Sense about Science ? equipping people to make sense of science and evidence
For the record
The reality of manmade global warming
An article published in the Daily Express on 6th February 2012 stated: "Indeed contrary to the green lobby's shrill declaration that 'the science is settled' on the reality of manmade global warming, there is now a wealth of evidence that earth is not heating up at all."
Liz Morris, Visiting Professor at the Environmental Systems Science Centre, University of Reading explains:
"We know greenhouse gases warm our atmosphere - in fact naturally occurring greenhouse gases mean that our planet is some 33 degrees C warmer than it would be without them. We know there is a strong, well-understood mechanism that means increasing these artificially will have an impact on the temperature of our planet. The science is also telling us that, while there is a background natural warming and cooling cycle, the sharp increase we have seen over what is climatologically a very short time period is likely to be the result of human emissions of greenhouse gases."
The article also claimed: "One recent study by the Met Office, based on readings from 30,000 measuring stations, indicates that there has been no significant increase in temperatures over the past 15 years."
We asked Professor Paul Hardaker, Chief Executive of the Royal Meteorological Society to respond:
"Despite these recent media reports it is clear that we have seen a continuation in the warming trend, and it is misleading to say that global temperatures show no warming in the past 15 years. The decade from 2000 to 2009 inclusive is the warmest on the record going back to 1850, global average temperature for 2010 was in the top two warmest years on record and 2011 looks likely to be confirmed in the top fifteen warmest years. It is disappointing that these reports have chosen to sensationalise the climate debate rather than to do justice to what the science is telling us. The Met Office itself has felt the need to put the record straight and you can read more of their comments at Met Office in the Media: 29 January 2012"
Related publication: Making Sense of Weather and Climate gives an introduction to forecasts and predictions of weather events and climate change.
Document type: For The Record
Published: 6 February 2012