auditing many of the Bureau’s weather stations.

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245 comments to Sydney Observatory where warming is created by site moves, buildings, freeways

  • #

    But surely we must trust the experts (as I collapse in paroxysms of mirth)?

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  • #
    Bill Johnston

    Please note that figure numbers referred to in the text are out of step after Figure 2. The second reference to Figure 2 (paragraph before the double photographs (Fig. 1) should refer to Figure 3; and so on. Not too difficult;t to work out I’m sure.

    Cheers,

    Bill

    131

    • #

      Also, Bill:

      Sydney 1943 imaginary accessed on 15th December 2012

      Should be ‘imagery’?

      Great, well-researched article. Not easy to find, all of that historical stuff.

      110

    • #
      AndyG55

      Found this interesting graph of mean maximum temperature trends for certain parts of the year

      http://www.svsunnyspells.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/05/MeanMax.jpg

      Looks to me that there was a LARGE warming trend in winter from 1900 – 1920, which was also evident in Jan-Dec

      Apart from that and the up-tick from 2000, probably due to the smaller screen…

      Temperature trends have been pretty much the constant from around 1880….

      … this is well before CO2 could possibly have any impact what-so-ever.

      Looks to me like the temperature trend in a growing city, with absolutely NO CO2 WARMING SIGNAL WHAT-SO-EVER.

      Just like everywhere else in the world..

      Absolutely no CO2 warming signal anywhere.

      74

  • #

    Thanks Dr Johnston, a very good explanation of UHI on Sydney weather records. I have been watching how aircraft movements affect temperatures in my home town, showing sharp, and brief spikes in maximum temperatures during winter and spring. Wind direction, during certain aircraft movements, and jet exhausts are directly pushed towards the BoM instrument ‘paddock’. Up to 15 large oil rig helicopters now operate from four hangars next to the BoM site.
    How any data from here in Broome, or at any other airport, can influence climate data is beyond me. Our maximum temperatures can often showing when flight movements happen. Then there is the surface influence of large runway, taxi and parking aprons.
    At the Port, just 8km away and on a small Peninsula, max/min temperatures vary daily by as little as 2C, showing how the influence of wind over water keeps this result so small, with no spikes in temperature.

    182

    • #
      Bill Johnston

      The description for Broome Airport is fairly vague. For instsnce, the Bureau said the site never moved. It was originally an Aeradio office; a met-bloke was appointed in 1939; the site was taken over by the RAAF during WWII; the Bureau took it back, probably in the 1950s.

      There is a bit of chatter on a few blogs about Broome. The Bureau shows a photo of the old met office; but before that there is a note that the Aeradio/met office may have been on the other side of the AP. It is also unlikely that a small Stevenson screen was there in 1939 – they came later in the 1990s. Coordinates of the earlier Broom AP site (03089) put the site in a different place, and anyway the whole place has been re-built at least twice; before the war it was just a little bush strip; it was extended and rebuilt in a hurry when things heated up in Timor; then afterwards it was lengthened and sealed etc. (it was originally called an advanced operations base (meaning it was spare part); then suddenly it became important. There was an important sea-plane base there as well that would have also needed met-info. (The more I get into researching some of these places, the more interesting they are!). Its a shame though that more historical info is not available.

      I’m mainly interested in trend, and for Broome Tmax there is an up-step in 2008, which is when the new met office and radar as built and the old office is demolished.

      Cheers,

      Bill

      182

      • #
        Peter C

        . It is also unlikely that a small Stevenson screen was there in 1939 – they came later in the 1990s

        Bill, Can you elaborate on this. What do you mean by a small Stevenson Screen? Is that different from a normal Stevenson Screen, which I thought became ubiquitous during the 1890′s

        60

        • #
          Bill Johnston

          Hi Peter C

          Most sites now have small screens- these are louvered boxes, on a steel post which is about 1.2 m off the grass, which house instruments – max & min thermometers and wet and dry bulb mercury thermometers used to calculate dew point and relative humidity. A large screen has an internal volume of about 0.23 m^3; a small one 0.06 m^3, so the difference is considerable. Small screens were specified as “standard” in 1973, however some sites still operate large screens – Hobart Airport; Gunnedah Research; Moruya Heads Pilot Station are three that I’ve seen.

          Because electronic thermometers are slightly closer to the back of a small screen (which is always the northern wall (faces the sun)), and because they don’t buffer against transient eddies, say off a runway, small screens are likely to produce warmer data; and to be more sensitive than large ones – produce more spikes (sometimes called record temperatures).

          I could only find one Bureau report of a comparison of screen types. It was done at Broadmeadows Melbourne (which is not a weather station); they also only used electronic thermometers, which I say is pretty dim science. They had the opportunity to do parallel observations at replicated sites, but didn’t. Now that most sites don’t have staff, the opportunity has probably passed by.

          Cheers,

          Bill

          131

    • #
      Andrew

      UHI is worse. This just analyses step changes from the site itself or the immediate surroundings (building an expressway etc). It doesn’t include the effect of massive glass towers built at CQ.

      13

      • #
        KinkyKeith

        An excellent point Andrew.

        I’ve read through quite a bit of Bill’s post and can now see that I was focusing on the events of an area that was maybe less than 100 metres in diameter.

        Your observation that another factor, namely the wider effect of a city becoming denser in it’s energy profile, needs to be considered.

        KK

        30

  • #
    Frank

    Has Bill presented his findings to the BOM ?, the CSIRO ?, any other scientists ?.

    722

    • #
      Bill Johnston

      Of course. Hard to get their attention though.

      Cheers,

      Bill

      412

    • #
      Rereke Whakaaro

      Oh dear, Frank.

      Not the answer you wanted, was it?

      And of course, you also discount the other scientists who frequent this site, from time to time, but we understand your biases.

      263

      • #
        Frank

        Like a lawyer I don’t ask questions I already know the answer to.
        Bill didn’t get the attention he believed he deserved so all he has left are the denier sites, any chance of scientific credibility is now gone.

        428

        • #
          Bill Johnston

          Like a lawyer Frank, they have a clever way of not answering straightforward questions, or of wanting money in order to do so. I don’t see myself as a “denier”; I’m a scientist with an open mind. I also have about 10 years experience in taking weather observations. At the end of last year I drove around Tasmania looking at weather stations, trying to understand how so many give such awful data. I think the changeover to small screens is a disaster; many sites are very poorly placed/exposed; and most are not maintained from week to week.

          You could do the same without leaving your computer. Google Earth (pro) (which is free), allows you to see how individual stations have changed since about 2000. Some to look at are Ceduna, Onslow, Learmonth, Darwin, Cranbourne gardens in Melbourne, Adelaide AP, Low Head (Tas), Broome, ……

          Enjoy,

          Bill

          293

        • #
          AndyG55

          “any chance of scientific credibility is now gone.”

          Yes Fronk, it has been known for quite a while that BOM, CSIRO et al have very little scientific credibility when it comes to facts and figures.

          234

        • #
          Popeye26

          Frank – FRANK – where are you???

          Since you’ve done so much more work than Bill I would have expected you to answer his statement about doing some research yourself using Google Earth et al.

          Frank – FRANK – where have you gone???

          I guess Frank must have just crawled down into his burrow like a rabbit until the next time he peeps his nose out and gets it shot off.

          Poor Frank!!

          Cheers,

          104

    • #
      AndyG55

      Have you any comments about the DATA and the FACTS presented by Bill?

      Come on, Fronk, present a coherent scientific argument that makes a sensible point, if you have one.

      waiting , waiting.

      204

    • #

      Frank January 3, 2017 at 10:02 aM
      (“Has Bill presented his findings to the BOM ?, the CSIRO ?, any other scientists ?.”)

      Bill Johnston January 3, 2017 at 4:15 pm

      “Of course. Hard to get their attention though. Cheers, Bill”

      Frank January 3, 2017 at 10:56 pm

      (“Like a lawyer I don’t ask questions I already know the answer to.”)

      You certainly got that one backwards!!

      (“Bill didn’t get the attention he believed he deserved so all he has left are the denier sites, any chance of scientific credibility is now gone.”)

      Are you now claiming they BOM, CSIRO, any of your Climate Clowns; have any chance of scientific credibility?

      194

  • #
    Leonard Lane

    Wow. What a shame that the data from this site are used in homogenizing other stations. The error, like the waves from a brick dropped in the water, propagate in every direction with unknown consequences. The step changes in the time series data that are not documented add spurious changes of unknown magnitudes to the temperature data series. Temperature data derived from this site have errors that are unknown but probably biased upward.
    What a shame it is to pollute your national climatic data, and thereby rob your nation of the accurate data it needs.

    253

    • #
      Dennis

      And we taxpayers effectively pay those public servants to provide us with good services and to look after our best interests.

      131

    • #
      Bill Johnston

      Leonard, its actually a billion-squillion dollar problem. Met data are used to justify up-upheaval of Australia’s economy and way of life. HISTORIC TEMPERATURE DATA ARE SIMPLY NOT USEFUL FOR DETECTING TRENDS DUE TO “THE CLIMATE”.

      Cheers,

      Bill

      273

      • #
        Another Ian

        Bill

        Would it be possible to do a “reverse homogenise” by adjusting Sydney with respect to some of the surrounding stations that haven’t been mangled?

        I wonder what that would look like

        70

      • #
        Leonard Lane

        Thank you Bill. Yes, these data and related homogenized data are being to make multi $billion dollar decisions. And it is sad that the data have lost much of their scientific integrity, and thus, their value and usefulness.
        Also, long-term climatic data are an heritage to your county and to other people around the globe where they might have been valuable.

        80

        • #
          Bill Johnston

          Leonard, temperature and rainfall data were never collected to baseline trends. They were collected to describe the climate – how it behaved and what its limits were. In the 1930s to 50s there were several schemes used to classify climate zones in ways that captured agricultural parameters – length of growing seasons; frost incidence and so on, and use those parameters to develop better crop and pasture plants; explore animal disease issues (ticks for example); and plan irrigation areas and comfort zones. Descriptive climatology was very important around the world, which is how it developed into a science.

          Sydney and other observatories were built to address a particular problem, which was called the “Longitude problem”. Ships over the horizon from land could navigate north to south (latitude); but to navigate east to west required accurate time.

          The dome at Sydney Observatory and others, housed a meridonal telescope, which was on a finely fixed meridian of longitude. Time was set by an astronomer who precisely observed the passage of stars across the imaginary line. (Its an interesting bit of gear and well worth a visit.) Time was relayed to ships in the harbour by the time-ball on the tower, which still travels up the pole every day at exactly 5 minutes to 1 o’clock; it takes 5 minutes to rise; then falls precisely at 1pm; which is when on-board clocks would be checked. (If clocks are not accurate, then longitude can’t be judged exactly.)

          The second important weather measurement was air-pressure and wind direction; which was used (with data from other sites) to construct weather maps; which in-turn were used by sailing ships to set their course.

          Sydney Observatory is free to visit and I think it is a much more relaxing and well-explained site to visit than Greenwich in sunny London England! I also think the Bureau should establish a meteorological museum in its abandoned (but very interesting) building. The whole site including the Weather Bureau office is a national treasure.

          Cheers,

          Bill

          130

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        Harry Twinotter

        Bill Johnson.

        “HISTORIC TEMPERATURE DATA ARE SIMPLY NOT USEFUL FOR DETECTING TRENDS DUE TO “THE CLIMATE”.”

        And how do you justify that extraordinary claim? Have you published your method and/or evidence in the peer-reviewed scientific literature?

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          Bill Johnston

          Harry, If you go here:

          http://www.beringclimate.noaa.gov/regimes/

          and look about, you will find the procedure I mainly rely on; various papers that describe the method, and some research papers they have been published using it. You can download it for free, and if you carefully follow the instructions, you can import it as an add-in to Excel on your very-own computer. Then you need to work out how to use it. (And by the way; the version at Bering Climate is said to have a bug in the way it handles step-changes in the variance (which I rarely use). There is another version available at another site with that bug fixed.

          I have tested the method against several other statistical tests; one is used by Roger Jones at Victoria University; but he rarely gets down to checking individual datasets, which is where the problems are (he does here and in several other reports and papers: http://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/download?doi=10.1.1.222.8445&rep=rep1&type=pdf.)

          Another test I use is a non-parametric bootstrapped CuSum technique (also an Excel add-in) from http://www.variation.com/, which I purchased and regularly use as “first-approximation” test. (Its useful to visualise changes using a CuSum; but again there are options that you would need to be familiar with before you are proficient).

          There are also various packages in R: strucchange; trend and so-forth, which are not as convenient. (For statistical analysis I use Rcmdr, which runs in the R environment; bur R itself I find klunky and finicky. (I used to use S-plus4, which is now well out of date.))

          As for peer-review, it can be helpful; on the other-hand it can be very biased; especially if orthodoxy is being challenged. It is also mis-represented. For instance, the report over at the Conversation by Blair Trewin, is NOT peer reviewed. Many legitimate questions are not answered; everyone is just asked to “trust-me-I’m-a-doctor”. While I’m not suggesting anything about Trewin, there are many people with PhDs that do pretty-awful science.

          I think I’ve covered everything; I hope this is helpful and that you off and analyse some data for yourself.

          Cheers,

          Bill

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            Harry Twinotter

            Bill Johnston.

            Thanks for the references.

            “For instance, the report over at the Conversation by Blair Trewin, is NOT peer reviewed. Many legitimate questions are not answered; everyone is just asked to “trust-me-I’m-a-doctor”. While I’m not suggesting anything about Trewin, there are many people with PhDs that do pretty-awful science.”

            When are articles written for a newspaper peer-reviewed? Peer-review is usually done prior to publication in the scientific literature, and not always even then it depends on the type and credibility of the journal. They would not usually bother with a newspaper.

            You are wasting your time criticizing Blair Trewin. Anyway Blair Trewin’s statements were correct (I checked). It would be a waste of his time responding to cranks, most scientists don’t bother. For light-hearted comments on that, refer to Richard Feynman’s high school (or freshman) lecture on the Scientific Method.

            https://youtu.be/EYPapE-3FRw?t=9m30s

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              Bob Fernley-Jones

              @ Harry Twinotter

              For your information, The Conversation is an academic’s-only website where plebs are not permitted to contribute articles but are allowed to comment providing that they do not present any “inconvenient facts” or criticisms etcetera. It is a university-partnered machine which is widely (sometimes virally) cited as the ultimate scientific truth by the media and other alarmist blogs, even though most of the opinions expressed there are not peer reviewed.

              I took an interest in one story by the controversial John Cook (Mr 97%), and here are some comment deletion statistics:

              After only six days of many unsympathetic comments, 61 of them were deleted but that was out of a total of only 102 (or 60%). Activity then rapidly faded to end with a total of 108 comments of which 64 were deletes.

              If you were to go here:
              https://wattsupwiththat.com/2016/08/05/cooking-up-denialism-in-some-universities/

              You will find proof of extreme intolerance by the moderators of anything that debunks the claims of the authors. The proof comes in the form of screenshots* of “inconvenient” comments that existed prior to their removal by moderator. (*Found advisable from past experience)

              I doubt if you will tolerate the thought of seeing that proof, but if you do, I think that even you will find the moderation at The CON to be utterly bizarre/corrupt.

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                Harry Twinotter

                Bob Fernley-Jones.

                “The Conversation is an independent source of news and views, sourced from the academic and research community and delivered direct to the public.”

                Sounds like a newspaper to me. And note the terms “academic and research community”. Not cranks with an axe to grind. Not conspiracy theorists.

                And here you go into victim mode – oh the horror the horror! Nice diversion from the fact Trewin’s comments were correct, as I stated.

                PS “controversial” John Cook my elbow. He is only controversial in climate change denier land.

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              Bill Johnston

              Harry, in practice, scientific, statistical and experimental methods rely heavily on the hypothesis that data are independent, not co-dependent or cross-dependent.

              A key paper re. homogenisation is here (http://hot-topic.co.nz/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/Peterson_HomogeneityAdjustments_IntJClim1998.pdf) You will notice Authors include just about every one who was then anyone in the game, including Neville Nicholls, Neil Plummer and Simon Torok. It is not so much a critique, but a methodological review; and there are others, but this paper is always referred-to off-the-cuff as it were.

              On page 1499, you may notice: “Building a completely homogeneous reference series using data with unknown inhomogeneities may be impossible …” That is essentially the crux of the issue. But going on, there is reference to the use of cross-correlation to select comparator series. First-difference or not, cross-correlation ensures selected stations are NOT independent.

              This is a vital issue. Many changes made across the network are time-correlated (happened at the same time). Aeradio (established in 1939) became Airservices at the same time; the Bureau took over from the RAAF after WWII at about the same time; the first Australian protocols were adopted across the network in 1925; telephone exchanges were built in post office yards from around 1947; small screens replace large ones at established sites around 2000; all thermometers were replaced when metrication happened in 1972; AWS are introduced after 1990 and became primary instruments at the same time. Within a year there will be no field staff left …. you surely get the picture.

              A second aspect of independence, which is especially problematic in time series, is serial dependence or autocorrelation – dependence on one value on its predecessor. If a permanent change occurs, all subsequent values are affected. This is usually detected as a step-change in the mean. The process (measurement of T over time) is best modelled (tested) as a series that (potentially) embeds structural breaks (the variance can also change, but for trend that is not such a big-deal; and anyway, if it is, it is detected by residual analysis.) Hence my direct use of step-change analysis.

              A third issue is the way homogenisation is done and Blair Trewin has a bulletin about this, which may not be peer-reviewed (http://cawcr.gov.au/technical-reports/CTR_049.pdf).

              Methods I use are objective and do not depend on metadata. (It is not possible to specify a changepoint in advance.) Blair’s method (and other methods used across the world) rely primarily on metadata, backed by ‘statistical tests’. (Metadata is in pretty poor shape, especially for historical (pre-1970) sites.)

              A change in 1950 at Sydney Observatory is ignored, but a change in observation time in 1964 is adjusted for. Photographs show the 1950 change actually happened; the 1964 change made no difference to the datastream. The change to a small screen in 2000 also actually happened; but there was a parallel change in Sydney Airport’s data caused by opening of new traffic lanes in the General Holmes Drive traffic tunnel (which is 40 m from the small screen). So that 2000 change at Sydney Observatory is allocated to the climate, not the screen or the traffic at the airport. To drive the point home even harder, the adjustment to Observatory Tmin in 1964, used 9 other stations; none of which are homogeneous.

              The process I use (which by now hopefully you are using); tests for changes first. These are researched post hoc. This is an unbiased approach. Station changes that don’t make any difference are not adjusted, while those that may not be documented in metadata are detected at the same target probability level and where possible, allocated to a cause.

              The final (and possibly most fatal point is) that data are all cross-adjusted. Data for Sydney Observatory can potentially influence adjustments made to Alice Springs data. This totally offends scientific method, which depends on INDEPENDENCE, not deliberate interdependence.

              These are issues I hope you take-up with Blair Trewin. They are questions for him to answer.

              Cheers,

              Dr. Bill

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      Harry Twinotter

      Leonard Lane.

      “Wow. What a shame that the data from this site are used in homogenizing other stations.”

      No, that is actually how the method works. Around 10 other reference stations are used for each comparison. If they all show more or less the same break in the series then it is likely the break was climatic. If they do not show the same break, then it is likely the break was caused by non-climatic factors.

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    David Maddison

    Excellent investigative work.

    There needs to be an inquiry into scientific competence at the BoM and other government agencies that adopt a warmist position, especially as the world likely starts to cool.

    This is EXACTLY the type of weather station the warmists love hence its importance as a homogenising station.

    I find the complete lack of scientific understanding of the UHI effect by people at the BoM simply staggering. This is basic high school science.

    Also remember how Abbott wanted an inquiry into the BoM altering data and look how that worked out for him.

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      Mark M

      “Also remember how Abbott wanted an inquiry into the BoM altering data and look how that worked out for him.”

      I remember all too well.

      “At a press conference later Wednesday, Mr Abbott dismissed suggestions that he had backflipped on the fund, given his previous refusals to provide money.

      “I’ve made various comments some time ago but, as we have seen things develop over the last few months, I think it’s now fair and reasonable for the government to make a modest, prudent and proportionate commitment to this climate mitigation fund,” he said. ”

      http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/change-of-heart-abbott-government-commits-200m-to-green-climate-fund-20141209-123x0u.html
      ~ ~ ~
      What were those “things” that “developed” to convinced Abbott that Doomsday Global Warming was real?

      He never told us.

      Abbott was not a messiah, just another spineless politician desperately looking to avoid the drain in the swamp.

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        Ted O'Brien

        Those “things” all happened in the back rooms of parliament. It’s called democracy, delivered how we get it.

        At least, if memory serves me right, that wasn’t new money for the Greens, but from funds already allocated for Green purposes.

        Meanwhile, interesting to see Obama rushing to decry an expectation that Trump will destroy weather/climate records. He sort of tags himself there. Something he is familiar with. I was sort of hoping that Trump might get them recorded in the courts.

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    Keith Woollard

    Wow, I was just on GoogleEarth looking at the proximity to the Cahill Expressway last week! Interesting also to compare the 1900 to 1950 temperature at nearby Centennial Park. Pity it isn’t a longer record

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      Ted O'Brien

      I knew all my life that Observatory Hill is in The Rocks area, but not that it was in that loop of the expressway.

      Even without that, I would have expected Observarory Hill to be a notable example of UHI, damped only at times by the proximity of the harbour, and therefore useless for climate trend assessment.

      Intuition would not lead me to expect much impact there from cars by 1920. I would be looking for growth in population and industry. Even rising living standards which enabled residents to put another lump of coal on the fire.

      And, thanks, Dr Bill, for a very useful addition to our knowledge base.

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    RoHa

    “It is astonishing that the Bureau and all the professors, failed to correct for the move in 1949″

    Yet another misplaced comma!

    Is it another consequence of Man Made Global Warming, or is it a conspiracy, a plot to drive me mad?

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    TdeF

    They are trying to convince people that while the temperature may not have changed, it has become more ‘extreme’. How? Why?

    No one has even explained that idea, justified it or even made something up. We are just told this is true.

    Even though a 50% increase in CO2 has not changed the temperature, more CO2 apparently causes more ‘extreme’ weather, more hurricanes, hotter and bigger bushfires, more damaging storms and makes powerlines fall down in moderate winds. The only thing missing is any science at all, except the idea that the failed computer models which falsely predicted a 1.5C increase in world temperature by now (0.5C per decade) also predict more ‘extremes’.

    Then you get the change worldwide in the 1980s to higher resolution instruments from old man readable themometers to automated electronics. A change in resolution leads to an alignment problem, if the accuracy goes up 0.5C regardless of what is being measured and urban heat effects and shadows and walls and freeways. As was noted and proved at the time, this and this alone in Germany led to an increase of 0.5C in all measurements and no one bothered to make any correction. So it is likely that the world did not heat up. The world was steady in temperature for 30 years before and after that event, which should tell a scientists something happened. Then the satellites came and no warming since. The simplest explanation is the likely one. There was no warming in the 1980s, just the birth of the IPCC, a political department of the UN whose summaries are edited and approved by activist politicians who demand wealth distribution from successful Western democracies to military dictatorships. Now that’s extreme.

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      RobK

      Today many workplaces, whether fixed or mobile, are airconditioned. This not only dumps more ambient heat in the environment but psychologically makes the warm weather feel warmer as individuals acclimatize more poorly.

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        Dennis

        Yes, a tradesman told me last year that too many people travel and work in air conditioned comfort, unlike himself and people like him who work outside, and the air conditioned people are far too gullible.

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        There are actually two side aspects to what you note. Physiologically, as more and more people live and work in temperature controlled environments, the less tolerant they become to even relatively minor changes in temperature. Psychologically, the more they hear from the warm mongers, the more they become convinced that catastrophic climate change is real and that affects the physiological well being. It becomes a vicious circle.

        Classic examples were the recent warnings about severe heat in Sydney and Melbourne, when all we had were typical Summer temperatures. And now down our neck of the woods, we’ve had cold weather. It’s always climate change when it’s hot and merely weather when it’s cold. All the warm mongers have to do is keep repeating that and far too many will believe.

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          David Maddison

          I.was once a manager at a school (long story) and teachers and students would go nuts if there was any air conditioning malfunction in a class room. Often investigation of a complaint that a room wasn’t cool enough would lead to the discovery that windows or doors were open. Further, on heat wave days, eg 40c there were also complaints of rooms not cooling to 20c. Australian air conditioning standards only require that a system be able to cool a room to around (I think) 12c less than outside temperature. The systems would do better than that but to maintain 20c inside with 40c outside, particularly as teachers liked to keep windows and doors open would require an infeasibly large and uneconomic system. When I went to school class rooms were not air conditioned yet these days teaching is considered impossible without it.

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      Bill Johnston

      Good question bemused (and TdeF).

      It is possible to detect “more” extremes; and therefore generate more reports about “extremes”, without changing the average. In other words, using a little bit of trickery, trend can stay the same, but numbers of reported extremes, and the number of reports about extremes can be fiddled-up. Not that I’m suggesting anything, of course.

      Cheers,

      Bill

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        Frank

        Of course you’re “suggesting things” Bill, but like your article you know you have’nt the facts that would stand up outside this sheltered workshop.

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          Bill Johnston

          Can’t you read photographs Frank?

          Speaking of sheltered workshops, just how come magicians at Melbourne Uni; NSW, ANU … have such trouble researching the data they use? How come none of those ivory-towers, with all their institutes don’t run meteorological enclosures or do research using real data.

          Cheers,

          Bill

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            Another Ian

            Bill

            Check the history of the one at Colorado State University to see what that might look like

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            Frank

            Just submit for peer review like any good scientist does.
            It’s not me you need to convince, it’s your colleagues.

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              Rereke Whakaaro

              Good point Frank, and timely advice well made. I presume that you will not feel the need to comment further on this site, since we have all taken your advice on-board.

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              Bill Johnston

              It is submitted Frank. Although the numbers are muddled-up, most people understand that I’ve prepared an annotated picture show of the site, which backs up the submitted paper.

              Which particular picture don’t you understand Frank? Tell me and I promise I’ll walk you through it.

              Cheers,

              Bill

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              Rereke Whakaaro

              But hang on a minute Frank, peer review doesn’t mean much, when it comes to non-empirical science that only records observations, and plots them on a graph, relative to time. It is not as though I was conducting series of physical experiments that my peers may want to replicate – which is the original meaning of peer review. All peer review does, if you are recording observations in the natural world, is give the publisher a free editorial review of the spelling and grammar.

              And that is really interesting. Because it indicates that Frank, does not actually understand the goals of science, and what the scientific method was designed to produce. To him, “submit for peer review”, is just some magic mantra used to frighten young students. Do you also have a collection of bones, tied together, that you can rattle to ward off the evil spirits?

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                Frank

                I think you meant to say empirical science, that is observable and measureable ?.
                Peer review wouldn’t just fix his spelling and unmuddle the picture numbers , it would look at his claims,methodology and conclusions, otherwise any amateur will try to claim equality/superiority with the scientists as evidenced by this site.
                You petulantly attack peer review because it rejects your efforts.
                Bill has to submit his work for review by the scientific community otherwise it means nothing, showing it to his friends in the schoolyard is sweet but unprofessional.

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                Rereke Whakaaro

                No Frank, you only got it half right. Empirical Science is based on repeatable observation and experiment. If the observation cannot be made by somebody else, at a different time, and if an experiment cannot be replicated by somebody else then it is still science, but unconirmed. Peer review may attempt to observe the same phenomena, and if successful, add weight to the original observation, but if the observation is not replicable, then is does not falsify the original observation, it just does not add weight. Similarly, if an experiment cannot be repeated by somebody else, this does not invalidate the original experiment, it just fails to add weight to the results of the original experiment.

                You use peer review as if it were a pass fail criteria. That is a newbie mistake, that indicates that you lack a wide experience in science.

                If applied incorrectly, peer review can be used to maintain the status quo in a field. Anybody who comes up with evidence, that runs counter to the established orthodoxy, can be negated and pushed aside in the peer review process. I am not suggesting that is what you are doing, but some people might interpret your response to new scientific observations, in that light.

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                Harry Twinotter

                Rereke Whakaaro.

                “Peer review may attempt to observe the same phenomena, and if successful, add weight to the original observation, but if the observation is not replicable, then is does not falsify the original observation, it just does not add weight. ”

                Not correct. Peer review is (as the name suggests) a review by peers prior to publication. The review does not attempt to redo the study or any experiments.

                “That is a newbie mistake, that indicates that you lack a wide experience in science.”

                Oh boy. You are actually showing your own lack of experience.

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                AndyG55

                “The review does not attempt to redo the study or any experiments”

                How many feet can you fit in your mouth at the same time.. !!

                What you are saying is that the reviewer does not check any of the actual work, so its purely a “whim” if it passes review as in, “that looks like it supports the meme”.. Maybe check some spelling or grammar.

                You really have stuffed up this time Twotter.

                You have shown that peer-review is NOTHING except a “publication” issue.

                Guess what, clown.. everybody here already knew that. WELL DONE. :-)

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              AndyG55

              Maybe Fronk should make a collection of his zero-science, empty, meaningless, fantasy, self-aggrandizing rants, and put them to “climate change™” peer review.

              Surely Cookie and Lewy would peer-review it for him and get it published.

              Afterall, it would most certainly be at least as good as any of theirs.

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              Bill Johnston

              Frank, although you are a serious waste of time, I’ll humor you.

              Photographs show the new Weather Bureau Office; the Cahill Expressway being built; the new school; and the site moving across the yard away from the breezeway in 1949. The Tmin increase in 1949 is a step-change not a trend and it had nothing to do with the climate. Tmax stepped up when the Cahill Expressway opened, which also had nothing to do with the climate.

              If you are standing out in the middle of a paddock in the sun; and decide to move under the shade of a tree (or vice versa); while your experience of being cooler (warmer) changed, the climate stayed the same. Do you understand now, Frank? No? Moving under the shade of a tree does not change the climate, does it Frank?

              In 1972/3 they built a wall, which resulted in heat entrapment in the cottage yard. The yard’s heat signature changed Frank, not the climate.

              Placing sensitive sensors in a small Stevenson screen in 2000 changed the sampling regime – the air within which is being monitored. This also did not cause the climate to change. What changed is the way the climate is measured. Do you get that Frank?

              Cheers,

              Bill

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                Annie

                The fact is, Bill, he doesn’t want to understand. I wouldn’t waste any more time on his petulant comments.

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                Harry Twinotter

                Bill Johnson.

                Pointing at photos does not prove much – you need calculations and data to verify your claim.

                Otherwise you are just proposing a hypothesis, and not verifying it or attempting to falsify it as per the scientific method.

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                AndyG55

                Poor Twotter, doesn’t have a rational, thinking grey cell in his brain-washed cranium.

                We are still all waiting, waiting, waiting for you to produce something that backs up even the slightest bit of this non-science you keep yabbering about.

                You are still batting ZERO from several years of non-posts.

                No science, No data.. No anything !!

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                Bob Fernley-Jones

                @ Harry Twinotter,

                “Pointing at photos does not prove much – you need calculations and data to verify your claim.”

                Did you not notice that in addition to the very important photos of site changes, Bill’s figure 9) is a graphic showing the computed step changes for both Tmax and Tmin?

                Are you disputing his scientific quantifications and if so, please elaborate if you are challenging his supplementary information (that you cannot have seen).

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                Harry Twinotter

                Bob Fernley-Jones.

                “Are you disputing his scientific quantifications and if so, please elaborate if you are challenging his supplementary information (that you cannot have seen).”

                I am not disputing his “qualifications” as I have no indication in the article that he has any qualifications to dispute – if he would give me a publication list I could check.

                There is no indication of how he calculated those numbers, but I am sure he can give me the name of the method he used so I can check it. I cannot tell if genuine breakpoint analysis was done, or a guestimate based on chart eyeballing.

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                AndyG55

                So, NOTHING to dispute the argument, as usual.

                Is that what you are saying, Twotter !!

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                Bob Fernley-Jones

                @ Harry Twinotter,

                “I am not disputing his “qualifications” as I have no indication in the article that he has any qualifications to dispute – if he would give me a publication list I could check.”

                Ah…… the old ‘change the subject trick’ eh? I asked if you were disputing his scientific quantifications/computations (not qualifications). And, did you not notice note [1]? And, what has his publication list got to do with the price of cheese anyway, given that he is not within the academic culture?

                “There is no indication of how he calculated those numbers, but I am sure he can give me the name of the method he used so I can check it. I cannot tell if genuine breakpoint analysis was done, or a guestimate based on chart eyeballing.”

                You silly boy. Your accusation against Bill was:

                “Pointing at photos does not prove much – you need calculations and data to verify your claim.”

                In fact he provided the actual step change correlating data in figure 9 of which you made no consideration.
                You are clearly an enthusiast of journal peer review of scientific papers which in cases of them being based on very large data bases, are in reality, a summary analysis of what is referred to as supplementary information (not part of the paper). I would think that Bill’s supplementary spreadsheets alone would be massive in this study, and clearly beyond the scope or sensibility for publication on this blog. Furthermore, I think it is unlikely that any “editorially carefully selected” peer reviewers would even glance at the supplementary information in their review for journal publications.
                So, next time you carefully analyse a journal study, you will accuse the authors of eyeballing it or fudging the unpresented data?

                I don’t know Bill’s choice(s) in available statistical methodologies but you are ridiculously assumptive and arrogant to infer he eyeballed it. Do you think he has not been thorough in his work, and if so why, given the very substantive evidence he presented above?
                Pray how could you possibly validate the data and their outcomes from a description of his statistical methodology?

                BTW Dr/Prof anonymous, do you have any involvement with the BoM or CSIRO?

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                Harry Twinotter

                Bob Fernley-Jones.

                You brought up the subject of qualifications, not me.

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                Bob Fernley-Jones

                @ Harry Twinotter

                You are wrong yet again, yawn. I did not bring up the subject of qualifications.

                I think your confusion this time was that you misunderstood my use of the word ‘quantifications’ as meaning ‘qualifications’.

                ‘Quantifications’ was used in context with the previous line repeated below with added bold:

                “…Bill’s figure 9) is a graphic showing the computed step changes for both Tmax and Tmin?”

                I see that typically you have not offered any wisdoms on the other matters where you have made yourself look rather foolish and disingenuous again.

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                As usual, when Harry makes a mistake he never admits it. He simply disappears instead.

                A dishonest commenter.

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                Harry says

                Pointing at photos does not prove much – you need calculations and data to verify your claim.

                and

                I cannot tell if genuine breakpoint analysis was done, or a guestimate based on chart eyeballing.

                The data is published by the BoM and is available for anyone and everyone. I disagree that Harry has made a mistake. He can check it and he knows he can check it. As if the pictures are not evidence enough, claims that he cannot check are obviously not true. He does seem intelligent enough to know they are not true. He could plead insanity.

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            AndyG55

            BOM has money (taxpayer’s) and resources.

            Why hasn’t a system similar to USCRN been created, instead of relying on sites with known major issues. !!

            Even when they move a site, change equipment etc, there ought to be 2,3 years+ of side by side comparison measurements.

            That would be science.

            The whole “statistical” homogenisation is a lark too.

            Yes, use statistics to identify possible change-points in the historic record, but there should never be any “adjustments” made unless they can verify a reason for that change-point. Adjustments purely based on statistics, are no sort of science.

            That would of course, require the sort of RESEARCH work Bill is doing, and BOM, CSIRO are either incapable of, or just don’t want to do because they know it would destroy the warming trend that has been introduced to so many sites by these unjustified adjustments.

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              Harry Twinotter

              Andy-pandy.

              Are you willfully ignorant about the methods used by NASA, NOAA, Berkeley Earth to adjust for non-climatic influences? They do process data from Australia. And they use statistical methods.

              The BOM use their own method for Australia, as they should. It is Australia’s responsibility to maintain our reference network.

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                AndyG55

                Twooter, I am well aware of the methodologies and their ability to be to pushed in the required direction.

                I seems you are not. And you obviously are in AWE of the words “statistical methods” .. wow !!!!

                The depths of your ignorance is further brought to light.

                Do you even know where the homogenisation routines originated ?

                Do some research, little half-mind, you will find where they came from, and how conveniently timed the invention of the methodology was. ;-)

                And yes BOM use statistical methods to make changes, WITHOUT CHECKING their reality.. VERY bad science.

                They have been caught out in many places making changes that are just not justified.

                And of course, the vast majority of these unverified “statistical changes” always seem to create a warming trend where none existed in the real data. Funny about that, hey ;-)

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          Glen Michel

          Frank,do you hang out over at “The Conversation”. Your vacuous inanity is very similar to the general comments there. You come here with your gain say and expect to be respected. Unfortunately you continue with your snarky attitude,which tells the rest of us that you are totally bereft of reason.

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            bobl

            You mean “The Monologue”, no conversation going on there.

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            Bill Johnston

            Speaking of the Conversation, they have been running a post by Marc Hudson from Consumption Institute, University of Manchester, who makes some really airy commentary about a nanna state approach to deciding what people can (should be allowed to) consume. I conversationally referenced some of the my commentary to this essay.

            One way The Con keeps “debate” on track is to simply moderate-out any contrary discussion. The same tired people are there with their same tired rhetoric, alarm-speak and pure nonsense. Stoked by the far-far-left I really think climate alarmism has become a psychotic problem. There is certainly not much balance.

            Cheers,

            Bill

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              Gary in Erko

              Just spent a few idle moments reading your latest on The Non-Conversation, when suddenly – poof!! – they were all gone, all your comments moderated into a black hole.

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                Bill Johnston

                I think they had a strategy meeting and came up with the hands-over-eyes and thumbs-up-noise and try to work in that position, strategy.

                Cheers,

                Bill

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                Harry Twinotter

                Gary in Erko.

                The Conversation dislike posts that contain factually-incorrect material.

                Any article about climate attracts some pretty sub-standard climate change denial, The Conversation usually removes it.

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                AndyG55

                CONversation don’t accept any FACTS that show that the Anti-CO2 global-whatever meme is a SCAM !!

                The conversation is FULL of sub-standard climate science…

                … because that is all their BIAS and AGENDA allows them to display.

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                Gary in Erko

                On The Confrontation questions are considered as suspect. Questions indicate you might possibly depart a skerrick from blindly swallowing the whole dogma. ‘Off topic’ is the diplomatic method for excommunication by the resident tyrants.

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              AndyG55

              “dislike posts that contain factually-incorrect material.”

              Then WHY is that the only type of post that is allow through their CENSOR when it comes to climate nonsense. ?

              Your posts contain ZERO information.

              Baseless unsubstantiated rhetoric and sliming is all you have.

              Uniformly EMPTY.

              You would fit nicely at the CONversation.

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          AndyG55

          No counter or arguments to Bill’s FACTS. No surprise there, hey Fronk..

          Why is it that you have NEVER produced anything in the way of science or data, Fronk

          You only ever produce baseless rhetoric and grubby comments.

          Seems to be all you are capable of.

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            Bill Johnston

            I don’t need defending, so I’m happy not to respond, or, respond with a blank-look.

            Might be time to wrap-up.

            Cheers,

            Bill

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              AndyG55

              I know you can look after yourself, Bill.

              But Twotter has been around for ages, and universally refuses to ever bring any actual science to his comments.

              He needs to be called on this empty mess that he rants, every single time.

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    TdeF

    Besides, who seriously can put a figure on a ‘world’ temperature in 1900? No one had been to the North Pole or South Pole and it took another 53 years for two men to reach the top of Mt. Everest.

    In 1900 the population of Australia, the biggest area South of the equator was only 3.8million. Whoever comes up with a temperature for this bottom 1/3 of the planet (which is mainly water) would have to be guessing, which I guess is good enough for an accuracy of 0.1C? However I have argued on these pages with someone who really believes that if you take enough measurements to +/-1C you can improve the accuracy? Now that’s silly science.

    I also wonder about Antarctica and its effect on the Ozone hole, world temperatures and the phenomenon that it is under 4Km of frozen water, a huge frozen ocean in the air which is the size of South America, twice that of Australia. A giant ice box. What sort of science can talk about world temperatures without any data from one of the world’s continents? It is 25C colder than the North Pole.

    What sort of modelling is there for a continent made of frozen water at twice the height of Australia’s highest peak? The very idea of a world temperature is odd, its use and meaning debatable in a chaotic climate system which has variations over decades, hundreds of years and for a planet which nutates at a different rate to the orbit. We should be preparing for the next ice age. As has happened before, it can come suddenly and the fossil fuel will be gone. Cold news is not hot news though and rarely makes the press.

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      David-of-Cooyal-in-Oz

      Sorry TdeF, you’ve lost me. “Nutates”? Not a term I know.
      Cheers,
      Dave B

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        Yonniestone

        Nutation (from Latin nūtātiō, “nodding, swaying”) is a rocking, swaying, or nodding motion in the axis of rotation of a largely axially symmetric object, such as a gyroscope, planet, or bullet in flight, or as an intended behavior of a mechanism. In an appropriate reference frame it can be defined as a change in the second Euler angle. If it is not caused by forces external to the body, it is called free nutation or Euler nutation.[1] A pure nutation is a movement of a rotational axis such that the first Euler angle is constant.[citation needed] In spacecraft dynamics, precession (a change in the first Euler angle) is sometimes referred to as nutation.[2]

        Its either this or the method for neutering a potato.

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        Nutation (from Latin nūtātiō, “n). The actual angular motion due to gyroscopic coupling of momentum of the orthogonal angular force inducing ‘precession’. This is in small epicycles for mass with a large axial moment of inertia compared to orthogonal moment of inertia. (a conventional constructed gyroscope) Semi-symmetric spheres like planets and inertial guidance systems have much problem with nutation.
        The gravitational force coupling of the outer four gas giants upon the internal energy of the Sun; and the Earth plus Moon, is still unknown by earthlings! Accademics fondly profess their right to remain ignorant
        All the best! -will-

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      Robdel

      Nutates is fine. Tops can do that.

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        TdeF

        Precisely. A top nutates, the spinning axis when not vertical rotates around the vertical. Similarly the earth’s axis at 22.5 degrees rotates around the vertical. Combine this with an elliptical orbit and you can get dramatic changes. After all, the tilt of the axis explains all the seasons or every latitude would have a 12 hour day all year.

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          TdeF

          Precession is the rotation, nutation is the regular change in tilt of the spinning axis. The largest component of the nutation is connected with the moon at 18 years as they rotate around each other. The period of precession is about 25.000 years and given the orbit is elliptical to 3%, the sun intensity varies by 7% during the year. IF this eventually coincides with summer/winter, the summers and winters are hotter and if it coincides with winter, the reverse. Man is not in charge of the climate. It is the sun.

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            TdeF

            There is more in Milankovitch cycles. Ineterstingly the variations in the eccentricity of earth’s orbit is connected with the giant planets Jupiter and Saturn. However it is far easier to talk about CO2 being the only reason the climates vary. A single theory to explain everything.

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      Graeme No.3

      Ah, but you are forgetting “the tyranny of large numbers” beloved of semi-numerate trolls. It is a term taken from statistics in that
      If you take numerous measurements of a non-varying property, say a length, then you can average the readings to get an accurate result (within the accuracy of measurement) of that property.
      If you take numerous measurements of a variable property, then you can average those readings and get a believable result for that variable, within about 2 standard deviations based on the accuracy of those readings.
      If you take 1 reading of a variable, say local maximum temperature, in one place at one time with accuracy that varies from 0.1 to 0.5℃ and average a few hundred of such variables, and then claim that you can average the result to one tenth (or less) of the accuracy of each individual measurement then you are a ‘climate scientist”.

      In other words the “global temperature” is rubbish and “climate science” based on that is a load of crap perpetuated by third rate fools.

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        Indeed,
        The theory of large numbers dictate that the mean and average are the same and ‘variance’ is Gaussian! The variance is always the square root of the number of numbers! Such is but gross scientific negligence, from the current ability to scientifically measure accurately.
        To be fair the same measurements also indicate that a ‘quantum’ exists as one Planck (h) of action (Joule seconds) and the energy (power) transferred, or not, with each complete cycle of electromagnetic flux, quite independent of frequency or direction. That flux still remains wholly limited by opposing radiance whether thermal or electrically powered!
        All the best! -will-

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      David-of-Cooyal-in-Oz

      Thanks TdeF,
      Including your use of “nutates”. And thanks to the respondents above who have updated me on its meaning.
      Another day of learning for me.
      Cheers,
      Dave B

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        Annie

        Yes, a new word for me for something observed many times in my life watching a spinning top. Thanks TdeF!

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      Harry Twinotter

      Tdef,

      “Besides, who seriously can put a figure on a ‘world’ temperature in 1900?”

      The data is a bit dodgy, but that is not a reason for them not to use it. An estimate is an estimate.

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        AndyG55

        The data is a bit dodgy”

        Ahh… should suit you right down to the bottom of your sewer , then.

        Dodgy, or in most cases ZERO, data is all that you have to put forward.

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    Dennis

    It was quite well publicised that following complaints to the minister responsible for BoM that media releases on climate change matters including weather conditions were not in line with BoM historic records data BoM management were asked to explain. Their response was an admission that errors and omissions had been contained in media releases and steps would be taken to rectify the situation.

    The minister reported to cabinet and PM Abbott recommended an independent audit (due diligence) be conducted at the BoM. Apparently this was voted against by a majority of cabinet ministers. Some months later a small majority of them voted to change leader and prime minister. I wonder who the ministers are that voted against an independent audit of the BoM?

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      aussiepete

      The really disappointing thing about this is that surely Tony Abbott could have made a captains call on this, or was his job already under threat from the wets?

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    MareeS

    I hardly ever look at the thermometer, mostly the barometer, because it says what the weather is going to do on our coast a few days before it happens.

    Not sure what goes on inside the BOM, but out here in the real world of weather land and the ocean, thie glass is the best predictor.

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    Oliver K. Manuel

    Thanks, Dr. Bill Johnston, for your report on the current status of fake science news, seventy-one years after nations and national academies of sciences were united on 24 Oct 1945 to save the world from nuclear annihilation by hiding the source of energy in atomic bombs.

    The first scientist sent to examine the ruins of Hiroshima in August 1945, PAUL KAZUO KURODA, risked the rest of his life to prevent government science from being misused to deceive and enslave the public:

    https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/10640850/TRIBUTE_TO_KURODA.pdf

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    Dennis

    Another point regarding Observatory Hill Sydney, the soil depth is quite shallow with sandstone beneath, like most of the Sydney CBD which is also built on a very deep sandstone layer.

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      Been there a few times over many years and have noted changes. I am sure in the 1950′s there was a dirt track up to the top with a lot of grass. I recall going there to see the “Bald Archies” one year in a hall beside the observatory building. Some cartoons maybe one by BLeak. Bitumen everywhere and no grass as well as I recall. Noisy from all the traffic. Seemed a good place to measure UHI. I have somewhere a traverse of Melbourne showing upto 6C UHI. I suggest such a traverse would no longer be possible. But it would be interesting if anyone did one from around Epping to Observatory hill before Macquarie Uni was built. There was lots of bushland along the Lane Cove River and market gardens where the Uni and the commercial buildings are now situated.

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    John F. Hultquist

    This is a highly informative report. You deserve an award.

    There is one comment that I would quibble with:
    It is astonishing that the Bureau and all the professors, failed to correct for …

    Until relatively recently the emphasis was on reporting the weather. Newspaper, radio, and TV reports helped people with their daily lives or instigate conversations. Anyone could, and did, compare the Bureau’s numbers to their home location — and get on with life. The day-of and the next day were of interest; Tuesday of the week before or May 11 of two years ago were never of much interest.
    Only when global warming became a scary public issue did folks become “astonished” that all the weather readings were not accounted for in a way hindsight indicates they ought to have been.
    Just my opinion, but I was wrong once before in my life.

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      Rereke Whakaaro

      And I don’t think you are wrong this time either, John.

      The name “Climate Change” is itself part of the scam. The scam is self-referential. The scammers are proving climate change, so they look for, find, and interpret, comparative measures that obviously justify the case for climate change.

      The more evidence they find to support the current hypothesis, the more inclined they become to reject the obviously wrong evidence that does not support the current hypothesis.

      Climate Change is not alone in this. It also happens in pharmaceuticals. But the pharmaceutical industry, unlike Climate Change, has statutory bodies that provide oversight. Perhaps Climate Change needs an independent oversight body as well? Wouldn’t that be good?

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    Graham

    Dr Johnston you may be interested to have a look at the data from the Nobbys lighthouse in Newcastle, it is nearly as long as Observatory Hill.
    About 15 years ago I decided to have a look at how my own area, Newcastle, was showing ‘global warming’ and decide to download the data from Nobbys but was a little surprised to see very little indication of any long term trend. I then downloaded Observatory hill data and straight away noticed obvious changes associated with the building of the bridge and the Cahill expressway.
    I would have thought Newcastle with it’s long record, sited in splendid isolation, essentially surrounded by water, would be a very good data point, but I have never seen it used and I believe it is no longer an official weather station, although it is still recorded.
    This was the point that I started to question how useful the ‘average global temperature’ was and exactly how good the data being used was. I have still not seen anything to convince me that any of the climate data is of sufficient quality to reach the very precise conclusions that they do.

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      Bill Johnston

      Hi Graham,

      I spent weeks trying to unravel Nobbys lighthouse data. It was never a really good site, mainly because a lot of stuff happened that interfered with measurements. There was a radar there during the war; the cottages were demolished and re-built, a tower was built; then in 1989 the screen moved outside the ramparts (where it picked-up reflected heat), then it was automated, then between 1999 and 2001 a new (small) screen was installed within a few metres of a 30 m cliff above the beach.

      Although it usefully describes day to day weather, poor site control means its data are not useful for tracking trends.

      The new screen above the beach produces lots of random numbers! I suspect it is not serviced regularly; it is over exposed to the weather; salt brine and moisture driven-in by the wind builds up on instruments, which causes data to be unstable.

      Cheers,

      Bill

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        AndyG55

        And sand. I have been up there on a windy day with a strong NE’er.

        Sand gets blown up the cliff, with sea salt etc

        On another day, with a westerly blowing you get all the heat from the industrial and urban area and the moisture off the Hunter river.

        Then of course you get the coastal ocean currents, which can swing in and out of the area from warm to cold and back again.

        So, as you say.. All over the place.

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          peter

          Andy,
          Nobbys still better than inland stations. It’s air temperature not ocean temp. it measures – far more stable and representative than city air. It’s >1km from the city and 5km from industry. Not bad, compare that with the Sydney Observatory? Look at ABC TV nightly weather predictions (BOM). The Tmax prediction for Newcastle has often been 3 degrees cooler than the reported/measured Tmax the next day! I suspect they took prediction from Nobbys and reported actual temp from Williamtown, University or another inland station. 3 bloody degrees of error in one day? How’s that compare to the +/- 0.1 error, people argue about? I think they have woken up and use the same station for prediction and reporting these days. Only took them 3 years. Some years ago I looked at Nobbys records for one month (March I think) going back 150 years – absolutely no trend change over that time at all (accuracy no better than +/- 0.1oC, I believe. A few years ago during the last Federal ALP government, it was proposed to build a restaurant on Nobbys (right next to the weather station)which would have been marvelous for any temp. accuracy. Minister Peter Garrett killed the idea.

          Perhaps they should have built the restaurant. It would have increased temperatures and the BOM could have then used Nobbys to homogenise the rest of the country. Fronk and Twotter would have loved it.

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        Graham

        Thanks for your comments I have never looked at the metadata and didn’t realise it was so messy.
        My only thoughts are that it is quite a small exposed site on the top of a high point so I would have thought all these issues would have created noise but not necessarily imposed a particular trend. This does just reinforce to me that very little of the climate data is really fit for purpose, certainly not without huge error margins.

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    TdeF

    Apart from my comments about the comparison with 1900, all of these measurements are close to the ground. Any turbulence and they are disturbed. The atmosphere is relatively thin and drops rapidly with height. You might note when flying at 10,000 metres, 10km in a commercial jet, the air outside is often -60C even if it is +40C on the ground. That’s 1 degree per 100 metres if linear but my point is that predicting just the surface temperature with such severe gradients is itself dependent on unlikely stable conditions. A little breeze and it was much cooler for many reasons. That’s why in the days before airconditioning, rich people would flee to higher altitude or the beach, where it is 10C cooler. in England, Scotland and Balmoral. In the US, the Rockies or Long Island or Cape Cod or the Catskills. Even 1,000 metres was enough.

    So predicting weather at ground level to high accuracy is itself fraught with difficulty in a turbulent or hilly terrain, even from one side of the street to the other. Predicting an average surface temperature for a planet to 0.1C is just silly. In fact what is amazing is that with the top down view from satellites we are finally getting accuracy from surface temperatures and nothing much changes. It does not mean the measure is meaningful but it does mean it is amazingly constant, averaged over night and day for a year across all latitudes. No obvious effects from CO2 and remember, we were supposed to see 0.5C every ten years, +1.0C by now. At least that is what the infallible 1980′s computer models said. The predictions were barely credible then and with a quarter century of hindsight, completely wrong.

    Still you would think journalists are scouring the news for any hot spot they can find. At Christmas it was the North Pole. This search for global warming is getting silly.

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      Graeme No.3

      Also the HILL Stations in India and even the migration to the Blue Mountains from Sydney by the rich for decades. And the migration from Melbourne and Adelaide south to beaches affected by the Southern Ocean. All persisted until air conditioning became wide spread.

      But you cannot really blame the newspapers – a headline like “no change in balmy weather” isn’t going to sell a single newspaper. The “climatologists” rely on bad news which the press lap up. Back in the 1970′s a comment by Hubert Lamb about the likelyhood of a return to the Ice Age in coming years ran into the warmest summer in the UK for a hundred years (1976). Cue for The Sun to put pictures of scantily clab models in the Trafalgar fountain with headline “Professor predicts new ice age”. (Not that The Sun needed any reason to include scantily (or less) clad models in any stories). The same idea still prevails in “Climate Science” with about as much substance as those bikinis.

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      Bill Johnston

      TdeF, Factors affecting measurements close to the ground are actually fairly stable. In a city like Sydney, most of the stuff to do with UHI blows away on the wind, well above the ground, and in fact if you are in a plane you feel it; at night the city lights all twinkle due to hot air rising. Air close to the ground (1.2m close), reflects things happening in the immediate vicinity; and changes in the way T is measured (probe vs. thermometer; large vs. small screen etc.).

      Local heat balance is a very simple concept based on the 1st law of thermodynamics. Essentially, net heat in = local heat exchanges (advection to the atmosphere (which is measured as Tmax in a screen) and 2.45*rainfall (answer is in MJ/m^2/yr). Everything else cancels out.

      Consequently, a relationship is expected between Tmax (advection) and rainfall (evapotranspiration).

      For a fixed site, annual Tmax depends explicitly on annual rainfall.

      The fit of that relationship (factored on step-changes), is a basic measure of how well the data align with the first law. Lots of additional information can be devised from that simple statistical model. For instance, the significance of step-changes in data can be compared with homogenisation changepoints…. but I digress!

      Cheers,

      Bill

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        “Consequently, a relationship is expected between Tmax (advection) and rainfall (evapotranspiration). For a fixed site, annual Tmax depends explicitly on annual rainfall.”

        Indeed! Earth’s local airborne water in all six phases determines temperature at every location. There can be no Global or local ‘average temperature’ that has any scientific meaning! All of the CAGW nonsense is but a SCAM for financial or political gain!
        No one has any understanding of why\where airborne water is what it must be! Welcome to us that weep.

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    pat

    how to count all the FakeNews in the following?
    “leading US republican”?
    “97% of scientists”?
    “investors have turned away from coal”?
    ever-more-coal-loving China the leader of the CAGW world???

    2 Jan: BBC: Roger Harrabin: Donald Trump makes top Republican fear environmental future
    A leading US Republican says she fears for the future of her seven grandchildren with Donald Trump in the White House.
    Christine Todd Whitman, head of the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) under George W Bush, accused Mr Trump of ignoring compelling science.
    And she warned that his threat to scrap climate protection policies puts the world’s future at risk…
    Ms Todd Whitman was interviewed on Trump’s likely policies for a documentary – Climate Change: the Trump Card – which airs on BBC Radio 4 at 20:00 on Tuesday.
    She said: “I find it very worrisome that there seems to be a disdain for the science on protecting the environment.
    “I worry terribly for the future of my family and families round the world because Mother Nature has never observed geopolitical boundaries and what one country does really does affect another country.
    “To walk away from something where you have 97% of scientists saying this is occurring and people have an impact on it … it’s gotten to the point where we’ve got to try to slow it down if we’re going to survive it.”…

    At home, it is thought unlikely that Mr Trump will be able to make good his promise to resurrect the US coal industry because investors have turned away from coal towards gas and ever-cheaper renewables…
    ***China, for instance, may attempt to seize the moral high ground by stepping up its efforts to protect the climate – effectively taking over as world leader in the bid to protect the planet. That might not suit the future president.
    http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-38484730

    Wikipedia: Christine Todd Whitman
    Subsequent career
    Whitman runs the Whitman Strategy Group, an energy lobby organization which claims to be “a governmental relations consulting firm specializing in environmental and energy issues.”…
    In 2016, Whitman was named the Co-Chair of the Joint Ocean Commission Initiative…
    On February 26, 2016 she endorsed John Kasich…
    She said that Donald Trump was using fascist tactics in his campaign and after Chris Christie’s endorsement of Trump said that, in the case of a Trump nomination by the GOP, she would vote for Hillary Clinton…
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christine_Todd_Whitman

    From Whitman Strategy Group website: Founded by Christine Todd Whitman, former United States Environmental Protection Agency Administrator and New Jersey Governor, and a team of her top advisors, The Whitman Strategy Group offers environmental expertise gained at the highest levels of federal and state government and through several years working with corporate clients. Together, WSG partners bring the unique know-how companies need to navigate through the maze of ever-changing laws and regulations, governmental red tape and business bureaucracies in order to meet and exceed environmental goals while improving their bottom-line.

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      Graeme No.3

      The sky is falling says Chicken Whitman. (I take it she is one of those Whitmans who don’t have to work for living thanks to Grandpappy).

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    pat

    BBC comments has gone into moderation; however, this is a response to Harrabin:

    1 Jan: Washington Times: Stephen Moore: 2016’s biggest loser: Big Green
    Voters turned thumbs down on the climate change lobby and rightly so
    (Stephen Moore is a senior fellow at the Heritage Foundation and a Fox news contributor)
    The day after the presidential elections the executive director of the Sierra Club glumly called the Donald Trump victory “deeply disturbing for the nation and the planet.” Well, yes, if you’re a climate change alarmist who hates fossil fuels, you’re in for a bad four and maybe eight years.
    Greenpeace executive director Annie Leonard was even more apocalyptic saying: “I never thought I’d have to write this. The election of Donald Trump as president has been devastating There’s no question, Donald Trump’s climate denial is staggering. He wants to shut down the EPA, cancel the Paris Climate Agreement, stop funding clean energy research and drill baby drill.” Ah, but if this is so crazy, why did he win?…

    The short answer is that Americans went to the polls and rejected environmental extremism among other things. The biggest loser on election night was the Big Green movement in America dedicated to the anti-prosperity proposition that to save the planet from extinction we have deindustrialize the U.S. and throw millions and millions of our fellow citizens out of their jobs. Voters turned thumbs down on the climate change lobby and rightly so…READ ON – CLICK TO READ MORE
    http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2017/jan/1/big-green-biggest-loser-of-2016/

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    pat

    2 Jan: NoTricksZone: Crumbling ‘Consensus’: 500 Scientific Papers Published In 2016 Support A Skeptical Position On Climate Alarm
    By Kenneth Richard
    http://notrickszone.com/#sthash.WrXGEFpN.oo9MoZs2.dpbs

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    pat

    re the Forbes contributor below: Michael Lynch: I spent nearly 30 years at MIT as a student and then researcher at the Energy Laboratory and Center for International Studies. I then spent several years at what is now IHS Global Insight and was chief energy economist. Currently, I am president of Strategic Energy and Economic Research, Inc., and I lecture MBA students at Vienna University. I’ve been president of the US Association for Energy Economics, I serve on the editorial boards of three publications, and I’ve had my writing translated into six languages. My book, “The Peak Oil Scare and the Coming Oil Flood” was just published by Praeger.

    Whitman is obviously doing the rounds – see the BBC Whitman article when it comes out of moderation:

    2 pages: 2 Jan: Forbes: Michael Lynch: Media And The Game Of Climate Change Denialism
    Climate change is a perfect example of how the media reduces something complex to “he said, she said” conflict, and discussion of President-elect Trump’s appointees highlight this. During a recent NPR interview with Christine Whitman, former EPA administrator, about the proposed appointment of Scott Pruitt as the new EPA administrator, she said “He is very definitely a denier of climate change, something that scientists, by and large, overwhelmingly, say is occurring and that humans have a role to play in that.” The interviewer, David Greene of NPR, remarked that the NPR staff had not been able to find any evidence of him denying climate change (wow, they actually did research!), which fact Whitman waved off…

    Most mainstream scientists seem to have no problem with acknowledging the uncertainties surrounding climate change science, including the IPCC…READ ON
    http://www.forbes.com/sites/michaellynch/2017/01/02/media-and-the-game-of-climate-change-denialism/#3107a52d291a

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    Michael

    The homogenisation process used by the BoM is not valid data science. No other field of research uses such a ‘trick’.

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      Bulldust

      Closest analogy that springs to mind is kriging as used in ore body estimation. It has its issues as well.

      Ernest Rutherford springs to mind:

      “If your result needs a statistician then you should design a better experiment.”

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        Michael

        But that would seem to be estimation of gaps in a sparse dataset, rather than ‘corrections’ to actual observations?

        Love the Rutherford quote but..

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        James Murphy

        Kriging does have problems, or limitations, but one could also argue that mining companies would not continue to use a methodology if it was known to significantly damage their bottom-line, whether by consistently under-estimating, or over-estimating reserves, or by giving grade controllers constant headaches (and adding to production costs).

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    pat

    1 Jan: NotALotOfPeopleKnowThat: Paul Homewood: The Hottest Year on Record? A lot of hot air, more like – Booker
    (Christopher) Booker’s on form today:
    “Inevitably, as 2016 neared its end, the usual suspects, such as the BBC, were all piling in to remind us that it was “the hottest year on record”, with particular focus on the recent “super-heatwave” producing temperatures 20 degrees or more above average in the Arctic. But as usual it has been important to know just what all this fevered hype was leaving out.”…READ ON
    https://notalotofpeopleknowthat.wordpress.com/2017/01/01/the-hottest-year-on-record-a-lot-of-hot-air-more-like-booker/

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    Michael

    Here is one idea for how the BoM homogenisation process could be scientifically validated.

    Choose a site that is currently being ‘homogenised’ via their algorithm. Place a super-duper, modern, unquestionably accurate thermometer right next to the suspect one requiring homogenisation. Compare the outputs of the super-duper thermometer against the homogenised outputs of the suspect one over a period of, say, one year. If the homogenised outputs are close to the super-duper measurements, then there will be plausible validation. Otherwise, the homogenisation algorithm will be shown to be flawed.

    I may well be missing some understanding of the process, others can correct me. But why not try some empirical validation of the contentious homogenisation hypothesis?

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      Ken Stewart

      Only one problem: your super-duper thermometer has to be a time travelling one as well, because the adjustments were all well in the past where they are safely uncheckable.

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        Michael

        Is homogenisation not applied to current readings?

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          Bill Johnston

          Michael, the process is done in reverse. Data in the past are “adjusted” relative to the present. There are three homogenised series that I know of for Sydney Observatory. Each applies different adjustments to the same data, and all ignore the 1949 site move and building the wall in 1972/3.

          Cheers,

          Bill

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            Michael

            Thanks Bill. I thought there was also a spatial homogenisation applied to all readings in order to form an average. This, for example, allows GISS to make every year the hottest.

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      Harry Twinotter

      Michael.

      “Here is one idea for how the BoM homogenisation process could be scientifically validated.”

      Ummm, the BOM does that – overlapping measurements are preferable. But as their website says:

      “However, there are many cases where a suitable length of comparison data is not available. This may occur when the station was moved without provisioning a period of overlapping observations. This situation is now rare for ACORN-SAT stations but was common up until the 1990s. A lack of comparison data may also occur if there are overlapping observations but they are not representative of the data before or after the overlap period. This can occur if, for example, a building or other infrastructure is built on or near the old site during the overlap period.”

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    LittleOil

    Jo is on fire this year!!! Go get them!!!

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    DaveR

    Good primary research Bill; seems to be lacking from BOM!

    Your analysis suggests that the other stations should have been used to correct the massive disturbances at the Sydney Observatory site, not the other way around.

    I wonder what the Sydney Observatory temperature record would look like if properly corrected by Canberra, Dubbo, Moruya, Coofs harbour, Scone etc

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      Another Ian

      DaveR

      An exact double here

      #5.2.1 at 5.30pm

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      DaveR

      Another Ian,

      yes, if the Sydney Observatory data has been so shifted by repeated moves/equipment change/nearby construction etc, then surely it is logical to try and correct it rather than assume it can be used as is?

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      Harry Twinotter

      DaveR.

      “Your analysis suggests that the other stations should have been used to correct the massive disturbances at the Sydney Observatory site, not the other way around.”

      They did. Around 10 reference locations are involved in the comparison.

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        AndyG55

        As DaveR said.. primary research LACKING from BOM. !!

        They are more than a bit like you, Twooter.. ZERO research or science.

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    peter

    Take a look at this quote on Fake News from Jordan Shapiro, a contributor to Forbes magazine – it says it all:

    “The real problem is not falsehoods or inaccuracies, but rather that everything about the popular landscape of digital media currently encourages us to see the world the way we want it to be. Combine that with an education system which pays little more than lip service to critical thinking … and you end up with a population that’s been encouraged to live with poor vision … Democracy’s biggest threat is not tyrants, but rather citizens who are satisfied with their own limited view of reality.”

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    Robert Rosicka

    One of the tricks used that bugs me the most is modelled averages , I always thought the temps for daytime for the month divided by days in the month was the average temp for the month but now I’m told they model the average .

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    • #
    • #

      Another Ian January 3, 2017 at 7:30 pm

      Jo, O/T but FYI Karoly vs Happer

      You can boil the whole thing down to:

      Karoly: Promotes some Global Average temperature as having significance as to future times. Yet he confirms that turbulence\chaos rule in this compressive fluid dynamics atmosphere.

      Happer: Promotes repeatable measurement of each detail before any hypothesis or theorem is suitable for considered debate. He finds increased atmospheric CO2 to be only beneficial.

      Guess which one has actually observed and measured wide band electro-magnetic radiation propagation of this Earth’s atmosphere (atmospheric seeing)!
      All the best! -will-

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    Ken Stewart

    Well done Bill, an excellently researched and presented article.

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    Fred

    some interesting history in here Australian weather records 1856 to 1924.https://archive.org/stream/worldweatherreco033416mbp#page/n457/mode/2up

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    JohnM

    Be careful with assumptions here.
    The historical data is almost always homogenised in a way that tries to create a consistent record AS IF ALL THE DATA BEEN RECORDED AT THE CURRENT SITE WITH THE CURRENT CONDITIONS.
    The only exception to the above rule is when a change is so recent that the data for the homogenisation is not yet clear which is usually just two or three years.
    Apart from all that, the site is completely unsatisfactory for anything but historical interest. The exposure at this site – or if you prefer, the shielding – is unlikely to be like any other site that it’s compared to and therefore one should not try to use this site to estimate temperatures at any other site.

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    observa

    Bureau of Meteorology regional director John Nairn said the bureau was concerned future development around Kent Town would impact on the quality of weather observations taken at the site.

    Can you believe it, these nongs shifted one of the Southern Hemisphere’s longest serving Stevenson Screens from the West Parklands in the late seventies to Kent Town east of the now air-conditioned city and now they think they can get back the temperature continuity with a couple of years measurements. Welcome to climastrology folks!

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    observa

    You and plenty of others Warwick

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    Robert Rosicka

    OT , when a car manufacturer in Australia says its closing down and moving to another country the govt announces massive re-employment and jobs assistance programs .
    In America a car manufacturer announces intentions to close up and shift country’s the Don threatens to put massive tariffs on every car they import and they change their mind and announce maybe we will stay in America after all .

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      Dennis

      First consideration is market population numbers and related economies of scale of production for manufacturing, Australia is a tiny market compared to the US. Next is the cost of employing people, the Financial Review in 2015 published that the total cost (not wages alone) in Australia for skilled workers is A$600/day compared to the US cost at A$400/day. And then consider the taxation system that in Australia is higher for business than in the US.

      Australian business is handicapped by company tax, government regulations and laws (red and green tape) and related compliance costs, an industrial relations legal system that provides too much power for unions and causes problems for business like poor productivity, well above award wages and benefits in large union workforces like motor vehicle manufacturing and poor productivity.

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        Dennis

        Australian motor vehicle manufacturers have struggled ever since GM acquired Holden vehicle body works and produced the Holden car based on US Chevrolet mechanicals. GMH was established on taxpayer funded subsidies and import duties levied against imported vehicles. It was not until the 1960s that Ford and Chrysler offered imported competition to Holden and soon after produced those cars here, also subsidised. Others have tried including Mitsubishi that took over the Chrysler plant. And Volkswagen, British Motor Corporation too. All have decided that Australia is not a profitable place for manufacturing, some realised earlier than others, and the latest and final decisions were made by GMH, Ford and Toyota after the Abbott government realised that those businesses were not planning to stay and asked them to confirm. They all admitted that exit planning was underway, and the reasons why, and that subsidies were not enough to change the situation, so the subsidies were cancelled.

        Without subsidies and government vehicle fleet sales motor vehicle manufacturing would not, could not have been carried out in Australia.

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    Robert Rosicka

    Also OT , today’s CAGW story from their ABC is a piece on Kenya and how they’re leading the world in clean green renewable energy .

    30

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      el gordo

      Trouble is the demand for energy is increasing at 5% a year, in East Africa four out of five people have no electricity and rely on candles and kerosene for light.

      The Chinese companies are swarming and if you squint your eyes you can see The Third Way.

      ‘Gold Cup Cables Kenya Co Ltd is planning to open stores in all major towns in Kenya as well as expand to Tanzania and Uganda in January.

      ‘The company, a subsidiary of Gold Cup Electric Apparatus Co Ltd, based in the central Chinese province of Hunan, entered the Kenyan market four years ago and has a turnover of $1.2 million. It aims to double that figure next year and is planning to build a local factory in an effort to cut costs.’

      “The import cost is high and the cost of labor in Kenya is cheap compared with China,” Zhang says. “We hope production costs will go down, which will reduce the prices of our products and in turn attract more customers.”

      China Daily

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    • #
      Robert Rosicka

      Read the ABC article but couldn’t quite make out if it was pro or anti , which they had a sarc tag at the end of it .

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    pat

    read all:

    3 Jan: RealClimateScience: Tony Heller: Why Temperature Fraud Matters
    Satellites show that temperatures in 2016 were nearly identical to 1998. The claims of record warmth are due to massively tampered NOAA/NASA data…
    http://realclimatescience.com/2017/01/why-temperature-fraud-matters/

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    pat

    read all:

    3 Jan: Judith Curry: JC in transition
    Effective January 1, I have resigned my tenured faculty position at Georgia Tech…
    https://judithcurry.com/2017/01/03/jc-in-transition/

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      Thank you,
      I wish Mrs\Miss J. Curry all grand success in her new endeavors. She remains a pillar of true competence in getting youngsters to ‘think’, rather than accepting the drivel of self declared authority!

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    el gordo

    Bill

    Looking at the Observatory temperatures when the place was under the control of William Dawes, do you think the data from that time is reliable?

    Its just that by my rough calculations temps were slightly higher than present.

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    DavidR

    It can be seen from this map provided by BOM, on their website, that the sydney observatory site is not included in the annual temperature analysis because of urban influences.
    http://www.bom.gov.au/climate/change/index.shtml#tabs=Tracker&tracker=site-networks

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    • #

      Which we said in the post. The Sydney Observatory site is still used to homogenize other sites.

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        Gee Aye

        You sure?

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        DavidR

        The homogenisation process is used to eliminate unusual changes such as the ones identified in this article. By using several sites in the homogenisation process BOM can eliminate variations like these which occur in only one location, from the record of a site which is part of a more consistent data set. The effect of using this site for homogenisation would therefore be quite negligible and have no effect on the long term temperature record. Furthermore as BOM acknowledges that it does not use this site directly and explains the homogenisation process, it is this article rather than the information from BOM that constitutes ‘fake news’. In essence it is ‘much ado about nothing’.

        [DavidR! Didn't we throw you out some time ago?

        Aside from provoking DavidR, when I read the above I come up with a one word thought: Gobbledygook.
        Anyone care to decode it for me? No cheating, no red cape either.] ED

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        • #

          ED… he is saying the effect is small, which is to say he is saying there is an effect. I still don’t see the evidence that it is being used for homogenization nor (as DavidR is claiming) if it is being used, it makes a difference to any trends in neighbouring sites.

          Be great if this blog became the first to ban the phrase, “fake news”, when it is used in a lazy attempt to denigrate an opinion/study/view/report that you don’t agree with. This is one of the countless examples of this type of usage and it has quickly made the expression “fake news” completely meaningless.

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            Bill Johnston

            I get off my bum and go and look for myself! Chase things up,go to libraries; get in the car and check out sites.

            Cheers,

            Bill

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            DavidR

            Gee Aye, you may not be aware that the comparison (neighbouring) sites are hundreds of kilometres away from the main site. A discontinuity occurring at the same time at several sites must be environmental unless similar changes are made at several sites. If similar changes occur they can be easily identified, new buildings tend to be obvious, even trees falling or growing can be noticed. According to BOM the homogenisation effect is, if anything, to lower the rate of warming. More importantly it improves the quality of the long term trend data. If it was zero it would be a pointless exercise however it has no noticeable affect on the long term warming trend.

            Bill’s claim that homogenisation has a negative affect is not supported by the article. The article simply makes a bald claim that the homogenisation process is bad.

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          Bill Johnston

          Except you are grievously wrong DavidR!

          Sydney data consists of untrending segments separated by step-changes caused by site changes. With those steps removed, residuals are untrending.

          Homogenisation is a 2-step process. They don’t necessarily correct for steps in data; they impose steps that think can be justified, and correct those time-points (which may or may be significant). In Sydney’s case they forgot the site moved in 1949; did not account for opening of the Cahill Expressway; forgot the wall was built in 1972/3; and ignored that changing to small Steven screen in 2000 caused artificial warming in the data.

          It is correct that homogenisation is based on up to 9 other series. However, these are selected based on correlation with the target, which means that many have parallel faults. From those 9 sites, a composite series is devised (Australia does it a bit differently); and in most cases comparators are not themselves homogeneous.

          The process suffers from “selection-bias”, then is biased again by using sites that are not homogeneous. Thus changes in data are smoothed and reinforced, which gives a false impression that the resulting homogenised series is free of non-site impacts; when in-fact, as demonstrated in Sydney’s case, it is.

          Cheers,

          Dr. Bill

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          observa

          The homogenisation process is used to eliminate unusual changes such as the ones identified in this article.

          Just like the BoM are going to ‘homogenise’ their Kent Town/ West Parklands temperature records. It’s a ridiculous notion to any rational mind and even if they’d kept the Stevenson Screen in the West Parklands, Adelaide between that and the coast has changed immeasurably from 1979 to the present. Homogenisation of the temperature record is just a fancy name for mumbo jumbo and tea leaf readings.

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          DavidR

          Ed: Let me just give you the simple conclusion from the ACORN-SAT website referred to by Bill.

          It is important to emphasise that both the much larger, raw (unadjusted) data set (known as AWAP) and the smaller (homogenised) ACORN-SAT data set show that Australia has been getting warmer since 1910 and that the two data sets indicate a very similar amount of warming overall.

          http://www.bom.gov.au/climate/change/acorn-sat/documents/ACORN-SAT-Station-adjustment-summary.pdf

          The homogenisation process looks for discontinuities at an ACORN-SAT station and determines if they are local, ie caused by the type of factors Bill identifies, or environmental, ie affecting other comparable stations. If they are local an adjustment will be needed. If they are environmental no adjustment would be made.

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            Harry Twinotter

            DavidR.

            Pretty much.

            It is difficult to tell the ACORN and AWAP data sets apart when they are area-averaged across the whole country. Most of the adjustment occur prior to around 1945 when the network was sparser and not as well controlled. I suspect a lot of stations moved from town centers to airports prior and during WWII; so after the war station moves were less which results in more-stable statistics.

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    Harry Twinotter

    “especially given they are responsible for much of the “unprecedented warming” in Sydney’s temperature data.”

    Has anyone calculated the magnitude of the UHI effect? If people think it is an issue, then they must be reasonably sure of the number.

    And is this number used when the reference temperature is derived from the raw data?

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      AndyG55

      Twotter.. do you own research for once.

      Nobody is here to spoon feed you any more, little child.

      There are a huge number of studies on urban heat effects.

      UHI effect has been shown to be a few degrees AT LEAST, with some cities showing effects of up to 10C. As cities increase in size , the urban heat factor almost always increases.

      Of course, BOM will say this temperature increase doesn’t affect thermometers, and like GISS will adjust it the wrong way, or totally ignore it so they can use Urban Warming, (which doesn’t happen just in major cities but even in smallish towns), to change cooling trends at unaffected stations, into a uniform warming trend.

      The beauty of “homogenisation” for those wanting/needing to “adjust™©” temperature data to support an agenda.

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      Harry Twinotter

      No takers? I thought someone would have had a shot at estimating the UHI effects (ignoring station changes). The BOM does say they could not find anything significant for Sydney Observatory Hill, even though they do not include Urban locations in the national averages. Interestingly they said they DID detect UHI at Richmond NSW.

      Dr Johnson might have missed the tree/shrub removal at Observatory Hill 2006-2007.

      I had another look at the metadata available (equipment changes, vegetation changes etc) – it is pretty thin. This does not mean it does not exist, it probably just means it is not on the BOM website.

      I went thru this process a number of years ago. I could have sworn there was metadata on the Berkerly Earth website (or maybe NASA/NOAA) but I could not find it. Never mind, you cannot guess the temperature changes from station changes anyway.

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        AndyG55

        Own research , Twotter.. Try at least once.. There are a myriad of papers about Urban Heat effect.

        If you seriously believe that Observatory Hill does NOT have a strong urban warming effect, all I can say is that your mind needs a re-start.. from scratch.. !!

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    Bill Johnston

    Harry,

    There are shadow differences, but I don’t see vegetation changes, except for the hedge which appears along the front (the fence against the Bradfield Highway)after about 2010. Some early Google Earth photos are not that good and because the angle they are taken changes, shadows come-and-go.

    I don’t think is useful for detecting UHI.

    Cheers,

    Bill

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      Harry Twinotter

      The vegetation removal was in the metadata I found.

      The metadata available online is still very incomplete. I hope they get the resources to fix it at some point. It makes interesting historical information.

      This document should be more than 22 pages.

      http://www.bom.gov.au/clim_data/cdio/metadata/pdf/siteinfo/IDCJMD0040.066062.SiteInfo.pdf

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        Bill Johnston

        I see that Harry,

        Google Earth time-lapse shows a really bare site in January 2007; another clear photo in January 2-14 shows some vegetation returning; the three times I was there in 2015/16, there was a hedge along the front fence and a tree on the southern-side.

        Removing the trees in 2006, would likely make the site hotter. Nevertheless, the step-change was still 2000. The other changes are what I call poor site control, introduce unexplained variation to the data.

        Thanks for drawing my attention to it.

        Cheers,

        Bill

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    Vlad the Deplorable Impaler

    Just a thought on this whole UHI business:

    It would seem that there is some effect from urbanization on temperature records and/or the raw data. As I’ve traveled around, I’ve yet to see any two urban areas which are identical; not just the obvious differences, but also topographic differences, for one, which can have an effect, and other unique environmental situations (e.g., an urban area built around fluvial systems vs. one in a dry area). My own city is in an area where advection is a dominant process (50 – 60 kph is considered ‘normal’).

    That being said, is there a reason to suppose that every UHI is approximately uniform? Wouldn’t each situation create its own (somewhat) unique effect (in the sense of the magnitude of the UHI) within that area?

    Regards,

    Vlad the Deplorable Impaler

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      Harry Twinotter

      “That being said, is there a reason to suppose that every UHI is approximately uniform?”

      No reason to assume the effect is uniform. Each situation will be different. How they estimate it I have no idea, but there are scientific studies on it. And a YouTube video, if I could remember where I saw it.

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    Bob Fernley-Jones

    Great work Bill!

    On the issue of ‘was it warmer before the beginning of ACORN time in 1910?’

    Here are some extracts from an eBook “The Settlement at Port Jackson, by Watkin Tench”
    https://ebooks.adelaide.edu.au/t/tench/watkin/settlement/chapter17.html

    …December 27th 1790 Wind NNW; it felt like the blast of a heated oven, [maximum measured] At 20 minutes past two 109 The thermometer, whence my observations were constantly made [Large Ramsden; readings taken to ½ degrees], was hung in the open air in a southern aspect, never reached by the rays of the sun, at the distance of several feet above the ground.

    But even this heat was judged to be far exceeded in the latter end of the following February, when the north-west wind again set in, and blew with great violence for three days. At Sydney, it fell short by one degree of what I have just recorded: but at Rose Hill [Parramatta], it was allowed, by every person, to surpass all that they had before felt, either there or in any other part of the world. Unluckily they had no thermometer to ascertain its precise height. It must, however, have been intense, from the effects it produced. An immense flight of bats driven before the wind, covered all the trees around the settlement, whence they every moment dropped dead or in a dying state, unable longer to endure the burning state of the atmosphere. Nor did the ‘perroquettes’, though tropical birds, bear it better. The ground was strewn with them in the same condition as the bats
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    This book is a great read and Tench’s observations are impressively perceptive on diverse things.
    For tree roosting megabats* and massing small parrots (budgerigars maybe?) to be dropping en masse from the trees, it has to be very, very hot indeed.

    *Probably ‘Grey Headed Flying Fox’ which are still variously classified as endangered or vulnerable. They roost in vast numbers along the Yarra River near Fairfield (Melbourne), peaking in summer. At a guess, last time I was there, based on my perception of the crowd at the MCG in a game between West Indies and Oz years ago, (when the game was great), I would think maybe 50,000 or so bats……truly astonishing to see. They seem to be surviving OK even though Melbourne heatwaves can be very, very hot indeed, that I can remember over the years.

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    Radical Rodent

    So the end result is that, while all these weather stations are useful in determining short-term weather prospects, their long-term records are too variable for us to be able to determine what the trends have really been, or that we can use such data to make long-term predictions. What this is admitting is that we have not yet devised a reliable method of measuring over long time periods, thus all the conclusions drawn so far are total and utter baloney. Why am I not surprised?

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      Bill Johnston

      And oh-look.

      While I’m absolutely sick of this, here is what I just wrote over at Conversation where Blair Trewin is in lockdown (by now it wold have gone poof!)

      In reply to Aaron Storti

      If the Author won’t defend it; it’s dust-bin stuff; not a significant report.

      Over at http://joannenova.com.au/2017/01/sydney-observatory-where-warming-is-created-by-site-moves-buildings-freeways/; I responded to every significant issue that was raised. You could have raised something and I would have done my best to deal with it.

      Trewin could have explained how site moves and walls; opening of the Cahill Expressway and introduction of small screens did not change the data relative to the climate at Sydney Observatory.

      It is nonsense to claim the climate at Brisbane moved north. To do that he would have to have moved the sun.

      There is no basis on which to claim that Sydney has experienced its hottest year on record. Trewin needs to defend that, otherwise go into the nonsense-corner. It is up to Trewin to defend the case he made.

      Here on the conversation no real debate happens. It is up to Trewin to justify his claims, not moderators to protect him from reasonable and sensible contrary evidence.

      I think this “The Conversation”, should shut-down this saga rather than go on with this painful one-sided farce where the only fall-back position is to delete well-researched alternative commentary.

      Cheers,

      Dr. Bill

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        Bill Johnston

        Strewth, just as I thought it was ZZ-time, there is more:

        Mahn England

        In reply to Bill Johnston

        How is Observatory Hill relevant to the whole of Australia Dr? Bill.

        Get a grip man.

        There cannot be a debate if you change the topic of the debate..Hume Barbour Trophy and all that stuff.

        Life is to short to bandy words.
        3 minutes ago
        Report
        Reply

        Recommend
        Bill Johnston

        In reply to Mahn England

        Abiding your not so subtle insult; bad data are bad data, so of course it is. Bad data is also from all the other sites where recent changes have occurred that can be viewed on Google Earth. Most sites used to homogenise target sites are demonstrably not themselves homogeneous for example. (Do you want examples – if so how many?.)

        (There is nothing to save here, shut this conversation down!)

        In any event, it is up to Blair to defend the case he made.

        If I was a well-paid ‘professor’ I’d be pretty keen on staying on the right side of data.

        Except for a few remaining places like Hobart Airport, Gunnedah Research and Moruya Heads Pilot Station, small Stevenson screens are deployed across the network from the late 1990s. At most sites where screens were replaced in situ they caused an up-step in mean maximum temperature. At sites where locations moved at the same time, it is generally to more exposed positions; including positions that are too exposed to the weather: Nobbys Head, Cape Leeuwin, Point Perpendicular, Low Head, the new AWS at Cape Bruny, Cape Otway, to name some that I’ve seen.

        More recently wind-profiling radars have been installed within metres of Stevenson Screens (Ceduna, Adelaide AP, Tennant Creek; Learmonth); which involved much disturbance and clearing of near-by vegetation. (Groundworks have also affected Cranbourne Botanic Gardens, Onslow and also Penrith Lakes.) Cultivation right up to the enclosure affects measurements at Cunderdin and Badgerys Creek.

        At Laverton the start of the record is from Stevenson screens located on the roof of the then RAAF Meteorological Office; a step-change in temperature at Alice Springs corresponds with documented changes to the Aeradio office; similar step-changes occur at other sites after the Bureau took over observations from the RAAF in the 1950s. Changes at Perth AP, Mount Gambier, Western Junction (Launceston), Nhill, Townsville, Mildura are due to site changes (including moves associated with changes to Aeradio). Mount Barker (SA) seems watered; so does Parramatta (when water restrictions commenced in Parramatta in 2010, Tmax increased). (Bourke PO I believe was watered also, and watering a nearby golf course also affected Moorabbin AP.)

        At Sydney Observatory there are two undocumented site changes, which are confirmed by aerial photography (a move south in 1949, and building of a wall in 1972/3; also Opening of the Cahill Expressway in 1958 and installation of a small screen in 2000; furthermore clearing trees away from in-front of the enclosure in 2006, made the site warmer (this can be viewed on Google Earth). Widening of the under-airport traffic tunnel at 30m from the Stevenson screen at Sydney AP, also caused a Tmax up-step. Townville has an undocumented change in 1969 and a small-screen up-sep in 2001. Something happened at Wagga Wagga AP in 1975 (possibly the new met-office); a significant up-step aligns with after the AWS became the primary instrument in 1996. (The Aeradio office would have been on the RAAF-side of the airport, so the site moved at some stage, probably in the early 1950s; (I’m trying to track-down aerial photographs).

        (Google Earth shows changes at many ACORN sites since about 2000, and is worth checking.)

        I don’t think any of Australia’s historic temperature data are useful for tracking trends, extremes or trends in extremes.

        P.s. It’s a pity that professors tick boxes but never check data. Go forward; grip yourself.

        Cheers,

        Dr. Bill

        (And by the way, I do have a real PhD!)

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        Harry Twinotter

        Bill Johnson.

        Blair Trewin is a climate scientist, and specializes in Climatology. So he is qualified to write that article.

        Are you aware of something called the Dunning-Kruger Effect?

        “(And by the way, I do have a real PhD!)”

        Are you implying that Blair Trewin does not have a “real” PhD and Bachelor of Science? You need to back up this extraordinary claim.

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          AndyG55

          Pardon????

          Nobody has to back-up any claim to you.

          False, unsubstantiated rants are your speciality.

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          AndyG55

          And stop MAKING THINGS UP.

          Bill never said that Blair didn’t have a PhD.

          You are to ONLY person reading that interpretation into that comment.

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          AndyG55

          “Are you aware of something called the Dunning-Kruger Effect?”

          Yes, it applies particularly to YOU, Twotter, when you thought you could provide anything worthwhile to any conversation on climate.

          Another similar word is self-delusion.

          And you are full of it.

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          AndyG55

          “So he is qualified to write that article.”

          But obviously is not qualified enough to defend it against REAL SUBSTATIATED FACTS.

          Seems that Blair is deliberately avoiding these facts, and many others that Bill has brought up, rather than doing what a REAL scientist would do, and investigating them.

          Avoiding facts.. that sounds just like you, hey Twooter. ;-)

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            Harry Twinotter

            Andy Pandy.

            I usually avoid replying to you as I suspect there is something seriously wrong with you. I cannot imagine what you hope to achieve with your endless stream of juvenile tirades.

            But I will bite this time.

            Blair Trewin wrote an article based on the BOM Annual Climate Statement. He provides his sources (which I checked). Why on earth would he be required to defend it against the attacks of a crank?

            The Conversation moderates it comments section, just like this blog moderates comments. It is clear The Conversation decided to strictly moderate climate change denier comments due to their disruptive nature, lack of factual information, defamatory allegations and general nastiness. The Conversion has no requirement to put up with comments that do not progress the discussion.

            Go watch that Richard Feynman video on the scientific method that pops up from time to time. He makes fun of the cranks that try and tell him how to do his job, wasting his time.

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              AndyG55

              “I suspect there is something seriously wrong with you”

              roflmao.

              Again the puerile childishmess that Twotter has become known for.

              Any actual FACTS to back up your yabbering?

              Bill’s data is data that Blair didn’t have.. and he should acknowledge that FACT and stop running and hiding.

              Do you have anything to say Bill’s information is incorrect?

              Have you even the slightest argument against that information.

              You again show you have ZERO comprehension of what the scientific method is.

              Always investigate contrary information, that is something Blair has REFUSED to do. He is not followed any sort of scientific method.. he has IGNORED it, just like you always have.

              Your comments never progress the discussion anywhere, they are empty and meaningless.

              Its time that Jo dumped you for the child-minded twotter that you are.

              But then you would start CRYING again like you always do, wouldn’t you. !!!

              [Andy and Harry, If you continue to make the debate about personalities instead of the issues you will very frequently end up in moderation. You both need to change your approach. I'm going to approve this but I think it does not show you, AndyG55, in your best light.] AZ

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              AndyG55

              “The Conversation moderates it comments “

              The CONversation is a FAR-LEFT AGW APOSTLE site.

              I bet that every one of the so-called academics is a far-left voter, probably loonie Green.

              It is NOT a science site, it is a socialist/greenie advocacy site.

              Nothing more, nothing less.

              Any comment that even remotely questions the AGW meme is DELETED.

              Are you really so dumb that you haven’t figured that out yet ?

              [I approved one reply to Harry. I'll not approve the second one.] AZ

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              AndyG55

              So, yet again, you are unable to argue against Bill’s FACTS..

              Nothing unusual about that is there.

              Why do you think Blair is RUNNING and HIDING behind the far-left climate scam moderators of the CONservation?

              Is it that he cannot defend is article against actual facts.

              Yep.. that is the ONLY reason.

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            Harry Twinotter

            I will remind you what The Conversation comments policy says:

            “We welcome debate and dissent, but personal attacks (on authors, other users or any individual), abuse and defamatory language will not be tolerated. Nor will we tolerate attempts to deliberately disrupt discussions. We aim to maintain The Conversation as an inviting space to focus on intelligent discussions.”

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              AndyG55

              So long as the attacks are against “climate realists” they are ignored.

              REAL facts, and REAL data, that go against the AGW scam, are generally erased as being “inconvenient”.

              Nor will we tolerate attempts to deliberately disrupt discussions

              You are very lucky that Jo allows you to post any of your Non-factual rants, then, aren’t you.

              That is all obviously you are here for, disruption

              … you certainly have never had any actual science to back up your yabbering, incoherent rants.

              If Jo adopted the Conversation policy, you would been gone, AGES ago.

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          Bill Johnston

          I don’t think I’ve implied anything of the kind. I’ve read his PhD thesis from Page 1 to the very end and many of his publications.

          I’m not here for disruption. I am pointing to some obvious unanswered questions, which have a strong bearing on the veracity of Trewin’s latest claims.

          Cheers,

          Bill

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            Harry Twinotter

            Bill Johnston.

            “Trewin’s latest claims.”

            Trewin wrote an article for an online newspaper, he was hardly making any world-changing claims. He was also correct (I checked).

            You were grandstanding in the comments section of The Conversation. You then had most of your comments deleted, including the offensive ones.

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    Bill Johnston

    Oh…

    And over at the Conversation:
    http://theconversation.com/australias-climate-in-2016-a-year-of-two-halves-as-el-nino-unwound-70758#comment_1174870

    I said in response to Blair Trewin’s piece:

    Bill Johnston In reply to Aaron Storti

    If the Author won’t defend it; it’s dust-bin stuff; not a significant report.

    Over at http://joannenova.com.au/2017/01/sydney-observatory-where-warming-is-created-by-site-moves-buildings-freeways/; I responded to every significant issue that was raised. You could have raised something and I would have done my best to deal with it.

    Trewin could have explained how site moves and walls; opening of the Cahill Expressway and introduction of small screens did not change the data relative to the climate at Sydney Observatory. It is nonsense to claim the climate at Brisbane moved north. To do that he would have to have moved the sun.

    There is no basis on which to claim that Sydney has experienced its hottest year on record. Trewin needs to defend that, otherwise go into the nonsense-corner. It is up to Trewin to defend the case he made.

    Here on the conversation no real debate happens. It is up to Trewin to justify his claims, not moderators to protect him from reasonable and sensible contrary evidence.

    I think this “The Conversation”, should shut-down this saga rather than go on with this painful one-sided farce where the only fall-back position is to delete well-researched alternative commentary.

    Cheers,

    Dr. Bill

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      Gee Aye

      Did you direct your questions to the author on topic or did you really write about the Sydney observatory?

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    I agree with Bill re the 1972 shift up in Sydney Observatory temps. Anybody who looks at raw temps charts for the station, particularly min, would be joking if they didn’t consider the increase artificial … Sydney December min example at http://www.waclimate.net/imgs/sydney-minima.gif

    However, I differ in that I don’t think a brick wall was the cause – although it might have contributed in Sydney’s case. I think it was metrication from F to C with its associated major changes in instrumentation and observer recording practices.

    There is a 1972 metric shift at many Australian stations and the BoM concedes a 0.1C national mean temp increase in 1972 (more likely a bit over 0.2C) that it’s chosen not to homogenise … more at http://www.waclimate.net/round/australia-acorn.html

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    Harry Twinotter

    Seeing as we are talking about the Sydney station.

    ACORN location Sydney 066062 trends per decade for 1910-2015:
    Max: 0.09C
    Min: 0.13C
    Mean: 0.11C

    Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature Sydney trends per decade for 1859-2013
    Raw: 0.099C
    After breakpoint alignment: 0.046C

    http://www.bom.gov.au/cgi-bin/climate/hqsites/site_data.cgi?variable=meanT&area=aus&station=066062&period=annual&dtype=anom&ave_yr=T

    http://berkeleyearth.lbl.gov/stations/151986

    A pity I cannot compare the ranges directly (requires more work), that would be interesting. But I think it is safe to say the adjustments have DECREASED the rate of warming suggested by the raw AWAP data.

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      AndyG55

      Berkley uses “regional expectations” too, Twotter.

      Meaningless statistical mal-adjustments

      And no, the “adjustments” increase the warming trend in approximately 97% of sites.

      In some small number of cases they “adjust” large UHI trends downwards so that they match smaller UHI trends.

      Seriously twotter, haven’t you figure out what “homogenisation” means yet ???????

      Are you that naïve ????

      Are you REALLY that DUMB !!

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    Bill Johnston

    Hi Harry,

    There is a bit of a trick in the data. You are showing anomalies relative to the mean from 1961 to 1990 (which is the climate normal period).

    The trick is that there is a site-related breakpoint in 1972/3 caused by construction of the brick wall. (Other site changes are 1949 (the undocumented move), 1958 (opening of the Cahill Expressway), and 2000 (installing the small screen). Data are thus not homogeneous during the ‘climate-normal’ period.)

    You could check what happens if you select another baseline – for Tmax say from the start of the record to 1908; or 1908 to 1958; for Tmin, from 1876 to 1949. I have not done it, but it would be interesting to see what happens to anomaly data.

    Then you could do a post and we could have a conversation about the result. Who knows, we could end-up on the same page in some parallel universe far, far away (funi). (Thanks for pointing me back to look at the site on Google Earth for vegetation changes around 2006.)

    Cheers,

    Bill

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      Harry Twinotter

      Bill Johnson.

      “You are showing anomalies relative to the mean from 1961 to 1990 (which is the climate normal period).”

      No, I am not.

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        AndyG55

        Yes you are.

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        Bill Johnston

        Using I’m sorry. All Australia’s homogenised data are calculated relative to the climate normal period (1961 to 1990). You could read-up about homogenisation is done.

        Cheers,

        Bill

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          Harry Twinotter

          Bill Johnson.

          Yes I know how homogenization is done.

          I also know trends are independent of the climate normal baseline – that is why I used them.

          The point I made (and which you seem to be trying to divert attention from) is it appears homogenization at Observatory Hill has DECREASED the rate of warming in the raw data. So does the Berkeley breakpoint alignment. Go and compare ACORN-SAT to AWAP.

          It’s a strange BOM conspiracy isn’t it to underestimate the rate of warming? They must be trying reverse psychology or some other cunning trick.

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            AndyG55

            With that one aimless non-scientific rant, you have proven absolutely that you do not even know the meaning of the word “homogenise”.

            Well done Twotter :-)

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    observa

    How’s this for a laugh as the media report a Sydney heat wave-

    “The mercury is forecast to hit 38 degrees in Penrith on Monday, with Parramatta only slightly cooler on 33 degrees.”

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    Bill Johnston

    A final word all those at “The Conversation”.

    https://theconversation.com/australias-climate-in-2016-a-year-of-two-halves-as-el-nino-unwound-70758

    (Especially those who can’t read pictures.)

    Data for Sydney Observatory are keystone data. It is the only still-reporting site that has remained basically in the same place and it is only site in the Sydney area with a record sufficiently long to determine long-term trends, extremes and trend in extremes. Furthermore YOU must know that.

    If those data embed three important, site changes that have been disregarded by homogenisation, regardless of the Bureau claims, the whole argument made by Trewin in the opening gambit of this Conversation, falls apart.

    Furthermore, I want to point out to a few people, that personal attacks, derogatory comments and “old white men” rants won’t be tolerated much longer. You are all responsible for what you say; the Conversation is responsible for publishing what you say; you can be identified and held to account for deliberate, personally degrading comments.

    I am entitled to converse on the site and to support what I say with carefully researched evidence. I am also free to publish that evidence elsewhere. I’ve supplied sufficient additional details that you are able to repeat what I’ve done and contest my conclusions; but in the absence of contrary evidence, you are not free to degrade my work; or deride me personally.

    Hopefully we will come to an understanding.

    Now remember, it is summer, so I forecast it will be warmer than winter (especially outside). Stay under trees, wear a hat and sunscreen and drink plenty of water. That will change the way you perceive the weather, but won’t change the climate.

    Have a nice day,

    Cheers

    Dr. Bill

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      Harry Twinotter

      Bill Johnson.

      You kept attempting to derail the comments, and was offensive, so The Conversation put you into their Crank bin.

      Really, you should not waste your time. The experts know more than you do, the experts have earned their credentials, and they have no reason to prove it to you. If you think you have a scientific rebuttal, go publish it in the peer-reviewed scientific literature.

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        Bill Johnston

        You are right Harry. My time is precious and it is much more valuable than empty vassals making no cents who breed opinions among themselves without a shred of original thought; let alone analytical skill. And as for you, you are one of the few people I’ve ever met who can’t read pictures.

        Blair Trewin is factually wrong. I guess he is paid about $180,000/yr plus on-costs (say times 1.2) to be wrong; then like a rabbit he runs away just when the kitchen heats up. Not a word did he say. In my view, only squirt-scientists don’t show up to defend their case.

        Pity you; you don’t even understand that a scientist who won’t defend his position is an abject failure. Why didn’t your mates at the Con call him out? Ha, Ha, Ha … reasonable expectations don’t work at the Con.

        Moderators enforce PC and protect Trewin from his own absurdity.

        In contrast, I stayed the course over the weekend and dealt with all reasonable concerns that were raised. Oh.. and what did that “resistance gnome” in the silly paper-hat say? … Oh, yes, I was a coward. Klap, klap, klap go other baying-fools with no real insights to share.

        The Conversation needs to lift its game. On this issue it has been a despotic disgrace in which you participated.

        (In case there were too may words; if you can find it, bite you bum!)

        Cheers,

        Dr Bill

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    Bill Johnston

    Correction:

    (In case there were too may words; if you can find it, bite you bum!) should read:

    (In case there were too many words; if you can find it, bite you bum!)

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    Welcome to my world. In the 1980s until his death I collaborated with Dr Petr Beckmann, author of The Health Hazards of NOT Going Nuclear. This was the Cold War, Soviet ballistic missiles, Berlin Wall, and Pascal’s Wager cowards urging us to surrender preemptively to the communist dictatorship. Beckmann’s book was censored, boxloads “lost” enroute when I was his mail clerk, and the paperback reprint was deliberately injected with typos. Now the exact same looter organizations that lied about nuclear energy are lying about SOME greenhouse gases (and struggling to leave water vapor unmentioned). Energy is what enables humans to work for a living. Per capita energy correlates with life expectancy, just as blackouts correlate with expectations of death.

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    [...] Sydney. Meteorologist Anthony Watts documented one of the ways that NOAA generates data on manmade global warming due to CO2 emissions was due to the way they located their temperature observation stations.  Here in the US, the technique is done in two ways.  One way is to shut down observation stations in rural and remote areas.  Due to the urban heat island (UHI) effect, rural areas are generally cooler than urban ones, if for no other reason than there is less concrete and asphalt around.  Over the last few decades the number of stations here in the US have decreased in number from around 6,000 to around 2,000 today.  And it was the rural and remote stations that went away.  All by itself, this guarantees an increase in average observed temperatures.  The second reason is that the remaining stations that were formerly on the edge of town, in small airports or on farms, get surrounded by more brick, concrete, asphalt and steel as the locations grow over time.  Farms don’t stay farms.  Airports don’t remain the same size.  And the more heat retaining stuff near the measurement stations there is, the higher the average temperatures will be measured over time.  Unfortunately today, the politicized climate scientists take the results and breathless report them as actual global warming rather than artifacts of location over time, and demand we all instantly do something about the crisis at hand.  The latest example of this sort of location growth comes out of Oz, where the history of the Sydney Observatory, the longest running weather station in the country was described by Dr. Bill Johnston in JoNova’s Blog.  Over the last 140 years, the thermometer locations have moved several times.  Brick walls were constructed.  The entire observatory was surrounded by a highway bypass of one of Oz’s busiest roads.  Yet over all that time, the location continued to record and report temperatures.  And over the last 140 years, it has reported a temperature rise.  Surprise!  Surprise!  Surprise!  I submit that the temperature data is so corrupted that is it may be impossible to get a true and accurate reading of where we were, where we are today and where we may be going tomorrow.  Well worth your time to read.  http://joannenova.com.au/2017/01/sydney-observatory-where-warming-is-created-by-site-moves-buildings… [...]

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    Bill Johnston

    More fake-up news.

    The ABC is reporting how hot it is at Bourke:

    NSW heatwave: Welcome to Bourke, where roads melt and thermometers explode in summer

    “Today the mercury is expected to exceed 46 degrees Celsius in the New South Wales outpost” but it has nothing to do with the climate.

    The automatic weather station at the Bourke Airport, is on-average 1.1 degC warmer that at the post Office, where temperatures are no longer measured.

    Cheers,

    Bill

    02