Nir Shaviv

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Nir Shaviv
Nir Shaviv YulongMtn2009.jpg
Nir Shaviv, 2009
Born (1972-07-06) July 6, 1972 (age 42)
Ithaca, New York
Nationality Israeli American
Fields Astrophysics
Institutions Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Influences Jan Veizer
Henrik Svensmark

Nir Joseph Shaviv (Hebrew: ניר יוסף שביב‎, born July 6, 1972) is an IsraeliAmerican physics professor, carrying out research in the fields of astrophysics and climate science. He is a professor at the Racah Institute of Physics of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem,[1] and also the head of the national coordinating council of faculty unions in Israel.

He is best known for his solar and cosmic-ray hypothesis of climate change. In 2002, Shaviv hypothesised that passages through the Milky Way's spiral arms appear to have been the cause behind the major ice-ages over the past billion years. In his later work, co-authored by Jan Veizer, a low upper limit was placed on the climatic effect of CO

His best known contribution to the field of astrophysics was to demonstrate that the Eddington luminosity is not a strict limit,[3] namely, that astrophysical objects can be brighter than the Eddington luminosity without blowing themselves apart. This is achieved through the development of a porous atmosphere that allows the radiation to escape while exerting little force on the gas. The theory was correctly used to explain the mass-loss in Eta Carinae's giant eruption, and the evolution of classical nova eruptions.[citation needed]

Shaviv was interviewed for The Great Global Warming Swindle documentary. In the film he states:

In 2012, he contributed, along with Werner Weber, Henrik Svensmark and Nicola Scafetta, to the book Die kalte Sonne. Warum die Klimakatastrophe nicht stattfindet (The Cold Sun) of Fritz Vahrenholt and Sebastian Lüning, a book expressing skepticism of anthropogenic global warming, which attracted considerable interest in Germany.[5]

Solar variation[edit]

Shaviv’s solar hypothesis has been disputed by Mike Lockwood and Claus Froehlich in an analysis of the sun’s output over the last 25 years. They argue that the sun’s activity has been decreasing since 1985 while global temperatures have continued to rise.[6]

Shaviv argues that Lockwood and Froehlich's analysis is flawed for a number of reasons.[7] Firstly, while sunspot activity declined after 1985, cosmic ray flux reached a minimum in 1992 and contributed to warming during the 1990s. Secondly, Shaviv argues that short term variations in radiative forcing are damped by the oceans, leading to a lag between changes in solar output and the effect on global temperatures. While the 2001 maximum was weaker than the 1990 maximum, increasing solar activity during previous decades was still having a warming effect, not unlike the lag between noon and the hottest hour of the day.


Shaviv studied, during 1987–90, physics at the Israel Institute of Technology in Haifa and finished his BA as best in class. During his military service (1990–93) he continued his studies 1992 and co-authored his first papers in astrophysics. In 1994 he received a Master of Science in physics and a doctorate during 1994–96. During 1996–99 he was Lee DuBridge Prize Fellow at Caltechs TAPIR (Theoretical Astrophysics Group). During 1999–2001 he was in a postdoctorate position at the university of Toronto, and 2001–6 was senior lecturer at Racah Institute of physics at University of Jerusalem.


  • 1996 Wolf foundation award for excellence as PhD student
  • 1996 Lee A. DuBridge scholarship at Caltech
  • 2000 Beatrice Tremaine scholarship in Toronto
  • 2004 Siegfried Samuel Wolf lecture for nuclear physics

Selected papers[edit]

Lectures (Selection)[edit]

  • Shaviv, Nir J (August 2003), "Climate Change and the Cosmic Ray Connection", International Seminar on Nuclear War and Planetary Emergencies – 30thsession, Erice, Italy: Ed. R. Ragaini, World Scientific  (invited)

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Prof Nir Joseph Shaviv (personal world wide web site), Recah Institute of Physics, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, retrieved 2007-04-18 
  2. ^ ————————; Veizer, Jan (2007-04-19), Celestial driver of Phanerozoic climate (PDF), Geological Society of America, S. 4–10 .
  3. ^ ———————— (September 2000), Research Summary and Goals, CA: U Toronto, retrieved 2008-04-23 
  4. ^ Martin Durkin (director) (March 8, 2007), The Great Global Warming Swindle (Documentary), United Kingdom: WAGtv for Channel 4, event occurs at 2min23–2min31 
  5. ^ Fritz Vahrenholt, Sebastian Lüning: Die kalte Sonne. Warum die Klimakatastrophe nicht stattfindet. Hoffmann und Campe, Hamburg 2012, ISBN 3-455-50250-4.
  6. ^ "Solar activity cleared of global warming blame", The Age, Australia, 2007-07-11 .
  7. ^ Nir Shaviv: Why is Lockwood and Fröhlich meaningless? (blog), Google, 2007‐7  .

External links[edit]