Climate change predictions made 22 years ago have been shown by a Victoria University professor to be almost spot-on.
New Zealand Climate Change Research Institute director David Frame is the co-author of a report published in the latest edition of Nature Climate Change.
Along with Daithi Stone, from the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in California, Professor Frame has compared predictions from the first Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Assessment Report in 1990, with global climate change data from the past 20 years.
They showed global climate change was happening as predicted in 1990. The 1990 report had predictions for global temperature increases to the year 2030.
Since 1990 the average global surface temperature raised between 0.35degC and 0.39C – roughly what was predicted in 1990.
This was in spite of unforeseen climate-altering events such as the eruption of Mount Pinatubo in 1991, the collapse of the Soviet bloc industry in the 1990s, and the recent rapid, fossil fuel-intensive growth in economies like Asia.
"What we’ve found is that these early predictions seem pretty good, and this is likely due to the climate responding to concentrations of greenhouse gases in the earth’s atmosphere at a rate broadly in line with what scientists in 1990 expected."
- The Dominion Post
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