NEWS ALERT: Hudson Institute and Dennis Avery's Scientific Spin on Andes Glacier Study

Wed, 2006-06-14 15:33Kevin Grandia
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NEWS ALERT: Hudson Institute and Dennis Avery's Scientific Spin on Andes Glacier Study

The recent opinion piece by Dennis T. Avery of the Hudson Institute is a great example of the PR spin and misinformation campaign being used in the climate change debate. His latest claims are almost as outrageous as his conclusion that organic food is more dangerous to eat than food produced using chemical pesticides.

In Avery’s piece: Some Inconvenient Glaciers, Avery claims that a study published in the June, 2006 edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences is further proof that: “… the Andes glacier study not only links glacial advances and retreats with the sun, but emphasizes that the earth’s glaciers have often retreated–and even disappeared–during past centuries, long before humans built cars and smokestacks.”

At first glance Avery’s conclusion sounds reasonable, but that is always the nature of well manufactured spin.

What Avery fails to point out is that while the study acknowledges that the varying temperature of the sun has caused glaciers to melt in the past, it concludes that when you couple these temperature variations with the realities of man-made global warming, our glaciers are in some very serious trouble.

Here are is a quote from the abstract of the Andes glacier study:

“These results highlight the sensitivity of highaltitude tropical regions to relatively small changes in radiative forcing, implying even greater probable responses to future anthropogenic forcing.”

Translation: glaciers are sensitive to small changes in temperature and global warming will make all of this glacier melting even worse.

And from the conclusion:

“It is likely that this mechanism also may serve to amplify the effects of warming trends, irrespective of their origin, which raises concern that global warming will adversely affect highaltitude tropical montane regions.”

changes in sun temperature happen and global warming is making this all the worse.

Also from the conclusion:

“Conservative estimates of net anthropogenic greenhouse-gas radiative forcing for the next 50 yr surpass that of solar forcing in previous centuries, implying that profound climatic impacts can be predicted for tropical montane regions.”

Translation: estimates of the increase of man-made greenhouse warming will cause much higher temperatures than anything caused by changes in sun temperature and this will impact already sensitive glaciers.

Now we here at the DeSmogBlog know that “think-tanks” like the oil-backed Hudson Institute already has many pre-concieved notions about the science behind global warming, but this is blatant misrepresentation of the conclusions of a scientific conclusion.

The Hudson Institute is not offering the reporting of science, they are offering the propaganda of science and we here at the DeSmogBlog team are happy to point it out.


Nice work. Here's something that bothers me. Water vapor is responsible for 95% of the CO2 emmited into the atmosphere. Active volcanos represent an additional 2%. Since the atmosphere is made up of 78% nitrogen and 21% oxygen, that leaves depending on the source .038 to .045% for CO2 as an atmospheric gas. It seems to me that we are making a great deal of assumptions about a gas that represents less than 1/2% of the atmosphere and attributing the potential end of the world to it. My sources are available at
I'm not a scientist, but in lay terms I wonder if sombody can explain this to me? Thanks, Jim

How can water vapor (H20) be responsible for 95% of the C02 emitted in the atmosphere, Jim?
That seems chemically impossible, but maybe I'm missing some important piece of the puzzle. Where does the carbon come from? Where does the hydrogen from the water go?

why doesn't mr. gore sit with these leftwing na sayers (such as avery and his bunch) and have it out with these guys once and for all?