Der Spiegel


UN Backtracks: Will Global Warming Really Trigger Mass Extinctions?
Der Spiegel

In 2007, the IPCC predicted that rising global temperatures would kill off many species. But in its new report, the UN climate change body backtracks. There is a shortage of evidence, a draft version claims.

At most, the draft report says, climate change may have played a role in the disappearance of a few amphibians, fresh water fish and mollusks. Yet even the icons of catastrophic global warming, the polar bears, are doing surprisingly well. Their population has remained stable despite the shrinking of the Arctic ice cap.

The draft report includes a surprising admission by the IPCC — that it doubts its own computer simulations for species extinctions. « There is very little confidence that models currently predict extinction risk accurately, » the report notes. Very low extinction rates despite considerable climate variability during past hundreds of thousands of years have led to concern that « forecasts for very high extinction rates due entirely to climate change may be overestimated. »

In the last assessment report, Climate Change 2007, the IPCC predicted that 20 to 30 percent of all animal and plant species faced a high risk for extinction should average global temperatures rise by 2 to 3 degrees Celsius (3.6 to 5 degrees Fahrenheit). The current draft report says that scientific uncertainties have « become more apparent » since 2007.

En 2007, quand les sceptiques disaient que les prédictions des réchauffistes étaient alarmistes et sans grande valeur scientifiques, ils étaient traités de négationnistes et on leur rappelait que les conclusions scientifiques étaient définitives et que le débat était clos… Quelques années plus tard on dirait bien que ce sont les sceptiques qui avaient raison…