Friday, September 7, 2012

And a smile for Friday.

It's only a small smile though. I imagine the annoying little sods will wind up their trust and declare it bankrupt, leaving us to foot the bill for their absurd little bit of theater.For those of who that don't know, our climate change "skeptics" (cranks) took NIWA to court a while ago over the climate record, claiming it wasn't accurate.

NIWA, if I recall had made some adjustments to records where climate recording sites had moved. So if the  recording station's position or environment changed, they changed the record. This is a perfectly legitimate thing to do, there are well documented differences depending on the terrain. Cities will often record a degree or two higher  that the surrounding countryside due to the heat absorption from comparatively higher amounts of concrete and asphalt. If an area around a recording station becomes built up, adjustments may need to be made. When you're talking about climate change, you're looking at trends in the data. These trends have to take into account changes in the environment of the recording stations.

What it boiled down to though, was that our local cranks couldn't stand the idea that we have a bunch of hard working scientists who know what they're doing looking after the temperature record. Surely the must be past of "teh global conzspyracey!". So they set up a trust with the express intention of taking NIWA to court. The judge found against them, noting two points
a) being a clever person with an interest in a field does not make you an expert and more importantly:
b) the courtroom is not the place to decide issues of science you do that in peer review publications (where, btw, the discussion is not of whether climate change is happening, but of how badly have we underestimated it).
The downside being that now that they've lost, as I said at the beginning, they'll probably wind up the trust and leave us footing the bill.

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