Sherwood B. Idso

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Sherwood Idso
Born June 12, 1942 (1942-06-12) (age 76)
Thief River Falls, Minnesota
Residence United States
Nationality American
Alma mater University of Minnesota
Awards Arthur S. Flemming Award (1977), Petr Beckmann Award (2003)
Scientific career
Fields Climatology, Ecology, Soil Science
Institutions University of Minnesota,
U.S. Department of Agriculture,
Center for the Study of Carbon Dioxide and Global Change
Thesis The photosynthetic response of plants to their environment: a holocoenotic method of analysis (1967)

Sherwood B. Idso (born June 12, 1942)[1] is the president of the Center for the Study of Carbon Dioxide and Global Change,[2] a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that disputes the consensus scientific opinion on climate change. Previously he was a Research Physicist with the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Agricultural Research Service at the U.S. Water Conservation Laboratory in Phoenix, Arizona, where he worked since June 1967. He was also closely associated with Arizona State University over most of this period, serving as an Adjunct Professor in the Departments of Geology, Geography, and Botany and Microbiology. His two sons, Craig and Keith, are, respectively, the founder[3] and vice president[4] of the Center for the Study of Carbon Dioxide and Global Change.

Idso is the author or co-author of over 500 publications including the books Carbon Dioxide: Friend or Foe? (1982) and Carbon Dioxide and Global Change: Earth in Transition (1989). He served on the editorial board of the international journal Agricultural and Forest Meteorology from 1973 to 1993 and since 1993 has served on the editorial board of Environmental and Experimental Botany. Over the course of his career, he has been an invited reviewer of manuscripts for 56 different scientific journals and 17 different funding agencies, representing an unusually large array of disciplines. He is an ISI highly cited researcher.[5][6]

Early life and education[edit]

Sherwood Idso was born in Thief River Falls, Minnesota on June 12, 1942, where he lived until graduating from high school in 1960.[1] Idso then attended the Institute of Technology at the University of Minnesota, receiving a B.Phys. in Physics with distinction in 1964, followed by an M.S. in Soil Science (with a minor in Physics) in 1966 and then a Ph.D. in Soil Science (with a minor in Meteorology and Mechanical Engineering) in 1968.[1][6] His doctoral thesis was titled, The photosynthetic response of plants to their environment: a holocoenotic method of analysis.[7]

Climate science[edit]

In 1972, Idso published an article called "An American Haboob", in which he documented a large dust storm in Arizona which occurred on July 16, 1971, and which stretched from Tucson to Phoenix.[8][9]

In 1980, Idso published research which concluded that climate sensitivity was probably only about 0.3 °C.[10] The following year, he criticized NASA's global warming predictions, saying they were "about 10 times too great," adding that, in his view, global warming would have a beneficial effect on agriculture.[11]

In 1984, Idso, along with A.J. Brazel, published a study in Nature which concluded, contrary to a report the National Academy of Sciences released the previous year, that rising CO2 levels would increase streamflow.[12] The study's authors argued that the NAS report came to the opposite conclusion because it neglected the effect of rising CO2 levels on plants.[13]

In the 1997 book, Global Warming: The Science and the Politics Idso said: "I find no compelling reason to believe that the earth will necessarily experience any global warming as a consequence of the ongoing rise in the atmosphere's carbon dioxide concentration."[14]

In the 1998 paper, CO2-induced global warming: a skeptic's view of potential climate change Idso said: "Several of these cooling forces have individually been estimated to be of equivalent magnitude, but of opposite sign, to the typically predicted greenhouse effect of a doubling of the air’s CO2 content, which suggests to me that little net temperature change will ultimately result from the ongoing buildup of CO2 in Earth's atmosphere."[15]


  • 1977 - Arthur S. Flemming Award in recognition of "his innovative research into fundamental aspects of agricultural-climatological interrelationships affecting food production and the identification of achievable research goals whose attainment could significantly aid in assessment and improvement of world food supplies."[16][17]
  • 2003 - Petr Beckmann Award for "courage and achievement in defense of scientific truth and freedom."[18]
  • 2014 - Frederick Seitz Memorial Award (presented by Heartland Institute)

See also[edit]

Selected publications[edit]


  1. ^ a b c Kirkham, M.B. (2005). Principles of Soil and Plant Water Relations. Academic Press. p. 451. ISBN 0124097510. Retrieved 2012-08-18. 
  2. ^ "President". CO2 Science. 
  3. ^ Harkinson, Josh (4 December 2009). "No. 8: Center for the Study of Carbon Dioxide and Global Change (A.K.A. The Idso Family)". Mother Jones. Retrieved 15 March 2014. 
  4. ^ Vice President, CO2Science
  5. ^ "ISI Highly Cited: Sherwood B. Idso". Institute for Scientific Information. Retrieved July 23, 2010. 
  6. ^ a b "Idso, Sherwood B". ISI Archived from the original on September 29, 2007. 
  7. ^ Idso, Sherwood B. (1967). "The photosynthetic response of plants to their environment: a holocoenotic method of analysis". University of Minnesota. 
  8. ^ Idso, S. B.; Ingram, R. S.; Pritchard, J. M. (October 1972). "An American Haboob". Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society. 53 (10): 930–935. doi:10.1175/1520-0477(1972)053<0930:AAH>2.0.CO;2. 
  9. ^ Norman, Royal (11 May 2011). "An American Haboob Part 3". Archived from the original on 19 April 2014. Retrieved 17 April 2014. 
  10. ^ Idso, S. B. (28 March 1980). "The Climatological Significance of a Doubling of Earth's Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide Concentration". Science. 207 (4438): 1462–1463. Bibcode:1980Sci...207.1462I. doi:10.1126/science.207.4438.1462. PMID 17779615. 
  11. ^ Starr, Douglas (2 December 1981). "Is the world getting warmer?". Christian Science Monitor. Retrieved 25 March 2014. 
  12. ^ Idso, S. B.; Brazel, A. J. (1 November 1984). "Rising atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations may increase streamflow". Nature. 312 (5989): 51–53. Bibcode:1984Natur.312...51I. doi:10.1038/312051a0. 
  13. ^ Cowen, Robert C. (13 December 1984). "New CO[2] data undercuts dire prediction icecaps would melt. Chillier winters, hungrier bugs ahead?". Christian Science Monitor. Retrieved 27 March 2014. 
  14. ^ Jones, Laura (1997). Global Warming: The Science and the Politics. Fraser Institute. ISBN 0889751846. Archived from the original on 2002-09-02. 
  15. ^ Idso, Sherwood B. (1998). "CO2-induced global warming: a skeptic's view of potential climate change". Climate Research. 10 (1): 69–82. Bibcode:1998ClRes..10...69I. doi:10.3354/cr010069. 
  16. ^ "Arthur S. Fleming Award Recipients, 1948-2005". George Washington University. 
  17. ^ Kirkham, M.B. (2005). Principles of Soil and Plant Water Relations. Academic Press. 
  18. ^ "Doctors for Disaster Preparedness Newsletter". Doctors for Disaster Preparedness. July 2003. 

External links[edit]