Benjamin D. Santer

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Dr. Benjamin D. Santer (June 3, 1955 in Washington, DC, United States) is a climate researcher at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and former researcher at the University of East Anglia's Climatic Research Unit.[1] He specializes mainly in statistical analysis of climate data sets, and detection/attribution of climate change forcings. He was the convening Lead Author of Chapter 8 of 1995 IPCC Working Group I Report, which addressed the global warming issue.



In 1998 Santer was awarded a MacArthur Foundation grant of $270,000 for research supporting the finding that human activity contributes to global warming. He has also received the Ernest Orlando Lawrence Award and a Distinguished Scientist Fellowship from the U.S. Department of Energy and the Norbert Gerbier/MUMM award from the World Meteorological Organization. He ranks #12 amongst climate scientists in a 2002 assessment of most influential scientists.[2]


Frederick Seitz, in a June 12, 1996 editorial-page piece in the Wall Street Journal complained that alterations made to Chapter 8 of the 1995 IPCC report were made to "deceive policy makers and the public into believing that the scientific evidence shows human activities are causing global warming." Similar charges were made by the Global Climate Coalition (GCC), a consortium of industry interests.

Santer and 40 other scientists responded to the Wall Street Journal that all IPCC procedural rules were followed, and that IPCC procedures required changes to the draft in response to comments from governments, individual scientists, and non-governmental organizations. They stated that the pre- and post-Madrid versions of Chapter 8 were equally cautious in their statements; that roughly 20% of Chapter 8 is devoted to the discussion of uncertainties in estimates of natural climate variability and the expected signal due to human activities; and that both versions of the chapter reached the same conclusion: "Taken together, these results point towards a human influence on climate."[3]



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