Lennart Bengtsson this morning sent an email to Benny Peiser and David Henderson of the GWPF and cc to Hans von Storch and myself amongst others in which he announces his resignation from the GWPF. Bengtsson gave Von Storch permission to post the email on Klimazwiebel so apparently the content is no longer confidential. I think it would have been much more professional if there was first an official announcement from the GWPF, but this is as it is now. So here is the email:

Dear Professor Henderson,
I have  been put under such an enormous group pressure in recent days from all over the world that  has become virtually unbearable to me. If this is going to continue I will be unable to conduct my normal work and will even start to worry about my health and safety.
I see therefore no other way out therefore  than resigning from GWPF. I had not expecting such an enormous world-wide pressure put at me from a community that I have been close to all my active life.  Colleagues are withdrawing their support, other colleagues are withdrawing from joint authorship etc. I see no limit and end to what will happen. It is a situation that reminds me about the time of McCarthy.
I would never have expecting anything similar in such an original peaceful community as meteorology. Apparently it has been transformed in recent years.
Under these situation I will be unable to contribute positively to the work of GWPF and consequently therefore I believe it is the best for me to reverse my decision to join  its Board at the earliest possible time.With my

best regards,
Lennart Bengtsson

This is a very unfortunate development. Bengtsson joined the Academic Advisory Council of the GWPF only two weeks ago. Now one wonders what the crimes of the GWPF are? What makes the GWPF so “bad” that Bengtsson is now regarded as so contaminated that co-authoring a paper with him is not acceptable anymore?

I hope Bengtsson will give much more details in the coming days to weeks about what happened exactly. What does he mean for example when he writes “Colleagues are withdrawing their support”?

This is very bad for the trustworthiness of climate science. Over and over again we as a society are told there is a consensus about CO2 and climate, that there is a large majority in the field etc. However what does that all mean if eminent scientists like Bengtsson are punished severely, only for the fact that he joined an advisory board? Why would one trust climate science if such enormous social pressure is going on?

[Updates]

GWPF statement here

Steve McIntyre responds here

Anthony Watts was about to cross post the 1990 interview I posted yesterday. He now did so together with the news about the resignation.

Support letter from David Gee.

Ben Webster in The Times with a reaction from Bengtsson.

Judith Curry’s reaction. Her first comments:

I will have much more to write about this in a few days.  For now, I will say that I deeply regret that any scientist, particularly such a distinguished scientist as Bengtsson, has had to put up with these attacks.  This past week, we have seen numerous important and enlightening statements made by Bengtsson about the state of climate science and policy, and science and society is richer for this.  We have also seen a disgraceful display of Climate McCarthyism by climate scientists, which has the potential to do as much harm to climate science as did the Climategate emails.  And we have seen the GWPF handle this situation with maturity and dignity.