The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), who plan to publish a summary of their fifth assessment report next week, are beginning to face the wrath of climate change skeptics. Since the organization began its predictions back in 1990, one of their principal predictions has failed to come to fruition. The IPCC have been banging the drum of global warming for nigh on 16 years, claiming their simulation models suggest an average 0.2° Celsius rise in temperature is due every decade.
The stark reality is that climate change has failed to follow their predictions, and pressure is mounting from all sides, whether justifiable or not. At a time when the IPCC is admitting a slowdown in the heating of the Earth’s surface, has the organization crushed their own predictions on global warming?
IPCC suggests global warming slowdown to be a mirage
The IPCC’s documents were allegedly leaked and obtained by the Associated Press. Ahead of next week’s proposed meeting on climate change, it is claimed that leaders from the United States and various European countries have grave concerns over how to address these issues.
The new report is to highlight a slowdown in the heating of the Earth’s surface, despite a consistent rise in the emission of greenhouse gases.
In spite of these findings, scientists and statisticians are not giving much credence to this apparent slowdown; they believe that this phenomenon is a mere blip in the statistics, resulting from random climate fluctuations and a hot year having been selected as the starting point for measuring temperatures.
It is anticipated the IPCC will continue to toe the line, expounding upon the dangers of global warming, as well as mankind’s own mea culpa.
Reportedly, the tone of the IPCC’s draft report has altered to reflect the scientific community’s rigid belief that humans have contributed significantly towards global warming. According to the Huffington Post, the draft states it is “extremely likely” that over half of all warming witnessed since the 1950s is caused by human beings; this compares to the 2007 report, which claimed it was “very likely.”
Meanwhile, the panel have upped their estimations for the rise in sea level, by the turn of the century, to 26 to 81 centimeters; the 2007 report, on the other hand, placed its predictions between 18 and 59 centimeters.
Are world leaders covering up the slow in global warming?
The United States have directed the authors of the report over inclusion of a “leading hypothesis,” which seeks to explain the apparent reduction in warming based upon the transmission of heat into the oceans. Such a slowdown relates to oceanic cycles, called El Nino and La Nina.
According to Kevin Trenberth, a senior scientist working for the National Center for Atmospheric Research, some of the heat absorbed deep within the oceans become trapped for centuries. On the other hand, heat that is trapped near the surface of the ocean can readily flow back into the air; Trenberth believes this is what happened during 1998, explaining the soar in temperature for that year.
According to the Telegraph, Germany has urged the group to remove references to the slowdown, stating that a period of 10 to 15 years was highly misleading when considering the influence of climate change; instead, they suggest global warming should be measured over centuries.
Similarly, Belgium issued complaints over the 1998 starting point for collecting statistics on climate change, arguing that it was an exceptionally hot year. They explain this start date skews the statistics, which could potentially downplay climate change.
The global warming denialists
Scientists opposed to the notion that human beings have influenced climate change, or climate denialists as some have dubbed them, maintain the apparent lull in surface warming, since the late 1990s, refutes the IPCC’s current position.
Alden Meyer of the Union of Concerned Scientists, situated in Washington, claims the inconsistencies of the latest report must be addressed as a matter of urgency:
“I think to not address it would be a problem because then you basically have the denialists saying, ‘Look, the IPCC is silent on this issue.'”
On the other hand, Judith Curry, the professor and chairwoman of the School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, based at the Georgia Institute of Technology, remains unconvinced by the global warming scare. She
fails to understand how there can be an unwavering scientific consensus, given the number of uncertainties that surround global warming.
Curry acknowledges that humans add to carbon emissions, and may be having an impact upon climate change. However, she also says we have absolutely no idea how the climate will react over the ensuing decades, so reducing emissions may serve no benefit.
When summarizing her thoughts on the latest draft report, Curry finds it astounding that the IPCC can claim greater confidence in their supporting findings, regardless of the apparent pause in warming. “The science is clearly not settled…” said Curry.
Meanwhile, during an interview with the Washington Examiner, Marc Morano, former Senate Environment and Public Works staff member, and publisher of Climate Depot, was asked about whether the report was full of inconsistencies. Morano had this to say:
“It is, but you have to pity the UN. The climate events of 2013 have been devastating to its political narrative on global warming.”
He then proceeded to explain why he did not feel global warming was as serious as has been portrayed. Morano describes how both poles possess expanding ice formations, global cooling has continued since 2002, worldwide temperatures have not risen for over 15 years, sea levels remain unaffected, polar bear numbers are increasing and hurricanes and tornado numbers are at record lows.
The implications of the IPCC’s research have been vast. World leaders have implemented key policy decisions off the back of the IPCC’s hypotheses, in a desperate bid to reduce carbon emissions. Renewable energy has been touted the next great step in combating global warming, whilst carbon-based energy forms have been vilified. To stave off climate change, governments have introduced fuel taxes, resulting in non-renewable energy sources experiencing a massive price hike.
The new IPCC report is expected to crush its own past predictions, accepting a slow in global warming. The question remains, with uncertainty beginning to creep into the IPCC’s latest report, will this have any impact on future policy? Will this provide global warming skeptics the opportunity to strike back against the scientific majority? Are skeptics able to present a credible, scientific repost to this consensus? Only time will tell.
By: James Fenner
RSA Events Source