Clark Cross (Letters, 14 January) again misrepresents information relevant to the recent
Met Office decadal forecast.
Mr Cross refers to previous predictions of “rises of at least 0.2 degrees per decade”. Such a rise has already been achieved: “The period 2001-2010 (0.44C above 1961-90 mean) was 0.20C warmer than the 1991-2000 decade (0.24C above 1961-90 mean)” (cru.uea.ac.uk/cru/info/warming/). The current forecast for the period 2013 to 2017 does not preclude a similar rise.
However, the “most likely” rise given by the Met Office for those five years is equivalent to 0.14C above the 2001-2010 decade average.
Either way, it is not correct for Mr Cross to state that the Met Office’s “latest chart shows no global warming is expected until after 2017”.
While I would agree that the Met Office’s announcements are frequently less than clear, there really is no excuse for hyperbolic statements claiming that predictions of global warming are “crumbling”.
There remain compelling reasons to believe that the future will see continued global warming, increased frequency and intensity of the kind of floods, droughts and storms that we have witnessed in 2012, loss of Arctic sea ice and an accelerating rate of sea level rise.
Estimates of the cost of such events, if nothing is done to curb carbon dioxide emissions, greatly exceed the cost of developing new technologies to produce low-carbon energy.