Royal Society changes its tune

The Royal Society is revising its official blurb on climate change.

It has been criticised in recent months for refusing to reflect scientific scepticism about carbon dioxide being the cause of global warming.

According to weather data from NASA there has been no significant global warming since 1995.

The Society's President, Lord Rees, said that the case for man-made global warming had been clouded by exaggeration and misleading information.

"We aim to provide the public with a clear indication of what is known about the climate system, what we think we know about it, and, just as importantly, the aspects we still do not understand very well."

Since the end of 2009, the debate about global warming has also been affected by two unexpected events. The first was the 'Climategate' affair, where emails from the Hadley Research Centre at UEA appeared to suggest that scientists were willing to manipulate data to support their own views.

The second involved the IPCC, which advises the United Nations. This body was criticised after exaggerating a number of claims; for example, that the Himalayan glaciers might melt by 2035, and that carbon dioxide was the cause.

Complaints were made by 43 Fellows of the Society that its guidance did not properly reflect the uncertainty present in the scientific community and that its guidance needed revising.

(The membership of the Royal Society on 24 May 2010 was 1,361.)

Benny Peiser, the director of the think-tank "The Global Warming Foundation" said that it was time the sceptics were taken more seriously.

ND, habitat21, 29 May 2010

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