Kiwi weather station data shenanigins going to court

Climate change readings ‘inaccurate’

TREVOR QUINN

A climate change group has taken the National Institute for Atmospheric and Water Research (NIWA) to court over what they say are inaccurate temperature recordings.

The New Zealand Climate Education Trust – a branch of the NZ Climate Science Coalition – are challenging NIWA figures which show a rise in temperatures in New Zealand of 1degC over the past 100 years.

This figure is significantly higher than global warming figures around the world and the trust is questioning how NIWA calculated the figures and whether they are accurate.

It believes there has either been no warming or a trivial warming of around 0.2degC.

The group’s lawyer Terry Sissons told the High Court at Auckland today that  NIWA could have obtained inaccurate New Zealand average temperatures due to ‘sudden site relocations’ and by regularly changing temperature gauging instruments.

“We’re not saying that climatic changes are not happening but let’s at least ensure the evidence gathered for the benefit of New Zealanders is accurate and is done properly,” Sissons said.

More at Auckland Now h/t to WUWT reader “AB”

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33 thoughts on “Kiwi weather station data shenanigins going to court

  1. A court victory in NZ could at least shame (sic/sarc) other organisations which collate and ‘adjust’ historical data to be more transparent about the ‘adjustment’ process.

  2. psion (@psion) says:
    July 16, 2012 at 10:26 pm
    Are the NIWA figures used in any other global datasets? Could a reduction here affect numbers used to promote AGW?

    To your first question: Yes. Stations used in the NIWA series are also used by GHCN and through that to GISS and CRUTEM. However depending on selection criteria not all the stations NIWA used will necessarily show up in the others. An example of this a couple years back Auckland was not used in the GISS analysis but was used by others.

    To your second question: No, if you are talking global numbers. New Zealand is way too small to have a major impact of the 3 major land datasets (NCDC, GISS and CRU)

  3. Psion, I think that you will find that not only are the NIWA numbers included in the Global Mean Temperature Average, but that also, because NZ is surrounded by vast stretches of ocean, that the temperature record there has been extended to adjacent grid cells, thus the influence of the NIWA numbers is disproportionately greater than would otherwise be the case.

    Perhaps someone more knowledgeable than me can add to this.

  4. psion (@psion) says: “…Could a reduction here affect numbers used to promote AGW?”

    If the area of New Zealand were more than 20% of the global surface, yes. But do you really think New Zealand is that large?

  5. Very good! There should be more of this going to court. It’s no good finding a fault only to have it shrugged off by the authorities, this nonsense needs to be turned around hard and fast and the liars and manipulators need to be penalized with heavy jail terms. Every one of us is being lied to and stolen from and the economies of the world are being flushed down the toilet. Serious charges need to be laid against the PEOPLE doing it and governments have to be held accountable, too. A slap on the wrist is not enough. Where’s the incentive to stop? Where are the organizations who look after the people and protect our societies? Why aren’t they doing something already?

  6. Looking at a map of the GHCN stations the pacific ocean east of NZ is very sparsely instrumented, and includes relatively distant Auckland and Campbell Island (South) and Chatham Islands (East), so NZ’s influence could easily be extrapolated to cover an area up to 4-5000km diameter, which would be up to 3-4% of earth’s surface, not much different from contiguous US states.

  7. “Streetcred says:
    July 16, 2012 at 10:53 pm”

    Very true indeed. I am hoping the BoM are implicated in this case too, we’ll have to wait and see. Interesting NIWA employees are moaning and griping at the Govn’t plan to sack a sizeable chunk of their workforce (I use that term very loosly having firsthand experience of NIWA).

  8. NZ data is pretty important in a global sense. Not because NZ is large ( although its continental shelf is larger than that of continental US). But because it has the only ‘authoritative’ long term records for a large stetch of the earth, east from Australia to Chile, and south from the equator to Antarctica.

  9. psion (@psion) says:
    Are the NIWA figures used in any other global datasets? Could a reduction here affect numbers used to promote AGW?

    It would depend on how those datasets are adjusted and cherry-picked, now, wouldn’t it? It’s possible that the temperatures of other areas are approximated based on NIWA figures. You know, like how Arctic temps might be derived from the readings of stations hundreds of miles away?

  10. It’s much wider than data-fiddling in NZ. Here’s an easy-to-read piece on how a spurious warming trend is created in the Arctic: http://endisnighnot.blogspot.com/2012/03/giss-strange-anomalies.html
    In depressing early temperatures by literally rewriting history, the Global Warming industry justifies its fib that the Arctic is warming.
    The GHCN data series has existed in several different versions, with v2 and v3 available for scrutiny. If anybody can post a link to the earliest dataset, v1, I’d appreciate it.

  11. psion (@psion) says:
    July 16, 2012 at 10:26 pm (Edit)

    Are the NIWA figures used in any other global datasets? Could a reduction here affect numbers used to promote AGW?
    ##########

    yes the are used.

    now do some simple math. CRU4 has the smallest number of stations 4228.
    if NZ had 100 stations ( they dont) it would represent <2% of all stations.
    more importantly since the averages are land area weighted.. NZ is mouse nuts.
    the figures could be 10C off and it would not show up.

    that doesnt mean temperatures should be adjusted incorrectly. but you could drop NZ or multiple the numbers by 10 and not see the difference.

  12. Are the NIWA figures used in any other global datasets? Could a reduction here affect numbers used to promote AGW?

    If the sites are used as the center of 1000 Km smoothing then maybe. They may however move the center of the smoothing to a different location(s) where the (legal) climate is ‘better’.

  13. If the adjustments are wrong, they are wrong. Doesn’t matter what portion of the word NZ comprises. The same exercise should be done by independent auditors for all the major stations. We can see how many more such unsupported adjustments pop out.

  14. Brent Hargreaves

    …fib that the Arctic is warming…

    Unfortunately, nobody seems to have told the ice that the warming is all lies.

  15. “Nigel Harris says:
    July 17, 2012 at 6:37 am

    Unfortunately, nobody seems to have told the ice that the warming is all lies.”

    Probably forgot to tell the ice it is summer in the NH too!

  16. Thought all this was sorted out a couple of years ago when NIWA and BOM took the Climate Coalition to court and then had to admit that their data showed no warming in NZ for the last 60YEARS???and was not fit for purpose!!!

  17. Steven Mosher says:
    July 17, 2012 at 1:26 am
    psion (@psion) says:
    July 16, 2012 at 10:26 pm (Edit)

    Are the NIWA figures used in any other global datasets? Could a reduction here affect numbers used to promote AGW?
    ##########

    yes the are used.

    now do some simple math. CRU4 has the smallest number of stations 4228.
    if NZ had 100 stations ( they dont) it would represent <2% of all stations.
    more importantly since the averages are land area weighted.. NZ is mouse nuts.
    the figures could be 10C off and it would not show up.

    that doesnt mean temperatures should be adjusted incorrectly. but you could drop NZ or multiple the numbers by 10 and not see the difference.

    I know this sort of thing is more or less in your wheelhouse, but isn’t the NZ data used to cover a lot of the surrounding ocean area? Doesn’t this inflate it’s importance?

  18. When Courts are asked to mandate Peer Review for ‘scientific data’ published by Government agencies, it is time to de-nationalize science.

  19. I won’t know what to think until I hear what the slow wing has to say about it.

  20. Maybe it should be noted by the court that 25.5% of all temperatures recorded in NIWA were logged as a rounded .0 Fahrenheit, instead of the 10% that would indicate an unbiased distribution of decimals. This has an unknown effect on pre-Celsius averages, although there is reason to believe that rounding down, rather than up, underestimated historic temperatures. Details at http://www.waclimate.net/round/new-zealand-temperatures.html

  21. The media have gone very quiet on this; I couldn’t find any reports online after the Monday item announcing that the action was taking place. However, my local newspaper did print this opinion piece. Not much that’s new, but at least it got featured.

    http://www.odt.co.nz/opinion/opinion/217521/its-getting-colder-not-warmer

    In the same issue the manager of Dunedin’s forestry assets said that the Government should not sign up to the latest version of Kyoto because of the huge financial penalty to forestry.
    If anyone has recent developments in the NIWA case, please post!

  22. Check the Herald website wew.nzherald.co.nz for news. They’re covering it. The paper is usually warmist not skeptical on the issue. Use their search facility, input NIWA to find stories.

  23. Trevor;
    Enough of your error, aberration, and distortion! It’s “Shenanigans”, not “…ins”. >:p

  24. There is not a single report about this in any newspaper here in NZ that I know of. I goggled up the judge who is hearing this and I read he was “a govenment man” so I’m afraid to say that the giant hand of govt. which subtly runs this country,is saying “nothing to see here…move along please”

  25. NIWA court response Thursday 19th

    Mr Smith today questioned the credibility of the evidence of two of the trust’s “expert” witnesses, including IT professional Manfred Dedekind, who said he also had qualifications and experience with statistical analysis.

    “It is submitted that Mr Dedekind is not an expert on the application of statistical techniques in climate science and therefore cannot give evidence on the application of statistical techniques in climate science,” Mr Smith said.

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10819943

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