Is EPA Trying to Skew Climate Change Study for the Obama Administration?

The leaked document is not final and will undergo several revisions before its March release. But global warming critics, like Vitter, already are jumping on it, maintaining that the findings can’t jibe with various studies indicating the globe has not warmed up over the past 15 years.

Another IPCC draft, leaked to the Associated Press in June, determined that the rate of warming between 1998 and 2012 was about half the average rate since 1951. But the globe is still heating up, according to the draft, which cited natural variability within the climate system, the cooling effects from volcanic eruptions and a downward phase in solar activity as reasons for the slowdown.

But the Associated Press also found that several governments – including the U.S. – reviewed the draft and offered recommendations on how the IPCC should address the slowdown. Germany maintained references to a warming slowdown should be deleted, noting that a 10- to 15-year timespan could be an aberration in the context of climate change, which is measured over decades and centuries.

The U.S. also weighed in, asserting that the study’s authors embrace another theory -- that the reduction in warming is linked to more heat being transferred to the deep ocean.

Vitter said the intrusions “renew concerns that the IPCC is engaged in a political, not scientific, process.”

“With the benefit of decades of actual temperature data to evaluate, the climate forecasting models used by the IPCC and other climate alarmists over the last twenty years have now been shown to have over-predicted the extent to which the planet’s temperatures would increase,” Vitter said. “The fact that these models overestimate the extent of global temperature increases since 1998 has been recognized in many publications, including the scientific journal Nature.”

The 15-year period without measurable warming occurred at a time of record-breaking greenhouse gas emissions, Vitter noted.

“These facts are deeply disappointing to those who have been demanding immediate and costly international and U.S. actions on the basis of these previous IPCC predictions,” he said.