New 5-year Integrated Climate Programme for Met Office Hadley Centre

September 11, 2007 at 3:50 am | Posted in 5-year programme, Climate change, Defra, Hadley Centre, Met Office, Ministry of Defence, MoD, Pope, UK Government | 2 Comments

Met Office Hadley Centre launches 5 year programme

The Met Office Hadley Centre will launch its new 5 year programme of work on climate change on 11th September 2007 at the Royal Society in London.The new Integrated Climate Programme (ICP) of the Met Office Hadley Centre for the first time combines the requirements of the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs and the Ministry of Defence for information on climate change. It provides an even stronger contribution to the development of the science that will be required to help policymakers and other stakeholders in the UK and internationally to deal with climate change in the future.

Vicky Pope, Head of the Climate Change for Government at the Met Office Hadley Centre said “The case for man-made climate change has been demonstrated beyond reasonable doubt. It is now vital that the science moves to answer the questions on how climates may change regionally, what the risks of dangerous climate change are and what the potential impacts of climate change may be with different degrees of mitigation and adaptation. The ICP has been agreed specifically to answer some of these questions”.

Phil Woolas, Defra’s Environment Minister, said: “There is now an international consensus that climate change is happening and it is the science that has been the foundation of that consensus. The Met Office Hadley Centre has played an integral part in this.

Read more of Met Office Hadley Centre launches 5 year programme

For more on the military and security aspects of climate change, there’s a good report in the Guardian:

Move to identify climate change security hotspots

David Adam, environment correspondent
The Guardian
Tuesday September 11 2007

The Ministry of Defence has asked climate change experts to identify regions of the world where global warming could spark conflict and security threats.

The Met Office will today announce a £12m research contract with the MoD as part of an effort to map the likely impacts of increased temperatures. The research aims to identify countries where battles could break out over increasingly scarce supplies of food and water, as well as predict the likely conditions in which British troops may have to fight in future.

Roy Anderson, the MoD’s chief scientific adviser, said: “The MoD has identified climate change as a key strategic factor affecting societal stresses and the responses of communities and nations to those stresses. We have a pressing need for the best available advice on future climate change and, based on these predictions, assessments of the impacts of those changes on human societies at the regional and local scale.”

The MoD project is part of a wider programme of research at the Met Office which marks a change in emphasis from whether climate change is occurring to what the likely impacts will be and what society should do about them. The environment department, Defra, has pledged £74m to help scientists provide more detailed forecasts of how UK weather is likely to shift over the coming decades.

Read more of Move to identify climate change security hotspots

All positive stuff.

Meanwhile, on a faraway distant planet, I cannot help but notice that, by striking contrast, with a chasm so wide it defies reality checks, the New York Times has John Tierney reporting in its Science/Earth/Environment section, headed FINDINGS ‘Feel Good’ vs. ‘Do Good’ on Climate, the usual anthropocentric counter arguments—not just centred on, but exclusively concerned with the comfortable lifestyles of humans, as though we exist independent of the ecosystem—through subtle implication or blunt declaration: climate change is not really so bad after all (don’t believe the so-called ‘alarmists’); actions to combat climate change will be too expensive (don’t fund any mitigation, as adaptation suits the industrial complex better: build, build, build big contruction projects); the best way to combat climate change will be to make all people as rich as those in New York City (so concentrate on economic growth, instead of redesigning national and global goals in eco-sensitive ways: sell, install, use energy-intensive equipment such as air conditioners!); the best way to help poor and malnourished is to eradicate disease and provide food (so sell them pharmaceuticals and genetically-modified foodstuffs, to keep our industrial complex strong and the recipients dependent on American ‘generosity’); and the overall theme, highlighted by the title, is that those who prefer to tackle climate change are riddled with guilty consciences and want the rest of us to feel bad about our comfortable lifestyles too (so ignore them: enviro-types are out to get you and ruin your peace of mind as well as your enjoyment of life).

The balancing remarks, to those who say that NYT Science article (er, did this slip out of the Op/Ed section by mistake?) trivialises the issue of climate change?

The lesson from our expedition is not that global warming is a trivial problem. Although Dr. Lomborg believes its dangers have been hyped, he agrees that global warming is real and will do more harm than good. He advocates a carbon tax and a treaty forcing nations to budget hefty increases for research into low-carbon energy technologies.

But the best strategy, he says, is to make the rest of the world as rich as New York, so that people elsewhere can afford to do things like shore up their coastlines and buy air conditioners.

Here ends today’s reading. It would be funny … if only our climate challenge were not so serious.

Chip in with comments at TierneyLab if you fancy a wide audience 😉



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  1. It fascinates me just how much the climate change impact discussion has moved on within the UK. It really has moved into almost all sections of society, including the MoD. The UK is as a result streets ahead of much of the world on understanding climate change.
    This doesn’t mean the weather impacts won’t be felt because it’s difficult to defend a nation against the elements. The floods this year are a case in point. However very real discussion is being had right now about funding a new Thames Barrier.
    Very real discussions are being had also at regional levels. Norfolk and Suffolk for example are looking closely at their coastlines and debating how to handle rising sea levels coupled with high tides and storm surges. The arguement, let the seas naturally flood the marshes again seems to be gaining ground (pun!).

  2. Joint progress feels good, doesn’t it?
    The more accepted and acceptable it becomes to address climate change with real solutions for a real problem the further behind we leave those who cling to their fantasies of business-as-usual and growth forever.

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