Australian weather bureau caught tampering with temperatures


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The weather bureau in Australia has been caught tampering with temperatures measured by its weather stations, changing them so that cooler temperatures were warmer than what was actually measured.

Meteorologist Lance Pidgeon watched the 13 degrees Fahrenheit Goulburn recording from July 2 disappear from the bureau’s website. The temperature readings fluctuated briefly and then disappeared from the government’s website. “The temperature dropped to minus 10 (13 degrees Fahrenheit), stayed there for some time and then it changed to minus 10.4 (14 degrees Fahrenheit) and then it disappeared,” Pidgeon said, adding that he notified scientist Jennifer Marohasy about the problem, who then brought the readings to the attention of the bureau.

The bureau would later restore the original 13 degrees Fahrenheit reading after a brief question and answer session with Marohasy.

The bureau claimed that software had automatically and incorrectly thrown out the record-setting 13 degree temperature, and say they are reviewing that software now.

This story actually broke in early July, in Australia. I read the initial posts about it then, but somehow never got around to posting the story. When this story appeared today in the U.S. press, I didn’t report it initially because I thought I had already done so, but reader Keith Douglas’s request that I do a post forced me to search Behind the Black and discover that I had never reported it.

Regardless, it is worth reading the initial story from Australia, as it clearly documents what happened and shows that outright temperature tampering surely appears to be going on.

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One comment

  • Edward

    From the article: “The bureau’s quality ­control system, designed to filter out spurious low or high values was set at minus 10 minimum for Goulburn which is why the record automatically adjusted,

    What a lousy quality control system. How is unannounced, unreviewed, automatic adjustment considered to be a quality control solution? If the computer does automatic adjustment, how are we expected to be able to trust the data?

    If the official temperature record is that untrustworthy for the rest of Australia’s sites, then the untrustworthiness of temperature records seems to be universal.

    How can we come to any conclusions about global warming, global cooling, the coming ice age, or climate change when the pertinent data is so poorly managed?

    From the article: “Failure to observe the low temperatures had ‘been interpreted by a member of the community in such a way as to imply the bureau sought to manipulate the data record,’

    Well, if they have created a system that rejects new low temperatures, then the interpretation is not far off. If creating a system that automatically adjusts temperatures is not an intention to manipulate the data record, then what is it?

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