Facts and fictions about climate change

Tags: climate | evidence

It has become fashionable in some parts of the UK media to portray the scientific evidence that has been collected about climate change and the impact of greenhouse gas emissions from human activities as an exaggeration.

Some articles have claimed that scientists are ignoring uncertainties in our understanding of the climate and the factors that affect it. Some have questioned the motives of the scientists who have presented the most authoritative assessments of the science of climate change, claiming that they have a vested interest in playing up the potential effects that climate change is likely to have.

This document examines twelve misleading arguments (presented in bold typeface) put forward by the opponents of urgent action on climate change and highlights the scientific evidence that exposes their flaws. It has been prepared by a group led by Sir David Wallace FRS, Treasurer of the Royal Society, and Sir John Houghton FRS, former chair of Working Group I of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). This document has been endorsed by the Council of the Royal Society, and draws primarily on scientific papers published in leading peer-reviewed journals and the work of authoritative scientific organisations, such as the IPCC and the United States National Academy of Sciences.

More recently The Royal Society has published 'Climate Change: Evidence & Causes'. This publication answers 20 key questions about climate change.