Heat is on over weather bureau ‘homogenising temperature records’

EARLIER this year Tim Flannery said “the pause” in global warming was a myth, leading medical scientists called for stronger action on climate change, and the Australian Bureau of Meteorology declared 2013 the hottest year on record. All of this was reported without any discussion of the actual temperature data. It has been assumed that there is basically one temperature series and that it’s genuine.

But I’m hoping that after today, with both a feature (page 20) and a news piece (page 9) in The Weekend Australia things have changed forever.

I’m hoping that next time Professor Flannery is interviewed he will be asked by journalists which data series he is relying on: the actual recorded temperatures or the homogenized remodeled series. Because as many skeptics have known for a long time, and as Graham Lloyd reports today for News Ltd, for any one site across this wide-brown land Australia, while the raw data may show a pause, or even cooling, the truncated and homogenized data often shows dramatic warming.

When I first sent Graham Lloyd some examples of the remodeling of the temperature series I think he may have been somewhat skeptical. I know he on-forwarded this information to the Bureau for comment, including three charts showing the homogenization of the minimum temperature series for Amberley.

Mr Lloyd is the Environment Editor for The Australian newspaper and he may have been concerned I got the numbers wrong. He sought comment and clarification from the Bureau, not just for Amberley but also for my numbers pertaining to Rutherglen and Bourke.

I understand that by way of response to Mr Lloyd, the Bureau has not disputed these calculations.

This is significant. The Bureau now admits that it changes the temperature series and quite dramatically through the process of homogenisation.

I repeat the Bureau has not disputed the figures. The Bureau admits that the data is remodelled.

What the Bureau has done, however, is try and justify the changes. In particular, for Amberley the Bureau is claiming to Mr Lloyd that there is very little available documentation for Amberley before 1990 and that information before this time may be “classified”: as in top secret. That’s right, there is apparently a reason for jumping-up the minimum temperatures for Amberley but it just can’t provide Mr Lloyd with the supporting meta-data at this point in time.

Some of the charts I sent to Graham Lloyd earlier this week.

Some of the charts I sent to Graham Lloyd earlier this week.

*****
The two articles in The Australian are behind a pay wall here and here. If you don’t already have a subscription to The Australian take one out today, because the articles are important and Graham Lloyd’s work is worth paying for.

86 Responses to Heat is on over weather bureau ‘homogenising temperature records’

  1. spangled drongo August 23, 2014 at 7:31 am #

    Congrats, Jen, on your work on this. Thanks to people like you, the raw data on individual countries, as well as the globe, are showing up the confirmation bias of the gatekeepers.

    If there’s one thing that has been proved in the past it is the fact that the gatekeepers are often compromised in their philosophy and need to be kept honest.

  2. Robert August 23, 2014 at 8:07 am #

    When pinballing in my youth, I tried many times to get a tilt like that. Couldn’t get close. Seems I needed a homogeniser.

    Seriously, with lots more cloud in the evenings during the 50s and 70s you had to get higher minima. And I well remember those fiercely cold early hours under clear skies in the 90s. Hey, clear means cold, at least in the north, when it comes to minima. So the contrast in the top graph between eg early 70s and early 90s makes perfect sense. Around here, 1994 was hot and 1974 cool by maxima. However 1994 was much “cooler” than 1974 by minima. Cloud!

    Seems they have to cool old readings which don’t even reflect on AGW one way or the other. It’s the principle of the thing, maybe.

  3. Crowbar August 23, 2014 at 8:09 am #

    Nice work Jen.
    It’s all very well for the BOM to keep re-iterating that their homogenising algorithms are doing a great job, but, as with any computer system, you have to be quite clear what the results should be beforehand, and test the system rigorously for those same results.

    They should be able to calculate the results MANUALLY beforehand, given the data for a set of related stations, and then compare them with the results from the system.

    Keep at them Jen. Ask them (and the Ministers involved) to have BOM perform Systems Testing on your major stations of concern, and get them to MANUALLY calculate (every step of the way) what the results will be post-homogenising. If they refuse to do it, you can assume that their homogenising system has never been thoroughly and correctly tested.

    All this smacks of the NIWA debacle in NZ.

  4. egg August 23, 2014 at 8:12 am #

    Hooray!

    ‘The Bureau of Meteorology has been accused of manipulating historic temperature records to fit a predetermined view of global warming. In a dispute with BOM that can be traced to the Brisbane floods in January 2011, researcher Jennifer Marohasy has claimed the adjusted temperature records resemble “propaganda” rather than science.’

    Lloyd / Oz

  5. Neville August 23, 2014 at 8:25 am #

    Good for you Jennifer and good for the sceptic argument as well. You’re certainly a fighter and you and your group have been rewarded for your hard work over a long period of time.
    I’ll buy the OZ first thing this morning.

  6. jennifer August 23, 2014 at 8:58 am #

    Neville, you have been a part of this. Three cheers for Neville!

  7. Larry Fields August 23, 2014 at 9:02 am #

    Jennifer,
    This is the perfect occasion for a stooopid question that I’ve been meaning to ask for years. Various climate realist blogs have complained about Gorebull Warming mavens who “homogenize” temperature data. Apparently the authors assumed that everyone who’s anyone knows the meaning of this pesky word, in this particular conrext. Well, I am not among the cognoscenti.

    Is this anything like homogenized milk? If so, is the temperature data also pasteurized? I’ll go out on a limb here, and guess that the answer to both questions is a resounding no.

    Can you steer me to toward a short article, which defines the term, and which gives a few simple examples? Thanks.

  8. jennifer August 23, 2014 at 9:10 am #

    Hey Larry

    I need to do a blog post explaining the “pasteurising” with reference to some important papers in the peer reviewed literature that are behind pay walls. In the interim, perhaps have a read of this… http://wattsupwiththat.com/2014/06/10/why-automatic-temperature-adjustments-dont-work/

  9. jennifer August 23, 2014 at 9:32 am #

    Its interesting what gets you interested in a subject. I have been looking in detail at temperature data since about 2011, because I had to develop the best temperature series for my ANNs models. But I just ignored the ACORN-SAT official (homogenised) temperature series because I knew they had been altered, but I had no idea by how much.

    I also knew that this was an issue that Jo Nova was pursuing with Ken Stewart, Warwick Hughes and others.

    It was not until early this year, when the Bureau started claiming last year was the hottest on record that I decided to look closely at how they got this result. That’s when I started to compare “my” temperature series based on the CDO data with the ACORN-SAT data. It was actually Ian George who got me interested in Bourke, and then I was hooked.

    But getting back to all the work that Jo Nova has done over the years… she needs some financial support right now. She may not be able to ask for it, but imagine if her blog had to fold because she had to get a “proper job”!

    If you are inspired by my success today… go over to Jo’s blog and make a donation… give her some hard cash… and be generous… http://joannenova.com.au

  10. Debbie August 23, 2014 at 10:27 am #

    Good for you Jen X 2!
    1) For persisting with your research and continuing to ask good questions, despite the poor treatment you have often been dealt &
    2) For recognising others who are doing good work in this space. . .once again despite what may have or not have happened in the past.

    PS:
    That’s a very good question from Larry.
    I think a simple explanation of homogenisation and the reasons why it can be used. . .but also the pitfalls of total reliance. . .is an excellent idea.
    Far too often good people are silenced because they are made to feel as if they are just STOOOOOPID and ignorant about statistical analysis. . .even though their BS meters are clanging in their brains.

  11. Bob_FJ August 23, 2014 at 10:28 am #

    Hi Jen,

    Great work, and congratulations on gaining exposure.

    I’m not so sure about the leading news item though because it seems to lend a lot of weight to BOM authority. The feature article is far more powerful for your findings, but in my on-line access (Windows version) it is tucked away in ‘Current Affairs’ tab, (after searching for the right sub category), whereas the lead article with your photo is all over the place in various categories. True, there is a link to the feature in small print under the lead article, but I wonder how many readers would notice it.

  12. Debbie August 23, 2014 at 10:38 am #

    OOPS!
    Forgot to add:
    This is a good start from that link you provided:

    ” In other words, an automatic computer algorithm searches for breakpoints, and then automatically adjusts the whole prior record up or down by the amount of the breakpoint.”
    The Watts link also highlights some of the pitfalls of over relying on these automatic algorithms because it’s nearly impossible to account for all variables (including plain old simple human error).

    But I think it may be possible to explain homogenisation and its advantages and pitfalls in a manner that makes it even easier to understand?
    After all. . .while it is perhaps useful in some circumstances such as studying broad scale data and results in rocket science and brain surgery. . .it ISN’T (!!!!) rocket science or brain surgery.
    :-)

  13. jennifer August 23, 2014 at 10:39 am #

    Hey Bob,

    Go and buy the actual newspaper. The feature is part of page 20, most of that page. Page 20 is part of the Inquirer section which is a pull-out.

    And Rome wasn’t built in a day… Graham Lloyd and The Australian newspaper need time to sought the issues out for themselves.

    Also, thanks for your help over the last year, especially with my letter to Minister Hunt written early March.

    Cheers,

  14. Larry Fields August 23, 2014 at 11:23 am #

    jennifer August 23, 2014 at 9:10 am #
    “I need to do a blog post explaining the “pasteurising” with reference to some important papers in the peer reviewed literature that are behind pay walls. In the interim, perhaps have a read of this…”

    Thanks for the link. Fascinating article. Now that we have homogenised and pasteurised temperature data, what about getting it in a chocolate flavour? Or would that be too much to ask?

  15. Ken Stewart August 23, 2014 at 11:47 am #

    Congratulations Jen. Graham Lloyd has covered the issue fairly well. The last paragraph “And the bureau says an extensive study has found homogeneity adjustments have little impact on national trends and changes in temperature extremes” is just laughable. I found a 66% change in the national minima trend from 83 of the sites where direct comparison is possible. I’ll post in the next couple of days about extremes as well.
    Well done Jen, we’re on a roll now.

  16. John Of Cloverdale WA August 23, 2014 at 12:25 pm #

    Keep up the good fight Jennifer in bringing back honesty in science and preserving historical raw data records.
    I am disgusted that Abbott has cut the necessary Science Ministry, and, I applaud Dennis Jensen for his objections to this bad decision (link 1) and his attempts to have an audit of CSIRO and BOM data handling processes (link 2).

    Link 1: http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/liberal-mp-dennis-jensen-fires-broadside-at-his-governments-medical-research-fund-20140528-392rr.html
    Link 2: http://joannenova.com.au/2014/03/dennis-jensen-mp-calls-for-audit-on-the-bom-and-csiro-data/

  17. egg August 23, 2014 at 12:49 pm #

    It seems unlikely that Senator Birmingham or Hunt will take any constructive action on the Lloyd articles.

    ‘I am disgusted that Abbott has cut the necessary Science Ministry’

    It did seem heavy handed, but let’s hope the PM sacks Birmingham in a reshuffle and replaces him with Dennis Jensen.

  18. Farmer Gez August 23, 2014 at 1:59 pm #

    Not only homogenising records but blending them as well. My closest official BOM site is Charlton Vic and when looking for averages on past months I discovered in the fine print that BOM use three sites to obtain the data. One site is over 80km away and known to be a different climate zone. It would be similar to combining Portsea with Tullamarine or Bondi with Parramatta.

  19. Debbie August 23, 2014 at 2:27 pm #

    So far we have them homogenised, pasteurised, blended and chocolate flavoured.
    :-)
    It is worrying that it’s not until you can get into the fine print that you begin to understand that BoM’s focus is on producing averages and ‘blending’ them into a national average . . .which is of course a very interesting exercise BUT!!!!. .. not particularly useful for those of us who work with the weather/climate/environment day in and day out.
    As Farmer Gez has just highlighted. . .the comparisons are highly questionable and almost meaningless.
    Unfortunately, very unfortunately, BoM has started to do something very similar with its recently legislated authority re Federal water resources.

  20. Ken Stewart August 23, 2014 at 2:53 pm #

    Hi Jen

    I just posted an update at http://kenskingdom.wordpress.com/2014/08/23/the-australian-temperature-record-a-quick-update/

    Best wishes
    Ken

  21. Johnathan Wilkes August 23, 2014 at 4:05 pm #

    I made an exception and bought the dead wood variety of the paper.
    (not going to do it in a hurry again) I’m too used to the electronic version.

    Re. homogenising records, I do not believe it’s desirable or even necessary provided the station records treated in isolation to that station.
    No matter what the numbers, the trend would be still clear.

    Outliers could be verified by checking other local records as newspapers etc. and dismissed/included if needed. Surely if an unusually hot/cold day or rainfall is recorded it would be mentioned elsewhere?

    Lot of work? Not really, besides what are the researchers at the bureau there for?

    After that we could build up a picture and maybe “homogenise” and compare

  22. Hasbeen August 23, 2014 at 5:08 pm #

    Didn’t Darwin suddenly gain a couple of degrees for the same reason, or perhaps no reason?

  23. Johnathan Wilkes August 23, 2014 at 5:27 pm #

    PS, I asked “Lot of work? ”

    Definitely not, data has to be digitised anyway, once it’s done, you can run your programme over the individual stations. Only needs loop and an array with the location ID to pick the appropriate data table. Being done every day.

    This way you could pick up any similarities or otherwise between neighboring station, a lot neater than just assuming!

  24. ktwop August 23, 2014 at 6:10 pm #

    Homogenisation in Australia, Adjustments in the US. Fancy algorithms to “correct” data, with not a little confirmation bias, could be better described as “fudging”.
    Reblogged.

  25. mem August 23, 2014 at 7:32 pm #

    Congrats. And thanks for getting this issue out there. Takes dedication and courage.The one discipline that has never been included in any of the discussions, committees, reviews etc. related to IPCC or BOM is statistics/mathematics. Why? Because the process is totally flawed from this perspective and I suspect it was planned this way. Get some mathematicians and marketing people with sound statistical skills and top qualifications to work with you and the whole thing may be unravelled much quicker than otherwise. Cheers from another country girl. Hope the Murray is running strong!

  26. ANTHONY hanwell August 23, 2014 at 7:51 pm #

    Interesting that around the globe these “adjustments” to the raw data always result in an increase in the warming!

  27. Krudd Gillard of the Commondebt of Australia August 23, 2014 at 8:20 pm #

    If BOM stopped wasting precious resources on the CAGW scam, it could spend money on useful things like fixing their rain radar at Laverton, Victoria. It developed an obvious shadow many months ago that runs east & west from the station and they have done nothing about it.

  28. jennifer August 23, 2014 at 8:34 pm #

    Warwick Hughes, written into our history through Climategate, has just posted comment here…

    http://www.warwickhughes.com/blog/?p=3203

    Mr Hughes inspired the Climategate hacker who will forever be an inspiration to me with his last post… particularly these few words…

    ‘Wealth of the surrounding society tends to draw the major brushstrokes of a newborn’s future life. It makes a huge difference whether humanity uses its assets to achieve progress, or whether it strives to stop and reverse it, essentially sacrificing the less fortunate to the climate gods’.

    But lets put that in the context of his/her last letter…

    ‘…Briefly put, when I had to balance the interests of my own safety, privacy\career of a few scientists, and the well-being of billions of people living in the coming several decades, the first two weren’t the decisive concern.



    It was me or nobody, now or never. Combination of several rather improbable prerequisites just wouldn’t occur again for anyone else in the foreseeable future. The circus was about to arrive in Copenhagen. Later on it could be too late.



    Most would agree that climate science has already directed where humanity puts its capability, innovation, mental and material “might”. The scale will grow ever grander in the coming decades if things go according to script. We’re dealing with $trillions and potentially drastic influence on practically everyone.



    Wealth of the surrounding society tends to draw the major brushstrokes of a newborn’s future life. It makes a huge difference whether humanity uses its assets to achieve progress, or whether it strives to stop and reverse it, essentially sacrificing the less fortunate to the climate gods.



    We can’t pour trillions in this massive hole-digging-and-filling-up endeavor and pretend it’s not away from something and someone else.



    If the economy of a region, a country, a city, etc. deteriorates, what happens among the poorest? Does that usually improve their prospects? No, they will take the hardest hit. No amount of magical climate thinking can turn this one upside-down.



    It’s easy for many of us in the western world to accept a tiny green inconvenience and then wallow in that righteous feeling, surrounded by our “clean” technology and energy that is only slightly more expensive if adequately subsidized.



    Those millions and billions already struggling with malnutrition, sickness, violence, illiteracy, etc. don’t have that luxury. The price of “climate protection” with its cumulative and collateral effects is bound to destroy and debilitate in great numbers, for decades and generations.



    Conversely, a “game-changer” could have a beneficial effect encompassing a similar scope.



    If I had a chance to accomplish even a fraction of that, I’d have to try. I couldn’t morally afford inaction. Even if I risked everything, would never get personal compensation, and could probably never talk about it with anyone.



    I took what I deemed the most defensible course of action, and would do it again (although with slight alterations — trying to publish something truthful on RealClimate was clearly too grandiose of a plan ;-).



    Even if I have it all wrong and these scientists had some good reason to mislead us (instead of making a strong case with real data) I think disseminating the truth is still the safest bet by far.



    Big thanks to Steve and Anthony and many others. My contribution would never have happened without your work (whether or not you agree with the views stated).

..

    Keep on the good work. I won’t be able to use this email address for long so if you reply, I can’t guarantee reading or answering. I will several batches, to anyone I can think of.



    Over and out.


’

  29. Mr Koala August 23, 2014 at 8:47 pm #

    There is probably a specific Al-Gore-ithm tailored to suite every site. Just bring along any data you have, and the BOM can help you homogenize it so that it conforms to the theory.

    Once upon a time, observational data was collected, and scientific theories were changed to accord with the data. Now, its different. Theory is king and the data must be bent, broken, or discarded until it all fits nicely.

  30. hunter August 23, 2014 at 8:57 pm #

    A shame to see a leading scientist Flannery go into denial about the data and the science and just wish away the pause.
    Your strategy in focusing in on the issue of temp record manipulation in what is clearly a rent seeking effort (if not actual moral hazard) is excellent and well executed.

  31. shaun August 24, 2014 at 3:28 am #

    Well done! I too have been questioning the data from my home town of Albany Western Australia.
    It was pointed out recently on Jo Nova web site and verified by BOM’s website at
    http://www.bom.gov.au/climate/change/acorn/sat/data/acorn.sat.maxT.009741.daily.txt
    That Australia’s hottest day ever was recorded in Albany!
    Yes the normally cool climate of Albany WA in the South West recorded 51.2deg on the 8th Febuary 1933 (according to ACORN adjusted data)
    The raw unreliable data put it at a preposterous 44.8deg. This raw temperature data was in fact compromised due to the fact that the person monitoring the thermometer was more than likely a uneducated redneck farmer who was probably an alcoholic and we theorized he had to have situated the thermometer in the local pub’s bar fridge on that particular day. And so with our BOM/ACORN magic box technology we made the necessary adjustments 90 years later.

    I know it’s adjusted the other way, but come on the quality of data from this so called prestigious scientific institution is terrible. How they can stake the reputation of this once great body of scientists on this data? Then publicly defend the integrity of the data is (in any other respectable scientific field) career suicide.

    This excuse for adjusting the data has to be one of my favorites.
    BOM says historic high temperatures are unreliable, some having been collected by thermometers housed in a beer crate on an outback veranda.
    This sounds as Australian as “throw another shrimp on the barbie mate” America might buy it.
    If the raw data is incomplete unreliable and corrupt then it is INCOMPLETE UNRELIABLE AND CORRUPT. You can’t polish a turd.
    Raw data is the best you can get if it is corrupt and changes need to be made a complete explanation needs to be made on how they arrived at the end result.
    If only there was a government grant or tender to audit the BOM’s entire data sets from all towns and cities. Then the hard work like this would not be left to volunteers of our communitys.

    Again well done! I wish I had the time and patience to achieve what you have done.

  32. Alan Davidson August 24, 2014 at 4:19 am #

    This homogenization of real temperature records is a worldwide co-ordinated phenomenon and nothing more than an orchestrated fr**d. Steve Goddard/Tony Heller’s Real Science website http://www.stevengoddard.wordpress.com has numerous examples showing that the “warming” trend can be attributed completely to these adjustments, changing cooling or zero trends to warming. Adjustments are even being routinely applied tby NASA/NOAA and others to historical temperature records going back many decades. Others have examples e.g. Paul Holmwood, E.M.Smith (Chiefio). This fr**d needs to be recognized and disseminated worldwide in as many media as possible.

  33. Don B August 24, 2014 at 4:38 am #

    If Phil Jones hadn’t lost the raw data, similar exercises could be performed on global temperature trends.

    “Say what?! CRU has lost track of the original data that it uses to create its global temperature record!? Can this be serious? So not only is it now impossible to replicate or reevaluate homogeneity adjustments made in the past — which might be important to do as new information is learned about the spatial representativeness of siting, land use effects, and so on — but it is now also impossible to create a new temperature index from scratch. CRU is basically saying, “trust us.” So much for settling questions and resolving debates with empirical information (i.e., science).”

    http://rogerpielkejr.blogspot.com/2009/08/we-lost-original-data.html

  34. Another Ian August 24, 2014 at 7:06 am #

    Jen,

    Re Stephenson screens via Warwick Hughes

    The BOM’s official history (book name escapes me at the moment – I’ll have to get it from our local recorder) makes mention of their use before 1910, particularly South Australia.

    Which would seem to have implications as to when Darwin started to use them for example.

  35. Paul Homewood August 24, 2014 at 7:47 am #

    GISS database still show the old GHCN V2 raw data till 2011.

    Their graphs for the original raw and current adjusted data for Amberley confirm everything Jennifer says.

    http://notalotofpeopleknowthat.wordpress.com/2014/08/23/temperature-tampering-at-amberley/

    If you let me know the other stations used, I’ll check these out as well.

  36. Tony Thomas August 24, 2014 at 7:57 am #

    HI Jen, Re Joanne Nova:
    Joanne Nova earlier was rated best Australasian blog in 2012. She is blogging full-time while raising a family at a modest outer-suburban Perth home, sans government grants, sans academic salary and sans cheques from Big Oil. Her Climate Sceptics’ Handbook has achieved 220,000 downloads and been translated into 16 languages, but she distributes it free.

    Nova’s blog attracted half a million visits last year, but in March of 2014 she wrote, “Our bank account is looking very low. All contributions would be gratefully received. Thanks.” An individual known only as “Jaymez” then offered to add $1 to every $4 raised, to a maximum grant of $5000. In the event, she got $20,000 that week from 600 donors globally and $5000 in Jaymez’s matching money. (Oddly, donations take the form of buying her $1 e-chocolate bars, as she’s not a registered charity).

    This donations drive was a unique occasion, as Nova’s normal income is derived from small-change tip-jar contributions and minor web ads and sundries, such as commissioned reports.

    Part I of ‘Big Green Hypocrites’

    Nova’s real name is Joanne Codling, and she’s married to scientist Dr David Evans. She tells Quadrant Online, “This battle for logic and reason has cost us thousands, most of it in opportunity cost of what we could have earned. We’d be a lot richer now if we had not got involved in this climate debate. But it has opened some excellent doors and we have friends all over the world. As far as mental stimulation goes, it does not get better than taking on the UN and Western governments with nothing but the web and our wits. I love what I do.

    “In reality, as intellectually rewarding as our work is, we have to pay bills. Right now both of us are full-time on this, and it would not be sustainable without the help of those who like to see cheating and self-serving exaggeration exposed.”

    Nova crusades for scepticism with Evans, a self-employed mathematician and engineer who boasts six university degrees, including a PhD from Stanford University in electrical engineering. Originally a green, Nova did a science degree in molecular biology and toured five years for Shell as performer and manager with its Questacon Science Circus, introducing science to schoolchildren. She then lectured in science communication. She says monopolistic government funding of science is holding science back: “We need independent science, too,” she says, “that means people who are paid to follow the data, not the grants.”

    “We need truly independent auditors and investigators — funded directly by the people, not via tax payments. I have a vision where a lot of good people make small monthly donations to the pool of people at the front line. If bloggers and writers can keep taxes lower by 2% to 3%, the donors will be financially better off as well, and this applies to corporations too.

    “We need to think big. We can create a permanent industry of people holding the government, and the media, to the task. If we pay bloggers well, there will be serious competition among bloggers, and a new career path for the top independent minds out of school and university. Wouldn’t that be brilliant!

    “If protecting the environment is worth $500 million (roughly the turnover of World Wildlife Fund), then protecting our civilization is even more valuable. Nothing trashes the environment like anarchy. Greens should join libertarians and conservatives in supporting an independent watch-dog industry.”

    http://quadrant.org.au/opinion/doomed-planet/2014/08/big-green-hypocrites-part-ii/

    Full series is at https://quadrant.org.au/opinion/tony-thomas/2014/08/big-green-hypocrites-part-iii/

  37. Michael Hammer August 24, 2014 at 8:10 am #

    Congratulations Jennifer – excellent work. There are times in science where adjustments are necessary but in general such adjustments go both ways, some up some down. Where all or virtually all the adjustments are one way, when the direction is always towards better supporting the thesis of the adjusters, when the adjustments are repeated several times and when factors which are absolutely known to be significant (but in a direction opposite to the thesis) such as urban heat island are simply ignored or worse applied in reverse (warm the surrounding country readings instead of cooling he city readings) one knows unscientific bias is being applied.

    I note that the exact same issue has come up in New Zealand, the data manipulation for Darwin was astounding, and similar claims have been made for the USA temperature record. There Antony Watts showed that many ground stations would show a warming trend because of poor station siting over time yet the adjustments to the homogenised record were in the opposite direction! I also note that in the 1970’s the National Academy of Science claimed that northern hemisphere temperatures had falled by 0.7C between 1940 and 1970 (the thesis at the time was global cooling) yet now the University of East Anglia and others claim there was no drop in northern hemisphere temperatures over this time that temperatures were stable. That 0.7C is enough by itslef to convert the entire warming record into a simple oscillatory one. So were the scientists in 1970’s fools or frauds, is the problem with the recent data or are both utterly suspect?

    The satellite record also looks quite different from the land sea record based on surface measurements. Over a longer time period “official records” eliminated the medieval warm period and the little ice age. The NASA GISS land sea temperature record published in the 1990’s shows 1930’s warmer than the 1990’s yet by the early 2000’s the same GISS temperature record showed the 1990’s hotter. The 1990’s temperatures were not higher, the 1930’s had been adjusted down.

    This is not just Australia, all over the world supporters of the theory of CAGW have been systematically and continuously adjusting the historical temperature record and always so as to better support the CAGW theory. It is way past time they were held to account over this deception. Congratulations again on taking up the fight.

  38. PeterPetrum August 24, 2014 at 9:06 am #

    Hi Jennifer, well done on the two articles in the Oz. I do hope you are right and people like Flannery are quizzed more thoroughly in future, but I won’t hold my breath.

    Thanks too for the link to the WUWT article on “pasteurisation” – it is very clearly written and explains exactly how a warming trend can be developed from no trend at all, very little trend, or even, horror of horrors, from a cooling trend.

    Pesky computers, you have to watch them every minute of the day! Got a mind of their own, obviously!

  39. Grant August 24, 2014 at 2:39 pm #

    Hi Jennifer,
    So is the whole region cooling or just Amberley? Where can I see the raw data? The BOM site has some great tools but it’s difficult to navigate. Is this a case of fr**d or merely poor treatment of data? If it’s fr**d as many think, what does BOM have to gain from it? Cheers.

  40. Debbie August 24, 2014 at 3:37 pm #

    Well done also on your article in the Land Jen.
    Your concluding questions are perfect and entirely reasonable (despite the fact that they are also highly ironic and amusing).
    There is another interesting article along the same vein on page 6 of the Land. “Solving Science of Weather” that you and others here may find interesting.

  41. Bob_FJ August 24, 2014 at 4:31 pm #

    Jen,

    Reur; August 23, 2014 at 10:39 am above,

    Upon reflection, I think I was too pessimistic about the Oz lead news article which was leaning towards BoM authority, whilst the real feature expose was tucked away from the headlines but yet available to serious readers, (which may not include Senator Birmingham). Hopefully, it was a strategy to comply with the “PC” line by Graham Lloyd and/or his editor(s) in order to soft peddle it at this time.

    It is unfortunate that Senator Birmingham has so much confidence in the BoM, but I wonder how much of his opinion is based on scientific understanding, (rather than politics), and whether he should be replaced with an MP with appropriate scientific training

  42. jennifer August 24, 2014 at 4:35 pm #

    Grant,

    The nearest ACORN-SAT site to Amberley is the old Brisbane Aero, which also shows cooling minima.

    The mean is calculated from both minima and maxima. At dispute are the changes to the minima.

    Early 1980s was beginning of period of drought so perhaps the cold nights were a consequence of clear skies.

    You can find more information on neighbours easily from Ken’s site here… http://kenskingdom.wordpress.com/2014/08/23/the-australian-temperature-record-a-quick-update/

    If you want to download the information yourself you need to learn to navigate that part of the BOM site with what we call the CDO data… here… http://www.bom.gov.au/climate/data/ . Tip: always check what boxes are ticked, and untick the ‘only open sites’ box when this option is showing.

    If you want my take on why BOM does this… read my last letter to Simon Birmingham which you can download here… http://jennifermarohasy.com/correspondence/ . But in short, the senior management at the BOM have all built their careers on the theory of anthropogenic global warming and only know how to run general circulation models.

    Cheers,

  43. Dan McLuskey August 24, 2014 at 6:05 pm #

    Re the post about the cooling trend 1940 to 1970.

    When I was studying geology at Uni of Adelaide in 1968 and 69, we were taught that the world was heading into the next ice age, because temperatures had been steadily falling since 1940.

    I think that I still have the text book(s).

    At the same time Mr Hansen, now of NASA GISS testified to a congressional committee that the globe was rapidly cooling, and the American government needed to act quickly to prepare for the next great freeze.

  44. Dan McLuskey August 24, 2014 at 6:12 pm #

    I hope that Jennifer, or someone else, can refresh my memory on this.

    The BoM used to publish photos and local data for all of its 677 weather stations which contributed measurements to the global records at NASA GISS and the East Anglia CRU.

    Various of us observed that many of these stations were obviously not compliant with international standards for weather stations.

    One morning, all of these were gone. Replaced by 100 reference stations, which appeared to be compliant. Good for the BoM. However, I was never able to discover whether all of the data from the non compliant stations had been removed from the global data sets. So maybe all of this corrupted data is still included in the global calculations. What a mess.

  45. Another Ian August 24, 2014 at 6:27 pm #

    Dan Mc

    Remember the note about Australian data in the “Harry File” from Climategate (1 I think)

  46. Another Ian August 24, 2014 at 6:28 pm #

    Jen

    Might be another angle here

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2014/08/23/ushcn-monthly-temperature-adjustments/

  47. Nils-Axel Mörner August 24, 2014 at 6:33 pm #

    Dear Jennifer,

    Excellent work about a shameful disinformation.

    love / “Niklas”

  48. Dan McLuskey August 24, 2014 at 6:34 pm #

    During his speaking tour of Australia some years ago, Anthony watts recounted a simple experiment that he had conducted.

    Some time in the 1970’s, I think 1974, the international standard for Stevenson screens was changed. The original standard specified that the exterior of the screen be painted with whitewash. The new standard specified that the exterior of the screen be painted with white latex paint.

    Anthony collected a number of Stevenson screens, with instrumentation, at one compliant location. He painted half of the screens with whitewash, and half with white latex paint.

    He then recorded the temperatures over a period of time from all stations.

    When he compared the results, he found that the change in exterior surface covering increased the observed temperature by about 0.7 degC. Almost exactly the claimed amount of global temperature rise over the 20th century.

    Interesting.

  49. Dan McLuskey August 24, 2014 at 6:37 pm #

    Yes, the Harry.readme file.

    I was fascinated. Unfortunately for many, you need to be a Fortran programmer to understand a lot of what Harry had to say.

    What a stunning indictment of the shambles at CRU. And the gross unreliability of any of the temperature data that they claimed to hold.

  50. Another Ian August 24, 2014 at 8:06 pm #

    Dan Mc

    Well, yes but! There were pointed comments on the Australian data that don’t need Fortran to decipher.

    For an interesting read of what a programmer can do try

    http://chiefio.wordpress.com/gistemp/

    And

    http://chiefio.wordpress.com/v1vsv3/

    And there was a recent post on how he solved the “big endian/little endian” bit –

    http://chiefio.wordpress.com/2014/07/10/down-the-rabbit-hole-with-qemu-gistemp-and-more/

  51. Neville August 25, 2014 at 9:09 am #

    This probably the easiest way to understand the planet’s warming and cooling over the last half century. And Bastardi’s lecture also explains the Anrarctic/ Artic see saw effect,

    http://notrickszone.com/2014/08/24/a-single-meteorologist-explains-what-165-billion-in-government-funded-climate-science-couldnt/#comments

    It is the PDO and AMO warm and cool/warm phases and Joe’s video presentation at the end ( 6mins 40secs) explains the above again. This probably best explains what we’ve seen and not increased co2 emissions.

  52. Neville August 25, 2014 at 10:54 am #

    Three new studies show that the warming impact from more co2 emissions is very low.

    http://hockeyschtick.blogspot.com.au/2014/08/three-new-studies-demonstrate-climate.html How much longer can the extremists get a free pass from the MSM and the more gullible scientists and stupid pollies?

  53. marc August 25, 2014 at 12:02 pm #

    Jen and others. I support the need for an audit or enquiry into the data handling by BOM. However my concern is with your motivation. Is it to bring transparency to the process with a sense of objectivity or are the motives more sinister, to discredit and ridicule. Should such an independent audit occur and the findings do not align to your philosophical beliefs; what then?

  54. jennifer August 25, 2014 at 12:16 pm #

    Hi Marc

    Thanks for your comment. Jo Nova and others have been calling for an independent audit for some years. I personally think that its far too late for this. We know that the official temp record has been trashed.

    What I think needs to happen is:

    A. Myself and others sit down with the BOM science managers and come up with an agreed methodology for correcting for discontinuities.

    I’m happy to endorse the principles in the best peer-reviewed papers, that is a correction for a discontinuities is only made when: 1. a statistically significant discontinuity is found using say, a moving T-test, and 2. this discontinuity is supported by the Meta-data.

    B. The old record hot days need to be added back into the CDO (unhomogenized and digitised) data.

    C. The CDO data needs to be checked against the original hand written temp records in the national archives and other places. Some checking by me suggests there was no quality control in the digitising.

    D. Once we have A., B. and C. in place we are in a position to start generating some complete temperature series. This should be done by the BOM, but in a way that the series can be independently audited by myself and others i.e. everything needs to be transparent.

    I’m not trying to ridicule… though it is too easy to do. But what the BOM has done to the record makes me feel sick… at least that is how I felt when I first realised the extent of the truncating and homogenising. Now I try and laugh, because I’m prone enough to depression without dwelling on that hollow sick feeling that comes with knowing the official temperature record has been totally corrupted.

  55. Robert August 25, 2014 at 12:43 pm #

    Marc, you could worry about critics’ motives, though I’m surprised by the word “sinister”.

    Or you could worry about what a major tax-funded institution is doing with critical information.

    I’m worried about the second matter.

  56. Neville August 25, 2014 at 1:22 pm #

    RLP this 2014 study has found an increase in Greenland precipitation since 1890.

    http://hockeyschtick.blogspot.co.uk/2014/03/new-paper-finds-precipitation-over.html

  57. Mervyn August 25, 2014 at 3:18 pm #

    It happened in New Zealand (Kiwigate scandal whereby NZ’s NIWA was ‘fudging’ temperature data. and the scientists responsible was sacked) and it’s been know about Australia for sometime now, e.g. the manipulation of Northern Australia’s temperature data.

    Perhaps the biggest revelation of temperature data fraud was reported on US TV back in January 2010 by meteorologist, John Coleman:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AsQfr7wRZsw

  58. Stan August 25, 2014 at 4:09 pm #

    Congratulations Jennifer. I wonder what percentage of “homogenisations” have resulted in an increased temp trend versus a decreased temp trend. If more than say 60%, you would have to to say it is premeditated fabrication of global warming, ie, fraud. Truly, man-made global warming!!!

  59. toorightmate August 25, 2014 at 5:04 pm #

    Some pennies take a very long time to drop. Congratulations.
    Now we’ll have to see what Wikipedia and the Macquarie dictionary have to do to fix a more favourable meaning to “homogenise”.

    What is the rationale for “homogenising”/ Do they suspect the people who read the thermometers in days gone by were cross eyed???

  60. hunter August 26, 2014 at 1:37 am #

    marc,
    It seems highly inflammatory and prejudicial to evenimply ‘sinister’ motives to Jennifer.
    Cui bono? should be asked regarding the status quo of trashed data and deceptive reports. If one is going to explore motive, start with the current situation. Careers and political power have accrued to those who made the mess. Around the world the climate insiders who have over hyped the data (at the least) have been remarkably resistant to calls for transparency. Let’s start there before questioning the motives of those who pointed out the problem and were publicly attacked for years for their trouble.

  61. Larry Fields August 26, 2014 at 4:03 am #

    marc August 25, 2014 at 12:02 pm #

    I have very mixed feelings about marc’s rude post. Impugning Jennifer’s sterling character is clearly beyond the pale. On the other hand, the post is fairly representative of the thought processes of AGW Alarmists, and it offers a window into the Alarmist psyche.

    For academics, petty sniping has always been a popular sport. But in the case of AGW Alarmism, one-sided petty sniping has mutated into a multi-billion-dollar industry, thanks to government largess. CAGW is now the centerpiece of 21st Century Environmentalism, a goobermint-subsidized secular religion.

    Environmentalism is now the nascent fourth wave of Totalitarianism, after old-school religious Fundamentalism, Communism, and Fascism. A basic tenet of Totalitarianism is that the ends justifies the means. And of course, that includes mass deception. Because of this precept, a large chunk of Science is now fubar.

    Western scientists were more honest 50 years ago. At the time, it would not have been necessary to spell out the Zeroth Rule of the Scientific Method:

    *When you’re wearing your scientist’s hat, always tell the bloody truth, warts and all.*

    Of course, some research funded by private industry is proprietary. And to nosy questions about *some* proprietary research, the best response is often, “No comment,” which is 100% honest.

    If I’ve understood correctly, marc feels that Purity of Motive is a necessary prerequisite for ferreting out the truth of a science-related controversy, and for shouting that truth from the rooftops. This is a thinly veiled variation on the classical logical fallacy, Argumentum Ad Hominem. For some reason, I’m reminded of a famous exchange between Warwick Hughs and Phil “The Dog Ate My Homework” Jones, from several years ago.

    Marc, it’s time to wake up and smell the coffee. News flash: The veracity of a logical proposition is independent of the person who is making the claim, once the essential facts are laid out. I do not care if the person making the claim is Old Scratch himself. I’m at least as intelligent as he is, and am completely capable of evaluating a proposition on its own merits. I do not need special dispensation from the IPCC, from His Goreness, from Mikey, or from any of your other precious little tin gods — I mean opinion leaders.

    And marc, thanks for the unintended lesson on the psychology of True Believers.

  62. Nigel August 26, 2014 at 4:56 am #

    Great work. Australia again – reminds one of Willis Eschenbach’s “The Smoking Gun at Darwin Zero”. Time for a full-scale inquiry into the whole alleged manipulation scandal, surely – including sceptics and not just the Faithful.

  63. Adrian August 26, 2014 at 7:30 am #

    I am not au fait with either position but on what I have read it appears that several parties including the BOM, climate change directorate and certain scientists have knowingly been promoting false information to the general community. This combined with the requests for money and budgets for funding from the Federal Government based on these false figures would be viewed as fr**d with s135 of the Commonwealth Criminal Code. Clearly the information presented to the senate were not presented as harmonised figures. Yes, I am inferring a criminal act and yes even scientists should be accountable, if they were accountants, medical or dental practitioners they would be.

  64. John Billingsley August 26, 2014 at 11:52 am #

    Initially the pro-warming arguments were hung on the myth of a ‘layer’ of CO2 ‘reflecting’ radiated heat back to the surface. Of course there is no layer – the gas is uniformly diffused – and CO2 reflects nothing. The real effect (and it is an essential one for life on Earth) is that CO2 colours the atmosphere in the infra-red, so that radiation to space at these wavelengths must take place from the cold top of the atmosphere rather than the warm ground. The vital question turns on the extent to which an increase in CO2 will increase this effect – and hence the global temperature.

    A search for “earth’s infrared spectrum” will show numerous graphs of the radiation spectrum. A comparison of such graphs over the recent years in which the CO2 level has risen by five percent or more would clinch the argument either way. Why has such a comparison not been made and publicised?
    The IPCC has based its arguments on jargon terms such as ‘radiative forcing’. Since the absorption of infrared radiation by CO2 is so pivotal to the phenomenon, is it not surprising that the words ‘absorption coefficient’ or ‘extinction distance’ or similar terms cannot be found in their reports?

    Perhaps some journalistic probing is indicated!

  65. David Thomas August 26, 2014 at 1:50 pm #

    If climate alarmists continue to finagle historical temperatures cooler and cooler to make the present look warmer, they are going to need to Photoshop parkas on people shown in shirtsleeves in the archival pictures from that time.

  66. Ken Stewart August 26, 2014 at 2:17 pm #

    Stan:
    “I wonder what percentage of “homogenisations” have resulted in an increased temp trend versus a decreased temp trend. If more than say 60%, you would have to to say it is premeditated fabrication of global warming”
    The figure is at least 63.5%. Of 104, 38 cooled, 66 warmed.

  67. egg August 26, 2014 at 6:23 pm #

    This all strikes at the heart of the Klimatariat, victory can’t be too far away.

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2014/08/26/boms-bomb-on-station-temperature-trend-fiddling/

  68. Cameron August 26, 2014 at 9:38 pm #

    Hi Jennifer and well done with your work so far. After reading the articles, I feel this has got some traction and will hopefully change things in the future. Certainly, amongst those I follow on twitter, the talk is global on this subject thanks to you and also JoNova’s site as well.

    Hopefully, those at the top in politics will start showing an interest so that we can restore the integrity of the BoM and our Australian weather data.

    I have a question for you, or for anyone else who can answer it?

    How is the daily minimum and maximum temperature for a station determined? I had always thought that it was the lowest temperature (at a given time) and the highest temperature (at a given time) of the day in the 24 hour period between 0900hrs? However, I must be wrong because the daily data from nearly any station I look at is constantly different.

    For example, take the Melbourne Station:

    21/06/14 – the maximum was 18.1, but the real temperature 17.4 reached at 2:30pm.

    22/06/14 – the maximum was 21.2, the real maximum temperature was 20.6 reached at 2:30pm.

    http://www.bom.gov.au/climate/dwo/IDCJDW3050.latest.shtml
    http://www.bom.gov.au/products/IDV60901/IDV60901.94868.shtml

    Anyway, thanks in advance.

  69. Felix August 27, 2014 at 5:36 am #

    Thank you Jennifer for all work you do!!!

    -Dg

  70. jennifer August 27, 2014 at 11:24 am #

    Cameron

    Not sure how it works with the automatic weather stations.

    I use to keep weather records when I ran field stations in Madagascar (1985-1989) and Kenya (1989 to 1992). One reading each day for max, and one reading each day for min, was manually recorded.

  71. jennifer August 27, 2014 at 11:24 am #

    Just filing this here…

    AnonymousAugust 27, 2014 at 10:35 AM
    Hi I’m Dr. Bill Johnston and I was mentioned in Graham Lloyd’s article in today’s Australian.

    I have analysed Rutherglen’s and Amberley’s minimum temperature series using annually resolved data. For Amberley, few people realise there are 3 datasets. The RAW; an early high-quality set (HQ), said to be fully homogenised; and ACORN-Sat, a homogenised daily set, which I summarised into annual averages.
    Amberley RAW shows a negative trend; HQ a trend of 0.05 deg.C/decade and ACORN, 0.26 degC/decade.
    For the RAW data, statistically significant step-changes were evident in 1973 (+0.71 deg.C) and 1981 (down 1.23 degrees) giving a net change of minus0.52 deg.C between 1972 and 1981. In ”73 the Vietnam war was raging and there were many changes at Amberley. The data suggests a temporary station move. The 1981 shift was consistent with establishment of a new site; presumably the current one.
    Importantly, with those step-changes removed (deducted from the actual data) there was no residual trend. I used sequential t-tests (STARS), an Excel addin freely available from http://www.beringclimate.noaa.gov/regimes/ (Version 3.2).

  72. Peter August 30, 2014 at 7:10 am #

    There’s more in The Australian today, this time about Bourke.
    http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/climate/weathermans-records-detail-heat-that-didnt-happen/story-e6frg6xf-1227041833824

    “Independent research, the ­results of which have not been disputed by BOM, has shown that, after homogenisation, a 0.53C warming in the minimum temperature trend has been increased to a 1.64C warming trend. A 1.7C cooling trend in the maximum temperature series in the raw data for Bourke has been changed to a slight warming.

    BOM has rejected any suggestion that it has tampered inappropriately with the numbers. It says the major adjustment to Bourke temperatures relate to “site moves in 1994, 1999 and 1938 as well as 1950s in homogeneities that were detected by neighbour comparison which, based on station photos before and after, may relate to changes in vegetation around the site”.

    Queensland researcher Jennifer Marohasy, who has analysed the Bourke records, says BOM’s analysis is all very well but the largest adjustments, both to maximum temperature series, ­occurred in the period 1911 and 1915 with a stepdown of about 0.7C, followed by a step-up between 1951 and 1953 of about 0.45C. Of greater concern to Dr Marohasy is that historic high temperatures, such as the record 51.7C recorded on January 3, 1909, were removed from the record on the assumption it was a clerical error. In fact, all the data for Bourke for 40 years before 1910 has been discarded from the official record. If it were there, says Dr Marohasy, the record would show that temperatures were particularly hot during that period.”

  73. Robert August 30, 2014 at 7:33 am #

    There must have been a clerical error cluster in Jan 1909, afflicting major news and telegraph services, as well as people reading thermometers. Not a stupendous heatwave, but a wave of clerical errors.

    You might say, the clerical errors were worse than we thought.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. The Australian Temperature Record- A Quick Update | kenskingdom - August 23, 2014

    […] their Environment Editor, on homogenisation practices at the Bureau of Meteorology as questioned by Jennifer Marohasy.  As I had a small part to play in bringing this to public light, here is a brief post to bring […]

  2. Heat is on over weather bureau ‘homogenising temperature records’ | The k2p blog - August 23, 2014

    […] Reblogged from jennifermarohasy.com. […]

  3. Jennifer Marohasy: Homogenising Temperature Records Down Under | The Global Warming Policy Foundation (GWPF) - August 23, 2014

    […] Full post […]

  4. Australian Bureau of Meteorology accused of Criminally Adjusted Global Warming | Tim's Incredibly Conservative Blog - August 26, 2014

    […] we now know, thanks to research by Australian scientist Jennifer Marohasy, that the hysteria this story generated was based on fabrications and […]

  5. Australian Bureau of Meteorology accused of Criminally Adjusted Global Warming | CCD | RubinoWorld - August 26, 2014

    […] we now know, thanks to research by Australian scientist Jennifer Marohasy, that the hysteria this story generated was based on fabrications and […]

  6. Australian Bureau of Meteorology accused of Criminally Adjusted Global Warming - Patriot Rising - August 27, 2014

    […] we now know, thanks to research by Australian scientist Jennifer Marohasy, that the hysteria this story generated was based on fabrications and […]

  7. Global Warming Crisis Created with Falsified Data | The Cooling of Global Warming Politics - August 27, 2014

    […] we now know, thanks to research by Australian scientist Jennifer Marohasy, that the hysteria this story generated was based on fabrications and […]

  8. If you’re reading this on a plane, you should thank the IPA : Hey… what did I miss? | Institute of Public Affairs - August 28, 2014

    […] former IPA research fellow Jennifer Marohasy’s important research on how the Bureau of Meteorology ‘homogenises’ temperature records was prominently […]

  9. If Global Warming Exists Why Would They Have To Cheat…Yet Again | Fellowship of the Minds - August 28, 2014

    […] we now know, thanks to research by Australian scientist Jennifer Marohasy, that the hysteria this story generated was based on fabrications and […]

  10. Australian Bureau Of Meteorology Caught Red-Handed Manipulating Temperature Records - September 1, 2014

    […] we now know, thanks to research by Australian scientist Jennifer Marohasy, that the hysteria this story generated was based on fabrications and […]

  11. All the facts you need in one page! | Roald j. L. - September 4, 2014

    […] And more; http://jennifermarohasy.com/20… […]

  12. Australian Bureau of Meteorology accused of Criminally Adjusted Global Warming - Stars End - September 6, 2014

    […] we now know, thanks to research by Australian scientist Jennifer Marohasy, that the hysteria this story generated was based on fabrications and […]

Website by 46digital