On a number of blogs one recenty could read: Science magazine is confused about who is a “prominent climate scientist”. In Science magazine’s “News of the Week” there was a short report about our (Tol, Pielke, von Storch) piece in der SPIEGEL (Deutsch, English) in which we asked for a new chairman of IPCC and other measures.
One could read "You won’t a surprise to learn that an opinion piece reprinted by the uber-anti-science editors at the WSJ isn’t in fact written by 'three prominent climate scientists.' -- Two of the people you call 'prominent climate scientist' aren’t even climate scientists!" They referred to Richard Tol and Roger Pielke.
One wonders, what the problem is. I would label anybody writing scholarly papers in peer-reviewed journals about climate, climate dynamics, climate variability, climate change, climate impact, adaptation, mitigation or climate policies as "climate scientist", and both Richard Tol and Roger Pielke (jr) have written many fine articles of that sort. Thus, there is no need to question whether these two men are "climate scientists". They are, in my opinion excellent ones with an extraordinary broad range of interest and competence.
Or is it so that these bloggers consider only meteorologists, oceanographers and geographers as climate scientists? Would the fact the neither Tol nor Pielke have a degree in one of these disciplines disqualify them for making significant contributions to the science of climate? Having worked since the early 1980 in climate science (I believe), I have learned that there is no specific climate discipline; that we would hire young people with all kind of scientific (wissenschaftlichen) background, as long as they were open minded, willing to understand the issues and employ scientific methodology. I myself came from mathematics - am I a climate scientist?. Has it something to do that the wonderfully precise German word "Wissenschaftler" is not the same as the anglo-saxon "scientist"? Or is it so that these bloggers just lack understanding and better topics to discuss about?