Friday, November 4, 2011

Misinformation about Climate Science examined by Union of Concerned Scientists

Since I'm spending more time trying to understand the "skeptics" mind and motives I feel it is appropriate to reprint the following from the Union of Concerned Scentists which is a thoughtful examination of the tactics used by the corporate funded climate change confusion campaign... aka the echo chamber.


~ Union of Concerned Scientists ~
The Sound Science Initiative

Over the course of the 1990s climate change has come to be accepted as one of the biggest, most complex scientific and political challenges the world has ever faced. The issue is not amenable to simple solutions, and it is likely to be a pressing issue for the next century and beyond. The topic has a history spanning more than a century of scientific interest and research. The science has rapidly intensified over recent decades to build into a sound and expanding body of observational data and analytical experience. The global scientific community has coalesced under the auspices of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)—an independent, intergovernmental scientific body—to offer scientific advice to the world's governments.

 . .

This advice of the scientific community has been systematically challenged by a number of vested interests, including some who fear a threat to the continued use of fossil fuels to power industrial development. These interests have exploited the intrinsic uncertainties of science to raise doubts as to the reality of climate change in the eyes of the public and the US Congress, effectively deflecting any US governmental action to mitigate climatic trends. Because there is ample room for disagreement in science, scientifically qualified skeptics have been included in the IPCC assessments. So, while the IPCC is not the only source of information, nor are its findings immutable, its reports do represent an extraordinary consensus not easily dismissed.

In recent months, the public debate surrounding climate change has seen few incidences of truly egregious junk science. While skeptics remain both defiant and vocal (and well funded), few continue to publicly deny that greenhouse gases (GHGs) can produce global warming or that global temperature has risen in this century in some part due to human activities. This is largely due to the fact that climate scientists, led by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), have become more vocal in informing policy makers and the public (primarily through the media) about sound science on the subject. In turn, many policy makers have accepted and acknowledged the scientific findings. Moreover, evidence of early warning signs of global warming are accumulating; climate models are improving; and formerly skeptical corporations are withdrawing their support from skeptics' organizations -- all of which together weakens the skeptics' untenable arguments.

Yet the skeptics refuse to give up entirely. Instead of blunt denial about climate change and its underlying causes, skeptics are turning to more politic messages. Bolstered by sophisticated marketing, these new messages are ones to which the public will be more receptive. Thus, instead of "Global warming is not happening," skeptics now say "It will bring benefits" or "It won't ever be as bad as they say." They often selectively use economic studies to claim "We can't afford to deal with it." Further, the skeptics seem to be increasingly focused on policy makers, particularly the US Congress.

Of particular concern to scientists is the fact that the new messages are often supported by papers selectively culled from the peer-reviewed literature and often twisted out of context. Some of these strategies are illustrated below, including recent examples to demonstrate that SSI scientists should remain vigilant to challenge this latest wave of inappropriate portrayal and use of science.


Despite the increasing scientific evidence that climate change is real and serious, skeptics continue to combat the basic scientific conclusions, especially those regarding the "discernible human influence" on the composition of the atmosphere, temperature trends, and climatic patterns. The three most commonly employed tactics to discredit the message include:

A. Highlight the scientific uncertainties

One of the frequent messages from the skeptics remains that global warming is not a "fact" but a much debated, unproved theory. While absolute certainty is expected in few areas of our lives, and most of us invest in insurances and securities even in cases where there is a very small chance of experiencing a negative event or effect, in the case of climate change, skeptics exaggerate scientific uncertainties at the expense of well established scientific findings. This strategy is aimed at making the public and policy makers believe that no action is warranted until climate change is a certainty.

EXAMPLE - NAS report on reconciling differences in satellite and surface temperature trends.

One of the legitimate scientific debates in climate science revolves around the uncertainties and differencesin temperature measurements at the Earth's surface versus those from satellites and other upper-air platforms. This debate has been abused by skeptics to question the reality of global warming. A National Academy of Science expert panel, including very cautious climate scientists, was charged to review and assess the debate and state of knowledge. The resulting report was released on January 12, 2000 with a press release [1] from the Academy. Its leading message was the following:

"New Evidence Helps Reconcile Global Warming Discrepancies; Confirms That Earth's Surface Temperature Is Rising

Despite differences in temperature data, strong evidence exists to show that the warming of the Earth's surface is "undoubtedly real," and that surface temperatures in the past two decades have risen at a rate substantially greater than average for the past 100 years, says a new report by the National Research Council of the National Academies."

Compare this to a statement released by The Greening Earth Society—a skeptics organization funded by the Western Fuels Association—on the same day [2] which steered attention to the minor messages of the report and emphasized the scientific uncertainties:

"New findings from the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) provide evidence that global climate model forecasts are unreliable indicators of future climate. … The report panel finds that global temperatures have not been changing in the manner that the state-of-the-art climate models predicted they would, a fact that lends support for the premise that the models should not be used in formulating policy that could potentially lead to great economic harm."

The skeptics' statement that "global temperatures have not been changing in the manner that state-of-the-art climate models predicted they would" is incorrect. The NAS panel explicitly stated that the "observed trends have been partially, but not fully reconciled with climate model simulations of human-induced climate change." Some of the scientific evidence in support of this "partial reconciliation" will appear in a forthcoming paper by Santer et al. in the journal Science [3].

B. Emphasize and take out of context selected findings to weaken the scientific conclusions

Usually in conjunction with the tactic just described, skeptics also pick and choose from the more certain scientific findings to support their case. The common strategy is to take out of context the findings from peer-reviewed science articles to support non-scientific claims, i.e., opinion dressed up as scientific fact.

EXAMPLE - CO2 & Temperature Changes

A pair of papers [4,5] were published by authors from the Scripps Institution of Oceanography and the Physics Institute of the University of Bern, Switzerland on global carbon cycle dynamics based on data gleaned from analysis of ice core records. The data showed that in the examined time period (the Holocene epoch from 1,000 – 11,000 years ago), temperature changed independently of atmospheric CO2 concentrations. In one example, during a glaciation event 120,000 years before the present, global temperature strongly declined while atmospheric CO2 remained roughly constant for several thousand years [4]. This is, of course, an inverse relationship compared to the global warming trend observed in this century and predicted for the next.

The results of the papers were selectively picked up by the World Climate Report (WCR), a publication sponsored by the Western Fuels coal consortium, to assert that current human emissions will not lead to global warming because the record showed that temperature change was independent of CO2 change.

The WCR article makes no mention of the facts that:
    •    In the 250,000 year ice core record presented in Fischer et al. [4], temperature and CO2 changes were actually quite parallel over the vast majority of the record.

    •    Current human impacts on the carbon cycle are unprecedented. Indeed, the data show [5] that the rate of change of atmospheric CO2 over the past two centuries is two orders of magnitude greater than those observed in the Holocene. From 8,000 years before present to the mid-1800s, atmospheric carbon increased by 0.01 Gt C/yr; since then, it has increased by an average of 3 Gt C/yr. Thus, the unprecedented amount and rate of human carbon translocation to the atmosphere has no direct analogue in the ice core records and may well produce a stronger climatic response.

C. Making false claims for the policy implications of scientific findings

If the scientific evidence is just too compelling to deny, skeptics undermine the calls for action based on this convincing evidence by a variety of "yes, but…" arguments. Frequently, they portray policy options (e.g., the Kyoto Protocol) as draconian and completely out of proportion as a response to an allegedly still weak scientific signal. For that purpose, they commonly rely on economic studies that only focus on the costs or economic losses associated with greenhouse gas emission reductions and that systematically exclude the social and economic benefits of pollution reduction, increased energy efficiency, and investment in new technology. Alternatively, skeptics actively misconstrue climate scientists' findings and conclusions, claiming those scientists' public credibility in support of their vested interests.

EXAMPLE – Uncertainties about climate forcing

In October 1998, James Hansen et al. [6] published an article in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences discussing the understanding of climate forcing which concluded with the statement saying, "the summary implication is a paradigm change for long term climate projections: uncertainties in climate forcings have supplanted global climate sensitivity as the predominant issue." While several of Hansen's scientific colleagues took exception with the article in replies and letters published in journals, the response of the George C. Marshall Institute was to claim the article supported their political aim of preventing the Kyoto Protocol from being ratified by the US Senate.

In a letter to President Clinton that was widely circulated on Capitol Hill, the Marshall Institute used selected out-of-context quotes from Hansen et al.'s paper to imply it showed that current projections of future global warming were so uncertain that mandated actions to reduce GHG emissions should be abandoned in favor of a program of more study of the problem. Dr. Hanson repeatedly refuted this statement publicly, saying that he had been misconstrued and misquoted by climate skeptics.


Another set of tactics is commonly used when the scientific message can't be contradicted or silenced. These tactics attempt to undermine the credibility of the information source or messenger, and they can be quite damaging to the individuals involved.

A. Those eco-doomsters, alarmists, communists!

Plain old name calling

Name calling is a standard tactic used in practically all skeptics pieces, hardly deserving explicit mention. It remains, however, a rather effective strategy, especially when used with a fairly uninformed public. Depending on the audience, to call someone "green" or "communist" or simply "hysteric" can win an audience over to the skeptics' side.

EXAMPLE – Responses to the Global Warming: Early Warning Signs map

Shortly after the release of a map showing early warning signs of global warming which was produced by UCS and Environmental Defense Fund scientists in collaboration with five other environmental organizations, David Mastio—a Detroit News reporter—published a highly critical op-ed in USA Today (December 16, 1999). He alleged that the map was based mainly on anecdotes "that purport to prove catastrophic global warming is on our doorstep," that it left out all counter-evidence, and that it was "as much a big lie as any created by a Soviet-era dictator."

While mentioning in passing the scientific basis of the map, he did not acknowledge the strict scientific criteria used to construct the map (showing fingerprints/observed trends and harbingers/events exemplifying projected impacts), nor the careful discussion of linkages between individual events and climate change. Fortunately, the allusion to "Soviet-era lies" backfired in that the name calling prompted strong counter-statements from the heads of the US and UK weather services and several high-profile US scientists. (See SSI member web page for additional details.)

B. Proclaim all guilty by association

Another tactic falling under this category has been used before but is likely to become even more prevalent in the coming year—namely to make climate change a partisan issue and to use it against Democratic candidates, especially Vice President Al Gore.

EXAMPLE – The Anti-Gore campaign

The Science and Environmental Policy Project (SEPP) posted an article by Jonathan Rauch (originally published as "Gore in the balance," in The National Journal, September 18, 1999), that begins with this paragraph:

"Every politician -— at least every politician worth voting for -— harbors something embarrassing in his past, something that raises questions about his suitability for the presidency. For Texas Gov. George W. Bush, that something is the suspected, and not denied, use of cocaine or some other illegal drug, probably more than 20 years ago. For Vice President Al Gore, the something is Earth in the Balance, his apocalyptic 1992 book on the environment. ...It elevates hysteria to a virtue and regards doubt as a disease. ...Hysterics don't belong in the Oval Office, or anywhere near it."

Shortly thereafter, skeptics frontrunner S. Fred Singer stated in a scathing article ("The Global Warming Orthodoxy on Attack," The Washington Times, October 4, 1999):

"Global warming has become an article of faith for many, with its own theology and orthodoxy. It even has its own 'bible,' Al Gore's confession of faith 'Earth in the Balance.' Its believers are quite fearful of any scientific dissent that threatens their deeply held beliefs."

Portraying climate skeptics as victims silenced by such "orthodoxy," he denounced several reputable scientists for publicly speaking out against junk science.


Yet another version of undermining both the science and the policy responses to climate change is to discredit the processes through which results are achieved. Claiming the moral high ground on due (open, democratic) process, the skeptics' primary targets are those instances where they claim there is a lack of transparency.

EXAMPLE - The IPCC Second Assessment Chapter 8 Controversy

Chapter 8 of the IPCC's Second Assessment Report (SAR) addressed the "Detection of climate change and attribution of causes" [7], obviously one of the most politically-sensitive chapters of the report. From this chapter comes one of the most critical findings of the SAR, namely that "the observed trend in global mean temperature over the past 100 years is unlikely to be entirely natural in origin" and that "the balance of evidence suggests a discernible human influence on global climate."

The chapter's lead author, Dr. Ben Santer, was accused by skeptics to have corrupted the standard peer review process by making unauthorized changes to the chapter after its acceptance by the IPCC at a key plenary Meeting in Madrid in November 1995. Further, it was alleged that these changes had been made for political rather than scientific purposes, that the bottom-line conclusion had been altered, and that the chapter had been "cleansed" of all discussion of scientific uncertainties.

These accusations were baseless and strongly refuted by the IPCC leadership who noted that the changes made to chapter 8 "followed the clear decision at Madrid to accept the draft chapter subject to its modification to improve its presentation, clarity and consistency in accordance with the views both of scientists and delegates expressed at length during the meeting" [8]. The modifications to the chapter did not change its bottom-line conclusion, nor were uncertainties suppressed. However, what was portrayed as a procedural foul play or cheating was used extensively for months after the report's publication to impugn the integrity of the lead author and to invalidate the findings.

EXAMPLE - The First US National Assessment of Climate Variability and Change

In the 1990 United States Global Change Research Act, Congress demanded that an assessment should be undertaken of the likely impacts of climate variability and change on the United States. This assessment process was begun in 1997, and a first assessment report is scheduled to be released in the spring or early summer of 2000. Because of the political controversy the findings of the assessment is likely to spawn in the Congress, Senator F.H. Murkowski (R-AK) demanded that the President's science advisor submit the assessment to rigorous "guidelines designed to ensure a transparent process, scientific peer review, and a good scientific result."

While the push for transparency is laudable, the suggested six guidelines were so stringent to be obstructionist. If followed strictly, they would have practically precluded the compilation of current and relevant scientific information. Fortunately, a procedural compromise has been found, submitting the assessment reports to reasonable technical expert, public, and governmental review. (Additional information on the National Assessment and likely skeptics attacks will be forthcoming from SSI shortly.)



final set of tactics takes the two-pronged offensive of framing climate change in beneficial terms and to redirect blame for the emission of greenhouse gases.

A. Put climate change (or at least the US and fossil fuel industry) in the best possible light 

Climate change is likely to produce some positive and some negative impacts—at least initially. Skeptics reliably trump with the beneficial side of greenhouse gas emissions—one of the positive impacts of climate change—and any scientific findings that suggest that the United States and its greenhouse gas emissions are not to be blamed for global changes in atmospheric concentrations of CO2.

EXAMPLE: The North American Carbon Sink

In an article published in October, 1998 in Science, Fan et al. [9] attempted to estimate how much carbon dioxide could be absorbed from the atmosphere by major global terrestrial carbon sinks. The paper modeled terrestrial carbon sinks on a continental scale using estimates based on atmospheric carbon measurements from 1988-1992. Carbon uptake estimates were best—due to the location of measuring stations—for the North American continent while those for Eurasia-North Africa and the land masses of the southern hemisphere had larger uncertainties attached. For North America, based on their model estimates, the authors concluded that carbon uptake exceeded annual emissions from fossil fuel burning and other human activities. Skeptics honed in on this singular result.

    •    In Forbes magazine, Peter Huber wrote in a column, entitled "America, the beautiful carbon sink" (April 5, 1999), "If the estimate is right, we don't owe the rest of the world a dime on (carbon emissions). They owe us." He went on to conclude that "We [Americans] recycle our carbon. If greenhouse gas is a problem at all, the rest of the world is the problem. America's the solution. Perhaps we could do even more. But the fact is, we're doing more than our share already."

    •    Well known skeptic Patrick Michaels used the article to contradict IPCC projections of future atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations in his World Climate Report, which was aggressively circulated to Congressional Offices. He wrote "If [vegetated land outside North America] behaved in a similar fashion there's little doubt—given these numbers—that atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations projected in the future will be drastically reduced." He also cited comments by the American Petroleum Institute that the Fan et al. article "calls into question the scientific basis on which we're making these decisions [to mandate emissions reductions in the United States] when we don't still know if the United States is even emitting any carbon in the net."

Neither made any mention of the caveats Fan et al. included in their study nor that the article is one model study in a broader ongoing scientific debate on understanding and quantifying the global carbon cycle. Indeed, a more recent article in Science by Houghton et al. [10] rebutted their findings, showing that the net carbon flux related to US lands offset some 10 to 30% of this country's fossil fuel emissions. The scientific attempts to better define the magnitude of carbon sequestration by land vegetation and the oceans continues to date.

In its worst excesses, the debate over carbon sequestration is taken to an idyllic extreme—especially by the Greening Earth Society—namely that CO2 emissions are a wonderful gift to the world's agricultural sector, allowing the world to become better able to produce food, to feed the growing population, and thus to eradicate the plight of hunger.

While CO2 is an important plant fertilizer, this argument fails to acknowledge the growing number of scientific studies that examine the negative impacts of climate change on plant growth (e.g., water stress and risk of drought, increased vulnerability to insect pests and pathogens, increased risk of wildfire) [11].

B. Sign-on petitions

With ample financial support from industry and donors, skeptics have launched several campaigns to summon support for their positions from people with or without a Ph.D. behind their names. These supporters are not necessarily experts in the atmospheric and related sciences, nor do they necessarily pursue an active research agenda on climate change issues. Occasionally, skeptics have co-opted the expertise of active climate scientists involved in legitimate scientific debates in order to pursue research that supports a conservative political agenda.

Sign-on petitions themselves are non-scientific statements, but they use select scientific findings, the power of credentials of individuals, or simply the generic credibility of science to support certain value positions.

EXAMPLE - The Oregon Petition, The Leipzig Declaration, and other position statements

    •    In 1998, the Anti-Global Warming Petition of the Oregon Institute for Science and Medicine inundated US scientists' mailboxes. Contrary to the petition's misleading claims, there already was a growing consensus in the world's scientific community that the threat of global warming is real and any further delay in action would be imprudent and potentially very costly.

The Oregon Petition spawned tremendous controversy through a deceptive scientific article formatted to look like the an article in the NAS journal. In the accompanying letter, former NAS chair Frederick Seitz urged scientists to sign the petition opposing US Senate ratification of the Kyoto Protocol. The overall effect of these two things—the faux journal article and Seitz' former association—was to give the impression that the NAS backed this project. The NAS felt compelled to publicly distance itself from this effort, and reaffirmed its assessment that global warming was real.

    •    Prior to that, in 1997, another position statement signed by scientists—the so-called Leipzig Declaration on Global Climate Change—was circulated in Europe and the United States. According to the Science and Environmental Policy Project (SEPP), the statement is based on two International Symposia on the Greenhouse Controversy held in 1995 and 1997 in Germany. It is almost identical in wording to a 1992 "Statement by Atmospheric Scientists on Greenhouse Warming."

There is also substantial overlap of the signatories of both statements. The Leipzig Declaration is an anti-Kyoto manifesto that uses scientific uncertainties to undermine any need for emission reduction policies. Signatories aligned themselves with the (value) position that the Kyoto Protocol is unfair to industrialized countries, and emission reductions would be prohibitively expensive and thus damaging to the economy. This position neglects differential historical responsibilities, economic capabilities and opportunities, and the severity of regional impacts. Moreover, both US governmental and independent economic studies have shown that the costs of emission reductions are far lower than the skeptics claim [12].

C. Putting on a scientific front

In an attempt to bank on the credibility science generally enjoys and to fight off accusations of making unscientific, biased claims, skeptics also pursue the idea "if you can't beat them, join them"—if only in appearance.

EXAMPLE: The Center for the Study of Carbon Dioxide and Global Change

    •    This pseudo-scientific research center located in Tempe, AZ is currently headed up by Craig D. and Keith E. Idso, who are also involved with the Greening Earth Society. In a position paper on global warming [13], the two authors (the only listed staff of the Center) state, "There is little doubt the air's CO2 concentration has risen significantly since the inception of the Industrial Revolution; and there are few who do not attribute the CO2 increase to the increase in humanity's use of fossil fuels. There is also little doubt that the earth has warmed slightly over the same period; but there is no compelling reason to believe that the rise in temperature was caused by the rise in CO2.

Furthermore it is highly unlikely that future increases in the air's CO2 content will produce any global warming; for there are numerous problems with the popular hypothesis that links the two phenomena." The authors then go on to flesh out these "problems" with scientific jargon, criticizing unscientific interpretations, and debunking claims never made by serious climate scientists.

The "scientific" positions held by Center staff are not subjected to peer-review, and the Center's Scientific Advisors are mostly retired scientists without past or current research in climate-related sciences. It is not clear whether the CO2 Center is actually a separate entity from the Greening Earth Society.

D. The proliferation of skeptics organizations

The idea here is to put up as many fronts as possible to give the impression of a large group of studies from diverse sources. Among their typical "findings" are that they cannot find any evidence of global change being at least in part driven by fossil fuel emissions.

EXAMPLE - Inundation of Capitol Hill with skeptics messages

    •    The World Climate Report has often been at the center of science-skeptics controversies. In fact, it very much illustrates the new tactics being employed by climate skeptics. The focused target is now Congress, while undermining public opinion on the veracity of global climate change has become less important for now.

Thus, the WCR is all but unknown to the general public but is aggressively circulated on Capitol Hill to Congressional offices. The publication is not peer-reviewed, but it is slickly published with short, pithy articles intended to be read by harried Congressional staff who may not have the time or expertise to be over-critical in their read. However, the WCR is merely one of the many facets of the campaign to discredit the evidence of global climate change organized by the Western Fuels Association, a coal producers consortium. Other spin-offs already mentioned include the Greening Earth Society and the SEPP.

In addition, other conservative research institutes and think tanks (e.g., the Cato Institute, Competitive Enterprise Institute, and the George Marshall Institute) adopt and/or chime in on many of the skeptics' messages [14], facilitated by the fact that many of the major spokespersons for the skeptics are associates or fellows of one or more of these institutes, including several international organizations (e.g., the European Science & Environment Forum).

The Response by Scientists

The examples of the new and/or re-invented tactics are but a few of the continuing efforts of climate skeptics and some fossil fuel interests to undermine policy action to reduce GHG emissions. They make it clear that scientists must remain vigilant to monitor for misleading and misrepresented information about climate change and be prepared to respond directly to policy makers and the media.

Unfortunately, scientific information is misused by people with all kinds of interests: sometimes it is purposefully misconstrued to support the interests of the status quo, sometimes it is stretched beyond what science can sincerely support to push for valuable policy changes, and sometimes it is simply misused without ill intent but out of ignorance. Scientists are uniquely positioned with their extensive training and experience in the scientific methods to tease apart for policy makers, the media, and the larger public where a scientific argument ends and a value judgement begins.

SSI aims to identify prominent situations in which scientists can do just that: clarify and translate the true state of the science so that the larger public and decision makers can appropriately interpret the findings and focus the political process on a debate over values, means and ends, rather than manufactured "facts."

Besides lending their expertise to this crucial task at the national level, SSI members can also monitor for such opportunities in their communities and local media. UCS monitors the policy scene in Washington, DC, only some of the state-level policy developments, and the largest national newspapers.

We are always interested, however, to hear of local developments and local media coverage that we cannot monitor regularly, and encourage SSI members to inform us of their responses. To be pro-active, SSI members may use the next few opportunities (e.g., the appearance of junk science in the local paper) to contact their newspaper reporter and let them know of their availability as credible expert resources on climate issues and to establish a good working relationship.

Further, informed scientists need to encourage their colleagues to become active in lending their expertise to educating the public and policy makers. There are many efforts and opportunities to keep policy makers and the public informed about what research results are truly telling us about global change and how it may affect our society. Until climate change mitigation actions are well underway in this coming decade, scientists will need to remain active in debunking junk science and in combating the misuse of peer-reviewed science.

    1.    National Academy of Sciences (2000) "Global Warming 'Undoubtedly Real'". Press Release of January 12. NAS: Washington, DC. Available at

    2.    The Greening Earth Society (2000) "Virtual Climate Alert #3." (January 12). Available at

    3.    Santer, B.D. et al. (2000). Interpreting differential temperature trends at the surface and in the lower troposhere. Science (forthcoming).

    4.    H. Fischer et al. (1999) "Ice Core Records of Atmospheric CO2 Around the Last Three Glacial Terminations." Science, vol. 283, pp.1712-1714.

    5.    Indermuhle et al. (1999) "Holocene carbon-cycle dynamics based on CO2 trapped in ice at Taylor Dome, Antarctica" Nature, vol. 398, pp. 121-126.

    6.    J. Hansen et al. (1998) "Climate forcings in the industrial era." PNASUS, vol. 95, issue 22, pp. 12753-12758. See abstract at .

    7.    Santer, B.D. et al. (1996) "Detection of climate change and attribution of causes" In: Climate Change 1995: The Science of Climate Change. Contribution of Working Group I to the Second Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change," pp.407-443, ed. J.T. Houghton et al. New York: Cambridge University Press.

    8.    Letter by Bert Bolin, Sir John Houghton, and Luiz Gylvan Meira Filho, published in the Wall Street Journal on July 23rd, 1996.

    9.    S. Fan et al. (1998) "A Large Terrestrial Carbon Sink in North America Implied by Atmospheric and Oceanic Carbon Dioxide Data and Models" Science, vol. 282, pp. 442 – 446.

    10.    R. A. Houghton et al. (1999) "The US carbon budget: Contributions from land-use change." Science, vol. 285, pp. 574 – 578.

    11.    See Adams, Richard M., Brian H. Hurd, and John Reilly (1999). A review of impacts to U.S. agricultural resources. Report prepared for the Pew Center on Global Climate Change. Arlington, VA. Reilly, John et al. (1996). Agriculture in a changing climate: Impacts and adaptation. In: Climate change 1995: Impacts, adaptations and mitigation of climate change: Scientific-technical analyses. Contributions of Working Group II to the Second Assessment Report of the IPCC, pp. 427-467. New York: Cambridge University Press. Rosenzweig, Cynthia and Martin L. Parry (1994). Potential impact of climate change on world food supply. Nature, vol. 367 (13 January), pp. 133-138.

    12.    Union of Concerned Scientists and Tellus Institute (1998). A small price to pay: US action to curb global warming is feasible and affordable. Union of Concerned Scientists, Boston, MA. The review covers three non-US and three US studies and concludes that the US can make significant reductions in greenhouse gas emissions with overall economic savings or at a modest cost. (See for more information on this report.)

    13.    Idso, Craig D. and Keith E. Idso (2000) "Carbon dioxide and global warming: Where we stand on the issue." Tempe, AZ. Available at .

    14.    See a recent articles on the importance of think tanks as mouthpieces for skeptics: "Think tanks: Corporations' quiet weapon; nonprofits' studies, lobbying advance big business causes," The Washington Post, January 29, 2000, by Dan Morgan.

February, 2000

  This report may not be reprinted or posted to electronic networks without permission and acknowledgement.


This information update was prepared by Susanne Moser and Darren Goetze, UCS Staff scientists. The document was reviewed by John Holdren, George Woodwell, Benjamin Santer, Peter Frumhoff, and David Cash.

{This notice was sent to SSI network members in February 2000.}

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