Faculty Examine Issues Surrounding “Climategate” Report
A presentation titled, “After Climategate: Rethinking Climate Science and Climate Policy” was held March 25 in the Public Affairs Center. Faculty panelists examined a variety of issues surrounding the recent news media accounts known as “Climategate” which impugned some of the findings of the IPPC’s 4th Assessment Report.
Gary Yohe, Woodhouse/Sysco Professor of Economics and senior member of the Nobel Peace Prize-winning United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) shared his first-hand experience with the Climategate story, from the initial leaking of private emails of key IPCC members on the internet a month before the U.N.’s Copenhagen conference, to the present.
Joe Rouse, chair of the Science in Society Program, Hedding Professor of Moral Science, professor of philosophy, moderated the event.
At right, Suzanne O’Connell, associate professor of earth and environmental science, director of the Service Learning Center, discussed one of the particular points that received scrutiny in the coverage: an erroneous account of Himalayan glacier melt that found its way into the report. She offered data on glacier melting across the globe.
Paul Erickson, assistant professor of history, member of the Science in Society Program, spoke about how the ideas of scientific findings and projections mesh with the workings of policy creation and the political process. He discussed how this has unfolded in history in general and with this recent issue in particular.
Brian Stewart, associate professor of physics, attended the discussion. An open question and answer period followed the panel presentations. (Photos by Stefan Weinberger ’10)
Yohe also is one of four co-signers of an open letter from the IPCC regarding the recent reports of regarding possible errors in the IPCC “Fourth Assessment Report” which can be seen here: open_letter_from_us_scientists_on_climategate: open_letter_from_us_scientists_on_climategate.