The Value of Real Climate


In honor of the Bush Administration's "achievements" in manipulating global warming data, declaring the Polar Bear threatened (um, maybe, after a year of study, they'll agree it is emission caused, but then FoxNews doesn't agree with the premise, so...), and now, with that really big piece of ice falling in the sea...

I thought it might be a good time to look at those who are actually trying to acheive something vis-a-vis global warming and, for that, I turn to realClimate.org.

Put together by Gavin Schmidt, climate scientist at NASA's Goddard Space Science's Institute, and his colleagues, Real Climate is a factual look at the climate with a bit of politics thrown in.

From Gavin Schmidt's latest post:

Inhofe's last stand

Part of me felt a little nostalgic yesterday watching the last Senate hearing on climate change that will be chaired by Sen. James Inhofe. It all felt very familiar and comforting in some strange way. There was the well-spoken 'expert' flown in from Australia (no-one available a little closer to home?), the media 'expert' from the think tank (plenty of those about) and a rather out-of-place geologist. There were the same talking points (CO2 leads the warming during the ice ages! the Medieval Warm Period was warm! it's all a hoax!*) that are always brought up. These easy certainties and predictable responses are so well worn that they feel like a pair of old slippers.

Of course, my bout of nostalgia has nothing to do with whether this was a useful thing for the Senate to be doing (it wasn't), and whether it just provided distracting political theatre (yup) in lieu of serious discussion about effective policy response...


And then there was Dr. Schmidt's review of Michael Crichton's polemic on (against) global warming:

Michael Crichton’s State of Confusion

In a departure from normal practice on this site, this post is a commentary on a piece of out-and-out fiction (unlike most of the other posts which deal with a more subtle kind). Michael Crichton's new novel "State of Fear" is about a self-important NGO hyping the science of the global warming to further the ends of evil eco-terrorists. The inevitable conclusion of the book is that global warming is a non-problem. A lesson for our times maybe? Unfortunately, I think not...


Dr. Schmidt is not the only contributor. Real Climate is a veritable 'who's who' of climate science, including: Dr. Michael E. Mann: "Director of the Penn State Earth System Science Center (ESSC)," Caspar Ammann: "A climate scientist working at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR)," Rasmus E. Benestad: "A physicist by training and work with climate analysis on a Norwegian project called RegClim, and have affiliations with the Norwegian Meteorological Institute (met.no) and the Oslo Climate Group (OCG)," Raymond S. Bradley: "Director of the Climate System Research Center (www.paleoclimate.org) at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst and a University Distinguished Professor in the Department of Geosciences," William M. Connolley: "A climate modeller with the British Antarctic Survey," Stefan Rahmstorf: "Research at the New Zealand Oceanographic Institute, at the Institute of Marine Science in Kiel and since 1996 at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research in Germany (in Potsdam near Berlin)," Eric Steig: "Isotope geochemist at the University of Washington in Seattle," Thibault de Garidel: "Post-doctoral associate at the Institute of Marine and Coastal Sciences at Rutgers University, "David Archer: "A computational ocean chemist at the University of Chicago," and Raymond T. Pierrehumbert: "The Louis Block Professor in Geophysical Sciences at the University of Chicago."

All of whom post their own reports, essays, opinions and responses to questions.

For Exxon's press releases, I'll check with Bush and FoxNews.

For reality, I'll fact-check with Real Climate