This is just a quick comment on the 2013 Annual Climate Statement released today by the Bureau.
I have checked only minimum temperatures, and my calculation I released yesterday for the 2013 annual mean for minima was +0.82 C. The Bureau has reported an annual average of +0.94 C.
The BOM’s figures are derived from the Acorn dataset. They acknowledge in the small print that:
Note that all values in this statement are as compiled from data available on 2 January 2014. Subsequent quality control and the availability of additional data may result in minor changes to final values.
What they really mean is that Acorn won’t be updated with 2013 data for several weeks, and that nearly all Acorn sites have many months of daily data that has not yet been quality controlled. This means that the values they give can not be checked for several weeks.
As well, three Acorn sites in Western Australia ceased reporting in August 2012. Bridgetown has years of data that is out by two days, and Rutherglen has years of data out by one day. And on some 800 occasions the minimum temperature is higher than the maximum. Quality checking is not as rigorous as you might expect.
Any changes may be only minor, but rushing to publish before the data can be checked is not a good look.