40 Years of Some BoM Australian Rural Temperature Data

The Australian Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) has acquired daily weather data from many sites for many years and compiled it into a base that compares well with that from other countries.

The data in various stages of treatment is available from Dr Stockwell through this site. It includes a small amount of infilling of missing data, usually by inserting the value(s) of an adjacent day. The infilling is not considered to alter the conclusions, but it is a mathematical convenience. It can be said of these 17 rural sites that –
•    the most northerly half averaged similar slopes to the southerly half
•    airport locations were similar to non-airport locations
•    there is insignificant correlation with nearby town populations
•    there does not seem to be a UHI effect
•    in some places, instrumental problems might be confused with climate responses
•    the slope of inland sites was greater by far than the slope of coastal sites.

The two purposes of this note are to solicit suggestions on why inland sites (which equate to higher elevations above sea level) mostly have higher slopes than coastal sites; and to make known the availability of worked data as outlined. Remember that the problem needing explanation is not simply moderation of temperatures by the sea. That might reduce data scatter, but it would not easily reduce temperature increase as happens inland.

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0 thoughts on “40 Years of Some BoM Australian Rural Temperature Data

  1. • airport locations were similar to non-airport locations
    • there is insignificant correlation with nearby town populations
    • there does not seem to be a UHI effect

    I have a problem with a report that accepts as fact these 3 conclusions that have been verified as wrong by both peer reviewed and blog research.

  2. • airport locations were similar to non-airport locations• there is insignificant correlation with nearby town populations• there does not seem to be a UHI effectI have a problem with a report that accepts as fact these 3 conclusions that have been verified as wrong by both peer reviewed and blog research.

  3. Andrew,

    There is very lttle socio-economic activity at most of the 17 sites in my mini study. Besides, it has to be a transient effect, that the inland heats while the coast does not, because if you extrapolate back or forwards for a few decades then you get rather implausible temperatures.

    LarryT,

    You might nor have read the longer version, which makes it clear that I am referring to a subset of 17 sites chosen by the BOM as rural. My comments relate to these sites. About half are airport and half are not; I can see no difference between them. There is insignificant correlation with neaby town populations partly because there are no towns at all, or because those with towns are some distance away from the weather stations and are small(with Broome WA a possible exception). There does not thus seem to be a UHI effect in my figures mainly because there is no urban. I mentioned it as a possible confounding factor that can be excluded from the mini study of the 17 rural sites.

    So, in approximate terms relating to this study, why do inland sites show 40 years of heating when coastal sites do not? When will the relative heating stop and why?

    • Okay, I think I understand what was done now. Hm…Now I’m really puzzled! I’m sure there is a logical explanation-I just don’t know what it could be!

  4. Andrew,There is very lttle socio-economic activity at most of the 17 sites in my mini study. Besides, it has to be a transient effect, that the inland heats while the coast does not, because if you extrapolate back or forwards for a few decades then you get rather implausible temperatures.LarryT,You might nor have read the longer version, which makes it clear that I am referring to a subset of 17 sites chosen by the BOM as rural. My comments relate to these sites. About half are airport and half are not; I can see no difference between them. There is insignificant correlation with neaby town populations partly because there are no towns at all, or because those with towns are some distance away from the weather stations and are small(with Broome WA a possible exception). There does not thus seem to be a UHI effect in my figures mainly because there is no urban. I mentioned it as a possible confounding factor that can be excluded from the mini study of the 17 rural sites.So, in approximate terms relating to this study, why do inland sites show 40 years of heating when coastal sites do not? When will the relative heating stop and why?

  5. Okay, I think I understand what was done now. Hm…Now I'm really puzzled! I'm sure there is a logical explanation-I just don't know what it could be!

  6. I would think that it would been better to state things like:

    no airport bias exists because the small airports serving this area are not significantly different from normal environment

    no UHI bias exists because of small rural popuation centers

    Otherwise, i fear that such statements would be used to promote the AGW cheerleaders.

    Keep up the good work Geoff

  7. I would think that it would been better to state things like: no airport bias exists because the small airports serving this area are not significantly different from normal environmentno UHI bias exists because of small rural popuation centersOtherwise, i fear that such statements would be used to promote the AGW cheerleaders.Keep up the good work Geoff

  8. I am curious about the the time period chosen. Not saying it is wrong, just asking why 1968 to 2008? I think there are about 20 rural sites going back to as far as 1910 when stevenson screens were deployed. Why not take as much reasonably consistently measured data as possible?

  9. I am curious about the the time period chosen. Not saying it is wrong, just asking why 1968 to 2008? I think there are about 20 rural sites going back to as far as 1910 when stevenson screens were deployed. Why not take as much reasonably consistently measured data as possible?

  10. The period 1968-2008 was chosen because instruments were in Imperial units before 1966 and decimal after; because of the 17 sites chosed by the BOM as “rural”, most did not extend much further back than 1968 (indeed two started after that date). It was an exercise in the removal of as many variables as I could manage, to get data sets that were as uncomplicated as possible.

    Of course, the major question is why some sites show no temperature rise, some even a fall, over the last 40 years when GHG are supposed to be inexorably warming the planet. There is a limit to the number of times one can special plead “local influences” or “statistical vatiation as expected”. A hard liner would say that just a few unchanging sites disprove the hypothesis that the globe is warming, in favour of saying that some parts are and some parts are not. Then one would have to re-examine the proposed warming mechanisms to accommodate the exceptions.

    In a wider version of the essay I do give some graphs going back to 1860 or so, but UHI complicated the interpretation.

  11. The period 1968-2008 was chosen because instruments were in Imperial units before 1966 and decimal after; because of the 17 sites chosed by the BOM as “rural”, most did not extend much further back than 1968 (indeed two started after that date). It was an exercise in the removal of as many variables as I could manage, to get data sets that were as uncomplicated as possible.Of course, the major question is why some sites show no temperature rise, some even a fall, over the last 40 years when GHG are supposed to be inexorably warming the planet. There is a limit to the number of times one can special plead “local influences” or “statistical vatiation as expected”. A hard liner would say that just a few unchanging sites disprove the hypothesis that the globe is warming, in favour of saying that some parts are and some parts are not. Then one would have to re-examine the proposed warming mechanisms to accommodate the exceptions.In a wider version of the essay I do give some graphs going back to 1860 or so, but UHI complicated the interpretation.

  12. Thanks Geoff. I should have recognized the 1966 proximity.

    The question you’ve raised is an interesting one.

  13. Thanks Geoff. I should have recognized the 1966 proximity.The question you've raised is an interesting one.

  14. There seems to be a lot of confusion around the net relating to UHI. It is clear to anybody with a thermometer in their car reading outside temperatures that there are marked UHI effects (of several degrees C) evident when you drive from a rural setting through a city.

    However, it is not the UHI effect that matters with long term temperature records – it is the change in UHI effect over time – lets call it Delta UHI – that matters because it is that which can introduce distortions into the temperature record if not recognised and adjusted for.

    I suggest that the discussion on UHI would proceed with less confusion if we adopted a standard terminology of Delta UHI to refer to change in UHI effect over time.

  15. There seems to be a lot of confusion around the net relating to UHI. It is clear to anybody with a thermometer in their car reading outside temperatures that there are marked UHI effects (of several degrees C) evident when you drive from a rural setting through a city. However, it is not the UHI effect that matters with long term temperature records – it is the change in UHI effect over time – lets call it Delta UHI – that matters because it is that which can introduce distortions into the temperature record if not recognised and adjusted for. I suggest that the discussion on UHI would proceed with less confusion if we adopted a standard terminology of Delta UHI to refer to change in UHI effect over time.

  16. Geoff,
    Do you have any analogous precipitation data?

    My uninformed intuition suggests a dry/cloud-free trend could lead to interior heating with much less coastal impact. Essentially, less heat release from storms.

    A more creative (ridiculous) suggestion: could there be continent-wide UHI of some kind? Again, this would have greater interior than coastal impact.

    Is there any geographic pattern at all to the heating?

  17. Geoff,Do you have any analogous precipitation data?My uninformed intuition suggests a dry/cloud-free trend could lead to interior heating with much less coastal impact. Essentially, less heat release from storms.A more creative (ridiculous) suggestion: could there be continent-wide UHI of some kind? Again, this would have greater interior than coastal impact.Is there any geographic pattern at all to the heating?

  18. Geoff – apologies a bit OT but a similar vein.

    I wondered if you have looked at the data for Orcadas at all? The reason I ask is that I’ve seen your references to Macquarie and I wonder if Orcadas shows similar/dissimilar behaviour. It is another long record station. I’ve had a very brief amateur look at the READER data but the ranges are huge so a more skilled view would be appreciated.

    Ranges:

    http://www.nerc-bas.ac.uk/public/icd/gjma/orcadas_temp.mon.stats.pdf

    Data sources:

    http://cdiac.esd.ornl.gov/epubs/ndp/ndp032/ndp032.html

  19. Geoff – apologies a bit OT but a similar vein. I wondered if you have looked at the data for Orcadas at all? The reason I ask is that I've seen your references to Macquarie and I wonder if Orcadas shows similar/dissimilar behaviour. It is another long record station. I've had a very brief amateur look at the READER data but the ranges are huge so a more skilled view would be appreciated.Ranges:http://www.nerc-bas.ac.uk/public/icd/gjma/orcad…Data sources:http://cdiac.esd.ornl.gov/epubs/ndp/ndp032/ndp0

  20. Curious,

    Regret I have not looked at other islands. I’m doing an old-fashioned excercise in looking at long datasets virtually line by line, to try to imagine reasons why certain observations are missing, to see if the figures “feel” right, to get an idea of predictability from one day to the next. Just the type of thing that the modern PC can bypass so easily.

    If you go to
    http://climexp.knmi.nl/gettemp.cgi?sherro1@optusnet.com.au+88968+BASE_ORCADAS+

    you will find a graph for Orcadas that shows very little trend, with the average temp being at about -2.5 deg C in 1900 and the same at the end of the data about 1992. However, there is a lot of (noise) variability in the data, which you can download by clicking on the “raw data” in blue below the top red graph.

    This is GHCN data given to KNMI and I am not sure of its provenance. Hope this helps.

  21. Curious,Regret I have not looked at other islands. I'm doing an old-fashioned excercise in looking at long datasets virtually line by line, to try to imagine reasons why certain observations are missing, to see if the figures “feel” right, to get an idea of predictability from one day to the next. Just the type of thing that the modern PC can bypass so easily.If you go tohttp://climexp.knmi.nl/gettemp.cgi?sherro1@optu…you will find a graph for Orcadas that shows very little trend, with the average temp being at about -2.5 deg C in 1900 and the same at the end of the data about 1992. However, there is a lot of (noise) variability in the data, which you can download by clicking on the “raw data” in blue below the top red graph.This is GHCN data given to KNMI and I am not sure of its provenance. Hope this helps.

  22. Thanks Geoff – that does help. My interest was based on your comments elsewhere re: the lack of GW signal at Macquarie being an island relatively free of continental influence. To my mind Orcada looks similar except it is in the same approx. region as the West Antarctic peninsular where station data is showing warming. To my simple mind as there appears to be a trend difference this indicates a constant delta in heat input. If it were simply a circulation pattern difference I would expect the temp. difference relative to Ant. to stabilise. So I am tending towards the volcanic activity argument – if the temps at Macquarie followed a similar pattern IMO this would undermine the argument. Please excuse the very rudimentary nature of these thoughts – at some point I’ll research and hopefully develop a more informed view.

  23. Thanks Geoff – that does help. My interest was based on your comments elsewhere re: the lack of GW signal at Macquarie being an island relatively free of continental influence. To my mind Orcada looks similar except it is in the same approx. region as the West Antarctic peninsular where station data is showing warming. To my simple mind as there appears to be a trend difference this indicates a constant delta in heat input. If it were simply a circulation pattern difference I would expect the temp. difference relative to Ant. to stabilise. So I am tending towards the volcanic activity argument – if the temps at Macquarie followed a similar pattern IMO this would undermine the argument. Please excuse the very rudimentary nature of these thoughts – at some point I'll research and hopefully develop a more informed view.

  24. I was curious about Airport Global Warming. Graphed the raw data from global land based (airport-biased) measurements vs jetfuel consumption since 1926:http://i629.photobucket.com/albums/uu20/blouis7…Someone clever could model more precisely the heat load of airport takeoffs and landings; heat dispersion; and come up with a computer prediction of how much temperature rise one might expect from airport thermometers over time.No idea what might come of it….the beauty of science.

  25. I was curious about Airport Global Warming. Graphed the raw data from global land based (airport-biased) measurements vs jetfuel consumption since 1926:

    Someone clever could model more precisely the heat load of airport takeoffs and landings; heat dispersion; and come up with a computer prediction of how much temperature rise one might expect from airport thermometers over time.

    No idea what might come of it….the beauty of science.

  26. I was curious about Airport Global Warming. Graphed the raw data from global land based (airport-biased) measurements vs jetfuel consumption since 1926:http://i629.photobucket.com/albums/uu20/blouis7…Someone clever could model more precisely the heat load of airport takeoffs and landings; heat dispersion; and come up with a computer prediction of how much temperature rise one might expect from airport thermometers over time.No idea what might come of it….the beauty of science.

  27. I am curious about the the time period chosen. Not saying it is wrong, just asking why 1968 to 2008? I think there are about 20 rural sites going back to as far as 1910 when stevenson screens were deployed. Why not take as much reasonably consistently measured data as possible?
    Rezzan Kiraz

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