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Climate Science Coalition Vindicated

Climate Science Coalition Vindicated

BoMshell: feeble support from Aussie peers

NIWA has abandoned the official national temperature record and created a new one following sustained pressure from the NZ Climate Science Coalition and the Climate Conversation Group.

Spokesman for the joint temperature project, Richard Treadgold, Convenor of the CCG, said today: “We congratulate NIWA for producing their review of the NZ temperature record — more than a year after we challenged it — and we think it’s great that NIWA have produced a graph with full details behind it.

“But we note that, after 12 months of futile attempts to persuade the public, misleading answers to questions in the Parliament from ACT and reluctant but gradual capitulation from NIWA, their relentless defence of the old temperature series has simply evaporated. They’ve finally given in, but without our efforts the faulty graph would still be there.”

Mr Treadgold described the replacement as a full exoneration of the criticism levelled at the Coalition by NIWA, saying: “All we ever asked for were the adjustments and the reasons for them. The discourteous reproaches and misleading academic references we received from them were surprising. For them finally to agree with us, throw away the series and recreate it is a complete vindication for us.”

The affair began on November 25, 2009, with the publication of the controversial paper “Are we feeling warmer yet?” Mr Treadgold said that a press release from NIWA the next day was misleading, claiming that their analysis used “internationally accepted techniques.”

“But the ‘technique’ they used has not been published, peer-reviewed, accepted or used anywhere,” said Mr Treadgold. “They since admit that no altitude adjustments were made in Wellington, and the Coalition had not pretended to replicate the series, they had only graphed the data on NIWA’s web site, noted some adjustments had been made and asked: ‘what are they?’ That entirely reasonable question was ignored by the managers of this public agency.”

NIWA’s complete renunciation of the old graph was confirmed recently by their admission in a court document that the graph was not an “official” record. Which means they have also disowned Dr Jim Salinger’s methodology, which created the graph.

BoMshell – feeble endorsement

Mr Treadgold said that the Australian Bureau of Meteorology, specifically nominated by NIWA to peer-review their work, do not completely endorse it. He also noted a curious error in the letter from the BoM, which twice omits Hokitika from the list of stations they examined.

“NIWA’s CEO John Morgan claims that ‘the scientists from the Bureau’s National Climate Centre concluded that the results and underlying methodology used by NIWA were sound.’” Mr Treadgold said he was disturbed not to find any such statement. “All it says is that evidence provided by NIWA generally supports (but does not prove) the corrections they made.”

He said, “The Australian Bureau of Meteorology, specifically nominated by NIWA to peer-review their work, give only cautious support to the document. All it will say is that evidence provided by NIWA generally supports (but does not prove) the corrections they made.

“The letter contains no such endorsement. All it says is the evidence NIWA provided supports the corrections they made. The BoM says they will assess ‘the ideas, methods and conclusions of the papers’ for ‘scientific error, internal consistency, clarity and scientific logic’. But they say nothing about that assessment and give only cautious support to the document.

“We suspect the BoM did not fully endorse NIWA's adjustments because the lack of raw data meant that a detailed and complete examination was impossible.

“The BoM omits the reassurance we seek, so, in the end, the single purpose of the peer review — to give the NZ public confidence in NIWA’s work — has not been met.

“The review was not comprehensive, and it is disappointing to hear Mr Morgan claim that it was.”

The science

Mr Treadgold said the people of New Zealand, for the first time, now have an official (although provisional) temperature record of the last 100 years. It is provisional because NIWA still has two steps to take to complete the project:

It is working on calculations of the confidence intervals, or margins of error, which will be published later.

It is yet to publish its methodology, which is to be independently peer-reviewed for a scientific journal.

Coalition scientists look forward to examining this new series closely over the coming months to determine its accuracy. The two steps outstanding from NIWA will be of great benefit in this regard.

Mr Treadgold said: “It’s reassuring to know that, for the first time ever, NIWA understands their own graph. This must be a tremendous relief for NIWA staff and management. It is certainly a relief for the NZ public.

“The review is lengthy and full of detail, which we applaud, and it will take some time to examine. We won’t comment on scientific aspects of the 7SS until that has been done. However, we have some initial observations.

“Almost all of the 34 adjustments made by Dr Jim Salinger to the 7SS have been abandoned, along with his version of the comparative station methodology.

“NIWA is clearly not prepared to defend the adjustments exposed in Are we feeling warmer yet? But it took a court case to force them into a corner.

“NIWA makes the huge admission that New Zealand has experienced hardly any warming during the last half-century. For all their talk about warming, for all their rushed invention of the “Eleven-Station Series” to prove warming, this new series shows that no warming has occurred here since about 1960. Almost all the warming took place from 1940-60, when the IPCC says that the effect of CO2 concentrations was trivial. Indeed, global temperatures were falling during that period.

“The new temperature record shows no evidence of a connection with global warming. Since that’s the reason this tempest in a teacup has brewed in the first place, it should simmer down now.”

ENDS

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