Feeds

NZ beaks give climate skeptics the bird

Warming records weren’t cooked

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup

A group of climate skeptics that includes Australian Dr Bob Carter has failed in its bid to have New Zealand’s High Court hear its complaint against that country’s National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA).

Dr Carter lined up with retired journalist Terry Dunleavy and computer modeler Bob Dedekind under the auspices of the New Zealand Climate Science Education Trust to accuse NIWA of fudging New Zealand’s climate record to present an alarmist picture of warming in New Zealand.

At issue was a data series first published in 1999 based on a series of seven weather stations (“7SS”), showing a 1°C warming trend in New Zealand over 100 years (which the Trust says is overstated), without applying a 1993 methodology developed by Rhoades and Salinger; that a later data set of eleven stations (11SS) was published in spite of what the Trust claimed were deficiencies in its data; and that the publication of 7SS “departed from recognized scientific opinion”.

In this 186-paragraph decision, High Court judge Geoffrey Venning rejected all grounds for the Trust’s case, noting along the way that the High Court is not competent to rule on questions of science.

Justice Venning noted “This Court should not seek to determine or resolve scientific questions demanding the evaluation of contentious expert opinion.”

A court can, however, resolve questions of evidence, and here, the judge had some harsh words for the NZ Climate Science Education Trust’s witnesses. As a journalist, Dunleavy’s status as an expert witness was dealt with sharply: “Mr Dunleavy has, in any event, failed to comply with High Court Rule 9.43, and could not be regarded as an impartial expert”.

In a decision that has been seized on by bloggers such as Jo Nova, the judge also dismissed Dedekind’s evidence, stating that his “general expertise in basic statistical techniques does not extend to any particular specialised experience or qualifications in the specific field of applying statistical techniques in the field of climate science.”

Even Dr Carter’s evidence, as the sole expert witness admitted by the High Court, didn’t convince the judge. The Trust asked the court to find that NIWA had failed in its statutory duty, that its methodology was at fault, that it made errors of fact, and that publication of the climate data was unreasonable. The court dismissed all grounds for action. ®

Boost IT visibility and business value

More from The Register

next story
China building SUPERSONIC SUBMARINE that travels in a BUBBLE
Shanghai to San Fran in two hours would be a trick, though
Our LOHAN spaceplane ballocket Kickstarter climbs through £8000
Through 25 per cent but more is needed: Get your UNIQUE rewards!
Cutting cancer rates: Data, models and a happy ending?
How surgery might be making cancer prognoses worse
Boffins ID freakish spine-smothered prehistoric critter: The CLAW gave it away
Bizarre-looking creature actually related to velvet worms
CRR-CRRRK, beep, beep: Mars space truck backs out of slippery sand trap
Curiosity finds new drilling target after course correction
SpaceX prototype rocket EXPLODES over Texas. 'Tricky' biz, says Elon Musk
No injuries or near injuries. Flight stayed in designated area
Brit balloon bod Bodnar overflies North Pole
B-64 amateur ultralight payload approaching second circumnavigation
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think
Innovations in encryption and storage resolve issues of data privacy and key requirements for companies to look for in a solution.
Scale data protection with your virtual environment
To scale at the rate of virtualization growth, data protection solutions need to adopt new capabilities and simplify current features.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?