The Climate Dialogue weblog was a climate change communication project, following a request by Dutch Parliament to involve sceptics more in the climate debate. It was commissioned by the Ministry of Infrastructure and the Environment. Climate Dialogue was set up by the Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute (KNMI), PBL Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency, and Dutch science journalist Marcel Crok.

Climate Dialogue was a moderated blog on controversial climate science topics, introducing a combination of several novel elements:

  • bringing together scientists with conflicting viewpoints;
  • strict moderation of the discussion;
  • compilation of executive and extended summaries of the discussions, with the formulation of statements approved by the participating scientists.

In every discussion, at least one of the participating scientists was someone perceived to be a climate sceptic. The discussions were technical in nature, and, as a result, the audience of the blog was quite small and specialised. The project operated for slightly more than two years in a polite atmosphere, consisting of six dialogues on Arctic sea ice, trend significance, the ‘hot spot’, regional climate modelling, climate sensitivity, and the sun. There were 20 participating expert scientists, many of them leading in their respective fields. This report summarises the dialogues and constitutes an extensive evaluation of the  project in order for others to share in the lessons that were learnt.


Authors: Marcel Crok, Rob van Dorland, Bart Strengers, Eleftheria Vasileiadou, Bart Verheggen