Four-Steps Needed to Restore Confidence in Bureau’s Handling of Temperature Data

THE Minister for Environment and Energy, Josh Frydenberg, needs to immediately instigate the following four-step process to restore confidence in the recording and handling of historical temperature data.

Step 1 – Instruct the Bureau to immediately:

1. Lift any limits currently placed on the recording of minimum temperatures;

2. Make publicly available the dates on which limits were first set (e.g. minus 10.0 for Goulburn), and the specific weather stations for which limits were set;

3. Advise whether or not the actual measured temperatures have been stored for the weather stations where limits were set (e.g. Goulburn and Thredbo Top);

4. Make publicly available the stored values, which were not entered into the Australia Data Archive for Meteorology (ADAM) – known more generally as the CDO dataset;

5. Clarify, and document, the specific standard applied in the recording of measurements from the automatic weather station (AWS) equipment including period of the measurement (i.e. 1-second or 10-minute average), checks in place to ensure compliance with the standard, checks in place to monitor and correct any drift, and temperature range over which the equipment gives valid measurements.

Since the installation of an automatic weather station at Thredbo, there has been a reduction in the number of days each year when the temperature has fallen to, or below minus 10.0 degree Celsius – from an average of 2.5 (1966 to 1996) to 1.1 days (1997 to July 2017). As a matter or urgency, the Bureau needs to explain when the limits were placed on the minimum temperature that could be recorded at this, and other, automatic weather stations.

Step 2 – Establish a Parliamentary Enquiry, through the House Energy and Environment Committee, with Terms of Reference that include:

6. When and why the policy of recording actual measurements from weather stations into ADAM was modified through the placement of limits on the lowest temperature that an individual weather station could record;

7. Scrutiny of the methodology used by the Bureau in the remodelling of individual temperature series from ADAM for the creation of ACORN-SAT that is used to report climate change trends;

8. Scrutiny of the complex area weighting system currently applied to each of the individual series used in ACORN-SAT;

9. Clarification of the objectives of ACORN-SAT, specifically to ensure public expectations are consistent with the final product;

10. Clarification as to why statistically-relevant uncertainty values generally increase, rather than decreases with homogenisation.

Step 3 – Establishment of a formal Red Team*, setup independently of the Bureau, to formally advise the parliamentary committee mentioned in Step 2. In particular, the Red Team might:

11. Act to challenge, where appropriate, the evidence and arguments of the Blue Team (the Bureau);

12. Provide a genuinely open review environment so the parliamentarians (and public) can hear the counter arguments and evidence, including how homogenisation may have corrupted the official historical temperature record – and incorrectly suggest that every year is hotter than the previous;

13. Suggest lines of argument for the parliamentary committee to consider, and questions to ask.

Step 4 – As a government committed to innovation, the Bureau be told to consider alternative and more advanced techniques for the storage, quality assurance and reconstruction of historical datasets, in particular:

14. A two-day workshop be held at which the Bureau’s ACORN-SAT team (currently 2.5 people) be exposed to the latest quality assurance techniques and big-data methods – including the application of artificial neural networks for historical temperature reconstructions as an alternative to homogenisation.

In summary – This four-step process must be implemented as a matter of urgency. Incorrect historical temperature data currently underpins the theory of human-caused global warming that has resulted in government policies ostensibly to mitigate further global warming. These policies are costing the Australian economy hundreds of billions of dollars, and forcing-up the price of electricity for ordinary Australian families and businesses.

* Red Team versus Blue Team exercises take their name from their military antecedents. The idea is that the Red Team provides evidence critical of Blue Team’s methodology (i.e. the Bureau’s temperature data handling and recording methods). The concept was originally applied to test force readiness in the military, and has since been applied to test physical security of sensitive sites like nuclear facilities, and also information security systems.

13 Responses to Four-Steps Needed to Restore Confidence in Bureau’s Handling of Temperature Data

  1. Mick In The Hills August 8, 2017 at 11:28 am #

    Would there be such wide-spread suspicions about objective curating of temps records around the world if the climategate emails had not seen the light of day?

  2. RickWill August 8, 2017 at 2:27 pm #

    The globe is warming. The temperature of the oceans that affect climate on a human scale has increased 0.19C in the last 50 years; putting faith in the relevant NOAA data. This is the continuation of a long trend for the last 150 years although there are early signs the trend is reversing. The temperature rise is in no way harmful to life on earth.

    The increase in CO2, whether due to burning fossil fuel or slight warming of the oceans, has been magnificent for crop and forrest production.

    By contrast the RET in Australia is destroying the Australian economy. It will force wholesale electricity prices to $700/MWh within two decades if it is not removed.

  3. Gordon Alderson August 8, 2017 at 7:31 pm #

    Congratulations on so thoroughly thinking through and documenting how the Bureau of Meteorology can recover the Australian and hence global community’s confidence in its scientific integrity.

  4. Glen Michel August 8, 2017 at 8:51 pm #

    Hard yards against apathy,obstructionism and mendacity. Keep heart Jennifer,right is on our side – there is no doubt about that.

  5. hunter August 8, 2017 at 11:57 pm #

    Good job, Jennifer:
    Point out that a problem exists and offer reasonable solutions to deal with the problem.
    My suspicion is that BOM will resist this with great vigor and seek to blame you and anyone else pointing out that there is a problem.
    If the BOM would even stop destroying the historical data they could demonstrate good faith.
    But that is the problem, apparently.

  6. George Gell August 9, 2017 at 10:51 am #

    Thank you Jennifer

  7. Ingvar Warnoltz August 9, 2017 at 11:20 am #

    Thank you very much for ‘belling the cat’. For too long we have been subject to spurious hysterical outcries about global warming.
    First, go back to the East Anglia email revelations in which CSIRO was asked to add another weather station. CSIRO gave them Cobar. I cannot imagine any warmer place in Australia.
    To establish any global warming is a simple statistical exercise, providing you make comparison with the same situated equipments. Any grade 10 student can do that. A cursory look at CO2 levels if a global warming has been found, then we have global change.
    However, the atmosphere contains 999,600 ppm more which are not accounted for and may very possibly be causing the warming.

  8. Ian Thomson August 9, 2017 at 6:36 pm #

    Big job shaking Can’tberra. Surely it can be done.

  9. David Vought August 10, 2017 at 1:03 am #

    Well done Jennifer.
    Sadly I don’t think Josh Frydenberg has the ticker to do anything, just like Malcolm when asked to pull his Banker mates in line.
    A quick hit wth a feather duster and off to the next scam.

  10. Don B August 10, 2017 at 1:30 am #

    STEP 5 Have the historical record include temperatures from the 1800s, the hottest period in the recent 150 years.

  11. Ian Thomson August 10, 2017 at 6:35 pm #

    Well for now , they are going El Ninoing and this looks like La Nina, to me. Humboldt all cold and flowing, nice spear across the Pacific and some warm in front of it. Nice clouds to protect the GBR from UV and a storm or two in Qld ?

  12. Bitter&Twisted August 12, 2017 at 7:57 am #

    You don’t possibly think that the bunch of self-interested crooks, who rum BOM, will allow any independent audit do you?

  13. Ve2 August 13, 2017 at 5:47 am #

    Ain’t going to happen, once increased temperatures through the agency of the Global Warming scam was tied to increased taxes, corruption was inevitable and permanent.

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