Gary Kerkin, a scientist member of the NZ Climate Science Coalition, has released a study of surface temperatures and atmospheric carbon dioxide levels (pdf, 349 KB) over New Zealand during the last hundred years and finds they are unrelated. This is similar, Gary says, to observations around the world, which find “a small increase in the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere but no significant upward trend in temperature.”
He says no experiment has ever been conducted to demonstrate the relationship between carbon dioxide and atmospheric temperature. Nor has anyone established an empirical explanation of the extent to which carbon dioxide contributes to atmospheric temperature.
With no link between atmospheric carbon dioxide and temperature established experimentally, he set out to discover one by comparing recent records. At least over New Zealand, he found no evidence that a link exists.
Kerkin’s Figure 3: “Temperature and Carbon Dioxide Changes Over 25-year Periods.” In each year, the 25-year records of carbon dioxide and air temperature over New Zealand show no correlation. Click to enlarge.
An increase in either temperature or carbon dioxide does not appear to cause an increase in the other.
If that is true, his Figure 2, showing CO2 and temperature trending in unison, hints at some other factor driving them both:
Kerkin’s Figure 2: “New Zealand Temperature and Carbon Dioxide Record.” Uncorrelated, but their trends are similar—so what drives them? Click to enlarge.
He finishes by suggesting we might be “more concerned about the colder temperatures which will occur as the Holocene ends.”
Our time in the sun has been pleasant and productive (though some tell us to cool it) but it could be drawing to a close.
Download essay: “Carbon Dioxide and Atmospheric Warming” (pdf, 349 KB)