Bureau Misleads Minister Frydenberg on Goulburn

RATHER than admit that temperature dropped to a record low -10.4 degree Celsius on the morning of Sunday 2nd July at Goulburn, the Bureau of Meteorology has come-up with yet another even more absurd story.

Responding to a letter from Josh Frydenberg, the Minister for  Environment and Energy, Andrew Johnson, CEO and Director of Meteorology, has claimed the weather station malfunctioned.  Previously the Bureau claimed that they had placed new limits on how cold it could get at Goulburn.

This is a contrived story, easily disproven with the following evidence.

We know that the Goulburn AWS recorded -10.4 on the morning of Sunday 2nd July from a screen shot taken from the observation page at the Bureau’s website:

The observation sheet shows a minimum of -10.4, this temperature is recorded every second and downloaded every minute. The lowest value recorded normally becomes the minimum for the day.  Contrary to previous policy, on 2nd July, this value was rounded to -10.0, which became the minimum for that day.

Subsequently, the Bureau sent an email confirming:

“The correct minimum temperature for Goulburn on 2 July, 2017 is -10.4 recorded at 6.30am at Goulburn Airport AWS… The Bureau’s quality control system, designed to filter out spurious low or high values was set at -10 minimum for Goulburn which is why the record automatically adjusted.”

In short, after initially recording -10.0 in the CDO dataset, this was changed to -10.4 three days later following a blog post ( Bureau Erases Goulburn Record Minimum), an outcry on Facebook, and enquires from prominent journalists.

By 28th July when the above letter was sent to the Minister, the correct value of -10.4 had been showing in the CDO dataset for some 23 days.

This is a screenshot from the CDO database taken today, 30th July 2017. Contrary to the letter from the Bureau to the Minister it shows -10.4 as having been recorded on 2nd July 2017.

Yet in the letter from the Bureau’s Johnson to Minister Frydenberg it is claimed that:

“the AWS at Goulburn stopped recording when the temperature fell below -10°C.”

This is demonstrably false.

The Bureau has mislead the Minister – yet again.


30 Responses to Bureau Misleads Minister Frydenberg on Goulburn

  1. cohenite July 30, 2017 at 8:28 pm #

    Indeed, a blatant lie. You have not been identified in the letter but it may still be actionable under defamation law since it was you who made the complaint to Frydenberg and it is reasonable to assume you are the one referred to. The imputation is clear that you have misinterpreted and misrepresented.

    Another alternative is to complain to the Commonwealth Ombudsman.

  2. David Vought July 30, 2017 at 9:05 pm #

    Stick your heels in Jennifer, rotten to the core this Bom mob and backed by our weak GRUBERMENT.
    All this should be front page and on the news as they are all misleading us while sucking us taxpayers dry.

  3. Phill July 31, 2017 at 12:08 am #

    These are the temperatures recorded on the morning of the 16th July at Thredbo Top Station and published at the time by the BoM under “Latest Weather Observations for Thredbo Top Station”.
    16/07:30am -8.7
    16/07:00am -10.2
    16/06:00am -10.3
    16/05:30am -10.4
    16/05:00am -9.8
    16/04:30am -10
    16/04:00am -9.6
    16/03:30am -10.1
    16/03:00am -10.2
    16/02:30am -9.7
    16/01:30am -9.4
    16/01:00am -9
    16/12:30am -8.4
    16/12:00am -8.9

    Clearly the thermometer did not stop working below -10C although there does seem to have been two instances of lost data. It is a pity that the minimum for this day has been left a blank, as such an omission will warm the recorded averages and misrepresent the extreme minimum. Across the top at Perisher the reads were even cooler and everything seems to have worked fine.

    16/07:30am -10.9
    16/07:00am -10.2
    16/06:30am -8.5
    16/06:00am -8.6
    16/05:30am -9.5
    16/05:00am -10.6
    16/04:30am -10.1
    16/04:00am -11
    16/03:30am -11.6
    16/03:00am -11
    16/02:30am -10
    16/02:00am -10.3
    16/01:30am -10.4
    16/01:00am -10.2
    16/12:30am -10.4
    16/12:00am -9.6

    Absolute minimums across the tops as low as -23C have previously been recorded in this area at Charlottes Pass between Thredbo and Perisher so the news that Thredbo Top Station and other places might have trouble recording temperatures below -10C is a big worry.

    Whilst they are upgrading their hardware it might also be a good idea to check their software as well and introduce systems that can keep recording and storing data locally until communications can be reestablished. Admittedly some conditions can be extreme but this is precisely the time you do not want your systems to fail. Down in Antarctic they already have systems that can work for prolonged periods at much cooler temperatures.

  4. Winston Smith July 31, 2017 at 12:08 am #

    These Bastards will crucify you if they get the slightest chance, Jennifer. Sue them to protect yourself.
    It’s your only defence now.

  5. Siliggy July 31, 2017 at 2:02 am #

    As for the claim that the ACORN-SAT data was not affected, the ACORN_SAT adjustment summary, shows the ACORN site “Canberra 70014” had its minimum adjusted (1/5/2006) using the possibly “previous”ly “not fit for purpose” Goulburn site (70330) and others.
    So were the stations installed with this problem from day one or did a fault develop at a known date?
    Lance Pidgeon

  6. JOHN SMEED July 31, 2017 at 5:46 am #

    It will be interesting to see if Josh will have the courage to confront the UN/government grant corrupted scientists over their dishonest data manipulation to produce false results to support the ‘Climate Change’ Scam. Jennifer Marohasy paper provides PROOF of the data rigging – Do you have the balls to act Josh ? The answer should be “Yes MINISTER.” But You recent form makes me wonder.

  7. Ken Stewart July 31, 2017 at 10:49 am #

    The Director of the BOM is either incompetent or a blatant liar, as you have shown. I hope this will be pointed out to the Minister.
    A further question is why are one second spikes being used to record maxima and minima, rather than five minute averages as in the rest of the world?
    And congratulations Jen- you do have clout. In the past my attempts at getting answers from the head honcho have taken many months each time, and then only after complaining to the minister, and then getting a similar non-reply complete with distortions, straw men, and half truths.

  8. Bob Fernley-Jones July 31, 2017 at 5:44 pm #


    A good story for the ABC TV’s Four Corners Team!

    They’ve been doing a few big exposés lately.

    I shall write to at least them, and perhaps others here can too.


  9. J Broadbent August 1, 2017 at 9:39 am #

    Do you have a copy of the algorithm or code incorporated in the Bureau of Meteorology’s software.
    Is this code operating across all recording thermometers to identify outliers outside confidence intervals, both high and low, or is the calculation specific to low readings?
    I hate to think raw temperature data records will be useless to future generations. Fair enough for the Bureau to play with the reporting of data, the reason for any adjustment recorded for posterity.
    In my opinion, manipulating raw data crosses the boundary, leaving Science and venturing into some sort of mad religion.

  10. hunter August 1, 2017 at 1:32 pm #

    Keep giving them heck, Jennifer!
    The “explanation” is not even a credible excuse.
    Stick to your guns.

  11. angech August 1, 2017 at 1:57 pm #

    Best of luck, Jennifer.
    Seems to be a lot of deception going on.
    Have you sent it to Watts up with that and Bolt yet?

  12. MikeR August 1, 2017 at 5:51 pm #

    My god this is a serious problem!. Possibly a Royal commission is in order . A senate select committee could not do it justice. Where is Malcolm Roberts when you need him? I think the 0.4 C scandal (also known as L’affaire Goulburn) accompanied by the equally sordid Thredbo fiasco will go down in the annals of history.

    In fact July 2, 2017 (and maybe July 16) will be now forever be known as a date which will live in infamy. Maybe the combined intellectual effort of bastions of integrity , whose knowledge of science dwarfs the intellectual midgets at the CSIRO and BOM can delve deeper.

    I am of course referring to Andrew Bolt, Roy Hadley and Alan Jones. Let them loose and see climate scientists quiver.

    Actually an FOI request to see the correspondence between the head of the BOM and his underlings could be illuminating. As they say if you are ever asked to select between a conspiracy and a stuff-up, always go for the latter.

    This principle has served me well when reading Jennifers’s blogs (see my comments on her previous blog entry).

    p.s.with repect to the paper referred to in that blog, equation 3 as well as equation 2 of her paper is wrong. Jennifer needs to be careful with her [brackets].

  13. Axelatoz August 1, 2017 at 7:07 pm #

    This is absolutely not a hardware problem but a software intervention with a trigger point set to flag anything less than -10c so that they can be dealt with manually, and at the BOM we know what that means! For two thermometers to be failing to record below identical temps (to nearest .1deg) beggars belief. They may fool gullible polliticians but anyone with even a modicum of science/engineering training can see right through this.

  14. Mick In The Hills August 1, 2017 at 8:23 pm #

    We need people like you and your associates to keep watch on perfidy being perpetrated by bureaucrats Jennifer.
    Your challenges to the “data” served up as ‘gospel’ by BoM remind me of the curiosity and persistence applied by Steve McIntyre and Ross McKittrick as they debunked the Hokey Schtick.
    Curiosity and scepticism are valued attributes of all rational adults.
    Then there’s MikeR.

  15. hunter August 1, 2017 at 9:43 pm #

    It is at once humorous and pathetic to watch the climate true believer kooks. They regularly accuse skeptics of being paid members of a great denialist conspiracy. Yet as we see here it is the true believers who run away from the issues skeptics raise by calling it all a conspiratorial hoax.
    Climate extremists will do anything it seems. Except address the facts of an issue.
    Fact: the data was modified.
    Fact: the explanation offered by the bureaucrat for the modification is circular nonsense.
    Fact: data tampering by climate hype promoters has been shown to be the major form of human caused climate change.
    But the climate true believers put on their blinders and blunder around pretending it’s all just made up by those denialists.

  16. MikeR August 1, 2017 at 10:07 pm #


    Sorry I was mistaken above. , It was equation 2 in paper that had the bracket in the wrong place. There were only two equations in your paper, unfortunately both had errors ..

    The moral of the above is tbat we all make mistakes, some trivial and some egregious. Sometimes you need to have the ability to distinguish between the two.

  17. Ray August 2, 2017 at 1:06 am #

    To mislead a Minister is a serious offence. . The honourable action for Andrew Johnson would be to resign.

  18. Mark M August 2, 2017 at 6:56 am #

    I looked up the meaning of irony in the dictionary. It has a picture of the BoM:

    “Temperature data prior to 1910 should be used with extreme caution as many stations, prior to that date, were exposed in non-standard shelters, some of which give readings which are several degrees warmer or cooler than those measured according to post-1910 standards.”


  19. Gretchen May August 2, 2017 at 7:28 am #

    Your blog is being discussed on Dana Nuccitelli’s blog over at the Guardian https://www.theguardian.com/environment/climate-consensus-97-per-cent/2017/jul/31/2017-is-so-far-the-second-hottest-year-on-record-thanks-to-global-warming

  20. Geoffrey Williams August 2, 2017 at 10:59 am #

    Dr Andrew Johnson’s letter of reply to the Minister leaves many questions to be answered regarding the integrity and correctness of of their data collection.
    We the public have every right to expect full openness and honesty from the BOM.
    In my view this has not been happening and these recent incidents only confirm this.
    They (the BOM) have been caught out yet again. The Minister should set up an independent enquiry immediately.
    Thanks Jennifer for the good work once again.
    Regards GeoffW Sydney


    Thanks Geoffrey Williams, for taking the time to comment.
    This thread is now closed.
    Jennifer. 8th August 2017

  21. MikeR August 2, 2017 at 2:17 pm #

    Mark M,

    I think the definition of irony might cover the timing of Jennifer’s post above.

    This was the same day Goulburn AWS recorded it’s highest ever July Temperature of 19.4 C.

    This beat the previous record by 0.8C which happens to be twice the 0.4C you guys are fulminating about.

    For details see https://tinyurl.com/ybuo63w .

    I do like however Bob Fernely-Jones suggestion for a Four Corners investigation into these matters.

    It would make a change from the trivialities it has been investigating lately, such as the massive theft of water from the Murray Darling Basin.

  22. Dave August 2, 2017 at 4:50 pm #


    The link does not work!

  23. Lawrie August 2, 2017 at 9:41 pm #

    So Andrew will “action” an investigation lead by someone from the BoM’s leadership team. Our little Rotary club has to have our books audited by an external auditor so why not audit the BoM using an external auditor? I guess Andrew read that article that states you should only conduct a review/investigation if you know the outcome in advance. This bloke is crooked and in the same league as his predecessor, Phil Jones. Josh is just a goose and totally out of his depth.

  24. Phill August 2, 2017 at 11:03 pm #

    In reply to MikeR: The issue is not the quantum of the action but the machinations that lay behind it. As is pointed out two quite separate explanations of what happened with the Goulburn data have been offered. The first was that extremes outside specified ranges are withheld until they can be checked. The second is that there is a major problem with the equipment.

    Also were the full daily temperature record at Goulburn, which stretches back into the 1880s, to be made publically available I am certain that neither the missing -10.4C nor the 19.4C that occurred on the 30th would qualify as any type of records. Unfortunately, despite Goulburn having been the location of a full meteorological office for a number of years all we can currently see are the recent AWS records. In those nearby offices that do have long term records of hottest July days Nerriga recorded 20.2 in 1975 and 19.8 this year. Taralga recorded 19.3 in 1975 and 18.0 this year. Canberra Airport recorded 19.7 in 1975 and 17.9 this year.

  25. hunter August 2, 2017 at 11:40 pm #

    Notice how MikeR tries, and fails, to deceive regarding the issue.
    And then is smug and snarky about it.
    Perhaps he is competing for a photo next to the “Irony” definition.

  26. Chris Raymond August 3, 2017 at 8:22 am #

    On ABC radio RN Breakfast this morning.

    Comment on climate monitoring and data collection from “Professorial Fellow at the School of Earth Sciences at the University of Melbourne Dr. Graeme Pearman”.
    Listen from 6:12 to hear allegations about data tampering

    On data collection:
    From 7:20 “…..data different from you expect, the first thing you do is reject it…..”

    Not quite scientific method ??

    Thought you may like to hear this.

  27. MikeR August 3, 2017 at 1:03 pm #

    Phil casts doubt on the record temperature at Goulburn because Canberra AWS, Nerriga and Taralga did not record their maximum July temperatures on the same day .

    The closest station to the Goulburn AWS is Goulburn TAFE ,that also recorded a temperature 0.4C above its previous record,. A range of other stations within 100Km also recorded records for July for instance Moss Vale AWS (1.9C above previous record) , Nowra Ran Air Station AWS (1.3C), Ulladulla AWS(1C) , Albion Park (1.9C) , Kiama (2.4C),. Others further away such as Bathurst AWS (2.9C) Orange Airport AWS (0.5C) and even Sydney (0.6 C).

    Sydney’s increase beyond the previous record was the largest jump ever . The previous largest jump being 0.4 C back in 1990.

    I think the above makes it clear that despite Phil’s selective use of stations , it is more than likely that the Goulburn AWS July 30 maximum temperature was indeed a record.

    As for other records for Goulburn, then Phil can use FOI (http://www.bom.gov.au/foi/) to request them.

  28. MikeR August 5, 2017 at 3:51 pm #

    Sorry Dave, Just noticed your comment above from 3 days ago.

    HAL 9000 is misbehaving yet again and appears to have mangled my previous link. Hopefully this one works https://tinyurl.com/ybuo63wl. It is just a direct link to the Tmax recent observations for Goulburn on the BOM site.


  1. Persistent truth telling climate sceptics cause the BoM to shaft itself again | Errors in IPCC climate science - August 1, 2017

    […] have been busy behind the scenes as evidenced by Jennifer Marohasy who has blogged a deliciously misleading letter of explanation from the BoM to Minister Frydenberg. Oh how quick the BoM colossus can respond when the Minister’s office […]

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