Dangerous climate change by British scientists and journalists

May 16, 2007 at 11:32 am | Posted in Climate science, Hadley Centre, Met Office, NERC, Tyndall Centre | Leave a comment

Hi Stoat,

Did you search MetOffice Hadley Centre, Tyndall Centre, or NERC websites with your question? Their research (since 2003) into what constitutes ‘dangerous’ climate change fed into reports by Stern, DEFRA and IPCC AR4.

This MetOffice page links to DEFRA documents, one of which—Chapter 2 of Avoiding Dangerous Climate Change—An Overview of ‘Dangerous’ Climate Change (pdf) may be what you are looking for, especially if you skip to Section 2.5 Dangerous Climate Change. An overview of the research done by the MetOffice Hadley Centre may put this in early 2005 context.

However, if you are particularly concerned about the way this is communicated to the general public, you might want to read these three pieces in sequence, because adjectives are subjective and one person’s ‘dangerous’ can easily be translated as another person’s ‘catastrophic’:

  • Tyndall briefing note No. 16 by Tom Lowe (11/06) (pdf)
  • Comments in an article by Mike Hulme, Director of the Tyndall Centre, about the Exeter conference (11/06) for a balanced/contextual view of the political picture in spring 2005
  • Comments by Mike Hulme, in an article by Pallab Ghosh, about climate change language (05/07) (published yesterday)

Then you should be ready to launch into this recent article, by Mark Lynas, based on his book Six Degrees: Our Future on a Hotter Planet (synopsis) which points out the dangers degree-by-degree in increasingly nightmarish terms. It was published 15 March 2007 and is written for laymen like myself, but each point he makes is backed up by reference to the scientific literature.

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