News | 10th Dec, 2012

Climate change conforming to UN predictions: scientists

10 December 2012


A new report has confirmed the world is warming at a rate consistent with a 22-year-old prediction from the United Nations' science body.

In 1990, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) forecast the rate at which temperatures would rise over a 40-year period.

A report published today in the journal Nature Climate Change says that at the halfway mark, the rate of warming is consistent with the original predictions.

Professor Matt England from the University of New South Wales says the findings send a message to doubters.

"Anybody out there lying that the IPCC projects are overstatements or that the observations haven't kept pace with the projections is completely off line with this … the analysis is very clear that the IPCC projections are coming true," he said.

The analysis is very clear that the IPCC projections are coming true.

"We've sat back and watched the two decades unfold and warming has progressed at a rate consistent with those projections."

Recent climate change reports have shown global emissions are increasing by 3 per cent per year, with emissions now sitting at 58 per cent above 1990 levels.

Professor England says the IPCC has prepared forecasts for low levels of emissions right through to the high end.

"At the moment we are tracking at the high end in terms of our emissions and so all of the projections that we look to at the moment are those high-end forecasts," he said.

"Without any action on greenhouse gas emissions, it will be those high-end IPCC scenarios that are extremely costly to society in terms of extreme events bearing out in time."

Read the full article here >

Find out how we're still funding climate change through fossil fuel subsidies >