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Wednesday
May292013

Climate Change

Mark Skelding has a letter in today's NZ Herald that appears (but not quite) to support Prof. Jim Salinger's article regarding the fact that 400ppm of atmospheric carbon has been passed.

Mark gives a "timely" moniker to the Prof. Chris de Freitas response to Salinger in such a way as to place Mark firmly into the 'denier' camp, but I may be reading more into Mark's letter than he intended.

In any case, he quotes a Science Daily report that analysed "more than 4,000 peer-reviewed reports and found a 97% concensus on anthropogenic global warming", and he suggested a proportionate number of papers with Jim Salinger's perspective should be published.

The only problem is that I have been completely unable to track down the Science Daily article, though I did locate a 28 May 2013 article stating that Australian scientists have narrowed the predicted range of global warming through "ground-breaking new research". This did get publicity early in the week and indicated that at current rates, a 2+ degree  increase rather than a 6+ degree increase could be expected over the next 100 years. 2+ degrees is bad enough, and the article suggests that "waiting is not an option, and we need to manage the risks of warming now". Prof. David Karoly of the University of Melbourne stated "the study reinforced the importance of strong action on climate change".

I can't quite see what Mark is getting at - it would be great if he could be a little more specific about the Science Daily "peer-reviewed" article. It seems like a publication with an enviable reputation, but the two words - 'peer-reviewed' are used far too loosely these days, and every time I see them used I want to ask who, where and how?

Sometimes, you get the impression arguing with deniers that it is like the fluoride debate - those denying the effectiveness of fluoride rattle off screeds of totally unsubstantiated 'research', and you are left feeling that you are punching the thin air of total conviction, generated by self-perpetuating argument. 

 

 

 

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