Wednesday, 23 April 2008

Climate Change - has it been cancelled?

Professor Bob Carter from James Cook University believes that the public debate about climate change and global warming has become unbalanced.

Carter says rapid changes in our climate are not unusual and that evidence from polar ice cores and deep-sea drilling cores show episodes of rapid climate change are common.

"The best thing we can do about climate change is to prepare for it," he says.

The good professor is in New Zealand presently sharing his version of the climate debate. It makes for some interesting viewing.

Carter says that during some climate changes, temperatures can swing by several degrees over periods as short as a few years, to a few decades.

"Much discussion about global warming and climate change is based almost exclusively on the climatic record of the past 1000 years," Carter says. "This is an inadequate period over which to assess the magnitude and rate of natural climate change, especially in judging whether contemporary climate change is unusual."

He says that geological studies show the climate is always changing and it reveals that climate change often occurs cyclically, with periods of change ranging between 11 years, through to 20,000, 41,000 or even millions of years.

He says that greenhouse gases and land-use changes are not a recent phenomenon.

"An influence on climate through enhanced greenhouse gases and land-use changes has been hypothesized to dates back to the development of agriculture in the Neolithic age, about 8,000 years ago. The cause of many rapid climate changes remains unknown but it's unlikely that greenhouse gas fluctuations are responsible for them."

"We can thank greenhouse gases for raising the Earth's average temperature from a chilly minus 18 degrees Celsius, to the estimated modern value of about 15 degrees. Carbon dioxide plays a role, though a minor one, in that effect," says Carter.

Bob Carter has been recently lecturing in New Zealand about his views.

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

Did anyone else notice that the climate change argument suddenly got settled as far as the media was concerned as soon as Governments worked out that people, when sold the idea convincingly indicated they would accept higher taxes and charges in the name of "stopping" climate change? Anyone notice how the Howard Government did an about face a couple of years back?

sunfish said...

the irony is the presumption that adapting to climate change is going to cost $ in total. Through the huge potential in energy conservation huge savings are quite possible. Enormous amounts of energy are wasted at present. Well if energy isn't consumed through conservation measures it doesn't have to be paid for.That applies even if initially it costs to invest in the machine or infrastructure that enables this. Where is the rationality in the anti climate change arguments here?They all act as though it will be more expensive for everybody this is not necessarily so. Of course the burden of the cost of change may not be spread equitably. It is true that those who can not afford to pay may be asked to take a greater part of the burden . But when was it that those who can afford to suffer or take the burden in society actually ended up taking it?The well off look after themselves.
Of course this doesn't take into account the huge cost of adapting to climate change if it should prove to be real.
this guy from jcu is a nut. he is a climate change sceptic. Do you think scientists or businessmen in multinational corporations such as BP or even the coal industry , have an interest in not being skeptical about climate change. They have has their skepticism overwhelmed by the pro climate change evidence years ago. that is why many huge multinationals are acting now.

captain cairns said...

The way Professor Bob Carter speaks here sound slike someone who has only recently started reading up a bit about climatology and its history.
Very basic statements like "We can thank greenhouse gases for raising the Earth's average temperature from a chilly minus 18 degrees Celsius, to the estimated modern value of about 15 degrees. Carbon dioxide plays a role, though a minor one, in that effect,". This only leads the uneducated to believe that everything is fine and dandy, but I'm afraid, ss a student of Climatology since 2002, i have studied this subject from a factual point of view. yes, up to a couple of years ago, the issue of whether climate change was from human influence was still slightly debatable, but not anymore. Its a fact.

Anyone interested can read the top 10 scepticisms about climate change, such as this one from Bob Carter, and how they are debunked by the IPCC.

The link is:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/in_depth/629/629/7074601.stm

Anonymous said...

Captain Cairns, mate, as a 'student of climatology' if the best reference you can give us is to the ideologically committed BBC then thats a bit of a aorry!!

And, somewhat selectively, not a single mention anywhere there of record sea ice in the Antarctic in recent years?

person with a bottom where their face should be said...

i believe the best approach we can take to climate-change is to do completely nothing but as long as we do this urgently and within a sustainable way while wearing shoes that fit our carbon footprint.
I believe if we do nothing Now! about climate-change and global-warming that we will still grow old and die and that in 37,000 years time the issue will be moot. Pro-climate-changers are fundamentalist wankers milking a semantic cash cow who cannot grasp the point of the skeptics.

captain cairns said...

To anonymous, 4th comment down. I did my Climatology degree through university, where it is studied from a factual point of view, not pushed towards the climate change argument either for or against.

Yes, there is an overall increase in sea ice in Antarctica, but only in two-thirds. The other third has ice decreasing. And it is widely acknowledged that in contrast, the Arctic is rapidly warming, with the North-west passage now open to ships for the first time in recorded human history.

Yes, two-thirds of Antarctica has had a build up of ice, but remember Antarctica is very unique, in that it is cut off from the rest of the globe by the Antarctic Circumpolar Current, which protects it somewhat from warming influences of the rest of the planet. Your argument still doesn't dispute the fact the the globe 'on the whole' is definateley warming. We could argue this fact for a long time, but the more you read into it, you will see the debate is over.

dick cheney. said...

there are no facts, just opinions.

athiest god said...

i reckon the star wars 1, 2 & 3 movies were utter crap and really bad!