Dodgy BoM map supports “Nation bakes in its hottest year” media article

See Coolwire 16 for discussion of the above article and this BoM map published on page 7 of The Weekend Australian 17-18 Dec 2005.

Note how 90% of the orange area of highest warming is from regions of Australia largely devoid of people and I would suggest devoid of meaningful long term temperature data too.

What disgraceful BoM propaganda, taxpayer funded.

5 comments to Dodgy BoM map supports “Nation bakes in its hottest year” media article

  • Brooks Hurd

    I suppose someone drove around parts of the outback with a thermometer and took a few temperature readiings. Since there were few records from those areas (none?) they could claim that temperatures were the “highest on record.” If there were only one reading in each of these areas, we could also claim that they were the coldest on record.

    To make such a cliam would be intellecturally dishonest.

  • Yes that would be however that is not what happens.
    This is the map of BOM climate record regions.
    www.bom.gov.au/climate/map/climate_avgs/clim_avg1.shtml

    This is the map of the centre of the NT
    www.bom.gov.au/climate/map/climate_avgs/a14f.shtml
    as you can see it is quite well represented by climate stations

    This is the one for the Kimberley
    www.bom.gov.au/climate/map/climate_avgs/a1.shtml
    A bit thin in the gound in the Gibson Desert however the north of WA is pretty well covered.

    This is the North of South Australia
    www.bom.gov.au/climate/map/climate_avgs/a16.shtml
    Again there is a fair spread of climate stations.

    It is normal procedure to fiill in areas over other climate stations that you have data from.

  • Warwick Hughes

    Australian weather records are a bit more systematic than that Brooks. There are wide spaced stations in the outback but few with long term data. More read rainfall than temperature (T) and T data series more than a few decades long, still current today, are not common.
    Ender, You have developed a technique of blitzing blogs with lists of URL’s which presumably are to enhance the credibility of what you are saying. I am sure in some cases, readers automatically assume that these URL’s back up your point of view. In this case you have strayed into the zone where these URLs do very little for your argument, which seems to be to support what the BoM have done. Frankly, I see no sign that you know enough about analysis of temperature records to set yourself up as “defender of the BoM”. The powerful and abundantly resourced BoM builders of this map can speak for themselves.
    Now to specifics and a very brief recap. I commented critically about the “orange” coloured area on the above BoM map, published in the The Australian on 17-18 December (Australia’s major National newspaper owned by News Ltd).
    Their headline was, “Nation bakes in its hottest year”.
    Australia has much temperature data commencing in the second half of the 19C but obviously station density is skewed towards population.
    A consistent feature of many Australian temperature trends from the 19C is that the early part of the record is often as warm as in the last 30 years while the middle of the 20C generally was the coolest time in our history.
    Note graphics of NASA data for Adelaide, Melbourne, Sydney – Newcastle, Brisbane, Darwin, Alice Springs etc in Coolwire 15 which illustrate these major points.
    So for a claim such as “Nation bakes in its hottest year” to be true, it must stand up in many of these long term data extending back into the 19C. Saying that 2005 was the “hottest year” at a station with data only from WWII years or later has little meaning when those data are commencing in a relatively cool period.
    In my post I said, “Note how 90% of the orange area of highest warming is from regions of Australia largely devoid of people and I would suggest devoid of meaningful long term temperature data too.”
    You quote your URL’s with maps of BoM stations and in the case of the central NT you say, “..as you can see it is quite well represented by climate stations.”
    However a close examination of temperature data available for those stations in the “orange zone” show that some of these sites are not reading current temperature data Ender and none of them that are current now started recording temperatures before 1950.
    So the truth turns out to be different from what you imply.
    When you click a station name on the maps at your URL’s Ender, for example BARROW CREEK, you go to a page about “climate averages” and see, “Commenced: 1874 Last record: 2004″.
    It would be wrong Ender to assume that temperature data at Barrow Creek commenced in 1874. Rainfall was likely read in those early years, while recording temperature data did not commence until 1964 and my Barrow Creek daily data stops in 1988.

    In WA I can not see any century long data in the orange zone. Balgo Hills only hasT data from 1986.

    Looking at the boM map above, note that prominent circular cooler gap in the north of the WA part of the Orange zone.
    In that circle, Old Halls Creek starts 1898 ended 1952
    Halls Creek Airport
    Starts 1944 still current.
    Interesting how an area with 100 years of data needs a circular exclusion from the “orange” zone.

    In SA the orange zone crosses the NE corner of the state and you say, “Again there is a fair spread of climate stations.” If you examine the map at your URL Ender, you see Moomba with annual T data staring in 1973 which is certainly in the BoM orange zone. Oodnadatta with the first year of daily T data from 1941 looks to be just to the west of the orange zone and its southern extent does not take in any long term stations that I am aware of, Arkaroola has first T data in 1977.
    So I contend that your statement, “Again there is a fair spread of climate stations.”, is superficial and misleading in terms of suggesting to readers that the BoM orange zone is soundly based in long term data.

    You wrap up by saying, “It is normal procedure to fill in areas over other climate stations that you have data from.”
    You need to be clearer than this Ender.
    We all understand that contouring software needs to smooth outlines to produce results but it can not be good science to publish without qualification, a contoured map such as above, where highest ever values are extrapolated into data poor regions.

  • Warwick – No I tend to reference my statements with what I can see is scientifically accurate data. The URLS that I provided were intended to show that there are measuring stations in these areas. It is true that they all do not have long term data but most of them do have at least 30 years. You have developed a technique of cherry picking data that in isolation proves your ideas however when taken with all the data really does not have much meaning.

  • […] This BoM drum beat lead to the 17 December article in The Australian, "Nation bakes in its hottest year", that I critiqued here on 18 Dec. as, "Dodgy BoM map.." etc. The BoM map in question was headlined, Above normal temperatures January 1-November 30, 2005. […]

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