RIP: Award-Winning Atmospheric Scientist Dr. Fred Singer Dies – Pioneering Scientist & The Dean of Climate Skeptical Scientists

By: - Climate DepotApril 7, 2020 8:35 AM

RIP Dr. S. Fred Singer – 1924-2020


Pioneering atmospheric physicist Dr. S. Fred Singer died on April 6, 2020. Singer was giant of a man, a renowned pioneering scientist, a prominent climate skeptic and perhaps the most influential skeptical scientist in the climate debate since the 1980s. Singer was a UN IPCC expert reviewer and repeatedly criticized the IPCC for its scientific methods and claims. Dr. Singer published more than 200 peer-reviewed papers in scientific journals and In 1997, NASA presented Dr. Singer with a commendation and cash award “for important contributions to space research.”

Flashback 2013: Climate Scientist Dr. Fred Singer: ‘My belief is the global warming scare will be over in the matter of a decade or so’

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Cheers! Flashback: Happy 90th Birthday to the Dean of Skeptics — Dr. Fred Singer! – ‘Very few have shaped the climate science debate and forced the unwanted discussion on climate change like Prof. S. Fred Singer has.’

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Marc Morano’s personal note: “I have known Fred Singer for almost two decades. He was as kind as he was brilliant. He had an encyclopedic acknowledge of people, facts, institutions, and science. I was honored to be his friend and attend Fred’s 95th birthday in the fall of 2019. In 2018, Craig Rucker and I presented Fred CFACT’s 2018  ‘DAUNTLESS Purveyor of Climate Truth’ Lifetime Achievement Award. I traveled with Fred to the UN Paris climate summit in 2015 and we met up at many international destinations to fight the UN’s corruption of climate science. My condolences to Fred’s family and my condolences the world of science. You lost a great one. Rest in Peace Fred, you earned it. Cheers to an honorable man of science and a life well-lived. You will be missed Fred.”

S. Fred Singer - Engineering and Technology History Wiki

Watch: Flashback 1990 CSPAN climate debate between Dr. Fred Singer & Greenpeace

Singer’s excerpted bio from The Heartland Institute’s webpage:

Dr. Singer, an atmospheric and space physicist, founded the Science and Environmental Policy Project (SEPP) and the Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change (NIPCC). He served as professor of environmental sciences at the University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA (1971–94); distinguished research professor at the Institute for Space Science and Technology, Gainesville, FL (1989–94); chief scientist, U.S. Department of Transportation (1987– 89); vice chairman of the National Advisory Committee for Oceans and Atmosphere (NACOA) (1981–86); deputy assistant administrator for policy, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (1970–71); deputy assistant secretary for water quality and research, U.S. Department of the Interior (1967– 70); founding dean of the School of Environmental and Planetary Sciences, University of Miami (1964–67); first director of the National Weather Satellite Service (1962–64); and director of the Center for Atmospheric and Space Physics, University of Maryland (1953–62).

Dr. Singer did his undergraduate work in electrical engineering at Ohio State University and holds a Ph.D. in physics from Princeton University.

Dr. Singer has published more than 200 technical papers in peer-reviewed scientific journals, including EOS: Transactions of the AGU, Journal of Meteorology and Atmospheric Physics, Science, Nature, Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, Geophysical Research Letters, and International Journal of Climatology. His editorial essays and articles have appeared in Cosmos, The Wall Street Journal, New York Times, New Republic, Newsweek, Journal of Commerce, Washington Times, Washington Post, and many other publications. His accomplishments have been featured in front-cover stories appearing in Time, Life, and U.S. News & World Report

Dr. Singer is author, coauthor, or editor of more than a dozen books and monographs, including Global Effects of Environmental Pollution (Reidel, 1970), Is There an Optimum Level of Population? (McGraw-Hill, 1971), Free Market Energy (Universe Books, 1984), Global Climate Change (Paragon House, 1989), The Greenhouse Debate Continued: An Analysis and Critique of the IPCC Climate Assessment (ICS Press, 1992), Hot Talk Cold Science: Global Warming’s Unfinished Debate (Independent Institute, 1997, 1999), Climate Policy: From Rio to Kyoto (Hoover Institution, 2000), Unstoppable Global Warming: Every 1,500 Years (Rowman & Littlefield, 2007, revised ed. 2008), Nature, Not Human Activity, Rules the Climate: The Summary for Policymakers of the Report of the Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change (Heartland Institute, 2008), Climate Change Reconsidered: The 2009 Report of the Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change (NIPCC), Climate Change Reconsidered: 2011 Interim Report; Climate Change Reconsidered II: Physical Science (2013), and Climate Change Reconsidered II: Biological Impacts (2014).

Dr. Singer is an elected Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), American Geophysical Union, American Physical Society, and American Institute for Aeronautics and Astronautics. He was elected to the AAAS Council and served on the Committee on Council Affairs, and as Section Secretary. In 1997, NASA presented Dr. Singer with a commendation and cash award “for important contributions to space research.”

Dr. Singer has given hundreds of lectures and seminars on global warming, including to the science faculties at Stanford University, University of California-Berkeley, California Institute of Technology, State University of New York-Stony Brook, University of South Florida-St. Petersburg, University of Connecticut, University of Colorado, Imperial College-London, Copenhagen University, University of Rome, and Tel Aviv University. He also has given invited seminars at Brookhaven National Laboratory, the Max Planck Institute for Extra-Terrestrial Physics in Munich, the Max Planck Institute for Meteorology in Hamburg, and the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colorado.

Dr. Singer has been a pioneer in many ways. At the Applied Physics Laboratory of Johns Hopkins University, he participated in the first experiments using high-altitude research rockets, measuring the energy spectrum of primary cosmic rays and the distribution of stratospheric ozone; he is generally credited with the discovery of the equatorial electrojet current flowing in the ionosphere. In academic science during the 1950s, he published the first studies on subatomic particles trapped in the Earth’s magnetic field: radiation belts, later discovered by James Van Allen.

Dr. Singer was the first to make the correct calculations for using atomic clocks in orbit, contributing to the verification of Einstein’s General Theory of Relativity and now essential in the GPS system of satellite navigation. He also designed satellites and instrumentation for remote sensing of the atmosphere and received a White House Presidential Commendation for this work.

In 1971, Dr. Singer calculated the anthropogenic contribution to atmospheric methane, an important greenhouse gas. He also predicted that methane, once reaching the stratosphere, would transform into water vapor, which could then deplete stratospheric ozone. A few years later, methane levels were indeed found to be rising, and the increase in stratospheric water vapor was confirmed in 1995.

Global Warming: Science, Economics, and some Moral Issues: What Al ...

Professor Singer Takes on Al Gore and Global Warming Alarmism

Singer came under constant attack for his rational scientific views on climate change by many in the media and climate activists. Below is a 2008 account of Singer and how he stood up to the personal smears.

Global Smearing

By Steven Milloy
March 27, 2008,

By any standard, atmospheric physicist Dr. S. Fred Singer is a remarkably accomplished scientist. But his outspoken questioning of global warming alarmism has just earned him one of the most outrageous mainstream media smear pieces I’ve ever seen.

ABC News reporter Dan Harris interviewed Singer for more than an hour at the recent International Climate Conference. From that interview, Harris produced a three-minute TV broadcast and Web site article that was about as fair and objective toward Singer as I might expect Greenpeace to be.

In fact, considering the activist group’s dominant role in Harris’ “report,” it seems that ABC News was merely the production company for a Greenpeace propaganda hit.

Harris’ piece starts out, “His fellow scientists call him a fraud, a charlatan and a showman, but Fred Singer calls himself ‘a realist.’” And just who are these “fellow scientists”? Harris didn’t identify them.

But I doubt anyone who knows anything about Singer could slander him like that in good conscience. Armed with a doctorate from Princeton University, Singer played a key role in the U.S. Navy’s development of countermeasures for mine warfare during World War II.

From there, Singer achieved fame in space science. Some of his major accomplishments include using rockets to make the first measurements of cosmic radiation in space along with James A. Van Allen (1947-50); designing the first instrument for measuring stratospheric ozone (1956); developing the capture theory for the origin of the Moon and Martian satellites (1966); calculating the increase in methane emissions due to population growth that is not key to global warming and ozone depletion theories (1971); and discovering orbital debris clouds with satellite instruments (1990).

Singer is exceedingly modest about his career. Although I have known him for more than a decade, I only inadvertently learned of his earlier achievements last year while reading “Sputnik: The Shock of the Century” (Walker & Company, 2007), which chronicles the development of the U.S. Space Program.

The book described Singer, along with Van Allen, as a “pioneer of space science.” The author also wrote, “America’s journey into space can arguably be traced to a gathering at James Van Allen’s house in Silver Spring, Maryland on April 5, 1950. The guest of honor was the eminent British geophysicist Sydney Chapman… The other guests were S. Fred Singer…”

Among his many prominent positions, Singer was the first director of the National Weather Satellite Center and the first dean of the University of Miami’s School of Environmental and Planetary Sciences. He’s also held many senior administrative positions at federal agencies, including the Environmental Protection Agency, Department of Transportation and Department of Interior.

Despite this illustrious bio, ABC News’ Harris apparently was too busy swallowing the Greenpeace caricature of Singer to do any research on the actual man.

In a letter to ABC News, Singer complained that “Dan Harris also referred to unnamed scientists from NASA, Princeton and Stanford, who pronounced what I do as ‘fraudulent nonsense’… They are easily identified as the well-known global warming zealots Jim Hansen, Michael Oppenheimer and Steve Schneider. They should be asked by ABC to put their money where their mouth is and have a scientific debate with me. I suspect they’ll chicken out. They surely know that the facts support my position — so they resort to anonymous slurs.”

Perhaps the most comical part of Harris’ hit piece is the Greenpeace contribution. In the eco-activist tradition of willful ignorance and ad hominem attack, Greenpeace’s Kert Davies said of Singer, “He’s kind of a career skeptic. He believes that environmental problems are all overblown and he’s made a career on being that voice.”

Right, Kert. Singer is just now making his career. And just who is Kert Davies, described by Harris as a “global warming specialist,” and what exactly qualifies him to pass any sort of judgment on Singer? I e-mailed Kert a request for his resume in order to learn precisely what a “global warming specialist” is. I received no response as of the writing of this column.

Singer’s eminent qualifications and lifetime of accomplishment are readily available on the Internet for all to see. What about Davies’ qualifications and accomplishments? I couldn’t find them on the Greenpeace Web site; I couldn’t find them through a Nexis search.

Is it possible that their Internet absence is indicative of their general nature? All that I could find out about Davies is that the media often has used quotes from him in the role of a spokesman for various eco-activist groups since the mid-1990s.

Worse than Davies is ABC News’ Harris. Although he didn’t need any particular qualifications or expertise to fairly report the interview with Singer other than perhaps some basic journalistic objectivity, he couldn’t even manage that as he allowed the distinguished Singer to be smeared by a rather undistinguished blowhard.

This column recently reported on another recent mainstream media effort to marginalize those who question global warming alarmism. It’s a fascinating phenomenon given that available scientific evidence on the all-important relationship between atmospheric carbon dioxide and global climate indisputably supports Singer’s point of view rather than the alarmists.

Apparently the activists have decided that since they can’t destroy the facts, they’ll instead try to destroy anyone who dares mention them.

Steven Milloy publishes and He is a junk science expert, advocate of free enterprise and an adjunct scholar at the Competitive Enterprise Institute.