Seismic shift in climate thinking

Newspapers

by Ben Webster of The Times
Wednesday, September 29, 2010, 22:09

The Royal Society, bastion of conventional thinking on global warming, is about to announce a change in its thinking! What a glad day. I cannot wait to read their whole statement.     – Richard

Here’s the full story: Continue Reading →

Royal Society gives us nightmare without the terror

a nightmare vision

UPDATED 30 Sep 2010, 16:00

New graph comparing predictions from RSNZ and IPCC. Eye-opening!

The Royal Society of New Zealand just published a paper, Sea Level Rise – Emerging Issues. It reports new, more alarming predictions of sea level rise around New Zealand during the rest of the century. Or does it?

The paper warns us to expect the sea to rise several metres by 2100. Or does it?

Actually, it doesn’t and it doesn’t. We can all go home.

On a careful, sensible reading, the paper says very little but, by employing phrases such as “increasingly rapid melting”, “recent estimates of future rise are greater” and “global sea levels rose by around 120 metres”, among others, the casual reader gains the impression of dangerous rises to come. The story imparts grave concern.

But it’s all air kissing, candy floss and nonsense. They say nothing that would scare a butterfly. The only substantial statement in the entire paper is the very last one:

… the magnitude and rate of rise is poorly known, as is the way in which our coastline may respond [sic] these changes.

Which, I am sure you’ll agree, dear reader, is distinctly underwhelming. True it is, yet mild and unthreatening as the morning dew.

Search in vain for guidance

Elsewhere the paper drags us through such turgid passages as these (emphasis added to show the absence of anything worth saying or the saying of anything worth nothing): Continue Reading →

Please put protest to proper pinna

Greenpeace logo

pinna: cartilaginous outer ear; also called the auricle.

The Herald last Friday reported a Greenpeace protest in Auckland which barricaded the entrance to a building used by Fonterra. The activists sparked a bomb scare by chaining a package to an elevator car. The package contained a speaker system. The police complain that because they were not advised of its contents they had to treat it as suspicious and staff were kept out of the building for about an hour. Greenpeace claim they did in fact tell the police what was in the package before the protest.

What was the protest about? Palm kernel oil, rain forests, the orangutan and climate change. It was aimed at Fonterra, our best and biggest exporter and a company that feeds more people than you could imagine. Therefore undeniably a company of untrammelled wickedness. Continue Reading →

Hot Topic semi-science now in the Herald

NZ Herald crest
Hot Topic logo

Now we have the NZ Herald echoing Hot Topic’s posts from Sciblogs. Man, the Herald have really burned their bridges on impartiality, haven’t they? By patronising Hot Topic they unquestionably declare their belief in the non-science of dangerous anthropogenic global warming.

Don’t expect any material from them in the near future to be critical of the now-established doctrine of climate change according to the IPCC.

Comments on poll uncover Hot Topic’s dearth of science

Yesterday, they published an article by Bryan Walker, one of Gareth’s support writers, Ask me why – polling the public on climate change. The first thing Bryan does is denigrate the organisation behind the poll; good one, Bryan, ignore the issue — go straight for the man.

Note also Walker’s disconnect from the real world where people must make a living:

But their notion of what constitutes appropriate measures is severely constrained by their determination to protect what they call the competitiveness of all sectors of NZ industry.

“What they call” competitiveness? He says that as though it’s a bad thing. Continue Reading →

Temperature adjustments science or art?

a beautiful iced-up waterfall

Barry Brill rips into NIWA’s showcase paper on the Hokitika weather adjustments — the one intended to demonstrate that data adjustment is science rather than art.    – Richard Treadgold

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

In February 2010, NIWA published a showcase paper titled Creating a Composite Temperature Record for Hokitika, offering details of adjustments it made to the NZ Climate Database for the Hokitika Airport weather station — one of the “Seven-station Series” (7SS) which makes up the official New Zealand temperature record.

The NZ MetService measurements for Hokitika cover the 20th century and display no significant linear trend up or down. The temperature recorded here in 1900 was 11.8°C, while 2008 was 11.93°C, and the 30-year average from 1971–2000 was 11.74°C.

The NIWA-adjusted version, on the other hand, shows a linear warming trend of 1.3°C, largely brought about by downward adjustments in the Hokitika temperatures in the first half of the century. The justification for those adjustments has been cited repeatedly as being an Appendix to a university thesis submitted in 1981 (see “The Salinger Thesis”).

NIWA temp adjustments with scales of justice

The Hokitika details were made public as a worked example of the adjustments that NIWA has made to all seven weather stations in the 7SS, in consequence of the Salinger thesis. Accordingly, the credibility of the entire project stands or falls on the strength of reasoning advanced for the Hokitika alterations.

But that reasoning is not sound. Continue Reading →

Seventy years is plenty

Unadjusted NZ temperature history

Barry Brill makes a strong case for the New Zealand temperature record to ignore the period before 1930. In essence, he says that a 70-year-long record is plenty long enough to establish a trend, and in any case the early data is either missing or unreliable — just chuck it out! He says it at greater length and more politely than that in a sometimes tongue-in-cheek article that makes sly digs at NIWA for the mistakes or naked bias that have given us a deeply suspect temperature “history.”    – Richard Treadgold

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

Climate Change policy is driven by forecasts of temperatures over the next 100 years. But the computer models need to be checked against the actual temperature trends of the last 100 years. If back-casts are wrong, then fore-casts will also be wrong.

The NZ temperature record averages seven weather stations — Auckland, Masterton, Wellington, Nelson, Hokitika, Lincoln and Dunedin — through the twentieth century. But there are many gaps and flaws up to about 1930 and, apart from these seven, there are very few other records to use as benchmarks.

First 30 years a chequered history

Auckland: Moved from the Museum to Albert Park in late 1909, and was affected by rapid tree growth and urbanisation during the next 20 years. Continue Reading →

New UNFCCC climate chief no worse than the old

Christina Figueres

On 17 May, 2010, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon announced the appointment of Mrs Christina Figueres as the new Executive Secretary of the United Nations Climate Change Secretariat based in Bonn, Germany. The appointment was endorsed by the Bureau of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). She replaced Yvo de Boer, who resigned in February, 2010, declaring himself “appalled” by the failure of the international community to reach agreement at Copenhagen on “fighting climate change”.

Yvo De Boer

The AP quotes Mrs Figueres as saying today in Beijing, China:

“Countries have felt a renewed urgency to address global warming given this year’s series of frequent and catastrophic disasters, including massive flooding in Pakistan, drought and fires in Russia, and mudslides and floods in China.”

Have they, indeed? First, how does she know this, or is she merely stating what she would like to hear? Continue Reading →

Gluckman: knows nothing about climate

Michele Hewitson

That incomparable writer, Miss Michele Hewitson, of the NZ Herald, has interviewed our Chief Scientific Advisor, Professor Sir Peter Gluckman, and the report appears in today’s edition.

Now, Michele often specialises in the human side of your famous person, not perhaps delving too far into the deeds and sayings for which he might be famous, but humorously describing the ebb and flow of the interview or the sometimes awkward situations that develop as our intrepid prober of public persons boldly goes where few reporters dare.

Michele can be genuinely funny and wondrously insightful by turns. That is how today’s example has turned out, as Miss Hewitson gets her subject to converse on everybody’s favourite topic — themselves. Which she accomplishes by various superficial means, such as asking why he has a beard.

Of all the fascinating and significant aspects of Gluckman’s life and intelligent toil, his beard must be the least important. Continue Reading →

Climate panel must be purged

Newspapers

by Matt Ridley of The Times
September 04, 2010, 12:00 noon

After years of darkness, there are signs of light returning both to climate science and the mainstream media! What is instinctively unacceptable in one (uncontaminated) scientific realm is at last observed as being practically the rule in the (deeply flawed) realm of climate science. (How NZ climate scientists can continue to pretend that the practice of their science has not been besmirched and remains beyond reproach is a mystery.) In this story we hear that a scientific inquiry actually does its job properly, The Times begins to stir and a real journalist concludes we don’t need a neck tourniquet for a nose bleed. Fascinating!
    – Richard Treadgold

Here’s the full story: Continue Reading →

Lincoln – a comedy of errors

classic tragi-comic masks

It would be easy to overlook this little paper, but don’t be tempted! In the context of “NIWAgate”, our legal move against NIWA and world-wide action to clarify temperature records which seem to bolster claims of unprecedented warming, Barry Brill’s revelations are dynamite! We asked NIWA what changes they made and why. NIWA said we’d find it in certain papers. Now, for the first time, Barry shows decisively that those papers don’t contain either the changes or the reasons they were made. NIWA’s duplicity is indisputable. Is this the behaviour we want from our premier climate research agency?   – Richard Treadgold

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

The weather station at Lincoln is one of the seven which make up the official NZ Temperature Record over the past 100 years. It shows a strong warming trend as a result of downwards adjustments which NIWA made in respect of the pre-WW2 period. But those adjustments rely upon a curious methodology which is not supported by any of the peer-reviewed literature.

The original temperature data for the Lincoln weather station – recorded by the NZ MetService, and now downloadable from NIWA’s official Climate Database – shows no warming trend over the past 100 years.

More adjustments that cause warming

The Schedule of Adjustments (SoA) prepared by Dr Brett Mullan and posted on the NIWA website on 9 February 2010, shows five downwards adjustments in the period 1881-1943 and two upwards adjustments during 1944-75. All seven alterations to the NZ MetService climate database are trend-favourable, and comprise the sole source of the reported warming trend. Continue Reading →

NZ Herald ratifies outrageous rant

NIWA temp adjustments with scales of justice

Just four days after Brian Rudman’s diatribe against the Coalition, the Herald unleashed an opinion piece by one Sam Fisher. I’ve just discovered it but that’s no reason to let it stand unopposed.

I shall start at its rear end. His devastating conclusion:

In past years, the nutters were the ones with signs that said: “The world is ending.” Now, the nutters have the signs that say: “The world isn’t ending, it’s all fine.”

I agree wholeheartedly with this sentiment, for it is hard to fault. However, he omits mention of the sanity of those trumpeting the end of the world. So I would express it with a different slant, as it is on the masthead above:

For the first time in history, people shouting “the end is nigh” are somehow
the sane ones, while those of us who say it is not are now the lunatics.

Before that, he enlightens us with: Continue Reading →

AGW a cloak for dishonest science

a cloak

A grey-haired New Zealand geologist has strong words to say about the practice of science, its abasement by proponents of AGW and the likely consequences for us all. Whether a general dishonesty in climate science is true or not, the fact that scientists themselves are now saying so indicates the extent of the perception of dishonesty. He begins by commenting on yesterday’s Christchurch earthquake.

It would be great if scientists could routinely express the uncertainties, by saying in response to some journalist’s question something like: “Well, we are actually not sure what the cause is, nor the actual depth of the shock, but on the very small amount of data that we have at present, we think that ‘THIS’ is likely. But we also think that there are many other possibilities, such as, blah, blah, etc.”

If only this philosophy could be applied to climate science/AGW as well!

A sad world it would be for science if other scientists, not directly connected to funding for ‘climate change,’ took the same attitude as displayed by the AGW-funded beneficiaries and never fronted up about the uncertainties inherent to their own particular branches of science.

To me as a scientist this is the saddest aspect of the AGW proponents — that they have perhaps shown the way for future pseudo-scientists to get away with all sorts of bias and dishonesty, with no skerrick of independent peer review, cloaked within the once-respectable realm of science.

Any scientist who works to the principle that defendably true knowledge is the prime basis for science should be quaking in his or her shoes. Because there seems to be a whole new generation of AGW-funded types who have neither care nor respect for scientific norms, since they are dependent on AGW funding to perpetuate their work.

Meltdown of the climate ‘consensus’

Rajendra Pachauri

From the New York Post, September 1, 2010.

If this keeps up, no one’s going to trust any scientists.

The global-warming establishment took a body blow this week, as the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change received a stunning rebuke from a top-notch independent investigation.

For two decades, the IPCC has spearheaded efforts to convince the world’s governments that man-made carbon emissions pose a threat to the global temperature equilibrium — and to civilisation itself. IPCC reports, collated from the work of hundreds of climate scientists and bureaucrats, are widely cited as evidence for the urgent need for drastic action to “save the planet.”

But the prestigious InterAcademy Council, an independent association of “the best scientists and engineers worldwide” (as the group’s own web site puts it) formed in 2000 to give “high-quality advice to international bodies,” has finished a thorough review of IPCC practices — and found them badly wanting.

False claims, no evidence

For example, the IPCC’s much-vaunted Fourth Assessment Report claimed in 2007 that Himalayan glaciers were rapidly melting, and would possibly be gone by the year 2035. The claim was actually false — yet the IPCC cited it as proof of man-made global warming. Continue Reading →

To do good, the free will be bound

a bait ball

C. S. Lewis on Liberty

“Of all tyrannies, a tyranny exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive,” wrote C. S. Lewis, the Oxford/Cambridge scholar best known for his Christian apologetics and the Chronicles of Narnia book series. “It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.”

May those toiling for the improvement of society in New Zealand and around the world give these words sober contemplation.

Improvement need not be bought with the loss of our freedom. Who would lead us will learn the difference between them.

(Thanks, Keith.)

Auckland warming is deception

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

UPDATE, below. Stunning new insights from Salinger’s thesis.

NIWA temp adjustments with scales of justice

NIWA has recently provided a web page on how it combined the temperature records from weather stations at Albert Park and Mangere, to produce the ʻAucklandʼ component of the Instituteʼs Seven-station Series (7SS). This page displays a simple but fundamental flaw in NIWAʼs methodology.

The Albert Park weather station was established in 1909, when both the region and the park were young. But, as the population grew and the saplings became large trees, the site became progressively less suitable for measuring the temperatures of greater Auckland. Concerns long expressed by the NZ MetService were finally met in 1976 by a transfer to Mangere, then on the outskirts of the City.

After 70 years, a few problems

The problems of Albert Park are discussed by senior meteorologist JWD Hessell in a peer-reviewed paper published shortly after the move to Mangere:

“Visitors to this central city park today cannot fail to be impressed by the many large exotic trees, many of which were planted about the turn of the century and some of which, more especially those planted later, are still growing. The instrument enclosure is surrounded on all sides by trees and buildings which shelter the site to a great degree. Continue Reading →

Rudman offensive but NZ temp record dubious

the NZ Herald logo

A letter sent to the NZ Herald on 25 August that remains unpublished.

Sir,

In “Exercise degrees of common sense“, on Wednesday August 18, Brian Rudman loses his journalistic poise and jeers gracelessly at the “flat-earth” members of the NZ Climate Science Coalition.

When he asserts that they deny “man-made global warming” he is dead wrong. He is welcome to interview us, which might stop him from consulting his imagination. The Coalition does not dispute that human activity possibly has an influence on the climate but it questions the magnitude of that influence.

The IPCC also questions it, for it claims only a 90% to 95% probability of human influence. Note that is an opinion without evidence, unless one considers flawed climate models to be evidence.

The Coalition knows there are good reasons to adjust temperature records; Rudman ignores the fact that, rather than challenging NIWA for making changes, we just asked them what the changes were. He should wonder why they have still not told us. If they did, we would promptly stop asking for them.

Brian Rudman

He might also wonder why NIWA repeatedly give the example of an altitude change to the Thorndon/Kelburn temperature record, when they didn’t actually make any altitude-based changes to any stations.

Rudman’s reference to “mystery money-bags funding the coalition” is offensive nonsense. Members analyse, consult and write about climate matters in their own time for no payment. The Coalition is made up of volunteers, it is not wealthy and will rely on fund-raising if the suit must go to court.

The only “money-bags” able to buy staff and consultants in the climate debate are the great NGOs like WWF and Greenpeace, with annual budgets of around $600 million each. The giant enviros far out-muscle the marketing budgets of any group of sceptics. The energy companies climbed aboard the warming bandwagon long ago and don’t fund sceptics.

But our suit is not about the global warming debate. It asks for simple clarity and accuracy in public temperature records. We cannot submit a paper “backing our claims”, as some suggest, because we’re not making any claims — we’re wanting to review the national temperature record and we’re asking a couple of questions that NIWA hasn’t answered.

Since being asked by the Coalition to describe how they obtained the temperature record and finding they were unable to do so, NIWA are recreating it from scratch.

The sooner these simple facts are acknowledged by responsible journalists the sooner reason will return to this important matter of public interest. Kiwis deserve to have a national temperature record they can trust but at the moment it is dubious.