Egos of NIWA

John Morgan, the Chief Executive Officer of NIWA, perhaps the country’s premier scientific institute, has misled the press and the people of New Zealand. He made a public claim of international recognition of NIWA’s temperature adjustment methods but refuses to provide evidence of that recognition. How can anyone believe him?

After NIWA published a review of the national temperature record (called “the Review”) in December 2010, the NZ Climate Science Coalition asked them how they adjusted the temperatures. What method did they use? It’s a reasonable question. If you knew that, you could try to replicate NIWA’s results. Replication is what science is all about. Continue Reading →

NIWA withholds evidence, loses face

About ten to four this afternoon Outlook went ‘bing-bong’ and a mail from NIWA arrived on my desktop. It was John Morgan, refusing my second request for publicly-owned information. The time elapsed since we first asked for it has reached 21 weeks.

Readers might remember I asked again on 20 February:

So would you please provide a copy of the scientific literature that approves of the measurement technique used by NIWA in the Review. This request is reiterated under the Official Information Act.

Here’s what Mr Morgan decided to say about it:

Dear Mr Treadgold

I write in response to your email dated 20 February 2014 indicating that you believe that my reply of 21 November 2013 did not answer the question raised in your email of 22 October 2013. 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 →