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 →