- The world has not warmed since 1940, according to tree
rings, coral reef and ice core boreholes, one of the world's leading "global
warming" sceptics told a meeting at the climate change conference.
- Prof Fred Singer, a meteorologist at the University of
Virginia, used temperature data assembled by James Hanson of Nasa, who
first highlighted the problem of climate change, to challenge the findings
of the Inter-governmental Panel on the subject which underpin the Kyoto
- He said: "The climate has warmed in the last century
but this took place before 1940. The hottest years in America were around
1940. We don't know the cause of the warming but we don't think it was
- Mr Singer says he has found no evidence suggesting future
extreme weather events, such as severe storms or droughts, increases in
infectious diseases, or changes to forests and other ecosystems. He accepts
there has been an increase in greenhouse gases but believes this has led
to "a greening of the planet, improved agricultural yields and more
vigorous forest growth".
- He also accepts evidence from temperature records all
over the world that there appears to have been a pronounced warming since
1975, with some of the hottest years in the 1990s. But he says that satellite
records of the temperature three miles up, which should show a warming,
do not show a warming at all.
- He said: "One explanation is that the satellites
are wrong. The other explanation - that is my hypothesis - is that the
surface appears to be warming but isn't really warming at all."
- Bob Watson, chairman of the IPCC, has used the surface
temperature records of the past 20 years to claim that the 20th century
is the warmest for 1,000 years, but Mr Singer disagrees. He places greater
faith in the "proxy" records of temperature, contained in tree
rings, ocean sediments, ice cores and so on, which he says show no warming
- He said: "Thermometers may not be quite correct.
Proxy records say the global temperature has not increased in the past
20 years." He believes that "heat islands" caused by urbanisation
have distorted thermometer readings. He produced graphs from research conducted
by the University of East Anglia and analysis of Greenland ice cores over
100,000 years published in scientific papers to support his point.
- Mr Singer is one of several scientists to challenge the
broad conclusions of the IPCC, a distillation of the work of 3,000 scientists
from most of the leading meteorological institutes. He shared a platform
with Richard Coutney, from Britain's Institute of Economic Affairs, who
suggested that the summary and conclusions of the IPCC's assessment of
the climate had been manipulated by politicians.
- Geoff Jenkins, head of the Met Office's Hadley Centre
for Climate Prediction and Research, and a leading figure in IPCC, said:
"To say that politicians wrote the summary report of the Inter-govermental
Panel on Climate Change is rubbish." As to satellite data, he said
neither this, nor balloon data, showed the expected warming in the upper
- "There is warming but the models say it should be
the same as the surface. Prof Singer has an issue here that we need to
resolve. We don't believe it invalidates the model's predictions of the
future. But it's a weakness and we need to sort it out."
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