At the beginning of each year, the Australian Bureau of Meteorology release their annual climate statement for the previous year with comment about how much hotter it is relative to temperatures back to 1910. This is duly reported by the mainstream media.
Two years ago (9th January 2020) it was reported, for example, in the Sydney Morning Herald: We’ve seen clear trends in maximum, minimum and average temperatures across Australia, said Karl Braganza, head of the bureau’s climate monitoring, adding the country had warmed about 1.4 degrees since 1910, most of it since 1950.*
Last year (8th January 2021) the annual climate statement included comment that Australia’s climate has warmed on average by 1.44 degrees Celsius since records began in 1910.
This year (8th February 2022) the annual climate statement includes comment that Australia’s climate has warmed on averaged 1.47 degrees Celsius between when national records began in 1910 and 2020.
In fact, temperatures have been coming down for the last two years, but the management at the Australian Bureau of Meteorology can’t bring itself to acknowledge this reality, so it keeps quoting how much the country had warmed from 1910 to 2019 as though this figure is still relevant – when it is two years out of date.
To be clear the quoted warming of 1.4 °C relates to the period 1910 to 2019 (inclusive), with 1.44 °C being the value based on ACORN-SAT version 2.1 and 1.47 °C being the value based on ACORN-SAT version 2.2. Chris Gillham, who maintains a wonderful resource at http://www.waclimate.net, first alerted me to the trick.
The Bureau’s wording is ambiguous – ‘when national records began in 1910 and 2020’ could mean to the beginning, or end, of 2020 – the wording is ambiguous enough that officialdom are not technically wrong, and the average person should not realize that they are being dubbed out of two years of data; the last two years of data!
There is information indicating that this last year (2021) was not as hot as previous years. A media release from the Australian Bureau on 6th January 2022 acknowledged 2021 was Australia’s coolest year in nearly a decade, due to the La Nina conditions.
A critical thinker might ask the question:
How can last year (2021) be the coolest year in nearly a decade, and yet be 0.03 degrees Celsius hotter than 2020 and possibly 0.07 degrees Celsius hotter than 2019. Not forgetting, 2019 is officially the hottest year on record.
To reiterate, the Bureau has remodelled the 2019 values (finding an additional 0.03 °C) and then simply failed to report a value for 2020 and 2021 – despite publishing Annual Climate Statements for 2020 and 2021.
When are journalists going to realise that in just repeating information in media releases from the Australian Bureau of Meteorology they are starting to look like gooses. What I mean is: it is as though they, along with most Australians, are incapable of thinking critically.
And so, welcome to the brave new world of temperature reporting when there is nothing new to report except two years of cooling.
* It is interesting that the Bureau add in this note about 1950. Considering the historical values (before they are homogenised/remodelled and added into the ACORN-SAT databases) the temperatures as measured at rural weather stations across much of Australia show cooling to about 1950 or 1960 and then warming to the present. To be clear, considering the un-homogenised historical values for much of the landmass of Australia, there is no overall trend. This is in contrast to historical temperatures at coastal locations that tend to show warming of some 0.4 degrees Celsius over the last 100 or so years. Temperatures in our capital cities show warming of more than 1 degree Celsius consistent with the reported catastrophe.
The feature image is 8 years old, of me/Jennifer Marohasy in the National Archives, Chester Hill (Sydney) checking temperature records from 134 years ago. I made the trip with another mate from the resistance, Lance Pidgeon.