The NIWA case is to be heard before a panel of three judges at the Court of Appeal in Wellington tomorrow, Tuesday, 15 October.
The focussed grounds are that all three NIWA temperature series resulted from serious mistakes of fact, which impugned the rationality of the Crown Entity’s decisions.
The Coalition is also seeking reversal of the High Court’s costs order.
NIWA is cross-appealing. It apparently suggests that CRIs should not be subject to public law, but that CRIs are akin to SOEs. Also that NIWA’s supply of temperature research to the Crown is the result of commercial research contracts.
The judgement is likely to be reserved.
Should try practising responsible journalism
The following correspondence from Lord Monckton to the NZ Herald concerning a scurrilous, misleading and repugnant APNZ article published today was posted on the NZ Climate Science Coalition’s web site
VISCOUNT MONCKTON’S RESPONSE TO DENIGRATORY ARTICLE IN NZ HERALD
Posted 3 April 2013
Viscount Christopher Monckton, who has just begun a speaking tour of New Zealand, has responded to an article in the on-line edition of the New Zealand Herald, attacking his qualifications and motives.
Lord Monckton comments: “I have attached some recent material, for interest. The paper on climate economics has been accepted for publication in the Annual Proceedings of the World Federation of Scientists, now in its 45th year of publication. My expert-review comments on the forthcoming Fifth Assessment Report will, I hope, demonstrate that I have taken a constructive approach.
For the sake of correcting the factual record, I am inviting the Climate Science Coalition to post up and circulate widely a copy of my letter to the editor correcting the slew of malicious inaccuracies in the Herald’s article as soon as the Herald has published it, so as to minimize the intended damage to my reputation.” Continue Reading →
The NZ Climate Science Coalition’s opponents have attacked it for creating a Trust (the NZ Climate Science Education Trust, NZCSET) for the sole purpose of unfairly (perhaps, in the opinion of some, unlawfully) avoiding costs if they lost the court case against NIWA.
However, there are sensible reasons for creating a legal entity to take someone to court. One of the first questions a judge asks is “who are the parties?” If that simple question cannot be answered by naming a legal entity the case doesn’t get off the ground and the judge just gets annoyed.
So, although the NZCSC did the scientific work in challenging NIWA’s techniques, it couldn’t take the court proceedings. An unincorporated association cannot sue or be sued, as it has no legal existence separate from its multifarious members. Continue Reading →
The Sunday Star-Times claims the NZ Climate Science Coalition has “formed an unlikely alliance” with “the losers of an infamous tax-dodging trial.”
Ha, ha, very funny. The Coalition isn’t even part of the Court case – it’s being brought by the NZ Climate Science Education Trust (NZCSET, or the Trust). Nor has any “alliance” been formed – the only losers are the innocent readers being fed this arrant nonsense. Where does that paper find its material?
If only the reporter had interviewed our chairman. Oh, wait, he did.
Having established those two quite spectacularly incorrect factoids, the doughty environmental reporter continues with three more inaccuracies:
1. That the Coalition doesn’t believe that people cause “climate change”.
2. That NIWA has been awarded costs.
3. That the Trust asked about the judge’s forestry interests as part of its appeal against the Court’s decision on our request for a judicial review.
Continue Reading →
Roger Andrews has investigated the warming in New Zealand over the last 100 years and is published at Tall Bloke. He happily confirms the NZCSC audit of NIWA’s 7SS.
I especially like his comment:
An argument can in fact be made that if adjustments this large are needed to make the raw records “correct” then the raw records were far too heavily distorted to have been used to begin with.
h/t – Bob D.
So shut up, you lot!
NIWA, in its memorandum to Justice Venning about the costs of our court case, says some curious things. I’ve pulled out a few of the ripostes that the NZCSET’s lawyers have just delivered to the judge and which I’m delighted to share with you. (Bear in mind that the APPLICANT is the Coalition. The DEFENDANT is NIWA.) This one’s a pearler:
29. The defendant alleges in paragraph 17 that the proceeding did not concern climate change…
This is breathtaking. It will surprise their long-suffering supporters – having endured NIWA’s hogwash about the 7SS not being “official” or even a “national” temperature record (“oh, it’s only for study”), and that this organisation of top scientists has no obligation WHATSOEVER to strive for excellence, they now have to stand cringing as their favourite publicly-paid climate scientists argue that the court case had nothing to do with climate change.
Really? What rot. I’d like to shake these men up and make them see sense. Continue Reading →
The question arises, m’lud, of costs
Unaffordable justice is not justice.
But before payment ever becomes an issue, the very availability of a Court of law is vital, for it guarantees that the ordinary citizen may have his grievances examined by a disinterested judge. We shouldn’t underestimate the power of the unperturbed mind to resolve disputes, remedy wrongs and instil peace; it’s fair to say that nothing else can.
The significance of the Court’s availability increases with the increasing power of one’s adversary, until the adversary is the Crown itself, when the importance of an open Court surpasses everything. For in battling the Crown or the State one stands to lose everything, the combat is so unequal. Only the judge stands between the citizen and the Crown. Outside the courtroom the citizen would be crushed without thought, but before the judge the agent of the Crown will discover that he meets an equal Continue Reading →
A court challenge to the validity of the New Zealand temperature record [NZTR] has concluded. The Judgement refused all three parts of the challenge to the NZTR.
The challenge had been initiated by a group of climate researchers called The New Zealand Climate Science Education Trust [the Trust] against the government funded scientific body which prepared the NZTR, the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research LTD [NIWA].
The Trust issued a Statement of Claim [SOC] seeking:
A declaration that the New Zealand Temperature Record is not a full
and accurate record of changes in the average surface temperatures
recorded in New Zealand since 1900.
Continue Reading →
To be a judge in New Zealand is to wield substantial power. Here we have evidence that judicial power can reverse the meaning of a word.
The judgement in our case against NIWA said at paragraph 9:
Both the original statement of claim and the first amended statement of claim were prolix.
The word “prolix” comes from the Latin “prolixus”, which means “extended” (literally “poured out”) or “courteous, favourable”. It has come to mean “tediously lengthy, bombastic, long-winded, verbose, wordy.”
It’s not used as a compliment. When a judge describes your submission as prolix he’s saying “your explanatory skills are poor, you waffle and you have wasted much of my time.” Continue Reading →
The Herald has today editorialised its rancour against climate sceptics and repeated oft-heard unfounded criticisms (h/t – Andy). They make a couple of good points but so many blunders I’ve time for only a brief tour of them. Herald statements in green (emphasis added).
A year ago, James Hansen, one of the world’s top climate scientists, conceded that climate sceptics were winning the argument with the public over global warming. This, he said, was occurring even as climate science itself was showing ever more clearly that the Earth was in increasing danger from rising temperatures.
Just as Hansen didn’t justify his statement then, the leader writer doesn’t justify it now, Continue Reading →
In November 2009, about a week before the international climate change conference in Copenhagen, the CCG and the NZCSC (the Coalition) released a paper we’d been working on for some time — “Are we feeling warmer yet?” (AWFWY).
On pages 13 and 14 of his affidavit to the High Court, Dr Wratt devotes six paragraphs to our paper and contrives to misrepresent it – obviously trying to give it a bad name. First, he correctly quotes a sentence from the paper:
There are no reasons for any large corrections.
Then he observes:
“NZCSC members… appear to ignore the fact that good scientific practice requires adjustment for site changes before temperature series are analysed for long-term changes.”
Thus he establishes two things:
1. The paper finds no reasons to make large corrections, but it should.
2. The paper makes no corrections, but it should.
Fairly straightforward and not hard to understand. Except that: Continue Reading →
It was a great disappointment that Justice Venning was not prepared to declare NIWA’s data adjustments to be a breach of the Crown Research Institutes Act 1992.
On the law, the Judge found that any review should be “tolerant” and “cautious” because NIWA was “a specialist body acting within its own sphere of expertise.” He declined to rule on the disputed science – while tending to favour the 92-page opinion evidence provided by NIWA’s Dr Wratt (which was not subject to cross-examination).
Where does this now leave the NZCSC’s long-term effort to show that the NIWA temperature adjustments are wrong? Continue Reading →
We never said it was fraud
Professor James Renwick’s press release yesterday celebrating NIWA’s court “victory” was wrong. The opening paragraph said:
A group of leading New Zealand climate scientists (listed below) welcomed Justice Geoffrey Venning’s ruling to throw out the claim by the New Zealand Climate Science Education Trust (CSET, a small group of climate change “sceptics”) that NIWA had acted fraudulently in putting together its ‘7-station’ temperature series.
But the Trust did not claim fraud in its Statement of Claim to the High Court, which nowhere uses any derivative of the word fraud. The Coalition never accused NIWA of fraud and these scientists cannot justify their claim that it did.
This fictitious accusation against members of the NZ Climate Science Coalition and its Trust might have added to the excitement of the press release, but the stimulus came at the expense of the truth.
To people accustomed to hearing ad hominem remarks of the worst kind, accusing climate sceptics of alleging fraud is perhaps of no great concern, but to those devoted to the even-handed, practical pursuit of truth this accusation is deeply distressing.
It must be withdrawn and Dr Renwick must apologise. They need to man up and admit their mistake, apologise and withdraw the press statement.
Would proper scientists expect anything less of others?
Awards costs to NIWA
Mr Justice Venning has released his judgement in the case between the NZ Climate Science Education Trust (NZCSET) and NIWA.
All three of NZCSET’s requests to the Court were declined. Costs were awarded to NIWA.
I’ll have more to say when I’ve read the judgement in full. In the meantime, Scoop has a story with a number of links.
James Renwick has been admirably quick with a press release from a small group of scientists but he entirely mischaracterises our suit:
Scientific analysis and discussion is carried out through the peer-reviewed literature. The basic science of climate change (global warming) has been established for well over a century, and almost all scientists active in climate research agree that human activity is causing the climate to change. For a small group of scientists to appeal to a court of law to find otherwise is bizarre.
I have evidence, having corresponded with him, that James can read, but did he read what was clearly stated in the judgement? The facts are that our three causes of action concerned the New Zealand temperature record, not any global record, and we discussed only the New Zealand climate, not the global climate. We never discussed the causes, magnitude or future course of global warming.
In repeating this lie about what we said he makes it well-nigh impossible for even a well-informed member of the public to assemble anything but a wrong-headed view of our actual intentions.
In doing so Professor Renwick corrupts his position of influence.
UPDATE 8 Sep 2012
Jo Nova comments on the decision.
Here’s some good news: Mr Justice Venning said today that he intends granting my request to view the Court documents.
The other party to gain access is APNZ News Service, through Matthew Theunissen – that’s the Herald’s agency.
Because the file is in his Chambers and is the subject of a reserved decision, we must wait until the decision is delivered before we get access to it. I’m looking forward to studying the transcript because I missed a lot by not attending all the hearing. I’m not sure there’s much of interest in the other exhibits, but of course I haven’t seen them yet!
The Registrar’s office told me none of the material exists in electronic form. So that’s a shame – it means anything I want to post online I’ll have to type or convert with an OCR program. So let’s hope the quality is good.
It sounds as though I’ll get access to the whole suitcase full but I might have to be selective in posting only the juicy pieces online. And I won’t see the file for perhaps two or three months anyway.
Today we bring you more details of the High Court hearing from two weeks ago, including a surprising admission by NIWA, who practically discard the “peer review” provided for them by the Australian Bureau of Meteorology (BoM).
In various previous posts (NZ sceptics v. NIWA – summary of case, More about the NZ temperature record, What warming, Incredible sham from NIWA and others) we summarise the *Coalition’s case against the Seven-Station Series (7SS).
Since 1999 this temperature series has been providing the basis for New Zealand’s climate change policies, but its major role has been to be presented whenever a public body needs official evidence of the country’s temperature history.
Until we investigated, NIWA’s web site did not disclose that the temperature readings had been adjusted. We only found out when we went to graph the data they provided – our graph was wildly different from theirs and showed no warming. Continue Reading →
EDITORIAL NOTE: As an organ of the NZ Climate Science Coalition (NZCSC, or the Coalition), the NZ Climate Science Education Trust (NZCSET) was created especially to carry the Coalition’s legal suit against the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research Limited (NIWA). The creation of a subsidiary is common in such cases and carries the approval of the judge. References here to the Coalition include the Trust. As a member of the Coalition, I sometimes say “we”, meaning the Coalition. The following is based on notes and conversations with our legal team and should be fairly accurate. Any mistakes are mine.
The hearing of the case between the Trust and NIWA ended on Thursday, with no surprises emerging from the defence presentation.
The Coalition had three causes of action against:
(a) The original Seven Station Series (7SS) published in 1999.
(b) The Review of NIWA’s “Seven-Station” Temperature Series (which is now the official version of the national temperature record).
(c) The Eleven-Station Series that was unadjusted.
Note that the Eleven-Station Series was issued in 2009 solely to counter the Coalition’s paper, “Are we feeling warmer yet,” published on November 25, 2009. The hastily-prepared 11SS appeared just eight days later in rebuttal, Continue Reading →
My apologies for my tardiness. I’ve been taking care of business, family and self. Now I can at last post a brief description of the final day of the hearing.
But first, please join me in a round of bashful giggling aimed at me. Why? I never knew that Wednesday, the day before this last day, had been scheduled as a rest day, and nobody turned up. Which renders my apology for not turning up quite redundant, I think. Well, let’s move on.
On this Thursday morning Justin Smith, counsel for the defendant, NIWA, presented their defence to the Coalition’s statement of claim. When I arrived after lunch he was presenting legal authorities concerning crown bodies, or state-owned enterprises. He spoke in a remarkably soft voice and, as I was seated behind him, that meant I failed to pick up a good three-quarters of what he said.
He must have been responding to our charge that NIWA did not perform its statutory duty. He said: “They’re not duties, they’re not called duties, they’re called operating principles.” Continue Reading →
The hearing finished about 3:30 pm today, Mr Justice Venning reserved his decision and the legal team and I had a few beers afterwards.
There’s little sense of what the decision might be. I’ll post a fuller report of the day’s session tomorrow.
Local warmists are scathing in their condemnation of the Coalition’s action against NIWA, but their fury is fuelled by fossilised notions of what we’re trying to do. Not to mention flawed by having only a distant acquaintance with what we have actually said.
It’s a fossil fuel-filled fury.
There is everywhere a tendency to take pot shots at our suit without engaging with the substance of it. For example, Continue Reading →
I’m sorry, but there was too much work today to get to the High Court. There’ll be no report from the forecourt of the High Court today.
I plan to be in attendance tomorrow afternoon and hope it’s now NIWA’s turn to bat. I can’t wait to hear what they say.
UPDATE: This day (Wednesday) was a rest day – nobody attended the case. So everything worked out well.
The NZ Herald yesterday covered our suit against NIWA. But the heading was:
Global warming sceptics accuse Niwa of temperature deception
And the first paragraph said:
“A group of global warming sceptics has accused Niwa of deception over the issue…”
But this wasn’t true. Our suit says nothing about NIWA’s motivation in producing errors in the national temperature record, much less accuses them of deception.
I emailed Abby Gillies, the reporter:
Thanks for covering the Coalition’s suit against NIWA. I should complain, though, about your allegation: “A group of global warming sceptics has accused Niwa of deception over the issue…”
That is not the case. We don’t use the word deception Continue Reading →
Four lawyers went to court today, among a total of 13 people: the judge and a clerk, four lawyers conducting business, one sceptical witness (yours truly – Bob was busy), two senior NIWA scientists, a friendly David Wratt and slightly sullen Brett Mullan, the friendly Tim Mahood (their general counsel), and three others who appear highly prosperous and might be lawyers. Six for them and one for us (not counting working lawyers).
From time to time one or two female journalists sit to one side tapping on their laptops. Just before lunch a fellow turned up and sat beside me. I introduced myself and he said he was a sceptic (“from way back”) who heard of the court case only yesterday and couldn’t wait to come along.
Today was the second day of the Coalition’s action against NIWA. Our counsel, Terry Sissons, was still taking Mr Justice Venning through our statement of claim. It should have been NIWA’s turn by now, Continue Reading →
The NZ Climate Science Coalition has lodged its submission on the government’s proposed amendments to the Emissions Trading Scheme. The submission is unemotional, even subdued, yet it makes compelling reading.
Readers of the Climate Conversation Group will not be surprised to hear that the Coalition thinks New Zealand’s response to so-called Anthropogenic Global Warming should strictly follow international agreements.
The Coalition does not like the extreme green idea that we should be an inspiration to the rest of the world — light some kind of beacon, stick our necks out.
So, it recommends that at the end of this year, when the Kyoto Protocol expires, our involvement should expire with it. Continue Reading →
The subject of our court case against NIWA has surfaced again with our recent filing of papers. Ken Perrott has been quick to go on the attack but so far he hasn’t a clue what we’re actually asking for.
For the record, Ken, we’re not accusing our public climate scientists of “scientific fraud” as you claim on your blog. We’re saying (and proving) they made serious mistakes in their reconstruction of the national temperature record.
WUWT has posted a great summary of the NIWA story written by one Andi Cockroft in NZ.
This is a fresh thread for an interesting court case that’s being watched around New Zealand and the world, from all sides of the climate debate.
“RENT BOY” UPDATE, 20 May
Someone’s finally told another “rob taylor” about his namesake insulting one of us at Hot Topic. He writes in high dudgeon, claims the same name, says he has worked for Greenpeace and disowns any interest in our discussion of the environment.
On the Internet, where nobody knows you’re a dog, it’s usually best to let sleeping dogs lie. Where might this lead?
It’s odd that this new rob taylor also disdains the use of capital letters, just like the rob taylor we know and love. Must be our modern mis-education system.
This is the latest rob taylor’s comment in full. It was received on May 20, 2012 at 2:10 am.
This is rob taylor from greenpeace, the only rob taylor from greenpeace and in no way have I been involved with this debate until this point until a friend informed me of this chat, which I have not the slightest bit of interest in. I have not worked at GP in NZ since I organized the March Against Mining on Queen St in 2010, and do not intend to engage in any environment debates in NZ in the foreseeable future let alone describing people I do not know in a public forum as “rent boys”. look somewhere else please lads and do not drag mine and Greenpeaces name into your discussion.
In July last year the NZ Climate Science Coalition published an independent analysis of NIWA’s reconstruction of our national temperature record (NZTR) entitled New Zealand – Unaffected by Global Warming.
It’s the only independent analysis carried out on the reconstruction (nobody else has bothered). As far as I know, nobody much has even read the report. So we need to tease out some of the details and start talking about them. They’re a bit startling, considering the diet of alarm we’ve been getting from the news media for the last twenty years.
What would Kiwis do if they knew the facts of the country’s temperature record? Would they demand the government ditch the ETS because there’s no reason for it? Would they march on Parliament?
Because one of the insights from our expert analysis is that there’s been neither unprecedented warming nor strong recent warming in New Zealand, despite claims of both from the alarmists. Continue Reading →
Attention: News Editors, Political, Science and Environment Reporters
International Climate Science Coalition Rejects Durban Agreement to set New Greenhouse Gas Emission Targets
No “Climate Debt” is owed to developing countries
Ottawa, Canada, December 11, 2011: “Developed nations are not guilty of causing the climate change that developing nations claim they are suffering,” said Tom Harris, executive director of ICSC which is headquartered in Ottawa, Canada. “Climate changes all the time—both warming and cooling—due to natural causes and there is nothing that we can do to stop it. However, to the degree possible, and considering our economic circumstances, developed nations still have a moral obligation to devote a proportion of their foreign aid to helping the world’s most vulnerable people adapt to natural climate events.” Continue Reading →
From the Christchurch Press today comes alarming news:
Rising sea levels are a greater threat to Christchurch’s seaside suburbs than previously realised, a climate scientist is warning.
Speaking at Canterbury University this afternoon, Jim Salinger said latest estimates could have major implications for Christchurch’s earthquake rebuild.
Christchurch City Council should be working to a one-metre estimate for sea level rise, he said.
“It’s the opportunity for Christchurch in its rebuild, it should be looking at at least a metre. Some local bodies in Australia are using one metre.”
Salinger plucks the same alarmist harp strings he’s been picking for decades. He specifies one metre: does he include those places which are 500mm higher after the earthquake? They should get a discount.
But the Coalition chairman Barry Brill decisively puts this loose cannon of a climate scientist down, demanding evidence: Continue Reading →
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 →
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 →
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 →
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 →
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 →
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 →
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 →
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 →
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).
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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 →
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 →
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?
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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 →
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 →
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”.
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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:
I look forward to some informed comments and perhaps enlightenment.
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 →
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
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”).
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 →
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
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 →
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
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 →
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 →
UPDATE, below. Stunning new insights from Salinger’s thesis.
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 →