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John O'Sullivan

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Science writer and legal analyst specializing in anti-corruption, John O'Sullivan was born in Berkshire, England, of immigrant Irish...

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Legal Defeat for Global Warming in Kiwigate Scandal

Last Updated Oct 9, 2010, Published Oct 6, 2010
Fruity Scandal Shocks Kiwis
Fruity Scandal Shocks Kiwis
J. Smith

In the climate controversy dubbed Kiwigate,New Zealand skeptics inflict shock courtroom defeat on climatologists implicated in temperature data fraud.

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. The story is also covered on web news aggregator site,

NIWA’s statement of defense claims they were never responsible for the national temperature record (NZTR).The climb down is seen as a 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. The NZCSC Petition may be read here.

According to the August official statement of the claim from NZCSC, climate scientists cooked the books by using the same alleged ‘trick’ employed by British and American 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.

The specific charge brought against the Kiwi government was that its climate scientists had taken the raw temperature records of the country and then adjusted them artificially with the result that a steeper warming trend was created than would otherwise exist by examination of the raw data alone.

Indeed, the original Kiwi records show no warming during the 20th century, but after government sponsored climatologists had manipulated the data a warming trend of 1C appeared.

New Zealand Government Abandons ‘Official’ Climate Record

The NZCSC story reports that the NZ authorities, “formally stated that, in their opinion, they are not required to use the best available information nor to apply the best scientific practices and techniques available at any given time. They don’t think that forms any part of their statutory obligation to pursue “excellence.”

NIWA now denies there was any such thing as an “official” NZ Temperature Record, although there was an official acronym for it (NZTR). However, the position now taken by the NZ government is that all such records are now to be deemed as unofficial and strictly for internal research purposes.

Fruity Scandal Shocks Kiwis - J. Smith

The article urges that if the government will not affirm that their temperature reconstruction is official then, “Nobody else should rely on it.”

Researcher from Climategate University Implicated in Data Fraud

As reported in a Suite101 article by the same writer of April 2010 'Kiwigate is a Carbon Copy of Climategate' it was shown that the scientist who made the controversial “bold adjustments” is none other than Jim Salinger who is also a lead author for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). Because very few temperature records exist for the Pacific Ocean, the NIWA record is given extra weight by the UN’s IPCC for determining multi-decadal trends in global average temperatures.

Salinger was dismissed by NIWA earlier this year for speaking without authorization to the media. The researcher originally worked at Britain’s Climatic Research Unit (CRU), the institution at the center of the Climategate scandal.

Salinger was also among the inner circle of climate scientists whose leaked emails precipitated the original climate controversy in November 2009. In an email (August 4, 2003) to fellow American climate professor, Michael Mann, Salinger stated he was “extremely concerned about academic standards” among climate skeptics.

Data Destroyed Before it Could be Independently Verified

In circumstances strangely similar to those witnessed in the Climategate controversy, Kiwigate appears to match Climategate in three key facets. First, climate scientists declined to submit their data for independent analysis. Second, when backed into a corner the scientists claimed their adjustments had been ‘lost’. Third, the raw data itself proves no warming trend.

Downloadable pdf files of letters between Coalition chairman and barrister Barry Brill and NIWA chairman Chris Mace may be read here.


Dunleavy MBE, T.,'High Court asked to invalidate NIWA’s official NZ temperature record,' (August 13,2010);, (accessed online: October 6, 2010)

Atkins, Holm, Joseph & Majurey., [Solicitors],’Statement of Defence on Behalf of the Defendant,’ [On behalf of NIWA], (September 14, 2010)

Costa, A.C. and A. Soares, ‘Homogenization of Climate Data: Review and New Perspectives Using Geostatistics,’ Mathematical Geoscience, Volume 41, Number 3 / April, 2009.

New Zealand Climate Science Coalition, ‘NIWA Challenged to Show Why and How Temperature Records Were Adjusted’ (February 7, 2010), accessed online April 26, 2010.

NZCSC & Climate Science Conversation Group; Press Statement of December 18, 2009; accessed online ( April 26, 2010).

Salinger, J. Climategate email Filename: 1060002347.txt. (August 4, 2003).

Copyright John O'Sullivan. Contact the author to obtain permission for republication.



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Oct 6, 2010 5:44 PM
Guest :
Thank you, John, for keeping us informed of the joint efforts of politicians and unscrupulous scientists to use science as a tool of propaganda to manipulate and control people.

Thanks to the Climategate scandal, we are now starting to see clearly the image of a world-wide alliance of Al Gore with the UN's IPCC, political leaders around the globe, scientists willing to "find evidence" of anything for pay, editors of science journals, public TV, the Norwegian Nobel Prize Committee, and the news media working in unison as the "scientific-technological elite" that former President Eisenhower warned about in his farewell address on 17 Jan 1961:

"The prospect of domination of the nation's scholars by Federal employment, project allocations, and the power of money is ever present – and is gravely to be regarded."

"Yet, in holding scientific research and discovery in respect, as we should, we must also be alert to the equal and opposite danger that public policy could itself become the captive of a scientific-technological elite."

Again, I thank you John for the role you play in keeping the would-be tyranny of "a scientific-technological elite" in check.

With kind regards,
Oliver K. Manuel
Former NASA Principal
Investigator for Apollo

Oct 6, 2010 5:57 PM
Guest :
Great article as usual John; I haven't seen the Statement of Claim nor the Statement of Defence and I'm just wondering if it's one of those generalised Defences where the Deft denies all allegations the responsibility allegation in the Statement of Claim being one of the first ones
Val Majkus
Oct 6, 2010 9:34 PM
Guest :
You have been taken in by a climate change denier blog. NIWA has not been defeated. The blog even refused to link to any statement. And it is well known for its lies and distortion on climate science and hoenst New Zealand scientists.
In fact this particular group was thoroughly discredited a year ago when they published their original attack on NIWA. It was shown to be factually wrong and scientifically incompetent.
This current legal hearing is still in process. Chances are that the deniers claims will be thrown out and exemplary damages awarded against them.
Oct 6, 2010 11:43 PM
Guest :
Great news John. Now for the rest of the climate charlatans, especially those who reckon that killing climate realists is in order.
Oct 6, 2010 11:44 PM
Guest :
Great news John. Now for the rest of the climate charlatans, especially those who reckon that killing climate realists is in order.
Hans Schreuder

Oct 7, 2010 1:06 AM
Guest :

More proof that these temperature records have been universally tampered with which again shows that "Climate Science" is being directed by the UN and others to create a climate of fear ,and enable PARTICIPATING governments in a CO2 tax scam.
Billions have already been spent and fotunes made throu gh these LIES.
Oct 7, 2010 3:44 AM
Guest :
wow...wish this had happened in the UK. Instead we got 3 whitewashes for all concerned
Oct 7, 2010 4:51 AM
Guest :
As a member of the NZ Climate Science Coalition, I can add a few details.

NIWA has conceded that there is 'confusion' regarding their "Seven-station Series" (7SS), which includes 34 undocumented 'corrections' to create a 1.0°C warming trend. They also claim that there is no such thing as an 'official' record and say that the 7SS is solely intended for research purposes.

NIWA therefore proposes to abandon the indefensible 7SS and move to a brand-new "official" temperature record. They say they have had 5 or 6 scientists working on this for many months, and it is now complete. However, they are not prepared to unveil it just yet, as they are having all their new 'corrections' checked by their Australian counterparts, BOM.

The court case remains, in theory at least. But its whole purpose was to have the Court declare the 7SS invalid and direct NIWA to produce a decent alternative. So the only remaining question is – will the shiny new temperature record prove to be respectable? Watch this space!
Oct 7, 2010 5:09 AM
Guest :
"wow...wish this had happened in the UK. Instead we got 3 whitewashes for all concerned"

No. You got three independent reviews exonerating all concerned of the most heinous accusations, with recommendations, rightly, about openness.

Still, mud sticks, eh? And it's clearly what you *want* to believe, so carry on your merry way.
Oct 7, 2010 7:03 AM
Guest :
It is high time that those responsible for this sort of temperature manipulation fraud, whether in New Zealand, in Britain, in the US or in any other country, are held to account and severely punished.
Oct 7, 2010 9:28 AM
Guest :
I am very concerned that I cannot find a link or a webpage which supplies the text of the statement by the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research. One would think at least that the New Zealand Climate Science Coalition would announce this success on its website at but it does not. It would be a shame if this were some sort of elaborate hoax.
Oct 7, 2010 1:31 PM
Guest :
Hi 'Guest'

"No. You got three independent reviews exonerating all concerned of the most heinous accusations, with recommendations, rightly, about openness."

Here's something you should probably know... pdf

Oct 7, 2010 2:53 PM
Guest :
No, Poster at Oct 7, 2010 5:09 AM; in Britain we got three whitewashes which didn't even look at the science concerned - only the procedures.

And, if the accused are so lily-white innocent, why is it that not one of them has brought any legal action for libel or defamation of character against any of their accusers? Despite being accused of the most serious 'crimes' against science - namely:- fabricating data, destruction of raw data, and blocking access to their data and processing software by others wishing to review their work?

And, if the leaked e-mails and programming notes which highlighted these unforgivable transgressions were either inaccurate, incomplete, or fabrications, why is it that none of the people named and shamed in them have ever disputed the accuracy of those damning documents?
Oct 7, 2010 5:09 PM
Guest :
The religious nuts from the "global warming church" should be arrested,given a fair trial & the hanged!!
Oct 8, 2010 1:13 AM
Guest :
To Guest @ Oct. 6, 2010 9:34pm, put down the green koolaid and maybe you should read the statement of defense and then tell us what they're saying? Lots of denials going on here! We're all listening!
Oct 8, 2010 1:47 AM
Guest :
Great article!

Corrupted science is built by its corrupted scientists. This is one of the best smoking guns.CRU and leadauthor.....BINGO!!
Oct 8, 2010 3:10 AM
Guest :
and John is just putting them on his site
for readers' interest
NZ temperature record
Home › Our Science › Climate › Climate – News › NZ temperature record
There are many lines of evidence showing that NZ has warmed during the past century. These include the “seven station” temperature series, the “eleven station” temperature series, and information from ship measurements of sea-surface temperatures and marine night-time air temperatures over the oceans around NZ.
‘Eleven-station’ series temperature data ‘Seven-station’ series temperature dataWhy climate data sometimes need to be adjusted
July 20, 2010
‘Seven-station’ series
NIWA’s ’seven-station’ temperature series uses temperature measurements from seven ‘climate stations’. The locations were chosen because they provide a representative geographical spread across NZ and have reliable records dating back at least to the early 1900s. The trend over the past 100 years (1909-2008) is warming of 0.9 ºC.
More detail
‘Eleven-station’ series
This series comprises a set of eleven stations spanning New Zealand where there have been no significant site moves for many decades. The data used in this series are raw (unadjusted) – no adjustments are required because the measuring sites have not moved significantly. There is a warming trend over the 77 year period 1931-2008 of close to 1 ºC.
More detail
The above are taken from the NIWA site;
for your interest only to show how small the alleged warming is
Oct 8, 2010 3:18 AM
Guest :
Absolutely wonderful. I just hope someone does something similar in Australia.
Oct 8, 2010 3:40 AM
Guest :
In regard to the Australian temperature record Ken Stewart has done some great work; what he believes is the first ever independent check on the official climate record of Australia. It is also the first ever independent check on the official record of an entire continent.
check out cord-part-9-an-urban-myth/
and check out the link to part 8,
his conclusion:
One thing we do know:- the High Quality data does NOT give an accurate record of urban Australian temperatures over the last 100 years. BOM’s reconstruction of the temperature record is at best a guess. High Quality is an urban myth.

This study shows a number of problems with the Australian High Quality Temperature Sites network, on which the official temperature analyses are based. Problems with the High Quality data include:

» It has been subjectively and manually adjusted.
» The methodology used is not uniformly followed, or else is not as described.
» Urban sites, sites with poor comparative data, and sites with short records have been included.
» Large quantities of data are not available, and have been filled in with estimates.
» The adjustments are not equally positive and negative, and have produced a major impact on the Australian temperature record.
» The adjustments produce a trend in mean temperatures that is roughly a quarter of a degree Celsius greater than the raw data does.
» The warming bias in the temperature trend is over 40%, and in the anomaly trend is 50%.
» The trend published by BOM is 66.67% greater than that of the raw data.
I don't know about NZ but I would have concerns that BOM is to peer review anything from NIWA
Oct 8, 2010 7:35 AM
Guest :
I'm not surprised. I am also appalled that NZ is pursuing this nonsense about methane emissions and AGW. I produced a peer reviewed paper on the subject. Barry Brill has a copy.
Oct 8, 2010 12:51 PM
Guest :
The specific charge brought against the Kiwi government was that it’s climate scientists had taken the raw temperature records of the...

ITS, please. No apostrophe.
Oct 8, 2010 4:54 PM
Guest :
What an interesting article - especially the link with the CRU at the University of East Anglia. Well, I never...!
Oct 9, 2010 11:47 AM
Guest :
Yeah, and in the meantime, NZ has an ETS (emissions trading scam) tax which will cripple jobs in the country, and make the poor even poorer. In a country where we have the 2nd highest grocery bill in the world, our electricity/groceries are all going to go up by about 8% by the end of the year. AND SO, in the meantime, no one is repealing the ETS tax that we are all getting ripped off by. Tax on air - that is all it is, and when the farmers all sell their farms to grow trees, where will our food production and jobs go? Who is going to want to buy a bunch of forests? This will sink our economy even further down the trench, but the people have not protested - why?
Oct 9, 2010 12:41 PM
Guest :
Have these people been arrested? For their safety, of course. I could understand if outraged citizens picked them and theif families off one by one.
Oct 9, 2010 1:17 PM
Guest :
Wow, what scum bags. I hope al gore loses all the money he invested in this huge scam. Why must the elite do regular scams on the people to enrich and enslave us.
We the people have got to stick togeather and not sell our souls to these scum.
Oct 9, 2010 2:41 PM
Guest :
If there is no global warming occurring, then what is causing the freak global weather conditions? Personally, I believe in Global Cooling, and evidence is mounting to indicate this.

I think we should stop relying on Scientists to give us accurate and truthful accounts of what is going on, what a shame that some in the profession are so eager to disgrace themselves and their colleagues...
Oct 9, 2010 3:42 PM
Guest :
Just shows the ongoing trend of more BS being manufactured by governmental bodies to bring in their global agenda. Runs parallel with the H1N1 swine flu fear mongering campaign.
When will people wake up to the lies we are being constantly fed?
Oct 9, 2010 5:42 PM
Guest :
is the kiwi fresh
Oct 9, 2010 11:47 PM
Guest :
I think this may be the "true" meaning of "witch-hunting" Anybody care to join me?
Oct 10, 2010 1:56 AM
Guest :
As an Australian with a last name Travers,I am happy the Skeptics there have had a bit of a win.Not that I am happy about every bloody New Zealander, product and service.And Chinese gooseberries are an appropriate photo image next to the article.
Oct 10, 2010 3:02 AM
Guest :
Are glaciers generally shrinking worldwide? Is the Arctic ice melting? Is the ice covering Greenland melting? Just asking.