What’s on : Lectures

“From climate science to climate policies”

15 Mar 2022
Start time
7:30 PM
Bootham School
Professor Piers Forster, Director, Priestley International Centre for Climate, University of Leeds
“From climate science to climate policies”

Event Information

“From climate science to climate policies”
Professor Piers Forster, Director, Priestley International Centre for Climate, University of Leeds

This talk will look at how climate science has developed over recent decades in terms of understanding the various causes of climate change and the role humans play, as well as knowledge of the future climates we might expect. It will discuss the synthesis of this knowledge through the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Reports and how recent science developments helped frame the United Nations international negotiations at the Glasgow Climate Summit.

The slides from this talk are available here: Yorkphilsoc

Joint Lecture with Bootham School

Member’s report:

For our first live evening lecture post Covid restrictions and our first as guests of Bootham School Professor Piers Forster treated us to a tour-de-force presentation on climate science and climate policies.

Piers is a working climate scientist with a seat on the UK government’s climate change committee. As such, he has special insights into both the science and the politics that go on behind the headlines of events such as COP 26 held in Glasgow in 2021. These Piers presented with an engaging candour and humour.
Summarising the entirety of the talk within the word limit is beyond me so here are five takeaways.

At one conference the whole of the first of ten days occupied delegates with writing a single sentence in a Word document using track changes. The subject of the sentence was what to call Taiwan.

The first person to propose that the industrial production of what we now call greenhouse gases would adversely affect the climate was a nineteenth-century woman scientist in the US, Eunice Foote.

On a global scale, the action to-date on climate change has already avoided an average warming of 4 oC. Current world policies will result in a warming of 2.9 oC and current promises will result in a warming of between 2 oC and 2.4 oC.
It used to be scientists in Western industrialised nations who warned of the dangers of anthropogenic climate change. Latterly, it is smaller island nations for whom it is simply an existential threat.
It is in our hands.

Andy Marvin

Image: Glasgow Climate March, November 2021