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« Frankely, a bit of a stretch | Main | Brooke on the Stirling FOI case »
Saturday
Sep032011

Critiques and responses

There is still huge interest in the Remote Sensing affair and quite what this means for the climate debate is still unclear.

One aspect of the story that has attracted a great deal of comment is the fact that Remote Sensing has not retracted the paper. As Retraction Watch puts it:

We are not in a position to critique the claims. But we are curious: If Wagner feels he published the article in error, why not simply retract it? Was it really necessary to fall on his sword to make the point that he now feels he made a mistake in publishing the paper? It’s a noble gesture, and not unprecedented for editors of climate journals, but is it best for science?

Remote Sensing has now made it clear that they will not be retracting the paper.

It seems clear from Wagner's resignation letter that his understanding of the alleged flaws in Spencer's paper came from blog posts like the one at RC; there is, as yet, no formal critique of the paper in the literature. It therefore seems fairly clear that Wagner's resignation was prompted by blog posts and perhaps word of mouth from Spencer's rivals. If so, this is extraordinary and quite an indictment of climate science.

Apparently there is going to be a formal critique of the paper, which will be published in GRL in the near future. This will be interesting for sure, but one has to wonder why a critique of a paper in Remote Sensing would be published in GRL; of course the suspicion will be that the authors will expect an easy ride from the editors there. We know that prominent climatologists have expressed their satisfaction with the "plugging" of the "leaks" that had been seen at that journal in the past. Remote Sensing, on the other hand, is presumably much more of an unknown quantity to them.

And if GRL publishes a critique, what then? Will Spencer be allowed to respond? Let's hope that new editor-in-chief Eric Calais has a better grasp of the journal's rules than his predecessor, Jay Famiglietti.

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Reader Comments (205)

Andrew

You have now been failing to make your point for an hour. Time to change tack.

Sep 3, 2011 at 4:21 PM | Unregistered CommenterBBD

and the reactions of Meesrs Black and Ward have all the hallmarks of a witch hunt - highloy unsavoury criticisms based on a man's religion. I would have hoped the world had moved beyond that sort of thing. It is a Romm/Mashey-type smear moved up another revolting level.

Sep 3, 2011 at 4:24 PM | Unregistered Commenterdiogenes

"You have now been failing to make your point for an hour. Time to change tack."

BBD,

Thank you for the blog mentoring. I'll take your suggestion and file it in it's proper place. ;)

Andrew

Sep 3, 2011 at 4:25 PM | Unregistered CommenterBad Andrew

Theo Goodwin

This is meaningless:

The problem is that the man who had these thoughts and then made them public shows the professionalism and dedication to ethics of a panicked undergraduate.

This is crystal clear:

With this step I would also like to personally protest against how the authors and like-minded climate sceptics have much exaggerated the paper’s conclusions in public statements, e.g., in a press release of The University of Alabama in Huntsville from 27 July 2011 [2], the main author’s personal homepage [3], the story “New NASA data blow gaping hole in global warming alarmism” published by Forbes [4], and the story “Does NASA data show global warming lost in space?” published by Fox News [5], to name just a few.

The conclusion - you are obfuscating. Why?

Sep 3, 2011 at 4:25 PM | Unregistered CommenterBBD

All you have to do Andrew is make sense. Amongst other things, this requires reading others' posts carefully and replying to what is actually said. Not just ploughing on regardless, convinced of your rightness in all things.

Sep 3, 2011 at 4:26 PM | Unregistered CommenterBBD

Both Bad Andrew and BBD are speculating since neither of them KNOW why he resigned.

However it is highly unusual outside the realm of "climate science" for such a thing to happen even when a journal has published monumentally bad pieces of work.

Perhaps the editor of Nature should now consider his position having accepted the Steig paper?

Sep 3, 2011 at 4:28 PM | Unregistered CommenterArthur Dent

The resignation is a good thing.

A journal editor has been outed as a warming aficionado with a weak commitment to scientific principles.

I'm quite sure that, to the extent Spencer etc have overhyped the paper there'd have been no shortage of material to publish refuting those claims.

Wagner just seems generically uncomfortable at having opened the window for skeptics at all.

Sep 3, 2011 at 4:31 PM | Unregistered CommenterJEM

Foxgoose: "wildest shores of denierphobia"

I cannot begin to thank you enough for this phrase. My day is full of things i don't want to do. Seeing this expression has given me the impetus to get going. Bravo.

Sep 3, 2011 at 4:42 PM | Unregistered Commenterj ferguson

Arthur Dent

Both Bad Andrew and BBD are speculating since neither of them KNOW why he resigned.

Obfuscation. He resigned because he allowed S & B to run rings around his journal then go on a PR spree misrepresenting their own paper. 'Sceptics' had a field day, everybody else is furious, and someone had to go. QED.

However it is highly unusual outside the realm of "climate science" for such a thing to happen even when a journal has published monumentally bad pieces of work.

The stakes are high. This is climate science. What is interesting here is that the reaction to anti-AGW PR is getting stronger. The pushback is getting stronger.

Whether this is right and proper or the onset of an Orwellian nightmare entirely depends on whether you view the mainstream science as correct, or as a conspiracy to destroy industrial civilisation and install a world government under the UN (or the Club of Rome or whomever).

Hence the fuss.

Sep 3, 2011 at 4:50 PM | Unregistered CommenterBBD

"you view the mainstream science as correct, or as a conspiracy to destroy industrial civilisation and install a world government under the UN"

BBD,

Or a person could just view the mainstream science as incorrect, and behave based on that.

Andrew

Sep 3, 2011 at 4:53 PM | Unregistered CommenterBad Andrew

Nullius in Verba comment on Judith Curry's blog
http://judithcurry.com/2011/09/02/update-on-the-spencer-braswell-paper/#comments

"There was a previous case where a journal published sceptical papers, to the outrage of the believers:
“Proving bad behavior here is very difficult. If you think that Saiers is in the greenhouse skeptics camp, then, if we can find documentary evidence of this, we could go through official AGU channels to get him ousted. Even this would be difficult.”

What if something similar happened here?"

Sep 3, 2011 at 4:57 PM | Unregistered CommenterMessenger

He resigned because he allowed S & B to run rings around his journal then go on a PR spree misrepresenting their own paper. 'Sceptics' had a field day, everybody else is furious, and someone had to go.

BBD

I do not see so much hyperbole on Spencer's site and the blogosphere has been fairly even-handed - RC, Stoat and co rubbishing it with lots of ad hom criticisms, whilst climate etc has been neutral tending to adverse, and WUWT has welcomed it, albeit with the usual robust variety of viewpoints. I do not see that it has been granted unwarranted favourable airtime.

As time passes, I see the editor's resignation as some kind of publicity stunt. It gives the paper more publicity, however, and tends to make you wonder about the editor's probity.

The editors of Science and Nature do not resign when it is proven that they have published rubbish. Why should Wagner feel the call? It reminds me of CEOs who resign to "pursue other opportunities".

A very strange episode.

Sep 3, 2011 at 5:03 PM | Unregistered Commenterdiogenes

"It reminds me of CEOs who resign to "pursue other opportunities".

This is another good example of what I'm talking about.

Andrew

Sep 3, 2011 at 5:06 PM | Unregistered CommenterBad Andrew

BBD

You highlight twice as significant Wagners reason for resigning

to personally protest against how the authors and like-minded climate sceptics have much exaggerated the paper’s conclusions in public statements

I think I get the point. It is his best reason. You are saying Wagners resignation is a justifiable reaction to Spencers culpability in overstating the strength of the paper? Implying Wagners resignation is a normal way to help balance this out - by starting a righteous counter wave of publicity. (God help us all!)

I would have thought somehow he could have engineered a better even handed rebuttal.

Or would that not do for some reason? Somehow I think the 56,000 downloads by unnamed mouth breathing laymen sticks out as a horrifying thought to some publicists, er, sorry climate scientists ;)

I think in some minds a spin is that Spencer has been shouting in his good ol' boy Christian way "Hallelujah! the walls of climate jericho have fallen!" ;)

Or has he? I look back at his site from time of the original report and find this:

http://www.drroyspencer.com/2011/07/fallout-from-our-paper-the-empire-strikes-back/

Several of those people, including AP science reporter Seth Borenstein, actually read our article and said that there seemed to be a disconnect.

The short answer is that, while the title of the Forbes article (New NASA Data Blow Gaping Hole In Global Warming Alarmism) is a little over the top (as are most mainstream media articles about global warming science), the body of his article is — upon my re-reading of it — actually pretty good.

About the only disconnect I can see is we state in our paper that, while the discrepancy between the satellite observations were in the direction of the models producing too much global warming, it is really not possible to say by how much. Taylor’s article makes it sound much more certain that we have shown that the models produce too much warming in the long term. (Which I think is true…we just did not actually ‘prove’ it.)

Obviously more to that than meets the eye (follow the link) but I would say there is not much *shown* to a layman that Spencer has actually even helped exagerated the paper in the media let alone; looked through a telescope the wrong way; falsified data; been been in the pay of deniers, or in any other way obviously wrong other than the crime of winning some publicity. Is this how science works - who is the most noisy?

I think Wagner is projecting his own PR sensibilities by this resignation, nothing more, and in this laymans eyes it is a laughable fail :)

Sep 3, 2011 at 5:06 PM | Unregistered CommenterThe Leopard In The Basement

Andrew

Or a person could just view the mainstream science as incorrect, and behave based on that.

Only if they have not understood it fully. BTW, do take some time (now would be ideal) to read the critique of SB11 by Trenberth and Fasullo. I linked to it in a response to you some way upthread.

Sep 3, 2011 at 5:08 PM | Unregistered CommenterBBD

diogenes

I agree, it's an interesting episode, maybe even a strange one.

I do not see so much hyperbole on Spencer's site and the blogosphere has been fairly even-handed

Spencer has used his blog pretty vigorously to promote his views on the lack of a need for a change in energy policy, culminating in his and Braswell's latest paper. But I don't think the blogosphere is the real problem. It's Fox News and Forbes picking up on the UAH press release. As Wagner explicitly points out in his statement.

The editors of Science and Nature do not resign when it is proven that they have published rubbish.

As I said earlier, this is climate science, the stakes are high, and tolerance for deliberate misrepresentation is at an all-time low. Interesting episodes for interesting times.

Sep 3, 2011 at 5:15 PM | Unregistered CommenterBBD

'Sceptics' had a field day, everybody else is furious, and someone had to go. QED.

Yeah,...what do you think we are saying.

Sep 3, 2011 at 5:19 PM | Unregistered CommenterShub

Leopard

Obviously more to that than meets the eye (follow the link) but I would say there is not much *shown* to a layman that Spencer has actually even helped exagerated the paper in the media let alone; looked through a telescope the wrong way; falsified data; been been in the pay of deniers, or in any other way obviously wrong other than the crime of winning some publicity. Is this how science works - who is the most noisy?

The problem is that SB11 is badly flawed and misleading. Worse, it has been widely promoted as 'evidence' that mainstream climatology has it wrong. Before you happily continue to act as an apologist for Spencer (and Braswell), you really should read the Trenberth and Fasullo critique.

Sep 3, 2011 at 5:23 PM | Unregistered CommenterBBD

Shub

Can we have the full quote please:

He resigned because he allowed S & B to run rings around his journal then go on a PR spree misrepresenting their own paper. 'Sceptics' had a field day, everybody else is furious, and someone had to go. QED.

I prefer the original.

Sep 3, 2011 at 5:28 PM | Unregistered CommenterBBD

Fox News picking up a paper is a 'problem'?

My dear friend,
In all my days I have never felt any direct sympathy or affinity for 'Fox News'. But when people start losing their minds just because something 'appeared on Fox News', then you know their mind is poisoned.

Sep 3, 2011 at 5:30 PM | Unregistered CommenterShub

BBD

The problem is that SB11 is badly flawed and misleading. Worse, it has been widely promoted as 'evidence' that mainstream climatology has it wrong. Before you happily continue to act as an apologist for Spencer (and Braswell), you really should read the Trenberth and Fasullo critique.

Yeah, take me up by my layman straps and try and hang me with them. Sorry I can't be harmed by another anonymous poster trying to win points about the science. Imagine a real layman talking to you on this subject and respond about the prima faci point about how editors resigning is really a way of helping the science ;)

So you value Trenberth Fasullo over Spencer and Braswell, well good for you. How have I apologised for Spencer and Braswell? Apologist is such a simple spartist retort I think you loved using it and may have spoke too quickly ;)

Sep 3, 2011 at 5:37 PM | Unregistered CommenterThe Leopard In The Basement

I remember when Judith Curry and co published this paper about Antarctic ice increasing in thickness because of global warming, in order to refute skeptics who were using Antarctic ice as a 'Fox News talking point'.

Fox News does set the climate science agenda.

Sep 3, 2011 at 5:38 PM | Unregistered CommenterShub

"Only if they have not understood it fully"

BBD,

Name me one person who understands the climate fully.

Andrew

Sep 3, 2011 at 5:40 PM | Unregistered CommenterBad Andrew

Foxgoose

Spencer believes in Intelligent Design. Going to delegitimise him for his religious convictions as well?
Sep 3, 2011 at 3:07 PM | BBD

I think your frantic posting binge may have led you to lose the plot BBD.

Black was trying to delegitimise Spencer by repeatedly referring to his religious beliefs.

I simply pointed out that Spencer's most virulent critic - Barry Bickmore - is an active Mormon, working in a Mormon university and has never suffered such criticism from the sceptic side.

If you're having trouble keeping track - try thinking before posting.

Sep 3, 2011 at 5:40 PM | Unregistered CommenterFoxgoose

I think someone got in BBD's kitchen. Now the floor is all dirty and the silverware is out of place. Too bad. ;)

Andrew

Sep 3, 2011 at 5:54 PM | Unregistered CommenterBad Andrew

Trenberth says clouds are only a feedback - except of course anthropogenic clouds :-). Quote from RC below:

"Clouds are not a forcing of the climate system (except for the small portion related to human related aerosol effects, which have a small effect on clouds). Clouds mainly occur because of weather systems (e.g., warm air rises and produces convection, and so on); they do not cause the weather systems. Clouds may provide feedbacks on the weather systems. "

Spencer says otherwise. See:

http://www.drroyspencer.com/2011/09/a-primer-on-our-claim-that-clouds-cause-temperature-change/

Now, given that the only rationalization for Wagners resignation that might rise above "the Spencer Braswell paper didn't adhere to The Rules of the Game" is reference # 7 in the resignation letter. This is specifically the claim that Spencer Braswell type claims were already fully addressed in Trenberth et al 2010.

See the drroyspencer site above where Spencer comments on this key point.

Sep 3, 2011 at 6:07 PM | Unregistered Commenterdkkraft

The longer I ponder this extraordinary resignation, the more I think Wagner has chosen this way out to keep his reputation in European and American AGW circles intact.

I have the strong feeling that his Chinese Editorial Manager was unwilling to knuckle down to The Team, and was not willing to play along with them, nor with Wagner.
The news that 'Remote Sensing' is not thinking of retracting SB11 is a pointer here.

If I am right, this would indicate that science in China - and Japan, for that matter - is going along the traditional way, and hasn't succumbed to PostNormal Science.
If so, this would be a very sad affaire for our once proud scientific tradition.

Sep 3, 2011 at 6:07 PM | Unregistered CommenterViv Evans

Leopard

How have I apologised for Spencer and Braswell? Apologist is such a simple spartist retort I think you loved using it and may have spoke too quickly ;)

No. It's exactly what you are doing here:

I would say there is not much *shown* to a layman that Spencer has actually even helped exagerated the paper in the media let alone; looked through a telescope the wrong way; falsified data; been been in the pay of deniers, or in any other way obviously wrong other than the crime of winning some publicity. Is this how science works - who is the most noisy?

You say:

Sorry I can't be harmed by another anonymous poster trying to win points about the science.

I'm not trying to harm you. But it would be wonderful if you did a bit of reading and then thought about what you have discovered. I recommend starting with the Trenberth and Fasullo examination of SB11 that you dismiss.

Sep 3, 2011 at 6:52 PM | Unregistered CommenterBBD

Andrew

"Only if they have not understood it fully"

BBD,

Name me one person who understands the climate fully.

And

I think someone got in BBD's kitchen. Now the floor is all dirty and the silverware is out of place. Too bad. ;)

Please, as a personal favour and just for tonight, can you do better than this?

Sep 3, 2011 at 6:52 PM | Unregistered CommenterBBD

Foxgoose

I think your frantic posting binge may have led you to lose the plot BBD.

Er, no.

Things that matter here:

- you try to delegitimise Bickmore by bringing up his Mormon beliefs

- you refer to him as a 'warmist stormtrooper', adding that essential climate Nazi slur (ever heard of non-Nazi 'stormtroopers'? Apart from the Star Wars ones - which were of course intentionally Nazi-ish enforcers of the evil empire).

- Bickmore is dead right about Spencer's errors and calculated misrepresentations

You are having a pop at me because I called you out over this.

If you're having trouble keeping track - try thinking before posting.

Oh, I know who needs to do more thinking here.

Sep 3, 2011 at 6:59 PM | Unregistered CommenterBBD

"can you do better than this?"

Of course. Could you please in all sincerity and good faith, name for me one person who fully understands the climate such that they have sufficent knowledge to judge mainstream climate science as 'correct' or 'incorrect' and makes one view or the other more or less reasonable?

Andrew

Sep 3, 2011 at 7:04 PM | Unregistered CommenterBad Andrew

dkkraft

Now, given that the only rationalization for Wagners resignation that might rise above "the Spencer Braswell paper didn't adhere to The Rules of the Game" is reference # 7 in the resignation letter.

Where's the problem? T & F were clear about why SB11 is flawed. You just missed out the important bit of your quote. Let's try again:

To help interpret the results, Spencer uses a simple model. But the simple model used by Spencer is too simple (Einstein says that things should be made as simple as possible but not simpler): well this has gone way beyond being too simple (see for instance this post by Barry Bickmore). The model has no realistic ocean, no El Niño, and no hydrological cycle, and it was tuned to give the result it gave. Most of what goes on in the real world of significance that causes the relationship in the paper is ENSO. We have already rebutted Lindzen’s work on exactly this point. The clouds respond to ENSO, not the other way round [see: Trenberth, K. E., J. T. Fasullo, C. O'Dell, and T. Wong, 2010: Relationships between tropical sea surface temperatures and top-of-atmosphere radiation. Geophys. Res. Lett., 37, L03702, doi:10.1029/2009GL042314.] During ENSO there is a major uptake of heat by the ocean during the La Niña phase and the heat is moved around and stored in the ocean in the tropical western Pacific, setting the stage for the next El Niño, as which point it is redistributed across the tropical Pacific. The ocean cools as the atmosphere responds with characteristic El Niño weather patterns forced from the region that influence weather patterns world wide. Ocean dynamics play a major role in moving heat around, and atmosphere-ocean interaction is a key to the ENSO cycle. None of those processes are included in the Spencer model.

Even so, the Spencer interpretation has no merit. The interannual global temperature variations were not radiatively forced, as claimed for the 2000s, and therefore cannot be used to say anything about climate sensitivity. Clouds are not a forcing of the climate system (except for the small portion related to human related aerosol effects, which have a small effect on clouds). Clouds mainly occur because of weather systems (e.g., warm air rises and produces convection, and so on); they do not cause the weather systems. Clouds may provide feedbacks on the weather systems. Spencer has made this error of confounding forcing and feedback before and it leads to a misinterpretation of his results.

Sep 3, 2011 at 7:12 PM | Unregistered CommenterBBD

Andrew

At what point do you realise that simple rhetoric is not synonymous with rational debate? That is what I was getting at.

You do your tricks and marvel at your own cleverness. But be assured that you will not be taken seriously, let alone persuade.

Although your 'question' does not merit an answer, I will give you one because otherwise you will convince yourself that you have achieved something positive.

Expert opinion is recognised and hugely valued in every field. Every one. Polling expert opinion is an excellent method of assessing the merits (or lack of them) in new work. You do not have, nor do you need, 'one person'. This is your rhetorical device, and it is worthless.

Sep 3, 2011 at 7:22 PM | Unregistered CommenterBBD

BBD,

No answer to the question + appeal to 'expert opinion'.

Could you please try and do better? ;)

Andrew

Sep 3, 2011 at 7:25 PM | Unregistered CommenterBad Andrew

Andrew

Posing a silly question and then insisting that it is answered on your terms does not constitute rational debate (see above).

I have already pleaded with you to up your game, as much for the sake of others here as for myself. I can only ask again that you strive for something - anything - better than this.

Sep 3, 2011 at 7:32 PM | Unregistered CommenterBBD

BBD

Spencer and Trenberth disagree. Neither is authoritative enough to refute the other. Trenberth asserting that Spencers interpretation has no merit is hardly the last word. Both Pielke Sr and Curry, for example, have said that Spencer & Braswell 2011 had some merit.

Scientific disagreement is normal. It is through this dialectic that progress is attained.

Censorship of contrary opinion, as Wagner appears to be retrospectively advocating, does not produce scientific progress.

PS - I read your RC link, please read the Spencer response at his site.

Sep 3, 2011 at 7:36 PM | Unregistered Commenterdkkraft

BBD,

It's not a silly question. It's a simple question that you won't answer, because I suspect no such person exists (it's certainly not you, for starters) and you being honest about it would soil the pristine linens of an illusion about climate science that you obviously have.

Andrew

Sep 3, 2011 at 7:38 PM | Unregistered CommenterBad Andrew

BBD


How have I apologised for Spencer and Braswell? Apologist is such a simple spartist retort I think you loved using it and may have spoke too quickly ;)


No. It'No. It's exactly what you are doing here:

I would say there is not much *shown* to a layman that Spencer has actually even helped exagerated the paper in the media let alone; looked through a telescope the wrong way; falsified data; been been in the pay of deniers, or in any other way obviously wrong other than the crime of winning some publicity. Is this how science works - who is the most noisy?


I'll put it into clauses so there is no doubt

1) Show where Spencer exaggerated the paper.
2) Show where he "looked through a telescope the wrong way" My euphemism for he f*cked up in some clear instrument usage
3) falsified data - speaks for itself
4) been been in the pay of deniers - speaks for itself.

I am a layman, but I am familiar with MMR, Huang, Plastic fanstastic, and the above Jonathon Jones quoted arsenic case and a few others, none required splashy resignations to help the science find its balance. Could you just deal with the fact that PR is not a way to persuade people that some scientists are better than others?

BTW talking about PR

I recommend starting with the Trenberth and Fasullo examination of SB11 that you dismiss.

Not dismissed, or hinted at as being dismissed. You really seem prone to invent narrative adjectives in your responses that speak to spin a motive of your interlocuters. I am making an observation here that all can understand with the evidence available on this page ;)

Sep 3, 2011 at 7:42 PM | Unregistered CommenterThe Leopard In The Basement

BTW In case it is not clear my four questins/clauses are not the position of an apologist ...

Just quoting blocks back at me is not a refutation ;)

Sep 3, 2011 at 7:46 PM | Unregistered CommenterThe Leopard In The Basement

dkkraft

Spencer and Trenberth disagree. Neither is authoritative enough to refute the other.

You what?!

Here's a suggestion: compare the publicaton records of Trenberth and Spencer. Note the areas of focus and expertise of Trenberth, and those of Spencer.

Censorship of contrary opinion, as Wagner appears to be retrospectively advocating, does not produce scientific progress.

Gross misrepresentation. Wagner does nothing of the kind. Yet again, this is what he actually wrote (emphasis mine):

Peer-reviewed journals are a pillar of modern science. Their aim is to achieve highest scientific standards by carrying out a rigorous peer review that is, as a minimum requirement, supposed to be able to identify fundamental methodological errors or false claims. Unfortunately, as many climate researchers and engaged observers of the climate change debate pointed out in various internet discussion fora, the paper by Spencer and Braswell [1] that was recently published in Remote Sensing is most likely problematic in both aspects and should therefore not have been published.

After having become aware of the situation, and studying the various pro and contra arguments, I agree with the critics of the paper. Therefore, I would like to take the responsibility for this editorial decision and, as a result, step down as Editor-in-Chief of the journal Remote Sensing.

With this step I would also like to personally protest against how the authors and like-minded climate sceptics have much exaggerated the paper’s conclusions in public statements, e.g., in a press release of The University of Alabama in Huntsville from 27 July 2011 [2], the main author’s personal homepage [3], the story “New NASA data blow gaping hole in global warming alarmism” published by Forbes [4], and the story “Does NASA data show global warming lost in space?” published by Fox News [5], to name just a few.

I follow Spencer's blog fairly closely, and I assure you that I have read the post you link. What makes you think that I haven't?

Sep 3, 2011 at 7:57 PM | Unregistered CommenterBBD

Andrew

It's not a silly question. It's a simple question that you won't answer, because I suspect no such person exists (it's certainly not you, for starters)

Oh God. No more. Life is too short. If you cannot see how ridiculous this is, I can't help you further.

No further responses to your rubbish. Rational debate or nothing - it's up to you.

Sep 3, 2011 at 7:58 PM | Unregistered CommenterBBD

BBD: I happen to take Wagner's reasons at face value because without evidence to the contrary I cannot do otherwise. However, I do find his reasoning odd. It's not normal to resign for printing a bad paper, that's what journals do all the time and then allow other scientists to print refutations and the discussions to take place publically in order to get nearer to the right answer.

In this case I don't know whether you're trying to wind up people or you're a warmist trying to come over as reasonable so you can demonstrate the irrationality of the denier community, which is passing the time in the harmless pursuit of trying to understand why an editor would resign from a journal for publishing a paper which the journal's owners appear to believe is perfectly acceptable.

Trenberth, to me at least, isn't a reliable source of refutation he has too much skin in the game of AGW to be seen as an imartial arbiter. Having said that let him publish his criticism and give Spencer an opportunity to respond before, as you're doing here, assuming S&B11 is rubbish. Why not take S&B on face value untiil al the arguments have been heard? Isn't that what you're asking the others on this blog to do while doing the opposite about S&B11 yourself?

Sep 3, 2011 at 8:03 PM | Unregistered Commentergeronimo

BBD,

I respectfully ask that you answer the question. That's all. If you won't, tomorrow is another day and this won't be the first time or the last a Warmer (A Global Warming Believer) has refused to answer questions on a blog. And I don't need your help, but thank you for offering.

Andrew

Sep 3, 2011 at 8:06 PM | Unregistered CommenterBad Andrew

Richard Black's impulse to describe Spencer's religious beliefs to his readers is understandable in the context of the current times. Christianity is a sign of loopiness, as it should be, after all it is faith based and no evidence to the contrary is going to convince believers. Or is that something else?

Anyway it's the new intolerance posing as being progressive. Black assumes that anyone who doesn't hold the same faith based beliefs he does is by definition wrong in every other context.

I wonder what the BBC would make of a scientist who spent his entire life trying to figure out how to turn base metals into gold? He seemed to have stumbled across some scientific theories that seem to hold water and invented a new branch of mathematics and his equations of motion can still get rockets to the moon. But he wasn't progressive and was also a strong supporter of capital punishment, so his science must have been rubbish mustn't it?

Someone should tll Black about him, perhaps we can expunge him from the history books.

Sep 3, 2011 at 8:23 PM | Unregistered Commentergeronimo

.......the Spencer interpretation has no merit. The interannual global temperature variations were not radiatively forced, as claimed for the 2000s, and therefore cannot be used to say anything about climate sensitivity. Clouds are not a forcing of the climate system (except for the small portion related to human related aerosol effects, which have a small effect on clouds). Clouds mainly occur because of weather systems (e.g., warm air rises and produces convection, and so on); they do not cause the weather systems. Clouds may provide feedbacks on the weather systems. Spencer has made this error of confounding forcing and feedback before and it leads to a misinterpretation of his results.

Sep 3, 2011 at 7:12 PM BBD

BBD

More thought required again, I fear.

I think your emotional investment in this issue has given you tunnel vision.

Dkk has pointed out to you twice that Spencer openly confronted and refuted the various assertions made in the Trenberth quote above - but you seem quite incapable of understanding that there are two sides to the debate.

I am in no way qualified to judge who's right and who's wrong in the science here - but it's quite clear from reading the above quote that it's more of a religious tract than a list of scientific arguments. Trenberth et al are simply using the old Lakoff political "framing" technique to blank off the areas they don't want to debate - and you've fallen for it hook, line & sinker.

Sep 3, 2011 at 8:29 PM | Unregistered CommenterFoxgoose

Leopard

1) Show where Spencer exaggerated the paper.

He did absolutely nothing of any consequence to correct the media misrepresentation which started with a press release from his own university entitled: Climate Models Get Energy Balance Wrong, Make too Hot Forecasts of Global Warming. Then, when his chum Taylor of the Heartland Institute went quite a bit further with the Forbes article New NASA Data Blow Gaping Hole in Global Warming Alarmism he said it was a bit overblown but basically okay. On his own blog. And so it went on.

2) Show where he "looked through a telescope the wrong way" My euphemism for he f*cked up in some clear instrument usage

SB11's deliberate use of a flawed 1D climate model and tweaking thereof to achieve desired results. Its cherry-picked selection of models referenced in AR4. Its comparison of a 10 year time-series to the 100-year time series derived from the models referenced in AR4 which should have been treated as sequences of discrete 10 year periods. Absence of error bars on model output or data presented. Omission of data from models referenced in AR4 that did not support the hypothesis advanced in SB11.

3) falsified data - speaks for itself [No, you are forcing words into my mouth. Falsified, no. Misrepresented, yes. Response as per (2)]


4) been been in the pay of deniers - speaks for itself.

Deniers? Or simply those who would prefer not to see strong curbs on emissions in US energy policy? He's been taking Exxon's money for years. See here for the details. Read it all - it's illuminating.

Still want to be a Spencer apologist now?

You say:

You really seem prone to invent narrative adjectives in your responses that speak to spin a motive of your interlocuters. I am making an observation here that all can understand with the evidence available on this page ;)

No. You are being tactically disingenuous. Remember, I have been commenting here for several years. I have read most of your contributions, so I have a reasonably clear picture of where you stand.

Just play it straight. It works best that way.

Sep 3, 2011 at 8:50 PM | Unregistered CommenterBBD

Sorry. Again:

Leopard

1) Show where Spencer exaggerated the paper.

He did absolutely nothing of any consequence to correct the media misrepresentation which started with a press release from his own university entitled: Climate Models Get Energy Balance Wrong, Make too Hot Forecasts of Global Warming. Then, when his chum Taylor of the Heartland Institute went quite a bit further with the Forbes article New NASA Data Blow Gaping Hole in Global Warming Alarmism he said it was a bit overblown but basically okay. On his own blog. And so it went on.

2) Show where he "looked through a telescope the wrong way" My euphemism for he f*cked up in some clear instrument usage

SB11's deliberate use of a flawed 1D climate model and tweaking thereof to achieve desired results. Its cherry-picked selection of models referenced in AR4. Its comparison of a 10 year time-series to the 100-year time series derived from the models referenced in AR4 which should have been treated as sequences of discrete 10 year periods. Absence of error bars on model output or data presented. Omission of data from models referenced in AR4 that did not support the hypothesis advanced in SB11.

3) falsified data - speaks for itself [No, you are forcing words into my mouth. Falsified, no. Misrepresented, yes. Response as per (2)]


4) been been in the pay of deniers - speaks for itself.

Deniers? Or simply those who would prefer not to see strong curbs on emissions in US energy policy? He's been taking Exxon's money for years. See here for the details. Read it all - it's illuminating.

Still want to be a Spencer apologist now?

You say:

You really seem prone to invent narrative adjectives in your responses that speak to spin a motive of your interlocuters. I am making an observation here that all can understand with the evidence available on this page ;)

No. You are being tactically disingenuous. Remember, I have been commenting here for several years. I have read most of your contributions, so I have a reasonably clear picture of where you stand.

Just play it straight. It works best that way.

Sep 3, 2011 at 8:52 PM | Unregistered CommenterBBD

Foxgoose

Dkk has pointed out to you twice that Spencer openly confronted and refuted the various assertions made in the Trenberth quote above - but you seem quite incapable of understanding that there are two sides to the debate.

If you don't understand where SB11 is wrong, don't try and argue the technical aspects.

This, from you, is hilarious:

I think your emotional investment in this issue has given you tunnel vision.

Remember, I've been coming here for a long time. I've read some astonishing stuff from you.

Sep 3, 2011 at 8:55 PM | Unregistered CommenterBBD

BBD writes:

"This is meaningless:

The problem is that the man who had these thoughts and then made them public shows the professionalism and dedication to ethics of a panicked undergraduate."

No, it means just what it says.

You quoted Wolfgang who said:

"With this step I would also like to personally protest against how the authors and like-minded climate sceptics have much exaggerated the paper’s conclusions in public statements, e.g., in a press release of The University of Alabama in Huntsville from 27 July 2011 [2], the main author’s personal homepage [3], the story “New NASA data blow gaping hole in global warming alarmism” published by Forbes [4], and the story “Does NASA data show global warming lost in space?” published by Fox News [5], to name just a few."

What is said in public (newspapers, news shows, blogs, and so on) about a published paper should have no impact on an editor's (honorary show editor) judgment regarding the operation of his journal past, present, or future. The fact that Wolfgang published this thought shows that he is willing to put his journal and its employees at risk for what amounts to an irrelevancy.

Sep 3, 2011 at 9:00 PM | Unregistered CommenterTheo Goodwin

geronimo

In this case I don't know whether you're trying to wind up people or you're a warmist trying to come over as reasonable so you can demonstrate the irrationality of the denier community, which is passing the time in the harmless pursuit of trying to understand why an editor would resign from a journal for publishing a paper which the journal's owners appear to believe is perfectly acceptable.

I suspect you've hit the nail on the head. Wagner has discovered that his boss has a bias. This led directly to his decision to resign. The clue is here:

The managing editor of Remote Sensing selected three senior scientists from renowned US universities, each of them having an impressive publication record. Their reviews had an apparently good technical standard and suggested one “major revision”, one “minor revision” and one “accept as is”. The authors revised their paper according to the comments made by the reviewers and, consequently, the editorial board member who handled this paper accepted the paper (and could in fact not have done otherwise). Therefore, from a purely formal point of view, there were no errors with the review process. But, as the case presents itself now, the editorial team unintentionally selected three reviewers who probably share some climate sceptic notions of the authors.

Note how 'the managing editor' becomes 'the editorial team' that 'unintentionally' selected sceptic reviewers. There are so few in the field, it would be impossible to select three 'unintentionally'.

Sep 3, 2011 at 9:04 PM | Unregistered CommenterBBD

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