William Gray

William Gray (1929-2016)


  • Ph.D. University of Chicago, Dept. of Geophysical Sciences (1964).
  • M.S. University of Chicago (1959), in Meteorology.
  • B.A. George Washington University (1952).

William Gray was a Faculty member of the Department of Atmospheric Science, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO from 1961 to 2005.

Source: [1]


William Gray was a professor at Colorado State University, where he headed the Tropical Meteorology Project. William Gray passed away on April 16, 2016.  [14]

Gray was vocal in his skepticism of global warming and was a featured speaker at the Heartland Institute's 2009 International Conference on Climate Change. He also appeared in a 2006 news release sponsored by Tech Central Station.

Gray has described global warming as a “hoax,” and something that “they've been brainwashing us [about] for 20 years.”

Peter Webster, a Georgia Institute of Technology professor, has been part of the anonymous peer review on several of Gray's National Science Foundation proposals. In every case he has turned down the global warming research component because he believed it was not up to standards, but recommended that Gray's hurricane research be funded.

Webster, who has co-authored other scientific papers with Gray, is also critical of Gray for his personal attacks on the scientists with whom he disagrees. “Bill, for some very good reasons, has been the go-to man on hurricanes for the last 35 years,” says Webster. “All of a sudden there are a lot of people saying things Bill doesn't agree with. And they're getting a lot of press—more press than I like, actually. I like the ivory tower. But he's become more and more radical.” [2]

Stance on Climate Change

  • “Gray acknowledges that we've had some warming the past 30 years. 'I don't question that,' he explains. 'And humans might have caused a very slight amount of this warming. Very slight. But this warming trend is not going to keep on going. My belief is that three, four years from now, the globe will start to cool again, as it did from the middle '40s to the middle '70s'.” [3]
  • “They've been brainwashing us for 20 years,” Gray says. “Starting with the nuclear winter and now with the global warming. This scare will also run its course. In 15-20 years, we'll look back and see what a hoax this was.” [3]

Key Quotes

“I think the whole human-induced greenhouse gas thing is a red herring… . I see climate change as due to the ocean circulation pattern. I see this as a major cause of climate change… . These are natural processes. We shouldn't blame them on humans and CO2.” [4]

“Colorado State University's William Gray, one of the nations preeminent hurricane forecasters, called noted Boulder climate researcher Kevin Trenberth an opportunist and a Svengali who 'sold his soul to the devil to get (global warming) research funding'.” [5]

“Gore believed in global warming almost as much as Hitler believed there was something wrong with the Jews.” [6]

“Human kind has little or nothing to do with the recent temperature changes. We are not that influential” [7]

Key Deeds

July 7 - 9, 2014

William Gray was a speaker at the Heartland Institute’s Ninth International Conference on Climate Change (ICCC9) in Las Vegas, Nevada. [12]

DeSmogBlog has done in-depth research on the other speakers and sponsors from Heartland's ICCC9, which can be found here.

May 21 - 23, 2012

Gray was a speaker at the Heartland Institute's 7th International Conference on Climate Change (ICCC7).

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.

March, 2009

William Gray was a speaker at the Heartland Institute's 2009 International Conference on Climate Change where he was described by the Heartland Institute as a “leading researcher into tropical weather patterns.”

December 13, 2007

Gray was a signatory to a 2007 open letter to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon that denied man-made climate change. 

The letter states that “it is not possible to stop climate change, a natural phenomenon that has affected humanity throughout the ages.” [8]

June, 2006

Gray appeared in a video news release produced by the PR firm Medialink Worldwide and sponsored by Tech Central Station titled, “Global Warming and Hurricanes: All Hot Air?

Gray denied a link between global warming and the severity of hurricane seasons. “We don't think that's the case,” Gray says. “This is the way nature sometimes works.” See video below. [9]

September 28, 2005

Gray testified before the U.S. Senate Committee on Environment & Public Works (run by ranking member James Inhofe) on the subject of climate change.

Here is an excerpt from Gray's testimony:

“I am convinced that in 15-20 years, we will look back on this period of global warming hysteria as we now look back on so many other popular, and trendy, scientific ideas – such as the generally accepted Eugenic theories of the 1920s and 1930s that have now been discredited. There are so many other more important problems in the world which need our immediate attention. We should not be distracted by a false threat that is mostly just due to natural changes in climate.”

Gray concludes that “Analysis of global tropical cyclone activity of all intensities does not support the hypothesis that there has been a significant increase in tropical cyclone frequency-intensity associated with global temperature rise.” [10]



Sample Publications

  • WM Gray. “Global warming and hurricanes” (PDF), ICECAP.
  • James Lighthill, Greh Golland, William Gray, Christopher Landsea, George Craig, Jenni Evans, Yoshio Kurihara, and C harles Guard. “Global Climate Change and Tropical Cyclones” (PDF). Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society; (United States); Journal Volume: 75:11 (Nov 1, 1994).
  • Christopher W. Landsea, Neville Nicholls, William M. Gray, Lixion A. Avila. “Downward trends in the frequency of intense Atlantic hurricanes during the past five decades” (PDF). Geophysical Research Letters, Vol. 23, no. 14 (June 15, 1996), Pages 1697-1700.
  • William M. Gray. “Climate Change: Driven by the Ocean not Human Activity” (PDF). Prepared for the 4th Annual Heartland Institute sponsored conference on Climate Change. Chicago, IL, May 18-20, 2010.   
  • William M. Gray. “Hurricanes and Hot Air” (PDF), The Wall Street Journal, July 26, 2007.
  • William M. Gray et al, “Weather Modification by Carbon Dust Absorption of Solar Energy” (PDF), Gray, Frank, Corrin and Stokes, April 1976.


  1. William M. Gray. “Climate Change: Driven by the Ocean not Human Activity” (PDF). Prepared for the 4th Annual Heartland Institute sponsored conference on Climate Change. Chicago, IL, May 18-20, 2010.

  2. Alan Prendergast. “The Skeptic,” Denver Westword News, June 29, 2006.

  3. David Harsanyi. “Chill out over global warming.” Denver Post, June 5, 2006.

  4. Jeff Franks. “Warming Not Behind Hurricane Activity - Forecaster,” Planet Ark, April 10, 2007.

  5. “Tempest erupts over hurricanes: Global warming debate at conference spawns name calling,” Rocky Mountain News, October 26, 2006. Republished by CSPP.

  6. Joel Achenbach. “The Tempest.” The Washington Post, May 28, 2006.

  7. William M. Gray. “Viewpoint: Get off warming bandwagon.” BBC News, November 16, 2000.

  8. Open Letter to the Secretary-General of the United Nations,” December 13, 2007. Reprinted by the Science and Public Policy Institute.

  9. Global Warming and Hurricanes: All Hot Air?” Youtube Video. Uploaded by The Center for Investigative Reporting, May 3, 2012.

  10. Statement of Dr. William Gray,” U.S. Senate Committee on Environment & Public Works, September 28, 2005.

  11. “Scientists' Recent Comments on Global Warming and Hurricanes” (PDF), Center for Science and Public Policy, October 26, 2005. Republished by Frontiers of Freedom. Archived July 21, 2007. Archived .pdf on file at DeSmogBlog.

  12. Return of Climate Denial-a-Palooza: Heartland Institute Hitches Anti-Science Wagon to Vegas FreedomFest,” DeSmogBlog, July 7, 2014. Archived July 14, 2014.

  13. Expert: William Gray (1929-2016),” Heartland Institute. Archived April 20, 2016. WebCite URLhttp://www.webcitation.org/6gtncFnmT

  14. Jason Samenow. “Eulogy for legendary hurricane scientist, William Gray (1929-2016),” The Washington Post, April 17, 2016. Archived .pdf on file at DeSmogblog. WebCite URLhttp://www.webcitation.org/6gtnqQxFH

Other Resources