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[Release] Princeton Physics Professor & PragerU Discredit the Accuracy of Predictive Climate Models

Feb. 5, 2018

LOS ANGELES — A quick online search on “climate change” will yield an endless number of breaking news headlines ranging from the alarmist, “What Bison in South Dakota Can Teach us about Fighting Climate Change,” and “How Climate Change is Affecting Your Health” to the more lighthearted “How Climate Change has ruined Groundhog Day.”

The vast majority of content most people all around the world consume about the topic assumes as incontrovertible fact the premise that man-made climate change, will in essence, destroy the world. But is it that simple?

In PragerU’s newest video, Can Climate Models Predict Climate Change?, Professor Emeritus of Physics at Princeton University, William Happer discredits the accuracy of long-term predictive climate models upon which all climate change premises are based. Why? Because of the extreme variability of weather and the inherent turbulence of fluids.

Happer’s academic background is objectively impressive and a far cry from the caricature of a “climate denier.” Throughout his career, Happer has taught at Columbia and Princeton Universities, published over 200 peer-reviewed scientific papers, co-authored several books, served as Director of the Office of Energy Research at the US Department of Energy, and invented the “sodium guide star,” a device that is still used in most large, astronomical telescopes to adjust for atmospheric turbulence which can blur the images of objects in outer space.

There is one other reason Happer is qualified to speak about climate change: He cares deeply about the environment and has devoted much of his life and career to protecting it.

Happer contends long-term predictive climate models never have, nor likely ever will, produce accurate readings of the earth’s climate decades in advance. Other than the human brain, Happer states that climate is the most complex thing on Earth. There are simply too many variables.

The climate involves interactions between water in the atmosphere (think snow and rain) and water on the earth’s surface (oceans, lakes and rivers), but modern technology cannot predict neither cloud formations nor ocean temperatures.

“Trying to figure out what two fluids will do in interaction with each other on a planetary scale over long periods of time is close to impossible,” says Happer.

Hurricane Irma in 2017 is a chief example of mistaken climate modeling. Even with real time data pouring into weather forecasters all around the world, the hurricane unexpectedly veered toward the west coast of Florida after computer models had predicted a direct hit on the east coast near Miami.

Imagine a computer model, which miscalculated weather just two days in advance, trying to accurately predict temperature decades from now.

“That’s why, over the last 30 years, one climate prediction after another – based on computer models – has been wrong,”  Happer explains. “They’re wrong because even the most powerful computers can’t solve all of the equations needed to accurately describe climate.”

Instead of admitting defeat, some climate scientists attempt to make assumptions and simplify these computer models. The adjustable inputs on the computers can produce whatever numerical result the modelers want, suggests Happer. The unmanageable details are discarded.

“So, if they want to show that the earth’s temperature at the end of the century will be two degrees centigrade higher than it is now,” Happer concludes, “they put in the numbers that produce that result.”

“That’s not science. That’s science fiction.”

MEDIA NOTE: Please email to schedule an interview with PragerU contributor, William Happer, or PragerU CEO Marissa Streit.


PragerU, founded by Dennis Prager in 2011, is a not-for-profit organization that helps millions understand the values that shaped America and provides millions of Americans and people around the world with the intellectual ammunition they need to advocate for limited government, individual responsibility and economic freedom. In 2017 alone, PragerU’s videos have received over 625 million views and over 60 percent of the viewers are under the age of 35. PragerU is a resource for all who value liberty. It is a threat to all those who do not.

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