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Climate Change – Erring on the Side of Least Drama

Climate scientists refer to ESLD. ‘Erring on the side of least drama’. Natural scientific caution and what you would expect from a good scientist. We don’t want drama from our scientists, we want reliable, informed, fact based research. Given that your average climate denier will constantly accuse their opposition of exaggeration and over dramatization, a recent study, published in Global Environmental Change, makes very interesting reading.

Hurricane Gustav Mississippi au_tiger01 / CC BY 2.0

Here are some of the key findings from a comprehensive study which is telling us that, far from being alarmist, climate scientists have underestimated the effects of global temperature increases. By the way, actual global temperature increase over the past 25 years have been very accurately predicted by scientific models.

  • Rainfall has become more intense in already rainy areas, and “recent changes have occurred faster than predicted.”
  • Sea level rise has far exceeded predictions: “satellites show recent global average sea level rise (3.4 mm/yr over the past 15 years)—to be 80% above past IPCC predictions.”
  • Surface ocean heat uptake between 1963 and 2003 was 50% higher than expected based on previous calculations. This difference helps explain why sea level rise (from thermal expansion) is also greater than expected. Studies also show that deep ocean warming is more widespread than previously thought.
  • Summertime melting of Arctic sea-ice has “accelerated far beyond the expectations of climate models.”
  • CO2 emissions were also tracking the high-end scenarios developed in 1999, showing that scientists’ “worst-case scenario” has in fact been realized.

“The studies we have examined here find no evidence that the IPCC  (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) has made exaggerated claims in its climate change predictions; indeed, in many cases IPCC predictions seem to have underestimated actual outcomes.”

You read an abstract or access this full and comprehensive study here.

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