Heatwave not climate change - NZ scientist
Mon, 14 Jan 2013 4:13p.m.
By Imogen Crispe
A New Zealand scientist has denied popular claims the recent Australian heatwave and other extreme weather events around the world are linked to global warming.
Australia has experienced record hot weather in the last week, with temperatures reaching 48degC and bush fires burning throughout the south-east of the country.
New Zealand has also had an extreme summer of weather, with record-breaking high temperatures in some areas, and tornados and flooding in others.
These extreme weather patterns have again sparked debate over global warming, with Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard suggesting a link between the country’s recent heatwave and climate change.
"Whilst you would not put any one event down to climate change,” Ms Gillard told media last week, “we do know over time that as a result of climate change we are going to see more extreme weather events and conditions."
The Australian government’s Climate Commission released a report last week stating: “climate change has contributed to making the current extreme heat conditions and bushfires worse”.
But associate professor of climate and environment science Chris de Freitas, from the University of Auckland, says this is not the case.
“There is no evidence to suggest that,” he says. “It’s really [just] hype.”
Dr de Freitas says Australia is a “land of extremes” with heatwaves like those seen this month not uncommon. He says they are not necessarily a sign of global warming.
“It’s speculation, not fact.”
Dr de Freitas says the earth actually hasn’t warmed for at least a decade, and scientists do not know enough about climate change to tell if carbon dioxide emissions could cause large or damaging changes.
“There’s no evidence to suggest that what we’re doing is creating dangerous change.”
But he says carbon dioxide is a green house gas and will continue to have an environmental impact.
“I’m very concerned about the human impact on the environment,” he says. “But what I think is we need a sober and calm approach to this [issue].”
George Laking, an Auckland doctor and member of the New Zealand Climate and Health Council, says regardless of whether global warming is to blame, people should be wary of the health-implications of the recent extreme weather.
“One of the major health impacts from climate change in Australasia is likely to be an increase in heat-related deaths,” he says.
Dr Laking says extreme heat can be dangerous, causing dehydration, kidney problems, heat stroke and other conditions. He says people need to look out for others, especially the elderly.
“Make sure everyone you know who is old or frail is not overheating.”
Dr Laking urges people and the New Zealand Government to make changes to stop the Earth getting any warmer.
“It’s very clear that it is in our own hands now.”
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21/01/2013 9:59:59 a.m.
prove its man-made climate change and not a natural cycle of the earth. . There is a difference and the former theory is promoted only so Govts can tax countries till they bleed. And the stupid part about this globel warming tax is that it doesnt address the so called cause of it.If you go over your carbon credits You pay your "fine" and then your are allowed to keep on polluting. wheres the logic in that?. That is why most people with a brain realise this must be just a revenue collecting scam . All kicked off by AL Gore, the biggest con man around. do your home work on him. He has a lot to gain monitarily on carbon credits. NZ doesnt need to be a part of all this.
15/01/2013 9:41:14 p.m.
Peter Beaver wrote:
NONENTITY claims “no new warming this century.” Well, global data on 2012 isn’t in yet, although in the US 2012 was the warmest year ever. Globally the warmest years ever have been 2010 and 2005. But this is where the science gets complicated. Let’s start with the big picture. The warmest decades on record, are, in order, the 2000s, the 1990s, the 1980s. The overall trend is upwards. That should worry us. A bad year or a bad run of years is not necessarily a problem. A long term increase in temperature where each decade is a step above the last is serious. But how about no warming this century? You can argue that, incorrectly, if you get creative with the data. Consider the following. The differences between years can be tiny (as little as 0.03 degrees centigrade). Many measures are of surface or atmospheric temperature, when 93% of warming occurs in the oceans. Tiny exchanges between the ocean and the land can sway measures for individual years. The southern oscillation has an impact. Solar changes and volcanic activity needs to be adjusted for. Ice absorbs heat as it melts. It’s complicated. This is the realm of complex science not bloggers on the internet without scientific expertise and a will to selectively choose the information that suits them and ignore everything else. But what about that claim there hasn’t been any warming for a decade? This issue was addressed last year by the BEST (Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature) study, conducted by a noted sceptical climate scientist. This scientist changed his mind, and agreed warming is occurring. He said his findings were even stronger than the IPCC assessment. His fossil fuel industry funders were hugely upset.
15/01/2013 8:47:04 p.m.
Rob Painting wrote:
Imogen - one of the most obvious consequences of a warming climate is that record-breaking heat extremes will increase. It's not a terribly difficult concept to understand.
Temperatures have been observed to follow what is known as a Gaussian, or Normal, Distribution, which simply means that they tend to cluster around the average temperature over a given time period, and if you were to plot the data it would resemble a bell-shaped curve. The further from the average, the lower the frequency of temperature observations occurring. When the average moves up, as it does in a warming background climate state, so too does the average temperature.
Heat waves/record-breaking heat are a combination of weather fluctuations (a chance convergence of natural phenomena), and the climate background in which they operate. Move the background climate upwards, in terms of temperature, and you also move the weather fluctuations upward. Because of the bell-shape, however, the frequency of record-breaking heat episodes increases dramatically and the frequency of record-breaking cold episodes falls dramatically.
A useful analogy may be to consider a boat moored on an incoming tide. The waves it encounters are chaotic like the weather (bound by physics, but unpredictable), and the rising tide represents the warming background climate state. The highest point the boat was lifted represents the record-breaking heat extreme. Clearly both the waves (weather) and rising tide (climate) play a part, so there's no way to attribute the record solely to the rising tide (aka the climate), but it did of course play a part.
Chris De Freitas is effectively claiming that a rising tide will not lift that boat. I'm sure you can now understand what a preposterous claim this is, and why he has little credibility within the climate science community.
15/01/2013 1:43:56 p.m.
To deny the reality of human made climate change on Earth because Mars, Pluto, and whatever other planet are supposedly heating up is the height of desperation. Measuring climate change is hugely complex, it requires vast amounts of very accurate data, and the capacity to plot changes over time and determine reliable averages. Where does NASA find the budget for this? Do they get the information from Aliens? It's rubbish and it's been disproven.
The influence of volcanoes and solar spots is factored into climate models. It surprising how scientists think of these things, but they do. That's why they are scientists.
As for De Freitas. He's a maverick. You can choose to see him as one of the few who tells the truth, or one of the few who got left behind somewhere. If you think he is telling the truth, then you have to hypothesise this: the vast majority of the global climate science community must be pushing a gigantic fraud, and those who evaluate their data and conclusions, must also be in on the fraud. Such corruption of science to government funding and the profits from wind farm investments is unknown in the history of science. Scientists as a group choose their career for the sake of passion and a belief in scientific truth. They are not like corrupt investment bankers and fraudsters in this. Note here, the Copernican Revolution saw the over throw of an existing paradigm, it came about because of evidence and reason. Evidence and reason are the very things which are in abundance in the science that shows global warming is happening.
15/01/2013 11:51:26 a.m.
>"Dr de Freitas says Australia is a “land of extremes” with heatwaves like those seen this month not uncommon. He says they are not necessarily a sign of global warming."
Correct. There also been record cold in the Northern Hemisphere but that isn't necessarily a sign of global cooling either.
But global temperature has been flat this century and the UKMO has just backpeddled on its warming prediction to 2017 (a clime down?) rendering most of the IPCC's next AR5 GCM simulations obsolete including its own because the latest prediction will not be included because it has been made after the "frozen" date for AR5.
Given the solar recession now upon us there is just as much chance of cooling after 2017 (even moreso) than there is of warming.
The acid test is now on the notion of continued warming from now until 2017 in view of the lack of warming trend this century. Extremes of hot and cold are meaningless in that context.
15/01/2013 5:59:47 a.m.
Someone explain to me why the whole solar system is warming and not just Earth. Well I will tell you, it has to do with the galactic alignment as the solar system moves through it. Do your bloody research, this is one piece of data they do not want you to know and it is fact and never ever gets a mention. Carbon tax promotion. As for co2 they have not told you about the percentage's either, no numbers just here say with no concrete proof. When a volcano pops it's top with co2 we cool down. So they say man made co2 heats things up wrong, its precipitation, more moisture in the air creates more heat, and do not forget hundreds of ancient cities under water as well. Earth has been drying out for a long time. This has to do with our vast forests over time being destroyed and not replaced. Australia has only about 10% of its forests left before the Europeans as for New Zealand and many other countries as well. Trees thrive on carbon or have people forgotten that. Man's donation to co2 in the atmosphere doesn't compare to a volcano and they don't give numbers on how much co2 is in the air why because humans only account for 1 or 2%. Question how much oxygen is in the air compared to co2 ?
15/01/2013 3:45:35 a.m.
13,950 peer reviews whose funding disappears unless they produce spectacular results that warrant further research.
One honest John who is labelled a heratic for speaking no less the truth than his opposers.
The do-gooder climate-change doomsday theorist cult is choca-full of the same type of people who loved the emperor's new clothes.
15/01/2013 12:25:48 a.m.
Simon Johnson wrote:
Dear TV3. Why is noted climate change denier Chris De Freitas being quoted as if he has relevant qualifications to comment on climate change science? Why do you allow this denier a platform to repeat debunked denial talking points such as "'earth hasn't warmed for a decade' and 'scientists don't know if it's carbon dioxide'?
14/01/2013 11:51:38 p.m.
@ SKEPTIC; NO you do not need to worry inside your little box, the real INDIVIDUALS of this new "religion" you lamely categorize, As always and as you will see will not and have not ever physically hurt anyone. As intelligent people have always stated every single human being is entitled to make up thier own mind about reality! "we" "they" do not give thier opinion ONLY facts and facts only for each individual human to make thier own opinions about! Pure and simply isn't it SKEPTIC? No preaching, no whipping, just facts for the viewer, listener, self informer to take in and make up thier own opinions about! done On another note has the changing of the Schumann's resonance since 1986 been targeted as in realation to or cause of..
14/01/2013 11:23:31 p.m.
Geraint Scott wrote:
Everything this guy said is absolutely wrong. There are clear and proven links between CO2 and warming. The global scientific community has determined that global warming is happening, the question now is what to do about it. Seriously crappy reporting from 3(not)news
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