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UK Universities Receive £72 Million p.a. For Climate Research

February 13, 2012

By Paul Homewood

 

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In December, I submitted the following request under the FOI Act to all UK universities :-

"Please supply a list of research grants received during 2010 that relate to climate research,the effects of climate change or mitigation of climate change”.

I can now reveal, from the replies from 56 universities, that the total amounts to over £72 million. Most of this is provided either by government funded Research Councils (EPSRC/NERC/ESRC), the EU, or is funded directly by government departments.

The average is £1.3 million per university, although several receive significantly more. The full list is shown in Appendix A. It is, perhaps often assumed that most climate research is limited to the University of East Anglia and a handful of others. This analysis proves that this is not the case and that the majority of universities benefit significantly from taxpayers’ largesse.

 

In addition, I can also reveal that, during the financial year 2009/10 (the most recent for which the data is available), Research Council spending on “climate change research and training” amounted to £234 million. This analysis was provided by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) on behalf of Research Councils UK (RCUK).

 

Total figures for Research Council spend on climate change research and training based on high level categories assigned

   
 
FY Mitigation Adaptation Training (M) Training (A) Fund. Climate Science Infrastructure TOTAL
2009-10 117,136,250 17,191,081 0 21,360,989 50,473,780 28,405,002 234,567,102

 

 

 

 

 

 

This would suggest that the bulk of the funding actually goes to organisations other than universities.

I also asked the UK Met Office for details of funding that they receive and received this reply :-

The Met Office received revenue of £1.2 million for the financial year 2010/11 in respect of climate research, the effects of climate change or mitigation of climate change. This funding was received from the EU Commission, predominantly under the EU Framework Programme.

In addition, whilst not considered to be grant funding, the revenue for the Hadley Centre Climate Programme for 2010/11 was £17.5 million from the government.

[As the Met Office is part of the Ministry of Defence, its basic running costs are paid by the UK government.]

 

Finally the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change received core funding from the EPSRC/NERC/ESRC during financial year 2009/10, which amounted to £2992205.

http://www.lwec.org.uk/activities/tyndall-centre

 

In total it would appear UK taxpayers are paying out in excess of £300 million p.a. for climate change related research, in addition, of course, to the billions paid out in subsidies for renewable energy etc.

It is evident that climate change research has become a very large industry in its own right. What university can afford to turn down a million or so every year? How many will risk upsetting the apple cart by allowing dissent in their ranks? How many scientists would be out of a job if the funding tap was turned off?

Let’s be clear about one thing. This sort of money corrupts. It corrupts both individuals and organisations. Climate research funding is agenda driven, rather than result driven; it exists in large part because climate change is perceived as a problem. Research that attempts to prove otherwise is unlikely to be funded at all and even less likely to attract future grants, while scientists who exaggerate the dangers or effects will have no such problems.

It is time to turn the tap off.

 

Notes

1) Some universities provided information based on the 2010/11 financial year, others for the 2010 calendar year.

2) According to the EPSRC – “Not all Councils have spend data for 09/10, so in some cases 08/09 figures have been used instead”. (Yes, I know. This seems a remarkably cavalier way to account for public money!)

3) Although I asked for details of “funding received within the year”, some universities were only able to provide details of “grants awarded within the year”.

4) Judging by the responses, some universities have interpreted my request more narrowly than others, so the figure of £72 million may be underestimated. This suspicion is reinforced by the figures provided by RCUK.

5) Full details of grants are available for each university for anybody who would like to see them.

 

APPENDIX A

CLIMATE CHANGE RESEARCH GRANTS 2010
UNIVERSITY               £
ABERDEEN 831770
ABERYSTWYTH 892719
ASTON 13239
BANGOR 1540027
BATH 2304601
BELFAST 171421
BIRKBECK 84531
BIRMINGHAM 206732
BRISTOL 5764806
BRUNEL 87352
CAMBRIDGE 7913667
CARDIFF 259486
CRANFIELD 1299593
CRU 375384
DE MONTFORT 214637
DUNDEE 64190
EDINBURGH 1466073
EXETER 161245
GLAMORGAN 4650
GLASGOW 412342
GREENWICH 139294
HERIOT WATT 2533877
HULL 19632
IMPERIAL 7603005
KINGSTON 26046
LANCASTER 1786154
LEEDS 918097
LOUGHBOROUGH 5212974
LSE 1448042
MANCHESTER 244498
MIDDX 468832
NAPIER 349176
NEWCASTLE 1298895
NORTHUMBRIA 469356
NOTTINGHAM 362928
OXFORD 1087245
PLYMOUTH 261472
PORTSMOUTH 45276
READING 12771911
RUSKIN 19806
SALFORD 102078
SHEFFIELD 772772
SOUTHAMPTON 1811662
ST ANDREWS 2287112
STIRLING 487887
STRATHCLYDE 84874
SURREY 993260
SUSSEX 486792
SWANSEA 44715
TEESIDE 190457
TYNDALL 37079
UCL 1167073
UEA 804382
ULSTER 736525
WARWICK 852647
WEST OF ENGLAND 285731
TOTAL 72280027
AVERAGE 1290715
EPSRC ALL GRANTS 234567102
MET OFFICE 1200000
HADLEY CENTRE 17500000
TYNDALL CENTRE 2992205
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15 Comments leave one →
  1. Robin permalink
    February 13, 2012 3:48 pm

    The sums of money handed out by US (essentially to support the work of those who appear to promote the hypothesis of imminent doom and disaster caused by anthropogenic processes) seem to be enormous. What funds have been received by the “Well financed sceptics” who seemed to be feared by those whose research grants depend on supporting the hypothesis? Can anyone identify some of the sources and amounts, and indeed the recipients?

  2. lolwot permalink
    February 13, 2012 6:23 pm

    Why can’t your argument be applied to any field of research?

    But lets take an example closer to home.

    How much funding does svensmark get to test out his cosmic ray hypothesis? Probably a tidy sum. So are you saying that he’s corrupt too?

    Are you saying that his work is results driven? Because if he was to conclude cosmic rays don’t influence climate he would lose his funding?

    Are you suggesting that tap be turned off too?

    • February 13, 2012 6:45 pm

      The diificulties Svensmark experienced in getting funding and support rather prove my point.

      http://www.thegwpf.org/science-news/3699-cern-experiment-confirms-cosmic-rays-influence-climate-change.html

      • lolwot permalink
        February 14, 2012 9:03 pm

        I don’t think so since now that he has funding by your argument he will be loathe to admit GCRs have limited impact on climate because his funding depends on it. Right?

      • February 15, 2012 11:32 am

        If Svensmark wanted easy funding, he would been researching how GCR’s don’t affect climate. If he came out now and said he could not find any connection, he would probably get another 10 years grant to carry on the good work!

        His funding does not depend on getting the right results. It is there to find the answers.

      • lolwot permalink
        February 15, 2012 11:03 pm

        “If he came out now and said he could not find any connection, he would probably get another 10 years grant to carry on the good work! His funding does not depend on getting the right results. It is there to find the answers.”

        Well I am just going to say that Hansen or Jones or Mann or any other scientists funding does not depend on getting the right results. It is there to find the answers. It doesn’t matter what result they get, they’d still be funded because they are researching questions that currently have no answers.

        You originally said:

        “Climate research funding is agenda driven, rather than result driven; it exists in large part because climate change is perceived as a problem. Research that attempts to prove otherwise is unlikely to be funded at all and even less likely to attract future grants, while scientists who exaggerate the dangers or effects will have no such problems.”

        Climate change IS a problem. Greenhouse gases are rising and these have known substantial impacts and a variety of unknown impacts. It’s the unknown impacts that are potentially catastrophic which is why there is so much funding for this field, unlike say fields with no imminent implications for society.

        Climate scientists would be heavily funded even if they said they didn’t know what greenhouse gas emissions would do or how much of the recent warming was human caused. Heck they’d probably be even heavier funded if they said that.

        Only if we knew for sure that the rise in GHGs was safe could “turning off the taps” possibly be justified. Until then a lot of money needs to be poured in to figure out the impacts.

      • February 15, 2012 11:26 pm

        How many scientists in the UK do you know who believe that CAGW is exaggerated and receive funding to prove it? And how many universities support them in this?

        Where are the Svensmarks, Lindzens and Spencers?

        When Bert Bolin, IPCC Chairman can call Svensmark’s work “Scientifically extremely naïve and irresponsible”, they have every right to fear being marginalised.

        It is fascinating of course. If the science is settled, as we are told, why do we still need to spend billions researching it?

      • February 15, 2012 11:28 pm

        Only if we knew for sure that the rise in GHGs was safe could “turning off the taps” possibly be justified.

        Sounds like a pretty good reason for the team to say its not safe!

  3. pjb253 permalink
    February 14, 2012 1:44 am

    Hi Paul, I might be able to use your grant data in my site http://Tome22.info It is still under construction and not fit for the public yet but you can get an idea from it’s Research Tab. Many of the UK Universities are already listed some with staff lists scraped from the internet and some from the ClimateGate emails. I have the Australian grants from our Department of Climate Change but not yet integrated them. Your Appendix A table would be useable right now but I would like a look at anything else you might have.
    Peter Bobroff pjb@flix.com.au

    • February 14, 2012 1:46 pm

      Hi Peter

      I’ll send you a few examples over to see if this is any use for you.

      Thanks

      Paul

  4. John A permalink
    February 19, 2012 5:29 pm

    Despite Countless tons of Co2 being released into the atmosphere since 1998 there has been no disernable rise in the Earths tempreture can any one tell me why ?

  5. Paul Matthews permalink
    February 19, 2012 10:44 pm

    The important consequence of this is that funding for proper science is being cut back or abolished completely to make way for climate and other bandwagons.
    EPSRC used to fund research fellowships in all areas in its remit according to the quality of the applications. Now, only applications in certatin areas are allowed.
    They call this “shaping capability”.
    Take a look at

    http://www.epsrc.ac.uk/funding/fellows/Pages/areas.aspx

    For engineering, there are no postdoctoral fellowships on offer.
    For maths, there are none except in statistics.
    But there’s plenty of money for Carbon Capture and Storage or for Offshore Wind Research.

    See also

    http://www.dpmms.cam.ac.uk/~bt219/epsrc.html

    for lots more information and concern about this.

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