New Zealand Climate Agency Accused Of Data Manipulation

Climate scientists in New Zealand today accused the foremost climate-research institution in New Zealand of data manipulation of the same type as the East Anglia Climatic Research Institute (CRU) is alleged to have done.

The New Zealand Climate Science Coalition today issued this paper saying that a graph published by the New Zealand National Institute for Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA) is not only wrong but is the result of painstaking and unjustified adjustment of raw temperature data covering the period from 1853 through 2008, Ian Wishart of The Briefing Room announced today:

At issue is a claim by NIWA that the average temperature over New Zealand declined from 1853 to 1909 and then began to rise, and has been rising ever since, at an average rate of +0.92 degree (Celsius) per century.

However, unlike the case with the CRU, NIWA's raw data remain readily available, at least to climate scientists. Richard Treadgold, of the Climate Conversation Group, and his colleagues requested and obtained the data used to produce the NIWA graph. Using these data, they produced a graph of their own. Their graph, shown here, displays no such decline from 1853 to 1909 and consequently no such steep increase from 1909 through 2008 as that shown on the NIWA graph. Instead, according to the CSC, the linear trend is a negligibly gentle +0.06 degree per century since 1853.

Treadgold's group alleges that the NIWA graph was produced, not from the raw data that NIWA supplied, but rather from temperature readings that had been adjusted. The CSC scientists were able to obtain the adjusted dataset from an un-named associate of Dr. M. James Salinger, formerly of NIWA and, before that, of CRU. Comparison of the two datasets shows significant upward adjustments of the post-1909 data and equally significant downward adjustments of the pre-1909 data, thus producing a downtrend and then an uptrend, instead of the nearly flat trend that Treadgold's group found.

Ian Wishart of The Briefing Room, and also of Investigate magazine, asked Dr. David Wratt, the chief climatologist at NIWA, for comment. Wratt said only that NIWA would issue a press release later that day; none has been forthcoming at the time of this writing.

The CSC scientists, in their paper, conclude that the New Zealand government is relying on an untenable conclusion from the data at hand, and now openly question the need for any cap-and-trade system such as that which Treadgold and his colleagues presume will be under consideration in Copenhagen beginning next Tuesday.