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Other tasks require a great deal of scientific knowledge, such as understanding the impact of technology changes on the consistency of the data over time.
While equipment has been standardised and calibrated by the Bureau since 1908, there have been large changes in technology since that time.
This includes the gradual replacement of manual observers with automated equipment.
There are now 530 automatic weather stations, 490 of which report data every minute.
As Australia is so large and contains a rich variety of climates, climatologists need to carefully account for changes in the network.
They need to make sure, for example, that the expansion of the network into the hot desert interior and tropical north have not produced biases in Australian-average temperature over time.
For example, the Bureau also maintains a fully automated ‘real-time’ temperature product known as the Australian Water Availability Program (AWAP).
Each day, the real-time monitoring system uses all available reporting sites—the entire observational network—to create a high-resolution, gridded temperature analysis for the Bureau’s website.
So many, in fact, that raw temperature recordings are not always suitable for characterising long-term changes in our climate.Within months of the arrival of the First Fleet, Australia’s first ‘meteorologist’, Lieutenant William Dawes, set up an astronomical observatory and commenced recording weather observations.Over the next century, amateur and official meteorologists continued taking observations in settlements dotted around the continent, providing documentary evidence of climate variability in Australia.Changes in infrastructure also affect the Bureau’s network.Over time, towns and cities grow, new roads and airports are built, and rural land use changes.