Why ?




Climate Science : Greenhouse Effect :


Al Gore's Mentor : Roger Revelle





Wikipedia : Roger Revelle


Roger Randall Dougan Revelle 


( March 7, 1909 – July 15, 1991 )


was a scientist and scholar who was instrumental in the formative years of the University of California San Diego and was among the early scientists to study anthropogenic global warming, as well as the movement of Earth's tectonic plates.[1]


UC San Diego's first college is named Revelle College in his honor.


Roger Revelle
Revelle Roger.jpg
Born March 7, 1909
Died July 15, 1991 (aged 82)
Citizenship American
Alma mater Pomona College
University of California, Berkeley
Children William Revelle
Awards Alexander Agassiz Medal (1963)
Tyler Prize for Environmental Achievement (1984)
Vannevar Bush Award (1984)
William Bowie Medal (1968)
National Medal of Science (1990)
Scientific career
Institutions Scripps Institution of Oceanography
University of California San Diego



Global warming


Revelle was instrumental in creating the International Geophysical Year (IGY) in 1958 and was founding chairman of the first Committee on Climate Change and the Ocean (CCCO) under the Scientific Committee on Ocean Research (SCOR) and the International Oceanic Commission (IOC).


During planning for the IGY, under Revelle's directorship, SIO participated in and later became the principal center for the Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide Program. In July 1956, Charles David Keeling joined the SIO staff to head the program, and began measurements of atmospheric carbon dioxide at the Mauna Loa Observatory on Mauna Loa, Hawaii, and in Antarctica.


Hans Suess was recruited by Revelle,[4] and they co-authored a 1957 paper using Carbon-14 isotope levels to assess the rate at which carbon dioxide added by fossil fuel combustion since the start of the industrial revolution had accumulated in the atmosphere.


They concluded that most of it had been absorbed by the Earth's oceans, contrary to the assumption made by early geoscientists (Chamberlin, Arhenius and Callendar) that it would simply accumulate in the upper atmosphere to "lower the mean level of back radiation in the infrared and thereby increase the average temperature near the earth's surface."


There had been little sign to date of this greenhouse effect causing the anticipated warming, but the Suess-Revelle paper suggested that increasing human gas emissions might change this.


They said that "human beings are now carrying out a large scale geophysical experiment of a kind that could not have happened in the past nor be reproduced in the future."[5]


Revelle told journalists about the issues, and testified to Congress that "The Earth itself is a space ship", endangered by rising seas and desertification.


A November 1957 report in The Hammond Times described his research as suggesting that "a large scale global warming, with radical climate changes may result" – the first use of the term global warming.[6]


A biographer of Suess later said that, although other articles in the same journal discussed carbon dioxide levels, the Suess-Revelle paper was "the only one of the three to stress the growing quantity of CO
contributed by our burning of fossil fuel, and to call attention to the fact that it might cause global warming over time."[4]



Revelle and Suess described the "buffer factor", now known as the "Revelle factor", which is a resistance to atmospheric carbon dioxide being absorbed by the ocean surface layer posed by bicarbonate chemistry.


Essentially, in order to enter the ocean, carbon dioxide gas has to partition into one of the components of carbonic acid: carbonate ion, bicarbonate ion, or protonated carbonic acid, and the product of these many chemical dissociation constants factors into a kind of back-pressure that limits how fast the carbon dioxide can enter the surface ocean.


Geology, geochemistry, atmospheric chemistry, ocean chemistry ... this amounted to one of the earliest examples of "integrated assessment", which 50 years later became an entire branch of global warming science.


At his death, Revelle may well have still been waiting for a signal that would prove global warming as a serious problem correct.


In the November 1982 Scientific American Letters to the Editors, Revelle stated :

"We must conclude that until a warming trend that exceeds the noise level of natural climatic fluctuations becomes clearly evident, there will be considerable uncertainty and a diversity of opinions about the amplitude of the climatic effects of increased atmospheric CO2. If the modelers are correct, such a signal should be detectable within the next 10 or 15 years."[7]



Views on climate change distorted


In 1991, Revelle's name appeared as co-author on an article written by physicist S. Fred Singer and electrical engineer Chauncey Starr for the publication Cosmos: A Journal of Emerging Issues, titled "What to do about greenhouse warming: Look before you leap," which was published in the summer of 1992.


The Cosmos article included the statement that "Drastic, precipitous—and, especially, unilateral—steps to delay the putative greenhouse impacts can cost jobs and prosperity and increase the human costs of global poverty, without being effective.


Stringent economic controls now would be economically devastating particularly for developing countries...".[9][10]


The article concluded :

"The scientific base for a greenhouse warming is too uncertain to justify drastic action at this time. There is little risk in delaying policy responses."[9]


These particular statements and the bulk of the article, including the title, had been written and published a year earlier by S. Fred Singer, as sole author.[11]


Singer's article stated that "there is every expectation that scientific understanding will be substantially improved within the next decade," and advocated against drastic and "hastily-conceived" action at the time without further scientific evidence.


It does not, however, deny climate change or global warming.


Justin Lancaster, Revelle's graduate student and teaching assistant at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography from 1981 until Revelle's death, says that Revelle was "hoodwinked" by Singer into adding his name to the article and that Revelle was "intensely embarrassed that his name was associated" with it.[12][13]


In 1992, Lancaster charged that Singer's actions were "unethical" and specifically designed to undercut then–Senator Al Gore's global warming policy stance; however, to end a lawsuit brought by Singer against Lancaster with support of the Center for Public Interest in Washington, D.C., Lancaster gave Singer a statement of apology, but refused to admit that anything he said was false.


In 2006, prompted by Robert Balling and others continuing to state that Revelle actually wrote the article, Lancaster formally withdrew his retraction and reiterated his charges.[12][14]


When Gore was running for the vice-presidential nomination in 1992, The New Republic picked up on the contrast between the references to Revelle in Gore's book, Earth in the Balance, and the views in the Cosmos article that could now be attributed to Revelle.


This was followed up by Newsweek and elsewhere in the media.


Patrick Michaels boasted that the Cosmos article had been read into the Congressional Record.


The issue was even raised by Admiral James Stockdale in the televised vice-presidential debate. Gore's response was to protest that Revelle's views in the article had been taken out of context.


Roger's daughter, Carolyn Revelle, wrote:

Contrary to George Will's "Al Gore's Green Guilt" Roger Revelle—our father and the "father" of the greenhouse effect—remained deeply concerned about global warming until his death in July 1991.


That same year he wrote: "The scientific base for a greenhouse warming is too uncertain to justify drastic action at this time."


Will and other critics of Sen. Al Gore have seized these words to suggest that Revelle, who was also Gore's professor and mentor, renounced his belief in global warming.


Nothing could be further from the truth.


When Revelle inveighed against "drastic" action, he was using that adjective in its literal sense—measures that would cost trillions of dollars.


Up until his death, he thought that extreme measures were premature.


But he continued to recommend immediate prudent steps to mitigate and delay climatic warming.


Some of those steps go well beyond anything Gore or other national politicians have yet to advocate. [...]


Revelle proposed a range of approaches to address global warming.


Inaction was not one of them.


He agreed with the adage "look before you leap," but he never said "sit on your hands."[15]



Wikipedia : Al Gore


Albert Arnold Gore Jr. (born March 31, 1948) is an American politician and environmentalist who served as the 45th vice president of the United States from 1993 to 2001.


Gore was Bill Clinton's running mate in their successful campaign in 1992, and the pair was re-elected in 1996.


Near the end of Clinton's second term, Gore was selected as the Democratic nominee for the 2000 presidential election but lost the election in a very close race after a Florida recount.


After his term as vice-president ended in 2001, Gore remained prominent as an author and environmental activist, whose work in climate change activism earned him (jointly with the IPCC) the Nobel Peace Prize in 2007.




Harvard, the Vietnam War, journalism, and Vanderbilt (1965–76)




Gore enrolled in Harvard College in 1965; he initially planned to major in English and write novels but later decided to major in government.[18][19] On his second day on campus, he began campaigning for the freshman student government council and was elected its president.[19]




In his senior year, he took a class with oceanographer and global warming theorist Roger Revelle, who sparked Gore's interest in global warming and other environmental issues.[19][29]