Wednesday, 4 February 2015

CEH Climate science referenced in US Senate

Earlier this year a climate modelling paper published in Nature in 2013 which was led by CEH scientist Dr Chris Huntingford was mentioned in a US Senate debate.

Senator James M Inhofe made reference to the research during a debate on the KXL oil pipeline. He was reported as claiming that the Huntingford Nature paper casts doubt on the reality of anthropogenic climate change.

His exact words were "Nature journal, which is a well-respected journal, in their 2013 paper said that 'there is considerable uncertainty as to whether [increases in extreme climate variability] is occurring."

Subsequent to the debate Dr Huntingford was contacted by a US journalist and asked if his research did show there is "considerable uncertainty as to whether [increases in extreme climate variability] is occurring."

Chris replied, "Our Nature paper strictly analyses only year-to-year variability (fluctuations) in temperature, and demonstrates that in some parts of the world, this is actually going down. Elsewhere it is going up. This may be seen in both direct measurements and in supporting climate model simulations. This goes against the view that maybe, as general global warming occurs, everywhere will additionally see larger year-to-year swings in temperature."

"However, we do not at any point offer evidence against a general on-going background and upwards warming trend. Detection and attribution statistical studies show that the observed average increasing temperatures are almost certainly a consequence of the burning of fossil fuels."

This quote was used verbatim here and has also been subsequently referred to in the Congressional Record (Proceedings and debates of the US Congress).

You can read more about the original paper on the CEH website here.

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