Thursday, September 18, 2014

Ignoring sanity

ABC continue to ignore the few sane people involved in the climate science "discussion", in favour of climate ignoramuses like the cast of Monday's Q and A.

Prof. Judy Curry should be high on the list of experts called upon to help inform the public about climate change instead ABC continues to ignore her wise council. You can learn from Judy Curry via her blog.

The recent post "JC at the National Press Club"is a must read! or view

Abc board lead the way

ABC board member Fiona Stanley puts her foot in it. When the board has such disregard for the facts how is it capable of providing much needed leadership?

From The Australian:

Stanley wrong on ABC stand


THE ABC is vital to Australian democracy because it provides accurate and unbiased reporting in a country “poorly served by other parts of the media”, ­according to an opinion piece published by Fairfax yesterday.
But the article, by one of the broadcaster’s board members — epidemiologist and 2003 Australian of the Year Fiona Stanley — misrepresents The Australian.
Rest here.

Is ABC calling for its own sale?

In order to buttress her case against efficiencies and spending cuts at the corporation, Professor Stanley claimed it had a budget last year of $825.7 million. Yet, as has often been reported, the ABC receives annual taxpayer funding of more than $1 billion. According to the Department of Communications website the allocation last year was $1.05bn. The figures differ by 21 per cent, or $179.3m.
SEE ALSO CUT AND PASTE...

An ABC board member proving The Australian’s point in a Fairfax paper

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Scare mongering ABC journos need your help

Unfortunately ABC's current batch of bed wetting activists  reporters were born without the sense of perspective gene. This important gene helps normal people discern pure sensationalism from information that we need to pay attention to. Without the gene ABC's affected reporters appear incapable of telling fact from fiction and as a result it is open to spreading sensationalist propaganda.

Case in point is a report yesterday by ABC's Hamish Fitzsimmons. It appears that a dysfunctional perspective gene has affected  Hamish's ability to do basic research.

Here's Hamish's headline:
Sea level rises due to climate change could cost Australia $200b, Climate Council report finds
In his report Hamish provides a platform for professional doom-sayer Will Steffan to make the following statement:

"If you look at a 1.1 metre sea level rise - which is the high-end scenario for 2100 but that's what we're tracking towards - you're looking at more than $200 billion worth of infrastructure that's at risk." "If you look at some of our most vulnerable areas, and the Sydney region is one of those, you would say toward the end of this century that a one-in-100-year flood is going to be happening every few days," he said.

In regard to a sea level rise of 1.1m (1100mm) Will Steffan says "That's what we're tracking towards". Really?

Hamish didn't bother looking at the facts, nor it seems did the alarmist Climate Council. We spent approximately 30 seconds on the internet to locate the following chart from the
Permanent Service for Mean Sea Level (PSMSL):

This shows long term sea level in the Sydney area. The graph shows flattish trends from the start of the record to about 1950, then a step change, followed by flattish trends to the end of the data. A simplistic linear regression analysis would provide an average annual sea level rise of about 0.55 mm per year. Extrapolated to 2100 this would amount to an additional rise of 47 mm. This is a very small fraction of what Steffen believes "we're tracking towards".

We have a bunch of alarmist activist scientists who it seems are incapable of analysing real world data feeding gullible reporters who basically appear unwilling to check the facts. The end result is the spread of misinformation.

Unfortunately at this stage there is no cure to what is being called Sponge Syndrome.

Update: The chart below extends the raw Denison data forwards in time and shows what needs to happen in order to satisfy the Climate Councils notion of what we're tracking towards". This lacks credibility and the ABC should ask the council about it.



Thursday, September 11, 2014

Bureau BOMS out on history

Thought a summary version of our FACT checking of BOM records might be of interest:

In recent weeks The Australian newspaper has exposed serious issues with the manner in which the Bureau of Meteorology analyse Australia’s temperature records. (See articles HERE, and HERE). BOM’s ACORN dataset is the result of a statistical homogenisation process. This sometimes produces warming trends from data collected at high quality stations where the station records themselves often show cooling trends. It seems some of the adjustments made are justified but some it seems are not.
While the meteorological community continue to debate the details over the validity of BOM’s analytical processes in adjusting historical records I thought readers might be interested to know how BOM treat some of its historical data.
In January this year eastern Australia experienced a heatwave. This was similar to past heatwaves. It seems it was not as severe or widespread as heatwaves in 1960 or in 1939. Nonetheless the episode was out of the ordinary and worthy of the attention of our weather experts. BOM dutifully reported on the heatwave and released a “Special climate statement”: number 48titled “One of southeast Australia’s most significant heatwaves”.
According to the Bureau Special Climate Statements:  provide a detailed summary of significant weather and climate events. They are produced on an occasional basis for weather/climate events which are unusual in the context of the climatology of the affected region. Their purpose is to document major events. In doing so, they serve as a historical record, inform the public on the broader historical and climatological context for events, and give easy access to data and information which is in high demand from the media and the public.
On page 5 of statement number 48 BOM state: "Canberra also set a record with four consecutive days of 39°C." The “record” was also picked up by ABC’s weather guru Graham Creed in his ABC Weather Man blog. This “record” set my sceptical senses tingling and I set about a little fact checking.
After a brief check through the National Library Newspaper Archive I came across a few headlines from the Canberra Times that indicated the BOM had got things wrong. In fact the newspaper records showed that in a remarkable 7 day stint from the 8th of January 1939 to the 14th of January the BOM’s ACTON weather station in Canberra recorded 7 days over 39 degrees, including 4 days over 40, along with ACT’s record maximum temperature of 42.8 degrees on January 11, 1939. The ACTON station was closed in late January 1939 and a weather new station was opened at Canberra Airport.
I passed this advice on the ABC’s weather guru who corrected his blog to indicate the 4 consecutive days were in fact recorded at BOM’s newer Canberra Airport Station. The blog was not updated to reference the newspaper stories or the 1939 weather records.
I requested the daily records for ACTON from the Bureau but for some reason this station in our nation’s capital only had monthly data.  It’s only the nation’s Capital! After contacting the minister, the Bureau indicated it would as a matter of priority, collate the data and place it on its website. This was back in January.
Earlier last week, about 8 months after my request, I received an email from the Bureau to indicate the maximum temperature readings for ACTON were now online. I checked and they confirmed the Newspaper reports. Not wanting the historical record to be in error I requested BOM correct its Climate Statement. This is the response:
The record referenced in Special Climate Statement 48 is a station record for Canberra Airport (station numbers 70014 and 70351), as is stated in Table 3. 
It seems the historical record will be forever tainted! According to the Bureau’s climate statement the record heatwave of 1939 did not happen in Canberra. This despite the Bureau’s own data showing it did.

BOM’s homogenisation process may be valid or not, but it seems its handling of the nation’s weather records, based on its handling of ACTON, leaves much to be desired. 

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Correcting Errors at the BOM: ACTON UPDATE

In its climate statement "Special Climate Statement 48 – one of southeast Australia’s most significant heatwaves" BOM make the following claim: (p.5):"Canberra also set a record with four consecutive days of 39°C."

BOM describe their special climate statements in the following way:
The Bureau's Special Climate Statements provide a detailed summary of significant weather and climate events. They are produced on an occasional basis for weather/climate events which are unusual in the context of the climatology of the affected region. Their purpose is to document major events. In doing so, they serve as a historical record, inform the public on the broader historical and climatological context for events, and give easy access to data and information which is in high demand from the media and the public.

THEY SERVE AS A HISTORICAL RECORD

We requested BOM make a correction to the climate statement about Canberra's recent "record" which is now shown to be false as the BOM's Canberra ACTON station shows the following run of highs in January 1939:
Jan 1939 records indicate 7 consecutive days over 39°C between the 8th and 14th.
Jan 8: 39.3
Jan 9: 39.2
Jan 10: 41.1
Jan 11: 42.8
Jan 12: 39.8
Jan 13: 41.9
Jan 14: 40.8

BOM responded thus:
Fri, Sep 5, 2014 at 1:42 PM
The record referenced in Special Climate Statement 48 is a station record for Canberra Airport (station numbers 70014 and 70351), as is stated in Table 3.

Regards,
Climate Analysis Section

Our response:
The main text does NOT indicate this and in its current form it is misleading. Please correct the main text.
BOM provide the following description of its Special Climate Statements...
Special Climate Statements
The Bureau's Special Climate Statements provide a detailed summary of significant weather and climate events. They are produced on an occasional basis for weather/climate events which are unusual in the context of the climatology of the affected region. Their purpose is to document major events. In doing so, they serve as a historical record, inform the public on the broader historical and climatological context for events, and give easy access to data and information which is in high demand from the media and the public.


As BOM consider the statements "serve as a historical record" it is of utmost importance that errors are corrected. BOM's statement on page 5...that "Canberra also set a record with four consecutive days of 39°C." is clearly in error and requires correction.

It is common practice in scientific reports for a corrigendum to be issued to correct mistakes made in published papers. Given the historical importance BOM place on its special climate statements it seems the issue of a corrigendum is appropriate in this case.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

ACTON ONLINE

Earlier this year the Bureau of Meteorology made the following claim in respect to temperatures in Canberra:

 In its recent climate statement"Special Climate Statement 48 – one of southeast Australia’s most significant heatwaves" BOM make the following claim: (p.5):"Canberra also set a record with four consecutive days of 39°C."

We took the BOM up on this and also ABC's weather man Graham Creed (here and here and here and here)

BOM have finally digitised the daily max. temp records for its ACTON station. The records may be found HERE

They accord with the information we found revealing the following run of high temps:
Jan 6: 36.2
Jan 7: 38.7
Jan 8: 39.3
Jan 9: 39.2
Jan 10: 41.1
Jan 11: 42.8
Jan 12: 39.8
Jan 13: 41.9
Jan 14: 40.8

We sent the following new request to BOM's climate services branch:
In your  "Special Climate Statement 48 – one of southeast Australia’s most significant heatwaves" BOM make the following claim: (p.5):"Canberra also set a record with four consecutive days of 39°C."

With the release of the daily maximum figures for ACTON station this is now clearly false. Please correct the statement.

http://www.bom.gov.au/jsp/ncc/cdio/weatherData/av?p_nccObsCode=122&p_display_type=dailyDataFile&p_startYear=1923&p_c=-982875403&p_stn_num=70099

Jan 1939 records indicate 7 consecutive days over 39°C between the 8th and 14th.

Monday, August 25, 2014

ABC's missing stories

When we started this blog a little while ago we cast an eye on the productivity of ABC's news service by looking at the number of news stories ABC posted to its online News Archive. Our productivity survey pointed to a massive decline in the productivity of ABC News. The ABC responded by capping the number of stories posted daily to 250. It retrospectively applied this to its online archive effectively wiping easy access to 10,000s stories from 2003 onwards. This effectively undermined our capacity to compile the information. Sadly its also means that past stories are no longer available on line. A glimpse of the number of stories ABC removed can be had by using the "Wayback Machine"and looking through the internet archive. For Friday August 2007, ABC removed around 100 stories!
Screen shot showing ABC's news archive for August 24, 2007 showing 10 pages of storied (25 stories per page)

Screen shot from the internet archive showing ABC previously posted 14 pages. What happened to the missing stories?

We requested further information at the time but were never provided with a satisfactory response. We have requested this be looked into again.

How petty is ABC NEWS that it would spite the nation by removing an important source of historical information rather than permit an assessment of its declining productivity be measured.