DeSmog

Tim Ball: "the First Canadian PhD in Climatology"

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CLICK HERE FOR AN UPDATED BIO OF TIM BALL (FEB.05, 2007)

Friends of Science scientific advisor Dr. Tim Ball, who has been criss-crossing the country in a campaign to undermine public support for the scientific proof behind human-caused climate change, advertises himself as “the first Canadian PhD in Climatology.” The FOS website boasts that, “He has an extensive background in climatology, especially the reconstruction of past climates and the impact of climate change on human history and the human condition.”

This suggests an expertise in climate science that we all should take seriously. Or should we?

A search of the global database Worldcat shows two scientific books to Dr. Ball’s credit. The first, from 1972, suggests direct expertise: Climate Change in Central Canada, but the subheading gives it a bit of context: A Preliminary Analysis of Weather Information from the Hudson’s Bay Company Forts at York Factory and Churchill Factory, 1714-1850. As Worldcat lists just one copy of this “book” worldwide, and as that copy rests in the University of London, where Ball’s PhD was granted, this is likely his thesis.

A second publication, The Significance of Grain-size and Heavy Minerals Volume Percentage as Indicators of Environmental Character, Grand Beach, Manitoba – A Case Study, is likely a Masters thesis.

In the 34 years since he completed his thesis, a library search shows that Dr. Ball has contributed to two other books, a text, The Fundamentals of Physical Geography and what appears to be a more populist non-fiction: Eighteenth-century naturalists of Hudson Bay.

A search of the Web of Science (the best-known compendium of scientific publications worldwide, maintained by the Institute for Scientific Information) shows two peer-reviewed articles:

Historical Evidence and Climatic Implications of a Shift in the Boreal Forest Tundra Transition in Central Canada – 1986 Instrumental Temperature Records at 2 Sites in Central Canada, 1768 TO 1910 – 1984

These searches do not capture all of Dr. Ball’s publications. He has been a busy contributor in the popular press of late, but as demonstrated elsewhere on the DeSmogBlog, in that venue, no one is holding Dr. Ball to account for the accuracy of his statements.

Compare that output to, say, one of the University of Victoria’s leading researchers, Dr. Andrew J. Weaver, who has been working the field for less than half the time of Dr. Ball, but who has already published 183 papers in top, peer-reviewed journals.

Who would you believe?

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