Scandal: Australian Bureau of Meteorology caught erasing cold temperatures

Front page scandal in Australia: BoM opens cold case on temperature data

Why do you need to fudge the data if you have nothing to hide? 

Amazing, the power of the media. Suddenly, the Bureau of Meteorology needs to replace equipment and answer questions and set up an internal inquiry. But they’ve had weeks of warning. Lance Pidgeon and Jennifer Marohasy have been watching the automatic weather stations record very cold temperatures, and then astonished when those same readings either got entered into our national raw database as warmer, or simply disappeared. The BOM apparently has a filter set so that super cold temperatures need to be manually checked. Yet the filter is set so high, in Thredbo’s case, nearly five whole degrees warmer than temperatures already recorded.

Wow. Just wow. What does raw data mean anymore?

The lack of respect for real observations is profoundly unscientific. How much does the BOM even care about understanding our climate if they are so flagrantly uninterested in the data?  As I have said, the Bureau of Meteorology behaves more like PR agency than an institute of science. Based on past practice their internal inquiry will find excuses, not answer the questions, and will not fix appalling methodology.  The BOM needs a full external audit (what are they so afraid of?). The BOM admits temperature adjustments are secret and thus completely unscientific. If we had a team to audit the dataset, as we requested in 2011, or to replicate the data as I requested in Sept 2014, this erasure of cold temperatures would have been fixed by now. How much data has been lost forever?

The Bureau of Meteorology Budget was 365.3 million in 2015-16. The Australian climate is a national crisis, but the Bureau won’t publish it’s methods in full, aren’t doing basic quality control checks, and can’t employ even one person to answer questions about its secret methods?

On July 5th I asked many questions, and now nearly a month later, we still have no answers:

… this opens a whole can of worms in so many ways — what are these “limits”, do they apply equally to the high side records, who set them, how long has this being going on, and where are they published? Are the limits on the high temperatures set this close to previously recorded temperatures? How many times have raw records been automatically truncated?

Jennifer Marohasy points out that these stations are used to homogenize other stations which are supposed the best stations used in the ACORN dataset. So when the BOM protest that they are not manipulating the data, it’s obvious that they are.

Via JoNova