New Harvard Study Proves Exxon Scientists Far Superior at Predicting Climate than the IPCC or James Hansen


I’m sure Russell Cook will have lots to say about this study. I can’t wait. I’m sure their blatant attempt at sophistry was not meant to reach the conclusion in my title. Emphasis mine below.~cr

New Harvard study puts a number on what ‘Exxon knew’ decades ago about climate science

Peer-Reviewed Publication


Exxon/Mobil's projected/observed temperature change

Cambridge, MA  Climate projections reported by ExxonMobil scientists between 1977 and 2003 were accurate and skillful in predicting subsequent global warming and contradicted the company’s public claims, a new Harvard study shows.

In the first ever systematic assessment of the fossil fuel industry’s climate projections, researchers at Harvard University and the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research have put a number on what ‘Exxon knew’ decades ago about climate science: that fossil fuel burning would lead to 0.20 ± 0.04 degrees Celsius of global warming per decade. 

The findings, published in the peer-reviewed journal Science and summarized by a single chart displaying every global warming projection reported by Exxon and ExxonMobil Corp scientists between 1977 and 2003, are based on statistical analyses of never-previously reported data buried in the company’s own documents. 

Although it has been widely reported that Exxon has known about the threat of global warming since the 1970s, this study is the first quantitative review of the company’s early climate science. Previous research focused on Exxon’s inconsistent internal and external rhetoric on climate change. This report dives into company data revealing that the company knew how much warming would occur with startling accuracy.

“We find that most of their projections accurately forecast warming consistent with subsequent observations,” the report concludes. “Their projections were also consistent with, and at least as skillful as, those of independent academic and government models.”

Using established IPCC statistical techniques, the study finds that 63-83% of global warming projections reported by ExxonMobil scientists were consistent with subsequently observed temperatures. Moreover, projections modeled by ExxonMobil scientists had an average ‘skill score’ of 72 ± 6 %, with the highest scoring 99%. For comparison, NASA scientist Dr. James Hansen’s global warming predictions presented to the U.S. Congress in 1988 had skill scores ranging from 38% to 66%. (When we account for differences between forecast and observed atmospheric CO2 levels, the ‘skill score’ of projections modeled by ExxonMobil scientists was 75 ± 5%, with seven projections scoring 85% or above. Again, for comparison, Hansen’s 1988 projections had corresponding skill scores of 28 to 81%.)

The study finds that “Exxon and ExxonMobil Corp also correctly rejected the prospect of a coming ice age, accurately predicted when human-caused global warming would first be detected, and reasonably estimated the ‘carbon budget’ for holding warming below 2°C. On each of these points, however, the company’s public statements about climate science contradicted its own scientific data.”

The study adds weight to ongoing legal and political investigations into ExxonMobil.

“These findings corroborate and add quantitative precision,” the authors write, “to assertions by scholars, journalists, lawyers, politicians, and others that ExxonMobil accurately foresaw the threat of human-caused global warming, both prior and parallel to orchestrating lobbying and propaganda campaigns to delay climate action, and refute claims by ExxonMobil Corp and its defenders that these assertions are incorrect.”

“This is the nail-in-the-coffin of ExxonMobil’s claims that it has been falsely accused of climate malfeasance,” commented lead author and Harvard University Research Associate Geoffrey Supran (Supran began as an Associate Professor of Environmental Science and Policy at the University of Miami’s Rosenstiel School of Marine, Atmospheric, and Earth Science Jan 2023). “Our analysis shows that ExxonMobil’s own data contradicted its public statements, which included exaggerating uncertainties, criticizing climate models, mythologizing global cooling, and feigning ignorance about when — or if — human-caused global warming would be measurable, all while staying silent on the threat of stranded fossil fuel assets.”

The paper’s Acknowledgments state that this research was supported by Harvard University Faculty Development Funds and by the Rockefeller Family Fund.






Data/statistical analysis


Not applicable


Assessing ExxonMobil’s global warming projections



From EurekAlert!

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Tom Halla
January 12, 2023 3:19 pm

Anyone doing accurate climate modeling in the 1980’s would conclude that the Hansen level panic was false, unlike activists.
There is still no reason for any restrictions of fossil fuels, despite the beliefs of the Climastrologists.

Reply to  Tom Halla
January 13, 2023 4:18 am

And of Climacommunists.

January 12, 2023 3:21 pm

Please don’t use Exxon’s name with James Hansen’s. Hansen’s credibility drags Exxon down.

January 12, 2023 3:23 pm

Here’s exactly what Exxon knew from their internal 1982 memo. Note that it’s mostly from NOAA, U of Oregon, MIT…..They speculated what everyone else was speculating….

Reply to  DMacKenzie
January 12, 2023 4:18 pm

Yes. They seemed to have just summarised what other scientists are saying

It ls anticipated by most. scientists that a general consensus regarding the likelihood and implications of a CO2 induced greenhouse effect 11.llL not be reached untl1 such time as a significant temperature increase can be detected. above the natural random temperature fluctuations ln average global climate. These fluctuations are assured to be +-0.5″C. the earliest that such discreet signals w111 be able to be measured ls one of the major uncertainties of the CO2 issue.

page 26

Jeff Alberts
Reply to  Duker
January 13, 2023 7:41 am

The problem is, they don’t really know the range of random fluctuations. And they have zero way of knowing if any fluctuations are due to more CO2.

David Dibbell
Reply to  DMacKenzie
January 14, 2023 9:51 am

Thanks for this link. I just finished reading it. The 3C+/-1.5C for a doubling of CO2 was already baked into the consensus thinking this report discusses. This implies that exaggerated water vapor amplification – unsound in my view – was also baked in.

January 12, 2023 3:31 pm

This “Exxon Knew” conjecture is one of the most illogical witch hunts ever seen.

On the basis of that thinking those Exxon scientists surely deserve a Nobel Prize for being so advanced in climate predictions so long ago. All done without modelling, without modern computers, without satellite data.

Yet the world has had to since spend billions on research apparently replicating these brilliant results.

Reply to  markx
January 12, 2023 5:16 pm

Exxon used modeling. In fact, they developed their own independent models. What is interesting is that their models show 0.19 ± 0.03 C/decade vs 0.20 ± 0.04 C/decade for the published models.

Reply to  bdgwx
January 12, 2023 5:44 pm

I didn’t dive too far into this claim.

Even Jim Hansen back then was putting out “could be / might be” kind of graphs.

A quick squiz at the graph published in The Guardian reputedly from Exxon looks like even their in-house “pick-a-number-models” speculators had over-cooked the model results against observations by about 25%.

(or for you matey, 24.983%)

Pat from Kerbob
Reply to  bdgwx
January 12, 2023 5:56 pm

I too find it interesting that independent groups making the exact same assumptions based on the same biases come to the same understanding.

They have proved the universality of GIGO.

Based on these authors it is without doubt that they ignore the likely larger number of scientists who didn’t buy it.

Just more manufactured consent, your favorite science.

Or, if you prefer, decision based evidence making.

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  bdgwx
January 12, 2023 7:08 pm

What is truly interesting is that despite the one-dimensional models being described as “sophisticated” and “state of the art,” which they were for the time, they were no where as sophisticated as today’s models. One might ask if the money spent on the current models was well spent considering the similarity in results.

For details, see:

Pat Frank
Reply to  bdgwx
January 12, 2023 8:22 pm

What is interesting is that their models show 0.19 ± 0.03 C/decade vs 0.20 ± 0.04 C/decade for the published models.

What is interesting is that all the projections are physically meaningless.

It’s true that in 1977 Exxon scientists knew as much as climate modelers know today: f*ck-all.

The difference being that the Exxon personnel were in fact actual scientists. Today’s climate modelers are of the pseudo-variety.

Reply to  bdgwx
January 12, 2023 10:18 pm

So then, Exxon knew what the models said. But as all scientists say, all climate models are wrong. So therefore, what Exxon knew was wrong.

Rick C
Reply to  bdgwx
January 13, 2023 7:38 am

So you’re saying all the money spent on super computers and massive GCMs by dozens of researchers funded by billions of tax payer dollars over 4 decades has been a complete waste. Good to know. Maybe this should be considered in future funding requests.

Reply to  bdgwx
January 13, 2023 8:36 am

Oh look, a trendologist with more milli-Kelvin “error bars”.

How unusual.

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  markx
January 12, 2023 6:50 pm

… All done without modelling,

With the exception of the 2003 projection, the projections don’t differ significantly from linear extrapolations of the historical temperatures. Because the data had different end points between 1977 and 2003, that would explain the different slopes.

Despite the reported high “skill scores,” I’m not impressed with the results. Looking at the graph, there is a wide range of predictions for the 2100 time frame (reminiscent of the uncertainty graph published by Pat Frank) that I think justifies Exxon dismissing the results as being too uncertain to warrant action. Besides that, during that time frame, nobody was really thinking much about whether those temperatures would be detrimental.

What I would like to see is a projection that is less than +/-10% of the nominal measured temperatures, with equal number of years above and below the projection.

Pat Frank
Reply to  Clyde Spencer
January 12, 2023 8:39 pm

Not only that, Clyde, but equation 1 in this paper will show as great a projection “skill score” as any state-of-the-art CMIP6 climate model.

The projections of million dollar climate models running on multi-million dollar supercomputers successfully emulated using an simple equation linear in the fractional increase in forcing.

In the graphic, the points are projections made using the labeled CMIP5 climate models. The red and blue lines are the equation 1 linear emulator. Note that the emulator gets the volcanic aerosol dips right.

CMIP5_RCP emulations.jpg
Reply to  markx
January 13, 2023 2:07 pm

“All done without modelling, without modern computers, without satellite data.”

Well, at the time, Exxon had the most “modern computers” available. Their US data center was in the same complex in NJ as the ERE (Exxon Research and Engineering) group in Florham Park, NJ. Exxon had two of the largest, fastest computers then available. In the mid-70’s, they had IBM Model 168-3’s, each with (wait for it) 6MB of main storage. in the late 70’s they had IBM Model 3033’s, each with 8MB of main storage. Heady stuff back then, with timesharing from both NYC and London users.

NASA was using similar machines, some specially tuned for the moon landings. NASA in NYC, i.e., GISS would have used similar models in the 70’s and 80’s.

Exxon moved from NJ to Texas years ago. The property was first purchased by BASF as a US Headquarters, then sold and transformed into what is now the NJ Jets Headquarters and Training Facility, across Park Avenue from Fairleigh Dickinson University in Florham Park, NJ.

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  BobM
January 13, 2023 4:19 pm

For a lot of routine work, slide rules were still used. Spreadsheets had not yet been invented. The ‘big’ computers were for seismic processing.

Reply to  Clyde Spencer
January 13, 2023 11:39 pm

Off by a decade or more.

Reply to  rms
January 17, 2023 7:55 pm

I worked for a living back then. Slide rules were the major calculating machine until the mid 1980s.

Even then, I knew scientists that used their slide rule’s calculations to verify a program’s results.

Reply to  BobM
January 17, 2023 7:52 pm

“Exxon had two of the largest, fastest computers then available”

They certainly were not calculating potential CO₂ increases on them.
A) They were used for payroll, not a light effort in those days.B) They were devoted to accounting purposes.C) They were actively investigating running models for their drilling efforts.
Keeping in mind that real businesses had to make their cost efforts pay. They would never allow a waste of computer time in those days.

Especially, when they had thousands of employees who could use a slide rule to fill in a table with calculations.

Last edited 4 months ago by ATheoK
January 12, 2023 3:36 pm

Who knew that people with their own money and livelihoods at stake would do a better job?

Martin Brumby
January 12, 2023 3:49 pm

OK, on track.

Now let GangGreen demonstrate just one of the forecast (or should that be ‘projected’?) dire, scary, consequences that this has genuinely given rise to, in the last 40 years; during which we have been ceaselessly bombarded with their dishonest agit-prop.

Not one.

But their infantile blathering has cost hundreds of Billions and impoverished the poorest and most vulnerable.

Nick Stokes
January 12, 2023 3:49 pm

“New Harvard Study Proves Exxon Scientists Far Superior at Predicting Climate than the IPCC or James Hansen”

It doesn’t say that. It does say they did better than Hansen. But it also says:
“To the extent that these projections represented contemporary knowledge of the likely effects of fossil fuel burning on global temperature, we can conclude that Exxon knew as much in the 1970–1990s as academic and government scientists knew. The average warming projected by the 18 academic and government models was 0.19° ± 0.03°C per decade, which is, within uncertainty, the same as ExxonMobil’s average of 0.20° ± 0.04°C per decade.”

In other words, both academic scientists (IPCC) and Exxon got it right. THey predicted the warming and the warming happened.

John Shewchuk
Reply to  Nick Stokes
January 12, 2023 3:55 pm

It just confirms that we are still thawing out from the Little Ice Age.

Nick Stokes
Reply to  Nick Stokes
January 12, 2023 4:03 pm

“It does say they did better than Hansen. “
I take that back. What they said about Hansen 1988 was:

“Again, for comparison, Hansen’s 1988 projections had skill scores in terms of the iTCR metric ranging from 28 to 81%”

The range there was over scenarios. In fact both scenarios A and B of Hansen got respectively scores of 81% and 79%, both better than Exxon’s 75%. But the real message is that they all did very well.

Reply to  Nick Stokes
January 12, 2023 4:27 pm


you-are-here - holocene_climate3.jpg
Tom Abbott
Reply to  JBP
January 12, 2023 5:45 pm

Things don’t look so scary in that chart. What did Exxon have to say about all the periods in human history that were warmer than today?

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  Nick Stokes
January 12, 2023 7:27 pm

From the actual article in Science:
NASA scientist James Hansen’s global warming predictions presented to the US Congress in 1988 have been found to have skill scores ranging from 38 to 66% across the three different forcing scenarios that he reported.”

Besides the fact that your numbers differ from the article, you only mention the two (obviously) worst results, A & B.

Only Scenario C (Draconian Reductions) did reasonably well, and it depended on two hypothetical volcanic eruptions that didn’t take place.

Nick Stokes
Reply to  Clyde Spencer
January 13, 2023 12:21 am

Besides the fact that your numbers differ from the article”

My quote is from the following para

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  Nick Stokes
January 13, 2023 12:12 pm

It looks like you got cut off at the knees with your quote! 🙂

Reply to  Nick Stokes
January 13, 2023 12:14 am

 But the real message is that they all did very well.

And the ironical thing is you actually believe a guess.

Reply to  Nick Stokes
January 12, 2023 4:08 pm

The issue comes with the ‘Exxon knew’ claim. The evidence that they knew appears to be that their predictions happened.

But you cannot prove knowledge like that. I predict, for instance, that the share price of company X will be a given level three years from now. And I give reasons. Or I predict that there will be an animal to human pandemic in the next three years. I base this on increased interaction between humans and reservoir species, such as bats.

It happens. But I didn’t know it would, could not have known it, at the time I made my prediction. No-one could have known it. I had a theory, and on the basis of that theory predicted, but that is not knowledge. The theory was uncertain at the time I made my prediction.

On the other hand, I did know where the moon would be in three years time. That is making a prediction using a proven theory.

When it happens in the case of an unproven theory, you have confirmed the theory. As in the two cases above. When it happens with a proven theory, as in the planetary motion case, you have not confirmed the theory, it had no need of confirmation, you just used it to make a correct prediction. In this last case, but not in the other two, you knew.

George Daddis
Reply to  michel
January 12, 2023 4:57 pm

This recalls a classic scam:

  • send out a betting prediction service ad to 10s of thousands of folk claiming to know the results of the next Super Bowl.
  • The next year send the same but only to those who received a prediction for the winner.
  • Rinse and repeat several times.
  • After a few rounds you’ll get to the vital few who fall for the scam and you reap the rewards.
Clyde Spencer
Reply to  michel
January 12, 2023 7:30 pm

The greatest sin in science is to be right for the wrong reason!

Reply to  Nick Stokes
January 12, 2023 5:21 pm


You could also have been knowledgeable about us coming out of the Little Ice Age and going into the warm phase of the AMO and come to the same conclusion. Guessing about the future and being lucky about being right is still guessing. This proves nothing about what they knew.

No one “knows” anything about the future. It’s all guessing.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  denny
January 12, 2023 5:48 pm

“You could also have been knowledgeable about us coming out of the Little Ice Age and going into the warm phase of the AMO and come to the same conclusion.”

There you go!

These guys are predciting warming during a warming cycle. Warming is what is to be expected during a warming cycle. There is no evidence CO2 has anything to do with this current warm cycle.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  Nick Stokes
January 12, 2023 5:43 pm

“In other words, both academic scientists (IPCC) and Exxon got it right. THey predicted the warming and the warming happened.”

Did they predict the cooling that is currently going on, while CO2 increases?

Reply to  Tom Abbott
January 13, 2023 11:36 am

The last ~10-odd years of cooling during unprecedented increases in fossil fuel consumption, reductions in rain forests, oceans ‘boiling’, etc is a huge slap in the face for watermelons, but they don’t care: like the Nazis keep repeating the same message, turn up the volume and pretty soon everyone is a climate zombie believing 0.19°C over 10 years is going to end all life on Earth, marching around, earnestly trying to find something to do.

B Zipperer
Reply to  Tom Abbott
January 13, 2023 4:48 pm

Good point!
The problem with long-term climate models is its long-term! Most of the scientists will be dead before they find out if they were correct or not.
IMO the quickest way for the climate models to prove they are useful would be for them to predict El Nino and La Niñas two to three years ahead of time, in both strength and timing.
That way we would probably find out that the emperor is wearing almost no clothes pretty quickly.

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  Nick Stokes
January 12, 2023 7:13 pm

… both academic scientists (IPCC) and Exxon got it right.

Except that today’s models are acknowledged to run warm, and the ExxonMobil’s average is even higher. “and all the children are above average!”

Reply to  Nick Stokes
January 12, 2023 10:21 pm

But all models are wrong.

David Dibbell
January 12, 2023 3:54 pm

“Their projections were also consistent with, and at least as skillful as, those of independent academic and government models.”

This means, that to whatever extent internal Exxon researchers thought they could reliably diagnose the climate modification effect of CO2 emissions, past or future, they were just as wrong as the others.

The expectation that CO2 emissions would be capable of driving the climate to a bad outcome has always been based on the misconception that the static warming effect must control the end result.


Reply to  David Dibbell
January 12, 2023 4:10 pm

Yes. The evidence supplied does not show they knew anything. It shows they had a theory, and that to some extent they made accurate predictions using it. But it does not show they ‘knew’.

George Daddis
Reply to  michel
January 12, 2023 4:59 pm

Where is the documentation of the scientists who scoffed at the prediction; or still clung on to the “cooling” theory?

Tom Abbott
Reply to  michel
January 12, 2023 5:54 pm

Exxon guessed about CO2 just like all the others. There is no evidence their guesses were correct.

The fact that temperatures have warmed for a few decades is not evidence that CO2 is causing anything. They can assume it is all they want, but they really have no evidence, and the fact is Nobody knows, including Exxon.

All any of these people have are unsubstantiated speculation, assumptions and assertions about CO2 and the Earth’s atmosphere. Not one of them can tell you for certain how much warmth CO2 adds to Earth’s atmosphere. Not one of them can tell you whether CO2 is net warming or net cooling.

None of them know. Claims to the contrary are Big Lies. Big Lies are the Heart and Soul of the Alarmist CO2 narrative.

Reply to  David Dibbell
January 12, 2023 4:11 pm

A bit like Ptolemy, who also could make accurate predictions on the basis of a wrong theory….

Reply to  David Dibbell
January 12, 2023 5:15 pm

But did anyone who “knew” know if the temperature change, regardless of the cause, would be a good thing or a bad thing?

The increase in temperature, however it has happened, HAS BEEN A GOOD THING!

The monies wasted to supposedly reduce emissions of CO2, which has not done that, has been a VERY BAD THING, both for the poor and for the “planet”, due to the excessive mining and use of resources to build solar and wind that are to a large extent aren’t recyclable, so in fact nor RENEWABLE.

David Dibbell
Reply to  Drake
January 13, 2023 3:11 am

Here is an example. Did anyone “know” that the volume of Arctic sea ice would end up greater in all months of 2022 than the corresponding month of 2011, as reported by the Polar Science Center?

(source: )

Reply to  David Dibbell
January 13, 2023 11:26 am

But, is more sea ice in the arctic a good thing? Or is it worse for human life?

Sea ice is just a propaganda tool of the left, they never discuss what effect it has on humans, and their claims about the warm fuzzy polar bears have been proven wrong by a real scientist, Susan Crockfort(?) a posted here often.

David Dibbell
Reply to  Drake
January 13, 2023 12:40 pm

The significance is that the declining trend flattened, looking like the bottom of a cycle, which runs counter to the claims. I’m not saying it’s a good thing for human life or for polar bears or whatever. But it’s clearly not what the consensus climate science community expected or projected.

David Wojick
January 12, 2023 3:57 pm

Exxon is a huge company not a person so there is no such thing as what it knew. Different people no doubt believed different things.

Reply to  David Wojick
January 12, 2023 7:30 pm

Exactly and it is doubtful that there would have been ANY kind consensus at the board level even if there was in some parts of the scientific branch.

January 12, 2023 4:07 pm

Without the luxury of redistributive change, topical competence matters.

Last edited 4 months ago by n.n
January 12, 2023 4:22 pm

Well, well… Look who the authors are!

– – – – – – – – –

Assessing ExxonMobil’s global warming projections (By Supran, Rahmstorf, Oreskes)

For decades, some members of the fossil fuel industry tried to convince the public that a causative link between fossil fuel use and climate warming could not be made because the models used to project warming were too uncertain. Supran et al. show that one of those fossil fuel companies, ExxonMobil, had their own internal models that projected warming trajectories
consistent with those forecast by the independent academic and government models. What they understood about climate models thus contradicted what they led the public to believe.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  Cam_S
January 12, 2023 5:58 pm

The usual slimy, dishonest Alarmists.

Russell Cook
Reply to  Cam_S
January 12, 2023 6:06 pm

My thanks to Charles the Moderator for mentioning my name up at the top. Yep, I have a tagged category for Geoffrey Supran at my GelbspanFiles blog. He’s not exactly careful on what he puts out sometimes.

But regarding the sheer volume of news space this ‘report’ getting, give Oreskes et al. credit: It’s a well-oiled machine that gets accomplishes this goal.

In my daily email from Google on any stories containing the specific two words “global warming”, today’s results of 55 or so individual overall articles contained the words Exxon in both the titles and two-line blurbs 50 times while also containing the “predicted22 times, the word “prediction7 times and the word “projections12 times. E.g. “Oil and gas giant Exxon predicted extent of global warming” / “Exxon’s secret decades-old predictions” / “ExxonMobil’s own global warming projections

All this will do is give Geoffrey Supran an even bigger ego, making him all the more vulnerable to total collapse when put under oath somewhere to explain/defend how he learned about ‘Exxon colluding with crooked skeptic scientists’ and who the various people are he learned all of that from.

Last edited 4 months ago by Russell Cook
Russell Cook
Reply to  Russell Cook
January 12, 2023 6:33 pm

One more thing — because there’s always more to the background of these situations: At the bottom of the “New Harvard study puts a number on what ‘Exxon knew’ article, it says “The paper’s Acknowledgments state that this research was supported by … the Rockefeller Family Fund.” Who’s one of the top administrators at RFF? Scroll down the page here, its Associate Director is Lisa Guide. Who is Lisa Guide married to? The ex-head of Greenpeace USA, John Passacantando, who was caught in a leaked 2016 email apparently participating in efforts to vilify Exxon. What is Geoffrey Supran and Naomi Oreskes doing today? Arguably, vilifying Exxon. FYI, I had to update my older blog post on Passacantando’s Millions which he’s been paid after leaving Greenpeace – I now see that he was paid over $3 million by the Sustainable Markets Foundation in the same year his little LLC company received a $330,000+ Coronavirus government loan to help pay his “payroll” expenses. What does his little mystery LLC company do? He doesn’t say.

George Daddis
January 12, 2023 4:46 pm

How many scientists did Exxon Mobil employ at the time?
What % predicted the doom and gloom?
Are these recent findings reporting on cherry picked science studies?

Reply to  George Daddis
January 12, 2023 6:19 pm

More to the point – As “climate scientists” are only those allowed to make a prediction… How many were “climate scientists”. 😉

January 12, 2023 5:25 pm

2022 turned out to be just above average. I wonder if Exxon predicted that the warming wouldn’t be detectable to the human eye. I don’t remember complaining in 2012 that we were frying and were gonna die; granted I was only 8 at the time but I don’t imagine you folks were thinking that either. I don’t know why Exxon allows themselves to get bullied when they are scientifically and financially superior in every way.

Walter Sobchak
January 12, 2023 5:27 pm

So what. If Exxon knew. What were they supposed to do. Alert the US Senate? To do what? Going out of busisness is not and was not an agenda item.

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  Walter Sobchak
January 12, 2023 7:38 pm

And there were no alternatives to replace fossil fuels. High efficiency PV cells hadn’t been invented yet, and the high-strength REE magnets necessary for effective wind turbines hadn’t been invented until the ’80s and hadn’t come down in price to be economically feasible until the ’90s. I guess Exxon could have gone into the whaling business to produce bio-oil.

Jeff Alberts
Reply to  Clyde Spencer
January 13, 2023 7:52 am

One could argue that they could have boosted research on these things, with all their billions.

Reply to  Jeff Alberts
January 13, 2023 11:31 am

Exxon had one of the first PV manufacturing companies as a subsidiary — Solarex. The first to make polyscrystalline silicon. Later got sold off to BP.

Arco also had one — Arco Solar

Both dated from the mid-late ’70s.

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  karlomonte
January 13, 2023 12:30 pm
Reply to  Clyde Spencer
January 13, 2023 2:36 pm

What is missing from that little history is the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, which ran the Flat Solar Array project for DoE. JPL essentially invented the glass/EVA/silicon/Tedlar module design that is still used today. The manufacturers (ARCO, SPS, Solarex) were subcontractors who had to follow their lead.

Eberspacher, 63, is managing director of another Silicon Valley startup, Tandem PV, which is pairing new materials with silicon to make solar panels even more efficient.

A variation on the so-called SOS idea, which stands for Stuff*** On Silicon, where a perfectly good silicon solar cell is ruined with extra stuff over it, trying to coax a little extra power out.

Invariably it runs up the cost and reduces the reliability.

***or variants thereof

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  karlomonte
January 13, 2023 4:22 pm

SOS A favorite in the mess hall during Basic Training.

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  Jeff Alberts
January 13, 2023 12:19 pm

A prudent company, with actuarial responsibilities to shareholders, keeps their R&D investments to a level that guarantees sufficient returns to attract investors, so that they have capital to fund the business. I don’t think you understand how things work.

Pat from Kerbob
January 12, 2023 5:50 pm

So at most, some scientists affiliated with Exxon created some models designed to have co2 cause warming, and glory be the model predicts warming due to co2?

Still a WAG based on nothing other than hypothesis and conjecture.
I don’t doubt these few are cherry picked, and that there were many others who said it was ludicrous.

My betting is that if you do some math on all Exxon scientists through the period there is no consensus meaning pick’em.

This looks like manufacturing consensus once again?

Last edited 4 months ago by Pat from Kerbob
Edward Katz
January 12, 2023 5:56 pm

Exxon-Mobil was also well-aware that there was no available substitute for fossil fuels, so it continued its exploration for, refining of and sales of them rather than going on a wild goose chase to find viable alternatives like solar and wind, which it recognized couldn’t cut it in the first place.

AGW is Not Science
Reply to  Edward Katz
January 12, 2023 7:09 pm

You mean “non-viable.”

January 12, 2023 5:58 pm

New Harvard Study Proves Exxon Scientists Far Superior at Predicting Climate than the IPCC or James Hansen

This is not at all accurate. There is no way to sum up climate in a single chart. Its bunkum.

The average global surface temperature is increasing but to think it is caused by CO2 is so silly it now borders on stupidity and complete ignorance of actual observation.

The place with the greatest warming is the Greenland plateau in winter.

Antartica has a long cooling trend. The Nino34 region has no trend.So there is no GLOBAL warming. The places that are warming are warming faster than the places that are cooling. Explain that then there is some hope of predicting climate.

The predicted increase of 2C by 2100 is within the error bands of all current climate models. They have the present global average temperature from 14C to 16.2C. So before we agree on 2C warming can we please agree on the present temperature?

Jeff Alberts
Reply to  RickWill
January 13, 2023 7:54 am

The average global surface temperature” is meaningless.

Reply to  Jeff Alberts
January 13, 2023 1:04 pm

How does one take the average temperature of the world that millions of hectares with only a few thousand weather stations, many poorly placed?

How does one come to a meaningful average when the world system is so disparate? It’s meaningful to measure temperatures in the core of a reactor or engine combustion chamber, as well as the coolant temperature but no engineer would ever average the 2 numbers together – the result would tell you nothing about the state of the system.

Only regional averages would be close to having meaning (the Amazon, the Congo, Borneo, Southern Ontario, Death Valley, Eastern Antarctica, Western Antarctica (but useless to average the 2 together), all of Europe in one to appease eco-karens but ideally GB, Scandanavia, Mediterranean region are all different enough to warrant their own averages if trying to study climate and make good guesses).

January 12, 2023 6:12 pm

the big guns going after each other – Rockefeller Fund v Big Oil. well intentioned people being duped into being pawns in their games. They’re all crooks. Live with it.

The same old false morality and group-think now formalized in academia. Human nature hasn’t changed one bit over the centuries. Biblical worldview of good v evil. Witch hunts. False justice. False prophets. Everything the universities were envisioned to resist.

Hell is full of good meanings and wishes. For heaven’s sake, let’s get back to good science.

Reply to  JCM
January 13, 2023 6:40 am

Didn’t Rockefeller found Standard Oil of New Jersey, ESSO which became EXXON?

Reply to  Yooper
January 13, 2023 1:46 pm

He founded the Standard Oil company, originally in Ohio, then reregistered it as a NJ corporation and named it Standard Oil of NJ when he moved the company headquarters to NYC. Standard Oil of NJ was broken into 43 smaller companies by the Supreme Court ruling on a Sherman Anti-trust case, with SO of NJ (later Esso) and SO of NY (later Mobil) being two of the largest. Over the years, many of the 43 have combined back together, or with other large majors. Standard Oil of Ohio (Sohio), Standard Oil of Indiana (Amoco), Standard Oil of California (Chevron) are/were some of the others. Esso, later Exxon, recombined with Mobil in 1999 to create ExxonMobil.

Reply to  JCM
January 13, 2023 2:42 pm

“Biblical worldview of good v evil.”

What’s wrong with “thou shalt not kill” or “…bare false witness”?

There’s a few atheiests/agnostics around here that keep trying to blame this climate change cult on traditional religions and yet its an outgrowth or cancerous lesion of communist thought.

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  PCman999
January 13, 2023 4:26 pm

I’m perfectly willing to give the Devil his due, as it were. I find that most religions have considerable moral wisdom and practical advice — at least for the time in which their scriptures were written.

Peta of Newark
January 12, 2023 6:28 pm

There’s nothing wrong with climate or weather or the world..

Well…. yes there is wrong with the world (western at least) – it’s encapsulated in Oreskes herself.
The obsession, the vindictiveness, magical thinking & projection.
That she is effectively destroying herself while determined to take everyone else down with her. While claiming the exact opposite.

Made infinitely worse in that she is encouraged and supported by government, academia, other ‘scientists’ and lawyers in that pursuit.

that is what’s scary about ‘climate’ and it is really scary because it will fulfil its own prophecy. Folks like her are sucking the life out of everybody and everything.
Eisenhower chose the right words when he said ‘to be gravely regarded

edit to PS
I thought we’d covered this story, until it showed at BBC a few little hours ago

Last edited 4 months ago by Peta of Newark
Van Doren
January 13, 2023 4:12 am

First thing I see, is the phony temperature graph, which tells me I don’t need to read farther.

Ed Zuiderwijk
January 13, 2023 4:19 am

What if anything were the climatologists in academia doing in the 70s when clearly Exxon had all the answers? Twiddling their thumbs? /sarc

That junk science will be cherished by an army of lawyers who are now preparing class actions for compensation for the fictitious damage done by the use of fossil fuels. Get the popcorn out and sit down.

January 13, 2023 4:31 am

Did they just predict the natural climate cycle correctly though, i.e. that which would have happened regardless of CO2 rises, whether natural or man-contributed. There is no experimental ‘control’ to eliminate any possible CO2 effect so any ‘predictions/projections’ that place the blame on CO2 have to be taken with a pinch of salt.

Pravda Pundit
January 13, 2023 5:21 am

It was not climate that was projected, only global temperature, although an important parameter, climate is influenced by many more factors.

Tom Johnson
January 13, 2023 5:35 am

Missing from much of the discussion is the error in the red so-called “observed temperature” line. This does not represent known data for ‘global temperature’. It completely misses the hot 30s, and the cooling during the ’60s. Projecting data from a known error can hardly prove or disprove anything. To me, this ‘Harvard Study’ is worthless.

January 13, 2023 6:32 am

Whilst the EXXON models show possible warming scenarios, it says nothing about cause. It appears to me, that this report is trying to put words in the mouth of EXXON. Since the current batch of models are hopelessly inaccurate, and haven’t proved cause. It is only the “consensus” that attributes warming to man and fossil fuels.

January 13, 2023 7:16 am

That’s because the IPCC are only interested in predicting climate that fits their corrupt narrative, not accurate, factual, truthful climate

January 13, 2023 7:18 am

Exxon scientists are paid to be right. IPCC and James Hansen are paid to tell a story.

Andy Pattullo
January 13, 2023 8:50 am

Extending a warming trend into the future is none of the following:

  1. highly insightful or skillful – extending an existing trend forward is usually the safe prediction
  2. proof that the trend is harmful – so far warming has only net benefits in terms of environmental and human societal wellbeing
  3. evidence that Exxon was misrepresenting the science for profit – no-one has shown that Exxon deliberately misinformed people about warming or the potential influence of greenhouse gases
  4. evidence that greenhouse gases are the cause of the warming – natural cycles and drivers have been largely ignored or dishonestly discounted
  5. evidence that the rise in greenhouse gases is all due to fossil fuel use – though most scientists seem comfortable it is largely from human activity
  6. evidence that effects of rising CO2 are all or even predominantly negative – the biosphere is thriving and will do more so the higher CO2 rises
January 13, 2023 11:14 am

Actually, we should be thanking ExxonMobil and other drilling companies for operating such extraordinarily expensive and risky businesses which benefit all of humanity. Not castigating them. Remember, John D. Rockefeller saved the whales while bringing us light, heat, and cheap transportation.

Captain Climate
January 13, 2023 12:19 pm

We’re at 440ppm now. The Exxon model had us hitting that 440ppm level in the year 2030 with 1.2C since 1980 of warming. But instead, we are only 0.4C warmer than 1980 levels, and they expected us to be at 1C warmer than 1980 by now.

There is no crisis, and the “Exxon smoking gun” proves it.

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  Captain Climate
January 13, 2023 4:33 pm

The 2022 seasonal peak got to about 421ppm. However, it is currently under 420ppm.

Last edited 4 months ago by Clyde Spencer
January 13, 2023 1:33 pm

>> between 1977 and 2003 were accurate and skillful in predicting

That statement isso wildly wrong!
This was world before ARGO data, so they did not have the information for accurate simulations!

Just a reminder, the CMIP6 projections, which are the best out there changed the CO2 feedback by 25% with a better cloud parametrisation compared to just a few years back. 25%! that is an unbelievable big uncertainty, climate scientists only work with hot air!
And Exxon´s scientist in 90ties did not have the data nor the computation power to simulate the global climate with any precission, they would even know if they got it right by accident!.
They used widely incomplete estimates for clouds and most other parameters just like CMIP5 and all the other simulations.

>> accurate
Some projections accurately pointing in the right direction would happen if a bunch of 4 year olds were asked to continue a trend they were shown, depending on their artfulness

>> skillful
That is a laughable claim, given that models with 50 year more data are not.
Whoever wrote this up has absolutely no idea how models are working and what happens if the supporting data is lacking!

And whoever posted that here should be laughed out of town, WUWT readers know better!
The global climate models very are close to worthless now and they were not any better back then.

January 14, 2023 1:24 pm

Isn’t that “prediction” just a simple matter of extending the line of the temperature increase that occurred since 1911? Not exactly earth-shattering, IMO.

January 17, 2023 7:42 pm

Climate projections reported by ExxonMobil scientists between 1977 and 2003″

BAL Assembler?

Alarmists expect 1977 scientists to spend untold amounts of money and time programming either FORTRAN or BAL Assembler to run on mainframes of that era?

Not a chance, back scientists with data could calculate resulting numbers quickly using a slide rule.
Or perhaps they had access to an early very expensive HP-35. Though all of their co-workers would have aged considerably, getting frustrated waiting and already filling in a column by using their slide rules.

2003? Or the decade before 2003?
Since when have alarmists accused relatively modern era scientists to “model temperature increases caused by CO₂?

This research stinks right from the get-go. Just for the study’s researchers gimmick of assuming calculations from 1977 are/were models and can be honestly compared/contrasted with 2003 alarmist nonsense..

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