cc: <aparatXYZxyzc.ac.uk>, <sandatXYZxyzc.ac.uk>, <MASatXYZxyz.soton.ac.uk>, "Philip Newton" <PPNatXYZxyz.nerc.ac.uk>
date: Thu, 20 May 2004 15:02:24 +0100
from: "Eric W Wolff" <ewwoatXYZxyz.ac.uk>
subject: Re: RAPID statement -round 2
to: <plemkeatXYZxyz-bremerhaven.de>, <ewwoatXYZxyz.ac.uk>, <p.j.valdesatXYZxyzs.ac.uk>, <r.r.dicksonatXYZxyzas.co.uk>, <maria.nogueratXYZxyzra.gsi.gov.uk>, <marotzkeatXYZxyzz.de>, <mccaveatXYZxyz.cam.ac.uk>, <hauganatXYZxyz.uib.no>, <studhopeatXYZxyz.ed.ac.uk>, <rwoodatXYZxyzo.gov.uk>, <sfbtettatXYZxyzo.gov.uk>, <j.m.slingoatXYZxyzding.ac.uk>, <j.loweatXYZxyznc.ac.uk>, <cg1atXYZxyz.soton.ac.uk>, <P.ChallenoratXYZxyz.soton.ac.uk>, <a.j.watsonatXYZxyz.ac.uk>, <Alex.HaxeltineatXYZxyz.ac.uk>, <k.briffaatXYZxyz.ac.uk>, <m.hulmeatXYZxyz.ac.uk>, <lkeigwinatXYZxyzi.edu>
Generally this is a good initiative and the text is good although I do have a couple of suggestions.
In para 1, the bit in brackets is a bit unwieldy, how about: "exaggerated events: for example, total shutdown takes place over a few days rather than the decades that seems scientifically feasible." (leave the bit about freezing out?)
In paragraph 3 in contrast, I feel, bearing in mind also the comments we got from DEFRA at the meeting a few months back about the message we send out, that we might add a little. (Their concern was that we should not imply that we expect cooling to offset global warming but rather that they are both part of the same problem). How about (my changes in capitals):
"THERE ARE SERIOUS SCIENTIFIC CONCERNS THAT GREENHOUSE WARMING MIGHT CAUSE A SLOWDOWN OF THE NORTH ATLANTIC OVERTURNING CIRCULATION, FURTHER PERTURBING THE CLIMATE SYSTEM. Present understanding would suggest that rapid climate change over the next FEW decadeS is a low probability event, but should it happen, its impact on Western European economy and society Could be serious."
But I can live with the present text if you prefer to keep it.
British Antarctic Survey
Cambridge CB3 0ET
Phone: +44 1223 221491
Fax: +44 1223 221279
Alternate fax: +44 1223 362616
>>> Christine Gommenginger <cg1atXYZxyz.soton.ac.uk> 20/05/04 11:28:49 >>>
Dear RAPID SC member,
Given the anticipated interest in rapid climate change issues following next
Friday's global release of the Day after Tomorrow Hollywood blockbuster
movie, Meric and I have (with advice from our local communication officials)
prepared a statement to post on the RAPID web site (see below).
Our aim is to keep it brief - in fact it may already be too long. Please can
you let me know asap of any absolute show-stoppers.
My aim is to post it on our web page some time tomorrow (i.e. before the
The Day After Tomorrow - the latest Hollywood blockbuster movie by Roland
Emmerich, maker of "Independence Day" - depicts an extreme rapid climate
change event following the sudden shutdown of the North Atlantic overturning
circulation due to global warming.
Could this really happen?
While the film is a classic action movie featuring hugely exaggerated events
(total shutdown takes place over a few days rather than decades, tidal waves
in New York flood the city and then turn into a massive ice block within
hours), it does present some genuine scientific information about ocean
circulation, ice core sampling and past climate shifts. The film has been
broadly welcomed by scientists as a way to raise awareness about the
importance of climate change issues.
The UK is taking the lead in rapid climate change research. A �20 Million
Rapid Climate Change programme (known as RAPID for short) is being funded by
the UK Natural Environment Research Council (NERC). The aim of RAPID is to
determine the probability of rapid climate change and its likely impact. For
the first time, a monitoring system is being set up to monitor changes in
the North Atlantic overturning circulation (which is associated with but not
quite the same as the Gulf Stream). The UK research vessel RRS Discovery has
recently deployed an array of moorings across the N. Atlantic Ocean.
Present understanding would suggest that rapid climate change over the next
decade is a low probability event, but should it happen, its impact on
Western European economy and society would be serious. Hence, we need to
improve our knowledge of the processes involved and narrow the uncertainties
on the prediction of potential future rapid climate change. That is exactly
what the RAPID programme aims to do.
Dr Christine Gommenginger
Laboratory for Satellite Oceanography (LSO)
James Rennell Division for Ocean Circulation and Climate
Southampton Oceanography Centre (SOC)
Southampton, SO14 3ZH, United Kingdom
Tel (direct): +44 (0)2380 596411 Fax: +44 (0)2380 596400
Assistant Science Co-ordinator for NERC RAPID Climate Change Programme