by Michael Connor

A new paper published by the asset management arm of Deutsche Bank AG challenges the claims of climate change skeptics and argues that global warming “is already happening and is a serious long term threat.”

42-24516024 “There is a very high probability that we are already heading towards a future where warming will persist for thousands of years,” the paper warns. “Failing to insure against that high probability does not seem a gamble worth taking.”

The paper was published by DB Climate Change Advisors, an investment division of Deutsche Asset Management which pursues investment opportunities stemming from climate change. Deutsche Asset Management says the division is now “one of the leading climate change investors in the world,” with about $4 billion under management as of March 2009.

Mark Fulton, Global Head of Climate Change Investment Research, said the bank asked scientists at the Columbia Climate Center at the Earth Institute, at Columbia University in New York, to examine major skeptic claims in the light of the latest peer reviewed scientific literature and to weigh the arguments of each side in the balance.

“Although the scientific community has already addressed the skeptic arguments in some detail, there is still a public perception that scientists have been dismissive of the skeptic viewpoint, so the intention in this report is to correct the balance,” Mr. Fulton said. “The paper’s clear conclusion is that the primary claims of the skeptics do not undermine the assertion that human-made climate change is already happening and is a serious long term threat.”

Among a number of citations, the paper notes the recent publication on the State of the Climate by the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), which analyzed over thirty indicators, or climate variables.  That report concluded that “the Earth is warming and that the past decade was the warmest on record,” Mr. Fulton said.

The Deutsche Bank paper concludes: “Our best projections indicate that the most negative impacts of climate change will occur in nations that are already vulnerable to other stressors such as rapid population growth and extreme poverty.  Humans have survived climate changes of the past, though never with global populations of the current magnitude.  One might ask whether survival of the human species is an adequate standard of success.”