Australian “bush meteorologist” and anthropogenic global warming skeptic Lance Pidgeon blew the whistle on what he says are rigged temperature logs, prompting the Australian Bureau of Meteorology to order a review of recording equipment and procedures, reports the Australian.
Pidgeon noticed that a temperature reading on a bureau website appeared, changed and subsequently disappeared. He shared his observation with fellow climate skeptic Dr. Jennifer Marohasy. After an inquiry from Marohasy, the figure reappeared.
“The temperature dropped to minus 10.4 C (13 degrees F), stayed there for some time and then it changed to minus 10 C (14 degrees F) and then it disappeared,” Pidgeon said.
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Dr. Marohasy publicly clashed with the Bureau of Meteorology in 2015, disagreeing with the bureau’s categorization of a cyclone and calling its methodology into question on her website.
Dr. Marohasy is co-author, with J.W. Abbott, of an essay titled “Southeast Australia Maximum Temperature Trends, 1887-2013: An Evidence-Based Reappraisal,” which appeared in a 2011 book, “Evidence-Based Climate Science,” edited by Don Easterbrook. In it the authors argue that current collection, analysis and interpretation of climate and temperature data lead to erroneous assumptions about the severity, projected progress and causes of global warming or climate change.
In a letter to federal Environment Minister Josh Frydenberg, bureau head Andrew Johnson blamed faulty equipment and procedures for any discrepancies in the data, called for a review and replacement of equipment and procedures and “categorically rejected” any implication that the bureau sought to manipulate the data record.
“I expect the review to be conducted in a matter of weeks and I will report back to you as soon as it is completed,” Johnson wrote.
At issue are figures in an online log showing temperatures recorded at a weather station in the city of Goulborn and in the alpine village of Thredbo Top, both in the Australian state of New South Wales.
The controversy also touches on the practice of “homogenization,” which is a complicated method of smoothing out climate data by removing “non-climatic changes” or anomalies which are determined to have been caused by relocations or disturbances in the instrumentation used to record data. Climate scientists compare data from a set of similar or proximate weather instruments, and identify spikes or drops, then remove them in an effort to obtain more accurate data sets.
Skeptics claim that identification and removal of such “inhomogeneities” can be used for dishonest manipulation of data.
Johnson claims that the mysterious disappearing temperature figure from Goulborn was a matter of “quality control” and that suspicious changes in the Thredbo Top data were due to equipment which was “not fit for purpose.”
Dr. Marohasy isn’t buying the bureau chief’s explanations.
“This either reflects an extraordinary incompetence, or a determination to prevent evidence of low temperatures,” she said.
In an interview with Jones & Co. on Australia’s Sky News, Marohasy elaborated on the manipulation, saying, “They’re changing the values before they’re actually recorded in the CDO (Climate Data Online) Raw Temperature data base. Extraordinary. Extraordinary.”
Marohasy has called for an independent review.