GISS Does It Again at The Isa
Ken Stewart, March 2010
Mount Isa is a hot and dusty mining town in the remote north west of Queensland. It’s famous for its mine, producing vast amounts of copper, lead, and zinc, it’s candy-striped smokestack and taller new one, and arguably the best rodeo in Australia. The Isa is surrounded by grass, rocks, trees, large cattle stations, and a few isolated mines, aboriginal communities, and outback towns. The nearest “urban” site is Alice Springs 674 km away. The nearest weather station is 106km away at Cloncurry, home of the Flying Doctor and Australia’s (unofficial) highest recorded temperature, 53.3°C (128°F) on 16/1/1889.
By now being awake up to GISS, the Goddard Institute of Space Studies, I should have known better. However, they still manage to surprise me.
The good folk at GISS once again have seen fit to adjust the data, more than doubling the warming. The adjusted data implies a warming trend nearly double that of surrounding rural stations. There is a pattern emerging to which I will devote a future post.
I used the same methodology as in previous studies. I downloaded Bureau of Meteorology and GISS data for Mt Isa and nearby rural sites. I plotted this data and applied trendlines. I then compared GISS before and after, and BOM.
Here are the results: (Click on the graphs for a larger view).
Mount Isa (Post Office, Airport, and Mine):
GISS wisely stick to the Airport:-
But they increase the slope of the trendline from less than 0.5 to more than1.1 degrees Celsius per 102 years, by lowering the earlier data by 0.3C. They say they do this because they homogenise urban data for discontinuities caused by station shifts, Urban Heat Island (UHI) etc, by their stated method: “…urban stations are adjusted so that their long-term trend matches that of the mean of neighboring rural stations. Urban stations without nearby rural stations are dropped.” ( http://data.giss.nasa.gov/gistemp/)
So let’s follow that worthy line and see if they do as they say. We’ll visit the rural sites listed by GISS in turn. (The graphs and discussion of them is in the Appendix, below.) I have left out Julia Creek because its data record is very short and patchy, and no trend should be inferred.
First, Cloncurry: How disappointing- absolutely flat, a trend of maybe 0.05C per 102 years.
Next, 160km south, Urandangie: 1.4C. Ah, that’s better. But the running average becomes… 0.73 degrees- still short.
Third, Camooweal, 165km northwest: 1.2C, makes the average 0.88 degrees- getting closer!
Fourth, Donors Hill, 244km north east: dead flat at 0 degrees trend! Average now 0.66C.
Fifth, 254km south to Boulia: 0.6 C, makes the average trend 0.65 degrees per 102 years!
Now you can keep on going through the next 5 closest stations, Burketown, Normanton, Richmond, Croydon, and Winton, 414km away, but it only gets worse (for GISS). The average trend of the rural sites is 0.635 degrees Celsius per the 102 years of my study. No combination of nearest long term stations puts the trend above 0.88 degrees, let alone 1.1. Even BOM’s longer records of these 10 stations produce a trend of 0.82 degrees.
There cannot be any justification for the adjustment made to the temperature data at Mount Isa. There can be no excuse- not incomplete data, sloppy entry, or even incompetence. The GISS temperature record is false.
Cloncurry: I spliced Post Office and earlier aerodrome data as it was very close. Trend is dead flat. Is that a 33 year cycle?
Urandangie: 1.4C per Century.
Camooweal, 165km northwest: 1.2C
Donors Hill, 244km north east: dead flat at 0 degrees trend!
254km south to Boulia: 0.6 C
Julia Creek 234km east: insufficient data
Burketown 327km north east: less than 1.4C, but 20 years cooling.
Normanton 374km north east: 0.7C, 20 years cooling. 30 year cycle?
Croydon, 398 km north east: -0.45C
Winton, 414km south east. GISS 1.2, BOM 2 degrees C. 30 years data missing.
There is no clear picture: some sites show warming, some show cooling, some show nothing much at all.