NIWA breaks promises, should apologise

Parliament Buildings through an onion

We’re working through several answers from the Hon Wayne Mapp, Minister of Research, Science and Technology, concerning questions posed by ACT about the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA).


One question concerns the production of what we have referred to as the Schedule of Adjustments (SOA). It’s simply a statement of what changes were made to the raw temperature readings, why and when, in order to record the scientific justification for them.

The Climate Conversation Group (CCG) and the NZ Climate Science Coalition (CSC) have been asking NIWA since November to disclose the SOA. Privately, they have told us they are “reconstructing” the SOA, and, indeed, on February 9, they quietly posted a list of all the adjustments to the seven-station series together with a discussion of the reasons for Hokitika. Well done, them.

On January 30, Eloise Gibson wrote in the NZ Herald:

The country’s climate forecaster is bowing to public pressure and putting all of its temperature data and calculations on the internet because of mistrust fuelled by errors overseas.

Principal climate scientist James Renwick said Niwa had decided to bare all because “if we don’t we appear to be hiding something”.

Two people in Niwa’s climate group have prepared a full set of documents including all the data from climate stations and a full explanation of the adjustments made to records, which should be available online in about a week.

Continue Reading →

Odd numbers

Parliament Buildings through an onion

NIWA supply temperature data to the big overseas teams that maintain the global temperature datasets, including NASA, NOAA, the Hadley Centre, the WMO, NCDC and the UK Met Office (Hadley Centre).

It’s a bit odd that not all those organisations get the same sets of data.

For instance, the WMO gets monthly summaries comprising Kaitaia, Rotorua, Gisborne, New Plymouth, Paraparaumu, Kaikoura, Hokitika, Christchurch, Tara Hills, Invercargill, Raoul Island, Chatham Islands and Campbell Island — 13 stations in total.

From time to time, “Other data are provided in response to requests to NIWA.” So in August 2005, NCDC and NOAA reveived data from Kaitaia, Gisborne, New Plymouth, Paraparaumu, Hokitika, Tara Hills, Invercargill, Campbell Island, Chatham Islands and Raoul Island. That’s a bunch of 10 stations.

In August 2003, NIWA apparently sent (isn’t this fascinating?) the WMO data from 17 New Zealand sites: Kaitaia, Rotorua, Gisborne, New Plymouth, Napier, Paraparaumu, Nelson, Kaikoura, Hokitika, Christchurch, Tara Hills, Dunedin, Invercargill, Raoul Island, Chatham Island, Campbell Island and Scott Base, Antarctica. So that’s a New Zealand site?

In 1994, the UK Met Office (Hadley Centre) got temperature data for the seven-station series, plus Havelock North and Mt Cook (my emphasis).

Strange that in every case the overseas teams received data from more sites than we ourselves use for the national record.

Why does NIWA select only seven sites to describe the whole country? They really ought to explain it to us.

Suspicious warming trend proof of bias?

Parliament buildings with onion

We’re working through several answers from the Hon Wayne Mapp, Minister of Research, Science and Technology, concerning questions posed by ACT about the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA). Some of the answers are bombshells. One reveals that NIWA lost vital worksheets used by Dr Salinger in constructing the national temperature record.


The next question I’ll discuss concerns adjustments NIWA made to the national temperature record. ACT asked a simple question about them, which was this:

… how many of the years before 1950 had their temperature adjusted downward in the NIWA “Seven-Station” Temperature Series and how many upward; and how many of the years after 1950 had their temperature adjusted downward and how many upward?

Continue Reading →

NIWA admits deleting vital climate files

a destroyed hard disk drive

NIWA have admitted that vital original material used to prepare the official New Zealand temperature records was deleted. They do not say when it happened, but it means that, in contravention of time-honoured principles of good science, NIWA is no longer able to verify the work done by Dr Jim Salinger.

The news came in an answer to a written parliamentary question from ACT and comes as NIWA is under pressure to justify the so-called “seven-station” time series that forms the centrepiece of their evidence of long-term warming.

The Climate Conversation Group (CCG), in association with the NZ Climate Science Coalition (CSC), published a report last November into apparent irregularities in the New Zealand temperature record. Continue Reading →