New Zealand’s Temperature Record challenged by new skeptical paper

Chris deFrietas sends word of a new paper, that drops the trend of the New Zealand temperature record (NZTR) to 0.28C per century, down from ~0.9C per century.

7ss_bustedThis past week, a paper on the NZTR was accepted by the journal  Environmental Modeling & Assessment. It was originally submitted in 2013!

This demonstrates some of the colossal peer-review hurdles that had to be overcome by climate skeptics  in getting a paper published that refutes the national temperature record produced by “official” government source National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA) as seen in the graph above and sourced here.

As Bishop Hill notes:

The mere fact of acceptance attests to a fundamental shift in scientific attitudes to climate change, but expect strident opposition to this paper.

The authors present first a concise observational history of the NZTR, remarking that the established national record was a product of early methodology, then reconstruct an homogenised dataset using the peer-reviewed adjustment standards of Rhoades & Salinger, 1993 (RS93).

The paper:

A Reanalysis of Long-Term Surface Air Temperature Trends in New Zealand
C.R. de Freitas with M.O. Dedekind and B.E. Brill.

Abstract

Detecting trends in climate is important in assessments of global change based on regional long-term data. Equally important is the reliability of the results that are widely used as a major input for a large number of societal design and planning purposes. New Zealand provides a rare long temperature time series in the Southern Hemisphere, and it is one of the longest continuous climate series available in the Southern Hemisphere Pacific. It is therefore important that this temperature dataset meets the highest quality control standards. New Zealand’s national record for the period 1909 to 2009 is analysed and the data homogenized. Current New Zealand century-long climatology based on 1981 methods produces a trend of 0.91 °C per century. Our analysis, which uses updated measurement techniques and corrects for shelter-contaminated data, produces a trend of 0.28 °C per century.

Rutherglen[1]

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100 thoughts on “New Zealand’s Temperature Record challenged by new skeptical paper

  1. Matches very well with the Central England Temperature (CET) trend over about 350 years of 0.26 deg C per Century.

  2. Here is the conclusion from the deFreitas paper.

    Using well-accepted homogenization methods, we have
    derived a mean land surface air temperature trend for New
    Zealand over the past century of 0.28±0.29 °C per century,
    which is considerably less than the S81/M10 value of 0.91±
    0.30 °C per century. By excluding weighted averages and
    including adjustments which are not statistically significant,
    S81 may have allowed too many “false positives” to occur. In
    addition, using long comparison time periods may have
    allowed creeping inhomogeneities and undocumented shifts
    at reference sites to skew the individual adjustments. This is
    borne out by Table 5, which demonstrates that in every case
    the S81 station adjustments greatly increased the individual
    trends, while the RS93 method resulted in equal numbers of
    increases and decreases.
    As noted previously, S81 did not
    account for gradual effects such as sheltering or UHI. The
    detrending of Albert Park in Auckland and Kelburn in Wellington
    also contributed significantly to the mean trend result.
    We have also shown that a very similar outcome would follow
    if those two stations were not corrected but simply omitted
    from the series.

    Of course, NASA-GISS or NOAA would NEVAH make such mistakes…

    • It’s also worth noting that the ‘spread’ of trends across the seven stations is reduced by the RS93 analysis relative to the unadjusted data, whereas the S81 analysis actually increases it.

      Unadjusted: 0.01 to 0.69°C/century (diff 0.68)
      RS93: 0.19 to 0.43°C/century (diff 0.24)
      S81: 0.58 to 1.34°C/century (diff 0.76)

      After adjustment, the RS93 trends are remarkably similar, as you’d expect for a smallish region like NZ. And that is purely as a result of individual adjustments made via a pre-determined algorithm, applied to known breakpoints, it was by no means a contrived result.

      I think the RS93 method (properly applied) has real merit, in those cases where site changes are known from station metadata.

    • 0.28 +/- 0.29 almost overlaps with 0.91 +/- 0.30

      But the uncertainty doesn’t seem to have changed much; just the nominal value. Given the close proximity to a goodly amount of water, I would believe the lower estimate (0.28). But that is just my opinion; salted with a dash of belief in the credibility of Dr. de Freitas.

      Of course these results are just statistics, and no prediction of things to come.

  3. This paper was , as far as I know, first highlighted on an obscure New Zealand blog called Climate Conversations. I commented there and later on JoNova’s blog thusly: Because of the inordinate effect Australian and New Zealand climate history have on the so called global temperature it is extremely important that their records be accurate and uncontaminated by homogenization. Unfortunately because of the nefarious activities of the BoM and the NIWA such is not the case. Anyone can easily see at JoNova’s that the BoM is guilty of gross upward adjustments of temperature and busily are covering their activities up.
    The Southern Hemisphere is half the world, the; IPCC is using the Australian and New Zealand misadjusted data in their spurious calculations of “global warming”. That spurious data is, as far as I am aware, almost the soul source for Southern Hemisphere land based data. One wonders if there exist long term temperature data in South Africa, Chile, (a maritime nation) and Argentina. If such perhaps uncontaminated data does exist it would go a long way to increase our knowledge of Southern Hemisphere climate trends.

    • You misunderstand me. The point I was making is that the temperature adjustments in both countries have inordinately affected the world temperature calculations. Hey, let’s have a sauvignon blanc and drink to the destruction of the CAGW zealots.

      • In addition Stan, I recall reading that the BoM undertook a review of the NZ temperature record a while ago … just before ACORN-SAT came out I think, in which it was quite critical of it. That might have been before the algorithms were further adjusted for “worlds best practice”. You know what I mean ;)

      • “You misunderstand me.”
        You mean me, Stan? I wasn’t really answering your comments, just pointing out the graphs don’t belong.
        Can I still join you in the sav blanc? ;-)

      • Nah, relax. You should see the sort of stuff we dish out to the Kiwi’s and them to us even without a few beers under the belt. Its a national pastime in both countries.

      • We let Kiwis say that sort of thing from time to time. They know that New Zealand is one of those countries which only exists so that its neighbour can make fun of it. (Some others are Norway, Canada, Belgium, and Wales.)

      • @RACook.. Oi ,steady on there cobber. I think you’d find (if you chose to look) that we are paragons of cultural virtue. Any bad habits that we may have are most certainly inherited from our mother country who is a pernicious old harridan at the best of times.

  4. Hi Peter

    Back sneering at the Heartland Institute again. At least they are more truthful than the extreme left wing green stooge Australia Institute and The Conversation.

    • dbstealey
      November 2, 2014 at 5:40 am

      Thanks for the reminder, db!
      I urge all here to ‘grace’ the Heartland Institute with tax deductible contributions.

      Tell ’em “Peter sent me!”

  5. Great work, and thankyou. As another Kiwi, I am very grateful to those who have taken it to the liars in Niwa and academia. A lonely job, as I know. Also good to see understanding that there are two hemispheres,each with similarities and differences. All in all, an important bit of progress. Outsiders should know that Niwa admitted in Court that their/our national temperature record could no longer be considered to be an actual record (thanks to Salinger, ex CRU, and sacked.) But they seem to be pretending they did not waste our money, and speaking as if their world has not shifted… Now where have we seen that before?

    So, thanks once again, and good luck. Brett Keane, NZ

  6. Marvellous. Now, if those who fraudulently depress the historical temperature record can be brought to trial in one Western country the whole house of global warming cards may collapse.

    • It would only take one country to prise open the lid on the can of worms and it would have catastrophic reverberations through the institutions … they’re all connected and networked … the ClimateGate emails make that very apparent.

  7. Richard Treadgold was right in the middle of the completely justified court action. An incompetent judge stopped the suit, or denied it. Unlike some people here at WUWT he went to court and tried to stop the foolishness. Just like A. W.’s weather station survey.

    • I’m sure that the court case as reported at this blog as well … or it might have been at JoNova. And, you’re right, my recollection is that knowledgeable people were floored by the ‘judges’ reasoning … mind you, Mr Clark (sarc) was Prime Minister then so not a surprise.

  8. Having worked for NIWA, I am not surprised but, sadly, it won’t make the slightest difference. The *politics* is settled.

  9. I appreciate that they used methods that were peer reviewed to show that the temperature anomaly variation is much less than reported.

    But that doesn’t excuse the fact that anybody with any metrology experience can see that temperatures can not be measured, and by implication, stated to an accuracy of 0.1 degrees without a raft of assumptions.

    Peer review doesn’t equal correct. And especially not in this case. Temperature anomalies are not the primary reason for thermometers. Absolute temperatures are. Playing into this game of arguing about changes in noise is not science or shows any responsibility to the data. The national standards people would have a good laugh at that.

    Temperature anomalies are just a type of data used by theorists. If you think that we can measure to that accuracy and that this method, even being peer reviewed, somehow makes it okay to then apply it to the real world, with all its policy implications, you may as well stop doing science or engineering.

    To be short: it’s ethically wrong. The assumptions need to be stated each time the graph goes up. Trouble is, it takes the wind out of the argument and makes the whole exercise appear as useless as what it is.

    As I said on Bishop Hill: it’s like using Google Earth to count the hairs on your head then freaking out when you realise by more analysis that you’ve miscounted.

    • mickyhcorbett:
      Unfortunately, temp. anomaly is made the foundation of public policy these days. Where are the standards people when this is done?

    • But that doesn’t excuse the fact that anybody with any metrology experience can see that temperatures can not be measured, and by implication, stated to an accuracy of 0.1 degrees without a raft of assumptions.

      I don’t think you need metrology experience to understand this, common sense will do, which begs the question where did all the common sense go?

      The exercise is about posturing; for some reason finding the avergage, mean, homegnized, extrapaolated, filled in, and modified via statistical filters, global termperature is now somehow become a political position. It makes me long for the days when the arguments were about whether angels and witches really existed.

  10. Hi Peter

    You need to go back to primary school and learn to spell. Now that’s a sneer.

    The trouble with people on the so called progressive side of politics you only associate with people of your kind and don’t realise how extreme, intolerant and bigoted your views have become in relation to the rest of the community.

    • That case had nothing to do with science as the distinguished justice as you described stated, it is a matter of inconclusive scientific debate. In other words your distinguished justice has clearly stated the science is not settled. Don’t you ever get tired or at least embarassed about barking up the wrong tree so consistently?

      BTW I think Richo identified a certain group of people as extreme, intolerant and bigoted. I would add smug to that list. At any rate, you do appear happy to identify with that group.

  11. Say, petey, where were your last four vacations taken? Inquiring minds want to know!

  12. Hi Peter

    If you believe that all members of the judiciary are politically impartial you believe in the tooth fairy. That’s why there is an appeals process.

    Thanks for the link, I will read the judgement by Justice Venning.

    • I read it, here is a quote from it which I would say pretty much summarizes the position of the court on the matter.

      “Again, in large part the evidence on this issue identifies a scientific debate which this Court is not in a position to determine one way or the other.”

      The court is saying that with even the experts unable to come to rational agreement, there is no chance that the court could. I am not surprised given how muddled up the data record has become. No one can really say and it is left up to the individual biases of the experts as to which side they gravitate toward. Absolutely sickening that we are allowing policy to be affected by this crap science.

    • average joe quoting JUDGMENT OF VENNING J

      >“Again, in large part the evidence on this issue identifies a scientific debate which this Court is not in a position to determine one way or the other.”

      Yes, the question of science was out of the Judge’s domain but the question of fact was his duty in which he failed. This has been addressed upthread here:

      https://wattsupwiththat.com/2014/11/01/new-zealnds-temperature-record-challenged-by-new-skeptical-paper/#comment-1777694

      de Freitas et al (2014) resolves the question of fact and the question of science.

  13. I’m fairly sure the court case was conducted within the last six years; i.e., during the National Party’s time in office, with John Key as Prime Minister. And while National may well be to the right of the main Opposition party, Labour, they are in most regards a centrist party. There is in New Zealand no sizable equivalent of the Republican Party.

    Also, John Key has come out publicly as being a believer in AGW — he’s more Julia Gillard than Tony Abbott on that issue. There is a sneaking suspicion, though, that his belief is an ideal cover for the tax-raising opportunities the fight against Global Warming provides. If there’s one thing that politicians of any stripe are loath to discard, it’s a revenue stream.

    That court’s decision was political, through and through. The science was barely considered.

    • Not extreme at all. Twickenham may very well be full and millions of TV viewers will possibly be perched on the edge of their seats (although they’ll be sinking back down during the five minutes it takes to set a scrum or the three minutes it takes to form a lineout or the two minutes it takes to kick a goal or the ten minutes it takes for the TV referee to adjudicate before he gets it wrong) but there will be an untold number of other stadiums full of spectators and millions upon millions of other TV viewers watching other sports, most of whom will have no interest at all in the goings on at Twickers.

      Down here, a good number of people will watch the game live, a larger number will record it to watch later in the day . . . and an even larger number will ignore it altogether.

      Yet, if the New Zealand media are to be believed, the whole of New Zealand, every man, woman and child, and all their domesticated animals, will feel as if the keys to the Kingdom of Heaven have been given them if the All Blacks win or that the black plague has visited the nation should England prevail.

      It simply isn’t so.

      And here’s another example of a media beat-up.

      The just released IPCC report was the third item on the major, state-owned television station’s six o’clock news hour last night. The newsreader put on his grave face and slipped his voice down a cog to slower, deeper, edge-of-doom tone then, accompanied by images of spewing smokestacks, flooded cities, hurricanes, parched earth, fields of nodding oil drills and storms battering the coast, read his piece with a delivery that would have been spot-on in 1942 when the Repulse and Prince of Wales had been sunk, Singapore had fallen and we were next in line to be overrun by the unstoppable Japanese Empire.

      Some local “scientist” was given free rein to spout his apocalyptic warnings, the leader of the Greens told off the Government, Pachauri popped up and a few others did their “sky is falling” skits.

      The thing ended with a farming scene, the camera moving in to close-up mode and showing, gasp, cracks in the ground.

      Not one dissenting opinion was heard. The closest they got was part of the script mentioning that New Zealand’s carbon output was tiny; but that was brought up only to make the point that, per head of population, we are the fifth worst “polluters” on the planet.

      But our courts wouldn’t be that one-sided, would they. Or would they . . .

    • Well I watched the entire game between the USA Eagles, and the All Blacks, from Soldier Field in Chicago.

      The All Blacks won 74 to 6. The American team played for a solid 80 minutes, and never gave up.

      The local sportscasters, had it a close game, when the score was 5 to 3.

      I would give the Eagles the try that they scored near the end, that was disallowed for some very arcane off side decision by the Springbok referee.

    • Also NZ is a net carbon sink; not a source. But the Kyotonitwits, don’t allow them to count their forest farms against their exhalations (from either end)

      And no fair burdening the humans, with the animal output.

      So on a per head basis, they are very low. Do you want the food or not ??

    • Hello George

      I did watch the game; a bit of the first half, anyway. I was interested in it as a social phenomenon rather than a sporting contest . . . which it was never going to be, for reasons I won’t go into here. I wanted to see the pre-game stuff and wasn’t disappointed.

      The guy doing the national anthem was worth the price of admission alone . . . as weird in its way as the haka is (surrounding which, more media myths abound).

      When the Kyoto agreement (or whatever it’s called) first came up, the New Zealand Government (two pragmatists in Clark PM, Cullen Finance Minister running the joint) rubbed its hands with glee. They had an opinion from Treasury that NZ would gain $500 million. I’m not sure if that was in total or immediately or per annum but it was the figure bandied about and our leaders, understandably, were all gung ho for Kyoto.

      Then came the news that cows’ farts were being fed into the equation and we went from gaining half a bil to losing half a bil. Apparently those perfidious Europeans were behind it (they’ve hated us since the sixties because of butter mountains or wine lakes or somesuch).

      Anyway, I’m only guessing but I think this turnaround hastened New Zealand becoming the first nation to sign a trade agreement with China.

    • “””””…..Two points here. First, if they were as famous as they’re made out to be, that mistake would never happen. Second, the New Zealand Herald thought the cock-up so egregious that they featured it on the front page of their on-line edition……”””””

      That’s more a read, on the general ignorance (in Chicago; Obama’s home town) than it is of any thing missing in the Southern hemisphere. Few of modern America’s techno geeks, even know who is VP of their own country, let alone what the three branches of their government are.

      You won’t find much in the way of “World Series” news , outside North America, north of the Mexican border.

    • “””””…..Anyway, I’m only guessing but I think this turnaround hastened New Zealand becoming the first nation to sign a trade agreement with China……”””””

      Maybe so, but if the USA doesn’t have trade agreements with China, it is certainly not for lack of trade.

      With NZ being one of the two abnormally efficient food producers (and some side products) on earth, it was natural for them to look to China, once the UK joined the CM, and were cajoled by the French, into abandoning their market ties to NZ (and Oz). And we get a good bit of NZ produce in California too.

      Lamb, butter, wines, woollens (fabbed in China), sea food, (green mussels) and Chinese gooseberries. NZ is the only source of CGs that I know of that now are sans fuzz, so you can eat the skin as well. My breakfast Chinese friend, and I call them “five o’clock shadows.”

      Despite, your own disinterest (OK with me), There is still plenty of chat about when Wales beat the 1905 All Blacks, on a disputed Charlie Deans try.

      There are plenty of folks on this planet, with absolutely nothing to write home about.

  14. Grace

    I was born in New Zealand in 1945. I’ve lived here for all bar seven years in the 1970s. I’ve paid my taxes, raised a family, run businesses — the whole nine yards of citizenship.

    I think I’ve got a handle on how the joint is run.

    It’s better than most places around the world but it’s a long way from perfect — not within a bull’s roar of it.

  15. This merely reinforces what has been clear for some time , that the knowledge of past temperatures can perhaps be best summed up as ‘better than nothing ‘ its actual quaintly and accuracy being problematic. In the ‘good old days ‘ before settled science, this was both well known and accepted and given the difficulties with predicting weather over longer time scales , was not see has a big issue.
    Only after the advent of the highly politicized AGW did we see the ‘need’ for claims of great accuracy and the motive to ensure the ‘adjustments’ to achieve this, give the ‘right results ‘

    When you find those making those ‘adjustments ‘ are also those must likely to benefit from the ‘right ‘ type of adjustments, you can see how this poisons mix can produce such bad results .

    Poor data plus fancy maths does not always result in good data even if they offer more confidence in the data.

  16. Well here’s some state “guidance” for you Peter, This is the crap piece of science that the state feeds your kids. …it’s called brainwashing…
    For eg. a 6yr old child who still believes in Santa Claus, will be given as required reading, a book called “A Planet in Crisis” with all your “Greenhouse”, ozone hole, pollution, sustainability, polar bear, ice-melting bullshit.

  17. I wonder how former New Zealand climate scientist at NIWA, Jim Salinger, is feeling about this paper? For those who know what I am talking about (Kiwigate), read between the lines!

  18. The Heartland Institute is so scary. They have so much money. Some years it’s almost 5 MILLION dollars. Oooooh! And the evil Koch brothers gave 25 THOUSAND dollars to them a few years ago. First time they had given money to them in ten years. I can see why that is such a problem. 25K for research on health care has such a huge impact in funding climate skepticism. Meanwhile Greenpeace and the WWF together have over 1 BILLION dollars (annually I believe, or is it in endowments?). (That’s 1,000 Million, in case you don’t know).

    • @pg Tips
      “In any case it can’t be appealed as the plaintiff still has an unpaid costs order against it of $89,000.”

      But I thought all of us sceptics had access to billions of dollars of Big Oil cash?

  19. “the RS93 method resulted in equal numbers of increases and decreases.”
    Finally some one doing it correctly. if you check the NOAA data you will find that this was the case for prior to 1960, after 1960 all corrections were made in one direction,up= data fudging.

  20. One of these days we will have our own version of Leif who will find troubling weighting, smearing, and back-filling to the extent that the actual trend is substantially different from these overworked data sets. That highly respected and unbiased person will lead a multi-expert group that will fight, argue, compromise and remeasure raw data, one station at a time.

    To be sure, many groups working on solar data have their own favorite versions and have published them in refereed journals prior to Leif spear heading the current drive to correct the over-compromised data and get these groups to set aside their pet versions. These factions had to set all that territorial-ness aside (and boy did some grumble loudly about that).

    In climate science, we are not at that stage yet. We have different groups saying different things and still not substantially talking to each other. It will take a while, just like it did with solar data, decades perhaps, or longer, before we will see such an August panel tackle such a job, a job that must be carried out in each country with such climate data. Panels filled with climatologists, meteorologists, statisticians, and computer code specialists, to uncover ways in which that data was massaged out of recognition when compared to what raw data, truly raw data, still exists, and can be pried out of the cold hands of raw data keepers.

  21. “Oh what a tangled web we weave,

    When first we practise to deceive!

    Sir Walter Scott,

    The Warmists are superb Spiders of Deception.

  22. Interestingly climate “scientists” have said that the MWP was “regional” because the southern hemisphere didn’t see the same warming as the northern hemisphere. We know that antarctic ice is increasing and the southern hemisphere has heated less. I was told that was a characteristic of the MWP not GHG warming which would show consistent heating over the globe.

    If the temperature is not affecting north and south similarly then it is a disproof of GHG warming as being the cause. So, either NZ is indicative of what real temperatures are doing or it is indicative of the fact that we are not getting CO2 warming. In either case “climate scientists” lose.

  23. There is another way to cross check the temperature data. New Zealand is two relatively small islands surrounded by ocean. The minimum weather station temperatures should follow the local ocean surface temperature trends. Any bias can be used to test for local urban heat island effects. The Max-Min delta temperatures should indicate the local solar heating/near surface convection.

    California follows the PDO and UK/W. Europe follows the AMO.

    References

    Clark, R. Energy and Environment 24(3, 4) 319-340 (2013) ‘A dynamic coupled thermal reservoir approach to atmospheric energy transfer Part I: Concepts’
    Clark, R. Energy and Environment 24(3, 4) 341-359 (2013) ‘A dynamic coupled thermal reservoir approach to atmospheric energy transfer Part II: Applications’
    Clark, R., ‘CA Climate Change is Caused by the Pacific Decadal Oscillation, Not by Carbon Dioxide’, SPPI Sept 16 th 2010, http://scienceandpublicpolicy.org/originals/pacific_decadal.html

    • Actually it is two relatively large islands, plus many smaller including Stewart Island.

      Bigger than Oregon, and not as big as California.

      And no, it is not visible from the Sydney Opera House, nor the Sydney Harbor Bridge. It’s 1400 miles across one of the roughest seas on earth.

  24. I am a lab worker, the first thing that strikes me is”How accurate are these thermometers” Another way to look at this is that the temp is increasing 0.028C per century. How is the accuracy of this thermometer determined. I have seen lab grade thermometer off by up top 2 degrees. If the same thermometer used 100 years ago is used again, then authentication of its accuracy should be questioned again as well as the accuracy 100 years ago. 100 year old documents attesting to its accuracy will suffice.

  25. Peter, anyone who has taken on the new-world-order climate synod is a friend of Heartland. Even you noted that the machinations of NIWA was the subject of action in the NZ High Court. You are well aware that courts in lefty countries like NZ and Oz and essentially US recently packed Supreme Court would only hear such a case if it can’t be decently ignored.

  26. “A long way from perfect but way closer than most. It will attain perfection when Richie McCaw retires” says Grace.

    Aaah, a Richie McCaw reference. And there’s another myth promulgated by the media and battened on to by the political class — that every New Zealander is engrossed in the fortunes of the All Blacks; that the nation goes into mourning when they lose.

    Balls . . . and that’s not a reference to what they play with.

    Huge swathes of the population — myself included — couldn’t give a monkey’s if they win or lose; couldn’t care less if the game died altogether.

    If the chattering classes can keep that rugby-engrossed myth alive, then something that combines environmental guilt with a dose of pseudo-science would be a breeze . . . which it is.

    Although, happily, just as rugby is a dying sport in this country, belief in AGW is also on a steady decline.

  27. I purchased and read this paper before commenting. Despite derogatory remarks by others elsewhere, it seems a very well done, thoughful and credible analysis. My congratulations to the authors for a real contribution
    . And it harmonizes with much other data. Plus minus revisions are balanced, unlike (for example) GHCN. See the 2012 EGU paper cited in new book essay When data isn’t. Homogenized result accords with a long running, relatively unpreturbed by UHI station (as Paul Homewood points out), and more or less with regional SST. And so on.
    One suggestion for the NZ authors. Compare your results rigorously to BEST for the same seven stations. I took a quick look. Seemed like different methods (but also explicity laid out) produce similar conclusions about regional trends. That shows again that NIWA has got it wrong despite the court ruling. For the new ebook, I did a number of other comparisons (Rekyavik, De Bilt, Sulina, Darwin… To GHCN) and reached similar conclusions to those just spot checked for NZ. BEST versus NIWA versus the new paper. BEST better than GISS or GHCN (or NIWA) homogenized, although hardly perfect.

    • Thanks Rud, valuable comments. We could look at BEST in the future, but first I may have a closer look at GHCN.

  28. “Graphite, it’s more that the rest of the world goes into euphoria when they lose.”

    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    Wrong. Apart from a tiny, statistically insignificant percentage, the rest of the world doesn’t care. There’s euphoria. No anything. F’rinstance, they played the US national team in Chicago yesterday and made such an impression on the city that a headline writer for the Chicago Sun Times labelled them an “Aussie” team.

    Two points here. First, if they were as famous as they’re made out to be, that mistake would never happen. Second, the New Zealand Herald thought the cock-up so egregious that they featured it on the front page of their on-line edition.

    It’s a media beat-up.

    Just as the AGW nonsense is. If the media and the politicians stayed out of the Global Warming contretemps, the scientists would sort it out amongst themselves. With no government handouts skewing the findings and no media on the sidelines crying “doom, disaster, despair, armageddon . . . read about it here”, the debate would be conducted on entirely scientific lines.

    And you don’t need a PhD in weatherology to know what the outcome would be.

  29. A resource that hasn’t been exploited to my knowledge is a fairly large number of thermometers from the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries kept in museums in Europe, N. America, Australia, etc. Many of these were used on expeditions (the HMS Challenger, the HMS Beagle, etc. etc.). Early surveys done in Australia included multiple temperature measurements using two instruments now preserved in the British Museum (I believe). It would be a worthwhile project to undertake measurements of the accuracy of these instruments from 150 years ago to provide us with an idea of how trustworthy they were. There is a collection at MIT

    http://newsoffice.mit.edu/2003/thermometer-0924

    and they mention that the thermometers used in research were sent periodically to the National Bureau of Standards to validate their accuracy. There is no reason to think that these instruments were particularly inferior to those manufactured more recently. They were checked for freezing point of water, boiling point, human body temperature, etc. to ensure they were within the required accuracy for their use. One highly accurate thermometer from that period was (IIRC) 3 feet long and spanned ony 5 degrees, so I guess someone was measuring 100ths of a degree in those days.

    As an engineer, I’m surprised that such a survey hasn’t been done. We may find that the accuracy of the thermometers are routinely within 0.2C or better – essentially the accuracy of the observers estimation between graduations. At least if we are jiggering the temperatures of the past for any reason other than station moves or time of observation, we should at least comfort ourselves with the knowledge of how accurate they were first. Why we would think that 200 years ago or so, we were so crude in instrument design as to discount the usefulness of the measurements is beyond me. The Danish astronomer, Roemer (1644–1710), using a telescope and a clock, noted that the apparent eclipsing times of Jupiter’s moon Io (going behind Jupiter) differed in time when viewed at Jupiter’s closest pass to earth and when it was almost around other side of the sun. He realized that the time difference had to be due to the time light must take to cross the added distance of the diameter of the earth’s orbit and he calculated the speed of light at 131,000mi/s, a fair bit lower than the actual 186,000mi/s. The earth’s orbit diameter was not perfectly known. Nevertheless, light was thought to be of infinite speed in those days so this was remarkable discovery in 1676, not so long after Galileo discovered there were even moons of Jupiter. I have no trouble believing that the thermometers used 100-200 years ago were pretty reliable.

  30. This past week, a paper on the NZTR was accepted by the journal Environmental Modeling & Assessment. It was originally submitted in 2013!

    Which is not an unusually long time to publication. It took less than a year, which is fairly quick for that journal judging by the most recent volume.

  31. In the NZ paper it yields a lower T increase. In Oz it yields a higher T (graphs at end of article).

    Assuming both use the same adjustment standards of Rhoades & Salinger, 1993 (RS93)., we win one and lose the other. NZ is a lot smaller than Oz.

  32. The issues with the historic data is symptomatic of how the global warming scare has evolved. Start with the answer and then make the theories and the data upon which those theories are based reach that answer. It’s an conformational bias. The hockey stick was basically drawn before the data was assessed. Didn’t fit a hockey stick? Let’s add some different data that will. Why not just make it up. Globes not warming .? It’s becoming to hard to manipulate global warming history lets call it climate change. No one really remembers what the weather was like 50 years ago before CO 2 reeked havoc on this world. Let’s just rewrite history and keep this climate junket going.

    • “It’s an conformational bias. ” … It’s a confirmational bias. Conformation is to do with physique.
      “It’s becoming to hard to manipulate” … too hard
      “before CO 2 reeked havoc on this world” … wreaked havoc. CO2 doesn’t reek – it is odourless.

      :)

      • This thread seems to have drifted away from the NZ7 data. I have downloaded the Excel file of the NZ7 data – a 17 column and 111 (effective) row data set? I recommend that you do too. It is enlightening. I’ll not discuss the minutiae of how the data have been gathered, adjusted, modified etc, which seems to exercise many people, but merely the content of the (final?) file. To be very brief, the final temperature data column, labeled “Composite” represents the seven locations fairly well. The data have a very clear and highly significant slope (warming, from whatever cause). But such naive fitting of a least squares line misses the most interesting and perhaps important message that lies slightly hidden in the numbers.

        This is that after a period of effectively constant temperatures in 1954 there was a sudden increase in temperature, which occurs in all the individual site data columns. There’s no need to bother with “anomalies”, just look at the temperature data. The step change was about 0.4 deg C, and occurred immediately after the 1953 data. Before 1954 the data are effectively constant. It’s easy to compute the slopes of the lines and their standard errors and thus the confidence intervals before and after the proposed step. Do this and you will find that statistically the existence of significant slopes in these data subsets is very doubtful. Now repeat this exercise for the 1954 onward data. Again the slopes have low probability levels – the data are effectively constant. But the level of the line is about 0.4 C higher for the post 1954 data.

        This step change is most readily found by forming the cumulative sums of the time series. The results are striking. All the locations exhibit the same cusum pattern, with an obvious break point at 1954. This cannot be chance. It is a fundamental property of the scientific observations, and it should be actively considered and contemplated by the professionals who pronounce on the interpretation of the data. If they ignore this very obvious finding they are not doing a proper job! My general take on climate data is that for much of the time climates tend to be stable, but are prone to sudden disturbance, for reasons that remain mysterious to me.

        I could set out the numerical analyses, but it would be a very long post. I can demonstrate all this in graphics, but do not know how to post them here. Help, please!

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