Willie Soon

Astrophysicist and a geoscientist based in Cambridge, MA

“The whole point of science is to question accepted dogmas. For that reason, I respect Willie Soon as a good scientist and a courageous citizen.’’

-- Freeman Dyson, Boston Globe, November 5, 2013




Dr. Willie Soon, an astrophysicist and geoscientist, is a leading authority on the relationship between solar phenomena and global climate. His discoveries challenge computer modelers and advocates who consistently underestimate solar influences on cloud formation, ocean currents, and wind that cause climate to change. He has faced and risen above unethical and often libelous attacks on his research and his character, becoming one of the world’s most respected and influential voices for climate realism.

Dr. Soon earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in science and his Ph.D. in aerospace engineering from the University of Southern California.

Since 1992, Dr. Soon has been an astronomer at the Mount Wilson Observatory. He is also receiving editor in the area of solar and stellar physics for New Astronomy. He writes and lectures both professionally and publicly on important issues related to the sun, other stars, and the Earth, as well as general science topics in astronomy and physics.

Dr. Soon’s honors include a 1989 IEEE Nuclear and Plasma Sciences Society Graduate Scholastic Award and a Rockwell Dennis Hunt Scholastic Award from the University of Southern California for Athe most representative Ph.D. research thesis” of 1991. In 2003, he was invited to testify to the U.S. Senate.

Also in 2003, Dr. Soon was recognized, with a monetary award, for Adetailed scholarship on biogeological and climatic change over the past 1,000 years” by the Smithsonian Institution. In 2004, Soon received the Petr Beckmann award of the Doctors for Disaster Preparedness for “courage and achievement in defense of scientific truth and freedom.” In 2014, Dr. Soon received the “Courage in Defense of Science Award,” with a monetary award, from the George C. Marshall Institute. The award was presented at the Ninth International Conference on Climate Change held in Las Vegas.

Dr. Soon is the author of The Maunder Minimum and the Variable Sun-Earth Connection (World Scientific Publishing Company, 2004). He is the coauthor, with Sebastian Lüning, of Chapter 2: “Solar Forcing of Climate,” in Climate Change Reconsidered II: Physical Science (The Heartland Institute, 2013), a comprehensive critique of the Working Group I contribution to the Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. His research has appeared many times in peer-reviewed journals, including the following:

Soon, W.H. E.S. Posmentier, and S. L. Baliunas, 1996: Inference of solar irradiance variability from terrestrial temperature changes, 1880–1993: An astrophysical application of the sun‑climate connection, Astrophysical J. 472: 891–902. 

Baliunas, S., P. Frick, D. Sokoloff, and W. Soon (alphabetical listing with W. Soon as lead author), 1997: Timescales and trends in the Central England Temperature Data (1659‑1990): A Wavelet Analysis, Geophysical Research Letters 24: 1351–1354.

Soon, W.H. S.L. Baliunas, A.B. Robinson, and Z.W. Robinson, 1999: Environmental Effects of Increased Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide, Climate Research 13: 149–164.

Posmentier, E.S., W.H. Soon, and S.L. Baliunas (equal contribution by Posmentier and Soon), 2000: Natural variability in an-ocean-atmosphere climate model, Journal of Physics Malaysia 19:  157.

Soon, W.H. S.L. Baliunas, E.S. Posmentier, and P.N. Okeke, 2000: Variations of solar coronal hole area and terrestrial lower tropospheric air temperature from 1979 to Mid‑1998, New Astronomy 4: 563–579.

Soon, W.H., E.S. Posmentier, and S.L. Baliunas, 2000: Climate hypersensitivity to solar forcing? Annales Geophysicae, 18: 583–588.

Soon, W., S. Baliunas, K.S. Demirchan, S.B. Idso, K. Ya. Kondratyev, and E.S.

Posmentier, 2001: The impact of anthropogenic CO2 emission on climate: Unresolved problems (in Russian), Proceedings of the Russian Geographical Society 133 (1).

Soon, W., S. Baliunas, S.B. Idso, K. Ya. Kondratyev, and E.S. Posmentier, 2001: Modeling climatic effects of anthropogenic CO2 emissions: Unknowns and un‑ certainties, Climate Research 18: 259–275.

Soon, W., S. Baliunas, S.B. Idso, K. Ya. Kondratyev, and E.S. Posmentier, 2002: Reply to comments on “Modeling climatic effects of anthropogenic CO2 emissions: unknowns and uncertainties” by James Risbey, Climate Research 22: 187–188.

Soon, W. and S. Baliunas, Proxy climatic and environmental changes of the last 1000 Years, 2003: Climate Research 23: 89–110.

Soon, W., S. Baliunas, S.B. Idso, K. Ya. Kondratyev, and E.S. Posmentier, 2003: Reply to comments on “Modeling climatic effects of anthropogenic CO2 emissions: unknowns and uncertainties” by D.J. Karoly, J.F.B. Mitchell, M. Allen, G. Hegerl, J. Marengo, and F. Zwiers, Climate Research 24: 93–94.

Soon, W. and S. Baliunas, Annual progress report on global warming: 2001–2002, 2003: Progress in Physical Geography 27: 448–455.

Soon, W., S. Baliunas, C. Idso, S. Idso, and D.R. Legates, 2003: Reconstructing climatic and environmental changes of the past 1000 Years: a reappraisal, Energy & Environment 14: 233–296.

Soon, W., S. Baliunas, and D.R. Legates, 2003: Comment on “On past temperature and anomalous late‑20th Century warmth” by Mann et al., Eos 84 (44): 473. 

Soon, W., D.R. Legates, and S. Baliunas, 2004: Estimation and representation of long‑term (> 40 years) trends of northern-hemisphere-gridded surface temperature: a note of caution, Geophysical Research Letters 31: doi:10.1029/2003GL019141.

Soon, W., 2005: Variable solar irradiance as a plausible agent for multidecadal variations in the Arctic-wide surface air temperature record of the past 130 years, Geophysical Research Letters 32: doi.10.1029/2005GL023429.

Dyck, M., W. Soon (as co-first authors), et al., 2007: Polar Bears of Western Hudson Bay and climate change: warming spring air temperatures as the “ultimate” survival control factor? Ecological Complexit, 4: 73–84. 

Soon, W., 2007: Implications of the secondary role of carbon dioxide and methane forcing in climate change: Past, present, and future, Physical Geography 28: 97–125.

Armstrong, J.S., K.C. Green, and W. Soon, 2008: Polar bear population forecasts: A public-policy forecasting audit, Interfaces 38: 382–405 [plus 3 comments and authors’ reply].

Dyck, M., W. Soon, et al., 2008: Reply to response to Dyck et al. (2007) on polar bears and climate change in western Hudson Bay by Stirling et al. (2008), Ecological Complexity 5: 289–302.

Liu, J., B. Wang, Q. Ding, X. Kuang, W. Soon, and E. Zorita, 2009: Centennial variations of global monsoon precipitation in the last millennium: Results from ECHO‑G model, Journal of Climate 22: 2356–2370.

Soon, W., 2009: Solar Arctic-mediated climate variation on multidecadal to centennial timescales: Empirical evidence, mechanistic explanation, and testable consequences, Physical Geography 30: 144–184.

Green, K.C., J.S. Armstrong, and W. Soon, 2009: Validity of climate change forecasting for public policy decision making, International Journal of Forecasting 25: 826–832.

Soon, W., 2009: Comments on HESS Opinion “A random walk on water” by D. Koutsoyiannis,  Hydrology and Earth System Sciences Discussions 6: C2852–C2856.

Soon, W. and D.R. Legates, 2010: Avoiding carbon myopia: Three considerations for policy makers concerning manmade carbon dioxide, Ecology Law Currents 37: 1–9.

Armstrong, J.S., K.C. Green, and W. Soon, 2011: Research on forecasting for the manmade global warming alarm, Energy & Environment 22: 1091–1104.

Agnihotri, R., K. Dutta, and W. Soon, 2011. Temporal derivative of total solar irradiance and anomalous Indian summer monsoon: an empirical evidence for a Sun-climate connection, Journal of Atmospheric and Solar-Terrestrial Physics 73: 1980–1987.

Soon, W., K. Dutta, D.R. Legates, V. Velasco, and W. Zhang, 2011: Variation in surface air temperature of China during the 20th century, Journal of Atmospheric and Solar-Terrestrial Physics 73: 2331–2344. 

Legates, D.R. and W. Soon, 2011: Chapter 4: Sea level changes in Bangladesh: observational constraints on human, geologic and weather-climate variability related factors, in Climate Change‑ Issues and Perspectives for Bangladesh, Rafique Ahmed, and S. Dara Shamsuddin (Eds). Dhakar, Bangladesh.

Legates, D.R., W. Soon, and W.M. Briggs, 2013: Learning and teaching climate science: The perils of consensus knowledge using agnotology, Science and Education 22: 2007–2017.

Legates, D.R., W. Soon, W.M. Briggs, and C. Monckton of Brenchley, 2013: Climate consensus and ‘misinformation’: A rejoinder to ‘Agnotology, Scientific Consensus, and the Teaching and Learning of Climate Change,’ Science and Education (August).

Soon, W. and D.R. Legates, 2013: Solar irradiance modulation of equator-to-pole (Arctic) temperature gradients: empirical evidence for climate variation on multi-decadal timescales, Journal of Atmospheric and Solar-Terrestrial Physics 93: 45–56.

Legates, D.R., W. Soon, W.M. Briggs, and C. Monckton of Brenchley, 2015: Why models run hot: results from an irreducibly simple climate model, Science Bulletin, Vol. 60  Issue (1): 122-135; DOI: 10.1007/s11434-014-0699-2.