Thursday, June 18, 2009

Met Office climate change projections: serious consequences for us all

The latest climate science projections from the highly respected Met Office can be found here. Below I've reproduced the key Met Office findings for the South West of England by 2080. The graph shows the regional temperature increase by 2050.

Medium emissions scenario

*Under medium emissions, the central estimate of increase in winter mean temperature is 2.8ºC; it is very unlikely to be less than 1.6ºC and is very unlikely to be more than 4.3ºC.

*Under medium emissions, the central estimate of increase in summer mean temperature is 3.9ºC; it is very unlikely to be less than 2.1ºC and is very unlikely to be more than 6.4ºC.

*Under medium emissions, the central estimate of change in winter mean precipitation is 23%; it is very unlikely to be less than 6% and is very unlikely to be more than 54%.

*Under medium emissions, the central estimate of change in summer mean precipitation is –23%; it is very unlikely to be less than –49% and is very unlikely to be more than 6%.

The consequences for us all and for our society and economy are very serious due to more floods, droughts, heat waves, storms, impacts on health and public services like rail travel, impacts on food production....The costs of inaction on tackling climate change far exceed the costs of taking effective action now.


  1. Hi Glenn, scary stuff!

    Off topic but have you read today's revealtion about a familiar (or not so familiar in Bristol South of late, figure in today's Telegraph?

    "Dawn Primarolo claimed on second home in Bristol. In 2004, switched to London flat and claimed mortgage interest payments"

  2. Absolute alarmist crap.

    We have been warned of the imposing end of the world for generations. Before it was the lack of world resources causing mass starvation = complete rubbish. Then weren't "you lot" warning us of the return of the ice age? - that turned out to be utter lies also.

    Glen, I agree with all your posts about protecting countryside and greenbelt etc, but, please, don't you think that this new wave of Green alarmism coincides quite well with the west needing to get away from middle east dependency, and to restict Chineese and Indian growth. Don't be so naive.

    The world temp rose by half a degree in the last Q of 20th Century and hasn't changed since. We had the medieval warm period before......

    The met office are in the pay of politicians, much the same as the Nazi scientists who promoted their science as "official" figures, so the "highly respected" tag would have applied to them in their time also. History has proved them wrong, and will prove you wrong also, just as lots of other cults of misinformed science have been proved wrong.

    Any branch of science which gives the lure of controlling other peoples choices will always have it's supporters. Now that communism has gone the Greens are a ready made replacement to preach and meddle in others lives "for their own good".

  3. Anon you are a classic example of someone in denial. The Met Office are a very highly respected and objective organisation. Your rather wild reaction to the evidence, accepted by hundreds of governments and thousands of scientific institutions around the globe, speaks volumes.

  4. hmm, are these the same governments who presided over the economic meltdown, house price bubble. The same politicians who rape the taxpayer on expenses?

    Chineese, Indian and Russian scientists don't seem to agree. Surely if they knew the world was coming to an end they would cease burning fossil fuels pronto. I guess they're just mis-informed and need to be "educated" eh!

    No-one will ever make me stop consuming at the rate I wish to consume. You can't stop people's free will, even if it is for their "own good".

  5. I suggest you take a look directly at the scientific evidence Anon. Dou you believe in evidence and reasoning upon it??

    You are wrong about Chinese, Indian and Russian scientists - they are part of the scientific consensus along with many others. Inaction by these and other Governments is in part because they too are in denial.

    What is all this 'world is coming to an end' rubbish?? Am I saying this or am I trying to contribute to reasoned debate by pointing to evidence presented by highly reputable organisations?? People should be free to choose of course, but within a set of generally agreed rules and regulations set according to the evidence.

  6. Have you done research yourself, or do you just repeat what you have been told?

    I refer to paragraph 4 in first comment.

    There is plenty of evidence to the contrary of your views. Are you that arrogant that you dismiss these, as they are not the "facts".

    Smoking was recommended as an aid to weight loss 60 years ago, by the scientific community (can back that up if you need evidence), they were wrong......but apparantly NOW the scientific community have the answers to every question.

    You are going to look really stupid in 50 years when we realise what Global warming was about, and sure as hell, its got nothing to do with science and everything to do with resource economics, and social engineering.

    Just keep on repeating what "respected" scientists tell you!

  7. Anon, I have done research relating to climate change myself. I investigated indicators of sustainability and quality of life for my MSc dissertation. I've also spent ten yrs working with Open University students including an annual ecological footprint measurement. I've been an associate lecturer in environmental science/technology/decision making for ten yrs now and before that was a science teacher (and before that was a research and development chemist/technologist in the polymer industry for 6 yrs). I pretty well qualified to weigh up scientific evidence.

    The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and examined all (repeat all) evidence on our changing climate. They have come to a decision and stress the seriousness and urgency of the problem.

  8. is it not the case that all opposition is crushed, debate to the contrary of your views is dismissed and discouraged? I can back this up.

    How much fundings goes to looking at the other viewpoint?

    How much do you have to lose by not propigating this myth?

    What would you do if you were proved wrong? Give back your grants/publicity, pull down the website and admit you were all wrong?

    My living depends on capitalism, thats part of the reason I believe in it. Your income depends on people swallowing the green religion without question.

    Do you believe there is a small chance you may be wrong about CC, is the evidence that overwhelming? I thought scientists were supposed to question, and acknowledge that no theory is entirely correct?

    The funny thing is, most Greenists meet the slightest hint of dissidence with complete riddicule and dismiss anything opposing their views out of hand, such as the evidence on your blog.

    I would argue you are in denial, by blaming capitalism for the worlds ills. Believe me, from your other posts, I think it's as much of a shame when armchair scientific pundits like me make claims on science, exactly the same way scientists in the Green party make their claims for a view on politics and economics.

    I deliberately snapped of a leaf of my spathiphyllum in protest, and I decided to drive to the shops deliberately in protest.

    I am so fed up with all this green rubbish - the bl00dy streets were closed on sunday so a load of bearded turtle neck sweatered real ale drinkers could use their bikes.

    I pay most of these d-bags wages anyway (all in the civil service), but why should my council tax be used to impose things I don't agree with on me. I want to use roads 365 days a year!!!

  9. I guess what I am saying is, perhaps I am trolling the wrong person but all Green means to me is to give things up, use a bike, pay more tax, and create an economy where poor uneducated unfortunates like me cant find a job, and all the prvillidged lazy gets who went to uni (not including you in this, Glen) can stare down their dissaproving noses at me as they benefit from the green new deal.

    So, I either go back to uni at massive cost and get a degree, or I'm going to be a wind turbine fitter!

  10. No, opposing views are not 'crushed' (a very loaded term to use) - the news often has 'for and against' speakers. In fact they have often treated the issue as if there is a 50:50 chance of a problem existing or not!!

    Dont know how much funding goes to 'looking at other viewpoints' - if its funding for scientific research you refer to I have to say that funds are not allocated on the basis of 'viewpoints' in any sense. Science is about gathering evidence not viewpoints. Having said this there are climate change denial organisations that have some very rich backers.

    If human-caused climate change was a myth there would not be a mountain of evidence from multiple sources to demonstrate it - such evidence exists for all to see.

    I'd be very happy to be wrong about climate change because that would be one less threat to deal with. There are, I'm afraid, still many others and many are discussed on this blog. I'm not receiving any grants so have none to lose. This website, set up, run and written by me and only me is not funded by anyone and it discusses a whole range of social, economic and environmental issues, not just climate change (look at the list of labels).

    My green view is based on reason and evidence not religion. Yes, scientists are about continual questioning and review and revision or replacement of theories - but they are also about reaching conclusions based on the best available data so the whole process is cyclic.
    There is a very small chance that all the worry about climate change is wrong - which logically means that it is highly likely that it is not wrong.

    I'm not dismissing your view out of hand - on the contrary I'm going over what you say and giving my reponse point by point. Its hard to take you seriously at times though eg the last 3 or 4 paragraphs in your last but one comment are just silly nonsense and include classic denialist comments like 'decided to drive to the shops deliberately in protest'.

    You are trolling the wrong person - and targetting the wrong party. I think you have been led to believe that being green means a certain set of things by the rather pathetic and incoherent so-called green policies put forward by the Blair and Brown governments and by local councils.

    The Green New Deal proposed by the Green Party would create a million jobs of many sorts and would be the beginning of whole new sectors of the economy. By the way the Greens would make it affordable for you to go back to uni if you wanted it because we are opposed to tuition fees and want full grants to be widely available. On the other hand surely a 'wind turbine fitter' is a decent job??

  11. Fair points GV, but no, fitting wind turbines is a crop job.

    Yes, you would be wise not to take all my points entirely seriously, as I always like to inject a sense of abbrasive humour ala "turtle necked d-bags"!

    Its not fair to put a tag on your opposition as "denialists", as I would just as easily counter the Green Parties rebranded socialism ("but this time we're doing it to save the world") as in denial. Socialism has been tried, it doesn't work.

    I guess that's where my vitriol for all things Green comes from. I can live with the outrageous claims of "the end is nigh" and the forthcoming armageddeon scenarios put forward by Green campaigners, but it's the political end I disagree with.

    i.e. although I would benefit from a grant to retrain - I am not particularly wealthy, but I disagree that others would have to pay for me to further myself.

    Please, please no green new deal!

    Who will pay for this? People like me - entrepeneurs, working people, business owners. Anyone who dares raise their social class will have their money stolen from them to serve the needs of the democratically elected.

    Why this is wrong? When the group target and exploit a smaller group in business, we call this a cartel. In school, it's bullying. Within racial groups, its racism.

    Economically it is all three! Shouldn't the individual be protected against the mob?

    I think the time is right for a republic, because my subsistence living to keep civil servants in a job is starting to upset me enough to rant about it to all and sundy on the tinterweb.

    Where did liberalism go? Why are all main parties (esp Greens) totalitarian? Why cant politicians fight for the rights to NOT interfere in peoples lives?

  12. The extent to which the Green Party has socialist policies is a matter of great debate even within the party!! My view is that there are some socialist aspects to the Greens but that overall green principles, philosophy, policies and practices are a new form of politics. This form has grown up naturally, in response to the kind of problems and opportunities we now have.

    It seems to have passed you by Anon that the Green Party has a mass of policies to empower individuals, neighbourhoods and communities, otherwise you would not call us totalitarian!! Go to the party website and look at the policies on decentralising power, more direct, open and accountable democracy, reform of the political and electoral system, favouring small and medium sized buinesses. We are for people controlling their own lives and taking personal responsibility for their communities - this is a vital aspect of social sustainability.

  13. I can agree with that then, but I am ever skeptical.

    NB Thanks to the Greens all our energy bills going up!

    I am buying a hamster wheel to power my hairdryer!


  14. Hang on Anon, the Greens are not raising energy bills - not least because they are not in any positions to do so!! The Greens want to insulate everyone's home to a high standard free of charge - this would cut bills!! Greens also want massive investment in renewable energy to guarantee clean energy, security of energy supply and affordable energy for the future - renewaable energy can only get cheaper with time and yet the present government want to burden future generations with the climate change costs of more coal stations and the radioactive waste costs of nuclear power!!

  15. Just out of interest, where do you stand on the severn barrage?

    Surely its a no brainer - easy cheap power!

    Radiation isn't always a bad thing - more superheroes?

    The point I was making is the whole carbon credits thing.

    I think you lot watched the wombles too much!

  16. I'm very strongly in favour of harnessing tidal energy eg via a tidal reef, a series of tidal lagoons or perhaps by tidal stream turbines. I'm opposed to any very large barrage because the environmental impacts in terms of habitat destruction are massive and very likely to be illegal (or extremely costly to compensate for). Search my blog for using the term barrage or click on the label barrage to see a whole series of posts on the issue.


Genuine, open, reasonable debate is most welcome. Comments that meet this test will always be published.