London Science Museum goes climate science neutral

Wed Mar 24, 2010 11:10am EDT
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LONDON (Reuters) - A new climate gallery at London's Science Museum, sponsored by Royal Dutch Shell, will step back from pushing evidence of man-made climate change to adopt a more neutral position.

The 4 million pound ($6 million) exhibition, opening in November, will provide "up-to-date, accurate" information about the science of climate change and aims to "satisfy the interests and needs of those who accept that human-induced climate change is real, those who are unsure, and those who do not," the museum said in a statement.

"The scientific community has, with some exceptions, concluded that climate change is real, largely driven by humans and requires a response," said the museum's director Professor Chris Rapley. "Our objective is to minimize the shrill tone and emotion that bedevils discussion of this subject."

The new gallery follows an exhibition called "Prove It! All the evidence you need to believe in climate change" which the museum launched last October and closed in February.

It featured a poll showing a large portion of its visitors disputed the scientific evidence behind man-made climate change.

The new gallery, called the Climate Science Gallery, is also sponsored by Germany's Siemens, the Garfield Weston Foundation and Britain's Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.

Late last year, the scientific data behind climate change was called into question after hacked e-mails from a British university were seized upon by skeptics as evidence that the case for global warming had been exaggerated.

Then in January, an error saying that Himalayan glaciers could melt by 2035 -- a major exaggeration of the thaw -- exposed shortcomings in how a U.N. panel of climate scientists checks its sources. This led to calls for reforms of the panel that shared the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize.

London's Science Museum also reiterated this week its commitment to reducing its carbon footprint, agreeing to cut carbon emissions by a further 10 percent this year. This follows a 24 percent reduction in the museum's emissions in 2008/9.

(Reporting by Michael Szabo; Editing by Paul Casciato)

<p>A deep blue iceberg floats in a fjord south of Tasiilaq in eastern Greenland August 2, 2009. The blue color is a result of compression and repeated thawing and refreezing. REUTERS/Bob Strong</p>