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Unlocking climate uncertainty

By Emily Towers, Communications Manager at the CCC

Leading figures from the world of climate science, government and mathematics recently convened to hear the latest from a ground-breaking mathematics research programme aimed at advancing one of the most challenging and economically important mathematical problems of all time – how to reduce the uncertainty of climate change forecasts.

Professor Tim Palmer, Rothschild Visiting Professor at the Institute, and a member of the Adaptation Sub-Committee to the CCC said:

“Working out how to model the climate system more accurately is one of the most challenging intellectual problems we face today. At this event, we hope to throw new light on the issue and provide an insight into new mathematical techniques which will provide politicians with better forecasts on which to base policy decisions”.

For the last four months, the Isaac Newton Institute at Cambridge University has brought together 100 of the world’s top climate scientists and mathematicians, with the aim of developing new mathematical techniques to reduce the uncertainties that exist in climate system models.

The Climate Change Question Time event included contributions from leading climate scientists and policy advisers including Lord Adair Turner, Chair of the Committee and Tim Palmer, a member of the Adaptation Sub-Committee.

Lord Adair Turner, Chair of the CCC said:
“To mitigate the impact of climate change we need to set clear targets for reducing emissions.  The ambition of those targets needs to reflect the best scientific understanding of the relationship between emissions and global climate change, and between climate change and adverse human impacts.  Understanding the risks and uncertainties which surround future projections and estimates is therefore vital to developing an appropriate response.”