(October 1, 2011) Alan Nicholl, writing in the Gisborne Herald, discusses myths about the greenhouse effect and the scientific ‘consensus’ around the 2007 IPCC report. Climate researcher James Renwick responds.
THERE are those who consider the Government is not doing enough to combat climate change, supposedly caused by human activity, especially since the latest announcement by Climate Change Minister Nick Smith after the ETS review was released.
They do not support the easing of cost increases associated with the Emissions Trading Scheme, but want to increase them.
The concept of human-caused climate change through increased atmospheric CO 2 is based on nothing more than an assumption. There is no scientific evidence which supports the concept that increasing CO 2 causes an increase in temperature.
In 1909 physicist R.W. Wood conducted an experiment which proved that greenhouse gases do not warm the atmosphere by trapping infrared radiation. Rather the atmosphere is warmed by conduction and convection.
His experiment was published in the Philosophical magazine, 1909, volume 17 pages 319-320.
William Kininmonth, a meteorologist and former head of Australia’s National Climate Centre 1986-1998, in an article which appeared in Australia’s National Observer and was reprinted in Investigate magazine, Feb 2010, states:
“In the current debate over human influence on climate change there is a fundamental misrepresentation of the greenhouse effect and its enhancement by carbon dioxide. Greenhouse gases do not heat the atmosphere; the greenhouse gases tend to cool the atmosphere. The rate of radiation cooling is about 2 degrees per day.”
Another myth of the warmers is that thousands of scientists from all over the world worked on, and supported the 2007 IPCC report.
Author Lawrence Solomon contacted the secretariat of the IPCC to confirm the numbers. He found that only 60 scientists out of 3800 who worked on the 2007 report endorsed the IPCC’s claim that global warming is dangerous; 3740 disagreed with the IPCC and its claims. So much for scientific consensus that humans are causing catastrophic warming. (Investigate, Jan. 2010)
Glaciologist Jorgen Peder Steffersen, curator of the Neils Bohr Institute-Department of Geophysics says it is impossible to tell if humans are causing global warming simply because the start point for temperature recording began at the coldest period in the last 10,000 years. Also, over 4000 years ago Greenland’s temperature was 2.5 degrees warmer than now. How do we know that the warming experienced since 1850-70 was not natural in origin? We don’t know, especially when it is obvious that the planet has been considerably warmer than now, in the not too distant past.
What is unusual is the extreme cold of the little ice age compared to the previous 9500 years. It is predictable to expect that the planet would warm from such a position.
Let’s hope that the current cool down does not lead to another mini ice age. This would be far worse than any warming that may be experienced.
Why do politicians continue to inflict pain on this country’s citizens through the ETS when it’s obvious to all that a warmer world is a better world.
This election, vote for politicians and parties who will repeal the ETS.
Footnote from James Renwick, NIWA Climate Research:
Carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases are critically important to the energy balance of the Earth and to surface temperatures, warming the world by their presence. This has been known since the first laboratory experiments on the subject in the 1860s, experiments that have since been repeated countless times. The science of the greenhouse effect is very well accepted and has been taught in schools and universities worldwide for decades. Wood’s 1909 paper discusses actual greenhouses but proves nothing about CO 2 in the atmosphere.
All components of the climate system (atmosphere, oceans, land surface, glaciers, ice sheets) are currently indicating long-term global-scale warming, in line with expectations based on observed greenhouse gas increases. Observations and research tell us that the greenhouse gas increases are the result of human activity.
Regarding the IPCC numbers, there’s not much point getting into arguments over the details of this, as it doesn’t really make sense the way Mr Nicholl puts it. There are indeed thousands of scientists who contribute their own specific expertise to the IPCC reports, and they are the most widely reviewed and critiqued public documents I am aware of. Individual scientists stand behind the material they contribute.
Almost all climate scientists concur with the view that the climate is changing and that human activity is the cause. There have been a number of studies showing that the vast majority of scientists working in the field of climate or geophysics research have the understanding that human activity is the main cause of currently-observed climate change.
Alan Nicholl and James Renwick, Gisborne Herald, October 1, 2011