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Coalition welcomes NIWA commitment to robust work

The New Zealand Climate Science Coalition
27 November 2009

Climate Science Coalition welcomes NIWA commitment to ‘robust information’

The New Zealand Climate Science Coalition welcomes the commitment yesterday from Dr David Wratt, Chief Scientist (Climate) at NIWA, to, in his words, provide "robust information to help all New Zealanders make good decisions," said Coalition secretary, Terry Dunleavy.

"Our coalition would be happy to assist NIWA in making this information widely available," said Mr Dunleavy. “Nothing released by NIWA so far allows their methodology to be replicated easily. So in order to not waste valuable NIWA staff time, we suggest NIWA release the procedures and allow others to replicate the work. The coalition is quite happy to post the procedure and its replication online to allow public audit.

"In the spirit of his commitment yesterday, we call on Dr Wratt to answer the following three questions.

"1. The graph of the New Zealand temperature record on the NIWA website is based on just seven weather stations. What, precisely, gives NIWA confidence that they are representative of the whole country?

"2. What, precisely, are the adjustments made to the temperature readings at each of those seven stations and when were they each made? We request access to the raw data involved in the making of these adjustments.

"3. What, precisely, are the reasons each station was so adjusted?"

The Coalition says Dr Wratt's release mentioned specifically that NIWA climate scientists had previously explained to members of the Coalition why such corrections are made. Mr Dunleavy comments: “We disagree. We have no record of receiving an explanation. NIWA has in fact refused numerous requests over the years to disclose the corrections. The most recent one was a written request to Dr James Renwick - over a month ago - still unanswered. So we would be grateful to hear what Dr Wratt is referring to, when the information was sent and to whom.

“We further note that access to this information is necessary for others to examine and replicate NIWA's results, but in any case, it was gathered on behalf of New Zealanders and we are all entitled to see it,” Mr Dunleavy concluded.


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