[Senate Hearing 114-373]
[From the U.S. Government Publishing Office]
S. Hrg. 114-373
DATA OR DOGMA? PROMOTING OPEN INQUIRY
IN THE DEBATE OVER THE MAGNITUDE OF
HUMAN IMPACT ON EARTH'S CLIMATE
SUBCOMMITTEE ON SPACE, SCIENCE,
COMMITTEE ON COMMERCE,
SCIENCE, AND TRANSPORTATION
UNITED STATES SENATE
ONE HUNDRED FOURTEENTH CONGRESS
DECEMBER 8, 2015
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SENATE COMMITTEE ON COMMERCE, SCIENCE, AND TRANSPORTATION
ONE HUNDRED FOURTEENTH CONGRESS
JOHN THUNE, South Dakota, Chairman
ROGER F. WICKER, Mississippi BILL NELSON, Florida, Ranking
ROY BLUNT, Missouri MARIA CANTWELL, Washington
MARCO RUBIO, Florida CLAIRE McCASKILL, Missouri
KELLY AYOTTE, New Hampshire AMY KLOBUCHAR, Minnesota
TED CRUZ, Texas RICHARD BLUMENTHAL, Connecticut
DEB FISCHER, Nebraska BRIAN SCHATZ, Hawaii
JERRY MORAN, Kansas EDWARD MARKEY, Massachusetts
DAN SULLIVAN, Alaska CORY BOOKER, New Jersey
RON JOHNSON, Wisconsin TOM UDALL, New Mexico
DEAN HELLER, Nevada JOE MANCHIN III, West Virginia
CORY GARDNER, Colorado GARY PETERS, Michigan
STEVE DAINES, Montana
David Schwietert, Staff Director
Nick Rossi, Deputy Staff Director
Rebecca Seidel, General Counsel
Jason Van Beek, Deputy General Counsel
Kim Lipsky, Democratic Staff Director
Chris Day, Democratic Deputy Staff Director
Clint Odom, Democratic General Counsel and Policy Director
SUBCOMMITTEE ON SPACE, SCIENCE, AND COMPETITIVENESS
TED CRUZ, Texas, Chairman GARY PETERS, Michigan, Ranking
MARCO RUBIO, Florida EDWARD MARKEY, Massachusetts
JERRY MORAN, Kansas CORY BOOKER, New Jersey
DAN SULLIVAN, Alaska TOM UDALL, New Mexico
CORY GARDNER, Colorado BRIAN SCHATZ, Hawaii
STEVE DAINES, Montana
C O N T E N T S
Hearing held on December 8, 2015................................. 1
Statement of Senator Cruz........................................ 1
E-mail dated November 23, 2015 between Hon. Ted Cruz and John
Statement of Senator Peters...................................... 2
Letter dated December 7, 2015 to Hon. Ted Cruz and Hon. Gary
Peters from Gerald R. Fink, Chair, AAAS Board of Directors,
Herman and Margaret Sokol Professor, Whitehead Institute/
Massachusetts Institute of Technology...................... 4
Article dated December 9, 2006 from the AAAS Board........... 5
Letter dated December 7, 2015 to Hon. Ted Cruz from Dr. Keith
L. Seitter, Executive Director, American Meteoreological
Letter dated December 7, 2015 to Hon. Ted Cruz and Hon. Gary
Peters from Robert Gropp, Ph.D., Interim Co-Executive
Director, American Institute of Biological Sciences........ 9
Statement of Senator Nelson...................................... 10
Prepared statement........................................... 12
Letter dated December 2, 2015 from Hon. John Thune to Dr.
John R. Christy, Professor and Director, Earth System
Science Center, NSSTC, University of Alabama in Huntsville. 17
Letter dated December 2, 2015 from Hon. John Thune to Dr.
Judith Curry, School of Earth & Atmospheric Sciences,
Georgia Institute of Technology............................ 18
Letter dated December 2, 2015 from Hon. John Thune to Dr.
William Happer, Department of Physics, Princeton University 19
Letter dated December 2, 2015 from Hon. John Thune to Mr.
Mark Steyn................................................. 20
Letter dated December 2, 2015 from Hon. John Thune to Dr.
David W. Titley, RADM (ret.), Professor of Practice in
Meteorology, Penn State Department of Meteorology.......... 21
Statement of Senator Daines...................................... 94
Statement of Senator Schatz...................................... 96
Statement of Senator Udall....................................... 99
Statement of Senator Markey...................................... 101
John R. Christy, Ph.D., Distinguished Professor of Atmospheric
Science and Director of the Earth System Science Center,
University of Alabama.......................................... 22
Prepared statement........................................... 23
Judith A. Curry, Ph.D., Chair of the School of Earth and
Atmospheric Sciences, Georgia Institute of Technology.......... 38
Prepared statement........................................... 40
William Happer, Ph.D., Cyrus Fogg Bracket Professor of Physics,
Princeton University........................................... 55
Prepared statement........................................... 57
Mark Steyn, International Bestselling Author..................... 70
Prepared statement........................................... 71
David W Titley, Rear Admiral USN (Ret.), Ph.D., Professor of
Practice and Director, Center for Solutions to Weather and
Climate Risk, Pennsylvania State University.................... 78
Prepared statement........................................... 80
Response to written questions submitted to Admiral David Titley
Hon. Richard Blumenthal...................................... 181
Hon. Edward Markey........................................... 185
Hon. Gary Peters............................................. 188
DATA OR DOGMA? PROMOTING OPEN
INQUIRY IN THE DEBATE OVER THE
MAGNITUDE OF HUMAN IMPACT
ON EARTH'S CLIMATE
TUESDAY, DECEMBER 8, 2015
Subcommittee on Space, Science, and Competitiveness,
Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation,
The Subcommittee met, pursuant to notice, at 3:10 p.m., in
room SR-253, Russell Senate Office Building, Hon. Ted Cruz,
Chairman of the Subcommittee, presiding.
Present: Senators Cruz [presiding], Gardner, Daines,
Nelson, Schatz, Markey, Booker, Udall, and Peters.
OPENING STATEMENT OF HON. TED CRUZ,
U.S. SENATOR FROM TEXAS
Senator Cruz. This hearing will come to order.
Good afternoon, everyone. Welcome to what I hope will be an
important and informative hearing.
This is a hearing on the science behind claims of global
warming. Now this is the Science Subcommittee of the Senate
Commerce Committee, and we are hearing from distinguished
scientists, sharing their views, their interpretation, their
analysis of the data and the evidence.
Now I am the son of two mathematicians, two computer
programmers and scientists. And I believe that public policy
should follow the actual science and the actual data and
evidence and not political and partisan claims that run
contrary to the science and data and evidence.
On November 28, 2013, an intrepid band of explorers set off
from New Zealand on a research expedition to the Antarctic.
Among their goals was investigating the impact of global
warming on the Antarctic continent and islands.
On Christmas Eve, they became stuck in ice, ice that the
climate industrial complex had assured us were vanishing. This
expedition was there to document how the ice was vanishing in
the Antarctic, but the ship became stuck. It had run into an
inconvenient truth, as Al Gore might put it.
Three icebreakers tried and failed to reach the trapped
ship because the ice was too thick. After a week of rescue
attempts, the passengers were airlifted from the vessel.
Here are the inconvenient facts about the polar ice caps.
The Arctic is not ice-free. This year's minimum sea ice extent
was well above the record low observed in 2011. In the
Antarctic, a recent study from the Journal of Glaciology
indicates that the ice is not only not decreasing but is, in
fact, increasing in mass, directly contrary to what the global
warming alarmists had told us would be happening. This is not
what their climate models projected.
Yet these inconvenient facts never seem to get the
attention of people like John Kerry. And indeed, I would note
behind me, on August 31, 2009, then-Senator John Kerry said,
``Scientists project that the Arctic will be ice free in the
summer of 2013. Not in 2050, but 4 years from now.''
Well, the summer of 2013 has come and gone, and John Kerry
was not just a little bit, he was wildly, extraordinarily,
entirely wrong. Had the Antarctic expedition in the picture
next to it not believed the global warming alarmists, had they
actually looked to the science and the evidence, they wouldn't
have gone down and been surprised when they got stuck in ice.
Facts matter. Science matters. Data matters. That is what
this hearing is about--data.
According to the satellite data, there has been no
significant global warming for the past 18 years. Those are the
data. The global warming alarmists don't like these data. They
are inconvenient to their narrative. But facts and evidence
And I would note that many in the media reflexively take
the side of the global warming alarmists. Reflexively oppose
anyone who actually points out, well, was John Kerry's
prediction accurate? No, it was stunningly and entirely false.
Was the prediction of computer model after computer model
that showed dramatic warming, were those predictions correct?
No. The satellite data demonstrate no significant warming over
Public policy should follow science and evidence and data,
and I would note that I found it amusing that our friends on
the Democratic side of the aisle, I have discovered, held a
press conference today as a ``prebuttal'' to this hearing. I
suppose I should view that, in a sense, as a back-handed
compliment. I am reminded of the Bard, ``Methinks she doth
protest too much.''
What does it say when members of the United States Senate
are protesting how dare the Science Subcommittee in the U.S.
Senate hear testimony from scientists about actual science? How
dare we focus on such topics? I think that is, indeed, exactly
what we were elected to do.
STATEMENT OF HON. GARY PETERS,
U.S. SENATOR FROM MICHIGAN
Senator Peters. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
And I would first like to thank the witnesses for being
here today and for your testimony on what is surely a very
When we think about global warming, there are risks and
there are certainties. Let us talk first about the certainties.
By burning fossil fuels, humans are releasing carbon into the
atmosphere that would have otherwise remained locked away. This
process creates carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas that traps
heat that otherwise would have been radiated off into space.
We know that by the law of conservation of energy that
additional heat can't just magically disappear. Instead, it
causes our planet to get warmer.
What else is certain? We are already seeing the symptoms of
a warming planet not just in the temperature records, but in
the rising sea and shrinking ice levels, in toxic algae blooms
that are flourishing in the Great Lakes that were made worse by
increased precipitation, runoff, and warmer water temperatures,
tainting drinking water for 2.8 million people in recent years.
All of that is certain.
Now let us talk about the risk. Managing risk is all about
looking at a range of possible outcomes and consequences,
looking at the likelihood of each of those consequences, and
then looking to see if there is anything you can do to reduce
the likelihood of those consequences or both.
From our models and from our understanding of the science,
we see a range of potential outcomes, a range of possible
warming trends, a range of consequences based on those trends.
There are implications for our national security, for the
economic health of our country, for our food supply and
agriculture, and for the health and safety of Michiganders,
Americans, as well as people all around the planet.
The possible consequences of all these areas range from the
bad to the catastrophic. Given our best scientific judgment of
our risk posture of the consequences we face as a civilization
and the likelihood of those consequences occurring, we must do
what we can to mitigate these risks.
We are going to hear today that there is some disagreement,
some disagreement in the scientific community over the
magnitude of that risk. As a matter of fact, I know we are
going to hear from three scientists and a political commentator
and blogger who disagree with varying aspects of the scientific
consensus, as well as to argue that the science is not settled.
We will hear we need to support our scientific community so
that they can continue to answer the open questions and help
policymakers make better--or better understand the risks that
we face. And we will hear that scientists need to be protected
from political interference from either side of the aisle. And
I certainly agree that we need to support our scientific
community and protect them from political influence, but I also
know that while we continue to refine the science, we have to
act on the risks and findings that our scientists have
I would like to introduce into the record statements and
letters from various science professional organizations
representing tens of thousands, tens of thousands of
scientists, including the American Association for the
Advancement of Science, the American Chemical Society, the
American Geophysical Union, the American Meteorological
Society, the American Society for Agronomy, Crop Science
Society of America, Soil Science Society of America, the
American Statistical Association, the Ecological Society of
America, the American Institute of Biological Sciences, and the
Geological Society of America.
It is the position of these organizations that the evidence
is overwhelming that the Earth is warming, global warming is
real, and that human activity is the primary contributor.
I would like unanimous consent, Mr. Chairman, to enter
these statements into the record.
Senator Cruz. Without objection.
[The information referred to follows:]
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Senator Peters. Thank you.
We know that there will always be more to learn. We will
undoubtedly find more down the road that there is more to
discover about what we don't know. And that is really the
beautiful thing about science, we always have more to learn.
But knowing that there is more to learn should not, it
should not stop us from acting on what we know now. We must
discuss and determine what actions we need to take to limit the
serious risks that we face, and there are many things that we
can do that are not just good for the environment, but are good
for the economy. Investments in clean energy create good-paying
jobs and help us produce the energy we need right here in the
For example, Michigan is home to more than 220 wind and
solar companies, representing tens of thousands of jobs. The
growth in Michigan's clean energy sector can be attributed in
part to the state's renewable electricity standard, which
requires 10 percent of the state's energy to come from
But there is a lot of room to grow. If industry sourced its
parts from local manufacturers, renewable energy could support
over 20,000 Michigan jobs in manufacturing alone by 2020. What
is more, expanding Michigan's renewable electricity standard
from 10 percent to over 30 percent by 2030 would generate more
than $9 million--$9 billion, $9 billion in new capital
investments, investments in research and science, including the
understanding of our Sun-Earth system, pay dividends for our
country's future economic growth, our economic competitiveness,
and our very way of life.
China certainly understands that. So if we miss this
opportunity to make these investments now, we may soon find
ourselves falling behind in the global economy. So let us focus
on innovating our way out of this problem, and let us take a
big step forward as a country.
Senator Cruz. Thank you, Senator Peters.
Senator Nelson, the Ranking Member on the Full Committee,
has requested to give an opening statement as well.
STATEMENT OF HON. BILL NELSON,
U.S. SENATOR FROM FLORIDA
Senator Nelson. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Before I make a couple of comments, I want to address a
parliamentary inquiry. There is a sign out there on the witness
table--Mr. Mair, Aaron Mair, president of the Sierra Club.
Did--was Mr. Mair extended a formal invitation by the Chairman
of this committee, Senator Thune?
Senator Cruz. He was invited by me, the Chairman of this
subcommittee, and he declined. And momentarily, I am going to
describe the circumstances behind that invitation and his
decision not to attend.
Senator Nelson. OK. I would just note that the protocol and
the rules of the Committee are such that invitations for all
witnesses are extended by the Chairman of the Committee, and I
would like the record to reflect that such an invitation by
Senator Thune, our Chairman, was not extended. And therefore,
there should be no place up there at the witness table, but
that should be noted for the record.
Now, Mr. Chairman, rather than get this started off in an
adversarial way, you and I have had a very good relationship.
We have worked together on the space program, and you and I
have some significant differences about this issue. And so,
rather than it be contentious, I want it to be factual.
First of all, I would like to show a couple of pictures of
what is happening in Miami Beach right now. Now I had the
privilege a couple of years ago, when I was Chairman of the
Science and Space Subcommittee, of taking our Commerce
Committee to Miami Beach. And Miami Beach is basically ground
zero in the United States for what we are seeing as a
consequence of global warming, and that is sea level rise.
We had a NASA scientist that testified at the hearing that
over the last 40 years, measurements--these are measurements,
not forecasts, not projections, they are measurements--that the
seas have risen in south Florida from 5 to 8 inches. This
photograph is a consequence at seasonal high tide of what is
happening on the streets of Miami Beach.
Now, interestingly, a couple of years earlier, the present
Mayor of Miami Beach, in running for Mayor, did an actual
campaign commercial in a kayak on Alton Road, which is on the
opposite side of the barrier island, the west side of the
barrier island from this. This is not far from the actual
This one as well, you can look down the street there and
see the sky in the background. That is about a couple of blocks
down toward the beach.
The campaign commercial in a kayak was at the October
seasonal high tide on Alton Road, which is on the opposite side
of the barrier island. And the fact is that we are having to
deal with this.
Now there is another consequence of this, and that is what
you heard of saltwater intrusion. Saltwater is heavier than
freshwater. Florida sits on a honeycomb of limestone that is
filled with freshwater. That is where we get our freshwater,
from the aquifer underneath.
As the saltwater rises and sea level rise, the greater
pressure because of the heavier water is intruding into the
interior, and we have had a number of municipal wells that are
now too salty. And it is another consequence.
So some of us, representing our constituents, have to deal
with the realities of what we see. I might point out that when
you talk about measurements, 1992 we launched a satellite
called Topex. It had an altimeter. It takes precise
measurements of the surface of the ocean, and its successor
satellites, Jason-1 and Jason-2, have been collecting that
data. And observation, not projections, the data tells us that
the average global sea level is rising at about 3.2 millimeters
a year since 1993. That is about a tenth of an inch, or over a
decade an inch.
So I am glad that you were kind enough to let Senator
Peters invite a minority witness, and we brought in Admiral
David Titley, a lifelong public servant, a scientist, a
decorated military officer from his naval career. And he is
going to discuss this much more in detail. In addition to
climate science, the admiral is an expert in oceanography,
tropical meteorology, weather risk, and how all of this will
impact our national security.
We need to understand how climate change is affecting all
of the calculations that go into our national security by our
national security teams. And after 32 years in the U.S. Navy,
he now works at Pennsylvania State University.
So I will conclude my remarks and insert the rest of them
in the record, with the Chairman's permission.
Senator Cruz. Without objection.
[The prepared statement of Senator Nelson follows:]
Prepared Statement of Hon. Bill Nelson, U.S. Senator from Florida
Mr. Chairman, I welcome today's debate about science surrounding
the impact of climate change.
In my state of Florida, we have over 1,260 miles of coastline--more
than any other state in the continental U.S.
Over three quarters of the state's residents live in coastal
counties. And Florida is quite flat. Britton Hill is the highest point
at 345 feet above sea level.
In Florida, you can see and touch sea level rise. I'm going to show
you some photographs taken on Miami Beach in September.
The first was taken along Indian Creek Road, and you can see the
water flooding higher than the curb as this gentleman attempts to cross
In the second, you can see leaves and debris floating down a city
So as you can see, Floridians do care a great deal about what the
sea level is doing on any given day.
In 1992, NASA launched a satellite called TOPEX/Poseidon with an
instrument called an altimeter, which takes precise measurements of the
surface of the ocean. Since then, its successor satellites, JASON-1 and
JASON-2, have been collecting that data.
Observation--not models, not projections, not dogma, but the data--
tells us that the average global sea level is rising at about the rate
of 3.2 millimeters a year since 1993.
Today it is my distinct pleasure to welcome one of our panelists,
Admiral David Titley--a lifelong public servant, a scientist, and a
decorated military officer, who will discuss this data in more detail.
In addition to climate science, Admiral Titley is an expert in
oceanography, tropical meteorology, weather risk, and how those
phenomena impact our national security. After 32 years in service to
the U.S. Navy, Admiral Titley now works at Pennsylvania State
I look forward to hearing from him and the other members of our
Mr. Chairman, while I welcome today's debate, I'm sorry to say that
it won't represent the kind of objective and representative dialogue
It's ironic that we've got three scientists giving one side of the
story, and only one opportunity to present a different perspective.
As one who fiercely opposes any attempts to intimidate, censor or
muzzle scientists, for this panel to hold a hearing without having a
broad cross-section of experts only invites questions about the true
openness of the hearing and the motives behind it.
Whatever that motive is, I think it's worth mentioning that when
the Senate voted in March on my amendment to prohibit the use of tax
dollars to censor publically-funded climate-related science a majority
of Senators--51 to be exact--agreed with me.
In fact, some of my Republican colleagues on this committee voted
for my amendment--so I thank Senator Ayotte and Senator Rubio for their
But even with a majority of the Senate's support, the amendment
failed because of politics.
To most people, a vote against scientific censorship is common
sense. But in the Senate, that was actually a courageous vote.
In the future, I hope more members of this committee will join my
fight for open inquiry.
Senator Cruz. Thank you, Senator Nelson.
I would now like to welcome each of our expert witnesses.
Thank you for coming to testify to this panel.
The first witness is Dr. John Christy. Dr. John Christy is
the Distinguished Professor of Atmospheric Science at the
University of Alabama in Huntsville and is Alabama's State
He has been awarded NASA's Medal for Exceptional Scientific
Achievement, was elected a fellow of the American
Meteorological Society, which also selected him for the special
award for building climate datasets from satellites, and served
as lead author of the U.N.'s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate
Change. Beginning as a teenager, Dr. Christy has studied
climate for the past 50 years.
Dr. Judith Curry currently serves as a professor and is
former Chair of the School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences at
the Georgia Institute of Technology, in addition to serving as
President of Climate Forecast Applications Network. Dr. Curry
received a Ph.D. in atmospheric science from the University of
Dr. Curry has recently served on the NASA Advisory Council
Earth Science Subcommittee, the DOE Biological and
Environmental Research Advisory Committee, the National
Academy's Climate Research Committee and the Space Studies
Board, and the NOAA Climate Working Group. Dr. Curry is a
fellow of the American Meteorological Society, the American
Association for the Advancement of Science, and the American
Dr. William Happer currently serves as a Cyrus Fogg Bracket
Professor of Physics at my alma mater, Princeton University,
and has spent most of his professional life studying the
interactions of visible and infrared radiation with gases, one
of the main physical phenomena behind the greenhouse effect.
Throughout his career, he has published over 200 papers in
peer-reviewed scientific journals and is a member of a number
of professional organizations, including the American Physical
Society, and the National Academy of Sciences. Dr. Happer also
served as the Director of Energy Research at the Department of
Energy from 1990 to 1993, where he supervised all of DOE's work
on climate change.
Mr. Mark Steyn is an international bestselling author, a
top five jazz recording artist, and a leading Canadian human
rights activist. Mr. Steyn recently contributed to the number
one climatology bestseller, Climate Change: The Facts, and
edited another number one climatology bestseller, A Disgrace to
the Profession: The World's Scientists in Their Own Words on
Michael Mann, His Hockey Stick, and Their Damage to Science,
In his capacity as a human rights activist, Mr. Steyn's
human rights campaign to restore free speech to Canada led to
the repeal by parliament of the notorious Section 12 hate
speech law, a battle he recounts in his book, Lights Out:
Islam, Free Speech, and the Twilight of the West.
And then Dr. David Titley, who Senator Nelson mentioned
already. Dr. Titley currently serves as Professor of Practice
in the Department of Meteorology at the Pennsylvania State
University and is the Founding Director of Penn State's Center
for Solutions to Weather and Climate Risk.
Dr. Titley holds a Bachelor of Science in meteorology from
the Pennsylvania State University. From the Naval Postgraduate
School, he earned a Master's of Science in meteorology and
physical oceanography and a Ph.D. in meteorology. Prior to
joining Penn State, Dr. Titley served as a naval officer for 32
years and rose to the rank of Rear Admiral.
His career included duties as Commander, Naval Meteorology
and Oceanography Command; oceanographer and navigator of the
Navy; and Deputy Assistant Chief of Naval Operations for
Information Dominance. He has also served as Senior Military
Assistant for the Director, Net Assessment in the Office of the
Secretary of Defense. While serving in the Pentagon, Dr. Titley
initiated and led the U.S. Navy's task force on climate change.
After retiring from the Navy, Dr. Titley served as the
Deputy Under Secretary of Commerce for Operations, the Chief
Operating position at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric
The final witness that we had hoped to have today is Mr.
Aaron Mair, the President of the Sierra Club. I would note a
number of weeks ago, Mr. Mair was witness at another hearing
that I chaired in the Oversight Subcommittee of the Judiciary
Committee. This was a hearing concerning the effect of
overregulation on minority communities and, in particular, the
devastating impacts of overregulation in the Obama
administration on the Hispanic community and the African-
There were a host of witnesses that testified to the job
losses, to the stagnating wages as a consequence of
overregulation from the Federal Government. Mr. Mair was one of
the witnesses, a minority witness invited by the Democrats. Mr.
Mair's testimony concerned global warming.
In the course of that hearing, I asked Mr. Mair about the
scientific basis for his testimony. In particular, I asked him
how he responded to the fact that the satellite data
demonstrate no significant warming whatsoever for the past 18
Mr. Mair, by all appearances, did not have the foggiest
idea what the satellite data demonstrated. Indeed, he
repeatedly turned to his staff members behind him and was
unable to answer even basic questions.
At the conclusion of the questioning, my friend, the
Ranking Democrat on the Committee, Senator Chris Coons, stepped
to Mr. Mair's defense, and he said--in fact, I will read his
Senator Coons said, ``Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I just
simply wanted to observe that we have a broadly representative
and qualified group of folks who were brought here to talk
about overregulation and its impact on minority communities.
And I do not speak for the Sierra Club, obviously, but it is my
hope and expectation that if you want to pursue that line of
inquiry with them further, they would be happy to.''
At that suggestion from Democratic Senator Coons that we
hold a subsequent hearing on global warming, we have announced
this hearing. Now I did note at the time that the entire
substance of Mr. Mair's both written and oral testimony to the
Subcommittee concerned global warming, and yet he was
unprepared to discuss even the basic science behind what he was
My office reached out to Mr. Mair and invited him to come
testify on this panel, and we did so in consultation with the
Chairman of the full Committee, Senator Thune. Mr. Mair turned
down that invitation. And so, without objection, I would like
to enter into the record the written correspondence, the e-mail
between my office and Mr. Mair extending the invitation and the
Sierra Club's response to that, declining to attend.
[The information referred to follows:]
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Senator Cruz. In Mr. Mair's honor, we have a spot at the
table for him.
I would note that it is striking the Sierra Club, a
national advocacy organization that devotes the lion's share of
its energy to advocating for global warming, was unwilling to
come and defend the merits of its position based on the science
or the data. To any fair or impartial observer, the Sierra
Club's refusal even to engage in a discussion of the science
should speak volumes.
And with that, Dr. Christy, we are ready to receive your
Senator Nelson. Mr. Chairman, if I may, I would like to
likewise enter into the record all the letters of invitation
extended to the witnesses, and the record will note that there
is no such letter of invitation to the gentleman that you are
Senator Cruz. Without objection.
[The information referred to follows:]
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Senator Cruz. And there was no formal letter issued because
he had preemptively turned down the invitation on the front
And with that, Dr. Christy?
STATEMENT OF JOHN R. CHRISTY, Ph.D., DISTINGUISHED
PROFESSOR OF ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCE AND DIRECTOR OF
EARTH SYSTEM SCIENCE CENTER, UNIVERSITY OF
ALABAMA IN HUNTSVILLE
Dr. Christy. Thank you, Chairman Cruz and Ranking Member
Peters and Ranking Member Nelson, for this opportunity to speak
about climate change.
I am John Christy, Professor of Atmospheric Science at the
University of Alabama in Huntsville and Alabama State
climatologist. I have served in many climate science
capacities, including lead authorship of the United Nations
I, along with Dr. Curry, have the distinction of being two
of the seven scientists targeted by Representative Grijalva for
investigation because our views about climate change differ
from those of the administration.
My research might best be described as building datasets
from scratch for 50 years to help us understand what the
climate is doing and what it might do and why it does what it
does. The two main points of my verbal testimony are simple.
First, the basis on which the popular view that human-
caused climate change is dangerous does not pass simple
validation tests. Second, the attempt to study climate change
with an objective eye is thwarted by the Federal funding
Now we at UAH monitor climate change for such variables as
temperature. However, no one has a direct means to tell us why
the temperature changes. Our thermometers only tell us what has
happened. They do not tell us why it happened. There is really
no way to prove why climate does what it does.
Now so to try to understand why the changes occur, we make
claims or hypotheses using climate models whose equations
attempt to approximate all of the important factors that affect
the climate. If these equations are accurate, we can then see
how each factor, such as greenhouse gases or volcanoes, might
affect the climate, and therefore, we could learn what the
cause of these changes might be.
Now one variable, according to climate models, that has the
largest response to extra greenhouse gases is the temperature
of the bulk atmosphere, and this is the layer from the surface
to about 50,000 feet in altitude. As shown in my written
testimony and as you can see on the chart to my left, the
models fail this very simplest of validation tests. They can't
even reproduce what has already happened in the past 37 years.
One hundred and two climate model runs warm up the bulk
layer of the atmosphere by an average factor of 3 more than
what has actually occurred. Now being off by a factor of 3 does
not qualify as settled science in my view.
Now why are studies like this so hard to find? It goes back
to the way Federal funding occurs. Today, contrarian proposals,
such as one I might write, that want to, say, look rigorously
and test climate models against reality or to test various
ideas about how natural variability causes these changes are
rarely, if ever, funded.
This is due to the fact the panels which decide this type
of funding are dominated by those with the establishment point
of view about dangerous climate change. Since there are many
more proposals than funding allows, a contrarian proposal has
essentially no chance of receiving funding because the panel
decides these things by votes.
Now in my view, Congress needs to fix this problem by
directly funding red teams which are not part of the climate
modeling industry to test the basis for the claims that human-
induced climate change is dangerous. The Congress needs
objective eyes on this issue because it is such a big-ticket
item for everyone involved.
Now it is no secret that the State of Alabama is in a
desperate fight with the Federal EPA. Our elected officials
understand, as do I, their state climatologist, that the
regulations being established will do nothing to alter whatever
the climate is going to do. In fact, even if the United States
of America disappeared today--no people, no cars, no
factories--the impact would be negligible on whatever the
Alabama is fighting for our industries, which are being
tempted by lower costs in Mexico and China, where their
emissions would actually rise if they move there. We are
fighting for our utilities, which sell over 30 percent of their
electricity production to nearby states who need it. And we are
fighting for the many poor people in our state who do not need
another hike in their utility rates to satisfy a regulation
whose only impact will be to further drain their meager
This is a time when even so-called green countries like
Germany and Japan--that is Germany and Japan--are adding to
their carbon emissions by building more coal-fired power plants
while the rest of the world moves toward more carbon-based
To me, it is not scientifically justifiable or economically
rational, that this Nation should establish regulations whose
only discernible consequence is an increase in economic pain
visited most directly and harshly on the poorest among us. This
happens when the scientific process that allegedly underpins
regulations lacks objectivity and transparency.
[The prepared statement of Dr. Christy follows:]
Prepared Statement of John R. Christy, Distinguished Professor of
Atmospheric Science and Director of the Earth System Science Center,
University of Alabama, Huntsville; Alabama State Climatologist
I am John R. Christy, Distinguished Professor of Atmospheric
Science, Alabama's State Climatologist and Director of the Earth System
Science Center at The University of Alabama in Huntsville. I have
served as a Lead Author, Contributing Author and Reviewer of United
Nations IPCC assessments, have been awarded NASA's Medal for
Exceptional Scientific Achievement, and in 2002 was elected a Fellow of
the American Meteorological Society.
It is a privilege for me to offer my analysis of the current
situation regarding our understanding of climate change, the effect of
regulations on climate, the popular notion of extreme climate events,
and the unfortunate direction research in this area has taken. My
research area might be best described as building datasets from scratch
to advance our understanding of what the climate is doing and why--an
activity I began as a teenager over 50 years ago. I have used
traditional surface observations as well as measurements from balloons
and satellites to document the climate story. Many of our UAH datasets
are used to test hypotheses of climate variability and change.
How well do we understand climate change?
A critical issue in our era is to determine whether emissions from
human activities impact the climate and by how much. This is made
especially difficult because we know the climate system already is
subject to changes without the influence of humans. Because there is no
measuring device that explicitly determines the cause of the climate
changes we can measure, such as temperature, our science must take a
different approach to seek understanding as to what causes the changes,
i.e., how much is natural and how much is human induced. The basic
approach today utilizes climate models. (The projections of these
models are being utilized for carbon policies as well.)
It is important to understand that output from these models, (i.e.,
projections of the future climate and the specific link that increasing
CO2 might have on the climate) are properly defined as
scientific hypotheses or claims--model output cannot be considered as
providing proof of the links between climate variations and greenhouse
gases. These models are complex computer programs which attempt to
describe through mathematical equations as many factors that affect the
climate as is possible and thus estimate how the climate might change
in the future. The model, it is hoped, will provide accurate responses
of the climate variables, like temperature, when extra greenhouse gases
are included in the model. However, the equations for nearly all of the
important climate processes are not exact, representing the best
approximations modelers can devise and that computers can handle at
A fundamental aspect of the scientific method is that if we say we
understand a system (such as the climate system) then we should be able
to predict its behavior. If we are unable to make accurate predictions,
then at least some of the factors in the system are not well defined or
perhaps even missing. [Note, however, that merely replicating the
behavior of the system (i.e., reproducing ``what'' the climate does)
does not guarantee that the fundamental physics are well-known. In
other words, it is possible to obtain the right answer for the wrong
reasons, i.e., getting the ``what'' of climate right but missing the
Do we understand how greenhouse gases affect the climate, i.e., the
link between emissions and climate effects? A very basic metric for
climate studies is the temperature of the bulk atmospheric layer known
as the troposphere, roughly from the surface to 50,000 ft altitude.
This is the layer that, according to models, should warm significantly
as CO2 increases--even faster than the surface. Unlike the
surface temperature, this bulk temperature informs us regarding the
crux of the global warming question--how much heat is accumulating in
the global atmosphere? And, this CO2-caused warming should
be easily detectible by now, according to models. This provides a good
test of how well we understand the climate system because since 1979 we
have had two independent means of monitoring this layer--satellites
from above and balloons with thermometers released from the surface.
I was able to access 102 CMIP-5 rcp4.5 (representative
concentration pathways) climate model simulations of the atmospheric
temperatures for the tropospheric layer and generate bulk temperatures
from the models for an apples-to-apples comparison with the
observations from satellites and balloons. These models were developed
in institutions throughout the world and used in the IPCC AR5
Scientific Assessment (2013).
Above: Global average mid-tropospheric temperature variations (5-
year averages) for 32 models (lines) representing 102 individual
simulations. Circles (balloons) and squares (satellites) depict the
The information in this figure provides clear evidence that the
models have a strong tendency to over-warm the atmosphere relative to
actual observations. On average the models warm the global atmosphere
at a rate three times that of the real world. This is not a short-term,
specially-selected episode, but represents the past 37 years, over a
third of a century. This is also the period with the highest
concentration of greenhouse gases and thus the period in which the
response should be of largest magnitude.
Using the scientific method we would conclude that the models do
not accurately represent at least some of the important processes that
impact the climate because they were unable to ``predict'' what has
already occurred. In other words, these models failed at the simple
test of telling us ``what'' has already happened, and thus would not be
in a position to give us a confident answer to ``what'' may happen in
the future and ``why.'' As such, they would be of highly questionable
value in determining policy that should depend on a very confident
understanding of how the climate system works.
There is a related climate metric that also utilizes atmospheric
temperature which in models has an even larger response than that of
the global average shown above. This metric, then, provides a stronger
test for understanding how well models perform regarding greenhouse
gases specifically. In the models, the tropical atmosphere warms
significantly in response to the added greenhouse gases--more so than
that of the global average atmospheric temperature.
Above: Tropical average mid-tropospheric temperature variations (5-
year averages) for 32 models (lines) representing 102 individual
simulations. Circles (balloons) and squares (satellites) depict the
In the tropical comparison here, the disparity between models and
observations is even greater, with models on average warming this
atmospheric region by a factor of four times greater than in reality.
Such a result re-enforces the implication above that the models have
much improvement to undergo before we may have confidence they will
provide information about what the climate may do in the future or even
why the climate varies as it does. For the issue at hand, estimates of
how the global temperature might be affected by emission reductions
from regulations would be exaggerated and not reliable.
Impact of Regulations Will Not Be Attributable or Detectable
The impact on global temperature for current and proposed
reductions in greenhouse gases will be tiny. To demonstrate this, let
us assume, for example, that the total emissions from the United States
were reduced to zero, as of last May 13th, 2015 (the date of the last
congressional hearing on which I testified). In other words as of that
day and going forward, there would be no industry, no cars, no
utilities, no people--i.e., the United States would cease to exist as
of that day. Regulations, of course will only hope to reduce emissions
a small amount, but to make the point of how minuscule the regulatory
impact will be, we shall simply go way beyond reality and cause the
United States to vanish. With this we shall attempt to answer the
question of climate change impact due to emissions reductions.
Using the U.N. IPCC impact tool known as Model for the Assessment
of Greenhouse-gas Induced Climate Change or MAGICC, graduate student
Rob Junod and I reduced the projected growth in total global emissions
by U.S. emission contribution starting on this date and continuing on.
We also used the value of the equilibrium climate sensitivity as
determined from empirical techniques of 1.8 +C. After 50 years, the
impact as determined by these model calculations would be only 0.05 to
0.08 +C--an amount less than that which the global temperature
fluctuates from month to month. [These calculations used emission
scenarios A1B-AIM and AIF-MI with U.S. emissions comprising 14 percent
to 17 percent of the 2015 global emissions. There is evidence that the
climate sensitivity is less than 1.8 +C, which would further lower
Because changes in the emissions of our entire country would have
such a tiny calculated impact on global climate, it is obvious that
fractional reductions in emissions through regulation would produce
imperceptible results. In other words, there would be no evidence in
the future to demonstrate that a particular climate impact was induced
by the proposed and enacted regulations. Thus, the regulations will
have no meaningful or useful consequence on the physical climate
system--even if one believes climate models are useful tools for
Alleged impacts of human-induced climate changes regarding extreme
Much of the alarm related to increasing greenhouse gas
concentrations shifted in the past decade from global temperature
changes to changes in extreme events, i.e., those events which
typically have a negative impact on the economy. These events may be
heat waves, floods, hurricanes, etc.
In terms of heat waves, below is the number of 100 +F days observed
in the U.S. from a controlled set of weather stations. It is not only
clear that hot days have not increased, but it is interesting that in
the most recent years there has been a relative dearth of them.
Above: Average number of days per-station in each year reaching or
exceeding 100+F in 982 stations of the USHCN database (NOAA/NCEI,
prepared by JRChristy).
Forest and wild fires are documented for the US. The evidence below
indicates there has not been any change in frequency of wildfires.
Acreage (not shown) shows little change as well.
Above: Number of U.S. wildfires. As the management of these events
changes, and thus the number also changes, but the number of events
since 1985 has remained constant. (National Interagency Fire Center
Above: Number of U.S. forest fires per year since 1965.
The two figures above demonstrate that fire events have not
increased in frequency in the United States during the past several
The claims that droughts and floods are increasing may be examined
by the observational record as well.
Above: Global areal extent of five levels of drought for 1982-2012
where dryness is indicated in percentile rankings with D0 < 30, D1 <
20, D2 < 10, D3 < 5 and D4 < 2 percentile of average moisture
availability. (Hao et al., 2014)
Above: Areal fraction of conterminous U.S. under very wet (blue) or
very dry (red) conditions. NOAA/NCEI.
The two figures above demonstrate that moisture conditions have not
shown a tendency to have decreased (more drought) or increased (more
large-scale wetness). Such information is rarely consulted when it is
more convenient simply to make unsubstantiated claims that moisture
extremes, i.e., droughts and floods (which have always occurred), are
somehow becoming even more extreme. Over shorter periods and in certain
locations, there is evidence that the heaviest precipitation events are
tending to be greater. This is not a universal phenomenon and it has
not been established that such changes may be due to changes in
greenhouse gas concentrations as demonstrated earlier because the model
projections are unable to reproduce the simplest of metrics.
Above: World grain production 1961-2012. U.N. Food and Agriculture
It is a simple matter to find documentation of the ever-rising
production of grains. One wonders about the Federal Council on
Environmental Quality's allegation that there has been ``harm to
agriculture'' from human-induced climate change because when viewing
the total growth in production, which appears to be accelerating, one
would assume no ``harm'' has been done during a period of rising
With the evidence in these examples above, it is obviously
difficult to establish the claims about worsening conditions due to
human-caused climate change, or more generally that any change could be
directly linked to increasing CO2. This point also relates
to the issue of climate model capability noted earlier. It is clear
that climate models fall short on some very basic issues of climate
variability, being unable to reproduce ``what'' has happened regarding
global temperature, and therefore not knowing ``why'' any of it
happened. It is therefore premature to claim that one knows the causes
for changes in various exotic measures of weather, such as rainfall
intensity over short periods, which are not even explicitly generated
in climate model output.
The Disappointing Scientific Process
I have written much for previous congressional hearings and other
venues about the failure of the scientific community to objectively
approach the study of climate and climate change. (See Appendix)
Climate science is a murky science with large uncertainties on many
critical components such as cloud distributions and surface heat
exchanges. As mentioned above, there is no objective instrumentation
that can tell us ``why'' changes occur. That being the case, we are
left with hypotheses (claims) to put forward and then to test. The
information given above, in my view, is clear evidence that the current
theoretical understanding of ``why'' the climate changes, as embodied
in models (and on which current policy is based), fails such tests.
Indeed, the theoretical (model) view as expressed in the IPCC AR5 in
every case overestimated the bulk tropical atmospheric temperature
response of extra greenhouse gases (see above and IPCC Supplementary
Material Figure 10.SM.1) indicating the theoretical understanding of
the climate response is too sensitive to greenhouse gases.
One problem with our science relates to the funding process for
climate studies, the vast majority of which is provided through Federal
agencies. Funding decisions are decided by people, and people have
biases. Our science has also seen the move toward ``consensus'' science
where ``agreement'' between people and groups is elevated above
determined, objective investigation. The sad progression of events here
has even led to congressional investigations designed to silence (with
some success) those whose voices, including my own, have challenged the
politically-correct views on climate (i.e., congressional investigation
by Rep. Grijalva, 22 Feb 2015, http://www.scribd.com/doc/256811029/
Today, funding decisions are made by review panels. In this
process, many proposals for funding are submitted to the agencies, but
the agencies only have a fraction of the funds available to support the
proposals, so only a few proposals can be funded and these are selected
by panels. In the area of climate, it is clear the agencies are
convinced of the consensus view of dangerous climate change as
indicated by their various statements and press releases on the issue.
Therefore, when a contrarian proposal is submitted that seeks to
discover other possible explanations besides greenhouse gases for the
small changes we now see, or one that seeks to rigorously and
objectively investigate climate model output, there is virtually no
chance for funding. This occurs because the panel determines by
majority vote whom to fund, and with tight competition, any bias by
just a couple of panel members against a contrarian proposal is
sufficient for rejection. Of course, the agencies will claim all is
done in complete objectivity, but that would be precisely the expected
response of someone already within the ``consensus'' and whose agency
has stated its position on climate change. This brings me to
The term ``consensus science'' will often be appealed to regarding
arguments about climate change to bolster an assertion. This is a form
of ``argument from authority.'' Consensus, however, is a political
notion, not a scientific notion. As I testified to the Inter-Academy
Council in June 2010, wrote in Nature that same year (Christy 2010),
and documented in my written testimony for several congressional
hearings (e.g., House Space, Science and Technology, 31 Mar 2011) the
IPCC and other similar Assessments do not represent for me a consensus
of much more than the consensus of those selected to agree with a
The content of these climate reports is actually under the control
of a relatively small number of individuals--I often refer to them as
the ``climate establishment''--who through the years, in my opinion,
came to act as gatekeepers of scientific opinion and information,
rather than brokers. The voices of those of us who object to various
statements and emphases in these assessments are by-in-large dismissed
rather than accommodated. This establishment includes the same
individuals who become the ``experts'' called on to promote IPCC claims
in government reports such as the endangerment finding by the
Environmental Protection Agency.
As outlined in my previous testimonies, these ``experts'' become
the authors and evaluators of their own research relative to research
which challenges their work. This becomes an obvious conflict of
interest. But with the luxury of having the ``last word'' as ``expert''
authors of the reports, alternative views vanish. This is not a process
that provides the best information to the peoples' representatives. The
U.S. Congress must have the full range of views on issues such as
climate change which are (a) characterized by considerable ambiguity
(see model results) (b) used to promote regulatory actions which will
be economically detrimental to the American people and, most
ironically, (c) will have no impact on whatever the climate will do.
I've often stated that climate science is a ``murky'' science. We
do not have laboratory methods of testing our hypotheses as many other
sciences do. As a result what passes for science includes, opinion,
arguments-from-authority, dramatic press releases, and fuzzy notions of
consensus generated by preselected groups. This is not science.
We know from Climategate e-mails and many other sources that the
IPCC has had problems with those who take different positions on
climate change than what the IPCC promotes. There is another way to
deal with this however. Since the IPCC activity and climate research in
general is funded by U.S. taxpayers, then I propose that five to ten
percent of the funds be allocated to a group of well-credentialed
scientists to produce an assessment that expresses legitimate,
alternative hypotheses that have been (in their view) marginalized,
misrepresented or ignored in previous IPCC reports (and thus the EPA
Endangerment Finding and National Climate Assessments).
Such activities are often called ``Red Team'' reports and are
widely used in government and industry. Decisions regarding funding for
``Red Teams'' should not be placed in the hands of the current
``establishment'' but in panels populated by credentialed scientists
who have experience in examining these issues. Some efforts along this
line have arisen from the private sector (i.e., The Non-governmental
International Panel on Climate Change at http://nipccreport.org/ and
Michaels (2012) ADDENDUM:Global Climate Change Impacts in the United
States). I believe policymakers, with the public's purse, should
actively support the assembling all of the information that is vital to
addressing this murky and wicked science, since the public will
ultimately pay the cost of any legislation alleged to deal with
Topics to be addressed in this ``Red Team'' assessment, for
example, would include (a) evidence for a low climate sensitivity to
increasing greenhouse gases, (b) the role and importance of natural,
unforced variability, (c) a rigorous and independent evaluation of
climate model output, (d) a thorough discussion of uncertainty, (e) a
focus on metrics that most directly relate to the rate of accumulation
of heat in the climate system, (f) analysis of the many consequences,
including benefits, that result from CO2 increases, and (g)
the importance that affordable and accessible energy has to human
health and welfare.
What this proposal seeks is to provide to the Congress and other
policymakers a parallel, scientifically-based assessment regarding the
state of climate science which addresses issues which here-to-for have
been un-or under-represented by previous tax-payer funded, government-
directed climate reports. In other words, our policymakers need to see
the entire range of findings regarding climate change.
The messages of the four points outlined above are: (1) the
theoretical understanding of the way greenhouse gases affect climate,
as embodied on climate models, fails simple evaluation tests, (2) even
if one accepts climate model output, the impact of reducing emissions
by any of the regulations now enforce or proposed will be negligible,
(3) the claims about increases in frequency and intensity of extreme
events are generally not supported by actual observations and, (4)
official information about climate science is largely controlled by
agencies through (a) funding choices for research and (b) by the
carefully-selected (i.e., biased) authorship of reports such as the EPA
Endangerment Finding and the National Climate Assessment.
IAC 15 June 2010 Montreal
John R. Christy, Distinguished Professor of Atmospheric Science
Director, Earth System Science Center, Alabama State Climatologist,
University of Alabama in Huntsville
IPCC Lead Author: 2001 TAR, Contributor: 1992 Supplement
Contributor: 1994 Radiative Forcing of Climate Change
Key Contributor: 1995 SAR
Contributing Author: 2007 AR4, WG I and II
NASA Medal for Exceptional Scientific Achievement, American
Meteorological Society Special Award for satellite observations
Fellow, American Meteorological Society
Mr. Chairman and members of the IAC panel, thank you for inviting
me to offer my views on the IPCC process. Five years ago the New York
Times quoted me saying that an IPCC-like process, ``. . . is the worst
way to generate scientific information, except for all the others.''
(23 Aug 2005) I now think I was a bit too generous.
A fundamental problem with the entire issue here is that climate
science is not a classic, experimental science. As an emerging science
of a complex, chaotic climate system, it is plagued by uncertainty and
ambiguity in both observations and theory. Lacking classic, laboratory
results, it easily becomes hostage to opinion, groupthink, arguments-
from-authority, overstatement of confidence, and even Hollywood movies.
When climate scientists are placed in the limelight because this issue
can generate compelling disaster scenarios, we simply don't want to
say, ``We just don't know.''
I have been a contributor to the IPCC Assessments since 1992 and a
Lead Author in the Third Assessment of 2001. Though I had some good
things to say about the IPCC, I did respond in 2001 to the U.S.
National Academy of Sciences when they solicited information about
certain problems (see Appendix A).
At the time, I was more concerned about the product rather than the
process. The first objection I raised regarding the Third Assessment
was that the fabled Hockey Stick was oversold as an indicator of past
climate change. This was well before the critical work of the Wegman
Report, National Academy of Sciences, McIntyre's papers and the East
Anglia e-mails. Indeed, I urge you in the strongest terms to engage
Stephen McIntyre in your deliberations at a high level as he has
accurately documented specific failures in the IPCC process, some of
which I can attest to, as I was there.
My second objection to the TAR was its overstatement of confidence
in model projections.
My role in the Fourth Assessment of 2007 was limited to that of a
Contributing Author. This means I submitted recommendations that were
dealt with by the Lead Authors who tended to disagree with my published
findings. Thus, their views carried the day in the report. In this
process, the final result really boils down the opinions of those
selected as Lead Authors, a point I will address below.
In March of last year, 8 months before the e-mail fiasco, about 140
former IPCC Lead Authors gathered in Hawaii for a preview of what the
Fifth Assessment might tackle. I was the only one there well-known to
be essentially outside the IPCC ``consensus.'' I had come to the
conclusion that the IPCC establishment demonstrated a disturbing
homogeneity-of-thought regarding the hypothesized but unproven role
that greenhouse gases might impose on the climate system. My short talk
(Appendix B) and poster (Appendix C) at that meeting last year dealt
with three science issues and offered a recommendation. The three
issues were (1) the surface temperature record is flawed in many ways,
but is flawed in particular as a metric to detect greenhouse-imposed
warming, (2) direct tests of the so-called fingerprint of climate model
temperature changes versus observations indicated significant
differences, failing simple hypothesis tests, and (3) the critical
value of climate sensitivity to greenhouse gases was overstated because
it had not been properly calculated. All of these were supported by
peer-reviewed publications which even now continue to appear.
In my view, the IPCC process had drifted away from allowing authors
to serve as Brokers of climate science, in which various views are
given attention, to becoming Gatekeepers of climate science in which
one view is elevated and promoted. The IPCC Assessment had become a
``consensus of those who agreed with the consensus.'' Since
``consensus'' is a political notion, not a scientific notion, a goal of
``consensus'' in any forum is at its heart a political goal.
My recommendation last year was to include a chapter written by
credentialed climate scientists who would provide evidence concerning
these heretofore minimized issues, in particular the low sensitivity of
the climate system. My assumption at that time was that the IPCC
writing process would be the same, i.e., that the Lead Authors of this
chapter, as the others, would be given the sacred right of being their
own final reviewers to let a new voice be heard. No one at the meeting
thought this was a useful suggestion, I believe, because it would allow
the expression of reasonable alternatives to claims too entrenched in
the message of looming climate disasters promoted with IPCC indulgence.
Since last March, much has happened to expose some of the
scientists who dominated the IPCC, whom I call the establishment, as
less than transparent, subject to bias, and who suppress alternative
views while using the IPCC's perception as a near-sacred document to
promote their own opinions. This establishment dominates not only the
IPCC but also the review process of the peer-reviewed literature,
making it extremely difficult for alternative evidence to even be
published now. This happens when your type of science is rather murky
to begin with.
In my view, the three fundamental flaws in the current IPCC process
are (1) the two-step political filter by which Lead Authors are
selected, (2) the review-authority granted the Lead Authors who write
the chapters and synthesis reports, and, (3) the very limited word-
count available for each topic, which encourages short and
overconfident statements about questions that in truth are plainly
nasty to deal with.
In February of this year, Nature magazine asked me for a brief
discussion about the IPCC and a way forward (Appendix D, last page). My
main concern there was to define a process that would let the world
know that our ignorance of much of the climate system is simply
enormous and we have much to do. Mother Nature has a tremendous number
of degrees of freedom up her sleeves, many of which we don't even know
about or account for.
So, I suggested a living, carefully-managed, wikipedia-style
process. Important questions, most of which are already laid out in the
IPCC manifest, would be addressed by teams of Lead Authors who would be
far less constrained by the word-count rules, and so would allow fuller
expression of uncertainty and disagreement--expressions contributed by
the specific people who perform whatever research is being discussed.
The Lead Authors main task would be to organize and summarize the
information on each question, acting strictly as Brokers, not
Gatekeepers. With web-based links to actual text (and data) the Lead
Authors would be far less tempted to be biased. Lead Authors need to
know they do not have to agree with the findings they report. I believe
such transparency would spur the Lead Authors to be fairer and more
humble in their summary comments.
Peer-reviewed research of course would dominate the source
material, but other documents--whose source is clearly identified--
could contribute to the discussion. I know there would be significant
issues of managing such a process, but I believe it would be far better
than producing big books every six years that are limited, biased and
out-of-date when they are printed. We are in the 21st Century, and, to
the despair of those who find comfort in absolute answers, there are
only continuously evolving levels of understanding (and ignorance) to
most of the climate questions being asked. This situation begs for a
dynamic assessment process.
The selection of Lead Authors through a two-step political process
is a problem too. Presently, national governments nominate to the IPCC
those who over the years, they can generally count on to be consistent
with national policy. From this pool, the IPCC itself selects those it
wants to be Lead Authors. To combat the political influence of
governments and the U.N., to a small extent, I would recommend that
Lead Authors be nominated by appropriate learned societies, such as
yours, and selected for overlapping, rotating terms. I'm not completely
comfortable with this as I'm aware that councils of science are deeply
involved in political maneuvering which is why I state that to a
``small extent'' the political influence of governments and the U.N.
might be mitigated.
Some Lead Authors could and should be scholars from other
disciplines but who have a keen awareness of the hard rules of
hypothesis testing, admissible evidence, and the power of language. .
.physicists, chemists, engineers and yes, even lawyers. As I told a
colleague the other day, it is clear to me now that climate science
needs some adult supervision.
I realize such a recommendation creates consternation among those
who have controlled the process up to now and who believe deeply that
the ``science is settled'' because they find comfort in easy and
unimaginative answers to difficult questions. For example, why doesn't
the IPCC report on (and funding agencies invest in) major research
about the internal dynamical properties of the climate system? At
present these properties are incapably represented in climate models to
date, and yet have been shown to be a major source of the variability
we've seen. Why must we be so unimaginative that we just give up and
claim that nothing else but enhanced greenhouse forcing explains most
of the temperature rise in the past 50 years?
Others will complain that such an open process I describe will not
generate the definitive statements necessary to drive policy. To those
I say, ``Welcome to climate science.'' If a specific policy is desired,
climate science is a weak leg on which to stand which means a policy
should have multiple, defensible reasons for adoption.
You will hear from those within the IPCC establishment that the
IPCC does a terrific job of getting down to the truth about climate
science and that the consensus reports are the best documents for
policymakers. But as one mostly outside the ``consensus'', I can not
agree, and I am far, far from being alone in that disagreement. I say
this as a working-stiff climate scientist who builds datasets from
scratch to create understanding and test assertions about the climate
system. The process followed in the Fourth Assessment, in my view,
simply did not provide to the world the true ambiguities, uncertainties
and contentions of our fledgling science.
In summary, to me, the impediments to providing a more honest
expression of our science to the world in the current IPCC process are
(1) Lead Authors essentially having final review authority, (2) the
Lead Author selection process which encourages government-approved,
homogeneity-of-thought, and (3) the limited size, the dead-line
character, and the past-expiration-date of printed documents. Thank
[GRAPHICS NOT AVAILABLE IN TIFF FORMAT]
Senator Cruz. Thank you, Dr. Christy.
At this point in the hearing is when Mr. Aaron Mair, the
President of the Sierra Club, would be afforded his opportunity
to present the Sierra Club's views on global warming.
Unfortunately, as we discussed a minute ago, even though he was
invited to present the Sierra Club's views, he chose not to
attend, and presumably, one reason for that is the last time he
presented testimony on this topic, he was unable to answer even
the most basic questions on the scientific basis for the
political theory he was advancing, that we should massively
increase the Federal Government regulation of the economy and
dramatically drive up the cost of living, the electricity bills
of millions of hard-working Americans.
And so we will not be hearing from Mr. Mair now. Instead,
we will hear from Dr. Curry.
STATEMENT OF JUDITH A. CURRY, Ph.D., CHAIR OF THE
SCHOOL OF EARTH AND ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCES, GEORGIA
INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY
Dr. Curry. I thank the Chairman and the Ranking Members for
the opportunity to offer testimony today.
Prior to 2009, I felt that supporting the IPCC consensus on
climate change was a responsible thing to do. I bought into the
argument don't trust what one scientist says, trust what an
international team of 1,000 scientists have said after years of
That all changed for me in November 2009, following the
leaked ``Climategate'' e-mails that illustrated the sausage
making and even bullying that went into building the consensus.
I started speaking out, saying that scientists needed to do
better at making the data and supporting information publicly
available, being more transparent about how they reach
conclusions, doing a better job of assessing uncertainties, and
actively engaging with scientists having minority perspectives.
The response of my colleagues to this is summed up by the
title of a 2010 article in the Scientific American, ``Climate
Heretic: Judith Curry Turns on Her Colleagues.'' I came to the
growing realization that I had fallen into the trap of group
think. I had accepted the consensus based on second-order
evidence, the assertion that a consensus existed.
I began making an independent assessment of topics in
climate science that had the most relevance to policy. And what
have I concluded from this assessment? Human-caused climate
change is a theory in which the basic mechanism is well
understood, but whose magnitude is highly uncertain.
No one questions that surface temperatures have increased
overall since 1880 or that humans are adding carbon dioxide to
the atmosphere, or that carbon dioxide and other greenhouse
gases have a warming effect on the planet. However, there is
considerable uncertainty and disagreement about the most
consequential issues--whether the warming has been dominated by
human causes versus natural variability, how much the planet
will warm in the 21st century, and whether warming is
The central issue in the scientific debate on climate
change is the extent to which the recent and future warming is
caused by humans versus natural climate variability. Research
effort and funding has focused on understanding human causes of
climate change. However, we have been misled in our quest to
understand climate change by not paying sufficient attention to
natural causes of climate variability, in particular from the
Sun and from the long-term oscillations in ocean circulations.
Why do scientists disagree about climate change? The
historical data is sparse and inadequate. There is disagreement
about the value of different classes of evidence, notably the
value of global climate models. There is disagreement about the
appropriate logical framework for linking and assessing the
evidence, and scientists disagree over assessments of areas of
ambiguity and ignorance.
How then and why have climate scientists come to a
consensus about a very complex scientific problem that the
scientists themselves acknowledge has substantial and
fundamental uncertainties? Climate scientists have become
entangled in an acrimonious political debate that has polarized
the scientific community.
As a result of my analyses that challenge IPCC conclusions,
I have been called a denier by other climate scientists and
most recently by Senator Sheldon Whitehouse. My motives have
been questioned by Representative Grijalva in a recent letter
sent to the president of Georgia Tech.
There is enormous pressure for climate scientists to
conform to the so-called consensus. This pressure comes not
only from politicians, but from Federal funding agencies,
universities, and professional societies, and scientists
themselves who are green activists. Reinforcing this consensus
are strong monetary, reputational, and authority interests.
In this politicized environment, advocating for carbon
dioxide emissions reductions is becoming the default expected
position for climate scientists. This advocacy extends to the
professional society that publish journals and organize
Policy advocacy, when combined with understating the
uncertainties, risks destroying science's reputation for
honesty and objectivity without which scientists become
regarded as merely another lobbyist group.
I would like to thank the Committee for raising the issue
of data versus dogma in support of improving the integrity of
climate science. This concludes my testimony.
[The prepared statement of Dr. Curry follows:]
Prepared Statement of Judith A. Curry, Professor and former Chair,
School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, Georgia Institute of
I thank the Chairman and the Committee for the opportunity to offer
testimony today on `Data or Dogma? Promoting Open Inquiry in the Debate
on Climate Change.' I am Professor and former Chair of the School of
Earth and Atmospheric Sciences at the Georgia Institute of Technology.
As a climate scientist, I have devoted 30 years to conducting research
on a variety of topics including climate dynamics of the Arctic,
climate dynamics of extreme weather events, and reasoning about climate
uncertainty. As president of Climate Forecast Applications Network LLC,
I have been working with decision makers on climate impact assessments,
assessing and developing climate adaptation strategies, and developing
subseasonal climate forecasting strategies to support adaptive
management and tactical adaptation.
Over the past decade, I have become increasingly concerned about
the integrity of climate research, which is being compromised by the
politicization of the science. My research on understanding the
dynamics of uncertainty at the climate science-policy interface has led
me to conclude these dynamics are not operating in a manner that is
healthy for either the science or the policy process.
My testimony focuses on the following issues of central relevance
to the state of climate science:
Consensus, uncertainty and disagreement
Unsettled climate science: the importance of natural climate
Scenarios for the 21st century climate
The broken contract between climate science and society
Consensus, uncertainty and disagreement
Under the auspices of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change
(IPCC), the international climate community has worked for more than 20
years to establish a scientific consensus on human-caused climate
change. The IPCC consensus about dangerous anthropogenic climate change
is portrayed as nearly total among scientists with prominence in the
field of climate science, and the IPCC consensus has been endorsed by
the relevant national and international science academies and
The IPCC consensus building process arguably played a useful role
in the early synthesis of the scientific knowledge. However, I have
argued that the ongoing process to negotiate a scientific consensus has
had the unintended consequence of oversimplifying both the problem and
its solution, introducing biases into the both the science and related
decision making processes.
A scientist's job is to critically evaluate evidence and challenge
and reassess conclusions drawn from the evidence. Disagreement and
minority perspectives have an important and respected role to play in
advancing science, as a mean for testing ideas and pushing the
knowledge frontier forward. How then, and why, have climate scientists
come to a scientific consensus about a very complex scientific problem
that the scientists themselves acknowledge has substantial and
Climate scientists have become entangled in an acrimonious
political debate that has polarized the scientific community and has
resulted in political attacks on scientists on both sides of the
debate. A scientist's `side' is often defined by factors that are
exogenous to the actual scientific debate. Scientific controversies
surrounding evidence of climate change have become a proxy for
political battles over whether and how to react to climate change.
Therefore, `winning' a scientific debate means attaining a privileged
position in political battle, hence providing motivation for defending
the scientific consensus. The quality of both scientific and policy
debate has suffered as a consequence.
A climate scientist making a statement about uncertainty or degree
of doubt in the climate debate is categorized as a denier or a
`merchant of doubt,' whose motives are assumed to be ideological or
motivated by funding from the fossil fuel industry. My own experience
in publicly discussing concerns about how uncertainty is characterized
by the IPCC has resulted in my being labeled as a `climate heretic' \1\
that has turned against my colleagues.
There is enormous pressure for climate scientists to conform to the
so-called consensus. This pressure comes not only from politicians, but
from Federal funding agencies, universities and professional societies,
and scientists themselves who are green activists and advocates.
Reinforcing this consensus are strong monetary, reputational, and
As a result, I have become very concerned about the integrity of
climate science. In the last 5 years, I have published a series of
papers that address the inadequacies that I see in how climate
scientists address the issue of uncertainty, and provide ways forward
for improved reasoning about the complex problems in climate science:
Climate science and the uncertainty monster \2\
Reasoning about climate uncertainty \3\
Nullifying the climate null hypothesis \4\
Climate science: no consensus on consensus \5\
How to deal with the politicization of climate science is less
obvious, but I regard it as highly important to shine some light on
these problems. On my blog Climate Etc. at judithcurry.com, under the
tags of `Ethics' \6\, `Consensus' 1A\7\ and `Sociology of Science' \8\,
I have written a series of essays on biases, the problems of advocacy
and partisanship among climate scientists, conflicts of interest, and
suppressions of climate inquiry.
Unsettled climate science
Anthropogenic climate change is a theory in which the basic
mechanism is well understood, but whose magnitude is highly uncertain
owing to feedback processes. Scientists agree that surface temperatures
have increased overall since 1880, humans are adding carbon dioxide to
the atmosphere, and carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases have a
warming effect on the planet. However there is considerable
disagreement about the most consequential issues: whether the warming
has been dominated by human causes versus natural variability, how much
the planet will warm in the 21st century, and whether warming is
Why do climate scientists disagree? The historical data is sparse
and inadequate. There is disagreement about the value of different
classes of evidence, notably the value of global climate models. There
is disagreement about the appropriate logical framework for linking and
assessing the evidence in this complex problem. Scientists disagree
over assessments of areas of ambiguity and ignorance. And finally,
belief polarization resulting from politicization of the science and
the IPCC's consensus building process contributes substantially to the
disagreement among scientists.
What is causing the warming?
The key conclusion of the 2013 IPCC AR5 Report \9\ is that it is
extremely likely that more than half of the warming since 1950 has been
caused by humans, and climate model simulations indicate that all of
this warming has been caused by humans.
Global surface temperature anomalies since 1850 are shown below.
Figure 1: Global surface temperature anomalies from the UK HadCRUT4
If the warming since 1950 was caused by humans, what caused the
warming during the period 1910--1945? The period 1910-1945 comprises
over 40 percent of the warming since 1900, but is associated with only
10 percent of the carbon dioxide increase since 1900. Clearly, human
emissions of greenhouse gases played little role in causing this early
warming. The mid-century period of slight cooling from 1945 to 1975--
referred to as the `grand hiatus', also has not been satisfactorily
Apart from these unexplained variations in 20th century
temperatures, there is evidence that the global climate has been
warming overall for the past 200 years, or even longer. While
historical data becomes increasingly sparse in the 19th century, the
Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature Project has assembled the available
temperature data over land, back to 1750:
Figure 2: Global land surface temperature anomalies since 1750,
smoothed with a 10 year filter \10\.
\10\ Rohde et al., Geoinfor Geostat: An Overview 2013, 1:1 http://
The Berkeley Earth analysis shows a warming trend back to 1800,
with considerable variability around the turn of the 19th century. Some
of this variability around the turn of the 19th century can be
attributed to large volcanic eruptions; this was also the time of the
Dalton solar activity minimum (1791-1825). Paleoclimate reconstructions
of Northern Hemisphere climate--such as from tree rings and boreholes--
indicate that overall warming may have occurred for the past 300-400
years.\11\ Humans contributed little if anything to this early global
graphics/, Figure 5.7
What is the global warming hiatus, and why does it matter?
The warming hiatus, or `pause', reflects a slowdown of the rate of
warming in the early 21st century, relative to the rapid rate of
warming in the last quarter of the 20th century. The 2013 IPCC AR5
Report \12\ made the following statement: ``the rate of warming over
the past 15 years . . . is smaller than the rate calculated since
The significance of a reduced rate of warming since 1998 is that
during this period, 25 percent of human emissions of carbon dioxide
have occurred. Most significantly, the observed rate of warming in the
early 21st century was slower than climate model predictions. The
growing discrepancy between climate model predictions and the
observations has raised serious questions about the climate models that
are being used as the basis for national and international energy and
There has been a raging debate in recent months surrounding a new
global temperature data set published by NOAA.\13\ The new data set
finds more warming in recent decades than other global surface
temperature data sets. Media headlines touted the conclusion that
science now shows that the recent hiatus in warming never existed.
Other headlines accused NOAA of fiddling with the climate data to erase
the warming hiatus.
As NOAA's new land temperature data set did not become publicly
available until last month, independent scientists have not yet had the
chance to fully assess or understand the new data set. The differences
during the recent hiatus period between the new NOAA surface
temperature data set and the other data sets is illustrated below.
Figure 3: Global surface temperature anomalies since 1995, for four
different data sets. Figure courtesy of Robert Rohde of the Berkeley
Earth Surface Temperature Project
The new NOAA temperatures (red curve) are somewhat colder prior to
2007, and warmer since 2012. The largest discrepancies with other data
sets are in the ocean data. Scientists are working to understand the
reasons for these discrepancies. The trend of the new NOAA dataset of
0.1+C per decade for the period 1998-2014 is more than 50 percent
larger than the trend of some of the other data sets. However, even the
larger NOAA trend is at the bottom of the IPCC AR5 climate model
projections for the early 21st century warming of 0.11 to 0.43 +C per
The warming hiatus is most clearly revealed in the global satellite
data sets of lower atmospheric temperature (Figure 4). Scientists
disagree on the reasons for the discrepancies between the variations of
surface temperature and the lower atmospheric temperatures. The
presence of El Nino and La Nina events compounds the difficulty in
Figure 4: Lower atmospheric temperature anomalies determined from
satellite, for two different analyses. Figure courtesy of Roy Spencer,
University of Alabama Huntsville.
The U.S. media touted 2014 as the `warmest year' in the historical
record; however, given the uncertainties in the analyses, 2014 was in a
statistical tie with 2010 and 2005. The UK dataset HadCRU, with perhaps
a more realistic assessment of uncertainties, found 2014 to rank among
the top 10 warmest years, all of which are since 1998. While the recent
decade is the warmest in history, the ties for warmest year further
reflect a plateau in the warming.
Scientists working with the global surface temperature datasets
have predicted an 85 percent probability that 2015 will be the warmest
year on record.\15\ Declarations of `warmest year' are already being
made, before the end of the year, presumably to support the current UN
climate negotiations in Paris. However, scientists working with the
satellite data of lower atmospheric temperatures do not foresee 2015 as
being among the warmest years.
Scientists continue to investigate the reasons for discrepancies
among the data sets. It will likely be 5 years into the future before
we have the perspective to identify whether the warming hiatus has
ended with a resumption of a more rapid rate of warming, or whether the
warming in 2015 from the large El Nino event will be followed by
several cool years, as is often the case following El Nino events.
The oceans: sea ice and sea level rise
Among the greatest public concerns about climate change are sea
level rise and melting of the polar ice. However, unless the recent
changes are put in context with historical variations and an
understanding of natural variability, it is easy to erroneously infer
that any recent change is caused by humans.
The IPCC AR5 SPM \16\ reports the following trends in sea ice:
``[T]he annual Arctic sea ice extent decreased over the period
1979-2012: the rate of this decrease was very likely between
3.5 and 4.1 percent per decade
``It is very likely that the annual Antarctic sea ice extent
increased at a rate of between 1.2 and 1.8 percent per decade
between 1979 and 2012.
Below are satellite observations of sea ice variability through
early December 2015.
Figure 5. Sea ice extent anomalies from 1979 to present.
With regards to the most recent sea ice variability: since 2013,
Arctic sea ice is recovering from its summertime minima during the
period 2007-2012. Notably, Arctic sea ice volume (a metric that
combines both horizontal extent and ice thickness) shows a continuing
increase since 2012.\17\ During 2014, Antarctic sea ice set a
wintertime maximum record; whereas during 2015, the Antarctic sea ice
extent has declined owing to the El Nino event.
Regarding the causes of the recent variations in sea ice, the AR5
Chapter 10 \18\ states:
``Anthropogenic forcings are very likely to have contributed to
Arctic sea ice loss since 1979. There is low confidence in the
scientific understanding of the observed increase in Antarctic
sea ice extent since 1979, due to the incomplete and competing
scientific explanations for the causes of change and low
confidence in estimates of internal variability.''
``Arctic temperature anomalies in the 1930s were apparently as
large as those in the 1990s and 2000s. There is still
considerable discussion of the ultimate causes of the warm
temperature anomalies that occurred in the Arctic in the 1920s
The IPCC AR5 states that the increase in Antarctic sea ice is not
understood and is not simulated correctly by climate models. Further,
Arctic surface temperature anomalies in the 1930s were nearly as large
as the recent temperature anomalies, and hence the IPCC uses the weak
phrase `contributed to' in reference to anthropogenic influences on
Arctic sea ice.
A recent paper by Swart et al.\19\ emphasized that internal climate
variability can mask or enhance human-induced sea-ice loss on
timescales ranging from years to decades or even a century. A recent
paper by Zhang \20\ clarifies the natural fluctuations that influence
Arctic sea ice loss--heat transported by the Atlantic and Pacific, and
wind patterns over the Arctic that drive sea ice out from the central
Arctic, where it melts in the North Atlantic. In particular, the recent
cooling in the high latitudes of the North Atlantic is associated with
the current recovery of the sea ice in the Atlantic sector.
\19\ Swart et al 2015 Influence of internal variability on Arctic
sea-ice trends, Nature climate Change, 5, Pages: 86-89 DOI:
\20\ Zhang, R. 2015. Mechanisms for low-frequency variability of
summer Arctic sea ice extent, Proceedings of the National Academy of
Wyatt and Curry (2014) interpret the multi-decadal natural
variability component of the Arctic sea ice in context of a `stadium
wave'.\21\ The stadium wave is a hypothesized low-frequency climate
signal propagating across the Northern Hemisphere, whose tempo is set
by the multidecadal component of Atlantic Ocean variability--the
Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation. Sea ice in the Eurasian Arctic shelf
region, where sea ice is uniquely exposed to open ocean in the Northern
Hemisphere, bridges communication between the ocean and atmosphere that
sustains propagation of the hemispheric signal. Ocean-ice-atmosphere
coupling spawns a sequence of positive and negative feedbacks that
convey persistence and quasi-oscillatory features to the signal.
Further stabilizing the system are anomalies of co-varying Pacific-
centered atmospheric circulations. The stadium wave hypothesis suggests
that a transition to recovery of the natural variability component of
the sea ice extent has begun in the European Arctic sector, and that
the recovery will reach its maximum extent circa 2040.
\21\ Wyatt, MG and JA Curry, 2013: Role for Eurasian Arctic shelf
sea ice in a secularly varying hemispheric climate signal during the
20th century. Climate Dynamics, http://curryja
Clearly, there is a lot going on with respect to variability in
Arctic and Antarctic sea ice that cannot be explained solely by warming
from human-caused greenhouse gases. Climate models do not simulate
correctly the ocean heat transport and its variations. Scientists do
not agree on the explanation for the increasing Antarctic sea ice
extent, and the key issue as to whether human-caused warming is the
dominant cause of the recent Arctic sea ice loss remains unresolved.
Nevertheless, the IPCC AR5 concluded:
``[I]t is very likely that the Arctic sea ice cover will
continue to shrink and thin all year round during the 21st
century. It is also likely that the Arctic Ocean will become
nearly ice-free in September before the middle of the century
More convincing arguments regarding causes of recent sea ice
variations in both hemispheres are required before placing any
confidence in projections of future changes in Arctic sea ice cover.
Sea level rise
The IPCC AR5 SPM \22\ makes the following statements regarding
global sea level rise:
``Over the period 1901-2010, global mean sea level rose by 0.19
[0.17 to 0.21] m'' [about 7-8 inches]
``It is very likely that the mean rate of global averaged sea
level rise was 1.7 [1.5 to 1.9] mm yr-1 between 1901
and 2010 . . . and 3.2 [2.8 to 3.6] mm yr-1 between
1993 and 2010. It is likely that similarly high rates occurred
between 1920 and 1950.''
The rate of global mean sea level rise as portrayed in the IPCC AR5
is shown in Figure 6 below.
Figure 6. 18-year trends of global mean sea level rise estimated at
1-year intervals. The time is the start date of the 18-year period, and
the shading represents the 90 percent confidence. The estimate from
satellite altimetry is also given, with the 90 percent confidence given
as an error bar. [AR5 WGI Figure 3.14] \23\
The IPCC AR5 then concludes:
``It is very likely that there is a substantial contribution
from anthropogenic forcings to the global mean sea level rise
since the 1970s.''
Global sea level has been rising for the past several thousand
years. The key issue is whether the rate of sea level rise is
accelerating owing to anthropogenic global warming. It is seen that the
rate of rise during 1920-1950 was comparable to, if not larger than,
the value in recent years (a period contributing less than 10 percent
of the human caused CO2 emissions since 1900). Hence the
data does not seem to support the IPCC's conclusion of a substantial
contribution from anthropogenic forcings to the global mean sea level
rise since the 1970s.
The IPCC AR5 then makes the following projections regarding sea
``Under all RCP scenarios the rate of sea level rise will very
likely exceed that observed during 1971-2010 due to increased
ocean warming and increased loss of mass from glaciers and ice
``For RCP8.5, the rise by the year 2100 is 0.52 to 0.98 m [20
to 38 inches], with a rate during 2081-2100 of 8 to16 mm/yr
(medium confidence). These ranges are derived from CMIP5
climate projections in combination with process-based models
and literature assessment of glacier and ice sheet
So, for a warming since 1900 that is approaching 1 +C, we have been
unable to identify an unambiguous signal of human-caused sea level rise
that exceeds the signal from natural variability (as evidenced by the
large rates of sea level rise from 1920 to 1950). The extreme emissions
scenario (RCP8.5) projects a sea level increase of 20 to 38 inches by
the end of the 21st century; for the more realistic emissions scenario
RCP6.0, the projected sea level rise is 13 to 25 inches. These
projections were obtained using the same CMIP5 models that are arguably
running too hot in their temperature projections, perhaps by a factor
The largest concern about a potential catastrophic sea level rise
is the possible collapse of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS). The
IPCC AR5 decided that there was insufficient evidence to make an
assessment any more precise than the sea level rise contribution from
WAIS ``would not exceed several tenths of a metre'' by the end of the
21st century. A recent paper in Nature \24\ predicts that WAIS
instability will most likely contribute 10 cm sea level rise by the end
of the 21st century but is extremely unlikely to contribute more than
A recent paper \25\ published by NASA scientists found that overall
mass gains of the Antarctic ice sheet exceed losses, and that the
growing accumulation of snow over Antarctic is decreasing global sea
level by 0.23 mm/yr. This finding is in contrast to the IPCC AR5
conclusion that Antarctica was adding 0.27 mm/yr to sea level rise. The
issues surrounding the current and potential future contributions of
Antarctica to sea level rise continue to be debated.
The essential issue regarding sea level rise is that any dangers
are local. Global warming (whether natural or anthropogenic) is only
one factor that influences local sea level rise: other factors are
geological sinking/rising, ground water withdrawal, and river and
coastal engineering. Nearly all locales where sea level rise is
regarded as dangerous have rates of sea level rise that far exceed the
global rate of 3 mm/yr--U.S. examples \26\ are the Louisiana coast
(9.03 mm/yr) and Chesapeake Bay (6.02 mm/yr), and Bangladesh sea level
is rising at a rate of 10.7 mm/yr \27\. A recent study by New Zealand
scientists \28\ found that 18 of 29 atoll islands in the tropical
Pacific have actually grown over the past 60 years, in the presence of
rising sea levels.
Anthropogenic climate change is a theory in which the basic
mechanism is well understood, but whose potential magnitude is highly
uncertain. What does the preceding analysis imply for IPCC's `extremely
likely' attribution of anthropogenically caused warming since 1950?
1. After expecting a global mean surface temperature increase of 0.2
+C per decade in the early decades of the 21st century based on
climate model simulations and statements in the 2007 IPCC AR4
Report \29\, the rate of warming since 1998 is only 0.065 +C
per decade (HadCRUT4 data set) or 0.1 +C per decade (new NOAA
2. There have been large magnitude variations in global/hemispheric
climate on timescales of 30 years, which are the same duration
as the late 20th century warming. The IPCC does not have
convincing explanations for previous 30 year periods in the
20th century, notably the warming 1910-1945 and the grand
3. There is a secular warming trend at least since 1800 (and
possibly as long as 400 years), that cannot be explained by
CO2, and is only partly explained by volcanic
The combination of these three points substantially reduces the
confidence that we should place in the IPCC's attribution of warming
since 1950 to human causes.
With regards to the multidecadal variations, a recent paper by Tung
and Zhou \30\ argue that a natural multidecadal oscillation of an
average period of 70 years with significant amplitude of 0.3-0.4+C is
superimposed on the secular warming trend, which accounts for 40
percent of the observed warming since the mid-20th century. Tung and
Zhou identify this oscillation with the Atlantic Multidecadal
Oscillation (AMO), although the stadium wave \31\ suggests a more
complex multidecadal signal. The stadium wave provides a common
explanation for both the mid 20th century warming hiatus (1945-1975)
and the 21st century warming hiatus (since 1998). These oscillations
are strongly reflected also in Arctic temperatures, Arctic sea ice
extent and Greenland melting.
\30\ Tung, KK and J Zhou, 2013: Using data to attribute episodes of
warming and cooling in instrumental records. PNAS http://www.pnas.org/
\31\ Wyatt, MG and JA Curry 2014: Role for Eurasian Arctic shelf
sea ice in a secularly varying hemispheric climate signal during the
20th century. Climate Dynamics, 42, 2763-2782. http://judithcurry.com/
What could be the cause of a 200--400 year period of secular
warming? The obvious places to look are to the sun and the ocean. Ocean
circulation patterns influence climate also on century to millennial
time scales. Sun-climate connections are receiving renewed interest, as
evidenced by the National Academies Workshop Report ``The Effects of
Solar Variability on Earth's Climate''.\32\ Understanding and
explaining the climate variability over the past 400 years, prior to
1950, has received far too little attention. Without this
understanding, we should place little confidence in the IPCC's
explanations of warming since 1950--it is too easy to get the `right'
answer for the wrong reasons.
Whither the 21st century climate?
The IPCC has made dire predictions that we can expect 4 +C or more
of warming by the end of the 21st century if carbon dioxide emissions
are not reduced. The climate models making these predictions are the
same models that predicted too much warming in the early 21st century,
and do not reproduce the warming from 1910-1945 or the mid 20th century
grand hiatus. Further, the global climate models cannot predict future
major volcanic eruptions or solar cycles, and do not adequately predict
the long-term oscillations in the ocean.
Arguments for lower values of climate sensitivity to CO2
Human-caused warming depends not only on increases in greenhouse
gases but also on how `sensitive' the climate is to these increases.
Climate sensitivity is defined as the global surface warming that
occurs when the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere
doubles. If climate sensitivity is high, then we can expect substantial
warming in the coming century as emissions continue to increase. If
climate sensitivity is low, then future warming will be substantially
The equilibrium climate sensitivity (ECS) is defined as the change
in global mean surface temperature that is caused by a doubling of the
atmospheric CO2 concentration, allowing sufficient time for
the climate to equilibrate. Table 1 compares the values of ECS
determined by: the IPCC AR4 (2007)\33\, the IPCC AR5 (2013)\34\, the
CMIP5 climate models cited in the IPCC AR5 (2013)\35\, the
observational analysis of Lewis and Curry (2014)\36\ and the update by
Lewis (2015)\37\ with lower aerosol forcing, and the U.S. IWG \38\
(used to determine the social cost of carbon).
\36\ Lewis, N. and J.A. Curry, (2014) The implications for climate
sensitivity of AR5 forcing and heat uptake. Climate Dynamics http://
Table 1: Values of equilibrium climate sensitivity (ECS) (C)
Estimate 5th pctile 95th pctile
IPCC AR4 (2007) 3.0 1.5 --
IPCC AR5 (2013) -- 1.0 6.0*
CMIP5 models (2013) 3.22 2.1 4.7
Lewis & Curry (2014) 1.64 1.05 4.05
Lewis (2015) 1.45 1.05 2.2
US IWG 3.0 1.72 7.14
There are marked differences between the values of ECS determined
by the IPCC AR5 versus the AR4. The nominal lower bound (5th
percentile) has dropped from 1.5 +C (AR4) to 1.0 +C (AR5). The AR5
finds values of ECS exceeding 6+C to be very unlikely (90th
percentile), whereas the AR4 did not have sufficient confidence to
identify an upper bound at this confidence level. It is also
significant that the AR5 does not cite a `best estimate', whereas the
AR4 cites a best estimate of 3 +C. The stated reason for not citing a
best estimate in the AR5 is the substantial discrepancy between
observation-based estimates of ECS (lower), versus estimates from
climate models (higher).
Lewis and Curry (2014) found values of ECS approximately half that
determined from the CMIP5 climate models. Using an observation-based
energy balance approach, our calculations used the same data (including
uncertainties) for changes in greenhouse gases, aerosols and other
drivers of climate change given by the IPCC AR5. Our range for ECS is
much narrower, with far lower upper limits, than reported by the IPCC
AR5. Recent papers by Skeie et al \39\ and Masters \40\ also find
comparably low values of ECS.
\39\ Skeie, R. B., T. Berntsen, M. Aldrin, M. Holden, and G. Myhre,
2014. A lower and more constrained estimate of climate sensitivity
using updated observations and detailed radiative forcing time series.
Earth System Dynamics, 5, 139-175.
\40\ Masters, T., 2013. Observational estimates of climate
sensitivity from changes in the rate of ocean heat uptake and
comparison to CMIP5 models. Climate Dynamics, doi:101007/s00382-013-
The latest research suggests even lower values of the equilibrium
climate sensitivity. The greatest uncertainty in ECS estimates is
accounting for the effects of small aerosol particles in the
atmosphere, which have a cooling effect on the climate (partially
counteracting the greenhouse warming). A new paper by Stevens \41\
constrains the impact of aerosols on climate to be significantly
smaller than assumed in the IPCC AR5. Nicholas Lewis has re-run the
calculations used in Lewis and Curry (2014) using aerosol impact
estimates in line with Stevens' paper.\42\ Most significantly, the
upper bound (95th percentile) is lowered to 2.2 +C (Table 1).
\41\ Stevens, B (2015) Rethinking the lower bound on aerosol
forcing. J. Climate, http://journals.ametsoc.org/doi/abs/10.1175/JCLI-
\42\ Lewis, N, (2015) Implications of lower aerosol forcing for
climate sensitivity. http://judithcurry.com/2015/03/19/implications-of-
At the recent international Workshop on Earth's Climate
Sensitivity,\43\ concerns were raised about the upper end of the Lewis
and Curry sensitivity being too low, owing to uncertainties in ocean
heat uptake. Many of the climate model simulations used for the AR5
(CMIP5) are using values of aerosol forcing that are now known to be
far too high. Climate model simulations that are re-assessed and re-
calibrated to account for smaller values of aerosol forcing can be used
to clarify the upper bound of ECS. In a presentation at the Workshop,
IPCC lead author Bjorn Stevens \44\ argued for an upper bound to ECS of
3.5 +C based on analyses of climate models. Research continues to
assess the methods used to estimate climate sensitivity. However, the
reduced estimates of aerosol cooling lead inescapably to reductions in
the estimated upper bound of climate sensitivity.
The discrepancy between observational and climate model-based
estimates of climate sensitivity is substantial and of significant
importance to policymakers--equilibrium climate sensitivity, and the
level of uncertainty in its value, is a key input into the economic
models that drive cost-benefit analyses and estimates of the social
cost of carbon. In spite of the IPCC AR5 assessment (where a `best
value' was not given) and this recent research on climate sensitivity,
economists calculating the social cost of carbon and the impacts of
emissions reductions on climate continue to use the `best value' of ECS
= 3 +C determined by the 2007 IPCC AR4 Report.
A particularly egregious example of this is the U.S. Social Cost of
Carbon,\45\ prepared by the InterAgency Working Group (IWG). In May
2013, the IWG produced an updated social cost of carbon model. However,
the IWG did not update the equilibrium climate sensitivity (ECS)
employed in the models, and this decision was reaffirmed by the IWG in
July 2015. The values of ECS used by the U.S. IWG (Table 1) have lower
and upper bounds that are indefensible in context of the IPCC values
and most particularly in light of the recent research. The 95th
percentile value is of particular importance, since the tail values of
ECS drive the social cost of carbon.
In summary, there is a great deal of uncertainty in the values of
climate sensitivity, and this is an active area of research. There is
growing evidence in the published literature and recent assessments and
workshops that a sensitivity of 1.0 +C is the appropriate lower bound
to use in a 5 to 95 percentile range, and there is decreasing support
for values of equilibrium climate sensitivity above 3.5+C. Not only are
the U.S. IWG sensitivity values much higher than values suggested by
the latest research, but the U.S. IWG values are indefensible even in
context of both the IPCC AR4 and AR5 reports. The end result is that
misleading values of the social cost of carbon being used to drive U.S.
climate and energy policy.
Climate change in the 21st century
Chapter 11 of the IPCC AR5 Report \46\ focused on near term climate
change, through 2035. Figure 7 compares climate model projections with
recent observations of global surface temperature anomalies.
Figure 7. Comparison of CMIP5 climate model simulations of global
surface temperature anomalies with observations through 2014
(HadCRUT4). Updated from Figure 11.25 of the IPCC AR5, to include
observations through 2014. http://www.climate-lab-book.ac.uk/comparing-
The observed global temperatures for the past decade are at the
bottom bound of the 5-95 percent envelope of the CMIP5 climate model
simulations. Overall, the trend in the climate model simulations is
substantially larger than the observed trend over the past 15 years.
Regarding projections for the period 2015-2035, the 5-95 percent
range for the trend of the CMIP5 climate model simulations is 0.11+C-
0.41 +C per decade. The IPCC then cites `expert judgment' as the
rationale for lowering the projections (indicated by the red hatching
in Figure 7):
``However, the implied rates of warming over the period from
1986-2005 to 2016-2035 are lower as a result of the hiatus:
0.10+C-0.23+C per decade, suggesting the AR4 assessment was
near the upper end of current expectations for this specific
This lowering of the projections relative to the results from the
raw CMIP5 model simulations was done based on expert judgment that some
models are too sensitive to anthropogenic forcing.
Multi-decadal ocean oscillations play a dominant role in
determining climate on decadal timescales. The Atlantic Multidecadal
Oscillation (AMO) is currently in its warm phase, with a shift to the
cool phase expected to occur sometime in the 2020s.\47\ Climate models,
even when initialized with ocean data, have a difficult time simulating
the amplitude and phasing of the ocean oscillations. In a paper that I
coauthored, we found that most of CMIP5 climate models, when
initialized with ocean data, show some skill out to 10 years in
simulating the AMO.\48\ Tung and Zhou \49\ argue that not taking the
AMO into account in predictions of future warming under various forcing
scenarios may run the risk of over-estimating the warming for the next
two to three decades, when the AMO is likely in its cool phase.
\49\ Tung, KK and J Zhou, 2013: Using data to attribute episodes of
warming and cooling in instrumental records. PNAS http://www.pnas.org/
Projections for the year 2100
Climate model projections of global temperature change at the end
of the 21st century are driving international negotiations on
CO2 emissions reductions, under the auspices of the UN
Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).\50\ Figure 8 shows
climate model projections of 21st century warming. RCP8.5 reflects an
extreme scenario of increasing emissions of greenhouse gases, whereas
RCP2.6 is a scenario where emissions peak around 2015 and are rapidly
Figure 8: Figure SPM.7 of the IPCC AR5 WG1. CMIP5 multi-model
simulated time series from 1950 to 2100 for change in global annual
mean surface temperature relative to 1986-2005. Time series of
projections and a measure of uncertainty (shading) are shown for
scenarios RCP2.6 (blue) and RCP8.5 (red). Black (grey shading) is the
modelled historical evolution using historical reconstructed forcings.
The mean and associated uncertainties averaged over 2081-2100 are given
for all RCP scenarios as colored vertical bars.
Under the RCP8.5 scenario, the CMIP5 climate models project
continued warming through the 21st century that is expected to surpass
the `dangerous' threshold of 2+C warming as early as 2040. It is
important to note that the CMIP5 simulations only consider scenarios of
future greenhouse gas emissions--they do not include consideration of
scenarios of future volcanic eruptions, solar variability or long-term
oscillations in the ocean. Russian scientists \51\ argue that we can
expect a Grand Solar Minima (contributing to cooling) to peak mid 21st
\51\ Abdussamatov, H 2013: Current long-term negative energy
balance of the earth leads to the new little ice age. Journal of
Geology and Geophysics http://omicsgroup.org/journals/grand-minimum-of-
While the near-term temperature projections were lowered relative
to the CMIP5 simulations (Figure 7), the IPCC AR5 SPM \52\ states with
regards to extended-range warming:
WG1AR5_SPM_FINAL.pdf, Table SPM.2
``The likely ranges for 2046-2065 do not take into account the
possible influence of factors that lead to the assessed range
for near-term (2016-2035) global mean surface temperature
change that is lower than the 5-95 percent model range, because
the influence of these factors on longer term projections has
not been quantified due to insufficient scientific
There is a troubling internal inconsistency in the IPCC AR5 WG1
Report: the AR5 assesses substantial uncertainty in climate sensitivity
and substantially lowered their projections for 2016-2035 relative to
the climate model projections, versus the projections out to 2100 that
use climate models that are clearly running too hot. Even more
troubling is that the IPCC WG3 report--Mitigation of Climate Change--
conducted its entire analysis assuming a `best estimate' of equilibrium
climate sensitivity to be 3.0 +C.
The IPCC AR5 declined to select a `best estimate' for equilibrium
climate sensitivity, owing to discrepancies between climate model
estimates and observational estimates (that are about half the
magnitude of the climate model estimates). Hence the CMIP5 models
produce warming that is nominally twice as large as the lower values of
climate sensitivity would produce. No account is made in these
projections of 21st century climate change for the substantial
uncertainty in climate sensitivity that is acknowledged by the IPCC.
Impact of reductions in CO2 emissions
The current negotiations in Paris under the auspices of the UNFCCC
COP21 are aimed at reducing emissions so as to avoid `dangerous' human
interference with climate change.\53\ The definition of `dangerous' has
been rather arbitrarily set at 2+C warming since pre-industrial
The world's nations have recently submitted to the UNFCCC their
Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs).\55\ Economists
are beginning to assess the impact that these INDCs will have on the
climate by the end of the 21st century. Danish economist Bjorn Lomborg
recently published a paper \56\ that assesses the impact of the climate
policies implemented by 2030, and assuming these policies are extended
out to 2100. Lomborg concluded that an optimistic estimate (assuming
the targets are actually met) is that these emissions reductions would
prevent 0.17 +C of warming by the end of the 21st century. Lomborg's
estimate is consistent with a statement in the ``MIT Energy and Climate
Outlook 2015'' \57\ that projected about 0.2 +C less warming by the end
of the 21st century.
\56\ Lomborg, B, 2015: Impact of Current Climate Proposals, Global
The second, longer-term reduction commitments (e.g., 80 percent
reduction in both U.S. and EU emissions by 2050) were not included in
Lomborg's analysis, because he regarded promises of what will happen in
2050 to be not as much actual policies but political hand waving. The
International Energy Agency has issued a report \58\ that estimated
that full implementation of the path set by the global INDCs would be
consistent with a global average temperature increase of 2.7+C by 2100.
Other estimates \59\ range higher, up 3.5 +C, although none of these
estimates are documented in detail or published in a refereed journal.
The bottom line is that all of these estimates from climate models are
far from achieving the desired objective of keeping the warming below 2
All of these estimates are being conducted using the MAGICC climate
model,\60\ which allows specification of the value of equilibrium
climate sensitivity. MAGICC's default value of ECS is 3 +C, and this
number has become so ingrained that you see many analyses that do not
even cite the value of ECS that was used.
Of particular note is a recent paper by Japanese economists Yoichi
Kaya, Mitsutune Yamaguchi and Keigo Akimoto entitled ``The uncertainty
of climate sensitivity and its implications for the Paris
negotiations''.\61\ The key conclusion from their paper:
\61\ Kaya et al., 2015: The uncertainty of climate sensitivity and
its implication for the Paris negotiations. Sustainability Science
``The outcome of our model shows global total emissions under
major countries' INDCs in 2030 will not be on track to attain
the 2 C target if climate sensitivity is 3 C. On the other
hand, if climate sensitivity is 2.5 C, and if we allow a
temporal overshoot of 580 ppmCO2-eq, that the 2 C
target is still within reach''.
If ECS is even lower, below 2 +C, then it is even easier to stay
below the 2 +C `danger' level. Further, for lower values of ECS, the
planned emissions reductions will have an even smaller impact on
temperatures in 2100. Policy makers meeting in Paris seem not to
realize that there is large uncertainty in the values of equilibrium
climate sensitivity, and that there is growing evidence in support of
The IPCC's projections of 21st century climate change explicitly
assume that CO2 is the control knob on global climate.
Climate model projections of the 21st century climate are not
convincing because of:
Failure to predict the early 21st century hiatus in surface
Inability to simulate the patterns and timing on
multidecadal ocean oscillations
Lack of account for future solar variations and solar
indirect effects on climate
Apparent oversensitivity to increases in greenhouse gases
There is growing evidence that climate models are running too hot
and that climate sensitivity to CO2 is on the lower end of
the range provided by the IPCC--this is acknowledged in the IPCC AR5.
Nevertheless, these lower values of climate sensitivity are not
accounted for in IPCC's projections of temperature at the end of the
21st century or in estimates of the impact on temperatures of reducing
While there is increasing evidence that the threat from human
caused warming in the 21st century is overstated, the level of
uncertainty is such that the possibly of dangerous human caused climate
change remains. However, if the threat is not overstated by the IPCC,
there are major shortfalls in solutions proposed by the UN, whereby
proposed emissions reductions, even if actually successfully
implemented, are insufficient to prevent what they regard as dangerous
The broken social contract between climate science and society
Working through Congress, the public has been generous with its
funding for climate and the related sciences. However, recent stresses
have frayed the fabric of the social contract between climate
scientists and society.\62\ Unfortunately, many climate scientists have
responded by resorting to advocacy, both for increasing funding levels
and for specific policies related to energy and climate. Even worse,
too many climate scientists have abandoned any pretense at
nonpartisanship and objectivity.
\62\ Hooke, W. 2015: Reaffirming the social contract between
science and society. https://eos.org/opinions/reaffirming-the-social-
Scientists advocating for CO2 emissions reductions is
becoming the default, expected position for climate scientists; an
example is this Huffington Post editorial ``Curry Advocates Against
Action on Climate Change'' \63\ that was signed by five climate
scientists. This op-ed was a response to my arguments for values of
climate sensitivity being on the low end of the IPCC spectrum. I am
neither advocating for or against `action' in terms of reducing
CO2 emissions. My writings on the policy response to climate
change \64\ address frameworks for decision making under deep
uncertainty, including robust decision making and the concepts of
resilience and anti-fragility.
In their efforts to promote their `cause,' the scientific
establishment behind the global warming issue has been drawn into the
trap of seriously understating the uncertainties associated with the
climate problem. This behavior risks destroying science's reputation
for honesty and objectivity--without this objectivity and honesty,
scientists become regarded as merely another lobbyist group.
The biases of individuals are not an impediment to scientific
progress if scholarly institutions work to counteract the errors and
flaws of scientific research. A fair process of peer review and
vigorous post-publication peer debate will quickly identify the most
obvious errors and biases. Researchers having different perspectives
(including their values and political identities) will conduct their
own research and obtain opposing results, and the field will gradually
sort out the truth.
This system works unless the institutions that support science--the
professional societies that publish journals, organize conference and
confer honors--are themselves biased. Nearly all of the relevant
professional societies have issued policy statements about climate
change, including statements such as `Human-Induced Climate Change
Requires Urgent Action' \65\ and `call to support actions that will
reduce the emissions.' \66\ Even more egregious is overt advocacy by
journal editors, notably Marcia McNutt (editor of Science), who
recently published this statement in an opinion piece in Science \67\:
``The time for debate has ended. Action is urgently needed.'' Such
official statements from the professional societies provide journal
editors with a license to reject papers that challenge the consensus.
An even more insidious problem is when there is not a critical mass
of scientists who think differently or who shrink from speaking up
because they expect ostracism in response. Minority perspectives on
climate science are effectively being squeezed out of the universities,
and dissenting individuals choose to join the private sector, retire,
join think tanks, or switch research topics. Climate science that
dissents from the consensus is increasingly being relegated to retired
professors and self-supported individuals from other fields, who are
asking important questions that aren't `relevant' to government
research funding priorities.
While concerns about the behaviors and motives of scientists and
the institutions that support science are well founded, the other side
of the social contract is at least equally problematical. President
Obama's administration is using climate science to support his
political agenda, and is actively discouraging disagreement through
consensus enforcement, e.g., ``Call Out The Climate Deniers.'' \68\ So
under the current administration, the social contract for climate
science seems to be: support the consensus and promote alarmism, and
you will receive plenty of research funding.
The potential for Federal funding to bias science is discussed in
this recent report.\69\ From my perspective, here is how research
funding motivates what is going on. `Success' to individual
researchers, particularly at the large state universities, is driven by
research dollars--big lab spaces, high salaries, institutional
prestige, and career advancement. At the Program Manager level within a
funding agency, `success' is reflected in growing the size of their
program (e.g., more funding) and having some high profile results
(e.g., press releases). At higher levels, Divisional administrators are
competing for budget dollars against the other Divisions; tying their
research to a national policy priority helps in this competition. At
the agency level, `success' is reflected in growing, or at least
preserving, the agency's budget. Aligning yourself, your program, your
agency with the current political imperatives is a key to `success'.
It is very difficult to obtain Federal research funding for
dissenting science. Difficulty in the peer review process is only part
of the problem. One problem is reflected in an e-mail \70\ I recently
received from a scientist employed at NASA:
``I was at a small meeting of NASA-affiliated scientists and
was told by our top manager that he was told by his NASA boss
that we should not try to publish papers contrary to the
current global warming claims, because he (the NASA boss) would
then have a headache countering the ``undesirable''
I hesitate somewhat to call out the NASA leadership here, since I
think the bigger problems are with the NOAA leadership. The biggest
problem, however, is that the call for proposals from the Federal
funding agencies (notably NASA and NOAA) make an implicit assumption of
the dominance of human caused global warming in the topics for which
they are requesting research proposals.
Something is clearly wrong with the current contract between
climate scientists and society that is biasing the science and breeding
scientists who are advocates, partisans and alarmist. And the taxpayer
foots the bill. How can we press the `reset button' on all this?
First, we need to recognize that the politically driven push to
manufacture a premature consensus on human caused climate change is
biasing climate research, and in particular is resulting in the
relative neglect of research on natural climate variability. Until we
have a better understanding and predictive capability of natural
climate variability, we don't have a strong basis for predicting the
climate in the decades or century to come.
Second, we need to break the `knowledge monopoly' \71\ in climate
science--the IPCC. As a result of this knowledge monopoly, there is
insufficient intellectual and political diversity in assessments about
climate change. To break this monopoly, we need to identify new
frameworks for encouraging, publishing and publicizing independent
ideas and assessments.
And finally, we need to find ways to fund a broader spectrum of
research that challenges the politically preferred outcomes.
Professor, School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences
Georgia Institute of Technology
Atlanta, GA 30332-0349
Dr. Judith Curry is Professor and former Chair of the School of
Earth and Atmospheric Sciences at the Georgia Institute of Technology
and President of Climate Forecast Applications Network (CFAN). Dr.
Curry received a Ph.D. in atmospheric science from the University of
Chicago in 1982. Prior to joining the faculty at Georgia Tech, she held
faculty positions at the University of Colorado, Penn State University
and Purdue University. Dr. Curry's research interests span a variety of
topics in climate; current interests include climate dynamics of the
Arctic; climate dynamics of extreme weather events; cloud microphysics;
and reasoning about climate uncertainty. She is a prominent public
spokesperson on issues associated with the integrity of climate
science, and is proprietor the weblog Climate Etc. judithcurry.com. Dr.
Curry has recently served on the NASA Advisory Council Earth Science
Subcommittee, the DOE Biological and Environmental Research Advisory
Committee, the National Academies Climate Research Committee and the
Space Studies Board, and the NOAA Climate Working Group. Dr. Curry is a
Fellow of the American Meteorological Society, the American Association
for the Advancement of Science, and the American Geophysical Union.
For more information:
Senator Cruz. Thank you very much, Dr. Curry.
STATEMENT OF WILLIAM HAPPER, Ph.D., CYRUS FOGG BRACKET
PROFESSOR OF PHYSICS, PRINCETON UNIVERSITY
Dr. Happer. My name is William Happer. I recently retired
from a career of 50 years of teaching physics at Princeton and
As the Chairman mentioned, I served as Director of Energy
Research, Office of Energy Research in Department of Energy
from 1990 to 1993. And among the other projects I supported
there was the Atmospheric Radiation Measurements Program, which
is still going strong with facilities all over the world to
measure basic climate data.
After leaving the Department of Energy, I served as
Princeton University's equivalent for vice president for
research from 1995 to 2005. I guess I am best known in the
scientific community for inventing the sodium guide star that
is used on all modern telescopes to compensate for atmospheric
turbulence. So I have been very involved with the atmosphere
for a very long time.
There is all this talk about carbon pollution, which, of
course, is meant carbon dioxide pollution, and I would like to
set the record straight that carbon dioxide is not a pollutant.
We are sitting in this room breathing out carbon dioxide at
40,000 parts per million with every breath.
We are fundamentally in a carbon dioxide famine,
geologically speaking, now. If you look at the geological
history of the Earth, most of the time CO2 levels
have been three times, four times what they are now. The Earth
was just fine then.
And in fact, at the present time, you know, many plants are
having a hard time performing as well as they are designed to
perform because the CO2 levels are too low, and the
oxygen levels are too high. I won't go into the details, but
there is not much dispute about that.
So the issue is not that CO2 is a pollutant. It
is actually very, very good for the world. The issue is what
will it do to temperature? And Dr. Christy very clearly showed
and a version of his display is reproduced here, which is a
figure from Nature magazine. It is peer reviewed. Nature is
anything but a skeptic journal.
But what it shows in dark bars are the predictions of
various climate models of how much warming there would be over
two time intervals, a 10-year interval, and a 20-year interval.
The red bar is what is observed, and you notice that the
observed warming is much, much less than the predictions of
Dr. Christy's chart was another version of that for the
atmosphere, the lower atmosphere, and this is actually for
surface data. But the message is the same for both sets of
data, that the climate models on the basis of which we are
making policy, do not work.
OK. So let me move on to the fact that CO2 is a
very important part of life on Earth.
This picture shows the greening of the planet from 1982 to
2010. And so this is satellite images of certain wavelength
bands that allow you to tell how much plant life there is, and
what you see is that over most of the Earth, contrary to what
you might have heard, is that the Earth is getting greener.
And this is also clear from crop yields. Crop yields are
going up. Some of that is fertilizer. Some of that is better
cropping practices. But a good fraction of it is
CO2, 15 percent of the increase in crop yields is
due to the 30 percent increase of CO2 we have had in
the past 100 years. So to call CO2 a pollutant is
just completely wrong-headed.
Now I would like to conclude by supporting Dr. Christy's
urging that we have a red team. I call it a Team B. Science is
often so complicated and controversial that unless you have
some adversarial process, you really can't be sure who is
So, for example, when I was at Department of Energy, I
didn't understand enough about nuclear weapons to know whether
Livermore was right or Los Alamos was right. But I knew I could
count on Livermore to catch any error in Los Alamos or vice
versa. That is the reason we had two labs. One could catch any
mistakes made by the other.
We don't have two labs for climate. We have one
organization, one world organization, the IPCC. And funding
agencies follow the IPCC dogma. I would like to argue very
strongly that we set aside some fraction of funding for climate
research that is not constrained to follow IPCC dogma.
If you have some proposed research that might show that
CO2 is not such a big problem, you should be able to
get funding. You shouldn't be last in line and turned away.
That is the way it is in many other areas of human life. Even
to become a saint in the Catholic Church, you have to pass a
contested trial with a devil's advocate. You can't be sainted
So every other region, every other aspect of human life has
an adversarial process. This is the only area I know of where
there is nothing adversarial in the science.
And so I would like to second Dr. Christy's request for a
red team. A Team B also would be a good idea to provide a
rigorous review of how well is science working. I know that
there was review of how well science works, that both Dr.
Christy and Dr. Curry took part in, by the American Physical
Society. They did very well, and the review represented both
sides of the debate. It was the only good review I know of. It
was organized by Dr. Steve Koonin.
And I noticed that when the list of organizations
supporting climate alarmism was read, the one that wasn't there
was the American Physical Society. Maybe that was an oversight.
I hope not. I hope it was partly due to Dr. Curry and Dr.
Christy because it was a very informative workshop.
So let me conclude my testimony here, and thank you very
much for the invitation.
[The prepared statement of Dr. Happer follows:]
Prepared Statement of William Happer
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I would like to express my thanks to Senator Cruz, Senator Thune,
Senator Nelson and other members of this committee for inviting me to
express my views at this hearing on climate science.
My name is William Happer. I recently retired from a career of over
fifty years teaching physics at Princeton and Columbia Universities. I
also served as the Director of the Office of Energy Research, now the
Office of Science, in the U.S. Department of energy from the years 1990
to 1993, where I was responsible for all the non-weapons basic research
of the Department of Energy. In addition to areas like high energy
physics, materials science, the human genome and others, I had
responsibility for DOE's work on climate science. During my time at
DOE, my office established the Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM)
Climate Research Facility, with remote sensing observatories all around
the world. The facility is still going strong and providing high
quality observational data on atmospheric physics.
After leaving DOE, I served as Princeton University's equivalent of
Vice President for Research from 1995 to 2005. I have published over
200 peer-reviewed scientific papers. Scientifically, I am probably best
known for having invented the sodium guide star, used by modern ground
based telescopes to remove much of the blurring of stellar images by
[GRAPHICS NOT AVAILABLE IN TIFF FORMAT]
Along with other witnesses at this hearing, I hope to correct some
misconceptions about the trace atmospheric gas, carbon dioxide or
CO2. In spite of the drumbeat of propaganda,
CO2 is not ``carbon pollution.'' As part of my written
testimony, I have submitted the document, Carbon Dioxide Benefits the
Word: See for Yourself. This document summarizes the view of the
CO2 Coalition, a distinguished group of scientists,
engineers, economists and others. The benefits that more
CO2 brings from increased agricultural yields and modest
warming far outweigh any harm.
The key issue here is the equilibrium climate sensitivity: how much
will the earth's surface eventually warm if the atmospheric
concentration of CO2 is doubled? This number has been
drifting steadily downward from a youthful Arrhenius's first estimate
of about 6 C to the estimate of the International Panel on Climate
change (IPCC) of 1.5 C to 4.5 C. Observations of very small warming
over the past 20 years suggest that the sensitivity is unlikely to be
larger than 2 C. There are credible estimates that the sensitivity
could be as small as 0.5 C.
[GRAPHICS NOT AVAILABLE IN TIFF FORMAT]
This slide shows that various mainstream climate models (the gray
bars) have predicted much more warming than observed (the red bars).
For full disclosure I add the warming predicted by me and my JASON
colleagues in our book, The Long-Term Impacts of Increasing Atmospheric
Carbon Dioxide Levels, edited by Gordon McDonald, Ballinger Publishing
Company, Cambridge, MA (1982). My colleagues and I also predicted far
too much warming. The models don't work. The most natural reason for
this is that they have assumed climate sensitivities that are much too
large. Most of the models in the figure use climate sensitivities of 3
C to 3.5 C.
[GRAPHICS NOT AVAILABLE IN TIFF FORMAT]
Few realize that the world has been in a CO2 famine for
millions of years, a long time for us, but a passing moment in
geological history. Over the past 550 million years since the Cambrian,
when abundant fossils first appeared in the sedimentary record,
CO2 levels have averaged many thousands of parts per million
(ppm) not today's few hundred ppm [R. A. Berner and C. Kothavala,
Geocarb: III, a revised model of atmospheric CO2 over the Phanerozoic
time, American Journal of Science, 301, 182 (2001). Pre-industrial
levels of 280 ppm (parts per million), are not that far above the
minimum level, around 150 ppm, when many plants die from CO starvation
[J. K. Dippery, D. T. Tissue, R. B. Thomas and B. R. Strain, Effects of
low and elevated CO2 levels on C3 and C4 annuals, Oecologia, 101, 13
Thousands of peer reviewed studies show that almost all plants grow
better (and land plants are more drought resistant) at atmospheric
CO2 that are two or three times larger than those today.
[GRAPHICS NOT AVAILABLE IN TIFF FORMAT]
This slide summarizes satellite measurements of vegetation changes
over the 28-year period from 1982 to 2010. The authors of the study
have tried to eliminate any influences rainfall changes or other
confounding factors during the measurement period. The earth is really
getting greener, and an important part of the reason is more
[GRAPHICS NOT AVAILABLE IN TIFF FORMAT]
For many decades the citizens of the USA and of much of the world
have been flooded with the message that CO2 is ``carbon
pollution.'' We are supposed to trust our government and selfless NGO's
for instructions on how to save the planet. Much of the message is
false, but its purveyors control key positions in the media, in the
government, in scientific societies, in charitable foundations etc.
This makes it difficult to get out the truth that climate science is
far from ``settled.'' To the extent it is settled, it indicates no
cause for alarm or for extreme measures. Indeed, a dispassionate
analysis of the science indicates that more CO2 will bring
benefits, not harm to the world.
The Congress could help by establishing a ``Team B'' to make a
dispassionate review of climate science, with sponsorship by the
[GRAPHICS NOT AVAILABLE IN TIFF FORMAT]
For credibility, it is essential that Team B be sponsored by the
Federal Government. Otherwise there would be vigorous attempts to
ignore any findings not considered politically correct, because the
team members would be said to be working directly or indirectly for
fossil fuel interests.
Carbon Dioxide Benefits the World: See for Yourself
This white paper summarizes the views of the
CO2 Coalition, a new and independent, non-profit
organization that seeks to engage thought leaders, policy makers, and
the public in an informed, dispassionate discussion of how our planet
will be affected by CO2 released from the combustion of
fossil fuel. Available scientific facts have persuaded Coalition
members that additional CO2 will be a net benefit. Rather
than immediately setting this document aside for promoting such a
politically incorrect view, readers would do well to act on the ancient
motto of Britain's prestigious Royal Society--nullius in verba, ``don't
take anyone's word for it,'' or more simply, ``see for yourself.''
Claims that ``97 percent of scientists'' agree that a climate
catastrophe is looming because of the emission of CO2 should
be greeted with skepticism. Traditional science has advanced by
comparing observations or experiments with theoretical predictions. If
there is agreement with theory, confidence in the theory is increased.
If there is disagreement, the theory is abandoned or it is modified and
tested again against observations.
Scientific truth has never been established by consensus, for
example, by ``97 percent agreement.'' History reveals many instances
when the scientific consensus of the day was later discredited. The
widespread embrace and practice of eugenics in the early 1900s;
opposition to the theory of plate tectonics in geology; and the
dominance of Lysenkoist biology in the Soviet bloc, are a few recent
examples. Given the frequency of mistaken consensus, citizens
everywhere should heed the Royal Society's motto and learn as much as
they can about how increasing CO2 levels in the atmosphere
will affect the planet.
Green plants grow faster with more CO2. Many also become
more drought-resistant because higher CO2 levels allow
plants to use water more efficiently. More abundant vegetation from
increased CO2 is already apparent. Satellite images reveal
significant greening of the planet in recent decades, especially at
desert margins, where drought resistance is critical. This remarkable
planetary greening is the result of a mere 30 percent increase of
CO2 from its preindustrial levels. Still higher
CO2 levels will bring still more benefits to agriculture.
Plants use energy from sunlight to fuse a molecule of
CO2 to a molecule of water, H2O, to form
carbohydrates. One molecule of oxygen O2 is released to the
air for each CO2 molecule removed. Biological machinery of
plants reworks the carbohydrate polymers into proteins, oils and other
molecules of life. Every living creature, from the blooming rose, to
the newborn baby, is made of carbon from former atmospheric
CO2 molecules. Long-dead plants used CO2 from
ancient atmospheres to produce most of the fossil fuels, coal, oil, and
natural gas that have transformed the life of most humans--moving from
drudgery and near starvation before the industrial revolution to the
rising potential for abundance today.
The fraction of the beneficial molecule CO2 in the
current atmosphere is tiny, about 0.04 percent by volume. This level is
about 30 percent larger than pre-industrial levels in 1800. But today's
levels are still much smaller than the levels, 0.20 percent or more,
that prevailed over much of geological history. CO2 levels
during the past tens of millions of years have been much closer to
starvation levels, 0.015 percent, when many plants die, than to the
much higher levels that most plants prefer.
Basic physics implies that more atmospheric CO2 will
increase greenhouse warming. However, atmospheric processes are so
complicated that the amount of warming cannot be reliably predicted
from first principles. Recent observations of the atmosphere and
oceans, together with geological history, point to very modest warming,
about 1 C (1.8 F) if atmospheric CO2 levels are doubled.
Observations also show no significant change in extreme weather,
tornadoes, hurricanes, floods, or droughts. Sea levels are rising at
about the same rate as in centuries past. A few degrees of warming will
have many benefits, longer growing seasons and less winter heating
expenses. And this will be in addition to major benefits to
More CO2 in the atmosphere is not an unprecedented
experiment with an unpredictable outcome. The Earth has done the
experiment many times in the geological past. Life flourished
abundantly on land and in the oceans at much larger
CO2 levels than those today. Responsible use of fossil
fuels, with cost-effective control of genuine pollutants like fly ash
or oxides of sulfur and nitrogen, will be a major benefit for the
Around the year 1861, John Tyndall, a prominent Irish physicist,
discovered that water vapor (H2O), carbon dioxide
(CO2), and many other molecular gases that are transparent
to visible light can absorb invisible heat radiation--such as that
given off by a warm tea kettle, the human body, or the Earth itself.
Tyndall recognized that water vapor is the dominant greenhouse gases in
the Earth's atmosphere, with CO2 a less important
Tyndall's discovery came as the combustion of coal in the
Industrial Revolution was beginning to release substantial amounts of
CO2. These emissions have coincided with a steady increase
of atmospheric CO2, from around 285 ppm (parts-per-million)
in the 1860s to around 400 ppm today.
Increased CO2 levels have likely produced some warming
of the Earth and will continue to do so in the future, although with
ever decreasing efficiency because of the ``logarithmic'' dependence of
warming on CO2 concentrations, an important detail discussed
more extensively below. At the same time, more CO2 will have
a hugely beneficial effect on agriculture, forests and plant growth in
general. The benefits of more CO2 will greatly exceed any
3. Key Findings
Mainstream warming forecasts have been wrong. Over the past two
decades, the global warming predicted by climate models has mostly
failed to materialize. The real ``equilibrium climate sensitivity''--
the amount of global warming to be expected for a doubling of
atmospheric CO2--is likely to be about three times smaller
than what the models have assumed. Observational data suggest that
doubling atmospheric CO2 levels will increase the surface
temperature by about 1 C, not the much larger values that were
originally assumed in mainstream models. Using these much smaller,
observationally based climate sensitivities, the projected warming from
continued use of fossil fuels will be moderate and benign for the
Negative effects of more CO2 have been exaggerated. Readily
available data from governmental and reliable non-governmental sources
confirm that extreme weather events in recent years have not occurred
more frequently or with greater intensity. Such data also refute claims
of ecologically damaging ocean acidification, accelerating sea-level
rises, and disappearing global sea ice and other alleged dangers. If
further observations confirm a small climate sensitivity, these
realities will not change.
Higher carbon-dioxide levels will be beneficial. CO2 is
an essential nutrient for land-based plants. The Earth's biosphere has
also experienced a relative CO2 famine for many millennia--
the recent increase in CO2 levels has thus had a measurable,
positive effect on plant life. Future CO2 increases will
boost agricultural productivity and improve drought resistance, thereby
bolstering food security and contributing to a greener, lusher planet.
4. Global Warming: The Neglected Facts
Most research that tries to project future climate has focused on
developing and applying complex computer models that attempt to
simulate the Earth's climate system. These models have sought to
explain past climate and have been used to calculate various future
global and regional climate scenarios. These future climate scenarios
have, in turn, prompted policy proposals that would reduce future
emissions--thereby, according to the models, limiting future global
warming, though admittedly at the cost of reducing future global
This emphasis on computer model forecasts has been very costly,
with many tens of billions of dollars invested but has failed to
accurately predict the Earth's climate: the United Nations
Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's (IPCC) estimates of the
critical parameter, the equilibrium climate sensitivity, for example,
have not become more precise over the past 25 years. Figure 1
summarizes the IPCC's findings, as documented in its five comprehensive
research reports released over more than three decades, as well as the
findings of two major pre-IPPC research reports. Since scientific
research is generally aimed at reducing uncertainty, the lack of
progress over more than three decades is extremely unusual.
Figure 1. Key Findings, IPCC and Pre-IPCC Climate Reports*
[GRAPHICS NOT AVAILABLE IN TIFF FORMAT]
* In Figure 1, the far-right column lists successive
estimates of the range of the equilibrium climate sensitivity (the
``doubling sensitivity,'' in IPCC reports and two pre-IPCC reports).
Extensive research over time nearly always reduces uncertainty; so this
lack of progress is rare.
Source: American Physical Society Climate Change Statement Review
framing document (2015), http://www.aps.org/policy/statements/upload/
In science, observational data are the ultimate test of theory and
modeling. Climate data show significant divergence between computer
predictions and the Earth's actual climate record. Figure 2 shows
average global temperature changes during 1995-2015, as provided by
NASA satellite data: despite a 13 percent increase in atmospheric
CO2 levels during this period, there is no statistically
discernible warming trend.\3\ The climate record is thus at odds with
the IPCC's Third (2001) and Fourth (2007) Assessment Reports'
forecasts.\4\ During this 20-year period, the Earth's atmosphere warmed
by only 0.05 C; \5\ but computer models predicted a far more dramatic
0.4 C rise in global temperature.\6\
Figure 2. Global Temperature Change as Measured by Satellite, 1995-
[GRAPHICS NOT AVAILABLE IN TIFF FORMAT]
*NASA satellite data for the temperature of the Earth's
lower troposphere for the 20-year period 1995-2014. Monthly global
temperature is shown relative to the 1981-2010 base-period average.
Despite month-to-month fluctuations, there has been little--or zero--
global warming during this period.
Source: Roy W. Spencer, Earth Systems Science Center, University of
Alabama at Huntsville.
Figure 3 compares various climate forecasts--specifically, 102
computer climate models used by the IPCC--with the actual change in
average tropical atmospheric temperature during 1979-2013, as measured
by balloon and satellite. Why focus on tropical atmospheric
temperature? Because the Earth's tropical surface and troposphere, the
lowest layer of the atmosphere, receive a major portion of the planet's
incoming solar energy. The rising warm, humid air from the oceans and
rain-forests that cover much of the tropics should lead to especially
large warming of the middle troposphere. As Figure 3 demonstrates,
actual temperature changes differ dramatically from those predicted by
models: the average computer model forecast warming of a full 1 C for
the period 1979-2013; in reality, only 0.2 C (at most) has been
Figure 3. Average Change in Tropical Atmospheric Temperature, Forecasts
v. Actual, 1979-2013*
[GRAPHICS NOT AVAILABLE IN TIFF FORMAT]
* As measured by satellite and balloon, from the Earth's
surface to an altitude of 50,000 feet. Forecasts extend to 2024.
Figure 4 shows CO2 concentration measured at Hawaii's
Mauna Loa: the long-term rise in CO2 has seasonal
oscillations caused mostly by removal of CO2 from the air of
the northern hemisphere by growing land plants during the summer; and
by release of CO2 during the winter, when respiration of
CO2 by the biosphere exceeds its removal by photosynthesis.
Figure 4. Atmospheric Concentration of CO2, 2011-
[GRAPHICS NOT AVAILABLE IN TIFF FORMAT]
* Annual CO2 oscillations represent seasonal
variations in the biosphere. The annual growth rate (black line)
averages about 2 ppm annually. Annual growth, according to the IPCC,
accounts for only about half of CO2 emissions from human
activities; the other half is naturally absorbed by oceans and land.
Source: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
The failure of computer models to reliably predict future
temperatures has created a growing awareness that such models are
fundamentally flawed--and have greatly exaggerated past and future
anthropogenic (man-made) global warming.\7\ Indeed, there is good
reason to believe that any future anthropogenic warming will be far
smaller than projected by the IPCC's models. The best available
evidence suggests that the equilibrium doubling sensitivity, the final
warming of the surface in response to doubling atmospheric
CO2, is closer to 1 C than to the ``most likely'' 3 C of
mainstream climate models.
The best available evidence also suggests that--despite two periods
of 20th century warming, as well as a steady increase in atmospheric
CO2--the frequency of extreme weather events has not risen.
And the rise in sea levels has been modest. ``Ocean acidification,'' a
slight decrease of the alkalinity of the oceans by a few tenths of a pH
unit, will be much less than variations of pH with location, depth and
time in today's oceans. Such facts do not support widespread
predictions of imminent planetary catastrophe from rising
CO2 levels. Numerous studies suggest that a modestly warmer
Earth with more atmospheric CO2 will be good for all living
4. Benefits of More Carbon Dioxide
Pure CO2 gas is chemically inert, transparent,
colorless, and odorless. On a cold winter day, chilled air often
condenses the water vapor of human breath--of which 4 to 5 percent is
CO2--into visible fog. Such fog, however, is not
CO2. Similarly, water vapor often condenses into clouds of
steam over fossil-fuel power plants, creating the impression of smoke.
Such steam clouds are not CO2, either.
Of every million air molecules in today's atmosphere, 400 are
CO2. This average masks wide variation. For example, without
strong ventilation, CO2 levels in crowded indoor spaces,
such as classrooms, courtrooms, and trains, commonly reach 2,000 ppm--
with no clinically documented ill effects to people. The U.S Navy
strives to keep CO2 levels in its submarines below 5,000
On a calm summer day, CO2 concentrations in a cornfield
can drop to 200 ppm, as the growing corn consumes the available
CO2.\10\ At a concentration of about 150 ppm or less, many
plants die of CO2 starvation.\11\ The differences between
the peak winter CO2 levels and minimum summer
CO2 levels, measured at Hawaii's Mauna Loa volcano (Fig. 4),
have increased over the past 50 years. This is believed to be due a
global expansion of forests and other plant life.
That Earth has experienced a CO2 ``famine'' for millions
of years is also not widely known. As illustrated in Figure 5, in the
550 million years since the Cambrian period--when abundant fossils
first appeared in the sedimentary record--CO2 levels have
averaged many thousands of ppm, that is, much larger than the
CO2 level of 400 ppm today.\12\
Figure 5. CO2 Levels on Earth: A Long View*
[GRAPHICS NOT AVAILABLE IN TIFF FORMAT]
* CO2 estimates during the Earth's
Phanerozoic era are derived from fossil records in sedimentary rocks. A
typical Phanerozoic CO2 level is about 1,500 ppm,
considerably higher than today's 400 ppm.
Source: Berner and Kothavala
All animals, including humans, owe their existence to green plants
that use energy from sunlight to convert CO2 and water
molecules into carbohydrates, releasing oxygen into the atmosphere in
the process. Land plants get the carbon they need from
CO2 in the air, and they obtain other essential nutrients
from the soil. Just as plants grow better in fertilized, well-watered
soils, they grow better with CO2 concentrations several
times higher than the Earth's current level.\13\ For this reason,
additional CO2 is often pumped into greenhouses to enhance
Figure 6 illustrates the effect of various levels of
CO2 on the growth of sour orange trees. Because the growth
rate of plants is proportional, on average, to the square root of
CO2 concentration, doubling atmospheric CO2 will
increase green plant growth by 40 percent--a boon for crop productivity
and, thus, for global food security.
Figure 6. CO2's Effect on Growth of Sour Orange
[GRAPHICS NOT AVAILABLE IN TIFF FORMAT]
* Measured dry weight of above-ground biomass produced
by sour orange trees between specified sequential coppicing dates; and
mean atmospheric CO2 concentration. Figure 6 is a
particularly dramatic example of the CO2 fertilization
Source: Idso and Kimbal
CO2's nutritional value is only part of its benefit for
plants. No less important is CO2's contribution to making
plants more drought-resistant: plant leaves are perforated by stomata,
surface holes that allow CO2 to diffuse from the atmosphere
into the leaf's interior, where they are photosynthesized into
carbohydrates. Depending on the relative humidity of the outside air,
as many as 100 H2O molecules can diffuse out of the leaf for
each CO2 molecule that diffuses in. This is why most land
plants need at least 100 grams of water to produce one gram of
The 30 percent increase in atmospheric CO2 during the
20th century boosted crop productivity by around 15 percent. Continued
improvements in crop variety, fertilizer, and water management--coupled
with higher CO2 levels--will strengthen food security in
large parts of Africa and Asia where hunger remains widespread.
Figure 7 shows how the Earth is getting greener. The study from
which the image is drawn analyzed plant growth at desert margins and
other semi-arid areas and found an 11 percent net growth in foliage
ground cover during 1982-2006--growth attributed to improved water-use
efficiency arising from higher atmospheric CO2 levels.\15\
The study's authors conclude: ``Our results conﬁrm that the
anticipated CO2 fertilization effect is occurring alongside
ongoing anthropogenic perturbations to the carbon cycle and that the
fertilization effect is now a signiﬁcant land surface process.''
As CO2 levels continue to rise, the Earth will grow greener
and agricultural yields will continue to increase, with additional
contributions from better varieties, improved cropping practices, more
efficient use of fertilizer, and other factors.
Figure 7. Greening of the Earth, 1982-2006*
* Percentage change in foliage cover as revealed by
Source: Donohue et al
5. The Developing World
Developing nations in Asia, Africa, and Latin America will need
enormous increases in low-cost energy to power their economic
development and lift their citizens out of poverty. Fossil fuels--
notably coal, natural gas, and oil--which currently supply more than 80
percent of the world's energy, will remain indispensable. As countries
grow more affluent, they will also acquire greater means to reduce
pollution. Indeed, it is precisely the wealth unleashed by
industrialization that enables societies to invest in modern
technologies and other practices that clean up the environment.
Further, the best available evidence suggests that current levels--
and forseeable future increases--of carbon dioxide are not only
harmless, but are indeed beneficial to plants and humans. Quixotic
policies to supposedly limit global warming, by making fossil fuels
prohibitively expensive, would condemn much of humanity to wretched
conditions unimaginable in developed nations
6. Initial Members of the CO2 Coalition
BELL, Larry: Launched the research and education program in space
architecture at the University of Houston and author of Climate of
Corruption: Politics and Power Behind the Global Warming Hoax.
COHEN, Roger, PhD in physics, Rutgers University, Fellow of the
American Physical Society. Former Senior Scientist ExxonMobil
EVERETT, Bruce, Faculty Tufts University's Fletcher School, over
forty years of experience in the international energy industry.
HAPPER, William is Cyrus Fogg Brackett Professor of Physics
(emeritus) at Princeton University, former Director of the Office of
Energy Research Director of Research, U.S. Department of Energy, Member
National Academy of Sciences.
HARTNETT-WHITE, Kathleen: Distinguished Senior Fellow in Residence
and the Director of the Armstrong Center for Energy and the Environment
(CEE) at the Texas Public Policy Foundation.
IDSO, Craig: Founder and Chairman of the Center for the Study of
Carbon Dioxide and Global Change, Member of the American Association
for the Advancement of Science, American Geophysical Union, and the
American Meteorological Society.
LINDZEN, Richard: emeritus, Alfred P. Sloan Professor of
Meteorology, Member of National Academy of Sciences, author of numerous
papers on climate and meteorology.
MICHAELS, Pat: director of the Center for the Study of Science at
the Cato Institute, a past president of the American Association of
State Climatologists, former Virginia state climatologist, program
chair Committee on Applied Climatology of the American Meteorological
MILLS, Mark: senior fellow Manhattan Institute, CE?O Digital Power
Group, a tech-centric capital advisory group. He is also a Faculty
Fellow McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Science at
MOORE, Patrick: Co-founder, Chair, and Chief Scientist of
Greenspirit Strategies, a Vancouver-based consulting firm on
environmental and sustainability issues, founding member of Greenpeace
(nine years as president of Greenpeace Canada and seven years as a
director of Greenpeace International).
NICHOLS, Rodney: former President and Chief Executive Officer of
the New York Academy of Sciences; Scholar-in-Residence at the Carnegie
Corporation of New York, Executive Vice President of The Rockefeller
University, R&D manager Office of the Secretary of Defense.
O'KEEFE, William: Chief Executive Officer of the George C. Marshall
Institute; founder of Solutions; Executive Vice President and Chief
Operating Officer American Petroleum Institute, Chief Administrative
Officer of the Center for Naval Analyses.
ROGERS, Norman: founder of Rabbit Semiconductor Company, Policy
Advisor to The Heartland Institute and a member of the American
Geophysical Union and the American Meteorological Society.
SCHMITT, Harrison: PhD in Geology from Harvard University,
Astronaut and last man to walk the moon (Apollo 17), Adjunct Professor
of Physics at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and former U.S.
Senator from New Mexico.
SPENCER, Roy: Climatologist, Principal Research Scientist at the
University of Alabama in Huntsville; served as Senior Scientist for
Climate Studies at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center; Co-Developer of
satellite temperature measurement system.
STEWARD, Leighton: Geologist; Environmentalist; Author; Chairman of
Plants Need CO2.org; Chairman of the Board of The Institute
for the Study of Earth and Man at SMU, past Chairman of the National
Wetlands Coalition, twice Chairman of the Audubon Nature Institute.
YAPPS-COHEN, Lorraine: M.S. in chemistry and an M.B.A. in
marketing, former communications & marketing manager ExxonMobil,
columnist for the Examiner newspapers.
\1\ J. Tyndall, Heat, A Mode of Motion, Longmans, Green and
Company, London, 1875.
\2\ See, e.g., R. S. J. Tol, The Economic Effects of Climate
Change, Journal of Economic Perspectives, Vol. 23,No. 2, pp. 29-51
(2009). Such studies do not fully account for the positive effects of
CO2 fertilization and water-efficiency gains.
\3\ R. McKitrick, HAC-Robust Measurement of the Duration of a
Trendless Subsample in a Global Climate Time Series, Open Journal of
Statistics, Vol. 4, pp.527-535 (2014). doi:10.4236/ojs.2014.47050.
\4\ See, eg., IPCC 4th Assessment Report WG1 (2007), Summary for
Policy Makers, p12. https://www.ipcc.ch/pdf/assessment-report/ar4/wg1/
\5\ From the statistical trend lines of the UAH data set shown in
Figure 2, for 1995-2014. http://www.drroyspencer.com/2015/04/version-6-
\6\ IPCC 4th Assessment Report WG1 (2007), Summary for Policy
Makers, p12, ibid; 3rd Assessment Report WG1 (2001), Summary for Policy
Makers, p34; https://www.ipcc.ch/ipccreports/tar/wg1/
\7\ J.C Fyfe et al, Overestimated Global Warming over the Past 20
Years, Nature Climate Change, Vol. 3, p. 767 (2013); P. Stott et al,
The Upper End of Climate Model Temperature Projections is Inconsistent
with Past Warming, Environ. Res. Lett. Vol. 8, 014024 doi:10.1088/1748-
\8\ Indur Goklany, Is a Richer-but-Warmer World Better than Poorer
but Colder Worlds? Energy & Environment, Vol. 18, Nos. 7-8, pp. 1023-
1048 (2007). Detailed empirical studies of human mortality, in hundreds
of communities around the world, show that in all countries and
regions, minimum mortality is observed when temperatures are warmer
than the median for that location. See, eg., Y. Guo et al, Global
Variation in the Effects of Ambient Temperature on Mortality,
Epidemiology, Vol. 25, No. 6, pp. 781-789 (2014).
\9\ J. T. James and A. Macatangay, Carbon Dioxide, Our Common
\10\ H. W. Chapman, L. S. Gleason and W. E. Loomis, The Carbon
Dioxide Content of Field Air, Plant Physiology, 29, 500 (1954).
\11\ J. K. Dippery, D. T. Tissue, R. B. Thomas and B. R. Strain,
Effects of low and elevated CO2 levels on C3 and C4 annuals,
Oecologia, Vol. 101,p. 13 (1995).
\12\ R. A. Berner and C. Kothavala, Geocarb:III, A revised model of
atmospheric CO2 over the Phanerozoic time, American Journal
of Science, 301, 182 (2001).
\13\ S. B. Idso and B. A. Kimball, Effects of the enrichment of
CO2 on regrowth of sour orange trees (Citrus aurantium;
Rutacea) after copicing, Am. J. Bot. Vol. 81, p. 843 (1994).
\15\ R. J. Donohue, M. L. Roderick, T. R. McVicar, and G. D.
Farquhar, Impact of CO2 fertilization on maximum foliage
cover across the globe's warm, arid environments, Geophysical Research
Letters Vol. 40, pp. 3031-3035 (2013).
Senator Cruz. Thank you, Dr. Happer, for being here.
And I will say the one thing on which I think we can all
agree is that no Members of Congress will be made saints at any
time in the foreseeable future.
Senator Cruz. And Mr. Steyn?
STATEMENT OF MARK STEYN,
INTERNATIONAL BESTSELLING AUTHOR
Mr. Steyn. Thank you. Thank you, Senator Cruz.
I am not a scientist. I am an author, and I am also one of
the 7 billion people on this planet that the governments
assembled in Paris currently are presuming to determine the
future of. So I have an interest in that as much as anybody
I have listened to the examples that Senator Peters and
Senator Nelson gave of toxic infestation in Michigan water and
tidal flooding in the streets of Miami Beach. Nothing agreed at
Paris is going to do anything for that.
If you expect the agreement at Paris to end the tidal
flooding in Miami Beach, you are going to be waiting a long
time. So if you want to do something about the tidal flooding
in Miami Beach, the Mayor of Miami Beach and the Governor of
Florida are the guys who should get together and do it.
This body is called the Subcommittee, I believe--the full
name--on Science, Space, and Competitiveness. And the most
important competitiveness in any healthy society is
competitiveness in ideas. That is how ideas are tested, and
that is how good ideas win out over bad. And only a very weak
idea demands that it must be protected from any criticism.
Professor Ivar Giaever, the Nobel Prize winner--by the way,
when I say he is a Nobel Prize winner, I mean he is a real one.
He won the Nobel Prize in physics in 1973. Not a fraudulent
Nobel Prize winner like, unfortunately, large members of Rear
Admiral Titley's faculty--Michael Mann, Richard Alley, William
Easterling--all of whom have falsely claimed to be Nobel Prize
winners on an industrial scale, as have many other climate
There has never been a misrepresentation of credentials on
this scale. It used to be a very serious business. But
apparently, it is not when your cause is ``saving the planet.''
But it is a revealing--it is this misrepresentation of
credentials by people falsely claiming to be Nobel laureates is
revealing. It gets to the heart of the problem here that they
are attempting to cloak the science in an authority that it
does not, in fact, possess.
At any rate, Professor Giaever compared the global warming
orthodoxy to a hypothesis that you are not allowed to question.
And it has gone beyond that in recent years. It is not only
that you are not allowed to falsify the hypothesis, that the
hypothesis is not, in fact, falsifiable, but that if you do,
you suffer very serious consequences.
Professor Christy and Professor Curry are very brave
individuals, and they were very mild in their remarks about
what Congressman Grijalva did when he sent out a disgraceful
letter that no citizen representative in a parliament of a free
society should be sending out to free individuals, demanding
things like hotel expenses and e-mail communication going back
a decade. It was an absolutely disgraceful letter, and it
represents the next stage of big climate enforcement.
Your colleague Senator Whitehouse has called for the RICO
laws, laws about racketeering, to be used against those who
disagree with him on climate science. When you need that, you
are not--you are not dealing with science. You are effectively
enforcing a state ideology.
The Attorney General of New York is currently using
securities law to do an end run around the First Amendment to
chastise enemies of his who do not agree with him on the
climate science. This--to take a milder example, Rear Admiral
Titley has said that it is time--when it comes to global
warming, it is time for the politicking to stop.
Well, when you are calling for the politicking to stop,
that is itself politicking, such as the Democrats on this
committee who appeared at a press conference a couple of hours
ago under a sign saying, ``The debate is ended.'' I learned
from Canada in the battle I fought over free speech that
Senator Cruz mentioned, I learned to always listen very
carefully when someone is telling you to shut up.
And although Rear Admiral Titley and the Democrat Senators
are doing it far more politely than Senator Whitehouse and
Congressman Grijalva and the Attorney General of New York, what
they are telling you is that this idea is so weak, it cannot be
subjected to the normal vigorous debate of free society.
So I thank this subcommittee for allowing at least to
recognize that there is a divergence of opinion. The science is
not settled, and the climate system of this planet is too
complex for the slogans of cartoon climatology we are currently
seeing in Paris.
Thank you very much.
[The prepared statement of Mr. Steyn follows:]
Prepared Statement of Mark Steyn, Author
My name is Mark Steyn. I am not a scientist. I am an author. My
main interest in climate science is that Michael E Mann, the inventor
of one of its most notorious artifacts, is suing me for ``defamation of
a Nobel Prize winner''--a crime that I was not aware existed,
especially in his case, as according to the Nobel Institute he is not a
Nobel Prize winner. So I recently edited a book about it called ``A
Disgrace to the Profession'': The World's Scientists--in Their Own
Words--On Michael E Mann, His Hockey Stick, and Their Damage to
Science, Volume One--which I'm proud to say was Number One on the
Climatology Hit Parade. I have been Number Four on the Amazon books
chart, and Number Seven on the Amazon easy-listening chart, and earlier
this very month the Number One Amazon jazz vocalist, but I had no idea
there was also a climatological bestseller list. Still, I'm happy my
book was credible enough to get to the top of it.
That said, at a hearing on ``Data or Dogma?'', given the
distinguished scientists here to address the data, I thought I should
confine myself mostly to the dogma.
The Climate of Fear
In the three years that I have been ensnared in the dysfunctional
court system of the District of Columbia, I have come to know well what
I call the ``climate of fear'' within climate science. Professors
Christy, Curry and Happer are sufficiently eminent that they can, just
about, bear the assault the Big Climate enforcers mount on those who
dissent from the dogma--although that assault is fierce and
unrelenting. If you're a professor emeritus, you're told you're senile.
If you're one of the few women in this very male field, you're told
you're whoring for Big Oil: The aforementioned Michael Mann of Penn
State, who is too cowardly to be here today and has instead sent his
proxy, approvingly linked to an Internet post accusing Dr Curry of
sleeping with me. This is how a supposedly distinguished climate
scientist treats those who disagree with him. On May 13th last year I
It's always fun in a legal battle to have something bigger at stake
than a mere victory. In Canada, we put the `human rights' system itself
on trial, to the point where the disgusting and indefensible `hate
speech' law Section 13 was eventually repealed by Parliament. It seems
to me that in this particular case the bigger issue is the climate of
fear that Mann and his fellow ayatollahs of alarmism have succeeded in
imposing on an important scientific field.\1\
The very next day the distinguished 79-year-old Swedish
climatologist Lennart Bengtsson was forced to resign from a dissident
climate group after the Big Climate enforcers took the hockey stick to
him in the back alley. He had agreed to participate in a group headed
by Nigel Lawson. Some of you may know Lord Lawson personally. He was
Chancellor of the Exchequer in Mrs Thatcher's ministry in the United
Kingdom. He's nobody's idea of a fringe madman: He's a member of the
House of Lords, a Privy Counselor; his daughter is a popular celebrity
chef on America's Food Network; his fellow trustees include a bishop of
the Church of England, a former private secretary to the Queen, and an
advisor to two Prime Ministers from the Labour Party. But they disagree
with the tight little coterie of climate alarmists, and so Lennart
Bengtsson could not be permitted to meet with them. As Professor
I have been put under such an enormous group pressure in recent
days from all over the world that has become virtually
unbearable to me. If this is going to continue I will be unable
to conduct my normal work and will even start to worry about my
health and safety. I see therefore no other way out therefore
than resigning from GWPF. I had not expecting such an enormous
world-wide pressure put at me from a community that I have been
close to all my active life. Colleagues are withdrawing their
support, other colleagues are withdrawing from joint authorship
etc. I see no limit and end to what will happen. It is a
situation that reminds me about the time of McCarthy. I would
never have expecting anything similar in such an original
peaceful community as meteorology. Apparently it has been
transformed in recent years.\2\
Because it's no longer about ``meteorology'', it's about saving the
planet. Bengtsson was a former director of the Max Planck Institute of
Meteorology, winner of the Descartes Prize and a WMO prize for
groundbreaking research, and even a friend and collaborator of Mann's
at scientific conferences. But he made the mistake of, ah, seeking to
expand his circle of climate acquaintances, and so Michael Mann now
sneeringly dismisses him as ``junk science.'' \3\ Nate Silver is the
hipster statistician who correctly predicted the 2012 election and then
set up his own ``538'' website dedicated to ``data journalism''--just
the data, the facts, the numbers, the analysis . . . But, when Mr
Silver made the mistake of hiring Professor Roger Pielke Jr, then
Michael Mann and Kevin Trenberth were obliged to explain to him that
these considerations do not apply to climate science.\4\ So Nate Silver
fired Professor Pielke--who has now withdrawn from all climate
research. When Professor Willie Soon co-authored a paper earlier this
year on why the turn-of-the-century climate models all turned out
wrong, the Big Climate heavies did not attempt to refute the paper, but
instead embarked on a campaign to get him fired from the Harvard-
Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics.
For every Judith Curry or Willie Soon or Lennart Bengtsson, there
are a thousand lesser names who see what happens to even the most
distinguished people in their field and decide to keep their heads
down. Professor Ivar Gievar recently spoke out against, among other
things, the recent adjustment of figures by NASA--an agency overseen by
this sub-committee--at the annual meeting of Nobel Laureates in Lindau.
Professor Gievar is a Nobel Laureate. A real Nobel Laureate, I mean,
not a fake one like Michael Mann, Kevin Trenberth and many other
climate scientists who falsely claim to be Nobel Prize winners on the
grounds that the IPCC was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2007, and
they once contributed to an IPCC report. Mann falsely claimed to be a
Nobel Prize winner on his book jacket, on his website, in his court
complaint about me--even though the Nobel Institute told him he wasn't
a Nobel Prize winner and he should cut it out. But this serial
misrepresentation of credentials by Mann, Trenberth and others is also
part of their intimidation technique. If you're a real Nobel Laureate
like Ivar Giaever, who won the 1973 Nobel Prize in Physics, or if
you're older, tenured and sufficiently eminent, you can just about
withstand the Big Climate enforcers jumping you in the parking lot and
taking the hockey stick to you.
But, if you're a younger scientist, you know that, if you cross
Mann and the other climate mullahs, there goes tenure, there goes
funding, there goes your career. I've been stunned to learn of the very
real fear of retribution that pervades the climate world.
When I look at what has happened to those who speak out, I recall
the wise words of Stephen McIntyre:
As a general point, it seems to me that, if climate change is
as serious a problem as the climate `community' believes, then
it will require large measures that need broadly based
commitment from all walks of our society.\5\
Mr McIntyre is exactly right: If we take Big Climate at their word
that the entire global economy needs massive re-orientation on a scale
never before contemplated, it will require the largest societal
consensus--left and right and center, in America, in Canada, in
Britain, in Europe . . . Yet all Big Climate does is retreat ever
deeper into its shrinking echo chamber and compile ever longer lists of
people who are beyond the pale--Professor Curry, Professor Christy,
Professor Bengtsson, Professor Pielke, Professor Soon, Lord Lawson, the
Bishop of Chester, the winner of the 1973 Nobel Prize in Physics, the
winner of the 1998 Nobel Prize in Physics. . .It might be quicker for
Mann, Trenberth, Gavin Schmidt and the other climate enforcers to make
a short list of those to whom they are prepared to grant a say in the
future of the planet.
In shoring up this cartoon climatology, the alarmism industry is
now calling on courts and legislatures to torment their opponents. I
shall outline my own particular experience, and then the general
Mann vs Steyn et al
On July 12, 2012, former FBI Director and special investigative
counsel Louis Freeh issued a devastating report regarding the behavior
of Pennsylvania State University and its most senior figures, as they
ignored, abetted and covered up the systemic and brutal child sexual
abuse conducted by Gerald A Sandusky, longtime football coach at the
The following day Rand Simberg posted an article on the Competitive
Enterprise Institute's website entitled ``The Other Scandal in Happy
Valley'', which suggested that, in light of the revelations regarding
the ``rotten and corrupt culture'' at Penn State under the presidency
of Graham Spanier, it might be worth revisiting the other sham
``investigation'' on Spanier's watch--of Dr Michael E Mann, creator of
the famous global-warming ``hockey stick''.
The very same day The Chronicle of Higher Education also tied
together the sham Sandusky and Mann investigations in a piece titled
``Culture of Evasion.'' \6\ As you know, after the Freeh Report was
published, criminal charges were filed against Penn State President
Graham Spanier and other senior administrators. Spanier is currently
under indictment for grand-jury perjury, obstruction of justice, child
endangerment, conspiracy and failure to report child abuse.
Two days later, I wrote a 270-word blog post for the opinion page
of National Review Online \7\ referencing the Freeh Report and Mr
Simberg's piece. That post appears below in its entirety:
In the wake of Louis Freeh's report on Penn State's complicity
in serial rape, Rand Simberg writes of Unhappy Valley's other
`I'm referring to another cover up and whitewash that occurred
there two years ago, before we learned how rotten and corrupt
the culture at the university was. But now that we know how bad
it was, perhaps it's time that we revisit the Michael Mann
affair, particularly given how much we've also learned about
his and others' hockey-stick deceptions since. Mann could be
said to be the Jerry Sandusky of climate science, except that
instead of molesting children, he has molested and tortured
data in the service of politicized science that could have dire
economic consequences for the Nation and planet.'
Not sure I'd have extended that metaphor all the way into the
locker-room showers with quite the zeal Mr Simberg does, but he
has a point. Michael Mann was the man behind the fraudulent
climate-change `hockey-stick' graph, the very ringmaster of the
tree-ring circus. And, when the East Anglia e-mails came out,
Penn State felt obliged to ``investigate'' Professor Mann.
Graham Spanier, the Penn State president forced to resign over
Sandusky, was the same cove who investigated Mann. And, as with
Sandusky and Paterno, the college declined to find one of its
star names guilty of any wrongdoing. If an institution is
prepared to cover up systemic statutory rape of minors, what
won't it cover up? Whether or not he's `the Jerry Sandusky of
climate change', he remains the Michael Mann of climate change,
in part because his `investigation' by a deeply corrupt
administration was a joke.
I asked what I thought was quite an obvous question: If an
institution is prepared to cover up the systemic ongoing rape of
minors, what won't it cover up?
It's a legitimate question for an institution that receives
taxpayer funding, a certain portion of which falls under the oversight
of this committee. Penn State has a representative here today, and
perhaps he will address some of these questions about his institution
and its integrity.
Graham Spanier, the now disgraced president of Penn State who
presided over the joke investigations of both Sandusky and Mann,
remains the President Emeritus of Penn State, and a professor of family
studies. His absolution of Michael Mann was widely regarded at the time
as a total joke even by many who are by no means ``climate deniers''--
for example, the venerable American institution The Atlantic Monthly:
The Penn State inquiry exonerating Michael Mann--the
paleoclimatologist who came up with `the hockey stick'--would
be difficult to parody.\8\
Professor Harold Lewis, one of the most distinguished members of
the American Physical Society, resigned from the organization over the
whitewashing of Mann, writing:
When Penn State absolved Mike Mann of wrongdoing, and the
University of East Anglia did the same for Phil Jones, they
cannot have been unaware of the financial penalty for doing
In other words, Spanier's depraved regime at Penn State turned a
blind eye to Mann for the same reason it turned a blind eye to the
Sandusky rape epidemic: they couldn't afford to take the financial hit.
In this case, unlike football revenue, the money comes in large
part from taxpayers, via you and the agencies you preside over--such as
the National Science Foundation. Given Penn State's refusal to disclose
materials relating to the Mann investigation under the corrupt Spanier
regime, it would be appropriate for you to put a hold on all NSF
funding of Penn State, including Mann's two current grants totaling
half a million dollars. And I hope this sub-committee will ask the
witness here today representing this deeply corrupt institution whether
he will join in a call for Spanier's successor to let the sunlight in
on all the dank, fetid corners of Spanier's legacy.
Dr Mann did not want the world to be reminded that the same man who
turned a blind eye to Sandusky also turned a blind eye to him. He filed
suit against me and three other parties in the Superior Court of the
District of Columbia, where neither Mann nor I work or reside. Indeed,
I never set foot in this benighted jurisdiction except to come here for
matters arising from the court case, such as this hearing. The case was
assigned to Natalia Combs Greene, a since reprimanded landlord-and-
tenant judge appointed by President Clinton and confirmed by this
honorable Senate. After a botched ruling in which she confused the
parties, she said the case was ``complicated'' and shuffled it off on a
colleague, but not before procedurally mangling it so that, for a
while, two different trial judges were ruling on the case
simultaneously--something that's a big no-no in functioning
jurisdictions, but which was partly caused here by Michael Mann falsely
claiming in his complaint to be a Nobel Laureate and then, after the
Nobel Institute told him he wasn't, having to file an amended
At this point, my fellow defendants chose to test the DC Anti-SLAPP
statute, which was assented to by this U.S. Senate in 2010, but was so
poorly written as to leave unanswered such basic questions as the
standard for dismissal and whether or not that decision is immediately
appealable to the DC Court of Appeals. The ACLU, The Washington Post,
NBC News, The Los Angeles Times, and various other media bigfeet all
filed amici briefs opposed to Mann--not because they disagree with him
on global warming (most of them are as hot for climate change as he is)
but because they understand that putting climate science beyond
criticism and into the courtroom would inflict the greatest damage on
the First Amendment in over 50 years. Not a single amicus brief was
filed on Dr Mann's behalf.
Oral arguments were heard over one year ago, yet judges Vanessa
Ruiz, Corinne Beckwith and Catharine Easterly, all confirmed to the DC
court by this Senate, have failed to rule. I note that, in writing to
President Obama recommending a second 15-year term for Judge Ruiz, the
Commission on Judicial Disabilities and Tenure nevertheless observed:
The Commission would be remiss if it did not address the
serious issue of Judge Ruiz's backlog of opinions . . . Of
crucial importance to the proper functioning of the Court of
Appeals is the timely resolution of disputes. The public's
confidence in the Court is eroded when litigants must wait
multiple years for decisions to be rendered. The Commission
believes that this problem is not only about the pace of
opinion production, but also about a less than fully adequate
appreciation on the part of Judge Ruiz as to how her backlog
adversely affects the litigants, the Court, and her
As a result, an interlocutory appeal has dragged on for almost two
years. Judge Ruiz is an activist judge who is, inter alia, a trustee of
the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, which aspires to be the
first global think-tank and is very active on the transnational climate
scene. All very fascinating. But she's supposed to be a DC judge first
and a condition of the Commission in exchange for recommending her for
a second term was that her obligation to clear her appalling backlog of
cases took precedence over her ``outside activities, no matter how
worthy they may be''. A dissenting member of the Commission, Noel J
Francisco, was shrewder about Judge Ruiz's failings:
It should go without saying that an appellate judge's primary
duty--if not her sole duty--is to decide cases. On this score,
as my colleagues have described, Judge Ruiz's backlog is `the
highest by far of any of the appellate judges on the DC Court
of Appeals' and, as a result, litigants often `must wait
multiple years for decisions to be rendered' by her . . . As
the old adage goes, `justice delayed is justice denied'.
The purpose of anti-SLAPP laws is to prevent the use of litigation
to chill free speech--on climate change and many other issues. When it
takes up to three years to get a ruling (as it apparently does with
Judge Ruiz), there is no point to anti-SLAPP legislation. Indeed, when
it takes three years to get a ruling, the case is not the issue, the
judge is. When it takes three years from oral arguments to ruling, it
may be that the judge is just an incompetent sloth who's spending far
too much time with the Carnegie Endowment working on world peace. Or it
may be that a sclerotic and incompetent DC court system has three-year
backlogs because it accepts cases from venue tourists like Michael Mann
who have no connection whatsoever with this jurisdiction--and, as a
result, the court system is incapable of serving the people it's meant
Nevertheless, this Senate confirmed Judge Ruiz. Under the Home Rule
Act, the District of Columbia operates in a constitutional no-man's-
land whereby it enacts legislation for which this honorable body is
ultimately responsible. In practice, that means they pass slapdash,
poorly drafted laws, and you guys rubber-stamp them. The constitutional
limbo allows serial plaintiffs like Michael Mann to use the DC courts
to torture non-DC residents: this is a disgrace, and ultimately it is
the responsibility of you and your colleagues.
I responded to Mann's discovery requests almost two years ago. He
has yet to respond to mine. No court around the world within the Common
Law tradition to which this country is heir has ever presumed to
adjudicate science. Judge Natalia Combs Greene is not competent to rule
on landlord-and-tenant cases, never mind the extent of the Medieval
Warm Period. Judge Vanessa Ruiz is so lethargic that, by the time she
does rule on the science, global warming will have kicked in and the
rising sea levels will have washed away the Maldives, Tuvalu and, with
luck, the District of Columbia. My three years in the stagnant swamp of
DC ``justice'' demonstrate why science in particular and public policy
disputes in general are beyond the competence of the judges you confirm
and the courts you fund. They belong properly in what the eminent
jurist Lord Moulton called ``the domain of manners''.
Big Climate vs Everyone
Why is this relevant beyond the travails of one obscure immigrant?
Because too many people within the climate cartel are demanding that
dissent from the alleged ``consensus'' should be not merely a civil
offense but a criminal one--and far too many legislators and
bureaucrats are willing to entertain it. Your colleague, Senator
Whitehouse, is among those who favor criminal penalties for those who
disagree with him on climate policy. Earlier this year, you, Senator
Markey, were rebuked by the President of the Cato Institute for ``an
obvious attempt to chill research into and funding of public policy
projects you don't like . . . You abuse your authority when you attempt
to intimidate people who don't share your political beliefs.'' \11\
Likewise, Raul Grijalva, the Congressman from Arizona and Ranking
Member of the House UnEnvironmental Activities Committee, earlier this
year sent a letter to seven scientists, including professors Curry and
Christy--a quite disgraceful letter that no citizen-legislator in a
representative parliament has any business sending to anybody,
demanding among other things details of speaking fees, travel expenses,
and e-mail communications stretching back a decade \12\. Commissar
Grijalva presumed to be able to do this because these scientists had
voluntarily testified before his committee, and thus, as he saw it, had
submitted to his jurisdiction over every aspect of their lives. I hope
this Senate sub-committee will distance itself from Commissar
Grijalva's deformed understanding of his role. But, in the event that,
following my voluntary appearance here today, any Senator demands in
five years' time to see my e-mails and know what hotel I stayed in in
Cleveland or Copenhagen, I might as well give you my answer now: You
ain't getting' nuthin'.
It takes quite a lot to stand up to powerful congressmen and
senators threatening to plunge you into half-a-decade of investigative
torture for exercising your free-speech and public-advocacy rights. The
ultimate verdict of such inquiry is largely irrelevant: The process is
The Attorney General of New York, Eric Schneiderman, is presently
using securities law to do an end run around the First Amendment and
sue Exxon for not holding the same views on climate change as the more
pliable oil companies have been forced to adopt in public.
Recently, a group of scientists mainly from George Mason University
wrote to the President to demand that climate dissenters be prosecuted
under the RICO laws. RICO, as you know, is supposed to be used against
racketeers and mobsters and, granted the unfortunate tendency of
sloppily drawn Federal laws to metastasize under opportunist U.S.
Attorneys, one marvels nevertheless that such an absurd and ideological
expansion of this legislation could ever be seriously entertained.
Needless to say, as with the Spanier regime at Penn State, it is in
fact George Mason's climate community that most closely approximates a
mob racket. The first signatory on that letter demanding RICO be
applied to his enemies is Professor Jagadish Shukla of George Mason,
who additionally controls a ``non-profit'' the Institute for Global
Environment and Security, Inc. which is part of George Mason's College
of Science. In 2014 alone, this ``institute'' received over half a
million dollars in Federal climate grants, including from bodies you
oversee. As you know, the NSF and other Federal agencies have
supposedly strict rules about enriching oneself from grant monies. As a
general principle, during college vacation you're allowed to earn no
more than your monthly salary in research grants. So if you're paid,
say, $100,000 per year, you're allowed to top that up to 20 grand of
grant money during the summer. Instead, Professor Shukla essentially
tripled his income, and since 2001 has taken some 63 million dollars in
Federal science grants for a ``non-profit'' that employed him as
president, his wife as business manager and his daughter as assistant
business manager. There's a little bit of congressional oversight just
waiting to be done, don't you think? Sixty-three million bucks! But
instead Commissar Grijalva wants to know whether Judith Curry got
upgraded to a junior suite at the airport Hilton in 2007.
This climate of intimidation, led by influential legislators of the
most lavishly funded government in the world, sends a powerful signal
to others. Professor Curry has noted the latest stage in the grim
descent of the journal Science, whose editor Marcia McNutt recently
published a statement confirming her journal's wholesale embrace of
advocacy over science: ``The time for debate has ended. Action is
urgently needed.'' The other most prominent science journal on the
planet, Nature, appears to be going even further, publishing a
statement by three climate scientists arguing that ``climate justice''
is ``more vital than democracy'':
Democracy emphasizes the mutual roles of actors: all
preferences are treated as equal. In many regions of the world,
however, the results of democratic choices can be strongly
influenced by power relations and inequitable social
arrangements, owing to differences in economic development,
access to technology and knowledge.
Elites may use democratic processes to entrench their status or
encroach on other social goals. This can lead to incremental or
undesirable results, which might explain why large democratic
nations such as the United States continue to oppose
progressive climate legislation.
In our view, sound climate and energy planning should not treat
all stakeholders in the same way. Instead, preferences and
roles should be weighted to consider criteria related to
equity, due process, ethics and other justice principles.\13\
So the fake 97 per cent consensus is no longer enough. These
scientists are saying that, because there's a supposed 97 per cent
consensus among climate scientists, they don't need a 51 per cent
consensus from the electorate.
The relationship between government and science today would be
unrecognizable to real scientists--to Sir Isaac Newton, to Charles
Babbage, to the Curies. The creation of the IPCC in particular has led
to the establishment of a closed, largely Anglo-American climate jet
set that, as demonstrated in the Climategate e-mails, has had a wholly
corrupting effect on peer review among other things. In this culture,
what is the proper role of the political class? Is it to do as Senator
Whitehouse, Congressman Grijalva and Attorney General Schneiderman are
doing, and make climate alarmism a state ideology from which it is
forbidden to dissent? Or is it time for legislators to exercise their
responsibility to ensure that the people's money is used in the service
of science and not propaganda?
In that respect, let me close by turning to my area of expertise. I
am not a climate scientist, but I am an acknowledged expert in the
field of musical theatre.\14\ Last year, a show called The Great
Immensity opened off-Broadway. It ran a week and then closed after
largely stinking reviews from The New York Times et al. It had received
a direct grant of $700,000 from the agency for which you are
responsible, the National Science Foundation. There is no science in
putting on a musical: If there were, the Broadway adaptation of the Tom
Hanks film Big would not have lost its entire investment, nor the
Stephen King musical Carrie, nor the supposed blockbuster of America's
bicentennial year 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, by Leonard Bernstein and
Alan Jay Lerner, which closed after five days and led Bernstein to
conclude that he never wanted to get mixed up with Broadway again. If
only the National Science Foundation was that savvy. The difference
between those shows and The Great Immensity is that, with your
blessing, only the last had American taxpayers' money in it. The
Government of the United States is the brokest entity in the history of
brokeness. It has to pay back $20 trillion just to get back to having
nothing at all. Which nobody in human history has ever done. Yet it
apparently is not so broke that it can't throw down the toilet 700
grand of funds marked for science on a lousy musical.
I have been around the theatre my entire adult life, and once in a
while one runs into an example of an official government musical. There
was the celebrated socialist operetta, The State Department Store,
which was produced in Hungary and other Warsaw Pact countries after the
Communist regimes banned all the old-school operettas for having too
many singing princes and countesses as the principal characters. There
was also Zabibah and the King, a musical version of Saddam Hussein's
allegorical novel in which the nubile virginal heroine represents Iraq
and her manly yet tender expert lover the King represents Saddam.
Unlike the NSF-funded Great Immensity, it got rave reviews from the
Baghdad critics--because, if you gave it two thumbs down, you got one
head off. The National Science Foundation does not yet enjoy that
power, although clearly Dr Mann, Senator Whitehouse, Congressman
Grijalva, Attorney General Schneiderman, and those scientists demanding
that climate justice trump democracy are moving in that direction.
And in fairness neither the Communist regimes of Eastern Europe nor
the Baathist tyranny of Saddam Hussein had their scientific bodies
invest in musicals. That grotesque innovation came from an agency for
which you are responsible. If you click on the YouTube link below.\15\
which I hope we might listen to during the hearing, you will see just
how little American taxpayers got for their $700,000. Even if the show
were not total garbage, it would be tainted and disfigured by the
$700,000 in direct funding from a government agency. That moves it into
the same realm of state propaganda as Saddam Hussein's musical and The
State Department Store. Propaganda can only disfigure art and science,
and it has no place in either. The National Science Foundation has no
more business sinking three-quarters of a million bucks into The Great
Immensity than it would have into my cat album, released this month--
although, in the latter case, the American people would at least have
got a return on their involuntary investment.
In the world of arts funding, bureaucrats and administrators often
talk of the ``arm's length'' principle. There is no ``arm's length''
between government bureaucracies and contemporary climate science: They
are entwined like Saddam Hussein and his lush, curvaceous lover in that
boffo Baghdad smash, and it has done untold damage throughout most of
the western world. As a final thought--and here I stray from dogma to
my colleagues' field of data--it seems to me that there are more
similarities between musical theatre and IPCC climate science than
there ought to be. As Irving Caesar, the celebrated lyricist of No, No,
Nanette, characterized Broadway to me many years ago: ``Remember, kid.
No one knows nothing.'' You hire the greatest composer, the hottest
choreographer, the biggest star, the best orchestrator, and, when you
put `em all together, it just lies there and it dies there. Likewise,
as I have come to learn, with climate science: when someone's up in
northern Finland collecting lake sediment, that's science; when
someone's taking tree rings from the Gaspe peninsula in Quebec, that's
science; when someone's up to his neck in ice cores in Antarctica,
that's science. But, when Michael Mann feeds them all into his magic
processor and tells you here's the planet's temperature for the last
two millennia, that's not science. When the IPCC distills it further
into ``This is the hottest year of the hottest decade of the hottest
century in, like, forever'', that is way beyond the realm of science.
And, when politicians distill that further still into ``Give us all
your money or the planet gets it'', we have flown the coop of science
and are free-floating through clouds of totalitarian fantasy.
Climate alarmism is going nowhere. The two-decade global-warming
pause, which no late 1990s climate model foresaw, led the public to
doubt Big Climate's confident predictions for the future. In response,
Federal bodies such as NOAA and NASA have adjusted the past to make the
present appear hotter, and thus supposedly demonstrated that in fact
there is no such ``pause''. As a result, public opinion, which no
longer trusts the Big Climate enforcers to tell them what the climate
will be like in 2050, now no longer trusts them to tell them what it
was like in 1950. A recent poll found that, notwithstanding the urgings
of the President and the Secretary of State and others, only three per
cent of Americans regard climate change as their major concern. Three
per cent. There is your 97 per cent consensus, gentlemen.
At exactly the time when climate science needs to acknowledge its
own failings, and the uncertainties of which Dr Curry speaks, and the
inability of cartoon climatology and fraudulent gimmicks like the
hockey stick to capture the complexities of the planet's climate
system, a narrow unrepresentative group of activists is demanding ever
more brutal penalties against those who refuse to toe the line.
There is certainly a role for the state to play in this--not in
prosecuting climate dissenters under RICO laws or in dumping taxpayer
money into unwatchable propaganda musicals, or in having feckless
lethargic judges in the District of Columbia reward serial plaintiffs
for nuisance suits, but rather in standing firm for the most expansive
definition of free speech, which is vital to scientific inquiry and
sorely overdue in this particular field, and against the abuse of
government funds, which has been disastrous for it.
Senator Cruz. Thank you, Mr. Steyn.
STATEMENT OF DAVID W. TITLEY, REAR ADMIRAL USN (RET.),
Ph.D., PROFESSOR OF PRACTICE AND DIRECTOR, CENTER
FOR SOLUTIONS TO WEATHER AND CLIMATE RISK,
PENNSYLVANIA STATE UNIVERSITY
Admiral Titley. Thank you for Chairman Thune to extend this
invitation to me.
Chairman Cruz, Ranking Member Peters, Ranking Member
Nelson, distinguished members of the Committee, thank you.
This is an important hearing on an important subject. I am
here today as a private citizen. My views are my own.
I got involved in climate in 2009. I was minding my own
business as a one-star admiral, ran the Navy's oceanography and
operational weather forecasting. Got a call while driving to
the New Orleans airport across the causeway in Lake
Pontchartrain, and it was the Chief of Naval Operations,
Admiral Gary Roughead.
He basically said, ``Hey, Titley, figure out what is going
on in the Arctic. Is this an issue or not? What is going on
with climate? Do I need to deal with this? Come up to the
Pentagon and figure this out.''
So I was a one star. He is a four star. So I said, ``Aye
aye, sir.'' And that is what we did.
And kind of what I looked at it as is really dropping back
to the training. I was a navigator on an old guided missile
destroyer, and we didn't have GPS. So you had to look at all
the data, but not believe any one piece of data entirely.
And that is kind of how I have looked at this because,
actually, I wasn't really convinced one way or the other what
was going on. So that is what I did. And the more we looked at
the data, the more we saw that not only were the air
temperatures coming up, but the ocean temperatures were coming
up. The sea level was coming up. The glaciers were retreating.
The oceans were acidifying. And as I said, the sea levels were
So when you put all of those independent lines of evidence
together, coupled with a theory that was over 100 years old and
had stood the test of time, it kind of made sense. Does it mean
we know everything? No. But does it mean that we know enough
that we should be considering this and acting? Yes. It is
called risk management, and that is what we are here doing.
So that is kind of where, you know, the science in general
works there. Can you test your hypothesis? What is the
cumulative weight of error? Can you replicate? What is the
You know, and over time, you can identify what is known
with confidence. Not every publication is correct. That is OK.
But it informs what we need to study over the next few years.
So, you know, basically, what do we know today about
climate science? We know that the Earth's climate is changing
at an unusual pace compared to the natural changes that the
Earth has experienced in the past. We know emissions of
greenhouse gases from human activities--primarily, but not
exclusively fossil fuels--are the principal drivers.
We know it is already causing harm, as Senator Nelson has
pointed out. Will continue for some time, that harm will
continue because there is inertia in the system. There is
inertia in the physical system. There is inertia in the world's
energy system. And we can limit that harm, though, by remedial
In the military, you don't always have perfect information.
In fact, you hardly ever have perfect information. But you
still make decisions based on what you know, and we know a lot.
General Sullivan, who serves with me on the CNA Military
Advisory Board, famously said that if you wait for 100 percent
certainty on the battlefield, you will probably be dead. Let us
not do that.
We know in 2014 the CNA Military Advisory Board put out
another report that talked about the climate risks are
accelerating, the threats are being magnified, and the complex,
cascading consequences can lead to a failure of imagination. We
have already experienced that in the last 15 years in this
country. We don't need to do that again.
So what do we do? We are already paying today a de facto
carbon tax, one that nobody voted on. You look at the cost of
the New Orleans levees. You look at the cost of Sandy. You look
at the cost of Florida. You look at the cost of relocating
communities in Alaska. Those are all carbon taxes, and we are
paying those today.
These are the impacts to society, not necessarily mid-
tropospheric corrections to MSU data. These are the kinds of
things that we have got to figure out.
So what can we do? I will use my last little bit of time
here to really plead to the Congress that your leadership is
essential. Big things happen in the United States with the
Congress. The Executive Branch can do some things. It can't do
We have seen this in the Department of Defense. Goldwater-
Nichols, that was a big change for the Department of Defense.
Nuclear power. The way nuclear power came into the Navy is
because the Congress made it happen. The Congress is massively
Ultimately, we need to decarbonize our energy system. It is
going to happen anyways, but the speed of that transition is
important. And as has been mentioned, there are 190 countries
right now in Paris. So that energy system is going to
transform. They are talking about this. Why don't we lead it?
We have already heard the Ranking Member talk about that.
Why don't we--why don't we lead it?
So here is my belief. I believe that we are still the
exceptional country that much of the world looks to for
leadership. I believe we all want a better life for ourselves,
our children, our grandchildren. Please let us not pull a
``Thelma and Louise.'' Let us get a better future. Let us start
Thank you very much. I look forward to your questions.
[The prepared statement of Admiral Titley follows:]
Prepared Statement of David W Titley, Rear Admiral USN (Ret.), Ph.D.,
Professor of Practice and Director, Center for Solutions to Weather and
Climate Risk, Pennsylvania State University
Thank you Chairman Cruz, Ranking Member Peters, distinguished
members of the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and
Transportation for the opportunity to come before you today and discuss
this very important topic.
I am David Titley and currently serve as the Founding Director of
the Center for Solutions to Weather and Climate Risk at the
Pennsylvania State University. I had the honor of serving in the United
States Navy for 32 years and retired last year as a Rear Admiral and
Assistant Deputy Chief of Naval Operations for Information Dominance.
When I retired, I was also the Oceanographer and Navigator of the Navy,
and Director of U.S. Navy Task Force Climate Change. Subsequent to my
time in the Navy, I served as the Chief Operating Officer position of
the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). My Center
at Penn State currently receives no Federal Funding. Although I have
consulted with many distinguished climate scientists in preparation for
this testimony, my views are my own--any mistakes are my
I am here today because I believe coming to a consensus on how to
develop policies that address the challenge of a changing climate is a
very important discussion for our Nation's leadership to have. Thank
you for holding this hearing.
In the Navy we have a saying, to just give me the `Bottom Line Up
Front' or BLUF. So here's my BLUF for today's hearing:
We know how to do Science: Science is not a simple linear
process, performed in an isolated, sterile environment, but
rather an iterative process with continual interaction between
exploration and discovery, feedback and input from peers,
inputs from society, but most importantly, testing ideas,
called hypotheses and theories, with evidence. New evidence can
change existing ideas. The better ideas fit actual
observations, disparate or seemingly unrelated observations or
previously unknown observations, the more likely the idea is to
be accepted widely by science. Results are provided in many
venues, but peer-reviewed journals are especially important.
Peer-review does not guarantee the ideas being published are
correct, but the process does ensure the work acknowledges
previous work in that field, the experiments and methods were
well-designed, the evidence cited logically leads to the
conclusion. If new evidence becomes available, or subsequent
researchers find errors in the methods published, the original
ideas are modified. Science is based on the cumulative weight
of the evidence available. If initially published contrarian
results stand the test of independent confirmation and
corroboration, these initially contrarian (or even
revolutionary) results become part of the accepted body of
The climate is changing more rapidly than has been observed
in the past; we understand why that is so, and we understand
that those changes will continue, absent meaningful action in
reducing Greenhouse Gas emissions: The change in the climate,
and therefore the change in the weather, is real. Multiple
independent sources of data show a rise in temperatures and
rise in the ratio of record high temperatures to record low
temperatures; an increase in the intensity of precipitation
events--that is, the hardest rains are getting harder; the
continued collapse in the area and amount of summer-time sea
ice in the Arctic Ocean; an acceleration of sea level rise;
acidifying oceans; and ecosystems moving poleward and up in
elevation where possible. We understand why the climate is
changing, based on science extending back to the mid-19th
century. The basic concept of greenhouse gasses trapping heat
and keeping the atmosphere warmer than it would be in the
absence of these gasses is extremely well understood. This idea
explains not only the temperature of the Earth, but the same
concept also applies to understanding the temperatures of Venus
\1\ MacCracken, M. ``Climate Change in Six Well-Documented
We know how to succeed even when the future is not perfectly
known: Traditional risk planning takes the chance or
probability of an event and multiplies it by the impact. But
even when it is difficult to assess the likelihood of a
specific event, there are still available methods by which risk
planning and mitigation can be accomplished. Our national
security teams frequently have to account for these ``deep
uncertainties'' and they have a variety of tools to assist
them. Rich scenario planning, assumptions-based planning and
similar methods can be used with the goal of identifying all
plausible vulnerabilities and their subsequent impacts.
National Security and strategic military planners have used
these tools successfully for decades--we can apply these
methods and adapt them to the climate change challenge.
The earth's climate has naturally varied for millions of years
(Figure 1--From John Englander ``High Tide on Main Street''; it will
continue to do so for millions more (e.g., . However, humans, primarily
through the release of greenhouse gases, also have the capability to
modify the earth's climate in a way that previously could occur only by
nature. If the climate has always changed in the past and will do so in
the future, then why do we care? We care because we are forcing a
change to a system that has been remarkably stable in the past 8-12
thousand years (Figure 2--From John Englander ``High Tide on Main
Street''); the time when humans developed agriculture, civilization and
our modern way of life. It's not that the climate of the past few
thousand years is optimal per se, but its stability allowed us to base
a civilization on an overall predictability of where our coasts would
be, when the rains would come, and the length of the growing seasons.
Later on we would construct our buildings, towns, and cities all based
on a historical understanding of the averages and extremes of our
historical climate. And most importantly, we made a fundamental
assumption that the future climate would be like the past. That
assumption no longer holds.
Figure 1--From John Englander ``High Tide on Main Street''
Figure 2--From John Englander ``High Tide on Main Street''
Dr. John Holdren, Director of the White House Office of Science and
Technology Policy, provided extensive written testimony on the subject
of climate change data and evidence to the U.S. House of
Representatives Committee on Science, Space and Technology in September
2014. While I have no ties to the current administration I believe Dr.
Holdren describes accurately the state of climate science today. The
following is an extract of his written statement:
``There is an immense amount of [climate science] primary,
peer-reviewed, published research . . . carried out by a wide
variety of competent national and international bodies
(including Federal agencies and scientific advisory boards and
committees reporting to them). Important examples include the
comprehensive reviews by the U.S. National Academies \2\ and
the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC),\3\ the
recent joint review by the U.S. National Academy of Sciences
and the U.K.'s Royal Society of London,\4\ the Second and Third
U.S. National Climate Assessments,\5\ the annual State of the
Climate reports of the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric
Administration,\6\ the periodic synthesis and assessment
reports of the U.S. Global Change Research Program,\7\ and the
first Quadrennial Energy Technology Review of the U.S.
Department of Energy.\8\ Notably, the U.S. National Climate
Assessments, which are required under the Global Change
Research Act of 1990, reflect substantial input from the
public, outside experts and stakeholders. The most recent such
Assessment, which was released in May of 2014, was the result
of a three-year analytical effort by a team of over 300 climate
scientists and experts, informed by inputs gathered through
more than 70 technical workshops and stakeholder listening
sessions held across the country. The resulting product was
subjected to extensive review by the public and by scientific
experts inside and outside of government.
\2\ The National Academies reports on climate change include the
four-volume set, America's Climate Choices (2010) and a host of other
reports completed since 2010, all accessible at: http://nas-sites.org/
\3\ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) 2007 and 2013-
2014 IPCC Fourth and Fifth Assessments, accessible at: http://
\4\ Climate Change: Evidence and Causes--An Overview from the Royal
Society and the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, 2014: http://
\5\ Global Climate Change Impacts in the United States, 2009:
http://nca2009.globalchange.gov and Climate Change Impacts in the
United States, 2014: http://nca2014.globalchange.gov.
\6\ National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) State of
the Climate reports, accessible at: http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/sotc/
\8\ Department of Energy (DOE) 2011 Quadrennial Technology Review:
The Natural Science of Anthropogenic Climate Change
Decades of observation, monitoring, and analysis have demonstrated
beyond reasonable doubt that:
(1) the Earth's climate is changing at an unusual pace compared to
natural changes in climate experienced in the past;
(2) emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases from
human activities, principally the combustion of fossil fuels
but also land-use change, are the principal drivers of the
recent and ongoing changes in climate;
(3) climate change is already causing harm in many parts of the
world (and many parts of the United States);
(4) this harm will continue to grow for some time to come, because
of the time lags and inertia built into the Earth's climate
system and the inertia in civilization's energy system (which
prevents drastically reducing the offending emissions
(5) there is a large difference between the amount of additional
harm projected to occur in the absence of vigorous remedial
action versus that expected if such action is taken promptly.
The recent measured changes in climate include a multi-decade
increase in the year-round, global-average air temperature near Earth's
surface, but they are not limited to that. The changes also include
increased temperatures in the ocean; increased moisture in the
atmosphere; increased numbers of extremely hot days; changed patterns
of rainfall and snowfall; and, in some regions, increases in droughts,
wildfires, and unusually powerful storms.
In consequence of the temperature increase, moreover, glaciers are
melting, the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets are losing mass, and
sea level is rising. While the pace of sea-level rise is relatively
slow--the current rate would produce an increase of about a foot over a
century--there are three main reasons that the problem should not be
(1) The rate appears to be increasing and is now about twice the
average for the 20th century; increases as high as 1 to 2
meters (3.3 to 6.6 feet) above the pre-industrial value by 2100
cannot be ruled out.\9\
\9\ Note: The highest value cited by the IPCC's 2013 climate-
science synthesis is 1.25 meters, but a December 2012 NOAA report put
the upper limit at 2 meters (see Parris, A., P. Bromirski, V. Burkett,
D. Cayan, M. Culver, J. Hall, R. Horton, K. Knuuti, R. Moss, J.
Obeysekera, A. Sallenger, and J. Weiss. 2012. Global Sea Level Rise
Scenarios for the U.S. National Climate Assessment. NOAA Tech Memo OAR
(2) Even modest amounts of sea-level increase constitute a
significant threat to ecosystems and infrastructure in low-
lying coastal areas, not least because of the amplification of
storm surges and increased intrusion of salt water into coastal
(3) The momentum in the processes driving sea-level rise is such
that it is expected to continue for centuries even under the
most optimistic scenarios for climate-change mitigation; it can
be slowed, but it cannot be stopped on any time scale of
The ``fingerprint'' of human responsibility for most of the climate
change observed over the past few decades is unmistakable: science has
established persuasively that the atmospheric build-up of the key
greenhouse gases has resulted from human activities; and the spatial
and temporal patterns as well as the magnitudes of the observed changes
in temperature are consistent with what theory and models predict would
result from that build-up, after allowance is made for the partially
offsetting effect of increased atmospheric concentrations of reflective
and cloud-forming particulate matter (also of human origin).
Civilization's emissions of carbon dioxide, in particular, have led
not only to a build-up of the stock of this important heat-trapping gas
in the atmosphere (where it's responsible for close to half of the
total warming influence of all the heat-trapping substances humans have
added over time); those emissions have also led to an increase in the
dissolution of carbon dioxide into the surface layer of the ocean.
There the dissolved CO2 forms carbonic acid
(H2CO3) and thus lowers the pH (increases the
acidity) of ocean waters. This ongoing acidification increasingly puts
at risk coral reefs and other marine organisms that build their shells
or skeletons from calcium carbonate (including clams, oysters, and some
The foregoing conclusions are based on an immense number of
observations and measurements made by thousands of scientists at both
governmental and nongovernmental institutions around the world, as well
as on fundamental understandings about atmospheric physics and
increasingly sophisticated computer models of ocean-atmosphere-
ecosystem interactions, all recorded in tens of thousands of peer-
reviewed scientific publications. These key findings about climate
change have been endorsed by every major national academy of sciences
in the world, including those of [the United Kingdom], China, India,
Russia, and Brazil as well as that of the United States, and by nearly
every U.S. scientific professional society, by the World Meteorological
Organization and the UN's Inter-governmental Panel on Climate Change
(IPCC), and by the recently released Third U.S. National Climate
(I have attached additional, more technical parts of Dr. Holdren's
statement providing evidence of changes in our climate in Attachment A,
submitted with this testimony.)
I would be remiss if I did not address the so-called `pause' in
global surface temperatures. Dr. Holdren provides additional details
(submitted as part of Attachment A). It is easy to find arbitrary 5-15
year periods when, with careful choosing of the start and stop dates,
one can claim there has been no change in global temperatures. This
method of analysis though does not account for the longer-term upward
trend that persists through the relatively short-term variations. As an
analog, I drive west on Interstate 70 from Washington DC back to Penn
State. However, for nearly the first 25 miles in Pennsylvania, I-70
runs north, or even northeast. But even with that short-term variation
(to account for the mountains) the road, overall, still takes me from
east to west. Likewise, due to natural variability, there are short-
term ups and downs in year-to-year temperature. But this structure does
not remove the long-term, and upward, trend. A recent graphic (Figure
3) from Dr. Kevin Trenberth of the National Center for Atmospheric
Research \10\ shows this trend, and also shows how 2015 is very likely
to be the warmest year recorded in the modern record--and by a
[GRAPHICS NOT AVAILABLE IN TIFF FORMAT]
Figure 3--Global Temperature change and CO2
In summary, a combination of multiple, independent sources of data
provide the basis to the latest conclusion from the Intergovernmental
Panel on Climate Change: ``Warming of the climate system is
unequivocal, and since the 1950s, many of the observed changes are
unprecedented over decades to millennia. . .Human influence on the
climate system is clear. This is evident from the increasing greenhouse
gas concentrations in the atmosphere, positive radiative forcing,
observed warming, and understanding of the climate system.'' \11\ We
should not be surprised; these conclusions rest on science discovered
in the 19th century by Fourier, Tyndall, Arrhenius and their colleagues
\12\ and validated by many scientists in the subsequent decades.
\11\ Summary for Policy Makers of the Working Group I contribution
to the IPCC Fifth Assessment Report (2013)
It is worth noting that private industry independently arrived at
these same conclusions decades ago. Recently released documents \13\
show that in 1980 Exxon researchers projected the impacts on global
temperature due to increasing greenhouse gasses with astonishing
accuracy (e.g., Figure 4). Again, the basis of the science of climate
change is exceptionally well-understood and can be--and has been--
applied by many researchers inside and outside the government.
Figure 4--Exxon Projection of global temperatures
So what should we do? I recommend we take a risk-management
approach, similar to how the CNA Military Advisory Board (MAB) has done
in their most recent report on the risks of climate change to
security.\14\ Although most of the CNA MAB members are not scientists,
their positions as former senior three-and four-star leaders in the
United States Military trained them to seek and assess technical advice
from many different fields of expertise. They have accepted the
overwhelming evidence of the mainstream, international science
community, and understand that if significant new and compelling
evidence is discovered, the conclusions may need to be adjusted
accordingly. Climate risks and security risks share another trait in
common: ``The worst matters much more than the bad'' \15\. In other
words: What are the near-term and future risks to our way of life--and
what policies and structures should we put in place to manage and
mitigate those risks?
\14\ ``National Security and the Accelerating Risks of Climate
Change.'', CNA Corporation, May 2014. https://www.cna.org/cna_files/
\15\ Burroughs, William ``Climate Change in Prehistory: The End of
the Reign of Chaos'', Cambridge University Press, 2005
How might we meet this challenge? One way might be to start with
these four recommendations, consistent in broad goals with the
President's Climate Action Plan \16\:
Set up and support a monitoring system that will allow the
U.S. and the world to detect and assess changes to future
climate. Assign specific responsibilities. Many National
Academies of Science (NAS) reports have called for such a
monitoring system. As a recent example, the NAS `Abrupt Climate
Changes' report calls for such a monitoring system.
Adjust policies today for what we know--and for what we
might reasonably expect in the coming decades. Ensure we do not
simply plan for the best case or even the most likely, but also
consider seriously the most damaging and harmful scenarios
(think `Katrina' and `Sandy'). We learned in the military a
long time ago that hope by itself is rarely a good strategy.
Invest in better understanding--and ultimately prediction--
at the boundary between weather and climate. While
scientifically this is very challenging, it is also very
important for people and a myriad of decisions. From a
security, economic, agricultural, infrastructure and policy
perspective, greater climate knowledge of the next few seasons
to the next decade or two would be extremely useful. While we
should not use today's uncertainty as an excuse to defer
action, better understanding of the climate over the next 2-20
years would be very useful in allocating scarce resources. The
Department of the Navy is funding today the `Earth System
Prediction Capability' or ESPC--an interagency program designed
to provide our country the next-generation of integrated air-
ocean-ice-land prediction system.\17\ Navy is working with
other components of the DoD, as well as NOAA, NASA and the
Department of Energy to ensure our Nation has the world's best
operational weather and climate prediction tools at our
disposal. This national imperative must be a national priority.
As we work on adapting to our changing climate we should not
lose sight of the big picture: how to move the world's energy
system to a predominantly non-carbon based energy source to
power the world. How can we unleash the innovation and energy
that makes our country great to solve one of the grand
challenges of the 21st Century? The United States has responded
to grand challenges of the past, in part by investing for the
future. As seen in Figure 5, we responded to President
Kennedy's call to go to the moon and President Nixon's response
to the 1973 Arab Oil Embargo. To date though, there has been no
serious response to the need to transforming our energy system.
We are the country that is developing a self-driving car and
whose private companies can send satellites to geosynchronous
orbit. With the right policies and encouragement from the
Federal Government I am sure our private sector can develop--
and profit from--energy solutions that will power the world in
a sustainable fashion into the future.
In closing, our country is dealing with a significant change in the
world's climate; it is a very serious challenge and if we do not manage
this risk climate change, unchecked, will make many of our existing
threats worse. But our country has met challenges of this magnitude
before and succeeded--and we will do so again. While we don't know
everything--and we never will--we do know more than enough to act now.
By focusing our efforts in a risk-based framework on meeting the
climate challenge, we can prepare for the short-term while shaping our
longer-term future. We can provide the policies, stability and guidance
our country needs to unleash our country's energy, creativity and
initiative. I am convinced we will be proud and amazed at what we can
Thank you very much for your time and attention; I look forward to
taking your questions.
[GRAPHICS NOT AVAILABLE IN TIFF FORMAT]
Figure 5--Non-Defense U.S. R&D 1953-2015
Additional excerpts from Dr. John Holdren's (Director, Office of
Science and Technology Policy, Executive Office of the President of the
United States) written statement to the U.S. House of Representatives
Committee on Science, Space, and Technology, given 17 September 2014
Elaboration on the human drivers of global climate change
Scientists have developed good estimates of the magnitudes of both
human-caused and natural influences on the global climate (called
``forcings'' in climate science) since the start of the Industrial
Revolution around 1750. The results show that the human influences in
this period have far outweighed the natural forcings, as well as
internal variability of the climate system. The 2013 IPCC report found,
specifically, that the positive forcing (warming influence)
attributable to human-caused emissions over the period 1750-2011 was
about 80 times as large as the positive forcing from changes in solar
irradiance (the largest natural influence) over that period. Studies
going back 20 years and more show that increases in globally-averaged
temperatures over the last several decades have been too rapid and too
sustained to be a result of internal climate variability.
Carbon dioxide (CO2) is the most important greenhouse
gas emitted by humans. Emissions of CO2 between 1750 and
2011 accounted for 42 percent of the total positive forcings resulting
from all human emissions over this period; and current
CO2 emissions are responsible for around 75 percent of the
century-scale Global Warming Potential (GWP) of all current human
emissions of heat-trapping substances.\18\
\18\ Note: The GWP of an initial emissions pulse of a greenhouse
gas is calculated by summing its warming effects over a specified
number of years into the future. Because different greenhouse gases
have different lifetimes in the atmosphere, the relative importance of
their respective emissions at a given time--as measured by GWP--depends
on the length of time chosen for those sums. One hundred years is a
common choice. Note also that the IPCC's new approach to allocating the
responsibility for forcing (as of the 2013-14 assessment) is based on
the contribution of emissions of the heat-trapping substances and their
precursors between 1750 and 2011, not on the changes in concentrations
of the heat-trapping substances as was the approach in the IPCC's
previous assessments. The two approaches to allocation give somewhat
different numbers because emissions of some substances affect not only
their own concentrations but also the concentrations of others.
In 2012, about 90 percent of global anthropogenic
CO2 emissions came from fossil-fuel combustion and cement
production (40 percent coal, 30 percent oil, 16 percent natural gas, 4
percent cement) and 10 percent from deforestation and other land-use
change. Of the ``industrial'' (fossil fuel and cement) emissions in
that year, China accounted for about 29 percent, the United States for
about 15 percent, the 27 countries of the European Union for about 11
percent, India for about 6 percent, Russia for about 5 percent, and
Japan for about 4 percent. These relatively few countries alone, then,
accounted for about 70 percent of global industrial
CO2 emissions in 2012.
The second most important greenhouse gas emitted by humans is
methane (CH4). It has a far shorter atmospheric lifetime
than that of carbon dioxide, but methane emissions between 1750 and
2011 nonetheless accounted for about 24 percent of the total positive
forcings resulting from all human emissions over this period. Part of
this contribution is because chemical reactions involving
CH4 lead to increases in tropospheric ozone and
stratospheric water vapor. The activities responsible for
civilization's methane emissions are, approximately: fossil-fuel
production, processing and transport, 30 percent; animal husbandry, 27
percent; waste management, 23 percent; rice cultivation, 10 percent;
and biomass burning, 10 percent.\12\
Emissions of halogen gases (leaked from a variety of commercial
products and industrial uses) accounted for another 9 percent of the
total positive forcing as of 2011, compared to 1750, but about 40
percent of the positive forcing from the halogen gases was cancelled
out by the reduction in the stratospheric concentration of ozone caused
by their emissions. Emissions of nitrous oxide (from combustion and
fertilizer use) contributed about 4 percent of the total positive
forcing up to 2011.
The other major contributor to positive forcing since the beginning
of the Industrial Revolution is not a greenhouse gas at all but ``black
carbon''--heat-absorbing particles emitted primarily by biomass burning
and by many two-stroke and diesel engines. Although the atmospheric
lifetime of these particles is only days to weeks, their emissions had
contributed about 16 percent of all positive forcing as of 2011,
compared to 1750.
The positive forcings from the sources just mentioned are currently
being partially offset by negative forcing that comes from reflective
and cloud-forming particles that also have increased in concentration
in the industrial era. The main sources of these particles are certain
oxides of sulfur and nitrogen emitted by fuel combustion. There are
strong incentives to reduce those emissions for reasons of public
health and the protection of ecosystems from acid precipitation,
however, and when this happen the resulting reduction of negative
forcing by the associated reflective and cloud-forming particles will
``unmask'' some of the warming that currently is being offset.
Elaboration on the ``hiatus'' in global warming
A number of climate-change contrarians have been propagating the
claim that there has been no global warming since 1998. This is not
Although the rate of increase in the globally and annually averaged
temperature of the atmosphere near the surface has slowed since around
2000 \19\ compared to the rate of increase over the preceding three
decades, near-surface warming of the atmosphere has indeed continued.
The 2000s were warmer than the 1990s, and the 2010s so far have been
warmer than the 2000s.
\19\ Note: The one year in the top 14 that occurred prior to 2000
was 1998. It was the third or fourth warmest year since 1880 as a
result of an unusually powerful El Nino, which boosted the global-
average surface temperature well above the trend line. The recent rate
of temperature increase can be made to look smaller by ``cherry-
picking'' the 1998 spike as the new start date for one's trend line, as
a number of contrarians have done to bolster their claim that global
warming has stopped.
Thirteen of the 14 warmest years since decent thermometer records
became available (around 1880) have occurred since 2000. During the
recent period in which the rate of increase of the average surface air
temperature has slowed, moreover, other indicators of a warming
planet--shrinkage of Arctic sea ice and mountain glaciers, increased
discharges from the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets, increased ocean
temperatures, and sea-level rise--have been proceeding at or above the
rates that characterized the preceding decades.
The long-term warming trend resulting from the build-up of heat-
trapping gases and particles in the atmosphere is superimposed on a
considerable amount of variability--year-to-year and decade-to-decade
ups and downs in the global-average atmospheric temperature resulting
from variations in solar output, in volcanic activity that injects
reflecting particles into the strato-sphere, and in ocean circulation
patterns that govern how much of the trapped heat goes into the oceans
as opposed to staying in the atmosphere. Scientists therefore do not
expect the rate of atmospheric warming, which results from the
combination of human and natural influences, to be uniform from year to
year and decade to decade. Climate models show short periods of slow
warming and even cooling within long-term warming epochs, much as we
see recently in observations.
The reduced rate of warming since around 2000 is thought to be the
result of a partial offsetting, by a combination of natural factors
that tended to cool the atmosphere in this period, of the warming
influence of the continuing greenhouse-gas build-up. An increase in
emissions of sunlight-reflecting particles from an increase in global
coal use may also have contributed. Among the natural factors thought
to be involved, oceans are likely to have played a major role in
slowing atmospheric warming in this period. The oceans normally take up
more than 90 percent of the excess heat trapped by anthropogenic
greenhouse gases; thus, a small percentage increase in what goes into
the ocean can take a large share away from what otherwise would have
gone into the atmosphere.
When the variability that has lately slowed surface-atmosphere
temperature trends next shifts to contributing warming, of course, it
will then reinforce rather than offset the warming influence of the
build-up of greenhouse gases. The rate of increase of the global-
average surface temperature will then rebound, becoming more rapid,
rather than less rapid, than the long-term average.
It is not clear, finally, that all of what has long been called
``natural variability'' is completely free of human influences. It's
known that the geographic unevenness of anthropogenic global warming
(amplified in the Northern Hemisphere by the shrinkage of Arctic sea
ice, among other factors), affects atmospheric and oceanic circulation
patterns. There is considerable evidence that the El Nino/La Nina
cycle, as well as other patterns that affect how much trapped heat ends
up in the oceans rather than in the atmosphere, are being influenced to
some extent by anthropogenic global warming.
It has been suggested that the slow rate of recent warming calls
into question our understanding of the importance of CO2 in
determining Earth's climate. There is no reason to believe this. Short
periods of slow warming and even cooling amidst longer warming epochs
are expected and are seen in instrumental records, geologic temperature
reconstructions, and in climate-model output. Internal redistributions
of energy (as are suspected to be responsible for most of the recent
slowdown in atmospheric warming) in no way conflict with our
understanding of CO2 as a dominant driver of long-term
changes in Earth's climate.
Senator Cruz. Thank you, Dr. Titley. And thank you to each
of the witnesses for testifying.
Dr. Happer, I want to start with you, and I want to just
make sure I understood your testimony correctly. As I
understood what you told this committee, you had a series of
facts. That CO2 is not a pollutant. That
CO2 is good for the planet. That CO2 is
good for plant life in particular. That the world right now is
currently greening. And that for much of our history, there has
been substantially more CO2 in the atmosphere than
there is right now.
Am I correct in understanding each of those facts?
Dr. Happer. That is completely correct. But by history, I
mean for since the last 500 million years, you know, since the
Senator Cruz. And I would note that the history with
markedly more CO2 predated the Industrial
Revolution. So it didn't come from automobiles or the burning
of carbon fuels. Is that correct?
Dr. Happer. That is correct.
Senator Cruz. OK. So those are facts we are beginning with.
I would note those facts are directly contrary to what the
global warming alarmists tell us day in and day out and to what
the media, which echoes their concerns, say day in and day out.
I want to pull up charts number 1 and number 2. I guess the
bias on the charts of the computer models is causing the chart
to fall over.
Senator Cruz. So, Dr. Christy, this first chart here, the
bright red line, do I understand it correctly that the bright
red line is what the computer models--and this is an average of
quite a many--quite a significant number of computer models,
what the computer models said should be happening with our
temperature, that we should see warming spiking like crazy. Is
Dr. Christy. Yes, and that is the bulk atmosphere, where
the biggest signal of greenhouse warming is supposed to be
seen. So that is precisely where you want to measure it.
Senator Cruz. So we see the computer models, and if that
were fact, we might have something to talk about. But the
bottom line there, the blue and green, those are the actual
measurements of what is, in fact, happening in the atmosphere.
Is that correct, Dr. Christy?
Dr. Christy. Yes, and I think the nice thing about that
chart is there are seven different datasets involved in that
observations there, not just one.
Senator Cruz. So when you compare alarmist theories, the
red line, to actual facts, the blue and green dots, you see
that the facts don't back up the theories. And we are being
asked as a Congress to act and impose trillions of dollars of
cost on humanity because of the red-line theory that is not
backed up by the facts. Is that correct?
Dr. Christy. I think so. In fact, going along with your
hearing, you might want to say dogma is the red line. Data is
the blue and the green.
Senator Cruz. I think that is very well said. I would note
this chart on the right, which shows for the last 18 years that
there has been no significant warming whatsoever. Now that is
directly contrary to what the dataset showed.
Now, Dr. Titley, I noticed in your written testimony that
you took a moment to address what you described as the so-
called ``pause'' in global temperatures. By the pause, are you
referring to the last 18 years of no significant recorded
Admiral Titley. Well, unlike your previous witness, I am
not referring to the 1940s. It is--I thought you would like
Senator Cruz. Indeed.
Admiral Titley. Yes. The pause is very interesting. As you
know, sir, 1998, big El Nino. So it is kind of interesting we
start at 18 years. We don't look at a 15-year dataset or a 10-
year dataset or a 20-year dataset. We look at an 18-year
But even if you do that, that is fine. Let us look at that.
We have--this is low budget here. I have got to do my own
Admiral Titley. Thanks, Amanda.
Senator Cruz. Well, let me take a moment on----
Admiral Titley. So here, sir, just to answer your question,
Senator. Here was 1998, and here is today.
So, on me, I mean, I am just a simple sailor. But it is
hard for me to see the pause on that chart. So I think the
pause has kind of come and gone.
Senator Cruz. Do you dispute the satellite measurement?
Admiral Titley. Let us not talk about the satellite. Here
Senator Cruz. But, sir--sir, I am asking, do you--I
understand that the global warming alarmists don't want to talk
about the satellite data, but I am asking----
Admiral Titley. OK, sure. I will talk about the satellite.
Let us talk about the satellite measurements. Let us talk about
orbital decay. Let us talk about overlapping satellite records.
Let us talk about stratospheric temperature contamination.
I think Dr. Christy and Dr. Spencer, when they put this
out, they had been wrong I think at least four consecutive
times. Each time the data record has had to be adjusted
upwards. There have been several sine errors.
So when--with all due respect, sir, I don't know which data
exactly your staff has, whether it is the first or second or
third or fourth correction to Dr. Christy's data. We used to
have a negative trend, then we had no trend, and now we
begrudgingly have an upward trend.
So looking at those data, you know, it is OK. But here is
where we live----
Senator Cruz. Let me see if--let me see if I can
understand. The first argument you gave in response to this,
and it is an argument that a number of the global warming
alarmists use is they say, well, 18 years ago was El Nino, and
it is arbitrary to begin there. And I will confess I don't
understand that argument because we have 18 years of no
significant warming. So if you don't like an 18-year window, we
can start in 1999. There is no significant warming for 17
If you don't like a 17-year window, we can start in 2000.
Then we don't have a significant warming. It is true for any
date across those 18 years. So I fail to see the significance--
Admiral Titley. Actually, Senator, it is not. If you take
off that top really big spike and you take that out, you start
getting the upward bias, and this is what people do when you
start looking at these relatively arbitrary times is you start
with a really high number at the left-hand side, and that kind
of influences basically your linear trend.
So when you start looking at things like every decade, you
have an upward trend in the data, and that is from the World
Senator Cruz. And I would note you asked about the source
of the data on the right chart. It is actually not Dr.
Christy's data. It is the Remote Sensing Systems, the RSS data
that is up there.
At this point, my time has expired. But we are going to
have another round.
Admiral Titley. Thank you, sir.
Senator Cruz. And we will return to questions on these
Senator Peters. Thank you, and again, thank you to our
panelists for your testimony here today.
Now it was interesting as I heard the testimony from folks
and some of the comments that were being made, that this is the
so-called consensus of climate change and warming. I heard one
of the panelists say the argument is so weak that it can't
stand up to any other scrutiny.
As I look at the facts, I don't understand where those--
where those comments are coming from. My understanding is
that--and this is in a number of peer-reviewed journals that
have looked at where scientists are, particularly those who are
climate scientists--roughly 97 percent of those folks in the
profession believe that the climate is, indeed, changing and
that humans had a significant aspect to it.
But it is not just in the scientific community. We have
got, in fact, just recently a letter of 150 of the leading
companies in this country who are having to make business
decisions and are concerned about changing climate. Companies
important to me in Michigan like General Motors and Kellogg,
but also Coca-Cola, Walmart, UPS. It is a list of the ``who's
who'' of companies in this country who believe this is a
We have some of my colleagues who are in Paris. Nearly 190
countries have come together, realizing this is something that
we have to deal with. So, and we hear those numbers, that seems
like there is overwhelming amount of scientific support.
That is not to discredit the folks who are testifying here.
Certainly your view is important, and we need to hear that. And
I think, as, Dr. Titley, you mentioned, nothing is ever 100
percent. And I want to pick up on that, and you mentioned it
briefly in your comments as well, particularly as someone who
is an admiral in the Navy and as a military person.
We expect our Department of Defense to evaluate potential
threats that we face to our national security, threats that we
face as a country. If we are in--if we have to go to war, our
commanders have to make constant assessments of threats, and
they rely on the intelligence community to give them data
before they commit men and women into harm's way. People's
lives could be at stake.
These are huge decisions, serious decisions, ones that I
know commanders agonize about. But they know if they make the
wrong decision, the consequences could be even more
So, and I spent some time in the Navy as well, and I don't
know that an intelligence report will ever give you 100 percent
certainty. In fact, they will give you all sorts of caveats in
providing any kind of intelligence assessment.
So speaking as a man from the military, if you are an
operational commander and someone said we can give you 97
percent confidence, but not 100, is that going to be enough?
And really, what is--speak to what sort of certainty you are
going to need.
Admiral Titley. Senator, thanks for the question, sir.
If somebody could tell me with 97 percent certainty what is
going to happen on the battle space or in the operating
environment, I mean, you would take that in a heartbeat. Our
intelligence community does wonders. They have been supported
by the Congress, supported by the administration, tremendous
hard-working men and women.
But if the intelligence community could tell you as much as
the climate community could about the state of the world 50
years from now, we would find General Clapper, whatever he is
doing today, stop him. Fly him to the White House and give him
the Presidential Medal of Freedom this afternoon because that
would be just an outstanding feat.
Now this is not a knock on the intelligence community. They
are dealing with people. They are trying to deal with people
who deceive us. We are just dealing with physics. The physics
isn't trying to deceive anyone, and we understand the basic
We certainly don't understand everything, and we certainly
do understand that there are short- and medium-term variations,
ups and downs, some of which we do pretty well on, others not
so much. That is why we need research. That is why we need
But the degree of certainty that you ask for, sir, we--we
would love to have that for operational commanders making
Senator Peters. And certainly that is in weather decisions.
You are a part of the meteorologic or for part of meteorology
with the Navy. As a meteorologist, what level of certainty on
weather forecasts is acceptable to mission commanders who make
operational decisions? Obviously, they don't go into battle
without checking with you and other meteorologists.
Admiral Titley. Yes, sir. Usually they would say, ``Shut
up, Titley. Don't give me that weather stuff. Just tell me what
is going to happen.''
So what they are looking for--but they do understand risk.
In all seriousness, people do understand risk. Sometimes
weather forecasts are taken to the bank. It is going to start
snowing at whatever time.
Other times, like hit-and-miss showers, like the Ranking
Member, you know, in Florida, trying to figure out where that
thunderstorm is and is not is pretty tricky. But you can
communicate that in terms of risk, in terms of probabilities,
and that is really when you extend into climate. This is all we
I think anybody who says, you know, you have 100 percent of
whatever, you probably don't. But if you start having
significant numbers and you look at the impacts, I mean, that
is the other part of risk is what is the impact if you are
wrong? You know, and then how do you buy that down? How do you
manage that risk so that it becomes acceptable? And that is
what we are trying to do.
Senator Peters. And that is the thing is the risk that
could be potentially catastrophic or go anywhere from bad to
catastrophic. But you mentioned and I mentioned the short-term
weather effects. If you would just briefly--or my time is about
up, but briefly, there is a difference between weather events
and climate. And I think that is oftentimes confusing to folks.
It is to me.
Could you elaborate why short-term weather events, we
shouldn't spend too much time focusing on those and instead
need to be looking at the long-term impact of climate change?
Admiral Titley. Yes, sir. I mean, I often tell people you
live in weather and you plan for climate. Climate is simply
this amalgamation or it is put together in space and time, over
decades over large regions. Those are the trends. That is
climate, up, down, whatever it is.
Weather is day-to-day, you know, and even out to a week, 2
weeks, 3 weeks. And then in between is where it gets
interesting, and you know, when we talk about 18 years, this is
an interesting time. You have some ocean pieces, but also
climate. And you get these--get these interactions here, and
this is the interesting time.
Long-term, though, we know where the climate is going.
Senator Peters. Thank you, sir.
Admiral Titley. Thanks.
Senator Cruz. Senator Daines?
STATEMENT OF HON. STEVE DAINES,
U.S. SENATOR FROM MONTANA
Senator Daines. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Thank you for
holding this hearing today.
Ranking Members Peters, Nelson, thank you.
I do not have a Nobel Prize, just for the record to be
clear. I do have a degree in chemical engineering. I am the
only chemical engineer on the Hill. So I very much appreciate
and I like being on this science kind of debate and on this
My home state of Montana is well known for its beautiful
landscapes, pristine environment, and clearly, we have a moral
responsibility to be good stewards of that environment. But
Montana families also rely on our natural resources. We are
called the Treasure State for a reason. And it is not because
of elk antler furniture and huckleberry jam, as much as we
enjoy those things. We are called the Treasure State because of
our natural resources, which includes coal.
These are good-paying jobs, that coal creates. It is
reliable, affordable energy. And I believe Montanans and most
Americans believe we can achieve a balanced approach of
protecting our environment, as well as ensuring we have
I can tell you there is a lot of concern about the
regulations that are coming out of the debates like we are
having here today and the magnitude of the devastating impacts
on families. The University of Montana, which is not a
conservative think tank--my dad is a proud graduate of the
University of Montana. But I will tell you they just published
a study on the Clean Power Plan, which probably should be
called the unaffordable energy plan.
And that study stated that the Clean Power Plan could
potentially be the largest economic event to occur in Montana
in more than 30 years. Here is what the study said, coming out
of the EPA's Clean Power Plan.
It will cost us 7,000 jobs, $500 million a year in annual
income, and the loss of $145 million in state tax revenues for
our schools and for our teachers. Two weeks ago, I held a
telephone town hall. We had thousands of Montanans
participating with concerns about these regulations.
What do we do? What do we tell the boilermaker union
workers back in Montana who will lose their jobs? What do we
tell senior citizens and the working poor who are on fixed
incomes and looking at significant and huge increases in energy
costs as a result of these regulations from Washington, D.C.?
Let us remember the facts and the data. The United States
consumes 10 percent of the coal in the world, 10 percent. Said
another way, 90 percent is consumed outside of our country. In
Montana, 51 percent of our electricity comes from coal.
I love Tesla automobiles. I have a friend who has a Tesla.
It is great to see him plug that into the charging station
there in Bozeman. But the reality is in the back of that Tesla,
let us just say this Tesla is powered by coal. That is where
the electricity is coming from to power that Tesla.
But you think about the United States, about 40 percent of
our electricity comes from coal. Look at the numbers--27
percent from natural gas, 19 percent nuclear, 6 percent hydro,
4 percent wind, and 0.4 percent solar.
Now with that as background, as we think about the global
challenges that we face as we look at carbon and so forth, with
10 percent coming from the United States and 90 percent
outside, we ought to be making sure this is a global
conversation and not unilaterally disarming our economy through
these regulations coming out of Washington, D.C.
China is building a new coal-fired plant every 10 days.
Japan--I used to have an office in Tokyo. I had a private
sector job for 28 years before I came to Congress a few years
ago. I had an office in Tokyo. Japan is building 43 coal-fired
plants as we speak, looking to the future.
And yet these regulations, coming out of the EPA, are going
to absolutely kill our economy and kill our natural resources
Dr. Christy, in your testimony, you mentioned the
importance of affordable and accessible energy and the
importance to human health and welfare. I remind everybody in
this room that over 1.3 billion people in the world today do
not have access to electricity. What impact will the Clean
Power Plan have on greenhouse gases, and what impact will it
have on the well-being of families?
Dr. Christy. First of all, I lived in Africa, and I can
assure you that without energy, life is brutal and short. The
effect that these regulations will have will be negligible on
both the carbon dioxide concentrations in the atmosphere and on
whatever the climate might do as a result. And we calculated
many scenarios in that regard.
Senator Daines. And so if it is negligible, negligible--now
we can quantify the impact on tax revenues, on jobs, on energy
prices and what that means for, as you said, a negligible
impact, and we have heard similar kinds of conversations and
comments actually from the EPA on that very point. Do you
realize China--and the New York Times was reporting here just a
month ago that China has been underreporting their emissions by
a quantity equivalent to 70 percent of the total U.S.
emissions. That is what their underreporting has been.
Should we consider such costly remedies as what is going on
right now with this Clean Power Plan for merely symbolic
Dr. Christy. Well, if you are asking a State climatologist
who deals with economic development of poor State, basically, I
would say no. There is no consequence that is positive that I
see in regulating the energy in this way.
Senator Daines. Dr. Curry, in your testimony, you explain
how funding motivates research. The Clean Power Plan not only
harms workers, but it stifles investments that could lead to
innovation and make coal cleaner. I would hope that the U.S.
would be leaders in innovation. Because as we lead in
innovation and cleaner technologies, we can not only lead our
country, we can lead the world as we look at the environment
What can be done, in your opinion, to incentivize objective
research that can make affordable energy sustainable?
Dr. Curry. Well, that is a topic--I mean, I applaud the
goal that you state. We need to--we need more research and
development on advanced energy technologies. How to effect
that, private sector-Government, you know, is a challenge for
politicians. I don't have any particular insight as a scientist
as to how that might work.
But in terms of having--you have to allow people to have
opportunity to fail. And if you are going to look for blue sky
technologies and something really innovative, you have to have
a mechanism that allows people to fail. You need maybe three
good ideas, and this may mean, you know, 50 or 100 of them have
to be tried before you find a few good ones that are going to
And so pretending that wind energy and at least the current
solar technology are going to solve the problems is fairly
Senator Daines. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I am out of time.
Senator Cruz. Thank you, Senator Daines.
Senator Nelson. Could you call on Senator Schatz? He has
got a meeting to go to.
Senator Cruz. Sure. Senator Schatz?
STATEMENT OF HON. BRIAN SCHATZ,
U.S. SENATOR FROM HAWAII
Senator Schatz. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Thank you, Ranking Members Nelson and Peters.
Thank you for having this hearing. It gives us an
opportunity to clarify that climate change is real, it is
caused by humans, and it is solvable. And only in the four
corners of the United States Capitol is that still being
It is ironic that we are holding this hearing in the
Committee with jurisdiction over science because this committee
is turning its back on the real science. Now I suppose that it
is possible that what the four people on the left-hand side of
this dais are saying is true, which is that basically everybody
else is wrong, that everybody else is wrong.
But I think it is more likely that 97 percent of the
scientists have come independently to the same conclusion.
Scientists should and do receive Federal research dollars based
on the merit of their work, not on their conclusions. The only
reason that so few climate deniers or skeptics, whichever you
prefer, as a percentage of the whole receive Federal support
for their research is because the vast majority of scientists
independently come to the same conclusions that the climate is
changing due to human activity.
A review of nearly 12,000 peer-reviewed journal articles
over 20 years found that 97 percent of those articles and 98
percent of scientists agree that humans are influencing the
climate. The vast majority of climate scientists around the
world will tell you that greenhouse gas emissions, primarily
from the burning of fossil fuels, have increased the
concentration of carbon in the atmosphere, which, in turn, has
raised average global temperatures.
Now I suppose everybody could be wrong. In fact, the
American Academy for the Advancement of Science has said the
science linking human activities to climate change is analogous
to the science linking smoking to lung and cardiovascular
diseases. There may be a doctor out there who doesn't believe
there is a connection between smoking and lung cancer, but I
would keep that doctor away from me and my family.
Just as there is no genuine scientific debate over whether
we are responsible for changing the climate, there is also no
global conspiracy to manufacture data. The skeptics do not know
more than the National Academies of Science, NASA, the DOD, the
CIA, the American Chemical Society, the American Physical
Society, the American Medical Association, the American
Geophysical Union, the American Meteorological Society, the
American Society of Plant Biologists, and the National
Academies of Science from 80 countries, the World Health
Organization, NATO, and a litany of other organizations.
I, for one, believe that the Department of Defense has to
contend with what is, not with how we view--how we wish things
would be. And my question is for Admiral Titley.
Could you please describe the relationship between
CO2 and the atmosphere and global temperature?
Admiral Titley. Senator, thank you for the question, sir.
I give some talks to the public on this, and basically,
what I tell people is what you have asked me is cutting-edge
19th century science here. A bunch of old dead white guys
figured this stuff out, starting with Fourier, Arrhenius,
Tyndall. By the time you get to 1896, we were actually doing
calculations of global warming. Now it was with stubby pencil
and paper, but we actually kind of figured it out.
So in, you know, basic terms, energy comes in at one
wavelength. Energy comes back out through the atmosphere at a
different wavelength. The carbon dioxide and other greenhouse
gases actually re-radiate that longer wavelength. The short
stuff comes in from the Sun. The long stuff gets basically
bounced around, reabsorbed, readmitted, and that is really good
If we did not have greenhouse gases, we wouldn't all be
here because we would be living on an ice cube. It would be
about 59 degrees Fahrenheit colder than it is right now. So
greenhouse gases provide life on Earth.
But there can be too much of a good thing, and we have
literally formed human civilization in a period of wonderful
climate stability, where we have not been varying either the
greenhouse gases or much of the other part of the atmosphere.
So we have had this stability.
Now as we inject a whole lot of extra greenhouse gases,
they are just doing what physics does. So they are re-
radiating, warming the atmosphere, as you talked about, sir.
Senator Schatz. And tell me about the observations on page
3 of your testimony. It seems to me that there is a nearly one-
to-one relationship between global temperatures,
CO2, fossil fuel consumption, and sea level and
ocean temperature. Is that about right?
Admiral Titley. Yes, sir. Everybody here at this table
knows that correlation doesn't necessarily mean causality, but
there has been a lot of work shown----
Senator Schatz. How would you establish causality in an
experiment involving our planet?
Admiral Titley. We only have one planet. That makes it kind
of tough to run the control case, if you will. So this is what
the computer models help you with.
Senator Schatz. Thank you.
Admiral Titley. But we only have one planet. Thank you,
Senator Schatz. Thank you very much.
Mr. Steyn. Senator Schatz, could I comment on that? You
said that the four people----
Senator Schatz. Mr. Chairman, I do have a meeting at 4:30
p.m., and I did not ask a question of Mr. Steyn. I apologize. I
do have to go.
Mr. Steyn. Well, I would like to make a comment on what
Senator Cruz. You are welcome to give a response, sure.
Mr. Steyn. I would like to make a comment on what he said
because he said these people represent a tiny minority point of
view. The 97 percent consensus from these papers does not argue
for the kind of measures that are being discussed here today.
We are talking about the greatest--just to take the pro-
climate people at their word, we are talking about the greatest
shift in the global economy that has ever been contemplated. We
hear a lot of talk about risk management. This is a hell of a
risk. And it requires--if we are to take these pro-climate
people at their word, it would require the greatest societal
consensus--left, right, and center--across North America,
Europe, and the developing world.
So to exclude, if you exclude Professor Christy, if you
exclude Professor Curry, if you exclude Professor Happer, if
you exclude the French weatherman who basically just lost his
job for writing a book countering climate change, if you refuse
Professor Lennart Bengtsson, whose career was destroyed because
he wanted to meet with a skeptic think tank--the great Swedish
climatologist--if you exclude the Nobel Prize winner in physics
from 1973 and the Nobel Prize winner in physics from 1988, you
wind up with what has happened to climate alarmism, where the
polls show the real 97 percent consensus that only 3 percent of
Americans view this as their overriding priority.
The point that Admiral Titley made about things we could
do, he brought up--he brought up Superstorm Sandy as an example
of climate change. You know what would have stopped Sandy? If
they would have built the same storm barrier that the Dutch
coast has, that the Russians have in St. Petersburg, and that
London has with the Thames barrier.
For a couple of billion dollars, you wouldn't have had
water in the New York subway. But instead, when we talk about
all the saving the planet stuff, the flood barrier never gets
built. And that is what elected legislators should focus on,
the real issues involving them now, not the pie in the sky
Senator Cruz. Thank you, Mr. Steyn. And I would note Dr.
Titley made reference to dead white guys, and in response to
Senator Schatz's question about 97 percent of scientists and
this one bogus and discredited study, in the year 1615, I
suspect if you asked, 97 percent of scientists at the time
would have said categorically that the Sun rotates around the
And yet an individual named Galileo dared to actually be a
scientist and take measurements and stand up to that enforced
consensus. And I would note it was the Roman Inquisition that
brought heretics before it who dared to say that the Earth
rotates around the Sun, and today the global warming alarmists
have taken the language of the Roman Inquisition, going so far
as labeling anyone who dares point to the actual science as a
denier, which is, of course, the language of religion. It is
calling someone a heretic.
And anytime you hear people saying scientists should not
question the conventional wisdom, you are hearing someone
advocating essentially for the abolition of science.
STATEMENT OF HON. TOM UDALL,
U.S. SENATOR FROM NEW MEXICO
Senator Udall. Chairman Cruz, thank you very much.
And you know, today we are having a hearing on climate
change science. And while this is an extremely important topic
and great for Senators to engage on, I am disheartened by the
frame here. It is called ``data or dogma'' is part of this
title of this hearing.
And quite clearly, this hearing was called to inject
controversy and skepticism into the issue of climate science
and research, to cast doubt on the work of many scientists,
including those at American universities in all of our States,
the National Laboratories--New Mexico has two of those National
Laboratories--and the National Academy of Sciences, who have
been researching the effects of climate change and the impacts
that humans are having on the climate.
This year is almost over. It will likely be the warmest
year on record, and the current record holder, last year, 2014.
The impact is clear, and people are seeing it all over the
world with rising sea levels that increase drought.
The Southwest is in the eye of the storm. In New Mexico,
temperatures are rising 50 percent faster than the global
average not just this year or last year, but for decades.
Through all of this, Congress has been slow to act. We could be
using this time right now to push forward on strong,
comprehensive energy policies that curb greenhouse gas
So I want to turn to you, Dr. Titley. I was really
interested in your role as the lead oceanographer for the U.S.
Navy and your history of 32 years of service in the Navy. And I
have a simple question for you.
Do we have time to waste, in your opinion?
Admiral Titley. Senator, thanks, sir.
There is a saying in the Navy, in naval aviation that the
two things that are of no use to you is altitude above you or
runway behind you. Right now, we are putting runway behind us.
Now how much more there is, that is hard to say. But we are
certainly taking time that we should be using to start
mitigating this, and actually, some of the other witnesses have
brought up some things. I think Dr. Curry talked about more
research and development for energy.
We need to transform our energy system. The Federal
Government, the Congress can be very, very helpful on that. So,
but we are not doing that right now, sir, because we have these
debates that--which is fine. But at some point, we need to do
Senator Udall. And you believe, I think, that it would be
very prudent to look at the science, which is overwhelming, and
we have heard the 97, 98 percent and proceed to do something in
a bipartisan way that is constructive and find solutions.
Were you always convinced that climate change is occurring?
Admiral Titley. I was--I think there is a YouTube video out
there or a TEDx talk I did. I talked about I was kind of a
skeptic, as I think--as the chair introduced me, I have--my
degrees were in meteorology. You see a lot of day-to-day
variation in weather, and you also see, when you take a look at
weather models, back when I started back in the dark ages of
the 1970s, after about 3 days they weren't really worth very
So it took me, honestly, a while to realize that in
weather, it really matters about how do you start those models.
It is called initial conditions, for the science folks. Whereas
the climate models really work on boundary conditions. It is
like how much energy is coming in? How many greenhouse gases do
we have? Where are the continents? Where are the oceans?
And you realize that, and this is why the climate models
are useless at telling you what it is going to be like today or
tomorrow, things like that. But they are pretty good at the
So when I looked at that and when, frankly, I was asked by
the Chief of Naval Operations, Admiral Gary Roughead, to look
at this for the Navy, I just said, well, what does the evidence
show? And that is where it really--I came to it.
So, you know, I am probably like the reformed smoker. But
it was really just simply looking at all these independent
lines of evidence. That, to me, said we have got an issue here,
and we are going to have to do something.
Senator Udall. And Doctor, the evidence is right behind you
on that chart. That is the evidence you are talking about.
Admiral Titley. Just one----
Senator Udall. Yes, one data point, but----
Admiral Titley--to have a chart like that for the rising
seas and for many, many other lines. Yes, sir.
Senator Udall. And do you believe science has progressed on
climate, on climate change?
Admiral Titley. I think the evidence has shown that science
in many fields and including climate, it is not a nice linear
process, but fits and starts. So when you take things like, you
know, whether it is different observation techniques, I mean,
there is a paper that just came out--I think I saw a day or two
ago--from NASA measurements, talking about maybe more snow in
Antarctica. We are going to have look at that, but that is
So we get these ups and downs. But overall, and we have
seen this in the IPCC and many other conclusions that the level
of confidence that the basic theory of greenhouse gases from
the 19th century is, in fact, correct.
Senator Udall. Thank you.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Senator Cruz. Thank you, Senator Udall.
STATEMENT OF HON. EDWARD MARKEY,
U.S. SENATOR FROM MASSACHUSETTS
Senator Markey. Thank you, Mr. Chairman, very much for
having this hearing.
And hopefully, this will go better than Galileo because
Galileo was put under house arrest, Dr. Titley, in 1633. And
the Catholic Church did not issue an apology to Galileo until
1992. So we wish you a long life so that 359 years from now,
you can get the apology you deserve for actually using
scientific data to back up your arguments here today.
2014 is the warmest year ever recorded. Is that correct,
Admiral Titley. Yes, Senator. That is what I understand.
Senator Markey. That is what you understand. Now what would
that be based on? Science?
Admiral Titley. A whole lot of thermometers, yes, sir.
Senator Markey. Whole bunch of thermometers. A very, very
sophisticated technology. So this is going back to the
beginning of the measurement of the temperature of the planet
using thermometers. So that goes back to 1880, 1870.
Now I am told that the first 6 months of this year are the
warmest 6 months ever recorded on the history of the planet. Is
Admiral Titley. Yes, sir. And I think that now extends to
the warmest November as well. So we are up to 11 months and
Senator Markey. The warmest October and the warmest
November now ever recorded using thermometers, the same
measurement for about 150 years right now. Very clear
calculations that have been made. And so, so I guess we are
pretty much 150 years into the 359 years to getting kind of the
apology from those who are the deniers.
Now, you know, in Paris right now we have got just about
every single scientist in the world, every country in the world
is there, all saying the planet is dangerously warming and that
the cause of it is human activity. Even the Pope said that it
is dangerous, to name a Jesuit who taught high school
chemistry. You actually get somebody who says that, you know,
it is happening, and it is caused by human beings and that
there is a moral responsibility to do something about it.
So this panel that we have in this committee, this last
redoubt of denial on the planet, of all the countries on the
planet, this last place, you know, has the flip of witnesses
that have every other place. We have four here who deny it and
one who believes in the science.
And so we clearly here are at a historic moment, and there
will be a day when you get your apology, Dr. Titley, for being
kind of the sacrificial lamb here, like Galileo, standing up
for actual science. And so what we have here is just one of the
clear national security challenges of our time. Just as we were
focused on protecting the planet from the threat of Communism
in the 1950s, we need to be focused on protecting the planet
from the threat of climate change now.
We sit here in the Space, the Science, and the
Competitiveness Subcommittee, which has oversight over NASA. We
should all be cognizant of the fact that NASA was established
in 1958 when this country felt the very real threat of
Communism. If we had ignored that threat in the 1950s, America
wouldn't be the leader it is today.
And it was in response to the threat of Communist
domination in space when 53 years ago President Kennedy
announced the ambitious goal of sending an American safely to
the Moon. He told us that we would need a giant rocket made of
new metal alloys, some of which had not yet been invented. It
would have to be fitted together with a precision better than
the finest watch, and it would have to be returned to Earth
safely at speeds never before reached by humans. And it would
all have to be done in less than 8 years.
President Kennedy urged us to be bold, and America
responded to his call not by saying it couldn't be done, not by
denying the threat, but by boldly putting our scientists and
our engineers to work protecting our Nation and the world.
Today, a growing global danger lies in the cascading
impacts of climate change. Temperatures are increasing. Sea
levels are rising. More extreme rains are falling. The ocean is
becoming more acidic. And all of this has consequences for
people, public health, and for prosperity.
That is why our national security, military, and
intelligence leaders have warned that a changing climate can
worsen the tensions that are fueling terrorism and conflicts
around the world. More than 50 years ago, we looked to the
scientific community to help protect our Nation from Communism.
Today, the same scientific rigor we used to send astronauts to
space is used to evaluate our changing climate.
And just as President Kennedy urged our Nation to be bold
in the space race, the global community is meeting in Paris
right now to hold bold action to protect our climate. But the
Republicans' message to the world is, Houston, we do not have a
problem. And that is the wrong scientific message.
They are once again questioning the integrity of the
scientific community and the basic scientific principles behind
climate change. The truth is the only thing that requires a
serious scientific investigation is why we are holding today's
hearing in the first place.
Climate science stands on a foundation of more than 150
years of research, laboratory experiments, demonstrated carbon
dioxide traps heat in the same year that Charles Darwin
published on the Origin of the Species. So we should listen to
the planet's doctors. The more fossil fuels we burn, the more
carbon pollution we put in the air, the higher the risk for
catastrophic climate consequences.
But the Republicans' response to this existential challenge
is to insist that the brightest minds of the United States of
America who once figured out how to send a man to the Moon and
bring him back safely can't possibly figure out how to generate
energy from anything other than burning the cane plants that
have been sitting underground since the time of the dinosaurs.
But we all know that failure is not an option. There is no
planet B. We must solve this problem. The science dictates that
we solve this problem. It is time to stop denying the science
and start deploying the climate solutions.
Admiral Titley, we have heard a lot about temperature
measurements today. When I am feeling sick and I go to the
doctor, she takes my temperature. But the doctor always checks
my blood pressure, listens to my heart and lungs, and looks at
my ears, eyes, and throat to get a broader assessment of my
This chart behind me is NOAA's assessment of the Earth's
climatic vital signs. Yes, temperatures are going up, but so is
the heat in the ocean, the sea level, and the humidity. And
snow and glaciers and Arctic Sea ice are going down.
Do you agree, Dr. Titley, that a wide range of independent
observations indicate that the planet is warming and the
climate is changing and that there are no emergency rooms for
planets, and we have to engage in preventive care?
Admiral Titley. Yes, sir.
Senator Markey. What would you say is the basis for your
decision? Is it based on data, or is your answer based on
Admiral Titley. It is based on the evidence, sir.
Senator Markey. It is based on the evidence. And I agree
with you, Admiral, and I thank you so much for your service to
our country, both in the active Navy and here today before this
Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I yield back.
Senator Cruz. Thank you, Senator Markey.
Mr. Steyn. Dr. Curry wanted to respond to the Senator----
Dr. Curry. Is it possible for me to respond? You
Senator Markey. I did not ask for--ask you a question.
Mr. Steyn. Really? Why can't she respond, Senator?
Dr. Curry. Yes, I was----
Senator Cruz. Dr. Curry, you are welcome to----
Mr. Steyn. You impugned her integrity. I think she is
Senator Cruz. You are welcome to respond, Dr. Curry.
Dr. Curry. I was basically called a denier, that I am
denying science. Did you read my written testimony? Are you
aware that the IPCC and the consensus has no explanation for
the increase of ice in the Antarctic? Are you aware that they
have no explanation for the fact that the rate of sea level
rise from 1920 to 1950 was as large, if not larger, as it
Are you aware that temperatures have been warming for more
than 200 years and that in the 20th century, 40 percent of the
warming occurred before 1950, when carbon dioxide was not a
factor in the warming. OK. And I could go on and on. Many of
these issues are raised in my written testimony.
And most of it is pulled from the IPCC itself. The IPCC has
an explanation for--so it says, for warming during the period
1975 to 2000. It doesn't have an explanation for the flat
period since 2000. It doesn't have an explanation for the early
Senator Markey. Dr. Mair, as I just said in my--Doctor, as
I just said in my testimony, corroborated by Dr. Titley, this
is the warmest year ever recorded. Last year is the warmest
year ever recorded until this year. This is the warmest
November ever recorded. October is the warmest October ever
You do not have an answer for that, Dr. Mair. You continue
to ignore the chart, which Dr. Titley has over his left
shoulder. He has documented for this committee the warming
trend, which is inexorable, inevitable in terms of its
consequences unless we take action here.
That is the science you are having a hard time in
Dr. Curry. No, the issue----
Senator Markey.--here, Dr. Mair----
Dr. Curry. The issue is what is causing the warming? Is it
natural variability, or is it humans?
Senator Markey. Like Galileo, he said, no, the science----
Dr. Curry. Are you aware----
Senator Markey. The science--the science is clear. You are
depending upon something that perhaps is God made rather than
dependent upon something that is manmade, which is
anthropogenic and documented by 97 percent of all of the
Mr. Steyn. Are you saying there is no natural variability,
Senator Markey. What I am----
Mr. Steyn. There were alligators at the North Pole. What
was that? Was that you in your SUV?
Senator Markey. What I am saying is that this warming is
something that while it may have a variability year to year in
specific parts of the planet, that the trend is straight up.
Mr. Steyn. Yes, do you know what--do you know what the
Little Ice Age was, Senator?
Senator Markey. And again, it is climate change. We had 110
inches of snow in Boston last year, with measurements of water
21 degrees warmer than normal off of the coast of
Massachusetts, OK? This was an unusual event for us.
The warming of the ocean intensifies the amount of
precipitation when Arctic air hits that water. Now if you want
to deny that, if you want to ignore that these changes are
taking place and that they are having a dramatic impact, then
you are in the right place. You are in the right----
Mr. Steyn. Do you know what the winters were like at
Plymouth Rock? Do you know what the winters were like at
Plymouth Rock, Senator?
Senator Markey. Well, here is the thing. We----
Mr. Steyn. You don't. How long has your family been in
Senator Markey. We are new arrivals, and I have to admit--
Mr. Steyn. You should have been there in 1750.
Senator Markey. The Irish weren't arriving in 1750. So I
apologize for being late to the country, and I will have to
chastise my grandparents for not leaving until the economic
conditions in 1902 forced them here.
But that notwithstanding, there is as much consensus that
man is causing climate change as there is in Galileo's original
theory, and all which----
Mr. Steyn. What percentage of climate change is man
Senator Markey. Excuse me, sir?
Mr. Steyn. What percentage of climate change is
Senator Markey. Well, according to the scientists who are
in Paris right now, which would fill pretty much the entire
space of the building in which we are in right now, and the
number of deniers would still be the ones who are----
Dr. Curry. Are you aware----
Mr. Steyn. What percentage, Senator?
Dr. Curry. Are you aware of a recent survey of the
professional members of the American Meteorological Society?
When asked the question how much is the recent changes natural
versus human caused, 52 percent of the membership said it was
majority human caused.
Senator Markey. Dr. Titley? Dr. Titley, could you respond
to that question in terms of what you believe is the amount of
warming that is relatable to human activity?
Admiral Titley. Thanks, Senator.
Right now, there is--as has been pointed out, there are
natural variations, things like volcanoes, things like changes
in sunlight. And then there is something called internal
variations, and these are the oscillations or basically the
back-and-forths of the ocean currents. So even if you had no
change and forcing.
But what we are doing is we are changing and forcing, and I
think the IPCC has come down pretty strong, along with
multiple, multiple National Academy panels, saying that the
human-caused forcing is very, very significant. That doesn't
mean there isn't natural variability. It doesn't mean there is
not internal variability.
But the human-caused forcing is very significant, and that
is, I think, what we need to deal with.
Senator Cruz. Thank you, Dr. Titley.
Senator Markey. And could I just make--I agree with you,
and I agree with this Pope. I disagree with the Pope in 1632.
This Pope is correct, and we have a moral responsibility to
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Senator Cruz. Senator Nelson?
Senator Nelson. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
My approach to this is a little more ``coolly aloof'' and
look at facts. Admiral, the chart behind you, is that a
measurement of surface temperature?
Admiral Titley. Senator, thank you, sir.
It is near surface temperatures. Basically, it is about 10
feet above the--you know, 6 to 10 feet above the surface. So
for all intents and purposes, it is surface temperatures.
Senator Nelson. That surface temperature would reflect that
heat, most of which is absorbed by the oceans. Why don't you
give us your perspective on that as an admiral?
Admiral Titley. Thanks, sir.
The oceans are absorbing roughly 90 percent, nine zero
percent of the excess heat. What I have told people is that if
you think of the--you know, when you study climate, try to get
more and more oceanographers involved, and the oceanographers
are certainly involved because that is where the action is,
that is where the heat is. It is sort of like why did Willie
Sutton rob banks? It is where the money was.
So the heat is in the oceans, and then the atmosphere is
sort of the tail on the dog. The atmosphere gets sort of
driven, ups and downs, depending on what the ocean is doing. So
the heat is in the ocean, sir.
Senator Nelson. And when water is heated, what happens to
Admiral Titley. It expands.
Senator Nelson. Right. And therefore, that would indicate a
reason why we are seeing sea level rise?
Admiral Titley. Yes, sir.
Senator Nelson. Not just the melting of glaciers and that
additional displacement of water, but mainly from the
absorption of the oceans, which cover two-thirds of the Earth,
of the heat--the absorption of the heat. Is that right?
Admiral Titley. Yes, sir. The scientists would call it
thermal expansion. It is the expanding of the water.
Senator Nelson. Are you familiar with the satellite, it is
really not a satellite, it is a spacecraft named Discover that
was put up earlier this year at a Lagrange point a million
miles from Earth between the Earth and the Sun?
Admiral Titley. Yes, sir. I think it is at what the
scientists would call L1.
Senator Nelson. That is correct. There is an instrument--
there are four main instruments on that spacecraft, but there
is an instrument that looks back continuously at Earth to
measure the heat in and heat out.
If in addition to our surface temperatures and other
instruments that measure, if we get the total amount of heat
being radiated into the Earth's atmosphere and we measure the
total amount of heat coming out and subtract one from the
other, we should be able to have a very precise measurement of
the amount of heat that is trapped in the Earth's atmosphere?
Admiral Titley. Yes, sir.
Senator Nelson. OK. Now this heat that is trapped in the
atmosphere, the Sun's rays come in, and normally, when they hit
the Earth's surface, some are absorbed, but some radiate back
out into space. Is that correct?
Admiral Titley. Yes, sir.
Senator Nelson. If there is something trapping that heat
from being radiated back out into space, you naturally would
start to have the heating up of the Earth's atmosphere, and
you, as a climatologist, would you speculate that that would be
gases such as CO2 and SO2?
Admiral Titley. Senator, yes. I mean not as a
climatologist, but just basic--basic physics. There are
greenhouse gases that re-radiate or trap, as you said, the
heat, and that actually allows us to have life on Earth. Yes,
Senator Nelson. So that could be another reason that
reflects why the surface measurements are showing the chart
that you have?
Admiral Titley. As we increase the greenhouse gases, the
temperature should come up. And that is what we are seeing.
Senator Nelson. Would you answer one more question, and we
have not covered this today. The Department of Defense is quite
concerned about the heating up of the Earth because of the
implications for our national security. Would you trace a few
of those for us?
Admiral Titley. Yes, sir. So the Department of Defense, in
their 2014 Quadrennial Defense Review, they talk about climate
change really in three ways. They talk about increasing risk of
conflict and instability overseas, the impacts of Department of
Defense operations on operations people in installations, and
also the impact of stability, development, human security, and
other nations. So that was in 2014.
Later on in 2014, the Department of Defense, they released
their Climate Change Adaptation Roadmap. Really, that assessed
climate change. It directed the department to assess climate
change impacts on infrastructure, commissions, and activities;
fully integrate climate considerations across a full range of
department missions and activities; collaborate with partners
internal and external to better understand what is going on;
and also a bureaucratic part, they designate a climate change
If I may, sir, just one more thing. Just a few months ago,
the geographic combatant commanders released an assessment, a
report to the Congress. So these are the four-star admirals and
generals who have direct control over the operating forces.
They report to the Secretary of Defense and President.
They had four issues, primarily issues. Persistently
recurring conditions, such as flooding, drought, higher
temperatures. More frequent and more severe extreme weather
events that may require more humanitarian assistance and
disaster relief, or support--defense support of civil
authorities here in the United States.
The sea level rise and the temperature change, greater
chance of flooding in coastal communities, adverse effects
impacting navigation safety, damages to infrastructure,
displaced populations. And then, finally, the Arctic. As the
Arctic changes, that is a whole category to itself.
I will stop there, sir. But those are just some of the more
recent documents that the Department of Defense has released
concerning climate change.
Senator Cruz. Thank you, Senator Nelson.
All right. We are going to have a second round, and then
the hearing will conclude.
I want to start with Dr. Curry. When Senator Markey was
haranguing you, he said that you had no response to his
assertion that 2014 was the hottest year on record. Am I
correct that NASA stated that that assertion, that 2014 was the
hottest year on record, that they had a 38 percent level of
confidence in that, which means that 62 percent or
substantially more likely than not 2014 was not the hottest
year on record? Is that an accurate statement?
Dr. Curry. Yes, basically, 2014 was, according to the NASA/
NOAA datasets, in a statistical tie with 2010 and 2005. The
U.K. dataset, which has, I think, more credible error bars on
their dataset, found that it was in the top 10 warmest years.
They couldn't fine-tune it anymore than that, given the great
uncertainties in the reconstruction of global surface
And I think the uncertainty levels are really too low on
all of those estimates, in my opinion.
Senator Cruz. And indeed, NOAA included 2014, 2010, 2005,
2013, and 1998, five different years as potentially being tied
for being the warmest?
Dr. Curry. Correct.
Senator Cruz. The last hearing I chaired when Mr. Mair, who
should have been sitting next to you, testified, he told the
Subcommittee, ``Our planet is cooking and heating up and
Does the evidence and data we have been discussing support
the assertion that the planet is cooking?
Dr. Curry. Not cooking, no.
Senator Cruz. And indeed, another reference was made by
Senator Markey to the measurements. Now I would note none of
the Democratic Senators who participated in a press conference
earlier today saying how dare you ask the data, not a single
Democratic Senator addressed the satellite data. Not a single
Democratic Senator addressed the fact that for 18 years there
has been no significant warming recorded.
Because, I suppose, it is contrary to their computer model
and to their political desire to massively increase Government
control of the economy and impose trillions of dollars of cost
on people who can't afford it. But let us turn to the different
measurements, not the satellite data, and if we can put up the
next two charts?
These next two charts are from the United States Historical
Climate Network. These are the measurements of the thermometers
that are measuring climate change. And these in particular
record the adjustments that NOAA has done to the climate data.
Chart on the left you can see that between 1900 and 1960,
NOAA made relatively few adjustments, and they were relatively
minor. And then we see that for the more recent years, they
have been adjusting them upwards. And the adjustments
consistently are upwards. They are never adjusting downward.
Now the chart on the right likewise looks at the raw
numbers are on the top. The raw numbers demonstrate a fair
degree of uniformity. But the adjusted numbers, the old
temperatures are cooler, and the new temperatures are warmer.
Dr. Curry. Well, the different--there is a number of
different groups who do global temperature datasets, and they
have different methods for dealing with spatial
representativeness, missing data, changes in temperature,
measuring instrumentation, adjusting for the time of day, all
sorts of different adjustments that they make. And the
adjustments, as you can see, are rather huge, OK?
So should we--so, to me, the error bars should really be
much bigger if they are making such a large adjustment. So we
really don't know too much about what is going on in terms of,
you know, it is a great deal of uncertainty. Yes, I do believe
that we have overall been warming, but we have been warming for
200, maybe even 400 years, OK? And that is not caused by
OK. There is natural variability involved. And this is
exactly what has not been sorted out.
Now the ocean--the ocean temperature is the current focus
of controversy. I mean, the land datasets are sort of starting
to agree, but there is a great deal of controversy and
uncertainty right now in the treatment of the ocean
temperatures. And that has not been sorted out.
And so especially looking in the recent period, if we are
trying to sort out what is going on with the hiatus or the
pause, we need to look at the satellite data. I mean, this is
the best data that we have and is global, and we need to sort
out the differences between the satellite and the surface
observations. And then there is the numerical weather
prediction reanalysis data simulation systems that give us a
global view, and we haven't been really using that for climate
purposes, and I think we need to.
So the work is just starting in terms of trying to sort
this out. And we don't have----
Senator Cruz. Now, Dr. Curry, you said something very
important there in that you said the satellite data are the
best data we have. Can you explain, as a scientist, why that is
Dr. Curry. Well, it is global coverage. It is not a simple
measurement. You have to do, you know, a retrieval and
weighting functions, and it is a complex problem. But it is
reasonably well calibrated and consistent over the last 30-ish
Senator Cruz. And not a single Democratic Senator had any
response to the satellite data that demonstrates their entire
theory of global warming for 18 years hasn't been happening?
Dr. Curry. Yes. I mean, we need to sort this out rather
than ignore it. I mean, this is what I am concerned about.
Senator Cruz. And Mr. Steyn, you look like you want to make
Mr. Steyn. Yes, I----
Senator Cruz. I want to ask a question on this because you
also are quite familiar with the cooking of the books----
Mr. Steyn. Right.
Senator Cruz.--of the hockey stick, and indeed, Dr. Curry,
you mentioned Climategate and the scientists receiving a whole
lot of funding to conclude global warming was occurring and
then adjusting their results to reflect that. I would note if
you systematically add, adjust the numbers upwards for more
recent temperatures, wouldn't that, by definition, produce a
dataset that proves your global warming theory is correct?
And the more you add, the more warming you can find, and it
just--you don't have to actually bother looking at what the
thermometer says. You just add whatever number you want?
Mr. Steyn. No. That is what is fascinating about this.
Could you just tell me the left-hand data on your chart,
Senator? What is it? I can't quite see it from here.
Senator Cruz. On the left----
Mr. Steyn. On the right-hand chart, the blue and red line,
what is the----
Senator Cruz. In both of them, it is 1900.
Mr. Steyn. 1900. So you look at the blue line, you look at
the red line, this is the adjustment of figures that is going
Senator Cruz. Yes.
Mr. Steyn. What has happened since the global warming pause
is that the public does not trust the alarmist establishment to
tell them what the climate will be like in the year 2050. What
that chart shows is why the public is moving to a new position
now where it doesn't even trust these Federal agencies to tell
them what the climate was like in 1950 or 1920 or 1900.
And that is interesting. If these adjustments are merited,
if an adjustment in the official recorded observed temperature
because Gavin Schmidt at NASA wasn't standing out by the
thermometer in the year 1920, but he suddenly decides a century
on--what are we now, 95 years on--the 1920s temperature needs
adjusting, that tells you how uncertain the science is.
I would also like, Senator, just to say a word about this
whole national security thing because I have never heard
anything quite so ridiculous. We are a country in which we have
an enemy overseas who so-called radicalizes suburban couples in
California who go out and kill people. But we are planning now
for global security threats a century hence because the
Maldives might have been swept away by water by then.
The entire population of the Maldives are all Sunni Muslim.
So they will fit in perfectly fine if they all move to this
Brussels suburb that produced the shooters in Paris.
But the biggest--climate change is irrelevant to the long-
term patterns. And I cannot tell you how absurd it is to be
talking about climate change as a security threat compared to,
say--just to pluck at random--population. In 1920, the British
Isles and British West Africa had the same population, about 45
million people for England, Scotland, Ireland, Wales on the one
hand and what are now Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Ghana, the Gambia
on the other hand.
Now the British Isles has a combined population--England,
Scotland, Ireland, Wales--about 69 million, and British West
Africa has a population of 250 million. So the security threat
is exactly what we see in Europe at the moment that Niger, a
country that can't--that has increased its population by 50
percent in this century, since the year 2000, and had millions
of starving people already that it couldn't feed and is
expected to increase its population tenfold by the end of the
century, and all those people are just going to get on a boat
and walk into Italy, Greece, Spain, Portugal.
And the idea that somehow climate changes impact on that is
absolutely trivial to the remorselessness of those numbers. And
I understand that governments find it easier to deal with
cloud-cuckoo fantasyland, saving the planet type issues. But
this is a complete waste of time for an already-beleaguered
Defense Department having difficulty fighting the wars it is
actually in right now in Afghanistan and Iraq and elsewhere
suddenly dealing with sea levels in the Maldives in the 22nd
It is completely preposterous and complete waste of time.
Senator Cruz. So I will leave that aside for a moment.
Senator Cruz. And simply observe if we look to the
satellite data, we see for 18 years no significant recorded
warming. We see no response from the Democratic Senators.
If we look to the raw data, according to the raw data,
1940, it appears from this chart, the 5-year mean temperature
was higher than it is in recent time. But once you adjust it,
if you subtract from the old temperatures and add to the new
ones, then you can have measurements that reflect your theory.
Dr. Happer, you wanted to comment on this?
Dr. Happer. Yes, I just wanted to say one more thing about
the satellite data, and that is that they are cross-calibrated
with weather balloons all over the world. And so it is not
simply a couple groups measuring satellites. There is a quality
check that goes on, and there is no similar check for the
surface data that I know of.
Senator Cruz. It is a very good point, and indeed, Dr.
Christy's chart, as he described, was an average of several
measurements of both the satellites and the weather balloon.
If we could move to the next two charts, I want to--the
final line of questioning I want to address is the effect of
censorship, of dogmatism, of intimidation. So both of these
come from barack
obama.com, a website I will admit I don't spend a lot of time
On barackobama.com, the President of the United States is
issuing a call, ``Call out the climate deniers. Too many of our
elected officials deny the science of climate change. Along
with their polluter allies, they are blocking progress in the
fight against climate change. Find the deniers near you. Find
the heretics and call them out today.''
And indeed, they show a number. And I will say when I first
looked at that chart, I was quite disappointed. I thought I was
omitted, but then I discovered I am, indeed, included, along
with a number of other elected officials. Indeed, I might note,
a number of elected officials.
What does it do to scientific debate when anyone who dares
question political ideology is branded a denier and a heretic?
What are the consequences in the academic world when that
occurs? Dr. Curry?
Dr. Curry. There is a chilling effect, OK? People keep
their heads down. They look for opportunities just to do
something else and to move on, retire, get out of the business.
I have talked to any number of scientists who have done this,
recent Ph.D. recipients on up to very senior scientists. It has
a very chilling effect.
As a tenured scientist who is relatively senior, I felt
sufficiently secure to speak out. But younger scientists,
scientists who are not tenured, fear for their jobs. They have
mortgage payments, whatever, and you know--and kids to support.
They can't afford to speak out.
The social contract currently between the Obama
Administration and climate scientists is if you say alarming
things, you will get plenty of funding. That seems to be how it
is working. And that is very, very pernicious for science.
Senator Cruz. And do you get funded----
Dr. Curry. I am----
Senator Cruz.--if you are researching anything other than
the orthodoxy of global warming alarmists?
Dr. Curry. I am no longer applying for government grants. I
can't get funded to do anything I want.
Senator Cruz. Let me speak more in the aggregate. Does one
get funded? If one is a scientist and one--you know, I recall
being back in high school and studying science, the scientific
method that you started with a hypothesis, and then you look to
evidence to prove or disprove the hypothesis. And often
disproving it is the more useful thing to try to do.
Do those who are actually trying to disprove the
hypotheses--mind you, the hypotheses that will drive up the
electric bills and the cost of living for millions of
Americans, will hurt people who are struggling, will hurt
single moms, will hurt Hispanics, will hurt African Americans.
Does anyone doing any research that might contradict the
political dogma, are they at all likely to get funding?
Dr. Curry. OK. The funding--the issue is this. The funding
agencies do a call for proposals or an announcement of
opportunity, and they are already implicitly assuming that
human-caused climate change is dangerous. There is not even an
opportunity or something that even makes sense to submit a
Senator Cruz. All right.
Dr. Curry. So that is the real problem. So a lot of the
skeptical research is really being conducted by independent
scientists who are not asking for any Government funding.
Senator Cruz. OK. So my final two questions. One of the
letters that the minority has submitted into the record is a
letter from the American Association for the Advancement of
Science. A sentence within that letter.
``We are committed to the principle that scientific inquiry
and open scientific communication, regardless of field of
study, should proceed unhampered by intrusions on academic
Now that is a noble-sounding statement and one that I--with
which I agree emphatically. I want to ask the members of the
panel, how does that noble sentiment comport with the call from
our colleague Democratic Senator Sheldon Whitehouse that anyone
who dares dispute the global warming alarmist orthodoxy should
face criminal prosecution under RICO?
Are those two statements somehow compatible, that you can
have academic freedom and robust debate when you have got
politicians saying we will criminally prosecute you as a
racketeer if you dispute our political orthodoxy?
Dr. Curry. Well, that statement by Science, the AAAS is
really a myth because about 2 months ago, well, maybe 3 months
ago, the editor of Science, Marcia McNutt, had an op-ed in
Science that said the debate is over. Urgent action needed,
essentially. And this was the editor of Science, which is the
flagship journal of the American Association for the
Advancement of Science.
When an editor of a scientific journal makes a statement
like that, it gives all of the editors a license to completely
ignore any publication that is submitted that questions a
consensus, and this is the real pernicious thing that is going
on. So right now we are more ruled by the RICO mentality than
we are by those lofty sentiments expressed by the American
Association for the Advancement of Science.
Mr. Steyn. Senator, you said your parents were, I think,
mathematicians, statistical modelers. We have had a lot of talk
today about climate science. I compiled a book that you were
kind enough to mention the title of, and what was fascinating
to me about that book was that climate science evolves. Twenty
years ago, it was basically a branch of--30 years ago, physical
geography. Now it is basically computer modeling.
Yet at the same time, the majority of statisticians who
look at the climate models think they are grossly
unprofessional. Mathematicians and statisticians who look at
the--at the way these climate models and the way the hockey
stick were constructed are not onboard with it at all. A
majority of engineers are not onboard with it. A majority of
physicists, non-climate physicists are not onboard with this.
So this idea that climate science is this hermetically
sealed specialty that is sealed off from the rest of the world
is nonsense. Climate science, there is--you have
dendrochronology types. You have statistical modeling types.
And there are elements of all in the work that they do. But
certain people--mathematicians, engineers, statisticians--are
not onboard with this.
And Judith mentioned--Judith mentioned Science magazine.
Nature magazine went even further. They are the two most
prestigious science journals on the planet, Nature and Science.
And Nature printed a statement recently from a group of climate
scientists who said, ``Climate justice,'' climate justice is
more important than democracy.
So that the fake 97 percent consensus is no longer enough.
The fake 97 percent consensus of so-called climate scientists
now has to trump the 51 percent of the electorate.
No science in history has conducted itself like this, and
it would be unrecognizable to Sir Isaac Newton or Charles
Babbage or the Curies to see a self-sustaining, malign,
politico science nexus supporting itself and excluding all
other voices. It is at odds with scientific inquiry across the
Senator Cruz. Let me--in 2009, August 31, 2009, then-
Senator John Kerry, as I discussed in my opening, said,
``Scientists project that the Arctic will be ice free in the
summer of 2013. Not in 2050, but 4 years from now.'' The nice
thing about this is, unlike theories that can't necessarily be
disproven, this is actually a statement that can be tested by
actual facts and evidence.
Dr. Happer, was it, in fact, accurate in the summer of 2013
the Arctic was ice free?
Dr. Happer. No, it certainly wasn't ice free. But if I
could follow up on something my colleague just said, this
dogmatism is not unprecedented. If you look at the Soviet
Union, for 30 years, Lysenko had complete control over biology.
You got fired or worse if you didn't agree with his brand of
And that was finally brought to an end, partly because of
people from other fields. For example, Andrei Sakharov, the
inventor of the Soviet hydrogen bomb, led some of the
opposition because he had enough stature to stand up and push
But most people were afraid. So there was a state of fear
that was actually quite a bit worse than that associated with
climate science right now. It is a good lesson to remember.
Senator Cruz. And my final question, Dr. Titley, based on
your three decades serving in the Navy, do you agree with
President Obama, who said holding a global warming summit in
Europe was a powerful rebuke to the ISIS terrorists who just
committed a horrific act of terrorism in Paris and, indeed,
likewise in San Bernardino?
Admiral Titley. Senator, thanks, sir, for the question.
The way I describe these geostrategic risks of climate
change, climate is the risk, and it makes the threats, threats
such as ISIS worse. So this doesn't--this is not an either/or.
It is not a false----
Senator Cruz. But I am asking your judgment as a military
man if you agree with President Obama that holding a global
warming summit was a powerful rebuke to the ISIS terrorists? I
find that statement absurd on its face.
I am asking, based on your military judgment, do you agree
with the President?
Admiral Titley. We have to address both, sir. Thank you.
Senator Cruz. From your declining to answer, I take it that
the inference of that is that your answer is no?
Admiral Titley. My answer is, sir, we have to address both
the risk of climate change and the threat of ISIS.
Senator Cruz. Thank you.
Senator Nelson. Mr. Chairman, I am going to go first, with
Senator Cruz. Senator Nelson?
Senator Nelson. And Mr. Chairman, I might say, just
supporting the Admiral, sea level rise is a threat to an area
such as Bangladesh. It would cause a huge--it will cause a huge
displacement of population, which will cause turmoil, which is
the conditions that are ripe for extremists to exploit.
So there are answers to that, and I would just conclude my
remarks by saying, you know we have been talking about
censorship here. Mr. Chairman, you are my friend, and as you
know, I am respectful to you and the other Senators. I find it
somewhat ironic that we are talking about censorship against
those that speak against climate change when, in fact, it has
been exactly the opposite over and over.
And it was so much so that we saw examples where various
levels of government said that you couldn't even use the term
``climate change'' that I offered an amendment in March in
front of the full Senate. A majority voted for my amendment,
including two Republican members of this committee, Senator
Rubio and Senator Ayotte.
And so when we start talking about muzzling of scientists,
I think we better watch out how we are talking about which side
is trying to do the muzzling because that amendment to prevent
muzzling of scientists on the subject of climate change, it
actually had a majority, and it was a bipartisan majority that
voted for it in the Senate.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Senator Cruz. Thank you, Senator Nelson.
Senator Peters. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
And I certainly have enjoyed the hearing and the testimony,
but actually, to pick up on comments by Senator Nelson about
muzzling, certainly that didn't occur in this hearing. We heard
from three witnesses, scientific witnesses, as well as the
political commentator about issues related to climate change
that represented a particular point of view that is not shared
by the vast majority of the scientific community, has been very
clearly demonstrated in numerous documented studies, the 97
percent figure, for example, that has been documented by a
number of studies.
So I was curious. We had three folks testifying with
concerns about the science. And if you look at it in a ratio of
97 folks, we had 3 scientists who had some questions who
represent not 60 percent of the scientific consensus. We have
Mr. Steyn, the political commentator, which I know if we had
all the political commentators on both sides of the issue, it
would be a lot more than one out of five, I am sure. It would
probably fill several rooms here.
Dr. Titley, you were here by yourself. But if we put it in
perspective, we had the three that took this perspective, and I
think there is probably--I don't know if there is 100 people in
this room, but probably everybody else in this room would have
a different position.
Certainly, as policymakers, this is about leadership. It is
about making decisions. It is about someone who has to make
decisions that are going to impact the country.
Dr. Titley, we talked about military commanders that have
to make decisions based on intelligence reports and best
estimates of the risk involved and then weigh that against the
potential consequences. That is exactly what we have to do here
in this committee. It is what we have to do as U.S. Senators is
that we have to listen to experts.
I am not a climatologist. I rely on climatologists to give
me information and then make policy decisions based on that.
And oftentimes, it is--this is about weighing, weighing the
opinions of folks, and in this case, the scales of justice are
weighing are clearly on a side different than what we have
heard from four of the five witnesses.
So today you had that opportunity to present that view and
in a very unbalanced way. It would have been great if we could
have had 100 scientists and had 97 telling us one thing and the
3 of you something else. That is not what we had, but I think
it is important to keep that image in mind.
And if we are going to be serious policymakers that are
going to make decisions that are going to impact this country
and are going to impact the world, we have to make decisions
based on expertise from those who understand this science
better than anyone. And that is where I come. I try to come
from a dispassionate side. Let us listen to the science. Let us
listen to folks who are experts.
And that is why I am disappointed that we didn't have a
more balanced hearing, but I certainly appreciate your
testimony, Dr. Titley. And I would like to just ask you a few
questions related to that because we heard quite a bit about
satellite data. And Chairman Cruz had a line of questioning
related to that.
And I am concerned that from listening to that, people
might think that satellites are just basically thermometers in
space running around. We know that that is not the case. In
fact, I would like to enter into the record, Mr. Chairman, this
report that is a 2006 Synthesis and Assessment Report of the
U.S. Climate Change Science Program.
And it really underscores the difficulty in using satellite
data in that it is a complex numerical model that converts
satellite observations to--in order to determine temperature.
If we could put that in, I would appreciate it.
Senator Cruz. Without objection, it will be entered in the
[The information referred to follows:]
[GRAPHICS NOT AVAILABLE IN TIFF FORMAT]
Senator Peters. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
And given that thought, Admiral Titley, if you could
explain briefly, a little bit expand on that, how satellites is
a complex mechanism in order to do that, as well as if you
could briefly explain the corrections that have been made over
time to UAH satellite datasets since the original estimates
These datasets are revised on a regular basis because of
the difficulty in correlating. Is that correct?
Admiral Titley. Senator, thank you. Thank you, sir.
I mean, kind of the bottom line, it is not rocket science.
It is actually harder. Once you get the satellite up in the
air, then you have to do something with the data.
And as has been talked about I think several times in this
committee, they are not thermometers in space. There is all
different types of frequencies, all the way from visible, the
pictures that you see on the TV, infrared, and there is also
some things called micrometer. So it is basically almost like
radar. It is not exactly, but some of them are.
And what you do is you are trying to look down through the
atmosphere. But of course, the atmosphere doesn't say, oh, here
is the low part, and then there is a nice dividing, and here is
the middle. So you have different frequencies that are mostly
sensitive, but not entirely sensitive to those different parts.
And then you have to put all of that stuff together, and it is.
It is complicated.
A lot of work in meteorology was done in this, and it was
one of the real big advances when we figured out how to use
these data directly and not make them like thermometers. That
happened around the turn of--around the year 2000 or so, and it
was a big advance.
As you have mentioned, sir, there have been just a number
of corrections that have had to be made to the UAH dataset.
Merging overlapping satellite records. So when you have
satellite A and satellite B, how do you, in fact, cross-
calibrate? How do you compare them?
As the satellites go around and around, they actually start
falling back to Earth. Very slightly, but they fall back to
Earth. You have to account for that orbital decay.
You have to account for the stratosphere, the air up above
what we have been talking about, this where we live or near
where we live, and is that contaminated? And then there is even
things like the diurnal heating correction. So like when the
satellite is in where the Sun, you have to account for that.
And those have--it has taken other people, such as Mears
and Wentz from Remote Sensing Systems and other external
scientists, to help with those datasets to get them corrected.
And again, it is not easy stuff to do. It is hard stuff to do,
but there have been a number of errors.
Senator Peters. So I get from that testimony that satellite
data alone may be inadequate. We need to look at a variety of
other measurements of climate indicators. So how do climate
models compare with these measurements and observations in the
aggregate when we are looking at a variety of tools to measure
what is happening on our planet?
Admiral Titley. There is a saying certainly in the weather
community and other communities as well that all models are
wrong, but some are useful. And in a technical sense, it is
really hard to find a weather or a climate model that is
exactly right all the time. But they can tell you very useful
So even back in 1979, Jim Hansen of NASA published in
Nature--it was published, I think, in May 1980--his climate
model. This is from 35 years ago, when probably his computer
system was not even as powerful as our iPhones today. And what
that showed in published record, anybody can look it up, is the
temperature was going to start going up.
And then when you overlay the actual temperatures on there,
he was wrong. But he was wrong because he was actually slightly
too cold. But it was very useful because it said, guys, we are
going to get on this escalator and we are going to start going
So the climate models are useful. They are certainly
getting better. Are they perfect? No. Could we use more
research and development, better computers? Yes. Could we use
better observations? Yes.
But they are very useful, and they do help us understand
Thank you, sir.
Senator Peters. Well, thank you, Dr. Titley.
One, another question here. We have heard about or had
testimony that folks sometimes have difficulty getting their
positions heard. If you could explain to us the importance of
skepticism in the scientific process, that that is, indeed,
very important and specifically how the peer review process
works, which leads to these academic journals and studies?
Admiral Titley. I mean, skepticism is what drives science.
I mean, very frankly, it is what drives science. It is people
who ask different questions in different ways. They either get
inspired. They come up with a new dataset. They see a way to
use a new dataset. And that can sometimes challenge the very
orthodoxy. I mean, you look at Darwin, who challenged the very
As far as the peer review, the peer review doesn't mean
that this is the final settled science, but it does mean there
is a logical flow. It means that the scientist or the author
has, in fact, correctly taken a look at his or her field
previously and documented that. The methods are clear, and the
conclusions are consistent with the evidence that was
It may not be the final word, but it is sort of that Good
Housekeeping Seal of Approval, if you will. So that if you are
reading from another field or if you are policymaker, if you
understand it is peer reviewed, there is some sort of
certification or quality control. It may not be perfect, but
over time, it is a pretty good process.
Senator Peters. So these papers aren't based on dogma. It
is a very robust scientific process that has significant review
by peers who have expertise in the area?
Admiral Titley. Senator, in my opinion, the vast majority
of papers are based on data and not dogma.
Senator Peters. Doctor--or Admiral Titley as well, what do
we understand about the natural phenomena that has contributed
to warming from the last 150 years versus effect of carbon that
humans have released? We have heard that from some of our other
panelists that there is other natural phenomena. Could you kind
of dive into that a little more and give us a better sense of
what we know about humans' impact?
Admiral Titley. Yes, sir. The humans' impact is really
primarily, although not exclusively, from greenhouse gases.
Land use also has an impact. Agriculture has an impact. But
primarily, it is our energy uses, fossil fuels. And what they
are doing is putting billions of tons of greenhouse gases into
So even though in absolute terms, 400 parts per million
doesn't sound like that much, compared to where we started the
pre-Industrial Revolution at about 275, 280 parts per mission,
it is a significant increase. And we are seeing those effects.
We are seeing the temperatures come up, but we are also seeing
the rainfall come up. A warmer atmosphere has a potential to
hold, if you will, more water vapor. So when it rains, it can
The temperatures are melting the ice. We have already
talked about, I believe, with Senator Schatz, the sea level or
the thermal expansion. So we are seeing all these different
independent lines of evidence. And since we built human
civilization based on climate stability, that is the challenge
that we have.
We now have to adapt. And I think I have heard some of the
other panelists say we need to adapt. So we are going to have
to adapt to the climate changes that are coming that we cannot
stop, but at the same time, we need to figure out how not to
drive over the cliff, how to change ourselves so that all we
have is a bumpy ride, put your seatbelts on, and we will be OK.
But if we don't get serious with this, we could have a
very, very rough ride, indeed.
Senator Peters. Well, hopefully, that is where we will
spend time in this committee in the future is thinking through
how do we adapt, how do we design policy prescriptions to what
is a complex, but potentially dangerous change in the climate.
I want to go back because I didn't hear the response, I
think Dr. Happer talked about carbon dioxide, and I just want
to have opportunity for you to respond, Dr. Titley. Is that we
know that there have been periods in Earth's history prior to
the evolution of photosynthesis, I believe, when carbon dioxide
levels in the atmosphere were much higher than they are now.
Can you talk about what the Earth was like in times past
when carbon dioxide levels were much higher and what that might
mean for us now? And you heard Dr. Happer's testimony. Perhaps
your response would be helpful now.
Admiral Titley. Yes, sir. There certainly have been times
in the past where carbon dioxide levels have been much, much
higher, but there weren't modern humans, and there certainly
weren't billions of humans. So our challenge is how do we deal
with these new rises in carbon dioxide with 7, 8 billion people
The plants--certainly, in general, plants do better, but so
do the weeds. So if you are looking at agriculture, what you
have to deal with is not only are the plants that you want to
grow are going to do better, the weeds are going to grow
better, but they are going to do so in a hotter environment.
Do you start crossing thresholds, either not only daytime
thresholds, nighttime thresholds? Does it mess up with the
germination? Does it mess up with the pollination? Where are
you going to get the water from if you have changed the basic
So all of those issues become a great challenge, and you
need to be able to look at the entire system of agriculture in
a changing climate to see where the risks are and where the
Senator Peters. Well, I think those are important points,
Dr. Titley, and I would actually like to enter in the record
two studies, one in 2006 by Stephen Long and another study here
by Samuel Myers, also has a little different perspective on
CO2 levels than what we heard in testimony today.
If I could introduce that in the record, Mr. Chairman?
Senator Cruz. Without objection, they will be made part of
[The information referred to follows:]
[GRAPHICS NOT AVAILABLE IN TIFF FORMAT]
Senator Peters. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
And then I also have--we have had some references by
members of the panel regarding Senator Whitehouse and some
comments that he had made. I would like to enter into the
record as well a speech that he made that should be entered
into the record as to refute some of the comments that were
made by the panel.
Senator Cruz. Without objection.
[The information referred to follows:]
Time to Wake Up: The Pause That Wasn't
Senate Floor Speech by Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse
Tuesday, September 29, 2015
Mr. President, I rise today for my 113th ``Time to Wake Up'' speech
on climate change. They say 13 is unlucky. I don't know what 113 is,
but I do know what climate change is. It is very real. We shouldn't kid
ourselves. And it is an urgent challenge for our country and our world.
Our leading scientific organizations say so. Our national security
leaders say so. All of our National Laboratories say so. Major American
businesses say so. Religious leaders of all faiths say so. Pope Francis
certainly said so last week. But the Senate is jammed by persistent,
meretricious climate denial. The denial comes in many guises, but, like
a compass, all the denial points in the same direction: whatever helps
the fossil fuel industry keep polluting. That is the true north of
climate denial--whatever helps the fossil fuel industry. Look at the
fossil fuel money pouring into the Republican Party and tell me this is
We have Senators who deny that anything is happening, who say it is
a hoax. We have Senators who deny that we can solve this. We have
Senators who deny their faith in the American economy to win if we
innovate. We have Senators who simply shrug and say: I am not a
scientist. A bunch of Senators say: Don't even worry about it; climate
change has stopped. The junior Senator from Florida tells us, ``Despite
17 years of dramatic increases in carbon production by humans, surface
temperatures [on] the earth have stabilized.'' The junior Senator from
Texas proclaims that ``satellite data demonstrate for the last
seventeen years, there's been zero warming. None whatsoever.''
Let's leave aside for a moment the cherry-picked data this
conclusion is based on, which leaves out the oceans, which cover a mere
70 percent of the Earth's surface. I will get back to oceans in a
minute. But even this cherry-picked data needs a trick to deny the
long-term trend. Using their trick, you could convince yourself climate
change has stopped six times in the history of this increase from 1970.
It is easy to do. You pick a spot here and you pick a spot there, and
in the variability you make it a flat line and you say: There, you see
a pause. The problem is that these manufactured pauses keep climbing.
When this bogus climate pause idea was trotted out in an op-ed in
the Providence Journal, my home state paper, PolitiFact quickly
determined that it uses ``cherry-picked numbers and leaves out
important details that would give a very different impression.''
When we look at the linear trend for this whole data set, from 1970
to 2013, no one can deny that the Earth is warming. Research shows that
climate change is marching on. The past decade was warmer than the one
before that, which was warmer than the one before that. Seventeen of
the 18 hottest years in the historical record have occurred in the last
18 years. NOAA and NASA count 2014 as the hottest year on record, and
so far 2015 is on track to be even hotter than 2014. Fluctuations do
not statistically alter the trend.
It is a disservice to the truth and to this Senate to suggest that
this heralds the end of climate change. As noted UC Berkeley physics
professor Richard Muller put it, ``When walking up stairs in a tall
building, it is a mistake to interpret a landing as the end of the
Plus, for what reason would it have stopped? There is no basis for
the pause. We know why it is happening. Global warming is caused by
carbon pollution. We have known that science since Abraham Lincoln wore
a top hat around this town. That is not news. And our carbon pollution
sure hasn't stopped.
We just broke 400 parts per million of carbon in the atmosphere for
the first time in the history of the human species.
There is no intellectual basis behind the pause theory. These
claims of a climate change pause have been debunked. Just a couple of
weeks ago, researchers from Stanford University published a study:
``There is no hiatus in the increase in the global mean temperature, no
statistically significant difference in trends, no stalling of the
global mean temperature, and no change in year-to-year temperature
increases.'' In other words, there is no pause.
A different study prepared for the U.S. Climate Variability and
Predictability Program reviewed this so-called pause data and said
this: It ``not only failed to establish a trend change with statistical
significance, it failed by a wide margin. [A]ny argument that global
warming stopped 18 or 20 years ago is just hogwash,'' said one of that
report's authors--just hogwash. When legitimate scientists and
statisticians examine the data for global mean temperature, they don't
find any so-called pause.
This chart I have in the Chamber shows global average temperatures
since the late 1800s, which is about the time we began burning fossil
fuels in the Industrial Revolution. In yet another study out this
month, researchers did a little test. They showed this chart to 25
economists, but instead of temperature they told the economists that
the chart showed world agricultural output. That stripped the data of
any political baggage of climate change. It made this a simple
statistical question: Does this chart show that the measured
phenomenon--climate change, temperature, world agricultural output--
does this chart show whatever the measured phenomenon is stopped in
1998? The economists looked, and they flat out rejected that
conclusion. What they agreed was that claiming the phenomenon had
stopped would be misleading and ill-informed.
So why did this pause theory appear that is a mistake, that is
hogwash, that is based on cherry-picked numbers all toward a conclusion
that is misleading and ill-informed? Why? Because the big carbon
polluters and their allies in Congress don't want us to act. So we keep
getting this mischief fed to us.
The enterprise that performs that evil task of feeding mischief
into this debate is perhaps the biggest and the most complex racket in
American history. It is phony. They cherry-pick a handful of
statistically insignificant data points and tell us the whole problem
went away on its own. Then the real scientists take a look at it and
say that is bunk. But in the meantime, the polluter enterprise notched
a public relations victory. It bought some time to keep polluting for
free, and sadly it got some of our colleagues to be party to it.
Telling the American people there is a pause in global warming may
lull the gullible to sleep, but it is phony, it is inaccurate, and it
is wrong. It ignores the truth. It ignores the science. Basically what
it is, is cheesy fossil fuel PR dressed up in a lab coat to look like
science, just enough to fool people that little bit.
Now let's turn back to the oceans--that 70 percent of the Earth's
surface the other data left out. These data show the decades-long
warming of the surface oceans--1960 to 2010. No pause. Remember, the
deniers conveniently left all this data out when they cherry-picked
their pause data--70 percent of the Earth's surface left out.
The first law of thermodynamics, conservation of energy, decrees
that all of that heat in the ocean had to come from somewhere. Research
shows that greenhouse gases trap excess heat in the atmosphere and that
over 90 percent of that excess heat went into the oceans, was absorbed
by our oceans. People who insist that the climate has not warmed in
recent decades ignore this one little thing--the oceans, which cover 70
percent of the surface of the Earth. The oceans don't lie. This warming
is changing the oceans and our fisheries. Water expands when it warms.
That is the law of thermal expansion--unless somebody wants to come and
deny that. The seas are rising across the globe. In Rhode Island, we
measure it at the Newport Naval Station tide gauge. Basically it is a
glorified yardstick. It is not complicated. There is no theory
involved. It is a measurement. It says we are up nearly 10 inches since
the 1930s. That may be funny to landlocked States, but when there are
10 more inches of sea to be thrown against your shores by a big ocean
storm, coastal states take that stuff very seriously. NASA measures it
around the world with satellites; it is not just the coastal stations
that take these measures. NASA measures from satellites. We measure the
exploding acidity of the seas. The exploding acidities of the sea are
directly related to CO2 absorption--unless people want to
deny chemistry. You can put CO2 seawater in a high school
lab and you can make the pH change. That is what we are doing on a
global scale, and we don't get to repeal laws of chemistry around here,
no matter how powerful the special interests.
Last week, His Holiness Pope Francis called on us to work together
to protect our common home. He warned us in his recent encyclical:
``Those who will have to suffer the consequences of what we are trying
to hide will not forget this failure of conscience and
responsibility.'' But first we have to want to protect our common home.
If what we want to protect is the fossil fuel industry, at all costs,
at any cost, we need a priority adjustment.
In our rotten, post-Citizens United, billionaire special interests
politics, perhaps the Pope would have had more effect if he had a super
Pac, but it shouldn't take a super Pac for us to heed the Pope's
warning or to heed the science or to heed our national security leaders
or to heed everyone else who has lined up to try to wake us up.
Pope Francis also said ``to avert the most serious effects of the
environmental deterioration caused by human activity,'' now is the time
for courageous actions and strategies.
Today's New York Times has this headline: ``Many Conservative
Republicans Believe Climate Change Is a Real Threat.'' Once you get
away from this building and the pernicious influence of the fossil-fuel
industry and its relentless money and threats, it is not a question of
ideology, it is a question of special interest influence, and
conservative Republicans increasingly understand that this is real.
Eleven of them just broke rank in the House.
It is time to come together in good faith to tackle this real and
persistent threat--the threat of climate change.
It is time for us to wake up.
I yield the floor.
Senator Peters. Thank you very much. I yield back, Mr.
Senator Cruz. Thank you, Senator Peters.
I want to thank each of the witnesses for being here. Dr.
Happer, you wanted to briefly----
Dr. Happer. I just wanted to make one response about
satellite temperature measurements. They measure temperature
the same way as hospitals do today. Nobody sticks a thermometer
in your mouth anymore. They use a temporal scanner or they put
something in your ear. And so they are measuring radiation in
exactly the same way the satellites do, except medical
thermotheres use infrared radiation, not microwave radiation.
Senator Cruz. Thank you, Dr. Happer. That is helpful.
This hearing was a hearing to discuss facts and evidence
and data rather than partisan dogma and ideology, and there are
at least seven facts that our witnesses have laid out here to
which there have been, I believe, no effective response.
Number one, that carbon dioxide, rather than being a
pollutant, is good for plant life.
Number two, that the Earth right now, today, is greening.
Number three, that for significant periods in history there
has been markedly more CO2 in our atmosphere, and
that was prior to the Industrial Revolution. So it could not
have come from the burning of fossil fuels.
Number four, that for the last 18 years the satellite data
and the weather balloon data both demonstrate no significant
warming whatsoever. That fact in particular not a single
Democratic Senator had an effective response to.
Number five, that the satellite data and the weather
balloon data are the best evidence we have of whether warming
is occurring, and that evidence, the actual data, demonstrate
that it is not.
Number six, that the seas were rising more in the first
half of the 20th century prior to the significant increase in
carbon dioxide emissions than they are now.
And number eight, that the computer models, the apocalyptic
computer models that are telling us we need to raise every
hard-working American's electric bills, gas bills, cost of
living, we need to make it harder for single moms, for
immigrants, for African Americans, for Hispanics, for hard-
working men and women, we need to make it harder for them to
make a living and make ends meet, the computer models are
profoundly wrong. Not a little bit wrong, but profoundly
inconsistent with the data and the evidence.
None of these eight facts tend to make it through the media
gatekeepers that instead enforce, like the Inquisition, a
discipline on the heretics that would dare stand in the way of
their political ideology of imposing trillions of dollars of
cost on people who are struggling.
Policy should be driven by facts, and as John Adams said,
``Facts are stubborn things.''
In addition to the number of things entered in the record,
I have got a series of newspaper articles describing the
persecution of so-called climate deniers that without objection
are going to be entered into the record.
[The information referred to follows:]
Should Climate Change Deniers Be Prosecuted?
By Walter Olson On 10/1/15 at 5:17PM
Around 400 demonstrators participated in a protest over climate
change denialby burying their heads in the sand at Sydney's Bondi Beach
November 13, 2014, ahead of a G20 summit in Brisbane. Half-truths and
the selective use of data are the common currency of political debate
over climate change, the author writes.
In June, I took note of Senator Sheldon Whitehouse's (D-R.I.) op-ed
''urg[ing] the U.S. Department of Justice to consider filing a
racketeering suit against the oil and coal industries for having
promoted wrongful thinking on climate change, with the activities of
'conservative policy' groups an apparent target of the investigation as
I pointed out that this was a significant step toward criminalizing
policy differences and using litigation and government enforcement to
punish opponents in public debate, and meshed with an existing fishing-
expedition investigation of climate-skeptic scholarship by Whitehouse
and other Democrats on Capitol Hill.
Others had already gone farther than the senator himself, calling
for making ``climate denial'' a ``crime against humanity,'' holding
public trials of fossil fuel executives for having resisted the truth
and so forth. (Gawker: ``arrest climate change deniers.'')
And I noted a recurring argument-''we did it to the tobacco
companies, so there's no reason we can't do it here too''-that tended
to confirm my fears that the Federal government set a dangerous
precedent back then when it ''took the stance that pro-tobacco advocacy
could amount to a legal offense.''
Now there are further signs that a concerted campaign is under way.
``Letter to President Obama: Investigate Deniers Under RICO'' is the
headline over a letter from 20 scientists, most at respected
institutions, endorsing the Whitehouse idea and calling for the Federal
government to launch a probe under the racketeering (RICO) law. The
letter was soon being widely promoted around the Web, even at
BoingBoing, often regarded as a pro-free-speech outlet.
It is not clear that all the scientists who signed the letter have
thought carefully about the tension between what they are asking and
the continuing freedom to pursue lines of inquiry in public debate that
the government may find unwelcome or unreasonable. ''I have no idea how
it affects the First Amendment,'' says one Vermont scientist who backs
the probe, quoted by Bruce Parker of Vermont Watchdog.
In a companion piece, Parker interviewed me about the
constitutional implications of this extremely bad idea. (I should note
that when I discuss RICO in the interview transcript, I'm referring to
the civil-litigation side of the law, so-called civilRICO, which seems
to be the part of the law the advocates hope to use.)
It is remarkable how many advocates of this scheme seem to imagine
that the First Amendment protects only truthful speech and thus (they
think) has no application here because climate skepticism is false.
That's not the way it works. As Cato and many others (compare ACLU
of Ohio) argued at various stages in the case of Susan B. Anthony List
v. Driehaus, which reached the Supreme Court on a different issue last
year, controversial speech need not be true to be protected. In
practice an ''only truth has rights'' approach chills advocacy
generally and gives the state (or sometimes private litigants and
complainants) a dangerous power to stifle advocacy in debates that it
It is certainly strange to see many supporters of the Whitehouse
approach suggest that the speech they dislike is actionable because
they find in it half-truths, selectively marshaled data, scientific
studies that spring from agendas, arguments whose ultimate sincerity is
open to question, evasion of telling points made by the other side and
so forth. Those are the common currency of everyday debate in
Washington (and not just in Washington).
Nothing could be more common than to find both sides in an argument
using these argumentative techniques. Hawks and doves do it; so do
protectionists and free traders, and labor interests and business
interests. The same techniques are also accepted as standard currency
within the adversary process itself, in which the law takes such pride,
which makes it particularly absurd to propose defining it as unlawful
racketeering to (quoting one paraphrase) ''use dubious information to
advance a cause.'' The interview, again, is here.
Walter Olson is a senior fellow at the Cato Institute's Center for
The Climate Fix
Various musings on climate science and policy
by Roger Pielke Jr
I am Under ``Investigation''
FEBRUARY 25, 2015--ROGERPIELKEJR
As some of you will already know, I am one of 7 U.S. academics
being investigated by U.S. Representative Raul Grijalva (D-AZ) who is
the ranking member of the House of Representatives Committee on
Environment and Natural Resources. Rep. Grijalva has sent a letter to
the president of my university requesting a range of information,
including my correspondence, the letter is here in PDF (http://
Before continuing, let me make one point abundantly clear: I have
no funding, declared or undeclared, with any fossil fuel company or
interest. I never have. Representative Grijalva knows this too, because
when I have testified before the U.S. Congress, I have disclosed my
funding and possible conflicts of interest. So I know with complete
certainty that this investigation is a politically-motivated ``witch
hunt'' designed to intimidate me (and others) and to smear my name.
For instance, the Congressman and his staff, along with compliant
journalists, are busy characterizing me in public as a ``climate
skeptic'' opposed to action on climate change. This of course is a lie.
I have written a book calling for a carbon tax (http://
rogerpielkejr.blogspot.com/2010/04/climate-fix.html), I have publicly
supported President Obama's proposed EPA carbon regulations (http://
.com/2014/06/some-perspective-on-us-epa-carbon.html), and I have just
published another book strongly defending the scientific assessment of
the IPCC with respect to disasters and climate change (http://
ref=sr_1_11?ie=UTF8&qid=1412174550&sr=8-11&keywords=pielke). All of
this is public record, so the smears against me must be an intentional
effort to delegitimize my academic research.
What am I accused of that prompts being investigated? Here is my
Prof. Roger Pielke, Jr., at CU's Center for Science and
Technology Policy Research has testified numerous times before
the U.S. Congress on climate change and its economic impacts.
His 2013 Senate testimony featured the claim, often repeated,
that it is ``incorrect to associate the increasing costs of
disasters with the emission of greenhouse gases.''
The letter goes on to note that John Holdren, President Obama's
science advisor, ``has highlighted what he believes were serious
misstatements by Prof. Pielke.'' (For background on this see here
extreme-weather-i-said-no-and-was-attacked) and her (http://rog
erpielkejr.blogspot.de/2014/03/john-holdrens-epic-fail.html)e.) My 2013
testimony to the Senate is here (http://sciencepolicy.colorado.edu/
_testimony2013.html) and House is here in pdf (http://
following hearing here (http://rogerpielkejr.blogspot.com/2014/01/
questions-from-congress-part-1.html) and here (http://
2.html)). The testimony was the basis for my recent book on Disasters &
Climate Change (http://www.amazon.com/The-Rightful-Place-Science-
Congressman Grijalva doesn't have any evidence of any wrongdoing on
my part, either ethical or legal, because there is none. He simply
disagrees with the substance of my testimony--which is based on peer-
reviewed research funded by the U.S. taxpayer, and which also happens
to be the consensus of the IPCC (despite Holdren's incorrect views).
Adam Sarvana, communications director for Natural Resources
Committee's Democratic delegation, reinforced the politically-motivated
nature of the investigation in an interview (http://www.al.com/news/
``The way we chose the list of recipients is who has published
widely, who has testified in Congress before, who seems to have
the most impact on policy in the scientific community''
Let's see--widely published, engaged with Congress, policy impact--
these are supposed to be virtues of the modern academic researcher,
right? (Here in PDF (http://sciencepolicy.colorado.edu/admin/
publication_files/2013.32.pdf) is my view on the importance of
testifying before Congress when asked. I still think it is important.)
I am pleased that some colleagues with whom I have had professional
disagreements with in the past have condemned the investigation via
Twitter, among them Eric Steig (of Real Climate), Bob Ward (LSE) and
Simon Donner (UBC). This shows some real class. In contrast, Michael E.
Mann, who I defended when a Virginia politician came after him (http://
expedition.html), used the ``investigation'' as a chance to lob
childish insults my way via Twitter. Some things you can always count
on in the climate arena!
So far, I have been contacted by only 2 reporters at relatively
small media outlets. I'd say that the lack of interest in a politician
coming after academics is surprising, but to be honest, pretty much
nothing surprises me in the climate debate anymore. Even so, there is
simply no excuse for any reporter to repeat incorrect claims made about
me, given how easy I am to find and just ask.
The incessant attacks and smears are effective, no doubt, I have
already shifted all of my academic work away from climate issues. I am
simply not initiating any new research or papers on the topic and I
have ring-fenced my slowly diminishing blogging on the subject. I am a
full professor with tenure, so no one need worry about me--I'll be just
fine as there are plenty of interesting, research-able policy issues to
occupy my time. But I can't imagine the message being sent to younger
scientists. Actually, I can: ``when people are producing work in line
with the scientific consensus there's no reason to go on a witch hunt
When ``witch hunts'' are deemed legitimate in the context of
popular causes, we will have fully turned science into just another
arena for the exercise of power politics. The result is a big loss for
both science and politics.
[GRAPHICS NOT AVAILABLE IN TIFF FORMAT]
Democrat-led witch hunt into `climate change deniers' picks up force
Posted By M.D. Kittle On February 27, 2015
In the left's latest assault on the First Amendment, three
Democrats on the Senate's Committee on Environment and Public Works
 have sent out 100 letters to free-market think tanks and
energy companies asking them to turn over funding records related to
any research they've conducted on climate change.
In short, U.S. Sens. Ed Markey , D-Massachusetts,
Barbara Boxer, D-California, and Sheldon
Whitehouse, D-Rhode Island, apostles in President Barack
Obama's climate change war, are on another political witch hunt
demanding donor information and other records that are protected under
First Amendment defenders rallied to the side of the targeted
groups, asserting the Democrats had overreached in setting up their
enemies list, another thinly veiled quest in taxpayer-funded political
 GIVE IT TO ME: Skeptical of climate change? U.S.
Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-California, wants to know why. She's asking free-
market think tanks to turn over donor information.
``These folks have been trying to open the vaults of donor lists
from all of our organizations over time. They have not been
successful,and they are not going to be successful,'' said Kory
Swanson, president of the John Locke Foundation , a North
Carolina-based free-market think tank.
The organization received a letter  from the senators
requesting information about ``payments made . . . in support of
scientific research and scientists, as well as support for other
efforts related to climate change, if such payments have been made.''
As members of the Senate committee, the lawmakers claim they are
interested in understanding how the organizations have ''undertaken
such efforts and the degree to which these efforts have been publicly
disclosed . . .''
Their sudden interest arises following a piece in the New York
Times that attacks, or by some accounts, ``smears,'' Wei-Hock
``Willie'' Soon, an outspoken critic of man-made climate change.
The piece, headlined ``Deeper Ties to Corporate cash for Doubtful
Climate Researcher,'' uses documents obtained by
Greenpeace showing that Soon received more than $1 million from
ExxonMobil, Southern Company and others in his work tracking the flaws
in climate change research.
The story was picked up by the ''growing mega industry of climate-
alarmist blogs and organizations that receive billions of dollars from
government agencies, tax-exempt foundations, and major corporations,''
according to the New American.
``Following the typical smear pattern, many of the stories attempt
to tar Dr. Soon with the 'denier' label a vicious assault aimed at
equating (man-made climate change) skepticism with Nazi Holocaust
denial,'' the publication states.
Soon did not disclose his fundi.ng in his peer-reviewed study.
The senators are going after anyone who would dare contest the
science behind the climate change narrative.
They want it all, and they want it now.
In their letter, the senators demand the past 10
years of information from the organizations, including:
``Lists of funded research efforts (including but not limited
to grants, fellowships, scholarships, consulting contracts,
contracts, honoraria, and speaking events) on or related to
climate, climate change, global warming, environmental issues,
air quality, atmospheric or oceanic topics, greenhouse gas
emissions, associated impacts of greenhouse gas in missions,
carbon dioxide . . .''
For each payment made to individuals or organizations associated
with the funded research efforts, the senators seek:
Name of the recipient
Payment and duration of the term of the funded research
Reason for the payment
Majority members of the Senate committee reportedly were sending
out letters Friday advising the target groups that they do not have to
comply with the senators' unconstitutional requests. Anonymous
donations still are protected under the First Amendment.
First Amendment expert Hans von Spakovsky called the senators\1\
``This is clearly an attempt to intimidate anyone who has a
different opinion on the issue than theirs,'' said von Spakovsky, a
former commissioner on the Federal Election Commission and senior legal
fellow in The Heritage Foundation's  Edwin Meese III
Center for Legal and Judicial Studies. ``This is an abuse of power.
Maybe these senators don't understand or don't care about the
fundamental First Amendment rights of Americans and their membership
The demand for donor information von Spakovsky said, is no
different than what the state of Alabama did to the NAACP in the 19sos.
n this case, the result could be freezing out political speech by
shutting down potential donor contributions.
``What these 100 organizations need to do is to get together and
what they ought to do is send one letter signed onto by every single
organization that says, `We're not providing you with this information
and your attempt to get it is unconscionable,' '' he said. ``There is
strength in numbers and they ought to stand for and push forward the
principle that the government is not entitled to this information
because it is a violation of their First Amendment rights.''
Swanson said he is not overly concerned by the senators' political
grandstanding now that he has been informed he does not have to turn
over the targeted information. The think tank president said many
donors do not want their identities released because of government-led
reprisals for their beliefs.
``We will proceed on with our work and not get distracted by
this,'' Swanson said.
Article printed from Watchdog.org: http://watchdog.org
URL to article: http://watchdog.org/203041/climate-change-senate-
URLs in this post:
 Committee on Environment and Public Works: http://
 Ed Markey: http://www.markey.senate.gov/
 Barbara Boxer,: http://www.boxer.senate.gov/
 Sheldon Whitehouse,: http://www.whitehou se.senate.gov/contact/
 Image: http://watchdog.org/wp-content/blogs.dir/l/files/2015/
 John Locke Foundation: http://www.john locke.org/about/
 letter: http://www.markey.senate.gov/news/press-releases/
 ``Deeper Ties to Corporate Cash for Doubtful Climate
 New American.: http://www.thenewamerican.com/tech/environment/
 The Heritage Foundation's: http://www.heritage.org/about/staff/v/
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The Daily Caller http://dailycaller.com
Scientists Ask Obama To Prosecute Global Warming Skeptics
Posted By Michael Bastasch On 4:39 PM 09/17/2015 In/No Comments
The science on global warming is settled, so settled that 20
climate scientists are asking President Barack Obama to prosecute
people who disagree with them on the science behind manmade global
Scientists from several universities and research centers even
asked Obama to use the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations
Act (RICO) to prosecute groups that ``have knowingly deceived the
American people about the risks of climate change, as a means to
forestall America's response to climate change.''
RICO was a law designed to take down organized crime syndicates,
but scientists now want it to be used against scientists, activists and
organizations that voice their disagreement with the so called
``consensus'' on global warming. The scientists repeated claims made by
environmentalists that groups, especially those with ties to fossil
fuels, have engaged in a misinformation campaign to confuse the public
on global warming.
``The actions of these organizations have been extensively
documented in peer reviewed academic research and in recent books,''
the scientists wrote.
But these riled up academics aren't the first to suggest using RICO
to go after global warming skeptics. The idea was first put forward by
Rhode Island Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, who argued using RICO was
effective at taking down the tobacco industry.
``In 1999, the Justice Department filed a civil RICO lawsuit
against the major tobacco companies . . . alleging that the companies
`engaged in and executed--and continue to engage in and execute--a
massive 50year scheme to defraud the public, including consumers of
cigarettes, in violation of RICO,' '' Whitehouse wrote in the
Washington Post in May.
``We strongly endorse Senator Whitehouse's call for a RICO
investigation,'' the scientists wrote to Obama. ``The methods of these
organizations are quite similar to those used earlier by the tobacco
industry. A RICO investigation (1999 to 2006) played an important role
in stopping the tobacco industry from continuing to deceive the
American people about the dangers of smoking.''
``If corporations in the fossil fuel industry and their supporters
are guilty of the misdeeds that have been documented in books and
journal articles, it is imperative that these misdeeds be stopped as
soon as possible so that America and the world can get on with the
critically important business of finding effective ways to restabilize
the Earth's climate, before even more lasting damage is done,'' the
This year has been a trying one for global warming skeptics.
Earlier this year, Democratic lawmakers began an investigation into
scientists who disagreed with the White House's stance on global
warming. Many of these skeptical scientists were often cited by those
critical of regulations to curb greenhouse gas emissions.
Arizona Democratic Rep. Raul Grijalva went after universities
employing these researchers, which resulted in one expert being forced
to get out of the field of climate research altogether.
``I am simply not initiating any new research or papers on the
topic and I have ringfenced my slowly diminishing blogging on the
subject,'' Dr. Roger Pielke Jr. of the University of Colorado wrote on
``Congressman Grijalva doesn't have any evidence of any wrongdoing
on my part, either ethical or legal, because there is none,'' Pielke
wrote. ``He simply disagrees with the substance of my testimony--which
is based on peerreviewed research funded by the U.S. taxpayer, and
which also happens to be the consensus of the IPCC (despite Holdren's
EPA chief says climate change deniers not `normal'
By John Siciliano 6/23/15 7:26 PM
The head of the Environmental Protection Agency appeared to hurl
barbs at Congress on Tuesday, referring to an unnamed group of climate
change ``deniers'' who aren't ``normal'' and who won't ``carry the
day'' in a democracy.
EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy made the comments while addressing
a climate change summit at the White House Tuesday to frame the effects
of global warming on public health.
McCarthy said a report her agency released Monday makes the case
for taking action against climate change by calculating the price
Americans will pay for not taking action, including the thousands of
lives lost due to global warming and the impact felt on the economy.
She said the EPA put out the report ``not to push back against
climate deniers,'' but to help ``normal people'' make a decision about
the kind of world they and their children want to live in.
``I've batted my head against the wall too many times'' trying to
convince climate change deniers that global warming is occurring, she
said. ``You can have fun doing that if you want,'' but ``if the science
hasn't already changed their mind then it never will.''
She said she is convinced that the climate deniers will not win in
the campaign to address global warming. ``In a normal democracy, it is
not them that carries the day,'' McCarthy said. ``It is normal human
beings that haven't put their stake into politics above science.''
``It's normal human beings that want us to do the right thing,''
she added. ``And we will.''
Her comments were being made around the same time Republican Sen.
Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia was holding a hearing on the harm
the EPA's Clean Power Plan poses to energy producer states and small
businesses. The EPA plan is the centerpiece of President Obama's plan
to address climate change by curbing emissions from existing power
``We are going to get our Clean Power Plan out. It is going to
happen,'' McCarthy told those attending the summit, which included a
broad range of public health advocates and environmentalists.
The climate summit follows another last week to announce $4 billion
in private investment to develop renewable energy and other low mission
technologies. Observers say the summits are being used to push the
issue of climate change ahead of the Clean Power Plan being issued in
Yet at the same time, the House is preparing to pass legislation as
soon as Wednesday that would delay implementation of the plan. The
House measure would give states the ability to opt out of the rules,
while allowing them to forego compliance until judicial review has
In the Senate, Capito said that companion legislation she
introduced in May continues to gain strength. Capito said she is
``proud to have more than 30 cosponsors,'' including Majority Leader
Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and Energy and Public Works Committee Chairman
James Inhofe, R-Okla.
The Daily Caller http://dailycaller.com
Another Global Warming Skeptic Gets Suspended From Twitter
Posted By Michael Bastasch On 2:14 PM 04/02/2015 In/No Comments
For the second time within two weeks, another global warming
skeptic blogger has had his Twitter account suspended, this time
repeating profanity used by a NASA climate scientist--and no the
scientist did not get his account suspended.
On April 1st, Twitter locked the account of science blogger Tom
Nelson, who runs the blog the ``Hockey Schtick.'' Twitter told Nelson
to delete a tweet that contained the word--are you ready for it?--
``crap'' or else his account would not be unlocked. Nelson then posted
the ``Delete Tweet'' screen to his blog, after which Twitter promptly
suspended his account. As of April 2nd, Nelson's account was still
Interestingly enough, Nelson was simply repeating a word used by
NASA climate scientist Gavin Schmidt who tweeted at Nelson that [graph]
is crap as I've frequently pointed out. The temperature is hand drawn.
Not even you can take it seriously, surely?''
Nelson tweeted back on March 22nd ``is this graph crap too?'' About
a week and a half later, Twitter locked his account and the suspended
it. But Gavin Schmidt's account has not been suspended--which has
raised the ire of other global warming skeptics and conservative
pundits on Twitter.
``If calling a graph `crap' is grounds for suspension, why isn't
@ClimateofGavin suspended?'' Nelson asked on his blog.
[email protected] You wouldn't happen to know why @twitter
``suspended'' another climate dissident, Tom Nelson @tan123?
--Mark Steyn (@MarkSteynOnline) April 1, 2015
Nelson's suspension comes within two weeks of Twitter suspending
global warming skeptic Steven Goddard, a noted blogger who has been
labelled as a ``denier'' by environmentalists.
Goddard, a pseudonym he blogs under, was suspended for violating
Twitter's rules. goddard had been previously warned by Twitter of that
other users had accused him of ``nonviolent threats'' and ``abusive
behavior.'' Goddard denied these accusations.
``I have never violated any Twitter rules, and Twitter has failed
to respond to my requests to provide any details,'' Goddard said.
Both Goddard and Nelson have been highly critical of views human
activity is causing the planet to warm at an alarming rate.
InsideClimate News even featured Goddard on its ``Who's Who List of
Climate Denialists''--list put together by environmentalists of global
warming ``deniers'' targeted by e-mail hackers.
But Twitter's actions against the bloggers seem to come from
complaints by other Twitter users. Indeed, Nelson's account was locked
about a week and a half after he used the word ``crap'' in a tweet.
Some in the skeptic community have suggested climate scientists and
environmental activists are complaining to get skeptic's account
Indeed, Penn State University climate scientist Michael Mann has
threatened ``trolls'' with being reported and blocked if they
interrupted an #AskDrMann session on Twitter.
But Twitter doesn't disclose such information. So any accusations
of who is behind getting skeptics' account suspended is speculative at
Senator Cruz. I am also going to enter into the record the
op-ed that Senator Whitehouse wrote calling for RICO criminal
prosecution of anyone who dares stand in the way of the
political ideology that hurts working men and women.
[The information referred to follows:]
The Washington Post--Opinions
``The fossil-fuel industry's campaign to mislead the American people''
By Sheldon Whitehouse May 29, 2015
Sheldon Whitehouse, a Democrat, represents Rhode Island in the Senate.
Fossil fuel companies and their allies are funding a massive and
sophisticated campaign to mislead the American people about the
environmental harm caused by carbon pollution.
Their activities are often compared to those of Big Tobacco denying
the health dangers of smoking. Big Tobacco's denial scheme was
ultimately found by a Federal judge to have amounted to a racketeering
The Big Tobacco playbook looked something like this: (1) pay
scientists to produce studies defending your product; (2) develop an
intricate web of PR experts and front groups to spread doubt about the
real science; (3) relentlessly attack your opponents.
Thankfully, the government had a playbook, too: the Racketeer
Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, or RICO. In 1999, the Justice
Department filed a civil RICO lawsuit against the major tobacco
companies and their associated industry groups, alleging that the
companies ``engaged in and executed--and continue to engage in and
execute--a massive 50-year scheme to defraud the public, including
consumers of cigarettes, in violation of RICO.''
Tobacco spent millions of dollars and years of litigation fighting
the government. But finally, through the discovery process, government
lawyers were able to peel back the layers of deceit and denial and see
what the tobacco companies really knew all along about cigarettes.
In 2006, Judge Gladys Kessler of the U.S. District Court for the
District of Columbia decided that the tobacco companies' fraudulent
campaign amounted to a racketeering enterprise. According to the court:
``Defendants coordinated significant aspects of their public relations,
scientific, legal, and marketing activity in furtherance of a shared
objective--to . . . maximize industry profits by preserving and
expanding the market for cigarettes through a scheme to deceive the
The parallels between what the tobacco industry did and what the
fossil fuel industry is doing now are striking.
In the case of fossil fuels, just as with tobacco, the industry
joined together in a common enterprise and coordinated strategy. In
1998, the Clinton administration was building support for international
climate action under the Kyoto Protocol. The fossil fuel industry, its
trade associations and the conservative policy institutes that often do
the industry's dirty work met at the Washington office of the American
Petroleum Institute. A memo from that meeting that was leaked to the
New York Times documented their plans for a multimillion-dollar public
relations campaign to undermine climate science and to raise
``questions among those (e.g., Congress) who chart the future U.S.
course on global climate change.''
The shape of the fossil fuel industry's denial operation has been
documented by, among others, Drexel University professor Robert Brulle.
In a 2013 paper published in the journal Climatic Change, Brulle
described a complex network of organizations and funding that appears
designed to obscure the fossil fuel industry's fingerprints. To quote
directly from Brulle's report, it was ``a deliberate and organized
effort to misdirect the public discussion and distort the public's
understanding of climate.'' That sounds a lot like Kessler's findings
in the tobacco racketeering case.
The coordinated tactics of the climate denial network, Brulle's
report states, ``span a wide range of activities, including political
lobbying, contributions to political candidates, and a large number of
communication and media efforts that aim at undermining climate
science.'' Compare that again to the findings in the tobacco case.
The tobacco industry was proved to have conducted research that
showed the direct opposite of what the industry stated publicly--
namely, that tobacco use had serious health effects. Civil discovery
would reveal whether and to what extent the fossil fuel industry has
crossed this same line. We do know that it has funded research that--to
its benefit--directly contradicts the vast majority of peer-reviewed
climate science. One scientist who consistently published papers
downplaying the role of carbon emissions in climate change, Willie
Soon, reportedly received more than half of his funding from oil and
electric utility interests: more than $1.2 million.
To be clear: I don't know whether the fossil fuel industry and its
allies engaged in the same kind of racketeering activity as the tobacco
industry. We don't have enough information to make that conclusion.
Perhaps it's all smoke and no fire. But there's an awful lot of smoke.
Senator Cruz. The hearing record is going to remain open
for 2 weeks. During this time, Senators are asked to submit any
questions for the record, and upon receipt, the witnesses are
requested to submit their written answers to the Committee as
soon as possible.
I want to thank the witnesses for being here. I want to
thank you for the time in preparing your testimony.
And with that, this hearing is adjourned.
[Whereupon, at 5:52 p.m., the hearing was adjourned.]
A P P E N D I X
Response to Written Questions Submitted by Hon. Richard Blumenthal to
Admiral David Titley
Issue: Climate Change and Refugees
Question 1. The globe is currently facing a refugee crisis as
innocent civilians are being forced to flee war-torn areas like Syria
in an attempt to find safety. There are now 4.2 million registered
refugees spread across Turkey, Lebanon, Egypt, Iraq, and Jordan.
Climate scientists hold that as climate change worsens, global
crises of mass population displacements can increase. As droughts
become more severe or as the sea level continues to rise and puts at
risk coastal communities and settlements, millions of people can end up
displaced because of drinking water shortages, crop shortages, and
Not only will there the issue of resettling millions of displaced
people, but as resources grow more scarce, conflict becomes more
Thirty governors have declined to accept refugees as people are now
fleeing the violence of ISIS. Yet, many of the same people who argue
against opening our borders to refugees refuse to take action to
mitigate and reverse climate change.
Can you speak to how significant of an issue displacement may
become if we do not take steps to address climate change?
Answer. Climate refugees, although not a formally recognized term,
will become an increasingly urgent problem for the world to deal with.
Whether people are forced from their land due to rising seas and storm
surges, salt-water contamination of fresh water supplies, or are no
longer able to grow food for their families and communities due to a
combination of increased heat or drought, they will move. They will
then be either ``internally displaced'' refugees within their own
country or international refugees. These problems will almost certainly
be worse and most severe in regions where there is already poor
governance, endemic corruption, and existing ethnic strife. Syria today
is a tragic example, and ominously a window to a future where this
challenge is ignored.
Question 2. How serious are the Departments of Defense and Homeland
Security taking this potential future risk as a result of climate
Answer. This administration has taken the risk of climate change
seriously as part of its duties. The risks of climate change are
prominently acknowledged in the highest strategy documents of these
departments. In addition, in January 2016 the Department of Defense
issued a ``Department of Defense Directive'' http://www
.dtic.mil/whs/directives/corres/pdf/471521p.pdf that gives very
specific guidance to the Under and Assistant Secretaries of Defense,
the Services, Combatant Commanders and the Joint Staff as to their
duties and responsibilities with respect to addressing climate risk and
security. For more details, see: https://climate
Question 3. I imagine that because of the grave responsibility of
national security these two departments are charged with upholding, any
official position they take has been well researched and reviewed. Can
you speak to how well researched the DOD and DHS's predictions as a
result of climate change are and how reliable their science is?
Answer. Both the DOD and DHS rely on the scientific enterprise's
collective knowledge, judgment and wisdom. This knowledge is best
summarized in the U.S. National Academy of Science's body of work on
climate change (http://nas-sites.org/americasclimatechoices/sample-
page/panel-reports/), the National Climate Assessment (http://
nca2014.globalchange.gov/), and the fifth assessment report of the
Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (https://www.ipcc.ch/report/
ar5/). In addition, specific NASA, NOAA, Department of Energy, U.S.
Geological Survey, academic, intelligence community and other technical
assets are consulted as required.
Issue: Climate Change Considerations at DOD
Question 4. In addition to the rise in regional instability across
the globe and the potential to exacerbate the displacement of
significant populations of people, climate change has the potential to
pose other national security risks like threats to military
The Department of Defense has done extensive climate research and
is also taking steps to increase its use of alternative fuels and
further its research into alternate fuel resources to reduce its carbon
The DOD has also taken several steps to incorporate climate
mitigation into its planning. In a statement from this July, the
department stated that ``the ability of the United States and other
countries to cope with the risks and implications of climate change
requires monitoring, analysis and integration of those risks into
existing overall risk management measures, as appropriate for each
What are some other national security risks that the DOD warns of
if climate change isn't mitigated?
Answer. Please refer to the CNA Military Advisory Board reports of
%20Climate%20Change.pdf and 2014 https://www.cna.org/CNA_files/pdf/MAB_
In summary the risks are:
changes in the Arctic for which we are not prepared
climate threats to DOD and critical civilian infrastructure
upon which our military and economic security reside. Climate
rising sea levels and attendant storm surges;
drought and excessive heat impacting a base's
direct or indirect threat from wildfires
increase in the ``demand signal'' for world-wide
Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HA/DR) missions.
While the U.S. military conducts HA/DR missions in a very
capable and professional manner, a significant increase in
these missions has the potential to disrupt training and
capacity for higher-end war-fighting missions that can only be
accomplished by the U.S. military.
Increase in the geo-strategic threats, where climate is not
the sole cause of instability, but, like a link in a chain, is
one of the reasons a region or nation tips into chaos and
extremism, with unpredictable and unknown security and
Question 5. What has been the extent of its efforts to reduce its
carbon footprint and transition to cleaner fuels?
Answer. Please refer to Mr. John Conger's 3 March 2015 written
testimony before the House Appropriations Committee, pgs 11-13 and pgs
Question 6. In your testimony, you spoke to the risk management
approach to addressing climate change recommended by the CNA Military
Advisory Board, a panel of former three and four star generals. How
concerned is the DOD with climate change and how much is it built into
Answer. Please see my previous answer regarding the DOD's concern
for climate change. In my personal opinion, the leadership has done a
good job of balancing and addressing this long-term, strategic risk
with the shorter-term crises that the DOD must always handle. The
issuance by Deputy Secretary Work of the DOD Directive on climate
change in January 2016 is a good example of their commitment to
addressing this risk.
Issue: Negative Economic Impact of Climate Change as Indicated by
Question 7. The NOAA Northeast Fisheries Research Lab in Milford,
CT has demonstrated that ocean acidification is one of the greatest
risks to the healthy development of shellfish like clams and oysters. I
constantly hear from my state's aquaculture and shellfish harvesting
communities that they are catching smaller and more underdeveloped
shellfish by the year as acidification hinders the calcification
process necessary to produce a strong and robust shell.
The University of Connecticut has also been pioneering a lot of
sound and reliable climate science. One study, conducted by Dr. Baumann
of UConn, investigates the impact of climate change on coastal marine
fishes. His most recent NSF and NOAA funded study on the Atlantic
silverside, a common fish in eastern North America and a source of food
for commercially important fish species like bluefish and striped bass,
showed that high levels of carbon dioxide are likely to severely impact
the larvae of this species in years to come. This will likely have a
cascading effect to the fish that rely on them as a food source, which
in turn will have a negative impact on the commercial fishing industry.
As climate deniers continue to do the bidding of the fossil fuel
industry, protecting the profits of big oil and gas interests, what
will the impact be on other industries that will be harmed by climate
change, like the aquaculture and commercial fishing industries?
Answer. While some select industries may temporarily benefit from
delaying action on climate change, particularly those connected with
extracting, transporting or burning fossil fuel assets, many industries
and communities will be negatively impacted from the changes in
climate. The impacts may be direct, as your constituents in the
aquaculture industry have relayed to you, or indirect, in that
taxpayers will ultimately shoulder the cost of combatting sea-level
rise, higher food prices, and increased health risks, to name a few.
Question 8. Won't most of the economy be negatively impacted by
climate change? Won't the short-sighted denial of climate change really
only benefit one industry at the detriment of everyone else?
Answer. Yes sir. The number of industries that benefit directly
from delaying action are small in number compared to those who are
seeing adverse effects.
Issue: Sea Level Rise in the Long Island Sound
Question 9. The Long Island Sound Study (LISS), a federal, state
partnership between the EPA, Connecticut, and New York that monitors
water quality and changes in the climate in the Long Island Sound, has
been recording changes in sea level rise in the Sound for decades--
since 1932 in Kings Point, NY and since 1967 in Bridgeport, CT.
What LISS has found is that the sea level in the Sound has been
steadily increasing due to warming temperatures causing the water
molecules in the Sound to expand, consistent with global findings.
However, what scientists monitoring the Long Island Sound have also
discovered is that sea level rise is over 50 percent higher than the
global average over the same timeframe. This seems to indicate that as
warming continues, the regions surrounding the Sound are especially
vulnerable to flooding, storm surges, and other consequences of rising
Additionally, research by Dr. Lisa Park Boush of UConn shows that
although hurricane frequency is tied to El Nino, it is also influenced
by global climate change.
Hurricane Sandy devastated the coast of Connecticut. These storms
are only becoming more extreme. If we do not take action to curb
climate change, what type of damage are areas like the Connecticut
coast in for, where they are especially sensitive to rising sea levels?
Answer. I think your local experts are best qualified to talk about
the specifics of damage to the Connecticut coastline. We do understand
though, that hurricanes in the northeast U.S. are likely to become
stronger, and that those storm-surges will come in on top of an ever-
rising sea level. Please see the recent article published in the
Proceedings of the National Academy of Science by my colleagues Andra
Reed and Michael Mann and others: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/
4611656/ for details on the increased threat to the coastline.
Question 10. Communities along the coast are still rebuilding.
Small businesses are implementing resiliency plans, efforts are
underway to restore historic structures damaged in the storm, and
aquaculture beds are recovering. The economic impact of the storm was
nothing short of devastating. What are the economic risks associated
with rising sea levels?
Answer. They will of course be very significant. I often use as a
point of reference how much more money the Netherlands believes they
need to invest in their sea-level defenses, already seen as the best in
the world, will need to invest an additional $150B by 2100. http://
www.wired.com/2008/12/ff-dutch-delta/ For scale, the length of Dutch
coastline is roughly equivalent to the coasts of Massachusetts and
Connecticut, combined. One way or another, we are all going to pay this
carbon tax, either in preparations and fortifications of our coast--or
in economic disruption and devastation if we do not.
Question 11. Some in the climate denial camp point to deviations in
temperature in the atmosphere's tropospheric level--the lowest level of
the atmosphere--as indication that the verdict is still out on climate
change. Can you explain why measurements like sea level rise give a
better indication of climate change than variations in tropospheric
Answer. Please see my response to Sen. Markey's QFR on this same
Issue: The Importance of Funding Geo and Climate Science
Question 12. As a member of the Commerce, Science, and
Transportation Committee, I have had the opportunity to meet with and
hear issues of importance from climate and geo-scientists from
Connecticut. These scientists specialize in researching how our climate
works, how the Earth responds to different climate patterns, and how
our climate is currently changing.
One recurring theme that I continue to hear from scientists from
around Connecticut, whether it is from climatologists at UConn or
researchers at Wesleyan and Yale, is that they are worried about the
threatened Federal funding for geosciences. Funding proposals that have
come from the House or supported by the other side of the aisle
undervalue the significance of this important science field.
Geoscience and climate science is how we understand what is
happening to the Earth's climate systems, and if this field is
undermined, we cannot adequately prepare for changes we might
What are some of the consequences we can expect if we do not
adequately fund these science disciplines?
Answer. This letter, signed by many Universities, including Penn
State, and scientific organizations, explains both the benefits to
funding and consequences of not funding very well: https://
Question 13. Do you believe there is a multiplier effect for
investing in geo and climate science? As we develop new technologies or
ways to fend off the costs of climate change, don't our investments pay
off in greater returns?
Answer. Yes sir.
Question 14. Given the importance of these science disciplines,
what possible explanation is there for cutting funding in this area?
Answer. I do not believe that credible arguments can be made to
dis-invest in this area of science. We only have one Earth on which to
live and base our economy. It's in everyone's interest to have the
greatest possible understanding of, and predictions about, our home
planet for the benefit of all.
Issue: Climate Sensitivity to CO2 and Time Scales
Question 15. There seems to be a broad consensus on the correlation
between CO2 in the atmosphere and the average temperature of
the planet. Climate scientists at Wesleyan produced a research paper in
which they studied past states of the climate and found strong
correlations between low CO2 levels and lower temperatures
and higher CO2 levels and higher temperatures.
This research was backed up by findings that researchers at Yale
contributed to, which studied climate sensitivity to CO2 and
also determined that the best indicators were revealed over long time
periods on the scale of centuries or millennia.
How well do we understand the correlation between CO2
and temperature? How confident is the scientific community in idea that
high levels of CO2 in the atmosphere contribute to a warming
climate? Isn't this concept very well understood and widely
Answer. Yes, sir, there is extremely high confidence in this
relationship. The following article from the ``American Institute of
Physics'' https://www.aip.org/history/climate/co2.htm describes our
scientific understanding of Greenhouse Gases, beginning with Joseph
Fourier's work in the 1820s. I know of no credible climate scientist
who disputes this fundamental relationship.
Question 16. Can you speak to the importance of taking measurements
over long periods of time when attempting to understand climatic
changes? Why might shorter time periods that many climate skeptics use
be misleading when compared to long-term studies?
Answer. Please see my response to Sen. Markey's QFR where I
describe ``internal variability'', ``external forcing'' and ``manmade
forcing'' on the climate system. Over short time periods, internal and
external forcing can counteract the manmade increase in greenhouse
gases, but over the long term the interval variability just becomes
``noise'' and any changes in the sun and greenhouse gasses become the
``signal''. NASA and many others have measured the sun's energy
reaching the earth to see if it is the reason for our warming
temperatures--it is not. In fact, the sun's energy has decreased
slightly over the past several decades, leaving greenhouse gases (and
supported by over 150 years of theory) as the reason for our warming
Response to Written Questions Submitted by Hon. Edward Markey to
Admiral David Titley
Question 1. Does the natural variability of the climate system in
the past, like the episodic cool periods that occurred in the northern
hemisphere during the so-called ``Little Ice Age'' and may have
impacted the Pilgrim colony at Plymouth Rock, affect in any way our
understanding of how greenhouse gases, such as carbon dioxide released
from the burning of fossil fuels, are affecting the climate system now?
Answer. Climate change can be forced by multiple different external
factors: reduced sunlight, either because of changes in the sun's orbit
or intensity, or an increase in volcanic eruptions can cool the planet.
Conversely, increases in the sun's intensity, a relative minimum in
volcanic activity, or an increase in greenhouse gas (GHG) concentration
can warm the planet. Through research, we understand the so-called
`Little Ice Age' reflected a decrease in the sun's energy reaching
Earth and also relatively high volcanic activity. Today we also
understand with extremely high confidence why our climate is warming:
the overwhelming driver for sustained warming is the increase in GHG
concentration in the atmosphere. Scientists began to understand this
effect as early as the middle of the 19th Century, and by the 1950s the
theory was well established and well accepted. With the advent of
Keeling's CO2 measurements atop Mauna Loa in Hawaii, we have
a continual record of the increase in GHG that correlates with the
increase in global surface temperatures. (See Fig. 3, page 8, in my
written testimony submitted for this hearing). While correlation per se
does not equate to causation, the theory is well understood and science
has systematically ruled out other reasons (primarily an increase in
incoming energy from the sun) that would cause the Earth to warm so
rapidly in such a short period of time.
Question 2. In the attached peer-review article by Richard Muller
and his Berkeley Earth group's independent assessment of temperatures
found temperature to have increased 2.7 +F in the last 250 years, with
1.6 +F of that rise occurring in the last 50 years. They find that the
temperature changes can be explained by human greenhouse gas emissions
and volcanoes, but not solar forcing. They also disclose their funding
sources, one of which is the Charles G. Koch Charitable Foundation. Are
the findings of this paper comparable to the scientific consensus that
global temperatures are rising and that human are causing it?
Answer. Yes, the paper by Muller et. al. is broadly consistent with
the scientific consensus that human-induced GHG increases are
responsible for the overwhelming increase in 20th Century surface
temperature increase. Although partially funded by the Charles G. Koch
Charitable Foundation, Muller et. al. appear to have processed the data
correctly, and have obtained basically the same answer as NASA, NOAA,
the UK Met Office, the Japanese Meteorological Agency, and other
reputable organizations who have studied this issue. Interestingly,
Exxon-Mobil (then Esso) also reached this same conclusion back in the
late 1970s and early 1980s. See Fig. 4, page 9 of my written testimony
submitted for this hearing.
Question 3. During the hearing Dr. Curry claimed that the IPCC and
the scientific consensus have no explanation for the increase of ice in
the Antarctic. Can you comment on the scientific community's current
understanding of changes in Antarctic land and sea ice and how they
relate to anthropogenic climate change?
Answer. While the expansion of Antarctic Sea ice is still a topic
of active research, it would be incorrect to that that science has ``no
explanation'' for this phenomenon. A good summary of our state of
knowledge can be found at: https://www
``If the Southern Ocean is warming, why is sea ice increasing?
There are several contributing factors. One is the drop in
ozone levels over Antarctica. The hole in the ozone layer above
the South Pole has caused cooling in the stratosphere (Gillet
2003). A side-effect is a strengthening of the cyclonic winds
that circle the Antarctic continent (Thompson 2002). The wind
pushes sea ice around, creating areas of open water known as
polynyas. More polynyas leads to increased sea ice production
Another contributor is changes in ocean circulation. The
Southern Ocean consists of a layer of cold water near the
surface and a layer of warmer water below. Water from the
warmer layer rises up to the surface, melting sea ice. However,
as air temperatures warm, the amount of rain and snowfall also
increases. This freshens the surface waters, leading to a
surface layer less dense than the saltier, warmer water below.
The layers become more stratified and mix less. Less heat is
transported upwards from the deeper, warmer layer. Hence less
sea ice is melted (Zhang 2007).
Antarctic sea ice is complex and counter-intuitive. Despite
warming waters, complicated factors unique to the Antarctic
region have combined to increase sea ice production. The
simplistic interpretation that it's caused by cooling is
Question 4. During the hearing Dr. Curry claimed that the IPCC
report has no explanation for the fact that the rate of sea level rise
from 1920 to 1950 was large. Please describe the trends in sea level
rise from 1920 to today and what is known about how they relate to
anthropogenic climate change.
Answer. Dr. Curry's question ignores the broader implications of an
ever-rising sea level. Although this reference http://
nearly six years old, it provides a good overview and shows that sea
level rise in the period from 1920-1950 was not anomalous.
``Sea level rises as ice on land melts and as warming ocean
waters expand. Sea level rise mutually corroborates other
evidence of global warming as well as being a threat to coastal
habitation and environments.
The blue line in the graph below clearly shows sea level as
rising, while the upward curve suggests sea level is rising
faster as time goes on. The upward curve agrees with global
temperature trends and with the accelerating melting of ice in
Greenland and other places.
Because the behavior of sea level is such an important
diagnostic aid for tracking climate change, skeptics seize on
the sea level record in an effort to cast doubt on this
evidence. Sea level bounces up and down slightly from year to
year so it's possible to cherry-pick data falsely suggesting
the overall trend is flat, falling or linear. You can try this
yourself. Starting with two closely spaced data points on the
graph below, lay a straight-edge between them and notice how
for a short period of time you may create almost any slope you
prefer, simply by being selective about what data points you
use. Now choose data points farther apart. Notice that as your
selected data points cover more time, the more your mini-graph
reflects the big picture. The lesson? Always look at all the
data, don't be fooled by selective presentations.
(graph from Church 2008)
Other skeptic arguments about sea level concern the validity of
observations, obtained via tide gauges and more recently
satellite altimeter observations.
Tide gauges must take into account changes in the height of
land itself caused by local geologic processes, a favorite
distraction for skeptics to highlight. Not surprisingly,
scientists measuring sea level with tide gauges are aware of
and compensate for these factors. Confounding influences are
accounted for in measurements and while they leave some noise
in the record they cannot account for the observed upward
Various technical criticisms are mounted against satellite
altimeter measurements by skeptics. Indeed, deriving
millimeter-level accuracy from orbit is a stunning technical
feat so it's not hard to understand why some people find such
an accomplishment unbelievable. In point of fact, researchers
demonstrate this height measurement technique's accuracy to be
within 1mm/year. Most importantly there is no form of residual
error that could falsely produce the upward trend in
As can be seen in an inset of the graph above, tide gauge and
satellite altimeter measurements track each other with
remarkable similarity. These two independent systems mutually
support the observed trend in sea level. If an argument depends
on skipping certain observations or emphasizes uncertainty
while ignoring an obvious trend, that's a clue you're being
steered as opposed to informed. Don't be mislead by only a
carefully-selected portion of the available evidence being
Current sea level rise is after all not exaggerated, in fact
the opposite case is more plausible. Observational data and
changing conditions in such places as Greenland suggest if
there's a real problem here it's underestimation of future sea
level rise. The IPCC synthesis reports offer conservative
projections of sea level increase based on assumptions about
future behavior of ice sheets and glaciers, leading to
estimates of sea level roughly following a linear upward trend
mimicking that of recent decades. In point of fact, observed
sea level rise is already above IPCC projections and strongly
hints at acceleration while at the same time it appears the
mass balance of continental ice envisioned by the IPCC is
overly optimistic (Rahmstorf 2010).''
More to the point, the rate of sea level rise is accelerating, as
shown in recent papers summarized by Climate Central http://
rise-20055 and researchers at Penn State http://news.psu.edu/story/
are the real risks to our society--not dissecting the noise in the sea
level record from over half a century in the past.
Question 5. Climate change deniers have often pointed to a hiatus
or pause in warming since 2000. However, the attached peer-reviewed
study by Thomas Karl et. al. shows that newly corrected and updated
global surface temperatures from NOAA's NCEI do not support a global
warming ``hiatus'' and that there is no discernable decrease in the
rate of warming between the second half of the 20th century and the
first 15 years of the 21st century. From your review of the latest
scientific evidence, do you agree that the global temperatures have
continued to rise over the past 15 years? Also, please address the
scientific problem with making conclusions about climate change based
on short-term trends.
Observed climate change is the net result of `internal variability'
(analogous to changes in water level that's sloshing about in a shallow
pan; no water is added or lost, but the height of the water (or
temperature in case of the earth) bounces up and down--but the average
does not change over time), external forcing (e.g., changes in the
sun's energy reaching the earth, changes in the number and intensity of
volcanic eruptions), and man-made forcing (primarily addition of
greenhouse gasses but also by the addition of very small particles
(aerosols) that tend to have a net cooling on the planet). Sometimes
these forces all act in the same direction at the same time--at other
times they can oppose one another. Michael Mann and colleagues have
published convincing peer-reviewed research (summarized here: http://
and-the-global-warming-faux-pause/) that shows the `internal
variability' of the climate system has been counter-acting much but not
all of the continuing warming caused by the man-made addition of GHG to
the atmosphere. Despite such temporary cooling factors, overall
temperatures have continued to rise. You can see this in Figure 3 (page
8) of my written testimony submitted for this hearing. In addition the
World Meteorological Organization (WMO) has a chart of temperatures
averaged over every decade starting from 1890 (here's the source:
[GRAPHICS NOT AVAILABLE IN TIFF FORMAT]
Response to Written Question Submitted by Hon. Gary Peters to
Admiral David Titley
Question. Dr. Titley, there were a number of claims made in the
hearing that run counter to scientific findings and conclusions. Some
examples include claims about carbon dioxide and its effect on plant
life and agriculture, the historical abundance of CO2 in the
atmosphere, the so called warming ``hiatus'' and the relative value of
satellite and balloon data versus direct measurements, sea level rise,
and inconsistency of model predictions and measured observations.
Could you please briefly address any false or misleading claim not
already covered in your testimony, and also please provide references
to quality, peer-reviewed scientific publications that dispute these
false or misleading claims?
Answer. Senator, I addressed the recent temperature record and sea-
level rise issues in my QFR's in response to Senator Markey. The single
most comprehensive source to the issues you raise is in the Fifth
Assessment Report (AR5) of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate
Change (IPCC). http://www.ipcc.ch/ This report summarizes and
synthesizes the body of peer-reviewed research and addresses what we
do--and do not know--about our changing climate, and the degree of
confidence to which we understand specific aspects of climate change.
If there is a fault of the IPCC process, it's a consensus body of the
world's nations, so its conclusions are that of a `least common
denominator' agreed to by all. If the IPCC reports are wrong, it's
because the climate is changing faster than the consensus body of
literature would indicate, and that the `fat tail' risks are
For a detailed accounting of how drastically over-simplified and
false the argument that ``more CO2 is better for plants''
is, please see https://www.skeptical
science.com/co2-plant-food-advanced.htm The article contains multiple
references to respected, peer-reviewed articles.
An advanced and technical description of the challenges of re-
creating surface temperature record proxies from satellite-derived
measurements can be found here: https://www.skepticalscience.com/
satellite-measurements-warming-troposphere-advanced.htm, again with
embedded peer-reviewed references.