Nir Shaviv

Nir J. Shaviv


  • Ph.D., Physics. Israel Institute of Technology, 1996. [1]
  • M.A., Physics. Israel Institute of Technology, 1994. [1]
  • B.A., Physics. Israel Institute of Technology, 1990.  [1]


Nir J. Shaviv is an associate professor of Physics at the Racah Institute at the The Hebrew University of Jerusalem. He contends that the sun’s rays are the primary driver of climate change. [2] Dr. Shaviv says that he is not funded by the oil industry or large corporations. [3]

Nir Shaviv is a regular speaker at the Heartland Institute‘s International Conference on Climate Chance (ICCC), and has been listed as an advisor to both the Committee for Constructive Tomorrow (CFACT), and the Global Warming Policy Foundation (GWPF), although he has denied his affiliation with the former. [4], [5][3]

Although he is skeptical of man-made climate change, he stresses that there are a “dozen good reasons why we should strive to burn less fossil fuels.” His two primary reasons are pollution and depletion. He is in favor of developing cheap energy alternatives such as wind and solar power. [6]

Stance on Climate Change

June, 2015

“As an astrophysicist, I see that the scope of solar effects considered by the IPCC is very limited; thus it arrives at wrong conclusions about what causes climate change.

For instance, the increase in solar activity over the 20th century implies that more than half of the warming should be attributed to the sun, not to emissions from human activity.” [7]

February, 2009

Nir Shaviv argues that solar activity is the primary driver of climate change:

“[W]hen there are fewer ions, the clouds that are formed are composed of large drops. Clouds of this type are less white and refract less of the sun’s rays outward, and so the heat is preserved and the earth gets warmer,” Shaviv says. [2]

In a view opposite to that of the IPCC, Dr. Shaviv believes that increasing temperatures lead to an increase in carbon dioxide, and not the other way around.  He contends that “if we double the amound of CO2 by 2100, we will only increase the temperature by about one degree Celsius.” [2]

According to Shaviv, two thirds of the warming in the 20th century were caused by natural factors, and only one third by anthropogenic causes.  He does stress anthropogenic causes will most likely be the dominant driver of warming in the 21st century. That being said, Shaviv is against the Kyoto Protocol and believes that “the hysteria surrounding the concept of ‘global warming’ will fade over the years.” [2]

April, 2006

“In fact, there is no substantial evidence which proves that CO2 and other GHGs are the primary cause for the warming, and not some other mechanism. You may have seen articles which point to the contrary, that there is clear evidence, but if you dig deeply into them, you will realize that these are merely suggestions for a CO2 climate link and not evidence.” [6]

Key Quotes

November 24, 2018

The following quotes are from Shaviv’s talk on  “The Impact of Cosmic Radiation on the Climate – Latest Research Findings and Their Importance for Understanding Climate Change” at the 12th conference of the European Institute for Climate and Energy (EIKE), also billed as the Heartland Institute‘s 13th International Conference on Climate Change (ICCC13): [36]

A business as usual scenario will give you a warming over the 21st century, which is modest. How modest? Well within the goals set in Copenhagen or in Paris.”

What I want to emphasize is that it is not really important what the mechanism linking solar activity to climate it is because we see that such a link exists, and that it’s very large.” — See SkepticalScience Myth#2

There are basically two main arguments that are being used to ‘prove’ that humans are accountable for the global warming and these arguments are wrong.”

Science is not a democracy. If you have an argument with someone and they tell you, look, 97 percent of the people say that it’s this or that, it doesn’t imply that it’s so. It’s totally irrelevant. You know, 100 percent of the people who could have said the earth is flat, it wouldn’t have implied that they’re right.” — SkepticalScience myth #4

If you see a polar bear floating on an iceberg somewhere, it doesn’t mean that it has warmed, it doesn’t mean that it has warmed by humans, and it doesn’t even mean that they’re less polar bears. […] It’s just noise around us trying to interfere with the real science.”

As a result of the ClimateGate emails, We know that this hockey stick is a hockey stitch […] the hockey stick is nothing.” — SkepticalScience myth #17

The main argument of the IPCC is flawed and there is no other argument that can prove that CO2 has a large effect on the temperature.” —  SkepticalScience myth #47

There is no fingerprint that proves that CO2 has a large effect on climate. In fact, as I’ll show you, there is the opposite.” —  SkepticalScience myth #47

You find that CEO to tends to lag behind the temperature. Okay. I don’t think the effect of CO2 is so large that it can affect the temperature even before it starts increasing. “ — SkepticalScience myth #12

All the models telling you that the temperature will increase by a lot, that the Antarctica will melt, to that penguins s will find themselves—I don’t know where—they’re all based on models which are not taking the sun into account and are therefore highly exaggerated.” — SkepticalScience myth #6

Future climate change is going to be much more benign. […] There are no arguments, no valid arguments, that necessarily prove that a standard picture is correct.“

In the IPCC reports, they ignore the large effect that the sun has on climate.“ — SkepticalScience Myth#2

May 15, 2015

Nir Shaviv appears in a video by Friends of Science (FoS), where he disputes the “97% Consensus” on climate change: [8]

”.. the 97% figure. First of all, science is not a democracy. The fact that the majority thinks one thing doesn’t mean that they are right. The question is, what is the evidence?”

See video:


“At least half of the warming over the 20th century is because of the sun … it means we don’t have to worry about warming over the 21st century.” [9]


“I am quite sure Kyoto is not the right way to go. I should however stress that there are a dozen good reasons why we should strive to burn less fossil fuels.” [6]

Key Deeds

November 24, 2018

Shaviv was listed on the program for the 12th conference of the European Institute for Climate and Energy (EIKE), also billed as the Heartland Institute‘s 13th International Conference on Climate Change (ICCC13). According to a translation of the agenda, he spoke back-to-back with Henrik Svensmark on “The Impact of Cosmic Radiation on the Climate – Latest Research Findings and Their Importance for Understanding Climate Change” on November 24. [36]

October 26, 2017

Nir Shaviv participated in a Cambridge Union debate, on a motion titled “This House Would Rather Cool Down the Planet than Warm Up the Economy.” Notably neither Shaviv nor Benny Peiser—who spoke later in the debate—had their affiliation with the GWPF announced when they were introduced. [29]

“Have you ever thought for a second, what is the evidence upon which we are asked to sacrifice so much in terms of the economy? What is the evidence because of which we think global warming is such a bad problem that we’re going to heat our planet into a catastrophic, um, catastrophe? What is the evidence? And the answer is there is no evidence that the situation is like that,” Shaviv said. [29]

According to Shaviv, the reason that the arguments the IPCC is using are “flawed” is because “anyone can Google climategate and see that the hockey stick upon which this argument was based — two IPCC reports ago, in 2001—we see that the hockey stick was basically stitching tree ring temperature reconstruction which decreased in 1960 with thermometer data. If you look at other temperature data reconstructions, you see that the middle ages were just as warm as the latter half of the twentieth century. And there was not a lot of emissions going on by Vikings in the middle ages.” [29]

Note that this statement is addressed by two SkepticalScience myths: that the “ClimateGate” emails somehow disprove climate change (six official investigations found no fraud in the emails), and that somehow past climate changed discounts the idea that man-made CO2 emissions are causing current warming. [30], [31], [32]

When a student asks Shaviv about what the oil industry’s interests might be in the climate debate, noting that even industry supports the idea that man-kind has an influence, Shaviv replied:

“I don’t care what is the interests of the oil companies. I don’t care what is the interests of the environmentalists. I am a scientist and I am asking a scientific question: what is the evidence that there is global warming because of humans? How large is the human contribution? And the answer, I find, is somewhere between one-half to a third, sorry one third to one-half of the warming is because of humans.”

[…] There has been virtually no warming over the past two decades. […] the warming is less than the IPCC is predicting, an they’re calling it the global warming ‘hiatus’. You can all Google it and see that, for them, it is something which is unexplainable.”

As noted in Scientific American, various studies have debunked the idea of a pause, or hiatus, in global warming. [33]

December 11–12, 2015

Nir Shaviv was a speaker at the Heartland Institute’s Eleventh International Conference on Climate Change (ICCC11) in Essen, Germany. [10]

The Heartland Institute co-sponsored the Eleventh International Conference on Climate Change (ICCC11) with the European Institute for Climate and Energy (EIKE). According to the Heartland Institute’s event description, ICCC11 was designed to follow up the Heartland Institute’s trip to Paris for the United Nations’ COP-21. [10]

June 16, 2015

Nir Shaviv published an article in the Financial Post titled “Carbon Week: The sun raises the seas,” where he contends that there has been an 18-year-long “hiatus” on global warming: [7]

“Currently, satellite data show that the hiatus has continued over 18 years, even though carbon dioxide has risen significantly,” Shaviv writes. “This implies that Earth’s temperature increases less (from the influence of CO2) than IPCC predictions, because those were based on a high climate sensitivity ascribed to CO2.” [7]

Shaviv also suggests that the IPCC has been “ignoring evidence that shows the sun to be the cause” of CO2 increases in sea levels. [7]

June 2, 2015

Nir Shaviv spoke at a “climate change event” hosted by the industry-funded Friends of Science (FoS). According to the event’s press release, Shaviv spoke on “Solar forcing and our understanding of past and future climate change” in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. [11]

March 1, 2015

Shaviv was listed as a writer/endorser of a Global Warming Policy Foundation (GWPF) briefing paper titled “The Small Print: What the Royal Society Left Out“ that accused the Royal Society of “presenting a misleading picture of climate science.” [34][35]

As an example, the Royal Society addresses the question of why Antarctic sea ice is growing,” said Prof Ross McKitrick, the chairman of the GWPF’s Academic Advisory Council, “but in doing so they present a recently proposed hypothesis as if it were settled science. Failing to admit when the answer to an important question is simply not known does a disservice to the public. We believe that this new paper does a much better job of presenting the whole picture to the public.” [35]

The paper was written/endorsed by the following “experts”: [34]

June 3, 2014

Nir Shaviv was a speaker at the European Climate and Energy Institute’s 2014 International Climate and Energy Conference: [12]

November 30 – December 1, 2012

Nir Shaviv was a speaker (PDF) at the Eighth International Conference on Climate Change (ICCC-8)/Fifth International Conference on Climate and Energy (ICCE-5) sponsored by both the Heartland Institute and the European Institute for Climate and Energy (EIKE). Shaviv’s speech is titled “The cosmic ray climate link – evidence and implications to the understanding of climate change.” [13]

May 21–23, 2012

Nir Shaviv was a speaker at the Heartland Institute‘s 7th International Conference on Climate Change (ICCC7). His speech was titled “The Solar/Cosmic Ray Connection and Its Implication to the Understanding of Present Day Climate Change”:  [14]

DeSmogBlog researched the co-sponsors behind Heartland’s ICCC7 and found that they had collectively received over $67 million from ExxonMobil, the Koch Brothers and the conservative Scaife family foundations. [15]

January 27, 2012

Shaviv signed a Wall Street Journal Op-Ed titled “No Need to Panic About Global Warming.” [16]

Other signatures include those of Claude AllègreJan BreslowWilliam Happer, William Kininmonth, Richard Lindzen, James McGrath, Rodney Nichols, Burt Rutan, Harrison H. SchmittEdward David, Michael Kelly, Henk Tennekes, and Antonino Zichichi. [16]

Media transparency found that the article had misrepresented the position of Yale economist William Nordhaus. Skeptical Science also did a comprehensive examination of the signatories revealing that few have published anything in peer-reviewed journal on the subject of climate change. [17]

March 9, 2009

Nir Shaviv spoke at the Heartland Institute’s 2009 International Conference on Climate Change (ICCC2). Shaviv’s speech was titled “New Solar-Climate Link and Implications for Our Understanding of Climate Change.”  [9][18]

DeSmog researched the funding behind Heartland’s Second International Conference on Climate Change (ICCC2) and found sponsor organizations had received over $47 million in funding from energy companies and right-wing foundations, with 78% of that total coming from Scaife Family foundations. [19]


Nir Shaviv appeared in the film, “The Cloud Mystery” which focuses on the studies of fellow skeptic Henrik Svensmark who, similar to Shaviv, believes that solar rays drive climate change. [20]

March 2007

Appeared on “The Great Global Warming Swindle,” a documentary that claims to refute the theory of man-made global warming. Other climate change skeptics appearing on the program include Tim Ball, Nigel Lawson, Ian Clark, John Christy, Richard Lindzen, Patrick Michaels, Syun-Ichi Akasofu, Fred Singer, Roy Spencer, and Paul Driessen. [21]

The film generated considerable controversy. The uproar was led by one of the scientists who appeared in the film, MIT‘s Carl Wunsch. Wunsch stated that he was swindled by the film producers.  He explains that they “completely misrepresented me.  My views were distorted by the context in which they placed them. If they had told me even the title of the program, I would have absolutely refused to be on it.” [22]

July 2003

Co-published a paper titled “Celestial driver of Phanerozoic climate?“ in the journal GSA Today (a publication of the Geological Society of America). [23]

The paper was accompanied by a press release entitled “Global Warming not a Man-made Phenomenon,” where Shaviv was quoted as stating, “The operative significance of our research is that a significant reduction of the release of greenhouse gases will not significantly lower the global temperature, since only about a third of the warming over the past century should be attributed to man.” [24] 

The claims were disputed in an article in Eos, by an international team of scientists and geologists. [25]

According to RealClimate, the scientists found that Shaviv and Veizer’s analysis was “based on unreliable and poorly replicated estimates, selective adjustments of the data (shifting the data, in one case by 40 million years) and drew untenable conclusions, particularly with regard to the influence of anthropogenic greenhouse gas concentrations on recent warming.” [26]


*Although Nir Shaviv has been listed as a “Senior Advisor” to CFACT by some documents (PDF, p. 70), he responded to a query by SourceWatch by saying that “This is the first time I hear of this group.” [3]

Social Media


Skeptical Science published a review of a 2012 paper, “Quantifying the role of solar radiative forcing over the 20th century,” by Nir Shaviv and Shlomi Ziskin. [28], [37]

Key Publications


  1. Nir J. Shaviv Curriculum Vitae, October 2015,” The Racah Institute of Physics. Archived October 8, 2016. URL
  2. Esti Ahronovitz. “Who’s afraid of global warming,”, February 14, 2009. Archived February 13, 2010. URL
  3. Nir Shaviv,” SourceWatch Profile. URL
  4. United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change” (PDF, P. 70), United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, May 31, 2010. Archived .pdf on file at Desmog.
  5. NEW CHAIRMAN OF GWPF ACADEMIC ADVISORY COUNCIL,” Global Warming Policy Foundation, April 1, 2016. Archived October 8, 2016. URL:
  6. Nir Shaviv. “Carbon Dioxide or Solar Forcing?ScienceBits, April 17, 2006. Archived October 8, 2016. URL:
  7. Nir Shaviv. “Carbon Week: The sun raises the seas,” Financial Post, June 16, 2015. Archived October 7, 2016. URL:
  8. Dr. Shaviv – What about the 97% consensus?” YouTube Video uploaded by user Friends of Science, May 15, 2015. Archived .mp4 on file at Desmog.
  9. Proceedings,” The 2009 International Conference on Climate Change. Archived March 11, 2009. URL
  10. Eleventh International Conference on Climate Change (ICCC-11),” Heartland Institute. Archived March 8, 2016. URL:
  11. Astrophysicist Nir Shaviv to speak at Friends of Science Society Climate Change Event June 2, 2015,” PRWeb, May 19, 2015. Archived October 8, 2016. URL
  12. Prof. Nir Shaviv: The Cosmic Ray Climate Link – Evidence and Implications to Climate Change,” YouTube Video uploaded by user  EIKE – European Climate and Energy Institute. Archived .mp4 on file at Desmog.
  13. “8th International Conference on Climate Change (ICCC-8): V International Conference on Climate and Energy (ICCE-5). Hotel Bayerischer Hof, Munich, November 30 – December 1, 2012” (PDF) retrieved from Archived .pdf on file at Desmog. URL
  14. Nir Shaviv, ICCC7,” Heartland Institute. Archived October 7, 2016. URL:
  15. Brendan DeMelle. “Heartland Denial-a-Palooza Sponsors Have Received $67 Million From ExxonMobil, Koch and Scaife Foundations,” Desmog, May 22, 2012.
  16. No Need to Panic About Global Warming,” The Wall Street Journal, January 27, 2012. URL:
  17. Jocelyn Fong and Jill Fitzsimmons. “The Journal Hires Dentists To Do Heart Surgery,” Media Matters, January 30, 2012.  Archived October 8, 2016. URL
  18. “International Conference on Climate Change: Sponsored by the Heartland Institute” (PDF), The Heartland Institute, March, 2009. Archived .pdf on file at Desmog.
  19. Heartland Institute’s 2009 Climate Conference in New York: funding history of the sponsors,” Desmog.
  20. The Scientists behind the Cloud Mystery,” The Cloud Mystery. Archived October 8, 2016. URL:
  21. The Great Global Warming Swindle,” Sourcewatch. URL:
  22. PURE PROPAGANDATHE GREAT GLOBAL WARMING SWINDLE,” Media Lens, March 13, 2007. Archived March 21, 2012. URL
  23. “Celestial driver of Phanerozoic climate?” (PDF)GSA Today, Vol. 13, No. 7 (July 2003). PDF archived at Desmog.
  24. (Press Release). “Global warming not man-made phenomenon,” EurekAltert!, August 12, 2003. Archived October 8, 2016. URL
  25. “Cosmic Rays, Carbon Dioxide, and Climate” (PDF), Eos, Vol.  85, No. 3 (January 27, 2004). Archived .pdf on file at Desmog.
  26. Michael Mann and Gavin Schmidt. “Peer Review: A Necessary But Not Sufficient Condition,RealClimate, January 20, 2005. Archived October 8, 2016. URL
  27. Nir Shaviv,” The Heartland Institute. Archived October 8, 2016. URL
  28. Peer-reviewed skeptic papers by Nir Shaviv,” Skeptical Science. Archived October 8, 2016. URL
  29. This House Would Rather Cool Down the Planet than Warm Up the Economy | Cambridge Union,” YouTube video uploaded by user “The Cambridge Union,” November 17, 2017. Archived .mp4 on file at DeSmog.
  30. Debunking Misinformation About Stolen Climate Emails in the ‘Climategate’ Manufactured Controversy,” Union of Concerned Scientists. Accessed November 28, 2017.
  31. What do the ‘Climategate’ hacked CRU emails tell us?“ SkepticalScience. Accessed November 28, 2017.
  32. What does past climate change tell us about global warming?SkepticalScience. Accessed November 28, 2017.
  33. No Pause in Ocean Warming,” Scientific American, January 4, 2017.
  34. “THE SMALL PRINT: What the Royal Society Left Out” (PDF)Global Warming Policy Foundation, 2015.
  35. (Press Release). “Royal Society Misrepresents Climate Science,” Global Warming Policy Foundation, January 3, 2015. Archived August 17, 2014. URL
  36. Program – 12th International Climate and Energy Conference” EIKETranslated via Google Translate. Archived November 23, 2018. Conference video on file at DeSmog. URL
  37. Bob Loblaw. “From the eMail Bag: a review of a paper by Ziskin and Shaviv,” Skeptical Science, February 1, 2022.

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