Climatologist Dr. Judith Curry’s at Senate hearing: ‘Attempts to modify the climate through reducing CO2 emissions may turn out to be futile’ – UN IPCC now making ‘a weaker case for anthropogenic global warming’

By: - Climate DepotJanuary 16, 2014 1:05 PM with 31 comments

More coverage of Senate climate hearing here. (All witness testimony here)

Link to Dr. Curry’s testimony:  – PDF document

STATEMENT TO THE COMMITTEE ON ENVIRONMENT AND PUBLIC WORKS OF THE UNITED STATES SENATE - Hearing on “Review of the President’s Climate Action Plan” -16 January 2014 - Judith A. Curry - Georgia Institute of Technology

Selected Excerpts: 

Curry: I am Chair of the School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences at the Georgia Institute of  Technology. I have devoted 30 years to conducting research on topics including climate of the Arctic, the role of clouds and aerosols in the climate system, and the climate dynamics of extreme weather events.

Curry: ‘The IPCC does not have a convincing or confident explanation for the current hiatus in warming’ - ‘The stagnation in greenhouse warming observed over the past 15+ years demonstrates that CO2 is not a control knob on climate variability on decadal time scales’

Sea Level: ‘Global sea level has been rising for the past several thousand years. The key issue is whether the rate of sea level rise is accelerating owing to anthropogenic global warming. It is seen that the rate of rise during 1930-1950 was comparable to, if not larger than, the value in recent years. Hence the data does not seem to support the IPCC’s conclusion of a substantial contribution from anthropogenic forcings to the global mean sea level rise since the 1970s.’

Ice: ‘The increase in Antarctic sea ice is not understood and is not simulated correctly by climate models. Further, Arctic surface temperature anomalies in the 1930’s were as large as the recent temperature anomalies.’

‘If the recent warming hiatus is caused by natural variability, then this raises the question as to what extent the warming between 1975 and 2000 can also be explained by natural climate variability.’

Heat waves: ‘The EPA also cites evidence that summertime heat waves were frequent and widespread in the 1930s, and these remain the most severe heat waves in the U.S. historical record.’

Extreme Weather: ‘There is a large component of natural variability seen in the 100+ year data record particularly for drought and heat waves, each of which had maximum extremes during the 1930’s. Sea level rise also shows a maxima during the 1930’s to 1940’s’…In the U.S., most types of weather extremes were worse in the 1930’s and even in the 1950’s than in the current climate, while the weather was overall more benign in the 1970’s. This sense that extreme weather events are now more frequent and intense is symptomatic of ‘weather amnesia’ prior to 1970′

Curry’s conclusions: ‘The science of climate change is not settled, and evidence reported by the IPCC AR5 weakens the case for human factors dominating climate change in the 20th and early 21st centuries

With the 15+ year hiatus in global warming, there is growing appreciation for the importance of natural climate variability

The IPCC AR5 and SREX find little evidence that supports an increase in most extreme weather events that can be attributed to humans, and weather extremes in the U.S. were generally worse in the 1930’s and 1950’s than in recent decades.

Not only is more research needed to clarify the sensitivity of climate to carbon dioxide and understand the limitations of climate models, but more research is needed on solar variability, sun-climate connections, natural internal climate variability and the climate dynamics of extreme weather events. Improved understanding of these aspects of climate variability and change is needed to help government officials, communities, and businesses better understand and manage the risks associated with climate change.’


End excerpt. Full Curry testimony here.

Related Links: 

Climatologist Dr. Judith Curry calls for abolishing UN climate panel: ‘We need to put down the UN IPCC as soon as possible’ — ‘As temperatures have declined and climate models have failed to predict this decline, the IPCC has gained confidence in catastrophic warming’ - Judith Curry, Professor and chair of the School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences at the Georgia Institute of Technology: ‘Given the widespread nature of the infection and intrinsic motivated reasoning.  We need to put down the IPCC as soon as possible’

  • jumper297

    But we’re still full-speed ahead on the legislation despite this scientist’s testimony… That alone should tell you that it’s never been about the climate.

    • cwon1

      It isn’t legislation but executive decree, as if we are officially a banana republic.

      • goodspkr

        The UN head of climate change finds democracy to be a hindrance to what she and others want to do, that is, save us from ourselves.

        • cwon1

          I just point out Dr. Curry was a consensus IPCC clown all through the Gore peak, it was shameful. She never directly addresses the leftist fingerprints all over AGW because in fact she is an Obama supporter and leftist by inclination. It simply got too preposterous even for her. I welcome her improvements but the damage she did was huge and she still plays the middle to this day.

          Statist “expert” authority is a threat to democracy, Dr. Curry remains a net negative in her career. I get sick of the “brave” talk when you consider the social ostracization Dr. Lindzen lived through.

        • cwon1

          I just point out Dr. Curry was a consensus IPCC clown all through the Gore peak, it was shameful. She never directly addresses the leftist fingerprints all over AGW because in fact she is an Obama supporter and leftist by inclination. It simply got too preposterous even for her. I welcome her improvements but the damage she did was huge and she still plays the middle to this day.

          Statist “expert” authority is a threat to democracy, Dr. Curry remains a net negative in her career. I get sick of the “brave” talk when you consider the social ostracization Dr. Lindzen lived through.

          • guesswhodrews

            You obviously haven’t been at her site. She talks about how climategate changed her viewpoint. You actually sound like a leftist when you condemn someone for a stance she has changed from. With people such as yourself, we become our own worse enemy.

          • cwon1

            Yes, I’ve been to the site. Many years in fact. Dr. Curry is looking for the false middle and may be more dangerous in practice than the Greenshirt fanatics that drive the core AGW movement.

            So your post is clueless to the point I make.

          • krusatyr

            So her grant ran out?

          • JWDougherty

            That’s merely because you are thinking politically. Curry had accepted a theory that appeared to be supported by both laboratory results (CO2 really does absorb some LWIR) and by a concept of climate function that appeared sufficient. When she concluded it was not sufficient, she announced a change in view. That is a scientific thought process.

            The problem in modern science is that all too often we find ourselves dependent on politicians and agencies to help support research. Or you can go off and pan handle for funding from NGOs (right or left, Green Peace or Koch Bros.). Of course, in all of those cases the funders not only want results, but results they expected and which support their preconceptions. They tend to throw tantrums when useful results but contrary to expectations, funding dries up and you are again out on the street looking for a home for the microscope. Unlike Mann, who is a narcissist, Curry is an able (not brave) scientist who pays attention to results and what they really mean. Climategate revealed to her, as well as to many others who were able to read and comprehend, that climate science was not normal science. It exposed what mounted to a conspiracy of egotists, who thought they had identified the truth, and who at the time assumed that mathematical catastrophic events corresponded to real world ones, rather than “anomalies.”

            And, tossing around words like “statist” doesn’t make you a libertarian. If Doctor Lindzen was ostracized, as a scientist he undoubtedly saw the time as an opportunity to get some real research done. Any real scientist would, since the one thing we never have enough of is time.

  • Fred

    She is brave for telling the truth and using real science.The truth always eventually prevails even though it sometimes is painful in the meantime. Isn’t it a shame that it takes bravery to tell the truth? That doesn’t speak well of our society.

    • Bjorn Thompson

      Also tells me she might be a real scientist, when the data comes in the opposite of what you were expecting, it kinda
      disproves the theory.

    • Teddi

      I don’t deny man-made global warming…

      Man-made global warming did occur in the last few decades, but it was only because of man-made manipulation of data and man-made false theory put forth in man-made lies for a man-made agenda………

      • goodspkr

        You misspelled it. It’s Mann-made global warming.

    • Claudius Denk

      I agree. It’s great that she is telling the truth now. The constant nagging from us skeptics is, I guess, starting to get to her conscience. And she is close enough to retirement that she is relatively untouchable by the AGW Fraud collective (that has already begun to attack her mercilessly). Maybe she can get through to congress to get some laws passed so that there is so degree of accountability.

  • Frederick Colbourne

    Judith Curry has courage as well as the science. How many other professors agree but are afraid to speak out.

    For 20 years I concealed my skepticism. I don’t have tenure at a university and could not afford to be denied work because of my heretical views.

    Let us praise Dr Curry for letting her views be known in a world and a country where a teacher can be dismissed for not accepting the “consensus” view on AGW.

    Reminds me how few people were willing to believe continents move way back before 1970 when “continental drifters” were vilified even in Science magazine. When plate tectonics changed all that, many who were silent said they secretly believed that continents move.

    The same will happen when internal climate variability is seen to trump AGW.

    • cwon1

      I appreciate your candor Fred, it’s sad of course. Scientist behaving like bullied farm hands and serfs. A little inexplicable that among well-educated academics and teachers they can be cowed this effectively. You should go to Dr. Curry’s sight and tell your story even anonymously.

      • goodspkr

        Fred was just proving the old adage, “he who pays the piper, calls the tune.”

    • richard40

      So basically a lot of people in this so called scientific concensus are people like you. in reality skeptics, but too fearful of the fascist campus lefttists to admit it.

  • cwon1

    I would temper the “brave” Dr. Curry line, she’s been a consensus middle road warrior for decades, her epiphany remains limited. I realize the standard climate scientist is a political hack driven by green ideology but there has to be more than that to form accolades.

    If you want bravery and candor consider Dr. Lindzen.

    • Claudius Denk

      Lindzen’s demeanor made it too easy to use him as a strawman. He never made much effort to expose the fraud, IMO.

      • cwon1

        There is no perfect leader in the climate science community. Dr. Lindzen is a true eccentric and I would say naturally non-political by nature. That’s a huge problem when faced with what is an overwhelming political science problem. Alarmist have no private qualms about the regulatory agenda and in fact many “skeptics” are politically indifferent as well.

        He improved over time as has Dr. Curry but there is no comparison. Dr. Lindzen is more honest about AGW motives. He like many is too reluctant to just state it straight out and always tells the story in parable forms. The public at large just isn’t that interested or bright and that has served the alarmist cause as well. Fear is the easier sales job and reason is a backwater. That’s in fact why socialism is the dominating culture in society. Sanctimony is important to the elite and again green movements and power craving offers that as well.

        • Claudius Denk

          Excellent comments. I have become more philosophical about whether or not AGW is evil or just part of the human condition. I think of it as kind of a post religious religion.

      • Ted

        Except you cannot and do not demonstrate any fraud. So your position is vapor and meaningless, more accurately demonstrating lack of knowledge and talking smack.

        • Claudius Denk

          Don’t be naive. When people are so determined to gain believers and evade debate it’s because they are putting forth a fraud. Real scientist with information on real emergencies would be eager to debate/discuss any and all. You about have to have your head up your ass for this not to be obvious.

  • Philosophy Science

    c02 sacrifices may not be enough, we may have to do it more like the Mayans did. I’m sure Obama will lead us to the right answer.

    • OldMule

      “I’m sure Obama will LEAD us to the right answer.”

      You mean leading by example? We can only hope.

  • Oliver_K_Manuel

    I appreciate Professor Curry’s courage and candor.

    AGW is only the most well-known example of deceptive publicly-financed science driven by FEAR of the source of energy that destroyed Hiroshima and Nagasaki in early August 1945. Here’s a link to the rest of the story:

  • Guest

    As a research geologist, I have been a climate sceptic for years. I was first suspicious when global climate
    “warming” became global climate “change”. There is always a reason for the
    rhetoric to change (in this case the 15-year “pause” is the likely reason). Then I noticed that the only time I saw scientific
    publications on geologic evidence for climate change was when a geoscientist
    reported evidence in the geologic record of how rapidly it could occur. This,
    of course, was to support the idea that catastrophic change could occur– the
    alarmist approach to garner further funding. Never mind that the earth’s
    climate has been changing continuously for more than 4 billion years.
    I have significant environmental credentials, so I think that I can see
    both sides of any environmental issue, but I have become a sceptic of
    government- and NGO-funded research– there is almost always an agenda that compromises research on any controversial topic. The USEPA has ignored evidence against the LNT (linear no threshold) model used in radiation protection to quantify radiation exposure and set regulatory limits.
    My analysis of the things that have been said by a number of authors and
    some of the simple modeling work that we did for the USEPA on a different topic leads me to believe that 1) the
    earth’s climate is too complex to model, the system is simply too chaotic; 2)
    the data are very poorly known, even temperature data; 3) feedback mechanisms
    are still poorly understood; 4) simple changes in the model parameters can
    yield any result you want; and 5) climate scientists can only guess how to weigh
    most parameters.
    Finally, there is an area of research that studies forecasting and forecasts. In
    2008 two researchers in this field audited the IPCC 2007 report. This audit was
    published by the NCPA ( The
    NCPA is a conservative group, but the paper stands by itself. Basically, the
    authors conclude that the climate change predictions are not scientific
    forecasts, but experts’ opinions The expert’s opinions are strongly colored by political agendas and the
    desire to stay funded.

    • bloodaxe

      Or, to sum up (in simple layman’s terms) the so-called “Theory of Global Warming” is a giant crock of shiit cooked up by a cabal of greedy sons-of-bitches and power-mad politicians. It isn’t aboput science or “saving the planet”. It’s about money, power and control.

  • Guest

    Regarding the paradigm change that brought the advent of plate tectonic theory in the 1960s and 70s, ongoing geoscientists’ research at the time showed numerous very defensible observations that conflicted with all previous ideas. When there was a substantial weight of evidence favoring a new theory, the transition was rapid. Plate tectonics has had a far greater explanatory power than any of the previous concepts. Gobal climate change models have NOT reached the level of a paradigm. There is no paradigm for climate change. It is so poorly understood, a predictive or explanatory capability is extremely unlikely. To pick one parameter, carbon dioxide, and say it is the primary cause of global warming, is unreasonable even irrational.

  • JWDougherty

    There’ s no question that human activities such as city building and agricultural alter climate at the mesoscale (regional scale). The real question is whether these effects are cumulative or tend to cancel. There is no evidence at any time scale that CO2 is an important component of atmospheric energy transport.