Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Judith Curry - Climate Change Denier

A reader brought my attention an article written by Judith Curry. She has become the darling of the AGW denier community due to her credentials. Ms Curry is a climate scientist and is the former chair of the School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences at the Georgia Institute of Technology. She graduated cum laude from Northern Illinois University in 1974 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Geography. She earned her Ph.D. in Geophysical Sciences from the University of Chicago in 1982.

Her credentials are real. She also accepts funds from the fossil fuel industry.

In regards to accepting funds from the fossil fuel industry, she stated:

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.
We have heard a very similar statement from Willie Soon:
No amount of money can influence what I say or do or research or write.
Now, of course, we all know that, in fact, Mr. Soon really is influenced by the amount of money and who it is coming from. So, we have to wonder about Ms. Curry as well. Why has Ms. Curry become the darling of the Wall Street Journal (a leader in the anti-science effort)? See her article The Global Warming Statistical Meltdown: Mountingevidence suggests that basic assumptions about climate change are mistaken: Thenumbers don’t add up. Why has she become the darling of Congressional Republicans who work so hard to block any legislation addressing climate change?

Too bad she has chosen to reject the very science she has worked on for so long.

Officially, Ms. Curry states she supports the scientific opinion on climate change. Then, she spends all of her time undermining climate science. This article is a perfect example. Let's look at a few of her claims.

A big part of her complaint is how the AR4 in 2007 had a 90% certainty that human emissions are responsible for climate change and then it became 95% certainty in the AR5 in 2013. What I find interesting is that it has already been reported the reason AR4 stated 'only' 90% certainty is because China and India refused to sign the report if it went any higher. The scientific consensus was there to go higher, it was the politics that prevented it. The change was not because of new science, it was due to a breakthrough in politics (small as it is). And, Ms. Curry was in a position to know this!

Why didn't she report on the reality? What was her agenda?

She then lists a number of reasons she is opposed to the idea of the increase in certainty:

  • Lack of warming since 1998 and growing discrepancies with climate model projections
  • Evidence of decreased climate sensitivity to increases in CO2
  • Evidence that sea level rise in 1920-1950 is of the same magnitude as in 1993-2012
  • Increasing Antarctic sea ice extent

The problem with this list is that every one of them is a false objection and she, as a climate scientist and chair of the department, was in a position to know better. So, why did she make these false statements?

The issue of lack of warming is both a false statement and a false argument. Warming has not only occurred, but the only way you can get this statement is to cherry pick the data and falsify your results. And, she knows this! Take a look here. This is, literally, only one of hundreds, maybe thousands, of examples showing warming has not stopped. And, of course, Ms. Curry is doing nothing more than repeating the often quoted false argument that surface warming equates to global warming while leaving out the 93% of the warming going on in the oceans.

Please explain to me why someone with the education, training and experience of Ms. Curry would do that?

Well, how about decreased sensitivity to CO2? Read this here and tell me what you think. I think it doesn't look good for Ms. Curry's credibility.

She then says her proof is the sea-level rise during a 30-year period early in the century is the same as a 20-year period late in the century. That argument is pretty ridiculous all by itself. To say the sea level is rising as much in 20 years as it used to rise in 30 years is pretty conclusive. But, there's more. Reports show current sea level rise is actually twice as much as it was early in the 20th century.

Looking worse for Ms. Curry's credibility.

Continuing. Increasing Antarctica sea ice extent. Again, one of the favorite false arguments of the denier crowd, so why is she using it?

The sea ice around Antarctica really is growing in extent. But, there is so much more to the story you have to wonder why someone in Ms. Curry's position didn't include it in her statement. Why didn't she mention how Antarctica is losing land ice at an alarming rate? In fact, it is now thought so much ice is melting on the continent the fresh water has diluted the surrounding sea water to the point it is easier for it to freeze. Why didn't she include any of that in her statement?

We can already conclude Ms. Curry is intentionally working to deceive. If she doesn't like me saying that about her she knows where to find me. I'm not worried.

So, what we see about Ms. Curry is a definite pattern of deceit that works to support the claims of deniers. And, she did this after accepting money from the fossil fuel industry.

In summary, we can see Ms. Curry is accepting money and using her position of authority to mislead and deceive the public. Her claims and statements have been thoroughly debunked and refuted. She should have been well aware of all of this and I am certain she is.

And, yet, she continues to make these statements anyways.

I guess she can respond to her employers about having made the appropriate 'deliverables' now.


  1. That climate change graphic used by Dr Curry in her article is from the IPCC report I believe. It is OK.

  2. You and nc6228 are both correct. I corrected the posting to remove those comments.

  3. By coincidence Real Sceptic also has an article about Dr Curry today.

  4. That's an interesting coincidence. Here is a link to the article:


    I agree with most of what he says, but I disagree with one thing. He says we should not dismiss Spencer's scientific research and I believe we should, even his valid research. The analogy I would cite is the case when medical researcher's wanted to use medical data obtained by the Nazi's while torturing people. It was decided, even though the data would undoubtedly advance medicine, that it was so incredibly offensive it couldn't be used. They didn't want to do anything that might shed a glimmer of legitimacy on their actions. Nothing can justify their actions and no one wanted to be involved with something that gave that impression - and might even be used in that regard.

    What Spencer is doing isn't the same as torturing people, but it is at least in the same ball game by undermining valid science and hindering progress that would benefit people not only in this country, but even worldwide. If we refuse to dismiss his valid research we we are painting a veneer of respectability to his non-valid work. I believe the cost is too high. Get rid of Spencer and others like him. Someone else will eventually do the work and make the discoveries without dragging things such as creationism and AGW denialism along them. Besides, Spencer has been found to falsify his work so many times how can you ever be confident his work is actually valid?

  5. I found some more stupidity online; care to take a look?




  6. I only took a quick look at the first one. The Daily Caller is a notoriously bad denialist source. I can't speak on their other coverage, but their coverage of climate science is so invalid it isn't even worth the time it takes to read it. The first story in the link is about how global warming has stopped. This has been debunked so many times, in so many ways and in so many places that anytime I see or hear anyone making that claim I already know they have rejected science and there is no way you can reach out to them. Just move on.

    The second and third links are to basically the same story. Some German scientists have 'identified' natural cycles in the climate. I used quotations because this is like someone saying they discovered gravity. We know there are naturally occurring cycles and those cycles continue today. However, those natural cycles do not explain what is currently being observed. It is interesting they are using this to try and undermine climate science because it is actually an argument that has been made for many years to debunk anti-science claims. The denialist claim is that climate changes naturally and we are just going through a natural cycle. The response is, yes, we have natural cycles, but the current cycle is a cooling cycle, not a warming one. And, that is exactly what they are stating here.

    Imagine that - they are admitting the climate scientists were right all this time.