Second Open Letter to Tony Burke

Readers may be wondering if I have received any explanation from BOM for the worst of the adjustments to the raw temperature data I identified last year (here and here, and update).  The short answer is no,  so I sent a reminder.

19 May 2011

The Hon Tony Burke MP

Minister for Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities

PO Box 6022
House of Representatives
Parliament House
Canberra ACT 2600

Dear Mr Burke

I refer to the letter written on your behalf by Dr Greg Ayers dated 10 February 2011 (Ref. Exec 11-0009), previous correspondence, and the Open Letter to you I sent via email on 23 February 2011  (copy attached).

In his letter, Dr Ayers wrote “I have asked our Climate Data Services Section to provide you with the specific data you have requested in your letter.”

The specific data includes complete details, including station metadata, of the reasons for the large adjustments to the temperature records of the following sites: Omeo, Deniliquin Post Office, Nhill, Wagga Wagga AMO, Kellerberrin, and of the following Urban sites (not used in climate analyses but adjusted): Wangaratta Aero, Echuca Aerodrome, Benalla Shadford St, and Dubbo Airport AWS.

As it is now 99 days, or over 3 months, since the date of Dr Ayers’ letter, it appears that a reminder is necessary to ensure this is followed up.  This is extraordinary for such an important Ministry and reflects poorly on the Bureau of Meteorology, its Director, and the responsible Minister.

This delay could indicate either (a) inefficiency, or (b) incompetence, or (c) simple contempt for mere mortal taxpayers.

However, I am beginning to suspect there is another reason.  There is a history of delay in this matter.  It is 13 months since my first queries to Dr Jones, 10 months since I asked Dr Jones for an explanation of the apparent discrepancy between raw and adjusted data, and 7 months since my letter of complaint to you, and I am still no closer to finding the reasons for the large data adjustments.

Perhaps Dr Ayers hopes I will give up and the issue may be quietly forgotten.  This will not happen.

Or perhaps the delay is because there really are no documented reasons for the adjustments.  The longer the delay continues, the more that suspicion will grow.

I expect to receive the promised information by 24 June.

I have copied this letter to The Hon Greg Hunt MP,  Shadow Minister for Climate Action, Environment and Heritage.

I have also posted it on my blog at

Yours sincerely

Ken Stewart

3 Responses to “Second Open Letter to Tony Burke”

  1. Warwick Hughes Says:

    Thanks for your persistence Ken. They are hoping you will just tire of asking and go away.

  2. Marek Kiera Says:

    Respect. Your work and your blog is much appreciated Ken. We need to do everything we can to fight those charlatans.

  3. Open Letter from Jennifer Marohasy | kenskingdom Says:

    […] reply, many months later, from BOM- Jones refused to reply.  I had to follow up with the Minister again, with a copy to Greg Hunt as Opposition spokesman, before getting some requested information, and […]

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