Today on one of the Public Library of Science (PLoS) Blogs is an interesting account of gathering sediment cores from tropical mud, to document changes in precipitation over thousands of years by measuring amounts of hydrogen ions in the sediment. What's so great about mucking around in the tropics to measure hydrogen ions? As author of MIT SciWrite explains, it gathers "physical evidence of recent manifestations of tropical climate change several thousand years ago to make sure the parameters in the [climate change] models are grounded in reality." Reading this will give insight into what it takes, physically, to amass reliable data for understanding climate change, and a deeper appreciation for climate scientists' assessment of those data. At the very least, it's a good way to balance what you may have heard from certain politicians.
While at the PLoS Blogs site, take a moment to see all of the other perspectives offered there and link to the many wonderful open access PLoS journals. Open Access Week ends soon - take this open access challenge and find an article that interests you (try DOAJ for a start) to forward to a friend or colleague, confident that he or she will also be able to read it in its entirety. No subscription required.