William Michael Connolley (born April 12, 1964) is a software engineer in Cambridge, England. Connolley was, until December 2007, Senior Scientific Officer in the Physical Sciences Division in the Antarctic Climate and the Earth System project at the British Antarctic Survey, where he worked as a climate modeller.
Connolley holds a Bachelor of Arts in mathematics and Doctor of Philosophy from the University of Oxford for his work on numerical analysis. Connolley has authored and co-authored many articles in the field of climatological research. It is his view that there is a consensus in the scientific community about climate change topics such as global warming, and that the various reports from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) summarise this consensus.
Connolley served as a parish councillor in the village of Coton (near Cambridge, England) until May 2007. He stood as a Green Party candidate for either South Cambridgeshire District Council or Cambridgeshire County Council every year from 2001 to 2005.
Connolley has long had an interest in confronting the notion that "all scientists were predicting an ice age in the 1970s" (known as global cooling). Connolley maintains a webpage analysing papers relevant to this issue.
One of Connolley's principal research interests was sea ice, its observations and modelling, in global climate models (GCM), especially the HadCM3 GCM. Around Antarctica, direct observations of sea ice are sparse, and even the most easily observable quantity, ice fraction, is not directly available; satellite Special Sensor Microwave/Imager (SSMI) based observations are used instead. However, different algorithms produce somewhat different results, sufficiently so that verification of GCM output becomes difficult. Hence Connolley has studied the validation of the SSMI products against more direct observations from upward looking sonar observations in the Weddell Sea area. In his investigation, the results indicate the Bootstrap product appears to "fit better" than the NASA Team product, and it is believed by Connolley that the GCM results are more realistic than previous results.
In 2005, the scientific journal Nature wrote a comparison of the relative reliability of Wikipedia and the print-based Encyclopedia Britannica. In the Nature article, Connolley was discussed as an example of an expert who regularly contributes to Wikipedia.
A July 2006 New Yorker explains that Connolley briefly became "a victim of an edit war over the entry on global warming," in which a skeptic repeatedly watered down the article's explanation of the greenhouse effect. The skeptic later brought the case before Wikipedia's arbitration committee, insisting that Connolley was pushing his own point of view into the article by removing points of view with which he disagreed. The arbitration committee eventually placed Connolley on parole, although this was later revoked and Connolley went on to become an administrator. Jimbo Wales cited the sanctions against Connolley as a failure of the system. The article explains that Connolley believes "that Wikipedia 'gives no privilege to those who know what they’re talking about'".
An October 2006 Nature article on the "rival" Citizendium project quotes Connolley as saying that "some scientists have become frustrated with Wikipedia" but adds that he believes that "conflict can sometimes result in better articles."
- W. M. Connolley and S. A. Harangozo, A comparison of five numerical weather prediction analysis climatologies in southern high latitudes, J. Climate, v14, 1 January 2001, pp 30-44.
- Turner, J, W Connolley, D Cresswell and S A Harangozo (2001). The simulation of Antarctic sea ice in the Hadley Centre climate model (HadCM3). Ann. Glaciol., 33, 585-591.
- Vaughan, D.G., G.J. Marshall, W.M. Connolley, J.C. King and R. Mulvaney. 2001. Climate change - devil in the detail. Science, 293, 1777-1779. Abstract: 7 September 2001
- Tom A. Lachlan-Cope, William M. Connolley, and John Turner, The Role of the Non-Axisymmetric Antarctic Orography in Forcing the Observed Pattern of Variability of the Antarctic Climate, Geophysical Research Letters, 2001, v28 no 21, pp 4111-4114.
- Connolley, W. M., 2002, Long-term variation of the Antarctic Circumpolar Wave, Connolley, W. M., doi:10.1029/2000JC000380, JGR 108(C4)
- J. Turner, S. A. Harangozo, J. C. King, W. Connolley, T. Lachlan-Cope, and G. J. Marshall. 2003. An exceptional winter sea ice retreat/advance in the Bellingshausen Sea, Antarctica. Atmos. Ocean 41 (2) 2003, 171-185.
- D. G. Vaughan, G. J. Marshall, W. M. Connolley, C. L. Parkinson, R. Mulvaney, D. A. Hodgson, J. C. King, C. J. Pudsey, and J. Turner. Recent rapid regional climate warming on the Antarctic Peninsula. Climatic Change, 60 (3): 243-274 October 2003
- Translation of Fourier 1827: MEMOIRE sur les temperatures du globe terrestre et des espaces planetaires 
- Connolley, W.M., J.M. Gregory, E. Hunke and A.J. Mclaren (2004), On The Consistent Scaling Of Terms In The Sea - Ice Dynamics Equation, J . Phys . Oceangr. 34 (7): 1776-1780 July 2004
- Marshall, G.J., P.A. Stott, J. Turner, W.M. Connolley, J.C. King and T.A. Lachlancope (2004), Causes Of Exceptional Atmospheric Circulation Changes In The Southern Hemisphere, Geophys. Res. Lett. 31(14): Art . No. L14205 July 30 2004
- J. C. King, J. Turner, G. J. Marshall, W. M. Connolley, and T. A. Lachlan-Cope. Antarctic Peninsula climate variability and its causes as revealed by instrumental records. Antarctic Research Series v79, pp17-30.
- Connolley, W. M. Sea ice concentrations in the Weddell Sea: A comparison of SSM/I, ULS, and GCM data. GRL 32 (7): art. no. L07501 2 April 2005; see also Sea ice: What I do in my spare time for a popular exposition
- William Connolley (Personal website)
- Connolley's webpage analysing papers relevant to a modern Ice Age
- "Stoat Taking science by the throat..." (Connolley's personal blog)
- RealClimate website RealClimate
- Connolley's British Antarctic Survey website
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