Judith Curry

Judith Curry

 Credentials

  • PhD, Geophysical Sciences, University of Chicago (1982).
  • B.S., Geography, Northern Illinois University (1974).
Source: [1]

 Background

Judith A. Curry is the chairman of the School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences at the Georgia Institute of Technology and has held this position since 2002. Judith Curry writes and speaks prolifically on the climate change issue, and runs the blog Climate Etc.

Judith Curry has been invited by Republicans to testify at climate change hearings regarding alleged uncertainties regarding man-made climate change. She has also participated in a variety of blogs in the skeptical community including Climate Audit, the Air Vent and the Black-board. 

Curry has been criticized by climate scientists for her climate outreach in the blogosphere based on assertions not necessarily supported by the evidence: particularly that the “climate always changes.” [6]

Scientist Mark Serreze, director of the National Snow and Ice Data Center at the University of Colorado at Boulder, points out that “Climate doesn't change all by itself for no good reason. Something has to force it.” [6]

When she was questioned about potential conflicts of interest, this was her response to the Scientific American: [2]
 
“I do receive some funding from the fossil fuel industry. My company…does [short-term] hurricane forecasting…for an oil company, since 2007. During this period I have been both a strong advocate for the IPCC, and more recently a critic of the IPCC, there is no correlation of this funding with my public statements.”

Stance on Climate Change

Curry writes on her blog Climate Etc. that her views on climate change are best summarized by her recent Congressional Testimony. The following quote is taken from her testimony (PDF) on the President's Climate Action Plan: [21], [22]

“Recent data and research supports the importance of natural climate variability and calls into question the conclusion that humans are the dominant cause of recent climate change:

  • The hiatus in global warming since 1998
  • Reduced estimates of the sensitivity of climate to carbon dioxide
  • Climate models predict much more warming than has been observed in the early 21st century”

Key Quotes

December 8, 2015

At a hearing titled “Data or Dogma? Promoting Open Inquiry in the Debate over the Magnitude of Human Impact on Earth’s Climate,” Juth Curry acknowledged that global temperatures are rising, but says the bigger question is whether humans to blame.

She said temperatures have been on the rise for more than 200 years. “And that's not human,” she said, suggesting that something other than industrial greenhouse gases is causing them to climb. [25]

E&E News notes that Curry's viewpoint “is not accepted by most climate scientists. They point to corresponding rises in greenhouse gases and temperatures as evidence that human activities are a key driver of warming.” [25]

July, 2015

With reference to record-breaking heat waves in Western Europe, and whether they should be blamed on man-made global warming (emphasis added):

“Does it make more sense to provide air conditioning or to limit CO2 emissions.  I vote for more air conditioning in these susceptible regions.” [19]

September 2014

In her speech at the National Press Club, Curry said: 

“The main problem is we are putting the policy cart before the scientific horse.”

“Relying on global international treaty to solve the problem – which I do not think would really solve the problem even if it was implemented – is politically unviable and economically unviable.”

“Even on the timescale of decade or two, we could end up be very surprised on how the climate plays out and it might not be getting warmer like the UN IPCC says. We don’t know what's going to happen. All other things being equal – yes – more carbon dioxide means warmer, but all other things are never equal. We just don’t know. I think we are fooling ourselves to think that CO2 control knob really influences climate on these decadal or even century time scales.” [18]

April 19, 2014

Curry, in her blog Climate Etc, publishes a post titled, “In defense of free speech.” Within it, she writes:

“I am broadly concerned about the slow death of free speech, but particularly in universities and also with regards to the climate change debate.” [9]

April 25, 2013

“If all other things remain equal, it is clear that adding more carbon dioxide to the atmosphere will warm the planet. However the real difficulty is that nothing remains equal, and reliable prediction of the impact of carbon dioxide on the climate requires that we understand natural climate variability properly. Until we understand natural climate variability better, we cannot reliably infer sensitivity to greenhouse gas forcing or understand its role in influencing extreme weather events. […] While 20th century climate change is most often explained in terms of external forcing, with natural internal variability providing high frequency ‘noise,’ the role of large multidecadal oscillations is receiving increasing attention.” [4]

October 28, 2012

“The manufactured consensus of the IPCC has had the unintended consequences of distorting the science, elevating the voices of scientists that dispute the consensus, and motivating actions by the consensus scientists and their supporters that have diminished the public’s trust in the IPCC.” [3]

Key Deeds

December 8, 2015

Set to coincide with the Paris COP21 (Conference of the Parties), Judith Curry testified at a hearing of the Subcommittee on Space, Science, and Competitiveness convened by U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) titled “Data or Dogma? Promoting Open Inquiry in the Debate over the Magnitude of Human Impact on Earth’s Climate.” [20] 
 
According to the event description, the hearing focused on “the ongoing debate over climate science, the impact of federal funding on the objectivity of climate research, and the ways in which political pressure can suppress opposing viewpoints in the field of climate science.”
 
Ars Technica summarized Curry's testimony, saying she claimed that climate science has fallen victim to “groupthink” after reading the “Climategate” emails between scientists in 2009. (Note that independent investigations have long exonerated those involved).
 
“The rest of Curry’s testimony entailed claims that the science of anthropogenic climate change is unsettled, which she has spoken and written about at length over the years,” the magazine wrote. Curry's full testimony is available at the U.S. Senate Committee's website (PDF). [23], [24]
 
Other listed witnesses include:

December 7, 2015

Judith Curry appears as a “Key Scientist” in Marc Morano’s documentary film, Climate Hustle, which debuted on December 7, 2015, in Paris, France during the COP21 United Nations summit on climate change. [26] The film chiefly showcases Morano's personality, a range of discredited scientists, and no new factual information about climate change.

Other notable “Key Scientists” featured in Climate Hustle include: [26]

March, 2015

Judith Curry is one of several climate change skeptics cc'd on an email from S. Fred Singer in hopes of countering the documentary film “Merchants of Doubt,” which exposes the network of climate change skeptics and deniers trying to delay legislative action on climate change.  

The October, 2014 email was leaked to journalists before the documentary was released. “Can I sue for damages?” Singer asked in the email. “Can we get an injunction against the documentary?”

InsideClimate News reports in their article “Leaked Email Reveals Who's Who List of Climate Denialists,” how “Many of those copied on the email thread, such as Singer and communications specialist Steven Milloy, have financial ties to the tobacco, chemical, and oil and gas industries and have worked to defend them since the 1990s.” [17]

InsideClimate News also documented all those who were cc'd on the email, including the following skeptics and groups:

DeSmogBlog covered the emails here: “Merchants of Doubt Film Debuts, Textbook Denial Attack Campaign Led By Fred Singer Ensues” and DeSmogBlog also archived a full copy of the Singer email thread (PDF)

September 25, 2014

Judith Curry attends the “At the Crossroads; Energy & Climate Policy Summit” in Houston, Texas, hosted by the Texas Public Policy Foundation and The Heritage Foundation. Spencer presents in “Panel I: The State of the Science,” with Roy Spencer and Harold Doiron. [16]

March 9, 2014

Judith Curry publishes a post on her blog, Climate Etc, titled, “Positioning skeptics.” In the post, she declares her happiness in her decision to write the Foreword for Lewis and Krok's GWPF report, after initially “thinking twice about writing a Foreword for a GWPF (Global Warming Policy Foundation) publication,” noting that she “tries to stay away from organizations with political perspectives on global warming.” [14],[15]

January 16, 2014

Judith Curry testified before The Committee on Environment and Public Works of the U.S. Senate in a hearing titled, “Review of the President's Climate Action Plan.” According to her testimony, the “evidence reported by the IPCC AR5 weakens the case for human factors dominating climate change in the 20th and early 21st centuries.” Additionally, Curry states that she is “increasingly concerned that both the climate change problem and its solution have been vastly oversimplified.” [13]

April 25, 2013

Judith Curry testified before the Senate Subcommittee on Environment in a hearing titled “Policy Relevant Climate Issues in Context.” According to her testimony, there is still uncertainty whether carbon dioxide impacts the climate until “we better understand natural climate variability.” [4]

Prominent climate change skeptic Bjorn Lomborg also testified at the hearing.

October, 2012

Judith Curry is the co-author of a paper titled “Climate change: no consensus on consensus” which provides an overview of critiques of the IPCC consensus process.

According to the paper's introduction, “It is difficult to avoid concluding that the IPCC consensus is manufactured and that the existence of this consensus does not lend intellectual substance to their conclusions.” [3]

October 10, 2007

Curry publishes an opinion piece in The Washington Post titled, “Cooler Heads and Climate Change,” in response to Bjorn Lomborg's opinion piece, “Chill out,” written just three days prior. In it, she states that Lomborg “rightly notes” that climate change skepticism is “no longer focused on whether it the earth is getting warmer (it is) or whether humans are contributing to it (we are). The current debate is about whether warming matters, and whether we can afford to do anything about it.” [12]

Curry goes on to say that Lomborg has placed himself directly in the skeptics camp, but notes that “he has some of his facts wrong.” Among the incorrect facts is Lomborg's assertion that the Kangerlussuaq Glacier in Greenland is “inconveniently growing.” Curry points out that the glacier is not growing, but rather, “simply spilling into the sea,” citing NASA research. [12]

In her closing paragraph, Curry states, “There is no easy solution to this problem [global warming]… But I have yet to see an option that is worse than ignoring the risk of global warming and doing nothing.” [12]

 Affiliations

  • Climate Forecast Applications Network (CFAN) — President and Co-Founder. [5]

 Publications

 Resources

  1. JUDITH A. CURRY,” CV at the School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, Georgia Institute of Technology. Accessed April 27, 2013. 

  2. Michael D. Lemonick. “Climate Heretic: Judith Curry Turns on Her Colleagues,” Scientific American, October 25, 2010.

  3. Judith Curry. “Climate change: no consensus on consensus,” Climate Etc., October 28, 2012.

  4. Judith A. Curry. “Hearing on 'Policy Relevant Climate Issues in Context'” (PDF), Committee on Space, Science and Technology, April 25, 2013.

  5. About,” Climate Forecast Applications Network. Accessed April 27, 2013.

  6. Joe Romm, “Judith Curry Abandons Science,” Climate Progress, November 11, 2010.

  7. Judith Curry and Peter J. Webster, “Thermodynamics of Atmospheres and Oceans,” International Geophysics Series: Volume 65, February 13, 1999.

  8. Judith Curry, “FIRE Arctic Clouds Experiment,” Journal of Geophysical Research, Volume 106, Part 14 (2001).

  9. Judith Curry,” SourceWatch.

  10. Judith Curry,” Wikipedia. 

  11. Judith Curry, “In defense of free speech,” Climate Etc, April 19, 2014.

  12. Judith Curry, “Cooler Heads and Climate Change,” The Washington Post Opinions, October 10, 2007.

  13. Judith Curry, “Hearing on 'Review of the President's Climate Action Plan,'” Committee on Environment and Public Works of The United States Senate, January 16, 2014. Archived May 21, 2014.

  14. Judith Curry, “Positioning skeptics,” Climate Etc, March 9, 2014.

  15. Judith Curry, “Lewis and Krok: Climate less sensititve to CO2 than models suggest,” Climate Etc, March 5, 2014.

  16. Judith Curry. Speakers,” At the Crossroads; Energy & Climate Policy Summit, Texas Public Policy Foundation, The Heritage Foundation, September 25/26, 2014.

  17. Katherine Bagley. “Leaked Email Reveals Who's Who List of Climate Denialists,” InsideClimate News. March 12, 2015.

  18. Judith Curry. “Speech at National Press Club,” as reported by Climate Depot. September 16, 2014.

  19. Judith Curry. “Heat waves: exacerbated by global warming?Climate Etc. July 2, 2015. Archived July 8, 2015.  

  20. U.S. Senate Committee On Commerce, Science, & Transportation Senator John Thune, Chairman * Senator Bill Nelson, Ranking Member,” U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, & Transportation. Archived December 4, 2015. WebCite URLhttp://www.webcitation.org/6dWzmXaup

  21. About,” Climate Etc. Archived December 9, 2015. WebCite URLhttp://www.webcitation.org/6dg4GaWAj

  22. Statement to the Committee on Science, Space and Technology of the United States House of Representatives” (PDF), April 15, 2015. Retrieved from JudithCurry.com. Archived .pdf on file at DeSmogBlog.

  23. Scott K. Johnson. “Senate Science Committee hearing challenges 'dogma' of climate science,” Ars Technica, December 9, 2015. Archived December 10, 2015. WebCiteURLhttp://www.webcitation.org/6dg22APzp

  24. “Statement to the Subcommittee on Space, Science and Competitiveness of the United States Senate” (PDF), U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, & Transportation, December 8, 2015. Archived .pdf on file at DeSmogBlog. 

  25. Evan Lehmann. “POLITICS: Cruz rejects climate science as he rises in the polls,” E&E News, December 9, 2015. Archived December 1-, 2015. WebCite URLhttp://www.webcitation.org/6dg5s5nun

  26. Background on Key Scientists Appearing in Climate Hustle,” Climate Hustle. Archived January 11, 2016.