Trenberth: “Unbelievable” Breakdown in Defensive Zone Coverage

Kevin Trenberth recently expressed his consternation at the breakdown in Team defensive zone coverage that enabled publication of Spencer and Braswell:

“I cannot believe it got published,” said Kevin Trenberth, a senior scientist at the National Center for Atmospheric Research.

Trenberth and Phil Jones were Cover 2 in the rock-solid IPCC AR4 defense. Readers will recall Jones’ promise of a goal-line stand against McKitrick and Michaels 2004:

Kevin and I will keep them out somehow – even if we have to redefine what the peer-review literature is !

Trenberth’s own tenacious defense is sort of cross between James Harrison and Troy Polimaru. No wonder he was upset about the recent breakdown in Team defensive zone coverage.

In the past, occasional breakdowns of Team defense have led to new defensive personnel e.g. when new personnel had to be brought into shore up Team defensive schemes at GRL in 2005:( 591. 1132094873.txt):

The GRL leak may have been plugged up now w/ new editorial leadership there.

Trenberth did not comment on whether new personnel would be needed to plug the leak at Remote Sensing or whether changes in Team defensive zone coverage would be instituted.

Trenberth was most recently discussed at CA here in connection with his plagiarism of Hasselmann (2010).


  1. Michael Jankowski
    Posted Jul 31, 2011 at 2:55 PM | Permalink

    So they’ve “moved on” from hockey into the sport of American football.

    Will they ever offer-up some squash competition for you?

  2. Posted Jul 31, 2011 at 2:56 PM | Permalink

    Should have gone Mann to man.

  3. Posted Jul 31, 2011 at 3:58 PM | Permalink

    The moment I read this comment from Trenberth last week my thoughts turned to what Nic Lewis uncovered recently about the IPCC’s AR4 treatment of another attempt to use real world data to estimate (or at least to get closer to estimating) climate sensitivity. “I cannot believe it got published.” If this is the kneejerk reaction to something so important to real science it is bound to ring alarm bells across further swathes of the scientifically literate. Add in the disgraceful treatment of the Forster & Gregory paper in AR4 – which any detached observer would say sought to hide the divergence between sensitivity calculated from the real world and calculated from models – and it’s no wonder climate science is now looking to “unscientific, religious, metaphysical, Hindu, occultist, New Age, proto-scientific, or pseudoscientific found in or based on the Vedas” for support.

    • tetris
      Posted Jul 31, 2011 at 8:17 PM | Permalink

      I have been known to refer to this sorry state of affairs as “astrology”,”homeopathy” and in moments of utter disgust as “fish gut reading”. No matter what we call it, tripe like that doesn’t have much in common with science the way I was taught it [through to a PhD].

  4. stan
    Posted Jul 31, 2011 at 4:00 PM | Permalink

    Spelling note — Polamalu.

    “I can’t believe it got published” is an odd way to express disagreement and I agree that it may have been a bit more revealing of his mindset than he wished. Even if the study were a complete mess, lots of really bad messes get published. So expressing surprise that it got published, in light of the remarkable record of poor quality studies that get published, is unlikely to be about the quality. More likely, as you humorously lay out, he’s surprised that his team failed to keep an opponent from scoring.

  5. Sean Peake
    Posted Jul 31, 2011 at 4:42 PM | Permalink

    Spenser and Braswell appear to have deployed a spread offence and Spenser played like Vick.

    • Posted Jul 31, 2011 at 5:02 PM | Permalink

      That’s Spencer…

      • Sean Peake
        Posted Aug 1, 2011 at 8:24 AM | Permalink

        Indeed, Spencer.

    • PaddikJ
      Posted Aug 1, 2011 at 9:41 AM | Permalink

      Times like this I wish I were sports-literate

  6. Posted Jul 31, 2011 at 5:11 PM | Permalink

    Why plug the leak at Remote Sensing when you can disparage the entire journal? That’s the tactic I see the “graasroots” Team Defensive line taking. The WUWT thread on this reaction to Spencer’s work is filled with people sayin RS is not a “real journal”-it’s the new E&E apparently 😉

  7. Posted Jul 31, 2011 at 5:25 PM | Permalink

    “spurious” was one description I saw applied to RS – extraordinary arrogance

  8. Posted Jul 31, 2011 at 5:59 PM | Permalink

    This is really nonsense.

    Trenberth is simply saying that he thinks it is unworthy of publication. Lots of people say that about lots of things that are published.

    • BillyBob
      Posted Jul 31, 2011 at 7:20 PM | Permalink

      It appears the only thing he said of substance was “I cannot believe it got published,”. So I disagree with your interpretation.

    • gernimo
      Posted Aug 1, 2011 at 12:34 AM | Permalink

      Nick, what makes Trenberth the arbiter of what can and cannot be published? Isn’t the whole point of publication is to put your results out for other scientists to read. Peer review is, in my experience at least, little more than a first level filter to take away obvious flaws. The post publication discussion is how the science proceeds. Trenberth has every right to criticize Spencer’s efforts but no right to censor them. In this particular case I can see why Trenberrth is outraged, it appears Spencer has broken the golden rule of climate science and used observations instead of models to draw his conclusions.

      • Steve McIntyre
        Posted Aug 1, 2011 at 7:17 AM | Permalink

        You ask:

        Nick, what makes Trenberth the arbiter of what can and cannot be published?

        In a 1999 Climategate email, Mann expressed a similar attitude to Trenberth’s – a strong commitment to the defensive zone coverage that became more apparent later:

        Better that nothing appear, than something unacceptable to us”

        Bradley disassociated himself from these remarks at least in respect to CRU being allowed to publish articles that were “unacceptable” to Mann and associates:

        As for thinking that it is “Better that nothing appear, than something unnacceptable to us” … though we are the gatekeepers of all that is acceptable in the world of paleoclimatology seems amazingly arrogant. Science moves forward whether we agree with individiual articles or not….

        • suyts
          Posted Aug 6, 2011 at 9:26 AM | Permalink

          lol, Steve what you said is true, but Bradley got benched after that remark. I hadn’t seen or heard much out of him until he gave an interview earlier this year. It seems he wants more playing time now.

        • Steve McIntyre
          Posted Aug 6, 2011 at 10:41 AM | Permalink

          Bradley has just published a book,most of which is a long whine about being asked questions by the House Energy and Commerce Committee. Previously, he didn’t seem to mind testifying to sympathizers.

    • DEEBEE
      Posted Aug 2, 2011 at 5:29 AM | Permalink

      “This is really nonsense.”

      Weere you referring to the stuff that followed it? Losing your word-smithing skills?

    • J. Felton
      Posted Aug 5, 2011 at 2:25 AM | Permalink

      Nick, I really must say

      The handle you use is also the name of a fictional character in the TV show ” CSI”.

      Given your apparently fictional knowledge of science and how it works, I think you’ve chosen a fitting nick name.

  9. huishi
    Posted Jul 31, 2011 at 6:18 PM | Permalink

    “I cannot believe it got published”

    Odd as this may sound, I can not believe the Team gets published. Funny how that works, eh?

  10. Michael Klein
    Posted Jul 31, 2011 at 6:46 PM | Permalink

    I read Trenberth’s article in Real Climate. Can McIntyre rebut him point by point?

    • Posted Jul 31, 2011 at 7:09 PM | Permalink

      It’s not McIntyre’s job. I suggest you go to and read for yourself.

      • Michael Klein
        Posted Jul 31, 2011 at 9:55 PM | Permalink

        It is McIntyre’s job. Trenberth wrote a reasoned article. If McIntyre is going to ridicule him, he should be prepared to rebut him. But then I went to Spencer’s site, and Spencer doesn’t rebut him point-by-point either. Instead, his writings gave me the strong suspicion that his politics is influencing his science.

        • Ed Snack
          Posted Jul 31, 2011 at 10:41 PM | Permalink

          I see Michael, you think Spenser’s politics influence his science, but Trenberth’s don’t ?

          I read Trenberth’s article too, didn’t think it worth rebutting, frankly. I don’t think he actually understands the subject very well and seems somewhat confused.

        • Posted Aug 1, 2011 at 10:59 AM | Permalink

          Tu quoque isn’t an argument.

        • RichieRich
          Posted Aug 1, 2011 at 1:43 PM | Permalink

          Technically, it is an argument…but a fallacious one!

        • Gerald Machnee
          Posted Jul 31, 2011 at 10:58 PM | Permalink

          Michael, can you explain what Trenberth said? I do not think there is much to reply to. He tried to save face among the RC faithful.

        • Posted Jul 31, 2011 at 11:48 PM | Permalink

          The key quote from Trenberth:
          “The model has no realistic ocean, no El Niño, and no hydrological cycle, and it was tuned to give the result it gave.”
          It does seem to justify wondering how such a model could be published.

        • Posted Aug 1, 2011 at 12:57 AM | Permalink

          It does seem to justify wondering how such a model could be published.

          It doesn’t justify Trenberth saying so when he was called up for comments. If Spencer’s argument is really that bad, then in due course the counterarguments will see to it that this is widely accepted.

          But trying to stop Spencer being published in future is evil. And that’s what we read into this, because people like Trenberth have a track record of censoring those who disagree with them, then harping on about peer review as some kind of final arbiter of truth. And despite being caught red-handed they have never admitted any wrongdoing whatsoever.

          It must be very nice living in a world where you don’t see this Nick. Much simpler and (in certain cases anyway) much more lucrative. But sometimes facing the unpalatable is the only way back to health – for the individual and for much larger social entities. (That’s what I see happening in the UK recently, for example. There is justified disgust at where we find ourselves. So should there be in climate science – going way beyond national borders.)

        • Steve McIntyre
          Posted Aug 1, 2011 at 9:23 AM | Permalink

          In 2005, Trenberth similarly slagged our criticisms of MBH98 in an interview with Paul Thacker without any knowledge of our articles:

          There have been several examples of people who have come into the field of climate change and done incredibly stupid things by applying statistics in ways that are inappropriate for the data.

          I corresponded with Trenberth (see post here). Trenberth said that he was “singularly unimpressed” with our critcisms, first citing an EOS article criticizing Soon and Baliunas as support, then realclimate posts.

        • Posted Aug 1, 2011 at 1:28 AM | Permalink

          it’s pretty obvious. According to spenser the observations are in conflict with very sophisticated models. Whenever that happens you have a couple choices.

          1. wade through all 22 models and document what they got wrong

          2. Make a simple model that suggests an area for investigation: sensitivity

          Trenberth, of course, argues that looking at El Nino in the models is more fruitful and he may be right.

          I saw the inclusion of a simple model as merely suggestive. As gavin points out 1 (or more) of three things is wrong: the data processing, the data, or the models that dont match. Roy’s toy model doesnt carry much weight in the argument. Paper would have been better without it.

        • Jeremy
          Posted Aug 1, 2011 at 9:32 AM | Permalink

          *Now* the standard of success is a correctly modeled El Nino? I don’t recall *any* models correctly predicting the 1998 or 2010 El Ninos, not even the Met with their version of Skynet predicted those.

          *Now* it’s a problem that a model is tuned to give a result? I’ll keep that in mind the next time a government agency given funding to explore CAGW with a supercomputer publishes a result.

        • Posted Aug 1, 2011 at 4:56 PM | Permalink

          The models will never be able to get the timing right. what you hope for is getting the response right. they are not weather predictors

        • DirkH
          Posted Aug 6, 2011 at 4:34 PM | Permalink

          I can’t see how you can get “the response” right when you get the timing wrong. Because the wrong timing means that your model does not reproduce reality. Saying that they will never get it right is capitulation (and i do agree that capitulation is the sane reaction).

        • Gerald Machnee
          Posted Aug 1, 2011 at 9:56 PM | Permalink

          Nick, nothing you have said or Trenberth has said supports your statement: “It does seem to justify wondering how such a model could be published.”
          You just flailed away without a technical critique.

        • Steve McIntyre
          Posted Jul 31, 2011 at 11:01 PM | Permalink

          Team defensive zone coverage deserves to be placed in the spotlight in any way possible and criticized whenever the opportunity arises, as was the case here.

          Steig’s efforts to block publication of O’Donnell et al 2010 were one example, as was editor Broccoli’s allowing Steig to be granted the same rights to require changes as an unconflicted reviewer. On another occasion, Team reviewers obstructed publication of a perfectly sensible comment by Ross and I on Santer et al 2008, as a result of which false claims continue to be perpetuated.

          However, the defense is totally porous when the Team is on offense. No gauntlets for Team members. We’ve seen Jones’ puffball reviews for pals, while “going to town” against critics.

          Nor in the paleoclimate area do I believe that the Team are qualified to act as arbiters of truth.

          Rather than the Team trying to “plug” leaks at journals that occasionally publish critical articles, if Trenberth thinks that Spencer’s article makes no sense, he should criticize Spencer (as he has). Personally I find such exchanges more illuminating than suppression of the discussion – apparently Trenberth’s preference. It is not an area that I’ve specialized in and I, for one, will read the exchange with interest.

          Nor do I think that it is unreasonable to satirize Trenberth on the occasion of this breakdown of defensive zone coverage.

        • Posted Jul 31, 2011 at 11:59 PM | Permalink

          Posting his rebuttal on RC is ludicrous, since there will be no critical comments allowed. He should have posted on a more neutral site, or, better yet, submit a formal letter to the journal.

          Steve gets criticized for doing blog science, RC is doing the same thing, yet they allow no dissenting opinion.

        • suyts
          Posted Aug 6, 2011 at 9:28 AM | Permalink

          Oh my,…..“….his writings gave me the strong suspicion that his politics is influencing his science.”…… that one, I’ll giggle about for quite some time.

  11. Posted Jul 31, 2011 at 7:14 PM | Permalink

    Another travesty?

  12. JohnB
    Posted Jul 31, 2011 at 10:00 PM | Permalink

    I’m not sure that Trenberth is merely a player, but he seems to double as an official many times. Ironic that one gets punched in and Trenberth is raising a stink about it.

    Keep up the good work guys, especially knowing that many times the officials and an opposing players are huddling up together across the line.

  13. Rosco
    Posted Jul 31, 2011 at 10:58 PM | Permalink


    Steve: I’m sure that you think that you’re real sly. I presume that you’re a climate scientist who is acting stupid intentionally. If you want to post this comment under your real name together with your academic affiliation, please do so.

  14. srp
    Posted Aug 1, 2011 at 4:45 AM | Permalink

    Most interesting thing was Schmidt’s quote,” Climate sensitivity is not constrained by the last two decades of imperfect satellite data, but rather the paleoclimate record.”

    Think about that. How many times have the CAGWers tried to pooh-pooh critiques of the hockey stick by saying that the basis for belief was the models combined with modern temperature data? How many times has Steve Mosher argued that all the action was on the models? How many times has our host himself insisted that the case for CAGW doesn’t really rest on the paleo data and that this showed the folly of the Team in unnecessarily defending the indefensible?

    Now we have Gavin Schmidt, to whom everything “doesn’t matter,” putting all of his sensitivity chips on the paleoclimate record. Funny how those satellite data suddenly became “imperfect” when before they were vital.

    • j ferguson
      Posted Aug 1, 2011 at 5:58 AM | Permalink

      srp, is Gavin’s quote somehow out of context? That data or records could “constrain” sensitivity is a bizarre thought for a guy who usually seems quite careful about what he says, or tries not to say.

    • Posted Aug 1, 2011 at 6:15 AM | Permalink

      Think about that.

      Am doing. It’s a very good point that Schmidt points to paleo as the main ‘constraint’ on climate sensitivity – and even that is a very strange way of putting it. But in other ways I have different impressions of how the argument has gone.

      First, it’s worth distinguishing three things:

      1. Arguments for carbon controls
      2. Arguments for catastrophic AGW
      3. Arguments for high climate sensitivity.

      The logical links between each level are nothing like as tight as they’re made out to be. Richard Lindzen has pointed out for many years how it’s become customary for logic to be thrown away in dealing with these connections: if you say you agree with one tiny piece (eg basic radiative physics) you are taken to agree that the world is about to end unless humanity enacts say, carbon trading worldwide by next Spring.

      In particular, as you say, whenever the hockey stick comes into view there is widespread commentary that it doesn’t matter, that it isn’t central to the science of global warming. But in my experience advocates for levels 2. and 1. hardly ever point to something as precise as climate sensitivity, let alone to ‘models combined with modern temperature data’ as the evidence for it. The lack of proper attention to this area allowed the IPCC’s AR4 Chapter 9 to play fast and loose with the one study, by Forster and Gregory, that sought to estimate sensitivity from modern, real world data. snip

      This lack of any kind of rigour and precision allows Gavin Schmidt to pick and choose which way to turn when the latest emergency arises. I agree it’s astounding that he should point to paleo as the strongest evidence for high sensitivity. I’m with Lindzen and Eschenbach in taking four billion years of climate stability, allowing the development of life, as the strongest possible evidence that feedbacks must in the long run be negative – and thus sensitivity ‘constrained’ to ~1degC or less.

      We know there’s a problem with missing heat in the oceans, because Trenberth himself taught us that in the Climategate emails. What’s much worse is the problem of missing logic. Thanks for pointing to the latest, striking example.

    • Posted Aug 1, 2011 at 9:38 AM | Permalink

      It is ironic for people to claim that paleoclimate info can “constrain” climate sensitivity. Often, the climate must be inferred from vegetation (e.g., at the Last Glacial Maximum) but the failure to account for low CO2 effects on vegetation (as I show in Loehle, C. 2007. Predicting Pleistocene Climate from Vegetation in North America. Climate of the Past 3:109-118) has caused an interpretation of LGM climates in Eastern North America as boreal parkland in spite of fossil evidence for standard deciduous forest overrun by ice sheets in N. Illinois and mid-Indiana. In other regions there is a paucity of data or it is only vague and subject to reinterpretation. “constrain” my foot.

      • thisisnotgoodtogo
        Posted Aug 1, 2011 at 10:10 AM | Permalink

        Craig, here Richard Alley seems to contradict Gavin.
        They do not “base global warming” on paleo hockey sticks.

        It’s based on the satellite data, he insists – from about 25:00, explicitly from 25:30

        “This staff member is siting there telling me: ‘I didn’t take science, I don’t know science, I don’t like science. I’m going to tell you that you’re basing global warming on a hockey stick.’”

        Reply by Alley: “No we are not! We’re basing it on something that a satellite measures.”

      • Ron Cram
        Posted Aug 1, 2011 at 2:30 PM | Permalink

        I completely agree with you. Paleoclimate data cannot tell anything of value about climate sensitivity. Even if you had a perfectly reliable global temperature series going back hundreds of thousands of years, you don’t know anything about changes in the multiple forcings. We do not have a useful global cloud cover time series for the 20th century, much less the last 2,000 years. Without understanding the role of natural climate variation, there is no way to calculate climate sensitivity to CO2.

        Gavin’s comment is quite laughable.

    • Posted Aug 1, 2011 at 5:03 PM | Permalink

      Gavin is buying Hansen’s line of argument:

      Deep paleo ( no tree rings) point to a value of 3C

      Models range from 2.1 to 4.5 ( kinda by design)

      near term paleo doesnt constrain the problem, that why gavin can say that the hockey stick is of no scientific interest.

      The key question folks have now is can we rule out estimates at the high end, perhaps through observation.

      In gavins current epistemology goes:


  15. Posted Aug 1, 2011 at 9:17 AM | Permalink

    It is my understanding that Spencer would not reveal the journal this paper was submitted to when he gave talks and made blog postings about this work–with good reason. Remote Sensing is a journal that would have a non-overlapping staff with Trenberth’s circle, so he would not have got wind of it nor have been asked to review it.

    • Posted Aug 1, 2011 at 10:47 AM | Permalink

      It’s hard not to satirise at this point and say “poor Kevin” – in honour of his soulmate in righteous attempts to squelch all opposition through peer review, the man who went through so much to settle science (and old scores), “poor Phil”. It must have been infuriating beyond our imagining not to have had advanced warning of more heresy from Spencer. But how foolish to verbalise one’s frustration. Poor Kevin.

    • Posted Aug 2, 2011 at 4:50 AM | Permalink

      I can imagine the frantic phone calls and emails that went out trying to locate which %*^))^&* journal to which it had been submitted.

      (of course those emails would all be gmail, yahoo, and even aol addresses as it’s unlikely these days that Team members use their official email addresses for much of their official work.)

      Which reminds of a point that I’ve never seen brought up, but since congressional aides seem to drop by here and pick up stuff somehow I’ll mention it. Why are Federal Scientists allowed access to private email accounts while at work or using government equiptment? These should all be locked down on the network and any government supplied smart phones should have common private web mails blocked as well.

      Allowing this easy usurpation of FOI laws goes completely against the spirit of the laws. It wouldn’t be hard to change. Federal employees should have no right to private correspondence on public equipment.

      • MikeN
        Posted Aug 2, 2011 at 7:18 AM | Permalink

        William Connolley predicted the journal ahead of time on his blog.

        • Venter
          Posted Aug 2, 2011 at 10:33 AM | Permalink

          Connolley also posted in Spencer’s blog boasting that he knew what the journal was.

        • Posted Aug 2, 2011 at 1:17 PM | Permalink

          If true, and if this foreknowledge did not allow the censors to operate, it means that there are those still willing to stand up for academic freedom against the bullies. Even better.

      • glacierman
        Posted Aug 2, 2011 at 2:30 PM | Permalink

        Almost all private companies do this, even very small ones. Very easy to block access to Yahoo, Gmail, Hotmail, Facebook, etc.

        Of course they could use their personal smart phones, etc., but there should be policy regarding this as well.

      • Posted Aug 2, 2011 at 8:45 PM | Permalink

        “Federal employees should have no right to private correspondence on public equipment.” Hee hee. As if that’s going to happen. No chance federal employees will have restrictions placed on their computer use, particularly at places like NASA (Hansen, etal).

  16. Andre
    Posted Aug 1, 2011 at 10:28 AM | Permalink


    Without reading other comments, I have a problem with this post. So, Roy Spencer published an article following the scientific method, observe – analyse – predict, etc.

    Over at RC Trenberth makes a long post to rebut the rebut, mixing in a lot of argumentum ad hominem, but his objective arguments -if any- are hard to verify.

    Now your post is a series of ad hominems against Trenberth. Not that they are not correct, but it just does not prove anybody right or wrong. If any villain proclaims that water boils at 212F/100C at one atmosphere, being a villain doesnt proof him wrong.

    What we really need is a detailed assessment of the science. Is Roy Spencer right or is trenberth right, regardless of agendas.



    Steve: I agree that the arguments should be assessed and look forward to the discussions (though I will be paying attention rather than directly commenting myself.) I criticized Trenberth’s kneejerk instinct that articles like Spencer’s should be suppressed and stand by the criticism.

    • theduke
      Posted Aug 1, 2011 at 10:40 AM | Permalink

      There’s nothing “ad hominem” about the piece. It’s rather gentle satire in my view.

      • Posted Aug 1, 2011 at 10:50 AM | Permalink

        Quite. And it’s all about a single, telling phrase: “I cannot believe it got published.” Given the context of Climategate and all the experience he’s gained on the subject, our host would be wrong not to.

  17. Posted Aug 1, 2011 at 10:52 AM | Permalink

    With respect and agreeing in spirit with many commenters here, the essence of Gavin’s paleoclimate “argument” refers mainly to the glacial interglacial cycles, not the “hockey stick”. The real problem with his argument, I think, is presuming that the glacial cycles are analogous to doubling CO2, when in fact the glaciations were forced by heterogeneous changes in the distribution of solar insolation, not a roughly homogeneous forcing like CO2. The system does react the same way. At any rate, if we take the CO2 forcing, Ice Sheets, and vegetation as feedbacks rather than forcings

    • Posted Aug 1, 2011 at 10:56 AM | Permalink

      Accidentally submitted. If the forings used to model the LGM are taken as slow feedbacks that they actually are, the sensitivity required to explain the glaciations is something like 30 degrees per doubling, an order of magnitude larger than models predict, but this comes from the fact that the true forcing, milankovitch, averages out in this paradigm. If even dust is feedback, the glaciations imply infinite sensitivty.

      • Posted Aug 1, 2011 at 12:40 PM | Permalink

        The supporting Math:

        This shows the forcings Hansen used to calculate the sensitivity from the LGM:

        Dollars to doughnuts, this is the estimate Gavin is going by.

        The actual forcing in Hansen’s numbers that isn’t feedback (dust) is .5 W/m^2, which amounts to a sensitivity of 5 K/.5 W/m^2 or 10 K/W/m^2 which corresponds to 37 K/2xCO2. Absurd. Milankovitch is, in this framework, given no role. Yet that is the true effect which initiates the change. Clearly the LGM doesn’t really constrain much of anything. What Gavin is really saying is, he doesn’t understand how the glaciatons could have occured without high sensitivity. This seems a weakness of his imagination more than anything else.

        • Posted Aug 1, 2011 at 1:24 PM | Permalink

          Thanks. All that as displacement activity for busting a gut to work out how best to measure climate sensitivity in the here and now. Where are the petitions for better satellites with more appropriate instruments or whatever else is needed? I’ve heard Lindzen appeal for such. Have I missed that with the Team? Is it not just that they are frightened by those prepared to take a different line like Spencer but that they are scared by the real world itself and what it might tell us if we were to ask it the right questions?

  18. Ron Cram
    Posted Aug 1, 2011 at 2:19 PM | Permalink

    Judith Curry agrees with you about this paper. She remarked:

    “Trying to keep papers from being published isn’t useful (although a good editorial process is extremely useful), and on this particular topic (clouds and climate, comparing models with observations) we need more papers, not fewer. Science proceeds by putting ideas and analyses out there for other scientists to consider and rebut. Add a dose of politics into this, and you exacerbate scientific rivalries into media flame wars. So lets douse the flames and discuss the science.”

    I was intrigued to see commenters at RealClimate trying to shore up the team defense. In comment #3, Hank Roberts notes there is an editor position open at MDPI. No doubt he wants a hockey team member to take the spot for a goal line stand.

    Comment #4 quotes Andrew Dessler badly disparaging Roy Spencer. I found this rather shocking because while Dessler and Spencer have disagreed in the past, Dessler had always been civil.

    No doubt this paper has struck a tender nerve with the hockey team. They don’t like people to see that the models are not doing well.

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