13% climate change scepticism

Radio NZ report 13% of NZers climate change skeptics

Researchers at the University of Tasmania analysed surveys taken from 14 countries and found 13 percent of those surveyed in New Zealand were climate-change sceptics.

Only Australia and Norway had higher rates, with the United States coming in just behind on 12 percent.

That compares with only 2 percent of Spanish people and 4 percent of Germans and Swiss.

The study found countries with higher carbon dioxide emissions had greater rates of scepticism – and the people most likely to be sceptics tend to be male, politically conservative and less concerned about the environment.

The authors of the study conclude that despite overwhelming scientific evidence climate change is real, scepticism endures and may even be on the rise in many places.

Listen to economist Geoff Bertram and climate scientist James Renwick on Sunday Morning

It depends on the survey wording and the meaning of sceptic here. I’m sceptical about some aspects of ‘Climate Change’ but acknowledge it’s an issue of concern and it’s backed by substantial science.

• Climate scepticism is highest in Australia, New Zealand, Norway and the USA.

• Higher levels of CO2 emissions per capita are positively associated with scepticism.

• Country vulnerability to climate change is correlated positively with climate scepticism.

• Political conservatism, gender and low environmental concern are key predictors of scepticism.


13% is still a smallish minority. Some people will never accept reality if it differs from their fixed views. Others keep looking for the small minority of science that backs their view. Others just seek like minded people to support their scepticsm with.

Sea level rise may be accelerating

Climate change predictions are not fixed, they keep needing to be adapted as more research results become known.

A new Australian study appears to explain a previous puzzle. Radio NZ reports in Sea level rise accelerating – study.

Satellite data dating back to 1993 appeared to show sea level rise accelerating in the 1990s and then slowing over the following decade.

But a new study claims that was incorrect due to early inaccuracies.

Sea level rise accelerated faster in the past two decades than it did for the majority of the 20th century according to a new study.

The report, published in the journal Nature Climate Change, corrected an anomaly that had puzzled the scientific community for years.

Satellite data dating back to 1993 appeared to show sea level rise accelerating in the 1990s and then slowing over the following decade.

Over the past five years, researchers from the University of Tasmania have been using tide gauges to check the satellite data.

Lead researcher Christopher Watson said they now thought they had the answer.

“Now, once we make a correction for how much land motion is at the tide gauge, or how much it’s moving up and down, we’re able to get a better picture of the really small inaccuracies within the altimeter record.”

He said the study suggested satellites marginally overestimated the rate of sea level rise in the first six years and that distorted the long-term picture.

Revised data suggested the rate of rise actually increased over the past 20 years.

“What we can see here is sea level clearly rising over the 20-year satellite altimeter record with acceleration in the record,” said Dr Watson.

If this is accepted then a few climate models may need to be adjusted.

Report co-author John Church, a fellow of Australia’s CSIRO science agency, said sea levels were predicted to rise by up to 98 centimetres in the next 85 years.

He said that would affect more than 150 million people living in low-lying coastal communities.

“If we have major mitigation, then we can limit that rise to be somewhere between 30 and 60 centimetres during the 21st century,” he said.

Two things are certain about climate change – the research will continue and the arguments will continue.

Nature Climate Change article: Unabated global mean sea-level rise over the satellite altimeter era