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Anger over 'untrue' climate change claims

Anger over 'untrue' climate change claims
From BBC - August 11, 2017

Scientists have responded furiously to claims about climate change made in a live BBC radio interview.

Experts told BBC News that the assertions made by former Chancellor Nigel Lawson on Radio 4's Today programme were simply untrue.

Lord Lawson had claimed that global temperatures had "slightly declined" over the past 10 years.

However, scientists working in the field said the records showed the complete opposite to be the case.

BBC Radio 4's Today programme defended its decision to interview Lord Lawson on Thursday morning in a segment on climate change. The BBC argued that it had a duty to inform listeners about all sides of a debate.

During the interview, Lord Lawson said that "official figures" showed that "during this past 10 years, if anything... average world temperature has slightly declined".

But speaking in a follow-up discussion on Friday morning, Dr Peter Stott from the UK Met Office said the former Chancellor had got the facts wrong.

"We know that 2016 was the warmest on record, over a degree warmer than late 19th Century levels, so this claim that we heard from Nigel Lawson that there's been cooling is simply not true," he told the BBC.

His view was echoed by Prof Richard Betts from the University of Exeter.

"The official figures do not show that the global mean temperature 'has slightly declined'. In fact, they show the opposite - global mean temperature has increased during the past 10 years," he said in a statement.

"The last three years were warmer than the previous seven, and indeed were the warmest on record, and this year is also shaping up to be nearly as warm (probably not quite as warm as last year since the influence of the El Nino has passed, but still a very warm year)."

On Thursday, the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration released its 2016 State of the Climate report, stating that the year was the warmest in 137 years of record keeping.

All over the planet, the peer reviewed study found strong evidence of ongoing warming linked to human activities.Levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere hit new highs, as did global sea levels, while at both poles the extent of sea-ice hit new lows.

Lord Lawson, who was energy secretary in Margaret Thatcher's government before becoming chancellor, now chairs the Global Warming Policy Foundation, a think-tank that describes itself as "open-minded on the contested science of global warming".

'Talking nonsense'

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