Climate change report dismissed by some as overstated
Predictions have largely failed 'four times in a row'
Skeptics say that a preliminary draft of a report by the United Nation's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change contains new evidence -- of 20 years of overstated global warming. Not scheduled for publication, the report was leaked by someone involved in the IPCC's review process. Bloggers combing through the report discovered a chart comparing the four temperature models the group has published since 1990, and each has overstated the rise in temperature that Earth actually experienced.
"For instance, it would have been impossible for the IPCC to predict if a volcanic eruption might temporarily cool the Earth, as the Mount Pinatubo eruption did in 1991," says one critic of the report.
"Their predictions have largely failed, four times in a row... what that means is that it's time for them to re-evaluate," Spencer added.
The IPCC graph shows that the midpoints of the various models predicted that the world would warm by between about 0.5 degrees Fahrenheit and 0.9 degrees Fahrenheit between 1990 and 2012. In fact, actual warming was much less than that: 0.28 F, according the data the IPCC cites.
Some argue that this doesn't discount that the IPCC models are wrong, others argue.
"It's important to keep in mind that there are natural short-term variations in global temperature that happen right alongside human-induced warming," Aaron Huertas, of the Union of Concerned Scientists says.
"For instance, it would have been impossible for the IPCC to predict if a volcanic eruption might temporarily cool the Earth, as the Mount Pinatubo eruption did in 1991."
The report draft also notes that "the model projections . do not fully account for natural variability."
Other types of natural anomalies include solar variability and weather patterns such as the El Niño southern oscillation.
In fact, one of the IPCC's models missed the actual warming trend entirely. In other words, the actual temperatures were outside its "margin of error." In the other three models, the actual warming trend fell within the very lower bounds of what they predicted would happen.
One scientist who recently published a study that found that the IPCC predictions were very accurate argues that it is likely wrong. "The IPCC graph you refer to is just a draft version which still has a number of problems that will be ironed out," Potsdam University physics professor Stefan Rahmstorf said.
Skeptics such as Spencer also say that the chart does not mean that global warming is a hoax. "The IPCC's claim is that they are 90 percent sure that humans have 'contributed to' the observed warming. Hell, even I would agree with that innocuous statement."
Greenhouse gases are having less of an affect on climate than the IPCC thought. "It is evidence that CO2 is not nearly as strong a climate driver as the IPCC has been assuming. This is the possibility they do not allow to be considered, because it would end all of their policy-changing goals," Spencer said.
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