Bureau's climate monitoring system gets tick in final review

The final report of the Technical Advisory Forum reporting on the Bureau of Meteorology's Australian Climate Observations Reference Network—Surface Air Temperature (ACORN-SAT) has been released, finding the dataset to be well maintained and an important source of information on Australian climate records.

The ACORN-SAT dataset was established to monitor climate variability and change in Australia, using the latest analysis techniques and digitised observational data to provide a daily record of Australian temperatures over the last 100 years. It shows that Australia has warmed by approximately one degree since 1910, with the warming occurring mostly since 1950.

The Technical Advisory Forum, chaired by Dr Ron Sandland, was set up in 2015 to advise the Bureau on the development and operation of the ACORN-SAT dataset, and comment on further possible developments. The first two reports were produced in 2015 and 2016.

The final report concluded that “In light of the Bureau’s progress and commitment to best practice, the Forum is confident the Bureau will continue to improve the development and operation of the ACORN-SAT dataset following the conclusion of the Forum in 2017.”

The final report made three new recommendations in the areas of:

  • improving the communication and accessibility of the ACORN-SAT dataset;

  • supporting continued engagement with the Australian and international statistical community; and

  • handling of the ACORN-SAT metadata and homogenisation.

The Forum supported the Bureau’s proposal to establish a new assurance advisory mechanism to provide expert and independent advice on data management and analysis more broadly within the Bureau.

“The Forum considers the new mechanism an appropriate group to promote the Bureau’s goal to adhere to scientific best-practice in its stewardship and use of Australian climate data. Considering the Forum will conclude mid-2017, the new assurance advisory mechanism could provide ongoing oversight of any outstanding matters from the Forum’s process, including progress against the 2017 recommendations.”

The final report of the Technical Advisory Forum is available here

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