AR 4 Chapter 6 – "In Press" and "Accepted" Articles

I examined the “In Press” and “Accepted” citations in IPCC AR4 Second Draft Chapter 6 to verify whether Wahl and Ammann 200x had received unusual and special treatment. It definitely did; it’s surprising how much so. There was also a very interesting tendency for IPCC Authors to bend the rules in their own favor.

IPCC Chapter 6 contained 21 bibliographic citations to “In Press” or “Accepted” articles, of which 20 were to journal articles and one (Kaspar and Cubasch was in a book collection). In the table shown below, I’ve collated the Second Draft citations to these 20 journal articles, plus the citation to Osborn and Briffa 2006, which also missed the December 2005 acceptance deadline.

Of these 21 citations in the Second Draft to “In Press” or “Accepted”, all but 2 are to articles in which an IPCC Contributing Author is a coauthor. The only two such articles which were by third parties are Royer (2006) and Shin et al (2006).

Of these 21 articles, only 5 had been accepted by the December 2005 deadline, two of which were the two third party articles. Thus 16 articles – all by IPCC Contributing Authors – failed to meet an important IPCC Publication Deadline and were accepted after the December 2005 final date, including, of course, Wahl and Ammann 2007. There were zero citations of third party articles that failed to meet the IPCC deadline. Obviously these rules were preferentially bent in favor of IPCC Contributing Authors.

Most of these 21 “In Press” and “Accepted” articles were published during the next few months. By early August, when the Chapter Author Replies were due, only three articles had not actually been published – de Vernal et al 2006, Tett et al 2006 and, needless to say, Wahl and Ammann 2007. De Vernal et al 2006 was published on Aug 21, 2006 and Tett et al 2006 was published on 22 September 2006. In order to comply with the July 2006 exemption for unpublished articles, iron-clad certificates were supposed to be delivered to TSU. Both De Vernal et al 2006 and Tett et al 2006 would have been able to deliver such certificates. Only one journal citation in the entire Chapter 6 corpus remained unpublished 6 weeks after the Chapter Author Reply date – Wahl and Ammann 2007. Did they deliver the required certificate to IPCC TSU? Inquiring minds want to know.

Wahl and Ammann 200x wasn’t even published in 2006. In fact, it wasn’t even published in the first half of 2007. It was published on August 31, 2007 , over a year later.

It’s not as though IPCC wasn’t on explicit notice of the problem with Wahl and Ammann 200x. Two alert reviewers had identified its compliance problems and Chapter 6 Authors, and presumably the TSU, had both the obligation and opportunity to deal with non-compliance by Wahl and Ammann.

Instead of dealing with Ammann’s non-compliance, IPCC Chapter Authors, one of whom (Otto-Bliesner) had been Ammann’s direct supervisor, falsely stated that Wahl and Ammann 200x complied with the “new/revised/current guidelines”. Review Editor Mitchell was supposed to check the Replies.What steps did Mitchell take to verify that these Replies were true? Doesn’t look like he did anything.

Second Draft Citation





CAPE Last Interglacial Project Members, in press: Last Interglacial Arctic warmth confirms polar amplification of climate change. Quaternary Science Reviews,. In press.


15 June 2005

23 January 2006

19 April 2006

deVernal, A., A. Rosell-Mele, M. Kucera, C. Hillaire-Marcel, F. Eynaud, M. Weinelt, T. Dokken, and M. Kageyama, in press: Multiproxy reconstruction of LGM sea-surface conditions in the northern North Atlantic. Quaternary Science Reviews. In press


10 June 2005

28 June 2006

21 August 2006

Friedlingstein, P., P. Cox , R. Betts, L. Bopp, W. von Bloh, V. Brovkin, S. Doney, M. Eby, I. Fung, B. Govindasamy, J. John, C. Jones, F. Joos, T. Kato, M. Kawamiya, W. Knorr, K. Lindsay, H.D. Matthews, T. Raddatz, R. Rayner, C. Reick, E. Roeckner, K.-G. Schnitzler, R. Schnur, K. Strassmann, S. Thompson, A.J. Weaver, C. Yoshikawa, and N. N. Zeng, in press: Climate-carbon cycle feedback analysis, results from the C4MIP model intercomparison. Journal of Climate. In press.


1 July 2005

10 November 2005


Hegerl, G.C., T.J. Crowley, W.T. Hyde, and D.J. Frame, in press: Constrains on climate sensitivity from temperature reconstructions of the last seven centuries. Nature. In press.


8 July 2005

28 February 2006


Huber, C., M. Leuenberger, R. Spahni, J. Flückiger, J. Schwander, T.F. Stocker, S.J. Johnsen, A. Landais, and J. Jouzel, 2006: Isotope calibrated Greenland temperature record over Marine Isotope Stage 3 and its relation to CH4. Earth and Planetary Science Letters, in press.


28 June 2005; revised 30 November 2005

5 January 2006


Kageyama, M., A. Laine, A. Abe-Ouchi, P. Braconnot, E. Cortijo, M. Crucifix, A. de Vernal, J. Guiot, C.D. Hewitt, A. Kitoh, M. Kucera, O. Marti, R. Ohgaito, B.L. Otto-Bliesner, W.R. Peltier, A. Rosell-Mele, G. Vettoretti, N. Weber, and M.P. Members, In press: Last Glacial Maximum temperatures over the North Atlantic, Europe, and western Siberia: a comparison between PMIP models, MARGO sea-surface temperatures and pollen-base reconstructions. In press


1 June 2005

9 February 2006


Moros, M., J.T. Andrews, D.E. Eberl, and E. Jansen, in press: The Holocene history of drift ice in the northern North Atlantic: Evidence for different spatial and temporal modes. Paleoceangraphy. In press.


1 September 2005

1 February 2006

8 June 2006

Osborn, T.J., Raper, S.C.B., Briffa, K.R.: (in press): Simulated climate change during the last 1,000 years: comparing the ECHO-G general circulation model with the MAGICC simple climate model. Climate Dynamics. DOI 10.1007/s00382-006-0129-5. In press.


24 May 2005

19 January 2006

22 March 2006

Otto-Bliesner, B.L., E.C. Brady, G. Clauzet, R. Tomas, S. Levis, and Z. Kothavala, in press-b: Last Glacial Maximum and Holocene Climate in CCSM3. Journal of Climate. In press.


23 January 2005

7 November 2005


Otto-Bliesner, B.L., S.J. Marshall, J.T. Overpeck, and G. Miller, in press-a: Simulating polar amplification of orbital forcing for the Last Interglacial. Science. In press.



1 March 2006


Overpeck, J.T., B.L. Otto-Bliesner, G.H. Miller, D. Muhs, R. Alley, and J.T. Kiehl, in press: Paleoclimatic Evidence for Future Ice Sheet Instability and Rapid Sea Level Rise. Science. In press.



Royer, D.L., in press: CO2-forced climate thresholds during the Phanerozoic. Geochimica Et Cosmochimica Acta. In press.


4 August 2005



Shin, S.I., P.D. Sardeshmukh, R.S. Webb, R.J. Oglesby, and J.J. Barsugli, in press : Understanding the mid-Holocene climate. Journal of Climate. In press.


16 February 2005

4 October 2005


Smerdon, J.E., H.N. Pollack, V. Cermak, J.W. Enz, M. Kresl, J. Safanda, and J.F. Wehmiller, in press: Daily, seasonal and annual relationships between air and subsurface temperatures. Journal of Geophysical Research-Atmospheres. In press.


5 November 2004; revised 8 March 2005

18 January 2006


Stouffer, R.J., J. Yin, J.M. Gregory, K.W. Dixon, M.J. Spelman, W. Hurlin, A.J. Weaver, M. Eby, G.M. Flato, H. Hasumi, A. Hu, J. Jungclaus, V. Kamenkovich, A. Levermann, M. Montoya, S. Murakami, S. Nawarth, A. Oka, W.R. Peltier, D.Y. Robitaille, A. Solokov, G. Vettoretti, and N. Weber, in press: Investigating the causes of the response of the thermohaline circulation to the past and future climate changes. Journal of Climate. In press.


18 May 2005

22 September 2005


Tett, S.F.B., R. Betts, T.J. Crowley, J.M. Gregory, T.C. Johns, A. Jones, T.J. Osborn, E. Ostrom, D.L. Roberts, and M.J. Woodage, in press: The impact of natural and anthropogenic forcings on climate and hydrology since 1550. Climate Dynamics. In press.


25 October 2005

1 June 2006

22 September 2006

Joerin, U.E., T.F. Stocker, and C. Schlüchter, accepted 2005: Multi-century glacier fluctuations in the Swiss Alps during the Holocene. The Holocene. Accepted.


5 September 2005

2 February 2006


Peltier, W.R., and R.G. Fairbanks, accepted: Global glacial ice volume and last glacial maximum duration from an extended Barbados sea level record. Quarternary Science Reviews. Accepted.


11 November 2005

25 April 2006

7 August 2006

Wahl, E.R., and C.M. Ammann, 2007: Robustness of the Mann, Bradley, Examination of criticisms based on the nature and processing of proxy Hughes reconstruction of Northern Hemisphere surface temperatures: processeing of proxy climate evidence. Climatic Change. Accepted.


11 May 2005


31 August 2007

Wahl, E.R., and D.M. Ritson [Ammann], accepted: Reconstruction of century-scale temperature variations. Science. Accepted.



27 February 2006


Osborn and Briffa 2006



17 January 2006



  1. deadwood
    Posted May 25, 2008 at 8:05 PM | Permalink

    OK Steve, what now? Call me a pessimist, but outside of the audit trail our children might investigate in 20 years, the evidence of the last five years indicates these acts will be ignored by the “climate science” community.

  2. Steve McIntyre
    Posted May 25, 2008 at 8:12 PM | Permalink

    Of course they will be ignored. I don’t expect otherwise. Nor does any of this bear any “big picture” issues.

    But the trail felt odd to me. It seemed to me that Wahl and Ammann as an article had received special treatment by IPCC despite not complying with IPCC policies, but this could have been just bias on my part.

    So I wanted to verify this in some objective way by seeing whether there was comparable examples. It seems evident that they received special treatment in chapter 6. I haven’t checked other chapters, I’ve spent enough time on this little exercise already, but my impression is that “In press” articles in the final IPCC publication are few and far between indeed. Wahl and Ammann is the only one in chapter 6.

  3. anna v
    Posted May 25, 2008 at 10:14 PM | Permalink

    It is the difference between art and craft.

    Art exlores, craft creates to patterns already explored.

    In science we usually talk of basic and applied, where applied still enjoys the freedoms of basic using it only as guidance. It is engineering that is craft.

    This whole IPCC business shows that the results were ordered according to a predetermined pattern, so it is engineering , using the language of applied science and ignoring the constraints and validations of engineering, the pattern supplied by politics.

    How can one have a consistent framework for such a “discipline”? Apples bananas and oranges mixed up and sold as fruit.

  4. John A
    Posted May 25, 2008 at 11:23 PM | Permalink

    Also “up front and center” is the massive conflict of interest of authors citing either their own papers or those of close colleagues. Are these really the best articles on the specified topics or the ones that were lucky enough to have been authored by the same people leading the Chapter reviews?

    The whole process is riven with conflicts of interest, special pleadings, rule violations, collusion and bias that it begs an Independent Audit before a high powered commission (like say, a senior committee of the US Senate?) to investigate. At least in American politics with so many lawyers, conflict of interest is always a problem but its reached epidemic proportions of bias at the IPCC.


  5. fred
    Posted May 26, 2008 at 1:06 AM | Permalink

    #2 ‘Nor does any of this bear any “big picture” issues.’

    Well surely it does raise at least one? The question of why climate scientists and climate bloggers are still so desperate to defend the HS. On the face of it, this seems incomprehensible given how decisively the work has been publicly discredited, first by M&M, then by Wegman. And yet we find W&A being spun to defend it (presumably this was why the acceptance had to be handled as documented – it was important to have a peer reviewed article to cite). We also saw it in Tamino’s recent blog on PCA. There was also a long series of posts on Rabett some time ago. It would be perfectly possible and intellectually consistent to simply take the view that the MBH work was flawed, but drew attention to significant issues, and then move on. But no-one does.

    Instead you have it defended to the last detail including in Tamino’s case (and he obviously must know better) a sort of weird defense of the MBH PCA method using a generated time series, and ignoring the difference between PC1 and PC3. You might also think that if you have to trot out W&A as defenders, you are in such a deep hole that its time to stop digging. If W&A is the best you can find as defense, its surely over? So this too is a measure of desperate last ditch defenses.

    If the HS is not a central part of the argument, why then is it apparently impossible for the AGW advocates to abandon it? Surely there is something very strange going on here? We are confronted with a study which is both obviously wrong, where most of its defenders have been obliged to concede most of the attackers most damaging criticisms, and in the view of its defenders is also quite peripheral. Why then does it prompt such last ditch defenses? One could understand it if it were wrong but central. But when its peripheral?

    This surely is a real big picture issue.

  6. Posted May 26, 2008 at 2:19 AM | Permalink

    Of course they will be ignored. I don’t expect otherwise. Nor does any of this bear any “big picture” issues.

    Somebody has to document it. Somebody has to care. Most don’t.


  7. Posted May 26, 2008 at 4:40 AM | Permalink

    Something very strange indeed – look out for Hockey Stick pendants and other icons.

  8. sdp
    Posted May 26, 2008 at 5:00 AM | Permalink

    Asks Fred:

    If the HS is not a central part of the argument, why then is it apparently impossible for the AGW advocates to abandon it? Surely there is something very strange going on here?

    This is related to “we must eliminate the medieval warm period” statement. It’s all about the problem of evidence of a recent warmer past discrediting the GCC models’ incredible sensitivity to sensitivity.

    Virtually the entire premise of AGW alarmism appears to be based on the assumption that runaway warming from water vapor and other feedbacks may be triggered by the rather modest warming induced by AG-CO2 directly.

    If, on the contrary, it can be shown through historical reconstructions that temperatures have in the recent past been significantly higher than what might be now induced by AG-CO2 alone, without inducing runaway positive feedbacks, then there is little basis for alarm at the ongoing addition of AG-CO2.

    Hence the continuing efforts to rescue the Hockey Stick.

  9. Posted May 26, 2008 at 5:29 AM | Permalink

    Steve- The IPCC clearly was very selective even in the published papers they included. This documents clearly that it is a biased presentation of the science of the human role within the climate system.

    Climate Science documented the bias for two chapters in the 2007 IPCC WG1 report; see

  10. Pat Keating
    Posted May 26, 2008 at 6:56 AM | Permalink

    5, 8 fred sdp

    If the HS is not a central part of the argument, why then is it apparently impossible for the AGW advocates to abandon it?

    I suspect that a large factor is the personal aspect. It is a matter of shame for a scientist to publish a paper that is clearly wrong. So all efforts are made by the Mannians to deny that error.

  11. Steve McIntyre
    Posted May 26, 2008 at 6:58 AM | Permalink

    If the HS is not a central part of the argument, why then is it apparently impossible for the AGW advocates to abandon it? Surely there is something very strange going on here?

    As I’ve said frequently, I think that their presentations would be more effective if they focussed more on the core arguments than on issues that they now say are peripheral. However, it’s easier to present the Stick than to talk about infrared physics and it makes for an effective, if perhaps ill-advised, promotion. HOwever I think that there is a public hunger for a proper scientific exposition of how doubled CO2 leads to a feedback problem – I’m one. I think that the climate science community should stop under-estimating the public and start presenting the nuts and bolts of the science.

    On a management level, I can also see how the Stick might persist even if irrelevant in a poorly managed process. In a properly managed system, Susan Solomon knew or should have known that the HS issue was contentious and placed an impartial author of impeccable credentials in charge of this particular section – even if she was not doing so in other less contentious sections. She might even have asked this impartial author to get the parties to the dispute together and hammer out what could be agreed on, what wasn’t agreed on and what was still at issue.

    Instead of doing that, she placed a core member of the Hockey Team (Keith Briffa) in charge of this section, someone who had co-authored with Mann and was a serial co-author with Jones. Briffa’s handling of the issue was unfair from beginning to end. Briffa promoted a Team/realclimate position (and. like Michael Mann in AR3, he gave his own personal contributions pride of place).

    Chapter Lead Author Jonathan “get rid of the MWP” Overpeck probably didn’t help.

    Just from their own point of view, you’d think that they’d want to have an independent point of view. So right at the start this appointment was mismanaged by Susan Solomon.

    If you’re a third party climate scientist unfamiliar with the details, it’s quite reasonable for you to rely on the IPCC opinion rather than try to wade through all the back-and-forth, much of which is at cross-purposes. (And would have been resolved years ago had Ammann taken my Dec 2005 offer; instead he was worried about “career advancement” rather than resolving the dispute).

    So I can see how a third party scientist can look at the IPCC consideration of the matter and conclude that any issues are minor.

    So don’t exclude an element of abysmally incompetent management on this item by Susan Solomon.

  12. jae
    Posted May 26, 2008 at 7:07 AM | Permalink

    What more does anyone need to demonstrate that AR4 is a political document, not a scientific one?

  13. David Holland
    Posted May 26, 2008 at 7:27 AM | Permalink

    A couple of points. Not only were the Lead Authors of Chapter 6 poorly chosen in respect of their objectivity on the hockey stick but the Review Editor choice was as bad. These are the nearest the IPCC process has to internal auditors and they chose a lead author from the previous Palaeo chapter that that brought us the hockey stick and the coordinating lead author from the previous Attribution chapter which cited the hockey stick as justification for the low natural variability built into models and thereby the high sensitivity which drives this business.

    Why is it so important to keep the hockey alive? Well, not just climate scientists nailed their colours to the hockey stick but so did half our politicians and they are going to look very stupid if it is proved wrong. But on the bright side today’s mid day news was the first I’ve heard that sounded remotely skeptical. The media is one place where positive feedback abounds and, when it begins to sink in that the hockey stick might not be all is made out to be, they will pile into it like a school of sharks.

  14. kim
    Posted May 26, 2008 at 7:40 AM | Permalink

    Those sharks wouldn’t have noticed the blood in the water if it hadn’t gotten cold.

  15. Steve McIntyre
    Posted May 26, 2008 at 7:50 AM | Permalink

    #12. That’s an unreasonable extrapolation. IPCC AR4 is a big sprawling document. The millennial paleoclimate section was a thorny section and should have been managed better. That doesn’t mean that everything in the report is worthless. All it shows is what it shows – mismanagement of this file by Susan Solomon.

    In my opinion, it was a particularly unfortunate file to mismanage precisely because it was high visibility. But there are lots of reasons for mismanagement aside from politics. We’ve all seen mismanagement of matters large and small in every walk of life.

    David H, these folks have no idea what Internal Auditors do. We’ve seen the ineffectiveness of the Review Editors. Perhaps our attention to these details may force them to improve their management process.

  16. rhodeymark
    Posted May 26, 2008 at 7:51 AM | Permalink

    The media is one place where positive feedback abounds and, when it begins to sink in that the hockey stick might not be all is made out to be, they will pile into it like a school of sharks.

    That may indeed be so, but their own self-inflicted damage will be just as hard to remedy. In the credibility game you can’t afford to be a lemming.

  17. Steve McIntyre
    Posted May 26, 2008 at 7:54 AM | Permalink

    Folks, always keep in mind that there are real issues pertaining to climate and mismanagement of this particular file does not demonstrate that there is no problem. All it shows is a missed opportunity by IPCC.

  18. MrPete
    Posted May 26, 2008 at 8:31 AM | Permalink

    “there are real issues pertaining to climate”…

    Reminds me: not to expand the portfolio of this blog, but in addition to auditing the analysis side of the science->engineering path, it is important to keep an eye on the production side.

    How well do we turn scientific and engineering understanding into effective [ie actually accomplishes the stated purpose] climate-related action? Realistic CI’s on the outcome would help better assess cost-benefit.

  19. Posted May 26, 2008 at 9:24 AM | Permalink

    Steve’ I’m sorry but I disagree.

    Folks, always keep in mind that there are real issues pertaining to climate…

    When we as a world are about to invest $ trillions and change the lives of many billions of people, the problems need to be well define, and mismanagement associated with their definition needs to be rooted out and identified.

    There is an obvious bias. There is an obvious tendency to be over zealous in predictions. There is an obvious political agenda in the believer community. And, there is an obvious attempt to discourage open discussion.

    These are problems that transcend the science. They are also potentially so severe to mask the good science with these bad problems. I suspect they have already.

    CoRev, editor

  20. Richard deSousa
    Posted May 26, 2008 at 9:48 AM | Permalink

    If nothing else, a little sunshine on the IPCC’s dubious methods may help. The whole process stinks to high heaven.

  21. Ralph Baskett
    Posted May 26, 2008 at 10:25 AM | Permalink

    But…do not all “the real issues pertaining to climate” (#17) depend upon the validity of the hockey sick because they assume there is no other cause to the current warming? Did they not have to invent a CO2 “feedback” to get their extreme predictions because the physics of CO2 warming in itself is small and limited? If they don’t understand how clouds “feedback,” how certain can they be that they understand any other feedback? Must they not assume there is no other cause to the current warming because all the rest of their proof is more speculation than science–it cannot be demonstrated?

  22. Posted May 26, 2008 at 10:35 AM | Permalink

    David Holland #13

    I am afraid our media (in the UK) are getting more pro AGW not less. Todays lead on the main BBC news was about how a select committee of MP’s are actively backing the notion of a personal carbon allowance-the first in the world (unfortunately for us much put upon Brits)

    I am trying to understand the nature of the IPCC better in order to explain it to others accurately, so they are made aware of the nature of the beast.
    Having scoured the forums I have found various articles such as this one, and others such as Ross’s item, contained in ‘common excuses on global warming’ However these look at the picture from the view point of experts whio have been involved for a long time, so I wondered if there was anything that succinctly explained the background.
    This would be along the lines of a document that contained short simple statements that covered such areas as;

    Who exactly are the IPCC
    When were they set up
    What is their brief
    What is their struture
    How many expert scientists were involved and in what capacity ie lead authors etc
    Did they adequately represent in an expert manner ALL the disciplines that make up climate science
    How were they chosen.
    If there is any proven ‘political’ bias e.g members chosen because they would toe the government line (our government are keen on the control and taxation element)

    Separately from that, is there a succinct document summarising the case against the IPCC, such as censored folders,mismanagement of files, ignoring evidence from outside their own circle, any proven bias.

    All these items are discussed here of course, but they are scattered across a lot of forums. Ross’s article is the closest to this second element but it covers a relatively small number of examples.

    Sorry to go back to basics in a science forum, but it is important that people such as myself have the tools to combat the increasingly hysterical debate on the subject by using rational arguement. That has to start by demonstrating that the IPCC are not this unbiased group comprising all but two or three of the worlds scientits

    Sorry for the length of this post, but any links/information that anyone can provide is most welcome. I know the answer is out there somewhere!

    Tony B

  23. David Holland
    Posted May 26, 2008 at 1:25 PM | Permalink

    [snip – no taxes]

    As for where to start, our host’s excellent paper is a good place. My submission to the Garnaut Review should help and includes the link to my EE paper which gives more detail on the way the IPCC do business.

  24. Fred
    Posted May 26, 2008 at 1:40 PM | Permalink

    Of course, when you have a weak case to begin with, organizations like the IPCC are obligated to do whatever they can to help their home team achieve the victory. If that includes breaking their own rules and not providing a balanced perspective, it is to be expected. After all, if the fear factor is reduced, their gravy train might come to an end.

    It’s not the journey, its the destination.

  25. Ross McKitrick
    Posted May 26, 2008 at 1:40 PM | Permalink

    Tony, I have an annotated list of my papers on, inter alia, the IPCC and my criticisms of their work, at The closest I can think of to a paper that addresses your list of queries would be any of the recent essays on the IPCC process by David Henderson; but I don’t have links to them handy. Also, John McLean has tabulated the data on reviewer comments during the IPCC process and I think his work is discussed on some threads here at CA.

  26. Posted May 26, 2008 at 4:28 PM | Permalink

    Thanks for the various suggested reading matter for IPCC definitions
    (My post#22)

    [snip – no discussion of taxes]

    Thanks to Ross as well for his link but it came up as a 404-could you reconfirm the link please?
    I will read through the various links given and hope to get some more suggestions as well over the next day or so.
    Thanks for your time.

    Tony B

  27. John A
    Posted May 26, 2008 at 5:46 PM | Permalink

    The correct address is

  28. Craig Loehle
    Posted May 26, 2008 at 6:08 PM | Permalink

    The monkey business that goes on in the academic world is largely immune from legal action and under the radar of reporters. Examples include: self-dealing, insider circles who act as editors for journals where their friends publish, taking credit for the work of graduate students, viscious in-fighting where the parties try to wreck each other’s careers, gossip, slander, killing the proposals of those you don’t like if you are a reviewer. This is allowed because frankly most of it doesn’t matter to the public. If some anthropologists can’t agree on the dating of artifacts from Peru and say nasty things about each other–who cares? But, in the context of the IPCC where clearly personal bias is being paraded as fact, and where policy is being asserted to follow necessarily from these “facts” it doesn’t look very good. As Steve mentioned, their optimal strategy would have been to strive for the appearance of objectivity…but it didn’t happen. While some parties may defend the stick because they invented it, this does not explain all those rushing to its defense. these individuals are defending orthodoxy IMO.

  29. John A
    Posted May 26, 2008 at 6:26 PM | Permalink


    You might not have liked my characterization of the IPCC process as inherently biased, although I fail to see why such an opinion needs to be excised from the comment record.

    However, if you care to look at Ross McKitrick’s paper on the mechanics of the IPCC process, you’ll see he reaches a similar conclusion:

    In key places the tone of the report changes. It becomes brittle, argumentative and slanted. Here
    the heavy hand of the core writing team takes control, on topics that dominate the overall
    conclusions and the Summary for Policy Makers (SPM). Since contributors and reviewers are
    never asked to vote on whether they agree with the SPM, any suggestion that the core writing
    team speaks for the thousands of people in the wide concentric circles is misleading.

    I have published on some of these key topics, and I followed the IPCC’s drafts on them closely.
    In every case, partisans on the alarmist side of current controversies were asked to summarize the
    debates, an obvious conflict of interest, resulting in tendentious and incomplete discussions.

    and in his Newsweek op-ed he says:

    …But it would be a mistake to assume all these experts endorse everything in summary,
    including its bottom-line assessment: “Most of the observed increase in globally averaged temperatures since the
    mid-20th century is very likely due to the observed increase in anthropogenic greenhouse gas concentrations.”
    Many disagree with the conclusion itself or the claimed level of certainty, but the fact is, we were never asked. Most
    participants worked only on small portions of the report, handed in final materials last summer and never ventured
    an opinion on claims made in the summary.

    So I am hardly alone in opining that the IPCC process is inherently biased in favour of a narrow partisan position, in which massive conflict of interest from the lead authors plays a significant part.

  30. Ron Cram
    Posted May 26, 2008 at 8:20 PM | Permalink

    re: 11

    What evidence exists that Jonathan Overpeck was the guy Dr. Deming was referring to regarding “get rid of the MWP?” I have a link to Deming’s testimony but he does not name the climate researcher. If you have a link, could you provide it here? Thanks!

  31. Francois Ouellette
    Posted May 26, 2008 at 8:37 PM | Permalink

    #28 Craig,

    We share the same opinion on the non-accountability of academics. But in my view, the scientists’ reaction vis à vis the hockey stick is not only about enforcing orthodoxy. It’s all about maintaining the credibility of the scientific institution.

    Think about it: if the hockey stick had been demolished by, say, a von Storch or a Zorrita, there wouldn’t have been such a fuss. Lively debate, for sure, but it would have settled soon enough. But in this case, the attack came from someone totally stranger to the scientific community. Steve doesn’t have an academic position anywhere, he’s never published anything anywhere (prior to his comments on MBH), and HE is going to tell them about PC’s and reconstruction?!

    I’ve often commented that much of the AGW thing is about the scientific institution regaining credibility and status. Academic science has suffered a lot in the 90’s with budget cuts all over the place, what with social scientists also claiming that science is only a social convention and all that. Remember the Science Wars?

    With AGW, suddenly, scientists are hot again. Hell, they’re saving the world! So the last thing they need is some retired mining engineer to discredit someone who was, remember, named a “visionary” by Scientific American.

    Yet, probably a lot of them, like Curry, acknowledge that Steve has made a genuine scientific contribution. They try to find a way to acknowledge that without losing face too much. You can’t lose face before the funding agencies, and the general public.

    So a lot more than the Hockey Stick is at stake. No, it isn’t a vast conspiracy, but a normal, and to a large degree unconscious, reaction from a social group that feels threatened.

  32. Jon-Anders Grannes
    Posted May 26, 2008 at 11:50 PM | Permalink

    Reply 5

    I have the feeling that there might be more Hockeysticks around in the UNEP/IPCC reports?

    So admitting that they had made a big mistake in order to get rid of the warm middleages and the cold LIA would raise the next question:
    What else is wrong in the UNEP/IPCC reports?

    The historic CO2 and current CO2 and the dramatic change of historic values in the mid 1980s raises some questions?

  33. David Holland
    Posted May 27, 2008 at 2:34 AM | Permalink

    Re #30 Get rid of the MWP

    Why not ask the man?

    If someone attributed a statement to me which was unflattering and untrue I would use every opportunity short of suing to put a stop to it and I would certainly give an answer to anyone asking if it were true. I’m sure that if ‘Peck’, as he is known in the Team, were to submit a comment to this thread saying he is not the one David Deeming is referring to, Steve would give it prominence and apologise for suggesting it was so. However if the email was from Peck, David Deeming might then feel free to publish it. This matter bears directly on his suitability to to be a Coordinating Lead Author and it is fair to ask him directly. It is the sort of due diligence the IPCC should have undertaken.

    Its not hard to google Peck’s email – the IPCC WGI report says he is at University of Arizona, Institute for the Study of Planet Earth, and his bio is on the web.

  34. Steve McIntyre
    Posted May 27, 2008 at 4:45 AM | Permalink

    Overpeck’s email is jto AT

  35. MarkW
    Posted May 27, 2008 at 5:26 AM | Permalink

    David Holland writes:

    Not only were the Lead Authors of Chapter 6 poorly chosen in respect of their objectivity on the hockey stick but the Review Editor choice was as bad.

    Whether the choices were poor/bad, depends on what the objective is. If the objective is un-biased science, the choices were poor. If the objective was to defend that AGW narrative, then the choices were the best available.

  36. Tim Ball
    Posted May 27, 2008 at 12:34 PM | Permalink

    Tony Brown
    Here is the latest in my series on precisely your questions.

  37. Posted May 27, 2008 at 4:55 PM | Permalink

    David #23

    Sorry, I knew your name from somewhere then remembered that some months ago I had come across your paper on ‘Bias and concealment…’I must have thought it was good as I used lots of my best paper and loads of expensive Lexmark ink to make a hard copy!!

    Tim #36. Thanks for the link, it has answered (virtually) all my questions. Excellent work. I have got a lot of reading to do.

    Francis #31 Spot on with your observation-the ‘not invented here’ syndrome seems particularly strong in the scientific community, and for an outsider such as Steve to question the work of highly qualified academics- and what’s more to demonstrate they were mistaken- is very hard medicine to take. As of today I am undecided whether the manipulation is politically motivated, part of a giant conspiracy or merely a ‘social group’ closing ranks. I do know from meeting various climate scientists from Exeter University-funded by the Hadley centre- that they are absolutely certain they know best and don’t like a little evidence of past conditions- such as the MWP- to get in the way. When I have offered to take them up on the nearby upland area of Dartmoor and show them the settlements abandoned 3000 years ago and 600 years ago after the climate cooled- and still not warm enough today to reoccupy-they become extremely defensive. I guess I’m not going to make much of a living as a tour guide to pro AGW scientists…

    I came across a great cartoon in Marketing Week last year which I cut out. I can’t find it on the web to post a link but it sums up the debate perfectly.
    An academic in mortar board and gown is saying ‘All you need to know about the global warming debate’ whilst pointing towards a blackboard which has chalked on it;
    “My what a dust I do create,” said the fly, sitting on the axle of a chariot. (Francis Bacon)

    Tony B

  38. Pat Frank
    Posted May 27, 2008 at 7:44 PM | Permalink

    #11 — “So don’t exclude an element of abysmally incompetent management on this item by Susan Solomon.

    Steve, it may be abysmal, but it’s not abysmally incompetent management. It looks just like outright corruption. By now, with all their experience in the process and all their knowledge of outside criticisms, these people must know exactly what they’re doing. There is no tolerance for contradiction.

  39. Geoff Sherrington
    Posted May 28, 2008 at 5:27 AM | Permalink

    I refer to Working Group One of the IPCC 4th Assessment report. In Chapter 9, “Understanding and Attributing Climate Change”, there are:

    2 Coordinating Lead Authors:
    Gabriele C. Hegerl (USA, Germany), Francis W. Zwiers (Canada)

    7 Lead Authors:
    Pascale Braconnot (France), Nathan P. Gillett (UK), Yong Luo (China), Jose A. Marengo Orsini (Brazil, Peru), Neville Nicholls (Australia), Joyce E. Penner (USA), Peter A. Stott (UK)

    3 Review Editors:
    David J. Karoly (USA, Australia), Laban Ogallo (Kenya), Serge Planton (France)

    38 Contributing Authors:
    M. Allen (UK), C. Ammann (USA), N. Andronova (USA), R.A. Betts (UK), A. Clement (USA), W.D. Collins (USA), S. Crooks (UK), T.L. Delworth (USA), C. Forest (USA), P. Forster (UK), H. Goosse (Belgium), J.M. Gregory (UK), D. Harvey (Canada), G.S. Jones (UK), F. Joos (Switzerland), J. Kenyon (USA), J. Kettleborough (UK), V. Kharin (Canada), R. Knutti (Switzerland), F.H. Lambert (UK), M. Lavine (USA), T.C.K. Lee (Canada), D. Levinson (USA), V. Masson-Delmotte (France), T. Nozawa (Japan), B. Otto-Bliesner (USA), D. Pierce (USA), S. Power (Australia), D. Rind (USA), L. Rotstayn (Australia), B. D. Santer (USA), C. Senior (UK), D. Sexton (UK), S. Stark (UK), D.A. Stone (UK), S. Tett (UK), P. Thorne (UK), R. van Dorland (The Netherlands), M. Wang (USA), B. Wielicki (USA), T. Wong (USA), L. Xu (USA, China), X. Zhang (Canada), E. Zorita (Germany, Spain)

    I counted the number of cited authors among the 12 people who were Lead Authors or Review Editors for Chapter 9, leaving out for this exercise the 28 Contributing Authors. These 12 people contributed 55 papers as first-named authors and were co-authors of another 28 papers. That is, some 17% of all references mentioned the people involved in assessing the work. Was it Narcissus who looked at his reflection?

    I do not know the last date by which publication could happen for papers to be accepted in this IPCC report. However, of the 83 papers above, 5 are cited with a 2007 date and 7 with 2006 dates.

    Checking but one, we find – “Estimates of Uncertainty in Predictions of Global Mean Surface Temperature”

    Journal of Climate, Volume 20, Issue 5 (March 2007) J. A. Kettleborough, B. B. B. Booth, P. A. Stott, M. R. Allen (Manuscript received 21 July 2005, in final form 12 June 2006).

    This Lead Author Peter A Stott, if the same person throughout, contributed to 22 of the 83 papers I have mentioned. If you believed in conspiracy theory, you might feel (with no evidence, of course) that a group of people had got together in 2003-4 and divided up some themes among themselves, aiming to publish with a “final form” target of just before the IPCC deadline and a late tidy-up afterwards. But, it is dangerous and unrewarding to meddle with conspiracies.

    Poor P A Stott, he seems to have been of a clerical bent, fond of writing. His first paper cited here was in 1998, then he had a slowdown before he let rip about 2003-4. Four papers dated 2006, two for 2007. I marvel at the patience of the Review Editors, bringing together these 500 papers, so that they could sign a paper dated 11/20/06, as Review Editor Prof David Karoly did, stating “ ….. I can confirm that all substantive and expert and government review comments have been accorded appropriate consideration …..”

    Lovely words, “substantive” and “appropriate”. Could set lawyers arguing for months.

  40. David Holland
    Posted May 28, 2008 at 7:25 AM | Permalink

    Now there’s a coincidence (which Steve will appreciate). The same paper gets cited in chapter 10. Are these guys in points competition?

    More seriously has any one looked to see if these cites add anything really important to the Chapters? So far as I can see no chapter 10 reviewer asked for this one.

  41. Posted May 28, 2008 at 10:35 AM | Permalink

    Geoff #39 This is very interesting. I have a copy of the ‘Summary for policymakers 2007’ which is 21 pages long and gives different attributions ie ‘Drafting authors’ and ‘Draft contributing authors’. It states that the summary was formally approved at the 10th session of Working Group 1 in Paris in February 2007. There is an interesting note that “text, tables and figures given here are final but subject to checking and copy-editing and EDITORIAL ADJUSTMENTS to figures” (my capitalisation) Which surely means it isn’t the final summary at all, but can be revised as necessary.

    I merely go into this detail to ensure we are comparing my summary with YOUR detailed report. I have written so many exclamation marks across my copy and circled so many items as being highly contentious that I can barely read the print!

    Over the next few days I will be reading David Hollands and Tim Balls contributions about the IPCC plus other papers, so the next questions may be contained in them.

    Is there an organisational chart that shows the various IPCC committees, what subject they covered, who they report to (i.e. draft contributing authors report to Drafting authors who report to lead authors etc..) how many people are involved in each committee and what their specialities were?

    The reason for that is to gain a better understanding of how many scientists in TOTAL were involved in the process. Dozens? Hundreds? Thousands?

    Whilst on the subject would it be fair to say there is no such thing as a ‘climate scientist’ -but only many ‘experts in their field’. The media is forever quoting a ‘Consensus of Climate scientists’ when banging on about AGW, as if there are thousands of them, all united in their agreement that WE are at fault.

    In reality, surely there are dozens of different disciplines involved, each with a variety of subsets that make up the whole? As far as I can see there are few -if any- people who understand-as an expert-ALL the various discipline strands and can assemble a report. This task is done only by the IPCC. In effect therefore the IPCC are the world’s sole ‘climate scientist’ and even that is comprised of a committee. Would that be a reasonable summary?

    Tony B

  42. Posted May 29, 2008 at 1:31 PM | Permalink

    Ross #25 I read your link and thought the critique of the summary for policy makers was excellent. Unusually fior a scientific paper it had a compelling narrative thread and a good writing style which made it easy to understand, whilst still being highly authoratative.

    Can I refer to 2.5g -ref ‘Consequences of wind driven redistrtibution of sea ice.’ The wind would seem to me to be a key reason why ice would disappear or reappear. I have lived in two places with extensive sand dune systems. Even over a period of just one season they can be destroyed, grow or move considerable distances. The driver in our case is the wind, with the critical factors being wind direction,(easterly) its speed (over 10knots) and whether there has been recent precipitation causing the sand to be loaded with moisture which prevents almost all movement. A major engineering firm is doing a study of the dunes just down the coast which are disappearing, threatening both the tourist industry AND the main line railway.
    I sit on a committee that will be examining the report. Are the results of interest to you or your colleagues, or is sand too far away from ice to be relevant?

    Second, I noted the sparse references to previous historic warm periods. Here in South Devon (England) we have an excellent record of habitation that has advanced and declined on the local moors over the past 5000 years as the temp warmed then cooled. There is a mass of actual evidence (the buildings and fields are still there) and recorded evidence. In addition Britain as a whole has numerous written references to climate, from Tacitus the Roman general through the Venerable Bede, the Anglo Saxon chronicles, the Domesday book, Chaucer and Pepys diary, which then ties in with the CET records starting in 1659.
    I have expresed my disappointment in this blog before as to how theoretical computer modelling-using all sorts of exotic and unlikely proxies- seem to take precedence over actual observed real life data. Your critique of the summary demonstrated that theoretical science wins over recorded fact every time!
    A great piece of work. Thank you

    Tony B

  43. Geoff Sherrington
    Posted May 31, 2008 at 4:05 AM | Permalink

    Re # 41 Tony Brown

    Somwhere I have seen an estimate of how many people were involved in the 2007 IPCC, but I did not bother with it much because of a concern with quality rather than quantity.

    When you talk of large numbers, I wonder how the few Review Editors can (such as in the case of Chapter 9 I quoted above) cope with the 500 papers cited in their chapter when many of them have just come out and some are still in prep.

    Then I wonder (like Steve has before me) how such Editors can sign off an official document saying effectively that all disagreements have been reconciled. If this is what did happen, then I must say that we are dealing with an unusually compliant lot of contributors. Having helped manage teams of 50 graduates at times, we could hold 5-day seminars that ended with more disagreement than we started with. As one famous guest Professor said at one such conference “People do not start to think properly until their equilibrium is disturbed”.

    I have seen Review Editor David Karoly perform on TV in response to criticism of the Gore movie. Bright-eyed and bushy tailed, devoted to the cause, unswayed by questions he did not want to answer, pushing the Party line, forever butting in…. and unelected.

    So, I think that science would be better served if a climate of healthy argument was fostered and reported in the IPCC. It is not in the nature of several hundred scientists to meekly agree to important propositions. They are usually human enough to want their favourite hobby horse stressed and can get quite agitated if overruled. “Prima donna” comes to mind.

    I gathered the material for # 39 from the online publication of Chapter 9. Elsewhere on CA, about a year ago if I recall, someone (who was probably Steve McIntyre) gave a link to the instructions that authors and editors of various categories were supposed to follow. He would have access to this from his official participation. I do not.

    Re # 40 David Holland

    (I enjoy seeing your name on a post). It seems to me that a few years before the 2007 SPM, various subjects were divvied up and various people told to write papers about them. The quality of the paper was secondary to its formal existence, as the main ideas had already been formulated by the masterminds and all they needed was peer-reviewed evidence that their own agenda represented the consensus. A fair amount of subsequent CA discussion is about poor science in such papers.

    I have seen this formula work before in older radical debates, like nuclear power and man-made carcinogens and the Club of Rome. Some years ago when the IPCC was being formed I looked at a list of names and addresses of the principal groups and members promoting it. There was a cluster around western Germany and another in California, as I recall. Even since, I have been of the opinion that these events are planned, nteworked, not spontaneous, and as earlier ones have fallen by the wayside through poor science, the newer ones have to be made ever more apocalyptic to strive for the attention of governments and their policy makers.

    Unfortunately for the UN, I think this effort will eventually sink them. Just a matter of time before people relise the puffery of the UN and its horrible lack of performance, time and again.

  44. Posted May 31, 2008 at 12:32 PM | Permalink

    Geoff #43

    I was involved in ISO9001 some years ago. Many firms achieved this certification through the consultant apportioning the various clauses to various managers and other staff and asking them to write a paragraph on each. In this way the various boxes were ticked and the quality or correctness of the paragraph was immaterial, in as much just writing it satisified the requirement.

    I wonder if the IPCC operate in a similar way in as much they are instructed to produce say 500 papers covering 500 topics that have been identified as being ‘important’. Most of these are viewed as cannon fodder and used for ticking boxes, whilst the important ones (important in the sense of being key to whatever the overall brief was) are then utilised as core information.

    The political brief given to the summarisers of the papers seems more important than the science if I read Steve’s, Ross’s and David’s pieces correctly, and having met one of them nyself I think your description of David Karoly fitted him pefectly. It was like speaking to someone overcome by a religious fervour which I found very unsettling and he refused to believe he could be wrong whilst making the most astonishing statements on the MWP-of which I do know something.

    Whilst a lot of the science in the IPCC documents falls into the category of highly theoretical (i.e unproven in the real world) I increasingly tend to think that the summarisers have been given the answers the politicians want to see and they adjust the interpretation of the research accordingly. Accordingly I suspect it is politics rather than science that will eventually derail the bandwagon, but unfortunately not many leaders are brave enough to stand up and say this is nonsense.

    Tony B

  45. MikeN
    Posted Feb 7, 2010 at 8:26 AM | Permalink

    According to CRU e-mails, Wahl told Briffa that the Feb 28, 2006 acceptance date is solid, though he is unsure whether the paper will be published in 2006. He gave the reason as that it is dependent on a companion editorial.

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