A couple of interesting references and comments on the Cardwell site were sine int. Let’s focus on Cardwell and its neighbours a little.
Cardwell is on the coast of Queensland. Carl Smith sent in this link showing a small town on a coastal highway – see also his comment here. In Jones et al 1990, there are 4 Queensland coastal sites (BOM number shown): Cooktown 31016, Innisfail 32025, Cardwell 32004, Bowen 33007. with Charters 34002 directly S and Georgetown 30018 to the W, as shown in the map below.
Innisfail is very close to Cardwell and should be a very good comparandum. Two of the sites (Bowen, Cooktown) were not in the Torok network; all 4 sites could be located in GHCN. I’ve plotted versions for all 4 sites together with the HadCRU3 gridcell. One of the first striking things is that none of these sites has been updated in GHCN since the early 1990s – what do they do over at GHCN? Jones says that his sites are at GHCN so I presume that Jones hasn’t updated these sites either (but Jones isn’t telling). In the original CRU edition (for which stations can be identified from information at CDIAC), there are 2 stations in this gridcell: Cairns and Townsville – both classic Jones-type sites.
Here’s a plot of the 4 sites plus HadCRU3. Obviously there are major differences between the site histories. It is obviously inconceivable that the differences between Innisfail and Cardwell are due to differing “regional” climate – the usual Team excuse for inconsistency. So one(or both of them) is contaminated in some way by non-climatic effects. Which one? I don’t see how you can make a decision merely by looking at the plots. How can one find firm ground in this type of morass? And these examples are coming from Australia, where there is presumably pretty good data.
Dale has plotted up max-mins from the Jones versions for 3 of these sites). The Torok versions should also be examined for a complete story – here are Dale’s 3 graphics, which distinguish max and min records for these 3 sites. THe change in diurnal temperature range (DTR) for these 3 sites in the Jones data is very striking – being up to 4 deg C. There’s quite a bit of discussion of DTR in AR4, which says that there was subtantial change in DTR up to 1979, but little since then (on a global basis) and which discusses some studies attributing DTR changes to increased cloudiness. In any event, one would expect to see a consistent pattern of climate-induced DTR in these closely related sites: can you see any?