Much of the alarmist climate science literature promoting the collectivist Net Zero political project, along with many doomsday scenarios highlighted by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), are corrupted with implausible data that almost nobody believes. This astonishing conclusion can reasonably be drawn from recent extensive research from the Clintel Foundation. This work identified the widespread use of data predicting unrealistic temperature rises of 4-5°C in less than 80 years.
Clintel found that the IPCC makes extensive use of two pathways (scenarios of projected socioeconomic global changes up to the year 2100) that are “completely out of touch with reality” and that the UN-funded body then sprays the results all over its reports. The pathways called SSP5-8.5 and SSP3-7.0 make improbable claims of massive temperature rises that even the IPCC says are of “low likelihood”. As we noted last Saturday, this caveat is buried deep in the recent IPCC Sixth Assessment Report (AR6), and is not even mentioned in the widely-distributed Summary for Policy Makers (SPM). In addition, Clintel notes that “week after week” new publications appear using these extreme scenarios to create screaming headlines.
Bloomberg recently looked at how frequently each scenario appears in publications discoverable on Google Scholar. As shown in the graph above, the most extreme pathway is the most popular in the literature. In this sense, says Clintel, one might have concluded that the IPCC is simply doing its job and assessing and reporting the literature. It can also be suggested that the IPCC picks its lead authors and ignores science that runs contrary to the ‘correct’ political narrative. That is, it marks its own homework.
One result is that much of the climate panic that appears in mainstream media is tainted by the inappropriate use of these pathways. For example, last March the BBC ran a story claiming that Antarctic Ocean currents were heading for collapse. To drive home the scare, there was even a reference to the 2004 climate disaster film The Day After Tomorrow. The article was based on the work of scientists who claimed rapidly melting ice was causing a dramatic slowdown in deep ocean currents. In reality, the overall Antarctica ice sheet has seen little change for at least 70 years. Unsurprisingly, the scientists’ claims were based on computer models fed with RCP8.5 data – a fact missing from the BBC’s ridiculous story.
This captures how the system perpetuates itself. “If prominent leaders keep using this scenario and funding agencies keep funding research based on it, the use of this exaggerated scenario will continue for many years to come,” says the Clintel report.
How was it possible for such an extreme scenario to become so dominant in the literature and the IPCC reports? Professors Justin Ritchie and Roger Pielke Jr. provide some insights in their piece in Issues in Science and Technology titled ‘How the Climate Scenarios Lost Touch With Reality‘. They argue that a “failure of self-correction in science has compromised climate science’s ability to provide plausible views of our collective future”.
Their damning conclusion: “The continuing misuse of scenarios in climate research has become pervasive and consequential – so much so that we view it as one of the most significant failures of scientific integrity in the 21st Century thus far. We need a course correction.”
Chris Morrison is the Daily Sceptic’s Environment Editor.