Scientist debunks reports on global climate change

DUBAI — A visiting scientist from New Zealand has expressed his scepticism regarding international reports that have raised global concerns about climate change and its effect on the environment.

By A Staff Reporter

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Published: Wed 28 Mar 2007, 9:21 AM

Last updated: Sun 5 Apr 2015, 4:10 AM

Speaking during the third community lecture of the Emirates Environmental Group (EEG), Dr Chris de Freitas, Associate Professor and Assistant Dean of the School of Geography and Environmental Science at the University of Auckland, has challenged the report recently released by the United Nations Framework Conference for Climate Change (UNFCCC), which concluded that climate change is real and needs to be addressed as soon as possible.

“Broad scientific uncertainties still exist with regard to the causes and assessment of global warming. Human beings may not be chiefly to blame for it,” he said, adding that as per his observation, global temperatures have not risen appreciably in the past 20 years.

In his presentation, Dr Freitas contradicted the studies and reports emerging from most climate review panels who have in the past insisted on “drastic solutions” to lower green house gas emissions from man-made sources in order to curb rising temperatures.

A renowned climate scientist and speaker on environmental issues, Dr Freitas has been consistently sceptical of the claims made by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which mention the severity of the rising global temperatures. The inter-governmental panel was established by the United Nations in 1988 to evaluate the risk of climate change brought on by humans.

The third EEG community lecture, which focused on the topic, “Assessing Impacts of Global Warming in the Light of Scientific Uncertainties: An Alternative View on Global Warming Today”, aimed at providing a different perspective on the debate on global warming and climate change.

“It is our goal to raise the community’s level of awareness on environmental issues so that they can be the basis of our action. Our common agenda is sustainable development with a sound environment as one of its strongest pillars,” said Habiba Al Marashi, EEG Chairperson.

She also mentioned that the apparent crisis has been underscored by the release of the much-awaited fourth report of the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in Paris. “With the participation of 113 countries in its preparation, the report seems to have ‘the stamp of acceptance of almost all the governments of the world,’ as the panel chair, Dr Susan Solomon, would describe it,” Al Marashi said.

“It’s important to understand the long-term nature of this challenge. There’s a lot of inertia in the system, in both the economy and the climate, and overcoming it is going to take time. Thus, it’s pertinent to raise these questions now than later. The European Union recently agreed to undertake measures to ‘build a common energy strategy policy and fight climate change, challenging the world to follow suit’,” she added.

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