Ben Santer elected AGU fellow

No mention if he threatened to “beat the crap out of” the judges /sarc

Ben Santer

From Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory

Ben Santer is a man with a lot of accolades under his belt: A recipient of the MacArthur “genius” grant; an E.O.Lawrence Award; a Department of Energy Office of Biological and Environmental Research (BER) Distinguished Scientist Fellowship; contributor to all four assessment reports of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), an organization that shared the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize with former Vice President Al Gore; and now an American Geophysical Union fellowship.

But he’d give all the awards up if it meant he could present his research on human-induced climate change to a patient audience — an audience that would listen to all the facts before making judgments about reality of a “discernible human influence” on climate.

Human-induced climate change is likely to be one of the major environmental problems of the 21st century, and effective policies to mitigate human effects on climate will require sound scientific information.

Providing that information is what climate scientist Santer continues doing as the Laboratory’s winner of the AGU fellowship.

Santer, an expert in the climate change research community, has worked in the Laboratory’s Program for Climate Model Diagnosis and Intercomparison (PCMDI) for nearly 20 years, and is a frequent contributor to congressional hearings on the science of climate change. He credits his success to the exceptional scientists he collaborated with at LLNL. “The best reward (award) is working together with great colleagues.”

In 1996, his chapter of the IPCC’s Second Assessment Report came to the cautious but then-controversial conclusion that the “balance of evidence suggests a discernible human influence on global climate.”

From that point on, it has been an uphill battle for Santer to show that climate models do, in fact, replicate many different observations of climate change, and that models can serve as a valuable tool for understanding the climate changes likely to occur over the 21st century. “Ideally, governments will use the best-available scientific information to make rational decisions on appropriate policy responses to the climate change problem,” Santer said.” My colleagues and I have the job of providing that information. The AGU fellowship gives me encouragement to continue PCMDI’s research into the nature and causes of climate change, and to continue explaining what we do, what we’ve learned and why our work matters.”

Only one in a thousand members is elected to AGU fellowship each year. Santer is one of six LLNL employees who have been elected an AGU fellow. Rick Ryerson, Bill Durham, Al Duba, Joyce Penner and Hugh Heard are the others.

Santer will receive his award at the December 2011 Fall AGU Meeting in San Francisco.

Santer’s achievements include:

  • Pioneering use of novel pattern-based statistical techniques, called “fingerprint” methods, to identify the effects of human-caused changes in greenhouse gases and sulfate aerosol particles in observational surface temperature records.
  • Analysis of atmospheric temperatures, water vapor, and the height of the stratosphere-troposphere boundary, showing that accurate model simulations of climate change require inclusion of radiative forcing from human activities.
  • Contributions to the Scientific Assessment Reports of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the U.S. Climate Change Science Program, and the U.S. National Academy of Sciences.


UPDATE: Steve McIntyre passes on this video link, featuring Dr. Ben Santer, to us in comments. Surely this must have been the work that wowed the AGU?

BTW if you want some real science, rather than “Santer Cartoon Science” regarding the snowpack loss on Kilimanjaro, try these:

Kilimanjaro regaining its snow cap

More proof that Kilimanjaro’s problems are man-made; but not what some think it is


newest oldest most voted
Notify of

Did you forget the /sarc tag on this post?

Bernd Felsche

As a practicing demi-god, he should be satisfied with virtual accolades from within the virtual worlds that he nurtures.
To quote Monty Python:

It’s only a model.


and you are?


may your children weep

And an honorary member of Backslappers Anonymous.

As an aspiring scientist myself, I look to Ben Santer as my anti-role model. Of all the climategate e-mails, his were the worst of the lot.

Pamela Gray

I’ve been privy to the spectacle of seeing all kinds of accolades being directed to first class jerks. And have sometimes been at the receiving end of “jerk” intelligence and their special kind of superiority. It seems to be a fact of life that those who find being a jerk a rewarding way of life also tend to be at the top of a pile.
What kind of pile it happens to be I leave up to the imagination of the reader.

Erik Anderson says:
“…I look to Ben Santer as my anti-role model. Of all the climategate e-mails, his were the worst of the lot.”
True dat. Santer is a real vermin, one of the most despicable Climategate worms. This is a real indictment of the formerly great AGU, which has sold its soul to Mammon.


The AGU is being hijacked completely by the AGW promoters.

Frank K.

Well…it IS the AGU…they take care of their own.
After reading Santer’s “contributions” to the climategate e-mails, I have absolutely NO respect for the man. He apparently acts like a juvenile punk in front of the colleagues he purports to enjoy working with…

The old saying comes to mind “It’s who you know, not what you know” and at the same time, being well funded makes all the difference, doesn’t it!

John Blake

Santer remains a blinkered ideologue, concerned not to promote objective scientific inquiry but to make his Green Gang bones preparatory to foisting willfully ruinous damage on coal, oil, nuclear energy economies in Gaia’s name.
Whatever Luddite sociopathology drives climate cultists to sabotage human ease-and-comfort at every opportunity, Santer exhibits it in spades. Like Briffa, Hansen, Jones, Mann, Trenberth et al. he is complicit in the most massive, savagely destructive fraud in human history. Would-be commissars and gauleiters may cloak themselves with normative personae, but like Saleth Sar aka Pol Pot they are essentially Thanatist fanatics who want you dead.


They are just after money which is why people like Ben Santer gets support and rise to the top. Like lawyers that chase ambulances. Banksters that chase sub-prime loans. AGU is largely headed by academics and the ones at the top are as greedy a bunch as any other.
In the late 70’s and 80’s AGU was all about monitoring the nuclear test ban treaty. I know because I was there. Hundreds of millions in research money went in to it and this kept many academics on the gray train.
…follow the money.

Dr. Dave

I’m sorry, but I have nothing but utter contempt for Ben Santer. He admitted he went back and re-wrote portions of the IPCC report so that it was consistent with the polemic. His work is in the fantasy-land of computer modeling. On top of that he proffered to “beat the crap” out of Patrick Michaels. Why doesn’t he pick on someone his own age? Might I suggest Joe Bastardi in a cage match to the death? Should be a short bout…
I have good friends that work at Sandia National Labs and Los Alamos National Lab. Both have told me that Lawrence Livermore is where the nut jobs are housed.

Tim Ball

Santer was a graduate of the Climatic Research Unit (CRU) at East Anglia and figures prominently in the leaked emails of Climategate. Ironically, his doctoral thesis was from CRU, I believe under the supervision of Tom Wigley, on the inability of computer models to recreate the pressure patterns of the North Atlantic. The region was chosen because it had the best and most comprehensive weather records. Despite this it created large pressure patterns that simply don’t exist. This didn’t stop him, with other IPCC members, convincing the world that the IPCC models worked and their output were valid as the basis for globally changing climate and energy policies.
His involvement with the 1995 IPCC Report “Chapter 8” fiasco was an early warning signal of what was going on within the IPCC through members of the CRU. Fred Singer and a few others were vigorously attacked for daring to speak out.
The original Chapter 8 draft submitted by Santer and approved by the group didn’t have specific evidence of a human signal
“Finally we have come to the most difficult question of all: “When will the detection and unambiguous attribution of human-induced climate change occur?” In the light of the very large signal and noise uncertainties discussed in the Chapter, it is not surprising that the best answer to this question is, “We do not know.”
This was changed by Santer to accommodate the SPM to read,
“The body of statistical evidence in Chapter 8, when examined in the context of our physical understanding of the climate system, now points toward a discernible human influence on global climate.”
Here is how Singer and Avery explain the situation in their book.
“The IPCC’s Climate Change 1995 was reviewed by its consulting scientists in late 1995. The “Summary for Policy Makers” was approved in December, and the full report, including chapter 8, was accepted. However, after the printed report appeared in May 1996, the scientific reviewers discovered that major changes had been made “in the back room” after they had signed off on the science chapter’s contents. Santer, despite the shortcomings of the scientific evidence, had inserted strong endorsements of man-made warming in chapter 8 (of which he was the IPCC-appointed lead author):”
Other problems included the claim that the chapter was based on 130 peer-reviewed studies, but the actual chapter was primarily based on two papers by Santer. It was a precedent for the later dominance by lead authors of their chapter and what is put in the Summary for PolicyMakers (SPM)
Santer also deleted the following statements from the approved draft.
“None of the studies cited above has shown clear evidence that we can attribute the observed [climate] changes to the specific cause of increases in greenhouse gases.”
· “While some of the pattern-base studies discussed here have claimed detection of a significant climate change, no study to date has positively attributed all or part [of the climate change observed] to [man-made] causes. Nor has any study quantified the magnitude of a greenhouse gas effect or aerosol effect in the observed data – an issue of primary relevance to policy makers.”
· “Any claims of positive detection and attribution of significant climate change are likely to remain controversial until uncertainties in the total natural variability of the climate system are reduced.”
· “While none of these studies has specifically considered the attribution issue, they often draw some attribution conclusions, for which there is little justification.”
· “When will an anthropogenic effect on climate be identified? It is not surprising that the best answer to this question is, `We do not know. “‘
At the time they were able to brush the incident under the rug because very few knew what was going on. Fred Singer knew and I knew, which is why I was honoured to share the stage with him at the First Heartland Conference in New York in 2008. But even that was before ClimateGate occurred and sceptics were the subject of the machinations of the CRU gang revealed in the emails and through RealClimate.
How much longer will such behaviour be rewarded?

Gerald Machnee

Reminds me of the Nobel Peace Prize and Gore & Co.

So, Ben “The Power of Poop” Santer would give all the awards up if it meant he could present his research on human-induced climate change to a patient audience — an audience that would listen to all the facts before making judgments about reality of a “discernible human influence” on climate.
Once again, it’s just a communication problem. All we need to do is hear Ben out and be reasonable. Frankly, I don’t see any sign that the warmists are backing off… they’re doubling down. Santer just got another coat of whitewash.


LOL. They should also award him the Nobel peace prize, to emphasize how shallow and political these “prizes” are these days. What is funny an ironic is that NOBODY is fooled by all this crap!

Frank K.

By the way, here’s a story which illustrates how “effective” Santer and his ilk have been in convincing the world that their fantasies are real:
Gallup: Majority of Human Race Does Not See Global Warming as Serious Threat
Monday, April 25, 2011
By Terence P. Jeffrey
( – Most of the human race does not see global warming as a serious threat, according to a Gallup poll released last week that surveyed individuals in 111 countries.


…an expert in the climate change research community…

Wow, a whole “community” … “expert in climate change research” … isn’t that like being an expert in palm reading? Or perhaps ghost hunting? Astrology maybe? Expert of horoscopes?


harvey says:
April 25, 2011 at 7:06 pm

may your children weep

No, all of my children are old enough (ages from 19 to 32) to be LAUGHING at what these AGW acolytes spew.
Can I ask you just one question for starters: Have you actually read Gore’s “An Inconvient Truth”? Read it and understood it, that is? And you’re not laughing too??

Any folks here members of the AGU? Care to write a joint letter of resignation?

Bill Hunter

Santer should give up his awards as he could publish his proof on the internet and a patient audience will find him. But I guess he isn’t genius enough to figure that out.

Such awards are like hemorrhoids .
So or later, every a$$hole gets one.


In the not too distant past I spent many years on scientific advisory committees for LLNL. I never met or encountered this fellow, but he embarrasses me and, I think, the Livermore Laboratory which, despite what some of you must think, ordinarily maintains the highest standards for scientific research.
A lot of the blame for this scientific denigration goes back to Washington, of course, and, in particular, to Steve Chu and his cohort. What used to be outstanding DOE laboratories are being systematically gutted to advance the “climate” agenda (LBNL, of which Chu was Director, is the most glaring case). Sadly, they don’t have to compel most of the “scientists” in these laboratories; they go where the money and the accolades are. But I do emphasize “sadly”.

Steve McIntyre

Everyone should have resigned when this happened to Willie Soon and Dave Legates. The AGU has jumped the shark.

@ Tim Ball –
At the time they were able to brush the incident under the rug because very few knew what was going on.
I knew because my wife was the admin assistant to Dr Bob White at the time. And the shock wave that ran through AMS was a tsunami. She came home in shock that night because she couldn’t believe that scientists were that dishonest. A LOT of scientists withdrew their names from that report, but the IPCC issued it anyway.
This was one of my many motivations in becoming a skeptic.


The warmists are desperate. Their livelyhood is at stake and they won’t go quietly. We are witnessing the last thrashings of the defeated beast.
The bad news is that the beast won’t die completely. Just like it infiltrated and took over the environmental movement after the collapse of the Soviet Union, it’ll find another victim where it will plant it’s parasitic maggots and live on.
I wonder whose next?
my guess: Obesity


“Little head – little wit.
Big head – not a bit.”


[snip – funny but over the top]

Steve McIntyre says:
April 25, 2011 at 8:44 pm

How old is that cartoon? Don’t they know it’s now called ‘climate change’?
/Mr Lynn


@McIntyre – well, I’m at a loss for words after watching that vid. So wrong on so many levels…

Steve Oregon

I made it a little over 2 minutes till I had to stop that Ben cartoon.
I’d like to know how long you made it the first time you watched it.
Did you go back and finish watching over several attmeps?

John F. Hultquist

Steve McIntyre . . . PRESENTS
by Hippoworks —- Stop Global . . . Intro by Ben Santer
That was cruel, Steve. A warning next time would be appropriate.
And, yes, I know Santer is one of your “favorite” people.
I managed to watch about 3 minutes of that . . . You don’t want to know the rest of what I’m thinking.

Doug in Seattle

jae says:
April 25, 2011 at 8:03 pm
LOL. They should also award him the Nobel peace prize, to emphasize how shallow and political these “prizes” are these days. What is funny an ironic is that NOBODY is fooled by all this crap!

I wish that were true, but unfortunately these guys are the close advisers (modern day viziers?) to those who now run most of the western world.


[snip – over the top]

Jay Curtis

The only award this guy needs is an Oscar for “Best Supporting Actor.”

Dr. Dave

Golly! Thanks so much to Steve McIntyre for sharing Ben Santer’s more erudite works with us. What a cartoon!


Thanks Tim Ball. I did not realise that Santer was yet another graduate of East Anglia who is tied up the scam. One day a good investigative journalist will dig deep into the history of the CRU and find out what really went on the late 1970’s and 80’s over there.
Maybe Donna Laframboise could have a go at it.


Pamela Gray says:
April 25, 2011 at 7:16 pm
I’ve been privy to the spectacle of seeing all kinds of accolades being directed to first class jerks. And have sometimes been at the receiving end of “jerk” intelligence and their special kind of superiority. It seems to be a fact of life that those who find being a jerk a rewarding way of life also tend to be at the top of a pile. What kind of pile it happens to be I leave up to the imagination of the reader.
One of the many reasons I love Pamela Gray. Well said.
Norfolk, VA, USA

David Archibald

The good news just keeps on coming. I will nominate for the Prime Minister’s Prizes for Science:
First prize is A$300,000 (US$321,000) and a gold medallion. I like both those things.
What will win it for me is that I have been credited (paper in press in an astrophysics journal) for discovery of the use of solar cycle length to predict climate.


After reading Santer’s email where he says he’d like to meet Pat Michaels in a dark alley, and watching his incredibly pathetic cartoons, I’m sickened to see AGU offer him anything beyond an invitation to grow up.
What I think he is deserving of is an invitation to Bully Beatdown.


Santer’s achievements include:
Pioneering use of novel pattern-based statistical techniques, called “fingerprint” methods, to identify the effects of human-caused changes in greenhouse gases and sulfate aerosol particles in observational surface temperature records.

And after 2 decades of manipulating the hotspot is still missing. Where is it Ben? Or is it just a figment of your over active imagination?
I don’t deny climate change, I know climate changes

Ben Santer to Phil Jones on Wed, 25 Apr 2007 at 16:58:29 -0700:
“I looked at some of the stuff on the Climate Audit web site. I’d really
like to talk to a few of these “Auditors” in a dark alley.”

An exquisitely professional stance.

Martin Brumby

@Steve McIntyre says: April 25, 2011 at 8:44 pm
Yeah, Steve. That one sums up Ben Santer.
“The Power of Poop”.

Phillip Bratby

The manipulations showing what can be done to become a fellow of the AGU were revealed in Climategate emails (slightly edited for clarity). All you have to do is get the help of a few buddies and manipulate a bit of data. It’s just routine for these dishonest guys such as Mann, Jones and Santer:
December 4, 2007: email 1196872660

By the way, I am still looking into nominating you for an American Geophysical Union award; I’ve been told that the Ewing medal wouldn’t be the right one. Let me know if you have any particular options you’d like me to investigate…
As for the American Geophysical Union—just getting one of their Fellowships would be fine.
I will look into the American Geophysical Union Fellowship situation as soon as possible.

June 2, 2008: email 1212435868

Hi Phil,
This is coming along nicely. I’ve got five very strong supporting letter writers lined up to support your American Geophysical Union Fellowship nomination (confidentially: Ben Santer, Tom Karl, Jean Jouzel, and Lonnie Thompson have all agreed; I’m waiting to hear back from one more individual; the maximum is six letters, including mine as nominator).
Meanwhile, if you can pass along the following information that is needed for the nomination package, that would be very helpful. Thanks in advance!

June 8, 2008: email 1212924720

Hi Phil,
I’m continuing to work on your nomination package to be awarded a Fellowship of the American Geophysical Union (here in my hotel room in Trieste—the weather isn’t any good!). If it’s possible for a case to be too strong, we may have that here! Lonnie is also confirmed as supporting letter writer, along with Kevin, Ben, Tom K, and Jean J. (Four of the five are already American Geophysical Union Fellows, which I’m told is important! Surprisingly, Ben is not yet, nor am I. But David Thompson is (quite young for one of these). I’m guessing that Mike Wallace and Susan Solomon might have had something to do with that (wink).
Anyway, I wanted to check with you on two things:
1. One thing that people sometimes like to know is the maximum value of “N”, where “N” is the number of papers an individual authored or co-authored that have more than N citations. A level of N = 40 (i.e., an individual has published at least 40 papers that have each been cited at least 40 times) is supposedly an important threshold for admission in the United States National Academy of Sciences. I’m guessing your N is significantly greater than that, and it would be nice to cite that if possible. Would you mind figuring out that number and sending it to me—I think it would be useful in really sealing the case.
2. Would you mind considering a minor revision of your two-page bibliography? In my nomination letter, I’m trying to underscore the diverse areas where you’ve made major contributions … For example, your early Nature papers with Wigley… in 1980 and 1981 seem to be among the earliest efforts to try to do this (though I don’t have copies of the papers, so can’t read them!), and that seems very much worth highlighting to me.
Also, if you happen to have copies of the two early Wigley papers, or even just the text for the Abstracts, it would be great to have a little more detail about those papers so I can appropriately work them into the narrative of my letter.

June 11, 2008: email 1213201481

On point 1, this is what people call the H index. I’ve tried working this out, and there is software for it on the Web of Science website.
The problem is my surname. I get a number of 62 if I just use the software, but I have too many papers. I then waded through and deleted those in journals I’d never heard of and got 52. I think this got rid of some biologist from the 1970s and 1980s, so go with 52.
I don’t have soft copies of the early papers. I won’t be able to do anything for a few days either. When do you want this in, by the way?
OK—thanks, I’ll just go with the H = 62. That is an impressive number and almost certainly higher than the vast majority of American Geophysical Union Fellows.
I’ll … send you a copy of my nominating letter for comment and suggestions when I am done.
Also—can you provide one or two sentences about the 1980 and 1981 Nature articles with Wigley so that I might be able to work this briefly into the narrative of my letter?
The 1980 and 1981 papers: I don’t have soft copies.
I did look a while ago to see if Nature had back-scanned these papers, but they hadn’t.
Is the above enough? I have hard copies of these two papers—in Norwich.
Thanks, Phil—yes, that’s perfect. I just wanted to have some idea of the paper; that’s more than enough information. I wouldn’t bother worrying about scanning in, etc.
I should have a draft letter for you to comment on within a few days or so, after I return from Trieste.

June 14, 2008: email 1213882741

Hi Phil,
I’ve attached a copy of my nomination letter. I just want to make sure I’ve got all my facts right—please let me know if there is anything I’ve gotten wrong or should be changed. I would be shocked is this doesn’t go through—you’re a no-brainer, and long overdue for this.
I’ve got letters from three of the five other letter writers now; I am waiting on the two last ones, and then will submit the package.
This is fine. …
Another thanks for putting this all togther.
I am waiting on two more letters, then I’ll send in the package to the American Geophysical Union. Should be a no-brainer!

January 29, 2009: email 1233249393

Jones to Santer:
I heard during the International Detection and Attribution Group meeting that I’ve been made an American Geophysical Union Fellow. I will likely have to go to Toronto to the Spring American Geophysical Union meeting to collect it. I hope I don’t see a certain person (McIntyre) there! I have to get out of a keynote talk I’m due to give in Finland the same day!

May 16, 2009: email 1242749575

Mann to Jones:
On a completely unrelated note, I was wondering if you, perhaps in tandem with some of the other usual suspects, might be interested in returning the favor (of being awarded a Fellowship of the American Geophysical Union) this year (wink)?
I’ve looked over the current list of American Geophysical Union Fellows, and it seems to me that there are quite a few who have gotten in (e.g. Kurt Cuffey, Amy Clement, and many others) who aren’t as far along as me in their careers, so I think I ought to be a strong candidate.
Anyway, I don’t want to pressure you in any way, but if you think you’d be willing to help organize, I would naturally be much obliged. Perhaps you could convince Ray or Malcolm to take the lead? The deadline looks as if it is again July 1 this year.
I’m looking forward to catching up with you some time soon, probably at some exotic location of Henry’s choosing (wink).
I’ll email Ray and Malcolm. I’d be happy to contribute.
Thanks much, Phil.
Have gotten replies—they’re both happy to write supporting letters, but both are too busy to take it on this year. One suggested waiting till next year. Malcolm is supporting one other person this year. I’d be happy to do it next year, so I can pace it over a longer period. Malcolm also said that (skeptic Fred) Singer had an American Geophysical Union Fellowship!
Thanks much, Phil,
That sounds good. So why don’t we wait until next round (June 2010) on this then. That will give everyone an opportunity to get their ducks in a row. Plus I’ll have one more Nature and one more Science paper on my resume by then (more about that soon!). I’ll be sure to send you a reminder sometime next May or so!


Thank you Steve McIntyre, there went 3.09 minutes of my life that I could probably do with later on. I lasted till the song started before starting to shout at the puter screen.

Mike McMillan

A recipient of the MacArthur “genius” grant
To paraphrase the late Patrick Moynihan, they’re ‘dumbing genius down.’ Unlike the genius Barack Obama Hillary Clinton Michael Mann Joe Romm, Santer didn’t make the National Merit Scholar cut in high school.

Did Mann get his own desired AGU fellowship as payback having worked so hard orchestrating the usual suspects’ nominations for Dr Phil ?
It would be another travesty if he had. Interesting to see how its done. The Mann’s careerism comes shining through, doesn’t it?