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Finally BoM releases some “secret” comparison data — a snow job revealing new thermometers are not comparable

Forced, dragged to comply, the BoM finally releases a little bit of side-by-side data so skeptics can start to compare old and new thermometers

Congratulations to Jennifer Marohasy. Her preliminary study on this new data is enough to show that the electronic thermometers are not equivalent to the older liquid-in-glass ones and temperatures measured in the same spot differ by as much as 0.3C. She’s now writing to Minister Josh Frydenberg that the consequences and questions raised by this are so serious that the BoM should not be announcing any new records. We need an audit!

It’s only temperature data — ?

Skeptics have been asking for comparison data between different types of thermometers for years to figure out just how much difference they make. The BoM mostly withholds that data, sometimes deletes it, and as a last resort follows the David Jones’ recommended method of dealing with unwanted questions — “snow the skeptics” (see Climategate). After all the blog posts, newspaper articles, and requests from the Minister, finally the BoM have helpfully sent the data for Mildura in the handy form of 4,000 scanned handwritten A8 forms.

Just like this one — how much fun can you have?

Bureau of Metorology, data record, Sept 1996, Mildura.

Bureau of Meteorology, data record, Sept 1996, Mildura.

This is what world-class modern data looks like.

Apparently, with only a million-dollars-a-day, the BoM can’t afford to digitize their thermometer data. The big question for me, is if this is the best data they have – how could they have analyzed it themselves to properly calibrate the thermometers — with hand-drawn graphs on paper? That would have been state of the art… in 1896. But this data was from 1989 to 2000, which includes the key years after November 1996, when the  electronic sensors started (and when most offices had computers). Perhaps by the twentieth anniversary of the change to new thermometers they will do an indepth calibration?  No wait… too late. Nevermind.

If the BoM did graph and calibrate those thermometers in a database, why couldn’t they just email that? We are not talking about market-sensitive corporate information. (Heck, it’s not like billions of dollars4,000 megawatts of wind power, and 25 million solar panels depends on data like this!) ;-) .

Unfortunately for the BoM, Marohasy (and the other skeptics who helped with this processing, particularly Ken, Lance and Phill) want all the handwritten records and is prepared to transcribe the parts that matter by hand. In a matter of weeks she has already analyzed and published some preliminary information about the different thermometers at Mildura. Read it all at her blog site:

A Law Unto Themselves: The Australian Bureau of Meteorology

To paraphrase, she finds that:

  • The electronic sensors record significantly different temperatures from the old liquid in glass.
  • The BoM should not be releasing any claims of “hottest ever day” at any of the 563 electronic (automatic) weather stations.
  • There are 38 sites with parallel old and new thermometers. Marohasy (and the Australian public) want that data.

“The bottom line is that since the introduction of automatic weather stations over 20 years ago, there has been no documented standard against which Australian temperatures at Mildura, or anywhere else, have been recorded. Of most concern to me is the muddling, (including by your staffers), of the numerical averaging-period with the time constant. The Bureau somewhat confusingly often refers to the time constant as the sensor “averages”.”

In this instance Marohasy looked at September (because the Bureau claimed there was a record hot day there this year). She found that the temperature differences are about 0.3C lower in the electronic sensors (which was not necessarily what we expected, though may be different in summer, or different in other stations).  If the Mildura sensor was somehow reading low, it might make the latest record an underestimate (don’t the BoM care?) but, but, but, the sensor has changed again since the late 1990s, the Stevenson Screen was replaced with a smaller version, and the BoM have gone from one-minute averaging to one-second records.  How many ways can we mess up the climate signal? It looks like the BoM were averaging over one minute back in 1997 – 1999, but the recent “record” was the one-second-record type. If true, this, obviously, changes everything.

Bureau of Meoteorology, Data records, Mildura, 1996.

Finally, side-by-side, Max temperatures in Mildura, 1996. (One example of the key section cut from the image above)

The BoM needs auditing

These temperature recordings are now the primary input data which determine a range of scientific predictions, projections and model outputs with enormous, fiscal, economic and political implications both for Australia and internationally. If these temperature recordings are wrong then all the consequent scientific, fiscal, economic and political decisions based on this data may be wrong also.

The fiscal records of government agencies are independently and regularly audited for amounts far less than the fiscal and economic impacts of global warming policies so it would seem only prudent and reasonable that the temperature records of the Bureau of Meteorology, which have such huge fiscal and economic impacts, should be subject to a similar audit regime to ensure their accuracy, integrity and reliability.

Every “record” temperature the BoM issues from an electronic station is suspect because of the assumption the BoM makes that the electronic sensors are “equivalent” to the old style mercury and alcohol ones. (And the other stations are suspect because they’ve been homogenized, but that’s another story).

 When o’ when did the one-second-records start? Only the BoM knows.


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134 comments to Finally BoM releases some “secret” comparison data — a snow job revealing new thermometers are not comparable

  • #
    Sceptical Sam

    Congratulations Jennifer Marohasy.

    Well done.

    Congratulations Jo for giving this very important issue the exposure it needs.


    • #

      I see there’s one climate alarmist who hates thet fact that real data is coming out !!! makes you wonder why …..


      • #
        Lionell Griffith

        …hates the fact that real data is coming out…

        Not quite. It is hate for the fact that simply calling a list of numbers “data” fails to convert the numbers into actual data. After all, their words are supposed to have the magical power of forcing reality to be what they command it to be. Yet, it is all illusion with no more reality than a magic act in Las Vegas. Worse, it is far more costly and has much less entertainment value than a Vegas show. There is neither science nor magic in it. It is nothing but “let’s pretend” staged to keep the money flowing.


      • #
        Graeme No.3

        Maybe he is just stupid.


    • #
      Rereke Whakaaro

      … the assumption the BoM makes [is] that the electronic sensors are “equivalent” to the old style mercury and alcohol ones.

      This can never be true. You can only claim equivalence on a like by like basis.

      If the equipment uses different technology, or even identical technology, produced by a different manufacturers, then they are practically guaranteed to give you different performance characteristics over the entire operating range.

      That is why we need to calibrate all new pieces of equipment, against a known standard, which is, itself, calibrated against a set of “standard norms”.

      Is an electronic clock more, or less, accurate than a mechanical chronometer, in a thunderstorm?

      And I thoroughly agree with Lionell. The word “data” simply means: 1. Things given or granted; things known or assumed as facts [my bold], and made the basis of reasoning or calculation. 2. Facts, especially numerical facts, collected together for reference or information. 3. The quantities, characters, or symbols on which operations are performed by computers and other automatic equipment, and which may be stored and transmitted in the form of electrical signals, records on magnetic, optical, or mechanical recording media, etc.

      The word data has taken on a metaphysical, nay arcane, degree of importance that it does not, and never has, had.


  • #

    A remarkable story. Let’s see how it is reported on the ABC.


  • #
    Fox from Melbourne

    Can they get anything right at the Bom?
    One cover up / stuff up after another .
    Thank you Jeniffer and Jo for
    pulling the Bom wool from our eyes.


    • #
      Leonard Lane

      This is a classical bureaucrat’s trick. If someone asks for public data don’t give it to them. Delay, dissemble, and deny you have the data. Then when it seems as if a public agency is angering the public in not answering a legitimate and routine question, release a small partial record in a difficult to read handwritten hard copy.
      Now the BOM can start the process of denying and dissembling all over again and drag the process out another few months or years with the hope that:
      1) those asking legitimate questions will give up and go away,
      2) they can claim to left media sources and the government that they have complied with all citizen requests,
      3) they can then claim that further questions are unwarranted because they have already answered all questions.
      Sad and thoroughly unprofessional.


      • #

        As a former beureaucrat I can say this is not the smart thing to do, even though some of the shiny bums from the cabbage patch may think so. Junior underlings have a bad habit of writing what they actually believe onto paper. I saw more than one landmine go off when the public got their hands in their records and noticed hand written notes with information the department would rather have kept quiet.

        One example was a case. i had referred for a fraud investigation, and I wrote a memo to the FOI people saying that certain documents should be exempted because it was part of an ongoing fraud investigation (which is a legitimate exemption). So it ends up with the FOI officer releasing all those documents plus the document explianing why they were relavent to on ongoing fraud case. 24 hours he was lawyered up and the fraud investigation fell apart.


      • #

        Leonard: “. . Sad and thoroughly unprofessional.”

        Perhaps the problem here is that we misapprehend what their profession truly is? If you were thinking that their profession required a modicum of integrity, or an attitude of service, then you (and I) would be wrong.

        Some things are the same regardless of which side of the pond you are on.


  • #
    robert rosicka

    You’ve got to love her work and resilience , good on her and the years she has spent trying to expose this government department for what it is .
    Don’t go looking for any MSM coverage .


  • #
    john karajas

    Jo posted the following on Sept. 24th of this year:

    “Bureau of Meteorology attacks pushed by ‘fever swamp’ of climate denial

    Graham Readfearn

    Former weather bureau chief says agency debilitated by climate deniers’ attacks

    Michael Slezak

    It really is an extraordinary rant as the former head of the BoM admits skeptics are “debilitating” the BoM with these “attacks”. The Guardian is so starved of real news, it runs the one-sided name-calling excuses and another separate story discusses it as if it was actually news. While The Australian asks the BoM for a reply and would publish it, The Guardian didn’t ask a skeptic. One of these newspapers acts like a newspaper…

    How debilitating are we skeptics? Jennifer Marohasy tells me she sent the BoM questions in 2015, but hasn’t [...]“

    Great work Jennifer and Jo.


  • #

    Say, are the BOM adjustments kinda’, sorta’ like Jones et al 1998,
    No-Hide-the Decline, followed on by Jones et al 1999, ‘Hide-the-Decline,’
    with Briffa, post-196o deleted?

    Thx Jennifer!


  • #

    Firstly, you can’t compare without uniformity of measurement and constancy of environmental factors. A scientific standard obvious for centuries, but for some reason no longer obvious.

    Secondly, minimum and maximum without context are trivial numbers. Because cloud. Has been obvious for centuries, but for some reason etc…

    Thirdly, if there is a multi-decadal warming trend apparent it’s as normal as a sunrise, just like a cooling trend would be as normal as a sunset. In other words: so what?

    The African expert Bernard Lugan remarked that it is impossible to comprehend the history of North Africa without accepting that climate has always changed, both in lines and cycles, and that is has done so quite radically. Thirty years ago this would have made sense to any person with a smidgin of education. Now we’re supposed to act surprised.


    • #
      Rereke Whakaaro

      When somebody writes, “Now we’re supposed to act surprised”, I am reminded of the Hobbits, in the pub, at the beginning of the Lord of the Rings, when Pippin, given a beer, says, “Hey, it comes in Pints!”


  • #

    congrats to Jennifer and Jo. don’t hold your breath waiting for ABC to cover it, though. too busy with this report, presented at Bonn today -

    13 Nov: ABC: Paris agreement slipping away as record global CO2 emissions predicted for 2017
    ABC Science By environment reporter Nick Kilvert
    Global CO2 emissions have risen for the first time in three years as scientists warn Australia’s 2030 Paris agreement target is slipping out of reach.
    In a report published today, researchers say the increase in global emissions is largely due to growth in coal-fired electricity generation and oil and gas consumption in China.
    Global Carbon Project (GCP) executive director and report co-author Dr Pep Canadell said the increase is likely to be about 2 per cent on 2016 levels…

    In the paper published in Environmental Research Letters, the researchers said the three-year pause in emissions growth was due to an increased uptake of renewable-energy technologies and a reduction in China’s coal consumption…

    Director of the ANU Centre for Climate, Economics and Policy, Professor Frank Jotzo, said the possibility of achieving Australia’s 2030 Paris climate target is slipping further from reach…
    Although Professor Jotzo said there is a chance that Australia’s 2017 emissions may show a slight decline due to the closing of the Hazelwood power station, this will likely be offset by a higher sales of petrol during the same period.

    some of ABC’s science writer Kilvert’s recent pieces:

    What, if anything, does ‘base load’ power actually mean? Analysis
    Researchers say the future of Australia’s energy market is dynamic and that base load power is a thing of the past.
    ABC online – 12 October 2017

    Once were sceptics: What convinced these scientists that climate change is real?
    ABC online – 25 October 2017

    ABC’s link to the report doesn’t work, but the one in here does:

    13 Nov: Cosmos Magazine: Carbon emissions back on the rise
    A three-year pause in the growth of the world’s carbon output has come to an end. Michael Lucy reports.
    The Global Carbon Budget report, produced by a team of 77 scientists from 57 organisations around the world, brings together the most accurate information available each year about humanity’s carbon output.
    Global emissions held steady at 36.2 gigatonnes of carbon dioxide per year from 2014 to 2016, but they are on track to hit a new record high of 36.8 gigatonnes in 2017…

    The good news, according to environmental economist Frank Jotzo of the Australian National University, is that economic activity on average produces less carbon emissions than it used to.
    “The world is still reducing its emissions intensity by about 1.5% a year,” he says, referring to the amount of CO2 emitted per dollar of GDP…

    In an accompanying paper published in Environmental Research Letters (LINK), several of the report’s authors argue “negative emissions” technologies that actively remove carbon from the atmosphere will be necessary to keep global warming below 2 degrees over pre-industrial temperatures.
    Pep Canadell, a geoscientist at Australia’s CSIRO and head of the Global Carbon Project that produces the carbon budget report each year, says that the findings are disappointing.
    “We don’t need to make a big deal out of it,” he told a press briefing, “but it’s the opposite of what we would like to see happening.”


    • #
      Allen Ford

      In an accompanying paper published in Environmental Research Letters (LINK), several of the report’s authors argue “negative emissions” technologies that actively remove carbon from the atmosphere will be necessary to keep global warming below 2 degrees over pre-industrial temperatures.

      Where does this 2° nexus, quoted so regularly and confidently, come from? I’ll bet from the same BS data factory as the “97% of scientists believe” fiction.


      • #

        Spot on, Alan, and what part of pre-industrial times are they referring to for the 2°? LIA, Medieval Warming Period, Roman WP, the vast bulk of the Holocene? Numpties!

        …that actively remove carbon from the atmosphere

        So, is it soot they’re after? Are they going to pump soot into the ground? Or do they ackchooly mean CO2? I don’t think they know what they mean.


      • #

        Allen Ford @ #8.1

        Where does this 2° nexus, quoted so regularly and confidently, come from?

        I posted a link here in Jo’s blog to the source of that 2 degree catastrophe a few days ago. The 2 degrees limit before a Climate catastrophe strikes the planet was plucked quite literally out of thin air so as to speak by the German climate scientist “Shellenhuber ” a rabid warmest / climate change promoter.

        Two degrees gives the politicians plus reprehensible alarmist climate scientists and celebrities , bureaucrats , ignorant greens at their worst and thats saying something, political schemers at every level of deficient ethics and morals plus all of the unthinking, pathetically bigoted and blind ignorant media and even more ignorant climate activists , a lovely firm base to make all sorts of predictions and claims and emotional outpourings and etc and etc on.

        From ; Speigel online

        A Superstorm for Global Warming Research

        Part 8: The Invention of the Two-Degree Target


        • #
          Allen Ford

          I think I get it now, ROM – 97% of scientists believe that 2° is the limit before the planet goes over the cliff.

          A terrific accomplishment for the 1 part in 10 million of total annual increases in CO2 due to humans, n’est-ce pas?


          • #

            Allen, forget the `due to humans’ part. There is no such thing as a Greenhouse Gas. Which means anthropogenic emissions of CO2 et al have a vanishingly small effect.

            It’s a fiction first suggested by Svante Arrhenius (1895) and seized upon by Maurice Strong and his fellow misanthropists as a plausible tool to destroy western industry and democracy. Unfortunately, the alleged `97% of climate scientists,’ those who will say anything for money, and too many other people have swallowed it. (I admit to having accepted that with insufficiently critical inspection myself in 2003 —it took me 10 years to fully correct it).


    • #
      Rereke Whakaaro

      … the increase in global emissions is largely due to growth in coal-fired electricity generation and oil and gas consumption in China.

      Fat chance in getting any change there, then. A western Government would be grovelling to say sorry. The Chinese just say, “Yes”, and carry on as usual.


  • #

    meanwhile, from across the Tasman, a couple of CAGW veterans, including IPCC report author Reisinger, once again update their thoughts on methane:

    13 Nov: StuffCoNZ: Farm animals responsible for quarter of global warming, study shows
    Livestock are responsible for almost a quarter of all global warming, which is more than estimates based only on greenhouse gas emissions.
    Climate change scientists say this a wake up call for New Zealand.
    About half of the country’s greenhouse gases come from stock, but a new calculation for global warming includes methane emissions.
    Livestock were calculated to contribute about 23 per cent to global warming, by New Zealand Agricultural Greenhouse Gas Research Centre deputy director Dr Andy Reisinger​ and director Dr Harry Clark. They have just published a paper about how much livestock emissions contributed to global warming, in the scientific journal Global Change Biology…
    “It is important for farmers and New Zealand to think about the impact of stock on global warming. It is not something to be ignored, and if we want to hold global warming to 1.5 or 2 degrees Centigrade, we will have to include livestock,” said Clark.

    The new estimate took into account methane, which is a short lived gas in the atmosphere of 12 years. Carbon dioxide (CO2) has a 1000 year decay period, and nitrous oxide (NO3) about 100 years.
    Clark said global warming calculations were done in 100 year blocks, and while CO2 and NO3 estimates were about right, methane’s impact on global warming needed to be factored in.
    He said the revised figure was much greater than common estimates for global greenhouse gas emissions, and demonstrated that methane played a critical role in global warming…

    Reisinger said some people argued that comparing emissions using the so-called Global Warming Potential was wrong and that efforts to reduce methane were misplaced because it was a short lived greenhouse gas.
    “So we used a simple climate model to understand how much the emissions directly attributable to livestock contribute to actual warming,” he said.
    “We found that of the warming the world had experienced by 2010, as much as 19 per cent was due to direct historical methane and nitrous oxide emissions from livestock. Once you add the warming due to emissions when land is converted into pastures, you end up with a total contribution of 23 per cent to current warming.”

    He said the estimate did not consider indirect emissions from energy use or growing livestock feed such as soy beans, so this could be taken as “a lower bound” of the actual contribution of livestock to current warming…ETC

    WileyOnline: GlobalChangeBiology: How much do direct livestock emissions actually contribute to global warming?
    Authors: Andy Reisinger, Harry Clark
    Accepted manuscript online: 6 November 2017


    • #

      How does this fit in to the methane story?
      “A study published in December by Mark Adams, the Dean of Agriculture at the University of Sydney
      has found that while cows might emit 54 kgii of methane per head per year, oxidising bacteria in high
      country soils (old turf) can oxidise methane at the rate of 8,760 kg for every hectare each year. It has
      long been known that farm animals, fossil fuels and vegetation decay in bogs and rice paddies
      produced methane, but now it can be shown by the Sydney University work that grazed pasture absorbs
      much more than any release of carbon by the rotting vegetation or the bacteria digesting grass within
      ruminants. Those taking part were Miko Kirschbaum, a researcher with Australia’s Co-operative
      Research Centre for Greenhouse Accounting, researchers from the co-operative research centre,
      CSIRO Plant Industry, the Australian National University and the University of NSW. Their study on
      gases emitted by and absorbed by vegetation has been published in the scientific journal Functional
      Plant Biology. The work at Sydney confirm the extent to which methane is released by plants (mainly
      in the tropics) and the absorption of carbon in other climates by pasture and grassland.”


    • #
      Rereke Whakaaro

      Hmm, Methane … the gas that all living mammals emit, including Deputy Director Dr Andy Reisinger​ and Director Dr Harry Clark.

      This is getting past silly. This is a manifestation of the “Leeming” behaviour.

      They should not be allowed to play with sharp objects.


      • #

        They should not be allowed to play with sharp objects.

        They could always do themselves permanent damage … hopefully.
        Methane is a trace gas of trace gases with concentrations in the parts per billion.
        Not million: billion.

        NZ’s major industry is dairy farming. It’s a direct attack on the economy.


  • #
    John Smith

    I become interested in climate and sought to educate meself.
    I learned it ain’t about science.
    Were it so, we might not be reading this blog.
    Most of us are children of the Age of Science.
    We dreamed of Mars vacations and Lt. Uhuru.
    I think maybe we gather as an act of mourning.


    • #
      Rereke Whakaaro

      No, when somebody tries to mess with your head, and the knowledge, and dreams, that lies therein, then that is the time to get angry.

      That is why the thinking people gather, and compare notes, and identify those who would perpetrate this scam for their own gain and fame.

      We will remember. And they shall be held to account.


  • #
    Richard Ilfeld

    er…in a recent kerfuffle over emails, after months of bickering, a subset of results were delivered in printed, non-indexed, non-searchable single pages in no particular order.
    This seems now part of the playbook across more then climate:
    Claim to deliver information, claim “transparency” (one of the hallowed virtues of the new leftist cult*) while putting an ambiguous mess in the public domain. When the decoding is done by the public, claims of cherry-picking, incomplete information, and misinterpretation will follow.
    Given evidence that your agencies ignore their own data and follow the “Ready! Fire! Aim!” methods of governance, what’s a poor taxpayer to do.
    I once believed that folks like the BOM, no matter how egregious their sins when operating within the governmental mob, practiced common sense at home raising their own children, thus each generation had a fighting chance to redeem the errors of the previous.
    I’m not so sure anymore.

    Social Justice

    Inscribed on tablets of recycled waste using bio-degradable ink printed on presses driven by solar/wind power in a shop
    paying empowered workers a $15 minimum wage; distributed via social media to be read in safe spaces….

    or something like that.


  • #

    Australia is running out of time, wont achieve Paris Conference emissions target, blah blah blah …


  • #

    “Global CO2 emissions have risen for the first time in three years as scientists warn Australia’s 2030 Paris agreement target is slipping out of reach.”

    Really, why measure emissions at all?

    Have these ‘scientists’ noticed any effect of CO2 emissions on total CO2?

    Is there any noticeable effect from the $1,500Billion being spent on CO2 reduction?

    Has CO2 in Australia been reduced for the $6Billion in cash theft by the RET? Has forcing Australians into a third world helped CO2?

    Has the construction of 350,000 giant windmills had any noticeable effect?

    Where are the obvious statements from scientists? Nothing anyone is doing has any effect on CO2. Or temperature.

    Isn’t it time these ‘scientists’ take a good hard look at their ridiculous theory that the CO2 change is all man made? That’s even before you get to the unscientific and disproven theory that CO2 controls world temperature.

    As for the BOM, the keeper of climate records for 1/3 of the planet where only 2% of the population live, what pressure is on them to keep climate change going? This is an organization which changes technology without cross calibration. The damage they have done and are doing to Australia is beyond their charter. Like the CSIRO, ABC/SBS, the BOM is a witting or unwitting political tool run for the benefit of the undemocratic UN weather police in their attempt to redistribute wealth, the explicit aim of the head of the IPCC.

    It’s time for the real scientists of the BOM to rebel. However we all know that would cost them their jobs.


    • #

      I’m going to have to get out of bed earlier, by at least 5 am if I’m to beat TdeF and his posts as above that are almost identical in substance to that which I was rolling around in my thought processes as a possible post for this morning on this same identical subject .

      TdeF has just about rounded up the basic and main points and the majority of the debacles that passes for some version of meteorological and climate science in his post [ #13 ] and I therefore defer any further consideration for a post of my own to both TdeF’s expertise and his far superior grammatical skills.

      In short he has hit the whole stupidity of the meteorological organisations corrupting of the data and the secrecy that now characterises so much of climate alarmist science along with the overall corruption of meteorological data, twisted and altered so as to fit the climate modellers claims, all of which is now a basic and fundamental characteristic of the whole global warming / climate change cult and its business model.

      You only get one green thumb unfortunately as that is what I am limited to, TdeF.


  • #
    Peter C

    The BOM needs Auditing

    It depends a lot on who the auditors are and what they want to achieve!

    An audit of sorts has been done.
    In 2015 the minister (Bob Baldwin) established a Technical Advisory Forum to examine the way that the BOM treats temperature measurements and records, specifically in relation to the ACORN-SAT stations.

    When I read the terms of reference for the forum. I thought that they would actually try to uncover some of the material which Jennifer and the BOM team are doing right now. Especially as the forum members were all accomplished statisticians.

    Well, Silly me!

    Three reports over three years and their main finding was;
    “This report supports the conclusion of the Forum’s previous reports that the ACORN-SAT dataset is well
    maintained and represents an important source of information on the climate trends affecting Australia. “


    • #
      Robert Swan

      Completely agree. How many would change their minds based on an audit’s conclusions (even if, by some miracle, it were honestly and competently done)?

      In 2007, the Australian government gave climate change its own office in government. This was foolish, of course, but at least they didn’t make the mistake of muddling it in with the BOM — they formed the separate “Department of Climate Change”. AFAIK, the BOM is still not given any responsibility for climate matters. It is all about weather and deserves a free pass on things that don’t materially affect its ability to forecast tomorrow’s weather.

      Of course, being a government body, they do play politics in a small way, and should be reined in, but the real tub-thumping enemy is the propaganda wing of the ABC (which is to say most of it) and the platform they provide to activists (climate and others). So never mind the audit — just cut to the chase and break up the ABC. Some might call this “shooting the messenger”, but the supposed messenger is an imposter.


    • #

      ““This report supports the conclusion of the Forum’s previous reports that the ACORN-SAT dataset is well
      maintained and represents an important source of information on the climate trends affecting Australia. “”

      Peas and thimbles stuff.
      Watch what they DO AND DON’T say!
      What they said was that the dataset was “well maintained” – well, yes, I suppose it is. Maintaining a dataset is not too hard now, is it? Tedious, not difficult.
      What they said was that the dataset was an “important source” of climate information – well, yes, I suppose it is. As the official source of such data, it’s hard to say it’s unimportant.
      But what DIDN’T they say?
      Well, for instance, they didn’t say:
      the data was collected to WMO standards;
      that they audited actual sites to satisfy themselves it met WMO standards;
      that data curation standards appropriate to the economic and social consequences of policy based on this data were used.
      This sort of thing goes on all the time. EG. “adjustments average to zero” – true for any measurement at any one time. Untrue for trend over time.
      that the dataset is an accurate representation of local or regional climate


  • #
    Mark M

    The BoM were just boasting about their new computing power:

    Apparently someone forgot to connect the printer.

    You can just imagine them sniggering at how smart they are.


  • #
    Bill Johnston

    The data sheet actually shows exact correspondence with the data for the day reported by the Bureau and I’m not sure the Author knows what the numbers mean.

    On 16 September 1998 we see (on the datasheet), Tmax is 17.1 degC observed that day; 17.4 degC back-reported from the next day; and Tmin is 6.2 DegC. Importantly, reset values for that day are the same (11.9 degC) and the resets agree with 9am dry-bulb (11.9 degC). So thermometers are calibrated the same (the three separate thermometers cross-reference exactly).

    Climate data online reports Tmin is 6.2 degC on 16th September 1998, which is the same as the datasheet.

    Remember that Tmax observed on 16th is actually the maximum for the day before; climate data on-line reports 17.1 for the 15th; and the back-reported value (which is the Tmax for the 16th) is 17.4 degC.

    So there is no difference. Resets are the same; Tmin for that day (16 September) is the same; and the two Tmax values (for the 16th and 16th) are identical.

    As I observed the weather for about a decade, and used the same form to report observations, I know what to look for.

    I conclude there is no evidence here of a problem.


    Dr. Bill Johnston


    • #
      Bill Johnston


      “So there is no difference. Resets are the same; Tmin for that day (16 September) is the same; and the two Tmax values (for the 16th and 16th) are identical.”

      should read:

      “the two Tmax values (for the 15th and 16th) are identical.”


      Dr. Bill


      • #
        Peter C

        I don’t quite follow Bill,

        Why are there two Tmaxs for the same day (one being back reported).

        Does that explain the 0.3C cooler discrepancy that JM has reported.


        • #
          Bill Johnston

          Thanks Peter,

          Tmax occurs between 2 and 3.30pm; but is observed at 9am the next day. In contrast, Tmin occurs around dawn on the day it is observed.

          To minimise mistakes when data are transcribed, Tmax values are ‘back-reported’: the value for the day is also written into box 15 to 18 (i.e. allowing 4 spaces on the transcription sheet or punch-card xx.x)) of the previous day; being the value on the day it occurred.

          So Tmax observed on 16 September occurred on the previous day; Tmax observed on 17th, occurred on the 16th; which is why there are two Tmax values (but only one Tmin) for any day.

          Reset values are often overlooked. A discrepancy would warn the observer that there may be a vapour-lock problem in a thermometer, usually either Tmax or Tmin. (The dry-bulb thermometer is vertical and not usually disturbed during observations; Tmin and Tmax are almost horizontal and are disturbed each day as they are manually re-set.)




      • #
        Jennifer Marohasy

        Hi Bill

        You are in error.

        You are missing the key value: the 17.3 reading. This is the Tmax from the mercury thermometer representing the temperature maxima for the 15th September 1998.

        This value needs to be subtracted from the Tmax reading in the CDO database (which is of values from sensor and is 17.1).

        Then you will understand that there is a difference of 0.2. There is no equivalence.


    • #

      I don’t think anyone claimed there was anything wrong with that particular page of data, just that it is provided in an incredibly cumbersome manual method. Since the issue is the comparison to electronic thermometers, unless the individual electronic record is viewed side by side with this one, nothing in particular can be said about the data on this page.


      • #

        More to the point: If BoM did comparisons, then it MUST have entered this data in some electronic, machine readable format that allows for calculations on said data to be performed. This would be considerable expense. The resultant data would consume considerably less space than scanned documents. Why is this not available? This is nothing less than deliberate obfuscation, massive incompetence, or rampant beaurocracy.


      • #
        Robert Swan

        Would a proper audit not start with the paper records? Transcription errors — accidental or deliberate — do happen.

        We often say we want to see the raw data. When I was offered toast as a 3yo, I declined saying “I like my bread raw”. So do we want the grain, the flour, the dough, or the bread?


  • #

    I must be the worst kind of cynic but I just don’t trust any of the CO2 data being quoted . When it became obvious that the Chinese had understated their emissions a year or so ago it came as no surprise. When you have a Communist regime ( especially one implementing a capitalist market economy ) one thing you can be certain about is the unreliability of data , whether that be GDP or CO2. The data will always be in the range that they believe makes best physiological sense in ensuring that their population and the rest of the world wants to see. It’s about creating outcomes not informing. When BOM globally manipulate temperature data how can we have any confidence that countries who are competing to virtue signal their global warming credentials won’t be tempted to embellish their achievements when it comes to CO 2 reduction.with the Chinese, Indians and Russians as the three largest emitters the amount of CO2 really emitted is anyone’s guess.


    • #
      Rereke Whakaaro

      You are not being cynical at all. You are observing, analysing, and forming a conclusion, based upon your observations and analysis. Isn’t that the way science was supposed to work?

      What has thrown us all into a spin, is the fact that people are not following that process, but going directly to unsupported belief and/or political motivation. This is, of course, an anathema to real science, and why we need to call out the scam, for what it is.


  • #
    el gordo

    Bring back the Stevenson Screen, nobody asked my permission to replace them.


  • #
    Bill Johnston

    There is a problem with Mildura data however.

    Firstly the original Stevenson screen at the Aeradio office was non-standard; it could have been made of pressed metal, hard to tell from 1956 photographs; however, it was not a double-louvered wooden screen and the lawn around the office/mess hut seems to have been watered.

    There is an up-step in 2000 corresponding with when the screen changed from a large one to the small one currently in-use. I inquired into this in November 2016. Here is what the Bureau said:

    “An increasing upward temperature trend has been noted for mean annual maximum temperature at Mildura Airport from around 2000, however this trend is also evident at neighboring stations, suggesting that the impact is being experienced regionally. We also note that similar increases in temperature are evident across most of Australia.”

    What they forgot to say is that by then most comparator stations (even manual ones) also used small screens or AWS + small screens.

    So while I believe there is a problem with reporting temperatures that are too high, separating whether it is the AWS instrument or the small screen is problematic. (But there are ways!)


    Dr. Bill Johnston.


    • #
      Jennifer Marohasy

      Hi Bill

      To be clear, the parallel data shows that since 1 November 1996 at least until 31 December 2000, the Bureau appears to have been reporting temperature for Mildura that were too low… not “too high”, as you suggest in your comment.

      I had assumed that the sensors would have always been reporting too high, as the technical literature suggests is generally the problem.

      But this is not what the limited amount of data that we have now got indicates.



  • #

    Scraps from the non Scientific table

    Finally BoM releases some “secret” comparison data

    Simply not good enough… :(

    How is trust to be re-established without full disclosure

    Scientists welcome scrutiny , but those at BoM do not follow the process, therefore one has to be very skeptical of anything coming out of their publications.


  • #
    David Maddison


    Tesla’s Big Battery was already half built but the countdown for “100 days” only started last Sept 29.

    Due for completion Jan 7th.

    Why doesn’t this surprise me?


  • #
    David Maddison

    What was the practice in other countries when they changed from glass thermometers to automated data collection?


  • #
    Antoine D'Arche

    congratulations to Jennifer Marohasy.
    Maybe the last gasp of Frydenberg’s term as Minister will be an audit of the BoM, cause it sure as hell won’t happen under the next, Labor Govt.


  • #
    Ted O'Brien.

    A8? My head scratching there come sup with double A4?

    Now to compare it with a printout of the digital record! There has to be one.


  • #
    Jennifer Marohasy

    Hi Ted and Bill and Peter C,

    I sent Jo through a random sheet from September, as she asked for something to show. I did warn Jo that interpreting these sheets post 1 November 1996 is not easy… because they didn’t get new forms printed for the change-over from liquid-in-glass (mercury and alcohol) but rather kept using the same A8 forms. So, the headings are actually mostly wrong.

    The key values in the middle section mostly related to values from the one electronic probe (even though it is headed Tmax and Tmin readings) and the values in the bottom Left headed sensors, actually refers to Tmax and Tmin thermometer readings at 9am and 3pm. I did send Jo a pdf from Anthony Rea (BoM manager) with an annotated sheet explaining some of this. But it would need a whole another post to explain… and indeed Jo may indulge you.

    In the meantime, perhaps the key points to note from the sheet that has been posted are:

    1. LHS margin is a TMax value of 17.1, this is actually the value read from the mercury thermometer at 9am on 16th (September 1998) while representing the afternoon reading from the day before and therefore is in reality the Tmax for the 15th.

    2. If you look up the CDO value for 15th September 1998 it is 17.1 degrees Celsius.

    3. Subtract 17.3 from 17.1 and you get minus 0.2 degree Celsius, which is how I calculated the difference between the reading from the sensor and the mercury thermometer for that day. Note the sensor is reading cooler.

    4. September 1998 is complete giving a sample of 30 days to work with, i.e. n=30. When all 30 daily values are added-up, the mean for the mercury thermometer is 21.76 and for the sensor is 21.49. This gives a difference of 0.27 i.e. between the sensor and mercury readings. I calculated standard deviations of 4.39 and 4.42, respectively. When I eventually write all of this up (with the other months and years) for publications I will also provide confidence intervals etcetera.

    MUCH THANKS to Jo for posting this, to Ken and Phill for helping me understand these sheets, and to Lance for insights into lots of other stuff – including why there is a change in the nature of the data as we move to 2000.


    • #

      So, I thought I would do a quick post and explanation, but I see there is an error (because I shouldn’t try and do these things quickly from memory):

      1. The “Therm Max’ values is actually 17.3. That is the key value written in the left hand side (LHS) margin of the above form. This is actually the TMax for 15th September 1998 – recorded on 16th (the next day).

      2. Where I wrote above ‘look-up the CDO value’, this is actually 17.1 for 15th September 1998. (The CDO values are available online and are the official values. You will see that 17.1 is also one of the values in the middle section of this form – don’t have time to explain everything here.)

      Also, I use the word probe and sensor interchangeably, sorry. And I am actually referring to a platinum resistance thermometer.


      • #
        Geoffrey Williams

        All good Jennifer we all understand . .


      • #

        Platinum thermometer `sensors’ are called `sensors’ in their `raw state’ and `probes’ (an `assembled’ or mounted sensor for a specific purposeful use) more or less interchangeably in their manufacturers’ literature so don’t be too worried about our understanding of those terms; mix ‘n match as you please, because I doubt you will confuse or upset anyone here.

        And Jen: Do. Not. Give. Up.
        (you’re going great.)


    • #
      John F. Hultquist

      Refer back to comment #1.
      I was the 42-43rd green thumb there.

      I think “thumbs” count by 2s. Just clicked now and it went from 0 to 2.
      Numbers are so confusing.


    • #
      Bill Johnston

      I don’t know when A8 was withdrawn, but they were still being used in some places in 2005 and they have not changed since metrication in 1972.

      Each cell is a manual observation (not re-written automatic weather station values – what would be the point?) Numbers at the top are for digits and decimals and you can see under “wet-bulb” that single digits are preceded by a zero.

      Error of measurement for a single-decimal datapoint is nominally 0.05 degC. The ‘remarks’ column could refer to a second instrument (in another or the same screen) or an AWS value. I see under “Remote Sensors” at 9am, 11.9 (DB) and 10.9 (WB) (vs. 10.3 in the screen), which could refer to some other sensor.

      As I said, CDO data for this day (and Tmax for the previous day) are the same as the datasheet; the datasheet looks genuine and diligently filled-in, so I’d have no reason to challenge its veracity.

      (Unless consistent bias is involved, an eyeball difference between independent instruments (and eyeballs) of 0.2 or 0.3 degrees (up to 0.5 degC for a given day) is probably neither here nor there and it would be impossible to say which value was correct.) Perhaps you could provide more datasheets?


      Dr. Bill Johnston.


      • #
        Jennifer Marohasy

        Hi Bill

        You are in error. Then again you don’t have the benefit of being able to see the A8 form for the 15th September.

        The value of 17.4 is from an electronic sensor, the value of 17.1 is from the day before… and the key value, which you appear to be missing… is 17.3! The 17.3 value on this form is the Tmax from the mercury thermometer and need to be subtracted from the Tmax from the day before which was 17.1. So there is a difference of 0.2!

        The Bureau would have you read the sheet your way, and report to us that the sensors are reading equivalent to the thermometers. But you would be wrong. ;-) .


        • #
          Bill Johnston

          I’m just looking at evidence as presented Jennifer. On the sheet for the 16th I see 17.1 (before touching – which should also go into 15-18 for the previous day); a reset of 11.9 which agrees with the dry bulb and Tmin reset); and 17.4 (before touching tomorrow; which is the max for the 16th. Under remarks there are different values (17.3 and 6.5 9 (vs. min of 6.2)) with exactly the same resets (11.9).

          However, I concede you could be right. Under the max & min are time-values – 1514 (3.14pm) and 0443 (4.43am), which could only come from an auto-instrument (which is a clue I missed!)

          Also from the Bureau on 27 August 2014 when I was having similar arguments with them:

          ” As outlined in earlier correspondence, after the Automatic Weather Station (AWS) becomes the primary recording instrument for maximum and minimum temperatures at a site, the manual temperature readings are only taken as a comparison (a data check against the AWS value). This comparison is made at the time of the observation (9 am), with the comparison readings noted on the observation sheet.”

          I find it hard to believe that observers transcribed digital data into A8, so that somebody else can re-transcribe them into the Bureau’s database; when by 1998 most T-reporting sites were on-line or dial-up!




    • #
      John in Oz


      Firstly, thanks for your efforts on this issue

      Secondly, how can a 0.1C resolution be read from a thermometer that has 0.5C graduations?

      My (admittedly long ago) schooling was that precision can only be to 1/2 of the graduation; 0.25C in this instance.


    • #
      Bill Johnston

      As noted by John in OZ there is a resolution problem with thermometer data.

      Although in this case, thermometers are read to the nearest 0.1 degC; meteorological thermometers only have a 0.5 deg index, so their actual resolution is 0.25 deg, which allows for larger observational error than the presumed x.y +/- 0.05. (Observer error is the error incurred by independent observes reading the same thermometer), which is point I made earlier. In the context of writing a paper or fronting the Bureau, this needs to be thought-about.

      In addition, the standard deviation (SD) values you give (21.76 +/- 4.39 and 21.49 +/- 4.42) refer to the distribution of individual values not the error. Thus, 68% of values are within 4.39 (4.42) degrees C of the monthly mean. (SD is a measure of spread about the mean of the population of thirty values; nothing to do with error).

      For two means to be different, their values would be more than t times the standard error apart. The SE is SD/sqrtN; n = 30; SE is (about) 0.8; times t (1.96) gives about 1.6degC. (SE times 2 is a useful approximation of t.) The difference in this case (0.27) is less than 1.6, so the means are not different.

      It is extremely difficult in fact to compare side-by-side data this way. Paired t-tests may be an option; but only if differences are (generally) systematically higher – random differences won’t be significant. There are other sorts of tests (and visualisations) that could be used to show trajectories are different (or distributions), but it would involve trial and error with the actual data. You could also try non-parametric tests, but again data differences would need to be systematic (one instrument would have to be higher on average (higher more often) than the other).

      Hope this helps,



      • #
        Jennifer Marohasy

        Hi Bill

        You are in error yet again.

        I provided standard deviations, not error values. You misrepresent me.

        I did paired t-tests on the values… and the values are systematically lower, until the year 2000.

        The mean of the paired differences is less than zero.

        There is no need for ‘trial and error’, the data is not complicated… nor is the question.

        There is a statistical significant difference, but it is not in the direction you desire.

        Like the Bureau, too often, you obfuscate.



        • #
          Bill Johnston

          I’m not in error Jennifer.

          You said:

          4. September 1998 is complete giving a sample of 30 days to work with, i.e. n=30. When all 30 daily values are added-up, the mean for the mercury thermometer is 21.76 and for the sensor is 21.49. This gives a difference of 0.27 i.e. between the sensor and mercury readings. I calculated standard deviations of 4.39 and 4.42, respectively. When I eventually write all of this up (with the other months and years) for publications I will also provide confidence intervals etcetera.

          To do a t-test you need SE values. (t times SE).

          Se is SD/(square root of N), which is 30; and I worked through the calculations which showed the differences between means of 21.76 and 21.49 is not significant (based on your SD values). I then suggested other approaches (including paired t-tests).

          Getting back to the issue; I have looked at Mildura data (along with many other ACORN sites) and researched the site; and rather than obfuscate I’m happy to share my findings.

          Introduction of the AWS on 1 October 1989 didn’t cause a data step-change; nor did the AWS becoming the primary instrument on 1 November 1996 result in an inhomogeneity. However, introduction of the small screen on 3 July 2000 did cause T max to increase abruptly by 1.58 degC (rainfall adjusted, relative to AP data after 1947).

          There is another up-step in 2012 (0.67 degC (rainfall adjusted)). So in-total Tmax has increased 1.57 degC since 1947; but it had nothing to do with the climate! There is no climate trend or climate change.

          If you go to Google Earth (Pro) and look at the site (Latitude -34.2358, Longitude 142.0867 (paste the numbers into the search bar)); zero-in, then time-lapse the images (by double clicking on the image-date at the bottom); you will find like I did, that between the 2010 and 2012 images, they built a vertical wind-profiler array 50 metres from the screen; and to do that they bared-off an area of about 0.5 ha starting just 15 metres away (north). (Use the distance measuring tool.) This has profoundly affected the data; probably Tmin as well (but I have not checked).

          While the means and their difference and the SD values you gave don’t indicate that September means are different; provided assumptions are validated they could be in other months. As I have found in numerous datasets, it is possible for means and medians to be the same, while extremes of distributions are different (the shapes of the distributions are not the same). Thus my advice to ‘trial and error’ the datasets.

          Feel free to use any of my obfuscations with acknowledgement of-course.




          • #
            Jennifer Marohasy

            Hi Bill

            You continue to be in error.

            I had NO idea that you could think I would do a paired t-test working except from all 60 available individual values.

            I just didn’t provide these individually to you.

            Rather I provided a general summary to the readers of this thread in the first instance, and you took it upon yourself to take this information out of context and then proceed to suggest I was in error… when all along it was you: Dr Bill.

            I did just provide the means and standard deviations as a summary of the available information, not as an indication that this is what I used as input!

            You seem to so deliberately ALWAYS misinterpret me.

            While I may be blonde and a woman, and getting old… I make so many fewer silly assumptions than you.


            • #
              Bill Johnston

              For me Jen, gender/blonde/age is the very last-card in the deck; at least you have hair and I am probably older than you! (I was thinking about switching; who knows it might be on Medicare next week!)The point is, yours is an unnecessary, unprofessional and offensive remark.

              I added interpretations and analysis to the info you provided. And I gave more; what’s more – details of previous BoM emails relating to the same problem; my analyses; Google Earth references; statistical options.

              As you know, I’ve been active on similar issues for three or four years. The big problems are NOT a 0.2 degree difference here or there.

              I know Mildura and most other data are not time-independent or normally distributed, which invalidates many parametric tests. Comparing differences of 1st order differences (which I have not done) could be a way-out, but why bother when Google Earth will do?

              It just doesn’t work trying to prove thin-things. Changes at the site dominate everything and are unequivocal – there they are on Google Earth; or for many sites in historical aerial photographs.

              It’s not necessarily about data; its about understanding of the data. It takes weeks to investigate most sites. I’ve booked perhaps a hundred historical aerial photographs of some sites to go through this week and next and the more I see the worse they (sites) get! It may take two or three days and I also might not find anything that is useful.

              Tossing-on a trend line or doing statistical tests naively, is fraught with disappointment. Why not shove problems that are obvious up the Bureau’s pipe?

              Looking at data generally; on a warming cycle (from July to January), warm values lead; on a cooling cycle (February to July) cool values lead. This creates bias; data are not normally distributed but are lead by tails, which invalidate inferences of parametric tests; possibly including paired T-tests (but again it is your analysis and you should check.)

              I learn from and don’t mind taking a beating. It is your hypothesis that means are different; it is therefore up to you (or others) to explain where I’m wrong.




            • #
              Bill Johnston

              To illustrate how difficult it is to compare ‘close’ data; I abstracted Mildura Tmax data for September 1988 and compared it using a bunch of statistical tests, with data for October; pretending they were comparable. (Any one can do this.) I knocked off the 31 October so there are 30 data-days in each sample.

              I used an excellent freebie application called PAST(from the University of Oslo); I prefer the earlier version (2.17c) because of the ease of copying to and from Excel.

              So I paste the data into PAST into two columns, and run basic statistical tests. The null hypothesis is that mean (median) Tmax is the same for September and October 1998. We have a range of options to test the hypothesis.

              [Tmax means (medians) are different of course (21.49 vs. 23.17 (means); 20.9 vs. 21.35 (medians)]; but given the variation in the data are they statistically different? is the question.)

              The answer is no they are not different.

              For the t-test of means, Psame = 0.21; to be different we need P to be less than or equal to 0.05.

              For the sign test, medians are the same: Psame = 0.86 (we need <= 0.05 to declare a difference).

              For Wilcoxon test, P(same median) = 0.35; Monte Carlo (n=99999); P(same median) = 0.36.

              For Mann-Whitney P(same median) 0.23.

              Are the distributions the same (Kolmogorov-Smirnov) Psame = 0.54.

              Also data are not normal – won't affect the rank (median) based tests, but will affect parametric (t) test; data possibly need to be transformed Log 10 may work; or first differences (or something else).

              We intuitively know October is warmer than September; but given variation in the data the difference is not statistically significant.

              For the difference to be significant at P05; it has to be outside the bandwidth of -0.92 and 4.27! The difference is actually 1.68.

              Furthermore, if we know the mean, the standard deviation and the number of samples; we have enough info to calculate standard error; multiply it by 2 and we have a robust bandwidth for t (provided data are normally distributed; equality of variance is another assumption).

              Don’t get me wrong here; I want Jen to succeed. There is hardly any info that I have about Mildura that she does not also have; these various comments add even more insights and are intended to be helpful.




              • #
                Will Janoschka

                Don’t get me wrong here; I want Jen to succeed. There is hardly any info that I have about Mildura that she does not also have; these various comments add even more insights and are intended to be helpful.

                Can you or some other poster please explain why this profound statistical treatment is given to near surface temperature measurement; when such measurement cannot be amenable to such treatment?
                Local temperature must remain 65% deterministic and cyclic, 20% chaotic from unknown events, and only 15% statistical noise suitable for such treatment. Under such circumstances whatever actual measurement is made must be regarded as the very best, most accurate measurement ever to be made at that location and time. Why is any adjustment to such measurement data ever needed or even desirable; except for some religious or political gain?
                To the experienced folk; serfs, peasants, producers; best effort is highly regarded even, as expected, the numbers are all over hell’s half acre! Jo and Jennifer seem to be pointing out that sleazy bias\adjustment\homogenization of such measurement is not highly regarded, instead suspicious!
                All the best!-will-


          • #
            Peter C

            Not off to a good start.

            I hope that you both can get together on this project.

            Jennifer. I greatly admire your work.

            Bill, you have insider knowledge of the BOM mechanisms of data collection that should benefit Jennifer bigly.


            • #
              robert rosicka

              Agree with Peter C totally but wonder about Bills comment that 0.2 degrees here and there mean nothing , actually it will mean hottest day Evah when it is not .


              • #
                Bill Johnston

                I don’t have insider knowledge nor am I gender biased. I am a scientist who has looked at all this stuff. To be different to a previous value, another has to be outside the confidence interval of the previous value WITHOUT BIAS.

                Irrespective of how ‘accurately’ is is read, a met-thermometer has an observation error of 0.25 degC. Put the thermometer in a hot-house, say a small screen; data are relative to another benchmark. Change the instrument, say to an electronic probe (accuracy +/- 0.2 deg C; does not change the error associated with a difference which is additive (0.25 + 0.2 = 0.47).

                To be confident of a real difference free of bias these issues need to be taken account of.

                A Melbourne Cup win because they ran it down Lygon Street or in Sydney .. get real. The course, the conditions under which the race is run and the time-keeper have to be the same.

                Time out for me!




            • #
              Peter C

              Thanks Bill,

              I admire what you are doing also.

              I do hope that you can collaborate with Jennifer Marohasy.

              I thought that you had worked for the BOM. If not my mistake. I might be gender biased but I will try not to let it influence me.

              By the way (as an aside) I would have thought that a thermometer graduated in 0.5C could be read to 0.1C. I have tried to do this.
              If just above the half way mark it is 0.3C. If just below then 0.2C, if nearly at the upper graduation 0.4C and if just above the lower graduation, 0.1C. Does that cause problems with observer variablity. Is the variability more than 0.1C?


              • #

                Hi Robert and Peter

                I work with the data that I have. The temperatures are measure to one tenth of a degree. You can argue about the accuracy, but that is what is recorded.

                The mercury thermometer recordings from the beginning of September 1998 are 27.6, 21.8, 21.2, 23.8, 17.0, 16.4 and so on. The recordings from sensors for the corresponding days are 27.5, 21.3, 20.9, 23.8, 16.6, 16.1 and so on.

                It doesn’t matter what has/hasn’t happened elsewhere, it is straighforward to apply a statistical test to the two series… I did this as a paired t-Test. The results show that there is a statistically significant difference, with the sensor reading cooler.

                This very important finding exists independently of Bill Johnston and his muddle.


              • #
                Will Janoschka

                Jennifer Marohasy November 15, 2017 at 9:13 a

                m This very important finding exists independently of Bill Johnston and his muddle.

                NO! With a diurnal temperature swing of 30 kelvins at most locations this is scientific trivial nonsense; yet remains loaded fodder for any scam. I hab sets ob knives that never get dull. For you a significant discount! :-)


            • #
              Will Janoschka

              Not off to a good start. I hope that you both can get together on this project…Jennifer. I greatly admire your work.
              Bill, you have insider knowledge of the BOM mechanisms of data collection that should benefit Jennifer bigly.

              I agree! Perhaps we can entice WM Briggs to referee the statistical; and EM Smith to referee the ‘science’ I have excellent rental locations for your Beer Pretzel Concession :-)


      • #

        Bill, Whoah. Wood for trees time. We data-nerd-skeptics are going down statistical rabbit holes we don’t need to go down. We don’t need Briggs to referee any statistical battle because the statistical battle is not even needed. Step back! There is a far simpler point here and both you and Jen agree on, lets not lose sight of that:

        The point of this post is that The BOM say: “These [platinum resistance thermometers] are comparable to mercury in glass thermometers”

        With a 0.3C difference in the averaged temperatures clearly the BoM are absolutely, wrong. They cannot possibly justify “hottest” ever records after changing thermometers, they cannot say these thermometers are equivalent.

        You are right that the swap from big-screens to small screens matters TOO, but that is a separate issue that happened in another month. It doesnt’ affect Jens analysis here or the post conclusion. We all agree. (And we mentioned the swap to a smaller screen anyway. You’ve been telling me about it for years. I didn’t forget.) So you and Jen both agree that the swap matters for the issue of “hottest ever records”. The LIG-AWS issue is separate.

        The Bottom Line: Jen is so right on the big issue that we don’t even need a statistical test at all. The BoM are making exaggerated claims — claims they can’t possibly back up. They are the ones who are advising the Australian public that one day in Sept 2017 was The Hottest Ever — and they have no scientific legs to stand on to make that claim.

        Marohasy’s analysis is very useful, we need more of it and what Jen has done shows how much the BoM needs an audit. She went above and beyond, but didn’t need to do statistical tests! I realise you want to help by double-triple-checking the statistics, but honestly, if the BoM’s only defense is to raise fine statistical points, to split those hairs, I will savage them. She will savage them for missing the big point. They have nothing. We’re debating which flaw is the most egregious. They are misleading the public about the accuracy of their thermometer records.

        BTW I know that Marohasy has looked at a lot more data than just this month. The pattern is similar, and as you predicted, the effect is bigger in summer. What Jen is doing supports what you have been saying all along that the electronic thermometers are not the same as the old LIG ones. That you think the change is screen size is more important is splitting hairs.

        There are more scandals to come from this. It’s the BOM that need to supply data and answer questions, not skeptics.


        • #
          robert rosicka

          Thankfully someone (Jo) has finally come to the crux of this misunderstanding, and hopefully Bill will find what he is focused on which seems to be more about site moves and Stevenson screen size changes.
          And Jennifer can keep plugging away at the small but significant difference in thermometer vs thermocouple readings .
          Both are important issues but even I can see .2 here and .3 there over hundreds maybe thousands of observations make a big difference regardless of wether or not its maximum or minimum temps .
          An accountant who is out by a similar amount over hundreds if not thousands of transactions would be hauled before a court .


        • #
          Bill Johnston

          Sure Jo, it’s all too easy to get sidetracked. However hidden in my contributions …

          I strongly endorse Jennifer’s push for transparency by the Bureau. There is plenty of evidence that hyperactive electronic thermometers in small Stevenson screens detect flurries of over-heated air and produce spikes on warm days that have nothing to do with local climate. That bad-habit averages out to cause fake-warming.

          I highlighted for example that Mildura is now permanently warmer because they put a wind profiler array on a 1,000 square metre slab 35 metres north of the screen in 2012. You can see the changes on Google Earth (Pro) (which is free). Record temperatures there in July and September 2017 are nonsense; and only mugs would think that making significant changes in the vicinity of where temperature is measured would not interfere with measurements.

          Expanding their marketing branch at the expense of dedicated observers has caused average Bureau-IQ to plummet. Thus the change to a small screen on 3 May 2000, which caused an up-step, is blamed on “the climate”. Sites like Mildura that reported record temperatures in the Bureau’s monthly climate summaries for winter 2017 have all changed or moved; some are out in dusty paddocks at locations that nobody has ever heard-of.

          Every punter knows that doping the horse so it runs faster is hardly ‘world’s best practice’. (I wonder why ‘peer-review’ didn’t look at any data.) In the Bureau’s case no sites have remained the same since measurements commenced and it is recent changes like Marohasy is exploring – probes replacing thermometers that account for much of their warming.

          Mildura is no different. Temperature trend, extremes and trend in extremes is due to station and instrument changes not the climate. The Bureau’s latest winter-data-plucking exercise makes-up records as they go along and is unscientific and bizarre.

          I strongly support that an open public inquiry into the mess is long overdue.


          Dr Bill Johnston.


          • #

            Thanks Bill.
            The dilemma for skeptics is almost that there are so many problems to discuss. Too many.

            We have barely begun to talk about the shrinking stevenson screens, and the wind profilers. I must look at those photos… thanks.


        • #
          Will Janoschka

          Hi Joanne,
          I agree, more chocolate soon! I mentioned Mac Briggs because he does this stuff in his sleep; while I struggle lots. :-)
          From: Bill Johnston November 14, 2017 at 2:24 pm
          The standard deviation (SD) values you give 294.19K ±4.39kelvins and 294.64K ±4.42kelvins refer to the distribution of some unspecified diurmal average (with swings of 30 kelvins) not the error of that diurnal average. Thus, 63% (1-1/e) of diurnal average values are within 4.39 (4.42) kelvins of the monthly mean. (SD is a measure of spread about the mean of the population of thirty (average) values; nothing to do with error of those already diurnal average values (with a 30 kelvins swing)).

          “For two means to be different, their values would be more than t times the standard error apart. The SE is SD/sqrtN; n = 30; SE is (about) 0.8; times t (1.96) gives about 1.6degC. (SE times 2 is a useful approximation of t.) The difference in this case (0.27) is less than 1.6, so the means are not different.”

          I have no clue as to what means by t=1.96; where did that come from? From physical thermodynamics\electro-magnetics; for totally independent N statistical ‘events\measurements’ the RMS ‘Johnson noise’ must be equivalent to mean squared ‘power’ of N measurements, divided by sqrt(N), theorem of large numbers.
          Is there some significant\deliberate difference between once per day average temperature measurement referenced to the freezing point of H2O,for N=30 (days); and measurements once per second as published?
          Monthly N is now 25,920,000, (Root N over 5,000); and the now claimed once per second temperature measurement referenced to abs zero, and your AU peak 1 sec measurement claimed as hottest ever!! :-)
          Can we now scientifically examine the huge biases deliberately exploited by academic climate clowns against the wishes of good government; serfs\peons\producers alike?
          All the best!


  • #

    FakeNewsMSM love this. check the thousands of comments – many mocking. seems “scientists” in the headline should be in quotation marks plus a question mark. you have to admire the symmetry of 15,000 “scientists”/15,000 signatures:

    13 Nov: CBC: More than 15,000 scientists from 184 countries issue ‘warning to humanity’
    A similar warning was first issued by scientists in 1992
    By Nicole Mortillaro
    This new cautioning — which gained popularity on Twitter with #ScientistsWarningToHumanity — garnered more than 15,000 signatures…

    “The scientists around the world are very concerned about the state of the world, the environmental situation and climate change,” (William Ripple of Oregon State University’s College of Forestry) said. “So this allows them to have a collective voice.”…

    Growing middle class and its carbon footprint
    “Since 1992, carbon emissions have increased 62 per cent,” Ripple said. “And the global average temperature change has paralleled that. Also since 1992, we have two billion more people on Earth, which is a 35 per cent increase.”…

    13 Nov: EurekaAlert: University of Sydney: How #ScientistsWarningtoHumanity signed up 15,000 scientists
    Warning to humanity: A second notice marks 25 years since Nobel manifesto
    The article, “World Scientists’ Warning to Humanity: A Second Notice”, has been co-signed by more than 15,000 scientists in 184 countries and is published today in the journal BioScience…
    Co-author Dr Thomas Newsome, a research fellow at Deakin University and The University of Sydney, said he believed this was possibly the biggest number of signatories to any published scientific paper.
    “It’s an overwhelming response we didn’t quite expect,” said Dr Newsome, who issued a number of Tweets to garner interest via his handle @NewsomeTM and using the hashtag #ScientistsWarningtoHumanity…
    Dr Newsome, a multi award-winning early career researcher and author, said their callout on the first day, four months ago, attracted almost 600 signatories.
    “People just started sharing the letter; it was added to a few email lists and things just took off from there,” he said…

    The article states there is still time but notes the areas that need to be improved, including promoting dietary shifts away from meat, encouraging the adoption of renewable energy and limiting human population growth…
    Scientists can continue to endorse the warning by visiting http://scientistswarning.​forestry.​oregonstate.​edu/ ​…

    Co-authors of the article include William Ripple and Christopher Wolf at Oregon State University and Eileen Crist of Virginia Tech in the United States; Mauro Galleti of the Universidade Estadual Paulista in Brazil; Thomas Newsome of The University of Sydney and Deakin University and William Laurence of James Cook University in Australia; Mohammad Alongir of the University of Chittagong in Bangladesh; Mahmoud Mahmoud of the National Oil Spill Detection and Response Agency in Nigeria.


  • #

    So, I thought I would do a quick post and explanation, but I see there is an error (because I shouldn’t try and do these things quickly from memory):

    1. The “Therm Max’ values is actually 17.3. That is the key value written in the left hand side (LHS) margin. This is actually the TMax for 15th September 1998 – recorded on 16th (the next day).

    2. Where I wrote above ‘look-up the CDO value’, this is actually 17.1 for 15th September 1998. (The CDO values are available online and are the official values. You will see that 17.1 is also one of the values in the middle section of this form.)

    Also, I use the word probe and sensor interchangeably, sorry. And I am actually referring to a platinum resistance thermometer.


  • #

    Pierre Gosselin’s, German > English “NoTricksZone” blog had a post in January 2015 on the comparisons in temperature measurements between the Mercury Glass and the PT100 resistance thermometer.

    Weather Instrumentation Debacle? Analysis Shows 0.9°C Of Germany’s Warming May Be Due To Transition To Electronic Measurement

    Hager says, the German DWD Weather Service did not adequately investigate the two different measuring systems and compare them, writing that:

    Although the DWD set up so-called climate reference stations at (way to few) locations and published the studies from the comparison measurements, the results unfortunately were not satisfactory.
    Here not the “old data was compared to the new data”, instead only the electronic thermometer was investigated in various locations, but were not compared with the glass thermometers, which are readily at hand.”
    Hager writes:

    Differing daily measured values from the old and new sensors for temperature measurement spurred the author [Hager] to conduct a comparison spanning from January 1, 1999 to July 31, 2006 at Fliegerhorst Lechfeld (WMO 10856) 8-1/2 years long, daily without interruption, among other comparison tests of mercury maximum glass thermometers in a Stevenson screen and a Pt 100 resistance thermometer inside an aluminum enclosure, both unventilated.

    The 3144 days yielded a mean difference of +0.93°C; the Pt 100 was higher than the mercury thermometer.

    The maximum daily difference even reached 6.4°C!

    And for laughs also from the NTZ blog and an indication on how many alarmist scientists think.

    Rahmstorf Claims “New Generation” Of Climate Models Are Robust Because “They Can Predict The Past Very Well”!

    German Public Radio moderator Fecke then asked what exactly makes the projections so robust?


    Robust is that we use the measured data of the last 130 years and look at how well the newest generation of climate models, that is the complete range that we have from the various research groups from the whole world, can reproduce the past.

    And it has been determined that they can do this very well, and for this reason we are confident that the results are also robust for the future development.”


  • #


    “Flash, I Love You! But We Only Have Fourteen Hours Left to Save the Earth!”

    This is what sprung to mind (yes, misspent youth) when I saw we only have a short time to save the earth from climate change!

    If only Flash Gordon was still around, and Freddie Mercury (aka Farrokh Bulsara) to provide supportive music. Flash! Ahaaaa…


    • #
      robert rosicka

      Just heard the James cook uni guy talking on this subject and he thinks young girls should be educated about the perils of over population on the climate and resources.
      Who said anything about agenda 21 .


      • #

        Seems to be something about that Cook name…


      • #
        Mary E

        Hmm. Might be a little better if the young men were lectured on the evils of virility. After all, it takes 2 to make an addition to the population…


        • #
          Will Janoschka

          After all, it takes 2 to make an addition to the population…

          It takes 2 loving caring folk to make a ‘useful\viable’ addition to human population. Besides love; this caring must be complete with necessary ‘spanking’ at unacceptable behavior; that child needs test! This is in order to ‘learn’ what means to be part of ‘human population’! :-)


    • #
      robert rosicka

      So the report is the work of the Union of concerned scientists , my my I wonder how Kenji the dog who is a member got away with putting his paw print on the signature page .


  • #

    10 Nov: RenewEconomy: Pablo Brait: Medibank’s unhealthy addiction to fossil fuels
    (Pablo Brait is a Campaigner with Market Forces)
    On November 13, when Medibank holds its annual general meeting, shareholders will question how Australia’s biggest health insurer continues to invest tens of millions of dollars in fossil fuels.
    The world’s most prestigious medical journal, The Lancet, describes climate change as the biggest global health threat of the 21st Century, yet Medibank has remained invested in coal, oil and gas companies that fuel the problem.
    Medibank has been aware of this hypocrisy for at least a full year when the issue was raised at its 2016 AGM…
    ???All eyes are now on Medibank in the lead up to its AGM…

    13 Nov: ABC: Medibank to pull back from carbon polluting investments
    By senior business correspondent Peter Ryan
    The health insurer’s chairman Elizabeth Alexander will tell the company’s annual general meeting the decision was based on increasing community expectations that go beyond legal, ethical and economic responsibilities.
    “In line with our commitment to the health and wellbeing of our customers, Medibank has begun a process to reduce our exposure to carbon intensive assets,” Ms Alexander said…
    While high carbon emitting companies represent less than 0.5 per cent of Medibank’s investments, Ms Alexander said the company would transition to low carbon international investments over the next 12 months…

    Ms Alexander said, to offset the investment switch away from carbon, Medibank will invest $25 million in green bonds for carbon reducing and environmentally responsible projects.
    Environmental lobby group Market Forces says Medibank’s decision will see it divest tens of millions of dollars from fossil fuels…
    Medibank Private is the latest major health insurer to shift their investments away from fossil fuels, following BUPA, NIB and HCF…

    here are the “All Eyes” on the AGM mob, who have their eyes on Super too:

    Market Forces: About Us
    Market Forces believes that the banks, superannuation funds and governments that have custody of our money should use it to protect not damage our environment…
    Market Forces is proud to be an affiliate project of Friends of the Earth Australia and a member of the BankTrack international network, connecting us with passionate campaigners, environmental issue experts and advocates of environmentally sustainable behaviour from the finance sector…

    Julien Vincent
    Executive Director
    Lead Campaigner
    Julien has been an environmental campaigner and activist for over a decade. He was Climate and Energy Campaigner with Greenpeace Australia Pacific and Greenpeace International from 2006-2012, leaving in order to found Market Forces…

    Dan Gocher
    Dan holds a Bachelor of Commerce and has worked in various financial institutions for over 15 years – investment banking, asset management and insurance. He is primarily focused on divestment within the superannuation and insurance industries…

    Matt Rogers
    Stop Adani Campaigner
    Matt holds a Bachelor of International Relations from the Australian National University and has previously been involved in Fossil Free ANU, calling on universities to divest from fossil fuels. He works for Market Forces on the Stop Adani campaign, fighting against the construction of the Carmichael Coal Mine…

    Kieran Jairath
    Shareholder Action Campaigner
    Kieran comes to Market Forces from Friends of the Earth’s Economic Justice Collective, where he worked on issues of international trade such as the Trans Pacific Partnership…ETC ETC


  • #

    11 Nov: Daily Mail: Gone with the wind! National Grid pays operators £350million to switch off turbines producing too much power
    Sixty nine wind farms were paid to stop transmitting in last weekend of October
    Payments have risen from £200,000 in 2010 to £85.4million in 2016
    National Grid compensates energy providers if it asks them to switch off to prevent the grid becoming overloaded
    By Rachel Millard
    The average price this year was £70 per megawatt hour.
    Scottish wind farms are the primary recipients of constraint payments because there are growing numbers of turbines north of the border, encouraged by Holyrood. But a £1billion subsea cable, due to open in 2015, to bring the extra wind power south has been delayed due to manufacturing problems…

    Several recent payments have gone to new wind farms, meaning they are asked to switch off almost as soon as they open. The money is not pure profit – power generators will have already paid out to access the transmission system.

    Dr Lee Moroney, research director at the Renewable Energy Foundation (REF), said: ‘The fact that new wind farms are constrained off as soon as they start generating, sometimes even before they are officially opened, shows that the Scottish Government has allowed the wind sector to become seriously overheated.
    ‘This is very bad for consumers, who have to pay high constraint payments in the short run and high grid expansion costs in the longer run.’…

    The total cost to National Grid of switching gas producers on or off since 2014 is £985.4million. In all, it has spent around £1.6billion since 2014 switching different energy sources on or off because the grid cannot cope with all the power they produce, including compensating owners…READ ON


  • #

    This comes under the heading of that old highly emotional favourite of the Climate Change cultists and renewable energy pimps! “Think of the Children!”

    Well it seems that the Children might have a couple of fair sized problems left to them by this generation of Climate Change believing parents in any case.

    And NOBODY in this generation has or is doing a damn thing about the enormous tonnages of used, obsolete wind turbine blade and defunct used solar panel waste that is going to appear very soon as in likely by 2020 when some of those early wind turbine and solar farms will be abandoned by their owners as no longer economical.


    China will have the world’s worst problem with ageing solar panels in less than two decades, according to a recent industry estimate.
    By 2050 these waste panels would add up to 20 million tonnes, or 2,000 times the weight of the Eiffel Tower, according to Lu.
    A panel’s lifespan ranges from 20 to 30 years, depending on the environment in which they are used, according to the US Department of Energy. High temperatures can accelerate the ageing process for solar cells, while other negative factors – such as the weight of snow or dust storms – could cause material fatigue on the surface and internal electric circuits, gradually reducing the panel’s power output.

    Tian Min, general manager of Nanjing Fangrun Materials, a recycling company in Jiangsu province that collects retired solar panels, said the solar power industry was a ticking time bomb.

    “It will explode with full force in two or three decades and wreck the environment, if the estimate is correct,” he said.

    Wind turbine blade waste in 2050

    From the abstract;

    Comprehensive analysis of wind turbine blade waste inventory originating from manufacturing throughout their lifecycle.

    In addition to the blades themselves, there is up to 45% further waste from different lifecycle stages.

    Waste contributing factors are identified using different scenarios to predict futures.

    By 2050, global annual blade waste will reach 2.9 Mt, with 43 Mt of cumulative blade waste.

    China, Europe, United States and rest of the world will have 40%, 25%, 16% and 19% waste respectively.

    Wind turbine blades being mostly polymers and glass fibres are very slow to break down taking many decades to do so and in doing so can release some quite toxic chemicals.
    So disposing of those renewable energy left overs and no longer wanted items will involve having those items, ie; turbine blades and solar panels disposed of and safely buried in landfill.

    Guess who will have to pay for this unless governments impose a high value bond on turbine companies and solar panel users right down to the household size so as have funds provided by those former beneficiaries of government largesse in the renewable industry to dispose of the used pieces of equipment without any further charges on the taxpayer and consumer.


    • #

      Thanks for this ROM.

      I wonder now! (please be aware that my tongue is planted firmly into the inside of my cheek here)

      Carbon sequestration, you know that utterly ridiculous fallacy that will never be achieved.

      Say, wait a minute here. I wonder.

      Collect the CO2 emissions from the power plant. Chemically process the CO2, releasing the Oxygen back into the Atmosphere. Collect the Carbon. Process that Carbon into Carbon fibre. Make wind turbine blades from that Carbon Fibre. When the turbine time expires, bury the Carbon fibre blades. Voila, Carbon geosequestration.


      Anyone know the phone number of that guy in Canberra who gives out Government grants?



      • #

        And when they do a Weatherdill and dynamite the power station down, where are you going to get your CO2 from to make that carbon? (-:


        As at 4 pm DST here in Horsham in west Vic the temperature from one of those airfield located suspect BOM thermometers is reading around 33C a tthe moment , 35.9 C being tops today, well down from the BOM predicted 38C.
        And having torn a tendon in my shoulder on Saturday, I’m sort of a bit anchored at the moment so have the time to kick our long standing “Crazy Ideas” section into action.

        Mybrother and I often use to get some interesting and very useful and practical solutions to a problem with our “Crazy Ideas” after they had been dissected, discussed, disinfected, disassembled, debated and then the outcome ,usually very different indeed from the orginal Crazy Idea, delivered and put into place.

        So Tony, kicking my Crazy Ideas brain cells into action and using the “Cat and Rat Farm” example as a pattern for your proposal above, we could , as you suggest, capture the CO2 from a coal fired power station, process the CO2 to extract the “Carbon” component, process the carbon into carbon fibre and some of the polyesters and resins and etc used to construct the blades of a wind turbine.

        Then when the turbine reaches its end of life, we chop up the blades and as we know from numerous examples, Turbine blades and carbon fibre covered nacelles burn rather well, as do old tyres which are largely composed of carbon compounds and are now used as fuel in some furnaces and boilers , we feed the blades into the fireboxes and generate more energy to process the materials for the blades as well as all that CO2 which we again collect and process and turn into turbine blades using the energy and collecting the CO2 from burning the turbine blades ———!

        A completely self contained industry that would not need subsidies or support and would be completely self contained and self sustaining and would not alter the status of the wind turbine industry from the current abjectly useless status that it now occupies.

        Oh! some may ask whats a “Cat and Rat Farm? ”

        Simple really! You fence off two large enclosures each of which is good enough to prevent Cats and Rats from escaping.

        You stock Cats in one and Rats in the other.

        You start by tossing some Rats into the Cat enclosure to feed those hungry Cats until they are in good condition.

        Then you round up some of the Cats and kill them and skin them.

        The Cat carcases are then thrown back into the Rats enclosure to feed the Rats.

        From where you then collect some more well fed Rats to feed those Cats.

        And rinse and repeat!

        Quite self sustaining and you make quite a good living out of selling the Cat skins.

        Gotogo! the Cats are getting hungry and the Rats are going a bit berserk!


  • #

    comment in moderation re: 11 Nov: Daily Mail: Gone with the wind! National Grid pays operators £350million to switch off turbines producing too much power

    13 Nov: Scotsman:Diane King: BiFab hopes to strike deal to protect almost 1,400 jobs
    Burntisland Fabrications Limited (BiFab) has a workforce of almost 1,400 people across three sites in Fife and on the Western Isles.
    The company said it was facing a “critical cash position” linked to ongoing contracts and has filed a notice of its intention to appoint administrators…
    The company describes itself as a leading manufacturer of structures for the oil and gas and offshore wind industries.
    It operates three facilities – Burntisland and Methil in Fife and Arnish on the Isle of Lewis.

    BiFab said it was working on two significant contracts in respect of the under-construction Beatrice offshore wind farm in the outer Moray Firth. One contract is nearing completion while the other is expected to run to the end of April next year.
    Company directors stressed they are seeking an immediate financial solution and said they were encouraged by the rapid communication between interested parties in recent days…

    GMB Scotland secretary Gary Smith said that hundreds of workers – and many hundreds more in the supply chain – are worried about the future.
    “We need to understand why, what’s happened, who knew what, when,” he said.
    “I’m very clear closure of those yards and the sacking of those workers is not an option.”…

    ***Mr Smith said: “Every political interest in Scotland has told us that renewables are the jobs of the future. If they do not do something to secure the future of these yards, it will be a hammer blow to their credibility.”

    Pat Rafferty, leader of the Unite union in Scotland, said: “Let’s not mince words here, the Scottish Government cannot stand by and watch BiFab being turned into an industrial graveyard.
    “Make no mistake, Unite and its sister unions will not let that happen.”…

    13 Nov: AberdeenEveningExpressUK: Press Association: Engineering firm BiFab ‘being held to ransom’ by contractor, says union
    The 1,400-strong workforce at Burntisland Fabrications Limited (BiFab) has voted unanimously to continue working until further notice to give the company time to sort out the financial crisis even though they may not be paid, Unite said…
    Unions claim they have been told that BiFab’s financial crisis is a direct result of the main Dutch-owned contractor, Seaway Heavy Lifting (SHL), not paying BiFab for contract work already completed.

    Unite Scottish secretary Pat Rafferty said: “As far as we can see BiFab is being held to ransom by the main contractor. It beggars belief that 1,400 jobs are now in jeopardy over who owes how many millions of pounds to whom.
    “The workers have taken a courageous stand to save these jobs. The Scottish Government must match that commitment by doing whatever it takes to safeguard the future of the yards.”

    The GMB union said it understands that cash-flow problems have stemmed from a dispute over payments between BiFab and the £2.6 billion Beatrice wind farm project contractor SHL.
    Last year BiFab secured a £100 million contract from SHL for the manufacture of 26 turbine jackets, GMB said…


  • #

    ***apparently it’s time for the FakeNewsMSM to let go of the “climate chancellor” rubbish:

    14 Nov: AFP: Frank ZELLER: Heat on ‘climate chancellor’ Merkel over coal and cars
    Battles over dirty coal plants and the combustion engine have dogged her efforts to forge an unlikely three-way governing alliance with the Greens and pro-business Free Democrats (FDP)…
    Merkel has opposed stricter EU emissions limits for cars, fought planned diesel bans in cities suffering toxic air pollution and shelved a plan to get one million electric vehicles onto German roads by 2020.

    ***Weekly newspaper Die Zeit harshly compared Merkel’s policies to that of climate change-denying US President Donald Trump, adding that “at least Trump is honest about it”…

    But she also made clear that Germany must protect its “industrial core” and that “if steelworks, aluminium plants and copper smelters all leave our country and move somewhere with weaker environmental regulations, then we won’t have gained anything for the global climate”.
    Missing from that list were coal-fired power plants, Germany’s current environmental hot-button issue that has sparked mass rallies…
    But coal, cheap and abundant, still makes up 40 percent, and Germany’s carbon emissions have not fallen for the past eight years…

    One of their veterans, Hans Joachim Schellnhuber, head of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, voiced deep scepticism about politicians and climate policy.
    “First they make a promise… then they drag their feet, then they say ‘Now it’s too late, it’s impossible’,” said the 67-year-old. “Promise, postpone, abandon — that’s the way of politics.”
    “Why? Because politicians never want to hurt anyone today, nobody — not the coal worker, not the diesel engineer. But if you hurt no-one today, you will hurt everyone tomorrow.”


  • #

    what the FakeNewsMSM don’t want to face:

    13 Nov: Bonn climate talks: In second week, ministers will try to break impasse on pre-2020 agenda
    In the first week, developing countries were perplexed by the US and EU acting in tandem, as also the less-than-neutral stance of Fiji as president.
    by Nitin Sethi & Kumar Sambhav Shrivastava
    When ministers from 196 countries join the climate change summit in Bonn on Monday for the second week of talks, they will get the sour aftertaste of the first week of negotiations. The summit, which aims to discuss the fine print of ensuring that the Paris Agreement is implemented from 2020, began on an acrimonious note on November 6. It has not quite recover from that bad start…

    The ministerial talks will include formal open meetings under the United Nations negotiations, closed-door discussions, meetings of formal groups of countries that negotiate as blocks as well as bilateral meetings between various countries to broker compromises. Observers and members of non-governmental organisations will not be able to attend many of these meetings, which usually makes it difficult for them to assess what each important country or group of countries is really aiming to do…

    The pre-2020 agenda refers to the commitments developed countries have made to cutting their greenhouse gas emission and providing finance to developing country to fight climate change by 2020. But when the talks opened on November 6, developing countries found that a discussion about assessing these commitments was missing from the negotiating table. Some thought it was an inadvertent mistake on the part of Fiji, which is presiding over the negotiations. But soon realised this was being pushed by the developed world wanted.

    ***The US and European Union got together to block the attempts of developing countries to put the issue back on the table…

    This got the current presidency of the summit, Fiji, and the previous presidency, Morocco, negotiating behind closed door to find a resolution. But none of their solutions included a plan to reintroduce the pre-2020 agenda back into the negotiations.

    The tension from this impasse also swept into other negotiating rooms.
    “It seems it was a premeditated move to ensure conversations on ratcheting up action against climate change before 2020 dies at Bonn,” a negotiator from the G77+China block of developing countries said on the condition of anonymity. “They have refused to engage on details for issues like transparency of their financial commitments. In parallel developed countries want to advance work on only those post-2020 arrangements that favour them.”

    ***Developing countries think this is a ploy to rewrite the Paris Agreement through the backdoor at the Bonn summit…

    At the Bonn summit, the US delegation is smaller than it has been in previous years but it has come prepared and has old hands to guide its positions. From the second day of the summit, it negotiated hard and along the lines that US had done under the Obama administration. It opposed any proposals to differentiate between developing and developed countries when it comes to the nature of their commitments under Paris Agreement to fight climate change after 2020. It blocked discussions on creating a transparent accounting regime that discloses how much funds the developed world provides the rest to reduce emissions and adapt to climate change. It halted the idea of creating a mechanism to ratchet up emission reduction targets of countries after 2020 based on the principle of equity.

    ***On many of these fronts, it found the EU supporting it vocally or quietly by letting it take the lead through the Umbrella group.

    ***“As we see it, they are dancing together at Bonn and the Fiji presidency has largely just looked on,” said one negotiator from a developing country. “As the presidency for the first time had gone to a small island country we had expected a more constructive role.”…

    so much for the FakeNewsMSM narrative that Trump is on his own!

    13 Nov: Bonn climate talks: What the debate around Loss and Damage is about (and why it is so heated)
    Harjeet Singh of ActionAid International explains what’s at stake.
    by Kumar Sambhav Shrivastava
    With the word compensation being banned from the talks since 2015, developing countries have been pushing the developed world to find new means to finance the damages they suffer from climate change. Some developed countries see this also as a business opportunity for their insurance industries. However, developing countries warn that insurance cannot address the needs of the most vulnerable.

    Harjeet Singh, global lead on climate change for the international non-governmental agency ActionAid International, explained the debates about Loss and Damage to as they spark heated debates at the Bonn climate change summit…

    Q: We hear of the clearing-house for risk transfer against Loss and Damage being inaugurated at this Bonn summit. What is this exactly?

    A: It is about insurance, so when they say “risk transfer”, the “risk transfer” is largely about insurance. So there, again it’s an irony that the scarce climate finance is being spent on creating a website. Essentially, it is just going to be a website or a portal which connects insurance industry and experts with people who need insurance. And in this case, it would be governments or private sector companies from developing countries…

    Let me give you a bit of background: the penetration of insurance is very low in developing countries compared to developed. And majority of re-insurance companies come from the west because that concept has come from the North. And the insurance companies that insure us, they also get insured by investing parts of it in, or paying part of the premium to the re-insurance companies. This clearly means, that if the insurance sector is going to grow, then premiums are going to be increasing even for the insurance companies and the re-insurance companies will finally get benefitted by that. So, it’s in their business interest to promote insurance as a product. That’s the background. That’s why developed countries are always interested to promote insurance as a way to reduce risk. They keep saying reduce risk but it doesn’t reduce your risk, it addresses your risk to some extent.

    So what they’ve come up with is a website…

    let’s just drop the whole CAGW scam now and get on with matters of real concern.


  • #

    13 Nov: NDTV India: A Week On, Bonn Climate Talks Jammed Over Developed Countries’ Inaction
    The chair of the conference Fiji – a small island state which itself is highly vulnerable to climate impacts – hasn’t put enough pressure on rich countries, developing nations say.
    by Hridayesh Joshi
    Bonn: The climate conference in Germany’s Bonn is not making any progress and the talks in their second week are already stuck.
    Last week, as the formal talks began, developing countries including India and China were left stunned when Fiji, which is presiding over the negotiations, allowed developed nations to get away without any assessment of their performance towards their commitment on reducing carbon emission before the year 2020 and helping poor and developing countries with finance and technology…

    USA – which announced earlier this year to withdraw from Paris deal – joined the EU and other developed countries to not allow any measuring of progress on pre-2020 discussions…

    ***Another key issue which hasn’t made much progress in the Bonn climate conference is climate finance. United States is blocking the progress across the board. Sources say that rich countries including Japan, Australia, Canada and the European Union are “hiding” behind the US to avoid shelling out money to developing countries…

    13 Nov: New Yorker: Bill McKibben: Why Governor Jerry Brown Was Booed at the Bonn Climate Summit
    On Saturday, barely a minute into his big prime-time talk, Brown was rewarded for his pains with booing. He was visibly startled when demonstrators interrupted his speech and began chanting, “Keep it in the ground!”
    Pity him, then, but not too much…

    A remarkable study, published last year by Oil Change International, found that the world’s developed oil and gas fields—the ones we’re already pumping—contain enough carbon to carry us past the 1.5-degree-Celsius temperature increase agreed to in Paris. (Add coal to the mix and we go way past two degrees, without ever discovering another seam or field.) That’s why campaigners from around the world, meeting in Lofoten, Norway, this summer, signed a declaration calling on governments to begin the “managed decline” of the world’s fossil-fuel-production zones.

    Five hundred N.G.O.s—including, which I helped found—have signed that declaration, but not many political leaders. In fact, heads of governments tend to fall into one of two camps. The first, populated largely by Trump and his followers, sees climate change as nonsense and aims to increase both supply and demand. The other, which includes everyone from Barack Obama to Canada’s Justin Trudeau to Brown, offers inspiring rhetoric on fighting global warming but refuses to rein in fossil-fuel exploration and development. Trudeau, for instance, said at an oil-and-gas conference in Texas this year that “no country would find a hundred and seventy-three billion barrels of oil in the ground and leave them there,” a reference to Alberta’s tar sands. Give Trudeau high marks for honesty—he’s gone all out to build the pipelines necessary to drain that oil—but low marks for math. There’s no way to burn those hundred and seventy-three billion barrels without overwhelming the atmosphere…

    California is a big oil-and-gas producer, too—the third largest in the United States—and Brown has so far declined to curtail even fracking and urban drilling, the dirtiest and most dangerous kinds. In his Bonn speech, he offered the most tired of explanations: “If I could turn off the oil today, thirty-two million vehicles would stop, and ten million jobs would be destroyed overnight.” But, of course, no one is talking about turning off the flow of oil overnight. That’s the point of “managed decline”—an orderly retreat from the fossil-fuel precipice…

    The pressure is not just on Brown. Over the weekend, climate activists occupied a German coalfield, and there are increasing calls on Chancellor Angela Merkel to announce a phase-out of coal mining before the Bonn summit wraps up, at the end of this week. Merkel has been pretty steadfast on climate policy, so she might do it…

    14 Nov: Politico: Climate activists sour on Paris accord
    “Countries are acting like, ‘Oh, we agreed there’s a problem,’ but the actions they’re taking are negligible,” said James Hansen, a prominent U.S. climate scientist who headed NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies and now teaches at Columbia University…


  • #
    robert rosicka

    OT , just heard 72% of the staff at ABC feel dangerously stressed ! Must be hard work telling fibs and making stuff up for a living .
    Can I suggest if they want sympathy to look it up in the dictionary it’s somewhere between [snip] and sycophant.

    [Edited. - Jo]


  • #

    this was covered a little on tonight’s Bolt Report on Sky.

    13 Nov: Herald Sun: VIDEO: 1min10secs: Heatwaves – Natures Silent Killer
    Electricity cost concerns are causing some households to put their health at risk: report
    ELDERLY Australians and other vulnerable households too scared to switch on airconditioners or fans in heatwaves because of electricity costs are endangering their lives.
    Other families are sacrificing buying groceries or school books so they can afford to keep cool, particularly those with babies, research reveals.
    Three-quarters of health and community service workers surveyed for an RMIT University study said financial stress because of airconditioning use was common…

    13 Nov: TheConversation: High energy costs make vulnerable households reluctant to use air conditioning: study
    Larissa Nicholls, Research Fellow, Centre for Urban Research, RMIT University,
    Halley McCann, Researcher at the Centre for Urban Research, RMIT University &
    Karyn Bosomworth, Vice-Chancellor’s Post-Doctoral Research Fellow, Centre for Urban Research, RMIT University
    Yolande Strengers, Senior Research Fellow, Centre for Urban Research, RMIT University

    Disclosure statements:
    Larissa Nicholls receives funding from Energy Consumers Australia, energy consumer advocacy/social service organisations and energy network business.
    Karyn Bosomworth receives funding from RMIT, government agencies, and the Energy Consumers Australia.
    Yolande Strengers receives funding from Energy Consumers Australia, energy network businesses, government departments, energy consumer advocacy organisations and the Australian Research Council.
    Halley McCann does not work for, consult, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organisation that would benefit from this article, and has disclosed no relevant affiliations beyond their academic appointment.

    The trifecta of rising electricity prices, ???soaring temperatures and concerns over possible blackouts risks increasing heat-related deaths and illness this summer, as households struggle to afford to run cooling appliances.

    Over the past year, our Heatwaves, Homes & Health research project (LINK) has investigated the impact of electricity policy on heat-vulnerable and financially constrained households in Melbourne, Dubbo and Cairns. Many of these households live in poor quality homes that typically heat up quickly and cool down slowly…

    The difference between air conditioning ‘needs’ and ‘wants’
    Our electricity infrastructure is designed to meet extreme peaks in demand on very hot days.
    ???In 2013 the Productivity Commission found that households without air conditioning subsidise those with air conditioning by roughly A$350 a year, because the cost of infrastructure upgrades were shared equally to all households through energy price rises…

    ???has RMIT ever done a paper on people without solar panels subsidising those who have them, etc?


  • #

    comment in moderation re RMIT REPORT: HEATWAVES, HOMES AND HEALTH


  • #
    Ian H

    Whenever only partial data is released it raises the question of how the part that was released was selected from the whole. I am skeptical that the selection was made randomly. Did they peek first and select the station with the least embarrassing data?

    If they had simply released all the pertinent data then we wouldn’t need to ask questions like that.


  • #
    Andrew Kerber

    Did anyone else notice that the measurements are taken to only 1/10 of a degree? How many estimates have we seen going to hundredths or even thousandths of a degree, when they are only measuring data to 1/10 of degree, which mean the absolute best the CI could be is + or – 1/10 of a degree. And is probably closer to +- 1 degree.


    • #

      Hi Andrew

      I should think that data to 1/10 of a degree is good.

      The mercury thermometer recordings from the beginning of September 1998 are 27.6, 21.8, 21.2, 23.8, 17.0, 16.4 and so on. The recordings from sensors for the corresponding days are 27.5, 21.3, 20.9, 23.8, 16.6, 16.1 and so on.

      A paired t-Test of all values for this, and the other Septembers, shows a statitsically significant difference between readings from the sensors versus mercury thermometers… this is very relevant.


      • #
        Bill Johnston

        I have a wealth of experience in this area Jennifer and I am not at all muddled.

        1/10 degree is within the error of measurement for a meteorological thermometer. As I explained a met-thermometer only has a 0.5 degree index; temperature can be estimated (by eye) to the nearest 0.1 degree; but that does not mean the error of measurement is +/- 0.05.

        A consistent difference of the type you describe could be observer bias, or instrument bias (an observer may consistently read below the meniscus (say to to the wetted perimeter) for instance. To be able to claim a real difference between thermometers and AWS probes, such issues are important- they need to be explained; why are they different? which is different?

        Understand too, it is not a personal issue for me, I’m not writing a paper about differences that may not be meaningful. You have a large amount of material from me, not just about Mildura but many other sites that I thought might be handy for you in your dealings with the Bureau. I’m not muddled, nor am I gender-biased.

        I don’t use paired t-tests often so just for fun I did a paired T-test comparing Tmax for September 1998 at Mildura vs. Lake Victoria Storage (83.3 km away). There are day-to-day differences, but they are random – there is no statistical difference between the sites for September 1998.

        I tested if the differenced data are normally distributed (which is a underlying assumption); they are not. Paired data are not different by the Wilcoxon test either (medians are the same); so with both tests indicating the same thing I’m pretty sure site Tmax is the same.

        The bottom line is I don’t think I am misleading you; however, you can take it or leave it as you please.


        Dr. Bill!


      • #
        Will Janoschka

        Jennifer Marohasy November 15, 2017 at 9:24 am

        Hi Andrew I should think that data to 1/10 of a degree is good.

        For absolute temperature near 100K that error bar is acceptable,by most! At 300K A mass with 10 second time constant (averaging) may possibly do that! Properly designed glass mercury\alcohol thermometers can have 2 second time constant. A platinum resistance sensor can respond in 10 milli-seconds (0.01 second) All you folk are measuring is highly biased thermal noise, never ‘temperature’; whatever that may possibly be! :-)


      • #

        There may be an independent source.
        Were the BOM to be audited it would be worthwhile to see what the Chinese hacked, to put into their own
        artificial intelligence neural type networks.
        They made a good buy on the Kidman estate, despite the prognosis of eternal drought given to us by ‘our dams will never fill’, climate commissioner.
        The Chinese must have gained access to internal data and reports from BOM.
        With the budget deficit going north, we need accurate data to tell us of the past as well as discern the future of our agriculture,a growth exporter.
        Other nations have bet on our agricultural future being good.
        Do we have to hack data to be able to do the same, or is it ours to use?
        As a nation we need a strong independent verifiable BOM, otherwise our money is wasted on it.
        By the same token privatising the lot would mean even less oversite as ‘corporate confidentiality’
        poisoned the wells of data.
        With the BOM in its present data deprived state, it is neither.
        An audit would help, as well as a pair of safe hands to steer it out of its increasing irrelevance to quality scientific measurement.


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