More controversy over draft UN climate report: 20 years of overestimated warming

Another week, another eyebrow raised over the latest UN climate report

by Dane Vallejo on 30 January 2013 11:44

Once bitten, twice shy -- or so the idiom goes. Yet last week's revelations that a leaked draft of the UN's latest climate report included information from scientific-lightweights Greenpeace and the WWF suggest the UN is thicker-skinned than your average Joe.

That conclusion rests upon a precedent set by the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) back in 2007, when it was rightly slammed for presenting the PR spin of lobby groups as scientific data, having relied upon statements made in a WWF article to predict that the Himalayan glaciers would melt by 2035.

From idiom to proverb: fool me once...

But that was last week's news. And if falling for the same harlots' seductive sophistry twice wasn't enough public humiliation for the IPCC, climate change sceptics are now arguing the report shows that each of the four temperature models the IPCC has published since 1990 has overestimated the rise in Earth's temperature. reports: 

The IPCC graph shows that the midpoints of the various models predicted that the world would warm by between about 0.5 degrees Fahrenheit and 0.9 degrees Fahrenheit between 1990 and 2012. Actual warming was much less than that: 0.28 F, according the data the IPCC cites.

But that doesn’t mean the IPCC models are wrong, others argue.

“It’s important to keep in mind that there are natural short-term variations in global temperature that happen right alongside human-induced warming,” Aaron Huertas, of the Union of Concerned Scientists, told


The IPCC’s climate report draft also notes that “the model projections … do not fully account for natural variability.”

Conclusions? Earth's climate is changing; the extent to which man is responsible for that remains undetermined. Polemicists will paint their extreme pictures, recommending we pick up our protein from quinoa and quorn, but, crucially, the hard data continuosly opens our eyes to different colours and landscapes -- and this is what really counts.

Oh, and don't take the UN's word for gospel.

Hey, I never said I'd tell you something you don't know...

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