Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 

Climate Science Debate Not Settled; Debate Still Needed

Climate Science Debate Not Settled; Debate Still Needed

by Bryan Leyland MSc, FIEE(rtd), FIMechE, FIPENZ
Energy spokesman for New Zealand Climate Science Coalition

Many newspaper articles over the past few years have emphasised the dangers of man-made global warming (aka “climate change”) and warned us that extreme measures are needed to save us from this imminent climatic disaster. Almost without exception, the authors of these articles have assumed that man-made carbon dioxide causes dangerous global warming, rapid sea level rise and more floods, droughts, cyclones and so on.

But what does the evidence tell us?

Regarding world temperatures, historical records from ice cores tell us that it was warmer during the Mediaeval Warm Period, the Roman Warm Period and the Bronze Age. The Mediaeval Warm Period was experienced all over the world including Australia and New Zealand.

The oldest set of recorded temperatures comes from central England and started in the mid 1600s. They show a temperature rise of a little more than 1°C – which is not surprising as the record started in the middle of the Little Ice Age. Since 1900 – which was fairly cold – most temperature records show that the world warmed quite rapidly up until the 1940s, then the temperature declined until 1975 when it rose again at the 1930s rate until about 2000.

Since the 1970s, satellite measured temperatures which, NASA says, are the most accurate, have been available and, if the two El Nino events are ignored, show no statistically significant temperature rise for the last 18 years. By contrast, the computer-based climate models predicted temperatures about 0.5° higher than they really are and the IPCC has admitted that 97% of its temperature predictions were much higher than actual temperatures. Should we believe the evidence or the models?

What will happen next? The climate models predict rapidly increasing temperatures but people who have studied past temperature cycles, sunspot cycles and the current dearth of sunspots predict that a substantial worldwide drop in temperature is highly probable. Who is right? Only time will tell – and quite soon. The present El Nino temperature peak will be followed by an equally dramatic drop in temperature as La Nina sets in. But no one really knows what will happen after that.

Sea level rise is reasonably well documented for the last hundred plus years from tide gauge records that show that it has been at a fairly steady rate in the region of 0.14 and 0.17 m per century. This is not unexpected given that we are still coming out of the Little Ice Age. Since the 1970s, sea levels have been measured by satellites that show a rate of rise of 0.32 m per century. No one is quite sure why the disparity exists. Some people believe it is because they are biased by mid-ocean sea level rise which does not affect the situation along shorelines. Neither record shows any sign of a recent and rapid increase in sea levels.

Sadly, this does not stop academics who specialise in computer models of the climate advising the Royal Society of New Zealand that sea levels are likely to rise rapidly and reach between 0.3 m and 1 m by 2100 – more than predicted by the U.N.Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). Scientists with practical experience of sea level changes around New Zealand point out that the coastline is subsiding in some places and rising in others. The Royal Society advisers have ignored these movements and the slow rise in New Zealand sea levels over the last 100 years. Similar extreme predictions have been adopted by the Ministry of the Environment and are now being used by Councils to devalue coastal land and limit development near the sea. They have even predicted sea level rise in places where the land is rising from the sea!

A recent article claimed that sea levels in some Solomon Islands were rising rapidly because of global warming. It also claimed that the sea level at Tuvalu was rising and forcing people to flee. The reality is quite different: it is well-known that the islands in the Solomons are steadily sinking beneath the sea and the accurate tide gauges installed by the Australian government at Tuvalu in the 1990s show that there has been no significant increase in sea level. A study by a New Zealand academic showed that the land area of Pacific atolls is increasing. If it didn’t, then all the atolls in the ocean would have been drowned when the sea level rose at 3 m per century coming out of the last Ice Age.

Regarding floods, droughts, cyclones and the like, there is no convincing evidence that these are increasing. The IPCC agrees. A recent scientific paper analysed the past history of these events and concluded that they were less frequent now than during most of the past 1000 years.

So, as is so often the case, the perception and reality are vastly different. In New Zealand this is not helped by a mainstream media that seldom publishes anything that examines the evidence and propounds a different view. Yet there is no doubt that the science is NOT settled and debate is needed.

(Note from author: Supporting references and graphs can be found at:
http://nzclimatescience.net/images/PDFs/bwl.scoop.refs.pdf

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On The SFO’s Investigation Of New Zealand First

On one level. New Zealand First has been the agent of its own misfortune. The New Zealand First Foundation handling the donations at the centre of the Serious Fraud Office investigation was reportedly (a) authorised by the NZF party’s board and (b)the money was apparently used to finance the party’s activities. Yet the disclosure trail remained opaque. According to its critics, NZF can’t have it both ways: it can’t claim that the foundation and the party were entirely separate legal entities, and then go to court to try and block the SFO from releasing its findings because of the likely impact on the party’s electoral fortunes... More>>

 

Gordon Campbell: On Whether This Election Is Already A Foregone Conclusion

Currently, this election looks like being a no contest. The weekend’s Newshub poll has the centre left enjoying a roughly 57-36% lead over the centre right. Labour is on 50.1% and the Greens 6.5%, while National remains in the dreaded 20s at 29.6% More>>

ALSO:

Serious Fraud Office: Files Charges In Relation To NZ First Foundation Donations

The SFO has filed a charge of ‘Obtaining by Deception’ against two defendants in the New Zealand First Foundation electoral funding case. The charges were filed on 23 September. The defendants have interim name suppression and so cannot be named ... More>>

ALSO:

Economy: Business Leaders’ Confidence Tanks As Top Kiwi CEOs Vent Their Frustrations

The New Zealand Herald’s Mood of the Boardroom 2020 Election Survey has been released with top business leaders saying New Zealand’s Covid-19 recovery is in peril – and they want a decisive role with Government in the country’s future. The annual ... More>>

ALSO:


Poll: Newshub-Reid Research Poll Shows National Rising But Labour Still Governing Alone

With less than three weeks to go, Labour remains in a position where it could govern alone in the latest Newshub-Reid Research poll* on 50.1% - down 10.8 percentage points. National has risen slightly to 29.6% (up 4.5 percentage points), but even with the ... More>>

ALSO:

Government: Taking Action To Reduce Waste And Plastics

Phase out single use and hard to recycle plastics by 2025 Create a $50m Plastics Innovation Fund to develop alternatives Standardise kerbside recycling The Labour Party is taking the next step in removing plastic rubbish from our oceans and environment ... More>>

Gordon Campbell: On Last Night’s Leaders Debate

Do political debates change voter intentions, and cause voters to switch sides? According to a 2019 Harvard Business School study conducted across 61 elections in nine countries involving 172,000 respondents, the answer would seem to be a resounding ... More>>

ALSO:

Dunne Speaks: The Election Campaign Just Grinds Slowly On And On

With just over three weeks until the General Election, the release of the first major pre-election opinion poll this week confirmed what was already being reported about this year’s campaign. Although the gap between Labour and National has narrowed ... More>>

Electoral Commission: Candidate And Party Lists Released

17 registered political parties and 677 candidates will be contesting the 2020 General Election Nominations have now closed and the Electoral Commission has released the electorate and party list candidates for 2020 online at vote.nz . Advance voting ... More>>

National: Plan To Restore NZ’s Prosperity

National’s Economic and Fiscal Plan carefully balances the need to invest in infrastructure and core public services while also reducing tax pressure on Kiwi families and businesses. National Leader Judith Collins and Finance spokesperson Paul Goldsmith unveiled National’s ... More>>

ALSO:


 
 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 


 

InfoPages News Channels