Friday, May 4, 2012


date: Mon, 10 Nov 2003 15:23:04 +0000
from: Asher Minns <>
subject: Horizon

I have had this reply from Mark Maslin at UCL - he was one of the consultants
on an earlier Horizon series - see below. As an exercise, I have drafted a
letter for the Director/Producer, perhaps BBC Wildlife or the Radio Times,
which is from me personally - also below. Of course, I will wait to see the
programme first. Any comments?

Thanks for effect feedback. It is the publication to date where I have had
most responses - which at least means that people are interested enough to

I have some COP9 from Alex, but Neil said that he has none. I'll try MJ at

1) Dear Asher
I think (and hope) that the BBC are just recycling the title. As I know that
Jochem Marotzke (Southampton), Peter Cox and Adrian Lister (UCL) and others
have put alot of time in trying to give the BBC a clear view of the current
science and how we got to it. My own meetings, however, suggest they will be
going down the Deep Ocean Circulation in the North Atlantic will fail and be
bad for Europe/USA. Not sure how much wider the program will be than that
despite my efforts to suggest a wide view including the possible shut down of
AABW. They also seemed to be very keen on discussing and filming the history
of the Palaeoclimates which led from the 1970's to the realisation that the
deep ocean could changed and rapidly.
So simple answer is it should not be a repeat of the 1999 Big Chill program
... otherwise I will want my licence fee back! But I do not know how many of
the interviews/films they will re-use.
all the best

2) The science of climate change, and BBC Horizon

BBC2 broadcast The Big Chill on Thursday 13 November as part of its series of
Horizon programmes, suggesting that Europe and the US will be plunged into a
mini ice-age through global warming. There are fundamental differences between
the chilling certainty of Horizon�s claims for the next 20 years, and the
global warnings of the UK�s climate change research experts.

The UK Government and academic community is unique in the world in having a
state-of-the-art understanding of climate change predictions for the nation,
published first in 1998 and re-researched last year. The UK�s climate
predictions state that the collapse of the Gulf Stream is unlikely to lead to
a cooling of the UK climate within the next 100 years. Apart from a general
concern for the misrepresentation of science by mainstream media, inaccurate
science communication gives mixed messages to the wider public about what
scientists understand about climate change, and the choices that we have in
responding and adapting to the impacts of climate change. If Horizon is to
advertise itself as a science documentary, then it has to maintain the respect
and support of scientists and public alike.

Asher Minns
Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research HQ
University of East Anglia

Asher Minns
Communication Manager
Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research
Tel: 07880 547843 / 01603 593906

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