Submissions to the Panel

Concerned that the Bureau of Meteorology has made many errors in its calculation of the mean Australian temperature specifically for 2013, Merrick Thomson, a retired accountant, asks a few questions in his submission including:

1. Why was the mix of stations changed with the transition to ACORN-SAT, and why was this not explained and declared, particularly given that it has resulted in a large increase in the  2013 annual  temperature for Australia.  He calculates 0.56 degree Celsius, and

2. What criteria is used to determine whether or not a station becomes part of the national network, and specifically, why was the very hot location of Oodnadatta added to the national network in 2011/12?

The four Excel spread sheets Merrick compiled in his self-funded audit of ACORN-SAT, and specifically the Bureau’s calculation of the mean temperature for 2013, are available on request (mnthomson48 at

Roger Underwood was once the General Manager of the Western Australian Department of Conservation and Land Management (CALM), and for nine years was responsible for the operation of a Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) weather station.  He sent a letter to Bob Baldwin today with comment:

“I understand that you [Mr Baldwin] are overseeing the inquiry by an expert panel into the ‘homogenization’ of temperature records by the BOM.  My many scientific colleagues and I share serious concerns about the ‘homogenization’ issue. To summarise:

(i) BOM admits that it uses computer models to adjust actual measured temperatures to create artificial temperature records;

(ii) virtually nobody outside BOM understands how this is done, or why; and

(iii) BOM has not complied with the basic principles applying to temperature record adjustment, i.e., that this should only be done when there is a statistically significant discontinuity in the actual record, and when this discontinuity is supported by Meta data.”

Roger also explains that:

“Many hundreds of millions of good dollars are being spent as a result of fears about global warming. I would be happier about this if I knew that someone was keeping a good eye on the BOM, who are the custodians of our climate history. Every time I see them creating a new (and always warming) temperature record, and failing to explain why, I fear that good dollars are going down the drain, that the Australian public is being ‘snowed’ for political reasons, and that solid historical facts are being corrupted.”

Ken Stewart  is a retired school principal with a deep-seated skepticism of anything produced by governments, political parties, religious organizations and big business.  Ken became interested in global warming some years ago, then decided to undertake his own audit of the then official Australian temperature record known as the ‘High Quality’ series.  This series has since been withdrawn and replaced with a new series known as ACORN-SAT.  ACORN-SAT stands for Australian Climate Observations Reference Network – Surface Air Temperature.   Ken has made a very detailed submission to the panel, which can be downloaded from his blog.

Marc Hendrickx is an engineering geologist with a long standing interest in extreme rainfall and climate.  His submission, however, concerns a butterfly and the proposition that its ecology has been disturbed by anthropogenic global warming.  Marc’s letter is quite short, but note that his entire submission runs to 16 pages (don’t stop at the end of the letter).

Chris Gillham is a journalist who also earns a living as a graphic and web designer.  He has compiled raw and ACORN-SAT data from weather stations around Australia in a form that allows easy comparison with statistics in historical reference books.  For example in his submission to the panel, he explains that historic temperature records in issue #39 of the Official Year Book of the Commonwealth of Australia, published in 1953, include mean temperature records tabulated by the Weather Bureau from 1911 to 1940 at 44 locations across the country.  Using this Year Book data and comparing with recent statistics, Chris has concluded that Australia’s mean temperature increased 0.4 degree Celsius from 1911-40 to 2000-2014.  All temperatures in the 1911-40 Year Book dataset were recorded in Stevenson screens.  There are 19 corresponding stations in the Year Book and ACORN datasets during 1911-40, and according to Chris ACORN mean temperature adjustments during that climate period cooled the original temperatures by 0.6C.

David R.B. Stockwell is an expert modeler and adjunct research fellow at Central Queensland University.  David makes 8 recommendations in his submission to the panel, emphasizing that every portrayal of historical data should be historically accurate, else it becomes revisionism, and strays outside the domain of science and into the domain of ideology and politics.   You can download David’s submission here.

Another friend, Newcastle-based lawyer Anthony Coxmade a submission asking why his local weather station at Nobby’s Head was not included in ACORN-SAT.  This lighthouse has an exceptionally long and continuous temperature record.   Rob Vertessy, the Director of BOM, has already replied that daily data for Nobby’s Head prior to 1957 has not yet been digitized.   Indeed it is a shame that so much valuable observational data recorded by Australia’s first meteorologists and astronomers remains in meteorological observation books unutilized.

My submission (Jennifer Marohasy) focuses on Wilcannia, a hot and often dusty town in western New South Wales, and can be accessed by clicking here.

Since creating this page and uploading the submissions from Ken, Marc, Merrick, Chris, David and Anthony on 26th February 2015, I have been sent submissions from the following individuals (click on the name to download a copy of their submission):

Bill Johnston , Lance Pidgeon , Fred Dennis, Phillip Goode, Ian Waters, Ian Youles, Richard Kleeman

Two articles in The Weekend Australian (February 28-March 1, pages 7 and 20) by Graham Lloyd quoting from the above submissions: Upping the heat on climate number-crunchers, and BoM’s new stations ‘explain warming’ . (Tiny URL for second article here ).

I was extremely disappointed to learn today, March 9, 2015, that the panel intends to meet for only one day each year, and half of this day will be spent listening to “Bureau scientists”.   This arrangement is unlikely to provide an opportunity for consideration of our submissions, or get to the  bottom of the Bureau’s revisionist approach to Australia’s climatic history.   I have already written to Mr Baldwin asking that he immediately establish a mechanism for public critical review, including testimony from dissidents.

 John Nicol and Ken Stewart have also registered their concerns with Mr Baldwin MP.

Received another submission today, 20th March 2015, just sent to the panel via Bob Baldwin, this one from Tom Quirk .  Tom spent 15 years as an experimental research physicist, university lecturer and Oxford don.  His submission, entitled ‘Taking Melbourne’s Temperature’, is a plain English description, with illustrations, of inner city Melbourne’s temperature history.   While the Bureau claims Melbourne doesn’t have a reliable temperature record before 1910, Tom’s analysis suggests that Melbourne probably had a reliable record from about 1855 to 1945.  After 1945 this record was affected by what is known as the ‘urban heat island’ (UHI), perhaps contributing as much as 1 degree over the last 50 years to warming of the minimum temperatures.   In attempting to compensate somewhat for this, Tom shows how the Bureau has introduced sharp breaks into what is meant to be an homogenous official record.

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