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U.K. Met Office: Clearer evidence of man-made climate change

By Chris Dade     Mar 5, 2010 in Environment
The U.K. Met Office, the national weather service that is a part of the country's Ministry of Defence, said on Friday that a review of the latest research on the earth's climate has confirmed that human activity is almost certainly impacting that climate.
Few subjects generate greater controversy and argument at the moment than climate change and/or global warming.
Some of those who reject the notion that man is responsible for drastic changes in the earth's climate believe that their opponents are attempting to create a new world order or one-world government.
In October The Washington Times quoted Christopher Monckton, or 3rd Viscount Monckton of Brenchley, an adviser to former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, as saying that U.S. President Barack Obama wishes to create a one-world government.
Speaking in the U.S. shortly before the appearance of the piece in the Washington Times Lord Monckton had told his American audience that at the UN Climate Change Conference taking place in Copenhagen, Denmark in December the President intended to "sign your freedom, your democracy, and your prosperity away forever". He said of a draft treaty for the Conference, that was not ultimately adopted in a legally binding form, that it indicated "a world government is going to be created".
However opponents of climate change skeptics such as Lord Monckton point to the influence of the likes of the oil industry on those who claim man is not adversely affecting the climate.
The Independent carried such an accusation in February when, for one, Professor Bob Watson, the chief scientific adviser to the U.K's Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) and former chairman of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), opined:It does appear that there's a concerted effort by a number of sceptics to undermine the credibility of the evidence behind human-induced climate change. I am sure there are some sceptics who may well be funded by the private sector to try to cast uncertainty
U.S.-based energy giant ExxonMobile was reported to have provided six-figure sums to "Free-market, anti-climate change think-tanks" in both the U.S. and the U.K.
The U.K. Met Office has not been immune from criticism as the climate change/global warming debate intensified after the hacked emails affair that has become known as 'Climategate'.
Even if the accuracy of the data collected by the Met Office was not being questioned then how and to who the data is being made available has been under the spotlight.
But on Friday the Met Office, surely aware of the attention its claim will attract, issued a statement which seems to indicate little doubt regarding the existence of Anthropogenic (man-made) global warming and human influence on the earth's climate as a whole.
Dr. Peter Stott, is Head of Climate Monitoring and Attribution at the Met Office and he explained:Recent advances in observational data and the way it is analysed give us a better insight into the climate system than ever before. This has allowed us to identify changes in our climate and disentangle natural variability from the results.
The science reveals a consistent picture of global change that clearly bears the fingerprint of man-made greenhouse gas emissions. This shows the evidence of climate change has gone beyond temperature increases — it is now visible across our climate system and all regions of the planet. Our climate is changing now and it’s very likely human activity is to blame
Temperature increase, changes in rainfall patterns, warming oceans and sea-ice were all covered in the Met Office review that is being promoted as a more accurate reflection of what is happening to the earth's climate than the information contained in a report released by the IPCC in 2007.
The BBC observes that the full review has been compiled using 110 research papers on the subject of climate change and has been published in Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews Climate Change Journal.
Dr. Stott has supposedly rejected the idea that the review is a response to climate change skeptics and has asserted:We started writing this paper a year ago. I think it's important to communicate to people what the science is showing and that's why I'm talking about this paper
Also on Friday the Met Office confirmed that it would be ending the seasonal forecasts it has been issuing four times a year.
It said that:forecasts become less accurate the further out we look. Although we can identify general patterns of weather, the science does not exist to allow an exact forecast beyond five days, or to absolutely promise a certain type of weather. As a result, ‘seasonal forecasts’ cannot be as precise as our short-term forecasts
Monthly outlooks, updated on a weekly basis, will be issued going forward.
Emphasizing that short-term forecasts, those issued one to five days in advance, are "extremely accurate" the Met Office nevertheless warns that "monthly forecasts are themselves a developing area of forecasting and will therefore be less precise than our short-term forecasts", adding that the public has expressed a desire for monthly outlooks.
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