ExxonMobil: this oil giant had accurate predictions about global warming… 40 years ago!

ExxonMobil, one of the world’s largest oil companiesHe modeled and predicted global warming with extraordinary accuracy, but spent the next few decades denying the same climate science.“, said Geoffrey Supran, co-author of this work, AFP.

For several years now, ExxonMobil has been accused of engaging in a double-edged argument about climate change caused by the large amount of greenhouse gases released into the atmosphere by mankind, especially the burning of coal or oil (hydrocarbons). .

“Who could have predicted the climate crisis?” These scientists who said (almost) everything… back in the 19th century!

Even in the United States, several lawsuits have been initiated against the company, some of which are still ongoing. Hearings were held in the European Parliament and the US Congress.

But this is the first time that the predictions made by the team’s scientists have been systematically analyzed and compared with the predictions of other researchers at the time, as well as with actual observed warming since then. The starting point is the documents discovered by media journalists in 2015 – public archives and scientific publications. Domestic Climate News and Los Angeles Timesshows that the company has long known that climate change is real and caused by human activity.

Of the 16 temperature forecasts, 10 are consistent with subsequent observations

The first scientific study by the same researchers in 2017, published on January 12th, expanded on this journalistic investigation by carefully analyzing the language used by the company, first in these documents and then publicly. “But while in the past we paid attention to the language and rhetoric contained in these documents, we suddenly realized that (…) all those charts and graphs that no one looks at“, explained Geoffrey Supran.

The oil giant, however, denies the accusations. “This question has come up several times in recent years.“, a company spokesperson told AFP.”Every time our answer is the same: what awakens “Exxon Knew” they are wrong in their conclusions.” However, ExxonMobil has never denied the authenticity of the said documents.

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

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These documents contain 16 temperature forecasts. “10 of them correspond to observations“Then, the study notes. Two of the other six predicted even greater warming. On average, they predicted a warming of about 0.2°C per decade, which is actually the current rate. And so were the predictions of other researchers at the time. less and or very similar.

ExxonMobil on global warmingknew enough to take action and warn the public

ExxonMobil”decades ago he knew nothing about climate change“, emphasized Geoffrey Supran, who is now a professor at the University of Miami, but carried out this work at Harvard.”They knew as much as independent and government scientists and probably enough to take action and alert the public.”

However, the group’s leaders did the exact opposite, citing a 2000 study that quoted former ExxonMobil CEO Lee Raymond as saying: “We do not have enough scientific understanding of climate change to make reasonable predictionsIn 2013, then-CEO Rex Tillerson said, “uncertainties” around “the main drivers of climate change“.

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

On January 12, the World Meteorological Organization confirmed that it was the hottest year in the last eight years.

A terrible world record: the last eight years have been the hottest on record on the planet

During a press conference on these annual temperature reports (the study was not mentioned), NASA climatologist Gavin Schmidt calculated that “condemning and shaming“individual companies”didn’t help much“Finding suitable solutions to do without fossil fuels.”Not as we can say, “ExxonMobil, stop fossil fuel production”and thus solved the problem“, he noted.

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