My name is Victor Venema. The theme of almost all my scientific work is variability. The followers of the evil average often call it noise, reminiscent of measurement problems and inaccuracies, but variability is an innate characteristic of complex systems, such as the atmosphere, the climate system, the economy, society or evolution. Trying to understand it, describe it and use it, seems to me a more productive strategy than wishing it was not there and only trying to average it away.


At the moment most of my work and this blog is about the removal of non-climatic changes (variability) from historical stations data, which is called homogenization. I am probably best known for having been granted to be the first author the validation (benchmarking) study of statistical homogenization methods of the COST Action (large European project) HOME.

Because of this study, I am now in the Benchmarking and Assessment Working Group (BAWG) of the International Surface Temperature Initiative (ISTI). Within the ISTI I am also leading the Parallel Observations Science Team (POST), that aims to study non-climatic changes in (daily) climate data using parallel measurements representing the old and new situation (in terms of e.g. instruments, location).

More organizationally, I am chair of the Task Team on Homogenization (TT-HOM) of the Open Panel on Climate Monitoring and Assessment (OPACE 2) of the Commission for Climatology (CCl) of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), member of the Steering Committee of the WMO MEditerranean climate DAta REscue (MEDARE) Initiative, co-convener of the Climate monitoring session (data rescue, management, quality and homogenization) at the Annual Meeting of the European Meteorological Society (EMS).

More on my scientific work can be found on my professional homepage. I made a Facebook page, which is mostly a feed for this blog.


The value of diversity is also behind most of my thinking about society and politics. Some examples. Freedom of expression is the freedom to say what others do not like. The main danger of genetically modified crops is their mono-culture (lack of diversity). The strengths of democracy are that it recognizes that interests are different and that discussions with many different people lead to better decisions. Everyone has it's own talents; giving them freedom to express and develop them, is valuable for society. If many people were not larger than me, public transport (aircrafts) would be even more cramped.

Disclaimer on scientific ideas in posts

The ideas you find on this blog are hopefully useful or inspiring, but this blog is no science. The precision needed in science can only be found in my scientific articles.

Some of the posts contain ideas, which may be converted into a work of science. If you are interested in this, there is no need to refer to these posts: you are welcome to call the idea your own. The main step is not to write down a vague idea in a few hours, but to recognize that an idea is worth working on for a year to convert it into a scientific study.

Creative Commons License If you would like to use full texts from this blog, be my guest, but please do credit me and link to the post. In other words, my posts are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License.