Across two decades and several large reports, the world’s most authoritative voice on climate science, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, has consistently understated the rate and intensity of climate change and the danger those impacts represent, say a growing number of studies on the topic, reports Glenn Scherer at the Daily Climate. For example, the IPCC has underestimated sea level rise, and the melting rate of the Arctic ice cap. Climate experts warn that the IPCC’s failure to adequately project the threats has serious consequences, since IPCC reports influence policy and planning decisions worldwide. This means governments and the public could be blindsided by the rapid onset of the flooding, extreme storms, drought, and other impacts from catastrophic global warming. Underestimates will continue to characterize climate projections, noted IPCC scientist Richard Somerville, but what hasn’t gotten across to the public is a sense of urgency that, to most scientists, is now very clear. He added, “This urgency is dictated by the biogeochemistry and physics of the climate system. We have a very short time to de-carbonize the world economy and find substitutes for fossil fuels.”
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While deniers love to cry that the IPCC is “alarmist,” the comparison between what the panel has predicted over the last 20 years and what actually panned out in the real world shows that the IPCC has “consistently underestimated” the impacts, according to a new report. The Daily Climate: http://wwwp.dailyclimate.org/tdc-newsroom/2012/12/ipcc-climate-predictions