The NYT article below more or less claims that pure critique is not science. "Do better" instead of just criticizing is the challenge from the Warmists to the climate skeptics. But papers which simply rip existing research are normal in science. I myself have had a few dozen such published in the journals. There is no reason why the critic should also be the one who does better. In home-building, is the bulldozer driver who levels the site also the best one to lay the bricks? It is certainly true that better data or better analysis presented along with the criticism is more likely to get attention but that has no bearing on the importance or accuracy of the criticism.
McIntyre's point that (to put it bluntly) the sort of data the Warmists use is too crappy to be worth bothering with is also one I echo. I myself noted many years ago the misleading results that can come of a valiant attempt to salvage something from bad data. And I presented no new findings on that occasion either! Most of my publications have, however, been original research reports
Bloggers skeptical of global warming’s causes and commentators fighting restrictions on greenhouse gases have made much in recent days of a string of posts on Climateaudit.org, one of the most popular Web sites aiming to challenge the deep consensus among climatologists that humans are setting the stage for generations of disrupted climate and rising seas. In the posts, Stephen McIntyre, questions sets of tree-ring data used in, or excluded from, prominent studies concluding that recent warming is unusual even when compared with past warm periods in the last several millenniums (including the recent Kaufman et al. paper discussed here).
Mr. McIntyre has gained fame or notoriety, depending on whom you consult, for seeking weaknesses in NASA temperature data and efforts to assemble a climate record from indirect evidence like variations in tree rings. Last week the scientists who run Realclimate.org, several of whom are authors of papers dissected by Mr. McIntyre, fired back. The Capital Weather Gang blog has just posted its analysis of the fight. One author of an underlying analysis of tree rings Keith Briffa, responded on his Web site and at on Climateaudit.org.
What is novel about all of this is how the blog discussions have sidestepped the traditional process of peer review and publication, then review and publication of critiques, and counter-critiques, by which science normally does that herky-jerky thing called knowledge building. The result is quick fodder for those using the Instanet to reinforce intellectual silos of one kind or another.
I explored this shift in the discourse in some e-mail exchanges with Mr. McIntyre and some of his critics, including Thomas Crowley, a University of Edinburgh specialist in unraveling past climate patterns. Dr. Crowley and Mr. McIntyre went toe to toe from 2003 through 2005 over data and interpretations. I then forwarded to Mr. McIntyre what amounted to a challenge from Dr. Crowley:
Thomas Crowley (now in Edinburgh) has sent me a note essentially challenging you to develop your own time series [of past climate patterns] (kind of a “put up or shut up” challenge). Why not do some climate science and get it published in the literature rather than poking at studies online, having the blogosphere amplify or distort your findings in a kind of short circuit that may not help push forward understanding?
As [Dr. Crowley] puts it: “McIntyre is really tiresome - notice he never publishes an alternate reconstruction that he thinks is better, oh no, because that involves taking a risk of him being criticized. He just nitpicks others. I don’t know of anyone else in science who actually does such things but fails to do something constructive himself.”
Here’s Mr. McIntyre’s reply (to follow references to publications you’ll need to refer to the linked papers). In essence, he says he sees no use in trying his own temperature reconstruction given the questions about the various data sets one would need to utilize:
The idea that I’m afraid of “taking a risk” or “taking a risk of being criticized” is a very strange characterization of what I do. Merely venturing into this field by confronting the most prominent authors at my age and stage of life was a far riskier enterprise than Crowley gives credit for. And as for “taking a risk of being criticized”? Can you honestly think of anyone in this field who is subjected to more criticism than I am? Or someone who has more eyes on their work looking for some fatal error?
The underlying problem with trying to make reconstructions with finite confidence intervals from the present roster of proxies is the inconsistency of the “proxies,” a point noted in McIntyre and McKitrick (PNAS 2009) in connection with Mann et al 2008 (but applies to other studies as well) as follows:
Paleoclimate reconstructions are an application of multivariate calibration, which provides a theoretical basis for confidence interval calculation (e.g., refs. 2 and 3). Inconsistency among proxies sharply inflates confidence intervals (3). Applying the inconsistency test of ref. 3 to Mann et al. A.D. 1000 proxy data shows that finite confidence intervals cannot be defined before ~1800.
Until this problem is resolved, I don’t see what purpose is served by proposing another reconstruction.
Crowley interprets the inconsistency as evidence of past “regional” climate, but offers no support for this interpretation other than the inconsistency itself –- which could equally be due to the “proxies” not being temperature proxies. There are fundamental inconsistencies at the regional level as well, including key locations of California (bristlecones) and Siberia (Yamal), where other evidence is contradictory to Mann-Briffa approachs (e.g. Millar et al 2006 re California; Naurzbaev et al 2004 and Polar Urals re Siberia,) These were noted up in the N.A.S. panel report, but Briffa refused to include the references in I.P.C.C. AR4. Without such detailed regional reconciliations, it cannot be concluded that inconsistency is evidence of “regional” climate as opposed to inherent defects in the “proxies” themselves.
The fundamental requirement in this field is not the need for a fancier multivariate method to extract a “faint signal” from noise – such efforts are all too often plagued with unawareness of data mining and data snooping. These problems are all too common in this field (e.g. the repetitive use of the bristlecones and Yamal series). I think that I’ve made climate scientists far more aware of these and other statistical problems than previously, whether they are willing to acknowledge this in public or not, and that this is highly “constructive” for the field.
More HERE (See the original for links, graphics etc.)
Atmospheric acid is good for oceanic life
Greenies have been moaning for years about the evils of acidic air pollution. Will this hold them up any? Unlikely
Scientists at the University of Leeds have proved that acid in the atmosphere breaks down large particles of iron found in dust into small and extremely soluble iron nanoparticles, which are more readily used by plankton. This is an important finding because lack of iron can be a limiting factor for plankton growth in the ocean - especially in the southern oceans and parts of the eastern Pacific. Addition of such iron nanoparticles would trigger increased absorption of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.
"This could be a very important discovery because there's only a very small amount of soluble iron in the ocean and if plankton use the iron nanoparticles formed in clouds then the whole flux of bioavailable iron to the oceans needs to be revised," says Dr Zongbo Shi, lead author of the research from the School of Earth and Environment at the University of Leeds.
Water droplets in clouds generally form around dust and other particles. When clouds evaporate, as they often do naturally, the surface of the particle can become very acidic. This is especially true where the air is polluted.
Paradoxically, scientists suggest that large scale industry in countries like China could be combating global warming to some extent by creating more bioavailable iron in the oceans, and therefore increasing carbon dioxide removal from the atmosphere. "Man made pollution adds more acid to the atmosphere and therefore may encourage the formation of more iron nanoparticles," says Dr Shi.
Scientists carried out the research by simulating clouds in the laboratory to which they added Saharan dust samples. They were then able to mimic natural conditions in order to monitor the chemical processes happening in the system. The laboratory experiments have been confirmed in natural samples where such cloud processing is known to have occurred.
The findings highlight the complexity of the pattern of natural iron delivery to the oceans, throwing new light on recent high profile plans to add iron to the southern oceans artificially to stimulate plankton growth.
"This process is happening in clouds all over the world, but there are particularly interesting consequences for the oceans. What we have uncovered is a previously unknown source of bioavailable iron that is being delivered to the Earth's surface in precipitation," says Professor Michael Krom, the principal investigator of the research, also at the University of Leeds.
UN Climate Reports: They Lie
For years, claims that UN climate reports represent the consensus of the majority of international scientists have been mindlessly accepted and regurgitated by left-leaning policy makers and the media at large. But in the past week or so, it’s become more apparent than ever that those who’ve accused the international organization of politicizing science and manipulating data have been right all along.
This latest disclosure again concerns what has become the favorite propaganda propagation tool of climate activists -- the infamous “Hockey Stick Graph.” The familiar reconstruction, which deceitfully depicts last millennium’s global temperatures as flat prior to a dramatic upturn last century, has been displayed and touted ad nauseum as irrefutable proof of unprecedented and, therefore, anthropogenic, global warming (AGW).
Despite its previous debunking, the embattled AGW poster-child continues to languish in UN climate reports, which are unduly revered and quoted as gospel by all manner of proselytizers. In fact, just last week it had the bad timing to show up in a desperate UN compendium, released just days before Climate Audit published facts that promise to be the Hockey Stick’s (HS) long overdue epitaph. And those facts not only assuage any doubt of the chart’s fraudulence, but also of the deliberate and devious complicity of its creators, defenders and leading UN sponsors.
But before delving into the sordid details, perhaps a little background is in order.
The Real Inconvenient Truth
Prior to the 2001 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Third Assessment Report (TAR), the accepted depiction of the prior millennium’s warmth was that published in the panel’s 1990 maiden assessment. Specifically -- global temperatures had fluctuated drastically over the period. This schematic, taken from IPCC 1990 Figure 7c, clearly demonstrates the IPCC “consensus” of the time:
And data derived from sources including tree-rings, lake sediments, ice cores and historic documents bear that position out. Indeed, it’s abundantly evident that since the last glacial period ended, over 14,000 years ago, the Earth’s climate has undergone multi-century swings from warming to cooling that occur often and with remarkable rapidity. And not one but three such radical shifts occurred within the past millennium.
The years 900-1300 AD have been labeled the Medieval Warming Period (MWP), as global temperatures rose precipitously from the bitter cold of the previous epoch -- the Dark Ages -- to levels several degrees warmer than today. A sudden period of cooling then followed and lasted until the year 1850. This Little Ice Age (LIA) brought on extremely cold temperatures, corresponding with three periods of protracted solar inactivity, the lowest temperatures coinciding with the quietest of the three (The Maunder Minimum 1645-1710).
And then began the modern warming period, which, by the way, many scientists believe ended with the millennium itself.
Given these natural shifts over the past 1000 years, it’s certainly not surprising that after a period of cooling, which followed a period of warming, we’d again enter a period of warming.
And that, of course, presented quite the quandary to opportunists hell-bent on blaming warming on industrial revolution-triggered atmospheric CO2 increases. Something had to be done to convince the world that modern warming was unprecedented and could therefore only be explained by something unnatural, specifically -- the “Greenhouse Effect.” And something was.
The End of a Warming Era
During testimony before the Senate Committee on Environment & Public Works Hearing on Climate Change and the Media in 2006, University of Oklahoma geophysicist Dr. David Deming recalled “an astonishing email from a major researcher in the area of climate change” who told him that "we have to get rid of the Medieval Warm Period." In June of this year, piece, Deming identified the year of that email as 1995 and the source only as a lead author of that month’s Global Climate Change Impacts in the United States report.
Many believe that man to be Jonathan Overpeck – which Prof. Deming didn’t deny in an email response -- who would later also serve as an IPCC lead author. So it comes as no surprise that this reconstruction, which did indeed “get rid of the Medieval Warm Period,” was featured prominently in the subsequent 2001 TAR, particularly in the Summary for Policymakers (SPM), the highly-politicized synopsis which commands the bulk of media and political attention.
This, the original and by far most ubiquitous version of the HS graph, was derived from a 1998 paper by Michael E. Mann, Raymond S. Bradley and Malcolm K. Hughes (MBH98). It was promptly met with challenges to both its proxy data and statistical analysis methodology. Of these, various papers by two Canadians -- statistician Stephen McIntyre and economist Ross McKitrick -- stood out in dispelling the AGW-supporting hockey-stick shape arrived at by MBH, claiming it the result of severe data defects and flawed calculations, particularly an invalid principal component analysis.
In a coordinated effort to defend the refuted thesis, alarmed alarmists tendered a handful of supporting studies. Mann himself cheered those either attacking McIntyre and McKitrick or supporting his own reconstruction and dubbed them the “Hockey Team.” And the position of team forward and co-captain was bestowed upon Keith Briffa of Britain’s Climatic Research Unit (CRU), whose temperature graphs, derived from Yamal, Russia tree ring data were heavily cited by the IPCC as supporting evidence of MBH’s assertion of unprecedented 20th century warming.
While studies reaffirming both the MWP and LIA continued to be published, congressional hearings and expert panels found MBH to be largely unsupported by studies relying on legitimate proxy data other than Briffa’s. Still, most alarmists continued (and continue) to defend the HS on principle.
Which in no way dilutes this plain truth: By the time most Americans received their first lesson in climate hysteria in the Albert Gore lecture hall that was the 2006 film An Inconvenient Truth, the MBH chart the nutty professor stood before and offered as proof of impending doom was already held in disrepute by most serious persons of science.
Lest there be any doubt, why else would the 2007 Fourth Assessment Report (AR4) -- notwithstanding the appointments of both Briffa and Overpeck as lead authors – give the graph short mention and exclude it entirely from the SPM?
It appeared the Hockey Team was being sent back to the minors. That is -- for the moment.
Desperate Times Call For Disparate Actions
Given the current economic and political climate, it’s not surprising that the globe’s climate ranks dead last when Americans are asked to name the “most important issue facing the country right now.” Needless to say, that’s an uncomfortable position for the Greenhouse Gas Team, what with a Senate Climate Bill promising even more government control than its House counterpart at the plate and the December Copenhagen Climate Summit on deck.
Accordingly, on September 24th, in a transparently desperate effort to stoke the coals, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) released its Climate Change Science Compendium 2009. The eco-plea opens with these words from UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon: “The science has become more irrevocable than ever: Climate change is happening. The evidence is all around us. And unless we act, we will see catastrophic consequences including rising sea-levels, droughts and famine, and the loss of up to a third of the world’s plant and animal species.”
Amazing. But the frantic hype of this call-to-pointless-action quickly segues to blatant lies just three sentences later when Ban states “that climate change is accelerating at a much faster pace than was previously thought by scientists.” It would appear the Sec-Gen believes that the cooling temperatures the new millennium issued in have somehow escaped everyone’s notice. Imagine the uphill battle he’ll face should predictions of the U.S. Northeast suffering its coldest winter in a decade due to a weak El Nino come true.
So it wasn’t all that shocking to spot this undeniably dramatic graph on only the fifth of this end-is-near report’s 75 pages. The striking chart is marked as Figure 1.3: Correlation between temperature and CO2. As its title suggests, it attempts to plot atmospheric CO2 concentrations and mean global temperature during the past millennium. Notice anything vaguely familiar about the temperature plot in red? Why, it’s our old friend, Mr. Hockey Stick – apparently having sat for a bit of a makeover.
Interestingly enough, this reconstruction wasn’t lifted from prior IPCC assessments, or, for that matter, any UN entity at all. No, the source was actually a graphic posted to Wikimedia in 2005 by Hanno Sandvik, a Norwegian research biologist. Sandvik cited two data sources for his temperature plot – a 2004 paper by Jones and Mann (abracadabra – no more MWP) for 1000-1880, and, for the remainder, “instrumental records published on the web” by Jones, Parker, Osborn and – wait for it …… Briffa.
So the chart the UN climate experts used to sell the CO2 -°C connection to an increasingly skeptical public was pulled from Wiki, crafted by an unknown biologist, conveniently ends about the same year warming ended, and based on a debunked temperature reconstruction.
It would therefore appear they consider Sanvik quite the unsung authority. Yet I wonder whether these geniuses are aware of this 2006 graphic, also from Sandvik, and plotting northern hemisphere temperatures over the past 2000 years. This one cites 2005 data published by Moberg, Sonechkin, Holmgren, Datsenko, Karlén, and Lauritzen as its source and paints a somewhat different picture. Hello MWP and LIA, where’ve you been? Any guesses whether or not UNEP would have used Sandvik’s chart had his temperature dataset been from Moberg et al. rather than Mann et al.?
I contacted Hanno Sandvik a week ago last Saturday and asked him essentially that same question. He responded that he was unaware of the UNEP Compendium and therefore had “no idea which graphics they may have chosen.” He also pointed out that while Mann’s was global data, Mobergs was northern hemisphere only -- a point well taken, however MHB98 was also derived from NH data yet remarkably resembles the Mann “global” data Sandvik used.
More HERE (See the original for links, graphics etc.)
The ocean acidity panic ramped up
I reproduce the latest Warmist shriek below and at the foot of it give two comments from correspondence about the sheer ignorance of it
The Arctic Ocean is becoming acidic so quickly that it will reach corrosive levels within 10 years, a leading scientist has warned. Waters around the North Pole are absorbing carbon dioxide at such a rate that they will soon start dissolving the shells of living sea creatures. The potentially disastrous consequences for the food chain have been highlighted by Professor Jean-Pierre Gattuso of the National Centre for Scientific Research in France.
His team of oceanographers have produced startling predictions about the acidity of the Arctic Ocean after research carried out on the Svalbard archipelago, a group of islands half way between Norway and the North Pole, revealed that the problem is more advanced than scientists thought. Their forecasts suggest that by 2018, 10 per cent of the ocean will be corrosively acidic, rising to 50 per cent in 2050. By 2100 the entire Arctic Ocean will be inhospitable to shellfish, they predict.
"This is extremely worrying," Prof Gattuso told the Oceans of Tomorrow conference in Barcelona. "We knew that the seas were getting more acidic and this would disrupt the ability of shellfish – like mussels – to grow their shells. But now we realise the situation is much worse." One of the most vulnerable creatures is likely to be the mollusc Limacina helicina, which seabirds, whales and several species of fish rely on for food.
The process of acidification – by which carbon dioxide emitted into the atmosphere as pollution is absorbed by water and converted into carbonic acid – is taking places in seas and oceans across the world. But the prognosis is particularly bleak in the polar regions because the gas is more soluble in cold water than hot water. "Over the whole planet, there will be a threefold increase in the average acidity of the oceans, which is unprecedented during the past 20 million years," Prof Gattuso said. "That level of acidification will cause immense damage to the ecosystem and the food chain, particularly in the Arctic."
Prof Gattuso told the conference that hi-tech proposals for limiting the extent of climate change would have no affect on reducing the acidity of the oceans, and urged immediate action to cut greenhouse gas emissions. "Scientists have proposed all sorts of geo-engineering solutions to global warming. For instance, they have proposed spraying the upper atmosphere with aerosol particles that would reduce sunlight reaching the Earth, mitigating the warming caused by rising levels of carbon dioxide," he said. "But these ideas miss the point. They will still allow carbon dioxide emissions to continue to increase – and thus the oceans to become more and more acidic. "There is only one way to stop the devastation the oceans are now facing and that is to limit carbon-dioxide emissions as a matter of urgency."
The increasing acidity of the Arctic Ocean may have a direct impact on the marine life of the British Isles, as the Lophelia pertusa coral responsible for creating reefs off the coast of Scotland is killed off.
Alteration to oceanic pH water alters the equilibrium of dissolved CO2 in the water for a given atmospheric CO2 concentration at any given temperature. Hence, it is often assumed that changed atmospheric CO2 concentration of recent years is causal of observed alteration to ocean pH. But the alternative assumption may be true: i.e. the observed alteration to ocean pH may be causal of the changed atmospheric CO2 concentration of recent years. There is no definitive data that allows it to be determined which - if either - of these assumptions is correct.
Water of the thermohaline circulation sinks to ocean bottom, travels for 800 to 1000 years then returns to ocean surface. It can be expected to dissolve chemical ions during the 800 to 1000 years of its travel; e.g. by exposure to volcanism that may be temporary. And, therefore, it can be expected to alter the pH of the ocean surface layer when it returns to the surface. This explanation for varying ocean surface layer pH and varying atmospheric CO2 concentration is at least as plausible as the anthropogenic emission of CO2 (indeed, I think it is the much more likely explanation).
Whatever the cause of changed ocean surface layer pH and atmospheric CO2 concentration, Prof Gattuso is plain wrong if the article correctly reports him to have said: "We knew that the seas were getting more acidic and this would disrupt the ability of shellfish – like mussels – to grow their shells. But now we realise the situation is much worse.One of the most vulnerable creatures is likely to be the mollusc Limacina helicina, which seabirds, whales and several species of fish rely on for food ... "Over the whole planet, there will be a threefold increase in the average acidity of the oceans, which is unprecedented during the past 20 million years," Prof Gattuso said. "That level of acidification will cause immense damage to the ecosystem and the food chain, particularly in the Arctic.""
Prof Gattuso's assertions concerning shells are known to be plain wrong because much higher atmspheric CO2 concentrations existed in the past, and sea creatures then formed shells.
Has Prof Gattuso not heard of the White Cliffs of Dover? They are made of chalk. Most chalks - including the famous White Cliffs - formed during the Cretaceous period, between 100 and 60 million years ago. Chalks from this period can be found around the world, and they consist of the microscopic skeletons of oceanic plankton.
The Coccolithophores are the major group of chalk forming plankton. Their individual spherical skeletons are called cocospheres and they consist of a number of calcareous discs called coccoliths. After death of the plankton, the skeletons settled to the bottom of the sea and most coccospheres and coccoliths collapsed, but they can be clearly seen using scanning electron microscopy (SEM). Indeed, back in my days working in a lab. I often used chalk as a demonstration of SEM to visiting parties of non-scientists because coccospheres are pretty.
Cretaceous chalks formed when global temperatures and atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration were higher than now. Indeed, global temperature was 5 to 6 deg.C higher than now and atmospheric carbon dioxide was 4 times higher than now. (See e.g. here).
But the calcerous skeletons of oceanic creatures from that time are so abundant that they now comprise many hills and mountains around the world. So, I wonder why some people fear that slightly higher global temperatures and slightly higher atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration than now would hinder formation of such shells?
I want to call attention to this chart again:
Cold water absorbs CO2, right? And warm water releases it. So, on the premise that CO2 forms an acid in water, cold water should generally be more acidic and warm water be more basic. But one observes precisely the opposite: polar waters are generally more basic and equatorial waters more acidic! I draw two conclusions from this alone.
1. That Tom Segalstad is correct about CO2 being a very weak acid against the near-infinite buffering capacity of sea water, and
2. That Dr Floor Anthoni is correct, for aquatic life seemingly creates acidic conditions, in which it thrives
The more acidic the water, the higher biological productivity becomes, and the denser the amount of life. In the sea this is borne out by the observed fact that highly productive upwelling areas are more acidic. In other words, acidic seas are a good thing. See here.
Indeed, given what the chart indicates, it can’t be the relative dearth of CO2 in warm water that drives the pH down; it has to be something else. And it can’t be the abundance of CO2 in cold water that makes it more basic. Biology is the key factor here, not chemistry and Henry's Law.
Meteorologist dissents: 'We can’t keep a stray shower from ruining your picnic, so how are we going to stop' global warming?
Tom Russell is chief meteorologist at CBS Channel 21 in Harrisburg
Hey, the weather is changing! Somehow, just in the last week or two, things have gotten rapidly cooler. Oh wait, it’s called fall. Seems to happen every year around this time. Funny how weather seems to work in cycles.
We know we had a cooler and wetter than average summer. But did you know the June-August 2009 temperature for the whole U.S. was below average? Yeah, despite the heat waves in the West and Southwest, the Northeast had its eighth wettest June-to-August on record.
Does this prove there is no global warming? Of course not, no more than melting ice caps prove it does exist. Weather changes. It fluctuates minute by minute, hour by hour, weekly, yearly, by decade and by century. Those of us forecasting the stuff daily know what a fickle mistress Mother Nature can be.
So, when I see humans trying to blame weather cycles on something other than nature, I get incensed. I don’t know what’s more arrogant: Saying we caused it or saying we can stop it. Truth is, we can’t keep a stray shower from ruining your picnic, so how are we going to stop global weather patterns?
Ironically, the same people who tease me about not getting the seven-day forecast correct totally believe in the faulty science that says we can predict the weather 100 years from now.
When this global warming debate comes up, I always start with the premise “What is the ideal global temperature?” We only have 120 years of accurate records to tell us what “normal” is. We’ve been warmer in the past and we’ve been cooler in the past.
In his book “Climate Confusion,” Dr. Roy Spencer says attributing most or all of the current warmth to mankind is a statement of faith, because it assumes something we don’t know: How much natural climate variability has there been during the same period of time?
And then I continue with the basics. Despite what you’ve heard, carbon dioxide is not a pollutant. It’s kind of important to our survival. Research now shows that CO2 does not drive temperature but rather temperature drives CO2. Adding twice the CO2 does not double the effect. The initial tons of CO2 matter, but adding more has less and less effect. Imagine painting a window with black paint: The first coat does most of the work, the extra coats don’t matter much.
And even though I’m a big skeptic of anyone who says they can give you an accurate global temperature, satellite data show the world has not warmed since 2001, even though carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere have increased.
The biggest change in this debate over the last 10 years isn’t temperature. It’s the change in the marketing from global warming to climate change. Climate change is a much better moniker, but for what? An agenda, of course.
So get ready, after the politicians put health care to bed, cap and trade is next up on the agenda. Imagine, making carbon a currency. That’s pretty ingenious, but it has nothing to do with the climate.
Unseasonal cold weather in New Zealand
Hundreds of cars trapped in snow
Hundreds of stranded New Zealand motorists faced a second night in emergency shelters on Monday after an estimated 1-metre snowfall on central North Island. A state of emergency was declared in the lakeside town of Taupo when about 900 motorists were forced to abandon their cars after being trapped by the unseasonal springtime snowfall, described as "a freak weather occurrence."
Police said the 145-kilometre stretch of highway between the east coast port of Napier and the lakeside town of Taupo was expected to remain closed for a second night because of abandoned vehicles blocking the road. Two stretches of the main highway between the capital, Wellington, and the country's biggest city Auckland were also likely to stay closed for another night.
At least 700 homes and farms in the affected region were without power after the snow brought down transmission lines.
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