NIWA is using higher temperatures to cook the books

Christchurch has one of New Zealand’s longest temperature records, with weather readings in the Botanic Gardens dating back to 1863.

Which makes the claim that Christchurch is heating up more quickly than other parts of the country, based largely on an urban record that only goes back to 2002, seem pretty dubious.

How did Niwa – the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research – calculate that Christchurch’s temperatures are now 0.7 degrees Celsius higher than they were at the end of 2004, a very short period on which to build any kind of convincing case?

Blue Skies Weather forecaster Tony Trewinnard has called Niwa on its use of the Kyle St, Riccarton site –surrounded by concrete, traffic and industry – to determine the figure, when less than two kilometres away is the Botanic Gardens’ weather enclosure, largely unaffected by recent human activity.

Trewinnard says Niwa’s 0.7C calculation and claims about what the figure means are “bad science”. It certainly seems to be selective science, particularly when you consider the Botanic Gardens has only experienced a non-storymaking 0.1C rise in temperatures since 2004, according to Niwa.

He says over the past 11 years Kyle St temperatures have averaged 0.2C higher than the Gardens but since the start of 2015 it has been 0.8C warmer. Clearly something has changed in the Kyle St environment that is increasing temperatures there.

Asked why Niwa focused on the 0.7C Kyle St rise rather than the Gardens’ 0.1C, Niwa meteorologist Ben Nollsaid part of the comparison included use of 1981-2010 temperature figures from the Gardens and Lincoln.

NIWA was also seen to be issuing an extreme weather warning some days ago.  This is rather remarkable for an outfit that is tasked to do long range and climate work.

As an organisation they have been accused of supporting the warming bandwagon in excess of what is reasonable and to the point of zealotry.

Now that we know they are deliberately cherry picking temperature data to fit their world view, their total use to our community is more or less reduced to telling us what happened last month, and what is likely to happen over the next three.

No scientist driven by the scientific method would stop using the data a the Botanical Gardens in favour of a new station in the middle of a built-up area.  That can only be done once mental gymnastics, politics and egos get involved.


– Stuff

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