Lord Lawson calls for review of UK's ‘flawed' climate model

Lord Lawson is calling for an independent review of the UK’s official climate predictions as he claims the model used to make the projections is “flawed”. Based on research published […]

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By Priyanka Shrestha

Lord Lawson is calling for an independent review of the UK’s official climate predictions as he claims the model used to make the projections is “flawed”.

Based on research published by an independent climate scientist, a paper issued today by the Global Warming Policy Foundation (GWPF) – founded by Lord Lawson – has highlighted what it calls a “significant problem” in the Met Office’s computer climate model ‘HadCM3′.

The thinktank claims predictions made by it will “always produce high estimates of future warming” regardless of the data fed into the process.

The HadCM3 model is used for official UK Climate Projections (UKCP09), which provide information to help plan how to adapt to a changing climate. It generates a virtual representation of the global climate such as the greenhouse effect, evaporation of the oceans, rainfall and sunlight. By increasing the greenhouse gases in the model, predictions on how much warmer the planet will become in the future can be made.

The UK’s climate model is also used to help make investment decisions across the public and private sectors and as estimates of future warming generated by the Government’s model are “much higher than those implied by several recent studies”, they are likely to “lead to considerable malinvestments” of public and private funds, GWPF claims.

Andrew Montford, author of the GWPF briefing paper said: “There are potentially billions of pounds being misspent on the basis of these predictions. The Government has little choice but to withdraw them pending a review of the way they are put together.”

The Met Office defended its methods and rubbished the criticism.

The organisation said in a statement: “UKCP09 used a sophisticated method that used both model projections and observations to provide a range of potential future warming which attempts to take in the uncertainties in model parameters. The GWPF article fails to note that UKCP09 also used information from many other climate models and that the projections were independently reviewed prior to publication.”

It concluded: “Ultimately there is nothing in the GWPF article which undermines UKCP09 or the way climate models, including the Met Office’s HadCM3, project future temperature changes.”

The news comes ahead of the launch of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) assessment report on Friday.

Lord Lawson will be making an appearance at the Energy Live 2013 conference on November 7th later this year and Energy Secretary Ed Davey and other industry experts will also be speaking so come along if you don’t want to miss out on the pressing energy topics being discussed.