Courting NIWA

judge's gavel

Where the fudges have judges

UPDATE 1, 16 Sep 9:30 – If anyone harbours lingering doubts that NIWA claim to have used a particular method in calculating the adjustments in their “Review report” published last December, let them check NIWA’s web site, where they say: “The methodology for adjusting for site changes in the NZ temperature record was published in the peer-reviewed International Journal of Climatology in 1993: Rhoades, D.A. and Salinger, M.J., 1993: Adjustment of temperature and rainfall records for site changes. Int. Journal of Climatology 13, 899 – 913.

UPDATE 2, 16 Sep 10:15 – Looking through NIWA’s web site this morning I discovered a seriously fraudulent statement. On the national temperature record review page there’s a section at the bottom that describes (and makes light of) our judicial review application in the High Court and makes this astonishing claim: “The reanalysis and peer review of the seven station series forms part of the judicial review action.” But that’s impossible — NIWA announced the review six months before we filed the papers with the court! Wayne Mapp, the Minister, had already announced NIWA’s review of the 7SS on 18 February 2010, and we didn’t lodge our application with the court until 16 August 2010, so is NIWA claiming to have extra-sensory perception? Is there a serial fraudster running NIWA’s media centre? Why can’t that organisation just tell the truth?

The New Zealand Climate Science Education Trust (NZCSET), on 1 July 2011, filed an amended statement of claim to challenge NIWA’s revised NZ temperature record (the old 7SS, now called the NZT7) published in December, and NIWA failed to file a statement of defence within the time limit. A tentative agreement to meet and narrow the issues was advised to the Court but has not been followed up. NIWA has not responded to correspondence in recent weeks.

There has been a series of delays in NIWA’s production of relevant documents and some failure to keep to the agreed arrangements, leading to further procedural steps being required and hence more delay.

What’s happening? Supporters of NIWA were very keen last year to get into court and take our heads off. We were a laughing stock among global warming adherents, with Hot Topic and Open Parachute, among others more respectable, saying we were being “anti-science” and worse.

The legal system, they said, has nothing to do with scientific progress. We were just seeking publicity, they said. So why has NIWA now dropped the ball so badly, just after we released our crushing review of its report?

You might be tempted to conclude that it’s completely ignoring the paper and us. But that’s unlikely — something else is happening. The question is, what?

Has NIWA gone into a state of paralysis since our report ripped apart its new temperature series? Is a major re-evaluation occurring at management level? Has war broken out within NIWA as factions battle over how to respond to our study?

It would hardly be surprising, considering the awful thing NIWA has done — effectively pretended very publicly to use a particular, scientifically-sanctioned method yet it has done nothing of the kind.

Scientifically, NIWA has no leg to stand on. It said it used an approved method, we proved it didn’t, and there’s just no option left to it but to do the work properly. No scientist in the world, knowing of our review, would give NIWA’s new temperature series any credibility. So it has no basis in science and it should not underpin our national temperature graph.

By distorting the proper method, NIWA overstated the warming trend by 168%.

NIWA hasn’t answered the criticisms in our paper. It’s as though it hasn’t noticed the paper — except we know it has, because we sent its chairman a copy and asked him to review NIWA’s work. So far he’s refused.

Why is NIWA speechless? What will it do about our allegations?

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8 Thoughts on “Courting NIWA

  1. Gary on 15/09/2011 at 9:56 pm said:

    Sounds like a bad episode of yes Minister. They are probably plotting how to get themselves out of the mess they created. Pity the minister resposible is not pro -active like the RWC minister. Thats whats needed some Butt kicking.

  2. Doug Proctor on 16/09/2011 at 3:21 am said:

    What is the legal ramifications for NIWA of not filing within its mandated time-frame? Or did the “tentative” agreement give them legal reason to say they did so?

    The Department of Circumlocution would be proud of its grandchild.

    It’s all a timing matter. Methinks a bunch of people want the Climate and carbon tax to go away. They’ll keep the taxes, of course, but the controversy can just wither on the vine while the lead authors ride out the ends of their careers.

    • What is the legal ramifications for NIWA of not filing within its mandated time-frame? Or did the “tentative” agreement give them legal reason to say they did so?

      I don’t know. Everything is being done before a judge, so I guess he decides on the ramifications. I’m not sure I even want to discuss the details; in mentioning them here, I do hope our legal counsel doesn’t refuse to answer my questions in future.

      I have to say something, though, because there’s such a lot of interest, not just in New Zealand, but around the world. The case is important to individuals and groups in many countries who wonder how to make an impression on this CAGW colossus that is almost totally out of control. How does David defeat this enormous Goliath?

      Perhaps a simple court case against the national temperature record might do it? As the murderer Al Capone was brought to heel by tax indiscretions. Most of the “scientific” case for CAGW rests on predicted effects, but some of it depends on the 20th century warming. If that were destroyed, the science falls apart and, more importantly, the general public can grasp what’s happened.

      It’s not rocket science, but simple fraud. Even if it was driven by the purest of motives. Like Sir John Houghton said: “If we want a good environmental policy in the future we’ll have to have a disaster.” Purest of motive.

      When we started this investigation, we were just trying to winkle out the details, but now it seems quite on the cards that we might cause a rewrite of the 20th century temperature record. And destroy untoward warming.

  3. Peter Fraser on 16/09/2011 at 7:25 am said:

    I am a little confused by the number of NIWA temperature records. Which was the one peer reviewed by the Australian BoM?

    • Yeah, ain’t that easy to do! The original temp record, created by Jim Salinger in 1980, used seven weather stations around the country. Hence it was referred to as the Seven Station Series, or the “7SS”.

      When NIWA reviewed that record in response to our questions and criticisms (releasing the “review report” in December 2010), they kept the same seven stations but recreated the adjustments (we asked them what the adjustments were, but they could not tell us because they had lost the records). Remember that raw temperature readings often need adjusting for non-climatic influences over the years like trees growing up and sheltering the station or lots of new roads and nearby buildings raising the temperature.

      We still have a 7SS, sometimes referred to as the NZT7, though now I can’t find where that came from. NIWA’s report was titled “Report on the Review of NIWA’s ‘Seven-Station’ Temperature Series.” I’ve just checked NIWA’s web site and they refer to the temperature series as “the ‘seven-station’ temperature series.” Among ourselves, the Coalition tends to call the old series the 7SS and the new one the NZT7.

      So, there’s just the one seven-station series, made from seven weather stations. NIWA recently recreated it and got the BoM to peer-review that reconstruction. It’s still the 7SS (for want of a better abbreviation), but there’s an old one and a new one.

      That help?

  4. Mike Jowsey on 16/09/2011 at 8:22 am said:

    Take out a one-page colour ad in the Dominion: Why is NIWA lying about New Zealand’s temperature?

    That should rattle their cage. Might make one or two journo’s take an interest.

    Or, how about proposing that John Boscawen asks the above as a parliamentary question?

  5. Andy on 16/09/2011 at 9:39 am said:

    Now that the ETS is back on the radar (several pieces in the media in the last 24 hours), I agree with Mike that media releases are a good way to go.

    Barry Brill has being doing a great job getting stuff onto btw

  6. Doug Proctor on 17/09/2011 at 6:52 am said:

    The visual disconnect between the original records and the final, combined record of the 7SS/NZT7 is so clear that it is difficult if not impossible to believe that any other records can be successfully challenged if the New Zealand Magnificent Seven cannot.

    For NIWA to reproduce the original results without access to the original modifications while also disallowing the orginal results as worthy of NIWA approval, and to get the BoM to produce a clearly qualified and nuanced support of the seven station study without having to demonstrate or detail why they neither reject nor promote the 7SS, shows tremendous political machinations in the background.

    A simple “We looked at it, and its bloody excellent, mate!” and “We re-did it, and the original Salinger work, however he did it, was spot on, mate!”, should have been possible for such a technical subject and a precise reproduction. The public distancing by the technical worker-bee is telling, but unfortunately it doesn’t have any legislative volume.

    We live in weird times. It’s not nature that shows the New Normal. It is politics.

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