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.”
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