Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 18 December 2014

Paterson unable to see science of climate change

SO Environment Secretary Owen Paterson – late of this parish – thinks the recently published first part of the fifth Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report shows "really quite modest" changes that are "not as catastrophic as we had been led to believe".

The reason he can think this is that the report is understated, because it is out of date.

The massive product of a cumbersome process involving more than 800 scientists, it does not incorporate recent findings that the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets are melting faster than had been anticipated, threatening faster sea-level rise, or even a study of nearly a year ago showing that Arctic permafrost is thawing much faster, therefore releasing more methane.

As pointed out in the editorial of this month's Scientific American, the IPCC's method of holding back its results for multi-volume batches many years apart needs to be replaced by a more "nimble" firing-off of specific reports.

And Owen Paterson needs to be replaced by someone who grasps the science.

WEATHER EYE

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