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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BOM homogenization errors are so big they can be seen from space

It’s just not cricket. And in so many ways.

Shame to let a perfectly good dataset go to waste… Australian data comes from some of the longest stations running in the Southern Hemisphere; it could be useful. Instead we get more evidence here that the BOM’s magical and secret homogenization adjustments can take poor data and spread false signals into better data. Homogenisation errors are already visible in a site-by-site analysis, but this shows the problems may be so big they affect averages across the whole of Australia, and we can detect them with satellites.

Tom Quirk continues comparing the satellite record of Australia with the BOM surface version. Previously, he (and for the record, Ken Stewart in 2015) showed that some discrepancies are due to the effect of heavy rain or drought. But now he looks further and finds that not-so-coincidentally, the largest gaps and most “inexplicable” differences occur in the mid nineteen-nineties, the same years the BoM shifted from using old large Stevenson screens to electronic thermometers. Around the same time, the large screens were often also swapped for much smaller ones too — like double jeopardy for data. Oddly, spookily, the BOM makes many adjustments to data […]

Magically correcting Australia’s thermometers from 1,500 kilometers away

The Australian Bureau of Meteorology uses “surrounding” thermometers to adjust for odd shifts in data (caused by things like long grass, cracked screens, or new equipment, some of which is not listed in the site information). The Bureau fishes among many possible sites to find those that happen to match up or , err “correlate” during a particular five year period. Sometimes these are not the nearest site, but ones… further away. So the BOM will ignore the nearby stations, and use further ones to adjust the record.

These correlations, like quantum entanglements, are mysterious and fleeting. A station can be used once in the last hundred years to “correct” another, but for all the other years it doesn’t correlate well — which begs the question of why it had these special telediagnostic powers for a short while, but somehow lost them? Or why a thermometer 300km away might show more accurate trends than one 50km away.

One of the most extreme examples was when Cobar in NSW was used to adjust the records at Alice Springs –almost 1500km away (h/t Bill Johnston). That adjustment was 0.6°C down in 1932 (due to a site move, we’re told). This potentially matters […]

What the BOM don’t say: it’s not the hottest year in Australia according to satellites

For forty years NASA satellites have been circling the Earth covering our landmass day and night. But yet again, the Australian Bureau of Meteorology has released the obligatory “hottest ever year” media release without mentioning that it wasn’t the hottest year in the far more accurate satellite record of Australia, and that this new “record” depends entirely on adjustments and quite possibly on ignoring all the data recorded in the 1800s. Once again they miss the chance to remind Australians that it was almost certainly hotter for hundreds of years seven thousand years ago. Sea levels were higher then too.

They claim it’s the driest ever year, and maybe it was, but they don’t say that there is no trend in droughts and rainfall for the last 178 years.

So to help them out I’ve graphed UAH satellite temperature record which shows that last year was the 4th hottest year since 1979 when the UAH satellite data set begins.

Perhaps in 2020 the Australian Bureau of Meteorology will set their own record, and explain for the first time how and why they adjust their data continuously and post hoc. The Australian surface data is all changed with a mystical secret […]

ABC, Climate experts do damage control on 1896 heatwave story, can’t say why, but they “know” it was cooler. Faith!

Winning! The 1896 heatwave story is going viral and the ABC is reduced to weak, late excuses

Australians are realizing that our hot history has been hidden from us. We’ve set a new site traffic record with around 100,000 people checking in since Wednesday, plus thousands more reading the story elsewhere like Catallaxy and Facebook. Thank you for sharing! We first posted the 1896 heatwave here first in 2013, then again on Wednesday. The ABC has gone into damage control responding with a direct attempt to rebut the story, but they are too scared to name this site. What are they afraid of?

We, of course, have no such fear. Six years after skeptics let Australia know about the 1896 heatwave, the ABC and “experts” finally catch up but only under duress. So now they mention it, but use vague caveats, distractors, discuss different time spans, ignore 49 other hot sites, appeal to authority, and don’t mention their own recent artificial site changes that skeptics have documented in more detail than the BOM have. The “experts” allude to “thermometers on beer crates” but in Bourke the heat was recorded at the post office on Oxley st. Skeptics are well aware […]

Whopper part II: Look what the BoM did to the last three Februarys in Australia?!

The Bureau of Meteorology did what to February?

Wow, just wow. Look what the Bureau of Meteorology has covertly done to February? Something like one third of a degree has been added to the average Australian summer maximum anomalies over the past few years according to the “expert” data from the worlds-best-practise equipment.

In the BOM Whopper Part 1 we revealed that in the BOM’s latest round of unannounced adjustments there were big increases in the rate of Australian summer warming. It turns out a lot of the summer rise comes from changes to February. Mysteriously, there were large changes to the national average of the last three years. Let that sink in.

These changes were incomprehensible because while the averaged “whole nation” got warmer, there were no changes to the data in any of the 104 individual stations.

It’s all rather spooky… but what it isn’t, is scientific.

The two main points in Bob Fernley Jones’ work:

There are big increases to measurements recorded in the last three years? Why? Yet again, the adjustments are down in the early years, up in the latter years, and overall, the rate of warming, surprise, increases thanks to man-made adjustments. He […]

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 […]

Australia: 2019 was not the hottest summer say satellites — it was just as hot in 1991

All that global warming and nothing to show for it?

Headlines rang out telling Australians that last summer was the hottest ever. But, according to the UAH satellite series, the hottest — just barely — was in 1991, when CO2 was a wonderful, safe 356 ppm. Since then, humans have emitted more than half — fully 58% — of all the emissions we have ever emitted since we crawled out of those dank caves. CO2 levels are almost 50 ppm higher now, and temperatures are almost as high.*

Wonder if this summer will get close to the summer of 1991 (and we wonder if Victoria will keep the lights on).

The UAH data comes from NASA satellites, which cover all the Australian land mass every day and night.

The BOM (and NASA) prefers to use Australian ground data which is based on sparse thermometers that keep changing sites and equipment, are located near airport tarmacs, buildings, and cars. When readings are too cold, the BOM sometimes deletes them. Temperatures from thermometers hundreds of kilometers apart are magically homogenized and “corrected” through a secret computer process and two thirds of our warming comes from those adjustments, not from CO2 […]

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 […]

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 […]