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Climate Change Analysis

August 1, 2011

On 18 July I returned from a month in Europe, where climate change policy appeared to be focussing in both France and Germany on building more wind farms to reduce (for political scare reasons related to the Japanese tsunami) the use of nuclear energy. In the UK there were reports of growing opposition to such policies by actual or potential neighbours.

Since my return there have been some important developments in analyses exposing the defects in the supposed “science”. These include the excellent public presentations by Lord Monckton and Czech President Vaclav Klaus, which although receiving little publicity provided considerable encouragement to the many sceptical attendees. The large IPA’s Klaus function included commentary by Professor Ian Plimer (whose Heaven and Earth has been bought by 130,000 and who is soon to publish a new book) and by Andrew Bolt, who with Terry McCrann has also published important critiques of the analyses used to justify policies to reduce emissions. Klaus also indicated his strong opposition to “Europeanism”, emphasising the importance of recognising ethnic and other differences between nations (this issue has also received attention arising from the Norway episode, on which see my letter below published in today’s Australian).

Monckton was probably too critical (for Australia at least) of the failure of the media to publish data and analyses that reveal major defects in the rationale of emissions reduction policies. An important development in this regard may be the recent publication in The Australian and the Herald Sun of new research indicating such defects and the recent publication by the AFR of a (leaked) Cabinet paper by Gillard when she was Deputy PM advocating a bipartisan agreement with Abbott. While The Australian described its reports as “new research” showing serious defects in the Government’s analysis of likely sea levels and the dangers to the Great Barrier Reef, in reality the research was not new but confirmed sceptical analyses already undertaken by climate experts. Bolt’s latest commentary (attached) mentions no less than 7 recent defect examples (see more below). The continued publication in The Australian of articles by Professor Henry Ergas exposing serious analytical defects (including of Garnaut’s reports and Treasury modelling of the economic effects of a carbon tax) have also been important.

A continuation of publication along these lines would undoubtedly add to the already growing doubts about the warmist view.

In terms of new research perhaps the most important has been the publication on 25 July of an analysis suggesting “there is much more energy lost to space during and after warming than the climate models show”. This analysis by two co-authors (including highly regarded climatologist, Dr Roy Spencer) is published in the peer-reviewed scientific journal Remote Sensing (copy attached, with press release of 26 July by the University of Alabama). The press release points to the large difference between the actual observations of what happened during the period from 2000 to 2010 and the assumptions made in modelling by the IPCC.

This relates to the important debate on the extent to which global temperature changes result from radiative forcing from various sources. It is generally agreed that some of the increasing emissions of CO2 (and other gases) remain in the atmosphere and that the existence of these concentrations results in some upward tendency in temperatures as a result of the greenhouse effect. That is, there is radiation back to the earth’s surface from the concentrations.

This so-called “positive feedback” is incorporated in the various models used by the IPCC (and other warmists) to predict possible future temperature increases. These predictions (which range from 1-3 degrees for a doubling of CO2 concentrations) provide the basis for the global warming scare.

However, this new analysis of temperatures between 2000 and 2010 raises the question of the magnitude of the positive feedback in computer models and whether the radiation back to earth from the concentrations does in fact result in a net warming of the global surface temperature to the extent predicted. The short period covered, and the acknowledgement that it is not possible to calculate the possible negative effect on temperatures of other influences (eg “negative feedbacks” such as cooling from evaporation), means that the conclusion cannot be regarded as a generic one. It is nevertheless of some importance.

For one thing, it is consistent with the fact that there has been no significant change in global temperatures over this period. And it is an important addition to the many questions that have been raised about the IPCC analysis, providing yet another confirmation of the need for an independent inquiry into the science used to justify policies designed to reduce CO2 emissions.

Des Moore

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