Bureau of Meteorology, Australia

These pages will review  Bureau of Meteorology (BoM) handling of aspects of  climate change issues over the last 15 years.
In order to logically explain the entire skein of events and attitudes that will unfold here in weeks ahead,  it would appear that from the mid-1980's the BoM favoured a prevailing attitude that  greenhouse / global warming constituted such a threat that the entire raft of IPCC attitudes became the preferred in house option.

This page is starting with a letter to the editor of the  Australian Meteorological and Oceanic Society (AMOS)  magazine in about 1993 by Craig Bohren, a meteorologist  from Penn State  who had maybe been on a study tour in Australia. After some interesting and perceptive comments about the impact of the entire greenhouse bandwagon on meteorologists,   the letter has some not so kind things to say about climate modellers, ending up by suggesting in a polite way, that climate modelling can be likened to simulated sex.
It sounds to this writer that  Craig had been at least for some time with CSIRO Division of Atmospheric Research which had/has  more climate modellers than the BoM and which generally carries on research further removed from issues of  current weather.  Link to The Lavoisier Group  and look for  "papers" with interesting letter from Dr G. Pearman Chief of CSIRO Division of Atmospheric Physics.   Poor Dr Pearman has been put to explaining why unjustifiable claims re global warming were made vis a vis the CSIRO Cape Grim trace gas  measurement site.   Note the last page of his letter to the Business Council of Australia and if anyone knows who / what he is referring to in his references to "...amateurish, if not deceitful attempt to discredit the efforts of hundreds of scientists around the world using half baked and poorly informed.......",  please let me know.
These  pages will have more points to make about CSIRO at a later date.

BoM Paper,  Coughlan et al,   1990, "Trends in Australian Temperature Records"

This paper by three senior BoM staff,   which unfortunately was not published in a Journal,  defined urban heat island (UHI) magnitudes by various comparisons between central city sites in all the Australian state capitals and their respective airports, more than one satellite site in the case of the larger cities.  At the outset it has to be said that this method is deficient because the airports temperature record data are also contaminated by the UHI (see page on Sydney), so in fact the paper compares a large UHI with a slightly smaller UHI at the airport.  Note on the Sydney page how the airport UHI has grown faster over the last 30 years than the central Sydney site.

Irrespective of the point that the methodology of the  BoM paper was faulty in that it failed to measure the entire UHI (just the UHIcity minus UHIairport),  they still found substantial artificial warming on the scale of global warming.  A section from the Coughlan et all 1990 is in italics below.       Download  300KB zip file of 18 gifs of  Coughlan et al  

"Conclusion From Coughlan, et al 1990  re Urbanization Trends

3.3 Mean temperatures

Estimates of the trends in the annual average daily mean temperature also indicated warming at most of the non-urban sites except Brisbane Airport. The strongest warming over the periods examined was 0.26 C decade~1 Mean temperatures at Brisbane Airport cooled by approximately 0.03 C decade 1.    Trends in urban-rural differences were all positive.

These estimates are greater than those of the trends this century, reported by Jones et al. (1989), in annual mean Southern Hemisphere air temperature, over both land and sea, and sea surface temperature, which have all shown rises of approximately  0.06 C decade 1.  These trends are also larger than that reported this century for the contiguous United States, even before any urban component of that trend was removed (Karl and Jones 1989)."

The point worth noting here is that the authors or BoM, whoever, failed to comment  to the relevant Journal that the 1986 Jones / CRU papers generating the IPCC "global warming", did in fact use these UHI contaminated Australian state capitals,
a procedure that by any scientific logic has to be invalid. in view of the findings in the  BoM paper Coughlan et al 1990.

Readers can rest assured that comments to Journals are a frequent event when scientic differences need resolving or areas of disagreement  need clarifying.   A body with the prestige of the BoM should have had no problem getting its voice heard in the Journal if the will was there.   The prevailing view in the BoM was obviously that it was more important not to "rock the new IPCC boat",  than to correct blatantly bad science.   Considering Australia's great interest in the development of IPCC policy as a large coal exporter,  policymakers today should be asking the BoM for a  public "please explain"  over their 1990 meek acceptance of the bad science involved in the use of  Australian temperature records containing UHI exaggerated warming trends,  by the UK CRU / Jones research group and the IPCC.

And, do not forget Sydney is still being used to measure "global warming".

In September 2000  three  top Australian climate scienists gave an address to the National Press Club in Canberra.
Dr John Zillman, Director of the Bureau of Meteorology (BoM) gave an answer to a question on global temperature records that seems  divorced from reality on the issue of UHI contamination of the surface record.

The UK Met Office, (UKMO) publish their Central England  Temperature (CET)  series which is famous for being the longest thermometer record.  When you look at the urban nature of the stations used to composite the CET and the tiny UHI adjustments made, then compare the CET to Valentia Observatory on SW Ireland, I think there is a good case that the CET contains UHI ~ equal to global warming over the 20th Century.

BoM scientists have published a set of adjusted Australian temperature records. I have shown two cases,Newcastle and Mount Gambier where these adjustments produce spurious, non-climatic results when time series are compared.
"Oh, what a tangled web we weave."

BoM people have in 2001 discovered the UHI in real time in very small towns in Australia.  When will they figure out that their century long temperature trends are biased upwards by the same UHI's ?  Watch this space.

Internationally the BoM does not have things all its own way, NASA / GISS publish on their web site (see www links) UHI adjusted trends for Australian cities and also have for download SE Australian rural records that show no warming since late 19 C, which the BoM say are incorrect. See the differences for yourself.
NASA  GISS versions of SE Australian rural and city records (corrected for UHI) are shown and contrasted with the BoM efforts.
The differerence is stark with BoM finding much warming over SE Australia since late 19 C while NASA finds little trend.
I am waiting for the BoM to get Jim Hansen to take down these data that they do not agree with.

In recent months the Hadley Centre, UKMO  IPCC  global warming temple, has revised downwards  trends in sea surface temperatures, SST.

More recently the Finnish Meteorological Institute ( FMI) put up a graphic on their web site purporting to show the temperature history of Finland. This included Helsinki with its well known UHI.
Why would they try to pass off the Helsinki urban warming trend as  the climate history of Finland when they knew that  the North Atlantic Climate Data (NACD) report that they collaborated in along with most European MI's, classified the Helsinki temperature record as "Environment changes prevents climate studies"  ?
Obviously not if you are happy to use UHI warming trends to push the IPCC pro-warming line.
There is a lot of misleading propaganda out there.

NASA GISS inserts warming into Florida rural stations.

Senior staff from USA climate giant NOAA / NCDC are responsible for the definitive recent paper on global Daily Temperature Range (DTR).Easterling, D.R. et al., 1997, Maximum and minimum temperature trends for the globe, Science, 277, 364-367.

Read about systemic faults in their data, plus the usual "turn a blind eye to the UHI" methodology and see for yourself the most error ridden colour diagram ever to appear in a modern climate Journal.

Your taxes at work.

More to come.

Posted 30, August, 2000
Updated 13, June, 2002
© 2000-2001 Warwick Hughes,

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