Lv 5
Ken asked in EnvironmentGlobal Warming · 1 decade ago

Is Stephen E. Schwartz an AGW doubter?

Recent posts of the DailyTech article on Hungarian Physicists Miklós Zágoni suggest that AGW is now somehow disproved. What's interesting is that the article references a paper on climate sensitivity by Stephen E. Swartz which it claims agrees with Miklós Zágoni.

Do AGW doubters consider him one of their own? And if so, how would the doubters explain that his paper was published (I thought all dissenters were being unfunded, fired, or blocked from publication)?

Here's the DailyTech article (it calls the greenhouse equation "Totally Wrong"):

Referenced paper by Schwartz:

Schwartz's web-site:

Another paper by Schwartz:


James R - I don't know where you get your supposed information, but you are wrong about your points: 1, 2, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, and 10. I'll grant you that there's some area for debate on points 3 and 9, but mainly because I don't have enough solid information to know if you're wrong or not. You seem to have no knowledge of the scientific literature on this topic and where you got the idea that the 30's were the warmest decade and 2007 was the coldest year since 1922 is beyond my wildest imagination.

5 Answers

  • J S
    Lv 5
    1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    Steven Schwartz is the chief scientist of the Department of Energy's Atmospheric Science Program. His expert opinion on global warming is as follows:

    "I'm very concerned about the world my grandchildren will live in," said Mr. Schwartz, who is currently studying climate change. "There could be an increase of four to eight degrees in the next century, and that's huge. The last time there was a five-degree Celsius decrease was the last ice age. An increase of eight degrees Fahrenheit would bring change unprecedented in the last half-million years."

    Scientists aren't sure exactly what such a change in temperature could bring, but one of the "big possible consequences" is an increase in sea level, Mr. Schwartz said.

    "It's not out of the question that the ice sheet on Greenland could melt, and the consequence of that is the sea level would rise," he said. "The shoreline on Long Island would move inland by two to three miles."

    Mr. Schwartz, a senior scientist at Brookhaven National Laboratory, is one of about 50 scientists studying climate change at the lab. Most recently, Mr. Schwartz published a study in June that has resulted in sensationalist headlines across the country.

    A report on Fox News introduced the study by saying, "Skeptics are increasingly certain the [global warming] scare is vastly overblown," and other news sources said Mr. Schwartz's study debunked the notion that global warming is a force with which humanity needs to contend.

    This, he said, was not what he was trying to prove at all. Global warming is a very real reality, he said, and his study spells that out -- though in a different manner than those carried out by other scientists and organizations.


    Stephen Schwartz knows as much about the effects of aerosols on climate change as anyone in the world, and he's worried. He believes climate change is so massive an economic issue that we face costs "in the trillions if not quadrillions of dollars." He thinks a Herculean effort and great sacrifice is required to get the world down to zero net increase in carbon dioxide concentrations, an effort he compares to that which the Allies undertook in their all-out war against Nazi Germany and Japan.

    "Recall World War II, where everyone was making a sacrifice: gas rationing, tire rationing, no new car production, food rationing," he explains. "I don't think the people of the world are ready or prepared to make such a level of personal sacrifice. Perhaps when the consequences of climate change become more apparent that will change. But by that time, there will be irreversible changes in climate."


    "...if the cooling influence of aerosols is in fact offsetting much of the warming influence of anthropogenic greenhouse gases, then when society is unable to maintain this exponential growth, the climate could be in for a real and long-lasting shock."



    Steven Swartz has proposed modifications to the way we understand the relative influence of aerosols. Clearly, in no way does he doubt or deny global warming, in fact he issues strong warnings that we have to deal with it. Scientific skepticism is not about polarizing discussions into an "all or nothing" state. However it would be reckless and misguided (or deliberately misleading) to claim that such healthy clarifications of global warming theory "disprove" it. Other scientists welcome his contributions. Now his part of the theory will be tested, and likely modified and tuned. That's the way science moves forward.

  • 1 decade ago

    I don't think Miklós Zágoni is saying that global warming isn't happening, but he is saying that the theory of runaway global warming doesn't hold up. As for the math in global warming being wrong, of course it is. Anyone who can actually work a differential equation knows the math has been fudged in half a dozen ways, which is not, by the way, dishonest. You often have to fudge a differential equation, and in doing so you often get results that are Good Enough.

    But sometimes you get results that are utter nonsense. Trouble is, it's sometimes impossible to know when you have something that's Good Enough, and when you have something that's utter nonsense.

    But some things are certain.

    1. Despite using temperature gauges located in places where no real scientist would place them, the 20th century did not heat up decade by decade. The hottest decade of the 20th century was the 1930's, and every decade after that was cooler.

    2. The climate models put forth by global warming alarmists not only do not work, they can't even predict weather that has already happened. Plug the model in to the year 1900, and ask it to tell you what the weather will be like in 1910. It's gets it wrong every time. Plug in Miklós Zágoni's model, however, and the results you get back are nearly dead center.

    3. Carbon dioxide is a very weak greenhouse gas, and if it could cause runaway global warming, it should have done so long, long ago.

    4. The earth was quite a bit hotter than it is right now a mere four hundred years ago, and that was before the industrial revolution.

    5. It hasn't been all that long since pretty much all the glaciers were gone, and polar ice was almost non-existent.

    6. Even if the runaway global warming theory were true, and there's zero evidence that it is, it would be as helpful to humanity as it is harmful. The hysterical fear is based almost solely on the fact that people would have to move away from various coastlines. Well, how much hubris does it take to believe you can build cities right on the coast and that the earth will just let them sit there comfortably forever. This is supposed to be about the health of the plant, not the inconvenience of those who like oceanfront property.

    7. In case no one has noticed, 2007 was the coldest year since 1922, which was before global warming supposedly started. And 2008 is following suit.

    8. Do global warming supporters not know that equatorial volcanoes exist? A single equatorial volcanic eruption can lower global temperature from two to ten degrees, essentially bring in a mini-ice age, and create havoc for a decade. It snows everywhere, crops do not grow, people die, etc. Guess which century did not have such an eruption on anything resembling a large scale? Right, the 20th century. Now guess which centuries did? Right again. All those "cool" centuries global warming supporters point to as evidence that things are heating up.

    9. Yes, Miklós Zágoni had his paper published. But take a look at where. He was lucky enough to have a measure of support in his home country. Now take a look at who refused to publish it, whicfh was pretty much everyone else, and look at who calls it nonsense without a shred of evidence.

    10. Maybe global warming is happening, but there isn't a single piece of real scientific evidence to say it is, and there are legions of real scientists out there who have been dissenters all along. Most of the "scientists" in the global warming camp are completely unqualified to hold the positions they do, and have no clue what real science even is.

    This isn't about science, it's about politics, ego, and money, which si one reason it is extremely difficult to have a dissenting paper published anywhere that matters. There are horror stoies all over the place in this area, and they're real.

  • 4 years ago

    For the best answers, search on this site

    "how much co2 equals 1 pane of glass in the rhetorical green house? 2 or 3 or 5 panes wont make it any hotter than 1." First of all, yes it will--ever hear of double pane windows? Second, the greenhouse effect does not work like a real greenhouse, which warms by preventing convection. 1) Yes 2) Yes (also due in part to land use changes) 3) Yes But I am more in the less-certain-about-the-whole- IPCC-90%-and-need-better- quantification-of- uncertainties group than an AGW doubter. I just had to correct the statement above.

  • ardoin
    Lv 4
    3 years ago

    Stephen E Schwartz

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  • 1 decade ago

    No, Schwartz is an anthropogenist (a.k.a. AGW proponent) who simply performed an analysis based on a rather oversimplified model which concluded that the planet is not as responsive to atmospheric CO2 increases as most other studies have found.

    For this reason the doubters like to claim Schwartz as one of their own. However, Schwartz has continued to state that he is concerned about AGW.

    About his own conclusion in the paper in question, Schwartz states

    "Finally, as the present analysis rests on a simple single compartment energy balance model, the question must inevitably arise whether the rather obdurate climate system might be amenable to determination of its key properties through empirical analysis based on such a simple model. In response to that question it might have to be said that it remains to be seen. In this context it is hoped that the present study might stimulate further work along these lines with more complex models."

    RealClimate concurs:

    "In short, the global temperature time series clearly does not follow the model adopted in Schwartz's analysis. It's further clear that even if it did, the method is unable to diagnose the right time scale. Add to that the fact that assuming a single time scale for the global climate system contradicts what we know about the response time of the different components of the earth, and it adds up to only one conclusion: Schwartz's estimate of climate sensitivity is unreliable. We see no evidence from this analysis to indicate that climate sensitivity is any different from the best estimates of sensible research, somewhere within the range of 2 to 4.5 deg C for a doubling of CO2."

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