Sunday, August 24, 2014

Amberley, BoM and WUWT

WUWT has a post about Amberley. Amberley is part of the high quality Australian network ACORN. You can scroll down that catalogue to see pictures and description of the site. I've been hearing rumblings about Amberley for months - now apparently Jennifer Marohasy has persuaded Graham Lloyd at the Oz to run a story on how Australia's temp record is being corrupted.

It's of course a familiar story, and Lloyd doesn't need much persuading. It is of course a cherry-pick; even more so since what is shown is the plot of minimum temps; max temps would show only half the effect.

WUWT readers are very short of information here. Lots seem to think that the BoM has obliterated the original data, despite the post featuring a plot of original vs adjusted. So I thought I would try to help, with the following comment:

Mark Addinall says: August 23, 2014 at 9:42 am
"If anyone cares to remember I did that analysis some four years ago. Back when the raw data could still be had over the web. Data has gone."

It hasn't gone. It's all there, as originally reported, at ghcn unadjusted. There is even, normally, a complete accounting, with the effect of GHCN adjustments shown Amberley here. I'm pretty sure you can get unadjusted from BoM too.

Pamela Gray says: August 23, 2014 at 9:58 am
"This is germane to the brief discussion I had with Leif. He asks to be pointed to a temperature record data set used for research purposes that is valid and reliable. My response was that there were none to my knowledge."

Again, GHCN unadjusted has the original data. Go to Daily if you want lots of it. I have an index, TempLS, which works directly from this data.

Anyway, about a week ago I was put on a two-day time-out (circumstances described here). It still persists, and my posts still disappear when I submit them. Twelve hours later, still no show - saga described here.

On the actual adjustments, if you follow the GHCN graphic for Amberley that I tried to link WUWT to, it shows the adjusted and unadjusted (min/max average), and the actual adjustments. There's only one major one, in about 1980. But because the record at 70 yrs is relatively short, it has quite a big effect on the trend. BoM say they don't know what happened, but you can see in the unadjusted a dive around that time, and apparently when compared with neighboring stations, it didn't seem to be climate. Amberley is on the fringe of Brisbane, so there is plenty of data nearby.

I referred in my WUWT offering to a possible BoM source of unadjusted data. I have now located it. It isn't very convenient; you are supposed to input search data for each station and display a graph or table. And they do only min and max; no average.

I've been building up a BoM portal, and I thought this would be a useful addition. I've done it in the first instance for the BoM 2012 HQ network. This is basically ACORN plus some long record stations that have terminated. I downloaded the list from David Stockwell, where there are more details.

So table below the jump, presented in the hope that people will compute more representative cases.


  1. Nick:

    Pamela Gray ( Erstwhile WUWT denizen): "He asks to be pointed to a temperature record data set used for research purposes that is valid and reliable. My response was that there were none to my knowledge."

    And yet Pamela knows the "valid and relaible" fact that the world was at least as warm in the MIddle Ages as it is now,to say nothing of "Roman Times", whatever they might be.

    Congratulations for lasting so long in the WUWT bearpit. You obviously got under Watt's skin, as evidenced by your having a post devoted to a vilification of your good self, including a crude caricature by the ineffably self-righteous "Josh". In my experience, with the exception of your posts, early in the threads, WUWT only gets interesting deep down in the discussion threads, when opposition to Watts and his friends sometimes appears without the censors clamping down. Particular highlights were a demolition job of Eschenbach by a certain " Ximinyr" in May 2013 and Monckton's discomfiture by a certain "Phil" earlier this year before Watts rode to his rescue with threats to "out" Phil, before banning him.

    1. "Congratulations for lasting so long in the WUWT bearpit."
      To mix a metaphor, I'm in the doghouse, but it may not be permanent. It's possible things will have to wait until their current reorganisation settles down.

      Yes, I think Phil.'s contributions are excellent, and always come at the end. Perhaps that is wise, but it's a pity. I don't think he's banned; just under constant threat of being outed.

  2. Nick

    Hope to see you back at WUWT. We need voices outside of the sceptical consensus.

    Mind you your haunt of Hotwhopper is hardly objective is it? From them I learn that your appreciation of my post on the Arctic Ice was obviously 'ironic.'


    1. Tony,
      Yes, I'll try again when the new system has settled down.
      I don't haunt Hotwhopper (AW says HW haunts him), though I think Sou does excellent analysis. I hadn't heard that interpretation; Mine was a straightforward comment. I don't agree with everything you say, and I often don't think your data proves what you think it proves. But I'm always prepared to support people who work hard to find out facts.

    2. Tony,
      I went to check at HW and couldn't find the comment that you mention. There was one that had been removed.

    3. Sceptical consensus? Is there such a thing, other than ABCD, and anyway, don't the sceptics keep saying that consensus has no place in science?

  3. Nick

    No, its still there on 'Deniers Smorgasbord.' Its not important.

    As you say AW thinks that HW haunts him, bit then again a large proportion of Sou's posts are about him and the commentators and very often taken out of context. Its seems to me to be more of an echo chamber than WUWT, but that is why we need people like you, Phil and others in order to provide alternative perspectives. We don't seem to see Joel there any more either.

    Anyway, I often don't think that your data proves what you think it proves either, but like you I'm always happy to support people who work hard to find out facts and present them in a reasonable fashion.

    There are too many people on both sides who present information stridently.


    1. Anyway, good news - I'm fully functional again at WUWT. Hoping to discuss the Amberley analysis.

  4. Speaking of data out of context (as some were, I take it?), people might like to know that the reason there is a gap in the temperature records at Rutherglen Research Institute during the 1960s was because a new centre was being built at that time. So it is highly likely that the weather station was moved then.

    I can also attest to the fact that there are not nearly as many frosts and the cold isn't nearly as cold as it was when I was a child in the 1950s in north eastern Victoria - just a hop step and a jump from Rutherglen. I used to enjoy cracking the ice in the puddles on the way to school in the mornings. And I remember chipping the icicle off the tap in the "new" indoor/outside toilet before chopping up some kindling to light the fire :)

    Not that the above means anything much, compared to hard data. Memory is fallible. Still, I offer it up for what it's worth.

    The fuss about BoM records is a storm in a teacup, trying to cover up the Force X and the notch fiasco, probably.

    1. Sou,
      Have you seen the new post on Amberley? I guess I should do Rutherglen too.

    2. Sou,
      I see you've done Rutherglen. Congratulations. You're obviously best placed to do it.

  5. Hi Sou

    By coincidence I was in contact by email with Dr Sarah Perkins In Australia who runs an extreme events unit at UNSW. I contacted her as a result of the, to my mind, unnecessary ridiculing of the fears of some Australian climate scientists recorded at WUWT. I registered my disapproval there

    We exchanged information and I took her politely to task on using the benign climate (as you have done) since 1950 as any sort of indicator that things have got much worse than what went before.

    We have thousands of records of extreme events in such as the Met office library that testify to extraordinarily severe weather events that can be traced back to around the Domesday book.

    Obviously some observations are more reliable than others and you have to take into account that there was a religious or supernatural aspect to some observations.But many are certainly not anecdotal and can be cross referenced with other records and scientific papers

    Hubert Lamb records these events well, as do many others, as past climate was a well researched area before it fell out of fashion as computer models came along..

    BTW Hubert Lamb Mike Hulme, The Met Office, De Bilt are amongst many others that reckon that CET is a good-but by no means perfect- proxy for global temperatures as I asserted in one of my posts and you refuted without looking at the evidence.

    The Notch theory seems unlikely to me.

    I will read Nicks posts on Amberley as I have no knowledge of it and no view either way. I do not believe in hoaxes or conspiracy theories or inventing or deliberately misconstruing material but try to follow the evidence. Whilst I may disagree with much of Nicks work I admire his tenacity and good humour and diligence in putting together data


    1. "past climate was a well researched area before it fell out of fashion as computer models came along"

      And you wonder why I don't suffer fools.

  6. Sou

    I am not sure what point you are trying to make.

    Do you think I am unaware of paleo climate proxies and their sources? I have read many of them. If you would like to recommend one that clearly explains how tree rings can measure global temperatures to fractions of a degree bearing in mind their limitations due to their short growing season , crowding and micro climate issues. I will gladly read it.

    I can see their value as giving a broad estimate of moisture and of dating.

    Due to the years of smoothed data such proxies need to use to create a temperature signal they are a very coarse sieve through which the real world of often highly variable annual and decadal weather falls.

    I will try to borrow the book in your second link next time I am at the Met Office library as my allowance from Big Oil is insufficient to cover its purchase. Have you actually read it?

    I would suggest in return that you might find a book such as 'The Viking World' by Stefan Brink to be informative, especially if you could combine it with a visit to the Scott Polar Institute archives in Cambridge.

    1. You're not sure of the point I was trying to make? The point is that the science of paleoclimatology has made huge strides since the 1950s and 1960s. Your comment is like claiming that motor cars will never replace horses as a mode of transport. Or that you think that bakelite phones and manual connection via telephonists at a central exchange is much more advanced than a cell phone.

      I've no patience with people like yourself who think they've discovered science and real scientists "don't know nuffin"". I find it odd that you seem to yearn for some sort of recognition from people who accept science, even while you reject science and act as if their work has no value or worse. You seem to think you deserve a medal for recognising the validity of people's feelings about the future they see as scientists. You don't.

      I dislike your passive aggressive tone, when you addressed your comment to me but said nothing relating to what I wrote in the comment you replied to. I didn't mention extreme records nor make any value statement about better or worse, but you tried to insinuate the notion that I did.

      Also, if you were miffed that at HotWhopper I pointed out that central England is not the entire world, you could have commented there at the time. You alleged I didn't look at evidence when that article in particular included evidence, as do most of my articles.

      I've no problem with you looking up old records wherever you can find them. It's your life, your time and you can do with it what you like. But don't expect me to buy into or put up with your rejection of climate science, your misinterpretations of the data, the silly disinformation you spread, or your favouring of denier blogs to post your lengthy articles on.

  7. Sou

    Me passive aggressive? I read your links then as far as I can see I responded to your post by asking you to advise me what book on proxies might convince me of the value of tree rings and that I would make the effort of reading the book in your second link.

    You said; 'I've no patience with people like yourself who think they've discovered science and real scientists "don't know nuffin"".

    I cant think of how many times I have pointed out in many blogs that scientists are scientists because they are smart and that I don't believe in hoaxes or conspiracy theories. I also quote lots of climate scientists and their papers in my articles. I have met a number and corresponded with many more and universally like and respect their work.

    I am not anti science at all. I am against data being used that is not always as robust as claimed. A case in point are tree rings and SST's..

    You must have a reason as to why you believe that tree rings for example can be utilised for the purposes they are used, with the degree of accuracy claimed. By all means suggest the book/papers that convinced you and I will read them.

    you also said;

    'But don't expect me to buy into or put up with your rejection of climate science, your misinterpretations of the data, the silly disinformation you spread, or your favouring of denier blogs to post your lengthy articles on.'

    Any suggestions as to other sources for publication other than 'denier' blogs?

    BTW I have tried to post several times at your blog but was unable to complete it. This includes the time when Lubos Motl made an outrageous and offensive claim.


    1. I haven't mentioned tree rings in particular. Do you always make a habit of putting words into people's mouth? That's the second time you've done it in only three comments.

      In any case, I've no intention of trying to convince you about anything. In my experience deniers don't want to be convinced about science. Quite the reverse. Their crusade is to persuade people that there's nothing to worry about at best, or that climate science is a scam, or even that "it's cooling and an ice age cometh"..

      Once again you are angling for some sort of respect and praise as if it's something unusual to be proud of that you'd respect the work of experts in a field. You won't get any from me. You claim you don't believe in hoaxes or conspiracy theories but you do write a lot of nonsense about climate. Your claim to respect the work of scientists is contradicted by what you write. For example:

      You are the only one of us who's focused in on tree rings. I don't pretend to be an expert in dendrochronology. If you want to learn about paleoclimate and proxies, do your own research or talk to the experts. There are tree rings and a myriad of other proxies that you could learn about if you wanted to do so.

      Now just as you've tested my patience, I'm sure I've worn out Nick's hospitality allowing you to goad me into your thread hijack, responding to your demands and insinuations. Typical denier tactics. If you want to discuss any of the articles I do write about, you can always learn how to post a comment on HotWhopper. Google "google blogger" for tips. It's not hard. If your browser is stopping you, try a different one. Read the comment policy before you do.

  8. Sou

    Practically the very first words In your very first link to me from Noaa were 'tree rings'. Naturally I therefore thought you might have a particular interest in this and other proxies that were mentioned, as you linked to it as a source of reference for me. This is why I mentioned it and asked you to provide evidence of their value as the means to record temperatures accurately enough to be considered a scientific measurement as I have yet to find it..

    There are lots of people out there writing on a variety of climate related subjects. Few are doing any primary research work on past climates. I choose to do so and use observations-verified by other records such as crops, tree lines etc, together with numerous scientific papers contemporary and modern. They show a long term warming and this, together with episodes such as the Roman Warm period the MWP and the LIA need explanation before we can understand their causes and their relevance (if any) to the modern warm period..

    I am not angling for any praise or respect. I have previously said that I am inconsequential to the climate debate. Quite why you think I am important enough to write about is a bit of a mystery

    As you say, we have both impinged on Nick's hospitality.