Saturday, December 12, 2009

Dipping my toes into the turbid waters of AGW

This is an appeal to my readers and fellow bloggers for some advice. I've already pitched this to two prominent bloggers I occasionally correspond with, but I don't have direct contact with everyone I'd like to poll via email or Facebook, so this is my open call for responses. I would like your opinions, in a Science blogger/Dear Abby sort of way, and anyone else that is likely to read this is welcome to chip in too.

A friend has asked me to participate in a blog/project to conduct an open source attempt to replicate some climate modeling results. This is likely to be an amateur effort at best, but the stated intention is to educate about what really goes into climate modeling. Now I believe my friend to be a reasonable sort of skeptic, but it turns out he has some connections with people like Steve McIntyre and Eric Raymond. This gives me some concern, and I am leery of getting involved in anything that even gives the appearance of supporting the AGW deniers.

Oh yeah, AGW = Anthropogenic Global Warming, if you didn't know already.

I would appreciate your opinions on whether I should become involved, or stay the hell away from it.

Some other information relevant to my participation:

  1.  I have a good mathematics and statistics background, and did some relevant modeling of physical processes (hydrology) in grad school, but have no background in climate science.
  2. I really haven't been following the AGW debate past some casual reading, but not being caught up in the old arguments might be a good thing.
  3. I believe the scientific reports and news that AGW is real. I do have a some of skeptical thoughts about the extent of climate change the models predict, but even a small change is a valid cause for serious concern. I am concerned.
  4. I think this might actually be a valid and useful educational effort, and I'm pretty sure I could make some good contributions.
  5. I need another blog to write for like I need another hole in my head. ;-)

One friend already commented to me ...

"Not to discourage you from having fun, but there are a plethora of people stepping into the debate without sufficient preparation."

Another, who is self-described as very conservative, encourages me to go for it.

[Images Wikipedia, downloaded 12/12/2009] 

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