New Zealand court rejects global warming challenge

Sep 07, 2012
A carving of "Tawhirimatea", the Maori god of wind and weather. New Zealand's High Court on Friday dismissed a challenge launched by climate change sceptics against a government research agency's finding that the temperature had risen in the past century.

New Zealand's High Court on Friday dismissed a challenge launched by climate change sceptics against a government research agency's finding that the temperature had risen in the past century.

The court backed the science that led the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA) to conclude that New Zealand's climate warmed almost one degree Celsius (1.8 degrees Fahrenheit) between 1909 and 2009.

New Zealand Education Trust, a private body that rejects the argument that human activity has caused global warming, went to court alleging NIWA's methodology was flawed and its findings were not peer reviewed.

Judge Geoffrey Venning rejected the allegations in a written ruling handed down Friday, saying NIWA acted "in accordance with internationally recognised and credible scientific methodology".

"The plaintiff does not succeed on any of its challenges... the application for judicial review is dismissed and judgment entered for the defendant," he wrote.

Venning ordered the trust to pay NIWA's costs.

NIWA was not immediately available for comment but a group of six scientists from New Zealand tertiary institutions including Wellington's Victoria University and the University of Otago welcomed the decision.

"The basic science of climate change has been established for well over a century, and almost all scientists active in agree that human activity is causing the climate to change," they said in a statement.

"For a small group of scientists to appeal to a court of law to find otherwise is bizarre."

They said climate change had caused glaciers to retreat in New Zealand over the past century, as well as rising sea-levels globally and a reduction in .

"This misguided action of a small group adds confusion to a simple issue—the world is warming and of New Zealanders will have to deal with the consequences," they added.

Explore further: Fish will have to find new habitats or perish if global warming is left unchecked

Related Stories

Scientists snare 'superprawn' off New Zealand

Feb 03, 2012

Scientists have captured a "supergiant" crustacean in waters seven kilometres (4.5 miles) deep off New Zealand, measuring 10 times the normal size of related species.

UN chief calls for urgent action on climate change

Sep 08, 2011

(AP) -- United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said Thursday that urgent action was needed on climate change, pointing to the famine in the Horn of Africa and devastating floods in northern Australia ...

Arctic heats up more than other places

Jan 16, 2009

Temperature change in the Arctic is happening at a greater rate than other places in the Northern Hemisphere, and this is expected to continue in the future.

Holocene warming regional

Aug 14, 2012

Research confirms regional — not global — climate change in New Zealand and European glaciers during the preindustrial Holocene

Recommended for you

As nations dither, cities pick up climate slack

10 hours ago

Their national governments hamstrung by domestic politics, stretched budgets and diplomatic inertia, many cities and provinces have taken a leading role—driven by necessity—in efforts to arrest galloping ...

Should we all escape to the country during a heatwave?

14 hours ago

A University of Birmingham research project has highlighted the potential health impacts of heatwaves in urbanised areas. By modelling the 2003 heatwave the researchers were able to identify areas where city centres were ...

NASA maps beach tar from California oil pipeline spill

15 hours ago

When an on-land pipeline ruptured north of Santa Barbara, California, on May 19—spilling 105,000 barrels of crude oil onto Refugio State Beach and about 21,000 gallons of oil into the Pacific Ocean in the ...

Not all plastics equal

16 hours ago

Ever buy a fish at a pet store that died within days of being put in an aquarium at home?

Carbon capture and storage safety investigated

16 hours ago

A significant step has been made for potential Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) deployment, with the publication of the results from the world's first experiment into the realistic simulation of potential ...

User comments : 1

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

ekim
4 / 5 (4) Sep 07, 2012
Yes, the Earth travels around the sun.
Yes, the Earth is older than 6000 years.
Yes, the Earth is warming.
Too bad scientists must waste their time with such frivolous lawsuits. Skepticism is key to scientific progress, however it should be fueled by facts, not preconceived agendas based on dogma.

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.