Climate Science Predictions Prove Too Conservative

Over the last twenty years, the IPCC has consistently underestimated the pace of climate change, writes Clenn Scherer and

Published: 07-Dec-2012

Across two decades and thousands of pages of reports, the world's most authoritative voice on climate science has consistently understated the rate and intensity of climate change and the danger those impacts represent, say a growing number of studies on the topic.

This conservative bias, say some scientists, could have significant political implications, as reports from the group – the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change – influence policy and planning decisions worldwide, from national governments down to local town councils.

As the latest round of United Nations climate talks in Doha wrap up this week, climate experts warn that the IPCC's failure to adequately project the threats that rising global carbon emissions represent has serious consequences: The IPCC’s overly conservative reading of the science, they say, means governments and the public could be blindsided by the rapid onset of the flooding, extreme storms, drought, and other impacts associated with catastrophic global warming.


Mayor Michael Bloomberg inspects damage caused by Hurricane Sandy, endorsing Barack Obama as a result of the President's handling of the disaster.

Bloomberg BusinessWeek's Paul Barrett sees a growing consensus that Sandy was strengthened by global warming.


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