WJR Alexander Professor Emeritus, Department of Civil and Biosystems Engineering, University of Pretoria, South Africa. Email email@example.com 23 November 2005 I have just completed my technical report An assessment of the likely consequences of global warming on the climate of South Africa. (The extended summary of the report is now available. It consists of 92 pages, 14 tables, 16 figures and 50 references.) The conclusion is that there are no scientifically acceptable grounds for the alarmist claims related to the postulated effects of global warming. The sole purpose of my study was to determine whether or not global warming was likely to have an adverse effect of the welfare of the peoples of South Africa in particular, and elsewhere in the world where similar conditions prevail. I neither requested nor received any financial or material support for my studies. My report is not copyright as it is my wish that it be distrib uted as widely as possible. The extended summary is available in the form of a 2MB pdf file. I propose publishing the full report in book form early next year when there will be more clarity on the international situation. The following is a brief summary of my conclusions.
Southern Africa provides the ideal testing ground for global climate change studies. It has a wide range of climatic conditions from high rainfall along the eastern escarpment through to desert conditions in the west. It has winter rainfall in the south through to summer rainfall over most of the country. There is also a wide range of climate-related issues from pragmatic humanitarian concerns of poverty, malnutrition and disease through to idealistic concerns of conserving the natural environment with its rich diversity of habitats and species. The scientific disciplines are divided along similar lines. At one end there is a small but politically influential group of scientists in the fields of climatology and the environmental sciences. They apply abstract process theory based on proxy data to hypothetical problems. At the other end is the very large but politically passive group of civil engineers. They have generations of experience in building structures to withstand the forces of nature, and building and operating dams to provide water for domestic, industrial and agricultural use. Their scientific approach is the application of observation theory based on the wealth of real- world data to the development of projects that will improve the quality of life. Ideally, the solution of this globally important problem should involve a multidisciplinary approach by scientists in both fields of study. This is not happening in South Africa or elsewhere. The situation has deteriorated from consultation to the widening rift of confrontation as climate change scientists disparage all those who hold nonconformist views. There are two additional but fundamentally important reasons why South Africa provides the ideal testing ground for climate change theory. The first is that South Africa has a wealth of hydrological and meteorological data with many records exceeding 80 years in length. The second and equally important reason is that South Africa lies within the zone of maximum My technical report.doc 23 November 2005
2 poleward transfer of solar energy. There are unequivocal linkages between regular variations in solar activity and concurrent variations in the meteorological and hydrological processes in South Africa.
The principal concerns relevant to the Afr ican continent are: Humanitarian concerns § § § § § Increases in the climatic extremes, (floods and droughts) The spread of malaria to regions that are presently free of the disease Threats to water supplies Threats to agricultural production Loss of habitat and species
Environmental concerns All these concerns relate to changes in rainfall in the first instance. Although international attention...