Stocker in Wellington: RSNZ to stream AR5 science workshop

Swiss climate scientist Thomas Stocker, joint chairman of the IPCC’s Working Group One, is in New Zealand for a few days, and the NZ Climate Change Centre and the Royal Society of NZ have taken the opportunity to put together a stakeholder workshop to allow Stocker and NZ lead authors to present the key findings of the recently published AR5 WG1 report. The workshop is being held tomorrow, Friday 11th, from 9am to 1pm at the RSNZ in Wellington, and is open to the public (spaces limited, register here). For the geographically challenged, the event will be web-cast live.

The workshop will open with an introduction by Richard Bedford, a council member of the RSNZ, and an overview of the IPCC process by WG1 vice-chair David Wratt. Stocker will present the key Working Group I report findings from about 9-10am. NZ’s coterie of lead authors — Dave Frame, Tim Naish, and Jim Renwick — will provide snapshots of the parts of the report they were involved with. From midday on, the Science Media Centre’s Peter Griffin will chair a “stakeholder panel” including Rod Oram, Federated Farmers vice-chair William Rolleston and Frances Sullivan from Local Government NZ to discuss how the report has been received and what it means for New Zealand.

Stocker is also being interviewed by Radio NZ National’s science correspondent Veronika Meduna, and that should be broadcast in her show next week.

NZCCC 2013: David Frame on climate sensitivity

The NZ Climate Change Conference began with a keynote by Professor David Frame, the director of VUW’s Climate Change Research Institute, and I grabbed a few minutes with Dave later on the first day to find out what he’d said while I was on the plane up to Palmerston North. We talked about climate sensitivity, rapid climate change, IPCC processes, and how nice Oxford and Wellington are.

The conference, or two days in Palmerston North

A busy couple of days lie ahead for your Hot Topic blogger — he’s packing a bag and heading off to Palmerston North in the morning for the New Zealand Climate Change Conference 2013. I’ll be arriving too late to hear Professor Dave Frame’s keynote on where we’re at, but I’ll be catching up with Dave later to find out — and if all goes well, posting the audio of our chat to HT. If my flight’s on time, I’ll be at Jim Renwick’s talk on Antarctic sea ice, the Southern Annular Mode, and the future of the ozone hole, and then staying in the same room to hear Suzanne Rosier from NIWA talking about an Australia/New Zealand version of the weather@home distributed computing project, put together by Oxford and Melbourne Universities and NIWA and due to launch later this year.

It’s a packed programme, with a lot of very interesting work being presented. I’m going to have a hard time working out which talks to catch, but I am certain to meet up with more than a few HT readers, and may even buy one or two a drink (if they can catch me at the bar). Look for posts and tweets as the conference unfolds…

[Nitin Sawhney]

Coming soon: NZ Climate Change Conference 2013

This year’s NZ climate change conference is fast approaching, and I’ll be heading up to Palmerston North at the beginning of next month to cover proceedings for Hot Topic. The conference runs over June 4th and 5th at the Convention Centre, and covers just about every aspect of work on climate and related issues in NZ, organised under four main themes:

  • The Physical Science
  • Impacts, Vulnerability & Adaptation
  • Mitigation
  • Integration & Cross-cutting Issues

Keynote speakers are Professor Jon Barnett from the University of Melbourne, Andy Reisinger, Dave Frame and Professor Robert Anderson. I’ll be blogging/tweeting from the conference, and plan to post some short audio interviews with key participants. I’ll have to sing for my supper too — my abstract for a short talk entitled When two worlds collide: Communicating climate science on the internet1 was accepted by the organisers.

In other conference news, Wellington readers might like to pitch up to Parliament on Friday, June 7th, where Green MP Kennedy Graham is organising a one day meeting “with the aim of fostering cross-party and public dialogue on climate change”. Speakers will include the UNFCCC’s Christina Figueres (by video) Dave Frame, Andy Reisinger, Adrian Macey, Judy Lawrence, HT’s own Cindy Baxter, Peter Weir, Suzy Kerr, Simon Terry, Jonathon Boston and more. Should be an interesting and worthwhile day: register (for free) here.

  1. Scheduled for 3-15pm on the 5th []

VUW 3 vindicated, Monckton complaint rejected

Potty peer Chris Monckton’s complaint against VUW academics Jonathan Boston, David Frame and Jim Renwick has been roundly rejected by the university. An investigation carried out by a senior member of the academic staff found that Monckton’s allegations of fraud and libel were “not substantiated”. VUW vice chancellor Pat Walsh was unequivocal in his support of the VUW 3:

“I want to state clearly that I have faith in these academic staff. By speaking publicly in their field of expertise, they were doing exactly what we expect.”

It remains to be seen how Monckton will respond, but it will probably involve more empty threats. In a typically tasteless and intemperate article posted at WND last week, he fantasised about reporting VUW to the police:

If I do not receive a reply very soon, police will be asked to investigate not only the “professor” who had posted up the dodgy graph but also the vice-chancellor, the chancellor and the “university” itself as accessories during and after the fact of scientific fraud. Don’t send your child there, and don’t give it any money.

Despite hobnobbing with a High Court judge during his NZ visit1, it appears that Monckton’s grasp of the law is as dodgy as his understanding of climate science and economics.

  1. Or at least claiming to. It would be interesting to know to whom he refers… []