Climategatekeeping: Michaels and McKitrick 2004

One of the Climategate texts that has attracted considerable commentary is:

The other paper by MM is just garbage …I can’t see either of these papers being in the next IPCC report. Kevin [Trenberth] and I will keep them out somehow – even if we have to redefine what the peer-review literature is !

The “community”‘s response to this has been: move along, there’s nothing to see. A typical defence is that of Ronald Prinn of MIT (e.g. here around minute 48) and others) : that improper peer review activities by CRU and their associates didn’t “matter” because McIntyre and McKitrick were discussed by IPCC after all:

“Five papers by McIntyre and McKitrick were published and then referenced and discussed in the IPCC.”

In yesterday’s post, I showed that the Climategate letters showed gatekeeping incidents that had nothing to do with McIntyre and McKitrick – even preceding our entry onto the scene. In today’s post, I’m going to place the money quote in context, showing that Jones and Trenberth did in fact live up to their threats, breaching other IPCC rules along the way.

First of all, contrary to the statement by Prinn (and others), the paper being threatened was not a McIntyre and McKitrick paper; it was McKitrick and Michaels (Climate Research 2004). Citation of McIntyre and McKitrick papers in the paleoclimate chapter obviously had nothing whatever to do with Jones’ threats about the handling of the McKitrick and Michaels paper in the observation chapter edited by Kevin Trenberth and himself (“Kevin and I”).

[Dec 18 Amended timeline h/t Chip Knappenberg] The paper in question (McKitrick and Michaels Clim Res 2004) online here was submitted in July 2003 and accepted on Apr 20, 2004. McKitrick and Michaels submitted what Jones later calls and “expanded” version of this paper to International Journal of Climatology in May 2004, which was then assigned to Andrew Comrie of the University of Arizona. Comrie sought a review from the omnipresent Phil Jones (and apparently two others). The submission was rejected. See these emails here here

Contrary to the spin of Prinn and others, it is a matter of fact that Trenberth and Jones kept Michaels and McKitrick (2004) out of the AR4 First Draft. (I searched and confirmed this.) As an IPCC peer reviewer, McKitrick and another reviewer (Vincent Grey) vigorously objected to the exclusion.

Trenberth and Jones flatly rejected their comments. The following is one example. Consult the AR4 First Order Draft Review Comments for others.

References are plentiful. Those of value are cited Rejected. The locations of socioeconomic development happen to have coincided with maximum warming, not for the reason given by McKitrick and Michaels (2004) but because of the strengthening of the Arctic Oscillation and the greater sensitivity of land than ocean to greenhouse forcing owing to the smaller thermal capacity of land.

Ross tells me that there was no peer reviewed literature at the time (or to this day) specifically supporting the Trenberth and Jones attribution of the effect to the “strengthening of the Arctic Oscillation”.

In the Second Order Draft, Trenberth and Jones were once again successful in keeping Michaels and McKitrick (2004) out of the IPCC Draft. Once again, as IPCC peer reviewers, McKitrick and Grey objected and once again, the Trenberth and Jones Author Responses were dismissive. For example:

Rejected. McKitrick and Michaels (2004) is full of errors. There are many more papers in support of the statement than against it.

Or again:

The locations of socioeconomic development happen to have coincided with maximum warming, not for the reason given by McKitrick and Michaels (2004) but because of the strengthening of the Arctic Oscillation and the greater sensitivity of land than ocean to greenhouse forcing owing to the smaller thermal capacity of land.

Readers who wish to canvass all the comments can search the Review Comments at the above links.

However, there was a complication for Jones and Trenberth, who had thus far been successful in carrying out their threat. This time, there was a second article (de Laat and Maurelis. IJC 2006) making very similar arguments to McKitrick and Michaels. Not only is there another article, this time, Trenberth and Jones say that they actually read the “full” article, punctuating this herculean effort with an exclamation mark:

Trenberth and Jones say in one Author Response:

Noted. We have also read the full de Laat and Maurellis, International Journal of Climatology, 26, 897-913(2006) paper!

The sacrifices that climate scientists are prepared to make on behalf of the rest of the society. Such exemplary due diligence – reading the “full” article.

This time, Trenberth and Jones grudgingly agreed to mention the two articles in the IPCC report. However, they accompanied the mention with an extremely dismissive characterization – a characterization which (1) was made without any citation to peer reviewed literature and (2) that had not itself been submitted to external IPCC peer reviewers; and (3) to which McKitrick and Michaels had no previous opportunity to reply. (The Review Comments were not placed online until after AR4 publication and then only because of a concerted Climate Audit effort.) AR4:

McKitrick and Michaels (2004) and De Laat and Maurellis (2006) attempted to demonstrate that geographical patterns of warming trends over land are strongly correlated with geographical patterns of industrial and socioeconomic development, implying that urbanisation and related land surface changes have caused much of the observed warming. However, the locations of greatest socioeconomic development are also those that have been most warmed by atmospheric circulation changes (Sections 3.2.2.7 and 3.6.4), which exhibit large-scale coherence. Hence, the correlation of warming with industrial and socioeconomic development ceases to be statistically significant. In addition, observed warming has been, and transient greenhouse-induced warming is expected to be, greater over land than over the oceans (Chapter 10), owing to the smaller thermal capacity of the land.

Despite the IPCC (Jones and Trenberth) claim that the results “cease to be statistically significant”, Ross tells me that this is not the case and that there is no peer reviewed literature supporting this claim. Ross has attempted to respond to the IPCC (Jones and Trenberth) claims, but that’s a story for another day.

Summary
This episode raises a couple of issues, aside from the unhelpful preparedness of climate scientists like Prinn to spin bits of information without troubling to investigate the facts. Jones and Trenberth clearly lived up to the threat to keep McKitrick and Michaels 2004 out of the IPCC AR4 First and Second Drafts, and when that effort foundered somewhat with the addition of de Laat and Maurelis 2006, they inserted a dismissive editorial comment that was not supported by any reference to peer reviewed literature and which had not been itself subjected to the formal IPCC process.

While there are other cases of comments being added in the Final Draft to deal with review comments to the Second Draft, there was no reason for the distortion of the IPCC procedure in this particular case, other than the prior deliberate effort to keep the McKitrick and Michaels article out of the IPCC report.

Move along, nothing to see? I don’t think so.

Sidebar
There’s a curious sidebar to this affair. It is my understanding that reviewers for a journal have a duty of confidentiality to both the journal and to the original author. (Not all duties of confidentiality are reciprocal; I’m not convinced that authors have a duty to the journals to maintain the confidentiality, but that’s a different and interesting issue that we can discuss on another occasion.)

As noted above, Jones acted as a reviewer of the first McKitrick and Michaels submission to IJC. Watch Jones and Mann in August 2004.

When the lights are brightened on Aug 13, 2004, Jones has just sent Mann a copy of the McKitrick and Michaels IJC submission (that Jones had received on a confidential basis for the purposes of review) and is looking for his review of the IJC submission:

Mike,
The paper ! Now to find my review. I did suggest to Andrew to find 3 reviewers.
Phil

Mann writes back wondering whether he could use this information (confidential to others) to further his career at the University of Virginia by “bolstering the case against MM”.

Thanks a bunch Phil,
Along lines as my other email, would it be (?) for me to forward this to the chair of our commitee confidentially, and for his internal purposes only, to help bolster the case against MM?? let me know…
thanks,
mike

I presume that, in this case, “MM” would seem to be the McIntyre and McKitrick submission to Nature that had been rejected only one week earlier and that Mann wants to use the rejection of the Michaels and McKitrick article on a totally unrelated topic to buttress his defence against the McIntyre and McKitrick criticism of MBH. (At the Team often tried to conflate McKitrick and Michaels with McIntyre and McKitrick, but that’s another story.)

In any event, Jones writes back apparently suggesting that Mann only provide his committee chair with an excerpt of Comrie’s editor comments (provided to Jones in confidence for a different purpose).

Mike,
I’d rather you didn’t. I think it should be sufficient to forward the para from Andrew Conrie’s email that says the paper has been rejected by all 3 reviewers. You can say that the paper was an extended and updated version of that which appeared in CR. Obviously, under no circumstances should any of this get back to Pielke.
Cheers
Phil

At this point, the lights go down again.


140 Comments

  1. Kevin
    Posted Dec 17, 2009 at 3:09 PM | Permalink

    Good work! Not looking good for them. I agree on the Prinn thing. Not only did Prinn not do his due diligence, but I felt Kerry Emanuel could have been more prepared as well. I felt Emanuel was propagating “facts” that had not been thoroughly vetted. They seemed more like talking points. I expected more from them.

  2. Thomas H
    Posted Dec 17, 2009 at 3:12 PM | Permalink

    Suggested correction.

    “At the Team often tried…”

    Replace with

    “At the time the Team often tried…”?

  3. Walter Manny
    Posted Dec 17, 2009 at 3:20 PM | Permalink

    ‘rasmus’ paying homage to CA, it would appear, demanding transparency from Scafetta. Seems like a reasonable request — perhaps someone here can help get him and Gavin the code they need. Transparency all around, right?

  4. Calvin Ball
    Posted Dec 17, 2009 at 3:28 PM | Permalink

    Rejected. McKitrick and Michaels (2004) is full of errors. There are many more papers in support of the statement than against it.

    Stop and think about that statement. What he’s rather directly saying is that scientific issues can and should be settled with a scale. Stack the papers on one side of the issue on one side of the scale, and stack the papers on the other side of the issue on the other side of the scale. The truth is the heaver stack.

    • jim edwards
      Posted Dec 17, 2009 at 3:41 PM | Permalink

      Good call, Calvin. Of course, the whole idea behind publishing articles is to get NEW ideas into circulation. By definition, any new article published, that challenges an older view, will have “many more [old] papers in support of [the older view] than against it.”

  5. Kevin
    Posted Dec 17, 2009 at 3:31 PM | Permalink

    The 4th paragraph of this FT article seems to say the same thing as Prinn…the two rival papers were considered in the IPCC after all.

  6. bobdenton
    Posted Dec 17, 2009 at 3:32 PM | Permalink

    There are a number of aggrieved parties emerging in the blogosphere, persons who believe they have personally been the victims of misconduct. These people should have an opportunity to address and argue their grievances before the various bodies, but I wonder whether they will be invited to or afforded the opportunity. Has any approach been made with a view to doing so? Unprompted they may find it convenient to be addressed by only one side.

  7. jim edwards
    Posted Dec 17, 2009 at 3:33 PM | Permalink

    I’d repeat my comment from the first “Gatekeeping” thread [12/16 @ 2:14 pm].

    If you accept Prinn’s framing of the question as:

    “Were they able to keep papers from being published / mentioned ?”

    then Prinn wins, because your example documents that the Michaels and McKitrick paper was referenced in the final report that was released for public consumption.

    The fact that the paper didn’t make it into the first two drafts of a work-in-progress will seem like nit-picking, to those evaluating whether Prinn was correct in stating that competing papers were ultimately referenced.

    If, on the other hand, Prinn’s standard is explicitly rejected, and the question is framed as:

    “Were they able to use undue influence to unfairly impair the impact of competing views in print?”

    Then your historical account clearly demonstrates an impaired impact of the two inconvenient papers, without appeal to any referenced contradictory authority or opportunity of response.

    Aside from the fact that my question causes Prinn to lose the argument, I think most people would objectively consider it a more just standard to hold gatekeepers to.

  8. Calvin Ball
    Posted Dec 17, 2009 at 3:43 PM | Permalink

    Obviously, under no circumstances should any of this get back to Pielke.
    Cheers
    Phil

    Not knowing the background, I don’t know exactly why this was being kept away from Pielke, but it sure doesn’t give me, as a member of the public, warm fuzzies that these are scientists with nothing but the pursuit of the truth at heart. That seems like one of those things that you can’t polish.

  9. JJ
    Posted Dec 17, 2009 at 3:49 PM | Permalink

    Self edit, recognizing that strikethru not enabled here:

    Ah yes, the old:

    “We reject this paper, as we have previosly approved more papers that disagree with the statement than have managed to slip by us that agree with the statement.”

    Science is sooooo much easier when practiced a priori.

  10. Posted Dec 17, 2009 at 4:08 PM | Permalink

    Calvin Ball

    I raised the same question about Pielke on my own site. An anonymous commenter said that this was to do with the use of the paper in the CCSP report.

    the email was written during the period that the CCSP temperature trends panel as doing its work and a number of its authors, including jones and mann, were trying to squeeze out pielke. they did and pielke resigned. this email reflects part of their strategy. much more info at pielke’s blog

  11. rafa
    Posted Dec 17, 2009 at 4:11 PM | Permalink

    The whole thing is disgusting. I’m amazed that Steve still has such a sense of humour that can cope with these repugnant practices from some publicly funded scientists.

  12. AA
    Posted Dec 17, 2009 at 4:12 PM | Permalink

    In a similar vein, this email shows the willingness of the team to subvert technical decisions in the interest of public rhetoric:
    http://www.eastangliaemails.com/emails.php?eid=462&filename=1105019698.txt

    some quotes:
    “At 09:22 05/01/2005, Parker, David (Met Office) wrote:

    Neil
    There is a preference in the atmospheric observations chapter of IPCC
    AR4 to stay with the 1961-1990 normals. This is partly because a change
    of normals confuses users, e.g. anomalies will seem less positive than
    before if we change to newer normals, so the impression of global
    warming will be muted. ”

    after someone has stated that a more recent base period would be more accurate:
    “> > Hans Teunissen wrote:
    > > Hama: This one looks like it’s definitely a concern for CCl/WCD. From
    > > theGCOS side, it seems just an issue of what’s to be in the GSN archive
    > > -1971 to 2000 (reliable) or 1961 to 1990 (possibly unreliable). My
    > > votewould be for the former, but I don’t know what CCl policy would be.

  13. Carl Chapman
    Posted Dec 17, 2009 at 4:16 PM | Permalink

    Trenberth and Jones say that the local development is caused by local warming, rather than the other way round:
    “However, the locations of greatest socioeconomic development are also those that have been most warmed by atmospheric circulation changes”

    Doesn’t that imply that a warmer environment is beneficial for people? The Medieval Warm period and the Roman warm period were times of prosperity.

  14. crosspatch
    Posted Dec 17, 2009 at 4:17 PM | Permalink

    The exposure of this is all very depressing. I believe that many of us naively held the belief that if one made a discovery in their research, then they would be able to share the results with the rest of the scientific community. To learn that possibly only research that reaches the “correct” conclusion is published and other research is actively obstructed is a sad moment for all of science.

    Regardless of who did what and when, steps should be taken to somehow better ensure that the dissemination of research results can not be throttled by a small number of individuals. Every major milestone in science has started with a discovery by a single individual or research team. The notion that one’s research is worth publishing only if a lot of work in the same direction has already been published seems rather odd.

    Isn’t it the entire purpose of the journals to publish new and different perspectives, discoveries, interpretations, etc.? Isn’t the scientific community always supposed to remain skeptical; testing and retesting conclusions?

    I suppose the first feeling that all of this evokes is one of grief for a loss as if a friend has passed, and then one of embarrassment that one had allowed themselves to be taken advantage of by their trust in the process. It is a sad time for all of science and our scientific process.

    • Posted Dec 17, 2009 at 9:18 PM | Permalink

      Thank you, crosspatch. In addition to your wise sadness, I feel an anger beyond your sadness that your entirely appropriate sentiment is not widely expressed in the mainstream media and, even worse, that it has not been expressed loudly in the mainstream science media, Science, Nature, etc.

      Unfortunately, and this is where the grief goes very deep, it seems likely that key editors at Science, Nature, and elsewhere have been more or less complicit in similar shenanigans. They should be the ones exposing these travesties. The fact that they are not is profoundly tragic.

      • Tom Yoke
        Posted Dec 18, 2009 at 9:30 PM | Permalink

        Amen, brother. It’s been a sickening revelation.

  15. Posted Dec 17, 2009 at 4:18 PM | Permalink

    It’s hard to comment on these things without just piling on. Aw what the heck.

    Apparently Steve and the the rest of you didn’t get the AP report which subjected these emails to an “exhaustive” review. Five reporters poured tirelessly over the emails for weeks and found nothing of interest. There is absolutely nothing of consequence in them, a fact which you could have verified by simply reading a bit of Real Climate.

    Due diligence people.
    —-
    And on a less sarcastic note, the boys were working very hard to maintain the consensus. One of the curiosities of this whole situation is why. I mean so what if someone questions a regression method or a particular paper. So what if some siberian papers get through that question the thermometry of a subregion of a dataset? How is it possible that such small issues can make so much difference that people would actively work together to block them?

    As to the popularity of the particular email quoted first in this post, it got about 50,000 views at tAV.

    • jae
      Posted Dec 17, 2009 at 4:49 PM | Permalink

      In defense of the AP folks and many others who are suggesting that the Climategate stuff is not that big a deal(this is very hard for me :)),: I think you have to ALREADY KNOW a considerable amount about climate science to even understand the significance of the emails and other info. This is especially true of the hockeysticks, where you must appreciate both that they are a very significant piece of “evidence” for the “unprecidented warming,” and also that the sticks are based on bogus science, bogus statistics, and bogus reasoning.

      Steve: OT

      • Friar
        Posted Dec 18, 2009 at 3:01 AM | Permalink

        Yes. This is exactly right. The significance of these various failures in process and ethics are only recognised if you know about the evidence in a fair amount of detail.

        • Richard A.
          Posted Dec 18, 2009 at 9:19 AM | Permalink

          Steve,

          You are correct, but whose fault is that? Theirs, for not being familiar with it, and for not making themselves familiar with it. That they haven’t done their jobs to any great degree in the past or in the present when faced with signs that what they may have dismissed in the past now bears closer scrutiny, is no excuse. It’s a poor job on their part no matter how you cut it.

        • UpNorthOutWest
          Posted Dec 22, 2009 at 8:50 PM | Permalink

          Oh I don’t know … I’m a non-scientist who only started delving more deeply into all of this after ClimateGate broke. You don’t have to be a scientist to see and understand unscientific behavior. What really struck me was the “Harry Read Me” code (and I’m not a computer programmer, either). The repeated references to missing or blatantly false data; and when the frustrated programmer is instructed to “stay with published data. No clear way to replicate
          process as undocumented.” and to apply various tricks (my word) to “approximate the correction needed.” Again, I’m no scientist, and I’m no programmer. And I don’t need to be to understand improper and unscientific things are being done to achieve a desired result. It’s astounding that the A.P.’s rigorous review didn’t notice things like this.

      • Patrick M
        Posted Dec 18, 2009 at 10:46 AM | Permalink

        “I think you have to ALREADY KNOW a considerable amount about climate science to even understand the significance of the emails and other info.”

        Yes. Tying this to actual politics of paper publications and IPCC activities is vital, and journalists are going to be too superficial to ‘get it’.

        I want to comment McIntyre and CA for doing the careful forensics of putting the emails in *context*. The defenses of these emails have invariably rested on making assumptions about their intentions and the context. Getting the real context and consequences clarifies what the emails really tell us and what Jones etal were really doing. Please keep up the good work.

  16. mikep
    Posted Dec 17, 2009 at 4:35 PM | Permalink

    Note that these are the issues where Gavin – snip – in a published article in the International Journal of Climatology. See the thread at

    http://climateaudit.org/2009/02/08/gavin-on-mckitrick-and-michaels/

    Ross Mckitrick and Nicolas Nierenberg have a devastating reply, which can be found at

    http://sites.google.com/site/rossmckitrick/

    Look for the paper * McKitrick, Ross R. and Nicolas Nierenberg (2009). Correlations between Surface Temperature Trends and Socioeconomic Activity: Toward a Causal Interpretation . Submitted to International Journal of Climatology.

    The work was done some time ago. I look forward to the acceptance of this reply by the International Journal of Climatology, or some very good reasons for refusal.

  17. Doug Werme
    Posted Dec 17, 2009 at 4:43 PM | Permalink

    Curious to see that name Andrew Comrie come up in this. When I wrote the University of Arizona as a concerned alumnus to inform them that Malcolm Hughes or associates had selectively blocked Steve McIntyre’s access to archived data, the reply came from Dr. Comrie, in his capacity of Associate Vice President for Research, telling me to “move along, nothing to see here”. Actually he said: “Thank you for your email of October 17 regarding public availability of research data. To our knowledge, we are in full compliance with our
    research-related obligations.”

    I recently wrote them again, and included climategate emails sent to researchers at the University of Arizona encourging them to delete and conceal data. I asked for an investigation, and sent it to the Provost for Faculy Affairs. We’ll see if it ends up with Dr. Comrie again.

    The Wegman clique theory in action.

  18. PeterA
    Posted Dec 17, 2009 at 4:47 PM | Permalink

    As I keep saying (but keep getting removed – not fair Steve as I’m not really breaking any blog rules)

    snip – you are breaking blog rules in placing editorials on topical threads. Plus venting and being angry.

    • Dave Dardinger
      Posted Dec 17, 2009 at 5:32 PM | Permalink

      Peter,

      There’s doubt, to be sure. But that’s not the same as disproof. Steve’s not interested in doubts, but actual proofs or disproofs. Until you get that into your head, you’ll continue to get snipped.

    • bobdenton
      Posted Dec 17, 2009 at 5:37 PM | Permalink

      For the sake of argument, suppose the dendro and paleo evidence, to date, is found to be fatally flawed. The failure to prove a hypothesis is not a proof that the hypothesis is not true. The concept behind these studies is sound, perhaps optimistic as to the degree of resolution possible, so In the worst case the relevant studies can be quickly repeated in unflawed way.
      The hope for these studies was that they would enable the various climate forcings to be fractionated and quantified over long periods and these forcings could be used to “calibrate” climate models, in much the same way that instrumental data is used to calibrate proxy data. It is these calibrated models which make the predictions for future warming and also predict some of the alleged “fingerprints” of CO2 forcing that turn it into a testable hypothesis. If they are discredited the consequences are more pervasive than might appear at first, but no matter how pervasive, it will never constitute proof that the CO2 hypothesis is false.

      • ianl8888
        Posted Dec 17, 2009 at 10:58 PM | Permalink

        How may one prove a negative ?

        Onus of proof is on the proposer !

        • bobdenton
          Posted Dec 18, 2009 at 2:49 AM | Permalink

          Simply frame an appropriate null hypothesis and test it experimentally. It can then be rejected with a given degree of confidence. The rejected hypothesis must be consistent with only one of two contrasting null hypotheses of course.

        • bobdenton
          Posted Dec 18, 2009 at 2:51 AM | Permalink

          That should be contrasting theories.

        • Ettiene
          Posted Dec 18, 2009 at 2:58 AM | Permalink

          editorializing

    • Posted Dec 17, 2009 at 5:52 PM | Permalink

      PeterA IMO you still ARE breaking blog rules, by going into generalizations that Steve has requested are NOT wanted. The thing is, what to do beyond this level of bewailing? and is it directly relevant to the thread title and therefore helpful?

      • Peter
        Posted Dec 18, 2009 at 6:36 AM | Permalink

        Then how come about half of the other posts are not censored? They also are either OT, nebulous or failing to show proof. At least I’m sticking to the title – Climategate. Is there another form of climategate I don’t know about. Anyway, I probably won’t bother post again since I have no proof to provide – just an opinion – like most of the other posters here :-)

        Steve: look, it’s impossible for me to get all readers to observe blog policies, which admittedly are not clearly codified. Regular readers know them though. My administration is a bit inconsistent, but I’d rather that you point out an offending post than respond in kind.

        • KevinM
          Posted Dec 18, 2009 at 7:04 PM | Permalink

          Peter,

          Go to the Air Vent. Jeff Id will let you write anything.

          Or better yet, put it on RealClimate. You might distract some of the hyperadvocates and have fun doing it.

          I trolled in circles a while ago to see how many different topics certain regulars were “experts” on… yep, every topic.

  19. Richard
    Posted Dec 17, 2009 at 5:00 PM | Permalink

    The activity of the climate “scientists” clique in successfully excluding a contrary paper, after conspiring to do so, without any good reason, in this despicable, secretive and deceitful manner, is truly disgusting.

    But what is perhaps even more disgusting and disturbing is scientists like Ronald Prinn defending such activities!

    I hope more scientists, specially those that believe in AGW, like Judith Curry, come out in the open and speak out against this sort of reprehensible behaviour.

    They must do this to restore the reputation and credibility of science.

  20. Dave L.
    Posted Dec 17, 2009 at 5:07 PM | Permalink

    I am trying to sit through the MIT debate you have referenced. It is quite disturbing and I am not certain that I will finish it completely. Dick Lindzen comes across as fantastic, but listening to the AGW propaganda of Emanuel and the white washing of Prinn and the obvious Greenie plants …. ugh! I have watched the part you referenced with respect to Prinn; I think you should also take Prinn to task because he doesn’t understand “Hide the Decline” starting at circa 1:15:15 — Lindzen can’t believe that Prinn doesn’t think “Hide the Decline” is important.

    • Posted Dec 18, 2009 at 2:03 AM | Permalink

      I thought that Emmanuel sounded like he was reading a Fenton Communications press release.

  21. Ron Coreau
    Posted Dec 17, 2009 at 5:09 PM | Permalink

    For the past 2 weeks, the media has been reporting the following as if it is not in dispute. That CO2 caused by the following phenomena. Could you please answer for a non-scientific person?

    1. Are ocean levels rising?

    2. Is the polar ice melting away?

    3. Are glaciers receding because of CO2?

    Or are the above phenomena attributable to other factors.

    Steve: all of this is important but OT for this thread. These sorts of things can’t be answered in one paragraph.

    • Posted Dec 17, 2009 at 5:54 PM | Permalink

      Click my name. I’ve written a whole Primer on all the issues. Not perfect but many newcomers like it.

      • Doug
        Posted Dec 17, 2009 at 10:59 PM | Permalink

        Lucy,

        Great site! Well done.

      • Arn Riewe
        Posted Dec 18, 2009 at 1:20 PM | Permalink

        Lucy,

        Whenever I can get someone interested in looking into the whole “global warming” issue, I send them to your site. It’s an excellent beginning point for someone that has no background in the subject.

    • Peter Dunford
      Posted Dec 17, 2009 at 6:33 PM | Permalink

      Short answer, one paragraph:

      1-3; no, but. Last sentence; Yes, but.

  22. Stephen
    Posted Dec 17, 2009 at 5:16 PM | Permalink

    Keep trying, but being of a somewhat cynical bend I don’t hold out a lot of hope. It is a club. And nailing a couple of members doesnt change the fact that its a club, they’ll just replace them with others who will do similar types of things.

    All the meanwhile the IPCC will be held up as a gold standard linked to money and rewards.

    But keep trying….shining lights has got you further than I thought it would.

  23. MIchael Smith
    Posted Dec 17, 2009 at 5:24 PM | Permalink

    Note that Jones and Trenberth actually confirm the findings of Michaels and McKitrick — they agree that the warming correlates with socioeconomic development. Jones and Trenberth simply declare the correlation to be a pure accident and instead attribute the warming to — what else — AGW.

    It’s just naked question-begging, i.e. it’s just assuming the truth of what you want to prove and then using that assumption to argue against another explanation.

    Steve:
    they don’t “confirm” it so much as concede it. Note that the areas in question are the Russian areas that appear to be in dispute.

  24. JohnH
    Posted Dec 17, 2009 at 6:00 PM | Permalink

    Steve
    I hope you are going to send your well-organized account of this to Penn State for the Mann investigation

    • Ted Carmichael
      Posted Dec 18, 2009 at 1:57 AM | Permalink

      Yes, I agree.

      • AJ Abrams
        Posted Dec 18, 2009 at 12:29 PM | Permalink

        Steve, I doubt you will, but I wish you would as well. This information is important to any investigation.

  25. Patrick M.
    Posted Dec 17, 2009 at 6:09 PM | Permalink

    Just think what they could get away with if the were no blogosphere.

    • Mike Lorrey
      Posted Dec 18, 2009 at 2:18 PM | Permalink

      Yes that was the point of Jon Stewarts parody piece, “Al Gore, debunked by the internet that you invented! Oh the irony!”

      It was clear to me that Prinn was spinning and dodging. Emmanuel was spouting conspiracy theories like a schizophrenic. He really shouldn’t have been on the panel, as a coconspirator of the Team, he should be suspended and under investigation like the rest of them. I really don’t understand why he hasn’t been forced to retract his hurricane thesis since so much of it has been debunked.

      It seems to me that all the other institutions Team members are in are going to try to act like the problem is isolated to UEA and that nobody in the emails works at THEIR institutions is anything but an eyewitness.

  26. Rich Braud
    Posted Dec 17, 2009 at 6:10 PM | Permalink

    Keep up the good work Steve. As an interested outsider I just want good science and the truth. If Carbon Dioxide through positive feedback does cause damage I want to know but so far what I have seen regarding the CRU E-Mails, regardless of the validity of the AWG Hypothesis is badly done science and a sloppy work product. As an outsider is this the way Science is done these days, and if it is it seems more time should be spent on good practices.

  27. MarkB
    Posted Dec 17, 2009 at 6:23 PM | Permalink

    People coming from outside the professional science world need to understand that gate-keeping goes on all the time – if not always this one-sided. In human evolution, there have long been out-of-Africa and in situ evolution schools of thought, based on different types of evidence. Those people battle each other as much as any contemporary climate scientists, although there’s nothing riding on it other than personal career standing.

    Point being – don’t be surprised when scientists seek to block the publication of opponent’s work – happens all the time. Doesn’t make it right, but it’s SOP an many fields.

    • Friar
      Posted Dec 18, 2009 at 3:11 AM | Permalink

      venting

  28. geo
    Posted Dec 17, 2009 at 6:36 PM | Permalink

    “However, the locations of greatest socioeconomic development are also those that have been most warmed by atmospheric circulation changes. . . ”

    I think Dr. Roy might have some “which is the cause and which is the effect?” fun with that one.

    Temperture differentials surely have some significant impact on atmospheric circulation patterns?

  29. Bob
    Posted Dec 17, 2009 at 7:11 PM | Permalink

    Steve, I am not sure my comment below is relevant for this thread but I can’t contain myself.

    snip – contain yourself nonetheless

  30. Syl
    Posted Dec 17, 2009 at 7:12 PM | Permalink

    Having a cottage in the family in northern Ontario for 35 years, I can tell you that acid rain was real and visible (However, the smoke stacks from Sudbury nearby probably didn`t help either).

    Acid rain is an example where regulation and treaties did work along with the banning of fluorocarbons affecting the ozone layer.

    I am a skeptic of AGW – but I am not anti-government. I do think that we do need to clean up our act. I just don`t believe that man`s activities can affect the climate. But we certainly can affect the environment.

    I have been living in Montreal for the last 20 years. Locally, the temperature certainly did spike in the 90s and I don`t need measurements to make me believe that. I do feel that the last 5-6 years have been getting colder (Colder winters with more snow, colder summers with very short or non-existant July heat waves).

    Steve- OT

    One thing that is still the same in both decades is that the seasons seem to have shifted – summer starts later and ends later.

    • Syl
      Posted Dec 17, 2009 at 7:29 PM | Permalink

      Oops sorry – got carried away.

  31. Peter Dunford
    Posted Dec 17, 2009 at 7:28 PM | Permalink

    OT, but.. There’s a weird piece on RC at the moment where they seem to be advocating that where critics are unable to recreate results, authors should release code and data to allow verification. At least Scafetta and West should. It’s not clear they believe that also applies to the team. RC is always good for a laugh.

  32. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Dec 17, 2009 at 7:37 PM | Permalink

    Point being – don’t be surprised when scientists seek to block the publication of opponent’s work – happens all the time. Doesn’t make it right, but it’s SOP an many fields.

    Problem comes when you try to move from articles in journals to public policy when people are doing that.

    It is completely off-limits in an engineering context.

    Even the fact that it supposedly goes on all the time in other fields doesn’t make the practice ethical. Reviewers doing that are not acting according to their duties as reviewers.

    People often do things and don’t get caught. That doesn’t make it right. Lots of people drink and drive without getting caught. That isn’t a defence for someone caught in a roadside check.

    If you or others think that this sort of review practice is ethical, then that’s one thing. However, I doubt that the fact that unethical behavior by other scientists is generally not caught will prove a satisfactory excuse here. The wider public might reasonably consider whether an example should be set.

    • srp
      Posted Dec 17, 2009 at 10:20 PM | Permalink

      From Louis Frank’s The Big Splash (1990), p. 135:

      “It was a clever move by Donahue. People tell me that was not fair. But fairness had nothing to do with it. There was nothing dishonest about it either. People fail to understand that science, quite simply, is a savage little game that we play with a great deal of devotion.”

      The book is a pretty interesting read, perhaps more for its insights into the process of science than for the provocative hypothesis it discusses.

    • GaryC
      Posted Dec 18, 2009 at 1:26 AM | Permalink

      And there are many examples of historical “gatekeeping” that seriously impeded the progress of science.

      For example, Ludwig Boltzmann, the principal discoverer of statistical thermodynamics, was unable to publish any of his work in the leading German physics journal because the editor was certain that his results couldn’t possibly be correct. His equations only made sense if the atom was a real physical entity, and Maxwell had proven that everything was waves.

    • Kevin
      Posted Dec 18, 2009 at 10:51 AM | Permalink

      OT

      • Kevin
        Posted Dec 18, 2009 at 9:06 PM | Permalink

        Let me rephrase because I think it is relevant to the discussion…as you point out, the problem comes when we try to make public policy out of questionable science.

        In April 2007, the US Supreme Court set a precedent by overriding the executive branch to give power to the EPA to regulate GHG emmissions. The EPA reports to the executive branch and yet the judicial branch gives the opinion that the EPA is in dereliction of it’s duty based on the “well-documented rise in global temperatures”. The Supreme court in it’s 5-4 decision references the IPCC and NOAA among other organizations as the basis of it’s decision. As has been pointed out, the work of IPCC and NOAA is in question.

        I find it troubling that 1/3 of the powerbrokers in our government have set a precedent for policy another 1/3 of the powerbrokers in our government based on research that is questionable. Isn’t this what you are talking about?

        • Kevin
          Posted Dec 19, 2009 at 12:51 PM | Permalink

          Link above broken… This one gives technical docs as well.

    • Dave Dardinger
      Posted Dec 18, 2009 at 11:45 AM | Permalink

      Steve,

      the e-mails recently stolen from a climate research unit at a British university.

      This (by Mann quoted in another comment) brings up a question of perhaps some interest. I’m sure there are going to be attempts to produce a book or several books based on climategate. To what extent will the authors have to get permission of the people who wrote and/or were mentioned in the e-mails before reproducing all or part of an e-mail in said book(s)? Obviously neither you or others commenting on said e-mails have felt a need to get permission, but in the case of a book, the situation might be different.

  33. kadaka
    Posted Dec 17, 2009 at 7:53 PM | Permalink

    snip

    The truth keeps coming out, and those willing to distort the truth and cast aspersions are summarily being identified. The cover-up itself is amazing, and the new rush to cover-up the cover-up is actually driving people to the skeptics’ camp.

    snip – prohibited word

  34. Dana White
    Posted Dec 17, 2009 at 8:11 PM | Permalink

    From the WSJ today:

    How to Manufacture a Climate Consensus
    The East Anglia emails are just the tip of the iceberg. I should know.

    By PATRICK J. MICHAELS

    Few people understand the real significance of Climategate, the now-famous hacking of emails from the University of East Anglia Climatic Research Unit (CRU). Most see the contents as demonstrating some arbitrary manipulating of various climate data sources in order to fit preconceived hypotheses (true), or as stonewalling and requesting colleagues to destroy emails to the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in the face of potential or actual Freedom of Information requests (also true).

    But there’s something much, much worse going on—a silencing of climate scientists, akin to filtering what goes in the bible, that will have consequences for public policy, including the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) recent categorization of carbon dioxide as a “pollutant.”

    The bible I’m referring to, of course, is the refereed scientific literature. It’s our canon, and it’s all we have really had to go on in climate science (until the Internet has so rudely interrupted). When scientists make putative compendia of that literature, such as is done by the U.N. climate change panel every six years, the writers assume that the peer-reviewed literature is a true and unbiased sample of the state of climate science.

    View Full Image
    michaels
    Martin Kozlowski
    michaels
    michaels

    That can no longer be the case. The alliance of scientists at East Anglia, Penn State and the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (in Boulder, Colo.) has done its best to bias it.

    A refereed journal, Climate Research, published two particular papers that offended Michael Mann of Penn State and Tom Wigley of the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research. One of the papers, published in 2003 by Willie Soon and Sallie Baliunas (of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics), was a meta-analysis of dozens of “paleoclimate” studies that extended back 1,000 years. They concluded that 20th-century temperatures could not confidently be considered to be warmer than those indicated at the beginning of the last millennium.

    In fact, that period, known as the “Medieval Warm Period” (MWP), was generally considered warmer than the 20th century in climate textbooks and climate compendia, including those in the 1990s from the IPCC.

    Then, in 1999, Mr. Mann published his famous “hockey stick” article in Geophysical Research Letters (GRL), which, through the magic of multivariate statistics and questionable data weighting, wiped out both the Medieval Warm Period and the subsequent “Little Ice Age” (a cold period from the late 16th century to the mid-19th century), leaving only the 20th-century warming as an anomaly of note.

    Messrs. Mann and Wigley also didn’t like a paper I published in Climate Research in 2002. It said human activity was warming surface temperatures, and that this was consistent with the mathematical form (but not the size) of projections from computer models. Why? The magnitude of the warming in CRU’s own data was not as great as in the models, so therefore the models merely were a bit enthusiastic about the effects of atmospheric carbon dioxide.

    Mr. Mann called upon his colleagues to try and put Climate Research out of business. “Perhaps we should encourage our colleagues in the climate research community to no longer submit to, or cite papers in, this journal,” he wrote in one of the emails. “We would also need to consider what we tell or request of our more reasonable colleagues who currently sit on the editorial board.”

    After Messrs. Jones and Mann threatened a boycott of publications and reviews, half the editorial board of Climate Research resigned. People who didn’t toe Messrs. Wigley, Mann and Jones’s line began to experience increasing difficulty in publishing their results.

    This happened to me and to the University of Alabama’s Roy Spencer, who also hypothesized that global warming is likely to be modest. Others surely stopped trying, tiring of summary rejections of good work by editors scared of the mob. Sallie Baliunas, for example, has disappeared from the scientific scene.

    GRL is a very popular refereed journal. Mr. Wigley was concerned that one of the editors was “in the skeptics camp.” He emailed Michael Mann to say that “if we can find documentary evidence of this, we could go through official . . . channels to get him ousted.”

    Mr. Mann wrote to Mr. Wigley on Nov. 20, 2005 that “It’s one thing to lose ‘Climate Research.’ We can’t afford to lose GRL.” In this context, “losing” obviously means the publication of anything that they did not approve of on global warming.

    Soon the suspect editor, Yale’s James Saiers, was gone. Mr. Mann wrote to the CRU’s Phil Jones that “the GRL leak may have been plugged up now w/ new editorial leadership there.”

    It didn’t stop there. Ben Santer of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory complained that the Royal Meteorological Society (RMS) was now requiring authors to provide actual copies of the actual data that was used in published papers. He wrote to Phil Jones on March 19, 2009, that “If the RMS is going to require authors to make ALL data available—raw data PLUS results from all intermediate calculations—I will not submit any further papers to RMS journals.”

    Messrs. Jones and Santer were Ph.D. students of Mr. Wigley. Mr. Santer is the same fellow who, in an email to Phil Jones on Oct. 9, 2009, wrote that he was “very tempted” to “beat the crap” out of me at a scientific meeting. He was angry that I published “The Dog Ate Global Warming” in National Review, about CRU’s claim that it had lost primary warming data.

    The result of all this is that our refereed literature has been inestimably damaged, and reputations have been trashed. Mr. Wigley repeatedly tells news reporters not to listen to “skeptics” (or even nonskeptics like me), because they didn’t publish enough in the peer-reviewed literature—even as he and his friends sought to make it difficult or impossible to do so.

    Ironically, with the release of the Climategate emails, the Climatic Research Unit, Michael Mann, Phil Jones and Tom Wigley have dramatically weakened the case for emissions reductions. The EPA claimed to rely solely upon compendia of the refereed literature such as the IPCC reports, in order to make its finding of endangerment from carbon dioxide. Now that we know that literature was biased by the heavy-handed tactics of the East Anglia mob, the EPA has lost the basis for its finding.

    Mr. Michaels, formerly professor of environmental sciences at the University of Virginia (1980-2007), is a senior fellow at the Cato Institute.

    • kadaka
      Posted Dec 17, 2009 at 9:08 PM | Permalink

      You could have just posted the link and saved the electrons. Think about the children! ;)

    • Richard
      Posted Dec 17, 2009 at 9:18 PM | Permalink

      This message and the Climategate-keeping message has to be got out to world. The partisan press (mainstream) are active colluders in the cover-up of this scam.

      The task is thus left, once again, to the humble blogosphere.

      As was put somewhere – the press is silent but the internet roars.

  35. Barbara P.
    Posted Dec 17, 2009 at 8:17 PM | Permalink

    policy

  36. Chris
    Posted Dec 17, 2009 at 8:20 PM | Permalink

    Where’s Norbert to offer his super generous viewpoint that all of this is perfectly copacetic and understandable?

    The content here leaves even less doubt that Climategatekeeping 1. I am definitely on the anti-AGW side of things but I think I can still be objective. I think the point is proved here beyond a reasonable doubt. I’ve read many comments on the other side as well and they range from not at all compelling to completely absurd.

    I would have to concur with the comment above that this analysis should be brought to the attention of the PSU investigation committee.

    • Norbert
      Posted Dec 18, 2009 at 4:55 AM | Permalink

      I’m here. This stuff is complicated. Well, if you ask me:

      The language is obviously insulting. Compare it to a comment in a public blog about this article on realclimate (Dec 2004, by a different scientist): “However, numerous flaws with their analysis, some of them absolutely fundamental, render their conclusions invalid.”
      Still quite harsh language, even in public. Yet anopther scientist, Gavin Schmidt, is in retrospect of the opinion that the two articles didn’t stand the test of time. With that context, I would assume that Phil Jones was honestly convinced that the paper didn’t have the quality to deserve appearing in the IPCC report. He appears to be on a mission, but I don’t know how much influence he/they would have legitimately, as editors, if they consider a paper erroneous. So I can’t say how far their behavior would be away from any possibly legitimate rejection. How common is it to reject a paper from appearing in the IPCC report, and what does it usually take to reject a paper? Or are there so few papers that usually (almost) all get mentioned?

      Regarding Ronald Prinn: It seems that there was a general assumption that MM referred to McIntyre and McKitrick. I have previously read that assumption all over the place. For example, Gavin Schmidt also found it likely at first, but later found out that it was Michaels and McKitrick. So I don’t think that Prinn presented “spin”, but was following the general assumption. It seems that in other emails, “MM” did refer to “McIntyre and McKitrick”. So I don’t know if Prinn can be faulted for making that assumption as well, or not. Ironically, he was still correct, since the article was eventually referenced and discussed in IPCC AR4 Chapter 3, with 15 lines of text (however critically). So Phil Jones and Kevin Trenberth were really not successful in keeping it out of the IPCC report. I don’t quite understand what relevance it has that they could keep the article out of the first two drafts, except that one might perhaps say they were “almost successful”.

      In the review comments, IPCC AR4 first draft, I did find some references to peer review literature (Parker (2005) and Benestad (2004)). I don’t know where to look for the “dismissive editorial comment”s, those without such reference to peer review literature, but have to admit I don’t have much time right now. Does any dismissive editorial comment require such references?

      I think such questions are utterly difficult to judge by anyone not thoroughly familiar with this whole matter.

      Steve: At the time in question, William Connolley and others intentionally conflated “MM” because they wanted to debate Michaels and McKitrick rather than MBH. Connolley’s Wkipedia edits at the time, for example, show that he was doing so intentionally.

      • Norbert
        Posted Dec 18, 2009 at 11:43 PM | Permalink

        Steve,

        I couldn’t figure out what you mean with “intentionally conflated “MM” “. Which time is the time in question, and what does William Connolley have to do with all this ?

      • Chris
        Posted Dec 19, 2009 at 12:58 AM | Permalink

        Ah Norbert, you didn’t disappoint with your response. But just to be clear, among other points, your position is that it’s acceptable for a confidential reviewer to forward a paper under review to a third party?

        And you’re okay with Jones dismissing the “MM” paper even though there is nothing to support it:

        Ross tells me that there was no peer reviewed literature at the time (or to this day) specifically supporting the Trenberth and Jones attribution of the effect to the “strengthening of the Arctic Oscillation”.

        To be clear I would say that your replies here are substantially below my previous high rank (for the pro AGW side) of “not at all compelling”, but I would suggest to you that in the context of the Climategate material Gavin Schmidt is not independent from Phil Jones. It’s pretty clear he’s in lockstep with Jones, thus I don’t see him adding any context or weight to your argument.

        • Norbert
          Posted Dec 19, 2009 at 7:20 AM | Permalink

          Just to be clear? Where do you think did I say anything about that at all ? The “Sidebar” just doesn’t have enough actual information for me to even make a guess about what might really have happened. Also, it would feel a bit strange to talk about confidentiality when spending weeks scrutinizing each detail of stolen emails.

          You suggest that the paper was dismissed without anything to support it. But I mentioned Parker (2005) and Benestad (2004). Apparently you missed my other posts here on this topic, where I posted a link to Benestad (online text, Dec 2004) which also has a link to the original Benestad(2004).

          Here is one of the review comments, in full, which includes a reference at the end (Parker 2005):

          [quote]References are plentiful. Those of value are cited Rejected. The locations of socioeconomic development happen to have coincided with maximum warming, not for the reason given by McKitrick and Michaels (2004) but because of the strengthening of the Arctic Oscillation and the greater sensitivity of land than ocean to greenhouse forcing owing to the smaller thermal capacity of land. Parker (2005) demonstrates lack of urban influence.[/quote]

          McKitrick didn’t accept Parker (2005), to which in turn there was a response in the review comments, but that’s a different matter.

          The “strengthening of the Arctic Oscillation” is, as far as I can tell, just a tiny part of the reasons to reject the paper, and I’d be surprised if that point really needs its own reference. In any case, the discussion of MM 2004 in IPCC AR4, on this point, contains a reference to Section 3.2.2.7 (and Section 3.6.4), which in turn contains a reference, regarding the Arctic, to (Przybylak, 2000).

          http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/journal/72500415/abstract?CRETRY=1&SRETRY=0

          Perhaps not the only one, I stopped at that point.

          Steve: IPCC policies require them to discuss dissenting views in the peer-reviewed literature. The McKitrick and Michaels was a dissenting view. The emails show that its not being mentioned in the First and Second drafts was intentional and not accidental. The supposed Arctic Oscillation refutation is not established or even mentioned in Benestad 2004 or Parker 2005. Within IPCC regulations, they could have cited arguments from Benestad 2004 or Parker 2005, but that’s not what they did. And of course no one had an opportunity to comment on the Arctic Oscillation thingee because they kept McMic out of the drafts sent around for expert review.

        • Chris
          Posted Dec 19, 2009 at 1:19 PM | Permalink

          Norbert,

          Since you’re providing fairly detailed defenses of what the hockey team did in your posts, my assumption is that your defenses are pretty much all encompassing unless you point out anything you don’t think is okay. The entire context does matter, so if you’re essentially running interference across the board for the hockey team by taking the most generous interpretations possible (and then some), you should qualify your defense by pointing out the previous actions and comments with which you are not defending.

          Of course you’re also helping to provide more external context (by citing the Benestad and Parker papers, for example) which only makes your case weaker, IMO. The more I read the worse Climategate looks, and this includes the responses from the hockey team and from politicians as well.

        • Norbert
          Posted Dec 19, 2009 at 3:01 PM | Permalink

          Chris,

          you shouldn’t make such an assumption, especially in this case with such a complex post, it is almost impossible to reply to each point. If I don’t comment on something it can simply mean, for example, that I don’t have sufficient knowledge about it, or, another example, that I hadn’t made up my mind about it.

        • Chris
          Posted Dec 19, 2009 at 1:45 PM | Permalink

          I should add that there is no proof that the Climategate material was stolen. There is considerable evidence that it was compiled per an FOIA request (or several requests) and then leaked intentionally.

          In looking at the FOIA laws and the nature of the CRU’s work, and the work of the hockey team members in the US, I see no valid argument that this material would not have been subject to FOIA. The vast majority of the work was paid for by taxpayer dollars, and most of it occurred at government supported organizations. Rather than your theft accusation, it’s far more evident that this material should have been released as soon as the FOI requests came in, and the failures to do so were violations of the FOIA.

        • Norbert
          Posted Dec 19, 2009 at 3:14 PM | Permalink

          Unless they were leaked with an agreement of all authors (or at least the major ones, I guess), which seems rather unlikely, it seems to me that this wouldn’t be much different from “stealing” them. Emails are just data anyway, so technically they have been “copied” or “made public” rather than “stolen” in the usual sense. If that makes any sense to you. I’m not making any kind of accusation in any “legal” sense, here, since I know neither the law nor the facts. Is that enough of a disclaimer? I’m just assuming that they are “stolen” because that seems to be the most common assumption and the one that makes the most sense to me.

        • Norbert
          Posted Dec 19, 2009 at 5:29 PM | Permalink

          Steve,

          you wrote: “IPCC policies require them to discuss dissenting views in the peer-reviewed literature. The McKitrick and Michaels was a dissenting view.”

          Any such policy doesn’t appear to be a strict rule without exception, in that literal sense, otherwise I’d assume there wouldn’t be the official “reject” in 3-34 and 3-453 (first draft). The review comments trying to get in MM04 were so numerous, insistent, and often lengthy, in both first draft and second draft, that they would have been difficult to overlook for anyone. Both of those comments contain this sentence which was missing in your quote:

          “Parker (2005) demonstrates lack of urban influence.”

          (A second draft review comment is a bit more verbous: “Rejected. Parker (2006) provides a detailed demonstration of the lack of urban influence. Another similar comment adds the additional sentence: “That is why Benestad (2004) was correctly unable to replicate McKitrick and Michaels (2004) using his independent sample”.)

          Would that not count as a “cited argument” because it is not a literal quote, or because it is too short? The “greater sensitivity of land” appears to be commonly known, and the arctic oscillation, which is apparently also known as Northern Annular Mode (NAM), is mentioned many times in Chapter 3 (most often as “NAM”). It appears to play a somewhat larger part in the matters discussed in Chapter 3.

          Other (second draft) comments with references:

          “Rejected. See 3-452 and 3-453. There is also a response to the McKitrick and Michaels (2004) paper by Benestad (2004) which points out problems with the analysis.”

          “These papers have already been taken into account. McKitrick & Michaels has itself been discredited. See e.g. Benestad (2004), Climate Research 27:171-173. The final comment merely suggests that the homogeneity adjustment works. Despite this we have added some text.”

          In the review comments, it sounds almost as if the authors tried to start a scientific discussion within the review comments.

        • Dave Dardinger
          Posted Dec 19, 2009 at 6:22 PM | Permalink

          Norbert,

          Parker (2006) provides a detailed demonstration of the lack of urban influence.

          Go see the appropriate threads here about Parker. Total junk science, IMO. It might be worth it replying on one of those threads and I’ll maybe do that

        • Norbert
          Posted Dec 19, 2009 at 6:44 PM | Permalink

          You are welcome to let me know when you have done that.

        • Dave Dardinger
          Posted Dec 19, 2009 at 7:40 PM | Permalink

          I posted on “Parker 2006: An Urban Myth?” a bit ago, but it may scroll off the new posts rather quickly. You can find it easily enough by searching on Parker or Parker 2006.

  37. kadaka
    Posted Dec 17, 2009 at 11:07 PM | Permalink

    My apologies, didn’t mean to offend.

    Is there a list of prohibited words? I didn’t see one mentioned in the Blog Rules.

  38. Eric Rasmusen
    Posted Dec 17, 2009 at 11:11 PM | Permalink

    Thank you for all the detail on the confusing MM papers and the grudging inclusion in the report.

    In economics, I know of no custom (or rules) that (a) an author must keep his referee reports secret, or (b) a referee cannot let colleagues know he is a referee on a paper and circulate the paper or ask for their comments on it. I can’t think of any reason to have such customs, either, and there are good reasons to do otherwise (show referee reports to colleagues for advice on how to revise the paper or to grad students to show them how refereeing works or to anyone to warn them how stupid and unfair journal X is so they can submit somewhere else; ask for help on a report to be able to write a better report, give a paper to someone who ought to know about it for his own research).

    What’s wrong with sharing information, after all?

    Going further, it would be helpful for all referee reports to be publicly posted on the Internet. It’s a wasteful system to have to repeat the process of getting referees at one journal after another. And it’s useful to know if the author has paid any attention to comments of referees from a previous submission, or to see why he thinks they were wrong.

    • Craig Loehle
      Posted Dec 18, 2009 at 8:41 AM | Permalink

      The reason for referees not sharing what they are reviewing and for not posting papers on line is that in the physical sciences you can be scooped–only one person gets to discover a new particle or chemical or name a new species. Circulating a paper can lead to others who are lucky or have connections getting their paper published first. Once they have done so, you can’t get yours published as it is no longer “novel”. I won’t even give a talk on my work unless it is in press or it is something no one can copy.

      • Posted Dec 18, 2009 at 9:02 AM | Permalink

        But why does it matter so much “who got there first” (except for reasons of personal vanity)? I am still convinced that science is about impartial facts, and they ought to stay very much the same no matter who writes about them, shouldn’t they? (That’s why things like dictionary or encyclopedia entries are typically unsigned). Anything that depends on the individual who says it is not science, or is it now?

        venting

        • Posted Dec 18, 2009 at 9:19 AM | Permalink

          Sorry! Got carried away…

        • jim edwards
          Posted Dec 18, 2009 at 10:12 AM | Permalink

          “But why does it matter so much “who got there first” (except for reasons of personal vanity)? ”

          #1) Because scientists receive material rewards for success, such as:
          Money, prizes, patent rights, promotions, job opportunities, etc., and

          #2) Because discoveries and publications lead to an increase in reputation, which improve:
          Working conditions [e.g. - autonomy, more/better grad student assistants], access to capital [Future grant applications and lab space], opportunities for collaboration, and future ease of publication in preferred venues [see #1...]

          #3) Then there’s personal vanity – which you’ve excluded – but it’s got to be frustrating to spend three years of your life solving a problem, only to have somebody else take the credit for it. [see # 1 and 2]

        • Posted Dec 18, 2009 at 11:19 AM | Permalink

          ad 1) Science looking for profit is likely to become corrupted. What happened to the oft-remembered type of “poor scholar” solely interested in solving a problem? Seems like today’s Einsteins are no longer content with doing a honest job as a clerk to earn their living…

          ad 2) as you already said: see #1

          ad 3) This depends on whether I really want the problem solved, or if I am eager to get credit for it. If the latter, fudged pseudo-solutions as those all too often discussed in this blog will be the rule rather the exemption.

        • Craig Loehle
          Posted Dec 18, 2009 at 2:46 PM | Permalink

          If your idea is scooped and published before you do, then you may not be able to get it published at all. Further, “poor scholars” working alone is not a concept valid for many fields where research takes money. Money takes grants which depends on getting published.

        • Posted Dec 18, 2009 at 5:50 PM | Permalink

          But the idea is published nevertheless, although by somebody else. If you financially depend on grants which in turn depend on your publications, you’re in trouble, I agree. But it makes no difference for science, as – assuming your original idea was a good one – the “other guy’s” paper will be just as useful for third parties as your own would have been.

          So science is IMHO not helped by the system of getting-grants-for-publications to “make a living as a scientist”. I’d put more trust in people who earn their living in a job quite unconnected with their scientific work – amateurs you might call them – who do their science for the sake of doing it, without having to thing about which kind of paper might provide the highest grant.

        • Paul Penrose
          Posted Dec 18, 2009 at 5:44 PM | Permalink

          Chris,
          That’s kind of naive, if you don’t mind me saying. Many types of science are very expensive to pursue and one has to eat in the mean time.

        • Dave Dardinger
          Posted Dec 18, 2009 at 6:35 PM | Permalink

          The money doesn’t matter as long as the “science” is open. That is, as long as the methods and data are included in the publication. And, indeed, as long as the materials and methods are included with the submission and the date can be proven, an attempt to “steal” results will boomerang and be very bad for the thief’s future in science.

        • MikeS
          Posted Dec 19, 2009 at 5:11 AM | Permalink

          Chris,
          What happened to #1 is the fundamental re-structuring of University/Research funding models during the 90’s. The days of serendipitous discovery have not gone, but for the most part scientists rely on attracting funding, and that is fiercely contested.

          And yes – which areas of science are funded is fad driven.

  39. Eric Rasmusen
    Posted Dec 17, 2009 at 11:17 PM | Permalink

    I was just thinking of posting on an open thread a request that you post some typical referee reports from climate journals, both acceptances and rejections, but it seems appropriate here. Different fields have different customs on revisions. I have heard that my field, economics, has the slowest referees of all, with the most detailed suggestions for revisions (which has both its good and its bad points) and quite often two rounds of real referee reports. I’d be interested in how climate journals differ, particularly since that affects how bias enters in. My most cited paper also had as one of the referee reports what might be the most negative I ever received, but it looked as if the referee hated the policy implications but couldn’t find any real problem with the paper, so it probably ended up helping me with the editor, for example.

    • Mark T
      Posted Dec 18, 2009 at 2:06 AM | Permalink

      Submissions to the IEEE journals may take years (they typically include original submission date). If econ journals are slower than that, it must be a frustrating world in which you live.

      Mark

  40. Shallow Climate
    Posted Dec 17, 2009 at 11:32 PM | Permalink

    These Team-member behaviors (“behaviours”, I suppose, for you across the Pond) are certainly fascinating from a pathological standpoint. In the play “Next Time I’ll Sing to You” (James Saunders), a character named Dust describes another character as “a dung beetle, (who) seeks to escape from its filthy biological environment by burrowing deeper into it.” And that’s the Team. They keep doing things, as described in this post, to burrow themselves deeper into their morass. This behavio(u)r has fascinated S. McIntyre in other posts, where he notes how strange it is that Team members don’t simply just concede when they are obviously wrong (as upside-down Tiljander proxies). Yes, that would be sane; but it’s that amazing and pathological dung-beetle principle at work.

  41. Dr. Ross Taylor
    Posted Dec 17, 2009 at 11:50 PM | Permalink

    Once more, thanks Steve for your analysis. I am involved in the peer review process for a minor academic journal and this kind of correspondence and behaviour is completely alien to me. I routinely approve papers that I do not personally agree with, provided they are properly researched. I view this conduct with great sadness, particularly when so much depends on the integrity of this research.

    • Norbert
      Posted Dec 18, 2009 at 4:23 PM | Permalink

      It appears Jones did not consider it properly researched. See also this assessment (which, as far as I can tell, appeared earlier than the IPCC AR4 review), which mentions the objections in Benestad(2004). Benestad(2004) was referred to in the review comments, IPCC AR4 first draft.

      http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2004/12/are-temperature-trends-affected-by-economic-activity/

      • Norbert
        Posted Dec 18, 2009 at 4:27 PM | Permalink

        Dr. Ross Taylor,

        the final paragraph in text I linked to above, especially the final sentence, addresses directly your point:

        “The conclusions of McKitrick and Michaels (2004) thus clearly do not stand up to independent scrutiny. This alone does not mean that their analysis was not a potentially useful contribution to the field. A critical analysis of past work by other researchers can provide independent quality control on scientific undertakings, with the caveat that the analysis is performed properly. Unfortunately, in the case of the McKitrick and Michaels (2004) analysis, this does not appear to have been the case.”

        • Posted Dec 19, 2009 at 8:46 AM | Permalink

          I’ll just say from a statistical point of view that most of the comments made by Benestad there don’t hold up to more than a first reading… His approach doesn’t make much sense..

          Also, not sure that this has anything to do with the topic we are discussing here.

        • Norbert
          Posted Dec 19, 2009 at 6:50 PM | Permalink

          So you would think that Jones read it only once, or that he doesn’t know anything about statistics?

  42. Posted Dec 17, 2009 at 11:55 PM | Permalink

    Sadly, this behaviour DOES happen all the time in all areas of science. I once had to submit a thorough and rock-solid review critical of a US (and World Health Organization) drinking water regulation THREE times to a NIH-sponsored journal (Environmental Health Perspectives). Even then, if not for the direct pleading of an emeritus professor at Dartmouth to the editor, the paper would still have been rejected. Why? Because my arguments (thoroughly documented and with very sound reasoning with empirical evidence cited) didn’t square with the textbooks and the global regulatory rationale.

    It opened my eyes to the realities of “peer-review.” Replication, not peer-review, is the gold-standard of science. We must yell it from the mountaintops!!

    Science is a petty, vicious little blood sport and it’s a sad testiment to human nature. The only way to change the status quo is to demand totally open review and archiving. I think even rejected papers should be posted.

    Perhaps there should be posting of all papers submitted and all reviews should be posted in real-time. Then the editors can accept or reject as a “stamp of approval”, but at least we’d be able to see the process unfold.

    The internet has opened the next phase of the scientific revolution and it’s been a long time coming. We just have to hasten its arrival.

    Thoughts? Please share.
    aavery@hughes.net

  43. R. Craigen
    Posted Dec 18, 2009 at 2:14 AM | Permalink

    I’m as concerned about the AR4 extract as the emails. It shows clear bias or, in your words, “spin” on this question, clearly of contention in the scientific literature. However, even Wiki(-flaky-)pedia would have disallowed this passage as “POV” because it does not cite a source for the critique of MM. As I understand the IPCC documents, they PURPORT to be summative reports on the state of science and to contain nothing original. Therefore it is imperative that EVERY statement made, particularly on any issue that is contentious in the scientific literature, be properly justified from published papers in that literature. It seems very clear to me that up til then they had been having trouble getting papers published that could refute or even place the conclusions of MM into doubt, so AR4 settled on an editorial gloss over the issue. It is a gross violation of the IPCC’s apparent terms of reference.

    snip – OT and editorialiizing

    • Posted Dec 18, 2009 at 6:19 AM | Permalink

      This is just one of dozens of examples of blatant bias by the IPCC authors. I have attempted to list some of these on my webpage but it needs a lot of work and many need rewriting post-climategate (further examples welcome to the address at the bottom of the page). It is noticeable that a high proportion of the most obvious examples of spin come from chapter 3, written by Phil Jones and Trenberth.

  44. anon
    Posted Dec 18, 2009 at 3:25 AM | Permalink

    JONES 28.Oct.2009 [1256765544.txt]: “the journal Sonja edits [Energy & Environment] is at the very bottom of almost all climate scientists lists of journals to read. It is the journal of choice of climate change skeptics and even here they don’t seem to be bothering with journals at all recently.”

    Bullying works eventually

  45. Posted Dec 18, 2009 at 5:10 AM | Permalink

    Steve, you have the authors reversed, the paper is
    McKitrick and Michaels (2004). “A Test of Corrections for Extraneous Signals in Gridded Surface Temperature Data” Climate Research 26 pp. 159-173.

    Also while I am in pedant mode, Vincent’s name is Gray not Grey.

    SOD reply to comment 3-21 claims that M&M has been ‘discredited’ by Benestad. Of course the anonymous reply does not mention M&Ms response to Benestad!

    http://ruby.fgcu.edu/courses/twimberley/EnviroPhilo/McKitrickArticle.pdf

  46. 1DandyTroll
    Posted Dec 18, 2009 at 5:38 AM | Permalink

    @Syl, Steve- OT

    snip – so why post it here and waste my time?

  47. Kevin
    Posted Dec 18, 2009 at 7:05 AM | Permalink

    This WSJ article mentions that One of the papers, published in 2003 by Willie Soon and Sallie Baliunas (of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics)…offended Mann and Wigley

    • Kevin
      Posted Dec 18, 2009 at 7:07 AM | Permalink

      Ahhh…posted already…

  48. Stacey
    Posted Dec 18, 2009 at 8:06 AM | Permalink

    Our Gav makes me so angry some times see.

    You couldn’t make this up? They did?

    UnReal Climate are asking scientists to show them their code?

    My post which will be censored no doubt

    Show us your code?

    This is priceless coming from you lot at UnReal Climate?

    snip

  49. Michael Smith
    Posted Dec 18, 2009 at 8:09 AM | Permalink

    Earlier I commented:

    Note that Jones and Trenberth actually confirm the findings of Michaels and McKitrick — they agree that the warming correlates with socioeconomic development.

    Steve corrected me as follows:

    Steve: they don’t “confirm” it so much as concede it.

    I agree; “concede“ is more accurate than “confirm“:

    But this leaves me wondering: In the face of this concession, what are we to make of the claim that UHI effect has been accounted for by adjusting the surface temperature data?

    Sounds to me like the “adjustment” consists of switching from the claim that the data has been “adjusted” to the claim that UHI has no effect.

    • Mike Lorrey
      Posted Dec 18, 2009 at 2:40 PM | Permalink

      I want to know where these UHI adjustments are, whenever I look at a temperature plot, adjusted, its adjusted UPWARD. UHI adjustments should be downward.

    • davidc
      Posted Dec 18, 2009 at 10:39 PM | Permalink

      Prosperity as a proxy for temperature. Then, whenever prosperity is detected there are grounds for eradicating it.

  50. pcknappenberger
    Posted Dec 18, 2009 at 10:41 AM | Permalink

    Steve,

    This timeline is incorrect:

    “Michaels and McKitrick resubmitted the paper to Climate Research, where it was accepted.”

    One version of the paper had already appeared in CR. Here are the relevant dates from the CR article:
    “Submitted: July 10, 2003; Accepted: April 20, 2004, Proofs received from author(s): May 12, 2004″
    It was published May 25, 2004.

    Jones and Comrie’s conversation took place in late May 2004…right about the time the McKitrick&Michaels paper was published by CR.

    As Jones clearly writes in his response to Mann (1092418712.txt): “You can say that the paper was an extended and updated version of that which appeared in CR.”

    So, I am not sure whether the IJC paper was ever subsequently published. I sent Ross an email asking him about it yesterday (in his first response to me, he too confused the CR2004 publication and the IJC2004 submission). I have not received follow-up clarification from Ross on this yet. My supposition at this point is that perhaps much of the material in the ICJ2004 submission eventually worked its way into Ross and Pat’s 2007JGR paper. But like I said, I haven’t confirmed this yet.

    -Chip

    Steve: I’ll verify and amend.

  51. Luke Warmer
    Posted Dec 18, 2009 at 10:42 AM | Permalink

    The Mann’s article:

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/12/17/AR2009121703682.html

    “I cannot condone some things that colleagues of mine wrote or requested in the e-mails recently stolen from a climate research unit at a British university. But the messages do not undermine the scientific case that human-caused climate change is real.”

    ….

    “The scientific consensus regarding human-caused climate change is based on decades of work by thousands of scientists around the world. The National Academy of Sciences has concluded that the scientific case is clear. As world leaders work in Copenhagen to try to combat this problem, some critics are seeking to cloud the debate and confuse the public.”

    • bender
      Posted Dec 18, 2009 at 10:48 AM | Permalink

      Muddy the waters by attacking Palin. That’ll distract ‘em.

      • Calvin Ball
        Posted Dec 18, 2009 at 1:15 PM | Permalink

        Isn’t his specialty Palinoclimatology?

        • dougie
          Posted Dec 20, 2009 at 4:24 PM | Permalink

          nice one Calvin!!
          almost choked on my red:-)

  52. artwest
    Posted Dec 18, 2009 at 10:57 AM | Permalink

    Looks like a job for the more statistically-literate folks here – i.e. not me:

    “As I’ve worked through Uncertainty estimates in regional and global observed temperature changes: a new dataset from 1850 to reproduce the work done by the Met Office I’ve come up against something I don’t understand. I’ve written to the Met Office about it, but until I get a reply this blog post is to ask for opinions from any of my dear readers.

    http://www.jgc.org/blog/2009/12/adjusting-for-coverage-bias-and.html

  53. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Dec 18, 2009 at 11:04 AM | Permalink

    I’ve corrected the paragraph giving the timeline of the IJC and CR papers h/t Chip K, using the reported dates on the CR paper – which preceded the IJC paper. Should have doublechecked this before – apologies.

    For scholars of my online mistakes, this is the paragraph previously online which has an incorrect timeline.

    The Michaels and McKitrick paper was originally submitted to International Journal of Climatology in May 2004 and was then assigned to Andrew Comrie of the University of Arizona. Comrie sought a review from the omnipresent Phil Jones (and apparently two others). The submission was rejected.

    Michaels and McKitrick resubmitted the paper to Climate Research, where it was accepted. See these emails here here

  54. Flints
    Posted Dec 18, 2009 at 12:33 PM | Permalink

    A comment on the Washington post M Mann article

    As an old trial lawyer I believe you and others who were victims of having your papers rejected due to pressure by Mann and others have a civil action for damages available to you called Tortious Interference in Prospective Business Advantage. See your (well qualified) business lawyer. Soon.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/12/17/AR2009121703682_Comments.html#

    • Dave L.
      Posted Dec 19, 2009 at 8:15 AM | Permalink

      Egad! Reading the comments section following Mann’s Washington Post article is breathtaking.

  55. HEMST101
    Posted Dec 18, 2009 at 12:58 PM | Permalink

    Steve:

    Could the editorial by Mann be put in a separate thread. I think that several comments by him only show his lack of knowledge of statistics. Like to comment but not on this thread.

  56. EdeF
    Posted Dec 18, 2009 at 3:56 PM | Permalink

    Am reading McKitrick and Michaels Clim Res 2004 with relish….trying to spot
    all of the “errors”.

  57. IainG
    Posted Dec 18, 2009 at 5:13 PM | Permalink

    OK…..now lets try and get the link to work

    or here

  58. Posted Dec 18, 2009 at 7:08 PM | Permalink

    Bishop Hill

    “extraordinary similarity between a paragraph of the Wegman Report (which demonstrated that the Hockey Stick algorithm was wrong) and a paragraph of a book written by a sceptic physicist, Donald Rapp.”

    http://bishophill.squarespace.com/blog/2009/12/18/the-heights-of-bizarre.html

  59. Mark H.
    Posted Dec 19, 2009 at 3:04 AM | Permalink

    For those interested in one of the papers that Jones trashed, here it is:

    http://nber-nsf09.ucdavis.edu/program/papers/auffhammer.pdf

    It looks to me that it was presented at a UCDavis Time Series Conference…

    “We identify two issues with a standard time series approach to reconstruction of past climate fluctuations from paleoclimatic data series, one related to speci¯cation of the estimated relation-
    ship between climate and the paleoclimatic index, the other to the methodology of estimation.
    We show that the standard approach provides biased estimates of the reconstructed climate series and underestimates the true variability of historical climate…”

  60. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Dec 19, 2009 at 11:53 AM | Permalink

    Here’s another example of Jones’ intentionally conflating “M&M”:

    Wigley wrote to Jones on Oct 21, 2004 (just after Richard Muller’s article in MIT Review e.g. here drawing attention to our work:)

    At 20:46 21/10/2004

    Phil,
    I have just read the M&M stuff critcizing MBH. A lot of it seems valid to me. At the very least MBH is a very sloppy piece of work — an opinion I have held
    for some time. Presumably what you have done with Keith is better? — or is it?
    I get asked about this a lot. Can you give me a brief heads up? Mike is too deep into this to be helpful.
    Tom.

    Jones wrote back citing Tim Lambert as authority:

    If you think M&M are correct and believable then go to this web site [1]http://cgi.cse.unsw.edu.au/~lambert/cgi-bin/blog/ It will take a while to get around these web pages and you’ve got to be a bit of
    nerd and know the jargon, but it lists all the mistakes McKittrick has made in various papers. I bet there isn’t a link to this on his web site. The final attachment is a comment on a truly awful paper by McKittirck and Michaels. I can’t find the original, but it’s reference is in this. The paper didn’t consider spatial autocorrelation at all. Fortunately a longer version of the paper did get rejected by IJC – it seems a few papers are rejected !

    Point I’m trying to make is you cannot trust anything that M&M write. ….

    Whatever the merit or lack of merit of McKitrick and Michaels (2004), I had nothing to do with it. It was more convenient for Jones and others to attack Michaels and McKitrick than to deal with the MBH critique. They cynically used “M&M” to conflate the two and thereby mislead people like Wigley.

  61. jim edwards
    Posted Dec 19, 2009 at 12:19 PM | Permalink

    You’re a little hard on scientists, ChrisZ.

    Most scientific papers are written in a way that makes them reproducible. Reproducibility + fear of a tarnished reputation = less motivation to cheat.

    As in free markets, generally, fear overcomes greed.

    I think paleoclimatology is an outlier in having so many papers accepted that seem to say, “I’m using somebody else’s data – but I won’t tell you whose”, “I’m using a secret algorithm – but you can’t see it”, and “Look at this great graph I made. Don’t ask me how I estimated confidence intervals. The world is ending faster than we thought.”

    Whether you believe this area has fraud, or not, it’s quite a stretch to imply corruption in ALL of climate science or the physical and biological sciences, generally.

    You said:
    “But it makes no difference for science, as – assuming your original idea was a good one – the “other guy’s” paper will be just as useful for third parties as your own would have been.”

    Well, it makes no difference for today’s paper / idea. It makes a tremendous difference over the long term.

    The current system preferentially allocates resources to scientists who are relatively more efficient at utilizing research resources. What’s wrong with that ?

    Giving credit to the wrong guy doesn’t un-invent the idea, but it does help misallocate future research capital away from the creative scientist.

  62. Greg F
    Posted Dec 19, 2009 at 12:26 PM | Permalink

    Tom Wigley appears to be one of the few with any sense of integrity. In email 0880476729, subject “ATTENTION. Invitation to influence Kyoto.” has some scathing remarks from Dr. Wigley.

    Your approach of trying to gain scientific credibility for your personal views by asking people to endorse your letter is reprehensible. No scientist who wishes to maintain respect in the community should ever endorse any statement unless they have examined the issue fully themselves. You are asking people to prostitute themselves by doing just this! I fear that some will endorse your letter, in the mistaken belief that you are making a balanced and knowledgeable assessment of the science — when, in fact, you are presenting a flawed view that neither accords with IPCC nor with the bulk of the scientific and economic literature on the subject.

    Steve: Wigley’s recent comments in Australia about supposedly being “hoodwinked” are not very appetizing. However, many of his emails raise interesting questions. Unfortunately, most of the time, the curtain is only raised briefly and we don’t see where his inquiry led.

  63. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Dec 19, 2009 at 6:34 PM | Permalink

    Folks, Please try to avoid threading comments.

  64. Posted Dec 20, 2009 at 10:58 AM | Permalink

    Apropos warming and socio-economic development. I would say that California’s socio-economic development was strongly related to its most agreeable climate. It is true that it was already warm when it began its socio-economic development

    On the other hand Alberta’s socio-economic development was not helped by it winters where 20 below zero is not unusual. Two numbers will give a proof of first order approximation. The population of California is 30 some million, while the population of Alberta is about 2 million.

  65. ianl8888
    Posted Dec 20, 2009 at 6:04 PM | Permalink

    Link from Roy Spencer’s site:

    http://www.americanthinker.com/2009/12/a_climatology_conspiracy.html

    This has been canvassed in other, earlier threads on CA, but the story has been much strengthened by examination of the CRU email threads

  66. Pat
    Posted Dec 21, 2009 at 10:56 AM | Permalink

    A related climategatekeeping story. I’ve been wondering when/if these guys would speak up.

    Using their own experience and quotes from the Climategate emails, David Douglass and John Christy deconstruct how the Team rewrote the rules for peer review in response to their 2007 paper in the International Journal of Climatology. Check out their article on the American Thinker site here:

    http://www.americanthinker.com/2009/12/a_climatology_conspiracy.html

    “All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.”

    George Orwell

    Steve-sorry if this gets threaded

12 Trackbacks

  1. [...] Climate-gatekeeping 2: how “inconvenient” AGW research papers are handled by the peer reviewing system. Who will watch the watchmen? [...]

  2. [...] in case you missed it yesterday, don’t miss “Climategatekeeping #2” (see also Climategatekeeping #1). Warning: if you’re a real scientist who still [...]

  3. [...] McIntyre reconstrueerde vorige week op Climate Audit de context waarin deze opmerking van Jones gezien moet worden en of [...]

  4. [...] JeffID has a post relevant to this discussion, as does Steve McIntyre here climategatekeeping and climategatekeeping2. Where these go into technical details, this post is about procedure and [...]

  5. [...] to Steve McIntyre (go here for his full explanation): The [warmist] “community“‘s response to this has been: move along, [...]

  6. [...] we also looked at Jones’ soft review of Schmidt (2009) and looked at his attempts to keep Michaels and McKitrick (2004) out of IJC and IPCC [...]

  7. By Mosher: The Hackers « Watts Up With That? on Jan 26, 2010 at 3:37 PM

    [...] the following: changing chronologies, altering the appearance of graphics to tell a different story making up science out of whole cloth , and citing non peered reviewed literature when they could not keep contrarian papers out of the [...]

  8. [...] the “peer review” process in climate science has, in some cases, been consciously, deliberately subverted to prevent dissenting views from being published. Again, denizens of the climate blogosphere have [...]

  9. [...] [...]

  10. By Global Warming...Fact or Fiction? - Page 100 on Mar 21, 2010 at 5:42 PM

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  11. [...] il processo di peer review nella scienza climatica è stato, in alcuni casi, dolosamente e deliberatamente stravolto allo scopo di impedire la pubblicazione delle opinioni dissenzienti. Anche in questo caso, gli [...]

  12. […] IPCC and AGU climatologists responded by concealing data, perverting the peer review process, and destroying the careers of critics. Rat […]

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