Latest posts by H. Sterling Burnett (see all)
- The Truth You Are Not Hearing From the Media About Sea Levels and Climate Change - September 15, 2017
- Warning to the Swamp: There’s Wide and Diverse Opposition to Harmful Agricultural Subsidies* - September 11, 2017
- Transparency Critical to Getting Science, Regulations Right - August 29, 2017
For the second time in three years the Australian Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) has been caught altering or removing low temperature readings from the official record, thus giving the false impression warming is occurring in regions where it isn’t. After several meteorologists and climate researchers noticed low temperature readings were disappearing from the temperature observations recorded at a number of BOM weather stations—observations confirmed by independent sources—BOM was forced to admit a problem with the system.
Evidently the system was set to remove any recorded temperature outside of a preset range of “acceptable” readings. A BOM spokesperson admitted the agency placed limits on how low temperatures could go in some areas of the country. After the press publicized the data changes, changed its tune as said reported the equipment at several locations was broken and being taken offline for repair. Evidence that it was not the equipment that was broken but that rather that the system for maintaining and reporting the data was rigged comes from the fact the originally recorded low temperatures from the supposedly broken system were restored to the official record, resulting in temperatures plunging by more than a degree at each of the locations in question.
This is not the first time BOM has been accused of manipulating Australia’s temperature data to promote climate alarm. In 2014, independent researchers showed BOM was systematically altering historic temperature data to make the past appear colder and the present warmer, thus showing an enhanced warming trend rather than the cyclical ups and downs in temperatures that had been recorded historically.
At the time, Australia’s environment minister Greg Hunt convinced the prime minister not to convene an independent review panel to examine BOM’s data manipulations, saying such an independent review would undermine public confidence in the agency. “It is important to note that public trust in the bureau’s data and forecasts, particularly as they relate to bushfires and cyclones, is paramount,” Hunt wrote at the time.As a result, instead of an independent forensic examination of BOM’s data collection, accounting, and reporting methods, the agency established an in-house technical review panel. That panel failed to catch the recent scrubbing of low temperatures, or the system put in place to automatically remove low temperatures. I wonder how much trust the public has in the agency now its been caught doctoring temperatures again. It seems to me the only way to instill the public’s confidence in the system is to remove anyone from the agency caught up in scam (including office heads since the buck should stop with them) or the previous scandal — thus, making it clear this type of data manipulation for political ends will not be tolerated — and to maintain an outside watchdog to insure the integrity of BOM’s procedures and actions going forward.
BOM categorically denied that what they did constituted falsifying data, but here’s the problem with that: They … you know, falsified data.
When you say ‘the Earth is warming up,’ and there is data that may indicate you’re wrong, and then you ‘quality assure’ it out of existence, that’s going to look sketchy as hell. Why? I don’t know, maybe because it’s sketchy as hell.
Based on the regularly reported use of temperature readings from poorly sited land based thermostats that violate the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s own standards for data quality and trustworthiness and similar data altering or reporting shenanigans found in a number of countries around the world, one can say with some confidence, these problems are not limited to Australia. Climate data manipulation to promote the goal of expanded political interference with peoples free choices for energy and transportation related technologies in the market is increasingly common and pollutes much of the reporting on, and thus the public’s understanding of, climate change.