Australian Climate Commission makes dodgy claims about Western Sydney hot days

About a week ago Dr Tim Flannery, Professor Lesley Hughes and other Climate Commission luminaries went public with claims about hot days above 35C in Western Sydney including;
“…hot days had already increased 60 per cent in western Sydney since 1970…”
and – Federal Climate Commissioner Professor Lesley Hughes says western Sydney is getting disproportionally hotter and drier than the rest of Sydney.
“If we compare western Sydney with the rest of Sydney, the number of hot days in western Sydney used to be three times as many as eastern Sydney, and now it’s four times,” she said.
These claims are from the Climate Commission report – “The Critical Decade: New South Wales climate impacts and opportunities”. If you Google the report title you will find the ~5MB pdf download.
Here is the Climate Commission Figure 3 from page 4.

Which gives them the pictorial of increasing heat that they want you to believe.
Here is the entire Sydney record showing warm peaks in 1926 and the 1940’s – so deliberately censored out by the Climate Commission because those inconvenient data destroy their pro-IPCC storyline.

I have also shown the Richmond RAAF data which commenced in December 1939 (so missed out on Jan-March 39) and shows the all time peak of 36 days over 35 degrees in 1940 – despite 1940 data only including Jan to the first few days of May, no data for December. So the all time peak of 36 days over 35 degrees would probably have been higher if all the data had been preserved. Then there was no data for 1941-42 – 1943,44,45 were OK but 1946 only has Jan-May (with a few gaps) yet still made 21 days over 35C. The gap post May 1946 carries on through 1947-52. Then 1953 does not start until late April yet still made 15 days over 35C. So we are fortunate that enough data has been preserved from Dec 1939 to show up the Climate Commission distortions of our history.
To sum up how the Climate Commission has been misleading.
[1] Shortening the Sydney trend to censor out periods warmer than they want you to know about.
[2] Failing to find the well known Richmond RAAF data – which comprehensively ruins their storyline.
[3] Leaving a large gap in their Paramatta trend circa 1978 which they should have known was concealing a peak comparable to the last few years. Keeping their storyline intact again.
[4] Making all manner of scaremongering statements about heatwaves based on 1,2 & 3.
It is interesting to reflect that if Hitler had not invaded Poland in Sept 1939 – the RAAF would maybe not have been so active at their Richmond base and the BoM might not have commenced the temperature station there in Dec 1939.
And the Climate Commission would have been more likely to have succeeded with their misleading version of the history of hot days in Western Sydney.
Jennifer Marohasy and Basil Beamish have reported on these issues before me – thanks to them both.
Climate Commission Fudges Hot Day Data
and
Basil Beamish for Climate Commissioner – which shows how Bathurst data too ruins the Climate Commission fairystories.

11 thoughts on “Australian Climate Commission makes dodgy claims about Western Sydney hot days”

  1. [1] Shortening the Sydney trend to censor out periods warmer than they want you to know about.
    [2] Failing to find the well known Richmond RAAF data – which comprehensively ruins their storyline.
    [3] Leaving a large gap in their Paramatta trend circa 1978 which they should have known was concealing a peak comparable to the last few years. Keeping their storyline intact again.
    [4] Making all manner of scaremongering statements about heatwaves based on 1,2 & 3.

    Well They did say they evaluated their sources in 3000 different ways, you wouldn’t expect them to tell us punters it took that many attempts to eliminate all inconvenient facts would you, nuff said. :-)

  2. I love this, the overpaid pooh-bahs of the Climate Commission will find out they were pre-shafted by Hitler. You could not invent this stuff.

  3. Warwick your chart above tops out at just above 35 degrees C. So you would need to increase the scale a bit to get these temps from 1908,1923,1935 and 1936 on it!
    The 38.8 degreec C from 1908 would go well up into the above paragraph!
    trove.nla.gov.au/ndp/del/article/17286576?

    How soon we do forget the past!

    “People are not likely to soon forget yesterday–the closing day of 1908 It provided a heat record for the year. The blood-like appearance of the sun as
    it appeared in the east at an early hour gave an intimation of what was to fol- low. At 9 o’clock the temperature was well in the nineties, and the mercury con- tinued to mount until a maximum of 110 degrees in the shade was recorded at the post office. Some private registrations were as high as 115.”
    Singleton Argus Saturday 2 January 1909
    trove.nla.gov.au/ndp/del/article/79666339?

  4. Warwick,

    The missing values for 1978 and 1979 are 8 and 18 respectively. This can be verified using the records from Bankstown Airport for January 1978 and December 1979 (the only months with missing data for these years at Parramatta).

    There are many sites that have been eliminated from long term analysis due to missing values, but some simple logic can come up with at least values for these to at least be able to see the trends that are present.

    cheers, Basil

  5. Ooops just re-read that and now see it was “days per year”. I need to let the coffee have an effect before typing in the morning! Still those are interesting old temperatures.

  6. Perhaps we are all being a bit blind-sided here ?

    The data appears to demonstrate increased rate of hot days due to UHI at North Parrammatta, not GHG’s !

    I suggest that Flannery et al, should be challenged on this point. If UHI is a dangerous outcome of urbanisation in western Sydney then he should also be challenged on what remedies should be undertaken to reduce the claimed negative affects of UHI. Trying to reduce GHG’s would obviously be futile here, as supported by the data, including his own.

  7. Just some musings (rantings) and data collection after reading your comments etc regarding this report and statements made by Will Steffen in The Australian this week. He reiterates that western Sydney temps have increased 60% since 1968 to 2011 based on Parramatta (Masons Dve).
    Does anyone know how he arrived at that figure? Which years did he include?
    I checked the data – you may get this 60% figure if you compare the number of recorded hot days from 1968-1981 and compare them to 1998-2011. However much of the data for 1970 is missing (all Jan and half of Feb) as is some data in the summers of 1969 and 1978/9. So has he back-filled data from surrounding stations to arrive at this figure? I very much doubt it.
    If we just look at the decadal data (even leaving out that summer data in 78/79) we find the following.
    Parramatta (Masons Dve) 92 hot days (1971-1980) and133 hot days (2001-2010) This gives an increase of only 45%.
    Looking at surrounding stations in the west gives a rather confusing picture.
    Prospect Reservoir (8kms away) seems to show a 60% increase from 1968-1981 compared to 1998-2011 (Steffan says he didn’t include Propspect). Yet Richmond (31kms away) has an increase of only 16%.
    Bankstown (11kms away) has an increase of only 13% when comparing 1969-1981 and 1999-2011 (station did not open until July, 1968).

    If you add Prospect Reservoir, Bankstown, Richmond RAAF and Parramatta, there are 559 hot days (1968-1981) and 746 hot days (1981-2010). This is an increase of 30%.

    Now compare Sydney Observatory and Sydney Airport together. They show little increase in hot days from the 1968 – 1981 period to 1998 -2011. Sydney Observatory had 49 hot days for both periods and Sydney AP rose from 75 to 81 days. How can western Sydney be a victim of climate change and not Sydney city? Can CO2 be that selective? Or, as you say John, is it more to do with the UHI?
    Picking up on your point, Basil and Warren – many of the stations did not start until the late 60s but Richmond RAAF did. For 1943-1945, one month in 1939, 3 months in 1940 and 2 months in 1946 (with missing data), there were 139 hot days. In other words, 3.5 years had nearly as many hot days as 2001-2010 (178). The old Parramatta w/s (066064) shows it still has the highest yearly average of 24.6C in 1940 and a record for Jan of 32.8C in 1946 but there is no daily data available. So there was definitely a hot spell during the late 30s/40s which would rival present conditions.

    Further, Sydney Ob had 121 days from 1921-1950 but only 101 days from 1980-2010. The worst decade for hot days in Sydney was in the 1920s with 49, compared to 35 last decade. Therefore there has been a decrease in hot days since 1921. Sydney’s hottest day was in 1939, the hottest Feb day was in 1926 and the hottest Dec day was in 1957.

    So Steffan et al should be confronted with the data and the comments/questions you have presented. Is there anyway we can get this info out there?
    Thanks for the link, mondo – will be submitting some questions shortly.

  8. I noticed this article with relevance to the growth of the Parramatta urban heat island but while watching the item on TV news I was struck by another thought.
    Ever noticed how when there is an industrial “accident” like this, which involves scaffolding not being properly fastened to a wall. That the guys in the CFMEU union tee shirts are always telling us how bad it is. Yet correct me if I am wrong but other guys in CFMEU union tee shirts fastened the same scaffolding to the wall. Get my point. I am very impressed that it is always the union guys who knowall after any accident, but they are NEVER the cause. And of course the media guys interviewing always know NEVER to ask who stuffed up. We live in a great society.

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