Minister Shoots Down Climate Denier MP, Tells Him to Read the Science on Snow and Ice Decline

Peter Lilley MP

He’s only been in his post for nine months, but you’ve got to wonder if climate minister Nick Hurd is already bored of answering questions from climate science denier MPs.

Yesterday, Hurd had to point MP Peter Lilley to the wide body of evidence showing human-caused climate change is a significant problem for snow and ice.

Lilley was one of only five MPs to vote against the UK’s Climate Change Act in 2008. He sits of the Board of Trustees of the climate science denying Global Warming Policy Foundation, founded by former chancellor Nigel Lawson.

Lilley submitted a formal parliamentary question asking what information the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) held showing that snow and ice decline in the Arctic was “inconsistent with reasonably expected natural variability”.

Hurd was quick to point Lilley to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s fifth assessment report (AR5).

IPCC AR5 reports high confidence that human influences are very likely (>90% probability) to have contributed to the observed Arctic sea ice loss since 1980”, he said.

Hurd could have gone further.

The Summary for Policymakers in AR5 says, “It is likely that there has been an anthropogenic contribution to observed reductions in Northern Hemisphere spring snow cover since 1970”.

A study published in Nature Geoscience in December 2016 showed it was “virtually certain” that mountain glaciers were retreating due to human caused climate change.

And in August 2015, NASA released startling images showing Greenland’s summer melt season now lasts 70 days longer than it did in the early 1970s.

Consider that question, answered.

Main image credit: Policy Exchange via Wikimedia Commons CC2.0

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