Fire and brimstone coming down from the skies! Rivers and seas boiling! Forty years of darkness! Earthquakes, volcanoes, the dead rising from the grave! Human sacrifice, dogs and cats living together… mass hysteria!
One might remember the quote above from the movie Ghostbusters but it also works as a summary of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report on global warming released by the United Nations on Monday.
The report reflects the IPCC projections of the effects of a 0.5-8.6 degrees increase in temperature (Fahrenheit) this century. What it ignores is that there has been no global warming for 17 years and six months.
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As described in the New York Times the IPCC report cites the risk of death or injury on a widespread scale, probable damage to public health, displacement of people and potential mass migrations.
Throughout the 21st century, climate-change impacts are projected to slow down economic growth, make poverty reduction more difficult, further erode food security, and prolong existing and create new poverty traps, the latter particularly in urban areas and emerging hotspots of hunger,” the report declared.
The report also cites the possibility of violent conflict over land or other resources, to which climate change might contribute indirectly “by exacerbating well-established drivers of these conflicts such as poverty and economic shocks.”
The scientists emphasized that climate change is not just some problem of the distant future, but is happening now. For instance, in much of the American West, mountain snowpack is declining, threatening water supplies for the region, the scientists reported. And the snow that does fall is melting earlier in the year, which means there is less meltwater to ease the parched summers.
Many of the reports’ warnings are disputed by what is really happening in the world. For example it talks about global warming damaging food supplies, yet the USDA shows the 2.241 billion tons of grain were produced worldwide in 2012 vs.1.846 billion in 2000.
The report seem to blame the west coast drought on climate change (the lack of snow meltwater) but less than three weeks ago National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration scientist Martin Hoerling wrote in the NY Times:
We can also say with high confidence that no appreciable trend toward either wetter or drier conditions has been observed for statewide average precipitation since 1895. This drought is not part of a long-term drift toward reduced precipitation over the state.
The biggest problem with the latest IPCC report are the questions it doesn’t attempt to answer such as:
- Why did the Earth stop warming 17 years ago?
- The climate models used to predict global warming proved to be wrong, what makes the revised models more reliable?
- What makes the IPCC so sure the warming trend of the 1980s through the mid 199os and the warming stoppage ever since, aren’t simply part of the Earth’s natural climate cycles?
- Since global warming stopped over 17 years ago, why didn’t their doom and gloom predictions revealing themselves back then?
Until those questions are answered and their doom and gloom predictions actually start happening, documents such as the IPCC report released Monday are as fictional as the movie Ghostbusters.