This time I'm going to keep it short so you can get back to watching the nasty shenanigans of Donald Trump, who seems very keen to start another war. Some chap called Philip Lloyd has written an article for Anthony Watts about temperature trends in Cape Town (archived here). (Anthony must have written the headline because he changed Cape Town to Capetown.)
Never mind about that. The article is by Philip Lloyd, who's been denying science for a long time. He's another engineer. Not the decent sort of engineer. He's the type you'll see in droves at climate conspiracy blogs like WUWT and Judith Curry's place. I've written about his particular brand of denial, e.g. in 2013 and 2015.
Philip was wanting to distract deniers from the hottest year on record by claiming that the historical temperature of Cape Town was fraudulent or something. Temperature data expert, Nick Stokes disabused him of that notion e.g. here and here. (Yes, I'm joking. Nick Stokes disabused any reasonable reader of that notion. However, deniers are not reasonable, and there's no sign that Philip Lloyd was the slightest bit interested in researching the subject.)
The explanation is quite simple. At one point early on (around 1888) the weather station was probably changed to a Stevenson Screen. At a later time (1960) the weather station was moved to a different location at a higher altitude, along with the airport.
Philip picking on a single weather station without investigating it is the sort of nonsense you read all the time on denier blogs. Some people still go on about Rutherglen, and even Darwin, where the weather station was moved to Darwin airport in 1941. The interesting thing about that is that I first found out about this from one of the denier stalwarts, Tasmanian engineer John Daly, who posted information about the move. Just goes to show that deniers deny their own when it suits them :)
However, weather stations, whether moving or stationary, are not the main point of this article. Down the bottom of his short screed, Philip put up two pictures and wrote: "Time magazine covers showed the 1970’s were indeed cold."
Well, the 1970s were cold in some parts of the world. I don't know about South Africa, but it was cold in the USA and Canada. (I spent a very cold winter in Edmonton in the early 1970s). It wasn't particularly cold in Australia compared to previous decades, although compared to now it was. Here's what happened over time, from BoM:
The cover on the left that Philip put up to support his point, didn't. It was this one from December 1973:
Yes, the man looks cold and has icicles dripping. However the chart isn't an upside down temperature chart, it's a graph of oil prices. The cover story isn't about global cooling, it had the headline: "SHORTAGES: A Time of Learning to Live with Less". It was all about the oil crisis, which I remember well. The opening paragraph is:
Heavy with cargo, low-riding oil tankers bucked through the windblown South Atlantic last week on their way from the Persian Gulf to Philadelphia, Baltimore, Norfolk, New York and other U.S. ports. In a week or so, they will tie up at their destinations—and the U.S. will enter a sterner, more painful new era of energy shortages. These huge ships were the last to be loaded before the Arab states blocked all petroleum shipments to the U.S. in retaliation for American support of Israel. The Arab move is expected to diminish by a disruptive 18% or more the minimum flow of fuel that the nation needs to run its industries and farms, heat and light its homes, schools and offices, and keep its cars, trucks, buses and planes moving.
Now making a blunder like that was bad enough, but Philip fared even worse on his second image. It was a fake, as Bryan Walsh explained at Time, three years ago in 2013. Below is the picture that Philip Lloyd posted on the left, and on the right is the real cover.
Not only is Philip's cover not real, the real one isn't even from the 1970s. It's from April 2007. Not only is it not about global cooling, it's about global warming and how to survive it.
Here is some of what Bryan Walsh had to say:
Ads, jokes and protests are one thing, though — hoax covers are something else entirely. And that’s the problem with a faked TIME cover about global warming that’s been floating around the Internet for some time. (Hat tip to the science blogger David Kirtley, who posted on this a couple of days ago.) ...I deliberately quoted the parts that named the two people from SkepticalScience - David Kirtley and John Cook. That's just me being mean, because I know how climate "hoax" conspiracy theorists just hate to be reminded that there are top notch websites devoted to real, solid, climate science. And they get particularly riled up when you mention SkepticalScience :)
...The cover on the right is real. (I should know — I wrote the story about China and India that’s mentioned in the subhead.) The one on the left is very much not. It’s a doctored version of this cover, from 2007:...
...But the hoax does touch on an important part of climate science — and one that’s often misunderstood by skeptics. Call it the Ice Age Fallacy. ...
...But as John Cook points out over at Skeptical Science, global cooling was much more an invention of the media than it was a real scientific concern. A survey of peer-reviewed scientific papers published between 1965 and 1979 shows that the large majority of research at the time predicted that the earth would warm as carbon-dioxide levels rose — as indeed it has. And some of those global-cooling projections were based on the idea that aerosol levels in the atmosphere — which are a product of air pollution from sources like coal burning and which contribute to cooling by deflecting sunlight in the atmosphere — would keep rising. But thanks to environmental legislation like the Clean Air Acts, global air-pollution levels — not including greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide — peaked in the 1970s and began declining.
Now these days it's easy to do some basic research. I'd say the reason people don't isn't that they are lazy, it's either because they want to disinform readers, or they are immensely gullible, and trust other deniers rather than anyone knowledgeable. (That's what authoritarians and pathological liars like Donald Trump trade upon.)
PS I omitted the link to David Kirtley's original article, which was published on Greg Laden's blog. Here it is - thanks to David. [Added by Sou 8:00 am 30 Jan 2016 AEDT]