Homogenization of Temperature Data By the Bureau of Meteorology

Source: What’s Up With That?

by Brendan Godwin

Background

I worked for Australia’s Bureau of Meteorology – BOM for 2 years from 1973 to 1975. I was trained in weather observation and general meteorology. I spent 1 year observing Australia’s weather and 1 year observing the weather at Australia’s Antarctic station at Mawson.

As part of it’s Antarctic program, Australia drills ice cores at Law Dome near it’s Casey station. On our return journey in 1975 we repatriated a large number of ice cores for scientific analysis. The globe’s weather and climate records are stored in these ice cores for the past 1 million years approximately.

Australia’s Antarctic program went by the name of Australian National Antarctic Research Expedition or ANARE for short. This is now known as Australian Antarctic Division or AAD. Returned expeditions formed a club called the ANARE Club of which I have been a member since 1975. Members have many functions and reunions and they have a reunion dinner every year. At this dinner there has always been guest speakers from Australia’s Antarctic Division. These guest speakers are usually someone of the caliber of the Divisions Chief Scientist or the Operations Manager and the talks are designed to keep members updated on the Antarctic scientific program.

The annual dinner is also a place where members keep in touch with each other and network and this communication continues throughout the year via email.

The International Panel on Climate Change – IPCC

The IPCC was created by and is a joint 50/50 partnership between the World Meteorological Organisation – WMO and United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). It has extremely narrow terms of reference in that it’s role is to determine that humans are causing global warming. In that regard it is only looking at human induced forcings over the past 150 years, just to make sure it reaches that result. That makes it a political body with a political agenda.

World Meteorological Organisation – WMO

The WMO has structurally changed since 1974. Today it is headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland. When I went through training with the BOM, the WMO had a shared global headquarters between Melbourne, New York, Moscow and London. I don’t know when this structure changed. Australia had a leading role in the WMO and was a dissemination point for weather data.

Australia’s Bureau of Meteorology – BOM

BOM’s headquarters are in Melbourne. Australia has claim to 5.9 million square kilometres, about 42% of Antarctica. That claim is on hold while the Antarctic Treaty is in place. On the Antarctic continent Australia has 3 full time stations, Mawson, Davis and Casey, as well as a 4th, Macquarie Is., in the Southern Ocean. BOM has a full time presence on all these stations. Weather data is collected throughout the day and night at all these stations. At Mawson in 1974, we collected not only our own data but all the weather data from Davis, the Japanese station at Syowa and the Russian station at Molodezhnaya. Mawson sent all this data to the Overseas Telecommunications Commission – OTC in Sydney where it was forwarded on to BOM in Melbourne. A second Russian station, Mirny, was collected by Casey and forwarded on the BOM Melbourne via OTC.

BOM used this data, in conjunction with all the observational data obtained from all the weather stations and observational points throughout Australia, as part of Australia’s weather maps and forecasting. Additionally, Melbourne was the WMO distribution point for all weather data in our region. BOM Melbourne collected and collated all this data and forwarded it on to the WMO.

Temperature Data and IPCC’s Climate Change

In 2013 I attended an ANARE Midwinter Dinner – MWD. Australian Antarctic Division – AAD’s Acting Chief Scientist Dr Martin Riddle was our guest speaker at this function. I met with him over canapes before the dinner and spoke with him for about 20 minutes. I tried to get a sneak preview what his talk was going to be about. He said he was Australia’s lead scientist on the IPCC and, aside from giving us an update on the scientific program in the Antarctic, he was going to talk about climate and global warming. I asked him, were we not in an interglacial warm period in the 100,000 year Milankovitch Cycle and wasn’t all this current warming natural? His jaw dropped and was aghast. Our discussion ended there and he raced off not looking too happy. I couldn’t help but getting the feeling that I wasn’t supposed to know anything about the Milankovitch Cycles. It seemed like no one was supposed to know this.

It seems apparent that we all are just supposed to listen to what the IPCC are telling us and don’t ask questions. So what are the IPCC telling us?

The IPCC have produced 102 climate models to predict our future climate. The world’s meteorological organizations use weather models to forecast and predict weather and have been for many years. They have proved to be very accurate over 4 days and reasonably accurate over a week. The IPCC’s climate models are notoriously inaccurate. We’ve had these models now for some 30 years and we now have 30 years of data to compare them against. They are not even close to accurate.

Dr Roy Spencer is a meteorologist, Principal Research Scientist at the University of Alabama in Huntsville, and the U.S. Science Team leader for the Advanced Microwave Scanning Radiometer on NASA’s Aqua satellite. At an International Conference on Climate Change in his presentation he said referring to the IPCC models below.

Climate models are not even forecasting. Those curves on the chart are hindcasts.¹ They already knew what the answer was but still can’t get them right.

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In spite of this, the IPCC seem adamant that there is nothing wrong with their models and it must be the data that is not right. Roy Spencer said: There’s no comparison. The IPCC are now hinting, maybe we shouldn’t trust the observations, let’s just trust the models.

Temperature Adjustments – Homogenization

One has to be excused for being skeptical here but it does look prima facie like the IPCC has asked their 50% partner, the WMO, to give them some temperature data that more closely matches their models. At least 3 of the WMO’s senior partners, BOM – Australia, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration – NOAA – America and Met Office – UK are adjusting their temperature data to something that has a much more closer resemblance to the IPCC’s models. There is no evidence that Hydrometeorological Centre of Russia – (Roshydromet), is involved with these adjustments.

They are taking this:

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And turning it into this:

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An Australian scientist, Jennifer Marohasy, has been taking a close interest in the adjustments BOM are making.² She produces weather forecasting models and has a grave concern about these adjustments. One of the data inputs to weather forecasting models in temperature. It appears that the temperature is not correct/accurate now.None of these organizations will say or explain what they are doing or are being vague when asked. Raw data is being removed from public scrutiny and no one knows if it is actually being destroyed. Officially they are providing no scientific basis for making these adjustments. The adjustments they are making are complex. The 1940/41 and 1998 El Ninos have been wiped from these records.

But they haven’t just lowered and raised the temperatures in one hit, they’ve slowly incriminated the adjustments so that it all looks natural. If they’d lowered and raised them in one hit you’d have a chart that looks like this.

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At one of our recent MWD reunions I caught up with and spoke to a colleague who spent many years working at the BOM as a weather observer and forecaster both in Antarctica and Australia. This person is outside of the realm of politics and wishes to remain anonymous. The person’s last job was working on these temperature adjustments. The job of this person’s team was to adjust the temperatures upwards so has been working on adjustments from 1990 until the present.

I asked, why was BOM making these adjustments and it was explained to me this way.

When there are temperature observational points located in the CBD area of large cities where there are tall buildings, it has been well known to BOM and generally, that these temperatures would be half to one and a half degrees C cooler if the tall building and the city wasn’t there. It is a phenomenon known as “the island effect”. It is the same as when, on a cold day, the hairs on your arm stand up and that insulates a warm layer of air close to the skin. Tall buildings do the same thing. Additionally, these tall buildings are heated and air conditioned and every time people walk in and out of the building, hot or cold air blows out altering the ambient street temperatures.

But the anomaly in what this person is saying here is that this person’s team is adjusting country temperatures upwards by half to one and a half degrees C so that they match the city temperatures. That’s creating about a degree C of warming when if they had adjusted the city temperatures down half to one and a half degrees C, they’d be creating approximately a half a degree of cooling.

Jennifer Marohasy’s charts for Rutherglen in country Victoria show this quite clearly. Note these are truncated to 1910.

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Conclusion

The Australian Climate Observations Reference Network–Surface Air Temperature (ACORN-SAT) Technical Advisory Forum released a report in 2015 confirming that the Surface Air Temperatures were being adjusted, confirming the process is called Homogenization, confirming that other weather monitoring institutions around the world are making these same adjustments and purporting to justify why the adjustments are being made. Observing practices change, thermometers change, stations move from one location to another and new weather stations are installed. They refused to release their complex mathematical formula used to make the adjustments. They claim that homogenisation is essential in eliminating artificial non-climate systematic errors in temperature observations. non-climate related factors include:

  •  the replacement of thermometers;
  •  changes in observing practices;
  •  expansion of the network into remote locations;
  •  changes in infrastructure surrounding a weather station;
  •  relocation of weather stations.

The only reason on that list that really makes any sense is changes in infrastructure surrounding a weather station. You can’t calibrate a thermometer used 100 years ago with one used today. When reviewing Jennifer Marohasy’s paper on Rutherglen, just as one example, none of the above apply yet Rutherglen’s temperatures were still adjusted. In her report Jennifer wrote:

In a special advisory issued by the Bureau in September 2014, it is claimed that the adjustments – which create the artificial warming trend in the homogenised temperature minima – were necessary to make the Rutherglen series consistent with the trends measured at neighbouring weather stations. However, it is apparent that in this advisory, annual raw minima values from Rutherglen are compared with data from neighbouring sites that have already been homogenised. This approach, which may once have been considered fraudulent, is now consistent with the postmodernist epistemology that underpins homogenisation as practiced by the Bureau . . .

Jennifer has requested of BOM why Rutherglen was adjusted when none of the BOM’s homogenization criteria applied and received no response.

My observation of all of this is that these so called reasons for making these adjustments are not reasons but excuses. If any adjustments are to be made, city/urban temperatures should be adjusted down to match what the temperature would be without tall buildings. Adjusting country/regional temperatures upwards to match the city is a fabrication to suit an hypothesis or agenda and the reasons are just an excuse. If there was any real reason for an adjustment, aside from the island effect in cities, it would be for where there is a Stevenson Screen out in the middle of an asphalt car park. That temperature should be adjusted down. Yet all these adjustments are both up and down, depending on the time period, with the end result a temperature chart that resembles catastrophic warming. And that is coincidentally exactly what the IPCC are looking for.

That makes these adjustments political not scientific.

  1. It is reasonable to make certain adjustments that are intended to improve accuracy.
  2. Adjustments should be rare.
  3. Adjustments should not be to suit a political purpose and there should be no mechanism that allows to even make this possible.
  4. As a scientific practice, the reporting agencies should ALWAYS maintain and report the original raw data. It should be publicly available for download. It should be easy to find and not buried under numerous web pages making it impossible to find.

Once you start introducing reasons to make adjustments then it becomes too easy to use them as an excuse to adjust everything to suit a purpose. It becomes easy to allow for political interference. Political interference should be impossible.


1 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ExgKJpJyDXQ

2 Temperature Change at Rutherglen in South-East Australia

Brendan Godwin was a Radio Technical and Officer Weather Observer Bureau of Meteorology for Mawson Station in the Antarctic 1974

 

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