Supplementary Information – Hokitika

Are we feeling warmer yet?

NZ Climate Science Coalition & Climate Conversation Group
30 Nov 2009

A number of people have now asked us for the raw data we used to create the unadjusted versus adjusted temperature graphs in our study Are we feeling warmer yet? We will shortly post a list of station names from the NIWA CliFlo database. While we could post the data directly, it would be fairly pointless, as you would need to know in detail the weather stations and the methods we used to combine them. Each station required some experimentation and detective work, assumptions had to be made and we may well have made errors. We make no claim to be infallible, so we publish these notes to let the reader judge whether our study has merit.

We will shortly be making the Salinger adjusted dataset available. We would like to thank Warwick Hughes for providing us with that data.

In this document we want to work through an example weather station—Hokitika—to illustrate our approach and methods. We also want to address NIWA’s response, currently on their website, that the Wellington adjustments are justified by altitude differences between stations where no time series overlap is available (Thorndon, Kelburn and Airport). The assumption is made by NIWA that stations can be adjusted together in such cases (even though they have no common overlap period and are also separated both spatially and temporally) as long as they share a common height above sea level.

By giving examples of stations with both altitude separation and an overlap period, we show that the lapse rate can differ and even the sign of the temperature difference can be reversed. Some higher stations record warmer temperatures than nearby lower stations. Therefore, it is invalid to move two station records together simply because they share a station height.

Go to Supplementary Information — Hokitika

Download Supplementary Information — Hokitika

Notes on replication — station data

Are we feeling warmer yet?

NZ Climate Science Coalition & Climate Conversation Group
29 Nov 2009

We’ve heard from a number of people wanting to replicate the graphs. However, we never expected such a high level of interest in our study so we were somewhat unprepared. We are now putting together a posting that will specify stations and describe our methods which we hope to post in the next few hours. In the meantime, this note outlines the difficulties. It doesn’t answer your needs, and for that we apologise, but we’re working on something more substantial right now. Continue Reading →

Are we feeling warmer yet?

The New Zealand
Climate Science Coalition
25 November 2009

(A paper collated by Richard Treadgold, of the Climate Conversation Group, from a combined research project undertaken by members of the Climate Conversation Group and the New Zealand Climate Science Coalition)

There have been strident claims that New Zealand is warming. The Inter-governmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), among other organisations and scientists, allege that, along with the rest of the world, we have been heating up for over 100 years.

But now, a simple check of publicly-available information proves these claims wrong. In fact, New Zealand’s temperature has been remarkably stable for a century and a half. So what’s going on?

New Zealand’s National Institute of Water & Atmospheric Research (NIWA) is responsible for New Zealand’s National Climate Database. This database, available online, holds all New Zealand’s climate data, including temperature readings, since the 1850s. Anybody can go and get the data for free. That’s what we did, and we made our own graph.

Go to paper
Download paper (pdf, 213KB).

Prove it, iceman!

This was in the Herald this morning:

Icebergs coming en masse

More than 100 Antarctic icebergs – and possibly even hundreds of them – are floating towards New Zealand.

An Australian Antarctic Division glaciologist, Neal Young, said yesterday that the ice chunks, spotted in satellite photos, had passed the Auckland Islands and were heading towards the South Island, 450km northeast.

He said more than 100 icebergs – some more than 200m across – were seen in just one cluster, indicating there could be hundreds more.

Dr Young said they were the remains of a massive ice floe which split from Antarctica in rising sea and air temperatures resulting from global warming.

– AFP

I think it’s exciting that we might see giant icebergs again, because it’s dramatic. However, the assumption that their close approach is connected with warming is odd, since the appearance of ice in my gin and tonic indicates just the opposite—a cooling trend. As you sail to Antarctica, the appearance of icebergs in the sea certainly confirms a cooling trend. A reasonable person, on hearing that icebergs appear because of warming, surely considers enquiring whether it’s actually because of cooling.

Dr Young’s easy attribution of the calving of these icebergs to “global warming” is unlikeable and unconvincing. More likely is that, as usual, the ice shelf reaches such a length (through continual plentiful production of ice, please note!) that the ocean waves can move it about with sufficient force to snap it off. If warming was causing melting, what would survive to embark on a voyage to anywhere?

It is equally likely that, because of cooling seas, the icebergs now survive the long voyage to New Zealand!

I know of no evidence supporting a global rise in temperature recently. Certainly, no more than perhaps 0.2°C, something like that, in the few months which might have influenced the calving. In the Antarctic, such a rise might get you up to around minus eleventy five which is dreadfully chilly and won’t melt anything. There’s nothing abnormal going on here. Might we not reasonably expect the Herald to know this and to question the AFP story?

They have let us down.

A matter of life and death, but please wait

This from The Guardian of 5th November:

A global treaty to fight climate change will be postponed by at least six months and possibly a year or more, senior negotiators and politicians conceded today.

In a day of gloomy statements, the world’s key industrialised nations said they had abandoned hope of a legally binding treaty at the Copenhagen summit next month and had begun to plan only for a meeting of world leaders.

Makase Nyaphisi, the Lesothan ambassador speaking on behalf of the UN’s least developed group of 49 countries, responded by saying: “We cannot afford delaying tactics in any way. It’s a matter of life and death.”

Poor countries stand to gain enormous sums of money in the name of climate change. Just announced in Barcelona was $1.1 billion funding from the World Bank for “clean energy” and “preparation for climate change” in Africa, from a total pot of $6.3 billion pledged by donors in funds for developing nations.

It’s hardly surprising Lesotho wants the process to move on. The climate change scam scheme is promising poor nations a Lotto win, the biggest pot of gold they could imagine. The best thing is that it’s completely open-ended, since there’s no finish date. When will the climate be “changed” enough? When will western countries stop feeling guilty about causing climate change?

To be plain, once begun, there will be a Niagara of money flooding into the poor nations. How on earth will it stop? Because the climate won’t stop—it’ll keep changing forever. If there is to be an exit method or a review date, what is it? It is scandalous that our government is negotiating this treaty without disclosing to us its contents.

For undeveloped countries, it must seem like the very best kind of extortion—the kind the victim volunteers for. All the poor people have to do is keep asking for more.

With “climate change” revenue streaming into the country, despotic leaders will feed on the bounty like never before while their people remain hungry, unhealthy and uneducated. What incentives will there be seriously to improve their society?

By all means send money, but don’t connect it with climate change and tie it firmly to schemes the people know about and join with. But the most important thing is to FIRST discover the cause of the nation’s poverty.

Poverty is caused by something like land ownership, political structure or the restrictive hand of religion. It’s almost never because of lack of natural resources and is absolutely never due to lack of intelligence or skill. Change the knowledge, change the behaviour. Our aim should be to introduce right knowledge then STOP sending money and LEAVE. Let commerce and trade do the job thereafter, just as it has with us.

This international climate treaty lacks knowledge of basic human nature. It will drain the coffers of the rich but almost guarantees that poor nations never become wealthy. Continue Reading →