Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Land and Sea Temperature: South West Australia

November 29, 2016

This year, the south-west of Western Australia has recorded some unexpectedly low temperatures.  Has this been due to rainfall, cloud, winds, or the cooler than normal Leeuwin Current and Sea Surface Temperatures in the South West Region?

In this post I examine maximum temperature and rainfall data for Winter in South-Western Australia, and Sea Surface Temperature data for the South West Region, all straight from the Bureau of Meteorology’s Climate Change time series page .

All temperature data are in degrees Celsius anomalies from the 1961-90 average.

Figure 1 is a map showing the various Sea Surface Temperature monitoring regions around Australia.

Fig. 1


The Southwest Region is just to the west and southwest of the Southwest climate region, and winter south westerlies impact this part of the continent first.  2016’s winter has seen maxima drop sharply.  In fact, it was the coldest winter since 1993:

Fig. 2:  Southwestern Australia Winter TMax Anomalies


There is a relationship between rainfall and Tmax- as rain goes up, Tmax goes down, so here south west rainfall is inverted and scaled down by 100:

Fig. 3:  TMax and Rain:


The next plot shows TMax and the South West Region’s Sea Surface Temperature anomalies (SST):

Fig. 4:  TMax & SST:


Again, related: both have strong warming from the 1970s.  Next I check for whether there was a real change in direction in the 1970s, and if so, when.  To do this I use CuSums.

Fig. 5:  CuSums of Winter TMax and SST compared:


Both have a distinct change point: 1975, with SST warming since, but TMax appears to have a step up, with another change point at 1993 with strong warming since.  Rainfall however shows a different picture:

Fig. 6:  CuSums of Winter Rainfall


Note the major change at 1968 (a step down: see Figure 3), another at 1975 with increasing rain to the next change point at 2000, after which rain rapidly decreases.

I now plot TMax against rainfall and SST to see which has the greater influence.  First, Rain:

Fig. 7:  TMax vs Rain:


100mm more rain is associated with about 0.5C lower TMax, but R-squared is only 0.22.

Fig. 8:  TMax vs SST:


A one degree increase in SST is associated with more than 1.1C increase in TMax, and R-squared is above 0.51- a much closer fit, but still little better than fifty-fifty.

TMax is affected by rain, but more by SSTs.

I now look at data since the major change points in the 1975 winter.  The next three figures show trends in SST, Rain, and TMax.

Fig. 9:  Trends in SST:


Warming since 1975 of +1.48C/ 100 years.

Fig. 10:  Trends in Rainfall:


Decreasing since 1975 at 89mm per 100 years (and much more from 2000).

Fig. 11:  Trends in TMax:


Warming since 1975 at +2.14C per 100 years.

Detrending the data allows us to see where any of the winters “bucks the trend”.  In the following plots, the line at zero represents the trend as shown above.

Fig. 12:  SST Detrended:


Fig. 13:  Rainfall Detrended:


Fig. 14:  TMax Detrended:


Note that SST in 2016 is just below trend, but still above the 1961-90 average.  Rainfall is only slightly above trend, and still below average.  However TMax is well below trend, and well below average, showing the greatest 12 month drop in temperatures of any winter since 1975.

My conclusions (and you are welcome to comment, dispute, and suggest your own):

  • Maximum temperatures in winter in Southwestern Australia are affected by rainfall, but to a much larger extent by Sea Surface Temperature of the South West Region.
  • The large decrease in winter temperature this year cannot be explained by rainfall or sea surface temperature.  Cloudiness may be a factor, but no 2016 data are publicly available.  Stronger winds blowing from further south may be responsible.

The Pause Update: September 2016

October 18, 2016

The complete UAH v6.0 data for September have just been released. I present all the graphs for various regions, and as well summaries for easier comparison. The Pause has finally ended globally and for the Northern Hemisphere, and the Tropics, but still refuses to go away in the Southern Hemisphere.

These graphs show the furthest back one can go to show a zero or negative trend (less than 0.1 +/-0.1C per 100 years) in lower tropospheric temperatures. I calculate 12 month running means to remove the small possibility of seasonal autocorrelation in the monthly anomalies. Note: The satellite record commences in December 1978- now 37 years and 10 months long- 454 months. 12 month running means commence in November 1979. The y-axes in the graphs below are at December 1978, so the vertical gridlines denote Decembers. The final plotted points are September 2016.




The Pause has ended. A trend of +0.18 C/100 years (+/- 0.1C) since March 1998 is about one sixth of the trend for the whole record.

And, for the special benefit of those who think that I am deliberately fudging data by using 12 month running means, here is the plot of monthly anomalies:


Northern Hemisphere:


The Northern Hemisphere Pause has ended.

Southern Hemisphere:


For well over half the record, the Southern Hemisphere still has zero trend.  The Pause may end shortly.



As expected, the Pause in the Tropics (20N to 20S) has ended.

Tropical Oceans:


The Pause remains (just) for ocean areas.

Northern Extra Tropics:


The minimal trend is creeping up- how high will it go before decreasing again?

Southern Extra Tropics:


The Pause is one month longer.

Northern Polar:


Another big increase in temperature in this region but the minimal trend is still one seventh that of the whole record.

Southern Polar:


The South Polar region has been cooling for the entire record- 36 years 11 months.

USA 49 States:


One month shorter.



No change.

The next graphs summarise the above plots. First, a graph of the relative length of The Pause in the various regions:


Note that the Pause has ended by my criteria in all regions of Northern Hemisphere, and consequently the Globe, and the Tropics, but all southern regions have a Pause for over half the record, including the South Polar region which has been cooling for the whole record.

The variation in the linear trend for the whole record, 1978 to the present:


Note the decrease in trends from North Polar to South Polar.

And the variation in the linear trend since June 1998, which is about halfway between the global low point of December 1997 and the peak in December 1998:


The imbalance between the two hemispheres is obvious. The lower troposphere over Australia has been strongly cooling for more than 18 years- just shy of half the record.

The next few months will be interesting. The Pause may disappear from the Southern Hemisphere soon. How long will the Pause last in the Southern Extra Tropics and South Polar regions?  ( I would like to see separate data for the Extra-tropical regions from 20 to 60 degrees north and south.)

Limited Blogging for a While

March 6, 2015

Due to family reasons, I can’t give much attention to this blog for a while.

I’ll leave you with two graphs to contrast climate alarmism about heatwaves with reality.

Dr Sarah Perkins of the Climate Change Research Centre and Dr Karl Braganza were in the news this week claiming that

“we’re definitely seeing more heatwaves across Australia”


“the number of days that belong in a heatwave each season — has been increasing since the 1950s.”


“Brisbane has been getting heatwaves in spring”

Let’s look at Brisbane.  Dr Perkins, a heatwave expert,  defines a heatwave as “three days in a row of temperatures in the top 10 per cent”.  The top 10% of days are those with a temperature above 29.5 degrees Celsius.  Yep, 29.5 C is apparently an extremely hot day at Brisbane Airport!  This shows consecutive days above 29.5 C- the red line is the 3 day heatwave benchmark.  Note the linear trend.

spring consec 29.5 brisbane

This shows the highest temperatures reached in 3 day heatwaves:

spring temps 29.5 brisbane

Just two graphs refute all of the above claims about Brisbane:

definitely NOT more heatwaves

definitely NOT more hot days each season since the 1950s

and Brisbane has ALWAYS had heatwaves in spring, but not so many nowadays.

There has been a slight increase in the number of standalone days above 29.5 C (0.17 days in 66 years), but ‘heatwaves’ have been getting COOLER.

Enough said.

2014 in review

December 30, 2014

The stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 19,000 times in 2014. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 7 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

How an ABC Poll went badly wrong

November 4, 2014

Yesterday the ABC (and other media) were breathlessly reporting the doom and gloom climate story from the IPCC, including 4 to 5 degrees of warming if we don’t stop using fossil fuel.

ABC News Radio put up a straw poll on their website to gauge public opinion.

After a slow start, the responses climbed.  At first, the vote was predominantly “Yes”, but that changed quickly.  By early afternoon the vote had swung to 52% No 48% Yes, by early evening it was 81% No 19% Yes, and at 5.45 a.m. today (Queensland time- not that Mickey Mouse time) it was as below:-


91% No, 9% Yes.

Thank you, Our ABC!

The Missing Fingerprints of Global Warming: Part 3

June 12, 2013

In previous posts I checked three of Dr Karl Braganza’s “fingerprints” of climate change he listed in an article in The Conversation on 14/06/2011(my bold):

These fingerprints show the entire climate system has changed in ways that are consistent with increasing greenhouse gases and an enhanced greenhouse effect. They also show that recent, long term changes are inconsistent with a range of natural causes…..

…Patterns of temperature change that are uniquely associated with the enhanced greenhouse effect, and which have been observed in the real world include:

  • greater warming in polar regions than tropical regions
  • greater warming over the continents than the oceans
  • greater warming of night time temperatures than daytime temperatures
  • greater warming in winter compared with summer
  • a pattern of cooling in the high atmosphere (stratosphere) with simultaneous warming in the lower atmosphere (tropopause).

I will look at the 2nd point above, that is, greater continental than oceanic warming.

Time for another reality check.

This is possibly the silliest of Dr Braganza’s claims.  It does not need very great understanding of physics, meteorology, or geography, to see that continents will warm faster than oceans as a result of ANY cause- greenhouse or otherwise- and on any timeframe.

Let’s consider two temperature stations maintained by the Bureau of Meteorology (BOM)- Willis Island 200283, in the middle of the Coral Sea, and Alice Springs 015590, in the middle of Australia.

First, let’s look at a 72 hour timeframe.  Compare these two graphs:

alice daily


willis daily

Now here are graphs of monthly mean maxima:alice max

willis max

And minima:alice min

willis min

Finally, these graphs plot anomalies- Maxima:alice v willis max

And minima:alice v willis min

(The trends are not important except to show that they vary more at Alice Springs, and the year-to-year range is greater.)

On all timescales, whether warming is caused by daily, seasonal, or inter-annual factors, Alice Springs warms (and cools) much more rapidly than Willis Island.  Perhaps the specific heat of water compared with land has something to do with it?

Now let’s look at the global picture.  These graphs use data from the University of Alabama (Huntsville) satellite record (UAH) to show the December 1978-May 2013 comparison for Land and Ocean from 85N to 85S.

Global:Land Ocean global

Northern Hemisphere:Land Ocean NH

Southern Hemisphere:Land Ocean SH

Practically identical trend lines for Land and Ocean!

Tropics:Land Ocean tropics

Southern Extra-Tropics:Land Ocean extra-T

Finally, Southern Polar (60-85S)Land Ocean SH polar

Once again it is obvious that “Global” Warming is predominantly a Northern Hemisphere phenomenon.  The Southern Hemisphere refuses to follow Dr Braganza’s claim.

Further, the greater the proportion of land to ocean (Northern Hemisphere), the more land warms relative to the oceans.

Far from being a pattern of temperature change uniquely associated with the enhanced greenhouse effect, this illustrates the higher thermal response of land compared with water.  The only band where the temperature range of the ocean is close to that of the land is the Tropics, which is mostly ocean, and which is the driver of world climate.


Dr Karl Braganza again has made an assertion that is demonstrably false.  He has failed to explain that any warming will be greater on land than on water and this is not a unique indicator of greenhouse warming.  He should have said that recent, long term changes are consistent with a range of natural causes

FOUR of his fingerprints of climate change are missing.

Warming Has Paused, BOM Says!

March 19, 2013

Ken Stewart, 19 March 2012

Sorry, that title is a little misleading, isn’t it.  The Bureau of Meteorology didn’t actually say this, but the BOM’s own data does.  Loudly and clearly.Acorn 1995-2012

The Bureau’s brand-new, best quality dataset, ACORN-SAT (Australian Climate Observation Reference Network- Surface Air Temperatures) clearly shows the linear trend has been flat for 18 years.

So what of the Climate Commission’s report on “The Angry Summer” ,  and the Bureau’s apparent fixation with maximum temperatures in the past summer?

In the past, the BOM has been at pains to make clear that trends in climate can only be analysed over long periods of time. See for example,   Three cold months have barely rated a mention in the past for this very good reason.  So why all the fuss over three hot months?  And if it is now OK for them to use a three month period in this way, surely it is OK for sceptics to point to a “pause” in warming over the past several years. A period of 18 years is 72 times longer than the “Angry Summer”!

In my last post I demonstrated how well Acorn annual mean anomalies from the 1981-2010 mean, match with UAH (the dataseries of atmospheric temperatures since late 1978 compiled by the University of Alabama- Huntsville):Acorn UAH 79-12 new

I was astounded that some commenters at the various sites where this was published had doubts about the accuracy of the UAH data.  You can’t help some people.  That’s why I decided to play the warmists’ at their own game, by using only the Bureau’s own data, which shows, among other things, that there has been zero trend in the data since 1995.

Finally, as the Climate Commission is not likely to mention these, here are some other not so widely known facts straight from Acorn:

  • 2012 had the coldest winter minima since 1983 Acorn winter min
  • 2012, at +0.11C, was the 36th warmest year- equal with 1995, just ahead of 1957.
  • The past three years- 2010, 2011, and 2012- were the coolest of the decade.
  • 2012 was cooler than 9 of the previous 10 years- beaten by 2011.  2011 was exactly at the median anomaly for the past 103 years, at -0.13C, according to Acorn’s homogenised record.

Meanwhile the Climate Commission would have us believe that because a three month period has been a record, this is somehow proof of man-made global warming.

Why?  Because that’s all they’ve got left.

Catalyst- still deceptive

November 18, 2012

An update on my recent post about Catalyst.

Most viewers (myself included) would not have realised that the “330 months since February 1985 of above average temperatures” reference had nothing to do with Australia, but was in fact based on an as yet unpublished paper by Dr Mark Howden of the CSIRO, who seems to have obtained his data from the NCDC.  (Unpublished? So not yet peer-reviewed?  Tut-tut, ABC!)  As it is not yet published, we can’t access it or check Dr Howden’s methods and calculations, so the 1:100,000 chance of having 330 months in a row of above average temperature not being caused by the greenhouse effect seems a bit odd. 2 to the power of 330 is somewhat more than 100,000!

Whatever.  I’m sure it’s very interesting.  But that had nothing to do with the stated subject of the program, which was “Taking Australia’s Temperature”.  It appeared to be thrown in as a late filler.  Perhaps there was no deliberate deception planned, however to include that claim without clarifying that it was not Australian data but global data resulted in at least one viewer (me) being misled.

But let’s have a closer look at this claim, seeing as it has been raised.  Yes the world has warmed, and so has Australia, over the last 100 or so years, somewhere between 0.4 and 0.7 degrees Celsius.  Thanks to Chris Gillham, here is a graph of the NCDC data, from 1880.

I’ve marked in the period between 1944 and 1976, when there was a distinct cooling period.

And this is the monthly data since 1985.

Warming?  Of course.  Continuously?  No.  The warming has definitely slowed, plateaued, or possibly even reversed since 2001-2002.

Yet every month of this data series is above the average for the 20th Century, which apparently was reached at the beginning of 1985, so Dr Howden and the CSIRO are technically correct.

But let’s look at some completely different data.

This is a graph of the Australian share index, courtesy of the ASX.

In spite of the 1987 crash, the Asian bust, the GFC, every point since 1985 is above the value then.

Another example.  Imagine driving from say Brisbane to western Queensland.  The average altitude of Australia is 330m.  Half way up the Toowoomba Range you pass this altitude.  Past Toowoomba, driving across the fairly flat Darling Downs, be warned that every kilometre is above the average altitude.  So when you reach Roma we can say that for more than 300 kilometres every kilometre has been above the average altitude.  (OK, there are a few dips when you get close to Roma, but let’s homogenise them.)  Scarey hey!

The point?  The world has been warming since the mid 19th century.  In a warming climate a point will eventually be reached where despite cooling episodes, every data point will be above the average.  The little exercise with the wine bottles in Catalyst proves absolutely nothing, especially not about Australia’s temperature.

Oh, and by the way, the poor birds dropping dead in mid flight from the heat.  The presenters failed to report that this is nothing new, and was documented in newspapers many times before World war II:- – 1896 – 1899 – 1913 – 1924 – 1929

The trouble is, some people believe the mis-information spread by the BOM, the CSIRO, and the ABC.

Catalyst, the BOM, the CSIRO- caught out again

November 16, 2012

Last night I watched the ABC “science” program Catalyst, featuring “Taking Australia’s Temperature.”  I tried to post a comment at the Catalyst page but got a Server Error and my comment disappeared.  Amongst so much misinformation in the program, here was the real clanger:

” since February 1985, we have had… 330 months in a row of above-average temperatures. “

There was no mention of where or what temperatures were being referred to, although the context was grape growers moving from Victoria to Tasmania, so let’s check with the Bureau’s High Quality temperature records, for Victoria,Tasmania, South East Australia, and Australia as a whole.  I’ve marked 1985 to make it clearer.



And Australia as a whole, means:So there have been several years of below average temperature, and you can’t get a below average year without a number of below average months.  Don’t take my word for it, search the Bureau’s web pages for yourself: there is no State or Region with 330 consecutive months of above average temperature since February 1985.

Perhaps they were referring to the specific locality of the Brown Brothers vineyards at Milawa?  Milawa’s closest town is Wangaratta.  Here’s the Bureau’s record for Wangaratta Aero (opened 1987):

If the data from such a site as Milawa is so obviously not consistent with that of other sites around it, its State,or Region, the following possibilities must be checked:

a) a problem with the siting

b) a problem with the instruments

c) a problem with the recording

d) a problem with the adjustments to the data

e) a problem with the basic honesty of the presenters of this program in not highlighting that this was not representative of the broader record.

It was Dr Mark Howden of the CSIRO Climate Adaptation Flagship who made this fantastic claim.  Dr Jonica Newby, scientist/ journalist that she is, accepted and repeated it without question, so is jointly responsible.  If I am not looking at the relevant data, I stand to be corrected, and will apologize.  Unless they can offer some explanation or correction, they must obviously stand by their untruth.

UPDATE:  I have since found out from Chris Gillham that the “330 Months” is from an upcoming CSIRO paper, based on NCDC data- for global temperatures.  Which raises the questions:  why was there no reference to this in the program? and why are we referring to global temperatures when we are discussing Australia’s temperature?  So my criticism stands- this was deceptive behaviour- the average viewer would think the 330 months were in Australia’s data.  (And no comments have been allowed at Catalyst since midday.)

Once we could trust and be proud of our great institutions.  Now it seems it’s up to ordinary people to hold them to account.

Spring-Summer Rain Outlook Update November 6 2012

November 6, 2012

This page will be regularly updated, as soon as I have enough RAINFALL and MINIMUM TEMPERATURE data.

This series of posts is a continuing public testing and refining of my hunch that surges in minimum anomalies indicate later upper level disturbances.


On October 5 I tipped for October 18 +/- 3 days a possible disturbance.  This was out by one week (although the October 11-14 rain could have been a continuation of the earlier disturbance, and on 1 August I had tipped “late September to mid-October”).  I also tipped on October 5, for October 28 +/- 3 days, “Possible disturbance- Possible storms” and this was exactly right.  There were widespread storms throughout the region.  Note I had also predicted a disturbance for late October- early November back on 1 August.

This is how we went: I remind readers again of my area of interest- subtropical Queensland.

And the plot of rainfall events since 1 July:


SOI 30 day mean (to 3 November) is + 4.48.

Weekly NINO 3.4 Index (to 28 October) was + 0.55 and rising.

The Indian Ocean Dipole is currently +0.29 and falling.

Here’s what I said for the remainder of the year back on 1 August:  “Indications are that there will be heavier rain events starting in the period early to mid-November and early to mid-December. These events may affect NSW as well, but I am restricting my study at this stage to Queensland”.

Rain events will become more frequent and more significant as the year progresses.  I’m tipping an early and heavier Wet, and a return to La Nina next year.  I’m not so sure about January now: earlier I thought it would be hot and dry but I will have to wait until further into the season.  Normal or above wet season rains are likely in early February.

For Central and Southern Queensland, indications for the next 5 months (with updates in BOLD) are:

Commencement period Description Likely result
November 7 +/- 3 days Possible disturbance Cloud and rain
13 +/- 10 days Enhanced weather activity to begin in this period Possible storms.  This may last   to early December.
20 +/- 3 days Possible disturbance
Possibly 26?
December4 +/- 4 days Possible upper system Possible storms
9 +/- 3 days Possible disturbance
20 +/- 8 days (13-28 December) Indications of a stronger system Probable heavier storms or rain starting in this period, possibly   lasting past Xmas.
26 +/- 2 days Possible extra influence
Januarypossible 13 +/- 3 days? Possible early storms?
22 +/- 2 days? “ “
Late January- February (in the region 28 January-onwards)  Probable upper system enhancing wet season begins in this period Widespread rain, amount unknown (no-brainer- this is the wet season)
30 +/- 7 days
February6 +/- 4 days  Probable upper systems enhancing wet season in this period Widespread rain, amount unknown (no-brainer- this is the wet season)   with several enhancements
13 +/- 3 days Likely surges
18 +/- 3 days “ “
26 +/- 4 days “ “
March6 March onwards Possible upper system
17 +/- 5 days “ “
27 +/- 5 days “”
April10 +/- 5 days  “” Last of the Wet season?  Possibly clearer weather after this.

I will monitor conditions and refine my predictions as the season develops.

30 day mean Minimum percentage anomaly for the 10 Subtropical Queensland sites I monitor (as at 4 November) was -0.099.  -0.1 is no change from 5 October.