Here is a sociological study of how GCM modelers relate to their models. [Lahsen, 2005. Seductive Simulations?
Uncertainty Distribution Around Climate Models, Social Studies of Science, 35, 895-922.] I kid you not. Lahsen:
“At least at the time of my fieldwork, close users and potential close users at NCAR (mostly synoptically trained meteorologists who would like to have a chance to validate the models) complained that modelers had a “fortress mentality”. In the words of one such user I interviewed, the model developers had “built themselves into a shell into which external ideas do not enter’. His criticism suggests that users who were more removed from the sites of GCM development sometimes have knowledge of model limitations that modelers themselves are unwilling, and perhaps unable, to countenance.”
Sound anything like Wegman’s size-up of the Team? Another comment:
Recognition of this tendency may be reflected in modelers’ jokes among themselves. For example, one group joked about a “dream button” allowing them “Star Wars style” to blow up a satellite when its data did not support their model output. They then jokingly discussed a second best option of inserting their model’s output straight into the satellite data output.
Afterwards re-read the executive summary of the U.S. CCSP in which they discuss the inconsistency between models predicting that the trend in troposphere temperatures would exceed surface trends and observations, which show the opposite. Faced with this inconsistency, Wigley and other senior climate scientists blamed their lying eyes:
A potentially serious inconsistency [between model results and observations] has been identified in the tropics. The favored explanation for this is residual error in the observations, but the issue is still open.
It is quite a remarkable article. Enjoy.