On January 27, 2009, a few days after Steig et al 2009 was released to fawning international coverage, Gavin Schmidt at RC here claimed that the critical commentary on the paper had been “remarkably weak” and demanding that this “supposed demonstration of intellectual bankruptcy” get some media attention:
All in all, the critical commentary about this paper has been remarkably weak. ..
The poor level of their response is not surprising, but it does exemplify the tactics of the whole ‘bury ones head in the sand” movement – they’d much rather make noise than actually work out what is happening. It would be nice if this demonstration of intellectual bankruptcy got some media attention itself.
Even for realclimatescientists, Gavin’s taunts about being unable to deconstruct Steig in 4 days seem vainglorious. At the time, Steig’s data was mostly unavailable and the method obscure. Gavin’s taunts definitely contributed to interest in Steig et al by the critical blogs and a series of technical posts on Steig et al 2009 soon starting appearing at CA (see tag Steig, The Air Vent and Lucia’s (Ryan O.)
Despite the efforts of Reviewer A, four authors from critical blogs managed to run the gauntlet and publish both an improvement and refutation of Steig et al 2009. An improvement in the sense that the PC retention policy of Steig et al 2009 lacked any foundation and smeared Pensinsula warming into West Antactica. A refutation in the sense that the distinctive claims of Steig et al 2009 ( as compared to predecessor views of Monaghan for example) about West Antarctica are shown to be an artifact of their methodology.
Schmidt’s declaration of “Mission Accomplished” seems, in retrospect, a little premature. In Gavin’s words, it would be “nice” if this got a “little media attention”.