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Tuesday, November 09, 2004

Climate change claims flawed, says study
Tim Radford, science editor

Tuesday November 9, 2004
The GuardianA team of scientists has condemned claims of climate catastrophe as "fatally flawed" in a report released today.
The study appears on the same day that 300 climate scientists warn that winter temperatures in Alaska, western Canada and eastern Russia have risen by up to 4 C in the past 50 years - and could warm by up to 7 C.
Martin Agerup, president of the Danish Academy for Future Studies and colleagues from Stockholm, Canada, Iceland and Britain say in their report that predictions of "extreme impacts" based on greenhouse emissions employed "faulty science, faulty logic and faulty economics".
Predictions of changes in sea level of a metre in the next century were overestimates: sea-level rises were likely to be only 10cm to 20cm in the next 100 years. Claims that climate change would lead to a rise in malaria were not warranted.
Extreme weather was not on the increase but more likely to be part of a natural cycle, not yet understood by climate scientists. The report says a warmer world would benefit fish stocks in the north Atlantic and reduce the incidence of temperature-related deaths in vulnerable humans.
But the Arctic Climate Impact Assessment, to be presented in Reykjavik today, tells a different story.
The Arctic scientists predict that north polar summer ice may decline by at least 50% by the end of this century. Some computer models predict almost the complete disappearance of ice.
This would have a devastating impact on indigenous populations, who use the ice for hunting and fishing. Warming could also lead to a "substantial" melting of the Greenland ice sheet. If this were to disappear sea levels would rise by about seven metres.
Guardian Unlimited © Guardian Newspapers Limited 2004

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