Kiwigate: Battle for temperature records hots up
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Kiwigate: Battle for temperature records hots up

We are living in extraordinary times when the temperature records of New Zealand – once the prime concern of people with funny accents leaning on farm gates – become part of a tug-of-war and government officials protect and hide data.

The story so far, which became known as Kiwigate, is probably better explained here in Climate Research News:

New Zealand’s government via its National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA) has announced it has nothing to do with the country’s “official” climate record in what commentators are calling a capitulation from the tainted climate reconstruction.

NIWA’s statement claims they were never responsible for the national temperature record (NZTR). The climb down is seen as a dramatic legal triumph for skeptics of the New Zealand Climate Science Coalition (NZCSC) who had initiated their challenge last August when petitioning the high court of New Zealand to invalidate the weather service’s reconstruction of antipodean temperatures.

According to NZCSC, climate scientists cooked the books by using the same alleged ‘trick’ employed by British and American doomsaying scientists. This involves subtly imposing a warming bias during what is known as the ‘homogenisation’ process that occurs when climate data needs to be adjusted.

It seems extraordinary that New Zealanders – surely the owners of their climate data – have been unable to get the information from their own government about how climate data has been adjusted. Are the New Zealand authorities being petulant or have they got something to hide? Perhaps if they were more open in the first place, there would be no need for suspicion and it never would have made it to the High Court.

Now, after studies were done by Australia’s Bureau of Meteorology involving the New Zealand data, Australian climate scientist/blogger Warwick Hughes has also come up against a brick wall when he tried to gain this information via Australian Freedom of Information laws.

One of the reasons given for refusing the application is that it would negatively affect relations between the New Zealand and Australian agencies if the data was released. But if the data does not belong to the New Zealand government – as they argued to their High Court – isn’t it strange that they should care?

The latest from Warwick Hughes here

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