Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Where did Cunderdin Go?

An all-time favourite quote of mine comes from "Alice in Wonderland":
'When I use a word,' Humpty Dumpty said in rather a scornful tone, 'it means just what I choose it to mean -- neither more nor less.'
And so it is with the BoM and - I would guess - with most institutions engaged in promoting the greater man-made global warming narrative.

Last week, I downloaded the list of RCS stations from the BoM website. Included in this list was the following station:
This station, and its accompanying photograph, was included in the "Dodgy Post Offices" blog entry early this week, which in turn was given air time on the Andrew Bolt blog. This apparently has instigated a response from the BoM (via the Andrew Bolt blog), as follows:
At Cunderdin, parallel observations between the two sites took place between 1996 and 2007. Temperature observations ceased at the old site in 2007 and 10286 is now the only temperature measuring site in the area. The photo displayed on Andrew Bolt’s blog, in any case, is not the pre-2007 site - it is a rainfall-only site which continued under the 10035 site number at a different location after temperature observations ceased.
So, in simple terms, while the BoM documentation states that temperature data is (and has been) gathered from one station, it has in fact been gathered from a second station before being moved to a third station.
And who knew this - apart from the BoM, that is?
Today, the list of RCS stations on the BoM site no longer includes 10035, and in its place we have this entry:
So, it would seem that history can simply be rewritten at the stroke of a mouse - the visible public record can be altered in the middle of the night, with nothing to indicate that changes have taken place. Nothing on the station site record indicates the anecdotal history described above. An older site has simply been replaced by a newer site.
Which raises the question: how has the temperature data for this 10286 site been sourced or reconstructed? The 10035 Cunderdin station lists a start date of 1914. The 10286 Cunderdin Airfield station lists a start date of 1942, but the BoM website only appears to have data from 1996 onwards - which is in line with the BoM comments noted above. Where are the missing years? And more importantly, how can this 13 years of data support the CSIRO+BoM assertion that "since 1960 the mean temperature in Australia has increased by about 0.7 °C"?
Perhaps a more appropriate quote for the pursuit of Climate Science comes from George Orwell's "1984":
'Who controls the past controls the future: who controls the present controls the past'.
For the record, here is a view of the "new official" Cunderdin Airfield station:
And it would probably surprise no-one to learn that this new Cunderdin Airport station exhibits a warming trend:

Which in turn looks almost nothing like the one that it replaced (10035):

I think I am beginning to understand where their "about 0.7 °C mean temperature increase" comes from.

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