New IPCC Report Deals in Politically-Convenient Fictions Rather than Fact-Based Reality

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WASHINGTON—The United Nation’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) today released the findings of its third working group, focused on mitigation and adaptation to climate change.

Senior Fellow and former State Climatologist for Virginia Pat Michaels said:

“Today’s IPCC report detailing mitigation and adaption to climate change includes a ‘Summary for Policymakers’ that is one of the most impressive examples to date of (mainly social) scientists thriving in a fact-free environment.

“For example, it assumes that all global warming since 1900 is caused by human activity, largely the combustion of fossil fuels for electrical generation, manufacturing and transportation. But that is rather dubious. There is a warming of surface temperature from 1910-1945 of slightly under a half-degree Celsius, a rate of warming statistically indistinguishable from what was measured from 1976 through the late 1990s. But was such a warming caused by human activity?

“It is logical to assume that the more recent warming likely shows considerable relation to human emissions. But, by 1910, when the warming was first observed, we had only trivial amounts of carbon dioxide emissions. The background concentration in 1850, the beginning of the UN’s ‘base period’ for climate reference, was around 285 parts per million (ppm). When the warming began, in 1910, it was a mere 298ppm, or an increase of 13ppm. It is now close to 418ppm, an increase of 133ppm, or more than ten times what we had seen by 1910, kicking off that period of warming between 1910 and 1945.

“Obviously, if this trivial environmental change had initiated that much warming, it would be so hot by now that there would be little skeptical discussion. But that’s not the case.

“Getting the primary driver wrong for the initiation of a significant warming is bad enough, but the new IPCC report is rife with similar (or even worse) assumptions. This report, which required a considerable financial effort, makes no mention that the German government, for now, has put coal possibly back into its energy mix. Even a search for ‘coal’ in the document—which produces the most carbon dioxide of any of the fossil fuels—reveals not one hit.

“This attempt to leave inconvenient facts for the IPCC unaddressed in its latest report will ultimately ensure that policymakers will be considering politically-convenient fictions rather than fact-based reality.”