Legitimate climate scientists are at something of a disadvantage. They do careful research and publish peer-reviewed papers in scientific journals. Then a squadron of industry-funded pseudo-scientist hacks descends on the popular media to stir up doubt and confusion. By the time the scientists can defend their work in, say, Science, popular attention has moved on. Thus the false sense in the American public that there is real scientific uncertainty about the basic fact of anthropocentric climate change (when there really isn’t).
Enter RealClimate.org, a new blog written by a group of bona fide climate scientists. “We aim,” they say, “to provide a quick response to developing stories and provide the context sometimes missing in mainstream commentary.” Already they’ve got invaluable entries on the recent Arctic Climate Impact Assessment, the “hockey stick” kerfuffle, and the recent study showing that the stratosphere is cooling.
This is an essential resource — one wishes experts in more areas would start similar blogs — one that we’ll be returning to frequently. Bookmark it.