Last weekend, Ireland’s most qualified and eminent meteorologist, Prof Ray Bates, died.

He had an astonishing international reputation and career, having been head of the planetary climate unit of NASA, the US space agency, Professor of Meteorology at Copenhagen University, fellow of the American Meteorology Society, as well as five years with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and head of research at Met Éireann, as well as Professor in UCD and a member of the Royal Irish Academy.

He was crystal clear in his views on global warming and agriculture’s contribution to it.

In one remarkable lecture, he analysed the role of methane produced from Irish agriculture, explained the various ways its global warming can be calculated and showed that from 1998 to 2018, Irish agricultural methane emissions could credibly be shown to have actually contributed to global cooling.

He was fearless in his defence of scientific truth and his questioning of some of the theoretical models used by the IPCC international climate body have been proven to be correct, and reflected in a new approach by the body.

His fearless, always courteous, contributions to the climate debate will be missed.

His rigorous scientific analysis was unmatched in Ireland and his logical approach to agriculture was at variance with much of the uninformed hysteria around the subject.

To his wife, Natasha, and family, we offer our deepest sympathy.