IPCC 4AR and Ammann

Luboà…⟠Motl pointed out that IPCC "needs" Ammann and Wahl in a peer reviewed journal. Let’s re-visit some curious timing issues, which Ian Castles brought up before and which need to be re-examined with the re-submission.

The IPCC WG1 timetable (thanks to Ian for this) says the following:

Third Lead Author meeting, December 13 to 15, in Christchurch, New Zealand. This meeting considers comments on the first order draft and writing of the second order draft starts immediately afterwards.Note. Literature to be cited will need to be published or in press by this time. Copies of literature not available through normal library sources should be sent to the TSU so they can be made available to reviewers if requested.
Meeting of the TS/SPM writing team December 16 in Christchurch, New Zealand

Now let’s look at the UCAR website for Ammann and Wahl, which provides the following information:

Climatic Change
May 10, 2005 — In review
September 27, 2005 — Revised
December 12, 2005 — Provisionally Accepted
February 28, 2006 — Accepted for Publication

The version that was accepted was dated Feb. 24, 2006. It looks like there was a major re-write between December and February with the addition of all the piffle on RE and r2. I wonder what peer review took place between Feb 24 and Feb 28. In my July 25, I’d given a list of statistical references in which RE statistics had been discussed – none of them were cited. Shouldn’t that have been dealt with? My guess is that all the sections of Ammann and Wahl pertaining to RE and r2 were never externally peer reviewed.

Obviously, Ammann and Wahl was neither "published or in press" on December 13-15. In fact, the present version was not even finalized until Feb. 24, 2006. Are there material differences between the versions? Obviously. The differences are not just picky differences. The revised version completely vindicates our claims about MBH verification statistics (however unwillingly), while the earlier version provided to IPCC concealed this.

So under its own rules, is IPCC allowed to refer to Ammann and Wahl [2006]? Of course not. Will they? We all know the answer to that. When they refer to Ammann and Wahl [2006], will they also refer to its confirmation of our claims about MBH verification r2 statistics. Of course not. That information was not available to them in December. But wait a minute, if Ammann and Wahl was in press in December, wouldn’t that information have been available to them? Silly me.


  1. Sara Chan
    Posted Mar 10, 2006 at 9:31 AM | Permalink | Reply

    I don’t follow your argument. The putative chronology seems to be as follows.

    May 10: in review.
    … reviews received and revisions made …
    Sep 27: revised version submitted.
    … further review received …
    Dec 12: provisionally accepted (i.e. accepted, but changes required)
    Feb 24: changed version sent to journal.
    … a check to insure that the revision is acceptable …
    Feb 28: journal gives final acceptance.

    All this is reasonable. I’ve seen decent papers go through the whole process in ten days at better journals than Climatic Change; so four days to do a recheck is not all that strange. The only thing that catches attention is the date of the provisional acceptance, which seems unlikely to be a coincidence—but even if it wasn’t a conincidence, who can blame them for trying to make the deadline?

  2. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Mar 10, 2006 at 10:00 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Sara, my perspective tends to be more of a business perspective. Let’s assume for the sake of argument that Ammann and Wahl have changed about 25% of their text and added the new statistics that they had so vociferously opposed. In a business audit, someone would look at the new material rather than just assume that it’s OK. I realize that this may not be done even at “good” academic journals.I suspect that the need for re-review is a matter of degree. In this case, I would have said that the re-write was so substantial that the new sections needed to be looked at.

    But be that as it may, these particular sections of A&W have probably never been externally peer reviewed – so this needs to be considered when people attempt to rely on it.

    Nature refused to answer whether the MBH Corrigendum had been externally peer reviewed, but eventually admitted to MArcel Crok that it hadn’t. They said that this was not required for a Corrigendum under their policies. I would have thought that a Corrigendum particularly required external peer review.

  3. jae
    Posted Mar 10, 2006 at 10:28 AM | Permalink | Reply

    I really doubt there are any “coincidences” here. The whole process sure has a foul odor, and I hope people like Barton are paying attention.

  4. Brooks Hurd
    Posted Mar 10, 2006 at 10:54 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Science moves on…. is on the BBC News website today. This article has some interesting quotes.

    Peer review is supposed to ensure that any study’s methodology is sound, and that interpretation of data does not go beyond what can be reasonably justified.

    Should independent testing happen before publication?

    But should this sort of independent testing be carried out before cloning research is published in a journal?

    In a recent editorial, Nature weighed up the suggestion of carrying out such tests, but said: “Imposing such a standard on the cloning field as a condition of publication would be an overreaction, and one with a myriad of logistical problems”.But should this sort of independent testing be carried out before cloning research is published in a journal?

    Nature comments:

    Dr Ritu Dhand, chief biological sciences editor of Nature, told the BBC News website that imposing such a measure would also negate the values on which scientific endeavour is built.

    “The whole point of scientific research is that it is based on integrity and trust,” she said. “The reason that science is able to work this way is because a scientist’s personal integrity counts for an enormous amount.”

    However, she did point out that research journals might now ask authors to submit data about mitochondrial DNA from donor and clone, as well as nuclear DNA.

    “This is a positive and a negative control, and we can ask for both. And as a research journal, I think that that is a path we can follow,” said Dr Dhand.

    The Hinxton Group, an international consortium on stem cells, ethics and law met and:

    One of the recommendations made by the group was for journal editors to ask authors of stem cell research papers to submit data verifying the authenticity of the stem cell line, and an explanation of how they had complied with accepted standards of good cell culture practice.

    They also urged journal editors to require that the source of cells used in the research be clearly specified.

    We can only hope that a bit of this thinking carries over into other areas such as climate change related articles.

  5. Steve Sadlov
    Posted Mar 10, 2006 at 11:18 AM | Permalink | Reply

    The US DoJ should pursue a RICO investigation of IPCC.

  6. fFreddy
    Posted Mar 10, 2006 at 1:11 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Copies of literature not available through normal library sources should be sent to the TSU so they can be made available to reviewers if requested.

    What is the TSU, and can we ask them for a copy of whichever version of Amman & Wahl they are providing to their reviewers ?

  7. Steve Bloom
    Posted Mar 10, 2006 at 1:59 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Steve M., you are reading way too much into the timing. It’s widely known that the journals were overwhelmed with submissions at the deadline. I wouldn’t be surprised if we see some of these not get published for six months or longer. It’s pretty clear that the phrase “provisonally accepted” means that all of the work on the submissions, including peer review and any needed revisions, will take place after the provisional acceptance. Why is the IPCC not free to consider provisionally accepted papers as “in press”? On the substance, if you imagine that the second draft writers are unable to consider any changes made after provisional acceptance, I think you’re imagining too much.

    All of this is an unfortunate but natural consequence of the six-year gap in between IPCC reports and the fact that they are produced largely by volunteer labor. Bear in mind that the IPCC knew it would happen, and that they set the deadline for papers more than a year in advance of AR4 publication so as to avoid problems.

    Regarding your charge that the final version contained material that was not subject to peer review, I would suggest to you that a more likely explanation is that the peer reviewers decided your statistical references didn’t need to be addressed. Obviously you’re free to find such a decision objectionable, but I would suggest leaving it at that until you have evidence that something else happened.

  8. Steve Bloom
    Posted Mar 10, 2006 at 2:03 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Re #5: Steve S., you make comments like that and then still expect to be treated seriously?

  9. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Mar 10, 2006 at 2:21 PM | Permalink | Reply

    #7. Steve B, if the journal has cut corners, they won’t provide any evidence. For example, the MBH Corrigendum was not peer reviewed but Nature would not admit it to me, but eventually did to MArcel Crok. The evidence that I have is circumstantial: 1) Ammann in San Francisco both said that they had not modified their article much and argued against disclosing the verification r2 – he could have been both lying and tricking me, but that suggests to me that the table on verification statistics and discussions of RE and r2 were added subsequently; 2) Ammann has recorded milestone dates at CC and does not record any milestones between the “provisional acceptance” and the Feb 24 version which was accepted on Feb 28; 3) the argument in the r2 and RE sections is piffle. I do not see how any knowledgeable person could accept such piffle as responsive to the issues raised in the earlier review.

    Given the precedent at Nature for the publication of non-peer reviewed material, I’m leaving my opinion as is. If Schneider or Ammann present me with evidence otherwise, I’ll retract or modify it, but that’s what I think.

    More substantively, it proves once again what a limited form of due diligence “peer review” is and how little reliance can be placed on it. It makes the IPCC refusal to disclose data even more maddening.

  10. bruce
    Posted Mar 10, 2006 at 2:34 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Re #8: Steve B., you make comments like that and then still expect to be treated seriously?

  11. Steve Bloom
    Posted Mar 10, 2006 at 3:34 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Re #9: Well, the IPCC has it all now and I doubt they’re unaware of your concerns. We shall see what the outcome is. But I’m a little confused about your reference to “IPCC data.” It seems clear enough based on what you say that they had one version of A&W in December and another in February. What other information did you have in mind?

  12. Armand MacMurray
    Posted Mar 10, 2006 at 3:41 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Re: #7
    Steve B, you say that “It’s pretty clear that the phrase “provisonally accepted” means that all of the work on the submissions, including peer review and any needed revisions, will take place after the provisional acceptance.” (emphasis mine)

    Aside from going against real-world scientific practice, certainly that couldn’t be true, because that would mean that either
    1) The article was accepted before (and thus without) peer review, or
    2) If the peer review (necessarily including the significant possibility of rejection) were to follow, then the article couldn’t really have been classified as accepted, but rather would have to be “submitted”.

    Similarly, one can’t just say that on Jan 5, 2006 the US men’s hockey team “provisionally” won the Torino Olympic Gold Medal (but of course “it’s pretty clear…that all of the work…will take place after the provisional…” win.).

  13. Armand MacMurray
    Posted Mar 10, 2006 at 3:46 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Re #11,
    It’s not “IPCC data,” but rather “…the IPCC refusal to disclose data…” I believe Steve M. is referring to the IPCC’s refusal to require authors of papers submitted for inclusion in the IPCC review to provide their underlying data & methods to either IPCC reviewers or to the general scientific community.

  14. Posted Mar 10, 2006 at 3:53 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Steve, I think that you won a huge victory by forcing them to include the r2 values in the paper. Your chronicling of the events that led to the inclusion of their paper into the IPCC discussion is revealing as well. The IPCC may have “bent” the rules in order to include this paper because they “needed” it, but follow up discussions will now be forced to deal with the low r2 values which are now on record. Using their paper to dismiss M&M’s claims won’t be so clean-cut and sanitary. Are you planning to submit a Reply?

    Now that the paper has been included, will it really make much technical difference to the IPCC report whether or not these changes were made after Dec 12? In the end, the IPCC will probably quote some text from the abstract. The primary differences between the rejected June 2005 version and the published 2006 version appear to be: 1) The r2 statistics are included in an appendix. 2) Some text was added to indirectly explain why r2 isn’t important.

    I’d like to think that the IPCC would not base a conclusion on a version of a paper that was never published. How would they reference a “gray” version of the paper that is unavailable to the public? If I were looking up a reference and found that it was listed as “provisionally accepted”, I’d probably seek out the published version and assume that the published version was extremely similar if not identical.

  15. Steve Bloom
    Posted Mar 10, 2006 at 4:02 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Re #12: Armand, just to be clear, this provisional acceptance business is something they did only because of the deadline. Remember that the term the IPCC uses is “in press,” so there’s not a conflict. Substantively, as long as the peer review actually happens and the IPCC gets the information about the outcome of that process, there’s no problem. If a paper ends up being substantially modified rejected in peer review, then the IPCC will know about that in plenty of time.

  16. per
    Posted Mar 10, 2006 at 4:41 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Ammann and Wahl was neither “published or in press” on December 13-15.

    I am not sure that you can say this. It all depends on the rubric of the letter Climatic change to A&W.

    Some journals will write something to the effect:
    “your paper is now acceptable, subject to minor modification”
    This could easily be construed as in press.

    Other journals are much more po-faced, and make clear that the paper is not accepted, but that the journal will consider a revised version which takes accounts of the referee’s comments. That would not be “in press”.

    under any circumstances, in these days of email, it is surprising you didn’t see the text of the letter sent to A&W.

  17. Pat Frank
    Posted Mar 10, 2006 at 4:48 PM | Permalink | Reply

    #15 “Provisionally accepted” is not “in press.” ‘Accepted’ is “in press.” “Provisionally accepted” means that the first review has not found anything immediately fatal in the manuscript. Acceptance can be anticipated only if the authors can properly correct the problems found by the reviewers. That is sometimes not possible; hence the provisionality.

    That means there was a direct conflict between the IPCC standard of “in press” and acceptance by the IPCC of the “provisionally accepted” Ammann and Wahl paper. The IPCC clearly violated its own standards.

    Politics as usual, hey Steve? Do your ends justify the IPCC means, in your view? Just asking.

  18. Posted Mar 10, 2006 at 6:06 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Something else to add to the timeline is the timestamp on the UCAR announcement of the A&W paper.

    Caspar Ammann
    Last modified: Fri Mar 3 13:00:00 MDT 2006

    This is four hours after the NAS panel meeting was adjourned (11:00 AM EST). The paper was accepted for publication on February 28, 2006. I realize that “Last Modified” doesn’t necessarily mean that the page was created on this date.

  19. Paul Penrose
    Posted Mar 10, 2006 at 6:30 PM | Permalink | Reply

    I don’t think it’s terribly useful to argue about the semantic differences between “in press” and “provisionally accepted”. Clearly the IPCC was bending over backward to capture as many papers as they could, and CC was more than happy to help them out. I having a hard time getting all worked up over that, frankly.

    The bigger issue, IMHO, is the way that Schneider dealt with Steves requests as a reviewer. The reviewer should be given the benefit of the doubt in these cases and the submitter should have been forced to provide the additional items requested as long as they were even remotely related to the paper under review.

  20. Steve Sadlov
    Posted Mar 10, 2006 at 6:34 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Mr. Bloom, my comment about the appearance of racketeering between IPCC and various “independent researchers” stands. And apparently, such a harsh assessment is a real hot button for you. All I wrote was that there is a certain untoward appearance that warrants investigation, I am not judge, jury and hangman. Why does the mere idea of investigation trouble you so?

  21. Armand MacMurray
    Posted Mar 10, 2006 at 7:05 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Re: #15
    Steve B, I think we all understand WHY they fiddled with the deadline.

    However, you argued that “it’s pretty clear…” that “provisionally accepted” means that no peer review has been done up to that point. For other readers who might accept this at face value, I was just pointing out that that belief is mistaken. The term for no peer review yet having been done is “submitted.” Pat Frank has nicely described what “provisionally accepted” typically means, and per has described a less-common alternate. Both require peer review before a “provisionally accepted” decision.
    Since the IPCC places great store in the “peer reviewed” imprimateur, they certainly chose to require that submissions be at least “in press” so as to ensure that peer review had already been performed. Otherwise, they would have required only “submitted” status.

  22. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Mar 10, 2006 at 7:08 PM | Permalink | Reply

    #14. If it were not for the big differences in versions, then the time stamp wouldn’t matter. The A&W version that was available in pdf form at the WG1 website did NOT include verification r2 ststistics or the evasive bumph on r2 versus RE. They use A&W to assert that MBH results have been replicated. Well, MBH claimed statistical skill and that was a big sales point. Did A&W replicate skill in the r2 statistic? Of course not. I don’t know how many reviewers actually read A&W downloaded from IPCC. For all I know, I was the only person to do so. But what was disclosed in the IPCC version and used in IPCC 4AR is different than the final version.

    What I meant by IPCC data – I asked for the proxy data used in Hegerl et al and D’Arrigo et al which were then unpublished studies. PDfs were available at the WG1 website but not the data. Hegerl et al say that they used 12 sites, but didn’t disclose them. I asked for an FTP location of the data from the IPCC WG1 Secretariat, who said that they would not provide secretarial services to me and to ask the authors myself (which alrady creates a hurd,e.) The authors refused. IPCC Co-Chair Solomon sent me a cease and desist letter saying that approaching authors for data of unpublished articles accessed under IPCC WG1 confidentiality was abreach of the confidentiality agreement and that if I did it again, I would be expelled as a reviewer.

  23. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Mar 10, 2006 at 7:43 PM | Permalink | Reply

    #11. Steve B., why do you say that IPCC received the revised A&W. The only version that was used was the original A&W, which concealed the adverse verification statistics. Why would IPCC be aware of this stuff? I just saw revised A&W this week.

  24. jae
    Posted Mar 10, 2006 at 8:06 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Mr. Bloom: all this stinks, and you know it. How can you defend such obvious chicanery?

  25. Bill Bixby
    Posted Mar 10, 2006 at 8:20 PM | Permalink | Reply


    The problem w/ this web site is the incredible level of paranoia. Anything that can possibly interpreted as a conspiracy is interpreted thusly. Had people done their “due diligence,” they would have found that the schedule linked to up above is out of date. The deadline for acceptance was pushed back late last year to somewhere around the end of this month.

    I find the discussions of statistics on this web site quite useful. The rest of the discussions are shockingly ill-informed.


  26. Posted Mar 10, 2006 at 8:28 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Well, that’s even worse Bill. The perfidious IPCC changed the schedule just so they could get A&W in. What further evidence is needed of the total corruption of science?

  27. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Mar 10, 2006 at 8:33 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Bill, thanks for the info. I’m not sure where I would have found out about the change of date. One of the advantages of having a blog is that people, such as yourself, point things out to me that I might not have known otherwise. I met O-B at the NAS panel, who came over to me and said hello. All three panelists who I’d mentioned on the blog did so. Cuffey was active and earned his keep. It would have been nice to have cloned him with one who knew some statistics, as Cuffey did not purport any strenght in this area. Both Nychka and O-B seemed very nice; they were easy to like even on a first impression. But they shouldn’t be on this panel. I felt that Nychka in particular failed to ask questions that begged to be asked – not necessarily for his own benefit, but for the benefit of the rest of the panel who lacked statistical expertise. It’s impossible for me to dissociate this failure from his being too close to Ammann. If you’re not going to do the job, get out of the way and let someone else do it. Again, no knock on him as a person other than being the wrong person in the wrong place at the wrong time.

  28. John S
    Posted Mar 10, 2006 at 8:33 PM | Permalink | Reply


    Don’t be too hard on them. After all, on other websites everything is interpreted as an oil-industry-funded conspiracy against the true believers (want to play seven degrees of separation over at Exxonsecrets?). Turnabout seems fair play. No?

  29. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Mar 10, 2006 at 8:39 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Bill, you stated:

    The deadline for acceptance was pushed back late last year to somewhere around the end of this month.

    Could you provide me with a public announcement of the change of deadline. I’m an IPCC 4AR reviewer and I wasn’t informed of this announcement. Maybe if I’d have known, I’d have tried to get something new in print. Maybe others are in the same situation. That’s a pretty significant change in schedule. Who made the change? How was it announced?

  30. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Mar 10, 2006 at 9:05 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Speaking of which: here’s the schedule from IPCC WG1:

    When the second draft of the AR4 is written authors need to be sure that any cited paper that is not yet published will actually appear in the literature, is correctly referenced, and will not be subsequently modified (except perhaps for copy editing). In practice this means that by December 2005, papers cited need to be either published or "in press".

    When the second draft of the AR4 is sent to Governments and experts for the second round review, the TSU must hold final preprint copies of any unpublished papers that are cited in order that these can be made available to reviewers. This means that by late-February 2006 if LAs can not assure us that a paper is in press and provide a preprint we will ask them to remove any reference to it.

    Look, the big news from A&W is the confirmation of the MBH catastrophe on verification statistics and proof of the original misrepresentation. I don’t think that anyone is going to care much about their piffle on r2 and RE scores.

    I find it fascinating to see a certain attention to detail in meeting IPCC schedules, while at the same time, they always seem to just fail to achieve strict compliance. I’ve done business in South America where, for some bids, you had to get things notarized three different ways in strict schedules and missing any little thing mattered. So let’s look at their attention to detail – not for paranois, but just for casual amusement:

    In case we were wondering about the difference between "provisionally accepted" and "in press", we have an answer here:

    any cited paper that is not yet published will actually appear in the literature, is correctly referenced, and will not be subsequently modified (except perhaps for copy editing)

    OK, A&W did not just undergo "copy editing". Large chunks of it were added. An important new table was added. No way does it meet the requirement set out here. A&W tried to finesse this by their concept of "provisional acceptance", but when viewed against the substantive criterion, fails the test.

    Now let’s look at the next clause:

    by late-February 2006 if LAs can not assure us that a paper is in press and provide a preprint we will ask them to remove any reference to it

    It seems to me that A&W is only now getting to the stage that they were supposed to be at in December. The pdf posted up dated February 11 is not a preprint. Even if the mid-February date mentioned here is extended to the end of March, they did not meet the December criterion.

    This isn’t just nit-picking. If the present version of the paper had been available for IPCC review, I would have said in my comments that Wahl and Ammann confirmed our findings that MBH failed verification statistics. I was denied that opportunity because the information wasn’t in the IPCC version of A&W. If I tried to make that comment now, they’d tell me that the comment period has expired. So there’s a substantive injustice that makes relevant an insistence on compliance with schedule details.

    Here’s what I’ll do. I’ll send an email to Susan Solomon, pointing out that A&W has been heavily edited and that the new information includes confirmation that MBH failed some of the verification statistics, which IPCC TAR said that it passed. Given the prominence of MBH98 in the prior IPCC report, I’m sure that IPCC WG1 will be anxious to obtain this information and will not use cut off dates as a reason not to include this information.

  31. John G. Bell
    Posted Mar 10, 2006 at 9:40 PM | Permalink | Reply

    This situation kind of reminds me of something out of my childhood. My step granddad had a ranch in west Texas and use to haul a gooseneck trailer down to Lajitas. Never went less than 90 past the local speed trap. He would respectfully nod his head at the sheriff as he raced past and get a wave in return. I thought it was cool. They went to school together but I expect they were part of the well respected member of the community club so the usual rules didn’t apply. A Mexican or a kid would have got handcuffs not a wave. Years later I heard my step granddad ended up getting crushed by the gooseneck when he rolled his truck while speeding on that very stretch of road.

    I don’t think the IPCC is doing Ammann any favor and I don’t think the IPCC is evil. It is just the way things are done over there.

  32. jae
    Posted Mar 10, 2006 at 10:24 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Keep the faith, Steve, and continue with your amazing objective, patient attitude (also laugh about it). You have exposed some terrible flaws in this reconstruction “science,” which simply cannot be hidden by any of IPPC’s and the journals’ games. Science has always triumphed in the long run. And I firmly believe CC (and Science and Nature) are going to be very embarrased by all this, in the not-so-long run. It is hilarious, in a weird way, and it reminds me of the Mr. Minister shows. I have noticed that many of the new visitors to this site quickly become as shocked as I am about the chicanery you have exposed.

  33. kim
    Posted Mar 11, 2006 at 7:15 AM | Permalink | Reply

    JGB, the IPCC, through Kyoto, is breaking our necks, not those of the anthropogenic advocates. We’re easing into evil.

  34. BradH
    Posted Mar 11, 2006 at 7:33 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Re: 30

    If I tried to make that comment now, they’d tell me that the comment period has expired.

    I would encourage you to do it, anyway, then post the exchange on this blog.

    If nothing else, it will further serve to illustrate how the IPCC is a bureacratic and political organ, rather than a scientific one.

    [Of course, I make assumptions about future events here and the IPCC may well take you seriously...well...maybe not].

  35. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Mar 11, 2006 at 8:23 AM | Permalink | Reply

    #34. I plan to do so.

  36. jae
    Posted Mar 11, 2006 at 10:29 AM | Permalink | Reply

    My son in law’s father wrote a couple of famous books about conspiracies. I have always thought it was simple nonsense, but now I’m starting to wonder again….

  37. bart s
    Posted Mar 11, 2006 at 10:40 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Re 30. How can you claim that injustice has been done, when you can fully say what you want on A&W if you review the second order draft of the IPCC report? One would quite narrow minded to think that whether comments on the the R2 satistics of a paper published 8 years ago were written up in December or February has major importance for the way one views future climate change (the objective of the IPCC), and thus would warrant much space. Nit is the right word.

  38. John G. Bell
    Posted Mar 11, 2006 at 12:47 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Re #33 My sarcasm wasn’t obvious enough Kim. Much of what the IPCC does is mindlessly destructive of science. Not being mindful has bad consequences. For the most part the IPCC is no worse than cancer. Like a cancer they don’t follow the rules. Luboà…⟠and Steve understand why these things are important. This is such basic stuff that it must be painful to explain. No insult intended to those that don’t understand. How can anything good arise from sn organization that behaves like a cancer.

  39. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Mar 11, 2006 at 12:56 PM | Permalink | Reply

    #37. to my knowledge, the second draft is only reviewed by government people so I don’t get a say.

    Bart, if it’s such a nit, why did UCAR issue a national press release for Ammann and Wahl? Why did IPCC 4AR cite them? Why is there a NAS panel?

    In my opinion, with or without the Enron limited partnerships, Enron would have failed, the difference only being a few weeks. Does that make the Enron limited partnerships a “nit”? I’m sure that Lay and Skilling would like to “move on”.

  40. Terry
    Posted Mar 11, 2006 at 12:58 PM | Permalink | Reply

    I’m with Steve Bloom on this one.

    The rules are fuzzy enough that letting A&W under the wire was within reason, there is nothing wrong with trying to meet a deadline, and the IPCC should probably err on the side of being overinclusive. Of course, over-inclusiveness would also mean that they should also consider the post-deadline changes to the paper. So, if they do that it all sounds within reason.

  41. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Mar 11, 2006 at 1:47 PM | Permalink | Reply

    I’m going to send them a letter urging them to incorporate the new information from Ammann and Wahl [2006] that MBH98 fails verification tests,as stated in McIntyre and McKitrick [2005a]. I will note that, strictly speaking Ammann and Wahl 2006, is not eligible for inclusion, but urge them to make an exception because the information is important to include. They will tell me that my comment is too late and, if I wanted to have said this, I should have done so when I had an opportunity. They can effortlessly suck and blow out of all orifices simultaneously.

  42. Dave Dardinger
    Posted Mar 11, 2006 at 2:57 PM | Permalink | Reply

    So Steve, tell us how you really feel about IPCC!

  43. bart s
    Posted Mar 11, 2006 at 3:01 PM | Permalink | Reply

    re 41. As far as I have heard, the 2nd order draft should be reviewed by both experts and governments. Check with IPCC to clarify this issue. If I am right, then lots of words, and nit , is wasted here

  44. Doug L
    Posted Mar 11, 2006 at 4:54 PM | Permalink | Reply

    My fantasy:

    Michael Crichton takes on the challenge of turning this into a conspiracy novel capable of being adapted to the screen.

    Note: the resemblance of any characters below to anyone in real life is purely coincidental.

    The villain is a scientist who manages to overcome geekiness but is still tortured by having sand kicked in his face as a child, so he concocts a phony graph to make his mark on science. He is assisted in this conspiracy of like minded individuals, by people who were taught about the many evils of fossil fuels from an early age. Others go along out of ignorance, career advancement, or a need to be team players.

    The hero, a widowed mining executive turned detective, tirelessly fights the bureaucracy almost single handedly. He is assisted by an attractive love interest who happens to know software but needs climate science explained.

    A possible climax:

    The stress of all the attention causes the villain to start carrying around ball bearings? (like Humphrey Bogart in the Cain Mutiny) and repeatedly clacking them together in his hand.

    It’s the year 2020, temperatures have been dropping for seven years, and The hero is still being tricked by the IPCC into reviewing papers (for AR6) that get changed after he can do anything about it.

    Chairman “Witch Hunt” Barton is getting on in years and developed a sense of humor about himself. He discreetly keeps in his home office humorous mementos like a trophy given to him by a close friend
    with a pillory on it that says “Joe Barton Class A Witch Hunt 2015″.

    Chairman Barton finally gets his “Moriarty”, the villain, testifying under oath. The villain seems to hold together until he says ” CHERRY PICKING IS OK SO LONG AS IT’S NOT DONE WITH STOLEN CHERIES!!” Then the villain just cracks up totally, and admits the graph was deliberate fake.

    He then collects himself and says he has no real excuses but suggests that perhaps if society did not so often ignore chronically disrespectful behavior of bullies, and fail to adequately support academic achievement generally, he might not have felt a compulsion to prove himself to the whole world.

  45. Posted Mar 11, 2006 at 5:06 PM | Permalink | Reply

    re 41


    To be able to play the Didgeredoo (Australian Aboriginal musical intstrument) you must be able to inhale and exhale simultaneously.

  46. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Mar 11, 2006 at 6:09 PM | Permalink | Reply

    David Stockwell observed a while ago that one of the things that made this fun was the reality show aspect to it. But I like the fantasy. Do I get to explain principal components to Beyonce?

  47. Doug L
    Posted Mar 11, 2006 at 7:24 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Re # 45

    Steve M:

    “Do I get to explain principal components to Beyonce? ”

    Not sure who you mean, never heard of her. I only suggested a woman so as to make it easier to get the novel turned into a film. I did manage to google up one with movie star looks, so as far as I’m concerned you get to explain anything you want to her, but really it’s up to Mr. Crichton or whoever has the talent to turn this into a movie. :-)

    In my original idea there was no woman. John A was dumbed down so climate could be explained to him.

    Also, Ross was an absent minded professor slowly descending into dementia, eventually unable to remember the difference between degrees and radians. This way the hero would be even more impressive. He would triumph even though his aging friend would add difficulties. This was cut from the post as a bit of a distraction.

  48. Posted Mar 11, 2006 at 7:29 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Those like Bart S who think it’s fine that the IPCC accepted a paper after their own deadline obviously must believe that they should also accept a reply from Steve after their own deadline. That’s merely consistent enforcement of deadlines, and clearly in the interest of science, since otherwise the whole debacle is purely a way for a questionable paper to be accepted without the possibility of comment, since the actual published content of the paper was not even available by the deadline.

  49. John G. Bell
    Posted Mar 11, 2006 at 8:00 PM | Permalink | Reply

    “Do I get to explain principal components to Beyonce? “

    Beyonce will play one of the BBC reporters. Doug hasn’t got to that part yet. Nor have you actually. Did you not fit their notion of a skeptic?

  50. Gerald Machnee
    Posted Mar 11, 2006 at 10:46 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Will Beyonce lip-sync as she did at the Superbowl a year or two ago?

  51. Pat Frank
    Posted Mar 11, 2006 at 11:02 PM | Permalink | Reply

    #30 “[B]y December 2005, papers cited need to be either published or “in press”. … This means that by late-February 2006 if LAs can not assure us that a paper is in press and provide a preprint we will ask them to remove any reference to it.”

    It looks to me like Bill Bixby (#25) was shockingly ill-informed.

  52. Paul Linsay
    Posted Mar 11, 2006 at 11:03 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Maybe she could arrange to have a wardrobe malfunction. Then we could see if the bristle cones record 2006 as the hottest year ever.

  53. jae
    Posted Mar 12, 2006 at 12:25 AM | Permalink | Reply

    44: stupid, it stinks and won’t sell.

  54. bart s
    Posted Mar 12, 2006 at 3:06 AM | Permalink | Reply

    re 48: one should of course not let a good conspiracy slip by, but for the sake of facts, here is what the IPCC website says:
    “Second order draft — including draft TS and SPM – made available to external reviewers and Government reviewers for an 8-week review period by April 7″. So the condemned IPCC had all the time planned to let Steve (who in this capacity is an expert reviewer) review the next version of the report (if he wants to), also to check whether the authors had taken previous comments into account. As often said here – the truth lies in the details. So far 53 comments wasted on unfounded conspirational thinking…

  55. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Mar 12, 2006 at 8:17 AM | Permalink | Reply

    #54. Bart S. is correct that the 2nd draft is sent out to expert reviewers for comment, as well as to governments. My surmise in #41 that the 2nd review is limited to government reviewers was incorrect. I will have the opportunity to make a comment in the 2nd review. Having acknowledged that, there are some substantive issues and some for idle amusement. Also, I disagree that the comments in the thread have been a waste of time. I’ve learned something about IPCC process details and these are important if you’re dealing with people who insist on these process details when they think that it is to their advantage (as I’ve found in my dealings with IPCC WG1).

    On the amusement side, I’m convinced that Ammann and Wahl have been twisting themselves like pretzels to have their article meet IPCC deadlines. That’s fair enough on their side; but it indicates that they put some importance on being mentioned in IPCC 4AR.

    For example, one day before the Christchurch meeting, they announce "provisional acceptance" presumably to influence IPCC to include Ammann and Wahl in the 2nd order draft. Obviously, Ammann and Wahl did not meet Christchurch standards that the article "will not be subsequently modified (except perhaps for copy editing)" because it seems that the provisional acceptance included requirements for heavy modifications, which were then carried out after the Christchurch date. (I’m not certain that the modifications were carried out after December 13, but the circumstantial evidence strongly indicates this, as discussed before.) Ammann and Wahl certainly did not inform IPCC that they had to carry out substantial modifications of their articles under the terms of the provisional acceptance and that they did not meet Christchurch standards for inclusion and accordingly they regretfully withdrew their article from consideration for use in the second order draft.

    Lead authors for the second order draft had to have "final preprint" copies by late February or remove the citation. March 3 was the deadline for lead authors sending their copy to IPCC WG1. On Feb. 28, Ammann and Wahl had the Feb 24 version of their article finally accepted by Climatic Change and on March 3, they post this version up at their website. Intuitively, it seems to me that what they’ve posted up on March 3 is something that only meets Christchurch standards. This isn’t a "final preprint" showing a reference Wahl and Ammann… Climatic Change 32, 568-622 or whatever. They are about 2 months behind schedule in both steps. It must piss them off.

    But we are in no position right now to speculate that IPCC has in any way bent its standards with respect to Ammann and Wahl or even that they have not noticed that the revisions unwillingly confirm our observations about MBH verification statistics. I think that we can reasonably speculate that the latter is very unlikely if only because the changes were made in breach of Christchurch standards and the changes were probably not brought to the attention of the IPCC Lead Authors. (By the way, shouldn’t Ammann and Wahl have had a duty to report material changes to IPCC Lead Authors? You would in a business prospectus.)

    Also we are in no position to know whether IPCC will use this article after the above breaches of policy are pointed out. BTW the substantial changes in Ammann and Wahl post-Christchurch is not an "incidental" breach.

    You know something, I think that there’s at least a 50-50 chance that Ammann and Wahl is not used in IPCC 4AR. I think that there’s a 0% chance that they will report that results in Ammann and Wahl showed that IPCC TAR had misrepresented the statistical skill of the MBH recosntruction.

  56. Doug L
    Posted Mar 12, 2006 at 9:46 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Definitely not a waste of time, more movie ideas:

    Near the beginning we are greeted by a professor Von Storch played by an animated duck. He has a role as narrator and introduces a brief telling of the Chicken Little Fable.

    Also we have Clyde Crashcup, ludicrous visionary who produces Rube Goldberg contraptions on his chalkboard, creates them, has some sort of disaster and then says “Oh well, back to the old drawing board!”

    List of Clyde Crashcup inventions on Wikipedia:


    Finally we are introduced to important characters, all coroners to symbolize the analysis of a dead hockey stick graph. The aging absent minded professor is played by Jack Klugman, revered coroner of the old show “Quincy”. The hero is played by Robert David Hall, coroner of the hit TV series “CSI”.

    Steve seems to prefer an exotic look in the babes so that role is played by the CSI Miami coroner, Alexx Woods.

  57. Paul Penrose
    Posted Mar 13, 2006 at 10:43 AM | Permalink | Reply

    I found the whole movie thing to be a waste (and skipped those postings), but the rest has been useful. This is a BLOG, and so one should expect a certain amount of noise. Actually, for a blog the S/N is pretty high.

  58. ET SidViscous
    Posted Mar 13, 2006 at 11:57 AM | Permalink | Reply

    “Then the villain just cracks up totally, and admits the graph was deliberate fake.”

    Could get Jack Nicholson to play Mann, then he can re-hash the whole. “You wnat the Truth, you can’t handle the truth.”

  59. Steve Bloom
    Posted Mar 13, 2006 at 4:06 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Re #55: Steve, you do understand that over the course of the next week or so a certain amount of fun is going to be had at your expense due to the ironic nature of this little misapprehension. Batten down the hatches.

    As for the predictions in your last paragraph, I wouldn’t know about the former one, but as to the latter one you’re absolutely right. I would point out that since the IPPC only said MBH was “likely” to be right, it’s not reasonable to ask them to admit to a misrepresentation even if you’re correct in your statistical criticisms of MBH.

  60. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Mar 13, 2006 at 4:24 PM | Permalink | Reply

    #59. If the only criticim that people can make is that, in one of hundreds of posts, I thought that the 2nd order review was sent to governments and not expert reviewers (which I promptly acknowledged when it was brought to my attention), and people wish to make merry about that, then any such person is in pretty desperate shape. What’s this gotcha mentality? BTW you haven’t answered what you think about Ammann and Wahl concealing the GRL rejection in their Climatic Change correspondence.

    IPCC did not say that it was "likely" that MBH98 had statistical skill in verification statistics – they asserted it flat out. Because it was not merely an incidental graphic, then they should not ignore the misrepresentation. That’s a completely different issue than whether the graphic itself was "likely" or not. Indeed, because MBH98 failed cross-validation r2 tests, IPCC could not assert that it was even "likely".

  61. fFreddy
    Posted Mar 13, 2006 at 5:17 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Steve Bloom, are you a media consultant/spin doctor of some sort ?

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