Saturday, December 05, 2009

New Zealand Climategate bomb blows up in skeptics' faces

Meanwhile, on the other side of the planet, in New Zealand, another climate science row is boiling up.

The New Zealand Climate Science Coalition, (NZSC), a skeptic group, have published a paper on 25th November which claims that NIWA scientists massaged the figures to produce a warming effect on their temperature trends. Their graphs do show as flatter, although there is a suggestion of an upward trend from 1970 onwards, and it is a pity that they did not apply a trend line.

The National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA) responds that the adjustments were made to the data because the instruments had been moved to a higher location. This is standard procedure, since it is cooler at higher altitudes.

NIWA quote: NIWA climate scientists have previously explained to members of the Coalition why such corrections must be made. NIWA’s Chief Climate Scientist, Dr David Wratt, says he’s very disappointed that the Coalition continue to ignore such advice and therefore to present misleading analyses.

The skeptics have had access to the data, and have been in discussion for 2 years, but have published now, at a time convenient to the skeptics.

NIWA gives one site elevation instance.

NZSC claim the altitude reasoning does not always work.

However, NIWA shows it clearly does in one of the areas in question.

NIWA also say that their results are confirmed by independent data:

A paper published in 1995 identified an upward trend of about 0.7°C from 1900 to 1993 in night time minimum air temperatures measured from ships over the ocean surrounding New Zealand. That trend is similar to the trend from the seven-station land network over the same period. Also, sea surface temperatures measured from the same ships warmed by 0.6°C in that period.

That sites that were not shifted show the same trend:
Dr Jim Salinger has identified from the NIWA climate archive a set of 11 stations with long records where there have been no significant site changes. When the annual temperatures from all of these sites are averaged to form a temperature series for New Zealand, the best-fit linear trend is a warming of 1°C from 1931 to 2008. We will be placing more information about this on the web later this week.

To round it off, the sceptics have put out a press release containing a direct lie:

So far, neither Dr Salinger nor NIWA has revealed why they did this,” said Mr Treadgold

So, while we wait for full exact data on the sites which were moved, it looks as if the so-called "sceptics" have lied, dissembled, and indulged in timing, hoping for maximum effect in the news at the time of Copenhagen.

It remains to be seen whether the sceptics end up hoist on their own petard.

The fact remains that GHGs are the only possible explanation for recent warming.


Anonymous said...

Seeing the data series chosen for these vindications of the original work (and temperature adjustments therein) will certainly be interesting.

If you have a large number of data sets to choose from - and significant noise - is it not the case that you can achieve quite a variance in trends, depending on the sets that are chosen for averaging?

And please make sure that all published links include information on the location of the measurements - the heathen mass of climate checkers need those data too!

buy generic levitra online said...

The climate in New Zea-land feels to be different sometimes.