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Global Warming

I simply can't resist another crack at Dai Redshaw; although I don't quite know what to say to someone who prefers miserable cold Dunedin winters to the pleasant summer weather we are still experiencing, thanks, we are told, to El Nia, or possibly, even, to the greenhouse effect. I am also not sure what to say when he prefers the opinion of insurance companies to that of the IPCC scientists, who have consistently stated that there is no evidence connecting the build up of greenhouse gases with extreme climate events.

The IPCC provides a useful summary of the recent literature, but I do not accept their conclusions or pronouncements, or have much time for the Chairman, who seems to prefer to believe the results of computer models instead of the evidence from actual climate observations.

The IPCC statement "suggesting" a "discernible" human influence on the climate is typical IPCC doublespeak, aimed at ensuring a continued supply of Government funds. The real opinions of the scientists are tucked away in the back of the main report. For example, under a heading "When will an anthropogenic effect on climate be detected" they say "The best answer is we do not know'few if any would be willing to argue that an unambiguous attribution of this change to anthropogenic effects has already occurred, or was likely to happen in the next several years."

I do consider that global warming has taken place during the last century, and I commend the statement of Parker, Jones, Folland and Bevan, the compilers of the temperature record, in a recent paper in the Journal of Geophysics Research. "The fact of global warming in the past century is beyond dispute even though the precise amount is certainly not. On theoretical grounds a likely contributory cause of the warming is the rise in greenhouse gas concentrations, but despite some similarities between the recent oceanic surface temperature anomalies and those modelled it is definitely premature to ascribe all or most of the warming to this particular cause.

Vincent Gray, Wellington