The High Court has been asked to invalidate the New Zealand official temperature record (NZTR) as promoted by the Crown Research Institute, NIWA. These records are the historical base of NIWA’s scientific advice to central and local government on …The New Zealand Climate Science Coalition,
High Court asked to invalidate NIWA’s official NZ temperature record
The High Court has been asked to invalidate the New Zealand official temperature record (NZTR) as promoted by the Crown Research Institute, NIWA. These records are the historical base of NIWA’s scientific advice to central and local government on issues relating to climate change. NIWA maintains temperature archives for the past century, and also projects them forward for the next century.
The statement of claim filed on behalf of the New Zealand Climate Science Education Trust (NZCSET) asks the court for three rulings:
A: to set aside NIWA’s decisions to rely upon its Seven Station Series (7SS) and Eleven Station Series (11SS), and to find the current NZTR to be invalid
B: to prevent NIWA from using the current NZTR (or information originally derived from it) for the purpose of advice to any governmental authority or to the public
C: to require NIWA to produce a full and accurate NZTR.
”Twentieth-century temperature records are now being challenged all around the world” said Bryan Leyland, spokesman for the NZCSET. “But I think we are the first country where the issues are to be placed squarely before an independent judicial forum.”
“Many scientists believe that, although the earth has been in a natural warming phase for the past 150 years, it has not heated as much as Government archives claim. The precise trend figure is extremely important, as it forms the sole basis of the claim that human activities are the dominant cause of the warming.
“The New Zealand Met Service record shows no warming during the last century, but NIWA has adopted a series of invariably downward adjustments in the period prior to World War 2. Because these move the old temperature records downwards, the 7SS NZTR shows a huge bounce-back of over 1°C in the first half of the century” said Mr Leyland. “Although this is out of line with dozens of other records, and has been the subject of sustained questioning by both the New Zealand Climate Science Coalition and the ACT party, NIWA refuses to accept that there are serious problems with the adjustments. In fact, no one has been able to explain exactly how they were arrived at.”
The Court proceedings also allege bias and unethical conduct on the part of NIWA’s National Climate Centre.
These are based partly on NIWA allegedly delegating the NZTR decision to a former employee, James Salinger, knowing that he had a vested interest in an untested theory put forward in his own 1981 thesis. NIWA also knew that the data and calculations for that theory had been lost, and, thus could not be replicated.
Another core criticism is NIWA’s constant reliance on an eleven-station series it produced last December. The flaws in this paper have been highlighted many times, including at http://www.quadrant.org.au/blogs/doomed-planet/2010/06/nz-climate-crisis-gets-worse
“We find it hard to believe NIWA management just failed to notice that all the warming in the ‘eleven-station’ series was caused by the fact that it starts off with only three stations in 1931. From 1945 onwards there are between 9 and 11 stations” said Mr Leyland, “It’s astonishing how the increasing number of stations leads to greater warming, more alarm, and increased research grants.”
The Court will be asked to rule that NIWA has refused to repudiate the current NZTR in order to avoid political embarrassment, and feared loss of public confidence in the objectivity of its scientists. The proceedings were filed and served this week, and NIWA has up to a month to respond.
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