Climate change is accelerating, according to the latest annual climate report from the Bureau of Meteorology, with 2016 tipped to have been the hottest year ever recorded globally.
according to The Australian. And because it is the BOM, no one bothers to check.
In fact, when you go to some of Australia’s oldest and best maintained climate records there is precious little sign that there is any significant warming happening, and none that it is accelerating.
These graphs, taken from BOM data for a number of Australian lighthouses tell the story.
I’ve chosen these data sets for a number of reasons.
- They are continuous records and have been taken from the same spot over the whole of the time of their existence. So there is no need to adjust them in any way to take account of station shifts, or the urban heat island effect.
- The oceans are the drivers of climate and temperature. Taking temperatures close to the coast means you are capturing a more representative sample of what is happening on earth. Inland temperatures can be effected more by things like prevailing winds, and drought or flood.
- Lighthouse keepers are pretty reliable folk, or they wouldn’t be doing what they do, and as a result I think we can assume that they are probably pretty reliable when it comes to taking temperature. Probably more reliable than say postmasters, who have a lot of other things on their plate.
- These cover the east, south and west parts of the continent. So it is relatively comprehensive. I think given a choice between lots of bad, short term data, and relatively few, but incredibly high-quality data, you should always choose the latter. If you’re wondering why nothing from north Australia I couldn’t find anything to match my lighthouse and longevity criteria there, but as global warming is predicted to be stronger away from the equator, that is an issue of lesser importance.