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 →

Crisis in New Zealand climatology

MfE NZ climate impact map

First published at Quadrant, May 14, 2010
download pdf (73KB)

The warming that wasn’t

The official archivist of New Zealand’s climate records, the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA), offers top billing to its 147-year-old national mean temperature series (the “NIWA Seven-station Series” or NSS). This series shows that New Zealand experienced a twentieth-century warming trend of 0.92°C.

The official temperature record is wrong. The instrumental raw data correctly show that New Zealand average temperatures have remained remarkably steady at 12.6°C ±0.5°C for a century and a half. NIWA’s doctoring of that data is indefensible.

The NSS is the outcome of a subjective data series produced by a single Government scientist, whose work has never been peer-reviewed or subjected to proper quality checking. It was smuggled into the official archive without any formal process. It is undocumented and sans metadata, and it could not be defended in any court of law. Yet the full line-up of NIWA climate scientists has gone to extraordinary lengths to support this falsified warming and to fiercely attack its critics.

For nearly 15 years, the 20th-century warming trend of 0.92°C derived from the NSS has been at the centre of NIWA official advice to all tiers of New Zealand Government – Central, Regional and Local. It informs the NIWA climate model. It is used in sworn expert testimony in Environment Court hearings. Its dramatic graph graces the front page of NIWA’s printed brochures and its website. Continue Reading →

Rodney Hide nettles NIWA

A speech delivered by the Hon Rodney Hide, ACT Leader, to the Waikato Federated Farmers AGM, at Hamilton Airport Conference Centre, Hamilton, on Thursday, May 6, 2010.

Nettle needles

Self-inflicted wounds and sloppy science

Should New Zealand lead the world?

Of course, you say. We’ve done it before.

First country to give women the vote. First country to sign a free trade agreement with China. First up Everest.

Yes, we know what it is to be first. To be the one others want to follow.

But do we know what it is to be out on a limb? To jump the starting gun and be running alone? Well, we are soon about to find out.

New Zealand will be the only country in the world to enact a national, all-sectors, all-gases ETS. Just us.

The US won’t be, nor Japan, India or China. And Australia has just pulled out as well. Continue Reading →

Stop the ETS: send emails now & keep sending them

After posting your email, vote in our ETS poll.
After voting, sign the petition to suspend the ETS.
email button

The New Zealand Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) is an unnecessary waste of effort and it will increase the cost of living for every household in the land. It starts by raising the prices of electricity and petrol by 5%. The purpose is to change the climate of the earth.

National seem intent upon launching the silly scheme on July 1st. There are about eight weeks to go.

Send an email expressing your opposition to this new tax to your local MP, to the Minister for Climate Change Issues (Nick Smith) and to the Prime Minister.

Write whatever you want to say, of course, but if you asked me to give you some idea of what to say, I would suggest this:

I oppose the ETS. I want you to delay, disable or defeat the ETS. If the ETS goes through in its present form with your support, don’t come crying to me when you don’t get re-elected next year, because I won’t be voting for you and I won’t care if someone else gets your seat.

Continue Reading →

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 →

Nick, nobody has an ETS like ours

The Earth's atmosphere

In the Parliament today, Chris Auchinvole asked Nick Smith (Minister for Climate Change): “Are claims correct that New Zealand is the first in the world to have an emissions trading scheme, and that it is just a tax for revenue purposes?”

And thus did Nick reply:

No, 38 countries have commitments under the Kyoto Protocol, and 29 of them, or three-quarters, already have an emissions trading scheme. Nor is the scheme a tax. Although consumers and businesses will pay $350 million in the first year of the scheme for their emissions, foresters will receive $1,100 million in carbon credits for post-1989 forests. Far from providing net revenue to the Government, the scheme is actually a cost to the Crown. There are 12,000 New Zealanders who, in good faith, planted trees on the assurances of both National and Labour Governments that they would receive carbon credits for those post-1989 forests. The emissions trading scheme honours that commitment.

But the facts are different from those presented by our Nick. Continue Reading →

Please listen to us Mr Key

It is significant that there are so many voices raised against the ETS.

a humorous ETS cartoon

Rodney Hide confirms this, saying that he has never received such a high level of public support on any other issue. He says Kiwis around the country are annoyed. They know there’s no need for an expensive ETS that will deliver no benefits whatsoever.

It behoves you to listen to us and very smartly do something about our concerns or next year you will find yourself back in the loneliness of Her Majesty’s Loyal Opposition. Our ETS will do nothing for the environment, will diminish the budgets of hard-working families and will require a monstrous create-nothing bureaucracy.

In addition, though the ETS purports to be based on movements of carbon dioxide into and out of almost every large-scale process in the country, there is no way to measure such movements. If you don’t believe me, ask your officials; uptake and emission of CO2 are based predominantly on computer models.

Since it can’t be measured, everyone can overstate with impunity the quantities involved and has an incentive to do so. Fraud is rife in the overseas schemes and there’s no reason to think it won’t occur here, too.

Because of our power generation structure, even the price of renewable electricity will go up because of the ETS, giving windfall profits of millions of dollars to the generators.

It’s too much to pay; and we refuse to stroke the over-anxious egos of comfortable, middle-class, socialist greenies.

Pay attention: We don’t want an ETS.

Pain of ETS will do no good

Power transmission lines at sunset

When will we fight it?

John Boscawen, Act List MP, today issued this press release.

Genesis Energy Confirms Price Increase

New Zealanders can definitely expect to have to pay more for power from July 1, with Genesis Energy CEO Albert Brantley’s confirmation before the Finance Select Committee today that his company “will recover the cost” of complying with the Government’s Emissions Trading Scheme, ACT New Zealand ETS spokesman John Boscawen said today.

“And it is not only the cost of electricity that will increase, but that of petrol and industrial processes as well. The cost of basic food items – such as bread and milk – will also rise as the increase in electricity filters through the economy,” Mr Boscawen said.

“Kiwi families are facing massive price increases and a lower standard of living for no other reason than the Government’s desire to be seen as a world leader heading into the Copenhagen summit.

“But the summit was a failure, and now New Zealand is the only county to implement an all sectors, all gases tax. Not one of our three major trading partners – Australia, the US or China – has implemented an ETS, nor are they likely to.

It is time the Government acknowledges that it is out of step with the international community, and puts the ETS on hold. The pressure on low-income families, the cost in reduced incomes and lost job opportunities is entirely avoidable. It’s not too late to stop,” Mr Boscawen said.

Taxing the air we breathe

No doubt the government is pleased finally to have found a pretext for taxing the very air we breathe. This makes taxation very simple and in future they can avoid straining their creativity trying to arrange for ever greater interference in our lives and increasing their regulation of innocent pleasures. This interference, restricting the innocent pleasure of breathing out, is superlative, for it comes closer to the tyrant’s dream of relentless restraint of the population than any measure before it.

But the price we are to pay for this folly is unacceptable. Continue Reading →

NZ’s Reisinger — God’s right-hand man

Dr Andy Reisinger

Dr Andrew Reisinger, Senior Research Fellow, New Zealand Climate Change Research Institute (CCRI), sits at the right hand of God. The god, that is, of the IPCC — Dr Rajendra Pachauri. Andy is head of the Technical Support Unit for the Synthesis Report group of the IPCC, and from that exalted position controls what the world’s national leaders get to know about climate change.

For he was responsible to his “core group” co-author Rajendra Pachauri for co-ordinating the drafting of the Synthesis Report for the Fourth Assessment Report (AR4). The SR is “the concluding summary of the IPCC’s most recent assessment of our current knowledge on climate change,” as Andy’s cv puts it.

That sounds like proper influence to me — real, transformative power. For what comes out of the IPCC’s Assessment Report (or more particularly the summary of it) goes straight into the ears of national leaders around the globe and they will act upon it. They don’t read the actual reports, so they won’t spot the differences between them and the summary. Neither will they fault the summary for themselves, because they are not scientists.

So they are necessarily at the mercy of the authors (or manipulators) of the Summary Report. Much has been said elsewhere about the politically-motivated alterations that were made to many of the IPCC reports. The reports are meant to represent the best of current scientific knowledge, but in practice they are watered down, uncertainties are grossly understated, certainty is claimed where it doesn’t exist and what the scientists said has even been reversed — without their approval.

The mother of all conflicts — of interest

Continue Reading →

NIWA guilty of propaganda posing as science

NIWA web site banner

NIWA (National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research) has been accused of “propaganda posing as science” in its claim that the 2000s have been the warmest decade on record. The New Zealand Climate Science Coalition says the claim that the “noughties” decade is the warmest is based on a statistic for which the margin of error is far greater than the claimed warming.

The Coalition says it fully agrees with the criticism by Blue Skies weather forecaster Tony Trewinnard that NIWA’s own numbers show there is no long-term warming trend.

The warm decade claim is one of five by NIWA which amount to advocacy rather than science, and as such represents propaganda which should not be expected from a Crown research institute, especially one claiming to be based on science. The examples of advocacy are:

1) The warmest decade: NIWA principal climate scientist Dr James Renwick told newspapers that temperatures at seven key stations over the past 10 years were one-tenth of a degree above the 1971-2000 norm, adding “the next warmest were the 1980s, about 0.07°C above that normal, so it’s only a few hundredths of a degree difference”. Dr Renwick should know that a few hundredths of a degree is well inside the margin of error for temperature readings and is, therefore, meaningless. The Coalition says if Dr Renwick doesn’t know about margin for error he shouldn’t be in the job; and if he does know it, he has misled the public.

2) NIWA constantly claims that spot temperatures are just ‘noise’ and only long-term trends are important in climate science. NIWA’s statement notably fails to mention that the upward trend in the nineties has unexpectedly disappeared in the ‘noughties’.

3) Most of the warming in New Zealand occurred prior to about 1955, well before the build-up of atmospheric CO2. There has been little or no statistically significant warming in New Zealand over the past 55 years. NIWA fails to put its information in its proper context.

4) Climate is always warming or cooling. There no evidence whatsoever that ‘climate change’ in New Zealand over the past 150 years is outside the expected range of normal climate system variability.

5) The NIWA press statement wrongly contended that 2009 was a year of warm weather extremes, when it is usually at pains to distinguish weather from climate. It dwelt on cyclones in the Pacific without mentioning the vanishing hurricanes in the Atlantic. It studiously avoided mention of the blizzards which disrupted the Copenhagen conference and are currently setting coldness records throughout the Northern Hemisphere. The entire piece is a classic example of the use of selective and misleading data.

The Coalition statement concludes: “Until NIWA responds to our request to come clean on the full extent of its adjustments to raw temperature data, exactly what adjustments were made, and why, any statement that institute makes about climate variation must be taken with a grain of salt.”

Kiwis and icebergs — they go together well

This post has been in the works for several weeks now but it hasn’t lost its fascination. A story appeared in the NZ Herald on 8 November about the latest sighting of icebergs, which annoyed me for its references to global warming. But on investigating I discovered some interesting science.

Icebergs are beautiful

Let’s do something for the language
There’s no collective noun for icebergs (the situation is worse than we thought!). Here are some suggestions: a group, a herd, a glide, a float, a thunder, sizzle, swish, a gleam, a crackle or a slush? That has a lovely rhythm. Let me know your preference, or send in your suggestions. When the list is a bit longer we’ll put up an online poll.

The story is stale and the icebergs have melted, but two issues remain: The first is that there’s nothing new about icebergs floating past New Zealand. It doesn’t happen often, but evidence proves regular visits going back millennia. Believe it or not, we have photographs! Not of icebergs exactly, but where they’ve been… well, you’ll see, read on.

The second point is that NIWA scientists can be relied on to mention the magic words “climate change” any time they’re talking about ice, water, wind or weather and that, my friends, makes me angry. Continue Reading →

Flourish commerce, and let the country live

UPDATE: 1 Jan 2010. I found the “flourish commerce” phrase used by Pears Soap, certainly a more salubrious context than the one I knew it from, but this is the only image I could locate. It’s not legible, but it is there (the evidence is overwhelming; 48,000 national science associations can’t be wrong).

Pears Soap -

The inside of my grandparents’ white porcelain toilet bowl had the inscription, for the regular edification of we young boys controlling our aim: “Flourish commerce, and let the country live”, enlivened by the stirring sight of New Zealand’s and Great Britain’s crossed flags, in colour.

Written probably in about the 1940s, such frank promotion of commerce was non-controversial in the days before so-called “social welfare” had smuggled its obfuscating tenets into every area of life, until nobody knows where wealth comes from.

These days, forgetting what wealth is and how it’s made, we consider even schools and universities to be centres of production, in the same category as pig farms and steel mills, and we burden their transactions with a Goods and Services and every other sort of tax.

We failed to destroy our own productive capacity

It is fiscal misbehaviour bordering on the criminal to thus reduce funds needed for education, but nobody seems even to notice, much less to complain.

In the Christmas Eve edition of the Herald, Brian Fallow, Economics Editor, pontificates sadly over the failure at Copenhagen of developed nations to destroy their own productive capacity. Continue Reading →

NIWA’s obfuscation unequivocal — it’s worse than we thought

NIWA have published misleading material on their web site and seem to have advised the Minister for Climate Change Issues to give evasive answers to questions in the Parliament.

For those unfamiliar with the story: NIWA keeps raw data for the national NZ temperature record and makes it available on their web site. The Climate Conversation Group and the NZ Climate Science Coalition conducted a joint study of the temperature record, researched by a science team and published on 25 November under the title Are we feeling warmer yet?.

But we’re only asking about the weather

That study demonstrated that the official graph does not represent the raw temperature data. NIWA told us that adjustments have been applied so we’ve asked for the details. So far they obfuscate. We don’t know why they refuse to disclose what the weather has been.

We conclude that NIWA’s response to our enquiries has been defensive, obstructive and oddly disparaging.

The Hon Rodney Hide became concerned about deteriorating standards in public science and asked in the Parliament whether the Hon Dr Nick Smith would require NIWA to release the full data for the official NZ temperature record. On the last possible day for answering, Nick finally replied: “You must ask Wayne Mapp; he’s the responsible minister (for Research, Science and Technology, the portfolio that covers NIWA).” We won’t get any Parliamentary questions answered now until well into the New Year, so Nick Smith has caused a considerable delay in getting this information to the public.

Gratuitously, he added: “I would note however that the NZCSC have had this information since 2003.” He hoped that little factoid would hurt the Coalition’s reputation, but it won’t, although it might hurt his own — because the Coalition didn’t exist until 2006.

See the email, they said, but they deceive us

NIWA say that the Coalition have had all the information needed to reproduce the official graph since 19 July, 2006, when, they say, “NIWA advised NZ Climate Science Coalition member Dr Vincent Gray” of the need for adjustments and gave him a couple of examples. Dr Gray has located an email of that date and we can now reveal that it was from Dr Jim Salinger, not NIWA, it was not addressed to the Coalition and did not mention the Coalition.

It was sent just a few weeks after the Coalition was created, before they ever discussed the national temperature record. Dr Gray tells us that and other emails before and since were not official communications on either side — they were letters between two scientists who had known each other for years.

But most significantly the email does not give details of the adjustments made to the temperatures, nor does it give the information required to derive the adjustments. Dr Salinger just discusses the changes in a general way and gives a few examples and that’s all. NIWA’s assertion that that email contains the requested information is not supported by reading the email. Continue Reading →

No assistance from NIWA

A mound of email arrived in my inbox over the last few days. Much of it relates to our attempt to get from NIWA the actual adjustments they have made to the national temperature record.

My first priority is to make an informal response to NIWA’s posts on their web site and to the parliamentary answers we’ve received. It’s important that the people who have trusted NIWA know just how they are pulling the wool over our eyes (or trying to) and refusing to cooperate. In fact, they are being far more obstructive than any publicly-owned utility has a right to be, and you deserve to hear the details of it.

A scientific study is under way right now to make a more formal response to NIWA’s obfuscation, but that won’t be finished until some time in the New Year.

My thanks to everyone who has contributed information or suggestions, but their sheer number means it’s taking longer to review them. Which means I’m also unable to follow up for now the new connections we’ve just made with the network of Climate Realists, run by the excellent Neil and Esther Henderson, of Gisborne. But we’ll get there!

The new interest in us, but more importantly in the evidence-based doubts about the truth of dangerous man-made global warming, is wonderful.

So that’s the reason I haven’t posted anything about NIWA’s completely inadequate answers to us. But it will come soon.

Firing squads at dawn

Steve O’connor is a senior geologist who has studied paleoclimate for 40 years. He lives in the circulation area of the Taranaki Daily News, which today published some astonishing comments from one Trotter. I am, unfortunately, unable yet to confirm the Taranaki Daily News item or give a link to it, but I am re-publishing Steve’s letter anyway, because it is the best summary I have read of the central anxieties arising from the global warming scam.

UPDATE 14 Dec 8:30 am: To give you just an outline of Trotter’s complete abandonment of evidence-based science, his denial of the right to free speech and his denial of evidence-based doubts of man-made global warming, here are the concluding comments from his Dominion article, titled “In the war for nature, the deniers are traitors”:
“There will, of course, be people who whisper that the enemy isn’t really our enemy … In 1940, England was full of such whisperers. The British ruling class, in particular, was riddled with defeatists, Nazi sympathisers and traitors. Back then people called them “Quislings” and “Fifth Columnists”. If, therefore, the battle against climate change has to become the moral equivalent of war, with all the sacrifice that war entails, then climate change denial must become the moral equivalent of treason. Over the top? No. The stakes really are that high.”

It is sobering to reflect that, a mere 65 years after World War II, which killed so many of our finest young men as they defended the freedom we still live in against the oppression from without of the advancing fascist barbarians, we are about to subjugate ourselves from within. For the remaining vestiges of that freedom are about to be crumpled in the unelected fists of the most devoted, socialist, totalitarian, “environmentalist” bureaucrats the world has ever produced, justified solely on the grounds of non-existent evidence of man-made climate control.

A menacing interpretation

When I first encountered, a couple of years ago, this menacing interpretation of the approaching “carbon crisis” I scoffed. It was alarmist nonsense; outlandish that anybody would do such a thing; an imaginary conspiracy from the paranoid—surely the movement is based on the science of the enhanced greenhouse effect? Continue Reading →

NIWA squirms, but agrees to release adjustments

A momentous meeting took place last night (Wednesday, 9 December) at Parliament House in Wellington. This exclusive account comes courtesy of the Hon Rodney Hide, who was present.

The meeting was called two weeks back by Nick Smith so that MPs could be briefed by Dr David Wratt, Chief Climate Scientist, on the official NZ temperature graph published by NIWA on their web site, which Rodney Hide had posed questions about in the Parliament.

Knowing NIWA climate scientists would be there, Rodney invited Dr Vincent Gray, leading climate scientist, to accompany him as an advisor.

Gross discourtesy

But before the meeting could begin, the Hon Dr Nick Smith had a surprise for them. He ordered Rodney not to bring Vincent into the meeting. Nick said roughly: “It’s a private meeting of MPs and we do not wish to have outsiders.” But, showing a distinct favouritism, he allowed the outsiders from NIWA to remain. So why did he exclude Rodney’s adviser? Was it because Vincent has known the details of the New Zealand temperature records for more than fifty years? Was NIWA afraid of what he knows? If not, why did Nick Smith refuse to admit Dr Vincent Gray?

It was, of course, a gross discourtesy for Nick Smith to brusquely issue orders to a coalition partner in front of other MPs. But that’s just my opinion.

So Vincent Gray took his leave and subsequently Dr Wratt began his address. They sat through about 25 minutes of a description of the IPCC process, its committees, scientific writers and review procedures. David talked about the climate modelling that underpins the alarming climate predictions and it was quite unnecessary and very boring.

Sudden disorder

Finally there was a moment for a question. Rodney said: “I’d just like to take you back to the graph on your web site, the one with seven stations. Can I ask about that?”

There were sudden signs of disorder as David Wratt, with the other scientist (Rodney didn’t catch his name) interrupting from time to time, seemed immediately to become angry with the New Zealand Climate Science Coalition. He ranted on about their press release and they didn’t want to know this or that. Continue Reading →

No curiosity? Then be a journalist

This story is datelined London, December 1, and comes from the Australian Associated Press. It was posted on the web site of the Royal Society of New Zealand—behind a paywall. [Full article at the end.]

First: it is frustrating, suspicious and avaricious for our Royal Society to hide its “news” behind a paywall. How widely, really, does it wish the news to spread, when it publishes only to its members?

Second: the level of uninterest evinced by this reporter in the matter he is reporting is quite awe-inspiring. There is not the merest evidence of curiosity, investigation or the most rudimentary checking of facts.

Be a journo — or join our Royal Society

The main assertions in this story are inane, blatantly alarmist, undisguised advocacy and wrong. That the story is promulgated by our once-proud, independent, trustworthy and in particular scientific Royal Society is now a source of shame to all New Zealanders. There is no doubt that our Royal Society has abandoned, in respect of the global warming controversy, any pretence to objective investigation. It has instead adopted such a strong intention to champion the hypothesis of man-made control of the climate that it blinds itself to the necessity of finding evidence.

Their intention moves them to breach their founding principles. Look them up. Their behaviour is a matter of law, so it will give way, given enough pressure, to legal or parliamentary sanction. Swell, public opinion, swell!

Our Royal Society even helps champion, through web site connections, the blatantly alarmist web site Hot Topic, which routinely insults scientific sceptics asking reasonable questions with terms like crank, denialist and worse. We have come to expect that from the likes of Mr Renowden and his bigots, but the support for it from the scientists of the Royal Society is reprehensible. It is scientific misbehaviour.

Here is a sampling of the AAP story’s errors, inadequacies and naked prejudice. Continue Reading →

Wise man: same within and without

An ancient description of a wise man is that he is the same on the inside and the outside. That means that as he thinks, so he speaks and acts. There are other things that might be said of the wise, but this simple description comes to us now as the essence of the modern term “transparency”.

It means that there should be no disjunction, no blemish in concept or communication and nothing obscured when it comes to public decisions and action.

The leaked emails from the Climatic Research Unit (CRU) at the University of East Anglia involve just a small coterie of scientists. However, they have been at the centre of climate science for a long time and their views, aspirations and activities have had effects far beyond their immediate working environments. Continue Reading →

Salinger’s adjusted data now online

By courtesy of Mr Warwick Hughes, who kindly sent it to us, we are pleased to post this spreadsheet containing the historical New Zealand temperature series. The data are from the seven weather stations chosen by Dr Salinger and adjusted by him to represent the country’s temperatures, although it does not include the actual adjustments made or the reasons for them.

When plotted, it produces a graph similar to the one on NIWA’s web site that shows strong warming during the 20th century.

Go to Files, above

See more information and download the spreadsheet.

Just download the spreadsheet.

Wratt’s prediction falsified already — by his own graph

A funny thing happened last week involving Parliament but almost nobody noticed. Without my observant scientist friend, I wouldn’t know about it. We’re all pretty lucky that he put two and two together, but that’s what scientists are good at. He tells me they practise putting them together three or four times a week and some of them are so good at it they have trouble getting them apart.

So what happened? First, our study appeared, with a copy of the official NZ graph showing strong warming over the last hundred years. Second, Nick Smith said NIWA tells him New Zealand’s global warming will be much milder than elsewhere. Can both statements be true? Only if our steep temperature rise suddenly slows right down! It’s another mystery. Continue Reading →

Supplementary Information – Hokitika

Are we feeling warmer yet?

NZ Climate Science Coalition & Climate Conversation Group
30 Nov 2009

A number of people have now asked us for the raw data we used to create the unadjusted versus adjusted temperature graphs in our study Are we feeling warmer yet? We will shortly post a list of station names from the NIWA CliFlo database. While we could post the data directly, it would be fairly pointless, as you would need to know in detail the weather stations and the methods we used to combine them. Each station required some experimentation and detective work, assumptions had to be made and we may well have made errors. We make no claim to be infallible, so we publish these notes to let the reader judge whether our study has merit.

We will shortly be making the Salinger adjusted dataset available. We would like to thank Warwick Hughes for providing us with that data.

In this document we want to work through an example weather station—Hokitika—to illustrate our approach and methods. We also want to address NIWA’s response, currently on their website, that the Wellington adjustments are justified by altitude differences between stations where no time series overlap is available (Thorndon, Kelburn and Airport). The assumption is made by NIWA that stations can be adjusted together in such cases (even though they have no common overlap period and are also separated both spatially and temporally) as long as they share a common height above sea level.

By giving examples of stations with both altitude separation and an overlap period, we show that the lapse rate can differ and even the sign of the temperature difference can be reversed. Some higher stations record warmer temperatures than nearby lower stations. Therefore, it is invalid to move two station records together simply because they share a station height.

Go to Supplementary Information — Hokitika

Download Supplementary Information — Hokitika

Notes on replication — station data

Are we feeling warmer yet?

NZ Climate Science Coalition & Climate Conversation Group
29 Nov 2009

We’ve heard from a number of people wanting to replicate the graphs. However, we never expected such a high level of interest in our study so we were somewhat unprepared. We are now putting together a posting that will specify stations and describe our methods which we hope to post in the next few hours. In the meantime, this note outlines the difficulties. It doesn’t answer your needs, and for that we apologise, but we’re working on something more substantial right now. Continue Reading →

Are we feeling warmer yet?

The New Zealand
Climate Science Coalition
25 November 2009

(A paper collated by Richard Treadgold, of the Climate Conversation Group, from a combined research project undertaken by members of the Climate Conversation Group and the New Zealand Climate Science Coalition)

There have been strident claims that New Zealand is warming. The Inter-governmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), among other organisations and scientists, allege that, along with the rest of the world, we have been heating up for over 100 years.

But now, a simple check of publicly-available information proves these claims wrong. In fact, New Zealand’s temperature has been remarkably stable for a century and a half. So what’s going on?

New Zealand’s National Institute of Water & Atmospheric Research (NIWA) is responsible for New Zealand’s National Climate Database. This database, available online, holds all New Zealand’s climate data, including temperature readings, since the 1850s. Anybody can go and get the data for free. That’s what we did, and we made our own graph.

Go to paper
Download paper (pdf, 213KB).

Prove it, iceman!

This was in the Herald this morning:

Icebergs coming en masse

More than 100 Antarctic icebergs – and possibly even hundreds of them – are floating towards New Zealand.

An Australian Antarctic Division glaciologist, Neal Young, said yesterday that the ice chunks, spotted in satellite photos, had passed the Auckland Islands and were heading towards the South Island, 450km northeast.

He said more than 100 icebergs – some more than 200m across – were seen in just one cluster, indicating there could be hundreds more.

Dr Young said they were the remains of a massive ice floe which split from Antarctica in rising sea and air temperatures resulting from global warming.

– AFP

I think it’s exciting that we might see giant icebergs again, because it’s dramatic. However, the assumption that their close approach is connected with warming is odd, since the appearance of ice in my gin and tonic indicates just the opposite—a cooling trend. As you sail to Antarctica, the appearance of icebergs in the sea certainly confirms a cooling trend. A reasonable person, on hearing that icebergs appear because of warming, surely considers enquiring whether it’s actually because of cooling.

Dr Young’s easy attribution of the calving of these icebergs to “global warming” is unlikeable and unconvincing. More likely is that, as usual, the ice shelf reaches such a length (through continual plentiful production of ice, please note!) that the ocean waves can move it about with sufficient force to snap it off. If warming was causing melting, what would survive to embark on a voyage to anywhere?

It is equally likely that, because of cooling seas, the icebergs now survive the long voyage to New Zealand!

I know of no evidence supporting a global rise in temperature recently. Certainly, no more than perhaps 0.2°C, something like that, in the few months which might have influenced the calving. In the Antarctic, such a rise might get you up to around minus eleventy five which is dreadfully chilly and won’t melt anything. There’s nothing abnormal going on here. Might we not reasonably expect the Herald to know this and to question the AFP story?

They have let us down.

Nick says “nothing”

We’ve just received a reply from the Hon Dr Nick Smith, Minister for Climate Change Issues, who answers the question in my original letter: “What do we get for something that will cost our families from $30 to $112 each and every week?”

He says we’ll get nothing for it. It won’t even affect the climate — it’s just our “fair share” of a “global effort” (both letters are here, see mine above, Nick’s below).

So the average family will pay perhaps $60 or more per week just to signal to our trading partners and incoming tourists that we’re doing “our bit”. Terrific — $60 a week for a better image. I guess it’s commercially important to stay in the club with our trading partners, but that’s a helluva lot for struggling householders to pay.

He expresses far too little concern for the economic problems of his citizens than I care for. His gaze is on other things and the people are coming last.

Nick tries to blame overseas influences for the costs to be faced by Kiwi households. He says: “Costs to households will mainly result from the international price on carbon and will pass through to New Zealanders” via a modified ETS. You can read his entire letter (pdf, 63KB) if you like.

Bias or Blindness… de Freitas lets fly

Chris de Freitas

Chris de Freitas takes aim at decision-makers who should know, but apparently don’t know, what they’re doing. If they don’t squirm on reading this stinging criticism, then surely they possess no conscience. Let us hope they’re strong enough to honestly re-evaluate their position. I’m posting his article in toto; crafted with the best possible reasoning, it deserves the widest possible circulation.

Published in Energy New Zealand, Sept 2009.
by Chris de Freitas

Bias or blindness… emission targets

THE KYOTO PROTOCOL, an icon of the global environmental movement, is soon to be replaced by a more radical international treaty to curb greenhouse gas emissions.

What it will involve depends on the outcome of negotiations that begin this December in Copenhagen. In preparation, the Government has committed New Zealand to cut up to a third of current emissions by 2020.

The economic, social and moral implications are immense, since carbon taxes and tradable emissions alone cannot make such a massive reduction. Sweeping legislation restricting the use of oil, coal and natural gas would be required, along with far-reaching reforms in pastoral farming to cut methane release. Continue Reading →

What do we get, Dr Smith?

Update

The minister’s reply was received on 22 September. You can read it here.


Yesterday Nick Smith, Minister for Climate Change, told Parliament that our citizens must “contribute” a “significant” amount towards the government’s climate change targets.

He thinks they should give about $30 per week per family. We agree that is “significant”. Barry Brill, former National Energy Minister, who prompted Rodney Hide’s question to the minister, asserted it will be more like $112 per week.

Now that’s more like political suicide. Incredible! Continue Reading →

We should indeed lead on climate change

A letter sent to the NZ Herald. Hope they publish it.

Sir,

Your leader of August 7 headed Seize chance to lead way on climate change, on one level, is easy to support, but on different grounds, for those assumed in your leader are spurious. We must take a lead, indeed—let us be the first to examine the need to respond to climate change.

No matter how far we go along the path towards action, no matter how many people concur that action must be taken, even on marketing grounds, no matter how the arguments for action pluck at our heart strings, no matter that we all want to save the planet, yet if there are no grounds for action, it will be wasted: the taxpayers’ money wasted, the voters’ living spent.

At the risk of sounding repetitive—even a bit shrill, evidence of the catastrophe said to be building around us is yet to arrive, at the very time of decision when its presence is most important. Global air temperatures are recently level, even declining. Even the long-term trend in air temperature is within natural limits. Sea levels are rising no faster than they have for centuries, sea temperatures are not rising, sea ice levels are within normal limits and Tuvalu has still not been evacuated, though an oceanic incursion has been threatened since the 1980s. Glaciers are mentioned only when one is found with pieces conveniently missing; plenty are growing, but unreported. We’re yawning.

The only reason to believe future temperatures will be ruinous are computer models of the climate. But as everyone knows, they are driven in every decisive parameter by human knowledge and its imperfections, not by the climate. They do not deal properly with clouds, which by themselves are capable of overwhelming any temperature change attributed to carbon dioxide or the lack thereof. They do not deal properly with a list of things. They are not reality and they constitute no sort of evidence whatsoever.

So—what is the evidence? Not the propaganda—the evidence!

Regards,

Richard Treadgold
Convenor
Climate Conversation Group

Northern Gateway toll road no picnic

  • Based on a letter sent to the NZ Transport Agency on 24th June, 2009.
  • Sunday, May 3rd, 2009, was a clear, sunny day in the East Coast Bays. In the afternoon I drove north with my wife and son to see the new motorway extension and have a nice picnic at Puhoi.

    There was moderate traffic and the drive through the lovely bush-clad hills was a pleasant experience. We passed beneath the gantry and saw the cameras that photograph each vehicle. What a technological marvel they are. The computer software recognises number plates on every kind of vehicle, from the front and the back, at all speeds, in all weather conditions and identifies the registered owners, then matches them up with one payment among thousands; all this without human intervention. Marvellous.

    Nice road, but to pay you must stop

    We spent a mere ten minutes driving along a section of motorway that took over four years to construct, emerging from the northern end of the twin tunnels at two self-service kiosks where one can pay the road toll of $2.00. Travelling north, the kiosks are on the other side of the road and we were unable to stop, but we noticed that only one kiosk was in use and some dozen people stood in the queue, so it was probably taking between five and ten minutes to pay. Paying the toll doubles the journey time. Isn’t technology helpful? Continue Reading →

    NZ sustainable energy supplies surprise

    download pdf (92 KB)…

    by Gary Kendall, Engineer
    This paper examines the practicality of replacing base-load power generation in New Zealand with renewable resources, including hydro, wind, solar, geothermal and tidal. It reveals, surprisingly, that introducing significant numbers of electric cars would seriously strain our present power supply. If you’ve heard about the government’s desire to restrict thermal power generation to mitigate climate change, you should read this paper.   pdf (92KB)…

    Enough is enough

    It is beyond dispute that Kyoto, emission trading, the fart tax, carbon credits and climate change legislation contribute nothing to the productive goods and services of this country. All the money spent in these areas is totally unproductive. Furthermore it all comes out of the pockets of the taxpayer and ratepayer.

    Lawyers and accountants are setting up departments to advise on making money or saving money on these matters. Resource management consultants are in for their share too. Councils are appointing staff to ‘manage’ climate change and wringing their hands while removing yet more fleece from their ratepayers — Government bureacrats, too. Major companies are huddling together in meetings to work out how to persuade the government to load their climate change liabilities on to the taxpayer for a little while longer, reduce their liabilities, neutralize them or even make a profit out of the climate change scam.

    There is even an academic department being set up to ‘advise’ on climate change and thus add to the rort on the taxpayer.

    Vultures, all with their bloody heads buried in the carcase of the taxpayer. All these costs, for which there are no benefits whatever to the taxpayer, devolve on the taxpayer who, unknowingly, is paying lawyers and the like $300 per hour, $5 per minute or one dollar every twelve seconds, or more, which costs are finally paid in the increased cost of food, fuel and real goods and services.

    Enough is enough; is there a political party which has the courage to draw a line under this rort?

    Who is going to pay?

    So CO2 is now a polluting gas. Does nobody have any elementary science knowledge? Dr Muriel Newman lambasts the Commissioner for the Environment for stupidly declaring CO2 a pollutant. But the campaign against carbon dioxide originates with the IPCC, who breaches its own rules, ignores accepted scientific procedure and whose objective when set up was to find evidence of human interference in the climate. With all those bureaucrats employed for that single purpose, there was never much chance of not finding evidence, was there? more…

    Taxing the very air we breathe

    New Zealand’s Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS)—will it reduce global warming?

    We breathe carbon dioxide and without it we would die. Growers routinely add it to greenhouses (four times the normal level) to make the plants grow better. Forests are growing measurably faster as the level of atmospheric CO2 climbs.

    But human emissions of CO2 are allegedly warming the planet. Inducing a sense of guilt for driving a car or turning the lights on hasn’t reduced emissions. An alternative way to force emissions down is to create emission licences (or carbon credits) and then buy and sell them to each other. Entrepreneurs love it. New Zealand is setting up such a scheme right now. Continue Reading →

    Tourism to be Ravaged by Global Warming?

    The Editor,
    NZ Herald.
    4 January, 2008.

    Dear Sir,

    Is our hard-won tourism industry to be ravaged by global warming?

    No, not by rising sea levels, but by imposts to “offset” the “carbon footprints” of the growing numbers of our visitors? Let us hope that cool heads examine the matter carefully before hasty action spoils anything.

    According to research from the University of Otago published in the NZ Herald today, visiting tourists’ CO2 emissions equal those from all our coal, gas and oil-fired electricity generators combined. Continue Reading →

    No more global warming?

    It’s been repeated so often that by now we take it for granted. The world’s climate is warming up and is starting to produce bad consequences which will worsen.

    We’re told sea levels are rising, icecaps are melting, glaciers are disappearing and storms are intensifying. Polar bears are at risk because the ice they know and love is shrinking, tropical diseases are about to spread everywhere and we’ll soon be growing coconuts in Bluff.

    Get ready for shorter ski seasons and be very cautious about buying seaside property. Continue Reading →