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UN's New Climate Change Report an Embarrassment, Self-Serving and Beyond Misleading

September 27, 2013 in Economics

By Paul C. "Chip" Knappenberger

Paul C. “Chip” Knappenberger

Friday, the world was treated to the latest, greatest report on global warming from the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in the form of its Fifth Assessment Report. It is an embarrassment of internal inconsistency, entirely self-serving, and is beyond misleading.

That’s because the IPCC is more intent on maintaining the crumbling “consensus” on global warming than on following climate science to its logical conclusion; a conclusion that increasingly suggests that human greenhouse gas emissions are less important in driving climate change than commonly held.

That’s right, the latest climate science (some 10 studies published in just the past 3 years) indicates that the earth’s climate sensitivity—that is, how much the global average surface temperature will rise as a result of greenhouse gases emitted from human activities—is some 33 percent less than scientists thought at the time of the last IPCC Assessment, published in 2007.

The IPCC misleads policymakers around the world.”

A little climate 101: climate sensitivity is one of the key parameters for understanding the future impacts from climate change.

Virtually all elements of climate are related in some way to changes in the earth’s average temperature.

The less the earth warms up, the fewer the resulting impacts, and the lower the urgency to try to do something to alleviate them.

Meaning, initiatives like President Obama’s Climate Action Plan—the motivation for such things as the EPA’s just-announced effective moratorium on future coal-fired power plants—would be even more unnecessary and ineffective than they are already.

The IPCC is not altogether blind to the new scientific findings indicating a lower climate sensitivity, but it barely pays them lip-service in its new report.

It can’t.

Why?

The meat of the new IPCC report — and the part that politicians predominantly look to for new legislation — is its projections of future climate change.

The problem is that the climate models the IPCC relies upon to produce these projections have a climate sensitivity that averages some 50 percent higher than what the latest science suggests.

This means that the IPCC’s projections of future climate change and the resulting impacts are nearly twice as large as they likely should be. In other words, the models don’t work.

The IPCC can’t very well admit to the fact that observations say one thing, but the climate models say another. If they did, they would have to throw out virtually the whole report.

But just because the IPCC doesn’t admit to it, doesn’t mean …read more

Source: OP-EDS

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