ExxonMobil: the oil group made accurate predictions about global warming 40 years ago

Back in the 1980s, oil group ExxonMobil had highly accurate predictions from its scientists about global warming that turned out to be accurate decades later, a new study published Thursday, Jan. 12, confirmed.

What is happening to the American oil group. According to a study published in the prestigious journal Science, ExxonMobil was fully aware of global warming thanks to the research conducted by its scientists. Despite this, the company has been openly skeptical of the state of scientific knowledge in this area for years.

ExxonMobil, one of the world’s largest oil companies, “modeled and predicted global warming with extraordinary accuracy, but spent decades denying the same climate science,” he said. Co-author of this work is Supran.

Double talk?

Indeed, ExxonMobil has been accused for years of double-talking about climate change caused by the large amounts of greenhouse gases released into the atmosphere by mankind, particularly the burning of coal or oil for energy production.

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 for this investigation are documents, public records and scientific publications uncovered by journalists from Inside Climate News and the Los Angeles Times in 2015, which show that the company has long known that climate change is real and caused by human activity.

A first-of-its-kind 2017 study published Thursday by the same researchers expanded on that journalistic investigation by analyzing precisely the language the company used, first in those documents and then publicly. “But while in the past we’ve paid attention to the language and the rhetoric in these documents, we suddenly realized that … there are all these charts and tables that nobody knows about. ‘It’s never been bent.’ Geoffrey Supran.

“This question has come up several times in recent years,” a company spokesman told AFP.

In total, the researchers analyzed 32 internal documents prepared by ExxonMobil scientists between 1977 and 2002 and 72 scientific publications co-authored between 1982 and 2014. These documents contain 16 temperature forecasts. “Ten of them were consistent with subsequent observations,” the study notes.

Two of the other six predicted further warming. On average, they predicted a warming of about 0.2°C per decade, which is indeed in line with the current pace. And the predictions made by other researchers at that time were more or less similar.

ExxonMobil “didn’t know anything about climate change decades ago,” says Geoffrey Supran, now a professor at the University of Miami but who conducted the work at Harvard. “They knew as much as independent and government scientists, and probably enough to take action and alert the public.”

However, group leaders have done just the opposite, insists the study, which quotes former ExxonMobil CEO Lee Raymond as saying in 2000. “We don’t have enough scientific understanding of climate change to make reasonable predictions.

In 2013, then-CEO Rex Tillerson said there were “uncertainties” around the “primary drivers of climate change.” However, some of the company’s researchers have testified before the US Congress. One of them, Martin Hoffert, who was questioned by Democrat Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez in 2019 and emphasized how accurate his predictions were, simply replied: “We were great scientists.

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