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

BOM scandal: “smart cards” filter out coldest temperatures. Full audit needed ASAP!

The story changes: first it was quality control, then equipment failure, now a smart card?

Jennifer Marohasy reports that the thermometers are working fine, but a smart card has been added to some to filter out “spurious cold” readings:

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

Apparently, the smart cards don’t filter out the spurious hot readings — on the hot side, all noise is good? I want the BOM to confirm or correct this. Despite knowing of this extraordinary, uncertain, situation, the Minister still has “full confidence” in the Bureau of Meteorology. A month ago, the BOM said the temperature clipping was a deliberate “quality control measure”, but then changed that to “equipment failure”. This week, Bill Kininmonth pointed out that the same equipment worked in Antarctica (where it gets to minus 50C). And I can add that David Stockwell  spotted the data sheet for an Automatic Weather Station thermometer installed at Nerriga. It claims that particular resistance thermometer has a range from -200 to +600 °C.  (You might think they can handle minus ten?)

Jen Marohasy claims that the BOM have made a fuss about replacing the faulty equipment, but all they had to do was take off the smart cards and leave the equipment alone:

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

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

Graham Lloyd has picked this up and adds more in The Australian in “Temperatures Plunge after BOM orders fix”. Jen Marohasy saw a -10.6C temperature disappear from the Thredbo recording last month, but now, after the BOM’s rushed fix, Thredbo has already reached -10.6C this week in the official record. The Bureau’s CEO, Andrew Johnson said they had replaced equipment that was “not fit for purpose”. Which begs the question that if thermometers were not fit to record cold temperatures, what purpose were they fit for? Politically correct thermometers? Thermometers to justify Renewable Energy Subsidies and ARC Grants?

Want to avoid answering basic questions — call a review!

Graham Lloyd asked the BOM about the smart cards, but got no answer:

The BoM declined to comment ahead of the internal review.

“The findings of a review into this matter will be made available after completion,” a BoM repre­sentative said. “We do not intend to publish detail prior to that.

Since when did a review become a reason not to explain a supposedly scientific process? Either there are smart cards there, or not. There are limits set (or not). And there is hopefully a record of the real raw temperatures recorded somewhere…

A Minister more concerned about public confidence, rather than accurate data?

The Minister has things back to front:

Josh Frydenberg: “I’m treating this seriously and am determined to get to the bottom­ of what has happened. I look forward to receiving recommendations as to how we can ensure that the public’s confidence in climate data is maintained.”

We, the paying, voting, public are more concerned that the BOM is worthy of public confidence in the first place. The way to maintain the BOM reputation is to fix the institution, not bury the flaws and political biases. Time for a real independent audit now. What are they afraid of? _________________________________

POST NOTE: Want to be a citizen scientist?

To watch BOM data come in (before the smart cards edit it), go to the BOM home page, look for “City Observations” (mid right hand side) or click on the state maps listed below.

Click right through til you see half hourly data for each site. (So most days this is not exciting, but if your pipes freeze, you might get a thrill. :-)   ) Don’t forget to capture the screen shots.

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 9.7/10 (98 votes cast)
BOM scandal: "smart cards" filter out coldest temperatures. Full audit needed ASAP!, 9.7 out of 10 based on 98 ratings

Tiny Url for this post: http://tinyurl.com/ydbvgj5w

225 comments to BOM scandal: “smart cards” filter out coldest temperatures. Full audit needed ASAP!

  • #

    The number of times the temperature gets as low as minus ten point four must be very limited and surely hardly warrants a special card. Therefore we must assume that the card has other functions?

    Anyone able to confirm this?

    Tonyb

    221

    • #
      Roger

      Is there a way for one of these smart cards to be obtained for independent analysis – Before any software on it is wiped or amended by BOM ?

      111

    • #
      Roger

      So what we have is calibrated and certified equipment that BOM decide to secretly modify to produce [artificial, or false] temperatures using a smart card.

      Somewhere in that [are potentially] one or more criminal offences under English law [snip, let's wait for confirmation].

      If a politician sets out to hide or cover this up then it seems to me they make themselves complicit and a willing partner in any [misconduct] that may have gone on, and they should be explaining that [snip].

      31

    • #
      Geoff

      What I do not understand is that there is no quality control on an automated system. The only way this could be done is forcing the thermometers to a range of lows and highs, (beyond the normal measurement range), that were known and noting that the system reported it accurately. This would have to be done regularly. Without quality control and error reports the entire system is useless for any accurate account over a long period of time and could not conform to Australia quality standards. This system has not been properly audited under ISO9000.

      ISO 9000 is a set of international standards on quality management and quality assurance developed to help companies effectively document the quality system elements to be implemented to maintain an efficient quality system. They are not specific to any one industry and can be applied to organizations of any size.

      The BoM system as described has zero integrity. Its a serious breach of their quality procedure.

      What quality procedures are followed for other tasks? Who audits them?

      81

      • #
        Geoff

        http://www.bom.gov.au/wmo/quality_management/forms/TD-1256_PWS.pdf

        They have clearly failed to meet their own published standards.

        91

      • #
        Geoff Sherrington

        Geoff to another Geoff
        The climate research papers commonly to a very poor job of proper, formal calculation and reporting of errors, not just statistical precision, but the very important topic of systematic biases. These have ample opportunity to occur in time series of the temperature type here – it is so easy to imagine scenarios like shade trees growing and getting cut, ditto for grass under screens, whitestvwhite fading on the screen lime being replaced by white paint (awaiting rainbow coloured correct schemes), instruments being repositioned inside screens etc etc. GeoffS

        41

      • #
        Harry Twinotter

        Geoff.

        “What I do not understand is that there is no quality control on an automated system.”

        There is quality control – that is how the BOM found the error in the first place. Some of the details are on the CDO webpage.

        310

        • #
          Hivemind

          No, the BOM didn’t find the error. Jennifer Marohasy did.

          163

          • #
            Harry Twinotter

            Hivemind.

            No, the BOM found the error. I saw a copy of the letter.

            Jennifer Marohasy found nothing. She was passed the story by another party.

            [Maybe you should resubmit this with details such as who wrote the letter and to whom it was sent, where and when you saw it and any other pertinent details that can support your claim to have read "the letter". Thanks.] AZ

            610

            • #

              Still “reasoning” in terms of petty personal attacks, Harry? Some things never change.

              The BOM “said” they found the error first, but only after Lance reported it. And they didn’t correct anything until Marohasy and Lloyd asked questions they knew they didn’t want to answer. The same “error” occurred at Thredbo after the one at Goulburn was found.

              PS: Marohasy found the Thredbo examples.

              166

              • #
                Harry Twinotter

                Jo Nova.

                What personal attacks? I am only quoting facts.

                So you claim the BOM are lying in their letter? And where is your evidence they are lying?

                I think it is clear I am talking about Goulburn. I think you are splitting hairs.

                55

            • #
              Harry Twinotter

              “Maybe you should resubmit this with details such as who wrote the letter and to whom it was sent, where and when you saw it and any other pertinent details that can support your claim to have read “the letter”. Thanks.] AZ”

              I found the letter on the internet by following links from the Jennifer Marohasy blog. Anyone can do it.

              The letter was written by Sally Lowenstein, media advisor BOM. I cannot see who it is to as the email header is not shown (probably to protect the identity of the email sender, sensible).

              If people cannot find it for themselves, I can post the link. It’s all in the public domain (the internet), but I would rather people find their own info.

              54

      • #
        Ted O'Brien.

        Our local report shows no registration for Friday’s minimum. If I remember right Friday morning we had a lot of ice on the vehicles but no frost on the lawn, because the frost came immediately after rain. Maybe the weather station couldn’t handle that situation. Rare here, but surely wouldn’t be rare at Thredbo.

        00

    • #
      toorightmate

      Remember when Peter B named Queensland “The Smart State”? That turned out to be a joke in view of the financial fiascos provided by Peter B and Anna B.
      A “smart card” for the BoM warmists seems to have similar credibility to the “Smart State”.

      52

  • #
    TdeF

    As I suggested likely yesterday, they have added a telephone reporting system using a telephone card like a GSM chip. This means automatic reporting particularly in nasty cold locations. Great development. However someone has to write the software to collect the data and make the call and securely transmit the file. You can buy a whole UNIX computer for $40. Modern home alarm systems use their own electronics and and phone cards rather than direct wiring. They have their own phone number. No wires to cut. Far easier to install.

    Anyone who writes the software, possibly only one person, has the ability to make decisions about the data which should be transmitted unchanged. This should NOT be necessary. This software could be written for the chip or far more likely for another CPU and RAM device connected to the instruments to record the data for transmission. Phone chips do not have the interfaces for devices. They are just for making calls. The numbers are recorded, stored, packaged and sent to the phone chip. The phone chip makes the connection just like your mobile.

    So reading these numbers at this point and putting in analysis logic like a ‘cutoff’ at -10C is outrageous data editing especially in the desert of Australia or above the snow line. The data should be raw. Consider that this automatic device is likely to put put preferentially in extreme locations.

    No, they are not rapidly replacing the devices because the ‘chips’ have failed. They are working well and replacing a chip is no harder than replacing one in your phone.

    So the idea that the telephone GSM ‘chip’ is at fault is nonsense. This is deliberate programming in the data collection software. It needs explanation not obfuscation. Whether done by an individual independently or under instruction, nothing is ‘faulty’ as openly implied. This is deliberate and policy. The contractor who wrote this software would have had instruction, documentation, testing, quality control. The BOM policy was to limit the lowest temperature. Data could be filtered later. It the thermometer reads -10.4C, the device should report it regardless. This is not quality control. This is interference with raw data under direction.

    463

    • #
      TdeF

      Also as I wrote yesterday, this sounds again like misdirection.

      Immediately replacing at least 4 specific units needs better explanation. How do they know which ones are ‘faulty’?

      Secondly that is a programming ‘fault’. Likely on site programming could be changed with an instant update in situ. Even an update and reboot. Self evidently the ‘smart cards’ are working fine if the unit is reporting by telephone. No, this is destruction of evidence. Plus diversion, misdirection and obfuscation to first blame obscure hardware failure and now ‘smart cards’, knowing most people would not understand.

      So a unit has malfunctioned if it has misreported -10.4C as -10C but how did it change the number in hindsight? Computers do not do this. This was done after the -10.4C was reported and posted on the web site. This is not software in the Stevenson Box. It does not require instant replacement of at least 4 Stevenson boxes. What is actually going on? As Joh Bjelke Petersen used to say, the BOM has to ‘feed the chooks’. This explanation though is chicken feed.

      413

      • #

        “How do they know which ones are ‘faulty’?”
        Clever fellow this Tdef. Ask yourself how did we know which ones and when to take screen shots of? My friend Hoang Long Chu who teaches mathematics and statistics etc at the ANU assured me that the chances of us taking a lot of screen shots on the right days to catch two sites that have only mucked up once or six times is very very low.
        https://crawford.anu.edu.au/people/academic/hoang-long-chu
        Lance Pidgeon

        233

        • #
          Mark D.

          I suggest they are being replaced as “faulty” so that they cannot be found in the hands of heretics. In other words, someone needs to steal one of these “faulty” items to be reverse engineered.

          If it is a smart card it may have software loaded that isn’t part of any truly scientific purpose. One individual in the right place could have introduced a bug that silently adjusts anything.

          To me it is the reaction that is most interesting.

          362

          • #

            Mark on many of those programmable chips there is a bit you can set that prevents the program from being copied. If this bit has been set it would look bad straight up.

            162

          • #
            Greg Cavanagh

            They are being removed so you can’t interrogate them, and discover that they are working just fine.

            182

            • #
              Harry Twinotter

              Greg Cavanagh.

              They were working fine, at least down to -10.4C at Goulburn. That is how the reading of -10.4C got onto the webpage.

              49

              • #
                Mr Farnham

                This is correct. The recorded temperature made it to the website, so the filter is evidently further along in the system. While I don’t fully understand how their system works, replacing components at the sensor end seems a waste of time and money

                60

              • #
                Harry Twinotter

                Oh fair go. I agree with someone and I get red-thumbed? :-)

                54

              • #
                Harry Twinotter

                Mr Farnham.

                I speculate that, for what ever reason, the BOM do not trust some of their stations below -10.0C. So they are going to replace them with ones they do trust.

                The evidence for this lack of trust is the fact that the -10.0C limit was in place.

                34

              • #
                Rereke Whakaaro

                I agree with someone and I get red-thumbed …

                Well Harry,

                Perhaps old habits die hard, and people have become used to your old persona, and dubious points of argument, and so critique by reflex.

                But this is good news. We are seeing a new, more rational, Harry Twinotter emerging. You even present evidence to support your hypothesis.

                I look forward to saving my red thumbs for others.

                61

              • #

                Harry says “They were working fine, at least down to -10.4C at Goulburn. That is how the reading of -10.4C got onto the webpage.” Yes it was me that gave you that green thumb. This because you have correctly spotted that the change from -10.4 to -10 happened after the reading was on the BoM system. So the “not fit for purpose” problem is either another part of a multipart problem or a red herring.

                01

            • #

              Does anyone else remember when those little desktop calendars used to include the year when maximum temperatures were recorded in most of the capital cities. I.E. ‘in 1883 the maximum temperature in Melbourne was 117.2 Fahrenheit’, or something similar. Presumably these were taken from BOM publications. Then all of a sudden they disappeared. Strange that!

              02

        • #
          toorightmate

          Siliggy,
          Precisely why raw data should NEVER be corrupted.

          91

        • #
          Harry Twinotter

          Siliggy.

          Actually the chance of seeing the -10.0C error is rather high, given the unusually cold overnight conditions that month. The BoM found the error themselves, but they were probably alerted to it. It was the BoM who reported the news of the record low temp at Goulburn, after all.

          This scenario sounds plausible. The logger program code had a low cutoff of -10.0C, and this logic is probably used at the other device as well. I havn’t actually analysed the other one (Thredo?) yet, have not had time.

          316

      • #

        The assumption is that if the Antarctic weather stations can read low temperature, why not Goulburn.
        However if data tampering is the norm, do we know that the Antarctic records are not similarly corrupted?
        If only one programmer was involved the whole lot could be compromised.
        When the Collins class subs were programmed the programmers were all Australian, to make sure no override or self destruct lines of code were in the software.
        The BOM was hacked so presumably the Chinese already have access to this climate programming information.
        Perhaps we could too.
        Its not a hard ask.
        Who could oppose that?

        122

      • #
        DaveR

        First it was faulty equipment, then it was limiting software, now it is smart cards. And in the meantime BOM have quickly spirited away a number of units so no one can exmine the equipment. And now they mention problems in units as far away as Tasmania.

        Whats the bet its all about manual limits entered into software somewhere in the collection chain which has compromised the whole collection of raw data for x years?

        222

        • #

          Hey, theory inoculated smart cards!

          100

        • #
          OriginalSteve

          What is Australia turning into? This is the sort of rot you would find in some tin pot 3rd world dictatorship somewhere…..

          Let’s hold the blowtorch under this bunch and make them realize their every move will now be scrutinized……

          Alea iact Est

          51

      • #

        TdeF, very useful conjecture. thank you.

        Hmmm. If the original observations made it to computer screens around the nation eg: -10.4C as Lance screencapped, that suggests the filtering or clipping might be going on in a more central location, don’t you think?

        It doesn’t make sense to have two reporting systems in each thermometer screen — one to send the original for the live “observations”, and another with the smart card to send the number that will be logged and recorded in our national archives for climate analysis.

        Perhaps the smart card sends both — the live regular unclipped observations, then later a compiled daily number for the CDO online records which is clipped/filtered.

        132

        • #
          Greg Cavanagh

          It would make sense for the cards to report both if the card was modifying the value.

          The thing that puzzles me is how the initial value gets to the reporting screen before being altered down. That is curious, and I can’t think of any reason for this to happen.

          51

          • #
            TdeF

            Then it’s not true.

            10

          • #
            Harry Twinotter

            Greg Cavanagh.

            “The thing that puzzles me is how the initial value gets to the reporting screen before being altered down. That is curious, and I can’t think of any reason for this to happen.”

            Indeed.

            It appears the max min values were based on what the thermometer reported BEFORE the -10C limit was applied and displayed in the temp column – otherwise it is impossible to explain unless the -10.4C reading was an error as well! This is why the BoM manually checks readings that have been flagged.

            I know from experience that it is unwise to second-guess computer code, you have to look at the code.

            38

        • #
          Harry Twinotter

          Jo Nova.

          You are making a lot of assumptions.

          310

        • #
          Richard Ilfeld

          Perhaps it works like the VW diesel software. AS a commercial firm, they paid a high price for diddling data, so of course we can expect the same from
          a government agency. Beuhler? Beuhler? Beuhler? Anyone?

          51

  • #

    This email from Kevin Trenberth to Michael Mann (Cc: Stephen H Schneider, Myles Allen, Peter stott, “Philip D. Jones”, Benjamin Santer, Tom Wigley, Thomas R Karl, Gavin Schmidt, James Hansen, Michael Oppenheimer) on Mon, 12 Oct 2009 reveals the perspective of the temperature adjusters.

    The fact is that we can’t account for the lack of warming at the moment and it is a travesty that we can’t. The CERES data published in the August BAMS 09 supplement on 2008 shows there should be even more warming: but the data are surely wrong. Our observing system is inadequate. (emphasis mine)

    I would suggest that the Smart Card is merely automating climate science. That is global warming is a priori true, therefore temperature data failing to show warming must be wrong.

    303

    • #
      TdeF

      “it is a travesty that we can’t”

      Travesty. “a false, absurd, or distorted representation of something”

      So the evidence is at fault. An amazing attitude and in complete contradiction and rejection of rational science.

      193

      • #
        TdeF

        My great hero is Rene Descartes. To quote a description “Descartes attempted to address the former issue via his method of doubt. His basic strategy was to consider false any belief that falls prey to even the slightest doubt. This “hyperbolic doubt” then serves to clear the way for what Descartes considers to be an unprejudiced search for the truth. ”

        This is not the style of Michael Mann and friends. If the data does not fit at all, the data is wrong. The next step is clearly to adjust, filter, discard, homogenize the data. In the case of remote recording, then adjust the records. What is wrong here is that anyone considers this is science.

        You must never change the raw data. The idea that this was done in the station is self evidently wrong or it would not have made it to the web site. So why did they replace the boxes?

        272

        • #
          TdeF

          Mann also bolted thermometer data onto tree ring proxy data. This remains outrageous. He made up data (projected forward), also utterly unacceptable.

          So called Climate Science seems filled with really bad experimental science by amateurs and opportunists, unqualified in the field let alone as objective and impartial and skeptical experimental scientists. Still, they have a peer group of similarly inappropriate people who like their work. That does not make it right. Mann’s degrees were in physics and applied maths. It is becoming clear why he could not get a PhD in physics and had to settle for one in tree ring proxies.

          241

        • #

          The opposite viewpoint to Descartes (and similar to Trenberth’s) is found in Post-Normal Science – S.Funtowiczi and J. Ravetz 2003. A mere ten pages long, the mantra facts are uncertain, values in dispute, stakes high, and
          decisions urgent
          is not allowed the be contradicted by logic, economic theory, or evidence. A mass movement of uneducated supporters is all that matters.

          11

    • #
      EyesWideOpen

      Who programs the ‘smart cards’ !?! … the Goldman Sachs [smartest guys in the room], who took over from ENRON as carbon market pioneers? It wouldn’t surprise me if the Climate Futures Markets could be rigged by ‘smart cards’ literally setting the temps based on whether Goldman wants longs or shorts placed in the energy markets and the carbon credit derivatives markets.

      20

    • #
      Rereke Whakaaro

      Meanwhile, over in the shaky isles, we get this interesting little statement from the New Zealand Met Office:

      While computer generated forecasts are useful, the model that produced the data in the 2-hourly graph is just one of a number of resources used by our meteorologists and can differ from their analysis, presented in the text forecast. In the event that these differ, please use the text forecasts produced by Met Service meteorologists.

      So they have computer simulations; and they have their “analysis”; but nowhere do they mention actual empirical readings and observations.

      You couldn’t make this stuff up. But hang on …

      31

  • #
    Yonniestone

    Well considering the BOM’s recent climate hijinks its no surprise the place is full of smart ar…. oh cards…..sorry Jo.

    Nice writing BTW.

    153

    • #

      Have to decide what the right balance is between justice and schadenfreude… do we salt their fields and burn their cards,
      [snip] or just remove BOM funding.

      81

      • #
        Leonard Lane

        Well, my opinion is that deliberate corruption of public property (in this case climate data) ought to result in arrest and prosecution and let a jury decide the guilt or innocence.
        What if a public employee defaced and damaged the Sydney Oprah House would you consider it a crime or an internal affair?
        That is a bit of a stretch of a comparison. But, in terms of squandering national wealth and destroying the Country’s industrial base, how many people will suffer if Australia deliberately spends $billions to $trillions based of crooked temperature data? If Australia has to budget it public funds (as they must) then falsifying data to misdirect these $Billions and $Trillions into fraudulent schemes seems like an important national crime.

        21

      • #
        Yonniestone

        True Beth the BOM infrastructure is a good asset and there must be plenty of ethical people working there that aren’t in a position of influence to implement changes, I was just being a smart card.

        21

  • #

    Pssst, Mr Josh…Wanna buy a feeelthy smart card?

    121

    • #
      TdeF

      Now that goes back to WW1 and the stationing of British soldiers in Egypt. Now more than 100 years ago. Perhaps even the previous war against the Mardi in Khatoum under Kitchener, but photography was in its infancy.

      40

  • #
    diogenese2

    “Titanic’s Watch officer did not have binoculars because they were locked up and the key was with the ship’s officer back in UK.”

    There are two theories of history, 1)that it is a conspiracy and 2) that it is a cock up. The evidence weighs heavily on the latter. In this case it is just possible that a trivial suppression of – 0.4C temperature data on one occasion at a tiny community in outback NSW may set in train the unwinding of the greatest deception, (so far) in the history of the planet, that the Global Warming Narrative is proven science.
    Should this occur the community of Goulburn will have hosted an event far exceeding their last excursion into global fame.

    “In 1962, Goulburn was the focus of the fight for state aid to non-government schools. An education strike was called in response to a demand for installation of three extra toilets at a local Catholic primary school, St Brigid’s. The local Catholic archdiocese closed down all local Catholic primary schools and sent the children to the government schools. The Catholic authorities declared that they had no money to install the extra toilets. Nearly 1,000 children turned up to be enrolled locally and the state schools were unable to accommodate them. The strike lasted only a week but generated national debate. In 1963 the prime minister, Robert Menzies, made state aid for science blocks part of his party’s platform.[13]”

    Who could imagine that a missing 0.4C of frost would trump 3 Primary School toilets in global impact? It has made my day.

    203

  • #

    Unlike Tdefs ideas of what the SMART card is used for It may not be to do with mobile phone. These cards can be used for all sorts of things. Rather it may provide an easy way to store a bit of data onsite and preprocess data for communications via dedicated land line or to be carried away in the card itself if the comms fail. It would also be a lot easier to replace, read or upgrade than standing there with a laptop plugged in.
    Seen a lot of them in satellite decoders. You may have one in your pay TV box. They can run fast enough to help the decoder box descramble video in various ways that protect the pay TV companies from theft. Am curious to know if the card is in the Stevenson. They run hot. The temperature would change with the program processing needs and from card to card. More likely there is a dedicated common comms point there for the whole site equipment.

    83

    • #
      Bobl

      It could also store a limited amount of parametric data, like sim cards store contacts, for example the floor value might be on a “smart” or in the BOMs case a dumb card. It’s getting so bad that we’ll need to set independent weather stations next to the BOM ones!

      However it has been pointed out, this is a second problem, the initial problem was post-hoc editing. Jo, We must start treating all the BOM evidence of cold revisionism as separate methods. That is, the BOM has smart card, doctored weather stations, AND does post-hoc revisions to data. This is 3 different methods that ALL deliver warming biased data and we must assume they do them all. Each time a new mechanism is revealed, add it to the list of ways the BOM is making stuff up!

      Someone needs to be sacked!

      122

      • #
        el gordo

        Cold Revisionism, nice, I’ll borrow that.

        The inquiry needs to talk with Blair Trewin.

        http://variable-variability.blogspot.com.au/2016/08/blair-trewin-journey-112-australian-weather-stations.html

        12

      • #
        Ted O'Brien.

        “we’ll need to set independent weather stations next to the BOM ones”

        That idea is not at all silly. And there is surely a market for this idea.

        Bunnings sell a weather station for about $100. I don’t know how good it is, but that tells us that $500 should buy a good one. Allow another $500 for installation, and I am sure that a sufficient number of people could be attracted to the plan to make it viable. I would expect that at least one householder per urban block would be interested in joining a data collection scheme which would even without standardised settings be of huge interest and substantial value to all. Even the BOM should be interested, and might contribute to the design.

        52

        • #
          bobl

          The weather underground already do that but I mean right next to, with a screen and all, Still even the worst thermometer can be calibrated to the BOM station, once that is done data fiddling is easily detected. It would be possible to do that using WUs infrastructure ( their database )

          12

    • #
      Tdef

      We do not know what sort of card is being discussed. My conjecture is that land lines do not exist in most remote lications and in the modern world are not necessary. I expect the BOM has been busy adding wireless telephony just like everyone else. Much cheaperand near immediate reporting. However apart from generalities they are saying nothing. In the space of a box there is little need to save space with smart cards. This will be a telephone card for communications and a new set of electronics to use it.

      However the -10.4 was changed after it was posted. That eliminates the whole device. This was not done by the box.

      32

      • #
        TdeF

        I would also be surprised if the box did further processing. Why bother?

        The job of the box is to collect the information from the instruments in digital form, compress it and transmit it.

        Yes, there would be memory too, non volatile ram which can be interrogated at a later date if the transmission fails or is simply not possible because of loss of communications, storms, electrical interference, congestion, satellite availability.

        However you would not qualify and edit the data in the box after transmission on any basis at all.

        It’s not as if the measurements devices themselves are experimental and need correction or qualification or automatic editing. =10C is a very common temperature, if not in Australia. Often a lovely blue winter’s day in Colorado or Canada or even Chicago.

        32

        • #
          • #
            ROM

            Just guessing here, but!

            If all BOM’s automatic weather stations reported in the same veryclose and limited time slot as per the World Meteorological Organisation standardisation criteria, this data is used in weather models world wide and therefore has to fit very closely to a world wide weather analysis system of near identical readings around the globe to ensure accuracy in the national, international and world wide airline forecasts, then there is likely to be a queue of data waiting for the downloaded processing and adjusting at a centralised computer.

            Lance may have got just plain lucky in that the automatic station he was watching was well down the adjustment / homogenisation queue and listed its real time temperature as recieved from that station at that standard WMO transmitting time before the computer got through a lot of other automatic station data to adjust its data.

            If that would be the case, then the data from the automatic stations, all of them will have been severally compromised for a long time past as long as that central adjustment computer was operating its program that would adjust each automatic station’s data according to formulas on factors that are believed [ ? ] to be affecting the accuracy of the recorded temperature, rainfall, humidity, light levels and etc of that station.

            For the programmer, it would be just too hard to program each automatic station for its characteristics that might require adjustment to its recorded data.

            So the lazy man’s way would to feed in some standardised adjustment formula for a batch of stations that apparently fit into a similar pattern.

            Get that wrong and / or the wrong adjustment data for a automatic station and the data for a whole batch of stations would have the real value of a wet BOM dog turd.
            .
            BOM’s automatic station data is beginning to look like a wet dog turd.
            Definitely at this stage smells like a wet dog turd.
            Has the consistency of a wet dog turd in that it is highly flexible and changeable and is spread around a lot.
            Costs at least as much as it costs pet owners to produce wet dog turds.
            Potentially is little more value than a wet dog turd until proven otherwise.
            And it seems that the BOM has skidded and slipped face down in its own wet dog turd data all over again.

            41

  • #

    I’ve nagged on this a bit, but I reckon it’s worth nagging on.

    Of course it’s wrong to distort or fiddle temps, and it’s great that people like Jennifer are cracking down. But nothing distorts/fiddles like nature and nature’s henchman: cloud!

    When I look back on my region’s highest and lowest mean minima I learn almost nothing about the direction of “climate” but a tiny bit about how much cloud was about. For example, standing out like a beacon of winter-morning balminess is June of 1967, our “record” warm mean minimum for a June. So I check rainfall…and see that an unseasonal dump of rain has fallen over June of that year. The rain was well-spread over the period. It wasn’t a warm winter by mean min. It was a winter with a low mean min because of constant cloud. “Warm” is a sloppy opinion, “low” is fact.

    Is it always rainfall which gives the clue? Of course not. I don’t know why the “warmest” June daily minimum was on a certain day in 1972. It wasn’t raining much at all…but what was the cloud situation? What about other factors? How can I know? I accept the high number but treat it as just a number. Just a number – okay?

    What about that warm winter of 1950, as experienced by mean minimum? If you really think that the remarkable climate story of 1950 in Eastern Australia is a story of warm winter mornings you have zero interest in climate and have been zombified by statistics and numbers. Possibly past all help.

    112

    • #

      Of course, when I said “low mean min” “‘low’ is fact” in the third para I should have said “high mean min” and “‘high’ is fact”. Excuse me. The sinus pressure which wakes me up to blog in odd hours can sometimes affect my thought train.

      Hey, while 1895 was the beginning of a lot of climate woes and remains my region’s driest winter, the driest winter for which we have temp records is 1946. Lots and lots of clear skies in June, July, August 1946. Night after night, morning after morning. Just tiny amounts of rain, and only falling on four days. Now…

      Can you guess which winter in my region is “coldest” by mean minimum? Can you guess what our “record” cold winter was?

      Exactly!

      50

    • #
      Ted O'Brien.

      What I remember about 1950 is that it was our wettest ever year, possibly equalled or surpassed by the period Christmas 2009 to Christmas 2010.

      10

      • #
        ROM

        Location; Western Victorian Wimmera and the almost dead flat Plains north of Horsham

        Mid to late 1950′s very, very wet when global cooling was running and setting in.

        Then a warming spike in the mid 1960′s and the dry 1964 and drought 1967.

        Followed by the early to mid 1970′s cold spell again when “Time” magazine put that famous cover of Glacier ice rolling over New York and for us, rain, rain, rain, 1974 being the only wet drought I have ever experinced in the western Victorian Wimmera with about half of our property of a couple of thousands of acres literally under inches to feet of water.

        Average long term rainfall at Horsham is 400 mms / 16 inches.
        1973 at our property 27 kms north of Horsham was 36 inches.
        1974 was 28 inches.
        1976/7 was a good drought!
        1982 was a full on, all out 1930′s type drought with almost complete crop wipe outs.

        This after all is Australia, the “Land of Drought and Flooding Rains” as per Henry Lawson.

        21

  • #
    NoFixedAddress

    The BOM debacle begs the question – what other Government Data is massaged to fit the current narrative?

    153

    • #
      ivan

      Unreliable energy is cheaper than coal. That is what they want us to believe anyway.

      122

    • #
      el gordo

      BoM is now under the wing of the Department of Environment and Energy, so we could start there.

      12

    • #
      Kevin Lohse

      Wherever there is a Deep State, government data will be massaged to fit the current narrative. It’s what bureaucrats do best.

      32

  • #
    Mark M

    “A Thing of the Past” bites BoM.

    Aug 1, 2017: BOM says global warming behind Northern Territory’s hottest July on record
    http://www.weatherzone.com.au/news/bom-says-global-warming-behind-northern-territorys-hottest-july-on-record/526656

    Aug 4, 2017: Meteorologists are warning of a “serious winter storm” this weekend across the country’s south east with a trifecta of gales, showers and blizzards.
    http://www.news.com.au/technology/environment/south-east-australia-warned-to-brace-for-a-major-winters-storm-this-weekend/news-story/8c181cfb45512e7f409a296bc566cf59

    Weather is now climate. Will Steffen: “A few years ago, talking about weather and climate change in the same breath was a cardinal sin for scientists.

    Now it has become impossible to have a conversation about the weather without discussing wider climate trends, according to researchers who prepared the Australian Climate Commission’s latest report.

    Previously, ”weather is not climate” was the mantra, but now the additional boost from greenhouse gases was influencing every event.

    It might even be the case that the mantra chanted after every catastrophic weather event – that it can’t be said to be caused by climate change, but it shows what climate change will do – has become a thing of the past.

    http://www.theage.com.au/national/climate-change-a-key-factor-in-extreme-weather-experts-say-20130303-2fefv.html
    . . .
    How did the climate change before climate change?

    113

  • #
    BoyfromTottenham

    Regarding the “smart card” issue, it does not explain how the -10.6 degree data point in the central database got changed, then deleted. I very much doubt that it had anything to do with the smart card, or any part of the weather station – its job is (or should be) to simply record and transmit regular temperature readings to the central system as they happen (more or less), where they get validated (I would hope) and recorded. As an IT systems architect with over 20 years experience designing stuff like this for government and private sector clients, I would be extremely surprised, and concerned if the whole system was designed to allow, under any circumstances, a relatively dumb weather station to make decisions about the data already recorded in the official “system of record” on which the federal government Dept of Environment makes its $billion policy. If on the other hand the system was actually designed like that, either the Bureau of Meteorology is guilty of fraud on the Commonwealth, or the Dept of Environment is guilty of gross incompetence. Which is it, Minister Frydenberg?

    142

    • #
      DaveR

      I think your explanation is the most likely BFT. The initial recording in the BOM database of the actual -10.4C temperature suggests the stations are simply recording and transmitting the correct raw data. The later removal of that temperature and replacement by -10.0C suggests it happened in the BOM computers, perhaps as the first quality control pass went through.

      If that is the case, then the BOM’s current ploy of removing/replacing a handfull of field stations is a furphy.

      83

      • #
        Bobl

        No, assume both things are wrong, that’s the more likely truth, the incident has led them to cover up some other method they use to edit lows.

        32

      • #
        Raven

        If that is the case, then the BOM’s current ploy of removing/replacing a handfull of field stations is a furphy.

        It’s tricky to diagnose without input from the BOM but I’d agree with BoyfromTottenham, too.
        I can’t imagine even the BOM would have designed a system where any logic is happening in the station itself. It’d be impossible to discover a faulty unit.

        The fact that they quickly nominated other locations suggests they can be alerted to a faulty unit.
        It raises the question though; if these other locations were suddenly discovered to be faulty, what prompted that discovery?

        Did the BOM suddenly realise they should look for other units? . . and found some?
        If that’s the case, do they not have a system in place to automatically discover faulty units?
        How many faulty units went unnoticed previously?
        How many units encounter an intermittent fault that may not be picked up at all?

        The deeper this gets, the more questions need to be amswered.

        62

    • #

      BoyfromTottenham
      Yes that makes a lot of sense. How could a -10.4 make it all the way to web pages and out for us to take screen shots then be altered to 10.0 by a smart card? Unless the smart card can resend an alteration that overides previous data all the way through the system.
      Here they say “Contrary to claims, the Bureau has not deliberately set limits on the temperatures it records.” This leaves not deliberate as possible.
      And this suggests they are not sure what happened. “The CEO and Director of Meteorology Dr Andrew Johnson has established a review to ensure the matter is understood and resolved thoroughly.”
      http://media.bom.gov.au/releases/374/bureau-of-meteorology-statement-on-temperature-observations/

      22

    • #
      Ted O'Brien.

      The whole truth was ever too long a story. So to communicate we must “read between the lines”. Mix in the shortcomings of a modern Australian basic education and don’t be surprised if people get things wrong.

      This issue seems to have raised a response far bigger that the difference between -10.4 and -10. The response indicates to me that the BOM management has been made aware of a problem that until this week it didn’t believe existed. A problem that had been mentioned, but not accepted.

      Given the AGW furore they might be super sensitive to any negative events. Is this a genuine error? Is it the work of a rogue operator? Or is it a systemic issue?

      Let’s hope they tell us soon.

      23

      • #
        Greg Cavanagh

        I would go with “systemic issue”.

        I believe it’s a work ethics issue. They have systematically refused every complaint made against them. They covered up everything and made stupid excuses regardless of if it made any sense.

        This one has finally hit them between the eyes. They need a serious shake up internally, and they need to provide quality data. Whoever the CEO is needs to ousted immediately.

        They need to account for their actions, and they need to document everything that gets done. And open data for all.

        42

  • #
    Manfred

    I look forward to receiving recommendations as to how we can ensure…
    Minister Josh Frydenberg

    I doubt very much whether the Green Deep State will permit any passing Minister for the Environment and Energy anywhere near the truth.

    132

    • #
      Peter C

      Just in case the deep green state is keeping minister Frydenberg I thought I would put him in the the picture so I sent him this message;

      Dear Minister,

      The Bureau of Meteorology  (BOM) has been exposed, tampering with the temperature records for Australia. (Australian Newspaper  ( 03 Aug 2017)).

      I understand that the chief exec ( (Andrew Johnston)  of the BOM has ordered that some equipment be changed and ordered a review!

      That is not a proper  nor adequate response!

      The problem is not failure of a few thermometers.  The problem is an endemic cultural attitude within the  BOM.  A few activists within the BOM have a captured the whole organisation and turned it to promote their agenda of Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming (CAGW), also known as Climate Change.

      The BOM is a pivotal instrument in the CAGW agenda.  They are part of the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO)  The BOM provides data for most of the Southern Hemisphere.  We have good records for more than 100 years.  Africa and South America do not. Consequently the BOM long term data effectively represents half of the globe.  If global warming is/has Occurred since 1800  the Australian data is critical.    But the long term data is a totally made up confection of  rubbish due to the BOM process of homogenisation!  The BOM takes the real  data from actual sites (ACORN -SAT) and processes it using some secret formula (homogenisation) and comes  with a synthetic Australian Temperature which they claim shows gradual warming.

      The BOM is a taxpayer funded Government Department.  It is not their job to promote activist views about Catastrophic Global Warming due to CO2, to the community and try to influence the political debate.  Yet that is what they have done on many levels.  They have been drip feeding the ABC for years with alarming stories about ” hottest year, day, hour on record” 

      Now they have nothing to support this agenda. Now even the raw data is suspect (because it has been modified or truncated)  even before they started messing with it. .

        It is all a shibboleth and It is all wrong.  CO2 is not a driver of Catastrophic Global Warming.  No one can provide evidence for that proosition except for computer modelling (which is not evidence).

      The consequences of making wrong political decisions on the basis of  their (BOM)perverse interpretation of science are severe for our society. The consequences are apparent already.  Moving our electricity generation from reliable  and cheap coal to wind and solar is costing us dearly. We are suffering.  Electricity prices are sky rocketing.  Our Industries are closing and jobs are being lost!  How much more do we have to endure before you act.

      Minister, We need action Now!  

      Please call the BOM into line.   
      Now is the time for Clear Thinking  and Plain Talking. 
      Our immediate future is a stake.  We need cheap electricity!  That means COAL at the present time.  Repeal the RET ( renewable energy target)up !

      It is up to you!

      202

  • #
    Kevin Lohse

    So having been caught in flagrant derilicto it’s the computer’s fault. Hang them all.

    143

  • #
    Another Ian

    Somewhat o/t and repeated from previous BOM thread

    “Larry Ledwick says:
    4 August 2017 at 7:12 am

    On the silliness of the climate modeling and magic computer folks:

    http://dailycaller.com/2017/08/03/report-127-million-climate-supercomputer-no-better-than-using-a-piece-of-paper/

    https://chiefio.wordpress.com/2017/07/29/tips-august-2017/#comment-85462

    And BOM needs a more expensive computer?

    63

  • #
    Ian G

    I wonder if the BOM conducted a quality control check on Sydney’s record temp on 18th Jan, 2013?
    The temp rose from 44.9C to 45.8C in just four minutes and then dropped to 44.8C in the next six minutes.
    The graph at the time only showed a spike to 45.3C.
    Many ttimes I see anomalies like this so it would be interesting to know if the BOM will consider a review of such spikes in the top temps as well.

    83

    • #
      Ted O'Brien.

      The one that gets me is that on the elders weather site, which so far as I know comes from the BOM, they list twice on the hour, not always with the same temp. I have no idea why. I wondered if it might have been to make it difficult for outsiders to enter data into Excel, but I never followed it up. This started after Ken Stewart embarrassed them by analysing their homogenisation, but I could be just too suspicious.

      43

  • #
    David Maddison

    “Is that the truth or did you hear it from the BoM.”?

    102

  • #
    Robber

    Smart card, dumb BOM.

    72

  • #
    David Maddison

    For how many years has this automated data falsification being going on?

    The scientific method demands that all computer code from the weather stations and receiving terminals be placed into the public domain for verification.

    All data sets that have had automatic adjustments need to be declared invalid.

    If data sets are otherwise accurate but have had numbers at the lower temperatures automatically adjusted I am not sure if the “good” data is of any use because it will be lacking accurate minima. Is the good data salvageable?

    73

    • #
      DaveR

      Data falsification or just incredibly sloppy processes? Which ever it is, a full investigation is required, not just an in-house +2 review.

      Considering a whole lot of current federal policies are based on “Climate Change” being real,I would think that Frydenberg is in a very delicate position on this one, and if he is seen as aiding any sort of BOM whitewash (as Hunt did before) this time it will be difficult.

      62

  • #
    el gordo

    A couple of years ago the Chinese used a Remote Access Tool (RAT) malware to hack BoM and I would like to eliminate them from our inquiries on this occasion.

    30

  • #
    manalive

    There is another oddity I’ve noticed from time to time with the temperatures at Ballarat aerodrome viz. there seems to be a leap of the maximum temperature recorded from 30 minutes before and 30 minutes after, although I haven’t kept a record.
    For instance on 4/8 at 1PM 7.5C was recorded, thirty minutes later at !:30PM 8.7C, then at 1:50PM back to 7.5C.
    http://www.bom.gov.au/products/IDV60801/IDV60801.94852.shtml
    When plotted on a time-series graph, as I’ve done just out of interest, the maximums seem quite anomalous.
    As I said I haven’t kept a record but others may have noticed the same oddity at other locations.

    64

    • #
      Robber

      Interesting, manalive. Similarly, on 3/8 max temp recorded at 11am is 8.3, but temperatures at 10.30 and 11.30 were recorded as 7.9 and 7.8.
      The last 14 months are also available for Ballarat on the BOM website, it would be interesting to check some further data.
      But all that is reported are the min/max for each day, so possibly already homogenised?
      You can also see on their climate pages the 100 year data for Ballarat aerodrome (was there an airport in 1908?).
      1910-2010: avge max 17.4, avge min 7.1.
      If select 1981-2010, avge max 17.7, avge min 6.6.
      1911-1940 avge max 17.2, avge min 7.2
      Is there any evidence of catastrophic global warming or cooling?
      Perhaps with guidance from Jennifer and Jo we should crowdsource some further examination of the records for multiple locations. But need to locate the raw data.

      52

    • #
      manalive

      To clarify my point, when plotting the temperature profile for a particular day I would expect the 30 minute temperature points to resemble something like a bell curve, not a bell curve but with one half hour peak way over the top.

      30

      • #
        Greg Cavanagh

        manalive; I highly recommend you put a thermometer on a shaded veranda and record temperatures every half hour for a weekend. The temperature profile for the day is not a bell curve. And the night time profile is quite interesting too.

        21

  • #
    Robdel

    This whole episode resembles the VW episode. Fiddle the software.

    31

  • #
    Bob Fernley-Jones

    There is also this BoM data source* which shows that throughout the life of the allegedly faulty stations there are archived a series of colder records down as low as -10.9C

    Graham Lloyd also reported in The Australian:

    “The BoM has admitted that, in addition to Goulburn and Thredbo Top, stations at Tuggeranong in the ACT, Butlers Gorge and Fingal in Tasmania and Mount Baw Baw in Victoria would be replaced.”

    However, according to that other source, the lowest temperatures ever recorded at those sites never reached the dreaded -10 C:

    Tuggeranong= -8.4; Butlers Gorge= -7.8; Fingal= -9.0; Baw Baw= -8.5

    The generally colder Victorian snow ski resorts of Mount Buller, Falls Creek and Mount Hotham didn’t get a mention as cold sites, but also didn’t quite break the -10 C barrier.

    * follow the menu to reach ‘All years of data’

    44

  • #
    RickWill

    Surely the simple fix is to place the filter upstream of the 30 minute observations record. The job of the citizen observers then becomes a bit more difficult to find anomalous data.

    Actually it is interesting to see the the -10 limit did not exists in the early life of the station:
    http://www.bom.gov.au/jsp/ncc/cdio/weatherData/av?p_display_type=dataGraph&p_stn_num=070330&p_nccObsCode=43&p_month=13
    The trend in temperature looks much less rising if a -10.4 is entered for 2017.

    53

  • #
    John Smith

    Whatever the explanation … I don’t care.
    Dubious data producing dubious conclusions.

    53

  • #
    David Maddison

    What is the ligic of the BoM filtering out supposedly anomalous high or low points? If they are anomalous surely all the points in between are questionable as well?

    43

    • #
      Bobl

      Statisticians often throw out outliers, however 0.4 under the floor doesn’t seem to be an outlier, -273 Deg is an outlier!

      Just as a point, engineers would use the derivative to do any filtering, that is they would know the maximum rate at which the environment within the weather station can and only edit data, when then reading is physically not possible, the software should be filtering and confidence validating anyway, a one minute reading is most probably the average of 60 x 1 second readings, that should be enough to filter any noise. Further editing data seems irresponsible.

      I would note that by gradually adjusting the floor values up they can generate any warming trend they want, it would be interesting to see if the floor values have changed over time and if an algorithm or table is used to have different floor values for each month! An FOI about floor values is needed.

      81

      • #

        Never change the raw data.

        Note outliers as separate things.

        If an instrument was found to be producing incorrect data, don’t try to fix the data: Work only with the data that you are reasonably certain is “good”. Do not interpolate unless there are physical laws that justify the interpolation.

        In general; do not filter data before recording it. If a type of sensor is “noisy”, then determine and deal with the source of the noise; don’t massage the data to make the noise go away.

        Statistics is much harder to do with “holey data” but to infill and then perform statistics on the resulting blob of numbers will tend to report the infill. i.e. it provides no insight; only a delusion.

        71

        • #
          bobl

          Sorry, no banana. It is reasonable to say take 60 readings over a minute, throw away the 10 highest and lowest and average the rest. Digital tech takes reading over very short integration intervals (which is an average in itself) it is possible that noise – jet exhaust or even electrical noise shows up in readings and it’s not unusual to average it (filter it) to reduce noise. The problem comes about when you treat some data (-10.4) differently to the way you treat other data (+40.4).

          Noise filtering is symmetrical, and the outcome depends on the statistics of the noise, for a symmetrical (Normally distributed) noise source it works fine. Putting a floor value though truncates the normal distribution of the noise and makes the distribution non symmetrical, the average of the truncated distribution is different to the average of the untruncated one.

          In any case though when you have output from a properly designed sensor (with or without filtering) then it is wrong to change the raw data, you should instead keep a correction as well, a calibration offset to add to the measured value to get the final value or a replacement value. That way you always know what was measured, and what was made up (Guessed). If you get it wrong you can still fix it.

          11

          • #

            A few of John Brignell’s notes on this:
            Assumptions of linearity
            Uncertainty Principle
            Spikes
            Smoothing of Data

            Filtering of sensor data is altering the data.

            It’s a travesty that WMO did not designate what should be the thermal response for new technology sensors when they became available. Such would have assured a measure of comparability with older measurements captured by e.g. liquid-in-glass thermometers.

            The travesty is worsened when there’s a pretence of data continuity at stations where measurement technology changed. It is not sufficient to take a simple average over a longer period of time because the thermodynamics are non-linear and what was actually being measured is not what is actually being measured now.

            30

  • #
    Soldier

    Tampering (adjusting, fudging, etc) with raw data has no place in science!
    Hiding raw data from others has no place in science!

    By all means conduct analysis of the data any way that you like but do not tamper with it.

    The scientific method dictates that the raw data and methods of analysis must be made available to all so that your work can be verified or found wanting.

    The BOM has broken the fundamental precepts of the scientific method and should be subject not only to a full independent audit but also to a full public disclosure of this scandal.

    Soldier

    162

  • #
    Bill Johnston

    What actually happened at Goulburn airport is that the Stevenson screen was somewhere else in April 2016 (I went there and took a photograph of the AWS-site on April 16 at 11:46 AM).

    Wherever the screen was moved from is unclear; or whether it had been temporarily removed, who knows? NSW Government “Six maps” shows the site recently disturbed (but the data of the image is unknown). (It must be later than April 2016.) (The 10m AWS mast casts an unmistakable shadow.)

    (Google Earth Pro images are very grainy and hard to interpret.)

    Cheers,

    Bill

    60

    • #

      All that tells me Bill, is that BOM is not only careless with their data, but with their instruments too. Those who religiously recorded and kept accurate data in the last century and earlier must be so dismayed. Accuracy is important for people that rely on accurate record keeping, recording and forecasting for their incomes.

      113

    • #
      toorightmate

      Bill,
      The new stations will have small heaters installed – to keep the equipment warm.

      21

  • #
    pat

    4 Aug: Reuters: Valerie Volcovici: U.S. submits formal notice of withdrawal from Paris climate pact
    The U.S. State Department has officially informed the United Nations it will withdraw from the Paris Climate Agreement in a document issued on Friday, but left the door open to re-engaging if the terms improved for the United States.

    The State Department said in a press release the United States would continue to participate in United Nations climate change meetings during the withdrawal process, which is expected to take at least three years.
    “The United States supports a balanced approach to climate policy that lowers emissions while promoting economic growth and ensuring energy security,” the department said in the release…
    “As the President indicated in his June 1 announcement and subsequently, he is open to re-engaging in the Paris Agreement if the United States can identify terms that are more favorable to it, its businesses, its workers, its people, and its taxpayers,” the State Department said in its press release about the formal notice of withdrawal…

    The earliest date for the United States to completely withdraw from the agreement is Nov. 4, 2020, around the time of the next U.S. presidential election.
    http://www.reuters.com/article/us-un-climate-usa-paris-idUSKBN1AK2FM?il=0

    4 Aug: Science Daily: Temperatures rising: Achieving the global temperature goals laid out in the Paris Climate Agreement is unlikely, according to research
    Source: University of California – Santa Barbara
    Summary: The Paris Climate Agreement of 2016, which saw 195 nations come together in the shared goal of ameliorating climate change, set forth an ambitious goal of limiting global temperature rise to less than 2 degrees Celsius. Since then, many have wondered, is that even scientifically possible? Unfortunately, the odds aren’t looking good.

    New research by Dick Startz, a professor in UC Santa Barbara’s Department of Economics, along with colleagues from the University of Washington and Upstart, suggests it is unfeasible for the world to meet the global temperature goals adopted in the agreement, and nearly unfathomable that the collective nations will exceed expectations.

    Startz collaborated on a paper, published in Nature Climate Change, that used a combination of statistical, scientific and economic data to paint a clear picture of the climate scenarios most likely by the year 2100. That picture is bleak…

    Though their conclusions are in agreement with those of many other climate experts, their methods varied from the norm. Startz and his co-authors employed an entirely data-driven model in their work that eschewed opinion in favor of evidence…

    Though the worldwide economy would have to slow down “tremendously” for the findings in the paper to be erroneous, Startz said, he still hopes that somehow, for the sake of the planet, his predictions will prove incorrect. “Believe me,” he said, “there’s nothing we would like better than to be wrong.”
    https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/08/170804082229.htm

    11

  • #
    pat

    4 Aug: US Dept of State: Communication Regarding Intent To Withdraw From Paris Agreement
    Media Note
    Office of the Spokesperson
    Washington, DC
    Today, the United States submitted a communication to the United Nations, in its capacity as depositary for the Paris Agreement, regarding the U.S. intent to withdraw from the Paris Agreement as soon as it is eligible to do so, consistent with the terms of the Agreement…

    We will continue to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions through innovation and technology breakthroughs, and work with other countries to help them access and use fossil fuels more cleanly and efficiently and deploy renewable and other clean energy sources, given the importance of energy access and security in many nationally determined contributions.

    The United States will continue to participate in international climate change negotiations and meetings, including the 23rd Conference of the Parties (COP-23) of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, to protect U.S. interests and ensure all future policy options remain open to the administration. Such participation will include ongoing negotiations related to guidance for implementing the Paris Agreement.

    For further information, please contact Yoon Nam in the Bureau of Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs (OES) at namys@state.gov.
    https://www.state.gov/r/pa/prs/ps/2017/08/273050.htm

    Yoon Nam
    Arctic Press and Public Affairs Officer
    Yoon Nam is a Foreign Service Officer with the U.S. Department of State. He currently serves as the Public Affairs Officer for the Department’s Bureau of Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs, where he works with the U.S. Senior Arctic Official and other key stakeholders to communicate Arctic policy to the larger public through media relations and public outreach activities. Yoon previously served at U.S. missions overseas in the Republic of Korea, Pakistan, and Georgia. He holds a master’s degree in East Asian languages and literature from the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa and a bachelor’s degree from the University of California Los Angeles.
    https://www.arctic-council.org/images/PDF_attachments/US_team_bios/US_Bio_Yoon.pdf

    11

    • #
      David Maddison

      It is concerning that the US says that they “will continue to reduce our greenhouse emissions” because that is an admission that the administration actually believes CO2 is a problem.

      The US is getting out of Paris because of the perceived unfairness of the agreement, not because they think the science is wrong.

      I would have preferred a strong statement to the effect that based on the evidence, the hypothesis of anthropogenic global warming is invalid and we can all stop worrying and stop destroying our economies.

      92

      • #
        Peter C

        So would I!

        60

      • #
        RickWill

        There is some sense in encouraging others to reduce CO2 emissions. Intermittents do not reduce the capital expenditure required on fossil generation but it does have a small impact on fuel consumption. That takes pressure off the demand side for fossil fuels, particularly oil, and lowers income for oil rich nations like Russia, many in the Middle East and one or two in South America that are not well aligned with US policy.

        So one thing US does not want is to encourage other nations to increase their fossil fuel consumption. They also do not mind selling electric cars, wind turbines, solar panels, batteries and gas turbines to the world; all much needed items to fight CD. Encouraging the zealots in Europe to make their production uneconomic while supplying them with the false hope of intermittents seems in line with smart business. Trump may have Gore on the payroll to keep spreading the fake news.

        30

      • #

        While this is well off the main topic here, it could be clarified.

        The Government can ‘say’ that they are continuing to reduce their emissions of CO2, and it could seem that they are giving the impression that they are being conscious in their reduction of CO2 emissions, but it’s actually just a case of the natural attrition of coal fired power.

        Right up until 8 years ago, the U.S. had an immense fleet of coal fired power plants. The average age of the entire coal fired power fleet in the U.S. was (read this and let it sink in) a tick over 49 years, and consider here that the average operational life span of a typical coal fired power plant was just 50 years.

        Over those last 8 years those ancient plants began to close down (and some were 60, 70, and even 80 years old), and that came about as the huge Natural Gas boom in the U.S. started to come on stream, and that had rapidly ramped up in those intervening 8 years.

        Those old plants, nearly all of them under 100MW (and the average is only about 20MW) have closed down in their many hundreds, those little ones dotted across the Country, supplying the power just for that area where they were. As the grid expanded, so larger plants could now supply those areas, and those tiddlers all began to close down.

        However, what they have been replaced by is not new coal fired plants (perish that thought) but new larger scale Natural gas fired plants.

        Almost 80% of that (former) coal fired power has now been replaced by Natural Gas fired power, not in the number of plants, not in the Nameplate, but in actual power generation, and while that figure close to 80% might indicate that not all of them have been replaced, it probably does mean exactly that because those ancient plants were standbys while the newer ones have gone in.

        So, while that power generation has been a direct swap from (ancient) coal fired power to new Natural Gas fired power, what that has led to is a (pretty huge really) reduction in CO2 emissions, because those old coal fired plants were pretty big CO2 emitters, and the new tech Natural gas fired plants are comprehensively more efficient and emit much less CO2.

        The upshot is that almost far and away, the largest CO2 reductions on a percentage basis of any Country on Earth have been in the U.S. something you’ll never really hear in the media.

        So, the U.S. can proudly say that they are reducing their CO2 emissions, giving the impression that they are acting responsibly, but in actual fact, it’s a direct result of the improving technology of electrical power generation, the move from ancient coal fired power, a huge emitter, to a new Natural Gas fired fleet, reducing those CO2 emissions by what is really a very large amount.

        It’s all in the way you look at things

        Tony.

        172

  • #
    liberator

    Does anyone know how the temps or what temp is actually recorded? Do the monitoring stations record and report the temps every minute for example or does it just report the temp at the 30 min mark that’s reported on the AWS data? Then that temp is the official record ie the 30 min data that we see reported by the AWS? So if the temp actually spiked at say 34 degree halfway through the 30 min cycle from 32 recorded at the first 30 mins reporting period and then drops to say 32 at the 30 min second reporting period does the 34 get reported or just the 32? I have seen some temperature anomalies myself in that the AWS is reporting the 30 min data which I’ve looked over to find the maximum temperature for the day only to find a higher maximum reported in the daily summary but that maximum did not show on the AWS data 30 min records.

    30

    • #
      Robber

      I think it is recorded every minute or so, because when we have had a hot spell and a cool change swings through, you will see updates every few minutes.

      30

    • #
      Ian G

      http://www.bom.gov.au/nsw/observations/nswall.shtml?ref=hdr
      This site will show every 30 mins and the top temp during that time. Click on the town to get the 30 min progression. Will show closer intervals if sudden changes to rainfall and temps are detected.

      20

    • #
      Ted O'Brien.

      Originally they used a maximum and minimum thermometer, read at 9am.
      Our local station used to report half hourly, now every ten minutes, but reports immediately sudden changes in wind or rate of rainfall, and maybe other events too.

      20

  • #
    Robert Rosicka

    I may be wrong but I thought average temps from BOM were put through a washing machine and ( modelled) to come up with an average figure .

    62

    • #

      You should go with your first instinct, where all the smart money is.

      28

      • #
        el gordo

        My first instinct is that ACORN-SAT has systematically lowered the past to raise the future.

        143

        • #

          But then, if you want to demonstrate CO2 induced atmospheric warming, what better way than to demonstrate rising minima on cloudless low atmospheric water vapor days.
          In Australia or the Antarctic Territory that could be achieved by clipping off minima in the respective cold stations when they fell below a line that was predicted by climate models.
          If the Antarctic, a closed climatic zone, could be demonstrated to be warming by homogenising the Aussie thermometers with those at other countries sites, more the merrier.
          Now one always looks for stuff up before conspiracy.
          The best look is that it was an error, like the CBA just made allowing money to be laundered and sent overseas to our enemies, doing so since 2012.
          Now in the CBA case heads will fall and there will be a Royal Commission once the ALP gets in.
          With the BOM, who knows?
          Perhaps a statement that the procedures will be validated and that the errors spotted do not change the data.
          Somebody will be given a gong and superannuated out?
          This makes me so ashamed of being an Australian.
          Data is the sacrosanct gold to be mined and analysed.
          Nothing can be rigged.
          All original records are kept so others may replicate the work.
          This is the bedrock of the scientific method entrusted to the BOM.
          Other professions are subjected to random audit and validation.
          We have to be able to trust our science.

          32

  • #

    If the (somewhat raw) data are visible “live” on the WWW, then why the smart cards?

    Any electronics that is surplus to basic requirements will have a tendency to produce self-heating within the unit, be it a Stevenson shelter or MMTS.

    Resistance Temperature Devices (RTD) are typically platinum based resistors whose resistance varies very slightly with their temperature. Such devices are chosen because of their near-linear change in resistance with device temperature. A very, very small current must be passed through the device to measure the resistance which in itself produces device heating, thus changing the RTD’s resistance.

    The air must cool or warm the RTD device in order for a change in air “temperature” to be observed.

    Moreover, RTD response time is very sensitive to the thermal capacity of the medium which it’s measuring and its velocity. A fast air stream will measure “colder” than a slow one for the same air (i.e. “temperature”). The thermal capacity of air [the ability to gain or lose heat for a certain change in temperature] is quite variable, depending on its humidity (water vapour content). For serious purposes such as Engineering airconditioning systems, one must know the water vapour content and the air temperature (vis e.g. “dry-bulb” and “wet-bulb” temperature.) because without knowing both; one cannot know how much heat there is in the air.

    62

    • #
      David Maddison

      In my PhD some of my measurements were done between around 4.2K up to room temperature and temperature was measured with platinum resistance thermometers which were calibrated to within 1mK. The calibration charts were dozens of pages of computer printouts and took months of careful measurement to generate. The calibration data was fitted to polynomials so software could convert the resistance to a mK temperature. That was when people were concerned with measurement accuracy, unlike now. I just used the equipment, I didn’t personally do the calibration. Incidentally, using the exact same equipment it was discovered that the thermopower vs temperature curve of lead, which had been accepted since around 1915 was wrong and the correct data was published around the early 1980′s and made much more sense than the original data.

      32

  • #
    Don B

    Einstein:

    “If the facts don’t fit the theory, change the facts.”

    BOM, he was joking.

    52

  • #
    RAH

    Josh Frydenberg: “I’m treating this seriously and am determined to get to the bottom­ of what has happened. I look forward to receiving recommendations as to how we can ensure that the public’s confidence in climate data is maintained.”

    How come we Yanks and you Aussies have so much in common? Our government can’t take an accurate temperature either! We all know where the real problem lies. The problem is not “smart cards” or any software, or hardware. The problem is the people running it, an compiling it, administering it, and their bosses. This really has nothing to do with equipment and everything to do with the insects we have running things. It is such a waste that such good common but smart people have to spend their time ferreting through the excuses pushed on them in order to prove the real problem are the cockroaches like Josh Frydenberg, those doing his bidding, and those directing them all to do it. Thanks so much to all of you that work so hard to shine the light of truth on these cockroaches. But once found we need a can of Raid and both you Aussies and we Yanks we seem to lack that essential. You work hard to expose the cockroaches but killing them is a whole other matter.

    71

    • #
      Bob in Castlemaine

      Hi RAH, for a US friend a little on the Honourable Josh Frydenberg MP. Josh was considered one of the brighter young conservatives (pre PM M. Turnbull’s coup our conservative party was the Liberal Party). Since taking up his current Environment and Energy Ministerial portfolio Josh, known to be a “climate change” sceptic, with Turnbull breathing down his neck so-to-speak, has been as scared as a “rabbit in the headlights” to depart from the canon of the AGW religion. So he will do all he can to defend the BoM’s lack of scientific integrity.
      In contrast to Josh, the previous incumbent in the portfolio was Greg Hunt, a committed warming believer. Hunt a year or two back shut down what was to have been an independent audit of the BoM’s treatment (or mistreatment) of temperature data. This in the guise of protecting the BoM’s public credibility.
      So don’t expect anything but another white-wash for the current fiasco.

      62

  • #

    They took the temperature accurately – it was -10.4.

    As far as I am aware, no more accurate data has turned up. They measured -10.4, they recorded -10.4, and -10.4 is the value that is in their database.

    222

    • #
      Robert Rosicka

      Look over there it’s a bunny .

      152

    • #
      Konrad

      Wrong.
      They took the temperature accurately. It was -10.4.
      Then they inaccurately entered -10.0 into the database.
      Then when they were called out on it they entered “blank” into the database manually, falsely claiming that ‘blank” was automatically entered.
      Then they corrected the database to read -10.4.
      Then they removed the limit filters on the cold stations database entry system (strangely this was possible to do without visiting any stations or removing any “smart cards”).

      All this is now a matter of permanent internet record.

      So too is -
      “INSTRUMENT TEST REPORT NUMBER 624”
      that was likely used to “justify” setting a lower limit to AWS readings. Hosted by the WMO the pdf is now saved by sceptics offline.

      212

    • #
      Harry Twinotter

      Craig Thomas.

      “As far as I am aware, no more accurate data has turned up. They measured -10.4, they recorded -10.4, and -10.4 is the value that is in their database.”

      Correct. The end result is what is important.

      The data is considered not quality controlled until it is verified. The BoM say so on their website. The process can sometimes take months. In this case I estimate it took around 2 days, maybe quicker.

      37

    • #
      KinkyKeith

      Come on Moichael, give it a break.

      31

  • #
    Bob in Castlemaine

    So when will the BoM be coaxed by the jolly Josh to come clean to the world regarding the logic, filtering and assumptions underpinning the algorithms that produce those beautiful deep purple, red and dark brown ACORN maps we regularly see splashed across our TV screens? Nah, I don’t expect so either!

    62

  • #
    Geoff Sherrington

    Hi all,
    Here is a clip of 15 mins or so that I recommend all watch, in the present context.
    http://www.ted.com/index.php/talks/tim_berners_lee_on_the_next_web.html

    Ironically, I sent this talk to Dr David Jones, Head of Climate Research, BOM on 15 June 2009, noting that it could be one of the more important talks he might ever encounter. I have no response that he looked at it.

    (Sir Timothy John Berners-Lee OM KBE FRS FREng FRSA FBCS (born 8 June 1955),[1] also known as TimBL, is an English engineer and computer scientist, best known as the inventor of the World Wide Web.)
    Geoff

    53

    • #
      Sceptical Sam

      (Sir Timothy John Berners-Lee OM KBE FRS FREng FRSA FBCS (born 8 June 1955),[1] also known as TimBL, is an English engineer and computer scientist, best known as the inventor of the World Wide Web.)
      Geoff

      That can’t possibly be correct Geoff.

      Everybody (I mean just everybody) knows that the Internet was invented by the amazing, self-deprecating, polymath……………

      …Al Gore AB (HU).

      20

      • #
        Old44

        Not to mention world famed geologist who discovered the earths temperature 2 miles down is several million degrees.

        22

    • #

      Re Ted Talk, computer says no. (

      51

  • #
    pat

    read all:

    5 Aug: Townsville Bulletin: Townsville BoM staff at risk of being redeployed or made redundant
    by RACHEL RILEY
    THE BUREAU of Meteorology has refused to confirm whether Townsville weather forecasters will be redeployed or made redundant when the office is fully automated within the next two years…READ ALL
    http://www.townsvillebulletin.com.au/news/townsville-bom-staff-at-risk-of-being-redeployed-or-made-redundant/news-story/1d7c10fc63d416a2ab4252acb7d3a6d7

    33

  • #
    Dennis

    The hottest August beginning since weather station recording began using deliberately inserted human errors and omissions …

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-08-05/snow-falls-on-victorias-alps-as-blizzards-forecast/8777332

    33

    • #
      Dennis

      For people in the Illawarra and parts of the South Coast, Central Tablelands, Southern Tablelands and Snowy Mountains Forecast Districts.
      Issued at 10:51 am Saturday, 5 August 2017.
      VIGOROUS WINDS OVER SOUTHEAST NSW
      SYNOPTIC SITUATION:
      A strong cold front is moving over southeastern New South Wales this morning, accompanied by vigorous northwest to southwesterly winds. Another front will move across the region during Sunday, maintaining gusty conditions in many areas.

      22

  • #
    pat

    5 Aug: Australian: Letters to the Editor
    (SCROLL DOWN)
    BoM cards not so smart
    It appears the Bureau of Meteorology is blaming a smart card in its weather stations for putting a limit on how very low temperatures can be recorded (“Temps drop as BoM orders fix”, 4/8). This assertion surprised me because, first, that technology such as a smart card (they are not very smart) should be relied on to limit what temperatures are recorded in weather data defies belief (I have spent 20 years designing significant information technology systems, including those using smart cards).
    Second, because, in case the BoM has been misreported and intended to say that the smart card itself did not operate properly below -10 degrees C, I can say the international standard for smart cards gives the required operating temperature range as -25 to +85 degrees C.
    John Gardner, Taringa, Qld
    http://www.theaustralian.com.au/opinion/letters/cartoons-anniversary-a-time-for-the-ahrc-to-talk-to-dissenting-voices/news-story/ba6d262c7c3108fa097680e5fe1b74a2

    52

  • #
    pat

    Morano links to the two threads of Jo’s below the Graham Lloyd article:

    4 Aug: ClimateDepot: TEMPERATURE READINGS PLUNGE AFTER AUSTRALIA’S BUREAU OF METEOROLOGY ORDERS END TO ‘TAMPERING’
    http://www.climatedepot.com/2017/08/04/temperatures-plunge-after-australias-bureau-of-meteorology-orders-fix/

    Chiefio links to Jo and more:

    4 Aug: Chiefio: More “data” than the Data – The Stupid, It Burns…
    Let me make it perfectly clear:
    Computer Model OUTPUT IS NOT DATA. It is not, never was, and CAN NOT BE DATA!!!. EVER…
    https://chiefio.wordpress.com/2017/08/04/more-data-than-the-data-the-stupid-it-burns/

    22

    • #
      Another Ian

      Another Chiefio on climate science but O/T to this thread

      “Why Economists Study “Climate Science”, Uncertainty, Interest Rates, and A Crash”

      https://chiefio.wordpress.com/2017/08/04/why-economists-study-climate-science-uncertainty-interest-rates-and-a-crash/

      22

      • #
        Unemployed Taxpayer

        From Chiefio’s thread, a good summary of natural climate change:-

        Recently, we got proof of that as a real issue. The Sun went very very quiet. Total Solar Irradiation (TSI) didn’t change much at all, but the spectrum shifted. Far far less Extreme UV and UV, a lot more red and infra-red. Then the unexpected happened: The atmosphere got shorter. Same mass, just not puffed up as much. This causes all sorts of collateral changes. We moved from a Zonal Flow to a Meridional Flow jet stream. Cloud number, size, and distribution shifted. Storm tracks moved. We’ve got much increased flooding all over the planet. Precisely timed to the solar shift (yet Climate Junkies claim it must be CO2, despite no coincident change of CO2 and no such issues in the prior 30 years of CO2 Panic Mongering). So this is an existence proof of a variable we didn’t know about, with major impacts and nonlinear interactions. Just the kind of thing Keynes was talking about.

        Another Ian. Your link may be O/T, but thanks for posting it.

        21

  • #
    pat

    SMH LINKS TO 222 PAGE CSIRO-BOM REPORT! which includes:

    PEER REVIEW
    David Karoly (University of Melbourne), Andrew Tait
    (National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research,
    New Zealand) and Michael Hutchinson (Australian National
    University)

    Editorial Support:
    We acknowledge the World Climate Research Programme’s Working Group on Coupled Modelling, which is responsible for CMIP, and we thank the climate modelling groups (listed in Table 5.2.2 of this Report) for producing and making available
    their model output…ETC

    5 Aug: SMH: Peter Hannam: Snowy retreat: Climate change puts Australia’s ski industry on a downhill slope
    Australia’s ski resorts face the prospect of a long downhill run as a warming climate reduces snow depth, cover and duration. The industry’s ability to create artificial snow will also be challenged, scientists say…

    A snow retreat has been observed for half a century, with rising temperatures rather than reduced precipitation to blame, according to a major CSIRO-Bureau of Meteorology report (LINK). Under high greenhouse gas emissions pathway, snow at lower-elevation sites such as Mt Buffalo could all but disappear by 2050…

    That’s why all climate projections point in one direction, says Tom Remenyi, a researcher at the Antarctic Climate & Ecosystems Cooperative Research Centre. It’s both “encouraging and terrifying” that observations have matched models, giving researchers confidence about their bleak predictions, he said…
    ‘Step change’
    “What we’re fearing is that at some point, it’s not going to really snow that much any more. There’s going to be a step change,” Dr Remenyi said.
    “The models say the paradigm shift will happen in the next 10-20 years.”

    ***Those blasted in this weekend’s snow storms might wonder if snow will be in short supply, with as much as a metre expected for some resorts…READ ALL
    http://www.smh.com.au/environment/climate-change/snowy-retreat-climate-change-puts-australias-ski-industry-on-a-downhill-slope-20170804-gxp74h.html

    given BoM is on strike, they’ve been busy little bodies during BoM-Gate. Fairfax has been quoting them for one thing or another all week, but NOT A WORD on the unfolding scandal.

    41

    • #
      el gordo

      “The models say the paradigm shift will happen in the next 10-20 years,” Dr Remenyi said.

      ———

      Undeniably.

      30

      • #
        Greg Cavanagh

        They say with confidence.
        There is a serious disconnect happening when they believe their models over reality.
        No wonder they are confused when people point out that their beliefs are hollow.

        50

        • #
          el gordo

          The hiatus should have put an end to this catastrophism (it will never snow again) but their models tell them a paradigm shift is in sight. The irony is that global cooling will turn the scientific world upside down.

          50

  • #
    Geoff Sherrington

    Several above have asked how temperature is measured.
    Personally, I do not know precisely how this is done, because we have to rely on fragments of information grudgingly sent by BOM in response to questions asked.

    For starters, there is the problem of one-second readings at Automatic Weather Stations. These AWS devices replaced Liquid in Glass LIG, thermometers in the 1990s. With modern electronics, temperature devices like thermistors and thermocouples can be sampled at sub-second intervals. Then one has to make a subjective decision whether to average such readings or to take the peak reading. Either way risks a mismatch with earlier LIG records.

    It is quite important to read what Ken has summarised in this post and subsequent:
    https://kenskingdom.wordpress.com/2017/03/01/how-temperature-is-measured-in-australia-part-1/

    IMHO, any review of BOM thermometry and massaging would have to include comparison of LIG and AWS devices side by side at a site, giving overlap information for several years. It would also need a scientific review of what sampling period the BOM has preferred for AWS data and why.

    Some above have noted that temperature maxima seem to be in a ‘peak upon peak’ configuration. That might be, plausibly, because the peak is taken from the one-second data and the shoulders are from aggregated, averaged or smoothed data. I do not know.

    But, please read Ken’s words for better understanding. Geoff

    72

    • #
      Graeme No.3

      Geoff Sheringham:

      Almost certainly they are using platinum resistance thermometers. These has a faster response to ising temperatures than LIG ones.
      Supposedly highly accurate but after 12 years of industrial experience I am (dare I say) sceptical. The problem is that there are several grades.
      PT100 are the cheapest and most common.
      Platinum sensors care manufactured to comply with a standard curve within a specified tolerance. The Class A tolerance for a PT100 sensor is ± 0.25 ºC over the range 0 ºC to ±200 ºC. However, better uncertainties can be achieved if the sensor is suitably protected in a steel probe and CALIBRATED INDIVIDUALLY (my emphasis).

      When it comes to comparing historical figures for peak temperatures with LIG and newer Pt100 units there were differences of 6℃ around 190℃ (supposedly within the most accurate range). These were for temperatures that changed rapidly (resin exotherms). Even at 25℃ differences of 0.1-0.2℃ would show up. It is for this reason that I regard claims of temperature measurements in the field as accurate to 0.01 (or even 0.001)℃ as utter crap.

      61

      • #

        Dealing with low-cost PT100′s right now.

        Building custom probes because the usually thick and heavy stainless steel slows their response too much and the response is highly variable thanks to inconsistent filling (if any) of thermal grease between the sensing element and the steel casing. Moreover, there’s typically a substantial thermal bridge between sensor mounting and the probe body so if you’re looking to measure the temperature of a flowing liquid or gas, it’d better be in thermal equilibrium with the container/pipe/duct/… .

        Keep in mind that steel is something of a thermal insulator; compared to esp copper and less so aluminium. The lower the amount of protective probe; the better for thermal response reflecting the temperature of the medium being measured. Low cost, commercial and industrial probes have time constants of around 15 seconds, which is far too long for my application.

        I noted that a bare PT100 at room temperature can detect my hand nearby (not touching) in less than a second; reflected by a calculated increase in temperature of more than 0.1°C.

        Calibration is indeed a challenge. ±0.1°C is more than good enough for my application but every sensor, its protective probe housing and the circuitry that measures resistance of the sensor; must be calibrated as assembled. Again; my application is hardly demanding so an “ice bucket” calibration point is sufficient as operation is -20°C/+50°C of that; and a divergence of 1°C at the extremes is not important.

        The allowable “imprecision” allows me to eshew floating point arithmetic in the low-power microcontroller and precision ADC attached directly to the sensor’s leads to produce a temperature reading as a scaled integer (in centi-Celsius – the extra digit is a “guard digit”, not a claim of precision!).

        30

  • #
    Geoff Sherrington

    Another matter.

    Chris from WA did a lot of work a couple of years ago comparing temperature records from official sources of the 1930s to 1950s or so, like the CSIR now CSIRO 1933, and Commonwealth of Australia Year Book 1953 etc. These were seemingly accepted as the best science available at the time, 50 or more years ago. They could do thermometry and math pretty well back then.
    When Chris and others tried to reconcile present-day BOM official temperatures with these old records, he and we could see a little warming in Australia, perhaps 0.4 deg C compared to the 1.0 deg C. that current BOM records and reports show for the last century or so.
    Here is a short summary of the work from Chris:

    http://www.geoffstuff.com/explanation_chris_gilham.pdf

    This also is in need of official BOM examination. Geoff.

    113

  • #
    Dennis

    The computer doesn’t like me today and wont let my posts be displayed

    10

  • #
    Konrad

    I have an acquaintance I met through amateur rocketry a few years back. He was studying science at uni and had a interest in both atmospheric physics and astrophysics. After uni he was excited to get a job with BoM. I warned him to stick to the weather side and not to get involved in any of their climate nonsense, and that BoM were rotten to the core on the AGW conjecture. He simply couldn’t believe that impartial scientists could be that corrupt.

    It took less than a year for him to see the light. He ditched BoM and went to Germany to work on a PHD in astrophysics, studying FRBs (ultra-bright cosmic flash of radio waves). A recent discovery, but the thesis idea was that older recording equipment may well have picked them up, but they may have been dismissed as equipment anomalies or malfunctions. An outside chance, but it turns out he was right.

    He is now far happier working on advancing real science than working with those seeking to corrupt science to prop up a failing political ideology and the reputations of those that prompted it.

    144

  • #
    David Maddison

    The BoM has a page on Automatic Weather Stations as information for those people wishing to install their own. They note:

    No post analysis of the data can improve the accuracy or reliability of the information obtained.

    http://www.bom.gov.au/inside/services_policy/pub_ag/aws/aws.shtml

    92

  • #
    Another Ian

    “The story changes: first it was quality control, then equipment failure, now a smart card?”

    Going on explanations for “the pause” that leaves about another 60-odd reasoms doesn’t it?

    81

  • #
    Dennis

    So many comments of mine now awaiting moderation?

    00

  • #
    Harry Twinotter

    Where did the text “equipment failure” and “smart card” come from – I cannot find it.

    46

  • #
    pat

    this should be considered a scandal, starting with the lie in the photo caption, but Guardian ran with it 15 hours ago and now it is in virtually all FakeNewsMSM:

    5 Aug: Guardian: Nicola Davis: Extreme weather deaths in Europe ‘could increase 50-fold by next century’
    If no action is taken to reduce greenhouse gas emissions or protect citizens, weather disasters could kill 152,000 a year between 2071 and 2100, says study
    PHOTO CAPTION: Wildfires in Portugal killed 64 people in June; the recent study explores how often and where similar weather-related disasters are likely to occur in the coming years.

    “Governments and policies should be focused more on designing suitable adaptation measures,” said Giovanni Forzieri, a co-author of the study from the European Commission Joint Research Centre in Italy. “If no adaptation measures [are] taken, these estimates are really alarming.”
    Writing in the journal Lancet Planetary Health, Forzieri and colleagues describe how they used state-of-the art predictions to explore how often and where seven types of weather disasters – including heatwaves, wildfires and floods – are likely to occur across Europe in the coming years if no action on global warming is taken…

    Looking at the impact on Europeans over 30-year intervals, the team found that two in three people in Europe could be affected by weather-related disasters annually by the period 2071-2100 – an estimated 351 million people. By contrast, between 1981 and 2010, 25 million people were exposed – just 5% of Europe’s population…
    This rise, say researchers, is largely down to heatwaves, with the phenomenon expected to account for 99% of the additional deaths…
    The authors stress that the research highlights the importance of the Paris climate agreement…

    But David Alexander, professor of risk and disaster reduction at University College, London, said the study took too simplistic a view…blah blah
    Paul Wilkinson, professor of environmental epidemiology at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, described the study as a “thought experiment” but welcomed the research…
    https://www.theguardian.com/science/2017/aug/04/extreme-weather-deaths-in-europe-could-increase-50-fold-by-next-century

    from link in above:

    TheLancet Planetary Health: Increasing risk over time of weather-related hazards to the European population: a data-driven prognostic study
    Published: August 2017
    Funding: European Commission
    Research in context
    Evidence before this study
    We searched PubMed and Scopus for articles published up to July 5, 2017, with no language restrictions, using the search terms “forecasting” OR “projection” OR “estimation” OR “prediction”, “weather” OR “climate”, “hazard” OR “risk” OR “impact”, and “human” OR “health” OR “population” OR “people” in the publication title and abstract…

    ***COLD SNAPS!

    5 Aug: BBC: Extreme weather ‘could kill up to 152,000 a year’ in Europe by 2100
    The research analysed the effects of the seven most dangerous types of weather-related events – heat waves, ***cold snaps, wildfires, droughts, river and coastal floods and windstorms – in the 28 EU countries as well as Switzerland, Norway and Iceland…
    On Friday, the United States issued its first written notification to the UN of its intention to withdraw from the 2015 Paris climate agreement.
    US President Donald Trump drew international condemnation in June…

    ‘People can adapt’
    Experts from South Korea’s Seoul National University warned that the study’s results “could be overestimated”.
    “People are known to adapt and become less vulnerable than previously to extreme weather conditions because of advances in medical technology, air conditioning, and thermal insulation in houses,” they wrote in a comment piece published in the same journal.

    Paul Wilkinson, a professor at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, who was not involved in the study, said the findings were “yet another reminder of the exposures to extreme weather and possible human impacts that might occur if emissions of greenhouse gases continue unabated.
    “It adds further weight to the powerful argument for accelerating mitigation actions to protect population health.”
    http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-40835663

    31

  • #
    EternalOptimist

    Why use smartcards ? Because smartcards can clip the lows off at minus ten. Then when a faulty smart card allows a minus ten point four through, replace the faulty equipment.
    The four sites where churned, not because they were clipping data, but because they weren’t.

    maybe:)

    50

  • #
    Reed Coray

    Come on BoM. How inept can you be? It’s time you spent less money on “smart cards” and more money on “smart fudgers.” BoM–Bureau of Dumb Fudgers.

    41

  • #
    Bitter&twisted

    Whenever I see the word “smart” or “green” I automatically think “scam”.
    It is a conditioned reflex, developed with experience.

    61

    • #
      Greg Cavanagh

      Smart is what they want, but they don’t have the skill to create it; so they name it smart in the hopes that you’ll believe it is.

      Green is 100% scam, there never was any green.

      51

  • #
    Ava

    Do you mean like …..’science’ ? If they have to call it that , it’s probably because it isn’t.

    51

  • #
    Gbees

    A week or so ago at around 8am I was listening to the local radio which reported the temperature as 10C. I though that’s weird as it was a very cold morning. My car’s outside temperature indicator displayed 5.5C. I was within 8km of the weather station. Maybe the radio station got it wrong? Maybe not?

    41

    • #
      Robert Rosicka

      GBees has a point , whenever we get a weather report now we will be second guessing and checking .
      Being told it’s the hottest month eevvvaaahhh when your freezing your butt off , being told your in drought and won’t be getting rain this year when floods are lapping at your doorstep makes you wonder about the competence and integrity of BOM.

      52

  • #
    Gymmie

    SMART card! They should Mann up and admit it’s an AlGore card!

    51

  • #
    Roy Hogue

    So they admitted to cheating. Once upon a time that would be grounds for being summarily fired. In simple terms, gone with the wind.

    People like this need a lot of enablers and willing supporters to keep them going. So how do we attack this? It’s really a cultural issue, not scientific. It’s win at any cost and damn the consequences to anyone but me.

    52

  • #
    ATheoK

    Based on the initial reports, any decent programmer can describe what is occurring.

    -10.4 briefly recorded – thermometer is working fine.

    -10.4 corrected to -10.0 – that would be an automated program replacing the low temp with an allowed minimum low temperature.

    -10.0 disappears from the record later – That is the hand of a live person pressing the delete function on a database record.

    The questions to ask are exactly who is responsible for checking error messages.
    Not just whom, but when they worked, what databases they are responsible for, do they have access from home or via mobile phones?

    It is not uncommon to have the person on watch duty receive text messages regarding errors. Check all phone and text logs.

    Then there is the fact that any decently constructed database/network tracks exactly who alters what and when.

    61

  • #
    Egor the One

    Josh Frydenberg: “I’m treating this seriously and am determined to get to the bottom­ of what has happened. I look forward to receiving recommendations as to how we can ensure that the public’s confidence in climate data is maintained.”

    recommendations : sack everybody responsible for this scam and racket including himself !

    61

    • #
      Egor the One

      Sack gloBull Warmer Greg Hunt for ordering the shut down of investigation into BOM temp tampering !

      71

  • #
    Sean McHugh

    A minister Concerned over Confidence.

    31

  • #
    Robber

    How accurate are temperature measurements anyway? To look at one station in Tassie – Butlers Gorge – that BOM has mentioned is up for review/replacement.
    Aug 5 6.00 am -0.7 degrees (lowest recorded for Sat)
    Aug 5 7.30 pm 0.3 degrees calm
    Aug 5 11.00 pm 1.5 degrees calm
    Aug 6 2.30 am 2.5 degrees calm
    But their summary for Sat Aug 5 reports min -0.9 degrees.
    Smart cards at work?

    42

  • #
    Old44

    It may not only be the temperature that is being fiddled with, I am directly between the Scoresby and Ferny Creek stations and it has been raining continuously for 2 hours but neither station has recorded any rainfall.

    32

  • #
    John Stewart

    This is the “tip of the iceberg”; and it has been above water for decades. Climate change foundational tree ring studies found fraudulent by hacked emails of the 2 scientists admitting the fraud and one laughing. The UK, USA, NZ, and Australia all found fudging the data (NASA and NOAA in the USA creating the original data and fraud programs). When I was in the Uni in the USA in the 70′s we were told an ice age was coming–no billions in carbon credits then. A few years after year 2000 “global warming” is changed to “climate change”. Brilliant! Temps dropped world wide in 1999 and stopped rising for years after (even the fudged data). There has always been climate change! Maybe human “sheeple” need smart cards? While the “controllers” and their dupes (true believers of the eco religion type) promote a fraudulent carbon credit industry, associated pollution is destroying the oceans (ph balance) which is a much more dangerous situation for Earth.

    30

  • #

    [...] Aussie temperature tampering scandal: “Smart cards” filter out coldest temperatures. Full audit needed ASAP! – ‘The story changes: first it was quality control, then equipment failure, now a smart card?’ [...]

    10

  • #
    BoyfromTottenham

    Old44, they probably left an umbrella over the weather station to stop the smart card getting wet!

    11

  • #
    John Stewart

    I was about to state that satellite data by itself shows no global warming but visited some carbon credit run websites and “trustworthy” major media, and a major “correction” to satellite data was announced by RSS, Remote Sensing Systems in California, at the end of June 2017, that shows warming is 140% greater than the uncorrected satellite data showed. The problem seems to be “decaying orbits”–we are not here speaking of the electron orbits in human brain atoms. What most folks don’t know is that the whole climate change numbers game has no basis in original temperature data. At NOAA, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, USA, a computer program modifies (lowers temps) the numbers of old historical temperature data and compares the results to program modified (raised temps) of recent temperature) data. This leads to the global warming maps distributed to World media; the maps with fear inducing dark red colors all over them. What I have observed is that if mass media tells everyone it is warmer they will feel and think warmer and confirm their beliefs and feelings with all the other folks with decaying orbits. After all, this is what scientists and “science” have “proven”. There are so many lies and ignorance in climate science it is difficult to know the actual state of the climate Almost everything I was educated to believe in all matters was a fabrication or lie, and I at one time believed much of it. Being a self educated and formally educated psychologist, I think I have discovered the reason humans are so easy to brain wash and manipulate: We think we are a highly intelligent species and this includes ME, therefore I can not be fooled. Ha Ha!

    50

  • #
    Steve Richards

    From the BOM website:
    http://www.bom.gov.au/climate/cdo/about/observation_specification_2013.pdf
    page 77 states that according to WMO rules the BOM equipment should be accurate to within +/- 0.1 C over a range from -60 to +60 C.

    -10 does not seem to appear in the .pdf

    ——————————————–

    It seems that this is a simple remote data monitoring issue.

    BOM equipment records a variety of parameters ie temperature, and sends it to the central service BOM headquarters.

    This data is received by a server that accepts packets of information (sentences) it checks that the data has not been corrupted during transmission.

    It inputs the received data into a database (MySQL probably) unchanged.

    Once per minute a script (program) is run checking for ‘predefined’ excursions ie less than -10.0 etc.

    Any data that exceeds one of these predefined limits is replaced with the limit.

    Concurrently to this, (and this is how they were found out!) a separate script is called EVERY TIME THE USER VIEWS THE DATA FROM A WEB PAGE.

    The BOM failure to cover their tracks is simply down to the stupidity of the programmers/system designers to think this through.

    Users viewing the same database record whilst it is being updated by the corruption script is the flaw.

    If they had only copied the corrupted record of data (from all sensors being monitored) to a separate record used by the web viewer system, then users would have been totally unaware of this corruption of data. (ie no rapid data changes visible on screen).

    If BOM did not try to present live data they would not have been caught.
    If BOM only allowed web access to ‘settled’ data one minute older, they would not have been caught.

    It would seem that the only good outcome from this is a good clear out of the corruption within BOM.

    I note that various executives within Volkswagen are expected to do prison time for their little data fiddling, I wonder what will happen to the BOM people?

    ———————————————

    I note within:

    http://www.bom.gov.au/climate/change/acorn-sat/documents/ACORN-SAT_Observation_practices_WEB.pdf

    a range of –10 to +55°C is mentioned.

    It appears that in the past, this limited subset was used to mark the range over which your temperature sensor needed to meet a required accuracy.

    Perhaps someone thought that values below -10 could safely be ignored?

    Oh dear.

    22

  • #
    Drapetomania

    Since when did a review become a reason not to explain a supposedly scientific process?

    I have had govt departments use that trick for a report/data etc.
    I know it is there..they know that its protected from an RTI/FOI if its permanently in review/work in progress..:)

    11

  • #

    [...] Aussie temperature tampering scandal: “Smart cards” filter out coldest temperatures. Full audit needed ASAP! – ‘The story changes: first it was quality control, then equipment failure, now a smart card?’ [...]

    01

  • #

    [...] Aussie temperature tampering scandal: “Smart cards” filter out coldest temperatures. Full audit needed ASAP! – ‘The story changes: first it was quality control, then equipment failure, now a smart card?’ [...]

    01

  • #
    Steve Richards

    I wonder if other countries around the world have implemented this ‘warming trick’?

    01