Thursday, January 29, 2009

I'm a sceptic now, says ex-NASA climate boss

The retired scientist formerly in charge of key NASA climate programs has come out as a sceptic.

Dr John Theon, who supervised James Hansen - the activist-scientist who helped give the manmade global warming hypothesis centre prominent media attention - repents at length in a published letter. Theon wrote to the Minority Office at the Environment and Public Works Committee on January 15, 2009, and excerpts were published by skeptic Senator Inhofe's office here last night.

"As Chief of several of NASA Headquarters’ programs (1982-94), an SES position, I was responsible for all weather and climate research in the entire agency, including the research work by James Hansen, Roy Spencer, Joanne Simpson, and several hundred other scientists at NASA field centers, in academia, and in the private sector who worked on climate research," Theon wrote. "I appreciate the opportunity to add my name to those who disagree that global warming is man made.”

Theon takes aim at the models, and implicitly criticises Hansen for revising to the data set:

“My own belief concerning anthropogenic climate change is that the models do not realistically simulate the climate system because there are many very important sub-grid scale processes that the models either replicate poorly or completely omit. Furthermore, some scientists have manipulated the observed data to justify their model results. In doing so, they neither explain what they have modified in the observations, nor explain how they did it.

"They have resisted making their work transparent so that it can be replicated independently by other scientists. This is clearly contrary to how science should be done. Thus there is no rational justification for using climate model forecasts to determine public policy.” (Source: