Natural Variability To Dominate Weather Events Over Coming 20-30 Years

  • Date: 18/11/11

GWPF Press Release – London – 18 November 2011

For many decades to come, and probably longer, mankind’s influence on the frequency of extreme weather events will be insignificant.

According to a preliminary report released by the IPCC, there will be no detectable influence of mankind’s influence on the Earth’s weather systems for at least thirty years, and possibly not until the end of this century.

The Summary for Policymakers of the Special Report on Managing the Risks of Extreme Events and Disasters to Advance Climate Change Adaptation, is in stark contrast to other statements made by the IPCC. It shows that mankind’s influence on the weather is far smaller than natural factors.

If and when mankind’s influence becomes apparent it may be just as likely to reduce the number of extreme weather events as increase them.

Surveying the state of scientific knowledge IPCC scientists say they cannot determine if mankind’s influence will result in more, or fewer, extreme weather events over the next thirty years or more.

The IPCC report says:

“Projected changes in climate extremes under different emissions scenarios generally do not strongly diverge in the coming two to three decades, but these signals are relatively small compared to natural climate variability over this time frame. Even the sign of projected changes in some climate extremes over this time frame is uncertain”

“This shows the depth of our ignorance of this subject,” says Dr David Whitehouse, science editor of the GWPF. “Whilst it is always important to think about the future in the light of changes we observe to the Earth’s climate, in trying to draw conclusions so far ahead based on what we know, the IPCC scientists are speculating far beyond any reasonable scientific justification.”

Even making the questionable assumption that our computer models are good enough to predict what will happen in the future, for projected changes by the end of the 21st century, the uncertainties in those computer models, and the range of natural climatic variability, are far larger than any predicted human-influenced effects.

Extreme weather events have always been with us, and will continue to be so. It is the international community’s responsibility to make those likely to be subjected to them become more resilient.

Contact: david.whitehouse@gwpf.net