The Family First senator, Stephen Fielding, has fallen hook, line and sinker for some of the most commonly paraded furphies of the climate change naysayer brigade, writes Professor Matt England, joint Director of the Climate Change Research Centre at UNSW.

Writing in an opinion piece published in the Sydney Morning Herald, Professor England challenged the validity of the information provided to the senator by The Heartland Institute, the conservative think-tank he said was made famous for its view that smoking is not a health hazard.

"At the heart of Senator Fielding's conversion to climate change scepticism is the apparent contradiction that while carbon emissions have been going up rapidly over the last decade, temperatures have not, or not by much," Professor England writes.

"How could this be? Well, it is completely consistent with our understanding of the climate system, which has a well-known capacity to vary between years and even between decades. To say otherwise would be like saying every day in summer will be hot. Most days will be, but cold fronts give us respite from time to time, for a few days or a week. But the cool days do not spell the end of summer. The climate system is no different.

"Over the coming century we will continue to experience regular periods of a decade or more of minimal warming - or even slight cooling - in the background of a long-term accelerated warming trend."

Read Professor England's full opinion piece on SMH online.

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