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« UEA footdragging - Part 3 | Main | The Signal and the Noise »

The Gergis timeline

Readers are cordially invited to take a look at the comments thread on the Gergis post at Climate Audit. Email correspondence between the Gergis paper authors has been disclosed under Australian FOI. This appears to cast light on the murky question of just who discovered the error in the Gergis paper first.

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Reader Comments (18)

As Steve McIntyre said Oct 23, 2012 at 12:39 AM

The idea that they located the error ‘independently” of Climate Audit is ludicrous.

Oct 28, 2012 at 9:42 PM | Registered CommenterPharos

If the 'Briffa' paper stands then the whole of cagwscience is in the dock: no unique uptick means low (if any) sensitivity to aCO2. Lying and cheating will not cut it any more.

Oct 28, 2012 at 10:05 PM | Unregistered Commenterssat

Steve McIntyre's best quote is found at Jul 12, 2012 at 4:40 PM
'An interesting story from a commenter at WUWT: Apparently, Karoly’s admiration for Mann was so great that he offered Mann a kangaroo skin as a gift when Mann visited Australia. But Mann, being a vegetarian, said no thanks. The next day, a headline in the Sydney Morning Herald claimed that ‘Mann had Declined the Hide’.'

Almost as good as 'The Rain in Maine Falls Mainly in the Seine'

Oct 28, 2012 at 10:07 PM | Registered CommenterPharos

Some unkind folk are daring to suggest that the authors could not have "found" the error in their paper because they knew it was an error when they put it in the paper. The shame of it.

Oct 28, 2012 at 10:36 PM | Unregistered CommenterCassio


Unfortunately, the story credits the SMH with a much sharper sense of humour and depth of knowledge than it possesses.

Not to mention that it is an unapologetic supporter of climate alarmism of all kinds.

Oct 28, 2012 at 11:08 PM | Unregistered CommenterRick Bradford

It is either Gergis and Neukom have the decency to admit that Jean S/CA found it, or they don't.

Oct 28, 2012 at 11:15 PM | Registered Commentershub

Good headline though!

Oct 28, 2012 at 11:23 PM | Registered CommenterPharos

There is still the possibility that Neukom was prompted to recheck the paper at the same time that JeanS did, knowing that it was under CA scrutiny at the time, and that they both found the same issue at about the same time.

Neukom told Gergis the next day (6th) but may have found it on the 5th as claimed. We don't really know otherwise.

Oct 29, 2012 at 8:29 AM | Unregistered Commentersteveta


the problem with that hypothesis is that why didn't he then find out (or report) it earlier? The discussion about screening/detrending at CA was mainly on May 31st- June 2nd (and Gergis had allerted about the post on June 1st), and by June 5th the focus had shifted to other issues (there were two new post already at the time).

Like I've said before it was that earlier discussion that prompted also me (Jim Bouldin may take credit for that) to check the correlations, and I already noticed the error a few days earlier (but was in our summer cottage so I waited to get back home to recheck the problem).

But like you say, it is possible. It is also possible that he made the error on purpose. It is also possible that he noticed the error months before. We will likely never know for sure unless Neukom comes out with some new evidence proving his stand. Even if we could show that Neukom was checking CA around the time of my post, does not prove that he learned the fact from there.

Oct 29, 2012 at 9:53 AM | Unregistered CommenterJean S

See also the latest CA post with Gergisgate emails released under FOI. I have only read the Journal correspondence file. There is an interesting bit where the journal questions Gergis's changing story about whether they are going to re-do the analysis using detrending, as first stated, or re-word the language of the paper. The changing story seems to have come about from 'discussion with colleagues here in Australia and internationally', and it's claimed that 'detrending is in fact undesirable' with a citation of Mann.
Of course detrending is undesirable - with detrending you don't get a hockey stick!

Oct 29, 2012 at 10:16 AM | Registered CommenterPaul Matthews


yes, that is very interesting part of this Correspondence. To much of my suprise (I have to admit) JoC is actually giving them hard time. What is also interesting, they were actually given time (as they requested) for this "on hold" postition until July 27th after which the paper would be considered withdrawn. Apparently they did not meet the deadline as the paper was withdrawn. What happened? Why the revision took another extra month or so?

Oct 29, 2012 at 10:39 AM | Unregistered CommenterJean S

If I am not mistaken, the 'HOLD' first arises in the correspondence as the article was first about to go to typesetting. At the time, it appears as though an error would be addressed and the paper wouldn't change much and be ready on its feet again.

One conclusion possible regarding the subsequent non-submission is the editor (Brocolli)'s good questioning (without which Joelle Gergis et al were ready to spin that both detrended and non-detrended series could be used for screening), which meant that the authors were forced into the non-detrended territory (aka not the 'right answer'). Since the IPCC had ghost-quoted the results of the now-dead Gergis et al, there was no immediate neat way to disengage.

Oct 29, 2012 at 11:16 AM | Registered Commentershub

Karoly changes 'skeptic' to 'blogger', referring to McIntyre in his corrections.

That makes the hurt go away? Or does it make it *worse*?

These guys are funny.

Oct 29, 2012 at 11:23 AM | Registered Commentershub

Jean S -
There is discussion in the emails about satisfying the requirement of data sufficiency by obtaining permission to release the data for the rejected series (from the screening period only). Did you or Steve McIntyre ever receive information concerning those series? Or perhaps the effort terminated when it was apparent that the analysis would have to be re-done.

Oct 29, 2012 at 11:28 AM | Registered CommenterHaroldW


I do not know about Steve, but I haven't received any information about anything related to Gergis et al.

Apart from occational email exchances with Steve and UC, I very rarely discuss these matters outside the blog scene. Back in June I recall receiving exactly one e-mail about the matter: Andrew Revkin asked me to send the missing links to a comment I made to his blog post (I did send those but he never added the links to the comment).

Oct 29, 2012 at 11:54 AM | Unregistered CommenterJean S

So, what else is new? The whole world already knows that climate scientists have a habit of "embellishing" the facts as they see fit. If Michael Mann can magically turn himself into a Nobel prize winner, that kind of tells you everything you need to know about this group of quangos. Funnily enough, Kevin Trenberth also states in his CV that he is a co-awardee of the Nobel Peace Prize:

Quacks of a feather flock together.

Oct 29, 2012 at 12:03 PM | Unregistered CommenterJoe

From the emails, it seems like Gergis et al knew their data was faulty but chose to hide this fact until they couldn't because their errors were publicly outed on the blogosphere. Shows the ethics and behaviour we've come to associate with Mann and gang: dishonest, shambolic, unethical.

Oct 29, 2012 at 12:21 PM | Unregistered CommenterOppanGergisStyle

OppanGergisStyle -
I disagree. I see no evidence that Gergis et al. knew earlier that the intended methodology had not been followed. Whether Neukom discovered the error independently of JeanS or not, it seems that they became aware of it only at that time.

Oct 29, 2012 at 12:44 PM | Registered CommenterHaroldW

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