Bureau of Meteorology and CSIRO referred to National Audit Office


National Audit Office

I’m not sure how far this will get [probably not very far, given how every public body you care to mention seems to be infested with climate alarmists – Ed], but we can at least thank them for their efforts and wish them the best of luck – they’ll need it. From Jo Nova’s site:

A team of skeptical scientists, citizens, and an Australian Senator have lodged a formal request with the Australian National Audit Office (ANAO) to have the BOM and CSIRO audited.

The BOM claim their adjustments are “neutral” yet Ken Stewart showed that the trend in the raw figures for our whole continent has been adjusted up by 40%. The stakes are high. Australians could have to pay something in the order of $870 million dollars thanks to the Kyoto protocol, and the first four years of the Emissions Trading Scheme was expected to cost Australian industry (and hence Australian shareholders and consumers) nearly $50 billion dollars.

Given the stakes, the Australian people deserve to know they are getting transparent, high quality data from the Bureau of Meteorology (BOM). The small cost of the audit is nothing in comparison with the money at stake for all Australians. We need the full explanations of why individual stations have been adjusted repeatedly and non-randomly, and why adjustments were made decadesafter the measurements were taken. We need an audit of surface stations. (Are Australian stations as badly manipulated and poorly sited as the US stations? Who knows?)

The NZ equivalent to the Australian BOM is under an official review

The New Zealand Climate Science Coalition found adjustments that were even more inexplicable (0.006 degrees was adjusted up to 0.9 degrees). They decided to push legally and the response was a litany of excuses — until finally The National Institute for Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA) was forced to disavow it’s own National Temperature Records, and belatedly pretend that it had never been intended for public consumption. But here’s the thing that bites: NZ signed the Kyoto protocol, arguably based very much on the NZ temperature record, and their nation owes somewhere from half a billion to several billion dollars worth of carbon credits (depending on the price of carbon in 2012). Hence there is quite a direct link from the damage caused by using one unsubstantiated data set based on a single student’s report that no one can find or replicate that will cost the nation a stack of money. NIWA is now potentially open to class actions. (Ironically, the Australian BOM has the job of “ratifying” the reviewed NZ temperature record.)

Thanks to work by Ken Stewart, Chris Gillham, Andrew Barnham, Tony Cox, James Doogue, David Stockwell, as well as Cory Bernardi, Federal Senator for South Australia.

Queensland Floods: Bureau of Meteorology blames climate change


Bureau's David Jones

The floodgates are open. The unfalsifiable hypothesis of dangerous man-made global warming comes to the rescue and provides the answer to the terrible Queensland floods. We can all now self-flagellate, wailing that driving our SUVs is to blame. Over a quarter of a million Google hits for +queensland +flood +”climate change” in the last week alone. But hang on a minute, when there was a drought in Australia, climate change caused that too. Referring here to New South Wales and the Murray-Darling Basin, where there have also been recent flooding rains:

IT MAY be time to stop describing south-eastern Australia as gripped by drought and instead accept the extreme dry as permanent, one of the nation’s most senior weather experts warned yesterday.

“Perhaps we should call it our new climate,” said the Bureau of Meteorology’s head of climate analysis, David Jones.

It was the 11th year in a row NSW and the Murray-Darling Basin had experienced above normal temperatures. Sydney’s nights were its warmest since records were first kept 149 years ago.

“There is absolutely no debate that Australia is warming,” said Dr Jones. “It is very easy to see … it is happening before our eyes.” [There is debate about the cause, however – Ed]

The only uncertainty now was whether the changing pattern was “85 per cent, 95 per cent or 100 per cent the result of the enhanced greenhouse effect”. [Apparently not according to Jones – Ed]

“There is a debate in the climate community, after … close to 12 years of drought, whether this is something permanent. Certainly, in terms of temperature, that seems to be our reality, and that there is no turning back. (source)

But now that Queensland is under water, Jones has another story:

“We’ve always had El Ninos and we’ve had natural variability but the background which is now operating is different,” head of climate monitoring and prediction at the Australia Bureau of Meteorology in Melbourne David Jones said.

“The first thing we can say with La Nina and El Nino is it is now happening in a hotter world,” he told Reuters, adding that meant more evaporation from land and oceans, more moisture in the atmosphere and stronger weather patterns.

“So the El Nino droughts would be expected to be exacerbated and also La Nina floods because rainfall would be exacerbated,” he said, though adding it would be some years before any climate change impact on both phenomena might become clear.

Everyone’s a winner, ignoring the pointless weasel-word caveat at the end. Droughts: climate change. Floods: climate change. I’ve said it before, but will say it again: what evidence would show that climate change was not taking place? In other words, what conditions would falsify the hypothesis? I won’t wait for an answer, because there isn’t one. Everything strengthens the case for AGW, in the alarmists’ view.

And Keith “Travesty” Trenberth chimes in as well:

Prominent US climate scientist Kevin Trenberth said the floods and the intense La Nina were a combination of factors.

He pointed to high ocean temperatures in the Indian Ocean near Indonesia early last year as well as the rapid onset of La Nina after the last El Nino ended in May.

“The rapid onset of La Nina meant the Asian monsoon was enhanced and the over 1 degree Celsius anomalies in sea surface temperatures led to the flooding in India and China in July and Pakistan in August,” he told Reuters in an email.

He said a portion, about 0.5C, of the ocean temperatures around northern Australia, which are more than 1.5C above pre-1970 levels, could be attributed to global warming.

“The extra water vapor fuels the monsoon and thus alters the winds and the monsoon itself and so this likely increases the rainfall further,” Mr Trenberth, head of the Climate Analysis Section at the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colorado, said.

“So it is easy to argue that one degree Celsius sea surface temperature anomalies gives 10 to 15 per cent increase in rainfall,” he added.

Yep, dead easy if you can just pick and choose a model to fit whatever weather phenomenon is currently occurring. Even the token scientist drafted in to say that there’s no link to climate change manages to link it to climate change:

It’s a natural phenomena. We have no strong reason at the moment for saying this La Nina is any stronger than it would be even without humans,” said Neville Nicholls of Monash University in Melbourne and president of the Australian Meteorological and Oceanographic Society.

But he said global atmospheric warming of about 0.75C over the past half century had to be having some impact.

“It has to be affecting the climate, regionally and globally. It has to be affecting things like La Nina. But can you find a credible argument which says it’s made it worse? I can’t at the moment.” (source)

Well, it has to be one or the other. Either the warming is affecting La Niña or it isn’t. And of course, none of this says anything about the cause of the warming.

And we here in Australia are all deeply honoured that the Mighty Goracle has used “our” floods as “evidence of climate change.” If Big Al thinks so, it must be true. (source)

(H/t Bishop Hill)

UK/Australian seasonal forecasts: FAIL


Verdict on Met Office and BoM

Both the UK Met Office and the Australian Bureau of Meteorology are strapped in tight to the global warming rollercoaster. Their models staunchly ignore or play down any natural effects on the climate, and artificially enhance the effects of CO2 in order to prop up the pre-conceived alarmist agenda. As a result, their seasonal forecasts generally point towards warmer conditions [despite the fact that now there are freezing conditions in the UK, the alarmists are happy to bleat that such conditions are “consistent with global warming” – nobody in the MSM seems to bat an eyelid at the howling inconsistency there – why didn’t the models predict harsher winters? – Ed]. It really doesn’t matter how many teraflops your multi-million-pound supercomputer can crunch through – if the models suck, it’s still Garbage In, Garbage Out.

The result of all this is particularly obvious in the UK right now, where the government, relying on such skewed forecasts, failed to adequately prepare the country for the heavy snowfalls and freezing conditions it has endured over the past week or so. The Met Office is suffering from a case of sudden short-term amnesia, as it claims that it never forecast milder conditions. Unfortunately, highly recommended UK blog Autonomous Mind has a longer memory, and posts a chart showing precisely that:

click to enlarge

The post also links to an article from October in the UK Daily Express, in which an independent forecaster challenges the Met Office’s prediction:

Positive Weather Solutions senior forecaster Jonathan Powell said: “It baffles me how the Met Office can predict a milder-than-average winter when all the indicators show this winter will have parallels to the last one.

“They are standing alone here, as ourselves and other independent forecasters are all predicting a colder-than-average winter.

“It will be interesting to see how predictions by the government-funded Met Office compare with independent forecasters.” (source)

Interesting indeed. Epic FAIL for the Met Office.

Now onto the BoM, which, as Jo Nova points out, has hit the jackpot with a trifecta of duff predictions, which are no doubt a result of models which are skewed towards the global warming narrative:

For this spring the Australian BOM predicted it would be dry and warm, instead we got very wet and quite cold.  The models are so bad on a regional basis, it’s uncannily like they are almost useful… if they call things “dry”, expect “wet”.

On August 24 the Australian BoM had pretty much no idea that any unusual wetness was headed their way. Toss a coin, 50:50, yes or no. Spring 2010 was going to be “average”, except in SW Western Australia where they claimed “a wetter than normal spring is favoured.” What follows were 100 year floods, or at least above average rain to nearly every part of the nation bar the part that was supposed to be getting more rainfall. In the chart below, all shades of “blue” got above average rainfall. The dark blue? That’s the highest rainfall on record.

Spring rainfall - click to enlarge

On August 24 the BOM predicted that spring would be “hot across the north”. Instead it was cold everywhere except in the west of WA.

Max spring temperatures - click to enlarge

Epic FAIL for the Australian BoM.

It seems that we can now rely only on those forecasters who are independent of any government-linked body. The virus of AGW alarmism has spread so far in Western governments and their agencies that they can no longer be trusted to produce unbiased forecasts, and the results of blinkered reliance on such forecasts is plain to see in the UK and Europe.

Climate scientists meet to improve brainwashing skills


Washes away scepticism faster than other leading brands

Note that they’re not meeting to hang their heads in shame and discuss the shonky science, fudged data, blocking of FOI requests or intimidation of sceptical climate journals, which is all par for the course. No, this is all about communication – it’s just that they’re not getting their message across properly, obviously. The science is just fine, the public are just too stupid to understand:

REPRESENTATIVES of scientific organisations including the CSIRO and Bureau of Meteorology will meet today to discuss better communication of the science behind man-made climate change, in the wake of crumbling political and public consensus on global warming.

The conference in Sydney, organised by the Federation of Australian Scientific and Technological Societies (FASTS), is part of a long-term bid to develop a ”national communication charter” for major scientific organisations and universities to better spruik the evidence of climate change.

The conference will hear an address from Australia’s chief scientist, Penny Sackett [who is a fully paid up alarmist – see here]. Representatives of the CSIRO, Bureau of Meteorology, Australian Academy of Science and Department of Climate Change, among others, will attend [all on the alarmist bandwagon, of course, because without it, they would lose their juicy funding cheques].

FASTS president Cathy Foley said although public scepticism was on the rise, scientific evidence of man-made climate change had not changed, and it was sad the community was less and less trusting of scientists. [And who do you have to blame for that? The scientists themselves – think “Hockey Stick” and “Climategate”]

Dr Foley said a well-organised and funded climate sceptics’ movement had increasingly captured attention [That old chestnut again – a bunch of retired scientists and lone bloggers are better funded and better organised than the entire global warming industry? Yeah, right].

”We are concerned the debate around climate change has become a left-wing versus right-wing debate – or a kind of religious argument – when it should really be about the strength of the scientific evidence,” Dr Foley said.

The conference was not about politics or ”brainwashing” the public, she added.

The thought never entered my head. Oops, just noticed the title. Maybe it did.

Read it here.

UPDATE: Listen here to how the ABC treats this entire story with kid gloves, and allows Cathy Foley to misrepresent the science as having been settled for hundreds of years. Yes, the principle of greenhouse warming is settled, but the science of climate feedbacks (which is what we need to understand to determing whether we will get catastrophic warming) is most definitely not.

New blog: RCS Audit


Regular ACM commenter Eloi has started a superb site, which has already been blogged by Anthony Watts and Andrew Bolt, looking at the quality of the Australian Bureau of Meteorology Reference Climate Station network – and not a moment too soon. These sites are supposed to be the gold standard by which we measure our nation’s climate, but looking at this photo, it is a crock:

Spot the weather station in the junk…

As Eloi puts it:

This has to be one of the favourites so far – the station is just dumped in a lot along with corrugated iron fences and builders’ rubble. CRN1 status: Fail.

Visit the site at RCS-audit.blogspot.com.

BoM: 2009 "second hottest year on record"


Good news for doom mongers

The warmenistas will love this – oh, well, can’t begrudge them a bit of fun – it’s been a shocking year for the poor blighters. The Bureau has come out and labelled 2009 the second hottest year on record:

“2009 ends Australia’s warmest decade on record, with a decadal mean temperature anomaly of +0.48C (above the 1961-90 average),” the Bureau of Meterology said.

“In Australia, each decade since the 1940s has been warmer than the preceding decade. In contrast, decadal temperature variations during the first few decades of Australia’s climate record do not display any specific trend. This suggests an apparent shift in Australia’s climate from one characterised by natural variability to one increasingly characterised also by a trend to warmer temperatures.”

In a statement, the bureau also noted that the World Meteorological Organisation stated that 2009 is expected to be the globe’s fifth warmest year on record (about 0.44C above the 1961-90 average).

And the moronic Peter “Where’s Penny” Garrett leaps on it as evidence of “global warming”:

Environment Minister Peter Garrett said today the finding that Australia’s annual mean temperature for 2009 was 0.9C above the 1961-90 average exposed Tony Abbott’s false climate change claim that global warming has stopped.

“This false and misleading claim is today shown to be completely at odds with the rigorous scientific findings of the independent experts at the Bureau of Meteorology,” Mr Garrett said.

“This is the latest Abbott climate-change clanger to be exposed by the independent experts and once again shows why Mr Abbott cannot be trusted when it comes to climate change.”

Mr Garrett said the weather records underlined the need for a carbon pollution reduction scheme to reduce global warming. (source)

Where’s Penny again? Where’s Kevin? When those two aren’t around, it’s left to the pea-brained rock-star to deal with climate matters. So what does this actually say? It actually says that the surface temperature in Australia is the second highest since 1850 [Update: actually, since 1910, which makes it even less relevant]. Big freaking deal. The planet was at the end of the Little Ice Age in 1850, so guess what, it’s getting warmer.

What doesn’t it say?

  • It doesn’t prove any link with CO2 emissions, so Garrett’s link to the CPRS is total nonsense
  • It doesn’t say that the satellite record shows far less warming (almost none) since 2001 (see below)
  • It doesn’t say the planet has been warmer previously – it has, many times – nor that the rate of warming is anything unusual.

In fact, Dr Roy Spencer has just posted the December anomaly from UAH:

Dr Spencer comments thus:

While the large amount of year-to-year variability in global temperatures seen in the above plot makes it difficult to provide meaningful statements about long-term temperature trends in the context of global warming, the running 25-month average suggests there has been no net warming in the last 11 years or so. (source)

Which would you trust? Satellite data, or thermometer records that are fudged and “adjusted” and “homogenized” by the likes of CRU?

UPDATE at 3 pm: And of course, every two-bit rag, newsletter and gossip sheet in Australia is now running the story. Stuffed full of alarmists, the editorial offices have had a pretty tough time, what with the climate not co-operating, and Climategate. But now they can breathe a collective sigh of relief as a big, copper-bottomed scare story finally breaks (except it isn’t if you actually stopped for five seconds to think about it).

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