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ExxonMobil’s own models predicted global warming from fossil fuels

Published: Tuesday, January 17, 2023 - 10:24am
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The question, “What did they know and when did they know it?” has become a staple of investigations since Watergate.

Now, new research in the journal Science shows ExxonMobil knew the potential global-warming impacts of fossil fuels as far back as the late 1970s.

Documents have previously established that Exxon executives were aware of the threat of global warming since at least 1977. The new study in the journal Science provides the first full dive into the company’s own climate models.

It finds Exxon’s ample analyses accurately predicted global warming from fossil fuel burning, in keeping with external experts’ models.

The authors say this suggests the company understood climate change as clearly as academic and government scientists did, yet still misled the public and investors by sowing doubt, disparaging climate models, playing up uncertainties and touting a false global cooling consensus.

Science Sustainability