Global warming: Myth or reality?

Guest post

Before our new government tries to save the world from dangerous global warming, it should first review the evidence.

For a start, it needs to accept that anything that tiny New Zealand does will not have the slightest effect on the climate. Prof Bjorn Lomborg has used the IPCC’s’s own climate models to show that if every country stuck to its Paris undertakings until 2100 the world might be cooler by 0.17° and it would cost about $US100 trillion. So even if it is true that man-made greenhouse gases cause dangerous global warming, even the Paris agreement will not make a noticeable difference to it.

The hypothesis that man-made greenhouse gases cause significant global warming does not seem to be supported by any scientific evidence based on credible observational studies. Yet it underlies everything – subsidised wind and solar power, “carbon” trading, the war against fossil fuels and so on. The best that NASA can do is point out (on the basis of seriously dubious statistics) that most climate scientists agree that this is the case and that the IPCC says it is 95% certain. The IPCC provides no evidence to support the 95% claim and its technical reports admit that the climate models predicted that temperatures would be much higher than they are now and that the critical “climate forcing factor” in the model predictions may be set too high. It is now generally accepted that the models have overestimated the temperature by a factor of at least two. As these models are programmed to predict warming if greenhouse gas levels increase they assume what they are supposed to prove! In other branches of science and in engineering, computer models as bad as this would have been abandoned as worthless years ago.  

There are five recognised temperature records – two satellite and three surface – and they all show that current temperatures are well below the predictions of the climate models. The NIWA temperature records show no warming in New Zealand for the last 19 years.

According to the surface temperature records, 2016 was the warmest year since the end of the Little Ice Age. Maybe it was. But it was also an El Niño year that, as is well-known, causes global warming. Temperatures have now dropped and we now have La Niña conditions that are bringing cooling. The temperatures we will see when these two natural climatic disturbances have settled out are anybody’s guess.

For more than 20 years we have been told that global warming is about to produce a rapid increase in sea levels. But where is it? According to the tide gauges in New Zealand and worldwide, sea level rise has been steady at between 1.5 and 2 mm per year for the last 100 years. Which is what one would expect coming out of a cold period that ended around 1850. According to the satellites, there has been no sea level rise for the last two years. So why should we continue to believe computer predictions of an imminent rapid increase in sea level?

We frequently hear that Tuvalu and other tropical islands are disappearing beneath rising sea levels even though the very accurate tide gauges at Tuvalu and Fiji show there has been no significant sea level rise for the last 20 years. Prof Paul Kench of Auckland University has studied many Pacific atolls and concluded that most are increasing in size. Which is not at all surprising because these same atolls kept up with a rapid sea level rise as the world came out of the last Ice Age 14,000 years ago. If they had not been able to cope with sea level rises of up to 3 m per century, all atolls would have been drowned thousands of years ago. These islands do have major problems, but they are not caused by a virtually non-existent sea level rise.

It is claimed that Arctic ice cover is decreasing and this proves that the world is warming. Yet Arctic ice volume is within historical limits and NASA says that Antarctic ice volume is increasing. We are told that Greenland is losing ice but, according to the Danish Meteorological Institute, the ice mass is now increasing at a record rate. We also know that Amundsen traversed the North-west Passage in 1906 and a Canadian ship made a two-way voyage through it in the 1940s. What was the ice cover then?

Although it is demonised as being a pollutant, CO2 is a colourless and odourless gas that promotes plant growth. The recent increase from 0.03% of the atmosphere to 0.04% has boosted agricultural output by 14%, reduced desertification and contributed to world record food production in 2016.

Many reputable scientists who study past climatic cycles, sunspots and the like believe that there is a high probability that the world will soon enter a cooling period. If history repeats itself this will bring famine, disease and war.

A rational look at the evidence can only conclude that paraphrasing Mark Twain, “reports of man-made global warming are grossly exaggerated.”

Bryan Leyland MSc, DistFEngNZ, FIMechE, FIEE(rtd) MRSNZ, is an electrical and mechanical engineer who has studied climate change for many years.


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A guest post submitted to Whaleoil and edited by Whaleoil staff.

Guest Post content does not necessarily reflect the views of the site or its editor. Guest Post content is offered for discussion and for alternative points of view.