Image via Data Protection Online
Many in the climate change denying camp are claiming that climate scientists are somehow secretive of the studies they do and the data they gather, because some private emails a few of them exchanged were hacked into and made public. This myth that climate data is secret is gaining traction, however, propagated by talk radio hosts like Limbaugh and Glenn Beck and 'news' outlets like Fox News. But nothing could be further from the truth. There's a wealth of climate data--more than you could probably ever read yourself--and it's now right at your fingertips.The scientists who run the extensive climate resource RealClimate have put together a sort of one-stop homepage linking out to climate data around the world. They include raw and processed data, papers, and add suggestions from readers. RC explains their prerogative as such:
Much of the discussion in recent days has been motivated by the idea that climate science is somehow unfairly restricting access to raw data upon which scientific conclusions are based. This is a powerful meme and one that has clear resonance far beyond the people who are actually interested in analysing data themselves. However, many of the people raising this issue are not aware of what and how much data is actually available.Indeed. Hence, they've posted a data page that also includes "links to sources of temperature and other climate data, codes to process it, model outputs, model codes, reconstructions, paleo-records, the codes involved in reconstructions, etc." In other words, there's a ton of info. And far from the closed off community many in the ill-wishing media outlets would have you believe, suggestions and participation is more than welcome:
The climate science community fully understands how important it is that data sources are made as open and transparent as possible, for research purposes as well as for other interested parties, and is actively working to increase accessibility and usability of the data. We encourage people to investigate the various graphical portals to get a feel for the data and what can be done with it. The providers of these online resources are very interested in getting feedback on any of these sites and so don't hesitate to contact them if you want to see improvements.See for yourself. The ever-evolving RealClimate Data Sources page is stuffed with transparent, accessible, accurate data on climate. And it's curated by scientists themselves, who'd be happy to hear your suggestions. It's enough to make a climate change denier weep.
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