New Zealand’s NIWA sued over climate data adjustments

NIWA is being sued by the NZ Climate Coalition, mainly due to the differences in data in this graph:

Niwa sued over data accuracy

The country’s state-owned weather and atmospheric research body is being taken to court in a challenge over the accuracy of its data used to calculate global warming.

The New Zealand Climate Science Coalition said it had lodged papers with the High Court asking the court to invalidate the official temperatures record of the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (Niwa).

The lobby of climate sceptics and ACT Party have long criticised Niwa over its temperature data, which Niwa says is mainstream science and not controversial, and the raw data publicly available.

The coalition said the New Zealand Temperature Records (NZTR) were the historical base of NIWA’s advice to the Government on issues relating to climate change.

Coalition spokesman Bryan Leyland said many scientists believed although the earth had been warming for 150 years, it had not heated as much as Government archives claimed.

He said the New Zealand Meteorological Service had shown no warming during the past century but Niwa had adjusted its records to show a warming trend of 1degC. The warming figure was high and almost 50 percent above the global average, said Mr Leyland.

Full story here:

http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/4026330/Niwa-sued-over-data-accuracy

But it seems some think the challenge is “stupid”

http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/4026553/Court-challenge-to-Niwa-stupid

The New Zealand Climate Science Education Trust, a newly registered arm of the Coalition, has filed a claim in the High Court seeking a declaration to invalidate the NZ Temperature Record, currently promoted by NIWA, and featured on its website. Media release, backgrounder and summary of claim here:
http://www.climatescience.org.nz/images/PDFs/niwa.ct.docs.pdf

Partial text below, more details in the PDF link above.

The New Zealand Climate Science Coalition
Hon Secretary, Terry Dunleavy MBE JP, 14A Bayview Road, Hauraki, North Shore City 0622
Phone (09) 486 3859 – Mobile 0274 836688

– Email – terry.dunleavy@nzclimatescience.org.nz
13 August 2010
High Court asked to invalidate NIWA’s official NZ temperature record
The High Court has been asked to invalidate the New Zealand official temperature record (NZTR) as promoted by the Crown Research Institute, NIWA. These records are the historical base of NIWA’s scientific advice to central and local government on issues relating to climate change. NIWA maintains temperature archives for the past
century, and also projects them forward for the next century.
The statement of claim filed on behalf of the New Zealand Climate Science Education Trust (NZCSET) asks the court for three rulings:

A: to set aside NIWA’s decisions to rely upon its Seven Station Series (7SS) and Eleven Station Series (11SS), and
to find the current NZTR to be invalid
B: to prevent NIWA from using the current NZTR (or information originally derived from it) for the purpose of
advice to any governmental authority or to the public
C: to require NIWA to produce a full and accurate NZTR.
”Twentieth-century temperature records are now being challenged all around the world” said Bryan Leyland, spokesman for the NZCSET. “But I think we are the first country where the issues are to be placed squarely before an independent judicial forum.”
“Many scientists believe that, although the earth has been in a natural warming phase for the past 150 years, it has not heated as much as Government archives claim. The precise trend figure is extremely important, as it forms the sole basis of the claim that human activities are the dominant cause of the warming.

“The New Zealand Met Service record shows no warming during the last century, but NIWA has adopted a series of invariably downward adjustments in the period prior to World War 2. Because these move the old temperature records downwards, the 7SS NZTR shows a huge bounce-back of over 1°C in the first half of the century” said Mr
Leyland. “Although this is out of line with dozens of other records, and has been the subject of sustained questioning by both the New Zealand Climate Science Coalition and the ACT party, NIWA refuses to accept that there are serious problems with the adjustments. In fact, no one has been able to explain exactly how they were
arrived at.”

The Court proceedings also allege bias and unethical conduct on the part of NIWA’s National Climate Centre. These are based partly on NIWA allegedly delegating the NZTR decision to a former employee, James Salinger, knowing that he had a vested interest in an untested theory put forward in his own 1981 thesis. NIWA also knew that the data and calculations for that theory had been lost, and, thus could not be replicated.

Another core criticism is NIWA’s constant reliance on an eleven-station series it produced last December. The flaws in this paper have been highlighted many times, including at

http://www.quadrant.org.au/blogs/doomed-planet/2010/06/nz-climate-crisis-gets-worse

“We find it hard to believe NIWA management just failed to notice that all the warming in the ‘eleven-station’ series was caused by the fact that it starts off with only three stations in 1931. From 1945 onwards there are between 9 and 11 stations” said Mr Leyland, “It’s astonishing how the increasing number of stations leads to greater warming, more alarm, and increased research grants.”

The Court will be asked to rule that NIWA has refused to repudiate the current NZTR in order to avoid political embarrassment, and feared loss of public confidence in the objectivity of its scientists. The proceedings were filed and served this week, and NIWA has up to a month to respond.

NOAA gets its temperature data from the Goddard Institute for Space Studies.
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114 Responses to New Zealand’s NIWA sued over climate data adjustments

  1. pat says:

    It is about time. The NIWA data was pure fraud. They actually went out of their way to destroy all computerized records of the real data. Unfortunately for them the print journals were in libraries and museums. People lost money because of these nut cases.

  2. pat says:

    And all new data should be suspect. These people are not scientists. They are crazed environmentalists that seek to turn NZ into a tribal paradise.

  3. Leon Brozyna says:

    Funny how that works … temperature records for the first half of the 20th century adjusted downward, resulting in a new more significant warming trend. Talk about confirmation bias. One would think that, with increasing urbanization since the second world war impacting temperatures, that the data from the first half of the 20th century would be left as is and that the temperature records of the latter half of the 20th century would be adjusted downward, resulting in even less warming than the raw data suggests. But that would go against the built in beliefs.

    Not much funding can be found in a non-problem …

  4. Caleb says:

    We should hope this could have been avoided, by honest peer review. Unfortunately science has failed to clean its own house. Therefore this attack on the quiet and sanctity of the scientist’s reserch must occur. It is, in fact, high time it occurs, not only in New Zealand but world wide.

    Money corrupts, and I fear certain scientists allowed themselves to, in essence, be bribed. They deserve to be thrown under the bus, however I hope various investigations don’t stop there. It would be good to throw the book at those who had the money to do the bribing.

  5. AndiC says:

    As some others have predicted, as the weekend gave way to the working week and Editors came back to work, this story has been buried by most mainstream online media. You have to search to find it or know the links. So much for Godzone (what we Kiwis like to call NZ) having an independent and thinking media.

    Andy

  6. krazykiwi says:

    Excellent news — NZers must now sustain a multi-billion dollar ETS tax on the basis of what appears to be very dubious science, and NZ contributes less than 0.3% of the global GHG’s. NZ citizens have been stitch up by a cash-strapped government that has designed an ETS to deliver forestry tax credits to an indigenous tribal groups represented by the Maori Party, the governments coalition partner.

    The Climate Change Minister (yes we have one..) has not answered a question asking him to declare an complete absence of pecuniary interest for him, or anyone closely associated with him, in any form of carbon trading. When challenged at a public meeting he huffed and puffed about being ‘insulted’ by being asked this question. But he did not answer it.

    Yes, there is an odious stench of enviro-political manipulation down here.

  7. paulsnz says:

    Hey they have just spent 13Million TAX NZ dollars on a new climate modeling computer, they will be too busy tweaking the dials to get the results they want.

  8. Martin Brumby says:

    Absolutely laughable.

    Or at least, it would be if the policy & economic consequences weren’t so serious.

    BigSnakeOil strikes again.

  9. Whaleoil says:

    And the CEO of NIWA is contributing his own little mountain of carbon footprints with his car.

    Another hypocrite of gore-like proportions

    http://whaleoil.gotcha.co.nz/2010/08/15/n-i-w-a-taken-to-court-over-data-accuracy/

  10. Les Francis says:

    And all new data should be suspect. These people are not scientists. They are crazed environmentalists that seek to turn NZ into a tribal paradise.

    That would be activists with a preset agenda and a science degree.

    My niece is doing a Law degree specializing in environmentalism. – Yes! There is such a course.

  11. Robin Pittwood says:

    Bryan,
    You are to be congratulated for all the work you’ve put into to analysing this. I wish you all the best for a great outcome. You and your team are legends !
    Robin

  12. stumpy says:

    It seems its not just the temperature data that NIWA have been “adjusting”. Here’s a link to a 2006 article by NIWA where they show the increasing trend in glacial ice mass for New Zealand:

    http://www.niwa.co.nz/news-and-publications/news/all/2006/2006-09-05-1 (refer to graph down page)

    Note they explain the rising trend due to increasing precipitation and El Nino events. Growing glacial mass also ties in with the conclusions of a similar published paper which analysised glacial mass and concluded “The shift to advance is driven by an average lowering of snowlines of 67 m, equivalent to a cooling of 0.47°C if other factors are held constant.” [Chinn, 2000]

    http://www.sciencedirect.com/science?_ob=ArticleURL&_udi=B6VF0-3YHWS3C-G&_user=10&_coverDate=10%2F31%2F1999&_rdoc=1&_fmt=high&_orig=search&_sort=d&_docanchor=&view=c&_searchStrId=1362539624&_rerunOrigin=scholar.google&_acct=C000050221&_version=1&_urlVersion=0&_userid=10&md5=509f694b5bd8edbae4f5da0086b7cab2

    0.47 degrees cooling? This does tie in with the temperature data for Lake Coleridge, on the eastern side of the Southern Alps and Hokitika Aero (used by NIWA and GISS) on the west coast of the southern alps which overall show a cooling trend (prior to any mysterious adjustments). These stations are fairly close to the bulk of NZ’s glaciers.

    Also, from another paper “An advance of some glaciers since 1980 is consistent with circulation changes over the New Zealand region induced by two large El Niño events”. http://hol.sagepub.com/content/2/2/97.abstract. It all seems to tie up nicely.

    Now lets look at the “new and improved” 2009 version of the earlier NIWA graph:

    http://www.niwa.co.nz/our-science/climate/news/all/glaciers-continue-to-shrink2

    Firstly, note how the title of the article is “glaciers continue to shrink”. Continue? In 2006 the graph showed a 30 year upwards trend! But wait, now the graph shows 2006 data as approx. -50, wheras in 2006 it was over +700 – thats a change of around 750m in the data, and the rising trend has magically become a downwards trend with recent values below average – watts up with that???

  13. Kiwi Man says:

    Would not get too excited here. Our present right wing govt that introduced the ETS in NZ will make sure this is a whitewash.
    NZ is screwed as we won’t mine, we are world leaders in some enviro taxes and there are too many thick people who vote in NZ.

  14. andyscrase says:

    They might need some expert witnesses on surface station measurement and accuracy.
    Any takers?

  15. Keith Battye says:

    It will be interesting if this actually gets to court because the methodology of finding the truth in a court of law is very well understood and circumscribed to exclude emotion.

    NIWA should have really learned from history that denial without proof is unsustainable just as is advocacy without proof. Those fellows at the NZCSC have put down their concerns in a succinct fashion lets see what NIWA comes back with. Presumably Mr Salinger will be asked to give testimony if he is still in skin.

    IMO the situation as detailed by Mr Watts in the above article would indicate that NIWA have some large hurdles to jump over if they are to rebuff this attack on their modified data.

  16. AleaJactaEst says:

    my question to any of our Kiwi WUWT populace would be this:

    How joined at the hip are your Courts with your Legislature?

    My worry is that they are as politicised as they are here in the UK (and I suspect worse, in the US)

  17. Nick Stokes says:

    What a strange suit! What would it mean for the court to “invalidate” the record? Would there be a “valid” court-enforced record? Updated? Would it be a contempt of court to suggest that it might be wrong?

  18. paulhan says:

    Wasn’t Salinger an ex-CRU employee, before going to NIWA. It would be my guess that he would have used similar methods to the way the CRU compiles its dataset.
    That might give us a backdoor insight into how the CRU does their calculations, unless of course they really have lost the methodology, in which case the NIWA dataset should be thrown out and recompiled.
    Have we really reached a point where we have to take our (permanent) governments to court for something as uncontroversial as the methodology by which they derive temperatures? It’s not just New Zealand.
    It’s almost as if they are at war with us, yet these people carry on getting paid no matter who gets into power. I see it almost every day, with our police force hiding behind bushes and bus shelters in order to catch unwary motorists doing a couple of miles over the speed limit. How did we let it get to this point?

  19. Mike Haseler says:

    The key phrase is: “no one is able to explain how the adjustments were made”. This strongly suggests that these adjustments were made on a purely ad hoc basis with absolutely no scientific basis by people with a vested interest in showing a “result”.

    This now turns the basis of proof for this “science” on its head. No longer have the sceptics got to prove the “scientists” wrong, now they will have to prove they were right and by the sound of it, that appears to be a very very tall order.

    Now the courts are involved there is no hiding behind “no one can be shown to have lied” – this is now put up or shut up, and as they can’t put up the evidence, this is going to be shut up!

    Yes! This is going to be climategate II

  20. Ed says:

    It’ll be interesting to see at what point the weight of legislation against warmists forces them to stop insulting our intelligence; also to see how much taxpayers’ money warmist NGOs are using to defend indefensible figures in court.

  21. Robin Kool says:

    Great. It is starting. I have been waiting for this. This will be interesting.

    A public trail where both accusers and accused can plead their case.
    With independent specialist called upon to testify.
    No more easy whitewash.

    Finally the ‘warmers’ have to respond to the claims of the ‘skeptics’.
    I expected it to happen in the US a long time ago, what with the claims of huge temperature manipulation by NASA-GISS.
    Is that in the pipe line?

  22. paulsnz says:

    My Son with his double degrees in Physics and Computer science says the science is bogus and the math’s doesn’t add up, No doubt the niece will be applying to the EDS think tank, So called Lawyers with preset Green agenda of anti-resource development at all costs, trying to argue in this case that wrong is right.

  23. Zorro says:

    Salinger gave evidence at the Turitea wind farm call-in. Using the evidence quoted in this article he was mauled. This wasn’t supposed to happen as the judge was keen to have global warming “evidence” to bolster the case for this appalling wind farm – just click on my screen name to see what is planned. NZCSET are our heroes.

  24. Margaret says:

    Someone asked: “How joined at the hip are your Courts with your Legislature?”

    The answer is that the courts are independent of the legislature both in theory and in practice.

    However, both have been over-run by the PC nonsense that rules the world ie there is no formal linkage but they all believe in the tree-hugging, nature is wonderful; industry is evil; indigenous peoples are perfect; and parents shouldn’t damage their kids psyche by being parents rubbish that passes for “knowledge” these day.

  25. el gordo says:

    From my scanty reading it appears a full court case will only proceed if it’s established during a depositions hearing that there is a case to answer.

    NIWA and their supporters on the gravy train believe its unlikely to get the nod.

  26. nofreewind says:

    I think that Hadley CRUT did the same thing. Look at this chart of temperatures from 1940-1997, it is basically flat, very little warming. So if we plot Hadley from 1940 to 1980 there is no change in temperature trend. Then let’s plot satellite temp from 1978 to 1977 and that temperature trend is also basically flat.
    http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/hadcrut3vgl/from:1940/to:1980/mean:12/plot/uah/from:1979/to:1997/mean:12
    If you look at temp this way, since 1940 – the beginning of the industrial age, the ONLY significant rise in temp was in 1998, and we all know that was due to El Nino when an enormous amount of heat was released from the ocean, and temps have been flat since.
    http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/hadcrut3vgl/from:1998/mean:12/plot/uah/from:1998/to/mean:12

  27. Manfred says:

    Nick Stokes says…

    the advantages of judges ruling a manifold:

    - an independent panel is prerequisite
    - they will hear both sides of the issue
    - they can seek truely independent and compentent advise to resolve issues (I would guess that qualified statisticians are able to do a much better job than Salinger or NIWA)

    This is in every point better than any of the inquiries we had this year.

  28. Randy says:

    I hope they NZ Climate Coalition) have good representation and solid (deep) funding. Anyone who thinks the Govt side will not arm themselves with the best QCs is fooling themselves. Govt money underpinning the case of course.

  29. KPO says:

    Nick Stokes says:
    August 16, 2010 at 2:15 am
    What a strange suit! What would it mean for the court to “invalidate” the record? Would there be a “valid” court-enforced record? Updated? Would it be a contempt of court to suggest that it might be wrong?

    Valid point, but not being a legal eagle myself, I would hope that a fair court would rule on the testimony/expertise of those called to testify. I think to be successful the applicants would have to show that any errors (if any)-(benefit of doubt) in the record are as a result of negligence or deliberate falsification. That would then open other avenues for further litigation. I don’t believe that any court can rule on what the record should show. However a successful outcome for the applicant will seriously damage the credibility of official climate records, perhaps globally. This application will also enable us to see just how deep the political influences run and just how independent the judiciary really is. Let’s wait and see.

  30. Icarus says:

    Surely this sort of dispute should be played out in the scientific literature rather than in the courts, should it not? If certain people think they have more accurate figures then they should publish a paper and let it be subject to scrutiny by their fellow scientists rather than by a court of law.

    The whole exercise seems a bit of a nonsense, given that we have a number of different temperature series produced independently around the world, from both satellite and terrestrial data, all showing the same warming trend and the same short-term variations. Roy Spencer and John Christy aren’t noted for being ‘alarmists’ so why would their data agree with Jim Hansen’s analysis that the world is warming at between 0.15 and 0.2C per decade, if it wasn’t true?

    I think it’s well past time to start taking global warming seriously and stop all the nit-picking, cherry-picking and general misdirection about the problem. People in our comfortable first-world societies have been lulled into a false sense of security, assuming without question that there will always be food on the shelves of our favourite supermarket, but with failing harvests around the world due to heatwaves, drought and flooding our food supply is looking increasingly perilous. I’m not point-scoring here folks – this is serious. None of us know what real hunger is like, I very much doubt. Famine has been a constant presence in human history, but we’ve forgotten about it in the last few generations, we think we’ve overcome it, that it’s a thing of the past. Well, it’s going to become painfully clear that that is not true. How can farmers feed the world if the climate is changing so fast that they don’t know what to plant, and what they do plant dies in the ground?

    Estimates for this year’s global grain carryover stocks have fallen to 444 million tons, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s August 12th World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates report. This amount of grain remaining in the world’s silos and stockpiles when the next harvest begins is enough to meet 72 days of consumption.

    “This drop in world carryover stocks of grain to 72 days of consumption is moving us uncomfortably close to the 64 days of carryover stocks in 2007 that fueled the 2007–08 spike in world food prices,” says Lester R. Brown, president of Earth Policy Institute.

    A searing record heat wave, severe drought, and relentless wildfires in Russia and Central Europe have decimated the region’s harvests. Russia’s wheat production is now estimated at 45 million tons, a 27 percent drop from last year. In Kazakhstan, the wheat harvest is down 32 percent to 12 million tons, and in Ukraine it is 17 million tons, 19 percent smaller than in 2009. On August 5, Russia announced that it was banning grain exports at least through the end of the year and requested that neighboring countries do the same. Since these three countries typically supply a fourth of world wheat exports, wheat prices have risen along with the region’s temperature.

    Russia runs the risk of drought spillover into the next year if there is not enough soil moisture to plant the new winter wheat crop. With soils parched, planting time only days away, and not much rain in prospect, this is a growing concern in Moscow, and indeed in the world.

    Longer, more-intense heat waves and dangerous wildfires are consistent with projections for a warming world.

    “Rising temperatures and food security do not mix,” notes Brown. “The situation in Russia gives us a preview of what could be in store if we continue to overheat our planet. This should be a wake-up call for the world: to protect our food security we need to dramatically cut carbon dioxide emissions. We cannot continue to burn coal and oil with abandon and expect to have bumper harvests that can keep up with the record demand generated by population growth and the increasing use of grain to feed livestock and to fuel cars.”

    http://www.earth-policy.org/index.php?/press_room/C68/2010_pressrelease1/

  31. Rob R says:

    Randy,

    One would hope that the NZ Climate Coalition has thought this through and is already well prepared, both on the facts, and the likely evasions by the other side. Also one would hope they are mustering some credible expert witnesses. If they get past the depositions hearing things could get interesting.

  32. tarpon says:

    Wouldn’t it be nice if we knew how accurate the 100 year old thermometers were, and how they were calibrated? It may solve a central problem.

    Why does no one care about errors?

  33. Richard S Courtney says:

    Icarus:

    At August 16, 2010 at 4:30 am you suggest:

    “Surely this sort of dispute should be played out in the scientific literature rather than in the courts, should it not? If certain people think they have more accurate figures then they should publish a paper and let it be subject to scrutiny by their fellow scientists rather than by a court of law.”

    Please read the legal complaint. It provides a complete explanation of why your suggestion is mistaken. And that reason is that NIWA is the only body authorised to provide climate data to the NZ government.

    So, publishing a refutation of NIWA’s data and methodolgy is pointless, but a legal case to force NIWA to correct its errors has potential to correct misleading information being supplied to (and used by) the NZ government.

    The remainder of your post is irrelevant to the issue at hand (but is a fine example of anti-science scaremongering).

    Richard

  34. Patrick Davis says:

    Well, I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I have worked for people at NIWA and the Department of Conservation when I lived in New Zealand and I am sure their “intentions” were real, but their “facts” and “approach” just follow the party line (Which was Labour at that time – Hey Helen Clark, how’s your new UN job going?). Far too many of these people were, errrrmmm…what’s the word, “precious” and “fragile” IMO. Some of the NIWA systems I saw, installed, debugged, supported etc, were put together in a very “Heath Robinson” way (Google it, it’s a British term for “shonky”, which is a NZ/Aus term for the same).

    NIWA does have some very powerful support, namely the NZ Govn’t, and they have a vested interest to keep the ETS going, they need the tax income.

    It is interesting the involvement of NZ Maori Party (And this is no disrespect to Maori at all in anyway) in sustainable resource management, and in this post of mine I mean all aspects of environmental management, when one remembers Maori ate Moa (A big chicken) to extinction. I guess if you’re on the pay of Govn’t middle-class welfare, then you are onto a winner! Cha-ching all the way to the bank.

  35. amicus curiae says:

    Icarus,
    Russia has a stockpile of some 29 million tonnes, enough to have covered their sales, OR for their people and livestock. the push to ban export was from the Swiss Glencorp.
    markets are panic buying and making them and others very rich at the expense of all, and worst for the poor among the world.
    Americas saying bumper wheat harvest- in spite of Canadas lost crops, there isnt going to be a real shortage just a MADE one, for money.
    Aus produces enough to export 60% of our crops, so the cry of GM to save us is also a lie.
    Sth Aus last year had millions of tonnes under Tarps as there wans t room in silos, so you tell me theres a shortage?
    I tell you to start reading the NON warmist info.

  36. Olaf Koenders says:

    As always, follow the money. Aw crap! With all the vested self-interest groups out there, how do you follow a string of spaghetti in a pot, all riding each other’s backs for a taste of the folding stuff..?

  37. Peter Wilson says:

    stumpy says:
    August 16, 2010 at 1:28 am

    Nice spotting on the glaciers. I thought NIWA should bet a chance to explain this, so I sent the following email to Michelle Hollis, NIWA’s media contact (I called her Sir, I hope she’s not offended)

    Dear Sir

    I was interested in your press release last year, http://www.niwa.co.nz/our-science/climate/news/all/glaciers-continue-to-shrink2  recording the 30 year trend of ice loss from NZ glaciers. The attached graph of changing mass balance between 1978 and 2009 does indeed show an overall downward trend in ice mass.

    I was intrigued therefore to be recently directed to your earlier release of  5 Sept 2006  http://www.niwa.co.nz/news-and-publications/news/all/2006/2006-09-05-1  In this article by Dr Salinger we are informed of a 30 year increasing trend in NZ glaciers. This is illustrated by a graph part way down the page of cumulative mass balance, which shows a very different picture to the one in your more recent release. 

    I would be  grateful if you could explain the apparent very large difference between the two graphs. They appear to be in similar units (meters elevation), yet in the more recent graph 2006 is shown as essentially the same level as 1978, whereas in the 2006 release 2006 is shown as being about 700m higher. The caption on the 2009 graph reads “scaled mass balance index”  while the earlier one reads “cumulative mass balance index”- is this the cause of the difference, and if so how? I would be interested in the scaling procedure used to produce such a large variance.

    I am sure you will agree that the apparent  contradiction between these two graphs, which I would certainly interpret as illustrating the same phenomena (as would most readers I would assume) is deserving of some explanation, which I would be very happy to pass on to the weblog on which this issue was raised.

    Regards

    Peter Wilson

    I shall of course keep you posted if (IF) I get a reply.

  38. Olaf Koenders says:

    Icarus:

    It may not be unusual for you to cry about failing crops, but this happens all the time due to natural weather patterns and local climate shifts. Bumper crops can happen on the other side of the world at the same time:

    http://tomnelson.blogspot.com/2010/08/nice-timing-from-climate-hoax-promoters.html

    What you should be concentrating on, is the biofuel scam, which takes arable land from food crops to grow fuel crops,which essentially take food from hungry mouths to power clunkers that don’t need it and actually expend more GHG’s at the same time. You need to look into this further, and take the blinkers off this time.

  39. Henry chance says:

    This is great. Court. The keepers and destroyers of numbers will have to defend their behavior. Then the almighty question: prove that the minor warming is caused by CO2. Why are we using cooked numbers to make stiff laws for energy use?

  40. Henry chance says:

    Awesome to hear about grain shortages. In the history of records, we produce a greater percentage of grain in a ratio to demand than ever before. We actually have more people on the planet struggling with obesity than starvation.

  41. Henry chance says:

    Commodity traders and speculators would rather have their investment in grain than is several falling currencies. Then they drive up prices and sell short to reap wealth on the great drop in prices.

  42. Ian George says:

    ‘…………..NIWA has adopted a series of invariably downward adjustments in the period prior to World War 2. Because these move the old temperature records downwards, the 7SS NZTR shows a huge bounce-back of over 1°C in the first half of the century.’

    We should do this in Australia with our Bureau of Meteorology. The same thing has happened here when comparing the raw long-term data against the adjusted ‘homogenised’ trend data.

    I recently checked 60 weather stations in NSW comparing the average max temp for the last 30 years against the long-term average and found an average rise of 0.20C (or 0.07C per decade) which is way below the trumpeted rise for the past 30 years.

    The interesting part is that the 30 stations with the longest records had an increase of only 0.13C which suggests that the long-term record contains many warm periods in the first half of the 1900s thus showing little warming trend. The 30 shorter term stations (ie starting 60s and 70s) had a higher trend (0.09C per decade) because they started off in a cooler period.
    No wonder the Climate Statement just released in Australia starts from the 60s. It just gets rid of those pesky earlier warm periods which would dampen the warming
    (just like the warmer 1930s in the US temperature records).

  43. el gordo says:

    Icarus

    Bob Carter’s Plan B is far superior to Lester Brown’s Plan B which is hell bent on driving us back to the dark ages.

    It’s warming to hear the msm discussing the importance of the jet stream in creating the droughts, fires and floods. Nothing to do with CO2 or CAGW.

    Natural variability can be chaotic and frightening, but Bob’s Plan B will actually assist the survival of civilization.

  44. RockyRoad says:

    Icarus says:
    August 16, 2010 at 4:30 am
    Surely this sort of dispute should be played out in the scientific literature rather than in the courts, should it not? If certain people think they have more accurate figures then they should publish a paper and let it be subject to scrutiny by their fellow scientists rather than by a court of law.
    —Reply:
    No, because public policy has been set using these bogus numbers–policy that has had a terrible impact on society. And since these “climate scientists” have made a mockery of the scrutiny process, the only timely remedy is through the legal system. Falsification of data is a crime.

  45. Alan Davidson says:

    There are very strong suspicions that the same thing has been done by Environment Canada to the Canadian temperature records. Would be interesting to see some activity on this here.

  46. Max Hugoson says:

    Even with the “adjustment” it goes to 1900, not 1940 (WWII)…

    Thus there isn’t even a good “correllation” with CO2 increases!

    So what’s their point, to show that “warming” is caused by nature? (Again, recognizing it may be a BOGUS relationship, and again, recognizing “average temperature” is more imaginary than Santa Claus..)

  47. Enneagram says:

    pat says:
    August 16, 2010 at 12:17 am
    It is about time. The NIWA data was pure fraud. They actually went out of their way to destroy all computerized records of the real data

    Perhaps the same has happened around the world, after Climate Gate….most probably a “conspiration” for not losing the pleasures of coming “sinful pleasures jamborees”. Poor guys, they got used to a “jet set” way of living provided by their hidden masters.

  48. DR says:

    Which of the two data sets are used by GHCN?

  49. jack morrow says:

    Olaf 5:36
    Exactly right Olaf. And the resulting fuels are causing lots of problems for small engines and decreasing fuel economy on other engines. A total scam just for money and a misplaced “feel-good” mindset.
    While I’m at it–A big BS to Icarus

  50. anticlimactic says:

    There could be many more court cases. When the bubble bursts I could see a lot of climate ‘scientists’ being tried for ‘crimes against humanity’. This is not just a matter of playing about with the data – it has consequences.

    In the UK for example one government body calculated the pursuit of renewables will quadruple the cost of energy. This will drive out or close all manufacturing in the UK.

    About 40% of our power plants are due to be shut down within the next few years with no clear policy on how to replace them. This could lead to continuous power cuts, which would drive out any international businesses, such as is found in the City of London. Retail businesses would disappear as there would be little money to buy things.

    If the winters continue to be long and cold then tens or hundreds of thousands of people will die as they can not afford to heat themselves. With a ruined economy the UK could not afford to import food so many more of the population could die – millions or even tens of millions.

    The UK already owes over a trillion in debt, has commitments for over a trillion in pensions, and has a trillion tied up in failed banks. Pursuing what appears to be a false threat based on false data would push the UK over the edge and totally ruin the economy.

    Most of the developed economies are in a similar position and will suffer a similar fate if these policies are pursued.

    This is what is important about the NZ data – if the NZ government pursue policies based on this data which damages the economy then there are consequences for the whole population, not just the reputation of a handful of ‘scientists’.

  51. J. Knight says:

    It is always with amazement I read comments by people such as Icarus. The policies put in place by governments supported by people like him/her are causing the very problems he complains about. Food shortages caused by the diversion of large parts of the US corn crop to ethanol production is beyond his ability to comprehend, as he comes here and pleads for more of the same. I really don’t know whether he and people like him can truly be as stupid as they appear, or whether they are tools in some nefarious plot. Perhaps their ability to think objectively has been educated out of them. Sad, really.

  52. R. de Haan says:

    Climate Change in Germany has become a “loser” topic
    http://notrickszone.com/2010/08/15/climate-change-in-germany-has-become-a-loser-topic/

  53. Pascvaks says:

    We The People… are responsible for all we do and fail to do.
    (aka – Freedom is not free!)

  54. KPO says:

    Interestingly, if the court does find in favor of the applicants, then surely the State of NZ has the obligation of prosecuting one of its own organizations. (under section ?? of the ?? act of 19??). This would be the whitewash part.

  55. johng says:

    My friend lives in Wellington and she says it’s the coldest winter she’s known!

  56. JER0ME says:

    Icarus says:
    August 16, 2010 at 4:30 am

    None of us know what real hunger is like, I very much doubt. Famine has been a constant presence in human history, but we’ve forgotten about it in the last few generations, we think we’ve overcome it, that it’s a thing of the past. Well, it’s going to become painfully clear that that is not true. How can farmers feed the world if the climate is changing so fast that they don’t know what to plant, and what they do plant dies in the ground?

    Look at history. Most of the famines in the temperate regions have been due to cold, not warmth. We have had abundance in times of warmth. That is a matter of record, not conjecture.

    The rest of your statement is pure unadulterated conjecture. There is no fast change of climate – climate changes all the time, as does weather. Get used to it – farmers do, and their yields are increasing right now.

  57. Keith Battye says:

    Icarus says:
    August 16, 2010 at 4:30 am

    Surely this sort of dispute should be played out in the scientific literature rather than in the courts, should it not? If certain people think they have more accurate figures then they should publish a paper and let it be subject to scrutiny by their fellow scientists rather than by a court of law.

    I am sure this post was just done in panic and concern for the welfare of the planet . . .

    Now that you have had time to reflect I sure you want to know . . .

    1. Is the record accurate ?

    2. If it is accurate how does it relate to supposed increases in extreme weather events ( a very subjective concept I must say ).

    3. How do these temperature and weather events connect with AGW and CO2?

    4. What can or needs to be done to help the poor farmers and their output?

    You see that before a course of action can be recommended we need to know the scale of the problem , if there is one. That’s what a full court trial is supposed to indicate.

    When that is done we need some proper research into the effects of man’s activities on the climate should there be any need to do so. Your gut reaction is to assume that we shouldn’t research this issue because it’s almost too late already and instead we should just ignore facts, science, economics, sociology and everything else but just stick with the politics.

    No way Jose.

    I am sure your last experience with non-science in the form of sealing wax and feathers would indicate that scientific facts may be a better plan than emotional belief.

  58. Mike says:

    Moderator: When I made the obvious comparison on a another post on WUWT bewteen climate change “skeptics” and those who oppose the basis of modern biology, I got snipped. But when someone here calls for scientists “to be thrown under the bus,” that is acceptable. It is your blog, you can do as you like. But could explain the criteria for reasoned debate you are using?

    [see the policy page ~mod]

  59. JER0ME says:

    Actually, it is funny. Whenever there is a pot on sea ice increasing, hockey sticks being debunked, or temperature records being shown to be fabricated, there are a bunch warbling “but that does not matter, we have to act now because !!!!”

    Face the issue at hand. Try and defend what is being blown away, by all means. But please don’t bother grasping at the feeble straws of a different (and probably debunked elsewhere) argument.

  60. David S says:

    This is exactly what is needed. Put the warmers on the witness stand and make them explain their adjustments, knowing that there is a penalty for perjury.

  61. dixon says:

    Well done Ian George, but isn’t it a shame the people paid to collect and maintain this data don’t do these things impartially themselves and stop hiding behind cherry picked “anomalies”?
    When i first read this post i thought it was a sad day for science when the lawyers have to come in to find the truth. But then it occurred to me that maybe wider Science does still have some integrity and that is why climate science has had to invent itself and been largely unsuccessful in forging collaborations with the established disciplines. As this blog has regularly shown though, mainstream science hasn’t exactly showered itself in glory over all this.

  62. JER0ME says:

    If there was a completely independent and utterly transparent analysis of all the data, measured and proxy, and all the science, then, and only then, would I consider the outcome worthy of attention. I used to have more faith, but I’ve lost that these last couple of years.

  63. Icarus says:

    J. Knight: Unfortunately the crops-to-liquid-fuel boondoggle profits the same kind of people who are determined to continue pumping billions of tons of global warming gases into the atmosphere without regard to the consequences. Both need to stop, and both are supported by politicians getting massive financial incentives to support big business – again, regardless of the consequences. Particularly in the US, politics is determined by who pays the politicians the most money to get what they want. It’s a scandalous way to run a country.

  64. kwik says:

    Whaleoil says:
    August 16, 2010 at 1:05 am

    “Another hypocrite of gore-like proportions”;

    http://whaleoil.gotcha.co.nz/2010/08/15/n-i-w-a-taken-to-court-over-data-accuracy/

    I like that! hoho!

    Actually, shouldnt members of Greenpeace, WWF and the like be put on some sort of green-list? Sort of….if you are on this green-list you cannot buy such cars?

  65. John T says:

    “But Prof Hunter told Radio New Zealand the courts could not determine whether or not the adjusted records had been adjusted properly.”

    Sure they can. Show the courts the raw data. Show them the adjusted data. Then explain why the data was adjusted the way it was. If you can’t explain why the data was adjusted the way it was, then the case is clear.

  66. John F. Hultquist says:

    Well, Icarus provided quite a quote above, but failed to mention two important points.
    Point One being the ability of well developed societies with the resources to produce grain year after year. The intrinsic wealth in these countries allows for rapid adjustments in planting plans, use of modern equipment, fertilizer, herbicides, pesticides, storage and shipping facilities, and (in some places) large irrigation projects. Example:

    Open a Google Earth window and enter these coordinates:

    46.306, -119.412

    Your view will settle on a large green circle from an “eye altitude” of 1000 meters. That circle is 1.13 km across and it is an irrigated field. Now begin to zoom out and at about 30 km the town of Richland, WA, USA will show up on the right side. This area receives about 200 mm (+/- 50) of precipitation per year classifying it as near-desert or steppe in the wetter parts.

    Continue zooming out to about 154 km altitude view. Almost all the bright green represents grains, fruits, and vegetables grown as irrigated crops. To the NE the green color is lighter. This is mostly dry-land wheat.

    Point Two is that central North America lies in a zone where the temperature patterns run north-to-south (generally) and the precipitation patterns run east-to west. As natural variation in either pattern occur there is only slight increase or decrease in the productivity of the combined Canadian and US agricultural sector. Grain seeding can shift from corn to wheat to barley (or others) to compensate for noticeable yearly or longer variations in weather and/or market demand.

    Getting back to Icarus’ comments

    “Famine has been a constant presence in human history, but we’ve forgotten about it in the last few generations”

    The first part is true, the second part is complete nonsense.

    “but with failing harvests around the world due to heatwaves, drought and flooding our food supply is looking increasingly perilous”

    We have always had those problems, so nothing new there. The better developed the society is the better we can deal with the problems. Who in their right mind would want to put the world’s poor at increasing peril by reducing the ability of farmers to produce?

    Icarus quotes Lester Brown as “We cannot continue to burn coal and oil with abandon and expect to have bumper harvests…”

    This, I think, is invoking the CO2 induced CAGW idea but the whole point of the NZ Climate Coalition’s legal action is to say this whole idea is a fraud.

    So it is well past time to start taking global warming fraud seriously and stop with all the crazy gloom and doom.

  67. Henry chance says:

    Funny how things work out. We show disdain for companies and people that lie in order to borrow money.

    Icarus says:
    August 16, 2010 at 4:30 am
    Surely this sort of dispute should be played out in the scientific literature rather than in the courts, should it not? If certain people think they have more accurate figures then they should publish a paper and let it be subject to scrutiny by their fellow scientists rather than by a court of law.

    The carbon tax is worse than borrowed money. It is tax and we don’t get a penny back. But you feel getting money from people for an agenda is justified if we fudge on the numbers.

    I think the drama should be limited to journalism and literature classes. it sure isn’t science.

  68. Gary Pearse says:

    Although not directly part of the suit, the part played by UHI thermometers is germane to recent increases in temperatures. An expert like Anthony Watts with his experience with the US T-record could be useful. I wonder if the plaintiff has thought about that.

  69. evanmjones says:

    Actually, NIWA has got its tail in a crack. Satellite records (for an unknown reason) keep them honest after 1979. So all of their adjustments have to occur further and further into the past. So they get a greater trend. But the problem arises that as a result, most of the warming occurs before CO2 becomes a significant factor!

    So, despite desperate attempts, NIWA cannot have it both ways: They can’t very well blame the suspect for the murder if the murder occurred before the suspect was born.

  70. George E. Smith says:

    Why do they have so many stations. Why not just put one thermometer somewhere near Mt Ruapehu, in the middle of the NI, and another one somewhere near Arthur’s Pass, in the SI.

    After all they used to monitor the entire Arctic nofth of +60 deg, with just 12 Stations; so having 9 or 11 stations for NZ must surely be gross overkill. If the Dr Hanses says the Temperatures are good out to 1200 km from the thermometer, that you only need two for the whole of NZ.

    Then there was that little fracas a short while ago about one of the NIWA stations somewhere near the Wellington-Hutt area that got move from essentially sea level to someplace else that was several hundred metres higher.

    I’m not sure it’s a good idea having courts adjudicate scientific data; that after all is what got us the absolute absurdity of those nine “men in black” evidently disovering that somewhere in the US Constitution it must say that CO2 is a dangerous pollutant that the EPA must regulate.

    Well way to go New Zealand; when you are that far flung; you have to create some major ruckus every now and then just so people will still notice you on the map. But it’s a bit much of a burden for us ex-pats to have to swallow to find out that you blokes are as looney as the Supremes.

  71. Stu says:

    ” John T says:
    August 16, 2010 at 8:27 am

    “But Prof Hunter told Radio New Zealand the courts could not determine whether or not the adjusted records had been adjusted properly.”

    Sure they can. Show the courts the raw data. Show them the adjusted data. Then explain why the data was adjusted the way it was. If you can’t explain why the data was adjusted the way it was, then the case is clear.”

    Perhaps the case is already clear… since NIWA would apparently prefer the drama of being hauled through the court system over willingly providing people with the answers as to the reasons for their adjustments.

    Kind of tells one all one needs to know, really.

  72. Icarus says:

    Henry chance says:
    August 16, 2010 at 8:52 am
    The carbon tax is worse than borrowed money. It is tax and we don’t get a penny back.

    Lobby your government to introduce fee-and-dividend – the more you reduce your carbon emissions, the better off you’ll be.

  73. Harold Pierce Jr says:

    Peter Wilson @ August 16, 2010 at 5:31 am

    You should send hard copies of your email to the editors of several major AU and NZ newspapers and to the prime minister and direector of the NIWA.. If in your original email, you had added “Copies to:”, can you imagine the panic attacks in the NIWA and the prime minister’s office?

    Since your email to Ms. Michelle Hollis will probably go right into the trash bin, you should send her another email and apologise for not using the proper form of address. In the second email you can mention and list to whom you have sent copies of your first email.

    Send copies of your first email to opposition political parties and other groups opposed to the ETS.

    The above is tedious and time consuming, but posting comments on blogs and sending emails to various goverment bureaucrats is not going to put an end to all this gobal warming gobblygook and climate change claptrap.

  74. Zeke the Sneak says:

    So this whole sordid affair is in fact appropriate for the courts to adjudicate:
    1. bias and unethical conduct (do they have emails?)
    2. vested interests
    3. data lost
    4. calculations lost
    5. adjusted downward trend not accounted for

    The data, calculations and adjustment methodology are not there, but the vested and conflicting interests, along with unethical conduct, are there. So I do not see this as any kind of a slippery slope for the courts to adjudicate in this case. Citizens of NZ should have legal recourse to stop NIWA from advising policy makers. It would be much worse to make state scientists immune from legal action.

  75. Rex from NZ says:

    The main finding about temperature increases over the last century
    has come from NIWA’s “seven key stations”. When you look at where
    these stations are on the map, it is quite apparent that 95% of the NZ
    land mass is not represented in the derived temperature records.
    And that’s irrespective of and additional to any data fiddling.

  76. MikeN says:

    What type of stupid trial is this? How do the courts have any jurisdiction over the temperature record?
    Can I sue if I don’t like the statements of James Hansen?
    Perhaps Michael Mann will sue because he doesn’t like the head post at WattsUpWithThat.com?

  77. rbateman says:

    This cannot come too soon. There are people & agencies at work going back and destroying paper records/altering documents.
    The same sort of suit needs to be filed in the US as well.

  78. ZT says:

    As McShane and Wyner 2010 (wryly) said:
    “We assume that the data selection, collection, and processing performed by climate scientists meets the standards of their discipline.”

  79. bushy says:

    Exactly Stu. The way out is murky and monsters lurk. Raw is the be all and determining factor.

  80. George E. Smith says:

    Well maybe all is not lost.

    NIWA with its history revision may have captured the first documented proof that global warming is over except for the background ice age exit rate.

    NIWA’s new and improved data recording; excuse me that’s reconstruction, clearly shows that MMGWCCAGW stopped abruptly in 1970 and has ever since been trending downwards so the future trend clearly is lower than the ice age exit background; so clearly we are going into a new ice age pretty soon. Should be pretty good for New Zealand, since with their ocean regulated Temperature; IT’S THE WATER !! , they should still be growing food, when everybody else is icing over.

  81. Richard S Courtney says:

    MikeN:

    At August 16, 2010 at 10:17 am you ask a series of questions and I offer my answers to them.

    You ask:
    “What type of stupid trial is this?”
    I answer, as “stupid” (or otherwise) as any other trial in a NZ Court of Law.

    You ask:
    “How do the courts have any jurisdiction over the temperature record?”
    I answer that they do not, but they do have the ability to ensure that a public body funded by government does not provide demonstrably false information to government.

    You ask:
    “Can I sue if I don’t like the statements of James Hansen?”
    I answer that this would depend upon the statements. If, for example, they were libelous then you could. However, you do not say which statements by Hansen you dispute so it is not possible to provide a specific answer to your question.

    You ask:
    “Perhaps Michael Mann will sue because he doesn’t like the head post at WattsUpWithThat.com?”
    Of course, anybody could try to sue anybody else but the Court would reject a clearly frivolous claim such as you suggest, and the Court would apply costs against the person (in your hypothetical case, Mann) who made such a frivolous claim.

    Now, I have answered your questions,so perhaps you would be willing to answer this one from me.

    What purpose did you have in posing such silly questions that have such obvious answers?

    Richard

  82. J. Knight says:

    Ah, Icarus, we now have a teachable moment. Without government interference in the market, there would never have been a diversion of corn into ethanol, as it is the subsidies paid by the government that makes ethanol production profitable. The same government interference in financial markets caused the great collapse of 2008 and the subsequent recession. The US Government, through Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, guaranteed thousands of loans that went to people who couldn’t afford to repay them. Large banks and Wall Street firms were very aware that these loans were not likely to be repaid, so they securitized the loans and sold them on the market as MBSs(mortgage-backed securites). Of course, these securities were either worthless or overvalued, so we end up with the subprime crisis. My point is that none of this was possible without the US government guaranteeing the original loans. No guarantees, no MBSs, no subprime crisis, no recession. See how the system works. The government caused this crisis by doing something that should not have been done. Now we have unintended consequences.

    Environmentalists have contributed to the problem as well. They badgered governments to ban the production and distribution of DDT. Rather than study the problem and make sane recommendations on the use of DDT, the outright ban prevented the use of DDT where it would have saved lives. Spraying DDT inside homes where mosquitoes congregate would have prevented several million people from dying of malaria. The outside spraying ban was fine, but the complete ban eliminated the best defense we had against malaria. Environmentalists should be ashamed of themselves. Another teachable moment.

    And now we have the same group of people who are using scare tactics and misinformation in order to force the First World into making insane decisions on energy production. The solar and wind silliness has been tried in Spain, and it utterly failed, yet you continue to argue and lobby for its implementation elsewhere, when nothing good can come of the solutions you propose, at least not at the present time. The unintended consequences of your policy will be the destruction of the First World. Frankly, I can’t imagine anything short of nuclear war that would do more damage to the world we live in than what you are proposing. Think Pol Pot and the depopulation of Cambodia, and perhaps that would be comparable.

    I wonder if you’ve really considered what you are proposing, Icarus, and whether the dishonesty of the people in the climate change/global warming community bothers you. Look at the graphs, Icarus, and tell me why temperatures are being adjusted downward in the past. Why would anyone who is honest do that? Other than the obvious, which is deception. And why these same people, who are on the public payroll, are not responsive to questions? Is that the transparent government you want? Not me, brother, show me the data, the code, and the reasons for the temperature adjustments.

  83. Brendan H says:

    Geroge E Smith: “After all they used to monitor the entire Arctic nofth of +60 deg, with just 12 Stations; so having 9 or 11 stations for NZ must surely be gross overkill.”

    As I understand it, NIWA produced the eleven-station series in response to claims by the NZ Climate Science Coalition about adjustments to data from seven-station series. NIWA says the eleven-station series is unadjusted, and produced a warming trend in line with the adjusted series.

    http://www.niwa.co.nz/news-and-publications/news/all/2009/nz-temp-record/temperature-trends-from-raw-data

    The coalition’s subsequent complaint was that not all the eleven-station series cover the full period. I can’t say how valid this objection is.

    There’s a fair back-story to this issue, and it’s not clear that the NZCSC has a case solid enough to take to court.

    NIWA explains its temperature adjustments here: http://www.niwa.co.nz/news-and-publications/news/all/2009/nz-temp-record/seven-station-series-temperature-data

  84. kramer says:

    I’m glad somebody is finally suing a climate center over massaged data. Good luck to them and may it lead to more lawsuits (hopefully resulting in setting the records straight).

  85. FijiDave says:

    This article http://www.quadrant.org.au/blogs/doomed-planet/2010/05/crisis-in-new-zealand-climatology may put into context the reasoning behind the Court case being pursued by the New Zealand Science Climate Coalition.

    I for one am very happy to see this happening. Basically, we must use a leaf blower (or an aeroplane propellor) to blow the mountains of chaff away to reveal the few grains of truth that have so far proved so elusive in the CAGW saga.

    (I note the American spell checker considers both ‘aeroplane’ and ‘propellor’ are spelt wrongly. Sigh.)

    BTW, happily I am able to access this site via one of the ISP’s that don’t block it here in Fiji. WUWT is considered by some (not the Government) to be a “threat” and is on the “blacklist of the company”.

    Anthony, for more info please email.

  86. Rex from NZ says:

    OK, I’ll elaborate on the “seven station series”, at least for the
    South Island, which has four stations, located thus: on the west coast,
    on the north coast, on the south-eat coast, and on the east coast
    about 15km inland. If anyone tries to tell me that extrapolations
    can be made from these sites to cover Southland, Fiordland, Central
    and West Otago, The Southern Alps, most of east Canterbury, & etc
    then my answer would be unprintable !

  87. max says:

    DR:

    Which of the two data sets are used by GHCN?

    neither.

    GHCN makes their own adjustments to the raw data ( from some 250 or so stations in NZ) to create it’s own data set. Although it is not correct to call it “raw” data, there is a data set at GHCN called “unadjusted” (does not include any systematic adjustments, only corrections for presumably erroneous data) as well as an adjusted data set which includes adjustments for a variety of reasons (station movement, UHI, equipment changes and such), neither agrees with the NIWA data set. Nor apparently does the HadCRUT data set.

  88. Ian H says:

    Why do they have so many stations. Why not just put one thermometer somewhere near Mt Ruapehu, in the middle of the NI, and another one somewhere near Arthur’s Pass, in the SI.

    New Zealand has complicated weather. It is better to think of us as a very small continent in weather terms with a fully formed but miniature continental weather pattern.We have an east-west divide for example. The weather map for New Zealand is about as complicated as the weather map for the whole of the US.

  89. Peter S says:

    Icarus – 2500 years and you still don’t get it.

    IT IS THE SUN.

    Daedalus

  90. Terry says:

    Re George August 16, 2010 at 11:02 am

    You are spot on. The temperature in NZ should at the very least, track the SST for that part of the world (assuming that the SST record is valid). NZ is surrounded by the ocean and has a maritime climate. The graph shown is basically the result of the “standard” adjustments made according to the 1981 Salinger PhD thesis. What is even more important is that part of this thesis was adopted and used by CRU of UEA fame (see various papers by Folland et al). Hence the similarity of all the “official” temp records.

  91. Doug in Dunedin says:

    At least this case is a step in the right direction. Jim Salinger has long been discredited as an acolyte of Phil Jones at CRU and his manipulation of the NZ climate data is now well known. Now that Helen Clark is gone there is a chance that the new P.M. of New Zealand, the pragmatic John Key, might see the sense in using the abundant coal reserves in N.Z. to fuel its electricity demands instead of building expensive and inefficient windmills that defile the N.Z. landscape. BTW the hypocrisy of exporting it (coal) to India so that they could burn it still astounds me!

    I guess the ETS tax is needed here (short term) for a cash strapped country, but that contributes nothing to the economy- in fact just the opposite. A decent power supply strategy does, and freed of the lunatic co2 bogey, we might just get back to a realist approach to energy supply in this country.

    So New Zealanders, open your eyes to the lunacy promoted by the so called greens that has taken over and show a bit of common sense.

    Doug

  92. jeef says:

    Ian H – spot on with the NZ weather assessment – not bad for something that’s only 7km wide at it’s narrowest either!

    Doug – the coal goes to China, not India, but still, it’s exported. Quality clean coal too.

    Can’t see this proposed court case getting off the ground to be honest, but at least it’s in the media, a bit.

  93. Dr A Burns says:

    Fantastic !
    NZ’s carbon tax is $14 per tonne must be hurting.

  94. Icarus says:

    Peter S says:
    August 16, 2010 at 1:32 pm
    Icarus – 2500 years and you still don’t get it.

    IT IS THE SUN.

  95. nevket240 says:

    Icarus says:
    August 16, 2010 at 9:46 am
    Henry chance says:
    August 16, 2010 at 8:52 am
    The carbon tax is worse than borrowed money. It is tax and we don’t get a penny back.

    Lobby your government to introduce fee-and-dividend – the more you reduce your carbon emissions, the better off you’ll be.))

    Icarus, are you on Earth??? Why would anyone with a brain or sense of good behaviour willingly take part in a scam for personal gain?? Skeptics, NO, Cultists, definitely.
    regards

  96. Richard S Courtney says:

    Icarus:

    Please explain the relevance to the subject of this thread of the pseudo-scientific video you posted at August 16, 2010 at 2:53 pm.

    Richard

  97. el gordo says:

    Icarus I see your crock and raise you UNISYS.

    http://weather.unisys.com/surface/sst_anom.html

    What is that SST cold spot off south-east NZ?

  98. George E. Smith says:

    “”” says:
    August 16, 2010 at 2:04 pm
    Ian H – spot on with the NZ weather assessment – not bad for something that’s only 7km wide at it’s narrowest either! “””

    Well that is being conservative; I know of at least one spot that is maybe one km wide; because you forgot about those tidal estuaries that run toward each other there, south of Auckland.

    Actually; to be pedantic; New Zealand is just about zero wide at it’s narrowest; because I have stood at dozens of points on the coast that were near zero wide; well most were at least a foot wide so I could stand on them. Clearly there’s a lot of places in Cook Straight where NZ is zero width.

  99. George E. Smith says:

    “”” Ian H says:
    August 16, 2010 at 1:31 pm
    Why do they have so many stations. Why not just put one thermometer somewhere near Mt Ruapehu, in the middle of the NI, and another one somewhere near Arthur’s Pass, in the SI.

    New Zealand has complicated weather. It is better to think of us as a very small continent in weather terms with a fully formed but miniature continental weather pattern.We have an east-west divide for example. The weather map for New Zealand is about as complicated as the weather map for the whole of the US. “””

    And that complicates the computation of an average in what way ?

    Only if the spatial and temporal sampling is all screwed up is it difficult to recover the true average; and of course in the case of New Zealand, it surely is.

  100. Bruce of Newcastle says:

    Memorable line from the original press article back early in the year:
    “From the “A goat ate my homework” excuse book”

    So will NIWA subpoena the goat?

  101. Doug in Dunedin says:

    Slightly OT

    Well Bugger me!
    Meridian Energy has won its High Court appeal to resurrect its bid for its Project Hayes windfarm in Central Otago. (N.Z.)
    Meridian Energy wants to put up to 176 wind turbines in the Lammermoor Range, a plan the Environment Court ruled last year would have too great a negative effect on the landscape.
    Who needs the Don Quixote stuff anyway, Windmills on the Lammermoor mountains to supply Auckland? 1000 km away? What’s wrong with a coal fired plant near to Auckland?
    Doug

  102. Ric Werme says:

    Given the similarity with Hansen’s curve, I wonder if NIWA has been helping him. :-)

    Oh how cute, WP noted “You are posting comments too quickly. Slow down.”

  103. Doug in Dunedin says:

    jeef says: August 16, 2010 at 2:04 pm
    Doug – the coal goes to China, not India, but still, it’s exported. Quality clean coal too.

    Not to get too pedantic but jeef note the following from N.Z. Ministry of Economic Development

    Premium New Zealand bituminous coals are valued internationally for their low ash and sulphur contents, and other characteristics such as high swelling, fluidity and reactivity, which allow them to be blended with other coals for use in the steel industry. Exports of bituminous coal, produced entirely from the West Coast, reached 2 million tonnes in 2007. New Zealand coal is exported mainly to India and Japan, with smaller quantities going to Chile, South Africa, Brazil, China, USA and Australia. Most exports are of coking coal, with smaller amounts of thermal and specialist coals. The Pike River mine is being developed for coking coal exports, with first production expected in 2008.

    Doug

  104. Peter S says:

    Icarus- I guess I was expecting someone with a pseudonym like that to have a better grasp of classical history (and maybe a sense of humour too).

    Still, with a solar cycle that is struggling to match even the lowest of the (much revised) Hathaway predictions, El Nino being replaced by La Nina, and oceans entering cold phases, the arm flapping required to maintain altitude on the AGW flight of fancy makes the use of the pseudonym peculiarly apt.

  105. Paul Deacon, Christchurch, New Zealand says:

    Someone asked on this thread: How politicised are the New Zealand courts? I would add a secondary question: How fair are they? As always, the answer depends on which bit of the system you look at.

    I do not trust the environmental courts, as in the only case in which I participated (a Resource Consent Tribunal – lowest level), one of the Commissioners worked for the same law firm as the applicant’s lawyer, and did not declare this potential conflict of interest. We subesequently appealed the case (quite complicated – had to appeal to both the Environment Court and the High Court in a short time frame) and won out of court. This case left a bad taste. It felt like classic small town justice – I will not bore you with the details.

    The High Court judges are relatively unpoliticised and robust, however, the juries can be politicised. Much would depend on where the case was heard. There is a history of the establishment exercising control over juror selection (for example, Maoris were not allowed to be jurors until the 1960s). On the plus side, NZ juries tend to apply decency and common sense (for example, self-defence cases are usually decided vigorously in favour of the defender – unlike in the UK).

    The Court of Appeal is more politicised, and also has question marks over the integrity of at least one judge (he was found to have received loans from one of the parties to a case, and did not declare this – investigation under way).

    The relatively new Supreme Court is the most politicised (its judges were appointed by the previous Labour administration).

    In New Zealand, the ultimate court of appeal used to be the Privy Council in London. This was excellent from a strictly legal point of view, as the decisions were learned and without political bias. However, the public and politicians did not like the decisions that the Privy Council made, so a few years ago, the link was abolished and a new Supreme Court set up. The last case to be appealed to the Privy Council was a murder case. The Privy Council overturned the decision of the NZ Court of Appeal, and found that the Court of Appeal judges had (a) presumed guilt, and (b) treated evidence like a jury. I will let readers decide what this makes of the NZ courts. For my part it makes me ashamed to be a Kiwi. Two of the three judges who heard the appeal now sit on the Supreme Court.

    So, to sum up for the NIWA case: If it goes to a proper High Court case, I suggest NIWA are on a sticky wicket. My guess is that NIWA’s lawyers will do their best to keep the case out of court. However, if NIWA lose in the High Court, depending on the nature of the decision, they may have success on appeal.

  106. Paul Deacon, Christchurch, New Zealand says:

    I would add that I suspect that most High Court judges would be quite sympathetic to the NZCC, because of the way they have gone about their case, with methodical process (they have repeatedly sought information from NIWA, have given NIWA every chance to correct the record, have sought remedy in parliament first, have been unfailingly polite, and are only going to court as a last resort).

  107. Margaret says:

    They have started to roll out the experts — the Authority routine.

    http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/SC1008/S00032/journals-not-court-is-place-for-scientific-debate.htm

  108. Rick says:

    Since the entire scientific community is, unfortunately, suspect – perhaps the court will prove to be the forum to seek the truth – however it may just cloud the issue.

    The peer review process is not impartial in implementation – perhaps the size of the peer group is too small?

    The US EPA was able to convince the US Supreme Court that CO2 is a pollutant.

    The Court may seem to be able to discern the truth while being apolitical – but, history shows otherwise.

  109. Ian Cooper says:

    Stumpy (Aug 16th at 1.28a.m.)

    thanks for all of the links mate, especially the ones to the NIWA glacier papers. It is almost as if somewhere between 2000 and early last year that Chinn had a change of mind. In the 2000 paper he seems to be reporting it as he sees it, and includes the West Coast glaciers to show an overall gain. By the time he (Chinn) and Salinger appeared on a TVNZ evening news item in early March 2009, the pair were saying in amazement, “Look what they have done!” They being us Global Warmers, i.e. the people who cause Global Warming, which obviously doesn’t include them. Of course the thing that ‘they’ had done was to melt the glaciers at an astonishing rate. It surely must have been an astonishing rate too, according to the graph published by NIWA lately.

    Furhter to the court case, once again we see the typical ivory tower attitude emanating from the vice chancellor of Otago University in Dunedin, criticising the need for this court action and reminding all of us low brows that it takes specialists to deal with such a specialized topic and if the the NZCC can’t stump up with such a specialist they should get out of the kitchen, so to speak. This only applies to the skeptical side of course. In the Pro-CAGW camp even a failed politician can lead the good fight without any such criticism from the hypocritical academics.

    Cheers

    Coops

  110. Australis says:

    For some inexplicable reason a spokesman for NIWA has told the media that the first step in the action will be “depositions” and that NIWA will argue there is “no case to answer”.

    In fact, depositions are confined to criminal jury trials. Perhaps NIWA feels it is being prosecuted for a felony, rather than merely facing a Judicial Review procedure?

    The Science Media Centre has gathered a series of statements from various University-based scientists deploring the possibility of scientists being held accountable for complying with the law. The SMC is a Government-sponsored body, which receives taxpayer funding of about $10,000 per week to blog on selected scientific issues, and is administered by the NZ Royal Society.

    The Royal Society vice-president, Prof Keith Hunter, also posted to the rabid alarmist blog “Hot Topic” as follows:
    “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 the Royal Society, with jutting jaw, is vowing to defeat the hapless judge – in the same way as it defeated Hitler and Stalin, when they too attempted to call scientists to account.

  111. Ian Cooper says:

    Professor Hunter needs to get about a bit more and get away from biased blog sites like “Hot Topic.” The way he has written his statement shows that he is very emotional. Far from a measured scientific response the professor is leading with ‘jutting jaw,’ and pounding heart. In my eyes he appears a bigger fool than if he had just let the process carry on. If their situation is so secure, what do they have to worry about?

    The N.Z.C.C. has shown great restraint in it’s efforts to reveal where the real integrity lies, in the face of the usual dross from those other people I might add. Far from being anti-science, this is an attempt to drag one branch of science back to first principles. Empirical evidence should not be so casually lost as seems to be the case for NIWA. The New Zealand tax payer has already paid the bill for those goods to be delivered. NIWA, a tax-payer funded organization, had and still has a duty to safeguard that information for future use. NIWA should be brought to task for their reckless behaviour at the very least. Their arrogant dis-regard for their fellow scientists’ efforts in the field goes hand in hand with their arrogance towards lay people in general. “Trust us. We know best!”

    Yeah, right!!!

    Coops

  112. Don says:

    Until I read these comments I hadn’t realised just how poorly educated some people could be. Maybe they are all written by the same gnome stuck in a cubicle. Good luck fella – enjoy the peanuts.

    [REPLY: Perhaps you would care to share some science to the discussion so educations can be equally judged?.... ~ bl57mod]

  113. Don says:

    of pearls and swine…………

  114. John Murphy says:

    Anthony

    It’s the Bureau of Meteorology, not the Bureaux of Meteorologists

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