Climate bludgeon

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Reading through my copy of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report I wondered if I was actually reading the same report as described in your article (28 September).

The IPCC describes four scenarios of climate basically underpinned by different rises in CO² concentration.

The quoted temperature in your report of “up to almost five degrees by the end of the century” is actually a range of 2.6 to 4.8 with a mean of 3.7 for the worst, and very unlikely, case scenario.

A much more likely scenario of CO² emissions is 1.1 to 2.6 degrees by 2100. Catastrophising climate change is likely to make populations cynical and demean the science when one is dealing with largely imperceptible changes on a decadal level.

The report admits that the hiatus in temperature in the past 15 years is not understood and accepts that some models may have overestimated the response to greenhouse gas. But these same models are used to describe the scenarios that are generated and that failure is still a cause for concern. Although the Gulf Stream may diminish slightly, based on the worst case scenario, the report accepts that no observational changes supports this view.

If the Gulf Stream does diminish slightly, the seas will be warmer and the temperature maps did not indicate a colder UK.

Attempts to bludgeon people into accepting climate change policies based on unlikely worst case changes is foolhardy without agreement on emissions from the rest of the world.

The UK is a trading nation and needs a vibrant, creative and well-educated economy if it is going to survive. Unilateral imposition of self-defeating climate policies will only diminish our ability to compete and adapt as conditions change.

(Prof) Tony Trewavas

Scientific Alliance Scotland

North St David Street

Edinburgh

Of all the unlikely IPCC statements on human-induced global warming, its announcement of “95 per cent certainty” that this is the case fits in with previous dodgy statistics. Whether it identifies 97 per cent or 83 per cent “certainty”, it simply means that it is not certain.

What really intrigues me about the whole charade is the continual projecting of likely disaster into the future: it’s some years now since former prime minister Gordon Brown warned of having “only 50 days to save the planet”, yet emissions are still rising.

Strangely, though, temperatures are not. The main thrust of the IPCC argument is that melting ice will cause catastrophic sea level gains: rises of 20 to 40 feet have been suggested. I doubt whether enough ice exists to reach such depths even if it all melted. I’d suggest a simple factual way of monitoring this threat over the next few years: keep a record of sea levels at the world’s lowest country, the Maldives, and balance that against recorded contemporary ice melt.

Robert Dow

Ormiston Road

Tranent, East Lothian

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