A climate change group has taken the National Institute for Atmospheric and Water Research (NIWA) to court over what they say are inaccurate temperature recordings.
The New Zealand Climate Education Trust - a branch of the NZ Climate Science Coalition - are challenging NIWA figures which show a rise in temperatures in New Zealand of 1degC over the past 100 years.
This figure is significantly higher than global warming figures around the world and the trust is questioning how NIWA calculated the figures and whether they are accurate.
It believes there has either been no warming or a trivial warming of around 0.2degC.
The group's lawyer Terry Sissons told the High Court at Auckland today that NIWA could have obtained inaccurate New Zealand average temperatures due to 'sudden site relocations' and by regularly changing temperature gauging instruments.
"We're not saying that climatic changes are not happening but let's at least ensure the evidence gathered for the benefit of New Zealanders is accurate and is done properly,'' Sissons said.
The case relates to information supplied on NIWA's website and in particular a graph called the 'seven station series' which it claims carries the 'New Zealand Temperature Record' from 1853 right up to modern day climate records.
The seven station series temperature figures have been referred to in numerous tribunals and have previously been given significant credence but, in 2009 the trust released a research document 'Are We Feeling Warming Yet' which claimed that the warming trend was occurring as a result of NIWA's in-house corrections and variations.
The case is expected to last for three days.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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