I was going to write a Christmas post but have just discovered, through Sou and Frank Sonntag on Mastodon, that Victor Venema died suddenly. Victor was a researcher at the University of Bonn and worked on homogenising climate data. He was also a climate blogger, and there are some really good posts on his variable variability blog. Victor also contributed regularly to Climate Feedback, was active on social media and was one of the co-admins (with Frank Sonntag) of the fediscience mastodon server.
Although Victor and I interacted a lot on blogs and social media over the years, we didn’t ever meet personally. My only personal story about Victor is that he asked me to send him a picture of Thomas Stevenson’s grave. Thomas Stevenson was a Scottish civil engineer who designed lighthouses and invented the Stevenson Screen, hence Victor’s interest. Thomas Stevenson’s only child was Robert Louis Stevenson, and he died in 1887 in Edinburgh, which is why Victor asked me.
My wife and I spent an afternoon walking through the Old Calton Burial Ground, where Thomas Stevenson is buried. We found the family burial plot, but it wasn’t easy to read some of the names, so couldn’t definitively see Thomas Stevenson’s grave. The picture on the right might show his gravestone (the dates match that of his wife) and the one at the back is his father’s (Robert Stevenson).
Victor was a great friend, and supporter, when I was more actively blogging. I was shocked to hear of his death and he will be sorely missed. Sorry to share such sad news on Christmas Eve. My sincerest condolences to his family and friends.
Victor Venema, climate scientist, valued friend to many – lovely tribute by Sou.
Victor Karel Christiaan Venema – condolence page set up by Victor’s family.