Australian meteorologists have been caught changing temperature data from two crucial weather stations. Would it surprise you to hear that they were altering the numbers to show warmer temperatures?
Agency officials admit that the problem with instruments recording low temperatures likely happened in several locations throughout Australia, but they refuse to admit to manipulating temperature readings. The BOM located missing logs in Goulburn and the Snow Mountains, both of which are in New South Wales.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'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," a bureau spokeswoman told reporters Monday. BOM added that there are limits placed on how low temperatures could go in some very cold areas of the country.Bureaus Chief Executive Andrew Johnson told Australian Environment Minister Josh Frydenberg that the failure to record the low temperatures at Goulburn in early July was due to faulty equipment. A similar failure wiped out a reading of 13 degrees Fahrenheit at Thredbo Top on July 16, even though temperatures at that station have been recorded as low as 5.54 degrees Fahrenheit.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," Johnson said, according to The Australian. "I categorically reject this implication."Marohasy, for her part, told reporters that Johnson's claims are nearly impossible to believe given that there are screen shots that show the very low temperatures before being "quality assured" out. It could take several weeks before the equipment is eventually tested, reviewed and ready for service, Johnson said."I have taken steps to ensure that the hardware at this location is replaced immediately," he added. "To ensure that I have full assurance on these matters, I have actioned an internal review of our AWS network and associated data quality control processes for temperature observations."
The problem is a little more complex than it might appear. Temperature data is compiled from thousands of stations around the world over a period of 150-175 years. The problem with getting consistent data is that many of those stations have moved over that period of time – sometimes as much as several miles. The move sometimes involves placing the recording instruments several hundred feet farther above or below sea level. Some of the stations were originally placed in rural areas before a city grew up around them.
All of these conditions would skew the data. So researchers develop algorithms to compensate for the variances.
The problem with that, as pointed out by several climate skeptics, is that invariably, the "adjusted" temps show a warming trend. It's impossible to prove that it's deliberate. But in the case of Australia, it is certainly suspicious and raises questions not only about methodology, but also about the motives of researchers.
Skeptics have been sounding alarms about these data points for years, largely to no avail. It's one of the major problems with the climate change hypothesis and a potential scandal that could undermine the scientific justification for the entire global warming movement.