Chris de Freitas

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Chris de Freitas
Residence New Zealand
Fields Climatology
Institutions University of Auckland
Alma mater University of Toronto,
University of Queensland
Thesis Beach climate and recreation : thermophysiological variation, preference and behaviour (1979)

Chris de Freitas is an Associate Professor in the School of Environment at the University of Auckland in New Zealand.

Education and professional career[edit]

De Freitas, born in Trinidad, received both his Bachelor's and his Master's at the University of Toronto, Canada, after which he earned his PhD in Climatology as a Commonwealth Scholar from the University of Queensland, Australia.[1] During his time at the University of Auckland, he has served as Deputy Dean of Science, Head of Science and Technology, and for four years as Pro Vice-Chancellor.[1] He is a former Vice-President of the Meteorological Society of New Zealand and is a founding member of the Australia-New Zealand Climate Forum as well as serving on the Executive Board of the International Society of Biometeorology from 1999 to 2001.[1] He has written extensively in popular media on an array of environmental and climate-related issues. The New Zealand Association of Scientists has made him a four-time recipient of their Science Communicator Award.[1]

Global warming and scepticism about anthropogenic causes[edit]

De Freitas has questioned anthropogenic global warming, and the way information is received and interpreted. He has written that carbon dioxide emissions themselves may not necessarily be the source of recent increases in global temperature. In the New Zealand Herald (9 May 2006), he wrote:

"There is evidence of global warming. The climate has warmed about 0.6 °C in the past 100 years, but most of that warming occurred prior to 1940, before the post World War II industrialisation that led to an increase in carbon dioxide emissions. But warming does not confirm that carbon dioxide is causing it. Climate is always warming or cooling. There are natural variability theories of warming."

As an editor for the journal Climate Research[2] he accepted the now discredited paper which gave rise to the Soon and Baliunas controversy.

In 2013, De Freitas said the devastating heatwave and wildfires that ravaged New South Wales in January were not linked to climate change, and said the Earth hasn't warmed at all in a decade.[3]

Selected publications[edit]

  • Carter, R.M., de Freitas, C.R., Goklany, I.M., Holland, D. and Lindzen, R.S., 2007. Climate Science and the Stern Review. World Economics, 8 (2), 161–182.
  • Khan, B.A., C.R. de Freitas and D. Shooter, 2007. Application of synoptic weather typing to an investigation of Nocturnal ozone concentration at a maritime location, New Zealand, Atmospheric Environment, 41, 5636–5646.
  • Carter, R.M., de Freitas, C.R., Goklany, I.M., Holland, D. and Lindzen, R.S., 2006. The Stern Review: A Dual Critique. Part I: The Science. World Economics, 7 (4), 165–232.
  • De Freitas, C.R., 2003: Tourism climatology: evaluating environmental information for decision making and business planning in the recreation and tourism sector. International Journal of Biometeorology, 48 (1), 45–54.
  • De Freitas, C.R. and A.A. Schmekal, 2003: Condensation as a microclimate process: Measurement, numerical simulation and prediction in the Glowworm Tourist Cave, New Zealand. International Journal of Climatology, 23 (5), 557–575.

Further reading[edit]

University of Auckland website:

  • "Evidence Must Prevail" by Chris de Freitas (The New Zealand Herald 9 May 2006) [1]
  • "Global Warming Skeptics Are Facing Storm Clouds" by Antonio Regaldo (Wall Street Journal, 31 July 2003) [2]
  • "Politics Reasserts Itself in the Debate Over Climate Change and Its Hazards" by Andrew C. Revkin (New York Times, 5 August 2003) [3]
  • "Storm Brews Over Global Warming" by Richard Monasterky (Chronicle of Higher Education, 4 September 2003) [4]
  • "Proxy climatic and environmental changes of the past 1000 years" by Willie Soon & Sallie Baliunas (Climate Research, Vol. 23: 89–110, 2003)[5]
  • "Are observed changes in the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere really dangerous?" by Prof. Chris de Freitas (Bulletin of Canadian Petroleum Geology Vol. 50, No. 2 (June 2002))[6]
  • Debate between Dr Jean Paultikof and Dr Chris de Freitas [7]


  1. ^ a b c d "Our People: Dr. Chris De Freitas". University of Auckland. Retrieved 2 August 2010. 
  2. ^ Soon, Willie; Sallie Baliunas (31 January 2003). "Proxy climatic and environmental changes of the past 1000 years" (PDF). Climate Research. Inter-Research Science Center. 23: 89–110. doi:10.3354/cr023089. 
  3. ^ "Heatwave not climate change – NZ scientist". 3 News NZ. 15 January 2013.