GLOBAL: Scientists take steps to defend climate work

For months, climate scientists have taken a vicious beating in the media and on the internet, accused of hiding data, covering up errors and suppressing alternate views, writes John M Broder for The New York Times. Their response until now has been largely to assert the legitimacy of the vast body of climate science and to mock their critics as cranks and know-nothings. But the volume of criticism and the depth of doubt have only grown, and many scientists now realise they are facing a crisis of public confidence and have to fight back.

Tentatively and grudgingly, they are beginning to engage their critics, admit mistakes, open up their data and reshape the way they conduct their work.

The unauthorised release last autumn of hundreds of e-mail messages from a major climate research centre in England, and more recent revelations of a handful of errors in a supposedly authoritative United Nations report on climate change, have created what a number of top scientists say is a major breach of faith in their research. They say the uproar threatens to undermine decades of work and has badly damaged public trust in the scientific enterprise.
Full report on The New York Times site

The head of a British climate research unit under fire after thousands of stolen e-mails were made public said last week that he had "obviously written some very awful e-mails", writes Lauren Morello of ClimateWire in The New York Times. But the scientist, Phil Jones, defended his work and that of the University of East Anglia's Climatic Research Unit, which he headed, in testimony before a House of Commons panel.
Full report on The New York Times site