The Cold Kiwi Comes Home to Roost

Lies, Damn Lies and Statistics –Kiwi Style

By Andi Cockroft, reporting from New Zealand

The Cold Kiwi is an event held each year on the Volcanic Plateau of the Central North Island of New Zealand.

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Hosted by the local Motorcycle Club for the past 40 years or so, it is designed to attract the hard-core, die-hard, perhaps psychiatrically disturbed, kiwi riders from around New Zealand and some from overseas.

Not for the faint-hearted, the SUV Clubs used to organise a similar event, which I have to confess as a younger and much more foolish individual, I would participate in with great relish each year – why on earth I would subject myself to camping (in a tent), above the snow line in freezing conditions, to drive in near-impossible locations and still call it fun has to be the act of someone completely unhinged. Yet if it were to be run again I’m certain I would be pretty tempted.

But talking of unhinged, here in New Zealand (we actually refer to it as Godzone), a quiet revolution is taking place involving our National Institute of Weather and Atmosphere (NIWA) and a volunteer group of sceptics The New Zealand Climate Science Education Trust (NZCSET) via the Courts. NIWA are (you would think), tasked with maintaining amongst many things, a temperature record called the 7 station series or 7SS.

The start of these events was originally reported way back in 2010 in WUWT here. To save reiterating past WUWT threads, the statement of claim by NZCSET can be found here, and NIWA’s statement of defence here.

Concern has been growing in Godzone for some time, since it transpired that at least according to official temperature records, Godzone is warming twice as fast as the Global Average. Since these records feed into the Australasian records, then into the SH records and finally into the IPCC. Prime territory for cooking the books perchance?

Although what appears to be happening is that our history is being rewritten – our ancestors were mistakenly recording temperatures that were just too hot – some degree of cooling was required. Once “adjustments” are made we can clearly see the trend as required by dogma.

But people can make a difference too. I well remember about 20 years ago, residents of Wellington began petitioning the Met Office about its daily temperature reports. For those who may not know, there is some rivalry between the Capital Wellington, and our largest City Auckland.

In this instance, not only is Auckland naturally warmer (and wetter) than Wellington, but Wellington’s official temperature record was taken at the airport – on average some 2oC cooler than the CBD. Eventually the official record was moved in to town and so immediately adjustments are required.

However, what NZCSET argue, is that ignoring the “adjustments”, mean temperature over Godzone has been pretty constant at around 12.6 ± 0.5oC – This from “New Zealand – Unaffected by Global Warming” – discussed later.

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Following initial filing of papers before the Court in August 2010, NIWA posted a Statement of Defence, in which para 7(a) states that “there is no ‘official’ or formal New Zealand temperature record”.

Most amazingly, para 8(b) states that the New Zealand Temperature Record (NZTR) boldly displayed on their website is not actually a “Public Record” for the purposes of the Public Records Act – using the exemption of “special collections” – para 4(b)) tells us they are non-public records used for “research purposes”.

Para 4, sees NIWA deny it has any obligation to use the best available data or best scientific techniques, although conceding that it has statutory duty – viz: “That a Crown Research Institute should pursue excellence in all its activities:”

Front and centre to all this controversy is one Jim Salinger, formerly a Government Scientist and who had been employed by NIWA since its inception in 1992. Unfortunately for Jim, his outspoken ways saw him summarily dismissed in early 2009, with the employment Courts later upholding the sacking.

Until Jim became involved, the “Official Records” for Godzone showed no significant trend since records began way back in 1852 – all that was to change however.

As part of a thesis for his 1982 doctorate, our Jim produced an annexe paper that showed significant warming. This paper was not central to his doctorate, was never reviewed or published, yet it has now become front and central to NIWA, Godzone Government, and as a Lead Author, Jim has made certain it made its way as a major component to the Australasian section of the IPCC AR3, and subsequently HadCRUT – hey every little bias serves to raise “Global” temperatures.

Summarised in 2011, the NZCSC published a paper “New Zealand – Unaffected by Global Warming”, in which the actions of Salinger were laid bare.

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Quadrant Online came up with an excellent summary here, well worth the read.

In Godzone, the NZTR is primarily made up of data derived from 7 locations – the so-called seven-station series or 7SS. The final data was tortured beyond belief (red bars above), using adjustments that NIWA have conveniently “lost”, and so cannot replicate.

When challenged, Jim trotted out a new, improved version – the eleven-station series or 11SS – with new and improved torture.

By review in December 2010 (the Review), NIWA published a revised version of the NZTR, but this review offered nothing new and the official line still stood. That report can be downloaded here.

So where now – this is still heading to the Courts – in fact is due there any day now.

Bob Carter, respected Adjunct Research Professor at James Cook University, Queensland, has been wheeled in by the NZCSET and has produced an excellent Affidavit here – again a document well worth the read.

In his affidavit, Bob identifies significant flaws with the 7SS and the current NZTR, mainly

  • Its statistical techniques do not conform to the nominated prior paper by Rhoades & Salinger (1993)
  • It relies upon statistical comparisons between weather stations which are far apart and in different climate zones
  • It does not correct for known or suspected data contamination caused by encroaching trees and/or urban heating
  • It is materially different from the trend obtained when the precedent techniques of Rhoades & Salinger are strictly applied
  • It contradicts the peer-reviewed findings in the literature
  • It is inconsistent with other long-standing and well-respected temperature records

The 11SS is also seriously deficient

  • It tracks data that were reliant on chance, and its findings therefore are meaningless
  • Its missing data exceeds standard limits according to conventional statistical rules
  • Its station selection and timing are unjustifiable and exhibit bias

Bob goes on to criticise the methodologies, and compares them to Jim’s annexe to his Doctoral Thesis. RS93 refers to the Rhoades & Salinger (1993) paper that the NZRT Review is supposedly based on, but in fact Bob’s critique finds otherwise – it is all remarkably similar to Jim’s thesis work.

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Continuing his critique, Bob goes on to take apart NIWA’s case brick by brick, producing a nice pile of rubble. These are but the opening highlights – do read the affidavit yourself – it is inspirational.

Bob’s final Conclusions:-

  • The manner in which the Review deals with statistical comparisons and UHI/shelter issues that are known defects of the original 7SS temperature series is highly unsatisfactory, and contrary to best-practice science
  • The Review methodology is unprecedented, outdated and unpublished, and displays the several flaws that have been enumerated in the evidence above
  • Adjustment calculations made in the Review are not based on methods substantiated in the scientific literature; moreover, the Review’s trend outcomes are not consistent with the published scientific literature, nor with unchallenged records of comparable data
  • It is therefore my considered opinion that no reference can be placed on the results of the Review

Nice one Bob

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56 thoughts on “The Cold Kiwi Comes Home to Roost

  1. NIWA is one of the greatest examples of temperature fraud in the CAGW camp. Its blatant manipulation of data is among the most visible of Warmists frauds and thus serves skeptics well.

  2. There’s a group of people in NZ who consider NIWA, rather than meaning National Institute of Weather and Atmosphere, actually means No Idea What’s Ahead.

  3. The greater the imagined trend they manufacture in the historic record, the greater will be the significance of the down-turn when Gaia kicks them in the arse and temperatures start dropping.

  4. Baffling to think he thought, and still thinks, he could get away with it – even going to COURT. Mind boggling. This is happening world wide, wherever the records don’t conform… Normal science getting kneecapped by greeniacs… Ugh.

  5. If the skeptic view had been to manipulate the raw data think what a field day the Media would have had. As it is it barely ruffles a single page………

    One day………

  6. So, the NZ National Institute of Weather and Atmosphere ( which I presume is funded by the NZ Government) produces the publicly published New Zealand Temperature Record but claims that it “is not actually a “Public Record” for the purposes of the Public Records Act”!
    Then just what the (expletive deleted) is the “New Zealand Temperature Record”?
    (Expletive deleted) fairy fecundity statistics?

  7. A question for Andi Cockroft. To what extent are the NZ MSM covering the NIWA story and is their coverage, if any, even-handed? Is the story leaking into the Australian MSM?

  8. The thing that switched me over to the sceptical position was the realisation that the warmists were cheating, and that they were lying.

    I can abide neither action.

    Cheers ExWarmist

  9. If you look at the 9am temperature data from NIWA’s website for the same nine stations, there is a downward trend:

    Here are the 9am temperatures (NIWA data) for the individual stations that NIWA chose themselves:

    NIWA’s “average” data seems to be hotter at night in winter – maybe a heat island effect. Or maybe the average data has had more adjustment than the 9am data.

  10. These kinds of adjustments are why I abandoned all acceptance of CAGW.

    And why I can’t believe anyone who is shown this would still accept CAGW.

  11. Its at times like this that you need to remember that for some people all things that support ‘the cause’ are consider automatically good and never mind the actual contents . Again you need to adjust your thinking . its not science , its religion then you can understand how they can pull these tricks and justify them.

  12. The situation with the temperature rivalry between Wellington and Auckland was not unique within the country 20 years ago, the same thing happened with Napier and Hastings.

    I had just emigrated to New Zealand at that time, and there was discontent in Hastings because they had stopped taking the temperatures at the Hastings fire department and were relying on the ones from Napier Airport, which tended to be significantly cooler in summer and warmer in winter. (For those not from New Zealand, Napier is located on the coast and Hastings, 20 km away by road, is about 10km from the coast.

    A few years later the Hastings readings were resumed.

    This is only anecdotal, but when I first came to New Zealand (1989) it was not uncommon to have summer temperatures in the 30C range for days on end, and I used to count on 1-2 days each summer hitting 40C.
    The last few years (post 2000), topping 30C is reasonably uncommon, and I have not heard of a 40C day in something like the last 15 years.
    Burn time indexes peaked at about 15 minutes (and you really would get burned in that short a time) in the 90’s, now I seldom use sunscreen at all when mountain biking, even for periods of 3-4 hours (and don’t get burned).

    Over the last 6 years there have been enough cooler than usual winters (when I moved to Rotorua I was told that it was years since they had had any snow, yet of my 6 winters here 4 have had snow falls either in town or on the hills surrounding), and 3 much cooler than usual summers, culminating in this year, which has been particularly poor, for many people to be noting that there seems to be a real divergence between the model’s predictions and actual observations.

  13. RayG says:
    March 7, 2012 at 11:33 am
    “A question for Andi Cockroft. To what extent are the NZ MSM covering the NIWA story and is their coverage, if any, even-handed? Is the story leaking into the Australian MSM?”

    Sadly the media in New Zealand is of a quality that makes The Guardian look like the cutting edge of unbiased investigative journalism. (In fact The Guardian would probably get come under a bit of suspicion as a bit too right wing and therefore probably not to be entirely trusted).

  14. The temperature record in New Zealand is abysmal.
    Weather stations have been regularly moved without running the old and new sites in parallel for a few years, as real scientists would do.

    Since the temperatures of towns in NZ have been broadcast on TV for many years, weather stations have been moved to the hottest part of the towns due to the continual moaning from the inhabitants of the colder towns. Therefore there may be a slight upward trend, and an urban heat island effect.

    Here is ALL of the data I could find for NZ’s biggest city, Auckland, where the long term weather station in a park has been moved to the airport which now has jumbo jets that tend to warm the air.

    There is no significant upward trend.
    Here’s a challenge for anybody – please show me a long term single reliable site with temperatures that look anything like a hockey stick.

    And please let’s have the minimum of data manipulation. Ideally we woiuld plot raw 9am daily data. All of it, on one graph. No averages, no smoothing.

  15. Question – was Gleik part of the team that wrote the Review?

    I wish there was a group in the US that had the guts to question the GISStemp in court, or a group in UK that forced a review of HADCru’s data.

    Denialists – correcting the records one continent at a time…

  16. “In this instance, not only is Auckland naturally warmer (and wetter) than Wellington, but Wellington’s official temperature record was taken at the airport – on average some 2oC cooler than the CBD. Eventually the official record was moved in to town and so immediately adjustments are required.”

    The City of Taupo in the Central NI of NZ. Famous for Lake Taupo. Did the same to try to get more tourists coming to the town and complaints of the temp not being warm enough. A few years ago the Temp site located at Taupo Airport in an open field in a rural setting was moved to a rather UHI located spot near to a carpark in the Taupo CBD. Now you know the rest Taupo now as a warm spike!

  17. Here is about 40 years of daily temperature data for Christchurch New Zealand. All of it is plotted on one graph, around 13,000 points. There is no averaging or smoothing, because that gives someone the opportunity to fudge things as we know all too well.

    Where’s the hockey stick? What’s the trend? Looks pretty flat to me.
    I have done a 365 day running mean. Missing data causes a trend artifact in the 1990s.

  18. exposing what is likely to amount to scientific fraud (oops – corrections) at NIWA in NZ is the the first step in catching the equally compromised peak scientific bodies in Australia – the Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) and the CSIRO.

    These groups provided the “scientific information” to the Australian federal government, used to justify the introduction of a Carbon Tax.

    And guess which organisations work closely together and “peer review” each others work?

  19. The New Zealand Media,….hmmmm

    Has skills limited to rictus corpse grin smiling with big teeth.
    Applying creosote thick layers of make up and red lip gloss – and thats just the male reporters.
    Cutting live to breaking stories involving trapped animals, old ladies knitting baby booties and rugby team selection press junkets.

    Under no circumstances rely on them for…
    Ever asking a hard question ( They simply don’t possess the IQ required)
    Digging beyond a p.r press release, and parroting it verbatim.
    Telling the Truth,…ever, ever, ever. Unless by accident, then its an accidental leak by an unconfirmed source.

    The science literacy of the NZ media is limited to….
    Naming at least three Captains of USS enterprise.
    Interviewing Steven Spielberg and Peter Jackson.
    Measuring any physical event using Rugby fields or using a sports analogy – e.g.
    The natural variability of climate feedbacks is at least three rugby fields long.
    NIWA has so many papers showing that the Earth is made from flamable Gun Cotton, if you stacked them all sideways, they’d reach the 22 line on a rubgy field.
    Piri Weepu world cup kicking performance was statiscally equivalent to NIWA’s comprehension of the truth – low, but highly valued none the less.

    Thanks Bob Carter, you are the elephant in the living room, that the New Zealand media avoids daily.
    (Incidentally an Elephant is about 4.5 to 5 meteres long, and a rugby field 144 meters long. Meaning an elephant is about warp factor 1 on a warp factor scale of 1-9, or climatically speaking Steven Spielbergs first movie was Duel in 1971 or the number of times NIWA adjusted data to conform to IPCC catering budget estimates.**)
    *MILLIONS

  20. New Plymouth i believe also moved it’s ‘official’ temperature recording from the airport to somewhere closer to the CBD.

  21. Stephen Browns asks “what the @#$ is the NZTR?

    Per Stokes and Mosher yesterday, those words don’t mean what you think they mean. It’s an INDEX. It’s a bunch of temperature series that they relate to each other in certain ways, and the idaily/monthly/yearly index values represents the minimum error between the series. The Index is then used to compare against other indices and series.

    So when they want to scare you, they call it a “Temperature Record”. Among themselves, they know it’s just a statistical construction that may or may not have any predictive power, and it even may not have any historical interpretive power. Remember that phrase above: “relate to each other in certain ways”. That’s where they hide the pea.

  22. Also per Mosher, I finally understood the danger of station adjustments, and perhaps what BEST is trying to do right. If a station has a temperature discontinuity, then it is a new station. Period. Relationships between the pre-disc’ty station and its neighbors and itself cannot be carried forward across the discontinuity. Any attempt to adjust the station record only corrupts the index.

    And since Robert Brown has pointed out that a temperature series is only weakly correlated with a neighbor, even more than the adherents are willing to discuss, the selection of stations to include in the index is pretty much arbitrary. The only way to minimize the error is to add more stations to the index.

    In trying to minimize the uncertainty by adjusting stations, all they are doing is adding an unknown and unknowable bias. And yet, the bias mostly seems to be upward.

  23. the deception of the unwashed masses for their own benefit for a greater cause exists in many domains : ultimately it is the many (us) who must tell the few (elected representatives) that this is NOT OK, and having decided on that boundary (complete disclosure), need to boundary ride : i.e. demand access publicly to primary data as it is collected (i.e. online)

  24. Wouldn’t Kiwis prefer a warmer climate? What with they’re just pansy penguins that couldn’t take the cold.

    :p

  25. This huge story has been going on for some time but is not reported in Australian MSM. I think there were one or two small articles concerned with the Australian BOM ‘review’ which, of course, exonerated NIWA.
    Without climate sceptic sites we would have no idea what is going on. On Aussie temp data Ken’s Kingdom is a good one and the New Zealand Climate Science Coalition.
    Currently, Australian government determined on shutting out global information with Chinese style ‘monitoring’ of internet. I don’t think it’s going to work.

  26. afizzyfist says:
    March 7, 2012 at 2:45 pm
    “Jayman better keep links as record Giss will probably delete or manipulate”

    Of course I have kept all the data that I have downloaded and plotted, and vastly more data than that.
    If GISS or NIWA now change their data, we will be able to prove that they changed it.

  27. I secretly used to think that me referring to these fraudsters as ‘climate bandits’ might have been a little over the top. Today, I have no such reservations. It’s criminals all the way down.

  28. Before NIWA came into existence some of their Atmospheric scientists were part of NewZealand Meteorological Service. NZ Met launches the radiosondes and records data from the Stevenson screens throughout the domain. As such NZ Met has the original temperature data. In 1950 a book titled New Zealand Weather and Climate edited by BJ Garnier was published. Within a quite interesting text are Met Service temperature data going back at some sites to 1886. Mean Daily Max, Mean Daily Min and other parameters are there for all to review. This historic record is one that you can sink your teeth into, no manipulation here. I happen to have a copy if anyone needs some data.
    I only mention the first sentence because a few of the folks (not all mind you) who got bored with mere forecasting cast their lot with the newly formed NIWA which is govt funded as opposed to NZ Met who literally have to earn their way.

  29. “Rod Gill says:
    March 7, 2012 at 11:03 am”

    Having contracted for NIWA in the past, this brought back some “fond” memories.

    My opinion of NIWA, based on actual real world experience, on their “science”, hasn’t changed, it’s still garbage. Problem is, NIWA is Govn’t funded. The NZ Govn’t has introduced an ETS, albeit scaled back a bit now. I suspect whatever the court ruling(s) will be in favour of NIWA, and the scam continues.

    I also recall in around 2000 an article on the Stuff website about no temperature rise in NZ since 1940. The article disappeared within about 30 minutes of reading it. I wish I’d copied it as this “magic disappearing atc” of non-conformist articles appears to happen all too frequently these days.

  30. March 7, 2012 at 1:25 pm – tallbloke says:

    Hmm, so who was the mentor for Jim Salinger’s 1982 doctorate thesis?
    According to http://www.cru.uea.ac.uk/cru/about/history/people.htm Jim was on the staff at the CRU from 1980-1982
    Ohhhh,,,,
    Phil Jones???
    ==============================

    No wonder Salinger suffered depression, the cognitive dissonance must have caused significant anxiety.

    BTW, SFAIAA, the MSM here in Oz has not reported this matter at all.

  31. The whole NIWA data adjusting thing has blown over in NZ media and we don’t hear any more about it. Salinger was officially sacked for repeatedly making unsanctioned comments to the media about climate after being told not to. He just couldn’t keep his alarmist mouth shut so his employers shut it for him. This is just my opinion, but I think NIWA had no idea of the extent of his data fiddling and when it came to their attention they went into severe damage control mode (hence the sacking of an alarmist scientist, how often does that happen?!) and tried to pretend that everything was ok. Of course being government-controlled, they still stick to the party line. NASA ought to take a page out of NIWA’s book and sack Hansen, his offences are far worse…

  32. The Seven Station Series? Don’t make me laugh. There are four in the
    South Island: Hokitika, Nelson, Lincoln, and Dunedin. Get a map of NZ
    and check out these locations: they are all coastal, or very nearly so,
    with no representation of the major inland areas.

  33. We need the comments of recently retired NIWA personnel who worked on or with those who created the previous and current NZ temperature profiles, or who worked with the Australian BOM who reviewed and supported it/them.

    There appears no way around the current NIWA position. Whether they are telling the truth or not is impossible to tell with such a consistent, no-details, no-discussion public response. Only those no longer involved have any possible credibility.

    NIWA’s current position is disturbingly similar to the CERN research wrt the CLOUD experiment that confirmed CGR creation of atmospheric nuclei but stopped at determining if said nuclei could or would grow to a size their work said necessary to actually produce cloud droplets.

    There is huge political fallout to any official report that does not support CAGW. Even those who might be skeptical of CAGW are caught in a very significant bind. CAGW has moved far beyond an intellectual exercise, and vast sums have gone to particulars, of which Al Gore is just a figurehead even with his millions. When CAGW is declared a bust, the questions will be asked about who and when knew it was a bust, and who and how they profited by their silence or participation in furthering the narrative. Governments could fall without careful control of the end of CAGW, and people like Gore could end up in court on charges of fraud. CAGW has become a real Sword of Damocles for major powers and powerful people.

    I cannot imagine a situation in which the official line is publicly repudiated. Only a dissident ex-worker could do this. The Climategate e-mails hurt CAGW’s image (and that of the IPCC) but not sufficiently for those at the helm to announce their surprise and anger at being duped. Dissidents from inside are required, like the Deep Throats of Watergate.

    As a skeptic I question the conclusions and certainty of CAGW on its technical merits, while finding the conflict of interests of parties to CAGW of significant threat to its credibility in principle. It bothers me, however, that there is no serious leakage from the various government arms around the world who supply data to the IPCC/NASA et al. Each of these groups does its own work. Iceland has voiced complaints, as in years past has Russia, but we have not seen American, Australian or New Zealand ex-officials stepping up and saying that what was released was not reasonable. For such a large, expensive, invasive and politically charged movement of our day, I am taken aback at the apparent solidarity of the governmental workers.

    Battles are fought best in the headlines. But it is in the trenches that victory or defeat are determined. We need some of the front-line troops to report in.

  34. The funny thing is I believe even NIWA admit that global warming is a net positive for New Zealand because the country the weather here isn’t that warm to start with. For example this summer Wellington (where I live) didn’t have a single day over 25 degree (centigrade). In fact I dont know a single person here who wouldn’t mind a few extra degrees on average.

    As far as the ETS goes, I dont actually mind an ETS since I think it is a good way to encourage alternative tech – we are going to run out of fossil fuels eventually so better start working on a replacement. What I do think is stupid is taxing methane emissions. You may or may not know this but NZ has a lot of cows and sheep (relative to population), all free range mind you, no silly barn rearing like they have in the states. Anyway, this means we have to pay into Kyoto for their emissions even though they are produced from renewable grass.

    If you ignored methan we’d be fine since we produce a huge amount of our power from hydro and geothermal. We’d have more but you cant build a hydro dam anymore with all the NIMBYers blocking anything and everything. Funny how greenies really want renewable energy but they dont want any actual projects to go ahead because they blight the landscape and ruin the views.

  35. Thanks, Andi, that’s a good account of the NIWA story. Though Salinger certainly started the temperature shenanigans all those years ago with his bold thesis, he’s playing no part in the court case, which was filed in July 2010. Soon we’ll get to hear NIWA’s defence (for the first time) and the judge will rule on whether there will be a hearing later in the year.

    I notice Andi refers to Rhoades & Salinger (1993) as “the paper that the NZTR Review is *supposedly* based on”. The sober scientific shredding of NIWA’s work has been done extraordinarily well by the Coalition, but it ought to be remembered that NIWA’s leading scientists have simply broken their promise. They said in public countless times that for the reconstruction they would use the methodology set out in RS93. When they did not, they broke their word to the Minister, to the Parliament and to the NZ people. Still, maybe leading scientists who break their promises are no worse than those who fail to use a recognised scientific method.

  36. Reblogged this on The GOLDEN RULE and commented:
    Some time ago, this NZ issue was raised and seemed fairly clearcut. The records used as part of the global warming “evidence” were “cooked”.
    Here we have a lot more detail and news of legal action against the NIWA who put forward the suspect claims.
    A worthy post to support the sceptics views.

  37. tallbloke says:
    March 7, 2012 at 1:25 pm

    Hmm, so who was the mentor for Jim Salinger’s 1982 doctorate thesis?

    According to http://www.cru.uea.ac.uk/cru/about/history/people.htm Jim was on the staff at the CRU from 1980-1982

    Ohhhh,,,,

    Phil Jones???
    ===========================
    and i could be wrong..but isn’t he the same guy was very pally with pachauri spent time in india and one of pachys daughters moved to NZ..when he went back there?
    richard north? did a series of exposes on EUReferendum and I am pretty sure this IS the same dude.

  38. Peter S says:
    March 7, 2012 at 12:19 pm

    This is only anecdotal, but when I first came to New Zealand (1989) it was not uncommon to have summer temperatures in the 30C range for days on end, and I used to count on 1-2 days each summer hitting 40C.
    The last few years (post 2000), topping 30C is reasonably uncommon, and I have not heard of a 40C day in something like the last 15 years.
    Burn time indexes peaked at about 15 minutes (and you really would get burned in that short a time) in the 90′s, now I seldom use sunscreen at all when mountain biking, even for periods of 3-4 hours (and don’t get burned).

    Careful with your anecdotes. Temperature has nothing to do with sunburn. It’s UV, only.
    You can get sunburned off snowfields reflecting sunlight and doubling the UV impact, while it’s far below freezing.

    An interesting recent discovery: melanin-rich skin (dark) brightly reflects UV, thus protecting DNA (but inhibiting Vitamin D generation, which is why D-deficiency is endemic in blacks living in higher latitudes). Pale skin, the reverse. (I suspect the in-between coloration of, e.g., Inuit and many Asians, etc., is “tuned” to sub-frequencies that mitigate the Vitamin D problem.) So if you could “see” in UV only, blacks would be white, and whites would be black!
    :)

  39. Hi Vincent

    My apologies for not referencing your paper, and yes I would encourage all to view it.

    My problem was that there is so much on the NZRT, selecting content without getting too labourious, and staying on-topic was hard work.

    I do follow your site with avid interest – as any Kiwi should – keep up the good work

    Cheers

    Andi

  40. I’ve just been to the website Vincent Gray links to (and intend visiting it more often) where I learnt of Owen McShane’s death.

    A fellow of infinite common sense, he will be sadly missed by all New Zealanders, especially so by those of us lucky enough to live in the Kaiwaka/Mangawhai area.

  41. Good luck in court guys. Fingers crossed.

    As for the media, there are only two possible outcomes:
    1. Finding in favour of NIWA – top news stories and front page headlines: “Climate Change Sceptics Proved Wrong in Court”
    2. Finding against NIWA – …………………………..[crickets]………………………………

  42. @ Peter S. – We did have a 40C day about 10 or so years ago in inland Canterbury as I remember, but they are exceptionally rare. I agree that our summers now are just garbage, especially the last one. It’s starting to feel like winter already.

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