Not scheduled for publication until next year, a leaked report by the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) presents evidence that fear-mongering over the magnitude of global warming may be a little too ambitious.
The preliminary report, which is available for download online, was leaked this month by an individual directly involved in the agency’s review process. After sifting through the analysis, critics found a chart comparing four separate temperature models, each of which has overstated temperature rises that the Earth has actually realized.
“Temperatures have not risen nearly as much as almost all of the climate models predicted,” Dr. Roy Spencer, a climatologist at the University of Alabama in Huntsville, told Fox News January 28. “Their predictions have largely failed, four times in a row... what that means is that it's time for them to re-evaluate.”
The IPCC graph highlights various midpoints reportedly validating that the Earth would warm by about 0.5 degrees Fahrenheit to 0.9 degrees Fahrenheit between 1990 and 2012. However, actual warming was significantly lower than projected, with the world warming a mere 0.28 degrees, according to IPCC data.
But other critics contend that this evidence doesn’t necessarily mean the IPCC models are wrong. “It’s important to keep in mind that there are natural short-term variations in global temperature that happen right alongside human-induced warming,” asserts Aaron Huertas, press secretary at the Union of Concerned Scientists. “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.”
Huertas claims that criticisms of the IPCC report are simply “an attempt to obscure the bigger picture,” and that global warming skeptics are blowing the leaked report out of proportion. “Climate change is happening,” he insists, “it is due to human activities, and the emissions choices we make today will have the largest influence on the extent of future climate change.”
The climate report notes that “the model projections … do not fully account for natural variability.” Natural deviations including solar variability and basic weather patterns, such as the El Niño southern oscillation, can present arbitrary anomalies in the data. Climatologists generally feature a “margin of error” in their analyses to account for inadvertent variations such as volcanoes and other weather activity.
Still, one IPCC model overshot the warming pattern, with the actual temperatures outside the analysis’ “margin of error.” The other three models presented a warming trend in the very lower levels of what they predicted.
Stefan Rahmstorf, a Potsdam University physics professor who recently published a report asserting that the IPCC models are very accurate, now contends that it is likely unfounded. “The IPCC graph you refer to is just a draft version which still has a number of problems that will be ironed out,” he affirmed. “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,” he told Fox News.
However, Rahmstorf acknowledges that greenhouse gases are having a lesser impact on climate change than the agency predicted. “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,” he noted.
Critics who have targeted the draft IPCC report note that the models combine analyses from partisan advocacy groups such as Greenpeace and the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), an issue that prompted third-party auditors to scrutinize the UN’s last report. “You'd think that the IPCC would have learned its lesson, that it would have told its authors not to rely on these sorts of publications,” Donna Laframboise of nofrakkingconsensus.com told Fox News. “The report currently includes, amongst its list of references, nine separate publications produced wholly or in part by the WWF.”
There are numerous questions as to whether the WWF and other similar groups can present objective science, as they often push ideological agendas. The WWF, for example, invites people to join its “environmental campaigning community,” therefore characterizing it as an activist group. Yet the IPCC relies on the group’s so-called “objective” research.
Such evidence has brought a number of critics out of the woodwork, as they challenge the UN’s assessment in determining the effects of so-called global warming. And the leaked IPCC report only solidifies this notion. “This one chart is all we need to prove, without a doubt, that IPCC analysis methodology and computer models are seriously flawed,” notes Ira Glickstein, writing for Wattsupwiththat.com. “They have way over-estimated the extent of Global Warming since the IPCC first started issuing Assessment Reports in 1990, and continuing through the fourth report issued in 2007.”