Skip to main content /TECH with IDG.net
CNN.com /TECH
CNN TV
EDITIONS


Experts dismiss climate report



LONDON, England (CNN) -- A new report which paints a pessimistic future for the world's climate has been dismissed as "scaremongering" by some experts.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change claims that the planet is warming up faster than at any time in the last 1,000 years and predicts that global mean temperatures could increase by as much as 5.8C by the year 2100.

Its report comes against the background of evidence that the climate has got warmer in recent years.

Six of the 10 warmest years ever recorded were in the 1990s (the other four were in the late 1980s) and the growing season in Europe is 11 days longer than it was 35 years ago.

 IN-DEPTH
graphic Climate change


  • Bonn deal: Main points
  • Q&A: Climate change
  • Greenhouse effect
  • Regional consequences
  • Fossil fuel debate
  • Message board
  • Quick vote
  • News search

  In-Depth Specials
  • Bonn 2001 summit
  • Fallout from Kyoto

 

But some experts, including historical climatologists, say a study of temperatures over hundreds or even thousands of years show that what is regarded as global warming is in fact a "blip" of nature.

The report, published on Thursday, also comes amid growing concern that the Kyoto agreement on cutting carbon emissions is on the verge of collapse because of the United States' refusal to sign up.

A negotiating session to discuss the U.S. reluctance -- mirrored in Japan and Australia -- has been set up for July 16.

Professor Philip Stott, from the Bio-Geography Department at the University of London, told CNN that the report's findings amounted to "scaremongering" and was a "last-ditch" attempt by the supporters of Kyoto to present the "very, very worst estimates" before the Bonn summit.

EXTRA INFORMATION
In-Depth: Bonn 2001 summit  
 
MORE STORIES
Redford slams Bush on environment  
Japan raises pressure on Kyoto  
 

"This is just hype and I find it deeply depressing by what I see is a misuse of science.

"There are many scenarios as to what could happen -- over 40 -- ranging from cooling to intense warming, and the bottom line is that we do not have an idea of what the climate is doing at the moment.

"There is hysteria about this in Europe and this is a last ditch attempt to get the U.S., Japan and Australia back on board (the Kyoto agreement).

"But the reality is that even is all 180 nations signed up to the Kyoto model, it might reduce climate by about 0.07C and would cost billions and billions of dollars.

"The dangerous thing about Kyoto is that is gives the impression that we can do something about the climate."

Piers Corbyn of Weather Action, a UK-based company that provides long-term forecasts to UK industry, said the report offered "wild statements" and "misplaced alarmism."

Corbyn, who provides forecast based on solar activity, said he believed temperatures would get cooler rather than warmer.

"The fact that there is a broad correlation between particles from the sun and world temperatures than between carbon dioxide emissions and world temperatures suggests the key to understanding what will happen in the next 100 years is not what man is doing but what the sun is doing," he told CNN.

"The increased solar activity of the last 100 years will not continue over the next 100 years so its is very likely that we will go into a cooling period rather than get hotter."

"This report," he said, "is misplaced alarmism which serves to justify nuclear power and increased taxation in the name of saving the planet."






RELATED STORIES:
RELATED SITES:
• U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change
• Kyoto Protocol in full
• Kyoto Treaty

Note: Pages will open in a new browser window
External sites are not endorsed by CNN Interactive.


 Search   

Back to the top