TONIGHT: Earth – The Climate Wars: New Challenges Ep 3/3
Sunday 21 September
9.00-10.00pm BBC TWO
Today the scientific debate over whether global warming is happening is all but over. Even many die-hard sceptics now concede that the planet is getting warmer, and humans are largely to blame. But there are still many unanswered questions, as Dr Iain Stewart (Earth – The Power Of The Planet) discovers as he concludes his definitive guide to the history of climate change.
Iain investigates why there is so much confusion over what changes global warming is going to bring, and why this has led to uncertainty over what should be done about it.
Understanding how the climate works, and predicting how it will change in the future, is one of science's greatest challenges. Iain discovers how, 60 years ago, scientists began their experiments with little more than a dishpan, a Bunsen burner and a turntable. Today they rely on massive super-computers to model the effects of greenhouse gases on the climate. But still they struggle to understand the complexity of the climate system.
Iain journeys to Greenland to meet scientists who are trying to fill in the gaps in the climate models. He also discovers how scientists are becoming increasingly concerned that their models are underestimating the speed of changes already under way.