jennifermarohasy.com/blog - The Politics and Environment Blog

Main menu:

Subscribe

April 2014
M T W T F S S
« Mar    
 123456
78910111213
14151617181920
21222324252627
282930  

Tags

Archives

Authors

Site search

Please visit

Categories

Nature Photographs

Links

Disclaimer: The inclusion of a blog or website in this list should not be taken as an endorsement of its contents by me.

Bigots, Climate Change Deniers and George Orwell

GEORGE Brandis says it is “deplorable” deniers are being excluded from the climate change debate and people who say the science is settled are ignorant and medieval.

The attorney general called the leader of the opposition in the Senate, Penny Wong, the “high priestess of political correctness” and said he did not regret his comment that everyone has the right to be a bigot in an interview with the online magazine Spiked.

He said one of the main motivators for his passionate defence of free speech has been the “deplorable” way climate change has been debated and he was “really shocked by the sheer authoritarianism of those who would have excluded from the debate the point of view of people who were climate-change deniers”.

“One side [has] the orthodoxy on its side and delegitimises the views of those who disagree, rather than engaging with them intellectually and showing them why they are wrong,” he said…

“The moment you establish the state as the arbiter of what might be said, you establish the state as the arbiter of what might be thought, and you are right in the territory that George Orwell foreshadowed.”

And I’m quoting from Bridie Jabour writing in the The Guardian!

Advertisement

More Relevance in Indigenous Culture, Than ABC Culture

EASTER is about religion, which is about culture, which is about myth. I was raised on the myths of the Australian Outback, on the poems of Banjo Paterson where the heroes could be “hard and tough and wiry – just the sought that won’t say die”. The landscape was also tough, harsh, and certainly ready to break the individual who was not resilient and innovative. Screen Shot 2014-04-17 at 10.09.06 PM

Modern Australia still likes a hero, but our relationship with the landscape has changed. The idea now is that we have broken the landscape, that collectively we have changed the environment and not for the better.

It’s generally acknowledged that all religions attempt two things: to explain existence and to regulate behavior. More than ever, Australians congregate in cities, carry on about greed destroying the environment, and campaign for more wildlife, wilderness and against climate change. Rural Australia receives much of this new culture through the Australian Broadcasting Corporation – through television and radio.

It’s interesting to reflect that in aboriginal culture, wilderness was not a cause for fond nostalgia, but rather a landscape without a custodian. Indeed for the first Australians the health of a landscape was measured less by how much water was in a river, and more by how many kangaroos it could support.

The new culture, however, is generally against the active management of “nature” – mankind’s role, and especially that of industry, is always portrayed in the negative. There is now a regime of legislation and regulation in place, supposedly promoting sustainability, but in reality it hampers good land management and would make no sense to either Clancy of the Overflow or the Dreamtime hunter, Ngurunderi.

Perhaps its time those with a real connection to the Australian landscape, with a real love of country, got together to talk about a new vision for the Outback. If you don’t have your own plan, chances are you will be implementing someone else’s.

Indeed it is possible that in embracing some of the Dreamtime myths rather than those of the environmentalists who feature so prominently as heroes on the ABC, we could all come to a more balanced understanding of the Australian landscape and its needs. Consider, for example, that in one Dreamtime story when Ngurunderi visited the River Murray’s mouth it was not brimming with freshwater as environmentalists insist was the case before irrigation, but had actually closed over. So Ngurunderi was able to walked across the Murray’s mouth from Tapawal into Ramindjeri country. That’s right, back in the Dreamtime, before irrigated agriculture, the Murray’s mouth had closed over.

****
The above article was first published as a column by Jennifer Marohasy in The Land newspaper. The Land is available in good news agencies across Australia.

The dreamtime story of Ngurunderi walking across the Murray’ mouth as told by Albert Karloan, one of the last three youths to undergo full initiation rites in the Lower Murray region is explained at the ‘Myth and the Murray’ website, http://www.mythandthemurray.org/when-ngurunderi-walked-across-the-murrays-mouth/ .

Cooper Creek Wilderness in Direct Path of Ita – UPDATED

SEVERE Tropical Cyclone Ita, Category 5, is expected to move in a general southwest direction towards the far north Queensland coast tonight and into Friday, while possibly intensifying further. That’s the advice at the Bureau of Meteorology website. cyclone ita

Neil Hewett, who has contributed so many beautiful photographs to this website, and his beloved Cooper Creek Wilderness, are in the anticipated path of the cyclone.

I know Neil built the family home, nestled in the the oldest surviving rainforest on earth, with a cyclone bunker: a specially reinforced windowless pantry. That is where Neil and his family sheltered through Cyclone Yasi, a category five that hit the Daintree Rainforest in 2011.

Anyway, my thoughts will be with the Hewett family over the next couple of days.

Update: Hewett family and cassowaries survived Ita! Walking trails have already been cleared of debris and Cooper Creek Wilderness is back open for business. Neil expects that there will be increased flowering and fruiting over the next year, and perhaps even two breeding periods for the cassowaries, in response to the cyclone. More here…http://www.ccwild.com/enews/display.php?M=1776&C=46f0d1866283fd3d64930902be67673c&S=366&L=14&N=114

Rewriting the History of Bourke: Part 3, Shortening an Already Shortened Record

AT Bourke temperatures were carefully recorded at the post office for 125 years, from 1871 to 1996. But this record is ignored by those announcing new temperature records on local Bourke radio. They rely on a record that only goes back to 1998!

From about 1952 through until 1996 the Postal Service staff carefully read and recorded the weather in the Stevenson screen at 9am, 12noon, 3pm, 6pm and then went back to the post office each evening at 9pm, 3am – yes the temperature was read manually at 3am by Postal Service staff – and then again at 6am. This information was immediately relayed to the Bureau in Melbourne.

But go to weatherzone.com.au and it suggests that temperatures at Bourke have only been recorded since 1998. What a travesty. Weatherzone_

http://www.weatherzone.com.au/climate/station.jsp?lt=site&lc=48245

There have been complaints to the local radio station that keeps announcing record hot days on the basis of this much-truncated record; temperatures for Bourke back to 1998. The radio station says that it relies on weatherzone.com.au for its information. Complaints to weatherzone have resulted in comment that the Bureau are unable to merge data, and can only provide Weatherzone with information on a station by station basis with the ‘Bourke Airport’ the current open weather station for Bourke.

Meanwhile, when it comes to the generation of contrived temperature data for Australia’s annual average temperature anomaly the Bureau have merged the airport and the post office, in fact the post office has been subsumed by the airport. This data has also been shortened, from 1871 to 1910, and of course ‘homogenized’.

http://jennifermarohasy.com/2014/04/rewriting-the-history-of-bourke-part-2-adjusting-maximum-temperatures-both-down-and-up-and-then-changing-them-altogether/

Another travesty.

Rewriting the History of Bourke: Part 2, Adjusting Maximum Temperatures Both Down and uP, and Then Changing Them Altogether

Anyone who doesn’t take truth seriously in small matters cannot be trusted in large ones either. Albert Einstein.

THE Australian Bureau of Meteorology extrapolates from the particular to the general in the development of their annual climate statements, but with a complete lack of fidelity to the original recorded temperature values at many locations. Indeed scrutiny of their methodology shows that the annual average temperature for Australia is a totally contrived value achieved through the rewriting of history at iconic locations including Bourke in north western New South Wales.

The Bureau’s claim that last year, 2013, was the hottest on record is based on the compilation of data from over 100 individual weather stations, including the station of Bourke, but only back to 1910 and with this data significantly truncated and adjusted.

Bourke has an exceptionally long temperature record, with recordings made at the post office from 1871 until 1996. Then the weather station was moved to the airport.

In part 1 of this series, I explain how individual hot days recorded by the Bourke postmaster have been expunged from the official temperature record and how the data series is significantly truncated. Now let’s consider how adjustments are made to the remaining mean maximum temperature series so that a cooling trend, Chart 1, becomes a warming trend, Chart 2.

Digitised Bourke 2

Chart 1. Mean annual maximum temperature for Bourke post office (1871 to 1996) based on unadjusted digitised data, minus the record hot days. Click on the chart for a larger better view. Find more information and a link to this chart at the Bureau’s website by clicking here.

Official temp data Bourke

Chart 2. The official mean annual maximum ACORN-SAT temperature data for Bourke including more recent temperature data recorded at the airport, but excluding data collected at the post office before 1910. There is more information, and a link to this chart at the Bureau’s website here.

The change from a cooling trend to a warming trend of 0.01 degree Celsius per decade is achieve in part through the following three modification to the original data:

1. Two dramatic adjustments to the original temperatures record: an adjustment down between 1911 and 1915 and an adjustment up between 1951 and 1953.

Adjustments Mean Annual Max. Ken S

Chart 3. Difference between annual mean maximum temperature for ACORN-SAT series minus the original digitised data for Bourke post office 1910-1996. Data compiled and chart drawn by Ken Stewart.

It is reasonable to adjust temperature data to correct for discontinuities caused by changes in site location and exposure. But from August 1908 through until 1996 the Bourke post office did not move and the temperature thermometers continued to be housed in a first class Stevenson screen. It is also reasonable to consider changes in observation time, and changes to metric measurements, even the introduction of automatic weather stations. But none of these potential reasons for adjusting a temperature data series can be used to explain the dramatic adjustments between 1911 and 1915 and 1951 to 1953 to the Bourke post office temperature data, Chart 3.

Rather a perfectly good data series appears to have been butchered to achieve a particular political end.

2. Substituting values recorded at the Bourke Post Office with values from other weather stations.

Jan 1939 Adjusted

Table 1. Recorded maximum daily temperatures at Bourke versus ACORN-SAT maximum daily temperatures at Bourke for January 1939

In a report entitled ‘Techniques involved in developing the Australian Climate Observation Reference Network – Surface Air Temperature (ACORN-SAT) dataset’ (CAWCR Technical Report No. 049), Blair Trewin explains that up to 40 neighbouring weather stations can be used for detecting inhomogeneities and up to 10 can be used for adjustments. What this means is that temperatures, ever so diligently recorded in the olden days at Bourke by the postmaster, can be change on the basis that it wasn’t so hot at a nearby station that may in fact be many hundreds of kilometres away, even in a different climate zone.

Consider the recorded versus adjusted values for January 1939, Table 1. The recorded values have been changed. And every time the postmaster recorded 40 degrees, Dr Trewin has seen fit to change this value to 39.1 degree Celsius. Why?

In the original data the number of consecutive hot days over 40 degree Celsius is 17, Table 1. In January 1896 there were 22 consecutive days over 40 degrees Celsius. But neither of these two series of hot days exist in the current official Bureau record for Bourke because of the all truncating and adjusting.

Ian George, a regular contributor at this blog, has done a comparison of temperatures at Bourke with temperatures at the ‘nearby’ stations of Cobar, Tibooburra and Walgett to see how ‘nearby’ stations could influence Bourke’s temperature for January 1939. These are all ACORN-SAT stations. Ian George noted that after looking at the long-term average maxima for January, Bourke has the highest at 36.3 degree C.
 After checking the original temperature maxima Bourke had the highest for January 1939 at 40.4 degree C.
 After then checking the ACORN-SAT temperature for the same period, however, Bourke dropped to fourth place. Why?

3. Truncating the data by discarding the full 39 years of data from 1871 to 1910.

The postmaster at Bourke started recording temperatures on 25th April 1871, but the first 39 years of data is discarded on the basis the thermometers were not housed in a standard Stevenson screen. The early thermometers may have been housed in a non-standard Stevenson screen or at worst at Glaisher stand that can record temperatures up to 1 degree Celsius warmer in summer and 0.2 degree Celsius warmer in winter.

There are many peer-reviewed publications that show how to adjust temperature data based on the shelter used to house the thermometers.

A standard Stevenson screen was installed at Bourke in August 1908. Rather than adjusting the data before this month in the development of the ACORN-SAT official data series the Bureau has chosen to discard the earlier full 39 years of data. And then proceeds to adjust the data after the installation of the Stevenson screen.

******

This blog post draws on comments in earlier threads from Ian George and Bob Fernley-Jones and email correspondence with Lance Pidgeon and Ken Stewart.

In future posts in this series I intend to show how adjustments have been made to the minima and how the official adjusted data is incorporated into global temperature databases.

Tolerate Assaults on the Truths You Hold Dear

Today, the online magazine spiked launched Free Speech Now!, a brand new campaign for ‘unfettered’ freedom of speech, with no ifs and no buts.

The editor of spiked, Brendan O’Neill, says:

‘”Every man should think what he likes and say what he thinks.” It is 350 years since Spinoza wrote those profound words. And yet every man (and woman) is still not at liberty to think what he or she likes, far less say it. It is for this reason that, today, spiked is kicking off a transatlantic online magazine and real-world campaign called Free Speech Now! – to put the case for unfettered freedom of thought and speech.’

‘Freedom of speech is in a bad way’, says O’Neill. ‘Ours is an age in which a pastor, in Sweden, can be sent to jail for preaching to his own flock in his own church that homosexuality is a sin. In which British football fans can be arrested for referring to themselves as Yids. In which those who too stingingly criticise the Islamic ritual slaughter of animals can be convicted of committing a hate crime.’

‘This new illiberalism commits the double offence of shutting up those who have something to say and shutting down the critical faculties of everyone else, discouraging debate in favour of promoting only those ideas that small groups of people have predetermined to be good, right, scientifically or politically correct, and safe for the little people to consume.’

The Free Speech Now! campaign is necessary challenge to this new illiberalism. Combining an online hub, providing free-speech lovers with the sharpest, most insightful articles, interviews and podcasts around, with plans for a series of live events in the US and Europe, Free Speech Now! will mount a vital defence of this most important of liberties.

O’Neill says:

‘We need a renewed commitment to the freedoms of thought and speech, and one which is consistent – which defends these freedoms not only for writers and the right-on, but also for so-called deniers, for the politically weird, for those who are offensive or outrageous. For it is only by having unfettered freedom of speech that we can guarantee an open and lively public sphere in which bad claims or ideas might be intellectually beaten, and the truth, arrived at.’

View Free Speech Now! here: http://www.spiked-online.com/

****
Media Release

Stop the Whaling

THE United Nations’ Hague-based International Court of Justice yesterday ruled that Japan’s annual Antarctic whale hunt must stop because it is not scientific.

I wonder how much trouble the Japanese did have getting their research on skinny whales published… remember the blog post back in 2008.

Japan has said it will honour the ruling.

It is my understanding that Japan labelled its current harvest in the Antarctic scientific exercise after it became illegal to hunt whales commercially. That ruling was made by the United Nation’s International Whaling Commission that was originally established to oversee a more sustainable whaling industry.

If the Japanese want to continue whaling, they will perhaps have to label it ‘Aboriginal subsistence whaling’, because only this form of killing is currently permitted under international law. It may result in the application of less humane methods, and certainly will exclude the application of any scientific principles.

Bowhead Whale Harvest

For more information on ‘aboriginal subsistence whaling’ there is a somewhat dated article written by me for Cosmos magazine in 2006, and of course information at the whaling thread at this blog.

****
The photograph is of a Bowhead whale being harvested in northern Quebec in August 2008, via Iceclass. Unlike the Japanese who use grenade tipped harpoons in the Southern Ocean, indigenous hunters use more basic methods.

Finding Figures Quoted in Media in IPCC Report Released Today

WORKING Group II, of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), published their contribution to the Fifth Assessment Report earlier today. The summary document begins by explaining that human interference with the climate system is occurring and climate change poses risks for humans and natural systems. The report goes on to assess the impacts, how we can adapt and why we are vulnerable.

Within an hour of the reports release the Australian Broadcasting Corporation had an article quoting CSIRO’s Dr Mark Howden…

“The world’s leading climate science organisation – the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) – has released its fifth report and warns the world is ill-prepared for risks from a changing climate.

The CSIRO’s Dr Mark Howden, who was lead author on the chapter addressing food production and food security, says the report predicts a rainfall reduction of 20 to 40 per cent in parts of southern Australia in coming decades, while rainfall will be more variable in the north.”

I need to file my The Land column this evening and I would like to put the 20 to 40 percent reduction in some context relative to the rest of the report. But I can’t find these figures in the report.

It’s a long report with many components. Can someone help me…

http://ipcc-wg2.gov/AR5/report/final-drafts/

In particular where does it say rainfall will reduce by 20 to 40 percent in southern Australia?

Fiddling Temperatures for Bourke: Part 1, Hot Days

IF you know Bourke, you know Australia, wrote the famous Australian poet Henry Lawson. There is something quintessentially Australian about the place, the harshness of the western landscape, a tenacious spirit, the notion of ‘a fair go’.

So what would you say if another Australian icon, the Australian Bureau of Meteorology, was fiddling the temperature record for Bourke? I’d call it un-Australian.

But lets not jump to any conclusions!

Lets just ask a few questions in the hope that the Bureau will answer them.

The postmaster started recording temperature at Bourke on 25th April 1871. That was a year after the post office and telegraph departments were amalgamated and meteorologist, astronomy and electrical engineer Charles Todd was appointed Postmaster General and Superintendent of Telegraphs. He was a smart man and a good organiser. Just a year earlier he had overseen the successful completion of the overland telegraph line from Darwin to Adelaide connecting Australia to Europe via Indonesia. By 1877 every Australian state had tapped into this network.

While there is a meticulously recorded daily temperature record for Bourke from 1871, the Australian Bureau of Meteorology rejects this record until 1st January 1910. So when David Jones from the Bureau reports each January on the annual average temperature for Australia, only the data for Bourke from 1st January 1910 is included.

It is claimed that temperatures weren’t reliably recorded until after the installation of Stevenson Screens and that this didn’t occur at most weather recording stations in Australia until 1910. A Stevenson screen was installed at Bourke in August 1908.

But is the absence of a Stevenson screen really a good enough reason to ignore 40 years of data carefully collected by successive postmasters at Bourke?

It is likely the thermometers at Bourke were kept in a lattice round house or a Glaisher stand or some other type of enclosure. According to the scientific literature, these installations could result in the recording of temperatures up to 1 degree Celsius warmer during summer. So why not just subtract up to 1 degree from all summer temperatures for Bourke prior to August 1908?

Furthermore, the Bureau is not consistent on this issue. While claiming that temperatures not recorded in a Stevenson screen are unreliable and not able to be incorporated into the official Australian temperature record, they then discard and change records for Bourke after the installation of a Stevenson Screen.

The record high temperature of 51.7 degree C recorded on 3rd January 1909, after the installation of the Stevenson Screen, has been expunged from the official record on the basis it must be an observational or clerical error. That is the reasoning given in a 1997 study by Blair Trewin, who now works for the Bureau. He came to this determination after comparing temperatures at Bourke with temperatures as far away as Thargomindah (454km) and Coonamble (364km), all the while ignoring temperatures at nearby Brewarrina (97km), which also set records on that day.

But this isn’t the only temperature record that has been changed or removed since the installation of a Stevenson screen at Bourke. Through a process of what the Bureau refers to as data “homogenisation” almost all of Australia’s temperature records have been changed in the development of the Australian Climate Observations Reference Network – Surface Air Temperatures (ACORN-SAT). Dr Blair Trewin is actually the climate scientists who oversees the ongoing development of this official data set.

It has resulted in changes to many of the original temperature records for Bourke. For example, a recording of 47.5 degree C on 28th January 1913 has been changed to 46.6 degree C, a recording of 48.3 degree C on the 10th January 1939 has been changed to 47.9 degree C and the list of changes goes on and on.

Why? Why tamper with the original recordings after a Stevenson screen was put in place?

Many ordinary Australians have become increasingly concerned with this fiddling by the Bureau. Ken Stewart, a retired school principal, has undertaken a detailed assessment of the new official temperature data, ACORN-SAT, and shown that the many adjustments can change the entire temperature trend for particular locations.

Let’s consider what the Bureau has done just to the hot day data for Bourke by way of some temperature charts. Each dots in the following four charts/figures represents a day where the mean maximum temperatures exceeded, or is claimed, to have exceeded 40 degrees Celsius at the Bourke Post Office. Click on the figures/charts to get a larger and better view.

Hot days Bourke

In Figure 1, I have included all the days where temperatures exceeded 40 degrees Celsius from when the Bourke post office started recording temperatures, until the Bureau closed down this temperature recording station in 1996. The spread of dots suggests there were more extremely hot days in the late 1800s and early 1990s.

The Bureau has expunged the extremely hot day recorded in 1877 and again in 1909, claiming the values are too extreme for Bourke. So all the hot days without these values are shown in Figure 2. Then the Bureau, in developing its official ACORN-SAT database, discards all the data before 1910 and then makes more changes to all the data that’s left. We don’t know the exact methodology used in this homogenisation process. The final result is shown in Figure 3.

If the Bureau just adjusted the data before the installation of the Stevenson screen, by subtracting 1 degree Celsius from all the hot days before August 1908, the hot day temperature record for Bourke would look like Figure 4.

Instead it truncates the data, and then makes adjustments until there is no evidence of a cooling trend. Surely the residents of Bourke, if not every Australian citizen, deserve an explanation.

****
Anyone with early photographs of Bourke could have a photograph of the enclosure in the yard at the post office before the installation of the Stevenson screen in 1908. It would be valuable information, knowing just what this was.

It would be also very valuable to compare records from Bourke with temperature records from nearby locations, for example sheep stations, particularly for the late 1870s and early 1900s.

If you have any historical temperature records for the Bourke region, or photographs of enclosures at the post office email me at jennifermarohasy at gmail.com or telephone 041 887 32 22.

Additional Notes, References and Links:

Ken Stewart, ACORN-Sat: A Preliminary Assessment, May 2012. http://kenskingdom.wordpress.com/2012/05/14/acorn-sat-a-preliminary-assessment/

Blair Trewin, Another look at Australia’s record high temperature, Australian Meteorological Magazine, volume 46, pages 251-256. 1997. Trewin compares temperatures for Bourke with temperatures for Walgett, Thargomindah, and Coonamble, which are 231, 454 and 364kms from Bourke respectively by road. Trewin ignores temperatures at Brewarrina, which is just 97 km away.

The Northern Miner, Tuesday 5th January 1909 included the following news: “SYDNEY JANUARY 4. The severity of the heat wave is shown by the official returns of the temperatures for the 48 hours ended at 9am this morning. In some instances the records are the highest for thirty years. They include Bourke 125 degrees in the shade. Brewarina 123, Pilliga 123…” Reference in the same article is later made to Walgett recording a temperature of 112. http://trove.nla.gov.au/ndp/del/article/80316601?zoomLevel=6 [125 degree Fahrenheit is 51.7 degree Celsius. 123 is 50.6. 112 is 44.4.] This newspaper clipping was found by Lance Pidgeon.

Call for Independent Audit of Bureau of Meteorology by Dennis Jensen in Australian Parliament

LATE yesterday Dennis Jensen, the Member for Tangney, spoke in the Australian Parliament about how the Australian Bureau of Meteorology plays “fast and loose” with critical temperature data.

At the end of this important speech, Dr Jensen calls for an audit of the Bureau and in particular the methodology it uses for compiling temperature data.

Dr Jensen emphasises the problem with the Bureau claiming unreliable temperature data for Australia prior to 1910, while supporting and contributing to a United Nation’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) global temperature data base from 1850 including for Australia.

There is a more detailed justification for an audit of the Bureau detailed in a letter to Minister Greg Hunt…

Q4. Given potential and actual conflicts of interest, could the Australian Bureau of Statistics, (ABS) rather than the Bureau of Meteorology, be tasked with the job of leading the high quality and objective interpretation of the historical temperature record for Australia?

Confirmation bias is a tendency for people to treat data selectively and favor information that confirms their beliefs. Such bias can quickly spread through an organization unless there are procedures in place to guard against groupthink. Groupthink – Psychological Studies of Policy Decisions and Fiascos (Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston, 1983) by Irving L Janis is the seminal text in the area and outlines how irrespective of the personality characteristics and other predispositions of the members of a policy-making group, the groupthink syndrome is likely to emerge given particular conditions; including that the decision-makers constitute a cohesive group, lack norms requiring methodical procedures and are under stress from external threats. This can lead to illusions of invulnerability and belief in the inherent morality of the group leading to self-censorship, illusions of unanimity and an incomplete consideration of alternative solutions to the issue at hand. All of these characteristics can be applied to the Bureau, which is particularly convinced of the inherent moral good in both its cause and approach to the issue of global warming.

The extent of the problem of groupthink within the Bureau, and the international climate science community more generally, became particularly evident in 2009 when the Climategate emails were released. These emails raised many disturbing questions about the way climate science is conducted; about researchers’ preparedness to block access to climate data and downplay flaws in their research; and about the siege mentality and scientific tribalism within the community. These emails show that managers at the Bureau including David Jones and Neil Plummer, rely on other climate scientists, particularly those at the heart of Climategate, for statistical advice and share the general contempt of the mainstream climate science community for rigorous scientific analysis.

For example, in an email dated 7th September 2007 Dr Jones wrote to Phil Jones from the Climate Research Unit that, “Truth be know,[sic] climate change here is now running so rampant that we don’t need meteorological data to see it.” In an email dated 5th January 2005, David Parker from the UK Met Office wrote to Mr Plummer resisting a suggestion that the period used to calculate temperature anomalies be corrected on the basis that “the impression of global warming will be muted.”

In 2006 Edward Wegman, professor at the Center for Computational Statistics at George Mason University, chair of the US National Academy of Sciences’ Committee on Applied and Theoretical Statistics, and board member of the American Statistical Association, was asked by the US House of Representatives to assess the statistical validity of the work of Michael Mann which contributed to many of the claims by the IPCC that the 1990s was the warmest decade and 1998 the warmest year of the millennium. In his final report, Professor Wegman made damning assessments pertaining to the statistical competence of leading climate scientists.[4]

In particular, and drawing an analogy with pharmaceutical research, Professor Wegman recommended:

Recommendation 3. With clinical trials for drugs and devices to be approved for human use by the FDA, review and consultation with statisticians is expected. Indeed, it is standard practice to include statisticians in the application-for-approval process. We judge this to be a good policy when public health and also when substantial amounts of monies are involved, for example, when there are major policy decisions to be made based on statistical assessments. In such cases, evaluation by statisticians should be standard practice. This evaluation phase should be a mandatory part of all grant applications and funded accordingly.

****
The full text of the letter can be read here… http://jennifermarohasy.com/questions-for-the-australian-bureau-of-meteorology/