by Bryan Leyland
July 10, 2016
Bryan Leyland, MSc,
FIEE, FIMechE, FIPENZ, MRSNZ Brian is a consulting
engineer specializing in electricity generation and
transmission. He is part owner and operator of a small
hydro power scheme.
He is Chairman of
the economics panel of the New Zealand Climate Science
climate scientists must falsify data, statistical
analysis and data modeling in order to create
paranoia to drive people into Technocracy.
problem is that when 'followers' are presented with
clear evidence to the contrary, they still refuse to
recant their unwarranted beliefs.
Many articles in the Herald over the
past few years have emphasized the dangers of man-made global
warming (aka "climate change") and warned us that extreme measures
are needed to save us from this imminent climatic disaster.
Almost without exception, the authors of
these articles have assumed that man-made carbon dioxide causes
dangerous global warming, rapid sea level rise and more floods,
droughts, cyclones and so on.
But what does the evidence tell us?
Regarding world temperatures, historical records from ice cores tell
us that it was warmer during,
Mediaeval Warm Period was
experienced all over the world including Australia and New Zealand.
The oldest set of recorded temperatures comes from central England
and started in the mid 1600s. They show a temperature rise of a
little more than 1°C - which is not surprising as the record started
in the middle of the
Little Ice Age.
Since 1900 - which was fairly cold -
most temperature records show that the world warmed quite rapidly up
until the 1940s, then the temperature declined until 1975 when it
rose again at the 1930s rate until about 2000.
Since the 1970s, satellite measured temperatures which, NASA says,
are the most accurate, have been available and, if the two
El Niño events are ignored, show no
statistically significant temperature rise for the last 18 years.
By contrast, the computer-based climate
models predicted temperatures about 0.5° higher than they really are
and the IPCC has admitted that 97% of its temperature predictions
were much higher than actual temperatures.
Should we believe the evidence or the
What will happen next? The climate models predict rapidly increasing
temperatures but people who have studied past temperature cycles,
sunspot cycles and the current dearth of
sunspots predict that a substantial worldwide
drop in temperature is highly probable.
Who is right? Only time will tell - and
quite soon. The present El Niño temperature peak will be followed by
an equally dramatic drop in temperature as
La Niña sets in.
But no one really knows what will happen
Sea level rise is reasonably well documented for the last hundred
plus years from tide gauge records that show that it has been at a
fairly steady rate in the region of 0.14 and 0.17 m per century.
This is not unexpected given that we are still coming out of the
Little Ice Age.
Since the 1970s, sea levels have been
measured by satellites that show a rate of rise of 0.32 m per
century. No one is quite sure why the disparity exists.
Some people believe it is because they
are biased by mid-ocean sea level rise which does not affect the
situation along shorelines. Neither record shows any sign of a
recent and rapid increase in sea levels.
Sadly, this does not stop academics who specialize in computer
models of the climate advising the Royal Society of New Zealand
that sea levels are likely to rise rapidly and reach between 0.3 m
and 1 m by 2100 - more than predicted by
Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).
Scientists with practical experience of
sea level changes around New Zealand point out that the coastline is
subsiding in some places and rising in others.
The Royal Society advisers have ignored
these movements and the slow rise in New Zealand sea levels over the
last 100 years. Similar extreme predictions have been adopted by the
Ministry of the Environment and are now being used by
Councils to devalue coastal land and limit development near the
They have even predicted sea level rise
in places where the land is rising from the sea...!
A recent article in the Herald stated that sea levels in some
Solomon Islands were rising rapidly because of global warming.
It also said that the sea level at Tuvalu was rising and forcing
people to flee.
The reality is quite different:
it is well-known that the islands in
the Solomons are steadily sinking beneath the sea and the
accurate tide gauges installed by the Australian government at
Tuvalu in the 1990s show that there has been no significant
increase in sea level.
A study by a New Zealand academic showed
that the land area of Pacific atolls is increasing.
If it didn't, then all the atolls in the
ocean would have been drowned when the sea level rose at 3 m per
century coming out of the last ice age.
Regarding floods, droughts, cyclones and the like, there is no
convincing evidence that these are increasing. The IPCC agrees. A
recent scientific paper analyzed the past history of these events
and concluded that they were less frequent now than
during most of the past 1000 years.
So, as is so often the case, the perception and reality
are vastly different. In New Zealand this is not helped by a
mainstream media that seldom
publishes anything that examines the evidence and propounds a
Yet there is no doubt that the science
is NOT settled and debate is needed...