IPCC Report – Comments by Sir John Houghton

The IPCC’s Fifth Report, September 2013. Some comments by Sir John Houghton


The Physical Science Component of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)’s 5th report was agreed in Stockholm in the week beginning 23rd September 2013 and its Summary for Policymakers – about 30 pages long – was available on 27th September. The main messages are:

1) That it is extremely likely (i.e. more than 95% probability) that human influence on climate caused most of the observed increase in global average surface temperature from 1951- 2010.

2) That there is high confidence that this has led to warming of the ocean, melting of snow and ice, a rise in global mean sea level and to more climate extremes with increased intensity.

3) Further warming will result from continued emissions of greenhouse gases, causing changes in all parts of the climate system. Considerable reductions in greenhouse gas emissions will be required if climate change is to be limited.

4) Under almost all possible scenarios a rise of 1.5C is predicted by the end of this century relative to 1850 to 1900 temperatures, but in some scenarios the rise is greater than this. Most scenarios predict further warming beyond 2100.

goto the John Ray Initiative website for the full article

In a comment to ACEN Sir John added:

The urgency of action re reducing emissions is even greater.

I mention in that piece that we now have good and direct evidence of the ocean warming down to 2000 m.

It is only small as yet at the bottom – about 0.1 deg – there is a great deal of ocean to warm, its thermal capacity
is more than 100 times that of the atmosphere!

And even if CO2 emissions ended tomorrow the ocean warming for would continue for decades up to a few centuries into the future. And it is for practical purposes essentially irreversible.

Which means that the heat waves, sea level rise and climate extremes such as flooding will all grow more anymore severe as the years go by.

Christians should be in the forefront of action. And as the IEA has shown – also see JRI web site – the cost of action is small – indeed in the end it will bring big savings because we would no longer have to buy so much fuel.

for information about John Houghton goto http://www.jri.org.uk/introduction/people/john-houghton/

Commensurate with being a brilliant and respected scientist he is a man of faith and active in Christian leadership.

Sir John Houghton FRS has held positions as chairman or co-chairman of Scientific Assessment for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), 1988-2002, Professor of Atmospheric Physics at the University of Oxford, 1976-1983, Director General and Chief Executive of the UK Meteorological Office, 1983-1991, Chairman of the UK Royal Commission on Environmental Pollution, 1992-1998, member of the UK Government Panel on Sustainable Development, 1994-2000.

He has received numerous awards including the Japan Prize, Fellowship of the Royal Society of London, and the International Meteorological Organisation Prize. In December 2007 he received the Nobel Peace Prize as part of the IPCC delegation, alongside the former vice-president of America, Al Gore.

His publications include The Physics of Atmospheres (3rd edn. CUP, 2002), Global Warming: the Complete Briefing (4th ed CUP 2009) and The search for God, can science help? (Regents College Publishing, Dec 2007).


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