Yuri Antonovich Izrael (Russian: Юрий Антониевич Израэль; 15 May 1930, Tashkent – 23 January 2014, Moscow) 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 was 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 first vice-president of the World Meteorological Organization and helped develop the World Weather Watch.
In 1992, Izrael won the International Meteorological Organization Prize and the UNEP Sasakawa Environment Prize for, among other accomplishments, contributing to the "success of Working Group I I" of the IPCC.
Views on the Kyoto Protocol
Izrael believed 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 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." Which was a statement seemingly made in stark contrast to 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 agreed 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 did 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 argued, aerosol injections in to the stratosphere would be a more effective way to mitigate global warming. He appeared 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
- "Summary of the 29th session of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change". Earth Negotiations Bulletin. International Institute for Sustainable Development – Reporting Services Division. Retrieved 2009-12-24.
- "Report of the 29th session of the IPCC" (PDF). Meeting Documentation. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Retrieved 2009-12-24.
- Novak, Robert (2003-10-16). "The Russian didn't bark". CNN. Retrieved 2007-05-25.
- "The Achievements of the Laureates". UNEP Sasakawa Environment Prize (1992). United Nations Environment Programme. 2004. Retrieved 2007-05-25.
- "Academician Izrael: Kyoto Protocol economically hazardous to Russi". RIA Novosti. 2004-07-17. Archived from the original on 2007-06-21. Retrieved 2007-05-25.
- "Global Warming Shakeup in Moscow. Scientific Conference Signals Sea Change in Climate Debate" (cfm). Competitive Enterprise Institute. 2003-10-09. Retrieved 2007-05-25.
- Sinitsina, Tatyana (2005-07-05). "The G8 weather report". RIA Novosti. Retrieved 2007-05-25.
- Izrael, Yuri A. (2005-06-23). "Climate change: not a global threat". RIA Novosti. Retrieved 2007-05-25.
- "Summary for Policymakers" (PDF). Climate Change 2007: The Physical Science Basis. Contribution of Working Group I to the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. 2007-02-05. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2007-02-03. Retrieved 2007-02-02.
- Izrael, Yuri (2007-04-18). "Climate: putting panic in perspective". RIA Novosti. Retrieved 2007-05-25.
- Robinson, Nicholas A. (January 1989). "Soviet Environmental Protection: The Challenge for Legal Studies" (PDF). Pace Environmental Law Review 7: 117–150. Retrieved 2008-02-14.
- Schiermeier, Quirin; MacWilliams, Bryon (2004-09-01). "Climate change: Crunch time for Kyoto". Nature 431 (7004): 12–13. doi:10.1038/431012a. PMID 15343303. Retrieved 2008-02-14.