Before discussing more of the problems with the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) global warming information and predictions, it is necessary to frame this challenge to the IPCC’s reports appropriately. In the criticisms below, we are not in any way criticizing the thousands of climate scientists, many of whom at their own expense provide uncensored, accurate, and up-to-date global warming research to the IPCC’s bureaucrats...
However, those IPCC bureaucrats are the individuals who, through a highly constrained administrative process, create the final reports and predictions. What follows also does not question the good intentions of the constrained IPCC bureaucrats caught in the slow and conservative bureaucracy of an international entity, which must not only seek member consensus and funding, but also avoid panicking the public.
Additionally, do not misconstrue the following criticism of the IPCC's bureaucratic process results in any way as a criticism of the underlying valid science of global warming being presented by the thousands of climate scientists contributing their research to the IPCC reports or the vast 97 percent (2) consensus of climate scientists who, as a whole, agree that global warming has human causation and one of the largest human causes is the burning of fossil fuels.
Now that you have this background, let's look at more IPCC problems.
In their 5-7 year climate update reports and predictions for politicians and policymakers, the IPCC has a repeated history of significantly underestimating how much of a problem global warming could become, as well as its time frames. (3) Before expanding upon the IPCC’s climate data underestimation problem, it is essential to understand how they create their 5-7 year global warming and prediction scenario updates for the world’s politicians and policymakers.
What surprises many individuals is that the IPCC itself does not do original global warming research. Working as unpaid volunteers, thousands of scientists from around the globe sift through the most current scientific literature on global warming and the climate. After completing this review, these unpaid scientists identify trends, write a draft report, and submit it to the IPCC.
Next, the IPCC reviews the submitted research from these scientists. This typically takes five to seven years to complete. Then, in a tediously slow and bureaucratic process, the IPCC creates comprehensive reports and assessments, including global warming prediction scenarios. Then, in the near to last step, other scientists once again take the assembled draft and review and revise it as needed.
Finally, a summary for national politicians and policymakers is written. This condenses the science even further. This new and final summary report is then subjected to a line-by-line review and possible revision by non-scientist national representatives from more than 100 world governments—all of whom must approve the final summary document before it is signed and presented to the public.
Now that you understand the process for how the IPCC creates its reports, the following will not seem so surprising. A growing number of studies (referenced elsewhere,) claim that across two decades and thousands of pages of IPCC climate reports, the IPCC has consistently understated the rate and intensity of global warming, as well as the danger that it represents. (4)
Since the IPCC 2007 assessment, these studies have shown that the speed and ferocity at which the climate is destabilizing are at the extreme edge of, or are outpacing, IPCC projections on many fronts, including temperature rise, carbon emissions, sea level rise, continental ice-sheet melt, Arctic sea ice decline, ocean acidification, and thawing tundra.
One glaring example of IPCC underestimation can be found in the IPCC’s previous 2007 report (5) that concluded the Arctic would not lose its summer ice before 2070 at the earliest. But the ice pack has shrunk far faster than any scenario IPCC scientists felt politicians and policymakers should consider.
Just a few years after that report, a new study predicted that by 2016-2020, the Arctic's Northwest Passage will be completely ice-free during the summers. This means that in 2007, the IPCC was off by an incredible 50-54 years on a key climate prediction over an estimation prediction period of only 63 years!
Another glaring example of the dangerous IPCC underestimation problem surfaced from James Hansen, the former NASA scientist who originally warned the world about global warming nearly 30 years ago. Hansen's new study says sea levels could rise by as much as 10 feet (3 meters) by 2050.
The IPCC has repeatedly and consistently predicted that sea levels should rise only 3 feet (0.9 meters) by 2100. That's a 60-70% underestimation by the IPCC occurring 50 years earlier! Over its history, the IPCC’s global warming consequence and timetable scenario predictions are regularly underestimated by anywhere from 25 to 40%.
Why the IPCC’s global warming underestimation problem is critical to you, your business, and your nation’s future
All underestimation by the IPCC is dangerous. First, because the organization is treated as the most recognized authority on global warming and is charged with advising national politicians and policymakers on the most relevant and accurate climate science so they can make the necessary laws and policy changes to keep us safe.
Next, the IPCC’s overly conservative reading and underestimation problems means that national governments, businesses, and the public will be grossly unprepared and blindsided by the more rapid onset of higher flooding, extreme storms, drought, and other global warming impacts and consequences far beyond what they are currently prepared for. (6) Worse yet, a society blind to the full range and speed of potential global warming outcomes can remain unconscious of or apathetic to the growing emergency, causing them to push the hard but necessary global warming reduction decisions farther and farther off into the future.
Probably the greatest loss caused by IPCC’s underestimation problem is that it quells, if not removes, the appropriate sense of urgency essential to motivating the world and its nations to deal with escalating global warming’s present and future threats. For example, what if the global warming disasters projected by the IPCC to start arriving in 2060-2080 begin in 2030-2040? If that happens, we won’t be prepared for the true scale, severity, and frequency of the disasters to come. (Graphs shown below in the underestimation correction section will help you visualize what this means in shortened time frames.)
Conflicts of interest and the IPCC’s underestimation problem
Because the IPCC's final summary report is subjected to a line-by-line review/revision by representatives from more than 100 world governments, all of whom must individually approve and sign off on the final summary document before it is presented to the public, it is only reasonable to consider that inherent national conflicts of interest will also act to water down, delay, or delete those sections of each global warming report that directly and significantly impact the overall military, security, economics, or other key well-being factors of the sign-off nation.
For example, countries like Venezuela, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Russia, the United States, United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, and Iran have huge portions of their annual gross domestic product (GDP) dependent upon producing and/or exporting fossil fuels. If there were a sudden and significant mandated reduction in use of global fossil fuel, some of these countries, particularly the ones with large national debts or without large financial reserves like Russia, Venezuela, the United States, Iraq, and Iran, could plunge into rapid economic decline and in some cases, possibly even social and political unrest or collapse. (7) Unless something shifts radically, these serious conflicts of interest in sign-off nations will be a continuous source of watered-down or missing key facts.
The IPCC’s unconscionable groupthink illusions further affecting the validity and usefulness of their calculations and predictions
Unconscionable groupthink illusions and delusions were used and held by our global warming authorities at the most recent Paris Climate Conference concerning possibilities of currently nonexistent atmospheric carbon removal technologies, which may or may not be discovered and successfully implemented until sometime after 2050!
Instead of being honest with the public and telling us we needed to immediately make difficult and costly fossil fuel use reductions and sacrifices for ourselves, our children, and future generations, the world's leading global warming authorities took the cowardly and easy way out. As the essential part of their calculations for the critical reductions of fossil fuel carbon pollution in our atmosphere, our global warming authorities have included, used, and even relied upon the projected potential effects of currently non-existing atmospheric carbon removing technology.
Inventing this atmospheric carbon removal "miracle cure" occurring sometime after 2050 was the only way to force their current atmospheric carbon reduction calculations to ever work to keep global warming at or below the acknowledged and very dangerous 2° celsius level by 2100.
These miracle cure calculations also allowed them to tell us all to go on as we are now without making significant changes or sacrifices. These miracle cure calculations were politically correct, expeditious, and allowed the world's global warming authorities to make everyone believe the most dangerous falsehood possible about our future. These miracle cure new technology calculations were fully relied upon for our current reduction planning in spite of these new technologies:
- not currently existing,
- impossible to scale up adequately in time for removing massive amounts of atmospheric carbon, which are conservatively estimated at about 100 gigatons just to keep us below a 2 degree celsius temperature rise. (1 gigaton or metric gigaton [unit of mass] is equal to 1,000,000,000 metric tons. 100 gigatons would equal 100 billion metric tons.)
- catastrophic projected side effects that would make their desperate use far worse than the original problem they were intended to solve!
The near-complete reliance upon these non-existent new technologies by the world's global warming authorities to miraculously save us at the last moment is both irresponsible and irrational beyond belief! These projections and calculations are especially unconscionable because the survival of humanity is held in the balance by the validity of these calculations.
Worse yet, these illusionary calculations have given the public a false sense of safety. They have stolen the necessary and accurate sense of urgency about the real dangers that are here today, not sometime off in the second half of the 21st century.
Without the correct sense of urgency, the public has been prevented from both understanding and making the critical changes that should have been made decades ago to prevent the current global warming emergency. (The new Climageddon book published by Job One for Humanity describes in detail all of the dangerous groupthink illusions and delusions currently held by the world's leading global warming authorities.)
Please see the following for more verification on the truth of the above section concerning the IPCC’s illusions and delusions:
(See Wikipedia contributors. "Bio-energy with carbon capture and storage," Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Bio-energy_with_carbon_capture_and_storage&oldid=801806293 (accessed January 18, 2018).)
(See Abby Rabinowitz and Amanda Simson. “The Dirty Secret of the World’s Plan to Avert Climate Disaster.” Wired. December 10, 2017. https://www.wired.com/story/the-dirty-secret-of-the-worlds-plan-to-avert-climate-disaster/)
(See Jason Hickel. “The Paris climate deal won’t save us – our future depends on de-growth.” The Guardian. July 3, 2017. https://www.theguardian.com/global-development-professionals-network/2017/jul/03/paris-climate-deal-wont-work-our-future-depends-degrowth)
(Also see that the mathematical, scientific, and mechanical feasibility to adequately scale up the non-existent miracle technology as well as the unknown negative side effects of this non-existent, “miracle technology” has already been debunked by respected climate scientists like Kevin Anderson.)
What can we do
The IPCC’s underestimation presents an absolute nightmare for anyone trying to do long-term planning, whether it be personal, business, local, regional, or national. When we take into account the IPCC underestimations and come up with new temperature and timetable predictions, it appears any mid-term to long-term future planning based on the IPCC's predictions will put us in a world of hurt.
When we reach 5 to 6° Celsius (9-10.8° Fahrenheit) it will be the end of the world as we know it and, as you can see from the above data, it is not far off in the future. When you factor in crossing more global warming tipping points (which is highly probable and which was completely absent from the IPCC predictions, our world is in serious peril, not 40 or 80 years from now, but right now and over the next 20-40 years.
It is illogical beyond all comprehension to assign full responsibility for evaluating and predicting the single greatest security threat of the 21st-century to a group of volunteer and underfunded climate scientists with the best of intentions who submit their research to an bureaucratic and underfunded United Nations agency. But who should be doing this work?
If not the IPCC, who is most qualified to do needed tipping point research and prediction?
It is clear the IPCC is not doing its job. The world's current leading authority on global warming is no longer the appropriate agent we can trust to manage the research, analysis, and planning necessary to save us from the escalating global warming emergency. The danger is so great and imminent that we can’t keep doing the same thing over and over, expecting a different result.
We have no other rational choice but to bypass any existing failed authorities, structures, and processes that have not worked and are not working. That is the only way we will have any honest hope of handling the global warming emergency. The new book Climageddon proposes there are organizations far more qualified to give us more accurate predictions…
A Quick summary
The unfortunate, widespread, and gross misinformation of the public about how bad global warming has become irreversible has occurred in significant part because of:
- major miscalculations from the world’s leading global warming authorities by about 20-40% or more concerning how fast and severe the consequences of global warming will be.
- we have continuously failed to effectively slow or reverse global warming. This is in spite of 30+ years of loud and detailed warnings by credible climate scientists, verified scientific research, and 22 international conferences on how to solve the global warming crisis.
- we are now trapped by the reality of the minimum time needed to convert all global fossil fuel energy generation systems into green energy generation systems (currently about 35-50 years, but probably much more). This means carbon in the atmosphere will reach 500 ppm where all ice and glaciers on the planet will begin and continue melting.
- we have crossed too many known and unknown important global warming tipping points over the last 30+ years within our climate systems and subsystems that the public still does not know about. This tipping point crossing process invariably locks us into crossing even more dangerous known and unknown global warming tipping points at faster and faster rates, which once again spikes up average global temperature far beyond what has been predicted by our global warming authorities. After we hit carbon 500 ppm which is currently inescapable, we will hit carbon 600 ppm which will most probably trigger a massive release methane from the methane clathrate crystals found on the coastal ocean shelves and that will trigger another massive temperature increase and the end of civilization in a massive extinction event, exactly as it has happened before.
- unconscionable groupthink illusions and delusions used and held by our global warming authorities at the Paris Climate Conference concerning possibilities of currently nonexistent atmospheric carbon removal technologies, which may or may not be discovered and successfully implemented until sometime after 2050!
- the complexity of the global climate: the massive number of interconnections, interactions, interdependencies, tipping points, and nonlinear reactions within the climate's many complex adaptive systems and subsystems, making the big picture crisis of falling into irreversible global warming invisible to all but a few scientists and big data analysts capable of processing such massive data complexity.
Published peer-reviewed research:
- Glenn Scherer. "How the IPCC Underestimated Climate Change." Scientific American. December 6, 2012. https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/climate-science-predictions-prove-too-conservative/
- "Scientific consensus: Earth's climate is warming." Climate.Nasa.Gov. Last modified January 24, 2017. http://climate.nasa.gov/scientific-consensus/
- Dana Nuccitelli. "Vision Prize: scientists are worried the IPCC is underestimating sea level rise." The Guardian. February 18, 2014. https://www.theguardian.com/environment/climate-consensus-97-per-cent/2014/feb/18/scientists-worried-ipcc-underestimate-sea-level-rise
- Bill McKibben. "The IPCC is stern on climate change - but it still underestimates the situation." The Guardian. November 2, 2014. https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2014/nov/02/ipcc-climate-change-carbon-emissions-underestimates-situation-fossil-fuels
- Solomon, S., D. Qin, M. Manning, Z. Chen, M. Marquis, K.B. Averyt, M. Tignor and H.L. Miller, eds., "Contribution of Working Group I to the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change," (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press), http://www.ipcc.ch/report/ar4/wg1/
- Chris Mooney. "The world's climate change watchdog may be underestimating global warming." The Washington Post. October 30, 2014. https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2014/10/30/climate-scientists-arent-too-alarmist-theyre-too-conservative/?utm_term=.8e8e665ddf76
- Nicholas Stern. "Economics: Current climate models are grossly misleading." Nature.com. February 24, 2016. http://www.nature.com/news/economics-current-climate-models-are-grossly-misleading-1.19416
From the research and editorial team at Job One for Humanity.
March 11, 2018
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