“Reviewer A” responds

The row over the issue of Antarctica warming continues. After a number of articles appeared at the Air Vent, Lucia’s, and Climate Audit, Dr. Steig responds at RealClimate with some accusations of his own. I offered Dr. Steig a guest post here, with no caveats, so that he could get maximum exposure, twice. He didn’t bother to respond.

This whole incident illustrates exactly why authors of competing scientific papers should not be reviewers of other papers critical of their own. This failure of peer review falls squarely into the lap of the Journal of Climate for allowing such nonsense in the first place.

But IMHO, Dr. Steig bears responsibility too, he should have said “no”, realizing what a conflict of interest this was.

He confirms in the latest RealClimate essay that he was in fact “Reviewer A”. He also complains that he wasn’t allowed to see the final draft. This is due to the fact that JoC had to bring in another reviewer to break the 88 page log jam created by “Reviewer A”.

The analysis of the difference between the 3rd and 4th (final) drafts at Climate Audit reveal this:

MrPete

Posted Feb 9, 2011 at 10:06 PM | Permalink

Here is a comparison of Rev 3 and Rev 4. All text changes are marked up — including totally minor changes. I hope this works for the reader. (Personally, I would primarily trust this to provide pointers to areas of change as it is not obvious how to reliably discern exactly what the old/new text was.)

To my admittedly inexperienced eyes, the changes appear relatively minor.

Perhaps one of the authors can speak authoritatively on a) whether Wm C’s question (about round 4 reviews) has any standing, and b) whether Eric Steig’s disclaimer (based on not having seen these changes) is appropriate.

So it seems Dr. Steig’s complaint is empty, and the situation mostly a result of his own doings. Still it points back to the failure of peer review at JoC. They should not have invited Dr. Steig to be a reviewer in the first place. had they not, this whole ugly row would be non-existent.

At CA, this commenter sums it up pretty well:

movielib

Posted Feb 9, 2011 at 5:03 PM | Permalink

Eric Steig has replied to Ryan:

http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2011/02/odonnellgate/

There seems to be a lot of arm waving about O’Donnell being wrong about… well, everything.

There is what I’d call a personal attack against “O’Donnell, Condon, and McIntyre,” comparing them unfavorably with such “legitimate, honest commenters” as “Susan Solomon or J. Michael Wallace, or, for that matter, Gavin Schmidt or Mike Mann or myself [i.e. Steig].” You see, he thinks people like O’Donnell and McIntyre are not legitimate honest commenters. The compulsory word “deniers” is also thrown in.

Steig claims O’Donnell is going to “retract [his] allegations” against Steig. It’s very vague and I sure don’t know what he’s talking about.

He says he was a reviewer for the first three drafts of the O’Donnell et al. paper but not for the “markedly different” fourth draft so he hadn’t seen it before publication.

Curiously, Steig does not address the point that is the subject of this thread.

I’ll carry ODonnell’s statement here when he completes it, including making whatever changes/retractions he sees fit.

In the meantime, the Journal of Climate editors should probably be made aware of the mess they created by allowing this conflict of interest to occur in the first place.

The bottom line that has been lost in the fog of this war is that Antarctica isn’t warming as much as is claimed, and most of the statistically significant warming is confined to the peninsula.

196 thoughts on ““Reviewer A” responds

  1. Whoops, It should be here, not hear… Here

    The row over the issue of Antarctica warming continues. After a number of articles appeared hear at The Air Vent…

    REPLY: stray word from an edit – removed -A

  2. “Reviewer A”. He also complains that he wasn’t allowed to see the final draft.

    He shouldn’t have been allowed to see the first draft either. I’ve had reviewers respond with one or two pages of critique or recommendations but “Reviewer A” responds with a total 88 pages? That wasn’t a review, it was a filibuster intended to stonewall the paper.

  3. The Team has created a myth that no one, save a small cadre of climate scientists, have the intellectual heft necessary to understand their complicated and sophisticated discipline. Sadly, the journal editors seemed to have largely bought into this canard. As a result, the editors feel a great deal of pressure to bring in one of the gifted minds anytime there’s a dispute regarding these insanely complex matters (or what statisticians would call, ‘everyday problems’).

  4. It looks like the Journal of Climate editors aren’t up to jury selection for a traffic ticket.
    Does anyone believe this was not intentional?

  5. Anthony says …

    “This whole incident illustrates exactly why authors of competing scientific papers should not be reviewers of other papers critical of their own.”

    But this is how it has been … Nothing is real. The whole peer review process is being bastardized to promote the hoax. It’s how you develop credibility from none.

    The real scientists need to stand up, NOW!

  6. I haven’t been following this dispute, but Steig does seem artfully vague. Steig claims that he’s been accused of dishonesty and duplicity, but does quote any such accusations, apparently since “it really isn’t worth trying to respond in any detail”. He also also accuses “deniers” in general of being dishonest. Apparently it’s OK for him to complain about dishonesty, but if the “deniers” do so, it proves they are evil. Hmm…

  7. Steig seems to be investing his entire reputation on that one paper. Either that, or it does call into question his other work and perhaps it should be re-reviewed as well.

    He has made a mountain out of a molehill.

  8. Interesting…Will Ryan publish a retraction of his previous allegations? From what I read at RC ES is considering sueing for libel (??) (See comment #4, reply from Stieg).
    IMO Stieg simply attempts to exacerbate the row with his “denier” drivel.

    No attempt is made to simply put the record straight (yes, I read the RC post and the first few paragraphs appear to me to be obligatory attempts to ‘get off the hook’), he goes way beyond that in the closing paragraphs:

    “To those that still don’t get this — and who continue to believe that these people can be trusted to present their scientific results honestly, and who continue to speculate that their may be truth in the allegations made over the years against Mike Mann, Ben Santer, Phil Jones, Stephen Schneider, Andrew Weaver, Kevin Trenberth, Keith Briffa, Gavin Schmidt, Darrell Kaufmann, and many many others, just because they ‘read it on a blog somewhere’ — I’d be happy to share with you some of the more, err, ‘colorful’, emails I’ve gotten from O’Donnell and his coauthors.” (RC post)

    …which begs the question; Eric, and how have you and the above named responded to said “allegations? By being forthright and open, or obfuscating and closed? If you need help with the answer please refer to the recent goings-on with the UVA FOIA requests and the VA response…it speaks volumes on the Team’s intent and how the Team really operates.

    In closing I see your “O’Donnellgate” comment at the end of your post as ludicrous: beyond ridiculous. Was it a vain attempt at redirection due to the heat the Team has taken over Climategate? How patheitic…

  9. He (Steig) has already achieved what he set out to do. Put out an alarmist paper, it gets accepted and shuffled through peer-review, it is trumpeted by the “team” and MSM, the damage is done, and we are relegated to the back of the hall to fight it out where the general public is unaware that there are any problems with the original S09 paper. I am sooo sick and tired of this BS happening over and over again. Will someone in authority please stand up and stop this crap from happening?

  10. Sorry for cross-posting (Bishop Hill)

    It just struck me, and has been touched upon several times before:

    It seems quite conceivable to me that designated reviewer A (Eric Steig) indeed wrote and sent his review comments by himself, but that he communicated with other Team-members while doing so, possibly asking for their input and even help.

    Both langage and delay-tactics and the multiple and inconsistent requests to address issues and moving goal posts at least suggest that as a possibility.

    What I mean to say is that it is fully possible that Steig as reviewer both ‘recommenden to ues iridge instead’ and at RC cirticized the very same practice. But unaware of the contradiction (duplicity?). It has been suggested that this might have been a mistake, a memoryslip etc, and not intentional.

    It might also have been the result of him relaying other persons opinions through his review comments, points that he did not completely understand himselft.

    Again, this is his own responsibility, and he can blame noone else. But it also makes more sense.

    Reading though the defence speech at RC, Steig does not strike me as to versed in statistics or at regarding methodology. In fact, my impression is that he still doesnät comprehend what O’Donnell et al is really about. He keeps talking about different points, about the warming he believes is to come, about O’Donnell not reafuting what he thinks was his ‘bigger picture message’ etc. And of course complaining about people not being nice enough to him.

    I have read though his (their?) review comments and it is very hard not to get the impression that the main effort was to thwart the paper, and if that failed delay it as long as possible, and finally to minimze the harm it did to ‘the bigger picture’. Possibly even prepare it for an ‘easy rebuttal’, at least in the public eye.

    It was obvious from the outset that this was a very hostile review, and obviously Steig is still more interested in toeing the party- (Team-) line, than conceding that O’Donnel et al have som valid points.

    On the other hand, he also strikes me as quite human, with many responses more out of petulance and pique, as from somebody a bit out of balance, than adressing the criticism and defending his version of ‘facts’. Obviously he doesn’t have Gavin’s routine, and I think it shows to more than thos who already knew what is RCs main purpose …

    And that is good!

    Feb 10, 2011 at 4:29 PM | Jonas N
    As to Eric Steig being chosen as a Reviewer:

    I would actually expect that to happen, either him or somebody in his vicinity (eg former co-author). I don’t think this is a bad practice. Rather that it would be a bit naïve if the submitting authors expected to go free from scutiny from that side/camp.

    But I would also expect the editor to be aware of this and treat it fairly. As Broccoli did here, finally. The criticism there is mainly that it seemed to take so long for him to get a fourth reviewer, and that he should have realiszed what’s going on much earlier. Well, maybe he did!? Actually I would be very surprised if he were completely unaware both of the Team, its reputation, and earlier controversies. And also would I expect him to have been pressured (or at least atempted to influence him) through other channels than the formal review process.

    And I agree with those who said that he got it right in the end, and should be commended for it.

    (And Steig’s pouting comment at RC, that it was a ‘lousy paper’ and more of the same, might in the end have the opposite effect, as it well should among decent and competent scientists)

    ….

    As to Eric Steig being chosen as a Reviewer:

    I would actually expect that to happen, either him or somebody in his vicinity (eg former co-author). I don’t think this is a bad practice. Rather that it would be a bit naïve if the submitting authors expected to go free from scutiny from that side/camp.

    But I would also expect the editor to be aware of this and treat it fairly. As Broccoli did here, finally. The criticism there is mainly that it seemed to take so long for him to get a fourth reviewer, and that he should have realiszed what’s going on much earlier. Well, maybe he did!? Actually I would be very surprised if he were completely unaware both of the Team, its reputation, and earlier controversies. And also would I expect him to have been pressured (or at least atempted to influence him) through other channels than the formal review process.

    And I agree with those who said that he got it right in the end, and should be commended for it.

    (And Steig’s pouting comment at RC, that it was a ‘lousy paper’ and more of the same, might in the end have the opposite effect, as it well should among decent and competent scientists)

  11. I’m now very curious about the so-called “colorful” emails by O’Donnell. What a snakish move by Dr. Eric, to insinuate that Ryan has written him a very “misbehaved” e-mail, but without providing such e-mail, forcing Ryan to produce it in his defense.

    I’m not bothered to see such… all too human behavior. We are, after all, human. I am bothered as to why are these people still being respected in a higher level, while the “deniers” being mistreated as they are. I bother to the fact that many intelligent people will be convinced by these RC shenanigans and just utter to themselves “Oh, look there go the deniers again, and RC have just burned them yet again, ha!”.

    Until people actually get interested in the science, rather than in these shenanigans, we have little hope that climate science gets any credible traction towards good science.

  12. I’ve just left the following comment.
    In, Borehole or Oblivion?

    Adam Gallon says:
    Your comment is awaiting moderation.

    10 Feb 2011 at 12:18 PM
    Maybe this whole episode shows that a reviewer shouldn’t be selected, who has a profound conflict of interest with the material they’ve been asked to revue?
    The O’Donnell et al paper, is statistically based, so wouldn’t it have been better for a statistician to be the reviewer.
    The fact that Dr Steig’s review comments, appear to exceed the length of the paper, does suggest that it was rather more than a review to pick up grammar, spelling & mathematical errors

  13. Does anyone know if the Journal of Climate has published guidelines stating who can review articles? They seem to state that authors can reply to comments on their papers. Reviewing comments on your paper before publication is a novel approach to replying to comments.

    Hide the reply.

  14. Let’s see if I’ve gotten this straight: Steig looks for Antarctic warming using a flawed statistical technique and finds (presumed) warming. O’Donnell sees the flaw(s), analyzes the data with an improved technique which corrects certain spatial artifacts introduced by Steig’s somewhat naive approach, and his work still shows some warming, albeit with a markedly different distribution. Moreover, O’Donnell tests his method against a number of modified data sets and verifies that it performs as one would expect it to. Steig happily comments that they found warming as well.

    But [Correct Answer]+[Wrong method] = [Bad Science]. (Well, unless you’re a post-modernist.) O’Donnell’s paper wasn’t about ‘climatology’ but rather the misuse of statistics in Steig 2009. Steig’s response at RC misses this crucial point and goes on about the ‘climatology’ as if methods didn’t matter, only results.

    Steig states that he is not a statistician. Indeed, no one expects him to be. But we do expect that any serious researcher will consult with competent statisticians before attempting to analyse data (if not before collecting it) and will heed their advice. Apparently that was not done in this case. Anecdotal evidence leads one to suspect that, as a rule, climatologists do not feel a need to involve statisticians in their research – which strikes me as peculiar inasmuch as said research depends on statistics.

    I’m only a clown and no one need listen to me, but it appears Steig and the rest of the climatology community should be thanking O’Donnell for pointing out a serious flaw which has the potential to invalidate a number of papers in their field.

  15. Yes that is the bottom line. Antarctica as a whole has not significantly warmed with the exception of the peninsula since 1950. And since the models say the poles will be the canary re AGW, the models are wrong because this canary ain’t singing.

  16. “David Ball says:
    February 10, 2011 at 9:13 am
    “…the damage is done, and we are relegated to the back of the hall to fight it out where the general public is unaware that there are any problems with the original S09 paper. I am sooo sick and tired of this BS happening over and over again…”

    I know exactly how you feel…but dude: ‘Finalist in the Bloggies!’, many, many people that never even post come here to stay current, laypeople. This is the best place for these discussions to take place. Public opinion on CAGW is low and I believe that Anthony, Jeff, Steven, and Willis et al (and that’s a BIG ‘et al’) are making the difference along with all the other pragmatic (skeptic? OK) people and blogs out there.

    To quote an applicable phrase: Fight the Good Fight! Of course this means going beyond just blogging to educating our government leaders, communities, friends and families. An AMAZING amount of progress has been made, but still much more to do. We all have sphere’s of influence we circulate in and by asking one question, planting one fact, or exposing one falsehood is like dropping a pebble in a pond. The ripple expands out of our sphere and impacts (interference) with others. It’s unstoppable and we are watching / participating in the effects…IMHO; that’s a good thing!

    Yea…I know, there are a multitude of arguements that might negate what I wrote above. A couple might be: human nature, cognitive dissonance, and confirmation bias but the ‘glass is half full’…from us…here…doing this.

  17. Latitude says:
    February 10, 2011 at 8:49 am

    JoC knew what they were doing….
    …they didn’t pull his name out of a hat
    =======================================================

    Damn right! Ryan didn’t want us to go after JoC, but they knew exactly what they were doing. I find it difficult to believe other journals would operate much differently. It simply shows “climate science” and “peer” review to be a closed club and the “scientific” papers being nothing but a collection of pal reviews in a most self-serving dishonest manner. They aren’t interested in discovery or perspective. They are not engaged in science but rather advocacy. From the team to all of the journals which publish their tripe. And this incident is simply further proof.

    Throw the whole mess out and start all over…….wait forget about starting over, let’s just get back to saying we have weather that occurs and start doing something useful instead of wondering why sometimes it’s warmer than others.

  18. Don’t take your eye off the ball by engaging in debate over who should or should not be a reviewer. Focus on the flawed methodology employed by S09 and Dr Steig’s apparent inability to understand why it is important. The team have no defence for this and are trying to change the subject. See Bishop Hill’s pictorial explanation for excellent clarity on the subject.

  19. BTW, if any laypersons out there (like myself) want a quick and easy guide to what was wrong with the Steig paper, then try this:

    http://www.bishop-hill.net/blog/2011/2/8/steigs-method-massacred.html

    My understanding of the ensuing fracas is as follows: O’Donnell (et al ) submitted a paper that pointed out the errors in Steig’s paper. Steig was then selected as one of the (anonymous) reviewers of the O’Donnell paper. According to O’Donnell, Steig then made suggestions that certain changes should be made to the O’Donnell paper. Those changes were made. He then (while pretending not to be the anonymous reviewer) criticized the changes that were made – the very changes that he had asked for.

  20. “This whole incident illustrates exactly why authors of competing scientific papers should not be reviewers of other papers critical of their own.”

    What, even Steven McIntyre?

  21. “This is due to the fact that JoC had to bring in another reviewer to break the 88 page log jam created by “Reviewer A”.”

    Got caught Logjammin’, the Dude does not abide.

    Honestly though, how could he possibly think that tactics like this help his cause? We live in the Internet Age, this stuff is going to be exposed and dissected across forums, blogs and comment boards. They desperately want people to listen and believe in their message and yet their attempts at PR are often sad and embarrassing. They just keep shooting themselves in the foot. The whole subject of climate is getting harder and harder for me to take seriously. How am I, an average person supposed to take anything a scientist or academic tells me seriously when stuff like this happens? Most people have faith in science in general. They have faith that science will find the truth eventually and without bias. That faith is going to start eroding.

  22. He confirms in the latest RealClimate essay that he was in fact “Reviewer A”.

    I see no such admission in that article.

  23. Flashback 25 years ago. I was then a graduate student in earth sciences, when the whole man-made CO2-driven global warming theory was building up within the field, as well as at my university (that’s where most of the grant money was). It reminds me of the nightmare… Cliques. Ideologies. Toxic competition. Personal grudges. All over the field. Nothing seems to have changed. Scientists are also humans, but the laymen don’t seem to know that and regard them as demigods. A little “consensus” with that?

  24. “But IMHO, Dr. Steig bears responsibility too, he should have said “no”, realizing what a conflict of interest this was.”

    How is it a conflict of interest? It’s upto the editor to decide the merit of the reviewer’s comments and ultimately nobody is going to know the paper better than the original author. From the comments the editor paid special attention to issues where multiple reviewers agreed, this seems entirely sensible and appropriate.

    “o it seems Dr. Steig’s complaint is empty, and the situation mostly a result of his own doings. Still it points back to the failure of peer review at JoC. They should not have invited Dr. Steig to be a reviewer in the first place. “

    You keep repeating this but it’s not clear what you think the actual problem is.

    “In the meantime, the Journal of Climate editors should probably be made aware of the mess they created by allowing this conflict of interest to occur in the first place.”

    Again with the conflict of interest.

    The central part of O’Donnell’s claims was that Steig was being “duplicitous” both by introducing and recommending a method as “Reviewer A” which he later criticised publicly and by asking for a copy of a paper which as reviewer he already had.

    It’s now clear that “Reviewer A” suggested a method which was already being used by the authors as being something to try, the comment “Reviewer A” wrote was

    “My recommendation is that the editor insist that results showing the ‘mostly likely’ West Antarctic trends be shown in place of Figure 3. While the written text does acknowledge that the rate of warming in West Antarctica is probably greater than shown, it is the figures that provide the main visual ‘take home message’ that most readers will come away with. I am not suggesting here that kgnd = 5 will necessarily provide the best estimate, as I had thought was implied in the earlier version of the text. Perhaps, as the authors suggest, kgnd should not be used at all, but the results from the ‘iridge’ infilling should be used instead. The authors state that this “yields similar patterns of change as shown in Fig. 3, with less intense cooling on Ross, comparable verification statistics and a statistically significant average West Antarctic trend of 0.11 +/- 0.08 C/decade.” If that is the case, why not show it? I recognize that these results are relatively new – since they evidently result from suggestions made in my previous review – but this is not a compelling reason to leave this ‘future work’2

    It’s now clear (or at least claimed) that Steig never received a final draft hence the reason he had to ask for a copy later.

    It seems now all that’s left is to make vague and unsubstantiated allegations of “conflict of interest” while blaming Steig and the journal editors for an incident that was created entirely by O’Donnell’s misunderstanding (to put it charitably)

    The classy thing to do would be to retract the allegations and accept nothing untoward happened at all.

  25. mpaul says:
    February 10, 2011 at 8:44 am

    The Team has created a myth that no one, save a small cadre of climate scientists, have the intellectual heft necessary to understand their complicated and sophisticated discipline.

    May I steal your words and make just one substantive change?

    The Team has created a myth that no one, save a small cadre of climate scientists, have the intellectual heft necessary to understand their complicated sophistry.

  26. Isn’t it “interesting” to see how people behave when there is $100 BILLION in government funded research rants at stake? That’s just the figure to date — more to come.

    Of course, none of that pure-as-the-driven-snow science has been corrupted by politics — oh, NO — not at all!

    All this, of course, is chump change compared to the $45 TRILLION in government slush funds proposed to “fix” a “problem” which is CLEARLY not a problem.

  27. I think that you are being too hard on the Journal of Climate. Steig had a clear conflict of interest. Comparing his ‘reviewing’ with the other reviewers comments indicates that he ‘went to town’ (in the vernacular of the team) by an order of magnitude more than the other reviewers, in order to stymie and twist the publication of a paper critical of his own. Steig clearly had a conflict of interest, and ethically should have excused himself from the reviewing process.

  28. Crusty the Clown says:
    February 10, 2011 at 9:35 am
    ……… But we do expect that any serious researcher will consult with competent statisticians before attempting to analyse data (if not before collecting it) and will heed their advice……
    I’m only a clown and no one need listen to me, but it appears Steig and the rest of the climatology community should be thanking O’Donnell for pointing out a serious flaw which has the potential to invalidate a number of papers in their field.
    =======================================================
    Apparently, they have an aversion to statisticians. I beginning to think it involves some cellular response related to IgE. But that’s just a working theory. In the Orwellian world in which the climatologists live, good news is the new bad. They’ve no desire to be correct, they simply have the desire to be alarming and churn out the next pal reviewed paper without the hindrance of someone actually checking their work. Evidently, it is easier to operate in this manner.

  29. What strikes me as strange in this whole mess is why did Steig comment again on the O’Donnell paper. Steig commented at RC when the paper was released. Steig et al 2009, S(09), was not damaged that much (IMO) by O’Donnell et al 2010, O(10)….
    S(09) is remembered, thanks to the Nature cover, O(10) is mostly forgotten… why kick a sleeping dog? This whole mess gives more coverage to O(10) – not sure why Steig started this round.

  30. sharper00 says:

    “How is it a conflict of interest?”

    The entire climate peer review system has been corrupted, as was made clear in the Climategate emails. It is rife with conflicts of interest. Michael Mann repeatedly threatened journals that didn’t toe the alarmist line. And sadly, they caved.

    The result of the corruption is evident in Mann ’08, where his paper was hand-waved through peer review by his tame referees, despite his using an upside-deown proxy that he knew beforehand was no good.

    If you naively believe climate peer review is on the up-and-up, read this:

    http://bishophill.squarespace.com/blog/2008/8/11/caspar-and-the-jesus-paper.html

  31. @Smokey

    “The entire climate peer review system has been corrupted, as was made clear in the Climategate emails. “

    Climategate eh? What is it about this incident that reveals a conflict of interest? O’Donnell’s claims of “duplicity” on Steig’s part were simply wrong so what’s left? Please be specific and reference either “Review A”‘s or Steig’s comments.

  32. @yguy,

    from the article…“Some months ago, O’Donnell cordially (though quite inappropriately) asked me if I was one of the reviewers, and also promised not to reveal it publicly if I didn’t want him to. I told him I was, but that I would prefer this not be public since the ‘opportunity for abuse’ was simply too great. Talk about prescience!

    Sounds like an admission to me

  33. yguy: Steig himself says “Second, I was the reviewer of the first three drafts of O’Donnell et al submission.” in his O’Donnellgate post. The only reviewer that reviewed the first three drafts was “Reviewer A”. Therefore, he is admitting that he was Reviewer A.

  34. I meant to say:
    “government funded research grants
    not:
    “government funded research rants

    But, my error may have been somehow Freudian. ;-)

  35. Peter H says:
    “This whole incident illustrates exactly why authors of competing scientific papers should not be reviewers of other papers critical of their own.” “What, even Steven McIntyre?”

    Peter, there is a difference between an external reviewer of a published paper writing a rebuttal paper (or blog), and a peer reviewer preventing publication of a paper they are reviewer of because it disagrees with their personal opinion. The external reviewers of published papers are how incorrect papers are corrected. Otherwise the published papers would be the last word even if they proved to be wrong.

  36. @Allen

    “There is none so blind as one who will not see.”

    It would help if you’d explain it – remember the purpose of peer review is to determine if a paper has any obvious flaws. If one paper is a critique of another then what’s exactly is wrong with using the author of the original as one of many reviewers?

    Steig had no power to control the publishing path of the paper, he could only make his best case for flaws (if any) and then it was upto the editor to decide whether they had merit or not.

  37. Some of the more recent comments makes me think that the Team is stepping in with a a can of white wash and a roll of wall paper to attempt to cover over Steig’s mess.

  38. sharper00 says:
    February 10, 2011 at 10:10 am

    “@Smokey

    “The entire climate peer review system has been corrupted, as was made clear in the Climategate emails. “

    Climategate eh? What is it about this incident that reveals a conflict of interest? O’Donnell’s claims of “duplicity” on Steig’s part were simply wrong so what’s left? Please be specific and reference either “Review A”‘s or Steig’s comments.”

    Please be current on events before trying smoke and mirror manure here. In the first review Eric strongly recommends that Ryan use iRidge. By the second submission Ryan had in FACT done so – he put the TTLS version in the supplemental section. Eric knew this…knew for a fact that his issues with the TTLS version where moot because the entire paper was no longer based on it and STILL went after the TTLS version in second and third review. Have to wonder why don’t we? Since it was his recommendation as review A, and his praise of the change, his then going on RC and criticizing it was duplicitous. Period.

    It was not relevant that he never saw the final addition of the paper and he knows it. It was a red herring that you are now chasing because you are too obstinate to look at the actual exchange between the two of them yourself – instead believing everything that was said. Contrast that to myself upon hearing what Ryan said, I went to the evidence to see for myself. Some of what Ryan assumed was incorrect, but on this point, he has dead on.

  39. sharper00 says:
    February 10, 2011 at 10:10 am

    @Smokey

    “The entire climate peer review system has been corrupted, as was made clear in the Climategate emails. “

    Climategate eh? What is it about this incident that reveals a conflict of interest? O’Donnell’s claims of “duplicity” on Steig’s part were simply wrong so what’s left? Please be specific and reference either “Review A”‘s or Steig’s comments.
    =======================================================

    He insists on a specific method to be in the study (as an anonymous reviewer) and then publicly criticizes the method at RC.

    Duplicity—: contradictory doubleness of thought, speech, or action; especially : the belying of one’s true intentions by deceptive words or action

    Seems a pretty tight case for duplicity from where I’m sitting.

  40. James Sexton says:
    February 10, 2011 at 10:04 am

    “Apparently, they have an aversion to statisticians. I beginning to think it involves some cellular response related to IgE. But that’s just a working theory. ”
    ___________________________________________________________
    Pretty funny! Elevated levels of IgE are seen in allergic response or parasitic infections.

    They may be allergic to statistical validity or respond to it as a parasitic infection.

  41. sharper00 says:
    February 10, 2011 at 9:54 am

    How is it a conflict of interest? It’s upto the editor to decide the merit of the reviewer’s comments and ultimately nobody is going to know the paper better than the original author. From the comments the editor paid special attention to issues where multiple reviewers agreed, this seems entirely sensible and appropriate.
    ========================================================

    Right, so lets see how this “entirely sensible and appropriate” situation panned out. Let me see……… an unheard of ……dare I say unprecedented 88 pages of obfuscation and handwaving from reviewer A. A fourth scientist being forced to mediate the logjam of obstruction. I’d never heard of anything like that either.

    Here’s a question for you. Do you think science was best served in this manner? The way I see it, an alleged scientist hindered the furtherance of science. But then, truth and discovery aren’t in the “top ten” list of priorities for alarmists.

  42. If any of these purely political scientists want to get me excited about Antarctic warming, they can start by replicating at measuring stations of their choosing the data already available via ice core studies and contemporaneous instrument measurements at Vostok — data which demonstrate an on-going, uninterrupted 10,000 year cooling trend wherein the latest warming is demonstrated to be not even close to being outside the bounds of natural variation.

    I will, of course, expect them to fund all this useless crap through private donations — not through money stolen from taxpayers at gunpoint.

  43. There can be no excuse for the editor of the journal. What he did in accepting a review of 88 pages is waaaaay out of the ordinary for an editor proves that he was making an accommodation for a reviewer who is a fellow fanatic. There can be no excuse for using a reviewer who is likely to write a rebuttal to what he his reviewing. Clearly, the peer review process for climate science has been captured as planned by Jones, Mann, and others. Steig is another participant in this capture and he is out there either pretending or delusionally protecting his sacred honor as scholar of climate science.

  44. @AJ Abrams

    “Please be current on events before trying smoke and mirror manure here. In the first review Eric strongly recommends that Ryan use iRidge. “

    I already quoted the actual recommendation and you’re telling me to get current. Here, again, is the “strong recommendation”:

    “Perhaps, as the authors suggest, kgnd should not be used at all, but the results from the ‘iridge’ infilling should be used instead. “

    Note the “Perhaps” and the “as the authors” suggest”. “Reviewer A” simply suggested trying something the authors themselves had already suggested – now the authors want to claim it’s all “Reviewer A”‘s fault and that seems reasonable to you?

    ” Since it was his recommendation as review A, and his praise of the change, his then going on RC and criticizing it was duplicitous. Period.”

    Typing “period” after a weak assertion doesn’t make it a strong one.

    “It was not relevant that he never saw the final addition of the paper and he knows it.”

    It’s entirely relevant when one of the claims supporting “duplicity” is that he asked for something he already had – a copy of the final version. It’s now clear he didn’t have a copy of the final version and it was perfectly reasonable for him to ask for one, not duplicitous at all.

    “It was a red herring that you are now chasing because you are too obstinate to look at the actual exchange between the two of them yourself “

    If it’s a red herring then it’s O’Donnell’s red herring since he’s the one who introduced it.

    As for your claim I haven’t read the exchange – I’m the one quoting from it while you’re the one making assertions about it,

  45. @James Sexton

    “He insists on a specific method to be in the study (as an anonymous reviewer) and the publicly criticizes the method at RC.”

    I’ve already quoted it twice now, if you’re going to rest your claim on the supposed strength of “Reviewer A”‘s recommendation then you have no argument.

  46. Dr. Dave says:
    February 10, 2011 at 10:34 am

    James Sexton says:
    February 10, 2011 at 10:04 am

    “Apparently, they have an aversion to statisticians. I beginning to think it involves some cellular response related to IgE. But that’s just a working theory. ”
    ___________________________________________________________
    Pretty funny! Elevated levels of IgE are seen in allergic response or parasitic infections.

    They may be allergic to statistical validity or respond to it as a parasitic infection.
    ======================================================

    Heh, I was wondering how many would catch that!!! Well done doc! I was working the allergic to statisticians. Skeptics OTOH, I’d expect the elevated eosoniphils in the smear for the differential.

  47. AJ Abrams says:
    February 10, 2011 at 10:29 am
    sharper00 says:
    February 10, 2011 at 10:10 am

    ‘Climategate eh? What is it about this incident that reveals a conflict of interest? O’Donnell’s claims of “duplicity” on Steig’s part were simply wrong so what’s left? Please be specific and reference either “Review A”‘s or Steig’s comments.”’

    No editor in his right mind would assign as reviewer someone who adamantly believes, and rightly so, that the paper he is reviewing has major negative implications for a paper he has published. How could conflict of interest be more clear?

    Steig is duplicitous. Number one, he did not volunteer to O’Donnell that he would be reviewing his submission. That is duplicity. Number two, Steig asked for changes and then criticized the results of those changes. Reviewers should never engage in writing the essay that they are reviewing.

  48. sharper00 says:
    February 10, 2011 at 10:22 am
    “It would help if you’d explain it – remember the purpose of peer review is to determine if a paper has any obvious flaws. If one paper is a critique of another then what’s exactly is wrong with using the author of the original as one of many reviewers?”

    The trolls are in. This comment could be written only by a troll or slipping in and out of consciousness. Anthony should ban them.

    Sir, the definition of “conflict of interest” is “accepting an appointment as an impartial judge on a project whose failure is in your interest.” That is exactly what Steig did. He knowingly accepted an appointment as an impartial judge on an essay project whose success would harm his own professional reputation. Sir, Steig’s behavior qualifies him for the title “scum of the earth.”

  49. @Sam Parsons

    “No editor in his right mind would assign as reviewer someone who adamantly believes, and rightly so, that the paper he is reviewing has major negative implications for a paper he has published. “

    The editor is free to completely disregard everything the reviewer produces if they think it has no basis.

    You’re all acting as if Steig was put in control of whether the paper would be published. He wasn’t.

    He was asked to review the paper and identify flaws. He did so, the flaws were corrected and the paper was improved. Consequently the published paper was better.

    This is somehow being spun as a failure of peer review despite the fact that the original claims this was based on have been shown to be incorrect. Now all we’re left with is some sort of vague “feeling” that there was a “conflict of interest”.

    “Number one, he did not volunteer to O’Donnell that he would be reviewing his submission. That is duplicity.”

    No it isn’t. There’s no reason at all he would volunteer himself and he was under no obligation to do so. This is a standard of behaviour you’ve simply invented and applied to Steig.

  50. Those interested really should take a look at the rev 3 vs rev 4 document pointed out by Mr. Pete. I’m familiar with both S09 and O10 and it is abundantly clear the changes are inconsequential. The overwhelming majority of changes are simply formatting or a clarification of something that might have been seen as vaguely stated in the text. Most writers forget that readers aren’t as knowledgeable on the subject as themselves, and these types of clarifications are often added by proof readers. If this is all Dr. Steig has he really is grasping at straws.

    If there is a single change of any consequence, Dr. Steig should point it out.

  51. sharper00,

    Your comment @10:10 above shows that you’re simply trying to run interference for Steig, because there is no way you could have read the link and written your comments only four minutes after I provided the link. And if you’ve read that link before, then you know about the corruption that infests the climate peer review process. Steig’s shenanigans are just more of the same.

  52. @Sam Parsons

    “The trolls are in. This comment could be written only by a troll or slipping in and out of consciousness. Anthony should ban them.”

    Oh goodness yes! People who disagree with you are trolls who should be banned!

    “Sir, the definition of “conflict of interest” is “accepting an appointment as an impartial judge on a project whose failure is in your interest.” That is exactly what Steig did.”

    I’ve highlighted the operative word of your definition,

    Steig reviewed the paper and submitted his comments to the “judge” i.e. the editor. Steig was not the judge of the process.

    Consequently far from being “exactly what Steig did” it’s exactly not what Steig did.

  53. sharper00 says:
    February 10, 2011 at 10:22 am
    “remember the purpose of peer review is to determine if a paper has any obvious flaws”

    Hmm, it seems to me that the “flaws” that reviewer A (supposedly) found weren’t so “obvious” if it took 88 pages to explain them.

  54. @Smokey

    “And if you’ve read that link before, then you know about the corruption that infests the climate peer review process.”

    Aha! So I’m told by one person I should be quiet until I’ve familiarised myself with events and by another that my familiarity with events is itself suspicious.

    “Steig’s shenanigans are just more of the same.”

    And yet you’re unable explain how that is.

  55. Adam Gallon says:
    February 10, 2011 at 9:20 am
    I’ve just left the following comment.
    In, Borehole or Oblivion?
    __________________________________
    Most likely oblivion. Don’t feel bad. Your posts are in the company of many great posts, including most of mine. Oblivion is the only feature better than the “borehole” at the rc website.

  56. @OldOne

    “Hmm, it seems to me that the “flaws” that reviewer A (supposedly) found weren’t so “obvious” if it took 88 pages to explain them.”

    You can accuse Steig of being overzealous if you like, it’s a matter of opinion. However the issue at hand here is the accusations that the peer review process failed in some sort of (as yet) undescribed manner.

    Is the author of the paper being critiqued going to be eager to find flaws with the critique? Of course, it’s human nature. However the determination of whether the flaws he identifies are worthwhile is for the editor to decide.

    Therefore I don’t see how asking someone with an interest in finding flaws, to find flaws is somehow a failure of peer review.

  57. sharper00 says:

    “And yet you’re unable explain how that is.”

    You won’t know, or even understand, until you’ve read Bishop Hill’s account that I posted. To repeat: climate peer review is corrupt, and Steig’s shenanigans are just more of the same.

  58. sharper00 says:
    February 10, 2011 at 11:07 am

    Consequently far from being “exactly what Steig did” it’s exactly not what Steig did.
    _________________________

    Ok. Assuming you are partly correct (though wrong in making it “the opposite”), wouldn’t you say that writing 88(!) pages of criticism is a valiant effort to exert some form of influence? I’ve never received more than 5 pages of review on my publications and English is not even my native language. I’d say Steig has probably set some sort of record.

  59. Perhaps the journal editor believed Steig would behave in a more honorable and less partial fashion as a reviewer than he did. After getting an 88-page filibuster in response, he then may have tried to ride it out and hoped his participation could be salvaged. In retrospect he may have hung on to Steig’s participation too long, but did eventually make it better.

    Here’s hoping this episode of “As the Climate Turns” will teach editors the dangers of selecting reviewers with too much of a stake in the outcome of a paper. It will require a degree of ‘political’ savvy that I bet is not widely available in the journal editor population.

  60. sharper00 has an ethical blind spot. He says:

    “Therefore I don’t see how asking someone with an interest in finding flaws, to find flaws is somehow a failure of peer review.”

    It is a clear conflict of interest. The fact that is being done throughout climate peer review is no excuse. Climategate proved conclusively that Mann and his clique have effectively gamed the system to their own advantage.

    The more I read sharper00’s comments, the more I suspect he is Steig.

  61. sharper00 says:
    February 10, 2011 at 11:04 am

    The editor is free to completely disregard everything the reviewer produces if they think it has no basis.
    _____________________________

    He is apparently also free to disregard good judgement.

    The basis? This is a field of science so complex that you could argue that almost anything has no basis as long as you make an effort. They keep confirming every suspicion that arose from the climategate scandal. Luckily they have people like you out there to rationalize every little suspicious piece of information. Mind you, I’m not a “denier”, but a scientist who is furious with the attack on the scientific process “the Team” is responsible for.

  62. @Magnus

    “Ok. Assuming you are partly correct (though wrong in making it “the opposite”), wouldn’t you say that writing 88(!) pages of criticism is a valiant effort to exert some form of influence?”

    I think it would demonstrate that Steig was quite attached to his paper and overly keen to find flaws with the critique. Calling it “an effort to exert influence” seems quite a stretch since the more obvious he makes his attachment then the less likely the editor is to accept it.

  63. Afraid I’ve lost all faith in institutions like science and peer review and one of my degrees has science in its name.

    I have to read a lot of journal articles each week but I now take all of them with a grain of salt.

    The CRU climategate scandal showed the fluff piece peer reviews written by The Team on papers that supported them but, as noted in the emails, “went to town” on those they disagreed with and tried everything they could to suppress dissenting perspectives.

    The JoC can not be taken seriously when it requested Steig to review the opposing paper – no conflict of interest there.

    I have no opinion positive or negative on Eric Steig or Ryan O’Donnell, et al. My comments are that the peer review process itself is utter rubbish at this point and the journals are publishing rubbish. This mess was created by the editor of JoC.

  64. I don’t know sharper00, but I know his type. They quibble and nit-pick and play “Gotcha!” interminably merely to assuage their fragile egos. There is no interest in actual knowledge or information, just who scored the most points off the others. He will continue as long as you give him any attention. Please simply ignore him.

  65. Reading about this got me thinking about the book “A brief history of nearly everything”. It has many stories about corrupt scientists cheating, hindering criticism, and just, in general, breaking ethics in science. I predict that the revised edition in the year 2080 will include a biiig chapter on “Team Hockey Stick”. Steig et al. is no doubt going down in history as important people to learn from – much in the same way we are told to learn from Lysenko and others like him.

  66. Because you can copy and paste what is over at RC does NOT mean you read the reviews, or at the least you are cherry picking

    Review 2 from Eric states:
    “My recommendation is that the editor insist that results showing the ‘mostly likely’ West
    Antarctic trends be shown in place of Figure 3. While the written text does acknowledge
    that the rate of warming in West Antarctica is probably greater than shown, it is the
    figures that provide the main visual ‘take home message’ that most readers will come
    away with. I am not suggesting here that kgnd = 5 will necessarily provide the best
    estimate, as I had thought was implied in the earlier version of the text. Perhaps, as the
    authors suggest, kgnd should not be used at all, but the results from the ‘iridge’ infilling
    should be used instead. The authors state that this “yields similar patterns of change as
    shown in Fig. 3, with less intense cooling on Ross, comparable verification statistics and
    a statistically significant average West Antarctic trend of 0.11 +/- 0.08 C/decade.” If
    that is the case, why not show it? I recognize that these results are relatively new – since
    they evidently result from suggestions made in my previous review – but this is not a
    compelling reason to leave this ‘future work’.”

    Wow…so he insists they show it. “why not show it”. Don’t leave it as “future work” It doesn’t suggest using K_gnd = 5….and then says hey why not show iRidge..he INSISTS a change in what they show in figure 3, then says hey I’m not saying lower K_gnd…maybe they can do iRidge (as the author said would get rid of the K_gnd problem all together.

    So smarty..if he insists they replace figure three with something else, but says not to use a different K_gnd number in place of 7, then says hey why not iRidge you mentioned..how on THIS earth is he not insisting on iRidge given he’s given NO OTHER CHOICES here????

  67. It strikes me that Steigs reviewing and his subsequent comments have been deflections away from the nub of the matter – which is that he was in error. No shame in that – it happens – get over it!

  68. @Magnus

    “The basis? This is a field of science so complex that you could argue that almost anything has no basis as long as you make an effort. “

    Well sure but I think the average journal editor has been around the block a few times and knows the reverse is true too: That no paper is perfect and without flaws. So the issue is really whether the flaws are serious or notable. A reviewer can identify as many flaws as they like but the editor has to make the judgement call on whether fixing them is worthwhile (either because the paper is fine as it is, or the paper is not salvageable)

    “Luckily they have people like you out there to rationalize every little suspicious piece of information.”

    I think if people are going to level accusations against individuals, publications and institutions they need to be specific and well supported. Hand waving about nebulous unsubstantiated conflict of interest and “Aha! Climategate!” don’t do it for me.

  69. @ sharper00
    ” sharper00 says:
    February 10, 2011 at 10:51 am

    @James Sexton

    “I’ve already quoted it twice now, if you’re going to rest your claim on the supposed strength of “Reviewer A”‘s recommendation then you have no argument.”
    ======================================================

    That’s horse $hit. Ok, insisted or recommended or suggested…….however you want to frame it.

    Read this and tell me what it means to you….“Yet at least two independent groups who have tested the performance of RegEM with iridge have found that it is prone to the underestimation of trends, given sparse and noisy data (e.g. Mann et al, 2007a, Mann et al., 2007b, Smerdon and Kaplan, 2007) and this is precisely why more recent work has favored the use of TTLS, rather than iridge, as the regularization method in RegEM in such situations. It is not surprising that O’Donnell et al (2010), by using iridge, do indeed appear to have dramatically underestimated long-term trends—the Byrd comparison leaves no other possible conclusion…..”

    Later…….“The choice of kgnd that yields the best agreement with the iridge calculations (which, remember, is already known to create problems) happens to be kgnd = 7, and it just so happens that this yields the minimum trends……”

    ========================================================
    So, did he know his suggestion would lead him to state this later? Or did he have an epiphany after he was done reviewing? Because if he “knew” his suggestion carried these inherent criticisms, then it would be entirely disingenuous to suggest it, without so much as a warning about its use.

    Duplicity.

  70. sharper00 says:
    February 10, 2011 at 11:31 am

    Calling it “an effort to exert influence” seems quite a stretch since the more obvious he makes his attachment then the less likely the editor is to accept it.

    _______________________________

    So, now the editor picked a reviewer he felt had a problematic attachment? Why on earth would he pick a man he knew to be potentially biased….UNLESS he shares his bias, maybe?

    First you imply that you see nothing wrong with Steig being a reviewer. Then you point out the editor’s knowledge of a “problematic attachment” which could make his review biased. I hope you’re not a criminal investigator.

  71. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle believed in fairies. When others claimed to see fairies, he believed them. He thought the Cottingley fake photographs likely showed fairies.

    The Team believe that adding CO2 to the atmosphere increases the greenhouse effect, producing higher temperatures. Since there’s no way to detect that process other than indirect measurements, they pursue novel methods to tease a warming signal out of some of the noisiest data on the planet. If those methods don’t show warming, they tweak the methods until they do. If the data don’t show warming, they tweak the data until they do. There simply must be fairies!

    They are so certain there are fairies, they see fairies wherever they look. If you don’t see the fairies, they’ll provide the Cottingley photographs, and the printout from their Global Fairy Models, too. Do you believe in fairies yet?

  72. Secondly sharper00

    Eric then reads the iRidge version and has THIS to say about it

    “As expected from this, the new method that O’Donnell et al. now
    emphasize — using their implementation of the ‘regem’ algorithm with individual
    ridge regressions for each data point, and hence individual values of kgnd and
    ksat being used as well, gives results in much better agreement with lower values
    of k”

    and

    “* The use of the ‘iridge’ procedure makes sense to me, and I suspect it really
    does give the best results.”

    and

    “The main thing is that the ‘iridge’
    procedure is a bit of a black box, and yet this is now what is emphasized in the
    manuscript. That’s too bad because it is probably less useful as a ‘teaching’
    manuscript than earlier versions. I would love to see O’Donnell et al. discuss in a
    bit more details (perhaps just a few sentences) how the iridget caclculations
    actually work, since this is not very well described in the original work of
    Schneider. This is just a suggestion to the authors, and I do not feel strongly that
    they should be held to it.” < here not saying to toss it out, but to beter explain it so it can be used to teach!

    And then….then after writing that he goes onto RC and kills them for using it.

    Open and shut case. Duplicity. If he had a problem with it, maybe he should have said so as a reviewer! The fourth version didn't change the iridge calculations so he can't claim that it is now the reason he doesn't like it.

  73. Although this ongoing controversy has provided some valuable insights into the many flaws in the peer reviewed publication process for scientific literature, it has seemed to me from the beginning to be a colossal waste of time and effort. The temperature data from Antarctica has always been so sparse and unreliable that even if, by some unimaginable miracle, you could get the entire statistical community to agree on a set of “best practices” on how to deal with it, you still couldn’t produce anything more meaningful than a statement that Antarctica is colder than a Wiccan’s mammary and is likely to stay that way, no matter what global mean temperatures do in the next couple of centuries.

    As I tried to point out when Steig’s work first surfaced, this effort is analogous to trying to construct long term temperature trends for the continentalU.S. by taking data from stations in the Florida Keys and the Everglades, combining it with data for the other 47 states from a handful of randomly scattered stations which were some of the worst rated in Anthony’s surface station survey, and producing a nicely scarlet swathed map of the lower 48. The only real difference is that Antarctica is actually twice the size of the lower 48.

    I realize that dedicated number crunchers have a psychological need to believe in the efficacy of their efforts. A realistic assessment of the true uncertainties of their efforts would likely subject them to profound existential doubts about the meaningfulness of their life’s work. The rest of us shouldn’t feel compelled to share their delusions.

  74. sharper00 says:
    February 10, 2011 at 11:07 am

    @Sam Parsons

    “The trolls are in. This comment could be written only by a troll or slipping in and out of consciousness. Anthony should ban them.”

    Oh goodness yes! People who disagree with you are trolls who should be banned!

    “Goodness” indeed!

    Hasn’t it occurred to you that not one of your contributions would ever have seen the light of day at the temple of your oracles – Real Climate.

    As somebody once said – “Goodness has nothing to do with it”

  75. Some wrong facts in circulation here. From the OP:

    “This is due to the fact that JoC had to bring in another reviewer to break the 88 page log jam created by “Reviewer A”.”

    First the 88 pages furphy. Reviewer A wrote three reviews. The first was 14 pages, the second 6 and the third 4.

    JoC did not bring in reviewer D to break a logjam. They brought him in after the first round of reviews, explicitly in response to a complaint from Ryan. Broccoli said:
    “To allay some of the concerns you have expressed about Rev. A, I have sought the advice of an additional reviewer (Rev. D). Please note that several of Rev. D’s comments are similar to points made by Rev. A and thus warrant especially close attention.”

  76. Obviously, Steig was a poor choice of reviewer as he doesn’t have the necessary expertise in the field(s) in question (i.e. statistics and methodology). Further, in the performance of his duties as reviewer he displayed a greater allegiance to protecting his reputation than actually engaging with the submitted material.

    All in all its a rather amateurish outing for Prof. Steig.

  77. Steig says ” I’m not a statistician “. That’s the only true thing he has said in this whole sordid saga.

    So a self confessed non-statistician reviews a paper which is criticial of his crappy statistical methods. That itself is a dishonourable and fraudulent act.

    And then he goes on to further show his idiocy by having 88 pages of obstructive review, 10 times more than the paper.

    And then he goes and posts crap in RC and gets ripped apart more in detail about his statistical methods. To think that this guy is a professor!!! God help his students, seeing his knowledge and ethics.

  78. @AJ Abrams

    “Because you can copy and paste what is over at RC does NOT mean you read the reviews, or at the least you are cherry picking”

    Er ok but you just quoted precisely the same section I did. Is your one better somehow? So the recommendation starts with

    “My recommendation is that the editor insist that results showing the ‘mostly likely’ West Antarctic trends be shown in place of Figure 3.”

    And then later (third time I’ve quoted this now)

    “Perhaps, as the authors suggest, kgnd should not be used at all, but the results from the ‘iridge’ infilling should be used instead.”

    Does the “insist” from several sentences previously somehow leak into this one? The use of iridge and Steig’s subsequent criticism of it is the basis for the “duplicity” charge.

    Maybe O’Donnell interpreted it as insistence but then I already pointed out in my first comment that this is a misunderstanding, not a failure of peer review.

    “So smarty..if he insists they replace figure three with something else, but says not to use a different K_gnd number in place of 7, then says hey why not iRidge you mentioned..how on THIS earth is he not insisting on iRidge given he’s given NO OTHER CHOICES here????”

    It’s not the job of the reviewer to write the paper! He identifies problems with the figure, wants it replaced and offers suggestions about what could be used instead. It’s upto the authors to replace it with something else.

    Now this apparent crisis in peer review apparently boils down to how forcefully you can interpret “Perhaps, as the authors suggest, kgnd should not be used at all, but the results from the ‘iridge’ infilling should be used instead.”.

    This is an extremely weak argument.

  79. It would appear that EVERY “peer-reviewed” science article (and reply/notes/correction/addendum published thereafter) needs an anonymous reviewer cycle as often done today – but only during the reviewing process.

    Once accepted for publication, every article (or correction or note) should be printed WITH the reviewers’ names and title included immediately below the authors’ names and titles.

    Peer-reviewing without attribution leads to four failures:

    1) The hours and days spent by the reviewer are NOT visible to his peers, to his students or fellow authors at his own institute, and to his bosses and department heads. No visibility, no recognition by the reviewers’ peers = No rewards for being a credible and honest reviewer.

    2) An anonymous reviewer is protected by his/her very anonymity. Protected against correction or exposure that is – the writer of an unpopular piece is “stuck” flailing against Galileo’s accusers in the “church’s authorities” = “The Paper Inquisition” but cannot defend himself/herself against those who bring their charges of witchcraft and heresy. The Paper Inquisition are protected against THEIR abuses and THEIR own prejudices and THEIR (deliberate and incidental) errors because no one knows who is behind the charges.

    3) A person who has performed dozens (or hundreds) of reviews is more powerful, more effective than ten writers/one hundred writers who have submitted one paper each. That reviewer MUST be known and their reputation established and enhanced. Or that reputation removed, if the reviewer’s prejudices are known.

    4) The EDITOR who is shown to blindly pass too many articles to only a “Chosen Few” in his Paper Inquisition will lose his power and HIS ability to throttle scientific investigation. Papers and Journals who support a Paper Inquisition by THEIR selection and prejudices inside the review process need flushing and exposure to the light too!

  80. sharper00 says:
    “I already quoted the actual recommendation and you’re telling me to get current.
    Here, again, is the “strong recommendation”:

    “Perhaps, as the authors suggest, kgnd should not be used at all, but the results from the ‘iridge’ infilling should be used instead. “”

    You are absolutely correct that this politely worded suggestion was in the 88 page review. However, as you also quoted without highlighting, it was in a paragraph where the opening sentence is:

    “My recommendation is that the editor insist that results showing the ‘mostly
    likely’ West Antarctic trends be shown in place of Figure 3.”

    I would suggest that recommending “that the editor insist” on a change can be categorized as a “strong recommendation”.

  81. Couple of factual points.

    1. Steig / Reviewer A wrote 24 pages of review, an utterly proportionate amount, the ’88 pages’ comes when you include the author’s reply.

    2. Montford’s ‘Jesus Paper’ essay, a putative demolition of peer-review, is hilarious. He rants on (and on) about the occlusion of r-squared stats:

    And he therefore now knew that Wahl and Amman’s work suffered from exactly the same problem as the hockey stick itself: the R2 number was so low as to suggest that the hockey stick had no meaning at all, […] McIntyre’s first action as a peer reviewer was therefore to request from Wahl and Amman the verification statistics for their replication of the stick. Confirmation that the R2 was close to zero would strike a serious blow at Wahl and Amman’s work. [….]. (etc etc,)

    You’d think someone wanted to be regarded as credible would have checked what the NAS panel on paleo-reconstructions had to say about the usefulness of r-squared in the context of assessing proxy skill.

    They said ‘it is not in itself a useful indication of merit’ (Page 93).

    Not in itself a useful indicator of merit. Take away this meat from the Bish’s flight of fancy and you’re left with a thin soup indeed….

  82. Colin K at Bishop Hill got it:

    “Surely Eric Steig has admitted defeat:
    – He concedes he might be wrong;
    – He states that the “technical aspects of the methodology are completely legitimate subjects of discussion” but doesn’t go on to discuss and defend them;
    – Earlier in his post he agrees “I am not a statistician”;
    – Since the entire basis of the paper is a statistical analysis of data that supposedly demonstrates alarming warming across wide areas of Antarctica, but the author agrees he’s not a statistician and might be wrong, why should anyone attach any weight to this particular piece of work?”
    ColinK

    That’s the meat in Steig’s post: “With respect to O’Donnell’s lengthy discussion of the technical aspects of the difference between our papers, I’m not complaining. ”

    The rest is noise.

  83. Richard Horton, editor of the British medical journal The Lancet, has said that

    “The mistake, of course, is to have thought that peer review was any more than a crude means of discovering the acceptability — not the validity — of a new finding. Editors and scientists alike insist on the pivotal importance of peer review. We portray peer review to the public as a quasi-sacred process that helps to make science our most objective truth teller. But we know that the system of peer review is biased, unjust, unaccountable, incomplete, easily fixed, often insulting, usually ignorant, occasionally foolish, and frequently wrong.”

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peer_review#Criticisms_of_peer_review

  84. I’ve not read through all the comments to see if this is old news, but according to Andrew Revkin, O’Donnells planning to apologize. Distressing if so…From D.E. below

    “That was then. Civility evaporated in a series of blog posts on Realclimate and Climateaudit that crested a few days ago when O’Donnell lobbed a heap of accusations against Steig. (O’Donnell has, in e-mail exchanges between the combatants that I’ve been copied on, said he recants the worst of them and plans to post an apology.)”

  85. The reason for banning the trolls is that they are here to create obfuscation and for no other reason. They and “The Team” want to be able to point to this site and say that many people disagree with claims such as the claim that Steig knowingly and deceitfully engaged in a conflict of interest that was blessed by the journal editor. Not one of the trolls will debate me on that claim. They should be banned.

  86. So…Eric’s reply, “Some thoughts on Personal Responsibility and the Peer Review Process”.

    Firstly:

    “First, I never suggested to the authors that they use ‘iridge’.”

    Yes, Steig unquestionably did, in one of the reviews:

    “Perhaps, as the authors suggest, kgnd should not be used at all, but the results from the ‘iridge’ infilling should be used instead.”

    “Perhaps” makes it a suggestion. It’s not debatable.

    What Steig could have said that would make his first statement above a truth is that he did not raise the idea in the first place, but encouraged it. But what Steig says is that he never suggested they use iridge, and that’s patently untrue.

    Steig’s assertion is to try to avoid the duplicity charge. The duplicity charge does not actually come from his criticizing the choice of the iridge procedure; he could have, in fact, changed his mind in the interim. People are allowed to do that. BUT…having made the suggestion in “secret”, he would have a moral responsibility, when going public with his criticism, to ‘fess up to the fact that he influenced this choice in the first place; to publicly state that, at the time, he suspected it did provide better results and, for that reason, he recommended it.

    That’s where the duplicity comes in; he influenced that choice in “secret”, and then criticized it in public without revealing his secret influence.

    If Steig really does not see this as duplicitious, then it does highlight a flaw of the Peer Review process. If scientists really believe that it’s ethical to influence changes to a paper in secret, then later criticize those changes, then the Peer Review process is flawed.

    Secondly, if scientists really believe this next Steig quote:

    “But once they have signed off on the paper, it is their paper, and blaming someone else — reviewer or editor — for its content is simply passing the buck.”

    …the Peer Review process again has a serious problem.

    The way the Peer Review process works, the reviewer becomes a co-writer. To the extent that their suggestions are ignored, the reviewer isn’t responsible; to the extent that their suggestions are accepted and the paper is changed, they become co-responsible. If scientists don’t get this, if scientists are not willing to take personal responsibility for the effects of their reviews, then the Peer Review process is again hopelessly flawed.

    Thirdly, a conflict of interest is not inherently a problem. A SECRET conflict of interest is, indeed, a problem. It doesn’t help that the editor knows, or makes the final decision, if, when the reviewer makes public criticisms, the public doesn’t know. I think the editor/publisher enabled this tempest with a poor choice.

    And lastly, Steig admits he’s not a statistician. Think about that for a minute. Let that bounce around inside the head for a bit.

    If he’s not qualified to be a statistician…what is he doing writing S09, which defined and applied new statistical techniques? Why is someone asking him to review Ryan’s paper, if he’s not qualified to understand the stats? What is he doing recommending one technique over another, especially when, as a “secret” person, the authors have no way to determine whether his advice comes from an amateur statistician or an expert? And lastly, what is he doing criticizing iridge at all?

    It really, really bothers me that so many of these papers are based on Statistical analysis without there having been a statitician involved. If there’s no other reason to suspect that AGW is a paper boat, it’s this: these Scientists produce their “Science” using tools they don’t understand, and they really resent it when someone notices.

    Ryan, if you really do intend to “retract allegations”, think carefully. The only thing I can see to retract is the assertion that Eric asked for a copy of the paper when in fact he had already seen it…if Eric didn’t see the final draft, then he wasn’t being manipulative. But that’s it; Eric’s outrage is unfounded. Eric was duplicitious, as in two-faced, recommending “X” over here as secret persona A and attacking “X” over there as public persona B.

    However, all that said…it never pays to lose your temper. A good public relations firm (and I’m convinced that Eric’s response was written mostly by a public relations firm; it’s just too good) can work it against you.

    And thanks for all your hard work, and for bearing the frustrations inherent in getting anything “skeptical” published. You have no idea how much I admire you folks.

  87. >>sharper00 says:
    February 10, 2011 at 11:50 am

    And then later (third time I’ve quoted this now)

    “Perhaps, as the authors suggest, kgnd should not be used at all, but the results from the ‘iridge’ infilling should be used instead.”

    Does the “insist” from several sentences previously somehow leak into this one? The use of iridge and Steig’s subsequent criticism of it is the basis for the “duplicity” charge. <<

    Even taking the mildest meaning from your above quote, it says that Reviewer A found iridge to be acceptable, and voiced that back to the author via his review. To then come out and criticize the author for using it is clearly duplicity.

  88. Would it perhaps be wise…. given the trillions riding on all this…

    To invest in a number of state of the art (designed specifically for the harsh antartica ennvironment) automatic WEATHER STATIONS, to be spread across the continent and interior of Antartica…

    It may well cost 100 million, 200 million….(it may well offer serious engineering challenges), would it not be money well spent, after all this is (maybe/maybe not) the biggest crisis that man-kind faces (sarc off)

    But using statistics to measure temperature, where there are no thermomers is not the best approach?

  89. My response is best typified by the quote below.

    “Oh what a tangled web we weave,
    When first we practise to deceive!”

    Sir Walter Scott
    Marmion
    Canto vi. Stanza 17.

  90. Phil Clarke says:
    February 10, 2011 at 12:11 pm
    Couple of factual points.

    “1. Steig / Reviewer A wrote 24 pages of review, an utterly proportionate amount, the ’88 pages’ comes when you include the author’s reply.”

    Laughable. Absurd. Have you no common sense whatsoever? What do you think journal editors do? If the average review were 24 pages long, no journal editor would finish reading half the reviews sent him? So, why would he ask for them?

  91. Pielke Sr. regarding Watts not being a referee on Menne et al.:

    “I was quite surprised to learn that despite the central role of Anthony Watt’s analysis in the paper, he was not asked to be a referee of the paper. This is inappropriate and suggests the Editor did not provide a balanced review process. ”

    http://pielkeclimatesci.wordpress.com/2010/01/15/professional-discourtesy-by-the-national-climate-data-center/

    it is completely normal, or expected even, that authors whose paper is being critized are one of the reviewers. They are most familiar with the issues, plus it enables the editor to hear both sides.

  92. Since by his own admission ES is not a statistician, what was he doing writing statistical papers without a statistician co-author in the first place?

    Since that paper was show to use poor statistical methods, which invalidate the results, how did it pass peer review?

    Who were the reviewers of the original ES paper, and why were the poor statistical methods not highlighted during it’s review?

    What the climate science community needs to ask it’s self is, how did a flawed paper make it onto the front page of the global media, and why has it not been retracted already?

    Until the original ES paper is retracted by the journal, the journal, and climate science as a whole has zero credibility IMO.

  93. RDCII February 10, 2011 at 1:03 pm

    On the issue of understanding of these issues I was amused by the authors’ response to the following third review suggestion from Reviewer A about the need for more information on iridge:

    The main thing is that the ‘iridge’ procedure is a bit of a black box, and yet this is now what is emphasized in the manuscript. That’s too bad because it is probably less useful as a ‘teaching’ manuscript than earlier versions. I would love to see O’Donnell et al. discuss in a bit more details (perhaps just a few sentences) how the iridget caclculations actually work, since this is not very well described in the original work of Schneider.

    The exasperated response from the authors:

    We hold a rather different opinion of which algorithm is a “black box”. Tikhonov regularization (which is called ridge regression primarily in the statistical literature, but Tikhonov regularization elsewhere) has a substantial body of published literature dating back to the 1960s. Much more has been written concerning ridge regression than any other shrinkage estimator of which the present authors are aware. It is a far more common tool in applied mathematics, statistics, and signal / image processing than TTLS.

    Schneider’s 2001 paper spends but two paragraphs (page 866) on TTLS in a 12,000+ word article. The remainder of the article is dedicated to EM and ridge regression. We disagree rather strongly that the ridge regression procedure in Schneider (2001) is not well described – it is quite thoroughly described. On the other hand, TTLS is hardly mentioned, and most of the important calculations that appear in the algorithm are not even shown, much less discussed.

  94. Global temps are dropping like a rock.

    Climate charlatans constantly assert that a well documented USA cooling trend is utterly irrelevant for a land mass as small (and, in their “minds”, inconsequential) as the continental USA.

    But, the same charlatans want us to get our panties in a bunch over extremely questionable “science” related to a FAR smaller land mass (the Antarctic Peninsula)?

    They’re joking, right? If not, then they should meet my challenge.

  95. Perhaps to aid understanding of my February 10, 2011 at 2:09 pm for those not obsessed by this topic, TTLS is the method used in Steig (09) and initially used in the drafts of O’Donnell (2010) until Reviewer A argued that the results from iRidge were more likely and therefore agreed should be reported. TTLS and results were removed from the main paper.

    In light of this one has to suspect TTLS was originally used to best replicate what Steig et al had done, rather than any particular commitment to it by O’Donnell et al.

    And of course that Reviewer A wasn’t really particularly up with the play.

  96. pat says:
    February 10, 2011 at 9:36 am

    Yes that is the bottom line. Antarctica as a whole has not significantly warmed with the exception of the peninsula since 1950. And since the models say the poles will be the canary re AGW, the models are wrong because this canary ain’t singing.

    Nearly right. The canaries were supposed not to sing (or in fact pass out) if levels of toxic gasses rose to a level far below what we could perceive. So in the case of danger, the canary would not sing. If the canary sang, all was OK!

  97. Eric is not just duplicitious, he’s a liar. Take a look at blog entry 84 from RC:

    ———————————————————————————–
    84BPW says:
    8 Feb 2011 at 7:44 PM
    Did my questions get snipped/moderated and if so, why? I should have kept a copy of my questions in case they failed to make it through. They were perfectly legitimate questions giving you a chance to explain this issue from your side rather than letting folks like myself simply take O’Donnell at his word that you acted in an unprofessional and potentially dishonest manner. Simply asking you to clarify your position.

    1) Were you, as he states, one of the referees on his paper?

    2) If so, do you think that the conflict of interest that would seem to come from that being the case is meaningful and if not, why not?

    3) Did you, as part of your review, ask that they change their method only to later criticize that method?

    Like it or not, if you don’t directly address these accusations, the impression lay people are left with is that the whole thing smacks of dishonest use of peer review.

    I am not qualified to suss out the science, but i am qualified to understand O’Donnell’s accusations. I am willing to accept that there is something lost and that he is misrepresenting the situation, but if you waive away these type of questions and quash those who try to ask, what are we left to think?

    [Response: Perhaps you should try thinking, instead of asking me what to think. Let me turn this question around on you: why do you take O’Donnell at his word? And now he’s my word: His allegations have no basis in fact. Now you have my word against his. Now try thinking,-eric]
    ———————————————————————————-
    The link is here:

    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2011/02/west-antarctica-still-warming-2/comment-page-2/#comments

    Note Eric’s evasive answer. It is a lie by omission. He didn’t actually deny that he was a reviewer but the wording is intended to convince the blogger that he could be trusted (ie, I wasnt a reviewer and my comments are not conflicted).

    I tried to post messages to RC seeking clarification because it was clear someone was lying. None of my posts made it past the moderator.

    Aside from the fact that nothing Eric says can be relied upon, the folk at RC are behaving as though they are Gods that cannot be questioned.

    RC and the Team cannot be trusted until they allow their opinions and their science to be critiqued by people outside their clique.

  98. Sierra17 sez:

    “RC and the Team cannot be trusted until they allow their opinions and their science to be critiqued by people outside their clique.”

    Hell will freeze before that happens. But, at this rate, that may come sooner rather than later.

  99. There are several points that I feel should be emphasized for clarity.

    1. Eric Steig did not write 88 pages of review as some have mistakenly claimed, the 88 pages covers the entire review process including the author’s responses.

    2. Eric Steig IS reviewer A, he has publically stated so.

    3. Steig did not insist on iridge being used, however he encouraged it, and after it was used commented favourably upon that use in his 3rd review. If he had clear criticisms of the sort subsequently expressed at RC then either he has had a complete change of heart on the matter (which he should explain publicly), or he is being underhand. If he has objections, then he most certainly should have said so as a reviewer, and having not done so as a reviewer he should not do so subsequently without explanation. Simple ethics I suggest.

    There are other points at issue, but these are three that seem to be widely misunderstood.

  100. Ryan if report here is true that you intend to apologise for something you said in temper in an email, DONT DO IT. It will be spun and spun and spun. The finer points will be left out and headlines will shriek “Denier apologises for errors” or “Denier retracts attack on legit science” etc. etc. It will be on every AGW blog/newspaper on the planet and will haunt you for years.
    WE understand you are a nice guy and nice guys apologise when they do something they see as not nice. THEY on the other hand, are at war with anyone who criticises them and threatens their livelihood, and will use this as another weapon.

  101. Bart Verheggen says:
    February 10, 2011 at 2:00 pm
    Pielke Sr. regarding Watts not being a referee on Menne et al.:

    “it is completely normal, or expected even, that authors whose paper is being critized are one of the reviewers. They are most familiar with the issues, plus it enables the editor to hear both sides.”

    IF EVERYBODY KNOWS ABOUT IT AND AGREES TO IT, INCLUDING THE OTHER REVIEWERS. DUH!

    If there is one other person in this forum who has worked for an editor of an academic journal, they are doing a fine job of hiding that fact. People are talking about the work of editors as if they existed in Ivory Towers with a staff of 200. Editors live from hand to mouth and are constantly begging for help. They are the hardest working people in academia and they truly sacrifice their lives for their journals. An editor’s journal lives through his editorial practices and they are a direct expression of his personality. If an editor permitted a conflict of interest then he knew about it and he endorsed it. Sorry, it just does not work any other way.

    Again, I am responding to a troll. If editors routinely select reviewers who have a conflict of interest then I will eat my hat. That is just plain stupid. It is another example of Ivory Tower thinking. The job of an editor is to ensure that the article is well written, will be of interest to some readers of his journal, and make no blunders that will embarrass the journal. Any editor will tell you that 80% of what is published in journals is worthless. It is published to let people show their stuff and get promotions. Editors do not have the means to determine the quality of the contribution made by an article. To suggest that they do is akin to confusing a lonely little academic office with the Pentagon.

  102. Perhaps I am misreading but in trying to gain understanding, I thought this was significant. It seems clear to me that a change to the paper was made based on a reviewers request and that all reviewers had been made aware of this change in response to that request.

    http://www.climateaudit.info/data/odonnell/2%2020100826%20General%20Note%20to%20All%20Reviewers.pdf

    General Note to All Reviewers
    Based on a request from one of the reviewers, we have agreed to incorporate our “most likely” reconstructions into the main text. These reconstructions do not infill the ground station data using TTLS; instead, they utilize ridge regression. Verification statistics are mildly improved and solution stability is much improved. The smooth regularization and ability to adapt the regularization parameter to the number of predictors in ridge regression proves to be of significant benefit (which was noted as a possibility in Schneider, 2001). Because of this, the TTLS/TSVD reconstructions now serve only to show that cross-validation testing provides a superior means of determining a truncation parameter than the heuristic tool used by S09, and have been relegated to the SI.
    We also decided to make additional simplifications for clarity. As using RegEM in a non-standardized (i.e., covariance) mode results in degraded verification statistics and was far more subject to overfitting than using it in the default standardized (i.e., correlation) mode, we feel it adds little to the paper to include the non-standardized infilling operations. This includes the non-standardized ground station infilling and E-W reconstructions. These have been removed.

  103. Ed Snack says:
    February 10, 2011 at 3:19 pm

    “1. Eric Steig did not write 88 pages of review as some have mistakenly claimed, the 88 pages covers the entire review process including the author’s responses.”

    Let us be clear about this matter. The result of the editorial exchanges was a document that was 88 pages long. Part of it was written by Steig. He began with a review of an 8 page essay that was 24 pages long. Some of the 88 pages was written by O’Donnell and maybe by other reviewers and the journal editor. However, the fact that this exchange went on for 88 pages demonstrates, at least to us who have experience in these matters, that something was seriously amiss. The editor is responsible for permitting this process to get entirely out of control. By the way, in using the word ‘responsible’, I mean that errors were made and a reckoning must be faced, at least a reckoning of conscience. Why haven’t we heard from the editor? He has a lot of questions to answer.

  104. The real trouble is the damage is done, Steig’swork has been BBC news , it’s been on the front page of Nature its entered the dogma of AGW. The fact it’s been proven to be rubbish does no matter unless this proof receives the same exposure, and with gate keepers on these that make Cerberus look like the Andrex puppy can anyone see that happing?

    So although they have lost the science argument, and you do need to keep in mind that the ‘Team’ regard it has impossible for them to be wrong, they actual won the more important argument. All that is left now is some ‘pissing into the wind ‘exercises.

  105. jorgekafkazar says:
    February 10, 2011 at 11:46 am

    What I find so troubling is the “Global Average Fairy.”

  106. Bart Verheggen says:
    February 10, 2011 at 2:00 pm
    Pielke Sr. regarding Watts not being a referee on Menne et al.:

    “it is completely normal, or expected even, that authors whose paper is being critized are one of the reviewers. They are most familiar with the issues, plus it enables the editor to hear both sides.”

    Whether or not it was appropriate for Eric Steig to review the paper is one thing, the fact that he criticized the paper at RC without declaring he had been a reviewer was nothing more than deceitful. The article at RC was an attempt to protect his credibility which would have been utterly ineffective had his reviewer status been known when the article was posted.

    Moreover, until he had been caught red handed, he acted deceptively to prevent his reviewer status from being revealed (see my post above).

    People who lie have something to hide.

    When is the Team and RC going to understand that an honest debate cannot be had without transperancy?

    How many times do they have to be caught out before the media and our political leaders get it?

    When will the moderators at RC stop acting like they are Winston Smith from George Orwells 1984?

  107. sharper00 says:
    February 10, 2011 at 11:04 am
    @Sam Parsons
    “No editor in his right mind would assign as reviewer someone who adamantly believes, and rightly so, that the paper he is reviewing has major negative implications for a paper he has published. “

    “The editor is free to completely disregard everything the reviewer produces if they think it has no basis.”

    sharper00, why do you quote me and fail to respond to the quote? Do you not understand the concept of “conflict of interest?” Let me explain. Being a reviewer means being an impartial judge. Being an impartial judge means having no personal interest in the fate of the essay that you are judging. However, the essay of O’Donnell’s that Steig judged was a criticism of Steig’s work. Given that fact, Steig should have said to the editor that I have a conflict of interest. If the editor replied that it does not matter, then Steig had a responsibility to ask if O’Donnell agreed. These questions were not answered because O’Donnell did not know that Steig was a reviewer. Therefore Steig had a conflict of interest. So, do you understand now that Steig had a conflict of interest and was morally wrong not to reveal it to all other interested parties? If this practice is common among climate scientists, then all of them are morally wrong, should admit their malfeasance, and accept the punishment. You do not engage in this practice, do you?

  108. KnR says:
    February 10, 2011 at 4:18 pm
    The real trouble is the damage is done, Steig’swork has been BBC news , it’s been on the front page of Nature its entered the dogma of AGW. The fact it’s been proven to be rubbish does no matter unless this proof receives the same exposure, and with gate keepers on these that make Cerberus look like the Andrex puppy can anyone see that happing?
    ———————————————————–
    Well the BBC and Nature are going to look like right royal idiots by the time this is over.

    Steig’s credibility is shot and news of his behaviour will eventually filter out.

  109. Part of it was written by Steig. He began with a review of an 8 page essay that was 24 pages long.

    Both incorrect. You haven’t actually read the documents you are describing have you? The ‘essay’ runs to 45 pages and the Steig’s first response was 16. Review is an iterative process and reviews 2 and 3 added another 10 pages. All perfectly unremarkable. Steig was not involved in round 4 which is why he requested a preprint of the final published paper, in case it had been further revised. The only ‘duplicity’ in this affair was in O’Donnell posting the reviews online after he had explicitly given his word he would not do so.

    http://www.climateaudit.info/data/odonnell/1%2020100209%20Submission.pdf

  110. There is very little Steig can say about this matter to remove the egg from his face and re-establish any shred of credibility he thought he had. He has been well and truly discredited as a modern snake-oil salesman…

  111. @Phil Clarke says:
    @February 10, 2011 at 4:56 pm

    “Both incorrect. You haven’t actually read the documents you are describing have you?”

    Well, if you define ‘read’ as looking at pictures – you might have a point. If you define ‘read’ as something that you can do with written text, then you’ll find that the O’Donnell pdf that you link to is considerably shorter that ‘Reviewer A’s initial comments. The linked O’Donnell pdf is double spaced text, about 25 pages or so, ‘Reviewer A’s comments are 14 pages single spaced.

    But, then what are simple facts to those of a climatological inclination(?)

  112. One of the most botherson things about this whole Steig episode is the fact that Eric Steig is one of the least dishonest of the alarmist clique. At least he has written articles for WUWT, and he has tried to explain his point of view.

    But it’s all downhill from there. The Schmidts, the Manns, the Trenberths, the Briffas, the Gores, the Wahls, the Ammans, the Famigliettis, the Houghtons, etc., are all more devious and dishonest than Eric Steig. That is why they absolutely refuse to allow open discussion, and why they tuck their tails between their hind legs and run from every proposal that they explain themselves in a neutral media venue. Because if they did, they would be exposed as clones of Elmer Gantry — without any of Gantry’s redeeming qualities. The recent thread on RealClimate’s censorship of differing views opened a lot of folks’ eyes to their smarmy tactics.

    This is not to excuse Steig, who clearly used his anonymous position to trash someone critical of his inept statistics. That was sneaky and underhanded. But it is depressing to know that Steig is the least dishonest of the lot.

    Mann and Schmidt are especially odious, as can be seen in the Climategate emails. And the fact that climate journals, which compete for the big names, cave in to the threats and intimidation of charlatans like Mann, shows that the climate peer review system has been thoroughly corrupted.

    That’s what happens when several billion dollars are in play every year. The honest folks get crowded out or quit in disgust, leaving only the dishonest self-serving reprobates in charge. And the taxpayers are fleeced by those gaming the system.

  113. Phil Clarke says:
    February 10, 2011 at 4:56 pm
    Part of it was written by Steig. He began with a review of an 8 page essay that was 24 pages long.
    “Both incorrect. You haven’t actually read the documents you are describing have you?”

    I do not have to read it. I am corresponding with good old Real Climate Pit Bulls. I know you well. You will sit on the computer endlessly throwing up every possible detail to keep from discussing the actual issue. I explained that issue to sharper00 in great detail. He cannot find the strength to address it. Can you? Here it is:

    sharper00, why do you quote me and fail to respond to the quote? Do you not understand the concept of “conflict of interest?” Let me explain. Being a reviewer means being an impartial judge. Being an impartial judge means having no personal interest in the fate of the essay that you are judging. However, the essay of O’Donnell’s that Steig judged was a criticism of Steig’s work. Given that fact, Steig should have said to the editor that I have a conflict of interest. If the editor replied that it does not matter, then Steig had a responsibility to ask if O’Donnell agreed. These questions were not answered because O’Donnell did not know that Steig was a reviewer. Therefore Steig had a conflict of interest. So, do you understand now that Steig had a conflict of interest and was morally wrong not to reveal it to all other interested parties? If this practice is common among climate scientists, then all of them are morally wrong, should admit their malfeasance, and accept the punishment. You do not engage in this practice, do you?

  114. Bart Verheggen says:
    February 10, 2011 at 2:00 pm

    Pielke Sr. regarding Watts not being a referee on Menne et al.:

    You have obviously either not read or not understood the import of the elder Dr. P’s post. His point was not that Menne etc was criticizing a paper of Watts’, but rather that Menne was using Watts’ data before Watts had had the opportunity to publish at all, which is quite different.

    Good grief.

  115. The bottom line that has been lost in the fog of this war is that Antarctica isn’t warming as much as is claimed, and most of the statistically significant warming is confined to the peninsula.

    Correct me if I am wrong, but (except for the south pole) isn’t the peninsula where all the western scientists are? Leading me to. . .

    …a legitimate question: Any chance this is UHI of some sort? Has anyone considered this possibility, if for no other reason than to rule it out?

  116. smokey says:

    Mann and Schmidt are especially odious, as can be seen in the Climategate emails. And the fact that climate journals, which compete for the big names, cave in to the threats and intimidation of charlatans like Mann, shows that the climate peer review system has been thoroughly corrupted.

    That’s what happens when several billion dollars are in play every year. The honest folks get crowded out or quit in disgust, leaving only the dishonest self-serving reprobates in charge. And the taxpayers are fleeced by those gaming the system.

    Or…perhaps more likely…this is an example of the losers in a scientific debate coming up with complaints as to why the entire scientific system has been corrupted and rigged against them. You can find the same sorts of complaints in this movie: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Expelled:_No_Intelligence_Allowed

    It’s the oldest trick in the book: When your team loses, blame it all on the referees!

  117. The bottom line that has been lost in the fog of this war is that Antarctica isn’t warming as much as is claimed, and most of the statistically significant warming is confined to the peninsula.

    Actually that’s not correct, as I understand it. The O’Donnell et al paper simply points out that the Steig et al paper’s methods are wrong/misleading. They make no claim as to the correctness of what the climate down there is actually doing.

  118. Smokey says:
    February 10, 2011 at 6:27 pm
    “One of the most botherson things about this whole Steig episode is the fact that Eric Steig is one of the least dishonest of the alarmist clique. At least he has written articles for WUWT, and he has tried to explain his point of view.”

    I am impressed by your very great sympathy for your fellow man. I would like to tell you about a cartoon that appeared in 1979. In the first panel, there is a young George Washington who is holding an axe and saying to his father “I cannot tell a lie.” In the second panel, there is Richard Nixon saying “I cannot tell the truth.” In the third and last panel, there is a toothy, grinning Jimmy Carter saying “I cannot tell the difference.” The moral of the story is that there is a very fine line between those who cannot tell the difference and those who choose the crime.

  119. Theo Goodwin says “this exchange goes on for 88 pages”.
    Come on people – this on its own sounds the alarm bells. Do all global warming papers create such nonsense?
    If I was responsible for the review process I would quickly go to plan b because plan a sucked.

  120. Oh I got a comment deleted from the Bore Hole. I pointed out that the sections of the other comment of mine they edited were innocuous compared to what they kept and that I’d changed my answer from before.

    He asked me if I thought O’Donnell was an ethical player and in my original answer I said I had no idea if either of them were. After he deleted sections of my comment and made his own suggestions to imply those sections were insulting I told him I changed my answer and now considered him an unethical player.

    The Real Climate method of debating is to yell “Shut up!” when they’ve been shown up. Do they think that sort of behavior demonstrates great mental acumen?

    I guess I’ll go back to just screwing with them since an honest debate isn’t possible.

  121. Joel Shore sez:

    “When your team loses, blame it all on the referees!”

    The team which is losing is the one which:

    A) Fraudulently invented The Laughable Hockey Stick

    B) Has been thoroughly discredited

    C) Has utterly failed to get the public to fall for their ruse

    D) Does NOT have the science on their side

    So, Joel — I get it…
    I guess all you have left is to blame the referees — we, the unpaid volunteer scientists who participate in open and honest forums such as WUWT (as opposed to the — of necessity — heavily censored forums such as the laughable joke known as RealClimate.org).

    But, you see, Joel, it’s too late…
    Your totalitarian political religious cult is already dead and buried — you just don’t know it yet. But, you’re sorta blind that way.

  122. racookpe1978
    I agree completely with you.
    May I quote you?

    There is a much larger issue at stake here and that is – “how should articles submitted for publication be handled?”
    I am not a scientist but nevertheless am attempting to draft some rules for journal of record.
    I intend to publish these on the web for critism and improvement.
    I nievely hope that in this way the situation can be materially improved.

    My blog is called most imaginatively – wait for it – “ausiedan.com”
    My tentative launch date is 1st March, but I confidently predict that the actual date will be later.

  123. Jeff Alberts says:
    February 10, 2011 at 7:25 pm

    1 The bottom line that has been lost in the fog of this war is that Antarctica isn’t warming as much as is claimed, and most of the statistically significant warming is confined to the peninsula.

    2 Actually that’s not correct, ………

    =======================================================

    Jeff, I think the commentator was speaking towards reality as opposed to our theoreticians. Reality often gets lost in these discussions. I find, that more often than not, reality negates most studies. O’Donnell et. al. being an exception ………..sort of. O’Donnell addresses an alternate reality. One that Steig et al live in. It isn’t real, because it doesn’t address reality.

    I applaud the people who are willing to undertake such efforts, but the fact is, after an entire generation of wailing and gnashing of the teeth, we’re better off than we were in the 70s or 80s. There’s really no need to go through the trouble. All is required is to remember what was stated back then. The alarmists were wrong. They continue to be wrong. They have always been wrong. History validates my assertions. It is time to simply make fun of, and ridicule these preposterous assertions.

    “If man continues to progress, we will all die!!!!!!”…………………….. They are people to make fun of. They are not to be taken seriously. To spend such effort lends them credibility in which they have none to claim. History has falsified them.

    James

  124. Eric Steig has totally lost it, mentally and emotionally. I really hope he recovers…I’m sure some of his peers are appalled and concerned by his erratic behavior.

    Meanwhile, as congress looks to cut back the federal budget by $100 billion, I can see the climate ca$h beginning to evaporate. Unfortunately, the politically-connected “scientists” at place like NOAA and NASA-GISS will still manage to get their funding to carry on their wasteful and redundant projects…How much are we paying for the IPCC AR5 work, for example??

  125. From Response to Third Review A, page 8:

    …the reviewer seems to misunderstand the difference between spatial and serial [auto]correlation.

    From http://climateaudit.org/2011/02/07/eric-steigs-trick/#comment-254159:

    Steig stated by email today that he did not see the Response to Reviewer A’s Third Review…

    It seems to me that Dr. Steig should not have launched into a public criticism of O’Donnell et al., when he, admittedly, was not a statistician and apparently did not understand a subtle, but key, statistical distinction.

    Futhermore, it should be emphasized that Steig, et al. have not been completely transparent with regard to Steig 2009. They initially promised to electronically publish “all” of their data, but, subsequently, they have withheld and are continuing to withhold the raw satellite data as well as the details of the cloud masking. I don’t think that this data will ever be disclosed, because, if they do disclose it, IMO any remaining credibility would vanish. However, I could be wrong. Here is why I think that Steig et al. may need to be withdrawn:

    1. Steig et al. claim that their study is based on the satellite data (NATURE| Vol 457|22 January 2009, pg 462):

    We use passive infrared brightness measurements (TIR) from the Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer (AVHRR), which are continuous beginning January 1982 and constitute the most spatially complete Antarctic temperature data set. (emphasis and acronym added)

    They reference: Comiso, J. C. Variability and trends in Antarctic surface temperatures from in situ and satellite infrared measurements. J. Clim. 13, 1674–1696 (2000) (Comiso 2000) and state as the only explicit change to Comiso 2000:

    We have updated the data throughout 2006, using an enhanced cloud-masking technique to give better fidelity with existing occupied and automatic weather station data. We make use of the cloud masking in (Comiso 2000) but impose an additional restriction that requires that daily anomalies be within a threshold of ±10 °C of climatology, a conservative technique that will tend to damp extreme values and, hence, minimize trends. (parenthetical comment added)

    2. Comiso 2000 states:

    Except for 1979 and 1992, when infrared data for the entire year were processed, the derived temperature data that are currently available are only for a winter (July) and a summer (January) month during (1978-1997). (parenthetical comment added)

    References to seasonal trends are made in O’Donnell 2010, Steig’s first review (Review A) and its response, in Review C and its response and in Review D. In no way should this comment be taken as a criticism of O’Donnell 2010 as the processed AVHRR data was provided by Dr. Steig without further clarification and without any gaps (Steig et al Antarctica ant_recon.txt is what I had downloaded – it may have a different name now). The reader should be cautioned that Steig et al may have processed the infrared data for all months of the year and for each year, instead of what Comiso 2000 states, but, given the reference to Comiso 2000 and the refusal to disclose the raw satellite data, this question is not frivolous.

    3. Steig 2009 makes no mention of how much AVHRR data is lost due to cloud masking. Kato et al. 2006 (S. Kato, N. G. Loeb, P. Minnis, J. A. Francis, T. P. Charlock, D. A. Rutan, E. E. Clothiaux, and S. Sun-Mack, Seasonal and interannual variations of top-of-atmosphere irradiance and cloud cover over polar regions derived from the CERES data set, GRL, VOL. 33, L19804, doi:10.1029/2006GL026685, 2006) states (pg 3):

    The mean cloud cover over Antarctica is relatively constant, ranging between 0.62 and 0.75 during all seasons.

    Thus, it can be assumed that only 25% to 38% of the AVHRR data is retained after cloud masking. Furthermore, Comiso 2000 states as one of their conclusions:

    Among the key results of this study are the following: (a) satellite infrared data provide spatially detailed maps of surface temperature in the Antarctic region with an accuracy of 3°C…

    Thus, each datum of the satellite data matrix provided by Dr. Steig should have an individual uncertainty probably greater than 3°C, but certainly in whole degrees C, yet Steig 2009 asserts that there is statistically significant warming by calculating trends in tenths of degrees C with confidence intervals expressed in hundredths of degrees C. I would submit that such an assertion is highly questionable and should be believed only upon rigorous demonstration. (Once again, this is no reflection on O’Donnell 2010 as they specifically state in the response to Reviewer D that:

    Because our expertise is with the mathematics, we prefer to limit our paper to the mathematics.

    )

    Given all of the above, I respectfully submit that Steig 2009 should be withdrawn in its totality as the claimed warming trends appear to be a fantasy, given the cloud masking data losses of about two thirds and the uncertainty for each remaining datum of at least 3°C according to Comiso 2000 (Dr. Comiso is a co-author of Steig 2009). I remain open to withdrawing this comment if Steig et al. can rigorously demonstrate that the total uncertainty of the satellite data doesn’t swamp the small warming trends that they claim (I would likewise say that any claim that there is a small cooling trend would also be a fantasy on the same grounds). Withdrawal of Steig 2009, however, IMO should not impact O’Donnell 2010 as they have conclusively demonstrated that the statistical methodology employed in Steig 2009 is erroneous and that result would survive in any event. In closing, I would like to congratulate the O’Donnell 2010 authors for their fine scholarship.

    My only comment on O’Donnell 2010 is that they should have included somewhere the response to Reviewer D’s comment on pages 1-3 of said response that the O’Donnell trend was not statistically different than the Steig 2009 trend, as this may be a common misunderstanding when comparing two different trends. I thought the explanation by O’Donnell et al. was very instructive and it shouldn’t be buried in a review response.

  126. The fact that the Team at Real Climate now feels compelled to engage with the far larger, more educated and better informed WUWT community, says to me that the forces of enlightenment are beginning to win the war. The pernicious AGW movement is dying…but let’s not underestimate the amount or the toxicity of the venom left in this viper.

    Jack

  127. Roy Spencer has had the same trouble with his paper “On the diagnosis in the presence of unknown radiative forcing”.

    A direct quote here:

    http://www.drroyspencer.com/2010/08/our-jgr-paper-on-feedbacks-is-published/

    ‘After years of re-submissions and re-writes — always to accommodate a single hostile reviewer — our latest paper on feedbacks has finally been published by Journal of Geophysical Research (JGR).’

    So who was the hostile reviewer in this case? Maybe it was someone else within the team!

  128. To a non-scientist but with many years of involvement in various professional and community organisations, I find the attitude and actions of ‘The Team’ and those who administer the ‘Real Climate’ blog to be both utterly and stunningly self-serving and dishonest. It takes very little research among the many easily-available sources of information about the topic of conflicted interests to realise that the rules are very simple and easily understanable. The first rule is that if you merely even suspect that you may have a conflict of interest in any proceedings, you walk away from that conflict while stating clearly why you are walking away.
    The Team and its apologists have a continuing history of behaving disgracefully – no amount of verbal sleight-of-hand can excuse inexcusable behaviour.

  129. Joel Shore says:
    February 10, 2011 at 7:04 pm

    Well, Joel, I don’t know who is “winning” the scientific debate, but I know who is winning the policy debate, and it certainly isn’t your side.

    Anyone who would cast this particular issue in terms of “the losing side” of a debate complaining about referees is just a loser himself.

  130. I presume that when Steig’s response is drafted and submitted, Ryan O’ or Jeff Id etc. will be invited to take up that Reviewer A spot.

    N0, you don’t think so?

  131. The delicious irony in all this is the petard was first thrust by Eric Steig as he stood victorious having had a golden insiders run to get his paper published – featured on the front cover, written up by the MSM, a fully fledged member of “The Team”, so who could blame him for telling the “little boys” not to bother a “high Priest of Science (him) by asking inconvenient questions – go away and publish their own paper in a Peer Reviewed Journal…. cue music.

    Damn they did, what to do. Easy accept an “anonomous” review role, what better way for an insider to hold up the paper, or perhaps… cue martial music.. prevent publication (and was he helped by the team) Damn wish I hadn’t challenged them to publish, how come they add two and two and get four, that’s not climate, they have got to learn where they are in the grand scheme of our Climate science.

    Damn they got it published o.k. the Team will deny it is any good – bad, bad climate paper go away…that should do it. Cue evil music.. What the authors are defending their paper, we’ll fix their wagon – bad bad climate paper go away. cue thinking music…Hey why not attack the very things I/We? asked them to use, that will fix their wagon and it will sound so scientific, credible, to show bad, bad science and statistical method.

    Yerk!! I overstepped the mark and they have revealed I was the reviewer that held up the paper.. cue panic music.. Team Team come to my rescue… No I never lied, just tweaked the truth as all Real Climate scientists do. Now lets stick together and deny our way out of this.

    Glad we dug the borehole, on with the tin helmets and retreat to attack! cue funeral march music.. Alas poor Eric I knew him well… as he hangs hoist on his own petard.!

  132. Officer: Sir, I saw you run the stop sign and kill the pedestrian whose body lies beneath your car.
    Steig (Mann, Jones, Hansen, Schmidt, any of ‘em): Officer, you say that like it is a bad thing.

  133. SBVOR: February 10, 2011 at 10:18 am
    Your ‘research rants’ is a brilliant typo, like my other favourite ‘Monibot’ for Monbiot, an excellent one word summary of what’s really going on.

  134. KenB: February 11, 2011 at 4:00 am
    Excuse the pedantry but a petard is a small bomb used for blowing in doors and similar applications by engineers or sappers so no thrusting involved.

    ‘For ’tis the sport to have the engineer
    Hoist with his own petard: and ‘t shall go hard
    But I will delve one yard below their mines,
    And blow them at the moon:…’

  135. This is a tempest in a teapot. Data in Antarctica is too sparse to get a really clear picture of what is going on in the areas where station data is non existent. Different methods of analysis are giving different results. Unless and until we get more surface stations there, we won’t get a real answer for some time to come.

    Charges of duplicity and have turned the scientific dispute into something personal and tribal, and ugly. The impact of this dispute on the overall scientific issue of global warming is really tiny.

    The ice core records of Greenland and Antarctica show that in the past temperatures changes in the area have often been out of phase, and climate models indicate that Antarctica and the Southern Hemisphere in general, is slow to warm as the rest of the earth gets warmer, because its land masses are smaller relative than the area of sea surface.

  136. Nigel , yes this is the definition of petard, yet in these climate wars the small bombs are the papers, formal and online, so the metaphore is fine is it not. The more these team members, as identified by the Wegman report, own work is brought into the light of day, the more their own work condems itself, and it is clear they do not like the light. (self goal is perhaps another metaphore)

    Joel Shore for example, after attacking and making assertions without evidence, has run away from the thread without response to the rebuttal posts, really I am sorry to harshly say, much like a child.

  137. Hahahahahaha, Joel Shore thinks his side has actually had the courage to step up to a debate, hahahahahahahahaha!!!!!!

  138. ZT says:
    February 10, 2011 at 6:15 pm
    @Phil Clarke says:
    @February 10, 2011 at 4:56 pm

    “Both incorrect. You haven’t actually read the documents you are describing have you?”

    Well, if you define ‘read’ as looking at pictures – you might have a point. If you define ‘read’ as something that you can do with written text, then you’ll find that the O’Donnell pdf that you link to is considerably shorter that ‘Reviewer A’s initial comments. The linked O’Donnell pdf is double spaced text, about 25 pages or so, ‘Reviewer A’s comments are 14 pages single spaced.

    But, then what are simple facts to those of a climatological inclination(?)

    The initial submission to which the reviewers responded was 45 pages long plus 51 pages of supplementary information. Hardly surprising that a detailed review might be rather long (14 pages by reviewer A).
    Note that on first review all the reviewers said that material from the SI should be included in the main text (B said that the original paper wasn’t understandable without reading the SI).

  139. Jan says:
    February 10, 2011 at 4:09 pm
    Perhaps I am misreading but in trying to gain understanding, I thought this was significant. It seems clear to me that a change to the paper was made based on a reviewers request and that all reviewers had been made aware of this change in response to that request.

    And the authors agree that this is “the most appropriate choice”, note that it was not based on the choice of method, rather than which were the ‘most likely’ reconstructions.

    “Toward the end of the review, the reviewer suggests that the editor should require us to display the “most likely” reconstructions in the main text, which the reviewer correctly assumes would be the ridge regression results. We agree that this is the most appropriate choice, and the manuscript has been revised to show the ridge regression results in the main text.”

  140. This is a tempest in a teapot. Data in Antarctica is too sparse to get a really clear picture of what is going on in the areas where station data is non existent. Different methods of analysis are giving different results. Unless and until we get more surface stations there, we won’t get a real answer for some time to come.

    Charges of duplicity and have turned the scientific dispute into something personal and tribal, and ugly. The impact of this dispute on the overall scientific issue of global warming is really tiny.

    The ice core records of Greenland and Antarctica show that in the past, temperatures changes in the two areas have often been out of phase. Climate models indicate that Antarctica and the Southern Hemisphere in general, is slow to warm, as the rest of the earth gets warmer, because its land area is smaller relative to the area of sea surface. Consequently a low rate of Antarctic warming isn’t going to be a surprise.

  141. The assertions being made that –
    “This whole incident illustrates exactly why authors of competing scientific papers should not be reviewers of other papers critical of their own.”
    Seems to indicate an egregious, and somewhat ridiculous, unfamiliarity with the way scientific papers are reviewed and published.

    It is common practice, and considered good practice, if a paper contains controversial elements to find a reviewer who takes a critical and opposing view of the matter.
    If the paper explicitly or implicitly addresses the work of another researcher and takes a critical view of that work then it would be considered BAD practice NOT to invite that researcher to be one of the reviewers

    The comments here implying that reviewers should be impartial or that it is somehow like jury selection represent a fundamental error in understanding how scientific publishing and peer review operate.

    The last thing an editor is looking for are neutral reviewers, the whole point of the process is to expose the potential paper to knowledgeable and strong criticism.

    Given that the O’Donnell et al paper was explicitly critical of the Steig et al paper it would have been a grave error NOT to have one of the Seig et al paper authors as a reviewer.

  142. Izen says:

    “The last thing an editor is looking for are neutral reviewers, the whole point of the process is to expose the potential paper to knowledgeable and strong criticism.”

    Strong criticism is desirable. But you never mentioned that Steig’s ox had been gored, and he was obviously out for revenge. There are plenty of other reviewers, some of whom have the necessary statistical background to provide criticism. Why did Steig insinuate himself into this particular review? Obviously, to get even.

    And where are the strong skeptical critics in climate peer review?? By your own reasoning there should be people like Lindzen, Christy, Spencer, and many other skeptical scientists reviewing submissions from Mann, Briffa, Steig, etc. But in the pal-review world of climate journals, skeptical scientists [the only honest kind of scientist] are deliberately barred from the process.

  143. I presume that when Steig’s response is drafted and submitted, Ryan O’ or Jeff Id etc. will be invited to take up that Reviewer A spot.

    N0, you don’t think so?

    Oh I doubt it, given the contempt with which O’ Donnell et al have treated the accepted journal publishing conventions, and Ryan’s “flexible” ethics. Here is John Nielsen-Gammon:-

    “Announcing the identity of the anonymous reviewer was wrong in and of itself. The seriousness of the offense deepens to the extent that the author also reveals some of the content of the review. Revealing the identity of the reviewer while simultaneously publishing the complete content of the reviews makes this particular ethical violation as bad as possible.”

    More here http://blogs.chron.com/climateabyss/2011/02/on_revealing_the_identity_of_reviewers.html

    And as private mail is now apparently fair game, here is a mail from Ryan to Eric Steig:-

    “Thank you for your candor, and I will not violate the confidence of the review process. … I give my word that I will not quote from the reviews. I will only paraphrase

    Remind me, the all-important issue here is Eric Steig’s alleged duplicity? Have I got that right?

  144. >> eadler says:
    February 11, 2011 at 9:52 am

    Charges of duplicity and have turned the scientific dispute into something personal and tribal, and ugly. <<

    … and not the duplicity itself?

  145. Phil,

    You’re not getting it. Ryan isn’t saying “We were tricked into making a bad choice in using iridge”; Ryan is saying it is unethical to suggest a methodology as a private reviewer, then attack that methodology in public.

    This makes Eric wrong on two counts, really; duplicity, and publicly attacking a statistical method that he isn’t enough of statistician to understand.

  146. Joel Shore says:

    “…this is an example of the losers in a scientific debate…”

    What “debate”??

    The promoters of the catastrophic AGW conjecture usually run and hide out from any debate. On the couple of occasions that they argued their case in a real debate, the alarmist side was soundly spanked by their skeptical opponents [and speaking of poor losers, Gavin Schmidt blamed his debate loss on the fact that his opponent, Michael Crichton, was taller than him!].

    I challenge Gavin Schmidt, Michael Mann and Al Gore to debate Prof Richard Lindzen, Dr Ross McKittrick and Lord Monckton in a neutral venue, with a moderator and rules mutually agreed. Preferably televised.

    To make things interesting I’ll offer a prize of $1,000 to the charity of the winning side’s choice.

    But I suspect the alarmist side will behave as usual: tuck their tails between their hind legs and slink off without comment, rather than actually engaging in a real debate.

  147. RDCII says:
    February 11, 2011 at 1:31 pm
    Phil,

    You’re not getting it. Ryan isn’t saying “We were tricked into making a bad choice in using iridge”; Ryan is saying it is unethical to suggest a methodology as a private reviewer, then attack that methodology in public.

    Actually it’s you who’s not getting it, the reviewer didn’t suggest a methodology, he said that the editor should require them to display the “most likely” reconstructions in the main text rather than in the SI. Why hide the ‘most likely’ results away and present less likely ones, it makes no sense. If they thought that the methodology used to give those ‘most likely’ results was dodgy then that would be a reason?

  148. Theo Godwin says:

    If editors routinely select reviewers who have a conflict of interest then I will eat my hat.

    Hmmm…Maybe it would taste good with a little barbeque sauce.

    As has been pointed out here by others, the reviewers likely to be most knowledgeable are ones who, by your standards, would tend to have some conflict of interest. Furthermore, an editor often especially wants to hear the response of those whose work is being criticized by the paper under review, even if he will weigh it with the knowledge in mind.

    The first paper that I ever was asked to referee for Physical Review was when I was a grad student and some authors sent in a manuscript and essentially said, “Shore and [co-author] are wrong” in the abstract of the paper (which was talking about the work that formed my graduate thesis). And, I was able to explain very clearly why the authors of the manuscript were largely mistaken. The final version of their paper essentially said, “Shore and [co-author] were largely correct although there is one aspect where they were incorrect” and included an argument from me supporting and amplifying the discussion of the point where they had disagreed with what we had originally said. The result was a better science than either their original manuscript or our paper alone and less of embarrassment for them than publishing their original manuscript would have been.

    In another case, several years later, a paper was written in which they showed that something that I and a colleague had found in one model and had conjectured was true quite generally did not in fact appear to be true for a particular alteration of the original model that we looked at. Again, their paper was sent to me to review and I basically wrote a long review saying that the paper should be accepted but in which I also made several comments, queries, and optional suggestions for revision. I even wrote in the review essentially that I did not find the evidence that the authors presented to be completely convincing but that, since I was not an objective reviewer, my standard on that matter was particularly high and I thought objectively they had in fact presented strong enough evidence to warrant publication. The authors responded with a statement thanking the reviewer for his very thorough and comprehensive review and then a comment that still makes me chuckle to this day, in which they said something to the effect of, “…and in fact we are quite sure that we have never seen such a long positive review.”

    Note that both of these papers were in Physical Review journals and had nothing whatsoever to do with climate science. So, the claim that people here seem to be making about climate science having unique issues such as the use of reviewers who might have a conflict of interest is utterly without foundation.

  149. Smokey says:

    The promoters of the catastrophic AGW conjecture usually run and hide out from any debate. On the couple of occasions that they argued their case in a real debate, the alarmist side was soundly spanked by their skeptical opponents [and speaking of poor losers, Gavin Schmidt blamed his debate loss on the fact that his opponent, Michael Crichton, was taller than him!].

    You are just proving my point. The folks that I linked to in my previous post argue the exact same thing: Another common tactic of losers in the scientific debate is try to move the debate out of the scientific journals and into the public venue where the “winners” are generally those who have the best debating skills and are willing to be most cavalier with the truth, not those who have the science on their side. This is another lesson gleaned from studying other ideologically-controversial scientific theories such those about human origins.

    Really, you guys who are climate change skeptics ought to read what “evolution skeptics” write just so you don’t blindly repeat all of their same arguments. It does your cause little good with anyone even slightly acquainted with how things have proceeded in these other areas. I suggest you rent the movie “Expelled”…I am sure you can get it on DVD now.

  150. Joel Shore says:

    “Another common tactic of losers in the scientific debate is try to move the debate out of the scientific journals and into the public venue where the ‘winners’ are generally those who have the best debating skills…”

    Thank you for acknowledging that the winners of the few debates that have been held are scientific skeptics.

    The cowardly alarmist crowd refuses to stand and deliver. Why? Because they know that their CAGW conjecture will be promptly debunked – as it has been repeatedly debunked in previous debates.

    Based on the scientific method, the CO2=CAGW conjecture has been debunked by Ma Gaia herself: as CO2 rises, there is no “tippimg point” in evidence. But frighten yourself all you want, even as Reality intrudes on your fantasies: nothing out of the ordinary is occurring. Nothing. It’s natural climate fluctuations all the way. Try to prove me wrong. If you can.

  151. Smokey says:

    Thank you for acknowledging that the winners of the few debates that have been held are scientific skeptics.

    I haven’t kept track of who has “won” or “lost” but I thought it might give you pause that you are advocating a technique of adjudicating scientific disagreements that would lead to the conclusion that the evolution conjecture has been debunked. Maybe I overestimate you?

  152. Joel Shore,

    Beclowing yourself again, I see. You were the one who instigated the discussion about debates, by wrongly claiming that skeptics were the “losers in the scientific debate.” Now you’re sniveling about being set straight. FYI, skeptics routinely kick ass when they debate climate alarmists. That’s why you don’t keep track of the leader board.

    The alarmist contingent hides out from any further debates because they lose. Your boy Abraham is a prime example of the alarmist tactic of taking pot shots from the safety of the ivory tower while refusing to engage his superior mano a mano.

    Now you’re arguing the evolution red herring – something I’ve never expressed an opinion about. Kill that straw man, Joel! Kill it! Then declare victory.☺

    The malady of cognitive dissonance is a terrible burden. I pity those who are saddled with it.

  153. Joel Shore originally said:

    “When your team loses, blame it all on the referees!”

    More recently Joel suggests he is among those “who have the science on their side”.

    Hey! Joel! I’ll challenge you AGAIN with the FACTS:

    Click here and tell me which team — despite the self-described propaganda from so-called “journalists” — is CLEARLY losing (because they do not have the science on their side).

  154. Alan February 10, 2011 at 9:51 am: “Flashback 25 years ago. I was then a graduate student in earth sciences, when the whole man-made CO2-driven global warming theory was building up within the field, as well as at my university (that’s where most of the grant money was).”

    That’s funny, because I quite vividly recall sitting outside at Au Bon Pain in Harvard Square on a nice afternoon with some friends about 25 years ago, and I asked one guy who was a [discipline?] science grad student at B.U. what was all the hubbub about global warming and was it true? (I think it was being played-up in the Boston Globe.)

    Anyway he chuckled and said “Well, that’s where all the research money is these days.”

    He did not seem to care or know whether it was or wasn’t “true,” but he did think the grantsmanship was amusing.

    Definitely sometime in the mid- to late-1980’s.

  155. Garry (February 12, 2011 at 9:36 am),

    When chasing research money (an age old game which I too have witnessed first hand), it is very, very, very clear that the climate charlatans just stick their collective fingers in the (flatulent) breeze and make it up as they go.

  156. SBVOR says:

    Hey! Joel! I’ll challenge you AGAIN with the FACTS:

    Click here and tell me which team — despite the self-described propaganda from so-called “journalists” — is CLEARLY losing (because they do not have the science on their side).

    SBVOR: It is really hard to know where to start.

    First of all, someone who is impressed by a poll just because the number of respondents is “is far, FAR larger than the average polling sample” has an ignorance of statistics that is too deep to cure easily. The hard part of doing an accurate poll is not getting a large enough sample size but getting a representative sample. The Sci Am poll was not scientific in any way….It was a poll that was very amenable to stuffing the ballot box…i.e., who could motivate their supporters to vote.

    Second of all, there was no attempt to restrict the poll to scientists, let alone scientists with credentials in the field. Properly-designed polls of scientists have revealed much much different results.

    Finally, I was not talking about polls at all. I was talking about the peer-reviewed scientific literature.

  157. Smokey says:

    You were the one who instigated the discussion about debates, by wrongly claiming that skeptics were the “losers in the scientific debate.”

    I was talking about the scientific debate that occurs in the scientific literature, which is where real scientific debate actually takes place. And, as for who has won and lost, basically every serious scientific authority on the planet has weighed in on that, ranging from the IPCC, to the NAS and the academies of all the other major industrial nations, the various scientific societies like AGU, AMS, APS, etc., etc.

    Now you’re arguing the evolution red herring – something I’ve never expressed an opinion about. Kill that straw man, Joel! Kill it! Then declare victory.

    What I am trying to illustrate to you is that if your method of adjudicating scientific debates would tell you that both evolution and AGW are “debunked hypotheses” then your method is not a good one (unless you believe that both of these statements are correct…and then, frankly, there’s nothing I can do). Is there something about that which is difficult for you to comprehend?

  158. Joel (the arrogant elitist) Shore sez:

    “someone who is impressed by a poll just because the number of respondents is ‘is far, FAR larger than the average polling sample’ has an ignorance of statistics that is too deep to cure easily.”

    Should I seek a refund from the professors who taught me statistics as a graduate student studying Environmental Science?

    “The hard part of doing an accurate poll is not getting a large enough sample size but getting a representative sample. The Sci Am poll was not scientific in any way….It was a poll that was very amenable to stuffing the ballot box…i.e., who could motivate their supporters to vote.”

    I agree, this was not a scientific poll. The fact is that Sci Am readers have been heavily propagandized by the likes of David Appell (apologist for the infamous Hockey Stick). So, one would think that readers of that rag would tilt in your direction (not mine).

    Do you have any evidence of ballot stuffing? Or is that just your knee jerk reaction to any and all evidence which runs contrary to the creed of your totalitarian political religious cult?

    “Second of all, there was no attempt to restrict the poll to scientists, let alone scientists with credentials in the field. Properly-designed polls of scientists have revealed much much different results.”

    Oh…
    Heaven forbid that we should consider the opinion of the average American! I forgot, you so-called “Progressives” favor a dictatorship of the elite (presuming to speak for the proletariat).

    Fine, you want the opinion of scientists, chew on this. When you’re done, chew on a whole lot more.

    As for “scientists with credentials in the field”

    By this, you mean to say you only trust the opinion of those parasites who are cynically robbing the rest of us while feeding at the boundless gravy train of this particular government trough — are you such a parasite?

    Just come out and say it — the only poll you REALLY trust is a poll of the so-called “Hockey Team” — those tiny few scientists in the world who STILL refuse to accept the infamous Hockey Stick for the blatantly obvious fraud that it is.

    The ONLY scientists qualified to OBJECTIVELY evaluate the climate science are those who are NOT financially dependent upon perpetuating the single greatest fraud EVER perpetrated upon the human race!

    “Properly-designed polls of scientists have revealed much much different results.”

    How curious (or NOT) that you did not cite even ONE example. SHOW ME!

    Finally…
    How about addressing the science which proves you wrong!

    I know…
    That is an overwhelming amount of evidence to deal with. Fine, start with this one item — the obvious explanation for the rise and fall of BOTH the global cooling fraud AND the global warming fraud. Sometimes — unlike CO2 simplicity — the natural cycle explanation really is JUST THAT SIMPLE!

  159. Joel (the arrogant elitist) Shore sez:

    “And, as for who has won and lost, basically every serious scientific authority on the planet has weighed in on that, ranging from the IPCC…[blah, blah, blah]”

    Really? Seriously? You STILL consider the utterly, thoroughly and entirely discredited IPCC to be a “serious scientific authority”? Well, there goes any credibility you ever imagined you had.

    As for the rest of the purely political bureaucrats purporting to represent the scientists who are members of their various organizations, click here and bust the single biggest LIE in the entire CAGW fraud.

  160. Steig: “I’ve got some terrible emails from these awful people, and I’ll share them with you but only as long as you are someone I know personally and as long as you promise not to publish them”.

    Laughing my ass off! Even my 10 year old has grown out of that nonsense. Incidentally, in all the complaints about McIntyre and fellow sceptics, I never so one email from Climategate that was forward from a sceptic within Team AGW that revealed the sceptics as being in any way unreasonable. Team AGW has made it all up in their own little heads, bless them.

  161. SBVOR says:

    Should I seek a refund from the professors who taught me statistics as a graduate student studying Environmental Science?

    I don’t know because I have no way of knowing if the problem was with the teacher, student, or some interaction of the two.

    Do you have any evidence of ballot stuffing?

    One very strong piece of evidence that such things occurred is by comparing the numbers from this screen capture: http://climateprogress.org/2010/10/26/scientific-american-jumps-the-shark-online-polls-judith-curry/ to the final numbers. There is no way that such differences could be accounted for by random fluctuations…It shows that the distribution of the underlying population participating in the poll changed dramatically.

    Of course, given the nature of the poll, there is no reason to take it seriously whatsoever. As you admit, it did not attempt to be scientific in any way. Worse than that, it is not even clear what underlying population they were trying to represent… Was it scientists themselves, was it Sci Am readers specifically, or was it anybody who found out from postings on various blogs etc. that such a poll existed and felt motivated to take it?

    Heaven forbid that we should consider the opinion of the average American! I forgot, you so-called “Progressives” favor a dictatorship of the elite (presuming to speak for the proletariat).

    Democracy does not mean the everyone’s opinion on every matter is worthy of carrying the same weight as everyone else’s opinion. If you get sick, do you submit your symptoms to a website and have the public vote on what they think your medical problem is?

    The idea behind democracy is everyone should have an equal vote in deciding things that are matters of competing values and interests. To suggest that democracies should not have policy decisions also informed by expert scientific judgment is a strange idea that I doubt you would accept across the board.

    Fine, you want the opinion of scientists, chew on this. When you’re done, chew on a whole lot more.

    You think that the Oregon petition is a serious poll? Strange that a conservative would endorse a poll in the style of an old Soviet-style election: Bombard people with propaganda and then only count the votes of those who vote YES in agreement with it. (And, make no attempt to determine the qualifications of these people to weigh in on the subject.)

    How curious (or NOT) that you did not cite even ONE example. SHOW ME!

    Here http://stats.org/stories/2008/global_warming_survey_apr23_08.html is a poll that was done reasonably scientifically, although there are still issues with exactly who the sample is composed of. (In particular, it is scientists who are members of one or the other of the AGU or AMS but are not necessarily experts on climate science specifically.) It was also done by an organization that has a reputation of tilting toward the right.

    Here is another study that was done with more of an attempt to ascertain the expertise of those polled http://tigger.uic.edu/~pdoran/012009_Doran_final.pdf and to see how the opinions correlated to the expertise.

    By this, you mean to say you only trust the opinion of those parasites who are cynically robbing the rest of us while feeding at the boundless gravy train of this particular government trough — are you such a parasite?

    Yes, because it is perfectly logical to believe that the entire scientific enterprise has been corrupted and that climate scientists are just in it for the money and that we can’t trust any of the respected scientific organizations but have to instead to our trust over to right-wing and libertarian-think-tanks and advocacy groups (and the few scientists who agree with them that they promote), who the only ones willing to speak the truth.

    Fine, start with this one item — the obvious explanation for the rise and fall of BOTH the global cooling fraud AND the global warming fraud. Sometimes — unlike CO2 simplicity — the natural cycle explanation really is JUST THAT SIMPLE!

    Short answer: Correlation is not causation. In this case, AMO contains information about the global average temperature that linear detrending cannot eliminate. So, what the data is telling you is that the Atlantic is warmer when the global temperature is warmer, not the direction that the correlation goes. (See here for more: http://tamino.wordpress.com/2011/01/30/amo/ )

  162. SBVOR says:

    Really? Seriously? You STILL consider the utterly, thoroughly and entirely discredited IPCC to be a “serious scientific authority”? Well, there goes any credibility you ever imagined you had.

    Yes, because an authority summarizing the scientific literature is discredited if you can find any paper in the scientific literature that reached a conclusion any different than what the authority reached because we all know that the scientific literature must be completely unanimous if you are to conclude anything. And, that authority is also discredited if any of the hundreds of statements it made (with various codified degrees of certainty attached) turns out to be wrong. The authority has to be correct on 100% of the statements, even those with the largest amount of uncertainty attached, in order to have an ounce of credibility. (Unless of course, that authority is arguing against AGW in which case one does not have to worry about the apparent contradiction of global warming being caused simultaneously by the sun, cosmic rays, AMO, PDO, not happening at all but rather just being due to urban heat island contamination of the data, …)

    As for the rest of the purely political bureaucrats purporting to represent the scientists who are members of their various organizations, click here and bust the single biggest LIE in the entire CAGW fraud.

    Yes, because it makes more sense to believe that all the major scientific organizations in the world have been taken over by bureaucrats that say things diametrically opposed to the rank-and-file that elected them than it is to believe that anything a right-wing think tank might say would be anything other than the truth.

  163. Joel (the arrogant elitist) Shore sez:

    1) “There is no way that such differences could be accounted for by random fluctuations”

    A) Are we talking about temperatures or polls? LOL!

    B) When the notorious propagandist Joe Romm posted his (possibly doctored?) screen captures, 738 people had allegedly responded and 56.1% indicated the IPCC was corrupt. That, in itself, is damning enough. But, as usual, your own “evidence” destroys your own case. One would think that after Romm alerted his lemmings to the poll that the ballot box would be stuffed by like-minded lunatics.

    Instead, once 7,028 responded, the final tally indicated 83.8% thought the IPCC was corrupt. Now, if you think 10% of the vote can predict what the remaining 90% will say, then I cannot even begin to overcome your ignorance of statistics. LOL!

    2) “Democracy does not mean… [blah, blah, blah]”

    A) Ours is a Constitutional Republic, NOT a Democracy.

    B) Your tyranny of the utterly corrupt elite is already in full swing (for now). The Far Left EPA bureaucrats are tyrannically imposing upon the American people what even a Far Left Dim Senate was unwilling to impose.

    3) “You think that the Oregon petition is a serious poll?”>

    You still playing that tired old smear campaign propaganda card?

    Obviously, you did not bother to read the thorough debunking of your pure unadulterated CRAP!

    You can lie and lie and lie until your teeth fall out — it will NEVER change the FACT that the overwhelming majority of scientists around the world do NOT support your tyrannical move to regulate CO2. I am one such scientist.

    4) “Here http://stats.org/stories/2008/global_warming_survey_apr23_08.html is a poll that was done reasonably scientifically”

    The primary conclusion (in the very first sentence) is that “eight out of ten American climate scientists believe that human activity contributes to global warming”. I’m surprised it is that low. As I indicate in my post on the subject, I agree with that conclusion. The problem with purely political propagandists such as yourself is that this conclusion is typically conflated to presume that each of these scientists ALSO believe CO2 should be regulated. I notice your poll did not even ask that most critical question — the Oregon petition addressed precisely that (and, that is precisely why you purely political propagandists are so inclined to dishonestly smear the Oregon petition and anybody who gets near it).

    5) “Here is another study that was done with more of an attempt to ascertain the expertise of those polled http://tigger.uic.edu/~pdoran/012009_Doran_final.pdf”

    Once again, the polling did not address the central question — should CO2 be regulated. See my comments in the previous section.

    6) “Yes, because it is perfectly logical to believe that the entire scientific enterprise has been corrupted”

    Not the entire scientific enterprise, primarily climate science. Isn’t it amazing what $100 BILLION can buy?

    If only Exxon could have matched that purchasing power — alas, they were NEVER even remotely close to being in the same ballpark. You see — Exxon provides humanity with an enormously useful product. The Climate Science cabal is — for the most part — a blood sucking vampire threatening to destroy and enslave all of human civilization.

    7) “So, what the data is telling you is that the Atlantic is warmer when the global temperature is warmer”

    Are you seriously arguing that AGW drives the AMO? If so, you’re nuttier than I thought!

    8) “Yes, because an authority summarizing the scientific literature is discredited if you can find any paper in the scientific literature that reached a conclusion any different than what the authority [the IPCC] reached”

    Typical propaganda — characterizing a preponderance of evidence (there are currently 36 posts under that link) as a one off mistake.

    HELL! The so-called “leader” of the IPCC has NO academic background in ANY branch of science!

    9) “Yes, because it makes more sense to believe that all the major scientific organizations in the world have been taken over by bureaucrats that say things diametrically opposed to the rank-and-file”

    Sorry…
    As a scientist, I rely upon data. And, there is no data to the contrary. The only available data indicate that the bureaucrats issuing the various (all over the map) statements regarding AGW do NOT represent the views of the scientists who belong to their organizations. If you have evidence to the contrary, SHOW ME!

  164. Joel (the purely political propagandist) Shore sez:

    “You think that the Oregon petition is a serious poll?”

    No…
    I think it is a serious petition. If you don’t know the difference between a poll and a petition then I don’t know where to begin in even assessing the profundity of your level of ignorance! LOL!

    “Strange that a conservative would endorse a poll in the style of an old Soviet-style election: Bombard people with propaganda and then only count the votes of those who vote YES in agreement with it.”

    Again, petitions — by DESIGN — only count those who sign it! Are you seriously suggesting that every petition is “Soviet-style”? You would be hilarious if you weren’t so damn scary!

    Again, click here to thoroughly debunk your tired old smear campaign. Also, see my previous comment for more thoughts on your desperate attempts to smear the profoundly “inconvenient” results of this PETITION!

  165. SBVOR says:

    No…
    I think it is a serious petition. If you don’t know the difference between a poll and a petition then I don’t know where to begin in even assessing the profundity of your level of ignorance! LOL!

    And, yet you have used this petition to somehow conclude that “the overwhelming majority of scientists around the world do NOT support your tyrannical move to regulate CO2″. How exactly did you get from the petition to your conclusion?

    Again, petitions — by DESIGN — only count those who sign it! Are you seriously suggesting that every petition is “Soviet-style”? You would be hilarious if you weren’t so damn scary!

    Well, what I would say is that petitions are pretty much meaningless. However, when they solicit signatures by a mass-mailing of the petition along with a letter signed by a former very elderly head of the National Academy of Sciences along with a “paper” that is formatted to make it look like a paper from the Proceedings of the NAS but is in fact just a bunch of deceptive propaganda that would never be published in a serious journal, then yes, I think that “Soviet-style” is an apt description.

    Below is a discussion of the process by which the Oregon petition was circulated written by Robert Park in his “What’s New” column read primarily by fellow physicists. Park is the founder of the American Physical Society’s Office of Public Affairs, author of the book “Voodoo Science: The Road from Foolishness to Fraud” and, while certainly opinionated, his opinions are motivated by a desire to defend science wherever he sees it attacked and he regularly takes on both conservatives and liberals.

    One of the purported abuses cited in the minority staff report involved the insertion into an EPA report of a reference to a paper by Soon and Baliunas that denies global warming (WN 1 Aug 03). To appreciate its significance, we need to go back to March of 1998. We all got a petition card in the mail urging the government to reject the Kyoto accord (WN 13 Mar 98). The cover letter was signed by “Frederick Seitz, Past President, National Academy of Sciences.” Enclosed was what seemed to be a reprint of a journal article, in the style and font of Proceedings of the NAS. But it had not been published in PNAS, or anywhere else. The reprint was a fake. Two of the four authors of this non- article were Soon and Baliunas. The other authors, both named Robinson, were from the tiny Oregon Institute of Science and Medicine in Cave Junction, OR. The article claimed that the environmental effects of increased CO2 are all beneficial. There was also a copy of Wall Street Journal op-ed by the Robinsons (father and son) that described increased levels of CO2 in the atmosphere as “a wonderful and unexpected gift of the industrial revolution.” There was no indication of who had paid for the mailing. It was a dark episode in the annals of scientific discourse.

    (from http://bobpark.physics.umd.edu/WN03/wn080803.html )

  166. I see there was a problem with my formatting in my next-to-last post. Let’s try it again with fixed formatting:

    SBVOR says:

    B) When the notorious propagandist Joe Romm posted his (possibly doctored?) screen captures, 738 people had allegedly responded and 56.1% indicated the IPCC was corrupt. That, in itself, is damning enough. …

    Instead, once 7,028 responded, the final tally indicated 83.8% thought the IPCC was corrupt. Now, if you think 10% of the vote can predict what the remaining 90% will say, then I cannot even begin to overcome your ignorance of statistics. LOL!,

    If they are drawn randomly from the same distribution, then yes, the results from the 738 respondents and the 7028 respondents should agree to within the margin of error given by the statistical error, which for 738 respondents is already down to a few percent. The fact that these results disagree so violently show that the poll is not even close to being scientific but that the later respondents were a completely different population than the earlier respondents.

    And, by the way, it is not correct to assume that the data that Romm captured is correct either, since the poll was likely already contaminated by respondents outside of the original population it was presumably intending to sample (Sci Am readers). However, it is very likely that the data from Romm’s screen capture is at least less contaminated than the later data.

    You can lie and lie and lie until your teeth fall out — it will NEVER change the FACT that the overwhelming majority of scientists around the world do NOT support your tyrannical move to regulate CO2. I am one such scientist.

    You are making a claim that you have provided absolutely no support for. (Hint: The fact that a tiny fraction of the world’s population who have at least some minimal scientific training have signed a petition proves very little…Certainly not what you seem to think it proves.)

    The primary conclusion (in the very first sentence) is that “eight out of ten American climate scientists believe that human activity contributes to global warming”. I’m surprised it is that low. As I indicate in my post on the subject, I agree with that conclusion.

    The poll also shows that “41% of scientists believe global climate change will pose a very great danger to the earth in the next 50 to 100 years, compared to 13% who see relatively little danger. Another 44% rate climate change as moderately dangerous.” Do you agree with this?

    And the poll finds that, “Former Vice President Al Gore’s documentary film ‘An Inconvenient Truth’ rates better than any traditional news source, with 26% finding it ‘very reliable’ and 38% as somewhat reliable. Other non-traditional information sources fare poorly: No more than 1% of climate experts rate the doomsday movie ‘The Day After Tomorrow’ or Michael Crichton’s novel ‘State of Fear’ as very reliable.” Do you agree with this?

    Are you seriously arguing that AGW drives the AMO? If so, you’re nuttier than I thought!

    I suggest you actually read tamino’s post. The basic point is that the AMO is basically correlated essentially perfectly with North Atlantic SSTs…and North Atlantic SSTs are, of course, correlated with global temperatures. Thus, one is seeing a high degree of correlation but it does not indicate what drives what.

    HELL! The so-called “leader” of the IPCC has NO academic background in ANY branch of science!

    The leader of the IPCC is not the one who is doing or evaluating the science. Furthermore, Pachauri is head of the IPCC only because the respected American climate scientist who was the previous leader, Robert Watson, had the support for his nomination to be head of the IPCC withdrawn by the Bush Administration after Exxon asked them to withdraw the support for Watson: http://www.heatisonline.org/contentserver/objecthandlers/index.cfm?id=3925&method=full

    Sorry…
    As a scientist, I rely upon data. And, there is no data to the contrary. The only available data indicate that the bureaucrats issuing the various (all over the map) statements regarding AGW do NOT represent the views of the scientists who belong to their organizations. If you have evidence to the contrary, SHOW ME!

    Where is the data that shows that the Republican Party isn’t being run by green unicorns? What you do is demand endless data for the things you don’t want to believe and believe whatever you want to believe (like that the Oregon petition shows where the majority of the world scientists stand) on the basis of no data whatsoever. You aren’t driven by data…Everything on your entire website and in your entire posts here shows you are driven by ideology and you just selectively cherrypick data to try to desperately support that ideology.

  167. Joel (the purely political propagandist) Shore sez:

    “And, yet you have used this petition to somehow conclude that “the overwhelming majority of scientists around the world do NOT support your tyrannical move to regulate CO2″. How exactly did you get from the petition to your conclusion?”

    First, let’s remember that the question is whether a majority of scientists favor the regulation of CO2.

    Again, as a scientist, I rely upon data — not conjecture, rhetoric, propaganda, bureaucrats dishonestly purporting to speak for scientists, etc.

    The fact is that the preponderance of data support my conclusion (as does the absence of data to the contrary).

    You see…
    If you had data to the contrary, you would cite it. Lacking such data, you resort to cheap smear campaigns in a pathetic attempt to discredit the unassailable (and enormously “inconvenient”) data which demolish your purely political propaganda.

    Furthermore…
    If you truly believe that the cream of the crop of American scientists can be as easily duped as you suggest, then you must have a pretty low opinion of your fellow scientists — an observation which only serves to further confirm your arrogant elitist attitude (typical of all so-called “Progressives”).

    Click here for some basic climate change science.
    Click here to debunk the hysteria topic by topic.

  168. SBVOR says:

    First, let’s remember that the question is whether a majority of scientists favor the regulation of CO2.

    That seems only to have become THE question because I haven’t found a scientific poll of scientists that asked that specific question. I am sure if I had, then something else will be the question. Ideologues like you are nothing if not flexible!

    Again, as a scientist, I rely upon data — not conjecture, rhetoric, propaganda, bureaucrats dishonestly purporting to speak for scientists, etc.

    The fact is that the preponderance of data support my conclusion (as does the absence of data to the contrary).

    Nonsense. That data doesn’t support your conclusion at all. That you think it does just reveals how utterly divorced some conservative ideologues like yourself seem to have become from the reality-based community. You live in a world not just of different opinions and philosophies but of completely different facts, created by fellow travelers. By basically using the word “bureaucrats” to poison the well regarding any objective unbiased authorities, you are left with fellow ideologues as the only authority who you find legitimate. And, you are actually surprised that your supposed data leads you to the conclusions they lead you to? The fact is that it is your ideology leading and data and science completely subservient to that!

    Furthermore…
    If you truly believe that the cream of the crop of American scientists can be as easily duped as you suggest, then you must have a pretty low opinion of your fellow scientists — an observation which only serves to further confirm your arrogant elitist attitude (typical of all so-called “Progressives”).

    First of all, who said that they are the cream of the crop? If you bombard hundreds of thousands of scientists with such a petition and a few percent agree to sign it, my guess is that those you are getting are, in general, quite far removed from the “cream of the crop”. (There are, of course, a few exceptions like Freeman Dyson, who are accomplished scientists in other fields.)

    Second of all, it is not such a low opinion of scientists to believe that some scientists outside of their field of expertise can be duped by something like this. Scientists are generally a trusting lot and can be naive when it comes to people who are actively trying to deceive them. And, fwhen many of the signatures were gathered more than 10 years ago, knowledge of the topic by scientists outside the field was quite a bit less than it is now (and, in fact, the IPCC reports were more circumspect in the attribution part of the global warming issue). Hell, in 1997, I would not have been able to tell you what exactly what was wrong with the claims made in the deceptive manuscript that accompanied the petition. And, it still takes quite a bit of research to debunk many of the claims.

    Your respect for your fellow scientists is in fact much lower than mine. You believe that scientists are such dupes that they elect people to represent them in their scientific societies who do not reflect their views on important scientific issues of the day and then continue to re-elect these people or elect similar people even once these leaders have express views that they supposedly overwhelmingly disagree with!

    My hypothesis requires only that a tiny minority of scientists, most well outside of their field of expertise, be misled or be ideologically-predisposed to believe some deceptive materials. Yours requires mass deception of the entire scientific community across the world.

    Just out of curiosity, what sort of science are you actively engaged in?

  169. Joel (the purely political propagandist) sez:

    1) “First of all, who said that they are the cream of the crop?”

    Answer: Lawrence Solomon of the National Post (as reposted in the Financial Post):

    “Using a subset of the mailing list of American Men and Women of Science, a who’s who of Science, Robinson mailed out his solicitations through the postal service, requesting signed petitions of those who agreed that Kyoto was a danger to humanity.”

    2) “That seems only to have become THE question [do a majority of scientists favor regulating CO2] because I haven’t found a scientific poll of scientists that asked that specific question.”

    Uh, no…
    As it happens, that is the 45 TRILLION dollar questionby FAR the most relevant of all! But, count on that estimate being low by at LEAST a full order of magnitude.

    Didn’t we waste ENOUGH money on the Kyoto insanity? Hell! Even the New York Times admits Kyoto was an abysmal failure.

    And now, you MORONS want to utterly, totally and completely WASTE $45 TRILLION in the ludicrous belief that we can micromanage climate change? Are you NUTS?

    Face facts! Your totalitarian political religious cult is DEAD & BURIED! The AMO created it and the AMO killed it!

    3) “Nonsense. That data doesn’t support your conclusion at all. That you think it does just reveals how utterly divorced some conservative ideologues like yourself seem to have become from the reality-based community.”

    Still resorting to your pathetic smear campaign? I have presented my data as well as the quantitative debunking of the typical bogus claim from your team.

    WHERE is the data which proves YOUR case? Oh, sorry, you’ve GOT NONE! That is why time after time after time you stoop to the pathetic, childish smear campaign — it’s ALL YOU’VE GOT!

  170. Joel Shore says:
    February 16, 2011 at 2:16 pm

    And the poll finds that, “Former Vice President Al Gore’s documentary film ‘An Inconvenient Truth’ rates better than any traditional news source, with 26% finding it ‘very reliable’ and 38% as somewhat reliable. Other non-traditional information sources fare poorly: No more than 1% of climate experts rate the doomsday movie ‘The Day After Tomorrow’ or Michael Crichton’s novel ‘State of Fear’ as very reliable.” Do you agree with this?

    Does not say much for the 26% or 38% given that we now know (regardless of our views on AGW) that the movie is just theater, not documentary. As the old saying goes – “You can fool some of the people all of the time…….”

  171. Joel (the purely political propagandist) sez:

    The poll also shows that ‘41% of [climate] scientists believe global climate change will pose a very great danger to the earth in the next 50 to 100 years, compared to 13% who see relatively little danger. Another 44% rate climate change as moderately dangerous.’ Do you agree with this?”

    1) These are absurdly meaningless questions. The climate is constantly changing and those changes constantly present challenges (aka dangers). But, relative to the last 423,000 years or the last 600 million years, the next 50 to 100 years will — without a doubt — be one of the most climatically STABLE periods in the history of the planet. Whatever climate change will be witnessed will be entirely beyond our control — Kyoto proved that.

    The AMO cycle ensures that the flat temperature trend of the last 16 years will continue roughly through 2018, at which point we will see a substantial multidecadal cooling trend similar to the period from 1945 through 1979.

    And, yes…
    That multidecadal cooling trend will present challenges and dangers.

    2) Again, this poll deliberately ignores the 45 TRILLION dollar question — should government regulate CO2? Why do the pollsters ignore the single MOST important question? Because they KNOW the answer — NO! All of the available evidence points in that direction.

    3) Click here to understand why climate scientists (supposedly) respond as they do. A picture is worth a thousand words.

    Again, the ONLY scientists qualified to OBJECTIVELY evaluate the climate science are those who are NOT financially dependent upon perpetuating the single greatest fraud EVER perpetrated upon the human race!

    Click here for some basic climate change science.
    Click here to debunk the hysteria topic by topic.

  172. SBVOR says:

    1) “First of all, who said that they are the cream of the crop?”

    Answer: Lawrence Solomon of the National Post (as reposted in the Financial Post):

    Some questions that a true skeptic might ask:

    (1) How many people are listed in the American Men and Women of Science and so, what fraction of them have signed?

    (2) Were only people listed in that book allowed to sign? If not, how many of the signers are so listed?

    (3) What are the qualifications of the signers? How many have published in the peer-reviewed literature in climate science? How many in another field that is at least somewhat related (e.g., radiative transfer)?

    Face facts! Your totalitarian political religious cult is DEAD & BURIED! The AMO created it and the AMO killed it!

    As I have pointed out, your argument about the AMO is garbage.

    Still resorting to your pathetic smear campaign? I have presented my data as well as the quantitative debunking of the typical bogus claim from your team.

    Unfortunately, the data you have presented does not in any way support the conclusion that you have reached. The petition is not a scientific poll and just shows that you can get 30,000 people who are loosely categorized as “scientists” but who actually include categories (such as engineers) that altogether likely a few million American fall into to sign on.

    As for the poll of TV weathercasters, while it is interesting to see how the views of this group differ so markedly from the views of the scientists in the field of climate science, I am not sure what it is supposed to prove. TV weathercasters are a diverse group in terms of training in experience. Some are basically “talking heads” who got assigned to the weather beat, others have various degrees of training as forecast meteorologists, and almost none are research scientists with any significant training or background in climate science.

    By contrast, I have presented actual data from actual scientific polls of subsets of the scientific community, including the community with expertise in climate science.

    PhilJourdan says:

    Does not say much for the 26% or 38% given that we now know (regardless of our views on AGW) that the movie is just theater, not documentary. As the old saying goes – “You can fool some of the people all of the time…….”

    “We” know this how exactly?

    Most climate scientists who I know of have concluded that Al Gore’s presentation is not too bad. It certainly is not perfect and he glosses over some points, like the fact that the causal relationship between CO2 and temperature works in both directions, but compared to the other sources out there, it is overall pretty good.

  173. SBVOR says:

    1) These are absurdly meaningless questions. The climate is constantly changing and those changes constantly present challenges (aka dangers). But, relative to the last 423,000 years or the last 600 million years, the next 50 to 100 years will — without a doubt — be one of the most climatically STABLE periods in the history of the planet.

    Well, the latter is your own opinion, apparently not shared by most of the scientists, who believe the change will present moderate to very great dangers.

    The AMO cycle ensures that the flat temperature trend of the last 16 years will continue roughly through 2018, at which point we will see a substantial multidecadal cooling trend similar to the period from 1945 through 1979.

    Nonsense…from beginning to end, including the temperature trend being flat for the last 16 years.

    3) Click here to understand why climate scientists (supposedly) respond as they do. A picture is worth a thousand words.

    Yes, because people go into climate science for the lucrativeness of it. They don’t care about the science and will gladly falsify it so they don’t have to do something less lucrative like be a doctor, lawyer, or CEO of a multinational corporation.

    Fortunately, there are the coal companies and right-wing think-tanks that have only our best interests at heart and can be relied upon to give us the scientific truth when the scientists won’t.

  174. Joel Shore says:
    February 17, 2011 at 10:11 am

    “We” know this how exactly?

    Most climate scientists who I know of have concluded that Al Gore’s presentation is not too bad. It certainly is not perfect and he glosses over some points, like the fact that the causal relationship between CO2 and temperature works in both directions, but compared to the other sources out there, it is overall pretty good.

    Like I said – fool some of the people. Guess you are some.

    As for your “most”, name any of them. A court of law, not a PR outfit, ruled that the film was propaganda after hearing the case. he did not care who was right, just what was true or not. Go look at the film again, and then come back to me and demonstrate any science in it is more than just hollywood hype. And then list the “most” climate scientists.

    Sea levels rising 20 feet, unprecendented warming, no polar ice cap, all glaciers melting, polar bears dwindling, etc.

    Again, whether AGW is correct or not, the film is pure escapism, and not worthy of any scientists time. Only fools and englishmen (as the saying goes) believe in that clap trap.

    But you are free to. It does kind of say who you are however.

  175. Joel (the purely political propagandist) sez:

    “Nonsense…from beginning to end, including the temperature trend being flat for the last 16 years.”

    That (and more) is proof positive that Joel is a fringe lunatic denier.

    Phil Jones (chief charlatan of the CAGW cult) is my source from right at a year ago and the current satellite data confirm — now that the 2010 el Niño is history — the flat trend continues.

    Will you also deny the report from NOAA:

    “The trend in the ENSO-related component for 1999–2008 is +0.08±0.07°C decade, fully accounting for the overall observed trend. The trend after removing ENSO (the ‘ENSO-adjusted’ trend) is 0.00°±0.05°C decade.”

    Peer reviewed science suggests that (owing to the AMO) the trend will remain flat through about 2018.

    More peer reviewed science supports my multi-decadal view.

    That’s (probably) my last comment for this thread. Joel is simply regurgitating the same tired old unsubstantiated purely political propaganda/rhetoric. There is no point in wasting any more of my time on a fringe lunatic denier of peer reviewed science and even the proclamations of the leader of his own cabal.

  176. Joel Shore has drunk the alarmist Kool Aid, and his mind is closed tight.

    Whenever I post a graph, Joel finds something wrong with it. So just to confirm his cognitive dissonance, a while back I posted fifty [50!] separate graphs. As expected, Joel objected to them all. Every one of them. That’s the response of a pseudo-scientist.

    When cognitive dissonance takes hold [AKA: Orwell’s “doublethink”], its victims rarely escape its clutches. Fortunately, scientific skeptics are largely immune from CD, because skeptics simply ask the alarmist crowd to provide convincing evidence of their CO2=CAGW conjecture, per the scientific method; skeptics themselves have nothing to prove.

    When Joel Shore starts demanding that Michael Mann, Kevin Trenberth, Gavin Schmidt, and the editorial boards of every climate journal must publicly archive every bit of data, all methodologies, and all metadata used to support their position, he will begin rebuilding his credibility. But I’m not holding my breath.

  177. SBVOR: Your last post is an extremely impressive example of how people who desperately want to believe something will produce junk science by cobbling together stuff in ridiculous ways! It is worth preserving for the simple purpose of being such a splendid example of this technique.

    You basically misquote and take out-of-context a statement by Phil Jones, combine it together with a statement taken completely out-of-context by NOAA and then produce something that is diametrically in contradiction to the larger point that either one of them was making. You quote the part where NOAA discusses the 10-year trend and then leave out the part where they note that simulation with climate models forced by greenhouse gases show this same sort of variability in 10-year trends to be a common feature of the models. They conclude that:

    The simulations also produce an average increase of 2.0°C in twenty-first century global temperature, demonstrating that recent observational trends are not sufficient to discount predictions of substantial climate change and its significant and widespread impacts.

    The NOAA folks do say that the models don’t predict zero trends for intervals of 15 years or more and you seem to think that this along with Jones’ statement means that the data contradict the model predictions. However, you have completely misunderstood what Jones has said….He has not said that the data show zero trend over 15 years, which is good, since they very clearly do not show that. Here are plots of various data sets (over 16 years, so as to be consistent with your earlier claims):

    http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/uah/from:1995/trend/plot/uah/from:1995/plot/hadcrut3gl/from:1995/plot/hadcrut3gl/from:1995/trend/plot/gistemp/from:1995/plot/gistemp/from:1995/trend

    All of them, including UAH show a serious warming trend. All that Jones is saying is that, due to the necessarily large errorbars in trend analyses over such short time periods, this positive trend has large enough errorbars that a zero trend cannot quite be ruled out at the 95% confidence level. (Although others like tamino have pointed out that it probably can be with somewhat more sophisticated data analysis techniques.) However, neither can a trend of presumably about double the amount observed, which would put us on a quite terrifying warming course. It is just a statement about the large uncertainties associated with trends in such data sets.

    If you don’t understand the distinctions here, then you are utterly incapable of having even the rudimentary statistical understanding to analyze the data and yet that doesn’t seem to stop you from making ridiculous pronouncements on your blog.

    I also love how you selectively use Keenlyside to support your point of view without an understanding that their whole paper (which, by the way, has received a skeptical reception by scientists in the field for excellent reasons) is predicated on the basic notion that the significant AGW is occurring and will continue to occur. However, you have uncritically accepted the part of Keenlyside that you like and discarded the rest, in the typical fashion of someone who is promulgating junk science.

    You still haven’t answered my question of what field you are actually a practicing scientist in. Your posts have really made me question if you are at all…Certainly, it can’t be in one that requires any sort of serious quantitative data analysis.

    It is really sad to see people with such ideological blinders that they find it necessary to attack science with nonsense and voodoo (as Bob Park would call it) in order to further their ideological ends.

    Smokey says:

    Fortunately, scientific skeptics are largely immune from CD,

    Smokey,

    Frankly you wouldn’t know what true skepticism is if it came up and bit you in the behind. You are the furthest thing from a true scientific skeptic as one could possibly be and your abuse of the term to describe yourself is painful for any serious scientist to see.

    I’ll give you this though…Cognitive dissonance is something that you must be a world renowned expert on from personal experience!

  178. Joel Shore,

    By denying the conclusions drawn from your own cabal, you prove yourself beyond ANY doubt to be among the lunatic fringe.

    These, again, are the undeniable FACTS:
    Even the alarmists at NOAA admit there has been no global warming since 1998:

    “The trend in the ENSO-related component for 1999–2008 is +0.08±0.07°C decade, fully accounting for the overall observed trend. The trend after removing ENSO (the “ENSO-adjusted” trend) is 0.00°±0.05°C decade.”

    NOAA further admits that:

    “The [computer model] simulations rule out (at the 95% level) zero trends [in global temperatures] for intervals of 15 yr or more, suggesting that an observed absence of warming of this duration is needed to create a discrepancy with the expected present-day warming rate.”

    Dr. Phil Jones [of ClimateGate infamy] has now admitted that there has been no statistically significant global warming in the last 15 years. Click here for a more technical description of this mathematical analysis from PhD physicist Dr. Luboš Motl.

    Peer reviewed science suggests that (owing to the AMO) the trend will remain flat through about 2018.

    More peer reviewed science supports my multi-decadal view.

    Here is another FACT:
    Your totalitarian political CAGW religious cult is DEAD and BURIED! All that remains is to reverse the tyranny imposed by purely political bureaucrats at the EPA. That too will come.

  179. SBVOR: You are just repeating again the nonsense that you had in your previous post. Alas, it doesn’t get more sensible on repetition.

    So, here I’ll try to keep it simple: The NOAA statement is a statement about the ***best-fit trend*** not being zero over a 15-year period. The Jones statement is a statement about whether the 2-sigma error bars in a quite strongly positive best-fit trend are nonetheless still not quite small enough to completely rule out a trend of zero. That is not a statement about what the best fit trend is…but a statement about the error bars surrounding that trend. You can’t equate one to the other…not even remotely. It is statistical nonsense.

    By the way, computing the error bars for trends in correlated data is not trivial…and whether you can get better trends by trying to factor out some of the factors contributing to the “noise” on top of the trend is another thing. So, one can quibble about whether Jones’ statement about not being able to rule out a zero trend at the 95%-confidence level is even correct. However, even assuming that it is, you can’t cobble together what Jones said with what NOAA said to produce the conclusion that you have; Your conclusion is entirely an artifact of your poor understanding of statistics.

Comments are closed.