A tale of two hemispheres

a brain of two hemispheres

Running this blog, people send me stuff.

My new friend Jim has sent me a wonderful graph that pits NASA against NIWA in a way most apposite for our stoush with them. Here’s the graph, showing basically that the Southern Hemisphere has warmed more slowly than the Northern Hemisphere:

temperatures of two hemispheres

This must be compared with the official NZ graph from NIWA.

official NIWA temperature graph

Jim said:

The Goddard Institute for Space Studies [GISS, a division of NASA] explains that the temperature increase in the Southern Hemisphere is less than the Northern due to it being mainly water and that water has a greater temperature inertia than land.

The NASA chart says that a 0.5°C increase has taken place in the Southern Hemisphere as a whole over the 20th century — well below the global average.

NIWA scientists, on the other hand, claim their data series is correct and that New Zealand is warming considerably faster than global averages. Why is a maritime country like New Zealand so anomalous to the rest of the Southern Hemisphere?

Which means that NIWA’s official national temperature series has some well-credentialled scientific opposition. Surely Wratt et al. will struggle to refute the well-muscled NASA without surrendering some humiliating ground. Continue Reading →

A swelling debate — Chris has questions

NIWA's temperature adjustments at Hokitika

In the last week or so one “Chris” (I can’t give his surname without his permission) has begun asking some well-informed questions and putting some well-aimed objections to our campaign against the national temperature series protected, I mean produced, by NIWA.

He’s putting increasing efforts into his writing, such that his last comment amounts to some 400 words. He demonstrates an impressive commitment.

When I realised my response had reached 1300 words I knew it had to become a separate post, both to honour Chris’s honest efforts and to more prominently feature the arguments he was making. Many of the things he says are widely said so our rebuttals should be given more prominence. Continue Reading →

Maze of mystery maths — NIWA facing fallout

consequences

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

In tracking the provenance of the official New Zealand temperature record, all roads lead to an “Appendix C”, which was annexed to a doctoral thesis written long before the heyday of “global warming”. This Appendix has never been published or digitised and the sole copy resides in the ‘reserved’ section of the library at Victoria University of Wellington.

The lengthy Appendix discusses some 25 weather stations throughout New Zealand which were shown by MetService records to have undergone site changes at various times. It raises diverse ways of adjusting data, ranging from measuring the rate of glacial melt to alignment with comparable stations. It makes no reference to scientific authority, because there was nothing available in the literature in those early days.

The Appendix then suggests a series of possible adjustments which do not follow any discernible set of rules, but rely heavily on the author’s instincts and preferences. The details are relegated to annexed Worksheets.

There is nothing complicated about the idea of calculating missing data by reference to nearby substitutes. The whole trick is in the execution. Is reliable data available for the period in question? Is it sufficiently comparable? How long a series is required? What objective rules should guide the analyst’s choices? Is any independent confirmation available? What are the error margins? Continue Reading →

Oxford Union Debate on Climate Catastrophe

the Oxford Union building

Science 135, global warming scare 110

For what is believed to be the first time ever in England, an audience of university undergraduates has decisively rejected the notion that “global warming” is or could become a global crisis. The only previous defeat for climate extremism among an undergraduate audience was at St. Andrew’s University, Scotland, in the spring of 2009, when the climate extremists were defeated by three votes.

Last week, members of the historic Oxford Union Society, the world’s premier debating society, carried the motion “That this House would put economic growth before combating climate change” by 135 votes to 110. The debate was sponsored by the Science and Public Policy Institute, Washington DC.

Serious observers are interpreting this shock result as a sign that students are now impatiently rejecting the relentless extremist propaganda taught under the guise of compulsory environmental-studies classes in British schools, confirming opinion-poll findings that the voters are no longer frightened by “global warming” scare stories, if they ever were. Continue Reading →

Why can’t scientists agree on Global Warming?

I couldn’t get to this meeting, but Ross Muir went along and sends us this report. – Richard

the real consensus - cartoon by Jo Nova

Last Thursday night the University of Auckland hosted an evening titled “Global Warming: Why can’t scientists agree?”

As both the title and the list of speakers made obvious, it was very pro-AGW, however I went along to see if there were any dissenters in the large audience and what sort of response they would get.

The speakers were: Prof Glenn McGregor (Director, School of Environment), Prof Roger Davies (Chair in Climate Physics, Physics Dept), Dr Jim Salinger (Hon Research Associate, School of Environment), Dr Anthony Fowler (Snr Lecturer, School of Environment) and Dr Mary Sewell (Snr Lecturer, School of Biological Sciences).

Handouts were made available on the way in. One by Prof Kurt Lambeck, the President of the Australian Academy of Science, on “The Science of Climate Change: Questions and Answers” and another large one, “Expert Credibility in Climate Change”, co-authored by Anderegg, Prall, Harold and Schneider (American and Canadian Universities). The latter contained graphs comparing the numbers of scientists/researchers and publications between the believer and non-believer camps. The graphs were so vastly different that I seriously doubt their veracity. Continue Reading →

Nicks in the myths of time

Baby stars, as seen by the Hubble telescope

I want to revisit some false arguments fabricated ages ago by our critics: time-worn errors which need re-rebutting, because they are still surfacing. These smooth myths, one might say, are nicked all over with imperfections. And mists cover everything.

The main spurious argument holds that the Climate Science Coalition says there’s no reason to adjust the raw temperature readings. That is false: we think there are good reasons for adjustments. What we actually say is that NIWA has made changes but refuses to reveal what they are.

A related myth is that NIWA has given us everything we asked for — simply by releasing the net arithmetical adjustments to each station. The reality is that, first, a net change isn’t enough because there could be multiple changes at a station. Second, the number by itself is useless; any reviewer needs the reason for each change. This is what NIWA has refused to tell us, yet both bits of data are required for any independent assessment of the accuracy of the temperature record. Continue Reading →

Banned again at Hot Topic

Hot Topic logo

Yes, it was I, twice masquerading under another name, trying to inject some reason into the comments at Hot Topic.

I have always refused the notion of not signing my own opinion, but being censored over there forced my hand; unfortunately, being a neophyte forger unveiled it.

Nonetheless, I said nothing I haven’t said elsewhere or wouldn’t be prepared to say openly. But Renowden’s comments reveal a continued avoidance of every topic I raise, so I’ll go another round.

GR: “What a pity he doesn’t have the courage to post under his own name.”

A cheap shot, this; entirely personal and nothing to do with the matter. It’s also illogical, for every time I post a comment, Renowden refuses to publish it. To have the temerity then to criticise me provides the very definition of framing someone.

GR: “Earlier today he … all but called me a liar.”

Since he made three false statements, one could be justified in doing so. The more interesting comment was that, if Renowden still disagrees the [adjustment] methodology is unavailable, he is a truffle short of a lunch. He doesn’t respond to that, but good on him for ignoring the ad hominem bits, even when they’re amusing. Continue Reading →

Hunter’s extraordinary peroration

We shall fight on the beaches…

Keith Hunter becomes deeply afraid for the future as we announce our review of NIWA’s behaviour. Why?

He says this, all timorous, intimidated and grateful for the gentle haven that is Hot Topic (as long as you agree with them):

I want to say how gratified I am that on this day of reckoning, the scientific community and the blogosphere have got behind our friends at NIWA and come out with so many statements of support. Make no mistake, this effort by the NZ*C*S*C is an attack on science and and [sic] attack on integrity. I, for one, will not put up with it! I am hugely comforted by the letters and phone calls of support I have received today. Maybe finally the mainstream scientists of this country are waking up to what the NZ*C*S*C is trying to do. Let there be no doubt – this is another attack on integrity [sic] of the science system. We defeated this when the Nazis did it, we defeated it when the Soviets did it, and we will continue to defeat it! And in case you think it [sic], let me remind you – all it takes for scientific untruths to survive is for honest men and women to ignore them.

So it’s a day of reckoning. The Coalition mounts an attack on science and on integrity. He is not putting up, is hugely comforted and confident we will defeat it. As we did with the Nazis and the Soviets and shall continue.

One question: let you remind us in case we think what?

I fail to see how the question “what adjustments did you make and why” can be interpreted to mean all this.

I fail to see how this expostulating answers the assertion that ethical standards were not observed.

I cannot fail to observe how the scientist loses his grip on reality. A day of reckoning? An attack on science?!

NIWAgate now on WUWT

NIWA temp adjustments with scales of justice

The tireless Anthony Watts reports our legal claim against NIWA (h/t to Andy).

May it encourage climate realists around the world to make a similar study of their national temperature history.

Barrage of misinformation: can’t they read?

NIWA temp adjustments with scales of justice

Wow! What an explosion of nonsense.

Hearing some of the comments about our court action against NIWA, you could be forgiven for thinking that the Coalition was made up of stupid people.

But the stupid ones are those mouthing off a torrent of misinformation against us without reading what we’ve actually lodged with the High Court. I have time only for a couple.

Commentator the First

Gareth Renowden, of Hot Topic, was interviewed this morning on Radio NZ by Sean Plunket. He said, among other things, the following:

I’ve been following [the Coalition’s] rather weird obsession with the New Zealand temperature record very closely on the blog.

It’s not a weird obsession, Gareth, it’s a weird and impenetrable temperature record, which you would know by now if you had bothered to take a look at it.

… all that Bryan [Leyland] wants is already there. The raw data you can download from NIWA. The adjustments that are required have been listed by NIWA; the methodology for doing it is available in the peer-reviewed literature; it’s incredibly non-controversial to climate scientists and meteorologists that you need to make adjustments.

Gareth here offers three false statements (I still hesitate to call them lies, though he has made them before) and a diversion. Continue Reading →

Background to our application for judicial review

NIWA temp adjustments with scales of justice

The following sets out the background of the NZCSC’s application and provides some vital context.

The National Institute for Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA) is a Crown Research Institute (CRI), contracted by the Government to be its sole adviser on scientific issues relating to climate change.

NIWA’s National Climate Centre is responsible for maintaining the National Climate database, mainly comprising records compiled by the NZ Met Service during the period 1853-1992. This archive finds its greatest significance in the New Zealand Temperature Record (NZTR), showing mean average surface temperatures throughout the twentieth century.

In 1999, the National Climate Centre adopted a “Seven-station Series” (7SS) as the basis of the NZTR. The stations (Auckland, Masterton, Wellington, Nelson, Hokitika, Lincoln & Dunedin) are geographically spread and considered to represent New Zealand as a whole. The 7SS graph and spreadsheet appear on NIWA’s website www.niwa.co.nz/news-and-publications/news/all/2009/nz-temp-record. Continue Reading →

Our Statement of Claim against NIWA

NIWA temp adjustments with scales of justice

1. NIWA has statutory duties to undertake climate research efficiently and effectively for the benefit of NZ, pursuing excellence and observing ethical standards, while maintaining full and accurate records.

2. The official NZ Temperature Record (NZTR), which is the historical base for most Government policy and judicial decisions relating to climate change, wholly relies upon a “Seven-station series” (7SS), adopted in 1999.

3. The twentieth-century warming trend of 1.0°C shown in the 7SS is dependent on the use of “Adjustments” taken by NIWA from a 1981 student thesis by J Salinger, a previous NIWA employee.

4. NIWA’s 1999 decision to rely on the Adjustments was a breach of duty as it did not:

• evaluate the thesis methodology or consider whether it needed updating
• discover that the supporting data and calculations had been lost
• undertake any check or peer review or require consent from the copyright holder
• maintain any record of the decision Continue Reading →

Dynamite changes to raw readings

What has NIWA done to the original raw temperature readings? What do the adjustments look like? I can do little better than to show them on a single graph.

NIWA temperature adjustments, before and after

This clearly shows two important things:

1. The original readings show a slight, insignificant warming.

2. The adjustments have the effect of cranking the older readings down so the trend is now one of strong warming. Indeed, it is 50% greater warming than the globe itself.

Just as our original paper showed, back in November 2009, New Zealand has indeed been the subject of man-made warming, but only by adjusting the figures. Still, to this very day, NIWA refuse to detail the adjustments they made and why they made them. Continue Reading →

High Court asked to veto NIWA graph

NIWA temp adjustments with scales of justice

In an unprecedented move, the High Court at Auckland has been asked by the NZ Climate Science Coalition to invalidate NIWA’s official national temperatures.

Papers filed last week by the NZ Climate Science Education Trust ask the High Court to invalidate the New Zealand official temperature record (NZTR) developed and promoted by the Crown Research Institute, NIWA. NIWA maintains temperature archives for the past century, and attempts to forecast temperatures for the next century. These records form the basis of NIWA’s scientific advice to central and local government on issues relating to climate change.

All manner of documents published by NIWA claim that NZ’s temperature rose over the last hundred years by 0.9°C, supported by their specially-adjusted readings from their specially-selected weather stations.

Around the world, temperature records have been coming under closer scrutiny as people have discovered quality problems and even outright dishonesty affecting their national temperature history. Continue Reading →

Naïve fanfare silenced by foot-in-mouth NIWA

An ancient foot in the mouth

Quelle surprise! Network PR have taken down the page proclaiming their work with NIWA on “how to position itself in the climate change debate” (h/t to Andy).

It was here, but now the page of case studies doesn’t even mention NIWA. Here is the Google cache version, just to prove we didn’t imagine this.

When a company ceases to trumpet what they perceive as a good piece of work, you know their hand has been forced. In this case, who but NIWA would be doing any forcing?

Network PR has produced a monumental piece of naïvety in disclosing details of its work with NIWA. Network’s principals knew of their client’s adversaries, for the very purpose of the education campaign they fashioned was to deal with criticism from them, but the desire to trumpet their effectiveness was too strong to resist. It was a wonderful divorce from reality, to fail to imagine the adversaries hearing of this news and making use of it against their client.

So much for Network PR. Good luck to them. Now, through the careless eagerness of their supplier to leverage new business from success, NIWA’s senior managers have had their plainly self-absorbed thinking lit by a dazzling public spotlight and naturally it shames them. There are two threads in their error.

First, the leadership decided to use NIWA’s public funds for other than public purposes. That is, the organisation would not benefit from coaching their staff in how to avoid answering questions, only the individual scientists might be spared the irritation, embarrassment or simply the shame of answering questions exposing their unscientific methods, conclusions and agenda. Continue Reading →

NIWA prefers spin to straight answers

Hypnotic spiral

A scandal is erupting over a PR firm – Network PR – employed by NIWA for months specifically to advise it on how to respond to “attacks” from the NZ Climate Science Coalition and blogs like this one.

Read the self-serving announcement from Network here. Network must have been bamboozled into ignoring the scientific questions, because if they heard how simple they are, they surely would have advised NIWA to just answer them.

NIWA’s difficulties spring directly from refusing to answer these questions. Why won’t they answer? Continue Reading →