Nir Shaviv

Nir J. Shaviv

Credentials 

  • Ph.D., Physics. Israel Institute of Technology, 1996. [1]
  • M.A., Physics. Israel Institute of Technology, 1994. [1]
  • B.A., Physics. Israel Institute of Technology, 1990.  [1]

Background

Nir J. Shaviv is an associate professor of Physics at the Racah Institute at the The Hebrew University of Jerusalem. He contends that the sun's rays are the primary driver of climate change. [2] Dr. Shaviv says that he is not funded by the oil industry or large corporations. [3]

Nir Shaviv is a regular speaker at the Heartland Institute's International Conference on Climate Chance (ICCC), and has been listed as an advisor to both the Committee for Constructive Tomorrow (CFACT), and the Global Warming Policy Foundation (GWPF), although he has denied his affiliation with the former. [4], [5][3]

Although he is skeptical of man-made climate change, he stresses that there are a “dozen good reasons why we should strive to burn less fossil fuels.” His two primary reasons are pollution and depletion. He is in favor of developing cheap energy alternatives such as wind and solar power. [6]

Stance on Climate Change

June, 2015

“As an astrophysicist, I see that the scope of solar effects considered by the IPCC is very limited; thus it arrives at wrong conclusions about what causes climate change.

For instance, the increase in solar activity over the 20th century implies that more than half of the warming should be attributed to the sun, not to emissions from human activity.” [7]

February, 2009

Nir Shaviv argues that solar activity is the primary driver of climate change:

“[W]hen there are fewer ions, the clouds that are formed are composed of large drops. Clouds of this type are less white and refract less of the sun's rays outward, and so the heat is preserved and the earth gets warmer,” Shaviv says. [2]

In a view opposite to that of the IPCC, Dr. Shaviv believes that increasing temperatures lead to an increase in carbon dioxide, and not the other way around.  He contends that “if we double the amound of CO2 by 2100, we will only increase the temperature by about one degree Celsius.” [2]

According to Shaviv, two thirds of the warming in the 20th century were caused by natural factors, and only one third by anthropogenic causes.  He does stress anthropogenic causes will most likely be the dominant driver of warming in the 21st century. That being said, Shaviv is against the Kyoto Protocol and believes that “the hysteria surrounding the concept of 'global warming' will fade over the years.” [2]

April, 2006

“In fact, there is no substantial evidence which proves that CO2 and other GHGs are the primary cause for the warming, and not some other mechanism. You may have seen articles which point to the contrary, that there is clear evidence, but if you dig deeply into them, you will realize that these are merely suggestions for a CO2 climate link and not evidence.” [6]

Key Quotes

May 15, 2015

Nir Shaviv appears in a video by Friends of Science (FoS), where he disputes the “97% Consensus” on climate change: [8]

”.. the 97% figure. First of all, science is not a democracy. The fact that the majority thinks one thing doesn’t mean that they are right. The question is, what is the evidence?”

See video:

2009

“At least half of the warming over the 20th century is because of the sun … it means we don't have to worry about warming over the 21st century.” [9]

2006

“I am quite sure Kyoto is not the right way to go. I should however stress that there are a dozen good reasons why we should strive to burn less fossil fuels.” [6]

Key Deeds

December 11–12, 2015

Nir Shaviv was a speaker at the Heartland Institute's Eleventh International Conference on Climate Change (ICCC11) in Essen, Germany. [10]

The Heartland Institute co-sponsored the Eleventh International Conference on Climate Change (ICCC11) with the European Institute for Climate and Energy (EIKE). According to the Heartland Institute's event description, ICCC11 was designed to follow up the Heartland Institute's trip to Paris for the United Nations' COP-21. [10]

June 16, 2015

Nir Shaviv published an article in the Financial Post titled “Carbon Week: The sun raises the seas,” where he contends that there has been an 18-year-long “hiatus” on global warming: [7]

“Currently, satellite data show that the hiatus has continued over 18 years, even though carbon dioxide has risen significantly,” Shaviv writes. “This implies that Earth’s temperature increases less (from the influence of CO2) than IPCC predictions, because those were based on a high climate sensitivity ascribed to CO2.” [7]

Shaviv also suggests that the IPCC has been “ignoring evidence that shows the sun to be the cause” of CO2 increases in sea levels. [7]

June 2, 2015

Nir Shaviv spoke at a “climate change event” hosted by the industry-funded Friends of Science (FoS). According to the event's press release, Shaviv spoke on “Solar forcing and our understanding of past and future climate change” in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. [11]

June 3, 2014

Nir Shaviv was a speaker at the European Climate and Energy Institute's 2014 International Climate and Energy Conference: [12]

November 30 - December 1, 2012

Nir Shaviv was a speaker (PDF) at the Eighth International Conference on Climate Change (ICCC-8)/Fifth International Conference on Climate and Energy (ICCE-5) sponsored by both the Heartland Institute and the European Institute for Climate and Energy (EIKE). Shaviv's speech is titled “The cosmic ray climate link - evidence and implications to the understanding of climate change.” [13]

May 21 - 23, 2012

Nir Shaviv was a speaker at the Heartland Institute's 7th International Conference on Climate Change (ICCC7). His speech was titled “The Solar/Cosmic Ray Connection and Its Implication to the Understanding of Present Day Climate Change”:  [14]

DeSmogBlog researched the co-sponsors behind Heartland's ICCC7 and found that they had collectively received over $67 million from ExxonMobil, the Koch Brothers and the conservative Scaife family foundations. [15]

January 27, 2012

Shaviv signed a Wall Street Journal Op-Ed titled “No Need to Panic About Global Warming.” [16]

Other signatures include those of Claude AllègreJan BreslowWilliam Happer, William Kininmonth, Richard Lindzen, James McGrath, Rodney Nichols, Burt Rutan, Harrison H. SchmittEdward David, Michael Kelly, Henk Tennekes, and Antonino Zichichi. [16]

Media transparency found that the article had misrepresented the position of Yale economist William Nordhaus. Skeptical Science also did a comprehensive examination of the signatories revealing that few have published anything in peer-reviewed journal on the subject of climate change. [17]

March 9, 2009

Nir Shaviv spoke at the Heartland Institute's 2009 International Conference on Climate Change (ICCC2). Shaviv's speech was titled “New Solar-Climate Link and Implications for Our Understanding of Climate Change.”  [9][18]

DeSmog researched the funding behind Heartland's Second International Conference on Climate Change (ICCC2) and found sponsor organizations had received over $47 million in funding from energy companies and right-wing foundations, with 78% of that total coming from Scaife Family foundations. [19]

2008

Nir Shaviv appeared in the film, “The Cloud Mystery” which focuses on the studies of fellow skeptic Henrik Svensmark who, similar to Shaviv, believes that solar rays drive climate change. [20]

March, 2007

Appeared on “The Great Global Warming Swindle,” a documentary that claims to refute the theory of man-made global warming. Other climate change skeptics appearing on the program include Tim Ball, Nigel Lawson, Ian Clark, John Christy, Richard Lindzen, Patrick Michaels, Syun-Ichi Akasofu, Fred Singer, Roy Spencer, and Paul Driessen. [21]

The film generated considerable controversy. The uproar was led by one of the scientists who appeared in the film, MIT's Carl Wunsch. Wunsch stated that he was swindled by the film producers.  He explains that they “completely misrepresented me.  My views were distorted by the context in which they placed them. If they had told me even the title of the program, I would have absolutely refused to be on it.” [22]

July, 2003

Co-published a paper titled “Celestial driver of Phanerozoic climate?“ in the journal GSA Today (a publication of the Geological Society of America). [23]

The paper was accompanied by a press release entitled “Global Warming not a Man-made Phenomenon,” where Shaviv was quoted as stating, “The operative significance of our research is that a significant reduction of the release of greenhouse gases will not significantly lower the global temperature, since only about a third of the warming over the past century should be attributed to man.” [24] 

The claims were disputed in an article in Eos, by an international team of scientists and geologists. [25]

According to RealClimate, the scientists found that Shaviv and Veizer’s analysis was “based on unreliable and poorly replicated estimates, selective adjustments of the data (shifting the data, in one case by 40 million years) and drew untenable conclusions, particularly with regard to the influence of anthropogenic greenhouse gas concentrations on recent warming.” [26]

Affiliations 

*Although Nir Shaviv has been listed as a “Senior Advisor” to CFACT by some documents (PDF, p. 70), he responded to a query by SourceWatch by saying that “This is the first time I hear of this group.” [3]

Publications

Skeptical Science does not list any peer-reviewed articles written by Nir Shaviv. [28]

Key Publications

Resources

  1. Nir J. Shaviv Curriculum Vitae, October 2015,” The Racah Institute of Physics. Archived October 8, 2016. Archive.is URLhttps://archive.is/hOdGh

  2. Esti Ahronovitz. “Who's afraid of global warming,” Haaretz.com, February 14, 2009. Archived February 13, 2010.  Archive.is URLhttps://archive.is/vYgX0

  3. Nir Shaviv,” SourceWatch Profile. Archive.is URLhttps://archive.is/BPGTK

  4. United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change” (PDF, P. 70), United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, May 31, 2010. Archived .pdf on file at Desmog.

  5. NEW CHAIRMAN OF GWPF ACADEMIC ADVISORY COUNCIL,” Global Warming Policy Foundation, April 1, 2016. Archived October 8, 2016. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/idvH4

  6. Nir Shaviv. “Carbon Dioxide or Solar Forcing?ScienceBits, April 17, 2006. Archived October 8, 2016. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/Hrx5D

  7. Nir Shaviv. “Carbon Week: The sun raises the seas,” Financial Post, June 16, 2015. Archived October 7, 2016. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/ww5qZ

  8. Dr. Shaviv - What about the 97% consensus?” YouTube Video uploaded by user Friends of Science, May 15, 2015. Archived .mp4 on file at Desmog.

  9. Proceedings,” The 2009 International Conference on Climate Change. Archived March 11, 2009.  Archive.is URLhttps://archive.is/7nBzl

  10. Eleventh International Conference on Climate Change (ICCC-11),” Heartland Institute. Archived March 8, 2016. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/ZlwM7

  11. Astrophysicist Nir Shaviv to speak at Friends of Science Society Climate Change Event June 2, 2015,” PRWeb, May 19, 2015. Archived October 8, 2016. Archive.is URLhttps://archive.is/C306p

  12. Prof. Nir Shaviv: The Cosmic Ray Climate Link - Evidence and Implications to Climate Change,” YouTube Video uploaded by user  EIKE - European Climate and Energy Institute. Archived .mp4 on file at Desmog.

  13. “8th International Conference on Climate Change (ICCC-8): V International Conference on Climate and Energy (ICCE-5). Hotel Bayerischer Hof, Munich, November 30 – December 1, 2012” (PDF) retrieved from eike-klima-energy.eu. Archived .pdf on file at Desmog. Archive.is URLhttps://archive.is/RTMiz

  14. Nir Shaviv, ICCC7,” Heartland Institute. Archived October 7, 2016. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/5ihxX

  15. Brendan DeMelle. “Heartland Denial-a-Palooza Sponsors Have Received $67 Million From ExxonMobil, Koch and Scaife Foundations,” Desmog, May 22, 2012.

  16. No Need to Panic About Global Warming,” The Wall Street Journal, January 27, 2012. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/ruTQS

  17. Jocelyn Fong and Jill Fitzsimmons. “The Journal Hires Dentists To Do Heart Surgery,” Media Matters, January 30, 2012.  Archived October 8, 2016. Archive.is URLhttps://archive.is/3WTsU

  18. “International Conference on Climate Change: Sponsored by the Heartland Institute” (PDF), The Heartland Institute, March, 2009. Archived .pdf on file at Desmog.

  19. Heartland Institute's 2009 Climate Conference in New York: funding history of the sponsors,” Desmog.

  20. The Scientists behind the Cloud Mystery,” The Cloud Mystery. Archived October 8, 2016. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/Y196H

  21. The Great Global Warming Swindle,” Sourcewatch. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/Rp47X

  22. PURE PROPAGANDA - THE GREAT GLOBAL WARMING SWINDLE,” Media Lens, March 13, 2007. Archived March 21, 2012. Archive.is URLhttps://archive.is/kcgL1

  23. “Celestial driver of Phanerozoic climate?” (PDF)GSA Today, Vol. 13, No. 7 (July 2003). PDF archived at Desmog.

  24. (Press Release). “Global warming not man-made phenomenon,” EurekAltert!, August 12, 2003. Archived October 8, 2016.  Archive.is URLhttps://archive.is/IMWaG

  25. “Cosmic Rays, Carbon Dioxide, and Climate” (PDF), Eos, Vol.  85, No. 3 (January 27, 2004). Archived .pdf on file at Desmog.

  26. Michael Mann and Gavin Schmidt. “Peer Review: A Necessary But Not Sufficient Condition,RealClimate, January 20, 2005. Archived October 8, 2016. Archive.is URLhttps://archive.is/WlxjH

  27. Nir Shaviv,” The Heartland Institute. Archived October 8, 2016. Archive.is URLhttps://archive.is/9acwn

  28. Peer-reviewed skeptic papers by Nir Shaviv,” Skeptical Science. Archived October 8, 2016. Archive.is URLhttps://archive.is/VBBnm

Other Resources