Update on the Spencer & Braswell paper

by Judith Curry

I have just received notice of some dramatic news re the Spencer & Braswell paper.

An Editorial was just published in Remote Sensing by the Editor-in-Chief for Remote Sensing, which published Spencer & Braswell’s paper:

Taking Responsibility on Publishing the Controversial Paper “On the Misdiagnosis of Surface Temperature Feedbacks from Variations in Earth’s Radiant Energy Balance” by Spencer and Braswell, Remote Sens. 2011, 3(8), 1603-1613

Wolfgang Wagner

Here is the [link].  Some excerpts:

Peer-reviewed journals are a pillar of modern science. Their aim is to achieve highest scientific standards by carrying out a rigorous peer review that is, as a minimum requirement, supposed to be able to identify fundamental methodological errors or false claims. Unfortunately, as many climate researchers and engaged observers of the climate change debate pointed out in various internet discussion fora, the paper by Spencer and Braswell [1] that was recently published in Remote Sensing is most likely problematic in both aspects and should therefore not have been published.

After having become aware of the situation, and studying the various pro and contra arguments, I agree with the critics of the paper. Therefore, I would like to take the responsibility for this editorial decision and, as a result, step down as Editor-in-Chief of the journal Remote Sensing.

With this step I would also like to personally protest against how the authors and like-minded climate sceptics have much exaggerated the paper’s conclusions in public statements, e.g., in a press release of The University of Alabama in Huntsville from 27 July 2011 [2], the main author’s personal homepage [3], the story “New NASA data blow gaping hole in global warming alarmism” published by Forbes [4], and the story “Does NASA data show global warming lost in space?” published by Fox News [5], to name just a few. Unfortunately, their campaign apparently was very successful as witnessed by the over 56,000 downloads of the full paper within only one month after its publication. But trying to refute all scientific insights into the global warming phenomenon just based on the comparison of one particular observational satellite data set with model predictions is strictly impossible. Aside from ignoring all the other observational data sets (such as the rapidly shrinking sea ice extent and changes in the flora and fauna) and contrasting theoretical studies, such a simple conclusion simply cannot be drawn considering the complexity of the involved models and satellite measurements.

The political views of the authors and the thematic goal of their study did, of course, alone not disqualify the paper from entering the review process in the journal Remote Sensing. As I stated in my editorial at the launch of this new open access journal [6] one of the premier goals of remote sensing as a discipline is to better understand physical and biological processes on our planet Earth. The use of satellite data to check the functionality of all sorts of geophysical models is therefore a very important part of our work. But it should not be done in isolation by the remote sensing scientists. Interdisciplinary cooperation with modelers is required in order to develop a joint understanding of where and why models deviate from satellite data. Only through this close cooperation the complex aspects involved in the satellite retrievals and the modeling processes can be properly taken into account.

In hindsight, it is possible to see why the review process of the paper by Spencer and Braswell did not fulfill its aim. The managing editor of Remote Sensing selected three senior scientists from renowned US universities, each of them having an impressive publication record. Their reviews had an apparently good technical standard and suggested one “major revision”, one “minor revision” and one “accept as is”. The authors revised their paper according to the comments made by the reviewers and, consequently, the editorial board member who handled this paper accepted the paper (and could in fact not have done otherwise). Therefore, from a purely formal point of view, there were no errors with the review process. But, as the case presents itself now, the editorial team unintentionally selected three reviewers who probably share some climate sceptic notions of the authors. This selection by itself does not mean that the review process for this paper was wrong. In science, diversity and controversy are essential to progress and therefore it is important that different opinions are heard and openly discussed. Therefore editors should take special care that minority views are not suppressed, meaning that it certainly would not be correct to reject all controversial papers already during the review process. If a paper presents interesting scientific arguments, even if controversial, it should be published and responded to in the open literature. This was my initial response after having become aware of this particular case. So why, after a more careful study of the pro and contra arguments, have I changed my initial view? The problem is that comparable studies published by other authors have already been refuted in open discussions and to some extend also in the literature (cf. [7]), a fact which was ignored by Spencer and Braswell in their paper and, unfortunately, not picked up by the reviewers. In other words, the problem I see with the paper by Spencer and Braswell is not that it declared a minority view (which was later unfortunately much exaggerated by the public media) but that it essentially ignored the scientific arguments of its opponents. This latter point was missed in the review process, explaining why I perceive this paper to be fundamentally flawed and therefore wrongly accepted by the journal. This regrettably brought me to the decision to resign as Editor-in-Chief―to make clear that the journal Remote Sensing takes the review process very seriously.

JC conclusions:  It is regrettable that Wagner resigned as editor-in-chief, since his editorial makes it sound like he was doing a good job in establishing a new journal.  While a new journal wants to publish high profile papers in order to establish itself in the community, I can certainty understand his regret at the attention (amount and type) that the Spencer & Braswell paper received, which was way over the top.

As discussed in the original Spencer and Braswell thread, there were certainly flaws in the paper, but not particularly outrageous ones.  A better editorial process should have caught some of these flaws, but it is hard to fault the editorial process followed by the editor.

My advice to Remote Sensing is this.  As an online journal, I recommend going to a discussion journal format, such as ACP (Atmospheric Physics and Chemistry).  The paper is open for public discussion (ACPD), and then the paper may or may not be accepted for publication in the archival journal ACP.  Note Anastassia Makarieva’s controversial paper discussed here previously remains in limbo in ACPD, I suspect it won’t be published in ACP in its present  form.  In any event, her ideas got out there and ACPD is published as a discussion paper, but not accepted for the archival journal.

The broader issue is the politicization of the scientific review process.  I have been dealing with this issue since the publication of my controversial paper in 2006.  I have dealt with this by addressing the editor and telling them that I expect this paper to be controversial.  I list examples of reviewers on both sides of the debate that have made public statements on the topic, and requested that they not be reviewers, and requested an extra effort to identify impartial reviewers.  In my two most controversial papers (most recently the uncertainty monster paper, which is now in press), this has worked well.

The overhyping of scientific results by the author or their institution is always a mistake.  Often the media takes control of something (Webster et al. 2005 paper on hurricanes and global warming is a good example),  and things quickly spin out of any control that the author might have.

I interpret the overhyping of the Spencer & Braswell paper to backlash against the “consensus” that routinely trivializes (or worse) any skeptical paper.  And consensus scientists are in charge of most of the editorial boards of the most relevant journals.  I suspect that the editor-in-chief has no strongly held or publicly stated opinion on the subject of global warming, or he might have been more wary of how to deal with a paper by Spencer, which is likely to be associated  with controversy.

So should the paper by Spencer & Braswell have been published?  Ideally, it would have undergone a more rigorous peer review and have been improved as a result of that process.  Spencer & Braswell make some points that are worth considering, but this needs to be done in a more rigorous manner (and with much less hype.)

1,012 responses to “Update on the Spencer & Braswell paper

  1. I interpret the overhyping of the Spencer & Braswell paper to backlash against the “consensus” routinely trivializes (or worse) any skeptical paper.

    In other words, “They did it first.”

    Maybe “the consensus” routinely trivializing (or worse) skeptical papers is a “backlash” against fraudulent attempts to discredit scientific research by people that are strongly associated with many “sketpics?”

    Where does that causal linkage start, Judith?

    With tribalism, with “motivated reasoning,” with confirmation bias – that are all equally represented on both sides of the debate?

    • “They did it first … 2nd … 3rd … 2000th … 4000th … etc etc.”

    • The “consensus” group is in the driver’s seat with their alleged 97% majority (and dominance on editorial boards), so this situation is very asymmetrical for skeptics

      • You’ve got the consensus part wrong, or the following wouUnfortunately, tldn’t happen:

        “Their campaign apparently was very successful as witnessed by the over 56,000 downloads of the full paper within only one month after its publication.”

      • Typo:

        “Unfortunately, their campaign apparently was very successful as witnessed by the over 56,000 downloads of the full paper within only one month after its publication.”

      • so this situation is very asymmetrical for skeptics

        See my other comment also:

        http://judithcurry.com/2011/09/02/update-on-the-spencer-braswell-paper/#comment-107197

        I believe there is a disconnect in your approach.

        Sometimes you want to limit the discussion to the framework of scientists, yet other times you wander out into an assessment of the partisan influences in a larger context.

        Examining what’s going on in those separate contexts if perfectly valid, but if you aren’t careful to define your focus then your conclusions suffer.

        “Skeptics” is not a term that applies to those in the “climate community” only.

      • If people are forced to walk the plank for daring to publish one dissenting paper, then “asymmetrical for skeptics” is a bit of an understatement.

      • You seem to have the same amount of evidence for your views in this situation as you have for your views on climate change.

      • POt calling….

      • No one was made to walk the blank. The issue was not that the paper was dissenting, the issue was that it was very badly flawed. He accepted responsibility for it making it to print without a thorough review.

      • “The political views of the authors and the thematic goal of their study did, of course, alone not disqualify the paper from entering the review process in the journal Remote Sensing. ”

        The work alone in that sentence was an arrow aimed at the heart of any scientists attempt to publish papers that dissent from the orthodoxy.

        It means politics DID play role in this fiasco.

        It is an admission from the former editor that he was forced to resign because of politics.

      • I think you must be reading something other than the document quoted if you seriously interpret that to say he was forced to resign.

      • political views … did … alone not disqualify

        This from the editor of a supposedly a science journal, Louise. Enlighten me on how the above sentence is _not_ unsettling. Thanks.

      • Enlighten yourself. Lots of courses in basic reading comprehension available online.

      • Robert –
        Enlighten yourself. Lots of courses in basic reading comprehension available online.

        Then you should use at least one of them.

      • Robert, If i wrote that C02 alone did not cause the warming of the 20th century what would conclude about the role of C02? On any ordinary reading the mention that politics alone did not disqualify the paper implies that politics did play a role.
        Consider the following:

        “The political views of the authors and the thematic goal of their study did, of course, alone not disqualify the paper from entering the review process in the journal Remote Sensing. ”

        “The middle names of the authors and the thematic goal of their study did, of course, alone not disqualify the paper from entering the review process in the journal Remote Sensing. ”

        when you understand the difference between those two, you will understand why the author intimates that politics did play a role and will play a role, and should play a role in editorial decisions

      • It’s more than an understatement, it’s deceptive. If Dr. Curry spoke honestly she would be a thought criminal and many phone calls would stop and other would not be picked up. it gets worse from there.

      • “If people are forced to walk the plank for daring to publish one dissenting paper”

        haha so that’s going to be the spin is it

      • Of course. The simple facts of the matter — another dishonest and sloppy denier fantasy slips through peer review, editor responsible does the right thing and resigns in disgrace — is un-spinnable. So expect the usual suspects to be even less connected with reality than usual. ;)

      • More like an own goal. Spencer is now a martyr to “consensus” censorship. I’m sure many more real scientists are now way more disgusted by “climate science” giving science a bad name.

        Shot yourself in the foot.

      • Hundreds of papers each year are retracted due to errors that weren’t picked up in review. Editors dont resign over them. In this case the paper hasn’t been retracted nor has it been shown to be in error through the formal channels.

        Its interesting that a lot of people who strongly support AGW and CO2’s claimed strong driving role in the observed warming also read results at face value and never question them.

      • We still refuse to profile who and what attributes the consensus group share even if we all know it without speaking.

        It’s like Lord Voldemort; “he who must not be named”.

      • It is indeed asymmetric, Professor Curry, and the oldest scriptures assure us how this battle will end:

        “Truth is victorious, never untruth.”
        Scriptures of almost all religions:
        Mundaka Upanishad 3.1.6
        Qur’an 17.85

        With kind regards,
        Oliver K. Manuel

      • Truths are written by the winners and the writings of the losers are burned or buried.
        Is that not what you have been saying about “Deception in government science”?

      • Yes, Herman, you are right but ultimately,

        “Truth is victorious, never untruth.”

        Thanks to Climategate, I finally grasped why NASA spent billions of dollars studying distant stars since 1971, but steadfastly refused to consider new findings about the Sun:

        a.) The heat source that sustains our life, and
        b.) The model for all other stars in the cosmos!

        I also now know why NASA terminated our research grant in 1972 and accused us of losing lunar samples when I objected to this seemingly highhanded and irresponsible decision.

        Thanks to spiritual teachings, I can honestly say today that I would rather be on the skeptics side of the fence – although I do not expect immediate victory over 40 years (2011-1971) of deceit.

        All is well,
        Oliver M.

      • The combined forces of world leaders seem indeed formidable, but they are absolutely nothing compared to the forces that control the cosmos.

        The Journal of Cosmology 13, 4187-4190 (2011):

        http://journalofcosmology.com/BigBang102.html

        By aligning himself with Truth, a barefoot, half-naked Indian named Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi defeated the British Empire and freed India from slavery. – OM

      • The forces promoting AGW today are as politically powerful and morally bankrupt as the old British Empire.

        Spiritual truths are the only force that can defeat them. Each new victory that they achieved, each new untruth that they promoted, has weakened their case and and assured their ultimate defeat.

        For example, the number of “balls in the air” or pieces of experimental data to hide has steadily increased:

        1972a: Evidence of mass separation in the Sun

        http://www.omatumr.com/Data/1972Data1.htm

        1972b: Evidence fresh stellar debris formed meteorites

        http://www.omatumr.com/Data/1972Data.htm

        1975: Evidence primordial He is labelled with excess Xe-136

        http://www.omatumr.com/Data/1975Data.htm

        1976: Evidence O-16 characterizes meteorite/planet types

        http://www.omatumr.com/Data/1976Data.htm

        1983: Evidence interior of Sun is Fe, O, Ni, Si, S, Mg, like Earth

        http://www.omatumr.com/Data/1983Data.htm

        Etc., etc., etc

        Today: Evidence of neutron repulsion in all nuclear rest mass data

        http://arxiv.org/pdf/1102.1499v1

        The task of deception gets ever more difficult.

        All who have been down that path will work for reconciliation.

      • You get an additional halo for that one, Saint Judith.

      • FYI 97%”consensus” comes from from 3 of the top 100 “experts” were “unconvinced experts”.

        The UE group comprises only 2% of the top 50 climate researchers as ranked by expertise (number of climate publications), 3% of researchers of the top 100, and 2.5% of the top 200, excluding researchers present in both groups (Materials and Methods). This result closely agrees with expert surveys, indicating that ≈97% of self-identified actively publishing climate scientists agree with the tenets of ACC (2).

        W.R.L. Anderegga et al. Expert credibility in climate change

        Compare the Oregon Petition

        31,487 American scientists have signed this petition, including 9,029 with PhDs

      • The Oregon Petition is fraudulent.
        In 2001, Scientific American reported:

        Scientific American took a random sample of 30 of the 1,400 signatories claiming to hold a Ph.D. in a climate-related science. Of the 26 we were able to identify in various databases, 11 said they still agreed with the petition —- one was an active climate researcher, two others had relevant expertise, and eight signed based on an informal evaluation. Six said they would not sign the petition today, three did not remember any such petition, one had died, and five did not answer repeated messages. Crudely extrapolating, the petition supporters include a core of about 200 climate researchers – a respectable number, though rather a small fraction of the climatological community.

      • So out of the 1,400 Signatories with Ph.D.’s, the picked just 30 to check up on.
        * They could only Identify 26 of those 30
        * They could only Contact 20 of those 26
        * Of those 20, 11 still agree with the Petition, 6 changed their minds, and 3 can’t remember if they even signed it 3 years previously.

        Personal I don’t see how a loss of fewer then half of the signers in the 3 years between the signing and the Scientific American survey make it fraudulent. The last time I checked, Fraud meant actually lieing about something, not just a few people changing their minds.

        And Note this is back in 2001, long before Climategate and the rest made it into the national attention (short tho it is)

      • The climate science consensus is not “alleged,” it is a well documented fact (Oreskes 2004, Doran 2009, Anderegg 2010).
        You’re entitled to dislike proven facts, but that does not justify denying them. There is in fact consensus among your scientific peers betters. Whatever your disagreement with the consensus, it does not change the documented fact that consensus exists and yours is a fringe view in your profession.

        It is dishonest of you to deny the simple, plain, indisputable fact of that consensus which you very well know is a fact.

      • Good that it’s well documented. For future generations and studies of dogma in science.

      • Your denial of statistically documented fact is what is dogmatic.

        You don’t have to agree with the consensus to admit that it exists. The fact that you and Judy have to deny this indisputable fact, that there is a consensus among professional climate scientists, undermines your credibility (assuming you have any) and calls your honesty into question.

      • Dear Worm,

        We think it is a psychological aberration. If you look at questions about the adequacy of data and models there is a bell curve near the median. Questions that go to conviction are skewed to highly convinced – but still around 10% that fall below the median.

        http://coast.gkss.de/staff/storch/pdf/GKSS_2010_9.CLISCI.pdf

        I think it is obvious that you are a lying scumb@g of a climate warrior and not interested in truth at all.

        Cheers
        CH

      • Dear Worm,

        We think it is a psychological aberration.

        Does it occur to you that if we were looking for psychological problems, we might more reasonably start with someone who opens with “Dear Worm”?

      • Robert,

        But he did it first by calling me a liar, fool, idiot… I don’t really know why I should be polite to the Numbnut Gang – of which you are a member in good standing – as the gang is unfailingly rude and noxious and has piffling porridge for brains and pissant progressive political slogans as a sore excuse for a policy agenda.

        And why don’t you address the issue? Or does you’re umbrage stop you from thinking rationally at all?

        Cheers

      • Robert –

        Perhaps you missed it, but a few days ago Chief picked up his ball and announced that he was going home:

        Chief Hydrologist | August 25, 2011 at 4:57 pm |
        Good bye Joshua – it has been a distinctly creepy experience engaging with you.

        Of course, he only last a couple of hours before coming back and asking if he could play again. But be careful – he’s prone to tantrums and might up and storm off at any minute.

      • “statistically documented fact”

        Hahahahaha! Good one! :)

      • settledscience –
        Your denial of statistically documented fact is what is dogmatic.

        No – it’s your “statistically documented fact” that is dogma.

        Tell us – how many of your “professional climate scientists” are actually involved in writing the IPCC reports? How many of those who are listed as contributors to those reports are actually “climate scientists”? And how many of your “professional climate scientists” are actually “climate scientists” as opposed to “computer modellers”, or “astrophysicists” or “chemists” or ………..any one of a hundred other labels/specialties?

        More than that – what does “consensus” have to do with science? Consensus isn’t science – it’s politics. Just as settled science isn’t science, but rather religion.

        You DO keep on making yourself look foolish to anyone who knows anything about science.

      • What? Of course there is a consensus. That’s why I’m sceptical. If it’s a consensus, it’s not science. I love science.

      • Exactly. How anyone can claim – after epicycles, the ether, and the flat Earth – that a consensus is science. . . it just boggles the mind, doesn’t it?

        And not only is this “SettledScience” oblivious to his unscientific-ness, he is so proud of it he names himself after it.

        Wow – – – slide to the other end of the bench, and do NOT drink the Kool-Aid. The saffron robes and shaved heads believe they have heard the word of God. After that, what use is rational thought? The ship will be arriving at spaceport Gate #2…

      • If you think there is no such thing as settled science, then go jump off the top of the nearest radio broadcast tower, and see how settled Gravitational Theory really is.

      • You first.

        What is true in Newtonian physics at the macro scale is settled. That means nothing as to the validity of the CAGW POV. Your climbing on Newton’s shoulders is the ultimate in hubris at this point in time.

      • SS –
        If you think there is no such thing as settled science, then go jump off the top of the nearest radio broadcast tower, and see how settled Gravitational Theory really is.

        Whoever told you that lie should be publicly flogged and then staked out ofver an ant hill. Gravitational theory is as much a snakepit (and as unsettled) as archaeology or Origins of Life science.

      • Consensus on what facts exactly?

      • I think there is a consensus of AGW believers, but I disagree it is based on facts.

      • Precisely. Scientists can be a pedantic lot. I’m somewhat surprised that 100% of “climate experts” dont agree that “…climate experts agree humans are causing global warming. ”

        With an implicit alteration “…climate experts agree humans are causing x% of global warming.

        And a huge range of views on what x% is.

      • The empirical evidence of quantum mechanics is settled as well, to higher confidence than any other field in all of science as a matter of fact!

        Emission and absorption spectra, including those which make carbon dioxide and water vapor greenhouse gases, result directly from energy quantization.

        1 + 1 = 2

        S. Garcia:

        What is true in Newtonian physics at the macro scale is settled. That means nothing as to the validity of the CAGW POV. Your climbing on Newton’s shoulders is the ultimate in hubris at this point in time.

        The anthropogenic greenhouse effect is absolutely settled science. The direct amount of that effect and the side effects are known to different degrees of precision, but that is no excuse to pretend the direction of our impact or the basic fact of human impact are in question. It is absolutely dishonest to pretend that human pollution is not warming the planet, dangerously.

      • (Oreskes 2004, Doran 2009, Anderegg 2010).
        What a wonderful sense of humour you have!

    • Maybe it’s more useful to ask WHO hyped Spencer’s paper. First there was Spencer’s hyperbolic press release, followed by Forbes (New NASA Data Blow Gaping Hole in Global Warming Alarmism(!)), echoed by FoxNews and WUWT.
      Now you can reason about the WHY: Backlashing against the consensus or simply driven by a political agenda.

    • “With tribalism, with “motivated reasoning,” with confirmation bias – that are all equally represented on both sides of the debate?”

      All are “equally represented”? As in the closed door summary meeting of ar4?

      This is especially clueless Joshua but expected. You still catch on that AGW is a repressive authoritarian tribe that you support and are part of. Hence we sould all ignore the eco-left in the hallway of every major component and have fake conversations about abstract “bias” and “tribes” rather than even get common acknowledgement as to what your tribe is and who you operate for.

    • This isnt really they did it first. This rather explains why all the hype. If you read the climategate mails you would see this was a concern about one of the negative effects of gatekeeping. There were two lines of argument discussed. Overpeck argued that they should repeat the line “skeptics never publish”. When a skeptical paper was finally published and a bunch of hoopla ensued the team acknowledged that the hoopla was a direct result of the rhetorical strategy. So, technically this is not an example of they did it first. Its not because the “its” are different. Warmists made a big deal about no peer reviewed skeptical papers, a skeptical paper get published.. and the natural result is a big hoopla which is conditioned upon and a direct result of making a huge deal out of saying their is no peer reviewed skepticism.

      • stephen –

        The overhyping of scientific results by the author or their institution is always a mistake.

        If we reduce this whole kerfluffle down to the simplest element, and ignore the possibility of the practice of promoting just plain, bad science, there is no justification for the overhyping by the authors.

        As long as people on either side seek to rationalize their own bad behavior in the bad behavior on the other side – nothing will change, nothing will improve. Bridges will not be built. The jr. high school cafeteria food fight will continue unabated.

      • This from the Bluto of Climate Etc.

      • Is it possible that you could make your point explicitly without my having to watch a 45 minute video clip?

      • About inorganic chemistry, no less.

      • Sounds like you might have a computer virus.

        The link is perfectly clear (and appropriate) to me.

        BTW, had a chance to digest these numbers yet?

        http://judithcurry.com/2011/08/30/consumer-options-for-choosing-renewable-energy/#comment-106979

        I went to a lot of trouble digging them up for you.

      • It is on my list.

      • I’ll respond to the original comment.

      • As long as people on either side seek to rationalize their own bad behavior in the bad behavior on the other side – nothing will change, nothing will improve. Bridges will not be built. The jr. high school cafeteria food fight will continue unabated.

        I agree with you, but I don’t think that is quite what Dr. Curry is doing here. I don’t love what she’s doing, but I don’t think it’s quite that bad. I read the post as trying to connect this episode with larger trends or habits through the scientific community; to essentially take the episode as supporting her points about how the scientific process needs to change. She makes some interesting points about opening up the review process. I see that as a little different from simple finger-pointing at the other side.

        Here’s where I don’t like it: Dr. Curry climbs over some pretty big mountains of implication to reach the molehills she likes. An critical interpretation, although it may reasonably be focused on the part of the thing that concerns us, should not ignore the simple denotative meaning in favor of the subtle nuances.

        Big picture:
        * This paper, by leading lights of the “skeptical” community, one of very few to brave or survive peer review, is so badly flawed that the editor who published it is resigning in disgrace.

        But maybe I’m just as guilty of focusing on the part that reinforces my narrative.

      • Ok, maybe my initial reaction was too strong, but….

        I read the post as trying to connect this episode with larger trends or habits through the scientific community

        From what I read – she is linking this episode to unjustifiable trends and/or habits on one side and justifiable trends and/or habits (because “They did it first.”) on the other side.

        What am I missing?

        I agree (at least to a large degree) with Judith’s perspective on changes that would help reach better scientific outcomes – not the least about how on-line dialogue can (well, if people grow up) help assess the validity of conclusions in various papers. I also think, however, that much of what Judith does in the interest of manifesting those changes is, in effect, counterproductive in that it only reinforces existing tribalism and alienation on both sides of the debate.

      • You miss a whole lot Joshua and likely on purpose,

        “that much of what Judith does in the interest of manifesting those changes is, in effect, counterproductive”

        This is correct but for none of the reasons you listed, when the orthodox IPCC/AGW advocate is properly classified in simple and mainsteam language terms there might be more honesty that is lacking. Essentially she offers more cover for the canard “it’s ALL about science” which is nonsense. Currently this an exercise in middling Newspeak which is a cousin of AGW Newspeak.

      • John Carpenter

        Joshua,

        If the ‘right’ is denier/skeptic, the ‘center’ is lukewarm and the ‘left’ is CAGW/believer… where do you place Judy? (the terms ‘right/center/left’ are not meant necessarily to be political terms, for the sake of this question. That is I am not trying to introduce her political position by using ‘right/center/left’ here)

        I will guess ‘center’ for you. If so, then how is this counterproductive or how is she reinforcing tribalism in her posts when she has made it known she believes engaging with ‘skeptics’ is important (as opposed to ignoring them… which has failed for the ‘consensus’)? Isn’t this how you would engage with skeptics?

      • That’s a fair point, John.

        I support the notion of respectfully engaging with skeptics. And Judith respectfully engages with people on both sides of the debate, as can be seen on these threads, admirably. More of such behavior is needed.

        However, I believe that at the same time, she fails to hold each side of the debate equally accountable – and as such she feeds the fire on both sides. Admittedly, we can easily see that she receives incoming fire from both sides of the debate, and there is no doubt that no one could perfectly walk that line that one would have to walk to really build bridges. As such, maybe Judith deserves more of a benefit of doubt than I always give to her. But from where I sit, she has a nasty habit of disassociating the political influence on the “skeptical” side while exaggerating the political influence on the “pro-AGW” side. As such, I think that she detracts from accountability on the “skeptical” side and unnecessarily inflames tribalism on the “pro-AGW” side. It is because I think that she holds a unique position for advancing the debate that I find the problems with her position that much more important.

      • John Carpenter

        Ok Joshua, but as I have stated before, no one is immune to some degree of bias… including Judy. Do you hold yourself to the same standard? I would have to say ‘no’ based on your responses and who you tend to ‘engage’ with or who tends to ‘engage’ with you. (Perhaps you are more balanced than I know by taking different ideolgical positions on other blogs, I don’t know b/c I only interact with you here.)

        Personal disclosure: I have my own bias… I tend to ‘engage’ more with the likes of Robert, Martha, you, etc… when I have a bone to pick with an idea I disagree with than I would with the likes of Hunter or Bruce. Doesn’t mean I agree with them, I’m just not as interesting b/c our POV’s are similar in some areas. Personal disclaimer: I do not purport to necessarily hold the same ideologies of said examples either. :)

        So… have I succeeded in making myself suitably unclear?

      • Actually, John – I think you were perfectly clear because I put myself in much the same category.

        I never claimed to be unbiased. In fact, I know that by the very nature of being human, my reasoning is inclined to be “motivated” and affected by confirmation bias and tribalism. The reason why I engage with those who have a different POV is because that is the best way for me to check against my own biases. I would never contend that I am perfect in those processes.

        What I most object to from Judith (and many of her supporters) are the explicit rejection that she needs to overtly and explicitly engage in a process of checking for her own biases. In fact, Mosher told me that it was crazy (or retarded, or some other denigrating characterization – I’m paraphrasing) to expect that Judith explicitly deconstruct plausible counterarguments to those she presents.

        So – I would contend that as with you – my respectful engagement with those who disagree with me (such as yourself) is actually evidence of at least attempting to control for bias. Engagement with a hunter or a Bruce is just for fun, because they never fail to amuse.

      • As Gunnery Sargent Hartman states; “I didn’t know they stacked $h!t that high” about two minute in;

        Reacting to of course; “But from where I sit, she has a nasty habit of disassociating the political influence on the “skeptical” side while exaggerating the political influence on the “pro-AGW” side.”

        Did the little voices tell you this Joshua? It’s a joke right? A career climate scientist but refused to describe the very culture she and fellow consensus members belongs to, what next Joshua, UCO Boulder a right wing campus? NYTimes radical conservative?

        The party line here is that there isn’t a general political ID of the consensus. Welcome to unreality.

      • “The overhyping of scientific results by the author or their institution is always a mistake.”

        Good. So let’s examine the iconography of the Hockey Stick.

        There are some who believe in AGW who recognize that the reconstructions have been hyped. Overpeck told briffa that he wanted something MORE COMPELLING than the hockey stick. His words, not mine. Rind told briffa not to oversell the certainty. Briffa complained to overpeck and said “we shouldnt overegg the pudding” and you shouldnt cave to the pressure from Mann and Solomon. And then he hid the decline.

        So yes, I think the skeptic hyping is a problem. I understand how it comes about. Understanding how it comes about does not excuse it. I also understand how the HS got turned into an Icon. How it got hyped and then protected like the shroud of turin. Non essential to the faith, but defended to the death. When I see you willing to criticize both sides for the same kind of behavior i’ll believe in your ability to be objective. And the questions of who did it first are utterly beside the point.

      • So yes, I think the skeptic hyping is a problem. I understand how it comes about. Understanding how it comes about does not excuse it.

        Good – we are in agreement there, at least.

        When I see you willing to criticize both sides for the same kind of behavior i’ll believe in your ability to be objective.

        I regularly state that tribalism, motivated reasoning, and confirmation bias exist on both sides of the debate. I disagree with your evaluation of how deeply egregious is the tribalism as revealed in Climategate – but there is no doubt that the emails revealed unproductive, nay, counterproductive, tribalism.

        And the questions of who did it first are utterly beside the point.

        And I agree with you there also – except for when people base their arguments on allegations that the other side did it first, or incorrectly say that the other side did it first. Then it becomes part of the point to outline the flaws in that line of argumentation – both factually (in terms of who really did do it first) as well as strategically (assuming the goal is to improve the scientific outcomes of the debate),.

      • The hockey stick is essential in the claim temperatures are “unprecedented” (when they aren’t) and why it is defended and that has helped destroy any credibility climate “scientists” once had.

  2. Spencer & Braswell make some points that are worth considering, but this needs to be done in a more rigorous manner (and with much less hype.)

    Well, but the hype was the whole point.

    • Quinn the Eskimo

      Spencer and Braswell are not accountable for the hype of others. So this resignation is a drama queen stunt and is itself a more ludicrous example of hype than anything he complains about.

      • “I would also like to personally protest against how THE AUTHORS and like-minded climate sceptics have much exaggerated the paper’s conclusions in public statements”

      • What business of his is it?

      • Louise stop being dense. Just because the guy says that the authors were behind the hype does not make it so. He might have felt that but I saw no trace of a fact backing it, other than 56,000 downloads.

      • Quinn the Eskimo

        The editor is not accountable for the statements made in other venues by anybody – whether they be authors, pundits, or skeptics. But this drama queen falls prostrate on his fainting couch because somebody on the internet said something he doesn’t agree with. Oh, the humanity!

      • Well said Quinn. But happily this is what is called a “pot boiler.” It works well for skepticism. No good reason is given for the resignation, so we must assume hidden pressure from the consensus cabal. Minority views are okay as long as they stay that way, right?

      • Thought crime is death or at least your job.

      • The only people killed for “thought crime” in the climate debate are the 70+ people slaughtered by climate denier Anders Behring Breivik:

        http://www.nytimes.com/2011/07/23/world/europe/23oslo.html?pagewanted=all

      • John Carpenter

        Robert, do you really believe those innocent people were are part of the ‘climate debate’? Please… climate ‘deniers’ are not some special class of psychotic killers running around like time bombs. Quit pushing this type of false idea, it serves no purpose to the actual ‘climate debate’.

      • The innocent victims were not part of the climate debate but the perpetrator does reference and quote Lord Monckton amongst others in his ‘Manifesto’.

      • John Carpenter

        Yes, but so do a plethora of other psychotic killers reference any number of world leaders down to obscure soothsayers in their manifestos as well.

        Louise, the argument has no merit… Breivik is just one example of far too many where political, social or religious ideas get warped in their minds to justify their unjustifiable actions. The sickness of the mind has little to do with the topic that sets them off. Using it as an example to further ideas of your own ideology strikes me as a little sick in its own sense. No?

      • “No good reason is given for the resignation, so we must assume hidden pressure from the consensus cabal”

        We don’t need to assume that, or make up new information.

        While David is perhaps personally unaware, the option of stepping down is not unheard for professionals who wish to model integrity, and it can be best for the work and for a person’s career.

      • Sort of like a conscientious objector who quits a job because it conflicts with their religion.

      • Supply us with examples. and we will judge if this incident is similar.

      • “No good reason is given”

        or perhaps “no reason I like is given”?

      • So, looking beyond their own hype that they are responsible for…

        Who is holding “others” accountable for their hype? “Skeptics?” Really?
        Are their posts in this thread holding “skeptics” accountable for overhyping their paper? How about threads at other “sketpical” sites?

        Maybe you have a link?

      • I gues your still like to play cops and robbers.
        If those hypers are posting here with the hype, go ahead make their day, otherwise PUHLEEZE..

    • And Curry will never say why any of Spencer & Braswell’s “points” are allegedly “worth considering” just as she never even attempted to justify her similar assertions about Murry Salby’s claptrap, because she knows she can’t, because she knows that the “skeptic” climate deniar stuff she promotes, including her own, is all claptrap.

      • Chief, take a breath, and have a laugh. It is the other side that has the ‘splainin to do here. Another editor down. Doesn’t look good in the light of climategate emails does it?

      • It doesn’t look at all good. As for the Chief, I haven’t clipped much to my personal wiki from Climate Etc in the last five days, but I had to have this from the CO2 residence time thread which I only spotted last night:

        You flatter yourself that I would give a rat’s arse about any of your pointless and distracting comment. My only concern is whether I am getting too bored to continue with this nonsense. Well I certainly am – but it is a question of whether the field should be left to the a few noxious individuals intent on play a spoiling role. Just now the Numbnut gang is dominating the threads with almost 100% of the recent comment between them. Most of it simply nonsense and insults. I don’t know what the solution is – but it is getting to be uncomfortable scrolling through the large number of rude and abusive posts.

        Whether the field should be left to the Numbnuts. I salute the Chief, who’s done more than anyone to ensure not.

      • Thanks Richard

        I must say I have been impressed with your good sense and understated and dignified riposte.

        CH

      • It’s easy to be understated when you know as little as I do.

      • tallbloke,

        ‘Your dishonesty is ridiculous and obvious.’ settledscience

        I thought it a salutation from settledscience – an affectionate and light hearted opening – he always opens his posts to me with it?

        I am laughing of course.

        CH

      • “I am laughing of course.”

        We always picture you that way. Probably with some sort of barrier device to protect your keyboard from the spittle.

      • I learn a lot of science from the Chief Hydrologist. I’ve yet to see you contribute, well, anything worth reading.

      • No, tallbloke, you just prefer Chief Hydrologist’s lies to the truth, and you both resent me and everybody else who exposes your narrative for the dishonest pseudoscience that it is.

      • Whether the field should be left to the Numbnuts. I salute the Chief, who’s done more than anyone to ensure not.

        Yes, indeedy. Because Chief is certainly doing his best to diminish the problem of “scrolling through the large number of rude and abusive posts.”

        Just a tiny sampling of Chief’s valiant efforts:

        “Dear Lying Scumb@g,”

        “You flatter yourself that I would give a rat’s arse ”

        ” but it is a question of whether the field should be left to the a few noxious individuals”

        You fellas are hilarious.

  3. And are alarmist/consensus papers ever found by their (consensus) editors to have comparable flaws ?

    • The Spencer and Braswell story goes viral
      There will be greater focus on peer review as a consequence: cf
      Sept.3, Anthony Watts reports:

      Earlier today I checked in to the WUWT dashboard and was surprised to see that WUWT had the #1 story on all of WordPress.com this morning: . . .
      Tonight, checking in again, I discover not only is WUWT still near the top with a follow up story, but the Spencer and Braswell story is dominating the top 10, labels mine:. . .
      (WUWT @#2, Climate Etc. @#5, Pielke @#7)
      The last time I’ve seen anything like this, where climate blogs dominated the top ten, was just after Climategate broke. . . .
      On the upside, this debacle has placed thousands more fresh eyes on the Spencer and Bracewell paper, as well as on the folly of the “failed peer review” process claim by the resigned editor of Remote Sensing. . . .
      I have a feeling that this won’t end the way Wagner thought it would.

      We have not heard the end of this.

  4. Peer review is performed by human beings and hence it is inevitable that mistakes will be made (which is why journals have “letters to the editor” where these errors can be corrected). It seems to me that the real problem is the hype and press releases that go with newly accepted papers that (i) make far stronger claims than the paper can actually support and (ii) treat the new study as if it was established fact simply because it had made it through peer review. The latter is a major error, getting through peer review is the first hurdle on the road to acceptance, not the last! The papers worth discussing are those that have appeared in the journal, where the research community has had time to properly consider them, where no (critical) “letters to the editor” have been submitted, and where the paper has quickly gained citations from other scientists who have found the work to be of value. That is the propwer time for the press release, however by that time it isn’t news and the media won’t be interested. Shame really. :o(

    • “It seems to me that the real problem is the hype and press releases that go with newly accepted papers that (i) make far stronger claims than the paper can actually support and (ii) treat the new study as if it was established fact simply because it had made it through peer review.”

      Have you by chance ever heard of ‘Deterrence Theory’ ? Arms races only stop when they get used or there is verification on both sides. The CAGW’s continually make use of (I) and (II). This means that the ‘other side’, will also have to do so.
      Wolfgang Wagner’s resignation has the smell of politics, bollocks slips past the review process all the time which is why you can have six or seven papers pummeling a dodgy one; hell do a special issue and let the CAGW’s vent their spleens and have Spencer & Braswell do a recycle in light of discussions.
      Science is a process not a damned fragile crystal.

  5. the appropriate thing to do would be to write the journals in stone.

  6. I can think of a few papers that made big headlines that should not have been published if S&B is supposed to set some standard. I believe Trenberth said something like, “It is hard to create data when there is none.”

  7. “The political views of the authors and the thematic goal of their study did, of course, alone not disqualify the paper from entering the review process in the journal Remote Sensing”

    Translation: “It should have been disqualified because the church of AGW hates heretics … and I screwed up by allowing such heresy to be published and the AGW cult members will make my life a living hell from now on.”

    • Geez. Another skeptic declining to promote accountability over partisanship.

      What a shock! I’ve never seen that before.

      • Can you read english?

        “did, of course, alone not disqualify the paper ”

        “alone not disqualify” CLEARLY says politics played at least a partial part (and probably the PRIMARY part) in why the paper should have been rejected.

        Otherwise, he would have said: “At no time did politics play any role in attempts to disqualify this paper and I’ll publish all my email correspondence to prove that”.

      • There is no sense getting excited by Joshua who is troll of the first order. He’s like an extra in a Fellini film;

        http://www.imdb.com/media/rm3238304000/tt0066922

        He never stays on point and when refuted just melts away to other blather.

      • cwon – I stay on point plenty. I just dismiss most of your posts because the majority of them introduce a straw man within the very first sentence. In fact, I’ve documented that a number of times. Take a look through the archives.

        I’ve had quite a few extended, on point discussions on a number of matters on these here threads – with people that are interested in serious dialogue. That you are not in that group is not my responsibility – but I welcome you to join us if you can find it in you to drop the straw men (oh, and the insults as well).

      • Joshua makes a really good point here:

        “Jeff – I [Joshua] am not able to debate these technical matters.”

        Yup. His only accurate statement ever.

        http://noconsensus.wordpress.com/2011/09/02/345-4/#comments

      • You’re just forcing your interpretation onto Wagner’s statement of what did not happen.

        Read what he said, in plain English, did happen that led him to decide to resign.

        In hindsight, it is possible to see why the review process of the paper by Spencer and Braswell did not fulfill its aim. … Therefore, from a purely formal point of view, there were no errors with the review process. But, as the case presents itself now, the editorial team unintentionally selected three reviewers who probably share some climate sceptic notions of the authors. This selection by itself does not mean that the review process for this paper was wrong… The problem is that comparable studies published by other authors have already been refuted in open discussions and to some extend also in the literature (cf. [7]), a fact which was ignored by Spencer and Braswell in their paper and, unfortunately, not picked up by the reviewers.

        In Wagner’s own words, ” the review process of the paper by Spencer and Braswell did not fulfill its aim.

        Can you read English?

      • You should read plain english too. So up until now all consensus papers have had reviewers that include some scetic “sympathizers” too,

      • If 3% of climate deniars are reviewing climate science papers, their proportion of the climate science community is well represented, but their expertise is over represented.

        So up until now all consensus papers have had reviewers that include some scetic “sympathizers” too

        Read it and weep.

      • This is about science, not a popularity contest.
        Next thing you’ll be telling us that Einstein’s theories have no scientific merit because he reportedly beat his wife.

      • No, Peter317, my argument has nothing to do with popularity, it is about probability. Because of the measured numbers on both sides of the basic premise called “anthropogenic global warming,” high numbers of ACC “agree” reviewers is expected, just due to probability, unless or except for cases in which the reviewers are cherry-picked to ensure sympathetic treatment of “skeptical” authors.

      • SS, look up “Prosecutor’s Fallacy”

      • “Can you read english English?”

        Protip: when insulting another poster’s language skills, do not make a simple grammar mistake (in the fourth word of your post!) while doing so. Tends to undercut your point. ;)

      • I think I made my point that Joshua never actually read the resignation.

  8. Perhaps we should also note here the widespread overhyping of the CERN Cloud study?

    I have seen numerous rightwing media outlets summarizing the study as proving conclusions that are in direct contradiction to what the authors themselves say about conclusions are supported by the paper.

    It is a shame, IMO, that “skeptics” on the “skeptical un-convinced” side of the “skeptical un-convinced/denier” spectrum don’t do more to disassociate themselves from the overhyping. I suspect that we will see little evidence of such on this thread, as on example.

    Of course, that works both ways. Overhyping the certainty of AGW should also be more forcefully denounced by those on the “pro-AGW” side of the debate. So the question is whether one side is more negligent in that respect than the other?

    • We should note that that cult of AGW managed to keep the lid on the science behind the CERN Cloud study for a long, long time. And they did it dishonestly.

    • Joshua – are you suggesting journal editors be provided with Powers of Divination, and total control on how papers will be used and by whom FOLLOWING their publication?

    • Actually I thought the CERN group (particularly the leadership) worked hard to minimize hype about climate change. Sometimes the hype is generated by people other than the scientists and their institutions. And there was far less hyperbole in the reporting about CERN than S&B

      • I agree that the authors worked hard to do just that. But there was a fairly focused reaction in the blogosphere, among “skeptics,” to call the authors’ efforts to do so into question.

        I don’t think that you’re doing a comprehensive analysis of the hype around the CERN and S&B papers, respectively.

        I have been at quite a few non-technical or non-climate change focused sites where the CERN paper has been inaccurately hyped (using the standard of being in direct contrast to what the authors said could be concluded from their work) a great deal. I saw very little such inaccurate hyping of the S&B paper at similar sites.

        I think that your viewpoint is a bit limited in context due to your technical framework as an expert on the topic. That’s fine – except if you wander into speculating about the wider context of political impact more generally. If you wander outside the technical/climate science-specific focus, I think that you will find a very widespread discrepancy in the amount of hype about those two papers, respectively, and that your estimation about the levels of hype does not apply to the larger context.

      • Then go and complain at those sites it is idiotic to do such here.

    • “Overhyping the certainty of AGW should also be more forcefully denounced by those on the “pro-AGW” side of the debate,”

      I must have totally missed any such denouncing, let alone any which wasn’t forceful enough. Citations?

    • It is a shame, IMO, that “skeptics” on the “skeptical un-convinced” side of the “skeptical un-convinced/denier” spectrum don’t do more to disassociate themselves from the overhyping.

      It’s a fundamental technique of right-wing extremist politics. Attack your enemies for any bad people or actions you can associate with them, however tangentially (William Ayers, eugenics and the theory of evolution, Al Gore says a swear and lives in a big house.) On the other hand, cultivate a big tent for your own extremists and refuse to take any responsibility for the worst excesses of people standing shoulder-to-shoulder with you, whether it’s a denier threatening to rape a scientist’s children, or Soon taking a million dollars from energy companies.

      Reasonable people shouldn’t cooperate with this sleight-of-hand. If deniers want to talk about credibility, we can talk about Anders Behring Breivik signing off with praise for Monckton and condemnation of “Climategate” before murdering seventy people. We can talk about the “skeptic” papers that have been pulled for plagiarism, for falsifying evidence, for simple sloppiness. And so on. If people want to talk credibility, that’s fine: but we should start with the side that has the real credibility problem: the deniers.

      • I can’t believe you…

        Attack your enemies for any bad people or actions you can associate with them, however tangentially

        …and then, barely a paragraph later:

        we can talk about Anders Behring Breivik signing off with praise for Monckton and condemnation of “Climategate” before murdering seventy people.

        Try practising what you preach. If this isn’t “attacking your enemies for any bad people or actions you can associate with them, however tangentially” then I don’t know what is.

        And your efforts to draw parallels between scepics and some murderous psycho, and your implication that his victims were slaughtered because of their beliefs in climate change, are, quite bluntly, beneath contempt. Besides everything else, one of his unfortunate victims was a relative of my wife’s.

  9. How about this contributing:
    “I would also like to personally protest against how the authors and like-minded climate sceptics have much exaggerated the paper’s conclusions”

    • How about: “I’ll publish all the hate mail and threats I received from AGW cult members.”

      • You’re projecting again

        We’re all fully aware of who in the climate debate gets hate mail and death threats.

      • Persons such as myself have been kicked off blogs for disagreeing with AGW and presenting evidence for our point of view. This among other things.

        The reverse is hardly ever true. i.e. WUWT does not kick AGW’ers off.

      • mkelly, that’s just not true, lots of AGW’ers are indeed kicked off WUWT. You just don’t hear the same level of whinging about it as they don’t really care enough to bother.

      • Louise, mkelly is right. WUWT has well over 650,000 reader comments, and plenty of them are from a pro-AGW point of view. They have not been “kicked off.”

        You are incorrect in your assumption that contrary points of view are censored at WUWT. Rather, blatant censorship is practiced at blogs like realclimate, where it is shocking to witness government employees censoring the free speech of others, simply because it contradicts their narrative.

      • (1) See my comment here, which actually mentions some of the times that I have been censored on WUWT (and features you rather prominently): http://judithcurry.com/2011/09/02/update-on-the-spencer-braswell-paper/#comment-107338

        (2) It is not a free speech issue. They are not stifling free speech. They are exercising editorial / moderation control over their own part of cyberspace. As I have noted, there is not one right answer to the question of how light or heavy a hand to have in moderating comments on a blog. It depends on the purpose of the blog. If the purpose is to have a free-for-all discussion (sometimes because one apparently thinks of it, incorrectly, as a good substitute for the peer-reviewed scientific literature), then a light hand in moderation might be what you want. If the purpose is to educate people about what the current scientific understanding is about a subject, then a desire to increase the signal-to-noise ratio might suggest more heavy-handed moderation. Last I checked, Roger A. Pielke Sr. didn’t allow any comments on his blog and Roy Spencer used to not have them either although he then changed it so people could comment. This blog and WUWT have adopted a generally light-handed moderation policy (modulo my comments linked to above in regards to WUWT), which has some advantages but also some disadvantages: Witness how many thousands of comments are in the threads here about Postma and the Slayers, which some could argue bury the actual scientific takedown of the nonsense promulgated by Postma and the Slayers amid the posts of those who continue to promulgate such nonsense.

      • Joel
        The Postma paper got thousands of replies because it was a fresh and plausible look at the Earth’s climate.

        To be fair I tried to contrast it with your own little model of the atmosphere.
        This model is outlined in your infamous error ridden “comment” paper.
        I can well understand why you and your co authors seem very shy about the paper.

        However it has caught my attention and will be returning to the topic whether you like it or not.

      • Bryan: Thanks for confirming for us what we already knew about your complete inability to distinguish science from pseudoscience. Papers like Postma’s and G&T’s do serve this useful purpose in showing us whose opinions are so ill-informed that they can safely be considered to be of no value whatsoever.

      • Joel it is of some concern to me that you appear to have forgotten almost all of your Physics.
        I managed with great difficulty to get you to accept that heat can only travel spontaneously from a hot to a colder object.
        Recently I had to spend a lot a of time and put up with your usual abuse before you finally agreed that I was correct about the DALR.
        Right at the start of this recent episode I said that convection was not assumed or used in the derivation of the dry adiabatic lapse rate.
        Now I think that your concentric radiating slab model is preposterous.
        and you would be well rid of such an impediment to rational thought.

      • To quote Science of Doom on this, G&T

        ——————-
        then add their masterstroke. It is inadmissible to apply the second law for the upward and downward heat separately redefining the thermodynamic system on the fly.

        What on earth do they mean? Our comedic duo are the ones separating the system into upward and downward heat, followed by an enthusiastic army on the internet. Everyone else considers net heat flow.

        As we saw in a standard work on thermodynamics, now in its 6th edition after two or three decades in print, there is no scientific problem with radiation from a colder to a hotter body – so long as there is a higher radiation from the hotter to the colder.

        At this point I wonder – should I revisit the library and scan in 20 thermodynamic works? 50? What would it take to convince those who have been miseducated by our intrepid duo?
        ————————–

        SoD’s post is well named

      • Eli Rabbit (Halpern) says quoting Science of Doom

        …..”there is no scientific problem with radiation from a colder to a hotter body – so long as there is a higher radiation from the hotter to the colder.”….

        The implication here is that G&T have.some problem with this.
        This formed the basis of their incredibly stupid comment paper co written by Halpern and Shore and 4 others.

        Did Halpern et al even read the paper?
        G&T have always used two way radiative transfer models.
        So all G&T had to say in reply “was where did we say that? ”
        The G&T paper is full of diagrams formulas and calculations based on two way radiative transfer.
        What was the origin of such stupidity from Halpern?
        Halpern et al could not distinguish between electromagnetic radiation and heat.
        To be fair Joel Shore now realises that this was a mistake and has corrected it.
        However unfortunately for Eli Halpern the “penny has still not dropped.”

      • Bryan,

        There is a simple solution to this, which is for you to explain clearly how G&T could be led to conclude that the greenhouse effect is a fiction that violates the 2nd Law (as they say right in their abstract, among other places) if they did not ignore the fact that there are larger radiative transfers from hot to cold than from cold to hot. I have repeatedly requested that you do so but you (and G&T) have never provided such an explanation. And, I am not surprised because an intelligible explanation does not in fact exist.

        It is to make the counterargument, “Halpern et al. are claiming we said something that we never said.” It is much harder to make the argument, “The logic of our argument in deriving our conclusion is…” If G&T and its defenders never have to explain the logic of the argument, they can always make some vague claim that we attributed an error to them that they did not make.

      • “It is to make the counterargument…” should read “It is easy to make the counterargument…” in my post above.

      • Listen up people, on both sides of the debate.
        Heat is not energy, and energy is not heat!
        Kindly refrain from confusing the two.

      • Heat is energy, but not all forms of energy are heat.

      • Eli, The words, ‘heat’ and ‘energy’ cannot be used interchangeably in the way some people do.

      • Bryan,

        I think we would do well to not have to deal with your falsehoods and pseudoscientific nonsense in this thread.

        (1) The argument about heat was a matter of terminology, not of concept, and it did not require a great deal of difficulty to get me to be more precise with the terminology. I readily admitted that the terminology we used was imperfect and explained how it is easily remedied with just a few word changes to our paper, and you continued to harp on it because that what people peddling pseudoscience do.

        (2) I have consistently explained what the relationship is between the dry adiabatic lapse rate and convection and you have consistently misunderstood it. The dry adiabatic lapse rate (DALR) gives us the stability boundary for lapse rate…That is, any lapse rate larger than this is unstable to convection; any lapse rate lower than this is stable. [I never specifically addressed the issue of whether convection is assumed or used in the derivation because I don't see how that question is relevant or even what it means exactly. I prefer to state what the exact relationship is between the DALR and convection rather than engage in semantic games.]

        (3) I have explained to you many times the role of simple models in the physical sciences. The simple concentric slab model is not a model useful for quantitative calculations of the greenhouse effect (which is why Postma’s claim that it is the standard model of the greenhouse effect is simply a convenient falsehood). However, for our purpose, of showing how the greenhouse effect can result in a higher surface temperature while all heat flows are from warm to cold, it is a good model because it is so simple that any sensible person agrees on the solution to the model (since it is calculated with a few lines of algebra).

        You are doing nothing but peddling pseudoscience here and I think everyone but the most hardened fellow-travelers will see right through it.

      • Joel
        My opening remark at the start of this particular dialog was that convection was not involved in the derivation of the DALR formula.

        After several abusive replies you had to finally admit that I was correct.
        So now in a weaselly evasive reply you now say

        …”I never specifically addressed the issue of whether convection is assumed or used in the derivation because I don’t see how that question is relevant ”
        The conditions for the derivation of a formula are not relevant !!!!!!!!
        This truely is pure 100% pseudoscience or if you prefer pure horse####.

      • Joel Shore says
        ” I have repeatedly requested that you do so but you (and G&T) have never provided such an explanation. And, I am not surprised because an intelligible explanation does not in fact exist.”

        Joel it is quite clear that you have not read the G&T paper.
        What is even more remarkable is that you don’t appear to have read your own “comment” on that paper.

        If you read page 1316 of your paper you will find the argument you develop there.
        Namely if G&T say that no heat moves spontaneously from cold to hot plates this means that no radiation moves from cold to hotter plates.

        http://scienceblogs.com/stoat/upload/2010/05/halpern_etal_2010.pdf

      • Bryan,

        Unfortunately for you, the record of our conversation on this topic exists and here it is: http://judithcurry.com/2011/01/31/slaying-a-greenhouse-dragon/#comment-96960 Pekka explains to you the exact relationship between the adiabatic lapse rate and convection. You respond with your vague statements and Pekka, Chris Colose, and I again explain the relationship to you…and so on.

      • I will now return this thread to your regular scientific programming, where
        the ‘white-washed’ will continue their vaudeville act, & as Dr. Joel Shore
        likes to say…

        “Let’s limit the pseudo-scientific nonsense to one topic at a time.”

        In three, two, One…

        Now, getting back to the incredibly-dangerous greenhouse gas CO2…

      • Joel shore thank you for finding the very start of the DALR discussion
        Pekka Pirilä said
        “The adiabatic lapse rate is determined by convection only, but without the greenhouse effect there would not be any part of atmosphere, where the adiabatic lapse rate would exist.”

        I said Pekka
        “The adiabatic lapse rate does not even depend on convection.
        It is derived from the formula for hydrostatic equilibrium .
        Of course it’s almost impossible to isolate the atmosphere from the convection process.”

        This is exactly as I have said in my post above.

        If you can find a derivation of the DALR that depends on convection please give a link.
        I don’t think that such a derivation exists.
        I can give you several where it is derived without reference to convection

      • Bryan,

        Hydrostatic equilibrium is just a statement of how the pressure of the atmosphere varies with height. It plays a role in the derivation of the adiabatic lapse rate; however, the actual lapse rate does not have to be equal to the adiabatic lapse rate in order for the atmosphere to be in hydrostatic equilibrium. The actual lapse rate can be greater than the adiabatic lapse rate or less than the adiabatic lapse rate.

        What the adiabatic lapse rate does tell you about is the stability of this equilibrium condition. A compass needle has two equilibrium points, with the north pole or the south pole pointing toward the earth’s magnetic north pole, but one of these are stable and the other is unstable. Analogously, you can have hydrostatic equilibrium conditions that are either stable or unstable. It turns out that the condition for stability is whether the lapse rate is greater than or less than the adiabatic lapse rate. If it is unstable, then convection occurs.

        I personally think that the most natural way to derive the adiabatic lapse rate is to consider a parcel of air getting perturbed up or down in the atmosphere in order to determine if we are in a condition of stable or unstable equilibrium. So, this is, in a sense, testing whether or not convection will occur.

        I noticed that the part of the Postma paper ( p. 15 and 16 of
        http://www.tech-know.eu/uploads/The_Model_Atmosphere.pdf ) that you refer to doesn’t make any such reference to this being a stability criterion…and so he seems to derive the adiabatic lapse rate without reference to this. However, what he does do and doesn’t bother to justify in deriving the adiabatic lapse rate is to set dU/dh = 0 where U is the total internal energy (thermal + gravitational potential) and h is the height. There is really no justification that I can think of for requiring this condition…It is the condition to give what is called the adiabatic lapse rate, but it is not a condition required on the actual lapse rate itself. And, it does turn out that this condition of dU/dh = 0 separates the regime of instability to convection (where dU/dh 0).

        So, this is what we have been consistently explaining to you: The adiabatic lapse rate serves as a stability criterion for the actual lapse rate. An actual lapse rate greater than the adiabatic lapse rate means that the atmosphere is unstable to convection (which will then act to lower the actual lapse rate back down to the adiabatic lapse rate) while an actual lapse rate less than the adiabatic lapse rate (as exists in the stratosphere) is stable, which is why the stratosphere does not have convection.

      • Whoops! WordPress doesn’t seem to like less than or greater than symbols. The sentence

        And, it does turn out that this condition of dU/dh = 0 separates the regime of instability to convection (where dU/dh 0).

        should read something like

        And, it does turn out that this condition of dU/dh = 0 separates the regime of instability to convection (where dU/dh is less than 0) from the regime of stability (where dU/dh is greater than 0).

      • Here is the best definition that I have found of the adiabatic lapse rate ( http://www.answers.com/topic/dry-adiabatic-lapse-rate ):

        A special process lapse rate of temperature, defined as the rate of decrease of temperature with height of a parcel of dry air lifted adiabatically through an atmosphere in hydrostatic equilibrium. Also known as adiabatic lapse rate; adiabatic rate.

        Unfortunately, this definition somewhat begs the question of why we care about this particular special process of lifting a parcel of air adiabatically through the atmosphere. And, the answer to the reason we care is that this is basically describing the process by which convection occurs. And, by comparing the actual lapse rate to the adiabatic lapse rate, we can see whether a parcel that starts to rise through the atmosphere adiabatically will experience forces that continue to push it up (and hence is unstable to convection) or will experience forces that push it back down (and hence is stable).

      • The adiabatic lapse rate is determined by the condition

        dT/dz = – g/cp

        This means that cp dT + g dz = 0, but this does not correspond to the total energy of the molecules being constant, because that would require cV to replace cp in the formula. Thus the whole claim that adiabatic lapse rate would correspond to constant total energy is simply false, not only a wrong interpretation of correct results, but false in the sense that the numbers are wrong.

      • Pekka,

        Thanks for the correction…Good point. Postma says constant internal energy but indeed “adiabatic” means no heat transfer…not constant internal energy (which is only the same thing if there is also no volume change and hence no work done by or on the gas).

      • Joel and Pekka

        Any alert reader following this dialog will notice that I am talking about the derivation of the formula for DALR.
        I repeat convection is not assumed or used in the derivation.
        If either of you could show otherwise you would have done so by now.
        Joel seems to repeat endlessly childish points about when the DALR conditions DO NOT APPY.
        Whats the point in that!
        Everyone accepts that the environmental lapse rate is mostly different from the DALR.
        However we are talking about the DALR.
        When does the DALR occur?
        In the desert and at ski resorts we sometimes have very still vertical air with no appreciable water content.
        That is little or no convection.
        Does the vertical temperature stay constant with height change?
        No it does not!
        The temperature profile will follow a rate given by -9.8K/km.
        Pekka quotes correctly the final formula for the DALR but does not show how it is derived.
        I can give plenty of derivations all of which do not include convection in finding the formula.

      • Bryan,

        I don’t think that Pekka and I can explain the adiabatic lapse rate better than we already have. It is here for everyone to read and comprehend and people can reach their own conclusions about it.

      • Louise

        Joel Shore is almost in permanent residence at WUWT.

        Further he is encouraged to be there by Willis Eschenbach.

        Are you suggesting that his arguments are so pathetic that he is no threat to the sceptics case?
        I don’t think that Anthony is as Machiavellian as that.

      • how would you know

      • I did not get kicked off WUWT but I do seem to have all of my posts consistently sent into the Spam folder, usually to be rescued…although it sometimes takes a while, which is why you may have noticed my posts “appearing” up-thread late. (And, I almost always save copies of everything I post there as a result.)

        While one can applaud WUWT for at least tolerating a diversity of views (albeit with a little more pre-screening of post from people with certain viewpoints), there is also the fact that even the most basic scientific points don’t get settled there. On blogs, there is always a tension between doing very little moderating and doing more. With very little moderating, you have the maximum freedom and diversity of opinion but also the maximum noise-to-signal. Blogs like RealClimate, which exist to educate and not just to have a free-for-all, have decided that such “noise” can be counterproductive.

        Of course, a consequence of that is that people like mkelly, who were no-doubt kicked off such blogs for creating so much noise and showing a complete inability / unwillingness to learn, will think that it is the brilliance of their arguments and the inability of the blog owners to respond that got them kicked off rather than the exact opposite. However, they are only deceiving themselves (and maybe a few like-minded others).

      • As a follow-up on my comment about what WUWT allows and disallows, see also my comment below here: http://judithcurry.com/2011/09/02/update-on-the-spencer-braswell-paper/#comment-107338

      • Joel Shore –
        I do seem to have all of my posts consistently sent into the Spam folder, usually to be rescued…although it sometimes takes a while,

        WUWT is a moderated site. ALL posts go to moderation. Quit whining.

        Blogs like RealClimate, which exist to educate and not just to have a free-for-all, have decided that such “noise” can be counterproductive.

        Not so. RC exists ONLY to promote the CAGW viewpoint. “Education” would involve questions and answers. RC does NOT tolerate the questions – so you’re full of —— whatever.

        a consequence of that is that people like mkelly, who were no-doubt kicked off such blogs for creating so much noise and showing a complete inability / unwillingness to learn

        I know you’d like to believe that. I also know it’s not true. Witness the treatment Jeff Id got regarding the Antarctic paper. RC does NOT “discuss” science” – they preach it. But only the approved dogma.

      • WUWT is a moderated site. ALL posts go to moderation. Quit whining.

        No…What I am talking about is different. I know because I have seen what happens to most people (before the moderation for my posts were switched to all going through the spam folder and again wnen I started posting from a new location but before the moderation for those posts were switched too). For most people, you can see your post right away with a message like “awaiting moderation”. My posts simply disappear until they are rescued from the spam folder.

        Not so. RC exists ONLY to promote the CAGW viewpoint. “Education” would involve questions and answers. RC does NOT tolerate the questions – so you’re full of —— whatever.

        They allow questions and answers. What they do not allow is people to continuously repeat nonsense ad nauseum.

      • I have a happy memory of being banned from WUWT. It was tremendously easy. When people would identify themselves as “skeptics,” I would ask them three basic questions:

        1. What is the strongest piece of evidence for the other side?
        2. How would you know if your theory is in error?
        3. If global warming turned out to be a serious problem, how do you think society should address it?

        If they tried but couldn’t answer these questions (and none of them could) I would say, well, I don’t think you’re actually a “skeptic.”

        Anthony banned me without hesitation (after I went through this four or five times over a couple of days) — and the reason he gave was that you can’t tell people they aren’t really “skeptics.” It’s not allowed. ;)

      • “after I went through this four or five times over a couple of days”

        Maybe it had more to do with that.

      • But it does seem that, regardless of whether one thinks the action justified or not, the truth is that posters DO get banned from WUWT, contrary to what many would have us believe.

      • Nullius in Verba

        “I would ask them three basic questions:”

        Easy.
        1. Computer models.
        2. The ability of models to accurately predict all features of the current climate.
        3. Economic development, encouraging technological adaptability, and a strong push for nuclear power.

      • Louise,

        It’s all relevant. Your argument seems to be that since both WUWT and RC ban comments, they are both the same. That’s like arguing that since neither the UK or N. Korea have perfect legal systems, they are both the same.

        And I think the really big problem with RC is the editing of comments in a way that changes their meaning. That is a frequent complaint I’ve seen with specific examples, even by Pielke Jr. IIRC.

        Joel: I’ve also seen my comments “disappear” without the moderation note, only to appear later. Don’t know why. And from what I’ve observed, when a queue of comments builds up because there is no moderator available, they most certainly don’t get addressed FIFO.

        What they do not allow is people to continuously repeat nonsense ad nauseum.

        Hence my comment re Robert, who seems quite proud of his behavior.

      • Ooops.

        “All relative.”

      • John M says:

        Joel: I’ve also seen my comments “disappear” without the moderation note, only to appear later. Don’t know why.

        I think most people will occasionally have a comment go into the spam folder for one reason or another. However, mine ALWAYS go there by default.

      • “The reverse is hardly ever true. i.e. WUWT does not kick AGW’ers off.”

        http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/05/19/according-to-the-best-sited-stations-the-diurnal-temperature-range-in-the-lower-48-states-has-no-century-scale-trend/#comment-665252

        “[You don't get posting privileges here when you call the site owner a "fraud" elsewhere on your website for publishing a science paper, and hiding in anonymity, what a pathetic cheap shot ~mod]”

        What a pathetic cheap shot — by Anthony Watts and his anonymous mod!

      • His moderator isn’t anonymous.

      • Not anonymous? Then is “mod” the name of one of Anthony Watts’ moderators, or are they initials? Seems pretty anonymous to me.

      • NiV, that’s not a bad effort, but #1 is supposed to be what you sincerely believe to be the best piece of evidence for the theory of AGW. How is a computer model evidence? Are you saying that the agreement of the models with observations is the strongest piece of evidence for AGW? One could argue that, but you don’t mention agreement with observations. So what about the computer models is, in your view, the strongest piece of evidence in favor of the theory of AGW?

      • That, of course is a different thing.

      • Nullius in Verba

        “NiV, that’s not a bad effort, but #1 is supposed to be what you sincerely believe to be the best piece of evidence for the theory of AGW. How is a computer model evidence?”

        The question was, what is the best evidence for the other side. Now this has changed to the best evidence for AGW. What do you mean by “AGW” exactly?

        If you look at the IPCC chapter on detection and attribution, the best evidence they offer is that their models don’t fit if they turn off CO2. That’s combined with the assumption that because none of their models can fit observation without CO2, such models would be impossible to construct. It’s a form of argument from ignorance.

      • Actually, Loiuse, we are aware of which climate scientists CLAIM to have received threats. Are you able to link me to where anyone has actually presented evidence of death threats?

      • This was one of the reasons Appell was so unimpressive over at WUWT. He pointed out the same 1 1/2 year old allegations without bothering to wonder about why no further actions were taken.

        Some “journalist”.

      • And whatever did become of that FBI probe?
        It’s almost three years now.

      • Yes we are. Anyone who disagrees with the AGW cult gets hate mail.

        I get death threats all the time on blogs when I dare to point out papers that contradict the cult. I can’t imagine what this guy went through … well yes I can:

        “You’ll never, ever work again.”

      • BS. I read a lot of blogs about climate but never to my mind (and it would stick in my mind) have I seen someone making a death threat.

      • Bruce, however, is always the epitome of reasoned debate http://judithcurry.com/2011/08/19/week-in-review-81911/#comment-102610

      • Nice. That deserves an “Idiot comment of the day”: http://theidiottracker.blogspot.com/2011/09/idiot-comment-of-day.html

      • Do a google search for Vendicar Decarian. He does not save his death threats for just Physorg or just his Physorg profile.

        “I bring order to chaos. The only good Republican is a dead Republican.”

        http://www.physorg.com/profile/user/Vendicar_Decarian/

      • Richard S Courtney

        No death threats against climate realists!? Get real.

        One of the reasons I ceased posting to this blog was because assertions that I should be shot that were posted on this blog.

        Richard

      • As this thread is all about questioning people’s motives….

        The fact that you cite it as “one of the reasons” makes me think it wasn’t a reason at all. Assuming it even happened.

      • “One of the reasons I ceased posting to this blog,” posted Richard S Courtney, to this blog.

      • lolwot –
        never to my mind (and it would stick in my mind) have I seen someone making a death threat.

        ALl that proves is that you haven’t been reading my email for the last 12 years.

  10. Whatever happened to retractions? They used to be commonplace.
    All this ‘falling on your sword’ business smacks of theatrics.

  11. A good point from a comment at RetractionWatch: If a new editor retracts the article, the question will then be, why didn’t Wagner? If a new editor does not retract it, the question is then why did Wagner resign?

    • Would not be as dramatic as to appear to fall on ones’s sword. In the temple of AGW that gets you an extra special helping of communion, perhaps even some private time with consensus gods.

  12. I am absolutely staggered by the reasons Mr Wagner proffers for his resignation.

    He says that the authors and other sceptics ‘exaggerated’ the findings in the MSM – as if no other paper by any scientists supportive of AGW has ever been exaggerated in press releases in the MSM.
    In fact, anybody who hasn’t been living in a cave these past few years cannot have failed to notice the daily horror stories about the terrible effects of AGW we’re given, based on ‘new research’ – pushed by the PR departments of the various universities and colleges.

    Then he complains that ‘the sceptics’ were so successful in their ‘campaign’ that in a month the paper was downloaded 56,000 times! So why is that bad? How does he know that only sceptics downloaded this paper?

    He then has the effrontery to suggest that the three scientists, invited to review this paper by the managing editor, who gave the paper their thumbs up, were somehow sceptics themselves, insinuating that they did not do their job properly.

    There have been too many examples of ‘pal review’ by The Team not to grasp what Mr Wagner is complaining about, namely that only The Team should have the right to review and reject papers, especially those which do not comply with their take on AGW.

    I am sickened by this resignation letter, the reasons given therein, and can’t help wondering why Mr Wagner choose to resign rather than embrace open dialogue between sceptics and warmists.

    • I don’t think he’s saying that he’s resigning because the paper was hyped elsewhere. I think he’s saying that the journals processes were manipulated, and a paper was published without due care, and he takes responsibility for that.

      • C’mon Nick, Manipulated?

        PUHLEAZE!

      • That’s what he’s saying.

      • No Nick, that is not what he is saying. What he is saying is that suddenly now, blogs are a valid way to rebutt peer reviewed papers.

        And this bob ward led deflection about publishing in journals that may not be sophisticated enough to truly understand the consensus view is pure rubbish in the case of this paper.

        This paper is exactly what this journal was set up for. Using remote sensing satellites to {“The use of satellite data to check the functionality of all sorts of geophysical models is therefore a very important part of our work.”} check the functionality of the GW models, which in this case, as data interpreted by S&B, are not functioning that well are they?

        Nick you are very intelligent so quit demeaning yourself. Why the good Doctor quit who knows, but it certainly was not in being embare-assed by some southern rube!

      • No, you’re missing the point. He has formed the view that it was a bad paper – doesn’t particularly matter how. Maybe he read it. And he has expressed the view that the journal processes were manipulated. So he is resigning. It’s a matter of personal responsibility.

        There’s no use you trying to litigate it. You are not a Journal editor.

      • One last attempt, but knowing your work Nick, I NO it will be futile.

        {“The managing editor of Remote Sensing selected three senior scientists from renowned US universities, each of them having an impressive publication record. Their reviews had an apparently good technical standard and suggested one “major revision”, one “minor revision” and one “accept as is”. The authors revised their paper according to the comments made by the reviewers and, consequently, the editorial board member who handled this paper accepted the paper (and could in fact not have done otherwise). Therefore, from a purely formal point of view, there were no errors with the review process. But, as the case presents itself now, the editorial team unintentionally selected three reviewers who probably share some climate sceptic notions of the authors. This selection by itself does not mean that the review process for this paper was wrong.”}

        Right there Nick, the good Doctor admits that there is nothing wrong with the peer review. PERIOD!

        Therefore, how was he/the journal manipulated? By having “no errors with the review process.”? Right Nick, whatever….

      • This selection by itself does not mean that the review process for this paper was wrong.”}
        Right there Nick, the good Doctor admits that there is nothing wrong with the peer review. PERIOD!

        You may wish us to stop reading at that PERIOD! But he resigned, going on to say:
        “The problem is that comparable studies published by other authors have already been refuted in open discussions and to some extend also in the literature (cf. [7]), a fact which was ignored by Spencer and Braswell in their paper and, unfortunately, not picked up by the reviewers. In other words, the problem I see with the paper by Spencer and Braswell is not that it declared a minority view (which was later unfortunately much exaggerated by the public media) but that it essentially ignored the scientific arguments of its opponents. This latter point was missed in the review process, explaining why I perceive this paper to be fundamentally flawed and therefore wrongly accepted by the journal.”

        In other words, a review panel was chosen which did not draw attention to previous refutations. He is strongly suggesting that this was through bias. More seriously, because the review panel did not include a reviewer who lacked that bias.

      • Yes Nick, suggesting. And if I suggest that pigs can fly, what is your response? If you were to read even the abstract of the paper in question, you would realize, as any with a bit of knowledge would, that the whole paper is a refutation to those papers directly by using remote sensing satellites. There is nothing wrong with this paper being published, nor in which journal it has been published in.

        Are the results of the paper right? That is for the scientific method to weed out. Not blog pieces, or MSM decrees. This BS that the paper should never have been published is just that. Why don’t we wait for Desseler’s rebuttal, then see if S&B can rebutt that. But if all you can do is whinge on about the idea that this paper should never had been published because of some nefarious plot by that southern christian bufoon, then there is no conversation able to take place.

        attack the results Nick, not the authors, for once.

      • So much verbiage,
        so little scientific rebuttal.

        They tried to force him to retract it. he resigned instead.

        Clever.

      • Or……he wanted it to be retracted and the rest of the editorial team didn’t so he resigned.

      • Although Spencer’s press release & James Taylor’s op-ed on Forbes.com do make that blatantly false claim, Spencer & Braswell’s paper actually says no such thing as that “the functionality of the GW models… are not functioning that well.”

        All that their paper showed is that their own amateurish, cartoonishly simplistic “model” doesn’t work.

        Much can be learned about the interaction between radiative forcing and feedback through a simple time dependent forcing-feedback model of temperature variations away from a state of energy equilibrium,
        Cp dΔT/dt = S(t) + N(t) − λΔT (1)
        …This means that feedback diagnosis will, in general, be contaminated by an unknown amount of time-varying internal radiative forcing N.

        Spencer has been trying to get his nonsensical, unphysical delusion of “internal radiative forcing” accepted for years. Any impartial reviewer with any legitimate credentials in climate science would have spotted that phrase, identified it for the pitiful canard that it is, and rejected the paper outright for trying to repackage that garbage and sell it.

        The paper should never have been published, and Wagner was right to resign because all of Spencer’s peers know that his “internal radiative forcing” nonsense is just that, and after it has been totally discredited by everybody who knows anything about climate, all three reviewers who approved that garbage for publication again, is either dishonest or incompetent or both.

      • lolwot –
        What you just said is that you don’t understand the paper and you’re trying to pound a square peg into a round hole. You should have learned better than that in kindergarden.

      • I am not lolwot. Your aim is as bad as your reading ability.

      • settledscience –
        The only apparent difference between you and lolwot is your screen name.

        As for reading ability –

        http://judithcurry.com/2011/09/02/update-on-the-spencer-braswell-paper/#comment-107844

      • Richard Saumarez

        While the feedback equation is, in my view, simplistic, it is heuristically similar to those used in the establishment of “climate sensitivity”, which I imagine you regard as “settled science”. Most of us who have been around in science long enough to see a number of edifices come crashng to the ground, tend to be rather less arrogant than yourself as suggested by your cognomen.

      • That was not the reason he gave.

        The problem is that comparable studies published by other authors have already been refuted in open discussions and to some extend also in the literature (cf. [7])

        (my bold)
        So S&B had not been explicitly refuted, even in ‘open discussions’, let alone in peer-reviewed literature.
        Neither did the Trenberth et al paper act as a refutal.

        Besides, why are you suddenly so vocal about your perceived shortcomings of this paper, when you were so silent on the previous thread back in July?

      • John Carpenter

        …”the editorial team unintentionally selected three reviewers who probably share some climate sceptic notions of the authors.”

        It reads as though he thought there was a touch of ‘pal’ review, doesn’t it? Of all the ‘consensus’ reviewers to choose from, what were the odds of the editorial team selecting all three reviewers who ‘probably share some climate sceptic notions of the authors’? I would not have bet on that.

        I guess ‘pal’ review doesn’t work out so well when you think you have been the one manipulated. Hmmm…

      • What would you bet that any “odds” ever entered into it.

        It reads as though he thought there was a touch of ‘pal’ review, doesn’t it? Of all the ‘consensus’ reviewers to choose from, what were the odds of the editorial team selecting all three reviewers who ‘probably share some climate sceptic notions of the authors’? I would not have bet on that.

        I think Spencer requested three climate science deniers (“skeptics” don’t deny the preponderance of evidence) to review his paper. What would you bet against that?

      • settledscience –
        You didn’t read Wagner’s letter, did you?

        Try reading it – without jumping to unwarranted conclusions.

      • How do you suppose that I quoted from it at length without reading it?

        “Try reading [it] – without jumping to unwarranted conclusions.”

      • settledscience –
        How do you suppose that I quoted from it at length without reading it?

        If you want to quote from it, then trying quoting the appropriate parts –

        The managing editor of Remote Sensing selected three senior scientists from renowned US universities, each of them having an impressive publication record.

        Also –
        as the case presents itself now, the editorial team unintentionally selected three reviewers who probably share some climate sceptic notions of the authors.

        Unlike the Team, S&B did not choose their own reviewers.

        Again – try reading it – without jumping to unwarranted conclusions.

        Note – you’ve just become another data point for my hypothesis that progressivism confers reading comprehension problems. Or vice versa?

      • John Carpenter

        It’s not that I think there were any ‘odds’ entered into it at all, I doubt there were as there is a claim it was ‘unintentional’. I find it interesting that when choosing the reviewers for the paper, they all ‘probably shared some climate sceptic notions of the author’. What we hear continuously is, the number of sceptical climate scientists involved with researching and publishing results in the peer review literature is very small… a few %… after all, it is a large consensus (the number 97% has been wagged around a lot). Yet the editorial board managed to get 3 ‘unintentionally’… that seems rather small odds does it not?

        You suggest Spencer had a hand in choosing his reviewers, which is likely. Nick suggests this is ‘manipulation’ of the system and the reason Wagner stepped down, also correct IMO. But where have we seen this before? My comment was meant to point out that if this were in fact the case, ‘pal’ review don’t work out so good when you percieve it to be perpetrated against your better judgement, no matter what side of the argument you are on. ‘Pal’ review isn’t good for science no matter who tries to manipulate the system…. just like loading the dice.

        Finally, if the three reviewers are in fact ‘deniers’ as you have suggested, then we have other journals out there that have questionable science published also.

        “The managing editor of Remote Sensing selected three senior scientists from renowned US universities, each of them having an impressive publication record.”

        Houston…We have a problem.

      • What you mean by “appropriate parts” are evidently one sentence here, and one sentence there, which cobbled together without the context that you’re snipping out, can be misconstrued to comport with your biases.

        If you want to quote from it, then trying quoting the appropriate parts –

        The managing editor of Remote Sensing selected three senior scientists from renowned US universities, each of them having an impressive publication record.

        First you accused me, falsely, of not reading the resignation announcement at all.

        “You didn’t read Wagner’s letter, did you?”

        http://judithcurry.com/2011/09/02/update-on-the-spencer-braswell-paper/#comment-107552

        Yes, idiot, I did. When I showed you evidence that I had already quoted from it extensively, you failed to admit the simple fact that your accusation was untrue, and you are attempting to move the goalposts.

        How do you suppose that I quoted from it at length without reading it?

        http://judithcurry.com/2011/09/02/update-on-the-spencer-braswell-paper/#comment-107565

        You are debating dishonestly and doing that incompetently, and cannot be taken seriously.

      • “The managing editor of Remote Sensing selected three senior scientists from renowned US universities, each of them having an impressive publication record.”

        Those could be respectable, honest scientists, or they could be Willie Soon, Richard S. Lindzen and John Christy. Whoever they were, Wagner clearly believes they did not perform their function as reviewers adequately, and moreover, he believes that their scrutiny of Spencer & Braswell 2011 was so horribly inadequate that they were inappropriate choices as reviewers.

        Wagner says absolutely nothing about having been pressured, politically or professionally, by anybody.

  13. “The problem is that comparable studies published by other authors have already been refuted in open discussions and to some extend also in the literature”

    You mean the paper was accepted before it was rejected because of work in other papers by other different authors?

    Just another reason to not take climate science seriously.

    Andrew

  14. Dr Curry – you posted on WUWT that you have opened this post here. Did you also post at blogs from the other side of the debate to ensure a balanced approach?

    e.g. Michael Tobis has had a post on this topic for longer than WUWT here http://initforthegold.blogspot.com/2011/09/editor-apologizes-for-spencer-paper.html, Deltoid has one here http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2011/09/editor_of_remote_sensing_agree.php and William Connolley has one here http://scienceblogs.com/stoat/2011/09/holy_editor_resignation_batman.php

    I wouldn’t want you to be accused of partisan behaviour.

  15. The only post I’m aware of from the “other side” is Peter Gleick over at Forbes.

    http://www.forbes.com/sites/petergleick/2011/09/02/paper-disputing-basic-science-of-climate-change-is-fundamentally-flawed-editor-resigns-apologizes/

    Gleick and I have been discussing this over email this morning. I won’t bother posting anything over Forbes.

    • Dr Curry – I showed links to three ‘other sides’ – how can you unaware of those? Your post is just under mine, you must have seen mine if not be directly responding to it with yours.

      • No we must have been typing at the same time. Those are blogs that I rarely look at, the blogs that I look at frequently are listed on my blogroll.

      • I must have missed your post on Realclimate and Climate Progress (both of which are also discussing this issue).

        As I said, by posting only at WUWT, people may make assumptions about your own tribalism.

      • RealClimate censors 90% of comments because they disagree with the cult.

        If Judith published there, most of the comments would be censored out of existence.

      • She could simply replicate the ‘advertising’ post that she left at WUWT. She made no other contribution to the debate at that site. It seemed to me that it was to alert people that the subject was being debated here too.

        Such a post is a valid post to make on sites other than WUWT if one wants a balanced debate.

        If…

      • Multi-sided debate is VERBOTEN at real climate.

        Why give traffic to intellectual thugs?

      • “At times”? The info was debunked.

        “If we see you continue, we will get extremely organised and precise against you. ”

        LOL

        http://joannenova.com.au/2011/06/to-a-climate-scientist-swearing-equals-a-death-threat-no-wonder-these-guys-cant-predict-the-weather/

      • The issue is that the poster was banned and his comments removed. Something that one might expect at Realclimate but doesn’t happen at WUWT (except when it does).

      • No I remember the issue as repeated attempts to hijack threads with debunked info. Anyway, your spin is always wrong.

        But people can go to WUWT and RealClimate and try a reasoned argument on each site that doesn’t agree with the subject and see which one is censored.

      • Bruce, WUWT also blocks almost all comments from climate scientists, including me. Peter Gleick

      • David Appell was banned because he refused to back up his claims after being repeatedly asked to.

        Peter Gleick was banned after repeatedly using the “d word”.

        You can argue about the wisdom of the blog rules, but they are quite clear. Sometimes they serve as an IQ test.

      • Peter, are you really a climate scientist? I can see banning you for breaking of simple rules, but I doubt you were banned for being a climate scientist since I don’t see that you are.

      • Louise –
        and also at WUWT at times

        David Appell was banned for perpetrating a scurrilous personal attack on the blog owner. There is no conceivable reason for the blog owner (Anthony) to tolerate that kind of activity.

        That you apparently think Appell’s actions were justifiable says more about you than about Anthony or WUWT.

        In spite of his academic credentials, Appell is not very bright. And that’s not an attack on him – just a statement of fact. I’ve known him a lot longer than you might imagine.

      • Actually Dr Curry, I don’t think we were writing at the same time or I don’t see what would have prompted your post to say “The only post I’m aware of from the “other side” is Peter Gleick over at Forbes”

        That would be a very strange post to make that was NOT a response to mine (that included links to 3 ‘other’ sides).

      • Louise,

        Why would she need to link the posts that you already linked?

      • Bill – I think you’ve missed the point. She commented at WUWT that she had created this post, ie she advertised its existence. She didn’t (yet to my knowledge) similarly advertise the existence of this post on those other sites.

      • Louise, it is the difference between advertising in the NYTimes vs the Boulder Daily Camera, in terms of the size of the audience you are reaching with the “advertising”. Since such “advertising” is free on blogs, it makes sense to advertise where there is high volume of readership, or an interesting audience that I would like to attract here (Stoat and Deltoid do not meet these qualifications from my perspective). Hence, I most frequently ‘advertise” directly on a blog at WUWT or Collide-a-Scape, for these two different reasons. I also “advertise” some posts via email to an informal mailing list of climate bloggers, which covers a broad spectrum.

      • Collide a scapegoat for example is listed at watts up as. PRO agw blog. Keith is very critical of watts up on occasion.

        Difference with collide a scapegoat is Keith is intellectually honest enough to allow all views. Which has not endeared him to some on the pro side

        Especially when he published a interview with ‘someone’ called Judith curry who’d got into a ‘fight’ at realclimate

      • I actually was on your blogroll quite recently; disappointed to be kicked off but of course the list is unweildy as it stands. Even were I still there, Louise’s point is silly. We can’t all read everything instantly, though I’ve actively been watching the story unfold this morning after being the one to break it on Twitter.

        Otherwise I think your position on this matter is sound, presuming that “points worth considering” does not presume that they are true. It is my impression from having witnessed an impromptu debate between Dessler and Spencer at an AGU meeting that they are not. I believe a formal rebuttal by Dessler to Spencer and Braswell will appear very shortly.

        I think in general there is considerable consternation about how Spencer responds to criticism, which is evident in Wagner’s resignation letter. However, I am concerned Wagner may have considerably overreacted. The situation is not remotely comparable to the one von Storch had to deal with. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soon_and_Baliunas_controversy : “The Soon and Baliunas paper had been sent to four reviewers during publication, all of whom recommended rejecting it.[13]“) While one can underestand Wagner’s consternation at his role in feeding a new and prominent meme in the all-too-active world of climate bunk, it’s not clear that resignation was the right course.

        Spencer’s response to Wagner was predictable, but toxic. It exacerbates the polarized situation by bringing IPCC and “gatekeepers” and the whole paranoid view of science into it. I hope but do not expect that both Spencer will reconsider his statements.

        “Eli Rabett” has the most interesting of the early responses I’ve seen at http://rabett.blogspot.com/2011/09/honor-and-respect.html . The question he raises is whether incorrect papers need to be responded to, rather than simply ignored as they commonly have been. His argument that the special circumstances of climate science mean that the effort to rebut them must be made is convincing to me. I suggest that this in fact could be used as the definition of “postnormalcy” in a discipline. It is clear that the disproportionate attention paid to the Spencer piece was not part of the ordinary course of science but was played up by political actors.

      • My point may indeed be silly in that I don’t expect Dr Curry to read a multitude of other blogs, but it was really about trying to understand why Dr Curry felt she should advertise this post at WUWT (only). What type of audience is she hoping to attract? I still think it’s a valid question.

      • A silly point and, I’m afraid, an irrelevant and really boring one too, Louise.

      • The largest audience of any science blog under the sun. It is populated by people from all viewpoints.

        Also, there is me. I like to think that she is looking for me.

      • Michael, Eli’s is interesting, but it tends to highlight the issue. Spencer’s paper was a rebuttal of a rebuttal. So Spencer’s work had already been legitimized as at least being worthy of criticism. By Eli’s logic Stieg et al should have been ignored, So how badly must one screw up to be shunned?

      • Eli pisses me off! Why, because you know he is very intelligent and could actually bring a lot to the discussion. But most of the time he would rather just amuse himself at the expense of others.

      • That there was an interest by outsiders in refining the Stieg result (I presume you’re talking about the Antarctic temperature trend thing) has very little to do with the question at hand, in my opinion.

        The question is whether the community itself needs to expend resources on papers by outsiders that are obviously deeply wrong but somehow get published.

        In normal science, these are ignored. In postnormal science they must be addressed, because the opinions of the rest of the world are being manipulated by processes which look like, but are not, science.

        I don’t think it’s generally accepted that Steig is erroneous, but it certainly is not generally accepted that it is egregiously wrong. So your analogy is misplaced. The issue is not whether debatable interpretations should or should not be debated in the literature. Of course they should. The point is whether unsupportable positions should be refuted or simply ignored.

        And it’s clear that the climate field no longer has the luxury of doing the latter. Of course, like all the controversy, this interferes with the productivity of the field, and with its appeal to “normal” scientists.

      • Michael, I take it you don not think that phrases like “the all-too-active world of climate bunk” are polarizing. Good luck with that.

      • Wagner makes an excellent case that Spencer’s paper was directly fed into various politically slanted media and blown out of anything like a reasonable proportion. In short, bunk. What less polarizing word would you like? You know I really want to say ‘denial’ after all. “Bunk” is my compromise. Would you settle for “ever so slightly completely indifferent to the facts of the matter”?

        If I believed the extreme scientific challenges were serious, I’d be concerned about them being systematically cut out of the literature. But since I think they aren’t serious at all, I’m not. Their claims of a closed circle of privilege with a vested interest in current theories are the claim of every crackpot everywhere and in themselves carry no weight.

        The question is how to decide whether these particular crackpot-like accusations are the rare ones who are right. I venture we differ on that point.

      • “politically slanted media”

        What you really mean is “media that is slanted against my cult” because only an idiot would try to make the case that there is a media that is not slanted.

      • Yes we differ. I think your are crazy. I mean that clinically, in that you seem to lack an understanding of the actual situation. Skeptics are not crackpots. They have good, articulate reasons for their beliefs. But your name calling is actually quite helpful, so please keep it up.

      • “Skeptics are not crackpots. They have good, articulate reasons for their beliefs.”

        You can’t be talking about Bruce here…

      • Oh Louise, you know I post references on huge increases in sunshine. And UHI.

        You and fellow ilk ignore them.

      • While one can underestand Wagner’s consternation at his role in feeding a new and prominent meme in the all-too-active world of climate bunk, it’s not clear that resignation was the right course.

        Spencer’s response to Wagner was predictable, but toxic. It exacerbates the polarized situation by bringing IPCC and “gatekeepers” and the whole paranoid view of science into it. I hope but do not expect that both Spencer will reconsider his statements.

        “The best lack all conviction, while the worst/
        Are full of passionate intensity.”

      • Toxic? What was toxic?

  16. Off topic –

    But since maybe some WUWTers will be coming here.

    The other day, Anthony made a false charge against me on his website. He said that I was taking money from taxpayers to post comments on his website. He reached this false conclusion because my email address is from an academic institution.

    It is an absolutely false accusation.

    When I informed him of such in a comment, he disallowed the post to go through, and then banned me from his website.

    Ironically, he made a false charge and disallowed the defense concurrently with calling me a “coward,” because I post anonymously.

    Does it take courage to make a false charge and then not allow a defense to be aired? Even if he wanted to ban me for “threadjacking” (in other words, disagreeing with him on a point), there was no reason for him not to allow my comment pointing out that his charge was false to go through.

    And Anthony, if you want to claim that you disallowed that post where I defended myself because there was something untoward in my comment, why don’t you search through your troll-bin and produce some evidence?

    • I doubt it was a false charge.

      • Perfect.

        You formulate conclusions, (false), on the basis of no evidence whatsover. Hopefully, you don’t take a similar approach to other issues.

        At any rate, if you’d like to make a wager – I’m sure that we could find some mutually agreeable person on this site to hold money from each of us (how about $10,000?) who could investigate the matter and award the money to the person whose statements are correct on the basis of their investigation.

        Care to put some money behind your “doubts?” Anytime, Bruce. Anytime.

      • BTW – if someone wants to volunteer to handle the logistics of the bet between Bruce and me, I’d be happy to pay them $2,000 for their trouble.

        Whadya think, Bruce?

      • Joshua, nothing you say can be be believed. If you say you don’t blog on your companies time when you should be working … well, I think I would need proof who you are, where you work, letters from the IT department saying you never blog while working before there was a 1% chance I would believe you.

      • At the risk of repeating myself, there’s that belief with no evidence thing again.

      • He has a track record of unbelievability.

      • Bruce – it is easily proven by virtue of IP addresses at the location(s) from which I post. None of them are from my place of work. I would be more than happy to pay someone $2,000 out of my proceeds for their trouble in providing any additional verification they might need. What the heck, I’ll make it $8,000. The remaining $2,000 for me would be more than worth my trouble.

        Does that mean you’re willing to put your money up?

        Who would you suggest as someone to hold our money? Maybe BillC (a skeptic, btw, would be willing to go through the trouble for $8,000? Or perhaps gene (also a “skeptic)? Surely, someone here would be willing to take the time for $8,000? If not, we could raise the sum? What the heck, how about $50,000 each? I will give anyone who steps up $48,000 for their trouble to verify that I don’t post comments from work.

        Whadya say, Bruce? If what I have said can’t be verified to the satisfaction of our go-between, you get to keep my money.

        Deal?

      • Joshua: “Mommy Mommy … they don’t believe my lies any more.”

      • Bruce –

        Are you willing to put money down to back up your conclusions or not?

        It’s really a simple yes/no question.

      • Bruce?

        Did you go away?

      • Joshua, Watts called you on your persistent threadjacking and banned you for a while. Deal with it. Stop bleating on.

        He was pretty pleasant in his dealings with someone whose clear goal is to disrupt his blog. In his place I would have given you a two word reply.

      • Hoshea –

        In that thread, I was presenting my perspective on Anthony’s post. I was directly on topic – so much so that he continuously responded to the point that I made. If it was a “threadjacking,” he was equally responsible.

        IMO – his definition of “threadjacking” amounts to disagreeing with him on the topic of the post.

        Be that as it may, he made a false accusation, didn’t allow my defense to go through, and then called me a coward after not allowing for the defense of his accusation.

        You may call it “bleating on.” Fine.

        I call it pointing out the hypocrisy, and lack of accountability on the part of Anthony.

        Believe me, my life is none diminished from being banned from his blog.

        My point here is to use this venue – one where Anthony is frequently trumpeted as an example of “openness” among “skeptics” – to make Anthony’s lack of accountability known.

        I offer the same bet to Anthony that I did to Bruce (the one that Bruce ran away from up thread). If he wants to put some money behind his accusations, I’m sure that we could find a go-between to hold our money while investigating the veracity of Anthony’s accusation.

      • Bruce?

        Did you go away, Bruce?

      • No he just died of boredom like the rest of us.

      • Joshua: Put up or shut up.

        Bruce cries for his Mommy.

        Your Mommy’s not here to save you, Bruce. You’re not going to put up, so it’s time to shut up. :)

      • LOL. What a dweeb.

      • Bruce – any time you’re ready, I’m sure we can find someone who will verify my claim for $48,000?

        Anytime you’re ready.

      • I’ll have a go once the $48,000 is depositied in my bank account.
        I’m a moderator at WUWT, so it should be a doddle.

      • tallbloke, what is Joshua’s IP address and what college letterhead was he using?

      • All in good time Bruce. Lets have Joshua put up the money or shut up. $48k would keep WUWT’s servers going for years at our zero rates of pay. ;)

      • Just a quick comment Joshua;

        I may be wrong, and I apologise if that is the case, but my understanding is that you could still, technically, be posting and participating in this kind of discussions during your regular working hours (i.e.; wasting your employer’s time/money) from a personal laptop with a wireless service. In that case, the IP address would show the network/server of the company you get the wireless internet from (e.g.; AT & T) and not that of your employer’s.

        Specific example: You could very well have a laptop/desktop in front of you that is connected to your employer’s server, and could also have a laptop connected wirelessly to AT&T’s server at the same time.

        I think a more fair “test” of your point would be to check how many posts you’ve made on any given day, compare the amount of time it took you to post them, and the time at which you did it, and check whether you should have been doing the work for which you were hired at the time you posted your comments in this or any other blog.

        As I said before, I might be wrong in my analysis, and if that’s the case, I apologise in advance.

        Regards;

      • Good point, Lord.

        But I can easily provide evidence that none of my posts coincide with time that I am being paid for my work.

        I am currently self employed – and I am currently receiving no remuneration from tax-payer funded institutions (nor do I post during periods when I’m receiving remunerations from any private employer either, btw – which could also easily be proved).

        But the point is that Anthony made his false accusation based on a facile and specious conclusion based only on my email address. He banned me when I pointed out his facile and specious logic – and he refused to allow my defense against his charge to go through.

        We could easily work out the details of how the verification could take place. If you’d like to earn $48,000 – I propose to Bruce that we employ your verification services to decide who wins the best. I’ll take my $50,000 stake back, and $2,000 of Bruce’s money, and you can keep the other $48,000 of Bruce’s money. If you can’t verify my claim – you get to keep my $50,000, or whatever portion of my stake Bruce agrees to.

        It seems that Bruce has lost his stomach for pursuing this matter – as his conclusions are similarly based on facile and specious reasoning, and apparently he has realized that fact – but thanks for your input..

      • Bored to death by you …

      • Bruce – get rid of me by agreeing to make this bet.

        Perhaps it would work if we raised the stakes? How about $75,000? Surely, you’ll agree to that, right? It would certainly be worth tolerating me for $75,000, wouldn’t it?

      • Thanks for the reply Joshua;

        However, I have to say that it doesn’t interest me in the least whether your claim about not wasting your employer’s time/money is true. I just wanted to underline the flaws in the “test” you initially proposed to prove your point. If you say you aren’t wasting anybody else’s money to participate in this forum, I believe you, and if Watts behaved in the way you claim he did, then I think he should have allowed you to clarify your point.

        Regards;

      • Bored to death by you …

        What a coward. Hilarious! Run, little Brucie, run! Back to “Mommy, Mommy.”

      • There’s that belief with no evidence thing again.

      • I presume you’re an expert?

    • Oh yeah..Joshua, your story reminds me: When I said here http://judithcurry.com/2011/09/02/update-on-the-spencer-braswell-paper/#comment-107326 that WUWT allows most of my posts through eventually, the one exception does seem to be any sort of post that questions how there might be some double standards applied by Anthony in regards to commenters. For example, when he has attacked pro-AGW commenters for using a pseudonym (and sometimes even “outed” where they are posting from), I have asked why he doesn’t ask “Smokey” there to post under his real name too. Such posts never seem to be allowed through.

    • quote
      The other day, Anthony made a false charge against me on his website. He said that I was taking money from taxpayers to post comments on his website. He reached this false conclusion because my email address is from an academic institution.
      unquote

      It is an unfortunate tendency of human beings to attribute malice to those with whom they disagree, especially anyone who posts in ‘arrogant dickhead’ mode. We all, both sides of the climate debate, need to accept that the other side is acting in good faith.

      Kipling commented a long time ago about whether that is sufficient:

      You cannot ever bribe nor twist
      The honest climate *************ist.
      But when you see what he can do
      unbribed
      You’ll find you don’t need to.

      Add your ‘ist’ depending on your prejudice. I’d write ‘scientist’….

      I think Wagner is being silly — it smacks a lot of not liking the results of the game and taking his ball home. Still, it could have been worse: he could have thcreamed and thcreamed and thcreamed until he was thick.

      JF

  17. Viv Evans, thanx for putting eloquently what I tried to say, by stating that Herr Proffessor is a coward. Your words are far more logical and hit the nail squarely on the head.

    The ironic part is that Dr. Dessler has a rebuttal coming out in the next week or so, you know, the way science is supposed to work……

  18. Dr. Spencer makes probably the best point, “But the paper WAS precisely addressing the scientific arguments made by our opponents, and showing why they are wrong! That was the paper’s starting point! We dealt with specifics, numbers, calculations…while our critics only use generalities and talking points. There is no contest, as far as I can see, in this debate. If you have some physics or radiative transfer background, read the evidence we present, the paper we were responding to, and decide for yourself. ”

    From his blog, http://www.drroyspencer.com/

    The paper was a rebuttal to a rebuttal, hype aside, isn’t this kinda like science?

    • But Climate Science IS NOT science. Its a religion. With sects. And one sect controls the MSM and the gold and tries to kill off the other sects through corruption, bribery, blackmail and extortion and the occasional metaphorical burning at the stake (of careers if you challenge the high priests).

      • Religion is a poor subject to bring up need I bring up Spencer’s beliefs in the origin of species.

      • No, you don’t need. Thanks.

      • lolwot –
        Since you know little or nothing about his beliefs, you would be bloviating – again, as usual.

      • http://www.ideasinactiontv.com/tcs_daily/2005/08/faith-based-evolution.html

        and before you start crying that this is offtopic – you and bruce pretty much asked for it. Richard Drake tried to stop ya, but to no avail.

      • lolwot –
        Didn’t say it was off-topic, but it doesn’t make you much (if any) smarter about what he believes.

        Whatever your beliefs might be, they’re no more logical, no more rational than Spencer’s. If you want to discuss Spencer’s beliefs then you need to state yours to illustrate what you consider to be logical and rational.

      • And btw – I don’t subscribe to ID, either. But I DO know what it is – and why it is. ANd youj’ve shown NO indication of knowledge or intelligence wrt the subject.

      • Richard Drake tried to stop ya, but to no avail.

        Actually no. I don’t mind anyone discussing such a matter on Climate Etc, in line with the host’s liberal approach. What I was commenting on was the relevance. The URL you now give cannot tell anyone whether Spencer and Braswell 2011 was “problematic in fundamental methodological errors and false claims”. It’s no smoking gun.

        Just as Isaac Newton’s strange metaphysical beliefs were any guide as to whether Philosophiæ Naturalis Principia Mathematica was worth a go. Or Michael Faraday’s self-taught thoughts. Or whether Georges Lemaitre had it wrong on the Big Bang because he was (shock horror) a Catholic priest. (Einstein decided early on he had it right. But then he was a stinking Jew, as Hitler was soon to remind people, so what did he know?)

        I said you didn’t need … but you couldn’t help yourself. Fair enough. It tells us something more about you.

      • Yes, lolwot and I have good friends whom I respect who believe Jesus rose from the dead, pushed a 10 ton stone away from the front of his tomb, and ascended into heaven. Likewise I have good muslim friends who believe that Mohammad traveled to Jerusalem climbed on a winged horse and flew to heaven. They are all solid and respected professionals.

      • “But Climate Science IS NOT science. Its a religion. With sects.”

        It’s interesting how Christianists condemn science by comparing it to religion — presumably they like religion, at least their own. I guess the drop of truth in Bruce’s ocean of nonsense is that he sees science as competing with his cultish Christianist beliefs. When he calls science a cult, what he is really expressing is fear for the future of his cult . . . fear of the potentially deprogramming effects of reason and reasoned debate on his cult of hate and fear . . .

      • I’m a druid. Not a christianist. But I know people who believe in a god and it does me no harm that they do since they don’t seem to be planning the end of capitalism or the spending of 225 trillion dollars to get rid of fossil fuels in a few decades.

        Anti-religious bigots like you need banning though.

    • This is interesting because the blather about the Dessler paper in GPL which will come out soon will be that it was not submitted to Remote Sensing where Roy Spencer would have a right of reply. Pot kettle and all that.

      • Right of reply for what will now be a rebuttal of a rebuttal of a rebuttal. Way to many buttals.

      • Is there an interesting point here? Which came first – clouds and warming or warming and clouds?

        Clouds respond to ENSO – negatively correlated with SST. Something that is not controversial at all. Disentangling cause and effect is still problematic – the childhood problem of too many unknowns in too few equations. What can Dessler usefully add on the topic?

        ‘Positive cloud feedbacks in observations have been shown to occur in association with ENSO and these variations are generally not well depicted in models [Kang et al., 2002; Clement et al., 2009], but challenges also exist for diagnosing these interactions in observations, as it is difficult to identify cause and effect in the context of multiple interactive variations.’ Trenberth et al 2010

      • It is weird Chief. To me it looks like there are two cloud effects. One where ENSO forces clouds and another where the PDO or associated oscillation forces a variation in ENSO intensity changing the forcing of clouds. So it is another talking past each other situation. A change in the timing of the impact is typical of latent heat, so I see no reason for a dust up other than egos.

      • Hi Dallas,

        Yes – they all seem to be saying the same thing on ENSO and clouds to me.

        Interdecadal variation doesn’t come into it in the CERES record but is there nonetheless as you say – http://horizon.ucsd.edu/miller/download/ETPac/Interdecadal0123.pdf

        Cheers

  19. Dr Curry, you write “So should the paper by Spencer & Braswell have been published?” However, you do not answer your own question. I would be interested in what your response is to this question.

    But, dealing with this point, when I learned physics at Cavendish labs, I was taught that ALL scientific papers were to be judged ONLY by the accuracy of their scientific content. It is never a capital offence to make a mistake. That, surely, is how we learn. If Roy Spencer’s paper had been rejected from any sort of publication, in the end he would almost certainly, have published it on his blog. In this age of the internet, etc. there is no way of preventing anybody’s views appearing for everyone to see.

    Surely the answer to Dr. Curry’s question, is of course the S&B paper should have been published. But then, if it is wrong, the errors should be discussed scientifically. Not with all this overblown hype.

    • Harold H Doiron

      Ditto. Spencer & Braswell are not backing down. Their paper is out there for all interested parties to learn from and to refute, if possible, the data and conclusions with other reliable data, and not with un-validated models and opinions. Let’s re-visit this issue in a year and see who has egg on their face.

    • “It is never a capital offence to make a mistake. ”

      Sure. I guess the next step is we need all of Spencer’s emails. You know just to check the mistake wasn’t deliberate.

    • “Surely the answer to Dr. Curry’s question, is of course the S&B paper should have been published. But then, if it is wrong, the errors should be discussed scientifically. Not with all this overblown hype.”

      Hype being a resignation without a retraction. At least the editor showed they had a certain amount of spine when the wolves were clearly at his door.

    • Jim, I think that S&B should not have been published. It should have just been a response in journal where the Potential Bias paper was published. That is the flaw in the system. The system being what it is, then there was justification to publish the rebuttal as a rebuttal. That is the point with one small distinction, S&B was a rebuttal not a response. The criticism of the original paper received was not detailed enough for a response in Dr. Spencer’s opinion, or am I missing something?

  20. Why should it actually matter to scientists if the media overhype results in the creation of metascience?

    Only if those scientists are also involved in the creation of a metascience, apparently.

  21. “As I said, by posting only at WUWT, people may make assumptions about your own tribalism.”
    What ‘people’?
    And why should Dr Curry care about what ‘people’ think who apparently regard posting at WUWT as some sort of heinous social faux pas?

    • Viv Evans, I didn’t say posting at WUWT was a heinous social faux pas, I post there myself so that’s a strawman that is easily demolished.

      Dr Curry tries to show that she is not partisan in the climate debate and objectively examines the science. By posting ONLY at WUWT to encourage posters from that site to come here and no from the ‘other side’, she puts her impartiality at risk.

      BTW – I’m one of ‘people’ and I’m sure there are others.

      • The other side disallows comments that disagree with them. WUWT does not. Real Climate are thugs.

      • The other side disallows comments that disagree with them. WUWT does not

        Have you tried posting comments that disagree with Anthony?

      • Have you read the comments? I do.

      • I’ve also read plenty of critical comments at RealClimate. You can tell what is getting through by reading comments but you can’t really tell what is getting rejected.

      • Critical of who … LOL.

      • “You can tell what is getting through by reading comments but you can’t really tell what is getting rejected.”

        That situation is improved now that they have the Bore Hole (http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/category/the-bore-hole/). It’s nice that they provide an archeological record of this nonsense without cluttering up useful discussions.

        In general what misses the cut is oft-repeated nonsense and hyperbolic personal abuse. Both are Bruce’s specialties, so it’s unsurprising he has trouble making the cut.

      • I will say that in the thread in question, he allowed some posts that were in disagreement (although he clipped some of them on the basis of self-contradictory rationale; e.g., he disallowed one of my comments because it was too political, but allowed other comments that were 100% political to go through).

        Here’s the thread in question, in case anyone’s actually interested:

        http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/08/29/even-the-tv-news-community-is-asking-if-irene-was-overhyped/

        However, he didn’t allow my defense against his false charge to go through. And immediately subsequent to my submission of that post, he banned me. There was nothing in that post that justified his not allowing it to go through. It was simply a post that pointed out that his accusation was false, and that it was a conclusion based on insufficient evidence.

        What is particularly hilarious is that he wouldn’t allow my defense against a false charge to go through after he called me “cowardly.”

        And this is one of the people that some “skeptics” hold up as evidence of a fast disparity in the openness of people on different sides of the debate?

      • He banned you? Awesome. You deserve it.

      • Now about that bet, Bruce….

      • Joshua, I read that thread and was in awe at your trolling. Although I don’t recall the exact words, I do know that I showed some of what you were posting to co-workers, and they too were amazed. You went completely off topic, came across as beligerant and, frankly, ignorant. What you did polluted the blog, and I completely agree with Anthony’s decision to kick you out.

        And here you are, here, trolling in similar manner, and yet you are not just tolerated, but courteousy responded to and allowed to continue.

        I was kicked from RC the first post I ever made, which was a completely innocent request for information. It was never publicly viewed.

        Your whining about the treatment YOU PERCEIVE is, more than anything, amusing.

      • CodeTech –
        I was kicked from RC the first post I ever made, which was a completely innocent request for information. It was never publicly viewed.

        There are a number (probably very large) of us with that same experience. We should all get together and celebrate :-)

      • RC do not allow questions. I posted there once, asking an innocent question, I had no idea was not allowed was censored. I then knew nothing of the topic at the time and was looking to educate myself

      • I managed to get two replies to their responses in before they kicked me and left themselves looking victorious.

        T0ssers.

      • Truly fascinating, CodeTech, that you’d take the time to read my posts, and even go so far as to show them to coworkers and discuss them.

        I’m flattered.

        Anthony posted about the media hype about Irene. I posted directly on point. Other commenters responded to Anthony’s post with purely political posts, and Anthony allowed them to go through while cutting one of my comments based on his stated reasoning that my comment was political.

        Anthony shifted the convo specifically to “goofy” spots done by reporters in raincoats. I pointed out that many of his readers were focusing on the forecasts, and not those “goofy” spots, as evidence of “hype.” So much for my “pollution” of the blog.

        Further – it is interesting that you refer to my “ignorance” and “beligerance,” when Anthony made completely false charge against me, made a facile and specious conclusion based on no evidence, and then wouldn’t allow my defense to go through.

        Please, show this post to your coworkers as well to get their feedback and let me know their thoughts.

      • Anthony has trouble tolerating long winded whiners.

      • And the folks at RealClimate have trouble tolerating people who just repeat silly debunked arguments and show no willingness to learn. Your point being…?

      • Joshua and yourself show aout as much willingness to learn as Erig Steig at RC does from having his Antarctica paper shredded by Jeff Condon and Ryan. Such a false sense of superiority, seen to be such by all but the self blinkered.

      • Congrats on the ban, Joshua, it’s a mark of honor. Only people who intellectually intimidate Anthony, and don’t scare easily, get pushed off.

        Anthony typically has a four-step bullying method:

        1. He starts by clipping comments and deleting replies to his own challenges.

        2. He will then check your e-mail and you’re URL for clues as to who you are. He will threaten to “out” you to your employer or otherwise stir up trouble for you off line. There will be “I know where you live”-type threats.”

        3. He will taunt you for posting anonymously, even after having just given you an object lesson in why sharing your name with people like him is a really bad idea.

        4. If this fails to intimidate you, a simple ban follows.

        This happened to me, and I’ve heard the same story from a dozen people since then. Anthony’s a slimy coward, and when you stand up to him and he resorts to a ban, he’s advertising his weakness and his fear.

      • That’s interesting, Robert.

        The sequence of events was exactly as how you described.

        What I found particularly hilarious is that he responded, repeatedly, to my comments – on the topic of my comments (which were directly related to the topic of his post), and then accused me of “threadjacking.” And the timing of the ban was hilarious. It came at the exact moment that he disallowed my post that pointed out his erroneous accusation that was based on facile and specious reasoning.

        That he then called me a coward after not allowing my defense against his false charge only adds to the irony.

        That serious “skeptics” would defend Anthony boggles the mind.

      • Joshua –
        It’s HIS blog. HE sets the rules. If you don’t like it, then go someplace else.

        The difference between Anthony and Judy is largely that Judy tolerates your threadjacking.

        And you do.
        .

      • Some from Louise (qv) there right now. eg,

        http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/09/02/breaking-editor-in-chief-of-remote-sensing-resigns-over-spencer-braswell-paper/#comment-734828

        I imagine that she would be very miffed if you accused her of agreeing with the good Mr Watts.

      • I’ve had my time of having posts removed at WUWT for being a lttle too critical – I’m a bit more cautious now but still there’s quite a few that don’t get through moderation. Usually when I am trying to defend myself against an in-line accusation or charge.

      • So not for ‘disagreeing with Anthony’ then?

        Btw – did RC link to one or all of Judith’s blog, to BH or at WUWT? If not, I hope you are being as scathing in your criticism of the blog’s authors as you are here. If not, I wonder why you don’t feel the need to do so?

      • I very rarely post at RC or even read the blog, I’m not interested in that site. I’m interested in how Dr Curry can claim to be anti-tribal and yet encourage one tribe only to visit here.

        BTW – I don’t think any of those other sites you list claim to be not on one side or the other as this does, hence my line of questioning. I wouldn’t ask this of either WUWT or RC.

      • Is this particular narrow – and frankly tedious – point your only topic of interest? It smacks a little of stalking to me…………….

      • Joshua wrote:

        Truly fascinating, CodeTech, that you’d take the time to read my posts, and even go so far as to show them to coworkers and discuss them.

        I’m flattered.

        Of course you would be flattered. That’s because you are a troll, and trolls troll for the attention. You got some attention. That makes you happy. Congratulations on your (dubious) achievement.

        I have a six year old with the same mindset. I’m currently attempting to train her away from it. I wish your parents had done you this favor.

      • Thanks for continuing to read my posts, CodeTech.

        I’m honored.

      • Louise, have you not noticed that if certain climate scientists try to post at certain climate science blogs, thay are attacked by the faithful? Even the ones that agree with the CO2 scenario, because they don’t believe it the “right” way?

        Maybe Dr. Curry just doesn’t need that kind of agro, and besides, in reality, we all know that the team keeps their eyes on ,most of the other blogs, cuz sometimes they even post here.

      • Louise, maybe Dr. Curry want to make sure that her comments would reach the largest audience possible about the subject. As the page views on WUWT dwarf all other climate blogs, a post there would be certain to attract the attention of the largest number possible.

      • I guess the question is whether you are looking for quantity or quality. ;)

  22. So you’re not willing to defend the paper and you’re not willing to defend the way the authors acted in promoting it but you are willing to blame “the consensus” for the whole thing.

    • The resignation letter admits politics played a part in attempts to get it rejected. What more do you need.

      I would love to see his email correspondence with AGW believers.

  23. “But, as the case presents itself now, the editorial team unintentionally selected three reviewers who probably share some climate sceptic notions of the authors. This selection by itself does not mean that the review process for this paper was wrong. ”

    Well, that’s good. I don’t know how you would realistically be able to pick balanced reviewers (one from each side, plus a fence-sitter) unless editors have a talent for mind-reading.

    “The problem is that comparable studies published by other authors have already been refuted in open discussions and to some extend [sic] also in the literature (cf. [7]), a fact which was ignored by Spencer and Braswell in their paper and, unfortunately, not picked up by the reviewers.”

    Really? As others have pointed out, the only purpose for this paper was as a response to opponents.

    Not to mention, this would be par-for-the-course in other fields.

    Wagner should have kept his explanation brief.

    • “The problem is that comparable studies published by other authors have already been refuted in open discussions and to some extend [sic] also in the literature (cf. [7]), a fact which was ignored by Spencer and Braswell in their paper and, unfortunately, not picked up by the reviewers.”

      In other words, the problem is not that the reviewers were biased, but that they didn’t do their job, and let lousy work through the peer review process. The most likely explanation for their actions is bias, but in the end it doesn’t really matter: what matters is that they failed as reviewers and it led to the publication of a steaming pile of garbage, damaging the reputation of his journal and making it a tool of unscrupulous right-wing propagandists. Hence, the editor resigns in disgrace.

      • Nullius in Verba

        The most likely explanation for their actions is that the discussions being referred to didn’t refute the work, and were entirely irrelevant. The reviewers were quite correct to ignore it.

  24. WUWT does ban posters and remove posts it doesn’t like too.

    To claim otherwise is untrue http://davidappell.blogspot.com/2011/07/anthony-watts-denies-his-mother-ever.html

  25. What a strange, puzzling, and indeed dramatic event this is! It takes some ruminating to assess its impact. Is it a salutary or a harmful step in advancing the cause of scientific accuracy? I have to admit I’m not sure, but my first inclination is to consider it in a positive light.

    I went back to review the Spencer/Braswell thread in this blog (including a few of my own comments). It seems clear, to me at least, that the paper was not merely flawed, but fatally flawed, and could not have been salvaged by any amount of revision. It should never have been published.

    But so what? Many papers draw erroneous conclusions, and yet science proceeds via corrective mechanisms to stumble toward some semblance of the truth. Few journal editors would last long if they resigned because they had permitted a bad paper to appear in print – or these days online.

    In this case, however, other considerations also affected the decision. The first is the degree of misrepresentation of the results and their significance by the authors themselves and in advance of publication. Authors have no responsibility for what Fox News or MSNBC will say, but they must be accountable for their own hyping that reinforces the politicization of what should be mainly a scientific matter. Few authors have routinely violated this precept as often as Roy Spencer, who has been relentless in his attempts to portray his work as revolutionary when its true impact was meager and uncertain.

    A second consideration, however, adds to the first. As Carl Sagan once pointed out, “Extraordinary Claims Require Extraordinary Evidence”. A very bad paper that merely reaffirms general principles reasonably well established by other means is to be regretted, but its impact is likely to be small. A paper that claims to overthrow the conclusions of the scientific mainstream must be held to higher standard. Why? First, because the consequences are greater, and second, because throughout scientific history, the large majority of such claims have turned out to be wrong. In the exceptional cases where a truly revolutionary finding proves accurate, that truth will eventually emerge as rapidly as the evidence permits (previous discussion of the history of H. pylori and duodenal ulcers verifies this point, and should be reviewed by anyone who believes that major advances are resisted by science for long intervals after conclusive evidence emerges).

    I don’t know whether Wagner should have resigned although I respect his decision. An immediate result will be exchanges of recriminations from partisans in the climate debate wars on the Internet. A more important question revolves around the later consequences. After the ferment subsides, I’m hopeful that journals and editors in general will be more circumspect in evaluating the reasons why their journal was chosen for a manuscript submission, and in determining whether they have the reviewers best suited for the review process in terms of scientific expertise, ideology aside.

    I also hope that this event will give pause to the impulse of partisans to trumpet the significance of a new report before the assessment process has had a time to work. Without doubt, that will affect the contrarian group more than those with mainstream inclinations, but it should be heeded by anybody who wants to avoid being remembered as the public champion of a highly advertised conclusion that later turns out to be embarrassingly wrong.

    • Few journal editors would last long if they resigned because they had permitted a bad paper to appear in print – or these days online.

      Fred, to me that gets to the heart of this “controversy”.

      • Indeed, what this discussion needs is some numbers. How many papers published in climate science in a year. How many of those are as bad or worse than Spencer and Bracewell. How many editors resign as a result.

        Steve McIntyre would at this point be pointing to ‘puffball’ reviews by Phil Jones. And quite rightly. All that is needed is total consistency. Or even an approximation.

    • Umm Fred, S&B’s paper was based upon remote sensing. Seems like the right journal to me.

      And if the good Doctor has decided that peer reviewed papers can now be countered by blogs, instead of the proper peer reviewed rebuttal, Then bye-bye Science and Nature and GJR, etc.

      I wish that conformists would show just a bit of consistency….

      • The journal is more (almost all) about techniques not conclusions

      • Thanx for that Eli.

      • Ah, so it’s a job demarcation problem. We don’t want pesky techy’s “muscling and providing analysis of data which conflicts with the holy models…”

        Here’s the news: Half baked models don’t trump real empirical data and the assessment of the uncertainty it has with respect to the direction of causation between temperature and clouds.

      • Well, there are lots of places where models are better than crappy empirical data, otherwise why do reanalyses where models are used to adjust bad and spotty data.

    • Wagner’s editorial is a mess. Ignore the original S&B paper and focus on what he wrote. It’s ridiculous. First, his admission that politics played a role is a critical point. By that admission alone, he completely tarnishes his reputation. Anything else he writes has to be viewed in that light. Second, his reasons simply don’t support a decision to resign.

      The only thing that makes sense about the whole affair is that he admits to being pressured because of politics and he clearly doesn’t want to have any more involvement in the whole sordid process. I don’t think anyone can blame him for that.

      • That’s my take. I think he knew nothing about the poisonous AGW climate and got bitten unwarily. He has decided that he doesn’t care enough to jeopardize his career. So he has bailed. And I don’t blame him.

        Did anyone notice that the claims for AGW he makes are the usual talking points (and have nothing to do with the paper) ? The only one his misses are polar bears. It sounds to me as if he had been schooled by someone from the Team.

        Also he seems to consider being quoted favourably by Fox News as bad. That too is a typical US Liberal/Guardian talking point.
        Finally the person he seems to blame at RS is in China, is there a geo-political aspect to this?

    • Fred,
      I think there’s a simple reason for his resignation, and he’s stated it fairly openly:
      “The managing editor of Remote Sensing selected three senior scientists from renowned US universities, each of them having an impressive publication record.”
      Focus on the words “Managing Editor”. That’s his boss – Mr Elvis Wang. An MPDI office guy, and AFAIK not a scientist. It is very unusual for the referees to be chosen at that level. And when they all turned out to be sceptics (according to Wagner), and didn’t alert the Journal to previous relevanr (and damaging) papers not cited, particulariy Trenberth/Fasullo, then this is a fairly standard situation where resignation of the scientist editor is inevitable.

      • That Trenberth/Fasullo paper addresses Lindzen and Choi 2009 by making the assertion that
        “Moreover their results do not stand up to independent testing”
        No reference is given to support this bald assertion.
        Lindzen and Choi effectively rebutted this assertion in their later paper.
        Spencer and Braswell use basically the same satellite data.
        Therefore The T&F paper is not sufficient to be used as an excuse for rejecting Spencer and Braswell 2011.

        2/10 must do better

      • The issue is that S&B didn’t mention T&F. Nor it seems did the referees. Whether it’s a refutation or not may be arguable, but the journal should have been told about it.

      • They didn’t need to. It’s already rebutted in the literature. And shouldn’t have passed peer review in the first place, making unsupported assertions as it does.

        “Moreover their results do not stand up to independent testing”

        Yeah? Proof?

      • Nick,

        This is from Trenberth et al 2010

        ‘It is not controversial to state that climate models are deficient in terms of tropical variability in the atmosphere on many timescales [Lin et al., 2006; Lin, 2007] and a more realistic simulation of ENSO events in coupled simulations remains a high priority for model developers. During El Niño, the warming of the tropical eastern Pacific and associated changes in the Walker circulation, atmospheric stability, and winds lead to decreases in stratocumulus clouds, increased solar radiation at the surface, and an enhanced warming so that even models without ocean dynamics are capable of emulating some ENSO‐like variability [Kitoh et al., 1999]. Positive cloud feedbacks in observations have been shown to occur in association with ENSO and these variations are generally not well depicted in models [Kang et al., 2002; Clement et al., 2009], but challenges also exist for diagnosing these interactions in observations, as it is difficult to identify cause and effect in the context of multiple interactive variations.’

        This is precisely what SB11 find. Can’t calculate cloud feedback and models aren’t good at ENSO.

        It is astonishing that Trenberth and Fasula should first of all obfuscate – and then that this article be cited as an a priori refutation of S&B11.
        SB11 and LC9 – reach different conclusions.

        ‘Determination of whether regression coefficients at various non-zero time lags might provide a more accurate estimate of feedback has been recently explored by LC09, but is beyond the scope of this paper. Our preliminary work on this issue suggests no simple answer to the question. We conclude that the fundamental obstacle to feedback diagnosis remains the same, no matter what time lag is addressed: without knowledge of time-varying radiative forcing components in the satellite radiative flux measurements, feedback cannot be accurately diagnosed from the co-variations between radiative flux and temperature.’ SB11

        I can’t think of a reason that Trenberth et al 2010 should have more than a marginal bearing. The discussion in Trenberth et al 2010 is to all intents and purposes exactly what SB11 find. But it is only in the discussion – so why is the paper so overwhelmingly relevant?

        CH

      • It is also curious that Trenberth’s response to SB11 at RealClimate is primarily concerned with SB11’s comments about GCMs failing to adequately reproduce the observed lagged feedbacks. One can take a view on whether SB11 was adequate in this regard, but Trenberth’s response is no more definitive. It all just reminds us how uncertain this modelling is.

        If these comments by Trenberth are the ones that caused Wagner to fall on his sword one has to say this is all pretty curious.

      • Nullius in Verba

        “I can’t think of a reason that Trenberth et al 2010 should have more than a marginal bearing. [...] – so why is the paper so overwhelmingly relevant?”

        It isn’t. It only appears in the RealClimate post on the subject where it is cited by Trenberth and Fasullo to support the bare assertion that ENSO causes clouds, not the other way round. Of course, Trenberth et al 2010 didn’t show that, it just asserted it and cited a previous Trenberth paper in support. Presumably if you follow it back far enough they give an actual reason for thinking so, but I lost interest in chasing it through the paper labyrinth at that point. If they’re not going to give a reason or a direct link to it, I see no reason to consider their argument to be valid.

        In fact, most of Wagner’s issues can be traced back to that RealClimate blog post. Since Wagner finishes by talking about the pressures on a young journal – getting into citation databases and improving their “impact” scores – I would guess that various people wrote in, citing RealClimate, and suggesting that their reputation as a credible journal was at risk. They can’t withdraw the paper, because then they’d likely get into a fight with Spencer which they’d lose, having no real justification for doing so. But maybe they hope that offering up heads and writing humble apologies in the editorials will mollify the critics. I don’t know. That they were leaned on and that the RealClimate article was involved seems fairly certain, but it’s unclear to me whether they were really convinced they’d made a mistake or whether they just caved in to the pressure.

        On the whole, I think it’s just too reminiscent now of Tom Wigley suggesting they go through official channels to get Saiers at GRL “ousted” for being in the greenhouse skeptics camp to have the effect the complainants presumably wanted. Spencer did say when he announced the paper that he was keeping the journal secret until it was published because he knew journals routinely got leant on to stop sceptical papers, and this just makes it look as if he was absolutely right.

        Same old Team…

      • CH,
        The T&F paper is clearly a much discussed paper that was on the topic. You may think it is unclear, or whatever. But it needs to be responded to. SB11 did not, and the climate scientist referees did not raise it. So the RS editors, who relied on those referees, did not find out about that paper until they found themselves immersed in controversy afterwards. No wonder they were not pleased.

        But the key thing is that the scientific editor did not even get to choose those referees. They were chosen by management – an extraordinary process.

      • Nullius in Verba

        It’s not relevant and it was responded to. It’s just the usual RealClimate legerdemain that leads one to assume otherwise.

        The claim that T&F refutes Spencer appears to be based on the following: “To help interpret the results, Spencer uses a simple model. But the simple model used by Spencer is too simple. We have already rebutted Lindzen’s work on exactly this point. The clouds respond to ENSO, not the other way round” and they give the reference, although the reference itself gives no evidential justifications for the claim, just another citation to a previous Trenberth paper.

        This is apparently in answer to the section in SB2011 saying “Finally, since much of the temperature variability during 2000–2010 was due to ENSO [9], we conclude that ENSO-related temperature variations are partly radiatively forced. We hypothesize that changes in the coupled ocean-atmosphere circulation during the El Niño and La Niña phases of ENSO cause differing changes in cloud cover, which then modulate the radiative balance of the climate system. [...] What this might (or might not) imply regarding the ultimate causes of the El Niño and La Niña phenomena is not relevant to our central point, though: that the presence of time varying radiative forcing in satellite radiative flux measurements corrupts the diagnosis of radiative feedback.”

        So S&B say “the El Niño and La Niña phases of ENSO cause differing changes in cloud cover” and T&F rebut this by saying “The clouds respond to ENSO, not the other way round”. S&B already acknowledged that there is a question mark hanging over ENSO-cloud causality, but say it is not relevant to their main point, and T&F offer no coherent reasons for thinking otherwise.

        Wagner seems to have read the RealClimate spiel and assumed that they knew what they were talking about and that it really did rebut S&B. He didn’t ask Spencer for clarification. That’s not a very in-depth examination to be resigning over.

  26. Do we expect the reviewers to follow his lead and fall on their swords too?

    • I wonder if the reviewers were suggested by the authors?

      • Like Steig reviewing a rebuttal to his own paper?

        Naahhh. Only AGW cult members do something that slimy.

        http://climateaudit.org/2010/12/02/odonnell-et-al-2010-refutes-steig-et-al-2009/

      • Slimy? No, it’s perfectly normal practice.

        AGW cult? Here is Steve McIntyre recalling his review of Wahl and Ammann’s paper at Climatic Change, which rebutted an M&M paper.

      • Bull****. There is claim of “other material”, but you are being patently dishonest in your characterization. YOU are being slimier than usual.

        As SM notes, this rebuttal was never seen by anyone and was just an excuse not to give SM enough material to conduct a review.

        “The response letter from Wahl and Ammann states that they “have shown in other material referenced in mss. #3321 that the analysis of McIntrye and McKitrick in GRL (2005)–which claims RE significance levels are improperly determined by Mann, Bradley, Hughes–is itself deeply flawed.”

        This “other material” is not on the present record.”

      • The Journal invited SM to review it, and he did. Of course, there were then endless complaints and disputes. With SM there always are. But those are the basic facts.

      • Nick, you “facts” weren’t factual. SM was not reviewing a paper that criticized his previous paper. Ammann/Wahl made a false claim (which you are an expert at).

        But anyone can read Climate Audit and they will come away better informed.

      • “But anyone can read Climate Audit and they will come away better informed.”

        Hah!

      • Coverup, Fascinating.

        “why did Jones take such a large professional risk by asking other scientists to destroy documents?”

        Fascinating question. Considering how damaging the undeleted email were in exposing AGW as money grubbing fraud, what was so toxic they would risk firing?

        http://climateaudit.org/2011/09/02/nsf-on-jones-email-destruction-enterprise/

      • “It’s perfectly normal practice”.

        Since Spencer was not given the opportunity to review Dessler’s upcoming refutation of the paper (published in something that must be record time), I guess GRL is not compliant with “normal practice”.

      • Do you know that he wasn’t?

        Editors don’t have to ask anyone. It’s not an issue of rights. It’s their job to assess the paper for publication, and they ask referees for advice. If you want to know what’s wrong with a critical paper, you’ll find out from the person being criticised. Of course, they may well exaggerate. Editors know that.

        Journalists do the same. If you want to know the validity of a criticism, ask the person being criticised. You don’t have to believe them, but you won’t have the full story unless you do.

      • He wasn’t. He said so himself.

      • So is it “normal practice” or not?

        As someone below said, “nice swerve Nick”.

      • Yes, it’s quite normal. That doesn’t mean it’s compulsory. Just that it often happens.

        No-one thought it was “slimy” when McIntyre reviewed Wahl and Ammann.

      • And then one is left to wonder why it didn’t happen this time…

      • The Wahl and Amman paper was not a reply to an M&M paper.

        Steig reviewing a paper that demolished Steigs reputation and hammering a big nail in the AGW coffin was slimey.

      • From http://www.ucar.edu/news/releases/2005/ammann.shtml

        “They also dispute McIntyre and McKitrick’s alleged identification of a fundamental flaw that would significantly bias the MBH climate reconstruction toward a hockey stick shape. Ammann and Wahl conclude that the highly publicized criticisms of the MBH graph are unfounded”

        Sounds like a reply to me.

      • You seem to mixing up papers with comments going back and forth and being published where Amman and Wahl ask M&M to review them

        But then again a civilized back and forth of comments must seem strange to you.

        “Dear Steve McIntyre and Ross McKitrick,

        we have finally submitted our manuscripts containing our own reproduction of the Mann-Bradley-Hughes climate reconstruction including a now complete analysis and verification of suggested modifications put forth in your GRL and Energy and Environment articles.

        It is our understanding that you should get the two papers to review shortly (or you might have received them already). If you should not receive such a request, please let us know so that we can send you a copy.
        Best regards,
        Caspar and Gene Wahl”

      • From the paper itself – not a comment, press release or any other material – the actual paper:

        “In this paper, we examine the MM results and criticisms of proxy data and methods employed by MBH, based on our own independent emulation and use of the MBH method to reconstruct Northern Hemisphere mean surface temperature over 1400–1980. In addition, we also address aspects of logic in the arguments presented in MM05a and MM05b and the absence of confirmatory validation statistics in MM03 and MM05b, since these issues have bearing on the efficacy of the MM results and have not yet been addressed in the scientific literature. We also use our results to briefly address the issue of loss of amplitude, from the perspective of the information contained in the proxy data themselves.”

        http://www.cgd.ucar.edu/ccr/ammann/millennium/refs/Wahl_ClimChange2007.pdf

        Still sounds like the paper was a reply to M&M to me

      • Bruce, you say “But then again a civilized back and forth of comments must seem strange to you” yet you said this to me:

        “Go abort someone Louise. It will cheer you up”

        http://judithcurry.com/2011/08/19/week-in-review-81911/#comment-102610

      • Anyone with an open mind can read the full emails posted by Steve 5 years ago.

        Of course Nick,Louise,Robert,Joshua,lolwot are incapable of reading anything with an open mind.

      • Bruce,
        As usual, lots of expostulation from you. But no coming to terms with facts.

        As Louise says, W&A was clearly and explicitly a response to M&M. And critical, eg:
        “The very poor performance of the MM03 emulation is particularly clear in the verification period…”.
        The editors invited SM to review it, and he accepted.

        All perfectly customary. But when J Climate invites Steig to referee, and he accepts, you say that’s “slimy”.

      • Nick, the paper referenced by Louise was from 2007 which is a very different paper than the one the 2004/2005 correspondence was referring to.

      • No, it’s the same paper – submitted May 11 2005, published online 31 August 2007.

      • You mean the same paper that the authors asked McIntyre to review?

        Did Jeff Condon ask Steig to review his paper? Was he told that Steig was a reviewer? Did Steig not try and derail that paper for no other reason than it made him look like an idiot?

      • Louise,
        See my comment above. He says they were chosen by the managing editor. That’s Mr Elvis Wang, a MDPI employee (and his former boss). That’s a pretty unusual way to choose referees. It’s not clear that Mr Wang is a scientist.

      • Nick, I don’t see you making these kind of assertions when all the reviewers are alarmists. Why is that?
        You defended Steig’s inclusion as a reviewer on Jeff’s paper rebutting Steig’s Antarctic warming paper as I recall. How much more biased can you get?

        And who has shown that these reviewers “hold sceptical notions” beyond Wagners assertion of it anyway?

      • Do you know of any other cases where the managing editor (a non-scientist) tells the Editor in Chief who the reviewers are going to be?

      • Nice swerve Nick.
        So you’ve established Wang’s lack of credentials then? I googled, but didn’t find much. What information have you discovered?

      • So you’re planning on evading Nick’s question, then?

        Too much of a coward to answer? How sad. :(

      • I thought the usual procedure was for a tame journal to ask members of the hockey team for a list of sycophants who would go along with the “consensus”.

        Maybe remote sensing didn’t run the list by the hockey team first.

      • It appears that the Managing Editor was doing his job.

        “The Managing Editor is responsible for overseeing the Journal’s peer review system”

        “Ensure that the peer review process is efficient, timely, and conforms to the highest ethical standards”

        “Under the direction of the EIC, plan issues of JBMR to ensure timely publication of original submissions, invited material, editorials and other information, as appropriate”

        http://sspnet.org/Jobs/Managing_Editor_(Scientific_Jour/job.aspx

        I suspect the problem Nick has is with “highest ethical standards”. That phrase would elude him …

      • Nick –
        Do you know of any other cases where the managing editor (a non-scientist) tells the Editor in Chief who the reviewers are going to be?

        Actually – sorta. Twelve years ago, the managing editor for the AMS journals (all of them) chose the reviewers for ALL papers that were submitted for publication in the AMS journals.

        The “sorta” is because that may have changed. Or not.

      • Jim,
        That’s surprising. Are you sure the ME wasn’t just handling the paperwork? In my experience, it’s always the editor who has to make the publication decision who selects the referees. Their function is purely to advise that editor.

        FWIW, Wiki
        “In the latter case, the submission becomes subject to peer review by outside scholars of the editor’s choosing who typically remain anonymous.”
        and
        “When a manuscript arrives, an editor solicits reviews from scholars or other experts who may or may not have already expressed a willingness to referee for that journal or book division.”

      • That’s surprising. Are you sure the ME wasn’t just handling the paperwork? In my experience, it’s always the editor who has to make the publication decision who selects the referees.

        Yes, Nick, I’m sure. My wife worked at AMS and, as AA to the ME, handled all correspondence between AMS and the reviewers. There was no “editor” in the sense you use the word. AMS was a smaller and more efficient organization then than it is today.

      • Why is unusual? Wouldn’t the managing editor get input from various board members and then send out invitations to review?

  27. So…

    The data gathered by NASA remote sensors included in the Spencer
    & Braswell paper is unchallenged as to it’s authenticity and accuracy by
    the former editor-in-chief of the journal Remote Sensing .

    The summary and plotting of the data gathered by NASA remote
    sensors included in the Spenser & Braswell paper is unchallenged
    by the former editor-in-chief of the journal Remote Sensing.

    The techniques used to summarize the data gathered by NASA remote
    sensors, used in the Spenser & Braswell paper, and compared with
    various climate model prediction runs remain unchallenged by the
    former editor-in-chief of the journalRemote Sensing.

    The general conclusion in the Spenser & Braswell paper that there is
    a large divergence between the reality based data form NASA
    and many/most researcher-programmed computer climate models is unchallenged by the former editor-in-chief of the journal Remote
    Sensing
    .

    He doesn’t like the media summaries of the what the Spenser & Braswell
    paper conclude, even though 56,000+ copies are in circulation as direct downloads from Remote Sensing and easily accessible to the
    media to see exactly what the paper is really about.

    What did he think the scientific applications of remote sensing involved ?

    If remote sensing has no practical real world applications when
    used to investigate topics germaine to the data remore sensors have
    gathered, why does Remote Sensing exist in the first place ?

    The resignation smells as fishy as the docks at low tide.

    • “the paper by Spencer and Braswell [1] that was recently published in Remote Sensing is most likely problematic in both aspects* and should therefore not have been published”

      *”fundamental methodological errors” and “false claims”

      • “most likely”?

        Not the words a normal person would use if they didn’t have a metaphorical gun placed at their heads.

        Translation: “I’ve been told by certain people who shall not be named that Roy Spencer is a poopyhead and shouldn’t be allowed to publish and to make up some stupid laughable accusations/fake reasons why I am resigning.”

    • Hear Hear!!!

    • R.emote S.ensing Brown I believe you just may have a 6th sense. The smell is likely the stench of the usual suspects.

  28. Doesn’t this whole thing further highlight the flaws of peer review? Here is text from the resignation letter:

    The managing editor of Remote Sensing selected three senior scientists from renowned US universities, each of them having an impressive publication record.

    OK. So it appears they have good reviewers.

    Their reviews had an apparently good technical standard and suggested one “major revision”, one “minor revision” and one “accept as is”. The authors revised their paper according to the comments made by the reviewers and, consequently, the editorial board member who handled this paper accepted the paper (and could in fact not have done otherwise). Therefore, from a purely formal point of view, there were no errors with the review process.

    Well, then what’s the problem?

    But, as the case presents itself now, the editorial team unintentionally selected three reviewers who probably share some climate sceptic notions of the authors. This selection by itself does not mean that the review process for this paper was wrong.

    OK… So, why resign?

    In science, diversity and controversy are essential to progress and therefore it is important that different opinions are heard and openly discussed. Therefore editors should take special care that minority views are not suppressed, meaning that it certainly would not be correct to reject all controversial papers already during the review process. If a paper presents interesting scientific arguments, even if controversial, it should be published and responded to in the open literature. This was my initial response after having become aware of this particular case.

    Then we get to it.

    So why, after a more careful study of the pro and contra arguments, have I changed my initial view? The problem is that comparable studies published by other authors have already been refuted in open discussions

    What does this even mean? Open discussions? Is that blogs by chance? If so, I thought that it was the actual numbers that mattered here, and not an opinion on a blog.

    and to some extend also in the literature
    (cf. [7]),

    To some extent????????????

    Doesn’t that mean that it kind of is, but kind of isn’t? So is it or isn’t it actually disputed. Are you telling me that a reviewer can use a “sort-of” paper to refute another? And this is only ONE paper. I thought replication was essential to the scientific process? Does that work in reverse order? Can an author of a paper use ONE “sort-of” supporting paper to singularly show that his or her science is correct? And, I ask this sincerely, those of you who haev reviewed papers for journals – Are you, or the author of the paper you’re reviewing, expected to find every single paper that refutes your work to some extent? If it were a direct contradiction… Yeah, I can see that. But this just sounds flimsy to me.

    … a fact which was ignored by Spencer and Braswell in their paper and, unfortunately, not picked up by the reviewers. In other words, the problem I see with the paper by Spencer and Braswell is not that it declared a minority view (which was later unfortunately much exaggerated by the public media) but that it essentially ignored the scientific arguments of its opponents. This latter point was missed in the review process, explaining why I perceive this paper to be fundamentally flawed and therefore wrongly accepted by the journal.

    But isn’t Spencer right, that the paper itself is refuting the other, sort of, papers???? Quitting over this seems like a wimpy thing to do. Why not either retract, or publish the rebuttal and move on. I mean really! This explanation just looks weak to me. It shows me this editor had no confidence to stand on his decisions to begin with. So maybe it’s a good thing that he resigned.

    • Michael – You make some good points. The problem with Wagner’s justification for resigning, as I see it, is not that he did the wrong thing (necessarily), but that because his expertise is in remote sensing, with much less knowledge about climatology, he did not make a strong case for his decision.

      I’ve read the paper, and for want of a better term, I would describe it as “Godawful”. If you want more detail, one place out of many to visit in the previous thread in this blog on the paper. As someone who in my own field (not climatology) has been a writer of papers, a reviewer of papers, and a member of journal editorial boards responsible for decisions on acceptance or rejection, I’d have to say that the paper fails the most fundamental test – its evidence doesn’t justify its conclusions. A responsible journal will reject such a paper if it can’t be corrected – something that would have been almost impossible because the flaws were central to the paper. Wagner, in my view therefore, arrived at the right opinions for not very well-developed reasons.

      Wagner’s decision will have repercussions, as I mentioned above. I hope they are for the better, but let’s wait and see.

      • Fred:
        “I’d have to say that the paper fails the most fundamental test – its evidence doesn’t justify its conclusions.”

        You are a master of providing generalizations without any supporting evidence. Please can you tell me exactly how the evidence in SB’s paper fails to justify its conclusions – or point me at an anlysis that justifies this point.

      • Rob – See the long previous thread on this paper.

      • Still can’t think of any valid reasons to keep if from seeing the light of day?

  29. Spencer boasted at the end of July that Isaac Held had read the paper and pronounced himself satisfied about the central claim. Wouldn’t it have been sensible to Wagner to talk to Held, who certainly does not count himself a sceptic, before committing hari kari?

    • I’m aware of no evidence Held endorsed the paper’s conclusions, but only a more general and not very controversial point about disentangling forcings from feedbacks.. I would be surprised if Held agreed with the specific conclusions Spencer derived from the data.

      • It’s your lack of awareness against Spencer’s word. Fair enough.

      • Aside from the non-controversial principle that forcings and feedbacks are not always easy to distinguish, Spencer didn’t claim that Held endorsed Spencer’s conclusions (or at least, his blog statement didn’t make that claim). It’s not even clear that the reference to Held relates to the paper at issue, or that Held had even read the paper (although he probably has by now).

        If you have a different source, you should cite it, but I doubt that one exists.

  30. -I wonder what sort of pressure was applied to the journal?
    The resignation letter brings to mind a captured hostages ‘confession’ .
    Was pressure applied via SCOPUS or its ilk?

  31. A couple of minor points. This story made it to the headings at the bottom of BBC World News!! I cannot but remember my Old Testament. Samuel “Tell it not in Gath, publish it not in the streets of Askelon; lest the daughters of the Philistines rejoice, lest the daughters of the uncircumcised triumph.”

  32. Well Louise, if you read what the Connolleys have been writing, you’ll see there is the usual hand-waving and “nothing to see here”, with the usual snarks by the like of dhogaza and marco and the standard crew. Why would you think they would be of any interest to Judith, or to anybody else for that matters?

    What contributions would they provide, given for example that at RetractionWatch marco is currently suggesting that next week’s rebuttal of Spencer’s work may not be about Spencer’s work, and Wagner’s resignation after having read blogs critical of Spencer’s work was not caused by Wagner’s reading of blogs critical of Spencer’s work?

    The whole debate would quickly degenerate on what is the meaning of “is”. Good luck with enjoying that!

  33. Given the absolute mildness of Spencer’s conclusions, it’ll be interesting to find out what people disagreed with.

    As we know, Wagner disagreed with the non-peer-reviewed “hype”. Not enough for a retraction, obviously.

    • The conclusions in the SB paper are indeed mild. From the abstract: “It is concluded that atmospheric feedback diagnosis of the climate system remains an unsolved problem, due primarily to the inability to distinguish between radiative forcing and radiative feedback in satellite radiative budget observations.” Who can disagree with that conclusion? I suppose the hardcore crowd might have an issue because it suggests the science is not settled *gasp*. The more likely real reason for this resignation is the hype generated by this paper. However, this editor was not responsible for any hype generated by the media, blogs, or the authors. The authors are guilty of nothing that the cAGW crowd has not been doing for nearly two decades………that doesn’t make it right but it sure makes it more understandable.

  34. If the reality is that having published a poor paper , taken this for granted , the editor feels he need to resign . If this was the norm there would be no one working on any journal for long as its not all unusual . Indeed the ‘Teams’ favorite journals should have the personnel turn over of a call center if this was the case . That he should cite the problem is other areas given this paper coverage , with these having nothing to do with this journal and making no claims to be peer reviewed but news organization, seems odder still.
    What may get interesting is if the paper reviewer get involved, if one or all of them call Wagner out over this and demand to be told what was wrong with their review or in what way they where not suitable to review , it could get very nasty .

  35. When will we see some kind of righeous outrage at conclusons based on the IPCC Summary for Policymakers?

    I hear Dostoevsky crying for this nation…

    There real issue is that the West is in a crisis of hypocrisy and an astounding lack of morality not to mention societal and intellectual dishonesty that is unprecedented.

    These ‘official’ prognostications about what shall constitute real science and what needs more rigor demonstrate nothing more than a complete lack of institutional honor.

    Anyone who may have thought a generation ago that Western civilization was invulnerable to an integrity crisis must surely awaken from their slumber.

  36. Prof Curry. Can you start a separate thread for Bruce and Joshua?

  37. Wagner’s reaction and resignation just looks like a desperate and miserable attempt to discredit Spencer & Braswell paper.
    As Judith already stated in the original Spencer & Braswell thread, “there were certainly flaws in the paper, but not particularly outrageous ones”. None that could really justify Wagner’s reaction.

    This actually reminds us about some of the Climategate emails, showing the activism of AGW proponents to control the peer-review process, as well as the editorial boards of main scientific journals, that are interested in climate science. The final goal is of course to prevent “skeptics” from publicizing their work and conclusions.
    Considering Wagner’s words, there is quite little doubt about which side of the climate debate he is pushing for. His resignation is just the acknowledgment of his total failure in one of his main mission (i.e. to block publication of skeptical views). Maybe this resignation was also “supported” by Hansen, Mann & al… This wouldn’t have been the first time…

  38. Dr. Curry. Is the Spencer & Braswell paper now to be incorporated into AR 5 WG1 report? Or, is a consensus outcry sufficient to ignore it?

  39. “I think he’s saying that the journals processes were manipulated, and a paper was published without due care, and he takes responsibility for that.”

    I don’t think he is saying this at all.
    He writes that the reviewers, appointed by the editing manager, asked for one major revision, one minor one, and one gave a pass. The revisions done, the paper was accepted. Wagner writes that formally all was in order, but that apparently the reviewers seemed to him (in retrospect, I suggest) to be a bit on the ‘sceptic’ side.

    So if this was one of his reasons for resigning, one wonders why he did not sack the editing manager who came up with the reviewers?

    One would of course also be interested if it is now usus to have scientific papers reviewed by those with ‘opposing’ views.
    In which case one wonders if the publication of scientific papers now depends on their adherence to orthodoxy – which leads to the question if science can progress if orthodoxy is never allowed to be questioned.
    And that leaves out the very interesting question if experiments and/or observations of natural events should be reported in scientific papers at all unless given a sort of placet by modellers. That is what Wagner hints at in his resignation letter.

    • Viv Evans, at Dr Spencer’s own blog http://www.drroyspencer.com/2011/09/editor-in-chief-of-remote-sensing-resigns-from-fallout-over-our-paper/

      He is asked by a commenter”1) Who reviewed your paper Roy? Did you submit a list of potential reviewers? If so who, and were they amongst the reviewers selected to review your paper?”

      To which he answers “Q1: Almost every journal requires a list of suggested reviewers, and except for one reviewer, the identities of the reviewers chosen was unknown to us”

      It would seem that by choosing a journal that was unfamiliar with the climate debate, he may have been able to nominate reviewers who were more likely to be favourable. The resignation follows from Dr Wagner feeling he has been duped and his journal used and abused.

      From the BBC, quoting Bob Ward policy and communications director at the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment at the London School of Economics:

      “Mr Ward described the tactic of publishing in off-topic journals as a “classic tactic” of scientists dismissive of man-made climate change.

      “Those who recognise that their ideas are weak but seek to get them into the literature by finding weaknesses in the peer review system are taking a thoroughly disreputable approach,” he said.”

      http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-14768574

      • Luoise, look a bit further down to my Reply to Joel, S&B were exactly right for that journal. And quoting Bob Ward? LMFAROTFP!!!

      • Bob Ward is a paid for CAGW public relations person. Like Baghdad Bob except for Climate change instead of for an Iraqi dictator. I would verify anything he says before ever thinking it was true and never post something he said as if were a validation of something I thought.

        It could be just as you say, or it could easily be said that Team pressure was brought down on a journal because it did not know that it should always get a Team member on the review of a climate paper lest something be published that goes against the consensus.

        In either case, Bob Ward is not the person to quote as being an authority on the subject.

  40. I suspect that the journal (one that is just getting started) received many subscription cancellations and cancellation-threats from college libraries and warmists, and the editor resigned to head them off and keep his publication afloat.

    • There are no subscriptions.

      “Journals published by MDPI are fully open access: research articles, reviews or any other content on this platform is available to everyone free of charge.”

      • Nebuchadnezzar

        I suspect this is a key point. This is a relatively new journal and they need authors to submit articles. Now many potential authors know Remote Sensing as the “journal that published that crazy paper that disproved global warming” and are less likely to submit their articles there. I’m not saying the paper is crazy, but that will be the perception of some people.

        The journal is about remote sensing and applications of remote sensing in geoscience, not specifically climate, and the publication of the Spencer and Braswell paper could be seen as falling into an editorial grey area. The paper could have been rejected, not because the science was bad or wrong, but because it wasn’t quite the right journal to publish it in the first place. The editor or one, or all the reviewers might have pointed that out, or not as the case seems to be. I note here that John Christy and Pielke Sr had a paper published in the journal too.

        http://www.mdpi.com/2072-4292/2/11/2561/

        We’re looking at this from the point of view of climate science so everyone rolls off down the usual pre-formed ruts. But remote sensing isn’t really a climate journal so the editors may not give a fig about what the climate blogs and climate scientists think. (I know, crazy isn’t it). He is, I imagine, more interested in what remote sensing scientists might think.

        His resignation seems politically ill judged from the point of view of anyone with a passing familiarity with the CRU emails, but is it politically ill-judged from the point of view of someone thinking of submitting a paper, on say “AMARTIS v2: 3D Radiative Transfer Code in the [0.4; 2.5 µm] Spectral Domain Dedicated to Urban Areas” which was also recently published in the journal.

        I don’t know.

        I do think that if the press release hadn’t been issued far fewer people would have read the paper. It’s not a particularly high-profile journal. It’s not a ‘climate’ journal either so many of the people who might have been the natural readership for the paper would not have even seen it.

  41. What exactly is the flaw–substantively–of the S&B paper?

    • According to the consensus, S & B did not interpret real world data properly, because if they had, then they couldn’t possibly come to the conclusion that the GW models were wrong in their projection about future energy build up in the earth system.

      i.e., S&B found that more energy is leaving the earth system then what the models predict, so therefore this real world data is wrong (cuz you know, the models are so complex, that they just couldn’t be wrong)

    • He cherry-picked among GCMs for those that would disagree most with his analysis.
      “Consequently, our results suggest that there are good models and some not so good, but rather than stratifying them by climate sensitivity, one should, in this case, stratify them by ability to simulate ENSO.”

      http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2011/07/misdiagnosis-of-surface-temperature-feedback/

  42. I would think that any alarmist who is capable of thinking clearly would be horrified by this resignation. This is not a good development for the CAGW side. Intelligent people are paying attention. They are fully capable of understanding what happened here. It looks really ugly.

    Perhaps the alarmists felt that Spencer had to be harmed ASAP regardless of the long term consequences. More likely, they let their anger get the better of them and lashed out. But long term, they will clearly suffer.

  43. I think that Wagner’s letter touches on a disturbing issue that almost deserves a thread in itself: In any area of science, some scientists publish papers in peer-reviewed journals that most scientists do not take very seriously because they have fundamental flaws. However, in a very politicized areas such as climate science, these papers seem to serve a rather different purpose than actually convincing fellow scientists: Instead, they serve the purpose of allowing people outside of the scientific community in question to point to these papers as evidence for their point-of-view.

    On one extreme, we have the paper by Gerlich and Tscheuschner, which those of us who know physics have little doubt was published by the authors in a physics journal not to convince physicists, but merely to provide the lay public with something that they could point to in the peer-reviewed literature. On the other, we have the paper of Spencer and Braswell, for which the authors intentions may be more honest, but which still basically is serving this point of providing the authors and others of something that they can point to.

    This is a sort of abuse of the scientific publishing system that the journals are not necessarily so well-equipped to handle and it raises a number of interesting questions. For example, I agree in principle with Michael J Alexander when he says:

    In science, diversity and controversy are essential to progress and therefore it is important that different opinions are heard and openly discussed. Therefore editors should take special care that minority views are not suppressed, meaning that it certainly would not be correct to reject all controversial papers already during the review process. If a paper presents interesting scientific arguments, even if controversial, it should be published and responded to in the open literature.

    However, I can also see how this principle can be exploited as I have discussed above. How does one strike the balance between bending over backwards to give a voice to minority scientific views, while at the same time not contributing to deception that is occurring in the political sphere as a result of having such a policy that can then be abused by those who cynically want to do so?

    • Joel, was not the S&B paper based upon data gathered by a remote sensing apperatus?

      Did not the good Doctor in his resignation letter state that the idea behind this journal was to {“As I stated in my editorial at the launch of this new open access journal [6] one of the premier goals of remote sensing as a discipline is to better understand physical and biological processes on our planet Earth. The use of satellite data to check the functionality of all sorts of geophysical models is therefore a very important part of our work.”}

      If i read the abstract right, then S&B did this very thing. They used a remote sensing satellite to to check the functionality of GW models. Did they interpret the data right? I don’t know. But they definately fulfilled the edict of this journal. Therefore the right journal to publish in.

      If the good Doctor cannot stand behind his editors decisions, or if he personnaly believes that S&B are wrong in defining what the data says and allows that belief to cloud his publishing decisions, then he rightly stepped down.

      But if he is doing this as a gesture to the world, based upon his beliefs, to try to undercut the results of this paper, then he should have been fired before he stepped down, IMOO.

    • Are scientific journals tomes of TRUTH or moderated forums of scientific discussion? I suspect that most in the sciences believe the latter, while the press and the public believe the former. It is unfortunate to see the needs of the relentless 24 hour news cycle damaging, perhaps irretrievably, a foundation of scientific discussion.

    • Joel, just to clarify – that is a quote from Wagner’s resignation. I must have screwed up the HTML tag.

      Personally, I would like to see the whole concept of peer review either ditched all together, or, at the very least, taken down off its pedestal. People need to realize ONE paper, even if it’s peer reviewed, is not some sort of supreme affirmation that this is now the accepted scientific view. This general attitude toward Holy Peer Review is what helped Dr Wakefield perpetrate his anti-vaccine fraud and endanger the lives of millions of children. The worship of PR helped the Jenny McCarthy’s of the world push their “mommy sense” crap.

      Getting a paper past peer review is an important step, but, as we have seen in this field and others, it’s hardly perfect, and you would think that more scientists and Doctors would acknowledge this.

      • I agree with your diagnosis…although not your cure. You are absolutely correct that peer-review is just a very low bar (set to try to weed out stuff that is just very clearly wrong or has conclusions that do not follow from the data and analysis, duplicates well-known work, fails to at all put the work in the context of previous work, etc.) That is all it is meant to be. It basically says, “This has been judged (by at most a few fellow scientists) to meet the minimal criteria to be worthy of further consideration by the larger community of scientists.” [Some journal do have higher standards, although I recall a fellow physicist saying of papers that he referees for Physical Review Letters, that most consider the premier physics journal, something to the effect of "Forget novel, or interesting, or important, I am just happy if the manuscripts I get to review are not grossly incorrect."]

        But, I don’t see how that the solution is to ditch it…And, for the most part, I don’t think it needs to be taken off its pedestal because I don’t think it is on a pedestal, at least not within the scientific community. Scientists are well aware that a lot of incorrect or seriously flawed papers, and even some essentially complete garbage ,gets past peer review. However, this is still better than the alternative of not having anything to filter out the nonsense.

      • And, for the most part, I don’t think it needs to be taken off its pedestal because I don’t think it is on a pedestal, at least not within the scientific community.

        If it’s not on a pedestal, then why all this fuss over the approval of this one “flawed” paper? If peer review is it on a pedestal, then why did the IPCC get into trouble for using bits of info that was not peer reviewed, a mistake that, in my opinion, was also over-hyped. Why did Trenberth insist that McIntyre not be taken seriously at all, not just because his science is rubbish (I’m not making that claim, just echoing the talking points), but especially, specifically because he didn’t have anything that was peer reviewed. If it’s not on a pedestal, then why all the consternation revealed in the Climategate E-mails about bending rules and enforcing their will on journal editors and reviewers, so “contrarian” points of view don’t even get peer reviewed in the first place?

      • If it’s not on a pedestal, then why all this fuss over the approval of this one “flawed” paper?

        That is a fair question. And, it does get back to the issue I was talking about in my original post…of how some people seem to be “gaming the system”. In most fields, I think that one flawed paper getting into the scientific literature doesn’t create much of a stir…Scientists for the most part just ignore it; sometimes, some of them may take the effort to debunk it, but often that won’t even happen. However, the fact is that a lot of what is going on in climate science is getting played out outside of the peer-reviewed scientific community. I.e., papers are being submitted into the peer-reviewed literature with an agenda that seems to go well beyond just trying to influence their fellow scientists and rather to influence public opinion and the formation of public policy.

        If peer review is it on a pedestal, then why did the IPCC get into trouble for using bits of info that was not peer reviewed, a mistake that, in my opinion, was also over-hyped. Why did Trenberth insist that McIntyre not be taken seriously at all, not just because his science is rubbish (I’m not making that claim, just echoing the talking points), but especially, specifically because he didn’t have anything that was peer reviewed.

        If you have a minimum standard, that does not mean that the standard is on a pedestal.

    • Joel Shore says

      …….”Gerlich and Tscheuschner, which those of us who know physics have little doubt was published by the authors in a physics journal not to convince physicists.”…….

      The International Journal of Modern Physics published the G&T article.
      Joel was one of the authors of the now heavily ridiculed “comment” paper.

      The six comment authors had no idea of the difference between electromagnetic radiation and heat.
      So they had heat moving spontaneously from cold surfaces to hotter surfaces.
      This as any physisist knows is a direct denial of the second law of Clausius.
      Joel now says that indead this was a mistake.

      However Joels “comment” paper shows that (unlike blogs where you can “shoot from the hip”) the unfortunate “comment ” authors are branded as not fit to comment on thermodynamics.
      I cannot substanciate rumours that it is pinned up on cetain university physics staff rooms as a source of ammusement.

      • I cannot substanciate rumours that it is pinned up on cetain university physics staff rooms as a source of ammusement.

        I think that is Bryan-speak for “I just completely made this up.”

        See also here http://judithcurry.com/2011/09/02/update-on-the-spencer-braswell-paper/#comment-107471 so I don’t have to repeat myself responding to Bryan’s peddling of pseudoscience in this thread.

      • Joel says

        …..”I don’t think that Pekka and I can explain the adiabatic lapse rate better than we already have.”……

        For once I agree with you Joel and since the reply link above was stretched so far as to being lost, I reply here.

        I’m surprised that someone with a physics degree could not derive the formula for the dry adiabatic lapse rate from first principles.
        I can, but since it is set out in numerous text books have a look there and if you have any difficulties please don’t hesitate to have me explain the difficult parts to you in more detail.

      • I’ll just link back to the original discussion here so readers can decide for themselves who does and who does not understand the adiabatic lapse rate: http://judithcurry.com/2011/09/02/update-on-the-spencer-braswell-paper/#comment-107919

      • Joel
        Why, despite being asked dozens of times you have yet to come up with the derivation of the formula for the dry adiabatic lapse rate?

        It is published in several textbooks.

        Could it be that once you direct me to a derivation you would be humiliated by having to admit once again that I was correct?

        Convection plays no part in the derivation.
        Hint!
        The hydroSTATIC formula is invoked.
        What convection do you expect for static air?

      • Bryan: I have already provided a link to the definition of the adiabatic lapse rate as “a special process lapse rate of temperature, defined as the rate of decrease of temperature with height of a parcel of dry air lifted adiabatically through an atmosphere in hydrostatic equilibrium. Also known as adiabatic lapse rate; adiabatic rate”. Asking how the temperature changes as an air parcel is lifted adiabatically through the atmosphere is intricatedly linked to convection, because convection is the movement of air parcels.

        And, in fact, it turns out that if the temperature decreases with height faster than the adiabatic lapse rate, a parcel of air that is initially at the same temperature as the surrounding air and starts rising through the atmosphere will find itself always warmer than the surrounding air and hence positively buoyant…This means the atmosphere is unstable to convection. If the temperature decreases with height slower than the adiabatic lapse rate, a parcel of air that is initially at the same temperature as as the surrounding air and starts rising through the atmosphere will find itself always colder than the surrounding air and hence negatively buoyant…This means the atmosphere is stable.

        Hence, the adiabatic lapse rate is a stability boundary on the actual lapse rate, telling us whether or not the atmosphere is unstable to convection. Whether you want to say that convection plays a part in the derivation of the adiabatic lapse rate becomes a matter of semantics. I would say that in a sense it does because looking at rising air parcels is looking at the basic process of convection. But, I have avoided arguments about semantics because they are ultimately silly. Better to have a complete understanding of the exact relationship between the adiabatic lapse rate and convection than to peddle pseudoscience by arguing semantics.

        But, hey, pseudoscience peddling is your specialty, so don’t let me interfere with what you do best! (Unfortunately, it seems to be all that you know how to do, which is a pity.)

      • Joel
        Why, despite being asked dozens +1 of times you have yet to come up with the derivation of the formula for the dry adiabatic lapse rate?

        It is published in several textbooks.

        Could it be that once you direct me to a derivation you would be embarrassed by having to admit once again that I was correct?

        Convection plays no part in the derivation.
        Hint!
        The hydroSTATIC formula is invoked.

        What convection do you expect for static air?

        In the full derivation of the formula you will find.

        The hydrostatic equation
        (This is where gravity comes in)
        The ideal gas equation
        The first law of thermodynamics
        Derivatives taken of the first law
        The adiabatic condition applied to the first law
        The relationship between the gas constant (R) and the heat capacities at constant pressure and constant volume.

        What you will not find is any reference to convection
        Why not!
        Because the hydroSTATIC equation is being used.

        Repeat this last point 10 times each evening for a month before you go to bed.
        The dry adiabatic lapse rate is the deduced to be = -g/Cp
        Or -9.8 K/km
        So then what happen in the more usual cases when there is convection present?
        The physical mechanism that gives rise to the DALR is still there but the overall result is a modification to the rate sometimes called the moist LR or more commonly the environmental lapse rate.
        This arises because a new term must be added to the internal energy of the air molecule aggregate to take account of the latent heat of vapourisation of the H2O faction
        The result is usually this will be less than -9.8K/km

      • Bryan,

        The hydrostatic formula is not enough. It can be satisfied in many different ways giving very different lapse rates.

        It has been repeated many times to you that there is a connection between hydrostatic balance and onset of convection. The adiabatic lapse rate is the limiting situation. On one side of the limit the hydrostatic balance is true and no convection occurs. On this side the true lapse rate may have any value less than the adiabatic lapse rate. On the other side of the limit convection occurs so effectively that the lapse rate cannot grow much but remains very close to the adiabatic lapse rate. The hydrostatic balance is not true on this side of the limit.

        Exactly on the limit the situation is indifferent in the way that no convection is needed, but any small disturbance may induce some convection. At that point we have an indifferent hydrostatic balance and no or very little convection.

        The condition of hydrostatic balance and the condition of existence of convection are two sides of the same equation. The calculation of the value of the adiabatic lapse rate is done studying the hydrostatic balance and weak convection and determining the lapse rate, where very weak convection may continue without growing stronger. In other words the calculation is done looking at a slowly rising or descending parcel of air and requiring that the forces acting on the parcel balance exactly leaving no net force in any direction. The answer is unique for a moving parcel, but many different lapse rates lead to balance for a parcel that doesn’t move up or down. Therefore the calculation requires the consideration of convection, not that of stable balance.

      • Pekka says
        ……”The hydrostatic formula is not enough. It can be satisfied in many different ways giving very different lapse rates.”…..
        Agreed but I have specified a dry adiabatic lapse rate.
        I have in the post above given the other conditions required for to establish the formula.
        The fact that you and Joel have not come up with a formula derivation for DALR that makes a specific reference to a convection term leads me to think that no such derivation exists.

        …”It has been repeated many times to you that there is a connection between hydrostatic balance and onset of convection. The adiabatic lapse rate is the limiting situation. On one side of the limit the hydrostatic balance is true and no convection occurs. On this side the true lapse rate may have any value less than the adiabatic lapse rate. On the other side of the limit convection occurs so effectively that the lapse rate cannot grow much but remains very close to the adiabatic lapse rate. The hydrostatic balance is not true on this side of the limit…….Exactly on the limit the situation is indifferent in the way that no convection is needed”…..

        Again agreed all pretty standard stuff where convection is absent and dry, DALR occurs
        However if turbulence and water vapour are present the lapse rate will change.
        What point is there in posting points repeatedly where we have always been in agreement?

        Why am I going on about the DALR and still air situation?
        Well like any situation in physics studying the situation once one of the major masking features is missing leads to a clearer understanding of the other factors.
        A bit like studying motion with friction removed
        Here with water vapour, convection and turbulence absent it lets us see the effect on temperature of troposphere under the influence of gravity.
        Then match simple climate model like Postma’s and the Halpern et al concentric slab to see how well they stack up.

        ,

      • Bryan,

        When the convection is not present we do not see the effect of gravity anywhere else than in the density profile. This seems to be a fact that you don’t want to accept even you claim to be in agreement with me. As far as I can see we are not at all in agreement on this essential point.

        Moisture has its effect on the adiabatic lapse rate, but the basic phenomenon remains unmodified. Turbulence doesn’t either influence the outcome substantially. Without large scale convection we have a calm atmosphere without significant turbulence.

        Every correct derivation of the adiabatic lapse rate looks, what happens for a slowly moving parcel of air. That may be done checking, what happens, when the parcel is displaced by a small amount (infinitesimally). I believe that the derivations that you consider as based on hydrostatic are mathematically just such derivations, but they are not based on hydrostatic, but on convection or on the onset of convection, as hydrostatic condition alone does not give any specific result. Thus the disagreement on this point is not on the mathematics, but on the physical content of that mathematics. The role of convection in the derivation may in some cases be hidden, but it’s always there. Without convection we cannot compare adiabatically different altitudes, because movement of a parcel of air is by definition convection and the concept of adiabatic enters to the consideration only through the movement of the parcel of air.

      • Pekka
        Unless you can refer me to a specific derivation of the DALR your post only carries the weight of assertions.

        In an earlier post (on Postma I think) you said that a vertical column of still dry air heated from the bottom and cooled at top by radiation would follow the DALR.
        That is is temperature would drop by 9.8K for every kilometre ascent.

        This is why I cannot understand your latest comment.
        ……..”When the convection is not present we do not see the effect of gravity anywhere else than in the density profile.”…….

        Further your opinion that
        “concept of adiabatic enters to the consideration only through the movement of the parcel of air.”

        I would disagree with.
        I thought that adiabatic meant that heat cannot enter the parcel of air under consideration from outside the system

      • Bryan,

        In this case adiabatic means that we are following the motion of a parcel of air assuming that there is no turbulence and no conductive heat transfer across the surface of the parcel. The word “adiabatic” is related to this case only through that derivation.

        Following that condition we know that the rising parcel is expanding and cooling according to the formula valid for adiabatic expansion. Nothing of that makes sense without the assumption that we are looking at the vertical motion of a parcel of air.

        I really cannot understand, where you might have a derivation of the adiabatic lapse rate that is not based on that process. Pick any derivation from the literature including lecture notes available on the net or even Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adiabatic_lapse_rate . All such derivation are based on the analysis of what happens to a rising (or descending) parcel of air.

      • Pekka
        The hydrostatic equilibrium condition applies when the forces on the parcel are balanced.
        Newtons first law is therefor satisfied and states that the object (air parcel) will remain at rest (stationary) or move with constant velocity.
        You apparently do not like the stationary possibility and wish to exclude it.

        Your Wikki reference suffers from the usual charge of being incomplete, unreliable and hence best avoided.
        I could give you text book derivations of the DALR with no convection term specified but perhaps you would not have ready access to them.

        However here is a more complete derivation (than the wikki sorce) from the IPCC approved NASA source

        http://pds-atmospheres.nmsu.edu/education_and_outreach/encyclopedia/adiabatic_lapse_rate.htm

        Notice there is no convection term included and no requirement that the parcel of air MUST move up or down.

      • Bryan,

        I know that you’ll never learn to read, what I’m writing, but one more time:

        The hydrostatic balance is true at all lapse rates up to the adiabatic lapse rates. Stratosphere is hydrostatically balanced with a temperature that’s increasing with the temperature. An isothermal atmosphere is in hydrostatic balance. An infinity of other temperature profiles is in hydrostatic balance. The hydrostatic balance does not tell, what’s the lapse rate.

        To find the adiabatic lapse it’s necessary to look at the onset of convection. An lapse rate very close to the adiabatic lapse rate is maintained by convection. Without convection we would have on of the infinity of the other lapse rates with hydrostatic balance.

        The derivation you linked has the correct mathematics. The derivation is based on convection, but it’s hidden, as I told before to be often the case. It’s hidden in the fact that dP enters the derivation, because including dP requires considering different altitudes. The word adiabatic is also given in a place that is meaningless without consideration of a process that involves vertical motion of an air parcel, i.e., convection.

        As I said before, the equations can be written without discussing, what they mean and, how they are related to the atmosphere, but that’s worthless until their connection to the atmospheric processes is stated. That cannot be done excluding convection, because several of the equations refer specifically to convective processes, and have no meaning without.

        Physics is not done writing equations found in text books without understanding, what they are about.

      • Pekka says

        ….”The hydrostatic balance is true at all lapse rates up to the adiabatic lapse rates. Stratosphere is hydrostatically balanced with a temperature that’s increasing with the temperature. An isothermal atmosphere is in hydrostatic balance. An infinity of other temperature profiles is in hydrostatic balance. The hydrostatic balance does not tell, what’s the lapse rate.”……

        This cannot be true.
        If there is an unbalanced force on the air parcel
        The parcel will not be in hydrostatic equilibrium
        The lapse rate will not be constant or linear.

        Pekka says

        ……”To find the adiabatic lapse it’s necessary to look at the onset of convection. An lapse rate very close to the adiabatic lapse rate is maintained by convection.”…..

        I assume you mean here that the convection effect is very close to zero.

        Pekka says
        ….”Without convection we would have on of the infinity of the other lapse rates with hydrostatic balance.”……
        This is just an assertion without proof.

        Pekka says
        …”The derivation you linked has the correct mathematics. The derivation is based on convection, but it’s hidden, as I told before to be often the case.”…..

        Its “hidden” because it has tended to zero!

        Pekka says
        ….” It’s hidden in the fact that dP enters the derivation, because including dP requires considering different altitudes.”…

        Its hidden because dp acting up on the air parcel is exactly balanced by the weight (mg) acting down.
        This is hydrostatic equilibrium.

        Pekka says
        “The word adiabatic is also given in a place that is meaningless without consideration of a process that involves vertical motion of an air parcel, i.e., convection.”

        The word adiabatic means that no heat is added to the air parcel

        You seem to be explicitly excluding all possibility of still air.
        This is in contradiction to your earlier comments made on another thread.
        Often discussed in the literature are conditions where you sometimes find dry still air such as the desert and ski resorts.
        The temperature profile is then close to -9.8K/km

      • Are you really unable to understand my English. I don’t believe it’s that bad.

        I have carefully refuted all the claims that you repeat as if I had not written anything.

        Pekka says

        ….”The hydrostatic balance is true at all lapse rates up to the adiabatic lapse rates. Stratosphere is hydrostatically balanced with a temperature that’s increasing with the temperature. An isothermal atmosphere is in hydrostatic balance. An infinity of other temperature profiles is in hydrostatic balance. The hydrostatic balance does not tell, what’s the lapse rate.”……

        This cannot be true.
        If there is an unbalanced force on the air parcel
        The parcel will not be in hydrostatic equilibrium
        The lapse rate will not be constant or linear.

        But it’s true. When the lapse rate has any value less than the adiabatic lapse rate, the hydrostatic balance is stable. There’s no unbalanced force on the air parcel. There’s no convection and the lapse rate is not adiabatic lapse rate, but anything else that is less strongly cooling with altitude or even warming with altitude.

        Pekka says

        ……”To find the adiabatic lapse it’s necessary to look at the onset of convection. An lapse rate very close to the adiabatic lapse rate is maintained by convection.”…..

        I assume you mean here that the convection effect is very close to zero.

        No, it’s as strong as needed to maintain the adiabatic lapse rate, which may mean that it’s very strong, but the convection may also be weak, if more is not needed. That’s the case near the top of troposphere.

        Pekka says
        ….”Without convection we would have on of the infinity of the other lapse rates with hydrostatic balance.”……
        This is just an assertion without proof.

        For you anything is just assertion that you don’t understand. The problem is not in my statement, but in your lacking knowledge of elementary physics. Most of this comment and several of my recent problems have been explaining just this point.

        Pekka says
        …”The derivation you linked has the correct mathematics. The derivation is based on convection, but it’s hidden, as I told before to be often the case.”…..

        Its “hidden” because it has tended to zero!

        What has tended to zero?

        It’s the whole point. As long as you don’t understand that, you don’t understand anything of this.

        Pekka says
        ….” It’s hidden in the fact that dP enters the derivation, because including dP requires considering different altitudes.”…

        Its hidden because dp acting up on the air parcel is exactly balanced by the weight (mg) acting down.
        This is hydrostatic equilibrium.

        No it’s not. The only equation based on hydrostatic equilibrium in your link is that one, where the text tells that it comes from hydrostatic equilibrium (dP = – g rho dz). From that equation alone, it’s not possible to derive the adiabatic lapse rate. The other equations are not expressions of hydrostatic equilibrium and some of them are based on motion of an air parcel, i.e. convection.

        Pekka says
        “The word adiabatic is also given in a place that is meaningless without consideration of a process that involves vertical motion of an air parcel, i.e., convection.”

        The word adiabatic means that no heat is added to the air parcel

        Yes, but that sentence has no meaning without specification of the process, where no heat is added or removed. That process is convection in this case.

        You seem to be explicitly excluding all possibility of still air. This is in contradiction to your earlier comments made on another thread.

        Quite the contrary. I tell that there is an infinity of ways we can obtain still air with hydrodynamic equilibrium, and they all have different lapse rates. The adiabatic lapse rate is the limiting case and exceptional for still air. The air in troposphere is not still.

        Often discussed in the literature are conditions where you sometimes find dry still air such as the desert and ski resorts.
        The temperature profile is then close to -9.8K/km

        That value refers to dry air with convection, not to still air. Still air has often a temperature inversion.

      • Pekka,
        Your English is just fine, and your explanation is clear and correct.

      • Pekka
        This is getting beyond tedious.
        Hydrostatic equilibrium means that the forces acting on the air parcel are balanced.
        Newtons Ist Law
        The parcel will either remain static or move up or down with uniform velocity.
        I am taking about the RARE occasions when the static or near static condition applies.
        You and it appears that Nick Stokes thinks this NEVER happens.
        I have pointed out that in a previous discussion you agreed that it can occur.
        If it does occur and the air is dry you further said it would have the temperature profile of the DALR.
        As far as I know you have not retracted that statement yet you now say something completely different.
        You are now saying that for still or nearly still air the only effect of gravity is to change the density of air.
        I take that to mean that the temperature of such a column would be isothermal.
        Well have a look at this study of almost still air
        nopr.niscair.res.in/bitstream/123456789/…/IJRSP%2037(1)%2064-67.pdf

      • Bryan,

        I have not changed anything of my basic message since these issues first came up long time ago. I have explained them emphasizing different things, but everything has been explaining the same physics.

        There’s not much more that I can do, it’s your task to try to understand the physics.

        Looking at mines is not the best way of learning about the atmosphere, as the air flow is strongly restricted in the mine shafts. Thus much larger temperature gradients (lapse rates) are possible in mines than in open atmosphere.

      • Pekka the last link doesn’t appear to work
        Even putting http:// doesn’t seem to help
        The title, authors and google will get it.
        Pressure and density of air in mines
        Tan , Zhang and Wu

      • Pekka and Nick
        Here is a simpler account of the DALR
        It makes it clear that the speed of the air parcel is almost zero.
        The other link was a bit technical and you might not understand it

        https://courseware.e-education.psu.edu/public/…/Section6p04.html

      • Pekka
        Not a great day for links
        Try the google terms I used to find source
        dry adiabatic lapse rate the up and downs of air parcels

      • Pekka says

        ….”Looking at mines is not the best way of learning about the atmosphere, as the air flow is strongly restricted in the mine shafts. “…..

        Yes but its a great place to study still air!

        This happens rarely in the atmosphere but when it does the temperature profile is the DALR.
        The paper on the mines confirms that the temperature change in the mineshaft is significant and sometimes exceeds 9.8 K/km.
        This proves that your statement about the gravity effect on still air only changing its density is false.

      • Pekka,

        I second the statement that your English is fine. However, it is impossible to get Bryan to understand anything that goes against what he wants to believe.

      • Joel Shore says “Pekka, I second the statement that your English is fine. ”

        I agree Pekka’s English is fine its his physics that crap.

        Pekka also has an inflated sence of his own importance.
        He makes unsubstanciated (and often plain wrong ) statements and expects the world to agree with him.
        On this particular topic he has said nothing that successfully challenges any of my points and instead makes a number of blunders.

        For instance Pekka says;
        ….”When the convection is not present we do not see the effect of gravity anywhere else than in the density profile.”…….
        Is demonstrably wrong.

        I’m afraid Pekka will need to revise his thermodynamics.
        I would recommend
        Heat and Thermodynamics by Zemansky.

        His Buddha like pronouncents are wearing a bit thin.

      • Joel Shore
        The condition of hydrostatic equilibrium if strictly interpreted means that there is no unbalanced force on the air parcel.
        This means that the air parcel has no tendency to move up or move down.
        In the still air condition that means no convection.

        In meteorology and climate science this is called the neutral position.
        If a temperature reading was taken at one point and another reading one kilometre higher there would be a temperature drop of 9.8K.
        There is nothing controversial in this point I am making and you will find it in several IPCC approved publications.

        In looking over several presentations in the literature there is some justification for the confusion of yourself and Pekka on this point.
        Hydrostatic equilibrium is not being interpreted strictly and this wider interpretation allows for out of balance convective driven climates to be described as in hydrostatic equilibrium.
        I feel that this is just another unfortunate example where climate science has picked up some sloppy habits.
        Greenhouse effects that have nothing to do with glasshouses, heat moving spontaneously from colder to warmer objects grey slab models that nobody really believes in. .
        I think that these sloppy tendencies should be discouraged.
        i consider myself a friend of Climate Science and wish the same rigorous standards applied as in Physics and Chemistry

      • Bryan,

        Pekka’s physics is fine. Yours is not. The hydrostatic condition, as we have noted, is just manifest by the relationship between density and pressure. You say:

        The condition of hydrostatic equilibrium if strictly interpreted means that there is no unbalanced force on the air parcel. This means that the air parcel has no tendency to move up or move down.
        In the still air condition that means no convection.

        What you are missing is the concept of an unstable vs a stable
        equilibrium. If you balance a pencil on its tip on the table, then the position of perfect balance is also an equilibrium position. However, you know that in practice, the pencil will fall over. The reason is that this equilibrium condition is unstable to any fluctuations in the pencil’s position.

        Likewise, when the atmosphere’s lapse rate is larger than the relevant adiabatic lapse rate, the atmosphere is unstable to any fluctuations and convection results. When the atmosphere’s lapse rate is smaller than the relevant adiabatic lapse rate, the atmosphere is stable to fluctuations and convection is suppressed. As we have explained to you a thousand times now, the adiabatic lapse rate is thus a stability criterion, i.e., it tells you if the hydrostatic equilibrium in the atmosphere is stable or unstable to convection.

      • Bryan,

        Here is a link to a lecture topic entitled “Adiabatic lapse rate and static stability” which explains how the adiabatic lapse rate is a stability criterion: http://www.public.asu.edu/~hhuang38/mae578_lecture_10.pdf

        Here is another discussion: http://aerosols.ucsd.edu/classes/sio217a/sio217a-F9Lecture07b.pdf

        Isn’t it interesting how these agree with what Pekka and I are saying (despite the fact that I had never seen them until I just did the google search that found them) and not with what you are saying?

      • Joel Shore.
        I said right at the beginning of this marathon thread that convection is not required to derive the formula for the DALR.
        In fact it is the absence of convection that is required.
        You and Pekka have had ample time to produce a derivation which includes convection and you have failed.
        Pekka also has the odd notion that still air under gravity becomes isothermal.
        You think that his physics is fine, what about that point?
        If you are in any doubt, read the two posts I sent to Pekka one about the open atmosphere from which I copied most of this statement

        In the condition of hydrostatic equilibrium there is no unbalanced force on the air parcel.
        This means that the air parcel has no tendency to move up or move down. In the still air condition that means no convection.

        This is confirmed in the paper on the 3.5km mineshaft.
        Unless you can produce a derivation I don’t think that much more can be added
        .

      • Joel
        The reason I spent so much time on the DALR is to test your model atmosphere given on pages 1318,1319,1320 of your paper.

        Under DALR conditions with obviously very little water vapour but the usual CO2.
        There is very little or no convection.

        Yet there is almost a 50K drop in temperature from surface to 5km.
        How on Earth can the CO2 molecules achieve this mighty feat?

        You must realise that the gray slab concentric layer model is physical rubbish.

        Your paper
        Comment on ‘Falsification Of the atmospheric CO2 greenhouse effects within the frame Of Physics’ by Joshua B. Halpern, Chistopher M. Colose, Chris Ho-Stuart, Joel D. Shore, Arthur P. Smith, Jorg Zimmermann.

        http://scienceblogs.com/stoat/upload/2010/05/halpern_etal_2010.pdf

        G&Ts reply
        “Reply to ‘Comment on ‘Falsification Of the atmospheric CO2 greenhouse effects within the frame Of Physics’ by Joshua B. Halpern, Chistopher M. Colose, Chris Ho-Stuart, Joel D. Shore, Arthur P. Smith, Jorg Zimmermann” by Gerhard Gerlich and Ralf D. Tscheuschner, International Journal of Modern Physics B, Vol. 24, No. 10 (2010) pages 1333–1359.

        http://www.skyfall.fr/wp-content/gerlich-reply-to-halpern.pdf

      • Bryan,

        Which part of my point (3) from this post http://judithcurry.com/2011/09/02/update-on-the-spencer-braswell-paper/#comment-107471 do you fail to understand. I will repeat it here for your benefit:

        (3) I have explained to you many times the role of simple models in the physical sciences. The simple concentric slab model is not a model useful for quantitative calculations of the greenhouse effect (which is why Postma’s claim that it is the standard model of the greenhouse effect is simply a convenient falsehood). However, for our purpose, of showing how the greenhouse effect can result in a higher surface temperature while all heat flows are from warm to cold, it is a good model because it is so simple that any sensible person agrees on the solution to the model (since it is calculated with a few lines of algebra).

        You demonstrate again and again that your whole purpose here is only to peddle pseudoscience. It is sad that people such as you find it necessary to prostitute yourselves in this way.

      • Pekka also has the odd notion that still air under gravity becomes isothermal.

        No, Bryan. What Pekka has said is:

        An isothermal atmosphere is in hydrostatic balance. An infinity of other temperature profiles is in hydrostatic balance. The hydrostatic balance does not tell, what’s the lapse rate.

        If you don’t understand the difference between his statement and yours, I have no clue why you think you are fit to render an opinion about anything of substance.

      • Pekka also has the odd notion that still air under gravity becomes isothermal.

        Bryan is right in his comment in the sense that I have written elsewhere that totally insulated gas in gravitational field becomes isothermal, and that a hypothetical atmosphere without any radiative heat transfer would also become nearly isothermal. These observations are, of course, irrelevant for the troposphere, because it’s state is influenced strongly by the radiative energy transfer (and as a further consequence of the radiative energy transfer also to convection). Stratosphere has clear signs of the mechanisms that lead towards isothermal, but it is also influenced strongly by radiative effects, which are, however, very different of those of the troposphere.

        Whether correct physical knowledge and argumentation represent “odd notions”, is another question.

        Picking sentences from various sources and putting them together in a wrong way has always been one of the main tools of people like Bryan in their quest to perpetuate confusion.

      • Pekka says

        …”Bryan is right in his comment in the sense that I have written elsewhere that totally insulated gas in gravitational field becomes isothermal,”…

        However Pekka not just elsewhere, but a few lines above here you say about the present topic of the still atmosphere
        “When the convection is not present we do not see the effect of gravity anywhere else than in the density profile.”
        This can only mean isothermal.

        Of course Joel Shore denies you said it.

        The fact that Joel cannot read has been long established.

        On page 1316 of Joel’s “comment” on the G&T paper (linked above) the authors falsely accuse G&T of saying that colder objects cannot radiate to warmer objects.
        This is despite the fact that diagrams and calculations involving two way radiative transfer are present in several of the pages of the G&T paper.

        The fact that Joel cannot read properly is a personal tragedy for him and I will not comment further on that fact.
        However his obscene language and vile accusations are a disgrace to rational discussion.
        Added to the liar and low moral character label we now must add prostitute.
        Joel, over here is the UK we would describe you as a total plonker.

      • Joel and Pekka
        One last attempt at removing your confusion over the derivation of the formula for the DALR.
        The NASA link I gave above is the best direct approach from first principles using a mainly thermodynamic method.

        An alternative approach is mainly using the kinetic theory of gases in a gravitational field coupled with the Maxwell Boltzman distribution.

        A good account of this method is given in;
        Halliday, Resnick, : Fundamentals of Physics, 6th Edition
        Both methods of course give identical final results

      • Bryan,

        You should accept that I’m an experienced professional physicist, who has also lectured numerous university courses of physics (most extensively Quantum Mechanics, but also some thermodynamics etc.). I do really know, what I’m writing about here. I don’t like referring to authority, but, when the issue is basic and almost elementary physics, I can do that with confidence.

        Asking for better explanation is almost always fine, but insisting that the experts are wrong on basics is not. Furthermore, I’m not the only expert that has told exactly same things, and not a single expert has indicated any acceptance for your points. If you imagine that you have found such acceptance, it’s always just misinterpretation of the text.

      • Pekka says
        You should accept that I’m an experienced professional physicist, who has also lectured numerous university courses of physics (most extensively Quantum Mechanics, but also some thermodynamics etc.). I do really know, what I’m writing about here. I don’t like referring to authority, but,……
        Well Pekka you should realise that this is a bogus reason.
        For instance Professor Claes Johnson and Professor Gerhard Gerlich probably outrank you in the authority stakes.
        Do you simply listen and accept everything they say?
        You said
        …”Bryan is right in his comment in the sense that I have written elsewhere that totally insulated gas in gravitational field becomes isothermal,”…
        I said
        However Pekka not just elsewhere, but a few lines above here you say about the present topic of the still atmosphere
        “When the convection is not present we do not see the effect of gravity anywhere else than in the density profile.”
        This can only mean isothermal.
        I now ask what evidence you have to back up these assertions.

      • Neither of them is a well qualified physicist.

        It’s not worthwhile to continue discussion with you.

      • Joel
        I said as a joke do you still teach the “plumb pudding model” of the atom in Rochester.
        Joel replies
        “Actually, we do still teach students the Bohr Model”
        Hopefully you realise that these models are separated by about 30years?
        However you probably don’t.
        Coupled by your inability to read properly with bare faced arrogance such as;
        “PhD physicists are still capable
        of either purposeful deception or self-delusion beyond my abilities to imagine. Gerlich falls into one of those two categories”

        Its bizarre that someone with such a catalogue of mistakes as yourself spends no time in reflecting what a plonker you appear to other people.
        In pages 1317 to 1321 you reject the influence of gravity on the temperature profile of the troposphere.
        Instead you ascribe the profile as being caused by “greenhouse gases”
        Utter rubbish!

        You could partially redeem yourself by saying which alternative model of the climate you subscribe to as your paper produces two models.

        On page 1325 and 1326 you advance the TOA model.
        Much more plausible and not far from Postma in mechanism.
        However the two models presented in your paper are incompatible.
        The smart money is going on the TOA greenhouse theory.
        The belief that CO2 acting on its own can raise the planets surface temperature from 255K to 288K is a fantasy that makes Santa Claus almost realistic

      • Its bizarre that someone with such a catalogue of mistakes as yourself spends no time in reflecting what a plonker you appear to other people.

        Bryan: Everyone makes mistakes occasionally (although I have hardly made a “catalogue” of them). One important question is how serious the mistakes are. For example, writing a paper where you make the mistake of claiming that a theory that has been around for a century violates the Second Law when it doesn’t is a very big mistake. Writing a paper where you don’t use terminology correctly in a way that is easily remedied by a few word substitutions that will be obvious to most scientists if they are indeed even bothered by it is not such a big mistake, at least outside of the community of pseudoscience peddlers like yourself.

        Another important question is whether one acknowledges, corrects and learns from one’s mistakes. You and G&T have shown no such ability to do so. I have.

        In pages 1317 to 1321 you reject the influence of gravity on the temperature profile of the troposphere.
        Instead you ascribe the profile as being caused by “greenhouse gases”
        Utter rubbish!

        We have explained this to you many times. We do not claim that the temperature profile is due to greenhouse gases. However, the temperature of the surface is due to greenhouse gases. The temperature profile up from there is determined by the fact that the atmosphere is strongly heated from below coupled with the fact that the adiabatic lapse rate provides a stability limit on the actual lapse rate (because of instability to convection for higher lapse rate).

        The notion that somehow gravity determines the surface temperature doesn’t even satisfy the 1st Law of Thermodynamics, i.e., it violates conservation of energy.

        You could partially redeem yourself by saying which alternative model of the climate you subscribe to as your paper produces two models.

        On page 1325 and 1326 you advance the TOA model.
        Much more plausible and not far from Postma in mechanism.
        However the two models presented in your paper are incompatible.
        The smart money is going on the TOA greenhouse theory.
        The belief that CO2 acting on its own can raise the planets surface temperature from 255K to 288K is a fantasy that makes Santa Claus almost realistic

        (1) One doesn’t subscribe to one model or another model. One uses models for different purposes. A simple model of the greenhouse effect is useful for basic illustrative purposes. A more complicated model, considering convection and radiation and looking at the energy balance at the top of the atmosphere is useful for a more advanced understanding of the greenhouse effect and for quantitative calculations. The models are not incompatible; they are different degrees of approximation to the real world useful for different purposes.

        (2) Any real science is still very far from the “Postma mechanism” because Postma is nonsense. By ignoring how the effective radiating layer is set by the optical properties of the atmosphere to infrared radiation, Postma does the equivalent of claiming that the rooster crowing causes the sun to rise.

        (3) You are attacking a strawman when you say that the notion that “CO2 acting on its own can raise the planets surface temperature from 255K to 288K” is a fantasy. The difference in the surface temperature between those two values is provided by all the elements of the atmosphere that absorb outgoing terrestrial IR radiation, which includes clouds, water vapor, CO2, and the other lesser greenhouse gases. The direct radiative contribution of the CO2 is somewhere roughly around 20% of this. That being said, the work of Lacis et al. ( http://www.sciencemag.org/content/330/6002/356.abstract ) argues that the non-condensable greenhouse gases provided the temperature necessary for water vapor (and clouds) to make their significant contribution to the greenhouse effect. And, they predict a temperature decrease that is not too different from what you quoted if you remove the non-condensable GHGs because of the resulting decrease in water vapor in the atmosphere.

      • Here’s a correctly-formatted version of my last post.

        Its bizarre that someone with such a catalogue of mistakes as yourself spends no time in reflecting what a plonker you appear to other people.

        Bryan: Everyone makes mistakes occasionally (although I have hardly made a “catalogue” of them). One important question is how serious the mistakes are. For example, writing a paper where you make the mistake of claiming that a theory that has been around for a century violates the Second Law when it doesn’t is a very big mistake. Writing a paper where you don’t use terminology correctly in a way that is easily remedied by a few word substitutions that will be obvious to most scientists if they are indeed even bothered by it is not such a big mistake, at least outside of the community of pseudoscience peddlers like yourself.

        Another important question is whether one acknowledges, corrects and learns from one’s mistakes. You and G&T have shown no such ability to do so. I have.

        In pages 1317 to 1321 you reject the influence of gravity on the temperature profile of the troposphere.
        Instead you ascribe the profile as being caused by “greenhouse gases”
        Utter rubbish!

        We have explained this to you many times. We do not claim that the temperature profile is due to greenhouse gases. However, the temperature of the surface is due to greenhouse gases. The temperature profile up from there is determined by the fact that the atmosphere is strongly heated from below coupled with the fact that the adiabatic lapse rate provides a stability limit on the actual lapse rate (because of instability to convection for higher lapse rate).

        The notion that somehow gravity determines the surface temperature doesn’t even satisfy the 1st Law of Thermodynamics, i.e., it violates conservation of energy.

        You could partially redeem yourself by saying which alternative model of the climate you subscribe to as your paper produces two models.

        On page 1325 and 1326 you advance the TOA model.
        Much more plausible and not far from Postma in mechanism.
        However the two models presented in your paper are incompatible.
        The smart money is going on the TOA greenhouse theory.
        The belief that CO2 acting on its own can raise the planets surface temperature from 255K to 288K is a fantasy that makes Santa Claus almost realistic

        (1) One doesn’t subscribe to one model or another model. One uses models for different purposes. A simple model of the greenhouse effect is useful for basic illustrative purposes. A more complicated model, considering convection and radiation and looking at the energy balance at the top of the atmosphere is useful for a more advanced understanding of the greenhouse effect and for quantitative calculations. The models are not incompatible; they are different degrees of approximation to the real world useful for different purposes.

        (2) Any real science is still very far from the “Postma mechanism” because Postma is nonsense. By ignoring how the effective radiating layer is set by the optical properties of the atmosphere to infrared radiation, Postma does the equivalent of claiming that the rooster crowing causes the sun to rise.

        (3) You are attacking a strawman when you say that the notion that “CO2 acting on its own can raise the planets surface temperature from 255K to 288K” is a fantasy. The difference in the surface temperature between those two values is provided by all the elements of the atmosphere that absorb outgoing terrestrial IR radiation, which includes clouds, water vapor, CO2, and the other lesser greenhouse gases. The direct radiative contribution of the CO2 is somewhere roughly around 20% of this. That being said, the work of Lacis et al. ( http://www.sciencemag.org/content/330/6002/356.abstract ) argues that the non-condensable greenhouse gases provided the temperature necessary for water vapor (and clouds) to make their significant contribution to the greenhouse effect. And, they predict a temperature decrease that is not too different from what you quoted if you remove the non-condensable GHGs because of the resulting decrease in water vapor in the atmosphere.

      • simon abingdon

        Too late Joel, they’ve all gone to the latest thread.

      • Joel says of his “comment” paper ( linked below)

        ” I have explained to you many times the role of simple models in the physical sciences. The simple concentric slab model is not a model useful for quantitative calculations of the greenhouse effect (which is why Postma’s claim that it is the standard model of the greenhouse effect is simply a convenient falsehood). However, for our purpose, of showing how the greenhouse effect can result in a higher surface temperature while all heat flows are from warm to cold, it is a good model because it is so simple that any sensible person agrees on the solution to the model (since it is calculated with a few lines of algebra).”

        Joel it is of no use whatsoever for anything other than to further confuse the bewildered.
        You spent 4 pages on it!
        Nobody expects 3 figure accuracy but its reasonable to ask if it has ANY PHYSICAL REALITY WHATSOEVER?

        I gave you the example of the DALR still air climate where the CO2 molecules all on their own will have to counter a nearly 50K drop in temperature from 5Km to Earth surface.
        Your model is total junk and most rational IPCC advocates would not associate themselves with it.
        However you belong to the extreme end of the greenhouse theory spectrum.
        You feel that there is still a bit of propaganda life in the old model yet.
        Over at Rochester you probably teach the plumb pudding model of the atom as state of the art as well.

      • Bryan,

        (1) We spent many pages on this because we were trying to explain elementary concepts involving radiative energy transfers and the 2nd Law to people who were (purposely?) misrepresenting it. We did not spend many pages on it because it is a quantitatively accurate model of the greenhouse effect.

        (2) The CO2 molecules don’t have to counter anything. The reason that the lapse rate in the troposphere is somewhere between the values of a dry and saturated adiabatic lapse rate is because the troposphere is strongly heated from below (by both solar radiation absorbed by the earth and infrared radiation emitted by the atmosphere and absorbed by the earth), coupled with the fact that convection limits the lapse rate so that it cannot be larger than the relevant adiabatic lapse rate. It is not, as you seem to think, because there is some magically reason why the atmosphere has to have a lapse rate equal to the adiabatic lapse rate; it does not have to…and, indeed, in the stratosphere (for example), it does not have such a lapse rate.

        (3) Since the model that we looked at does not include convection, it will allow lapse rates to exceed the relevant adiabatic lapse rate. (Actually, since the height of the shell above the surface is not even defined in the model, it really doesn’t make sense to even talk about a lapse rate within this simple model.) In a more realistic model that includes convection, this will not happen because convection will occur and reduce the lapse rate back down to the adiabatic lapse rate.

        (4) Actually, we do still teach students the Bohr Model of the hydrogen atom even though it is not the most state-of-the-art model that we have. It is still useful for some purposes. One does not use a state-of-the-art quantum mechanics calculation to explain very elementary issues in atomic physics. Likewise, one does not use a state-of-the-art line-by-line convective-radiative model of the greenhouse effect to explain elementary qualitative issues involving the relation to the Second Law of Thermodynamics.

      • Pekka says
        That Professor of Mathematical Physics Gerhard Gerlich at a German University is not a well qualified physicist.
        What stupendous arrogance.
        Indeed that says it all!
        There’s nothing more to be said!

      • I admit that I didn’t remember correctly his background, but that doesn’t help, when he appears as an author of such crap as his most widely known paper is.

      • PhD physicists are still capable of either purposeful deception or self-delusion beyond my abilities to imagine. Gerlich falls into one of those two categories. Each person can judge for themselves which explanation is the most likely.

      • Joel Shore
        Ive just been reading some early history of thermodynamics.
        The belief in the caloric theory was almost universal , even Carnot subscribed to it.
        It wasn’t a stupid theory.
        It explained a lot of observable phenomena.
        Count Rumford and the mechanical equivalent of heat must have seemed like “vodoo science” when first aired.

        However the greenhouse theory has almost no facts to back it up!

        You say
        ” However, the temperature of the surface is due to greenhouse gases.”

        Instead of being at 255K the surface is at 288K because of greenhouse gases.
        On a dry cloudless day with still air (little or no convection) then CO2 making up 0.037% of the atmosphere accumplises this herculean feat.

        It does…….. if you believe in fairy tales.

        Instead Postma points out the Earth surface which at 30C overall sun facing average is responsible.
        The solar energy is retained in the surface and oceans and atmosphere by several mechanisms.
        The thermodynamically derived lapse rate gives the temperature profile at some point on the troposphere the equivalent radiation level to space is to be found.
        It seems possible to have a rational discussion on whether more CO2 would have a significant effect or not .
        These discussions are usually labelled the TOA effect and your paper briefly touched on this point.

        However you gray slab model is preposterous and should be ditched it does not have the more useful aspects of say the caloric theory to excuse it.
        I read a quote by Ray Pierrehumbert and it would seem he is closer to Postmas model than to your gray slab nonsense.

        You say that G&T were claiming that a theory that has been around for a century violates the Second Law when it doesn’t is a very big mistake.
        There are some greenhouse theories that describe the atmosphere as being like a heat pump.
        For instance Nullis in Verba has such ideas and perhaps also Nick Stokes.
        Nobody is daft enough to say of course that their own pet theory violates the second law.
        Some people like Halpern et al by a clumsy use of language have inadvertently contradicted the second law.

        Whose fault is it that G&T accepted that when you said heat can travel spontaneously from a cold object to a hotter object that you really meant it.

        You say
        “Another important question is whether one acknowledges, corrects and learns from one’s mistakes.”
        Very commendable
        So you intend to write to IJMP to correct your paper.
        I think that your reputation with the readership would be improved.

        In pages 1317 to 1321 you reject the influence of gravity on the temperature profile of the troposphere this is despite the DALR formula being -g/Cp
        You say
        “The notion that somehow gravity determines the surface temperature doesn’t even satisfy the 1st Law of Thermodynamics, i.e., it violates conservation of energy.”
        It influences the temperature profile, is what I said.
        Real physics, as opposed to grey slab nonsense
        The solar contribution, lapse rate and radiative emissions to space are the major factors that determine the temperature profile from surface to emission to space.

        You say
        “One doesn’t subscribe to one model or another model. One uses models for different purposes. A simple model of the greenhouse effect is useful for basic illustrative purposes. A more complicated model, considering convection and radiation and looking at the energy balance at the top of the atmosphere is useful for a more advanced understanding of the greenhouse effect and for quantitative calculations. The models are not incompatible; they are different degrees of approximation to the real world useful for different purposes.”

        Notice how your obsession with radiation and particularly the radiative effects of CO2 distort reality.
        No mention of conduction effects in the atmosphere.
        No mention of the thermal inertia of the Oceans Land Mass or the insulative properties of N2 and O2.
        Its as if you have swallowed hook line and sinker the sales pitch of George Soros and other carbon trading hedge funds.
        Windfarm and Solar Panel salesmen supply the “science” and you cannot see though the transparent nonsense that is the greenhouse theory

  44. Edward Burgener P Eng(ret)

    I can’t believe the low level of discussion on this blog. Joshua is the worst. Absolutely nothing but red herrings to waste everyones time. The WUWT discussion is more balanced.

    Here is my comment. The editor disgraced himself in the face of the warmist criticizm. The correct action was to invite rebuttal papers, and to have them subjected to the ”balanced’ peer review that he believes is appropriate. Balanced peer review by the way does not allow for sandbagging, trashing, ‘going to town’or other disruptive activities, but clear, precise, honest, review.

    Only hard cold real world data can disprove this paper, no way are models able to do it(that would be belief over fact). The IPCC MUST accept that the models are wrong, unless real world data in a properly reviewed paper proves otherwise.

    Finally, with this resignation, we are moving back into the dark ages. What a cowardly act! Shame!!!

    • You have an interesting definition of “balanced”.

    • It was an odd decision to step down. As an online publication there could have been commentary by selected participants to deal with issues. Post publication review without the long drawn out peer reviewed publication of rebuttals process.

    • Edward,

      The editor disgraced himself in the face of the warmist criticizm.

      It seems to me that to reach such a conclusion, you must be determining that the editor’s explanation cannot be accepted at face value. It is not entirely clear to me, the full explanation for his resignation – but I see no reason to dismiss the reasons he offered in favor of an analysis based purely on conjecture about how he feels about “climate skeptics,” or unethical pressure he received from the “climate establishment.”

      Here’s what I think:

      An editor published a paper by a well-known “climate skeptic” scientist. Even the most moderate amount of research imaginable would have made Spencer’s standing in the climate debate abundantly clear.

      Now if an editor approves of the publishing of a paper he is on record as validating, and subsequent to that he receives unethical treatment and threats to his career, it would seem to me that his most expedient course of action would be to publicize the unethical treatment and threats to show that his original decision was valid.

      But what we have are claims that rather than take such a course of action, he bowed to that unethical and threatening treatment, and instead came out and publically announced that he failed to carry out his responsibilities properly, and that his mistakes were to such a degree that he felt compelled to resign as a result.

      On the one hand he could have denounced unethical treatment and reaffirmed that his initial decision was correct.

      On the other hand, he could hide unethical treatment and publicly state a failure.

      Now some might say that he’s just a warmist who’s “taking one for the team” and “falling on his sword.”

      Ok, – but if that’s the case, then why did he approve the publishing of the paper in the first place? Because he was completely unaware of Spencer’s standing in the climate debate? That seems highly implausible to me.

      • Nullius in Verba

        The hypothesis would be that the threats were to the reputation of his journal. He’s evidently not a warmist, or he wouldn’t have published it in the first place. He followed the usual procedure, and got positive peer-reviews. There was nothing wrong with what he did.

        I think that not having been directly involved in the climate wars, he naively assumed that a paper that if a paper passes the normal peer-review process, like any other paper, then like any other paper it ought to be published. He no doubt assumed that that publishing papers to be debated and disagreed with as necessary was as normal in climate science as in the rest of science.

        I think he discovered otherwise – I think he was told that publishing sceptical papers is seen as evidence of corrupt or incompetent review, that journals that would consider publishing such material are held in contempt, and that it has all been rebutted anyway on RealClimate.

        The magazine’s reputation is being threatened (which for a new journal is a serious matter), and fighting it would only make it worse. (Rather than neutrality, it would be seen as taking sides with the sceptics.) So they have to do something to try to fix the damage. They can’t withdraw the paper or publish responses because there’s nothing but a partisan blog post to justify that, so the editor moves to a different job, calls it a resignation, and hopes his grovelling apology will be enough to call off the dogs.

        We all remember Tom Wigley’s call to have an editor “ousted” for publishing sceptical papers. We’ve seen no reason to think their attitude has changed.

      • Nellius –

        IMO – thanks for your explanation. IMO – it is at least more plausible than some of the speculation that I’ve seen. But still…

        I think that not having been directly involved in the climate wars, he naively assumed that a paper that if a paper passes the normal peer-review process, … I think he was told that publishing sceptical papers is seen as evidence of corrupt or incompetent review, that journals that would consider publishing such material are held in contempt, and that it has all been rebutted anyway on
        RealClimate.

        So my problems with your speculation are threefold:

        First, you are assuming a naivete on the part of Wagner without really knowing to what degree, if any, he was unaware of the nature of the climate debate. Secondly, you are assuming that he would need to be “told” something that most skeptics contend is abundantly obvious, widespread, and universal (except for when the studies they do approve of are published). So those both seem implausible to me.

        Third – as I see it, your speculation is based on the notion that he would willingly subvert what he believed to be the appropriate scientific publishing process merely for the sake of preserving the reputation of his journal – even though his belief would dictate that a reputation thus protected would be a worthless: a journal that would jettison proper scientific publishing procedures merely for the sake of preserving a false reputation.

        Further, there is nothing in his act of resignation that would preserve his journal’s reputation anyway. He has come out and said that the review process at his journal was deeply flawed – to the extent that he felt compelled to resign. How would anyone believe that to be the way to preserve the journal’s reputation?

      • Nullius in Verba

        “First, you are assuming a naivete on the part of Wagner without really knowing to what degree, if any, he was unaware of the nature of the climate debate.”

        I expect he knew the area was controversial and violently contested, but had probably bought the story that the only reason sceptics rarely got published was because most of what they wrote failed peer-review. Since the paper he had got had passed peer review, what would be the problem with publishing it?

        “Secondly, you are assuming that he would need to be “told” something that most skeptics contend is abundantly obvious, widespread, and universal”

        They’re widespread in the climate specialist literature. That’s why Spencer had to find a journal outside the tight and cozy world of the climate journals.

        Most scientists in other fields assume that climate science works like the rest of science. That’s why so many of them accept the consensus without checking – because in any normal area of science the only people who would face so much difficulty getting published would be the genuine cranks. They don’t believe the claims of publication bias, and it comes as something of a shock to them to find out they’re at least partially true.

        “Third – as I see it, your speculation is based on the notion that he would willingly subvert what he believed to be the appropriate scientific publishing process merely for the sake of preserving the reputation of his journal – even though his belief would dictate that a reputation thus protected would be a worthless: a journal that would jettison proper scientific publishing procedures merely for the sake of preserving a false reputation.”

        Depends on whether you’re an idealist or a businessman. As a matter of scientific principle, I agree. But when it’s a fight you know you can’t win, and you know that if you bend a bit now you can go back to doing things properly later, it takes a brave man to throw away several dozen people’s jobs and your employer’s investment on a matter of personal principle. There are people I know who would, but I know an awful lot of people who wouldn’t. We’re all human. And frankly, even as a sceptic who cares about this sort of stuff, I’d have to think long and hard myself before risking other people’s jobs on it.

        In the long run, of course, I expect those who stood up for their principles will survive best when science finally corrects itself. But that’s many years away yet.

        It’s a hypothesis I offer for consideration, that I consider plausible. I don’t know that that’s what’s going on.

      • I expect he knew the area was controversial and violently contested, but had probably bought the story that the only reason sceptics rarely got published was because most of what they wrote failed peer-review.

        There’s a lot of speculation there, for which you have no direct evidence, but let’s explore it nonetheless:

        So – he published a paper by a well-known “skeptic” scientist, because he accepts a (what you consider to be mistaken) meme that the science of “skeptical” climate scientists is, by definition, invalid from a scientific perspective? So (like “most” scientists who haven’t explored it situation in depth) he accepted the view that the work of climate “skeptics” is invalid – but he published the work of one of the most prominent climate “skeptics”?

        And you’re assuming that he’s only heard the meme from one side of the debate; he hasn’t heard that “skeptics” claim that the peer review process is rigged to make it seem that the work of “skeptical” scientists is invalid in order to advance a tribal/political agenda? You are assuming that he’s never watched Fox News, heard Glenn Beck, or Rush, or Hannity, or Medved, or Rick Perry, or Michelle Bachmann, or Anthony Watts, or Judith Curry, or Ann Coulter, etc., speak about how the publishing process in science related to climate has been corrupted?

        Most scientists in other fields assume that climate science works like the rest of science. That’s why so many of them accept the consensus without checking – because in any normal area of science the only people who would face so much difficulty getting published would be the genuine cranks.

        So, here you distinguish yourself from a very large segment of Judith’s “denizens,” who claim that the entire peer review process is corrupted by virtue of structural/conceptual deficiencies and overtly political corrupting influences? Here, you distinguish yourself from a very large segment of Judith’s “denizens” who attribute the problems in climate science to a very pervasive problem of “elitist” scientists, out of touch with real world scientific analyses as seen in “engineering quality’ science (just coincidental to the fact that many of those same “denizens” are engineers, or course), who are hiding behind a walls built by academia and self-serving definitions of expertise? So the problem actually isn’t the process of peer review in and of itself (or should I say “pal review” as it is often called in these and other “skeptical” pages), or a system that enables indefensible corruption of science in general by leftward leaning, government propped-up scientists, but a specific cabal of climate scientists who have turned that one specific area of science into a vehicle to advance their agenda – and who have the ability to stretch the tentacles of their corrupted domain out to touch journals that don’t publish in their domain? As Nick Stokes points out below – the climate scientists of which you speak have no leverage over the journal in question as they would have no reason (unless they were writing a paper specifically related to remote sensing – an unlikely event) to publish in that journal.

        They don’t believe the claims of publication bias, and it comes as something of a shock to them to find out they’re at least partially true.

        OK – now I’m really lost. So Wagner., someone who Okay-ed the publication of a paper written by one of the most well-known “skeptical” climate scientists, was “shocked” to find out that the charges of publication bias are, in fact, true, (how did he find this out – by seeing the reaction to Spencer’s paper?) and in response resigned and indicated that there were, in fact, problems with the publication process that approved the “skeptical” paper that was published in his journal. And he accepted responsibility for those problems. So finding problems with the publication process at his own journal (problems that enabled a “skeptical” paper to be published) showed him the shocking reality that there is a bias against publishing skeptical papers?

        I honestly can’t even find a ostensible logical thread in that argument. I clearly must have misunderstood your point – as I don’t think that could possibly be your argument. I don’t want to build a straw man here, but I don’t see how else to interpret what you wrote, so I need you to clarify for me a bit.

        But when it’s a fight you know you can’t win, and you know that if you bend a bit now you can go back to doing things properly later, it takes a brave man to throw away several dozen people’s jobs and your employer’s investment on a matter of personal principle.

        In my analysis, if there is a question of saving jobs (and assuming the speculation by “skeptics” on the situation), Wagner’s best bet would have been to expose any pressure or threats he was receiving to subvert proper scientific publishing processes rather than to publicly announce that the publication process at his journal was so poorly carried out that he felt the need to resign as editor-in-chief. I do not see how, given the speculation as outlined often in these threads, from a business perspective his decision to resign makes any sense, whatsoever.

      • Nullius in Verba

        “So – he published a paper by a well-known “skeptic” scientist, because he accepts a (what you consider to be mistaken) meme that the science of “skeptical” climate scientists is, by definition, invalid from a scientific perspective?”

        No. I know a fair number of scientists who have no particular interest in the climate debate. They see what they read in the papers and on TV, like everyone else. They’ve heard that there are crazy people out there who oppose it all, but have been told it’s because they’re amateurs with no expertise. It is commonly claimed that the journals are open to any of them who can pass normal peer-review – and the fact that they haven’t is used as a major plank in the argument that there’s therefore nothing to their claims. In short, he believes the “if sceptics had a point they’d be able to publish it and become famous” argument that has for so long been used against sceptics.

        “And you’re assuming that he’s only heard the meme from one side of the debate; he hasn’t heard that “skeptics” claim that the peer review process is rigged to make it seem that the work of “skeptical” scientists is invalid in order to advance a tribal/political agenda?”

        A lot of people haven’t. I doubt he watches much Fox, being Austrian. And if he has, he’s been told that it’s not true.

        Even Judith, who was no stranger to the climate debate, was shocked by what she read in Climategate.

        “So, here you distinguish yourself from a very large segment of Judith’s “denizens,” who claim that the entire peer review process is corrupted by virtue of structural/conceptual deficiencies and overtly political corrupting influences?”

        It depends what you think its purpose is. My view is that the purpose of journal peer review is editorial – it is a quick check to see that the paper is novel, interesting, looks sensible, and provides enough information for people to be able to understand, check, replicate, or follow up on. It isn’t a check on its truth, and was never meant to be. Journals are aggregators, who offer the service of collating papers that it is worth their audience’s time to read. They are not the arbiters of scientific truth.

        In climate science, they not only claim to be arbiters, but act as gatekeepers against heresy. The same sort of behaviour does happen elsewhere, but rarely to anything like the same extent.

        “As Nick Stokes points out below – the climate scientists of which you speak have no leverage over the journal in question”

        All they have to do is to circulate stories that they’re not properly peer-reviewed, that they’ll publish any old rubbish, that they publish cranks and the discredited. A journal’s reputation is it’s source of revenue.

        “(how did he find this out – by seeing the reaction to Spencer’s paper?)”

        By being leant on. I’ve no doubt he’s received more than a few emails on the subject, crying shame on him, and pointing to the RealClimate article for backup.

        “and indicated that there were, in fact, problems with the publication process that approved the “skeptical” paper that was published in his journal.”

        He was careful to claim that the normal publication process was followed fully and correctly, that the possible selection of sceptical referees was unintentional, and that it was primarily the fault of the authors for not giving the context.

        “So finding problems with the publication process at his own journal (problems that enabled a “skeptical” paper to be published) showed him the shocking reality that there is a bias against publishing skeptical papers?”

        No, he would have been surprised to find himself and his journal’s reputation attacked for simply publishing a perfectly reasonable paper that had passed a perfectly normal peer review. He’d done nothing wrong, and yet here was the mob baying for blood.

        “Wagner’s best bet would have been to expose any pressure or threats he was receiving to subvert proper scientific publishing processes rather than to publicly announce that the publication process at his journal was so poorly carried out that he felt the need to resign as editor-in-chief.”

        You can’t prove that you’re not one of those wicked sceptics by defending the publication of a sceptic paper as having been the right thing to do! It would make you look like you was really a sceptic after all, and things would go from bad to worse. You can’t reason with the mob, persuade them that you was right and they were wrong. Your only option is to confess and recant, and then prove to them that the problem has been fixed and everything is fine now. Resignations of senior people is a classic way to do that.

        So now, instead of debunking S&B by claiming it was published in a garbage journal, they can debunk it by saying it was the paper the journal editor resigned over, and they’ll leave the journal alone.

  45. “…the editorial team unintentionally selected three reviewers who probably share some climate sceptic notions of the authors…”

    All I had to see was the word “notions” used to denigrate AGW skepticism, to understand where Dr. Wagner’s loyalties are.

    When all is said and done, it is the perversion of the peer review process that will be the undoing of the entire field of “climate science”.

  46. When the huffing and puffing and blowing down of editor’s houses has stopped, we will await the actual scientific response to the Spencer-Braswell paper from his opponents. If there is going to be one…

    Maybe the alarmists will just rely on their ability to scare journals into submission, and force the resignations of those who transgress. Nothing has changed since climategate, it’s business as usual.

    Models say cloud feedback is positive. Reality says otherwise.

    • There cannot be a scientific response from the Warmista. As Wolfgang wrote:

      “The use of satellite data to check the functionality of all sorts of geophysical models is therefore a very important part of our work. But it should not be done in isolation by the remote sensing scientists. Interdisciplinary cooperation with modelers is required in order to develop a joint understanding of where and why models deviate from satellite data.”

      Now, who do you think told him that? And what did they tell him? They told him that data in papers submitted by non-modelers must be pre-approved by modelers. You see, there is this thing called a “joint understanding” between modelers and non-modelers which is necessarily superior to any understanding attained by non-modelers alone.

      Never in the history of science or peer review has there been such a brazen effort to suppress criticism of one’s own work. In addition, they have trashed scientific method by insisting that data have no integrity of their own and can be taken seriously only as they are understood within the context of models. They are rejecting the context of scientific method as it has been understood since Galileo. And well they should, because none of their work complies with scientific method.

      • Yes, it seems it’s ok for Mann to invent spurious statistical ‘techniques’ to massage over-weighted proxy data into the right shape without the required presence of competent statisticians, but woe betide any empirical observer if he misunderstands his role and gets published without the nod from the high priesthood of AGW unreality.

        But the data are surely wrong!
        – Kevin Trenberth -

      • I find it hilarious that it’s even suggested that modelers should be consulted about real world measurements that their models will be judged upon. It’d be like proponents of String Theory being given an editorial veto over what CERN can publish so they don’t hurt their feelings.

        It’s up to the modellers to reconcile where their theory went sideways when compared with reality…

      • Extremely well said! It is time for the modelers to do what they should have done years ago, namely, explicate (look up the word if necessary) their claims about the “fit” between model and data In The Context of Scientific Method. They adamantly refuse to do so. The case in question is yet another refusal. Rather than explain their view of the relationship between Spencer’s data and their models in the context of scientific method they insist that Spencer’s paper should be retracted. Insisting on the retraction is another effort to move scientific method offstage. Trenberth, guys, you have to explain what is wrong with Spencer’s data. That is your duty as scientists. You cannot demand pre-approval of data submitted to journals.

  47. Interesting thought here…I have an integral equation, (hard to express in ASCII form, but I will try. Lower limit 0, upper limit infinity. Integrand = (1/(1-exp(-x))*dx

    Now before you all “turn off”, I’m going to make a point about “applied intelligence” and the LIMITATIONS OF MANY HIGH LEVEL ACADEMICS.

    The above integral appears in a 1992 Springer Verlang textbook on Quantum Mechanics. It appears so often in QM, that the author of the book
    ttakes an aside and “solves” it. He does that by setting up the exponetial as an infinite series and then doing the systematic integration (which is rather trival) on each part of the infinite series. He then derives the result as an “infinite series” and notes, “This series can be found in a variety of tables..it converges to (Blank*Pi/Blah) (I forgot the exact numbers.

    So here’s a question to all you “high level academics”. What is the REAL method to solve this integral with a “pole” (that, is a clue)? And if you can’t figure this out, how the HECK can you consider yourselves capable of mathematically modling the atmosphere?

    • Nullius in Verba

      Did you transcribe the integral correctly? 1/(1-exp(-x)) is close to 1 over most of the positive axis, with a 1/x type pole at the origin. Integrating 1 over any interval extending to infinity diverges, and the integral of the 1/x pole would look something like ln(x) which again diverges to infinity when integrated starting from zero. I can’t imagine any textbook author thinking it was integrable.

      And what does this have to do with the subject of the post?

    • So, let me get the logic here straight: Because there exists a book on quantum mechanics that doesn’t solve an integral by the method you think is most practical and efficient, and both the writer and apparently many climate scientists are what the writer calls “high level academics”, it therefore follows that climate scientists can’t be trusted?

      You may understand integration but apparently you have failed basic logic.

      • The second “writer” in my last sentence should be “poster”. (And, while we’re at it, the first “writer” might more precisely be called “author”).

    • Oh…and I also agree with “Nullius in Verba” that your integral would not have a finite value. Perhaps you meant the integral of 1/(1+exp(x)), which would have a finite value and would also have some poles in the complex plane?

  48. Hi Judy – I have posted on this resignation on my weblog – http://pielkeclimatesci.wordpress.com/2011/09/02/comment-on-the-resignation-of-wolfgang-wagner-as-editor-in-chief-of-the-journal-remote-sensing-in-response-to-the-publication-of-spencer-and-braswell-2011/

    Having served as Chief Editor of the MWR and of JAS, this is not how controversial papers should be handled. A Comment/Reply set of articles should be submitted to Remote Sensing as we do with the AMS journals. If Spencer and Braswell’s paper has fundamental flaws, let these be documented in the peer reviewed literature. If they do not, than this resignation will just be another example of the bias that is permeating the peer review process.

    Roger

    • So a skeptic thought crime passed peer review and by Wagner’s post, he had to pay with his job. He sounds like he just left Room 101 in his statement.

      Cabal? There ain’t no stinking cabal to see here, move along!

    • Bravo Dr. Pielke!

      But watch out for Luoise, she’ll wanna know if you are posting this advertisement for your weblog at “other” sites.

      LOL!

    • “Wagner is not an expert on the subject of the Spencer and Braswell paper, so he must have relied on input from individuals who were critical of their paper.”

      Hmmmm. I wonder if these individuals had any inappropriate “notions”.

    • Roger, enjoy your blog & have your son’s book.

      Is it the peer review process that is biased? It would be useful to understand the process that changed the editor’s mind. I worry that it is more that just the peer review process that is corrupt. What possible forces could have been created on the editor to cause him to behave in this fashion? If the pressures were unusual, now that he has resigned, should we expect a change of heart revelation from him?

      The IPCC position is politics & at its core is about the redistribution, or maintenance, of wealth.

      Paul

    • I read your article and it is clearly the most important article about professionalism and good scientific practices in the realm of science journals. You correctly identify many important problems in this process. I will not comment further now because your paper is a must read and everyone should go read it.

    • Dr. Pielke:
      Yours is the most coherent response to this debacle that I have read to date. Many thanks.

    • You and Judith have both ignored Wagner’s clear statement that the reviewers failed at their job and were, in hindsight, an inappropriate selection who all share a viewpoint that is in a tiny, marginal and sub-par minority relative to the consensus.

      “But, as the case presents itself now, the editorial team unintentionally selected three reviewers who probably share some climate sceptic notions of the authors.”

      http://www.skepticalscience.com/global-warming-scientific-consensus-intermediate.htm

      Randomly selecting one climate denier from the field obviously has probability no more than 0.03. The probability of three such selections consecutively is no more than 0.03^3 = 0.000027. The reviewers were all climate deniers, and therefore cherry-picked — by somebody! — to ensure publication with probability at least 1 – 0.000027 = 99.9963%, and Wagner failed to prevent it.

      That is absolutely cause for resignation.

      • A little paranoia there SS?? Big Brother always worries. LOL

      • This appears to be another example of the data disagreeing with the models. “Our models require that only 3% are deniers, therefore …. Doesn’t matter that the 3% number came from a bogus study. It has now been incorporated in our model and thus must be treated as revealed truth. Any disagreement with the real world will require revisions of the real world.”

      • Ah, the old “prosecutor’s fallacy”. The probability of it happening are so low that it could not have happened by chance. Tell that to the British mothers who were imprisoned after being wrongfully convicted of murdering their babies.
        You are assuming foul play where none existed.

    • Richard Saumarez

      Dr Pielke,

      I absolutely agree. Either the S&B paper will stand on its merits or it can be falsified.

      This should be done in the open scientific literature.

  49. This is called taking one for the team.

    He’s trying to pull a Von Storch.

    Hans has way more class.

    • But Mosh, why don’t we see American EiChiefs falling on their swords?

      • The arm twisting will have been to try to force Wagner to retract the paper.
        By resigning, he has ensured the paper will not be retracted, but instead will gain more publicity and the alarmists are painted into a corner where they have to attempt a rebuttal of the science Spencer and Braswell have presented.

        Well done Wagner!

      • Excellent point! However, I bet that the Warmista believe that their power is so great that they can stonewall the whole thing. I bet they never publish a paper that addresses the data in Spencer’s paper. Corruption is way deep already.

      • tallbloke:
        You may be correct as to the consequences, but there is nothing in what Dr Wagner wrote that suggests anything of the kind. You are far more Machiavellian than Dr Wagner.

      • Better yet, Spenser and Braswell will not be allowed to publish a rebuttle to the rebuttle. The rebuttle will come just in time for the AR5 cut off, so the rebuttle to spenser will be the last word. And the argument will be made that they dont get to do a rebuttle to the rebuttle because the paper never should have been published in the first place.

        From this point forward all they are thinking about is the Ar5 deadline. We know they think about these things bt reading overpecks emails.

        This is known as a process trick. or gaming the system. not illegal, not unethical, old boys network. hehe.

      • This looks the most credible explanation to me Steve. Thanks for putting it in the AR5 context.

        Still, things are not the same as for AR4. Climategate has happened. The blogosphere is much more influential.

        And tallbloke may still be right about the editor’s motives. Epic … truly Wagnerian.

      • Ya, check my posts on CA a couple months ago. I’ve been telling people that the season for editorial funny business is upon us. Looking at the timing and looking at when the climategate emials started to address Ar4 timing concerns, the season is upon us. Going forward the editorial ploy will be to slow skeptic papers, and hold the pro papers to hit as close to deadlines as possible, forestalling rebuttles. This is how they operate and think.

      • This looks the most credible explanation to me Steve. Thanks for putting it in the AR5 context.

        Shame there’s not a shred of evidence to support it.

      • “Shame there’s not a shred of evidence to support it.”

        They enjoy the challenge of spinning fantasy out of nothing. If it were based on any reality, it wouldn’t be any sort of accomplishment for seasoned self-deluding deniers like these.

        Worthless, dishonest garbage gets published in a peer reviewed journal after dodgy review process — editor is shamed into resigning.

        Enjoy the sight of deniers running around hysterically trying to invent a more comforting narrative for themselves.

      • Your rejection of Spencer and Braswell’s paper consists of unsupported assertion and no scientific content whatsoever. No surprise there then.

      • But Mosh, by the time AR5 comes out the world will not care. The IPCC reputation will have sunk so low, because of crap like this, that people won’t take it seriously.

        This matters about as much as a musician on the Titanic scheming to become first chair.

      • Nebuchadnezzar

        “The rebuttle will come just in time for the AR5 cut off, so the rebuttle to spenser will be the last word”

        As I understand it, to be cited in the first order draft papers must have been submitted by mid-November, so Spencer and Braswell have plenty of time to rerebut. So in the first order draft it might be the last word, but there are later deadlines (July 2012 I think) so it won’t be the last last word.

      • expect them to slow roll rebuttles from skeptics and fast track the papers from their side. They did it for AR4. its just started

      • Important post. Thanks.

      • Robert:

        They enjoy the challenge of spinning fantasy out of nothing. If it were based on any reality, it wouldn’t be any sort of accomplishment for seasoned self-deluding deniers like these.

        er, I think this is the first time I’ve seen Steven Mosher being referred to as a “seasoned self-deluding denier”
        I reckon he’ll be rolling around laughing at that.

      • He just re defined the peer reviewed literature! Now, even if there is no rebuttle Ar5 authors will be justified in ignoring Spensers paper.
        a blinder well played.

        hehe. these guys play hardball. Maybe Spenser should go after his emails.

      • simon abingdon

        Steve, please. It’s “rebuttal”.

      • Remote Sensing should release all related emails.

  50. One day, history books will be written about all this. When that happens, all the sophisticated bits of rhetoric will be forgotten. The clever arguments and the cunning justifications won’t hold any sway. What will be remembered is the manipulation.

    I don’t think science is going to survive this. The whole concept of scientific objectivity will be utterly soiled. Then what the hell will we do?

    • what will happen is the world will warm up and the history books will record that scientists predicted it would. Science will be strengthened. It’s history’s view of the gang who tried desperately to pretend man couldn’t affect climate that you should be worried about.

  51. A comment from Professor Jonathon Jones (physics Oxford) stlen by me from Bishop Hill :)

    Prof J Jones:

    “This is truly bizarre, and just shows how profoundly warped the climate science community has become.

    I make no judgement here on the correctness of the paper, but editors just don’t resign because of things like this.

    Nobody resigned at Science when they published that utter drivel about bacteria replacing phosphorus with arsenic; they just published seven comments (IIRC) back to back with a rather desperate defence from the original authors.

    Nobody resigned at Phys Rev Lett when I trashed a paper (on the evaluation of Gaussian sums) they had selected as one of the leading papers of the month: indeed nobody has formally ever accepted that I was right, but remarkably all the later papers on this subject follow my line.

    I have been up to my neck for over a year in a huge row with Iannis Kominis about the underlying quantum mechanics of spin sensing chemical reactions, and either his papers or mine (or just possibly both) are complete nonsense: but nobody has resigned over Koniminis’s paper in Phys Rev B or mine in Chem Phys Lett.

    Sure, my two controversies above never hit the popular press, but the arsenic stuff was discussed all over the place, far more than Spencer and Braswell.

    What sort of weird warped world to climate scientists inhabit? How have they allowed themselves to move so far from comon sense? What is wrong with these guys?

    Sep 2, 2011 at 9:51 PM | Jonathan Jones

    • Mr. Woods
      Thanks for the link and an excellent point by Mr. Jones. On the same vein I looked for examples of Medical Journal editors resigning. My quick take is that they have but normally after much criticism or controversy regarding their own personal conduct not for anything published. If anyone has knowledge of any journal editor resigning over a bad med study it would be interesting.

    • Barry, this is Harry Gray:-

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harry_B._Gray

      who give fantastic talks demonstrating that electrons tunnel in proteins.

      this is Les Dutton

      http://www.uphs.upenn.edu/biocbiop/faculty/pages/dutton.html

      who give fantastic talks demonstrating that electrons do not tunnel within proteins but follow tracks

      They are generally put on back-to-back. After each talk you realize that each one is right, but they both can’t be right.

      Les is the better Cartoonist and English to boot, so he has me by a whisker.
      They are not only civil to one another, they like each other, and both propose experiments which will test the two competing hypotheses to destruction and come up with an unambiguous system which will show us how things are. They both laugh with each other, neither would sabotage each others work, denouncement and data hording are completely alien.
      In most fields if you email a scientist and 9/10 you will have a reply, reprint and advice. When I was a snotty nosed M.Sc. student I had a bulky package of out of print papers sent by a Chemistry Department Head of a German University, who had worked on some sulphur chemistry 3 decades before. That is the way it should be.

    • Speaking of the NASA arsenic work, since we now know that a peer-reviewed paper should be judged based on it is played up in a press conference, I guess that’s all the more reason for someone to resign over that paper.

    • Barry,
      Thank you for posting this. I love the last line by Jonathan Jones – “What is wrong with these guys?” It’s a fair question.

  52. The moving finger writes,
    and having writ – moves on
    Nor all your piety nor wit
    Shall call it back to cancel half a line
    Nor all your tears wash out a word of it.

    – Omar Khayyam -

    • A moving meditation on the final humiliation of former scientist Roy Spencer . . . so soon after outing himself as a would-be “legislator” who openly fabricates psuedoscience to advance his agenda, the discredited garbage he snuck through sloppy peer review at an off-brand journal is so dishonest and worthless that the editor of the journal resigns in shame.

      And not all your denier tears will change that . . .

      • That you consider the Journal ‘remote sensing’ to be ‘off brand’ for a paper about satellite data written by a scientist who produces the UAH temperature record and compares satellite data to models to show the incorrect assumptions underlying them says it all.

        You are just upleasant noise.

  53. May be problematic in both aspects” can be
    simply and logically translated to “There might be a
    problem in one aspect or the other, or both.

    Mr. Wagner can’t find any actual fault with the technical
    and factual elements the reviewers dealt with in the
    Spenser & Braswell paper, and the subsequent revisions
    accepted by the reviewers and the Remote Sensing
    editorial board.

    Mr. Wagner can’t/doesn’t/won’t specify where the
    alleged “fundamental technical errors” or the “false
    claims” might be.

    Mr. Wagner can’t/doesn’t/won’t indicate how he
    found or found our about such alleged “fundamental
    technical errors”.

    Mr. Wagenr can’t/doesn’y/won’t even specify how the
    “falsity” of the alleged “false claims”
    was proved to his profession satisfation.

  54. From the BBC, quoting Bob Ward policy and communications director at the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment at the London School of Economics:

    “Mr Ward described the tactic of publishing in off-topic journals as a “classic tactic” of scientists dismissive of man-made climate change.

    Louise – are you aware that “policy and communications director” translates as “paid PR shill”?

    The fact that Mr Ward has earned his fee by providing his warmist buddies at the BBC with a quote advances the sum of scientific knowledge by not one iota.

    • Well of course ‘remote sensing’ is an off topic journal, the truth about climate is to be found in models, not satellite data.

      /sarc

      • Very good tallbloke! It amazed me when I first saw someone comment that Remote Sensing was an “off-topic” journal. I had to ask the person – Do you know what Roy Spencer does?

  55. Ah, so the good perfessor was influenced by what he read in blogs rather than what his own peer reviewed journal published, and the AGW devotees are cheering him on.

    So much for this bit of wit and witticism.

    [Response: Yes, this is exactly my point. Of course, one could be excused for having a less charitable view if one were to be so foolish as to waste time reading what they write at their blogs....but as I said to Mcintyre some time ago, "I'll meet you in the peer reviewed literature." --eric][/blockquote]

    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2010/12/a-brief-history-of-knowledge-about-antarctic-temperatures/comment-page-1/#comment-194138

    Hypocrisy, thy name is climate science.

  56. So one of the reasons Wagner resigned is because 56,000 people downloaded the paper last month??

    Here’s the link.

    http://www.mdpi.com/2072-4292/3/8/1603/pdf

    Even if you already have a copy, download it again, and again and again.
    Let’s make a statement.

  57. So Spencer is castigated for not citing Trenberth? It would be curious to observe how many times Trenberth cites Spencer in his (automatically peer-review rubber stamped) papers.

  58. Roy Spencers Posts:
    Editor-in-Chief of Remote Sensing Resigns from Fallout Over Our Paper
    September 2nd, 2011 by Roy W. Spencer, Ph. D.

    I firmly stand behind everything that was written in that paper. . . .
    the editor never contacted me to get my side of the issue. . . .
    Well, in 20 years of working in this business, the only indisputable mistake we ever made (which we immediately corrected, and even published our gratitude in Science to those who found it) was in our satellite global temperature monitoring, which ended up being a small error in our diurnal drift adjustment — and even that ended up being within our stated error bars anyway. Instead, it has been our recent papers have been pointing out the continuing mistakes OTHERS have been making, which is why our article was entitled. “On the Misdiagnosis of….”. Everything else has been in the realm of other scientists improving upon what we have done, which is how science works.

    RetractionWatch reports:

    “Remote Sensing’s editor Wagner tells us the journal is not considering retracting the study.”

    WUWT reports: BREAKING: Editor-in-chief of Remote Sensing resigns over Spencer & Braswell paper

  59. ‘It is not controversial to state that climate models are deficient in terms of tropical variability in the atmosphere on many timescales [Lin et al., 2006; Lin, 2007] and a more realistic simulation of ENSO events in coupled simulations remains a high priority for model developers. During El Niño,
    the warming of the tropical eastern Pacific and associated changes in the Walker circulation, atmospheric stability, and winds lead to decreases in stratocumulus clouds, increased solar radiation at the surface, and an enhanced warming so that even models without ocean dynamics are capable of emulating some ENSO‐like variability [Kitoh et al., 1999].
    Positive cloud feedbacks in observations have been shown to occur in association with ENSO and these variations are generally not well depicted in models [Kang et al., 2002; Clement et al., 2009], but challenges also exist for diagnosing these interactions in observations, as it is difficult to identify cause and effect in the context of multiple interactive variations.’ http://www.cgd.ucar.edu/cas/Trenberth/trenberth.papers/TFOW_LC_GRL2010_GL042314.pdf

    Dessler 2010 assumed that cloud changes were a feedback to ENSO related temperature changes – and calculated a global warming cloud feedback . Spencer and Braswell found using lagged relationships that the ENSO cloud radiative forcing came before the temperature change – and therefore there was little scope to calculate cloud feedback as it was not possible to distinguish AGW cloud feedback from natural ‘unforced’ variability. Changes in cloud are an ENSO feedback involving changes in ocean/atmosphere coupling and likely to respond, as well, to changes in dimethyl sulphide emissions from phytoplankton.

    The other conclusion was that the models were deficient in representing ENSO cloud radiative variability.

    S&B11 are clearly correct in their conclusions and it is consistent with for instance the discussion in the Trenberth et al (2010) paper quoted above.

  60. Maybe “Logic as a Foreign Concept” should be a new core course for climate scientists. Trenberth said, “The interannual global temperature variations were not radiatively forced, as claimed for the 2000s, and therefore cannot be used to say anything about climate sensitivity. Clouds are not a forcing of the climate system (except for the small portion related to human related aerosol effects, which have a small effect on clouds). Clouds mainly occur because of weather systems (e.g., warm air rises and produces convection, and so on); they do not cause the weather systems. Clouds may provide feedbacks on the weather systems. Spencer has made this error of confounding forcing and feedback before and it leads to a misinterpretation of his results.”

    Isn’t this the same Trenberth than states recent weather events have a small increase in intensity because of anthropogenic CO2 and the 4% more water vapor it caused? Would not it be logical to assume that a 1% increase in cloud cover that may be related to a 4% increase in water vapor could be considered a forcing if it is anthropogenic and enhances that small effect due to aerosols? Does anyone on the team understand the concepts they have created?

  61. This thread amplifies the main issue that climate science in general is now experiencing, and that is the lack of objective discussion combined with contributors failing to disagree without being disagreeable. The issues need to be discussed without reverting to ad hominem attacks.

    The paper in question was not balanced in that previous refutation of the views taken were not adequately considered but overall it should be allowed to stand, if only so that it may be reviewed and revised by the application of scientific method.

    The Climate Etc blog really does need more moderation. Dr Curry should be doing more to stop her blog from becoming irrelevant due to some pretty ordinary behaviour of a few people who seem intent on disruption. If she doesn’t have the time then perhaps a few of the more moderate denizens may be able to assist?

  62. Seems to me that Wagner is a very weak character.

    He has shown he has neither the guts to stop publication in the first place nor to stand by his decision in the face of subsequent criticism

    His well-founded reputation for spinelessness will follow him in what little remains of his career.

  63. Akin to, and largely responsible for the sweeping changes in our industrial-military posture, has been the technological revolution during recent decades. In this revolution, research has become central; it also becomes more formalized, complex, and costly. A steadily increasing share is conducted for, by, or at the direction of, the Federal government.

    Today, the solitary inventor, tinkering in his shop, has been overshadowed by task forces of scientists in laboratories and testing fields. In the same fashion, the free university, historically the fountainhead of free ideas and scientific discovery, has experienced a revolution in the conduct of research. Partly because of the huge costs involved, a government contract becomes virtually a substitute for intellectual curiosity. For every old blackboard there are now hundreds of new electronic computers. The prospect of domination of the nation’s scholars by Federal employment, project allocations, and the power of money is ever present — and is gravely to be regarded.

    Yet, in holding scientific research and discovery in respect, as we should, we must also be alert to the equal and opposite danger that public policy could itself become the captive of a scientific-technological elite.

    Dwight D. Eisenhower
    Farewell Address
    17 January 1961

    http://bit.ly/qSsgS1

  64. “how to deal with a paper by Spencer, which is likely to be associated with controversy” JC

    The point of course is actually that it is associated with fundamental methodological errors and Spencer’s continued false claims, as in the past. It is bad science and should be treated as such.

    • @martha

      Please remind me of the methodological errors you claim. Have they been published as a criticism in a peer reviewed journal? They have escaped my notice so far…as it seems they did the original reviewers.

      And it raises an interesting future point. Assuming that anyone can be found to take on the poisoned chalice that Wagner has so petulantly abandoned, will they also be expected to resign in case of any disagreement over any possible future papers …or indeed further discussion of Spencer et al?

      • Ah, yes, the demand for a published debunk. His resourceful ability to shop for journals that do not ordinarily deal with climate science enables Roy Spencer to to continue to publish his mistakes, make repetitive back-door demands for debate that is no debate, and ignore criticism.

        I don’t claim the errors. Climate scientists claim the errors. The real question is really, on what basis would you like to defend it? The paper has been reviewed by mainstream climate scientists basing their critique in peer-reviewed science, and found to have fundamental technical and theoretical flaws, and to draw incorrect conclusions.

        See Andrew Dessler or Barry Bickmore.

        And:

        http://thinkprogress.org/romm/2011/07/29/282584/climate-scienists-debunk-latest-bunk-by-denier-roy-spencer/

        http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2011/07/misdiagnosis-of-surface-temperature-feedback/

      • Leaving aside your verbiage, you agree that there has been no criticism published in a peer-reviewed journal.

        A few blog entries at Joe Romm and Gavin Schmidt basing their critique in peer-reviewed science’ is not the same thing at all. Little better than gossip around the water cooler. Or is merely being allowed to post at thise blogs the latest ‘refinement’ of the scientific editorial process?

    • False claims? I guess I read the wrong paper. Methodological errors understandable since it looks to me to be simplified to make a small point not a major one, kinda like a grumpy old scientist making a rebuttal on a rebuttal by another grumpy but not so old scientist. The only claims made were that clouds changed before temperature and that the data was not accurate enough to calculate feed backs. Whether the clouds are a forcing or a feed back is kinda silly like the chicken or egg issue.

    • Martha, then why wasn’t the paper retracted instead?

  65. Stirling English

    Should I be viewing this whole hilarious hoopla as yet another triumph for the scientific publishing conventions in general? And for the ‘tried and trusted peer review method’ in particular?

    /sarc

  66. Im sorry Curry!

    I know that you are trying to be honest and Im sure there are many like you within climate science. But you have pure gangsters running the climate wagon. Blackmail,intimidations,lies,manipulations,exagerations ,propaganda,dishonesty, crappy pseudo science, ad hominems , false accusations against anyone who challange the CAGW dogma. Climate science has become a criminal nightmare..
    The most frightening of all is that its our governments that promotes this sorry excuse for science. Its tiime for everyone to take thier democratic responsability and stop this madness. IPCC has desroyed the reputation not only of climate science but for hole science. Poitisation and corruption is so wide spread within your community that NOTHING can help you any more.
    They had the chance to clean up after clamtegate but they didnt. They declared that M Manns hockeystick is the way their currupted science is done

    • IPCC has desroyed the reputation not only of climate science but for hole science.

      I had no idea the geologists were involved. Wheels within wheels!

  67. I’ve tried to identify hyperbole from Dr. Spencer that is uniquely over the top which is to say, not found in other climate paper releases and follow-up reporting and I cannot see it. I’m not saying it isn’t there, but can someone provide an example where Dr. Spencer’s hyperbole is unabashedly on display? Does it compare with Mr. Hansen’s death trains for sensationalism?

    • The hyperbole issues seems to relate to way the paper was covered in the press and blogs. Given the nature of this things that hyperbole is seen in them , is about surprising as finding bear used woods to get rid of personal waste products . While given Wagner has no control over them , why he feels he should carry the can for them is mystery.
      You have to wonder when was the last time a journal editor resigned becasue one of its papers was read ‘to much’ or hyped up by the press? .

      • Dr. Curry had this to say:

        The overhyping of scientific results by the author or their institution is always a mistake.

        I was hoping for an example of the author’s overhyping. I’ve come to expect and to ignore overhyping from the press.

  68. Speaking of the boomerang effect…..if the resignation was a result of behind the scenes pressure to try to squelch interest in the paper, that failed.

  69. My my my – I do believe I’ve found the money quote of all time. The yellow press is alive and well in jaunty London Town:

    Dr Spencer is a committed Christian as well as a professional scientist

    God bless the BBC for sharing this essential factoid about that wascally committed Christian scientist.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-14768574

    Now let us get back to matter of Dr. Spencer’s heinous and somehow unique hyperbole.

    • You missed the relevant part in the article: “He is also on the board of directors of the George C Marshall Institute, a right-wing thinktank critical of mainstream climate science, and an advisor to the Cornwall Alliance for the Stewardship of Creation, an evangelical Christian organisation that claims policies to curb climate change “would destroy jobs and impose trillions of dollars in costs” and “could be implemented only by enormous and dangerous expansion of government control over private life”.”

      • I wonder what makes any of that relevant to Dr. Spencer’s paper and Dr. Curry’s current topic.

      • It clarifies why an apparently intelligent man like Roy Spencer would promote easily discredited garbage like S&B.

      • Not very Christian of you Robert. It looks like you have a problem with Christians, generally. That kind of bias pretty much negates everything you say – or at least makes it meaningless, as you present yourself as someone who can’t respond to things objectively. I happen to be a lifelong atheist (you appear to be anti-theist) but I don’t let that get in the way. You should give it a try.

  70. Cheer Up. You have Energy and Environment. You are still safe with that. They’ll print any old crap!

    • It’s interesting that Roy didn’t go with E&E. Obviously he had higher hopes. Probably his next will show up there. Less prestige, but there won’t be any editors resigning when it turns out to be overhyped nonsense!

  71. Will you look at the speed of spin?

    Is this some kind of record?

    Wolfgang Wagner solidly, clearly and in uncompromising, unambiguous language and deeds stomps the little life left to Spencer’s credibility, and somehow Spencer conspiracy-minded groupies manage to label this as more evidence of Spencer’s greatness across the online globe, all in under 24 hours.

    And Spencerites think no one is laughing at them?

    • I wouldn’t expect RC and pals to get it.

      What Wagner is telling us is that Spencer’s paper is correct and disproves AGW. Why else would he draw attention to it by resigning in this way?

      If Spencer’s paper was really rubbish he would have stayed quiet so it faded away. Instead in he cleverly resigns and causes everyone to download the paper some more.

    • And here we have yet more hyperbole but no comment on the merit of the science. I’m now convinced this issue will continue to inflate, but only within the confines of small minds – a self limiting medium.

      • dp

        Wagner plainly was speaking of the merit of Spencer’s conduct.

        Where Wagner states, “I agree with critics of the paper,” he furnishes you concisely with comment on the merit of the science.

        When you say “I’m now convinced,” you flag the very nub of the problem. How easy you are to convince.

        Wagner has like a shopkeeper posted a warning akin to saying, “Watch out for this culprit and his cohorts, including three former members of my staff.”

        It is a decisive ethical act that will be prominent in the minds of science editors, peer reviewers, authors, contributors and readers for some time.

        If it increases the quality of published studies, there’s some value in that.

        If it does for peer review only what McIntyre has done for audit of statistics there’s some excellent value in that.

        If it does for readers only what Judith Curry has done with regard to Slayers or for contributors as regards her efforts on Uncertainty, there’s good value in that.

        If peer-reviewers regardless of predisposition or politics, friendliness or point of view, succumb less to bias and are less likely to let sloppiness and error slide, so much the better.

        If editors improve their systems for catching problems before they get to this point — well, it’d be nice if it could happen without further chill on submission and delay in time to publish.

        If this means Spencer undertakes to become more in the ethics of his conduct like Lindzen and less like Madoff, it can only improve his tattered reputation.

    • Spencer’s paper remains the latest peer reviewed and published one. Wagner is now history – he’ll justify a footnote in history showing him to be a weak and foolish man.

      And you reckon that Spencer is the one who has been hurt by this? H’mmmm

  72. Judith Eric Steig had a intresting comment that insinuates that you need to be medicated.

    ‘[Response: I don't know. Is the idea of planetary alignments causes mass climate change in 2010 really so different than the idea that keeps popping up (e.g. J. Curry) that the increase in CO2 in the atmosphere might not actually be related to human activities? You start medicating the astrology buffs and you'll start medicating everyone. --eric]”

    Nice, I guess he is still smarting over the pumelling he got from Ryan

  73. Well, I think I liked Spock and Data because they were always objective and never let emotions hinder that. They were devoted to pursuing the truth, here (in climate science) we see a devotion to self perpetuation and winning. There are several (especially Joshua) who shows no respect to those of us who simply want to learn. Try going into politics and filibustering there.
    If one is to read this from the bottom up and wants to avoid some noise. Some comments (but not all) (which of course state that to which I fully agree) are by
    Theo Goodwin, Edward Burgemer, R Pielke, (or just read his blog) R. S. Brown,
    Chief Hydrologist, Peter Davies, and most of all Barry Woods link to a comment by Prof J Jones.–Those thoughts by Jones are being echoed among many well educated people (many I know) who are beginning to rate climate scientists as they do lawyers and politicians.

    • this idea of using blogs to learn rather than reading books strikes me as a lazy one.

      • in what way?

      • Revolving discussions about how the greenhouse effect works, surface fluxes, convection, conduction, etc where no-one really learns because to understand that stuff requires sitting down in silence with a atmospheric physics book and going through some torture slowly trudging through the concepts and math. It’s not the kind of thing that can be easily communicated in an entertaining bloglike fashion

      • Yes, public discussion of issues of the day should be banned by the Government.

      • Yeah, nobody said that. It’s just not the best way for people to learn about a subject. Ideally, public discussion of the issues of the day involves people who already know what they are talking about.

      • Notice that “mainstream climate science” has nothing to say about scientific method, except when they over-reach as Gleick did and claim that “mainstream climate science” defines scientific method. You will need to learn about scientific method from books on that topic or you can learn about it on blogs.

      • It is actually quite a good way to be exposed to scientific papers – and to refine understanding through dialectic. Quite a tradition there.

        Of some use it as a battlefield – you know who you are.

      • What is it in particular about reading ink on paper that differentiates it from dots on glass?

  74. The sad part is the Judith, in these blogs tried to change all that by taking (what I think) is an objective view on each item

  75. ” objective view ” ??

    Judith rarely takes any view at all on this blog. Her pet “uncertainty monster” dictates on that.

    • For once we agree. After listening to her the blog might be titled; “Conversations with skeptic/agw lab rats”. Clearly she has line that can’t crossed that it might offend the AGW/Leftist orthodox. So while consensus members are offended by even fake moderations she remains a warmist tool in a larger sense.

      • I can’t believe how rude you are. Calling everyone vermin just because you disagree with us. It’s a shame that you must take your climate denial to such extremes that you would repeatedly attack the honesty of the blog itself.

      • How politically incorrect is the term you are looking for. Usual straw whinning, Dr. Curry has a calculated presentation and avoids what is essential about her own peer community. It would weaken her posture with your group if she addressed the questions directly in a straightforward fashion but that makes me “rude”? Maybe there is a higher value you are missing here? I’m just spit balling here but how about disclosure and honesty? If she did disclose you would talking about Joe McCarthy and your phony HUAC narrative you learned in public school as if Arthur Miller isn’t required reading for exactly that purpose. Now we have AGW doctrine plus Arthur Miller in school but I’m “rude” because Dr. Curry can only say there are tribes, as long as we don’t discuss tribe features that she belongs to!? But I’m “rude”???? Have you heard how she descibes people on this blog? “Mostly white, conservative, middle aged males” which I don’t doubt. She can figure that out by writing on a blog but she’s been in climate studies for decades and knows many members of the consensus but it’s “no comment” on what party they largely belong to? As if there really is no eco-left-green culture in the consensus? But I’m “rude”?

        She would be crucified in the leftist blog community for being what?…Honest?

        AGW is part of an eco-left movement, this is an “extreme” observation?
        The fact that the “consensus” hides on the science side but facilitates the political side of the eco-left isn’t much of an observation to argue with but that is your and Dr. Curry’s position is it not? There are worse values than rude and that isn’t my intention.

      • “How politically incorrect is the term you are looking for.”

        “Childish whining” is the correct term. Lolwot wasn’t commenting on your scientific ignorance (total) or your right-wing fanaticism (cultish). Those are separate issues. It’s your toddler-like tantrums directed at any all who disagree with you (as all sane people do about most things).

        No one is asking you to stop being ignorant and stupid — we know that’s not under your control. But you could dial back the personal attacks a little — even dogs know not to bite the hand that feeds them.

      • No one is asking you to stop being ignorant and stupid — we know that’s not under your control. But you could dial back the personal attacks a little — even dogs know not to bite the hand that feeds them.

        Heh – Robert is projecting again.

      • lolwot, how’s this for “rude”?;

        Robert | September 4, 2011 at 9:42 am | “How politically incorrect is the term you are looking for.”

        “Childish whining” is the correct term. Lolwot wasn’t commenting on your scientific ignorance (total) or your right-wing fanaticism (cultish). Those are separate issues. It’s your toddler-like tantrums directed at any all who disagree with you (as all sane people do about most things).

        No one is asking you to stop being ignorant and stupid — we know that’s not under your control. But you could dial back the personal attacks a little — even dogs know not to bite the hand that feeds them.

        ////////////////////////////////////////////

  76. Wagner states “But, as the case presents itself now, the editorial team unintentionally selected three reviewers who probably share some climate sceptic notions of the authors”
    Apart from the obvious comment that reviewers sharing the alarmist views of authors has never presented any apparent problem – indeed, it is deemed essential by Jones, Trenberth et al – the proposition that, by random chance the editors may have selected 3 sceptics strongly contradicts the widely circulated claim that 97% of climate scientists agree with CAGW. Surely finding 3 sceptical scientists, and no alarmists, in a random (or any) sample of 3 should be next to impossible if only 3% of qualified scientists are “sceptics”

    • There are always a lot more fleas than there are dogs and the little bloodsuckers can be quite troublesome–especially to their host–but, a dose of exceptionally cold weather usually restores balance and is a big relief those who because of their energy and inquisitiveness make them the most susceptible to parasites.

      • Pity then that UAH just reported a +0.33C temperature anomaly for August. That’s the last 3 months averaging +0.338C. The only three month averages that high in the past occured in 2010 and 1998 aided by strong el ninos.

        Current ENSO is distinctly neutral/la nina like. So you have to start wondering how UAH has got so high unless a) there’s a recent error in the record or b) the world is still warming.

        The fact that the recent La Nina low was so warm suggests the latter.

      • ‘Stay tuned for the next update (by September 10th, probably earlier) to see where the MEI will be heading next. La Niña conditions have at least briefly expired in the MEI sense, making ENSO-neutral conditions the safest bet for the next few months. However, a relapse into La Niña conditions is not at all off the table, based on the reasoning I gave in September 2010 – big La Niña events have a strong tendency to re-emerge after ‘taking time off’ during northern hemispheric summer, as last seen in 2008. I believe the odds for this are still better than 50/50. If history ends up repeating itself, the return of La Niña should happen within about two to three months.’ http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/psd/enso/mei/

        In fact La Niña has been re-emerging early this year – and we are already in a La Niña in the Niño 3 and 3.4 regions. As low level cloud form over cool SST the planet will lose energy and cool over the next 4 months and beyond. 2011 will give 2008 a close run – not be in the top 10. Daily temps can be tracked here – http://discover.itsc.uah.edu/amsutemps/amsutemps.html – and compared year to year. Use the Aqua5 mid-tropospheric channel.

        La Niña will dominate over the next decade or three in the cool decadal Pacific mode.

      • That doesn’t explain why the last 3 months have been so warm in UAH. When one month came out so warm I put it down to possibly just a spike in noisy data. But 3 months so high kind of rules that out. All other 3 month periods so warm in the past were associated with El Ninos, not weakly neutral/la nina conditions.

        Under global warming what will happen is that La Ninas will bottom out higher and higher and El Ninos will peak out higher and higher. That’s exactly what we are seeing. If this continues then eventually temperature anomalies during La Nina periods will be the same that were associated with the 1998 El Nino.

        It really doesn’t matter how frequent La Ninas are if they are getting warmer and warmer.

      • Good! lolwot and ChiefHydrologist are both arguing opposite predictions out of the same La Niña data.

        See? Blogs can be used to present easily falsifiable prognostications.

        lolwot says we are going to see this heavy duty warm period.

        CH says cooler.

        Let’s wait a bit and see who is (more) correct.

      • More sunshine?

        In the UK Sunshine was 125% of the 1971/2000 average in March.
        144% in April, 105% May, 107% in Jun,102% July.

        Only Feb/Aug were below “normal”.

        I wonder how much extra sunshine the earth is getting these days?

      • ENSO is very seasonal – tends to ‘take time off’ in the words of Claus Wolter in the SH winter. It leads to what is called the Autumn (SH) prediction barrier.

        But La Nina can be seen in the evolving cold tongue in the central Pacific.

        We are technically in a La Nina – in the Nino 3 and 3.4 regions. But one of the strong indicators is the strong decline in the Nino 1+2 zone – showing cold water upwelling in the Humboldt Current. Frigid sub-surface water rises in the south eastern Pacific and moves westward across the Pacific driven by the trade winds. How can La Nina get warmer? This is water that has been at the bottom of the oceans for up to 1500 years. Clouds also increase by substantial amounts as a La Nina feedback. But that is one year.

        http://stateoftheocean.osmc.noaa.gov/all/

        If you have a good look at the MEI – you can see a pattern where there were frequent and intense La Nina (blue) to 1976, frequent and intense El Nino (red) to 1998 and a return to La Nina dominant since.

        http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/psd/enso/mei/

        ‘One of the most important and mysterious events in recent climate history is the climate shift in the mid-1970s [Graham, 1994]. In the northern hemisphere 500-hPa atmospheric flow the shift manifested itself as a collapse of a persistent wave-3 anomaly pattern and the emergence of a strong wave-2 pattern. The shift was accompanied by sea-surface temperature (SST) cooling in the central Pacific and warming off the coast of western North America [Miller et al., 1994]. The shift brought sweeping long-range changes in the climate of northern hemisphere. Incidentally, after ‘‘the dust settled,’’ a new long era of frequent El Nino superimposed on a sharp global temperature increase begun.’

        http://www.nosams.whoi.edu/PDFs/papers/tsonis-grl_newtheoryforclimateshifts.pdf

        It brought sweeping ling range changes to the Southern Hemisphere as well.

        In the study linked to above – Anastasios Tsonis, of the Atmospheric Sciences Group at University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, and colleagues used a mathematical network approach to analyse abrupt climate change on decadal timescales. Ocean and atmospheric indices – in this case the El Niño Southern Oscillation, the Pacific Decadal Oscillation, the North Atlantic Oscillation and the North Pacific Oscillation – can be thought of as chaotic oscillators that capture the major modes of climate variability. Tsonis and colleagues calculated the ‘distance’ between the indices. It was found that they would synchronise at certain times and then shift into a new state.

        It is no coincidence that shifts in ocean and atmospheric indices occur at the same time as changes in the trajectory of global surface temperature. Our ‘interest is to understand – first the natural variability of climate – and then take it from there. So we were very excited when we realized a lot of changes in the past century from warmer to cooler and then back to warmer were all natural,’ Tsonis said.

        Four multi-decadal climate shifts were identified in the last century coinciding with changes in the surface temperature trajectory. Warming from 1909 to the mid 1940’s, cooling to the late 1970’s, warming to 1998 and declining since. The shifts are punctuated by extreme El Niño Southern Oscillation events. Fluctuations between La Niña and El Niño peak at these times and climate then settles into a damped oscillation. Until the next critical climate threshold – due perhaps in a decade or two if the recent past is any indication.

        There is a follow up paper discussed here – http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2009/07/warminginterrupted-much-ado-about-natural-variability/

        We are looking at another decade or 3 of frequent La Nina.

  77. Food fights like these comments don’t accomplish much other creating a big mess. I anyone going to clean it up?

  78. All in all, Judy, this one resignation might undo all the good will you have managed to build up across the aisle.

    I basically had about a gazillion responses to this action, but mainly it just appears that the politics did not end when their own Climategate emails busted them, all by their little old lonesomes.

    It does make one wonder what would be in the emails this editor received, how much pressure The Hockey Stick Team hit him with.

    This is such a sad day in the saga of climate science. It will, of course, have its own chapter when the history is written.

    • How can the politics ever end? Dr. Curry refuses to even define the link of the eco-left to the team or IPCC consensus. Skeptics waste energy communicating with false moderates who remain agents of the AGW orthodox which is only part of a larger orthodox that isn’t open for discussion here. “Good will” is a bit of stretch until some basic factual concessions are made. Especially about what the AGW political culture is and is not. Otherwise we spin in circles of vague and false choices and not by accident.

      • The AGW political culture is exactly what you would expect given that AGW is a fact. Only those who deny AGW have a problem understanding why the world is as it is. Everything they don’t understand gets marked up as a conspiracy.

      • The AGW political culture is exactly what you would expect given that AGW is a fact.

        I think that’s right. Except AGW is more than one fact. They may not all be true. That’s what this blog is about.

      • well yes I mean literally that man is warming the planet, not saying it’s a fact precisely how much. The range of uncertainty covers some dangerous ground and so there are justified fears about continued emissions. It is then unsurprising that so many scientists and politicians would be worried.

      • That it empowers science “experts” and politicians along traditional party lines should just be ignored?

        I’ve addressed the conspiracy ad hominem before. If you think people forming factions is a conspiracy it reflects your leftist culture not mine.

      • “…not saying it’s a fact precisely how much.”

        I have yet to hear one AGW voice even mention LAND USE. As long as the argument is all about CO2 emissions, they are missing the largest factor: the urban heat island effect. CO2 is as nothing, in comparison.

        The irony is that if they were arguing, “Land use! We need to address land use!” then many, if not most of, the skeptics would agree with them.

        CO2 is a fart in a wind storm, and when Chicken Little heard it she was sure the sky was falling.

        Land use, land use, land use. Except land use is so intrinsically tied in with the math of population growth, no one wants to address that – because the only solution is to reduce the population, and that is WAY too difficult to address. Attacking the minuscule amount of CO2 in the air? That is easy, albeit expensive. And it is also popular among those of us who believe industry is intrinsically evil. Lots of people will jump on that wagon (but not enough to get rid of their IPhones). The only problem is that the CO2 approach won’t get rid of warming. But it looks good to at least be seen to “Do Something, Anything!”

      • Lolowot, Worried is such a stressful word, concerned is much better. Gregg Craven is “worried” enough that he believes a total collapse of the world economy is well worth the risk. Most sane people are concerned.

      • “I have yet to hear one AGW voice even mention LAND USE.”

        Then you aren’t listening. Have you read the IPCC reports, Hansen’s book, realclimate’s wiki, any of that?

      • The mention they don’t have a clue and took a wild ass guess in AR3 and didn’t do anything in AR4 to come up with a CO2 number.

        “A combination of techniques gives an estimate of the flux of CO2 to the atmosphere from land use change of 1.6 (0.5 to 2.7) GtC yr–1 for the 1990s. A revision of the Third Assessment Report (TAR) estimate for the 1980s downwards to 1.4 (0.4 to 2.3) GtC yr–1 suggests little change between the 1980s and 1990s, and continuing uncertainty in the net CO2 emissions due to land use change.”

        http://www.ipcc.ch/publications_and_data/ar4/wg1/en/ch7s7-es.html

      • When and if the WH and Senate change in 2012 and a new view assends you will change your science views?

        Ecoleft green is a narrative, it isn’t science.

      • Does making up a fantasy “ecoleft green” conspiracy make you feel better about ignoring science in favor of your fabricated narrative? Because “they” (the conspiracy) did it first?

      • Then why does the belief in AGW break down on party lines? Why are all the core AGW players to the left? Some of whom are radicals?

      • AGW does not fall along party lines in the UK but then even our right wing political party (Conservatives) are left of many USA Democrats.

  79. It looks like Dr Pielke just made the soundest analysis of this ridiculous and pathetic affair in his own blog.

    http://pielkeclimatesci.wordpress.com/2011/09/02/comment-on-the-resignation-of-wolfgang-wagner-as-editor-in-chief-of-the-journal-remote-sensing-in-response-to-the-publication-of-spencer-and-braswell-2011/

    By resigning as Editor, rather than soliciting a Comment/Reply exchange between Spencer and Braswell and the critics of their paper, he has achieved the opposite of his stated goal to have “different opinions … heard and openly discussed”.
    ….
    Moreover, if there is a fundamental flaw in their work, than publishing a Comment in Remote Sensing would have resolved the issue. That is how science is supposed to work. As it is, Wagner has further politicized climate science.

    Also, if Spencer and Braswell “essentially ignored the scientific arguments of its opponents”, they would be clearly (and easily) refuted in a Comment in Remote Sensing. This would be an embarrassment to Spencer and Braswell, but that is how the scientific method works.
    I have read the Spencer and Braswell paper in detail, and while I agree that some of the media exposure has been exaggerated and misplaced, the science in their paper appears robust. I certainly can be wrong, but I do not see a fatal flaw in what they did (i.e. an error such that the paper should have been rejected).
    ….
    The place to refute a published paper is in peer-reviewed papers, not in blogs (or the media). If the paper is not robust, it appropriately should be responded to by paper, not by the resignation of the Editor. In my view, he made a poor decision which has further damaged the scientific process of vetting new research results.

    Wagners’ resignation is just a miserable acknowledgment of his own failure w.r.t. his mission that seems to include the prevention of skeptical views’ publication, by controlling the peer-review process (reminds us about some of the Climategate emails…). Little doubt that Wagner did receive some “friendly” pressures and supports by “Warmist” community (Hansen, Mann, Schmidt and al) to reach such a decision, with probable threat to stop their subscription to Remote Sensing…

    • My guess is that Wagner happened to lift the lid on the denier spin machine and didn’t like what he saw. He realized his journal had been used and so sick at how deniers abuse papers for headlines he decided that allowing a reply wasn’t enough and he had to point out what was going on. That entailed resigning. But the man had enough integrity to do it anyway.

      • I find it interesting that skeptics try to claim that establishment/consensus scientists are politically motivated yet ignore the same motive for alternative scientists:
        Dr Roy Spencer “I would wager that my job has helped save our economy from the economic ravages of out-of-control environmental extremism.

        I view my job a little like a legislator, supported by the taxpayer, to protect the interests of the taxpayer and to minimize the role of government.

        If I and others are ultimately successful, it may well be that my job is no longer needed. Well then, that is progress. There are other things I can do.”

        http://www.drroyspencer.com/2011/07/fundanomics-the-free-market-simplified/#comment-17613

      • Louise,

        Of course “skeptics” might be also as politically motivated as “warmists”.
        But “warmists” also have very personal interests in this issue. By maintaining a “climate of fear”, with their alarmist predictions w.r.t climate change, they just intend to keep massive investments (billions $) into Climate Science, which aslo means to keep their well-paid job, and to favor “Climate Business” (such a cap and trade) in which some of them (like Al Gore) have earned millions of $.

        Of course some of the skeptics may also have such personal / financial interests. But I doubt this is the general case. Indeed, supporting skeptical views is definitely not the best way for a (climate) scientist to boost his career. I’m pretty sure this brings more troubles than rewards!
        If Dr Spencer may have political motivations, I’m still convinced he has no personal or financial interest in the Climate debate.

      • But Eric, do you not recognize the difference between your fantasy, a conspiracy theory with huge gaping holes in its logic and no evidence whatsoever to support it, and the actual bias of Spencer as evidenced by his own direct and unforced admission that he sees himself as a political with the mission of promoting small government?

      • Follow the money.

      • To the best of my knowledge, no sceptic has attempted to suppress publication of an article by a “mainstream climate scientist,” none has attempted to cause retraction of such an article, and none is on record as saying that they would do whatever it takes even if they have to redefine what counts as peer review. Could those facts explain the belief that “mainstream climate scientists” are politically motivated and sceptics are not?

      • As far as I know, no (or very few) creationists have, in recent times, tried to suppress the the teaching of evolution. They have just tried to mandate equal times to criticisms of evolution and other theories of our origins. Does this imply that mainstream biologists are politically motivated and creationists are not?

      • You might want to retry that analogy. At this point, it has meandered and petered out.

      • I thought the analogy was rather brilliant, myself. And very politely put. I would suggest you engage with it.

      • Right lowwot. The editor was cuckolded by Spencer and Braswell. He is just a too naive and unassuming individual. He didn’t know any better … sure he didn’t.

      • I do not think that word means what you think it means.

    • This is classic:

      By resigning as Editor, rather than soliciting a Comment/Reply exchange between Spencer and Braswell and the critics of their paper, he has achieved the opposite of his stated goal to have “different opinions … heard and openly discussed”.

      So – because some “skeptics” seek to dismiss what Wagner said, and instead theorize that his entire stated reasons for resigning amount to one big lie, and that the reality was that there was a conspiracy to force him to resign, he has “achieved the opposite of his stated goal?” Instead, he should have realized that some :”skeptics” will accuse of lying, anyone who states any views different than their own – and merely accepted a situation that he considered untenable.

      Interesting view on how one should conduct their affairs, that.

      • So why then do you think that he sent a letter of apology to Trenberth?

        http://rogerpielkejr.blogspot.com/2011/09/retraction-remote-sensing-and-due.html

        And why is the journal not going to retract the paper?

      • Do you recognize this as a perfect parallel to the criticism of Dr. Spencer’s paper? All the negatives Mr. Wagner responded to in his drama queen moment were precisely the heel biting nips of comment in blogs and other forums. Dr. Spencer’s paper is yet to have been rebutted in the peer reviewed literature, and no credible debate has occurred, but Mr. Wagner is so upset by the calamity of the response that he has committed editorial seppuku (career death by the pen).

        So to paraphrase – “because some believers seek to dismiss what Spencer said and instead theorize that his entire paper amounts to one big lie” Mr. Wagner has been driven to fall on his pen.

        If a person of weak character, motivated by consensus-driven character assassination outside normal scientific discourse, chooses to throw himself on his pen in the woods, does anyone care if he screams?

        The guy is a suckup to the main stream and got spanked. The Peter Principle is working.

    • It’s a good thing Roy Spencer let the paper speak for itself then, right? It’s a good thing Spencer didn’t go to the media with a ludicrous spin about the meaning of the work, right? It’s a good thing Spencer hasn’t said that his chief aim is political, to stop the government from instituting any policy to ameliorate AGW, right? It’s a good thing Spencer wasn’t gaming the peer review process, right? It’s all Wagner.

      • Where’s your evidence that Spencer was gaming the peer review process?

      • Every day there are dozens of pro-AGW stories in media.

        If there is 1 or 2 or 3 stories that make the media in a year that criticize AGW, that is “gaming the peer review process”????

        Wow. Thats pathetic. What YOU really want is total censorship of anyone who disagrees with AGW.

        Climategate exposed the corrupt practices of keeping skeptical papers out of journals and now that a few have managed to get in this corrupt pal review system make Wagner walk the plank.

      • People who throw facts together like a magpie and expect it to make an argument are guilty of the fallacy of the undistributed middle.

        HTH.

      • So … every author who has gone to the media about a paper is guilty of some kind of thought crime?

        LOL … you are funny.

      • “So … every author who has gone to the media about a paper is guilty of some kind of thought crime?”

        Bruce, you’ve already demonstrated that you can do the undistributed middle. Let the other kids have a chance.

  80. RealClimate Blog Statistics for September

    Unforced Variations: Sep 2011=> 62 comments
    1 September 2011

    Arctic sea ice minimum discussions=> 50 Comments
    1 September 2011

    xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

    ClimateEtc Blog Statistics for September

    Update on the Spencer & Braswell paper=> 362
    1 September 2011

    NIPCC discussion thread => 248
    1 September 2011

    RealClimate posts are about 18% of ClimateEtc

    RealClimate, who do you censor posts?

    Is science compatible with censoring?

    • Quality before quantity.

      “It is the vice of a vulgar mind to be thrilled by bigness, to think that a thousand square miles are a thousand times more wonderful than one square mile, and that a million square miles are almost the same as heaven.”

      • Quantity confers its own quality.

        An (ANY) internet site lives or dies by the numbers. Witness the example of Climate Progress.

  81. Richard Saumarez

    I agree with Profs Pielke and Johnathan Jones. What sort of people have the “climate science” establishment become? The S&B paper will either be falsified or it will stand up to criticism. The correct forum is the scientific literature – assuming that proper disciplines and impartiality is maintained.

    • Skeptics are happy for science to be done on blogs. Only when something goes wrong for them, as in this case, do they get all insistent that science should be done in the scientific literature.

      It’s very concerning how much damage deniers have done to science over the years. It’s like the creationist attacks on the credibility of biology but on steroids.

      • Skeptics didn’t make the editor resign, the editor did. He damaged himself in a effort to tar the skeptics and you are playing along. That’s a bit disingenuous, is it not?

      • Skeptics did not make the editor resign, the alarmists did. Just read the comments by alarmists who say the editor did the right thing. Then read comments by people who have some ability to reason and they point out that this is pretty close to a unique event in scientific publishing. I don’t know of any other time when an editor has resigned over a paper which has been neither refuted or retracted. As Oxford’s Jonathan Jones wrote “What is wrong with these guys?”

      • Just curious –

        Do have any actual evidence, whatsoever, for your conclusion that “alarmists” forced Wagner’s resignation? Do you have any actual evidence to conclude that Wagner was lying in his explanation?

        If not – do you often form hard and fast conclusions based on speculation about what does or does not motivate people that (presumably) you’ve never met or spoken to or even heard of prior to the past 24 hours?

      • Joshua, Why then did he apologise to Trenberth?

      • For your gene pool evolution stopped several million years ago

      • Richard Saumarez

        Lolwot – you really are ludicrous. Skeptics are more than happy for scientific debates to be conducted through the literature becauae that is the way proper science works.

        The damage done to science is being done by deniers – those who deny that there is any possible doubt about the pronouncements of the IPCC and the “consensus” of AGW and wish to shut down scientific debate.

    • Correct.

      The bottom line? He resigned because he was forced out – by AGW scientists putting on political pressure. In order to have ANY future career, he had to be seen to pander to the Hockey Stick Team.

      Anyone who thinks he did this out of the purity of his scientific heart – well, there IS a bridge in New York I could sell him or her.

      To let the paper sink or swim, correct, all he had to do was sit tight and let the fur fly. What in bloody heaven’s name was gained by his resignation? Sucking up. And looking down the road to his next 30 years of pay checks.

  82. The spin from the deniers has been particularly fun to watch this week. Tallblokes ludicrous movie plot theory especially (that Wagner deliberately resigned to give focus to the paper).

    Cheers for the laughs.

  83. Judging by the comments here and in other blogs, Wagner has managed to

    a) further politicize climate debate

    b) bring further media attention to paper which in his opinion does not merit it.

    • c) to confirm “warmists”continuous attempts to control the peer-review process as well as scientific journals dealing with climate science, so as to prevent publication of skeptical views. cf. Cimategate.

  84. Dr Wagner’s action here is truly bizarre. I have been trying to imagine circumstances where his resignation might be appropriate, but set within the less emotive context of my own profession, and I have been failing. The only circumstance I can imagine here which would make the journal editor’s resignation not just appropriate, but also a matter of honour and integrity, is one in which it became clear (to him) that he had unknowingly presided over a corrupt process. He was however careful to state that this was not the case here. All other possible explanations for his action in this instance would suggest to me the exact opposite of integrity: – petty-mindedness (I don’t like this paper so I’m leaving), arrogance (I know this paper is wrong despite the adherence to review policy), cowardice (I have upset the apple-cart and my future career is at stake) or a malicious political act (let’s make a newsworthy splash to bring the paper into disrepute).
    If he disagreed with the conclusions of the paper or thought that the arguments presented were weak, he had access to a number of honourable actions to bring the debate into the open within the journal, the most obvious being to extend an invitation to the (unnamed) critics of the paper to draft a rebuttal with an opportunity for S&B to counter.

    If journal editors made a habit of resignation just because a journal accepted a “bad” paper for publication on occasion, the turnover would be extraordinary. It is just not an expected action.

    One thing is crystal clear. Dr Wagner’s highly public self-immolation had the clear aim of gaining media attention. I still do not pretend fully to understand his motivation, but unless he offers a clearer explanation for why he did not pursue a more routine response for dealing with publication of a weak paper (in his opinion), I am left with the view that his action displayed neither integrity nor honour.

    • Nullius in Verba

      There was a previous case where a journal published sceptical papers, to the outrage of the believers:

      “Proving bad behavior here is very difficult. If you think that Saiers is in the greenhouse skeptics camp, then, if we can find documentary evidence of this, we could go through official AGU channels to get him ousted. Even this would be difficult.”

      What if something similar happened here?

    • “I have been trying to imagine circumstances where his resignation might be appropriate, but set within the less emotive context of my own profession,”

      …e.g., you end your shift cooking hamburgers, and on your way to a second job, to help pay for your education, you decide instead to quit college because you hear on the radio that hamburgers are bad for you.

      • More like … you go to college on a series of scholarships and bursaries and all the people who hand out those scholarships are vegetarians.

        You yourself are an omnivore but you keep it a secret.

        And then one day to make a little extra money you get a job at a hamburger stand.

        And the vegetarian cabal finds out and calls you up and makes it really, really clear you will never get another bursary or scholarships again. So you quit your job and picket the burger stand for a few days with a sign that says meat is murder.

        Secretly at home you eat steak and salad. But never in public … ever again.

        And you hope to keep getting scholarships.

        Wagner has a lot of published papers. In about year or two people should see if he still is getting published at the same rate.

      • Later on you have children and the Vegans find this out. Then you are marked a climate criminal for life. Your phone is tapped, they go back and look for past crimes at your grade school.

        Then Room 101.

        Wagner expects a medal from the consensus. He’s already named names, it’s not his fault he’s a victim.

      • … and all the while the vegans wear clothing made out of the skins of dead animals because leather is comfy.

    • Dr Wagner’s action here is truly bizarre. I have been trying to imagine circumstances where his resignation might be appropriate, but set within the less emotive context of my own profession, and I have been failing.

      The actions of an honorable man will always be mysterious to those without honor. ;)

  85. Are we now at a point where only papers that are correct can be published? If papers are found to be inaccurate following further research, should editors always resign? I must confess I had not realised Papal infallibility was expected in the scientific debate.
    I suspect we are slowly loosing a fundamental human right in this area. And that is, the right to be wrong or disagree.

    • Are we now at a point where only papers that are correct can be published?

      It’s discrimination! Obviously a rule like that would be grossly unfair to deniers.

      • No worries, (ex) journal editor Wagner thinks blog comments are of equal status to peer reviewed papers. :)

      • Robert –
        It’s discrimination! Obviously a rule like that would be grossly unfair to deniers.

        It’s discrimination! That rule has been grossly unfair to skeptics for many years.

        Fixed it for you.

  86. What will be interesting to see is where Wagner lands after this. Those on the left don’t usually fall on their swords unless they have a retractable blade. This otherwise obscure individual has now gotten his 15 minutes of fame, next topic….

  87. My conjecture is this. A lot of scientists who know nothing about climate believe that climate skepticism is some sort of religious movement, or at least something anti-scientific. I run into this ignorance all the time. The editor was one of these and so he was horrified when his journal became a flash point. He has resigned in embarrassment. The message is an old one: false beliefs create stupid behavior.

    In the meantime Spencer is getting great publicity. The fact that Roy is one of the top skeptical scientists plays well here.

    • In other words, your conjecture is that the editor was lying about his rationale. And you base this conjecture on purely anecdotal experience that “a lot of scientists think climate skepticism is some sort of religion.”

      You know nothing verifiable about the editors knowledge of climate science, or about his views towards “climate skepticism” in general. You dismiss his expressed concerns about a lack of scientific comprehensiveness, or about overt overhyping in re the papers conclusions by the authors to formulate conjecture in direct contrast to the information supplied.

      • I’ve read his rationale over and over again, and I can find nothing in his words which would make me consider falling on my sword, if I were in his shoes.

      • Then clearly you do not know where his shoes are, as it were. You need to figure out what he must believe in order to make his words justify his deeds. What you believe is irrelevant, or worse, an obstacle.

      • Perhaps I don’t know where his shoes are, but I do know what his words were – and that’s the relevant bit.

      • …which I thought I made quite clear by my use of italics

      • On the contrary, Joshua, my conjecture fits his statements. That is why I make it. There is nothing scientifically wrong with the Spencer paper, except it is controversial (no data fabrication or hide the decline here). Plus the hype was embarrassing. Hence the resignation. What is your theory?

      • On the contrary, Joshua, my conjecture fits his statements. That is why I make it. There is nothing scientifically wrong with the Spencer paper, except it is controversial

        I don’t get that, David. He stated, in his resignation letter, that there were scientific problems. And he specifically stated that the fact that it was controversial is not a reason for his resignation.

        As for my theory –

        I think that there is something unexplained about the reasons behind his resignation. I’ve seen speculation on both sides, but pretty much assume all such speculation to employ “motivated reasoning.”

        I see no reason to reject the veracity of the explanation he offered. In particular, I see a fundamental illogic to much of the speculation Ive read here and elsewhere. I think this helps to explain my perspective on that:

        http://judithcurry.com/2011/09/02/update-on-the-spencer-braswell-paper/#comment-107794

      • Regarding your link, I am not alleging unethical treatment, or anything like that. My conjecture is that he and his colleagues feel that the journal has been harmed by being dragged into the climate debate. Your view is apparently “that there is something unexplained about the reasons behind his resignation.” That is not a theory. It is easy to be a critic when you don’t take a position.

      • David –

        I don’t take a position because I don’t have enough evidence to support a position one way or the other except one that is consistent with his statements.

        As I see it, you incorrectly said that he didn’t speak to scientific problems with the paper.

        Ok – fair point that you didn’t conjecture about unethical treatment. So my response to others in that regard doesn’t apply to you. But I still find it implausible that an editor would publish a paper by one of the (three?) most prominent “skeptical” scientists without knowing that in publishing his paper they were going to be “dragged into the climate debate.”

        The journal was dragged into that debate the minute the paper was published – and it would have been absolutely obvious to anyone who did even a modicum of research that would happen.

      • Joshua, perhaps we are splitting hairs, but he only referred to the paper not responding to prior criticisms of similar papers. That is not a scientific problem with the paper, it is just the predictable shout of the warmers. The paper reports the results, that is its job.

        In fact one of my greatest complaints about scientific papers is that they never refer to the underlying debate. If you can find a scientific paper that explicitly responds to prior criticisms I would like to see it, because I can use it. The debates are virtually invisible in the literature, across the sciences. (I study the logic of scientific journal articles. Now that is an obscure specialty.)

        I am quite sure he did not expect this result, or he would not have published the paper. That he resigned seems clear proof of his surprise. People involved in the debate do not realize how specialized that involvement is.

        What is most amusing is that he now has a “tar baby” on his hands. Apologies to those who do not know Southern US lore and Uncle Remus –
        “I’m gwine ter larn you how ter talk ter ‘spectubble folks ef hit’s de las’ ack,” sez Brer Rabbit, sezee.
        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tar_baby
        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BX44YHK5Bik
        http://xroads.virginia.edu/~ug97/remus/tar-baby.html

      • David – I find your logic ironic.

        You say this:

        he only referred to the paper not responding to prior criticisms of similar papers. That is not a scientific problem with the paper,…

        and then this:

        In fact one of my greatest complaints about scientific papers is that they never refer to the underlying debate. If you can find a scientific paper that explicitly responds to prior criticisms I would like to see it, because I can use it.

        I am not particularly familiar with the scientific literature in any particular field – but I am familiar with helping students to write academic papers and with helping scientists to write papers they wish to get published.

        In working with students, I always pound on them that they need to deal, explicitly, with obvious counterarguments. Many professors require that of their students (in other words, support the notion that a thesis, by definition, must be arguable, and that if it is arguable, then you need to be about to articulate counterarguments), but many don’t, and unfortunately it is my experience that professors in the sciences are the least likely to make such a demand of their students.

        In working with scientists (or academics) who are trying to publish, a huge piece of their analysis must rely on a literature review, where they establish the need for their analysis and how their analysis adds to the existing body of knowledge on that topic.

        But IMO, when Wagner says that the paper didn’t respond to prior criticisms of similar papers, it is, quite explicitly, identifying a scientific problem.

        Indeed, it seems to me that in your second excerpt I am posting above – you agree with that larger viewpoint.

      • I should note that when I refer to literature review, I mean either a discrete component of a paper so labeled, or a literature review that is implicit in the statement of problem or rationale for why a thesis is arguable.

        IMO – any thesis that is presented as an unarguable assertion is most definitely not an acceptable thesis. The degree to which papers are written without that understanding works to the determent of scientists on both sides of the debate.

      • Joshua. You forget the climategate mails.

        In one episode the scientists suggested that they ‘boycott” the journal. That is, they stop sending good science to it.

        Given the strategies that we see suggested in the climategate mails for handling these types of situations it is entirely plausible and quite reasonable to expect that the team have learned from climategate that they can act with impunity. They can threaten boycotts and offer an editor the way out. Just do what Hans Von Storch did when the Soon paper got published. That killed the paper and preserved his career. ”
        “Professor Wagner you have to understand that real scientists wont want to publish in that journal until something is done. This isn’t a threat, just some facts. You might consider the path that Hans Von Storch took with regards to the Soon paper. That turned out better than any rebuttal both for science and form him.”

        not so far fetched and not inconsistent with what we saw in the climate gate mails. par for the course. i’m not shocked in fact I told people to be on the look out for these kinds of thing. It’s the season for it and corresponds timing wise to what we saw in climategate.

      • “They can threaten boycotts”
        They didn’t threaten a boycott.
        But with Remote Sensing, they couldn’t anyway. They don’t publish there. And they don’t subscribe – no-one does.

      • “I see no reason to reject the veracity of the explanation he offered.”

        It shows the professionalism and dedication to ethics of a panicked undergraduate. How could you miss that? If necessary, I can explain professionalism as it pertains to journal editors, though Pielke Sr has done that, and dedication to ethics.

      • Joshua. You forget the climategate mails.

        I doubt Joshua forgot them, he probably just realised that they are completely irrelevant to this case. Not that that would ever prevent you from dragging them up.

        They can threaten boycotts and offer an editor the way out. Just do what Hans Von Storch did when the Soon paper got published. That killed the paper and preserved his career.

        von Storch resigned because the editor published a garbage paper against the recommendations of the reviewers because it supposedly contradicted AGW. And not just von Storch, several other members of the editorial board. So we have a blatant abuse of the peer review system by a “skeptical” editor and you try to spin it against the “team”. Ridiculous.

      • but that’s how “skepticism” works. In a year or so time we’ll have “skeptics” preaching “IPCC abuse of the peer review system” and when challenged they will point to this wagner case while adding little embellishing lies such as he was forced to resign by Michael Mann Himself or something.

      • They are essentially doing that already.

      • I doubt Joshua forgot them, he probably just realised that they are completely irrelevant to this case. Not that that would ever prevent you from dragging them up.

        No – I didn’t “forget” them, and you’re right; while I can see how, in some abstracted way, why mosher would consider them relevant to this situation, when we look at just a few of the many specifics of this particular situation, we see that mosher’s speculation about their relevance does break down.

        First and foremost, there’s the point that Nick Stokes made. Our famous nefarious climate scientists would have no leverage on this particular journal. Further – why would they even want to publish there? They are scientists who are able to publish in the most prestigious of journals (whether because of the quality of their science or because of that whole cabal-thing, I’ll let people decide for themselves).

        What is the impact factor of Remote Sensing?

        But the application of mosher’s abstract plausibility fails in another basic way to stack up when applied to this situation. If Wagner had some deep fear of upsetting the pro-AGW climate scientist mafia, and is willing to corrupt his own ethics and subvert acceptable scientific publishing processes, why would he be involved in publishing a paper from one of the most well-known “skeptical” climate scientists in the first place?

  88. David Springer

    Whenever I see the word “consensus” among scientists in a politically and ideologically charged topic I read it as “bandwagon”. Science isn’t about consensus. It’s about explanations for natural phenomena that are demonstrably right or wrong. AGW climate science is rife with just-so stories and lacking in demonstration.

    The CO2 bogeyman is an argument from ignorance based entirely upon circulation models that cannot be made backcast with any accuracy without introducing CO2 forcing and a mythical water vapor amplication thereof. Every skeptic I have any respect for questions the water vapor amplification and little else.

    The argument from ignorance is “if it isn’t CO2 forcing we don’t know what else it could be [ergo CO2]“. Any mention in scientific circles of what else it could be is quashed by the bandwagon. It took 15 years for Svensmark’s hypothesis about GCR modulation of cloud cover to get further experment done that would either falsify or lend further support to it. When CLOUD concluded it lent further support. In the meantime AGW alarmists tell us we don’t have 15 years to wait before taking draconian measures to prevent catastrophe. Isn’t that just precious? I read that as “hurry up and restructure the global economy before it’s discovered that anthropogenic CO2 warming is no danger”.

    The unfortunate editor of Remote Sensing had to be severely punished to set an example for any other editors who dare to publish anything which disagrees with any elements of the bandwagon just-so story. This will have a chilling effect that you should, if you value the integrity of scientific investigation, find very alarming.

    By threat or bribe or both this editor was coerced into resignation to send a clear warning to others what happens if they make waves that rock the CAGW boat.

    And they wonder why they can’t convince enough of the public that CAGW is something to worry about. The public may not understand the science but they can smell a rat with an agenda from miles away. Something’s rotten in the state of Denmark and it isn’t Svensmark. Neither is Roy Spencer or the editor of Remote Sensing.

    • The water vapor amplification is not mythical; rather, it is well-supported by empirical evidence: See, e.g., http://www.sciencemag.org/content/310/5749/841 and http://www.sciencemag.org/content/323/5917/1020.summary

      • Two words: ‘pay’ and ‘wall’

      • Full Science articles are available at any half-decent library.

        You can also often find free version online by typing the title of the article into google scholar. For example, the 2nd paper I linked to is here http://www.see.ed.ac.uk/~shs/Climate%20change/Data%20sources/1020HumidityVaporWarming.pdf The first is here http://www.dca.iag.usp.br/www/material/akemi/radiacao-I/Soden_2005_Science.pdf

      • 56,000 downloads in a month. he public is hungry for knowledge based on real data rather than that generated by half baked models it seems.

      • Thanks for the links.
        I would go to the nearest half-decent library, if you’d be kind enough to pay for the 30-mile round-trip

      • David Springer

        Joel,

        One might reasonably expect that changes in water vapor that effect global average temperature might also effect global average cloud cover and with that global average albedo. A 1% change in albedo represents a greater change in surface forcing than all anthropogenic forcings combined.

        It has been assumed that albedo is relatively constant with some interannual variation but no clear trajectory. Climate models use this as a fudge factor and crank in anything between 30% to 35% albedo. A 5% difference in albedo is about 15 w/m2 forcing. Given anthropogenic forcing is on the order of 2.5w/m2 it would seem we need need to narrow down that range a bit with robust data. CERES is one source of that data and Spencer is a world class expert on CERES data.

        http://solar.njit.edu/preprints/palle1376.pdf

        Suggest you read the above paper which is presents a comparison of all efforts to measure global average albedo , disagreement between different methods of measuring same, and interannual changes by each.

        We have only very limited data on GAA reaching back less than 15 years and there is not satisfactory agreement between methods. In this paper the authors attempt to re-analyze their own data set (5-year Earthshine experiment at Mt. Palomar observatory) to match the latest re-calibrations of FD, CERES, and others. They find in the limited time frame there are indeed climatologically significant trends in interannual variations that appear to correlate with changes in interannual trajectory of satellite measured global average temperature trend.

        This is not going to be dismissed by hand waving, unvalidated GCMs, gratuitous linkage to Spencer’s religious beliefs, or any other stupidity, obfuscation, manipulation of journal articles, ad populum fallacies about consensus, or anything like that.

        Sorry, but that’s just the way it is. The data is far from complete, the models are not validated, and processes that effect climate too poorly understood and in some cases not even known. No one in their right mind is going to lose sleep over such poorly understood climate variation. Moreover, the earth is an ice age and what warming we saw over the last 30 years is a godsend as it increases the safety margin of some large volcanic eruption being the straw that breaks the Holocene interglacial’s back. In the meantime increased CO2 increases agricultural output and decreases fresh water requirements per unit of plant growth. Primary producers in the food chain love CO2 and they’d love a lot more of it. Wherego the primary producers in the food chain go us.

        Extraordinary climate changes caused by anthropogenic CO2 require extraordinary evidence to make such changes credible. The evidence just isn’t there. Handwaving and hysteria don’t cut it.

      • David,

        Your post relies on a false assumption, namely that if is interested in knowing the effect of a forcing that is, say, 4 W/m^2 then if one can’t calculate the radiative effects of everything to much better than this, there is no way one can accurately estimate the effect of the forcing. However, that is not the case. You don’t generally need to get total magnitudes to such accuracy in order to be able to look at the effect of changes of that magnitude. If it were the case that such high accuracy were needed, most of the modeling that I have done in physics over the years, which proved to be highly successful in many cases, would not have been.

        It is also worth noting that in the case of clouds, they have two countervailing effects, so the total magnitude of the effect on radiative forcing is less than just looking, say, at the effect on the shortwave (albedo) part in isolation.

        This does not mean that clouds are not a significant source of uncertainty…Clearly, they are the main reason why the value of the climate sensitivity has not been narrowed down further than it has. However, things are not nearly so bad as you make them out to be.

      • The annual mean net flow from ocean to land is on the order of 2% of the total incoming and outgoing radiation (122 PW or globally 239 W m 2) and 4.4 times the estimated net imbalance associated with global warming. Accordingly, it is important for models to be able to capture the land and ocean albedo and, thus, snow cover, vegetation, and cloud cover characteristics, which all vary considerably on a monthly basis. The annual cycle of the net radiation has a range of 9.5 PW and thus is about 8% of the net flow through the system. Hence, a 5% error in the annual cycle is comparable to the climate change signal. Although the global net radiation is dominated by orbital effects, changes in planetary albedo are nontrivial and OLR contributes significantly to enhancing the amplitude of the annual cycle.

        Fasullo, J. T., and K. E. Trenberth, 2008: The annual cycle of the energy budget. Part I: Global mean and land-ocean exchanges. J. Climate, 21, 2297-2312.

        I note Trenberth forces the ORL and albedo so that the climate change signal matches that derived from climate models. (Trenberth, K. E., J. T. Fasullo, and J. Kiehl, 2009: Earth’s global energy budget. Bull. Amer. Meteor. Soc., 90, No. 3, 311-324)

    • Also, the whole notion of what the consensus is relies on the following radical premise: Those best equipped to summarize the state of the science in the field are the scientists themselves.

      The problem with your statement that, “It’s about explanations for natural phenomena that are demonstrably right or wrong. AGW climate science is rife with just-so stories and lacking in demonstration” is that it doesn’t get us anywhere because it is just your opinion. We could replace “AGW climate science” with “evolutionary science” and have the same thing come out of the mouth of a creationist. What would then tell us that such a statement is any less correct than your statement?

      In the end, the science has to be analyzed and summarized…and the best people to do this (in fact the only people who can do this if we want to use science to inform public policy in any coherent way) are the scientists themselves.

      • Trying to discredit people by linking them to creationism again Joel? The depths to which you stoop are getting lower.

        Spencer does a pretty good job of summarising the state of the science, because he is a scientist with much greater experience in the field than, say, you.

      • His religious and political beliefs may indeed colour his reasoniong with regards to the science. He is a Director of the George C Marshall Institute and is on the board of advisors of the Cornwall Alliance for the Stewardship of Creation.

        If ‘skeptics’ claim that AGW concensus scientists are influenced by their political leanings, why is it wrong to point out similar influences in ‘skeptical’ scientists?

        http://www.cornwallalliance.org/articles/read/an-evangelical-declaration-on-global-warming/

        http://www.marshall.org/category.php?id=12

      • So show us something from the Spencer and Braswell paper which is influenced by creationist thought. Or, continue to demonstrate the vacuousness of your thought.

      • I’ll spell it out in very simple words for you as you seem to have trouble with long ones.

        Dr Roy Spencer may (note that word, may) be influenced in his scientific interpretation by his religious and political beliefs. This (political) charge is frequently laid against the ‘warmist’ scientists. Why is it not forbidden to consider this with ‘skeptical’ scientists too?

      • There’s nothing preventing you continuing to spew vacuous thoughts into this thread, in fact I’m happy to see you continue.

        ‘May’ is another weasel word frequently used by alarmists injecting their vacuous model output results into the dabate too. Although according to Peter Gleick, everbody’s work has to be run by them first to make shure reality can be remoulded to fit their models before publication from now on.

      • That would make Louise, a Sadducee?

      • Just a correction, Louise. Spencer’s views about creationism are not just religious beliefs. He has stated ( http://www.ideasinactiontv.com/tcs_daily/2005/08/faith-based-evolution.html ):

        I came to the realization that intelligent design, as a theory of origins, is no more religious, and no less scientific, than evolutionism.

        That has nothing to do with personal religious beliefs and everything to do with one’s scientific judgement. And, in my opinion, it does not put his scientific judgement in a very positive light.

      • Quine would probably say the same thing as would many pragmaticist thinkers who dont recognize sharp demarcations between “science” and other forms of behavior.

      • Oh my…so a guy comes around to the “speciation” problem (actually, the “familiation problem” would be a better description) and decides evolutionism can’t explain it enough. He then opts for “intelligent design” as a just-as-plausible alternative.

        This doesn’t say much about the guy’s “scientific judgement” as his innate reluctance to accept just-so stories. On your part instead, the science-as-dogma problem (“you just can’t support any wacky idea!!”) is fully visible.

      • Clouds are to climatology in what an egg is to theology.The word in the WCRP is that they are actually useless in so far as they under estimate observations from 10 to 40 %.Giss EH by around 20% and ER by around 18%.

        Good to see RC confirm this.

      • It’s not merely that quote. It’s the part that “as a PhD scientist, I intensely studied the evolution versus intelligent design controversy for about two years”

        So this is a direct test of his ability to study a subject.

        “Curiously, most of the books are written by scientists who lost faith in evolution as adults, after they learned how to apply the analytical tools they were taught in college”

        Something is seriously wrong with said tools or the application of them then.

        So now what happens if you apply those tools to say clouds and climate?

      • tallbloke:

        (1) When one considers a statement applied to one case, it is very reasonable to test it by considering comparison cases, particularly cases for which the “correct answer” is more generally accepted. If a method of judging science cannot distinguish between evolution and creationism, then it is a very poor method of judging science in my view and, I would hope, the views of most others here.

        (2) The fact that Spencer himself holds certain views on evolution was not something I was making reference to in this particular comment, although I have referenced it before because I think it is “fair game”. He made a statement that went well beyond the bounds of his own personal religious beliefs to express a view about the relative merit of the scientific case for evolution and intelligent design. That statement certainly reflects on his scientific judgement.

        (2) One can never rely on just one scientist to summarize the state of the science, be it me, Spencer, or anybody else.

      • Just to clarify, when I was referring to “this particular comment”, I meant this comment. [I know that because of the way the comments appear here, that could be unclear...particularly when it shows up just below a comment that did follow-up on Spencer's views on evolution.]

      • A clarification with a link involved works better when the link is included: http://judithcurry.com/2011/09/02/update-on-the-spencer-braswell-paper/#comment-107839

      • Michael Larkin

        Joel,

        “in my opinion, it does not put his scientific judgement in a very positive light.”

        It’s good that you said it was your opinion, and I give you credit for that.

        What I find hard to wrap my head around is that current estimates of the age of the earth are around 4.5 bn yr. Also, current estimates of when the first life forms (prokaryotes similar to ones still found today) arose is 3.5 bn yr ago.

        Now the thing is, if that is so, and those ancient prokaryotes had the same gene expression system as modern ones, then that means that even at that time, their expression system was complex. Not as complex as for eukaryotic cells, but still orders of magnitude more complex than any human-designed system we are currently capable of.

        How did that complexity arise? Where is the mechanism for it? Neodarwinism can’t explain it, even if it can explain evolution of life forms after biogenesis. I remember in a video interview of Richard Dawkins, he said, very surprisingly, that life on earth could have arisen through design by hyperintelligent extraterrestrials, but that they themselves would have had to have arisen, somewhere along the line, through blind, mechanistic processes.

        Who knows – certainly not me. But I fail to see why someone like Dawkins, capable of thoughts such as this, is somehow more credible than someone like Spencer, who is of the opinion that if it looks and walks and quacks like a duck, then it could possibly *be* a duck. All conventional evolutionary biologists readily admit there is the *appearance* of design in life forms, but deny any possibility that’s because there actually *is* design.

        Whatever – I’m just an agnostic sitting on the fence thinking about where all that specified information present in the prokaryote cell came from 3.5 bn years ago. To me, intelligent design seems at least as plausible as thinking it arose through blind mechanism, so I’m with Spencer on that.

      • The world has been full of questions of “how could X evolve” which seem to have no answer initially, but subsequently answers were found in the fossil record to “ah of course” moments.

        The reason we don’t know how life itself emerged is simply because whatever tiny precursors existed left no trace in the fossil record. Ie there is insufficient data. There’s no reason to assume it was magic.

      • You fall back on trying to smear Spencer and cast doubt on his scientific judgement because you have no rebuttal to his scientific argument.

        You are a loser who is bad at losing.

      • It is not a smear to question someone’s scientific judgement on the basis of statements that they have made about science. Look, Roy Spencer is making an extraordinary claim that nearly all scientists in the field are wrong and he is correct and presumably wanting to weigh this in such a way that it significantly affects policy decisions made on the basis of the science. That requires a very high bar of evidence…and, until a full scientific judgement is rendered on the actual work in question, one reasonable way to assess whether he is likely correct and nearly everyone else wrong is to look at his track record.

        Plenty of people have been looking in detail at the problems with his scientific arguments in climate science (some of them being extremely embarrassing errors: http://web.archive.org/web/20090321210824/http://tamino.wordpress.com/2009/01/19/a-bag-of-hammers/ ). However, doing so requires a considerable investment of time and also involves some areas (analysis if satellite data) where I frankly do not have all that great expertise. In the meantime, until a generally-accepted verdict is rendered by the scientific community on Spencer’s work, it seems perfectly reasonable to try to assess whether Spencer’s extraordinary claims seem likely to be correct on the basis of what his track record is: How careful has he been on past analyses? How good is his scientific judgement?

      • Michael Larkin,

        How did that complexity arise? Where is the mechanism for it? Neodarwinism can’t explain it, even if it can explain evolution of life forms after biogenesis.

        I don’t pretend to have any great knowlege of evolutionary theory but the conclusion I draw from that is we just don’t know that aspect of the science well enough to explain it. I don’t see why it logically follows that a supernatural explanation is either neccessary or plausible.

      • Nullius in Verba

        “How did that complexity arise? Where is the mechanism for it? Neodarwinism can’t explain it, even if it can explain evolution of life forms after biogenesis.”
        Most of the complexity is explained the same way. Once you have a replicator, everything else follows. Biogenesis itself is still an unknown (although there is no shortage of theories), but there’s no reason to think it’s unknowable.

        Intelligent design isn’t a solution to that problem, anyway, it just pushes it back one level. You just have to ask where the intelligent designer came from – how did that complexity arise? Where is the mechanism for it?

        “All conventional evolutionary biologists readily admit there is the *appearance* of design in life forms, but deny any possibility that’s because there actually *is* design.”
        Have you considered the implications of the appearance of bad design in life forms? There are a number of cases where designs of organisms show evidence of gross stupidity, botched incompetence, and even malignant evil. What does it say about the designer, that they seem so very clever one moment, and totally lacking in intelligence and forethought the next?

        Incidentally, evolutionary biologists have long been aware of cases of intelligent design – in fact, evolution by artificial selection was understood for many years prior to evolution by natural selection. The many breeds of dogs, domesticated livestock, and crop plants all differ distinctly from their wild ancestors, in ways that can only be explained by human aims and intentions.

        But before humans came along, there is no known case that requires anything other than natural selection to explain it. With a perfectly good explanation available, why should biologists accept an inconsistent, incomplete non-explanation with no evidence for it and a significant amount against as being any better?

        You might like to ask yourself why there is no similar controversy over languages, which – according to scientists – likewise evolve and descend from common ancestors, (although for different reasons). After all, the Bible is just as adamant that all languages were created together in one event, at Babel. Who else could have designed the regular verb endings, and got all the parts to fit together so elegantly? Are all the Latin and Greek remnants to be found in modern English put there by the creator to test our faith? Has every language spoken today always existed, in some dialect? Did Moses, as some people I know genuinely seem to think, speak English?

        I make no judgements about why people believe what they do until I know on what basis they believe it. And it’s a fallacy to think that an arguer’s beliefs on one subject have any bearing on their beliefs on any other. As many people have pointed out, Isaac Newton had some very strange religious beliefs, and spent much of his life pursuing alchemy. Kepler was a deeply religious professional astrologer, and his books are filled with the most bizarre crankery to modern eyes. That doesn’t mean that on those topics where they were right they shouldn’t be taken seriously.

      • Joel Shore –
        It is not a smear to question someone’s scientific judgement on the basis of statements that they have made about science.

        It IS a smear to question a scientific paper/concept on the basis of the religion belief of the author. If you have a problem with the paper, then provide your reasons/arguments in scientific terms.

        But you’ve failed to do that. Rather, you’ve attacked Spencer on a personal basis and failed entirely to show any reason why his paper should not be taken seriously.

        Roy Spencer is making an extraordinary claim that nearly all scientists in the field are wrong and he is correct and presumably wanting to weigh this in such a way that it significantly affects policy decisions made on the basis of the science.

        IF Roy Spencer is doing that then he’s doing exactly what any good scientist aspires to as a life goal – to advance the state of scientific knowledge and, if possible, change the paradigm to something closer to a realistic description of the world we live in. Any scientist who does NOT aspire to that goal cannot be said to be “doing science” or to be a “scientist”.

        IOW, Spencer is doing precisely what Einstein, Newton, Galileo and others have done in the past – presenting new information and ideas. That’s what a scientist is supposed to do.

        IIRC, you claim to be a scientist. In my opinion, your purpose here is to prevent the proper examination of new ideas and information that could change the paradigm that you are committed to. And you’re willing to stoop to personal attack on matters of personal belief rather than scientific fact in order to disrupt the debate and distract attention from those new ideas/information. IOW, you stand in the way of scientific progress and you fail to meet the requirements for the title you claim.

      • Jim,

        (1) Repeating a falsehood doesn’t make it true. You repeat the falsehood that I am talking about Spencer’s religious belief. I am not. I am talking about his scientific judgement in claiming that intelligent design is no less scientific an explanation than evolution. I could care less what his religious beliefs he has just as long as he does not want to foist them on us as being scientific.

        (2) All scientists may aspire to be the next Galileo, but that doesn’t mean they are very likely to be. Given Spencer’s past track record, I think it would be pretty foolish to bet that he is the next Galileo.

        (3) I am doing nothing to prevent the examination of Spencer’s ideas. What I am saying is that, in the meantime, it is irrational to base policy decisions on some new piece of science by someone who claims to overturn the current consensus in the scientific field and which is so new that the scientific community has not had a chance to even really respond to it. Look as a practical matter, this is what is happening: Some people who are philosophically opposed to action are jumping on to any bit of science that comes along in order to argue for delaying action, no matter to what extent it disagrees with the current scientific thought in the field. This is a game that is essentially always possible to play and hence it is a recipe for no longer basing policy decisions on the best current science. That is what I am fighting against.

      • Joel Shore –
        The problem with your statement that, “It’s about explanations for natural phenomena that are demonstrably right or wrong. AGW climate science is rife with just-so stories and lacking in demonstration” is that it doesn’t get us anywhere because it is just your opinion. We could replace “AGW climate science” with “evolutionary science” and have the same thing come out of the mouth of a creationist. What would then tell us that such a statement is any less correct than your statement?

        If you’re going to talk about “evolutionary science” you should learn something about it first. Including the fact that it has much the same problems as “climate science” and is, in fact, no more “settled” than climate science. I am presently considering a University level course that deals specifically with the present problems with the state of “evolutionary science”. IOW – your objection is moot and your conclusion is based on ignorance wrt the state of “evolutionary science”.

      • Well, I personally would be happy to equate the merits of climate science with the merits of evolutionary science. If you want to argue that evolutionary science is on no stronger footing than climate science, I think you will find many of your AGW-skeptic breathren recoiling in horror. (I have certainly had many tell me that the comparison is ridiculous…and even I do not claim that the quantitative level of uncertainty is the same in each, although I think it is a good comparison on a qualitative level.)

      • Joel –
        I personally would be happy to equate the merits of climate science with the merits of evolutionary science.

        We’re not talking “merits” here, Joel, but rather equivalent “holes” in both theories that one could drive truck through. You seem to assume that evolutionism is solid enough to use as a standard fro judging the scientific literacy/judgment of others. And you apparently fail to understand the number and magnitude of the unanswered questions about it. Or about the internal civil wars that rage in the evolutionary “community”.

        There is no/zip/nada/zero difference between the two disciplines in that respect. Except that in climate science there’s the contingent that claim the science is settled. Which, in itself, is anti-scientific and ignorant.

        If you want to argue that evolutionary science is on no stronger footing than climate science

        There is no argument about that except from those who, again, believe that “the science is settled” wrt evolution. Which is, again, anti-scientific and ignorant.

        I don’t know what you’ve been told – and don’t really care. I DO know that every time someone claims that skeptics are anti-evolutionary, and therefore anti-science, they make themselves look stupid. Which is really unfair in a way because the reality is that they’re just ignorant. But then – it’s willful ignorance and equates to stupidity.

        even I do not claim that the quantitative level of uncertainty is the same in each, although I think it is a good comparison on a qualitative level

        I wouldn’t say the uncertainty is the same either. For all its warts and unknowns (both known and unknown) and gaps, evolution is far more probable than CAGW. But still eminently questionable and not fit as a measure of scientific knowledge, integrity or judgment.

      • What’s also interesting here, Joel, is looking at this question from the other angle.

        Apparently, at least some AGW-sceptics have no problem comparing the scientific validity of anti-AGW science to the “science” of Intentional Design. And we have absolutely seen in these threads that there are at least some “skeptics” who believe that considering Intentional Design to be a valid scientific theory, in no way, tells you anything about an ID-believer’s viewpoint on scientific processes and what constitutes “scientific evidence” in proof of a “scientific theory.” In other words, believing that there is sufficient scientific evidence to prove that a supernatural being has designed life in no way is informative about how one defines what constitutes scientific evidence.

        No doubt, at least some AGW-skeptics might recoil in horror as you suggest, but they have been notably silent in discussions on these threads regarding the scientific validity of Intentional Design – and I suspect that the number might be somewhat fewer than you think.

      • Joshua –
        WHAT is Intentional Design?

        Ya really gotta love those who pontificate out of a deep well of ignorance.

        And actually, I believe you were told something like – ID can be classed as a theory, just as phlogiston and lumineferous aether once were. But none of them are presently valid theories because all of them have been either superceded by better theories or failed to be validated. Now, having read only one comment in that exchange, I could be wrong about that. But I doubt it.

        As for ID wrt science – it’s not. Nor is it supportable theologically. But CAGW is not supportable scientifically either. So believing in ID is in no way less logical or rational than believing in CAGW.

        Since you still seem to be having the reading comprehension problem, I’ll add this – few skeptics deny that GW has occurred, few skeptics deny “some” human influence on climate – meaning that AGW is not a BIG question. But CAGW is an entirely different beast and is supported only by religious belief – just like ID. Notice which one I referred to above.

      • That’s funny, Jim.

        I meant Intelligent Design, of course.

        What I was told is that Intelligent Design is a “scientific theory” based on “scientific evidence.” By no less than a self-identified expert on such matters, David W.

        David H. also described ID as a “major” scientific theory.

        It’s all there in the archives. Take a gander. It was quite an interesting discussion – in particular I enjoyed the exchange with BillC.

        Since you think that ID isn’t science, I suggest that you take it up with Davids W & H, as I agree with your assessment. And maybe you should tell them whether you think that a belief that ID is a “scientific theory” based on “scientific evidence” tells you anything about that persons overall conceptualization of “scientific theories” and “scientific evidence.”

        I look forward to reading your discussion with them.

      • Oh, and Jim —

        These discussion tend to go much better if you leave the ad homs out.

        Go ahead and read the exchange I had with BillC. It’s good evidence that people really can exchange views respectfully. Whenever you’re ready to exchange views at that level – I welcome you to begin doing so.

      • And one more thing, Jim.

        In fact, I was told that my belief that ID isn’t a scientific theory based on scientific evidence proves that I don’t know what science is.

        Welcome to my club.

      • I think Joshua meant Intelligent Design instead of Intentional Design.

        The topic of intentional design is actually pretty interesting if one attaches the current high-technology meaning to intent. It is really about creating domain specific transformation tools and languages so that the designer’s or engineer’s intent is as close to realization as possible. This of course has the side-effect of improving productivity. Thus you see such tools at the intentional workbench and companies like intentional software.
        But I don’t think that was what Joshua was referring to — which is the plain junk science of Intelligent Design. Already today, I have been associated with supporting Intelligent Design because I attacked a rejected paper on Intelligent Design. See this comment in a thread above:

        http://judithcurry.com/2011/09/02/update-on-the-spencer-braswell-paper/#comment-108298

        I sense the same undercurrent that Joshua is describing. It is an undercurrent because people are not calling it out by name, but you can infer that’s what they believe in.

      • Oh, OK – since you asked, one more post.

        Ya really gotta love those who pontificate out of a deep well of ignorance.

        I consider it noble of you to self-identify before your comment as pontificating out of ignorance, and then admitting that you hadn’t read the exchange before commenting (inaccurately, of course) on what I had or hadn’t been told.

        Very noble indeed.

      • WHT –

        I believe this discussion took place before you started hanging out at this site?

        http://judithcurry.com/2011/08/23/climate-boomerangs/

        In some cases, it is more than an undercurrent (note what David H. has to say).

        In other cases, it has been argued that a belief in Intelligent Design tells us nothing of significance about how someone views science, or defines “scientific theory” or “scientific evidence.”

      • Joshua,

        Although I generally agree with you, a belief in Intelligent Design may well tell us something about how an individual deals with overwhelming evidence in favor of a scientific theory which runs counter to a deeply held personal belief.

      • Joshua –
        What I was told is that Intelligent Design is a “scientific theory” based on “scientific evidence.” By no less than a self-identified expert on such matters, David W.

        David H. also described ID as a “major” scientific theory.

        Your problem, Josh, is your weakness wrt history.

        At one time (prior to Darwin’s publication of “Origin of Species” and for some time thereafter), ID WAS a major scientific theory. And it was supported by the scientific (actually “Natural History”) community at the time. For some people it may still be considered as such. Keep in mind that few of those who vote today have any real scientific education – including some of those who participate on this blog. Witness the present conversation. For example, how many of the denizens here claim the S&B paper to be dishonest or fraudulent or that it’s been refuted? How many of them can back up those assertions – and how many believe those assertions – without evidence or proof? That’s not science, Josh, that’s blind faith, which makes them no different from those who believe in ID – or Baal – or Krishna – or atheism – or ID. None of which are falsifiable, all of which are, by definition, religion (including CAGW).

        ID, Josh, is supportable by Christian theology only to the point where it meets the nexus between science and religion. And from my POV, that point was reached some years ago. But that does NOT mean it’s not believable. Nor does it mean that ID is WRONG. It may not be logical or rational, but then – is there ANY religious belief (including atheism – and agnosticism) that can be described by those words?

        OTOH, if you want to claim ID is wrong – then prove it. Otherwise you’re just making unsupported assertions. And that’s as anti-scientific as belief in Baal – or Kali – or God – or Sagan’s multiple gods.

        Even (some) scientists fall into the trap. For example, Wagner makes all the “proper” noises about how dissenting views should be aired – in the middle of his resignation over the airing of some of those dissenting views. IOW – he knows what science requires, but fails to see his error in not doing what’s required. Blatant hypocrisy. And you argue for it? Have you come to terms with your tribalism yet, Josh?

        David W and David H are both right, Josh. Your lack of knowledge and understanding is not their problem – it’s yours. And the idea that a belief in ID is any more a disqualifier wrt science than any other religious belief is just plain dumb. It fairly screams of a deep well of ignorance of the history of science and a parochialism that is simply unscientific – and anti-scientific.

      • Jim, in terms of science, you run into problems when you state that ID is only supported by Christian theology. Where is the evidence? Oops, there isn’t any.

      • But that does NOT mean it’s not believable. Nor does it mean that ID is WRONG.

        Seriously, Jim, you should read the other thread before pontificating

        I neither stated that it was not believable, nor that it was wrong. In fact, I was very clear that I was saying neither. I repeated it numerous times.

        What I argued is that ID is not science. It is not a scientific theory because it is not based on scientific evidence. It is not based in empirical/experimental analysis, and it does not pass scrutiny of falsification.

        You can keep arguing with straw men all you want, but if you want to have a discussion with me, I suggest you read the prior thread so that you have an accurate idea of what I do or don’t think, or what I have or have not said.

        It may not be logical or rational, but then – is there ANY religious belief (including atheism – and agnosticism) that can be described by those words?

        In fact, I argued that depending on your starting premise, a belief in ID can be both logical and rational. If you believe that the bible is the word of god as a starting premise, then ID is both. What I argued, however, is that ID is not science. Exactly as you stated above. I agree with you. It is Davids W and H that disagree with you.

        OTOH, if you want to claim ID is wrong – then prove it. Otherwise you’re just making unsupported assertions.

        This is actually getting to be extremely funny. How many times in one comment directed towards me can you be arguing against things that I never said? I have never stated that ID is wrong. Nor have I ever stated that I “want to claim” that ID is wrong. I am an agnostic. I don’t claim to know whether a supernatural being exists or not. As such, I don’t state that a belief in a supernatural being that has designed life (along with creating the conditions whereby tens of millions of children who die of starvation each year) is wrong. I state that there is no scientific theory, based on scientific evidence, that proves the existence of such a being.

        Seriously, Jim – try arguing with someone who actually says the things you’re arguing against. Read the freakin’ thread, Jim.

      • “In the end, the science has to be analyzed and summarized…and the best people to do this (in fact the only people who can do this if we want to use science to inform public policy in any coherent way) are the scientists themselves.”

        You left out “criticized.” I wonder why? Who is best placed to criticize one’s life work, the author?

  89. “By threat or bribe or both this editor was coerced into resignation”

    Bollocks

    You have as much evidence to support your claim as the deniers (not the same people as the skeptics) have for their views (see slayers thread for evidence).

    • I am prepared to guess that his Editorial Board was outraged, by being dragged into the hellhole of climate debate. This is not where a journal wants to be.

      • I suspect that is a good guess

      • One suspects the Editorial Board would be less outraged were they not being dragged by such a wobbly nag of a paper, nor by the thorny path of goodly-intentioned pal reviewership come to light.

      • “a wobbly nag of a paper”

        And here we have Bart R’s judgement. There’s no science content, but hey, this is the climate debate, where any fool can cast aspersions at published scientists with brilliant careers in remote sensing – Right?

      • tallbloke

        If you look at the category, it’s an Ethics debate in a climate forum.

        Wagner rightly asserts this is only “..one particular observational satellite data set with model predictions..” that is “..most likely problematic in both aspects..” ["fundamental methodological errors", "false claims"] “..and should therefore not have been published..”

        “..satellite data to check the functionality of all sorts of geophysical models is therefore a very important part of our work. But it should not be done in isolation by the remote sensing scientists. Interdisciplinary cooperation with modelers is required in order to develop a joint understanding of where and why models deviate from satellite data. Only through this close cooperation the complex aspects involved in the satellite retrievals and the modeling processes can be properly taken into account.”

        “..comparable studies published by other authors have already been refuted in open discussions and to some extend”[sic]” also in the literature (cf. [7]), a fact which was ignored by Spencer and Braswell in their paper and, unfortunately, not picked up by the reviewers. In other words, the problem I see with the paper by Spencer and Braswell is not that it declared a minority view (which was later unfortunately much exaggerated by the public media) but that it essentially ignored the scientific arguments of its opponents.”

        As the Editor in Chief taking the traditional action of resigning per the gravity of the issue, that’s Wagner, not Bart casting the aspersions.

        Once Wagner’s done it in such a carefully and thoroughly supported presentation of fact and reason, Bart’s quite justified to call the paper a nag, even if so many other qualified commentators hadn’t raised valid, substantive points elsewhere over and over again.

        Bart has never generated over 600 responses to a single post. Take up the aspersion with Wagner. I believe there’s a line-up, though, so you may have to wait.

        Not because this involves climate.

        But because it involves Ethics, and Spencer’s clear transgression thereof.

      • “Wagner rightly asserts”

        It’s not a journal editors job to assert anything. So he has quit his job and had his say. Fair enough, but I think he’s wrong about a lot of what he says, and that’s what is under debate here. Anyone wanting to take a swipe at Spencer and Braswell’s paper need to address that paper. If they want what they have to say taken seriously, they need to get their critique peer reviewed and published. Spencer and Braswell’s paper was critiqued, amended and finally approved for publication by, as Wagner said, three well qualified people with good publication records.

        Who has peer reviewed Wagner’s editorial? No-one. It is a prerogative someties given to people who quit their job to get a resignation letter published. It’s an opinion piece.

        The team is up to its usual shenanigans, redefining the peer review process because its “shaky nag” (tm. Bart R) of a hypothesis can’t stand up to proper scientific debate.

        They are losers, further undermining the pre-eminent position as a knowledge system science held in the eyes of the world before overarching considerations of money, politics and status started to destroy the trust people had in it. Shame on them.

      • Hi Bart,

        ‘But trying to refute all scientific insights into the global warming phenomenon just based on the comparison of one particular observational satellite data set with model predictions is strictly impossible.’

        Both you an Wagner are drawing long bows. The data used was:

        ‘(a) surface temperatures from HadCRUT3, and (b) radiative fluxes from Terra CERES SSF Edition 2.5, for the period March 2000 through June 2010.’

        So there is no particular problem with the data. What they did with it was a simple lagged correlation.

        They derived the LW and DW flux and surface temperature from 14 models for the 20th Century. ‘Global monthly anomalies in LW and SW fluxes, as well as in surface temperature, were also computed from the 20th Century runs of the World Climate Research Programme’s WCRP’s) Coupled Model Intercomparison Project phase 3 (CMIP3) multi-model dataset archived at PCMDI, for the years 1900 through 1999. Because of the significant trends in the 20th Century simulations, the 100-year trend was removed from each anomaly time series in order to better isolate the interannual variability that will be compared to the relatively short (10 year) period of satellite data. While we computed results for 14 of the models archived, here will only present results for the three most sensitive models (MIROC3.2-hires; IPSL-CM4; MIROC3.2-medres), and the 3 least sensitive models (FGOALS; NCAR PCM1; GISS-ER), where their sensitivity to transient carbon dioxide forcing was estimated by [8].’

        Obviously nothing wrong there. And then did the same lagged correlation and compared it to the observations.

        I note the same analysis was done at realclimate – http://www.realclimate.org/?author_name=mike – by Trenberth and Fasula. With the same result. The average of models varied by about 1 W/m^2/K – so with ‘reasonable’ bounds (of about +/- 3 W/m^2/K) the models matched the observations. The average of models in the realclimate analysis came nowhere near the observations – while there seems to be one model that was closer than the others.

        This is not surprising. ‘It is not controversial to state that climate models are deficient in terms of tropical variability in the atmosphere on
        many timescales [Lin et al., 2006; Lin, 2007] and a more realistic simulation of ENSO events in coupled simulations remains a high priority for model developers.’ Trenberth et al 2010.

        Trenberth et al 2010 – was concerned with refuting Lindzen and Choi (2009). LC09 has nothing in common with this this paper. Wagner either is either clueless or lying.

        There is BS around – but Spencer and Braswell are not doing the shovelling.

        Cheers
        Robert I Ellison
        Chief Hydrologist

      • tallbloke

        wobbly. tch.

        You believe Wagner’s wrong? I think Wagner slightly questionable on some particulars, as Chief points out. Rightly.

        But that’s immaterial.

        By the magickal reasoning of editorial resignation, Wagner transmuted the debate from merits of SB11’s science to complete failure of SB11’s ethics.

        No peer review now is needed to disparage SB11.

        “If they want what they have to say taken seriously, they need to get their critique peer reviewed and published. Spencer and Braswell’s paper was critiqued, amended and finally approved for publication by, as Wagner said, three well qualified people with good publication records.”

        That was arguably the state of the world last week, tallbloke. Farfetched even then, and revealing gross misapprehension of the science world, but arguable. It’s a new reality for SB11 now.

        You seem to be having trouble adjusting to the new reality.

        Let me lay it out for you.

        With Wagner’s resignation, every yahoo and opinionated blowhard now has the right to take swipes at SB11.

        Spencer and Braswell have earned a special place on the wrong side of the Sokal index among names like Wakefield, Bogdanov, Fleischmann, Pons, and Jan Hendrik Schön.

        This is not a team thing, a climate science thing, or even a science thing.

        This is ethics in publishing, and it is a whole other realm of hurt for SB11.

        There is sufficient substance to Wagner’s charges to stick, and in this scandal not enough wiggle room for the SB11 fairy tale to get out of it.

        You can’t keep this confined to friendly climate blogs, or unfriendly pre-deprecated ones you’ve seen before and dismissed.

        Every science-ignorant science journalist understands editorial resignation, and if they do not, their editors will. They will know about it, and remember it, and will know when Spencer’s name comes up again to lump him as “the one after Wakefield.”

      • Bart R,

        Why would you imagine anyone would want so badly to see S&B so thoroughly discredited?

      • An open-access journal like MDPI is not much different than a random-access paper archive like http://arxiv.org. People are kidding themselves if they think that much editorial control goes on there. The players behind MDPI are simply taking advantage of cheap permanent storage. They have no special expertise in any of the fields they publish in. They ask for volunteers on editorial boards and of course they will get people from universities, because that will help with tenure considerations.

        I happened to like Arxiv because as an engineer, you can use your own filter to figure out what is good or not. Apply Google Scholar and you can do interesting research.

        I currently have a paper accepted to the open access Intech publishers. I did it because I needed something published quick and am willing to take a chance. All they are concerned about is collecting their publication fees (aka article processing charges), which will run my company about $900. I know that this is their only concern because of course the bureaucracy of my management has delayed the payment and I get pestering emails from Intech to pay up. I have since found out that Intech is headquartered in Croatia in some rinky-dink technical college campus. Who knows if they have any staying power.

        MDPI probably wants to be dragged into a climate debate. Its free publicity to them and they can get more people thinking about publishing there. In the future there is no point of maintaining paper products. They have an article processing charge in Swiss francs which is a pretty smart move considering its strength as a currency. They apply a no-fee teaser to new journals they are opening up and then increase the fee once they have a critical mass of articles published. The Energies and Entropy articles are actually pretty interesting to check out; the fee is over $1000 per article so authors aren’t going to put junk up there unless they want to waste their money. I am not knocking their approach, just telling you how it works.

        But it doesn’t matter anyways. Information wants to be free and eventually it won’t matter where it resides. We will either find that information becomes more ambiguous and useless (say if this automatic translation of Japanese to English continues) or that it because more organized and self-correcting (if smart queries via the semantic web keep getting better). All this editorial review will become passe, and the cream of information will rise to the surface. IMO.

      • If true it only means the editor needed to go and board needs to consider if they are the right stewards for that journal. How can you get to the truth if you exclude half your resources?

        Perhaps all that is needed is a name change to Consensus Science in which case all is well again, and the book can be judged by its cover rather than us having to discover the editorial flaws though these drama queen moments.

      • Peter317

        Why would anyone want..?

        I doubt it’s personal. It didn’t look personal to me. Did it to you?

        I disagree with the various conspiracy pundits, as tinfoil hats make my ears look to big.

        I disagree with Judith and David’s implication that there’s something attention-averse about the editorial board. They were in a good position to skip out of the climate hellhole at will by simply omitting to regard new climate papers for a while; Wagner’s resignation corked them into the hole, and would be the opposite of what this attitude would seek.

        Absent compelling other evidence, Wagner must be taken at face value on what he said. He acted as an EiC ought when so glaring an ethical lapse happened on his watch.

  90. I think the editor should be cut a little slack. After all, what are the chances you send out a paper to three reviewers and they ALL have sceptic views??

    .03^3 = .000027!

    That is like 40000 to 1. The guy was just amazingly unlucky.

    James

    • I think you’re missing what he said. The editor (Wagner) didn’t send them out. The managing editor (office guy) decided who to send them to. He just got told who they were. I think that’s why he resigned.
      .

      • Where in his resignation does he say that that is why he resigned? He said the review process went very well.
        If it were as you said, he would have resigned before the paper was published.

    • Very funny James. The irony is sublime.

      I suspect the reviewers just did their job and looked at the paper and said this is (1) understandable and (2) potentially significant. That is all reviewers are supposed to do.

    • James I think you have things out of order.

      1) He sends out the paper to 3 reviewers.

      2) They do not reject the paper, they propose 3 modest fixes and those are made.

      3) They agree the paper should be published.

      4) THEN and ONLY THEN are they deemed to sceptics.

      By not rejecting the paper they are automatically deemed heretics sceptics.

    • This is simple; ask Christy, Lindzen, and ?? if they were reviewers.
      If they were not, then I’ll suspect the editor of lying about whether the reviwers were skeptical or not. The list of skeptics is so short

  91. Regardless of who did the selection, if there was anything untoward about the selection then why did he not say so? It looks to me like he took pains to point out the opposite.

  92. “dp | September 2, 2011 at 11:15 pm | Reply
    My my my – I do believe I’ve found the money quote of all time. The yellow press is alive and well in jaunty London Town:

    Dr Spencer is a committed Christian as well as a professional scientist

    God bless the BBC for sharing this essential factoid about that wascally committed Christian scientist.”

    My first comment on this blog;

    I am not a Christian and in no way religious but I think this comment by the BBC is one of the most shameful and disgraceful bits of ‘journalism’ I’ve seen in a long time. I’ve never seen it used for any warmist description. What other purpose was it used for than to cast some sort of doubt on Spencer’s science? And people wonder why we are sceptics!

  93. “The Spencer and Braswell paper fails in these requirements. But this is also the way science works: someone makes a scientific claim and others test it. If it holds up to scrutiny, it become part of the scientific literature and knowledge, safe until someone can put forward a more compelling theory that satisfies all of the observations, agrees with physical theory, and fits the models.”

    Am I the only one to observe that Gleick just redefined scientific method to include “fits the models.” He has placed the models on the same level as observation and physical theory. In other words, according to Gleick, models are data. This over-reach should take Gleick out of consideration for serious discussions of science or scientific method.

    • Great eye, Theo! Gleick is advancing what is now called the “third pillar” model of science. Modelling is supposed to be on an equal footing with observation and theory, hence it is the new third pillar of science, or so the proponents say. I have my doubts.

      As I see it modeling is just fancy theory. Instead of a few equations we have millions of lines of code, with an untold and unknown number of assumptions and approximations. (And I am a modeler.) It is just a computer for heaven’s sake. It is just expressed thought, not reality. Words not facts.

      On the other hand, one part of science often assumes some things are true in order to study other things, just as someone else is studying what they assume is true, and questioning it. It is a fascinating system. Millions of people thinking together.

      • David

        Surely you can furnish a counterexample, where models are not equally important to data and theory?

        Rutherford modeled the structure of the atom with gold foil, a radiation source and a pair of detectors.

        Was Millikan and Fletcher’s oil drop model not crucial to scientific literature and knowledge?

        Are you confused as to the role of experiment mediating between theory and data?

      • The difference between a physical model and a computer model is that the former has to obey the laws of physics. For it not to do so is a physical impossibility.
        A computer model inherently knows no such restrictions.
        And it’s all too easy to violate some physical law – even inadvertently.

      • Peter317

        Are you arguing that no physical experimental design has ever been flawed?

        That there’s inherent impunity from bad execution in beakers and flasks?

        Crappy lab work has resulted in far more bad science than crappy computer work. At least computers crash on some types of errors, an inherent restriction no pendulum knows.

        A badly validated and verified experiment of any sort is equally unreliable.

        More, not less, reason to explicitly recognize the third pillar.

      • No, I’m not at all saying that physical experiments can’t be flawed.
        But that doesn’t invalidate my argument.

      • Also, if nothing else, that’s one more thing which a computer model can get wrong.

      • Shona

        I’ve written hundreds of thousands of lines of computer code over several decades, and led the QA on many tens of millions more.

        Have you ever completed a validation and verification cycle for anything larger than an HTML script?

        David

        I don’t see a counterexample in your response.

        Of course you were talking about computer models. Which would be pure babble. And I asked you to correct yourself (correctly).

      • Peter317

        You assert a difference which does not exist due your invalid assumptions.

        This actually does invalidate your argument, if one uses pure logic.

        Which computers can do.

        Which is a difference between them, and you.

      • What on earth are you talking about?
        A little less twisting, please.

      • Have you ever written a.. computer programme? Every extra character of code is a potential plethora of errors. And than you can run the programme is no guarantee it is correct.

      • You lost the thread Bart R. I was referring to computer models but you introduced physical models, in effect changing the subject, and Peter corrected you (correctly).

      • “Surely you can furnish a counterexample, where models are not equally important to data and theory?”

        Models can be very important but they cannot substitute for hypotheses or theories. For example, models fail to serve the purpose of specifying all the observable facts past and future.

        The problem for people like Gleick is far more fundamental. To claim that the model is to be placed on the same level as observable fact is to claim that there is no factual basis for criticism of the science. In effect, it sets aside scientific method.

      • Theo, I think you are overstating the case. The fact is that models now play a central role throughout the sciences. So we are trying to understand what this means. My argument is that running a model having a 100 million lines of code is still no different from solving a proposed equation. It is just part of theory, not a new third pillar of science. No one is claiming that models trump observations in principle, although they may in practice, because all observations are themselves theory-laden, as it were.

      • “…although they may in practice, because all observations are themselves theory-laden, as it were.”

        Sorry, Sir, but that old Kuhnian claptrap from the Sixties was a wonderful distraction that I enjoyed fifty years ago. Kuhn posed some interesting puzzles and it was fun solving them. Don’t waste your time on it.

        I would discuss Kuhn only in an emergency and only if Saint Judith asked me to.

      • Excellent post.

        The idea that a model can substitute for that collection of physical hypotheses that we call our “theory” is preposterous. To show that such a claim is true, a modeler would have to show that there is a one-to-one correspondence between physical hypotheses and “components” of his computer model. However, if one has the physical hypotheses, there is no need for the model; that is, the model is useful only for the analytic purpose of discovering what is implied but maybe overlooked in one’s basic assumptions. So, the idea that a model can substitute for physical theory is quite preposterous.

        By the way, I am quite willing to liberalize my standard of 1-1 correspondence by “chunkifying” it and accepting mappings between chunks.

        In any case, the “mainstream climate scientists” cannot get off the ground with their claim that models can substitute for theories for the simple reason that they have no physical hypotheses. If they had them they would trumpet them from the highest tower.

      • But a model is normally identical to a physical theory. All that is added are the computational features needed to get the thing to run on a computer. Discrete math for example, or approximation routines. Where do you think the equations that make up the model come from, if not from physical theory?

      • Did you not see the challenge that I posted? I am willing to accept that a model is momentarily equivalent to a physical theory because it is a snapshot of it. However, if you offer me a computer model and tell me that it is equivalent to a physical theory, I will make the standard request: show me the 1-1 mapping between physical hypotheses and “components” of a computer model. “Mainstream climate scientists” cannot do this because they do not have physical hypotheses; that is, so far, they have not been able to formulate their science as a set of physical hypotheses. For that reason, they do not have a clue what is in their models. All they can do is treat the simulations, sets of numbers, that flow from model runs as a science. How impoverished can something be and still be called science?

      • That’d be ‘psychology’, Theo.

      • Nice one, Bart R. LOL

      • Theo, the confusion here seems to be with the idea of a physical theory. A physical theory is normally expressed as an interpreted equation. PV=nRT (as normally interpreted) is a physical theory. In fact my definition of science is “the mathematical description of nature based on observation.” So the 1-1 mapping you are asking for is just that the computer model uses the equations of the physical hypothesis or theory as core components. Some of the basic equations being used in climate models have been discussed here at length.

        If you mean something else by physical theory or hypothesis, other than interpreted equations, please say what that is. Otherwise I simply do not understand you.

      • A physical theory is expressed in first order quantified logic as a set of universally quantified conditional sentences. Look up Hans Reichenbach’s “Axiomatization of the Theory of Relativity.”

        An interpretation of that set of sentences is a model. Any set of objects which make the set of sentences true is a model of the set of sentences.

        See, one theory can have many models. By contrast, a model has no meaning until it becomes an interpretation of a theory. (Well, it can be a nice toy without being an interpretation of a theory.)

        The computer model people simply overlook the primary role of theories and treat their models as if they were theories. They are not. Hence, my challenge. If the computer model people are serious, then show me the set of
        universally quantified conditional sentences that your model models. Oh, and show me the empirical evidence for them.

        There are very many good reasons for creating axiomatizations of theories. The most important reason is that it gives you a list of your “primitive” predicates. Those are the predicates that are given meaning by your physical theory. In practical terms, I would like to see the list of “primitive” predicates for climate science computer models. Then we would learn, for the first time, exactly what can be described by a climate model. But the modelers have no clue about these concepts.

      • I’m told the first stable number of legs on a stool is three. Seems a silly declaration to me, given I’ve seen plenty of pedestels with one leg that worked fine. Maybe it’s a mathematician or design architect thing.

        But we are speaking of three legs. Pillars. Whatnot.

        Intricately interconnected, or standing apart, they all have to be their carrying their weight.

        Sure, theory and data and model (physical or symbolic, abstracted or isomorphic, automated or manual) have some progenitor-child relation.. but science ordered itself out of the primordial ooze of muzzy-thinking by asserting a role for all three pillars distinctly. Maybe one is greater than the others, but who cares, really?

        If any one of the three is missing or poorly formed, it’s just not science.

        I wonder if Theo could provide examples from what he calls science of what he means, specifically. And David too.

        Because some data would be nice, and seems missing here.

  94. Even if this paper was as flawed as the editor claims, his rationale for quitting makes no sense. His comment that other skeptics may have reviewed it makes no sense. Scientists are supposedly skeptics by ethics and training. When any of the so-called leading media makes errors, editors do not resign. That he raises the issue of politics and the use of the publication by the authors offers the only credible insight to this drama. It references directly back to that which must not be named, and how AGW promoters brag about taking heads of editors who do not comply, and how peer review will be redefined to suppress AGW skeptics. The failure to legitimately investigate you-know-what means that the corruption the AGW movement depends on continues to thrive.

  95. Alan D McIntire

    Trenberth attacked Spencer-Braswell here:

    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2011/07/

    That quote, “Clouds may provide feedbacks on the weather systems. Spencer has made this error of confounding forcing and feedback before and it leads to a misinterpretation of his results. ” was a real red flag.

    I figure that temperature affects clouds, but clouds also affect temperature. I immediately thought of Lotka’s predator prey model, where in an oscillating system, the number of prey affects the growth of the predator population- more prey supports more predators. As predators increase in numbers, the prey population starts to fall, which in turn reduces the predator population, etc. Depending on the figures used, you can get oscillations rather than convergence to a constant number of predators and prey.
    See

    http://home.comcast.net/~sharov/PopEcol/lec10/fullmod.html

    I see the predator prey model has also occurred to climatologists

    http://www.dailycamera.com/science-environment/ci_18648011

    “NOAA: Predator-prey model explains how rain can feast on clouds
    Model is a simpler way to view cloud-rain interactions, say Boulder and Israel researchers
    By Laura Snider Camera Staff Writer
    Posted: 08/09/2011 05:18:15 PM MDT

    Hungry rains devour clouds in a pattern that’s similar to the way foxes prey on rabbits, according to a new study by a Boulder researcher.

    When rabbit populations flourish, the number of foxes also begins to increase. The boom in foxes eventually causes a decline in the number of rabbits, which in turn, results in a decrease in the fox population. This oscillation in predator-prey numbers — with the predator’s peak lagging slightly behind the prey’s peak — is described by a mathematical equation known as the Lotka-Volterra model.

    In study published last month in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Graham Feingold, a researcher at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration in Boulder, and Ilan Koren, of the Wiezmann Institute of Science in Israel, showed that the relationship between cloud formation and rain can also be described using the simple predator-prey population model. ”

    I suppose with the comparison between Spencer-Braswell and Feingold-Koren, Feingold and Koren will also now be written off as climate “deniers”.

    What Spencer and Braswell actually SAID seems trivially obvious:

    http://www.mdpi.com/2072-4292/3/8/1603/pdf

    Abstract:” The sensitivity of the climate system to an imposed radiative imbalance remains
    the largest source of uncertainty in projections of future anthropogenic climate change.
    Here we present further evidence that this uncertainty from an observational perspective is
    largely due to the masking of the radiative feedback signal by internal radiative forcing,
    probably due to natural cloud variations”

    They didn’t say temperature is determined by random variations in clouds, which is what CAGWers seem to be attacking. They stated that cloud feedbacks are being ignored by climate modelers. The models get unrealistically high sensitivity for feedback by assuming NO delays in negative feedback from clouds.

    . If predators and prey oscillate just slightly out of phase with each other, you’ll get a positive correlation between predators and prey, or temperature and clouds. You might jump to the erroneous conclusion that there’s a positive correlation between prey and predators- the more wolves you get, the more sheep you’ll get or the warmer you get the more clouds you get. In fact, results are the opposite. The more wolves you have the fewer sheep you’ll get, the more clouds you have the less warming you’ll get.

    I see Pielke Sr also agrees:

    “I have read the Spencer and Braswell paper in detail, and while I agree that some of the media exposure has been exaggerated and misplaced, the science in their paper appears robust. I certainly can be wrong, but I do not see a fatal flaw in what they did (i.e. an error such that the paper should have been rejected).

    If their analysis is robust (even if minor technical errors exist), it is going to make Wolfgang Wagner look very biased. The ultimate arbitrator of the Spencer and Braswell analysis and conclusions will be in the peer-reviewed literature not on weblogs, or whether or not the Chief Editor of a journal decides to resign over a paper.”

  96. 9/2/11, Update on the Spencer & Braswell paper

    Anthropogenic Global Warming (AGW) is a scientific fraud of Biblical proportions. It stands in relation to science as Creationism does to Evolution, violating physics, observations, logic, and objective knowledge. Out of consideration for the committed professional AGW believers, IPCC reports will come to be seen as the Scripture of Climatology, comprising parables to be taken literally only by a tolerated fringe. As qualified scientists come to accept the collapse of AGW, the sham of the peer review process will be exposed as its Petri dish.

    The peer-review process is unrecognizable in Wolfgang Wagner’s idealized, academic model. It no longer judges papers on their scientific merits, but on format, conformity, and respect. As Wagner said with regard to the S&B paper, from a purely formal point of view, there were no errors with the review process. What then is his complaint? The problem is not that the paper is controversial, but that it is non-conforming. This is not a formal criterion because it dare not be memorialized in a writing.

    The S&B paper expressed what Wagner euphemistically calls minority views, which points to two scientific errors. (1) Science validity is not weighted by numbers believing vs. numbers heretical. Irrelevant references are sycophancy; duplication is redundant, cumulative in the legal sense. After all, a conspiracy is a consensus. (2) Viewpoints, including beliefs, explanations, and descriptions, are subjective and outside science. Science is about purely objective models that map observations into future observations, each according to a cause and effect. Science then judges models strictly according to their predictive power.

    S&B, like Lindzen & Choi, are trying to use satellite data to estimate AGW’s only testable prediction, climate sensitivity. Those measurements appear to be out of bounds under differing models of feedback. Such matters can be exposed and resolved by unfettered publication for critical analysis. Suppressing minority views is anti-science. If the dust ever settles on this kafuffle, the issue will be seen to turn on the fact that neither IPCC nor any of these papers has managed to define or implement feedback practically, or in conformity with its origin in systems science.

    Wagner reveals that he thinks journals are the keepers of the dogma. He implies that for a paper not in accord with the current dogma to be published, it must contain a comprehensive survey of relevant papers, conforming or not. Thus he rationalizes the withering hurdle erected against nonconformity, the disease that was in large part a cause for DARPA to create the embryonic Internet.

    Wagner reveals his first concern is not over the content of the paper, but over the media reaction to it. He resigned over the same professional mortification that led to the forced resignation of the half-dozen editors at Climate Research who dared publish Soon & Baliunas. It was not his failure as keeper of a pillar of modern science, but his fall as a high priest, keeper of a faith.

    • What then is his complaint?

      You quoted part of his explanation. Presumably, you read the rests of his explanation. Therefore, you actually already know what the nature of his “complaint” is.

      You’re entitled to think that he’s lying between his teeth. You’re entitled to attribute his actual motivation to any number of purely speculative theories. But to claim that you don’t know what his complaint is, seems disingenuous.

      • Joshua, 9/3/11, Update on the Spencer & Braswell paper

        J: What then is his complaint?

        Do read on, Joshua:

        What then is his complaint? The problem is not that the paper is controversial, but that it is non-conforming.

        It’s what is called a rhetorical question. You aren’t supposed to answer it because it is there to introduce the answer, which is supplied.

        You’re entitled to think that he’s lying between his teeth. You’re entitled to attribute his actual motivation to any number of purely speculative theories. But to claim that you don’t know what his complaint is, seems disingenuous.

        (1) I said nothing about him lying. Nor did I think that or suggest that he was. He is confused — confused about the principles of science.

        (2) He supplies his motivation: embarrassment over the media fuss. He had no material complaint about the S&B paper. And

        (3) I didn’t pretend not to know what his complaint was. I stated it quite specifically. He published a nonconforming paper. His cherished peer-review worked formally, just not sufficiently.

      • OK, Jeff. Good post. Some points well accepted – those related to your rhetorical question.

        As for your suppositions about his motivations and his confusion – I put them in the same category as your beliefs about a widespread conspiracy among disparate and hugely diverse entities, unlinked by any coherent infrastructure, and involving (tens of?) thousands of people – none of whom have provided confirming evidence.

      • Joshua, 9/4/11, 5:15 pm, Update on the Spencer & Braswell paper

        Thanks.

        J: As for your suppositions about his motivations and his confusion – I put them in the same category as your beliefs about a widespread conspiracy among disparate and hugely diverse entities, unlinked by any coherent infrastructure, and involving (tens of?) thousands of people – none of whom have provided confirming evidence.

        Could you have me confused with someone else?

        My opinions on conspiracy in AGW are limited to that perpetrated by PENN’s Mann, UEA/CRU’s Dave Jones, a few others, and the UN, admitted in writing and exposed by the anonymous whistleblower. That’s the one that ended up in the mischief of • forcing Climate Research editors to resign, • journals getting shunned, • skeptical science being kept from the public, all in promotion of the huge AGW fraud. If that is what you mean, I would stand by that conspiracy.

        If you’re referring the fatal errors in IPCC’s AGW model, no conspiracy is involved when the collusion to commit error is not kept secret. Some items, though, might qualify for a conspiracy indictment. We’d have to talk to the lawyers. I have in mind • doctoring graphs to manufacture “fingerprints”, • distorting data from different sensors into contiguous curves as with the various hockey sticks, • displaying reconstituted curves alone with the raw data as with the Keeling curve. Some other fatal errors might just be boneheaded science, like • using equilibrium equations for the surface layer, • using the Bern pulse absorption equation with its representation of fictional reservoirs, • ignoring the Beer-Lambert Law, • ignoring Henry’s Law, • concealing the solubility curve discovered while trying to rehabilitate the Revelle Buffer, • assuming the climate system to be in radiative equilibrium, • applying an absorption bottleneck to anthropogenic but not natural CO2, • zeroing on-going natural processes at model initialization, • not performing mass balance analyses, &bu