BoM declines to give Australian journalist Antarctic temperature data

Read this latest illustration of the famous saying by Sir Walter Scott along lines, “..what a tangled web we weave when we set out to deceive..”
May 2 article in “The Australian”, no compromise over the length of this headline.

“Bureau blows hot and cold over Antarctica warm-up as Bureau of Metereology backs down from a claim that temperatures at Australia’s three bases in Antarctica have been warming over the past three decades”

You need to read right to the end of the article for the lines,

“Dr Watkins declined to release the temperature data to The Weekend Australian. He said it had still to be fully analysed by the bureau.”

Can I please add – but the data was quite OK to be a base for Dr Watkins to trumpet his version to the media.

Here you can see some graphics of BoM data from Australian Antarctic stations, thanks to Geoff Sherrington and to the stalwart observers who ventured out in thick and thin to record these data over the decades.
Thanks to Romanoz for his mention on another thread.
Below here for the article text, in case it vanishes.

Bureau blows hot and cold over Antarctica warm-up as Bureau of Metereology backs down from a claim that temperatures at Australia’s three bases in Antarctica have been warming over the past three decades
Greg Roberts | May 02, 2009
Article from: The Australian

THE Bureau of Metereology has backed down from a claim that temperatures at Australia’s three bases in Antarctica have been warming over the past three decades.

A senior bureau climatologist had accused The Weekend Australian of manufacturing a report that temperatures were cooling in East Antarctica, where Australia’s Mawson, Davis and Casey bases are located.

The trend of temperatures and ice conditions in Antarctica is central to the debate on global warming because substantial melting of the Antarctic ice cap, which contains 90 per cent of the world’s ice, would be required for sea levels to rise.

While calvings from ice shelves in parts of West Antarctica have generated headlines, evidence has emerged that temperatures are cooling in the east of the continent, which is four times the size of West Antarctica.

Contrary to widespread public perceptions, the area of sea ice around the continent is expanding.

The Weekend Australian reported last month a claim by Bureau of Metereology senior climatologist Andrew Watkins that monitoring at Australia’s Antarctic bases since the 1950s indicated temperatures were rising. A study was then published by the British Antarctic Survey that concluded the ozone hole was responsible for the cooling and expansion of sea ice around much of the continent.

The head of the study project, John Turner, said at the time that the section of Antarctica that included the Australian bases was among the areas that had cooled.

Dr Watkins said The Weekend Australian had misrepresented the results of the BAS study, which made no findings about temperatures at Australian bases.

When it was pointed out to Dr Watkins that Professor Turner had been quoted directly, Dr Watkins said his bureau, and not the BAS, was the agency collecting temperature data.

“You kept going until you got the answer you wanted,” Dr Watkins said.

“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.”

However, Professor Turner told The Weekend Australian the data showed a cooling of the East Antarctica coast associated with the onset of the ozone layer from 1980 onwards. Professor Turner said the monthly mean temperatures for Casey station from 1980 to 2005 showed a cooling of 0.45C per decade. In autumn, the temperature trend has been a cooling of 0.93C per decade.

“These fairly small temperature trends seem to be consistent to me with the small increase in sea ice extent off the coast,” he said.

Dr Watkins did not dispute the figures referred to by Professor Turner.

Referring to the bureau’s data collection since the 1950s, Dr Watkins said Professor Turner’s figures were “only half of the full data set”.

However, Dr Watkins admitted that analysis of the data might show “an ozone-induced cooling trend in the latter half of the record” — a reference to the past three decades.

Dr Watkins declined to release the temperature data to The Weekend Australian. He said it had still to be fully analysed by the bureau.

Nationals Senate leader Barnaby Joyce said he hoped all government agencies would co-operate in helping to inform the global warming debate.

“These agencies need to be able to dispense the facts without fear or bias,” he said.

6 thoughts on “BoM declines to give Australian journalist Antarctic temperature data”

  1. You have them on the ropes. Pound, pound, pound their credibility into the dirt.

    They are making press statements to serve their political masters rather than science.

  2. ‘However, Dr Watkins admitted that analysis of the data might show “an ozone-induced cooling trend in the latter half of the record” — a reference to the past three decades.’

    I was under the impression that very cold temperatures reduce ozone levels – this statement implies the opposite view. I remember a report written around 2006 saying that the ozone hole was as big as ever due to the colder temperatures. Can anyone enlighten me?

  3. I am not sure Ian if a cooling trend at 10,000 metres will be reflected at the surface – it is certainly not happening globally – but then there is a vortex over Antarctica. Is it possible the BoM could be grasping at an unsound straw here.
    Stratospheric ozone is generated over the tropics by solar radiation driving oxygen molecules into ozone O3 at a faster rate than ozone disassociates into normal oxygen. These reactions over the tropics tend to be strongest during solar maximums and I assume weaker during periods such as now when the sun is quiet. Mass transport of this thin air polewards is the mechanism by which the ozone layer is sustained over polar regions.
    Is all that pretty much standard and agreed ?
    This UK Met Office graphic show how stratospheric temperatures have fallen 1979 to mid-1990’s then for a decade or so look to have stabilised.
    You can make various graphics (and get downloads) of TOMS ozone data from 1979 at the KNMI Climate Explorer site, under Select a field – choose Monthly observations, scroll down a long way then to find TOMS ozone data, tick that radio button, then scroll up – press Select Field button, then you can enter lat – longs or leave all blank for global. You can see that globally ozone has tracked stratospheric temperature, falling from 1979 to mid-1990’s then oscillating in a range for a decade.
    It will be interesting to see in time what affect the current quiet sun has on global ozone.
    I just quickly graphed the zone -90 (Sth Pole) to -70 lat TOMS ozone and it follows pretty much the global pattern – this suggest to me that global processes dominate over whatever the green media wants to force on us about Antarctic ozone trends.
    If you want to experiment with zonal ozone / temperature comparisons, then you can get zonal strat temperature data from either UAH or RSS off links at this NOAA page.

  4. where does it give the weekly report on the temperature for mawson or other australia bases.

    please tell me where or which website i need it by 31st monday sep!

    thanx

    its for home work
    i am studing antarctica temperatures!!! thank you :D :] =]

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