NZCSET – mischievous or sensible?

The NZ Climate Science Coalition’s opponents have attacked it for creating a Trust (the NZ Climate Science Education Trust, NZCSET) for the sole purpose of unfairly (perhaps, in the opinion of some, unlawfully) avoiding costs if they lost the court case against NIWA.

However, there are sensible reasons for creating a legal entity to take someone to court. One of the first questions a judge asks is “who are the parties?” If that simple question cannot be answered by naming a legal entity the case doesn’t get off the ground and the judge just gets annoyed.

So, although the NZCSC did the scientific work in challenging NIWA’s techniques, it couldn’t take the court proceedings. An unincorporated association cannot sue or be sued, as it has no legal existence separate from its multifarious members.

This may surprise some people, but the Coalition laboured mightily to avoid Court proceedings, and it was partly for that reason. For example, it sought copies of documents under the Official Information Act. Nothing came back.

It wrote formally to the Chairman of NIWA on no less than six occasions urging an investigation and offering to meet. Nothing happened.

It prepared lengthy and detailed formal documents (the Audit and the Critique) and forwarded them to both the Chairman and the legal advisers of NIWA, seeking reactions. But nothing happened.

After establishing that NIWA had no record of the 7SS, the Coalition secured an undertaking from the Hon Dr Wayne Mapp that NIWA would undertake a full peer-reviewed analysis to document the series.

Still nothing happened.

It was obvious that court action would be necessary to make progress. Which meant we had to incorporate some form of legal entity.

The Coalition therefore sponsored the formation of a charitable trust with the broad purpose of educating the New Zealand public on aspects of climate change science and policy.

Included within that broader purpose was resolution of the disputed temperature record. As these objectives were solely in the public interest, with no element of self-interest or profit, a charity was the obvious form to adopt. It was also a suitable vehicle for the acceptance of donations from interested supporters.

So, you see there was no nefarious purpose behind the Trust. There was no trickery or deception in promulgating it — just an honest attempt to force a response from NIWA to the suggestion that there were errors in the preparation of the national temperature record.

But NIWA brought a team of expensive QCs against our homespun endeavour and so far they’ve avoided giving straight answers.

For example, they say they have no duty to keep records, to employ the best scientific techniques, to pursue excellence or even, astonishingly, to produce a national temperature record.

Nobody predicted that – especially their many supporters. They must have been gobsmacked.

Without the court case, New Zealand would never have discovered these important facts about our premier, publicly-funded, environmental organisation. Thank heaven for the legal system!

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75 Thoughts on “NZCSET – mischievous or sensible?

  1. Alexander K on 20/11/2012 at 9:11 am said:

    IMHO, creating the Education trust was very sensible and the only possible tactic that could have enabled the pursuit of NIWA, and the truth, through the courts. I suspect the judgement handed down by Justice Venning may not be final and ultimately may, rather like the judgement in ’28Gate’, bite the local defenders of dubious statistical manipulation in the backside.

    • Brandoch Daha on 21/11/2012 at 10:22 am said:

      Ah, Alex, haven’t the “local defenders of dubious statistical manipulation” already been bitten “in the backside” – by the High Court, no less?

      Also, where do you suppose Bob D. is these days – perhaps hiding his head in shame, after his errors were pointed out to him by one of the few mathematically literate climate change sceptics?

    • Andy on 21/11/2012 at 10:59 am said:

      which errors?

    • Brandoch Daha on 21/11/2012 at 12:54 pm said:

      Haven’t you heard, Andy? Bob got the warming wrong by a factor of 3, compared to NIWA and BEST.

      I guess McIntyre must have put him right, and Bob’s gone away to do a remedial maths course at a Polytech somewhere.

    • Alexander K on 21/11/2012 at 1:25 pm said:

      Brandoch, you have completely missed the point I made, deliberately, no doubt, as misdirection is your usual modus operandi.

    • Brandoch Daha on 21/11/2012 at 1:58 pm said:

      Actually, Alex, it’s known as “irony” – look it up sometime.

    • Andy on 21/11/2012 at 2:06 pm said:

      No I didn’t hear Brandoch. Are you saying that Steve McIntyre corrected Bob’s work? I must have missed that somewhere.

      Can you provide a link or something that explains what you are trying to say.

      Furthermore, NIWA and BEST results are not the same. BEST is about half way between NZCSET and NIWA

    • Richard C (NZ) on 21/11/2012 at 4:21 pm said:

      >”Bob got the warming wrong by a factor of 3, compared to NIWA and BEST.”

      HOW EXACTLY did he get it “wrong” Brando? You never have divulged this information have you?
      I think that’s because you’re making stuff up.

      BTW, GHCN corroborates the NZCSET series (Bob et al and 3 stats reviewers) but BEST NZ doesn’t corroborate either NIWA or NZCSET (it’s also junk that grotesquely distorts input).

    • Simon on 21/11/2012 at 8:39 pm said:

      You better tell Berkeley that, it’ll be news to them. I like the BEST approach because it doesn’t require a priori knowledge or meta-data. I wouldn’t get too hung up with NZ temperature readings for 1850, it’s not BEST’s fault that there was no reliable weather stations in NZ back then.

    • Richard C (NZ) on 21/11/2012 at 8:48 pm said:

      >”I wouldn’t get too hung up with NZ temperature readings for 1850″

      I would, and 2000s too (when stations are presumably reliable e.g. AWS):-

      12.69 NIWA 7SS 2001 – 2011 (as for NZCSET 7SS and GHCN v2 12SS)
      11.40 BEST NZ 2001 – 2011

      Best NZ is junk.

    • Richard C (NZ) on 21/11/2012 at 9:43 pm said:

      11.08 Dunedin 2001 – 2009 (from NIWA 7SS)
      11.40 BEST NZ 2001 – 2011
      11.69 Lincoln 2001 – 2009 (from NIWA 7SS)

      Some, if not all, of Dunedin and Lincoln data will be from each reference station (last open site) i.e. raw, unadjusted observed temperature. The Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature (BEST) project would have us believe that a representative proxy for NZ in the 2000s is near Waimate between Timaru and Oamaru in the lower half of the South Island.

    • Simon on 22/11/2012 at 8:11 am said:

      You are not comparing apples with apples Richard. The average based on seven selected stations will not be the same as the average based on a different set of weather stations. That is why comparison can only be on variation from the mean.

    • Richard C (NZ) on 22/11/2012 at 12:02 pm said:

      >”You are not comparing apples with apples Richard”

      No I’m not and that is EXACTLY the point. Can you not see how far away from being representative of NZ the BEST NZ series is Simon?

      >”The average based on seven selected stations will not be the same as the average based on a different set of weather stations”

      I didn’t say anything about “the average based on seven selected stations”. I only produced 2 individual locations. I’ll try again. Consider the following:

      For the exercise, forget “seven selected stations”, forget NIWA 7SS, forget NZCSET 7SS and GHCN v2 12SS. Just focus on working out what level of absolute temperature should be representative of the entire NZ landmass in the 2000s.

      To identify what BEST NZ actually represents, take 2 individual CliFlo datasets of temperature measurements 2001 – 2009 (Dunedin and Lincoln open stations near enough and probably raw). Those 2 locations are selected because they look to be in the ballpark of the BEST value we will compare to (no point looking at Auckland is there?). Find the level of absolute temperature over the period for each location both of which are in the lower half of the South Island note.

      11.08 Dunedin 2001 – 2009 (basically raw CliFlo data)
      11.69 Lincoln 2001 – 2009 (basically raw CliFlo data)

      Now do the same for BEST but for their representation of NZ in entirety.

      11.40 BEST NZ 2001 – 2011

      Clearly, the BEST NZ output after kriging is a value almost exactly between the 2 individual locations, Dunedin and Lincoln.

      11.08 Dunedin 2001 – 2009 (basically raw CliFlo data)
      11.40 BEST NZ 2001 – 201111.69
      11.69 Lincoln 2001 – 2009 (basically raw CliFlo data)

      Sure enough, BEST NZ is representative of a location near Waimate (between Timaru and Oamaru) about half way between Lincoln and Dunedin.

      Now ask yourself: is that location a realistic representative proxy for the entire NZ landmass?

      If you answer “yes” to that question, then obviously you haven’t got a clue about how temperature records are compiled in order to obtain realistic proxies. I suspect too that you really don’t know what the NZCSET v NIWA breakpoint issue is about either.

    • Richard C (NZ) on 22/11/2012 at 12:27 pm said:

      >”That is why comparison can only be on variation from the mean.”

      Hogwash. Temperature is defined as a measure of the average kinetic energy of the particles in a sample of matter, expressed in terms of units or degrees designated on a standard scale.

      In absolute terms, the variation is from either 0 K or 273.15 K (0 C) so obviously a comparison can be made between values in the same units (unless BEST Celsius units are somehow “different” to other units in Celsius as they appear to be in the case of BEST NZ).

    • Simon on 22/11/2012 at 12:40 pm said:

      The kriging process uses latitude and altitude as correlation variables. A significant proportion of the NZ land mass is in the South Island and most of NZ is well above sea level so the BEST average does not surprise me. Once again you dismiss something as rubbish because you don’t understand the basic concepts.

    • Bob D on 22/11/2012 at 1:27 pm said:


      The kriging process uses latitude and altitude as correlation variables.

      Well if it does it introduces errors.

      Walvis Bay, lat 22°S, alt 0m. Avg Temp is 16.25°C
      Durban, lat 30°S, alt 14m. Avg Temp is 21.75°C

      So according to you, Durban, which is further south and marginally higher than Walvis Bay, must be colder.


    • Simon on 22/11/2012 at 3:16 pm said:

      What are you taking about? Kriging interpolates between known data points by looking at the cross-correlations of whatever spatial datasets you throw at it. It this case BEST is probably correct as Walvis Bay is subject to strong cool sea breezes off the relatively cold ocean.

    • Bob D on 22/11/2012 at 3:43 pm said:


      What are you taking about?

      Kriging is OK as long as the function based on the set of independent variables adequately predicts the dependent variable. In this case altitude and latitude alone are inadequate (many other factors come into play, obviously – one of them is ocean currents, as you point out), and therefore the function result is also inadequate.

      Think of it this way: if Walvis Bay was all we had in that region, how good a predictor would latitude and altitude be in determining the temperature of Durban?

    • Richard C (NZ) on 22/11/2012 at 4:35 pm said:

      >”…The kriging process uses latitude…”

      Right. All the inputs to determine the NZ series are dragged in (including from places VERY far away, not even on the NZ mainland) and the typical ambient temperature arrived at happens to coincide with the ambient temperature of a location with similar latitude to Wanaka. One look at a map of NZ should tell you that the Wanaka – Waimate latitude isn’t that great as a South Island representation let alone when the North Island is considered too for spatial integrity on a national scale i.e. the centre of area of NZ would not lie on that latitude or anywhere near it. Then for that latitudinal cross-section to be valid, there would have to be sampling across it – at Waimate, Wanaka and wherever, all adjusted for altitude.

      >”…..and altitude”

      OK, now tell us what is the altitudinal distribution of measurement sites throughout NZ and what time-spans do they cover? Just where are the Stevensons Screens at long-life locations that have sampled for the last century, the Southern Alps? The Ruahines? The Kaikouras? The Uraweras?

      There’s enough drama adjusting for altitude with the Wellington site move uphill to Kelburn without pulling in sites to sample for altitude and that is a very small vertical displacement in comparison to the altitudes of mountainous parts that you’re talking about.

      The essence of a composite series is to select specific long-life sites that are at similar heights to avoid altitude adjustments wherever possible and to represent the entire country spacially so that over time the climate can be monitored. It is not necessary to have hundreds of thermometers all over the country (including mountainous regions) to do that. Lincoln/Ruakura or Dunedin’Auckland would probably suffice.

      Any notion that BEST has better representation because a few high and mid altitude sites have been included as inputs is fanciful from a time and space coverage perspective. If that multitude of long-life sites was actually available, THEN I would agree that a kriging method has merits but that is just not the case. If it were, I’m sure NIWA would be promoting a different series to the 7SS. As it is, NIWA actually does have a product on offer for purchase that interpolates from many sites (all CliFlo I think) and has had for some time but these are very rough estimates unless there is the requisite spacial and altitudinal sampling, but there isn’t.

      If you want to stick with BEST’s 11.4 C as representative of NZ in the 2000s fine, that’s your prerogative. Just don’t expect many to join you from the ranks of those monitoring climate and that would include NIWA in particular I’m sure.

    • Richard C (NZ) on 22/11/2012 at 5:25 pm said:

      >”NIWA actually does have a product on offer for purchase that interpolates from many sites”

      Turns out it is a free product:-

      Virtual Climate Station Data and Products


      Virtual Climate Station (VCS) data are estimates of daily rainfall, potential evapotranspiration, air and vapour pressure, maximum and minimum air temperature, soil temperature, relative humidity, solar radiation, wind speed and soil moisture on a regular (~5km) grid covering the whole of New Zealand. The estimates are produced every day, based on the spatial interpolation of actual data observations made at climate stations located around the country.

      A thin-plate smoothing spline model is used for the spatial interpolations. This model incorporates two location variables (latitude and longitude) and a third “pattern” variable. For example, for rainfall the 1951–80 mean annual rainfall digitised from an expert-guided contour map is used to aid the interpolation (Tait et al. 2006; Tait et al. 2012). The software used for the interpolations is ANUSPLIN (Hutchinson 2012).

      A similar interpolation procedure is used by the Australian Bureau of Meteorology to deliver estimated weather data at similar resolution over all Australia (Jeffrey et al. 2001).

      Accessing the Data

      The VCS data are available for free from NIWA’s online portal to the National Climate Database, called Cliflo. Here are the steps for extracting VCS data:

      1. Go to
      2. If you do not have a registered cliflo username and password, click on ‘subscribe on-line’ (there is no cost)
      3. Login
      4. On the database query form, click on ‘select datatype’ then ‘special datasets’ then ‘VCSN’
      5. On the database query form, type in the agent number of this VCS point (see below for finding the VCS agent number using a map interface)
      6. On the database query form, choose a date range (VCS rainfall data begin on 1/1/1960; VCS wind data begin on 1/1/1997; other VCS data variables begin on 1/1/1972. The data are updated every day at approximately 1pm local time for the 24-hour period up to 9am local time on the same day)
      7. On the database query form, choose an output data format (e.g. ExCel file)
      8. On the database query form, click ‘send query’.

      Example VCS Daily Air Temperature and Frost plot for a site near Nelson.

      # # #

      BOM and NIWA were doing this before BEST came along but it’s not actual weather or climate and neither is BEST.

    • Richard C (NZ) on 22/11/2012 at 8:23 pm said:

      Some weird stuff on the BEST NZ page:-

      Note firstly, the link address is “regions/newzealand”

      Nearby Major Cities
      North Shore

      3 of 6 in Auckland vicinity (4 including Hamilton). No Napier, Nelson, Dunedin etc.

      Nearby Regions
      New Caledonia
      Solomon Islands
      Papua New Guinea

      “Palestina” is Israel.

      From index page

      List of Countries
      Country New Zealand, Region Oceania

      BEST refers to “region” as both “New Zealand” AND “Oceania”

      Region Statistics [note that "region" from the List of Countries is "Oceania"]
      Land Area: 266,000 km2

      Problem is, the NZ land mass area alone is 268,671 sq km so they must mean “region” is “New Zealand” not Oceania.

      History of Temperature Stations

      Since 2000, 30 of the NZ input stations are “within region” (is that Oceania or NZ land mass?) but 125 are “region plus 2000km” i.e. in a 1500 – 2000 km zone outside Oceania or NZ land mass (which is it?). Hobart is apparently “region plus 2000km” and the distance from Wellington to Hobart is 2260 km indicating that “region” is NZ land mass (not Oceania) and BEST has dodgy info pages. 125 stations from that distance away (1500 – 2000 km) is hardly necessary to describe mainland New Zealand when they have 30 stations actually on the NZ land mass already.

      Long Temperature Stations
      Coming soon…

      “Coming soon” indicates BEST is experiencing the same difficulty NIWA had compiling contiguous location series. Hence the adjustments required to a number of shorter sites in order to bring into terms with a reference station and thereby construct psuedo long-life sites.

    • Richard C (NZ) on 22/11/2012 at 11:33 pm said:

      >”…the centre of area of NZ would not lie on that latitude or anywhere near it [Wanaka – Waimate]”

      Botanical Hill, Nelson

      The summit of Botanical Hill has a monument celebrating its claim of being the geographical centre of New Zealand. In fact, the true geographical centre of New Zealand is said to be 55km southwest in the Spooner Range

      The geographical centre of the North Island is marked by a plinth that lies deep in the Pureora Forest north-west of Lake Taupo [see estimate method, not a surveyed location]

      A guess at the centre of the South Island (including Stewart Island) would be Twizel, Omarama or Tekapo.

  2. Clarence on 20/11/2012 at 12:19 pm said:

    There’s something wrong with the structure/system of Crown Research Institutes when they cannot be held accountable to anyone for the reliability of their work.

    The Minister cannot interfere in operational decisions and MPs are ignored. The Board is a rubber stamp, mainly concerned with ensuring the institute is impenetrable from the outside. Questions under the Official Information Act are routinely evaded and appeals to the Ombudsman are fiercely resisted and interminably delayed.

    The Auditor General will look into financial criticisms but is not interested in qualitative issues.

    The NZ Royal Society Climate Committee is stacked with NIWA employees and the PM’s Chief Climate Adviser has his speeches written by NIWA.

    Nothing short of a High Court judgment can make a CRI act reasonably in the public interest. And even that is a toothless tiger when the Court allows Government scientists to be the sole arbiter of their chosen methods.

  3. Simon on 21/11/2012 at 9:07 am said:

    All of the raw climate data is freely available online through NIWA’s CliFlo database. Apply the best methodology that you have to homogenise the data. Hint: don’t simply discard data outside the 7 Station series, it is useful for cross-correlations. Write a paper and then get it published. This will then be the “official” NZ temperature record in the absence of an alternative. You will have added to the pool of scientific knowledge and there is no need for lawyers.

    • Richard C (NZ) on 21/11/2012 at 4:27 pm said:

      >”Hint: don’t simply discard data outside the 7 Station series”

      Like this GHCN v2 12SS series that corroborates NZCSET 7SS?

    • Brandoch Daha on 21/11/2012 at 7:52 pm said:

      “Those who do not understand their history are doomed to repeat it – first as tragedy, then as farce”

      Richard, try, if you can, to learn from the recent Republican debacle in the US.

      So convinced were they that their candidate, Romney, was unbeatable, that they invented their own pseudoscience of “unskewed statistics” to explain why all the other polls were wrong.

      Problem is, they weren’t….

      Are you able to connect the dots?

    • Magoo on 21/11/2012 at 10:11 pm said:

      “Those who do not understand their history are doomed to repeat it – first as tragedy, then as farce”

      That’s why we can’t help but laugh at you running away like a little girl when asked to provide some evidence for AGW Brandoch. Like the village idiot choking on a chicken bone, hysterical and pathetic at the same time. Where’s the evidence Brandoch? Now run away again squealing insults like the little girl you are so we can laugh at you once again. All mouth and no substance, but good for a laugh or ten.

    • Richard C (NZ) on 21/11/2012 at 10:16 pm said:

      >”Are you able to connect the dots?”

      No dots to connect Brando. US presidential poll surveys (however manipulated) are not observed NZ climate site data adjusted to reference for location (NIWA/NZCSET 7SS) nor is it GHCN v2 data i.e. you are away with the birdies (again).

      NIWA, NZCSET and GHCN v2 are identical for recent years (BEST is an idiotic outlier in any timeframe). But GHCN corroborates NZCSET in the early years and NIWA and BEST compete for outlier status – BEST wins hands down:-

      11.93 NIWA 7SS 1913 -1922
      11.15 Lincoln 1913 -1922 (NIWA)
      10.80 BEST NZ 1913 -1922
      10.67 Dunedin 1913 – 1922 (NIWA)

    • Andy on 22/11/2012 at 6:30 am said:

      I am still waiting to hear about this “mistake’ that Bob made and where he was corrected by a “mathematically inclined sceptic”.

      Please fill us in with the details

    • Bob D on 22/11/2012 at 9:09 am said:

      Yes, please do, I’d love to see the details.

    • Richard C (NZ) on 22/11/2012 at 12:07 pm said:

      Brando has it not occurred to you that the US presidential poll surveys were snapshots in time but temperature records are time series?

      That would make the respective datasets statistically dissimilar would it not?

  4. Alexander K on 22/11/2012 at 12:10 pm said:

    Brandoch, do you actually know the definition of ‘irony’?
    I keep an edition of the Shorter Oxford Dictionary at hand, which defines irony as
    ‘ the opposite of what is stated, dissembling, feigning ignorance’ etc.
    You feign beautifully! And probably without even trying.

  5. Brandoch Daha on 23/11/2012 at 2:54 am said:

    With all due respect, guys, have you considered that you may be mentally unwell?

    It sure looks like magical thinking, shared delusions and denial of reality to me… sure, denial has its place in the grieving process, but at some stage you have to come to terms with living in the real world.

    • Andy on 23/11/2012 at 5:51 am said:

      Are you able to fill us in with the details of Bob’s “mistake” and how this was corrected by a mathematically inclines sceptic (as you put it)?


    • Magoo on 23/11/2012 at 8:27 am said:

      Have you ever considered the fact that you might be delusional Brandoch?

      ‘A delusion is a belief held with strong conviction despite superior evidence to the contrary….

      These criteria are:
      certainty (held with absolute conviction)

      incorrigibility (not changeable by compelling counterargument or proof to the contrary)

      impossibility or falsity of content (implausible, bizarre or patently untrue)’

      You don’t have any evidence to back up your claims of AGW, despite ample evidence being provided to disprove your viewpoint. To maintain the delusion you try to disprove your opponents on some other unrelated & trivial points, or abuse them, in an attempt to deceive yourself into thinking your point of view has some credence. The fact is you can only justify your viewpoint with evidence which you don’t have, and your use of the the term ‘denial’ is just a sad example of a projection of your own insecurity about your baseless beliefs.

      Where’s the evidence Brandoch?

    • Richard C (NZ) on 23/11/2012 at 8:44 am said:

      Looks like the World Bank’s in denial too Brando:-

      More than 1,000 new coal plants planned worldwide

      Most new coal-fired plants will be built by Chinese or Indian companies. But new plants have largely been financed by both commercial banks and development banks. JP Morgan Chase has provided more than $16.5bn (£10.3bn) for new coal plants over the past six years, followed by Citi ($13.8bn). Barclays ($11.5bn) comes in as the fifth biggest coal backer and the Royal Bank of Scotland ($10.9bn) as the seventh. The Japan Bank for International Co-operation was the biggest development bank ($8.1bn), with the World Bank ($5.3bn) second.

      So much for the World Bank’s “Turn Down the Heat”. Turns out the WB is reducing poverty by providing funding for coal-fired energy development in developing countries:-

      ……such as Guatemala, Cambodia, Morocco, Namibia, Senegal and Sri Lanka, and Uzbekistan

      It would appear that the World Bank has no qualms about providing funding to the tune of $5.3bn for developing countries that prefer to turn up the coal-fired heat and share the same economic benefit of developed countries that are already heavy coal-fired energy producers.

      Puts the World Bank in a compromising position doesn’t it Brando?

    • Andy on 23/11/2012 at 10:17 am said:

      The World Bank is funding the world’s largest coal fired power station in South Africa, whose emissions are 50% of the whole of New Zealand.

  6. Douglas on 23/11/2012 at 5:52 am said:

    Brandoch Daha says
    1. November 23, 2012 at 2:54 am

    I really don’t understand why you persist in writing in this forum. You have nothing to say but you ramble on all over the place making irrelevant comments that are neither cogent nor connected to the context of this present column. I expect that it would be too much to ask you to go away. But for the sake of clarity I will do just that. Please go away.

    • Brandoch Daha on 23/11/2012 at 11:26 am said:

      Douglas, I do not post for your benefit, but for the benefit of any open-minded souls who might otherwise think that the willful ignorance they encounter here has some basis in reality.

      Which, clearly, it does not.

    • Andy on 23/11/2012 at 11:42 am said:

      Brandoch, I am very open minded, and am interested in the mistake that Bob made that was corrected by a mathemetically inclined sceptic (according to you)

      Are you able to fill us in with the details?


    • Andy on 23/11/2012 at 12:18 pm said:

      Brandoch, I find BBC links to “facts” about climate change a bit suspect.
      After all, this is the publicly funded organisation that held a meeting with 28 people, mostly activists and only a handful of actual scientists, to determine the future biased direction of the organisation

      They then hired 6 lawyers to block information about these 28 people from a retired person called Tony Newbury. The information was in the public domain anyway, and was unearthed by Maurizio Maurabito via the Wayback Machine.

      Of course the BBC has other issues too, having falsely accused Lord McAlpine of running a paedophile ring, a scandal that resulted in the resignation of the Director General who was paid out 1.3 million pounds after 53 days in the job.

      We also, of course, had the Jimmy Saville affair, which showed a culture of child abuse across the organisation over a period of decades.
      So maybe you could find a more authoritative source than the BBC, a self-serving group of activists and kiddie-fiddlers.

    • Douglas on 23/11/2012 at 4:36 pm said:

      Brandoch Daha says:
      November 23, 2012 at 11:26 am

      You are, of course, like a moth to the candle but if you insist of proving my point so be it. I suppose hair shirts have they uses.

  7. Alexander K on 23/11/2012 at 12:23 pm said:

    Brandoch, I bet you are a break-up when you take the mick out of innocent but tolerably-well educated strangers who visit your branch of the RSA. You are a troll and nothing more, as evidenced by your flinging accusations and never providing verification of even the flimsiest kind. You waste our time and yours.
    Please guys, DNFTT!

    • Brandoch Daha on 23/11/2012 at 1:22 pm said:

      You waste our time and yours.

      Well, I certainly agree with half of that statement…

      As for “open-minded Andy”, is this not the person who refuses to accept “modelling”, despite having benefited from it for most of his life?

      Yes, Andy, mathematical modelling is used everywhere, including for the medicines, cars and airlines you somehow manage to endure without flinching… hypocrisy, perhaps?

    • Andy on 23/11/2012 at 1:34 pm said:

      The models that I use are verified against real data

      If you include high sensitivity to CO2 as an input to the model, an unverified assumption, then the model has no value

    • Brandoch Daha on 23/11/2012 at 2:06 pm said:

      Same tired old straw men, Andy? Forget the modelling, what about the empirical evidence for climate sensitivity, or are you just going to shrug that off as well, as It conflicts with your limited worldview?

      Of course you are!

      if you argue that the Earth has a low climate sensitivity to CO2, you are also arguing for a low climate sensitivity to other influences such as solar irradiance, orbital changes, and volcanic emissions. In fact, as shown in Figure 1, the climate is less sensitive to changes in solar activity than greenhouse gases. Thus when arguing for low climate sensitivity, it becomes difficult to explain past climate changes. For example, between glacial and interglacial periods, the planet’s average temperature changes on the order of 6°C (more like 8-10°C in the Antarctic). If the climate sensitivity is low, for example due to increasing low-lying cloud cover reflecting more sunlight as a response to global warming, then how can these large past climate changes be explained?

    • Bob D on 23/11/2012 at 2:55 pm said:

      how can these large past climate changes be explained?

      Easily. You’re confusing TSI with blocking of sunlight by changes in cloud cover. The latter is many times more powerful than GHG changes.

    • Brandoch Daha on 23/11/2012 at 4:54 pm said:

      I see you are now channeling Roy Spencer’s nonsense, Bob; please explain how short-term water vapour affects long-term climate trends:

      decadal variability in clouds can only be a response to decadal variability in the surface conditions or atmospheric circulation that drive cloud formation, because the lifetime of cloud systems is days rather than decades.

      Perhaps you were giving a nod to the GCR hypothesis, too, which collapses under the weight of the empirical solar data:

      It is difficult to explain any long-term change in our climate in terms of the hypothesis that GCR affect clouds, having an effect on the albedo, and ultimately the temperatures. For starters, we see no evidence for any long-term change in the sun in the last 50 years

      Now, have you fixed up your NZ temp calculations yet?

    • Richard C (NZ) on 23/11/2012 at 6:52 pm said:

      >”…..the lifetime of cloud systems is days rather than decades”

      So what? It’s cloudiness levels that matter. Cloud forcing changes on interdecadal and decadal scales with magnitude far greater than GHGs (its been explained to you previously, remember Stephens et al 2012 – or are you in denial Brando?).

      >”For starters, we see no evidence for any long-term change in the sun in the last 50 years”

      Not when they look at PMOD data. The flat trend in the PMOD composite is an artifact of uncorrected ERBS degradation. All explained here Brando:-


      “Scafetta and West 2008 found that up to 70% of the warming over the last 50 years can be explained by just TSI alone when you use the ACRIM dataset. This does not include other natural causes like Cloud Cover decrease, PDO, AMO, Volcanism etc.”

      “What does this all mean?

      It means that the graph that the viewers of Skeptical Science [and Real Climate] love to throw around is cherry picking one dataset of Solar Activity, and completely leaving the other one out, to fit their predetermined conclusions.”

      # # #

      It gets much worse for you Brando. Two papers just out at THS (not highlighted at SkS obviously so you probably missed them):-

      New paper finds the data do not support the theory of man-made global warming [AGW]

      Polynomial cointegration tests of anthropogenic impact on global warming

      M. Beenstock, Y. Reingewertz, and N. Paldor

      New paper shows no “hot spot” as predicted by climate models, invalidates AGW

      Reexamining the warming in the tropical upper troposphere: Models versus radiosonde observations

      Dian J. Seidel, Melissa Free, James S. Wang


    • Richard C (NZ) on 23/11/2012 at 7:33 pm said:

      >”….have you fixed up your NZ temp calculations yet?”

      What EXACTLY does Bob have to “fix” Brando?

      Your sniping is vacuous until you answer that question.

    • Bob D on 23/11/2012 at 10:44 pm said:

      please explain how short-term water vapour affects long-term climate trends

      I don’t have to explain anything to you, my little demon. I’ll just point you to the scientific literature in the hope that you may learn something. Anything.

      Davies and Molloy (2012)
      Loeb (2012)
      Erlykin and Wolfendale (2010)
      Cloud height decreased between 2000-2010
      So, still sticking to that statement “the lifetime of cloud systems is days rather than decades”?

      How odd.

      By the way, several people have now asked you to identify my “errors”, and you still seem unable to substantiate your statement. Your continual failure to do so is severely damaging what tiny amount of credibility you might still have had.

      Also, I note you are still unable to provide any explanation for the lack of the tropospheric hot-spot. We’re still waiting, you know.

      Sixteen years of no warming, no tropospheric hot-spot, record high Antarctic ice, dropping sea level rate, record low hurricane ACE values – honestly, I would hate to be in your position, trying to defend AGW.

    • Andy on 23/11/2012 at 3:15 pm said:

      The only paper cited in AR4 (to my knowledge) that tries to estimate sensitivity to CO2 using empirical data is Forster and Gregory. I think they used data from the Mt Pinatobu eruption.

      (discussed at Bishop Hill)

      This was the only paper that didn’t rely on model output, and estimated climate sensitivity to a doubling of CO2 at about 1.5 degrees C

      The IPCC did some dodgy Bayesian work on the paper’s conclusions that amplified this figure to fit more closely with the other papers that relied more on models. This was uncovered by Nic Lewis.

  8. Brandoch Daha on 23/11/2012 at 6:32 pm said:

    For anyone interested, here is the ink to my last quote:

  9. Brandoch Daha on 24/11/2012 at 3:34 am said:

    Sixteen years of no warming (FALSE), no tropospheric hot-spot (IRRELEVANT), record high Antarctic ice (SEA ICE INCREASE FROM KATABATIC WINDS, WHEREAS ANTARTIC LAND ICE IS MELTING), dropping sea level rate (FALSE), record low hurricane ACE values (IRRELEVANT – see – honestly, I would hate to be in your position, trying to defend AGW.

    If your case is so strong, Bob, why do you need to dissemble and lie?

    BD, accusing other commenters of lying is unacceptable. Start showing HOW they’re wrong and start answering our questions or you’ll be banned. Incidentally, showing how they’re wrong consists of an explanation followed by references, not just writing the words FALSE, IRRELEVANT, etc., in capital letters. You might have noticed I’ve deleted many of your rude, goading comments; try to take the hint and desist, please. – RT

    Or are you just [ad hominem remarks deleted – RT] of facts that do not fit your peculiar worldview?

    • Richard C (NZ) on 24/11/2012 at 7:46 am said:

      >”Sixteen years of no warming (FALSE),”

      In denial Brando?

      >”no tropospheric hot-spot (IRRELEVANT),”

      You wish.

      BTW, about that “fix” that you seem to think Bob needs to carry out on the 7SS Brando. Is it because the established method fails to reproduce the warming that you just “know” should be evident, that the method must be abandoned in favour of something more arbitrary and flexible (like NIWA’s)?

      And what “fix” do you suggest for the global records this century? Hansen style? They’re badly in need of “fixing” aren’t they Brando? Especially those pesky satellite records.

    • Andy on 24/11/2012 at 7:56 am said:

      Or are you just wilfully ignorant of facts that do not fit your peculiar worldview?

      This seems to perfectly fir your position Brandoch.

      e.g Ice melting in Arctic = Global Warming
      Ice gaining in Antarctic = Wind

      Ignore “irrelevant” issues like Tropospheric Hotspot.

      I am not sure I even know what the AGW theory is anymore.Maybe you would like to tell us.

    • Brandoch Daha on 24/11/2012 at 9:21 am said:

      As a cure for ignorance, Andy, you could try the following, starting with the daily papers!

      While the North Pole has been losing sea ice over the years, the water nearest the South Pole has been gaining it. Antarctic sea ice hit a record 19.5 million square kilometres in September.

      That happened just days after reports of the biggest loss of Arctic sea ice on record.

      Climate change sceptics have seized on the Antarctic ice to argue that the globe isn’t warming and that scientists are ignoring the southern continent because it’s not convenient. But scientists say the sceptics are misinterpreting what’s happening and why.

      Shifts in wind patterns and the giant ozone hole over the Antarctic this time of year – both related to human activity – are probably behind the increase in ice, experts say.

      This subtle growth in winter sea ice since scientists began measuring it in 1979 was initially surprising, they say, but makes sense the more it is studied.

      “A warming world can have complex and sometimes surprising consequences,” researcher Ted Maksym said this week from an Australian research vessel surrounded by Antarctic sea ice. He is with the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in Massachusetts.

      Many experts agree. Ted Scambos of the National Snow and Ice Data Center in Colorado adds: “It sounds counterintuitive, but the Antarctic is part of the warming as well.”

      And on a third continent, David Vaughan of the British Antarctic Survey says that yes, what’s happening in Antarctica bears the fingerprints of man-made climate change.

      “Scientifically the change is nowhere near as substantial as what we see in the Arctic,” says NASA chief scientist Waleed Abdalati, an ice expert. “But that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t be paying attention to it and shouldn’t be talking about it.”

      Sea ice is always melting near one pole while growing around the other. But the overall trend year to year is dramatically less ice in the Arctic and slightly more in the Antarctic.

      It’s most noticeable in September, when northern ice is at its lowest and southern ice at its highest. For over 30 years, the Arctic in September has been losing an average of 14.7 square kilometres of sea ice for every square kilometre gained in Antarctica.

      Loss of sea ice in the Arctic can affect people in the Northern Hemisphere, causing such things as a higher risk of extreme weather in the US through changes to the jet stream, scientists say. Antarctica’s weather peculiarities, on the other hand, don’t have much effect on civilization.

      While the Arctic is open ocean encircled by land, the Antarctic is land circled by ocean, leaving more room for sea ice to spread. That geography makes a dramatic difference in the two polar climates.

      The Arctic ice responds more directly to warmth. In the Antarctic, the main driver is wind, Maksym and other scientists say. Changes in the strength and motion of winds are now pushing the ice farther north, extending its reach.

      Those changes in wind are tied in a complicated way to climate change from greenhouse gases, Maksym and Scambos say. Climate change has created essentially a wall of wind that keeps cool weather bottled up in Antarctica, NASA’s Abdalati says.

      And the wind works in combination with the ozone hole, the huge gap in Earth’s protective ozone layer that usually appears over the South Pole.

      It’s caused by man-made pollutants chlorine and bromine, which are different from the fossil fuel emissions that cause global warming. The hole makes Antarctica even cooler this time of year because the ozone layer usually absorbs solar radiation, working like a blanket to keep the Earth warm.

      And that cooling effect makes the winds near the ground stronger and steadier, pushing the ice outward, Scambos says.

      Since 1960, the Arctic has warmed the most of the world’s regions, and Antarctica has warmed the least, according to NASA data.

      NASA and British Antarctic Survey scientists have reported the first direct evidence that marked changes to Antarctic sea ice drift caused by changing winds are responsible for observed increases in Antarctic sea ice cover in the past two decades. The results help explain why, unlike the dramatic sea ice losses being reported in the Arctic, Antarctic sea ice cover has increased under the effects of climate change.

      Here we present a data set of satellite-tracked sea-ice motion for the period of 1992–2010 that reveals large and statistically significant trends in Antarctic ice drift, which, in most sectors, can be linked to local winds.

      Got that now, Andy?

    • Bob D on 24/11/2012 at 9:37 am said:

      The fact is that the poles (both of them) are supposed to warm significantly more than the tropics, because the air is extremely dry and CO2 effects will greatly dominate. This is standard AGW theory, and always has been.

      Except it hasn’t been happening. Your own quote says it:

      Since 1960, the Arctic has warmed the most of the world’s regions, and Antarctica has warmed the least, according to NASA data.

      Invoking the ozone hole is pure, squirming desperation, and they know it.

      For those few bright moments when the Team thought that Steig et al (2009) was correct, they came out with smug claims that the Antarctic was in fact warming after all, just as they predicted.

      If CO2 is a powerful driver of our planet’s climate, we should see strong and clear indicators in line with predictions. We don’t.

    • Bob D on 24/11/2012 at 12:22 pm said:

      I have no idea what you’re on about.

      However, because you have resolutely refused to address any challenges given to you, preferring to live in whatever bubble-world you have created for yourself, this will most likely be my last response to anything you post.

      There really is no point in trying to have an adult conversation with the likes of you.

    • Richard C (NZ) on 24/11/2012 at 2:04 pm said:

      >”…the likes of you”

      Troll genre generally, BD being from the Warmist sect of the larger group. Sects being adherents to distinctive religious, political or philosophical beliefs – Warmism in BD’s case. Probably more of an obsessive compulsive disease than a belief, an addiction not readily cured in those willfully denying the reality of the world around them.

      Our resident troll has found an outlet for his particular obsession – very necessary for those as deeply afflicted as he is and he’s not doing any real harm, the vital freedom to vent at CCG is probably preventing him from going completely loopy. Better that than being confined to the strait-jacketed, padded-cell enclaves that most warmists gravitate to and from which BD supports his addiction. In that respect, CCG is providing a social and medical service for a person suffering an unfortunate psychiatric condition. Integration into the societal norm of healthy scepticism afforded by CCG will go a long way towards his eventual rehabilitation.

      Climatic conditions (the continued failure of the Warmist delusion to eventuate) will do the rest in time because time is the best healer of emotional fear when the fear is not reinforced by year-by-year experience. Meantime, be kind to the troll, he’s unwell.

    • Bob D on 24/11/2012 at 2:29 pm said:

      “Meantime, be kind to the troll, he’s unwell.”

    • Nasty! (In the new sense, meaning nice.)

    • Andy on 24/11/2012 at 9:41 am said:

      I was looking for something along the lines of a scientific theory that could be disproved.

      However, a cut and paste of activist propaganda is OK too

    • Richard C (NZ) on 24/11/2012 at 9:48 am said:

      Arctic summer wind shift could affect sea ice loss and U.S./European weather, says NOAA-led study

      Changes in summer Arctic wind patterns contribute not only to an unprecedented loss of Arctic sea ice, but could also bring about shifts in North American and European weather, according to a new NOAA-led study published today in Geophysical Research Letters.

    • Richard C (NZ) on 24/11/2012 at 7:56 am said:

      If your case is so strong, Brando, why do you need to dissemble and lie?

      Or are you just wilfully ignorant of facts that do not fit your peculiar worldview?

  10. Andy on 24/11/2012 at 9:29 am said:

    Shifts in wind patterns and the giant ozone hole over the Antarctic this time of year – both related to human activity – are probably behind the increase in ice, experts say.

    “Experts say….”

    Always gets me, every time

  11. Brandoch Daha on 24/11/2012 at 2:32 pm said:

    What a rebarbative little bastion of ignorance for the morally repugnant this site is!

    I must say, BD, that the only morally repugnant acts are by those casting bitter aspersions without explaining why, accompanied by a determined deafness when asked questions. Go away.

    • Andy on 24/11/2012 at 6:27 pm said:

      Then go back to Hot Topic Rob, you will find a more accommodating audience there.

  12. Andy on 24/11/2012 at 7:37 pm said:

    But now the Liberal set in Aussie find it Ok to refer to skeptics likened to pedophiles

    Oh dear

    • Richard C (NZ) on 25/11/2012 at 7:58 am said:

      And people pushing asbestos, and drug pushers.

      The Marxist/totalitarian/centralist activists (Williams, Lewandowsky, Figueres et al) leave no doubt now that they’re simply opportunists piggy-backing climate change to further their cause.

      And they’ll stoop to any level to get there as evidenced by their forebears, until it all goes wrong when an arch opportunist seizes ultimate power. History is replete with the despotism and tyranny that ensues from that scenario – why repeat it?

  13. Huub Bakker on 27/11/2012 at 6:03 am said:


    Much as Brandoch may throw unsubstantiated statements and ad hominums around, the responses are also laden with ad hominum attacks. This hardly does anyone on this website any favours.

    Richard Treadgold, I see that you slapped Brandoch over the knuckles for calling people liars but then didn’t do the same when Richard C accused Brandoch of lying.

    I enjoy reading a good discussion of the facts and putting people in their place using facts and references but we really could do without the abuse from both sides. Please enforce politeness and respect on both sides Richard. People coming to this site to be informed would be horrified with the slanging that is currently going on here and might conclude that sceptics are no better than alarmists.

    • Andy on 27/11/2012 at 7:35 am said:

      I think one issue, and I am guilty of this too, is that these threads seem to degenerate into open threads, usually involving questions like “has there been any warming in the last 16 years”, or “is the Antarctic actually melting”

      Aside from the sniping, these kind of discussions are penetrable only to the people in the discussion, and would be better off directed to an open thread

      The issue of the legal status of the NZCSET might actually be of interest to outsiders, but hardly any of that has been discussed on this thread.

    • Richard C (NZ) on 27/11/2012 at 7:36 am said:

      >”..when Richard C accused Brandoch of lying”

      All I did was copy Brandoch’s comment from here:-

      And substituted “Bob” for “Brando” to highlight Brando’s line-of-attack i.e. to give back EXACTLY what he’s dishing out.

      I see RT has moderated Brando’s initial comment so the situation has been resolved.

    • I agree, Huub. In trying situations I, too, become biased towards my friends, despite strenuous attempts at neutrality. “Brandoch” does all he can to unbalance us.

      Thanks for the admonishment, because it’s exactly those silent visitors we want to inform.

    • Andy on 27/11/2012 at 7:58 am said:

      You could try my questions on the apparent wind farm de-rating scam as a rare exercise in self-restraint (for me)

      Note that technical discussions about wind turbine design are now in “the Twilight Zone”.

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