JoNova

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


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Port Hedland: one man with a keen interest knows more about this site than the Bureau of Met does

If the planet was at stake you’d think the BOM would be doing this research, not unpaid volunteers.

Bill Johnston has shown again, that the BOM is apparently unaware and, perhaps most damningly, not even interested in most of the things that happened to their official thermometer sites.

Port Hedland is supposedly “one of the best” researched sites in Australia — so it is a certified ACORN site (one of the 112). The trends matter, and being remote, it influences a large area. But one man with dedication and no funding at all can find key historical maps and photos that the BOM, with its million dollar-a-day budget, cannot.  Instead of doing this hard work the BOM uses the magical homogenization process “to fix” up all the anomalies by hunting for data in sites hundreds of kilometers away that can be used to adjust the records at Port Hedland. This is the secret process that even the BOM admits it cannot describe in full to anyone outside the BOM. As Johnston says, it’s a process so bad it “should be abandoned”. There is no saving the error correction that starts with bad data, missing documents, and barely any historical research [...]

Homogenisation: The Magical system which uses thermometers in Victoria to correct the temperature in Tasmania

Trying to fix past mistakes through homogenization

Lots of things can muck up a perfect thermometer spot, like shade, new roads, new screens, or old paint. In order to remove these annoying non-climatic effects, the BOM compares each station to those around it to look for odd changes. In theory this sounds like a good idea. In practice it’s more like hepatitis – bad news that spreads. It’s a rogue code, sweeping through records, trying to find undocumented changes, and enabling any amount of revisionism.

The BOM “detects” these mysterious shifts at each site through thermometers that may be hundreds of kilometers away, even across a mountain range or the Bass Strait.

Among other sites, Cape Bruny in far south Tasmania has been corrected with the help of Ballarat 812 km away on the mainland, over mountains and across the Bass Strait. In 1991 Cape Bruny was found to be “statistically” wrong, and adjusted down by over half a degree.

All these sites marked in red were used to correct the record at least once at Cape Bruny, a distant island in the far south of Tasmania.

It’s a tough life for old screens: Their wooden houses get [...]

Who knew? The Australian Bureau of Met just made last summer hotter, and history colder (again)

The cheapest way to prevent man-made global warming is stop the BOM altering the data

First the BoM had “high quality” data. Then, with fanfare, after we asked for an audit they had the miracle of ACORN circa 2011. Then early this year ACORN 2.0 was quietly birthed  with major adjustments as expert data became “more expert” but the BOM strangely didn’t want to mention that what was so good is now even better (apparently). The unofficial BOM audit team — especially Bob Fernley-Jones and Chris Gillham — have unearthed just how large the latest rewrite of history is. These men are truly independent, they have no funding, and nothing to gain either way. Please thank them for their unpaid dedication.

In this brazen latest round, even the summer of 2018 just got warmer. After all the headlines, after it was measured on supposedly modern first class equipment, even data just 18 months old is being re-fiddled. The temperatures read out on the news in January 2018? Nevermind what they said then. Those hottest ever records then were even hotter than the BoM thought, thanks to amazing new discoveries that the BOM doesn’t think are important enough to issue as [...]

Feast your eyes on Streaky Bay’s thermometer — over bitumen for 31 long hot years

Ken Stewart rates the Streaky Bay site as one of the worst he has seen  This is an influential site because it’s in a remote area, is used to “correct” official ACORN sites, and has been running for a long time. Last October the BOM finally moved it to a completely new (and much better site) – only three decades too late.  Strangely, they didn’t give the new site a new station number? Normally the old and new sites would be run concurrently with two different numbers so the data from both could be compared and the differences in temperature between them could be worked out. Is that an accident? Does it hide the terrible quality of the previous site?

The Streaky Bay information (site 018079) tells us it opened in 1865 but the site only has monthly data from 1926 and daily data from an even shorter period. The rest presumably hasn’t been digitized yet. As best as I can tell, the station metadata appear to mark this site as being at the post office from 1865 to 2018, and record the ground cover as becoming asphalt in July 1987. That means for 31 years the Australian Bureau of [...]

Maitland SA: Another expert thermometer site — and with incinerator “forcing”

Some days in Maitland are hotter than others.

The very non-compliant Maitland, SA, thermometer site  #022008 |   Imagery  ©2019 Google, Oct 2014.

Thanks to Ken Stewart, the tour through the Great sites of the Australian Bureau of Meteorology continues.

Once again, the experts have carefully graphed, diagrammed, checked and ignored all the things that shouldn’t be within 30 meters of a thermometer. See Maitland Site Info. That fence is described as “Galvanised iron”. The ground is bitumen. The incinerator is labeled “incinerator”. And there are two tanks just out of view to the right, not to mention the tin sheds, trees, buildings and wind breaks.

In 1967 the site only had two tin sheds within a 30 meter radius, which was still not compliant, but vastly cooler than present. The incinerator is about 6 or 7 meters from the Stevenson Screen, and only appears on the maps in 2014.

As Ken says “the site is a heat sink”. It’s not an official “ACORN” star site, but records here get mentions in the media. Worse, Maitland  is one of the sites used to adjust official ACORN data in Adelaide, Cape Borda, Ceduna, Kyancutta, Port Lincoln, and Snowtown.

Ken has also [...]

Murray Bridge, South Australia, where thermometers record junk every day

Thanks to Bill in Oz sending in the shot of Mt Barker, Ken Stewart started auditing other sites in South Australia and discovered this masterpiece of expert siting. And thanks to Ken, you can see The Wacky World of Weather Stations: No. 2- Murray Bridge.

Year opened: 1885. Who thinks the site looked like this 130 years ago?  | Image capture Mar 2018, Google ©2019

As he points out:

The screen is in a houseyard near concrete paths, vegetable gardens and shrubs, close to a picket fence, within 5 metres of sheds, sheltered from the south by a 1.6 metre high fence, with buildings to the east, north, and west, and less than 10 metres from the bitumen road.

Like Mt Barker, this is another site which is not an ACORN “top ranked” site that the Bureau of Meteorology use, but results from here are used to adjust ACORN sites like Mount Gambier, so it is de facto a part of that network.  Sites like this are also used to create propaganda, sorry, press releases about “hottest ever records”.

The BoM know exactly how bad this site is, and in carefully measured detail.

Somewhere a paid bureaucrat has [...]

Mt Barker — How not to measure the temperature

Thanks to Bill in Oz who sent in this photo of the Mt Barker site in South Australia.

Ken Stewart at Ken’s Kingdom writes: The Wacky World of Weather Stations: No. 1- Mount Barker

Photo: Bill in Oz.

Count the ways this site breaches the Bureau of Meteorology own rules:

Ken Stewart finds the relevant BoM guidelines. Clearly this site is on a slope, too close to buildings, too close to tall foliage, too close to heat sinks, it should not be artificially watered, or near asphalt. It should have a 30 meter buffer zone, and not be shielded from the sun, rain or wind. BillinOz points out that it is totally screened from the southerly cold winds, and the cold air will be drained from the spot down the slope.

How much do the Bureau of Meteorology care about climate change? — About 1m out of 30m or 3% of their advertised “care” factor.  That’s a a 97% Junk-Science rate. The future of life on Earth is supposedly at stake and the “experts” can’t even be bothered accurately measuring the climate change they tell us we need to pay billions of dollars to solve.

Could it be worse? [...]

The worst drought in history viewed through carbo-phobic glasses: ABC misses the obvious

The obvious headline:

“Worst drought in history was 100 years ago, nothing to do with CO2″

The Carbophobic headline:

Drought of 1891 to 1903 reconstructed shows today’s conditions likely to have more devastating effects

Indoctrinated ABC copy-writers can’t see anything other than future doom and a chance to advertise the government religion.  Figure that the Australian GDP per capita is 13 times larger now than in 1900. We have phones, planes, antibiotics, air-conditioning, satellites, and super computers, yet somehow we wouldn’t cope as well if the drought hit now?

It’s great, for a change, to see the ABC reporting on historic Australian extremes, and the BOM researching our amazing documentary history, shame they miss the bleeding obvious.

By Nikolai Beilharz, ABC Enviro-propaganda Unit.

A reconstruction of the Federation drought has found that if it were to occur again today, its effects would likely be even more devastating in some areas of the country.

The ‘once in a century drought’, which went from 1891 to 1903, caused an ecosystem collapse affecting more than a third of the country. The drought was one of the world’s worst recorded ‘megadroughts’, which at [...]

ABC BOM suddenly discover historic weather records (but only for snow)

Snow again in Western Australia?

South West WA got snow at Easter this year, a remarkable event, and then snow a week ago with predictions of more –  which maybe fell on July 5. Concerned that two or three* bouts of snow didn’t fit the narrative, the ABC and BOM suddenly found an interest in our historic weather archives:

Snow has been falling in Western Australia since records began

Australian snow is usually associated with the alpine region of the east coast, but the fluffy white stuff has been falling in Western Australia since records began in 1846.

It is estimated that Western Australia experiences an average 1.7 snow events annually This could be more as meteorologists do not have an observational system to record them The Bureau of Meteorology have said there could be another snow event this weekend at Bluff Knoll as a cold front approaches the south of WA

What the ABC never seem to report:

Heatwaves have been happening in Western Australia since records began 50 degrees? It’s occurred all over Australia and many times

125F in Geraldton. The Chronicle newspaper, Trove, Jan 11 1896

When it’s hot, it’s proof of a [...]

Albany robbed of its coldest ever April day, BOM adjusts temp up 15 degrees C?!

Friday April 19th set more records than anyone realized. Not only was it the earliest recorded snowfall at Bluff Knoll and WA, but it was also the coldest ever April day in Albany and many other towns in south-west Western Australia. It may also be the largest single day temperature mystery I’ve ever seen in the official “raw” data.

Days like the 19th are extremely unusual in Western Australia — it’s a state that often doesn’t get any snow all year and when it does, the length of the entire snow season is measured in hours. So you might think the million-dollar-a-day Bureau of Meteorology would be paying extra attention. Instead it appears they have lost that day’s data in Albany, despite having two thermometers there to record it. One station is in the city itself and there’s an official “expert” ACORN station at the airport about 10km away.

Luckily Chris Gillham, unpaid volunteer, was watching the live half hour observations roll in at and saw that thermometers at the airport recorded a maximum of only 10.4°C at 11am that day, which he remarks is the lowest April maximum the BOM has ever recorded there. Strangely, the 10.4°C seems to have disappeared. Somehow, the BOM has [...]

Earliest recorded snow event in Western Australian history

Remember when climate modelers told us fossil fuels cause longer snow seasons?

No neither do I.

Albany, snowboarding, earliest snow, WA, 2019. | ABC Facebook

It is the earliest recorded snow event in a calendar year in the state’s history. Statistically, we can tell how anomalous this is by the behaviour of the local wildlife – seen snowboarding in shorts on the driveway in Albany. (Even going across the road). It’s possible this is the longest snowboard ride in the state’s history too. Though technically it is hail-boarding.

See snowboarding in Albany Western Australia

For foreign readers, WA (Western Aust) doesn’t have a snow season. Last regular snow was probably circa 20,000BC.

The ABC reports:

BOM forecaster Matt Boterhoven said snow was an extremely rare occurrence in April.

“It’s exceptional. We’ve only recorded once, in the last 100 years, snow as early as this on top of the Stirling Ranges,” he said.

“It’s related to a very strong cold air mass moving over the south-west of the state, so when conditions get below freezing and there’s precipitation, snow can form on top of Stirling Ranges.”

Mr Boterhoven predicted further [...]

History keeps getting colder — ACORN2 raises Australia’s warming rate by over 20%

More warming adjustments from ACORN2

Once again we find that the oldest thermometers were apparently reading artificially high even though many were newish in 1910 and placed in approved Stevenson screens.)  This is also despite the additional urban warming effect of a population that grew 400% since then. What are the odds?!

Fortunately, gifted craftsmen, sorry scientists have uncovered the true readings from the old biased thermometers which they explain carefully in a 67 page impenetrable document.

Chris Gillham has soldiered through the new “ACORN 2″ adjustments that the Australian Bureau of Meteorology has o-so-quietly released and Australians are just waking up to find that our coldest mornings back in 1910 were even colder than anyone realized at the time. Graham Lloyd is  reporting in The Australian how the second rewrite in six years increases the warming by 23% . (Where was the ABC announcement?)

The ACORN series of the Bureau of Meteorology includes 112 stations. Their report lists the warming trends per decade in Table 9. I converted that into the total warming since 1910 and graphed that below.

About one third of the warming of our mean temperature is due to man-made adjustments

Comparing AWAP (semi-raw) to the latest [...]

Australia’s new hottest day just “discovered”, not Albany or Oodnadatta, but Carnarvon (51 degrees in 1953!)

Who knew? With intrepid dedication the Australian BoM has uncovered our hottest ever day, buried under erroneous calculations, hidden from view in High Quality expert data sets that were World Class til they weren’t. Strangely the BOM hasn’t issued a press release, even though their supercomputer-marketing team put out a Hottest Ever January media release within hours of January ending. It appears the BOM hasn’t even issued a press release to tell the world they’ve finished the third complete reanalysis of Australian temperature history.

Luckily for the BOM, which may have run out of bytes or letters of the alphabet, volunteers like Chris Gillham of the unofficial BoM audit team noticed that the BoM ACORN dataset has become ACORN2. So we’d like to tell the world. Once again, the genius at the BOM is able to retrospectively compensate for all the flawed sites and thermometers that kept reading too high. Incredibly, no one noticed for a hundred years.

As we launch ACORN2 let’s remember how proud the BOM were of ACORN1. This is from them back in 2017:

Bureau of Meteorology statement on temperature observations

01/08/2017

The Bureau of Meteorology holds the integrity of [...]

Six weeks ago Australian Met Bureau predicted a dry month for Townsville

Warwick Hughes (h/t Dave Brewer) points out that on Dec 20th the Australian Bureau of Meteorology predicted that the Townsville region had only a 1 in 3 chance of exceeding the average rainfall in January.

Australian Bureau of Meteorology, prediction, Jan 2019 rainfall.

How that turned out one month later:

Australian Bureau of Meteorology, January rainfall, 2019.

Or graphed as the rainfall anomaly rather than as the percentage of the mean:

….

Predicting rainfall in Australia is very difficult. The issue is not that the BoM gets it wrong — it’s that they pretend they can do it that matters. Why bother issuing one month forecasts?

Ten days out they were still hopelessly wrong

As Warwick Hughes notes they also predicted on Jan 17th that February in Townsville would only have a 45% chance of exceeding the average rainfall. The downpour started on Jan 27th.

Today, after one whole week in February, the area has already had over four times the normal rainfall for the whole month, but the BoM didn’t see that rain coming ten days in advance.

The fancy-pants detailed graphics are entirely misleading — like advertising that sells an ability the experts simply [...]

Forget Marble Bar, Oodnadatta, doesn’t the BOM know the hottest day ever was in Albany?

It’s summer, so the BoM and ABC can’t help themselves.

Albany, Hottest Town in Australia

Last week Marble Bar “hit an all time record”. This week, it’s Alice Springs. But the Australian BOM still haven’t used their own fabulous World Class ACORN Temperature data to find the hottest day ever in Australia. They’re still telling people it was in Oodnadatta, on Jan 2nd in 1960, but even dumb deniers know that according to ACORN temperatures hit 51.2C in Albany in far south WA in 1933.

[Marble Bar Dec 28th, 2018]   The high temperature occurred at 12:39 pm local time. At that stage, it appeared Marble Bar could crack 50 for the first time — and perhaps even threaten the all-time Australian record of 50.7 in Oodnadatta, South Australia.

Chris Gillham pointed this out the strange anomaly of the cool coastal town that was hotter than a million square kilometers of desert, but four years later the BOM still haven’t resolved the situation. The 51.2C temperature is still there in the data, but the Top Ten Highest Temperature Records remain exactly the same. Is Albany, or is it not, the true record holder?  Or is it that the [...]