At least according to the Daily Mail, which heralds the final draft report as a major step back for global-warming advocates. The soon-to-be-released paper from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) will admit that the warming rate measured over the last several years is less than half of what had been earlier claimed, and that their models “may have exaggerated” the effects of carbon emissions in impacting climate:

The Mail on Sunday has obtained the final draft of a report to be published later this month by the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the ultimate watchdog whose massive, six-yearly ‘assessments’ are accepted by environmentalists, politicians and experts as the gospel of climate science. 

They are cited worldwide to justify swingeing fossil fuel taxes and subsidies for ‘renewable’ energy.

Yet the leaked report makes the extraordinary concession that the world has been warming at only just over half the rate claimed by the IPCC in its last assessment,  published in 2007. 

Back then, it said that the planet was warming at a rate of 0.2C every decade – a figure it claimed was in line with the forecasts made by computer climate models.

But the new report says the true figure since 1951 has been only 0.12C per decade – a rate far below even the lowest computer prediction.

It has essentially flat-lined over the last 15 years, and the new low figure calls into question whether the overall impact might just be statistical noise than a real trend.  Nor is this the only concession in the final-draft version of the report:

  • They recognise the global warming ‘pause’ first reported by The Mail on Sunday last year is real – and concede that their computer models did not predict it. But they cannot explain why world average temperatures have not shown any statistically significant increase since 1997.
  • They admit large parts of the world were as warm as they are now for decades at a time between 950 and 1250 AD – centuries before the Industrial Revolution, and when the population and CO2 levels were both much lower.
  • The IPCC admits that while computer models forecast a decline in Antarctic sea ice, it has actually grown to a new record high. Again, the IPCC cannot say why.
  • A forecast in the 2007 report that hurricanes would become more intense has simply been dropped, without mention.

This comes just after the report that Arctic ice expanded dramatically over the past year, in defiance of projections that it would disappear altogether in 2013.  The underwater shelf has not grown significantly, though, which means that the ice shelf is still at risk, but it’s clearly not disappearing at the moment.

Even with all of these retreats, however, the IPCC actually increased its confidence level in its climate-change hypotheses, even though it now admits that the Earth is no warmer than it has been in pre-Industrial Age eras and that continued carbon emissions seem to have had no impact for more than 15 years.  One leading American climate researcher, Dr. Judith Curry at Georgia Tech, called this “incomprehensible”:

She said  it therefore made no sense that the IPCC was claiming that its confidence in its forecasts and conclusions has increased.

For example, in the new report, the IPCC says it is ‘extremely likely’ – 95 per cent certain – that human  influence caused more than half  the temperature rises from 1951 to 2010, up from ‘very confident’ –  90 per cent certain – in 2007.

Prof Curry said: ‘This is incomprehensible to me’ – adding that the IPCC projections are ‘overconfident’, especially given the report’s admitted areas of doubt.

This sounds more like a confidence game, both literally and figuratively.  The only way to keep momentum from slipping away from the alarmists is to proclaim in ever-louder voices the “confidence” the IPCC has in its hypotheses and models that have failed to predict climate change in just about every context alarmists have used over the last 20 years.