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How accurate are our national climate datasets when some adjustments turn entire long stable records from cooling trends to warming ones or visa versa? One of the most extreme examples is a thermometer station in Amberley, Queensland where a cooling trend in minima of 1C per century has been homogenized and become a warming trend of 2.
Ken Stewart was the first to notice this anomaly and many others when he compared the raw data to the new, adjusted ACORN data set. Jennifer Marohasy picked it up, and investigated it and 30 or so other stations. She raised her concerns repeatedly with Minister Greg Hunt.
Now the Australian Bureau of Meteorology has been forced to try to explain the large adjustments. There is both a feature and a news piece today in The Weekend Australian.
The odd case of Amberley minima. If you live nearby the local thermometer would say that mornings now are slightly cooler for you than they were in The BOM says otherwise.
Both Jennifer Marohasy and Graham Lloyd are both doing great work here: After a description of some of the problems, the BOM responds to explain the adjustments.
It said the level of confidence was very high because of the large number of stations in the region. There were examples where homogenisation had resulted in a weaker warming trend.
But the radius of those stations is nearly 1, km. These other sites may themselves have had real warming, or an urban heat island effect, or other equipment changes or relocations. The BOM rarely portrays how complicated and messy it is, nor how much the final trends are affected by their complicated adjustment processes.
At Burke, in western NSW, BoM deleted the first 40 years of data because temperatures before were apparently not recorded in a Stevenson screen, the agreed modern method. Marohasy says this could have been easily accounted for with an accepted algorithm, which would not have changed the fact that it was obviously much hotter in the early 20th century than for any period since.
Instead, the early record is deleted, and the post data homogenised. She is a biologist and a sceptic of the thesis that human activity is bringing about global warming.
Read it all though it may be paywalled:Graham Lloyd writes about how Jennifer Marohasy was trying to use the data for forecasting floods with historical data and what an artificial homogenisation process may mean.
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Both Jennifer Marohasy and Graham Lloyd are both doing great work here. The Australian. Bureau of Meteorology ‘altering climate figures’ THE Bureau of Meteorology has been accused of manipulating historic temperature records to fit a predetermined view of global warming.
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