Confirms Salinger’s Trojan Horse (see below)
Altmetric ranking for de Freitas et al in January. Current Altmetric ranking (click SCORE IN CONTEXT on SUMMARY tab then click a category for details). Click to enlarge.
I am delighted to report that A Reanalysis of Long-Term Surface Air Temperature Trends in New Zealand (de Freitas, Dedekind & Brill, 2014) is top-ranked by Altmetric.
Altmetric has tracked 20 articles from EMA, the journal our authors used, and our paper tops them all. More significantly, it ranks in the top 5% of all 3,671,975 articles ever tracked by Altmetric, and in the top 8% of 102,471 articles published around the same time. It’s an outstanding result.
“What’s Altmetric?” I hear you ask (just as I did). Altmetric ranks scientific papers according to their mentions in social media. They say this gives a more realistic view of a paper’s influence than counting traditional citations.
The lead author, Chris de Freitas, is an associate professor in earth sciences at the University of Auckland, and is abundantly helpful with scientific advice, though he’s not a member of the Climate Science Coalition. Bob Dedekind plays a prominent role in the science and often beavers away on tedious but essential calculations that nobody else wants to do. Barry Brill is the Coalition’s chairman and legal advisor, and spends uncounted hours behind the scenes on Coalition business. All three men lead busy lives and all are generous of their time and expertise. I take my hat off to them, not least because in a project that challenges the mainstream, United Nations view of this sinful man-made global warming, they risk severe public disapproval.
The paper was accepted by Environmental Modeling & Assessment (EMA) in October last year after what seemed like endless revisions before the reviewers were finally satisfied. So now, when we’ve just been advised the paper will be printed in the August edition of Environmental Modeling & Assessment, we can also report it is near the top of the new Altmetric ranking system.
Salinger’s long-standing influence on NZ temperature stands confirmed
This is just the second peer-reviewed paper published on the NZ temperature record and it’s the only one to use Dr D.A. Rhoades’ improved statistical methodology, described by him and Dr M.J. Salinger in 1993 (R&S93). NIWA has had over 20 years to take advantage of those improvements and provide Kiwis with a more accurate temperature record, but they ignored the new methodology developed by their chief climate scientist. Though they sometimes claim to have used it, they changed it beyond recognition.
Now the study has been properly done for them, and how deeply ironic it is that by using Salinger’s own improved method his exaggerated warming influence on the New Zealand temperature record—an extravagant 0.91±0.30 °C per century over the last 100 years—is deflated by about 70%. Perhaps that is why NIWA never wanted to use it, though a better question is why Salinger himself never used it.
So how much has New Zealand really warmed? This new paper shows warming of a quite unremarkable 0.28±0.29 °C per century. There is no cause for concern.
Salinger’s warming made credible only by ex post facto adjustments elsewhere
We should see Salinger’s 0.9°C warming in the proper perspective. Not long after he wrote his thesis in 1981, the IPCC’s TAR reported global warming during the 20th century of about 0.6°C. That meant that Salinger was claiming New Zealand had warmed a good 50% more than the rest of the world—even though NIWA tells us we have a maritime climate, buffered by the ocean. In other words, less extreme temperatures than the middle of a continent.
However, Salinger must have pointed the way for the IPCC, because in the AR4 a few years later, they had realised that 20th century warming was 0.7–0.8°C—and by the AR5 they had gone oops, silly us, because it had actually been a whole 1.0°C. So the IPCC caught up, and Salinger served the IPCC mission of bringing human warming to the whole world. How many people know that the NZ temperature record has been used to help fill in large empty swathes of the South Pacific Ocean, covering about a sixth of the planet? If our temperatures were exaggerated, the effects have been far-reaching. This paper quantifies the exaggeration with no ambiguity
Salinger and the climatic Trojan Horse
Salinger’s claim of extreme warming in New Zealand, with no effort on his part, took less than 26 years to become ho-hum and oh, so normal. How? Through the ex post facto adjustments to global temperature records around the world that would be enthusiastically embraced by the IPCC. Because compared with the growing IPCC global temperatures, the man-made warming he concocted by adjusting the data looked less and less outlandish. So Salinger’s radical, artificially heated Trojan Horse of the South Pacific in 1981 had successfully invaded the world’s climate reality by 2007. The young Jim Salinger, all unbeknownst by most of those around him, proved the sharp end of a quite revolutionary lance. Just to mix the metaphors.
Many are puzzled as to how we didn’t notice at the time how hot it was. But of course that’s silly, since it’s the present, not the past, that’s supposed to be over-heated. At a time when adjustments to old temperatures make people yawn and nobody knows what to believe, this paper starts to claw back some ground and provide an authentic national temperature record people can trust.
Because it’s not rocket science.
This paper was featured last year in a complimentary review at CO2 Science.