Bureau of Inconsistencies: Need for Urgent Independent Inquiry

MINISTER Josh Frydenberg was told by the Australian Bureau of Meteorology on, or about, Wednesday 5th July 2017 that limits had been placed on how cold temperatures could be recorded across mainland Australia.

This winter we have experienced record low temperatures.   But only the keenest weather observers have noticed, because the Bureau has been changing the actual values measured by the automatic weather stations.

In particular, the Minister was told that while the Goulburn weather station accurately measured the local temperature as minus 10.4 at 6.30 am on Sunday 2 July, a smart card reader prevented this value from being recorded as the daily minimum on the Daily Weather Observations page.

The smart card reader had been pre-programmed to round-up any value below minus 10 degrees Celsius.  So, instead of entering minus 10.4 into the CDO dataset, the value of minus 10.0 was entered for 2nd July instead.

 

On 2nd July the value of -10.0 was entered into the CDO dataset, which is meant to be a record of actual temperature measurements at Goulburn. This value, however, represented the rounding-up of -10.4. The value of -10.0 was never actually recorded as the minimum for that day.

This wrong limit of minus 10.0 was confirmed in an email from the Bureau sent to journalist Graham Lloyd, and also Griffith businessman Paul Salvestrin, on 4th July.

This was the advice from the Bureau on 4th July, then on 28th July the Bureau wrote to the Minister claiming the weather station was faulty, and that it never recorded -10.4 degree Celsius.

No such limits are placed on how hot temperatures can be recorded.

While the Minister has had this advice – about the smart card readers and the limits on cold temperature recordings –  for some weeks, he has claimed publicly that he has full confidence in the Bureau and has resisted calls for an independent inquiry.  Further, the Minister has supported the Bureau’s faux solution of replacing the automatics weather station initially at Goulburn and Thredbo, and more recently at many more sites across Victoria and Tasmania.

All-the-while, the Minister has known that the problem is limited to the smart card readers.

To be clear, the problem is not with the equipment; all that needs to be done is for the smart card readers to be removed.  So, after the automatic weather stations measure the correct temperature, this temperature can be brought forward firstly into the Daily Weather Observation sheet and subsequently into the CDO dataset.

David Jones is the Manager of Climate Monitoring and Prediction services at the Bureau and would probably have overseen the installation of the smart cards.  Jones is also on-record stating that: “Truth be known, climate change here is now running so rampant that we don’t need meteorological data to see it.”

Jennifer Marohasy visiting the Goulburn weather station on 31st July

57 Responses to Bureau of Inconsistencies: Need for Urgent Independent Inquiry

  1. Debbie August 3, 2017 at 11:26 am #

    The whole thing is becoming sickening.
    BoM clearly has been leglislated the ability to ‘Mark its own homework’ and therefore be totally not accountable to anyone at all including the minister.
    Their legislated (monopoly) ability to also inform policy in several different State and Federal departments makes it even more sickening.

  2. Bill Johnston August 3, 2017 at 12:28 pm #

    There is something else going on.

    I photographed the Goulburn Airport weather station on 7 June 2016, and there was no Stevenson screen to be seen. Photographed from in front of the hanger I doubt it would have been hidden behind the AWS mast; so where was the data coming from?

    Cheers,

    Dr. Bill Johnston.

    (Climate sleuth)

  3. Daryl Mac August 3, 2017 at 12:32 pm #

    Great work Jennifer and Co. It should be now very clear even to the politically motivated, and profound dullards that ‘agency science’ is costing the nation a bucket. The disasterous MDBA Plan is a result of such peversions of science as you are of no doubt aware. Many thanks for you diligence and persistance Fight the Figure Fudgers.
    Cheers, D Mac.

  4. Geoffrey Williams August 3, 2017 at 2:07 pm #

    Great work Jenifer I hope that you are coping well with the pressure this bring.
    On a personal note this matter affects us all. I’m seeing some ‘ friends’ tonight at the theatre. I just hope that none of them mentions climate change! It could be a show stopper. Must keep cool Geoff.

  5. MikeR August 3, 2017 at 2:50 pm #

    Congratulations Jennifer! The latest explanation from the BOM seems to make more sense than the previous one.

    Reading between the lines, I strongly suspect that the algorithm that is used to flag unusual low or high temperatures uses historical data for that location. For instance prior to July this year, Goulburn did not have a temperature below -8C since 1994 (i.e. 23 years ago,) so recording a temperature below -10C would have flagged an alarm.

    In contrast, for the maximum temperatures there have been 6 temperatures greater than 18C in July. All with exception of one in 1990 have been in this century with 4 in the last 10 years.
    This all in line with expectations. Currently the number of record maxima outweigh minima by about 4 to one in the US see http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1029/2009GL040736/full . The ratio is more extreme at about 12 to one in Australia see http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/2015GL065793/abstract.

    In summary it does make some sense to flag extreme lows more than extreme highs but you are always going to run into the occasional issue with QC using this procedure as evidenced by the latest kerfuffle.

    In light of this I agree that the BOM should review the way they handle these issues just so people do not go into non-linear paroxysms about 0.4C going missing for 2 days (can you imagine if it had been 0.5C let alone, heaven forbid 0.6C? ).

  6. Alfred (Melbourne) August 3, 2017 at 6:14 pm #

    “Truth be known, climate change here is now running so rampant that we don’t need meteorological data to see it.”

    Anyone who makes such a statement should be automatically disqualified from handling data.

    It is like having a chef in a restaurant who has hepatitis A and never washes his hands.

  7. hunter August 3, 2017 at 7:03 pm #

    MileR is still hoping snark and dimissivness will help.
    BOM is not alone in using “QC” to assure that data records meet the quality demanded by climate hypesters fits their beliefs. South Amrtican temp data has also been treated to the QC that climate science depends on.
    Amongst others.

  8. Miker August 3, 2017 at 7:47 pm #

    Alfred,

    I would be particularly worried if the cook rejects   the advice of the vast majority of microbiologists and thinks  germ theory is just speculative nonsense.

  9. Bitter&twisted August 3, 2017 at 7:47 pm #

    Whenever I hear or read the words “smart” or “green” I instantly think “scam”.
    It is a conditioned reflex.

  10. hunter August 3, 2017 at 9:36 pm #

    But the cook in this case – BOM Jones- rejects the theory that he might be wrong. And is making the data fit the theory.

  11. hunter August 3, 2017 at 9:52 pm #

    And Australian climate hypesters are not the only source of manipulated numbers.
    https://rclutz.wordpress.com/2017/07/27/man-made-warming-from-adjusting-data/
    The evidence suggests it is time to consider another meaning for the term “manmade climate change”.

  12. Axelatoz August 3, 2017 at 10:56 pm #

    If each AWS has its own preset trigger limit which captures readings to be “dealt with” manually, then there is no reason to suggest that this problem affects only stations where temperatures drop below -10. It could well be a systematic problem affecting minima recording at all stations. In fact the issue is more likely to slip though unnoticed at the warmer stations. It would still be just as effective at instilling warming bias, irrespective of how cold the locale is.

  13. MikeR August 4, 2017 at 12:41 am #

    Hunter, I normally.as a rule, let your comments go through to the keeper as they usually consist of either an insult,  an evidence free assertion, a link to some other blog or a combination of all three. Their only virtue is their brevity.

     This  time I will make an exception to my rule and I encourage Hunter to do  likewise and make some detailed comments rather than sniping from the back stalls.

    Hunter should sieze the opportunity to demonstrate his mettle and that he can stand on his own two feet.

    The  QC procedures that the BOM uses is described here at  http://cawcr.gov.au/technical-reports/CTR_049.pdf . Hunter, do you have any specific problems with the material?

    I actually have some issues, as some of it is rather vague as to  when the 10 QC steps described in this publication on pages 30 to 40  are applied. I can see that step 10 is relevant and makes sense with regards to 0.4C issue at Goulburn. However the fact that it has apparently not been applied to the July 30 maximum is puzzling. Possibly this doument needs updating, particularly  if my conjecture in my earlier comment above is correct

    On this topic I have  had some very cordial discussions with Ken Stewart regarding possible issues with the BOM’s  QC  . You can read some of our correspondence at  https://kenskingdom.wordpress.com/2017/03/21/how-temperature-is-measured-in-australia-part-2.

    Maybe if Hunter follows this example and discuss details then I would be less dimissive (sic) of his contributions. If he has any specific issues with BOM’s QC perhaps he coukd elaborate.

    However if he has nothing to contribute other than a link to someone else’s work, I will find it hard to refute the view that he is a blow hard that is incapable of a single original thought.
    .

  14. Phill August 4, 2017 at 12:48 am #

    Hi Jen, Wonderful article. I notice that Goulburn Airport AWS has gone off line. The last read appears to be 12:30pm on the third. Thredbo Top AWS is still on line and hasn’t missed a beat despite the temperature again dropping below -10C to -10.9C on the morning of the second. So why this time is there no adjustment and all works fine? It’s barely possible, given the site’s remoteness, to have fixed the problem so quickly. Some forecasters are expecting a meter of snow in the area over the weekend so they might have trouble finding it!

  15. hunter August 4, 2017 at 2:12 am #

    MikeR now appoints himself as arbiter of valid comments.
    Typical noisy distracting retreat of an extremist. Don’t deal with the data offered and documented, decide that the source is unworthy and pretend it doesn’t exist.
    Sort of like what climate science does with inconvenient data and critiques.
    Hide the decline in action.

  16. David Tanner August 4, 2017 at 9:07 am #

    Typical Jenifer. She is running her own anti climate change agenda.

  17. Alfred (Melbourne) August 4, 2017 at 9:50 am #

    I just checked and it seems that they have stopped updating the data for this location since 09:30 yesterday. Previously, it was being updated every 30 minutes.

    “Latest Weather Observations for Goulburn Airport”

    http://www.bom.gov.au/products/IDN60801/IDN60801.95716.shtml

    Perhaps I am missing something. Have they stopped taking measurements or are they just censoring it.

  18. Crowbar August 4, 2017 at 10:12 am #

    I’ve seen this movie before: when under justified attack, a bureaucracy circles the wagons, takes an action that immediately changes the narrative (in this case, replacing suddenly-faulty equipment at multiple sites) and announces an internal investigation whose results will be made public. Plenty of time for the PR Dept to make up a watertight narrative to protect the bureaucracy and placate the plebs.
    Color me skeptical and cynical… I call it learned experience.

  19. MikeR August 4, 2017 at 10:21 am #

    Hunter,

    Firstly I must stress that the topic of Jennifer’s blog refers to issues with the BOM’s QC procedures . I was hoping you would stick to the point (silly me) and comment directly about this rather than provide a diversionary link. We will be soon coming up to the Spring Racing Carnival . Can I enter you in the “Gish Gallop” Stakes (97% of the field will be running one way, you could join the other 3%)? The only other issue is that you may need to be gelded.

    However, against my better judgment I will follow you down your diversionary rabbit hole

    The blog article that is linked to by Hunter to is actually extracted from some else’s blog. The author of the original material blog article is Roger Andrews. Roger is a mining engineer who, in his dotage, has devoted an a lot of time and effort in analysing temperature data. Much of the work has been done since early 2015.
    His description of himself at that website does not contain a list of publications (maybe he is being modest) . According to Google Scholar Roger has not published anything in the field of climatology or atmospheric science or any other field. https://tinyurl.com/y9mla6rx

    To establish some credibility I think that Roger should attempt to publish this material in a journal subject to peer review if he has not already attempted to do so. It would be such a shame if he doesn’t get it published due to the effort he has put in.

    Unfortunately for a number of good reasons, a blog article is not highly regarded compared to a published scientific paper that has been appropriately vetted by others who are, more familiar with the field and thus the work can be judged accordingly

    Hunter as you are familiar with his work and there is a lot to wade through you could provide some useful detailed and specific comments about the material he presents. I don’t feel I could do justice to his body of work.

    Finally, Hunter have you managed to generate an original thought? The absence of such suggests that your role as a member of cheerleading squad on this website (and others) is at the upper limit of your abilities. Time to formalize things and get some pom-poms

  20. Miker August 4, 2017 at 10:58 am #

    Crowbar and others. I am not sure what is going on but the BOM’s phone app and PocketWeather both show the current temperatures at Goulburn (both show 6.9C at the moment with a low of 4.3C at 1:19 am). Maybe they are getting their temperatures fronm Goulburn TAFE but the BOM website only shows regular 9 am for this site.

    Crowbar i am not sure what movies you watch but i am a fan of Japanese cinema. I love the Kurosawa classic Rashomon which shows the same events from different irreconcilable persectives. You should watch it. You might learn something.

  21. Louis Hissink August 4, 2017 at 11:01 am #

    This seems more like instrumentation ordered for deployment based on the sincerely held belief that future temperatures will never, ever descend to lower numbers than -10. After all why specify gear for temperatures that will never occur, or so they seem to believe. So the lower cutoff is -10.

    But then reality strikes, and it does get much colder than believed and the equipment can’t handle it too well, since its been specified to greater than -10 values. And being a government department, cheapest is always the goal. Maybe an instrument that could read to -20 C costs too much and one that reads to -10C is significantly cheaper, and that is what the bureaucrats buy since they are also told that never again will temperatures be so cold.

    Simple incompetence – no malicious data fiddling, just unbelief in physical reality driving reports to match the specifications of the instruments so that those who purchased the cheap gear won’t be carpeted.

  22. hunter August 4, 2017 at 7:56 pm #

    MikeR the issues doscussef are not what you choose it to be.
    You post predictable, derivative and misleading ideas and claim others are not original enough.
    As to your cheerleader fantasies, perhaps the less said the better.

  23. Debbie August 4, 2017 at 10:35 pm #

    Mike R.
    Seriously?
    Obfuscation extraordinaire.
    🙂

  24. MikeR August 5, 2017 at 12:03 am #

    Hunter, I am glad you have at last made an attempt to be original but I am curious,  is a “doscussef”   semantically equivalent to a “covfefe”?

  25. MikeR August 5, 2017 at 12:06 am #

    Debbie,  I am pleasantly surprised that someone  seriously regards my feeble attempts at obfuscation as extraordinary.

    I believe my talents in this regard are  pathetic compared to those that have mastered the black art. I will not name them but they have a tendency to be at the forefront of websites devoted to muddying the waters with talk of conspiracies and other such nonsense.

  26. hunter August 5, 2017 at 12:08 am #

    MikeR,
    Could be.

  27. Siliggy August 5, 2017 at 8:14 am #

    MikeR What explanation are you talking about? I have not seen any explanation at all for why the number was changed. Who cares by how much or any other distraction. Why EVER change the number? Do you agree that raw data should be unadjusted? Regardless of the scale of adjustment? Lance Pidgeon.

  28. Tenez Ledroit August 5, 2017 at 9:03 am #

    A survey of ABC staff found 41% are Greens voters, more than four times the national average. I’d have a small wager that 70% would be the BoM number, given the APS demographic there. Couple that with the lame responses re temperature fudging, and it’s a dead certainty that Australia’s ‘global warming’ is a political, rather than empirical, phenomenon.

  29. Debbie August 5, 2017 at 9:48 am #

    Mike R.
    The bottom line is that the system has failed to deliver on reasonable expectations and instead of being accountable BoM is making up excuses.
    I’m not particularly interested in conspiracy theories.
    For WHATEVER reason, BoM can clearly mark its own homework.
    No one anywhere has said that there is no rationale at all behind homogenising large data sets.
    However, the system is not sticking to the rationale or the QC and auditing methods.
    I find it concerning because BoM has quite considerable influence in policy decisions across several different State & Federal depts.
    If their QC and auditing is not up to scratch they need to be accountable for that.

  30. Ian Thomson August 5, 2017 at 10:08 am #

    MikeR, Gidday, I don’t understand why this QC is actually needed. Or would you rather the whole job was done hourly, by a human recorder ? Is the BOM’s expensive gear that shonky ? Perhaps you and the BOM cxan show us some everyday examples of recording, ( QC corrected), errors. I am pleased that you are wise enough to know that nice people like Mr Soros and Exxon spending squillions sponsoring the likes of Al Gore is just simple, altruistic non conspiring stuff.

  31. MikeR August 5, 2017 at 11:25 am #

    Sliggy

    Like yourself my personal preference is always to have the original data preserved, within reason. If the AWS generates an obviously spurious result such as – 273C I think it would be better for the data to be blank. But in more marginal cases I think the original should be left alone and if it fails the various tests for QC then the right hand column in the final database should contain an ‘N’. This appears to be in accordance with the way the bureau handles such data.

    Fortunately in the Goulburn case the original value was recorded correctly after about 48 hours. This corruption of the database occurred for this duration and if anyone had used this data for climatological calculations during this period then the trend for July at Thredbo would have been out by 0.7% (you can download the data and check it for yourself via Excel).

    Personally I think it would be sensible to wait until the data has passed through all stages of QC and a “Y” is in the right hand column. By then the 0.4C issue will be totally irrelevant and the storm will have passed. It will be then safe to have a nice cup of tea without the attendant danger of scalding.

  32. MikeR August 5, 2017 at 12:44 pm #

    Tenez le droit,

    Sacre bleu and fetchez le vache! I gather this is a survey from 2013 (http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/its-easy-being-green-at-the-abc-survey-finds/news-story/4b36bb728fa752f563182f69208eb03d ).

    I think the whole article needs to be read rather than just the headline to gain a more balanced perspective. Twenty percent of the journalists from the Australian are also Green supporters. This must make articles in Australian Newspaper also suspect . Maybe the article above was written by a Green supporting journo and cannot be trusted on this basis.

    By the way Monsieur le droit , do you have any more up to date information and specifically which ABC staff members were personally involved in manipulating the Thredbo AWS figures? If anything I would have thought anybody at Thredbo on a skiing holiday during the July school holidays would have been more likely to have been from the conservative side of politics.

    As for your bet that 70% BOM of the staff are Green voters, I am willing to take you on. Get your survey ready, but where did you obtain the 70% figure from? If I didn’t know better, I wold have thought you might have just plucked it from that place where the sun don’t shine.

    Anyway I think you should forget about the Greens as they are generally just inner suburban, latte drinking , smashed avocado consuming vegans . I think you really need to go after the real enemy. You could take a leaf out of the late Senator from Wisconsin’s playbook and include questions in your survey like – Are you or have you ever been a card carrying member of the Communist party? You never know you might flush out a few Commies, but you might want to check under your bed first.

  33. MikeR August 5, 2017 at 1:27 pm #

    Debbie I am glad you aren’t into conspiracy theories. Let Ian Thomson know, he seems to be straying onto that territory. Hopefully he won’t go off full troppo and end up in tinfoil Breitbart land. (the price of tin foil has leapt over the past few days, must be a coincidence).

    Debbie , I do share your concerns regarding QC issues at the BOM which I have made known above and at other places. it however requires a giant leap of inductive logic to assume that the issues are prevalent for the tens of thousands of readings that are taken by the bureau daily. It is also important to quantifying the impact of these issues at a local regional, country wide and global basis.

    In an ideal world there would be no need for QC as the data loggers would never suffer from issues such as outright failures and errors due to drift , instrumental noise and spikes etc.. Meanwhile back in the real world these issues need to be identified and rectified if possible using techniques such as QC .

    Alternatively, to keep people like Ian Thomson happy we could spend a good percentage of the country’s GDP gold plating the AWS network with the latest accurate and precise (i.e. the most expensive) instrumentation. Then we may be able to avoid most these issues but then it becomes a matter for the economists with their cost/benefit analyses.

    Personally I am not sure whether the enormous cost would be worth the benefit of keeping Jennifer, Sliggy, and the rest of the commentariat happy but I would be happy to donate to such a cause

  34. Mick In The Hills August 5, 2017 at 1:46 pm #

    Yet, MikeR, an anomaly of +0.1 deg seems to set the climate catastrophists into a frenzy.
    ?

  35. Debbie August 5, 2017 at 3:32 pm #

    Mike R.
    I don’t think Ian Thomson or anyone else is looking for gold plating.
    I would suggest they’re rather asking for the opposite?
    My main concern is that BoM clearly has the ability to mark its own homework while at the same time having considerable influence on politics and policy across numerous different departments, State and Federal.

  36. MikeR August 5, 2017 at 3:32 pm #

    Mick in the Hills,

    Depends upon the context.

    If +0.1 deg C represents an increase in temperature per year then the frenzy would only be justified for particular regions such as Greenland. This region has had an average increase in temperature of 0.1088 degrees (+/- 0.174) per year since 1990 see – http://berkeleyearth.lbl.gov/regions/greenland .

    The figure for North America is a bit less than half of that (0.0472 C per annum) and as such is less frenzy inducing but could be of concern.

  37. Mick In The Hills August 5, 2017 at 3:47 pm #

    C’mon MikeR, you’re not seriously suggesting global temps can be measured to THOUSANDTHS of one degree C over decades?
    If so, this is where climate “science” jumps the shark.

  38. MikeR August 5, 2017 at 4:06 pm #

    Mick,

    No just estimates of trends to 3 significant figures. But if it makes you happy I will go with 0.1 C per annum for Greenland and 0.05 C per annum for North America.

  39. Mick In The Hills August 5, 2017 at 4:55 pm #

    Mike, I’m OK with whatever contrived numbers you choose to believe about temp ups & downs around the world over decades.
    Me, I’m hard pressed to tell the difference between 28C and 26C on any given day, especially if that differential lasts for all of 40 minutes or so, and it gets reported as “THE HOTTEST DAY EVAH!”

  40. Phill August 6, 2017 at 12:57 am #

    Mick, Once the sun is up the temperature constantly swings up an down by up to 2 degrees within any 5 minutes period. The BoM measure the temperature every second and put the highest second read as the maximum. Their probes are much faster than standard thermometers which change much more slowly, so the peak is often measured in seconds not minutes. At night, especially when it is clear, the air stabilises, the bounce stops and temperatures fall in a steady arc. The World Meteorologic Organisation recommends that maximum temperatures be taken from rolling 60 second reads. In the UK they use this method. In the USA they take rolling 300 second reads so that modern records are compatible with historic ones.

  41. hunter August 6, 2017 at 1:13 am #

    We are told to dismiss the rounding up and doctoring ’cause it is only a few tenths.
    But the entire “climate change” / “global warming” is based on a few tenths.
    And we see in Australia, NZ, U.S., S America, etc. similar “rounding” and “adjusting”.
    And when confronted those responsible deny and obfuscate.
    Even without a degree in Agriculture Science people know the smell of b.s. that steadily wafts from the direction of climate science and more importantly, climate activists.

  42. Ian Thomson August 6, 2017 at 8:47 am #

    MikeR, gold plating ? Just at a guess, how much gold is in BoM’s new $77,000,000 Cray supercomputer ? When I was growing up our family kept weather records, for the weather office, for nothing. Just as many farming families and sheep stations do, for their own records. We and they, knew that good record keeping might make a major difference in the future prediction of events. Stupid deskbound computer drivers altering those historical records IS leading to shonky forecasts. Ask British Met why the BBC sacked them as forecasters ? I suggest that if you really are so naive about the carbon money con , that you might look into some of the huge money involved. Take Pachauri and Tata and British steel, who got a double collect for closing the British mill and building a new “clean” one in India. It isn’t conspiracy stuff, it is out in the open, but you can lead a horse to water, making the fool drink is a different job.

  43. MikeR August 6, 2017 at 10:02 am #

    Another intelligent contribution From Phill and yes the points you are making have some validity. I covered all of these points in my discussion with Ken Stewart at his site, which I linked to above .

    The bureau uses a time constant that is supposed to match the temporal response of a mercury glass thermometer. The other point is that the Stevenson screen has a response, depending upon wind speed, that is of the order of several minutes, so variations at the time scale of several minutes are, to a large extent, smoothed out.

    I thought perhaps I was the one who first raised the curious point about the BOM divergence from the WMO guidelines as part of that discussion with Ken here – https://kenskingdom.wordpress.com/2017/03/21/how-temperature-is-measured-in-australia-part-2/#comment-16963.

    Phill do you have reference to this point other than my own. Did someone else beat me to the punch?

  44. MikeR August 6, 2017 at 10:26 am #

    Ian, are you  blaming the BOMs new Cray computer for the Goulburn problem?  All that computing power to change – 10.4C  to – 10 C and back again. I think the Cray could have completed that calculation well within 48 hours.

    I gather from your comments that you would like to remove all electronic monitoring of the weather data and replace them with human observers.

    Your suggestion does have some merit as it could solve Australia’s unemployment problem, however it may be even more expensive than gold plating.

    Ian I am nominating you, because of your family’s experience at recording weather , to man the site at Thredbo (by memory I think it is near the top of of the main ski lift directly above the lodges) and to manually record half hourly data. If you are going to record wind speed and direction using the wet finger method, you will need to take off your gloves.

  45. Mick In The Hills August 6, 2017 at 10:35 am #

    Thanks Phill.
    More confirmation that temp records don’t bear much resemblance to “lived experience”.
    And certainly not a basis for far-reaching regressive energy policies that turn established developed economies and societies on their ear.

  46. MikeR August 6, 2017 at 11:19 am #

    It is always important to be able to view things from the perspective of others and this is my impression of where Mick in The Hills might be coming from.

     Mick is happy with the new norm. Perched up in the hills enjoying the cool breezes, with a cold stubby in hand, what could be more blissful? A mere two degrees is nothing for Mick and  the aircon can always be turned up a notch or two. Long term, Mick or his kids, grand kids or even great grand kids etc etc could make a killing in real estate as long as they hold onto your property. All those unfortunates living close to sea level will eventually need to move to higher ground  so real estate in his area should soar. This also could  also be an amazing opportunity to solve Australia’s unemployment crisis. Tens of thousands of jobs for sun bronzed Aussies teaching all those Bangladeshi, Seychelle Islanders and other inhabitants of submerged islands to swim.

    So Mick again from your perspective, Australia is the lucky country of meat pies and Hyundai cars with abundant resources to dig up and ship off shore. The old Aussie spirit of “she’ll be right mate” has served Australia well and after all only pinko/greens are concerned about environmental nonsense. Melting glaciers and bleaching coral, who gives a stuff.
    Even ecological shifts are nothing to worry about as many organisms will manage to adapt in a dozen or so generations. Polar bears will learn to swim longer and longer distances and If they can’t make it across the equator to the Antarctic they could always be shipped  across or released from captivity. Anyway all those freeloading penguins in Antarctica, marching up and down as if they own the place need to have their comeuppance. 

    Finally, I hope that Mick is not offended by my tongue in cheek and somewhat  deranged attempt to get inside his head. 

     On that note I think I might need to take a short break from my exchanges with Mick, Hunter, Ian etc.. as their inane contributions can exacerbate my  early onset dementia.

    I am going to go outside now and do some gardening but I am happy to keep replying to any, if they exist, intelligent comments, such as, Phills that address the actual topic in question regarding the BOM and the “quality of its quality control”.

  47. Mick In The Hills August 6, 2017 at 11:55 am #

    I’m actually at the beach Mike.
    And I defy anyone to come and stand beside me at the shore and point out what difference 3 inches or so of sea level rise will make.

  48. Ian Thomson August 6, 2017 at 12:36 pm #

    MikeR, I am simply trying to say that enormous amounts of gold has already been poured into the BoM, for obviously error ridden results . I guess you aren’t aware that some farmers refer to BoM forecasts as “suicide forecasts”, placing more trust in those from Norway,USN and NZ. If they simply can’t record correct temps, or give accurate forecasts, (in splte of the Cray), but expect us to accept all the long range drought, snowless skifield and flooded city, long range predictions , are they competent ? From your snide comment about fingers in the wind, I assume you are unaware that wind, temperature and rain measuring equipment predates the Cray not to mention the electronic stuff , by several hundred years. (Even in Europe.) Why not an inquiry into where our money is going ? Anyway, I’m still waiting for an example of BoM QC , other than reducing historic highs and current deg. minus.

  49. Ian Thomson August 6, 2017 at 12:49 pm #

    Mick in the Hills, gidday. You better keep an eye out at the beach for all Algore’s climate refugees, from the Pacific. He had them pouring into NZ over 10 years ago, so NZ must be chockers by now and pushing the boats away. On the upside , there must be some really cheap land at the beach by now, see if there’s some cheap shares in the Harbour Bridge for our mate Mike.

  50. MikeR August 6, 2017 at 2:15 pm #

    Back from gardening. Soil is too bloody dry and with the weather we have been having the flowers are bewildered. One minute winter, next minute spring and then back to winter.

    Consequently I will temporarily suspend my commitment to not waste further time following Mick and Ian down their respective rabbit holes.

    Mick on the Beach,

    Good name for a disaster movie. However I suggest you head back to the hills before the chickens come home to roost (see https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/6/65/Trends_in_global_average_absolute_sea_level%2C_1880-2013.png ).

    Either that or make sure your medical insurance covers trench foot.

    As for 3 inches. good luck with that even in the current scenarios I hope you have more time than Florida see -https://www.bloomberg.com/news/features/2017-04-19/the-nightmare-scenario-for-florida-s-coastal-homeowners .

    Ian, you have a tendency to confuse weather with climate.

    You also yearn for the good old days when we had expert weather forecasters such as Inigo Jones and Lennox Walker who forecasted weather via sunspot numbers. I still remember these characters providing specific predictions months ahead for Christmas day, wedding days etc..

    Clearly no one ever bothered checking. If you did follow them as I did as a laugh, many years ago and their reliability was almost as good as my late Aunt’s tea leaves readings. They seemed to have drifted off the radar recently. It could be due to the remarkable lack of sunspot numbers during this solar minimum. Some months have had no sunspots at all. if these guys are correct then I wonder why we have had any weather phenomena for the past few months.

    In contrast the Bureau self monitors its predictions (terrible isn’t it – you guys should go through the records and independently audit them and prove how incompetent they are ) and you can find a report for Melbourne until 2007 at http://weather-climate.com/ForecastAccuracyMelbourne29June2007.pdf .

    A more recent analysis is at http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/qj.2559/full . Ian try reading the conclusions of the last paper.

  51. MikeR August 6, 2017 at 3:39 pm #

    Ian, many thanks for the tip about the Sydney Harbour Bridge but I would rather buy it outright . I hope however I don’t have to sell all my shares in Tesla that have been going gangbusters.

    if you are indeed selling, then I presume you have clear title and If you don’t mind me asking, how much did you pay?

    I also have a friend in Nigeria who could facilitate the sale process. You just need to send him your Email address, bank details and identity documents and Bob’s your uncle. I don’t think you should post the details here though.

  52. Ian Thomson August 6, 2017 at 4:08 pm #

    No Mike, I asked Mick to see if he could pick YOU up some shares. Tesla shares should be good for as long as the tax money flows to them.We should be all pretty well off when all the worlds cars are electric, with two and a half times the planet’s current generation capacity needed just to charge them, plus all the energy and minerals needed to make them and the wonderwalls, there’ll be full employment. Be a shame about the lights though.

  53. Mick In The Hills August 6, 2017 at 5:05 pm #

    Mike, I’m going long on battery landfill futures.
    Can’t miss.
    Will see the grandkids and their kids in clover.

  54. MikeR August 7, 2017 at 10:57 am #

    Jennifer,

    Hopefully you are reading these comments. I have a question which I am hoping you don’t ignore.

    Do you have a statement from the BoM or in fact anywhere else about the ‘smart card reader’ which is the source of this fiasco?

    I am intrigued . A device like this seems to be a very very strange thing to be involved in 1. altering data even 2 directly involved in the transmission of data.

    Smart card readers, as the name implies, are usually used to read smart cards, that is , magnetically coded or RFID information from a card. The kind typically used in transport applications.

    Perhaps you misheard , misunderstood or the information was altered along the way as in ‘chinese whispers’.

    Th only way i can conceive in which such a device ( and it would probably be an SD card reader – and hence the confusion) could be used would be to reprogram the firmware of the data acquisition instrument in which case you have the wrong culprit.
    The firmware would most likely have the software algorithm that caused the problem.

    Could you please clarify?

  55. Ian Thomson August 7, 2017 at 12:02 pm #

    MikeR, gidday, yes the terminology is dodgy and could be b/s. BUT , possibly data is collected and recorded, then relayed in real time. A card reader then periodically accesses this data , forwarding it for collation and checking. If the reader is unable, (for reasons you and I may differ on), to read outside certain parameters , then the BoM can claim they were unaware. Being a Govt dept it could be incompetent purchasing, but they seem to have got on to it suspiciously fast,(for a Got dept ) and the BoM has form already on temp manipulation.

  56. MikeR August 7, 2017 at 7:58 pm #

    Thanks Ian for your comments.

    I still think it would be strange , verging on the bizarre, if the data that is sent automatically via telemetry to the central computer system would require the use of any kind of card reader, smart or dumb.

    None of the documentation on the BoM site refers to a smart card reader. However looking at the technical documents for commercially available AWS systems, some refer to local storage of data on a SD card . I doubt if someone is physically taking an SD card at 30 minute intervals from the Thredbo AWS and inserting into a card reader at the bureau.

    However there is a possibility if the data is backed up on an SD card locally and if there appears to be an issue , say with telemetry, then this data stored could be used as a QC check . Maybe this is the mechanism that allowed the bureau to adjust DOWN the temperature recorded from -10.0 C to -10.4 C . Essentially if this scenario is correct then “smart card reader” is part of the solution not part of the problem and Jennifer has got it , in technical terms “arse about”.

    ***

    FROM JENNIFER

    Thanks for your comment MikeR,

    I have it on good advice that smart card readers are used to control the minimum temperature actually recorded.

    The Bureau have had every opportunity to deny, or clarify this, but have refused to comment.

    Smart cards could be used to manage and control the network more efficiently. The presence of a smart card doesn’t necessarily indicate someone is changing measurements, however, I have been told that this is what they are being used for. In particular, at Goulburn the limit of -10.0 meant that the reading of -10.4 was rounded-up to -10.0 on 2nd July.

    Of course, setting limits could also be done using many other techniques (where smart cards would not necessarily be involved). The simplest way to set limits I guess would be to filter the data using a simple automatic computer script in the central database before publishing them. Nevertheless, using – or not using – a certain technology doesn’t guarantee the measurements would be (or would not be) a correct reflection of reality.

    To really understand why smart cards are used, we will need more detailed information of how the network is set up from the Bureau. This information is being withheld.

    Presumably they have something to hide.

  57. Ian Thomson August 8, 2017 at 6:34 am #

    Just the one thing that niggles at me, they are fixing the problem, “where temps below – 10 are possible “. Elsewhere it will not be allowed, whatever the weather.

    *****

    COMMENT FOR THIS THREAD ARE NOW CLOSED.
    JENNIFER 8TH AUGUST, 2017

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