Phil Jones and Australian Billabongs

We’ve talked about Phil Jones’ Russian and Chinese sites, where we’ve just scratched the surface so far. Warwick Hughes took a first crack at some years ago, but was unsuccessful in identifying the Jones sites. Jones, never making things easy, did not provide the names of any of the Australian sites, nor the WMO identification numbers. However, from the information that he did provide, I’ve scratched together names for the various sites and WMO identifications. Jones has said that he has no information on how the sites were selected.

To be fair, many of them have rural-looking descriptors and it looks as though a genuine effort was made here to avoid cities. Australians may be able to comment on further. I haven’t compared this listing to Warwick’s prior efforts.

Jones lists his eastern Australian data set here. In his covering text, he says in one place that only national IDs are provided:

For Australia, these are the national IDs then in use….

although shortly thereafter, he inconsistently states that WMO IDs were used:

The location names are given for the fUSSR, but only the WMO IDs were known for Australia and China.

The Jones IDs are definitely not WMO IDs as the last sentence indicates. I struggled for a while trying to match the identification numbers to WMO IDs and quickly gave up. A listing of Australian national IDs is online here (I located this by googling CSIRO and one of the id numbers) and I was quickly able to match all the Jones IDs to CSIRO IDs.

There are some small but annoying geographical errors in the Jones data set, which were a problem in trying to identify WMO numbers. I was able to match many Jones locations to GHCN stations as follows. I identified GHCN stations within 0.1 degree lat and long of the Jones. Where there was only one match (and this was the majority of cases), I adopted this match. There were 2 sites with 2 matches and about 7 with none (the latter all resulting from the annoying errors in the Jones data). I subsetted the GHCN data to eastern Australia and manually looked up the names (from the CSIRO match already done) and was able to match all of them. This resulted in the identifications listed below textfile here.

It looks as though there was a genuine effort to locate rural sites. But I’d be interested in any Australian comment on local aspects of these sites (and will cross-check Warwick Hughes’ commentary on another occasion.) About the billabongs, I was thinking of the chorus in Waltzing Matilda. Think about it.

id csiro lat long site wmo ghcn.id
1 1 16044 -30.71667 134.5667 TARCOOLA 94655 0
2 2 18070 -33.73333 135.8667 PORT LINCOLN 94660 0
3 3 21014 -33.83333 138.6333 CLARE POST OFFICE 95667 1
4 4 21043 -33.18333 138.0167 PORT PIRIE BHAS 94669 0
5 5 22807 -35.66667 137.6500 KINGSCOTE 94807 0
6 6 23733 -35.06667 138.8667 MOUNT BARKER 94806 0
7 7 29041 -17.66667 141.0833 NORMANTON POST OFFICE 94267 0
8 8 30018 -18.25000 143.5000 GEORGETOWN POST OFFICE 94275 0
9 9 30045 -20.75000 143.0833 RICHMOND POST OFFICE 94340 0
10 10 31016 -15.48333 145.2500 COOKTOWN POST OFFICE 94283 0
11 11 32004 -18.18333 146.0000 CARDWELL EDEN ST 94292 0
12 12 32025 -17.50000 146.0000 INNISFAIL 94291 0
13 13 33007 -20.00000 148.1667 BOWEN POST OFFICE 94366 1
14 14 34002 -20.03333 146.3333 CHARTERS TOWERS POST OFFICE 94356 1
15 15 35069 -24.86667 146.2500 TAMBO POST OFFICE 94355 0
16 16 37010 -19.91667 138.1000 CAMOOWEAL TOWNSHIP 94255 0
17 17 38003 -22.90000 139.8833 BOULIA AIRPORT 94333 0
18 18 39015 -24.83333 152.3500 BUNDABERG POST OFFICE 94774 0
19 19 39039 -25.60000 151.5333 GAYNDAH POST OFFICE 94543 0
20 20 40043 -27.25000 153.3667 CAPE MORETON LIGHTHOUSE 94954 0
21 21 40126 -25.53333 152.6000 MARYBOROUGH 94849 2
22 22 41038 -28.50000 150.2833 GOONDIWINDI POST OFFICE 94530 1
23 23 43030 -26.53333 148.7667 ROMA POST OFFICE 94515 1
24 24 44026 -28.06667 145.6667 CUNNAMULLA POST OFFICE 94500 0
25 25 46037 -29.46667 142.0667 TIBOOBURRA POST OFFICE 94485 0
26 26 46043 -31.08333 143.5500 WILCANNIA (REID ST) 94695 0
27 27 48013 -30.10000 145.9333 BOURKE POST OFFICE 94703 0
28 28 51039 -31.56667 147.2000 NYNGAN AIRPORT 94708 0
29 29 52026 -30.01667 148.1167 WALGETT 95715 1
30 30 56002 -30.51667 151.6667 ARMIDALE (RADIO STATION 2AD) 94773 0
31 31 58012 -29.43333 153.3667 YAMBA PILOT STATION 94589 0
32 32 58037 -28.80000 153.2833 LISMORE (CENTRE STREET) 94586 0
33 33 60026 -31.90000 152.4833 PORT MACQUARIE (HILL STREET) 94784 0
34 34 61055 -32.91667 151.8000 NEWCASTLE NOBBYS SIGNAL STATION 94387 2
35 35 65012 -32.21667 148.5667 DUBBO (COOREENA RD) 94719 0
36 36 69018 -35.91667 150.1500 MORUYA HEADS PILOT STATION 94937 0
37 37 73009 -34.63333 148.0167 COOTAMUNDRA POST OFFICE 94714 0
38 38 75031 -34.51667 144.8333 HAY MILLER STREET 94698 0
39 39 77042 -35.38333 143.6167 SWAN HILL POST OFFICE 94843 0
40 40 80015 -36.16667 144.7667 ECHUCA AERODROME 94861 0
41 41 83025 -37.15000 147.6333 OMEO 94911 0
42 42 84016 -37.56667 149.4167 GABO ISLAND LIGHTHOUSE 94933 0
43 43 85096 -39.23333 146.3667 WILSONS PROMONTORY LIGHTHOUSE 94893 0
44 44 88043 -37.08333 143.7833 MARYBOROUGH (DERBY STREET) 94849 2
45 45 90015 -38.76667 143.7333 CAPE OTWAY LIGHTHOUSE 94842 1
46 46 91057 -40.96667 146.8333 LOW HEAD (COMPARISON) 94965 0
47 47 94010 -43.33333 147.0000 CAPE BRUNY LIGHTHOUSE 94961 1
48 48 94041 -43.66667 146.5000 MAATSUYKER ISLAND LIGHTHOUSE 94962 0
49 49 98001 -39.73333 143.9500 CURRIE POST OFFICE 94851 0


28 Comments

  1. Neil Fisher
    Posted Apr 25, 2007 at 9:27 PM | Permalink

    One that I personally know is Newcastle Nobby’s Signal Station (id #34): This is right in the heart of Newcastle and only a few km from both the CBD and a steel mill. This is one Australia’s busiest coal loading ports and it’s not unusual to see tens of large coal carrier ships “lined up” waiting to load (easily visible from Nobby’s beach). I would assume that the signal station is either 1) at the lighthouse (couple of 100m out at the most easterly point of the Nobby’s Head) or 2) at the old army barracks (now a historical site – 100m or so back from the beach) or 3) the Naval station about 1km or so from the beach or 4) possibly (least likely) at the Naval training station (once again about 100m from the beach itself, this time directly on the water in the port). Aside from the obvious urban contamination from being in the heart of a city of a million plus residents (although all are close enough to easily qualify as “on the coast” and would likely show cooler temperatures than even a few km inland), the lighthouse is surrounded by asphelt/rocks and the barracks, Naval station and training station both have a lot of concrete/asphelt/crushed rock in and around them. I’d say these would be about as UHI contaminated as, say, Sydney’s Royal Botanical Gardens (that’s right next to the Sydney Opera House) would be.

  2. Al Miller
    Posted Apr 25, 2007 at 9:58 PM | Permalink

    7 7 29041 -17.66667 141.0833 NORMANTON POST OFFICE 94267 0
    8 8 30018 -18.25000 143.5000 GEORGETOWN POST OFFICE 94275 0
    Georgetown (pop 300) and Normanton (pop 2500) both small isolated towns at the bottom of Gulf of Carpentaria. These towns have shrunk in size since their weather stations were established during mining booms.

    10 10 31016 -15.48333 145.2500 COOKTOWN POST OFFICE 94283 0
    On the east coast, half way up Cape York Peninsula at the mouth of the Endeavour River. Post Office would have a nice view of river. Again this town has probably shrunk since gold rushes of the 1870s.

  3. bruce
    Posted Apr 25, 2007 at 10:31 PM | Permalink

    Port Pirie has a major lead smelter, and while population is relatively small, there is a lot of industrial activity, roads, concentrate stockpiles etc etc that could be expected to develop a marked UHI effect.

    I would have identified Newcastle as a site that is likely a major UHI effect as well. Many of the others look rural enough, but a detailed check would need to be done. Quite a few stations are smaller country towns, and they may have a UHI.

  4. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Apr 25, 2007 at 10:37 PM | Permalink

    Jones et al 1990 say of this network:

    All stations are rural or small village sites and all encompass the period 1930-1988. The average population of the stations is 5775; the maximum population is 33,368 and there were seven lighthouse sites which were assumed to have negligible population.

    It doesn’t sound like Newcastle Nobby’s is a rural site, for one.

  5. Taipan
    Posted Apr 25, 2007 at 11:06 PM | Permalink

    Here is a link to the governments population distribution as at the 2001 census.

    You will note that most aussies live in the SE corner and along the coast.

    Some of the towns along the coast have grown tremendoulsy.

    Some on the list above have a lot more then the 5,000.

    1 . Sydney , NSW : ………………………………….. 3,502,301
    2 . Melbourne , VIC : ……………………………….. 3,160,171
    3 . Brisbane , QLD : ………………………………… 1,508,161
    4 . Perth , WA : ……………………………………. 1,176,542
    5 . Adelaide , SA : …………………………………. 1,002,127
    6 . Gold Coast-Tweed Heads (Gold Coast Part) , QLD : ……… 376,533
    7 . Canberra-Queanbeyan (Canberra Part) , ACT : ………….. 309,799
    8 . Newcastle , NSW : …………………………………. 279,975
    9 . Central Coast , NSW : ……………………………… 255,429
    10 . Wollongong , NSW : ……………………………….. 228,846
    11 . Sunshine Coast , QLD : ……………………………. 169,931
    12 . Geelong , VIC : ………………………………….. 130,194
    13 . Hobart , TAS : …………………………………… 126,048
    14 . Townsville-Thuringowa , QLD : ……………………… 119,504
    15 . Cairns , QLD : ……………………………………. 98,981
    16 . Toowoomba , QLD : …………………………………. 89,343
    17 . Ballarat , VIC : ………………………………….. 73,002
    18 . Darwin , NT : …………………………………….. 71,348
    19 . Bendigo , VIC : …………………………………… 68,723
    20 . Launceston , TAS : ………………………………… 68,443
    21 . Rockingham , WA : …………………………………. 60,766
    22 . Rockhampton , QLD : ……………………………….. 59,471
    23 . Mackay , QLD : ……………………………………. 57,648
    24 . Maitland , NSW : ………………………………….. 53,470
    25 . Mandurah , WA : …………………………………… 46,700
    26 . Bunbury , WA : ……………………………………. 45,297
    27 . Gold Coast-Tweed Heads (Tweed Hds Pt) , NSW : ………… 45,021
    28 . Bundaberg , QLD : …………………………………. 44,555
    29 . Wagga Wagga , NSW : ……………………………….. 44,453
    30 . Albury-Wodonga (Albury Part) , NSW : ………………… 42,146
    31 . Port Macquarie , NSW : …………………………….. 37,978
    32 . Hervey Bay , QLD : ………………………………… 36,108
    33 . Shepparton-Mooroopna , VIC : ……………………….. 35,823
    34 . Tamworth , NSW : ………………………………….. 32,544
    35 . Melton , VIC : ……………………………………. 32,072
    36 . Orange , NSW : ……………………………………. 31,969
    37 . Dubbo , NSW : …………………………………….. 30,939
    38 . Canberra-Queanbeyan (Queanbeyan Part) , NSW : ………… 29,926
    39 . Kalgoorlie-Boulder , WA : ………………………….. 28,281
    40 . Mildura , VIC : …………………………………… 28,059
    41 . Albury-Wodonga (Wodonga Part) , VIC : ……………….. 27,728
    42 . Lismore , NSW : …………………………………… 27,362
    43 . Bathurst , NSW : ………………………………….. 27,033
    44 . Warrnambool , VIC : ……………………………….. 26,845
    45 . Gladstone , QLD : …………………………………. 26,628
    46 . Coffs Harbour , NSW : ……………………………… 26,079
    47 . Richmond-Windsor , NSW : …………………………… 25,890
    48 . Geraldton , WA : ………………………………….. 25,436
    49 . Sunbury , VIC : …………………………………… 25,153
    50 . Nowra-Bomaderry , NSW : ……………………………. 24,763
    51 . Alice Springs , NT : ………………………………. 24,636
    52 . Mount Gambier , SA : ………………………………. 22,754
    53 . Albany , WA : …………………………………….. 22,415
    54 . Devonport , TAS : …………………………………. 21,576
    55 . Whyalla , SA : ……………………………………. 21,273
    56 . Maryborough , QLD : ……………………………….. 21,192
    57 . Goulburn , NSW : ………………………………….. 20,888
    58 . Palmerston , NT : …………………………………. 20,576
    59 . Mount Isa , QLD : …………………………………. 20,522
    60 . Armidale , NSW : ………………………………….. 20,272
    61 . Broken Hill , NSW : ……………………………….. 19,832
    62 . Traralgon , VIC : …………………………………. 19,606
    63 . Katoomba-Wentworth Falls , NSW : ……………………. 18,400
    64 . Burnie-Somerset , TAS : ……………………………. 18,095
    65 . Forster-Tuncurry , NSW : …………………………… 17,994
    66 . Cessnock-Bellbird , NSW : ………………………….. 17,826
    67 . Grafton , NSW : …………………………………… 17,425
    68 . Kwinana , WA : ……………………………………. 17,377
    69 . Cairns Northern Beaches , QLD : …………………….. 17,193
    70 . Gawler , SA : …………………………………….. 16,837
    71 . Taree , NSW : …………………………………….. 16,651
    72 . Ballina , NSW : …………………………………… 16,603
    73 . Wangaratta , VIC : ………………………………… 16,347
    74 . Griffith , NSW : ………………………………….. 16,007
    75 . Broome , WA : …………………………………….. 15,900
    76 . Moe-Yallourn , VIC : ………………………………. 15,381
    77 . Kingston-Blackmans Bay , TAS : ……………………… 14,823
    78 . Busselton , WA : ………………………………….. 13,957
    79 . Sawtell , NSW : …………………………………… 13,835
    80 . Morwell , VIC : …………………………………… 13,528
    81 . Port Pirie , SA : …………………………………. 13,266
    82 . Horsham , VIC : …………………………………… 13,255
    83 . Crafers-Bridgewater , SA : …………………………. 13,199
    84 . Port Augusta , SA : ……………………………….. 13,198
    85 . Bongaree , QLD : ………………………………….. 13,025
    86 . Murray Bridge , SA : ………………………………. 13,015
    87 . Nambour , QLD : …………………………………… 12,894
    88 . Sale , VIC : ……………………………………… 12,851
    89 . Port Hedland , WA : ……………………………….. 12,777
    90 . Port Lincoln , SA : ……………………………….. 12,668
    91 . Ocean Grove-Barwon Heads , VIC : ……………………. 12,652
    92 . Singleton , NSW : …………………………………. 12,530
    93 . Raymond Terrace , NSW : ……………………………. 12,523
    94 . Kurri Kurri-Weston , NSW : …………………………. 12,317
    95 . Kiama , NSW : …………………………………….. 12,287
    96 . Bacchus Marsh , VIC : ……………………………… 12,140
    97 . Warwick , QLD : …………………………………… 12,016
    98 . Pakenham , VIC : ………………………………….. 11,301
    99 . Lithgow , NSW : …………………………………… 11,044
    100 . Echuca-Moama (Echuca Part) , VIC : …………………. 10,958
    101 . Karratha , WA : ………………………………….. 10,796
    102 . Yeppoon , QLD : ………………………………….. 10,787
    103 . Bairnsdale , VIC : ……………………………….. 10,673
    104 . Gympie , QLD : …………………………………… 10,619
    105 . Warragul , VIC : …………………………………. 10,438
    106 . Bowral , NSW : …………………………………… 10,406
    107 . Batemans Bay , NSW : ……………………………… 10,212
    108 . Colac , VIC : ……………………………………. 10,189
    109 . Lawson-Hazelbrook , NSW : …………………………. 10,153
    110 . Emerald , QLD : ………………………………….. 10,081
    111 . Muswellbrook , NSW : ……………………………… 10,037
    112 . Parkes , NSW : ……………………………………. 9,800
    113 . Swan Hill , VIC : …………………………………. 9,766
    114 . Dalby , QLD : …………………………………….. 9,731
    115 . Ulladulla , NSW : …………………………………. 9,607
    116 . Portland , VIC : ………………………………….. 9,602
    117 . Inverell , NSW : ………………………………….. 9,540
    118 . Ulverstone , TAS : ………………………………… 9,514
    119 . Esperance , WA : ………………………………….. 9,425
    120 . Moree , NSW : …………………………………….. 9,273
    121 . Lara , VIC : ……………………………………… 9,211
    122 . Casino , NSW : ……………………………………. 9,159
    123 . Mount Barker , SA : ……………………………….. 9,152
    124 . Hamilton , VIC : ………………………………….. 9,118
    125 . Victor Harbor , SA : ………………………………. 8,971
    126 . Cowra , NSW : …………………………………….. 8,715
    127 . Mudgee , NSW : ……………………………………. 8,628
    128 . Benalla , VIC : …………………………………… 8,623
    129 . Bowen , QLD : …………………………………….. 8,557
    130 . Innisfail , QLD : …………………………………. 8,532
    131 . Ayr , QLD : ………………………………………. 8,507
    132 . Charters Towers , QLD : ……………………………. 8,494
    133 . Kempsey , NSW : …………………………………… 8,450
    134 . Wangi-Rathmines , NSW : ……………………………. 8,391
    135 . Nelson Bay , NSW : ………………………………… 8,039
    136 . Torquay , VIC : …………………………………… 8,005
    137 . Gunnedah , NSW : ………………………………….. 7,867
    138 . Deniliquin , NSW : ………………………………… 7,793
    139 . St Georges Basin-Sanctuary Point , NSW : …………….. 7,618
    140 . Murwillumbah , NSW : ………………………………. 7,599
    141 . Maryborough , VIC : ……………………………….. 7,476
    142 . Clifton Springs , VIC : ……………………………. 7,306
    143 . Carnarvon , WA : ………………………………….. 7,280
    144 . Kingaroy , QLD : ………………………………….. 7,193
    145 . Healesville , VIC : ……………………………….. 7,149
    146 . Forbes , NSW : ……………………………………. 7,100
    147 . Ararat , VIC : ……………………………………. 7,067
    148 . Byron Bay , NSW : …………………………………. 7,039
    149 . Cooma , NSW : …………………………………….. 6,949
    150 . Collie , WA : …………………………………….. 6,947
    151 . Leeton , NSW : ……………………………………. 6,936
    152 . Mareeba , QLD : …………………………………… 6,889
    153 . Young , NSW : …………………………………….. 6,843
    154 . Castlemaine , VIC : ……………………………….. 6,834
    155 . Leopold , VIC : …………………………………… 6,781
    156 . Katherine , NT : ………………………………….. 6,718
    157 . Bridgewater-Gagebrook , TAS : ………………………. 6,682
    158 . Moss Vale , NSW : …………………………………. 6,613
    159 . Camden Haven , NSW : ………………………………. 6,486
    160 . Seymour , VIC : …………………………………… 6,430
    161 . Medowie , NSW : …………………………………… 6,292
    162 . Mittagong , NSW : …………………………………. 6,271
    163 . Tumut , NSW : …………………………………….. 6,250
    164 . Narrabri , NSW : ………………………………….. 6,247
    165 . Nambucca Heads , NSW : …………………………….. 6,155
    166 . Northam , WA : ……………………………………. 6,152
    167 . Wonthaggi , VIC : …………………………………. 6,146
    168 . Emerald , VIC : …………………………………… 6,144
    169 . Stawell , VIC : …………………………………… 6,141
    170 . Moranbah , QLD : ………………………………….. 6,135
    171 . Golden Bay-Singleton , WA : ………………………… 6,073
    172 . Roma , QLD : ……………………………………… 5,910
    173 . Atherton , QLD : ………………………………….. 5,890
    174 . Port Douglas , QLD : ………………………………. 5,868
    175 . Lennox Head , NSW : ……………………………….. 5,834
    176 . Drouin , VIC : ……………………………………. 5,817
    177 . Glen Innes , NSW : ………………………………… 5,721
    178 . Yamba , NSW : …………………………………….. 5,660
    179 . Deeragun , QLD : ………………………………….. 5,633
    180 . Aldinga Beach , SA : ………………………………. 5,537
    181 . Kyabram , VIC : …………………………………… 5,524
    182 . Lemon Tree Passage , NSW : …………………………. 5,507
    183 . Lakes Entrance , VIC : …………………………….. 5,505
    184 . Goondiwindi , QLD : ……………………………….. 5,496
    185 . Kununurra , WA : ………………………………….. 5,491
    186 . Cootamundra , NSW : ……………………………….. 5,487
    187 . Biloela , QLD : …………………………………… 5,479
    188 . Ellenbrook , WA : …………………………………. 5,469
    189 . Humpty Doo-McMinns Lagoon , NT : ……………………. 5,247
    190 . Corowa-Wahgunyah (Corowa Part) , NSW : ………………. 5,218
    191 . Bargara , QLD : …………………………………… 5,175
    192 . Gatton , QLD : ……………………………………. 5,103
    193 . Helensburgh , NSW : ……………………………….. 5,075
    194 . New Norfolk , TAS : ……………………………….. 5,005

  6. Taipan
    Posted Apr 25, 2007 at 11:22 PM | Permalink

    These are towns in smaller rural areas or remote areas that i know pretty well. Some of them are quickly growing regional towns. The lighthouses are often remote. Also the listing above seems to be very light on for numbers. Some of the towns, eg port macquarie for instance has an area population of around 60,000, whereas the listing shows a lot less. (Defn town footprint?)

    If you want anything specific please let me know and id be happy to help.

    20 20 40043 -27.25000 153.3667 CAPE MORETON LIGHTHOUSE 94954 0

    22 22 41038 -28.50000 150.2833 GOONDIWINDI POST OFFICE 94530 1

    24 24 44026 -28.06667 145.6667 CUNNAMULLA POST OFFICE 94500 0

    25 25 46037 -29.46667 142.0667 TIBOOBURRA POST OFFICE 94485 0

    26 26 46043 -31.08333 143.5500 WILCANNIA (REID ST) 94695 0

    27 27 48013 -30.10000 145.9333 BOURKE POST OFFICE 94703 0

    28 28 51039 -31.56667 147.2000 NYNGAN AIRPORT 94708 0

    29 29 52026 -30.01667 148.1167 WALGETT 95715 1

    30 30 56002 -30.51667 151.6667 ARMIDALE (RADIO STATION 2AD) 94773 0
    still a pretty decent sized town and long term establishment. Centre of wool farming.

    31 31 58012 -29.43333 153.3667 YAMBA PILOT STATION 94589 0

    32 32 58037 -28.80000 153.2833 LISMORE (CENTRE STREET) 94586 0
    large regional centre
    33 33 60026 -31.90000 152.4833 PORT MACQUARIE (HILL STREET) 94784 0
    quickly growing coastal regional centre

    35 35 65012 -32.21667 148.5667 DUBBO (COOREENA RD) 94719 0
    large regional centre

    36 36 69018 -35.91667 150.1500 MORUYA HEADS PILOT STATION 94937 0

    37 37 73009 -34.63333 148.0167 COOTAMUNDRA POST OFFICE 94714 0

    38 38 75031 -34.51667 144.8333 HAY MILLER STREET 94698 0

    39 39 77042 -35.38333 143.6167 SWAN HILL POST OFFICE 94843 0

    40 40 80015 -36.16667 144.7667 ECHUCA AERODROME 94861 0

    41 41 83025 -37.15000 147.6333 OMEO 94911 0

    42 42 84016 -37.56667 149.4167 GABO ISLAND LIGHTHOUSE 94933 0

    43 43 85096 -39.23333 146.3667 WILSONS PROMONTORY LIGHTHOUSE 94893 0

    45 45 90015 -38.76667 143.7333 CAPE OTWAY LIGHTHOUSE 94842 1

  7. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Apr 25, 2007 at 11:30 PM | Permalink

    Warwick Hughes’ discussion of the Australian sites is at http://www.warwickhughes.com/papers/90lettnat.htm

  8. Posted Apr 26, 2007 at 12:18 AM | Permalink

    A note on the Nobby’s signal station: 34 34 61055 -32.91667 151.8000 NEWCASTLE NOBBYS SIGNAL STATION 94387 2
    I’m fairly sure it’s actually on the headland, by the lighthouse. I live about 5 km from it. It’s as isolated as an urban site could possibly be, and while it doesn’t fit being “rural”, it’s on a headland with minimal residential and/or industrial within about 1500m radius. The temperature is definately moderated by coastal proximity, and the daytime temperatures 10-20km inland are usually 1-2 degrees higher, the opposite being true at night. (Poster #1 seems to have gone a little overboard on his description of >1 million people living around Nobbys. Newcastle, population-wise, is heavily centred around suburbs ~10-20km to the south-west of the port and is more of a conglomeration of small towns than a city).

    Also, while the census says ~280,000 people for Newcastle, it’s not as populous as it sounds. Certainly, it does have (in the greater Newcastle area) the recorded number of people, it’s a very large area that gets counted as “Newcastle” (This is true for many areas, say #8-30 on the census list). Newcastle’s heavy industry had a major downturn about 10 years ago and the smelters etc. that were prominent locally are much reduced. The air quality here is now high, whereas 10 years ago, the same could not be said.

    2 2 18070 -33.73333 135.8667 PORT LINCOLN 94660 0
    3 3 21014 -33.83333 138.6333 CLARE POST OFFICE 95667 1
    4 4 21043 -33.18333 138.0167 PORT PIRIE BHAS 94669 0
    5 5 22807 -35.66667 137.6500 KINGSCOTE 94807 0
    12 12 32025 -17.50000 146.0000 INNISFAIL 94291 0
    27 27 48013 -30.10000 145.9333 BOURKE POST OFFICE 94703 0
    43 43 85096 -39.23333 146.3667 WILSONS PROMONTORY LIGHTHOUSE 94893 0
    45 45 90015 -38.76667 143.7333 CAPE OTWAY LIGHTHOUSE 94842 1
    I know these areas, and they’d all qualify as rural.

    The vast majority of those sites look reasonably rural. Some may have urban heating effects, a good number are coastal too (as is most of the australian population). If it’s inland in Australia, there’s a good chance it won’t suffer from UHI.

    Steve.

  9. Carl Smith
    Posted Apr 26, 2007 at 1:14 AM | Permalink

    Steve M, I have started a thread in the Australian WeatherZone Forums to gather information for you.

    WeatherZone is by far the largest and most used weather forum in Australia, and has contributers from all over country, including many in rural areas.

    Here is the thread I started:

    http://www.weatherzone.com.au/cgi-bin/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic&f=1&t=006595

    (added text version above just in case, as I cannot see the link below in Preview)

    Urban Heat Island Effect – Australian rural sites

  10. Posted Apr 26, 2007 at 4:56 AM | Permalink

    Steve,
    So you have got CRU to list all those 1990 station locations.
    The heat must have been too much, all those protests.
    The Jones East Australian list of 49 looks OK to me. Will check the China and the USSR locs later.
    There is a paper by Neil Plummer (et al ?) in an Australian journal (possibly Aust Met Mag), about the time of the Letter to Nature, I am surprised it was not referred to. I have seen the ref somewhere but can not put my hands on it now.
    For anyone looking at my page;

    http://www.warwickhughes.com/papers/90lettnat.htm

    The Jones 1990 series = the Plummer series.
    And for those of you looking at the “Eastern Australia temperature variations 1930-1992″ paper scanned online at, which reports on a more rural set of stations than did Plummer and Jones et al 1990;

    http://www.warwickhughes.com/papers/

    Likewise, the Jones et al 1990 East Aust series is ref to as Plummer, while our use of Jones refers to Jones et al 1986 gridded data.
    What climatology needs is the sort of effort that went into “Eastern Australia temperature variations 1930-1992″, carried out globally.

  11. James Lane
    Posted Apr 26, 2007 at 5:05 AM | Permalink

    Apart from a couple of examples already mentioned (Newcastle, Port Pirie, Lismore), I think the list is pretty rural. The Cooktown post office is a lovely building ( I have a photo of it somewhere).

    However there are many, many rural sites in Australia, so what was the selection criteria? Maybe someone cleverer than I can plot these sites on a map of Australia, as it seems to me that these sites are heavily weighted to Southern and Eastern Australia. This could be part of the experimental design, as most of the urban centres are in Southern and Eastern Australia

  12. Louis Hissink
    Posted Apr 26, 2007 at 5:17 AM | Permalink

    Steve

    A quick scan of the list suggests the stations were basically sited at government offices in towns, such being the mind of the Sir Humphreys in the worlds various civil services.

    Civil servants have never been known to live in uncivilised circumstances unless forced to by powers beyond their control.

  13. Louis Hissink
    Posted Apr 26, 2007 at 5:36 AM | Permalink

    #11

    Site selection would have been based on having civil servants (public servants) reading the instruments. Using contractors during those times would have been an alien idea for quasi-socialist Australia.

    The definition of rural basically means an absence of concrete, asphalt(bitumen) or other manufactured (mined) products. So towns away from the main centres of population are rural only by definition, not physical fact.

    Rural to me means the Giles weather station close to Laverton in Western Australia.

    In any case the whole treatment of this data statistically is flawed since Jones et al seem to have no understanding of the problems associated with crunching intensive variables, sample support, etc etc,

    They are, simply, incompetent.

    They are, however, extremely competent in areas I have none.

  14. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Apr 26, 2007 at 6:25 AM | Permalink

    The citation for Plummer 1991 is Plummer N. 1991. Annual mean temperature anomalies over eastern Australia. Bull Aust Meterol Oceanogr Soc 4 42-44. This is 49 stations. John Daly has information on inhomogeneities at one of the lighthouses here http://www.john-daly.com/low-head.htm and an interesting letter from Plummer to Daly in 1996 about Daly’s criticism of this lighthouse record in which Plummer says that later official studies estimate inhomogeneity at this site as up to 1 deg C, that the Jones et al article did not claim that there had been any attempt to ensure inhomogeneity in the stations and that later better controlled studies confirmed warming in eastern Australia. Here’s an extended excerpt but consult the link.

    t is important to note that there are no RCS’s which fully satisfy the selection criteria and selections were sometimes based on a balance between the various criteria (sometimes, for example, long record versus station relocation). It was always known that data for many stations would require adjustments at some time during their history.

    The quality of Low Head’s temperature data has been carefully examined in a number of studies in recent years – all using local climatological knowledge, statistical techniques and historical station information. These methods assess the homogeneity of a data series, i.e. attempt to identify any non-climatic jumps or trends which disguise real climatic variations. These tests also provide an estimate for the adjustment required to the time series to remove the inhomogeneity.

    Nevertheless, the results from climate studies do suggest that non-climatic influences have affected these data to the tune of about +1 degC since the late 1950s. It must be emphasised that the aforementioned studies were performed independently using different methods. Nevertheless, although the year of the inhomogeneity differs slightly, the magnitude of the artificial warming compares very well. The Australian temperature time series derived in Plummer et al. (1993, 1996) and Torok and Nicholls (1996) have been corrected for these inhomogeneities and so too have data for hundreds of other stations around Australia.

    In your report, you query the selection of 49 mostly ‘rural’ stations over eastern Australia as used in Jones et al. 1990. This network was selected on the basis of stations having few missing monthly mean values over the 1930-1988 analysis period. None of the data used had been assessed for homogeneity and the paper makes no claims in this regard. It is interesting to note, however, that the high quality data set of Torok and Nicholls (1996) confirm a warming over this region.

    Plummer’s citations were:

    Plummer, N., Lin, Z. and Torok, S. 1995. Trends in the diurnal temperature range over Australia since 1951. Atmospheric Research, 37, 79-86.
    Torok, S.J. and Nicholls, N. 1996. An historical annual temperature data set for Australia. Aust.Met.Mag.

    The obvious next step is to get the version of data used in Torok and Nichols and compare that to the Jones et al 1990 data. I haven’t foraged for this data. I won’t be doing any more work on this topic for a couple of weeks, so if anyone can locate it for me, that would be nice. Warwick might have it already.

  15. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Apr 26, 2007 at 6:38 AM | Permalink

    I notice that the Australian BOM has online summary statistics for their stations e.g here. Does anyone know how to extract the underlying data?

  16. James Lane
    Posted Apr 26, 2007 at 6:58 AM | Permalink

    Louis #13

    I wasn’t querying the location of the sites, but rather the selection of the “rural” sites for Jones et al (2000) from the multitude (including Giles) available. Apparently Jones doesn’t know what selction criteria were employed, maybe his co-authors have a better insight.

  17. Posted Apr 26, 2007 at 7:00 AM | Permalink

    Re: #15

    Steve, could you specify exactly what data you would like out of those tables? Or, do you want the meta-data for each station(such as location, opstat etc)? I can write a scraper tonight if I know the variables you want.

    Hoping contribute a little :-)

    Sinan

  18. Posted Apr 26, 2007 at 7:34 AM | Permalink

    Steve – I recommend that you request photographs of each site, as even in rural areas, they can be poorly sited. We discuss this issue in

    Davey, C.A., and R.A. Pielke Sr., 2005: Microclimate exposures of surface-based weather stations – implications for the assessment of long-term temperature trends. Bull. Amer. Meteor. Soc., Vol. 86, No. 4, 497’€”504.

    http://blue.atmos.colostate.edu/publications/pdf/R-274.pdf

    Pielke Sr., R.A., C. Davey, D. Niyogi, S. Fall, J. Steinweg-Woods, K. Hubbard, X. Lin, M. Cai, Y.-K. Lim, H. Li, J. Nielsen-Gammon, K. Gallo, R. Hale, R. Mahmood, R.T. McNider, and P. Blanken, 2007: Unresolved issues with the assessment of multi-decadal global land surface temperature trends. J. Geophys. Res. in press.

    http://blue.atmos.colostate.edu/publications/pdf/R-321.pdf

    Pielke Sr., R.A. J. Nielsen-Gammon, C. Davey, J. Angel, O. Bliss, M. Cai, N. Doesken, S. Fall, D. Niyogi, K. Gallo, R. Hale, K.G. Hubbard, X. Lin, H. Li, and S. Raman, 2007: Documentation of uncertainties and biases associated with surface temperature measurement sites for climate change assessment. Bull. Amer. Meteor. Soc., in press.

    http://blue.atmos.colostate.edu/publications/pdf/R-318.pdf

    and

    Jamiyansharav, K., D. Ojima, and R.A. Pielke Sr., 2006: Exposure characteristics of the Mongolian weather stations. Atmospheric Science Paper No. 779, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO 80523, 75 pp.

    http://blue.atmos.colostate.edu/publications/pdf/NR-145.pdf

  19. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Apr 26, 2007 at 7:35 AM | Permalink

    I’m trying to get at the underlying monthly data in a time series form. The tables themselves just contain summaries that don’t work for me. The problem is identifying a location for the underlying data.

  20. Carl Smith
    Posted Apr 26, 2007 at 8:07 AM | Permalink

    Steve, try:
    ftp://ftp.bom.gov.au/anon/home/bmrc/perm/climate

    It is the most comprehensive online database available without charge from the BoM, but it only includes 100 stations.

    Thanks to ‘user pays’ Govt. policies, to get their complete data set you need to buy one of their CDs:

    http://www.bom.gov.au/climate/how/newproducts/IDCtemps.shtml

    http://www.bom.gov.au/climate/how/newproducts/IDCthp.shtml

    – unless you can convince someone at the BoM that you deserve to get the data you want for free – I think ‘research’ purposes could qualify, but I do not know who you should contact there to get the info you need.

  21. Peter Hartley
    Posted Apr 26, 2007 at 8:21 AM | Permalink

    I hope everyone looks at Warwick’s joint paper linked in #10.

    I found three things in the paper particularly interesting. One was their use of the autocorrelation in the series to suggest something about urban warming bias. The second was the apparent contrary move in temperature trend in Australia over the period 1979-1992 relative to the rest of the world. The third was the link they found between temperature changes and cloudiness.

    It would seem that building on this work by updating it for the last 15 years would be a good way to proceed. I am sure that with Warwick’s intimate knowledge of the Australian data and Steve’s ability to use R to process data quickly, accurately, and using the best available techniques something quite interesting could be developed in a relatively short period of time.

    Following up on #18, readers from Australia probably could contribute photographs of many of the weather stations in the data set. That might be interesting.

    Maybe Warwick would consent to a “re-publication” of his paper on CA to get the ball rolling.

  22. Richard deSousa
    Posted Apr 26, 2007 at 11:47 AM | Permalink

    Jones’ research is utterly dishonest because he refuses to provide data to corroborate his results…. hell, I can do just as well with my Ouija board.

  23. Neil Fisher
    Posted Apr 26, 2007 at 4:50 PM | Permalink

    Re: #8

    you say “(Poster #1 seems to have gone a little overboard on his description of >1 million people living around Nobbys. Newcastle, population-wise, is heavily centred around suburbs ~10-20km to the south-west of the port and is more of a conglomeration of small towns than a city)”

    It’s certainly true that Newcastle, like most cities in Australia, is well spread out (eg, Sydney is around the same size as greater London while housing considerably less people), but in my view this would not significantly affect the UHI component. Why not? Well, that effect is generated by surface area of artificial, err, surfaces like tiled roofs, asphelted roads, concrete walkways etc. There is certainly no lack of any of that for 20km in any direction from Nobby’s (at least where there is is land, anyway ;-) ) except the odd park (admitedly, some quite large).

    It’s also certainly true that if the record station is at the lighthouse, it’s probably about as free from UHI effect as would be possible in that general area. It’s in no way “rural” though – apart from state capitols, it’s hard to think of too many places in Australia that would have similar amounts of UHI generating surfaces in the general surrounding area.

    Since you live nice and close, perhaps you can post some photos? Me, I live in Sydney, but I have friends at Lake Macquarie who I have seen reasonably regularly for the last 20 years or so, so I’m not *totally* ignorant of the general layout. It’s certainly changed *considerably* over that time frame – I know that many people now commute daily to Sydney from at least as far as Wyong (100km or so, I would think).

  24. Arnost Khun
    Posted Apr 26, 2007 at 6:28 PM | Permalink

    You could probably find a lot on the net already…

    As an example, here’s Nobby’s lighthouse:

    To have a look at the surrounds – well, there’s always Google Earth…

    cheers

    Arnost

  25. Posted Apr 26, 2007 at 6:41 PM | Permalink

    #23 – I appreciate the point. I wasn’t trying to deny that it’s an urban site, just pointing out that as urban sites go it’s pretty well situated. Photos depend on what you’d need to know (since the actual site is out-of-bounds to the public). Anyway… here’s one (not mine) of the headland, from the hill >1km to the south.
    Obviously the city is out of the shot, but there’s really nothing for a good 1500m or so to the west. Of course, there’s absolutely nothing to the east of Nobbys Head (except the occasional dolphin). To the north/northwest (across the harbour) there’s a small suburb and large area of swamp, edged by sand dunes. Thinking of it as quadrants… only the south-west quadrant from Nobbys is really urban, and that starts over 1.5km away. So how much UHI effect is there? Some, probably, but really I have no idea… I do magnetospheric physics, not meteorology.

    Just a comment about the rural sites though… many Australian country towns have limited paved road, and buildings are generally weatherboard. It’s not like small European/North American towns that have plenty of paved surface and brick, concrete and breezeblock buildings.

  26. Arnost Khun
    Posted Apr 26, 2007 at 6:43 PM | Permalink

    The link that I tried to post did not take – sorry, here it is again

    http://www.lighthouse.net.au/liGhTS/NSW/Nobbys%20Head/Nobbys%20Head.htm

    cheers

  27. DeWitt Payne
    Posted Apr 26, 2007 at 7:36 PM | Permalink

    Re: #26

    If the temperature station is the white box on the stand in the grassy area on the right of the first picture, I wonder if they correct for altitude? According to the data, the lighthouse is 35 meters up, rather a lot more than the standard 2 meters.

  28. 2dogs
    Posted Apr 27, 2007 at 8:04 AM | Permalink

    As a general rule, what is the best way to distinguish between rural and urban for UHI purposes? Vegatation cover?

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