IPCC climate reports: then versus now

October 3, 2013

(EXAMINER) Since 1990, the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) has been releasing assessment reports approximately every 5 years.

by Thomas Richard

Here’s what you need to know about it’s first climate-change report from 1990 and its last panel report, published Sept. 27, 2013. And just how accurate were its predictions compared to observed data.

The IPCC was created as a branch of the United Nations in 1988 to collect and scrutinize what they considered was the best research on global warming/climate change. It would release its First Assessment Report in 1990, two years later.

Highlights from the first report: The panel wrote in its first report that sea levels would rise 6 centimeters (2.4 inches) per decade over the next 100 years if carbon dioxide (CO2) levels weren’t kept at 1990 levels (340 ppm). The sea-level rise would be the result of melting land ice and thermal expansion of earth’s oceans.

The panel said that by 2050, if CO2 emissions reached its highest-scenario peak, there would be a 30- to 50-centimeter (12- to 19.7-inches) sea-level rise. By 2100, there would be a 1 meter (39.4 inches) rise, which would relocate millions of people, flood agricultural lands, contaminate freshwater resources, subsume some island countries, and destroy major coastlines around the world.

The IPCC also predicted that if CO2 emissions continued rising, average global temperatures would go up approximately .3°C per decade resulting in a 3°C increase by 2100.

The panel also included a warning that as the climate warmed, natural greenhouse gases would also increase, making things much more severe than the report predicted.

Fast forward 23 years.

On September 27, 2013, the IPCC released its Fifth Assessment Report (AR5), which allows us to look at the predictions made over 23 years ago and compare them to real-time observable data.

Even though the IPCC has tried to bury the ‘global-warming pause’ over the last 17 years, the fact remains that there has been no statistical increase in warming since its First Assessment Report. Buried in the report, it says: “The rate of warming over the past 15 years (0.05 degrees per decade) … is smaller than the rate calculated since 1951 (0.12 degrees per decade)” That’s a whopping .07 degree discrepancy.

None of the panel’s computer models, in which they base their predictions, take into account the effects of our sun’s 11-year solar cycles. Nor do they account for cloud cover and cosmic radiation.

Only in the IPCC’s political world of bureaucracy can a report say it has ‘medium confidence’ that by 2100, the globe’s total combined volume of glaciers will decrease by 15% to 85%. That is a 70% range the IPCC has given itself to fall back on.

After 23 years, sea-level rise has not increased and is consistent since the last interglacial time period. In fact, the IPCC has toned down it’s drown-our-cities scenarios to just 26 cm and 30 cm (10-11 inches) by 2100.

The IPCC predicts the Arctic region will continue to warm faster than the planet overall. Currently Arctic sea ice has recovered year after year and 2013 it was two weeks ahead of schedule for the big winter freeze.

Since satellites began monitoring surface temperatures in the last thirty years, there has been no statistical increase in warming. The IPCC predicts a 2°C rise by 2100, or as little as .3° and 4.8° at the most.

The IPCC used 15 climate models for the AR5 to project cumulative carbon-dioxide emissions from 2012 to 2100. The computer models predicted widely disparate figures from 140 to 1910 gigatons, making them basically meaningless.

The panel states that CO2 emissions will be irreversible for hundreds to thousands of years and that up to 40 percent of CO2 will remain in the atmosphere for more than 1000 years. Again the panel gives itself a wide range of latitude to fall back on.

In the last 100 years based on spotty record keeping, and worse, poorly situated weather stations, the overall increase in warming is less than 1°F.

The IPCC’s first report on predicted surface temperatures was off by 500%. It’s fifth report was off by 300% when compared to real-world data.

It’s fourth report said CO2-drenched ocean water, which is the earth’s largest carbon sink, would become more acidic, destroying shellfish and corals and other species dependent on proper pH levels. There has been no significant increase in the ocean’s pH level according to all studies and research.

Conclusion: After five reports and billions of dollars spent on the UN IPCC, with the brunt of the financial burden falling on the U.S., it’s time to disband the panel and create a science-based group not reliant on predictions, prophesies, and computer models. Though the IPCC has toned down its apocalyptic warnings and other scare tactics, climate science continues to be a political process with no end in sight.


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