JoNova

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


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Whopper part II: Look what the BoM did to the last three Februarys in Australia?!

The Bureau of Meteorology did what to February?

Wow, just wow. Look what the Bureau of Meteorology has covertly done to February? Something like one third of a degree has been added to the average Australian summer maximum anomalies over the past few years according to the “expert” data from the worlds-best-practise equipment.

In the BOM Whopper Part 1 we revealed that in the BOM’s latest round of unannounced adjustments there were big increases in the rate of Australian summer warming. It turns out a lot of the summer rise comes from changes to February. Mysteriously, there were large changes to the national average of the last three years. Let that sink in.

These changes were incomprehensible because while the averaged “whole nation” got warmer, there were no changes to the data in any of the 104 individual stations.

It’s all rather spooky… but what it isn’t, is scientific.

The two main points in Bob Fernley Jones’ work:

There are big increases to measurements recorded in the last three years? Why? Yet again, the adjustments are down in the early years, up in the latter years, and overall, the rate of warming, surprise, increases thanks to man-made adjustments. He [...]

This is the “old normal” — these fires are mid to late season fires for NSW

Fires in Spring? It’s normal for fires to peak in Spring in NSW

Greg Mullins is a former Fire and Rescue NSW commissioner and a councillor on the Climate Council, he implies in the Sydney Morning Herald that this is abnormal and that fires are starting earlier: 

If anyone tells you, “This is part of a normal cycle” or “We’ve had fires like this before”, smile politely and walk away, because they don’t know what they’re talking about.

In NSW, our worst fire years were almost always during an El Nino event, and major property losses generally occurred from late November to February. Based on more than a century of weather observations our official fire danger season is legislated from October 1 to March 31. During the 2000s though, major fires have regularly started in August and September, and sometimes go through to April.

This year, by the beginning of November, we had already lost about as many homes as during the disastrous 2001-2002 bushfire season. We’ve now eclipsed 1994 fire losses.

Mosomoso: The fire season in NSW is spring — this is not early, this is “late season”

For those [...]

In 1946 — 800 miles of fires “stretched from Brisbane to Townsville”

In 1946 fires burned in an “almost unbroken chain from Brisbane to Townsville”. They lit up the sky at night, pushed plumes of smoke 3,000 ft in the sky, that looked like “Bikini Atoll”. And this was July…

Qld 1946: Now that’s what I call Hazard Reduction

Believers of man-made-weather say that warmer drier conditions and longer fire seasons are preventing hazard reduction burns. Aside from the fact that a warmer world is not a drier world, and rainfall trends have gone up not down, this is a snowflakes excuse. Even if it were true, the answer is to get more serious about burning off when conditions are cooler.

Thanks to Siliggy, Lance Pidgeon for the pointer. This is what Queenslanders used to do when they were serious about stopping wildfires. Their view of dry brush was that it was waiting like tinder…

Fortunately yesterday, Armageddon didn’t come to the East Coast. But it might have.

800 Miles Of Fires Along the North Coast

The Courier Mail, Monday July 29th, 1946

Trove, National Library of Australia

By a Staff Correspondent TOWNSVILLE, Sunday. — Fires are burning to-night in an almost unbroken chain from the edge of Brisbane to Townsville, [...]

Settled! Global Warming and the pause, caused by changes in cloud cover, not CO2

That’s it: It was 4% cloudier in 1985, then roughly the same after 2000 — that’s the Pause and the Cause

A new paper in Russian, by OM Pokrovsky, shows that global cloud cover decreased markedly from 1986 to 2000. This is a very large decline in terms of the planetary atmosphere. Pokrovsky uses ISCCP satellite data (the “International Satellite Cloud Climatology Project” — a US program). It’s the best cloud data there is. The effects of clouds are so strong that most of the differences between IPCC-favoured-models comes from the assumptions the models make about clouds. Cloud feedbacks are the “largest source of uncertainty”. [IPCC, 2007]

Clouds cover two-thirds of the Earths surface, reflecting around 30% of the total energy from the Sun back to space. A small change in cloud cover can easily warm or cool the planet, like a giant pop-up shade-sail.

This, on its own, explains all the warming that occurred from 1986 – 2000. It explains the pause. We don’t know why clouds decreased, but we know it wasn’t due to CO2, which kept rising relentlessly year after year, and even faster after the turn of the century.

Something else is driving cloud formation, or density or [...]

Shrinking Stevenson Screens cause global warming (and peeling paint, long grass…)

The Australian BOM has lost its way

Australia’s Bureau of Meteorology is paid more than a million dollars a day, and the planet is under seige, yet the paint is peeling off some Australian thermometer screens, the grass is long, and wasps are nesting in them. What once were large 230 litre wooden boxes have shrunk to 60 litres and are now even turning to plastic.  The old glass thermometers are being replaced with electronic gear that can record a burst of hot air — yet somehow those freak high spikes are supposed to be comparable to temperatures recorded 100 years ago by slow glass thermometers.

Old larger boxes protected thermometers from sudden changes in air temperature.

Left: Len Walker with a 230L screen in 1940. Right: Blair Trewin with a modern 60L Stevenson screen.

Possibly the hardest thing to explain is that even though the BOM collected comparison data on the different types of thermometers, which might help to assess new versus old, they routinely throw the data away. Compounding that, the metadata on sites is incomplete, missing, lacking in documentation.  Giant six lane highways are built next to equipment sites but not recorded. There is a huge [...]

The Australian Bureau of Met hides 50 years of very hot days

History is being wiped out

The Australian Bureau of Meteorology has not only disappeared the Very Hot Days graph but they have wiped out thousands of 40 plus hot days in the years from 1910 – 1963 — years when almost all temperatures in Australia were recorded on Stevenson screens by trained officials under the central management of the Bureau. Volunteer, Chris Gillham, found the data and the changes between ACORN 1 and ACORN 2 and created this transformative graph below.

1952 had more hot days than any year since. Not any more. All those poor sods in 1952 who endured an average twenty one 40-degree-plus days will find now that it wasn’t really that hot. The BoM is like an air conditioner that cools the country 70 years in the past. And it’s only a million dollars a day…

As Craig Kelly MP points out — 2011 had the fewest “very hot days” of the last century, but even the recent data from expert equipment can change eight years later.

Chris Gillham also tested the effect of the latest secret ACORN 2 changes on the “old century” 100F cut off, and found, remarkably that there were more “hotter-than-100″ days [...]

Giles weather station — sited next to almost the only bitumen for 500 km

I visited the famous Giles weather station a couple of weeks ago. It’s an ACORN top ranking site, it even has a Met office. Because it so central and so remote the measurements here are used to estimate temperatures across a vast area — indeed, arguably, it’s the most influential site in terms of Australia’s area-averaged temperature. It’s 1,700km drive from Perth (1,000 miles) and the last 800 km of that is dirt road with wild camels. It’s so remote the nearest post box is 340 km away across the state border at Uluru / Ayers Rock.

This could have been the best site in Australia, unaffected by UHI, open since 1956, staffed with professionals.

Despite the site being surrounded by three deserts and 500,000 square kilometers of wilderness somehow the only short stretch of bitumen for miles starts 600m from Giles and runs within 10m of the Stevenson screen.

Giles is arguably the most central and most remote station in Australia.

Never fear, civilization is here:

 

Giles, Bureau of Meteorology, ACORN, site, Stevenson screen, WA.

Stepping back — the site is surrounded by gravel:

There is even a kind of gravel car park beside the [...]

The Bureau of Met disappears “Very Hot Days” graph showing the most hot days in 1952

Here’s an inconvenient fact: Australia had the highest number of very hot days in 1952, back when CO2 levels were 311ppm and humans had not yet emitted 87% of our carbon dioxide emissions. Something else was causing that extreme heat. If only the modelers knew what it was?

For years the BOM site had this informative graph below, but yesterday Craig Kelly M.P. phoned me to prepare for his Bolt Report appearance and informed me the Bureau had dropped it down the memory hole. It used to be a tab available on their Track climate trends and extremes page. Apparently in this era of global warming, the BoM doesn’t think Australians care about the trends in days over 40C in Australia, or perhaps it didn’t fit the agenda? On the Bolt Report last night Kelly explained that according to the Wayback machine, it disappeared sometime during the election campaign this year. (It was there on March 26th and gone on March 28th.)

Thankfully Paul Homewood of Notalotofpeopleknowthat kept a copy:

There’s not much a of a trend in the average number of very hot days (greater than 40C) each year in Australia.  | Source: Australian Bureau of Meteorology 2016.

[...]

Figure this: Andy Pitman says “we don’t understand what causes droughts” but “the indirect link is clear”!

Back in August I posted the extraordinary first quotes from Prof Andy Pitman that there was no link between climate change and drought.

Prof Andy Pitman, Climate Modeler, UNSW

The news about droughts was banal and obvious, because more water evaporates in a warmer world, and therefore, more rain falls — how could it be any other way? What goes up, must come down. But that quote was very important because it had never been stated so unequivocally by a high ranking believer and modeler. (Thanks to Jim Sternhill for spotting this incendiary and unwittingly honest quote.) Since being posted here, those quotes have been picked up by Maurice Newman, Alan Jones, then Chris Kenny (The Australian editor) and Andrew Bolt — which means the Pitman-drought-admission has become a major headache for the climate machine. Hence, they had to come up with some fogging excuse to muddy up the clarity, and here it is. Pitman forgot one word.

Prof Andy Pitman now says that he meant to say there was no direct link:

Barry said this “clarification” said Pitman had “left out a crucial word”: that “there is no direct link between climate change and drought”.

Oopsie solar-battery fail? Cloud causes System Black event at Alice Springs affecting thousands

Welcome to the new complexified energy grid where a cloud can cause a system black event — knocking out power for as much as nine hours. This affected the hospital for 30 minutes and the prolonged problems caused many businesses and supermarkets to close. Alice Springs is an island microgrid servicing about 29,000 people in the centre of Australia. It was 38 degrees C yesterday when the power went out. Shame about those fridges and air conditioning units.

Alice Springs is a mini version of larger grids showing how fragile these new complicated systems of multiple generators based on weather events and batteries can be.

Looks modern, sometimes has electricity too. Alice Springs  |  Photo by Stefano, Wikimedia.

 Yesterday: Thousands impacted by Alice Springs power blackout*

Steve Vivian, ABC News

Thousands of residents in Central Australia went without power yesterday afternoon, with some experiencing blackout conditions for up to nine hours.

Electricity was cut across the Alice Springs region around 2:30pm yesterday and was not restored in some areas until 10:47pm.

Today: Inquiry called, and explanations garbled — NT Chief Minister announces review

NT Chief Minister Michael Gunner told ABC Darwin [...]

Port Hedland: one man with a keen interest knows more about this site than the Bureau of Met does

If the planet was at stake you’d think the BOM would be doing this research, not unpaid volunteers.

Bill Johnston has shown again, that the BOM is apparently unaware and, perhaps most damningly, not even interested in most of the things that happened to their official thermometer sites.

Port Hedland is supposedly “one of the best” researched sites in Australia — so it is a certified ACORN site (one of the 112). The trends matter, and being remote, it influences a large area. But one man with dedication and no funding at all can find key historical maps and photos that the BOM, with its million dollar-a-day budget, cannot.  Instead of doing this hard work the BOM uses the magical homogenization process “to fix” up all the anomalies by hunting for data in sites hundreds of kilometers away that can be used to adjust the records at Port Hedland. This is the secret process that even the BOM admits it cannot describe in full to anyone outside the BOM. As Johnston says, it’s a process so bad it “should be abandoned”. There is no saving the error correction that starts with bad data, missing documents, and barely any historical research [...]

Homogenisation: The Magical system which uses thermometers in Victoria to correct the temperature in Tasmania

Trying to fix past mistakes through homogenization

Lots of things can muck up a perfect thermometer spot, like shade, new roads, new screens, or old paint. In order to remove these annoying non-climatic effects, the BOM compares each station to those around it to look for odd changes. In theory this sounds like a good idea. In practice it’s more like hepatitis – bad news that spreads. It’s a rogue code, sweeping through records, trying to find undocumented changes, and enabling any amount of revisionism.

The BOM “detects” these mysterious shifts at each site through thermometers that may be hundreds of kilometers away, even across a mountain range or the Bass Strait.

Among other sites, Cape Bruny in far south Tasmania has been corrected with the help of Ballarat 812 km away on the mainland, over mountains and across the Bass Strait. In 1991 Cape Bruny was found to be “statistically” wrong, and adjusted down by over half a degree.

All these sites marked in red were used to correct the record at least once at Cape Bruny, a distant island in the far south of Tasmania.

It’s a tough life for old screens: Their wooden houses get [...]

Australia: 2019 was not the hottest summer say satellites — it was just as hot in 1991

All that global warming and nothing to show for it?

Headlines rang out telling Australians that last summer was the hottest ever. But, according to the UAH satellite series, the hottest — just barely — was in 1991, when CO2 was a wonderful, safe 356 ppm. Since then, humans have emitted more than half — fully 58% — of all the emissions we have ever emitted since we crawled out of those dank caves. CO2 levels are almost 50 ppm higher now, and temperatures are almost as high.*

Wonder if this summer will get close to the summer of 1991 (and we wonder if Victoria will keep the lights on).

The UAH data comes from NASA satellites, which cover all the Australian land mass every day and night.

The BOM (and NASA) prefers to use Australian ground data which is based on sparse thermometers that keep changing sites and equipment, are located near airport tarmacs, buildings, and cars. When readings are too cold, the BOM sometimes deletes them. Temperatures from thermometers hundreds of kilometers apart are magically homogenized and “corrected” through a secret computer process and two thirds of our warming comes from those adjustments, not from CO2 [...]

Which expert put a thermometer on a hot tin roof for 40 years?

Is This the Wackiest Weather Station in Australia?

Guest post by Ken Stewart

South Australia puts thermometers beside incinerators. Victoria puts them behind prison walls. Tasmania has one beside piles of human excrement. New South Wales has them beside freeways. But Queensland goes one better — it has one on a roof.  And not just any roof, but on the shiny steel roof of a sugar loader, high above the ocean, and at the end of a jetty 5.6 kilometres out to sea. It’s in the Coral Sea, at Lucinda Point in Far North Queensland.

This station cannot possibly record meaningfully representative temperatures. But these temperatures are duly reported on the Bureau’s websites, and on TV and radio. Not only that, but temperatures at Lucinda are used to adjust temperatures at Cairns. Thus, they contribute to the official climate record of Australia, and also to global climate analyses by the likes of the Goddard Institute of Space Studies (GISS) and the Hadley Climate Research Unit (HadCruT).

Putting a weather station on a roof is a direct breach of the Bureau of Meteorology’s own guidelines, which state:

3.6.7  “Shelters shall not be installed on the [...]

Who knew? The Australian Bureau of Met just made last summer hotter, and history colder (again)

The cheapest way to prevent man-made global warming is stop the BOM altering the data

First the BoM had “high quality” data. Then, with fanfare, after we asked for an audit they had the miracle of ACORN circa 2011. Then early this year ACORN 2.0 was quietly birthed  with major adjustments as expert data became “more expert” but the BOM strangely didn’t want to mention that what was so good is now even better (apparently). The unofficial BOM audit team — especially Bob Fernley-Jones and Chris Gillham — have unearthed just how large the latest rewrite of history is. These men are truly independent, they have no funding, and nothing to gain either way. Please thank them for their unpaid dedication.

In this brazen latest round, even the summer of 2018 just got warmer. After all the headlines, after it was measured on supposedly modern first class equipment, even data just 18 months old is being re-fiddled. The temperatures read out on the news in January 2018? Nevermind what they said then. Those hottest ever records then were even hotter than the BoM thought, thanks to amazing new discoveries that the BOM doesn’t think are important enough to issue as [...]