Follow the billions
S Slade (“Stick to your armchairs”, Opinion, May 22) might like to consider that the chairman of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) stated there had been no global warming for the past 17 years.
The planet has been warming steadily since the Little Ice Age, with episodes of temperature rise similar to the modern one, so the modern rise is not necessarily wholly attributable to anthropogenic carbon dioxide (CO2).
Current global temperature is trending below IPCC model predictions, irrespective of El Ninos, indicating problems with the models.
A recent analysis by scientists, including IPCC authors, in the journal Nature Geoscience (2013) determined that CO2 has less effect on temperature than IPCC models suggest. (The best estimate is 0.5-2.0C rather than 2.0-4.5C.)
If the temperature standstill continues, this figure will probably fall further.
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As for the science, Mann’s “unprecedented temperatures” paper of 1998, lauded as proof of global warming, was discredited and dropped from IPCC literature.
The “unprecedented” warming of Antarctica (Steig, 2009) was shown to be a statistical artefact. The Gergis (2012) “unprecedented rises in Australasian temperatures” paper was withdrawn after flaws were found in the methodology.
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The Met Office chief scientist regularly links weather to climate change, while the official data displays greater caution.
Contrary to perception, the Department of Energy & Climate Change is not the holder of climate purse strings. The Climate Change Act binds us to an 80 per cent reduction in CO2 by 2050.
To implement this, various “carbon taxes” are projected to make up around 0.8 per cent of total UK tax revenue: about £17billion annually.
The 2010 Budget committed £200billion for building renewable energy infrastructure by 2020. Agricultural, building and transport directives add billions to costs. Billions are provided for education, research and development. And billions in foreign aid is tied to climate change.
Accumulated costs of £2trillion by the year 2100 are a reasonable estimate.