Video | Business Headlines | Internet | Science | Scientific Ethics | Technology | Search

 


Open Letter to Royal Society

OPEN LETTER to Dr Garth Carnaby, MNZM, FRSNZ, President Royal Society of New Zealand


Dear Dr Carnaby,

Faced with growing world-wide disbelief in the hypothesis of known as ‘anthropogenic (ie, man-made) climate change’ (AGW), the Royal Society of New Zealand, throwing caution to the winds, has staked its case on a blockbuster paper by your Vice President, Professor Keith Hunter.

The paper is unusual in that Professor Hunter lays out the scientific arguments for all to see. But what is even more unusual is the rather obvious fact that the arguments are transparently wrong – to the point of being a serious embarrassment for both your author and your Society.

The case is based on alleged mathematical equivalences between measured increases in the use of fossil fuels, the carbon content of the ocean and atmosphere, and ocean heat content (and consequent expansion). These increases are said to match the AGW theory.

Professor Hunter’s evidence is expressed as bullet points, which appear in italics below – along with our summarised rebuttal points:

1. It is a plain fact that human activities have significantly increased the concentrations of greenhouse active gases in the atmosphere, particularly since the mid-20th century.

It is simple physics that these extra gas concentrations will trap an increased amount of outgoing solar radiation reflected off the Earth’s surface, of the order of 1.5 watts per square metre of the Earth’s surface.

Rebuttal: Greenhouse gases (GHGs) have no impact on reflected solar radiation (albedo effect). Radiative forcings caused by GHGs diminish on a logarithmic scale. Despite billions of research dollars, carbon sensitivity/feedbacks remain hotly disputed, radical hypotheses. The “simple physics”of 1.5W/m2 is flat wrong.

2. The amount of extra carbon accumulated in the ocean and the atmosphere matches the known quantity emitted by the combustion of fossil fuels.

Rebuttal: Oceanic carbon has never been measured, and cannot be estimated. The biosphere also takes up CO2 from fossil fuels (eg forests). There is a well recognised “missing carbon sink”, estimated to be as high as three trillion tonnes per annum.

3. It is also clear that the oceans absorb about 85% of the excess heat resulting from this radiative forcing by greenhouse gases (as well as about 40% of the carbon dioxide).

Rebuttal: Oceanic heat content has decreased steadily since the ARGO programme commenced measuring it in 2004 – despite sharply rising GHG emissions.

4. Detailed measurements of the changes in oceanic heat content, and the temperature rise that accompanies this, agree quantitatively with the predicted radiative forcing.

Rebuttal: This is physically impossible. Infrared energy recycled by GHGs involves wavelengths well in excess of the 3-micron ceiling of the ocean absorption spectra. The energy budget has never been balanced. In a Climategate email, Kevin Trenberth says “..we can’t account for the lack of warming at the moment and it is a travesty that we can’t.”

5. Furthermore, satellite altimetry shows clearly that the sea level has risen by the amount expected as a result of the warming-induced thermal expansion of the ocean.

Rebuttal: Sea levels have risen by about 18mm/decade for the past 100 years, having extremely poor correlation with either GHG concentrations or fossil fuel use. Satellite measures show less warming, but higher sea levels, than terrestrial measures, but show no acceleration since they commenced in 1992. ARGO buoys show that oceanic heat content has not increased (see above) - so any significantly higher sea levels in recent years would be inexplicable. The “amount expected” takes no account of ice melt.

6. Finally, in recent years it has become clear that salinity increases in the tropical ocean from enhanced water evaporation, and parallel decreases in salinity at higher latitudes as the enhanced water vapour condenses again, consistent with the higher heat content of the tropical ocean and with observed changes in the atmosphere.

Rebuttal: Quite. And why would it not? The earth’s water cycle is a key part of its natural thermostat system.

From a philosophical point of view, none of these lines of evidence “proves” the theory of AGW.

Rebuttal: How true.... or any other point of view, either. But is it fair to call this collection “evidence”? Professor Hunter goes even further and refers to his bullet points as: ‘multiple independent lines of argument, each pointing in the same direction”

Then, the Professor expresses doubts:
“In my opinion, the controversy over whether or not it is acceptable to adjust temperature readings from different geographical locations to take account of locational differences ... or whether this is a fraudulent way to “manufacture” a non-existent warming trend, is not by itself sufficient to invalidate the entire findings of IPCC”.

Well, maybe not “by itself” and perhaps not “the entire findings of the IPCC”, but the Royal Society is right to question whether the ‘manufacture’ of warming trends should lead to most IPCC recommendations being treated with great reserve.

Finally, we welcome Prof Hunter’s admission that “science is never settled”. For not only does he destroy a popular, but tragically incorrect, canon of the warmists, but also he opens the door to a dialogue where none has existed. It will be with a sense of anticipation that we put our fact-based arguments over the very existence of dangerous human-caused global warming to the gatekeepers of our public science academies and at last expect their reasoned response.

Our Coalition strongly recommends that your Society publicly distances itself from Professor Hunter’s deeply flawed statement, and withdraws it from your website.

(signed)

Barry Brill
Chairman

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 

Cosmetics & Pollution: Proposal To Ban Microbeads

Cosmetic products containing microbeads will be banned under a proposal announced by the Minister for the Environment today. Marine scientists have been advocating for a ban on the microplastics, which have been found to quickly enter waterways and harm marine life. More>>

ALSO:

NIWA: 2016 New Zealand’s Warmest Year On Record

Annual temperatures were above average (0.51°C to 1.20°C above the annual average) throughout the country, with very few locations observing near average temperatures (within 0.5°C of the annual average) or lower. The year 2016 was the warmest on record for New Zealand, based on NIWA’s seven-station series which begins in 1909. More>>

ALSO:

Farewell 2016: NZ Economy Flies Through 2016's Political Curveballs

Dec. 23 (BusinessDesk) - New Zealand's economy batted away some curly political curveballs of 2016 to end the year on a high note, with its twin planks of a booming construction sector and rampant tourism soon to be joined by a resurgent dairy industry. More>>

ALSO:


NZ Economy: More Growth Than Expected In 3rd Qtr

Dec. 22 (BusinessDesk) - New Zealand's economy grew at a faster pace than expected in the September quarter as a booming construction sector continued to underpin activity, spilling over into related building services, and was bolstered by tourism and transport ... More>>

  • NZ Govt - Solid growth for NZ despite fragile world economy
  • NZ Council of Trade Unions - Government needs to ensure economy raises living standards
  • KiwiRail Goes Deisel: Cans electric trains on partially electrified North Island trunkline

    Dec. 21 (BusinessDesk) – KiwiRail, the state-owned rail and freight operator, said a small fleet of electric trains on New Zealand’s North Island would be phased out over the next two years and replaced with diesel locomotives. More>>

  • KiwiRail - KiwiRail announces fleet decision on North Island line
  • Greens - Ditching electric trains massive step backwards
  • Labour - Bill English turns ‘Think Big’ into ‘Think Backwards’
  • First Union - Train drivers condemn KiwiRail’s return to “dirty diesel”
  • NZ First - KiwiRail Going Backwards for Xmas
  • NIWA: The Year's Top Science Findings

    Since 1972 NIWA has operated a Clean Air Monitoring Station at Baring Head, near Wellington... In June, Baring Head’s carbon dioxide readings officially passed 400 parts per million (ppm), a level last reached more than three million years ago. More>>

    ALSO:

    Get More From Scoop

     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
    Sci-Tech
    Search Scoop  
     
     
    Powered by Vodafone
    NZ independent news