Letter: Maybe he's had too much sun

Last updated 12:16 16/01/2012

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OPINION: Though I sympathise with former Niwa scientist Jim Salinger over the way he was tossed out of his job, I'm glad to see he's landed a gig in Aussie, at least during summer. I'm a bit concerned, though, that he might have been wandering around in the sun over there too long.

His article, Extreme is the new normal, is shot full of paradoxes that beg resolution. He starts with last year's "somewhat unprecedented" Queensland floods. Is that like "somewhat pregnant" or were the rains simply not unprecedented?

Then, "Figures from the Australian Bureau of Meteorology show that . . ." Pilbara, in WA, was very hot. I checked; yes; Pilbara was very hot, and some parts of WA were very cold in December. But, overall, "When averaged across WA as a whole, daytime temperatures were near average for December 2011".

Further we read, "century-old high-temperature extremes will be exceeded more often". Shouldn't we be asking why we have so many "century-old" record high temperatures? After all, CO2 levels in the atmosphere weren't significant enough to affect climate in those days.

Must just be the weather.

IAN BILLING

Seatoun [abridged]

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