27 Sept (DAILY EXPRESS) – A leading global warming scientist believes the latest UN warning on man-made climate change is a “big gamble” as temperatures have not increased since 1997.
by Owen Bennett
Dr Benny Peiser, of Lord Lawson’s Global Warming Policy Foundation, argued today’s report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is based on flawed models which do not give an accurate prediction of a future change in temperature.
The IPCC’s report shows experts are more than 95 per cent certain humans are causing global warming, and that is leading to a range of impacts from melting glaciers to more frequent extreme weather events.
Numerous groups, including Oxfam, Greenpeace and the UK Government, have seized on the report’s conclusions as evidence human behaviour is changing the Earth’s climate.
But Dr Peiser does not doubt the climate has changed, but the report has failed to explain why temperatures have not risen since 1997.
He said: “The IPCC are gambling that temperatures will rise soon.”My own reading of the report is it’s more a political message than a scientific one.
“They ignore the fact that their models have a problem, and they are unable to say when the temperature will start rising again.
“That is a gamble.
“There are scientists who say it might be 10 to 20 years before another rise.”
The IPCC’s report has been published after line-by-line scrutiny by scientists and policymakers, and found it is “extremely likely”, or 95 per cent certain, that the majority of the warming since the 1950s is down to human activity.
The likelihood is up from a 90 per cent certainty in the last IPCC study in 2007.
The study predicts that temperatures are set to rise by more than 1.5C above pre-industrial levels by the end of the century without ambitious action to tackle emissions, and could rise by over 4C if emissions continue to increase.
Storms will become more intense and frequent, sea levels will rise by between 26cm (10in) and 82cm (32in) by the end of the century and the oceans will become more acidic, the assessment projects.
Tim Gore, of Oxfam, said: “The latest climate science affirms what small-scale farmers around the world are telling us: seasons are changing, weather is increasingly extreme and unpredictable, making it tougher to feed their families.
“This report also tells us it is possible to avoid the very worst impacts of climate change and the goal of ensuring everyone has enough to eat is still attainable.
“Governments should learn from the mistakes of the global financial crisis, where warning signs were ignored, and listen to the experts before it is too late.
“They must take actions immediately to slash emissions as well as investing in building the resilience of people in poverty so we can move from the current path facing disaster to higher safer ground.”
Wendel Trio, director of the Climate Action Network Europe, said the debate about the responsibility for climate change was now over.
“Scientists are more certain than ever that humans are causing climate change but, fortunately, equally certain that we still have the time and means to fix it.
“What we need now is for all 28 EU delegates that signed off on this report to take this mandate back to their capitals and urge their governments to take immediate climate action.
“Nick Sanderson, a spokesman for the UK Youth Climate Coalition, said the report showed the last 30 years were the hottest in centuries but while scientists had worked during that time to explain the problem, world leaders had “barely lifted a finger” to tackle it.
“The UK Youth Climate Coalition is calling for urgent national action on climate change, and for a fair and ambitious global deal in 2015 to go above and beyond the high-risk 2C carbon budget contained in today’s report.
“We can’t afford to lose another lifetime to inaction.”
Countries around the world have agreed to negotiate a legally-binding global deal in 2015 in Paris to tackle climate change, but already some are predicting the move will fail as efforts did in Copenhagen in 2009 to reach agreement.
Climate Change Secretary Ed Davey said: “The message of this report 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 gases emitted now are accumulating in the atmosphere and so the solutions must be set in motion today. 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 our 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.”
Greenpeace chief scientist Doug Parr said: “This report is about what kind of future we want. We either compound climate change by continuing to dig up and burn fossil fuels, then suffer the consequences, or we take a different path.
“Dangerous levels of warming of two degrees or more can be avoided, but this requires countries like the UK accepting the folly of grasping for yet more oil and gas in the Arctic, the tar sands and the Home Counties, and instead taking strong and rapid action on renewables.
“Unfortunately, those taking action against climate change by peacefully protesting against oil drilling in the Arctic are currently detained in custody in Russia, while those most responsible – the fossil fuel industry – are courted and protected by governments around the world. It should be the other way around.”