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Mt Barker — How not to measure the temperature

Thanks to Bill in Oz who sent in this photo of the Mt Barker site in South Australia.

Ken Stewart at Ken’s Kingdom writes: The Wacky World of Weather Stations: No. 1- Mount Barker

Mt Barker, Photo, Bureau of Meteorology site.

Photo: Bill in Oz.

Count the ways this site breaches the Bureau of Meteorology own rules:

Ken Stewart finds the relevant BoM guidelines. Clearly this site is on a slope, too close to buildings, too close to tall foliage, too close to heat sinks, it should not be artificially watered, or near asphalt. It should have a 30 meter buffer zone, and not be shielded from the sun, rain or wind. BillinOz points out that it is totally screened from the southerly cold winds, and the cold air will be drained from the spot down the slope.

How much do the Bureau of Meteorology care about climate change? — About 1m out of 30m or 3% of their advertised “care” factor.  That’s a a 97% Junk-Science rate. The future of life on Earth is supposedly at stake and the “experts” can’t even be bothered accurately measuring the climate change they tell us we need to pay billions of dollars to solve.

Mt Barker, Bureau of Meteorology site, 2015.

Could it be worse? Sure — in 2015, the Mt Barker thermometer was on the other side of the block next to the driveway and the van.  | Imagery  ©2019 Google

Obviously every record claimed at this site is scientifically meaningless. This sort of error can’t be homogenized or adjusted away, but taxpaying Australians might think that installing a proper site would be possible when we pay them over a million dollars a day.

Mt Barker’s temperatures are published at their Latest Weather Observations page. As Stewart points out this flawed site is used to adjust temperatures at official superstar ACORN-SAT sites at Adelaide, Cape Borda, Nuriootpa, Robe, and Snowtown. And thus does bad data pollute Australia’s temperature records and the press releases that are used to scare the public into paying more money to fix a climate problem no one can be bothered to even measure properly.

The bottom line? Ask our M.P.’s to audit the Bureau of Met. If the environment matters, there must be an independent audit. Skeptics have asked, and the Bureau threw out the whole dataset to avoid the audit. They admit they won’t describe their methods. If the Greens or Australian Conservation Foundation cared about the environment, they would demand an audit like we do.

In 2015 this site was on the other side of the block next to the driveway and car. “Lucky” the BoM realized, and … moved it to another inadequate spot.

Those fantasy bureau guidelines:

Specifications for meteorological stations are set out in the BOM Observation Specification 2013.1 “GUIDELINES FOR THE SITING AND EXPOSURE OF METEOROLOGICAL INSTRUMENTS AND OBSERVING FACILITIES”.


3.4.1  “… the Instrument enclosure is a 17 metres by 17 metres square enclosure in the middle of a 30 metre by 30 metre square buffer zone aligned in the true North – South direction.”

3.4.2  The enclosure area is to be “level, clearly defined and covered with as much of the natural vegetation of the area that can kept cut to a height of a few centimetres…  should not be artificially watered.”  Concrete or asphalt walkways no wider than 0.5 metres should be minimal and only installed if the ground will be impassable or unsafe in wet conditions.

3.4.3  The buffer zone must also be covered with natural vegetation maintained below 0.5 metres.

3.4.4  An isolated obstruction up to 15 metres high should be 4 times its height in distance from the enclosure.

3.6.4  “If a shelter is required at locations where no instrument enclosure is to be provided, it must be installed in an area that is level and covered with either the natural vegetation of the area or unwatered grass, which needs to be kept trimmed to a few centimetres in height.  The site should not be in a hollow or on a steep slope.  The shelter should be freely exposed to the sun and wind, and not shielded by or close to trees, buildings, fences, walls or other obstructions.  It should also not be close to extensive areas of concrete, asphalt, rock or other surfaces which may locally alter the air temperature of the site.  In areas where these surfaces are unavoidable, a minimum clearance of 5 times the width of the unrepresentative surface is recommended.”

Thanks to BillinOz who sent in this photo. If readers want to send in more photos of their local sites, please comment or email me joanne AT this site domain. Cheers! Jo

PS: As Ken points out, the people in the house are not to blame. Target your responses to the BoM!

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