Salinger’s status clarified

Auckland Uni takes more than a year to update their website

Last Thursday, Dr Jim Salinger published an article at The Conversation entitled An insider’s story of the global attack on climate science. In it Salinger dishonestly characterises the Coalition’s court action against NIWA as an attack on science.

Salinger is conspicuously described at the top of that article as working for the University of Auckland — but as the university’s web site doesn’t list him as working for them, it seemed to be a fabrication.

You don’t have to believe me: you can check it out for yourself.

As a first response to the misrepresentations in the article, I thought I’d highlight the misrepresentation of Salinger’s status. So I sent the following letter to both the University of Auckland and the web site’s Executive Director, Andrew Jaspan, advising them of Salinger’s doubtful claim to be working for the university.

Dear Professor Kench,

I write to draw your attention to a possible breach by Dr Jim Salinger of the University’s rules.

Dr Salinger wrote an article published at The Conversation (Australian edition) on 23rd January. That web page describes Dr Salinger as “Honorary Research Associate in Climate Science, School of Environment at University of Auckland” but your University’s web page at does not include him in the list of honorary staff. This deceptive description could reflect badly on the School of Environment and the University.

His status with the University of Auckland appears to have been misrepresented and his opinions thus lent more gravitas than they perhaps deserve. My readers are keen to be assured that this misrepresentation is either not what it seems, or will be brought to an end.

I look forward to a reply at your earliest convenience.

Kind regards,

Richard Treadgold
Climate Conversation Group
Member of NZ Climate Science Coalition

Just now, before I could publish this brief account, Professor Kench replied (surprisingly, since it’s a long holiday weekend here in Auckland) advising:

Dear Richard,

Thank you for your message. Dr Salinger is indeed an Honorary Research Fellow in our School. This was arranged late in 2012. Jim will be added to the website in the near future.

Kind regards

Professor Paul Kench
Head, School of Environment
The University of Auckland

So, no deceit was involved, but it’s disappointing that updates to a world-leading university’s web site can languish undone for over a year. Action seems to wait on a public complaint.

I’ve had to rejig this post to make a different point, but I think it’s still quite interesting — and it’s only the beginning. We still have to refute his activist rubbish.

What do you think?

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Richard C (NZ)Robin Pittwood Recent comment authors
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Robin Pittwood
Robin Pittwood

Irony upon irony. With the recognition that ‘The Pause’ could be part of a natural cycle, associated with the PDO, El Niño, La Niña, and their relative importance compared to CO2. This relationship was included as a sentence or two by Dr De Freitas several years ago. This very paper was one of the papers at the centre of Climategate. And that paper, suggesting the importance of El Niño in warming, was one that none other than Salinger himself tried to undermine De Freitas’s standing at the university. So who is the attacker here? There’s much more to this story than Salinger will tell us. And of course now they are ducking for cover, sending us off in tangents. So where is the missing heat? Trenberth suggested it’s hiding in the oceans. Well if it was you couldn’t know it for sure. The specific heat of water and it’s quantity would mean the temperature difference would be immeasurable. So what has happened to the net greenhouse effect over the past decade or so (that is supposedly trapping the heat by reducing the OLWIR. Has more heat been trapped by it? I downloaded the… Read more »

Robin Pittwood
Robin Pittwood

Thought this link might be of interest to some. Commentary over at The Hockey Schtick, on Kevin’s new paper on ocean temperatures.

Robin Pittwood
Robin Pittwood

If anyone wants to read the history via the Climategate emails as summarised by Anthony Watts over at WUWT, here is a useful link.

Richard C (NZ)
Richard C (NZ)

Jim Salinger was on board at UofA I thought. I’m more interested in his itemized list of “lots of errors” that NZCSET made auditing the 7SS according to him. SimonP pointed us at BEST a couple of days ago as corroboration for NIWA. Turned out worthwhile. Ironically, BEST’s Albert Park station breakpoint adjusted trend corroborates the Trust’s to-the-letter application of RS93 (of which Jim Salinger was co-author) for the Auckland location but falls very far below NIWA’s trend. BEST’s breakpoint adjustment method (probably cited in BEST’s Methods paper somewhere) appears to be similar to BOM’s ACORN-SAT because there’s lots of “empirical break” adjustments, far more than actual site change adjustments in some places. But that is not to say the adjustments are not valid. They seem reasonable but I’ve only really skimmed over some. The BEST long running station series resulting from breakpoint adjustment have trends below NIWA’s corresponding locations and not much above the Trust’s for BEST’s Albert Park, Kelburn, and Mussselburgh stations for example, which correspond to 7SS locations Auckland, Wellington and Dunedin respectively. The warming begins at BEST when they then run the adjusted stations through their infilling algorithm (they… Read more »

Richard C (NZ)
Richard C (NZ)

BEST Hamilton & Waikato temperature case study. If there is one case that proves BEST’s methodology is highly suspect, at least for New Zealand orography, this is it. They neglect local station data. They neglect UHI/sheltering adjustment. They impute Auckland micro climate to the entire Waikato district south of Auckland without recourse to any Waikato data whatsoever. Their Auckland output profile doesn’t correspond to the trend of the local long running Albert Park they use as input for Auckland either (but which does correspond to NZCSET’s Auckland because pre-1976 is Albert Park but not NIWA’s trend as shown elsewhere), but I digress Auckland is bounded by two harbours and ocean on either side. Not surprisingly then, It is very humid in the warmer months at times. The Waikato is landlocked except to the north and is bounded on the east and west by mountain ranges. it is frosty in the cooler months and fog fills the basin regularly. Tauranga is on the other side of the eastern mountain range beside the ocean in the Bay of Plenty but BEST imputes that climate to the Waikato too as we will see. Hamilton (Elev. 40m)… Read more »

Richard C (NZ)
Richard C (NZ)

BEST’s Auckland, Tauranga and Hamilton series are all but exactly the same. The only difference is the series moves up and down the y axis.

BEST Auckland

BEST Tauranga

BEST Hamilton

NIWA’s regional summaries for 2013 (average is 1971-2000 mean ??):

• Auckland: mean temperature 15.9C (0.5C above average [15.4 vs 15.7 BEST approx])

• Tauranga: mean temperature 15.8C (0.9C above average [14.9 vs 14.1 BEST approx])

• Hamilton: mean temperature 14.2C (0.6C above average [13.6 vs 14.3 BEST approx])

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