New Zealand's temperature record
Oct 31, 2014
Bishop Hill in Climate: Surface

Richard Treadgold emails with details of an interesting new paper, with quite an eye-opening end to the abstract.

Yesterday a paper on the New Zealand temperature record (NZTR) was accepted by Environmental Modeling & Assessment. Submitted in 2013, we can only imagine the colossal peer-review hurdles that had to be overcome in gaining acceptance for a paper that refutes the national temperature record in a developed country. The mere fact of acceptance attests to a fundamental shift in scientific attitudes to climate change, but expect strident opposition to this paper.

The authors present first a concise observational history of the NZTR, remarking that the established national record was a product of early methodology, then reconstruct an homogenised dataset using the peer-reviewed adjustment standards of Rhoades & Salinger, 1993 (RS93).

A Reanalysis of Long-Term Surface Air Temperature Trends in New Zealand was produced by principal author C.R. de Freitas with M.O. Dedekind and B.E. Brill.


Detecting trends in climate is important in assessments of global change based on regional long-term data. Equally important is the reliability of the results that are widely used as a major input for a large number of societal design and planning purposes. New Zealand provides a rare long temperature time series in the Southern Hemisphere, and it is one of the longest continuous climate series available in the Southern Hemisphere Pacific. It is therefore important that this temperature dataset meets the highest quality control standards. New Zealand’s national record for the period 1909 to 2009 is analysed and the data homogenized. Current New Zealand century-long climatology based on 1981 methods produces a trend of 0.91 °C per century. Our analysis, which uses updated measurement techniques and corrects for shelter-contaminated data, produces a trend of 0.28 °C per century.


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