The Dr. Roger Pielke Sr. weblog today includes a letter from Dr. Joanne Simpson, recently retired. He calls her “among the most preeminent scientists of the last 100 years”. It seems that she really spoke her mind on the subject of climate models and the problems of the changing measurement environment around climate monitoring stations.
The full letter is here on that weblog.
Since I am no longer affiliated with any organization nor receive any funding, I can speak quite frankly. [...] The main basis of the claim that man’s release of greenhouse gases is the cause of the warming is based almost entirely upon climate models.
We all know the frailty of models concerning the air-surface system. We only need to watch the weather forecasts. [...] The term “global warming” itself is very vague. Where and what scales of response are measurable? One distinguished scientist has shown that many aspects of climate change are regional, some of the most harmful caused by changes in human land use.
No one seems to have properly factored in population growth and land use, particularly in tropical and coastal areas.
[...] But as a scientist I remain skeptical. I decided to keep quiet in this controversy until I had a positive contribution to make. […] Both sides (of climate debate) are now hurling personal epithets at each other, a very bad development in Earth sciences.
I agree, enough of this sniping.
Witness the cordial exchange I have with Atmoz, a graduate student at the University of Arizona in Tucson. We see things differently, each of us has made some good analyses and each of us has made some mistakes, but we don’t insult each other over it.
Though I do wish he and others would remove the cloaks of anonymity. Science has never been advanced by an anonymous person, there’s always a real person with a name at the center of discovery and progress.