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Climate Change

House of Lords written question – answered on 3rd March 2009.

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Photo of Lord Leach of Fairford Lord Leach of Fairford Conservative

To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of recent research developments in physics relating to the influence of the sun on cloud formation and global temperatures; and how these will inform their policy on climate change.

Photo of Lord Hunt of Kings Heath Lord Hunt of Kings Heath Minister of State (Sustainable Development, Climate Change Adaptation and Air Quality), Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, Minister of State (Sustainable Development, Climate Change Adaptation and Air Quality), Department for Energy and Climate Change, Minister of State (Department of Energy and Climate Change), Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) (Sustainable Development, Climate Change Adaptation and Air Quality) (also in the Department for Energy and Climate Change), Deputy Leader of the House of Lords

While changes in solar output may have contributed to some of the observed warming during the early 20th century, there is scientific consensus that they cannot explain the recent strong rise in global average temperature.

The Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) and the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) fund a significant amount of research at the Met Office Hadley Centre on the attribution of climate change, as part of the wider Integrated Climate Programme. Their research confirms that recent climate change cannot be attributed to solar variations. Also, there is no evidence that cosmic ray variations have played any role in causing recent warming, through their effect on cloud cover.

Both DECC and Defra specialists maintain strong links with the scientific community and follow developments relevant to climate change closely to ensure that policy is based on the best available science.

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