Science’s Credibility: Science under attack

'Climategate' had an impact on the credibility of science

This blog also points readers in the direction of other material that may be of interest

The BBC’s Horizon series turns to the integrity of science and why public trust in scientific theories has been eroded. Watch for yourself (UK users only).

The section when ‘climategate’  story breaker James Delingpole is interviewed is interesting and rather exposes the way that political views have infiltrated the media reporting science. James Delingpole has since complained of being ”intellectually raped” on Horizon during the interview with Nobel prize-winner Sir Paul Nurse.

The refusal to acknowledge that climate change is still agreed upon by scientific consensus, and in any other field that would be enough, highlights the entrenched views of sceptics who themselves aren’t entirely honest (Climate sceptic ‘misled Congress over funding from oil industry‘), and political motivation. The Telegraph, the paper that broke the story, is a strictly conservative paper and therefore having views similar to those of republicans in the USA (Why Republicans Deny Climate Change).

It is the public that suffers from this bias reporting that is normally reserved for political opinion and not scientific work.

Science must improve its relationship with the media to become more transparent to gain the confidence of the public and ensure that only facts are published and not interpretations of facts which invariably become muddled.


Reflection on 2010: The climate stories

So now its the new year and resolutions have already fallen by the wayside it seems like a good time to look back at what has happened over the last year.

It began with the coldest winter (Dec-Feb) here in the UK since 1978-79, while there were record high temperatures in Russia as Moscow sweltered in 38.2C heat, the warmest for 91 years, causing drought and the warmest summer on record. The year ended with floods in Queensland, Australia that are currently submerging much of the city of Brisbane.

NOAA’s map of significant events for last year (click image for large view)

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What to say to sceptics… list of responses

I stumbled across an article at that put a smile on my face. It listed all the common misconceptions and general rubbish that the ill-informed regurgitate after hearing it in the popular press and the simple responses.

The original post is available here. This post gives simple explanations of common sceptic arguments but for more information I would recommend looking at the sites in my links section or

Sceptic Ripostes

Sceptic Argument One Liner Paragraph
1 “It’s the sun” In the last 35 years of global warming, sun and climate have been going in opposite directions In the last 35 years of global warming, the sun has shown a slight cooling trend. Sun and climate have been going in opposite directions. Continue reading

Major players in climate change: IPCC

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is the single most important organisation for the assessment of climate change but who are they and what do they actually do?

The IPCC is a body established by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) to “provide the world with a clear scientific view on the current state of climate change and its potential environmental and socio-economic consequences”. Simple?

What they do is bring together experts in every single imaginable area of earth sciences and ask the question is the climate changing and if so what happens if it continues. Continue reading

2010 So Far is Joint Warmest on Record

This year is set to be one of the warmest globally on record as a report from the United States states it is currently tied with 1998 as the warmest on record for the first eight months of the year.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) have published their latest monthly ‘State of the Climate’ analysis from the National Climatic Data Center for the month of August. The main finding of this report is that globally the first eight months of 2010 have tied with the same period in 1998 for the warmest combined land and ocean surface temperature on record. What’s more this summer (June–August)  was the second warmest on record globally after 1998, and last month was the third warmest August on record.

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