2000 Letter from Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute to ExxonMobil

This document contains a 2000 correspondence between Lloyd D. Keigwin, the Senior Scientist at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute and Peter Altman, Exxon’s National Campaign Coordinator. In the letter, Keigwin references his scientific study on ocean warming and the  Sargasso Sea, which was published in Science in 1996. Keigwin asserts that Exxon misrepresented data contained therein, specifically when Exxon’s CEO stated that the fact that Keigwin’s study showed that the Earth is cooler than it was thousands of years ago leads to the conclusion that the Earth’s warming of 1 or 2 degrees would not have any important impacts. Keigwin also defends his scientific methods and results against criticism from Exxon that his “results aren’t the best estimate of Earth’s temperature over the past 3000 years.”  Keigwin concludes by stating that Exxon was misleading in its use of his Sargasso Sea study, and that Exxon “exploited” the results of his studies for political gain.


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