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Did Steig just accuse Mann of fraud?

There's an interesting kerfuffle developing over the recent paper by Steig et al which found warming over the Antarctic during the last fifty years. The study has been widely ridiculed in the sceptical community who have noted its heavy use of "temperatures" generated by models instead of real temperature readings.

Marc Morano, an assistant to Senator James Inhofe and a noted sceptic posted a roundup of reactions to the article, and now Steig has contacted him accusing him of libel, based on one of the blog comments he posted. The comment was as follows:

Looks like [study author] Steig ‘got rid of’ Antarctic cooling the same way [Michael] Mann got rid of medieval warming. Why not just look at the station data instead of ‘adjusting’ it (graph above)? It shows a 50-year cooling trend; the analysis concluded.

Steig's reaction was to suggest that Morano was guilty of libel because he had not corrected or given an opinion on the comment.

You do not comment on this, but simply cite it. However, you are clearly implying that you agree with it because you do not comment. Are you prepared to either remove this from the web site immediately, or to provide evidence that I have committed fraud? This is a very extreme accusation. Indeed, it seems rather like libel to me. I would like to  request a formal apology from you, in writing.

This should provide us all with some fun in the coming days, but just before you look away, take a look at what Steig just said. The commenter has said that Steig did the same as Mann. Steig says this is tantamount to accusing him of fraud.

Does this mean that Steig thinks Mann committed fraud?

I couldn't possibly comment.

Hat tip: Jennifer Marohasy

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Reader Comments (3)

Excellent point. I’ve often thought the whole global warming fever might come to a head with a good Wilde v Queensberry style libel action (then we could lance the boil, before it cools off).
On the Steig study itself, I haven’t seen any comments on the map of Antarctica showing inland surface stations. There are three on the cooling eastern two thirds (one Russian, one Chinese, and one ?) and none on the western third, where warming has just been discovered by Steig’s statistical gymnastics. Is it too much to ask that the multibillion dollar global warming industry should go and find out if their statistical fiddlefaddle is right?
Jan 29, 2009 at 8:14 PM | Unregistered Commentergeoff chambers
I hadn't noticed that. The answer to your question though is probably yes.
Jan 29, 2009 at 8:53 PM | Registered CommenterBishop Hill
Marc Morano could always say something like: "The commenter used the phrases "got rid of" and "adjusting", which in themselves do not necessarily imply fraud. Please could you clarify and expand on exactly what you feel you are being accused of."
Jan 29, 2009 at 11:30 PM | Unregistered CommenterAlex Cull

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