Climate Change Challenges

Date & Time

Wed, 02/03/2010
5:30 – 7 p.m.


The worldwide public debate about climate change and its causes has been with us for at least a decade. In recent months, that debate has significantly escalated with the December 2009 UN Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen, but also with the allegations of research misconduct on the part of some climate change scientists. The scientific, social, economic, and political issues underlying this debate are vast. This forum discussed the allegations of research misconduct, and what one should make of those allegations in the context of climate change research.

Some of the important questions addressed were:

  1. What is research misconduct and what is its frequency in science?
  2. How is research misconduct found and investigated?
  3. What do we know about the merits of the allegations of research misconduct in the climate research community?
  4. What would be the significance of the finding that those allegations are or are not true?


  • Ralph Keeling, CO2 Program, Scripps Institute of Oceanography
  • Daniel Cayan, Climate Research Division, Scripps Institute of Oceanography

Moderator: Michael Kalichman


Ralph Keeling
CO2 Program, Scripps Institute of Oceanography

Ralph is a climate scientist whose research interests include climate change, changes in atmospheric composition, ocean biogeochemistry, and carbon cycling. Ralph received a B.S. in physics from Yale University in 1979, and a Ph.D. in applied physics from Harvard University in 1988.  He is engaged in ongoing research to refine estimates of sources and sinks of carbon dioxide using atmospheric measurements. In 1997, Dr. Keeling received the Rosenstiel Award for his work on atmospheric oxygen.

Daniel Cayan
Climate Research Division, Scripps Institute of Oceanography

Dr. Daniel R. Cayan is a Research Meteorologist at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography (SIO), University of California, San Diego, and is also a Researcher in the U.S. Geological Survey. His work is aimed at understanding climate variability and changes over the Pacific Ocean and North America.

Cayan heads the California Applications Program, and the California Climate Change Center, climate research programs to improve climate information and forecasts for decision makers in the California region; see

Event Resources



Research Misconduct:

Steneck N (2000): Assessing the integrity of publicly funded research: A background report for the November 2000 ORI Research Conference on Research Integrity.

The case of the hacked emails: Part 2 (San Francisco Chronicle):

Climate emails stoke debate (Wall Street Journal):

Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change:

EDITORIAL: Biased reporting on Climategate (Washington Times):

AP IMPACT: Science not faked, but not pretty (San Francisco Chronicle)