Select Committee on Science and Technology Minutes of Evidence

Examination of Witness (Questions 60 - 62)



Dr Gibson

  60. Sir John, in terms of these models, you are saying that these methods have been slow to develop and critically opposing them. What needs to be done to speed that up, do you think, in terms of government intervention, support, for it?
  (Sir John Houghton) In the modelling business, you mean?

  61. Yes.
  (Sir John Houghton) The models, of course, are always crying out for bigger computers, and that is because the finer the resolution the better result you have. They are also crying out for better observations, actually, because models do need observations with which to compare their predictions, and so better observations, actually, is also a very key aspect of the whole climate research business.


  62. Sir John, we have been grilling you now for just a minute short of an hour and ten minutes, and we have put a whole variety of questions to you, which you have answered in an admirable style, without reference to notes, or your aides, or research assistants, which you have not brought with you anyway. So we not only thank you for your contribution to our inquiry but wish to say to you how impressed we are with your very deep knowledge of this particular subject, to which, of course, you have dedicated your lifetime's activity, and that is quite apparent when we talk to you. Thank you for finding time to be with us this afternoon. We wish you well in your continued researches and endeavours in this field, and we hope that when our report is produced, in due course, you will find it of some interest—not, as I said at the very beginning, that we are looking into climate change, we are looking into scientific advice, and what you have told us this afternoon will help us enormously in preparing that report. Thank you very much indeed.
  (Sir John Houghton) Thank you very much for inviting me. I have absolutely enjoyed coming to see you. Thank you.

  Chairman: Thank you, Sir John.

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