Yuri A. Izrael (born 1930 in Russia) was a vice-chairman of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) until September 2008, when the new bureau was elected. He was the "most influential scientific adviser" for Vladimir Putin, the former president of Russia, according to CNN.
Izrael is a former chairman of the Committee for Hydrometeorology. He also served as director of the Institute of Global Climate and Ecology, which is a part of the Russian Academy of Sciences. He was a former first vice-president of the World Meteorological Organization and helped develop World Weather Watch.
Views on the Kyoto Protocol
Izrael believes the Kyoto Protocol, an international treaty aimed at reducing global greenhouse gas emissions, is not scientifically supported and damaging for the Russian economy, stating, "the Kyoto Protocol is overly expensive, ineffective and based on bad science."
Views on global warming
Izrael has stated, "climate change is obvious, but science has not yet been able to identify the causes of it," and, "there is no proven link between human activity and global warming." This seems to contrast the IPCC conclusion that "most of the observed increase in globally averaged temperatures since the mid-20th century is very likely [confidence level >90%] due to the observed increase in anthropogenic [human] greenhouse gas concentrations."
Izrael agrees with the IPCC predictions for future climate change, stating, "Global temperatures will likely rise by 1.4-5.8 degrees during the next 100 years. The average increase will be three degrees. I do not think that this threatens mankind. Sea levels, due to rise by 47 cm in the 21st century, will not threaten port cities." He also states, "I think the panic over global warming is totally unjustified. There is no serious threat to the climate," and, "There is no need to dramatize the anthropogenic impact, because the climate has always been subject to change under Nature's influence, even when humanity did not even exist." Additionally, he does not believe the 0.6 °C (1.08 °F) rise in temperature observed in the last 100 years is a threat, stating, "there is no scientifically sound evidence of the negative processes that allegedly begin to take place at such temperatures."
Instead of decreasing carbon dioxide, he argues, aerosol injections in to the stratosphere would be a more effective way to mitigate global warming. He appears to favor adaption over mitigation, arguing, "The people of Bangladesh, who live at sea level, may face problems if the Indian Ocean rises. Still, their resettlement would be much cheaper than projected Kyoto Protocol expenses."
Izrael was chairman of the State Committee on Hydrometeorology (Goskomgidromet) at the time of the Chernobyl nuclear accident. Following the accident he was widely criticized for slow and inaccurate monitoring. He was also criticized for allowing air pollution throughout the USSR to reach unprecedented levels. In a 2004 article published in Nature, Quirin Schiermeier and Bryon MacWilliams referred to him as a "fossil communist fighting for fossil fuel."
- Global warming controversy
- Scientists opposing the mainstream scientific assessment of global warming
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