March 14th 2015

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Articles from this issue:

EDITORIAL What Australia Post can learn from NZ's Kiwibank

FOOD SAFETY To halt toxic food imports - raise quarantine standards

SOCIAL POLICY Coalition govt urged to favour daycare at expense of parental care

DIVORCE LAW 'Without restraint': the abuse of domestic violence orders

QUEENSLAND Qld farmers consider legal action over Callide Dam flooding

CANBERRA OBSERVED Tony Abbott secure in his job ... for now

ENVIRONMENT Despite winter freeze, IPCC insists on global warming

INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS Indonesia and Australia: more than just neighbours

INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS Eleventh-hour deal averts Greek financial default

UNITED STATES Obama's communist mentor: Frank Marshall Davis

SOCIETY Rabbi Avigdor Miller's ten commandments of marriage

OPINION A voice for the vulnerable, the enslaved and the voiceless


CULTURE The enduring appeal of audio drama

BOOK REVIEW A compulsively readable biography

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Despite winter freeze, IPCC insists on global warming

by Peter Westmore

News Weekly, March 14, 2015

Despite record-breaking freezing temperatures in parts of the northern hemisphere, the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is pushing ahead with plans to have a new international climate agreement signed at the Paris plenary next December.

IPCC head Dr Rajendra Pachauri

A plenary session of the IPCC has just been held in Nairobi, Kenya, to prepare the draft of the new climate treaty, which will replace the now-expired Kyoto Protocol.

The Nairobi meeting came at a very awkward time for the IPCC. North America and parts of Western Europe are in the midst of an extremely cold winter, with record snowfalls and ice covering most of the Great Lakes, between the United States and Canada.

Dr Roy Spencer, the U.S. climatologist who played a key role in winning acceptance of satellite temperature measurement of the earth, wrote recently: “Remember the amazing ice cover of last year on Lake Superior? Well, the coverage today stands at 93%, while last year on this date it was ‘only’ 82%. Exactly one year before that it was (believe it or not) only 15%. Go figure….”

He added: “The frigid weather and above-normal ice cover [are] being blamed on global warming (of course). So, any guesses what will be blamed when we get a couple of warm winters and below-normal ice cover?

“Hmmm? Sometimes it’s good to remind people that weather — at least outside the tropics — is almost never ‘normal’.”

After a mild start to winter in Europe, thousands of British skiers were stranded in the French Alps late in February, as blizzards forced the closure of roads and airports.

Additionally, the extent of Antarctic sea ice is at levels above the average for 1981-2010, and has been above the average for the past two years.

If “global warming” were due to rising carbon dioxide (CO2) levels in the atmosphere, temperatures across the world should have continued to rise along with CO2 levels. However, there has been no net rise in world temperatures for the past 17 years, challenging the validity of the computer models on which the predictions are based.

The IPCC has come up with some novel explanations for the failure of the computer models, including claims that the heat is being absorbed into the oceans or lost to outer space.

If the former were true, we would expect rising sea temperatures and more frequent and extreme cyclones, typhoons and hurricanes, which are triggered when sea temperatures pass a threshold.

Despite the recent landfall of two cyclones in Australia, on a global level, the number of cyclones and their intensity have changed little over the past 40 years. A measure of this is the Accumulated Cyclone Energy, which measures both the frequency and intensity of cyclones globally, on an annual basis.

This has not stopped some climate scientists in Australia from blaming the cyclones on global warming.

Over recent centuries, the earth’s temperature has risen and fallen, and risen again. The reasons for the changes are poorly understood, and have been attributed to CO2 levels in the atmosphere (which have been rising for the past two centuries), earthquakes, volcanoes and changes in solar radiation.

Although most climate scientists have dismissed solar radiation as an influence on the earth’s temperature, there is an extraordinary coincidence between periods of low solar activity (measured in sunspots) and falling temperatures on earth.

From the early 17th century, incidents of solar sunspots have been recorded in Europe. The period known as the Maunder Minimum, when there was little sunspot activity from 1645 to 1715, was a period known as the “Little Ice Age”. The period from 1790-1830 — also a time of low sunspot activity — is known as the Dalton Minimum, and coincided with a dramatic drop in temperatures in the northern hemisphere.

After a period of several extremely active solar cycles late in the 20th century, solar cycle 23 (1996-2010) was significantly quieter than its predecessors, and solar cycle 24 is significantly quieter again, with the lowest sunspot counts for 100 years.

If there is a link between sunspot activity and temperatures on earth, we may be in for a period of significant global cooling, as some scientists have warned.

However, the IPCC is still committed to its predictions of dangerous global warming, caused by the burning of fossil fuels, despite the fact that its computer predictions have not been validated by events.

There is mounting opposition to the IPCC’s agenda in North America, Australia and some developing countries, including India.

To add to the IPCC’s woes, the head of the IPCC, Dr Rajendra K. Pachauri, has been forced to resign his post, because New Delhi police have charged him with sexual harassment, following complaints by a young female colleague at the Energy and Research Institute, of which he is director-general in India.

The case has aroused widespread publicity in India, where Dr Pachauri is regarded as a national figure. Other female employees at the institute have also complained of sexual harassment.

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