Carbon dioxide: the good and the bad, the right and the wrong

Professor Colin Prentice, AXA Chair in Biosphere and Climate Impacts  “Carbon Dioxide: The Good News” – This is the title of a recent Global Warming Policy Foundation report (Goklany, 2015) that focuses on the benefits of CO2 for people. In a hard-hitting foreword, eminent physicist Freeman Dyson claims that the entire scientific and policy establishment has been suffering from a form of “tribal group-think” that involves … Continue reading Carbon dioxide: the good and the bad, the right and the wrong

Taking the planet’s temperature: How are global temperatures calculated?

Grantham intern Peter Davies (Department of Physics) delves into global temperature records. Statements such as “2014 earth’s warmest year on record” or “No global warming for 18 years 1 month” are conclusions from different atmospheric temperature data sets.  Before assessing which is true it is important to understand how temperatures are measured, how data sets are created and used to calculate global temperatures, and the … Continue reading Taking the planet’s temperature: How are global temperatures calculated?

With climate models, simpler isn’t necessarily better

Grantham Institute Co-Director Professor Joanna Haigh discusses a recent paper which argues that  existing climate models ‘run hot’ and overstate the extent of manmade climate change. It is perplexing that some climate change sceptics, who expend much energy in decrying global circulation (computer) models of the climate, on the basis that they cannot properly represent the entire complexities of the climate system and/or that they contain too many approximations, … Continue reading With climate models, simpler isn’t necessarily better

In defence of biomass energy

By Professor Colin Prentice, AXA Chair in Biosphere and Climate Impacts Further to previous posts on this blog regarding Owen Paterson’s recent speech to the Global Warming Policy Foundation, I would like to take this opportunity to correct his dismissive statement about biomass energy as a potential contribution to decarbonized energy production in the UK. This is what the former Environment Secretary said: “Biomass is not zero carbon. It … Continue reading In defence of biomass energy

Has climate change been exaggerated? Fact-checking Owen Paterson’s comments

By Dr Flora Whitmarsh, Grantham Institute In a lecture to the Global Warming Policy Foundation, the former UK Environment Secretary Owen Paterson has criticised the current government’s climate and energy policies, suggesting there is too much emphasis on renewables and that the consequences of climate change have been exaggerated. A discussion of Mr Paterson’s comments on UK energy policy appears in another Grantham blog by Dr Simon … Continue reading Has climate change been exaggerated? Fact-checking Owen Paterson’s comments

Paterson misses the point

By Dr Simon Buckle,  Grantham Institute Owen Paterson’s remarks on the UK response to climate change miss the point.  I do not disagree with him that the UK decarbonisation strategy should be improved.  In particular, there is a need for a more effective strategy on energy demand.  However, my preferred policy and technology mix would be very different to his and include the acceleration and expansion … Continue reading Paterson misses the point

Ocean heat uptake – checking the facts

By Dr Flora Whitmarsh, Grantham Institute The recent slowdown in global temperature rise has led to suggestions that global warming has stopped. In fact, the Earth system is still gaining heat, and the slowdown was likely caused by a series of small volcanic eruptions, a downward trend in the solar cycle, and increased heat uptake of the ocean. Writing in the Telegraph, Christopher Booker claims … Continue reading Ocean heat uptake – checking the facts

Ocean warming in the media

A recent paper on ocean warming has been reported on in a number of newspaper articles, most recently by Christopher Booker in the Sunday Telegraph. The author of the paper, Professor Carl Wunsch of MIT, wrote a letter to the editor of the Sunday Telegraph in response to Christopher Booker’s article. As the letter has yet to be published in the Sunday Telegraph, with the permission … Continue reading Ocean warming in the media

Fact checking a recent Telegraph article by Christopher Booker

by Dr Flora Whitmarsh, Grantham Institute In an article for the Telegraph, Christopher Booker gave his views on Professor Sir Brian Hoskins’ appearance on the Today programme earlier this year. In the article, Booker made several claims about climate science relating to rainfall, atmospheric humidity, polar sea ice extent, global temperatures and sea level rise. In this blog I will assess his claims against the findings of … Continue reading Fact checking a recent Telegraph article by Christopher Booker

Science and an open society

By Dr Simon Buckle, Grantham Institute Professor Lennart Bengtsson’s resignation from the GWPF (Global Warming Policy Foundation) Academic Advisory Council has received wide coverage and raises important issues. Whatever anyone’s views are on the role, motivation and integrity of the GWPF in this matter, it is up to individual academics whether or not to associate themselves with it in an advisory role. It is regrettable … Continue reading Science and an open society