Verfasst von: Dr. Who | 9.3.14

738 | Kopfnuss für Klimawandler

The UK suffered its wettest winter since weather records began in 1910. The Met Office said it was the stormiest season for 20 years, making it difficult to ignore the words climate change.

The chief scientist at the Met Office has said there was evidence to suggest there is a link between the extreme weather and climate change. But some politicians have openly rebuffed the claims that there is a link between floods and global warming. Former Conservative chancellor Lord Lawson said the link was absurd and unproven.

The leader of the UKs Independence Party Nigel Farage also dismissed warnings of a link. On a visit to submerged areas of Somerset, he said it was ‘just the weather’. But according to the Liberal Democrat Energy and Climate Secretary Ed Davey, politicians who remain skeptical – should accept the evidence for global warming – and in his words, ‘shut it.’

Responding to Ed Davey’s comments, Dr David Whitehouse from the Global Warming Policy Foundation said he was wrong:

"I don’t think he understands the nature of this skeptical position, nobody is arguing that the world hasn’t warmed in the last 30 years or that carbon dioxide is not being put into the atmosphere by man and that mankind is contributing to climate change. He should start looking at the real science which is being done in the peer reviewed scientific literature.

"There are many questions about what is happening to our climate, the role of natural cycles (which are becoming more understood and are more prominent recently than they were a few years ago), and man’s place and influence on these natural cycles. There are many searching questions being put by scientists and echoed by sceptics’ which are crucial to the debate about climate change."

The Global Warming Policy Foundation recently published a report claiming that the climate is less sensitive to greenhouse gases than the current estimates. Dr Whitehouse:

"There’s no evidence they are well within the bounds of natural variability – rare events should not be unexpected. That’s not just a contrarian sceptic’s view; it’s a view of a majority of working scientists. There is no evidence the droughts, the fires, the heavy rain and winds in Great Britain are anything other than an unusual extreme event that will happen.

People are getting the science mixed up – people like Ed Davey ought to read the journals and understand the scientific process. His argument is simple and trivial and not the scientific questions raised by sceptics."

Professor Sir Brian Hoskins is Director of the Grantham Institute at Imperial College London, and Director of Meteorology at the University of Reading. I asked him if Ed Davey’s comments were fair.

"I think he’s put it a bit more strongly than I would – I get the feeling we’ve reached the point that sceptical politicians are agreeing with the science. It’s time to stop trying to poke and find holes in this climate science – we are changing the climate, the question is now what are we doing about it – rather than I don’t believe in climate change, which is a hollow discussion.

"The first lesson for me is to realise how vulnerable we are. We think we’re a modern society, we can cope with climate change, and we just get a bit warmer. But we can’t really cope, we are vulnerable and we’re going to be even more vulnerable. We have to take this into account when we’re deciding what to do with our future. The future climate of this earth is in our hands, do we do anything about mitigating greenhouse gasses now or do we let it happen?

"The pattern that we’ve had in the weather quite honestly we don’t know has anything to do with climate change, or not but we are very confident a warmer atmosphere will hold more water and the extreme rainfall events will be heavier and we’re already seeing that around the world.

We need to stop doing these hollow discussions, decide how we can make ourselves more resilient to the extremes of climate that are occurring and will occur and decide what we’re going to do about the future of this planet and its climate. Are we going to grasp the opportunities for a low carbon world or drift into a high carbon world with a changing climate?"


Juliet Spare
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