Something is amiss in the world of scientific
publishing, claimed The Times this weekend. And not for the first
time. This is the latest in a
series of articles suggesting
research downplaying the seriousness of climate change impacts is
being suppressed by top scientific journals.
Last time, scientists
dismissed the Times' story as a case of peer
review in action. It's difficult to see what the
difference is this time.
Seven years ago, a conservation scientist in the
Seychelles published a
paper in one of the Royal Society's
journals, Biological Letters. It concluded the only known
population of a type of snail was now thought to be extinct, after
declining rapidly in the late 20th century.
Times article, journalist Ben Webster
"[The research] was
presented as shocking evidence of the damage being done by climate
change: a species driven to extinction because of a decline in
rainfall in its only habitat."
In its recent report,
the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) warned the
fast pace of climate change could have consequences for many
species. It concluded:
"A large fraction of both
terrestrial and freshwater species faces increased extinction risk
under projected climate change during and beyond the 21st
Well, the snail has apparently been rediscovered
on a remote island. The Times suggests this "prompts questions"
over the Royal Society "raising false alarm" about climate