Asses in law

Local warmists are scathing in their condemnation of the Coalition’s action against NIWA, but their fury is fuelled by fossilised notions of what we’re trying to do. Not to mention flawed by having only a distant acquaintance with what we have actually said.

It’s a fossil fuel-filled fury.

There is everywhere a tendency to take pot shots at our suit without engaging with the substance of it. For example, Continue Reading →

Open Parachute hangs itself

Ken Perrott described so well the laudable principles of scientific scepticism. Who would have guessed he would poke his own neck into a noose he was preparing for us?

He says scientific debates depend upon good faith, but then claims good faith justifies calling us by the despicable term climate “deniers”.

Which is like claiming to rob banks in the cause of honesty. But it gets better. Continue Reading →

No high court forecourt report

I’m sorry, but there was too much work today to get to the High Court. There’ll be no report from the forecourt of the High Court today.

I plan to be in attendance tomorrow afternoon and hope it’s now NIWA’s turn to bat. I can’t wait to hear what they say.

UPDATE: This day (Wednesday) was a rest day – nobody attended the case. So everything worked out well.

Four go a-court, with a hey, nonny-no

Four lawyers went to court today, among a total of 13 people: the judge and a clerk, four lawyers conducting business, one sceptical witness (yours truly – Bob was busy), two senior NIWA scientists, a friendly David Wratt and slightly sullen Brett Mullan, the friendly Tim Mahood (their general counsel), and three others who appear highly prosperous and might be lawyers. Six for them and one for us (not counting working lawyers).

From time to time one or two female journalists sit to one side tapping on their laptops. Just before lunch a fellow turned up and sat beside me. I introduced myself and he said he was a sceptic (“from way back”) who heard of the court case only yesterday and couldn’t wait to come along.

Today was the second day of the Coalition’s action against NIWA. Our counsel, Terry Sissons, was still taking Mr Justice Venning through our statement of claim. It should have been NIWA’s turn by now, Continue Reading →

A High Court forenoon

A group of unknown people protested our case this morning at the High Court. Although they handed out copies of this amusing letter they remain unidentified. I wonder who they are?

They single out two leading members of the NZ Climate Science Coalition: Honorary Secretary Terry Dunleavy and Energy Spokesman Bryan Leyland.

Letter from Flat Earth Society

 

An Open Letter and Appeal to Lords Terence Dunleavy and Bryan Leyland of the Climate Science Education Trust

On this day 16 July in the year 2012 in the Northern Township of Auckland, Middle Earth

On the Occasion of the Lords’ Good Endeavours to Strike Down the temperature muddlings of the Dark Lords of the National Institution of Water and Atmosphere in the High Court of our Land

Hear Ye Honourable and Esteemed Lords of Middle Earth

We of the Flat Earth Society would like to extend to you a hand of friendship and solidarity… etc., etc.

Click for page two

 

 

It’s an attractive, fairly consistent piece of wordsmithing, almost worthy of former ages that valued speech for its beauty before its utility. In a sensible society, entirely the right way around. Continue Reading →

NZCSET application for judicial review

The subject of our court case against NIWA has surfaced again with our recent filing of papers. Ken Perrott has been quick to go on the attack but so far he hasn’t a clue what we’re actually asking for.

For the record, Ken, we’re not accusing our public climate scientists of “scientific fraud” as you claim on your blog. We’re saying (and proving) they made serious mistakes in their reconstruction of the national temperature record.

WUWT has posted a great summary of the NIWA story written by one Andi Cockroft in NZ.

This is a fresh thread for an interesting court case that’s being watched around New Zealand and the world, from all sides of the climate debate.

“RENT BOY” UPDATE, 20 May

Someone’s finally told another “rob taylor” about his namesake insulting one of us at Hot Topic. He writes in high dudgeon, claims the same name, says he has worked for Greenpeace and disowns any interest in our discussion of the environment.

On the Internet, where nobody knows you’re a dog, it’s usually best to let sleeping dogs lie. Where might this lead?

It’s odd that this new rob taylor also disdains the use of capital letters, just like the rob taylor we know and love. Must be our modern mis-education system.

This is the latest rob taylor’s comment in full. It was received on May 20, 2012 at 2:10 am.

This is rob taylor from greenpeace, the only rob taylor from greenpeace and in no way have I been involved with this debate until this point until a friend informed me of this chat, which I have not the slightest bit of interest in. I have not worked at GP in NZ since I organized the March Against Mining on Queen St in 2010, and do not intend to engage in any environment debates in NZ in the foreseeable future let alone describing people I do not know in a public forum as “rent boys”. look somewhere else please lads and do not drag mine and Greenpeaces name into your discussion.

Judicial review of NIWA temperature mischief

The determination of high-level dishonesty committed by NIWA scientists is wending inevitably to a conclusion.

Chairman of the Coalition and counsel for the NZ Climate Science Education Trust (NZCSET), Barry Brill, filed the Trust’s evidence with the Court during January (copies will soon be available on the NZCSC website) and NIWA is expected to respond by 2 March. We’ll then learn (for the first time) the shape of its defence and have the opportunity to reply. On 20 March, the Court will finalise a timetable, including a fixture for the hearing – which our counsel expects could occur about June or July.

The wheels of justice sometimes turn exceeding slow, but everyone gets a turn to speak and what they say is heard—simple principles, more often honoured in blogland in the breach than the observance yet generally revered.

Decisions in this seminal case against NIWA are eagerly awaited around the world. Will its scientific knavery survive a judicial examination? Can it really say one thing, do quite another, and get away with it—honoured, as before, as a leading scientific institution?

Remember, NIWA said it would use a particular method to calculate adjustments to the raw temperature readings; it not only didn’t use that method, it broke all the rules laid down by that method. I recently posted a summary of NIWA’s scientific outrages against the NZ temperature record.

NZ temperature record — it’s worse than we thought

Thanks to those who advised me of this amazing email from the Climategate 2 collection, either through comments here or private email. It concerns the pre-1930 cooling of the New Zealand temperature record, and makes food for thought, especially for those supporting NIWA, Salinger and the increasingly shaky AGW story. Although it’s more of a novel, and a bad one at that, with gaping holes in the plot and evidence so carelessly thrown together it fools nobody. Now, as many of us feared was the case, comes evidence that the NZ temperature record has been applied to far more places than where it was observed. We now know it was stretched over far-flung places it was never intended to go. This is the worst result possible.

Cc: t.osborn@uea.ac.uk
date: Mon, 7 Sep 2009 00:13:56 +0100 (BST)
from: “Tim Osborn”
subject: New Zealand summer temps
to: p.jones@uea.ac.uk

Hi Phil,

just a quick Q before I go to bed!

I’ve just updated the IPCC paleo chapter Southern Hemisphere plot where we
showed, amongst other things, Ed Cook’s New Zealand TRW reconstruction,
with CRUTEM2v Jan-Mar smoothed temperatures.

For my update I’ve used CRUTEM3v, expecting them to be rather similar but
with a few more years on the end.

But the pre-1930 temperatures are now very different, being much cooler
(by > 0.5 degC for a 25-year low-pass mean) in CRUTEM3v than CRUTEM2v.
Previously they had been, on average, near or even above the 1961-1990
mean, now they’re at -0.5 degC.

Is this a result of some homogenization work on New Zealand summer temp
data? Or just some random artefact of minor changes somewhere?

Cheers

Tim

— Dr. Tim Osborn RCUK Academic Fellow Climatic Research Unit School of Environmental Sciences University of East Anglia Norwich NR4 7TJ, UK www.cru.uea.ac.uk/~timo/

More about the NZ temperature record

Errors in the new 7SS

The shocking breakthrough in our audit is that NIWA didn’t use the adjustment method they said they would use. Barry Brill, chairman of the Coalition, released an overview entitled New Zealand Unaffected by Global Warming (pdf, 1.3 MB). The discovery that the country hasn’t experienced global warming is another startling finding. In Chapter 8, on page 24, he identifies nine criticisms of NIWA’s newest 7SS. These multiple defects destroy the credibility of the 7SS as a source of the NZTR. Continue Reading →

Global warming spreads by word of morph

Here in New Zealand, the NZ Climate Science Coalition has battled for several years to understand the national temperature record and get the data released that lies behind it. Now we battle to correct it.
 
Because NIWA, in “reconstructing” the record, manages miraculously to lower past temperatures and increase recent ones to create a spurious warming that overstates the actual national warming over the last hundred years by 168%!
 
We’ve told NIWA about it and we’ve sent them our report that proves it, but they refuse to acknowledge our finding, much less explain themselves. It is a national disgrace which our newspapers, magazines, radio stations and television channels strangely refuse to investigate.
 
The warming is truly man-made, for it hasn’t happened in the real world, it has been created only by the adjustments.
 
Now, from C3 Headlines, we learn that an even more invidious process has been going on in the United States. Continue Reading →

One man’s mission

Will NIWA ever be free of Jim Salinger? What will it take to rid the organisation of his pervasive influence? He was fired long ago for his maverick media mouth, but his spirit never leaves, and the bright ideas of his younger self, not good enough to attract other scientists, still torment NIWA’s management as they strive to defend them. Salinger’s youthful enthusiasm for the then-radical crisis of man-made global warming, hatched by his mates in his old stamping ground at the Climatic Research Unit at the University of East Anglia, has crippled New Zealand with a “scientific” temperature “record” that shows remarkable warming — a feature we now know is entirely reliant on fiction, not on fact. – RT

Jim Salinger

When young geographer James Salinger was at Otago University in 1974, he noticed that a number of the glaciers in the Southern Alps were retreating. So he wrote an article for the journal Nature, contending that New Zealand was warming up.

This made him a noted sceptic, as the scientific consensus then was that the world was rapidly cooling. The news media worldwide were running horror stories, demanding that governments “do something” about the impending ice age. Continue Reading →

NIWA’s sham: but wait — there’s more

holy grail

Independently peer-reviewed scientific papers published in learned journals are the Holy Grail of climate science alarmists, and the IPCC in particular. So they want to get friendly papers in and keep contrary papers out.

The Climategate emails show continuous collusion between members of the “Hockey Team” to prevent journal publication of any paper which challenged the IPCC dogma. Because, once published, a paper becomes part of “the scientific literature” and authors are obliged thereafter to take it seriously.

Of course, the IPCC manipulates the system outrageously. After Chairman Pachauri assured the media that it disregarded non-peer-reviewed opinions, revelations came that more than one-third of the material used by some Working Groups came from the “grey” literature (usually written by Big Green activists).

NIWA closely follows the party line. That’s why it has insisted endlessly that the New Zealand temperature record (NZTR) included adjustments “described in the peer-reviewed scientific literature” which were “in accord with internationally accepted techniques.” Continue Reading →

Incredible sham from NIWA

NIWA shows 168% more warming

NIWA didn’t use Rhoades & Salinger. We can prove it. They lied.

NZ Climate Science Coalition statisticians have uncovered evidence of scarcely believable deception from our National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research Ltd (NIWA).

Last December, NIWA released a reconstructed NZ temperature series Report on the Review of NIWA’s Seven Station Temperature Series (“7SS Review”) (pdf, 8.5 MB). It has a fresh new graph (below) that’s all but indistinguishable from the previous graph. But that’s not the point.

The point is the new series is a lie. Continue Reading →

What warming?

what warming?

NIWA’s data confirms: little warming

When it’s calculated correctly

Why did they lie to us?

In December last year, NIWA released their long-awaited review of the NZ temperature record (NZTR). We’ve reviewed that report and found serious errors. NIWA used the wrong method and created strong warming. We used the right method and found mild warming.

There are a few things we need to understand about weather stations. The first is that these stations sit there for a long time. Some of them have been in the same place for 80 years and more. If you sat in one place for that long, you’d see stuff happening around you — same for the weather station.

Trees grow, buildings go up, airport runways get covered in tarseal or concrete, roads appear, and these and other non-climatic influences affect the temperature readings, usually making them warmer, but not always. Sometimes the station gets moved, and it’s always better to keep all that history if you can, so you try to adjust it rather than start again with a new station.

NIWA had to start from scratch

Knowing this, when scientists examine a series of temperature readings they look for what has changed at the different stations. If the changes affected the temperature readings, they adjust the readings. Continue Reading →

Some questions for the BoM’s FOI executive

Warwick Hughes’ request under the Australian Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), has been declined by the Australian Bureau of Meteorology (BoM) on the grounds that it might divulge information supplied “under an obligation of confidentiality” by a foreign Government to the Australian Federal Government.

The Court ruling which established this exemption to the FOIA dealt with a case involving intelligence-sharing with the Australian Security Intelligence Office (ASIO). In contrast, Mr Hughes’ case dealt with old weather records.

Several questions arise

1. Did NIWA impose an obligation of confidentiality on the Bureau?

It seems clear that neither party even thought about confidentiality until the request was made. Continue Reading →

What are the Aussies hiding?

Australian storm

In Australia, Warwick Hughes has followed with interest our attempts to obtain from NIWA details of their adjustments to the NZ temperature record. When the Bureau of Meteorology (BoM) supplied a letter apparently certifying the Bureau’s “peer review” of NIWA’s review of the temperature record, he noted our complaint that “there must be more than this.”

Hearing of my request to NIWA for records relating to that review by the Bureau, he was minded to help. So, back in February, he filed a Freedom Of Information (FOI) request with the Australian Information Commissioner.

In response to that FOI request, the Bureau submitted to the Information Commissioner a Schedule of Documents dated 6 May 2011.

Somebody at the Bureau has put in hours of work tracking these documents down, describing them, analysing their relevance to Warwick’s request and assessing whether they met the provisions for exemption. Well done, them.

The schedule describes 159 relevant documents, amounting to several thousand pages, and what do you know? The BoM claims full exemption from the FOI Act in respect of every single page! Who could have predicted that? Continue Reading →

NIWA correspondence safe in hands of the BoM

What a secret!

See UPDATE, below.

Here’s a development that threatens to place publicly-funded weather data on the same footing as the next budget, or troop movements.

In February, Warwick Hughes lodged a Freedom Of Information request to the Australian Bureau of Meteorology to release all documents connected with their peer review for NIWA of NIWA’s review of their seven station series (7SS).

Today, Warwick posted a story about it, Australian FOI law keeps secret the construction of New Zealand seven station temperature series.

What’s so secret about temperature records?

In frustration, Warwick laments: “I am hoping that people smarter than I might see ways to carry on the battle to get these papers and files released. What can be so secret about the things publicly-funded scientists and bureaucrats do to adjust common or garden weather records into a form that suits them? We are not talking about nuclear weapons secrets here.”

I agree. Let’s hope someone with legal expertise and a desire to uncover the truth can pick up Warwick’s endeavour and move it forward.

The NZ situation

We’re waiting for the outcome of an investigation by the Ombudsman into NIWA’s refusal to release to me similar documents related to the peer review.

UPDATE

The BoM, in a document setting out their Reasons for Refusal, reveals that no fee was paid to them by NIWA for the peer review.

NIWA — show us the peer review!

What are you hiding?

a nice lake

NIWA’s temperatures unscientific, had to be ‘reconstructed’

The NZ Climate Science Coalition, with the assistance of the Climate Conversation Group (CCG), published the report Are we feeling warmer yet? in November, 2009.

It revealed that the official NZ temperature record compiled by the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research Ltd (NIWA) owes all of its warming trend to adjustments made to the actual thermometer readings. So, naturally, we asked NIWA what those adjustments were and why they were made.

We were surprised to encounter a ferocious denial of wrongdoing and a trenchant resistance to answering our questions. To be fair, we had insinuated that NIWA scientists might have manipulated the figures.

Warmists even mislead Parliament — does anyone care?

Anyway, NIWA persisted in ill-advised attempts to persuade the Coalition that our questions had already been answered in the scientific literature. But after considerable pressure in the media and after the ACT Party raised numerous questions in the Parliament, NIWA undertook early in 2010 to “reconstruct” the New Zealand temperature record.

That was a tacit agreement by NIWA that our reservations about the scientific validity of the official New Zealand temperature record were well founded. In other words, NIWA effectively admitted that they could not validate the record as it then stood. Because if they could have validated it, they would not have spent good (taxpayers’) money on reconstructing it.

This was a victory for an unwavering scientific scepticism in the face of determined bullying from members of a warmist establishment, prepared to resort even to misleading the Parliament. Continue Reading →

NZT7 uses defective raw data

Albert Park 1902 looking south

The official New Zealand Temperature Record is made up of historical temperature readings (raw data) and NIWA’s adjustments. Both of those components are unreliable.

The 169-page Report on the Review of NIWA’s “Seven-Station” Temperature Series, or the Review Report (RR), published by NIWA in December 2010 devotes very little space to that bane of climatologists — the urban heat island (UHI) effect. It has been long recognised that air temperature readings taken in towns and cities are affected by the heat absorption of concrete and tarseal surfaces; by exhausts of vehicles, aeroplanes and air-conditioners; and by structures which deflect wind and confine humidity.

Because a “heat island” is not representative of the wider region or country, most climatologists try to give them a wide berth. Wikipedia says that “the temperature difference between urban areas and the surrounding suburban or rural areas can be as much as 10°F”.

A similar enemy of the climate archivist is “shelter” — trees or structures which interfere with the thermometer’s normal exposure to wind or sun, and thereby cause distortions.

The mean temperature impacts of both UHI and shelter are typically gradual, but non-linear. They are hard to detect and almost impossible to correct. Most climate archivists simply omit any sites suspected of being contaminated by UHI/shelter. Continue Reading →

NIWA versus NOAA

NOAA

and the winner is… well, never mind: the loser is science

(Nobody’s won yet.) Now here’s more of the saga…

The ‘Seven-station Series’ (7SS) constructed by NIWA scientists claims a 20th-century warming trend for New Zealand of 0.9°C. The warming arises entirely from their in-house adjustments to the raw thermometer readings and they’re now very keen to find some corroboration for that warming.

Why are they so anxious to vindicate the 7SS? Because they’re finding it almost impossible to achieve. This conclusion of warming is an orphan — it contradicts all other official temperature records, going back decades. Continue Reading →

NIWA bible

the Bible

Rhoades & Salinger (1993)

The late Michael Crichton declared that ‘global warming’ had become a religion, with the IPCC reports comprising its bible. The central dogma of the religion rests on the global temperature record, which ‘proves’ recent global warming. It has a bible of its own, largely written by CRU’s “hockey team” — those conniving, partisan, anti-sceptical scientists of Climategate infamy.

Above and beyond everything else it might be, a bible inspires belief. That is the natural result of the veneration a bible gains by long use. And you don’t ignore something you venerate.

Around the world amateur, unpaid investigations reveal that recent warming trends don’t really exist. In fact, they are largely created by “homogeneity adjustments” to the actual thermometer readings. Continue Reading →

When does an adjustment become a replacement?

axe in block

UPDATE: March 27, 8:50 p.m.

A reader points out that a replacement requires the virtual death of the previous version. As the traditional British announcement on the death of the sovereign (“The King is dead; long live the King!”) makes clear, you cannot have two of them. He’s reminded of Barry Brill’s recent post here 7SS – R.I.P. about the Monty Python parrot, whose death proved in the end impossible to ignore. Thanks, Australis.


NIWA’s minister has made a bizarre assertion to the Parliament which signals NIWA’s inability to admit its mistakes.

Last December, NIWA published a report reviewing the NZ Temperature Record which was based on its 18-year-old Seven-station Series (7SS). The 169-page report included a new spreadsheet and graph (which NIWA called the NZT7) and stated, on page 3, that “the revised temperature series supersedes the previous version posted in February 2010.”

When it was published, the previous 7SS was taken off NIWA’s temperature web page and the NZT7 was posted in its place.

But there’s some deception going on, because here’s the thing: NIWA’s web site describes the new graph as a replacement, but a few days ago Parliament was officially told the very opposite — that the NZT7 is not a replacement. As Hansard shows: Continue Reading →

The uncertainties of averages

Dr Vincent Gray

Those who provide us with the supposed Mean Annual Global Temperature Anomaly (graph shown below) treat the annual points in their graph as if they were constants. The points on the graph do not represent actual observations. They are processed versions of actual observations and they are subject to statistical uncertainties.

The latest CRU paper to calculate these uncertainties is Brohan, P., J.J. Kennedy, I. Haris, S.F.B. Tett, P.D. Jones (2006). “Uncertainty estimates in regional and global observed temperature changes: a new dataset from 1850.” J. Geophys. Res. 111: D12106. doi:1020/2005JD006546.

This paper combines many sources of uncertainties and the final figures vary from year to year, but are typically about ±0.2 ºC on a 95% confidence basis. Some versions of their graph include these figures as “error bars” attached to the data points.

Brohan et al even admit that they do not include “unknown unknowns”, even referring to the internationally recognised expert on this subject, Donald Rumsfeld.

It is surprising that they have left out of their discussions the most important source of uncertainty in their figures, one which is “known” to every person who has studied stratistics. It is the uncertainty which arises every time you take an average. Continue Reading →

NIWA’s review taking a hiding

NIWA's logo

 

Questions raised over review of NZ temps

On 16 December, 2010, just before Christmas, just after the Parliament had risen for the year, just as the citizenry were rushing around doing Christmassy things and just as, necessarily, their oh-so-short memories of the year just gone were fading, NIWA released their long-promised review of the official New Zealand temperature record (NZTR).

The Australian Bureau of Meteorology gave it some luke-warm approval. In a letter dated 14 December, following their ‘peer review’ of NIWA’s ‘Review Report,’ Neil Plummer, Acting Assistant Director (Climate Information Services), at first gives this description of what the review would involve:

In this context ‘scientific review’ means a critical inspection/examination of the station reports taking into account the range of supporting evidence provided. The ideas, methods and conclusions of the papers are assessed for scientific error, internal consistency, clarity and scientific logic.

The data and methodology provided in the reports from NIWA are taken as an accurate representation of the actual analyses undertaken. We are not in a position to question all of the underlying analyses and data that have contributed to the final results, such as methods used to compile raw data taken at stations. We do, however, perform some independent analyses as appropriate to the aims of the review as outlined above.

Mr Plummer states clearly that they accept the data and the methodology presented by NIWA without questioning it. He also helpfully points out what the peer review will not do. Then he goes on in that vein at such length that he gives us the impression he doesn’t really want to review NIWA’s report at all. It would be too hard. Continue Reading →

NIWA’s review: what are they hiding?

NIWA's logo

 

NIWA refuses our OIA request—but why?

… continued from my initial post describing the weak endorsement from the Bureau of Meteorology of NIWA’s review of the official NZ temperature record (NZTR) and my subsequent demand under the OIA for copies of correspondence with the Bureau.

What has NIWA got to hide? They bought the Australian Bureau’s advice with taxpayer’s money — why is it being kept secret? Why can’t we see everything the Australians told their colleagues at NIWA? It’s only the temperature record, for goodness’ sake!

That’s not yet a state secret. It’s not like giving away the number of windmills we’re planning to build, or anything. Continue Reading →

Perrott puts his foot in his mouth

An ancient foot in the mouth

Then Renowden joins him

Our most vocal critic, Ken Perrott, has chanced upon a file I just posted, containing the unadjusted temperature data which was the subject of our paper, Are We Feeling Warmer Yet? (AWFWY), published here in November, 2009.

His response is to claim we made a big error. However, without realising it, Perrott actually accuses Dr Jim Salinger and NIWA itself of that error, because we just copied what Salinger did; what NIWA still does.

Most of Ken’s article at Open Parachute is pious ad hominem nonsense. There’s no reason to respond to all the arm-waving, so the sole point at issue is how to present an annual series with missing data.

The purpose of AWFWY was to compare the NIWA-adjusted Seven-station Series (7SS) with the unadjusted data. It was therefore necessary to use the same techniques as NIWA, insofar as they had been disclosed or were discernible. We had Salinger’s spreadsheet of adjusted readings, and we just did what Salinger did — he averaged years with missing data according to the number of available stations. Exactly what Perrott complains about.

You can see that from the spreadsheet. If you doubt that fact, just ask NIWA. Continue Reading →

NZ temperature record – a brief history

mountain mists

Official temperature records have been maintained in New Zealand since shortly after European settlement began in 1840. Throughout the ensuing 150 years, mean temperature levels appeared to remain stable. But NIWA (the responsible Government agency) has recently questioned the historical record, suggesting a long-term warming trend may have been hidden in the data.

Publications from 18681, 19202 19603 and contemporary records4 indicate that mean temperatures in New Zealand cities have not significantly changed since records began (Tables 1,2,3). Degrees Fahrenheit in the early figures have been converted to degrees Celsius. Continue Reading →

NIWA’s maverick methodology

maverick

A sober analysis from an indefatigable leader of our Campaign for True Temperatures. Barry’s careful, professional reticence stands in stark contrast to the concerns emerging over the work of our premier climate institution. — Richard Treadgold


“NIWA uses internationally accepted techniques” — Hon Dr Wayne Mapp, Minister of Research, Science and Technology.

The principal methodology used by NIWA in calculating adjustments to historical data for both the Seven-station Series (7SS) and its provisional replacement, the New Zealand Temperature Seven (NZT7), is by comparison with other temperature stations. This is well explained in the Review Report published December 2010 (page 11) as follows:

  • Micro-climates exist: Within a general region, taking Wellington as an example, there are many micro-climates, and thus temperatures vary from place to place. This is because of Wellington’s varied topography, meaning that the sites have different exposures and aspects and are at different altitudes. All these factors can influence the measured temperature. There is no such thing, therefore, as “the” Wellington temperature; there are many Wellington temperatures, and they are all different.
  • Neighbouring sites vary together: Comparison of temperatures from neighbouring sites shows again and again that trends and interannual variations at nearby sites are very similar. So although the base level temperatures may be different at two sites (due to micro-climate effects), the variations are almost in ‘lock-step’, with occasional exceptions. (See examples in the seven-station documents and on the NIWA website).

Continue Reading →

Flaherty slays denier Delingpole, takes aim at me

James Delingpole

Wherein Flaherty is thanked and congratulated, it is explained where Flaherty goes wrong in his criticisms of me, and the reader is reminded of what is still outstanding in connection with NIWA’s Review report. Delingpole gains a mention.

Matt Flaherty has been visiting us recently, questioning me about the New Zealand (you can’t believe it’s official!) Temperature Record. Matt wrote recently on James Delingpole and the “denialism” of “climate change.” That tells you where Matt’s understanding lies. Anyone who a) uses the term climate denier, and b) considers that an intelligent person is capable of denying that climate changes, something akin to denying the earth revolves around the sun, demonstrates a voluntary level of ignorance and a lack of incentive to listen.

Having somehow become aware of the CCG, he thought to use us as an example of

how one should deal with a denialist of Delingpole’s ilk

Matt elevates me to dizzying heights, for which I thank him. But I protest I’m unworthy, just an honest toiler for truth, not even in the same league as consummate wordsmiths like James (right about everything) Delingpole.

He cites the Daily Bayonet and Bishop Hill, who mangled the message of my Dec 2010 press release, but he is wrong to blame this messenger for that, and quotes (accurately) from that press release: Continue Reading →

BoM the Terminator

They’ll be back?

the Terminator

The Terminator

But would NIWA want them back?

The original plan was that the Australian Bureau of Meteorology (BoM) would provide an external peer review of NIWA’s new official temperature record.

It couldn’t really be an independent review because there are many close ties between the organisations, but at least it would be better than no review at all — like the last time, when young Jim Salinger made up the first temperature graph. Not reviewed? Hell, that one wasn’t even published!

However, the review by the BoM didn’t go to plan, because they managed to get out of giving any positive endorsement of the new NZT7 [see “Tepid Support from BoM”]. You’d think NIWA’s friends might at least pretend to like the review! But all the BoM said was:

In general, the evidence provided by NIWA supports the homogeneity corrections that have been applied to the temperature record to create the ‘seven station’ series.

Wow! Talk about underwhelming support! How would they sound if they didn’t like it? “In general” supports the corrections? So some of the evidence doesn’t support them? Notice the glaring lack of mention of the methodology.

What a huge disappointment that must have been for NIWA — but there was more to come. Continue Reading →

7SS – R.I.P.

dead parrot

Stone dead

NIWA’s long-defended ‘Seven-station Series’ (7SS) is as dead as the parrot in Monty Python’s famous sketch… it rests in peace, bereft of life, demised; it has shuffled off its mortal coil, its metabolic processes now history.

On the eve of Christmas, when nobody was looking, NIWA declared that New Zealand had a new official temperature record (the NZT7) and whipped the 7SS off its website.

NIWA’s spin-doctor, Network PR, likes to pretend that the NZT7 is really only a ‘revised’ version of Jim Salinger’s original 7SS. So when does a revision become a replacement? Continue Reading →

Nothing random about NIWA

no dice? loaded dice?

Loaded dice for temperature record?

In producing a new temperature record for New Zealand (NZT7), NIWA has again adjusted the raw measurements. Whilst no systemic error was found, one-off issues were raised by random site changes, especially during the early decades of the 20th century.

Curiously, NIWA’s adjustments are not random. Instead, their changes display a near-perfect symmetry, where amplitude is directly proportionate to age. Small adjustments apply to the 1950s, grow larger back in the 1940s, and larger still in the 1930s – before reaching their apogee in 1910-20.

Could this have happened by chance?

Continue Reading →

NZ vs S. Hemisphere temperatures

The “Seven-Station Series” (7SS) constituting the official New Zealand Temperature Record (NZTR) is analysed and compared with the Southern Hemisphere (SH) temperature record using an interesting new data analysis technique called Empirical Mode Decomposition (EMD).

UPDATE 1, 10 JAN 2011, 22:28 NZDT

Analysis of temperature trends usually employs extrinsic data smoothing techniques such as regression, moving average and Fourier filtering, but there is a more appropriate technique available.

Empirical mode decomposition (EMD) is an intrinsic data analysis technique now being used across a number of disciplines, including climatology. You can find out more from these two background papers: On the trend, detrending, and variability of nonlinear and nonstationary time series (Wu et al., 2007)(pdf) and Analysis of Temperature Change under Global Warming Impact using Empirical Mode Decomposition (Molla et al., 2007)(pdf). If you want to study EMD in detail, there’s a lot of help available — even a free command line utility.

EMD uses a sifting algorithm that filters the data until an overall adaptive trend (monotonic residual) is revealed. The first paper linked above shows how a decadal trend was also extracted from the global record but the 100-year 7SS time-frame used here is too short to do the same. A longer 7SS record would probably reveal an intermediate decadal trend similar to that presented plus an overall trend that cannot be extracted (by this author) from the 7SS at its current length. Continue Reading →

The 11SS — a Dog that didn’t bark

a stunned dog

Too stunned to bark.

One of the best-known episodes in The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes is “Silver Blaze”, concerning “the curious incident of the dog in the night-time”. Curiously, the dog did nothing. Sherlock rightly deduced that because the dog didn’t bark, there could have been no intruder.

A similar deduction may be made in regard to the silence which now surrounds NIWA’s heavily promoted “Eleven-Station Series” (11SS).

Interested observers naturally expected that the 11SS would again feature strongly in the NIWA Review Report as support for the new NZTR. But, to their utter surprise, they discovered that it’s been left out!

The Review Report flails around seeking supporting evidence from sea temperatures, wind flows, etc., but there is nary a word about the once-talismanic 11SS. One may scour the whole 169 pages, and delve among the footnotes, to no avail.

The 11SS is highly conspicuous in its absence. As it does not bark in the Review Report, we can surmise that it will never bark again. Although it did not join the 7SS in being whipped off the website within hours, it appears to be an equally deceased canine. Continue Reading →

Rotted minds at Hot Topic

UPDATE 1, 2 JAN 2011, 23:10 NZT

An answer for RW, of Hot Topic — see end.


There, I did it again — ventured over to Hot Topic. When will I learn?

Briefly optimistic someone wanted answers and really was listening, I was called liar and worse, then quickly censored. “Open and frank discussion forum”, indeed!

I’m posting the deleted response to Gareth’s demand for an apology and a reply to an HT reader. diessoli — see the end of this post for my response to your comments.

WARNING

What follows is just “I said, he said” argy-bargy. It’s not important and is posted simply to document my last encounter with the proprietor at Hot Topic, Gareth Renowden. I think the exchange typifies his lack of charity and his stubborn refusal to admit that NIWA has made or even could make a mistake, but others will have a different opinion.

It started with a visit to read about an ‘award’ HT published (actually recycled from the Pacific Institute) — the 2010 Climate B.S. of the Year Award. NOTE: BS means Bad Science, apparently. Anyway, you can verify my conversation there if you’ve a mind to hurt yourself.

I left a short note pointing out the hilarity of awarding a prize to four unrelated statements and making a couple of comments. Gareth asked me, as he often does, to apologise for my “smear campaign against NZ climate scientists.”

I sent this response: Continue Reading →

An impressive level of scintillating repartee

Prof Keith Hunter

Prof Keith Hunter — making a name for colourful language.

BoMshell: where is the real review? Go to end

I’ve discovered an extraordinary exchange on a warmist blog in which a senior NZ scientist, supportive of the CAGW theory and now a top university administrator, is goaded beyond his endurance and discards his carefully-nurtured, hard-won scientific training, descending into gutter language.

I seldom visit this warmist blog, it being for the most part misleading vitriol. But this exchange offers unexpectedly an irresistible deliciousness.

At Hot Topic on December 22, Gareth Renowden posted “A Christmas cracker for the cranks” (he loves that word ‘crank’, pulls it out all the time, uses nothing else) which set off a bright burst of champion rhetoric on his blog.

An especially scintillating exchange occurred when Professor Keith Hunter, Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Sciences) at the University of Otago, turned up to support the comments Renowden made about the press releases from the CCG and the CSC regarding NIWA’s review of the NZ temperature record, released just before Christmas.

I know little about Keith Hunter, although he was the subject of comment here after an extraordinary peroration when we decided to take NIWA to court. He is making a name for colourful language.

Prof Hunter is a vice-president of the Royal Society of New Zealand and a former national president of the New Zealand Institute of Chemistry. He’s a senior scientist, an establishment heavyweight and quite probably a super person. Continue Reading →

NIWA generating warmth

NIWA temperature adjustments, before and after

— by Barry Brill, Chairman of the New Zealand Climate Science Coalition

This graph summarises how NIWA’s recent adjustments to the historical temperature data has created a 20th century warming trend of 1.0°C. There were 22 changes in the period 1900-75 and almost all of those adjustments went downwards. Over 90% of the adjusted station-years moved in the same direction – a very surprising result.

Another curious aspect of the NIWA adjustments is that their amplitude is almost directly proportional to their chronological age. The further back one goes from 1975, the larger the adjustment becomes. Continue Reading →

Discredited graph flourishes still

NZ annual temperature series

On NIWA’s web site their discredited graph of New Zealand’s temperature history still clings to life. Look at it — it seems to flutter its wiggly lines, hoarsely whispering: “believe me, believe me.”

This is the graph NIWA’s lawyers completely disown in a declaration to the High Court that it is “not an official graph.”

Why do they continue to display it? It lacks any kind of scientific justification or integrity. The main authority describing its methodology has never been cited, never been copied, never been peer reviewed.

None of the seven weather stations (only seven for the whole country, out of hundreds?) showed significant warming in their raw readings. But six have had a “temperature rise” imposed by adjustments, 90% of which served to create warming.

Have NIWA no shame? They should have withdrawn this spurious piece of scientific chicanery months ago. Instead, it remains there to lie to our children.

We’re still waiting for the new version, reviewed by the Australian Bureau of Meteorology, promised by NIWA last March. Will we see it before Christmas 2010? When we finally do see it, will it still show nearly a degree of warming over the 20th Century?

If it does, how will they justify that? If it doesn’t, how will they face their public, for what will happen to their claims of anthropogenic global warming?

There’s a great deal hanging on the new version of this innocent-looking graph. And I mean “hanging.”

No answer was the stern reply

Parliament Buildings

Rodney’s first question

As regular readers know, Rodney Hide offered to pose our questions in the Parliament. ACT has just received the first answer from Dr Wayne Mapp, Minister of Research, Science and Technology.

Question: Does he agree with NIWA that the New Zealand Temperature Record (NZTR) is not an official temperature record, if so, why, and if not, why not?

Date Lodged: 28/10/2010

Answer Text: The Member will be aware of the judicial review proceedings against NIWA involving climate data initiated by the New Zealand Climate Science Coalition. Standing Order 111(c) notes that matters awaiting or under adjudication in any court of record may not be referred to in any question. Given this, it would be inappropriate for me to respond further to this question.

Date Received: 10/11/2010

Officially unofficial

This question was aimed at a statement by NIWA’s legal team in their Statement of Defence. That statement claims to classify their frequently-published national temperature graph as unofficial. Officially.

In answering that they couldn’t comment on matters before the court, at least NIWA and the minister avoided any temptation to grandstand or score points, but it means we’ll have to wait a while before learning their real meaning in making this bizarre claim in the first place: that (apparently) the only national temperature record put together, published and constantly presented over many years by the country’s only publicly-funded climate recording organisation is not actually the official national temperature record!

Qué?

The Curious Case of the Missing Thesis

searching man

When the NZ Climate Science Coalition made an OIA request for the NIWA amendments which shaped the whole NZ temperature record, it was told the amendments came from a doctoral thesis submitted in 1981 by James Salinger.

NIWA’s General Counsel officially advised (on two occasions) that “the methodology is documented” in the thesis, but “the original worksheets and/or computer records used for the calculations in Dr Salinger’s thesis work are the property of Dr Salinger, who no longer works for NIWA.”

When NIWA belatedly published its Schedule of Adjustments on 9 February 2010, it explained that relocations of weather stations required before-and-after comparisons against an independent station. The document notes that “Salinger (1981) provides the results of these three-site inter-comparisons for the 7-station series, up to about 1975.” Continue Reading →

World of sceptical questions unfolds…

Rodney Hide

We have been offered, dear reader, an outstanding opportunity to engage in climate activism.

A reader, Huub Bakker, commented yesterday on What’s left of the NIWA case, saying:

Where does all this leave the Government legally? Should all the previous conclusions be re-evaluated? Will the plastering job of the new NZTR be sufficient? Any thoughts from Rodney Hide, who I know reads this blog?

And this afternoon Rodney responded:

Amazing! And very disturbing about the state of science at NIWA.

What next? I am not sure.

Perhaps readers could suggest questions for the Minister Responsible for Climate Change Issues, Nick Smith, and the Minister of Research, Science and Technology (in Charge of NIWA), Wayne Mapp?

No other country can do this

That’s a remarkable offer, Rodney, and we’ll take you up on that, thank you.

Folks: let’s not underestimate either the significance of Rodney’s suggestion or the power of our questions. For overseas readers: Ministers of the Crown are under an obligation to answer correctly-phrased questions in the Parliament; they cannot decline. The difficulty is that you need to be a member of the House to ask the questions. Hence the importance of Rodney’s suggestion. Let us use it wisely.

Overseas readers included

Continue Reading →

What’s left of the NIWA case?

judge's gavel

The status of the NZ temperature record

For the last ten years, visitors to NIWA’s official website have been greeted by a graph of the “seven-station series” (7SS), under the bold heading “New Zealand Temperature Record”. The graph covers the period from 1853 to the present, and is adorned by a prominent trend-line sloping sharply upwards. Accompanying text informs the world that “New Zealand has experienced a warming trend of approximately 0.9°C over the past 100 years.”

The 7SS has been updated and used in every monthly issue of NIWA’s “Climate Digest” since January 1993. Its 0.9°C (sometimes 1.0°C) of warming has appeared in the Australia/NZ Chapter of the IPCC’s 2001 and 2007 Assessment Reports. It has been offered as sworn evidence in countless tribunals and judicial enquiries, and provides the historical base for all of NIWA’s reports to both Central and Local Governments on climate science issues and future projections.

NIWA has a printed promotional brochure describing its climate activities, which commences with the iconic 7SS graph. No piece of climate lore is more familiar to the public, and it is better known than NIWA’s logo.

But now, para 7(a) of NIWA’s Statement of Defence states that “there is no ‘official’ or formal New Zealand Temperature Record”.
Continue Reading →

NIWA oddly denies everything

NIWA temp adjustments with scales of justice

Just a quick response to Hot Topic’s insipid rebuttal to my update on Wednesday to our stoush with NIWA. I’ll write in more detail later.

In NIWA V CRANKS 4: SHOOT OUT AT THE FANTASY FACTORY this morning, Renowden, in typically slippery style, omits in every material instance the fact that NIWA’s statements in their Statement of Defence are precisely what I say they were.

In other words, he doesn’t refute what I say. Anyone can verify this by getting the two Statements and comparing them; Continue Reading →

Whoops! Your interest is overwhelming

I apologise to our overseas friends, supporters and casual visitors who came here over the past 24 hours or so wanting to know the latest development in our long-running national temperature saga but instead found a story so hard to follow it was worse than finding footprints through a coal mine at night while wearing sunglasses.

I’m sorry we let you down

Our local supporters found it informative, but they’ve been following events more closely. For those who haven’t been so close it was very frustrating.

It was my fault. I completely misjudged the interest this story would generate. It was especially regrettable since I’m keen to encourage investigations into climate organisations around the world and this hardly gives a good example of how to proceed.

Your presence here has been a tremendous boost to everyone involved; the web traffic stats have gone through the roof and we’re grateful for your visits. It’s all helping to spread important anti-consensus messages where just a short time ago there were almost none.

But not only was the story difficult to penetrate, the two most important supporting documents weren’t yet available online. I thought it would be a simple matter of posting them on this web site, and what would it matter if they were posted a few hours after releasing the article (who would notice? — FAIL!) but the legal advisor said keep it on the originator’s official site. It took precious time for messages to go between the people involved and the files were posted late this morning (when I wasn’t here to announce it).

Pretty busy right now

On a personal note: I must earn a living, so most mornings I’m away from the home office. It means that for six to eight hours a day there’s no response on the web site. Also, the end of the university semester is a busy time, with students wanting their reports and papers edited, which takes up another two to six hours per day, so I have little time to spare on this most enjoyable climate pastime. If I am slow to respond, please forgive me; I will get around to answering you, but perhaps not quickly.

This climate work is at the moment a pastime; I would prefer it to be a full-time activity but I haven’t found a sponsor…

The next major job is to write a report on the temperature saga in a way that lets our overseas brothers and sisters share in the excitement. It won’t be tomorrow or even the day after, but it will arrive and it will be something to look forward to, I promise.

It will be as thrilling as any story about a disputed national temperature record, strange decisions in a public agency, unpaid sleuths fighting bureaucracy, ancient feuds, simmering tensions, budget blowouts, questions in the Parliament and conspiracies that circle the globe.

Who could miss it? Stay tuned.

Either that, or read all the previous posts, plus those Statements of Claim and Defence and write a story for us. We’ll post it if it’s good enough.

Cheers.

– Richard

Judicial Review documents now on line

The previous post here, Observations on NIWA’s Statement of Defence, referred to the Statement of Claim and the Statement of Defence concerning the Application for Judicial Review that the NZ Climate Science Education Trust is bringing against the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA).

My apologies to all our readers who would have expected immediate access to these documents which have been filed at the High Court in Auckland. They are now available on the NZ Climate Science Coalition web site here:

http://tinyurl.com/23eplfy

I look forward to some informed comments and perhaps enlightenment.

– Richard.

Temperature adjustments science or art?

a beautiful iced-up waterfall

Barry Brill rips into NIWA’s showcase paper on the Hokitika weather adjustments — the one intended to demonstrate that data adjustment is science rather than art.    – Richard Treadgold

— by Barry Brill, Chairman of the New Zealand Climate Science Coalition

In February 2010, NIWA published a showcase paper titled Creating a Composite Temperature Record for Hokitika, offering details of adjustments it made to the NZ Climate Database for the Hokitika Airport weather station — one of the “Seven-station Series” (7SS) which makes up the official New Zealand temperature record.

The NZ MetService measurements for Hokitika cover the 20th century and display no significant linear trend up or down. The temperature recorded here in 1900 was 11.8°C, while 2008 was 11.93°C, and the 30-year average from 1971–2000 was 11.74°C.

The NIWA-adjusted version, on the other hand, shows a linear warming trend of 1.3°C, largely brought about by downward adjustments in the Hokitika temperatures in the first half of the century. The justification for those adjustments has been cited repeatedly as being an Appendix to a university thesis submitted in 1981 (see “The Salinger Thesis”).

NIWA temp adjustments with scales of justice

The Hokitika details were made public as a worked example of the adjustments that NIWA has made to all seven weather stations in the 7SS, in consequence of the Salinger thesis. Accordingly, the credibility of the entire project stands or falls on the strength of reasoning advanced for the Hokitika alterations.

But that reasoning is not sound. Continue Reading →

Seventy years is plenty

Unadjusted NZ temperature history

Barry Brill makes a strong case for the New Zealand temperature record to ignore the period before 1930. In essence, he says that a 70-year-long record is plenty long enough to establish a trend, and in any case the early data is either missing or unreliable — just chuck it out! He says it at greater length and more politely than that in a sometimes tongue-in-cheek article that makes sly digs at NIWA for the mistakes or naked bias that have given us a deeply suspect temperature “history.”    – Richard Treadgold

— by Barry Brill, Chairman of the New Zealand Climate Science Coalition

Climate Change policy is driven by forecasts of temperatures over the next 100 years. But the computer models need to be checked against the actual temperature trends of the last 100 years. If back-casts are wrong, then fore-casts will also be wrong.

The NZ temperature record averages seven weather stations — Auckland, Masterton, Wellington, Nelson, Hokitika, Lincoln and Dunedin — through the twentieth century. But there are many gaps and flaws up to about 1930 and, apart from these seven, there are very few other records to use as benchmarks.

First 30 years a chequered history

Auckland: Moved from the Museum to Albert Park in late 1909, and was affected by rapid tree growth and urbanisation during the next 20 years. Continue Reading →