Greenhouse theory disputed

30 January 2003

The Press, New Zealand

Fears that the world is heading towards a climate disaster through global warming are based on "sensationalised and untested" research, an Auckland academic has claimed.

Research from Antarctica has indicated that human-generated greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide have played a much bigger part than previously thought in the state of the Antarctic icecap.

The news led Victoria University Professor Peter Barrett to warn that even the Kyoto Protocol, to limit greenhouse gases, would not be enough to avert a "climate disaster" by the end of this century.

However, Professor Barrett's claim has been challenged by University of Auckland climate scientist Chris de Freitas, on the basis that the warning is untested speculation.

"To me, this is sensationalising the issue when it doesn't need it," he said.

"He quotes the latest research that greenhouse gases play a much bigger role in the Antarctic icecap. That's pure speculation a result based on computer modelling, and they are not proof of anything."


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