NERC Climate Change Challenge
The recent Stern Review of the Economics of Climate Change re-iterates some of the scientific evidence that human influence is important in changing climate and also shows predictions of the possible levels of future global warming. But in certain quarters the scientific evidence continues to be disputed.
The Natural Environment Research Council, NERC, funds and carries out scientific research on climate change. In December 2006 we threw down a challenge to those sceptical about the scientific evidence, inviting questions and statements.
The debate's purpose was to explore the issues and the areas of uncertainty which convince some people that human-induced climate change is happening and leads others to interpret the available information differently. Some people think that climate change is not happening at all, others think that what we currently observe is natural variation, such as increasing solar radiation or progression to a further ice age.
We let the debate run for about six weeks, and have now reviewed the contributions and responses that were posted. A summary subdivided by themes is now available.
We think it is unlikely that people will change their views as a result of this debate and we don't expect to have an outcome of one point of view 'winning' or others 'losing'. Our purpose as a funder of research is to ensure that we engage with a broad public on a key issue in which science plays a major role.
NERC Chief Executive