Australian Bureau of Meteorology (BoM) now run by non-meteorologist

w:en:Penny Wong accepts a Image via Wikipedia

I suppose it is what we could expect with the BoM coming under the wing of Minister Penny Wong, the Minister for Climate Change and Water.

It has been obvious for over a decade that CSIRO has been more gung-ho than the BoM about pushing an agenda underpinned by ridiculous “climate change” modeling.

Now a CSIRO staffer has taken over the BoM. Why not go the whole hog, make the BoM a Division of CSIRO? Tidier.

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12 comments to Australian Bureau of Meteorology (BoM) now run by non-meteorologist

  • John A

    It looks like Greg Ayers is an atmospheric chemistry specialist. Not quite meteorology, though.

  • Geoff Sherrington

    I have no doubt at all that the Bureau of Meteorology has done a tremendous amount of really good work. The sheer volumes of record acquisitions, their checking and collation, have been compounded by new demands for interpretation of methods, instruments and results. The early work could not have envisaged the demands on the data produced by the Global Warming bubble.

    In the real world, bodies like BOM have to bow at least a little to their political masters. The main questions that bothers me is how much.

    As one gently digs away, one becomes aware that questions that are being asked on blogs and in some papers – questions already answered by past BOM work. As befitting a specialist organisation, the BOM lomg ago investigated some questions that excite people from time to time. The problem is that the BOM does not easily come forward and volunteer the answers, though they are public property. It is a common response to be asked to pay a stiff fee for info. Some past questions on temperatures have been referred to the 1996 PhD thesis by Simon Torok held in the BOM library, when the answer is probably known to the BOM correspondent.

    Another problem with the Party line is that contra-indications are not always forthcoming. Wgen Dr Steig made the cover “Nature” magazine with a claim that the Antarctic was warming, we did not see the BOM produce any graphs like the following one for Davis station:

    Davis

    or Mawson Station:

    Mawson

    or Macquarie Island:

    Macq

    When we ask about UHI in Melbourne, it is not trumpeted that measurements could have been made years ago. Or that differences in instrument enclosures were studied by Jane Warne at Broadmeadows.

    But, to me, the biggest criticism is to fail to report critically, if at all, on the further use of data collected by BOM and made available to other bodies. I suspect that a large book could be written about the use of BOM data by the East Anglia Climate Reasearch Unit and later by Goddard Institute of Space Studies. But I don’t know. Nobody from BOM feeds such information the the press or writes dissenting papers. It’s not good science to maintain confusion by a lack of disclosure of public goods, in this case intellectual property of the Nation.

    So, Greg Ayers, you have some public image problems ahead of you. Congratulations on your appointment, but use it wisely.

  • Romanoz

    BOM and CSIRO have been at odds over Cloud Seeding. Will we see any changes to BOM’s skepticism?
    Will we see a more activist role for BOM in the Global Warming debate?

  • WSH

    It is a while ago now that BoM and CSIRO had their turf wars over cloud seeding. The fact of two “expert” groups at odds must have contributed to the issue being left on the national “back-burner”. Which is pretty silly considering how cheap some aircraft missions are compared to the potential benefits even with small percentage success. A problem of course is that small percentage success is hard to measure and is easy for opponents to belittle and argue over. Out rain-gauge networks were not planned for such a task anyway.
    Yet look at the NSW 100 yr rain graph, that huge leap in 1950 – just when the post WWII CS experiments started. I would like to see exact dates and flight plans of all the missions but the data is in the library at Aspendale. Without going there, I have been quoted many hundreds to get the files.
    I am not sure BoM is very sceptical of AGW, suppose some are. I expect they will more and more fall in behind the IPCC.

  • Romanoz

    Warwick I notice that Garrett announced the new appointment. Are you sure Wong is in charge of BOM?
    I see in their Annual report, BOM give as their achievement
    • the formal establishment, jointly with CSIRO, of the Centre for Australian Weather and
    Climate Research;
    One name on the Board of BOM which stood out was Will Steffen!
    CSIRO and BOM are Statutory organisations with a fair amount of independence, I think it is important that this remains so. Both have considerable public goodwill which both organisations should call upon if their independence is threatened although it may be too late for CSIRO.
    Labor have an unfortunate habit of politicising everything they touch. I suspect BOM are in their sights.
    Your comment on BOM and GW/AGW is interesting because my impression of the US situation is that there is a large group of meteorologists who are skeptics!

  • WSH

    Several months ago I wrote to Senator Kim Carr, Minister for Innovation, Industry, Science and Research, thinking the BoM might belong under his wing. He replied that my letter had been forwarded to Senator Penny Wong. But when I check around on ministerial websites I see what you mean. The Hon Peter Garrett is the Minister but I am still not 100% sure where he and Senator Wong are relative to one another in the pecking order.
    You may be right about meteorologists tending to be sceptical but I doubt there are Brownie points in the BoM Org if you were to wear that to exposed on your sleeve.

  • peter

    1 Atmospheric Chemists ARE meteteorologist!!

    2 Bureau (I hate “BoM”) is in Garrett’s ministry.

  • Having worked with Dr Greg Ayers of CSIRO on many pollution monitoring projects involving meteoroly in Australia and SE Asia I fully endorse is credentials as expert in air monitoring involving meteorology. Hi s experience spans over a number of years and has previously worked with Asian Meteorology Bureaus.
    Robert G Dal Sasso
    CEO of Ecotech P/L
    & NATA audutor

  • Romanoz

    Watkins of BOM refuses to publish contra-indications that the Antarctic is cooling!

    In The Australian on 2 May, Watkins appears to make a fool of himself by attacking The Australian!
    “You were told explicitly that the data collected by the Bureau of Metereology at the Australian bases shows a warming for maximum temperatures at all bases, and minimum temperatures at all but Mawson.”

    This appears to be at variance with the data posted by Sherington in post number 2 above!
    Is this a coverup?
    Is this a sign of a more combative BOM, ie combative towards Global Warming skeptics?
    Is the refusal to publish the data acceptable given that it has been paid for by Australian taxpayers?
    Should Watkins apologise to the Australian public for, apparently, misleading them?
    Is his statement at variance with Bureau guidelines on public comments?

  • You can find analysis of mawson at this webpage which concludes no significant increase or decrease in minimum and maximum temperauters:

    gustofhotair.blogspot.com/2006/11/cold-antarctica-is-still-very-cold.html

    Similarly, at Macquarie Island, which is located half way between Antarctica and Australia, no significant changes were found at all the standard times (Midnight, 3am, 6am, 9am, Noon, 3pm, 6pm and 9pm):
    gustofhotair.blogspot.com/2006/11/consistent-macquarie.html

  • Romanoz

    Warwick you were right to be confused about who is the Minister responsible for BOM. I have been plowing through BOM’s last Annual Report 2007-2008 and it appears that they report to two Ministers – Garrett AND Wong! So you were right. Apparently, BOM now has responsibilities under the Water Act 2007.
    “Additional functions of the Bureau
    The Bureau has the following functions in addition to its functions under the
    Meteorology Act 1955:
    (a) collecting, holding, managing, interpreting and disseminating Australia’s water
    information;
    (b) providing regular reports on the status of Australia’s water resources and
    patterns of usage of those resources;
    (c) providing regular forecasts on the future availability of Australia’s water
    resources;
    (d) compiling and maintaining water accounts for Australia, including a set of
    water accounts to be known as the National Water Account;
    (e) issuing National Water Information Standards;
    (f) giving advice on matters relating to water information;
    (g) undertaking and commissioning investigations to enhance understanding of
    Australia’s water resources;
    (h) any other matter, relating to water information, specified in the regulations.”

    With respect to these responsibilities they report to Wong.
    By the way, I notice they have created a new position – Chief Climatologist! A bit over the top for a weather bureau???

  • WSH

    Well Romanoz – the parachuting in of an outsider must have been a kick in the teeth to the senior BoM contenders for Director. I am sure there are those who would have had their eye on the top post for many years. So I am not surprised a few sops are being tossed around to calm injured pride. But I guess longer term, it is a sea change and the BoM will never be the same in that regard – less assured career paths.

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