Con­clu­sions flawed

Cli­mate change has po­lit­i­cal hints but the science is mas­ter

Townsville Bulletin - - Voice Of The North - TONY TSIM­BAS, Townsville.

THERE is no place in the dis­cus­sion on ‘‘cli­mate change’’ for un­in­formed opin­ion, con­spir­acy the­ory, or re­li­gious be­lief. The only things that mat­ter are the facts. That’s why, on the one hand, I feel com­pelled to con­grat­u­late Norm Brice ( TB Opin­ion March 28) for do­ing his own re­search, and on the other hand, to ques­tion his con­clu­sions.

Norm men­tions some very in­for­ma­tive web­sites. I’m no sci­en­tist, but when I pe­rused these sites I came to a dif­fer­ent con­clu­sion. I have no doubt that he is be­ing truth­ful, but I suspect that he care­fully se­lected data to sup­port a pre­vi­ously held po­si­tion. In fact, the only thing I agree with is where he states, ‘‘. . . the US An­nual Heat Wave In­dex 1895-2008 shows no clear trend in heat waves.’’ Norm quotes this ac­cu­rately, but the re­port goes on to say, ‘‘. . . the per­cent­age of the United States af­fected by heat waves has also risen steadily since the 1970s.’’ Norm seems to think there is no prob­lem, and has sourced the NOAA web­site, among oth­ers, to present his case. Here are some di­rect quotes from the same web­site that run counter to Norm’s view:

‘‘ The rate of in­crease ( in global tem­per­a­tures) over the past 50 years is nearly twice that of the past cen­tury.’’

‘‘ While nat­u­ral vari­abil­ity does play an big role in cli­mate change, the large body of ev­i­dence sup­ports the con­clu­sion that hu­man ac­tiv­ity is the main driver of cur­rent warm­ing.’’

Also, the web­site sum­marises its graph of global tem­per­a­tures with these com­ments:

‘‘ 1980s – warm­est decade since 1880s. Ev­ery year of the 1990s warmer than the 1980s av­er­age. Ev­ery year of the 2000s warmer than the 1990s av­er­age.’’

The NOAA web­site also has data on the de­cline in glacial ice vol­ume, Arc­tic Sea ice shrink­ing, ocean heat con­tent in­creas­ing, an­i­mal species movi n g pole­ward, and sea level ris­ing. The other web­sites tell a sim­i­lar story.

There are some dis­sent­ing voices, of course, and some peo­ple seize upon this to claim that the science is far from set­tled, but the vast ma­jor­ity of cli­mate sci­en­tists agree that the cli­mate is warm­ing, and that hu­man ac­tiv­ity is the main con­tribut­ing fac­tor. I’m not an alarmist ,but I’m alarmed.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.