After a few years following some of the technicalities of discussions about global warming I’m glad to report that there’s FINALLY a really nice guantlet thrown and accepted by the authors of two of the key blogs in the discussion, Climate Audit and RealClimate.
Generally both blogs tend to discuss many of the technical issues in a way that makes it hard (for me at least) to identify clear and specific points of contention where somebody without a degree in math could conclude “this is wrong”.
However the latest round of attacks should lead to a richer discussion than usual regarding one of the key technical points of contention in climate – climate proxy selection and validity. Proxies are things like tree rings, ice cores, or sediment patterns that allow a reconstruction of past climate. If the proxies used in key studies are poorly representative of climate realities, as Climate Audit often suggests and RealClimate always denies, climate scientists have more than a little’ ‘splainin’ to do.
However the shoe’s on the other foot if ClimateAudit’s concerns are more along the lines suggested by Real Climate’s PhD and NASA crew:
… the conflation of technical criticism with unsupported, unjustified and unverified accusations of scientific misconduct. Steve McIntyre keeps insisting that he should be treated like a professional. But how professional is it to continue to slander scientists with vague insinuations and spin made-up tales of perfidy out of the whole cloth instead of submitting his work for peer-review? He continues to take absolutely no responsibility for the ridiculous fantasies and exaggerations that his supporters broadcast, apparently being happy to bask in their acclaim rather than correct any of the misrepresentations he has engendered. If he wants to make a change, he has a clear choice; to continue to play Don Quixote for the peanut gallery or to produce something constructive that is actually worthy of publication.
Now THAT is some hot science commentary that you can really sink your teeth into! Who ever said climate science was technical and boring – it’s almost a contact sport….. Gentlemen, put those Hockey Sticks UP!!