Patrick Michaels

Patrick J. Michaels (born c. 1942?) is a professor of environmental science at the University of Virginia, and the state climatologist for Virginia. His professional specialty was the influence of climate on agriculture. He is noted for his views as an opponent of global warming theory and frequently writes and speaks for popular audiences on the topic of climate change. He is a fellow of the Cato Institute and edits the World Climate Report, published by the Western Fuels Association through WFA's Greening Earth Society. His work has been published in Climate Research, Climatic Change and Geophysical Research Letters.

Although Michaels is a noted skeptic and continues to dispute some aspects of global warming theory, he recently accepted the scientific consensus of the IPCC that there is a human influence on the climate. He continues to maintain, however, that current and future warming will occur at the low end of the range IPCC assessments:

scientists know quite precisely how much the planet will warm in the foreseeable future, a modest three-quarters of a degree (C) [in 50 years]
All this has to do with basic physics, which isn't real hard to understand. It has been known since 1872 that as we emit more and more carbon dioxide into our atmosphere, each increment results in less and less warming. In other words, the first changes produce the most warming, and subsequent ones produce a bit less, and so on. But we also assume carbon dioxide continues to go into the atmosphere at an ever-increasing rate. In other words, the increase from year-to-year isn't constant, but itself is increasing. The effect of increasing the rate of carbon dioxide emissions, coupled with the fact that more and more carbon dioxide produces less and less warming compels our climate projections for the future warming to be pretty much a straight line. Translation: Once human beings start to warm the climate, they do so at a constant rate. [1] (

This "linear" view is not accepted by some climate scientists.

Dr. John Holdren of Harvard University told the U.S. Senate Republican Policy Committee, "Michaels is another of the handful of US climate-change contrarians... He has published little if anything of distinction in the professional literature, being noted rather for his shrill op-ed pieces and indiscriminate denunciations of virtually every finding of mainstream climate science." [2] (

Peter Gleick, a MacArthur Fellow, conservation analyst, and president of the Oakland-based Pacific Institute for Studies in Development, Environment and Security [3] (, said "Pat Michaels is not one of the nation's leading researchers on climate change. On the contrary, he is one of a very small minority of nay-sayers who continue to dispute the facts and science about climate change in the face of compelling, overwhelming, and growing evidence." [4] (

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