January 29, 2023

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Global Warming: ExxonMobil had accurate predictions 40 years ago

Nevertheless, the company has, for years, publicly cast doubt on the state of scientific knowledge on the subject, as this study, published in a prestigious journal, underscores. Science.

ExxonMobil is one of the largest oil conglomerates in the world Global warming has been modeled with uncanny accuracy, and the next few decades will end up denying the same climate science.saidAFP Jeffrey Subran, co-author of this work.

For years, ExxonMobil has been accused of double-speak on climate change caused by the enormous amounts of greenhouse gases released into the atmosphere by mankind, particularly from burning coal or oil to generate energy.

Several legal proceedings have been initiated against the company in the US, some of which are still ongoing. Hearings were held in the European Parliament and the US Congress.

But this is the first time the predictions made by the team’s scientists have been systematically analyzed and compared with those of other researchers at the time, as well as with actual observed warming later.

Starting point: documents – public archives and scientific publications – disclosed by journalists in 2015Weather news inside And Los Angeles TimesIt shows that the company has long known that climate change is real and caused by human activity.

The first scientific study carried out in 2017 by the same researchers, published on Thursday, expanded this journalistic investigation by analyzing precisely the language used by the company first in these documents, then in public.

But while in the past we had paid attention to the language and rhetoric in these documents, suddenly we realized that […] All maps and charts that no one has ever seen beforeExplained by Jeffrey Subran.

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This question has come up many times in recent years.saidAFP A company spokesperson. Each time, our answer is the same: Exxon’s promoters are wrong in their conclusions. ExxonMobil has never disputed the authenticity of the documents in question.

Great scientists

In total, the researchers analyzed 32 internal documents produced by ExxonMobil scientists between 1977 and 2002 and 72 scientific publications they co-authored between 1982 and 2014.

These documents contain 16 temperature forecasts. Ten of them are consistent with observations was carried out later, the study notes. Of the other six, two predict even greater warming.

On average, they predicted warming of about 0.2°C per decade, which actually corresponds to the current rate. And the predictions made by other researchers at that time were more or less similar.

ExxonMobil Decades ago climate change was vaguely knownProfessor Jeffrey Subran, currently at the University of Miami, but who carried out this work at Harvard, pointed out.

They know enough, as do independent and government scientists, to take action and warn the public. »

A quote Jeffrey Subran, a professor at the University of Miami and co-author of the study

However, the group’s leaders have done the opposite, hammering out the study that cited earlier wording CEO ExxonMobil Lee Raymond in 2000: We do not have enough scientific understanding to make reasonable predictions about climate change.

In 2013, the CEO At the time, Rex Tillerson announced that there was Uncertainties around Key drivers of climate change.

Some of the researchers working for the company have testified before the US Congress. One of them, Martin Hoffert, was questioned in 2019 by Democrat Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who underscored how accurate his predictions turned out to be, then simply replied: We were great scientists.

On Thursday, the World Meteorological Organization confirmed this The last eight years have been the hottest on record.

During a press conference about these annual temperature reports (which did not mention the study), NASA climatologist Gavin Schmidt estimated Condemnation and humiliation For individual companies Not much help Find suitable solutions to do without fossil fuels.

It’s not like saying “ExxonMobil, stop producing fossil fuels” is going to fix the problem.He pointed out. All these items are used by people.