The case for anthropogenic (CO2 emissions) global warming (AGW ) rests not on an immutable law of carbon dioxide thermodynamics in the earth’s atmosphere but, rather, on a contorted, hyperbolic and misguided extrapolation of Swedish physicist Svante Arrhenius initial 1896 paper; On the influence of carbonic acid in the air upon the temperature on the ground, published in the April edition of the Philosophical Magazine & Journal of Science some 125 years ago. In what is the seminal work for all the global warming alarmists and catastrophists that followed, the seed of which only germinated in the 1980’s, Arrhenius’ paper principally analysed the work of American physicist Samuel Langley and then postulated some thoughts of his own. In other words, Arrhenius did not conduct the primary research that constituted the bulk of the assertions in the paper.
Langley, in turn had arrived at a heat-absorbing coefficient for atmospheric CO2 based on emitted radiation from the moon, the idea being that if one could work out the heat retaining or radiating parameters of a celestial body receiving approximately the same solar radiation input as earth (since each is roughly the same distance to sun) but without an atmosphere, then any difference in heat retention in Earth’s atmosphere could be ascribed to the presence of CO2 and water vapour. In calculating the heat-absorbing effect of atmospheric CO2, one must know the value of incoming heat energy in the form of solar radiation and outgoing, or ‘black body’ radiation, as generated internally from a celestial or planetary body. There are many other factors that must also be considered such as the degree to which a celestial or planetary body reflects solar radiation, known as albedo. Albedo is influenced by the composition of a celestial body and is extremely difficult to calculate accurately for a planetary as a whole, especially prior to the use of satellites.
Without going into great detail, the problem lies in Langley’s calculations of the moon’s emitted radiation, albedo and effective mean temperature at ground level are utterly erroneous. Arrhenius in his paper states that Langley calculated the moon’s mean temperature at the surface (rapidly lost into space) as 45 degrees Celsius. Today’s best estimates calculate the moon’s mean temperature — a complex calculation due to massive fluctuations, with lows of -170 degrees Celsius and highs of 105 degrees Celsius) at approximately -37 degrees Celsius. Suffice to say that all the calculations upon which Arrhenius based his estimates of the effect of CO2 on heat retention in the atmosphere in his seminal work are incorrect. Now this is not to dismiss the theory that CO2 has some heat-absorbing effect in the atmosphere, however it is far outweighed by the capacity for water vapour that exists in a quantum ( ~ 3%) far in excess of that of CO2 (~ 400ppm or 0.04 per cent) of the Earth’s atmosphere contributing to a mean global temperature of approximately 15 degrees Celsius. It is important to bear in mind that when AGW alarmists jump up and down about a 1 degree Celsius increase in mean global temperatures, we are talking about the difference between 15 and 16 degrees Celsius.
One of the main issues with AGW fearmongers is that they have built their whole house of cards on Arrhenius’ incorrect calculations (and many similarly fallacious models) with scant regard for the geological record. Arrhenius himself acknowledged that his CO2 theory could not, in and of itself, explain the very significant ice ages or glacial periods the Earth has endured. On this matter, within his paper, he deferred to Italian researcher, Luigi De Marchi, who dismisses most of the likely causes of ice ages such as significant fluctuations in solar radiation, changes in ocean currents, significant alterations to the Earth’s magnetic fields in favour of fluctuations in atmospheric ‘transparency’ as mediated by water vapour. Yet Arrhenius also evinces some scepticism about of De Marchi’s attribution, noting that mean relative humidity of the atmosphere is approximately 70 per cent, with 3 per cent of the atmosphere constituted by water vapour. This leaves only a possible, but highly implausible, 30 per cent increase to produce a mean 100 per cent relative humidity globally, with approximately 4 -5 per cent of the atmosphere consisting of water vapour. This is unlikely to have the ‘transparency’ effect that De Marchi proposed.
Even a relatively cursory understanding of the geological record, an area that was much less understood in 1896, should put most AGW catastrophists on notice; however, it would seem that in the pursuit of a political goal one should never let facts get in the way. For instance, one of the deepest and most protracted ice ages, known as the Andean-Saharan Ice Age, occurred during the Ordovician period, when atmospheric CO2 levels were 11 times what they are today — over 4000ppm, or 4 per cent, of the atmosphere. That, surely, is cause for thought. Indeed, the attribution for what causes ice ages, including changes in solar radiation, tectonic shift, changes in ocean currents, obliquity of Earth’s axis, concurrent changes in the magnetic poles, volcanism, the eccentricity of Earth’s orbit around the sun, along with other potential contributing factors, should form the basis of what we consider elemental to driving the perpetual phenomenon of climate change. Instead we get a monomaniacal myopia in regard to the difference between 0.03 per cent and 0.04 per cent of CO2 in the atmosphere, most of which is due to natural processes and has nothing to do with the tiny contribution by anthropogenic means. Meanwhile, an entire generation of kids has been ‘taught’ that the only climate-forcing factor is CO2 and that, stretching the absurdity, this natural atmospheric molecule is a ‘pollutant’.
ALL of the above serves as a contextual introduction to the main topic of this article, which is how our Bureau of Meteorology has manipulated and misrepresented data in step with its agenda-driven media enablers, chiefly the ABC with the Nine press a close second, in order to propagandise AGW alarmism. I will do so by reference to a very specific weather event.
On December 30, 2019, the ABC ran the following online news feed, commencing at approximately 2pm and headlined, Hobart weather record falls after 122 years as bushfires take hold. In part, the article, whose headline underwent several minor changes as updates were posted, stated
“The temperature rose pretty sharply this afternoon in Hobart. We managed to climb to as high as 40.8 degrees Celsius at 1:30pm,” Bureau of Meteorology forecaster Luke Johnston said.
The previous hottest day in Hobart for December was 40.6 degrees more than 120 years ago, in 1897.
The figure is still subject to verification, but Mr Johnston said it may still get even hotter, with the forecast cold front not likely to affect temperatures until around 7:00pm.
“There’s still a chance late this afternoon or early this evening we could go just a little bit higher,” he said.
“We’re still hovering at just over 40 degrees in the city, so it’s not going to cool down quickly.”
So far the temperature has fallen just one degree short of the all-time temperature record for the Hobart area of 41.8 degrees in Dunalley on January 4, 2013.
Intrigued by this assertion, later that very same day I went to the BOM’s official data record for the date and times in question. Here is what those numbers reveal:
Latest Weather Observations for Hobart
Issued at 5:01 pm EDT Monday 30 December 2019 (issued every 10 minutes, with the page automatically refreshed every 10 minutes)
|Station Details||ID: 094029||Name: HOBART (ELLERSLIE ROAD)||Lat: -42.89||Lon: 147.33||Height: 50.5 m|
Data from the previous 72 hours. | See also: Recent months at Hobart
The above table is an abridged version of the full 72 hours of data that is typically available, covering the 90 minutes in which the temperature ‘record’ of 40.8 degrees Celsius was allegedly recorded. Now a quick glance at the available data in the table provided by the BOM in real time reveals no such temperature. Repeat: the purported temperature appears nowhere in the BOM’s record. Indeed at the time of the alleged record-breaking temperature (1:30PM) and as stated by BOM forecaster Luke Johnston, the temperature recorded is listed as 39.4 degrees Celsius. In fact, it got a touch hotter than this at 2:03pm (note the specificity of the time), reaching 39.7 degrees Celsius. One also wondered what the basis for the additional comment “we’re still hovering at over 40 degrees in the city…” when the data reflected no such thing.
A little concerned by this apparent discrepancy I submitted an FOI request to the BOM a couple of weeks later that read in part;
On 30DEC2019 the Hobart Office of the BOM informed local media between 1400hrs and 1430hrs that at 1330hrs on that day the December Hobart maximum temperature of 40.8 degrees Celsius had been recorded in Hobart. That figure represents a December maximum temperature record for Tasmania. Yet the Ellerslie Rd recording station ( ID 094029 ) recorded a temperature of 39.4 degrees Celsius at 1330 hrs on 30DEC2019 as detailed in the attached copy of that stations recorded details from that day.
Specifically, I request that BOM provide all information as to how this recorded figure of 39.4 degrees Celsius was manipulated by 1.4 degrees Celsius to the figure presented to media of 40.8 degrees Celsius as posted by the ABC (attached) shortly after 1400 hrs on that day. I seek all methodologies and workings utilised to make this manipulation along with the accompanying rationale if this information exists. Furthermore I seek all manipulations along with methodologies and workings made to recorded figures 30 minutes either side of 1330 hrs (1300hrs – 1400 hrs) from the Ellerslie Rd Station ( ID 094029 ) on 30DEC2019. In addition I seek all information, consistent with the request above, regarding any manipulations made to temperature figures, deviating from those published figures available online on the day (realtime) at 1330hrs from the following weather stations; Hobart Airport, Campania, Bushy Park and Scotts Peak Dam on 30DEC2019.
The last part of the above request was to see if similar deviations in recorded temperature occurred at other randomly selected weather stations at exactly the same time and date. A number of weeks later I received a response via email from the BOM. The reply dealt primarily with the procedural components of the FOI request but specifically stated the following;
The maximum temperature recorded at Hobart Ellerslie Rd Station (ID 094029) on 30 December 2019 was 40.8ºC at 13:47. This is the maximum one second temperature reading from the temperature probe at the Automatic Weather Station at the site since 9 am, as temperature is measured every second. The 72 hours of observations that you have provided from our web page show temperatures recorded every 30 minutes, as well as some special observations times (known as SPECI). These are the average temperature over the past minute at the observation times. The maximum daily temperature is therefore usually higher than the highest of the temperatures at 30 minute intervals as air temperatures fluctuate between these 30 minute intervals.
Now, note firstly the timing the BOM gives for the 40.8 degrees Celsius — 13:47. How does this accord with the BOM’s statement to the ABC that at 1:30pm (13:30) “…We managed to climb to as high as 40.8 degrees Celsius at 1:30pm”? Also note how the above response from the BOM to my FOI states that special observation times (known as SPECI) occur where the average over the past minute is recorded. In the extracted data provided in the table above, between 1PM and 2:31PM on the day in question eight separate temperature recordings were posted in real time by the BOM, four of which appear to be SPECI, the timings of which show no rhyme or reason and are perhaps intentionally random. Yet nothing is posted to demonstrably prove the 40.8 degrees Celsius at the new time of 13:47 as opposed to 13:30. Indeed not a single recording in the data is greater than 39.7 degrees Celsius.
The answer to this conundrum most likely lies in the following component of the BOM’s above statement
This is the maximum one second temperature reading from the temperature probe at the Automatic Weather Station at the site since 9 am, as temperature is measured every second.
Now call me pedantic, or perhaps it’s that I value real science, but if the quantum of the BOM and ABC’s record breaking December temperature is a one second artifact from a temperature gauge that from all observable data never recorded any other moment of temperature above 40 degrees Celsius on the day then surely we have a data integrity and credibility issue. Add to this the timing discrepancy from Luke Johnston’s statement to the media and the subsequent time in response to my FOI request to the BOM and one begins to wonder if such a recording ever occurred at all. So I modified my FOI to the BOM;
Given that the stated one second maximum temperature for station ID 094029 was at 13:47 I seek to have provided the original or true copy of the second by second data log for station ID 094029 between 13:46:00hrs and 13:48hrs on 30DEC2019 I would also like to be provided with the same data log for station ID 094029 between 13:30:00 and 13:31:00 along with the data 14:03:00 and 14:04:00 on 30DEC2019. Furthermore I request any information as to the exact time that BoM employee Mr Luke Johnston was contacted by the ABC in regards to the purported Hobart record December temperature on 30DEC2019 and any available transcripts of that conversation with the ABC including any reference to 13:30hrs as the time at which the recorded temperature of 40.8 degrees Celsius was reached.
Here is the pertinent part the official BOM response;
The following searches were carried out for documents that fall within scope of your request:
Relevant staff in the Bureau’s Climate Data Services team were consulted regarding records of
observed temperatures for Hobart on 30 December 2019. These staff advised:
- The Bureau does not store one-second data as part of our standard records
- Records are kept of one-minute data which includes the highest one-second temperature observed in the past minute.
Relevant staff in the Bureau’s Hobart office were consulted regarding records of contact by ABC. These staff advised:
- Forecasters generally use a logbook to keep notes of media calls taken; during busier periods, not all calls are individually logged.
- There is no record in Hobart logbook of calls from ABC radio to forecasters regarding the reporting of the record December temperature in the afternoon.
- The forecaster recalls taking a call from ABC radio in the afternoon on 30 December 2019 regarding the Hobart temperature record but did not log that call due to operational priorities.
Consequently, no documents were identified within the scope of your request.
The upshot of this response is that;
# We are meant to believe that, at 13:47, a record one-second temperature of 40.8 degrees Celsius was recorded, despite there being no data log to demonstrate such, and
# Fortuitously, the ABC happened to contact the BOM within minutes of this temperature being recorded, so that it was broadcast along with a statement from the forecaster within a mere 13 minutes and no record of the interview exists.
Furthermore we are asked to believe that a one-second recorded temperature that is outside the standard deviation for all other temperature data posted on that day, represents a temperature record surpassing the one that had stood for 122 years and which utilised a mercury thermometer that did not record one-second temperature anomalies. How did this short-lived temperature arise? We can only speculate, but an external forcing or artifact such as, for example, additional heat emanating from machinery or exhaust gases proximal to the weather station.
This is not science or reliable data. This is more of the skulduggery that is the hallmark of all things pertaining to AGW right back to the 1896 paper by the scientist who, the unquestioning disciple, The Guardian hails as the ‘father of climate change’. This is in and of itself an interesting faux pas as a physical process in the atmosphere doesn’t require a ‘father’ but a mendacious and cultist theory does. Perhaps it is a consequence of the post-modernist intellect, (if you can call it that): just say it is so, no reproducible evidence or proof necessary.
At least Arrhenius, a respectable and ethical physicist, had the common sense to note in his 1908 tome, Worlds in the Making (emphasis added):
We often hear lamentations that the coal stored up in the earth is wasted by the present generation without any thought of the future, and we are terrified by the awful destruction of life and property which has followed the volcanic eruptions of our days. We may find a kind of consolation in the consideration that here, as in every other case, there is good mixed with the evil.
By the influence of the increasing percentage of carbonic acid in the atmosphere, we may hope to enjoy ages with more equable and better climates, especially as regards the colder regions of the earth, ages when the earth will bring forth much more abundant crops than at present, for the benefit of rapidly propagating mankind.”
Indeed, once one accounts for the clearly demonstrable Urban Heat Island effect, and the transition to digitised one-second recordings of temperature which feed into the standardised HadCRUT 4 global mean temperature dataset, most of any increase in global temperature records can be accounted for by these two factors alone. The temperature may be hotter by a degree, but only for a second!
Meanwhile, those interested in the real state of affairs with the climate will be gladdened to hear that the northern hemisphere cryosphere is in rude health with record breaking snow cover for the second year running, the Antarctic ice sheet is into its second year of well above average extent and thickness, the latest satellite data demonstrates the Earth’s lower atmosphere is just 0.01 degree Celsius warmer than the 1991-2020 mean temperature.
But they aren’t going to scare and politically weaponise the kiddies with those inconvenient truths!