For all of 2014 now an assortment of warmists have sounded fanfares about the upcoming El Nino – even “Super El Nino” – prayer mats out begging the weather gods to deliver them a year hotter than 1998. But both the 30 & 90 day SOI has been rising for a month – nothing is surer than another El Nino will lurch onto the stage sometime – just has not obliged warmists by turning up this year. Rain for December.
Starting in January we have had no shortage of news items from warmists predicting an El Nino event this year – even a “super El Nino”. However despite all the media hoopla – the SOI has not gone below -10 for long enough to ring the bell on an El Nino event. On 18th November 2014 the BoM in their ENSO update which looked at a range of conditions in the Pacific – opted for “…at least a 70% chance of El Niño occurring.” – but they fail to say when.
As I write both the 30 day and 90 day SOI are above minus 8 and rising – just as there is no show without Punch – there will be no El Nino without a strongly negative SOI.
The Australian newspaper reported that Tony really did say this at Beaufort, Victoria, in December 2009 – Town of Beaufort changed Tony Abbott’s view on climate change
But my posts on BoM adjustments to ACORN-SAT Cobar Meteorological Office temperatures 1963-2013 Episode 1 and Episode 2 – raise a new question.
Follow the logic here. The adjustments the BoM makes in its flagship ACORN-SAT data show that they do not even trust the readings made at Cobar – a state of the art, purpose-built meteorological station, staffed by their own professionals. What they are saying is that for practical purposes it is impossible even for our modern scientific society to measure temperature consistently at a professionally managed site over multi-decades.
Yet temperature data from thousands of stations of vastly lower quality around the world – used without adjustment to prove “global warming” – are bound to carry far more errors that we know little or nothing about. And the adjustments at Cobar alone are as large as the claimed rate of “global warming” over decades.
So whatever the truth of Tony’s assessment of the whole issue, it is difficult to avoid the conclusion that “climate change as measured – could well be crap”.
This is the second episode in the Cobar ACORN-SAT series examining BoM adjustments to the CDO temperature data – here I start to look at adjustments to minimum temperatures. The 1st episode looked at maximum temperatures. A list of ACORN adjustments to Cobar data is here and you can see the first min adjustment listed is 1st Jan 1972 meaning the adjustment factor applies to all data earlier than that. You will see it is labelled as “Statistical” meaning there is no evidence for it in station diaries or admin records but it derives from computer driven comparisons sifting data differences from multiple stations as far away as Parkes and Hillston – see map. In this case of the 4th adjustment the following stations data was used.
Making the chart of Cobar annual minimum temperatures compared to ACORN-SAT my eye was caught by the adjustment starting in 2006 and affecting all earlier years which I have marked with a blue 6. That is unlisted in the ACORN-SAT documentation and is substantial at about -0.4 degrees C. The slight mismatch between Cobar Met Office and ACORN from 2007-2013 is due to rounding differences because I have made my ACORN annuals by averaging a year of daily data which I leave as produced by Excel with multiple decimal places.
The next adjustment to look for is at 1971 where I have the blue 4, which is the 4th adjustment in the ACORN list and is listed at -0.49 degrees C. The increased departure of ACORN cooler than Met Office to about -0.9 is obvious on the chart.
Examining this adjustment in greater detail I have made a chart comparing Cobar MO and ACORN version with nearest neighbours Bourke, Wilcannia and Nyngan. The average difference between the 1971 & 1972 readings for these 3 stations is +0.2 at Cobar MO, +0.4 at Bourke PO, +0.4 at Nyngan, and -0.4 at Wilcannia, an average for the 3 Cobar neighbours of +0.13, not very different from the +0.2 that we know happened at Cobar Met Office. But instead of leaving the higher quality Cobar Met Office readings well alone – what does the BoM decide to do with their adjustment #4? They take off 0.49° making the 1971-1972 difference now 0.7 – greater by 0.3 than any of the neighbours. Presumably the BoM justify this by their computer driven comparisons with sites as distant as Parkes.
If the reasons for an adjustment can not be seen in nearest neighbours then it must be an exercise in fantasy to search for a reason in a cherry picked array of more distant stations which are all of poorer quality than Cobar Met Office.
It is interesting to check the differences in annual minimums between Cobar Met Office and Cobar Airport which are only about 7 or 8 km apart. You might expect them to be very similar and in lockstep – not so from the chart.
Note the BoM never refer to Cobar Airport data in ACORN-SAT – but we are free to check it out.
First there is no evidence here of a step or jump around 2006 – 2007.
While there are such wildly varying and apparently random differences between these two very adjacent sites – what on earth can the BoM learn by comparing Cobar with Parkes – or indeed any other station in their adjustments list.
These are the sort of unsafe foundations that pro-IPCC climate science is based on.
A reader has asked me to look at how ACORN-SAT has adjusted Cobar temperature data. Cobar is an old site with Post Office data from 1881 – then in 1963 the BoM opened the Cobar Met Office on the north side of town. Map from Google Earth with MO marked by “green X”. Detail of Met Office – note housing adjacent. A Met Office is of course purpose built and staffed by BoM professionals. Then in 1994 an Airport station commenced with an AWS.
ACORN-SAT starts with a positive adjustment to the max of 0.41 prior to 1 Jan 1995. Table of ACORN-SAT adjustments for Cobar. I will start by examining the evidence for that first adjustment 1 Jan 1995. This chart shows Cobar district annual max t data from 1963 – the 3 Cobar station plus Bourke PO and Airport – then Wilcannia and Nyngan. All data from the BoM CDO www site. I have marked the year 1995 with a “green 1″ – and the first adjustment to Cobar Met Office is indicated by the “green 2″.
Here is a map of NSW showing all stations used in the various ACORN-SAT adjustments of Cobar. Here is a list of stations used in the first adjustment (1 Jan 1995) – the only one we will discuss at this time.
An important note – BoM ACORN-SAT does NOT use Cobar Airport data, despite the two stations only being about 7km apart and as the chart shows the Airport and MO annual max data are in near lockstep as you would expect.
I am saying this first adjustment is invalid for the following reasons.
 The Airport data for 1994 & 1995 closely agrees with Met Office so this fact must override whatever signals the BoM computes from “data mining” at diverse stations up to a few hundred kms away some in very different climate zones.
 The Cobar Met Office is a purpose built facility staffed by professionals so that data must be considered a more reliable baseline compared to amateur run sites not owned by the BoM.
 If there was a valid reason to adjust Cobar MO data prior to 1 Jan 1995 it is ludicrous to think there would not be a reason revealed in the Met Office admin records.
That is my case that the ACORN-SAT version of Cobar fails at the first hurdle.
There has been much valid criticism of ACORN-SAT in recent months and the entire project must be scrapped.
The BoM was asked to calculate the climate of the Canberra district in the process of deciding on a location for the Australian Federal Capital Territory – Chris Gillham alerted me to this report and he has his own comments on the data in a 1Mb pdf report.
Looking at the temperature data in the Table on page 7 & 8 of the pdf report I decided to check on Goulburn, Cooma and Yass getting data from BoM CDO.
In the case of Goulburn the annual mean temperature was 56.1°F for the 46 years prior to 1910 – this equates to 13.4°C and the station was at an altitude of 702m. Now Goulburn Airport is at an altitude of 640m so the 13.4 in town would equate to 14 at the Airport assuming a standard lapse rate. The Airport in the ten years 2004-2013 averaged 13.1 – so even if we take of 0.2 from the Goulburn Town temperature for possible non-Stevenson screen exposure – we still have Goulburn 105 years ago 0.7 degrees warmer than the last ten years.
In the case of Cooma the annual mean temperature was 54°F for the 44 years prior to 1910 – this equates to 12.2°C and the station at Lambie Street was at an altitude of 812m. Now Cooma Airport is at an altitude of 930m so the 12.2 in town would equate to 11.04 at the Airport. The Airport in the ten years 2004-2013 averaged 11.15 – If we take of 0.2 from the historic Cooma temperature for possible non-Stevenson screen exposure – Cooma 105 years ago might have averaged 10.85 or 0.3 degrees cooler than the last ten years.
Yass is complicated by stations closing in the last ten years with only one month overlap. I have done the calculations and allowing for the site change and altitude differences there is near zero difference between the Yass district pre 1910 and in the last ten years.
Upshot is there seems to be no global warming or significant climate change around Canberra since the 19th Century.
Saturday morning after 9am the ABC news 24 TV presenters crossed to a BoM staffer from Melbourne and they all talked about a possible record breaking day for Brisbane which had a forecast of 40. Oddly none of them including the BoM guy could quote what the record was (takes 20 secs online to find out). Brisbane Regional Office hit 41.2 in November 1913 – that is the record – nineteen thirteen!!! They are forecasting 40 again for Sunday – might be luckier. On Saturday Brisbane topped at 32 near 1pm but NE breezes moderated the afternoon. Amberley and Gatton further west did hit 40 and Amberley got a record 43. It was also interesting to hear TV news people Saturday evening all faithfully mentioning the “hot day” in G20 reports.
Remember the post two years ago by JoNova – Extreme heat in 1896: Panic stricken people fled the outback on special trains as hundreds die.
Since then of course the BoM has shouted to the rooftops that January 2013 was the “hottest evah”.
This issue has been given some impetus after the speech in parliament by the MP for the Federal seat of Dawson, Mr George Christensen. In his speech – which you can see on YouTube – Mr Christensen made the point that the 1896 heatwave was hotter than anything we have known in recent years.
I thought I would start by posting a series of BoM maximum temperature anomaly maps of 14 Australian hot Januaries from 1932 up to recent years. All maps made at this BoM site which will not go any earlier than 1911. I am working on a map for January 1896 -
“The Conversation” has this recent blog article – FactCheck: was the 1896 heatwave wiped from the record? – which is critical of the speech in parliament by Commonwealth MP for the Federal seat of Dawson, Mr George Christensen. In his speech – which you can see on YouTube – Mr Christensen made the point that the 1896 heatwave was hotter than anything we have known in recent years.
In The Conversation blog under the section headed “Hot history?” the authors mention the long running experiment at Adelaide started by Charles Todd in 1887 where he compared temperatures in a Stevenson screen with an older style Glaisher stand – an experiment which ran on for 61 years to 1947. The blog says – The results of this 61-year experiment show that summer daytime temperatures measured using the Glaisher Stand are, on average, 1C warmer than in the Stevenson Screen. The blog goes on to say – “And this was at a well-maintained station…”. I will show at a later blog post that this 1°C figure is likely to be exaggerated.
The Conversation blog fails to mention that the BoM has a peer reviewed paper which published the results of this experiment.
The 1996 BoM peer reviewed paper – Nicholls, N., R. Tapp, K. Burrows, and D. Richards. Historical thermometer exposures in Australia. Int. J. Climatology, 16, 705-710. – can be downloaded here.
The blog omits a critical quote from page 709 of the 1996 paper which says – “Over the year, the mean temperatures were about 0.2°C warmer in the Glaisher stand, relative to the Stevenson screen.” So in terms of correcting annual mean time series – we need only subtract 0.2°C from questionable pre 1910 readings – I say let the BoM do that.
But let us return to the claim about Adelaide on The Conversation blog – “And this was at a well-maintained station…”.
Following the 1996 BoM paper above – I obtained data from the 1887-1947 Adelaide experiment and published a reply in the International Journal of Climatology detailing my analysis of the 61 years of monthly data.
1997 Hughes, W.S. Comment on, “Historical Thermometer Exposures in Australia.” by N. Nichols et al. International Journal of Climatology, Vol. 17, pp. 197-199. – downloadable here – I produced charts of the seasonal differences – Glaisher minus Stevenson for both maximum and minimum – and it is plain that the 61 years of data is riddled with inhomogeneities producing a dogs breakfast of poorly understood jumps, steps and trends in the differences. This shows that the experiment was far from “well maintained”. Unpublished reports by Swinburne researchers show that records of the 61 year experiment were not well kept.
The BoM enjoys beating up “extremes of climate” – this page of New South Wales highest maximum temperatures for 2nd November 2014 has a string of glaring errors –
Scone SCS might have been transposed from the previous day because SCONE AIRPORT AWS (061363) registered only 26.3. Lostock Dam, Pindari Dam in the far north and Yass also look to have been transposed from the previous day.
Yarras, 60km west of Port Macquarie also looks too high at 29° and is not reflected in the daily contour map below.
So that whole area of light pink and light brown contouring SE of and surrounding Scone looks dodgy. (Hat tip to reader Ian George)