Friday, December 11, 2009

Responding to "Climategate"

Two excellent articles have appeared in recent days defending climate science against spurious accusations that all of climate science has been put in serious doubt by allegations of fraud based on e-mails hacked from servers at the University of East Anglia.

Two days ago, Alan Leshner, Chief Executive Officer of the American Academy for the Advancement of Science and Executive Publisher of the journal Science, published this op-ed in the Washington Post. In it, he insists that climate science remains "clear," and urges that:
 The public and policymakers should not be confused by a few private e-mails that are being selectively publicized and, in any case, remain irrelevant to the broad body of diverse evidence on climate change. Selected language in the messages has been interpreted by some to suggest unethical actions such as data manipulation or suppression. To be sure, investigations are appropriate whenever questions are raised regarding the transparency and rigor of the scientific process or the integrity of individual scientists. We applaud that the responsible authorities are conducting those investigations. But it is wrong to suggest that apparently stolen emails, deployed on the eve of the Copenhagen climate summit, somehow refute a century of evidence based on thousands of studies.
Today, in this article published  in The Guardian, Myles Allen reminds us that no one has yet pointed to an actual error in any published paper or dataset stemming from the alleged fraud. The results of climate science over the last decade remain robust and convincing.

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