Which are some of the wrong climate change predictions?

In this article, we discuss the various climate change predictions that have proven to be wrong.

Which are some of the wrong climate change predictions?

Some of the wrong climate change predictions are:

  • Average global temperature up 3 degrees Celsius
  • Global emissions
  • Emissions from India and China
  • No snow on Mount Kilimanjaro
  • Rising sea levels in the Sunshine State
  • People will become unfamiliar with snow
  • Pacific islands economies devastated
  • Global conflict and nuclear war
  • The end of Arctic ice
  • Glaciers gone at Glacier National Park

What is climate change?

You may be aware of the current weather conditions. The variations we see and experience outside from day to day are referred to as weather.

One day it may rain, and the next it may be bright. It becomes frigid at times. It may get rather heated at times. The weather varies from location to area as well. 

In one location, people may be wearing shorts and playing outside. People far away may be shovelling snow at the same moment.

Climate refers to a location’s typical weather. Seasonal climates can be rather diverse. In the summer, a location may be primarily warm and dry. In the winter, the same location may be cold and rainy. Climates differ depending on where you are.

A shift in a location’s typical weather is referred to as climate change. This might be due to a shift in the amount of rain that a location receives on a yearly basis. 

It might also be a variation in a location’s normal temperature over the course of a month or season.

Climate change is a term that refers to changes in the Earth’s climate. This might be due to a shift in the Earth’s normal temperature. It might also be a shift in where rain and snow fall on Earth.

In just a few hours, the weather may shift drastically. Climate change can take hundreds of years or perhaps millions of years.

Which are some of the wrong climate change predictions?

Some of the wrong climate change predictions are:

  • Average global temperature up 3 degrees Celsius
  • Global emissions
  • Emissions from India and China
  • No snow on Mount Kilimanjaro
  • Rising sea levels in the Sunshine State
  • People will become unfamiliar with snow
  • Pacific islands economies devastated
  • Global conflict and nuclear war
  • The end of Arctic ice
  • Glaciers gone at Glacier National Park

We shall discuss these in more detail below.

Average global temperature up 3 degrees Celsius

James Hansen of NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies in New York was cited in the Star-Phoenix in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada, in 1987. 

By the end of the 1990s, his model forecast an average temperature increase of “between half and one degree Celsius.”

“And the world will be warmer than it has been in the preceding 100,000 years within 15 to 20 years,” Hansen said. 

His model indicated that “by the year 2020, we would have an average temperature increase of roughly three degrees [Celsius], with much bigger extremes,” according to the Star-Phoenix.

Former NASA researcher Roy Spencer’s analysis suggests that global temperatures have climbed 0.64 degrees Celsius since 1987, according to Milloy. 

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association (NOAA) shows an increase of about 0.5 degrees Celsius from 1987.

Global emissions

A article published in the journal Science was mentioned by The Vancouver Sun in 1978. Minze Stuiver of the University of Washington anticipated that CO2 levels in the atmosphere will have quadrupled by 2020. 

“We discover that if current trends continue, and economics is the main constraint to fossil fuel production, CO2 concentrations will have doubled by 2020.” 

CO2 concentrations will be five to ten times higher in forty to 80 years after fuel usage peaks, which will happen around the middle of the century.”

Despite this, CO2 levels in the atmosphere have not doubled since 1978. According to NOAA, there were 335 parts per million of CO2 in the atmosphere in March 1978, when the Sun published this item.

NOAA recorded 413 parts per million in the atmosphere in February 2020. That is a 23 percent rise, not even close to doubling the concentration (which would be 670 parts per million).

Emissions from India and China

The Springfield News-Leader reported in December 2009 that India and China had agreed to reduce emissions by 2020. 

“For the first time, the developing world is proposing its own actions — not only cutbacks, but clean-energy projects and other initiatives to curb the increase of their emissions.”

“China claims that by 2020, it will have reduced emissions by 40 to 45 percent below ‘business as usual,’ based on 2005 statistics for energy usage vs economic input. India promises a 20 to 25% reduction in emissions growth.”

While these forecasts were more promises than predictions, they were off by a long shot. Since 2005, India and China have boosted their carbon emissions. 

India released 1.2 million kilotons of CO2 in 2005 and 2.4 million kilotons of CO2 in 2018, the most recent year for which data is available, a 200 percent increase. 

Meanwhile, China increased its emissions by 168 percent from 5.9 million kilotons in 2005 to 9.9 million kilotons in 2016.

No snow on Mount Kilimanjaro

“‘At this rate, all of the ice will be gone between 2010 and 2020,’ according to Lonnie Thompson, an Ohio State University geologist. ‘And that is most likely an overestimate.”

An Inconvenient Truth, a documentary by Al Gore released in 2006, claimed that there will be no snow on Kilimanjaro by 2020.

The Times of London stated in February 2020 that the “Staying strength of Kilimanjaro snow defies Al Gore’s dismal prognosis.”

Methley Swai, proprietor of the Just-Kilimanjaro trekking firm, told The Times, “The snow has definitely got my tourists talking.”

“Many people have made Kilimanjaro a top priority on their bucket list because of the Al Gore deadline, but many are pleasantly surprised to discover a lot of snow when they arrive.”

Rising sea levels in the Sunshine State

According to The Miami Herald, Jim Titus of the Environmental Protection Agency estimated that the sea level surrounding Florida will increase two feet by 2020 in 1986.

The water level at Virginia Key has risen by nearly 9 cm, or 3.54 inches, according to NOAA.

People will become unfamiliar with snow

The Independent stated in March 2000 that David Viner, a senior research scientist at the University of East Anglia’s climatic research section, projected that winter snowfall will become “a really unusual and thrilling occasion.” 

“Children will have no idea what snow is,” Viner said.

Viner anticipated that heavy snow would return on occasion, but that the British would be unprepared when it did. “We are going to get caught off guard.” In 20 years, snow would most likely wreak havoc,” he said.

That is it. Snow is still a thing in the United Kingdom, and Scotland’s snowplows, known as “gritters,” have shown to be more than capable.

By early December 2020, Scotland had received roughly 10 millimetres of snow in certain areas, according to the Daily Record. “According to Traffic Scotland, the present winter fleet comprises 213 trucks that can plough and distribute salt.”

Pacific islands economies devastated

According to the Australian newspaper The Age, a Greenpeace analysis published in October 2000 warned that global warming “may inflict a huge economic downturn across at least 13 small Pacific islands in the next 20 years.” 

Most of the Pacific’s coral reefs will be destroyed by global warming, wreaking havoc on the tourist and fishing businesses of small Pacific nations.

“According to the worst-case scenario examined, by 2020, some Melanesian countries would lose 15 to 20% of their gross domestic product, valued at $1.9 billion to $2.3 billion [in American dollars].

While other primarily Polynesian countries would be even more vulnerable, losing between $4 billion and $5 billion due to climate change,” the report warned.

The analysis found that Tuvalu and Kiribati, the hosts of this year’s Pacific Islands Forum, are the most vulnerable Pacific states, followed by Cook Islands, Palau, Tonga, and French Polynesia, according to The Age.

“Revenues received from fisheries access climbed from roughly $10 million [Australian dollars] in 2012 to $13.6 million in 2014 to the current scenario in which yearly income is more than $30 million,” according to Tuvalu’s Ministry of Finance.

“According to the 2019 budget, Tuvalu has had an exceptional six years of economic growth on the strength of increased earnings from fishing licences and back-to-back infrastructure projects sponsored and supervised by development partners,” the ministry noted.

Global conflict and nuclear war

Climate change, according to a Department of Defense analysis published in 2004, might be America’s biggest national security danger. 

The research forecast nuclear Armageddon, recurring resource warfare, and European towns submerged by 2020, among other concerns.

According to the Pentagon research, peace happens when resources rise or populations die out. “However, such quiet eras are fleeting since population growth rapidly outpaces carrying capacity, and fighting restarts.” 

Casualties have dropped in recent years, but “all of that progressive behaviour may collapse if carrying capacity everywhere were abruptly and substantially reduced by rapid climate change.”


In this article, we have covered the various climate change predictions that have proven to be wrong with the passage of time.


What causes climate change?

The climate of the Earth is always changing. The Earth’s climate has been warmer in the past than it is currently. There have been colder days in the past. Thousands or millions of years can pass during these periods.

Earth scientists see that the planet’s climate is warming. In the previous 100 years, the Earth’s temperature has risen by around one degree Fahrenheit. 

This may not appear to be a significant amount of money. Small variations in the Earth’s temperature, on the other hand, can have significant consequences.

Some impacts have already begun to manifest. Some snow and ice have melted as the Earth’s temperature has warmed. Oceans have also risen as a result of global warming. It also shifts the time of certain plants’ growth.

However, since the onset of the Industrial Revolution, climate change is predominantly driven by anthropogenic (i.e., human-based) activities.

Activities such as burning of fossil fuels, deforestation, urbanisation, and so on contribute heavily to the emission of greenhouse gases in the Earth’s atmosphere.

Amongst these gases, the most notorious is carbon dioxide. Ever since the industrial revolution, its concentration in the atmosphere has gone up from 280ppm (parts per million) to 420ppm.

Due to the greenhouse effect, the Earth’s temperature has been rising steadily, a phenomenon known as “Global Warming”.

Due to this, rapid melting of glaciers and ice sheets, warming and subsequent acidification of oceans, and many such phenomena have taken place which in turn have adversely affected biodiversity.


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