Evidence for climate change not so clear cut

A scientist from the University of East Anglia has said he is positive the amount of carbon dioxide in the earth’s atmosphere is man-made but added that there were still […]

Register now!

By Tom Gibson

A scientist from the University of East Anglia has said he is positive the amount of carbon dioxide in the earth’s atmosphere is man-made but added that there were still uncertainties surrounding whether the gas truly affects global climate.

Speaking at the conference on the science and economies of climate change at Cambridge University, Andrew Watson told delegates natural emitters of CO2 such as volcanoes and the process of natural sedimentation are hundredths smaller than the amount produced when we burn fossil fuels.

He raised attention to the theory of radiative transfer which is what scientists in his camp believe is the affecting factor in climate change: “We have good reason to believe that changing CO2 by factors of two or more from pre-industrial levels will change the global climate.”

However there were murmurs of disagreement amongst the audience, made up of scientists, environmentalists and royal society members.

The main culprits responsible for producing CO2, according to Watson, were deforestation and fossil fuels which amount to a combined total of nine billion tonnes of CO2. Of this 47% will stay in our atmosphere.

However, he did admit “there are a lot of uncertainties” which were mostly due to a reliance on modelling from the past as opposed to real data.