BoM’s artificial warming…

The BOM say their temperature records are high quality. An independent audit team has just produced a report showing that as many as 85 -95% of all Australian sites in the pre-Celsius era (before 1972) did not comply with the BOM’s own stipulations. The audit shows 20-30% of all the measurements back then were rounded or possibly truncated. Even modern electronic equipment was at times, so faulty and unmonitored that one station rounded all the readings for nearly 10 years! These sloppy errors may have created an artificial warming trend. The BOM are issuing pronouncements of trends to two decimal places like this one  in the BOM’s Annual Climate Summary 2011 of “0.52 °C above average”  yet relying on patchy data that did not meet its own compliance standards around half the time.  It’s doubtful they can justify one decimal place, let alone two?

We need a professional audit.


A team of independent engineers, scientists, statisticians and data analysts (brought together by the joannenova blog) has been going through the Australia Bureau of Meteorology records (BOM). They’ve audited some 8.5 million daily observations across 237 High Quality and other close sites in Australia. Shockingly, while the BOM calls their database “High Quality” and instructed observers before 1972 to record in tenths of a degree Fahrenheit, the auditors started finding sites with long stretches of records where the weather suspiciously rose and fell only in Fahrenheit quanta, like 72.0, 73.0, 72.0, 71.0, 73.0, 72.0. After 1972, the BOM went metric, and oddly, so did parts of the Australian climate. Numerous sites started warming and cooling in pure Celsius integers.

The bottom line:

  1. The BOM records need a thorough independent audit.
  2. It’s possible that a significant part of the 20th Century Australian warming trend may have come from something as banal as sloppy observers truncating records in Fahrenheit prior to 1972.
  3. Many High Quality sites are not high quality and ought to be deleted from the trends.
  4. Even current electronic equipment is faulty, and the BOM is not checking its own records.
  5. Even climate scientists admit that truncation of Fahrenheit temperatures would cause an artificial warming effect.

The Audit Team identifies a suspicious problem

It was the sharp eye of  Chris Gillham who noticed the first long string of continuous whole numbers in a site record. I wondered if it was faulty equipment and thus if other sites were affected, so people started looking, and suspicious stretches started turning up everywhere. The audit team were astonished at how common the problem was. Ian Hill and Ed Thurstan developed software to search the mountain of data and discovered that while temperatures of .0 degrees ought to have been 10% of all the measurements, some 20 – 30% of the entire BOM database was recorded as whole number, or “.0″.

Ken Stewart has the whole in-depth report at his site:  “Near Enough For a Sheep Station”


Fahrenheit era observations (prior to 1972) have even higher proportions of .0 than those of the Celsius era. Note the strange peaks at 0.1 and 0.9? Those are likely due to converting raw F to C and back.

Keep reading  →

It seems artificial warming is the norm across the globe with all the weather agencies. What is really funny, BoM were tasked to audit New Zealand’s NIWA fudged data.

About Tom Harley

Amateur ecologist and horticulturalist and CEO of Kimberley Environmental Horticulture Inc. (Tom Harley) Kimberley Environmental Horticulture Incorporated Kimberley Environmental Horticulture (KEH) is a small group of committed individuals who promote the use of indigenous plants for the landscaping of parks and gardens. Rehabilitation of Kimberley coast, bushland and pastoral regions are also high on our agenda. This includes planting seedlings, weed control, damage from erosion or any other environmental matter that comes to our attention. We come from all walks of life, from Professionals and Trades oriented occupations, Pensioners and Students, Public Servants and the Unemployed. We have a community plant nursery where we trial many old and new species, with a view to incorporating these into our landscaping trials. Our labour force are mainly volunteers, but with considerable help from the 'work for the dole' program, Indigenous Community Development Employment Program (CDEP) groups and the Ministry of Justice, with their community work orders; in this way we manage to train many people in the horticultural skills needed for indigenous plant growing. We constantly undertake field trips that cover seed and plant collection in the Kimberley. Networking around the Kimberley region and the east Pilbara is a necessary part of promoting our activities. We consult on a range of Environmental and Landscaping matters that deal with our region. Our activities involve improving Broome's residential streetscapes by including 'waterwise' priciples in planting out nature strips. Sustainable environmental horticulture is practised by members of our group. We use existing vegetation as the backbone of any plantings, using these species to advantage when planning to develop tree forms or orchards. The Broome region is sensitive to development. Subsequently many weed species have become dominant in and around developed areas. The use and movement of heavy machinery is the biggest single cause of environmental degradation. We dont live in a 'Tropical Paradise' but on the edge of the Great Sandy Desert. The plants that survive best here, grow in well-drained pindan sand, and are found from the Dampier Peninsular southward to where average rainfall is below 600mm. When we use rainforest species, detail is important when planting, water catchment, sunlight and understorey species are all considered. The use of recycled 'grey' water is an advantage here as well as treated waste-water, although many local species do not fare well with nutrients from this source. We use waterwise planting methods which include harvesting asmuch rainwater as possible, with swales designed to hold up to 200 litres, to help recharge the local groundwater aquifer. There has been a serious decline in this aquifer over the last few years. With the fast expansion of the Broome peninsular, more and more land is being covered by concrete, iron and bitumen so that much less water is available to replenish the aquifer, allowing the salt content to become significantly higher. The small Broome Peninsular is on the south-western corner of the Dampier Peninsular (bound by Broome, Derby and Cape Leveque at the northern tip). Compaction by vehicles also inhibits water retention due to the content of our local pindan sand, hard as concrete in the dry, going to soft and sloppy mud after rain. None of us are botanists, inevitably we have got some names wrong, names changed, or have not gone to sub-species level. If you note a photo or description may be wrong, please e-mail to
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