Syun-Ichi Akasofu

Syun-Ichi Akasofu

 Syun-Ichi Akasofu


  • Ph.D. Geophysics, University of Alaska, Fairbanks, AK, 1961.
  • M.S. Geophysics, Tohoku University, Sendai, Japan, 1957.
  • B.S. Geophysics, Tohoku University, Sendai, Japan, 1953.

Source: [1]


Syun Akasofu was the founding director of the International Arctic Research Center (IARC) of the University of Alaska Fairbanks, from its establishment in 1998 until January 2007.

His areas of expertise are physics and geophysics. Akasofu is a well-known climate change skeptic and a speaker at the International Conference on Climate Change (2009), an event organized by the Heartland Institute.

Akasofu has been described as “Alaska's best known climate change skeptic.” [2]

Stance on Climate Change

“… climate change during the last few hundred years may be interpreted mainly in terms of a combination of the recovery effect and the multi-decadal oscillation. These are natural changes. Thus, there is a possibility that only a small fraction of the warming between 1900 and 2000 may be attributable to the greenhouse effect. In this view, the predicted temperature change in 2100 is about 0.5°C ± 0.2°C.” [3]

Key Quotes

“Although I am not a climatologist, it has been interesting to observe climatology from the point of view of an arctic scientist. In order for the field of climatology and IPCC to be healthy, I want to provide a few criticisms, which I hope are constructive.” [4] 

“… climate change, or temperature, has been rising. Somehow the IPCC decided that the increase in the last 100 years is due to the greenhouse effect; however, a significant part of that would be just due to natural change. So, even if we spend lots of money on suppressing CO2 release, it wouldn't do any good, because it's a natural change.” [5]

Key Deeds

May 3, 2013

Akasofu publishes a report entitled, “On the Present Halting of Global Warming.” The conclusion of the report states, “It is likely that both the near linear increase and multi-decadal oscillation are primarily natural changes.” [11]

In September 2013, Dana Nuccitelli, John Abraham, Rasmus E. Benestad and Scott Mandia published a letter responding to Akasofu's flawed study, detailing numerous errors and concluding that “all of these errors in a single study guarantees that its conclusions cannot be supported and, in fact, are demonstrably incorrect.” [12]

March 30, 2009

Akasofu's signature is displayed on a full-page ad funded by the CATO institute. The ad appeared in numerous newspapers including the Washington Post, the New York Times and the Chicago Tribune in 2009.

The advertisement criticizes President Obama's declaration that “few challenges facing America and the world are more urgent than combating climate change,” saying that “with all due respect Mr. President, that is not true.”

It goes on to describe how “there has been no net global warming for over a decade,” and how global warming is “grossly overstated.” [6]

March 9, 2009

Presented at the Heartland Institute's Second International Conference on Climate Change.

His presentation was titled “Natural Causes of 20th Century Warming: Recovery from the Little Ice Age and Oscillatory Change.”

DeSmogBlog researched the funding behind the conference, and found sponsor organizations had received over $47 million from energy companies and right-wing foundations, with 78% coming from the Scaife Family of foundations.

April, 2006

Testified before the United States Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation (Subcommittee on Global Climate Change and Impacts) at a Hearing titled “the Projected and Past Effects of Climate Change: A Focus on Marine and Terrestrial Systems.”

Akasofu stated that “… we have at least two firm scientific indicators that show it is incorrect to conclude that this warming in the continental Arctic is due entirely to the greenhouse effect caused by man.” [7]



A full list of Akasofu's publications by year is provided by the IARC.

Although Akasofu is listed by the ISI as a “highly cited” researcher,” his peer-reviewed publications are in the field of Geophysics and he himself has admitted that he is not a climatologist.

Akasofu has published a series called “Notes on Climate Change” on his personal page at the IARC. He describes the purpose as to “point out some serious deficiencies in the recent IPCC Report” and states that “since I am not a climatologist, all the data presented in my Notes on Climate Change can be found in papers and books published in the past; that is why I do not want to publish Notes on Climate Change as a paper in a professional journal.”

Sample Publications:

  • Igor Semiletov, Alexander Makshtas, and Syun-Ichi Akasofu. “Atmospheric CO2 balance: The role of Arctic sea ice” (PDF), Geophysical Research Letters, Vol 31, March, 2004.

Note that Energy & Environment is edited by climate skeptic Sonja Boehmer-Christiansen, and has been described as a journal skeptics can go to when they are rejected by the mainstream peer-reviewed publications.


  1. Syun-Ichi Akasofu,” CV at the IARC.

  2. Critic takes longer view of warming,” Anchorage Daily News, April 1, 2007. Archived October 8, 2008.

  3. “Natural Components of Climate Change During the Last Few Hundred Years” (PDF), last revised November 17, 2009. Part of Akasofu's series, “notes on climate change,” published on his page at the IARC.

  4. Response to Readers: Notes on Climate Change,” Syun-Ichi Akasofu (Page at the IARC), April 24, 2007.

  5. Arctic Climate Expert: Gore's Film Is ‘Science Fiction’,” Executive Intelligence Review, Volume 34, Number 19-20, May 11, 2007.

  6. Climate Change Reality,” The Cato Institute.


  8. Syun-Ichi Akasofu,” profile at the International Arctic Research Center.

  9. Syun Akasofu,” SourceWatch Profile.

  10. Projected and Past Effects of Climate Change, A Focus on Marine and Terrestrial Systems,” Hearing Before the Subcommittee on Global Climate Change of the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation,” (PDF, p.43), April 26, 2006. Printed by U.S. Government Printing Office, 2011.

  11. On the Present Halting of Global Warming,” Open Access Climate, May 3, 2013.

  12. Comment on: Akasofu, S.-I. On the Present Halting of Global WarmingClimate, September 19, 2013.


This is a guest post by David Suzuki.

The Amazon rainforest is magnificent. Watching programs about it, we’re amazed by brilliant parrots and toucans, tapirs, anacondas and jaguars. But if you ever go there expecting to be overwhelmed by a dazzling blur of activity, you’ll be disappointed. The jungle has plenty of vegetation — hanging vines, enormous trees, bromeliads and more — and a cacophony of insects and frogs. But much of the activity goes on at night or high up in the canopy.

Films of tropical forests don’t accurately reflect the reality of the ecosystems....

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