Second evidence session for IPCC Review

Following the first oral evidence session two weeks ago, the Energy and Climate Change Committee is having a second evidence session today.

TV Broadcast here or here.

Unlike the first round, which was split half and half between upholders of the climate faith and dissenters, this session looks to be much more one-sided, and therefore probably not so interesting.

Panel 1, at 9.30am:

  • Sir Peter Williams, Royal Society
  • Dr. Emily Shuckburgh, Royal Meteorological Society

Panel 2, at 10.30am:

  • Guy Newey, Policy Exchange
  • Jonathan Grant, PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC)
  • James Painter, Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism, University of Oxford

The session explores a range of issues, including:

  • Attribution of the cause of climate change;
  • IPCC communication, media coverage and controversies;
  • Business and policy decisions in the face of uncertainty; and
  • National and international policy considerations.

The list of issues is intriguing, since it goes beyond the original remit of the review, which was mainly focused on the science and did not mention media communications (though policy was included).

The first two are scientists, though Emily Shuckburgh has also done some work on public opinion, co-authoring a report that found decreasing concern about climate change and decreasing trust.  They will presumably follow the line set out in the written submissions from their organisations. The RS one is very dull, churning out all the key words “unequivocal”, “robust”, “wealth of evidence”.  The RMetS submission is equally bland.

James Painter’s written submission referred to his document “Climate Change in the Media: Reporting Risk and Uncertainty”, about the interaction between uncertainty and policy.


Simon Carr at Guido Fawkes picks up on the Lilley/Shuckburgh and Lilley/Yeo spats.

BBC News also reports on this –  MPs Tim Yeo and Peter Lilley in climate committee clash.

BBC iplayer now has the recording of the session, though this only covers the first 2 hours.

The whole recording is here.

7 thoughts on “Second evidence session for IPCC Review

  1. Peter Lilley asks if the pause in warming since 1997 increases, decreases or doesn’t change confidence. He asks the question three times.
    Emily Shuckburgh (eventually) seems to say it doesn’t change confidence in future long-term projections.

    She emphasizes the ‘multiple lines of evidence’ argument.
    She says it’s all about long-term end-of-century predictions.

    Quite a technical discussion about chaos, initial conditions and initialisation of models.

    Chairman Yeo stops Lilley’s questioning. Lilley is furious.

  2. Graham Stringer is asking how accurately we can measure deep ocean temperature and how we can distinguish between natural and man-made warming.
    Shuckburgh says there are fingerprints, patterns. Will anyone mention the missing tropical hot-spot?

    Now discussing the weird error bars on fig TS 10. Shuckburgh just says they are ‘calculated separately’ and seems to get away with it.

    Stringer is now asking about Antarctic sea ice. Shuckburgh said they don’t have confidence in the predictions of that.

  3. Robert Smith asks why the Royal Society feels it necessary to write a document setting out its view of climate change.

    Later, Shuckburgh is appealing to authority, talking of agreement within the governing body of the RMetS.

  4. Barry, not sure about ‘totally failed’ – we’ll have to check the transcript.
    Lilley certainly accused Shuckburgh of not answering his question.

    At the end, Peter Williams was asked about groupthink and funding bias, and seemed to say that it was impossible, unthinkable.

  5. Now on to the second session.
    James Painter says most polls show a slight decline in public concern about climate, since the 2007 AR4 report.

    Lilley is asking Jonathan Grant about the technical details of the science, aerosols etc, which is rather pointless, as he’s not able to answer them at all. It’s not clear why he’s here. Now Stringer is asking him about the response of business and industry and the costs of mitigation, which makes more sense.

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