Hat tip to contributor ‘Bob FJ’ who has alerted me to this transcript of Royal Society President Sir Paul Nurse speaking on Australian public radio station ABC Radio National last Saturday. This is just the ‘climate bit’, but the whole thing is worth reading as an insight into Sir Paul’s thinking on matters of science policy and research direction. Apparently, he thinks the sceptics and ‘deniers’ are politically motivated cherry pickers. “Mr Pot, there’s a Mr Kettle on line two for you”.
The consensus view of the majority of expert climate scientists is very clear, that the globe has increased in temperature by around 0.8°C in the last 100 years, that this is largely due to increased greenhouse gas emissions, and these are a consequence, at least in part or a significant way, of human activity, and that a further rise of around 2° or maybe up to 4° can be expected in the next century. That would be the approximate consensus view.
Within this mainstream consensus view there is quite a lot of debate about aspects of the science, and that is a legitimate debate, you know, is it 1.5° or is it 3°, et cetera, and it particularly applies to predicting the future. And it’s made difficult because of the complexities of feedbacks within the global climate system. That makes it difficult to come to decisions.