Global Warming: Latest National Academies of Science Study Poorly Reported


DATE: December 13, 2001

BACKGROUND: Both the New York Times and the Washington Post reported on December 12, 2001 that a soon-to-be-released study by the National Academies' National Research Council will claim man-made carbon dioxide increases the chance for sudden, dramatic increase in the earth's temperature.

TEN SECOND RESPONSE: Scare headlines such as "Drastic Shifts in Climate Are Likely" in the New York Times and "Climate Change May Happen Abruptly" are simply not supported by the NRC report.

THIRTY SECOND RESPONSE: Newspaper scare headlines ignore the fact that the study talks about rapid climate changes occurring long before man began producing so-called greenhouse gases. The fourth paragraph of the National Academies' press release on the report begins, "There is no need for undue alarm, however, about the possibility of sudden climate change" The remaining report language hedges the possibility of climate change and says, "Simulating abrupt climate change using computer models is particularly difficult"

DISCUSSION: Every study predicting climate in the past has been wrong due to faulty computer modeling. The authors of this study say modeling of the kind of climate change it discusses is particularly difficult.

FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: The National Academies' press release may be found at:

Succinct talking points on climate change may be found at:

A list of papers covering various aspects of the global warming debate can be found at:

A detailed scientific discussion of the facts of climate change is in our Global Warming Primer at:


by Tom Randall, Director
John P. McGovern, MD Center for Environmental and Regulatory Affairs
The National Center for Public Policy Research

Contact the author at: 773-857-5086 or
The National Center for Public Policy Research, Chicago office
3712 North Broadway - PMB 279
Chicago, IL 60613