Stepping Up Global Warming

Fist off, a h/t to George here:

Then, the meat of it. This article, by Warwick Hughes points out how repeated moves of a station out of the urban core can ‘lock in’ UHI as ‘global warming’. It claims that the method, as described in the PDF is done in New Zealand and provides the links.

I’m downloading the PDF about the New Zealand work now from here:

but it’s going to take me a while to work through it all.

Until then, this looks like exactly the kind of “oopsy” that I’ve seen elsewhere. Splice Artifacts treated as gospel. That is why in calorimetry it is a First Rule to never screw around with the thermometers…

NIWA at their site claim that splicing together stations with step corrections confirms global warming:

NIWA’s long-running ‘seven-station’ series shows NZ’s average annual temperature has increased by about 1 °C over the past 100 years.
Locations in the “seven station” series

The series has been derived from seven locations:
Auckland = Masterton = Wellington = Hokitika = Nelson = Lincoln = Dunedin

These locations were chosen because they provide broad geographical coverage and long records (with measurements started at all sites by 1908).

How the ‘seven-station’ series is constructed

For each location, temperature records from a number of local sites have been merged together to form a long time series. When merging different temperature records like this, it is necessary to adjust for climatic differences from place-to-place, or even changes in exposure or instrumentation at the same site. If no adjustments are made, significant biases could be introduced. For example, the longest record in the country comes from Dunedin, with climate readings taken at six sites throughout its history.

So it’s “all about the splice”…

Warwick Hughes does a great job showing how a splice can fabricate warming, so basically it will come down to how well their method of splicing does or does not remove UHI artifacts. From what I’ve seen, “climate scientists” do a terrible job of it….

Simple GISS diagram illustrating warming effect of conventional “adjustments” of “step” in T data due to site moves outward from urban centre.

January 2nd, 2011 by Warwick Hughes

I have been reading the 169 page NIWA pdf – “Report on the Review of NIWA’s “Seven-Station” Temperature Series December 2010″ – downloaded here
I have not yet found the BoM review – only the one page letter from the BoM – see pdf page 13 in the above.

I draw readers attention to the excellent little GISS diagrams which perfectly illustrate the warming effect of adjusting out the multitude of step changes which are common throughout all temperature data as thousands of recording sites have been moved outwards in their respective urban areas.
GISS illustrating typical urban T data with a step due to outward site move – before adjustment.

Hit the link. Take a read. It ought to be straight forward to show if they did, or didn’t, do the adjusting right. My money would be on “didn’t” as most folks in “climate science” seem to think 20 hectares of tarmac is the same as a grass field… and move the thermometers to paved airports over time…

I demonstrated this kind of effect in the Marble Bar posting where I showed how splicing together the local series gave a “warming” similar to GIStemp results; yet the prior high temperature record had never been matched…

IMHO, “It’s all about the splice”… (and the tarmac…;-)

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About E.M.Smith

A technical managerial sort interested in things from Stonehenge to computer science. My present "hot buttons' are the mythology of Climate Change and ancient metrology; but things change...
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17 Responses to Stepping Up Global Warming

  1. Scarlet Pumpernickel says: Did you see more on the Ribbon that controls cosmic rays (cloud formers)

  2. R. de Haan says:

    In the mean time the UN IPCC clan have arrived in Bangkok to perform a follow up on Cancun, Mexico, the last failed climate meeting. They won’t give up.

    A leaked document provides some insight how Governments, in an almost criminal manner try to con the opposition.

    If we can learn anything from our history it is the fact that when a political doctrine merges with a scientific consensus, terrible things will happen.

    We have a totally corrupt political and administrative elite. They are not serving our interests for a long time now.

    Their current objectives are not ours.
    They want to stall the development of our civilization, control and reduce populations, so much is clear.
    If we don’t stop their current process of globalization and control many, many people are going to die.

    Chaos, price hikes of energy, food, water and wars are the tools of their ‘First Global Revolution’.

    We are long passed the point where political dialogue
    and elections can change policies.

    In fact we have reached the phase where ‘It’s them or us’.

  3. R. de Haan says:

    Just to be clear about my view about the current situation:

    I 100% support any attempt to get the climate science right. I only think we are passed the point where it makes any difference.

  4. Tim Clark says:

    Just to make sure I understand what is going on……….

    When a station is moved from urban sprawl to a more rural area (however that’s defined), the temperature is higher at the original site to some degree because of location, and the rural site is cooler.

    I’m good with that.

    But it appears to me that to splice the discontinuity, the newer site record is adjusted upwards (perpetually?) to create a smooth splice. Thus, the already recorded UHI at the old site is embedded, continuously into future temperature.

    Is that about right. And is that why corrections for site location, and for TOB, is not a one off correction in GISTEMP?

  5. E.M.Smith says:

    @Scarlet Pumpernickel:

    I’m putting my reply here:

    as it fits better with that thread.

  6. E.M.Smith says:

    @Tim Clark:

    Yes, I think you’ve got it. The notion is that moving stations “out to the edge” is done, but then the “discontinuity” is ironed out as the old and new stations MUST be measuring the same thing on the overlap days… so to make the record “the same record” you match and splice.

    Exactly the kind of thing you are NOT to do in calorimetry…

    And in that Marble Bar posting, I demonstrate exactly how it can happen in “averaging station data” (and “homogenizing” is exactly that kind of process) then found a match between the “splice artifacty” data for Marble Bar and the “warming” level found by GISS for that location.

    IMHO, this is a “big deal” (so I’m kind of surprised at the low number of comments on the thread… Oh Well… folks have their interests and this was a weekend posting so those tend to lower ‘hits’…)

    @R. de Haan:

    I suspect that W.W.III will “solve those issues” and that it’s likely to be somewhere in the Middle East to North Korea line… then folks will “start over”.

    Why that dismal belief? Because as we end up cold, hungry, and with growing poverty; well, folks get desperate, and that is where the despiration will start… And with North Korea, Pakistan, China, India, and Israel all “nuclear states” (or ‘near enough’), I suspect it’s only a matter of time and frustration level…

  7. alantrer says:

    Not sure of a better location to post this.

    An interesting article just appeared on WSJ online:

    “How Scientific Is Climate Science?”


    I am interested to get your take on it. Maybe post a critique.

  8. E.M.Smith says:


    Thanks, I’ll take a look.

    BTW, I’ve added a “tips” tag up at the top bar for the random “don’t know where to put it but it’s interesting” comment. Not a bit deal, just easier to find them again later when I want to follow up and can’t remember what thread that comment was on ;-)

    Clicking on the link gives what looks like a ‘teaser’ and a login box in the upper right. If you need an account to read the article, it won’t be me reading it…

  9. Rob R says:

    In New Zealand it is not so simple as moving measurements from inside a city to a new rural location just outside the city. The climate stations used in the 7-series compilation are quite simply a jumbled collection of available sites.

    For instance for the Dunedin series about 7 sites are used to cover the last 100 years, all of them within the city (from youngest to oldest: Musselburgh Ews, Musselburgh Pumping Station 2, Musselburgh Pumping Station 1, Beta Street, Botanical Gardens, and finally Leith Valley. Back into ther 1800’s there are another two sites to consider being Roslyn and Princes Street, also both within the city.) The continuous spliced record can be commenced from 1853.

    During the process of splicing the various station records together NIWA compares each Dunedin station pairing with about 4 stations from outside the city. These “Peers” include stations as far away as Albert park (Auckland) and Kelburn (Wellington). These two particular Peers are not even in the South Island, let alone a similar climatic zone.

    Even when NIWA use exclusively South Island stations as Peers for comparison in the splicing process, the most appropriate stations are not always used.

    I would also point out that up to 20 years of station data are used in the comparison for each splice, about 10 years each side of the splice point. So if there is an urban warming trend in any of the Peers (e.g. Albert Park, Auckland) then this can cause an inappropriate adjustment to be calculated for the splice. This is in addition to spurious splice effects if there are real differences in the climatic trend in the different regions.

    From the NIWA seven-station composite NZ temperature history I have carried out a detailed examination of the Auckland, Hokitika, Nelson-Appleby, Lincoln and Dunedin series. The Wellington and Masterton series are works in progress. For the five series that I have looked at so far, in each case I have found that the NIWA temperature-trend is over-estimated. Preliminary indications are that this is also the case for the Wellington and Masterton series. With ther possible exception of Lincoln there are potential urban effects in all the other series. These effects are not properly addressed by NIWA.

    I have also created spliced series for about 20 other sites in the South Island. I have examined the results collectively as well. When the anomalies are calculated relative to appropriate climate normals more than 50% of the NIWA temperature trend disappears.

  10. Rob R says:

    By the way, in terms of “Peers” in the splicing process, Auckland is about 1060 km from Dunedin. Not just sideways either, thats mostly a north-south difference. Dunedin is mid-latitude temperate, while Auckland is verging on sub-stropical. The distance is large and the interannual temperature correlation is modest at best.

    So any Dunedin splice that relies in part on temperatures at Albert Park, Auckland, needs a BS detector to be run over it.

  11. E.M.Smith says:

    @Rob R:

    Good Stuff. Have you got your results “up” anywhere for viewing?

    FWIW, I’m of the opinion that most of the “splicing” done causes trapping of errors into a long term surious trend.

    Just take a set of two places, both warming from growth. You start at the first one, then growth “tops out” and it’s not going to warm any more. No matter how “cleanly” to make the splice, if you now move to the edge of town (or a ‘new’ town) you get to capture another round of UHI growth into the combined series. No matter how perfectly the splice is corrected.

    If the splice is done via a ‘reference station method’ (those 1000 km away ‘nearby’ stations in orthogonal climate zones…) you still get the same core problem. A splice is a splice is a splice…

  12. George says:

    These “Peers” include stations as far away as Albert park (Auckland) and Kelburn (Wellington). These two particular Peers are not even in the South Island, let alone a similar climatic zone.

    Yes, someone apparently believes that simply miles across a flat map are all that matters. If they are within a certain circle of distance, then they must be similar.

    One can see similar differences here. Compare the average temperatures of San Jose to Boulder Creek to Bonny Doon. San Jose to Boulder Creek is about 25 miles driving, shorter “as the crow flies”. Boulder Creek to Bonny Doon is less than 15 miles. Yet each of these places is in a completely different sort of climate.

    Using one of these places to in any way influence temperature records of the other is to commit a fraud.

  13. E.M.Smith says:


    It is called “The Reference Station Method” and it was created by Hansen (in a peer reviewed paper, natch…) and pays no attention to different climate regimes.

    My favorite is to compare San Francisco to Sacramento California.

    Part of the year they move in the same direction. But in the dead of winter Sacramento can get killer “tule fog” and be dead cold while SFO is sunny. Yet in summer when Sacramento gets how, the hot air rises pulling in a cold marine layer and S.F. goes under a cold fog blanket…

    To use one of those to ‘fill in’ or ‘adjust’ monthly data from the other is to roll loaded dice, at best…

  14. Rob R says:

    I agree regarding the trapping of errors. I suspect this is common but probably doesnt occur evey time. Regardless it is still potentially a serious problem. One partial solution if you have to marry 3 stations is to do a bridging splice that marries two of the neigbouring stations while entirely ingoring the middle (in time) one, then comparing the result with the two splice version.

    The work I have been doing has not been posted up anywhere. It has been accumulating slowly as a hobby project done in excel on a station by station basis. So the stuff is scattered around a bunch of folders in my PC. Also I keep getting distracted by other projects, one of which is finishing a long-running part-time unpaid PhD in a curious mixtre of Geomorphology, Geology, Geochronology and Palaeoclimate.

    I could send you a word-doc with some summary charts if you are interested. At this stage I don’t want to go public as my employer would not approve.

  15. E.M.Smith says:

    @Rob R:

    While I’d be interested in seeing the doc, it’s probably best not to send it. Zero risk of leakage if it’s not sent…

  16. Ripper says:

    Missed this thread. Here is a graph of the Bom data I did a while ago.

    It is interesting to note that in the CRU2010 package the Met Office released after Climategate 1 (which for the Australian data purported to be ““Based on the original temperature observations sourced from records held by the Australian Bureau of Meteorology”.) the Marble bar mean is 0.4 degrees hotter before 1934 (as was Wiluna) .

    whether the difference was in the Tmax or Tmin or both I do not know as the CRU2010 file only had the means.

    The data in the above graph is before the Toorak and Nichols adjustments which have reduced the early years some more.

    Which shows the same diurnal contraction and slight cooling in the Tmax that Marble Bar does as do most of the inland WA stations.

    Trying to get a handle on what is actually the “raw data” needs to go back to the original observer sheets IMO.

    Here is the problem form another site.

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