Graham Lloyd: Politics Interferes In The Process Of Science
Climate politics has again overshadowed climate science and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change is to blame.
The IPCC reportedly leaked the final draft of its fifth status report to “friendly” hands in a bid to keep the focus on the core finding that the link between human activity and climate change is getting stronger.
Naturally, the draft report found its way to less sympathetic quarters, which have correctly reported past failings and lingering uncertainties.
High among the uncertainties is a more than decade-long pause in the rise of average global surface temperatures, which climate scientists are now working overtime to explain.
There are many explanations – natural variability, more heat in the deep oceans, volcanoes, sea surface temperatures and coal-burning emissions from China – and a gaping reality that no one saw it coming.
There is an obvious gap between what climate models have said would happen and what has actually taken place.
These issues do not mean that climate change is not real or that rising levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide are not a serious issue for global policy-makers.
But they do highlight that climate science is fundamentally a work in progress – and that the cumbersome IPCC process is overly political and currently ill-suited to the task at hand.