Salinger’s status: secret?

By the end of my post Salinger’s status clarified earlier today we were assured by Professor Paul Kench, the friendly Head of the School of Environment, University of Auckland, that Dr Jim Salinger is, indeed, an Honorary Research Fellow at the University of Auckland.

I had queried the fact because the current UofA web site no longer mentions Dr Salinger as an honorary appointment. So far, so good.

Then I looked up the current 2014 calendar. On the first page it says:

The University of Auckland 2014 Calendar

The University of Auckland Calendar is our official publication including academic statutes and regulations governing admission, enrolment, fees and examinations. The Calendar sets out degree, diploma, certificate requirements and courses. It also provides key information about the University and its staff.

That apparently carries legal weight and it certainly sounds official to me. I would expect that anything not mentioned in the calendar does not obligate the university. The 2014 calendar does not mention Jim Salinger. Neither is he mentioned in 2013 or 2012.

As I downloaded back issues of the calendar, I found that it listed “Jim Salinger” as an honorary research fellow in 2009, 2010 and 2011. Since then, not at all.

Now, it’s perhaps remotely possible that a late appointment might not make it into one year’s calendar, but it’s impossible to accept that an appointment to the same position for the following year would not be in the calendar. So, from 2012 to 2014 (three years) we must accept that Jim Salinger was not an honorary research fellow at the University of Auckland.

Note that The Conversation web site says: “In 2014 he will be a Visiting Scholar at Institute of Marine and Antarctic Studies, University of Tasmania.” That explains what he’ll be doing this year. Could he at the same time fulfil a post at the University of Auckland? It surely depends on the commitments of the two posts, except that the official UofA calendar doesn’t mention him.

The Conversation web site also states: “He has since [2009] worked as an Honorary Research Associate in Climate Science in the School of Environment at the University of Auckland.” It is highly unlikely they would say that if he was an honorary research associate there right now.

There are some questions about Dr Salinger’s status at Auckland University. So I have just now sent the following email to Professor Kench:

Hi Paul,

This is very mysterious.

I’ve discovered that the UofA 2014 calendar does not mention Dr Salinger. The last time he was cited as a research fellow at Auckland was for 2011.

The Conversation web site says right now: “In 2014 he will be a Visiting Scholar at Institute of Marine and Antarctic Studies, University of Tasmania.”

So I must ask you to please confirm what you say, that Dr Salinger is an honorary research fellow at Auckland University for 2014. In addition, please explain why he is not mentioned in the 2014 calendar, given that you say he was also a research fellow in 2013.

Once you confirm this, I will then inquire of Tasmania what his status there might be.


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Ian Cooper

Is this the same Dr Jim Salinger that was quoted in the Manawatu Standard at the beginning of January as stating that we were in for a long hot summer after the 2nd hottest year on record? Just a couple of things wrong with Dr Jim’s prognosis. Firstly, and I admit that he is not the only one to not know this, but thanks to a technical problem induced during some other work by technicians on Dec 17th 2013, the temperature readings at the Agresearch site at Turitea near Massey have been corrupted such that when ammended the final figure for 2013 puts it 2nd equal with 1971, 1974 and 1999, not out on its own, and therefore less significant than Dr Jim would have us believe. Secondly this January is shaping up as the coldest since 1993, despite a late recovery. Hardly the long hot summer promised. I for one am not surprised that Dr Jim failed to get the near term prediction right. His track record around here is dismal. Back in 2003 at the height of that year’s drought Dr Jim gave a talk on the climate at the Horizon’s… Read more »

Alexander K

Coops, you’ve been around the Manawatu long enough to know that the boffins of Salinger’s ilk only do long range and essentially useless casting of the runes, not the short-term stuff that would be useful to cockies, contractors and others who have weather-dependant occupations.
Must be nice to have a job where one can make idiotic forecasts and have the luxury of knowing that one will be dead and gone long before any question of professional and personal accountability arises.
The years I spent on farms in the same region gave me a little environmental knowledge of the practical kind, so that when I relocated to SE UK, my first impression of the whole of the Midlands was of a very large flood risk if those who carried the responsibility of looking after the rural environment forgot the basics; the current spate of flooding in that region has borne out my first impressions. It seems that those responsible for maintaining rivers and drainage systems in general have done almost nothing for some years and their inactivity is now biting their collective bums.

Ian Cooper

Yes Alexander you have nailed that one going by accounts I have read elsewhere about the flooding in the south of the UK recently. This reminds me that this Feb 16th marks the 10th anniversary of the “14 River Floods,” (my name for them) that devastated large areas of the Lower North Island on both sides of the divide. The river closest to me, the Oroua, is a major tributary of the Manawatu. I became trapped on an island no more than 500mm high in a sea of dirty brown water some 16 or so hours after the stopbanks on the true right side burst in a dozen places in the Kopane region. Horizons Regional Council have completed a lot of work relating to many rivers in the region as a result of what happened near me and the lessons learnt. The biggest lesson, maintenance of stopbanks, and in some cases a re-estimate of those bank’s abilities to handle very large floods. At the time the Oroua was considered to have been through a 1 in 250 year event. During all of the tumult that was going on in the area I realized… Read more »

Richard C (NZ)

Alexander >”Must be nice to have a job where one can make idiotic forecasts and have the luxury of knowing that one will be dead and gone long before any question of professional and personal accountability arises” I’m not so sure they will be gone Alexander. I think the accountability is required right now and we can monitor their prediction progress. The latest MfE “guidance manual” is the second edition of “Climate Change Effects and Impacts Assessment”, published in 2008. According to the MfE: “This Guidance Manual was prepared by David Wratt, Brett Mullan and Jim Salinger (NIWA), Sylvia Allen and Tania Morgan (MWH New Zealand Ltd), and Gavin Kenny (Earthwise Consulting), in consultation with a range of people from local government organisations. It follows a specification prepared by the Climate Change Office of the Ministry for the Environment.” The manual is here: See, 2 Projections of Future New Zealand Climate Change, Table 2.1: Main features of New Zealand climate change projections for 2040 and 2090 The projection statement for “Magnitude of change” is “All-scenario average 0.9°C by 2040, 2.1°C by 2090 (**)”. That is in respect to 1990, the annual… Read more »

Richard C (NZ)

>”So how did they go?”

The funny thing is, in 2008, NIWA’s projection was already more than 0.4°C too high anyway.

Richard C (NZ)

Re the 2008 MfE/NIWA projection above, we must not forget the earlier projections too.

Here’s the superseded May 2004 MfE/NIWA “guidance manual” projection archived at MfE:

All they did was extrapolate pre-2000 data. But since 1998 with updated data, the trend has been cooling, and since 1999 has been dead flat. Only when 1998/99 is neglected is there a small rise since 2000 and that is only because 2013 was unusually warm but only at the same level as 1998/99..

Nearly 10 years have elapsed since 2004 so time for an accounting – even the lower bound of their 2004 projection is all but out-of-the-money, let alone their middle expectation.

Alexander K

Richard, we must be doing something incorrectly – when I read a small selection of newspapers from around the world, which I do on most mornings, I frequently find articles written by obvious warmists who seem not to be rowing with both oars in the water who are telling us members of the great unwashed that the world is spinning on to warming hell. Most of the MSM seem not to be interested in real-world observations, with rare exceptions such as the excellent reporting in yesterday’s UK Daily Mail about the causes of this year’s flooding on the UK’s Somerset Levels.
It seems that once scary stuff gets a foothold in the minds of the press and the general public it clings on forever, almost as if the greater mass of humankind want to be frightened by some irrational bogey man or other.
Is there some mental mechanism in the mind of Man that demands an irrational religion?

This issue of adjusting out steps as done by NIWA and all IPCC compliant groups – is getting some exposure again. This time through a paper detailing the effect of adjusting out effects of site moves at Beijing.
As I say – Global temperature trends would be more accurately assesed by just gridding the raw data. Leave the steps in – in the absence of all the hard work to adjust out UHI warming – this will produce a trend closest to reality.
How many times does a truth have to be told ? – UHI warming has been cemented into global temperature series by adjusting for steps outward from cities

Richard C (NZ)

Warwick, re step adjustments, gridding sites, UHI etc. I’ve posted a couple of lengthy comments on that topic starting here: There’s 2 separate issues: 1) Compilation of long running contiguous location series where spacially separated sites are adjusted to be in terms with one “reference” site at one specific Lat/Lon (e.g. 7SS). 2) Compilation of series where the site data remains unadjusted (but not necessarily – see below) at the grid Lat/Lon where the data was measured as you suggest. BEST is a bit like that except they then make up masses of “data” by interpolation (which in at least one NZ district is completely invalid – see below) I’ve no problem with 1) if the adjustment is done properly and as you can see from my first comment at the link, BEST’s breakpoint adjustment actually corroborates the NZCSET Auckland trend even though BEST doesn’t adjust for non-climatic influence (UHI/sheltering) but NZCSET does, but BEST eliminates NIWA’s Auckland trend. The problem with 2) is where a site change is at the same site or a very short move i.e. essentially the same Lat/Lon. You cannot leave the data unadjusted in that case… Read more »

Richard C (NZ)

WUWT commentary on the UHI paper Warwick is referring to is here:

I suspect that the CONUS Class 1&2 and Class 3,4, and 5 stations correspond to Hessell (1980) “B” and “A” stations respectively (yes I’ve got B and A round the right way).

Throughout New Zealand, Hessel found that B stations (CONUS Class 1&2) invariably exhibited minimal warming (even cooling) but A stations considerable warming.

Hessell (1980) is here:

‘Apparent trends of mean temperature in New Zealand since 1930′

Needless to say (but I will), B stations are like gold for NZ temperature series compilation.

Richard C (NZ)

The update at WUWT by Steve McIntyre refers to “The Menne algorithm…”. The Menne and Williams (2009) method used for the continental United States (CONUS) is the basis BOM has adopted for their ACORN-SAT series with appropriate variation for AU. From what I can gather (i.e. I could be wrong here), the Menne algorithm doesn’t come close to results obtained by adjustment of Hessell’s “B” stations (Class 3, 4 and 5 CONUS) by use of “A” station standards (Class 1&2 CONUS). Te Aroha is a B station for example, Albert Park is an A station. In other wards, in the absence of adjustment to B station and Class 1&2 standard, as Steve M puts it: “The Menne algorithm removes the downward steps, but, in terms of estimating “natural” temperature, the unsliced series would be a better index than concatenating the sliced segments.” That is Warwick’s point too I think. i prefer the NZCSET/Hessell approach at Albert Park of adjusting to Te Aroha B station standard as per guidance of Hessell (1980). See Statistical Audit, Supplementary Information, Auckland section page 55: If an adjustment to B station (Class 1&2) standard can’t be made… Read more »

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