In January, 18 scientists penned a letter to the 112th Congress urging the newly seated body to act on the reduction of CO2 emissions. You can read that letter at theprojectonclimatescience.org/2011/02/the-importance-of-science-in-addressing-climate-change/.

Last week, scientists who operate the Center for the Study of Carbon Dioxide and Global Change, forwarded a response to Congress, with 35 scientists signing the letter and another 38 scientists endorsing it. Here is their letter:

“On Jan. 28, 2011, 18 scientists sent a letter to members of the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate urging them to ‘take a fresh look at climate change.’ Their intent, apparently, was to disparage the views of scientists who disagree with their contention that continued business-as-usual increases in carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions produced from the burning of coal, gas, and oil will lead to a host of cataclysmic climate-related problems. We, the undersigned, totally disagree with them and would like to take this opportunity to briefly state our side of the story.

“The 18 climate alarmists (as we refer to them, not derogatorily, but simply because they view themselves as ‘sounding the alarm’ about so many things climatic) state that the people of the world ‘need to prepare for massive flooding from the extreme storms of the sort being experienced with increasing frequency,’ as well as the ‘direct health impacts from heat waves’ and ‘climate-sensitive infectious diseases,’ among a number of other devastating phenomena.

“And they say that ‘no research results have produced any evidence that challenges the overall scientific understanding of what is happening to our planet’s climate,’ which is understood to mean their view of what is happening to Earth’s climate.

“To these statements, however, we take great exception. It is the 18 climate alarmists who appear to be unaware of ‘what is happening to our planet’s climate,’ as well as the vast amount of research that has produced that knowledge.

“For example, a lengthy review of their claims and others that climate alarmists frequently make can be found on the website of the Center for the Study of Carbon Dioxide and Global Change (www.co2science.org/education/reports/prudentpath/prudentpath.php). That report offers a point-by-point rebuttal of all of the claims of the ‘group of 18,’ citing in every case peer-reviewed scientific research on the actual effects of climate change during the past several decades.

“If the ‘group of 18’ pleads ignorance of this information due to its very recent posting, then we call their attention to an even larger and more comprehensive report published in 2009, “Climate Change Reconsidered: The 2009 Report of the Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change” (NIPCC). That document has been posted for more than a year in its entirety at www.nipccreport.org.

“These are just two recent compilations of scientific research among many we could cite. Do the 678 scientific studies referenced in the CO2 Science document, or the thousands of studies cited in the NIPCC report, provide real-world evidence (as opposed to theoretical climate model predictions) for global warming-induced increases in the worldwide number and severity of floods? No. In the global number and severity of droughts? No. In the number and severity of hurricanes and other storms? No.

“Do they provide any real-world evidence of Earth’s seas inundating coastal lowlands around the globe? No. Increased human mortality? No. Plant and animal extinctions? No. Declining vegetative productivity? No. More frequent and deadly coral bleaching? No. Marine life dissolving away in acidified oceans? No.

“Quite to the contrary, in fact, these reports provide extensive empirical evidence that these things are not happening. And in many of these areas, the referenced papers report finding just the opposite response to global warming, i.e., biosphere-friendly effects of rising temperatures and rising CO2 levels.

“In light of the profusion of actual observations of the workings of the real world showing little or no negative effects of the modest warming of the second half of the 20th century, and indeed growing evidence of positive effects, we find it incomprehensible that the 18 climate alarmists could suggest something so far removed from the truth as their claim that no research results have produced any evidence that challenges their view of what is happening to Earth’s climate and weather.

“But don’t take our word for it. Read the two reports yourselves. And then make up your own minds about the matter. Don’t be intimidated by false claims of ‘scientific consensus’ or ‘overwhelming proof.’ These are not scientific arguments and they are simply not true. Like the 18 climate alarmists, we urge you to take a fresh look at climate change. We believe you will find that it is not the horrendous environmental threat they and others have made it out to be, and that they have consistently exaggerated the negative effects of global warming on the U.S. economy, national security, and public health, when such effects may well be small to negligible.”

Signed by:
Syun-Ichi Akasofu, University of Alaska1
Scott Armstrong, University of Pennsylvania
James Barrante, Southern Connecticut State University1
Richard Becherer, University of Rochester
John Boring, University of Virginia
Roger Cohen, American Physical Society Fellow
David Douglass, University of Rochester
Don Easterbrook, Western Washington University1
Robert Essenhigh, The Ohio State University1
Martin Fricke, Senior Fellow, American Physical Society
Lee Gerhard, University of Kansas1
Ulrich Gerlach, The Ohio State University
Laurence Gould, University of Hartford
Bill Gray, Colorado State University1
Will Happer, Princeton University2
Howard Hayden, University of Connecticut1
Craig Idso, Center for the Study of Carbon Dioxide and Global Change
Sherwood Idso, USDA, U.S. Water Conservation Laboratory1
Richard Keen, University of Colorado
Doral Kemper, USDA, Agricultural Research Service1
Hugh Kendrick, Office of Nuclear Reactor Programs, DOE1
Richard Lindzen, Massachusetts Institute of Technology2
Anthony Lupo, University of Missouri
Patrick Michaels, Cato Institute
Donald Nielsen, University of California, Davis1
Al Pekarek, St. Cloud State University
John Rhoads, Midwestern State University1
Nicola Scafetta, Duke University
Gary Sharp, Center for Climate/Ocean Resources Study
S. Fred Singer, University of Virginia1
Roy Spencer, University of Alabama
George Taylor, Past President, American Association of State Climatologists
Frank Tipler, Tulane University
Leonard Weinstein, National Institute of Aerospace Senior Research Fellow
Samuel Werner, University of Missouri1
Thomas Wolfram, University of Missouri1
1 - Emeritus or Retired
2 - Member of the National Academy of Sciences