The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) will release a report on September 27 that scales back the severity of the global warming threat. Emails leaked to the Associated Press show some governments, including the United States, tried to make the IPCC change their report to downplay the slowdown in warming.
Germany called for the reference to the slowdown to be deleted, saying a time span of 10 to 15 years was misleading in the context of climate change, which is measured over decades and centuries.
The U.S. also urged the authors to include the “leading hypothesis” that the reduction in warming is linked to more heat being transferred to the deep ocean.
Belgium objected to using 1998 as a starting year for any statistics. That year was exceptionally warm, so any graph showing global temperatures starting with 1998 looks flat. Using 1999 or 2000 as a starting year would yield a more upward-pointing curve. In fact, every year after 2000 has been warmer than the year 2000.
Hungary worried the report would provide ammunition for skeptics.
In 2007, the IPCC said there would be a three degree Celsius increase, but now they predict only a 1-2.5 degree Celsius increas. Anything less than two degrees could result in no net ecological damage. Many papers have backed up the new IPCC report.
Despite the leaks, President Obama is not backing away from his global warming narrative. His administration is going to push through new regulations to limit carbon pollution from new power plants. Environmental Protection Agency administrator Gina McCarthy claimed these regulations would make the industry grow and linked global warming to health issues.
McCarthy pressed her case by linking global warming to a suite of environmental problems, from severe weather to disease to worsening other types of air pollution.
“We know this is not just about melting glaciers,” McCarthy said. “Climate change – caused by carbon pollution – is one of the most significant public health threats of our time. That’s why EPA has been called to action.”
The new regulations will only affect new power plants; a plan for old plants will be released next summer. New plants must install new technology to capture the carbon dioxide and bury it in the ground. Most cannot do this because it is too expensive.
Norway’s outgoing government just scrapped a similar plan; cost was a major issue for the country’s factories. Oil and Energy Minister Ola Borten Moe explained, “At both the national and international level, the development of technologies to capture and store CO2 has taken longer, been more difficult and more costly than expected.”