Australia's BOM backs down on warming at Antarctic bases

From the Australian. (h/t to Andrew Bolt)

Bureau blows hot and cold over Antarctica warm-up as Bureau of Metereology backs down from a claim that temperatures at Australia’s three bases in Antarctica have been warming over the past three decades

With weather stations like the ones below, it might be a bit hard to separate the real temperature signal of Antarctica from your local UHI. I wonder how much more cooling would be evident in the data had the weather stations been placed away from the “living pods”?

This picture on a postage stamp from Australia, celebrating the Australian Antarctic Territory in 1997, may help settle the issue. Note the Stevenson Screen near the “living pod” on the right.

http://www.cira.colostate.edu/cira/RAMM/hillger/AustralianAntarctic.L102.jpg

Here is the larger photo of the first day of issue card, the Stevenson Screen is also just visible above the snowbank in the lower right. Rather close to human habitation I’d say. Looks like its in the middle of a small AHI (Antarctic Heat Island).

Click for larger image

Click for larger image

They have propane heat, apparently:

Here is what Australia’s Mawson Station looked like circa 1956-1957:

mawson_station_1957

And here is what Mawson station looks like today, as of Feb09. It appears they dumped the “living pods”. Maybe a little “urban growth” going on there?

mawson_station_jan-feb09-2

Here’s another picture of a Stevenson Screen close to a building in Antarctica, from the British Antarctic Survey:

[10004058]

Location: Fossil Bluff, Alexander Island

Season: 1994/1995

Photographer: Pete Bucktrout

THE Bureau of Meteorology has backed down from a claim that temperatures at Australia’s three bases in Antarctica have been warming over the past three decades.

A senior bureau climatologist had accused The Weekend Australian of manufacturing a report that temperatures were cooling in East Antarctica, where Australia’s Mawson, Davis and Casey bases are located.

The trend of temperatures and ice conditions in Antarctica is central to the debate on global warming because substantial melting of the Antarctic ice cap, which contains 90 per cent of the world’s ice, would be required for sea levels to rise.

While calvings from ice shelves in parts of West Antarctica have generated headlines, evidence has emerged that temperatures are cooling in the east of the continent, which is four times the size of West Antarctica.

Contrary to widespread public perceptions, the area of sea ice around the continent is expanding.

The Weekend Australian reported last month a claim by Bureau of Meteorology senior climatologist Andrew Watkins that monitoring at Australia’s Antarctic bases since the 1950s indicated temperatures were rising. A study was then published by the British Antarctic Survey that concluded the ozone hole was responsible for the cooling and expansion of sea ice around much of the continent.

The head of the study project, John Turner, said at the time that the section of Antarctica that included the Australian bases was among the areas that had cooled.

Dr Watkins said The Weekend Australian had misrepresented the results of the BAS study, which made no findings about temperatures at Australian bases.

When it was pointed out to Dr Watkins that Professor Turner had been quoted directly, Dr Watkins said his bureau, and not the BAS, was the agency collecting temperature data.

“You kept going until you got the answer you wanted,” Dr Watkins said.

“You were told explicitly that the data collected by the Bureau of Metereology at the Australian bases shows a warming for maximum temperatures at all bases, and minimum temperatures at all but Mawson.”

However, Professor Turner told The Weekend Australian the data showed a cooling of the East Antarctica coast associated with the onset of the ozone layer from 1980 onwards. Professor Turner said the monthly mean temperatures for Casey station from 1980 to 2005 showed a cooling of 0.45C per decade. In autumn, the temperature trend has been a cooling of 0.93C per decade.

“These fairly small temperature trends seem to be consistent to me with the small increase in sea ice extent off the coast,” he said.

Dr Watkins did not dispute the figures referred to by Professor Turner.

Referring to the bureau’s data collection since the 1950s, Dr Watkins said Professor Turner’s figures were “only half of the full data set”.

However, Dr Watkins admitted that analysis of the data might show “an ozone-induced cooling trend in the latter half of the record” — a reference to the past three decades.

Dr Watkins declined to release the temperature data to The Weekend Australian. He said it had still to be fully analysed by the bureau.

Nationals Senate leader Barnaby Joyce said he hoped all government agencies would co-operate in helping to inform the global warming debate.

“These agencies need to be able to dispense the facts without fear or bias,” he said.

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77 thoughts on “Australia's BOM backs down on warming at Antarctic bases

  1. .
    So that is all perfectly clear then. When I say warming I really mean cooling, but I cannot say cooling because of political pressure, so warming sounds much better.
    I think the last sentence sums this up well:
    “These agencies need to be able to dispense the facts without fear or bias,”
    H’mmm How much pressure has been applied to all these agencies, and how?
    .

  2. I thought this quote from Wiki is appropriate. This is from George Orwell’s ‘1984’.
    Quote:
    The keyword here is blackwhite. Like so many Newspeak words, this word has two mutually contradictory meanings. Applied to an opponent, it means the habit of impudently claiming that black is white, in contradiction of the plain facts. Applied to a Party member, it means a loyal willingness to say that black is white when Party discipline demands this.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nineteen_Eighty-Four#Doublethink
    .

  3. Has anyone actually investigated how much these instruments are being affected by their surroundings and the readings adjusted accordingly? Or isn’t it in the BOM’s interest to look too closely?
    Still, at least the problem has now been highlighted. One more tack in the AGW coffin?

  4. “These agencies need to be able to dispense the facts without fear or bias,” he said.
    Apparently they need to dispense the “correct” facts. And if the data won’t tell the truth, you torture, uhm, I mean, adjust, it until it does.

  5. Let me see if if i’ve got this right. They’ve got four monitoring stations. The max is trending up at all four. The min is trending up at three out of four. The mean is trending down at a “fairly small” 0.45C/decade. Exactly how does that work?

  6. Whoops! Don’t know where that four came from, maybe ’cause it’s nearly four in the morning here, but with three and two the point remains the same.

  7. Seems like all the good news is coming out of Australia and ‘The Australian’ lately. Go you good thing!
    Regards
    Michael

  8. “Turner said the monthly mean temperatures for Casey station from 1980 to 2005 showed a cooling of 0.45C per decade. In autumn, the temperature trend has been a cooling of 0.93C per decade.
    “These fairly small temperature trends seem to be consistent to me with the small increase in sea ice extent off the coast,” he said.”
    ———————————————–
    lessons learned
    lesson 1:
    +2C/century is catastrophic.
    -4.5C/century and -9.3C/century are fairly small temperature trends.
    lesson 2:
    the ozone hole during antarctic spring (september) is responsible for low temperature anomalies in autumn.

  9. The Australian “Bureau of Meteorology” appears to be another red hot bed of warming alarmism.
    About a year ago BOM personnel led by a senior BOM person, Dr David Jones, gave a presentation on global warming at a Farm Expo in western Victoria.
    Mann’s thoroughly discredited hockey stick was the most prominently displayed exhibit during the whole of the presentation although no direct reference was made to it in the spoken presentation.
    When challenged that the evidence for global warming was in serious doubt due to the lack of any evidence of stratospheric warming as predicted by the models and the then evident small cooling trend derived from the ARGO float array in the world’s oceans, David Jones reply was a short categorical “that’s nonsense !” repeated two or three times if I remember correctly.
    No further enlightenment was entered into or any explanation as to why it was “nonsense”.
    He was after all, the” Expert” whose knowledge and skills were never to be allowed to be challenged by a mere uneducated farmer asking a few awkward questions.
    Having said that, I have had the pleasure of meeting a number of very decent and completely accessible BOM guys and gals and climate researchers in both the BOM and the climate research section of the CSIRO, Australia’s main research organisation,
    At this EXPO, we also had a presentation explaining the operation of Australia’s proposed “Emissions Trading Scheme” by a commercial company that was going into trading carbon credits when the ETS is passed into law. [ now becoming very doubtful and becoming increasingly so as both the public and the pollies wake up to the rather nasty potential economic and social consequences ]
    At the end of the presentation on the proposed ETS, there was complete bafflement amongst the audience as to just what was involved and how the bloody thing was supposed to work.
    When the question was asked of the carbon trader, we know that there is a lot of money in it for you, now what is in it for us, the farmers?
    Much looking at the floor and a great deal of foot shuffling and no answer.
    Question time was promptly shut down.

  10. Why cannot BOM release the raw data as it is collected and continue to analyze it?
    Are there no qualified academics in Australia or scientists in other branches of government who can do the job of analysis?
    Sounds like BOM has a monopoly over this data that is not in the public interest.

  11. A couple of people asked recently if there is an alternative source of weather forecasts for the UK. You can get much more detailed forecasts here, including forecasts out to 16 days:
    http://www.netweather.tv
    They have just published their long range forecast for the summer which (no surprise) differs from the Met Office. They say May and June warmer than average but July and August colder and wetter. I don’t know who they are but I rate them highly. They were a LOT better at forecasting last winter than the Met Office.

  12. So when its cooling its due to the hole in the ozone layer which is also our fault, we cant win if it warms or cools!
    Once they have adjusted the data for “ozone cooling” I am sure they will release it, maybe Mann could do it for them?

  13. Our Australian BoM spokesman Watkins says the Australian research region of Antarctica has warmed since the 1950s. This would not be surprising since most of Antarctica warmed from the 1950s – but only to the 1970s (World Climate Report 30th January 2009: Antarctica Again). So it also would not be surprising if our Antarctic research region likewise did not warm in recent decades, in line with the reports by the British team and the Australian newspaper.
    The British team claim that the lack of recent Antarctic warming is due to the hole in the ozone layer. It is supposed to produce cold winds that descend to the surface, swamping AGW and causing the increase in sea ice observed around Antarctica. Steven Goddard on this blog has objected that the ozone hole opens in spring, the wrong season for ice growth; but the theory claims that the cold winds take a substantial time to reach ground level. However, the British workers strangely claim that the surface winds are at a maximum in the autumn, yet the ice is at a minimum in this same season, autumn. (See British Antarctic Survey Press Release 05/2009)
    There has been much media attention to the recent loss of ice from the Wilkins ice shelf of Antarctica. But this is part of the Antarctic Peninsula, a small section of the continent, projecting far out from the main body of Antarctica. The peninsula has evidently warmed markedly, at about 5 times the global average. But it may be uniquely exposed to natural current variations, due to its atypical location, as suggested by Duncan Wingham.

  14. A simple check of the GISS records for stations in Antarctica show the overwhelming majority of stations show no rise in temps for the last 50 years.
    Amazing how most of the world’s press ignore this.

  15. One other topic which is hot at the moment here in Australia, and particularly in The Australian Newspaper (linked a couple of times above) is Ian Plimer’s book Heaven and Earth. I received my copy yesterday, a well argued geologist’s long term view of climate change.
    To quote from the publishers website (http://www.connorcourt.com) that came with it, which pretty much sums up AGW –
    “A new ignorance fills the yawning spiritual gap in Western society. Climate change politics is religious fundamentalism masquerading as science. Its triumph is computer models unrelated to observations in nature. There has been no critical due diligence of the science of climate change, dogma dominates, sceptics are pilloried and 17th Century thinking promotes prophets of doom, guilt and penance.”
    You can order a copy from their website.

  16. Quote:
    “Dr Watkins declined to release the temperature data to The Weekend Australian. He said it had still to be fully analysed by the bureau.”
    Which is code for, time is needed to make the temps look how we want them to look.

  17. All that damn inconvenient data; refuses to perform as required by the models. And the poor AGW proponents are liable to strain something (like the truth) when they try to explain the data’s odd behavior. Now that they’ve been caught they’ll probably start a hunt for data supporting the warming; first, though, they may want to take a creative writing course.

  18. Somewhat OT, but I offer a response to the sub discussion concerning Jet Stream data in the “May Day” post. (Wilde and Grey). An unclass US Navy Met site depicts NH and SH Jet wind flows here; http://www.usno.navy.mil/FNMOC/meteorology-products-1. Go to: WXMAP, Prediction Charts, Global, either GFS or NGP (bottom of page).
    I would like to see this data reduced to a linear plot for spectrum analysis. Unfortunately my expertise and tool kit are not up to the task. I suspect that an abundance of talent exists out there in the Distributed Intelligence of the WUWT community. Suggestions Appreciated. Email on file.

  19. When you can’t really tell if its warming or cooling and the number you get is either positive or negative depending on the date you start from or what correction algorithm you apply to the satellite measurements, then the logical conclusion is that there is no real trend.
    Even a climate researcher should be able to admit that.
    Mumbling under your breath and stuttering out an answer that sounds like “umm, … well, …. well … the Earth has clearly been warming … umm … if you start measuring in 1975 and end in 1998 … and those these trends have been affected by ozone starting in 1980 and … and then there were aerosols from 1960 to 1975 … if we don’t stop pollution now, the Antarctic will melt … ice sheets … sea level swamp cities … drought … floods … hurricanes … warmer in some locations, cooler in others, … it could happen within a few years … I know I said that 20 years ago but the newest models are much more accurate … “,
    That is normally the kind of thing that one should start ignoring after awhile until some better proof is presented.

  20. “‘These agencies need to be able to dispense the facts without fear or bias,” he said “.
    I need to check in with my eye doctor; the first time I read that sentence, I could have sworn that I saw the word ‘with’ after ‘dispense.
    But most revealing of the apparatchik mentality is this notion that ‘facts’ are not objective things, situations and happenings in the physical realm but are, rather, commodities manufactured and ‘dispensed’ by bureaucrats and ‘experts’, as the nurse dispenses valium.

  21. “You were told explicitly that the Emperor was not naked! It is the job of the Ministry of Fashion to determine what is and is not clothing. So sit down put your thumb in your mouth and believe what you’re told!”

  22. ‘…17th Century thinking promotes prophets of doom, guilt and penance.”
    You mean folks like Descartes, Galileo, Boyle, Newton, Leibniz, Spinoza, Huyghens…?
    Urgent! Read K.J. Burtt, The Metaphysical Foundations of Modern Science.

  23. Dr Watkins declined to release the temperature data to The Weekend Australian. He said it had still to be fully analysed by the bureau.
    Shouldn’t that be ‘massaged’? What is there to analyse about a list of recorded temperatures..?

  24. I’ve read that the Ozone Hole was “discovered” in 1985. Can anyone tell me, definitively, that there was no Ozone hole in 1984? 1983? 1982? etc. Were we looking?

  25. “You were told explicitly that the data collected by the Bureau of Metereology at the Australian bases shows a warming for maximum temperatures at all bases,”
    Do we have an integrity problem here?
    Believe what I tell you, not what you know.

  26. Scott Brady….
    I read somewhere that the very first time US scientists measured the Ozone in Antartica in the 1950s!, they found the hole. I dont know if this is a myth of not

  27. It seems to me to be a manufactured 3-ring circus (north pole, south pole, and land glaciers mixed with sea levels). If they all speak at once and say amazing things, we will be mesmerized by the pretty lights and fast talk. Meanwhile, the carnie hawkers (bedfellows known as corporations and politicians) are underneath the stands picking our pockets while our attention is diverted to the action of the 3-ring display.

  28. Craig Moore (07:45:21) :
    Yep!
    All these great minds relegated to scientific legerdemain.
    I cringe for them, at the thought of the ensuing ignominy.
    Get out now! Please!

  29. The possibility of temperature sensors being affected by sources of Infared radiation must be well known. As well, the colder the environment the more pronounced the effect of nearby radiation would be. Recently I have been reading a facinating book written by William John Gordon in 1907 by the name
    ” Round about the North Pole”. It is archived on the web here.
    http://www.archive.org/details/roundaboutnorthp00gord
    The book chronicles the explorations of the arctic regions up to that time and is very well written. Pages 76 to 83 tell of the Italian explorer Umberto Cagni’s attempt to reach the pole leaving Teplitz Bay, Franz Josef land in March 1900, where he had to turn back when he was less than 4 degrees of lattitude from the pole. The part of the book that is pertinent to this current story is found on page 78, where the author relates that Cagni had a difficult time recording accurate temperatures because, just approching the thermometer would raise it a couple of degrees when the temperature was around -22 and as much as 4 degrees at -58. What strikes me as amazing is that in 1900 scientists knew of the effect of radiant heat on temperature recording devices and yet in current times don’t realize that they must keep their sensors a reasonable distance from the heat of their little community in the antarctic that was built for the express purpose of making accurate measurements of things like tempurature. The first paragraph of chapter 1 is also pertinent to our current time in that the author admits to the then current knowledge that the arctic ice is by no means eternal as evidenced by the fossil record among other evidence. Somehow many of today’s enlightened climate scientists seem to have lost that knowledge and instead believe that only God’s highest order creation is responsible for the demise of polar Ice. Somehow I think that God is about to show them that he, not man, is still in control of the climate.

  30. I’m sure we just have to wait for there to be no more temperature in Antarctica so all the data can be released.

  31. I think a whole new set of independent weather stations are needed. Its like steroids in baseball. All the records that have been broken have to have an asterisk beside them and a clean slate of clean atheletes from here going forward is needed to connect up with the former chain of records. Present government and quasi government climate scientists need to have their performance altering methods and fixes taken away from them and a new set of honest apolitical players need to be fielded.
    Is there a law that prevents setting up independent weather stations with the best design and locations in Anarctica and the arctic, or for that matter, across the world? Is there a law that allows authorities to withold data paid for by taxpayers? After all these are not military secrets. Maybe recruiting engineering schools across the world to set up independent best-design weather stations according to best practices regarding location that can be monitored remotely could be done somehow and all the raw data collected by the satellites that we own could be receivable by anyone. If its a question of the possibility of the world coming to an end as we know it, surely its not an excessive idea. I worry that as the AGW pandemic winds down, there will be a disappearance of the raw data or substitution of it to show that they were right at the time but now things are changing.
    Anybody out there know if raw data can be obtained in real time by other than the establishment?

  32. “The trend of temperatures and ice conditions in Antarctica is central to the debate on global warming because substantial melting of the Antarctic ice cap, which contains 90 per cent of the world’s ice, would be required for sea levels to rise.”
    Of course, sea level is rising now, albeit slowly, due to thermal expansion. And the meltwater from most of the mountaintop glaciers. And Greenland.
    Antarctic conditions are a CONSEQUENCE of global warming. The AGW debate centers on the northern hemisphere, because that is where most of the land area is. Unlike the oceans, land isn’t able to absorb the added greenhouse effect heat.
    And this leads (somehow) to the largest temperature increases being in the Arctic. Where sits the Greenland ice cap; that represents 23 feet of sea level rise.
    “Substantial melting” is an end game (we lost) consequence. A useful perspective: a one meter sea level rise will create 100,000,000 refugees.

  33. Dr. Watkins is probably doing the right thing.
    Don’t give them raw data that has not been corrected for heat island effects, else they will run off with cherrypicked analyses for their pet Thermageddon stories.
    Dr Watkins did not dispute the figures referred to by Professor Turner.
    And that’s most likely due to not much changing down there. It’s still the uninhabitable place it has been, and will continue to be. Warm a degree or cool a degree, it’s still the popsickle continent. It ain’t going anywhere.

  34. The whole bit about the ozone hole causing more ice is science stretched and tortured to its breaking point. It appears to be an attempt to justify that there IS a statistically significant increase in Antarctic sea ice. The claim about the ozone hole is the result of a model experiment and it’s not clear that it is a testable hypothesis (not that there’s anything wrong with that in AGW science where correlation is causation). The study is Geophysical Research Letters and abstract can be viewed at:
    http://www.agu.org/pubs/crossref/2009/2009GL037524.shtml
    This overlooks a couple of things. CFCs have been banned for quite a while and the “hole” should be decreasing. The best part is something that the MSM conveniently leaves out; the final sentence of the abstract states: “However, statistics derived from a climate model control run suggest that the observed sea ice increase might still be within the range of natural climate variability.”

  35. Francis (09:57:33) :
    “The trend of temperatures and ice conditions in Antarctica is central to the debate on global warming because substantial melting of the Antarctic ice cap, which contains 90 per cent of the world’s ice, would be required for sea levels to rise.”
    Of course, sea level is rising now, albeit slowly, due to thermal expansion. And the meltwater from most of the mountaintop glaciers. And Greenland.
    Antarctic conditions are a CONSEQUENCE of global warming. The AGW debate centers on the northern hemisphere, because that is where most of the land area is. Unlike the oceans, land isn’t able to absorb the added greenhouse effect heat.
    And this leads (somehow) to the largest temperature increases being in the Arctic. Where sits the Greenland ice cap; that represents 23 feet of sea level rise.
    “Substantial melting” is an end game (we lost) consequence. A useful perspective: a one meter sea level rise will create 100,000,000 refugees”.
    Francis,
    Sea levels have stopped rising at all recently and there is nothing wrong with Antarctica, Greenland or our climate.
    It is even expected that the current growth of the Antarctic Icecap will cause the ocean levels to sink in the short term future.
    The trend you describe obviously originates from your mindset, obsessed from catestrophic events leading to “the end game”.
    Some Psychiatrists have linked this kind of thinking to a “depression” which can easily be treated with medicine.

  36. Lindsay H (03:09:07) :
    a bit OT but i like the analysis on CO2
    Now we have what we need. It takes ~14,138mmt of CO2 emissions to raise the atmospheric CO2 concentration by ~1 ppm and it takes ~125 ppm to raise the global temperature ~1ºC. So multiplying ~14,138mmt/pmm by ~125ppm/ºC gives us ~1,767,250mmt/ºC.
    That’s our magic number—1,767,250.
    http://www.worldclimatereport.com/index.php/2009/04/30/what-you-cant-do-about-global-warming/#more-376

    This is a very good article, and quite eye opening. However, there is a very huge fundamental problem with this talk about 1.0C/per decade, or 0.2C/per year kind of thing. For example, this supposes that at a constant level of atmospheric CO2, say 380ppm, that the temperature will continue to rise at a particular rate, seemingly to infinity. So, by discontinuing adding any additional CO2 to the atmosphere, at some point far far in the future, the planet will melt? This is beyond preposterous, but this is exactly how the AGW camp presents this, but nobody seems to look any further. If this really where how things worked, then if I begin to reduce CO2 in the atmosphere to some predetermined temperature neutral point, say 250ppm, then if I accidentally drop just below that, won’t that mean that eventually the planet would be an ice ball? Again, this method of CO2 –> Temperature relationship is completely impossible.

  37. Given the virtually infinite ability of AGWers to rationalize away the self-evident, it’s just a matter time that criticisim of the poor siting at these Antarctic stations will be be blown away by the claim that the instruments are all “upwind” of the human habitats.

  38. Francis (09:57:33) :

    And this leads (somehow) to the largest temperature increases being in the Arctic. Where sits the Greenland ice cap; that represents 23 feet of sea level rise.
    “Substantial melting” is an end game (we lost) consequence. A useful perspective: a one meter sea level rise will create 100,000,000 refugees.

    You could be correct, only problem is, there isn’t any sea level rise!

  39. Dave Wendt (01:36:32) : Exactly how does that work?
    When I was in high school they introduced “new math” into the curriculum. Dr. Watkins must have had the same classes. All you have to do is change bases, transform the numbers, translate to Latin, take the absolute value, multiple by i, then reverse the processes, and when you finish cooling has become warming. Simple, really!

  40. The UHI affect on antarctic temp data is somewhat apparent in the data for the Amundson Scott station from GISS.
    http://data.giss.nasa.gov/cgi-bin/gistemp/gistemp_station.py?id=700890090008&data_set=1&num_neighbors=1
    This graph shows a step change in the 1980s (downwards) and a marked change in amplitude of readings 1980. Post 1980s there were major changes in operations at Amundsen-Scott (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amundsen-Scott_South_Pole_Station)
    I am guessing that new construction, large seasonal changes in the number of personal and siting of temperature sensors may be a factor.

  41. Scott Brady (07:14:26) : ozone hole ?
    For me, this is another of those issues where “the science is not well understood.” Translation, “We don’t have a clue!”
    I think there are enough halogens naturally occurring in the atmosphere that the effort to ban CFCs to save the ozone should be classes as a scam.
    If that is so, then the ozone hole is something that was, is, and will be part of Earth’s atmosphere. There are several research efforts underway. One recent report:
    Correlation between Cosmic Rays and Ozone Depletion
    http://www.science.uwaterloo.ca/~qblu/Lu-2009PRL.pdf
    This claims a starting date of 1980 or 1981 (not too clear) but this may be looking back after the “discovery” by the British Antarctic Survey in 1985.
    http://celebrating200years.noaa.gov/breakthroughs/ozone/welcome.html

  42. “Dr Watkins declined to release the temperature data to The Weekend Australian.”
    That’s a surprise.

  43. AFAIK the seasonal ozone depletion (AKA ozone hole) was measured by British scientists in the Antarctic in the 1950s before CFC’s were in widespread use.
    There’s also a problem with the chemical model of CFC causing ozone depletion as one of the crucial reactions runs too slow by an order of magnitude when tested in the lab under real world conditions.

  44. Ron de Haan (12:37:29) :
    “The trend you describe obviously originates from your mindset, obsessed from catestrophic events leading to “the end game”.”
    Ron – you make a good point, but actually I can hardly blame folks like Francis for thinking this way, given that the MSM, Al Gore, Mark Serreze, etc. pump them with the AGW mantra 24/7. Common sense doesn’t seem to matter, and in time people can begin to believe all sorts of doomsday scenarios. What I can’t understand is why supposedly smart people in government labs and academia just sit by idly while people (many in position of power) make the most distorted and outright false statements about climate change without correction. Anthony needs to post the President’s statement about climate change (see the link below) to provide but one example of how out of control the whole global warming movement has become.
    http://tomnelson.blogspot.com/2009/04/missouri-april-29-2009-president-obama.html

  45. For the sake of WUWT’s credibility, I recommend that the following comment be removed from the tail-end of the post in which it appears:
    “Some Psychiatrists have linked this kind of thinking to a “depression” which can easily be treated with medicine.”

  46. Bill Illis (05:29:05)
    “Even a climate researcher should be able to admit that.”

    Yes, there is clearly a need to scrutinize their bosses.

  47. I will share an anecdote:
    I once had a contract that consisted of spending months doing nothing but cooking data.

  48. “Dr Watkins declined to release the temperature data to The Weekend Australian.”
    I guess you just have to look at it from Watkins POV. If he releases the unadjusted data and the people of the world learn the truth, what will happen to the planned EcoShangriLa? By applying a little smoke here, a few mirrors over there, the data, although, second, or even third hand can be made to support the new world view and it will then fit in!
    Dr. Watkins believes that his second-hand smoke (and mirrors) will save the planet from humanity…

  49. Re: Mike Bryant (16:51:54)
    All one has to do is:
    1) Pick a few high observations at one end of a time series.
    2) Pick a few low observations at the other end.
    3) Label them as suspect.
    [There are any manner of potential justifications — they can be made to appear sufficiently mathematically-sophisticated as to cause (some) auditors to abandon a suspicious trail.]
    I’m not saying this is what is happening in this particular case, but I am saying I’ve seen “odd” examples of what I call “seesaw” adjustments (…so now you see what I wanted you to saw).
    All this does is stir up a hornet’s nest of mistrust, effectively neutralizing the whole discussion about climate.
    It has been refreshing to see that people participating in this forum (generally) don’t have wool over their eyes.
    Some of you have posted some really great comments in this particular thread.
    Thank you.

  50. A bit OT but while we have been concentrating on the Antarctic glaciers, we have not been getting any info published on the mountain glaciers. The the world glacier monitoring body: http://www.wgms.ch/ is calling for 2006 and 2007 data! Surely you must know how far the glaciers have shrunk by the end of the melt season. The site is railing on about disappearing glaciers while, creeping up on them over the last couple of years are reports of glaciers growing in mass in a growing number of places. Looking at their latest report (which goes up to end of 2005), one can see that durng the period 1960 to 1990, there were more growing glaciers than during the period from from 1850 to the mid 1900s, unless I’m misunderstanding the graph: http://www.grid.unep.ch/glaciers/pdfs/5.pdf and it seems likely that we will see advancing glaciers outnumbering shrinking ones again over the next 10 to 20 years of global cooling. Its already started in Norway, Alaska (first time in 250 years), N.Z. and when they finally get dug out of the snow in the Alps, the beginning of the turnaround is likely to start there too. I don’t have links handy for Alaska, Norway and N.Z. but it is easy to google it. I’m sure there will be a post on this subject when the 2009 data come out.

  51. Gary that is a great observation… there is no new data on glaciers but snow has been going crazy! I can’t even find new data on Mount Kilimanjaro… and when the television folks were to trek up there… they didn’t make it. I wonder why.
    The glaciers are making a comeback, I’ll wager. The only place I have seen anything about glaciers is here…
    http://www.iceagenow.com/List_of_Expanding_Glaciers.htm
    scroll down…

  52. Bill Strouss (08:50:19),that is an interesting quote about radiant heat effecting Antartic temperature readings.
    I just wonder if radiant or convective heat is having an effect on the Stevenson screens?.
    I also wonder if there is reliance on just one measuring device?.
    Two in different locations may give very interesting results.This would be my choice if I had to set up the measuring equipment, simply use the one with the lower reading.
    But would I still keep my job?

  53. Ron de Haan (12:37:29) and Squidly and Frank K. and Paul Vaughan
    THERMAL EXPANSION (1.6 mm/yr)
    I’m a little skeptical of your suggestion that sea levels have stopped rising. The cooler La Nina (just over) temperatures recently might have slowed the thermal expansion a little. But the air to water heat transfer is a slow process; so there is a backlog of warming that should be continuing.
    There’s just an inevitability here. Increased temperatures lead to thermal expansion and sea level rise. Just as evaporation is followed by precipitation.
    GLACIERS and ICE CAPS (.77mm/yr)
    They’re still melting.
    GREENLAND ICE SHEET (.21 mm/yr)
    “…estimated monthly changes in the mass of Greenland’s ice sheet suggest that it is melting at a rate of… …46.7 cubic miles per year…Grace(Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment) satellite.’ Wikipedia
    ANTARCTIC ICE SHEET (.21 mm/yr, plus or minus .35 mm/yr)
    “The difference between these estimates from totally indepent techniques reflects the uncertainties in these difficult measurements; nevertheless, on balance, they indicate a recent shift to a net loss of Antarctic ice and suggest that the losses may be accelerating. Similar conclusions result from studies of Antarctic Peninsula glaciers, indicating that they are melting much faster than previously predicted and are probably already contributing significantly to sea level rise.” http://www.cmar.csiro.au (Hey, you wouldn’t want to read my summary of the muddle)
    I probably could get depressed contemplating the speculation: will the additional snow on East Antarctica increase the rate of flow of the ice to the sea.
    TOTAL (2.8 mm/yr) Sea level rise for 1993-2003
    Ultimately from IPCC 2007…included for relative comparison.
    So, anyway, you’re telling me that sea levels have now stopped rising.
    Where can I read about this?

  54. Dr Watkins has made a huge mistake. The reporters at The Australian (and other papers) will now really get suspicious and chase him to the end of the Earth. He ain’t got a chance! LOL

  55. “So, anyway, you’re telling me that sea levels have now stopped rising.
    Where can I read about this?”
    Francis – have a look here:
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/04/06/sea-level-graphs-from-uc-and-some-perspectives/#more-6827
    Looks to me like the trend has flattened since 2006. Note the noisiness of the data as well. Now, think to yourself – is this the trend you would expect if the arctic or antarctic ice were “melting” away at an accelerating rate?
    “GLACIERS and ICE CAPS (.77mm/yr)
    “They’re still melting.”
    …and refreezing in the winter…every year…just like they always have…and always will. Of course there will be natural variations from year to year in glacier sizes and arctic/antarctic ice thickness, but if you go back hundreds and thousands of years, these variations have taken place regardless of our presence or absence.
    “I probably could get depressed contemplating the speculation: will the additional snow on East Antarctica increase the rate of flow of the ice to the sea.”
    Why are you getting depressed over this? This is precisely what those in the AGW movement want you to do – they want you feel as if YOU are to blame for something which is largely unrelated to your existence on the Earth. There are much more important things in this world to be depressed about – poverty, disease, malnutrition, war. Being fooled into supporting Cap and Trade and other AGW schemes based on sloppy and incomplete science will do nothing to solve those problems. To me, it all about priorities – I rather spend my money and time helping the poor and hungry rather than helping to fund Al Gore’s next eco-yacht.

  56. vg (19:26:50)
    “Dr Watkins has made a huge mistake. The reporters at The Australian (and other papers) will now really get suspicious and chase him to the end of the Earth. He ain’t got a chance! LOL”

    Maybe he’s a skeptic strategically employing subversive reverse psychology?….
    …With the level of the stakes, who knows who’s in control? … counting chickens before hatched, … resting on laurels…. (watch your back)
    Maybe he’ll roll with the punches and do what is convenient? (lot’s of people do….)
    Let’s see what he does, which way he spins … (maybe an update story down the road….)

  57. Re Mike Bryant (16:51:54) : 2.05.2009
    “Dr Watkins declined to release the temperature data to The Weekend Australian.”
    The Weekend Australian reported can go to an outlet and obtain a BOM compilation on CD that reports the temperature data. Day by day, maximum and minimum, at the several Antarctic bases, with stops and starts over the years. If the BOM are backing off from the veracity of data, then plausibly they are knowingly selling a defective product.
    The reporter has been saved the effort. I posted some of the data above at Geoff Sherrington (06:36:07) : 2.05.2009. It’s the same data.
    For those with a forensic mind, there are several sources of data reports and some type of major discrepancy seems to happen in year 2007, which reports a lot hotter that any other year at Mawson. Note also that the global 1998 peak is absent; that there are probably changes in the types of instruments used; that there could be splicing to smooth the instrument transitions; and that as shown above, the locations of the weather station screens might not be optimum. There are a few reported effects of the height of the thermometer/thermistor above the surface in the range 0-2 meters, and the snow under the screens is subject to changes in levels. Also, on this continent of ferocious winds, the wind teperature variation that is measured could have been drived from heating/cooling effects that happened quite some distance away. Not easy to pin it to the lat/long of the base.
    So, yes, there are probably complications that would stay the hand of a good scientist from blurting out an unequivocal statement.

  58. The difference between these estimates from totally indepent techniques reflects the uncertainties in these difficult measurements; nevertheless…
    AGW science at its best.

  59. UHI in these remote areas is no Joke.
    A Study titled “THE URBAN HEAT ISLAND IN WINTER AT BARROW, ALASKA” 2001-2002 shows that the UHI in remote areas can be significant.
    The photos above only show habitats, however heat from vehicles, aircraft and visiting scientific and tourist ships must also be accounted for.
    http://www.geography.uc.edu/~kenhinke/uhi/HinkelEA-IJOC-03.pdf
    Conclusions of the BARROW study….
    5. CONCLUSIONS
    Analysis of winter temperatures yields the following preliminary conclusions:
    1. Based on spatial averages for the period 1 December 2001 to 31 March 2002, the urban area is 2.2 °C warmer than the rural area.
    2. In winter, the daily UHIM (Td, u−r) increases with decreasing temperature, reaching a peak value of around 6 °C in January–February. This likely reflects higher energy usage for residential and commercial space heating.
    3. The daily UHIM decreases with increasing wind velocity. Under calm conditions (< 4 knots or 2 m s−1) the daily UHIM is 3.2 °C in winter.
    4. Daily UHIMs in winter can be predicted using mean daily air temperature for light wind conditions of less than 7 knots (<3.5 m s−1) with a reasonable degree of confidence (r2 = 0.65, p = 0.04).
    5. On a daily basis, the UHI is best developed under calm, cold conditions and can reach hourly magnitudes exceeding 9 °C; this reflects the increased (anthropogenic) heat input at this high-latitude site. On very windy days, the temperature field across the study area is uniform.
    6. In winter, the UHIM is maximized in late evening to early morning, although both day and night tend to be warmer than the hinterlands. In summer, the urban area is frequently cooler. This may be an ‘inverse
    heat island’, but more likely reflects a maritime influence on the coastal village.
    7. Monthly HDD and monthly natural gas production/use are strongly related to the monthly UHIM (Tm, u–r).
    8. Using spatial averages integrated over the winter season of 1 September 2001 to 31 May 2002, accumulated FDD are reduced 9% in the urban core compared with the hinterland.
    Copyright  2003 Royal Meteorological Society Int. J. Climatol. 23: 1889–1905 (2003)

  60. Frank K. (20:15:32)
    Ah…its the rate of increase of sea level that is flattening. O.K.
    I’ve seen both oceans. I’m not really comfortable with measuring sea level rise in increments as small as a millimeter. I would rather not contemplate tenths of a millimeter. I once took some geology courses. Rising mountains, subsiding areas covered by oceans, land going down or up withe the advance or retreat of glaciers…I just can’t believe there’s any land that has stayed in place. Anyway, for me its…how many years to get to a one mer rise?
    I was careless in my reference to GLACIERS and ICE CAPS. They’re still.. ”
    “retreating”.
    AKD (21:53:27)
    re: “uncertainties in these difficult (East Antarctle) measurements.”
    The East Antarctic situation is a muddle. If you choose to blame the scientists, that is your choice. But remember, the AGW proponents don’t really care about about the results. Until the recent reconciliation of satellite temperature data with weather station data; they were content to give up East Antarctic. Its a regional situation, and it has unique weather effects.
    Actually, its the skeptic side that keeps looking southward. If not for the Antarctic mass balance, then for the sea ice.

  61. “I was careless in my reference to GLACIERS and ICE CAPS. They’re still.. ”
    “retreating”.”
    Not all glaciers are retreating – certainly some are. Even so, can you link this change to CO2? Could it be due to local land use issues, deforestation, and other obvious (man-made) causes? Could it also be perfectly natural in most cases – the waxing and waning of glaciers, icebergs, sea ice, and ice caps? I think so. Again, I don’t think anything we puny humans do will affect the earth’s climate to the degree expressed by the AGW alarmists.
    I wish you well. And I hope you can channel your depression about AGW into activities that can have a *** real *** impact on our Earth, including land conservation, recycling, attending to the poor and hungry, and in general being a good steward of our environment. This does NOT include thinking CO2 is an evil poison or giving carbon taxes to greedy eco-tycoons like Al Gore…

  62. John Mclean has been the voice of reason on these matters for some time and is to be congratulated on this piece and others, in particular his exposure of the fraud that is the so-called independent and peer review process of the IPCC. The narrow focus of climate research funding to which he refers is nowhere better exemplified than within the once unimpeachable CSIRO, which is now little more than an acolyte for the climate alarmist movement. Interestingly, the CSIRO, when it undertakes commercial consulting work issues a disclaimer to the effect that computer climate models are not forecasting tools and should not be read as such. But that doesn’t stop the organisation, or more recently individuals within it, from propagating their alarmist dogma which is based on such models to governments and the general public. Presumably they can’t be held personally liable for these claims when that dogma is finally exposed for what it is. Recently it also seemed that the Bureau of Meteorology was applying to upgrade its membership of the alarmist club when one of its researchers sought to deny 50 years of cooling temperature records in the Antarctic, and claimed instead that it was warming. Fortunately he was pulled into line by his boss, who told the truth.

  63. Mike Borgelt (15:45:06) : 2 05 2009
    I’d be delighted of you could please give me references to the alleged error in the kinetics of ozone chemistry. I am a chemist. I have found some references to this allegation and I seek to check that I have the significant ones. Or all, for that matter, including corections and/or rebuttals. The whole ozone chemistry thingo has not had the right feel since the first publications a few decades ago.
    Cheers sherro1 at optusnet,com,au
    Commercial break. See my post at Geoff Sherrington (06:36:07) : 2 05 2009 above

  64. Francis (19:15:07) : 2 05 2009
    What datum point do you use to show that the sea level is rising? AFAIK, if you use the centre of the Earth as a datum, it wobbles around with tides and gravity of other bodies and distrotions of the Earth shape, with a magnitude similar to tha effect of sea level rise being claimed. So what do you calibrate onto?

  65. Malcolm Robinson (18:12:01) 5 05 2009
    Wrong blog or not, there are still some very fine scientists in CSIRO and BOM and I applaud their progress of science. There are also a few scientists whose viwes are becoming less supportable. Little birds tell me that there have been meetings to reconcile the belief-driven with the evidence-driven, but that the meetings might have been a bit early. Give it time.
    I once worked in a junior position for CSIRO and today I am very proud of the enduring work we did, though it was masterminded by others. The CSIRO and the BOM have the appropriate structures to bounce back and again be intellectually and actually dominant.
    It would be juvenile to knock the good work of the past. Some has been at the cutting edge of world knowledge. But, as in idustry, cycles of performance can happen.

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