Remembering the Jones et al 1986 temperature station comparisons were often over huge distances – ridiculous distances sometimes over 1,000km

I have just been pulled up by George Bailley for comparing Ceduna temperatures to Fowlers Bay (western South Australia) which he said were 118km apart.
This comment from GB was at my earlier post – The BoM ACORN SAT dataset disaster rolls on – fatal minimum>maximum errors can not be repaired until “second half of 2014”
Yet when Professor PD Jones and his team birthed “global warming” with their two hemispheric papers in 1986 they often compared stations over 1000km apart – see table below with Australian examples. The Australian Bureau of Meteorology made no comment about the Jones et al 1986 paper quoting these ridiculous station comparisons.

Data in the table above is from this book – html version – Jones PD , Raper SCB, Cherry BSG, Goodess CM, Wigley TML, (1986c) TR027 A Grid Point Surface Air Temperature Data Set for the Southern Hemisphere. Office of Energy Research , Carbon Dioxide Research Division, US Department of Energy. Under Contract No. DE-ACO2-79EV10098 –
When GB has written to Professor Jones pointing out the huge distances between his station comparisons – and tried to convince Professor Jones that his comparisons should not exceed 100km – then I might take more note of comments by GB.
In 1988 Dr Fred B Wood published a useful critique of Jones et al 1986 and he addressed this distance issue – which Wigley & Jones termed a “red herring”.

6 thoughts on “Remembering the Jones et al 1986 temperature station comparisons were often over huge distances – ridiculous distances sometimes over 1,000km”

  1. Very nice attempt at distraction Warwick – but this is so instructive.

    In précis form – you questioned a scientific method for determining near surface decadal temperature trends – I challenged you to provide a better method – you referred me to your mid 1990’s paper – when I ask questions about that method and how it works you generally refuse to answer – instead you try to turn the discussion to another paper that may or may not have done things imperfectly.

    Lets have at look at explicitly what I wrote:

    “In your commentary you note that typically stations are within 80km of each other – however these two are about 118km apart – and on the coast too. That would make splicing two data sets together very tricky.

    Tell me, did you compute yearly means – and then splice – or did you splice monthly values – and then compute yearly means?

    Next, I note that you indicate than correction factors for spliced maximum and minimum temperatures were generally less than 0.5c. However, for these sites Fowlers Bay had a annual maximum that was 1.6 degrees cooler but an annual minimum that was 2.7 degrees warmer than Ceduna AMO. I’m sure you were careful here – if you didn’t correct properly the annual mean would be artificially warmed in the early part of the record

    Perhaps you could walk me through the method you used here to estimate the 1930 to 1942 values for Ceduna AMO based on Fowlers Bay data – I’m sure it would be very instructive – perhaps climate scientists could learn a thing or two.”

    Rather than trying to duck the questions – lets talk about your preferred method that you pointed me to – and find out how it works. You put it on the table – you said it should have been published – you clearly believe it is superior – lets find out how it works.

    If you can do this, Warwick, and your methods stand up to scrutiny, then you can take your place as a respected contributor to the advancement climate science. The decision is yours.

  2. Warwick

    I see you’ve chosen not to respond to reasonable questions about best practice climate science – under the pretext that I haven’t written to Professor Jones to complain about a paper written almost 30 years ago.

    I suspect the real reason is that you did the research over 20 years ago, and without the data files to go back over you’re struggling to pin down the strategies that you used. I would be in the same boat if you asked me about work I did 20 years ago – heck even remembering stuff I did last week is a challenge sometimes.

    It is an imperfect world we live in, Warwick, with imperfect instrumentation, imperfect science, and imperfect people. I think the errors and omissions in your recent posts have demonstrated that in spades, but don’t worry – I demonstrate it as well in the many things that I do wrong. You’d be well advised to consider this next time you decide to tee off against people working in the climate sphere.

    There will always be imperfections about, and improvements to be made, in whatever processes are developed, whether it be for climate science, meteorology, hydrology, string theory, quantum physics, brain surgery or economics. Rather than spending your time trying to knock other people down, why not try to be more constructive, and work with people to develop better strategies and processes.

    You might just make a difference.


  3. C’mon Warwick

    You know this issue is going to continue to dog you. Every time you criticise a recognised climate science strategy – the question will be – why wouldn’t Warwick back his own methodology?

    To some extent it could be argued that slinging the mud – but not being able to handle it when it comes back – is un-Australian! Is that a tough comment – or is it fair? Certainly I don’t think that it was mud that was hurled back – just some very reasonable questions about something you were – up until recently – prepared to back as your own best work.


  4. I made it plain in my 13th June comment that I can not address my data from the 90’s unless certain floppy disks are found late next month.
    Currently I am away from the office working and restricted in managing the blog.
    Persisent verballers might find themselves on ignore.

  5. Hi Warwick

    Don’t bother with finding your old data – we have all the required all data available online – as I linked to previously.

    Just tell us what the processing steps should be – and we’ll work through those and reproduce your strategy.

    You’ve spent many an blog post telling us how wrong everyone else strategies are – lets work through your preferred strategy and find out what it can do. We can submit to the homogenization benchmarking project and measure how effective it is!



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