from: Mike Hulme <m.hulmeatXYZxyz.ac.uk>
subject: Re: Cross section of climate opinions
to: "Simon Torok" <S.TorokatXYZxyz.ac.uk>
At 17:08 19/04/01 +0100, you wrote:
As a trusted group of climatologists, I hope to seek your views on the
following two questions (just a few lines of the top of your head, please
don't spend any time on this).
I am meeting a writer and producer from the BBC on Monday regarding a drama
series they are working on about climatologists. They have sent me a long
list of questions, most of which are easy to answer. But a couple sought
wider views -- I have my own views but I wanted to see what a few other
people thought. The questions are as follows:
1) Is there any serious doubt among the scientific community that global
warming is a genuine phenomenon? What do scientists say to politicians who
argue that it is nothing more than a blip?
3 dimensions here -
is world warming - almost certainly yes (only a few diehards would now fundamentally
question the UEA/Hadley 140 year record)
is it unusual - slightly more room for argument, but still the weight of evidence clearly
points to some non-natural forcing, especially over the last 50 years. No convincing piece
of science has yet been published that gives a theoretical and modelling basis for the last
50 years warming that *excludes* rises in GHG concentrations
what balance of natural and human factors - 90:10 or 10:90? best evidence would suggest a
dominant role for human influence, but again slightly more room for maneouvre
2) Are scientists frustrated by politicians? Do they believe anything
serious is being done?
Not frustrated if you know anything about politics. In fact, more frustration comes from
the media than from politicians. Our late 20th century democratic process however is not
well suited to finding and implementing solutions to very (in political terms) long-term
problems such as climate change management. Yes, there are some very serious things being
done (in UK and elsewhere), but politics is a messy business and politicians can only
advance slightly beyond the position that public opinion is at.
I'll be able to incorporate your views if you get back to me by 5pm Friday
(UK time). Let me know if you're interested in hearing more about the
project or want to see the full list of questions.
Thanks very much, Simon.
=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-Dr Simon Torok-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=
External Communication Manager Phone: (01603) 593 906
Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research Mobile: (07880) 547 843
School of Environmental Sciences Fax: (01603) 593 901
University of East Anglia, Norwich, NR4 7TJ, UK
Email: s.torokatXYZxyz.ac.uk Web: www.tyndall.ac.uk
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