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…


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

  1. Neville March 27, 2014 at 2:05 pm #

    Bravo to Dr Jensen for stating the obvious. Interesting to look at his two warming trends 1910 to 1945 and 1975 to 1998 here from WFTs. This is using HAD 3 unadjusted and HAD 3 variance adjusted. That’s using 4 trends.
    The first much longer trend (36 years) is actually the higher trend and the more recent 24 year trend is not as steep.
    Little wonder they changed to HAD 4. But why is the later and shorter but supposedly co2 impacted trend not as steep as the earlier trend? IOW where is the co2 influence?

  2. Neville March 27, 2014 at 2:14 pm #

    Here is the later HAD 4 global mean trend using the same years. Even with their manipulation there isn’t much difference in the two trends.

  3. Neville March 27, 2014 at 6:21 pm #

    If the period in the first HAD 3 record is reduced to just 24 years or 1922 to 1945 that earlier trend is much steeper than 1975 to 1998.
    So where is the co2 effect, in fact it’s the reverse. What a con and what a fraud and yet we are wasting billions $ on this corruption.

  4. NikFromNYC March 27, 2014 at 6:58 pm #

    I wish the US had an active Bureau of Statistics on the skeptical case, but thankfully none is needed any more now that any layperson can fully comprehend the scam as the unretracted 2013 Science journal vindication of Mann’s hockey stick revealed:

  5. spangled drongo March 27, 2014 at 8:11 pm #

    The fact that this data is only ever adjusted in one direction must eventually occur to most people even though those of the heavily invested warming persuasion from Al Gore down conveniently deny this.

    Judith Curry explains the data tampering by the Michael Manns of this world and her honesty shines through.

  6. Bob Tisdale March 27, 2014 at 8:36 pm #

    I’ll second Neville’s bravo to Dennis Jensen.

    Cheers from a cold part of the Northern Hemisphere.

  7. sp March 28, 2014 at 12:09 am #

    About time – lets hope something good comes of it

  8. Louis Hissink March 28, 2014 at 5:48 am #

    Gerald H Pollack has rediscovered an interesting property of water. Irradiate water with infrared radiation and two processes occur,

    1. about half the energy raises the temperature as expected, and
    2. about half the energy causes electric charge separation producing exclusion zone water poor in protons. This process has been verified in the laboratory.

    We also know that the specific heat of water is double that of most other substances, and from Pollack’s work we now know why – half the energy is directed to a sort of water battery and lost forever as ‘heat’.

    Water covers 70% of the earth.

    So where do you think the missing heat is? In the oceans, of course, but as electrical energy, not thermal. This is an elegant solution to Trenberth’s problem the missing heat.

  9. Neville March 28, 2014 at 8:07 am #

    I’ve looked at more trends from WFTs to try and compare the 20 years of warming ( 1979 to 1998) from the complete UAH satellite data and found more interesting results.

    The earliest trends are from 1910 to 1929 and I’ve chosen HAD 3 and HAD 4. Next I’ve chosen HAD 3 and HAD 4 from 1922 to 1941.
    The last warming period is from 1979 to 1998 (to match UAH warming record) and again I’ve chosen HAD 3 and HAD 4. Of course UAH is added for this period as well and is a much lower trend.

    But the two earlier warming trends are much higher than 1979 to 1998. So I ask again, where is the co2 effect after 1979? In fact the later trends are lower not higher.

  10. spangled drongo March 28, 2014 at 10:54 am #

    Hey, Louis, good to hear from you. Interesting thoughts.

    Steven Goddard has a few choice words and graphs on the subject of ignoring and/or adjusting historical data:

  11. Bob_FJ March 28, 2014 at 11:38 am #

    Louis Hissink @ 5:48 am

    Interesting comment.

    Has this phenomenon always been, or do you think it started at about the time of the 1997/8 big El Nino?

  12. Gav March 28, 2014 at 11:58 am #

    The Dept of Stats taking over from the CSIRO and BoM,one govt dept taking over from two.It will be much easier to hide the numbers.
    This isn’t about one or two crooks trying to shaft us but an entire system that is geared to make us pay huge amounts of money.It is international/global,the UN IMF World Bank and numerous Universities, “Think Tanks” International Banks, Quangos and politicians by the 000’s,good luck if you think that you can beat that lot.

  13. spangled drongo March 28, 2014 at 12:04 pm #

    Good one Neville. Why can’t the bleeding hearts see that, I wonder?

    Not mushroom for the GHG theory there.

  14. hunter March 28, 2014 at 12:55 pm #

    Well begun. Let’s see how the climate obsessed push back.
    Stick to it and let’s expose the moral hazard and rent seeking.

  15. spangled drongo March 28, 2014 at 1:32 pm #

    In spite of our BoM the glass is still half full. This rain in eastern Australia was just what the doctor ordered:–6892.html

  16. Debbie March 28, 2014 at 2:59 pm #

    Yes SD. . .very true. . .the glass is indeed still half full.
    We have had over 70mls in our patch in the last couple of days and there have been decent falls in the catchments as well.
    It is an excellent start, even though it has successfully halted the harvesting of our rice crops for the time being. . .but luckily rice doesn’t mind getting wet.
    The cotton growers, on balance, are happy with the good falls in the catchments even though rain at this time can affect the quality of their crops a bit.
    Interestingly, only approximately 2 weeks ago, from BoM and others such as SHL and NOW (who don’t exclusively use BoM’s info). . .the early Autumn seasonal forecasts for SE Australia were a 75% probability of drier than average.

  17. Bob_FJ March 28, 2014 at 3:28 pm #

    Our Melbourne weatherman on ABC TV news last night did not seem to be distressed when stating that Melbourne’s water storages were a smidgeon above that of last year

  18. Bob_FJ March 28, 2014 at 3:33 pm #

    That’s a lot more than half full BTW, (over 74% full).

  19. bazza March 28, 2014 at 4:09 pm #

    What hypocrisy! Doubly extraordinary by Marohasy to invoke the serial plagiarist Edward Wegman to support greater use of external statistical advice from an author who has consistently failed to do likewise. Jensen as one of the Parliaments few scientists should follow Hunts lead and check out wiki on Wegman plagiarism. ( Then again maybe South African science marches to a different drum ?).
    Even more extraordinary are the allegations against BOM staff unsupported by any evidence. It beggars belief that someone trying desperately to establish some credibility in climate science could conduct themselves so unprofessionally.

  20. sp March 28, 2014 at 4:41 pm #

    Yes Bazza – Wiki is a credible source, nearly as credible as SKS

  21. spangled drongo March 28, 2014 at 4:59 pm #

    How desperate is bazza.

    Never cut and pasted anything in your life without full citation and attribution, hey baz?

    When you are reduced to that sort of argument in the teeth of all the Hockey Team, Climategate, Gleick and Gore skulduggery, not to mention Lew and Turney and the rest of your heroes and choose to ignore the message it puts you on rather shaky ground.

    Mashey spuds for tea, baz?

  22. spangled drongo March 28, 2014 at 5:12 pm #

    Bob FJ, after this last lot they are gonna be near 100%

  23. jennifer March 28, 2014 at 7:02 pm #

    Bazza, I’m not trying to establish some credibility amongst mainstream climate scientists, I’m trying to bring some credibility to mainstream climate science. 😉

  24. Debbie March 28, 2014 at 7:55 pm #

    🙂 🙂 🙂


    Good one Jen.
    I need the like button.

  25. Beth Cooper March 28, 2014 at 8:06 pm #

    Like button , me too!

  26. hunter March 28, 2014 at 10:22 pm #

    So the cliamte obsessed still want to pretend that there are no problems worth checking out in the AGW consensus machine.
    And extra points for trying to claim (falsely) that Wegman’s alleged problems are relevant to the substance of his work, while at the same time refusing to acknowledge the layers and layers of substantive issues in so many aspects of the AGW consensus.

  27. sp March 29, 2014 at 8:27 am #

    Just How Angry Was Our Summer?

  28. Neville March 29, 2014 at 10:25 am #

    Matt Ridley confirms that the IPCC WG 2 report will show that the Stern report concerns about the cost of AGW were ridiculous. Even at that time the BBC had doubts about Stern’s numbers and Lomborg’s team and Richard Tol also pulled it apart.
    They were correct and Stern was wrong. Big surprise NOT.

  29. Paul-83 March 29, 2014 at 2:00 pm #

    To have this issue aired in the Australian parliament is very commendable and encouraging. To have the data put in the care of a statistician may not be the most satisfactory solution. These comments apply mainly to Australia data, but could apply elsewhere.

    To determine temperature trends, a long continuity of as many sites (i.e. town, etc.,) as possible is needed, to know of any changes in location at these sites, and any changes in the surroundings and possible Heat Island Effects. All original data should be available, max., min., average, and missing data noted.

    Pre-1910 data should be included. Most sites which had been measuring rainfall and then started collecting temperature in the late 19th century did so when Stevenson screens were installed, so the data collected in the colonial period was done so as diligently and often by the same personnel as later under the BoM. There is no real justification for not using the early data, certainly not from 1880. One could think the BoM wants to hide the heatwaves of the 1890s, well documented in newspapers and elsewhere.

    Of recent decades the meteorological community have been trying to derive data representative of a given region or area of the earth’s surface. By doing so, town or city data has been modified to reflect a selected region of a country and so build up a figure representing a ‘global’ temperature. This is a commendable concept which would be more realistic than just averaging all the collected world data for a given year or month. This adjusted data must be kept quite separate from the site records as above, as well as being accompanied by a record of how this is achieved.

    A detailed and strict assessment of the differences or similarities of averaging maxima and minima compared to time averaged data – hourly or less should be carried out.

    The use of automatic temperature data devices instead of Stevenson Screens introduce another variable into picture, especially when located near airfields instead of within the towns, perhaps many kilometres away from the original site.

    Another unknown in assessing “global” temperatures, is as to how high mountainous regions are treated having few measuring sites. Have satellite measurements filled in the gaps?

    The BoM reports just appear to treat the readers of their reports as ignorant peasants!

  30. Doug Cotton March 29, 2014 at 2:04 pm #

    This five minute address to Parliament is indeed a good starting point, because members need firstly to have doubts cast on their minds about whether the data is valid and whether warming is still evident this century. But in the long run, the science itself has to be discussed and challenged, because it is in fact a whole new paradigm shift in thinking that is required in the climatology field. Planetary surface temperatures are determined by the gravito-thermal gradient that evolves in a planet’s troposphere, not by any imagined greenhouse radiative forcing.

    In an adiabatic process in a sealed and perfectly insulated vertical cylinder of a solid, liquid or gas a thermal gradient evolves in accord with the process described in statements of the Second Law of Thermodynamics.

    This fact may be used to deduce that such will also occur in calm conditions in a planet’s troposphere if no new energy were being absorbed, such as is close to the case in calm conditions in the early pre-dawn hours, when surface cooling and upward advection almost stops. In such a situation we can observe that there is indeed a thermal gradient, but there is no heat transfer from the lower warmer regions to the cooler regions above, for the simple reason that there is already a state of thermodynamic equilibrium.

    Molecules move in random directions after each collision, and the direction is not significantly dependent upon the kinetic energy in the molecule. So the calculation of the thermal gradient has nothing to do with pressure or density or rising packets of air. There is no such thing as a moving packet of air in adiabatic conditions anyway, because the probability of trillions of molecules all moving in the same direction is absolutely infinitesimal in the absence of wind or forced advection caused by an external energy source like a fan.

    Temperature is the independent variable and only changes if mean molecular kinetic energy changes. Gravity sets up non-zero gradients in density and temperature. Pressure is merely the end result because pressure is proportional to the product of density and temperature.

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