CLIMATOLOGISTS HAVE hit back at David Bellamy's climate change paper published in ICE's Civil Engineering last week, warning that his 'wait and see' approach to designing for climate change is dangerous.
In their paper Climate Stability: an inconvenient proof, Bellamy and co-author Jack Barrett, advised engineers not to design for climate change claiming that the models are 'insufficiently accurate for civil engineers to rely on.' But climate change expert at Birmingham University, John Wright, warned that there is sufficient doubt about climate stability to warrant engineers planning and designing for global warming. The paper states that the doubling of atmospheric carbon dioxide since pre-industrial levels will result in a 0.6infinityC to 0.8infinityC increase in temperature over a 70 year period. This contrasts with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's (IPCC's) prediction of 3infinityC.
Wright argues that carbon dioxide has already increased by a third from 285ppM to 380ppM and has resulted in a 0.7infinityC increase.
Bellamy and Barrett's paper claims that rather than carbon dioxide being the main culprit for the temperature increase, it is solar activity that is to blame.
It states that sun spots - cool patches on the sun's surface - intensify the solar winds, leading to an increase in global temperature.
Wright agreed that solar activity was a factor, but said this was not wholly responsible for climate change.
(see letters p16)