When I write about climate science, I take care to remember my limitations: As a computer scientist, not a climate scientist, I’m not really qualified to comment on the details of their work.
They would do well to do the same. Consider Gavin Schmidt’s naive remarks on programming:
when are scientists going to stop writing code in fortran?
as crimes go, using fortran is far worse than anything revealed in “climategate”…
[Response: You might think that, but it’s just not true. Fortran is simple, it works well for these kinds of problems, it complies efficiently on everything from a laptop to massively parallel supercomputer, plus we have 100,000s of lines of code already. If we had to rewrite everything each time there was some new fad in computer science (you know, like ‘C’ or something ;) ), we’d never get anywhere. – gavin]
Fad? Structured programming has been the dominant paradigm since the late sixties. That’s only ten fewer years than programming languages have even existed. Back when structured programming was invented, climate scientists were still taking about global cooling!