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Nobel physicist quits group over climate stance

WASHINGTON — Norwegian physicist and Nobel laureate Ivar Giaever has quit a major US physics society due to its stance on global warming, a spokeswoman for the group told AFP Thursday.

“I can confirm he has resigned,” American Physical Society spokeswoman Tawanda Johnson said, noting that Giaever, 82, sent a letter to that effect to the group’s executive director Kate Kirby on Tuesday.

“His reason is that he takes issue with APS’s stance on climate change.”

The APS, which is a member organization of 48,000, adopted a national policy statement in 2007 which states: “The evidence is incontrovertible: Global warming is occurring.”

Last year another climate change skeptic, University of California professor Hal Lewis, left the group, claiming global warming was a “scam” and a “pseudoscientific fraud.”

In a statement issued after Lewis’s departure, APS said that “on the matter of global climate change, APS notes that virtually all reputable scientists agree… carbon dioxide is increasing in the atmosphere due to human activity.”

Giaever, who shared the 1973 Nobel Prize in Physics for his “experimental discoveries regarding tunneling phenomena in semiconductors,” did not respond to an AFP email requesting comment.

Johnson stressed that Giaever’s position represented the minority in the scientific community, and that while APS is “disappointed” at his departure it does not intend to change its position.

“We don’t have members resigning in droves or anything like that,” she said.

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