How not to measure temperature, part 92 – surrounded by science

Last week we had quite a row about temperature and temperature adjustments in Wellington New Zealand. One of the stations cited was the Kelburn district of Wellington, NZ.

NIWA issued a response statement regarding the charges leveled by The NZ Climate Science Coalition here:

http://www.niwa.co.nz/our-science/climate/news/all/niwa-confirms-temperature-rise

They say:

Warming over New Zealand through the past century is unequivocal.

NIWA’s analysis of measured temperatures uses internationally accepted techniques, including making adjustments for changes such as movement of measurement sites. For example, in Wellington, early temperature measurements were made near sea level, but in 1928 the measurement site was moved from Thorndon (3 metres above sea level) to Kelburn (125 m above sea level). The Kelburn site is on average 0.8°C cooler than Thorndon, because of the extra height above sea level.

The NZ Climate Science Coalition responded with a series of graphs that showed how the temperature record of stations in Wellington looks:

Wgtn_temp_1
And they write:

What’s interesting is that if you leave Kelburn out of the equation, Thorndon in 1910 is not far below Airport 2010. Perhaps that gave NIWA some confidence that the two locations were equivalent, but I’m betting Thorndon a hundred years ago was very different from an international airport now.

Of course we all know that airports tend to run hotter than surrounding areas due to the huge expanses of runway, tarmac, terminal buildings, and car parks they have become as aviation has grown in the last 100 years, so it is no surprise to see the airport hotter than Kelburn, which is higher in elevation and with a bit more greenery, owing to the nearby Botanical Gardens.

I had an interest in tracking down the Kelburn station, just to see how good it is. I was able to find it on Google Earth as an aerial view which you can see below. I was unsuccessful in my first attempts at finding a photograph to document the measurement environment of the Kelburn station. I picked up the hunt again a few days later, and found it hiding in plain site. Thank goodness for tourists.

Google Earth aerial view - click for larger image

You can see the Stevenson screen is surrounded by astronomical science, such as the historic Dominion Observatory and the Carter Observatory to the west (off screen). But from a climate science perspective, it is also surrounded by asphalt, with a car park to the east. According to the Google Earth measurement tool, vehicles are parked within 6 meters of the Stevenson Screen.

But I really really wanted to get a ground level view to absolute ascertain the placement of the Stevenson Screen. Lots of web searches turn up nothing. I found pictures of the observatories, pictures of the Krupp gun, pictures of the skyline, but no pictures of the nearby weather station. After all, other than myself and surfacestations.org volunteers, who takes pictures of weather stations while on vacation? Still I figured, this is a major tourist spot, within walking distance of the top of the famous Wellington cable car, surely somebody had snapped a photo?

Then I discovered something in Google Earth called “Panoramio”, which had a whole collection of tourist submitted shots around the observatories.

Bingo!

Here’s the full image from Panoramio, the Stevenson Screen is clearly visible. Thank you J. Baines, wherever you are.

The car park asphalt at 6 meters away puts the station rating at CRN4, based on NOAA’s site quality rating system used for their Climate Reference Network. I’ve found that the vast majority of historical stations in the USA have been affected this way:

One wonders how this area has changed over time, and how long the car park has been there, and how much it, and the tourist vehicles that park next to the fence have contributed to the Kelburn climate record. Someone familiar with the history of the observatory might be able to shed some light on this. Was the screen always in this location? When did the car park go in? How many tree have been cleared around the site over the years? How many new buildings (Like the Carter Observatory) have but put up nearby? These are all issues which affect the temperature record. Disentangling those influences is difficult without an historical context.

I don’t blame the scientists at the observatory for letting the climate measurement environment at Kelburn deteriorate, after all they are charged with looking upwards, not at the grounds around them.

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151 thoughts on “How not to measure temperature, part 92 – surrounded by science

  1. Neat!
    May I suggest truncating the green curve at 1955 and splicing on the red line?
    We have to hide the decline!

  2. By using the “Time” feature for this image (which only goes back to 2002) it appears the Stevenson screen may not have even been there. It’s a little hard to tell because of the image rez.

    What has happened, however, is it appears a new structure was built in the car park area just to the east.

  3. And from this real world of sited temperature measuring devices, we are supposed to infer changes of 0.2 deg. C per decade or less?
    These weather stations were not designed or installed for this type of function.
    They were designed to give day to day, week to week, day of year to day of year type weather information.
    “Calibrating” them with mathematical functions to ascertain fractional temperature accuracies over many decades is a fool’s errand.

    I should also note that temperature gauges at airports are used to guide pilots in safe takeoff and landing speeds at various aircraft gross weights.
    As such, estimating high for temperature won’t get people killed, as hotter air is thinner, and causes lift to decrease in the aircraft.
    Being biased high won’t get people killed, so I’d bet that the bias is there.
    Locating a temperature station close to the tarmac at an airport is a GOOD THING from a safety point of view. Maybe that’s why many of them are located there.

    Cross purposes, folks.

  4. My understanding of calibration tells me that Kelburne and the AIrport are nicely calibrated, occupying portions of the same time frame. Thorndon is calibrated with nothing. Is is separated by BOTH time & space, and flaps in the breeze.

  5. the placement of the weather stations appears to have played a bigger part in getting the desired fraudulent temp results than people realise.
    on any given hot day where i live, the media will make a point of going out to check the temp at the car parks of shopping centres and report the much higher temp. it’s done as a reminder to people not to leave their children/dogs in locked cars.
    if only the media would inform them this happened with the weather stations used for proving AGW, people would understand how easy it is to fudge figures.

  6. Enjoy!

    [snip - Besides this being waaaayyy off topic to this thread - for the gazillionth time, we don't post Hitler parody videos here - we don't like people calling us "deniers" related to that period in Germany, so I'm not about to stoop to this level.

    Let me make it really really clear people: STOP SUBMITTING THIS VIDEO TO WUWT - Anthony]

  7. I lived in Wellington from 1998 to 2003 and the car park was there when we first got there (I know because we spent nearly every weekend up at the botanical gardens with the kids exploring etc).

    Mailman

  8. Bad siting quite possibly. Another interesting question is has Kelburn and the airport station diverged significantly over the period of overlap. Just eyeballing it looks as though they do diverge.

  9. I agree with Splice, the airport and Kelburn seem to diverge. How is the Wellington record actually constructed? It looks like from the GISS data that it has been dropped. Am I reading this wrong?

  10. Again, the word “Unequivocal”. The report did not need it. Why not report the data and be done with it. It has an arrogance about it. Definition: allowing for no doubt or misinterpretation. “The debate is over”? It smells of a victory dance, the sound of a poor winner rubbing things in the loser’s face. That is what is driving me in my readings. It reads just like the emails, the exclusive club of elitists.

  11. Check it out./ Even the digital thermometer in my car notices parking lot’s are hotter than open country readings.

  12. For non UK residents can I just give you a slight measure of one of the ‘World Leaders’ attending Copenhagen.
    Gordon Brown the British Prime minister can’t even measure economic growth properly his alleged speciality let alone world temperatures.
    Yet he feels qualified enough to call you and I ‘Flat Earthers’.
    We Brits have identified a trait in Gordon Brown which we call ‘The Jonah effect’ where everything he touches turns to sh*t.
    Lets hope he can work his ‘Magic’ at Copenhagen.

  13. I’m surprised how well the data from Kelburn and the airport track each other.

    A difference plot would be interesting. How far apart are the sites? Has the data been homogenized?

  14. There is also the unusual practice of adjusting modern temperatures to normalize historical readings far in the past when the stations have moved. The adjustment becomes purely arbitrary because there is no way to measure the differential at the time of station movement . In 5 out of 6 instances NIWA made adjustments that were totally unfounded, but always served the past was colder , the present warmer meme. Instead the thermometer readings should have been kept and a note made. When this is done, all warming virtually disappears.

  15. NIWA Seasonal Climate Outlook Dec 09 – Feb 10:

    El Niño strengthens, with conditions likely to be cooler in south and drier in northeast
    The El Niño in the equatorial Pacific has strengthened during October and November, and is expected to persist at moderate intensity through the summer of 2010 before weakening during the autumn. According to the latest outlook from NIWA’s National Climate Centre, mean sea level pressures are likely to be higher than normal to the north of the country and lower than normal to the south, resulting in stronger than normal south-westerlies over New Zealand.
    The Centre says summer rainfall totals are likely to be in the normal or below normal range in the north and east of the North Island, and in Nelson-Marlborough, but near normal in other regions.
    Temperatures for the coming 3-month period (December, January and February combined) are likely to be below average or average in all regions. [Global Warming?]

  16. P Gosselin:
    Alvin:

    I agree with you about the connotations of the word “unequivocal”.

    However, as I read it, the word “unequivocal” is from a quotation by NIWA which was used by NZ Climate Science Coalition, and then quoted by Anthony. At the very least, it was used by NZCSC itself.

    If that’s the case, then it would be improper for Anthony to change it.
    (Or maybe it has already been changed, and I’ve not seen the article as originally posted.)

  17. Dave UK (13:04:46) : ..Gordon Brown the British Prime minister can’t even measure economic growth properly his alleged speciality let alone world temperatures.
    Yet he feels qualified enough to call you and I ‘Flat Earthers’.

    Maybe the world looks flat to him through his one eye, and this is some form of reverse (perverse?) psychology?

  18. The thing that surprises me about all of this is we are arguing about the validity of a purported temperature rise that is swamped by the margin of error in the measurements used to derive it and is essentially meaningless whatever ther “real” value is.

    In actual human terms the climate of Wellington has not changed in any way discernible to a human being going about his daily business in the past 150 years.

    I am reminded of the apocryphal tale of medieval theologians arguing about how many angels can dance on the head of a pin as I watch this drama unfold.

    That is not to say highlighting the problems with the data collection is invalid since it goes to demonstrate just how uncertain any claimed temperature rise is in numerical terms.

    Rather to point out that these graphs are just noise and we shouldn’t get to bogged down in the fine detail of them

  19. Tom in Texas (13:08:21) : I’m surprised how well the data from Kelburn and the airport track each other.

    A difference plot would be interesting. How far apart are the sites? Has the data been homogenized?

    Maybe they have some code to deal with the two data sets with the heading “APPLIES A VERY ARTIFICIAL HOMOGENIZATION FOR DIVERGENCE” ?

  20. I noticed something about the Wellington Airport Temp graph. There is a break for 1-2 years around 1992.

    From 1960 to 1992 the trend looks pretty flat, but when the temperatures resume in 1994 there seems to be a step change upwards.

    Now this could be due to the actual temperatures being higher from 1994 or / and there could be an influence due to any possible relocation.

    The point is are we comparing like with like? The tracking doesnt seem to be as good in the last year either. Airport temp goes up and Kelburn goes down.

  21. I’ve been following your survey of temperature monitoring stations, and, I have a simple question. Can these stations near asphalt be improved by painting the parkiing lots with reflective white paint? Would that be enough to restore their accuracy? I’m guessing the ones near jet airplanes & air conditioning exhausts are beyond help.

  22. “nature” strikes again:

    Climate: CO2 unleashes more warming than thought: study
    In a paper published in the journal Nature Geoscience, British scientists
    said a tool commonly used in climate modelling may have badly underlooked
    the sensitivity of key natural processes to the warming caused by CO2. ..
    The study was coincidentally published on the eve of a 12-day UN conference
    in Copenhagen aimed at providing a durable solution to the greenhouse-gas
    problem. ..
    “We don’t want to be overly alarmist here,” said lead author Dan Lunt of
    Britain’s University of Bristol.

    http://www.breitbart.com/article.php?id=CNG.afe85e1b14d6994fd32df9326ec7175a.d21&show_article=1&catnum=0

    Nature Geoscience is a scientific journal published by Nature Publishing
    Group, publisher of the flagship journal Nature

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nature_Geoscience

    lunt’s publishing connection to tim lenton UEA
    T. M. Lenton1School of Environmental Sciences, University of East Anglia,
    Norwich, UK
    D. J. Lunt5 – School of Geographical Sciences, University of Bristol,
    Bristol, UK

    http://www.springerlink.com/content/y458p335v1658234

    29 NOV; UK TIMES: The great climate change science scandal
    This weekend many of Jones’s colleagues were standing by him. Tim Lenton, professor of earth system science at UEA, said: “We wouldn’t have anything like the understanding of climate change that we do were it not for the work of Phil Jones and his colleagues. They have spent decades putting together the historical temperature record and it is good work.”

    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/environment/article6936289.ece

    • Pat:

      Tim Lenton, professor of earth system science at UEA, said: “We wouldn’t have anything like the understanding of climate change that we do were it not for the work of Phil Jones and his colleagues. ”

      I think you may have just given us the quote of the week.

  23. Alvin (12:43:10) :

    Again, the word “Unequivocal”. …It reads just like the emails, the exclusive club of elitists.

    Yes, and often without any justiication at all. A similar term applied to the work of one’s opponents is “deeply flawed”–used without any examples of the flaws. At one time reading it would cause me to see red momentarily, and then begin working like hell to show the deeply flawed work as being, in fact, not so bad. Now I don’t get so worked-up. I’ve learned that these code phrases ID the elitists like a litmus paper.

  24. If you go through the HARRY_READ_ME file, he talks in depth about trying to match up weather stations from several separate databases and more often than not his final answer is, “heck, just assume they’re the same.”

    I think this has nothing to do with siting and everything to do with the bloody raw sausage that is HADCRUT3.

  25. History is made: papers’ single call
    IN AN unprecedented initiative, 56 major newspapers in 45 countries are today publishing a shared editorial calling on politicians and negotiators gathering in Copenhagen to strike an ambitious deal on combating climate change.
    The editorial appears in 20 languages including Chinese, Russian and Arabic. It says the Copenhagen summit has the power ”to shape history’s judgment on this generation: one that saw a challenge and rose to it, or one so stupid that we saw calamity coming but did nothing to avert it. We implore them to make the right choice.”
    The editorial was drafted by a team from the The Guardian in London, in consultation with more than 20 newspapers.

    http://www.theage.com.au/environment/history-is-made-papers-single-call-20091206-kcwb.html

  26. j.pickens makes a valid point

    “I should also note that temperature gauges at airports are used to guide pilots in safe takeoff and landing speeds at various aircraft gross weights.
    As such, estimating high for temperature won’t get people killed, as hotter air is thinner, and causes lift to decrease in the aircraft.”

    The airport temperature gauge must show, for aviation safety;
    The maximum, locally distorted, temperature of air expected to flow over an aircraft wing.

    This may not be the same as the general area climate average.

  27. OT but This is big.

    Climate Scientists wielding the party whip to wavering faithful journalists – 3 strikes and you’re out!:

    email from Michael Schlesinger, a climate scientist at the University of Illinois, to Andy Revkin of the New York Times:

    Andy:

    Copenhagen prostitutes?

    Climate prostitutes?

    Shame on you for this gutter reportage. This is the second time this week I have written you thereon, the first about giving space in your blog to the Pielkes.

    The vibe that I am getting from here, there and everywhere is that your reportage is very worrisome to most climate scientists. Of course, your blog is your blog. But, I sense that you are about to experience the ‘Big Cutoff’ from those of us who believe we can no longer trust you, me included.

    Copenhagen prostitutes?
    Unbelievable and unacceptable.

    What are you doing and why?

    Michael

    http://rogerpielkejr.blogspot.com/2009/12/climate-scientist-threatens-boycott-of.html#comment-form

  28. The email with emphasis:

    Andy:

    Copenhagen prostitutes?

    Climate prostitutes?

    Shame on you for this gutter reportage. This is the second time this week I have written you thereon, THE FIRST ABOUT GIVING SPACE IN YOUR BLOG TO THE PIELKES.

    The vibe that I am getting from here, there and everywhere is that YOUR REPORTAGE IS VERY WORRISOME TO MOST CLIMATE SCIENTISTS. Of course, your blog is your blog. But, I sense that you are about to experience the ‘Big Cutoff’ from those of us who believe WE CAN NO LONGER TRUST YOU, me included.

    Copenhagen prostitutes?
    Unbelievable and unacceptable.

    What are you doing and why?

    Michael

  29. Not having the raw data, and not having a high resolution version of the Kelburn/Airport graph, it’s difficult to accurately make an assessment of something the eye is wanting to do…

    It almost looks like the Airport plot lows don’t go down as far as the Kelburn’s, suggesting that maybe the “lows” at the Airport aren’t as low as Kelburn’s, which would result in an additionally higher temp trend.

    Would love to see these plots superimposed at a smaller time scale….like 1980-1985?

    ———————not meant to detract from the above quote of the week:
    “In today’s regulatory environment, it’s virtually impossible to violate rules” — Bernard Madoff

  30. Richard (14:16:53) :

    It is my fervent hope that “scientists” like Mr. Schlesinger will themselves experience “The Big Cutoff” – from their sources of funding!

  31. Another one of those classics on how to measure the growth of UHI-type effects over the course of a century. So many stations still operating are found in built-up areas which have the biggest effect on Tmin, resulting in higher overall temps.

    Add to that the studies that are performed from a desk, looking only at temperature data points and this climate change is more a video game than a fair representation of reality. When’s the last time real field work was done? When’s the last time these pretend scientists looked askance at their own work and tried to shoot it down? When was the last time they doubted the quality of the data they received and, rather than adjusting it, just threw it out?

  32. Days since last “official” sunspot: 14

    From the Space Weather Prediction Center
    Updated 2009 Dec 06 2201 UTC

    Joint USAF/NOAA Report of Solar and Geophysical Activity

    SDF Number 340 Issued at 2200Z on 06 Dec 2009

    Analysis of Solar Active Regions and Activity from 05/2100Z to 06/2100Z: Solar activity was very low. No flares were observed during the past 24 hours. The visible solar disk is spotless.

    Solar Activity Forecast: Solar activity is expected to be very low.

    Geophysical Activity Summary 05/2100Z to 06/2100Z: The geomagnetic field was quiet. The ACE spacecraft solar wind observations show velocities have steadily decreased through the period from around 430-375 km/s.

    Geophysical Activity Forecast: The geomagnetic field is expected to be at quiet levels for the next three days (07-09 December).

    http://www.solarcycle24.com/

  33. Is there any move to survey weather stations around the world? What is needed apart from a camera? I’d help if I could.

  34. Dave UK (13:04:46) :

    For non UK residents can I just give you a slight measure of one of the ‘World Leaders’ attending Copenhagen.
    Gordon Brown the British Prime minister can’t even measure economic growth properly his alleged speciality let alone world temperatures.
    Yet he feels qualified enough to call you and I ‘Flat Earthers’.
    We Brits have identified a trait in Gordon Brown which we call ‘The Jonah effect’ where everything he touches turns to sh*t.
    Lets hope he can work his ‘Magic’ at Copenhagen.

    Reply
    I managed to stumble across a recent article where Gordon Brown visited severely wounded soldiers at a hospital. They refused to speak to him. One even left the hospital rather than be in his presence! I guess the guy is really well loved. http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/politics/article6945976.ece

  35. Hmm, have a look at this.

    Notice how yesterday shows a record high temperature of 78 degrees for Samburg, TN for 5 December while surrounding stations show record lows. A look at wunderground shows the nearest town … Dyersburg, TN … having a high temperature of only 39F on that day.

    What caught my eye was a single “record high temperature” in a sea of record lows.

  36. DanD (13:41:28) :
    You mean the chain-link fence doesn’t keep the heat from the parking lot out? ;)

    Does not have to
    In low wind conditions the heat on the tarmac will heat the air above and this will rise dragging in cold air
    At night the stored heat in the tarmac will have the same effect

    During wind from across the tarmac there may be some heating of the wind. How much – don’t know but the mixing of tamac heat and wind temperature will lower the effect of tarmac.

    Radiation from the hot surface (less than 100C) will NOT affect the screen – it is not affected by the sun (more than1000C)

    Can you give another explaination how the heat from the tamac reaces the thermometers?

  37. rbateman (11:44:12) :

    “My understanding of calibration tells me that Kelburne and the AIrport are nicely calibrated, occupying portions of the same time frame. Thorndon is calibrated with nothing. Is is separated by BOTH time & space, and flaps in the breeze.”

    There are several problems with all that. Thorndon closed 31Dec1927 and Kelburn opened 1Jan1928, the chart showing only a .2C difference. NIWA adjusted Thorndon down .79C. Admittedly the chart does show a tiny gap, but that gap would have been during the time one of the stations is claimed to have been operating, and there are no other gaps in coverage of either station for years before or after that gap. Another problem is that although NIWA has stated that all the data for that graph is available to anyone thru their database, records for Kelburn does not exist in the database, only data starting (somewhat suspiciously) on 1Jan1931.
    ANother problem is that no data exists in the database for Thorndon, only rainfall data.

    Yet another problem exists for “Airport”. Apparently two different stations were used for “Airport”, one from 1962 – 1992 and another from 1994 – 2005.
    No station is listed in the NIWA database for any stations opening or in existence 1962 to 1992.
    Kelburn AWS (at airport) data is shown to have opened in 2004 and has data from then to the present. Two other stations in close proximity opened around 1995 show no data.
    I found a website that lists two temperature station locations at the airport, the site claiming a .4F different average between the two, station WMO Id 93439 Wellington Aero Aws and WMO Id 93436 Wellington Airport.

    http://weather.gladstonefamily.net/site/NZWN

    WMO ID does not match any numbers found in NIWA station details.

    A brief analysis would appear to show that Thorndon was lowered too much, and the most recent “Airport” temps were from a station .4F warmer than another at the airport.
    But this can not be verified through the NIWA database, as sufficient data and stations are missing. Surprise, surprise.

    Interested parties may view station locations, dates of service, altitudes, logs etc from http://cliflo.niwa.co.nz/pls/niwp/wstn.get_stn_nodt_pw
    Select “Wellington”, choose “Wellington, Kelburn”, click longitude put in “1” in the “radiuskm” box to get station listing for the area.

    To search the database for actual instrumental data (one can hope it’s raw) you have to register, and use the “Database Query Form.”

  38. Dr A Burns (14:15:47) :

    It seems the Hadley Centre is circling the wagons. I mentioned a few days ago that Hadrut data from February had been deleted, now NO temperature data can be accessed.

    http://www.cru.uea.ac.uk/cru/data/temperature/hadcrut3gl.txt

    Congratulations! Yours is the 250,000th comment on WUWT.

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/12/06/how-not-to-measure-temperature-part-92-surrounded-by-science/#comment-250000

    Yes, uh, I really do have better things to do with my time, why do you ask?

  39. bbc’s richard black is at least as funny as lenton:

    Earth Watch with BBC Environment Correspondent Richard Black: Copenhagen Countdown: 2 days
    (final paras) I’ve another request, too – if you can restrain yourselves from plastering
    this thread with stuff about ClimateGate, please do.
    There are more than 700 comments on the previous thread, the vast majority
    related to it. I know from e-mails that some readers find endless picking
    over of climate science repetitive and boring – and when they do, they don’t
    read through the comments. Fresh, pertinent and interesting are my
    suggestions.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/richardblack/2009/12/copenhagen_countdown_3_days.ht

    btw the commenters let him have it!!!

  40. Kelburn vs WLG airport:

    Kelburn is on a small plateau above the Wellington CBD – a little above and to the north of the cable car terminus. Urban all around, but hill-sited, loose-packed urban, and the Botanical Gardens occupy a wedge to the north/west. Like most NZ cities, Wellington was originally heavily forested (bush, as we say), cleared by a combination of settlement and by the 1855 earthquake (8.x magnitude), so the treees we see here are mostly second growth if indigenous, or exotic. Wellington is notoriously windy, but my impression of this site from many visits to a client in an adjoining building, is that the general site is a little sheltered – a fringe of trees just below the road – and can be a sun-trap on a good day. In a strong wind, all bets are off. Oh, and no significant standing bodies of water within perhaps 1 km – Wellington Harbour is the closest.

    Wellington airport runway is bounded by two huge water bodies (Cook Strait to the South, Wellington Harbour/Evans Bay to the North) and the flight path into Wellington is one of the more spectacular in the world. Rock and concrete rip-rap shore protection on both ends. The airport catches every breath of wind, being a low, level track between low (50-80m) hills, and is of middling traffic intensity (for little NZ), as there is a night curfew on flights because of the proximity of the suburbs on both sides. As the entire show was blasted out of raw rock when built in the ’30’s, there is exposed rock adjacent to the runways and in the general environs. Couldn’t be more different (within an overall urban context) from Kelburn.

    Hope this supplies some context to the discussion.

  41. Perhaps everybody who wants to move on from Global Warmng should concern themselves with a branch of science where there really is a general CONSENSUS (magic word) in the PEER REVIEWED literature (more magic words): Continental Drift.

    Did you know that America and Europe are moving further and further away from each other EVERY SINGLE YEAR! If left unchecked this will result in mountains where there is coastline, new volcanos in all sorts of places and goodness knows how many earthquakes in the meantime. Just look at the number of people killed every year due to Earthquakes alone. All scientists who have studied all this say it is forecast to continue, without letup, forever!

    SOMETHING MUST BE DONE.

    I propose an international conference and an international system of taxation. There are countries that will get larger due to continental drift and countries that will get smaller. India for example is getting smaller every day as it moves north into Asia. On the other hand the USA seems to be stretching on an east/west axis. A system of compensation needs to be set up whereby the winners can compensate the losers.

    Some may say it is better to spend money to ameliorate the effects of these geological changes rather than raise vast amounts in taxation to deal with something that cannot be controlled. I call such people deniers. What we need is a long term solution to make the planet safer for future generations.

    Oh, and by the way we will need a world government to police all this.

  42. Glenn (15:28:56) :

    My point being that if you close down one station, then open another one some distance away, they are then unrelated.
    You could have a semblance of calibration between the two had they both been run several years concurrently, but that didn’t happen.

  43. Richard (14:14:57) :

    email from Michael Schlesinger, a climate scientist at the University of Illinois, to Andy Revkin of the New York Times:

    I’m not certain, but I think Schlesinger is one of the folks behind Cryosphere, http://arctic.atmos.uiuc.edu/cryosphere/ I once able to find people’s names associated with it, but apparently no more. I went looking because I was curious about their slow response to dealing with satellite data quality problems and their non-response to my reports of errors in the arctic map links (which are still broken).

    I concluded then that Cryosphere was two scientists and maybe student help.

  44. “Radiation from the hot surface (less than 100C) will NOT affect the screen – it is not affected by the sun (more than1000C)”

    1: A gentle breeze blowing from the direction of the parking lot in daylight can move air warmed by the asphalt to the screen causing an improperly high temperature recording of the daily high.

    2. A gentle breeze blowing from the direction of the parking lot at night can move air warmed by the asphalt to the screen causing an improperly high reading of the daily low.

  45. pat (14:09:26) :

    “History is made: papers’ single call
    IN AN unprecedented initiative, 56 major newspapers in 45 countries are today publishing a shared editorial calling on politicians and negotiators gathering in Copenhagen to strike an ambitious deal on combating climate change.”

    What a coincidence!

  46. @Bill

    In low wind conditions the heat on the tarmac will heat the air above and this will rise dragging in cold air

    So what you are saying is that having a large heat sink by a thermometer will lower the reading? Is this why the “universally accepted” AGW way to deal with modern temperatures is to lower them?

    The problem I have with this is that “dragging in cold air” assumes that the surrounding air is cold. But the surrounding air in Wellington is not cold, having been heated by the big city that surrounds the Kelburn site. If the surrounding air is a degree warmer than it might be in a rural site (hardly unlikely after a sunny day) then the effect of the tarmac is to drag warmed air towards the thermometer.

    During wind from across the tarmac there may be some heating of the wind. How much – don’t know but the mixing of tamac heat and wind temperature will lower the effect of tarmac.

    On a windy day (and Wellington is a very windy city) the heat from the tarmac is going to be a very minor issue. The heat from the great big city might not be though!

    I have a major issue with the, on the face of it insane, concept that because the cities of the world are a couple of degrees warmer than their surrounding countryside, we should lower their thermometer readings.

  47. Hey Anthony, I live in Wellington so I could head up to the Botanical gardens and get you a closer photo if you want?

    The other interesting thing about Wellington is it’s the windiest city in New Zealand and I’d hazard it’s one of the windiest in the world. I believe our annual mean wind speed is 22 km/h (13.75 mph).

    So, I’m wondering, is it good practice to take into account a wind-chill factor if you change measurement sites? Many of the winds we get in Wellington are southerly blasts that have come off Antartica and there can be, what feels like, very large differences in temperature depending on where you are in the city. i.e. if you’re sheltered from the wind or not.

    The Kelburn site is on top of a hill and very exposed so I wouldn’t be surprised if wind-chill was also a factor in it’s temperature readings. Just my 2c.

    REPLY: Wind chill is only a human condition, it does not affect thermometers. Sure some additional photos would be welcome. – Anthony

  48. Terry Skinner – May I use that?

    Crosspatch: That must have been a data entry error – going to Samburg TN doesn’t show anything like that kind of temperature.

  49. pat (15:36:49) :

    bbc’s richard black is at least as funny as lenton:

    Earth Watch with BBC Environment Correspondent Richard Black: Copenhagen Countdown: 2 days
    (final paras) I’ve another request, too – if you can restrain yourselves from plastering
    this thread with stuff about ClimateGate, please do.
    There are more than 700 comments on the previous thread, the vast majority
    related to it. I know from e-mails that some readers find endless picking
    over of climate science repetitive and boring – and when they do, they don’t
    read through the comments. Fresh, pertinent and interesting are my
    suggestions.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/richardblack/2009/12/copenhagen_countdown_3_days.ht

    btw the commenters let him have it!!

    That’s the BBC form of Democracy at work. The vast majority of posters want to talk about ClimateGate, a small minority don’t and, as that’s the minority that RB is in, he doesn’t like what he’s hearing!
    At least he’s sticking up for a rapidly diminishing minority and is brave enough not to follow the tide of public opinion!

  50. Andrei (13:31:38) :
    I am reminded of the apocryphal tale of medieval theologians arguing about how many angels can dance on the head of a pin as I watch this drama unfold.

    Exactly right! I sent the medieval theologians an email with the 350.org calculations of 387.75-350=37.75.

    So, 37.75 of the 1,000,000 carbon footprints dancing on the head of a pin need to be kicked out of Dodge City.

    Whoops – Jon Stewart says it turns out to be god’s tears not carbon footprints!

    So, I sent emails to today’s theologians with solar panels on their heads advising them to install a god’s tears rain bucket guage, but they keep coming back because their inbox is full of spam.

    Virtue from Wellington, New Zealand now has the tools to purge the goddess from Anglia. Reddy Kilowatt says do this out on Highway 61.

  51. My first degree – BSc Geology – was from Victoria University, which I attended in rhe 1960’s. Kelburn and the Dominion Observatory were a pleasant very warm place to have a picnic lunch.

    On another note, I live in a small NZ provincial town and this mornings newspaper had 4 stories about Copenhagen and local efforts to conserve energy and stop climate change – how important is was to save the world etc. A half page was devoted to a local activist holding a candlelight vigil, who was quoted as saying, ” The future of millions of people depends on the outcome of the conference – and also the future of mankind”. Quite true, but not as he is hoping.

    There was one story – recycled from The Independent – which DID mention Climategate but basically how it was being refuted by expert scientists. Quote ” … world temperatures are declining. This is rejected by the scientific communitywith 2009 likely to be at least the 5th hottest year recorded.” and with Climategate itself, “It has been deliberately engineered.” … “It’s a scandal. It was probably ordered, maybe by hackers”.

    At least, we are seeing some tiny mention of the CRU scandal but locally, the committed activists have free rein.

  52. EDITORIAL: Media complicity in Climategate

    “The networks found plenty of airtime to cover rumored family problems plaguing professional golfer Tiger Woods. Yet, even though there is climate-regulation legislation pending in Congress that could cost Americans trillions of dollars, network producers don’t see anything newsworthy in a scandal exposing fraud in global-warming research. Such omissions make mainstream news complicit in the cover-up.”

    http://washingtontimes.com/news/2009/dec/07/media-complicity-in-climategate/?feat=home_editorials

  53. found it hiding in plain site.

    Do you mean “plain sight”? The description makes the site seem not plain enough.

  54. D. King (16:05:44) :

    pat (14:09:26) :

    “History is made: papers’ single call
    IN AN unprecedented initiative, 56 major newspapers in 45 countries are today publishing a shared editorial calling on politicians and negotiators gathering in Copenhagen to strike an ambitious deal on combating climate change.”

    You can’t make this stuff up. Now we know why these papers and other news outlets have been burying the Climategate story. If you are busy building a consensus statement in favor of catastrophic man made global warming you can’t be distracted by a story that shows that most of the warming was Mann made. Thus the catastrophy part is wholly bogus. These editors are living the charge – Damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead. This is building up to be the most wonderful example of human foolishess and failure in a lifetime. People will laugh at this editorial forever and hopefully it will serve as a lesson to future journalists, scientists and politicians.

  55. “It’s interesting the subtle coercion that those with knowledge / info / authority can exercise over the media by granting or withholding access.”

    This is the new coersion…

    Beware of those that would threaten a cut off of information as the price for challenging their information.

    What they really are after is to vent their opinions unopposed.

    Is that part of the Scientific Method or good journalistic practice or open and transparent government.

    No.

  56. WUWT gets another honorable mention in the WSJ:

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704342404574578012533089846.html

    Climate of Uncertainty Heats Up
    Bloggers peer review a scientific ‘consensus.’

    “… In addition to blogs, skeptics of global warming have used “crowdsourcing” to improve on the science supposedly done by professionals. Anthony Watts is a meteorologist who was surprised by how local conditions affect the reliability of the 1,200 U.S. weather stations. Along with more than 600 volunteers, he found that almost all the stations violate the government’s standards by being too close to heating vents or surrounded by asphalt. …”

  57. As a retired naval aviator, I am requesting that commentors suggest that weather stations not be sited at airports. Their purpose is to help predict daily flying conditions and not long term climate change.

  58. Fred H. Haynie (17:39:37) :

    As a retired naval aviator, I am requesting that commentors suggest that weather stations not be sited at airports. Their purpose is to help predict daily flying conditions and not long term climate change.
    =====

    It’s a given that these records were not meant for the purpose for which they are now used. But surely they are more useful to show temperature trends than tree rings, lake sediment and ice cores? Of course lies told about any of these thermometers or proxies are still lies.

  59. Airports need weather stations to predict near term conditions. Maybe we should suggest that weather stations sited for climate changes be called climate stations. We should site weather stations at airports and climate stations at locations that are least affected by anthropogenic changes like the Scripps CO2 sites or Mt Washington.

  60. So, I’m wondering, is it good practice to take into account a wind-chill factor if you change measurement sites?

    Hardly likely to be a factor in Wellington, though. Unless you happen to know a non-windy spot.

    Anthony has that wind-chill is only for humans. I disagree. Any wet object will tend to be cooled by moving air, as evaporation is endothermic (takes out heat energy).

    The thermometers taking these readings should not be allowed to get wet. I presume NIWA is professional enough to ensure this.

  61. See here for a historical (1942-43) picture of the Carter Observatory.

    http://rsnz.natlib.govt.nz/image/rsnz_72/rsnz_72_00_00341_0000f_ac_01.html

    My only expertise on this is how to search “Carter Observatory” in Google Images, so make of it what you will.

    See also this for comments on developments there:

    “New Zealand’s National Observatory owes its origins to a bequest left by Charles Rooking Carter. The Observatory was opened in 1941 with its principal instrument an historic 9 inch (23 cm) refracting telescope.
    During the 1960s, funding by the late Ruth Crisp was used to build a new two-story library and office wing, and purchase a 4 1 cm Boiler and Chivens telescope. Known as the Ruth Crisp ‘Telescope, it was installed in the Observatory’s second dome. In 1992 a visitor centre was constructed. This included the Golden Bay Planetarium, relocated from downtown Wellington.”

    (www.friendswbg.org.nz/downhill9.htm)

    If someone has any old and new maps of Wellington, that might help to put the changes in context – I haven’t been able to find any from a quick web trawl.

  62. The folklore about Wellington is that it blows a howling gale from the south three days a week, a howling gale from the north three days a week and the seventh is beautiful. That is probably an optimistic opinion.

    I have watched a light aircraft take off from Wellington airport and be blown sideways over the Mirimar hills before it reached the end of the runway. It has been accurately described as an aircraft carrier wedged between two hills. On a windy day (in Wellington wind is above 50 knots, below that is a light breeze) small aircraft are banned and the jets are landed by flying them straight into the ground. The effect is something like a house hitting the deck.

    I flew into it every week for two years. After the worst landing the hostess came on and said, “It is with some relief we welcome you to Wellington.” On another occasion the entire cabin cheered the pilots after we landed. Another passenger once said to me, “You could fly all the way around the world with your eyes closed but you would still know when you are coming in to Wellington.” Another time the pilot aborted the landing and headed off back into the clouds. Then he said, “We’re going back for another try”, and everyone groaned.

    The nearby Rimutaka hills are famed for their horizontal icicles in winter.

    In short, the chances of UHI affects in Wellington are not great. The air velocity mitigates against them.

  63. wow. just wow. bbc’s paul hudson really did let the cat out of the bag when he wrote that he received a ‘chain of emails’ on 12 october and that those being released thru the russian server were ‘authentic':

    Climate e-mails were hijacked ‘to sabotage summit’
    Almost a month before they were posted on a website popular with climate-change sceptics, the hacked information was sent to a BBC weatherman who had expressed his doubts about climate science on his blog. The BBC has confirmed that Paul Hudson received some documents on October 12 but no story was broadcast or printed by Mr Hudson or the corporation.

    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/environment/article6946281.ece#cid=OTC-RSS&attr=2015164

  64. I forgot one other feature of Wellington airport. When you are on a 737 and it is being tossed around as though it is on the ocean but it is still attached to the airbridge, you know you are in Wellington.

  65. I can’t resist commenting that in “snowy” Houston, TX my home heat island thermometer recorded 33 while Undergound Weather was reporting 26.

    If we’re going to spend trillions based on warming, I think we should at least have decent data.

  66. Brnn8r or any other Wellingtonians,

    try either the local city council building or the city libraries to see if they display any aerieal photos of the city from the past. It is not hard to take a decent close-up of the desired area with a digital camera, just angle the camera a fraction so that the flash doesn’t wipe-out the kelburn region.

    Palmerston North City Council & library have numerous very large photos on their walls that go back to the early 50’s. Resolution isn’t quite as good as google but it should be good enough to identify buildings and paths etc. Perhaps Wellington has something similar? These sort of photos are excellent references for recent historical data. See how you get on.

  67. Come on Anthony, You have too toot your own horn with this WSJ article sometime, with our help of course. How about first thing in the morning we have our own climate summit? We’ve had our own successful peer review study already.

    “In addition to blogs, skeptics of global warming have used “crowdsourcing” to improve on the science supposedly done by professionals. Anthony Watts is a meteorologist who was surprised by how local conditions affect the reliability of the 1,200 U.S. weather stations. Along with more than 600 volunteers, he found that almost all the stations violate the government’s standards by being too close to heating vents or surrounded by asphalt.”

    WSJ
    Climate of Uncertainty Heats Up
    Bloggers peer review a scientific ‘consensus.’

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704342404574578012533089846.html

  68. rbateman (15:53:31) :

    Glenn (15:28:56) :

    “My point being that if you close down one station, then open another one some distance away, they are then unrelated.
    You could have a semblance of calibration between the two had they both been run several years concurrently, but that didn’t happen.”

    The NIWA trick being used here is that “Airport” is “calibrated” to be around .79C different to Kelburn for a period of years, used to justify adjusting Thorndon by the same amount.

    But notice the “Airport” and “Kelburn” adjustment. How were these stations calibrated to absolute temperature? “Airport” could have been lowered .77C or .81C, which would make all the difference to a long term trend. There are some peaks in the Kelburn record that are lower than Airport, and some higher.
    It appears to me that Airport was lowered by an arbitrary amount ( although they reinforce their reasoning with the lame temperature lapse rate rule of thumb). IMO, calibration in this case, and even in cases where two station records run concurrently, does not provide a differential with which to adjust actual temps of one or the other.

  69. Jerry (18:52:02) :

    I concur with your observation. In fact, I have found that not only does the Weather Underground have temps lower than the ‘official reported’ temps, I can reproduce the WU temps, as can many folks I know.
    Either the ‘official’ sensors are daffy, or the reported temps are doctored.

    This is an exercise (experiment if you will) that anyone can perform. Go find an official station, and take the temp nearby using a handheld (calibrate first).
    You will be in for a surprise more often than you would think.

  70. What I noticed about the picture is it appears those are large tour buses parked along the curb. Those usually are diesel powered and they normally leave them running, not only do they stink but probably produce a good bit of heat – 6-7 meters away.

  71. rbateman (19:38:44)

    “This is an exercise (experiment if you will) that anyone can perform. Go find an official station, and take the temp nearby using a handheld (calibrate first).
    You will be in for a surprise more often than you would think.”

    Actually this is a good idea. I listen to automatic weather reports broadcast from the Australian airports. In Canberra it is called ‘Canberra Terminal Information’ and is broadcast on 127.45MHz, it gives wind speed,direction, QNH (air pressure) and temperature. The recording changes when one of the parameters change. I don’t suggest you break airport security by going too close to these sensors but downwind may be a proxy.

    This could be done at any airport that transmits this data, the frequency could be found by web or manual searching and you would need a communication receiver that picks up VHF. VLF (very low frequencies) also transmit this information but I find it is hard to receive and VHF or higher is better for audibility.

  72. Richard (13:30:07) : “Maybe the world looks flat to (Gordon Brown) through his one eye, and this is some form of reverse (perverse?) psychology?”

    Wooo! Richard, have you been hanging out at RealClimate too much?

  73. At an airport, you want a temperature recording device at or near the runways. This is because things like air temperature, wind direction, and altitude of the airport influences things like proper landing speed and takeoff rotation speed. You don’t want to stall the thing just off the ground.

    Landing is a little different at 100F at Denver than it is at 0F and so you want to know what the temperature is at the airport and not what the temperature is in some nearby park.

    And you don’t want a UHI “adjusted” temperature either, you want to know the REAL temperature.

    I remember more than once seeing people have problems at Big Bear airport in the mountains East of Los Angeles in the summer. In fact, the airport even has an article that describes the problem. There have been pilots that have taken off with not enough fuel to reach their destination in trying to be light enough to take off when the weather is hot.

    Point is, the purpose of the weather station at the airport is to give pilots guidance on how to fly, not to give politicians guidance on how to spend.

  74. here some history on welington airpot.
    Rongotai Airport started with a grass runway in November 1929.[3] The airport opened in 1935,[4] but was closed down due to safety reasons on 27 September 1947 (grass surface often became unusable during winter months).[5] During the closure, Paraparaumu Airport, 35 miles north of Wellington, became Wellington’s airport, and became the country’s busiest airport in 1949.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wellington_International_Airport

  75. RE: REPLY: Wind chill is only a human condition, it does not affect thermometers. Sure some additional photos would be welcome. – Anthony

    Anthony, I’m not a meteorologist, but I would think that wind would make a thermometer respond to changing air temperature more quickly than it would in still air.

    REPLY: It will affect the rate of change in the thermometer reading, if the air temperature changes quickly, but not the absolute reading. To a thermometer, 32F is always going to be 32F wind or not – Anthony

  76. Here are some excerpts from the NZ Science coalition:

    “With the current scandal over the disclosure of the CRU emails and code and the involvement of some of NIWA’s staff in those emails, it is naive to pretend that New Zealand might remain somehow untouched. So we believe it is now especially important to ensure that ordinary citizens and taxpayers can be confident of open, honest handling of public data and are free to question official wisdom.

    What we have shown to date is that the warming claimed by NIWA comes from adjustments, which they do not dispute. So the quality and validity of these adjustments are now paramount but we cannot judge them until they are placed by NIWA in the public domain. We do not understand why they have not done this already. If the adjustments are valid, we must accept the results, whether they mean warming or cooling.
    ..
    In the past, the Coalition has enquired of NIWA regarding the graph posted on their website. A response was received that indicated the stations used were:
    1. Mangere
    2. East Taratahi
    3. Wellington, Kelburn
    4. Hokitika Aero
    5. Appleby
    6. Lincoln, Broadfield
    7. Dunedin, Musselburgh
    In that communication, NIWA stated that the data for these sites could be downloaded for free from the National Climate Database (http://cliflo.niwa.co.nz), but warned that the raw data had been corrected for “site changes, etc.” before they went into the national average calculation.
    ..

    No reply was received from Dr Salinger and subsequent requests for the corrections produced no reply. A similar query was sent in the past six weeks to Dr James Renwick, Principal Scientist at the National Climate Centre, but no response has been received.

    This is not the first time our queries have been ignored. Warwick Hughes has also attempted to get the corrections from Dr Jim Salinger, and although he received some of the adjusted data three years ago, he was not informed of the adjustments themselves.

  77. Reproducing a station history

    … the CliFlo database reveals that Hokitika seems to be made up of Hokitika South from 1866 to 1965, followed by Hokitika Aero until the present. There was a decent 14- month overlap during the closing of South and the opening of Aero.
    ..
    The interesting thing to note is that South is 0.3ºC cooler than Aero. Yet South is at the lower altitude of 4 m and Aero is higher, at 39 m. According to NIWA’s Wellington Thorndon explanation, the higher station should be cooler, based on the expected environmental lapse rate.
    ..
    Had there not been an overlap period to show us differently, NIWA would presumably have dropped all values prior to 1965 by 0.2ºC instead of raising them by 0.3ºC. A data adjustment based on that faulty assumption would have caused a substantial 0.5ºC error in Hokitika.

  78. The key is to find out the details of the old Thorndon station. Exactly where it was, and how it was operated. It wouldn’t surprise me if just the daily high was recorded, as that was typical of the day. To convert such a thing into usable data, you’d need to project it to a daily mean, which opens the door to a systematic error big as you like. OK, I’m guessing, but it’s not a bad guess that only the 3PM temperature was taken — that’s how it was done here in NZ.

  79. Anthony has that wind-chill is only for humans. I disagree. Any wet object will tend to be cooled by moving air, as evaporation is endothermic (takes out heat energy).

    The thermometers taking these readings should not be allowed to get wet. I presume NIWA is professional enough to ensure this.

    One measure of wind chill is done using a hygrometer, in its simplest form a type of hygrometer called a sling psychrometer. The sling psychrometer has two thermometers mounted on it, one has a fabric sock over its bulb. The sock is dipped in water. A the top end is a handle connected to the psychrometer with a short length of chain.

    The person taking the reading checks the thermometers, dips the sock in water then swings the psychrometer around a few times (most likely a specific number of turns) then notes the new temperature readings of both thermometers. After a bit of math work you can derive information like wind chill dew point etc.

    http://asd-www.larc.nasa.gov/SCOOL/psychrometer.html

    Perhaps the sling psychrometer could become a symbol of the David vs Goliath nature of the skeptics vs the hockey team, IPCC etc? ;)

  80. temperature ‘lapse rate’ depends entirely upon the humidity, when humidity is less than 100% the air cools at 1degree per 100m altitude. when you hit 100% humidity it cools at a much slower rate (as condensing water releases energy) of about 0.5degrees per 100m.

    If you want to accurately assess the temperature difference for different station heights you really need the humidity (or some record of when it is foggy/raining). You can’t just pluck a 0.8degree figure for the Kelburn site out of the air. (pun intended), as the lapse rate it is different for different days.

  81. ” Brnn8r (16:23:55) :
    So, I’m wondering, is it good practice to take into account a wind-chill factor if you change measurement sites? ”

    Do you mean to say: A cold wind out of the south, that blows away the warm air?

    (And: I observed that they have not fired that gun for quite some time.)

  82. Hope I am not boring you all, but “wind chill” is like blowing on your soup. An object hotter than the air will be cooled faster if the air blows, and an object colder than the air will be heated faster. It’s just the rate of heat transfer by which the object equalizes to the background (air) temperature. Objects the same temperature as the air, like trees, are not subject to wind chill.

  83. Well these “improper” WEATHER station designs are really only a problem when they are used to try and keep tabs on CLIMATE changes; essentially the same as the UHI problem. There is nothing inherently wrong with recording the temperature at a UHI or an errant weather staion; presumably the thermometer still acurately records its own temperature, even with cars parked there or jet exhausts bathing the area.
    The fatal mistake is in the unwarranted assumption that the temperature read in such locations can be reliably used as a measure of the temperature at some other location; and according to some peer reviewed papers those other places might be as much as 1200 km away from the thermometer.
    Even a cursory glance at a daily “weather” map of the San Francisco Bay area, will quickly reveal that a given temperature reading in this area cannot be reliably used even 12 km away; let alone 1200 km away. We have temperature differences over just a few km distances, that dwarf the claimed global temperature rise over the last 150 years; even applying “Mike’s trick” to “hide the decline”.

    As I have said before; the fact that a simple move of a single measurement station is sufficient to screw up the data is “unequivocal evidence” that the whole sampling regimen is hopelessly inadequate.

    A properly sampled continuous function can be accurately reconstructed from a proper set of samples, even if any individual sample is tossed out or changed by some small error.

    In the case of NIWA’s “climate measurements” to obtain unequivocal evidence of NZ climate change; they really splurge and takea whole seven samples from different places in New Zealand.

    I hate to break the news to those chaps; but they have bigger problems than the 123 meters height difference in the present location of one of their seven climate data measurment sites.

    And we still have peopel who post here at WUWT, who believe this is real science ? Totally amazing.

  84. “”” janama (21:53:11) :

    I flew into paraparaumu airport in 1958 before it closed in 59. It was then called Paraparam “””

    Well I bet it is still called paraparam; or even worse, depending on who is doing the calling. I bet they still call my old high school Otahoo College; although it was just Otahuhu Technical High School, when I fisrt went there.

    Those are simply Pakeha bastardized pronunciations by lazy people. There are no Maori words that end with a consonant like ‘m’.

  85. Copenhagen prostitutes?
    Unbelievable and unacceptable.
    What are you doing and why?

    He’s showing that there are some people in Copenhagen who will *admit* that money is their motivation.

  86. this may be interesting.
    Files
    If these files are of interest you are welcome to download and make use of them.

    NZ’s carbon and nitrogen cycles
    A two-page graphic recently developed by NZ’s Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry (June, 2009). It shows the numbers and the reasoning behind much of NZ’s GHG emissions reporting policy.

    NIWA’s NZ temperature data, 1853 – 2005
    The adjusted temperature data produced by Dr Jim Salinger and kindly sent to us by Mr Warwick Hughes. It’s in an Excel spreadsheet, it does not include the adjustments made to the raw data and when plotted it produces the graph on NIWA’s web site showing strong warming during the 20th century
    i wish we could see the unadjusted data.

  87. IMO the media and UEA’s Andrew Watson leading of the discussion onto the surface record is a red herring. Fully 10% of all the emails consist of long discussions on how to hide the Medieval Warm Period from policy makers. It is this which is fatal to the AGW hype-othesis and demonstrates that the hockey jockeys had stopped being scientists in favour of becoming purveyors of advocacy and spin.

    Fully half of the authors of the main document at the Copenhagen Summit, the Copenhagen Diagnosis are implicated in these emails.

    The Domain copenhagendiagnosis.org is owned by Stephen Gray of New South Wales university in Australia.

    His degree is in social science.

    http://www.ccrc.unsw.edu.au/staff/support.html

  88. Anthony,

    I worked at both Met Offices in Kelburn ( 1963 -1965) and Wellington Airport (1967) as a Meteorological Technician, and can confirm that this was not the site in use during the 1960’s, and certainly not surronded by tarseal, concrete, fuming diesel buses and parked cars.

    That site was located , from memory some 100 yards further north above the pathway and somewhat south of the current new met office building…

    …why the move, and to present the data for Wellington ( Kelburn) as being from the same site, when in reality, we are dealing with two different stations raises serious questions!

    …there are such things as climate stations, rainfall stations etc and most climatological stations are not located on airfields, although in NIWA’s case it appears that three of the seven were located on airfields.

    …a trip to Wellington might be in order,with my camera and a thermometer… but alas, Copenhagen is tomorrow!

  89. George E. Smith (00:40:23) :

    New Zealand changed all the Maori pronunciations in the early 60s to their original Maori so I’d imagine they all call Paraparaumu exactly that.

  90. Daryl M (21:30:21) :

    RE: REPLY: Wind chill is only a human condition, it does not affect thermometers. Sure some additional photos would be welcome. – Anthony

    Anthony, I’m not a meteorologist, but I would think that wind would make a thermometer respond to changing air temperature more quickly than it would in still air.

    REPLY: It will affect the rate of change in the thermometer reading, if the air temperature changes quickly, but not the absolute reading. To a thermometer, 32F is always going to be 32F wind or not – Anthony

    REPLY:
    For what it is worth a simple way of measuring humidity is by using a pair of calibrated thermometers. both have the bulb and stem covered with a “sock”. The thermometers are then “twirled” and the temperatures read. Textiles especially wool and cotton are effected by humidity so this method was used as an independent check of the humidity in our humidity/temperature controlled textile lab once a day back in the late seventies.

  91. Measuring average global temperature (AGT) to an accuracy of +/- 0.0C is a non-trivial task. The whole premiss that this is possible using current techniques is false. Climate is a dynamic non-linear system and this requires very very high granularity, both in terms of geography and time if accuracy is to be achieved.

    No wonder the Climategate leak indicated that Dr. Jones at the UEA CRU has destroyed the original raw data he used to construct the whole CAGW pack of cards.

    Perhaps as well that AGT is a meaningless concept in the understanding of climate with system energy fluctuation the only useful proxy for climate change. As the Earth’s system energy fluctuates at all time-scales, don’t expect any good understanding of climate any time soon.

  92. Jerry (18:52:02) :

    I concur with your observation. In fact, I have found that not only does the Weather Underground have temps lower than the ‘official reported’ temps, I can reproduce the WU temps, as can many folks I know.
    Either the ‘official’ sensors are daffy, or the reported temps are doctored.

    This is an exercise (experiment if you will) that anyone can perform. Go find an official station, and take the temp nearby using a handheld (calibrate first).
    You will be in for a surprise more often than you would think.

    Reply
    Have you also notice the high and the low for the day change when they become “official” the next day. The temp here is always raised at least 2 to 3 degrees F

  93. RE: “I noticed something about the Wellington Airport Temp graph. There is a break for 1-2 years around 1992.

    From 1960 to 1992 the trend looks pretty flat, but when the temperatures resume in 1994 there seems to be a step change upwards.

    Now this could be due to the actual temperatures being higher from 1994 or / and there could be an influence due to any possible relocation.”

    The Airport purchased land from the Miramar Golf Course in 1994 for car park space.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wellington_International_Airport

  94. The flat earther’s were the existing scientists like Mann, Hansen and Jones in the consensis. Galileo would been one of the current skeptics.

  95. I am a New Zealander, a native of Wellington City, now living in the USA. To declare my bias, I am a libertarian, hostile to globalism and anti-IPCC. I remember visiting the Kelburn Observatory as a child in the 1950’s, and again in the late 1990’s. For what it is worth — a subjective memory, not an objective fact — I do not believe the site has changed substantially in respect of tree cover, asphalted area, etc, since then. The site’s elevated situation would make the macro-weather (sea winds, etc) much more of an influence on its overall temperature than any small area of parking lot.

  96. Somewhat off topic, but here is an interesting abstract showing the influence of surface albedo on temperature is at http://infoscience.epfl.ch/record/140742

    They mention sonic temperature measurements. I think that is the way to go in future temperature measurements. A pdf file describing the theory is at http://www.wmo.int/pages/prog/www/IMOP/publications/IOM-82-TECO_2005/Posters/P3(09)_Germany_4_Lanzinger.pdf

    They use a 20 cm baseline and get 0.3 C accuarcy or better. If one built and instrument in the shape of a cross with the sound source in the center and 4 sensors on the outside, one could measure temperature and wind velocity very accurately. With a 5 meter baseline, a 0.01 C accuracy or better should be obtainable. The major error source then will probably be relative humidity and pressure. In order to get temperatures below -25 C, they need to protect the electronics more, perhaps burying it.

    If I ran the zoo, that would be my approach.

  97. What really upsets me about these charts is that they show averaged data. Each point is the temperature averaged over one year. Now imagine the difference if you took instead the data from the temperature measured at noon on 1st August each year. If you did that then you would see huge variations in temperature of perhaps as much as 30Celsius, depending on the weather on that day.

    By averaging, the charts suggest there is less variation in temperatures than there really is. If you plotted the temperature on a specific day as I have suggested, you would not be able to see any change in the underlying climate of just 0.5Celsius. Looking at it statistically, if you took the mean and standard deviation of the 1st August temperatures in blocks of ten years you might see a shift of 0.5Celsius in the means but the standard deviation would probably be about 15Celsius. From this you could probably calculate the probabilities of the temperature over a 30 year period being “off-trend”

  98. I’m just a regular Joe (no science background) that is following the debates with amazement. As a year round bicycle commuter in SW Missouri I’m interested in current temperature readings since I’m so exposed to the weather every day. I have a digital temperature gauge at my home so I can get a quick look at the current temp so I know what to wear (more accurate than the porch method of standing outside and feeling the air and quicker than waiting for the morning news to get to the forecast). One thing that always puzzles me is that the gauge at my home is consistently 2-5 degrees F cooler than what the local channel reports. The news gets their official temp from the airport. I always figured that my dinky consumer gauge was probably just not as precise as the official gauge that the news crew uses, or maybe my mounting location wasn’t wise, but sometimes the difference is unbelievably high.

  99. The SurfaceStations work must be rushed to completion in light of the EPA’s regulatory issuance. An administrative law challenge is sure to follow and the SurfaceStations data and analysis could be critically important.

  100. I used to work in Thorndon during the early 1980s, so have an interest in the area. I’ve been trying to track down the history of the Thorndon Weather Observatory. So far I’ve found this article from the Evening Post, published on the 5th of June 1912.

    NEW OBSERVATORY OPENED BY MINISTER OF MARINE

    http://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/cgi-bin/paperspast?a=d&d=EP19120605.2.94

    The article refers to the site being located on Thorndon Esplanade. I can’t find Thorndon Esplanade on a current map. I do know that a lot of reclamation work was undertaken in the area, but I’m not sure when. My guess is that the site was near the shore of Wellington Harbour, as the Observatory was opened by the Minister of Marine. The ols site is probably now inland, due to the reclamation work.

    I especially enjoyed the comments made by the minister, reported at the end of the article.

  101. David – New Zealand (02:57:42) :

    “I worked at both Met Offices in Kelburn ( 1963 -1965) and Wellington Airport (1967) as a Meteorological Technician,”

    Perhaps you could help? I’ve been trying to determine what station(s) were used to map the “Airport” temps on the NIWA graph Anthony provided above.

    There seems to have been a lot of station moves, some stations may be missing from the NIWA database, and data for different stations may be mixed together. Could you shed any light on what “27610858 MOVED 1.2KM NW MET OFFICE CLOSED BUT DATA FROM E1438C/93439 IS BEING ARCHIVED UNDER THIS NUMBER” below might mean? Any comments would be appreciated.
    :::::::::

    http://cliflo.niwa.co.nz/pls/niwp/wstn.stn_details?cAgent=3445

    3445 Wellington Aero 01-Dec-1959 –
    -41.322 174.804
    Grid Reference (NZ Metric Map Series) R27610858
    Synoptic Number (World Met. Organisation Number) 93436
    WRA No 143807
    Observing Authority N/A
    01-Sep-1960 – 93436
    History:
    01-Dec-1959 Station Opened R27614852
    01-Jun-1994 R27611844OPENED BUT ITS DATA BEING ARCHIVED UNDER E14387/93436.
    01-Aug-1994 R27610858 MOVED 1.2KM NW MET OFFICE CLOSED BUT DATA FROM E1438C/93439 IS BEING ARCHIVED UNDER THIS NUMBER.
    25-Nov-1997 Annual maintenance and calibration visit. Wind speed and direction, rainfall, temperature, humidity and pressure all routinely replaced.
    *********************************************************************************

    http://cliflo.niwa.co.nz/pls/niwp/wstn.stn_details?cAgent=10331

    10331 Wellington Aero Aws 01-Jun-1994 –
    -41.335 174.805 (distance from above station 1.4 km)
    Grid Reference (NZ Metric Map Series) R27611844
    Synoptic Number (World Met. Organisation Number) 93439
    WRA No 143812
    Observing Authority Metservice
    Air – Thermistor – Stevenson Scr
    27-Jun-1994 – 93439
    History:
    01-Jun-1994 R27611844OPENED BUT ITS DATA BEING ARCHIVED UNDER E14387/93436.
    *********************************************************
    (Note: Where was station located at R27614852? )

  102. Richard (22:32:56) :

    “… the CliFlo database reveals that Hokitika seems to be made up of Hokitika South from 1866 to 1965, followed by Hokitika Aero until the present. There was a decent 14- month overlap during the closing of South and the opening of Aero.”

    Having access to the NIWA database, I just put the temp data for 2Jan1964 to 31Dec1964 in Excel. The 35m higher altitude station, 3 Km away, was warmer by .24C.

    Station elev averaged high/low
    3909 39m 11.04C
    3907 4 m 10.8C

  103. What happened to the missing records???

    http://www.nzetc.org/tm/scholarly/tei-WarEarl-t1-body-d21-d15.html

    “Kelburn.—The “Dominion,” 15/12/27, states:—“‘We are now getting records from both stations,’ said Dr. Kidson, ‘so page 428 that some idea of the difference in conditions may be ascertained.’ From the beginning of the year (1928) the station at Thorndon will be abandoned.” This change is being made because the Railway Department requires the site at Thorndon.”

  104. Glen,

    That’s going to be a tough one….presume E1438C is the AWS, whenever that started up ( mid to late 1980’s as was the case with Gisborne Aerodrome, that I recall). Didn’t realize met office closed at Wellington Airport, 1994, but that figures cos’ Gisborne Met Office closed around 1992….where I last worked with Met office…

    I was planning to pop up to the Met Office at the Airport, and make a few
    enquiries, but, doh! no Met office – I will be in Wellington later this month, and was interested in the Kelburn site change since I was there many moons ago…take a few pictures etc

    What “27610858 moved 1.2km NW Met Office Closed but Data from E1438C( AWS )/ 93439 is being Archived under this number”…moved in 1994….means?

    My guess! R27610858 is the original met station opened in 1959, and along with the AWS opened whenever up until the last move when the office closed is stored under 27610858….

    The new site ( AWS) opened in 1994, and filed under E14387/94346….meaning ? that the new site with AWS readings is being thrown in with the original site set up in 1959….treated ( archived ) as tho’ it’s from one station only…. Is that all making sense???? My head is starting to go round in circles trying to figure it all out! 8 – D

    Just to throw another spanner in the works, I have on hand Met Observations for 1974….Wellington Airport E 14387 41 20S 174 49 E 6 METRES ???

    Also note that Kelburn has same grid ref 41 17 S 174 46 E ( 1928 – 1960) and also same as recorded in 1974 publication of met observations, which is all I have on hand, but at least that gives us a bit more info…that the move of Kelburn site was sometime after 1974!

    I know that is not much help at present, and willattempt to pursue this further in my Wellington visitation!

    cheers

  105. David – New Zealand (00:56:06) :

    “What “27610858 moved 1.2km NW Met Office Closed but Data from E1438C( AWS )/ 93439 is being Archived under this number”…moved in 1994….means?

    My guess! R27610858 is the original met station opened in 1959, and along with the AWS opened whenever up until the last move when the office closed is stored under 27610858….”

    In the station log “01-Dec-1959 Station Opened R27614852″. That indicates a different location than “Aero” at R27610858 on Tirangi Street in the complex of the northern part of the airport (Rongotai?).
    There is a closer match to R27614852 that maps near the AWS which appears to be right on the oceanfront at the south end of the runway, “Wellington Aero Amdr” at R27613852, start date of 1999 with no end date.

    Where was the station at the airport when you worked there in 1967?

    “Just to throw another spanner in the works, I have on hand Met Observations for 1974….Wellington Airport E14387 41 20S 174 49 E 6 METRES ???”

    E14387 is Wellington Aero at R27610858 in NIMA records, they show 4 meters.
    But the coordinates your source shows is located around the Botanical Gardens in Wellington, around 4 to 5 km north of the airport. Could just be coords are not accurate, though.

    “Also note that Kelburn has same grid ref 41 17 S 174 46 E ( 1928 – 1960) and also same as recorded in 1974 publication of met observations, which is all I have on hand, but at least that gives us a bit more info…that the move of Kelburn site was sometime after 1974!”

    Those coordinates define a location east of the airport on the other side of Miramar golf course, which matches CWOP station CW1914. The Kelburn station open from 1928 is located around the Botanical Gardens according to NIWA, at an altitude of 125 meters.

    Could NIMA have mixed up data records of different locations for Kelburn, as it appears they have with “Airport”?

  106. Some perspective on the relationship between NIWA and MetService:

    NIWA:
    “a Crown Research Institute of New Zealand.”

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Institute_of_Water_and_Atmospheric_Research

    Crown Research Institute:
    “The New Zealand Government — via two Cabinet Ministers (the Minister of Research, Science and Technology and the Minister of Finance) — holds all shares in each of the current[update] eight CRIs.”

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crown_Research_Institute

    MetService:
    “Meteorological Service of New Zealand Limited (MetService) has been in existence since 1992 when it was established as a State-Owned Enterprise. It employs about 190 staff and its headquarters are in Wellington, New Zealand.
    As New Zealand’s national meteorological service, MetService produces and issues forecasts and official weather warnings on behalf of New Zealand’s Ministry of Transport and is certified by the Civil Aviation Authority of New Zealand.”

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crown_Research_Institute

    The New Zealand government owns and runs both.

  107. Glen,

    This is a 2nd attempt at a reply, as the original returned to me “insufficient postage” or something!

    Met Office, Wellington Airport was located in the terminal building, 1st floor of the two storeyed building when I was there in 1967…as far as I can recall, the met enclosure was located south of the terminal building, maybe 100 yards or so….and ajacent to the north/south runway….

    Those grid ref for both Weather Offices, are, as I have already indicated,
    41 20 S 174 49 E Wellington Airport E 14387 , 6 metres; 41 17 S 174 46 E Kelburn E 14272 , 126 metres

    I will endeavour to check those ref for both sites at library using N.Z topo maps, asap … I am running on dial – up at the moment cos’ I used all my 10 gegathingys up following Climategate!!! 8 – D . So much for Telecom!

    Using data from N.Z M.S Pub. 109, Met Obs for 1974, I note that mean temps for both Wellington Airport and Kelburn for 1974 , were 13.4 and 12.8 deg C respectively ….which seems to compare favorably with the graph…

    ….more as it comes to hand ?

  108. Glen,

    Well, the first I will be doing will be to find out where exactly the met enclosures were located when I worked at both those locations ….that shouldn’t be too difficult, surely?

    That will do for starters, apart from checking a few maps out….

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