JoNova

A science presenter, writer, speaker & former TV host; author of The Skeptic's Handbook (over 200,000 copies distributed & available in 15 languages).


Handbooks

The Skeptics Handbook

Think it has been debunked? See here.

The Skeptics Handbook II

Climate Money Paper


Advertising

micropace


GoldNerds

The nerds have the numbers on precious metals investments on the ASX



Archives

Scandal: BoM thermometer records adjusted “by month” — mysterious square wave pattern discovered

There is some major messing with data going on.

What would you say if you knew that the official Perth thermometer was accurate at recording minimums for most of time in October  in the eighties, but 0.7°C too warm all of December, and 1.2°C too cool in January? Bizarrely that same thermometer was back to being too warm in February! Try to imagine what situation could affect that thermometer, and require post hoc corrections of this “monthly” nature. Then imagine what could make that same pattern happen year after year. All those weather reports we listened to in Perth in 1984 were wrong (apparently). And this bizarre calendar of corrections is turning up all over Australia.

Bob Fernley-Jones has looked closely at all the adjustments done to achieve the wonderful homogenized ACORN data, as compared to the theoretically “raw” records listed in Climate Data Online (CDO) on the BOM website. He can’t know what the BOM did (since they won’t tell anyone), but he knows the outcome of their homogenization. He was shocked when he noticed a strange square-wave pattern repeating year after year; he was astonished that there were corrections calendar month by calendar month, up and down, switching wildly back and forth.

This graph below shows how the adjustments changed the original record in Perth from December 1983 to Nov 1984 (summer-autumn-winter-spring). This is ACORN temperatures minus the original CDO. A negative number means the adjusted “new” result is lower (cooler) than the original, a positive number shows how much warmer the adjusted result is. If we believe the adjustments, for the whole month of December 1983, each morning, the Perth thermometer was reading the minima too high by about 0.7°C. Then from January 1 to January 31 the thermometers switched to reading too low by a massive 1.2°C. That’s an eye-watering swing of almost 2 degrees. Come February 1st, and those thermometers switched again, to being too warm. It’s lucky, don’t you think, that the modern BOM is so knowledgeable they can compensate for the bizarre misbehaviour and moods of thermometers? It’s almost like astrology for temperature sensors. The thing is, if thermometers are this fickle, how can the BOM honestly tell the Australian public that they know the nation is warming, and to a tenth of a degree? The “equipment” is so bad, how do we know anything for sure?

...

This strange pattern of corrections appears year after year in Perth in the 1980s

Chris Gillham took Bob’s method and graphed Perth corrections for all years from 1910-2014. Averaged over the whole period, in January mornings the thermometers apparently read far too cool, but the same thermometers in February read too warm. The flip from December to January is a whopper 1.6°C difference between the corrections “needed” on the same thermometer on Dec 31st compared to New Years Day. That must have been some party, year after year.

Disconcertingly, all those weather reports I heard in Perth as a child were wrong. All those times the weather bureau said it was a 15°C night in Perth in the eighties, they really meant 16°C (if it were January) but 14°C (if it were December or March). Night after night, the bureau was getting it wrong. A degree here, a degree there, a thousand days of mistakes in every city. Don’t the Australian people need to know this? Isn’t there something just a little false about announcing “the hottest” month when the headline depends on adjustments that rewrite the past?

Thermometers are a 400 year old technology. If thermometers were so bad in 1984, aren’t they still unreliable? How do we know that the current records will not be corrected and erased in 2036?

The message here is that the data adjustments, which the BOM won’t explain, are massive. They can pretend it doesn’t affect the overall national trend by more than a fraction of a degree, but it rewrites the history of Australian weather and it suggests that any national trend is wildly uncertain — the instruments are far too fickle. Some of the trends, and many of the records and headlines, are a product of the adjustments more than the weather. Why won’t the BOM be honest about the scale of the fiddling? If climate change matters, why won’t the BOM answer questions?

This is wholesale rewriting of Australian history, and it’s a scandal. Read all the details and see all the graphs below.

– Jo

——————————————————————————————————–

GUEST POST by Bob Fernley-Jones

Corrupted Australian Surface Temperature Records. (Part 2)

Illogical Algorithms   3/July/2015

Introduction:

This is a summary of part of a study involving some 50 Mb of data that was prompted by various controversies over the Australian Bureau of Meteorology’s (BoM) ‘homogenization’ of temperature records. The Bureau have made ‘corrections’ for nominal changes in site conditions over which criticisms have included that it has resulted in exaggeration of the reported warming trend, such as by excluding hotter data from before 1910; the starting point of their homogenisation.

However this is not about the methodology that the BoM has used in homogenization.  Instead it is a test for reasonableness in the resultant DATA after changes they made to their currently available “raw data”.  By raw is meant that recently retained under the BoM source; ‘Climate Data Online’ (CDO).

Still further controversy surrounds earlier data than the “raw data” used here.  However, it has been established alongside this summary that with all 24 locations researched so far having long records, that the homogenised data are undoubtedly based on the CDO “raw data” in those long records.  That said, many stations have short records and unfortunately much data in the shorter term have been made common between CDO and the homogenized ACORN- SAT (ACORN) files.

Nevertheless, any discovery of substantive corruption in that data is enough to say that the homogenization is unacceptable, regardless of what their methodology was or the “rawness” of the data used.

It is not possible to suggest what the BoM methodology should result in, because their processes have not been released to the public in sufficient detail.  However, it ought to be possible to validate if that data meets the required standards of reasonableness without knowing HOW they got there

In this part of the study, an area of startling interest was spotted in the graph for Perth.

Method and notes below are largely the same as for Part I

NOTES on the presentation:

The following charts visually illustrate anomalies in the BoM temperature records, by comparing downloads from two of their several data portals, namely; CDO and the homogenized ACORN files.

CDO daily data were subtracted from the ACORN version via digital processes and plotted in EXCEL 2010 spreadsheet software for 24 cities and remote rural sites, out of which six important sites are used here.  The anomalies are of great variety in their magnitude, shape and displacement.  (By displacement is meant the distance up or down of their centroids relative to the zero horizontal axis).

These findings identify major problems with the BoM’s data processing methodology or skills (at least).

NOTES on reading the charts:

  • The graphs are unusual in format.  Please do not skip these notes.  The red plot lines are daily maxima and the blue are daily minima on a highly compressed scale spread over up to ~38,000 days.  Some blue data may be smothered by the red which is plotted secondly.  In all cases an annual cycle is clearly evident because of seasonality.
  • Those values that go up or down (in 0C) to the boundaries of the chart are the result of no data in either ACORN or CDO and thus are corrupted, (not anomalies in the sense as used here).  They are only of interest in indicating the completeness of the record.  Note that the horizontal zero axis origin is not at the base of the chart but towards the centre because of both positive and negative temperature anomalies.
  • In all cases, running back from 2014, ACORN is the same as CDO but for unexplained greatly varying periods.  Thus there are no anomalies (differences) in those periods, and only a red line is seen at the zero axis line.
  • Negative temperature anomalies (ACORN – CDO) that are biased towards 1910 mean that the homogenization has resulted in an increased warming trend. (Vice versa for positive anomalies)
  • Summer in Australia is from 1/December to end February
  • BTW, the regimented cycling seen in the following plots is a partial validation of the anomaly methodology, which was used here and in Part I: A mess of temperature adjustments in Australian capital cities.

Fig 1)  Perth Anomalies:  

The capital of Western Australia is a star performer for inexplicable anomalies in the ACORN “corrections” as discussed in PART 1, but here is where some strange algorithms were first noticed and subsequently found in abundance at other sites.

There is an area of interest highlighted which in expanded view reveals monthly step-changes in the daily data and several concerns.  Careful study shows varying monthly step-changes throughout the Perth record and elsewhere.

 

...

(Click to enlarge)

Fig 2)  Perth Underlying Algorithms: 

The many similarly repeated cycles suggest that under the daily data noise there is a fixed underlying algorithm for each step-change.  By averaging the noise for each month, it follows that the smoothed average for a typical year will be a close approximation of that underlying algorithm, such as this:

 

...

….

Chris Gillham has also checked this out independently for the minima using different software. His results are in Fig 2b averaged over a longer period:

Fig 3)  Perth, is this Cherry-picking? 

No, because while it’s most obvious in Fig 3 (a) three other four-year periods also reveal monthly steps but under much daily data noise:

 

 

Fig 4)  Other State/Territory Capitals:

Each of these four examples lie in the same three-year period from 1/December/1960.  All are affected by daily data noise but Adelaide is the most obvious example of monthly steps (or bimonthly) but careful examination shows it to be present on all four sites.  The seasonal distribution effects have differing phasing but Hobart is very flat despite that its range of extremes is somewhat similar to Melbourne.

 

Fig 5)  Other Surprises: 

Out of the 24 sites so far studied, three have bare underlying algorithms (without any daily data) for the early years after 1910, and here are two:

Additional Comments:

a) In choosing six capital cities with long records, (which excludes Brisbane, and Canberra), there was an expectation that these sites would have the best resources, and probably the most robust records out of the 112 ACORN stations.

b) This essay concentrates on the findings of strange algorithms in the anomaly data but there are earlier problematic findings many strange anomalies in our capital city temperature records including unaccountable step-changes etcetera that are simply not credible.

c) The monthly algorithms are within the ACORN process rather than the raw data or some natural process by virtue of them being different within every major step-change, they being created in ACORN, (In one step-change, for Hobart in Tasmania, the cycles are constant for 88 years!)

Conclusions:

These monthly cycle algorithms do not pass the test for reasonableness because of their great variety with each major step-change.  Some have seasonal distributions which are implausible.    It is currently not possible to analyse why this is so, but whatever, they have fatally low credibility.

 

——————–

References:

ACORN Station Catalogue. (Including history of sites involved…. Sometimes two entirely different locations)

Sortable list of ACORN-SAT stations with linked data

Climate Data Online (CDO starting page)

Acknowledgements:

Thank you especially to Phil, Chris Gillham, Lance Pidgeon and Geoffrey Sherrington

Disclosures:

I’m a retired mechanical engineer with no past or present funding for my subject research from anyone. (Or interests other than seeking proper scientific methodology).

Compiled by Bob Fernley-Jones    (Mechanical engineer retired)

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 9.3/10 (113 votes cast)
Scandal: BoM thermometer records adjusted "by month" -- mysterious square wave pattern discovered, 9.3 out of 10 based on 113 ratings

Tiny Url for this post: http://tinyurl.com/nltx46e

118 comments to Scandal: BoM thermometer records adjusted “by month” — mysterious square wave pattern discovered

  • #
    Eliza

    This is a very significant posting. Lets hope mainstream media picks this up. The other big news is that Arctic ice minimum is likely to be way ABOVE all previous years at current melting rate.
    http://ocean.dmi.dk/arctic/icecover.uk.php

    422

    • #
      Ted O'Brien.

      Well, Eliza, I see it as a very significant posting too. Very significant indeed, probably good enough to whack the politicians about the ears with.

      O.T. But. I lay some of the blame for the demise of Australia’s wool industry at the feet of Bill Gates. He and his team gave us a wonderful program called Excel, but they didn’t make it foolproof. Simpletons in and about the Australian government misread its message to bankrupt the entire world trade in wool.

      However, Excel is a wonderful, wonderful tool. It makes it possible when necessary for ordinary people of intelligence to hold the “experts” to account.

      213

    • #
      Dennis

      More important that the government deals with the [snip... incompetent work and lack of transparency - Jo].

      00

    • #
      Colin Henderson

      ACORN – A Correction of Reliable Numbers

      Any other suggestions, we could have fun with this!

      131

    • #
      Harry Twinotter

      Eliza,

      the Arctic sea ice extent is currently below average. It changes day by day, so the minimum will not be known until sometime in September 2015.

      22

  • #
    cohenite

    Extraordinary work and the basis for a PR paper or comment on this issue of BOM homogenisation. Don’t forget policies on climate change and renewables based on the BOM and the CSIRO records have cost Australia $billions.

    435

    • #
      King Geo

      And don’t forget policies on climate change and renewables based on IPCC and other “AGW Propaganda Entities” have cost the World Economy US$trillions – and what is there to show for it? – e.g. the EU who has fast tracked to “Renewables”, is looking terminal with Greece going down the gurglar first followed no doubt by other EU member countries down into the abyss unless the lunacy stops. The EU can’t lay all the blame to the GFC – its impact was far less than the fast tracking to hopelessly uneconomic “Renewables”.

      320

    • #
      Ross

      Cohenite & King Geo

      This is the key point the warmists do not seem to grasp. The extreme cost of the policies enacted because of a theory , because that is all it is, a theory. If it was any where near proven all this data tampering would not be necessary.

      102

  • #
    Robert O

    It’s getting all too complicated for a non mathematician, but my understanding is that many of the original data have been changed to between 0.5 to 1 degree Celsius: The effect being one has to wonder as to the accuracy of global temperature estimates. So we have land-based data showing some warming on one side, and the satellite data showing no warming for 18 years. What does one believe? We know that satellite measurements cover both land and sea, are not homogenised, and the sensing devices are accurate to 0.1 degree.

    302

    • #

      “and the sensing devices are accurate to 0.1 degree.”
      Where, when, how? By the promoter of such devices? These fools measure narrow band radiance from way over yonder. They have no clue as to convert that to temperature any where/when!

      187

      • #
        TedM

        Except the satellite data tracks extremely well with the radiosonde, ie. Weather balloon data. The surface temperature record does not.

        Must be a happy coincidence, huh.

        141

        • #

          The balloon data measures the temperature of the thermistor never of the air. The remote stuff measures narrow band radiance of large areas of O2 all at different temperatures. Both are fraudulently adjusted to indicate some predetermined temperature. Neither group has a clue as to what is being measured. The remote stuff is much more repeatable, if they ever find out what they are measuring, and how everything else strongly affects such measurements.

          35

          • #
            Bob Fernley-Jones

            Hi Will,

            Good to see you around.
            Interesting points, if a tad off topic. Are you still enjoying that Arkansaw red plonk? (Plonk is Oz for what the French call vin ordinaire)

            Cheers.

            01

    • #
      Ted O'Brien.

      Robert, as I read this it isn’t complicated maths. Just simple arithmetic and lots of it, made easy by a computer program, probably Microsoft Excel. All it needs is somebody to pay for the work, or do it without charge. It doesn’t even need a full understanding of statistics, just basic stuff.

      And I think you will find that the satellite data are also homogenised, to a different set of parameters.

      No warming for 18 years? I’ll draw the picture as I understand it. 1. It has been warming, no question. 2. Pick a date, I nominate 1988, the year the IPCC started, because that’s when people started watching, and because events since make the picture clear.

      3. Now take the preceding period of 100 years, and draw the straight line which represents the averaged temperature year by year over that period to give the long term trend line. At times it will be below the real temps, and at times it will be above the real temps, averaging out.

      4. Now project that trend line into the future, now 2016. The AGW alarmist case is that the rate of warming will increase, putting the temperature above that long term trend line at an increasing rate.

      5. For the first 10 years after 1988 it did just that, almost convincing this cynical old farmer that they were right. Then the pause/hiatus or whatever they call it started, and it is still on.

      6. Now look at the temperatures post 1988. They were way above the long term trend line, and stayed above the long term trend line for years, but have now been below that line for years. So the short term trend line was steeper than the long term trend line as a result. For a statistical assessment, for the short term trend line to come back to the long term trend line we must have a period during which the temperatures stay below the long term trend line to average out the period when they were above the long term trend line.

      I haven’t done the work myself. I leave that to good, better resourced people who report and get reported here to do that. But I would expect to find that at the present time the post 1988 trend line is getting back fairly close to the long term line, and that if we don’t soon get some real record high temperatures, the post 1988 rate of increase will be declining below the long term line.

      Correct me if I’m wrong. I would be very interested to know just what the current position is.

      112

      • #
        Robert O

        Ted, thanks for your comments. There has been some warming since the 1800′s, perhaps 3/4 of a degree according the Central England records, so there must be a positive slope for a plot of temperature and time, but it seems to have stopped recently. What upsets me is there is no decent mathematical correlation between levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide and global temperature, hence any amount of carbon abatement will not change anything. What makes it worse is to hear some scientific ignoramus carry on about the urgency of it all when levels of carbon dioxide are predominately natural in origin, 97-97%, and are controlled by its solubility in the oceans.

        21

      • #
        Harry Twinotter

        Ted O’Brien.

        Yes, the global average temperature increase is sometimes above the long-term trend line, sometimes below. The rate speeds up and slows down, probably due to natural variability.

        But overall it is increasing.

        10

    • #
      UzUrBrain

      But aren’t the satellites calibrated (adjusted) to agree with the earths temperature when deployed and periodically due to “aging,” “drift,” changes in elevation, etc., etc., etc. (or what ever they want them to provide.

      60

    • #
      Harry Twinotter

      Robert O.

      That is the point – the global average temperature is estimated. The exact figure is unknown, and is in principle unknowable.

      The surface measurements cover both land and ocean as well.

      The satellite measurements are homogenised. Roy Spencer who looks after the UAH data set has just released a new version, and it included some large adjustments.

      10

  • #
    lemiere jacques

    a thermometer’ measures its own temperature…

    corrections can be needed for sure..but for individual themometers and with good reasons.

    so ok, for those corrections but what are the rasons for those corrections????

    40

    • #

      lemiere jacques
      It would be good if the thermometers instead of measuring their own temperature gave us just an indication of what the sometimes still air around the outside of the box they were in was like. I could believe this was all accurate and true if the colour the box was painted did not matter. Everyone knows the box is white because the temperature of the thermometer is affected by that but treat the reading as if nothing else went on. There is no chance that the colour of the box changed on cue at the end of every month.

      40

    • #
      TedM

      No a thermometer measures the temperature coefficient of expansion (mercury thermometer), or the electrical potential difference across a thermo-couple (electronic thermometer). The thermometer is then calibrated to read temperature.

      40

    • #
      Harry Twinotter

      lemiere Jacques.

      From reading the BOM doco, the thermometers are not corrected. I cannot find any evidence they are even calibrated – they are expected to be good enough and to give an accurate reading within a certain tolerance. I am pretty sure they are quality controlled from time to time, a faulty thermometer will get replaced.

      Raw data is in principle the log book used to record the temperatures, or the electronic record from Automatic Weather Stations.

      I cannot find any evidence that the AWAP data set is adjusted. Obvious errors might be corrected I guess.

      The ACORN data set is adjusted to remove non-climatic influences on the climate record.

      10

  • #
    King Geo

    As each year passes BOM transitions from the Bureau of Meteorology to the Bureau of Manipulation, well at least acorning, I mean according, to me.

    352

    • #
      Another Ian

      King Geo

      After discussion on a previous thread

      Bureau of Magic

      111

      • #
        King Geo

        Another Ian

        “Bureau of Magic” – that’s pretty apt – BOM personnel it seems have wizardry skills comparable to Harry Potter. They have certainly taken the broomstick to Oz’s vintage temperature data. Where there is a broom there is a bin and the latter is where aBOMinable BOM belong.

        91

        • #
          Another Ian

          King Geo

          Setting the record straight

          IIRC on the previous thread I started with a suggestion of Bureau of Black Magic and Bureau of Magic came up in replies.

          So I’m “following the consensus”

          50

  • #
    el gordo

    Last month in Sydney was unusually warm according to BoM, but I have grave doubts.

    ‘Temperatures in the city have extended their above-average run, with maximums in June about 1.6 degrees above the norm.

    ‘Overnight temperatures in June were about 0.7 degrees above normal, Ms Westcott said.’

    Hannam / SMH

    22

    • #
      RB

      The June average for Observatory Hill are not up. The mean is 9.3°C for the min so it must have been 10.0°C, still short of the top 10% of warmest June min temps (90%ile 10.6°C)

      For the maximum, its Jun mean is 17.0°C so last month must have been 18.6°C. That makes it into the top 10% (90%ile 18.4°C) but the June averages for 1918 to 1921 are 18.4,18.7,18.5, 19.0°C

      Take into account that its in the middle of the on ramp for the Sydney Harbour Bridge which commenced construction in 1923.

      21

  • #
    Paul Bamford

    So the World has warmed 0.7 of a degree Celsius since 1910 give or take 2 degrees. The claimed warming is actually smaller than their adjustments! So they don’t actually know for sure if has warmed at all over the last 100 years.

    303

    • #
      Peter C

      Perhaps worth repeating here the finding of Euan Mean, discussing temperature adjustments in Australia;


      But the thing that truly astonished me was the fact that the mean temperature trend for these 30 stations, 1880 to 2011, was a completely flat line. There has been no recorded warming across a very large portion of the Australian continent.

      So taking out Urban Heat Island Effects (which don’t apply in the uninhabited central area of Australia), and of course other local human influences, it does seem as if there has been No Change in Temperatures for over 100 years!

      That should take a lot of explaining by the warmists and it should be the starting point for the UNFCCC conference in Paris this year.

      231

      • #

        I am absolutely astonished by the number of people I have discussed this Climate Change/Global Warming beat up with who are unaware of the Urban Heat Island Effect, in general, and when explained, how it is almost universally tossed aside as having ANY effect at all on increasing temperatures. Some think it’s effect would only be of the most minimal proportions only in the major huge Capital cities, and as soon as I mention it would be for every city and even smaller towns as well, virtually all I get is scoffing dismissal.

        Incidentally, I’m beginning to have some hope.

        My 17 year old grand daughter and I are really close. At the moment, I’m the designated driving instructor, as she prefers me to her parents, mentioning that I have infinitely more patience.

        I’ve mentioned Climate Change/Global Warming to her a number of times, and she just rolls her eyes, saying, “Don’t you start,” even though she knows my position in all this. I’ve asked her a number of times about it now. She said that they get all this crap (her phrase) from her teachers at the huge Catholic school she goes to. She’s in her last year now, Year 12, a Senior, and she’s one of around 200 or more Seniors at the school.

        I also quizzed her if the students actually discuss it at all, and she tells me that it is NEVER ever mentioned by anyone, and if ever anyone does bring it up at all, it gets shut down on the spot. They actually detest the subject.

        That is what is encouraging for me.

        Tony.

        402

        • #
          Peter C

          Good work Tony!

          We have a chance with the 3rd generation.

          I have taught 2 daughters to drive a car, fairly successfully. There is plenty of time to discuss other matters while racking up the 110 hours of supervised instruction (or whatever it is now).

          No grand kids for me yet, unfortunately. I am hoping to have a real impact there, if they come along before I am too old.
          Bedtime stories is a huge opportunity to slip in a few messages, and they love it! Parents too busy but grandparents are in the box seat to shape the 3rd generation.

          190

          • #
            Dennis

            Quite some time ago I read a comment from a grandmother that when her grandchildren are with her, visiting or travelling in her car, she imposes a ban on mobile phones and computers and in the nicest possible way asks for conversation.

            61

        • #
          Manfred

          Tony, I think one can pretty much guarantee that institutionalised thought foisted on young minds is likely to lead to solid rejection. Anecdotally, I recall being informed as a twelve year old that missing mass on Sunday would ensure my soul was damned in perpetuity. At that tender age, a little 20 mV jolt shot across a cortical synapse creating an entirely new association called the BS antenna.

          220

          • #
            ROM

            I am not particularly surprised by the reaction of the younger generation to the global warming catastrophe pimps.

            I have been a member of our local gliding club since it’s formation in 1963.
            Sadly the club is now fading away .
            The constant lament as with many, maybe most clubs around in rural Australia is, the young ones aren’t interested and we can’t get them interested.
            Which in the last few years, in fact probably my last few years on this planet, got me thinking about generational change.

            My generation created, built and developed the local gliding club until it was a very active club through the 70′s, 80′s and into the early 90′s and then it started to fade.
            We expected the next generation of youngsters to come right on into the club and keep it going in a similar fashion as it had been in the past.
            And thats where all clubs like ours can make a serious miscalculation.

            What those of us of the older generations forget is that just like us when we were much younger, the younger generations are out there right now, building their own social and societal structures which are very different indeed to those my older generation built.
            They in turn as they age will wonder why they can’t get their kids and younger generations interested in joining and carrying on their social and societal structures their generation built and developed.

            Each generation creates it’s own particular way of doing things and develops its own generational memes and then fails to understand why the next generation fails and refuses to continue what they had so lovingly and dedicatedly built and developed.

            They fail totally to understand that the next generation is merely out there doing exactly the same as they did, building and developing their own society and social structures but as in all generational changes as it has always been, in a different way, in a different time and and in different circumstances.

            So if the younger generation rolls the eyes at the mention of global warming, they had nothing to do with creating that meme .
            Thats for the oldies and their antediluvian inability to get with the latest fashion or have any understanding of the really important things in life, whatever that might currently be.

            232

            • #
              Ted O'Brien.

              Computer games are making our society unsustainable.

              31

            • #
              aussiepete

              Thank you ROM for a very thoughtful and thought provoking post. Also thanks to Manfred for your concise lesson in neurochemistry.

              40

        • #
          Neville

          Tony UHIE got a mention from the German weather service lately.
          Here is my comment yesterday. Perhaps 10C, but what do you think?

          Neville

          July 4, 2015 at 11:09 am · Reply

          The German weather service now thinks that the UHIE may be as high as 10C. If that’s the case it sure doesn’t leave much room for CAGW.

          http://notrickszone.com/2015/07/03/dwd-german-weather-service-says-uhi-effect-as-much-as-10c-judith-curry-puts-heat-waves-on-ice/#sthash.bfROlfQz.dpbs

          Also that so called runaway warming at the Antarctic peninsula doesn’t seem to add up to much since the 1950s. After looking at the graph you’d have to ask where is their CAGW?

          http://notrickszone.com/2015/07/02/awis-sloppy-antarctic-peninsula-science-oversaw-giss-temperature-data-snowfall-amounts/#sthash.DV6X89mT.dpbs

          61

      • #
        Uzurbrain

        Have you seen this report on UHI?
        http://notrickszone.com/2015/07/03/dwd-german-weather-service-says-uhi-effect-as-much-as-10c-judith-curry-puts-heat-waves-on-ice/#sthash.cqVMxtma.dpbs
        In the days before air conditioners, I went to college in the city but lived in the country. It was amazing that on hot days in the summer how the closer I got to home the cooler it was. Often as much as 10 degrees F.

        110

        • #
          aussiepete

          I travel into Sydney in the very early hours almost every day. Frequently in winter, on an otherwise clear day bereft of fog in every direction there is one exception and that is the muffin top of fog shrouding the tops of the tall buildings. I’m sure the readers of this blog do not need an explanation of why this is so.Perhaps someone could play devil’s advocate and ask the BOM to explain it.

          40

  • #
    Peter Miller

    My guess is that even the bureaucrat data manipulators in the BOM do not know what is going on, or are even aware of this.

    It sounds like some real independents need to go into the BOM and start this whole ACORN process over again from scratch, I understand the need for some kind of homogenisation, but the need to make the process replicable and transparent is paramount. I know these concepts are heresy at the BOM, but you will never get to the bottom of this, if any investigation is simply left to alarmist lackeys.

    The question now is: how much of this type of inexplicable data manipulation is a global phenomenon?

    181

    • #
      Peter C

      The question now is: how much of this type of inexplicable data manipulation is a global phenomenon?

      It seems like it might be happening everywhere, by people in similar jobs sharing the same motivation.
      https://stevengoddard.wordpress.com/data-tampering-at-ushcngiss/

      Hopefully the Global Warming Policy Foundation Enquiry into Temperature Adjustments is copied into this post.
      http://www.thegwpf.org/inquiry-launched-into-global-temperature-data-integrity/

      Will they respond soon or are they waiting for a maximum impact announcement?

      121

    • #
      Leigh

      Every BOM or its equivalents around the world are members of the same “club”.
      This is where your “world’s best secret practice” was developed.
      So in answer to your question, “how much of this type of inexplicable data manipulation is a global phenomenon”?
      I would say all of it!
      I think it was a bloke by the name of Strong, an economist, Canadian I think, got em all “practicing” the same deception.
      More recently,there’s a growing noise in America about the manipulation of their historical temperature record as well.
      Somebody here could enlighten you a little better than me.
      Or do a little digging yourself.
      https://www.wmo.int/pages/index_en.html

      71

      • #
        Leigh

        The WMO hierarchy answers exclusively to the United Nations.
        From Wikipedia.
        The World Meteorological Congress determines the policy of WMO and meets every four years.
        Each Member country is represented by a Permanent Representative with WMO.
        The Permanent Representative should be the director of the National Meteorological or Hydrometeorological Service.
        The Executive Council (EC) implements Congress decisions and meets once a year.
        Six regional associations for addressing regional concerns (see the section on regional associations.
        Eight technical commissions provide technical recommendations for WMO and the national services.
        The secretariat headed by the Secretary-General coordinates the activities of WMO with a regular staff of more than 250 employees.
        And that’s why they all “practice” the same [snip] deception!
        Maurice Strong was the bloke I was refering to.
        Google him if you want to see his relevance in the global warming movement and the United Nations.
        (my snip)

        21

    • #
      Dennis

      BOM climate change section is another example of taxpayer’s monies being wasted on employment of people intent of being partisan political players.

      81

  • #
    TdeF

    “Summer in Australia is from 1/December to 31/January”?

    That is only a two month summer. The four seasons are three months each, so surely February is in summer, especially in Australia. It is our hottest month.

    150

    • #
      TdeF

      Actually it is far worse.

      In most countries the seasons technically start on the 1st of the month, but practically they start on the 22nd of the month, as with the winter solstice and summer solstice and the equinoxes. So like the Northern Hemisphere, there is a 3 week lag between bureaucractic seasons and actual seasons. Given the time take to heat up and cool down, about 6 weeks. So the idea of an 8 week summer starting on 1st December actually misses much of the warm weather in Australia. It can be freezing at Christmas.

      120

    • #

      TdeF you are right. I have fixed that. Summer is D J F, and there is something very strange about the adjustments in this season. We still have not got to the bottom of what effect it would have on trends and headlines to make such wildly different changes to each month of summer.

      121

  • #
    mem

    Some questions;
    1. Do all BOM staff participate or is it a very exclusive group that aggregates and “refines” the temperatures?
    2.If an independent person/organization offered a major reward say $100,000 for information on the possible corruption of climate data, do you think this might get some results? Well worth asking the question I think?

    221

  • #

    I think it is time for Tony Abbott to cook up a Royal Commission into our Met-Industry, and anyone involved in changing data needs to [edit... explain exactly why and how they did it. -Jo] (Selling us to the UN and bankers in the City of London and NYC?).

    Monckton can testify … we should call it the ‘Hockey Stick Commission’

    151

    • #
      Ted O'Brien.

      Tony Abbott should start personally publishing the facts. Maurice Newman has started the ball rolling for him. The ABC has shown itself up for the political animal that it is, and other political scammers should be feeling the backlash.

      Win the next election then we won’t need a Royal Commission. Save the pennies.

      60

      • #
        Dennis

        Win the 2016 election because the alternative would be adding Greece to the slippery slope the alternative created, but just as important is to also vote to secure a Senate that supports government legislation that makes good sense.

        20

    • #
      Dennis

      The basis should be, as Tony Abbott commented last year, not allowing socialism to masquerade as environmentalism.

      60

  • #
    Andrew McRae

    At least Chris’ monthly analysis shows that BoM did not manufacture any greenhouse warming fingerprints, otherwise JJA minimums in winter would be increased much more than the other 9 months. They must be kicking themselves at a wasted opportunity.

    OTOH what is that huge discrepancy between Dec and Jan adjustments?

    Did Christmas festivities leave the volunteers too hammered to check the overnight minimums until later in the morning, but somehow January has the opposite effect? But that can’t be it as they used min/max thermometers didn’t they? The min of the previous 24 hours will be the same regardless of Time of Observation because temperature is only going up at 9am.

    Is the December solstice flipping things around? Now there’s a solar effect on climate nobody expected!

    Do the winds change direction significantly between Dec and Jan? Warm winds from inland seem stronger in January than in Dec. To offset that would require lowering Jan, but they raised it. But climate is climate and wind is part of that. Wind direction and speed should not be the reason for the adjustment anyhow.

    Does bright yellow wheat reflect sunlight and cause artificial cooling which should be corrected by warming the record in Nov+Dec? That can’t be it as that’s the opposite of what the BoM have done.

    Were there lots of camp fires around the weather station in Dec followed by lots of surplus party ice being dumped in Jan?

    Maybe December adjustments are to offset artificial heating caused by kids playing boisterously with their Christmas presents for a week, then January was artificially cooled by white sunscreen-covered backs of holidaymakers raising the effective albedo of the earth. Maybe.

    Weird. Or not “reasonable” as Bob puts it.
    As exciting as all this speculation is, it would be better for the BoM to simply explain each adjustment.

    151

  • #
    Roger

    Is the Judicial Review process available ?

    If so it might be a good starting point to force BOM to explain under challenge before a judge.

    81

    • #
      Peter C

      Problematic!

      In August 2010, the (New Zealand Climate Change) Coalition commenced legal action against the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research, asking the High Court to invalidate its official temperature record, to prevent it using the temperature record when advising Government and to require the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research to produce a “full and accurate” temperature record.[11][12] In 2012, the High Court declined all claims and ruled that the Coalition pay NIWA’s costs.[13][14] In response to the ruling, the Coalition liquidated the trust fund it administered to handle the court case, in an attempt to avoid financial liability.[15]

      Membership[edit]

      The chairman of the group is Jack Welch, a former Navy Rear Admiral.[4]

      The founding members were:[5]
      Coal chemist Vincent R. Gray
      Geologist Robert M. Carter and former researcher at the Marine Geophysical Laboratory at James Cook University in Australia
      Environmental campaigner David Bellamy
      Augie Auer (deceased), atmospheric scientist and meteorologist
      Gerrit J. van der Lingen a geologist and paleoclimatologist
      Warwick Hughes
      Roger Dewhurst, consulting hydrogeologist
      Len Walker

      Ref:https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_Zealand_Climate_Science_Coalition

      100

  • #
    Manfred

    Raw data is in scientific terms, sacrosanct. ‘Adjustment’ is fine as long as it is a. stated b. repeatable (by others). Whether it is defensible in the context of justified and required is another matter. If the methodology is shonky or indefensible the premise crashes and burns, whether it is published or not.
    We all know this.
    Were this data associated with a drug trial or with tobacco research, for example, the fan would have been utterly wrecked by now given the amount of shaet hitting it.
    That it is climate and weather “science” it appears to get an endless free pass from jail every time.
    This rancid stench around the BOM is getting too pervasive to be managed by some air freshner. It’s time for the flame thrower.

    171

    • #
      Dennis

      The CSIRO climate change section needs to be audited too.

      80

    • #
      Binny

      I believe what has happened is. A programmer working for a company contracted by the BOM has applied a (fairly crude) statistical model to the temp record.
      This person is a programmer, and has little or no knowledge of scientific methods or thermomotors.
      But had an intuitive knowledge of what the client wanted to see, and tweaked the model to get that (graphed) result.

      Senior BOM staff with no knowledge of programing, saw the graphs they wanted to see, and signed off on the job – Without asking for methodology.
      Now having attached their names to the job they have no choice but to defend it to the death.
      People asking for methodology, are asking for something that doesn’t exist.

      72

  • #
    Lord Jim

    mysterious square wave pattern

    It’s climate change wot dunnit!!

    60

    • #
      Lord Jim

      Actually, I think I have figured out what ‘ACORN’ stands for:

      Asystematic
      Centrifugal
      Oscillation
      Reproducing
      Numbers

      61

  • #
    ROM

    Just digging around on the net and found the this following report which technically is way beyond any quick casual scanned understanding that I could possibly follow in my own mathematics challenged persona.
    I would be surprised if Bob Fernely -Jones and Jo and other mathematical savvy denizens on this site weren’t already familiar with this report;

    Techniques involved in developing the Australian Climate Observations Reference Network – Surface Air Temperature (ACORN-SAT) dataset

    CAWCR Technical Report No. 049

    Blair Trewin

    March 2012
    __________________

    The whole ACORN adjustment of temperature series appears to be incredibly complex with a number of different techniques and algorithms being used depending on a variety of station situations.

    In fact it is even admitted in the “Concluding Remarks” that ;

    The methods implemented for the ACORN-SAT data set were very labour-intensive, particularly for quality control.
    This presents an obstacle to such methods being scaled up to be applied to multi-national or global-scale data sets, along with the limited international availability of supporting data (for reference series) and metadata.
    In principle, however, it should be feasible to automate the homogenisation process, at least up to the point of producing an initial set of homogenised data.

    Which indicates that there is NO homogenisation program anywhere in the world that is accurate and can be applied universally while giving the minimum of potentially false outcomes and entirely false results as we are seeing
    If there was then I have no doubt that the BOM would have used and adopted such a homogenisation program rather than try and re- invent the wheel aka reinvent homogenisation programs all over again for Australia’s temperature records.
    **
    Page 52 has a graph which is somewhat similar to the one that Jo has headlined.

    Fig. 15(b). (top) Example of transfer function for winter minimum temperatures (°C) at Kerang; (bottom) transfer function expressed as inter-site differences.

    Then we have Alice Springs page 86 as another example given which with homogenisation has a range in minimum temperature variations of some 1.6 C

    Fig. 29. Accumulated annual mean adjustments (°C) for minimum temperature at Alice Springs, relative to 2009.

    10.6 Changes in surrounding vegetation – Alice Springs
    The homogenisation procedure detected a large number of relatively small shifts, in both directions, in minimum temperature at Alice Springs in the post-1974 period (Fig. 29).
    There was no significant site move at Alice Springs after 1974, but the shifts matched multi-year rainfall variations quite closely, with a tendency for higher minimum temperatures in the years following very dry periods and lower minimum temperatures in the years following very wet periods.

    Station photographs over the post-2000 period suggest that the height of vegetation (mostly grass) in the 100-200 metres around the immediate instrument enclosure varies considerably, being quite high during wet periods (e.g. immediately after the very wet 2000-2001 period) but almost non-existent after very dry years as occurred in the mid-2000s.
    A possible mechanism for this to affect minimum temperatures in the way observed would be for high grass to reduce screen-level wind speeds at the observation site, and therefore reduce mixing of the near-surface layer, reducing observed minimum temperatures (conversely, the absence of nearby vegetation would increase screen-level wind speeds and increase mixing of the near-surface layer).

    It is interesting to note in this context that the treatment of the 1974 site move at Alice Springs is one of the more important systematic differences between the ACORN-SAT data set and that of Della-Marta et al. (2004).
    The Della-Marta et al. (2004) data set applies an adjustment of −1.5°C for the 1974 move and makes no subsequent adjustments, but the ACORN-SAT
    analysis suggests that only about half this adjustment is attributable to the site move, with the remainder being most likely attributable to vegetation growth arising from the extremely wet conditions which prevailed in central Australia in the 1973-1976 period, and subsequently being reversed when rainfall returned to more normal levels in the late 1970s.

    So despite all their homogenisation some grass growing or not growing can lead to substantial deviations from the homogenised temperatures that they have gone to all the trouble to adjust.
    Which suggests that what happens at Alice Springs can and does happen to just about every other station in some way or another open to the limits of your imagination.
    Which in turn suggests the question;
    Just what the hell are they actually trying to accomplish with al this laborious mathematical distortion of reality if some grass growing or not growing can so readily stuff the numbers up in what is becoming a completely futile mathematical and bureaucratic debacle of seemingly no useful purpose to man or beast.
    *******
    And with what stations is a very isolated Alice Springs being compared / partnered / homogenised with?

    From KensKingdom website;

    The effect of two adjustments on the climate record

    I now turn to Alice Springs, which ‘has a notably large “footprint”’.
    Too right it does- its impact on the national climate signal is 7% to 10%, according to the 2011 Review Panel, p. 12.

    Alice Springs, cooling slightly compared with neighbours, has been adjusted (-0.57C at 1/1/1932) so that the Acorn reconstruction is warming (+0.66C / 100 years) relative to its neighbours. The adjustment is much too large.

    And exactly where are these neighbours?

    Tennant Creek (450 km away), Boulia (620 km), Old Halls Creek (880 km), Tibooburra (1030 km), Bourke (1390 km), and Cobar (1460 km)!

    The site with the largest impact on Australia’s climate signal has been “homogenised” with neighbours from 450 km to 1460 km away- except the adjustment was too great, resulting in the reconstruction warming too much (+0.66C / 100 years) relative to these neighbours. The same applies at Kalgoorlie. Meekatharra’s record only starts in 1927 so its effect can be discounted. These are the only remote Acorn sites that had large adjustments at this time. All other remote Acorn sites open at this time either have similar trends in raw and Acorn or had no adjustments in this period.

    The 37.3% increase in the trend of Australian maxima anomalies in the “world’s best practice” ACORN-SAT dataset compared with the “raw” AWAP dataset is largely due to just two adjustments- at Kalgoorlie and Alice Springs- and these adjustments are based on comparison with distant neighbours and are demonstrably too great.

    If it wasn’t so serious it would be laughable.

    221

    • #

      Plus complex al-gor-ithicity
      plus ca suspect subjectivity
      app-lies.

      41

    • #
      ROM

      And the reasons for homogensizing every bit of historical temperature data in sight or just plain invented data as is, unsurprisingly, some of the NCDC’s station data.

      Quoted from Blair Trewins paper above;

      1. INTRODUCTION
      High-quality temperature data sets are vital for climate monitoring, and especially the monitoring of climate change.

      Homogenisation of historical temperature data exists ONLY to try and ascertain the rates of climate change in the record IF any changes, anthropogenic in origin, can be detected at all which at this stage after 30 plus years of climate modelling , they still cannot definitively identify any human imprints leading to changes in the global climate.

      There is no other valid reason other than that for homogenising temperature data.

      To take that a stage further.
      Any so called change in the climate can only be detected by processing large volumes of data through climate models.
      To get a set of cohesive and readily understood data points for the climate model programs, the changes in the temperature fields must be relatively smooth as shifting , changing single data points from single stations become unwieldy and simply can not be computed by any of today’s complex climate models.

      Such a un-homogenised and chaotic station data point array is far beyond any of today’s climate models to process let alone get some semblance of an outcome even if processed on the latest super computers.

      So summing up; Homogenization of station temperature data is being done purely and solely for the benefit of the climate modellers and their incoherent and utterly useless climate models that can’t predict temperatures a few weeks ahead, can’t predict the world’s largest temperature changing phenomena , the ENSO phase some months ahead, can’t predict the strength of the ENSO event a few weeks ahead, can’t predict when or if it will start let alone when it will finish.

      Plus can’t predict just about any other climate phenomena that will occur within a couple of years.
      A century or two ahead!
      No Problems as the modellers will all be thoroughly dead by then and not have to answer for their rubbish.

      121

      • #
        Yonniestone

        ROM this is the crux of it, the “Homogenization of station temperature data” is akin to a climate change survey where the questions are designed to produce a desired outcome to give relevance to the survey’s content, we could get the same results within 1km by placing stations in varied positions in the environment, a rock surface, a stand of trees, higher/lower topography, near bodies of water, man made structures the list is massive, much like the flaws of detecting an anthropogenic signal.

        71

        • #
          ROM

          .
          Yonniestone @ #16.2.1

          Localised homogenisation!

          An interesting concept and one that is as likely as you point out, to give a reasonably accurate representation of the smoothed out local temperature regime and trends as any so called homogenisation programs that rely on other vastly different stations some tens and even hundreds of kilometres distant.

          21

      • #

        To make it quite simple. The original temperature record was created by the actions of man. Hence the temperature record is man made. If the recorded temperature is changed by man, the change in the temperature record is man made. The computed anomalies, averages, etc. are also made by man. The fact that a computer might be a middle man in the process does not negate the fact that man chose to use a computer and chose the computer program that made the changes.

        Hence, every step of creating the temperature record and its derivatives, up to and including the thing called “climate change”, was man caused and any conclusion drawn from all of it was man caused.

        The real question is not, is there man made climate change? It more correctly is “do the man made conclusions about something that men have called climate change have any known or knowable relationship to the real world? Or is it nothing but man made wishes and assumptions supporting man made guesses, piled on top of man made conjectures, and fully infiltrated with man made lies, distortions, misdirections, sloppiness, and willful ignorance of the real state of things? The objective evidence points to the fact that the whole mess is man made and has no necessary relationship to the real world. The man made climate change advocates have dug themselves into a deep hole. They refuse to stop digging and are dragging everyone else into their hole and demand that they dig too.

        Consider the old saying, “if you find yourself in a hole you dug, the first thing to do is to STOP DIGGING!” Then and only then do you have a chance to figure out how to get out of the hole.

        91

    • #
      Bob Fernley-Jones

      @ROM
      A problem I have with the Trewin et al bible is that since it is peer reviewed World’s best practice, then sceptics like me cannot challenge it. I can only bear to read bits of it if they are drawn to my attention. Trouble is, I get a headache from loud clanging sounds emanating from my bullshit meter.

      My focus is on the resultant data which can’t be right, regardless of how the BoM got there.

      62

      • #
        ROM

        Bob.
        First my apologies for misspelling your name in my post above.

        Secondly I only used Trewin’s paper to try and highlight a couple of points where even he admits that their algorithms and analysis could be suspect in some cases.
        And it is not just the BOM whose processing of the historical data is being challenged on every front.

        The NCDC has admitted they have non existent, phantom stations reporting every day with made up and created data to fill large holes in their network.
        Stations that are reporting every day from the data records but are listed officially as non operational for the last few years so their daily data is not included in any analysis.
        Stations whose official data differs quite dramatically from the data they are actually regularly reporting.
        Stations with created data despite regularly reporting the real observed data.
        Plus! plus!

        The whole global temperature data analysis system is one very big FU and due to constant adjustments and incompetent fiddling by individuals who either don’t know what they are doing ; ie Climate Gate and the “Harry Read Me files” or who have an agenda supporting a climate catastrophe ideology or both.

        The numerous adjustments and homogenisations of temperature data both local and global are ALL centred around creating a historical temperature series designed specifically for climate model processing but which homogenised data is now being quite openly mis-used as the publicly proclaimed basis for numerous quite fallacious and demonstrably false claims as in Jo’s headline post, on temperatures and record temperatures all of which are orientated towards supporting the CAGW meme.

        Cynically as so many have pointed out it seems that most of this incompetent fiddling has just about everything to do with keeping the tax payer funded CAGW gravy train rolling in most cases particularly in the climate modelling and it’s associated fields such as temperature homogenisation programs.

        Stop nearly all the funding of the quite futile and inept climate modelling and most of the problems would go away as some sense would again probably dare to intrude into the weather shaman’s prognostications and they would again try to provide the public that pays their salaries with sensible rational forecasts and a rational analysis of recent past weather occurrences for reasons if nothing else, to try and again reclaim some semblance of personal respect from the public at large and so keep their jobs.

        61

  • #
    Ruairi

    When Nature just will not comply,
    Making past temps. too low and too high,
    Then some crude mathematics,
    By the warmist fanatics,
    To ‘correct’ Nature’s flaws,will apply.

    181

  • #
    Ian

    Jo All of this is all very well but how can the BOM be brought to account? The Bureau seem to absorb all the dissections of their homogenised data and absorb all the criticism without ever explaining or venturing to discuss the matter. Sure the aristocracy of old always said “never apologise, never explain” which seems to be the BOM’s modus operandi. What can you d and what can we do? In reality only the politicians would be able fro make the bureau respond to the criticism but how to get them to do so. I’m a scientist and it really makes my blood boil to read how the BoM can, apparently manipulate data as you describe without any repercussions. While climate change is real and humans probably do play a part the whole bloody edifice of AGW is as shonky as. Bu tot repeat how can the BoM be brought to account?

    151

    • #
      Greg

      Ian,
      I write to my federal MP about once a fortnight on climate change issues. He is probably thoroughly sick of me but he normally responds in some way and he can’t say he is not aware of the issues that sceptics and doubters raise.

      20

  • #

    I’ve been doing some looking into the BOM myself. I think they are deliberately obstructing access to their data by blocking automatic downloads to force us to download data one site at a time. I explain how they do that here.

    Maybe they really do have something to hide, and perhaps Bob Fernley-Jones has shown us one of the reasons. Anyone wishing to do serious work on the BOM raw data, please email me at the address given at http://peacelegacy.org/contact .

    101

  • #
    Gary in Erko

    A copy of this should be sent individually to all employees of BOM. They ought to know their disgraceful work is receiving public broadcast. It might generate internal conversations that result in whistle-blowing.

    102

    • #
      Andrew

      Why muck around? Offer a reward for revealing corrupt behaviour throughout the public service. Then IF there is corruption in any dept, not that I’m making specific allegations, they will be revealed quick enough.

      70

    • #
      Lewis P Buckingham

      What is the status of a whistle blower? As I understand it they are protected here in Australia from vexatious prosecutions.
      It would dent the career path though.
      From what is not being published, it appears that there is no overarching methodology to ‘adjustment’ which is easily replicable. If there were surely the BOM would have been proud to release their methods.

      21

  • #
    Carbon500

    “What would you say if you knew that the official Perth thermometer was accurate at recording minimums for most of time in October in the eighties, but 0.7°C too warm all of December, and 1.2°C too cool in January?”
    How is it it possible that today’s meteorological organizations are seemingly incapable of calibrating their instruments properly, checking the readings given by any new instruments against existing ones, and leaving records of the past well alone?
    I worked for years in a hospital laboratory, and readings using new reagents or instruments were meticulously compared with previous sample runs. Control samples were put on every run, and previous results from some patients routinely rechecked as a matter of course. I’ve been retired for a few years, so no doubt checks are even tighter now.
    ‘Whoops, we got it wrong, we need to adjust all of last year’s results – and err…up to five years ago!’ – can anyone imagine this happening in a proper laboratory?
    How difficult can it be to read temperatures properly?

    121

  • #
    Doug Proctor

    A few days ago I was at a fire lookout station above Barrier Lake, west of Calgary, Alberta, Canada. The fellow there was writing down the temperature readings from the weather station, a Stevenson screen box. I mentioned to him all the adjustments and he frowned. He said that reading temperatures was not a highly technical undertaking. He’d been doing it for years and didn’t understand why his readings would have to be adjusted.

    I asked him about the corrections for time of observation. He said that he reads the morning temperatures 45 minutes later in late summer, as there is not enough light to read it properly. I was surprised that they didn’t just tell them to take a flashlight, but, there you are. I have no idea what the time shift would do before sunrise. His point was that it really didn’t matter. A station some 20 km away (Moose Mountain) is regularly 10C warmer or colder. The night before, a regional rainstorm brought 2 mm of rain to Barrier, but 12 mm to Moose Mountain. When I said that the homogenization techniques involved used stations hundreds of kilometers apart, he just shrugged, indicating that was foolish and meaningless.

    The opinions of those taking the readings under gross “corrections” would be interesting. As well as those doing the corrections – not their managers or upper bosses. The factory floor often has a different view of reality from that of the officer levels.

    151

  • #
    handjive

    “Whosoever holds the algorithm for interpreting seasons past possess the power to shape the perception of the present.”
    Michael W. Brakely

    Comprehensive Analysis Reveals NOAA Wrongfully Applying “Master Algorithm” To Whitewash Temperature History (notrickszone)

    71

    • #
      Bob Fernley-Jones

      @ Handjive,

      Interesting read!
      Algorithms galore…..I wonder what they have at the UK MET?

      41

  • #
    michael hart

    Well, as a Pom, I’ve always heard that Perth had a bouncy wicket. Maybe a common factor also affects the Australian BOM records…

    51

    • #
      handjive

      Action starts this week!

      The Ashes, 2015 Schedule
      Jul 08 2015 – Aug 24 2015, 5 Tests

      The convicts are coming to steal the ashes back!

      10

      • #
        Dennis

        What happened to the British Empire?

        10

        • #
          Another Ian

          Dennis

          It went into history as a test of “Half a World Government” but the lesson seems to be ignored

          30

          • #
            ROM

            .
            Dennis @ #24.1.1

            What happened to the British Empire?

            Another Ian @ # 24.1.1.1

            It went into history as a test of “Half a World Government” but the lesson seems to be ignored

            That very simple and very succinct all embracing comment, reliant as it is on well known recent historical events is absolutely loaded with implications for those who are pushing hard for a One World Government.

            Which is probably precisely as you wanted it to be understood Ian.

            That comment is arguably one of the best summations of the harsh realities, based on recent factual history, facing the supporters of a One World Government I have seen.

            Mankind in his hubris has been there and attempted that and in the end he has failed once again even when the entire western culture of the times was orientated in support of the western colonial government’s superiority over the mass of far lesser developed peoples.

            30

          • #
            Dennis

            Thank you Another Ian, so the socialists second try is the EU?

            00

  • #
    TedM

    It appears to be an attempt to corrupt the data so as to support the CAGW narrative while giving a superficial appearance of a degree of randomness that would be expected from nature.

    A very deliberate attempt at deceit. The CAGW narrative has to be one of the greatest lies in the history of modern mankind, and we obviously have people (if it’s fit to call them people) in places of authority who have sold their souls, either in the pursuit of ideology, or filthy lucre.

    191

    • #
      Bob Fernley-Jones

      @ TedM

      Now that’s an interesting thought:

      while giving a superficial appearance of a degree of randomness that would be expected from nature.

      The big question is of course WHY the monthly algorithm when the data are daily??????????????????

      71

  • #
    TedM

    And I didn’t make that previous comment lightly.

    81

    • #
      mem

      It does make you wonder if specific staff gain access to the data on a monthly basis and perform their magic prior to the outcome being published in the official BOM monthly report. Monthly reports are published towards the end of the next month.

      11

  • #
    Robber

    Great work. Please ensure that this information is sent to that independent committee that was appointed to examine the BOM’s methods, and to the relevant ministers.

    91

    • #
      Oksanna

      The committee that lost its credibility by accepting then disregarding public submissions, and then oiling the padlocks that are already concealing the methodology inside BOM’s black box? The independent researchers are getting closer and closer to the Grail, ‘though it is looking more like a cheap plastic bucket with holes in it. I can imagine brief, tense exchanges between a deputy director and underlings. Funny thing is, by reinforcing the secrecy, that Committee may have done us all a service when the truth is dragged, whimpering yet unrepentant, into harsh glare of daylight. They had their chance to defuse this anticlimactically and they blew it. These ongoing revelations are getting interesting.

      111

  • #

    The graphs look like the square sine wave you get from a cheap power inverter.

    50

    • #
      ianl8888

      Yes, but in this case I suggest it (square sine wave pattern) is the result of a simplistic applied algorithm that truncated data outside of a pre-determined range

      Such a pattern is also commonly seen from contouring programmes attempting to extrapolate contours beyond existing spatial data – sometimes this issue is resolved by truncating the contour at a pre-determined geographical distance from the final data points

      81

  • #
    David S

    The scandal isn’t just about the [snip] manipulation of data to suit the global warming narrative but how the global warming movement has so successfully infiltrated major institutions including weather bureaus. The practice is so widespread that there surely must be some honest bureau insiders to blow the whistle on this wide spread corruption. I hate to think I’m becoming a conspiracy nut but where are the honest bureau workers to blow this scam up. The infiltration of our bureaus by like minded alarmists must be a systematic and planned exercise and not just a fluke.
    There must be large numbers of people out there who know and understand the corruption that has been taking place. Are there any that are brave enough to stand up and be counted before the damage to our society caused by global warming alarmism reaches a tipping point.

    40

  • #
    Ursus Augustus

    Very simple. Public explanation and release of methodology of what was done or it is reasonably and properly assumed to be [snip unscientific/incompetent/inept/false - J].

    21

  • #
    Andrew S

    This is an outstanding finding. This is a serious error in the data. Most likely something has gone badly wrong with an algorithm or filter bom has run over the data. Either that or different years are being grouped together by month and processed separately. World best practice. I think not. Either way Acorn is now discredited and is of little use in any serious research. Its numbers cannot be trusted. Acorn is dead.

    From here there needs to be an open and transparent complete re-issue of Australia’s temperature set (this time with all the methology published) or the entire project just needs to be junked. A dishonest temperature set (complete with copious press releases about “the hottest (insert variable her) on record”) is worse than no temperature set at all.

    101

  • #
    pat

    4 July: UK Telegraph: Christopher Booker: Mystery grows over Met Office’s ‘hottest day’
    It was odd to base a claimed record of 36.7C (98F) on a single reading at Heathrow airport
    No sooner had the BBC and all the usual suspects rushed to trumpet that last Wednesday was the hottest July day in the history of the world than more thoughtful observers, such as that diligent blogger Paul Homewood (on Notalotofpeopleknowthat), began raising their eyebrows.
    For a start, it was odd for the Met Office to base its claimed record of 36.7C (98F) on a single reading at Heathrow airport, when it is well-known that thermometers surrounded by a vast area of tarmac can exaggerate heat by as much as 2 degrees. Even the Met Office’s own hourly record only showed its highest Heathrow reading on Wednesday as 35.9C, while four other sites nearby showed the day’s hottest recording at just 35C.
    Even if 36.7C was genuinely the hottest July reading since records were kept, this would still have been way short of the 38.5C recorded at Faversham on August 16 2003; or that famous day, August 3 1990, when Cheltenham registered 37.1C and local records were broken all over the country, which still stand…READ ON
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/comment/11718504/Mystery-grows-over-Met-Offices-hottest-day.html

    81

    • #
      tom0mason

      But for the Met Office and the BBC one anomalous high reading does propaganda make.

      And no matter that it is from this airport’s station surrounded by concrete and tarred surfaces, or that hot engine exhausts blast about the area, no, broadcast the message, keep the sheeple sensitized.

      40

  • #
    Unmentionable

    Egad! … the weather is … digital … on … off … on … off … on … off …
    __
    They’ve discovered the quantum of weather! :D

    50

  • #
    DaveS

    I’m surprised there hasn’t been a comment from Nick Stokes saying these adjustments don’t matter.

    40

  • #
    Gary Kimlin

    I have had some serious reservations about historical temperature records. Anyone who did the weather records in this time would be aware that there has been an important change in the way we record temperature. To assess overall temperature change recording simple maxima and minimum each day is very misleading and yet that is all we have in most historical data. Now days the temperature is recorded continuously and a daily average temperature is possible. The problem comes when we attempt to compare this global temperature data with historical data. In short the two simply cannot be compared. If the temperature started low and rose rapidly to the maximum one day and then started at the same minimum and rose very slowly to the same maximum the next the total amount of heat in the system can be very different but will not be shown by the simple max and min data that exists.
    Unfortunately the estimates of temperature rise on a global scale are nothing more than guesses since the historical data is so incomplete for most locations in the world.
    That is not to say the the global temperature did not rise, I’m quite sure that it did at least until 2000 when it clearly stopped rising.
    In my opinion there should be no alterations to the historical data and an honest admission that the data is next to useless in regards to Global Temperature rises. There has been good recording of temperature in recent decades. The fiddling with the records is simply a waste of time and money.
    When it comes to the Global Warming issue simple Maxima and minima are useless and this should be acknowledged.

    20

  • #
    Harry Twinotter

    The “square wave” pattern is not all that mysterious – the analysis shows the adjustments are being applied to the Perth Airport measurement on a monthly basis (more or less). Plus some adjustments look like corrections to errors.

    I looked at 1983-1984 and found warming adjustments applied in Jan, cooling adjustments applied in Feb, April, Dec. There are also adjustments in the other months, but the pattern is not as clear.

    The adjustments relative to the absolute temperature are not large, when you plot ACORN over AWAP there is not much difference.

    It is incorrect to infer that the thermometer was reading “too high” on some days and “too low” on others – the thermometer was reading what it was reading (ignoring errors). ACORN is not thermometer readings – it is a climatic record not a weather record.

    I know there is some confusion as the ACORN location codes (eg Perth Airport) are the same as the AWAP site codes. For example the ACORN Perth Airport (009021) data set includes data from AWAP Perth Regional Office (009034). Personally, I wonder if things would have been clearer if ACORN used a different set of location codes.

    14

    • #
      Bob Fernley-Jones

      @Harry Twinotter

      Thank you for your profound analysis here, but just a couple of tips to improve your credibility in the future:

      • You are accurate in saying: “It is incorrect to infer that the thermometer was reading “too high” on some days and “too low” on others”, However you should always take into account the context and avoid pedantry. Jo made a good introduction to suit lay readers which should be understandable to all. Do you imagine that you have advanced the debate? I don’t think so! You also seem to be mistaken in that Jo was not talking day-to-day temperatures but month-to-month AVERAGES, which is very different. So much for your antagonistic pedantry…..
      • As a pedant, you are extremely misleading when you say: “The adjustments relative to the absolute temperature are not large…” Based on what is sometimes claimed to be the global average absolute temperature of 288K the average global warming over the past century or so of say 0.9 degrees is an increase of about 0.003 %. So much for your antagonistic pedantry…..

      42

      • #
        Harry Twinotter

        Bob Fernley-Jones.

        I was avoiding ad hominems which you have now introduced. People using emotive language to dramatize and misrepresent a science issue and bias people’s opinion does not advance a debate. And JoNova was talking about daily temps, so if you are going to insult at least try and get the details right. “moods of thermometers” indeed…

        I know what you are trying to do, start a silly argument to detract from my discussion of the ACORN vs AWAP which is what the article is about (once the appeals to emotion and appeals to personal incredulity are stripped away). Guess what Bob, it is not going to work.

        15

    • #
      Just-A-Guy

      Harry Twinotter,

      You wrote:

      ACORN is not thermometer readings . . .

      Finally. A grain of truth from Harry.

      ACORN-SAT is not thermometer readings. It’s a computer generated modification of the actual thermometer readings.

      It’s a cryin’ shame you had to ruin that short burst of enlightenment with . . .

      You wrote:

      it is a climatic record not a weather record.

      The daily temperature records are the temperature componenet of that day’s weather. If the record is maintained intact and unaltered, we can get an idea of the climate by analyzing the daily weather over a long enough period of time.

      Abe

      31

  • #
    Sunray

    Thank you Jo, I think that this would be a perfect target for US style Racketeering Laws. I say this because, no matter how many crimes are exposed here and elsewhere, nobody is held to even the slightest account.

    11

  • #
    David Maddison

    Can someone tell me how safe the original climate data is? I.e. are there independent copies of the original records that can’t be altered by BoM?

    01