A few comments on Chapter 1 of the latest CSIRO paper "Climate change : science and solutions for Australia"

Climate change : science and solutions for Australia
(p 2, top)

"A network of standard thermometers and standard thermometer shelters was progressively introduced throughout Australia between 1890 and 1910."

This is the first time I have ever seen 1890 quoted in this context. The BoM position is stated on page 4 of their 8 Feb 2011 "SPECIAL CLIMATE STATEMENT 27"

“An exceptional summer heatwave in greater Sydney and the Hunter Valley”

where they say

"Maximum temperatures prior to 1910 have not been considered for inclusion unless they are known to have been measured in a standard Stevenson screen or similar."

I have never seen the BoM mention a date before 1907 or 1908 and I am not aware the BoM produces a trend starting prior to 1910.

My own research suggests that the Stevenson screen was progressively introduced from about 1882 – obviously spreading out from high order stations.

There is much information from searchable newspaper archives and archived photographs coming online in recent years which provide evidence for the use of the Stevenson screen from the 1890’s which undermines the BoM position. A few examples are given here.

It is amazing that in the 14 pages – with several superfluous propaganda photos – the CSIRO paper shows no graphic of the Australian long term temperature trend as defined by the BoM  – which we note originates in 1910 – and be aware these BoM data have been stroked and tweaked to show more warming than the raw data.

My graphic "Average of 25 Regional and Remote Stations" shows that Australian temperatures in the late 19th Century were similar to those in recent decades which are quoted by global warming alarmists as evidence for anthropogenic warming.

No wonder the BoM, other public service scientists and global warming alarmists do not chart Australian temperature trends prior to 1910 – yet note how the BoM trend is warped cooler from 1910-1940’s. There is a lot of propaganda out there.

The CSIRO include the page 3 Fig 1.1 which I am sure is not peer reviewed and only runs from 1960. Why do they talk trends from 1910-2009 on one page then can only find data from 1960 ?

RAINFALL

We must remember that the Eastern Australian big wet of second half 2010 and early 2011 caught the CSIRO by surprise. See my blog article from October 2010, Australian wheat crop history does not shout “worst drought ever”

Bottom of page 5 –

"It is notable that, despite heavy rainfall in Victoria during the second half of the year, Melbourne recorded its 14th consecutive year of below average inflows to water storages during 2010."

Wrong CSIRO – there was nothing notable about that – simply that in the swings and roundabouts of rainfall – the Thomson dam catchment got less rain than vast areas of Victoria to the north and west.

To wrap up – can I just point out two sections on Australian rainfall that seem to me to be contradictory.

First – bottom page 4 –

"Similarly, vast movements of oceanic heat and atmospheric circulation over the Pacific Ocean, known as the El Niño-Southern Oscillation, are associated with periodic droughts (El Niño) and, alternatively, heavy rainfall (La Niña) across the eastern and southern parts of the continent.
Sea surface temperatures in the Indian and Southern oceans, as well as atmospheric circulation around the Southern Hemisphere as a whole, also make strong contributions to Australian rainfall variability."

Then on the bottom of page 7-

"There is no unequivocal evidence that long-term changes in the Indian and Pacific oceans, such as changes to the El Niño-Southern Oscillation, have had a major influence on rainfall trends over Australia, despite studies that have identified possible changes over the 20th century in these large features of climate variability."

Page 7 – that’s enough wading through CSIRO-speak for me.

12 thoughts on “A few comments on Chapter 1 of the latest CSIRO paper "Climate change : science and solutions for Australia"”

  1. A couple of things to like:
    a) No disclaimer that I can see:
    b) at page 10 ‘This book is based on rigorous peer-reviewed scientific literature to articulate how human activities affect our climate, what changes we have seen already, what further changes we can expect, and what we might do to reduce future changes and live with those that are now inevitable. The wealth of science behind this book reflects decades of research by researchers in Australia and internationally, including many from CSIRO.’
    Well I suppose you can like the bold bits but the rest of that sentence tells the reader that the CSIRO’s mind is made up – science follows policy or something like that

    I do have some problem with surface temperatures (page 15) The UAH satellite based temperature as at March 2011 is back down to 1981 levels www.drroyspencer.com/latest-global-temperatures/
    The CSIRO says ‘Australian average temperature has increased by around 0.7ºC since the middle of the 20th century.3 This trend is continuing: the second half of 2009 was the warmest on record for Australia and 2010 was one of the hottest years in the instrumental climate record. The past decade (2000 to 2009) was Australia’s warmest decade on record.’ What adjustments have been made to Australia’s surface temp record and what are the impacts of UHI are not explained
    Just a couple of comments, come back to it later

  2. Reading the selected text you quote below – I have just added some comments in CAPS to show how the CSIRO jumps seamlessly from local to global to make the most alarmist impression

    The CSIRO says ‘Australian average temperature has increased by around 0.7ºC since the middle of the 20th century.3 This trend is continuing: the second half of 2009 was the warmest on record for Australia and FROM HERE TO NEXT FULL STOP THEY ARE QUOTING GLOBAL 2010 was one of the hottest years in the instrumental climate record. IN FACT FOR AUSTRALIA THE 2010 MEAN T ANOMALY WAS ONLY 0.19 DOWN FROM 0.9 IN 2009 – YOU CAN CHECK AT THE BoM SITE I LINK TO IN MY ARTICLE. NOT SO IMPRESSIVE THAT THE WARMIST CSIRO WOULD MENTION. The past decade (2000 to 2009) was Australia’s warmest decade on record.’

    What adjustments have been made to Australia’s surface temp record and what are the impacts of UHI are not explained
    Just a couple of comments, come back to it later
    The adjustments Val are very time consuming to unravel but Ken Stewart has done good work on this. And of course many BoM sites will have UHI – remember that the Canberra data was so affected that the ACT Commissioner for the Environment had to draw the attention of the BoM to the issue.
    If Canberra data is imperfect – what do think about town airports further from BoM admin.

  3. Yes, but to me Warwick what concerns me is the purpose referred to in the sentence I have quoted
    This book is based on rigorous peer-reviewed scientific literature to articulate how human activities affect our climate
    I’m no scientist but I’m familiar with legal cases, that is each side presents their case
    The Prosecution presents its case and then the defence requires it to prove it
    in this case what that sentence implies to me is that CSIRO are presenting a one sided report that is ‘how human activities affect our climate etc

  4. Without having time to explore the CSIRO report, suffice to say that I am pleased to see Warwick’s graph of 25 staions with temperatures prior 1910 being of the same order as or higher than the 1980s and since, although not shown. I had found the same for a few which I had looked at some time back.

    Although some city stations had an earlier temperature measuring device, those which had, earlier than 1882, only measured rainfall, then reported temperatures would have been using the Stevenson Screen, yet the BoM were reluctant use the data on the grounds of not knowing what device was used. To hide the higher average temperatures may have had a bearing on the decision.

    As to UHI effect, if such increasingly affects any of the sites since 1970 or so, it was absent priot to 1910.

  5. Another thing of interest to me is this statement on page 6:
    Studies have linked most of the warming in global temperatures in the past 100 to 120
    years, especially in the last 50 years, to increasing greenhouse gases and the enhanced
    greenhouse effect.
    That statement footnotes
    12Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) (2007) AR4. Contribution of Working
    Group I to the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.
    (Eds Solomon S, Qin D, Manning M, Chen Z, Marquis M, Averyt KB, Tignor M and Miller HL).
    Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK and New York, NY, USA.

    I’m no scientist but my understanding is there a lot of dispute about ‘radiative forcing’

    A new article appeared in Climate Despatch today www.climatechangedispatch.com/home/8932-criticism-of-the-ipcc?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+climatechangefraud%2FnkcO+%28Climate+Change+Dispatch+news%29
    Criticisms of the IPCC
    the article at no 5 links to one of the key figures from AR4 WG1 SPM, figure SPM.2. The figure also appears in the SYR (figure 2.4), and in WG1 chapter 2 as FAQ 2.1 Figure 2 and Figure 2.20 – that’s four times in total. But the figure is wrong. The RF value for cloud albedo has been calculated incorrectly.

    and also from Climate Dispatch

    www.climatechangedispatch.com/home/8931-ten-physics-facts-setting-the-record-straight?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+climatechangefraud%2FnkcO+%28Climate+Change+Dispatch+news%29
    Physics facts 3 and 4 seem relevant

    So I’m confused …. maybe one of you clever scientists or engineers could help me out

  6. “My own research suggests that the Stevenson screen was progressively introduced from about 1882 – obviously spreading out from high order stations.”

    Could FOI requests be utilized to determine if earlier Stevenson Screen stations were identified, considered, but excluded from the record?

  7. Thanks for visiting downunder Paul – my knowledge of station diaries is that they are mostly so sketchy as to not have useful information for that purpose. That is why I relied on transcripts from the 19th Century Intercolonial Conferences. For example Ellery’s statement at the 1881 Conf – “In a Stevenson’s stand made for one of the country stations…” – from that I take the common sense meaning – that by 1881 the “Stevenson stands” were routinely being made in Melbourne and installed at country stations.
    But the BoM denies that.

  8. Warrick, my thoughts on FOI would be to determine why BOM was not utilizing qualified stations with histories prior to 1910.

  9. Warwick, just inquiring if you have seen any of the presentations from the recent Cairns Conference Greenhouse 2011, there are a lot of them, but I only recognize a couple of names as I am not a part of any scientific cabal. CSIRO and Qld govt were sponsors. I have cut and pasted 4 pages of them on my blog site pindanpost.com
    They seem to cover a lot of topics, and look like most need fact checking!

  10. Paul – I think that the “BOM was not utilizing qualified stations with histories prior to 1910.” because they know the resulting trend is not what they want – not sufficiently IPCC compliant. The BoM have had 20 years to analyse the few dozen stations involved to see if comparative studies into homogeneities could be published that would wipe out the late 19C warmth. This they have never done – so I have assumed it has been tested and found to be an impossible task. Their chosen course of action is a blanket ban pre 1910.
    Just now I can not see what an FOI application could reveal but I am open to ideas.

  11. Warwick,
    I assume you’ve seen Clement Wragge’s letter to Nature April 1886 showing that Adelaide had a small and large Stevenson screen in use (obviously prior to that date because of postal time and publishing delay). He commented that the larger screen was better for Australian conditions. Obviously not shy about expressing his opinions.
    Melbourne installed a Stevenson screen in 1876 with a new thermometer shed in 1879. I feel sure that Sydney at least would have followed (Paul in Sweden – always rivalry between the 2 cities) and certainly before 1888.
    WA was poor and backward until the 1892 goldrush, so Perth got their box only from the start of 1897, but were installing them in the country stations from that time, so obviously they were manufacturing them in WA.
    That comment about the records before 1910 not being suitable because of a lack of Stevenson screens looks to be the most unreliable feature of all. They ignore 25 – 30 years of records, but were able to see AGW after 10 years, and claim it proven after 22 years.
    Thanks Graeme – for that bit of history – I knew he had been at Adelaide before going to Brisbane – for a while he had a Stevenson screen on Mt Lofty so they could make obs simultaneous obs Adelaide. He sure was an interesting character – not backward in pushing his views – and prone to ruffling the feathers of others.

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