New Zealand's NIWA temperature train wreck

This is an old argument, adjusted data versus non adjusted data, and why does the adjusted data show a trend and the unadjusted data does not? We’ve battled this here on WUWT many times with GISS and NCDC, now the battle is spreading down under to New Zealand. And surprise, they cite NCDC’s own adjustment techniques. And it’s the same thing NCDC and GISS does, cool the past and essentially ignore UHI and land use change factors.

The Seven Station Set (7SS) Above from NIWA: Mean annual temperature over New Zealand, from 1853 to 2009 inclusive, based on long-term station records from between 2 (from 1853) and 7 (from 1908 onwards) locations. The blue and red bars show annual differences from the 1971 – 2000 average, the solid black line is a smoothed time series, and the dotted line is the linear trend over 1909 to 2009 (0.91°C/100 years).

Oddly, there seems to be some serious distancing afoot by NIWA, they say essentially “it’s not ours”. I suppose I would too, when you find that you can simply download the raw “unadjusted” data, plot it yourself, and find there there is essentially no trend.

Above graph was noted in this report where they write:

Straight away you can see there’s no slope—either up or down. The temperatures are remarkably constant way back to the 1850s. Of course, the temperature still varies from year to year, but the trend stays level—statistically insignificant at 0.06°C per century since 1850.

Jo Nova sums this up pretty well. So well in fact I think I’ll let her (bold mine):

There’s a litany of excuses. The National Institute for Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA) claims NZ has been warming at 0.92°C per 100 years. But when some independent minded chaps in New Zealand graphed the raw NZ data they found the thermometers show NZ has only warmed by a statistically non-significant 0.06°C. They asked for answer and got nowhere until they managed to get the light of legal pressure onto NIWA to force it to reply honestly. Reading between the lines, it’s obvious NIWA can’t explain nor defend the adjustments.

Richard Treadgold was one of that team and files this report on the Climate Conversation Group Website as shown below. Apparently there’s a legal case ongoing. I’ll have another post on this later. – Anthony

===================================

What’s left of the NIWA case?

Richard Treadgold

judge's gavel

We hope justice will be done in the case against NIWA. Separate question: what of justice for the NZ temperature record?

The status of the NZ temperature record

For the last ten years, visitors to NIWA’s official website have been greeted by a graph of the “seven-station series” (7SS), under the bold heading “New Zealand Temperature Record”. The graph covers the period from 1853 to the present, and is adorned by a prominent trend-line sloping sharply upwards. Accompanying text informs the world that “New Zealand has experienced a warming trend of approximately 0.9°C over the past 100 years.”

The 7SS has been updated and used in every monthly issue of NIWA’s “Climate Digest” since January 1993. Its 0.9°C (sometimes 1.0°C) of warming has appeared in the Australia/NZ Chapter of the IPCC’s 2001 and 2007 Assessment Reports. It has been offered as sworn evidence in countless tribunals and judicial enquiries, and provides the historical base for all of NIWA’s reports to both Central and Local Governments on climate science issues and future projections.

NIWA has a printed promotional brochure describing its climate activities, which commences with the iconic 7SS graph. No piece of climate lore is more familiar to the public, and it is better known than NIWA’s logo.

But now, para 7(a) of NIWA’s Statement of Defence states that “there is no ‘official’ or formal New Zealand Temperature Record”.

In para 8(b) it says the NZTR is not a public record for the purposes of the Public Records Act, using the exemption of “special collections” defined (in para 4(b)) as non-public records used for “research purposes”.

In para 4, NIWA denies it has any obligation to use the best available data or best scientific techniques, while conceding that it has statutory duties to pursue excellence and to perform its functions efficiently and effectively.

The juxtaposition of these conflicting stances leaves NIWA looking decidedly awkward. Should it go all out to defend its most famous product, or throw the NZTR under a bus?

The 7SS adjustments

The 7SS posed as a genuine historical archive, until the NZCSC disclosed, in its 2009 paper Are We Feeling Warmer Yet, that the warming trend was merely an artefact of NIWA’s in-house ‘corrections’. After a lengthy saga (described in Brill, B.E., 2010a. ‘Crisis in New Zealand climatology’, Quadrant Magazine (May) and Brill, B.E., 2010b. ‘New Zealand climate crisis gets worse’, Quadrant Magazine (June)), it emerged that NIWA had adopted some 34 non-replicable adjustments proposed in 1980 by Salinger, whose calculations had been lost.

The NZCSC filed judicial review proceedings against NIWA, requesting the Court to:

• Declare the 7SS invalid

• Direct NIWA to prepare a valid replacement NZTR

In its Statement of Defence, NIWA announces that it has now completed a full internal examination of the Salinger adjustments in the 7SS, and has forwarded its “review papers” to its Australian counterpart, the Bureaux of Meteorologists (BOM) for peer review.

From ministerial answers to Parliamentary Questions, we know that this “review” has involved five or six scientists working for about six months, and has received a special grant of about $70,000. It comprises a replacement Schedule of Adjustments for the 7SS with de novo documentation and detailed justification for each adjustment.

The Hokitika example at http://www.niwa.co.nz/news-and-publications/news/all/2009/nz-temp-record/seven-station-series-temperature-data (scroll down to Documentation of the adjustment process) has been repeated for all seven weather stations.

The replacement 7SS doesn’t repeat the Salinger adjustments but it is to include any adjustments agreed between NIWA and BOM, both of whom will supposedly apply state-of-the-art homogenisation technology.

So the old 7SS has already been repudiated. A replacement NZTR is being prepared by NIWA – presumably the best effort they are capable of producing. NZCSC is about to receive what it asked for. On the face of it, there’s nothing much left for the Court to adjudicate.

What will happen in the court case?

The proceedings are not yet affected by these developments. If the replacement NZTR is as deeply flawed as its predecessor (which seems inherently unlikely) NZCSC will doubtless press on to trial – although some amendments to the pleadings would probably be required. If the new document seems respectable, the parties may well be able to resolve their remaining differences. Watch this space!

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trbixler

Hide the statistically no change temperature. Well of course we have never seen that graph showing .9 degrees warming. Must be some web vandals and some printing errors. Gosh it is surprising that any one mentioned it, no pressure at all.

RichieP

The agw-smitten politicians all over the world will be putting their fingers in their ears and going “La la la la la”. Will it make any difference? Some irony on the topic from a Spectator gadfly blogger
http://www.spectator.co.uk/rodliddle/6351793/the-heresy-of-denial.thtml

Wow! That was fast, Anthony — you seemed to echo our posting almost immediately. Thank you.
The court case is not scheduled at this point; it awaits a conference, which itself has not been scheduled. Still, it’s great to give support to like-minded people around the world at a time when there’s probably more opportunity for climate sceptics to be heard AND LISTENED TO than for a long time.
Cheers.

Robinson

Am I mis-reading the graphic? By eye I can see a downward trend from around 1880 to around 1930 and an upward trend from around 1945 to the present day. Or is this a trend of the difference, rather than the absolute values? If so, my mistake!

Robinson –
Which graph?

Alan Simpson not from Friends of the Earth

C’mon, call a spade a Spade, ( I’m in the UK so I’m looking forward to mine, Sigh ), this is either unjustified manipulation of the data or out and out fraud.
I look forward to the usual suspects trying to defend something the originating body has thrown under the bus.

James allison

From the post. “it emerged that NIWA had adopted some 34 non-replicable adjustments proposed in 1980 by Salinger, whose calculations had been lost.”
What’s with these climate government departments? Niwa lost Saingers’s calculations however NASA managed to lose our capital city until Steve McIntyre kindly found it again for them.
http://climateaudit.org/2007/09/25/houston-weve-found-wellington-nz/

tim maguire

For the first 55 years, the average national temperature of the country of New Zealand was based on 2 (!) stations and for the next hundred, 7 stations. That alone tells me they have absolutely no idea what the average national temperature was. But it’s a point I’ve made before and nobody else seems bothered by it, so I must be missing something.

Sam

Robinson is right. If you split the graph in half, it seems like there was a 50 year cooling trend followed by a 50 year warming trend (but not at the level of the homogenised data). So if we want to base climate on two, 50-year trends, then we’re due for either 50 years of cooling or 50 years of slight warming. Or there could not be a trend or pattern. But think about following the chart patterns of a common stock in the short run–someone is out there predicting a pattern or trend, even if there is none.

richard verney

If the NZ raw data shows no statistical significant warming as from the 1850s, how does this impact upon the AGW theory? Doesn’t that theory suggest that warming must be global? After all, CO2 levels are meant to be reasonably homogenised over the entire globe and accordingly CO2 levels over NZ must have risen from the pre-industrial levels of say 280ppm (although I do not necessarily accept that that level is correct) to about 385 ppm of today’s level. Shouldn’t such an increase in CO2 have had a warming effect on NZ, and if not why not? What mechanism allows for such a significant increase in CO2 concentrations but yet results in no statistically significant warming? [apart from the obvious that in practice given the real climatic sensitivity to CO2, CO2 has little, if any effect, on global temperatures]
It must be recalled that the warmists deny the existence of the MWP because there is no proxy evidence confirming that it was a global event (conveniently ignoring that the proxy evidence does not establish that it was not a global event). They go on to argue that if not a global event, the MWP cannot have existed.
Applying the same logic, if NZ temeperatures have not increased (statistically significantly) it follows there can be no such thing as global warming. At most, we are looking at a collection of local events (where in some part of the globe there may have been some warming and in other parts no warming and which case CO2 cannot be the driver and this must be due to natural variation or some as of yet unidentified driver).
I am sure that when you look at the raw data for other areas, eg., Northern Ireland (can’t remember the name of the station data but there have been posts on this during the last few months), again there is no statistical warming since the 1850s thus demonstrating that global warming simply is not happening (at least not globally).
If there are areas in both the Northern and Southern hemisheres that are not sustaining statistically significant warming, the entire theory of global warming is in dis-array.

Fitzy

Niwa, Niwa, wouldn’t want to be ya….
Being a kiwi I’m familiar with Niwa’s antics.
Leading up to that pseudo-scientific train wreck we like to call Copenhagen, Niwa and TV3 battered the New Zealand population night after night with B.S
That’s the top shelf B.S, 24 carat gold, double dip recession inducing, government guaranteed B.S.
( TV3 is to journalism, as Al Gore is to Climate science – takes a crack at it, but no actual integrity.)
We had glaciers melting – seems ice can do that, we had predicted changes in weather patterns, which like most clairvoyant prognostications – fail to manifest, and we had TV3 rolling out a Niwa scientists, all in name of Global weather-cool-warm-something-ing.
Niwa – has been grossly influenced by our previous communist regime, which saw its grand tyrant, Helen Clarke, elevated to the number three spot at the U.N. I know what number Ones and Number Twos are –number Threes I fear to ponder.
Its shrill utterances all hark back to pleasing the real-politick, of the Clarke junta. Unfortunately now we have a Tory government, desperate to sell NZ to the corporation of China, and having implemented an ETS scam to boot – as promised by, you guessed it, the former Clarke gub-bor-ment, they feel inclined to continue to ruin the country.
Niwa is hopelessly mired in the murky world of international social engineering, and its administration is just covering their backsides, got to keep the game alive Lads!
If the WUWT readership know of an outreach programme for Meteorological types, hopelessly addicted to CARBON-CYCLE-ADDICTION, please let the New Zealand guvment know on 0800-sinking-ship.

Vorlath

This is on old issue in general with NZ. They (don’t know which organizations exactly) have been caught doing this several times. NZ really doesn’t have a reliable temperature dataset. Skewing was way worse than this in the past which is how the error was caught. It was well beyond what GW would indicate. So the skewing actually did the opposite of what they wanted. It showed that it had to be a local phenomenon since GW could not account for it. Well, that phenomenon has been found (A: people skewing the data).
Strange that it’s STILL going on. I’ve seen so many stories about this from NZ I can’t keep track of it all.

RockyRoad

How on earth can an entire nation’s temperatures be based on just 2 stations and given any credibility, then on just 7 stations and given any credibility? How do either of those populations lend themselves to stasticially significant averages or standard deviations? I’m flabbergasted (or gobsmacked).

Mooloo

For the first 55 years, the average national temperature of the country of New Zealand was based on 2 (!) stations and for the next hundred, 7 stations. That alone tells me they have absolutely no idea what the average national temperature was. But it’s a point I’ve made before and nobody else seems bothered by it, so I must be missing something.
Yes, you are missing something. There was no attempt in the “7 station series” at a “national average”. Such a thing is always meaningless (do you go by land area, sea area, city average ?).
The 7SS does show a trend over the length of NZ, and that trend is a clue as to whether it has been warming significantly or not. That was why Salinger was keen to distort it by “adjustment”.
For anyone living in NZ the fact that we haven’t warmed by a degree can be found without resorting to measure temperatures. We have a lot of plants who are very temperature dependent, and their spread over 100 years of warming would be very obvious.
Yet we see no great spread of Pohutukawa or Mangrove swamps. Nor are the cherry orchards down south out of business without the requisite cold winters. NIWA charts can be fiddled, but plants only grow in their actual range, regardless of what NIWA wants us to believe.

Seen it before

“”The court case is not scheduled at this point””
The case will be made moot and dumped. NIWA will repudiate the old stats and, as the post indicates, is working on new ones.
The new stats with new “adjustments” will, again, an upward trend in temps. I suspect will be just as fraudulent, but the tweaks will be better hidden and rationalized. Or, like the American NAS did with the Mann hockey stick, it will debunk the Salinger methods, yet say they were accurate anyway, provven by other stats.
There is a lot of money riding on this. The science is corrupted.

A Crooks of Adelaide

I await the outcome of this with keen anticipation.
The thing that I dont think that you have really fully explored here is the possible implications now that the NZTR has been declared not to exist. Surely this meants that all policy outcomes and legislation based on it (eg their ETS) are liable to be challenged in the courts (and in Parliament). Further, presumably any person or company who has spent money on CO2 reduction schemes based on the NZTR would be able to sue NIWA or the NZ government for their money back. I mean if there is no stastistical tempurature rise to justify the expenditure, then they have been conned. If this doesn’t lead to the biggest class action of all time, NZ lawyers dont deserve their money.
Also it will be fascinating to see what BOM (Australia) does. It will be desparate to perpetuate the NZ fraud to prop up its own dodgy (Australian) temperature manipulations, but may also want to caste them adrift and wash their hands of their over zealous fudging. Either way they are going to be drawn into justifying all the new adjustments to the NZ temp record – which will throw a lot of light back on what they have been doing to the Australian temperature records

Robinson

Richard Treadgold says:
October 9, 2010 at 3:54 pm
Robinson –
Which graph?

The second one. But then, you know, kind-of the first one as well.

Having studied this rediculous Climate Change fantasy for close on 18 years , I feel most strongly , that the perpetrators and supporters of this criminal lie should be held to account . Those who supported and passed the evil E.T.S. legislation are equally culpable . Those on the lower incomes will suffer and those on higher incomes will continue to laugh , all the way to the bank. Politicians , Scientists , News Media , and bureaucrats ,have all been responsible for allowing legislation to be passed which will produce billions of dollars revenue for Government . Who are running the carbon credit exchange in New Zealand ?

Peter Foster

Don’t hold your breath waiting for a backdown by NIWA.
Jim Salinger, who produced the graph and made the adjustments worked with Phil Jones at East Anglia for many years. His successor and chief climate scientist for NIWA, David Wratt is on the IPCC’s 30-strong Bureau (the steering committee), was vice-chair of Working Group 1 (which dealt with the science of past, present, and future climate change), and was review editor for the IPCC Fourth Assessment Report.
With that background he is going to defend their graph. So far they have been very aggressive in attacking their critics, citing things like adding a 0.8°C increase to Wellington data when the station was shifted to a site 125 m above the previous site. However as we all know, a one off correction does not produce a slope to a graph. But even in this correction it seems to me that 0.8°C is rather a large, considering the normal lapse rate of 1.5°C/1000 ft would only give a 0.625 degrees in 125m.
David Wratt profile

Mark.r

Whats is the pont of making temps look warmer?.Why go to all the trouble of doing this?. The only answer must be to use it for another purpose.

Robinson

However, now I draw in what I see, I’m not sure it’s significant, i.e.:
Image with trends drawn in red.
I mean the height of the trend on the right is probably not statistically significant when compared to that on the left.

Doug in Seattle

I can’t help but suspect that NIWA is using their abandonment of the “official” NZ temperature history as a way of avoiding losing in a courtroom. The result of which would be to put the NZ version of Cap’n Trade in jeopardy.

Evan Jones

The way I see it, there are two factors that (if possible to quantify) would justify temperature adjustment in this case.
First is TOBS. If observation time mirrors that in the US (which I don’t know), that would require a warming adjustment.
Second is SHAP. It is almost certain that station history would require an overall cooling adjustment. Some stations might have been moved to cooler locations, but urbanization and encroachment would need to be accounted for as well (not to mention microsite issues).
As for homogenization, why do it at all? If the extra stations are good, then why not just add them to the set? If they are not good, then why use them at all?

ROM

“In its Statement of Defence, NIWA announces that it has now completed a full internal examination of the Salinger adjustments in the 7SS, and has forwarded its “review papers” to its Australian counterpart, the Bureaux of Meteorologists (BOM) for peer review.”
Don’t be too sure of the outcome of the “peer review” by the Australian BOM.
From CRU e-mail; Tuesday, 19 June 2007 07:21:57 : Filename: 1182255717.txt
“Had an email from David Jones of BMRC, Melbourne. He said
they are ignoring anybody who has dealings with CA, as there are
threads on it about Australian sites.”
The guy above is a senior manager in the BOM and is a warmista of the first order as I have seen and experienced.
And there are a whole coterie of warmista’s right through the whole of the BOM and the CSIRO’s climate research units, unfortunately usually in senior positions.
And as Ken Stewart of the Kenskingdom blog who has done an analysis on a number of Australian GHCN stations and has shown that there appears to be serious questionable adjustments and homogenisations to the Australian station data all carried out by the BOM and / or GISS.
So don’t expect the Australian BOM to admit to anything even as a supposed independent peer reviewer of NIWA’s “review papers” as it is pointed out above that the BOM and NIWA used similar adjustment techniques and have a similar cultural attitude to making the climate data conform to a particular ideological and dangerously warming stance.
The real puzzle to me in all this entire climategate saga is what made all these so called “climate scientists” believe that they could continuously manipulate and corrupt the data which was, as they knew and admitted in some of the climategate e-mails, drifting further and further away from reality.
Yet they continued presenting this corrupted, homogenised data and conclusions to the public and the politicos as the current reality while seemingly believing that nobody would ever check be able to their data or challenge their conclusions.
And if anybody did so, as we saw, they believed they had the power and influence to stop those enquiries in their tracks.
Sooner or later the differences between the real climate data and their manipulated and homogenised data and model projections that they hailed as infallible proof of a current and future dangerously warming global climate were going to be exposed.
That is just the nature of the way things work, proven time and time again throughout all of history.
Once their corrupted data manipulations were exposed the reputations and standings of those climategate scientists and all those who co-operated or were co-opted into their circle of data manipulation, designed to achieve an ideologically biased result, would eventually suffer a severe and permanent drop in standing and prestige in the science world and so it has happened and is still happening.
I can only guess that in their sheer hubris they never seemed to contemplate or understand the possible ultimate outcome and personal penalties and severe loss of standing and prestige in the world of science and a consequent and ongoing and severe loss of faith in climate science by the public if and when their corrupted manipulations of the data and science were eventually uncovered.

Huub Bakker

A Crooks of Adelaide,

The thing that I dont think that you have really fully explored here is the possible implications now that the NZTR has been declared not to exist. Surely this meants that all policy outcomes and legislation based on it (eg their ETS) are liable to be challenged in the courts (and in Parliament). Further, presumably any person or company who has spent money on CO2 reduction schemes based on the NZTR would be able to sue NIWA or the NZ government for their money back.

That was my thinking too. I posted a similar thought on Richard Treadgold’s blog and he replied that it’s a matter of talking to the lawyers and the politicians.

899

The replacement 7SS doesn’t repeat the Salinger adjustments but it is to include any adjustments agreed between NIWA and BOM, both of whom will supposedly apply state-of-the-art homogenisation technology.
AND they get to include a $70,000 homogenised lie, right?

Richard Steckis

“In its Statement of Defence, NIWA announces that it has now completed a full internal examination of the Salinger adjustments in the 7SS, and has forwarded its “review papers” to its Australian counterpart, the Bureaux of Meteorologists (BOM) for peer review.”
There is not such agency as the Bureaux of Meterologists. It is the Australian Bureau of Meterology. The Bureau of Meterology is an Australian Government Agency. http://www.bom.gov.au
Bureaux is the plural of bureau.

Rob R

Tim Maguire –
From around 1905 onward NZ has had way more climate stations taking daily max-min temperatures than you would guess from the NIWA 7-station set. For much of the period between 1860 and 1900 it had 6 or more stations collecting such data. There are some gaps in some of the records pre 1900 which is why only 2 were used by NIWA. It should be noted that the other pre-1900 datasets show the same general (non-trending) pattern as the non-adjusted graph by the NZ climate coalition.
After about 1905 the number of NZ climate stations increased dramatically. By around 1930 there were 60+ stations reporting and by the 1960’s in the order of 150 or so. In 2010 there are more than 100 stations in NZ supplying daily max-min temperatures and data for other climatic variables as well. The truth is that the NZ National Climate database is repleat with abundant data. The mystery is why NIWA (database administrator) has failed so abysmally in presenting a realistic picture of the last 160 years of NZ climate.
Due to the documented failures in the science as presented by NIWA there are now a significant number of Kiwis who have gone to the National database and collected much of the temperature data from it. When the next NIWA graph appears it will be scrutinised in great detail if it appears there is an inflated temperature trend.
By the way, NIWA also produced an 11-station set commencing about 1930, the data for which was downloadable when I last looked at the NIWA website a few months back. This graph also shows an upward trend, primarily because the 1930’s and 1940’s were genuinely colder throughout NZ than the subsequent (or prior) period. The trend is caused in large part by the cherry-picked start date.

morgo

and to make it worse NZ govt are going to vote on methane gas [cows farting] tax. In australia the labour govt have set up a task force to bring in a carbon tax .TO be on this task force you MUST believe in global warming . can you believe it we cannot GOD SAVE AUSTRALIA BECAUSE WE NEED YOUR HELP. I think its too late for new new zealand i am sorry to say

Tim

…Salinger, whose calculations had been lost.
A continuing trend. When they run out of time and excuses to ignore FOI requests –
“woops, sorry we’ve lost the data.”
And we are trusting these scientists to advise on global political decisions worth trillions of dollars and the liberties of the world’s populations.

Andrew30

“Meteorology is the interdisciplinary scientific study of the atmosphere that focuses on weather processes and short term forecasting (in contrast with climatology).”
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Meterology
“NIWA announces that it has now completed a full internal examination of the Salinger adjustments in the 7SS, and has forwarded its “review papers” to its Australian counterpart, the [Bureau of Meterology] (BOM) for peer review.”
So ‘climate’ science is deferring to ‘weather’ forecasters to determine whether or not the historically recorded weather has been translated correctly in to climate.
It would be ironic if the weather forecasters replied: ‘This climate is not the weather!’.

Seen it before

Peter Foster writes:
“So far they have been very aggressive in attacking their critics, citing things like adding a 0.8°C increase to Wellington data when the station was shifted to a site 125 m above the previous site.”
Peter, I recall this one. Apparently there is some old article that rationalizes adjustments for altitude change, assuming increased altitude, decreased temp. That may be a good rule of thumb on the flat North American prairies, but what about next to a body of cold water? I recall the Wellington station was closer to the shore, then moved up a hill? Farther away from water colder than air temps, would not the adjustment be needed the opposite direction, warmer with increased nearby elevation?
I have not seen that point argued.

kiwistonewall

NIWA have a new 11 station series PROVING the warming – but it’s 77 years long starting in 1930 – which was the bottom of a cooling trend. They have carefully selected a series to maximize the upward trend. I am ashamed (as a New Zealander) that NIWA could stoop so low with such a shallow “trick”
http://www.niwa.co.nz/news-and-publications/news/all/2009/nz-temp-record/temperature-trends-from-raw-data

A Crooks of Adelaide

ROM says: @ October 9, 2010 at 6:12 pm
” Don’t be too sure of the outcome of the “peer review” by the Australian BOM. …..”
I agree completely. Ordinarily it would be a no-brainer to expect BOM to support NIWA. However, I assume the basis for any adjustments will have to be made public in NZ. These adjustments will be put under the microscope, and if they dont stand up to public scrutiny, then it will all blow back into BOM’s lap, and give further cause to question their dealings with the Australian data. The question is: Is BOM confident enough in its own homogenisation process to help NIWA out by confirming its fudged temperature slope (and everything that hangs off it) – but risk public scrutiny of that homogenisation process? Or will they cut NIWA adrift in order to prevent insights into their own data manipulations and try and save their own skins?

Roy Clark

There is another independent way to check the temperature record. New Zealand consists of two main islands, surrounded by ocean. The meteorological surface air temperature (MSAT) record should track the local ocean surface temperature record. Specifically, the long term (5 yr) average MINIMUM MSAT should track the long term (5yr) ocean surface temperatures. This has been shown to be the case for California using the PDO and the UK using the local AMO. Urban heat island effects and other station biases should show up as changes in the station trends relative to the ocean temperatures. A simple linear trend should be sufficient understand the principal effects.
http://scienceandpublicpolicy.org/originals/pacific_decadal.html
http://hidethedecline.eu/media/BLANDET/What%20Surface%20Temperature%20V2_R%20Clark_9%2020%2010.pdf

richard verney;
If the NZ raw data shows no statistical significant warming as from the 1850s, how does this impact upon the AGW theory? Doesn’t that theory suggest that warming must be global?>>
It depends on which version of the theory. There are multiple variations, just as there are multiple skeptic positions. That said, the “classic” version does expect warming to be global, but not uniform. The coldest areas of the planet warm the most, and in any given area, the coldest seasons warm more than the warmest seasons, and you can even take it down to daily where one would expect cooler night time temperatures to warm more then day time highs. The same “well known” physics that warming theory is based on requires cold things to warm most, and warm things to warm the least.
So… in fact if you dig into the details, one would expect very little warming in a moderate climate such as New Zealand’s. If the original NIWA data showed that New Zealand was warming at the same rate as the global average, that would mean that something other than CO2 was driving the numbers even higher. In other words, if the “adjustments” were a fraudulent attempt to produce proof of AGW, then who ever did that apparently didn’t understand the part of the theory that says that the coldest places (like the poles) should warm more than the global average, and moderate and warm places (like most of New Zealand, most of the time) should warm less than the global average.

Evan Jones

Come to think of it, if CRU continues to refuse to release its raw data, instead of one big story like this there are likely to be a hundred little stories like this.
This could hurt the cause of AGW even worse than if CRU sucked it in and got it over with.

Steve Wrathall

I am looking forward to NIWA’s updated version of NZ’s temperature record, as I will make a fresh comparison with Salinger’s predictions from 1987 about how much NZ should have warmed by now. Even taking the official figures my 2007 “Mother Earth: Global Warming Denier” video shows temperatures way undershooting Salinger’s 1987 predictions:

John of Cloverdale WA

Since a lack of temperature stations is a problem for the Kiwis, I suggest a proxy of lamb numbers in spring. The Kiwis have been counting sheep for years. And the mortality rate of lambs should statistacally tell if there is a cooling or warming trend in the climate. Go for it Kiwis and the Wallabies to beat the All Blacks in Hong Kong. By the way do you want Russell Crowe back?

has forwarded its “review papers” to its Australian counterpart, the Bureaux of Meteorologists (BOM) for peer review.”

Thanks, I thought I corrected that before posting. I’ll do it again.

A Crooks of Adelaide:

Surely this meants that all policy outcomes and legislation based on it (eg their ETS) are liable to be challenged in the courts (and in Parliament).

Huub Bakker:

I posted a similar thought on Richard Treadgold’s blog and he replied that it’s a matter of talking to the lawyers and the politicians.

I think, too, that it’s most important for people to understand that NZ’s ETS was not predicated on any perception of local warming. It was driven by the global picture and prognostications (for all their shortcomings!) and by the sense that we in li’l ol’ Noo Zilland should play our part for the greater good. Even if it did us no good. Which it won’t. None of our international competitors face an ETS – we’re our own worst enemy. Nuts!
So, even having to revise the NZ temperature history downwards, if that is necessary, would not by itself justify dismantling the ETS.

Patrick Davis

Having worked with NIWA, I am not surprised. And I fully agree with “Seen it before” and Peter Foster.
Unfortunately for the sheeple of New Zealand and Australia, no-one will see this reported locally and no-one will stand up to the NZ Govn’t.
Australia and New Zealand are very much into “me too” polotics. We’ll see a “price on carbon” in Australia soon. What irritates me is the use of the word carbon to “label” C02 emissions. Carbon is an element, which in particulate form, soot, is a pollution problem. Anyone familiar with 1950’s London will know what I am talking about. C02 on the other hand is made up of two elements and has totally different chemical and physical properties. How these are somehow considered the same is just a shame.

DRE

The fact that man is making the climate change and will destroy the planet is clearly axiomatic.
The warming must be evident in the temperature record.
Therefore if the temperature record is ‘faulty’ it must be adjusted.
Leave the poor guys alone they’re just trying to do science. Of course here science means arranging reality so it follows the expectations of Scientists.

James allison

John of Cloverdale WA says:
October 9, 2010 at 8:17 pm
The number of lambs killed during the recent Southland snow storm could be at least a hint. And no thanks you can keep Crowe but give us back Robbie Deans.

Evan:

They have carefully selected a series to maximize the upward trend. I am ashamed (as a New Zealander) that NIWA could stoop so low with such a shallow “trick”

It’s worse than that, Evan. Barry Brill describes the blemishes of the 11SS in detail at Quadrant Magazine, including using Class 4 stations (potential errors of up to 2°C), documented relocations in no fewer than six of the stations, despite NIWA’s web site claim that the selection was made because “these sites have never been shifted” and including stations for which there’s no data for much of the period.
Cheers.

James allison

And speaking of recent snow storms in NZ that killed hundreds of thousands of lambs in Southland. From weather is not climate dept. here we go again and we are supposed to be in late spring weather.
SEVERE WEATHER WATCH FOR FIORDLAND, SOUTHLAND, CLUTHA AND DUNEDIN ISSUED BY METSERVICE AT 0856hrs 10-Oct-2010
SNOWFALLS TODAY IN THE SOUTH OF THE SOUTH ISLAND WITH STRONG BITTERLY COLD SOUTHWESTERLIES.
An active cold front is forecast to sweep across southern New Zealand this morning, followed by strong bitterly cold southwest winds and snow lowering to to around 200 metres this afternoon. The heaviest snowfalls should be above 300 metres about Southern Fiordland, Southland, Clutha and Dunedin, where 5 to 10cm may accumulate in some locations. Southwest gales are also expected in coastal areas, and especially about the coastal hills, including the Catlins. These strong winds combined with the snow are likely to produce blizzard conditions putting extreme stress on vulnerable livestock. Roads in these areas could also be affected, especially those above 300 metres. This cold outbreak will not be very long lasting, with snow showers easing Sunday night and clearing Monday morning.

wayne

From:
http://www.niwa.co.nz/__data/assets/pdf_file/0018/101835/Hokitika-Adjustments.pdf
Adjustment of Data in Period 1866-1880
For completeness in regard to the Hokitika record, it should be noted that Salinger
(1981) also made a small adjustment to the earliest Hokitika temperature data prior to
the gap in the record over 1881-1893. By comparing the 1866-1880 period with the
1913-1945 period between Hokitika and three other early sites (Nelson, Christchurch,
and Dunedin), he estimated the 1866-1880 Hokitika mean temperature was 0.2°C too high relative to post-1912.”

(highlight assed)
See how easy it is to manufacture slope. Find some other sites that were cooler and just “estimate” that another site needs to be cooler too (who ever took those temperatures must have needed glasses for they are really old ☺) so just knock it off but only if very old records.
If adjusting recent records, just reverse the logic, look for surrounding warmer sites and assume and estimate away. (but do search out only peer-reviewed sources)

barry

There is no question that raw temperature data needs adjusting. No one here would argue that some adjustment must be made for UHI, for example. Different time-of-day readings introduce bias, as do instrument and station changes. If there was a nation-wide instrument change implemented over a decade that biased the latter record warm, then ‘skeptics’ would be scrambling to make that problem known.
The problem is not that there are adjustments – they are necessary – the issue is the quality of those adjustments. This is the key point in the top post, but it remains unresolved.
NIWA identified 11 stations from their list that have no significant site-changes recorded, and plotted the raw data. Here is the result.
http://www.niwa.co.nz/news-and-publications/news/all/2009/nz-temp-record/temperature-trends-from-raw-data
There is a clear warming trend 1930s to present.
Now, I do not make the argument that this record is robust. Instead I ask many of the commenters here to reflect before they insist that raw data is the best with which to create temperature records. In the above case, I am fairly sure that, despite the result being based on raw temps, it will be asserted that there must be problems (ie, with UHI).
It is contradictory to assert that any adjustment is fraudulent, and then to argue that a factor (UHI) must be taken into account and subtracted from the record.
Many honest skeptics have attempted to reconstruct the global record using raw data only (unadjusted GHCN & GSOD, for example), and discovered that the official records are not only robust, but that in some cases the official record is lower than the raw-data plots – depending on period and data set (for example, GISS is lower than all the raw reconstructions starting from 1960s or earlier). In effect, there is not a significant difference between raw and adjusted for the global record – as constructed by skeptics. This only happened recently, after years of ‘skeptics’ presuming that the adjusted records exaggerated warming.
It would be great to see some decent reconstructions of the NZ raw temperature properly weighting the data. Even better would be a robust reconstruction taking into account as much as possible of the departures that can be caused by station moves, UHI, TOB and instrument changes – done by a skeptic who is keenly interested in extracting the truth using as much information as possible. Plotting the raw data is insufficient.
I will ‘watch this space’ for such an effort, as well as following the matters raised in the top post.

Gareth

evanmjones said: Second is SHAP. It is almost certain that station history would require an overall cooling adjustment. Some stations might have been moved to cooler locations, but urbanization and encroachment would need to be accounted for as well (not to mention microsite issues).
NOAA SHAP adjustments have had a net upwards effect on US temps so may have had the same effect on NZ temps. This can been seen here where, if I have understood the explanation correctly, stations are moved to cooler areas and subsequent temperatures are adjusted upwards. This strikes me as exporting UHI to more rural areas and a more appropriate adjustment would be to adjust downwards the temperatures recorded prior to the move to a cooler location.