Net nu door de komst van Donald Trump, die zich verzet tegen de klimaathysterie, een verbetering van de positie van klimaatsceptici mag worden verwacht, gooit Judith Curry [zie foto boven] de handdoek in de ring. Zij vindt de situatie in academia zo verziekt en gepolitiseerd dat zij er geen zin meer in heeft. Zijn begon als een trouw volgeling van het VN-klimaatpanel (IPCC). Maar toen zij de feiten ging checken, werd zij klimaatsceptica en probeerde zij bruggen te slaan tussen de opvattingen van protagonisten en antagonisten van de menselijke broeikashypothese (AGW = ‘Anthropogenic Global Warming’). Dat is, naar haar eigen opvatting, kennelijk onvoldoende gelukt. Misschien ziet zij dat verkeerd, of is de situatie de in de VS anders dan bij ons. Want uit ervaring weet ik dat Nederlandse AGWers respect voor haar hebben.

Hiermee stapt zij in de voetsporen van Sally Baliunas, astrofysica en klimaatsceptica die vele jaren geleden ook afscheid nam van haar universiteit, omdat haar het leven daar onmogelijk werd gemaakt. Zij traint thans honden.

Hoe het ook zij, onder de titel, ‘Judith Curry retires, citing ‘craziness’ of climate science’, schreef Scott Waldman voor ‘E&E News’:

Judith Curry, one of climate science’s most vocal critics, is leaving academe because of what she calls the poisonous nature of the scientific discussion around human-caused global warming.

Curry, 63, is retiring from her tenured position as a professor at the School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences at the Georgia Institute of Technology. She’s instead going to focus on growing her private business, Climate Forecast Applications Network, which provides insights into climate and weather risks for agriculture and energy companies.

The climatologist, who distinguished herself in the field decades ago with research into the Arctic and the causes of the climate feedback that have shaped the region, writes a blog called Climate Etc. It is by turns academic and inflammatory.

There she occasionally mocks what she calls “climate alarmists” who say time is almost out unless humanity weans itself off fossil fuels. In her blog and on Twitter, she has also criticized some of the scientists, including Pennsylvania State University climatologist Michael Mann and Harvard University climate historian Naomi Oreskes, who have become leading voices for climate action. She has testified in front of Congress, boosted by politicians who use her work to argue that environmental regulations and a scaling down of fossil fuel use will be ineffective. Her work is frequently invoked by climate skeptics and denialists. Congressional Democrats, displeased with her conclusions, have investigated the source of her funding.

Curry actually believes, along with the vast majority of climate scientists, that humans are warming the planet, and was even an outspoken advocate of the issue during the George W. Bush years. She was among the first to connect global warming to hurricanes, for example, publishing an influential study in Science in 2006. But where she breaks with the majority opinion is over just how much humans are actually causing global temperatures to rise.

Where many scientists say that humans are the primary cause of warming, Curry believes natural forces play a larger role. She also believes that uncertainty around climate models means we don’t have to act so quickly and that current plans would do little to mitigate warming. She also questions the assertion made by a majority of climate scientists who believe humans have significantly contributed to climate change. In the Obama years, she has become a contrarian of sorts, often criticizing those who rely on climate models to prove that humans are warming the planet at an unprecedented rate.

In announcing her retirement, Curry wrote about what she called her “growing disenchantment with universities, the academic field of climate science and scientists.” She said a deciding factor for leaving the ivory tower was that “I no longer know what to say to students and postdocs regarding how to navigate the CRAZINESS in the field of climate science,” adding that research and funding for it are highly politicized.

In an interview with E&E News, Curry said she would like to see a greater focus on the uncertainties of climate science and a better exploration of them through scientific debate free of politics.

“Once you understand the scientific uncertainties, the present policy path that we’re on doesn’t make a lot of sense,” she said. “We need to open up policy dialogue to a bigger solution space. So I’m just looking to open up the dialogue and to provoke people into thinking.”

Curry, in general, believes that the policies undertaken by the Obama administration won’t do much to reduce global warming levels. That has made her the target of scientists who accuse her of aiding the climate denialists who oppose the environmental regulations of the last eight years and are eager to dismantle them under President-elect Donald Trump. Curry is not convinced that Trump will damage the climate science field, which she said has gone in the wrong direction under Obama.

“Once we get over this little bump of activism, if the Trump administration will put us on a slightly reassuring and saner footing, that will allow all this to die down,” she said. “We can always hope.” …

In the next few years, four to eight or even longer, what do you want to see in the field of climate science; what are you hoping happens? You do believe humans are changing the climate, correct?

Yes, but how much they’re changing the climate, we don’t know. Yes, they do contribute to climate change; very few people would question that. The question is, how much relatively to natural variability? Because we don’t understand natural variability that well, we don’t have a convincing answer for that. Better understanding of natural variability, particularly show our climate connections, but even how volcanoes both above ground and underwater influence the climate, particularly the long-term ocean oscillations and how the chaotic ocean interacts with chaotic atmosphere. That’s reasonably complex, and we don’t understand that.

We need to go back to basics to get the fundamental interactions between the ocean and atmosphere correct, because this, to me, is what’s driving the whole thing. In climate modeling, all the eggs were put in one basket, and we’ve gotten as far as we’re going to get along that particular path. We need to start over with a new path for climate modeling. …

Lees verder hier (verplichte lectuur voor klimatofielen van alle gezindten).

Ondanks haar vertrek bij de universiteit, neem ik aan dat we veel van Judith Curry zullen horen.

Het wijdverbreide obscurantisme in de klimatologie, inclusief het stelselmatig treiteren van integere collega’s, is een smet op het blazoen van de wetenschap.

Voor mijn eerdere bijdragen over klimaat en aanverwante zaken zie hierhier, hier, hier en hier.