APRIL 24th  2006
The Greenhouse Delusion
The attached article appeared in the Wellington "Dominion Post" today, second page



By Vincent Gray


Recently New Zealand has been treated to a flurry of one-sided propaganda to sell te idea that increasing greenhouse gases are harming the climate 


The Framework Convention on Climate Change (FCCC) which New Zealand, amongst many nations, signed in 1992. defined, “Climate Change”, legally, as “Change of climate which is attributed directly or indirectly to human activity that alters the composition of the global atmosphere and which is in addition to natural climate variability observed under comparable conditions” “Natural” changes can only be “variable”, and changes due to human influences which do not involve greenhouse gases like building cities or planting forests have been eliminated.. The object is to persuade the world that the ONLY influence on the climate is the increase in greenhouse gases. Once they have done that they can use the computer models which rely on this absurd assumption.


The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) which was set up in 1988 to study the subject, seems to be confined to the study of “Climate Change” as defined by the FCCC, but the scientists didn’t like the idea as they need to study all the other changes in the climate, otherwise how could you sort out which might be influenced by greenhouse gas increases?.   Nevertheless, they are under political pressure to give priority to the “Climate Change” title


.I have been an “expert reviewer” for IPCC Reports from the very beginning. I soon found that in these Reports evidence was selected, distorted, and even fabricated in order to support the  belief that greenhouse gas increases are .warming the earth. Yet the IPCC have never supported this notion in so many words.  They always use deliberately ambiguous language like “there is a discernible human influence on the climate”


The most important greenhouse gas is water vapour,  60 to 90% of the total, uncertain because its infra red spectrum overlaps with carbon dioxide. Since we have hardly any information on how it has changed over the years, the model makers call it  a “feedback” and assume, without evidence, that it is related  mathematically to the much less important carbon dioxide, a case of the tail wagging the dog. Ordinary clouds are also important, also little known in their effects, and also treated as a “feedback” to divert attention from ignorance


The concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is undoubtedly increasing. According to the United States NOAA it has been going up at a linear rate of 0.4% a year since 1980. Most computer models assume 1% a year, so they can get exaggerated results and scare us. Carbon dioxide measurements are made almost entirely over the sea.  An initial site in Makara near Wellington was abandoned in favour of Baring Head because the measurements were “too noisy’. We have hardly any measurements over land, where the supposed dangerous effects are supposed to happen.


Methane has reached a constant value in the atmosphere since 1999. All the models assume it is going up. The absence of readings over land was recently emphasised by the discovery that trees emit methane So much for the New Zealand Government claim to reduce greenhouse gases by planting trees.


The real deception lies with the “surface temperature record” This is obtained by dividing the world on a Mercator map into boxes of latitude and longitude, and comparing the average monthly or annual temperature at  stations in each area with an average over a fixed number of years. The record shows the annual “temperature anomaly” for each year. It currently goes back to 1858. This record has incorporated a similar record obtained from ship and buoy measurements on the ocean. Many scientists regard the ship measurements as unreliable so this amalgamation is controversial.


Weather stations and ship measurements are not randomly placed over the earth’s surface, so the “anomalies” are biased. Most weather stations are near cities, where there have been increases in pollution, building, and energy use over the years. Ships have got bigger and warmer.. Although it has been claimed that “corrections” have been made, a recent statistical study showed that socioeconomic factors such as growth in pollution, coal usage, and prosperity had significant effects on the land measurements. Little “global warming was left when the figures were corrected. Ship measurements were biased when they changed thermometers to engine intakes.


A detailed correction procedure called “homogeneity adjustment”, which needs many weather stations, and is thus only applicable to a few countries, also gives little or no “global warming” since 1900 when applied to the surface record of the continental USA and to China.


Other methods of measuring global temperature confirm that there is little or no “global warming”. NASA satellites found that in the lower troposphere there was no increase from 1979 to 1999, but a warming spell after that was started by the 1998 ocean event (El Niño). Weather balloons found no warming between 1958 and 2002. The lower troposphere is the place where the greenhouse effect is supposed to happen


Claims that current temperatures are “unprecedented” for 1000 years are made by comparing the upwardly biased surface record with reconstructed past temperatures based on inadequately distribute  “proxies” such as thicknesses of tree rings,. It was recently shown that the best known of these reconstructions had been calculated wrongly and the corrected record confirmed the widely supported belief that the “medieval warn period” around the year 1400.  was warmer than it is today.


Since there is so much doubt about the temperature record, emphasis has switched to other climate events even less closely related to greenhouse gases. It does seem that glaciers are generally retreating, but how much is due to a delayed effect of the last ice age, a decrease in snow, or just a poor sample is unclear. Have you seen the Fox glacier recently? It is advancing.


The computer modellists bombard us with pessimistic forecasts. including “scenarios” for the future which are completely ridiculous. One scenario predicts that African countries will be more prosperous than the USA in 2100. Others predict that world coal usage will increase 9 times. It is only the more extreme models that are quoted by the media.


There is no evidence that increases in greenhouse gases are harming the climate. Until there is, the Kyoto Treaty and any “next steps” must be resisted


* Vincent Gray was recently a visiting scholar at the Beijing Climate Center

Vincent Gray
75 Silverstream Road
Crofton Downs
Wellington 6004
New Zealand
Phone/Fax 064 4 9735939
"It's not the things you don't know that fool you.
It's the things you do know that aint so"
Josh Billings