Too much hot air about global warming – researcher

Arch-enemy of climate scientists says the impact of global warming is likely to be “about half” of what current scientific models are showing.

A man who has become the arch-enemy of climate scientists for exposing serious flaws in a United Nations study on global warming believes the issue has been greatly overstated.

Vilified by global warming zealots, Canadian Steve McIntyre, who was passing through Auckland this week, told NBR ONLINE the impact of global warming is likely to be “about half” of what current scientific models are showing.

Mr McIntyre, who is a mathematician and former mining company executive, says “the onus is on the people arguing it’s a big problem to really show in an engineering quality report why it’s a big problem".

“There’s too much arm waving in the reports and in all the years I’ve been doing this you get scientific models which have inherent assumptions in them.

“The observations indicate to me that the models are probably running hot, that the impact is about half of what they are showing.

“I do view that as a black mark against the models.”

Asked how much damage has been caused to the environment so far from global warming, he said:

“That’s a good question and is the acid test between the broad group of sceptics who are not very hardline and activists.

“Activists will tend to say that carbon dioxide emissions in the last 50 years have caused serious negative impacts.

“But from my point of view I would say I don’t know what they are and certainly on balance there’s been no serious impact.

“I view that more as a matter of good luck than good management because we have certainly been increasing carbon dioxide levels without thinking about it.

"But, nonetheless, societies are clearly wealthier and are more active now than they were 50 years ago, so one way or another the impact has not been as much as all that or we’ve coped with it rather well.”

Mr McIntyre’s exclusive interview is in the "new look" NBR Print edition on Friday.

rvaughan@nbr.co.nz

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