30 Sept (DAILY EXPRESS) – The document from the The United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change claims people are the “dominant cause” of global warming.
by Nathan Rao
But sceptics immediately called the findings into question saying the report is based on flawed science and unsubstantiated facts.
It follows the IPCC’s report six years ago which contained errors prompting a red-faced apology.
They included the claim that the likelihood of glaciers in the Himalayas “disappearing by the year 2035 and perhaps sooner is very high” and incorrect estimates of the amount of land under water in the Netherlands.
The IPCC admitted it had made errors in 2007 but insisted there were bound to be mistakes in what was a sizeable volume of 3,000 pages.
The latest findings from the UN panel warns that “unequivocal” evidence concludes that warming is due to humans.
It said a pause in rising temperatures over the past 15 years is just a temporary halt to climate change.
The report also warns global sea levels are likely to rise 2½ ft by 2100 if carbon emissions are not reigned in.
Last night, opponents said the claims were a cover-up for previous inaccurate predictions.
Dr Benny Peiser, of Lord Lawson’s Global Warming Policy Foundation, branded the report “insincere hype” and “scare tactics”.
He said: “This is nothing but a political statement to cover up the fact that continual predictions about climate change are just not happening. The IPCC said global temperatures would rise by up to 0.2C [0.36F] a decade and this is not happening.
“This is a political attempt to divert attention away from the fact that they would otherwise have to admit they were wrong. This report is not a scientific, honest assessment of their performance in the past or the performance of climate.”
He criticised the BBC’s coverage of the report which suggests a worldwide threat of heatwaves, droughts and floods.
He said: “It has been foolhardy of them to just repeat these claims when the truth is we have been spared the most dramatic estimates.
“These predictions are completely and utterly flawed and instead of coming clean, the IPCC are trying to camouflage their mistakes by saying they are more confident than ever.”
The organisation will release the report in full next year.
Headed by former Indian Railways worker Rajendra Pachauri, it has 12 staff in three groups and is run from Geneva, Switzerland, with scientists contributing voluntarily.
The first of three new reports, due to be presented in Stockholm, Sweden, has 209 lead authors and 50 review editors from 39 countries. It is based on about 9,000 peer-reviewed papers and 50,000 expert comments.
It will say that since the Fifties many changes in climate have been “unprecedented over decades to millennia”.
It states that scientists are 95 per cent certain of climate change but plays down slower rises since 1998, putting this down to the El Nino system of warm seas off South America. The rise in temperatures has lessened from 0.12C per decade since 1951 to 0.05C per decade since 1998.
The report states: “Trends based on short records are very sensitive to the beginning and end dates and do not, in general, reflect long-term trends.”
Qin Dahe, co-chairman of IPCC’s group one, said: “Our assessment of the science finds that the atmosphere and ocean have warmed, the amount of snow and ice has diminished, the global mean sea level has risen and that concentrations of greenhouse gases have increased.”
The report was welcomed by Climate Change Secretary Ed Davey who said solutions “must be set in motion today”.
He added: “The message is clear – the Earth’s climate has warmed over the last century and man-made greenhouse gases have caused much of that global warming. The risks and costs of doing nothing today are so great, only a deeply irresponsible government would be so negligent.
“Without urgent action to cut greenhouse gas emissions, this warming will continue, with potentially dangerous impacts upon societies and economy. This strengthens the case for international leaders to work for an ambitious, legally binding global agreement in 2015 to cut carbon emissions.”
The report alters a key fact from the 2007 document which stated a doubling of CO2 in the atmosphere would lead to a temperature change of between 2C and 4.5C.
The range has been changed to 1.5C to 4.5C to reflect better temperature records and improved understanding.
Professor Bob Carter, of the Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change said: “Today’s temperature is not unusually warm.
“Climates always change.”