Hugh W. Ellsaesser

Hugh W. Ellsaesser



Hugh W. Ellsaesser, born in 1920, is a meteorologist by training and retired “guest scientist” at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory2.“Re: Global warming: It’s happening,” Letter to NaturalSCIENCE, January 29, 1998. Archived July 28, 2011. URL:

Ellsaesser previously served for twenty-one years as a weather officer in the US Air Force. He is also CEO of HWE Atmospheric Consultant.3Re: Global warming: It’s happening,” Letter to NaturalSCIENCE, January 29, 1998. Archived July 28, 2011. URL:

He has been affiliated with climate change denial groups such as The Advancement of Sound Science Coalition (TASSC), the George C. Marshall Institute, and the Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow (CFACT), the Natural Resources Stewardship Project (NRSP) among others.4THE ADVANCEMENT OF SOUND SCIENCE COALITION [defunct],” Integrity in Science. Archived July 25, 2011. Archive URL: 5Hugh W. Ellsaesser,” SourceWatch profile. 6CFACT Board of Advisors,” Archived October 29, 2019. URL: 7Natural Resources Stewardship Project ‘Allied Experts’,” The Natural Resources Stewardship Project. Archived February 19, 2009. Archive URL:

Stance on Climate Change


Via a 1991 issue of Environ. Sci. Technol. Letters:

“I am one of the strong supporters of the proposition that the available records indicate climate warming over the past century or so. It’s just that I don’t believe the observed warming is due to an increase in greenhouse gases.”8Environ. Sci. Technol., 1991, 25 (7), pp 1186–1186 (ES&T Letters).

Key Quotes

January 29, 1998

The following is from the conclusion a 1998 letter from Hugh W. Ellsaesser to the publisher of Natural Science:

“In considering the question of human activity and climate change it is essential to distinguish between global warming, which is a progressive increase in the annual mean global temperature, and human-activity-induced greenhouse warming, as may, for example, be caused by the release of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere as a result of fossil fuel combustion or deforestation.”9Re: Global warming: It’s happening,” Letter to NaturalSCIENCE, January 29, 1998. Archived July 28, 2011. URL:

August 1983

“I have advertised this paper as ‘A Different View’ deliberately. I want the reader to know in advance that
I am well aware that the views expressed herein do not conform to what appears to be the prevailing consensus and that I do not consider recital of this circumstance to be a meaningful rebuttal to my argument,” Ellsaesser wrote in the prologue to his paper, “The Climatic Effect of CO2: A Different View.”10Hugh W. Ellsaesser. “The climatic effect of co2: A different view,” Atmospheric Environment (1967),
Volume 18, Issue 2, 1984, Pages 431-434. Archived .pdf on file at DeSmog.

Key Deeds

September 25, 2008

Ellsaesser gave a presentation on climate change at Modesto Junior College, California.11Nature Controls Global Temperature, Not Humans by Hugh Ellsaesser,” Vimeo video uploaded by user “richard Anderson Two Roads,” June 6, 2012. Original presentation date September 25,2 008. Archived. mp4 on file at DeSmog.

Nature Controls Global Temperature, Not Humans by Hugh Ellsaesser from Richard Anderson Two Roads on Vimeo.

“Carbon dioxide is not the problem,” Ellsaesser claimed in his presentation.”And how do I know? Let me count the ways. Available data indicates that while the Arctic cap has been cooling, the Antarctic, I mean warming, the Antarctic cap has been cooling. I don’t know anyone can explain that from carbon dioxide. Correlation could not prove causality, but absence of correlation does prove absence of causality.

Time variations of global mean temperature and concentrations of carbon dioxide over the last century are very poorly correlated even though both had been rising. In fact, the mean global surface temperature actually declined from 1942 to 1975 while carbon dioxide in the atmosphere steadily increased due to man’s emissions. In addition though no one is bothered to tell you, the main global surface of 1998 has not been reached or exceeded since 1998. Now, doesn’t that mean the earth has been cooling since 1998?”

Ellsaesser later points to research by Arthur Robinson, organizer of the infamous Oregon Petition, as providing evidence to counter man-made climate change. He references a quote by Robinson referencing an experiment relating to glaciation: “The CO2 caused global warming hypothesis dies by this alone. Nothing else is needed,” Ellsaesser said.

In questions following the talk, an audence member asked about whether the paper Ellsaesser mentioned by Robinson and by Willie Soon was published in a peer reviewed journal and what credentials they had. He replied, noting that Robinson would have unlikely been able to publish the paper in a peer reviewed journal regarding meteorology (emphasis added):

Audience Member: “The paper that you quoted, Robinson’s paper and Soon, now was that published in a peer reviewed journal and what credentials do those scientists, if they are scientists, have?”

Hugh Ellseasser:  “I’m glad you asked that question. Uh, Dr. Robinson took over Access to Energy from Peter Beckman just before he died. They apparently knew each other and Peter Beckman asked him to take it over and I think he made a very good choice. Uh, Dr. Robinson, uh, has run, uh, and about the, well I guess the period has ended for a couple of months, but he spent six months earlier this year or earlier at least, I don’t know if that started last year and not running what he calls the Petition Project. In other words, he was collecting petitions from scientists around the world, whether they approved of the Kyoto Protocol in which we were going to reduce carbon dioxide emissions 5% by all developed nations, but no effect on undeveloped nations. And he had collected over 31,000 signatures with the predominant number of them PhD people in science. And I think the number is about 83%.

“And to support this particular project, he had his son and Dr. Uh, Moon. Willie Soon, Sorry, Willie Soon of NASA, uh, collaborated on this paper, which is called the Environmental Effects of Increased Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide. And you’ll notice if you look at the reference that it’s published in the Journal of Physicians and Surgeons, I seriously doubt he could got this published in any acceptable meteorological publication, but he did get it published.”

Audience Member: “Is that a peer reviewed journal?”

Ellseasser: “It’s peer reviewed, but it’s not in the field of meteorology, it’s the field of medicine. Uh, Dr. Robinson happens to be studying the aging process, the chemicals involved. So he is familiar with the medical profession world all as well as the meteorological world.”

April 2006

Ellsaesser was one of the signatories of the 2006 open letter to Prime Minister Harper that urged inaction on climate policy while denying the existence of human-caused, or anthropogenic, global warming.12Richard Littlemore. “Denying Climate Change; Urging Inaction,” DeSmog, April 19, 2006.

January 1, 2002

Ellsaesser published an article in Energy and Environment, a journal that gained notoriety for publishing works by a range of climate change deniers which resulted in the resignation of several of the publication’s editors. His article was titled “The Current Status of Global Warming,” and criticized the Kyoto protocol.13Hugh W. Ellsaesser. “The Current Status of Global Warming,” Energy & Environment, January 1, 2002.

May 2000

Ellsaesser was part of a group created to examine the IPCC‘s third assessment report. The group was assembled by the Science and Environmental Policy Project (SEPP).14What’s wrong with U.N. climate science: An independent scientific review of the IPCC’s Third Assessment Report” (News Release), Science and Environmental Policy Project, May 25, 2000. Archived February 15, 2007.

The group contained 14 “climate scientists” that made up SEPP‘s “Science Integrity Team.” The team set out to present its findings “in plain English” to congress and the media—findings which suggested a lack of significant or human-caused global warming while concluding that “if the earth were to warm slightly, and atmospheric CO2 were to increase, the effects would be mostly beneficial.”15What’s wrong with U.N. climate science: An independent scientific review of the IPCC’s Third Assessment Report” (News Release), Science and Environmental Policy Project, May 25, 2000. Archived February 15, 2007.

Others who participated in SEPP‘s briefing included David Wojick, Richard Courtney, Vincent Gray, Wibjorn Karlin, Ross McKitrick and numerous other global warming skeptics.16What’s wrong with U.N. climate science: An independent scientific review of the IPCC’s Third Assessment Report” (News Release), Science and Environmental Policy Project, May 25, 2000. Archived February 15, 2007.

November 1996

Ellsaesser questioned the validity of government action on ozone depletion and reducing the use of CFC‘s. In a November 1996 article he said that “The public has been misled to an even great extent in that the possible beneficial consequences of increased UV have been consistently ignored.”17Hugh W. Ellsaesser. “Reassessing the Montreal Protocol: Health and biological effects of increased UV exposure may be overestimated,” Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow, November 1, 1996. Archived October 28, 2007. Archive URL:


Social Media

Hugh Ellsaesser does not appear to be active on social media.


According to an ISI database search of publications, Ellsaesser has not been published in a peer-reviewed scientific journal since 1984.

Other Resources


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