The panel of 12 scientists who produced the report called for a £100 million annual global research fund to study geoengineering technologies and said that Britain should contribute £10 million a year, ten times the amount being spent now on such research. Professor John Shepherd, who chaired the panel, said:
- It is an unpalatable truth that unless we can succeed in greatly reducing carbon dioxide emissions we are heading for a very uncomfortable and challenging climate future, and geoengineering will be the only option left to limit further temperature increases.
- My opinion ranges from maybe to possibly to probably, depending on what I had for breakfast.
- It is likely that global warming will exceed 2°C this century unless global greenhouse gas emissions are cut by at least 50% of 1990 levels by 2050, and by more thereafter. There is no credible emissions scenario under which global mean temperature would peak and then start to decline by 2100.
- Modern climate models have become increasingly accurate in reproducing how the real climate 'works'. They are based on our understanding of basic scientific principles, observations of the climate and our understanding of how it functions.
- Using this understanding of the climate system, scientists are then able to project what is likely to happen in the future, based on various assumptions about human activities.
- It is important to note that computer models cannot exactly predict the future, since there are so many unknowns concerning what might happen.
- While climate models are now able to reproduce past and present changes in the global climate rather well, they are not, as yet, sufficiently well-developed to project accurately all the detail of the impacts we might see at regional or local levels.
- They do, however, give us a reliable guide to the direction of future climate change. The reliability also continues to be improved through the use of new techniques and technologies.