Monday, September 27, 2010

Blogging on the Earth's Climate

Judith Curry is
Professor and Chair of the School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences at the Georgia Institute of Technology and President (co-owner) of Climate Forecast Applications Network (CFAN). She received a Ph.D. in Geophysical Sciences from the University of Chicago in 1982. Prior to joining the faculty at Georgia Tech, she held faculty positions at the University of Colorado, Penn State University and Purdue University. She currently serves on the NASA Advisory Council Earth Science Subcommittee and has recently served on the National Academies Climate Research Committee and the Space Studies Board, and the NOAA Climate Working Group. Curry is a Fellow of the American Meteorological Society, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and the American Geophysical Union.
And, she has a new blog, which
provides a forum for climate researchers, academics and technical experts from other fields, citizen scientists, and the interested public to engage in a discussion on topics related to climate science and the science-policy interface.
I got this from my Brother Lance, who sometimes comments here.  And gets commented on.

The most recent blog post at the site (No consensus on consensus) concerns the IPCC building a consensus about AGW.
A fascinating study by Kahan et al. recently published in the Journal of Risk Research investigated why members of the public are sharply and persistently divided on matters on which expert scientists largely agree.  This excerpt from the NSF press release summarizes their findings:
[Kahan] said the more likely reason for the disparity, as supported by the research results, “is that people tend to keep a biased score of what experts believe, counting a scientist as an ‘expert’ only when that scientist agrees with the position they find culturally congenial.”  Understanding this, the researchers then could draw some conclusions about why scientific consensus seems to fail to settle public policy debates when the subject is relevant to cultural positions.  “It is a mistake to think ‘scientific consensus,’ of its own force, will dispel cultural polarization on issues that admit scientific investigation,” said Kahan.  “The same psychological dynamics that incline people to form a particular position on climate change, nuclear power and gun control also shape their perceptions of what ‘scientific consensus’ is.”  “The problem won’t be fixed by simply trying to increase trust in scientists or awareness of what scientists believe,” added Braman.  “To make sure people form unbiased perceptions of what scientists are discovering, it is necessary to use communication strategies that reduce the likelihood that citizens of diverse values will find scientific findings threatening to their cultural commitments.”
A bit on the technical side, but AGW is about the technical side of things as well as the political side, which talks to what we do about what we know.

Regards  —  Cliff

  Anthropomorphic Global Warming.  I realize that the Federal Government recently moved to pick a new term for this, but at the moment it escapes my mind.

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