Judy Curry On the credibility of climate research

Particularly on a topic of such great public relevance, scientists need to consider carefully skeptical arguments and either rebut them or learn from them. Trying to suppress them or discredit the skeptical researcher or blogger is not an ethical strategy and one that will backfire in the long run.

Judy Curry offers a sane perspective at Steve McIntyre’s Climate Audit:

Having been riveted for the last few days by posts in the blogosphere on the HADCRU hack and the increasing attention being given to this by the mainstream media, I would like to provide an “external but insider” assessment and perspective. My perspective is as a climate researcher that is not involved directly in any of the controversies and issues in the purloined HADCRU emails, but as one that is familiar with this research, the surrounding controversies, and many of the individuals who sent these emails. While the blogosphere has identified many emails that allegedly indicate malfeasance, clarifications especially from Gavin Schmidt have been very helpful in providing explanations and the appropriate context for these emails. However, even if the hacked emails from HADCRU end up to be much ado about nothing in the context of any actual misfeasance that impacts the climate data records, the damage to the public credibility of climate research is likely to be significant. In my opinion, there are two broader issues raised by these emails that are impeding the public credibility of climate research: lack of transparency in climate data, and “tribalism” in some segments of the climate research community that is impeding peer review and the assessment process.

Please continue reading…

Dr. Curry is interviewed at National Journal. Here’s an excerpt I particularly liked as I think Pachauri seriously harms the credibility of working scientists with his blatant activism:

NJ: What’s the role for the IPCC?

Curry: I staunchly support the IPCC, but when [chairman] Rajendra Pachauri comes out making all these really strong policy statements, such as the developed world has to cut back its energy use… and stop putting ice cubes in their water, and other crazy stuff… I don’t like that. These guys should pick people who don’t want to be advocates and will shut their mouths about advocating for policies. Otherwise, we don’t look credible.

and this last bit. The solution is so simple, and is what Steve McIntyre has been requesting for so long:

NJ: Should Congress step in to investigate this?

Curry: What those guys were doing doesn’t need a congressional investigation. They just need to put their data and codes and their metadata [online] so that everyone can see what they’ve done. Just open [the data] up and let the other scientists have at it. This will tell us how confident we can be in this data.