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Newcastle Herald

Debate heating up

Author: By MELISSA LYONS
Date: 19/11/2009
Words: 291
Source: NCH
          Publication: Newcastle Herald
Section: News
Page: 11
A UNIVERSITY of Newcastle professor says carbon emissions aren't to blame for climate change.

And he has research to prove it.

Associate Professor Stewart Franks studied the drought in the Murray-Darling catchment and found that a combination of natural factors not carbon emissions had caused elevated temperatures in the region.

His research will be published in American journal Geophysical Research Letters.

Senior climate change researchers who claimed high temperatures led to high moisture evaporation had ignored the known physics of evaporation, Professor Franks said.

"During the drought, when soil moisture is low, less of the sun's radiant energy goes into evaporation and more goes into the heating of the atmosphere, which causes higher temperatures," Professor Franks said.

"More importantly, elevated air temperatures do not increase evaporation and are due to a lack of evaporation. Therefore, any statement that the drought experienced in the Murray-Darling Basin is a direct result of CO2 emissions is fundamentally flawed."

In an era engrossed with concerns about the role of carbon dioxide in climate change, Professor Franks said his research highlighted the importance of basing findings on correct science.

"I don't think anybody knows the real role of carbon dioxide in climate change," he said.

"To say it will be catastrophic is wrong. There is no evidence that CO2 drives climate change, but it continues to be used to scare people into action.

"A key concern is that the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which advises governments around the world, has used the Murray-Darling Basin and incorrect science as an example of CO2-induced climate change."

HIGH EVAPORATION

LOW HEATING

LOW TEMP.

WET LAND

HIGH HEATING

HIGH TEMP.

LOW

EVAPORATION

DRY LAND

 
 

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