The A&W Little Whopper

For your reading pleasure, here is our Reply to Ammann and Wahl (GRL). as submitted on Jan. 29, 2006. You don’t have access to the A&W Comment itself; [update: now here ] but if you re-read the Huybers article, it has the same points without all the mischaracterizations and misrepresentations of A&W.

A&W also have a longer article that has been submitted to Climatic Change, which they say has been"provisionally accepted". The list of misrepresentations in the GRL article is pretty amazing, but it’s even worse in the longer Climatic Change article. We will henceforth refer to the two articles as the Big Whopper and the Little Whopper .Too bad there’s no root beer and fries on the side.

Yeah, yeah, I know that it’s Burger King that makes the Big Whopper, but somehow the A&W Teen Burger didn’t have quite the same ring.


  1. James Lane
    Posted Jan 27, 2006 at 12:12 AM | Permalink

    I like the phrase (in point 8 of your response) “backdoor insertion of bristlecones”. Sounds painful!

  2. John A
    Posted Jan 27, 2006 at 4:29 AM | Permalink

    There should be a line:

    “We are grateful that Ammann & Wahl could at least spell Ross’ surname correctly, unlike [Regalado A., WSJ 2005]“

  3. Geoff
    Posted Jan 27, 2006 at 7:11 AM | Permalink

    I, for one, would be happy to see AGU/GRL trash their own response policies (as they started to do in the Ritson reply matter) and, having dug this response from Ammann & Wahl out of the trash, now let it be published along with the M&M reply. Any other votes?

  4. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Jan 27, 2006 at 9:14 AM | Permalink

    Our Reply is temporarily offline and will be posted up on Monday.

  5. John Hekman
    Posted Jan 27, 2006 at 11:25 AM | Permalink

    Oops. Here’s the link

  6. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Jan 29, 2006 at 6:27 PM | Permalink

    This was submitted today and is online again.

  7. IanCastles
    Posted Jan 30, 2006 at 7:35 AM | Permalink

    Re #2. Regalado in the WSJ only got Ross’s surname wrong, but an article on the Australian Greenhouse Office website, published under the Australian Coat of Arms under the authority of the Australian Government, gets both surnames wrong and also misspells a word in the title of the paper. See the list of references to Hot Topics in Climate Change No. 3 on the AGO website at , which includes the following:

    “McKitrick, S (sic) and McIntyre, R (sic) (2005). Hockey sticks, principle (sic) components and spurious significance. Geophysical Research Letters, 32, L03710.

    The article was prepared by Australia’s major scientific research organisation, CSIRO, and there’s an “Important notice” at the bottom that says that “This document is produced for general information only and does not represent a statement of the policy of the Australian Government.” The paragraph in which the citation to the GRL article appears reads, in full, as follows:

    “Some of these results have been questioned. A study by Soon and Baliunas (2003) challenged the unusual nature of the 20th century warming, but this study was found to be scientifically flawed (Mann et al, 2003a; Mann and Jones, 2003). Another study by McIntyre and McKitrick (2003) claimed that temperatures estimated by Mann et al (1998) from 1400 to 1980 contained errors, and that corrections to the data showed that the early 15th century was warmer than any period in the 20th century (sic). However, these claims were countered by Mann et al. (2003b) who found that McIntyre and McKitrick (2003) made errors in their analysis and omitted or truncated key proxy indicators from 1400-1600. Mann et al (2004) acknowledge that their 1998 paper contained several errors that, when appropriately corrected, had no effect on previously published results. McIntyre and McKitrick (2005) claimed that the method of Mann et al. (1998) is biased towards producing a “hockey stick’ shaped curve and underestimates uncertainty in the 15th century.”

    The article prepared by CSIRO makes no reference to Burger & Cubasch (2005), Huybers (2005) or to the papers referenced in the reply to A&W as M&M (2005b) and M&M (2005c). However, the article does cite, and provide an email link to the MB&H note of 3 November 2003: “Mann, M, Bradley R and Hughes M (2003b) Note on paper by McIntyre and McKitrick in “Energy and Environment” at

    CSIRO Publishing, an autonomous unit within the research organisation, has published online some “Supplementary Notes and References’ by A. Barrie Pittock, the author of “Climate Change: Turning up the Heat”, a book that was recently published with a laudatory foreword by Dr Rajendra Pachauri and is being promoted by Earthscan (London) as “a major new textbook”. Dr. Pittock’s reference to the temperature reconstructions and the criticisms thereof reads as follows:

    “There is a further attack on the temperature reconstructions in Figure 1 by McIntyre and McKitrick in the journal Energy and Environment 14, 751-771 (2003). The argument centres on the different selection and correction of data. Mann and co-authors are the recognised experts in this field, and thus best qualified to make the expert judgments on data quality and representativeness needed. Mann and Jones, in Geophysical Research Letters, 30 (15), 1820-1823 (2003) have extended their temperature reconstructions back to 2000 years. See other discussions on”

    Dr. Pittock does not mention any of the relevant papers published in 2005, although his Notes are sufficiently up-to-date to include the following: “[Hurricane Katrina] is an ongoing story, with a further paper arguing that there has been a systematic increase in hurricane intensity, due to higher sea surface temperatures, appearing in Science, 16 September 2005, pp. 1844-46 by Peter Webster and colleagues. Discussion can be followed at” This is one of many references to Hurricane Katrina, and one of many citations to the realclimate site (which is also cited in the book to which Dr. Pachauri has contributed a Foreword). However there are no references, either in Dr. Pittock’s book or his Notes, to climateaudit.

    This is an illustration of the capacity that IPCC and its member governments have to control the flow of information, including to students.

    Ian Castles

  8. Louis Hissink
    Posted Jan 30, 2006 at 7:59 AM | Permalink


    Are you interested having this view published in AIG NEWS?



  9. Armand MacMurray
    Posted Jan 30, 2006 at 8:10 AM | Permalink

    Re: #7
    Very nice! I would enjoy seeing both AW and your Reply published, if only just to clarify both sides’ thinking for the scientific community. Though I’ve not read AW, I get the distinct impression that A&W might be better off if it didn’t see the light of day.

  10. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Jan 30, 2006 at 8:38 AM | Permalink

    “a&w whopper” – guess what’s on top of google?

  11. ET SidViscous
    Posted Jan 30, 2006 at 8:57 AM | Permalink


  12. John A
    Posted Jan 30, 2006 at 10:31 AM | Permalink

    It’s a trademark you’re using Steve. I’d suggest you remove the picture.

  13. JerryB
    Posted Jan 30, 2006 at 11:12 AM | Permalink

    A variant on Armand’s comment: I suspect that after reading your reply, A&W will want their comment sent back to the trash can.

  14. Posted Jan 30, 2006 at 11:54 AM | Permalink

    Re:13 Steve:

    You can go to Google Images and search for “hamburger fries” and you will find multiple images you can use to replace the trademarked image. Even burgers that look more like the A&W style.



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