Judith Curry

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Judith A. Curry
refer to text
EducationB.Sc. in geography, Ph.D. in geophysical sciences
Alma materNorthern Illinois University, (B.Sc., 1974)
University of Chicago (Ph.D., 1982)
WebsiteCurry's home pageCurry's blog

Judith A. Curry is an American climatologist and former chair of the School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences at the Georgia Institute of Technology. Her research interests include hurricanes, remote sensing, atmospheric modeling, polar climates, air-sea interactions, and the use of unmanned aerial vehicles for atmospheric research. She is a member of the National Research Council's Climate Research Committee.[1] As of 2017, she has retired from academia.[2][3]

Curry is the co-author of Thermodynamics of Atmospheres and Oceans (1999), and co-editor of Encyclopedia of Atmospheric Sciences (2002), as well as over 140 scientific papers. Among her awards is the Henry G. Houghton Research Award from the American Meteorological Society in 1992.

Regarding climate change, she thinks that the IPCC reports typically neglect what she calls the "Uncertainty Monster"[4] in projecting future climate trends, which she calls a "wicked problem."[5] Curry also hosts a popular science blog in which she writes on topics related to climate science and the science-policy interface.[6]


Curry graduated cum laude from Northern Illinois University in 1974 with a Bachelor of Science (B.Sc.) degree in Geography. She earned her Ph.D. degree in Geophysical Sciences from the University of Chicago in 1982.[7]


Curry was a Professor and former Chair of the School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences at the Georgia Institute of Technology; she held the latter position from 2002 to 2013.[8] Curry serves on NASA Advisory Council Earth Science Subcommittee whose mission is to provide advice and recommendations to NASA on issues of program priorities and policy. She is a recent member of the NOAA Climate Working Group[8][9] and a former member of the National Academies Space Studies Board and Climate Research Group.[8][10]

Curry is a former professor of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences at the University of Colorado-Boulder and has held faculty positions at Penn State University, Purdue, and the University of Wisconsin-Madison.[8][10] Curry has been active in researching possible connections between hurricane intensity and global warming.[11][12] Her research group has also done research linking the size of hurricanes and resulting damage that showed that, among other things, the size of the hurricanes was an important factor in determining the number of tornadoes spawned by the system.[13]

Curry is the co-author of Thermodynamics of Atmospheres and Oceans (1999),[14] and co-editor of Encyclopedia of Atmospheric Sciences (2002).[15] Curry has published over 130 scientific peer reviewed papers.[16] Among her awards is the Henry G. Houghton Research Award from the American Meteorological Society in 1992.[16]

Climate change[edit]

Judith Curry has argued that climatologists should be more accommodating of those skeptical of the scientific consensus on climate change.[17] Curry has stated she is troubled by what she calls the "tribal nature" of parts of the climate-science community, and what she sees as stonewalling over the release of data and its analysis for independent review.[17]

In February 2010 Curry published an essay called "On the Credibility of Climate Change, Towards Rebuilding Trust" on Watts Up With That? and other blogs.[18] Writing in The New York Times, Andrew Revkin calls the essay a message to young scientists who may have been disheartened by the November 2009 Climatic Research Unit email controversy.[17]

In September 2010, she created Climate Etc., a blog related to climate change and hosted by Curry. She wrote that "Climate Etc. provides a forum for climate researchers, academics and technical experts from other fields, citizen scientists, and the interested public to engage in a discussion on topics related to climate science and the science-policy interface."[8] She wrote: "I have a total of 12,000 citations of my publications (since my first publication in 1983). Climate Etc. gets on average about 12,000 ‘hits’ per day, and 300-400 comments." She gets "zero academic credit or incentives for my blogging and tweeting," but hopes that "social media and the associated skill set [will become] better recognized within the academic system."[19]

Curry testified before the US House Subcommittee on Environment in 2013,[20] remarking on the many large uncertainties in forecasting future climate.[21]

In October 2014, Curry wrote an op-ed for the Wall Street Journal [22] where she argued that human-caused warming near the end of the 21st century should be less than the 2-degrees-Celsius “danger” level for all but the IPCC’s most extreme emission scenario, which is far later than the IPCC prediction of a 2-degrees-Celsius warming before 2040.

In April 2015 Curry gave evidence to the House of Representatives Committee on Science, Space and Technology Hearing on the President’s UN Climate Pledge. She summed up her evidence -

The definition of ‘dangerous’ climate change is ambiguous, and hypothesized catastrophic tipping points are regarded as very or extremely unlikely in the 21st century. Efforts to link dangerous impacts of extreme weather events to human-caused warming are misleading and unsupported by evidence. Climate change is a ‘wicked problem’ and ill-suited to a ‘command and control’ solution. It has been estimated that the U.S. national commitments to the UN to reduce emissions by 28% will prevent three hundredths of a degree centigrade in warming by 2100... The articulation of a preferred policy option in the early 1990’s by the United Nations has marginalized research on broader issues surrounding climate variability and change and has stifled the development of a broader range of policy options. We need to push the reset button in our deliberations about how we should respond to climate change. We should expand the frameworks for thinking about climate policy and provide a wider choice of options in addressing the risks from climate change. As an example of alternative options, pragmatic solutions have been proposed based on efforts to accelerate energy innovation, build resilience to extreme weather, and pursue no regrets pollution reduction. Each of these measures has justifications independent of their benefits for climate mitigation and adaptation. Robust policy options that can be justified by associated policy reasons whether or not human caused climate change is dangerous avoids the hubris of pretending to know what will happen with the 21st century climate.[23]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ National Research Council. Review of the U.S. CLIVAR Project Office. Committee to Review the U.S. Climate Variability and Predictability (CLIVAR) Project Office, National Academies Press, 2004, p. 35.
  2. ^ Curry, Judith. "JC in transition". Climate Etc. Retrieved 6 January 2017.
  3. ^ Waldman, Scott (2017-01-04). "Judith Curry retires, citing 'craziness' of climate science". ClimateWire. Environment & Energy Publishing. Retrieved 2017-01-06.
  4. ^ Curry, Judith A.; Webster, Peter J. (2011). "Climate Science and the Uncertainty Monster". Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society. 175: 1667–1682. Bibcode:2011BAMS...92.1667C. doi:10.1175/2011BAMS3139.1. http://journals.ametsoc.org/doi/pdf/10.1175/2011BAMS3139.1
  5. ^ Curry, Judith A. (2010-11-17). "Statement to the Subcommittee on Energy and Environment of the United States House of Representatives" (PDF). Retrieved 2014-08-03.
  6. ^ About Climate Etc.
  7. ^ "Judith Curry CV".
  8. ^ a b c d e Judith Curry. "About". Climate Etc. Retrieved 22 September 2010.
  9. ^ NOAA National Science Advisory Board, ed. (September 2008). "A Review of the NOAA Climate Services Strategic Plan, Final Report to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 27 May 2010. Retrieved 22 September 2010.
  10. ^ a b "Hurricanes and Global Warming: The Science, Technologies, and Politics". Researcher News (NASA). April 6, 2006. Retrieved 22 September 2010.
  11. ^ See, for example:
  12. ^ "Refereed Papers". www.curry.eas.gatech.edu. Retrieved 24 April 2010.
  13. ^ "Hurricanes Spawning More U.S. Tornadoes". Live Science. Retrieved 22 September 2010.
  14. ^ Curry, Judith A.; Webster, Peter J. (1999). Thermodynamics of Atmospheres and Oceans. San Diego, California: Academic Press, a division of Harcourt Brace & Company. ISBN 0-12-199570-4.
  15. ^ Holton, James R.; Curry, Judith A.; Pyle, John A., eds. (2002). Encyclopedia of Atmospheric Sciences. Academic Press, a division of Harcourt Brace & Company. ISBN 978-0-12-227090-1.
  16. ^ a b "Hurricanes and Global Warming: The Science, Technologies, and Politics". NASA Researcher News. Retrieved 20 January 2014.
  17. ^ a b c Revkin, Andrew (November 27, 2009). "A Climate Scientist Who Engages Skeptics". New York Times. Retrieved 24 April 2010.
  18. ^ Turner, Amy. "Richard Dawkins' pro-am clash in the boffins’ blogosphere", The Times, February 28, 2010.[dead link]
  19. ^ Judith Curry on Social Media, August 3, 2014
  20. ^ Subcommittee on Environment Hearing - Policy Relevant Climate Issues in Context Archived 2013-04-28 at the Wayback Machine.
  21. ^ Congressional Hearing on Policy-Relevant Climate Issues in Context
  22. ^ [1], WSJ op-ed "Global warming statistical meltdown", October 9, 2014
  23. ^ Judith A. Curry, Hearing: President’s UN climate pledge dated April 15, 2015 at judithcurry.com, accessed April 16, 2015

External links[edit]

General-interest articles by Curry
Books by Curry