An article by Steve Lytte of the Sydney Morning Herald
ONE of the world's foremost meteorologists has called the theory
that helped Al Gore share the Nobel Peace Prize "ridiculous" and
the product of "people who don't understand how the atmosphere
Dr William Gray, a pioneer in the science of seasonal hurricane
forecasts, told a packed lecture hall at the University of North
Carolina that humans were not responsible for the warming of the
His comments came on the same day that the Nobel committee
honoured Mr Gore for his work in support of the link between humans
and global warming.
"We're brainwashing our children," said Dr Gray, 78, a long-time
professor at Colorado State University. "They're going to the Gore
movie [An Inconvenient Truth] and being fed all this. It's
At his first appearance since the award was announced in Oslo,
Mr Gore said: "We have to quickly find a way to change the world's
consciousness about exactly what we're facing."
Mr Gore shared the Nobel prize with the United Nations climate
panel for their work in helping to galvanise international action
against global warming.
But Dr Gray, whose annual forecasts of the number of tropical
storms and hurricanes are widely publicised, said a natural cycle
of ocean water temperatures - related to the amount of salt in
ocean water - was responsible for the global warming that he
acknowledges has taken place.
However, he said, that same cycle meant a period of cooling
would begin soon and last for several years.
"We'll look back on all of this in 10 or 15 years and realise
how foolish it was," Dr Gray said.
During his speech to a crowd of about 300 that included
meteorology students and a host of professional meteorologists, Dr
Gray also said those who had linked global warming to the increased
number of hurricanes in recent years were in error.
He cited statistics showing there were 101 hurricanes from 1900
to 1949, in a period of cooler global temperatures, compared to 83
from 1957 to 2006 when the earth warmed.
"The human impact on the atmosphere is simply too small to have
a major effect on global temperatures," Dr Gray said.
He said his beliefs had made him an outsider in popular
"It bothers me that my fellow scientists are not speaking out
against something they know is wrong," he said. "But they also know
that they'd never get any grants if they spoke out. I don't care