This article has been written at the initiative of UK climate scientists, from both the academic sector and the Hadley Centre for Climate Prediction and Research, in response to an article in the previous issue of World Economics by Carter et al., which was part of a ‘Dual Critique’ of the Stern Review of the Economics of Climate Change. The criticisms of Carter et al. concerning the Stern Review’s presentation of the climate science have been challenged and found to seriously misrepresent the current state of knowledge. Furthermore, the latest Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, whose Summary for Policy Makers was published in February 2007, vindicates the approach used in the Stern Review. The authors show in this paper that the Stern Review did not use an exaggerated response to increases in greenhouse gases nor did it overstate the certainty with which current warming can be attributed to human activities. They therefore conclude that the findings of the Stern Review with respect to the science of climate change are fundamentally sound and form a proper basis for the subsequent analysis of economic risk.
David S. Lee is Professor of Atmospheric Science and Director of the Centre for Air Transport and the Environment at Manchester Metropolitan University, and Visiting Fellow at the University of Oxford’s Department of Atmospheric, Oceanic and Planetary Physics. Prof. Lee’s current research interests focus on the climate impacts of transport and climate metrics. He provides technical support to the UK Department of Transport for activities relating to aviation and climate within the International Civil Aviation Organization. He is also the World Meteorological Organization’s designated Rapporteur on Aviation and the Environment and has been a lead author for IPCC’s Working Group I and III reports and Greenhouse Gas Emission Guidelines.
Jason A. Lowe is a climate scientist at the UK Meteorological Office’s Hadley Centre for Climate Prediction and Research. His work focuses on the simulation and understanding of climate change using a range of different climate models of varying complexity. He is also interested in communicating climate change results beyond the research community.
John F. Mitchell is the Chief Scientist at the UK Meteorological Office, a visiting Professor at the University of Reading and an Honorary Professor at the University of East Anglia. He has spent over thirty years on research to understand and predict climate change. He has been involved in all four IPCC reports, including being a convening lead author in 1990 and 2001. In 1997 and 1998 he shared the Norbert Gerbier-Mumm Prize with other colleagues, and in 2004 received the Hans Oeschger medal from the European Geophysical Union. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society and the Institute of Mathematics and its Applications, and a member of the Academia Europaea and of the Natural Environment Research Council.
Vicky Pope is the Head of the Climate Prediction Programme at the UK Meteorological Office’s Hadley Centre for Climate Prediction and Research. She has many years experience as a climate scientist, and more recently as a program manager. Her research interests include developing and validating climate models. She currently manages a major program to provide independent scientific advice on climate change to UK government’s Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.
Julia Slingo is Director of Climate Research in the National Centre for Atmospheric Science, and Founding Director of the Walker Institute at the Department of Meteorology, University of Reading where she is also Professor of Meteorology. Prof. Slingo’s personal research interests are in tropical climate variability and change, especially El Niño and monsoons. She currently serves on the Advisory Committees of several leading organizations, including the Met Office and ECMWF, and has recently been elected to the Joint Scientific Committee of the World Climate Research Programme.