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Revkin on the publication process

Here is Andy Revkin on the BEST results, 29 Jul 2012

BEST corroboration of temps is great (Rohde genius).

And here is Andy Revkin on the Skeie et al (low) climate sensitivity results today:

Troubling details on promoting unreviewed study of limited warming from 2x CO2.

I queried this with him and he has kindly sent this response:

I'll be examining my coverage and others' for sure.

He has done a full article on the release of the Skeie results, and promises to follow up with a similar piece on Muller, so perhaps he is going to revise his opinions of BEST.

Should be interesting.


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Reader Comments (35)

nice weasel trap :)

Jan 29, 2013 at 8:27 AM | Registered Commenternormalnew

am I wrong in understanding that BEST contributed nothing new? Didn't the Muller familly use adjusted data from GISS et al? Wasn't it just a rehash oh sorry re analysis?

Jan 29, 2013 at 8:52 AM | Unregistered CommenterStephen Richards

Did not the sorry saga of the Gergis paper tell us all there was to be told about this?

Frankly, my reaction these days to any "news" of a new paper that relies on statistics or data crunching to bring us definitive numbers of how many angels can dance on the head of a a big yawn and an "Oh, really?". Another paper which says the opposite will be along in a minute. Rightly or wrongly, after some years of observation, I have concluded that a huge swathe of climate science is , at base, pseudo-science. Well presented, but pseudo-science nonetheless. It is presented by real scientists, looks like the real thing, but just is not.

My respect for this kind of climate "science" has never been considerable.....and is Worryingly, my attitude is bleeding over to apply to a lot of other branches of science, too.

Mind you, I am an old git and I do not matter. But I am not the only old git in the world and some of us are quite influential.

Jan 29, 2013 at 9:17 AM | Unregistered CommenterJack Savage

Jack Savage - as another old git, I am with you Sir.

Jan 29, 2013 at 9:44 AM | Unregistered CommenterRetired Dave

The wiki article on pseudoscience ( is pretty good. I've also heard it said that you can tell a pseudoscience by the fact that there is never any change to the established "knowledge". Those who believe in the paranormal won't be dissuaded from doing so by experimental debunkings, for example.

Climate psyence exhibits some worrying overlaps. At its core there is probably an intellectually respectable discipline struggling to get out, but for now, they've all been bought by the green interest.

Jan 29, 2013 at 10:02 AM | Unregistered CommenterJustice4Rinka

I'm glad you have highlighted this because it was exactly what I immediatly thought about when I read the article on Revkins page yesterday. It's not a place I usually visit, but it was a very uneventful day yesterday. Even more of a weasel than your normal leftie politico. Maybe that's why the paper has decided to shut down their enviro department because this sort of thing reflects very badly on their credibility too.

Jan 29, 2013 at 10:15 AM | Unregistered CommenterJohnB

J4R - yes absolutely right.

I think Pointman had a good take on it recently -

Jan 29, 2013 at 10:28 AM | Unregistered CommenterRetired Dave

Jack Savage - agreed from another tax-paying old git!

Jan 29, 2013 at 10:56 AM | Unregistered Commenterjohnbuk

The word your working for is 'different ' has with flying and host of other things when the exact same things are done by greens which they attack others for doing its 'different ' When AGW proponents are happy to use none published work its 'different' to when AGW sceptics do the same etc , etc

Its just fits into the pattern that they consider themselves has fighting for a 'greater good' so should not be judge has others are and especially not judge by the standards they demand of others . Its why the charge of hypocrisy tends to stick so well to them.

Jan 29, 2013 at 11:00 AM | Unregistered CommenterKnR

This is what I 'tweeted' about this:

@Revkin Norwegian climate sensitivity paper 'seized upon' and 'aggresively disseminated' by bloggers. Meaning @wattsupwiththat wrote a post!

Secondly, look at the objections being raised by the orthodoxy, gathered by shepherd Revkin. Each one of those are equally valid objections to the other 'sensitivity' studies as well!

Now, if this paper does undergo further review, who trusts the climate establishment to let it pass through without mangling it beyond recognition? For instance, one of the people Revkin contacted thinks climate sensitivity is a 'controversial topic'.

Jan 29, 2013 at 11:11 AM | Registered Commentershub

Andy is starting to realize that his career in promoting enviro extremism and climate apocalypse is has all been rubbish.

Jan 29, 2013 at 1:32 PM | Unregistered Commenterlurker, passing through laughing

I think we old gits have seen so much of it a dozen times during our lives that our reaction to Lear's "I shall do such things, what they are yet, I know not, but they shall be the terrors of the earth" is "yeah, yeah, yeah".
Or as the Scots would put it, "Aye, right."
The AGW plea of "but this time it really is different, honest" has been heard so many times it fall on deaf ears.
The only thing that registers anywhere near as high on my Yawn Meter is the" latest medical breakthrough" — whatever it may be.

Jan 29, 2013 at 2:20 PM | Registered CommenterMike Jackson

@Jan 29, 2013 at 10:28 AM | Retired Dave

Can't read POINTMAN's blog - the pale grey typeface on a white background renders it illegible to my ancient poor eyes. Wonder whether he'd print a book in pale grey and white? I emailed him about it, but got no response. Seems odd to me, in effect barring a large swathe of people from reading what you write, all the more so in that us sceptics tend to be older on the whole. Why are so many blogs so poor on accessibility?

Jan 29, 2013 at 2:59 PM | Registered Commenterjeremyp99

Present company excepted, of course - this blog is very easy to read.

Jan 29, 2013 at 2:59 PM | Registered Commenterjeremyp99

roger harrabin ‏@RHarrabin

Terje Berntsen says the 1.9C rise is from a PhD paper under 2nd review. Unlikely to make IPCC deadline. Says it's caused "too much fuss."

Jan 29, 2013 at 3:12 PM | Registered CommenterSkiphil

"too much fuss" = doesn't suit the narrative?

C'mon, there were no such qualms about max-CAGW papers shepherded into the IPCC process in the past:

Wahl and Ammann 2007 and IPCC Deadlines

Not to say the circumstances are the same, and the current question is about the journal's review process not the IPCC itself..... in this current case the Norwegian paper *could* still make the IPCC process legitimately, unlike the nefarious handling of Wahl & Ammann (2007).

Would there be any hiccup at all in the journal's review process if the paper suited the desired narrative??

Jan 29, 2013 at 3:19 PM | Registered CommenterSkiphil


For quickness, to zoom any webpage, try holding down the Ctrl button and typing + as many times as needed to become larger and larger (or - to restore it back again).

If you still can't read it you can always copy the text and paste it into a word processing programme then change font sizes and colours, but this obviously takes more time and effort.

Jan 29, 2013 at 4:16 PM | Registered CommenterPharos

Jeremy - go Tools, Options, Content, Colours, then click off the box that says "allow websites to choose their own font colours" or similar. (In Firefox).

Jan 29, 2013 at 4:38 PM | Unregistered CommenterJit

"Would there be any hiccup at all in the journal's review process if the paper suited the desired narrative??"

Shouldn't think so - have any of the warmists even commented on Muller's journal shopping to get BEST into print before the deadline?

We know from Phil Jones' Climategate emails that manipulating journals is one of their favourite tactics.

Jan 29, 2013 at 5:38 PM | Unregistered CommenterNW

Jan 29, 2013 at 2:59 PM | jeremyp99

I'm using Opera but other browsers should be similar. By going to the View->Style menu I can change the viewing mode from Author(harder to read) to either User or even better Accessability Layout. An alternative in general for blogs would be to find a RSS reader you like and subscribe to the RSS fee, normally via a link at the top of the page. I see the Bish has a link down on the right by this comment box.

Jan 29, 2013 at 5:56 PM | Unregistered CommenterRob Burton

To Jeremy - another quick way to read something that's hard to read, just highlight it. Put the cursor at the top line, press the left mouse button and hold it down to the end line, same as you would if you were going to copy and paste. It brings up the background in blue and the writing in white.

As to all the "old gits" (coming from one who's almost an old git), what I like to see is the number of young gits... er... whatever the right word is for them... who are with us. The young aren't as brainwashed as we feared, and they certainly aren't dumb. As people wake up to the truth, many are annoyed at being lied to for so long. I just hope that translates into action.

Jan 29, 2013 at 7:33 PM | Unregistered CommenterA.D. Everard

Anyone know the name of the poor unfortunate PhD student who had the audacity to muse on the lower climate sensitivity value? Care to speculate whether he gets a job in the academic-industrial-complex as a climate researcher or will his consolation prize be to wash glassware and empty the trash at a deadend post-doc position till he realizes his career is now f**ked.

Jan 29, 2013 at 8:26 PM | Unregistered Commenternvw

To answer my own question:

Good luck Ms. Skeie

Jan 29, 2013 at 8:38 PM | Unregistered Commenternvw

Is this about people waking up to the fact that CO2 creates heat in diminishing amounts? I thought they were hiding the truth...does this mean they had no odea that CO2's ability to create heat is logarithmic and therefore the amount of heat tails off to the point where a doubling of CO2 will yield only about 1C?
...and a further doubling even less.

Jan 29, 2013 at 10:17 PM | Unregistered Commenterjames griffin

James Griffin -
You seem to be a bit off regarding the logarithmic effect of CO2. To the extent to which this is accurate, each doubling will result in the same increase in temperature, but each additional ppm of CO2 (or gigatonne) has a decreasing effect.
Take an example in which sensitivity is 2 deg C per doubling. Increasing CO2 from 300 ppm to 424 ppm (an increase by a factor of sqrt(2)~1.414) results in warming of 1 deg C. Increasing CO2 from 424 ppm to 600 ppm, which completes one doubling, results in an additional 1 deg C. Similarly for levels of 848 ppm and 1200 ppm (completing two doublings, at which point temperatures have increased by twice 2 deg C, or 4 deg C).
Each interval provides equal temperature increments but requires greater and greater amounts of CO2 to effect: over the first interval 1 deg C per 124 ppm; then 1 deg C per 176 ppm; 1 deg C per 248 ppm, and finally 1 deg C per 352 ppm.

Jan 29, 2013 at 11:06 PM | Registered CommenterHaroldW

jeremyp99 and others...

The best way to read anything in a web browser (especially for us old gits) is to use a "reader", which is built into some browsers (Safari is one -- click on the "reader" button at the right end of the URL address field). If your browser doesn't support a built-in reader, you can install one into your browser at A reader typically doesn't work on "index" pages like the main page of this blog. They typically only work on the article page itself, like this page. Unfortunately, readers don't typically include article comments, so you're still forced to magnify (zoom in) the whole page to make comments more readable. And unfortunately, some blog pages (Jeff Condon's Air Vent, Steve McIntyre's Climate Audit, for example) turn into complete messes when you attempt to magnify them, forcing you to also widen the browser window to reformat the text into a readable format. Also readers don't always work well with multi-page articles. Sometimes they'll render all the pages into one big, long readable page. Other times they'll render only the first page of a multi-page article. It all depends on how the underlying HTML is written, and how well the reader can cope with it. But overall, a reader will make your web reading much more enjoyable.

Jan 30, 2013 at 12:05 AM | Unregistered CommenterLynn Clark

"Jan 29, 2013 at 10:02 AM | Justice4Rinka
Those who believe in the paranormal won't be dissuaded from doing so by experimental debunkings, for example."

That lame duck..again.. :)
Here is a hint..if you dont have any idea what your talking about..then dont use analogies based on pop culture and "what the tv tells me".

Science and Psychic Phenomena: The Fall of the House of Skeptics
Chris Carter, Rupert Sheldrake

Randi` Prize
What sceptics say about the paranormal.
Dont read either..and let your cognitive dissonance protect you..from reality. :)

Jan 30, 2013 at 1:05 AM | Unregistered CommenterDrapetomania

What the reaction to Skeie tells us is that changing from the assumed (main stream) high climate sensitivity to one that is both substantially lower and consistent with reality will be difficult and unpleasant for many in the field. I am pleased that the process has finally started, apparently in earnest. In another 10-15 years it should be mostly over, and people can begin a reasoned (calm?) public discussion of what steps are actually needed to address GHG driven warming. Better late than never.

Jan 30, 2013 at 1:27 AM | Unregistered CommenterSteve Fitzpatrick


am I wrong in understanding that BEST contributed nothing new? Didn't the Muller familly use adjusted data from GISS et al? Wasn't it just a rehash oh sorry re analysis?
Jan 29, 2013 at 8:52 AM | Unregistered CommenterStephen Richards


yes you are wrong. the dataset consists of 36,000 stations. There no data from GISS in the inputs. Where we draw from the source as GISS ( GHCN Monthly) we use their unadjusted data.
The vast majority of the data has its source in daily unadjusted data.

New things.

1. New data sources never used before, never touched by GISS or CRU
2. pushing back the start of the recording period to 1753.

Jan 30, 2013 at 1:47 AM | Unregistered Commentersteven mosher

am I wrong in understanding that BEST contributed nothing new? Didn't the Muller familly use adjusted data from GISS et al? Wasn't it just a rehash oh sorry re analysis?

Jan 29, 2013 at 8:52 AM | Stephen Richards


I would say that BEST is an educational exercise in why James Hansen dropped so many stations. The technique and additional stations appears to amplify the warming bias and the average variance. While the other data-sets attempt to come together, the GISS, HADCRUT, RSS and UAH are outside BEST's 95% LCL.

Even if they had calibrated to CURRENT with a list of stations from GISS or HADCRUT, adding (n) stations that cause additional noise is problematic.

Jan 30, 2013 at 7:35 AM | Unregistered Commenterintrepid_wanders

You can't easily study UHI unless you can show -
1. It exists
2. It is measurable
3. It has a commencement date at a given station
4. It has a growth curve for each station that can be defined
5. If it is asymptotic over time, to no change
6. If it is large in-situ or if its bubble travels for many km to nearby comparison stations
7. What corrections are prudent for seaside stations versus inland
8. If there is a correlation with night lights or other proxy
9. If the instrumentation responds to very short transients, seconds long, or integrates over periods like an hour
10. That you can distinguish between UHI and natural variation, quantitatively.
11. That certain wavelengths bands from UV through to far IR have similar behaviour (they do not, so calculations need to be done on spectral data, not on gross data).

On the latter point, I have failed to find a way to use 50 exceedingly remote Australian stations to set a zero-UHI baseline extending over decades. Some climb with time, some fall with time. Tmax has not the same behaviour as Tmin, so Tmean has a problem if calculated from their average.

If I can't find a reference baseline, I can't find a UHI signal unequivocally.

End of exercise to quantify UHI.

Jan 30, 2013 at 11:18 AM | Unregistered CommenterGeoff Sherrington

I thin it most accurate to suggest the BEST provided nothing new where it is most badly needed.

- A proper quantifiation and correction for urban heat island effects (still one of those bizarre and rare curios in the physical world, according to James Hansen, Phil Jones and now BEST etc., where macro consistency does not hold)

- A proper qualification of station integrity.

Jan 30, 2013 at 11:32 AM | Unregistered CommenterGeckko

Just want to point out the true nature of alarmists using their own words:

To Revkin, hints of lower climate sensitivity, which ostensibly means less risk to human civilization, is a "troubling detail." No, it's a sign of hope, relief, gives us wiggle room on our energy policies, frees money for more productive use. Andy, good news, YOU'RE NOT GOING TO BURN UP!

But he probably means that it's troubling that less control over energy policy and human life will end up in the hands of greenie eco-fascists and their trusty enforcement weasels.

Jan 30, 2013 at 1:41 PM | Unregistered CommenterMickey Reno

Please note Reviin's 'all things doubtful' in regards to Watts. The first meaning of the word doubtful is 'unlikely.' When I say 'that's doubtful,' I'm saying that I don't believe it, or I don't trust it. Here, Revkin is saying that the things Watts publishes are untrue.

In a Jan.26 post, Revkin wrote "Purveyors of climate doubt" and then linked to Anthony Watts, without naming him. When you don't even have the courtesy to name those you disagree with, you're off the deep end.

Jan 30, 2013 at 6:11 PM | Unregistered CommenterMarkB

Check out the "Fall of the House of Skeptics" fluff that Drapetomania has posted. lol
Why is it not surprising that someone gullible enough to fall for derivative bs about 'psychic powers' also finds themselves in the position of AGW true believer? Perhaps Drapetomnia can also talk about Area 51 and the alien invasion.

Jan 31, 2013 at 12:36 AM | Unregistered Commenterlurker, passing through laughing

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