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  • Author: Cliff Ollier x
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The threat of dangerous climate change from anthropogenic global warming has decreased. Global temperature rose from 1975 to 1998, but since then has levelled off. Sea level is now rising at about 1.5mm per year based on tide gauges, and satellite data suggests it may even be falling. Coral islands once allegedly threatened by drowning have actually increased in area. Ice caps cannot possibly slide into the sea (the alarmist model) because they occupy kilometres-deep basins extending below sea level. Deep ice cores show a succession of annual layers of snow accumulation back to 760,000 years and in all that time never melted, despite times when the temperature was higher than it is today. Sea ice shows no change in 30 years in the Arctic. Emphasis on the greenhouse effect stresses radiation and usually leads to neglect of important factors like convection. Water is the main greenhouse gas. The CO2 in the ocean and the atmosphere are in equilibrium: if we could remove CO2 from the atmosphere the ocean would give out more to restore the balance. Increasing CO2 might make the ocean less alkaline but never acid. The sun is now seen as the major control of climate, but not through greenhouse gases. There is a very good correlation of sunspots and climate. Solar cycles provide a basis for prediction. Solar Cycle 24 has started and we can expect serious cooling. Many think that political decisions about climate are based on scientific predictions but what politicians get are projections based on computer models. The UN’s main adviser, the IPCC, uses adjusted data for the input, their models and codes remain secret, and they do not accept responsibility for their projections.


A widespread alarm is sweeping the world at present about the ill effects of man-made increases in carbon dioxide (CO2) production. One aspect is that it may cause the ocean to become acid, and dissolve the carbonate skeletons of many living things including shellfish and corals. However, the oceans are not acid, never have been in geological history, and cannot become acid in the future. Changes in atmospheric CO2 cannot produce an acid ocean. Marine life depends on CO2, and some plants and animals fix it as limestone. Over geological time enormous amounts of CO2 have been sequestered by living things, and today there is far more CO2 in limestones than in the atmosphere or ocean. Carbon dioxide in seawater does not dissolve coral reefs, but is essential to their survival.


Early definitions of geotourism stressed tourism related to geology and geomorphology, though some drifted into other concepts such as education, sustainability, conservation and more. Later definitions, largely fostered by National Geographic, treat the topic as related to geography, or more simply place, and concentrate on the extraneous topics such as sustainability, conservation and so forth which should be part of any form of tourism. The earth science community is liable to lose its influence on creation and interpretation of geosites and related topics because the concept has been broadened to include everything. Geodiversity is a copy-cat adaptation of biodiversity, but while biodiversity might be a measure of the health of an ecosystem, the value of geological and geomorphic sites does not depend on diversity. Many geological and geomorphic features are restricted to a single rock or feature, which enhances their value. Geodiversity might be useful as a way of recording diverse features within a given area, but it should not be treated as a value-judgement on the significance of individual sites. The whole area of geoheritage is under threat from the redefinition of geotourism, and the mis-application of the concept of geodiversity