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Global Warming: ExxonMobil had accurate predictions 40 years ago

Global Warming: ExxonMobil had accurate predictions 40 years ago

Despite this, the company has for years publicly questioned the state of scientific knowledge on the matter, and this study published in the prestigious journal confirmed it. Flag.

It owns ExxonMobil, one of the largest oil groups in the world modeled and predicted global warming with uncanny accuracy, only to end up spending the next few decades denying the same climate scienceHe saidFrance Press agency Jeffrey Soprane, co-author of this work.

For several years now, ExxonMobil has been accused of conducting a double entendre about climate change caused by the massive amounts of greenhouse gases that humanity releases into the atmosphere, in particular by burning coal or oil to produce energy.

Several legal actions have even been initiated against the company in the United States, some of which are still ongoing. Held hearings in the European Parliament and the US Congress.

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

Starting point: Documents – public archives and scholarly publications – uncovered by journalists fromInside Climate News And Los Angeles Timeswhich shows that the company has long known that climate change is real and caused by human activities.

A first scientific study, conducted by the same researchers in 2017 as published Thursday, expanded this journalistic investigation by carefully analyzing the language the company uses first in these documents, and then publicly.

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But although we had focused in the past on the language and discourse contained in these documents, we suddenly realized that it was there […] All those graphs and charts that no one has seen beforeJeffrey Soprane explained.

This question has come up several times in recent years.He saidFrance Press agency Company spokesperson. Each time, our answer is the same: Those who invoke what Exxon knew are wrong in their conclusions. ExxonMobil has never denied the authenticity of the documents in question.

Excellent scientists

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

This document contains 16 temperature projections. Ten of them agree with the observations Carried out later, the study notes. Of the other six, two expected temperatures to rise more.

On average, they expected a warming of about 0.2°C per decade, which is already in line with the current rate. The predictions made by other researchers at the time were somewhat similar.

Exxon Mobil You didn’t know a mysterious thing about climate change in decadesJeffrey Soprane, who is currently a professor at the University of Miami, confirmed, but carried out this work at Harvard.

They knew as much as independent and government scientists do, and presumably they knew enough to take action and alert the public. »

Quote from Jeffrey Soprane, professor at the University of Miami and co-author of the study

However, the group leaders did just the opposite, which checks out the study quoting words from the first Executive Director ExxonMobil Lee Raymond in 2000: We do not have enough scientific understanding of climate change to make reasonable predictions.

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in 2013, Executive Director At that time, Rex Tillerson announced that there doubts about the The main drivers of climate change.

Some of the company’s researchers testified before the US Congress. One of them, Martin Hoffert, was questioned in 2019 by Democrat-elect Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez who confirmed how accurate his predictions were, then simply replied: We were excellent scientists.

The World Meteorological Organization confirmed that Thursday The past eight years have been the hottest on record.

During a news conference about these annual temperature reports (which the study didn’t mention), NASA climatologist Gavin Schmidt estimated that Denunciation and shame for individual companies It didn’t help much To find appropriate solutions to dispense with fossil fuels.

It’s not like we can say, “ExxonMobil, stop making fossil fuels,” and fix the problem.pointed out. All of these products are used by people.