BoM’s abominable science …

Science, means data must be replicable. In BoM’s case, the ‘scientific’ adjustments it makes is secret. So BoM wont allow anyone to see what the steps they use are in adjusting the past lower and the present higher. Oh, the agenda must be followed at all costs. Because … Paris COP! Jonova:

If it can’t be replicated, it isn’t science: BOM admits temperature adjustments are secret

[…] 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?

Read the whole piece. So, they wont tell us what the algorithm is that’s used to adjust their data, found in all cities:

A mess of adjustments in Australian capital cities — The inexplicable history of temperatures

Two out of three Australians live in our capital cities where the longest and best resourced temperature records would be found. These are the places where the weather reports matter to the most people on a daily basis — and where headlines about records and trends will be widely discussed.  But these are also the sites which have been affected by the growth of concrete and skyscrapers, and potentially have the largest urban heat island (UHI) effect, so might need the largest adjustments.

Bob Fernley-Jones has been going through the BOM records for six of Australia’s state capitals, looking at the original raw data (at least, as is recorded in the BOM’s climate data online, called CDO). Bob compares the new “corrected” dataset called ACORN for these locations — that’s the all new marvelous adjusted data. He finds many step changes that can’t be explained by known site moves or the UHI effect. Many step changes occur in either minima or maxima, but not in both at the same time, which is also odd. As we already know, the adjustments usually cool the past — especially the minima (see all the blue lines on graphs below that dip below zero) — which has the effect of increasing the warming trend of mean temperatures.

For some reason thermometers that read 4 degrees C on crisp mornings in Perth circa 1920 should have read 2C  (or  4F lower), which was only discovered decades later. Maybe there is a good reason for that, but despite the BOM’s keen interest in saving the Australian climate, they don’t explain why these kinds of large changes are necessary in physical terms or with historic documents (indeed they don’t even seem very interested in the oldest historic temperature records we have). Apparently the mysterious process of “homogenization” with other nearby stations (which may be hundreds of kilometers away) is enough. We skeptics think that thermometers are not brain surgery, and that the BOM ought to be able to explain these large changes in terms of site moves, changes, or documented events. And of course it should explain because it is a public organization. […]

Lots more at the links. Jonova is one of the most awarded website on science, worth bookmarking to read every day.

A number of independent observers and scientists have been closing watching BoM’s adventures, discovering a nest of failures. Here’s one:

Six short videos highlight deficiencies in Australian Bureau of Meteorology maps

Ken Stewart is another, BoM wont even give him the time of day, so:

Open Letter to Bob Baldwin

June 15, 2015

Dear Mr Baldwin

What does it take to get action following a formal complaint?

I draw your immediate personal attention to this matter.

It is now fully 11 weeks since I submitted four simple questions to Dr Vertessy’s office (Reference REF2015-089-17) , nine weeks since my follow up request with a copy to you, and four weeks since I made a formal complaint to you.  Sam Hussey-Smith of your office emailed me on Tuesday 19th May, saying he would “seek to get a response as soon as possible”.

Still nothing.

I may be a mere insignificant individual with a minor query, but surely I deserve to be treated with a little respect, and surely the Bureau of Meteorology, the Environment Department, and the office of its Parliamentary Secretary, all need to demonstrate transparency and public accountability.

Perhaps Dr Vertessy hopes I will get sick of waiting and will lose interest, saving him the embarrassment of an apology and a probable retraction.   He should not underestimate my determination.  The longer he delays, the more it looks as if he has something to hide.

I seek your urgent personal intervention to ensure an immediate response.

Yours sincerely

Ken Stewart

Ken at kenskingdom.com has done a complete audit of BoM temperature data, finding numerous errors and unexplained data fiddling

Here is my formal complaint, sent 4 weeks ago (18 May).

Dear Mr Baldwin

Formal Complaint re: Dr Bob Vertessy, Director and C.E.O. of the Bureau of Meteorology

It is seven weeks since I submitted four questions to Dr Bob Vertessy, Director and C.E.O. of the Bureau of Meteorology, through the Bureau’s feedback channels, and two full weeks since I followed this up with a complaint with a copy to your office.  The Bureau acknowledged receipt (ReferenceREF2015-089-17) and an officer of the Bureau has confirmed that my queries were indeed passed on to the Director’s office.  However, there has been no other response at all, either from the Bureau or from your own office.

Seven weeks, Mr Baldwin, seven weeks!  This is beyond simple negligence.  It is now in the realm of conscious breach of the Bureau’s own Service Charter for the Community proudly displayed athttp://www.bom.gov.au/inside/services_policy/serchart.shtml .

Dr Vertessy demonstrably fails to meet several elements of his own Charter, in that:

  • I have not been treated with respect and courtesy;
  • The Director has not been clear and helpful in his dealings with me, and has given no reason for delay;
  •  My enquiries, which it appears the Director cannot answer, have not been referred to an appropriate source;
  • The Director has not dealt with my enquiries and subsequent complaints quickly and effectively;
  • The Charter claims the Bureau will “Reply to your letters, faxes and e-mails within two weeks – on more complex issues, our initial reply will give you an estimate of the time a full response will take, and the cost, if any.”  While lower level officers reply courteously well within this time (usually within hours or at most days), it seems the CEO is above this requirement.

It seems the Bureau has a long way to go in its aim to “Develop a more streamlined system of handling your enquiries and feedback on our services”.

I therefore request that you act to obtain for me an immediate reply to my queries from Dr Vertessy.  I also expect his apology and an explanation for not meeting “acceptable standards of quality, timeliness or accuracy”.

Until then, Dr Vertessy’s lack of response speaks volumes about his own credibility as a scientist, a communicator, and the Bureau head, as well as the credibility and accountability of the Bureau of Meteorology as a whole.

Yours sincerely

 

About Tom Harley

Amateur ecologist and horticulturalist and CEO of Kimberley Environmental Horticulture Inc. (Tom Harley)
This entry was posted in Climate, comedy, Oz politics, science, weather and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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