Tasmania's Devil of a Weather Station

Today has been electrically charged, first my interview with Andrew Bolt and Steve Price on their radio show in Melbourne, then rush to the airport, trying to do a radio interview on a  cellphone while checking in, make a quick post on the skeptic blacklist, off to Hobart, then discovering your luggage never made the plane.

All was not lost though (well it might be if I don’t get my luggage). The first stop my trusty guide Alan made was to the Hobart Weather Station next to the Anglesea Army Barracks at Battery Point. He said, “you have to see this”.

The Hobart Weather station at Battery Point. - click to enlarge

Looks pretty nice doesn’t it? It is very picturesque looking out over the bay and the Wrest Hotel/Casino (the tall building).

This station was showcased by the ABC radio network om 30 May 2008, here and ABC supplied this photo with the story:

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A Stevenson Screen in position at the Hobart Weather Station in Battery Point

Notice anything interesting? I did, but nary a mention from the ABC. They write:

“The Battery Point site being the official site is where temperatures are verified against” said Malcolm.

Malcolm went on to explain that one of the limitations with the Battery Point site is that due to its location it will be affected by the sea breeze thus the temperature may not climb as high as places further inland such as Glenorchy or Brighton.

The major change in the operation of the site over the years is that where once a person would be on hand to measure the temperature, these days everything is done electronically.

In regards to the future of the site Malcolm said it is important from the Bureaus perspective that conditions remain as constant as possible as any major changes to buildings or even trees surrounding the site can influence the temperature readings.

Whilst such changes may only alter the readings by a tenth of one degree it is just such evidence that the Bureau need to establish long term trends in climate change.

They didn’t mention the most important feature – air conditioners. Lots of them.  Here’s more of my photos:

The Hobart Weather station at Battery Point. The BoM building is to the left. - click to enlarge

Here’s a reverse angle, a composite of two photographs to take in the wide angle:

The Hobart Weather station at Battery Point. Composite of two images - click to enlarge

Here, David Archibald poses next to the Stevenson Screen and the A/C heat exchanger units:

Click to enlarge

The industrial sized unit in the foreground was working so hard it had iced up its coils. David scraped about an inch of frost off of it.

Here’s the aerial view.

Hobart Weather Station at Battery Point - areial view - click to enlarge

Note that just measuring the distance to asphalt and the nearest building, the station is less than 10 meters away, making it a CRN4 station, which would be considered unacceptable by NOAA standards. It would fail by either the old 100 foot (30 meter) rule, or the new Climate Reference Network siting rule.I don’t know how much of the building built up around it or when, but it clearly fails.

Here’s the temperature data, via NASA GISTEMP:

Battery Point Hobart, Tasmania temperature record GISTEMP base data

The jump around 1970 may be of interest related to siting, but without more time to research that metadata I can’t speculate if it is related or not. Note the plunge though the last two years. Quite a drop.

And here is what the data looks like after GISS finishes with their “homogenization” adjustment:

Battery Point Hobart, Tasmania temperature record GISTEMP Homogenized

While I don’t have time right now to do a full analysis as I’m due for a metting shortly, I can say it appears that GISS flattened out the could snap in the 1940-1960 period, making the long term slope more positive.  I’ll look at that later.

The point here is, it seems no matter where I go in the world, I seem to find siting issues with official weather stations used for climate monitoring. Stations that are long period records of historical importance suffer the most from such siting issues, because their record is valuable. Worse, when the data is adjusted, it seems to add to the warming.

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90 thoughts on “Tasmania's Devil of a Weather Station

  1. Typical. And it makes little difference whether the site is urban or rural. Rural microsites “average” even worse than urban (though they would be free of UHI).
    Hope you are having a great time on your lecture tour. (Hope those graphs were useful.) And good luck with your baggage.

  2. Read the touching, re-assuring conclusion to the ABC radio story by Paul Mc Intyre and Yvette Barry

    So the next time you watch the weather on TV or listen to a summary of the temperature for the day (or month) on the radio you can rest assured that the integrity of temperature measurement in Hobart is in safe hands.

    Sleep tight !

  3. Well, it’s a darn good thing they’ve got all those airconditioners to “counteract”the effects of that off shore breeze. lol

  4. On the other hand, seeing’s it’s midwinter in Tassie, the air conditioners will all be blowing very cold air right now (but lots of hot air in summer).

  5. Remember that this is winter in Hobart, located at about 40deg S, approximately the same as Christchurch NZ, and those A/C units that David Archibald was scraping frost off would have been reverse cycling and pushing out rivers of dense coldair . In still air conditions these units may make a real difference to temperature measurement.
    An Urban Cold Island effect?

  6. No wonder that GISTEMP compared to HadCRUT features much less 1940 warm “blip” and cooling since 2002 is transformed into steady trend, allowing here and there claim of “hottest evah”.

  7. “Worse, when the data is adjusted, it seems to add to the warming.”
    Yes, it does seem strange how that seems to happen in so many cases.

  8. great interview Anthony (with Andrew Bolt)
    If you have time to do any reading on the net check out http://kenskingdom.wordpress.com/2010/05/12/the-australian-temperature-record-part-1-queensland/
    link there to part 2 NT and W A
    he’s comparing the BOM’s high quality data (homogenised) with the raw data
    and Warwick Hughes (an earth scientist) who I hope you will meet in Canberra at http://www.warwickhughes.com/blog/ has an interesting article on Distortions being spread about Australian meteorological history

  9. Those outside units would be blowing very cold air in the winter and warm/hot air in the summer yet the graph shows steady winter and summer warming from 60’s onwards. Begs the question.

  10. I downloaded both datasets, and did a linear regression of both from 1893 to 1992 (last year in record). I started in 1893 to because of missing data in some of the years before that year.
    Raw: (0.0039010 +/- 0.0023075) degrees/year
    Homogenized: (0.0062088 +/- 0.0021730) degrees/year
    No correction for autocorrelation were applied.
    Note how the trend estimates are only 1 standard deviation apart from each other.
    The trend for the homogenized data is higher but it is only signifikant at the 1-sigma level.

  11. I attended Anthony’s Newcastle presentation and have high praise for his and his co-presenters. I do find David Archibalds book extremely useful.
    It seems the reason for BoM and GISS to fudge the data and homogenise is that without fudging and homogenising there would be nothing to show. Now if David Archibald is correct and we are headed for two below average solar cycles the drop in temps will be even more startling. As shown in the graphs above temps were falling a decade ago. I can’t wait for the spin that will shortly come from the warmers, the lazy journos and the politicians who have staked their futures on AGW.

  12. Perhaps a stupid question, but… has anyone done a careful study of the effects of these outside factors on thermometer readings inside a Stevenson screen? How much distance does it really take for the exhaust from an A/C unit to fade to ambient temperature? Are we sure that 8m isn’t enough?

  13. I guess it’s a good thing the 30.48 Metre rule doesn’t apply to the Australian BOM. However, perhaps it should be acknowledged that BOM doesn’t quote this as one of their Reference Climate Stations (RCS). But then who knows what adjustment/homogenisation alchemy they derive from it, with its long period of record (commencement date 1882)? According to BOM data the Hobart (Ellesmere Road) station maximum summer recorded temperatures are: 40.6 C 1897, 40.8 C 1976, 40.1 C 1899.
    By the way Anthony were you able to see the BOM Melbourne Regional Office weather site during your recent visit. Interesting siting.

  14. Several decades ago, a friend of mine walked up to an American Airlines ticket counter in Chicago and checked his bags. The lady behind the counter mentioned his ticket indicated his destination was Los Angeles and he stated “Yes, but I’d like my bags to go to Dallas”. Looking somewhat confused, the lady protested, saying she couldn’t do that. My friend argued his case by saying “Why not? That’s what happened the last time I flew with American Airlines!”
    Being as you’re in Australia, Anthony, hopefully you’re not flying with that carrier. Oh, and good luck on your Aussie tour!

  15. Anthony it looks like what is needed are many perfect locations for temperatures to be reliably taken and recorded. What could be more perfect than the thousands of golf courses all over the place. Many clubs are situated in congested urban areas but have the required green space without pavement and air conditioners while other more rural clubs offer a huge area that can be covered. Here in Ontario there are more than a thousand clubs with a few right in downtown Toronto or seemingly in the middle of nowhere! As long as there are golfers there are clubs to play.
    Most golf superintendents already keep such information for their forecasting of disease pressure and water use. Many clubs have sophisticated weather stations while others less so. There are local, regional, provincial or state, and country wide associations that have excellent member participation along with websites that can spread info rapidly. With a little guidance as to what kind of equipment, where to place it and how to forward it I would think this is an excellent resource to use. I am upgrading our weather station along with a lightning warning and would be happy to add to the accurate keeping of the data…ed

  16. It seems the temperature of the sea breezes are not as relevant as inland temperatures.
    Rather strange thinking when the earth surface is 70% ocean.

  17. Sounds like the Battery Park weather station in NYC when I was growing up in NJ in the 1950s. NYC was a heat island but not as bad in the 1950s. Batteru Park is at the very tip of lowe Manhatten next to the ocean (sort of) between Manhatten and Statten Island. The radio stations, etc. reported the Battery Park temperature. 9 mi inland in NJ you automatically added 5 degrees in summer and deducted 5 degrees in winter to compensate for the buffering effect of the water on the temperature. Bah!

  18. Chris1958 says:
    June 23, 2010 at 12:07 am
    On the other hand, seeing’s it’s midwinter in Tassie, the air conditioners will all be blowing very cold air right now (but lots of hot air in summer).
    ______________________________________________________________________
    You are confusing a heat exchanger with an A/C unit. A/C cools only. A heat exchanger, like I have on my house cools in the summer and warms in the winter. It would screw up the records all year round except for the spring and fall – maybe.
    It is hard to tell from a picture whether it is an A/C unit or a heat exchanger.
    Since Anthony is American I am using the American definitions. Are the definitions different in Canada, England, NZ and Oz?

  19. Please note the difference in grass color in the aerial view which is dated March 19, hot weather. The brown grass would probably be that way from exposure to the sun all day long while the green area seems to be protected later in the day by shadows from the building. Or perhaps moisture from the a/c units is spread via air outflow. Whatever the case, it can hardly lead to confidence in the temperatures recorded.

  20. When you do the analysis could you use the same scale and range for all your charts? I noticed that the scales and ranges on these temperature data charts are different. The first chart covers 2 degrees and the second covers 3.5 degrees.
    Also, could you extend the analysis to the present? These two charts seem to stop in the early 1990’s.

  21. Gail Combs, don’t know about Canada and NZ but as a Brit in Australia I can cover two out of four. Aussies in Victoria where I live, and I’d guess the southern parts of SA, NSW, WA and probably all of Tasmania, seem to like ‘split systems’ that blow warm air in the cold months and cold air in the summer. In the UK a lot of workplaces now have aircon and sometimes warm air ducted heating, but in homes anything other than hot water radiators is unusual and a/c is rarer still. This is possibly because talking and complaining about the weather is genetic and we don’t like to have to many appliances that take the opportunity away. 🙂

  22. Gail Combs says:
    June 23, 2010 at 4:16 am
    Since Anthony is American I am using the American definitions. Are the definitions different in Canada, England, NZ and Oz?
    Gail, what you apparently call a heat exchanger would be called a reverse cycle air conditioner here in Oz.

  23. Philip Bratby asks about Hobart data after 1993, graphs above.
    Take a look at http://www.bom.gov.au/clim_data/cdio/metadata/pdf/siteinfo/IDCJMD0040.094029.SiteInfo.pdf
    The station went to one-minute data holdings in Nov 1994, which I interpret to mean that was the end of the Hg in glass thermometry as the primary source. However, I cannot be sure. There might have been an instrumental jump, so it might be a “hide the decline” type concept.
    The station opened on 1 Jan 1882, but there was a gap of about a decade of missing data from 1908 to 1918 as can be seen on the URL above. A Stevenson screen was fitted in 1895. The BoM tend to ignore temperature data before Stevenson screens or, where not yet found in the old records, round out a national date to something like 1910.
    Note also in the photos that there are abundant shadows, which is another minus in Anthony’s rating scheme.
    Nobody here seems to pay much attention to GISS Homogenised. Chances are, the data have already been homogenised by BOM before GISS does it again. So why bother with it? Nobody wants to ‘fess up.
    Over the years, graphs have edged the decline from about 1920 to 1940 closer and closer to horizontal, not just at Hobart, but at many Australian stations. This will one day make an interesting thesis on the credibility of adjustment mechanisms and their logic.

  24. The Stevenson screen seems to be in the shade as well.
    Gail Combs / Chris1958:
    I’m not an expert on heat pumps but I own a bunch of old air conditioners in rental houses. Ice on an A/C is a sign that the freon is low.
    It was 57 / 39 degrees F. in Hobart on 06/22 so either way it shouldn’t be too stressed unless there is something special going on in the building. From the picture it looks like an office complex. Maybe it houses a super computer running a climate model.
    Somebody should check the unit. Low freon makes a system use more electricity and that causes global warming…

  25. Additionaly, the ground in the aerial photo looks hard and dry (probably summer time) so is lilely to be a heat source also.

  26. Gail Combs says:
    June 23, 2010 at 4:16 am

    Chris1958 says:
    June 23, 2010 at 12:07 am
    On the other hand, seeing’s it’s midwinter in Tassie, the air conditioners will all be blowing very cold air right now (but lots of hot air in summer).
    ______________________________________________________________________
    You are confusing a heat exchanger with an A/C unit. A/C cools only.

    You mean “heat pump(1),” though even that is an overloaded term. I’ll distinguish with (1) or (2). Technically a heat pump is something that moves heat from one place to another, usually “uphill”, i.e. from colder place to warmer place. “Downhill” you can do the same thing by opening the window, though you may not like the humidity or pond water that might come in.
    Refrigerators and air conditioners are heat pumps(1) that only move heat in one direction. In HVAC systems (Heating, Cooling, Air Conditioning), heat pumps(2) are used that move heat in either direction. That there was frost on the unit says it was in heating mode, pumping heat from outside air to the inside, and releasing it back outside by air leaks and thermal conduction through the walls.
    All categories of heat pump(1) have heat exchangers, though some refrigerators simply use the back of the refrigerator for that and don’t have fans blowing through plumbing and fins.
    A good combination in New Hampshire is to use a heat pump(2) in fall and spring when you need heat and the outside temperature is above freezing, and then
    switch to wood stove when it can be run at high output and hot.

  27. I have a bit of experience with AC units, if they’re covered in Ice they’re not working hard, they were improperly installed/maintained! Anytime Ice forms on the coils it acts as an insulator which means that the product (what you want hot/cool) will NOT be efficiently heated/cooled. If they get a technician out there to properly service their units and adjust the amount of coolant, they’ll have lower electric bills and better cooling/heating.
    As for the rest, yup typical GW hogwash, I would love to be surprised and outraged by this but I’m really not. We’ve all seen it too many times.

  28. Obviously the unit is a heat exchanger(HE), since you would get frost on the outside coils only when you were sucking heat out of the outside air. Thus the winter temperature would be reduced at the sensor, and in the summer it would be increased when the HE becomes a A/C unit. I would bet an A/C unit was installed back in the 60s or 70s, and a heat exchanger in the 90s or later(overall energy saving device).
    Clearly, without such meta data, the temperature record of this site is next to useless after the 1960s.

  29. AC only blows warm air. If there is monthly data for this station then it is possible to identify and remove this seasonal factor in the data. In the U.S. most buildings of that age would have AC to cool the building in the summer and a seperate electric heat register or gas furnace to warm the building in the winter.

  30. Mr. Watts,
    While there has been some talk of sudden changes in the weather, climate etc – I feel drawn to say that you really do set an impossible standard for the rest of us.
    You have been in the country for barely a week and already the Australian Prime Minister is facing a spill motion.

  31. And please don’t give me any of that correlation-causation guff.
    I have read enough science papers in the last few years to know that such distinctions no longer matter. 🙂

  32. For some reason that AC was on, not heat, and the coils froze up. Something is in that building making it hot enough for the AC to be on in the winter.

  33. Whether it’s a cooler or a heater is surely irrelevant except very close to the heat exchanger. Take a slightly larger perimeter, and you’ve definitely got a heat source, not a cold source.
    Or do A/C units in the southern hemisphere somehow extract the cold from the buildings and dump it outside? (and presumably put out electric power rather than consune it while they’re at it);

  34. Chris1958:
    June 23, 2010 at 12:07 am
    Keith Minto:
    Perhaps there are a few plausible explanations concerning the AC / heat exchange units in winter months, but I suspect that your belief that they are kicking out cold air is wrong. Remember that it is an industrial-sized unit. In non-residential buildings, often the heat builds up even in winter due to body heat, electronics, and lighting. I have seen the air conditioning in a commercial building kick in even when the temperature outside was in the 20s (F). According to what we see in the pictures, I doubt that the temperature was that low.

  35. Ice on an A/C is a sign that the freon is low.  ( Sean Ogilvie:
    June 23, 2010 at 4:53 am)
    Freon! Argh… no wonder the ozone hole hangs about above Tassie…

  36. I would surmise that increasing urbanization on the areas sloping up to the west from the station could be the primary cause of the warming trend and not the heat pump exchangers. As most know from experience at lakes in wild mountainous regions, after sunset cool air washes downhill from the forest due to plant transpiration. A 20-30 year old aerial photograph over West Hobart ought to offer some clues as to the extent of this factor.

  37. If this is their site where temperatures are verified against you can be thankful they are not responsible for establishing all measurement standards in the country. It would be like the grocer with his thumb on the scale for a higher price than the calibrated scale would indicate.

  38. Wolfwalker,
    “Perhaps a stupid question, but… has anyone done a careful study of the effects of these outside factors on thermometer readings inside a Stevenson screen? How much distance does it really take for the exhaust from an A/C unit to fade to ambient temperature? Are we sure that 8m isn’t enough?”
    That’s a good question and I don’t pretend to have a definitive answer – but have done a bit of work on localized temperature measurements on my own (utterly unscientific just me playing around with transducers) and you would be amazed at how much of a delta t you can get by placing temperature transducers closer/further from buildings; in parking lots vs green belts, close to AC units, UHI etc. Incidentally, if you are interested and have a little spare $$ you can buy temperature data loggers from this website – it’s really a kick to do your own tests.
    I’m sure there are real experts in this topic; I’m assuredly not one of them, but am technically inclined, interested, and find it fascinating and fun to run temperature tests. From my limited and unscientifically conducted tests, I would personally consider 8 meters too close for an unbiased measurement…but details of siting are also important.
    Look at the case here Anthony is documenting for example – it looks to be a bank of AC units facing the Stevenson screen on one side and a road coming in at something like 45 degrees. Now picture a nice, steady, gentle breeze blowing in off the asphalt road while it picks up the heat exhaust from the AC units.
    Consider that we are expecting our transducer inside the Stevenson screen to record temperature in fractions of a degree; and further we are expecting to glean from said temperature reading a longer-term trend that identities that radiative effects of man-made CO2 account for the temperature increase or some portion thereof. Quite a stretch if you ask me. And I am deaf to claims of averaging, homogenizing, re-imagining, and all the other data reduction artifices applied to surface temperature records.

  39. Søren Rosdahl Jensen says:
    June 23, 2010 at 1:46 am

    I downloaded both datasets, and did a linear regression of both from 1893 to 1992 (last year in record). I started in 1893 to because of missing data in some of the years before that year.
    Raw: (0.0039010 +/- 0.0023075) degrees/year
    Homogenized: (0.0062088 +/- 0.0021730) degrees/year
    No correction for autocorrelation were applied.
    Note how the trend estimates are only 1 standard deviation apart from each other.
    The trend for the homogenized data is higher but it is only signifikant at the 1-sigma level.

    Nice try, but not a good argument. Using your numbers, homogenization increases the overall trend by a whopping 59.2%. At the same time, the homogenization process decreases the uncertainty by an additional 6%.
    So, to use your argument, the raw data only has a significant trend at sigma*1.69. However, the homogenized data has one at a much more significant 2.86*sigma. Apparently, when one wants to make a trend significant, just modify the data!
    Additionally, this argument holds very little weight because you’re treating it like an isolated case. However, perform this same treatment to 1000 stations and suddenly the change is enormous with great significance. Additionally, if the city and nearby electrical consumption have grown in the last 100 years, shouldn’t the adjustment LOWER or even REVERSE the trend instead of adding to it?
    -Scott

  40. tom June 23, 2010 at 5:25 am
    I disagree. In order to “correct” it you would need to know among other things:
    The amount of electricity used on an hourly basis.
    The wind on an hourly basis.
    The efficiency of each of the A/Cs from installation to the present time
    The history of the site in terms of construction of the buildings, fence placement, tree growth, landscaping in general and road construction.
    The adjustment that needs to be made for each of these factors both individually and cumulatively.
    There is another solution:
    Put the thing in a suitable place and monitor it so that the site stays suitable.
    Which do you think would be easier?

  41. As Alex said at 4:42; In Australia, a ‘reverse cycle airconditioner’ heats in winter and cools in summer. I would be very very surprised if the units pictured were not reverse cycle. Therefore the effect on the outside air would be to cool in winter and heat in summer. The ‘ambient’ temperature would be anything but ambient for a large part of the year.

  42. Units that heat as well as cool are popular in warm climates because it saves the cost of a separate heating system. They’re not powerful enough to warm a building in really cold weather. Even here in Florida, my cool/heat unit has a heating coil built in to supply additional heat in weather too cold for the heat pump alone.
    I’m not familiar with Australia, but Tasmania may be far enough south that an A/C is not useful for heating in the winter.

  43. The jump in temperature in the 70’s corresponds with the construction of the surrounding multistory buildings to form a partial quadrangle surrounding the temperature sensor during that period. The construction of the buildings is documented in the history of the Hobart meteorological service.

  44. ‘Two nations separated by a common language.’ (Sir Winston Churchill)
    Yes, the units in the picture are what we call reverse cycle air conditioners in Australia. So yes, they are heat exchangers (literally) and they blow very cold air outwards in winter warming indoors. In summer, they do the reverse – hence the term: reverse cycle air conditioner.

  45. Why are the raw and homogenized graphs on different vertical scales? It would be easier to compare if they were the same.

  46. Those aren’t air conditioners. You don’t see frost on the outside heat exchanger of an air conditioner. Those are heat pumps and they’re pumping heat into the building, not out of it, in the picture.
    It raises a legitimate question of whether the effect of pumping warmth out of the building in the summer is nullified by the opposite in the winter. Heat pumps don’t work worth a crap for heating when the outside air temperature is much below 50F because the outside heat exchanger ices up which stops the fan driven air from flowing through it. No such problem in the summer so, depending on how cold it gets there and for how long, there still might be more extra heat near the Stevenson screen in the summer than extra cold in the winter.
    Another question that comes to mind – air conditioners became very popular around 1970 but heat pumps didn’t become popular for another 20 years. So those heat pumps probably weren’t there 20 years ago and they really were air conditioners up until 10-15 years or so ago.

  47. P.S. to my previous comment re; heat pumps
    The principle advantage of a heat pump is they only use about half the electricity for the same amount of heating vs. resistive heating elements. Principle disadvantages are capital outlay (they are way more expensive than simple heating coils) and rather limited in range of outside ambient temperature (45F-70F) in which they’re effective. Icing becomes a problem at the lower end of the range and you don’t need a heater at the upper end.
    In general, a good rule of thumb for heat pumps working in either direction is that they need about 1 watt of electricity for every 2 watts of heat being moved. A heating coil needs 1 watt of electricity for every 1 watt of heating. It’s part of my standard lecture for the wife and kids in regard to keeping our electric bill down in the summer – if they have 100 watts of light bulbs lit up the air conditioner takes an additional 50 watts to compensate for it. In the winter, since we have an air conditioner not a heat pump, I encourage them to leave all the lights blazing as it helps warm the house and the extra light is just icing on the cake.

  48. The aerial shot of this nicely protected enclosed area, bordered on one side by blacktop is all that needs to be said.

  49. Ed Doda says:
    June 23, 2010 at 3:40 am
    Anthony it looks like what is needed are many perfect locations for temperatures to be reliably taken and recorded. What could be more perfect than the thousands of golf courses all over the place.
    ============================================================
    Brilliant, sir!

  50. Correction to my post above:
    The regression was on mean temperatures of months DEC-FEB.
    To evaluate p-values for the t-values calculated by Scott use d.o.f=98.
    Notice that the errrors are not corrected for autocorrelation. This will widen the error intervals.

  51. From Not A Carbon Cow:
    Anthony it looks like what is needed are many perfect locations…
    This comment triggered a thought – are there other locations in the area that we can compare these numbers against?

  52. I mis-attributed the “perfect locations” comment. It was actually from Ed Doda.
    As a rewording of my previous question, is there a way to find other, nearby locations that have high quality data that we can compare these numbers against?

  53. The cans in front of the CRS in the 3rd photo look like high-wattage
    floodlights for the flagpole. How much of this hits the CRS, and do
    they stay on all night or just during the evening? Lows usually occur
    around 5AM.
    The buildings both shade the CRS and block air circulation, so it
    would be useful to know when they were built.
    Phillip Bratby says:
    June 23, 2010 at 2:19 am
    The data only go to about 1993. What happened after then?
    Perhaps they went automated and started automatically discarding the data? 😉

  54. @ Gail Combs says:
    June 23, 2010 at 4:16 am
    Chris1958 says:
    June 23, 2010 at 12:07 am
    On the other hand, seeing’s it’s midwinter in Tassie, the air conditioners will all be blowing very cold air right now (but lots of hot air in summer).
    ______________________________________________________________________
    You are confusing a heat exchanger with an A/C unit. A/C cools only. A heat exchanger, like I have on my house cools in the summer and warms in the winter. It would screw up the records all year round except for the spring and fall – maybe.
    It is hard to tell from a picture whether it is an A/C unit or a heat exchanger.
    Since Anthony is American I am using the American definitions. Are the definitions different in Canada, England, NZ and Oz?
    ———
    The american terms would be A/C, for cooling only, and heat pump, for cooling and heating…

  55. 40 degrees from the equator is kind of extreme for a heat pump. They’re typically not used that far north or south, unless they’re geothermal units…

  56. Here in Christchurch (NZ) where the latitude is similar to Tasmania, we call these units heat pumps. If they are similar units then they are predominately used for heating our homes during the winter and modern ones can work quite efficiently down to -10ºC. The outside fan will blow significantly colder air than the ambient air temperature. To stop the coils freezing the pumps regularly cycle through a de-icing phase where the coils are briefly heated and de-iced. Maybe the one David Archibald saw covered in ice wasn’t doing this cycle efficiently however he should have notice very cold air being blown out of the unit. This brings me to my earlier point – if they affect temp. recordings then they would influence the graph trend downwards during winter.

  57. Scott says:
    June 23, 2010 at 7:22 am
    Søren Rosdahl Jensen says:
    June 23, 2010 at 1:46 am

    Additionally, this argument holds very little weight because you’re treating it like an isolated case. However, perform this same treatment to 1000 stations and suddenly the change is enormous with great significance. Additionally, if the city and nearby electrical consumption have grown in the last 100 years, shouldn’t the adjustment LOWER or even REVERSE the trend instead of adding to it?
    -Scott
    ———————
    Only if you believe UHI is real. Most climate scientists have evidently not driven through a city in a car with an outside air temperature indicator.
    Try Dallas, TX, in summer: As much as 10 or more degrees difference between downtown and the edge of the sprawl. I’ve seen this effect passing through on many different ocassions.

  58. @James Allison
    I guess 40 degrees north or south is not too extreme to use a heat pump, but only in a country that doesn’t have an ample supply of natural gas, which is generally cheaper for heating at most if not all latitudes where it is available. Of course, if you want to heat greenhouse-gas-free, install a few Westinghouse AP-1000’s there in NZ and by all means run those heat pumps to your heart’s content!
    Living at 31 North and 100 kim from an ocean, the high efficiency heat pump I have is definitely not as comfortable in winter as the gas furnace was at my previous residence.

  59. Aussies call them a reverse cycle air conditioners whereas the US calls them heat pumps – they are the same unit.

  60. wolfwalker, you asked how far to not feel an effect?
    My grandmother lived in a valley with open water at one end. there were days we felt the COLD breeze from off that water, even though it was hot outside. She was way more than 100M from the water.
    those building are enclosures on three sides, with HVAC’s venting year round. 8m isn’t nearly enough distance to not be affected.

  61. It is interesting to note that Alan was able to get Anthony ‘s presentation posted on the ABC website to advertise the event. This was verified by two seperate email’s from ABC with links that were checked confirming the posting. Shortly afterwards however a further email from ABC to Alan was received advising the notice had been removed with no explanation. This from the ABC that bang on about freedom of speach and the like! It seems that the Australian media are so arrogant and brainwashed that they will do what ever they can to stifle any sensible debate what so ever on ‘Climate Change’. Makes you wonder if Kevin Dudd had anything to do with it!? Any half reasonable person who after attending Anthony’s presentation would have to be sceptical about the claims that carbon emissions are the major cause of climate change.

  62. Hot off the wires
    Kevin Rudd may be facing a leadership challenge (for the Aussie Prime Minister job)from his Deputy. According to TV NZ news anyway.

  63. Anthony,
    The correct name for these A/C heat rejection units is ‘Condensing Unit’.
    The frost that you probably saw built up on the suction pipe just means that the unit is low on refrigerant and requires a service call. This does not indicate that the CU was heavily loaded.
    The larger water type heat rejection unit that you see on commercial or industrial roofs is called an evaporative ‘Cooling Tower’.
    I would fully agree that ANY A/C heat rejection unit contributes to local area warming of instrumentation and the perception that ‘Its getting hotter!’

  64. This station is NOT used in creating the Australian climate record as it is regarded as Urban. But the 5 stations that are used by BOM have a 40% warming bias in the homogenized record. Watch for my next post on Tasmania today or tomorrow at kenskingdom.wordpress.com
    Ken

  65. wayne said: June 22, 2010 at 11:41 pm
    “Yep, everybody added A/C in the 60′s, check the graphs! Coincidence?”
    Nope! Tasmania staunchly remains a decade or two behind the “civilised” world 🙂
    Given the paucity of hot days here I have no intention of installing A/C in the foreseeable future. But then again, Gits are not everybody 😉

  66. Soren Rosedahl Jensen (1:46am):
    You downplay the fact that “homogenization” of the Hobart RO record has increased the fitted linear trend from 1893-1992 by a factor of ~1.6 by appealing to mysterious “confidence intervals.” CIs ordinarily refer to the sampling uncertainty of the available estimate relative to the true (population) value. What is that “population” in the present instance? Is it other century-long stretches of (nonexistent) temperature record at Hobart, or is it other realizations of “Hobart” over the same years, but in (nonexistent)parallel universes? Please explain.

  67. I am probably more on top of this site than most, because I live practically on top of it. Well, 200m away.
    Interesting site. The green rectangular area intruding into the image at top right appears to be a bowling green (for lawn bowls). To the west, is the Anglesea Barracks, with a large area of asphalt (parade ground) as well as a lot of car parking. I have been in this area to a function at the Officers’ Mess, but have limited knowledge of it. The function of the barracks has changed considerably with time, and I do not think it is used as actively now as in the past. To the south is a large building that was once a school and is now a number of residential apartments.
    On air conditioning: these would definitely be what we call heat pumps. Hobart has some summer days when air conditioning is desirable, but these are relatively few. We use these more in winter for heating than in summer (they are about 300% efficient), but have only done so extensively for 20-odd years. Low electricity prices historically and pricing tariffs such as off-peak mean that forms of heating such as ‘heat banks’ or off-peak heat storage were popular before then, but we are now interconnected with the Australian mainland and sell our valuable (predominantly hydro) electricity into a national market.
    I was sorry to miss Anthony’s meeting last night, if only to meet him. (I’m already familiar with his work). But I’m just back from Europe, and badly jet-lagged, and it was past my bed-time!

  68. “…I can say it appears that GISS flattened out the could snap in the 1940-1960 period…”
    British warmist propagandists are given to calling the worst winter in x years a “cold snap.” I see you’ve bought into their terminology. But it’s wrong.
    Cold snap: a sudden, brief spell of cold weather
    http://www.yourdictionary.com/cold-snap

  69. So the Ellerslie Road site is still bedevilled by warm air falling and flowing downhill across the lawn? I suggest calling a priest.

  70. Here is a really humorous thought.
    Why don’t we work on the house and senate to reinforce a new regime in temp taking and give it back to the amateurs rather than the governmental idiots that run things now?
    After all temps across the world used to be taken and transposed to the local weather beureaus for a very long time before they hosed it with government intervention.

  71. Nick said @ June 23, 2010 at 9:31 pm
    “So the Ellerslie Road site is still bedevilled by warm air falling and flowing downhill across the lawn? I suggest calling a priest.”
    I suggest we call the priest: witch doctor 😉

  72. My point was only to show what I stated:
    That the trend estimates for the two dataset where within the confidence intervals of each other.
    Note the big uncertainties on the trend estimates.

  73. Anthony,
    See also http://www.bom.gov.au/cgi-bin/climate/hqsites/site_data.cgi?variable=maxT&area=aus&station=094029&period=annual&dtype=raw&ave_yr=T for this site as part of the Australian high quality climate site data
    I am glad you enjoyed the visit to the station, and perhaps you will do a story on the the banner you photographed, as we left the Barracks, of a local radical green group (part of a Climate Action coalition) opposing renewable energy from biomass in the form of harvesting residues and sawmill offcuts from Tasmania’s sustainable forest management [about half the island is still forested with half managed for conservation, a third privately owned and 20% managed for timber production by a government agency.

  74. Soren Rosedahl Jensen (4:12am):
    Confidence intervals are meaningful only in the the context of statistical sampling from an ensemble of time-series or a population. When there’s no missing data, the “trend” fitted by linear regression over a set period of time at a particular station is not a statistical sample, but an entirely deterministic calculation! It is EXACT in the same way that an exhaustive census of the population is exact. No matter their range, confidence intervals based on the usual iid ASSUMPTION of regression analysis are meaningless in that context. They obscure the issue at hand, which is that any “homogenization” MANUFACTURES a time-series with a SYSTEMATIC bias. It is a transparent attempt to mislead with pseudo-statistical nonsense.

  75. In Burnie they take the readings 5kms east of town where the sea breeze is very pronounced. Some days in summer are 25C + yet on the news they say “Burnie had 19C”. Great for tourism right!

  76. I concur with “Sky” regarding inapplicability of standard “statistical regression analysis” to time series from individual stations. These data are not an ensemble (which would be true if the data can be repeated under the same starting conditions), and not independent members of temperature “population”. The time series at a station is a realization of a completely deterministic dynamic process (if one includes presumably known land use change in the vicinity). The variance in individual samples is not a result of measurement errors with known Gaussian random noise. At most, the measurement error might come from a local thermometer. Assuming periodical calibration of equipment, error of each individual data sample does not exceed 1C. For a selected metrics of “yearly average”, the result comes from 730 samples, such that the error in this average is about SQRT(730)=27 smaller than the 1C individual error, or about 0.03C. Therefore, for a given time period the slope of linear fit is a very precise characteristic at that particular location. If you wish, it is a unique “signature” of it, and if a station’s reading are drifting down monotonically over 100 years span, they ARE drifting with very high confidence.
    P.S. This post is in partial response to authoritarian opinion of one “professional statistician” who wrote about Sky’s post: [Response: Well, I’ve already used “LOL” and “ROTFLMAO” — what more is there to say?]
    and my other observation about stations in Texas:
    [Response: He hasn’t thought things through at all. Nor has he applied any statistics. He’s just thinks he knows everything.
    He gives the example of different warming rates for Albany, TX and Haskell, TX. Ask him if that difference is statistically significant, and at what level of significance. After he answers, ask him how he compensated for red noise.]

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