Nicola Scafetta

Nicola Scafetta


  •  Ph.D., Physics, University of North Texas. [1]


Nicola Scafetta is a research scientist at Duke University Physics Department. He is known for proposing a phenomenological theory of climate change, claiming that oscillations induced by solar changes and other astronomical influences can affect climate.

According to his theory, which he presented to the EPA in a presentation titled “Climate Change and its Causes, a Discussion about some Key Issues,” we would be facing an imminent cooling period. [2]

However, Scafetta's theory has been disputed by other scientists. [3]

Stance on Climate Change 

“At least 60% of the warming of the Earth observed since 1970 appears to be induced by natural cycles which are present in the solar system.” [4]

Key Quotes 

“If climate is as sensitive to solar changes as the above phenomenological findings suggest, the current anthropogenic contribution to global warming is significantly overestimated.” [5]

Key Deeds 

June 2011

Scafetta was a speaker at the Heartland Institute's Sixth International Conference on Climate Change[6]

May 27, 2011

Nicola Scafetta was one of fourteen Amici, described as “well-qualified climate scientists,” who claimed that the “EPA's endangerment finding is not 'rational' and therefore arbitrary and capricious.” [9]

According to the petitioners, representing the Coalition for Responsible Regulation, Inc.: [9]

“[T]he Earth's climate is not changing in an unusual or anomalous fashion. The EPA relied on instrumental data that were adjusted to exaggerate the increase in global temperatures.” [9]

Petitioners listed were:

February 26, 2009

When the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency called for alternative views on climate change, three skeptics presented: Richard Lindzen, Jean Lind and Nicola Scafetta.

In his presentation, Scafetta suggests that “a significant portion of climate change is natural and linked to changes of solar activity.”and also discusses “the possibility of an imminent global cooling.” [2]

His findings have circulated through the skeptical science community, and on skeptical blogs such as WUWT (Watts Up With That)

December 2006

Scafetta was the co-author of “Phenomenological solar signature in 400 years of reconstructed Northern Hemisphere temperature,” a paper widely quoted by climate skeptics.

Many researchers (PDF) in the field have viewed Scafetta's claims as being incorrect, and his papers have also been debunked by scientists at RealClimate. [7]

It appears that Scafetta refused to release the code  to the software he used in this study. This meant that his results could not be replicated by climate scientists. [8]



May of Scafetta's skeptical opinion articles and publications were published by organizations known for doubting the existence of climate change (including the Heartland Institute, and the Science and Public Policy Institute).

Sample publications include: 

  • “Is climate sensitive to solar variability?” (PDF) Physics Today (*Published in the “Opinion” section). March 2008. Nicola Scafetta and Bruce J. West. 
  • “Climate Change and Its Causes” (PDF). Science and Public Policy Institute original paper. March 18, 2010. 
  • Disrupted Networks: from physics to climate change. Bruce J. West and Nicola Scafetta, World Scientific Publishing Company (2010).


  1. “Nicola Scafetta, PhD” (PDF), Duke University. Accessed February, 2012.

  2. Climate Science Seminar: Climate Change and Its Causes: A Discussion about Some Key Issues,” National Center for Environmental Economics. Presented February 26, 2009.

  3. Lisa Zygo. “Scientists find errors in hypothesis linking solar flares to global temperature,”, April 7, 2010. Archived February 10, 2012, with WebCite.

  4. Nicola Scafetta, PhD,” Profile at Duke University. Accessed February, 2012. Archived February 10, 2012, with WebCite.

  5. Nicola Scafetta and Bruce J. West. “Is climate sensitive to solar variability?” (PDF), Physics Today (Opinion), March 2008.

  6. Nicola Scafetta,” International Conference on Climate Change ( Accessed February 10, 2012.

  7. A phenomenological sequel,” RealClimate, November 27, 2007.

  8. Michael Le Page. “Sceptical climate researcher won't divulge key program,” New Scientist, December 18, 2009. Archived February 10, 2012, with WebCite.

  9. COALITION FOR RESPONSIBLE REGULATION, INC., ET AL. (Petitioners) v. ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY AND LISA P. JACKSON, ADMINISTRATOR, Respondents (PDF). Retrieved from World Climate Report. Archived.pdf on file at Desmog.

  10. ExxonSecrets Factsheet: Nicola Scafetta.