The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) published the final part of its sixth assessment report (AR6) on Monday, March 20. Predictably, the media rushed to repeat the claims made in the report with their own scary, woefully overwrought, headlines.
Here is a sample: The Washington Post – World is on brink of catastrophic warming, U.N. climate change report says; NBC News – Now or never: One of the biggest climate reports ever shows time is running out; The Guardian – Scientists deliver ‘final warning’ on climate crisis: act now or it’s too late; and finally Inside Climate News, with inarguably the worst headline New IPCC Report Shows the ‘Climate Time Bomb Is Ticking,’ Says UN Secretary General António Guterres.
Each of mainstream media outlets predict that “climate doom” is just around the corner, and they’re all wrong.
The newest IPCC report laments the fact that Earth will soon pass the 1.5°C level of temperature rise, seen in the projection in Figure 1. The current extrapolation is to reach 1.5°C by April 2035.
Figure 1. Extrapolation of temperature trend, predicting 1.5°C by April 2035. Source: ECMWF/Copernicus.
Based on that projection, the IPCC and the media predict very bad things will happen if we don’t “act now before it’s too late.” The most recent report in the AR6 series contains no new information, rather it reiterates the warnings made the physical science portion of the report issued in the summer of 2021, which also mentioned approaching 1.5°C.
Interestingly, the “before it’s too late” language has been used since 2005, when worry about just 1°C was the big doomsday news:
NASA scientist Jim Hansen introduced the “too late” language about climate change in 2005, arguing that “We have to stabilize emissions of carbon dioxide within a decade, or temperatures will warm by more than one degree [C]… we don’t have much time left”.
We heard the same type of language in 2014, when the IPCC released their Fifth Assessment Report. The headlines in The Guardian said “time is running out” and warming “could be irreversible.”
Back to the present, the data used to generate Figure 1 above, indicates that the Earth has already experienced a temperature rise of 1.21°C, with none of the doomsday predictions made in 2005 having occurred. In fact, what the IPCC and media all don’t realize, is that Earth already surpassed that 1.5°C threshold, and it and society are doing just fine. As seen in Figure 2, an analysis of Berkeley Earth global surface temperature data by Willis Eschenbach shows that not only has Earth passed the arbitrary 1.5°C threshold set by the IPCC, we’ve actually warmed from 4.0°C since 1750.
Figure 2: Analysis of Berkeley Earth global surface temperature data since 1750, showing markers for 2°C, 3°C, and 4°C of warming. Graph by Willis Eschenbach.
Bottom line, as documented by Willis Eschenbach, Earth has already warmed well past 1.5°C and nothing terrible has happened.
In addition, virtually all of the claims made by media in the past about the dire future we can expect with a modestly warming world have been disproven by time, actual data, and events. For example, claims of crop failures due to warming are common in the media, but looking at actual data in Global Temperatures vs. Global Crop Yields, “Yields have been increasing, in fits and starts, despite increasing temperatures over the period of that record.”
Another common claim, that global warming has worsened floods and droughts, has proven equally untrue. The fact is, almost any media claim of worsening weather or the human condition related to warming one examines, be it hurricanes, tornadoes, sea level rise, food production, coffee, maple syrup, apples, atmospheric rivers, or other apocalyptic predictions made over the past 50 years has failed to materialize.
Most telling is the fact that the human condition has actually improved; deaths from extreme weather events are down dramatically in the last century, approaching zero, as seen in Figure 3, below.
Figure 3: Plotted by Bjørn Lomborg. peer-reviewed article by Bjørn Lomborg: Welfare in the 21st century: Increasing development, reducing inequality, the impact of climate change, and the cost of climate policies Data: The International Disaster Database, http://emdat.be/emdat_db/
It is also a fact that temperature related deaths have declined dramatically as the climate has warmed, as discussed on Climate Realism, here and here, for example.
All of this evidence clearly refutes what the IPCC climate alarmists are shouting about, indeed its own physical science report refutes the hyperbolic claims made by IPCC representatives that have been uncritically parroted by the mainstream media, since Monday. Rather than a climate change induced doomsday being in the offing, data show the human condition has actually improved amid global warming.
With all this contrary evidence of a doom-laden present and future, isn’t it time we simply stop listening to these unproven claims?
Anthony Watts is a senior fellow for environment and climate at The Heartland Institute.
Watts has been in the weather business both in front of, and behind the camera as an on-air television meteorologist since 1978, and currently does daily radio forecasts.
He has created weather graphics presentation systems for television, specialized weather instrumentation, as well as co-authored peer-reviewed papers on climate issues.
He operates the most viewed website in the world on climate, the award-winning website wattsupwiththat.com.
You must be logged in to post a comment.