ClimateRapidResponse.org aims to connect journalists to real climate scientists, on deadline

From climaterapidresponse.org:

We have assembled a group of leading scientists to improve communication on the issue of climate change. Our group is committed to providing rapid, high-quality information to media and government. Our members have expertise in virtually all areas of climate science and they are available to share their current understanding. Questions and requests can be submitted below.

Sounds great to me, but I was curious as to who was behind the project, and who these “scientists” I might talk to actually are. I submitted this query with their form, and got the following email back 20 minutes later. (Dr. Weymann kindly gave me permission to publish it; the added links are mine)

Dear Jonathan,

This is Dr. Ray Weymann, one of the 3 (along with John Abraham and Scott Mandia) who set up and are administrating the CSRRT.

I am a retired astrophysicist, and member of the National Academy of Sciences; John Abraham is on the faculty of St. Thomas University and is a specialist in thermal heat transfer, while Scott is a Prof. at a College on Long Island lecturing on climate science issues.

None of us are climate scientists, and we do not provide the answers to inquiries ourselves, nor do we edit them, but we do have extensive contacts with expert climate scientists. Our role is simply to “direct traffic” to those individuals who have the appropriate expertise for the inquiry in question.

Thus far we have enlisted approximately 70 climate scientists. They are chosen on the basis of their professional competence as reflected in original research in peer-reviewed professional scientific journals. Nearly all of them are members of University faculties in Departments involving some aspect of climate science or in Government laboratories (e.g. NASA, NOAA) both here and abroad.

In enlisting these individuals we have agreed that the full list would not be distributed to the media (the whole point of the CSRRT is to direct media inquiries to the best set of scientists to answer them).

However, when responses are provided, the name and affiliation of the climate scientist is provided and in the heavy majority of cases the scientist will respond directly to you. If you request it, in nearly all cases the home page of the responding scientist(s) can be made available: You can then see for yourself the professional qualifications of the person(s) who responded.

I emphasize that our role is educational; we are not a lobbying group for any political course of action but want to provide the best information from the people who are actually doing the research.

Let me know if you want further information.

-Dr. Ray Weymann

Weymann tells me that much of this information will shortly be up on the site itself. Naturally journalists must do their own vetting and  checks on sources, but this seems like an incredibly useful service to media professionals on a deadline.

Thanks to Danish environmental scientist @mona_jensen for the tip. She also points out Dr. Abraham’s previous climate education work.

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