Oops. This got published prematurely and minus the links. Oh well, you've seen it now...
The impact of global warming has been exaggerated by some scientists and there is an urgent need for more honest disclosure of the uncertainty of predictions about the rate of climate change, according to the Government’s chief scientific adviser.
Professor Beddington said that climate scientists should be less hostile to sceptics who questioned man-made global warming. He condemned scientists who refused to publish the data underpinning their reports.
Vicky Pope, head of climate change advice at the Met Office...was particularly critical of claims made by scientists and environmental groups two years ago, when observations showed that Arctic sea ice had declined to the lowest extent on record, 39 per cent below the average between 1979 and 2001. This led Mark Serreze, of the US National Snow and Ice Data Centre, to say that Arctic ice was “in a downward spiral and may have passed the point of no return”.
Myles Allen, head of the Climate Dynamics Group at the University of Oxford, said: “Some claims that were made about the ice anomaly were misleading."
Every prediction has to trump the last. Melting Antarctic ice is one of the current horror scenarios du jour. Who benefits from this? The assumption is made that fear compels people to act, but we forget that it also produces a rather short-lived reaction. Climate change, on the other hand, requires a long-term response. The impact on the public may be “better” in the short term, thereby also positively affecting reputations and research funding. But to ensure that the entire system continues to function in the long term, each new claim about the future of our climate and of the planet must be just a little more dramatic than the last. It’s difficult to attract the public’s attention to the climate-related extinction of animal species following reports on apocalyptic heat waves. The only kind of news that can trump these kinds of reports would be something on the order of a reversal of the Gulf Stream.
All of this leads to a spiral of exaggeration...
Robert Watson said that all the errors exposed so far in the report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) resulted in overstatements of the severity of the problem.
Somewhere there is a similar quote from Bob Ward. If anyone can find it, do let me know.
Links added now.
For the avoidance of doubt these quotes are (with the exception of von Storch) postdate Climategate, but are not more recent than the start of last year.