Increasing Number of British Public Deny World's Climate is Changing

Friday, 20 Sep 2013 04:39 PM

By Sandy Fitzgerald

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The world's climate is not changing, more than one-fifth of the British public believe, according to a survey from the UK Energy Research Centre.

The findings come as scientists continue their work on a United Nation's report on the impact of climate change.

The poll was done as part of a larger survey concerning changing attitudes toward nuclear power, and showed that people are less willing to accept new nuclear power stations because they don't think climate change is occurring.

The survey showed that just under 75 percent of the British public still accept that the world's climate is changing, but the proportion of non-believers has risen to its highest levels since 2005, when only four percent doubted global warming.

Now, 19 percent of those questioned in the government-funded report said they resolutely do not believe climate change is occurring.

UN scientists are working to explain why global warming appears to be slowing down, even though greenhouse gas emissions are growing.

But Green Party leader Natalie Bennett said the government is to blame for the growing British skepticism, reports The Express.

"When the government is so clearly failing to act on climate change, or take seriously its obligations under the Climate Change Act, it's not surprising that the level of doubt about climate change has risen," Bennett told the paper. "Of course, however, the 72 per cent of the public who acknowledge the climate is changing are backed overwhelmingly by the scientific evidence."

She noted that the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has already concluded that last year's extreme weather events, including Superstorm Sandy, were partly caused by climate change.

"With massive floods in Colorado and Mexico in the grip of flood disaster, we're reminded that the forces of nature have huge force that we must not continue to magnify," said Bennett.

The slowdown in global warming won't likely last, according to a draft United Nations report by leading climate control scientists, Reuters reports.

The full report, due in Stockholm on Sept. 27 after editing, claims a haze of volcanic ash, along with a cyclical drop in the sun's energy, are contributing to a slower global warming trend, but the emergency isn't over.

"Barring a major volcanic eruption, most 15-year global mean surface temperature trends in the near-term future will be larger than during 1998-2012," according to a 127-page Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Technical Summary dated June 7 and obtained by Reuters.

Instead, the warming trend will return and cause even more heat waves, droughts, floods, and rising sea levels, the report said.

Alden Meyer, of the Union of Concerned Scientists, told The Express that the IPCC must address the questions and doubt on global warming.

"I think to not address it would be a problem because then you basically have the denialists saying, 'Look the IPCC is silent on this issue,"' said Meyer.

However, earlier in September, other leaked documents from the same draft report  showed that governments financing the IPCC are demanding 1,500 changes in a draft report's "summary for policymakers" because the current draft doesn't explain the current pause in warming.

The report says that the organization is 95 percent confident that global warming has been caused by human activity, up 90 percent from 2007. The last cycle of cooling took place from 1965 to 1975, causing some scientists to predict an imminent ice age that never came.

Related Stories:

Amid 'Uncertainty', Scientists Blame Mankind for Global Warming

1,000 Scientists Challenge Global Warming in New Report

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