Saturday, 23 March 2013

Australia, the January 2013 "heatwave" - highs or hype?

The Australian press, reporting claims made by the BOM, had a great time front-paging "the hottest summer evah" in Oz history. The Climate Commission then produced its "Angry Summer" report, with this (UK) "Daily Mail"-type graphic. If you want objective reporting of course, look no further, because you won't find any in that thoroughly alarmist piece of hype.

One of those claims on the graphic can be dismissed immediately, that of the "hottest January on record". Using GISS records, here are the January 2013 averages and record year, clockwise around Oz from Cairns, Queensland, using all available stations.

Station/Jan 2013 avgRecord
Cairns (airport) 28.429.6 in 1924
Townsville 29.129.6 in 1994
Mackay 27.728.4 in 1987
Rockhampton 28.528.6 in 1982
Amberley Aero (20km SW Brisbane) 26.526.9 in 1987
Brisbane (Eagle Farm) 26.2equal with 2004
Coffs Harbour, NSW 24.224.6 in 2004
Williamtown (15km N Newcastle) 24.525.0 in 1998
Sydney Airport 24.424.8 in 1946
Nowra 22.823.5 in 1991
Canberra Airport 23.124.2 in 1981
Wagga Airport 26.627.6 in 2006 (earliest exceeded 27.3 in 1979)
Moruya Heads 21.021.3 in 1946
Wilsons Promontory 18.619.4 in 1959
Eddystone Point, TAS 18.819.3 in 2010
Hobart Airport 18.219.0 in 2003 (exceeded in several years)
Melbourne Airport, VIC 20.921.9 in 1974
Laverton Aero (Melbourne), VIC 20.522.9 in 1981
Cape Nelson (nr Portland), VIC 18.619.8 in 1974
Mt Gambier Airport, SA 19.021.8 in 1974
Robe (P.O.), SA 18.820.5 in 1961
Nuriootpa (N of Adelaide), SA 21.824.4 in 1979 (& others later)
Woomera Aerodrome, SA 18.619.8 in 1974
Broken Hill, NSW 27.829.7 in 1979
Marree, SA 31.433.2 in 1999 (& others earlier)
Oodnadatta Airport, SA 32.434.3 in 2011
Alice Springs, NT 30.932.1 in 2006
Tarcoola, SA 28.830.9 in 1979
Ceduna Airport, SA 22.624.5 in 2001
Eucla, SA 23.324.2 in 2010
Esperance, WA 22.322.8 in 1979
Albany, WA 20.721.0 in 1974
Kalgoorlie, WA 26.828.2 in 2010
Cape Leeuwin, WA 21.722.1 in 2012
Perth Airport, WA 25.428.0 in 1962

Perth is interesting - the airport consistently records about 1 degree cooler than Perth itself. Hillarys Boat Harbour (no GISS records, ABSLMP data used), on the southern outskirts, records just a tad lower than the airport. UHI in action? Onward and upward (literally northward) to the hottest regions.....

Station/Jan 2013 avgRecord
Geraldton Airport, WA 26.629.4 in 1962
Meekatharra, WA 31.734.7 in 2008
Carnarvon Airport, WA 29.729.9 in 1974
Learmonth Airport, WA 31.632.7 in 2005
Wittenoom, WA 31.335.4 in 2005 (31.3 is unremarkable)
Darwin, NT 29.429.7 in 1970

Darwin's a good place to finish off - between here and Cairns, where I started, is the "back o'Bourke" with no GISS staions with relevant data. I intended to flag new records by highlighting in red, but as you can see (if you read this far), not even one GISS station has thrown up a record for January 2013, despite GHCN/GISS "adjustments" which "cool the past". So much for the BOM's "record summer" - unremarkable with a few hot days. Their Special Climate Statement 43 – extreme heat in January 2013 (pdf) is worth a read - either be amazed (and worried) or view it with a sceptical eye, and note that their "record temps at 44 long-record stations" list is outweighed by the greater number of long-record stations which did not record new records. They even thought it worth mentioning that Adelaide recorded its fourth-highest temperature for January - WOW!

Wednesday, 20 March 2013

GISS/GHCN - Woomera, Australia, the "smoking gun"

Having worked around Oz clockwise from Cairns, Queensland, I've arrived at Woomera, South Australia - where there was a rocket-testing range. However, it's GHCN and GISS who deserve a rocket, for their unexplained and totally unjustified adjustments of past temperatures. Here's the GISS chart for Woomera Aerodrome
... and the unadjusted data
..... and both datasets plotted together

What am I complaining about? There's hardly any adjustment evident at all. EXACTLY - why isn't there any? Here are the adjusted and unadjusted plots for Alice Springs, Northern Territory, just a tad up the road from Woomera (1,060 km or 657 miles to be exact).
Why does a town like Alice need a large adjustment for 1949 onwards and Woomera need none? Because Woomera already shows a warming trend! No earlier data, so no adjustment needed. This sort of fakery is scientific malpractice of the first order.

Tuesday, 19 March 2013

Adelaide, Australia - instant warming, just add GISS!

While gathering data to refute the "Hottest Oz summer EVAH" claims from the BOM and Climate Commission, and having already found no records broken while trekking through GISS data, I came across the following chart for Adelaide.

 ....... and thought I'd compare it with unadjusted data:

Instant warming! Warm the present and cool the past. Here are the two plotted together

The two plots "pivot" about 1960, where they coincide. Apart from the obvious one, I have a question - just who was flying from Adelaide Airport in 1881?

Tuesday, 5 March 2013

Australia, the January 2013 "heatwave", hour-by-hour

Hourly temperature data for January 2013, from Australian Baseline Sea Level Monitoring Project Hourly Sea Level and Meteorological Data, on the BOM website. Charts are provided without comment other than clarification, for the coastal locations on this map, clockwise in order from Cape Ferguson. Cocos Islands included as the station is part of the ABSLMP project. No data has been published for Port Stanvac since 2010. Groote Eylandt, NT is shown as Milner Bay on the map. Don't ask me why, it always has been. Note - the data has not been adjusted by anyone. Click images to enlarge. Note: chart dates/times are UTC (EDT - 11 hrs).

The spike to 41.8°C on 18th occurred over just a few hours between 1100 EDT (26.5°C) and 1300 EDT (41.8°C), falling back to 26.4°C at 1400 EDT and coincided with quite low barometric pressure.

Monday, 4 March 2013

BBC's Horizon "dumbing down" reaches a zenith

On Sunday evening (yesterday) I watched "Meteor Strike: Fireball from Space" on Channel 4, about the Russian Meteor of late. It was interesting, largely factual, as far as I could tell, and showed much footage from "dash-cams" and CCTV. The dash-cam (dashboard camera) sequences showed silent shots of the meteor streaking overhead - silent shots of course, because dash-cams don't usually record sound, they don't need to. Some dash-cams and CCTV on the street, in schools, shops and offices recorded the flash as the meteor passed, and in some cases showed the brighter flash of the explosion as it broke up. The CCTV also recorded the effects of the arrival of the delayed shock-wave some minutes later - some recorded the loud bang also.

The programme noted that in Chelyabinsk, both the bang of the explosion and the resultant shock-wave arrived some 3 minutes later, indicating that the explosion occurred some 30 miles away. Much was made of the delay - people weren't prepared for either and were clearly shocked and surprised, and in some cases injured by flying objects and broken glass. The programme was largely factual, though the simulated shots of an asteroid belt ludicrously crowded with chunks of rock (if you were on one, you'd be lucky to see another, except with a powerful telescope) , and several shots of an ominous and audibly grumbling asteroid heading for Earth tested my patience (in space, no-one can hear you scream - no air to transmit sound).

Over to BBC 2 at 2100, immediately after the Channel 4 programme, to watch "The Truth About Meteors: A Horizon Special" presented by Professor Iain Stewart. Within a few minutes, we see an identical shot to one shown on the Channel 4 programme, taken from a car waiting at traffic-lights at a large street-junction in Chelyabinsk. As before, we see the meteor streaking from left to right, low across the dawn sky, but now with a roar followed by a loud bang synchronised with the bright flash as the meteor explodes. It's a fake soundtrack added for the benefit of idiot (as the Horizon producers clearly see them) viewers who apparently don't know that sound travels thousands of times slower than light. It's an example of dumbing-down of the worst kind, and it's this kind of sensationalism and fakery that turned me off Horizon programs many years ago.

I put up with the scientifically inaccurate crowded asteroid belt and grumbling meteor in the Channel 4 programme because the rest was well worth watching, but the unnecessary and totally misleading faked soundtracks on the Horizon programme guaranteed I switched to another channel - any channel, before my precious "home cinema" suffered the almost inevitable consequences.

Smarten up, Horizon producers, and sharpen up, Channel 4 producers. There are far too many urban and scientific myths already out there, without smart-arse condescending producers adding to them.