BBC science editor David Shukman reports:
With Britain’s heatwave reaching a peak, there could be no better moment to talk about why global warming has slowed to a standstill…
What if the climate models – which are the very basis for all discussions of what to do about global warming – exaggerate the sensitivity of the climate to rising carbon dioxide?
Dr Stott conceded that the projections showing the most rapid warming now look less likely, given recent observations, but that others remain largely unchanged.
A Met Office briefing document, released at the briefing, says that, even allowing for the temperatures of the last decade, the most likely warming scenario is only reduced by 10% – so “the warming that we might have expected by 2050 would be delayed by only a few years”.
Overall, it concludes, the pause “does not materially alter the risks of substantial warming of the Earth by the end of this century.”
In other words, global warming is still on.
But until the pause can be properly explained, many people will take a lot of convincing – especially if the pause lasts longer than expected.