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Dennis Jensen MP — Calls for audit on the BOM and CSIRO data

Posted By Joanne Nova On March 27, 2014 @ 6:32 pm In Global Warming | Comments Disabled

Dennis Jensen, M.P. in the Australian Parliament, made a formal parliamentary request for an audit of the BOM and CSIRO data handling processes.

This is an excellent request, something Australia desperately needs. Good data on the climate.

Given how important our climate is, I’m sure Tim Flannery, The Climate Council, The Australian Conversation Foundation, and The Australian Greens will join us in demanding that the BOM and CSIRO datasets are independently audited. Naturally, all of us would want to ensure our climate data is of the highest quality possible and not subject to any kinds of confirmation bias, or inexplicable adjustments. Right? And maybe its even worse than we thought, so they will want to check, yes?

Let’s leave no stone unturned in making sure we understand the threats to the Australian environment, the impact on our farms and homes, and on our National Balance Sheet! How could any Green disagree?

Dennis Jensen talks about the response he got from the BOM and the questions he did not get answered:

” ... the BOM state the temperature trend prior to 1910 is unreliable. But the IPCC use data on Australia going back to 1850. So the question is, how to reconcile unreliable Australian data prior to 1910, with supposedly reliable data going back to 1850. Let’s suppose Australia has the most unreliable data on the planet…. even then, … how can their global estimates be reliable.

How then can global average temperatures be reliable prior to 1910…?

Has the BOM advised the IPCC in writing that Australia’s data before 1910 is unreliable? If so what was the IPCC response?

…we have a similar rate of warming from 1910 to 1945 and from  1975 to 1998, after which there was a haitus… the simple fact is the warming from 1910-1945 cannot be blamed on CO2.

Why are our old historic and detailed temperature records being ignored? Why does the BOM use mysterious methods without full and complete details to adjust our datasets?

He refers to the APS panel discussions, to the Darwin adjustments, to the strange way the oceans are now taking up the missing heat, but why did this mechanism only become operative after 1998?  What is that mysterious mechanism? Why, if they are taking up heat, is the the sea level rise not accelerating? Why is there a lack of an upper tropospheric hot spot.

Dennis Jensen is the only science based PhD in the Australian Parliament. He’s the only one asking questions which are so crucial to spending billions of dollars. He is an under-recognised asset. (Who else would ask these essential but detailed questions?) We need more politicians with his analytical background. Give Dennis our support.

Jennifer Marohasy has been in contact with Dennis Jensen and is keeping me informed (the information below comes from her blog).

Marohasy sent a letter to Greg Hunt, Minister for The Environment with 7 questions in early March. This is part of question 4.

Q4. Given potential and actual conflicts of interest, could the Australian Bureau of Statistics, (ABS) rather than the Bureau of Meteorology, be tasked with the job of leading the high quality and objective interpretation of the historical temperature record for Australia?

Confirmation bias is a tendency for people to treat data selectively and favor information that confirms their beliefs. Such bias can quickly spread through an organization unless there are procedures in place to guard against groupthink. Groupthink – Psychological Studies of Policy Decisions and Fiascos (Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston, 1983) by Irving L Janis is the seminal text in the area and outlines how irrespective of the personality characteristics and other predispositions of the members of a policy-making group, the groupthink syndrome is likely to emerge given particular conditions; including that the decision-makers constitute a cohesive group, lack norms requiring methodical procedures and are under stress from external threats. This can lead to illusions of invulnerability and belief in the inherent morality of the group leading to self-censorship, illusions of unanimity and an incomplete consideration of alternative solutions to the issue at hand. All of these characteristics can be applied to the Bureau, which is particularly convinced of the inherent moral good in both its cause and approach to the issue of global warming.

Climategate emails revealed a mindset of scientific tribalism:

These emails show that managers at the Bureau including David Jones and Neil Plummer, rely on other climate scientists, particularly those at the heart of Climategate, for statistical advice and share the general contempt of the mainstream climate science community for rigorous scientific analysis.

For example, in an email dated 7th September 2007 Dr Jones wrote to Phil Jones from the Climate Research Unit that, “Truth be know,[sic] climate change here is now running so rampant that we don’t need meteorological data to see it.” In an email dated 5th January 2005, David Parker from the UK Met Office wrote to Mr Plummer resisting a suggestion that the period used to calculate temperature anomalies be corrected on the basis that “the impression of global warming will be muted.”

Edward Wegman pointed out that it is common practice in the regulation of pharmaceuticals to involve statisticians. Since billions of dollars, and potentially lives are at risk, why wouldn’t we use similar standards for environmental work?

To read it all, visit Jennifer Marohasy’s blog.


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