FARCE: NIWA don’t have the changesRichard Treadgold | February 1, 2010
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.
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.
Who can trust these people?
Just two days ago, Dr Jim Renwick, NIWA Principal Climate Scientist, was quoted in the Herald as saying:
“There is a real issue of trust here. The assumption is people like myself don’t know what we are doing…”
I said yesterday he should stop whining about being picked on and realise that it’s only happening because NIWA have always refused to provide these data.
Of course, now we know they were forced to refuse — they couldn’t provide them, because they never had them in the first place. But it is sloppy science.
We might have merely assumed you were incompetent before, but now there’s proof, Dr Renwick! You say there is a real “issue” of trust — we say it’s actually a problem of trust but it goes in the other direction. Why didn’t you record the changes you made to the raw temperature readings?
Without the adjustments — each and every one of them, with each of their reasons — NIWA cannot justify them, so they are little better than mere guesses. They carry no scientific weight at all. The adjustments are meaningless.
What are the implications for global warming in New Zealand? Well, we have to go back to the raw temperature readings, and the study we jointly published last year on those readings shows that, since 1850, the temperature rose by about 0.06°C per century — statistically insignificant. The temperature did not rise. There is no warming. If the globe warmed, New Zealand did not.
If we did not warm, we did not contribute to the warming of the globe (if it warmed), for how could we, unless we managed the trick of warming at a distance?
NZCSC says casual changes no better than guesswork
So, we needn’t be concerned to ruin our economy to fix a non-existent problem.
In a press release issued today, the New Zealand Climate Science Coalition (NZCSC) urges the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA) to abandon its in-house adjustments to temperature records.
In December, the NZCSC had issued a formal request for the schedule of adjustments under the Official Information Act 1982, specifically seeking copies of “the original worksheets and/or computer records used for the calculations”. On 29 January, NIWA responded that they no longer held any internal records, and merely referred to the scientific literature that describes changes in general.
You can read the rest of the press release at Scoop.
Who’s in charge at NIWA?
On the same day that Dr Renwick was promising in the Herald to put “all of its temperature data and calculations on the internet”, the company’s general counsel, Tim Mahood, was confessing in writing to the NZCSC that “NIWA does not hold copies of the original worksheets”.
How can they put what they don’t possess on the Internet?
What’s going on? Who, exactly, is in charge at NIWA right now? How can they present such diametrically opposed positions at the same moment?
It’s turning into farce
Who, Dr David Wratt (Chief Scientist, Climate), has egg on his face? Who is it, Mr John Morgan (CEO)? Are you embarrassed, Dr Renwick?
This is not about the science, it’s about the management. You’re going to have to clean up your act on more than one level, boys.
This is turning into farce.
Will their apologists at Hot Topic agree that NIWA has let us down?