Sunday, January 24, 2010

Under Water

Scripps Institution of Oceanography has always commanded my respect.  Some of the work of Jerome Naimas and Dan Cayan in the early 1980’s caused me to begin to understand El Nino and its effects on the weather around the world.  Their work was the inspiration for a session that I organized, The Pacific and How It Affects Us, at an American Meteorological Society conference in 1985. 

So, it was with great sadness that I viewed the press release from Scripps this past week that signaled its transition from an institution of research to a political advocacy organization. 

“Climate Change Denialism” along with a graphic logo, "Refuting Denialists," is unworthy

of science in general and this great institution in particular.

In my view, the content of the press release compounds problem created by its icons and headlines. It is the same old platitudes, starting with the first item.

1. The essential findings of mainstream climate change science are firm. This is solid settled science. The world is warming. 

Except, it isn't. Temperatures have flattened in recent years and, in any case, are well below the levels predicted by the IPCC. I won't bore you with a point-by-point refutation of the press release.  

Given Climategate, and still more recent questions about IPCC (the subject of the numbered series of blog posts that started yesterday), their press release is baffling and terribly disappointing.  

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