Written Question: Snow & Ice

- Wednesday, 29th March 2017

 

Iceberg

Peter Lilley:

 

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what information he holds on whether there are declines of snow or ice, other than of Arctic sea ice extent, that are inconsistent with reasonably expected natural variability.

 

Nick Hurd:

 

The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy has not made its own assessment of the above question.

 

Evidence that present rates of decline in the extent of Arctic sea ice are not consistent with reasonably expected natural variability is synthesised in the 5th Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC AR5). Long-term records of Arctic sea ice extent in this report show that the decline from 1980 onwards lies outside of what would be expected from natural variability alone. 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.

 

Peter Lilley:

 

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, pursuant to the Answer of 15 March 2017 to Question 66792, on climate change: snow and ice, whether there are declines of snow and ice, other than of Arctic Sea ice extent, that are inconsistent with reasonably expected national variability; and if he will make a statement.

 

Nick Hurd:

 

The Department does not hold this information, but it can be found in the 5th assessment report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC AR5). This states that it is likely (greater than 66% probability) there has been human influence on: the observed retreat of glaciers since 1960s; reduction in northern hemisphere snow cover since 1970; and surface melting and mass loss of Greenland since 1993. These declines can be best explained by climate models that include human influences and not natural internal variability alone.

 

Peter Lilley:

 

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, pursuant to the Answer of 29 March 2017 to Question 68956, whether the climate models referred to rely on computer simulations only rather than observational evidence.

 

Nick Hurd:

 

The evidence that declines of snow and ice, other than of Arctic sea ice extent, are not consistent with reasonably expected natural variability does not rely on computer simulations alone. Detection of declining snow and ice is based on observations. Both observations and models are used to estimate natural variability in the climate system, and attribute the most likely cause for the detected declines.

 

 

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Written Question: Snow & Ice

 

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