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Tiempo Climate Newswatch

Interview with Jim Salinger



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Jim Salinger

Jim Salinger discusses the development of the global temperature record, a key stage in the acceptance of climate change as a serious threat.

Find out about Jim Salinger's global warming priority (low or high bandwidth streaming video)

 

Background

During the 1950s and 1960s, cooling over the landmasses of the Northern Hemisphere led a number of eminent climate scientists to doubt the greenhouse theory. Considering the warmth of the 1940s extremely unusual, they reckoned the cooling trend was likely to continue.

Northern Hemisphere land temperature

© Tiempo

Northern Hemisphere surface air temperature, land only: annual values as departures from the 1961-90 mean and smoothed curve

We now know that the mid-20th century cooling was restricted in geographical extent and short-lived.

But it was only the work of scientists such as Jim Salinger, painstakingly collecting and correcting local temperature records, that enabled the development of a truly global record of the state of our climate.

This, in turn, led to the realization that the world was again warming rapidly and thence to political action to curb the climate problem.

Newswatch asked Jim to discuss the early stages of this work. We return to the 1970s with predictions of global cooling regularly appearing in the media...


To listen to the streaming audio or video files, you will need RealPlayer or Real Alternative, both free downloads

What prompted you to start collecting climate data for New Zealand?

 

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But just how much could you say about wider trends over the Southern Hemisphere from the New Zealand record?

 

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Why should there have been a difference between the trends in the Northern and Southern Hemisphere?

 

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How did the international cooperation that led to the development of the global temperature record come about?

 

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Are you still involved in climate monitoring?

 

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Biography

Jim Salinger is a senior climate scientist with the National Institute for Water and Atmospheric Research in New Zealand. He is responsible for the preparation of climate updates, as well as leading various research projects on New Zealand climate change.

A leading climate change expert, he has been involved in researching and monitoring past and current climate trends, as a university climate researcher, and later in the former New Zealand Meteorological Service.


Contact information

Jim Salinger, National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research Ltd, PO Box 109695, Auckland, New Zealand. Fax: +64-9-3752051. Email: j.salinger@niwa.co.nz. Web: www.niwa.co.nz.

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Tiempo Climate Newswatch
Updated: April 12th 2013