Climate Feedback

Teething troubles

Coming up for two weeks in, a few words about this blog and its somewhat chequered early career.

Our intention was, and remains, to provide readers with pointers to interesting climate news and informal summaries of the state of play on various topics. We wanted, and still want, to offer a wide range of views, and to move beyond the natural sciences into the social sciences and the political world as and when necessary. To this end we supplemented the various staff members at Nature, Nature Reports Climate Change and the nascent Nature Geoscience who can blog on this site with invited contributors, thinking of those who had responded to our invitations as our early “core contributors”.

Along with our own initial posts, we then kicked off with a pair of posts from two of our invited contributors. In their separate ways, both posts were seen to be more controversial than other content here and, taken together, gave an impression that the blog would have a particular slant. This was not our intention, which is to offer a wide range of interesting, if controversial, views and in doing so, to represent a diversity of expert opinions over time. News travels fast in the blogosphere, however, and our somewhat unclear beginnings did not go unnoticed. As a result we found that some researchers who had previously offered themselves as willing bloggers no longer wished to make that offer, leading us, as William noted, to revise our “core contributors” list to “recent contributors”, just listing those who had posted on the site to date.

This change also reflects our intention to broaden our blogging base; in addition to our regular bloggers, those many contributors we initially invited remain welcome to post, as do others. We will be encouraging our contributors to write about things seen elsewhere rather than to focus solely on their own research, though their particular fields of expertise will of course continue to show through.

Although we had considered it, we will not be taking “right to reply” posts in response to the initial post on the hockey stick, though the comments threads remain open. We feel this has been discussed widely elsewhere and that continuing to post on it will not serve our readers well. For those who are interested in the most recent official statement on the topic, we suggest reading the IPCC Working Group I report. In the future, we may, however, structure debates between proponents of opposing views on certain issues. In the case of a contributor posting on a specific piece of work by another author, we will notify that author of the posting and invite a response.

We strongly encourage readers to comment, though comments will be moderated – personal or offensive material will not be posted.

We remain open to suggestions from you all about how to make the blog a useful addition to one of the world’s most pressing conversations. We look forward to many fruitful discussions on climate change in our journals and others, in the news, and in the world at large.

Olive Heffernan


  1. Report this comment

    Fergus Brown said:

    Much as they may disapprove, I would like to suggest that you proposition Michael Tobis, Andrew Dessler, Mike Hulme, Carl Wunsch and James Hansen, amongst others, for authoritative and informed discussions of all aspects of climate change. You might receive interesting alternative points of view from Roger Pielke Sr.; there are few others I would trust for objectivity in challenging the ‘status quo’ of climate change science.

    You could do worse than to add the NCDC, NERC, NAS and Royal Society to your links.

    Good luck with the project.


  2. Report this comment

    Bill Chameides said:

    Starting a blog can definitely prove to be harder in practice than on paper (sic). We learned that lesson at during our start up about 2 months ago. I think you are doing a great job, so hang in there. And, oh by the way, we just added you to our blogroll.

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