Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Pre-1910 Stevenson Screens - BOM does not know!

Australia has a rich history of scientific endeavour. For weather observations most states had standardised Stevenson Screens installed by the 1890s yet the Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) only extend its official national temperature series back to 1910, conveniently skipping over the Federation Drought when temperatures appear to be higher than present. Through correspondence with the Federal Government's environment Minister Greg Hunt (see reply from the BOM below) we find that the BOM does not even know precisely how many stations were fitted with Stevenson Screens or when this occurred. Worth repeating. Our premier meteorological organisation fueled by $100's of millions of tax dollars, that is tasked with the responsibility for looking after our weather data, does not know where or when Stevenson Screens were installed, and is unable to supply this data in a digital format. The hand written ledgers probably collecting dust and disintegrating somewhere in BOM's data vault. Un - %$&##$@ - believable!

The enabling legislation for the BOM includes the following functions

(1)  The functions of the Bureau are:

(a)  the taking and recording of meteorological observations and other observations required for the purposes of meteorology;

(b)  the forecasting of weather and of the state of the atmosphere;

(c)  the issue of warnings of gales, storms and other weather conditions likely to endanger life or property, including weather conditions likely to give rise to floods or bush fires;

(d)  the supply of meteorological information;

(e)  the publication of meteorological reports and bulletins;

(f)  the promotion of the use of meteorological information;

(g)  the promotion of the advancement of meteorological science, by means of meteorological research and investigation or otherwise;

(h)  the furnishing of advice on meteorological matters; and

(i)  co‑operation with the authority administering the meteorological service of any other country (including a Territory specified under subsection 4(2)) in relation to any of the matters specified in the preceding paragraphs of this subsection.

Sadly the BOM is clearly not fulfilling its functions. Sadly the government couldn't care less.

Sent Environment Minister Greg Hunt

February 18, 2015

RE: Availability of data from weather stations with standard instrumentation prior to 1910

Dear Minister,

The Bureau of Meteorology currently produce a series of homogenised weather products (eg ACORN). These only extend back to 1910 due apparently to the lack of standard equipment (Stevenson Screens) across the country. However a large number of weather stations had Stevenson screens installed prior to 1910.

I recently enquired with the BOM about the availability of data for one such station at the former Musgrave Telegraph Station in northern Queensland (refer email attached) and was advised that records prior to 1991 have not been digitised.

This station, and others along the telegraph line were equipped with Stevenson Screens and appropriate thermometers and rain gauges from 1887. It is remarkable given the controversy surrounding climate data that our Nation’s repository of weather data have not digitised and made available the complete data record for stations such as this (ie stations with standard equipment) so they can be incorporated into national climate data or made available for use by university and independent researchers.

Can the Minister provide an answer the following simple questions:

1. How many of the nation’s weather stations had Stevenson Screens installed prior to 1910?

2. Which of the nation’s weather stations had Stevenson Screens installed prior to 1910?

3. Will the minister ensure that data from these stations is digitised and made freely available online for study?



Marc Hendrickx

The Minister's minion at the Bureau replies. Astonishingly, when it comes to Stevenson Screens, BOM do not know where or when!


Monday, March 23, 2015

Monday reading

From Wiki...Nepotism is favoritism granted in politics or business to relatives. The term originated with the assignment of nephews to cardinal positions by Catholic popes and bishops. Nepotism is found in various fields including: politics, entertainment, business, and religion.

From Quadrant... Family values at Their ABC


Antarctic sea ice: ABC get it wrong again

ABC gets the facts wrong on Antarctic sea ice in this report...

Arctic sea ice is smallest size on record over northern winter
At the other end of the planet, the NSIDC said earlier this month that sea ice around Antarctica was the fourth-smallest for summer. Climate scientists say the apparently contradictory trend may be tied to changing winds and currents.

What NSIDC actually said:

By sharp contrast, sea ice in Antarctica was at satellite-era record high daily levels for much of 2014. On September 22, 2014, Antarctic ice extent reached 20.11 million square kilometers (7.76 million square miles). This was the first year in the modern satellite record that Antarctic ice extent climbed above 20 million square kilometers (7.72 million square miles).

we pay for rubbish like this!

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

A bucket on Media Watch

We have been more than a little side tracked of late. This piece by Roger Franklin at Quadrant a must read for anyone still believing that ABC does not have a problem with bias.

A Media Watch Staffer’s Abbreviated CVBack in January, the show that professes to keep the press honest went to town on The Australian for reporting on an acoustic engineer's findings in regard to the possible health effects of wind turbines. Turns out the item's researcher has worked as a deep green propagandist

I do recall a study of voting intentions of reporters including ABC staff and the result was....

It's easy being Green at the ABC, survey finds 
MORE than 40 per cent of ABC journalists who answered a survey question about their political attitudes are Greens supporters, four times the support the minor party enjoys in the wider population.
The journalism survey, the largest in 20 years, has found the profession is overwhelmingly left-leaning, with respondents from the ABC declaring double levels of support for the Greens compared with those from Fairfax Media and News Limited.
The survey of 605 journalists from around Australia found that just more than half described themselves as having left political views, while only 13 per cent said they were right of centre.
This tendency was most pronounced among the 34 ABC journalists who agreed to declare their voting intention, with 41 per cent of them saying they would vote for the Greens, 32 per cent declaring support for Labor and 14 per cent backing the Coalition.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Media Watch-Dunning Kruger in action

The Australian report on Media Watch Ineptitude. A case study of Dunning Kruger effect...

The Dunning–Kruger effect is a cognitive bias wherein unskilled individuals suffer from illusory superiority, mistakenly assessing their ability to be much higher than is accurate. This bias is attributed to a metacognitive inability of the unskilled to recognize their ineptitude. Conversely, highly skilled individuals tend to underestimate their relative competence, erroneously assuming that tasks which are easy for them are also easy for others.

Legal move threatened over Media Watch report ACOUSTIC expert Steven Cooper is considering launching legal action against the ABC’s Media Watch program for its portrayal of him and his research on the effect of the Pacific Hydro wind turbines on local residents.
On the February 16 edition of Media Watch host Paul Barry dished out a stinging criticism of Mr Cooper’s seven-month study conducted at Cape Bridgewater in southwest Victoria — and the ­reporting of it by The Australian’s environment editor Graham Lloyd and Network Seven’s Today Tonight.
However, in damning the report, the Media Watch team hand- picked a group of pro-turbine ­“experts” — with no real expertise in the field — ignored submissions from genuine acoustic experts, misrepresented Mr Cooper, ­selectively and incorrectly quoted the National Health and Medical Research Council, ignored balancing quotes in the newspaper ­reports and made a number of factual mistakes.
Following his utter disbelief at Media Watch’s misrepresentation, as well as pending legal action, Mr Cooper has also sent a letter to the ABC demanding a retraction.


In response to the Media Watch report about The Australian’s coverage of wind farms
THE Media Watch report of February 16 (“Turbine torture: do wind farms make you sick?”) is littered with mistakes, omissions and misrepresentations from the opening scenes.
The program represents blatant advocacy for commercial interests over the widespread concerns of a genuine minority group who deserve thorough investigation of their complaints.
The Australian provided balanced, factual reporting of a national issue of public interest where Media Watch indulged in what amounts to little more than ad hominem, ideological propaganda.
The Media Watch program misrepresented the National Health and Medical Research Council position that the quality of existing research into the possible health impacts of wind turbines is poor and that it will fund more high quality research.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

ACTON update

BOM have finally put up the daily min records for the ACTON weather station. This provides another case where the records need to be adjusted. In its Special Climate Statement 48 BOM asserted on page 4...
"On the 17th, Canberra (39.7°C/11.2°C) had its largest diurnal range on record, 28.5°C"

Looking  over the records for the Canberra heatwave in January 1939 we find the exact same diurnal range was recorded at the ACTON station on January 13 1939 when this first class weather station recorded a max of 41.9 and a min of 13.4.

BOM continue to disregard history!

The BOM's ACTON weather station in 1921-according to BOM it may as well not exist!

12/2/2015...Reply from BOM after we pointed out their error...(seems like they have been infected by ABC disease)

Dear Marc,

The Special Climate Statements are prepared to describe major climate events close to the time that they occur.

For this reason, the reports indicate that the data are valid at the time of writing, and each report provides the date that the final data were sourced.

This provision is necessary since the data may change subsequently for a number of reasons, such as late-arriving manual observations, or subsequent quality control and analysis that may revise the data.

Special Climate Statement 48 was prepared on the 19th January 2014, and carries the following advice.

"This statement is based on data available as of 19 January 2014. Some changes may occur as a result of late-arriving data or the Bureau’s routine quality control procedures.”

Rainfall records in particular are commonly subject to such revisions, and the Bureau does not typically amend previous reports unless a substantial update is required.

In this case, there has been no change to the data considered in the report at the time of writing. The record referenced in Special Climate Statement 48 is for Canberra Airport (station numbers 70014 and 70351). This is detailed in table 3 of the report.

While recently digitised data from Acton has not yet been quality controlled, the observations for January 1939 are consistent with surrounding locations, and show that the 1939 heatwave was one of the most significant on record for the southeast. This information is already provided in the report.

"Over most parts of this region, it ranked alongside the heatwaves of January-February 2009, January 1939 and (from the limited information available) January 1908 as the most significant multi-day heatwaves on record.”

Climate Analysis Section