Rising seas prompt new Dunedin building rules

New homes in some Dunedin coastal areas will have to be built higher off the ground under new rules to protect against an increased risk of flooding from rising sea levels.

The change, announced by the Dunedin City Council today, will apply to the floor levels of residential or communal buildings and extensions but not to industrial or commercial buildings.

The council has signalled the change in a reference which would be added to the Land Information Memorandums (LIMs) of the properties likely to be affected today.

The change would not apply to South Dunedin, because of the protection provided by sand dunes and the way the area has been developed.


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1100 peer-reviewed sceptical papers

Dr Palin, I presume that you disagree with some aspect of the list of 1100+ peer-reviewed papers that disagrees with your theory of Global Warming. Your criticism isn't clear. Are you saying that the papers are not peer reviewed, or are you saying that they are peer reviewed but you don't accept them because they disagree with your ideology. Surely you should accept both alarmist and sceptical papers as being valid.

The list of over 1100 sceptical peer-reviewed papers is here. The compiler of the list has guessed what your criticisms will be and listed rebuttals for these here. We have discussed this list before (ODT 2011) with the discussion starting here. You made some comments and Rob Fischer had some specific criticisms which I rebutted here

The point is, that a significant number of peer-reviewed sceptical papers exist and are being written right now.


Re: South Dunedin

@Stuart Mathieson

What it means is that the decision is based on the changes in the risk of inundation exceeding a certain level during various storm surge and tsunami scenarios, under various sea level change models.

South Dunedin is protected from the storm surge and tsunami scenarios examined by the sand dunes on one side and the harbour on the other.

Nice work

Snoot- Great link.  A bit more about James L. Powell - a MIT-trained geologist - is available here

South Dunedin

The original ODT article concluded: "The change would not apply to South Dunedin, because of the protection provided by sand dunes and the way the area has been developed."

Does anyone know what this means? The sand dune protection is dubious at least and isn't the "way the area was developed" simply an admission nothing can be done and a dog whistle to discourage new development?  I can live with that, but it has implications for property maintenance.   

Peer review

0f 13,950 peer reviewed articles from 1991 to 9 November 2012 concerning global warming only 24 reject global warming.  The full reference is here.

Which side?

Chirpbird; your references could apply equally to either side of the discussion. One can take what one wants from them.


JJ- I challenge you to sit down with me to review those papers one by one. You'll soon realise that the vast majority are not in disagreement with the underlying physics or the multitude of observations that support anthropogenic global change.[Abridfged]

Peer-reviewed anti-warmist papers

Snoot, I think we are all clear about the significance of the peer review process, but as I tried to explain to Mike Palin, the process does not guarantee quality. I further explained that the IPCC, the primary source of Global Warming ideology, uses non-peer reviewed papers in their assessment reports, so are you going to tell us that their theories are false because of that?
Peer reviewing can be a guide to quality, but you would be very foolish for this to be your only measure. The process is corruptable as we have seen from the Climate-gate emails.
Mike Palin writes
as if he assumes that the "primary peer-reviewed science" is all supportive of the Global Warming Theory (GWT). But this is not the case, and I dispute your claim that the number of peer reviewed papers that oppose your GWT is "very small". We discussed these non-alarmist papers last year. At the time the number listed was 800 peer reviewed papers: the number now is over 1100 papers. The discussion ended prematurely, here, with Rob Fischer & Mike Palin being unable to respond further.
As I said before, If your method of deciding what's true is to only believe peer-reviewed literature, then apparently you will now need a better way.[Abridged]

Doubt is cynically manufactured


Regarding this debate about the reality of climate change, it's important to take into account that doubt has been deliberately and professionally manufactured. See here
And here is a story about how "The Advancement of Sound Science Coalition" was set up by tobacco company Philip Morris and also funded by oil company Exxon.
Investigator George Monbiot makes a convincing case that this organisation and others like it were created purely for the purpose of cynical information manipulation. (Not just climate change but also issues such as whether smoking really damages your health.) The instigators were big business interests who feared being adversely affected by any new government regulations prompted by legitimate scientific findings.


Rising temperatures and polarisation

I commented on this article in the early days...I hoped the stadium would float away. Ever since then I have been the recipient of a tirade of strongly held opinions.
I think its good practice for the DCC to take precautions. It appears 8 lives could have been saved in the doomed CTV building if the fire service had been prepared to take charge.
As a second earthquake was widely anticipate it is a shame that the service did not ensure that it had systems in place to cope with such an event.
I doubt that an additional half a metre in floor level will make a lot of difference in a storm surge, but the move by the DDC to acknowledge sea level rise as a possible threat to low lying dwellings is timely risk avoidance.



Pacific atolls

I think it could be both Calvin. But either way we all have moral obligation to come to the rescue as you would with a sinking boat. 

Pacific atolls sinking?

This is an interesting point. It seems to be an accepted fact that some Pacific atolls are being submerged, supposedly by rising seas brought about by AGW. But does anyone consider that these atolls might in fact be sinking? It is common knowledge that the Earth is in constant movement mode (Mike Palin will testify to that) so why wouldn't it be likely that these vulnerable little pieces of land - mostly volcanic upthrusts - not be subject to movements like the rest of the globe. The fact that they have so little freeboard is why they are at risk.

Peer Review

There seems to be a misunderstanding by Scam and others concerning peer review.  Peer review is not to check a result, it is to check the process, that is whether the researcher has used appropriate methods to test the particular hypothesis and the conclusion drawn is reasonable. There is a very small number of papers which have been peer reviewed and accepted which show no evidence of AGW, there is a very large number which confirm the hypothesis.

Dunedin's spring

''BTW - did you know Dunedin's spring this year was 0.5c cooler than average - let me guess, the warming made it cooler huh?''

You are obviously counting on most bloggers not reading NIWA's monthly summary. If my memory served me right it was hotter 4th November 2011! Especially at midday!


There will be much backslapping at ACT on campus or whatever you call yourselves these days.

I'm ready, are you?


The primary peer-reviewed scientific research holds the facts and I can provide you with access. I'll wait for your call. 

Take it or leave it

JJ- I have never claimed that I have superior knowledge on this topic. As a practising physical scientist (geology), I believe the process of peer-reviewed publication is the best means to distribute the results of scientific research. As to my judgement, well, my continuing engagement with you and your contrarian comrades speaks to the quality of that.  I simply have made an offer to provide you or anyone else with access to the primary peer-reviewed scientific research on anthropogenic global change. Like the learning opportunities I provide to my students, you can take it or leave it. 

Thanks to Jimmy for Some Common Sense

The one thing often missing from 'debates' about so-called manmade GW, is common sense.
Jimmy, as you will all have noticed, knows his stuff far better than any others on here, including myself.  Yet also notice how the GW fanatics are suddenly conspicuous by their absense of replies. When faced with common sense and facts to back it up, they suddenly run away - maybe to a Greenpeace meeting?
As Jimmy has said, MikeP, and others, show us the 'facts' rather than just your usual comments about deniers, Blogospheres, Al Gore being the best thing since sliced bread, etc.
BTW - did you know Dunedin's spring this year was 0.5c cooler than average - let me guess, the warming made it cooler huh?   


Al Gore's claims

It doesn't surprise me in the least that close scrutiny will reveal some fudgy claims by the man (Gore). He's a politician after all. and an American one at that in a culture that has to Disney-ise just about everything to get it on mainstream TV.
The evacuation of Pacific atolls has been planned now for some time and NZ has already accepted responsibility for some of the resettlement. The drowning polar bear quibbling is just that. There's an academic at Otago who claims the "seas will boil". I for one don't listen to nonsense like that but that doesn't discredit more responsible debate.
What is revealing is the attention these sort of careless off the cuff remarks draw in the absence of any real substantive evidence that stands up to sustained scrutiny.
The whole thesis (AGW) is premised on incontrovertible scientific fact. I'm talking about the basic thermal properties of gas molecules and the laws of thermodynamics. Everything else is simply a matter of explaining or ruling out other variables and estimating the rate of change.


'Qui vivra verra'

"Qui vivra verra" is the correct phrase and it means "wait and see." Science is the systematic search for knowledge defined as justified true belief. It progresses often in spite of politics, ideology, religious dogma and corporate spin. 

Don't hold back

Mike Palin: We eagerly wait to benefit from your superior knowledge and judgement. Your generous offer to privately explain to us the error of our ways is not as generous as you posting here, well reasoned comments explaining your point of view. Show us what you've got. Show us that you have thought about the science.
You put a lot of faith in the "the primary peer-reviewed science", but you should know by now that some of it is in opposition to your beliefs. You might be shocked to learn that the IPCC, the primary source of Global Warming ideology, uses non-peer reviewed papers in their assessment reports. Also peer reviewing does not guarantee quality. You need a better way to judge quality than whether something has been peer reviewed or not. Access to scientific papers shouldn't be a problem here: I hope that you and other commentors will refer to publicly available papers/information.

Gore quotes

For Rob Fischer's information:

There are many issues that need to be closely looked at before we can accept the claims made by scientists. Qui vivra qui verra is what we go by.


Al Gore worshippers

Rob:  trying to make out Gore has never claimed Pacific Islands were being or about to be evacuated is nonsense, even to the other GW fanatics commenting on here who know he has made these ridiculous statements time and time again.  His polar bear statements are world famous, as is his stolen photo of a Polar Bear supposedly floating on a piece of broken ice - about to drown.  The photo was in fact stolen from someone else who said the Polar Bear was near land and was simply playing around and in no danger of drowning whatsoever.

Maybe those who have based their fanatical belief that the world is warming due to mankind, on the statements from 'Al Gore', should have a look at this link  - which quotes many of the ludicrous things this peculiar man has said over many years.  One being that he "created the internet". 

Why is it GW fanatics can never actually quote reliable unbiased scientists, or actual data that has not been "adjusted"? 


RE: Gore 'quotes'.

Rob Fischer

Unfortunately GW_Scam actually got this one right.  Unless I'm missing something.

He's paraphrased two of the nine things that Justice Burton found to be 'inaccurate' in Dimmock v Secretary of State for Education and Skills

The over all ruling was, of course, that aside from nine inaccuracies, "is substantially founded upon scientific research and fact, albeit that the science is used, in the hands of a talented politician and communicator, to make a political statement and to support a political

The two points in question are:

"[T]hat's why the citizens of these Pacific nations have all had to evacuate to New Zealand."


"That's not good for creatures like polar bears that depend on the ice. A new scientific study shows that for the first time they're finding polar bears that have actually drowned, swimming long distances up to 60 miles to find the ice. They did not find that before."

Mind you, the claim "Polar bears are actually good swimmers" does nothing to adress how far polar bears are normally able to swim, which is a caveat in the original quote.


The correct quotes that are disputed are summarised in this article.

The judgement in this case refers to 9 "inaccuracies" or divergences from the mainstream, including the polar bear example.  And the evacuation of the Pacific Islands to New Zealand. 

Global cooling - 1945 to 1975

schmoepooh, the Daily Mail article was in response to the UK Met Office releasing an update to their global temperature records called HadCRUT4. The Daily Mail notes that the Met Service provided no explanation about the continuing non-warming temperature trend and the Met Service confirms this. The Met Office responded to the Daily Mail's story.

The Met Office people are dedicated Warmists, but they say that "within this record [of 140 years] there have been several periods lasting a decade or more during which temperatures have risen very slowly or cooled. The current period of reduced warming is not unprecedented and 15 year long periods are not unusual."

They like to call the last 15 years a "period of reduced warming", some others think that there has been cooling, but for me it seems safer to say that there is no significant upward or downward trend. There are two of these long periods since 1910: the current period of non-warming, and the global cooling from about 1945 to 1975. Both happened while CO2 was increasing, which shows that there is no correlation between CO2 and global temperature. Either that, or the influence of CO2 on temperature is so insignificant that the other influences dominate.

This up-to-date graph at climate4you.com shows global temperature alongside atmospheric CO2. It shows the non-correlation and also the recent period of non-warming. Trend lines have been added to the graph, but you should use your own judgement to decide where these should go. On Tuesday I refered to "various measurements of global surface air temperature"; by this I meant the main temperature records maintained by various organizations. These include: HadCRUT4, UAH-MS, RSS and NCDC.


The truth is out there

Scam (and JJ and anyone else)-

The truth is out there.  You fellows need to check it out.  I'm willing to help you get access to the primary peer-reviewed science on the topic.   

Gore 'quotes'

GWScam: Nice quotes from Al Gore: "Pacific Islands are being evacuated because of ocean rise"and"The Polar Bears are drowning, and are near extinction". However, unfortunately for you, he didn't say either of them. One of the reasons I know this is because neither of the sentences actually makes sense and Al Gore, for all his other faults is an intelligent and articulate man. No, wherever you got them from, these "quotes" were made up by someone of far more limited intelligence. I recommend to everyone that they Google both quotes to find the origins.

Global warming

The very bad news for the global warming ostriches is that science continually shows them to be wrong.
Global warming has continued over the past 15 years as is even clearer when the noise of short-term fluctuations due solar variability, volcanic activity and ENSO is removed, and furthermore global sea-level is still rising, apparently at a greater rate than was previously predicted by the IPCC (see here )

Facts and 'facts'

GW_Scam has this to say:

"Trippy:  Wrong again.  The theory of manmade GW has not been around for 50 years as it is now, in fact the same 'scientists' who now claim the world is warming were originally claiming it was freezing.  No one took any notice of them, so literally months later they changed their mind."
I didn't say that it had been around for 50 years as it is now, I said that the theory of anthropogenic global warming was 50 years old when Al Gore was born in 1948.

Anthropogenic global warming through CO2 emission was first proposed in 1896, and was based on an understanding of basic physics such as black body radiation and simple harmonic motion.  Being first proposed in 1896 would make it 116 years old.

"My suggestion is, do some research - use your common sense, analyse what they tell you and what is actually happening."
I have. I've done extensive research into the physics, chemistry, and history of anthropogenic global warming.  I've also written several essays on the matter explaining it to lay-people.

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