Bias justified claims NIWA

So is it?

Let’s start to crack this open. Since the judge hasn’t delivered his decision we’ll be careful, but I’m advised we can discuss it freely as long as we don’t insult the judge (or NIWA’s scientists, for that matter). [ADDENDUM: Or attempt to influence the judge’s decision.]

There are several incongruous aspects of NIWA’s 7SS adjustments that have always mystified Coalition* members:

  1. The whole warming trend of about 1.0°C/century is brought about by pre-1945 downward adjustments, which are curiously linear (see graphs).
  2. Although the site changes causing them are random, over 90% of the adjustments move in the same direction; they do not balance out as the literature suggests they should.
  3. The 7SS adjusted warming trend is inconsistent with the official temperature series published in 1867 and 1920; these showed that the nationally-averaged temperatures recorded back then were just as high as they are now.
  4. The largest New Zealand warming occurred during the half-century 1909-59, with the second highest being 1859-1909. The period 1959-2009 – which coincides with IPCC-reported global warming – shows the smallest trend (only 0.4°C/century).

Continue Reading →

Michael Mann threatens legal action over Steyn comment

From Australian Climate Madness – h/t Val Majkus. This is a savage attack on Professor Michael Mann, author of the deceptive “hockey stick” graph published in the Third Assessment Report by the IPCC in 2001. It was the second graph in the report and much used in the publicity material until strong opposition appeared and the graph vanished for a while. Mann has hit back with a lawyer’s letter. It could get interesting for what for the first time would come under the judicial microscope.

caption

WEDNESDAY, 25 JULY 2012 9:28 AM
by SIMON [TURNILL]

If this goes the distance, it will certainly be worth following very closely.

Mark Steyn, writing at the National Review (backup WebCite link here), made a number of comments about Michael Mann regarding the Hockey Stick, and Mann has responded with a three-page lawyers’ letter threatening defamation proceedings (see here: page 1, page 2, page 3 – originally published on Mann’s Facebook page, reproduced here for ease of reference).

The interesting point here is Continue Reading →

Crush the starving: burn their food

20 July 2012

quill pen

Archbishop Rowan Williams
Archbishop of Canterbury
Lambeth Palace
Lambeth Palace Road
London SE1 7JU

Dear Archbishop Williams

There was a report this morning on the Today programme, to which I trust you paid due regard. If you didn’t, you should have.

The report, concerning the effect of the current American drought on levels of grain harvests, aired a remarkable and arresting statistic – disturbing too, if you have a conscience. It appears that 40% of the grain production of the Western world’s primary producer has been diverted to the generation of feed stocks for the so-called ‘biofuel’ industry. That this will result in hardship to countless within the developed world can be predicted with a high degree of confidence. That the already dispossessed, impoverished and disenfranchised will be the ones mainly to suffer, even unto starvation and death, is an absolutely foregone conclusion.

And the reason for this? Why, to be sure, to pursue policies common on both sides of the Atlantic aimed at sustaining the greatest scientific swindle in history. Continue Reading →

NZ sceptics v. NIWA – summary of case

EDITORIAL NOTE: As an organ of the NZ Climate Science Coalition (NZCSC, or the Coalition), the NZ Climate Science Education Trust (NZCSET) was created especially to carry the Coalition’s legal suit against the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research Limited (NIWA). The creation of a subsidiary is common in such cases and carries the approval of the judge. References here to the Coalition include the Trust. As a member of the Coalition, I sometimes say “we”, meaning the Coalition. The following is based on notes and conversations with our legal team and should be fairly accurate. Any mistakes are mine.

The hearing of the case between the Trust and NIWA ended on Thursday, with no surprises emerging from the defence presentation.

The Coalition had three causes of action against:

(a) The original Seven Station Series (7SS) published in 1999.
(b) The Review of NIWA’s “Seven-Station” Temperature Series (which is now the official version of the national temperature record).
(c) The Eleven-Station Series that was unadjusted.

Note that the Eleven-Station Series was issued in 2009 solely to counter the Coalition’s paper, “Are we feeling warmer yet,” published on November 25, 2009. The hastily-prepared 11SS appeared just eight days later in rebuttal, Continue Reading →

Final day of hearing

My apologies for my tardiness. I’ve been taking care of business, family and self. Now I can at last post a brief description of the final day of the hearing.

But first, please join me in a round of bashful giggling aimed at me. Why? I never knew that Wednesday, the day before this last day, had been scheduled as a rest day, and nobody turned up. Which renders my apology for not turning up quite redundant, I think. Well, let’s move on.

On this Thursday morning Justin Smith, counsel for the defendant, NIWA, presented their defence to the Coalition’s statement of claim. When I arrived after lunch he was presenting legal authorities concerning crown bodies, or state-owned enterprises. He spoke in a remarkably soft voice and, as I was seated behind him, that meant I failed to pick up a good three-quarters of what he said.

He must have been responding to our charge that NIWA did not perform its statutory duty. He said: “They’re not duties, they’re not called duties, they’re called operating principles.” Continue Reading →

Asses in law

Local warmists are scathing in their condemnation of the Coalition’s action against NIWA, but their fury is fuelled by fossilised notions of what we’re trying to do. Not to mention flawed by having only a distant acquaintance with what we have actually said.

It’s a fossil fuel-filled fury.

There is everywhere a tendency to take pot shots at our suit without engaging with the substance of it. For example, Continue Reading →

Open Parachute hangs itself

Ken Perrott described so well the laudable principles of scientific scepticism. Who would have guessed he would poke his own neck into a noose he was preparing for us?

He says scientific debates depend upon good faith, but then claims good faith justifies calling us by the despicable term climate “deniers”.

Which is like claiming to rob banks in the cause of honesty. But it gets better. Continue Reading →

No high court forecourt report

I’m sorry, but there was too much work today to get to the High Court. There’ll be no report from the forecourt of the High Court today.

I plan to be in attendance tomorrow afternoon and hope it’s now NIWA’s turn to bat. I can’t wait to hear what they say.

UPDATE: This day (Wednesday) was a rest day – nobody attended the case. So everything worked out well.

Herald swiftly rights wrong

The NZ Herald yesterday covered our suit against NIWA. But the heading was:

Global warming sceptics accuse Niwa of temperature deception

And the first paragraph said:

“A group of global warming sceptics has accused Niwa of deception over the issue…”

But this wasn’t true. Our suit says nothing about NIWA’s motivation in producing errors in the national temperature record, much less accuses them of deception.

I emailed Abby Gillies, the reporter:

Hi Abby,

Thanks for covering the Coalition’s suit against NIWA. I should complain, though, about your allegation: “A group of global warming sceptics has accused Niwa of deception over the issue…”

That is not the case. We don’t use the word deception Continue Reading →

Four go a-court, with a hey, nonny-no

Four lawyers went to court today, among a total of 13 people: the judge and a clerk, four lawyers conducting business, one sceptical witness (yours truly – Bob was busy), two senior NIWA scientists, a friendly David Wratt and slightly sullen Brett Mullan, the friendly Tim Mahood (their general counsel), and three others who appear highly prosperous and might be lawyers. Six for them and one for us (not counting working lawyers).

From time to time one or two female journalists sit to one side tapping on their laptops. Just before lunch a fellow turned up and sat beside me. I introduced myself and he said he was a sceptic (“from way back”) who heard of the court case only yesterday and couldn’t wait to come along.

Today was the second day of the Coalition’s action against NIWA. Our counsel, Terry Sissons, was still taking Mr Justice Venning through our statement of claim. It should have been NIWA’s turn by now, Continue Reading →

A High Court forenoon

A group of unknown people protested our case this morning at the High Court. Although they handed out copies of this amusing letter they remain unidentified. I wonder who they are?

They single out two leading members of the NZ Climate Science Coalition: Honorary Secretary Terry Dunleavy and Energy Spokesman Bryan Leyland.

Letter from Flat Earth Society

 

An Open Letter and Appeal to Lords Terence Dunleavy and Bryan Leyland of the Climate Science Education Trust

On this day 16 July in the year 2012 in the Northern Township of Auckland, Middle Earth

On the Occasion of the Lords’ Good Endeavours to Strike Down the temperature muddlings of the Dark Lords of the National Institution of Water and Atmosphere in the High Court of our Land

Hear Ye Honourable and Esteemed Lords of Middle Earth

We of the Flat Earth Society would like to extend to you a hand of friendship and solidarity… etc., etc.

Click for page two

 

 

It’s an attractive, fairly consistent piece of wordsmithing, almost worthy of former ages that valued speech for its beauty before its utility. In a sensible society, entirely the right way around. Continue Reading →

A fox in the henhouse

Rodney Hide’s been allowed to write in the Herald on Sunday.

This week he talks about the ETS and he’s not kind about it. The carbon price has collapsed and the government’s changed the playing field so the trading will probably never recover. Shame.

He mentions the CCG blog (thanks, Rodney!) and something I said about selling unwanted CO2. Stirred up a large number of comments. Do join in.

Accelerated SLR given the kibosh

A German survey has gone carefully through the literature on sea level and finds no evidence of acceleration over the last 30 years.

There’s a handy article in English at NoTricksZone with a link to the original in German.

They include a reference to New Zealand research, citing Hannah and Bell (2012), who show NZ SLR steady at 1.7 mm per year since 1940.

Perhaps now the zealots and alarmists will stop crying wolf on sea level. Which leaves just ocean acidification, ice cap and glacial melt, increased tornado frequency…

— h/t reader Marian, and Climate Depot for the links.

Quote of the Week

what a thing to say

“Water vapour in our stratosphere can act as a very powerful greenhouse gas… water is a by-product of methane breakdown… water vapour arising from high-flying aircraft may be an important source of stratospheric water.”

At Greenhouse Gas Online we find information on greenhouse gases which disregards water vapour in an approach unencumbered with scientific principles.

Water vapour in our stratosphere can act as a very powerful greenhouse gas. The amounts of water vapour in our stratosphere are mainly controlled by the earths overall climate. However, some other significant sources exist.

As described in the methane section, water is a by-product of methane breakdown in the atmosphere. Additionally, the water vapour arising from high flying aircraft may be an important source of stratospheric water, particularly in the future with increased global air travel.

Ah, so that’s it. First, water vapour can be a powerful greenhouse gas, but only in the stratosphere. We must beware of stratospheric water vapour, which is created from the breakdown of methane and by flying aircraft.

Kids, don’t bring your homework to this site.

Hockey sticks beware – dendro rulz!

A new study shows modern temperatures are not unprecedented and disproves an important part of Mann’s “hockey stick” paper of 1999.

Orbital forcing of tree-ring data, J. Esper et al., says:

“… large-scale near-surface air-temperature reconstructions [specifically the hockey stick] relying on tree-ring data may underestimate pre-instrumental temperatures including warmth during Medieval and Roman times.”

This is beautiful.

The CO2 wasn’t absorbing! Nek minute…

When the Herald reported that an “‘Abrupt increase’ in CO2 absorption slowed global warming” the first question it raised was what sort of increase was an extra “one billion tonnes of carbon per year”. It said:

The earth would have warmed faster in the last two decades had there not been an unexplained rise in the amount of carbon dioxide being absorbed on land, scientists believe.

Fortunately, Jo Nova and David Evans have commented. David describes the billion tonnes of carbon as insignificant. Jo mocks the implication that our selfish warming would have been worse without this previously unknown factor. Continue Reading →

Sceptics rise to challenge

The NZ Climate Science Educational Trust (NZCSET) enters the High Court at Auckland on Monday morning to challenge the national temperature record produced by NIWA.

The NZCSET is applying for a judicial review of NIWA’s actions in connection with the 7SS – the “Seven Station Series”. Please note that the application does not ask the Court to adjudicate on climate science. The Court would refuse to resolve a scientific question in any field.

I especially hope the climate deniers from Hot Topic and elsewhere finally note that point. They have been jeering from the sidelines for a long time about what they claim is our attempt to get the court to declare the science, but they were wrong.

The hearing is expected to last a week. Until now, the public had no access to the documents filed by each side over the last 18 months (even up to just a few days ago) and we were unable to describe what they said or comment on them.

But the commencement of the public hearing gives us access to the submissions, so I’ll be asking the Registrar on Monday for copies.

I’d like to post or describe the documents here and give readers a chance to comment. Watch this space.

North Carolina fights rising tide of dogma

The Economist carried an online article on 29 June ridiculing the North Carolina legislature for wanting to ban climate-change projections in coastal planning and allow only historical data. (h/t Barry Brill)

It is odd that the always-conservative Economist seems to distrust the temperate, time-tested use of observations to predict likely bounds of future tides. Never mind the success enjoyed by generations of engineers in building our coastal and riverine assets, the Economist now prefers unproven computer models deliberately distorted by the theory that we’re controlling the climate with tiny quantities of an inoffensive gas.

Computers can’t do more than about a fortnight of the weather before accuracy turns to chaos, but the Economist apparently trusts an impressive 90 years of forecast climate.

Am I the lone dullard who doesn’t believe them? Continue Reading →

Letters to the editor

Taxing Termites, Wetlands, Volcanoes and Sacred Cows

To the Editor
Climate Conversation

quill pen

9th July 2012

Australia’s tax on carbon dioxide now applies to big power stations, rubbish tips, steel works, cement plants, refineries and coal mines. But many of them have been given exemptions or compensation packages. Naturally they will pass all net costs onto consumers, but our government says that most voters will be compensated and will feel no pain. So it all looks like achieving a net nothing. Continue Reading →

Frame on methane GWP

Here’s good news for all those who despair at the defects and sheer incompetence (it seems) in the calculation of the Global Warming Potential of methane: it’s about to get a high-level airing. I emailed Professor David Frame a few days ago. Prof Frame is Director of the NZ Climate Change Research Institute at the Victoria University of Wellington, taking over from Martin Manning in October last year. He’s given us a prompt and encouraging response. – h/t Barry Brill

30/06/2012 12:21 pm

Dear Professor Frame,

Your opinion piece in the Dominion of 22 June makes good reading, thank you. I was especially struck by Tom Schelling’s remark describing the EU’s emissions targets as indicating its insincerity.

But I write concerning your comment following the post. There’s been much discussion at the Climate Conversation Group about the calculation of GWP for methane, what it should be and what might be done to make it more reasonable. Set too high, it is a considerable impost on NZ farming, which as you know is among the world’s most efficient. You say:

Shorter-lived gases (such as methane) are not obviously as important for the overall properties of climate change as is commonly thought, and the way we count them – or rather the way the folks who came up with Kyoto ended up counting them – masks this by giving them high emphasis. [Unwarrantedly high emphasis in my view, but that would be another article, which is a bit more technical to write.]

Now, Dave, this is like the aroma of frying bacon to a hungry man. Continue Reading →