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« Quote of the day | Main | Accuracy and balance out of the window at the Institute of Civil Engineers »

Gergis paper disappears

Paul Matthews has just drawn my attention to the page for the Gergis et al paper at the AMS Journal website, which now displays a notice as follows:

The requested article is not currently available on this site.

Is this significant I wonder?

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Reader Comments (279)

"Is this significant I wonder?"

Yes, that's a significant and robust signal!

Jun 8, 2012 at 4:10 PM | Registered CommentersHx

Just have to share this with you:

Professor Sir John Beddington addresses Potato Conference (That's it!)

No, apparently it was a real potato conference and not a conference of potatoes.

Jun 8, 2012 at 4:13 PM | Registered CommenterMikeHaseler

They hide the data. They disguise the method of cherry-picking. Now they disappear the paper!

Jun 8, 2012 at 4:17 PM | Unregistered CommenterHeide De Klein

That newly broken link was used in the first reference on the Real Climate post by Eric, May 22. So not only has "something changed" at the site of the American Meterorological Society but the key reference link from Real Climate's article is now BROKEN (i.e, you can't go from Real Climate's own article on the matter to the original scientific article which RC is promoting). Is the paper being withdrawn or what does this mean?

Since RC has the expert science communicators they should be eager to explain to the public how such a key reference in their May 22 article trumpeting "Fresh hockey sticks from the Southern Hemisphere" has suddenly gone AWOL. Also, maybe all involved should re-assess what constitutes rigorous peer review and just where science-by-press-release is taking us?

Is the Gergis et al (2012) paper being withdrawn or ....?? Stunning that the American Meteorological Society should now have a broken page for such new and important evidence of CAGW.


Real Climate hyping of Gergis et al (2012)

Fresh hockey sticks from the Southern Hemisphere

— eric @ 22 May 2012

"In the Northern Hemisphere, the late 20th / early 21st century has been the hottest time period in the last 400 years at very high confidence, and likely in the last 1000 – 2000 years (or more). It has been unclear whether this is also true in the Southern Hemisphere. Three studies out this week shed considerable new light on this question. This post provides just brief summaries; we’ll have more to say about these studies in the coming weeks...."


1. J. Gergis, R. Neukom, S.J. Phipps, A.J.E. Gallant, and D.J. Karoly, "Evidence of unusual late 20th century warming from an Australasian temperature reconstruction spanning the last millennium", Journal of Climate, 2012, pp. 120518103842003-. DOI


Jun 8, 2012 at 4:24 PM | Registered CommenterSkiphil

Hopefully (?) this won't impact using it in the upcoming IPCC AR5 report, as dead-certain proof and rock-solid verification of Mann's many hockey sticks. It would certainly be consistent with Robert Orr's comment from 2010-

Regarding AR5, due 2013/2014, “the next Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report on global warming will be much worse than the last one.”
Robert Orr, UN under secretary general for planning, November, 2010

Jun 8, 2012 at 4:26 PM | Unregistered Commenterchris y

On the search page:

Search Results
Search Query: Authors: gergis

Your search did not match any articles.

Jun 8, 2012 at 4:30 PM | Unregistered CommenterHK

"Is this significant I wonder?" p < 0.05

Jun 8, 2012 at 4:34 PM | Registered CommenterPaul Matthews

Does this explain why Mr McIntyre received the following statement?

"We will not be entertaining any further correspondence on the matter."

Jun 8, 2012 at 4:49 PM | Registered CommenterGreen Sand

"We need to be prepared to defend our science in the face of intense public scrutiny, concisely, with conviction and in plain English"

Maybe the draft is withdrawn because the final is going to press?

If there are methodologic changes, the authors better acknowledge CA, BH et al.

Jun 8, 2012 at 4:53 PM | Unregistered Commentershub

@chris y - "will be much worse"

Yes, it's apparently going to be an almost comedically ridiculous piece cobbled together from even more disreputable nonsense than the last one.

That's probably not what he meant, of course...

Jun 8, 2012 at 4:56 PM | Unregistered CommenterJEM

Hey, I'm gonna get you too.

This may be different domains drawing from a common database but it's then disappointing that what seems like multiple sources all lead to Rome. I've just been using Google but of course the history for these deletions are in caches of other search engines.

Jun 8, 2012 at 5:04 PM | Unregistered Commenterredc

In line with the Orwells 1984 approach to history we can say .

scare Sorry the idea this paper ever existed is clearly oil funded lie, such a paper was never written /scare

Jun 8, 2012 at 5:08 PM | Unregistered CommenterKnR

Well this paper had passed through the vaunted "peer review process", so let us not imagine that any pajama clad bloggers could have turned up any problems with it. (yes, sarcasm)

Everyone is human, etc., but given the amount of abuse directed at Steve, Ross, Andrew, Watts, et al over many years it would be good to start seeing more humility in the "climate science community." Honest engagement with critics would be a good start.... in this matter and in so many others. C'mon client scientists, forget the "guerilla warfare" meme and engage with candor.

More humility and less of this in-your-face attitude (warning, language alert):

We are climate scientists, our work is peer reviewed!

Jun 8, 2012 at 5:09 PM | Registered CommenterSkiphil

We might need a Top Ten list of climate disappearances!

Jun 8, 2012 at 5:26 PM | Unregistered CommenterBathes

Abstract still up at noaa

so is the data file

but the link to the full study is dead

Jun 8, 2012 at 5:32 PM | Unregistered CommenterFrosty

Is it one of the two that appear if you use Gergis in the search box ?

Jun 8, 2012 at 5:33 PM | Unregistered CommenterMorph

Still available here:-

Jun 8, 2012 at 5:41 PM | Registered CommenterGreen Sand

May it not simply be an issue while article transition from pre-print to print versions in the database?

Jun 8, 2012 at 6:17 PM | Unregistered CommenterThomas H

Thomas H, that would not explain the simultaneous disappearance of press releases trumpeting the findings of the paper. Currently at least four. See other thread comments by Jean and redc.

Jun 8, 2012 at 6:24 PM | Registered CommenterPaul Matthews

Is this paper's disappearance correlated with the disappearance of the Gergis blog?

Jun 8, 2012 at 6:26 PM | Registered CommenterMartin A

Wait... it is curious that this one (see below) is still there.... is UM press office just slow, are there mixed communications, or is there a reason that this PR has not disappeared yet?

Perhaps some polite inquiries to the "Senior Media Officer" listed on this PR would yield something?

What seems to be the official PR from May 17 at the University of Melbourne is still there at the moment. Interesting to note that the study seems to be described as some official "the Australasian region's contribution to the 5th IPCC climate change assessment report chapter on past climate." Is this because of the PAGES project with NOAA? In any case, it is presented as far more than "simply another study" -- as of May 17, 2012 is was supposed to be the latest, greatest, most comprehensive thing ever done for the SH. It was supposed to feed straight into the IPCC's AR5. So it is definitely significant if this paper does a crash-and-burn.

Will we see genuine honest engagement and public acknowledgement this time?? Or will this be more Mann-Bradley-Jones-Briffa-Osborn-Ammann-Wahl et al type obfuscation, belligerence, and dishonesty?

still on University of Melbourne news site as of 13:42 EST

[emphasis added below]

“Our study revealed that recent warming in a 1000 year context is highly unusual and cannot be explained by natural factors alone, suggesting a strong influence of human-caused climate change in the Australasian region,” she said.

The study published today* in the Journal of Climate will form the Australasian region’s contribution to the 5th IPCC climate change assessment report chapter on past climate.


* "today" was presumably May 17, 2012 as the official date of publication?? At least according to this PR....

Jun 8, 2012 at 6:43 PM | Registered CommenterSkiphil

"Will we see genuine honest engagement and public acknowledgement this time?"

not until gistemp freezes over ;¬)

Jun 8, 2012 at 7:18 PM | Unregistered CommenterFrosty

The web deletions are inconsistent because a couple of the places that would presumably get the word first have not deleted (yet). Is there really any decision yet about the paper, or is it that some entities are getting various bits of info behind the scenes and getting cold feet?

Here is the Australian Science Media Center, still in the game with the authors' set of Ppt briefing slides (can some lions review these slides to see if there are any important details offered for the media that might be distinct from the actual paper, especially in the slides??) and the actual paper (as of this moment anyway):

Gergis et al (2012) Powerpoint slides for Media

Gergis et al (2012) Paper as posted for media at Australian Science Media Center

SMC Briefing announcement for this paper

NEWS BRIEFING: 1000 years of climate data confirms Australia’s warming

Thu May 17, 2012

ONLINE BRIEFING – Thursday May 17, 12.30pm AEST

In the first study of its kind in Australasia, scientists have used 27 natural climate records to create the first large-scale temperature reconstruction for the region, over the past 1000 years.

The study, led by researchers at the University of Melbourne, used a range of natural indicators including tree rings, corals and ice cores to reconstruct Australasian temperature over the past 1000 years. The results show that there are no other warm periods in the last 1000 years that match the warming experienced in Australasia since 1950.

Comparison with climate model data reveals that the warming cannot be explained by natural factors alone, suggesting a strong influence of human-caused climate change in the region.

This study gives an insight into the next IPCC report, as it will form the Australasian region’s contribution to the chapter on past climate of the last 1000 years. The research is published in the Journal of Climate:

UniMelb media release

Jun 8, 2012 at 7:41 PM | Registered CommenterSkiphil

Maybe Gergis has removed the paper while she goes off and

Jun 8, 2012 at 7:45 PM | Unregistered CommenterDon B

It is of course now night time in Oz - and the weekend. Some websites may take longer to disappear the paper... Usually, once a paper is published, journals can't remove it. Strange.

Jun 8, 2012 at 7:46 PM | Unregistered CommenterJeremy Harvey

Goodness me. I think we all might be getting a bit overexcited? I know "Patience!" is an admonition invented by dull buggers who cannot think fast enough...but I think it might be appropriate in this case.
God knows I love a good gossip but there is a limit to the value of fervid speculation.

One of the great pleasures and comforts of this blog is the usual reluctance of the host and most readers and contributors to rush to judgement.

Jun 8, 2012 at 8:02 PM | Unregistered CommenterJack Savage

Green Sand: maybe that should have read

"Any further correspondence on the matter will be entertaining."

Jun 8, 2012 at 8:12 PM | Unregistered CommenterRichard Drake

Jack, you may be right. So we may look a bit silly on Monday when all has returned to normal. But it does all look rather weird - gone off the J Climate webpage, disappeared from lots of researchers' webpages. One disappeared webpage might be a misfortune, but two...

Jun 8, 2012 at 8:12 PM | Registered CommenterJeremy Harvey

Yes, Jeremy, I think we should all take the Lady Bracknell view of the situation until shown otherwise.

Jun 8, 2012 at 8:15 PM | Unregistered CommenterRichard Drake

Patience and caution are important virtues, to be sure. Of course new PRs and articles may appear suddenly and then the claim may be made that (minor?) corrections were made etc.

Still, there's nothing wrong with noticing that some extraordinary events are occurring in association with this paper, at least in the online world. It is remarkable to see various websites deleting PR and articles for such an important and unprecedented paper already associated with the IPCC's AR5 (first draft).

We are not the ones who placed importance on this paper, the co-authors and their PR cohorts did that in a most breathless fashion. Whether the paper can be modified or salvaged, most of us can only guess. Some may know exactly what is needed to fix this paper, I sure don't pretend to know. I cannot even "know" that it needs to be fixed, although posts at Climate Audit seem to make a good case among some of the cognoscenti.

Sure, it's speculative to try to say anything about it now, beyond noting the deletions. BUT, if one notices that Climate Audit has been shredding the stats in this paper, and that near-simultaneous deletions of PRs and articles at multiple sites is a rather unusual occurrence, then it's worth paying attention to what may follow.

Jun 8, 2012 at 8:21 PM | Registered CommenterSkiphil

Steve Mc. has posted an image here

Not sure if this means he found it or this is a historical screen grab ?

Jun 8, 2012 at 8:24 PM | Unregistered CommenterMorph

... But then again we don't need to be too Earnest about it. We can leave that to Ms. Gergis.

Jun 8, 2012 at 8:27 PM | Registered CommenterJeremy Harvey

I claim dug bugger status. But still, we truly live in interesting times, what with Gleick being vidicated this week and all.

Jun 8, 2012 at 8:27 PM | Unregistered Commenterconfused

Gavin updates at Real Climate

33 gavin says:
8 Jun 2012 at 1:57 PM

"The link to the Gergis et al paper at J. Climate is broken, and the paper no longer appears to be accessible. We have no information as to why or whether it’s temporary or not, but we’ll update if necessary when we have news."

Jun 8, 2012 at 8:29 PM | Registered CommenterSkiphil

Jun 8, 2012 at 8:34 PM | Unregistered Commenterclipe

You can tell what Gavin spends most of his time doing. I'm sure he was watching the dissection of Gergis et al at ClimateAudit with barely time for coffee.

Jun 8, 2012 at 8:41 PM | Unregistered Commentertheduke

theduke: absolutely. Where the real debate goes on, the one that everyone reads. But at least we admit it.

Jun 8, 2012 at 8:59 PM | Unregistered CommenterRichard Drake

Funny. I submitted a comment - no. 33 if published- to the effect: 'For your information, your link to the Gergia et al paper is broken.' My comment was apparently censored, but Gavin appears at no. 34 saying the same thing.

Jun 8, 2012 at 9:00 PM | Unregistered CommenterOakwood

Well I like this new case of the disappearing papers

Ghost of Gergisgate

Hide the Declining Papers

The Zero Point field of study

2012 is so yesterday

The Vanishing Trick

....please delete Bish if I am being too disrespectful

... but it is worthy of a number from Josh AND M4GW.

Jun 8, 2012 at 9:01 PM | Unregistered CommenterLucy Skywalker

A summary of what disappeared when would be useful - for instance for any passing journalists

Jun 8, 2012 at 9:04 PM | Unregistered CommenterAndyL

I think all you "skeptics" are being very unkind - I suspect the figures are being adjusted as we speak and will be back to confound you all in due course!

Jun 8, 2012 at 9:05 PM | Unregistered Commenterjohnbuk
Jun 8, 2012 at 9:12 PM | Unregistered Commenterclipe

Johnbuk, I'm not sure what they could do. I suppose they could whittle the 27 proxies (originally whittled from 62) down to 8 and see what results. Or they could do a complete 180 on the value of using detrended data for selection. I''m no expert, but I don't see how any other "adjustments" could help here.

Jun 8, 2012 at 9:23 PM | Unregistered Commenterpaul_in_ct
now-defunct blog
paper at AMS disappeared
defunct SEARCH page
SEARCH page on Google Cache,000+years+of+climate+data+confirms+Australia%27s+warming&cd=21&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=uk
1st University of NSW page on Google Cache
2nd University of NSW page on Google Cache

from redc mainly on the broken HS thread

Jun 8, 2012 at 9:32 PM | Unregistered CommenterLucy Skywalker

patience and caution gents.

if you go around claiming that its been withdrawn and its just a web glitch...

hehe, that would be a moshpit trick

Jun 8, 2012 at 9:35 PM | Unregistered Commentersteven mosher

paul_in_ct, hey come on paul, when black is white, declines are hidden and graphs turned upside down I'm sure we haven't seen the ultimate in "massaging" yet - do you?

Jun 8, 2012 at 9:37 PM | Unregistered Commenterjohnbuk


Was there a problem with my last two attempts to post a link.

Looked good in "preview"

Paste into Google search.

Click Quick View on the top result. "Preliminary Accepted Version"

Jun 8, 2012 at 9:41 PM | Unregistered Commenterclipe

It nay be that they actually used the detrended local grid cell values to choose their proxies and wrote up the method wrongly. They certainly had all that data, as they checked each grid cell against their spatial mean instrumental target.

This would be hugely embarrassing, but would only require a mea culpa and a change in the description of the method used.

I quite liked this paper. It had a nice warm mediaeval warm period, and cool periods which appeared to be driven by the sun drawn attention to in the discussion, so peer reviewed evidence for two factors which suit my own intuitive prejudices.

Jun 8, 2012 at 9:43 PM | Unregistered CommenterGeoff Cruickshank

I am annoyed about this. I was working on a brilliant joke about how 'Gergis Khan' single handedly altered the climate by having a massive effect on the trees in the 12c
now it's all wasted

Jun 8, 2012 at 9:43 PM | Unregistered CommenterEternalOptimist

Johnbuk, even with all of the history in this field I was imagining any response from the authors would be reality-based. Of course you have it right, thank you for snapping me out of it! ;-)

Jun 8, 2012 at 9:44 PM | Unregistered Commenterpaul_in_ct

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