Hubert Lamb And The Transformation Of Climate Science
After leading and establishing historical climatology during the 1960s, Hubert Lamb became the founding Director of the Climatic Research Unit at the University of East Anglia (CRU). What is not widely known is that, in contrast to current research directions at CRU, its founding director was an early and vocal climate sceptic.
Against the idea that greenhouse gas emissions were (or would soon be) noticeably warming the planet, Lamb raised objections on many levels. “His greatest concern was not so much the lack of science behind the theory,” Mr Lewin said, “it was how the growing preoccupation with man-made warming was distorting the science.”
Lewin said that “Lamb was already sounding this warning as early as 1972; soon after that the entire science would be transformed.”
As research into man-made warming began to dominate climate studies, Lamb worried that the recent advances in our understanding of natural changes were falling into neglect.
A foreword by eminent climatologist, Professor Richard Lindzen, explains how, “in this new paradigm, the natural variability that Lamb emphasized was now relegated to ‘noise’.”
Speaking from his own experience, Lindzen says that “Lamb’s intellectual trajectory is typical of what many other senior climate scientists around the world experienced.”
Bernie Lewin is an historian of science investigating the global warming scare in the context of the history and philosophy of science. Over the last 5 years he has published many essays on various sceptical blogs, including his own, Enthusiasm Scepticism and Science.