Study undermines “science is settled” claims

water vapour

Water vapour more significant than CO2?

A study released last year reveals water vapour has an important role in global warming and more research is needed. When water vapour declines it seems to lead to global cooling, preventing overheating.

The story was covered in The Guardian on 29 January, 2010:

Water vapour caused one-third of global warming in 1990s, study reveals

Experts say their research does not undermine the scientific consensus on man-made climate change, but call for ‘closer examination’ of the way computer models consider water vapour.

Scientists have underestimated the role that water vapour plays in determining global temperature changes, according to a new study that could fuel further attacks on the science of climate change.

The research, led by one of the world’s top climate scientists, suggests that almost one-third of the global warming recorded during the 1990s was due to an increase in water vapour in the high atmosphere, not human emissions of greenhouse gases. A subsequent decline in water vapour after 2000 could explain a recent slowdown in global temperature rise, the scientists add. Continue Reading →

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Sea level rise is normal, my friends

countries in sea level monitoring project

Accelerated sea level rise debunked

A new analysis finds evidence of a weak deceleration in mean sea level rise in the Australasian region from 1940 to 2000 in four very long-term tide gauge records.

It brings long-term confirmation to what the South Pacific Sea Level and Climate Monitoring Project (SPSLCMP) has been reporting for about 10 to 15 years — slow, non-alarming sea level rise. Continue Reading →

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Telling guilt from global warming

Climate Etc

Judith Curry draws a radical conclusion from this radical paper. The authors claim that climate forcings from both human influence and natural variation are likely of similar magnitude, which is the first time since the IPCC was created that the climate establishment has expressed that possibility. Then they admit that telling the difference between them is difficult (the science is not settled). That’s the second time that’s been said (the first time was in an early IPCC report). Since “human influence” has become a hot-button code word for guilt, perhaps the guilt might now subside. Finally, Judith has a plea for the IPCC authors: “No more ‘unequivocals’ or ‘very likelys’ in the AR5, please.” Amazing — you must read this and share it with everyone you know or don’t know. It’s sober and persuasive evidence that a tide is turning — a belief in dangerous warming no longer holds a trump card in climate studies. Make the politicians face this new scientific reality or they’ll go on for years with their ETS and carbon taxes – h/t Barry Brill

Separating natural and anthropogenically-forced decadal climate variability

The issue of separating natural from anthropogenically forced variability, particularly in context of the attribution of 20th century climate change, has been a topic of several previous threads at Climate Etc. The issue of natural vs anthropogenically forced climate variability/change has been a key issue of contention between the climate establishment and skeptics. There are some encouraging signs that the climate establishment is maturing in their consideration of this issue. Continue Reading →

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NIWA versus NOAA

NOAA

and the winner is… well, never mind: the loser is science

(Nobody’s won yet.) Now here’s more of the saga…

The ‘Seven-station Series’ (7SS) constructed by NIWA scientists claims a 20th-century warming trend for New Zealand of 0.9°C. The warming arises entirely from their in-house adjustments to the raw thermometer readings and they’re now very keen to find some corroboration for that warming.

Why are they so anxious to vindicate the 7SS? Because they’re finding it almost impossible to achieve. This conclusion of warming is an orphan — it contradicts all other official temperature records, going back decades. Continue Reading →

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NIWA bible

the Bible

Rhoades & Salinger (1993)

The late Michael Crichton declared that ‘global warming’ had become a religion, with the IPCC reports comprising its bible. The central dogma of the religion rests on the global temperature record, which ‘proves’ recent global warming. It has a bible of its own, largely written by CRU’s “hockey team” — those conniving, partisan, anti-sceptical scientists of Climategate infamy.

Above and beyond everything else it might be, a bible inspires belief. That is the natural result of the veneration a bible gains by long use. And you don’t ignore something you venerate.

Around the world amateur, unpaid investigations reveal that recent warming trends don’t really exist. In fact, they are largely created by “homogeneity adjustments” to the actual thermometer readings. Continue Reading →

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Fallen snow

a glacier, showing the firn it's made from

Here’s a thread to discuss the migration of gases (or not!) through firn, or old snow, and the ramifications for past levels of atmospheric gases. When I discover how to move comments between threads, I’ll add the relevant comments from other threads.

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It’s not warming, you nitwit — it’s cooling

icicles in Germany

All right, so it might not be getting down to out-of-the-ordinary freezing temperatures, but it’s certainly not unduly warm, which is the claim we’re constantly hearing in the mainstream media, even now. Even after all the contrary evidence. Here’s more.

To show that there is scientific data backing up the refutation of strong, even dangerous, warming brought on by our over-indulgence in the famous capitalist mind-altering industrial pollutant, carbon dioxide, the NZ Climate Science Coalition just issued a press release. The 2009 paper from McLean, de Freitas and Carter shows the uncanny correlation between the Southern Oscillation Index and global temperature several months later. The press release shows how the paper “predicts” the current temperature plunge.

And I really mean plunge, because McLean et al speculate this year could be the coldest since 1956. Brrr!

Now be my guest: show how wrong it is! Show us how the correlation is not really a correlation. It’s a free world!

Oh — and you’ll also have to demonstrate, of course, that global temperatures are NOT following the SOI graph from about seven months ago (please don’t forget that part). The press release is next. Continue Reading →

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The uncertainties of averages

Dr Vincent Gray

Those who provide us with the supposed Mean Annual Global Temperature Anomaly (graph shown below) treat the annual points in their graph as if they were constants. The points on the graph do not represent actual observations. They are processed versions of actual observations and they are subject to statistical uncertainties.

The latest CRU paper to calculate these uncertainties is Brohan, P., J.J. Kennedy, I. Haris, S.F.B. Tett, P.D. Jones (2006). “Uncertainty estimates in regional and global observed temperature changes: a new dataset from 1850.” J. Geophys. Res. 111: D12106. doi:1020/2005JD006546.

This paper combines many sources of uncertainties and the final figures vary from year to year, but are typically about ±0.2 ºC on a 95% confidence basis. Some versions of their graph include these figures as “error bars” attached to the data points.

Brohan et al even admit that they do not include “unknown unknowns”, even referring to the internationally recognised expert on this subject, Donald Rumsfeld.

It is surprising that they have left out of their discussions the most important source of uncertainty in their figures, one which is “known” to every person who has studied stratistics. It is the uncertainty which arises every time you take an average. Continue Reading →

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NZ temperature record – a brief history

mountain mists

Official temperature records have been maintained in New Zealand since shortly after European settlement began in 1840. Throughout the ensuing 150 years, mean temperature levels appeared to remain stable. But NIWA (the responsible Government agency) has recently questioned the historical record, suggesting a long-term warming trend may have been hidden in the data.

Publications from 18681, 19202 19603 and contemporary records4 indicate that mean temperatures in New Zealand cities have not significantly changed since records began (Tables 1,2,3). Degrees Fahrenheit in the early figures have been converted to degrees Celsius. Continue Reading →

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NIWA’s maverick methodology

maverick

A sober analysis from an indefatigable leader of our Campaign for True Temperatures. Barry’s careful, professional reticence stands in stark contrast to the concerns emerging over the work of our premier climate institution. — Richard Treadgold


“NIWA uses internationally accepted techniques” — Hon Dr Wayne Mapp, Minister of Research, Science and Technology.

The principal methodology used by NIWA in calculating adjustments to historical data for both the Seven-station Series (7SS) and its provisional replacement, the New Zealand Temperature Seven (NZT7), is by comparison with other temperature stations. This is well explained in the Review Report published December 2010 (page 11) as follows:

  • Micro-climates exist: Within a general region, taking Wellington as an example, there are many micro-climates, and thus temperatures vary from place to place. This is because of Wellington’s varied topography, meaning that the sites have different exposures and aspects and are at different altitudes. All these factors can influence the measured temperature. There is no such thing, therefore, as “the” Wellington temperature; there are many Wellington temperatures, and they are all different.
  • Neighbouring sites vary together: Comparison of temperatures from neighbouring sites shows again and again that trends and interannual variations at nearby sites are very similar. So although the base level temperatures may be different at two sites (due to micro-climate effects), the variations are almost in ‘lock-step’, with occasional exceptions. (See examples in the seven-station documents and on the NIWA website).

Continue Reading →

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Call for calm over hot, rising seas

underwater light

Richard Cumming takes a look at recent observational data on two topics often raised and guaranteed to cause concern. They are used both to “prove” the existence of rapid warming and as an example of the ills soon to befall us if we don’t prevent them. But both uses fail on a cool examination of the facts. The Climate Conversation Group calls for calm to prevent public hysteria.

Recent global mean sea level and ocean heat content trends

UPDATE 31 JAN 2011

“The sea level continues to rise” is a familiar refrain, but the AGW hypothesis, along with the IPCC AR4, both predict an accelerating rate of rise in the global mean sea level. The IPCC prediction is simply:

“Anthropogenic forcing is also expected to produce an accelerating rate of sea level rise.”

That sea levels are rising is undisputed, but what are the recent trends of both mean sea level (MSL) and its companion, ocean heat content (OHC)? Is MSL accelerating in accordance with the predictions?

Cumulative sea level change from 1905 to 2000, adapted from Holgate (2007), shows a steadily decelerating trend over the period: Continue Reading →

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UN head calls off sky-dragon slaying

sky dragon

‘Personal mission’ abandoned

No possibility of a ‘single grand deal’

Those unconvinced of the possibility of catastrophic global warming caused by human activity could, perhaps, be forgiven for relaxing their guard a little.

Everywhere you look, there are signs that the theory of Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming (CAGW) has been defeated or is in the process of being defeated.

From the revelations of Climategate, where the venal motivations and cynical manipulations of leading climate scientists were made embarrassingly public, to the geological history of the last 5 million years of temperature (which shows a slow decline, meaning the modest modern rise is not a bit unprecedented), mounting evidence of severe quality problems with the surface instrumental temperature record, evidence of declining SSTs and surface air temperatures, no evidence of acceleration in sea-level rise, no increase in ocean acidification or bleaching of coral reefs, natural cycles reported as well capable of accounting for late-20th century warming and strong support for a solar influence on cloud formation moderated through intergalactic cosmic rays, not to mention changing results from opinion surveys around the world, it is beyond doubt that support for the CAGW hypothesis, based almost entirely on human emissions of the minor greenhouse gas carbon dioxide, is evaporating. Continue Reading →

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More proof global temps lag SOI

SOI forecast January 2011

NIWA, listen to this, it’s amazing

UPDATE 1, 11 JAN 2011, 09:30 NZDT

On December 1 last year, we wrote about Bryan Leyland’s prediction of significant cooling before the end of the year coming true. You can see from the chart exactly what happened. Not only that, it would appear that the temperature has not finished going down yet.

This remarkable forecast, now some eight months old, comes out of a 2009 paper showing a lagged correlation between global temperatures and the Southern Oscillation Index (SOI), calculated from fluctuations in the air pressure difference between Tahiti and Darwin, and indicative also of the start (and the state) of a La Nina (as now) or an El Nino. This correlation is a lot more convincing than comparing global temperature with CO2 levels! Continue Reading →

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Straight talking on that crooked consensus

crooked line

Crooked.

Lawrence Solomon: 97% cooked stats

First published in the Financial Post, Jan 3, 2011
(h/t Gary Kerkin)

How do we know there’s a scientific consensus on climate change? Pundits and the press tell us so. And how do the pundits and the press know? Until recently, they typically pointed to the number 2,500 — that’s the number of scientists associated with the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Those 2,500, the pundits and the press believed, had endorsed the IPCC position.

To their embarrassment, most of the pundits and press discovered they were mistaken — those 2,500 scientists hadn’t endorsed the IPCC’s conclusions, they had merely reviewed some part or other of the IPCC’s mammoth studies. To add to their embarrassment, many of those reviewers from within the IPCC establishment actually disagreed with the IPCC’s conclusions, sometimes vehemently. Continue Reading →

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NZ vs S. Hemisphere temperatures

The “Seven-Station Series” (7SS) constituting the official New Zealand Temperature Record (NZTR) is analysed and compared with the Southern Hemisphere (SH) temperature record using an interesting new data analysis technique called Empirical Mode Decomposition (EMD).

UPDATE 1, 10 JAN 2011, 22:28 NZDT

Analysis of temperature trends usually employs extrinsic data smoothing techniques such as regression, moving average and Fourier filtering, but there is a more appropriate technique available.

Empirical mode decomposition (EMD) is an intrinsic data analysis technique now being used across a number of disciplines, including climatology. You can find out more from these two background papers: On the trend, detrending, and variability of nonlinear and nonstationary time series (Wu et al., 2007)(pdf) and Analysis of Temperature Change under Global Warming Impact using Empirical Mode Decomposition (Molla et al., 2007)(pdf). If you want to study EMD in detail, there’s a lot of help available — even a free command line utility.

EMD uses a sifting algorithm that filters the data until an overall adaptive trend (monotonic residual) is revealed. The first paper linked above shows how a decadal trend was also extracted from the global record but the 100-year 7SS time-frame used here is too short to do the same. A longer 7SS record would probably reveal an intermediate decadal trend similar to that presented plus an overall trend that cannot be extracted (by this author) from the 7SS at its current length. Continue Reading →

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Tepid support from BoM

Sydney Opera House at dusk

Constrained support

The Australian Bureau of Meteorology (BoM), like the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA) in New Zealand, is an advisory group of Government scientists responsible for the compilation and maintenance of official temperature records.

After NIWA scientists rewrote the official NZ temperature record — the Seven-Station Series — during 2010, their ‘Review Report’ included a letter of support from the BoM. This was seen as necessary, as NIWA’s credibility had been somewhat strained by its lengthy (and ultimately futile) defence of the old record.

Some are critical of the selection of the Bureau to review work by NIWA, as both groups have been widely criticised (especially in the blogosphere) for applying the same biases and questionable adjustment methods. See, for example, Australian Temperatures in cities adjusted up by 70%!? at Jo Nova’s blog.

As climate archivists, both agencies are extensively engaged in the work of the IPCC; and both are firmly of the school of thought led by Professor Phil Jones, head of the Climatic Research Unit at the University of East Anglia (UEA).

The NZ Climate Science Coalition wrote to Science Minister Wayne Mapp, suggesting the appointment of two genuinely independent reviewers, and putting forward names of highly regarded scientists and statisticians. Continue Reading →

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The 11SS — a Dog that didn’t bark

a stunned dog

Too stunned to bark.

One of the best-known episodes in The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes is “Silver Blaze”, concerning “the curious incident of the dog in the night-time”. Curiously, the dog did nothing. Sherlock rightly deduced that because the dog didn’t bark, there could have been no intruder.

A similar deduction may be made in regard to the silence which now surrounds NIWA’s heavily promoted “Eleven-Station Series” (11SS).

Interested observers naturally expected that the 11SS would again feature strongly in the NIWA Review Report as support for the new NZTR. But, to their utter surprise, they discovered that it’s been left out!

The Review Report flails around seeking supporting evidence from sea temperatures, wind flows, etc., but there is nary a word about the once-talismanic 11SS. One may scour the whole 169 pages, and delve among the footnotes, to no avail.

The 11SS is highly conspicuous in its absence. As it does not bark in the Review Report, we can surmise that it will never bark again. Although it did not join the 7SS in being whipped off the website within hours, it appears to be an equally deceased canine. Continue Reading →

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NASA study on CO2 warming finds cooling effect

UN climate conferences obsolete

New study considers vegetation cooling

A new NASA computer modelling effort has found that the additional growth of plants and trees in a world with doubled atmospheric carbon dioxide levels would create a new negative feedback — a cooling effect — on the Earth’s climate system that could work to reduce future global warming to only +1.64°C if carbon dioxide was doubled. The IPCC had assumed a +3°C warming in that case.

The cooling effect would be -0.3 degrees Celsius globally and -0.6 degrees C over land, compared to simulations where the feedback was not included, said Lahouari Bounoua, of Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md. Bounoua is lead author on the paper that was published Dec 7, 2010, in the journal Geophysical Research Letters.

With the negative feedback included, the model found a warming of 1.64 degrees C globally when carbon dioxide was doubled.

Doubling the CO2 contents in the atmosphere from 390 ppmv to 780 ppmv would require some 195 years with the present growth rate of 2 ppm/year. This means, however, that until the year 2100 we have to expect a temperature increase of only 0.75°C. Also, with the higher IPCC value, the resulting temperature growth would be well below the limit of 2°C which has been decided as a limit by the recent conference in Cancun.

Apparently none of the 15,000 participants in Cancun has recognized this fact (or, rather, did not want to do so) since this means that the political UN conference-circus is indeed obsolete. No new post-Kyoto agreement is required, nor a reduction of CO2 emissions at all.

However, we must expect that the expensive annual mega-meetings will continue, since no participant wants to give up these free vacation weeks in one of the more beautiful places of this planet (Kyoto – Bali – Nairobi – Rio de Janeiro – Geneva – New Delhi – Marrakesh – Buenos Aires – Copenhagen – Cancun – and next year Durban, South Africa).

The most important decision at each of 16 conferences was to meet again next year. And if it were only for that reason, then the “fight against climate change” must be continued.

sourced from the Climate Sceptics group in Yahoo Groups

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NIWA generating warmth

NIWA temperature adjustments, before and after

— by Barry Brill, Chairman of the New Zealand Climate Science Coalition

This graph summarises how NIWA’s recent adjustments to the historical temperature data has created a 20th century warming trend of 1.0°C. There were 22 changes in the period 1900-75 and almost all of those adjustments went downwards. Over 90% of the adjusted station-years moved in the same direction – a very surprising result.

Another curious aspect of the NIWA adjustments is that their amplitude is almost directly proportional to their chronological age. The further back one goes from 1975, the larger the adjustment becomes. Continue Reading →

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Cooling forecast comes true

crystal ball

NIWA, where are you?

The Southern Oscillation Index (SOI), according to the Australian Bureau of Meteorology, is calculated from the monthly or seasonal fluctuations in the air pressure difference between Tahiti and Darwin.

In July last year three climate scientists published a paper in the Journal of Geophysical Research. “Influence of the Southern Oscillation on tropospheric temperature” concluded that nature, not man, was responsible for “recent global warming.”

The paper, by John McClean, Chris DeFreitas and Bob Carter, shows that what the SOI does now, the temperature will do in between five and eight months’ time.

Simple. But does it work to predict global temperatures? Continue Reading →

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On Kiribati sinking

Island of Tabiteuea, Kiribati.

We didn’t mention straws, only facts

CORRECTION: 18 NOVEMBER

Bryan Walker, of Hot Topic, insists on the fact of the sinking of Kiribati along with a human cause of the sinking. Under the heading “Clutching at straws” he says:

The vigour of denial is as evident as always.

I remain unconcerned about criticism he got from the pugnacious Ian Wishart at The Briefing Room, along with “others” on the Herald web site. I believe that Ian correctly quotes from Kiribati’s marketing material, but now I comment on what Walker says about our post here at the Climate Conversation, Kiribati sinking beneath waves again.

Because his criticism of me is frail, since he ignores what I say. The best that can be said about his summary of our post is that he slides past its substantive arguments, replacing them with “straw man” arguments easily dealt with.

But first, I must express annoyance at his use of “denial”. He says it just once, but securely tars his opponents with it, yet it must be the last resort of the desperate, for where is his argument that the denial has no substance? Absent — he leaves it hanging.

Certainly, when one argues with anything, one denies something. On that definition, Walker himself is a “denier”, for he denies what I said. A denier label cannot be the end of rational thought nor award an uncontested victory, for it applies to both parties to an argument. Continue Reading →

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Kiribati sinking beneath waves again

Tarawa atoll, Kiribati.

Oh, again?

Climate change sinking Kiribati – so says a Herald headline of Friday, November 12. Here we go again! More nonsense about sea levels in the Pacific rising, driven by the exhaust from our internal combustion engines and thermal power stations.

Nearly a year ago the Herald carried a similar story headed Tiny Tuvalu outgunned by oil giant which I quickly debunked. Seems they didn’t learn much that time around.

But the author this time is Bryan Walker, regular contributor to alarmist articles at Hot Topic. Continue Reading →

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The BOM discovers UHI

Australia's Gold Coast

UPDATE 1: 15 NOVEMBER

UPDATE 2: 17 NOVEMBER

There’s some excitement around blogdom with the Australian Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) apparently questioning the UHI adjustments it’s made to the temperature record.

The actual press release

But the story is proving difficult to pin down. I’ve located the BOM Media Release of 13 October, 2010, which says (emphasis added):

Wednesday 13 October 2010
MEDIA RELEASE

Hot cities

If you thought our cities are getting warmer, you’re right.

Bureau of Meteorology researchers have found that daytime temperatures in our cities are warming more rapidly than those of the surrounding countryside and that this is due to the cities themselves. Continue Reading →

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Like diamonds, CO2 is for ever

the head on a glass of beer

Wrong again, huh?

Hot Topic, in a post endearingly headed “I’ve been wrong before“, berates the CCG for reporting a criticism of the Royal Society. Chemist Dr Klaus L. E. Kaiser published evidence of miscalculations by the RS which was supported by Swedish Professor of Applied Mathematics, Claes Johnson.

But unfortunately the confidence shown by Gareth Renowden in rebutting this criticism of the Royal Society does not extend to admitting the extent of uncertainty about the carbon dioxide cycle. To listen to Gareth, you’d think the science was settled, but in fact there are substantial unknowns.

He introduces his rebuttal (ignoring his opening paragraph, which contains ad hominem remarks) with this:

Unfortunately for Kaiser and Sullivan, the Royal Society (otherwise known as the most august of scientific institutions, 350 years old this year) didn’t make any schoolboy errors. The amount of CO2 in the atmosphere is determined by the interchange of carbon between the atmosphere, oceans and biosphere. Over the last few hundred years the ocean and biosphere have been doing us a big favour by absorbing two thirds of the CO2 we’ve emitted. The balance has been steadily accumulating, which is why atmospheric CO2 has risen from 280 ppm to 390 ppm.

This seems to be true, although the proportion of human emissions being absorbed by natural processes is specified variously, by different authorities, between about 45% and the 66% Gareth mentions. But whatever figure you take, it does leave a “balance” of an amount which “steadily accumulates”, accounting for a rise in atmospheric concentration from about 280 ppmv to about 390 ppmv now.

But watch the pea under the cup. Continue Reading →

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Seismic shift in climate thinking

Newspapers

by Ben Webster of The Times
Wednesday, September 29, 2010, 22:09

The Royal Society, bastion of conventional thinking on global warming, is about to announce a change in its thinking! What a glad day. I cannot wait to read their whole statement.     – Richard

Here’s the full story: Continue Reading →

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Royal Society gives us nightmare without the terror

UPDATED 30 Sep 2010, 16:00

a nightmare vision

New graph comparing predictions from RSNZ and IPCC. Eye-opening!

The Royal Society of New Zealand just published a paper, Sea Level Rise – Emerging Issues. It reports new, more alarming predictions of sea level rise around New Zealand during the rest of the century. Or does it?

The paper warns us to expect the sea to rise several metres by 2100. Or does it?

Actually, it doesn’t and it doesn’t. We can all go home.

On a careful, sensible reading, the paper says very little but, by employing phrases such as “increasingly rapid melting”, “recent estimates of future rise are greater” and “global sea levels rose by around 120 metres”, among others, the casual reader gains the impression of dangerous rises to come. The story imparts grave concern.

But it’s all air kissing, candy floss and nonsense. They say nothing that would scare a butterfly. Continue Reading →

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Hot Topic semi-science now in the Herald

NZ Herald crest
Hot Topic logo

Now we have the NZ Herald echoing Hot Topic’s posts from Sciblogs. Man, the Herald have really burned their bridges on impartiality, haven’t they? By patronising Hot Topic they unquestionably declare their belief in the non-science of dangerous anthropogenic global warming.

Don’t expect any material from them in the near future to be critical of the now-established doctrine of climate change according to the IPCC.

Comments on poll uncover Hot Topic’s dearth of science

Yesterday, they published an article by Bryan Walker, one of Gareth’s support writers, Ask me why – polling the public on climate change. The first thing Bryan does is denigrate the organisation behind the poll; good one, Bryan, ignore the issue — go straight for the man.

Note also Walker’s disconnect from the real world where people must make a living:

But their notion of what constitutes appropriate measures is severely constrained by their determination to protect what they call the competitiveness of all sectors of NZ industry.

“What they call” competitiveness? He says that as though it’s a bad thing. Continue Reading →

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Temperature adjustments science or art?

a beautiful iced-up waterfall

Barry Brill rips into NIWA’s showcase paper on the Hokitika weather adjustments — the one intended to demonstrate that data adjustment is science rather than art.    – Richard Treadgold

— by Barry Brill, Chairman of the New Zealand Climate Science Coalition

In February 2010, NIWA published a showcase paper titled Creating a Composite Temperature Record for Hokitika, offering details of adjustments it made to the NZ Climate Database for the Hokitika Airport weather station — one of the “Seven-station Series” (7SS) which makes up the official New Zealand temperature record.

The NZ MetService measurements for Hokitika cover the 20th century and display no significant linear trend up or down. The temperature recorded here in 1900 was 11.8°C, while 2008 was 11.93°C, and the 30-year average from 1971–2000 was 11.74°C.

The NIWA-adjusted version, on the other hand, shows a linear warming trend of 1.3°C, largely brought about by downward adjustments in the Hokitika temperatures in the first half of the century. The justification for those adjustments has been cited repeatedly as being an Appendix to a university thesis submitted in 1981 (see “The Salinger Thesis”).

NIWA temp adjustments with scales of justice

The Hokitika details were made public as a worked example of the adjustments that NIWA has made to all seven weather stations in the 7SS, in consequence of the Salinger thesis. Accordingly, the credibility of the entire project stands or falls on the strength of reasoning advanced for the Hokitika alterations.

But that reasoning is not sound. Continue Reading →

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Seventy years is plenty

Unadjusted NZ temperature history

Barry Brill makes a strong case for the New Zealand temperature record to ignore the period before 1930. In essence, he says that a 70-year-long record is plenty long enough to establish a trend, and in any case the early data is either missing or unreliable — just chuck it out! He says it at greater length and more politely than that in a sometimes tongue-in-cheek article that makes sly digs at NIWA for the mistakes or naked bias that have given us a deeply suspect temperature “history.”    – Richard Treadgold

— by Barry Brill, Chairman of the New Zealand Climate Science Coalition

Climate Change policy is driven by forecasts of temperatures over the next 100 years. But the computer models need to be checked against the actual temperature trends of the last 100 years. If back-casts are wrong, then fore-casts will also be wrong.

The NZ temperature record averages seven weather stations — Auckland, Masterton, Wellington, Nelson, Hokitika, Lincoln and Dunedin — through the twentieth century. But there are many gaps and flaws up to about 1930 and, apart from these seven, there are very few other records to use as benchmarks.

First 30 years a chequered history

Auckland: Moved from the Museum to Albert Park in late 1909, and was affected by rapid tree growth and urbanisation during the next 20 years. Continue Reading →

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Lincoln – a comedy of errors

classic tragi-comic masks

It would be easy to overlook this little paper, but don’t be tempted! In the context of “NIWAgate”, our legal move against NIWA and world-wide action to clarify temperature records which seem to bolster claims of unprecedented warming, Barry Brill’s revelations are dynamite! We asked NIWA what changes they made and why. NIWA said we’d find it in certain papers. Now, for the first time, Barry shows decisively that those papers don’t contain either the changes or the reasons they were made. NIWA’s duplicity is indisputable. Is this the behaviour we want from our premier climate research agency?   – Richard Treadgold

— by Barry Brill, Chairman of the New Zealand Climate Science Coalition

The weather station at Lincoln is one of the seven which make up the official NZ Temperature Record over the past 100 years. It shows a strong warming trend as a result of downwards adjustments which NIWA made in respect of the pre-WW2 period. But those adjustments rely upon a curious methodology which is not supported by any of the peer-reviewed literature.

The original temperature data for the Lincoln weather station – recorded by the NZ MetService, and now downloadable from NIWA’s official Climate Database – shows no warming trend over the past 100 years.

More adjustments that cause warming

The Schedule of Adjustments (SoA) prepared by Dr Brett Mullan and posted on the NIWA website on 9 February 2010, shows five downwards adjustments in the period 1881-1943 and two upwards adjustments during 1944-75. All seven alterations to the NZ MetService climate database are trend-favourable, and comprise the sole source of the reported warming trend. Continue Reading →

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AGW a cloak for dishonest science

a cloak

A grey-haired New Zealand geologist has strong words to say about the practice of science, its abasement by proponents of AGW and the likely consequences for us all. Whether a general dishonesty in climate science is true or not, the fact that scientists themselves are now saying so indicates the extent of the perception of dishonesty. He begins by commenting on yesterday’s Christchurch earthquake.

It would be great if scientists could routinely express the uncertainties, by saying in response to some journalist’s question something like: “Well, we are actually not sure what the cause is, nor the actual depth of the shock, but on the very small amount of data that we have at present, we think that ‘THIS’ is likely. But we also think that there are many other possibilities, such as, blah, blah, etc.”

If only this philosophy could be applied to climate science/AGW as well!

A sad world it would be for science if other scientists, not directly connected to funding for ‘climate change,’ took the same attitude as displayed by the AGW-funded beneficiaries and never fronted up about the uncertainties inherent to their own particular branches of science.

To me as a scientist this is the saddest aspect of the AGW proponents — that they have perhaps shown the way for future pseudo-scientists to get away with all sorts of bias and dishonesty, with no skerrick of independent peer review, cloaked within the once-respectable realm of science.

Any scientist who works to the principle that defendably true knowledge is the prime basis for science should be quaking in his or her shoes. Because there seems to be a whole new generation of AGW-funded types who have neither care nor respect for scientific norms, since they are dependent on AGW funding to perpetuate their work.

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NIWA temperature series problems — Part 1

NIWA ship

A survey begins

When we published our paper Are we feeling warmer yet? last November, criticising the Seven-station Series (SS), NIWA quickly produced what they call the “Eleven-station Series” (ES) to counter it. They went to the trouble of asking Dr Jim Salinger, recently dismissed and author of the original national temperature series, to help them create it, which makes us realise that nobody at NIWA understands how he produced the original figures.

According to the NZ Herald, Jim specially selected the stations for the ES.

Some people would be impressed by that news, but others find their antennae stiffening at the idea of “specially selecting” data for any reason. It might be justified, but then again, it might not. The situation calls for careful study. So what has happened? We can say a few things about it.

Scientists in the Coalition have had a look at the new series and found problems with it. Continue Reading →

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Ice, anyone?

A gigantic glacier

Hot Topic has just released a rant against Barry Brill’s article “Crisis in New Zealand climatology”, just published at Quadrant.

Readers here, waiting for NIWA to release the reasons for the adjustments to the official national temperature record, will be pleased to learn that Renowden has the answer so NIWA needn’t bother with all that scientific mumbo-jumbo.

First he quotes Barry’s article pointing out that the average NZ temperature in the 1860s was 13.1°C, the same as the average temperature in 2005. Renowden scoffs at this but does not refute it. I find that strange. He has no argument with those facts. He lets them stand.

Instead, he waves a book cover at us, showing melting glaciers, falsely insinuating that rising temperatures are the only reason for glaciers to recede. Continue Reading →

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The New Zealand temperature vexation

Well, is the country warming or isn’t it?

Here’s an article written by one of the scientists in the NZ Climate Science Coalition (we like to call him Rupert Postlethwaite). Rupert is as much a wordsmith as a boffin and we hope you enjoy his easy-to-read account of the controversy over our national temperature record. He transforms a potentially boring topic into a lively entertainment. Because it was written last year, it does not represent the latest twists and turns in the saga and the numbers are slightly different, but if you forgive those little lapses, he does give a good account of the basic issues. Especially, he makes the reasons for adjusting the temperature readings easy to understand. Feel free to let us know what you think of it.

Thermometer

So, about that Global Warming…

If someone were to ask you the question “Has New Zealand warmed significantly over the past 100 years?” you’d be excused for looking at them somewhat askance. Askew, even.

“Of course it has,” you’d reply, somewhat taken aback at the audacity of the query. You might at this point make some notes regarding the questioner, just in case. You never know.

“Just look at the data,” you’d respond. “NIWA shows it clearly on their site. You can see a graph showing how we’ve warmed a full degree over the past century. See?”

NZ annual temperature series

“And Greenpeace says we’re all gonna die,” you’d add, helpfully. Continue Reading →

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Hansen refuses to explain why he does it

Dr James Hansen

While on the subject of awkward, unanswered emails, let me pass on a message I recently sent to Dr James Hansen, the scientist widely famed as the “father” of global warming. I still hope he will offer some explanation.

4 March 2010

Dear Dr Hansen,

The Climate Conversation Group and I have become interested in the very meaning of “taking the temperature”, calculating the so-called “average” temperature for a place and a region and the meaning of doing so. I have just seen your web page [The Elusive Absolute Surface Air Temperature (SAT)], discussing these and related matters. It is an interesting and informative page.

You say there is no agreed method of measuring surface air temperatures and, in fact, there are numerous practical and theoretical obstacles to ever achieving such a measurement.

There is a very obvious question raised by that discussion. We are interested to know why, if it cannot be done, do you do it?

Regards,

Richard Treadgold
Convenor
Climate Conversation Group

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The Great Global Warming Blunder

How Mother Nature Fooled the World’s Top Climate Scientists

I’ve reposted Roy’s announcement because the book sounds stunning and because of the penetrating comments he makes, such as:

“Believe it or not, [a] potential natural explanation for recent warming has never been seriously researched by climate scientists.”
“Clouds are the Earth’s sunshade, and if cloud cover changes for any reason, you have global warming — or global cooling.”
“When properly interpreted, our satellite observations actually reveal that the system is quite INsensitive.”
“We already know that nature is gobbling up 50% of what humanity produces, no matter how fast we produce it. So it is only logical to address the possibility that nature — that life on Earth — has actually been starved for carbon dioxide.”
The Great Global Warming Blunder

Continue Reading →

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Trenberth and Royal Society clash head-on

A few fish in the sea

Here’s an article by Kevin Trenberth from this week’s Science Journal that directly contradicts the recent statement on Science, Climate Change and Integrity by Professor Keith Hunter, Vice-President of the NZ Royal Society. We look forward eagerly to the public debate that will surely follow this disclosure of discord within the formerly close-knit climate science community.

‘Missing’ heat may affect future climate change

Satellite instruments and ocean sensors limited

Current observational tools cannot account for roughly half of the heat that is believed to have built up on Earth in recent years, according to a “Perspectives” article in this week’s issue of the journal Science.

Scientists at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) in Boulder, Colorado, warn that satellite sensors, ocean floats and other instruments are inadequate to track this “missing” heat, which may be building up in the deep oceans or elsewhere in the climate system.

“The heat will come back to haunt us sooner or later,” says NCAR scientist Kevin Trenberth, the article’s lead author. Continue Reading →

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Impressively complex. Of course, we ignore it — NIWA

A Stevenson screen in the snow

NIWA keep talking about various reasons to adjust the official New Zealand temperature readings. They say one must account for changes in location, exposure, urbanisation and instrumentation. For some reason they continually harp on about the altitude difference between Thorndon and Kelburn (Wellington).

But it is empty talk, because they have never made changes for those reasons. Are you listening? People of New Zealand: scientists from the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA), your country’s publicly-funded, premier environmental research organisation, have lied to you and continue to lie to you. Continue Reading →

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Salinger claims warming but can’t feel the heat

A man with his head in the sand

The Waikato Times today carries an interview with Dr Jim Salinger by Jeff Neems.

The heading is Salinger doesn’t feel critics’ heat. Which probably explains why he doesn’t reply to the criticism.

I think there is something to be said to Dr Salinger. He gets away with some elasticisation of the facts. Do you think we’ve attacked Salinger personally and not on facts? I don’t. We’ve directed our criticism squarely at his PhD thesis and some things he has said. We have deliberately not attacked Jimmy himself.

Do you think Salinger is being a mite hypocritical? First he says:

Science is about facts, not beliefs. I like to look at the facts and see what they say – if people want to attack me as a person, that has nothing to do with my science. It doesn’t worry me.

Then he attacks the Coalition on personal grounds through their alleged connection with big oil. I myself have no connection with the oil industry; I suppose that’s why my cheque from them is overdue. Continue Reading →

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NIWA disowns Salinger thesis

An old book

Yes, the title is correct: I can now reveal that NIWA have actually disowned the famous Salinger thesis, which describes a method of adjusting a time series of temperature readings when they become no longer homogeneous. Despite their repeated citing of the 30-year-old student paper, they don’t actually regard it as important. This has become clear after several months of diligent research by members of the NZ Climate Science Coalition.

But first, we’ve discovered the true nature of the “public” access that NIWA claims for the thesis. And not is all as it seems.

Thesis available, but only in Wellington

ACT MP John Boscawen asked a question in the Parliament of the Minister of Research, Science and Technology, Dr Wayne Mapp:

Can the minister confirm that Dr Salinger’s PhD thesis is still “publicly available”? If so, where, and how may it be obtained?

A simple question, you might think, and so it is. Listen to the answer from Dr Mapp. Continue Reading →

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NIWA have the adjustments — so what are they?

The surface of the sun

UPDATED and expanded on awakening Saturday morning — 13 Mar 2010, 10:45 am

John Key: you must bring NIWA to heel

The Waikato Times yesterday wrote:

Niwa principal climate scientist Dr Brett Mullan said Niwa “had the original data, knew the method of the calculations, and we have the answers”. There was “no scientific issue from our perspective”, and Dr Salinger’s work had stood the test of time.

So what are the adjustments

The NZ Climate Science Coalition began asking NIWA for the adjustments to the national temperature record in late November.

NIWA have told us where we could find the adjustments; we searched for them where they told us to search; the adjustments are not there.

NIWA have said: “We have the methodology, it’s in a student’s thesis [and other sources] from 1981, just read it.” The Coalition never asked for the methodology, we asked for the adjustments, but we looked anyway. Continue Reading →

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STOP PRESS: Wellington “altitude fix” was a lie – NIWA

On Friday, 27 November 2009, the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA) published a short press release at Scoop.

Under the heading “Combining Temperature Data from Multiple Sites in Wellington”, NIWA described in some detail the process of adjusting temperature readings when the weather station has been moved. By way of example, they cited Wellington, where, they said, the Thorndon weather recording station was moved in 1928 to Kelburn.

The Kelburn site is colder because it is about 120m higher than the Thorndon site. The process of combining data from various Wellington sites is illustrated below.

The day before, David Wratt was quoted in another NIWA press release:

Such site differences are significant and must be accounted for when analysing long-term changes in temperature. The Climate Science Coalition has not done this.

NIWA climate scientists have previously explained to members of the Coalition why such corrections must be made. NIWA’s Chief Climate Scientist, Dr David Wratt, says he’s very disappointed that the Coalition continue to ignore such advice and therefore to present misleading analyses.

But now, in a dramatic turnaround, they confess, in a written answer to a Parliamentary question, that this “example” of adjustments for the reason of altitude change was fiction.

They have not changed any temperatures for that reason at any station in the national “seven-station” series.

They were lying to us. They openly mocked Rodney Hide for not knowing about that sort of thing and scolded the inquiring scientists at the NZ Climate Science Coalition and falsely incited their supporters, such as the rabid warmers at Hot Topic, into making vicious attacks on the credibility of the NZ CSC and the Climate Conversation Group.

That’s all I have time for, but here’s the official Parliamentary answer (my emphasis):

Station adjustments are not made on the basis of elevation differences, either for Wellington or for any of the other six locations. Adjustments are calculated from comparisons of different stations’ records, as described in the NIWA document Creating a Composite Temperature Record for Hokitika.

Wellington is a special case where two sites, Thorndon and Kelburn, are very close to one another horizontally but with a large (approximately 120m) altitude separation. This does not occur for any of the other six locations in the “seven-station” series.

Temperature differences between Wellington sites correlate well with measurements, in many parts of the world, of temperature decrease with altitude. This “lapse-rate” effect has been used to confirm that the adjustment between Thorndon and Kelburn, calculated by inter-station comparison, would be expected from the altitude difference between the sites.

The slippery scientists at NIWA now admit that they didn’t use the altitude “lapse rate” method to calculate adjustments. They say it only “confirmed” adjustments made by another method.

So why did they ridicule us?

If NIWA have any credibility left it would be surprising.

How will Gareth Renowden respond to this? Is he getting the picture yet?

More later.

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NZ temperature graph doesn’t meet proper standards

Parliament Buildings through an onion

We’re working through several answers from the Hon Wayne Mapp, Minister of Research, Science and Technology, concerning questions posed by ACT about the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA).


The last of the questions posed by John Boscawen on behalf of ACT on February 19 asked about the official graph of the seven-station temperature series which shows warming over New Zealand during the 20th Century.

The answer, on March 1, said the iconic graph was finally justified by work done over about six weeks, from mid-December to early February. I’m sorry, that’s wrong: the graph was not justified by this work; the graph remains unjustified except for the portion related to Hokitika — that’s right, yes, I’ve got it now.

The work NIWA did justified only the temperature history at Hokitika, although it hasn’t been peer-reviewed yet by independent scientists, only by colleagues at NIWA, so there might still be errors in it.

You wouldn’t get away with it at high school

So the temperature graph made from seven weather stations, which NIWA has used for years to prove that the New Zealand climate has warmed, and thus we must take expensive action against global warming caused by humanity’s emissions of carbon dioxide, has never had proper scientific standing. Continue Reading →

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Humans to blame for climate change. Yeah, right.

The Holy Bible

From the Independent, written by Steve Connor, Science Editor, and echoed uncritically by the NZ Herald yesterday, comes an amazing story of faith. It must be faith because it cannot be science — there are too many opinions and the facts are wrong.

With the original Independent headline advertising the ignorance the story is steeped in (Humans must be to blame for climate change, say scientists) the articles of faith are reiterated for the global warming multitudes.

Harken ye unto them, that ye stray not from the green and carbon-free path of righteousness, I say unto thee, even your sons and your grandsons, keep to these my commandments, yea, even unto the hundredth year from this day, when, verily, these green prophecies shall surely come to pass, but, the Lord says, not before then.

But it’s a message with no punch

First we hear the strong conclusion we are to take from the story to come:

Climate scientists have delivered a powerful riposte to their sceptical critics with a study that strengthens the case for saying global warming is largely the result of man-made emissions of greenhouse gases.

Hear how quickly, as you read that, the idea of a “powerful riposte” dissipates into thin air. So the study merely “strengthens the case” for saying global warming is “largely” the result of our emissions. Well, there’s nothing quite like confidence for persuading people, is there? But they’re not prepared to say this proves anything. This is a message with no punch. Continue Reading →

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NIWA not trusted

Parliament Buildings through an onion

We’re working through several answers from the Hon Wayne Mapp, Minister of Research, Science and Technology, concerning questions posed by ACT about the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA).


Dr Mapp was asked on 19 Feb, 2010:

If only raw temperature data is supplied by NIWA to NASA, NOAA and the Hadley Centre, what additional information is supplied so that NASA, NOAA and the Hadley Centre are able to make their own judgements about temperature adjustments?

To which he answered:

Along with the raw data NIWA provides latitude, longitude, altitude of the site, period of record, along with information on site exposure and instrument history.

Why don’t the overseas agencies trust NIWA to make accurate adjustments? Have they found reasons to doubt they were made properly?

For that matter, why do NIWA mistrust the adjustments made by NASA, NOAA and the others? Why do they make their own?

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NIWA thinks OI Act “doesn’t apply to us”

Parliament Buildings through an onion

We’re working through several answers from the Hon Wayne Mapp, Minister of Research, Science and Technology, concerning questions posed by ACT about the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA). This is a real good one, you just have to know what happened elsewhen to appreciate the depth of its stupidity.


Proposed NIWA-gate screenplay

Weekly NIWA management meeting

“OK, Dave, we’ve received a request from the Coalition for all the info from when Jim put together … no, old Jim … put together the national temp series. It’s pretty dusty, but there’s something in those old boxes, I’ve seen them moving. What should we send them?”

“Damn! Who the hell told them about the Act! Look, don’t SEND them ANYthing. Official information! That Act doesn’t really apply to us. This is war, we’re trying to save the planet, ah, national security’s at stake here, ah, these are operational matters and ah, we don’t have to answer questions. Oh, Tim, don’t look so worried, Wayne’ll back us up; he always has. He doesn’t have a clue what’s going on. Let’s move forward. What’s next? Come on.”


Actually, boys, the game is up.

When the Hon Dr Mapp was asked in the Parliament “what source material was consulted in [the] preparation [of the specific document of adjustments to the Hokitika site]”, why did you advise the minister to answer this week as follows? Continue Reading →

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NIWA ignores our questions

Parliament Buildings through an onion

We’re working through several answers from the Hon Wayne Mapp, Minister of Research, Science and Technology, concerning questions posed by ACT about the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA).


A further question asked the minister why he tabled the Hokitika analysis instead of an analysis for all seven stations, as Rodney Hide had asked and David Wratt had agreed to do during the December meeting of MPs. Nick Smith prevented a record being kept of that famous meeting, so the only account of it came from Rodney Hide in a late-night phone call. You can read it here on the CCG blog.

If you haven’t seen the “NIWA squirms” article before, I’ll ask you to take particular notice of this part:

Rodney said, “That’s the sort of thing [a description of the adjustments at Wellington] I want to see for every site.” Wratt admitted there were other adjustments at Hokitika. Rodney said, “Well, just explain those, then do the same for the other five sites” [Rodney thought that the Wellington adjustments had been described, so only five sites remained. It proved to be untrue — they have still not described Wellington, so there are six to go.]

Rodney’s request to see all seven stations is unambiguous and undeniable. Continue Reading →

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NIWA breaks promises, should apologise

Parliament Buildings through an onion

We’re working through several answers from the Hon Wayne Mapp, Minister of Research, Science and Technology, concerning questions posed by ACT about the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA).


One question concerns the production of what we have referred to as the Schedule of Adjustments (SOA). It’s simply a statement of what changes were made to the raw temperature readings, why and when, in order to record the scientific justification for them.

The Climate Conversation Group (CCG) and the NZ Climate Science Coalition (CSC) have been asking NIWA since November to disclose the SOA. Privately, they have told us they are “reconstructing” the SOA, and, indeed, on February 9, they quietly posted a list of all the adjustments to the seven-station series together with a discussion of the reasons for Hokitika. Well done, them.

On January 30, Eloise Gibson wrote in the NZ Herald:

The country’s climate forecaster is bowing to public pressure and putting all of its temperature data and calculations on the internet because of mistrust fuelled by errors overseas.

Principal climate scientist James Renwick said Niwa had decided to bare all because “if we don’t we appear to be hiding something”.

Two people in Niwa’s climate group have prepared a full set of documents including all the data from climate stations and a full explanation of the adjustments made to records, which should be available online in about a week.

Continue Reading →

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Odd numbers

Parliament Buildings through an onion

NIWA supply temperature data to the big overseas teams that maintain the global temperature datasets, including NASA, NOAA, the Hadley Centre, the WMO, NCDC and the UK Met Office (Hadley Centre).

It’s a bit odd that not all those organisations get the same sets of data.

For instance, the WMO gets monthly summaries comprising Kaitaia, Rotorua, Gisborne, New Plymouth, Paraparaumu, Kaikoura, Hokitika, Christchurch, Tara Hills, Invercargill, Raoul Island, Chatham Islands and Campbell Island — 13 stations in total.

From time to time, “Other data are provided in response to requests to NIWA.” So in August 2005, NCDC and NOAA reveived data from Kaitaia, Gisborne, New Plymouth, Paraparaumu, Hokitika, Tara Hills, Invercargill, Campbell Island, Chatham Islands and Raoul Island. That’s a bunch of 10 stations.

In August 2003, NIWA apparently sent (isn’t this fascinating?) the WMO data from 17 New Zealand sites: Kaitaia, Rotorua, Gisborne, New Plymouth, Napier, Paraparaumu, Nelson, Kaikoura, Hokitika, Christchurch, Tara Hills, Dunedin, Invercargill, Raoul Island, Chatham Island, Campbell Island and Scott Base, Antarctica. So that’s a New Zealand site?

In 1994, the UK Met Office (Hadley Centre) got temperature data for the seven-station series, plus Havelock North and Mt Cook (my emphasis).

Strange that in every case the overseas teams received data from more sites than we ourselves use for the national record.

Why does NIWA select only seven sites to describe the whole country? They really ought to explain it to us.

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