Britain's Leading Scientific Institution Backpedals On Global Warming

September 30th, 2010 9:18 AM

Great Britain's leading scientific institution on Wednesday softened its position on manmade global warming.

In a document published after a rebellion by more than 40 of its fellows, the Royal Society's new guide to climate change says there is greater uncertainty about future temperature increases than it previously had suggested. 

As you might imagine, the following report from Britain's Times has climate realists all across the globe buzzing (subscription required):

Climate change: a summary of the science states that "some uncertainties are unlikely ever to be significantly reduced". Unlike Climate change controversies, a simple guide - the document it replaces - it avoids making predictions about the impact of climate change and refrains from advising governments about how they should respond.

The new guide says: "The size of future temperature increases and other aspects of climate change, especially at the regional scale, are still subject to uncertainty."

The Royal Society even appears to criticise scientists who have made predictions about heatwaves and rising sea levels. It now says: "There is little confidence in specific projections of future regional climate change, except at continental scales."

It adds: "It is not possible to determine exactly how much the Earth will warm or exactly how the climate will change in the future.

"There remains the possibility that hitherto unknown aspects of the climate and climate change could emerge and lead to significant modifications in our understanding."

The Global Warming Policy Foundation's Benny Peiser was thrilled by this announcement:

The former publication gave the misleading impression that the 'science is settled' - the new guide accepts that important questions remain open and uncertainties unresolved. "The Royal Society now also agrees with the GWPF that the warming trend of the 1980s and 90s has come to a halt in the last 10 years," said Dr Benny Peiser, the Director of the GWPF. [...]

In their old guide, the Royal Society demanded that governments should take "urgent steps" to cut CO2 emissions "as much and as fast as possible." This political activism has now been replaced by a more sober assessment of the scientific evidence and ongoing climate debates.

"If this voice of moderation had been the Royal Society's position all along, its message to Government would have been more restrained and Britain's unilateral climate policy would not be out of sync with the rest of the world," Dr Peiser said.


The only question remaining is whether such sanity will ever come to our shores.

Stay tuned.