Veteran Wellington climate consultant, Dr Vincent Gray, expert reviewer of all four IPCC Assessment Reports, explains why he has resigned his longtime membership of the Royal Society of New Zealand in protest at the inaccuracies in a report on climate change issued on 12 July by the Society's Climate Committee.
COMMENTS ON THE RECENT STATEMENT BY THE CLIMATE
COMMITTEE OF THE ROYAL SOCIETY OF NEW ZEALAND
Dr Vincent Gray
As an Expert Reviewer for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change for eighteen years, that is to say, from the very beginning. I have submitted thousands of comments to all of the Reports. My comments on the Fourth IPCC Report, all 1,898 of them, are to be found at IPCC (2007) and my opinions of the IPCC are in Gray (2008b)
I am therefore very familiar with the arguments presented by the IPCC, many of which have now been copied by the Royal Society of New Zealand, and the responses to them.
I will first comment on the Introduction
to make absolutely clear what the evidence is for climate change and anthropogenic (human-induced) causes.
The climate has always changed and always will. No evidence whatsoever for a human contribution to the climate is given in their following statement.
Their Summary is as follows:
The globe is warming
This statement is a lie. The globe is currently cooling. According to the CSSP Report (Karl et al 2007), there are currently nine authorities currently involved in providing a dataset of monthly global temperature anomalies. They are
NOAA’s National Climate Data Center (NCDC, GHCN-COADS)
NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS)
Climatic Research Unit of the University of East Anglia (HadCRUT2v)
NOAA radiosonde network , (RATPAC)
Hadley Centre Radiosonde Network (HadAT2)
University of Alabama Lower Troposphere TLT MSU (UAH )
Remote Sensing Systems Lower Troposphere TLT MSU (RSS)
National Center for Environmental Protection Reanalysis (NCEP50)
European Centre for Medium Range Weather Forecasts Reanalysis (ERA40)
Eight of these authorities agree that the globe is currently cooling. Only GISS disagrees.
because of increasing greenhouse gas emissions
No evidence is presented to justify this conclusion. There are “projections” of computer models but these are not predictions, they are merely the results of assumptions made in the model. No “projected” result has ever been successfully related to an actual change in the climate.
Measurements show that greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere
are well above levels seen for many thousands of years.
This statement is a lie. 90,000 measurements published in peer-reviewed journals since 1850, some by Nobel Prize-winners, have been suppressed by the IPCC because they do not agree with this statement. (Beck 2007). Stability of carbon dioxide in ice cores thousands of years old is questionable. (Jaworowski 2007). Recent measurements of carbon dioxide are confined only to exceptional circumstances over the ocean, and do not include measurements over land. (Manning et al 1994).
Further global climate changes are predicted,
This is another lie. Computer models of the climate have never been shown to be capable of prediction, and the IPCC recognises this by using the term “projections” for the output from the models. This statement refers only to greenhouse gas concentrations anyway, not to any other “global climate change”
with impacts expected to become more costly as time progresses.
“Expected” by whom?. By “experts” whose finance depends on favourable “expectations”. On what basis?. Purely on the opinions of these “experts”.
Reducing future impacts of climate change will require substantial reductions of greenhouse gas emissions.
Again, mere opinion, without any evidence that this “requirement” will work.
fostering evidence-based scientific debate
There is no “debate”. This is a one-sided statement which does not permit discussion or disagreement in public. At least I can debate it on the Internet.
We hope this statement makes a useful contribution to public understanding of climate change.
I hope that my comments will make a similar useful contribution.
There has been an overall upward trend in global surface temperature since the beginning of the 20th Century.
Typically, from the nine global temperature records, you choose the least reliable, the surface temperature record, which suffers from numerous problems and biases, such as poor and unrepresentative sampling, poor quality control, and urban and land-change influences. The least reliable section was at the beginning of the 20th century, when presumed influences of greenhouse gases were negligible..
The surface record has been highly irregular and it has included several upwards and downward “trends”, none of which could be called “overall”. A downward “trend” was shown from 1940 to 1976, apparently uninfluenced by increased greenhouse gas emissions, It is difficult to explain why the greenhouse gases had a sudden reversal of influence for the upwards “trend” from 1976 to 1998. After 1998 the temperature has fallen, and there was a “trend” downwards from 2002 to the present day, unnoticed by this statement.
Most of the observed global warming over the past 50 years is very likely to be due to increases in greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere.
“the past 50 years” has been dishonestly chosen to eliminate the most reliable observed global
temperature records, the radiosondes, (from 1958) and the MSU satellites (from 1978) for exclusive consideration. This record actually shows “global cooling” from 1958 to 1976, so it is only the bit in the middle of the record, 1976 to 1998, which showed “global warming”; considered “very likely” to have been “due to increases of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere”. It is strange, that the greenhouse gases suddenly stopped operating from 1958 to 1976 and from 1998 to 2008.
As before, the opinion that this strange behaviour was “very likely” comes entirely from “experts” with a conflict of interest.
Greenhouse gases warm the lower atmosphere by allowing sunlight to reach the Earth?s surface but trapping some of the infrared radiation emitted by the Earth. Human activities have increased the concentrations of carbon dioxide, methaneand nitrous oxide since the mid-1700s. More than half of the carbon dioxide concentration increase has occurred since 1970.
This may be true, but there is no evidence that there have been any harmful effects as a result.
Human activities have also increased concentrations of aerosols (small ?air pollution? particles) in the atmosphere. These may have partially offset the heating effect of the greenhouse gases by scattering some sunlight back to space.
This may also be true, but it merely shows that net effects can be very complicated. Since more aerosols are emitted in the Northern Hemisphere than in the Southern Hemisphere, and over land rather than sea, one might expect greater cooling in the North and over the sea. In reality, it is the South and the oceans where temperature rises have been less.
Natural factors also cause climate variations. Climate has always varied, over timescales of decades, centuries and millennia. Until recently these variations have had only natural causes
? including changes in the tilt of the Earth?s axis, the shape of theEarth?s orbit, the energy output from the sun, dust from volcanic emissions, and heat exchanges between the atmosphere and the ocean (such as El Niño). This natural variability still occurs in addition to the human influences. Thus while the overall decade-to-century temperature trend is upwards, individual years can still be warmer or cooler than previous years.
Here you display your prejudices. When the temperature goes up it is “very likely” due to human greenhouse emissions, It is only due to natural causes when it goes down, and great efforts must be made to eliminate these by averaging over the year, the decade, the century, in the hope that they can be covered up.
Further global changes are predicted. Many impacts are expected to be more costly as time progresses. Even if the concentrations of all greenhouse gases and aerosols were held constant at year 2000 levels, a further warming trend would be expected for at least several decades, due mainly to the slow response of the oceans.
Here we go again. Climate models cannot make “predictions”, but the IPCC soothsayers have no limit to what can be “expected” without any evidence.
Additional increases in greenhouse gas concentrations, and resulting changes in climate, will occur over coming decades unless concerted international action is taken to substantially reduce emissions. Impacts will vary regionally but, aggregated and discounted to the present, they are very likely to impose net annual economic costs which will increase over time as global temperatures increase.
The end is nigh! Prepare to meet thy doom!!! Unsubstantiated nonsense.
*Measurements show that:* * Atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide have increased by 35%, 150% and 18% respectively since around 1750^1 <#1> .
Air temperature (averaged over the globe’s surface) has risen through the past 100 years. The linear warming trend from 1906 to 20052 was 0.74°C [0.56 to 0.92°C]3.
Only if you believe the unreliable record all that way back. But why does it matter?
Globally-averaged sea level rose by 17 cm [12 to 22 cm] during the 20th century.
Highly unlikely. When tide-gauges are kept level with GPS the rise disappears.
Average northern hemisphere temperatures during the second half of the 20th century were very likely warmer than during any other 50-year period in the last 500 years and likely the warmest in the past 1300 years.
A dishonest trick obtained by comparing unreliable and unrepresentative “proxy” measurements with weather station data influenced by urban heating.
For the globally-averaged surface air temperature, 2005 and 1998 were the two warmest years in the instrumental temperature record (i.e. since 1850. Twelve of the thirteen years during the period 1995-2007 are the warmest since 1850).
The poor accuracy and undoubted bias from urban heating make these comparisons worthless. For information on the undoubted influence of urban heating, see Gray (200) and Gray (2008a). For a recent statistical demonstration of socio-economic bias see McKitrick and Michaels (2007)
Mountain glaciers and snow cover have declined on average in both hemispheres.
Spring peak river flows have been occurring 1 to 2 weeks earlier in basins with important seasonal snow cover in North America and northern Eurasia (based on observations over the period 1936 – 2000), due to earlier warming-driven snow melt.Arctic sea-ice summer extent has decreased at an average rate of 7.4% [5.0% to 9.8%] per decade since 1978.
There has been a global temperature cycle which had a peak value in around 1950, a trough around 2975 and another peak in 2000. It has been particularly prominent inn the Arctic where it is reinforced by the Atlantic Decadal oscillation. The recent fall in temperature is likely to reverse these effects. Some of these changes go back to the previous ice age and some are due to changes in local vegetation or precipitation.
Observations since 1961 show the average temperature of the global ocean has increased to depths of at least 3000m, with decadal fluctuations superimposed on this long-term trend.
The observations show a periodic behaviour related to the ocean oscillations. The measurements are highly inaccurate and have been revised twice already.
The ocean has become more acidic because of uptake of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.
Parts of the ocean emit carbon dioxide now and are thus more acidic than others. Organisms are already adapted to both extreme changes and any increase in carbon dioxide will only change the proportions. Evolution should easily handle any changes in ratio.
For New Zealand the air temperature shows substantial year to year fluctuations, but shows a clear increase over time, with a linear trend in the country-wide average of 0.9°C between 1908 and 2006. The average sea level rise over the twentieth century was 16±2 cm. The number of frost days has decreased since the 1950s at many New Zealand sites.
There was no overall change in temperature in New Zealand since 1950 and the previous figures are dubious. The sea level all over New Zealand has levelled out since GPS devices enabled accurate levelling. Doubtless it is possible to select those “many” sites that justify your prejudice.
Present global atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide far exceed pre-industrial values dating back at least 650,000 years.
Only if you suppress the information documented by Beck (2007) and Jaworowski (2007)
The global increases in carbon dioxide concentration since pre-industrial times are due primarily to fossil fuel use and land use change.
About 2/3rds of these anthropogenic carbon dioxide emissions since 1750 are estimated to have come from fossil fuel burning and about 1/3 from land use change. About 45% of this carbon dioxide has remained in the atmosphere.
If it is true why should I care?
The combined influence on the energy balance of the Earth-atmosphere system of all anthropogenic emissions between 1750 and 2006 is likely to be at least 5 times larger than the influence of changes in solar output over the same period.
No part of the earth ever has an “energy balance” and there is no reason to suppose that such a balance exists. The Sun has much more influence than estimated here because you ignore feedback effects such as the influence on clouds and the influence of cosmic rays. Current changes in sunspot numbers are already having more effect than you are prepares to admit.
Very energetic volcanic eruptions (such as that of Mt Pinatubo in 1991) can place small particles high in the atmosphere, blocking sunlight and leading to cooling for a few years.
You usually ignore these effects when you derive “trends”.
Increasing atmospheric temperatures lead to an overall increase of water vapour in the atmosphere. Water vapour is itself a strong greenhouse gas, so this amplifies the warming effect of the increase in anthropogenic greenhouse gases.
You usually ignore the importance of water vapour by pretending it is a “feedback” to the effects of the minor greenhouse gas, carbon dioxide. You also conceal the fact that its distribution of water vapour in the atmosphere is extremely unbalanced, with most of it over the tropics and very little over the poles. Its role in the climate is almost completely unknown at present.
The frequency of heavy precipitation events has increased over most land areas, consistent with warming and observed increases of atmospheric water vapour.
Typical vague statement. “Increased” since when? where?, with what variability? Measurements are highly inaccurate.
Projections for the 21st Century from the IPCC’s4 2007 assessment (assuming no substantial efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions) include:
Note that these are “projections”, NOT “predictions” They are not based on evidence, only on partisan “expert” opinion.
An increase in globally-averaged surface temperature of 1.1 to 6.4°C by 21005.
A globally-averaged sea level increase of 18 to 59 cm by 2100. However these projections do not include uncertainties in climate-carbon cycle feedbacks nor the full effects of dynamic changes in ice-sheet flow, so do not provide an upper bound for possible sea level rise.
More heat waves, fewer frosts, and more heavy rain events are very likely.
The area affected by droughts is likely to increase through the 21st Century. Increases are likely in the peak wind and rain intensity in tropical cyclones
More irresponsible ranting.
Projections for New Zealand based on these global projections suggest6:
A New Zealand-average warming7 of 0.2 to 2.0°C by 2040 and 0.7 to 5.1°C by 2090. Fewer cold temperatures and frosts, and more high temperature episodes.
A stronger west-east rainfall gradient (wetter in the west and drier in the east) in winter and spring, and an increasing risk of extreme rainfall as the century progresses.
Increasing drought risk during this century in areas which are currently drought-prone.
An increase in New Zealand-averaged sea level of the same order as the IPCC global projections.
Natural year to year variations in New Zealand’s climate will be superimposed on top of these projected anthropogenic changes.
They are getting 38 years of comfortable well-paid work before everybody tumbles to the scam in 2040.They have an excuse already ready for when it fails, and can be extended another 50 years. It is in the last sentence.
Some potential further risks are being quantified by ongoing research:
Some studies suggest substantial parts of the Greenland ice cap, and perhaps of the West Antarctic ice sheet could melt over the coming 1000 years. Global average sea level at the height of the last interglacial about 125,000 years ago (when average polar temperatures were around 3°C to 5°C warmer than now) was likely 4-6 m higher than at present.
The standby of contemporary scientific research is the could be/might be discovery, which is merely “suggested”. And “likely”.
Models indicate some slowing of the oceanic meridional overturning circulation (MOC) is very likely during the 21st Century. The MOC carries warm water into the North Atlantic where it cools, sinks and then spreads through the other ocean basins at depth.
No limit to this stuff.
As the globe warms, the oceans and biosphere may become less efficient at absorbing carbon dioxide, leading to a larger fraction of the anthropogenic emissions remaining in the atmosphere.
Reducing the future impact of climate change will require substantial reductions of net emissions of greenhouse gases. Major international policy changes would be required to deliver these reductions but various technologies exist to provide them:
Here it comes. Punish the people for being too prosperous.
More efficient use of energy, e.g. better designed and insulated houses, more efficient appliances and industrial processes
Renewable energy sources, e.g. hydropower, geothermal, wind, marine, and solar
Lower-carbon fossil fuels such as natural gas and the capture and storage of emissions from power plants
More efficient transport and urban systems and the use of appropriate biofuels and other renewable energy sources to power transport
Reforestation, reduced deforestation, and lower emission forms of agriculture
Green Party propaganda. There is an election coming up.
I have never understood why it is so necessary to punish the animals as well as the humans. Cows and sheep do not eat fossil fuels so they make no contribution to the “human” carbon dioxide emissions. They eat grass, and convert most of it into meat, milk and wool. A small residuum is emitted as methane which is converted back to carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and then is converted into more grass
I burn wood in a wood stove. It is entirely converted into carbon dioxide which helps grow more trees. I just recycle it. So do the animals. But I suppose they will be after me too soon.
This Climate Change Statement is veritably an orchestrated litany of lies, to borrow a phrase. As a longstanding member of the Royal Society of New Zealand I am unable to tolerate such a departure as this from the supposed objectives of fair or responsible comment on scientific matters, so I have resigned in protest.
Beck, E-G, 2007 150 Years of Atmospheric Gas Analysis by Chemical Methods, Energy and Environment 18 259-281.
Gray, V. R. 2000. The Cause of Global Warming. Energy and Environment. 11, 613-629.
Gray, V R. 2008a The Global Warming Scam.
Gray, V R. 2008b The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC): Spinning the Climate. http://www.techknow.eu/uploads/Spinning_the_Climate.pdf
IPCC (2007) Comments on 4th IPCC Report, WGI
Jaworowski, Z. 2007. CO2: The Greatest Scientific Swindle of Our Time. EIR Science (March), 38-55.
Karl, T.. R., S.J. Hassel, C.D. Miller, and W.L. Murray (Eds). 2007. Temperature Trends in the Lower Atmosphere: Steps for Understanding and Reconciling Differences A Report by the Climate Change Science Programme (CCSP) and the Subcommittee on Global Change Research http://www.climatescience.gov/Library/sap/sap1-1/finalreport/default.htm
Manning, M. R., A.J.. Gomez, K.P. Pohl 1994. http://cdiac.ornl.gov/trends/co2/baring.htm
McKitrick, R.R. and P.J. Michaels, 2007, Quantifying the influence of anthropogenic surface processes and inhomogeneities on gridded global climate data, J. Geophys. Res. 112, D24S09, doi:10:1029/2007JD008465.
Vincent R. Gray , M.A.,Ph.D., F.N.Z.I.C.
75 Silverstream Road
Wellington 6035, New Zealand Phone (FAX) (064) (4) 9735939
15th July 2008