Australia: Cooling Changed To Warming Trends Because Stations “Might” Have Moved

  • Date: 26/08/14
  • Jo Nova blog

I’s the news you’ve been waiting years to hear! Finally we find out the exact details of why the Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) changed two of their best long term sites from cooling trends to warming trends.

The massive inexplicable adjustments like these have been discussed on blogs for years. But it was only when Graham Lloyd advised the BOM he would be reporting on this that they finally found time to write three paragraphs on specific stations.

Who knew it would be so hard to get answers. We put in a Senate request for an audit of the BOM datasets in 2011. Ken Stewart, Geoff Sherrington, Des Moore, Bill Johnston, and Jennifer Marohasy have also separately been asking the BOM for detailsabout adjustments on specific BOM sites. (I bet Warwick Hughes has too). The BOM has ignored or circumvented all these, refusing to explain why individual stations were adjusted in detail.

The two provocative articles Lloyd put together last week were  Heat is on over weather bureau  and  Bureau of Meteorology ‘altering climate figures, which I covered here. This is the power of the press at its best. The absence of articles like these, is why I have said the media IS the problem — as long as the media ignore the BOM failure to supply their full methods and reasons the BOM mostly get away with it. It’s an excellent development The Australian is starting to hold the BOM to account. (No sign of curiosity or investigation at the ABC and Fairfax, who are happy to parrot BOM press releases unquestioned like sacred scripts.)

Graham Lloyd sent the BOM a draft of his feature article for The Australian last Tuesday or Wednesday. The BOM finally replied at 5.30pm on Friday night as the last draft was almost ready to print.  I’ve copied the whole BOM response here. I explain below why this is a good response for skeptics.

The BOM rely on the usual vague wordy explanation with the unscientific reasoning that homogenization is necessary according to “international literature”. (I guess there is a consensus then, and we all know what that’s worth.) It is the scientific equivalent of saying  “we’re experts — trust us”. No one would accept that from a company accountant, why from a scientist?

 

This is the odd case of Amberley minima laid bare. The people living in Ipswich nearby had to wait 70 years to find out that their mornings in 1941 were really almost 2 degrees C colder than what they were told at the time.  The marvel of modern science. It’s amazing the planes didn’t crash more often.

Here’s the BOM explanation:

Amberley: the major adjustment is to minimum temperatures in 1980. There is very little available documentation for Amberley before the 1990s (possibly, as an RAAF base, earlier documentation may be contained in classified material) and this adjustment was identified through neighbour comparisons. The level of confidence in this adjustment is very high because of the size of the inhomogeneity and the large number of other stations in the region (high network density), which can be used as a reference. The most likely cause is a site move within the RAAF base.”

Translated: So the Amberley thermometer might have secretly moved (and that might be classified) but we are sure it shifted one way or the other. Even though we don’t know where it was before, or how much difference that makes, we can figure out what the thermometers should have been recording in 1941 because of other stations which are hundreds of kilometers away.

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