Wednesday, 26 February 2020
Appropriation Bill (No. 3) 2019-2020, Appropriation Bill (No. 4) 2019-2020; Second Reading
I'm pleased that the Labor Party actually called that—because there are many members here in the chamber to hear these facts I'm talking about. Our historic Marble Bar temperature record, the longest heatwave in the nation, the longest heatwave record in the world, is no longer—because our Bureau of Meteorology staff, sitting in their offices in Canberra, have looked back into the past and found that the people taking that temperature record almost 98 years ago made a mistake and measured it too hot. I will give you a few examples. On 7 March 1924, the raw recording at Marble Bar was 40.8 degrees. But, as I said, 98 years later, someone sitting in an office in Canberra worked out that they made a mistake and the temperature was actually only 39 degrees—1.8 degrees cooler. On 15 February 1924, the raw recording from Marble Bar was 44.3 degrees. Again, they didn't know what they were doing and they read it wrong; we know that because of the adjustments that have been made almost 100 years later. The true temperature, according to the BOM, was 43.2 degrees, down 1.1 degrees. Yet there was one day they actually got the temperature right. On 23 January 1924 they recorded 44 degrees up at Marble Bar. Yet the bureau says that number was right!
This cooling of the past temperature records has reduced that 160-day world record heatwave back in 1923-24 to 128 days, which makes it no longer a record—