Nicholas Harrison posted this comment over at Weather Action, which I reproduce in full [my emphasis and formatting]
I’ve emailed the Dept of Energy and CC since Ed Davey’s outburst and kept digging at them because of the rubbish they’ve sent me. I’ve forwarded mails on to Piers, but he’s a busy man, so I’m posting the latest reply here, in the hope that others can take up against what the Gov are saying.
Thank you for your email to my colleague, Daniel McHugh, about Edward Davey’s speech on climate change. I have been asked to reply. Let me assure you that the Secretary of State was not making a point about free speech, but about the importance of reporting facts.
It is the Governments view that there is an overwhelming scientific consensus that human emissions of greenhouse gases since the industrial revolution are very likely responsible for most of the global surface warming observed over recent decades. There is no longer any serious doubt on this point. There are of course uncertainties about exactly how much further warming we will see in coming decades, but ‘business emissions are likely to lead to significant average global temperature rises. And there may be ‘tipping points’, i.e. points of no return or abrupt changes in the climate system. Global average temperature has not increased significantly since around 1998; however, periods of little or no warming should be expected due to both natural climate variability and other drivers (such as small variations in solar output), which can temporarily mask long term warming from greenhouse gas emissions. Other such 15-year long periods of little or no warming have occurred in the record since 1850.
Solar activity and its effects on global and regional temperatures are an active area of research, including in the DECC and Defra co-funded Climate Programme at the Met Office Hadley Centre. It is difficult to predict future solar activity reliably but a recent study suggests there is only a small chance of Maunder Minimum conditions returning within the next 50 years. If it did though global temperatures would likely be depressed by at most 0.13o (and by no more than 0.69oC even if highly unlikely and extreme changes to solar brightness are assumed). This compares to global warming projections of +2.5oC or more by the end of the century owing to continued human greenhouse gas emissions. However, it is possible that small solar variations may be amplified on regional scales and for example, cause changes to the frequency of cold winter weather over the UK and Northern Europe, albeit within a generally warming global climate. This possibility is also being actively researched.
The UK is committed to delivering ambitious emission reductions, under the 2008 Climate Change Act there are legally binding targets to achieve this. To date our emissions have fallen 23% since 1990 if you include emissions trading (2010 final figures), the latest Government projections suggest the UK is on track to meet its first three legislated carbon budgets with current pl policies. Investing now in building a diverse, low carbon and efficient energy mix will protect consumers from long term international fuel price volatility resulting in more stable and lower bills than they would have been in the absence of these policies. Investing in low carbon energy infrastructure is critical to tackling climate change and keeping us on a cost effective pathway to meet our legally binding carbon targets.
Darwin McIntosh | CorrespondenceDepartment
Department of Energy and Climate Change.
Please help educate these people before it is too late.