Climate science still out there

IS MALCOLM Turnbull a secret global warming sceptic? Check who has won his $250,000 Prime Minister’s Prize for Science.

Graham Farquhar won our richest science prize for work that suggests global warming might actually not be that bad after all. In fact, it could be good in one important way.

Farquhar is a Distinguished Professor at the Australian National University who won for modelling photosynthesis — how plants turn sun, air and water into energy. That took him into global warming science and he found good news. For instance, the man-made carbon dioxide we’re told is heating the world to hell and must be cut is actually plant food that’s helped crops grow.

Says Farquhar: “If we could get rid of all the anthropogenic carbon dioxide emitted since the industrial revolution, then agricultural productivity would drop by 15 per cent.”

Farquhar also found that the mathematical models that scientists use to predict much higher temperatures got some big things wrong. Most models predict that as the world warmed, the winds would get stronger and air drier, causing more evaporation. But Farquhar found evaporation rates over the past 50 years have actually tended to decrease, because wind speeds had fallen.

“None of the climate models show such a decrease in wind speed,” he says. “It’s a paradox, which shows we haven’t thought about climate change and its impact enough yet.”


This article by Andrew Bolt appeared on the Herald Sun website at