(CNSNews.com) - A United Nations study due for release early next year will reportedly lower estimates of mankind's impact on the earth's climate by 25 percent, a development a leading climate change skeptic in the U.S. Senate says will pour "cold water" on "global warming alarmism."
"We are all skeptics now," Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.), chairman of the U.S. Senate Environment & Public Works Committee, said in response to media leaks on a report by the U.N.'s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which is set to be published next February.
London's Telegraph reported Sunday that the IPCC draft report reduces its overall estimate of the human impact on global warming by one-fourth, and halves its predictions for rises in sea-level by 2100.
The IPCC's new figures are attributed to "a refinement due to better data on how climate works."
The panel's report "says that the overall human effect on global warming since the industrial revolution is less than had been thought, due to the unexpected levels of cooling caused by aerosol sprays, which reflect heat from the sun," the paper said.
Furthermore, "large amounts of heat have been absorbed by the oceans, masking the warming effect."
Copies of the document, which was sent by the IPCC to climate experts and participating governments on Oct. 28, were obtained by several news organizations in Britain.
"Climate science is always going through these 'refinements,'" Inhofe said in a statement. "The media has alternated between four separate global cooling and warming scares since 1895," including "the erroneous prediction of a coming ice age in the 1970s," he said.
"Each climate scare eventually faded away due to similar 'refinements due to better data,'" Inhofe said.
That global warming alarmism was "more hype than fact" should not surprise those who have heard the more than 10 speeches on climate change Inhofe has given, the senator said.
"Even the U.N. appears to now be sobering up and dousing much-needed cold water on the global warming alarmism promoted by much of the mainstream media, Hollywood, NASA scientist James Hansen and former Vice President Al Gore," Inhofe added.
"Eventually, even the peddlers of climate alarmism will have to concede that the hoopla over man-made catastrophic global warming and the proposed solutions like the costly and ineffective Kyoto Protocol will prove to be one of the history's most misguided concerns."
However, despite the IPCC's reported reassessment, according to the Sunday Telegraph, the U.N. body maintains that "there can be little doubt that humans are responsible for warming the planet."
It said the IPCC report also "warns that carbon dioxide emissions have risen during the past five years by three percent, well above the 0.4 percent a year average of the previous two decades."
"The authors also state that the climate is almost certain to warm by at least 1.5 C during the next 100 years," the Telegraph said.
While calls seeking response from representatives of the IPCC were not returned by press time, according to the IPCC website a report compilation process is still underway, the deadline for submitting comments regarding the final draft having only passed on Friday, Dec. 8.
Earlier this year, IPCC Secretary Renate Christ issued a press release cautioning members of the media against reporting "findings" in the study until it had been finalized by the working group in 2007.
"In wake of several premature reports that have appeared recently in the media concerning 'findings'" from the IPCC, Christ said at the time the process leading up to the 2007 release was "long, complicated and far from complete."
Nevertheless, the Telegraph reported that "one leading U.K. climate scientist, who asked not to be named due to the sensitivity surrounding the report before it is published, said: 'The bottom line is that the climate is still warming while our greenhouse gas emissions have accelerated, so we are storing up problems for ourselves in the future.'"
Inhofe saw a different "bottom line" in the leaked information, however.
"With the continued scientific demise of man-made catastrophic global warming fears, the environmentalists, publicity- and grant-seeking scientists and many in the media may now have to find another dubious environmental doomsday cause to scare the public and policymakers," Inhofe said.
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