The much maligned Drs. Singer and Gray


This is not an obituary of Dr. Fred Singer or Dr. William Gray, even though the title of this article may lead you to believe that.  Dr. Gray is the Professor of Atmospheric Science, Head of the Tropical Meteorology Project at Colorado State and is the noted writer of the hurricane forecast every year.  Dr. Singer is currently the Director and President of The Science and Environmental Policy Project (SEPP).

I am writing this article simply because I am amazed at the bitterness that is delivered upon these two men.

A search for Dr. Singer and Dr. Gray on reveals an amazing amount of sarcasm and lack of respect for the two gentlemen. Why? Well, they obviously don’t agree with many of the writers of RealClimate.  The sad thing is that they definitely have the credentials to disagree and still command respect.

A few points on each gentleman:

Dr. Gray is partially supported by the National Science Foundation primarily for his work as the famed forecaster of hurricanes.  Few people know more about hurricanes than this man, so when he comments on severe storms and their increase or decrease in the future, one should listen and respect him.  In addition, his work on hurricanes gives him an amazing understanding of oceans of the world and the humidity above those oceans.

It is quite possible that you won’t believe Dr. Gray but here is what he was quoted as saying in the Washington Post:

“I am of the opinion that this is one of the greatest hoaxes ever perpetrated on the American people,” he says when I visit him in his office on a sunny spring afternoon.

He has testified about this to the United States Senate. He has written magazine articles, given speeches, done everything he could to get the message out. His scientific position relies heavily on what is known as the Argument From Authority. He’s the authority.

“I’ve been in meteorology over 50 years. I’ve worked damn hard, and I’ve been around. My feeling is some of us older guys who’ve been around have not been asked about this. It’s sort of a baby boomer, yuppie thing.”

Dr. Singer is not very loved either and this is sad with his many accomplishments which include more than 400 technical publications.  As reported by JunkScience:

Armed with a doctorate from Princeton University, Dr. Singer played a key role in the U.S. Navy’s development of countermeasures for mine warfare during World War II. From there, Dr. Singer went on to achieve fame in space science.

Some of his major accomplishments include: using rockets to make the first measurements of cosmic radiation in space along with James A. Van Allen (1947-50); design of the first instrument for measuring stratospheric ozone (1956); developing the capture theory for the origin of the Moon and Martian satellites (1966); calculating the increase in methane emissions due to population growth which is not key to global warming and ozone depletion theories (1971); and discovering orbital debris clouds with satellite instruments (1990).

and from SEPP:

  • First measurements, with V-2 and Aerobee rockets, of primary cosmic radiation in space (with James A. Van Allen, 1947-1950) and upper-atmospheric ozone (with J.J.Hopfield and H. Clearman, 1948).
  • Discovery, with rocket-borne magnetometer, of equatorial electrojet current in the ionosphere (1949).
  • Calculation of cosmic ray effects on meteorites, followed by first measurements of their ages (1952).
  • Design of Minimum Orbital Unmanned Satellite (MOUSE), (1952-1954).
  • Design of sensing instruments for MOUSE, including the first instrument for measuring stratospheric ozone (1956), now used in satellites.
  • First publications predicting the existence of trapped radiation in the earth’s magnetic field (radiation belts, later discovered by Van Allen) to explain the magnetic-storm ring current (1956).
  • Design of the high-altitude FARSIDE rocket, to search for geomagnetically trapped radiation (1956).
  • Capture theory for the origin of the Moon and of the Martian satellites, Phobos and Deimos (1966).
  • Design study of Martian exploration by way of a manned base on Phobos/Deimos (Ph-D Project) (1977-78)
  • First calculation of methane increase due to population growth, and its effects on the stratosphere (1971). The theory serves as a paradigm for CFC-stratosphere effects. While developed in connection with the SST controversy, it is now of importance for both greenhouse warming and ozone depletion theories.
  • Theory for the behavior of world oil prices, and prediction in 1980 of the price collapse of 1983.
  • Discovery of orbiting debris clouds, using instruments on the LDEF satellite (1990).

Dr. Singer has fought the mainstream before and was proven correct.  Most notably he argued with famous scientist Carl Sagan on the effects of the massive oil fires in Kuwait after Operation Desert Storm.  Dr. Singer’s prediction of no lasting effect was correct and Dr. Sagan’s prediction of dire consequences (which received more air time) were proven incorrect.

It is unfortunate that both learned men have so completely been chastised by their younger brethren.  While I won’t say that either side is correct, the general lack of respect doesn’t play well for the average person that is just trying to figure out what is going on with global warming.

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