UK project seeks to clarify climate science

Tuesday 28th Sep 2010 by theWeather Club

If you want to start an argument in a peaceful house, just introduce the subject of man made climate change. There is a blizzard of information available for any interested party, however this mass of information seems to have created blizzard condition levels of clarity, especially among the general public. To try and bring some simplicity to the situation, the government's Chief Scientific Adviser Professor Sir John Beddington has launched a series of web pages explaining the science behind the climate change headlines. Produced with the support of leading scientists from the Met Office Hadley Centre among others, the pages are an overview for people wishing to get beyond the day-to-day headlines.

The aim is to explain the scientific issues, evidence and principles behind key points. They will cover such areas as human activities - in particular the effects of burning fossil fuels and of land-use changes; greenhouse gases trapping heat radiated by the Earth; CO2 levels being over a third higher than they were before the industrial revolution, and many other scientific findings.

"Reporting on climate change science has often created more heat than light. The evidence is compelling that climate change is happening, that human activities are the major driver for this, and that the future risks are substantial." Prof. Beddington said. "At the same time, there is much we need to understand better; for example, the pace and extent of the changes we can expect, and regional impacts. I am grateful for the invaluable advice and inputs from Met Office experts that have helped in developing this new Government Office for Science climate science resource."

To paraphrase the good professor, let's hope the new resource will bring more light than heat to the proceedings. It is important for all of us that it does.

The link is www.bis.gov.uk/go-science/climatescience