Monday, February 11th 2013, 4:44 PM EST
A couple of days have gone by since Leo Hickman revealed to us that David Attenborough had exaggerated the temperature record in Africa, and James Delingpole was quick off the mark not only to point out the BBC Error that Leo had corrected but also that good old Leo was going to be added to Dellers Christmas card list:)
I have no idea what has come over Mr Hickman in recent months (that's correct he is a journalist from the Guardian), but one thing I can confirm he did NOT stitch Piers Corbyn up last year when he posted Whatever happened to the 'coldest May in 100 years'?. Silly me at the time discarded the report as being bias, as I just assumed a journalist from the Guardian couldn't possibly have anything good or objective to say about a failed forecast from a denier:(the Piers Corbyn forecast came to an end due to exceptional an unforeseen solar event) the rest is history, but take time out and read what "Leo" had to say at the time, much to my regret I didn't.
Anyway, I now consider Leo Hickman to be a "Climate Realist", not one you would call from the right wing or centre but non the less I will take an objective look at what he has to say in the future and not use any "Green" marks as there is more then a chance I could agree with some of the things he has to say, yes some, NOT ALL:)....take a look at his update, for the AttenboroughGate story
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Update: 11 February I now have some more detail about the origins of the source claim made in Christian Aid's 2006 report. I had mistakenly read in the footnotes that it was from "Conversation with authors; February 2006". The footnotes actually state on pg 42 that the source was: "S Wandiga, 'Assessment of Impact and Adaptation to Climate Change', AIACC Regional Workshop, Dakar, 23 March 2004." I emailed Prof Wandiga over the weekend hoping to learn more, but have yet to hear back.
However, Christian Aid has now emailed me saying it has sourced the claim to this working paper, co-authored by Wandiga and published in March, 2006. It has highlighted on pages 7,11 and 41 the relevant areas. It confirms what the original Christian Aid report had claimed about the Kericho weather station recording a 3.5C (3.6C, actually) rise in "maximum temperatures" over a 20-year period.
But that's not the end of the tail. I also received an email over the weekend from Dr Menno Bouma at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine pointing out that there were known problems with the Kericho temperature record. Dr Bouma promised to write me a statement explaining the problem - hence my delay in posting this update - and it has just arrived:
Temperatures in Kericho in the Kenyan highlands, a region with extensive tea-plantations (Brooke-Bond, now Unilever), appear to be the basis of the 3.5 Celsius temperature rise claim made in Attenborough's last BBC programme. This is not the first time there has been uncertainty about the changes in temperature over the last decades in these highlands. A publication in the high profile journal "Nature" in 2002 (Hay et al.) used the regional temperatures of Kericho (gridded CRU temperatures of East Anglia University) to show that temperatures showed no significant (upward) trend between 1970 and 1995. This "observation" was at the time used to counter the hypothesis that higher temperatures were responsible for the striking increase in malaria cases in this area.
It has since been shown that both in the instrumental record and in the regional CRU data, temperatures do have risen significantly (Pascual et al., 2009; Omumbo et al., 2011) by over 1C. In researching the temperature records of Kericho, we discovered that the meteorological station of Kericho, in operation at least since 1957, had been moved to a new location on a lower altitude in 1986. In view of the local "lapse rate", the decline in temperature with increasing altitude, this change from 2,184 meter to 1,977 meter accounts for an additional change in temperature of between 1.1C and 1.3C. This move of the observations to a lower altitude does not appear to have been taken into account in temperature records released by the Kenyan meteorological institute, and this has wrong-footed researchers and publications based on these data. Although the 1.1C to 1.3C can account only for part of the apparently overestimated temperatures quoted in Attenborough's programme, the larger increase quoted, that is in excess of the shift in observatory and the regional warming could be on account of the maximum (daytime) temperatures, that have indeed risen more than night-time temperatures in these highlands. This is possibly related to lower cloud cover (and associated lower rainfall) in some parts of the year. Highlands are amongst the most biodiverse regions on earth. Here, climate zones are "vertically compressed" and the ecological zones are particularly sensitive to changes in climate. Inaccurate data and sparsely distributed weather observations in the African highlands hamper climate change impact assessment, and highlight the continuing relevance of quality controlled ground based observations.
Click source for FULL and ORIGINAL article from Leo Hickman, I still can't understand why the above is not in Green:(
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