Report: Top scientists call into question UN’s global warming study

Michael Bastasch | Contributor

The United Nations’ global warming report has come under fire, as some scientists argue that the results have been politicized.

The U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) quietly released its full report on the state of global warming last week, and scientists are attacking the study for presenting misleading information and covering up science that tempered or conflicted with the prevailing narrative: global warming is manmade and will require drastic reductions in greenhouse gas emissions.

The report asserts “95 percent” certainty about these two takeaways. Scientists critical of the report have pointed out that this supposed increase in certainty  comes after a 15-year hiatus in global warming.

Germany’s Der Spiegel reports: “How can science be certain about man’s impact when over the last 15 years the natural impacts surprisingly have stopped the warming of the air, asked climate scientist Judith Curry of Georgia Institute of Technology, Chairperson of the Climate Forecast Applications Network.”

Scientists have had trouble explaining the lack of significant warming in the past 15 years, with some arguing that the world’s oceans have absorbed much of the carbon dioxide emitted by human industry. The U.N.’s report said that it was too short a time period to make any judgement on it.

“An old rule says that climate-relevant trends should not be calculated for periods less than around 30 years,” said Dr. Thomas Stocker of the University of Bern, co-chair of the IPCC’s working group that wrote the report.

However, Der Spiegel points out that the U.N.’s report basically ignores the lack of warming, and, in fact, the summary of the report given to world policymakers does not mention the word “hiatus.”

“In the summary of the IPCC’s report, the word pause, scientifically ‘hiatus’, is not mentioned at all,” according to the German news publication. The report’s summary also did not mention doubts about the connection between global warming and extreme weather, a favorite talking point of politicians seeking to raise awareness of the issue.

Der Spiegel also notes that only 3 out of 114 climate models could actually reproduce the 15-year lapse in warming. This fact was completely omitted from what the UN reported to policymakers and the public.

“This point should have been more clearly addressed because it underscores that the important deficits of the climate models are still not understood,” said Eduardo Zorita of the Helmholtz Center for Coastal Research.

The IPCC’s climate report was subject to numerous pressures, including political pressures for the authors to omit or downplay the 15-year hiatus in warming from the Obama administration and European governments.

“Germany called for the reference to the slowdown to be deleted, saying a time span of 10-15 years was misleading in the context of climate change, which is measured over decades and centuries,” the Associated Press reported. “The U.S. also urged the authors to include the ‘leading hypothesis’ that the reduction in warming is linked to more heat being transferred to the deep ocean.”

Governments are worried that climate skeptics could play up such data to derail the international climate negotiations in 2015.

(H/T) No Tricks Zone

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