The German Grid and the Recent Solar Eclipse

                               (Photo credit cloudfront.net)

The solar eclipse of March 20th, 2015 and the havoc it threatened to wreak on the German grid generated a lot of portentous web coverage before it happened:

PhysOrg Solar eclipse will test Germany’s green power grid

Will next week’s partial solar eclipse turn off the lights in Germany? Experts say the country’s electricity grid, which relies increasingly on renewable energy, faces a crucial test on the morning of March 20, when the moon will pass in front of the sun and block up to 82 percent of its light across Germany.

Some nail-biting web coverage while it was was happening:

PV Magazine As it happened: Germany’s grid grapples with solar eclipse

10:54: Here comes the big stress test. The greatest change in PV power generation takes place between 11:00am and 11:15am.

And quite a bit of triumphant web coverage after it was over:

Clean Energy Wire Energiewende passes solar eclipse stress test

Grid operators had warned the astronomical event would be “an extreme challenge” that will “stress test the power system” but in the end, all went “wonderfully”. Germany has passed the solar eclipse stress test with flying colours.

But was the eclipse really an “extreme challenge” for Germany’s grid? And what does it tell us, if anything, about the Energiewende? Let us examine the data.

Continue reading

Posted in Energy | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

The Oil Price Crash and Economic Slow Down in China

Guest / joint post with EM commenter Javier

Two of the factors in the oil price crash are well constrained: 1) oversupply of expensive light tight oil (LTO) in North America and 2) the decision of OPEC to not cut production. The third possible factor of weak global demand is not so easy to constrain but the current oil price crash bears many of the same hallmarks as the 2008 finance crash. This has lead to speculation that weak global demand, stemming from masked economic woes, may also be playing a key role.

In response to this, commenter Javier sent me a collection of 10 charts that he had collected from various internet sources together with his commentary that forms the basis of this joint-post. These charts tell a clear story of a major economic slowdown in China. This most certainly will be implicated in the ongoing oil price weakness. The $10,000 question is will China make a cyclical rebound like it has done in the past?

Figure 1 GDP growth. YoY = year on year % change. Note many charts are not zero scaled. China’s economy is still growing at 7% per year but has slowed down dramatically from 12% 5 years ago. Such change has happened before, notably between 1994 and 1998 linked to the Asian currency crisis. The oil price hit $10 per barrel in 1998. And in 2007 to 2009 an even more sharp fall related to the financial crash was also accompanied by a crash in the oil price.

Continue reading

Posted in Energy | Tagged , | 29 Comments

The Worst of BEST

This post follows up my recent Paraguayan temperature puzzle post on homogenization and temperatures in central South America. In it I offer some insights into specifically how the Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature (BEST) adjustment procedures contrive to show warming across the whole of South America while the BEST raw records show a mixture of warming and cooling trends.

Figure 1 of the Paraguay post showed a map of warming and cooling gradients since ~1950 at selected South American stations based on linear trends measured from GHCN v2 raw records. Figure 1 below shows the BEST version of this map based on linear trends measured from BEST’s raw records (all the data used in this post are downloaded from BEST’s station data site). It’s not directly comparable to the earlier Paraguay map because BEST measures warming from the beginning of the record rather than after 1950, but we still see the same concentration of blue dots in Paraguay and in parts of Chile. Overall two-thirds of the BEST raw records show warming and one-third show cooling:

Figure 1:  Temperature gradients measured from BEST raw records at selected South American stations.

Continue reading

Posted in Climate change | Tagged , , , | 45 Comments

Blowout Week 64

This week we feature Germany, which has successfully weathered the recent solar eclipse that threatened to play havoc with the German grid:

The solar gap: Power supply in Germany stayed stable despite a solar eclipse taking out most of its solar power production just before the lunchtime peak. Source: Discovergy Solar-Monitor on 100 photovoltaic meters, 2015.

Deutsche Welle:  German power net survives solar eclipse

With Friday a bright sunny day, there were worries ahead of time about the consequences of the solar eclipse scheduled to occur in the morning. Engineers knew it would cause a massive, sudden drop in solar electricity input – followed by a massive increase when the eclipse came to an end later in the morning. There had never been such a massive and rapid drop and rapid increase in solar power before in Germany. The eclipse cut off 65 to 80 percent of incoming sunlight, depending on one’s vantage point. The task faced by engineers at Germany’s four big electricity network operating companies was to make sure that the resultant huge solar power production fluctuation wouldn’t destabilize the grid. The engineers carefully prepared measures well ahead of time, coordinated all across Germany, aimed at stabilizing electricity supplies by ramping fossil-fuelled power plants up and down, timed carefully to offset the solar eclipse, so as to avoid any sudden voltage fluctuations that might cause the grid to crash. By noon, it was all over – and the engineers at the country’s four network operating companies were content with the morning’s work. “Good preparations paid off, we were able to handle all swings in production,” said Ulrike Hörchens, spokeswoman for Tennet, one of the four network companies – the one that manages the highest share of PV input. The system had passed the stress test.

More stories below the fold, including OPEC and its victims, Longannet, Superstorm Sandy and sea level rise, progess at Fukushima, Scots want more wind power, the coming wave of bankruptcies in coal, the Royal Society’s pronouncements on climate change challenged, Norwegian pension funds and how Al Gore wants to put a price on climate denial.

Continue reading

Posted in Blowout | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

The Hunt for Global Warming: South America

Ever since Roger Andrews sent me his spread sheet showing that 300 or so land based climate stations in the Southern hemisphere recorded little warming I have been trying to find out what exactly is going on. Does CO2 not force temperature down under? At this point, I should confess that at the moment I am looking for global warming where I least expect to find it and that means avoiding areas where there are a lot of people and where the Earth’s surface has been completely reworked by human beings.

I have also been examining the impact that GHCN V3 homogenisation has on the less processed V2 records. This is very time consuming and this is the last time that I will perform this exercise.

In summary, GHCN V2 records from 25 climate stations selected by the NASA GISS platform from southern Argentina, Chile and the Falkland Islands produce a completely flat time-temperature anomaly trend. I have succeeded again in not finding evidence for global warming in the southern hemisphere. The GHCN v3 homogenisation adjustments vary individual stations by up to ±2˚C and follow the same robotic style of exact decimal fraction adjustments seen elsewhere. In this case, these adjustments do add warming of the order 0.4˚C since 1888. GHCN V3 records and temperature reconstructions based upon them are to be avoided at all costs.

Figure 1 The beautiful Lago Argentine in Patagonia.

Continue reading

Posted in Climate change | Tagged , , , | 50 Comments

Probing the Puzzle of Paraguayan Temperatures

In the recent “Horrors of Homogenization” post I panned the warming adjustments applied by NCDC to the Paraguayan raw surface air temperature records, which are similar to those applied by GISS and BEST. However, further study suggests that these adjustments may – repeat may – not be quite so outrageous as they look, and in the interests of balance and objectivity this post presents a review of the Paraguayan records that addresses the question of whether they really do contain a cooling bias that would justify warming corrections. And the fact that the review fails to reach a conclusion serves as an example of how difficult it can sometimes be to make sense of conflicting temperature records in the same area.

We begin with a continental perspective. Figure 1 plots temperature trends since about 1950 (record length varies) at 90 selected South American stations. All those blue dots in Paraguay; are they caused by genuine cooling, or are they caused by Paraguay?

Figure 1:  Distribution of records showing warming and cooling, South America

Continue reading

Posted in Climate change | Tagged , , , , , | 41 Comments

Renewable Energy: The Most Expensive Policy Disaster in Modern British History

In a departure from the normal format of Energy Matters, you will find below, the email summary accompanying a new report published today by “The Centre For Policy Studies”. The report is damning of UK Energy Policy and may be influential given that the author was formerly a Special Adviser to HM Treasury.

——————————————————————————

In a new report Central Planning with Market Features: how renewable subsidies destroyed the UK electricity marketpublished by the Centre for Policy Studies on Wednesday 18 March, Rupert Darwall shows that recent energy policy represents the biggest expansion of state power since the nationalisations of the 1940s and 1950s – and is on course to be the most expensive domestic policy disaster in modern British history.

Darwall shows that:

Continue reading

Posted in Energy, Political commentary | Tagged , , | 45 Comments

Middle East OPEC Oil Rig Count Jumps 14%

As if to rub salt in the wounds of the US shale industry, Middle East OPEC oil rig count has jumped by 19 rigs to 155 units in February 2015 setting a new rig count record for the region. Since 2005 the supergiant oil fields of the region developed symptoms of mortality and increased drilling has been required to combat natural production declines in order to maintain production at static levels. More on international and US rig counts below the fold.

Figure 1 Middle East OPEC oil rig count for Saudi Arabia, UAE, Kuwait and Qatar. Baker Hughes is not reporting data for Iran and activity in Iraq is affected by ongoing conflict. While the rest of the world is heading for the drilling exits these four Middle East countries are preparing to expand market share. All data from Baker Hughes.

Continue reading

Posted in Energy | Tagged , , | 11 Comments

Blowout Week 63

This week’s somewhat abbreviated Blowout focuses on CO2 emissions and emissions targets, leading off with this encouraging article:

IEA:  Global energy-related emissions of carbon dioxide stalled in 2014

Data from the International Energy Agency (IEA) indicate that global emissions of carbon dioxide from the energy sector stalled in 2014, marking the first time in 40 years in which there was a halt or reduction in emissions of the greenhouse gas that was not tied to an economic downturn. Global emissions of carbon dioxide stood at 32.3 billion tonnes in 2014, unchanged from the preceding year. The IEA attributes the halt in emissions growth to changing patterns of energy consumption in China and OECD countries. In China, 2014 saw greater generation of electricity from renewable sources, such as hydropower, solar and wind, and less burning of coal. In OECD economies, recent efforts to promote more sustainable growth – including greater energy efficiency and more renewable energy – are producing the desired effect of decoupling economic growth from greenhouse gas emissions. “This gives me even more hope that humankind will be able to work together to combat climate change, the most important threat facing us today,” said IEA Chief Economist Fatih Birol, recently named to take over from Maria van der Hoeven as the next IEA Executive Director.

More below the fold, including expanded coal use in India and Japan, solar eclipse to wreak havoc with the German grid, OPEC’s latest pronouncements, 100% renewables planned for Hawaii, Mitsubishi to commercialize solar power from space, more oil jobs predicted in UK, a California solar farm that floats on sewage and how not even the dead are safe from the ravages of climate change.

Continue reading

Posted in Blowout | Tagged , , , , , | 42 Comments

The Iceland Meteorological Office Versus GHCN V2

In this post the raw temperature records for 7 Icelandic climate stations as reported by the Iceland Meteorological Office (IMO) are compared with the equivalent records archived by GHCN as V2, presumed previously to be raw temperature records. What should have been a straight forward exercise is in fact a total mess. Out of a possible total of 1056 annual records (8 locations times 132 years):

  • 220 records exist in V2 that do not have an IMO equivalent*
  • 104 records that exist in the IMO archive do not exist in V2
  • 182 IMO records are found to be exactly the same as V2**
  • 334 V2 records have been changed from the IMO raw data
  • 216 records do not exist in either archive, i.e. no data

* This includes the whole of the V2 Vestmannaeyja record that we cannot find on the IMO data base

** For 7 locations there are strings of data that are identical in IMO and V2 archives suggesting the latter did indeed start life as raw IMO data.

At face value, something appears to have gone catastrophically wrong with the GHCN V2 archive which cannot be viewed as raw data in its current form. One possibility is that the IMO provided records to GHCN that do not match their current archive and we are awaiting IMO to clarify this point. Alternatively, we may have made some mistakes in accessing the raw IMO records.

However, despite what appears to be mass deletion, addition and changing of records by GHCN or NASA GISS the net result is minimal. It is hard to spot the differences between the IMO and GHCN V2 in the mean dT time series plot. As was the case in Central Australia and Southern Africa [2, 3], everything and nothing has been changed. Clarification is required from both the IMO and NOAA / GHCN.

Figure 1 Map showing the location of six of the climate stations discussed in this post.

[Note added 17:30 on 13th March: Ducdorleans has informed me that there is an additional unofficial Iceland temperature series that includes some early unaudited data for Akureyri and Reykjavik and this might explain how GHCN have some early data for these stations that is absent from the IMO official data set.]

[Note added 14:00 on 14th March: I have had a detailed response from the IMO that included a file with data for Vestmannaeyja, 1877 to 1995. The response details some of the many challenges involved in archiving records and also highlights the possibility for misunderstanding through inconsistent use of nomenclature. For example, what exactly are “raw records” and what exactly are “official records”. At present it suffices to say that data reported by GHCN for Akureyri, Reykjavik and Vestmannaeyja does exist (in green on my Figure 2), but evidently not archived on the IMO web site.]
Continue reading

Posted in Climate change, Political commentary | Tagged , , , , , | 9 Comments

The Hunt for Global Warming: Southern Africa Part 2

This post follows on from Part 1 where a discussion about urban heating was left unresolved in the comments.

  • Flicking through many southern African temperature records I have observed two main trends. One is mainly flat, the other is clearly warming. I believed that rural records (towns with <10,000 inhabitants) displayed flat trends while urban records may be flat OR show warming. The theory I want to test in this post is that all warming in southern Africa is linked to urban heating.
  • Warming records and flat records are geographically mixed (Figure 1). Southern Africa is either warming, which means that all the flat records are wrong, or it is not warming which means all the warming records are spurious.
  • Lourenco Marques in Mozambique has a population of 755,000 and shows a clear warming trend. I placed Lourenco Marques at the centre of a NASA GISS search that returned 33 records (GHCN V2 unadjusted). ALL 16 rural records are plotted together with 7 urban records that show flat trends. Ten urban records that show clear warming are treated separately.
  • The 23 rural + urban record group displays a flat to cooling trend. The 10 urban group displays clear warming of about 1˚C per century. It seems quite clear cut that the perception of warming in this part of southern Africa is down to urban heating that may be linked to deforestation, land use change, residual heat from energy consumption and badly sited thermometers. But not all urban sites are affected, for example Pretoria University does not display warming while Pretoria does.
  • There are very serious issues with data structure. There are a great number of rural records that span 1960 to 1990. NONE extend beyond that. And there is only a single “flat” urban station that remained open beyond 1990 and that record is suspect (Durban, see part 1). Therefore, to define temperature since 1990 it would be necessary to use urban records known to be affected by urban heat. It seems odd that all of the urban stations displaying flat trends were closed.
  • I would strongly advocate that urban records shown to be affected by urban heating SHOULD NOT be used in temperature reconstructions. And yet it seems that this is exactly what all of the main groups (GISS, NCDC, Hadcrut, and BEST) have done.

Figure 1 33 Stations used in this post centred on Lourenco Marques in Mozambique. In yellow (white text) are the 10 urban records that show warming. In red, the 16 rural + 7 urban stations that show no warming.

Continue reading

Posted in Climate change, Political commentary | Tagged , , , | 21 Comments

Blowout Week 62

The overworked and underpaid staff here in the Blowout newsroom are tasked with reporting recent articles of potential interest without editorializing. Every so often, however, a particularly bizarre claim cries out for rebuttal:

New York Times: Researchers Link Syrian Conflict to a Drought Made Worse by Climate Change

Drawing one of the strongest links yet between global warming and human conflict, researchers said Monday that an extreme drought in Syria between 2006 and 2009 was most likely due to climate change, and that the drought was a factor in the violent uprising that began there in 2011. The drought was the worst in the country in modern times, and in a study published Monday in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the scientists laid the blame for it on a century-long trend toward warmer and drier conditions in the Eastern Mediterranean, rather than on natural climate variability. The researchers said this trend matched computer simulations of how the region responds to increases in greenhouse-gas emissions.

Below are the rainfall records for six GHCN stations in Syria. They show no sign of any “extreme drought in Syria between 2006 and 2009 …. the worst in the country in modern times”. Rainfall over the period was close to normal.

More stories below the fold on OPEC, the US running out of oil storage tanks, the EU and nuclear, less coal in China, more coal in Japan, tidal lagoon power in UK, how renewables are conquering the British climate and how to generate electricity from pee.

Continue reading

Posted in Blowout | Tagged , , , , , , | 39 Comments

The Hunt For Global Warming: Southern Africa

Time – temperature series for 26 selected climate stations in southern Africa are presented.  The stations are spread from Capetown to Zanzibar. The mean result for GHCN V2 (unadjusted) is a flat temperature record from 1880 to 2011. The data seem to record the mid-1970s cooling recognised in Central Australian records and overall the results are closely aligned with Central Australia where station selection criteria were objective.

The GHCN v3.1* homogenised records have been subject to wholesale data deletion, data addition and data change. And yet, as was the case in Central Australia, the net result on the homogenised time temperature series is minimal, has tended to reduce variance and in part erase structure that may be due to natural climatic cycles. In southern Africa, homogenisation does not appear to be the source of warming present in climate reconstructions but evidently absent in the raw records I selected.

(* note that Roger advises that there is uncertainty about what generation of records are archived at this web link. They are GHCN homogenised records of uncertain provenance. They are evidently the station records used by GISS temp.)

Temperature anomalies for 26 southern African stations. The trend line, rising perhaps 0.1˚C in 130 years is effectively flat. The data display cyclicality with an approximate 85 year cycle. A cold period, 1890-93 appears to repeat in 1974-76. The latter cold period is also seen in Australian records. These mark the low points. The high points are in the 1920s and recent decades. 2005 is a high outlier caused in part by a low number of operational stations (9). The amplitude of variation is roughly ±0.7˚C. The data suggest that a regional temperature change of 1.4˚C in 43 years is not unusual.

Continue reading

Posted in Climate change, Political commentary | Tagged , , , | 26 Comments

Homogenizing the World

A few weeks ago I put up a post on how the homogeneity adjustments applied by GISS to raw surface temperature records increase warming at the hemispheric and global scale. In this post I extend the review to include the homogeneity adjustments applied by NCDC, CRU and BEST and re-evaluate GISS using a series which is more relevant than the “meteorological station only” series I used last time. Here is a summary of results:

  • BEST applies homogeneity adjustments to the raw Northern Hemisphere land surface air temperature records that add 0.3-0.4C of warming since 1890. The adjustments applied by NCDC, CRU and GISS, seem to be limited to a few countries such as Iceland and the USA and add no significant warming.
  • All series apply homogeneity adjustments to the Southern Hemisphere raw records before about 1970 and each series gets different results, adding anywhere from 0.3 to 0.6C of warming. There is little doubt that this warming is introduced by the adjustments. The scatter between the series further demonstrates that in practice homogeneity adjustments do not homogenize the raw data; they simply introduce additional distortions.
  • However, the impacts of Southern Hemisphere homogeneity adjustments on global warming estimates, which are commonly quantified from “surface temperature” series such as HadCRUT4, are diluted by a factor of about ten because HadCRUT4 is an area-weighted average of air temperatures over land and SSTs over the oceans, and land in the Southern Hemisphere covers only about 10% of the Earth’s surface. Because of this dilution I estimate that the homogeneity adjustments applied to CRUTEM4, HadCRUT4’s component “land” series, add only ~0.03C of global warming since 1890. (BEST adds the most, at ~0.1C)
  • Of the series reviewed BEST appears to be the least representative of actual land surface air temperature trends.

Continue reading

Posted in Climate change | Tagged , , , , , , , | 56 Comments

Oil Production Vital Statistics: March 2015

This is the third in a monthly series of posts chronicling the action in the global oil market in 13 key charts. The February 2015 post is hereEIA oil price and Baker Hughes rig count charts are updated to end February 2015, the remaining oil production charts are updated to January 2015 using the IEA OMR data. The main oil production changes from December to January are:

  • World total liquids down 40,000 bpd
  • OPEC down 240,000 bpd
  • N America down 10,000 bpd
  • Russia and FSU down 70,000 bpd
  • UK and Norway down 40,000 bpd (compared with January 2014)
  • Asia up 60,000 bpd
  1. Global oil production has now been flat, just over 94 Mbpd since September 2014 (5 months).
  2. The fall in the oil price reversed in February. The low point for Brent and WTI was reached on 13th January when Brent hit $45.13. The bounce came on news of plunging US drilling rig count but has been much more muted for WTI compared with Brent. The US glut of LTO appears to continue.
  3. The main dynamic statistic has been the plunge in US oil rig count down 237 rigs for the month of February. Gas rig count is also heading down at the more sedate rate of 39 rigs for the month.
  4. I anticipate that the price bottom may be in but that price will bounce sideways along bottom for several months until we see significant falls in OECD production. Whilst there are clear signs that production growth has halted there is as yet little sign of production falling.
  5. Iraq and Libya combined were down 370,000 bpd in January. This may account for part of the bounce in price.

Figure 1 Daily Brent and WTI prices from the EIA, updated to 23 February 2015. Brent reached a low of $45.13 on 13th January and has since staged a modest recovery. It remains to be seen if the bottom is in. It is difficult to see the detail of recent action at this scale, so an expanded Y-axis chart is given below the fold.

Continue reading

Posted in Energy | Tagged , , , , , | 12 Comments

My Enquiry to GHCN

New commenter Colin asks:

So what is the purpose of changing the data?

We can only speculate about that. The only people who can provide a definitive answer are the curators of the data at GHCN. I have sent them the following email and eagerly await their reply.

———————————————————–

Dear Sir / Madam,

By way of brief introduction I am a British Energy and Climate blogger based in Aberdeen Scotland. I have taken an interest in recent press and blog reports about modifications being made to temperature records and have been conducting a number of region based comparisons that include Central Australia and Iceland. It is Iceland that I wish to make the focus of this query. My observations can be found at the following link:

Re-writing The Climate History of Iceland

http://euanmearns.com/re-writing-the-climate-history-of-iceland/

The key points I feel that GHCN need to address in public are as follows:

Continue reading

Posted in Climate change, Energy, Political commentary | Tagged , , | 22 Comments

Blowout week 61

Roger and I are both otherwise engaged this weekend and so no time for the regular blowout. Instead I bring a single story from the Canadian Globe and Mail. Reporter Eric Reguly was in Aberdeen last week. I helped arrange a few meetings for him and we met for dinner. Eric is the European correspondent based in Rome and the article gives a fairly gloomy view of the outlook for the North Sea oil industry.

Globe and mail:  Pivotal moment for North Sea as oil industry fights to reinvent itself

“The North Sea was struggling even at $100 [U.S.] oil,” EnQuest chief executive officer Amjad Bseisu says from his London office. “I think we’re in a defining moment for the North Sea. We could either see precipitous decline or the industry will have to reinvent itself.”

“Jo Mcgregor, director of McGregor Consultants, an agency that finds drilling and engineering professionals for oil projects worldwide, says Aberdeen has battled its way through several downturns, but that “this one feels different” because the price was rude enough to fall in the absence of a recession and OPEC, by not cutting output, is no longer following its once-predictable script. “People here are really scared,” she says.”

“Jake Molloy, regional organizer in Aberdeen for the National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers (RMT), says employment levels will plunge as projects are curtailed or cancelled and cost-cutting becomes the industry mantra. The cover of its February union bulletin features an the image of a man holding a bloody straight razor with the title “Death by 1000 cuts.”

“Of the 30,000 or so offshore workers in the British North Sea, he expects as many as 6,000 to disappear by the summer and fully third to be gone by the end of the year.”

Please use this post as an open thread to post links to and discuss the latest energy and climate stories. I am to be travelling from Thursday for one week and so posts may become a little less frequent.

Posted in Blowout | Tagged , | 20 Comments

Re-writing The Climate History of Iceland

This post follows up on the hornet’s nest stirred by Paul Homewood and Christopher Booker and my recent post on Temperature Adjustments in Australia comparing raw temperature records (GHCN V2) with homogenised (adjusted) temperature records (GHCN v3.1). The latter is currently used by NASA GISS and NOAA in global temperature reconstructions.

In this post I examine the records of eight climate stations on Iceland and find the following:

  • There is wholesale over writing and adjustment of raw temperature records, especially pre-1970 with an overwhelming tendency to cool the past that makes the present appear to be anomalously warm.
  • In the 1960s, Iceland (and the whole N Atlantic) experienced a run of very cold years caused by extreme atmospheric pressure differentials linked to the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO). Many of these cold records appear to have been systematically deleted in V3.1 with the effect of all but removing this well-documented event from Icelandic climate history.
  • Following the end of the Little Ice Age, Iceland experienced rapid warming in the 1920s reaching near “record warmth” in 1939. This near record warmth has also been written out of Icelandic climatic history by adjusting the temperature records down, leaving the false impression that 2003 was an anomalously warm year.
  • In addition to wide-spread deletion of records, large amounts of temperature data that does not exist in V2 appears to have been created in V3.1. It is difficult to understand why this should be done since it is quite straight forward to manipulate data without apparently having to make it up.

In central Australia I found that wholesale manipulation of records did not bias the outcome. The V2 and V3.1 averages for 30 stations were the same. This cannot be said for Iceland. I dare say if one looked at a larger number of stations any bias may disappear but that is beside the point. Iceland holds a strategic geographic position in the N Atlantic and the public have the right to unadulterated information about that island’s climate history. There is little evidence of warming since 1917 which just happens to be the same conclusion I reached for Central Australia.

Continue reading

Posted in Climate change, Political commentary | Tagged , , , , , | 85 Comments

Temperature Adjustments in Australia

  • A comparison of raw temperature records (GHCN V2) and homogenised temperature records (adjusted records GHCN v3.1) is presented for 30 climate stations (Figure 2) within a 1000 km radius of Alice Springs, Australia. The adjusted records are subtracted from the raw records which illustrates the degree of adjustment for each station.
  • 29 of the 30 stations have been adjusted to a greater or lesser extent. Only Farina has no adjustments.
  • The size of the adjustments increases back in time and are occasionally large, up to ±1.5˚C. Temperature trends are adjusted by either warming or cooling the past.
  • In 29 records, adjustments are near ubiquitous and are frequently exact decimal fractions, for example exactly 0.5˚C. For individual stations, it is usually very difficult to reconcile the pattern of adjustment made to any geographic or historic system. Homogenisation has also deleted at least 85 annual records that hinders comparison of the two data sets.
  • In Alice Springs the raw record is flat and has no sign of warming. In the adjusted record, homogenistaion has added warming by significantly cooling the past. Five other stations inside the 1000 km ring have similarly long and similarly flat records – Boulia, Cloncurry, Farina, Burketown and Donors Hill. There can be no conceivable reason to presume that the flat raw Alice Springs record is somehow false and in need of adjustment.
  • Six records show a significant mid-1970s cooling of about 3˚C (Alice Springs, Barrow Creek, Brunette Down, Cammoo Weal, Boulia and Windorah) that owing to its consistency appears to be a real signal. Homegisation has tended to remove this real temperature history.
  • The average raw temperature record for all 30 stations is completely flat from 1906 (no area weighting applied). There has been no measurable warming across the greater part of Australia. The main discontinuity in the record, pre-1906, arises from there being only 3 operating stations that do not provide representative cover.
  • The average temperature trend for the 30 adjusted records is also flat and not materially different to the raw record. Hence, wholesale adjustments have not significantly biased the regional record. This raises the serious question of why GHCN have adjusted individual records in a way that introduces trends that do not exist and removes trends that do at the individual station level? The individual GHCN V3.1 records are not temperature records but carry a coded temperature signal that only makes sense when amalgamated with similar code from neighbouring stations.

Figure 1 A 1000 km radius around Alice Springs. Many of the station names (Figure 2) can be found on the map.

Continue reading

Posted in Climate change | Tagged , , , , , | 59 Comments

Blowout week 60

Roger is on holiday and so this is the first blowout I’ve done for a while. The main local story this week is the prospective closure of Longannet, my local 2.4 GW coal fired power station. The SNP, Scottish independence party, is seeking assurance that we can become dependent on English electricity. Elsewhere snow storms in the USA, Turkey and The Middle East have been making headlines. And there is rumour of Congressional hearings into adjusting temperature records.

BBC:  Sturgeon seeks electricity assurance over Longannet threat

Nicola Sturgeon has demanded assurances from the prime minister on the security of Scotland’s electricity supplies.

It follows BBC Scotland’s disclosure that the huge coal-fired power station at Longannet in Fife is facing a renewed threat to its future.

Scottish Power, which operates the plant, warned last year that the cost of connecting to the grid meant the station may close earlier than planned.

Snow in Jerusalem, just one of many anticipated consequences of global warming.
Continue reading

Posted in Blowout | Tagged , , | 8 Comments