Getting a serious paper into Nature or Science is deservedly hard. Getting a mention for your climate blog is apparently a little easier!
We are of course collectively very pleased that Nature has welcomed the RealClimate.org effort so forthrightly. We only hope that we will be able to match up to their expectations. As with anything new, done by inexperienced first-timers who really should be concentrating on their actual jobs, there are bound to be teething problems. One, alluded to in the editorial and accompanying news story, is who gets to decide what’s posted, and getting the balance right between inclusiveness and clarity.
This website is not the place for technical debates between scientists that are better left to the peer-reviewed literature. More appropriate are the explanations and context that we often provide to journalists or the public when asked about breaking climate stories. This is the information that is often left out (for understandable reasons) in the traditional media, and yet is often key to interpreting new results. Contributions along those lines from other scientists are welcome. We hope that there is room here for legitmate disagreements and we will strive to be objective when discussing topics where we may personally favour one side over another. We too are concerned about the appearance of a ‘party line’ – and the best way to address this is for our colleagues to contribute. But, as with any publishing venture, the editors get the final say over what goes in.
Being human, we will sometimes mess up and stray from our self-imposed task. We hope that readers will indulge an occasional slip of decorum or mis-statement and not hesitate to point them out when they occur.
Update 23/12/2004: Science gives us a nod as well.