December 2nd 2017


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Articles from this issue:

EDITORIAL Turnbull redefines terms of marriage vote

CANBERRA OBSERVED Turnbull is running on empty as margin shrinks

GENDER POLITICS Northern Territory proposes recognising fluid genders

ENVIRONMENT Sea levels are not on the rise: research

NATIONAL AFFAIRS Our clinging to the fringe is stultifying development

FREEDOM Where to now after the marriage redefinition vote?

EDUCATION Unions and the ALP have gutted the curriculum

ECONOMICS The West faces tests of its own resilience

CULTURE The mysterious birth of technology

DRUGS AND SOCIETY Addiction and the cultural repression of spiritual values

OPINION Don't stand by as the fight for freedom begins

LITERATURE Britain's Kazuo Ishiguro a worthy Nobel laureate

HUMOUR Whispers from court side

MUSIC Funny tones: Playing it for a laugh

CINEMA Murder on the Orient Express: First-class mayhem

BOOK REVIEW Disentangling the free-market fraud

BOOK REVIEW Not inscrutible, just ambitious

LETTERS

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ENVIRONMENT
Sea levels are not on the rise: research


by Peter Westmore

News Weekly, December 2, 2017

The United Nations-sponsored climate change conference recently held in Bonn, former capital of West Germany, is intended to lock in countries to the commitments they made at the 2015 Climate Summit in Paris, at which it was agreed that instead of global targets, each country would set its own targets for reducing carbon-dioxide emissions.

The conference had to deal with the fact that since he was elected U.S. President, Donald Trump has announced that the United States will withdraw from the Paris agreement. As a result, the U.S. had relatively low-level representation at the Bonn meeting.

The Australian Government was represented by Josh Frydenberg, the Minister for Environment and Energy.

In Paris, Australia committed to reducing its greenhouse-gas emissions by 26-28 per cent on 2005 levels by 2030. This followed an earlier commitment to cut greenhouse-gas emissions by 5 per cent by 2020, a target that Australia is clearly going to reach.

Despite this, the environmental movement is demanding radical cuts of 50 per cent by 2030, and to zero by 2050, an absurd proposition in light of Australia’s high dependence on fossil fuels for electricity, heat and transportation. The only way such demands could be achieved would be through soaring prices of energy, reduced reliability, and cuts to Australians’ standard of living.

Sea levels

The most immediate challenge Australia faced at the Bonn climate conference was pressure for action to halt rises in sea levels, mainly arising from the fact that Fiji was chairing the Bonn conference.

Fiji, with a population of about 1 million, comprises 300 islands and atolls in the central Pacific, most of which are uninhabited.

It faces many challenges, particularly those associated with a lack of industry and remoteness, but also including an acute racial divide between indigenous Fijians and people of Indian descent who originally were brought to Fiji to work in the sugarcane fields.

These divisions led to three coups, and have caused many Fijians of Indian descent to emigrate to Australia and New Zealand.

In chairing the Bonn conference, Fiji has foreshadowed a major push to make the impact of global warming on the Pacific islands a central issue. It has identified several challenges that it says are caused by climate change, particularly rising sea levels.

Although the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) claims that sea levels around the world are rising, due to the melting of the ice sheets on Greenland and Antarctica, the evidence does not support the claim.

It is very difficult to know the amount of ice covering the land, but it is relatively easy to measure the amount of sea ice, which can be accurately measured, and gives an indication of the quantity of ice locked on land.

The extent of Arctic and Antarctic ice has been the subject of long and detailed analysis over many years, and although it shows large seasonal variations from summer to winter every year, the actual quantity of sea ice has remained relatively stable for many years.

Separately, a study recently published online, and to be published in the journal, Earth Systems and Environment, next month, was entitled, “Short-term tide gauge records from one location are inadequate to infer global sea-level acceleration”.

The two researchers said: “It is well known that local sea-level changes occur also because of local factors such as subsidence due to groundwater or oil extraction, or tectonic movements that may be either up or down.

“Limited data from limited areas of study are, therefore, unsuitable for making predictions about the whole world sea level. Yet, people continue to make such predictions, often on an alarming scale.”

They concluded: “The information from the tide gauges of the U.S. does not support any claim of rapidly changing ice mass in Greenland and Antarctica. The data only suggests the sea levels have been oscillating about the same trend line during the last century and this century.” (See graph above)

The Journal of Coastal Research in the UK published a recent paper by Phil Watson of the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage, analysing European tidal data. He concluded: “European mean sea- level records are among the best time series data available globally by which to detect the presence of necessary accelerations forecast by physics-based projection models to elevate current rates of global sea-level rise
(≈3 mm/y) to anywhere in the vicinity of 10–20 mm/y by 2100.

“Key findings are that at the 95 per cent confidence level, no consistent or compelling evidence (yet) exists that recent rates of rise are higher or abnormal in the context of the historical records available across Europe, nor is there any evidence that geocentric rates of rise are above the global average.”

Nevertheless, climate alarmists repeatedly insist that sea levels are rising at an alarming rate, and that this is caused by “climate change”.




























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