International scientists have
injected fresh evidence into the debate over global warming, saying that
climate change is “undeniable” and shows clear signs of “human fingerprints” in
the first major piece of research since the “Climategate” controversy.
The research, headed by the US
National Oceans and Atmospheric Administration, is based on new data not
available for the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report of
2007, the target of attacks by sceptics in recent years.
The NOAA study drew on up to 11
different indicators of climate, and found that each one pointed to a world
that was warming owing to the influence of greenhouse gases, said Peter Stott,
head of climate monitoring at the UK’s Met Office, one of the agencies
Seven indicators were rising, he
said. These were: air temperature over land, sea-surface temperature, marine
air temperature, sea level, ocean heat, humidity, and tropospheric temperature
in the “active-weather” layer of the atmosphere closest to the earth’s surface.
Four indicators were declining: Arctic sea ice, glaciers, spring snow cover in
the northern hemisphere, and stratospheric temperatures.
Some scientists hailed the study as
a refutation of the claims made by climate sceptics during the “Climategate”
saga. Those scandals involved accusations – some since proven correct – of
flaws in the IPCC’s landmark 2007 report, and the release of hundreds of emails
from climate scientists that appeared to show them distorting certain data.
But the report nonetheless remained
the target of scorn for sceptics.
Myron Ebell, of the Competitive
Enterprise Institute in the US, said the new report would not change people’s
minds. “It’s clear that the scientific case for global warming alarmism is
weak. The scientific case for [many of the claims] is unsound and we are
finding out all the time how unsound it is.”