Climate Tutorial for Judge Alsup

H/T tomomason for noticing this document submitted to Judge Alsup’s requested tutorial

The Honorable William H. Alsup

The covering letter and the submission itself are here.  Below are excerpts of introductory and overview comments.

The Court has invited a tutorial on global warming and climate change, which is set to occur March 21, 2018. The Court also identified specific questions to be addressed at the tutorial. Pursuant to Civil L.R. 7-11, Professors William Happer, Steven E. Koonin, and Richard S. Lindzen respectfully ask the Court to accept their presentation (attached to this motion as Exhibit A) in response to the Court’s questions. The professors would be honored to participate directly in the tutorial if the Court desires.

The Court’s specified questions include topics that have been the subject of the professors’ study and analysis for decades. These men have been thought and policy leaders in the scientific community and in the administrations of two different U.S. Presidents. They have extensive research experience with the specific issues the Court identified. As such, they offer a valuable perspective on these issues. The attached presentation contains three sections: (1) an overview; (2) responses to the Court’s questions; and (3) biographies of the professors.

Overview from the Submission

Our overview of climate science is framed through four statements:

1. The climate is always changing; changes like those of the past half-century are common in the geologic record, driven by powerful natural phenomena

2. Human influences on the climate are a small (1%) perturbation to natural energy flows

3. It is not possible to tell how much of the modest recent warming can be ascribed to human influences

4. There have been no detrimental changes observed in the most salient climate variables and today’s projections of future changes are highly uncertain

We offer supporting evidence for each of these statements drawn almost exclusively from the Climate Science Special Report (CSSR) issued by the US government in November, 2017 or from the Fifth Assessment Report (AR5) issued in 2013-14 by the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change or from the refereed primary literature.

To summarize this overview, the historical and geological record suggests recent changes in the climate over the past century are within the bounds of natural variability. Human influences on the climate (largely the accumulation of CO2 from fossil fuel combustion) are a physically small (1%) effect on a complex, chaotic, multicomponent and multiscale system. Unfortunately, the data and our understanding are insufficient to usefully quantify the climate’s response to human influences. However, even as human influences have quadrupled since 1950, severe weather phenomena and sea level rise show no significant trends attributable to them. Projections of future climate and weather events rely on models demonstrably unfit for the purpose. As a result, rising levels of CO2 do not obviously pose an immediate, let alone imminent, threat to the earth’s climate.

The submission includes detailed responses to each of the judge’s questions and are well worth reading.

A synopsis of responses to the judge’s questions is here: Cal Climate Tutorial: The Meat


  1. Edward Hurst · March 21, 2018

    Thank you. Amen.


  2. rogercaiazza · March 21, 2018

    Thank you for pointing this submittal out.

    I compared their responses to questions from Happer, Koonin and Lindzen to a response in a Vox article “The judge in a federal climate change lawsuit wants a science tutorial” that presented the other side of the argument with support from Glen Peters, Gavin Schmidt, and Andrew Dessler. I thought many of the Happer et al arguments were more convincing but I was disappointed by their response to the last question – what is the main source of heating?

    Their response notes: Only at the edges of the CO2 band is the escape altitude in the troposphere where it could have some effect on the surface temperature.

    I wish they had directly compared the relative scale of this possible effect to the changes in the surface heating rate they described earlier. The Vox argument looks at radiative forcing components and claims that because GHG forcings are largest that fossil fuels stand out as the main cause of climate change.

    Am I the only one that thinks this reference isn’t clear?


    • Ron Clutz · March 23, 2018

      Thanks for commenting Roger. Looking at the vox article I noticed two main differences from this submission (among others). The vox piece does not discuss the role of non-IR actives gases (bulk of the atmosphere) in convection and in collisions with so-called GHGs. And vox authors nowhere mention that H2O performs 90% of the LW activity, with CO2 as a very secondary influence. The effect is to exaggerate both the role of radiation in moving heat from the surface to space, and to exaggerate the role of CO2 in the lower troposphere where H20 dominates. Another demonstration that warmist scientists engage in a myopic and lop-sided interpretation of atmospheric processes. See Climate Reductionism


  3. Gengis · March 22, 2018

    I hope the wheel is turning, and these kids are left wondering why their parents put them up to it.. I give talks on Nuclear Energy as THE solution if we continue to go down the renewable (waste of time) energy producers. An article came to my attention today which shows the price of renewable energy. It was at You may like to examine the article and explains clearly why South Australia is in the poo-poo!


  4. Hifast · March 24, 2018

    Reblogged this on Climate Collections.


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