What's wrong with U.N. climate science?
News Release May 25, 2000

The Science and Environmental Policy Project
1600 South Eads Street, Suite #712-S
Arlington, VA 22202-2907
Tel/Fax 703-920-2744

May 25, 2000 703-698-6171

What's wrong with U.N. climate science
An independent scientific review of the IPCC's Third Assessment Report

United Nations spin-meisters say the earth's
atmosphere is warming dangerously. But even the UN's own scientists are not so sure. And a growing number of climate experts caution that global warming alarms should be taken with the proverbial grain of salt.

Brought together in Fairfax, Virginia, by the Science & Environmental Policy Project, 14 climate scientists from seven countries have nearly completed their extensive review of the United Nations' latest report on global climate change. On Tuesday, May 30, this Science Integrity Team will present its findings "in plain English," during a briefing on Capitol Hill to members of Congress, the news media, embassies, and other interested organizations.

SEPP president Dr. S. Fred Singer is professor emeritus of environmental science at the University of Virginia and a developer of the U.S. weather satellite program. He notes that several fundamental questions are at the core of the global warming controversy. Is our atmosphere really warming? Are humans to blame? Can the Kyoto Protocol reverse a feared warming trend?

"All these questions can be answered with a resounding no," says Singer, "or at least with an unqualified We don't know. The evidence to date simply does not support a hasty rush to judgment on a climate treaty that would send shock waves through our economy, but do nothing to solve a problem that may not even exist. Certainly, none of the evidence to date suggests that there is a problem."

The United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has not yet officially released its draft Third Assessment Report (TAR). Even the brief "Summary for Policy Makers" is not yet officially available. And yet, news stories are already claiming that these documents provide more evidence to support concerns about significant global warming.

Many of the climate experts involved in the SEPP briefing are listed by the IPCC as technical reviewers and have carefully examined both the IPCC Report and its Summary. They have concluded that the Summary seriously distorts and misrepresents the Report.

"That's not surprising, says Singer, "since the Summary is a political document, put together by a few scientific bureaucrats - not by the scientists who wrote the TAR." A fair, careful examination of the evidence, and the IPCC report, shows clearly that:

Another researcher involved in the Science Integrity Team's analysis and briefing is Keith Idso, vice president of Arizona's Center for the Study of Carbon Dioxide and Global Change. His work shows that higher levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere actually spur plant growth, reduce plants' need for water, and result in a greener earth.

Other Americans participating in the May 30 briefing include atmospheric physicist Albert Arking, meteorologist Hugh Ellsaesser, solar physicist Douglas Hoyt, and consulting engineer and author David Wojick. Joining them are solar physicist Paal Brekke (Norway), environmental consultant Richard Courtney (United Kingdom), energy consultant Peter Dietze (Germany), climate scientist and author Vincent Gray (New Zealand), paleo-climatologist Wibjorn Karlen (Sweden), economist Ross McKitrick (Canada), geochemist Thomas Segalstad (Norway), and consulting meteorologist Gerd-Rainer Weber (Germany).

A dozen other scientists participated in the SEPP analysis via telephone and email. Following the Capitol Hill briefing, their detailed report will be filed with the IPCC, issued as an SEPP document, translated into other languages, and distributed in the US and overseas.

This analysis is critical to the public policy process, Singer stressed. The Kyoto Protocol on climate change requires that the United States reduce its carbon dioxide emissions by 7% below 1990 levels. To achieve this goal, Americans would have to slash their use of fossil fuels by 30-40% within the next decade. But no less an authority than the National Center for Atmospheric Research (and the IPCC) has calculated that even "perfect compliance" with the Kyoto treaty would reduce predicted global warming by only 0.05° C by the year 2050.

The SEPP (www.sepp.org) is a non-partisan, nor-for-profit, privately funded research organization, devoted to the use of sound science in public policy decisions.

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