September 24th 2016

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Articles from this issue:

COVER STORY Shorten takes low road to defeat marriage plebiscite

CANBERRA OBSERVED Plebiscite debate will be civil despite "Shrill" Bill

ENVIRONMENT More pseudo science from climate

SAME-SEX MARRIAGE Memo to Shorten, Wong: LGBTIs don't want it

U.S. POLITICS Trumping the elites like shooting fish in a barrel

SOCIAL POLICY Guidelines turn shows of displeasure into "violence"

FOREIGN AFFAIRS Hong Kong voters reject heavy-handed Beijing

EUTHANASIA Senators, take your marks for the race to the bottom

PHILOSOPHY Life: a miracle by any reasonable calculation

MILITARY HISTORY The capture of the old German lines at Pozieres

INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS South China Sea powder keg may blow anytime

MUSIC Messiaen reaches to where the shadow falls

CINEMA Atonement for blood debts: Blood Father

BOOK REVIEW Freedom as a weapon to destroy freedom

BOOK REVIEW There and back again


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More pseudo science from climate

by Peter Westmore

News Weekly, September 24, 2016

One of the central claims of the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is that inexorable global warming, now described as “climate change”, will lead to more droughts and floods, crop failures and starvation, and rising sea levels which will make the world virtually uninhabitable by 2100.

The fact that none of these events has come to pass over the past two centuries of the world’s industrialisation is ignored by the IPCC’s scientists, who have decided that the future will be radically more dangerous than the past.

The predictions of food shortages and widespread starvation – a failed prediction by Thomas Malthus from around 1800 – were revived in the 1960s by American etymologist Paul Ehrlich, and popularised by the Club of Rome, a self-styled global think tank that preceded the IPCC.

The IPCC has taken up the claims, and given them a global reach. However, despite claims that 2016 is the “hottest year in history”, the quantity of food being produced continues to rise.

The Financial Times recently reported: “Extensive planting and benign weather have forced analysts to repeatedly raise crop outlooks.

“The International Grains Council last week increased its global wheat production forecast to a record
743 million tonnes, up 1 per cent from last year …

“The recent U.S. winter wheat harvest was 45 million tonnes, up 21 per cent from 2015, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Merchants who have run out of room in silos are piling wheat outdoors.

“Storage concerns are also growing in Russia, which is this year set to become the largest wheat exporter after hauling in more than 70 million tonnes.

“In Canada, the government anticipates the second-largest wheat crop in 25 years, of 30.5 million tonnes. Australia’s imminent wheat harvest is forecast at 26.5 million tonnes, the most in five years.”

Rising sea levels

According to the IPCC, sea levels are rising at an alarming rate, and by 2100 will have risen by up to a metre around the world, with even faster rises subsequently.

An IPCC working group report from 2013, signed by Professor Jonathan Gregory, concluded that average sea levels could be predicted to rise by at least half a metre “with medium confidence”.

Photo of Larsen B Iceshelf,
Antarctica (high confidence).

It added: “The collapse of marine-based sectors of the Antarctic Ice Sheet, if initiated, would add no more than several 10ths of a metre during the 21st century (medium confidence).

“It is very likely that sea-level will rise in more than about 95 per cent of the ocean area.

“It is very likely that there will be a significant increase in the occurrence of future sea-level extremes. It is virtually certain that global mean sea-level rise will continue for many centuries beyond 2100, with the amount of rise dependent on future emissions.”

Not to be outdone, Professor Stefan Rahmsdorf, a German oceanographer and climatologist who in 2007 predicted that sea levels would rise by up to 1.4 metres by 2100, more recently upgraded the rise to 1.8 metres in his latest paper.

Unfortunately for Rahmsdorf, Gregory and their cohort, the measured sea-level rises around the world are relatively small, and nothing to worry about.

Tom Moriarty, senior scientist at the United States Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory, has put together the actual measured sea-level rises from stations around the world, and published the conclusions on his blog, Climate Sanity.

He said: “You can see all kinds of sea-level rise predictions for the 21st century, with over-wrought images of houses and buildings under water. One of the favourite predictions of the hand wringers is ‘1.8 metres’ of sea-level rise for the 21st century.”

He then pointed out that:

• Seventy-five per cent of atmospheric anthropogenic carbon dioxide arrived after 1950.

• There has been no obvious acceleration in sea-level rise rates since 1950 as seen from tide gauges.

• Extrapolating tide gauge time series to 2100 would give about 15 centimetres of sea-level rise between 200o and 2100.

He said projections of one, 1.8 or two metres of sea-level rise between 2000 and 2100 would require “extraordinary rate-rise accelerations”.

There has been no significant change in the three factors that might contribute to rising sea levels.

Although there has been a slight heating of the top layer of the seawater, almost all the seawater is located in the deep ocean, at temperatures just above freezing point.

Because mixing of the deep ocean is a very slow process, there is no possibility of sudden large changes to the ocean water temperature.

Contrary to claims by climate alarmists, satellite measurements show that there has been no significant increase in the area of sea ice around the world, despite the enormous season changes that take place in both hemispheres.

Finally, there has been an increase in the amount of ice on the Antarctic continent, more than compensating for any reduction in Greenland.

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