The Value of Weblogs for Climate Science

Science magazine published an article on April 14, 2006 entitled “Environmental Science Adrift in the Blogosphere” (subscription required) by Alison Ashlin and Richard J. Ladle.
The Policy Forum article discussed the value of weblogs.

It specifically mentioned the Climate Science weblog in its “Supporting Online Material” as one of the “Examples of excellent, informative sites…”, along with several others including Prometheus , James’ Empty Blog, and Real Climate. There are, of course, other excellent climate science weblogs that were not recognized by Science, so ours were just examples. Nonetheless, we appreciate this recognition! The activity on our weblog has increased steadily during this period with over 138,000 hits in March.

There are several reasons for the success of science weblogs. While, not a replacement for peer-reviewed papers, the weblogs have the following attributes:

1. When peer-reviewed climate science papers are published, the major conclusions of the papers can be summarized and quickly disseminated to a wide audience. The significance of the research can be translated into a more readily understood summary.

2. If misconceptions are reported in climate science assessments and in news media reports, the weblog provides a forum to correct these misstatements.

3. The Comments component of science weblogs provides an effective medium for others to respond to the weblogs. This constructive dialog permits all of us to gain knowledge and perspective from the exchange of diverse views.

I look forward to continuing the Climate Science weblog and to the valuable exchanges of information that has been achieved. Thank you for reading the weblog, and responding when appropriate!

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