Betting Against Predictive Climate Change Models Might Not Be A Smart Move

Industrial pollutants in our cities
The central business district (C) is seen shrouded by slight haze in Singapore, August 20, 2015. The 3-hour Pollutants Standards Index or PSI reading hit unhealthy levels of 100 at 6pm on Thursday, according to the National Environment Agency. Photo : Reuters/Edgar Su

Some people, including world leaders, are still skeptical of the accuracy of studies on climate change. However, according to reports, those who bet against it have lost much in the past years and they who trust it have made huge fortunes.

Skeptics are arguing that climate change modeling predictions are not 100 percent accurate. However, it seems they are missing the point here. Computer modeling and most of the scientists agree that the effects of climate change might become devastating if the mankind is not going to do something about, better sooner than later.

The authors of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the UN body charged with assessing scientific information relevant to human-induced climate change, have published five assessment reports starting in 1990, one every five years. These reports are compiled from data provided by thousands of scientists worldwide. They constitute one of the most comprehensive scientific models ever devised to predict the likely future of our forests, oceans and rivers, farms and fisheries.

These models can be tested and they exist as computer simulations. Scientists can run them back in time in order to replicate with accuracy any climate events occurring over the past century. They can also be run forward in time in order to show the effects of climate change in the future. One alarming fact they show is the slow but steady rise in the planet's surface temperature.

The computer models can suggest which cities will run out of water because glaciers disappear and which cities will be flooded by sea-level rise, which lands will dry out and which parts will remain arable. They can tell scientists as well as businessmen which foodstuffs will be in short supply, where are the best places for developing farmland, which resorts will prosper and which will fail.

For instance, some recent studies have found that the Great Barrier Reef species are more at risk from climate change. Some tropical species that occupy smaller geographical ranges are likely to die out in a warming climate. The studies also have shown that high levels of extinction risk are more likely in local marine populations due to climate change and human impact.

Other studies have found that the majority of carbon credits generated by Ukraine and Russia did not really help to cut emissions. The UN scheme actually undermined significantly the efforts to have climate change under control. According to a recent study report, the carbon credits may have increased greenhouse gas emissions by 600 million tons. Some projects have even created chemicals warming climate and then destroyed them only to claim cash from carbon credits scheme.

Countries like the Ukraine and Russia were allowed to create carbon credits from such activities as restricting gas emission from oil production or curbing coal waste fires. But governments, banks and financial institution were looking to get an edge n the global markets and just aimed to get their hands on carbon credits, cash, and advantages.

It is the right time to do something about the climate change. For this reason, the Paris summit in December could mark a very important moment in the history of the planet. The most forward-thinking institutions and world leaders should attend the summit prepared to entering a close dialogue with environmental groups and assessing the science rather than dismissing it. The policy implications that will be discussed in the COP21 meeting in Paris are of crucial importance not only for our economic survival but for our survival as a species.

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