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

 

Victoria climate change expert: predictions on track

10 December 2012


Victoria climate change expert: predictions on track


A new report co-authored by Professor David Frame, Director of the New Zealand Climate Change Research Institute at Victoria University, has confirmed that climate change predictions made 20 years ago are proving reasonably accurate.

Professor Frame and Dr Dáithí Stone, from the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in California, have had their findings published in the latest edition of Nature Climate Change.

The report compares predictions from the first Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Assessment Report published in 1990, with global climate change data gathered over the past 20 years.

Their analysis suggests that the global climate is responding largely as predicted by the first IPCC report, which included a range of predictions for global temperature increase to the year 2030.

Half-way through that period, data shows that the actual global mean surface temperature increase was 0.35-0.39 degrees Celsius, which is in reasonable agreement with the 1990 predictions.

This is in spite of several climate-altering events that were not predicted, such as the eruption of Mount Pinatubo in 1991, the collapse of the Soviet bloc industry in the 1990s, and the recent rapid, fossil-intensive growth in economies such as Asia.

Professor Frame and Dr Stone have taken a common approach to characterising the natural multiannual and decadal variability in climate models, and compared the results from these models against observed changes.

From the resulting study, it seems highly unlikely that recent changes can be accounted for by natural variability alone, even if the current generation of models significantly underestimated natural variations.

Professor Frame says that although the timescales associated with climate change are inconvenient for the evaluation of climate predictions, the 1990 prediction is sufficiently long ago that scientists are now in a position to begin checking it against data.

“It is important for scientists to go back and see how early climate change predictions are going.

“What we’ve found is that these early predictions seem pretty good, and this is likely due to the climate responding to concentrations of greenhouse gases in the earth’s atmosphere at a rate broadly in line with what scientists in 1990 expected.”

Professor Frame is one of a number of researchers including Professor Tim Naish and Associate Professor James Renwick at Victoria University who are contributing to the work of the IPCC on a voluntary basis, as lead authors for the Panel’s 5th Assessment Report.

The New Zealand Climate Change Research Institute based at Victoria University conducts research on climate science for policy and decision making, and identifies components of climate science that are relevant for how people respond to climate change.

ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 

Maritime Union: Deepening Supply Chain Crisis Requires Action

Maritime Union of New Zealand National Secretary Craig Harrison says the global COVID-19 pandemic exposed pre-existing weaknesses in our logistics sector, and created enormous problems... More>>



Air New Zealand: Employees Recognised With $1,000 Share Award

The efforts Air New Zealand employees made during one of the airline’s toughest years will be recognised via an award of $1,000 worth of company shares to all permanent employees... More>>

Consumer NZ: Bank Complaints On The Rise, Survey Shows

Nearly one in five Kiwis had a problem with their bank in the past year, Consumer NZ’s latest satisfaction survey finds. Consumer NZ chief executive Jon Duffy said the number of bank customers reporting problems had jumped to 18%, up from 11% in 2020... More>>

Mercury: Enters Into Binding Agreements To Acquire Trustpower’s Retail Business

Mercury NZ Limited (Mercury) has announced that it has entered into binding agreements with Trustpower Limited (Trustpower, NZX:TPW) to acquire Trustpower’s retail business for NZ$441 million... More>>

ALSO:


ASB: New Zealanders Missing Out On Hundreds Of Millions In KiwiSaver Government Contributions

New Zealanders have just over a week to ensure they’re eligible for the maximum annual government KiwiSaver contribution... More>>


Stats NZ: GDP Climbs 1.6 Percent In March 2021 Quarter Following December Dip

Gross domestic product (GDP) rose by 1.6 percent in the March 2021 quarter, following a 1.0 percent fall in the December 2020 quarter, Stats NZ said today. "After an easing of economic activity in the December quarter, we’ve seen broad-based growth in the first quarter of 2021... More>>