Ian Bradford continues his series looking at the scientific realities behind variations in weather and climate. (You can read the first article here)

The urban heat island effect

By Ian Bradford

We often hear that a particular day was the ‘hottest on record’.  For example, it was announced recently on the TV News that Timaru had its hottest day ever for April. Global warming supporters use this to try and reinforce their case. Most of the time it is false.  There is an effect called the “urban heat island effect”. Once, many weather stations were in the countryside. For convenience they were shifted to the towns. A hundred or so years ago these towns had no tar-seal — just metal roads, and buildings were wood and relatively small. There were no air conditioning units.  Today, many weather stations are in large cities and some at airports where there is lots of tarmac and large jet engines. 

You will be familiar with heat waves coming off a hot tar-sealed road.  The temperature in a city can be as much as 10 degrees higher than out in the country. This is because of the extra heat generated by hot roads, buildings, vehicles, industry and air conditioning. A correction must be made for this. The supporters of human induced global warming don’t account for the difference, so they can claim that days are much hotter than they really are. 

Al Gore taken to task

You probably know that Al Gore made a film on climate change — An Inconvenient Truth in 2006 — and wrote a book. This sparked human-induced global warming supporters all over the world. 

A British court found several errors and incorrect statements in his book. The court held that British teachers who wished to discuss the book should point out these errors to the pupils. You can guarantee that no such direction was given to NZ teachers.  

The poles and polar bears are doing fine

We don’t need to worry about the ice and snow. The poles are doing fine. As a matter of interest, on 7 January 2021, Spain recorded its lowest ever temperature at -34 degrees Celcius. On 25 January 2021, the Guardian newspaper stated that 25 inches of snow was forecast for the UK in hours as a ‘polar bomb strikes’. TV has shown many ice and snow incidents in the USA, with multiple pile-ups on motorways. On 18 and 19 February 2021 in the USA, temperatures plummeted.  60 people had died from the cold. Many were found frozen in their beds. 

Polar bears are thriving. Since hunting them has been banned numbers have increased from 5000 in the early 1950s to just on 40,000 now.

Increased perceptions about natural hazards increasing

There has been no increase in floods, hurricanes, tornadoes, wildfires droughts and so on. In fact the figures show that all have actually decreased in frequency. Why is it then that we have the perception that they are increasing?  It is because of modern communication. Once, if there was a tornado in an American state then it made the local radio and newspaper. Now we have people with cell phones on the spot who record it and relay it to the local TV station within minutes. Before long it is all around the world. 

The sea is NOT getting any more acidic.  Those who go along with this fraud say more CO2 dissolved in the oceans make them more acidic. Actually the oceans are not and have never been acidic. The oceans are alkaline with a pH of about 8.5.  If anything the correct term should be less alkaline. But the term “more acidic” sounds more scary.  

There are two issues here. 

  • Firstly, without going into the chemistry, there is a buffering action which tends to oppose the action of CO2 making it less alkaline. 
  • Secondly there is Henry’s law. You know that if you pour a cold bottle of champagne into a glass then as it warms bubbles of CO2  are given off. Eventually the champagne goes flat.  The same idea occurs in the oceans. 

As the ocean warms, CO2 is emitted into the atmosphere.  Hence the ocean becomes more alkaline.  

The pH scale goes from 0 to 14 – 7 is neutral. From 0 to 7 is acidic and from 7 to 14 is alkaline. Anywhere near 0 is a very strong acid and anywhere near 14 is a very strong alkali.  

Climate change is a natural process

It is an interesting fact that the heating effect of CO2 in the atmosphere falls off exponentially as we pour more into the air. In other words, as we increase the concentration of CO2 in the air its heating effect is drastically reduced.  

Humans have a miniscule effect on climate. Climate change is a natural process which we cannot control. 

The glacial and interglacial periods are controlled by the tilt of the earth and the shape of the earth’s orbit around the sun. How far the orbit differs from a circle varies in 100,000 year cycles. 

The tilt of the earth’s axis varies in 41,000 year cycles. The earth wobbles on its axis every 26,000 years and this is called precession of the equinoxes. We also have a variation in the sun’s radiation which changes over 11 year cycles. All these, change the temperature of the earth and we cannot do anything about it. 

What the government needs to do

The government needs to withdraw from the Paris climate agreement immediately. This will save the country, and all of us a huge amount of money. It will keep our standard of living high. It is estimated that if all countries abide by the Paris agreement the total cost will be 100 trillion dollars for just 1/6 of a degree reduction in the earth’s temperature. 

The government also needs to remove the so called carbon tax. Actually it is a carbon dioxide tax, as carbon, with the exception of diamond, is a black solid.  The government should assure the public that there is no climate emergency at all. People living near the sea shore are quite safe.