Tag Archives: climate change

The BOM and data manipulation

All the right-wing nut jobs, unable to produce primary scientific data that disproves anthropogenic climate change and global warming, tend to resort to the time-honored but completely dishonorable tradition of attacking the messenger. The usual suspects have been attacking the Bureau of Meteorology because they don’t like the message that the globe is warming and humans are to blame. The BOM, faced with data that has discontinuities due to instrument changes, location changes and encroachment by urbanisation has had to homogenise their data to remove any factors in the temperature series that aren’t either natural or caused by anthropogenic climate change. Sounds pretty reasonable to me. Of course the idiots out there hear about it and automatically assume the BOM scientists are deliberately fudging data to “tell the global warming story”. I can only assume that none of those idiots have even a basic understanding of statistics, because if they did, they would surely leap at the chance to have their statistical take downs published in scientific journals and bathe in the glory of their statistical brilliance made legitimate?

From the Conversation

No, the Bureau of Meteorology is not fiddling its weather data

Australia’s weather records need careful analysis to correct any introduced errors. Photographic Collection from Australia/Wikimedia Commons, CC BY

Over the past week or so, the Bureau of Meteorology has stood accused of fudging its temperature data records to emphasise warming, in a series of articles in The Australian. The accusation hinges on the method that the Bureau uses to remove non-climate-related changes in its weather station data, referred to as “data homogenisation”.

If true, this would be very serious because these data sets underpin major climate research projects, including deducing how much Australia is warming. But it’s not true.

Crunching the numbers

Data homogenisation techniques are used to varying degrees by many national weather agencies and climate researchers around the world. Although the World Meteorological Organization has guidelines for data homogenisation, the methods used vary from country to country, and in some cases no data homogenisation is applied.

Homogenisation can be necessary for a range of reasons: sometimes stations move, instruments or reporting practices change, or surrounding trees or buildings at a site are altered. Changes can be sudden or gradual. These can all introduce artificial “jumps” (in either direction) in the resulting temperature records. If left uncorrected, these artifacts could leave the data appearing to show spurious warming or cooling trends.

There are many methods that can be used to detect these “inhomogeneities”, and there are other methods (although much harder to implement) that can adjust the data to make sure it is consistent through time. The Bureau uses such a technique to create its Australian Climate Observations Reference Network – Surface Air Temperature (ACORN-SAT) data set. These data are then used to monitor climate variability and change in Australia, to provide input for the State of the Climate reports, and for other purposes too.

In a statement about its climate records, the Bureau said:

The Bureau measures temperature at nearly 800 sites across Australia, chiefly for the purpose of weather forecasting. The ACORN-SAT is a subset of this network comprising 112 locations that are used for climate analysis. The ACORN-SAT stations have been chosen to maximise both length of record and network coverage across the continent. For several years, all of this data has been made publicly available on the Bureau’s web site.

Complex methods

Australia has played a leading role in developing this type of complex data-adjustment technique. In 2010, the Bureau’s Blair Trewin wrote a comprehensive article on the types of inhomogeneities that are found in land temperature records. As a result the International Surface Temperature Initiative (ISTI) has set up a working group to compare homogenisation methods.

Some of our own research at the ARC Centre of Excellence for Climate System Science has tried, with the help of international colleagues, to assess the impacts that different choices can make when using these different homogenisation methods. Much of our work focuses on temperature extremes. We have studied the impacts on large-scale extreme temperature data of changing station networks, different statistical techniques, homogenised versus non-homogenised data, and other uncertainties that might arise.

Our data on extreme temperature trends show that the warming trend across the whole of Australia looks bigger when you don’t homogenise the data than when you do. For example, the adjusted data set (the lower image below) shows a cooling trend over parts of northwest Australia, which isn’t seen in the raw data.

Trends in the frequency of hot days over Australia – unadjusted data using all temperature stations that have at least 40 years of record available for Australia from the GHCN-Daily data set.

Click to enlarge
Trends in the frequency of hot days over Australia – adjusted ACORN-SAT data. The period of trend covers 1951-2010 when both datasets have overlapping data. All data used in figures are available from http://www.climdex.org

Click to enlarge

High-quality data

Far from being a fudge to make warming look more severe than it is, most of the Bureau’s data manipulation has in fact had the effect of reducing the apparent extreme temperature trends across Australia. Cherrypicking weather stations where data have been corrected in a warming direction doesn’t mean the overall picture is wrong.

Data homogenisation is not aimed at producing a predetermined outcome, but rather is an essential process in improving weather data by spotting where temperature records need to be corrected, in either direction. If the Bureau didn’t do it, then we and our fellow climatologists wouldn’t use its data because it would be misleading. What we need are data from which spurious warming or cooling trends have been removed, so that we can see the actual trends.

Marshalling all of the data from the Bureau’s weather stations can be a complicated process, which is why it has been subjected to international peer-review. The Bureau has provided the details of how it is done, despite facing accusations that it has not been open enough.

Valid critiques of data homogenisation techniques are most welcome. But as in all areas of science, from medicine to astronomy, there is only one place that criticisms can legitimately be made. Anyone who thinks they have found fault with the Bureau’s methods should document them thoroughly and reproducibly in the peer-reviewed scientific literature. This allows others to test, evaluate, find errors or produce new methods.

This process has been the basis of all scientific advances in the past couple of centuries and has led to profoundly important advances in knowledge. Abandoning peer-reviewed journals in favour of newspaper articles when adjudicating on scientific methods would be profoundly misguided.

 

Original article here

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Hunt launches personal attack on head of Australian solar lobby

Is this any way for a government minister to behave? The fact is, Greg Hunt is a AGW denier like the rest of his lunatic fringe party. He says he accepts the science underpinning climate change but then flags and implements policies that don’t reflect the science. He is either a fraud, completely incompetent or stupid…..or all three.

Hunt launches personal attack on head of Australian solar lobby.

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Ignorance is crippling Australia

and its wilful ignorance at that

Ignorance is crippling Australia.

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Campbell “coal mining” Newman – corrupt.

unicameral

So, how does Queensland Premier Campbell Newman repay the miners who donate to his party? By creating legislation that gives them unfettered access to coal deposits with no community consultation. That’s how. If this isn’t corruption I don’t know what is….

from Queensland Country Life

Legislation definition prompts warnings

COMMUNITY groups are set to lose the right to object to an overwhelming majority of mining projects if a new bill is approved in state parliament, according to Environmental Defenders Office principal solicitor Jo-Anne Bragg.

Passage of the Mineral and Energy Resources (Common Provisions) Bill 2014 will mean 90 per cent of proposed projects would not be open for community comment or objection.

There would also be no public notification of small-scale projects.

The bill is currently in its consultation phase and submissions to the Agriculture, Resources and Environment Committee closed on July 9.

The committee is now considering those submissions before making recommendations that will be considered and debated in parliament.

Jericho beef producers Bruce and Annette Currie wrote a submission to the committee, raising their concerns about the proposal to limit objection rights to only directly affected landholders.

The definition of a ‘directly affected’ landholder is unclear, they said, and the flow-on effects of mining should be considered.

The couple, who operate 25,000-hectare property Speculation, at Jericho, understand the importance of objection rights and were involved in the Alpha coal case in the Land Court.

“We believe it is extremely important that all sectors of the community can comment, object and have appeal rights to government decisions made on ‘regional interest areas’,” they said.

“Our current situation is that if the mines in our area are given the go ahead our cattle property could potentially have its ground water impacted by coal mining; if this occurs then it will destroy our business.

“It is imperative that individuals and community groups can decide if they wish to appeal a government decision. We need and want a right of appeal.”

A diagram from the Environmental Defenders Office about the potential changes.

The Environmental Defenders Office represents landholders and conservation groups on issues ranging from environmental planning to mining and coal seam gas.

EDO principal solicitor Jo-Anne Bragg said the proposed changes would only benefit mining companies.

“Essentially people’s rights are being stripped away without any justification,” she said.

“Cases like the Alpha coal case show how landholders and community groups alike act responsibly and lead to finding that some projects should not go ahead based on groundwater impacts and uncertainties.”

Natural Resources and Mines Minister Andrew Cripps said the Mineral and Energy Resources (Common Provisions) Bill 2014 was about getting the balance between resource development, landholder rights and environmental protection right.

He said the bill contained a number of key benefits for landowners that didn’t previously exist under the former Labor government.

“For the first time, directly affected landowners will have the right to give or withhold their consent for activities to occur close to their homes or businesses,” Mr Cripps said.

“This will provide a clear ‘line in the sand’, increasing the protection from 100 metres to 200 metres for mineral and coal projects.”

Read the original article here

 

 

 

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The climate change denial industry cops another blow

More and more, the climate change denial industry, and it is an industry, is becoming increasingly marginalised. Big business which is generally all about free market ideology and is usually dismissive of the science underpinning anthropogenic climate change.  Insurance companies however, do recognise the threat of human caused climate change and have started rumbling about a lack of government action. You won’t find too many insurance companies funneling money into right-wing anti-science conservative think-tanks. Now, the world’s largest PR firms are also taking a stand.

From the Guardian

World’s top PR companies rule out working with climate deniers

Ten firms say they will not represent clients that deny man-made climate change or seek to block emisson-reducing regulations.

Some of the world’s top PR companies have for the first time publicly ruled out working with climate change deniers, marking a fundamental shift in the multi-billion dollar industry that has grown up around the issue of global warming.

Public relations firms have played a critical role over the years in framing the debate on climate change and its solutions – as well as the extensive disinformation campaigns launched to block those initiatives.

Read the rest here

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If We Release a Small Fraction of Arctic Carbon, ‘We’re Fucked': Climatologist

from Brian Merchant at Motherboard

This week, scientists made a disturbing discovery in the Arctic Ocean: They saw “vast methane plumes escaping from the seafloor,” as the Stockholm University put it in a release disclosing the observations. The plume of methane—a potent greenhouse gas that traps heat more powerfully than carbon dioxide, the chief driver of climate change—was unsettling to the scientists.

But it was even more unnerving to Dr. Jason Box, a widely published climatologist who had been following the expedition. As I was digging into the new development,…. read the rest here.

 

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Diabolical Wind Turbine Rays

I’d like to thank Dave Clarke for directing me to his webpage in one of his comments here…and for giving me some new terminology to use…. diabolical wind turbine rays….

Please visit Dave’s page here.

 

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