UPDATE No.1 12 FEB 2015 9:50PM
Go to UPDATE 1.
The Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment, Dr Jan Wright, published a report last November, Changing climate and rising seas: Understanding the science (CCRS) (pdf, 2MB). While reading it I marked more than a hundred places where her evidence or reasoning is questionable. Part 1 discussed a first batch of questions; this post discusses another.
Power and privilege
The Commissioner for the Environment enjoys a privileged position: the Environment Act 1986 grants the Commissioner wide powers to investigate and engage staff and consultants, along with millions of dollars. The Parliamentary Vote for this financial year permits a departmental expenditure of $3,258,000, including a personal salary of $296,000. The Commissioner enjoys the same powers as a commission of inquiry, and the same immunities and privileges as a District Court Judge. For investigations the Commissioner initiates, she has “such powers as may be necessary” to see them through—extensive powers, for whatever she wants to do, she has the power to do. Continue Reading →
The Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment, Dr Jan Wright, published a report last month, Changing climate and rising seas: Understanding the science (pdf, 2MB). While reading it I marked more than a hundred places where her evidence or reasoning is questionable. This post discusses some of those.
The commissioner’s errors cause concern—just as errors from any prominent public servant cause concern—and her agitation for policy change means she sides with environmental activists against at least half our population, and possibly even three-quarters of our population—those who are not persuaded that global warming is a problem. You can see that this arises directly from her personal views, Continue Reading →
A story on Mother Jones last July by John Vidal described the world’s highest glacier, Khumbu, turning visibly darker as particles of fine dust, blown by fierce winds, settled on the bright, fresh snow. “One-week-old snow was turning black and brown before my eyes,” said American geologist Ulyana Horodyskyj. Unfortunately she lacked the presence of mind to make a photographic record of this startling event. Continue Reading →
One of our favourite Kiwi climate scientists has again made alarmist climate predictions.
The predictions come from the IPCC, but I’m sure Professor James Renwick takes responsibility for repeating them (I mean, he must have satisfied himself over their accuracy). He frequently cites the IPCC’s predictions but keeps quiet when they’re wrong. For example, when they and their computer models forecast strong warming over the last 17 years instead of the lack of warming we observe. Continue Reading →
Once again a national leader makes the false claim that his low-lying island nation is about to be flooded because of “climate change”. It’s not hard to show that he’s telling great big porky pies.
An article was posted on the Responding to Climate Change (RTCC) web site recently (h/t – Richard Cumming). I found the Marshall Islands government press release it was based on and in which the Marshall Islands Foreign Minister, Philip Muller, said the king tides were the latest in a series of increasingly serious and regular climate impacts. Continue Reading →
A letter appeared yesterday in the NZ Herald following Professor Chris de Freitas’ article Human interference real threat to Pacific atolls two weeks ago. It was this letter: Continue Reading →
Fact-free again, again she fails
I posted a letter to TVNZ today as follows.
Formal complaint — TVNZ News 7 July
This confirms my formal complaint emailed to you yesterday.
Concerning your TV1 news item last evening and available at http://tvnz.co.nz/world-news/low-lying-island-threatened-rising-sea-levels-video-5498764, I would have imagined that a careful, experienced reporter like Barbara Dreaver, in her research, might have noticed that an earthquake occurred on Lifuka in 2006, causing a subsidence of about 23 centimetres, causing a noticeable advance of sea level and causing a single householder to abandon his house. A documentary about the island was made by Tiy Chung and posted at http://vimeo.com/53200521 seven months ago.
Still, she evidently failed to check. Continue Reading →
Habeas Corpus – late Middle English: Latin, literally ‘you shall have the body (in court)’ (oxforddictionaries.com)
A heart-string-tugging humanitarian piece was published in the Toronto Star last weekend. It concerns the plight of some 250 million climate change refugees expected worldwide by 2050 and was entitled Climate change forcing thousands in Bangladesh into slums of Dhaka.
Rising sea levels could flood 17 per cent of Bangladesh and create between 20 million and 30 million refugees, experts say. The Star’s environment reporter Raveena Aulakh recently travelled to the country to look at how climate change is affecting one of the world’s most densely populated countries and its people. Continue Reading →
Seemingly sloppy science seems to have sullied our coastal planning process. Dr de Lange describes, in the polite, scholarly way of his, a scientific blunder in a Kapiti Coast erosion report that anyone less courteous than him would call a dereliction or worse. Why? Because the wrong formula was used to calculate the amount of foreshore vulnerable to damage from sea level rise, and many hundreds of properties are now apparently at risk. The report explains correctly why a certain formula should not be used, but then, in a stupefying about-turn, goes ahead and uses it anyway. Prices for those properties will plunge, yet the new risks just aren’t justified.
The author (or principal author) of the Kapiti Coast Erosion Hazard Assessment 2012 update is Dr Roger Shand, of Coastal Systems Ltd. He said the report was peer-reviewed by “Coastal Scientist Dr Mike Shepherd” – who effectively works for Dr Shand. Why didn’t they admit that they’re colleagues? This isn’t a peer review, it’s a pal review, and if values plummet, land owners will descend on the High Court demanding compensation. Does the District Council realise its exposure? – Richard Treadgold
Recent news stories have highlighted the redefinition of coastal hazard zones along the Kapiti Coast. The populated region is concentrated on a coastal landform known as a cuspate foreland, which has formed due to enhanced accretion of sediment in the lee of Kapiti Island over the last 7500 years. Examination of the coastal landforms in this region indicates that there has been long-term accretion over the Holocene disrupted by storm-induced erosion associated with large waves from either the southwest or northwest.
So has that pattern changed recently? Continue Reading →
Here is news that should please everyone – no exceptions: the Maldives are not in peril of drowning in rising seas.
The Indian Ocean coral islands are famous icons for the predicted catastrophe from rising seas caused by our CO2 emissions, but their new president now assures us they’re in no danger of sinking beneath the waves.
This is exactly what sceptical commentators have been saying about the Maldives’ scare tactics for years and years: that they were aimed more at extracting funds from gullible western nations than at providing courses in climatology. Continue Reading →
At WUWT the ever-practical Willis Eschenbach refuses to bet on the long-term success of a New Zealand-funded development project to entirely convert the power supply in Tokelau to solar panels and coconut oil and explains exactly why he won’t.
I mention this story for the benefit of the many people in New Zealand and overseas who continue to consider coral islands at risk from DAGW*-driven sea level rise.
But at the same time Willis has pertinent lessons for Kiwi policy wonks who love renewable energy to bits and are working steadily to destroy our ability to do without the other reliable kind Continue Reading →
A German survey has gone carefully through the literature on sea level and finds no evidence of acceleration over the last 30 years.
There’s a handy article in English at NoTricksZone with a link to the original in German.
They include a reference to New Zealand research, citing Hannah and Bell (2012), who show NZ SLR steady at 1.7 mm per year since 1940.
Perhaps now the zealots and alarmists will stop crying wolf on sea level. Which leaves just ocean acidification, ice cap and glacial melt, increased tornado frequency…
— h/t reader Marian, and Climate Depot for the links.
The Economist carried an online article on 29 June ridiculing the North Carolina legislature for wanting to ban climate-change projections in coastal planning and allow only historical data. (h/t Barry Brill)
It is odd that the always-conservative Economist seems to distrust the temperate, time-tested use of observations to predict likely bounds of future tides. Never mind the success enjoyed by generations of engineers in building our coastal and riverine assets, the Economist now prefers unproven computer models deliberately distorted by the theory that we’re controlling the climate with tiny quantities of an inoffensive gas.
Computers can’t do more than about a fortnight of the weather before accuracy turns to chaos, but the Economist apparently trusts an impressive 90 years of forecast climate.
Am I the lone dullard who doesn’t believe them? Continue Reading →
Nature Climate Change just published a paper called “Hotspot of accelerated sea-level rise on the Atlantic coast of North America” written by Asbury H. Sallenger Jr, Kara S. Doran & Peter A. Howd, of the USGS. Hey, another climate scientist named Sallenger but not called Jim!
Is this paper a credible source? John Droz, jr, is spearheading support for proposed, unprecedented, “anti-green” legislation in North Carolina that would make it illegal for state agencies to use accelerated SLR projections as a basis for state rules and regulations. The bill is called HB-819. Continue Reading →
A new article in Nature Geoscience attributes 42% of recent sea level rise to discharge of groundwater to the oceans by human activities.
Pokhrel, Y.N. et al., 2012. Model estimates of sea-level change due to anthropogenic impacts on terrestrial water storage. Nature Geoscience, advance online publication.
Global sea level has been rising over the past half century, according to tide-gauge data. Thermal expansion of oceans, melting of glaciers and loss of the ice masses in Greenland and Antarctica are commonly considered as the largest contributors, but these contributions do not entirely explain the observed sea-level rise. Continue Reading →
This excellent post is from our friend Rupert Postlethwaite, a real scientist who is so good at putting two and two together he often has trouble getting them apart. However, he pretends to be so many people he can also, like any properly absent-minded professor, quite forget who he is. Rupert says a glance at this conference programme will reveal how professionally clever the climate alarmists are and I agree. But, given global temperatures have not risen significantly since about 1995, while at the same time the carbon dioxide concentration in the atmosphere went up by about 9%, it is obvious that FACTORS OTHER THAN CO2 have a controlling influence on temperature. To douse this oh-so-serious sea level conference with copious quantities of cold sea water, you can easily find objective data on sea level rise in our part of the world. Visit the Australian South Pacific Sea Level and Climate Monitoring Project and check out the February 2012 report (pdf). From the Executive Summary on page 3: “Monthly sea levels during February 2012 were around 5cm higher than normal at Marshall Islands, PNG, Samoa and Cook Islands and as much as 12cm higher than normal at Solomon Islands. Sea levels were around 7cm lower than normal at Vanuatu. Sea levels at Kiribati, Nauru, Tuvalu, Fiji and Tonga were all near normal for this time of the year.” What was that about global sea levels rising with global temperature and always going up, never going down? Explain this, NIWA! – Richard Treadgold
CO2 imagined to raise the oceans
Assisted by some mainly taxpayer or citizen-funded organisations, including the Royal Society of New Zealand, GNS Science, Victoria University and the Wellington City Council, the New Zealand Climate Change Centre is hosting yet another expensive climate jamboree in Wellington on May 10-11.
Sea-level Rise, Meeting the Challenge is nominally concerned with discussions of sea-level rise that is imagined as being caused by human carbon dioxide emissions.
Many Kiwis are concerned that New Zealand already has an expensive and ineffectual emissions trading scheme to help “stop climate change” (a banal and utterly impractical notion, if ever there were), and which the government shows no sign of repealing despite almost complete recalcitrance by other countries to mimic its crazy brave venture. Continue Reading →
Hot Air carries good comment on the Maldives’ latest efforts to extort money from wealthy westerners, prompted by President Mohammed Nasheed’s urging of Australia to get ready to receive them. Fat chance.
Straight after he made his appeal, Nasheed went to a ceremony to mark the building of a new airport. Which was strange if he believes it will soon be drowned under flooding seas. Continue Reading →
From the Christchurch Press today comes alarming news:
Rising sea levels are a greater threat to Christchurch’s seaside suburbs than previously realised, a climate scientist is warning.
Speaking at Canterbury University this afternoon, Jim Salinger said latest estimates could have major implications for Christchurch’s earthquake rebuild.
Christchurch City Council should be working to a one-metre estimate for sea level rise, he said.
“It’s the opportunity for Christchurch in its rebuild, it should be looking at at least a metre. Some local bodies in Australia are using one metre.”
Salinger plucks the same alarmist harp strings he’s been picking for decades. He specifies one metre: does he include those places which are 500mm higher after the earthquake? They should get a discount.
But the Coalition chairman Barry Brill decisively puts this loose cannon of a climate scientist down, demanding evidence: Continue Reading →
Hear the lies? Anyone?
We’ve covered the coral-islands-in-great-danger-from-rising-seas theme many times. But something isn’t working — could it be the brains of certain people, like most of our reporters, the head of our nascent world government and the official NZ climate scientists at NIWA, who let everyone tell the most outrageous fibs in public without correcting them?
Coral islands began forming at least 250 million years ago and some of them are a million years old, although many are from 5000 to 10,000 years old. In the 20,000 years since the last Ice Age, sea level has gone up about 130 metres (426 ft).
That’s a long way to fall. Yet, amazingly, coral islands are still on the surface. They kept up with the rising water. Well, some drowned, but not (of course) the ones that are left. Continue Reading →
Rash of news alerts
From News.Scotsman.com comes worrying information of rapid sea level rise.
Global warming is causing sea levels to rise at a faster rate today than at any time in the past 2,100 years, according to new research.
Scientists used the fossils left by tiny marine animals to record two millennia of sea levels along the US Atlantic coast.
Some inspired comments
In the most detailed look yet at sea level change, scientists on Monday reported that waters along the East Coast have risen far faster over the past century than at any time in the previous 2000 years. [Philadelphia Inquirer]
20th-Century sea-level rise on the U.S. Atlantic coast is faster than at any time in the past two millennia. [Real Climate]
The research confirms what has often been assumed, that there’s a very strong link between sea levels and temperatures. More worryingly, it also seems to confirm just how uniquely pronounced the current climate change really is. [io9]
With the Royal Society smoke ‘n’ sea level rise
Last September, the Royal Society published a report entitled “SEA LEVEL RISE Emerging Issues”, available as a pdf (645 KB). In the accompanying press release they had this to say:
Professor Keith Hunter, the Society’s Vice President of Physical Sciences, who contributed to the paper, says researchers are starting to be able to estimate the amount of rise that we should expect to see over this century and beyond. But he says these projections of future sea level rise depend upon the future melting of ice sheets, which is poorly known.
“The uncertain knowledge about ice sheet behaviour is the key reason why IPCC projections in 2007 did not state upper bounds for sea level rise. Similarly, Ministry for the Environment guidance in 2008 wisely left open the question of any upper limit on sea level rise.”
The paper states that some early scientific work into the effect of a warming climate on ice sheets in Greenland and Antarctica suggested that many metres of sea level rise could occur within a century. However, it says few scientists now consider that such rates are possible.
What do we learn from this?
We learn that we can’t guess future sea level rise, since we can’t guess future ice sheet melting; our mates at the UN and the MfE won’t touch it, and our first guess was several metres but now only the cranks go that far.
The press release expresses complete ignorance on future sea level rise. Great. So we also learn that scientists can make complete ignorance appear very interesting. Continue Reading →
New report seems to assume it’s melting, but is it?
Greenland is the world’s largest island, about 2600 km long and 1100 km wide at its widest point. Most of the interior is covered by the world’s second-largest permanent ice sheet. Average temperatures rise above freezing only briefly, during the summer. Here’s a simplified graph of monthly temperatures taken from a tourism site.
Yesterday the NZ Herald reported a study finding faster melting of Arctic and Greenland ice. The scientific team thinks global sea levels could rise by as much as five feet (1.5 metres) this century. Continue Reading →
Bad luck, Helen
In 2005, the UNEP (now headed by ex-NZ Prime Minister Helen Clark) predicted at
least 50 million climate refugees by 2010.
A map setting out the areas predicted to be at risk in several ways from global warming was available at the UNEP/GRID-Arendal web site.
A well-researched story by Gavin Atkins of Asian Correspondent posted at Watts Up With That yesterday explains how that map was taken down in a fumbled attempt to cover up the existence of the UNEP prediction.
Silly people. Everything has been resurrected at WUWT through the magic of the Internet and sits there now, quietly mocking both the original prediction and the inept cover-up attempt by our premier international agency — you know, the one with ambitions to rule the world.
The latest update to the story says a UCLA professor has just repeated the prediction, but for 2020, not 2010, and presents no evidence for it. Nuts.
The 11,600 inhabitants of the low-lying Pacific island state of Tuvalu were several years ago offered a home in New Zealand.
How many have taken up this offer? Have their islands disappeared? None. No.
Any members of the MSM reading this? Bear in mind that this failed prediction is what we call a fact so it is held to be true regardless of what we might want to believe.
Accelerated sea level rise debunked
A new analysis finds evidence of a weak deceleration in mean sea level rise in the Australasian region from 1940 to 2000 in four very long-term tide gauge records.
It brings long-term confirmation to what the South Pacific Sea Level and Climate Monitoring Project (SPSLCMP) has been reporting for about 10 to 15 years — slow, non-alarming sea level rise. Continue Reading →
We didn’t mention straws, only facts
CORRECTION: 18 NOVEMBER
Bryan Walker, of Hot Topic, insists on the fact of the sinking of Kiribati along with a human cause of the sinking. Under the heading “Clutching at straws” he says:
The vigour of denial is as evident as always.
I remain unconcerned about criticism he got from the pugnacious Ian Wishart at The Briefing Room, along with “others” on the Herald web site. I believe that Ian correctly quotes from Kiribati’s marketing material, but now I comment on what Walker says about our post here at the Climate Conversation, Kiribati sinking beneath waves again.
Because his criticism of me is frail, since he ignores what I say. The best that can be said about his summary of our post is that he slides past its substantive arguments, replacing them with “straw man” arguments easily dealt with.
But first, I must express annoyance at his use of “denial”. He says it just once, but securely tars his opponents with it, yet it must be the last resort of the desperate, for where is his argument that the denial has no substance? Absent — he leaves it hanging.
Certainly, when one argues with anything, one denies something. On that definition, Walker himself is a “denier”, for he denies what I said. A denier label cannot be the end of rational thought nor award an uncontested victory, for it applies to both parties to an argument. Continue Reading →
Climate change sinking Kiribati – so says a Herald headline of Friday, November 12. Here we go again! More nonsense about sea levels in the Pacific rising, driven by the exhaust from our internal combustion engines and thermal power stations.
Nearly a year ago the Herald carried a similar story headed Tiny Tuvalu outgunned by oil giant which I quickly debunked. Seems they didn’t learn much that time around.
But the author this time is Bryan Walker, regular contributor to alarmist articles at Hot Topic. Continue Reading →
UPDATED 30 Sep 2010, 16:00
New graph comparing predictions from RSNZ and IPCC. Eye-opening!
The Royal Society of New Zealand just published a paper, Sea Level Rise – Emerging Issues. It reports new, more alarming predictions of sea level rise around New Zealand during the rest of the century. Or does it?
The paper warns us to expect the sea to rise several metres by 2100. Or does it?
Actually, it doesn’t and it doesn’t. We can all go home.
On a careful, sensible reading, the paper says very little but, by employing phrases such as “increasingly rapid melting”, “recent estimates of future rise are greater” and “global sea levels rose by around 120 metres”, among others, the casual reader gains the impression of dangerous rises to come. The story imparts grave concern.
But it’s all air kissing, candy floss and nonsense. They say nothing that would scare a butterfly. The only substantial statement in the entire paper is the very last one:
… the magnitude and rate of rise is poorly known, as is the way in which our coastline may respond [sic] these changes.
Which, I am sure you’ll agree, dear reader, is distinctly underwhelming. True it is, yet mild and unthreatening as the morning dew.
Search in vain for guidance
Elsewhere the paper drags us through such turgid passages as these (emphasis added to show the absence of anything worth saying or the saying of anything worth nothing): Continue Reading →
It’s been a busy day and it’s close to its end. I check out the NZ Herald for the first time and see a headline: “Tiny Tuvalu outgunned by oil giant”. Curious, I click on it. Now I’m furious. That was yesterday, it’s taken until now to finish researching and writing this damned rebuttal and adjust the images and I’m still furious.
There is no justification for a high level of alarm over future sea level rise and no reason to blame human emissions of carbon dioxide.
The “oil giant” is Saudi Arabia, apparently anxious not to have its oil exports reduced too much. “Outgunned” means opposing votes squash Tuvalu’s motion for developed nations to more aggressively curb their emissions. So Tuvalu’s leaders are distressed, thinking their island nation will soon disappear beneath the waves.
Activists claim that sea level rise is already making life difficult for islanders on Tuvalu and on Kiribati, another set of low-lying Pacific islands to the north-east of Australia.
They quote damaging effects such as fortnightly “king tides” attacking the coastline, wells contaminated with sea water—even one village in Kiribati abandoned to “waist-high water”. It is very distressing. Continue Reading →