The Dictionary of the Climate Debate (DCD)

Lindzen, Richard

A voice crying in the wilderness? ora crazed neo-Conservative meteorologist?
A voice crying in the wilderness? or
a crazed neo-Conservative meteorologist?

He's the skeptic with the best credentials:

(1) He is an atmospheric physicist who is the Alfred P. Sloan Professor of Meteorology at MIT.

(2) He is well known for his work in the dynamics of the middle atmosphere (see Iris effect).

(3) He has published more than 200 books and scientific papers.

(4) He was the lead author of Chapter 7, Physical Climate Processes and Feedbacks, of the IPCC TAR.

A very clear, fairly brief statement of his key criticisms

In the following interview he succinctly explains the main points of his critique. It's devastating. And if he's right, it would be difficult to be anything but a skeptic and not consider the whole global warming alarm a form of mass hysteria.

But to figure out whether or not Lindzen is right, you'll have to heed his last piece of advice and make the time-consuming and arduous effort to actually understand the science and not just rely on the authority of others.

The problem as always is how to detect a signal in a noisey environment

The following is very enlightening and civilized debate between Lindzen and Hadi Dowlatabadi, Canada Research Chair and Professor of Global Change at the University of British Columnbia

The IPCC's threat to science

Debunking the myth of AGW

Lecture: Lindzen on AGW hysteria

Wallace Broecker on Lindzen

"Although almost all scientists view global warming as a serious problem, a few do not. Of these, only MIT's Richard Lindzen has sterling credentials as an expert in atmospheric physics. In an effort to fairly report both sides of the debate, the press has given Lindzen's views an enormous amount of attention.

His assessment is that, although the water vapor content of the tropical atmosphere will increase as CO2 rises, that in air over desert regions will instead decrease. As the dry desert atmosphere acts as the primary escape hatch for outgoing earth light, Lindzen claims that a global-warming will induce a drying of desert atmospheres which will largely null the primary CO2-induced warming.

Although no model simulation supports Lindzen's view, our knowledge of the processes which supply moisture to the desert air column is admittedly limited. Hence his scenario cannot be ruled out. Rather, it can only be declared highly unlikely.

It must be kept in mind that Lindzen is an avowed contrarian. Not only is he convinced that increased CO2 is no threat, he also has stated many times that no proof exists that cigarette smoking causes cancer."

Unlike me, he has enemies

(1) To find out how much ultra-proponent Joseph Romm dislikes him, click here.

(2) To get a feel for what the proponents — such as Michael Mann and Gavin Schmidt — at RealClimate feel about him, click here.

1. For an excellent written presentation of his views, click here to read his very interesting essay: Climate Science: Is it currently designed to answer questions?

2. He was a participant in IQ2 US Debate (April 2009). It's really entertaining. Click here to check it out.

3. Click here to read his Statement Concerning Global Warming, which he made to the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works in 1997. This is one of the best critiques of the the AGW hypothesis that I've read so far.

4. Click here to read his paper Can increasing carbon dioxide cause climate change? (He doesn't think so.)

Extract: “The climate is always undergoing change, and if the changes due to increasing CO2 are smaller than the natural variability, then these changes will be of only modest concern except as an exercise in weak signal detection. The more serious question then is do we expect increasing CO2 to produce sufficiently large changes in climate so as to be clearly discernible and of consequence for the affairs of humans and the ecosystem of which we are part.”

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