Oppenheimer Testifies in Congress on the History of Climate Science

Apr 30 2019
By B. Rose Kelly
Source Woodrow Wilson School

Professor Michael Oppenheimer provided a brief, thorough history of climate science at an April 9 hearing held by the House Committee on Oversight and Reform’s Subcommittee on the Environment.

The hearing was part one of an examination of the historic scientific consensus about climate change, the role of the fossil fuel industry in spreading misinformation, and the economic consequences of policy inaction.

Oppenheimer is a climate expert at Princeton University and a long-time participant in the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which he cited in his testimony. He joined four witnesses at the testimony: Tim Wirth, former senator from Colorado; Jeffrey Sachs, university professor and director of the Center for Sustainable Development at Columbia University; and Nicolas Loris, deputy director of the Thomas A. Roe Institute of Economic Policy Studies.

At Princeton, he is the Albert G. Milbank Professor of Geosciences and International Affairs and the Princeton Environmental Institute and professor of geosciences and international affairs and director of the Center for Policy Research on Energy and the Environment, based at the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs.

Below is a visual timeline of the historical markers noted in Oppenheimer’s written testimony.

Climate Change timeline summary (pdf).

Climate change early developments.
Climate change - modern science emerges.
Climate change 1985-1992
Climate change 1996-2013.