Some recent reports have suggested incidents of scientific misconduct in the climate science community. While that is not evidence of incorrect conclusions, it does cast some doubt on the findings of the organizations involved–and right so, I believe. The APS newsletters for December and January have been chock-full of climate discussion–arguing for the retraction of the APS’s climate change statement or alteration to reflect uncertainty, counterarguments, and so forth.
My personal take on it is this: climate is really effing complicated. I know a little about the scientific method, publishing, data analysis, and review, but basically have no awareness of the intricacies of modeling the world’s atmosphere and hydrology. I’m also aware that plenty of people have significant personal and economic interests in the matter, and an underabundance of understanding. The only reasonable conclusion I can come to is this: trust the people who spend their lives trying to understand climate, and maintain some awareness of their methods. It is my belief, from the limited reading I’ve been able to do, that the vast majority of climate researchers are doing good science, and working hard to understand and explain to others a very complex problem.
Anyway, that’s why I think RealCimate’s analysis of the recent challenges over the IPCC’s AR4 is a good read.