“We were motivated by the public and political controversy fostered by alarming predictions of impending catastrophic anthropogenic global warming [at] NASA …. Many of us felt these alarming and premature predictions … would eventually damage NASA’s reputation for excellent and objective science and engineering achievement.”
The U.S. Global Change Research Program (USGCRP) was established in 1990 in order to “assist the nation and the world to understand, assess, predict, and respond to human-induced and natural processes of global change.” Two reports have been released (2000 and 2009), and a third one is due out this year.
The whole (government) exercise from the beginning has been predictably politicized. The reports are a lawyer’s brief for climate alarmism and policy activism–complete with a call for expanded federal research dollars. But the lack of even-handedness with the physical science, no to mention the scientific method itself, has reached crisis proportions.
Will this change with the third national assessment? The draft 2013 report has received extensive corrective comments. Enter the Right Climate Stuff Research Team. Excerpts from their Anthropogenic Global Warming Science Assessment Report (April 12, 2013) are presented below.
The Right Climate Stuff (TRCS) research team is a group of engineers and scientists, most of whom are retired NASA Johnson Space Center employees, who have successfully worked together on manned space projects since the early days of the Apollo Program.
Although climate science is not one of our technical specialties, the required expertise in physics, chemistry, geology, meteorology, biology, data analysis and interpretation, and complex systems modeling, is similar to our collective academic training and experience gained through our typical 40 -50 years of experience working in our nation’s space program. Our natural interest in the Anthropogenic Global Warming (AGW) controversy led to invitations to guest speakers on the subject at our occasional NASA retiree organization meetings.
Responding to additional interest generated from these guest speakers, our NASA retiree organization hosted two Symposiums on global warming topics during September and October 2011, featuring speakers on either side of the AGW debate. These symposiums generated even more interest in climate science and motivated self-study of the science and related data by some of our colleagues.
In February 2012, we organized TRCS research team to coordinate and share our individual studies of climate science. We were motivated by the public and political controversy fostered by alarming predictions of impending catastrophic anthropogenic global warming by NASA’s current leadership of climate science research at the Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS).
Many of us felt these alarming and premature predictions of a climate disaster with so little empirical data to support these claims, would eventually damage NASA’s reputation for excellent and objective science and engineering achievement. Some members of our TRCS team, as well as a wider population of NASA retirees, signed two letters sent to the NASA Administrator expressing our concerns about alarming public statements regarding catastrophic AGW by NASA leaders of climate research.
These letters expressed concern that such statements by high NASA officials would be interpreted by the general public as official positions of NASA, and that such statements did not result from a wider NASA internal and external review and scientific debate that our nation has come to expect from official NASA positions on controversial issues.
Call to Action
Because of our past successes, working in a team environment to achieve difficult objectives, our TRCS team were confident that we had or could recruit the requisite expertise in all required scientific disciplines to study published climate research and available significant data to form an independent, objective assessment regarding the alarming and controversial claims of catastrophic AGW.
We invited others with interest and expertise to join our team and to share what they had learned from their previous individual studies of the scientific issues involved. In particular, the Texas State Climatologist, John Nielson-Gammon, agreed to work with us on this project and has been an invaluable resource in recommending peer-reviewed research for us to consider and in helping to moderate our discussions regarding critical reviews of available research papers. He has done an excellent job of defending the main stream climate science viewpoints on the AGW issue, and we are identifying the unsettled scientific issues that require further study and definition.
In addition to our study of peer-reviewed research, we have been fortunate to have several nationally known climate researchers make presentations of their research findings and scientific positions to our group.
As we proceed further with this project, we welcome similar presentations from scientists on both sides of the AGW controversy.
There are many fascinating aspects of climate science and various hypotheses to pursue that might explain what we can observe in the data, and that interest different members of our group to varying degrees. However, we decided that we would focus our initial TRCS team technical investigation on the most pressing question facing our public policy decision-makers,
“To what extent can human-related releases of CO2 into the atmosphere cause earth surface temperature increases that would have harmful effects?”
This is a summary report of what we believe to be true with high confidence at this point in our investigation.
Note: This diversity of opinion would be essentially academic had not many in the climate science community chosen to engage in direct advocacy to influence public policy on a global scale. This advocacy, particularly at the UN level, portends toward massive carbon-tax wealth-transfer payments, which would lower the standard of living in developed economies, and threatens the rise of underdeveloped economies out of poverty, i.e., it can be said with a high assessed confidence that the “cost” portion of the cost-benefit analysis to mitigate CO2 emissions will be excessive, crowding out more productive ways to spend the money.
The legitimacy of the Carbon-based AGW hypothesis is thus rightly subject to public challenge.
With respect to this topic, our bullet point conclusions are:
• Carbon-based AGW science is not settled. This refers only to the Carbon or CO2 role in induced warming.
• Natural processes dominate climate change (although many are poorly understood).
• Non-Carbon-based AGW anthropogenic forcings are significant. These include land use change, Urban Heat Island (UHI) effect, black carbon, and aerosols.
• Carbon-based AGW impact appears to be muted. Other sources are not necessarily muted; the impacts of changing solar activity, El Nino/La Nina – southern oscillation (ENSO), Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO), Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation (AMO), , black carbon, etc., are observable.
• Empirical evidence for Carbon-based AGW does not support catastrophe.
• The threat of net harmful total global warming, if any, is not immediate and thus does not require swift corrective action.
• The U.S. Government Is Over-Reacting to Concerns About Anthropogenic Global Warming.
Our main objective of determining to what extent CO2 concentrations in our atmosphere can cause detrimental global warming has led us to an objective conclusion that this issue is not settled science.
Unfortunately, the scientific progress on this issue has been corrupted by political and special interest influences that determine where our research dollars get spent. Political influences in government sponsored research have focused climate change research on CO2 rather than a broader range of factors that need better definition.