#stevensonscreens

BoM could tell you but they’d have to kill you (or charge a fortune)

Following on from yesterday’s report on the Bureau of Meteorology’s (BoM) fuzzy reporting standards which ignored satellite data, Jo Nova once again reports on the status of the ‘undisclosed’ methodology that we aren’t privy to.

On the face of it, if the BoM is to be regarded as the hall monitor for our government to set policy prescriptions against, shouldn’t the taxpayer and our lawmakers be entitled to 100% transparency of how BoM derives its predictions? And no, it shouldn’t be a question of we mere peons not being of sufficient intellect to be able to interpret it.

There should be standards that can face proper scrutiny and are comparable to other global meteorological bodies. If BoM’s methodology is superior, why isn’t it sharing it with the world and beating its chest to make us revere it even more? Isn’t that how we save the planet by promoting our own as the best in class that others should follow?

The following should boil your blood.

“The BOM Technical Advisory Forum report is out. Finally there is the black and white admission that the BOM “adjusted” dataset cannot be replicated independently, has not been replicated by any other group, and even more so, that the BOM will not provide enough information for anyone who wants to try.

As we have said all along, the all new ACORN wonder-data was not created with the scientific method. Adjustments to Australian temperature data were done with a black box mystery technique that only the sacred guild at the BOM are allowed to know. Far from being published and peer reviewed, the methods are secret, and rely on — in their own words — a “supervised process” of “expert judgment” and “operator intervention”. In other words, a BOM employee makes their best guess, ruling in or out the “optimal” choices, making assumptions that are not documented anywhere.

It’s a “trust us” approach. Would we let an ASX company audit their own books? Would you buy shares in such a company, or let it inform national policy on billion dollar schemes?

Here is the entire section on replication from page 9 and 10 (below). This is what any semi-skilled PR operative would write if they were trying to justify keeping their methods secret. My translations included.

Only BOM staff are smart enough to understand “scientifically complex”  thermometers (this is something that engineers, astrophysicists, aeronautics experts and physicists would not be able to do, is that what they are saying?):

The Forum considers that the algorithms and processes used for adjustment and homogenisation are scientifically complex and a reasonably high level of expertise is needed to attempt analysis of the ACORN-SAT data. For this reason the Forum had some queries about the ability to reproduce findings by both experts and members of the public.

Thinly veiled put-down coming:

It would be useful for the Bureau to provide advice about the necessary level of end-user expertise (notwithstanding a likely tendency for end-users to feel qualified to attempt such an analysis).

It might be more “useful” if the BOM staff provided their personal exam results in fluid dynamics, heat flow, mathematics and statistics. Or even just their resumes? We’ll find people who outscored them. OK?

Here’s the statement that no one has replicated the Australian temperature set:

The Forum felt that reproducing the Bureau’s ACORN-SAT daily analyses would be a very onerous task, and advice was supplied at the Forum meeting day that, while international groups have provided independent data homogenized at the monthly time-scale, no groups other than the Bureau are known to have attempted to produce or analyse an homogenized daily data set for Australia. One option would  the Bureau to work with local and international collaborators with the appropriate skill set to broadly assess the ACORN-SAT daily homogenisation methodologies.

Here is the statement that no one can replicate them because only the BOM knows how it was done (my bolding):

The Forum noted that the extent to which the development of the ACORN-SAT dataset from the raw data could be automated was likely to be limited, and that the process might better be described as a supervised process in which the roles of metadata and other information required some level of expertise and operator intervention. The Forum investigated the nature of the operator intervention required and the bases on which such decisions are made and concluded that very detailed instructions from the Bureau are likely to be necessary for an end-user who wishes to reproduce the ACORN-SAT findings. Some such details are provided in Centre for Australian Weather and Climate Research (CAWCR) technical reports (e.g. use of 40 best correlated sites for adjustments, thresholds for adjustment, and so on); however, the Forum concluded that it is likely to remain the case that several choices within the adjustment process remain a matter of expert judgment and appropriate disciplinary knowledge.

The process can’t be “automated” — which means it can’t be described by a set of rules other people, or other computers could follow. It’s a bit of a red herring: skeptics have never demanded “automation”. We just want explanations. The crux of science is replication, not automation. If ad hoc judgements were part of the process, they need to be recorded and their impact on the numbers included in the processing from raw data to final product. Justifications can come afterwards; let’s first establish what happened.

These are weak and vague promises here for something that is not just a basic tenet of science, but should be obligatory for government funded work as well. (Bolding all mine):

The Forum recommends that the Bureau work towards providing robust code that supports a level of automation that allows sensitivity analyses to be reasonably undertaken by independent parties.

What “independent re-analysis”? There is no independent analysis of all of ACORN.

This goal could be pursued through a careful documentation of existing code and feedback from the independent re-analysis recommended in the preceding paragraph.

The Bureau would like to help but it costs too much, and skeptics will have to pay more for answers from these tax-funded workers:

While the Bureau expressed willingness to support end-users who wished to reproduce findings or conduct independent analyses using the ACORN-SAT data, subsequent follow-up on such intentions may have significant resource implications. It is thus recommended that the Bureau limits the amount of assistance it provides end-users and includes a statement on the ACORN-SAT website that while reasonable assistance may be provided by the Bureau, extensive assistance could not be provided without an appropriate at-cost charge. Such limitations are likely to also limit the ability of end-users to replicate ACORN-SAT findings, but the resource implications of offering open-ended support to end-users may be substantial.

The Bureau of Meteorology Budget was 344.2 million in 2014-15. The Australian climate is a national crisis, but the Bureau can’t employ one person to answer questions about its secret methods?

When will the BOM start to behave as though the climate is important? When will the Greens demand science be done properly for the sake of the environment?

Hottest ever day in Oz? Only if you ignore history

Can you really trust anything that comes out of the mouth of the Bureau of Meteorology (BoM)? Maybe it is the hottest within their records but maybe that is the point –  they need better records.  It only has a warming bias.

It wasn’t that long ago that the BoM said Penrith was the warmest spot on the planet, recording its highest temperature ever, having “broken the all-time maximum temperature record for … the Sydney metropolitan area.” Unfortunately, as alarmist bells were ringing inside the BoM, it forgot to record the fact Penrith Lakes started recording temperatures from 1995 and it missed a much higher temperature recorded in nearby Richmond in 1939. There was no question it was hot, but perhaps heat-stroke caused the BoM to make this embarrassing error.

Even worse BoM is anti-cooling. At Goulburn Airport, the lowest ever July temperature was –-9.1°C, recorded in 1988. In 2017 that was broken when the temperature dropped to -10.4°C. The BoM recorded -10.0°C. Silence. Where was the BoM when it was the coldest recorded day in summer just a few weeks back? Deathly silent.

Maybe an organisation that has 85% of its staff at APS6 or above (i.e. senior management) needs alarmism to justify its existence.

As Joanne Nova writes brilliantly in her column today,

But look at the temperatures reported in newspapers across the country during the month of January in 1896 when people were going mad with axes, dropping dead in coaches and railway stations and birds were falling lifeless from the trees?

She continues,

History down the memory hole: Links go to the newspaper article of the day

Geraldton W.A. Wednesday, 1 Jan 1896 – 114° Fat Geraldton observatory“.
Geraldton W.A. Thursday, 2 Jan – 115° FA child succumbs to the heat. ” at “ Northampton, where the thermometer ranged even higher than at Geraldton.”
Geraldton W.A. Friday, 3 Jan – 125° F most papers, 115° F in some (possibly a date error as it matches the previous day).
Perth W.A. 3 Jan – 112° F ” Five deaths have been reported in the city on account of the great heat.”
Mullewa W.A. 3 Jan – 121° FThe town has been enveloped in clouds of dust.”and “crowds of people have bad to sleep out of doors. Water is very scarce.”
Carnarvon W.A. 3 Jan – 121° F Brick House station “It is farther reported that the mercury has been up as high as 125 in the shade there.”
Pinjarrah W.A. 3 Jan – 114° F followed by a minimum of 97° F.
Southern Cross W.A. Week ending 5 Jan – ”averaged 115deg.” “It has often been as high as 122deg.” Mr Mckay died in his office chair of heat apoplexy.
Cue W.A. Sunday, 5 Jan – ”Three weeks of uninterrupted excessive heat“ ”each day exceeded 105“ ”on two occasions reaching 118.
Wilcannia N.S.W. Monday, 6 Jan – 117° FWyalong follows close with 114°. Then come Nowra and Corowa with 112.”
Isisford Qld. 6 Jan – 112° F ” The Government Astronomer states that the high temperature has been caused by a heat wave which has come across the continent from Port Darwin,“.
Bourke N.S.W. 6 Jan – ”The fact is that out of 93 weather telegrams sent in, 64 gave temperatures ranging from 100° at Cooma, Tabulam, Tenterfield, and a few other places, up to 118° in the shade recorded at Brewarrina and at Bourke. There were 22 stations which reported temperatures ranging from 110° to 118° inclusive.
Canowindra N.S.W. 6 Jan – 114° FReaching the highest point on record“.
Farina S.A. 6 Jan – 113.5° Fthe place occupied by the thermometer being a shadebox such as is used at the Adelaide Observatory.
Ungarie N.S.W 6 Jan – 125° Frural districts do not always recognise the nice distinctions between true shade and other shade.”
Farina S.A. Thursday, 9 Jan – 112.3° F
Quirindi N.S.W. Monday, 13 Jan – 120° F. Out of 54 temperatures shown on that list only one does not meet the 95° F (35° C) heatwave threshold.
Bulli N.S.W. 13 Jan – 115° FThis has been, the hottest day known“.
Kiama N.S.W. 13 Jan – 117° F ” A Scorcher Everywhere. Death and Distress.
Parramatta N.S.W. 13 Jan – 111 ° FFruit Broiled on the Trees.” “Birds and Animals Drop Dead.”
Camden N.S.W.  Tuesday, 14 Jan – 123°F ”Great Heat Wave ” “LIST OF CASUALTIES.”
Araluen N.S.W. Friday, 17 Jan – 110° FIt was thought that the heat had passed, but it was back again to-day
Brewarrina N.S.W 17 Jan – 122° F “125 deaths attributable to heat apoplexy” (Sydney).
West Wyalong  N.S.W 17 Jan – 114° FThe thermometer at the post office“.
Nannine W.A. Saturday, Jan 18 – ”After about three weeks of most oppressive heat, with the thermometer frequently registering 120deg. in the shade, the weather has broken.”
Farina S.A. Tuesday, Jan 21 – 112.3° FOld residents say this is the hottest summer they have ever experienced.”
Broken Hill N.S.W. Wednesday, Jan 22 – 113½° F ”Two horses dropped dead in the street from the effects of the heat.
Farina S.A. 22 Jan – 113° FThe temperature of our police cell was 148° several times.”
Charleville  or  Cunnamulla QLD. 22 Jan – 120.5 ° F (116 °F official ) “The average daily temperature from the 1st instant exceeded 114 degrees.” 25 days!!
Olary S.A. Thursday, 23 Jan – 116° Fand dust flying in clouds during the afternoon.”
Adelaide S.A. 23 Jan – 111° F “Herbert Crown, an ostler at the Langham Hotel, fell down in King William-street this afternoon with sunstroke.”
Swan Hill Vic 23 Jan – 116° F “To-day, it is again exceedingly oppressive”.
Farina S.A. 23 Jan – 114.3° FFive deaths have occurred in the town and one outside“.
Mildura Vic 23 Jan – 120° FPHENOMENAL HEAT IN VICTORIA.
Broken Hill 23 Jan – 115° FDr Enill took the temperature of the body an hour and a hall after death, and found that it was 109¾ .”
Halbury S.A. 23 Jan – 118° FMany children are unwell, and it will go hard with them unless a change soon, comes.”.
Rapanyup Vic 23 Jan – 113° FTo-day it is again exceedingly oppressive“.
Natimuk Vic 23 Jan – 115° F ”Telegrams from the country districts show that the heat was general throughoutthe colony.”(Victoria).
Bega N.S.W. 23 Jan – 113° FThe minimum heat during last night was 73 . To-day the heat was terrific In the true shade the reading was 113 at 2pm“.
Geelong Vic 23 Jan – 110° F ” Largely due to a burning north-west wind.
Hergott Springs S.A. 23 Jan “On three different days it showed 118° and three times 116°, the average for the last month having been 113°F. “
Grenfell and Ivanhoe N.S.W. 23 Jan – 122 ° FAt Ivanhoe the heat was so intense that the mail horses fell dead on the road.”
Charleville / Cunnamulla QLD. Friday, 24 Jan – 126/5° FThe official readings at the Post Office are lower; but the instruments used are placed in a thickly-planted garden which has been heavily irrigated during the last week,” So at which town was this garden and non stevenson screen recording? The clue is in the name “Grosvenor” here.
Cunnamulla QLD 24 Jan – ” The official record showed a reading on Tuesday of 111 degs. in the shade, on Wednesday 116 degs., and to-day 117 degs. On Wednesday at midnight, the high temperature of 99 degs. was recorded.”
Isisford QLD 24 Jan – “The thermometer on Monday rose to 114 degs., on Tuesday to 112 degs., on “Wednesday 115 degs., and to-day 118 degs. The country is very bare and the water is giving out fast.”
Wilcannia N.S.W 24 Jan – 123° F “not a breath of wind was stirring during the night”.
Hillston N.S.W. 24 Jan- 115° FAnything under 110 is now beginning to be looked upon as contemptibly cool.”
Wilcannia N.S.W.  Saturday, 25 Jan – 120° FThe thermometer fell 50deg. at Wilcannia, but a death from sunstroke occurred there yesterday.”

Plus

125°F at Middle camp station Netely (Perhaps 160 kilometres south-east of Broken Hill).
129°F at Gundabooka Station near Bourke. (or try here).
125°F at Nelyambo station (Near Nyngan?).
121°F at Namagee N.S.W. “There is no appearance of a change“.
125°F at White Cliffs.
124°F at New Angeldool,  Jan 27.
124°F at Mossgiel (Where is that?).

So when all is said and told, it is clear our BoM needs a thorough investigation into the practices.
And shame on the media for parroting this alarmism with no effort to fact check the claims. They are too busy having a go at PM Scott Morrison for taking a holiday and not being on the ground dispensing water bottles at bushfire sites. Did they forget that a recent PM is actually fighting fires right now? Obviously Tony Abbott doesn’t count!

Of course the BoM will tell us it was the hottest “average” day. Can we be sure every single number was measured the same as it was the previous time with the same number of readings? As far as averages go, statistically speaking, what was the mean and median? What were the outliers? What were the errors?

Given the BoM has been caught placing temperature equipment in areas that amplify heat (i.e. shrinking the size of Stevenson screen boxes or placing next to bitumen (which we might add doesn’t meet BoM’s own criteria)) and has hid 40 years worth of hot days, is it any wonder we get such outcomes?
In closing we should think that the taxpayer doesn’t need to hand over $1m a day for the BoM to peddle climate alarmism. There are plenty of bodies that will gladly do that for free.