Suddenly everyone hates farming

Few people admire farming as we once did when we understood where this country’s wealth was created. On the contrary, farming has come under sustained attack, and from none more strongly than the National Party, once almost a fellowship of farmers and the industry’s staunchest supporter. Now our formerly admired farmers must tolerate the impending ETS tax on ruminant eructation, which farmers are helpless to reduce, yet for which they are further harassed by the modern epithet of “emitter”. As though those clean, natural gases could pollute the environment that has been creating them in vast quantities for millions of years. The “carbon tax” is a significant imposition, yet it’s hardly remarked upon except by those who strive to get it noticed and repealed — or others, apparently more numerous (certainly more vocal and popular with the media), who would gladly see it increased. The Coalition here rails against the unreasonable burden of an ETS which purports to “fight” in our name against so-called “anthropogenic global warming”. Do we still call it that? I guess this month’s stupid synonym is “climate disruption.” But since climate never goes for long without disruption the term defines tautology — how completely brainless to then declare it a crime and seek a culprit. (This press release first published on Scoop).

Press Release: New Zealand Climate Science Coalition

Friday, 16 September 2011, 5:08 pm

NZ farming remains at threat from ETS

“New Zealanders know that their prosperity relies heavily on the farm sector” says the Hon Barry Brill, chairman of the New Zealand Climate Science Coalition, “and yet the biggest threat to the future of farming is an attack by our own Government. Continue Reading →

Doubling ETS tax acceptable to Minister but not to Kiwis

Barry Brill’s sharp analysis brings the ridiculous, unsustainable logic of the Hon Nick Smith under a scrutiny it cannot weather — and that’s without even mentioning the absence of scientific support for the theory of dangerous anthropogenic global warming. What warming? What sea level rise? The sooner John Key’s cabinet realises how Key and Smith have been leading them a nonsensical climatic dance around our trading image and the chance to make a quick buck from trading in the empty-headed, vaporific “carbon credits” the sooner we can eliminate the expensive bureaucratic carbon footprint we’ve acquired for reporting our Kyoto compliance (this press release first published on Scoop).

Press Release: New Zealand Climate Science Coalition

Friday, 16 September 2011, 11:01 am

“The Caygill Review’s recommendation for doubling the current emissions trading scheme (ETS) energy levy over the next three years may be acceptable to the Minister for Climate Change, but it is certainly not acceptable to the people of New Zealand,” said the Hon Barry Brill, chairman of the New Zealand Climate Science Coalition.

“The Government’s constant refrain has been that New Zealand will not try to be a world leader and that Kiwis will never be forced to do more than their ‘fair share’ in reducing emissions,” said Mr Brill.

“But what’s ‘fair’ about the ETS?” Continue Reading →

Courting NIWA

judge's gavel

Where the fudges have judges

UPDATE 1, 16 Sep 9:30 – If anyone harbours lingering doubts that NIWA claim to have used a particular method in calculating the adjustments in their “Review report” published last December, let them check NIWA’s web site, where they say: “The methodology for adjusting for site changes in the NZ temperature record was published in the peer-reviewed International Journal of Climatology in 1993: Rhoades, D.A. and Salinger, M.J., 1993: Adjustment of temperature and rainfall records for site changes. Int. Journal of Climatology 13, 899 – 913.

UPDATE 2, 16 Sep 10:15 – Looking through NIWA’s web site this morning I discovered a seriously fraudulent statement. On the national temperature record review page there’s a section at the bottom that describes (and makes light of) our judicial review application in the High Court and makes this astonishing claim: “The reanalysis and peer review of the seven station series forms part of the judicial review action.” But that’s impossible — NIWA announced the review six months before we filed the papers with the court! Wayne Mapp, the Minister, had already announced NIWA’s review of the 7SS on 18 February 2010, and we didn’t lodge our application with the court until 16 August 2010, so is NIWA claiming to have extra-sensory perception? Is there a serial fraudster running NIWA’s media centre? Why can’t that organisation just tell the truth?

The New Zealand Climate Science Education Trust (NZCSET), on 1 July 2011, filed an amended statement of claim to challenge NIWA’s revised NZ temperature record (the old 7SS, now called the NZT7) published in December, and NIWA failed to file a statement of defence within the time limit. A tentative agreement to meet and narrow the issues was advised to the Court but has not been followed up. NIWA has not responded to correspondence in recent weeks. Continue Reading →

Incredible sham from NIWA

NIWA shows 168% more warming

NIWA didn’t use Rhoades & Salinger. We can prove it. They lied.

NZ Climate Science Coalition statisticians have uncovered evidence of scarcely believable deception from our National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research Ltd (NIWA).

Last December, NIWA released a reconstructed NZ temperature series Report on the Review of NIWA’s Seven Station Temperature Series (“7SS Review”) (pdf, 8.5 MB). It has a fresh new graph (below) that’s all but indistinguishable from the previous graph. But that’s not the point.

The point is the new series is a lie. Continue Reading →

What warming?

what warming?

NIWA’s data confirms: little warming

When it’s calculated correctly

Why did they lie to us?

In December last year, NIWA released their long-awaited review of the NZ temperature record (NZTR). We’ve reviewed that report and found serious errors. NIWA used the wrong method and created strong warming. We used the right method and found mild warming.

There are a few things we need to understand about weather stations. The first is that these stations sit there for a long time. Some of them have been in the same place for 80 years and more. If you sat in one place for that long, you’d see stuff happening around you — same for the weather station.

Trees grow, buildings go up, airport runways get covered in tarseal or concrete, roads appear, and these and other non-climatic influences affect the temperature readings, usually making them warmer, but not always. Sometimes the station gets moved, and it’s always better to keep all that history if you can, so you try to adjust it rather than start again with a new station.

NIWA had to start from scratch

Knowing this, when scientists examine a series of temperature readings they look for what has changed at the different stations. If the changes affected the temperature readings, they adjust the readings. Continue Reading →

When does an adjustment become a replacement?

axe in block

UPDATE: March 27, 8:50 p.m.

A reader points out that a replacement requires the virtual death of the previous version. As the traditional British announcement on the death of the sovereign (“The King is dead; long live the King!”) makes clear, you cannot have two of them. He’s reminded of Barry Brill’s recent post here 7SS – R.I.P. about the Monty Python parrot, whose death proved in the end impossible to ignore. Thanks, Australis.


NIWA’s minister has made a bizarre assertion to the Parliament which signals NIWA’s inability to admit its mistakes.

Last December, NIWA published a report reviewing the NZ Temperature Record which was based on its 18-year-old Seven-station Series (7SS). The 169-page report included a new spreadsheet and graph (which NIWA called the NZT7) and stated, on page 3, that “the revised temperature series supersedes the previous version posted in February 2010.”

When it was published, the previous 7SS was taken off NIWA’s temperature web page and the NZT7 was posted in its place.

But there’s some deception going on, because here’s the thing: NIWA’s web site describes the new graph as a replacement, but a few days ago Parliament was officially told the very opposite — that the NZT7 is not a replacement. As Hansard shows: Continue Reading →

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 →

Perrott puts his foot in his mouth

An ancient foot in the mouth

Then Renowden joins him

Our most vocal critic, Ken Perrott, has chanced upon a file I just posted, containing the unadjusted temperature data which was the subject of our paper, Are We Feeling Warmer Yet? (AWFWY), published here in November, 2009.

His response is to claim we made a big error. However, without realising it, Perrott actually accuses Dr Jim Salinger and NIWA itself of that error, because we just copied what Salinger did; what NIWA still does.

Most of Ken’s article at Open Parachute is pious ad hominem nonsense. There’s no reason to respond to all the arm-waving, so the sole point at issue is how to present an annual series with missing data.

The purpose of AWFWY was to compare the NIWA-adjusted Seven-station Series (7SS) with the unadjusted data. It was therefore necessary to use the same techniques as NIWA, insofar as they had been disclosed or were discernible. We had Salinger’s spreadsheet of adjusted readings, and we just did what Salinger did — he averaged years with missing data according to the number of available stations. Exactly what Perrott complains about.

You can see that from the spreadsheet. If you doubt that fact, just ask NIWA. Continue Reading →

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 →

Flaherty slays denier Delingpole, takes aim at me

James Delingpole

Wherein Flaherty is thanked and congratulated, it is explained where Flaherty goes wrong in his criticisms of me, and the reader is reminded of what is still outstanding in connection with NIWA’s Review report. Delingpole gains a mention.

Matt Flaherty has been visiting us recently, questioning me about the New Zealand (you can’t believe it’s official!) Temperature Record. Matt wrote recently on James Delingpole and the “denialism” of “climate change.” That tells you where Matt’s understanding lies. Anyone who a) uses the term climate denier, and b) considers that an intelligent person is capable of denying that climate changes, something akin to denying the earth revolves around the sun, demonstrates a voluntary level of ignorance and a lack of incentive to listen.

Having somehow become aware of the CCG, he thought to use us as an example of

how one should deal with a denialist of Delingpole’s ilk

Matt elevates me to dizzying heights, for which I thank him. But I protest I’m unworthy, just an honest toiler for truth, not even in the same league as consummate wordsmiths like James (right about everything) Delingpole.

He cites the Daily Bayonet and Bishop Hill, who mangled the message of my Dec 2010 press release, but he is wrong to blame this messenger for that, and quotes (accurately) from that press release: Continue Reading →

7SS – R.I.P.

dead parrot

Stone dead

NIWA’s long-defended ‘Seven-station Series’ (7SS) is as dead as the parrot in Monty Python’s famous sketch… it rests in peace, bereft of life, demised; it has shuffled off its mortal coil, its metabolic processes now history.

On the eve of Christmas, when nobody was looking, NIWA declared that New Zealand had a new official temperature record (the NZT7) and whipped the 7SS off its website.

NIWA’s spin-doctor, Network PR, likes to pretend that the NZT7 is really only a ‘revised’ version of Jim Salinger’s original 7SS. So when does a revision become a replacement? Continue Reading →

Nothing random about NIWA

no dice? loaded dice?

Loaded dice for temperature record?

In producing a new temperature record for New Zealand (NZT7), NIWA has again adjusted the raw measurements. Whilst no systemic error was found, one-off issues were raised by random site changes, especially during the early decades of the 20th century.

Curiously, NIWA’s adjustments are not random. Instead, their changes display a near-perfect symmetry, where amplitude is directly proportionate to age. Small adjustments apply to the 1950s, grow larger back in the 1940s, and larger still in the 1930s – before reaching their apogee in 1910-20.

Could this have happened by chance?

Continue Reading →

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 →

The Curious Case of the Missing Thesis

searching man

When the NZ Climate Science Coalition made an OIA request for the NIWA amendments which shaped the whole NZ temperature record, it was told the amendments came from a doctoral thesis submitted in 1981 by James Salinger.

NIWA’s General Counsel officially advised (on two occasions) that “the methodology is documented” in the thesis, but “the original worksheets and/or computer records used for the calculations in Dr Salinger’s thesis work are the property of Dr Salinger, who no longer works for NIWA.”

When NIWA belatedly published its Schedule of Adjustments on 9 February 2010, it explained that relocations of weather stations required before-and-after comparisons against an independent station. The document notes that “Salinger (1981) provides the results of these three-site inter-comparisons for the 7-station series, up to about 1975.” Continue Reading →

What’s left of the NIWA case?

judge's gavel

The status of the NZ temperature record

For the last ten years, visitors to NIWA’s official website have been greeted by a graph of the “seven-station series” (7SS), under the bold heading “New Zealand Temperature Record”. The graph covers the period from 1853 to the present, and is adorned by a prominent trend-line sloping sharply upwards. Accompanying text informs the world that “New Zealand has experienced a warming trend of approximately 0.9°C over the past 100 years.”

The 7SS has been updated and used in every monthly issue of NIWA’s “Climate Digest” since January 1993. Its 0.9°C (sometimes 1.0°C) of warming has appeared in the Australia/NZ Chapter of the IPCC’s 2001 and 2007 Assessment Reports. It has been offered as sworn evidence in countless tribunals and judicial enquiries, and provides the historical base for all of NIWA’s reports to both Central and Local Governments on climate science issues and future projections.

NIWA has a printed promotional brochure describing its climate activities, which commences with the iconic 7SS graph. No piece of climate lore is more familiar to the public, and it is better known than NIWA’s logo.

But now, para 7(a) of NIWA’s Statement of Defence states that “there is no ‘official’ or formal New Zealand Temperature Record”.
Continue Reading →

Judicial Review documents now on line

The previous post here, Observations on NIWA’s Statement of Defence, referred to the Statement of Claim and the Statement of Defence concerning the Application for Judicial Review that the NZ Climate Science Education Trust is bringing against the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA).

My apologies to all our readers who would have expected immediate access to these documents which have been filed at the High Court in Auckland. They are now available on the NZ Climate Science Coalition web site here:

http://tinyurl.com/23eplfy

I look forward to some informed comments and perhaps enlightenment.

– Richard.

Observations on NIWA’s Statement of Defence

surrender photo

Claytons: The drink you have when you’re not having a drink.

Three weeks ago NIWA released their Statement of Defence in response to the NZ Climate Science Coalition’s Statement of Claim regarding an Application for a Judicial Review. You have to be a lawyer (which I’m not) to see the ramifications and it’s taking a while to work through it, but these are my first reactions and I can’t hold them back any longer.

Most of this will upset NIWA’s supporters. If you’re a NIWA supporter, go find a buddy to hug before reading on. This will rock your world.

Because NIWA formally denies all responsibility for the national temperature record (NZTR).

Betrayal of supporters

Now that is surprising – shocking, really. Forget their defensive posturing since our paper criticising it last November – now they’ve given that up and say the NZTR isn’t their problem, they’re not responsible for maintaining it and apparently there’s no such thing as an “official” New Zealand Temperature Record anyway.

Will the MSM pick this up? I think they should, but I rather doubt they will.

If I was a long-term NIWA supporter, I’d be a bit miffed to hear this revelation. I’d think that NIWA had betrayed us. Continue Reading →

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 →

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 →

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 →

NZ Herald ratifies outrageous rant

NIWA temp adjustments with scales of justice

Just four days after Brian Rudman’s diatribe against the Coalition, the Herald unleashed an opinion piece by one Sam Fisher. I’ve just discovered it but that’s no reason to let it stand unopposed.

I shall start at its rear end. His devastating conclusion:

In past years, the nutters were the ones with signs that said: “The world is ending.” Now, the nutters have the signs that say: “The world isn’t ending, it’s all fine.”

I agree wholeheartedly with this sentiment, for it is hard to fault. However, he omits mention of the sanity of those trumpeting the end of the world. So I would express it with a different slant, as it is on the masthead above:

For the first time in history, people shouting “the end is nigh” are somehow
the sane ones, while those of us who say it is not are now the lunatics.

Before that, he enlightens us with: Continue Reading →

Auckland warming is deception

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

UPDATE, below. Stunning new insights from Salinger’s thesis.

NIWA temp adjustments with scales of justice

NIWA has recently provided a web page on how it combined the temperature records from weather stations at Albert Park and Mangere, to produce the ʻAucklandʼ component of the Instituteʼs Seven-station Series (7SS). This page displays a simple but fundamental flaw in NIWAʼs methodology.

The Albert Park weather station was established in 1909, when both the region and the park were young. But, as the population grew and the saplings became large trees, the site became progressively less suitable for measuring the temperatures of greater Auckland. Concerns long expressed by the NZ MetService were finally met in 1976 by a transfer to Mangere, then on the outskirts of the City.

After 70 years, a few problems

The problems of Albert Park are discussed by senior meteorologist JWD Hessell in a peer-reviewed paper published shortly after the move to Mangere:

“Visitors to this central city park today cannot fail to be impressed by the many large exotic trees, many of which were planted about the turn of the century and some of which, more especially those planted later, are still growing. The instrument enclosure is surrounded on all sides by trees and buildings which shelter the site to a great degree. Continue Reading →

Rudman offensive but NZ temp record dubious

the NZ Herald logo

A letter sent to the NZ Herald on 25 August that remains unpublished.

Sir,

In “Exercise degrees of common sense“, on Wednesday August 18, Brian Rudman loses his journalistic poise and jeers gracelessly at the “flat-earth” members of the NZ Climate Science Coalition.

When he asserts that they deny “man-made global warming” he is dead wrong. He is welcome to interview us, which might stop him from consulting his imagination. The Coalition does not dispute that human activity possibly has an influence on the climate but it questions the magnitude of that influence.

The IPCC also questions it, for it claims only a 90% to 95% probability of human influence. Note that is an opinion without evidence, unless one considers flawed climate models to be evidence.

The Coalition knows there are good reasons to adjust temperature records; Rudman ignores the fact that, rather than challenging NIWA for making changes, we just asked them what the changes were. He should wonder why they have still not told us. If they did, we would promptly stop asking for them.

Brian Rudman

He might also wonder why NIWA repeatedly give the example of an altitude change to the Thorndon/Kelburn temperature record, when they didn’t actually make any altitude-based changes to any stations.

Rudman’s reference to “mystery money-bags funding the coalition” is offensive nonsense. Members analyse, consult and write about climate matters in their own time for no payment. The Coalition is made up of volunteers, it is not wealthy and will rely on fund-raising if the suit must go to court.

The only “money-bags” able to buy staff and consultants in the climate debate are the great NGOs like WWF and Greenpeace, with annual budgets of around $600 million each. The giant enviros far out-muscle the marketing budgets of any group of sceptics. The energy companies climbed aboard the warming bandwagon long ago and don’t fund sceptics.

But our suit is not about the global warming debate. It asks for simple clarity and accuracy in public temperature records. We cannot submit a paper “backing our claims”, as some suggest, because we’re not making any claims — we’re wanting to review the national temperature record and we’re asking a couple of questions that NIWA hasn’t answered.

Since being asked by the Coalition to describe how they obtained the temperature record and finding they were unable to do so, NIWA are recreating it from scratch.

The sooner these simple facts are acknowledged by responsible journalists the sooner reason will return to this important matter of public interest. Kiwis deserve to have a national temperature record they can trust but at the moment it is dubious.

A swelling debate — Chris has questions

NIWA's temperature adjustments at Hokitika

In the last week or so one “Chris” (I can’t give his surname without his permission) has begun asking some well-informed questions and putting some well-aimed objections to our campaign against the national temperature series protected, I mean produced, by NIWA.

He’s putting increasing efforts into his writing, such that his last comment amounts to some 400 words. He demonstrates an impressive commitment.

When I realised my response had reached 1300 words I knew it had to become a separate post, both to honour Chris’s honest efforts and to more prominently feature the arguments he was making. Many of the things he says are widely said so our rebuttals should be given more prominence. Continue Reading →

Maze of mystery maths — NIWA facing fallout

consequences

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

In tracking the provenance of the official New Zealand temperature record, all roads lead to an “Appendix C”, which was annexed to a doctoral thesis written long before the heyday of “global warming”. This Appendix has never been published or digitised and the sole copy resides in the ‘reserved’ section of the library at Victoria University of Wellington.

The lengthy Appendix discusses some 25 weather stations throughout New Zealand which were shown by MetService records to have undergone site changes at various times. It raises diverse ways of adjusting data, ranging from measuring the rate of glacial melt to alignment with comparable stations. It makes no reference to scientific authority, because there was nothing available in the literature in those early days.

The Appendix then suggests a series of possible adjustments which do not follow any discernible set of rules, but rely heavily on the author’s instincts and preferences. The details are relegated to annexed Worksheets.

There is nothing complicated about the idea of calculating missing data by reference to nearby substitutes. The whole trick is in the execution. Is reliable data available for the period in question? Is it sufficiently comparable? How long a series is required? What objective rules should guide the analyst’s choices? Is any independent confirmation available? What are the error margins? Continue Reading →

Nicks in the myths of time

Baby stars, as seen by the Hubble telescope

I want to revisit some false arguments fabricated ages ago by our critics: time-worn errors which need re-rebutting, because they are still surfacing. These smooth myths, one might say, are nicked all over with imperfections. And mists cover everything.

The main spurious argument holds that the Climate Science Coalition says there’s no reason to adjust the raw temperature readings. That is false: we think there are good reasons for adjustments. What we actually say is that NIWA has made changes but refuses to reveal what they are.

A related myth is that NIWA has given us everything we asked for — simply by releasing the net arithmetical adjustments to each station. The reality is that, first, a net change isn’t enough because there could be multiple changes at a station. Second, the number by itself is useless; any reviewer needs the reason for each change. This is what NIWA has refused to tell us, yet both bits of data are required for any independent assessment of the accuracy of the temperature record. Continue Reading →

Hunter’s extraordinary peroration

We shall fight on the beaches…

Keith Hunter becomes deeply afraid for the future as we announce our review of NIWA’s behaviour. Why?

He says this, all timorous, intimidated and grateful for the gentle haven that is Hot Topic (as long as you agree with them):

I want to say how gratified I am that on this day of reckoning, the scientific community and the blogosphere have got behind our friends at NIWA and come out with so many statements of support. Make no mistake, this effort by the NZ*C*S*C is an attack on science and and [sic] attack on integrity. I, for one, will not put up with it! I am hugely comforted by the letters and phone calls of support I have received today. Maybe finally the mainstream scientists of this country are waking up to what the NZ*C*S*C is trying to do. Let there be no doubt – this is another attack on integrity [sic] of the science system. We defeated this when the Nazis did it, we defeated it when the Soviets did it, and we will continue to defeat it! And in case you think it [sic], let me remind you – all it takes for scientific untruths to survive is for honest men and women to ignore them.

So it’s a day of reckoning. The Coalition mounts an attack on science and on integrity. He is not putting up, is hugely comforted and confident we will defeat it. As we did with the Nazis and the Soviets and shall continue.

One question: let you remind us in case we think what?

I fail to see how the question “what adjustments did you make and why” can be interpreted to mean all this.

I fail to see how this expostulating answers the assertion that ethical standards were not observed.

I cannot fail to observe how the scientist loses his grip on reality. A day of reckoning? An attack on science?!

NIWAgate now on WUWT

NIWA temp adjustments with scales of justice

The tireless Anthony Watts reports our legal claim against NIWA (h/t to Andy).

May it encourage climate realists around the world to make a similar study of their national temperature history.

Barrage of misinformation: can’t they read?

NIWA temp adjustments with scales of justice

Wow! What an explosion of nonsense.

Hearing some of the comments about our court action against NIWA, you could be forgiven for thinking that the Coalition was made up of stupid people.

But the stupid ones are those mouthing off a torrent of misinformation against us without reading what we’ve actually lodged with the High Court. I have time only for a couple.

Commentator the First

Gareth Renowden, of Hot Topic, was interviewed this morning on Radio NZ by Sean Plunket. He said, among other things, the following:

I’ve been following [the Coalition’s] rather weird obsession with the New Zealand temperature record very closely on the blog.

It’s not a weird obsession, Gareth, it’s a weird and impenetrable temperature record, which you would know by now if you had bothered to take a look at it.

… all that Bryan [Leyland] wants is already there. The raw data you can download from NIWA. The adjustments that are required have been listed by NIWA; the methodology for doing it is available in the peer-reviewed literature; it’s incredibly non-controversial to climate scientists and meteorologists that you need to make adjustments.

Gareth here offers three false statements (I still hesitate to call them lies, though he has made them before) and a diversion. Continue Reading →

Background to our application for judicial review

NIWA temp adjustments with scales of justice

The following sets out the background of the NZCSC’s application and provides some vital context.

The National Institute for Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA) is a Crown Research Institute (CRI), contracted by the Government to be its sole adviser on scientific issues relating to climate change.

NIWA’s National Climate Centre is responsible for maintaining the National Climate database, mainly comprising records compiled by the NZ Met Service during the period 1853-1992. This archive finds its greatest significance in the New Zealand Temperature Record (NZTR), showing mean average surface temperatures throughout the twentieth century.

In 1999, the National Climate Centre adopted a “Seven-station Series” (7SS) as the basis of the NZTR. The stations (Auckland, Masterton, Wellington, Nelson, Hokitika, Lincoln & Dunedin) are geographically spread and considered to represent New Zealand as a whole. The 7SS graph and spreadsheet appear on NIWA’s website www.niwa.co.nz/news-and-publications/news/all/2009/nz-temp-record. Continue Reading →

Our Statement of Claim against NIWA

NIWA temp adjustments with scales of justice

1. NIWA has statutory duties to undertake climate research efficiently and effectively for the benefit of NZ, pursuing excellence and observing ethical standards, while maintaining full and accurate records.

2. The official NZ Temperature Record (NZTR), which is the historical base for most Government policy and judicial decisions relating to climate change, wholly relies upon a “Seven-station series” (7SS), adopted in 1999.

3. The twentieth-century warming trend of 1.0°C shown in the 7SS is dependent on the use of “Adjustments” taken by NIWA from a 1981 student thesis by J Salinger, a previous NIWA employee.

4. NIWA’s 1999 decision to rely on the Adjustments was a breach of duty as it did not:

• evaluate the thesis methodology or consider whether it needed updating
• discover that the supporting data and calculations had been lost
• undertake any check or peer review or require consent from the copyright holder
• maintain any record of the decision Continue Reading →

Dynamite changes to raw readings

What has NIWA done to the original raw temperature readings? What do the adjustments look like? I can do little better than to show them on a single graph.

NIWA temperature adjustments, before and after

This clearly shows two important things:

1. The original readings show a slight, insignificant warming.

2. The adjustments have the effect of cranking the older readings down so the trend is now one of strong warming. Indeed, it is 50% greater warming than the globe itself.

Just as our original paper showed, back in November 2009, New Zealand has indeed been the subject of man-made warming, but only by adjusting the figures. Still, to this very day, NIWA refuse to detail the adjustments they made and why they made them. Continue Reading →

High Court asked to veto NIWA graph

NIWA temp adjustments with scales of justice

In an unprecedented move, the High Court at Auckland has been asked by the NZ Climate Science Coalition to invalidate NIWA’s official national temperatures.

Papers filed last week by the NZ Climate Science Education Trust ask the High Court to invalidate the New Zealand official temperature record (NZTR) developed and promoted by the Crown Research Institute, NIWA. NIWA maintains temperature archives for the past century, and attempts to forecast temperatures for the next century. These records form the basis of NIWA’s scientific advice to central and local government on issues relating to climate change.

All manner of documents published by NIWA claim that NZ’s temperature rose over the last hundred years by 0.9°C, supported by their specially-adjusted readings from their specially-selected weather stations.

Around the world, temperature records have been coming under closer scrutiny as people have discovered quality problems and even outright dishonesty affecting their national temperature history. 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 →

Renwick goes off the air

Dr James Renwick

Earlier this year I struck up a conversation with Dr James Renwick, NIWA Principal Climate Scientist. But we only exchanged a few messages; these were the last. After eight weeks I guess he no longer intends answering so I want to reveal the awkward questions he wasn’t prepared to answer. Here is his last email to me, followed by my response.

1 March 2010

Dear Richard:

In response to your mail of 23 February –

We have tabulated the adjustments (the “SOA”) and put them on our web site. Members of the CSC (Warwick Hughes, Vincent Gray) have had the necessary information for some time, as we have pointed out. Your document “Are we feeling warmer yet” illustrates the adjustments as step changes in the station graphs on pages 5-8. Continue Reading →

Emanations from Royal Society less than lordly

Hot air being blown into a balloon

There’s little of royalty attached to recent climate change missives emanating from the Royal Society. Did I call them missives? I meant to say emissions.

Professor Keith A. Hunter, FNZIC, FRSNZ, Vice-President, Physical Sciences, Mathematics, Engineering and Technology, Royal Society of New Zealand, issued a statement on 7 April entitled Science, Climate Change and Integrity.

He means to support the hypothesis that human activity is dangerously warming the world’s climate. He uses whole sentences and impeccable syntax, but the evidence he cites is wrong.

The package is lovely but the contents rotten.

There are now several of our prominent public scientists who are unaware it is not sufficient merely to tog themselves out in the royal or other esteemed branding — they must actually live up to it and, before all else, speak the truth.

The senior scientists who’ve made misleading public statements about global warming include Peter Gluckman, David Wratt, James Renwick, Brett Mullan, Andrew Reisinger and Jim Salinger.

Their cheeks are smooth and their mouths are smiling but their breath stinks. Continue Reading →

Suspicious warming trend proof of bias?

Parliament buildings with 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). Some of the answers are bombshells. One reveals that NIWA lost vital worksheets used by Dr Salinger in constructing the national temperature record.


The next question I’ll discuss concerns adjustments NIWA made to the national temperature record. ACT asked a simple question about them, which was this:

… how many of the years before 1950 had their temperature adjusted downward in the NIWA “Seven-Station” Temperature Series and how many upward; and how many of the years after 1950 had their temperature adjusted downward and how many upward?

Continue Reading →

NIWA admits deleting vital climate files

a destroyed hard disk drive

NIWA have admitted that vital original material used to prepare the official New Zealand temperature records was deleted. They do not say when it happened, but it means that, in contravention of time-honoured principles of good science, NIWA is no longer able to verify the work done by Dr Jim Salinger.

The news came in an answer to a written parliamentary question from ACT and comes as NIWA is under pressure to justify the so-called “seven-station” time series that forms the centrepiece of their evidence of long-term warming.

The Climate Conversation Group (CCG), in association with the NZ Climate Science Coalition (CSC), published a report last November into apparent irregularities in the New Zealand temperature record. Continue Reading →

Cold-blooded at Hot Topic

lizard

There continues such a stream of cold-blooded invective over at Hot Topic, one marvels they have the will to ignore the point for such long periods.

They discovered ACT’s questions in Parliament yesterday and have shared with the world the following pearls of understanding.

Gareth (after reading John’s first question): What “schedule of adjustments”? That’s just a term made up by Treadgold. Who writes your questions, John?

Picking up on that term is weak and quite ignores the thrust of the question. I didn’t make it up, but it’s jolly useful. James Renwick uses the term, so we’re in good company (or Renwick is).

Rob Taylor contributed: Evidently, ACT and NZ”C”SC are joined at the hip – one couple who truly do deserve each other!

Mindless twaddle.

password1: Speaker was ’sympathetic’ to the ACT’s member’s point of order. Transcript: [link]

Ah, some information!

Gareth: Hide’s supplementaries sound as though Treadgold wrote them for him. ACT are clearly hell-bent on supporting the CSC and CCG smear campaign. More fool them.

What’s wrong with me writing them (though I didn’t)? What smears? Show me a smear.

So, after this pointless arm-waving, what about NIWA not keeping a schedule of adjustments? You’re not enlightening us one bit, lads.

Question time Mapps a revelation

A Mapped-out question

Hide one, NIWA nothing

Question time in the House today was a revelation. You could see it, writ large and terrible, on Wayne Mapp’s face as he finally realised the depth of deception he’s been handed by his own department, the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA).

It has been obvious for a while that NIWA has not taken the good minister into its confidence, and I hope that the Hon Dr Mapp went back to that department today and rapped some naughty NIWA knuckles. It is past time it happened.

Deception is the wrong approach to use on a Minister of the Crown. You might try it, and for a time you might succeed, but it will catch up with you. I would not be in David Wratt’s shoes right now for any price.

Dreadful display of ignorance

Wayne Mapp did not appear to know

  • that the schedule of adjustments was not, in fact, contained in the voluminous references NIWA gave the NZ Climate Science Coalition (CSC)
  • that there are reasons other than location changes to adjust temperature readings
  • that the schedule of adjustments is not on NIWA’s web site
  • that Salinger’s thesis is not publicly available
  • the difference between the methodology of the temperature adjustments and the adjustments themselves
  • that the documents cited by NIWA do not in fact exist on NIWA’s web site but are elsewhere
  • that the famed schedule of adjustments does not actually exist

It was a dreadful display of ignorance by a Minister facing questions in the Parliament. Continue Reading →

Apologise? Why?

A cracked egg

It’s hard to know what Mr Renowden is trying to say in his post attacking me/us. Entitled Egg/face interface for Hide and the climate cranks, it asks for an apology from us/me but fails to mention what for.

I’ll have a closer look soon and comment on it. But it looks like the same tiresome stuff, I fear, as we’ve dealt with already. NIWA have told us that they don’t have all the records to give us a full answer but they will reconstruct them and show us why the adjustments are justified. To demonstrate that, they’ve just released the adjustment schedule for Hokitika.

There’s no reason for us to apologise, but we have thanked them.

We (our scientists) are looking at the Hokitika adjustments. We’re also examining Salinger’s thesis. Finally. Hurrah. It’s catastrophically long so any opinion will be a while in coming.

Gareth’s rant has attracted a great many comments, a lot of them rambling off the topic, but too few of any value and, regrettably common at Hot Topic, too many of none.

NIWA loses, opts for fresh start

NZ temperature icon

Regular readers will know that we asked NIWA how they adjusted the NZ temperature series. In reply, they distracted, deceived and disparaged us. We checked what they told us and it was false. They lose.

They admit they never had the temperature adjustments we were asking for. Why didn’t they just say so in the beginning? We and the NZ public await an apology for their dissembling.

They’ve done the hard thing and admitted the truth. So the good news is they can now get on with some real science. They say they will “recreate” the adjustments. Whatever they mean by that, it must be an improvement on trying to denigrate us when we ask for information. It is also good that they reexamine the 30-year-old claims of warming that wobble now they lack any scientific support. In fact, there is evidence they are false. More on that later. Continue Reading →

FARCE: NIWA don’t have the changes

UPDATE 1 1st Feb, 11:16 pm: The second paragraph should have stated that Jim Renwick was quoted in the Herald, not Jim Salinger. My apologies; this has been corrected.


unadjusted NZ temperature graph

Heads must roll

Turning into farce

In an astounding admission of ineptitude, after their former arm-waving and expostulations of injustice, NIWA have finally confessed that they cannot provide the adjustments they made to the original temperature readings in the official NZ temperature record. Continue Reading →

NIWA bows at last to pressure, but feels ‘insulted’

Tam-o-Shanter sea urchin

In the NZ Herald yesterday morning came news that NIWA is “putting all of its temperature data and calculations on the internet”.

It’s been five weeks since the NZCSC request to NIWA’s CEO, John Morgan, under the Official Information Act; it’s only two months since we published our study critical of the handling of the NZ temperature record; and it is decades since Dr Vincent Gray, Dr Warwick Hughes, Dr Jim Hessell and others started asking Dr Jim Salinger for his data and calculations.

This is tremendous news and it is to NIWA’s credit that they are releasing the data. But one comment from Renwick strikes a sour and revealing note:

Yesterday Dr Renwick said that while he had no problem releasing the Niwa data he found it insulting to be singled out when, for example, medical and Treasury researchers were not expected to disclose all of their workings. “There is a real issue of trust here. The assumption is people like myself don’t know what we are doing or we’ve got some kind of agenda just to get research funding.”

He feels insulted? He should stop whining. Any discomfort Jim Renwick feels in being compelled to hand over to the public this public data is of his and his colleagues’ own making. NIWA is being singled out only because of its sustained intransigence over many years. 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.”